A CLEAR CONFUTATION OF Mr. Richard Allen, And his Five Commendators, From their own Confessions, collected out of the Vindication of his Essay, and fair­ly improv'd against them, to the Over­throw of their Conjoined Singing in Ar­tificial Tunes in Gospel-Worship.
To which is added, An Answer to Mr. William Collins's De­fence from the Charge exhibited against him in my Book, Entituled, The Con­troversie of Singing brought to an end, &c.

THere being so much already said in my former Treatises, to the Argumenta­tive Part of the Controversie of Sing­ing, and having in my last Discourse I published brought it to an End, for my own part I see but little or nothing else to do, than to clear it at the end, and so to finish my present Te­stimony [Page 2]for the Truth. And that I may do it the more effectually, I shall first answer some few Exceptions in Mr. Allen's Reply to me, which I think are most material to clear the way for a full Confutation of his Error from his own Confessions. And,

1. Mr. Allen saith in page 59. ‘That there is no Evidence in the Text, (Exod. 15.21.) that either these Dances or Musical Instruments were used by them in the Church of God as such, but those Dances of the Women with Musick (mentioned ver. 20.) seem plainly to be spo­ken of as a Consequence of their Religious Thanksgiving in the Church-Assembly, men­tioned in the foregoing part of the Chapter.’

Answer. I have sufficiently proved in my last, as well as in my other Treatises of singing, that Deborah and Barak did not sing vocally together; For, 1. Some part of the Song, Judges 5.7. (viz. until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a Mo­ther in Israel) was not proper for Barak to ex­press. 2. 'Tis said, ver. 12. Awake, awake De­borah, awake, awake, utter a Song: Arise Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou Son of Abinoam; which Expressions shew, that this Song was ut­tered by Deborah, and part of it to Barak, and so all of it was not proper matter for Barak to express; and also that this was sung at the same time before Barak had led his captivity away; and yet in ver. 1. 'tis said, Then sang Deborah and Barak, &c. and so in Exod. 15.1. Then sang Mo­ses and the Children of Israel; yet it does not fol­low, that the Children of Israel sang all vocally together, any more than that Deborah and Barak sang with conjoin'd voices, which we find they did [Page 3]not; neither does it from thence follow, that the Womens singing with Timbrels and Dances, seperate from the Men, Exod. 15.20. was after­wards at a different Season, any more than if we should against the Light of Scripture suppose, that Barak join'd in spirit with Deborah in the chief­est part of her Song, at a different Season, or af­ter he had led his captivity away. Besides, as there is nothing expressed that lays a foundation for this Objection, so there is reason to believe that the Women sang with Timbrels and Dances at the same time when Moses and Israel sang, v. 1. seeing that as 'tis said Moses and Israel sang to the Lord, so also Miriam began the Song to the Lord, which shews that Miriam's and the Womens sing­ing was as much a religious Thanksgiving to the Lord, as the Children of Israel's was, ver. 1, &c. and at the same season, and not afterwards.

2. To what Mr. Allen in page 59. says con­cerning my Authors, which shew the significa­tion of the Greek Word Hymneo, (which is sim­ply to praise or give thanks, and also to lament or complain) I shall here answer,

1. That he plainly owns that the word Hym­neo is not limited in its signification to Songs of Praise, but he strives to prove that its most proper signification is to sing praise, which I deny, and have produced witness enough against it; and there is no need to contend about it, see­ing our last Translators have rendred the He­brew Word Tehillah, and the Greek Word Hym­nos, in the Old Testament, simply Praise.

2. By his picking out of several of my Authors (which render the word Hymneo various ways) some expressions that renders it to sing a Hymn [Page 4]or Praise, and by his improving those that speak most in this Language, he has laboured to raise a dust, that their Testimony should not be so clearly discerned.

But Observe, he has not, neither can he charge me with any false Citation of them, and so can­not destroy the Evidence I bring them for, nor the fuller and clearer Testimony of the rest of my Authors that are noted in my little Tract, where I have only briefly mentioned them, and not largely cited the Evidence of several of them, whose Testimonies were more fully given be­fore in my prelimited Forms, and in my Reply to Mr. Keach, to which I refer the Reader, if he please, for further Satisfaction, in this and many other matters that I could not treat of in so small a Tract on Singing as I lately published, with my Remarks on Mr. Allen's Essay. But,

3. Mr. Allen says, page 61. ‘That the Learned Mr. Ainsworth does not translate the word (as our Author represents him) simply praise, (as if it signified no more) but he tells us (on Psal. 3.) that there be three kinds of Songs mentioned in this Book, of which one (he tells us) is called Tehillah, in Greek Hymnos, a Hymn or Praise.’

Answ. 'Tis true, Mr. Ainsworth says that there be three kinds of Songs in that Book of Psalms, viz. Psalms, Hymns and Songs; but tho' he calls them all Songs, whatever Titles they bare, yet it is because they were all Songs for Temple-wor­ship, and not from the signification of every Title; for some of the Psalms, viz. Psalm 17, and 86, and 90, and 102. are entituled a Pray­er [Page 5]of David, of Moses, &c. which denote the nature of those Psalms or Temple-Songs to be Prayer, and not that they are Songs from their Title of Prayer; and so the word in Hebrew, Tehillah, Greek, Hymnos, signifies the nature of the Psalm or Song to be a Praise, as the word is simply and rightly translated by Mr. Ains­worth, who translates it in the Psalms, and ren­ders the word in his Annotations on them in eight several places singly or simply to praise,See Psal. 40.3. Psal. 65.1. Psal. 71.6. Psal. 119.171. Psal. 148.14. Annot. Psal. 1. An. Ps. 145. An. Psal. 3. and I cannot find that he renders it in any one place a Song of Praise, or to sing praise, but singly to praise. And therefore Mr. Allen has done ill to joyn with Mr. Collins a­gainst my former complaint, which is now justly against them both, with the rest of their Companions, for abusing my Author in so plain a case, as renders them very unfair in their dealing with me.

