ANTINOMIANS AND FAMILISTS CONDEMNED By the SYNOD of ELDERS IN NEVV ENGLAND: WITH THE Proceedings of the Magistrates against them, And their Apology for the same.

Together with A Memorable example of Gods Iudgements upon some of those Persons so proceeded against.

LONDON, Printed for Ralph Smith at the signe of the Bible in Cornhill neare the Royall Exchange. 1644.

A Catalogue of such erroneous opinions as were found to have beene brought into New England, and spread under-hand there, as they were condemned by an Assembly of the Churches, at New Town, Aug. 30. 1637.

The Errors 1. IN the conversion of a sinner, which is saving and graci­ous, the faculties of the soule, and workings thereof, in things partaining to God, are destroyed and made to cease.

The Confutation. 1. This is contrary to the Scripture, which speaketh of the faculties of the soule, (as the understanding and the will) not as destroyed in conversion, but as changed, Luk. 24.45. Christ is said to have opened their understandings: Joh. 21.18. Peter is said to be led whither he would not, therefore he had a will. Againe, to de­stroy the faculties of the soule, is to destroy the immortality of the soule.

Error 2. In stead of them, the Holy Ghost doth come and take place, and doth all the works of those natures, as the faculties of the human nature of Christ do.

Confutation 2. This is contrary to Scripture which speaketh of God, as san­ctifying our soules and spirits; 1 Thess. 5.23. purging our consciences, Heb. 9.14. refreshing our memories, Joh. 14.26.

Error 3. That the love which is said to remain, when faith and hope cease, is the Holy Ghost.

Confutation 3. This is contrary to the Scriptures, which put an expresse dif­ference betweene the Holy Ghost and love, 2 Cor. 6.6. And if our love were the Holy Ghost, we cannot bee said to love God at all, or if wee did, it was, because we were personally united to the Holy Ghost.

Error 4 , 5. That those that bee in Christ are not under the Law, and com­mands of the word, as the rule of life. Alias, that the will of God in the Word, or directions thereof, are not the rule whereunto Christians are bound to con­forme themselves, to live thereafter.

Confutation 4 , 5. This is contrary to the Scriptures, which direct us to the Law and to the Testimony, Esay 8.20. which also speaks of Christians, as not being without Law to God, but under the Law to Christ, 1 Cor. 9.22.

Error 6. The example of Christs life, is not a patterne according to which men ought to act.

Confutation 6. This position (those actions of Christ excepted which hee did as God, of as Mediatour, God and Man, or on speciall occasions, which concerne not us,) is unfound, being contrary to the Scripture, wherein the example of Christs life is propounded to Christians as a patterne of imitati­on, both by Christ and his Apostles. Mat. 11.29. Learne of mee, for I am meek, &c. 1 Cor. 11.1. Bee yee followers of mee, as I am of Christ, Ephes: 5.2. Walk in love as Christ hath loved us, 1 Pet. 2.21. Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that yee should follow his steps, 1 Joh. 2.26. Hee that saith hee abideth in him, ought so to walke, even as hee hath walked.

Error 7. The new creature, or the new man mentioned in the Gospell, is not meant of grace, but of Christ.

Confutation 7. The false-hood of this proposition appeareth from the Scrip­tures, which first propound Christ and the new creature as distinct one from another, 2 Cor. 5.17. If any man bee in Christ, hee is a new creature. Secondly, The new man is opposed to the old man, the old man is meant of lusts and vices, and not of Adams person, Ephes. 2.22.24. Therefore the new man is meant of graces and vertues, and not of the person of Christ, Col. 3.9.10. Thirdly, The new man is expressely said to consist in righteousnesse and true holinesse, Ephes. 4.25. and to bee renewed in knowledge, Col. 3.10. which are graces, and not Christ.

Error 8. By love, 1 Cor. 13.13. and by the armour mentioned Ephes. 6. are meant Christ.

Confutation 8. This position is neere of kin to the former, but secondly, the opposite, 1 Cor. 13. meaneth that love which hee exhorteth Christians to beare one towards another, which if it were meant of Christ, hee might bee said to exhort them to beare Christ one to another, as well as to love one another, 2. Faith and hope there mentioned, have Christ for their object, and if by love bee meant Christ, hee had put no more in the latter word, then in the two former. 3. And besides, it may as well bee said, Faith in love, as Faith in Christ, and hope in love, as hope in Christ, if that were the meaning. And by armour, Ephes. 6. cannot bee meant Christ. First, because two parts of that armour are Faith and Hope, whereof the Scriptures make Christ the object: Col. 1.5. Beholding the sted fastnesse of your Faith in Christ, 1 Cor. 15.19. If in this life only wee had hope in Christ, &c. now these graces, and the object of them cannot bee the same. Secondly, a person armed with that ar­mour, may bee said to bee a sincere righteous patient Christian, but if by the armour bee meant Christ, sweete predication should have been destroyed, and you might more properly say, a Christifyed Christian.

Error 9. The whole letter of the Scripture holds for a covenant of workes.

Confutation 9. This position is unsound, and contrary to the constant te­nor of the Gospel, a maine part of the Scriptures which in the letter thereof holds not forth a covenant of works, but of grace, as appeareth, Joh. 3.16. 1 Tim. 1.15. Mat. 11.28. Heb. 8.10, 11, 12.

Error 10. That God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, may give them­selves to the soule, and the soule may have true union with Christ, true remis­sion of sins, true marriage and fellowship, true sanctification from the blood of Christ, and yet bee an hypocrite.

Confutation 10. The word [true] being taken in the sense of the Scriptures, this also crosseth the doctrine of Ephes. 4.24. where righteousnesse and true holinesse are made proper to him, that hath heard and learned the truth, as it is in Jesus.

Error 11. As Christ was once made flesh, so hee is now first made flesh in us, ere wee bee carryed to perfection.

Confutation 11. Christ was once made flesh, Joh. 1.14. no other incarnation is recorded, and therefore not to bee believed.

Error 12. Now in the covenant of workes, a legalist may attaine the same righteousnesse for truth, which Adam had in innocency before the fall.

Confutation 12. Hee that can attaine Adams righteousnesse in sincerity, hath his sin truely mortifyed, but that no legalist can have, because true mortificati­on is wrought by the covenant of grace, Rom. 6.14. Sin shall not have domi­nion over you, for you are not under the Law, but under Grace.

Error 13. That there is a new birth under the covenant of workes, to such a kind of righteousnesse, as before is mentioned, from which the soule must bee againe converted, before it can bee made partaker of Gods Kingdome.

Confutation 13. This is contrary to Titus 3.4. where the new birth is made a fruit of Gods love to wards man in Christ; of any new birth besides this, the Scripture speaketh not. It is also contrary to 2 Cor. 3. where it is made the worke of the Spirit, (that is, the Gospel) opposed to the letter (that is, the Law) to give life; the new birth brings forth the new creature, and the new creature argueth our being in Christ, 2 Cor. 5.17. It is true indeed Gods chil­dren that are borne againe, must bee converted againe, as Mat. 18.3. but that conversion is not from that grace which they have received, but from the cor­ruption that still remaines.

Error 14. That Christ workes in the regenerate, as in those that are dead, and not as in those that are alive, or, the regenerate after conversion, are altogether dead to spirituall acts.

Confutation 14. This is contrary to Rom. 6.11. Yee are alive unto God, in Jesus Christ, Ephes. 2.1.5. Hee hath quickned us, 1 Pet. 2.5. Living stones, Gal. 2.20. The life that I now live.

Error 15. There is no inherent righteousnesse in the Saints, or grace, and graces are not in the soules of beleevers, but in Christ only.

Confutation 15. This is contrary to 2 Tim. 1.5. The unfained faith that dwelt in thee, and dwelt first in thy Grandmother, 2 Pet. 1.4. partakers of the divine nature; which cannot bee, but by inherent righteousnesse, 2 Tim. 1.6. Stirre up the grace of God which is in thee, Job. 1.16. Of his fulnesse wee all receive grace for grace: but if there be no grace in [Page 4]us, wee receive nothing from his fulnesse, 2 Cor. 4.16. Our inward man is re­newed day by day, Rom. 12.2. with Ephes. 4.23. wee are changed or renew­ed.

Error 16. There is no difference betweene the graces of hypocrites and belee­vers, in the kinds of them.

Confutation 16. If this be true, then hypocrites are wise, humble, mercifull, pure, &c. and so shall see God, Mat. 5.8. but they are called fooles, Mat. 7.26. Mat. 25.1, 2, 3. neither shall they see God, Mat. 24.51. Mat. 13.20, 21, 22, 23. Heb. 6.7, 8, 9. the difference of the grounds, argueth the difference in the kinds of graces.

Error 17. True poverty of spirit doth kill and take away the sight of grace.

Confutation 17. This is contrary to Mark. 9.24. Lord, I beleeve, help my unbeleefe: if this were so, then poverty of spirit should hinder thankfulnesse, and so one grace should hinder another, and the graces of the Spirit should hin­der the worke of the Spirit, and crosse the end why hee is given to us, 1 Cor. 2.12.

Error 18. The Spirit doth worke in Hypocrites, by gifts and graces, but in Gods children immediately.

Confutation 18. This is contrary to Nehem. 5.15. So did I because of the feare of the Lord: Heb. 11.17. Noah moved with feare, prepared an Arke.

Error 19. That all graces, even in the truely regenerate, are mortall and fa­ding.

Confutation 19. This is contrary to John 4.14. they are graces which flow from a fountaine which springeth up to eternall life, and therefore not fading, Jer. 31.39.40.

Error 20. That to call into question whether God be my deare Father, after or upon the commission of some hainous sinnes, (as Murther, Incest, &c.) doth prove a man to be in the Covenant of workes.

Confutation 20. It being supposed that the doubting here spoken of, is not that of finall despaire, or the like, but onely that the position denyeth a possi­bility of all doubting to a man under a Covenant of grace, this is contrary to Scripture, which speaketh of Gods people under a Covenant of grace, in these or other cases, exercised with sweete doubtings and questions: David was a justified man, (for his sinnes were pardoned, 2 Sam. 12.12, 13.) yet his bones waxed old through his roaring all the day long, and the heavinesse of Gods hand was upon him night and day, and the turning of his moysture into the drought of Summer, Psal. 32.3, 4. And Gods breaking his bones by with-holding from him the joy of his Salvation; Psal. 51.8. shew that he was exercised with sweete doubts, and questions at least, as this position speaketh of: and the like may be gathered out of Psal. 77.3, 4. where the holy man Asaph, mentioneth himselfe, being troubled when he remembred God, and that he was so troub­led, he could not speake nor sleepe, and expostulateth with God, Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? and vers. 6, 7, 8, 9. [Page 5]These shew that he had at least sweete doubts, as the position mentioneth, and yet he was not thereby proved to be under a Covenant of workes, for he doth afterward confesse this to bee his infirmity, vers. 10. and receiveth the com­fort of former experiences, in former dayes, and his songs in the nights, and of Gods former workes, vers. 5, 6.10, 11, 12. and he resumeth his claime of his right in God by vertue of his Covenant, vers. 13.

Errour 21. To be justified by faith is to be justified by workes.

Confutation 21. If faith, in this position be considered not simply as a worke, but in relation to its object, this is contrary to the Scripture, that so appropri­ateth Justification to faith, as it denieth it to workes, setting faith and workes in opposition one against another in the point of Justification, as Rom. 3.27. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what Law? by the Law of workes. no, but by the Law of faith, and vers. 28. We conclude, that a man is justified by faith without the workes of the Law, and chap. 4. 16. Therefore it is by faith, that it may be by grace, compared with vers. 4. To him that worketh is there­ward reckoned not of grace, but of debt.

Errour 22. None are to be exhorted to beleeve, but such whom we know to be the elect of God, or to have his Spirit in them effectually.

Confutation 22. This is contrary to the Scriptures, which maketh the com­mission which Christ gave his Disciples in these words, Go preach the Gospel to every creature, he that beleeveth and is baptized shall be saved, Mar. 16.15.16. where the latter words imply an exhortation to beleeve, and the former words direct that this should not onely be spoken to men knowne to be elected, or onely to men effectually called, but to every creature; The Scripture also telleth us, that the Apostles in all places called upon men to repent, and beleeve the Gospel, which they might not have done, had this position beene true.

Errour 23. We must not pray for gifts and graces, but onely for Christ.

Confutation 23. This is contrary to Scripture which teacheth us to pray for wisdome, Jam. 1.5. and for every grace bestowed by vertue of the new Cove­nant, Ezech. 36.37. as acknowledging every good gift, and every perfect giving is from above, and commeth downe from the Father of lights. The whole 119. Psalme, besides innumerable texts of Scripture, doth abundantly confute this, by shewing that the servants of God have beene taught by the Spirit of God to pray for every gift and grace needfull for them, and not onely for Christ.

Errour 24. He that hath the seale of the Spirit may certainely judge of any person, whether he be elected or no.

Confutation 24. This is contrary to Deut. 29.29. Secret things belong to God; and such is election of men not yet called.

Errour 25. A man may have all graces and poverty of spirit, and yet want Christ.

Confutation 25. This is contrary to Matth. 5.3. Blessed are the poore in spi­rit: but without Christ none can be blessed, Ephes. 4.22.24. he that hath righ­teousnesse and true holinesse, hath learned the truth, as it is in Jesus, and there­fore hath Christ.

Errour 26. The faith that justifieth us is in Christ, and never had any actu­all being out of Christ.

Confutation 26. This is contrary to Scripture, Luke 17.5. Lord encrease our faith, Ergo, faith was in them, 2 Tim. 1.6. faith is said to dwell in such and such persons, therefore faith was in them, Esay 64.7. No man stirres up himselfe to lay hold upon thee.

Errour 27. It is incompatible to the Covenant of grace to joyne faith there­unto.

Confutation 27. This is contrary to Marke 16.16. Preach the Gospel, hee that beleeveth shall be saved, Rom. 4.3. Abraham beleeved, and it was counted to him for righteousnesse, and Abraham is a patterne to all under the Covenant of grace, Rom. 4.24.

Errour 28. To affirme there must be faith on mans part to receive the Co­venant; is to undermine Christ.

Confutation 28. First, Faith is required on mans part to receive the Cove­nant of grace, according to these Scriptures, John 1.12. To as many as received him, even to them that beleeved on his name, Marke 16.16. He that beleeveth shall be saved. Secondly, to affirme there must be faith on mans part to receive Christ, is not to undermine Christ; but to exalt him, according to these Scrip­tures, John 3.33. He that beleeveth hath put to his seale that God is true; and so honours Gods truth, which cannot undermine Christ; Rom. 4.20. but was strong in the faith, giving glory to God, &c.

Errour 29. An hypocrite may have these two witnesses, 1 John 5.5. that is to say, the water and bloud.

Confutation 29. No hypocrite can have these two witnesses, water and bloud, that is, true justification and sanctification, for then he should be saved, accor­ding to these Scriptures, Rom. 8.30. 2 Thess. 2.13. Acts 26.18.

Errour 30. If any thing may be concluded from the water and bloud, it is rather damnation, then salvation.

Confutation 30. This is contrary to the Scriptures last mentioned.

Errour 31. Such as see any grace of God in themselves, before they have the assurance of Gods love sealed to them are not to be received members of Churches.

Confutation 31. This is contrary to Acts 8.37.38. where the Eunuch saw his faith only, and yet was presently baptized, and therfore by the same ground might be admitted.

Errour 32. After the revelation of the spirit, neither Devill nor sinne can make the soule to doubt.

Confutation 32. This position savours of orrour, else Asaph. had not the reve­lation of the Spirit, seeing he doubted, (Psal. 73.13) whether he had not clen­sed his heart in vaine, and that God had forgotten to be gracious; then also faith should be perfect which was never found, no not in our father Abraham.

Errour 33. To act by vertue of, or in obedience to a command, is legall.

Confutation 33. So is it also Evangelicall, the mystery of the Gospel is said to be revealed for the obedience of faith, Rom. 16.25. Also the Lord Jesus is said to be the author of salvation to all that obey him, Hebr. 5.9. If we love Christ we are to keep his Commandements, John 14.29.

Errour 34. We are not to pray against all sinne, because the old man is in us, and must be, and why should we pray against that which cannot be a­voyded?

Confutation 34. This is contrary to 1 Thess. 5, 23. 1 Cor. 13.7.

Errour 35. The efficacy of Christs death is to kill all activity of graces in his members, that he might act all in all.

Confutation 35. This is contrary to Rom. 6.4. Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of finne might be destroyed, that we should not serve sinne: contrary also to Hebr. 4.14. that he might through death destroy him, &c. and 1 John 3.8. whence we infer, that if Christ came to destroy the body of sin, to destroy the Devill, to dissolve the workes of the Devill, then not to kill his owne graces, which are the workes of his owne Spirit.

Errour 36. All the activity of a beleever is to act to sinne.

Confutation 36. Contrary to Rom. 7.15. as also to Gal. 5.17. the spirit lusteth against the flesh.

Errour 37. We are compleatly united to Christ, before, or without any faith wrought in us by the Spirit.

Confutation 37. The terme [united] being understood of that spirituall re­lation of men unto Christ, whereby they come to have life and right to all o­ther blessings in Christ, 1 John 5.12. He that hath the Son hath life: And the terme [compleatly] implying a presence of all those bands and ligaments and meanes as are required in the word, or are any wayes necessary to the making up of the union, we now conceive this assertion to be erroneous, contrary to Scripture, that either expressely mentioneth faith when it speaketh of this uni­on, Ephes. 3.17. that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, Gal. 2.20. Christ liveth in me by faith; or ever implyeth it in those phrases that doe ex­presse union; as comming to Christ, John 6.35. and eating and drinking Christ, vers. 47. compared with vers. 54. having the Sonne, 1 John 5.12. and receiving Christ, John 1.12. and marriage unto Christ, Ephes. 5.32. if there be no dwel­ling of Christ in us, no comming to him, no receiving him, no eating nor drink­ing him, no being married to him before and without faith; but the former is true, therefore also the latter.

Errour 38. There can be no true closing with Christ in a promise that hath a qualification or condition expressed.

Confutation 38. This opinion we conceive erroneous, contrary to Esay 55.1, 2. Ho! every one that thirsteth come yee to the waters, Matth. 11.28. Come to me all yee that are weary and heavy laden, John 7.37. If any man thirst, let him come to me and drinke, Revel. 22.17. Let him that is athirst come, Marke 1.15. Repent and beleeve the Gospel: if the word indefinitely be sanctified, for [Page 8]the begetting of faith, if the Gospel it selfe be laid downe in a conditionall promise, if the Apostles and Prophets, and Christ himselfe, have laid hold up­on such promises to help to union, and closing with himselfe, then there may be a true closing with Christ in a promise that hath a qualification or condition expressed.

Errour 39. The due search and knowledge of the holy Scripture, is not a safe and sure way of searching and finding Christ.

Confutation 39. This is contrary to expresse words of Scripture, John 5.39. Search the Scriptures, for they testifie of me, Acts 10.43. To him give all the Prophets witnesse, Rom. 3.21. the righteousnesse of God witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, Isa. 8.20. To the Law and to the Testimony, Acts 17.11. The Bereans were more noble, in that they searched the Scriptures daily. If the Prophets give witnesse to Christ, if his righteousnesse bee witnessed by Law and Prophets, and that they bee noble that daily search the Scriptures, and that Christ so farre alloweth their testimony of him, that the Scripture saith, there is no light but in and according to them, then the due searching and knowledg of Scriptures, is a safe way to search Christ; but the former is true, therefore also the latter.

Error 40. There is a testimony of the Spirit, and voyce unto the Soule, meere­ly immediate, without any respect unto, or concurrence with the word.

Confutation 40. This immediate revelation without concurrence with the word, doth not onely countenance but confirme that opinion of Enthusia­nisme, justly refused by all the Churches, as being contrary to the perfection of the Scriptures, and perfection of Gods wisedome therein: That which is not revealed in the Scripture, (which is objectum adaequatum fidei) is not to be beleeved: but that there is any such revelation, without concurrence with the word, is no where revealed in the Scripture, Ergo. 1 Cor. 4.16. Presume not a­bove that which is written. Againe, if there be any immediate Revelation without concurrence of the word, then it cannot be tryed by the word, but wee are bid to try the spirits. To the law and Testimony, Esay 8.20. to try all things, 1 Thess. 5.21. So the Bereans, Acts 17.11. and the rule of tryall is the word, Joh. 5.39.

