TO ALL PRESBITERIAN MINISTERS, Who own themselves to be MINISTERS of Christ's GOSPEL, and say they Suffer Persecution for his Names sake, to Read and Consider in this day, in which they may see themselves with the Light within, and also measure themselves with their own Rule the Scriptures, 1 Cor. 9 14, 16. For necessity is laid upon me, yea, woe is me if I Preach not the Gospel.


IT is in my Heart, and that in pure Love to your Souls, and to all theirs that have long heard you, to ask you a few plain honest Questions, concerning your Ministerial Office.

First, Whether your Ministry hath been received of Man, and by Man upheld, or from God and his pure un­limitted Spirit, and by him upheld? If you say of God, and the Gospel ye have Preached all this while be not of Man, nor in man's Will and Time received; then I query, Whether ye ought not to obey God rather than Man, and follow his unlimitted Spirit in Preaching the Gospel of him received, rather than to leave Preaching as ye do, when commanded by the Powers of the Earth.

Again, If your Commission were received of God or Christ, as the true Prophets and Ministers was of Old; then, Whether the same mind would not be in you as was in Christ Jesus, and his true Ministers and Prophets; who when being beaten, and after that straitly Charged and Commanded to Preach no more in the Name of Jesus, Act. 4, & Acts 5. went straight-way and spake boldly in the same Name, even all the Words of that Life? And now, whether all that do observe your fearful and unbelieving Hearts, in being obedient to those Commands and Precepts of men, even those Commands which you your selves say are Un­just, and do oppose the Work of the Gospel of Christ, have not just cause to believe that ye have not received your Power from on High, nor been with Jesus as they had before mentioned; whose Boldness in the Lord be­came the confidence of the Brethren, which had believed their report, who had no Arm of Flesh to trust in (but only the Name and Arm of the Lord) as ye have some­times had, when in your Zeal which was not good, ye caused the Innocent Lambs and true Ministers of Christ, to be shut up in Prisons until Death? This I charge not up­on all but upon some, yet let all consider the Righteous­ness of the Lord, who rendereth unto every man accord­ing to his Deeds?

And now even all that fear God in any measure, are ready almost to question the truth of your Ministry it self, seeing your Practises are so contrary to the true Ministers, and also to the Scriptures which ye say is your Rule; read it and see your selves, and measure your selves therewith, Acts 4. 17, 18, 20. to the end, also Acts 5. 25. to the 41. And seeing almost all have turned from their own Faith and Principle, for fear of Man that must die, or for love of something that must perish or come to nought; and this doth stagger many to see such tall Cedars as you, now fallen so low, even you that seemed to be Pillars in the Church, to bear so small a Testimony in a day wherein Ini­quity doth so abound; many say you ought not to put your Candle under a Bushel, if lighted by the Lord; and if that which ye have preached all this while, had been seen and learned of Him, ye could not but speak it forth now; and also, that if for well doing they should put you into Prison, it would be a Witness against them, and a Testimony in their Hearts that you have wrought for God, and not for your selves all this while; and then would you be no wayes guilty of silencing your selves, as now they judge you are; and then you would make it manifest that ye live of the Gospel and its Maintenance, as the true Prophets and Ministers of Christ did when all carnal Props and Helps were taken away.

Again I ask you, Whether it be the Way, or ever was of the true Ministers and Keepers of Christ's Flock, when they see the Woolf come to devour the sheep and tear the Lambs, then to go into a corner and be silent there as ye are, for fear of him? Or, whether this be not rather the Way of the true Shepherds and Ministers of Christ, to lay down their Lives for the Sheep, not with carnal Weapons, as too many have done of late; but in appearing most eminently for them with the Spiritual Weapons and Sword that proceedeth out of the Lamb's Mouth, when eminent Danger doth nearest approach them? and whether Christs Words, John 10, to the 14. be not fulfilled by you, He that cometh not in by the Door, is a Thief and a Robber, and careth not for the Sheep?

Again, Whether this be not a good and suitable day for you to search and try your selves in, and also the Mi­nistry, of which, thousands with you have taken part? Whether ye were sent out in your own Time, or in the Times and Wills of some other Men like your selves, or in the Time and Will of God, which is contrary to Man's Will and Time? and if ye say in the time and will of God, then how is it that your time to Preach and to be silent also, is in man's time and will, as your actions make manifest to be?

And lastly, If your Time be in the Father's hand, as the true Ministers was, and your Speaking as the unlimit­ted Spirit gives you utterance, as theirs was, Acts 2. & 4. Then whether the Spirit of the Father in any, whom he sends to minister it, was ever subject to the Worlds Spirit in any of its Precepts and Commands, contrary unto good Conscience, though in high Places and Prin­cipallities of this World, yea or nay?

Humphry Woolrich.

LONDON, Printed in the Year, 1661.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.