4. Mr. Allen in page 71. says, ‘The Divine Psalmists do often not only speak of their own singing the Divine Praises, but also call upon others to joyn with them therein; see Psal. 9.2, 11. and 27.6. and 145.7. and 146.1, 2. &c. which plainly shews that the People were to do more than barely say Amen, Psal. 34.4. and 33.1, 3. &c.

Answer. These being all the Scriptures I find he brings to prove, that the People sang vocally together with the Levites in the Instituted wor­ship of God under the Law, I shall briefly reply in general, That for David to say, I will sing praises to the Lord, and to exhort the righteous to sing, and such like Expressions are sometimes [Page 6]to be taken of David's personating of Christ, as in Psal. 18.49. applied to Christ, Rom. 15.9. sometimes of Misterious Prophecies to be ful­filled at or in the glorious day of Christs King­dom yet to come, and some to those Gospel­times which had the Spiritual Gift of singing, when the Saints did sing in Spirit together by the single voice of their Minister, according to Gospel-Rule, 1 Cor. 14.15, 16, 26, &c. And those Scriptures that relate to David personal­ly, and the righteous in his day, must be under­stood as its said of David, 2 Chron. 7.6. that David praised the Lord by the Ministry, or Hand of the Levites, and that the People of Israel did not vocally sing with their Levites and Singers, is also confirmed by the Office or Order of Singers, that singing in the publick worship of God was confined to under the Law, 1 Chron. 16, to 25. and by the Peoples saying no more after the Levites had done singing than Amen, prase ye Lord, Psal. 106.48. Deut. 27.14, 15. so that Mr. Allen is not able to bring one Text of Scripture in the whole Bible to prove that ever the Congregation of Israel vo­cally sang together with their singing Levites; and altho' those Ministers under the Old Te­stament might sing more than their own ex­perience, yet this is no warrant for others to do the like under the Gospel: Because, the Le­gal Worship and Service was a formal, carnal, shadowy and prophetical Ministration, 'till the time of Gospel-reformation, and the Heavenly Things themselves were come, Mat. 11.13. Heb. 9.1, 9, 10, 23. Chap. 7.12.

5. Mr. Allen in page 76, 77. to justifie his Ar­gument [Page 7]for Art in Singing, viz. That much art was used by the Holy Pen-men of the Scrip­ture in writing them, he asks me, whether holy Men of God could write the Scriptures without the Art of Writing?

Answer 1. They were required by the Holy Ghost to write the Scriptures, but Mr. Allen is no way required by the Lord to make use of writing, or any other Art, to practice his way of Singing. Besides, tho' the Holy Pen-men of Scripture might use the art of writing to record them for us, yet the matter of Scrip­ture so delivered, was formed by the inspirati­on and movings of the Holy Ghost, and not meerly by humane art, as Mr. Allen's Songs are, 2 Pet. 1.21.

6. Before I proceed farther, I shall take some Notice of what Mr. Allen says, pag. 33. concerning those three Hebrew Words, viz. Halelu eth jehovah, in the Hebrew Bible, Psalm 148.1. which Mr. Allen in his Essay left out in citing that verse, to make it look like Hebrew Rhime and Metre; saith he, ‘I did not omit them on purpose to make it Rhime, is plain, in that instead of four lines a rhime, as I have there set it down, there are six if those words are put in.’ To which I briefly answer, That 'tis easie to de­monstrate this to be a cheat from Mr. Allens own words, for seeing he makes the three He­brew words left out before now into one line or verse by themselves, for the second line of his six, and cuts off the word Hallelujah from the first line that was of his four lines before, to make it by it self the first line of his six lines now, then either his five lines that he made but [Page 8]four lines before, or the four lines must be a wrong to the Rhime and Metre as he cites them for in the sacred Text: For if it be, as he says, Rhime and Metre in the Hebrew Bible, it must be so as we find it there without alteration, and therefore for him to make four lines of verses in Rhime in one book, and five lines of verses in Rhime in another Book of the same matter, is such an alteration, that renders it a plain Cheat either in his four lines or in his five lines of verses. And by this one instance the unlearned Reader may easily guess at the rest of his Hebrew Rhyming, especially consi­dering he does not tye it to any equal order of Metre. And the true reason of it must be, because the Psalms of David (nor the Songs of Moses, and Deborah, and Barak) are not in Rhime in the Hebrew Bible, as I have shewed in my last Treatise, from the Testimony of se­veral Jews learned in the Hebrew Tongue.