Error 41. There bee distinct feasons of the workings of the severall Persons, so the soule may bee said to bee so long under the Fathers, and not the Sons, and so long under the Sons work, and not the Spirits.

Confutation 41. This expression is not according to the patterne of whole­some words, which teacheth a joynt concurrence of all the Persons, working in every worke that is wrought, so that wee cannot say, the Father works so long and the Son works not, because the same worke at the same time is common to them both, and to all the three Persons, as the Father drawes, Joh. 6.44. so the Son sends his Spirit to convince, and thereby draws, Joh. 16.7, 8.

Error 42. There is no assurance true or right, unlesse it bee with out feare and doubting.

Confutation 42. This is contrary to Scripture; the penman of Psal. 77. had true assurance, ver. 6. and yet hee had doubts and feares of Gods eternall mer­cy, ver. 7, 8, 9. The best Faith is imperfect and admits infirmity, ver. 10. 1 Cor. 13.10, 11, 12. Where there is flesh that doth fight against every grace, and act thereof, and is contrary to it, there can bee no grace perfect, Ergo, doubting may stand with assurance, Gal. 5.17.

Error 43. The Spirit acts most in the Saints, when they indevour least.

Confutation 43. Reserving the speciall seasons of Gods preventing grace to his owne pleasure, In the ordinary constant course of his dispensation, the more wee indevour, the more assistance and helpe wee find from him, Prov. 2.3, 4, 5. Hee that seeks and digs for wisdome as for treasure shall find it, Hos. 6.3. 2 Chron. 15.2. The Lord is with you, while you are with him; If by inde­vour be meant the use of lawfull meanes and Ordinances commanded by God, to seeke and find him in, then is it contrary to Mat. 7.7. Aske, seeke, knock, &c.

Error 44. No created worke can bee a manifest signe of Gods love.

Confutation 44. If created workes flowing from union with Christ bee inclu­ded, it's against Johns Epistles, and many Scriptures, which make keeping the Commandements, love to the Brethren, &c. evidences of a good estate, so consequently of Gods love.

Error 45. Nothing but Christ is an evidence of my good estate.

Confutation 45. If here Christ manifesting himselfe in workes of holinesse, bee excluded, and nothing but Christ nakedly revealing himselfe to faith, bee made an evidence, it is against the former Scriptures.

Error 46. It is no sinne in a beleever not to see his grace, except he be wilfully blinde.

Confutation 46. This is contrary to the Scripture, which makes every trans­gression of the Law sinne, though wilfulnesse be not annexed; and this crosseth the worke of the Spirit which sheweth us the things that are given us of God; 1 Cor. 2.12. and crosseth also that command, 2 Cor. 13.5. Prove your faith, and therefore we ought to see it.

Error 47. The Seale of the Spirit is limited onely to the immediate witnesse of the Spirit, and doth never witnesse to any worke of grace, or to any conclu­sion by a Syllogisme.

Confutation 47. This is contrary to Rom. 8.16. to that which our Spirit beares witnesse, to that the Spirit of God beares witnesse, for they beare a joynt witnesse, as the words will have it: but our Spirits beare witnesse to a worke of grace, namely that beleevers are the children of God, Ergo.

Error 48. That conditionall promises are legall.

Confutation 48. Contrary to John 3.16. Matthew 5.3. &c.

Error 49. We are not bound to keepe a constant course of Prayer in our Fa­milies, or privately, unlesse the Spirit stirre us up thereunto.

Confutation 49. This is contrary to Ephes. 6.18. 1 Thes. 5.17.

Error 50. It is poverty of spirit, when wee have grace, yet to see wee have no grace in our selves.

Confutation 50. The weake beleever Mark. 9.24. was poore in spirit, yet saw his own Faith weak though it were. Peter when hee was brought to po­verty of spirit by the bitter experience of his pride, hee saw the true love hee had unto Christ, and appealed to him therein, Joh. 21.15. Paul was lesse then the least of all Saints in his owne eyes, therefore poore in spirit, yet saw the grace of God, by which hee was that he was, and did what hee did, and was truly nothing in his own eyes, when hee had spoken of the best things hee had received and done, Ephes. 3.18. If it bee poverty of the spirit to see no grace in our selves, then should poverty of spirit crosse the office of the Spirit, which is to reveale unto us, and make us to see what God gives us, 1 Cor. 2.9.10, 11, 12. then it should make us sinne, or crosse the will of God, which is, that wee should not bee ignorant of the gracious workings of Christ in us from the power of his death and resurrection, Rom. 6.3. Know yee not, &c. then would it destroy a great duty of Christian thankfulnesse, in, and for all the good things which God vouchsafeth us, 1 Thes. 5.18.

Error 51. The soule need not to goe out to Christ for fresh supply, but it is acted by the Spirit inhabiting.

Confutation 51. Though wee have the Spirit acting and inhabiting us, this hinders not, but I may and need goe out to Christ for fresh supply of Grace, Joh. 1.16. Of whose fulnesse wee have all received, and grace for grace; 2 Cor. 12.8. Paul sought thrice to Christ for fresh supply; Heb. 12.2. Looke unto Christ the Authour and finisher of our faith.

Wee must looke up to the hils from whence commeth our helpe, Ephes. 4.16. by whom all the body receiveth increase, and to the edifying of it self.

Error 52. It is legal to say, wee act in the strength of Christ.

Confutation 52. This is contrary to the Scriptures, the Gospel bids us bee strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might, Ephes. 6.10 and bee strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 Tim. 2.1. and Paul saith, I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me, Phil. 4.13. and that was not le­gall strength.

Error 53. No Minister can teach one that is anoynted by the Spirit of Christ, more then hee knowes already unlesse it be in some circumstances.

Confutation 53. This is also contrary to Scripture, 2 Cor. 1. It is God that stablisheth us with you, &c. Ephes. 1.13. and 4.12.14. The Corinthians and Ephesians, were anoynted and sealed, and yet were taught more of Paul in his Epistles then only in some circumstances.

Error 54. No Minister can bee an instrument to convey more of Christ unto another, then hee by his own experience hath come unto.

Confutation 54. This is contrary to Ephes. 4.11, 12. the weakest Minister may edify the strongest Christian which hath more experience then himselfe.

Error 55. A man may have true Faith of dependance, and yet not bee justifyed.

Confutation 55. This is contrary to the Scripture, Acts 13.39. Al believers are justifyed, but they that have true faith of dependance are believers, therefore justifyed.

Error 56. A man is not effectually converted till hee hath full assurance.

Confutation 56. This is crosse to the Scripture, Isa. 5.10. wherein wee see that a man may truely feare God (therefore truely converted) and yet walke in darknesse, without cleare evidence; or full assurance.

Error 57. To take delight in the holy service of God, is to go a whoring from God.

Confutation 57. No Scripture commands us to go a whoring from God, but first, the Scripture commands us to delight in the service of God, Psal. 100.2. Serve the Lord with gladnesse, Isa. 58.13. Thou shalt call the Sabbath thy de­light, Ergo. Secondly, God loves not such as go a whoring from him, Psal. 73. ult. but God loves a cheerful server of God, 2 Cor. 8. Therefore, such as serve him cheerfully, do not thereby go a whoring from him.

Error 58. To help my faith, and comfort my conscience in evill houres, from former experience of Gods grace in mee, is not a way of grace.

Confutation 58. What the Saints have done and found true comfort in, that is a way of grace; but they did help their faith, and comfort their conscience from former evidences of Gods grace in them: Psal. 77.5, 6, 11. I considered the dayes of old, and called to remembrance my songs in the night; and by this raised hee up his faith, as the latter part of the Psalm sheweth; and this was in evil houres, ver. 2, 3. 2 Cor. 1.12. This is our rejoycing, that in simplicity and godly purenesse, wee have had our conversation, and this was in sad houres ver. 4, 5, 8, 9, 10. Job 35.10. None saith, Where is God that made mee, which giveth songs in the night? here the not attending to former consolation, is counted a sinful neglect.

Error 59. A man may not bee exhorted to any duty, because hee hath no power to do it.

Confutation 59. This is contrary to Phil. 2.12, 13. Work out your salvation &c. For it is God that worketh in you both the will and the deed, Ephes. 5.14. A wake thou that sleepest, so 1 Cor. 15. ult.

Error 60. A man may not prove his election by his vocation, but his voca­tion by his election.

Confutation 60. This is contrary to 1 Thes. 2.4. knowing your election, because our Gospel came unto you, not in word only, but in power, 2 Thess. 2.13, 14. God hath elected you to life, through sanctification of the Spirit, where­unto hee hath called you by our Gospel.

Error 61. All Doctrines, Revelations and Spirits, must be tried by Christ the word, rather then by the Word of Christ.

Confutation 61. This assertion of it intends to exclude the word, we conceive it contrary to Esay 8.20. John 5.39. Acts 17.11. also to 2 John 4.1, 2. Trye the spirits, every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, &c. [Page 12]where Spirits and Doctrines confessing that Christ is come in the flesh, are made distinct from Christ.

Error 62. It is a dangerous thing to close with Christ in a promise.

Confutation 62. This is contrary to Joh. 3.16. Act. 10.43. Isa. 55.1, 2. Matth. 11.28. Joh 7.37. If Christ in these places invite men to come unto him, and bids them incline and hearken, and tells them their Soules shall live, and they shall drinke and be refreshed by hm, and by these promises encourageth them to close with him, then it is no dangerous thing to close with him in a promise, it is no danger to obey a Command of God: but we are commanded to beleeve the Gospell, Mar. 1.15, 1. the promise being a part of the Gos­pell.

Error 63. No better is the evidence from the two witnesses of water and blood, mentioned 1 John. 5.6, 7, 8. then mount Calvary, and the Souldiers that shed Christs bloud, and these might have drunke of it; poore eviden­ces.

Confutation 63. Then what God hath ordained or made an evidence, is no better then what he hath not made, then Christ loseth his end in comming by water and blood, vers. 6. then the Spirit should agree no better with the witnesse of water and bloud, then it doth with Mount Calvary, and the Soul­diers: but the Spirit doth agree with the water and the bloud, and not with the other, 1 Joh. 5.7. These three agree in one.

Error 64. A man must take no notice of his sinne, nor of his repentance for his sinne.

Confutation 64. This is contrary to David, whose sinnes were ever before him, Psal. 51. hee considered his wayes (and the evill of them) that he might turne his feete to Gods Testimonies, Psal. 119 59. If we confesse our sinnes, he is faith­full and just, &c. If we say we have not sinned we make him a lyar, 1 Joh. 1.8, 9, 10. Job tooke notice of sinne and of his repentance, I abhorre my selfe and repent in dust and ashes, Job 42 6. David seeth, and saith, I am sorry for my sinnes, Psal. 38 28. Solomons penitent must know the Plague in his heart, that is, his finne and the punishment thereof, 1 Kings 8 38.

Error 65. The Church in admitting members is not to looke to holinesse of life, or Testimony of the same.

Confutation 65. This is contrary to Rom. 1.7. and the inscriptions of divers Epistles, being directed to Saints, and Saints by calling, and 1 Cor. 14 33. Churches of the Saints, Acts 2. the members there, were said to repent before they were admitted, and 1 Cor. 5. the incestuous person should not then have beene cast out for want of holinesse, and Paul could not be received into com­munion without Testimony, Acts 9 26.

Error 66. To lay the brethren under a Covenant of works, hurts not, but tends to much good to make men looke the better to their evidences.

Confutation 66. If that bee done ungroundedly, it is contrary to Isa. 5.20. where woe is pronounced to such as call good evill, &c. and Ezek. 13.22. that [Page 13]make such hearts sad, as the Lord would not have sadded; and it is against the rule of the Covenant, 1 Cor. 13. besides, it may trench upon the devils office, in accusing the Brethren, and then it will be good to tell untruth, good to breake house and Church Communion, then good to break nearest relations, then good to bite one another, and good to offend the little ones, Matth. 18.

Errour 67. A man cannot evidence his justification by his sanctification, but he must needs build upon his sanctification, and trust to it.

Confutation 67. First, this is contrary to 1 John 3.18, 19. where the holy Ghost saith, that by unfained and hearty love we may have assurance, and yet neither there nor any where else would have us trust to our sanctification, so vers. 7. He that doth righteousnesse is righteous, as he is righteous. Secondly, if poverty of spirit, which emptieth us of all confidence in our selves, may evi­dence a mans justification without trusting to it, then may sanctification with­out trusting to it; but the former is true, therefore also the latter. Thirdly, if it be an ordinance of God to evidence our justification by our sanctification, then we may doe this without trusting to it: but that is apparent from, 2 Pet. 1.10. Ergo.

Errour 68. Faith justifies an unbeleever, that is, that faith that is in Christ, justifieth me that have no faith in my selfe.

Confutation 68. This is contrary to Hab. 2.4. For if the just shall live by his faith, then that faith that justifies is not in Christ. So John 3. ult. He that beleeveth not, the wrath of God abideth on him: it is not anothers faith will save me.

Errour 69. Though a man can prove a gracious worker in: himselfe, and Christ to be the authour of it, if thereby he will prove Christ to be his, this is but a sandy foundation.

Confutation 69. This is contrary to these Scriptures, John 14.21. and 28. He that keepeth my commandements, is he that loveth me, and he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will shew my selfe unto him, 1 John 3.14. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren, and 1 John 5.12. He that hath the Sonne hath life: there­fore he that can prove that he hath spirituall life, may assure himselfe that hee hath Christ.

Errour 70. Frequency or length of holy duties or trouble of conscience for neglect thereof, are all signes of one under a Covenant of workes.

Confutation 70. This is contrary to these Scriptures, 1 Cor. 15.58. Be abun­dant alwayes in the worke of the Lord: if the faithfull in Christ Jesus be com­manded to abound alwayes in the worke of the Lord, that is, holy duties, then frequency in holy duties is no signe of one under a Covenant of workes: but the former is true, therefore also the latter; as also 1 Thes. 4.17.18. Psal. 55.17. Evening and morning and noone will I pray and make a noyse, and he will heare me; and elsewhere, Seven times a day doe I praise thee, Psal. 119.146. Psal. 1.2. So also contrary is the third branch to these Scriptures, 2 Cor. 7.8.11. [Page 14]the Corinthians were troubled in conscience, and sorrowed that they had neglected the holy duties of Church censure towards the incestuous person, and Isa. 64.7. and 8. Cant. 5.2. Rom. 7.19. I doe not the good I would, which he lamenteth and complaineth of.

Errour 71. The immediate revelation of my good estate, without any re­spect to the Scriptures, is as cleare to me, as the voyce of God from Heaven to Paul.

Confutation 71. This is contrary to John 14.26. He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, &c. whence we reason thus. If the Spirit reveale nothing without concurrence of the Word, then this revelation of the Spirit without respect to the Word is not cleare, nor to be trusted: but the Spirit doth reveale nothing, but with respect to the Word, for John 14.26. If the office of the Spirit be to teach and to bring to remembrance the things that Christ hath taught us, Esay 8.20. what ever spirit speakes not according to this Word, there is no light there.

Errour 72. It is a fundamentall and soule-damning errour to make sanctifi­cation an evidence of justification.

Confutation 72. This is contrary to these Scriptures, Rom. 8.1. They that walke after the Spirit, are freed from condemnation; and are in Christ, and so justified: so 1 John 3.10. In this are the children of God knowne, &c.

Errour 73. Christs worke of grace can no more distinguish betweene a Hy­pocrite and a Saint, then the raine that fals from Heaven betweene the just and the unjust.

Confutation 73. This proposition being generall includes all gracious works, and being so taken is contradicted in the parable of the sower, Matth. 13.20.21, 22. where the good ground is distinguished from the stony by this, that it brings forth fruit with patience, so Hebr. 6.9. there is something better in the Saints then those common gifts which are found in Hypocrites.

Errour 74. All verball Covenants, or Covenants expressed in words, as Church Couenants, vowes, &c. are Covenants of workes, and such as strike men off from Christ.

Confutation 74. First, this is contrary to Scripture, Esay 44 5. One shall say, I am the Lords, another shall call himselfe by the name of the God of Jacob: Rom. 10.10. With the mouth confession is made to salvation. Secondly, con­trary to reason, for then the Covenant of grace is made a Covenant of workes, by the writing, reading, and preaching of the same, for they are verball expres­sions of the Covenant on Gods part, as Church Covenants verbally expresse our closing herewith.

Errour 75. The Spirit giveth such full and cleare evidence of my good estate, that I have no need to be tried by the fruits of sanctification, this were to light a candle to the Sun.

Confutation 75. This opinion taken in this sense, that after the Spirit hath testified a mans good estate, the person need not to be tried by the fruit of sancti­fication, [Page 15]is contrary to the scope of the whole first Epistle of Saint John, where variety of arguments are propounded to all beleevers in common, 1 John 5.13. to distinguish the persons of beleevers from unbeleevers; the water is annexed to the Spirit and bloud, 1 Iohn 5.8.

Errour 76. The Devill and nature may be cause of a gracious worke.

Confutation 76. The words are unsavoury, and the position unsound, for taking [gracious] according to the language of the Scripture, gracious words, Luke 4.22. Let your speech be gracious, gracious words are such as issue from the saving grace of Christs Spirit indwelling in the soule, which neither the Devill, nor nature is able to produce, for Christ professeth, Iohn 15.3, 4. With­out me yee can doe nothing, nothing truly gracious, Iohn 3. What ever is borne of the flesh is flesh, and Rom. 7.18. In my flesh dwels no good, (truly spi­rituall and gracious) Gen. 6.5. Every imagination of the thoughts of a mans heart, are evill, and that continually; Besides, the Devill is that evill and wic­ked one, onely wickednesse, an adversary to Gods grace and glory, that which is contrary to corrupt nature, and the hellish nature of Satan, and above the power of both, they cannot be the causes of gracious works.

Errour 77. Sanctification is so farre from evidencing a good estate that it darkens it rather, and a man may more clearely see Christ, when he seeth no sanctification then when he doth, the darker my sanctification is, the brighter is my justification.

Confutation 77. This is contrary to the Scripture of truth, which rather giveth the name of light to sanctification and holinesse, and even for this use, to cleare our justification, 1 Iohn 1.6, 7. For the holy Ghost concludes as from a cleare and infallible promise, and proposition, that if we walke in the light, as he is in the light, then doth the bloud of Christ cleanse us from all sinne; mea­ning, that then and thereby it appeareth that it is done: as by the contrary un­holinesse, and unholy walking is like darknesse, which obscureth all the good­ly presumption flourishes and hopes of an unregenerate man, vers. 6. For this purpose, 1 Iohn 5.8. the water of sanctification is made a witnesse, now the na­ture of a witnesse is not to darken and obscure matters in question, but to cleare them, and Psal. 51.10, 11, 12. when David saw his heart so uncleane, and his spirit so altogether out of order, his justification was not then brighter, for then he should have had the joy of his salvation more full, and not so to sinke as that he begs it might be restored to him, as implying, that his joy for the present was wanting to him.

Errour 78. God hath given sixe witnesses, three in Heaven and three in earth, to beget and build justifying faith upon.

Confutation 78. This expression answers not the patterne of wholesome words, for if this position be taken thus, God hath given all these sixe witnes­ses both to beget and also to build justifying faith upon, it is contrary to Scrip­ture, for God hath not given all these fixe witnesses to beget justifying faith, be­cause the water of sanctification, which is one of the sixe, doth not goe before [Page 16]justifying faith, but followeth after it, for our hearts are justified by faith, Acts 15.9.

Errour 79. If a member of a Church be unsatisfied with any thing in the Church, if he expresse his offence, whether he hath used all meanes to convince the Church or no, he may depart.

Confutation 79. Contrary to the rule of our Saviour, Matth. 18. If thy brother offend (convictingly) admonish; whence it is evident, that in our car­riage towards a private brother we must convince him, before admonish him, much lesse separate from him. Therefore our carriage towards the whole Church must upon greater reason be with like prudence, and tendernesse; whence the argument followes thus. An offence taken before conviction will not beare an admonition, much lesse separation from a brother or Church: but the offence in the question propounded is such, Ergo.

Errour 80. If a man thinke he may edifie better in another congregation then in his owne, that is ground enough to depart ordinarily, from word, seales, fastings, feastings, and all administrations in his owne Church, notwith­standing the offence of the Church, often manifested to him for so doing.

