A DISCOVERY After some search of the SINNES OF THE MINISTERS, Because of which (as we conceive) the Lord is angry, and hath almost made his Ministers and Ordinances vile and contemptible.


Printed Anno Dom. 1651.

A DISCOVERIE After some search of the Sins of the MINISTERS,
Because of which (as wee conceive) the Lord is angry, and hath almost made his Ministers and Ordinances vile and contemptible.


I. IN relation to our calling to the Ministerie; Entring to the Ministerie without the knowledge of Gods sending. 2. Not seek­ing Con [...]nations and seals of our mission in the Consciences of the People, or in our own further grouth and fitting for the Mnistery.


II. In relation to Preaching. 1. Going out with litle pre­paration, trusting to gifts and parts, and growing lazie in pre­paring to speak to edification. 2. Where pains is taken for pre­paration, trusting to it, whereby God is provoked to blast good matter well ordered and worded.

III. Neglect of Prayer. 1. In study and preparation, the [...]atter we bring forth, is not seriously recommended to God, [...] be quickned to his People. 2. In our Prayers for assistance, being more set upon assistance to the Messenger, nor to the Mes­sage which we carry, not careing what become of the Word, if we be with some measure of assistance and liberty carried on [Page 3]in the duty. 3. Neglect of Prayer for the fruit and blessing of the Word which we have preached, that it may receive the early and latter rain. 4. Neglect of applications to God for the knowledge of his mind in debateable matters.

IV. Not meaning and aiming every word we speak to edi­fication, but bringing forth many things in the Name of th [...] Lord, which are not aimed at profit.

V. Speaking rashly and by guesse in the Name of the Lord things that are plausible; and in many things not bringing from the Lord, th [...]t which we speak; a sin pointed at by the Lord, in his disappointing that which so many spake confidently of the success [...] of our Army, against those that have invaded us.

VI. Too much frequent and unnecessary speaking of pub­lick transactions in Sermons, neglecting to set forth the excel­lencie of Christ, the new Covenant, &c.

VII. Preaching against publick sins, neither in such a way, nor for such an end as we ought, for the gaining of souls, and drawing Men out of their sin, but rather because it is of our con­cernment, to say something, and have a by-blow or wipe at them, reproving the evils of the time to please men.

VIII. Want of bowels in preaching toward them who are in hazard to perish.

IX. We preach not as before God, but as to men, as doth appear, by the different pains of our preparation, to speak to our ordinary Hearers, and to others to whom we would approve our selves.

X. Too much eying our own credit and applause, and be­ing tickled with it when we get it, or unsatisfied when it is wanting.

XI. Neglect of endeavours to have our hearts affected with the power, either in preparation, or delivering of the Word which we preach at ordinary and extraordinary occasi­ons; but for most part preach, as if we our selves were not [Page 4]concerned in the Message which we carry to the People.


In relation to the Judicatories of the Church, and their Con­stitutions. 1. Idolizing the Authoritie of Assemblies, so that no difference from their conclusions have been accompted tol­lerable, because of which, God hath spotted our Assemblies.

II. Not making Conscience of keeping and waiting the meetings of Church-Judicatories, but wearying of the ex­pence and attendance, because of which, divers things therein treated of, have been miscarried.

III. Hastie concluding of Acts, and pressing obedience thereunto, without convincing grounds, held forth from the Scriptures, for satisfying the Consciences of the Lords People.

IV. Neglect of making application to God, for the knowledg of his mind, in debatable things, before they pas into conclusions

V. Wearying to hear men fully, who present doubts, and to weigh all the arguments that can be presen [...]ed for the ne­gative, before the affirmative be taken into consideration.

VI. Impatience to wait for clear and deliberate bringing of matters to a conclusion, with passionate hasting to carry things by a plurality.

VII. Binding the People of GOD, with strait and binding Acts, in things unnecessary.

VIII. Blinde following of leading men in Judicatories, without perswation of the matter, and oftentimes with a hint and doubting of Conscience smoothered.

IX. Want of Faithfulness and tenderness, both in bringing in, & holding in persons, in the ministery, not trying the reality of the Work of God, in those that enter into the Ministery.


In relation, to the exercise of Discipline, and drawing forth the Censures of the Church. 1. Partiallity in the administra­tion of Censures, with respect of persons, not using the like [Page 5]faithfulness and zeal towards the high and low.

II. Not making use of the Ordinances of Discipline, for the gaining of Souls, but turning it in a meer civil punishment, and in the administration thereof, becoming either luke warm, or without a spirit of meeknesse.

III. Mocking of repentance, by teaching formality therein to offenders, hardening them in their sins, by accepting bare forms without evidences of repentance, and loosning when we were perswaded, that Christ did not loose, turning the profession of repentance into a State Engine, to step to em­ployment and preferment.

IV. Want of tendernes in testifying of the conversation and repentance of Ministers and people, giving testimonialls to gratifie men, or to shift our selves and Congregations of infe­ctious persons.