Secondly, Having hitherto been removing those Exceptions that were necessary to take some notice of, I shall now proceed to the confu­tation of Mr. Allen's practise of singing, from his own Confessions; and in order thereunto I shall here premise, That

Those five Commendators of Mr. Allen's Vindication of his Essay, viz. Joseph Maisters, William Collins, Joseph Stennet, John Piggot and Thomas Harrison, do in their Epistle say, ‘Tho' the Author of the Animadversions on Mr. Allens Essay, — has thought meet to let fly — at us who subscribed a Preface to that Trea­tise, for no other crime than that of commend­ing the Subject of it to the Reader, and of giv­ing [Page 9]our Opinion of the ability of its Author to speak for himself on that Argument, with out needing our Recommendation, we are neither afraid nor ashamed to let the World know, that we have yet seen no Reason to retract our words, and we dare venture to say as much of this Reply.’ To which I an­swer,

1. That these Words, viz. For no other crime than that — of giving our Opinion of the ability of its Author to speak for himself: Altho' they are brought in as the cause of Dr. Russel's let­ting fly at them, yet I do not find that he has in that manner exprest himself in any part of his Book: And therefore I conclude, that those words are the five Commendators own Expressi­ons, as 'tis further confirmed by that which fol­lows, viz. We are neither afraid nor ashamed to let the world know, that we have yet seen no rea­son to retract our words: For these Expressions relating to the Fore-going words implies an Assertion of them to be their own, viz. That [they] gave their Opinion of the ability of its Author (i. e. of the Essay) to speak for him­self: So that it sollows,

2. That in these words of the aforesaid five Commendators, there is a false Insinuation, for they not only implicitely say that they com­mended the Subject of that Essay, but that they gave their Opinion of the ability of its Author to speak for himself on that Argument, without needing their Recommendation, which how true this is, the Reader may judge from their own Words in their former Preface to Mr. Allen's Essay, where they say, ‘How well he has acquit­ted [Page 10]himself in the management of this Argu­ment, is by himself submitted to the judg­ment of the world in his publication of it▪ We shall only say, that as 'tis not our Business to use many Words, to prepossess the Reader in his Favour, so 'tis our Opinion, that the Book is able to speak for it self, and needs not our Suffrage to recommend it.’ So that those five Ministers have begun their Testimo­nial Recommendation to Mr. Allen's Vindicati­on with a false Insinuation, that in their la [...] Preface they gave their Opinion of the Ability of the Author to speak for himself, without need­ing their Recommendation, when in truth they said it of the Book it self, distinguished by them from the Author. Now I cannot conceive why they should utter this false Insinuation, unless it be to squeez themselves from under their ab­solute commendations of those Errors in Mr. Allen's Essay, which are justly charged upon them. But surely no sober judicious Christi­ans will either take this false Insinuation for the least acknowledgment, or publick satisfacti­on for the wrong they have done our Profes­sion, or the Truth, or will from this latter Pre­face discharge them from those Errors which they have without exceptions recommended in their former Preface to Mr. Allen's Essay: Es­pecially considering, that in their last to his Vin­dication, ‘They stoutly tell us, that they are neither afraid nor ashamed to let the World know, that they have seen no reason to retract their former Words, and also that they dare adventure to say as much for this his Reply.’ So that I conclude from their former Preface, con­firmed [Page 11]in their last, wherein they likewise re­commend Mr. Allen's Vindication of his Essay, that both his Books without the least Excep­tions are recommended by those five Ministers.

Thirdly, The next thing therefore to be consider­ed is, what those five Ministers have recommend­ed. As to the former part of their Vindication, I leave the particulars thereof (if any think them worth their Notice) to such as are or may be more properly concerned with it: And as to the latter part of it, which had also the approbation of the aforesaid five Ministers, this relating to me I have said something in answer to it before, and therefore I shall now proceed to confute Mr. Allen's practice of singing from their own Confessions, collected from both the Parts of his Vindication: As in page 59. he says, on Mat. 26.30. and Mark 14.26. ‘That tho' this be true, that this word Hymneo be not limitted only to Songs of Praise, it will not prove (saith he) what this Author affirms, that it is properly used, or signifies simply to praise. And in page 69. Mr. Allen says thus, I bring not these Testimonies (viz. James 5.13. Eph. 5.19. Col. 3.16.) to prove conjoynt Singing of the whole Congregation together, but only to prove that singing of Psalms is the Duty of every Chri­stian: The lawfulness of conjoynt finging I argue from other Scripture Grounds in my Essay. And in page 12, 13. Mr. Allen says, as to singing with the conjoin'd voices of many together, I only plead for the lawfulness and warrantableness of it, which I prove from se­veral Scripture Arguments. — Not but that I allow, that 'tis also lawful for one voice [Page 12]alone to sing the praises of God. Indeed in a publick Assembly I conclude 'tis much more warrantable for the whole Congregation to sing with conjoyn'd voices than for one Person there to sing by himself, because we have several unexceptionable Instances in Scripture for the former, but none (as I know of) of the latter: And therefore seeing Singing either singly or conjointly are but different Circumstances of performing the same thing, I appeal (saith he) to every impartial Reader, whether I ought not (as I did) to consider, whether singing the praises of God be at all a Christian Duty, before I discourse of these or any other Circumstances of it. And much more is it unreasonable, that he should oblige me to prove, that 'tis no less than a Christian Duty to sing in Metre or Rhime, and with artificial Tunes, which are but accidental modes of singing, and not essential to it. And so far am I (saith he) from asserting it to be a Christian Duty, in this particular mode of it, that I expresly declare it wholly indifferent, to sing the Divine Praises either in Prose, or Metre or Rhime, according as we judge most for Edification. Indeed I give my opinion for the preference of the latter before the former, as more easie to be performed in a harmonious and regular manner, and therefore more generally practised by the protestants than singing in prose.’

‘And in like manner (says Mr. Allen) I dis­course concerning singing by artificial Tunes, not asserting or believing them essential to the Performance of this Duty, but only requisite for the more regular performance of it.’