Confutation 80. It is contrary to the condition and station of a member of the body in which he stands, 1 Cor. 12.27. A member must not put it selfe from the body upon its owne thoughts; as the admission of a member was by the consent of the whole, so likewise must his dismission be. It is contrary also to the duty of a member, Ephes. 4.16. there must be an effectuall working in every part for the edification of the whole which this departure from the admi­nistration of all the holy ordinances in the Church will necessarily hinder. It is contrary also to the good of the whole Church, and the rule which the Lord hath appointed for the preservation thereof, 1 Cor. 14 33. God is not the au­thor of confusion, and therefore not of this practise which will certainly bring it, for if one member upon these his imaginations may depart, why may not ten, yea twenty, yea an hundred? Why may not the Pastor upon such grounds leave his people, as well as they him, considering the tye is equall on both parts?

Error 81. Where faith is held forth by the Ministery, as the condition of the covenant of grace on mans part, as also evidencing justification by sanctifi­cation, and the activity of faith, in that Church there is not sufficient bread.

Confutation 81. This position seemeth to deny faith to be a condition at all, or at all active, and so if condition in this place signifie a qualification in man wrought by the holy Ghost, without which the promises doe not belong to men, this is contrary to Scripture, for John 6.48. Christ is the bread of life, and yet in the same chapter faith is held out as a condition of the covenant by the Ministery of Christ himselfe; and the activity of it is held forth in these words, Verily I say unto you, unlesse yee eate the flesh, and drinke the bloud of the Sonne of man, you have no life in you, and who so eateth, &c. As for the lawfulnesse of evidencing justification by sanctification (if it be understood [Page 17]of that sanctification which is by faith in Christ) it is contrary to the intent of the whole Epistle of John, besides many other places of Scripture which yet hold forth bread sufficient (if by sufficient is meant that doctrine, which in its right use is wholsome and good food) for it was written that their joy might be full; yet the evidencing of justification by sanctification is expressely held forth chap. 1. vers. 7. where he saith, If we walke in the light, as Christ is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the bloud of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sinne; by walking in the light, in opposition to walking in darknesse spoken of before, verse 6. Sanctification is evidently meant, and this is expresse­ly noted to be an evidence of our good condition, when it is said, if we so walke, the bloud of Christ cleanseth us from all finne.

Errour 82. A Minister must not pray nor preach against any errour, unlesse he declare in the open Congregation, upon any members enquiry, the names of them that hold them.

Confutation 82. This is contrary to Scriptures, which teach Ministers to pray and preach against all errours by whom soever they be held, when it calleth them Watchmen and Stewards, in whom faithfulnesse is required in all administrations: yet withall it enjoyneth them if a brother sinne not openly, to admonish him in secret, first betweene them two alone, and afterwards in the presence of two or three witnesses, and after that (and not before) to bring the matter to the Church, Matth. 18.15, 16, 17.

Vnsavoury speeches confuted.
These that follow were judged by the Assembly aforesaid, as unsafe speeches.

1. TO say that we are justified by faith is an unsafe speech, we must say we are ju­stified by Christ.

Answer 1. Faise, for the constant language of the Scripture is not unsafe; but we are justified by faith, is the constant language of the Scripture, Rom. 5.1. being justified by faith; the righteousnesse of faith, Rom. 10.31, 32. Righteous­nesse by faith, Phil. 3, 9, 10.

2. The distinct phrase of the Scripture used in distinguishing Legall and E­vangelicall righteousnesse is no unsafe speech, but such is this, Rom. 9.31, 32. Israel found not righteousnesse, because they sought it of the Law, and not of, or by faith, so Rom. 10.5, 6. The righteousnesse of faith, saith thus, &c. The Apostle makes these two so directly opposite, as membra dividentia, or contrary species, that there is no danger one should be taken for another, but that it's so safe, as that he that affirmes the one denies the other: yea in the most exact ex­pression that ever Paul made, to exclude whatsoever might be unsafe towards a [Page 18]mans justification, you have this phrase, yea twice in the same verse, Phil. 3.9. not having mine owne righteousnesse, which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ; And againe, The righteousnesse which is of God by faith ( [...]) Ergo, it is no unsafe speech, yea it must be said on the contrary from those grounds, that to say a man is justified before faith, or without faith is unsafe, as contrary to the language of the Scriptures.

And for the second part, that we must say, we are justified by Christ, it is true so farre, as that it cannot be denyed, nor is it unsound or unsafe at all so to speake, but if it meane a must of necessity alwayes, or onely so to speake as it is here set in opposition to the phrase of being justified by faith, then it is utterly false, for as much as the Scripture leades us along in the way of other expressi­ons ordinarily, and the Apostle gives us the truth of doctrine and soundnesse of phrase together, Rom. 10.3. Christ is the end of the Law for righteousnesse to every one that beleeveth.

2. To evidence justification by sanctification, or graces, savours of Rome.

Answer. Not so. 1. Rome acknowledgeth not justification in our common fense, Scil. by righteousnesse imputed. 2. Rome demies evidencing of our ju­stification and peace with God, and teacheth a doctrine of doubting, and pro­fesseth that a man cannot know what God will doe with him for life or death, unlesse by speciall revelation, which is not ordinary. But if they meane old Rome, or Pauls Rome, to which he wrote, it's true, that it savours of the do­ctrine that they received, as appeareth, Rom. 8.28. All things co-worke for good (the evill of every evill being taken away, which is a point of justification, and this is propounded under the evidence of the love of God) to them that love him, because Rom. 8.2.9.13.14. the evidencing of our being in Christ, freedome from condemnation, and adoption is prosecuted by arguments from sanctification, as by having the spirit, being led by the spirit, walking after the spirit, mortifying the deeds of the flesh by the spirit: and if hereto were added the doctrine of Saint John so abundant this way in his first Epistle (whereof I have already made mention) I doubt not, but it was the faith of the Church of Rome that then was, so that the speech is unsavoury, and casting a foule a­spersion upon a good thing expressed in the Scriptures, but as for the point it selfe, that is included, we referre it to its place, to be discussed, when it is right­ly stated.

3. If I be holy I am never the better accepted of God, if I be unholy I am never the worse, this I am sure of, be that hath electodome must save me.

Answ. These words savour very ill, and relish of a carelesse and ungraclous spirit, for howsoever we grant that our acceptation unto justification is al­wayes in and through Christ the same in Gods account, yet this expression im­ports, that though a mans conversation be never so holy and gracious, yet hee can expect never the more manifestation of Gods kindnesse and love to him, contrary to Psal. 50. ult. To him that orders his conversation aright I will shew the salvation of God, and John 14.21. It implies secondly, that though a mans [Page 19]conversation be never so vile and sensuall, yet he neede not feare nor expect any further expression of Gods displeasure and anger to breake forth against him, or withdrawings of his favour from him, contrary to Psal. 51.8.11, 12. where God breakes Davids bones for his sinne, and Jonah 2.4. Jonah was as one cast out of Gods presence, and 2 Chron. 15.2. If you forsake him hee will forsake you: And in a word it imports, as if God neither loved righteousnesse, nor ha­ted wickednesse, contrary to Psal. 5.6 7. and did take no delight in the obe­dience of his people, contrary to Psal. 147.11. The Lord delighteth in those that feare him, &c. As concerning the last clause, he that hath elected me must save me: it is true, the foundation of Gods election remaineth sure, yet it is as true, that whom he chooseth, he purposeth to bring to Salvation, through San­ctification of the Spirit, 2 Thes. 2.13.

4. If Christ will let me sinne, let him looke to it, upon his honour be it.

Answ. This retorts the Lords words upon himselfe, Prov. 4.23, 24 Keepe thine heart, &c. Ponder thy paths, &c. and therefore no lesse blasphemous, and is contrary to the professed practise of David, Psal. 18 23. I was upright before him, and kept my selfe from mine iniquity: The latter clause puts the cause of Gods dishonour upon himselfe, no lesse blasphemous then the former, and contrary to Rom. 2.23. where the dishonouring of God is laid upon them­selves.

5. Here is a great stirre about graces and looking to hearts, but give me Christ, I seeke not for graces, but for Christ, I seeke not for promises, but for Christ, I seeke not for sanctification, but for Christ, tell not me of meditation and duties, but tell me of Christ.

Answ. 1. This speech seemeth to make a flat opposition betweene Christ and his graces, contrary to that in Joh. 1.16. Of his fulnesse we all received, and grace for grace; and betweene Christ and his promises, contrary to Gal. 3.13, 14. Christ was made a curse that wee might receive the promise of the Spirit, and Luke 1.70. with 74. And betwixt Christ and all holy du­ties, contrary to Tit. 2.14. and therefore hold forth expressions not agreeing to wholesome doctrine.

6. A living faith, that hath living fruits, may grow from the living Law.

Answ. This whole speech is utterly crosse to the sound forme of words re­quired, 2 Tim. 1.13. Hold fast the forme of sound words. 1. That a Hypocrite may have a living Law, is contrary to James 2.17. where the hypocrites faith is called a dead faith. 2. That a hypocrite may bring forth living fruite, is contrary to that, Heb. 9.14. 3. That all this growes from a living law, contrary to 2 Cor. 3 6. where the law is called a killing letter, and to Gal. 3.21. If there had beene a law which could have given life, &c.

7. I may know I am Christs, not because I doe crucifie the lusts of the flesh, but be­cause I doe not crucifie them, but beleeve in Christ that crucified my lusts for me.

Answ. 1. The phrase is contrary to the Scripture language, Gal. 5.24. They that are Christs, have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 2. It sa­vours [Page 20]of the flesh, for these three things may seeme to be expressed in it. 1. If Scripture makes not opposite, but subordinate, Rom. 8.13. I through the Spirit crucifie the flesh. 2. That if I doe not crucifie my lusts, then there is an open and free way of looking to Christ, contrary to the Scripture, Mat. 5.8. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God, both in boldnesse of faith here, and fruition hereafter, 2 Tim. 2.19. Let every one that names the Lord Jesus, depart from iniquity. 3. That beleeving in Christ, may ease me from endeavouring to crucifie my lusts in my owne person; which is so grosse, that it needes no more confutation then to name it. 4. The safe sense that may be possibly intended in such a speech is this, If I crucifie the flesh in my own strength, it is no safe evidence of my being in Christ, but if renouncing my selfe, I cru­cifie the flesh in the strength of Christ, applying his death by faith, it is a safe evidence of my being in Christ: but this sense conveighed in these words, is to conveigh wholesome doctrine in an unwholesome Channell, and a darkening and losing the truth in an unsavoury expression.

8. Peter more leaned to a Covenant of workes then Paul, Pauls doctrine was more for free grace then Peters.

Answ. To oppose these persons and the doctrine of these two Apostles of Christ, who were guided by one and the same Spirit in preaching and penning thereof, (2 Pet. 1.21. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the holy Ghost, 2 Tim. 3.16. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God) in such a point as the Covenant of workes and grace, is little lesse then blasphemy.

9. If Christ be my Sanctiflcation, what neede I looke to any thing in my selfe, to evi­dence my justification?

Answ. This position is therefore unsound, because it holds forth Christ to be my sanctification, so as that I neede not looke to any inherent holinesse in my selfe; whereas Christ is therefore said to be our sanctification, because he workes sanctification in us, and we daily ought to grow up in him, by recei­ving new supply and increase of grace from his fulnesse, according to 2 Pet. 3.18. Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The proceedings of the Generall Court holden at New Towne in the Massachusets in New England, Octob. 2. 1637. Against Mr. Wheelwright and other erroneous and seditious per­sons for their disturbances of the publick peace.

ALthough the Assembly of the Churches had confuted and condem­ned most of those new opinions which were sprung up amongst us, and Mr. Cotton had in publique view consented with the rest, yet the leaders in those erroneous wayes would not give in, but stood still to maintain their new light, which they had boasted of, and that the difference was still as wide as before, viz. as great as between heaven and hell: Mr. Wheelwright also continued his preaching after his former manner, and Mistris Hutchison her wonted meetings and exercises, and much offence was still given by her, and others in going out of the ordinary assemblies, when Mr Wal. began any exercise; and some of the messengers of the Church of Boston, had contemptuously withdrawn themselves from the generall Assembly, with professed dislike of their proceedings, and many evidences brake forth of their discontented and turbulent spirits; it was conceived by the Magistrates, and others of the Countrey, that the means which had been used, proving un­effectuall, the case was now desperate, and the last remedy was to bee applyed, and that without further delay, lest it should bee attempted too late, when fitter opportunity might bee offered for their advantage, as they had boasted, and did certainly expect upon the returne of some of their chiefe supporters, who by a speciall providence were now absent from them: And for this end the generall Court being assembled in the ordinary course, it was determined to begin with these troublers of our peace, and to suppresse them by the civill authority, whereunto there was a faire occasion offered upon a seditious writing, which had been delivered into the Court in March, when Mr. Wheel. was convict of sedition, &c. under the hands of more than threescore of them, and intitled A Remonstrance or Petition, the Contents whereof were as followeth:

Wee whose names are under written (have diligently observed this honou­red Courts proceedings against our deare and reverend brother in Christ, Mr. Wheel. now under censure of the Court, for the truth of Christ) wee do humbly beseech this honourable Court to accept this Remonstrance and Petiti­on of ours, in all due submission tendred to your Worships.

For first, whereas our beloved Brother Mr. Wheel. is censured for contempt, by the greater part of this honoured Court, wee desire your Worships to con­sider the sincere intention of our Brother to promote your end in the day of [Page 22]Fast, for whereas wee do perceive your principal intention the day of Fast look­ed chiefely at the publick peace of the Churches, our Reverend Brother did to his best strength, and as the Lord assisted him, labour to promote your end, and therefore indevoured to draw us neerer unto Christ, the head of our union, that so wee might bee established in peace, which wee conceive to bee the true way, sanctifyed of God, to obtaine your end, and therfore deserves no such censure as wee conceive.

Secondly, Whereas our deare Brother is censured of sedition; wee beseech your Worships to consider, that either the person condemned must bee culpable of some seditious fact, or his doctrine must bee seditious, or must breed sedition in the hearts of his hearers or else wee know not upon what grounds hee should bee censured. Now to the first, wee have not heard any that have witnessed a­gainst our brother for any seditious fact. Secondly, neither was the doctrine it selfe, being no other but the very expressions of the Holy Ghost himselfe, and therefore cannot justly be branded with sedition. Thirdly, if you look at the effects of his Doctrine upon the hearers, it hath not stirred up sedition in us, not so much as by accident; wee have not drawn the sword, as sometimes Peter did, rashly, neither have wee rescued our innocent Brother, as sometimes the Israelites did Jonathan, and yet they did not seditiously. The Covenant of free Grace held forth by our Brother, hath taught us rather to become hum­ble suppliants to your Worships, and if wee should not prevaile, wee would rather with patience give our cheekes to the smiters. Since therefore the Teacher, the Doctrine, and the hearers bee most free from sedition (as wee conceive) wee humbly beseech you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, your Judge and ours, and for the honour of this Court, and the proceedings thereof, that you will bee pleased either to make it appeare to us, and to all the world, to whom the knowledge of all these things will come, wherein the sedition lies, or else acquit our Brother of such a censure.

Further, wee beseech you remember the old method of Satan, the ancient e­nemy of Free Grace, in all ages of the Churches, who hath raised up such ca­lumnies against the faithfull Prophets of God, Eliah was called the troubler of Israel, 1 King. 18.17, 18. Amos was charged for conspiracy, Amos 7.10. Paul was counted a pestilent fellow, or moover of sedition, and a ring-leader of a Sect, Acts 24.5. and Christ himselfe, as well as Paul, was charged to bee a Teacher of New Doctrine, Mark. 1.27. Acts 17 19. Now wee beseech you consider, whether that old serpent work not after his old method, even in our daies.

Further, wee beseech you consider the danger of medling against the Pro­phets of God, Psal. 105.14.15. for what yee do unto them, the Lord Jesus takes as done unto himselfe; if you hurt any of his members, the head is very sensible of it: for so saith the Lord of Hosts, Hee that toucheth you toucheth the apple of mine eye, Zach. 2.8. And better a mill-stone were hanged about our necks, and that wee were cast into the sea, then that wee should offend any [Page 23]of these little ones, which beleeve on him, Matthew 18.6.

And lastly, wee beseech you consider, how you should stand in relation to us, as nursing Fathers, which gives us encouragement to promote our humble requests to you, or else wee would say with the Prophet, Isa. 22.4. Look from mee that I may weep bitterly, Labour not to comfort mee, &c. or as Jer. 9.2. O that I had in the wildernesse a lodging place of a wayfaring man. And thus have wee made known our griefes and desires to your Worships, and leave them upon record with the Lord and with you, knowing that if wee should receive repulse from you, with the Lord wee shall find grace.

Amongst others who had subscribed to this writing, William Aspinwall was one, and being returned for one of the Deputies of Boston, it was propounded in the Court, whether hee was fit to bee received a member of the Court, having subscribed to the said writing, which was so much to the dishonour and con­tempt thereof, &c. Whereupon hee was demanded if hee would justifie the mat­ter contained in the said writing: which when hee had peremptorily affirmed, by the vote of the Court hee was presently dismissed: Whereupon Mr. Cogshall, another of the Deputies of Boston, who had not subscribed to the said writing, being then a Deputy of the Court, spake very boldly to the Court, and told them, that seeing they had put out Mr. Aspinwall for that matter, they were best make one work of all, for as for himselfe, though his hand were not to the Petition, yet hee did approve of it, and his hand was to a Protestation, which was to the same effect; Whereupon the Court dismissed him also, and sent word to Boston to chuse two new Deputies: then Mr. Coddington the third Deputy, moved the Court (by Order from the Town of Boston) that the for­mer censure against Mr. Wheel. might bee reversed, and that the Order made a­gainst receiving such as should not bee allowed by the Magistrates might bee re­pealed; whereby the Court perceived their obstinate resolution in maintaining this faction, and thereupon gave Order hee should be sent for; and for the Law, the answer was, that whereas a Declaration had been made of the equity of that Law, and that specially for the satisfaction of those of Boston, and an An­swer had been published by some of them, wherein much reproach and slander had been cast upon the Court, to which a reply had been made above six weeks since, but was kept in upon expectation that the late Assembly would have had some good effect, in clearing the points in controversie, and reconciling the minds of the adverse party, but they continuing obstinate and irreconci­liable, it was thought fit the whole proceedings about the law should bee brought forth, and accordingly the next day, the Declaration, the Answer and the Reply were all brought to the Court, and there openly read; which gave such satisfaction to those which were present as no man ought to object, and some that were of the adverse party, and had taken offence at the Law, did openly acknowledge themselves fully satisfyed.

When the Warrant came to the Town of Boston, they assembled together and agreed (the greater part of them) to send the same Deputies which the [Page 24]Court have rejected, pretending that it was their liberty, and those were the ablest men, &c. but Mr. Cotton comming amongst them, and perceiving their rash and contemptuous hehaviour, by his wisdome diverted them from that course: so they chose two other, but one of them they knew would bee re­jected, because his hand was also to the seditious writing, as it fell out, for hee refusing to acknowledge his fault in it, was also dismissed, and a new War­rant sent for another to bee chosen, which they never made any return of, but that contempt the Court let passe.

When Mr. Wheelwright appeared, it was declared to him, that whereas hee was long since convict of sedition and contempt of authority, and time had been given him from Court to Court, to come to the knowledge of his offence, the Court thought it now time to know how his mind stood, whether he would acknowledge his offence, or abide the sentence of the Court? His Answer was to this effect, that hee had committed no sedition nor contempt, hee had de­livered nothing but the truth of Christ, and for the application of his doctrin it was by others, and not by him, &c.

To which it was answered by the Court, that they had not censured his do­ctrine, but left it as it was; but his application, by which hee laid the Ma­gistrates, and the Ministers, and most of the people of God in these Churches, under a Covenant of works, and thereupon declared them to bee enemies to Christ, and Antichrists, and such enemies as Herod and Pilate, and the Scribes and Pharisees, &c. perswading the people to look at them, and deale with them as such, and that hee described them so, as all men might know who hee meant, as well as if hee had named the parties; for hee was present in the Court a little before, when both Magistrates and Ministers did openly pro­fesse their judgement in that point, and that they did walk in such a way of evidencing justification by sanctification, &c. as hee held forth to bee a Cove­nant of works.