V. Want of exact carefulnesse and faithfulness in debarring from the Lords Table, the ignorant and scandalous.

VI. Unequall dealing with the poor and rich, in admitting to, or suspending and debarring from the Lords Table.

VII. Want of Bowels and Compassion to the parties on whom Discipline is exercised, and imperious kinde of boasting of them.


In relation to our way of performing Ministeriall duties. 1. Laisines in going about duties, not improving our time and Talents, to do all the good we might amongst the people of GOD.

II. Want of delight in going about the duties of our calling, doing them not for Christs sake and love to the flock, looking on them as burthens.

III. Satisfying our selves with publick reproving of publick sins, and neglecting the gaining-way of private dealing with the Consciences of sinners.

IV. A groff carnal way of handling the matters of Christ.

V. Carying on some O [...]dinances, and neglecting others equally warranted, and almost being diligent in no duty bu [...] Preaching.

VI. Not studying to be acquainted with the condition o [...] the people, that we may apply our selves to the variety o [...] their estates.

VII. Turning all duties and Religion into forwardness i [...] [...]e Cause of GOD, and under cullor of that, neglecting du­ties and the power and life of Godlinesse.

VIII. Neglect of pains to fit us more for our calling, af­ter we have acquired a habite of preaching, as if we need not to grow in fitness for all the duties of our calling.

IX. Partiality in visiting the sick; if they be poor, we go once, and when sent for, if rich; and of better rank, more fre­quently, and unsent for: And in examination, passing by great folks often.

X. Performing the duties of Preaching and publick Prayer, as parts of triall, and not as worship done to GOD.


In relation to our walk and conversation Personal faults. 1. Earthly mindednesse, careing immoderatly for the things of this life, and following too eagerly the bettering of stipends. 2 Want of hospitality and charity, to the members of Christ. 3. Want of sobriety in all things sutable to the Times. 4. Slighting of the beating of the Lords word, hear­ing the word from others, onely to censure and try their gifts, and not as Christians, that should heare and make use of it. 6. Envying the gifts and graces of God in others, or discou­ragement in our Duties, because of our short upcomming to others, in whom Gifts, and Graces shine; undervaluing and slighting the sincerity of Grace in others; because they be in­feriour to our selves in Gifts. 7. Pride shewing it selfe in not [Page 7]stouping, and condescending to the Infirm; but disdaining Christs work in them; because of some Infirmities that we [...]an observe in them. 8. Not induring admonition or reproofe from Mynisters, or such of the people of God, as observe something in us that are contrary to tendernesse, and give Of­fence. 9. Loss of tendernesse and diligence after we are Mini­sters, unto which some had before attained. 10. Being very little in secret Prayer, and converse with God; and excusing [...]his within our selves; with being much taken up with other Duties. 11. Neglect of accurat studying of the Scriptures. 12. Vaine Imitation of other men. 13. Neglect of frequent reflecting upon our own state, and walk with God.


In our walk in our Families, not being paterns to the flock in holinesse and diligence, but rather ill examples of lightness in our conversation, and slighting of duties. 1. By superficiall performing of Worship by starts, and not setting apart time for the deliberate going about it. 2. Reading of the Scriptures rashly and inconsiderately, and not as men that should be ac­quainted with the minde of GOD in all his Word. 3. Neg­lect of the instruction and edification of our Families; so that none (more then our own) are worse looked too. 4. Little or no time set apart in our Families to mourn for the guiltinesse of the Land, and the backsliding of the time. 5. Deep hypo­crisie in pressing upon others, to do that in their Families, which is utterly slighted by our selves.


In our walk among the people of our charge. 1. Unfruit­fulness, not studdying to converse with the people of GOD for their edification. 2. Carnal familiarity with wicked and natural people, out of the duties of our calling, whereby they are hardened in sin, by finding the Minister like themselves, however he speak to them in Publick. 3. A straingenesse, and [Page 8]upkeeping of our selves from such as [...] whereby they are made to keep back a profitable freedom with us. 4. Neglect of spirituall fellowship with the people of GOD, and not putting them to pray with us. 5. Unwillingness to entertain spirituall purpose and discourse; yea many a time slighting and shufling it out, when its cast in by others. 6. Speaking our own words on the Sabbath-day, and counte­nancing the same in others. 7. Not daring to reprove sin, and appear zealous and tender before the wicked.


In our walk in the company of Ministers, very unprofitable, and oftentimes hurtfull one to another, and being an offence to the Lords people. 1. Neglect of prayer, and every thing that may edifie. 2. Shifting of prayer and other duties when we are called to it. 3. Ordinary driving away our time in car­nall rejoycing and lightness, sporting and jesting one with an other, and censuring, &c. 4. Want of freedom and love to reprove and admonish one another in serious tenderness; and if any freedom be used, it is in a jest, and an up­cast, which draws on alienation, when things observed in another doth stick with us, and are kept up or told in such a way. 5. Ordinarily we converse together as Ministers, but not as Christians; speaking only of things pertaining to our Calling, and of nothing pertaining to our Souls, and their con­dition. 6. Turning all Christian duties into Ministeriall duties: We speak of them as things that are with out us, and as if they did not concern our selves; In a word, We are not good Ministers, because we are not good Christians: This is the root of all the corruptions of our calling.


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