‘And in page 82. Mr. Allen further says, That whatsoever becomes of these accidental Modes of Metre, Rhime, and Artificial Tunes, 'tis singing the Divine Praises it self, in a proper sence, viz. vocally, that I assert to be a Chri­stian Duty, which Duty may be performed (tho' I think, with the generallity of Prote­stants, not so well) without these modes, as well as a Person may be rightly baptized after another manner than with his Face upward. And in page 81. Mr. Allen says, The diffe­rence I have shewn to be between the parts of Divine Worship, and the accidental modes and ways of its performance. And he also tells us, that the Holy Scriptures is to be our only Rule in Divine Worship, and that there­fore, 1. For all the essential parts of Divine Worship we must have an express Prescrip­tion in the word. And, 2. All the accidental Modes and Circumstances of Divine Worship must be ordered suitable to the general Rules thereof, viz. so as may be most for Order and Edification, as he saith in the foregoing part of the same page, that Christian Churches have liberty to order such accidental modes and circumstances of Divine Worship as are not particularly prescribed in the Word, as they shall judge most for Edification. And in page 47. speaking of external modes and circumstances of Worship, which (saith he) I take to be in the power of the major part of a Church, so far as to warrant their own practice therein.’

Fourthly, Having made the preceeding Colle­ction of Mr. Allen's words, recommended and [Page 14]approved by the foresaid five Ministers, I shall make Observations on them as follows. And,

1. That seeing Mr. Allen on Matth. 26.30. and Mark 14.26. confesseth, that the Greek word Hymneo, which in our last Bibles is there Translated to sing an Hymn, is not limitted in its signification only to Songs of Praise, then surely considering also that the same Bibles render the same word Hymneo, and Tehillah in the Old Testament, simply to praise, notwithstanding the stir he makes about it, he cannot from his own Confessions prove from those Texts that Christ and his Disciples sung the Hymn or Praise after Supper, nor that Paul and Silas sang their praise, for 'tis the same Greek word, Hymneo, that is there also used, Acts 16.25.

2. In page 69. Mr. Allen says, That he does not prove conjoynt singing from James 5.13. Ephes. 5.19. Colos. 3.16. but only that singing of Psalms is a Duty: So that their own Pens having owned so much of the insufficiency of those Texts of Scripture to prove their way of Singing, I think we may fairly conclude from their own Confessions, that it cannot be a Gospel-Ordinance.

3. Mr. Allen plainly distinguisheth and makes a difference between the Essential parts of Di­vine Worship, and the Accidental Modes and Circumstances thereof.

4. He says, That for all the Essential parts of Divine Worship we must have an express Prescription in the Word: But that all the Accidental Modes and Circumstances thereof which he distinguisheth, and makes no Essentials of Divine Worship, these he saith are left to [Page 15]the liberty, and he takes to be in the power of the major part of a Church to warrant their own Practice therein.

5. Mr. Allen tells us what those accidental modes and circumstances of singing are, that are no essential parts thereof, nor of Divine Worship. And, 1. He says, that the conjoin'd sing­ing in a publick Assembly, or of a whole Con­gregation, is but a circumstance, and that he only pleads for the lawfulness and warrantableness of it. Observe it well, he only pleads so for it as he says, from several Scriptural Instances, which to reconcile his Discourse fairly together, must imply that he does not plead for singing with conjoyn'd voices as an absolute Duty, from any ex­press prescription in the Word of God, but as a lawful Circumstance from some (pretended) in­stances, and so he makes his conjoyn'd voices but an accidental Circumstance of singing, and no essential part of Divine Worship. 2. Mr. Allen asserts, that singing in Metre and Rhime is no essential part thereof. And, 3. That sing­ing with artificial tunes are but accidental modes of singing, and not essential to it, nor to Divine Worship. 4. Mr. Allen says, that singing the Divine Praises it self may be performed with­out these modes, viz. of Metre, Rhime, and Artificial Tunes, and I may fairly add without their singing with conjoyn'd voices, it being as he says but a circumstance of singing, and so also as I have shewed 'tis no essential of it, nor of Divine Worship: So that Mr. Allen and his five Commendators, viz. Joseph Maisters, Wil­liam Collins, Joseph Stennet, John Piggot and Tho­mas Harrison, having expresly owned and confes­sed [Page 16]publickly in print, that singing with conjoyn'd voices is but a circumstance of singing-worship, which they themselves shew is no essential part thereof, and that singing in Metre and Rhime, and also by Artificial Tunes, are all but accidental modes of Divine Worship, and no essential parts thereof; it is all one as to say, (except their prestinted forms of words and matter) that their whole external mode, manner, way and practice of singing, is no essential part of Divine Worship; and herein I agree with them, and so (except their prestinted form of words) they have joyned issue with me, to bring this Controversie of sing­ing to an end, and to a single point, viz. That a Christian Church has liberty to order such accidental modes and circumstances of Divine Worship as are not particularly prescribed in the Word of God, as she shall judge most for Edisication.