Secondly, the fruits of that Sermon of Mr. Wheelwright, together with the Declaration of his judgement in that point both before and since, have decla­red it to tend to sedition: for whereas before hee broached his opinions, there was a peaceable and comely order in all affaires in the Churches, and civill state, &c. now the difference which hee hath raised amongst men, by a false distin­ction of a Covenant of grace and a Covenant of works; whereby one party is looked at as friends to Christ, and the other as his enemies, &c. All things are turned upside down among us: As first, in the Church, hee that will not renounce his sanctification, and waite for an immediate revelation of the Spi­rit, cannot bee admitted, bee hee never so godly; hee that is already in the Church, that will not do the same, and acknowledge this new light, and say as they say, is presently noted, and under-esteemed, as savouring of a Cove­nant of works: thence it spreads into the families, and sets divisions between husband and wife, and other relations there, till the weaker give place to the stronger, otherwise it turnes to open contention: it is come also into Civill and [Page 25]publike affaires, and hath bred great disturbance there, as appeared in the late expedition against the Pequeds; for whereas in former expeditions the Towne of Boston was as forward as any others to send of their choyce members, and a greater number then other Townes in the time of the former Governour; now in this last service they sent not a member, but one or two whom they cared not to be rid of, and but a few others, and those of the most refuse sort, and that in such a carelesse manner, as gave great discouragement to the service, not one man of that side accompanying their Pastour, when he was sent by the joynt consent of the Court, and all the Elders upon that expedition, nor so much as bidding him farewell; what was the reason of this difference? Why, nothing but this, Mr. Wheelwright had caught them that the former Governour and some of the Magistrates then were friends of Christ and Free-grace, but the present were enemies, &c. Antichrists, persecutors: What was the reason that the former Governour never stirred out, but attended by the Serjeants, with Halberts or Carbines, but this present Governour neglected? Why, the people were taught to looke at this, as an enemy to Christ, &c. The same diffe­rence bath beene observed in Towne lots, rates, and in neighbour meetings, and almost in all affaires, whereby it is apparent what disturbance the seditious ap­plication of Mr. Wheelwright hath wrought among us; therefore as the Apostle saith, I would they were cut off that trouble you; and as Cain, Hagar, and Is­mael, were expelled as troublers of the families, (which were then as common­wealths) so justice requires, and the necessity of the peace cals for it, that such disturbers should be put out from among us, seeing it is one of their tenents, that it is not possible their opinions, and externall peace, can stand together; and that the difference betweene them and us is (as they say) as wide as between Heaven and Hell.

Further the Court declared what meanes had beene used, to convince him and to reduce him into the right way, as first at the Court, when he was convict of his offence, the Ministers being called together did labour by many sound arguments, both in publike and private to convince him of his errour and sinne, but he contemptuously slighted whatsoever they or the Magistrates said to him in that behalfe; and since that much paines had beene taken with him, both by conference and writing, not onely privately, but also by the late Assembly of the Churches, wherein his erroneous opinions, which were the groundworke of his seditious Sermon, were clearely confuted, and himselfe put to silence, yet he obstinately persisted in justification of his errroneous opinions; and besides there was an Apologie written in defence of the proceedings of the Court a­gainst him, which though it were kept in for a time in expectation of a Re­monstrance, which some of his party were in hand with, for justification of his Sermon, yet it was long since published, and without question he hath seene it: besides the Court hath used much patience towards him from time to time, admonishing him of his danger, and waiting for his repentance, in stead whereof he hath threatned us with an appeale, and urged us to proceed: To [Page 26]this Mr. Wheelwright replyed, that he would, by the helpe of God, make good his doctrines, and free them from all the arguments which had beene brought against them in the late Assembly, and denyed that he had seene the Apology, but confessed that he might have seene it if he would. This was observed as an argument of the pride of his spirit, and wilfull neglect of all the meanes of light in that he would not vouchsafe to read a very briefe writing, and such as so much concerned him.

Although the cause was now ready for sentence, yet night being come, the Court arose, and enjoyned him to appeare the next morning.

The next morning he appeared, but long after the houre appointed; the Court demanded what he had to alleadge, why sentence should not proceed a­gainst him; He answered, that there was no sedition or contempt proved a­gainst him, and whereas he was charged to have set forth the Magistrates and Ministers, as enemies to Christ, &c. he desired it might be shewed him in what page or leafe of his Sermon he had so said of them; The Court answered, that he who designes a man by such circumstances, as doe note him out to com­mon intendments, doth as much as if he named the party: when Paul spake of those of the circumcision, it was as certaine whom he meant as if he named the Jewes; when in Bobemia they spake of differences betweene men, sub una & sub utraque, it was all one as to have said Papists and Protestants; so of the Monstrants and Remonstrants: for by the meanes of him and his followers, all the people of God in this Countrey were under the distinction of men under the Covenant of grace, and men under a Covenant of workes. Mr. Wheelwright alleadged a place in Matth. 21. where Christ speaking against the Scribes and Pharisees, no advantage could they take against him because he did not name them, but it was answered they did not spare him for that cause, for then they would have taken their advantage at other times; when he did name them. One or two of the Deputies spake in his defence, but it was to so little purpose (be­ing onely more out of affection to the party, then true judgement of the state of the cause) that the Court had little regard of it. Mr. Wheelwright being de­manded if he had ought else to speake, said that there was a double Pharisee in the charge laid upon them. 1. In that the troubles of the Civill State were imputed to him, but as it was by accident, as it is usuall in preaching of the Gospel. 2. That it was not his Sermon that was the cause of them, but the Lord Jesus Christ. To which the Court answered, that it was apparent he was the instrument of our troubles, he must prove them to be by such accident, and till then the blame must rest upon himselfe, for we know Christ would not owne them, being out of his way. After these and many other speeches had pas­sed, the Court declaring him guilty for troubling the civill peace, both for his seditious Sermon, and for his corrupt and dangerous opinions, and for his contemptuous behaviour in divers Courts formerly, and now obstinately main­taining and justifying his said errours and offences, and for that he refused to depart voluntarily from us, which the Court had now offered him, and in a [Page 27]manner perswaded him unto; Seeing it was apparent unto him, from that of our Saviour, Matth. that we could not continue together without the ruine of the whole, he was sentenced to be disfranchised and banished our jurisdiction, and to be put in safe custody, except he should give sufficient security to depart before the end of March: Upon this he appealed to the Kings Majesty, but the Court told him an appeale did not lie in this case, for the King having given us an authority by his graunt under his great Seale of England to heare and de­termine all causes without any reservation, we were not to admit of any such appeales for any such subordinate state, either in Ireland, or Scotland, or other places; and if an appeale should lie in one case, it might be challenged in all, and then there would be no use of government amongst us: neither did an ap­peale lie from any Court in any County or Corporation in England, but if a party will remove his cause to any of the Kings higher Courts, he must bring the Kings Writ for it; neither did he tender any appeale, nor call any witnesses, nor desired any Act to be entered of it: then he was demanded if be would give security for his quiet departure, which he refusing to doe, he was commit­ted to the custody of the Marshall. The next morning he bethought himselfe better, and offered to give security, alleadging that he did not conceive the day before that a sentence of banishment was pronounced against him, he also suffe­red to relinquish his appeale, and said he would accept of a simple banishment; The Court answered him, that for his appeale, he might doe as he pleased, and for his departure, he should have the liberty the Court had offered him, pro­vided he should not preach in the meane time; but that he would not yeeld un­to; so in the end the Court gave him leave to goe home, upon his promise, that if he were not departed out of his jurisdiction within foureteene dayes, he would render himselfe at the house of Mr. Stanton, one of the Magistrates, there to abide as a prisoner, till the Court should dispose of him.

Mr. Cogshall.

THe next who was called, was Mr. John Cogshall, one of the Deacons of Boston, upon his appearance the Court declared that the cause why they had sent for him, was partly by occasion of his speeches and behaviour in this Court the other day, and partly for some light miscarriages at other times, and that they did looke at him as one that had a principall hand in all our late disturbances of our publike peace. The first thing we doe charge you with, is your justfying a writing called a Remonstrance or Petition, but indeed a sedi­tious Libell, and that when Mr. Asp. was questioned by the Court about it, you stood up uncalled, and justified the same, saying to this effect, that if the Court meant to dismisse him for that, it was best to make but one worke of all, for though your selfe had not your hand to the Petition, yet you did ap­prove thereof, and your hand was to the Protestation, which was to the same effect; whereupon you being also dismissed, used clamorous and unbeseeming speaches to the Court at your departure, whereby we take you to be of the [Page 28]same minde with those who made the Petition, and therefore liable to the same punishment; upon this the Petition was openly read, and liberty was granted to him to answer for himselfe. His first answer was, that what he then spake, he spake as a member of the Court: to which it was answered againe, that 1. hee was no member of the Court standing upon tryall whether to be al­lowed or rejected, at such time as he uttered most of those speeches. 2. Admit he were, yet it is no privilege of a member to reproach or affront the whole Court, it is licentiousnesse, and not liberty, when a man may speake what he list; for he was reminded of some words he uttered at his going forth of the Court, to this effect, that we had censured the truth of Christ, and that it was the greatest stroke that ever was given to Free-grace.

To which he answered, that his words were mistaken; for he said that he would pray that our eyes might be opened to see what we did, for he thought it the greatest stroke that ever was given to N. E. for he did beleeve that Master Wheelwright did hold forth the truth. He was further charged, that at the Court, after the day of elections, he complained of injury, that the Petition which was tendered, was not presently read before they went to election.

To which being answered; that it was not then seasonable, and against the order of that day, but the Court were then ready to heare it, if it were tende­red; whereupon he turned his backe upon the Court, and used menacing spee­ches to this effect. That since they could not be heard then, they would take another course. To which he answered (confessing he spake over hastily at that time) that his words were onely these, then we must doe what God shall direct us. He was further charged that he should say, that halfe the people that were in Church-covenant in N.E. were under a Covenant of workes, this he did not deny, but said he proved it by the parable of the ten Virgins, Mat. 15. After these and many other speeches had passed betweene the Court and him­selfe, by which it plainely appeared that he had beene a very busie instrument, in occasioning of our publike disturbances, and his justifying of Mr. Wheele-wrights Sermon; and the Petition or Remonstrance being seditious writings, a motion was made for his banishment, but he pretended that there was no­thing could be laid to his charge, but matter of different opinion, and that he knew not one example in Scripture, that a man was banished for his judge­ment; it was answered, that if he had kept his judgement to himselfe, so as the publike peace had not beene troubled or endangered by it, we should have left him to himselfe, for we doe not challenge power over mens consciences, but when seditious speeches and practises discover such a corrupt conscience, it is our duty to use authority to reforme both. But though a great part of the Court did encline to a motion for his banishment, yet because his speech and behavi­our at present were more modest and submisse, then formerly they had beene, and for that he excused his former intemperances by his much employment and publike businesses, it was thought fit to deliver him from that temptation; so he was onely sentenced to be disfranchized, with admonition no more to occa­sion [Page 29]any disturbance of the publicke peace, either by speech or otherwise, upon paine of banishment and further censure.

Mr. Aspin,

THe next who was called was Mr. William Aspin, to whom the Court said that his case was in a manner the same with Master Cogshalls, his hand was to the Petition, he had justified Master Wheelwright his Sermon, and had condem­ned the Court, and therefore what could he say, why the Court should not proceede to sentence? For he had beene present and heard what was said to Master Cogshall, to have convinced him of his fault, and therefore it would be needlesse to repeate any thing. To this he answered and confessed the Peti­tion, and that his heart was to it as well as his hand, and that that for which Master Wheelwright was censured was for nothing but the truth of Christ, and desired to know what we could lay to his charge therein. The Court told him that he being a member of this civill Body, and going contrary to his relation and oath, to stop the course of Justice in countenancing seditious persons and practises against the face of authority, this made him a seditious person. He answered he did but preferre a humble Petition, which he could not doe but he must intimate some cause why, and that Mephibosheth in his Petition did imply as much of Davids unjust sentence against him as was in this Petition. The Court replyed that be was ill advised to bring that example for his Justificati­on which makes clearely against him, for Mephibosheth doth not charge David with any injustice not so much as by implication, but excuseth himselfe and layeth all the blame upon his servant. Then he alledged the Petition of Esther to Abasuerus; but neither would that serve his turne, for she petitioned for her life, &c. without charging the King with injustice. Hee still fled to this plea, that it is lawfull for Subjects to Petition; the Court answered that this was no Petition, but a seditious Libell, the mis-naming of a thing doth not alter the nature of it: besides they called it in the first place a Remonstrance, which implies that they pretended interest, and is in the nature of it a plea, which challengeth a right of a party: besides they give peremptory Judgement in the cause, and that directly opposite to the judgement of the Court; the Court declared Mr. Wheelwright guilty, they proclaime him innocent, the Court judged his speech to be false and seditious, they affirmed it to be the truth of Christ, and the very words of the holy Ghost, which is apparently untrue if not blasphemous. Further in pretending their moderation, they put arguments in the peoples mindes to invite them to violence, by bringing the example of Peter drawing his Sword, wherein they blame not his fact, but his rashnesse. And that of the People rescuing Jonathan, which to make the more effectuall, they say that it was not seditious.

Lastly, it was great arrogance of any private man thus openly to advance his owne judgement of the Court, therefore it will appeare to their Posterity as a brand of infamy, upon these erroneous opinions, that those who maintained [Page 30]them were not censured for their judgement, but for seditious practises: He further pleaded, that no Petition can be made in such a case, but something may bee mistaken through misprision as trenching upon authority, the Court answered, that if they had onely petitioned the Court to remit his censure, or had desired respite for further confiderations, or leave to propound their doubts, there could have beene no danger of being mistaken. Besides there was no neede of such haste in Petitioning, seeing the sentence was not given, but de­ferring till the next Court, Master Wheelwright enjoyned onely to appeare there. The Court then being about to give sentence, Master Aspin desired the Court to shew a rule in Scripture for banishment; the Court answered as before, that Hagar and Ismael were banished for disturbance: hee replied that if a Father give a child a portion and sent him forth, it was not banishment: but it was answe­red, the Scripture calls it a casting out, not a sending forth; and one said further that he was a childe worthy of such a portion.

Then the sentence of the Court was for his dis-franchisement and banish­ment, and time given him to the last of March upon security for his departure then, which hee presently tendered, and so was dismissed. The Court inten­ded onely to have dis-franchised him, as they had done Mr. Cogshall, but his be­haviour was so contemptuous, and his speeches so peremptory, that occasion­ed a further aggravation, and it appeared afterward to bee by an over-ruling hand of God, for the next day it was discovered, that hee was the man that did frame the Petition, and drew many to subscribe to it, and some had their names put to it without their knowledge, and in his first draught there was o­ther passages so foule, as hee was forced to put them out, and yet many had not subscribed, but upon his promise that it should not bee delivered without advice of Mr. Cotton, which was never done.

William Baulston, Ed. Hutchison.

AFter these, two of the Serjeants of Boston were called, William Baulston, & Ed. Hutchison, these both had their hands to the Petition, and justifyed the same, William Baulston told the Court, that hee knew that if such a petition had been made in any other place in the world, there would have been no fault found with it. The other told the Court, (turning himselfe in a scornfull manner) that if they took away his estate, they must keep his wife and chil­dren; for which hee was presently committed to the Officer. The Court rea­soned a good while with them both, but they were peremptory, and would acknowledge no failing, and because of their contemptuous speeches, and for that they were known to bee very busie persons, and such as had offered contempt to the Magistrates, for that they were not of their opinion, they were dis-franchised and sined, William Baulston twenty pounds, Ed. Hutchison foety pounds.

The next morning Ed. Hutchison acknowledged his fault in his mis-beha­viour in the face of the Court, and so was released of his imprisonment, but [Page 31]both were disabled from bearing any publick Office.

Tho. Marshal, Dynely, Dier, Rich. Gridly.

ANother day were called foure more of the principall stirring men, who had subscribed to the Petition, Thomas Marshal the Ferry-man, who ju­stifyed the Petition so farre, that hee would not acknowledge any fault; yet hee answered more modestly then the former, therefore hee was not fined, but dis-franchised, and put out of his place. Dynely, and Dier, had little to say for themselves, but perfisting in their justification, they were also dis-franchised: likewise Rich. Gridly, an honest poore man, but very apt to meddle in publick affaires, beyond his calling or skill, (which indeed was the fault of them all, and of many others in the Country) meane condition, and weake parts, ha­ving nothing to say, but that he could find no fault, &c. was dis-franchised.

Mistris Hutchison.

ALl these (except Mr. Wheelwright) were but young branches, sprung out of an old root, the Court had now to do with the head of all this faction, (Dux faemina facti) a woman had been the breeder and nourisher of all these di­stempers, one Mistris Hutchison, the wife of Mr. William Hutchison of Boston (a very honest and peaceable man of good estate) and the daughter of Mr. Mar­bury, sometimes a Preacher in Lincolnshire, after of London, a woman of a haugh­ty and fierce carriage, of a nimble wit and active spirit, and a very voluble tongue, more bold then a man, though in understanding and judgement, infe­riour to many women. This woman had learned her skil in England, and had discovered some of her opinions in the Ship, as shee came over, which had cau­sed some jealousie of her, which gave occasion of some delay of her admission, when shee first desired fellowship with the Church of Boston, but shee cunningly dissembled and coloured her opinions, as shee soon got over that block, and was admitted into the Church, then shee began to go to work, and being a woman very helpfull in the times of child-birth, and other occasions of bodily infirmities, and well furnished with means for those purposes, shee easily insi­nuated her selfe into the affections of many, and the rather, because shee was much inquisitive of them about their spiritual estates, and in discovering to them the danger they were in, by trusting to common gifts and graces, without a­ny such witnesse of the Spirit, as the Scripture holds out for a full evidence; whereby many were convinced that they had gone on in a Covenant of works, and were much humbled thereby, and brought to inquire more after the Lord Jesus Christ, without whom all their gifts and graces, all their contributions, &c. would prove but legall, and would vanish: all this was well, and suited with the publick Ministery, which went along in the same way, and all the faithful imbraced it, and blessed God for the good successe that appeared from this discovery. But when shee had thus prepared the way by such wholesome truths, then shee begins to set forth her own stuffe, and taught that no sancti­fication [Page 32]was any evidence of a good estate, except their justification were first cleared up to them by the immediate witnesse of the Spirit, and that to see any work of grace, (either faith or repentance, &c.) before this immediate witnesse, was a Covenant of works: whereupon many good soules, that had been of long approved godlinesse, were brought to renounce all the work of grace in them, and to wait for this immediate revelation: then sprung up also that o­pinion of the in-dwelling of the person of the Holy Ghost, and of union with Christ, and Justification before faith, and a denying of any gifts or graces, or inherent qualifications, and that Christ was all, did all, and that the soule re­mained alwayes as a dead Organ: and other of those grosse errours, which were condemned in the late Assembly, and whereof diverse had been quashed, by the publick Ministery; but the maine and bottom of all, which tended to quench all indevour, and to bring to a dependance upon an immediate witnesse of the Spirit, without sight of any gift or grace, this stuck fast, and prevailed so, as it began to bee opposed, and shee being questioned by some, who mar­velled that such opinions should spread so fast, shee made answer, that where ever shee came they must and they should spread, and indeed it was a wonder upon what a sudden the whole Church of Boston (some few excepted) were become her new converts, and infected with her opinions, and many also out of the Church, and of other Churches also, yea, many prophane persons be­came of her opinion, for it was a very easie, and acceptable way to heaven, to see nothing, to have nothing, but waite for Christ to do all; so that after shee had thus prevailed, and had drawn some of eminent place and parts to her party (whereof some profited so well, as in a few moneths they outwent their teacher) then shee kept open house for all commers, and set up two Le­cture dayes in the week, when they usually met at her house, threescore or fourescore persons, the pretence was to repeate Sermons, but when that was done, shee would comment upon the Doctrines, and interpret all passages at her pleasure, and expound dark places of Scripture, so as whatsoever the Let­ter held forth (for this was one of her tenents, that the whole Scripture in the Letter of it held forth nothing but a Covenant of works) shee would bee sure to make it serve her turn for the confirming of her maine principles, where­of this was another, That the darker our sanctification is, the cleerer is our justification; And indeed most of her new tenents tended to slothfulnesse, and quench all indevour in the creature: and now was there no speech so much in use, as of vilifying sanctification, and all for advancing Christ and free grace, and the whole pedegree of the Covenant of works was set forth with all its Complements, beginning at Cain, If thou dost well shalt thou not bee accep­ted? then it is explained and ratifyed at Mount Sinui, and delivered in the two Tables, and after sprinkled with the blood of Christ, Exod. 24. and so carry­ed on in the Letter of the Scripture, till it bee compleat, as the Covenant of Grace by the Spirit, seales, forgivenesse of sins, one of the venters whereon Christ begets children, &c. and in the end wherefore is all this adoe, but that [Page 33]having a more cleanly way, to lay all that opposed her, (being neere all the Elders and most of the faithfull Christians in this Countrey) under a Cove­nant of workes, shee might with the more credit, disclose and advance her ma­ster-piece of immediate revelations, under the faire pretence of the Covenant of free Grace; wherein shee had not failed of her ayme, to the utter subversion both of Churches and civill state, if the most wise and mercifull providence of the Lord had not prevented it by keeping so many of the Magistrates, and Elders, free from the infection: for upon the countenance which it took from some eminent persons, her opinions began to hold up their heads, in Church Assemblies, and in the Court of Justice, so as it was held a matter of offence to speak any thing against them in either Assembly: thence sprang all that trou­ble to the Pastour of Boston, for his free and faithfull speech in the Court, though required and approved: thence took Mr. Wheelwright courage to inveigh in his sermon against men in a Covenant of works (as hee placed them) and to proclaim them all enemies to Christ, Scribes and Pharisees, &c. whereas be­fore hee was wont to teach in a plaine and gentle stile, and though hee would sometimes glaunce upon these opinions, yet it was modestly and reservedly, not in such a peremptory and censorious manner, as hee did then and after; for they made full account the day had been theirs, But blessed bee the Lord, the snare is broken, and wee are delivered, and this woman who was the root of all these troubles, stands now before the seat of Justice, to bee rooted out of her station, by the hand of authority, guided by the finger of divine providence, as the sequell will show.