5. The Controversie of Singing being now reduced from Mr. Allen's and his five Commen­dators Confessions to this single point, and they having shewed and asserted their singing with conjoyn'd voces, in Metre and Rhime, by Arti­ficial Tunes, to be but accidental modes and circumstances of Worship, that differ from the essential parts thereof, so as that for all the essential parts of it we must have an express prescription in the Word, and that all the acci­dental modes and circumstances of it are lest to the Liberty of a Church, it consequently implies, that all their aforesaid accidental modes and circumstances, or ways of singing, have no prescription in the Holy Scriptures. And sup­pose we should grant them (as he asserts them) [Page 17]to be no Essentials of his Singing-worship, yet I cannot conceive what his Cause will gain by it; for whatever Name he gives them, and flut­ter he makes, as if he had some Scripture-ground for his conjoint-singing, more than for his artificial Tunes, Rhime and Metre, yet see­ing he makes it but a circumstance, and all of them accidental modes and circumstances, that are left to the Liberty of a Church, and consequent­ly that none of them are prescribed in the Word of God, I cannot see but that they are of the same nature, as all the superstitious modes and circumstances of Worship of the Church of Rome are, and so Mr. Allen has still no better warrant for his practise of singing than the Papists have for all their Trumpery, which according to his Doctrine before recited, the major part of his Church has Liberty and Power to war­rant their practice of: So that Mr. Allen's, and his five Commendators Popish principle, tends to the ruine of ours, and the Protestants Refor­mation more in general.

Fifthly, I shall demonstrate, That altho' Mr. Allen asserts his unscriptural, accidental modes and circumstances of singing, to be no essential parts thereof, and I agree with him, that they they are no essentials (nor any parts) of Di­vine Worship, yet I do not agree with him that they are no essential parts of his singing­worship, because he useth his artificial Tunes and conjoint vocal singing, as such modes and circumstances of it, that without them he cannot perform his singing Church-worship, and therefore they are essentials of it; for that which is essen­tial to any thing, is that which so belongs to the [Page 18]being of it, that without it it cannot compleatly be, which I shall explain more particularly. And,

1. That his singing with conjoined voices is an essential part of his standing Church-ordi­nance is plain, because without this mode of con­joyn'd voices his Ordinance ceaseth, and he must either bring into the Church the practice of singing with a single voice, or no proper, vo­cal, melodious singing at all.

2. Tho' he calls his artificial tunes accidental modes of singing, yet they are essentials of his singing, because he cannot perform his Singing-Worship with conjoin'd voices without such Tunes. Indeed he tells us, That that Singing it self which he asserts to be a Christian Duty, may be performed without such tunes, pag. 82. but what kind of singing he there means, which is not his practice by artificial Tunes, he yet conceals from us. As for Tunes immediately inspired by the Holy Ghost, he pretends not to them, and as for natural Tunes they may serve to make a natural noise, enough to fright away natural men, rather than to gain their affections to his Worship.

3. His singing in Rhyme and Metre he calls an indifferent thing, and also accidental modes of Worship; but tho' he terms them so, or does ac­count them indifferent Circumstances, yet he does not use them in his church, as accidental or circum­stantial parts of a common civil action, as such, but of his Divine Worship, and therefore whatever he calls them, they are essentials of it, for there are no circumstances of worship but what are essen­tial to the compleat performance of it. It's true, there are Circumstances attending Worship that [Page 19]are not of Worship, but of actions meerly as such, as one particular fixed hour of the day for Christians to meet together does attend the time and place of their Worship, but one particular prefixed hour is but a circumstance of the acti­on of meeting as such, and so no essential cir­cumstance of Worship, as time and place is, for another hour may serve as well, but with­out the circumstances of time and place the Worship it self cannot be. And notwithstand­ing Mr. Allen tells us plainly, that artificial Tunes, Metre and Rhime, are not essential to singing, yet I perceive that he himself in effect makes them essential to it: For he says, that 'tis his Opinion, that to sing in Rhime and Me­tre is more easie to be performed in an har­monious and regular manner than in prose, and that singing in artificial tunes is requisite for the more regular performance of it. Now is not that which is requisite for the more re­gular performing of that Worship essential to it, seeing it is not so regular without it? Surely, if artificial Tunes, Rhime and Metre, are ei­ther his Rule, or make his Rule of Singing, whatever it be more perfect for that Worship, they must needs belong unto it, and be essen­tial to the more compleat performance of it, than without those modes and circumstances.

Sixthly, To me it seemeth plain, that Mr. Allen's terms of accidental modes and circum­stances are only to gild over his Error, that our People may the easier swallow it down, and how much he writes after the Copy of the Church of England, in the preface to the Book of Common-Prayer, appears from the follow­ing [Page 20]Citation out of it: For it's there said, ‘That the particular forms of Divine Worship, and the Rites and Ceremonies appointed to be used therein, being things in their own na­ture indifferent and alterable, and so acknow­ledged, it is but reasonable that upon weighty and important Considerations, according to the various exigency of Times, and Occasi­ons, such Changes and Alterations should be made therein, as to those that are in place of Authority, should from time to time seem ei­ther necessary or expedient.’ And concerning their Ceremonies that have had their beginning by the Institution of Man, 'tis there further said, ‘That those that remain are retained for Dis­cipline and Order, which (upon just causes) may be altered and changed, and therefore are not to be esteemed equal with God's Law.’ From whence I Observe,

1. That as tis 'said the particular Forms of the Service of the Church of England are things in their own nature indifferent and alterable, so Mr. Allen makes his singing in Rhime and Metre, and by artificial Tunes, but indifferent things, that are alterable; for he says, that sing­ing the Divine Praises may be performed with­out them, as well as a Person may be rightly baptized after another manner than with his face upward, pag. 13, & 82.

2. That as the Ceremonies of the Church of England, originally instituted by Man, are for Discipline and Order, so Mr. Allen says, That all the accidental Modes and Circumstances of Divine Worship must be ordered suitable to the general Rules thereof, viz. (saith he) so [Page 21]as may be most for Order and Edification, page 81.