When shee appeared, the Court spake to her to this effect.

Mistris Hutchison. You are called hither as one of those who have had a great share in the causes of our publick disturbances, partly by those erroneous opinions which you have broached and divulged amongst us, and maintain­ing them, partly by countenancing and incouraging such as have sowed sedi­tions amongst us, partly by casting reproach upon the fa [...]full Ministers of this Countrey, and upon their Ministery, and so weakning their hands in the work of the Lord, and raising prejudice against them, in the hearts of their people, and partly by maintaining weekly and publick meetings in your house, to the offence of all the Countrey, and the detriment of many families, and still upholding the same, since such meetings were clearely condemned in the late generall Assembly.

Now the end of your sending for, is, that either upon sight of your errors, and other offences, you may bee brought to acknowledge, and reforme the same, or otherwise that wee may take such course with you as you may trouble us no further.

Wee do desire therefore to know of you, whether you will Justifie and main­taine what is laid to your charge or not?

Mistris Hutchison.

I am called here to answer to such things as are laid to my charge, name one of them.

[...]
[...]
Court

Have you countenanced, or will you justifie those seditious practises which have been censured here in this Court?

Hutch.

Do you ask mee upon point of conscience?

Court

No, your conscience you may keep to your self, but if in this cause you shall countenance and incourage those that thus transgresse the Law, you must bee called in question for it, and that is not for your conscience, but for your practise.

Hutch.

What Law have they transgressed? the Law of God?

Court

Yes, the fifth Commandement, which commands us to honour Fa­ther and Mother, which includes all in authority, but these seditious practises of theirs, have cast reproach and dishonour upon the Fathers of the Common­wealth.

Hutch.

Do I intertaine, or maintaine them in their actions, wherein they stand against any thing that God hath appointed?

Court

Yes, you have justified Mr. Wheelwright his Sermon, for which you know hee was convict of sedition, and you have likewise countenanced and encouraged those that had their hands to the Petition.

Hutch.

I deny it, I am to obey you only in the Lord.

Court

You cannot deny but you had your hand in the Petition.

Hutch.

Put case, I do feare the Lord, and my Parent doe not, may not I en­tertain one that feares the Lord, because my Father will not let mee? I may put honour upon him as a childe of God.

Court

That's nothing to the purpose, but wee cannot stand to dispute causes with you now, what say you to your weekly publick meetings? can you shew a warrant for them?

Hutch.

I will shew you how I took it up, there were such meetings in use before I came, and because I went to none of them, this was the speciall reason of my taking up this course, wee began it but with five or six, and though it grew to more in future time, yet being tolerated at the first, I knew not why it might not continue.

Court

There were private meetings indeed, and are still in many places, of some few neighbours, but not so publick and frequent as yours, and are of use for increase of love, and mutuall edification, but yours are of another na­ture, if they had been such as yours they had been evill, and therfore no good warrant to justifie yours; but answer by what authority, or rule, you uphold them.

Hutch.

By Tit. 2. where the elder women are to teach the younger.

Court

So wee allow you to do, as the Apostle there meanes, privately, and upon occasion, but that gives no warrant of such set meetings for that purpose; and besides, you take upon you to teach many that are elder then your selfe, neither do you teach them that which the Apostle commands, viz. to keep at home.

Hutch.

Will you please to give mee a rule against is, and I will yeeld?

[Page 35]
Court

You must have a rule for it, or else you cannot do it in faith, yet you have a plaine rule against it; I permit not a woman to teach.

Hutch.

That is meant of teaching men.

Court

If a man in distresse of conscience or other temptation, &c. should come and ask your counsell in private, might you not teach him?

Hutch.

Yes.

Court

Then it is cleare, that it is not meant of teaching men, but of teaching in publick.

Hutch.

It is said, I will poure my Spirit upon your Daughters, and they shall prophesie, &c. If God give mee a gift of Prophecy, I may use it.

Court

First, the Apostle applies that prophecy unto those extraordinary times, and the gifts of miracles and tongues were common to many as well as the gift of Prophecy. Secondly, in teaching your children, you exercise your gift of prophecy, and that within your calling.

Hutch.

I teach not in a publick congregation: The men of Berea are com­mended for examining Pauls Doctrine; wee do no more but read the notes of our teachers Sermons, and then reason of them by searching the Scriptures.

Court.

You are gone from the nature of your meeting, to the kind of exercise, wee will follow you in this, and shew you your offence in them, for you do not as the Bereans search the Scriptures for their confirming in the truths delive­red, but you open your teachers points, and declare his meaning, and correct wherein you think he hath failed, &c. and by this meanes you abase the ho­nour and authority of the publick Ministery, and advance your own gifts, as if hee could not deliver his matter so clearely to the hearers capacity as your self.

Hutch.

Prove that, that any body doth that.

Court

Yes, you are the woman of most note, and of best abilities, and if some other take upon them the like, it is by your teaching and example, but you shew not in all this, by what authority you take upon you to bee such a publick instructer: (after shee had stood a short time, the Court gave her leave to sit downe, for her countenance discovered some bodily infirmity.)

Hutch.

Here is my authority, Aquila and Priscilla, tooke upon them to in­struct Apollo, more perfectly, yet he was a man of good parts, but they being better instructed might teach him.

Court

See how your argument stands, Priscilla with her husband, tooke Apollo home to instruct him privately, therefore Mistris Hutchison without her husband may teach sixty or eighty.

Hutch.

I call them not, but if they come to me, I may instruct them.

Court

Yet you shew us not a rule.

Hutch.

I have given you two places of Scripture.

Court

But neither of them will sute your practise.

Hutch.

Must I shew my name written therein?

Court

You must shew that which must be aequivalent, [...]ing your Ministry [Page 36]is publicke, you would have them receive your instruction, as comming from such an Ordinance.

Hutch.

They must not take it as it comes from me, but as it comes from the Lord Jesus Christ, and if I tooke upon me a publick Ministery, I should breake a rule, but not in exercising a gift of Prophecy, and I would see a rule to turne away them that come to me.

Court,

It is your exercise which drawes them, and by occasion thereof, ma­ny families are neglected, and much time lost, and a great damage comes to the Common-wealth thereby, which wee that are betrusted with, as the Fa­thers of the Common-wealth, are not to suffer.

Divers other speeches passed to and fro about this matter, the issue was, that not being able to bring any rule to justifie this her disordered course, she said she walked by the rule of the Apo­stle, Gal. which she called the rule of the new creature, but what rule that was, she would not, or she could not tell, neither would she consent to lay downe her meetings, except authority did put them downe, and then she might be subject to authority.

Then the Court laid to her charge, the reproach she had cast upon the Mi­nisters, and Ministery in this Country, saying that none of them did preach the Covenant of free Grace, but Master Cotton, and that they have not the Seale of the Spirit, and so were not able Ministers of the New Testament: she denyed the words, but they were affirmed by divers of the Ministers, being desired by the Court to be present for that end. The matter was thus, It being reported abroad that Mistris Hutchison did slight them and their Ministery in their com­mon talke, as if they did preach nothing but a Covenant of workerr, because they pressed much for faith and love, &c. without holding forth such an im­mediate witnesse of the Spirit as she pretended, they advised with Master Cotton about it, and a meeting was appointed at his house, and she being sent for, and de­manded the reason why she had used such speeches, at first she would not ac­knowledge them, but being told that they could prove them by witnesses, and perswaded to deale freely and truly therein, she said that the feare of man was a snare, and therefore she was glad she had this opportunity to open her minde, and thereupon she told them, that there was a wide difference betweene Master Cottons Ministery and theirs, and that they could not hold forth a Covenant of free Grace, because they had not the Seale of the Spirit, and that they were not able Ministers of the New Testament.

It was neare night, so the Court brake up, and she was enjoyned to appeare againe the next morning. When she appeared the next day, she objected that the Ministers had spoken in their owne cause, and that they ought not to be in­formers and witnesses both, and required that they might be sworne to what they had spoken: to which the Court answered, that if it were needfull, an oath should be given them: but because the whole Court (in a manner man by man) did declare themselves to be fully satisfied of the truth of their testimo­nes, they being 6. or 7. men of long approved godlinesse, and sincerity in [Page 37]their course, and for that it was also generally observed, that those of her par­ty did looke at their ministery (for the most part) as a way of the Covenant of workes, and one had beene punished about halfe a yeere before, for report­ing the like of them. The Court did pause a while at it, whereupon she said that she had Mr. Wilsons notes of that conference, which were otherwise then they had related: the Court willed her to shew them, but her answer was shee had left them at home: whereupon Mr. Wilson (with the leave of the Court) said, that if she brought forth his notes, they should finde written at the foote of them, that he had not wirtten downe all that was spoken, but being often interrupted, he had omitted divers passages; then she appealed to Mr. Cotton, who being called, and desired to declare what he remembred of her speeches, said, that he remembred onely that which tooke impression on him, for he was much grieved that she should make such comparison betweene him and his bre­thren, but yet he tooke her meaning to be onely of a graduall difference, when she said that they did not hold forth a Covenant of Free-grace, as he did, for she likened them to Christs Disciples, and their ministery, before his ascen­sion, and before the holy Ghost was come downe upon them; and when she was asked by some of them, why they could not preach a Covenant of Free-grace, she made answer, because they had not the Seale of the Spirit: upon this the Court wished her to consider, that Mr. Cotton did in a manner agree with the testimony of the rest of the Elders: and as he rembembred onely so much as at present tooke most impression in him, so the rest of the Elders had rea­son to remember some other passages, which he might not heare, or not so much observe as they whom it so neerely and properly concerned; All this would not satisfie Mistris Hutchison, but she still called to have them sworne, whereupon the Court being weary of the clamour, and that all mouths might be stopped, required three of the Ministers to take an oath, and thereupon they confirmed their former testimony.

Upon this she began to speake her mind, and to tell of the manner of Gods dealing with her, and how he revealed himselfe to her, and made her know what she had to doe; The Governour perceiving whereabout she went, inter­rupted her, and would have kept her to the matter in hand, but seeing her very unwilling to be taken off, he permitted her to proceed. Her speech was to this effect.

Mistris Hutchison.

When I was in old England, I was much troubled at the constitution of the Churches there, so farre, as I was ready to have joyned to the Separation, where­upon I set apart a day for humiliation by my selfe, to seeke direction from God, and then did God discover unto me the unfaithfulnesse of the Churches, and the danger of them, and that none of those Ministers could preach the Lord Jesus aright, for he had brought to my mind, that in the 1 John 4.3. Every spirit that confesseth not, that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is the spirit of Antichrist; I marvelled what this should meane, for I knew that neither Pro­testants [Page 38]nor Papists did deny that Christ was come in the flesh; and are the Turkes then the onely Antichrists? now I had none to open the Scripture to me, but the Lord, he must be the Prophet, then he brought to my mind ano­ther Scripture, He that denies the Testament, denies the death of the Testator, from whence the Lord did let me see, that every one that did not preach the New Covenant, denies the death of the Testator; then it was revealed to me that the Ministers of England were these Antichrists, but I knew not how to beare this, I did in my heart rise up against it, then I begged of the Lord that this Atheisme might not be in my heart: after I had begged this light, a twelve moneth together, at last he let me see how I did oppose Christ Jesus, and he re­vealed to mee that place in Esay 46.12, 13. and from thence shewed me the Atheisme of my owne heart, and how I did turne in upon a Covenant of works, and did oppose Christ Jesus; from which time the Lord did discover to me all sorts of Ministers, and how they taught, and to know what voyce I heard, which was the voyce of Moses, which of John Baptist, and which of Christ; the voyce of my beloved, from the voyce of strangers; and thenceforth I was the more carefull whom I heard, for after our teacher Mr. Cotton, and my bro­ther Wheelwright were put downe, there was none in England that I durst heare. Then it pleased God to reveale himselfe to me in that of Esay 30.20. Though the Lord give thee the bread of adversity, &c. yet thine eyes shall see thy teach­ers; after this the Lord carrying Mr. Cotton to New England (at which I was much troubled) it was revealed to me, that I must go thither also, and that there I should be persecuted and suffer much trouble. I will give you another Scripture, Jer. 46. Feare not Jacob my servant, for I am with thee, I will make a full end of all the Nations, &c. then the Lord did reveale himselfe to me, sit­ting upon a Throne of Justice, and all the world appearing before him, and though I must come to New England, yet I must not feare nor be dismaied. The Lord brought another Scripture to me, Esay 8.9. The Lord spake this to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walke in the way of this people, &c. I wil give you one place more which the Lord brought to me by immediate revelations, and that doth concerne you all, it is in Dan. 6. When the Presidents and Princes could find nothing against him, because he was faithfull, they sought matter against him concerning the Law of his God, to cast him into the Lions denne; so it was revealed to me that they should plot a­gainst me, but the Lord bid me not to feare, for he that delivered Daniel, and the three children, his hand was not shortened. And see this Scripture fulfilled this day in mine eyes, therefore take heed what yee goe about to doe unto me, for you have no power over my body, neither can you do me any harme, for I am in the hands of the eternall Jehovah my Saviour, I am at his appointment, the bounds of my habitation are cast in Heaven, no further doe I esteeme of any mortall man, then creatures in his hand, I feare none but the great Jehovah, which hath foretold me of these things, and I doe verily beleeve that he will deliver me out of our hands, therefore take heed how you proceed against me; [Page 39]for I know that for this you goe about to doe to me, God will ruine you and your posterity, and this whole State.

When she had thus vented her mind, the Court demanded of her, how she expected to be delivered, whether by miracle as Daniel was, to which she an­swered, yes, by miracle as Daniel was. Being further demanded how shee did know that it was God that did reveale these things to her, and not Satan? She answered, how did Abraham know that it was the voyce of God, when he commanded him to sacrifice his sonne?

Mr. Cotton being present, and desired by the Court to deliver his judgement about Mistris Hutchison her Revelations, answered, there be two sorts of Reve­lations, some are without or besides Scripture, those I looke at as Satanicall, and tending to much danger, other are such as the Apostle speakes of, Ephes. 1. where he praieth for a spirit of revelation to be given them, those are never dispensed but according to the word of God, though the word revelation be uncouth, yet in Scripture sense I thinke it not lawfull so to expresse it, and when ever it comes, it comes with the ministery of the word. Being againe de­sired to expresse himselfe particularly concerning her revelations, he deman­ded of her (by the leave of the Court) whether by a miracle she doth meane a worke beyond the power of nature, or onely above common providence? for if (as you say) you expect deliverance from this Court beyond the power of nature, then I should suspect such a revelation to be false. To this she answered, you know when it comes, God doth not describe the way. Mr. Cotton asked her againe, whether (when shee said shee should be delivered) she meant a delive­rance from the sentence of the Court, or from the calamity of it? She answe­red, yes, from the calamity of it. Mistris Hutchison having thus freely and ful­ly discovered her selfe, the Court and all the rest of the Assembly (except those of her owne party) did observe a speciall providence of God, that (while shee went about to cover such offences as were laid to her charge, by putting mat­ters upon proofe, and then quarrelling with the evidence) her owne mouth should deliver her into the power of the Court, as guilty of that which all suspected her for, but were not furnished with proofe sufficient to proceed a­gainst her, for here she hath manifested, that her opinions and practise have been the cause of al our disturbances, & that she walked by such a rule as cannot stand with the peace of any State; for such bottomlesse revelations, as either came without any word, or without the sense of the word, (which was framed to humane capacity) if they be allowed in one thing, must be admitted a rule in all things; for they being above reason and Scripture, they are not subject to controll: Againe, she hath given a reason why she hath so much slighted the faithfull Ministers of Christ here, why? it was revealed to her long since in England, that all the packe of them were Antichristians, so as she durst heare none of them, after Mr. Cotton and Mr. Wheelwright were once gone; for they could not preach Christ and the new Covenant (as she affirmes), why, but they did preach somewhat, and if they could not hold forth Christ in a [Page 40]Covenant of Free-grace, then must they needs hold him forth in a Covenant of workes, then are they not able Ministers of the New Testament, nor sealed by the Spirit; for the servants of God, who are come over into New England, do not thinke themselves more spirituall then other of their brethren whom they have left behind, nor that they can or doe hold forth the Lord Jesus Christ in their ministery, more truly then he was held forth in England, and seeing their ministery was a most precious sweete savour to all the Saints before she came hither, it is easie to discerne from what sinke that ill vapour hath risen, which hath made so many of her seduced party to loath now the smell of those flowers which they were wont to find sweetnesse in: yet this is not all (though it be too too vile) she can fetch a revelation that shall reach the Magistrates and the whole Court, and the succeeding generations, and she hath Scripture for it also, Daniel must be a type of Mistris Hutchison, the Lions denne of the Court of justice, and the Presidents and Princes of the reverend Elders here, and all must sort to this conclusion, she must be delivered by miracle, and all we must be ruined; See the impudent boldnesse of a proud dame, that Athaliah-like makes havocke of all that stand in the way of her ambitious spirit; she had boasted before that her opinions must prevaile, neither could she endure a stop in her way, as appeared once upon a slight occasion when her reputation being a little touch'd upon a mistake, yet so carried as she could not get the party upon that advantage which she expected, she vented her impatience with so fierce speech and countenance, as one would hardly have guessed her to have been an Antitype of Daniel, but rather of the Lions after they were let loose. The like appeared in her, when she could not have her will against her faithfull Pastor for his opposing her opinions, as she apprehended, so as neither reason, nor Scripture, nor the judgement and example of such as she reverenced could ap­pease her displeasure. So that the Court did clearely discerne, where the foun­taine was of all our distempers, and the Tragedy of Munster (to such as had read it) gave just occasion to feare the danger we were in, seeing (by the judge­ment of Luther writing of those troublous times) we had not to doe with so simple a Devill, as managed that businesse, and therefore he had the lesse feare of him; but Satan seemed to have commission now to use his utmost cunning to undermine the Kingdome of Christ here (as the same Luther foretold, he would doe, when he should enterprize any such innovation under the cleare light of the Gospel) so as the like hath not beene knowne in former ages, that ever so many wise, sober, and well grounded Christians, should so suddenly be seduced by the meanes of a woman, to sticke so fast to her, even in some things wherein the whole current of Scripture goeth against them, and that notwithstanding that her opinions and practise have beene so grosse in some particulars, as their knowledge and sincerity would not suffer them to approve, yet such interest hath she gotten in their hearts, as they seeke cloakes to cover the nakednesse of such deformities, as in the meane time they are ashamed to behold. [Page 41]

The Court saw now an inevitable necessary to rid her away, except wee would bee guilty, not only of our own ruine, but also of the Gospel, so in the end the sentence of banishment was pronounced against her, and shee was commit­ted to the Marshall, till the Court should dispose of her.

Another day, Captaine John Ʋnderhill was sent for, and being charged with joyning in the said Petition, acknowledged the same, professing that hee could see no fault in it: being demanded a rule by which hee might take so much up­on him, as publickly to contradict the sentence of the Court, &c. hee alledged the example of Joab his rough speech to David, when hee retired himself for Absaloms death, and that David did not reprove him for it. To this the Court answered.