3. As the Ceremonies of the Church of Eng­land are not to be esteemed equal with God's Law, so Mr. Allen calls his ways of singing in rhime and metre, and by artificial tunes [with conjoin'd voices] but accidental modes, and [circumstances] that he asserts are not equal with the essential parts of Divine Worship pre­scribed in the Word of God.

4. The same Scripture that is used in the preface to the Book of Common-prayer for their Ceremonies, is used in Mr. Allen's Essay, page 88. for his mode of singing in artificial tunes, 1 Cor. 14.40. Let all things be done decently and in order; which to understand otherwise than of the Order and Decency prescribed in the Word, and before laid down in the Rule of Worship, in the same Chapter, is a Subversion of the Word of God.

5. I may also add, That as the Church of Eng­land did formerly press their Forms and Ceremo­nies of Worship, under the Notion of indifferent things, upon the Consciences of the Dissenters, who by no means could be made to swallow them down, tho' gilded over with their Terms; so tho' Mr. Allen has declared against imposing of his accidental modes and circumstances of Wor­ship, yet he and his Companions have so far fol­lowed the former steps of the Church of England, as to press their modes and circumstances, which they own are no essential parts of Gospel-wor­ship, so hard upon our Churches, as to occasion many Troubles and Distractions among us. So that Mr. Allen and his five Companions agree so well with the Preface to the Book of Common­prayer, [Page 22]about the nature of humane modes and circumstances of Worship, that we have reason to believe they have learnt their Notions from the Church of England, whereby they are infecting our Churches with such Principles as will natu­rally lead them to conform at least to their wor­ship.

Seventhly, I shall take some Notice of what Mr. Allen refers us to in page 81. Where he tells us, that he has shewn the Difference between the parts of Divine Worship, and the accidental modes and ways of its performance, in his fore­going — page 15. And in page 47. speaking of those accidental modes and circumstances of Di­vine Worship as are not particularly prescribed in the Word, he says, That there are many such, every one must needs know, whereof some instances (saith he) have been given, pag. 15. where I find Mr. Allen mentioneth the three following particulars.

1. He there saith, ‘For a Man to provide for his Family all I presume (saith he) will grant to be a Christian, yea, a Moral Duty, but 'tis at the Liberty of every man's choice in what just way he doth it, whether by the use of this or the other Art or Trade.’

Answer. What is this to our case of Divine Worship? because every man has liberty to choose and use what lawful Art or Trade he pleaseth, for the maintenance of his Family, therefore must Christians have so great a Liberty to choose and practise what accidental modes and circumstan­ces of Worship they please? If this be granted, then if our Churches please they may practice not only common Singing, but the Common Ser­vice of the Church of England, Common-Prayer, [Page 23]Common Baptism, or Sprinkling of Infants, Com­mon Gossips to Answer for them, Kneeling at the Altar, and at Confession and Absolution, Bow­ing to the East and Name of Jesus, and may set up Organs for their Publik Worship, and a heap of other Ceremonies that were never appointed by Jesus Christ, but accidentally happened from the Errors and Inventions of Men, who do there­by virtually deny that Christ has left his Gospel-Church compleat Directions in the Holy Scrip­ture for the Worship of God.

2. He there faith, in pag. 15. ‘'Tis the Duty of Ministers to Preach the Gospel, for the Conversion of Sinners, and the Edification of Believers; but none (saith he) I suppose will affirm it is so, to preach it in this or the other particular way or method.’

Answ. Having publish'd my mind concerning Preaching, in my Reply to Mr. Benjamin Keach's Breach Repair'd, pag. 75, 76. & 119, to 123. and it being too large to recite here, I shall refer my Reader thither for further Satisfaction, if it be desired, and only here say, That though I greatly disapprove of Pre-stinted Forms of Words in Preaching, yet there is some difference in Scripture between the case of Preaching and modes of Praises or Prayer. However, it is not at the liberty of preachers to unite their Voices together in that Service; and if any argue for a Pre-stinted Form of Preaching, it is no Example for a liberty of modes, or for a Pre-stinted Form of Singing: If it be, Why not for a Pre-stinted Form of Prayer also, which they may equally bring it for? And till they answer me this Ar­gument, there is no need of any other. 2 Tim. [Page 24]1.13. & 2.15. and 4.5. 1 Cor. 2.13. and 4.6. 1 Tim. 4.13, 15.

3. Mr. Allen, in the same page, says of Water-Baptism, ‘That the Dipping of Believers, is Essential to it, but there are (saith he) dif­ferent accidental modes wherein it may be administred, which are at the liberty of the Administrator to choose.’

Answ. There are no modes nor circumstances of that Ordinance but what are Essential to the right and compleat performance of it, for such modes and circumstances that are left to the liberty of the Administrator, viz. whether to Dip the Person with his Face upward or down­ward, are no modes nor circumstances of or be­longing to the Ordinance it self, because the compleat performance of it is not tyed to the use of either of them; and therefore, though the Administrator has liberty to make them modes and circumstances of the Action of Dipping, yet not as of or Essentially belonging to that Ordi­nance, because neither of them are prescribed in the Word, and that Ordinance may be per­formed without any one, or either of those modes and circumstances.