First, That Joab was then in the matters of his own calling, and being Ge­nerall of the Army, had liberty by his place to give advice to the King in causes of that nature, but when hee failed in the manner of his speech, therein hee is not to bee excused, and therefore not to bee followed.

Secondly, Joab did not contradict or reprove any Judiciall sentence of the King, but only an inordinate passion.

Thirdly, Hee was occasioned by an urgent necessity of the safety of the King and State.

Fourthly, That which hee spake was in private, for the King had withdrawn himself.

Fifthly, It appeares that David did take it as a great miscarriage, for hee presently displaced him.

Againe, in our cause the Captain was but a private man, and had no calling to deale in the affaires of the Court, therefore no warrant from hence. Hee in­sisted much upon the liberty which all States do allow to Military Officers, for free speech, &c. and that himself had spoken sometimes as freely to Count Nassaw.

But it was answered, wee are not to look at whatsome do tolerate, but what is lawfull, and there may bee a reason of State, to connive at that disorder at some season, which may not with honour and safety bee permitted at another.

Being further demanded, how they came so many of them, to bee so sud­denly agreed in so weighty and doubtfull a case, hee answered, that many of them being present when Mr. Wheelwright was convict of sedition, they were sore grieved at it, and suddenly rushing out of the Court, a strange motion came into all their mindes, so as they said (in a manner all together) Come let us petition; and for his part, from that time to this, his conscience which then led him to it, will not suffer him to retract it.

The Court pityed him much, and were grieved at his obstinacy, that when all his arguments were taken away, hee had no defence left, hee would yet main­taine a bad cause by the light of a deluded conscience, and withall they tooke notice how these ungrounded revelations began to work, and what dangerous consequences were like to follow of them, when so many persons upon such a [Page 42]sudden motion had no scruple to enterprize such a seditious action, nor can bee brought by any light of reason or Scripture, to see their error: so the Court (when they saw no other remedy) dis-franchised him, and discharged him of his place, but allowed him his quarters means.

There were diverse who were not present when that sudden motion or reve­lation first set the Petition on foot, but were drawn in after, who soon found their error, and did as freely acknowledge it, and desired to have their names put out of it, which was easily granted, and their offence with a loving ad­monition remitted.

It had been observed a good time since, that some of the leaders of this facti­on (by occasion of new Disciples, being inquisitive about their tenents) would let fall these answers, I have many things to tell you, but you cannot beare them now; and there is a great light to break forth, if men do not resist it, and you shall see the bottom hereafter; and one of them reproved the rest, telling them that they had spoyled their cause, by being over hasty and too open, &c. And now it began to appeare, what their meanings were, for after Mistris Hut­chison had discovered the secret by her speech in the Court, then others open­ed their minds, and professedly maintained these Enthusiasmes as the Oracles of God. And that such revelations as Abraham had to kill his Son, and as Paul had in the Ship, and when hee was caught up into the third heaven, &c. were ordinary, so that Mr. Cotton took notice of the danger of them, and pub­lickly confuted them in diverse Sermons. Among other like passages there was one that fell out, at Mr. Wheel his farewell to those whom hee used to Preach unto at the Mount.

One of his own Scholars told him openly, that hee had Preached Anti­christianisme, and had set up a Christ against a Christ; the same party main­tained immediate revelations without any word at all, saying, that the free promises were only for those under the Law, but wee are to look for all our assurance by immediate Revelation, and that in the New Testament there are no signes, no not our baptisme, for the baptisme of water is of no use to us, when once wee are baptized with the Holy Ghost: hee said also that a man might bee adopted and not justified, and that every new creature is as a dead lump, not acting at all, but as Christ acts in him, and denyed all inherent righteousnesse, and that the commandements were a dead Letter. These things were so grosse, as Mr. Wheelwright could not but contradict him, yet hee did it so tenderly, as might well discover his neere agreement in the points, though his wisdome served him to bee more reserved till a fitter season; for that poore man being newly come on to the profession of Religion, must needs learn those points of Mr. Wheel, or draw them as necessary consequences from some of his tenents: And it is frequently found to bee an effect of all unsound and unsafe do­ctrines, that still the Scholar goeth a step further then his Teacher. So it hath proved in former times, Luther, and no doubt many of those who did imbrace his errors, in the first edition of them, yet lived and dyed in the true faith of [Page 43]Christ, but the succeeding generations (inheriting those erroneous tenents, which they had drawn from their godly forefathers, but not their godlinesse) proved hereticks and schismaticks to this day. So it hath been in the Churches of Rome, and others, and so wee may justly feare in these Churches in New England, howsoever that many that now adhere to these Familisticall opini­ons, are indeed truely godly, and (no doubt) shall persevere so to the end, yet the next generation, which shall bee trained up under such doctrines, will bee in great danger to prove plain Familists and Schismaticks. This discovery of a new rule of practise by immediate revelations, and the consideration of such dangerous consequences, which have and might follow thereof, occasioned the Court to disarm all such of that party, as had their hands to the Petition, and some others, who had openly defended the same, except they should give satis­faction to the Magistrates therein; which some presently did, others made a great question about it, for bringing in their armes, but they were too weake to stand it out.

Thus it pleased the Lord to heare the prayers of his afflicted people (whose soules had wept in secret, for the reproach which was cast upon the Churches of the Lord Jesus in this Countrey, by occasion of the divisions which were grown amongst us, though the vanity of some weake minds, which cannot se­riously affect any thing long, except it bee offered them under some renewed shape) and by the care and indevour of the wise and faithfull Ministers of the Churches, assisted by the Civill authority, to discover this Master-piece of the old Serpent, and to break the brood by scattering the Leaders, under whose conduct hee had prepared such Ambushment, as in all reason would soon have driven Christ and Gospel out of New England, (though to the ruine of the in­struments themselves, as well as others) and to the repossessing of Satan in his ancient Kingdom; It is the Lords work, and it is marvellous in our eyes. Mr. Wheel. is now gone to Pascal, Mistris Hutchison is confined in a private house, till the season of the yeer shall bee fit for her departure, some of those whom God hath left to bee most strongly deluded, are preparing to follow them, and wee hope the Lord will open the eyes of the rest, and perswade them to joyn again with their sometime deare and most beloved brethren, that peace and truth may again flourish in New England, Amen.

After the Court had thus proceeded, some of the Churches dealt with such of their members as were found guilty of these erroneous and seditious practi­ses, the Church of Roxbury (after much pains and patience to reduce them) excommunicated five or six; and the Church of Boston, by the solicitation of some of the Elders of the other Churches, proceeded against Mistris Hutchison, the manner and issue whereof is set down in the next.

AT Boston in New England, upon the 17. day of October 1637. the wife of one William Dyer, sometimes a Citizen & Millener of London, a very proper [Page 44]and comely young woman, was delivered of a large woman childe, it was stil­born, about two moneths before her time, the childe having life a few houres before the delivery, but so monstrous and mis-shapen, as the like hath scarce been heard of: it had no head but a face, which stood so low upon the brest, as the eares (which were like an Apes) grew upon the shoulders.

The eyes stood farre out, so did the mouth, the nose was hooking upward, the brest and back was full of sharp prickles, like a Thornback, the navell and all the belly with the distinction of the sex, were, where the lower part of the back and hips should have been, and those back parts were on the side the face stood.

The arms and hands, with the thighs and legges, were as other childrens, but in stead of toes, it had upon each foot three claws, with talons like a young fowle.

Upon the back above the belly it had two great holes, like mouthes, and in each of them stuck out a piece of flesh.

It had no forehead, but in the place thereof, above the eyes, foure hornes, whereof two were above an inch long, hard, and sharpe, the other two were somewhat shorter.

Many things were observable in the birth and discovery of this Monster.

1. The Father and Mother were of the highest forme of our refined Familists, and very active in maintaining their party, and in reproaching some of the Elders, and others, who did oppose those errors.

2. The Midwife, one Hawkins wife of St. Ives, was notorious for familia­rity with the devill, and now a prime Familist.

3. This Monster was concealed by three persons above five moneths.

4. The occasion of concealing it was very strange, for most of the women who were present at the womans travaile, were suddenly taken with such a vi­olent vomiting, and purging, without eating or drinking of any thing, as they were forced to goe home, others had their children taken with convulsi­ons, (which they had not before, nor since) and so were sent for home, so as none were left at the time of the birth, but the Midwife and two other, where­of one fell asleepe.

5. At such time as the child dyed (which was about two houres before the birth) the bed wherein the mother lay shook so violently, as all which were in the roome perceived it.

6. The after birth wherein the childe was, had prickles on the inside like those on the childes brest.

7. The manner of the discovery was very strange also, for it was that very day Mistris Hutchison was cast out of the Church for her monstrous errours, and notorious falschood; for being commanded to depart the Assembly, Mistris Dyer accompanied her, which a stranger observing, asked another what wo­man [Page 45]that was, the other answered, it was the woman who had the Monster, which one of the Church of Boston hearing, enquired about it from one to ano­ther, and at length came to Mistris Hutchison, with one of the Elders of the Church, to whom shee revealed the truth of the thing in generall onely; this comming to the Governours eare, hee called another of the Magistrates and sent for the Midwife, and (in the presence of the Elder, to whom Mistris Hutchison had revealed it) they examined her, who at first confessed it was a monstrous birth, but concealed the horns and claws, and some other parts, till being straitly charged, and told it should bee taken up, and viewed, then shee con­fessed all, yet for further assurance, the childe was taken up, and though it were much corrupted, yet the horns, and claws, and holes in the back, and some scales, &c. were found and seen of above a hundred persons.

8. The Father of this Monster, having been forth of the Town, about a Moneth, and comming home just at this time, was upon the Lords day (by an unexpected occasion) called before the Church for some of his monstrous opinions, as the Christ and the Church together, are the new creature, there is no inherent righteousnesse in Christians, Adam was not made after Gods I­mage, &c. which hee openly maintained, yet with such shuffling, and equiva­cating, as hee came under admonition, &c.

A briefe Apologie in defence of the generall proceedings of the Court, holden at Boston the ninth day of the first moneth, 1626. against Mr. J. VVheelwright a member there, by oc­casion of a Sermon delivered there in the same Congregation.

FOrasmuch as some of the Members of the Court (both of the Ma­gistrates and Deputies) did dissent from the major part, in the judgement of the cause of Mr. Wheelwright, and divers others have since censured the proceedings against him as unjust, or (at best) over hasty, for maintaining of which censures, many untruths are like to be spread abroad, whereby the most equall Judges may be in danger of prejudice; and so the honour not of the Court onely, but also of the tryall and justice it selfe may be blemished: It is thought needfull to make this pub­like Declaration of all the proceedings, with the reasons and grounds there­of, so farre as concerneth the clearing of the justice of the Court. As for such passages as fell by occasion, and are too large to be here inserted, such as desire to know them, may receive satisfaction from three or foure of Boston (being Mr. Wheelwright his speciall friends) who tooke all by Characters (we doubt not) will give a true report thereof; As for such as have taken offence, that the cause was not first referred to the Church, we desire them to consider these reasons.

1. This case was not matter of conscience, but of a civill nature, and there­fore most proper for this Court, to take Cognizance of, and the rather for the speciall contempt which had beene offered to the Court therein, and which the Church could not judge of. 2. In some cases of religious nature, as mani­fest heresie, notorious blasphemy, &c. the Civill power may proceed, Ecclesia inconsulta, and that by the judgement of all the Ministers. 3. It had beene a vaine thing to referre a cause to the judgement of those who had openly de­clared their prejudice therein, both in the Court and otherwise, as by two Petitions under the hands of most of them, delivered into the Court on his be­halfe, did plainely appeare. 4. The heat of contention and uncharitable cen­sures which began to over-spread the Countrey, and that chiefely by occasion of that Sermon, and the like miscarriages, did require that the Civill power [Page 47]should speedily allay that heat, and beare witnesse against all seditious courses, tending to the overthrow of truth and peace amongst us: this onely by way of entrance, to the matter which now followeth.

In the beginning of the Court, the Deputies upon the same of a Sermon de­livered by Mr. Wheelwright (upon the first day) which was supposed to tend to sedition, and disturbance of the publike peace, desired that he might be sent for, which the Court assenting unto, one of the Magistrates (his speciall friend) undertooke to give him notice thereof, and accordingly at the next meeting he was in the Towne, ready to appeare, when he should be called for, which was not till two or three dayes after, and then he was sent for (not by the Mar­shall, as the usuall manner is; but) by one of the Deputies his intimate friend upon his appearance he was made acquainted with the cause why he was sent for, viz. To satisfie the Court about some passages in his Sermon, which seem­ed to be offensive, and therewith a copy of it was produced, and he was deman­ded whether he would owne it: whereupon he drew forth another copy which he delivered into the Court, as a true copy, (for the substance of it) so he was dismissed very gently, and desired to be ready when he should be called for a­gaine.

The next day he was againe sent for by the former messenger: About this time a Petition was delivered into the Court, under the hands of above forty persons, being most of the Church of Boston (being none of the Petitions be­fore mentioned, which were delivered after) to this effect, that as free-men they might be admitted to be present in the Court in causes of judicature, and that the Court would declare whether they might proceed in cases of conscience, without referring them first to the Church. To this the Court answered on the backside of the Petition, that they did conceive the Petition was without just ground, for the first part of it, the Court had never used privacie in Judiciall proceedings, but in preparation thereto by way of examination of the party, &c. they might and would use their liberty, as they should see cause; and for the other part of the Petition, when any matter of conscience should come before them, they would advise what were fit to be done in it.

When Mr. Wheelwright came in, the Court was private, and then they told him they had considered of his Sermon, and were desirous to aske him some questions which might tend to cleare his meaning, about such passages therein as seemed offensive; he demanded whether he were sent for as an innocent per­son, or as guilty? It was answered neither, but as suspected onely; Then he demanded, who were his accusers? It was answered, his Sermon; (which was there in Court) being acknowledged by himselfe they might thereupon pro­ceed, ex officio: at this word great exception was taken, as if the Court inten­ded the course of the High Commission, &c. It was answered that the word ex officio was very safe and proper, signifying no more but the authority or duty of the Court, and that there was no cause of offence, seeing the Court did not examine him by any compulsory meanes, as by oath, imprisonment, [Page 48]or the like, but onely desired him for better satisfaction to answer some questi­ons, but he still refused, yet at last through perswasion of some of his friends, he seemed content; The question then put to him was, whether before his Sermon he did not know, that most of the Ministers in this jurisdiction did teach that doctrine which be in his Sermon called a Covenant of works; to this he said, he did not desire to answer, and hereupon some cried out, that the Court went about to ensnare him, and to make him to accuse himselfe, and that this question was not about the matter of his Sermon, &c. Upon this he refused to answer any further, so he was dismissed till the afternoone; The reason why the Court demanded that question of him, was not to draw mat­ter from himselfe whereupon to proceed against him, neither was there any need, for upon a conference of the Ministers not long before there had beene large dispute betweene some of them and himselfe about that point of eviden­cing Justification by Sanctification, so as the court might soone have convin­ced him by witnesses, if they had intended to proceed against him upon that ground.

In the afternoone he was sent for againe in the same manner as before, and the Ministers also being in the Towne, and come thither to conferre together for further discovery of the ground of the disterences which were in the Coun­trey about the Covenant of Grace, &c. they were desired to be present also in the Court, to beare witnesse of the proceedings in the case, and to give their advice as the Court (upon occasion) should require: so the doores being set open for all that would to come in (and there was a great Assembly) and Mr. Wheelwright being willed to sit downe by the Ministers, his Sermon was produ­ced, and many passages thereof was read to him, which for the better under­standing we have digested into this order following.

He therein describeth two Covenants, the Covenant of Grace and the Co­venant of Works; the Covenant of Grace he describeth to be, when in the point of Justification and the knowledge of this our Justification by Faith, there is nothing revealed but Christ Jesus; but if men thinke to be saved, because they see some worke of Sanctification in themselves, as hungring and thirsting, &c. this is a Covenant of Works; if men have revealed to them some work of righteousnesse, as love to the brethren, &c. and hereupon come to be assured that they are in a good estate, this is not the assurance of Faith, for Faith hath Crist revealed for the object, therefore if the assurance of a mans Justifica­tion be by Faith, as a Work, it is not Gospel.

Having thus described those who goe under a Covenant of Works, he pronounceth them to be enemies to Christ, to be Antichrists, to be flesh op­posed to spirit; such as will certainly persecute those who hold forth the truth, and the wayes of Grace; he resembleth them to the Philistims, who stop up with the earth of their owne inventions, the Wels of true beleevers; he resem­bleth them also to Herod, who would have killed Christ so soone as he was borne, and to Herod and Pilate who did kill Christ when he came once to shew [Page 49]forth himselfe, and would have kept him eternally in the grave; he further de­scribeth them out of the second Psalme, to be the people of God as the Jewes were, and such as would take away the true Christ and put in false Christs, to deceive if it were possible the very elect; he also describeth them by that in Cant. 10.6. they make the children of Grace keepers of the Vineyard, they make them travell under the burden of the Covenant of Works, which doth cause Christ many times from them. He commeth after to a use of exhortation, wherein he stirreth up all those of his side to a spirituall combate, to prepare for battel, and come out and fight against the enemies of the Lord; (those under a Covenant of Works) he shewes whom he meaneth thus to excite, alluding to Davids valiant men, to Baruch, Deborah, Jael, and all the men of Jsrael, and bind them hereunto under the curse of Meroz; He further exhorteth them to stand upon their guard, &c. by alluding to the 600. valiant men, who kept watch about the bed of Solomon, a type of Christ; then he encourageth those of his side against such difficulties as might be objected, as 1. If the enemies shall oppose the way of God, they must lay the more load on them, and kill them with the Word of the Lord; and there he alludeth to those places which speak of giving the Saints power over nations, binding Kings in chaines, and of thre­shing instruments with teeth, and foretels their flight by that in Esay 21.15. They shall flee from the sword, &c.

2. Though the enemies under a Covenant of Works be many and strong, (as he confesseth they are) yet they ought not to fear, for the battel is the Lords, this he enforceth by that in Josh. 23.10. One of you shall chase a thousand, and that of Jonathan and his armour-bearer.

3. Against tendernesse of heart, which they might have towards such un­der a Covenant of Works, as are exceeding holy and strict in their way, he animateth his party by perswading them, that such are the greatest enemies to Christ; this he seekes to illustrate by resembling such in their zeale to Paul when he was a persecutor, and in their devotion to those who expelled Paul and Bar­nabas out of Antioch. He taketh it for granted that these holy men trust in their righteousnesse, and that it thrusteth out the righteousnesse of Christ, and so con­cludes and foretels from Ezech. 33. They shall die, and that their righteousnesse is accursed, yet they transforme themselves (saith he) into Angels of light.

4. That his party might not feare lest he should breake the rule of meeke­nesse, &c. he bringeth in the example of Stephen, Act. 7.58. and the example of Christ, Joh. 8.44. and Matth. 23.23.

5. To those who might feare, lest this strife should cause a combustion in Church and Common-wealth, he answers and tells them plainely it will doe so, but yet to uphold their hearts, he armes them with the prediction of Christ, Luk. 12.49. and tells them that it is the desire of the Saints, that that fire were kindled, and with that in Esa. 9.5. which he interprets of Michael and the Angells, and with that in Mal. 4.2. and by that in the Revelation, the whore must be burnt.

[Page 50]6. Hee armes them against persecution by exhorting them not to love their lives unto the death, but be willing to be killed like sheepe, seeing it is impossi­ble to hold forth the truth of God with externall peace and quietnesse: This he enforceth by the example of Sampson, who slew more at his death then in his life.

These passages of his Sermon being openly read, Master Wheelwright did acknowledge and justifie the same, and being demanded (either then or before) whether by those under a Covenant of workes hee did meane any of the Mini­sters and other Christians in those Churches, he answered, that if he were shewed any that walked in such a way, as he had described to be a Covenant of workes, them he did meane. Here divers speeches passed up and downe, where­of there was no speciall notice taken, as not materiall to the purpose in hand.

The Court proceeded also to examine some witnesses about another Sermon of his, whereat much offence had also beene taken, and not without cause, (as appeared to the Court) for in that he seemed to scare men not onely from le­gall righteousnesse, but even from faith and repentance, as if that also were a way of the Covenant of workes; but this being matter of Doctrine, the Court passed it by for the present, onely they (and the Ministers present, divers of them) declared their griefe to see such opinions risen in the Country of so dangerous consequence, and so directly crossing the scope of the Gospell, (as was conceived) and it was retorted upon him which he in his Sermon chargeth his adverse party with, (though uncharitably and untruly) when he saith they would take away the true Christ, that to make good such a doctrine as he held forth (to common intendment) must needes call for a new Christ and a new Gospell, for sure the old would not owne or justifie it.

Then the Court propounded a question to the Ministers, which (because they desired time of consideration to make answer unto) was given them in writing upon the outside of Master Wheelwrights Sermon, in these words; Whether by that which you have heard concerning Master Wheelwrights Sermon, and that which was witnessed concerning him, yee doe conceive that the Ministers in this Country doe walke in and teach such a way of Salvation and evidencing thereof, as he describeth, and accounteth to be a Covenant of workes? To this question (being a­gaine called for into the Court the next morning) they returned an affirmative answer, in the very words of the question, adding withall, that they would not be understood, that their doctrine and Master Wheelwrights about Justifica­tion, and Salvation, and evidencing thereof, did differ in all things, but one­ly in the point presented, and debated now in Court, and that of this their answer they were ready to give reasons when the Court should demand them, and that to this they all consented, except their brother the teacher of Boston: After this (by leave of the Court) the Ministers all spake one by one in order, some more largely, laying open by solid arguments and notorious examples, the great dangers that the Churches and Civill State were falne into, by the differences which were growne amongst us in matters of Religion, offering [Page 51]themselves withall to employ all their studies to effect a reconciliation, shewing also their desires that Mr. Wheelwright would be with them, when they should meete for this purpose, and blaming his former strangenesse as a possible occa­sion of these differences of judgement. Others spake more briefely, but consen­ted with the former; and all of them (as they had occasion to speake to Mr. Wheelwright, or to make mention of him) used him with all humanity and respect; what his carriage was towards them againe, those who were present may judge, as they saw cause.

The matters objected against Mr. Wheel. being recollected, and put to the vote, the opinion of the Court was, that he had run into sedition and con­tempt of the Civill authority, which accordingly was recorded to the same ef­fect, and he was enjoyned to appeare at the next generall Court to abide their further sentence herein. And whereas motion was made of enjoyning him silence in the meane time, the Ministers were desired to deliver their advice what the Court might doe in such a case: Their answer was, that they could not give a cleare resolution of the question at the present, but for Mr. Wheel. they desired that the Court would rather referre him to the Church of B. to deale with him for that matter; which accordingly was done, and so he was dismissed: such of the Magistrates and Deputies, as had not concurred with the major part in the vote, (some of them) moved that the dissent might be recorded, (but it was denyed) as a course never used in this or any such Court. Afterward they tendered a Protestation, which was also refused, because therein they had justified Mr. Wheel. as a faithfull Minister of the Lord Jesus, and con­demned the Court for undue proceeding; but this was offered them, that if they would write downe the words of the record, and subscribe their dissent without laying such aspersion upon the Court, it should be received.

Although the simple narration of these proceedings might be sufficient to justifie the Court in what they have done, especially with these of this jurisdicti­on, who have taken notice of the passages in the generall Court in Decem. last, yet for satisfaction of others to whom this case may be otherwise presented by same or misreport, we will set downe some grounds and reasons thereof, some whereof were expressed in the Court, and others (though not publickly in­sisted upon, yet) well conceived by some, as further motives to leade their judg­ments to doe as they did.

And, 1. It is to be observed, that the noted differences in point of Reli­gion in the Churches here, are about the Covenant of workes, in opposition to the Covenant of grace; in clearing whereof much dispute hath beene, whether sanctification be any evidence of justification.

2. That before Mr. Wheel. came into this country (which is not yet two yeares since) there was no strife (at least in publick observation) about that point.

3. That he did know (as himselfe confessed) that divers of the Ministers here were not of his Judgement in those points, and that the publishing of them, [Page 52]would cause disturbance in the Country, and yet he would never conferre with the Ministers about them, that thereby he might have gained them to his o­pinion, (if it had beene the truth) or at least have manifested some care of the publick peace, which he rather seemed to slight, when being demanded in the Court a reason of such his failing, hee answered that he ought not to consult with flesh and bloud, about the publishing of that truth whcih he had received from God.

4. It was well knowne to him that the Magistrates and Deputies were very sensible of those differences, and studious of pacifying such mindes as began to be warme and apt to contention about them, and for this end at the said Court in December, (where these differences and alienations of minde through rash censures, &c. were sadly complained of) they had called in the Mini­sters, and (Mr. Wheel. being present) had desired their advice for discovery of such dangers, as did threaten us hereby, and their helpe for preventing there­of; and it was then thought needefull, to appoint a solemne day of humilia­tion (as for other occasions more remote, so especially) for this which more neerely concerned us, and at this time this very point of evidencing justification by sanctification set into some debate, and Mr. Wheel. being present spake no­thing, though he well discerned that the judgement of most of the Magistrates and neere all the Ministers closed with the affirmative.

5. That upon the said fast (Mr. Wheel. being desired by the Church to ex­ercise as a private brother, by way of Prophecy) when Mr. Cotton teaching in the afternoon out of Esa. 58.4. had shewed that it was not a fit worke for a day of Fast, to move strife & debate, to provoke to contention, &c. but by all means to labour pacification and reconciliation, and therein had bestowed much time, and many forcible arguments, yet Mr. Wheel. speaking after him, taught as is here before mentioned, wholly omitting those particular occasions which the Court intended, nay rather reproving them, in teaching that the onely cause of Fasting, was the absence of Christ, &c. and so notwithstanding the occasion of the day, Mr. Cottons example, the intent of the Court for procuriug peace, he stirred up the people to contention, and that with more then ordinary ve­hemency. Now if any man will equally weigh the proceedings of the Court and these observations together, we hope it will appeare that Mr. Wheelwright was justly convict of sedition and contempt of authority, and such as have not leisure or will to compare them together, may onely reade that which here fol­loweth, and receive satisfaction thereby, carrying this along with them, that the acts of authority holding forth the face, and stampe of a divine sentence should not be lesse regarded then the actions of any private brother, which a good man will view on all foure sides before he judge them to be evill.

Sedition and contempt are laid to his charge.

Sedition doth properly signifie a going aside to make a party, and is right­ly described by the Poet, (for it is lawfull to fetch the meaning of words from [Page 53]humane authority) In mag [...] populo cum saepe cooria est seditio saevitque animis, &c. whence it doth appeare that when the minds of the people being assembled are kindled or made fierce upon some suddaine occasion, so as they fall to take part one against another, this is sedition; for when that furor, which doth arma ministrare, is once kindled, the sedition is begun, though it come not to its perfection, till faces et saxa volant: Tully saith, Seditionem, esse dissensionem omnium inter se, cum eunt alii in aliud, when the people dissent in opinion and goe severall wayes.

Isidore saith, Seditiosus est, qui dissentionem animorum facit & discordias gignit, He that sets mens minds at difference, and begets strife: And if we look into the Scripture we shall find examples of sedition agreeing to these descriptions. The uproare moved by Demetrius, Acts 19. was sedition, yet he neither took up armes, nor perswaded others so to doe, but onely induced the minds of the people, and made them fierce against the Apostles, by telling them they were enemies to Diana of the Ephesians. Korah and his company moved a most dan­gerous sedition, yet they did not stirre up the people to fight, onely they went apart and drew others to them against Moses and Aaron; here was nothing but words, and that by a Levite, who might speake by his place, but it cost more then words before it was pacified. Now in our present case, did not Mr. Wheel. make sides when he proclaimed all to be under a Covenant of works, who did not follow him (step by step) in his description of the Covenant of Grace? did he not make himselfe a party on the other side, by often using these and the like words, We, us? Did he not labour to heat the minds of the people, and to make them fierce against those of that side, which he opposed (and whereof he knew that most of the Magistrates and Ministers had declared themselves) when with the greatest fervency of spirit and voyce, he proclaimes them Antichrists, ene­mies, Philistims, Herod, Pilate, persecuting Jewes, and stirred up them on his part to fight with them, to lay load on them, to burne them, to thresh them, to bind them in chaines and fetters, to kill them and vexe their hearts, and that under the paine of the curse of Meroz? Tantaene animis caelestibus irae? would one thinke that any heavenly spirit could have breathed so much anger, when an Angel would have given milder language to the Devill himselfe? and all this without vouchsasing one argument to convince these enemies of their evil way, or one word of admonition or advice to themselves, to draw them out of dan­ger. But it is objected, that he expressed his meaning to be of a spirituall fight­ing and killing, &c. with the sword of the spirit onely. It is granted he did so, yet his instances of illustration, or rather enforcement, were of another na­ture, as of Moses killing the Egyptian in defence of his brother, Sampson losing his life with the Philistims, the fight of Jonathan and his armour-bearer, and of Davids worthies, Baruc and Jael, &c. these obtained their victories with swords and hammers, &c. And such are no spirituall weapons, so that if his intent were not to stirre up to open force and armes (neither doe we suspect him of any such purpose, otherwise then by consequent) yet his reading and expe­rience [Page 54]might have told him, how dangerous it is to heat peoples affections a­gainst their opposites, a mind inflamed with indignation (among some people) would have beene more apt to have drawne their swords by the authority of the examples he held forth for the encouragement, then to have beene kept to spirituall weapons, by the restraining without cautions, such as cannot dispute for Christ with Steven, will be ready to draw their swords for him, like Peter; for furor arms ministrat, like him who when he could not by any sentence in the Bible confute an Heretick, could make use of the whole booke to break his head; we might hold forth instances more then enough. The warres in Germany for these hundred yeeres arose from dissentions in Religion, and though in the beginning of the contention, they drew out onely the sword of the Spirit, yet it was soone changed into a sword of steele; so was it among the confederate Cantons of Helvetia, which were so many Townes as neerely combined toge­ther, as ours here; so was it also in the Netherlands betweene the Orthodox and the Arminians; so hath it beene betweene the Calvinists and Lutherans: In every place we find that the contentions began first by disputations and Sermons, and when the minds of the people were once set on fire by reproachfull termes of intendiary spirits, they soone set to blowes, and had alwayes a tragicall and boudy issue; And to cleare this objection, Mr. Wheel. professed before hand, what he looked for, viz. that his doctrine would cause combustions even in the Common-wealth, as well as in the Churches, which he could not have feared if he had supposed (as in charity he well might) that those who were set over the people here in both States were indeed true Christians; yea he not onely confesseth his expectation, but his earnest desire also of such combustions and disturbances, when he saith that it is the Saints desire to have the fire kindled, as if hee were come among Turks or Papists, and not among the Churches of Christ, amongst whom Paul laboured to quench all fire of contention, but with the Corinthians, Romans, and Galatians, and wished that those were cut off who troubled them, setting a mark upon such as made division, and a note of a carnall mind: therefore this objection will not save him, his offence is yet with­out excuse, hee did intend to trouble our peace, and hee hath effected it; there­fore it was a contempt of that authority which required every man to study Peace and Truth, and therefore it was a seditious contempt, in that hee stir­red up others; to joyn in the disturbance of that peace, which hee was bound by solemn Oath to preserve.

But here hee puts in a plea, that hee did take the only right way for Peace, by holding out the Lord Jesus Christ in the Covenant of free Grace, for without Christ there is no peace, but get Christ and wee have all.

To this wee reply, first, Wee would demand of him what hee accounts a hol­ding forth a Covenant of Grace? for saving that hee saith, this is a Covenant of Grace, that is a Covenant of Works, no man can discerne any such thing by his proofes, for there is not any one argument in his Sermon to convince the judgement that so it is, and if wee search the Scripture, wee find in the Old [Page 55]Testament, Jer. 31. the Covenant of Grace to bee this, I will write my Law in their hearts, or, I will bee their God, &c. and in the New Testament, wee find, Hee that beleeves in the Lord Jesus Christ, shall bee saved, and that it is of Faith, that it might bee of grace; but other Covenant of Grace then these, or to the same effect, are not in our Bibles.

Again, Though it bee true, that get Christ and wee have all in some respect, yet wee must remember him of what hee said with the same breath, that Truth and externall Peace cannot possibly stand together, how then would hee have us beleeve, that such a holding forth Christ should bring the desired peace? This is somewhat like the Jewish Corban, I will give to God, and hee shall help my Parents, or as when a poore man stands in need of such reliefe, as I might give him, instead there of I pray to God to blesse him, and tell him that the blessing of God maketh rich, or, as I give a Lawyer a Fee to plead my cause, and to pro­cure mee Justice, and when the day of hearing comes, hee makes a long speech in commending the justice of the King, and perswading mee to get his favour, because hee is the fountain of Justice; This is to reprove the wisdome of God, by looking that the supreme and first cause should produce all effects, without the use of subordinate acd neerer causes and means; so a man should live out his full time by Gods decree only, without meat or medicine; this plea therefore will not hold, let us heare another.

It is objected, that the Magistrates may not appoint a messenger of God, what hee should teach: admit so much, yet hee may limit him what hee may not teach, if hee forbid him to teach heresy or sedition, &c. hee incurres as well a contempt in teaching that which hee was forbidden, as sins in teaching that which is evill. Besides, every truth is not seasonable at all times. Christ tels his Disciples that hee had many things to teach them, but they could not beare them then, Job. 16.12. and God giveth his Prophets the tongue of the learn­ed, that they may know how to speak a word in season, Isa. 50, 40. and if for every thing there bee a season, then for every Doctrine, Eccles. 3.1. The abo­lishing of the ceremoniall Law was a Truth which the Apostles were to teach, yet there was a season when Paul did refrain it, Acts 21.24. and the same Paul would not circumcise Titus, though hee did Timothy, so the difference of per­sons and places, made a difference in the season of the doctrine: and if Mr. Wheelwright had looked upon the words which followed in his Text, Matth. 9.16, 17. hee might have learned that such a Sermon would as ill suite the season, as old bottles doe new Wine, and by that in Esay before mentioned, hee might have known that the Spirit of God doth teach his servants to discern of seasons, as well as of truths; for if there be such a point in wisdom, as men call discretion, sure, Religion (which maketh truely wise) doth not deprive the servants of God of the right use thereof. When Paul was to deale with the sorcerer, who did oppose his doctrine, Act. 13. hee cals him the childe of the devill, &c. but when hee answered Festus, (who told him hee was madde, and rejected his doctrine also) hee useth him gently, and with termes of ho­nourable [Page 56]respect. Though Steven cals the Jews stiffenecked, and of uncircum­cised hearts, &c. as knowing them to bee malitious and obstinate enemies to Christ, yet Paul directs Timothy (being to deale with such as were not past hope, though they did oppose his Doctrine for the present) not to strive, but to use all gentlenesse, instructing them with meeknesse, &c. 2 Tim. 2. The Prophet Elisha when hee speaks to Jehoram very roughly, as one not worthy to bee look­ed at, yet hee shews a different respect of Jehosaphat, though hee were then out of his way, and under a sin, for which hee had been formerly reproved, 2 King. 3. Christ himselfe (though hee sharply reproveth the Pharisees, &c. yet hee instructeth Nicodemus gently, when hee objected against his doctrine, and that somewhat rudely, Joh. 3. The Apostles would not forbeare to Preach Christ, though Rulers forbad them, Act. 3. yet another Prophet forbare at another season at the command of King Amasia, 2 Chron. 25. so wee see that this plea of Mr. Wheelwright is as weak as the former, and will not excuse him from contempt.

If it bee yet objected, that his Sermon was not all for contention, seeing hee raised and pressed an use of brotherly love, wee grant hee did so, but it was ejusdem farinae, a loafe of the same leaven with the other, for hee applyeth it to those of his own party, to perswade them to hold together, and help one ano­ther against those of the other party, whom hee setteth forth as their opposites and encourageth them thereto by the example of Moses, who in love to his bro­ther, killed the Aegyptian.

A further objection hath been made against the proceedings of the Court, as if Mr. Wheelwright had not a lawfull tryall, as not being put upon a Jury of freemen. But the answer to this is easie, it being wel known to all such as have understanding of matters of this nature, that such Courts as have power to make and abrogate Laws, are tyed to no other Orders, but their own, and to no other rule but Truth and Justice, and why thrice twelve men sitting as Judges in a Court, should bee more subject to partiality then twelve such called as a Jury to the barre, let others judge.

Now if some shall gather from that which is here before mentioned, viz. that every truth is not seasonable at all times, if wee shall grant that what Master Wheelwright delivered was the truth, wee must desire him to take onely so much as wee granted, viz. by way of supposition onely; for letting passe (as wee said) such points as were meerly doctrinall, and not ripe for the Court (de­pending as yet in examination among the Elders) wee may safely deny that those speeches were truths, which the Court censured for contempt and sedi­tion, for a brother may fall so farre into disobedience to the Gospel, as there may bee cause to separate from him, and to put him to shame, and yet hee is not to bee accounted an enemy, 2 Thess. 3. Therefore when Mr. Wheelwright pro­nounced such (taking them at the worst hee could make them) to bee ene­mies, &c. it was not according to the truth of the Gospell. Againe, to incense and heate mens minds against their Brethren, before hee had convinced or ad­monished [Page 57]them, as being in an estate of enmity, &c. is not to bee termed in any truth of the Gospel; so likewise to bring extraordinary examples for ordi­nary rules, as of Joh. 8.44. to incite his party to the like practise against such whose hearts they cannot judge of, as Christ could of theirs to whom hee spake, is as farre from the rule prescribed to ordinary Ministers, 2 Tim. 2.25. and to all Christians, Gal. 6.1. and Jam. 3 17. as that example of Elijah (by which the Apostles would have called for fire from heaven upon the Samari­tans) was different from the Spirit whereof they were: so to resemble such among us, as professe their faith in Christ only, &c. and are in Church fel­lowship, and walk inoffensively, submitting to all the Lords Ordinances in Church and Common wealth, to resemble such to branded Reprobates, and arch-enemies of Christ, such as Herod, &c. wee suppose hath no warrant of Truth. Wee might instance in other like passages, as his ordinary inciting to spirituall combates, by examples of bodily fight and bloody victories, (being very unsutable) but these may suffice to prove that all hee spake was not true, and by this is the offence more aggravated, for if it were seditious only in the manner, it must needs bee much worse, when the matter it selfe also was untrue.

But if any shall yet pretend want of satisfaction, by all that hath been pro­duced, (for indeed it is beyond reason, how farre prejudice hath prevailed to captivate some Judgements, otherwise godly and wise) and shal object further, that his doctrines, &c. were generall, and so could not bee intended of any particular persons, wee desire such, first to remember what application Mr. Wh. made of the same in the open Court, viz. that hee did intend all such as walk­ed in such a way. Then again, let the case bee put in a reversed frame, some other had then taught, that all such as deny that sanctification (as it is held by the other party) is a good evidence of justification, and that say or have their assurance by faith, as a work of God in them have it in the way of the Gospel, that these were enemies to Christ, &c. Persecutors of the way of grace, &c. and should have stirred up others against them, with like arguments, and vehemen­cy as Mr. Wheelwright did, there is no doubt but Mr. Wheel. and others of his opinion, would soone have pointed out those who must necessarily have been intended by it: for it is well known that some proper adjunct, or some noted circumstance may design a particular person or company, as well as names, so Christ points out Judas by the sop, Paul the Jews, by those of the circumcision, and the Antichrist, by That man of sin, &c.

But wee meet y [...] with another objection, viz. that disturbance of unity is not sedition, except it also lead to the hurt of utility.

To this wee answer, first, that if it tend immediately to such hurt, wee deny the truth of the proposition; for if in the time of famine, a man should stir up the people to fetch corn out of the houses of such as had it to spare, this were to an immediate publick good, yet it were sedition. If Jeremy (when hee taught the Jews, that they ought to set free their Hebrew servants) had also [Page 58]incited the servants to free themselves, this had not been free from sedition, yet it had not been against publick utility: But they alledge the examples of Je­hojadah, who caused a disturbance, yet without sedition; wee answer, that case was very unlike to ours, for Jehojadah being High Priest, was also protector of the true King, and so chiefe Governour of the Civill State, and Athaliah being a meere usurper, hee did no other, then if a lawfull King should assem­ble his Subjects to apprehend a Rebell; and though a Prince or Governour may raise a party to suppresse or withstand publick enemies or other evils, yet it doth not follow that a private man, or a Minister of the Gospel may do the like: we read Nehem. 5.7. that hee raised a great assembly against those who did oppresse their brethren, but wee read not that Ezra did so, upon the disorders which hee complained of, and yet that which hee did in assembling of the peo­ple, for redresse, &c. was by authority and counsell of the Nobles, Ezra 10.8.