Thus I have discovered the Weakness of Mr. Allen's Arguments, or Instances to justifie his accidental modes and circumstances of Singing, to be left to the liberty of a Church; which No­tion, in my Opinion, his own Pen does also con­found and clearly overthrow; for in pag. 58. he asserts, ‘That though the Light of Nature be sufficient (if duly attended to) to teach us, that we ought to use all our Faculties for the Glory of our Creator and Benefactor; [Page 25]yet I count it not so perfect a Guide as suf­ficiently to instruct us what peculiar faculties we should exert in stated Church-worship, or how we should use them therein, without the more perfect Guidance of the Word.’ Now if this be true, as I firmly believe it is, then surely to leave to the Liberty of a Church, according as Mr. Allen says, to warrant the practice of his unscriptural and accidental modes and circumstances, and consequently his practice of singing, which from his Confes­sions is shewed to be no essential part of Di­vine Worship, is to leave a meer humane In­vention to the Liberty of the insufficient Guide of the Light within, to be warranted and used for Gospel-Worship. But as our Saviour saith, That In vain they do worship me, teaching for Do­ctrines the Commandments of Men, Mat. 15.9. So the Reformation from Popery brake forth, and was maintained by the Light and Authority of the Holy Scriptures, which the Faithful Saints and Martyrs of Christ embraced, in opposition to all the Ceremonies and Inventions of Men, rejecting all things in the Worship of God and Administrations of Gospel-Ordinances, which they believed were not prescribed in his Word, as hath been particularly shewed in my last Treatise. Besides, we have the Testimony of the Servants of Christ in this last age, who de­clare in their Printed Confessions of Faith, viz. in the Presbyterians, Independants, and Baptists Confessions of Faith, (to which last is Mr. Wil­liam Collins's Name) where in Article 21, 22. they say, ‘That the acceptable way of wor­shipping the true God, is instituted by himself, [Page 26]and so limited by (or to) his own revealed Will, that he may not be worshipped according to the Imaginations and Devices of Men, or the Suggestion of Satan, under any visible Repre­sentations, (mark the following words) or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scrip­tures. Which in Article 1. they say, are the Supream Judge, by which all Controversies of Religion are to be determined.’ So that Mr. Allen's Principle of the Liberty and Power of a Gospel-Church, to order and warrant their own practice of unprescribed modes of Divine Worship as she pleases, does strike at a Foun­dation-principle of ours, and the Protestants Re­formation more in general.

Eighthly, I desire it may be duely considered, how our singing Brethren are driven from refuge to refuge, and at last have had their Practice of sing­ing clearly confuted from their own Confessi­ons: For those Elders and Ministers whose Names are set to the Reply to Mr. Robert Steed's Epistle, among whom are set the Names of some of our aforesaid Ministers, viz. Joseph Maisters, William Collins, and also R. Allen, in page 8. they say, ‘That such was the Singing of God's People under the Law, (viz. with voices lift up together) and the Churches are en­joyned to sing Psalms in the New Testament, and no other way prescribed or laid down how they should sing. Ergo, (say they) the Churches are now to sing in the times of the Gospel, as God's People under the Law. And they farther say, in page 24. That tho' Mu­sick and Singing-men ceased when Christ came, yet singing did not cease, — because (say they) [Page 27]it is part of Moral and Natural Religion, and therefore a standing Ordinance.’ From whence we may Observe, That notwithstanding the stir they have made about the Singing we find in the New Testament, and of Christ and his Disciples, and of Paul and Silas singing together, yet we may plainly see from their own Words, that they do not relye upon Gospel-Evidence as sufficient, to justifie their way of singing; and finding no countenance for their Practice, from any Example or Institution under the Law, they flee for help to their natu­ral Light within, to make their Singing a stand­ing Ordinance. And tho' Mr. Allen and his five Commendators, in their Essay and Vindication of it, make a flutter, as if they had found something in the Psalms of David for their singing with con­join'd Voices, (which I have shewed proves no­thing of it) yet they still stick to the insufficient Guide of the Light within, the major part of a Church, as their warrant for the prectice of it. So that if we consider their way of singing with con­joyn'd voices, artificial tunes, and rhime, and metre, which they own are not prescribed in the New Testament, and as Mr. Allen shews are no essen­tial parts of singing, and so no parts at all of Divine Worship, it cannot from their own Con­fessions be a Gospel-Ordinance, because they own 'tis neither contained in the New Testament, nor is any part of Gospel-worship. And therefore I hope Mr. Allen and his five Companions (with the rest of our Singing Brethren) will neither plead for it, nor practice it any longer, seeing they have no better Warrant for that Worship than the insufficient Guide of the Light within, [Page 28]the major part of a Gospel-Church, which is no­thing more than what may be said for a thou­sand Humane Inventions more.

Therefore seeing their own Pens has thus overthrown the whole of their way of singing, (except their prestinted Form of Words, and this also until they have found some other tune to sing them by than what are artificial) and that Mr. Allen says in page 82. in distinctinction to his accidental modes of Singing, that 'tis sing­ing the Divine Praises it self (which he there says may be done without those Modes) in a proper Sense, viz. vocally, that he asserts to be a Christian Duty; if he and his Commenda­tors will stand by these their plain Confessions and Assertions, I hope our Controversie is not only brought to an End, but also will be quickly ended. For we reject as no Essentials of Di­vine Worship, all that they would have us be­lieve they have so rejected, as before is shewed: And we do assert, Singing the Divine Praises it self in a proper sense to be a Christian Duty, but depending on an extraordinary Gift (or Full­ness and Enrichings of the Word and Spirit) as other extraordinary ways of delivering the Word of God in the Apostles time, with strange Tongues and Interpretations, &c. did, and so all the difference between them and us, so far as I can see at present, is, That they assert Singing prestinted forms of Praise, &c. to be a Duty, and at present are so far in the dark how it should be performed, as effectually to tell us, that their manner, ways and practice of Singing, is not prescribed in the Word of God, but that it is at the Liberty, and in the power of a Church to [Page 29]warrant their own practice thereof as they please.