2. That this course of Mr. Wheel. did tend directly to the great hinderance of publike utility, for when brethren shall looke one at another as enemies and persecutors, &c. and when people shall looke at their Rulers and Ministers as such, and as those who goe about to take Christ and salvation from them, how shall they joyne together in any publike service? how shall they cohabite and trade together? how hardly will they submit to such Over-seers? how will it hinder all affaires in Courts, in Townes, in Families, in Vessels at Sea, &c. and what can more threaten the dissolution and ruine of Church and Common­wealth? Lastly, if it be alleadged that such warlike termes are used by Christ and his Apostles in a spirituall sense, we deny it not, but we desire that the usu­all manner of their applying then may be also considered, for Paul saith, 1 Cor. 9. So fight I, &c. I beate downe my body, &c. 1 Tim. 6.12. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternall life, and 1 Pet. 2.11. and Jam. 4.1. there is speech of the fight of our lusts, and Ephes. 6.11. he bids them put on armour, but it is to resist the Devill, not flesh and bloud, not to fight against their brethren, towards whom he forbids all bitternesse and clamour, &c. Eph. 4. And when he speaks of spirituall weapons, 2 Cor. 10. he doth non draw them out against the persons of brethren, but against high thoughts and imagina­tions, &c. And if Mr. Wheel. had found out any such among us, and planted his battery against them by sound arguments, he had followed our Apostolike rule; Christ indeed threatneth to fight against the Nicholairans with the sword of his mouth, and if Mr. Wheel, had knowne any such here, as certain­ly as Christ knew those, he might have beene justified by the example, other­wise not.

Therefore to conclude, seeing there be of those who diffent from Mr. Wheel his doctrines, who have denied themselves for the love of Christ as farre as be hath done, and will be ready (by Gods grace) to doe and suffer for the sake of Christ, and the honour of Free-grace as much as himselfe, for such to be publikely defamed, and held forth as enemies to the Lord Jesus, and perse­cutors [Page 59]like Herod and Pilate, and the uncircumcised heathen, &c. cannot pro­ceed from a charitable mind, nor doth it savour of an Apostolike, Gospel-like, brotherly spirit.

Mistris Hutchison being banished and confined, till the season of the yeere might be fit, and safe for her departure; she thought it now needlesse to conceale herselfe any longer, neither would Satan lose the opportunity of making choyce of so fit an instrument, so long as any hope remained to attaine his mischievous end in darkning the saving truth of the Lord Jesus, and disturbing the peace of his Churches. Therefore she began now to discover all her mind to such as came to her, so that her opinions came abroad and began to take place among her old disciples, and now some of them raised up questions about the immortality of the soule, about the resurrection, about the morality of the Sabbath, and divers others, which the Elders finding to begin to appeare in some of their Churches, they took much paines (both in publike and private) to suppresse; and following the sent from one to another, the root of all was found to be in Mistris Hutchison; whereupon they resorted to her many times, labouring to convince her, but in vaine; yet they resorted to her still, to the end they might either reclaime her from her errours, or that they might beare witnesse against them if occasion were: For in a meeting of the Magistrates and Elders, about suppressing these new sprung errours, the Elders of Boston had de­clared their readinesse to deale with Mistris Hutchison in a Church way, if they had sufficient testimony: for though she had maintained some of them some­times before them, yet they thought it not so orderly to come in as witnesses; whereupon other of the Elders, and others collecting which they had heard from her owne mouth at severall times, drew them into severall heads, and sent them to the Church of Boston, whereupon the Church (with leave of the Magistrates, because she was a prisoner) sent for her to appeare upon a Lecture day, being the fifteenth of the first moneth, and though she were at her owne house in the Towne, yet she came not into the Assembly till the Sermon and Prayer were ended, (pretending bodily infirmity) when she was come, one of ruling Elders called her forth before the Assembly, (which was very great from all the parts of the Countrey) and telling her the cause why the Church had called her, read the severall heads, which were as followeth.

  • 1. That the soules of all men (in regard of generation) are mortall like the beasts, Eccl. 3.8.
  • 2. That in regard of Christs purchase they are immortall, so that Christ hath purchased the soules of the wicked to eternall paine, and the soules of the elect to eternall peace.
  • 3. Those who are united to Christ have in this life new bodies, and 2 bodies, 1 Cor. 6.19. she knowes not how Jesus Christ should be united to this our fleshly bodies.
  • 4. Those who have union with Christ, shall not rise with the same fleshly bodies, 1 Cor. 15.44.
  • [Page 60]5. And that the resurrection mentioned there, and in John 5.28. is not meant of the resurrection of the body, but of our union here and after this life.
  • 6. That there are no created graces in the Saints after their union with Christ, but before there are, for Christ takes them out of their hands into his owne.
  • 7. There are no created graces in the humane nature of Christ, but he was onely acted by the power of the God-head.
  • 8. The Image of God wherein Adam was made, she could see no Scripture to warrant that it consisted in holinesse, but conceived it to be in that he was made like to Christs manhood.
  • 9. She had no Scripture to warrant that Christs manhood is now in Heaven, but the body of Christ is his Church.
  • 10. We are united to Christ with the same union, that his humanity on earth was with the Deity, Jo. 17.21.
  • 11. She conceived the Disciples before Christ his death were not converted, Matth. 18.3.
  • 12. There is no evidence to be had of our good estate, either from absolute or conditionall promises.
  • 13. The Law is no rule of life to a Christian.
  • 14. There is no Kingdome of Heaven in Scripture but onely Christ.
  • 15. There is first engraffing into Christ before union, from which a man might fall away.
  • 16. The first thing God reveales to assure us is our election.
  • 17. That Abraham was not in a saving estate till the 22. chap. of Gen. when hee offered Isaac, and saving the firmenesse of Gods election, he might have perished notwithstanding any work of grace that was wrought in him till then.
  • 18. That union to Christ is not by faith.
  • 19. That all commands in the word are Law, and are not a way of life, and the command of faith is a Law, and therefore killeth; she supposed it to be a Law from Rom. 3.27.
  • 20. That there is no faith of Gods elect but assurance, there is no faith of dependance but such as an hypocrite may have and fall away from, proved John 15. for by that she said they are in Christ, but Christ is not in them.
  • 21. That an hypocrite may have Adams righteousnesse and perish, and by that righteousnes he is bound to the Law, but in union with Christ, Christ comes into the man, and he retaines the seed, and dieth, and then all manner of grace in himselfe, but all in Christ.
  • 22. There is no such thing as inherent righteousnesse.
  • 23. We are not bound to the Law, no not as a rule of life.
  • 24. We are dead to all acts in spirituall things, and are onely acted by Christ.
  • 25. Not being bound to the Law, it is not transgression against the Law to [Page 61]sinne, or breake it, because our sinnes they are inward and spirituall, and so are exceeding sinfull, and onely are against Christ.
  • 26. Sanctification can be no evidence at all of our good estate.
  • 27. That her particular revelations about future events are as infallible as any part of Scripture, and that she is bound as much to beleeve them, as the Scripture, for the same holy Ghost is the author of them both.
  • 28. That so farre as a man is in union with Christ, he can doe no duties per­fectly, and without the communion of the unregenerate part with the regene­rate.
  • 29. That such exhortations as these, to worke out our salvation with feare, to make our calling and election sure, &c. are spoken onely to such, as are un­der a Covenant of workes.

All which she did acknowledge she had spoken, (for a coppy of them had been sent to her divers dayes before, and the witnesses hands subscribed, so as she saw it was in vaine to deny them) then she asked by what rule such an Elder could come to her pretending to desire light, and indeede to entrappe her, to which the same Elder answered that he had beene twice with her, and that he told her indeed at St. Ives, that he had beene troubled at some of her speeches in the Court, wherein he did desire to see light for the ground and meaning of them, but he professed in the presence of the Lord, that he came not to entrap her, but in compassion to her Soule, to helpe her out of those snares of the De­vill, wherein he saw she was entangled, and that before his deparure from her he did beare witnesse against her opinions, and against her spirit, and did leave it sadly upon her from the word of God: then presently she grew into passion against her Pastor for his speech against her at the Court after the sentence was passed, which he gave a full answer unto, shewing his zeale against her errors, whereupon she asked for what errors she had beene banished, professing withall that she held none of these things she was now charged with, before her impri­sonment; (supposing that whatsoever should be found amisse, would be im­puted to that, but it was answered as the truth was, that she was not put to durance, but onely a favourable confinement, so as all of her Family and divers others, resorted to her at their pleasure.) But this allegation was then proved false, (and at her next convention more fully) for there were divers present, who did know she spake untruth. Her answer being demanded to the first Ar­ticles, she maintained her assertion that the Soules were mortall, &c. alledg­ing the place in the Eccles. cited in the Article, and some other Scriptures no­thing to the purpose, she insisted much upon that in Gen. 1. In the day thou eatest, &c. thou shalt dye, she could not see how a Soule could be immor­tally miserable, though it might be eternally miserable, neither could shee di­stinguish betweene the Soule and the Life; and though she were pressed by many Scriptures and reasons alleadged by the Elders of the same, and other Church­es, so as she could not give any answer to them, yet she stood to her opinion, till at length a stranger being desired to speake to the point, and hee opening to [Page 62]her the difference betweene the Soule and the Life, the first being a spirituall sub­stance, and the other the union of that with the body; she then confessed she saw more light then before, and so with some difficulty was brought to con­fesse her error in that point. Wherein was to be observed that though he spake to very good purpose, and so clearely convinced her as she could not gain-say, yet it was evident shee was convinced before, but she could not give the honour of it to her owne Pastor or teacher, nor to any of the other Elders, whom she slighted had so much.

Then they proceeded to the third, fourth, and fifth Articles, about the body and the refurrection of the old, which shee maintained according to the Arti­cles, and though shee were not able to give any reasonable answer to the many places of the Scripture, and other arguments which were brought to convince her, yet shee still persisted in her errour, giving froward speeches to some that spake to her, as when one of the Elders used this argument, that if the resur­rection were only our union with Christ, then all that are united, are the chil­dren of the resurrection, and therefore are neither to marry, nor to give in mar­riage, and so by consequence, there ought to bee community of women; shee told him that hee spake like the Pharisees, who said that Christ had a devill, because that Abraham were dead and the Prophets, and yet hee had said, that those which eate his flesh, should never dye, not taking the speech in the true meaning, so did hee (said shee) who brought that argument, for it is said there, they should bee like the Angels, &c. The Elders of Boston finding her thus ob­stinate, propounded to the Church for an admonition to bee given her, to which all the Church consented, except two of her sons, who because they per­sisted to defend her, were under admonition also. Mr. Cotton gave the admoni­tion, and first to her sons, laying it sadly upon them, that they would give such way to their naturall affection, as for preserving her honour, they should make a breach upon the honour of Christ, and upon their Covenant with the Church, and withall teare the very bowels of their soule, by hardning her in her sin: In this admonition to her, first, hee remembred her of the good way shee was in at her first comming, in helping to discover to divers, the false bottom they stood upon, in trusting to legall works without Christ; then hee shewed her, how by falling into these grosse and fundamentall errors, shee had lost the honour of her former service, and done more wrong to Christ and his Church, then formerly shee had done good, and so laid her sin to her conscience with much zeale and solemnity, hee admonished her also of the height of spirit, then hee spake to the siders of the Church, and advised them to take heed of her opini­ons, and to with-hold all countenance and respects from her, lest they should harden her in her sin: so shee was dismissed and appointed to appeare againe that day sevennight.

The Count had ordered that shee should return to Roxbury again, but upon intimation that her spirit began to fall, shee was permitted to remain at Mr. Cottons house (where Davenport was also kept) who before her next appearing, [Page 63]did both take much pains with her, and prevailed so far, that shee did acknow­ledge her errour in all the Articles (except the last) and accordingly shee wrote down her answers to them all, when the day came, and shee was called forth and the Articles read again to her, shee delivered in her answers in writing, which were also read, and being then willing to speak to the Congregation for their further satisfaction, shee did acknowledge that shee had greatly erred, and that God had left her to her self herein, because shee had so much under-natured his Ordinances, both in slighting the Magistrates at the Court, and al­so the Elders of the Church, and confessed that when shee was at the Court, shee looked only at such failings as shee apprehended in the Magistrates procee­dings, without having regard to the place they were in and that the speeches shee then used about her revelations were rash, and without ground, and shee desired the prayers of the Church for her.

Thus farre shee went on well, and the Assembly conceived hope of her re­pentance, but in her answers to the severall articles, shee gave no satisfaction, because in diverse of them shee answered by circumlocutions, and seemed to lay all the faults in her expressions, which occasioned some of the Elders to desire shee might expresse her self more cleerly, and for that ever shee was demanded about the Article, whether shee were not, or had not been of that judgement, that there is no inherent righteousnesse in the Saints, but those gifts and gra­ces which are ascribed to them that are only in Christ as the subject? to which shee answered, that shee was never of that judgement, howsoever by her ex­pressions shee might seem to bee so; and this shee affirmed with such confidence as bred great astonishment in many, who had known the contrary, and diverse alledged her own sayings and reasonings, both before her confinement and since, which did manifest to all that were present, that shee knew that shee spake untruth, for it was proved that shee had alledged that in Esay 53. By his know­ledge shall my righteous servant justifie many; which shee had maintained to bee meant of a knowledge in Christ, and not in us; so likewise that in Galathi­ans, I live by the faith of the Son of God, which shee said was the faith of Christ, and not any faith inherent in us; also, that shee had maintained, that Christ is our sanctification in the same sort that hee is our justification, and that shee had said, that shee would not pray for grace, but for Christ, and that (when she had been pressed with diverse Scriptures, which spake of wash­ing and creating a new heart, and writing the Law in the heart, &c.) shee had denyed; that they did mean any sanctification in us: There were diverse wo­men also with whom shee had dealt about the same point, who (if their mode­sty had not restrained them) would have born witnesse against her herein, (as themselves after confessed) wherefore the Elders pressed her very earnestly to remember her self, and not to stand so obstinately to maintain so manifest an untruth, but shee was deafe of that eare, and would not acknowledge that shee had been at any time of that judgement, howsoever her expressions were; Then Mr. Cotton told the Assembly, that whereas shee had been formerly dealt with [Page 64]for matter of doctrine, he had (according to the duty of his place being the teacher of that Church) proceeded against unto admonition, but now the case being altered, and she being in question for maintaining of untruth, which is matter of manners, he must leave the businesse to the Pastor, Mr. Wilson to goe on with her, but withall declared his judgement in the case from that in Revel. 22. that such as make and maintaine a lye, ought to be cast out of the Church; and whereas two or three pleaded that she might first have a second admoniti­on, according to that in Titus 3.10. he answered that that was onely for such as erred in point of doctrine, but such as shall notoriously offend in mat­ter of conversation, ought to be presently cast out, as he proved by Ananias and Saphira, and the incestuous Corinthian; (and as appeares by that of Simin Ma­gus) and for her owne part though she heard this moved in her behalfe, that she might have a further respite, yet she her selfe never desired it: so the Pastor went on, and propounding it to the Church, to know whether they were all agreed, that she should be cast out, and a full consent appearing (after the usu­all manner) by their silence, after a convenient pause he proceeded, and denoun­ced the sentence of excommunication against her, and she was commanded to depart out of the Assembly. In her going forth, one standing at the dore, said, The Lord sanctifie this unto you, to whom she made answer, The Lord judgeth not as man judgeth, better to be cast out of the Church then to deny Christ.

Thus it hath pleased the Lord to have compassion of his poore Churches here, and to discover this great imposter, an instrument of Satan so fitted and trained to his service for interrupting the passage, Kingdome in this part of the world, and poysoning the Churches here planted, as no story records the like of a woman, since that mentioned in the Revelation; it would make a large vo­lume to lay downe all passages, I will onely observe some few, which were ob­vious to all that knew her course.

1. In her entrance I observe,

  • 1. Her entrance.
  • 2. Her progresse.
  • 3. Her down fall.
  • 1. The foundation she laid was (or rather seemed to be) Christ and Free-Grace.
  • 2. Rule she pretended to walke by, was onely the Scripture.
  • 3. The light to discerne this rule, was onely the holy Ghost.
  • 4. The persons she conversed with were (for the most part) Christians in Church Covenant.
  • 5. Her ordinary talke was about the things of the Kingdome of God.
  • 6. Her usuall conversation was in the way of righteousnesse and kindnesse.

Thus she entred and made up the first act of her course.

In her progesse I observe,

First, her successe, she had in a short time insinuated her selfe into the hearts of much of the people (yea of many of the most wise and godly) who grew [Page 65]into so reverent an esteeme of her godlinesse, and spirituall gifts, as they look­ed at her as a Prophetesse, raised up of God for some great worke now at hand, as the calling of the Jewes, &c. so as she had more resort to her for counsell about matter of conscience, and clearing up mens spirituall estates, then any Minister (I might say all the Elders) in the Country.

Secondly, Pride and arraigning of her spirit.

  • 1. In framing a new way of conversation and evidencing thereof, carried along in the distinction betweene the Covenant of workes, which she would have no otherwise differenced, but by an immediate Revelation of the Spi­rit.
  • 2. In despising all (both Elders and Christians) who went not her way, and laying them under a Covenant of workes.
  • 3. In taking upon her infallibly to know theelection of others, so as she would say, that if she had but one halfe houres talke with a man, she would tell whether he were elect or not.
  • 4. Her impatience of opposition, which appeares in diver passages before.

Thirdly, Her skill and cunning to devise.

  • 1. In that she still pretended she was of Mr. Cottons judgement in all things.
  • 2. In covering her errors by doubtfull expressions.
  • 3. In shadowing the true end, and abuse of her weekely meetings under the name of repeating Mr. Cottons Sormons.
  • 4. In her method of practise to bring the conscience under a false terror, by working that an argument of a Covenant of workes, which no Christian can have comfort without, viz. of sanctification, or qualifications, (as she termed it.)
  • 5. In her consident profession of her owne good estate, and the clearnesse and comfort of it, obtained in the same way of waiting for immediate Revela­tion which she held out to others.

In her downefall there may be observed the Lords faithfulnesse in honouring and justifying his owne Ordinances.

1. In that hee made her to cleare the justice of the Court, by confessing the vanity of her revelations, &c. and her sinne in despising his Ministers.

2. In that the judgement and sentence of the Church hath concurred with that of the Court in her rejection, so that she is cast out of both as an unwor­thy member of either.

3. The Justice of God in giving her up to those delusions, and to that impu­dency in venting and maintaining them, as should bring her under that censure, which (not long before) she had endeavoured and expected to have brought upon some other, who opposed her proceedings.

4. That she who was in such esteeme in the Church for soundnesse of Judgement and sincerity of heart (but a few moneths before) should now come under ad­monition for many foule and fundamentall errors, and after be cast out for notorious lying.

[Page 66]5. That shee who was wont to bee so consident of her spirituall good estate, and ready (undesired) to hold it forth to others (being pressed now at her last appearance before the Church to give some proofe of it) should bee wholly si­lent in that matter.

6. Whereas upon the sentence of the Court against her, shee boasted highly of her sufferings for Christ, &c. it was noted by one of the Elders (who bare witnesse against her errors) that the spirit of glory promised in Pet. to those who suffer for well-doing, did not come upon her, but a spirit of delusion, and damnable error, which as it had possessed her before, so it became more effe­ctuall and evident by her sufferings.

7. Here is to bee seen the presence of God in his Ordinances, when they are faithfully attended according to his holy will, although not free from human infirmities: This American Jesabel kept her strength and reputation, even among the people of God, till the hand of Civill Justice laid hold on her, and then shee began evidently to decline, and the faithfull to bee freed from her forgeries; and now in this last act, when shee might have expected (as most likely shee did) by her seeming repentance of her errors, and confessing her under valu­ing of the Ordinances of Magistracy and Ministracy, to have redeemed her re­putation in point of sincerity, and yet have made good all her former work, and kept open a back doore to have returned to her vomit again, by her para­phrasticall retractions, and denying any change in her judgement, yet such was the presence and blessing of God in his own Ordinance, that this subtilty of Satan was discovered to her utter shame and confusion, and to the setting at liberty of many godly hearts, that had been captivated by her to that day; and that Church which by her means was brought under much in­famy, and neere to dissolution, was hereby sweetly repaired, and a hopefull way of establishment, and her dissembled repentance clterly detected, God gi­ving her up since the sentence of excommunication, to that hardnesse of heart, as shee is not affected with any remorse but glories in it, and feares not the ven­geance of God, which she lyes under, as if God did work contrary to his own word, and loosed from heaven, while his Church had bound upon earth.

FINIS.

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