But we say, That that Rule of Gospel-Wor­ship in 1 Cor. 14.15, 16, 26, &c. which they subject unto for other parts of Divine Worship mentioned with the Psalm, as alike pertaining to it, tho' they will not sing by it, with a single voice: This, we say, gives as clear Directions how, and in what mode or manner Singing should be perform'd in a Gospel-Church, as for the delivering other Gifts of the Holy Splrit. Besides, we are not in the dark about it, as they are, but can, and have already, again and again clearly shewed them from the Light of the New Testament, that both the matter and the melody of Gospel-Singing was as the Spirit gave them utterance, and it was a kind of Duty exhorted unto, as the Saints were exhorted to covet after other extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and so was not commanded as an absolute con­tinual Ordinance, but as a Circumstantial and Additional Duty to the great Ordinance of Thanksgiving and Praising of God, and of Teach­ing and Admonishing, which were performed by the extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Spirit, which Ordinances themselves still remain to be Ordi­nances, and are to be performed in an ordinary ministration, without the additional mode of Sing­ing, while we have not such an Additional Gift as the Primitive Christians had, till God may please to adorn his Worship again with it, by a fresh effusion of his Holy Spirit, and then Singing will be a Duty to those that are quali­fied for it, and for all to seek after, as after the perfection of Gifts and Graces for Private and Publick Worship.

Ninthly, To conclude on the aforesaid mat­ters, Seeing our Antagonists are in Effect, Summ and Substance, brought to these Acknowledg­ments, viz. That there is no way prescribed or laid down in the New Testament how they should sing, i. e. for their manner of Singing with conjoyn'd Voices, Artificial Tunes, and Rhime, and Metre, and that they have no suf­ficient Warrant in the Scripture, nor from the Natural Light within, to make those modes of Singing which are practised as Divine Worship, any Essential Parts thereof.

I propose it to the Judgment of all Sober and Judicious Christians, whether their Confessions do not clearly demonstrate they are convinced in their Consciences, that their practice of Sing­ing is a meer Humane Invention? and whether if Mr. Allen or any of his five Commendators do either practice it, or open their mouths for it, as a Gospel Ordinance or a Christian Duty, they may not be fairly charged from the Testi­mony of their own Pens with Will-worship, or to act or speak against the Light of their own Consciences? And if they trouble our Churches further with it, and their Popish Principle of the Liberty and Power of a Gospel Church, on which they ground their Warrant for their way of Singing, whether there will not be reason at least to suspect, that for some outward Interest more than for Conscience sake, they are turning Adversaries against the true Interest of the Baptists Churches, and wilful Betrayers of our Reformation, and are laying the Foundation a­mong us of a grand Apostacy in Divine Worship? And considering that Mr. Allen and his five Com­panions [Page 31]in Defence of their Singing Worship, have given us Ground to fear they design to alter our Churches Settlement, and to new model them; and seeing the Light and Power of Truth has forced their own Pens to crumble their cause to nothing, or to such a point as may be fairly drawn from their own Confessions and Practice, which they have cause to be ashamed of, viz. That those accidental modes and circumstances of singing, and many others that are not parti­cularly prescribed in the Word of God, and (as they say) are no Essential Parts thereof, nor of Divine Worship, are left to the Liberty of the Insufficient Guide of the Light within, the major part of a Gospel-Church, to warrant their own Practice of, as Divine Worship, or as Essen­tial Parts thereof, so as she shall judge most for Edification. I hope therefore 'tis a seasonable Request, that they will at last shew themselves to be such good Christians, and real Friends to that Foundation-Principle which they have struck at, as before is shewed, of the Protestants Refor­mation in general, and to the Baptized Churches in particular, as under a due Sense of the wrong they have done our Profession, and the shame they have brought upon it, to labour to heal their wounds, to confirm the minds of their Bre­thren whom they have shaken, and to satisfie all that are concerned, with sincere Acknowledge­ments of their Errors, and Hearty Assurances that hereafter they will joyn with their Brethren against all Innovations in Gospel-worship, and Defilements of Humane Inventions whatsoever: And in so doing, our Churches will have cause to give thanks to God for their Recovery. And [Page 32]their Objection against my present being no Mem­ber of any Church, (the occasion whereof is so well known, as that they do not, neither can they justly blame me for it) I hope will quickly be removed, for excepting some of them (whose Churches differ in Profession, and are not in Com­nion with the rest of their Churches as I know of) 'tis they and other Singers that have so mud­died the Communion of their Churches, that I cannot with Satisfaction of Conscience joyn my self to any of them until I see a Reforma­tion.

The foregoing matters being concluded, I shall now proceed to answer Mr. William Collins's De­fence, at the end of Mr. Allen's Vindication of his Essay: But before I treat thereof, I shall here pre­mise, That the practice of singing with united voices of Men and Women, Professors and Pro­phane, in the Worship of God, in his Gospel-Church, being first preached up, and vehement­ly prest upon us by several of our Brethren, and asserted in Print to the view of all men, I thought it necessary for the preservation of the Peace and Purity of the Baptized Churches, to present them with some Arguments against that way of Worship; which notwithstanding they were offered in a Christian manner, and were consonant to the Principles of our Churches, yet several of our Singers have appeared in print against me, in such a subtil Spirit of Injustice, Deceit and Lying, as hath cost me much Labour, Time and Money, out of my own private Purse to maintain the Truth and Common Cause and Interest of our Churches, from being crush'd by [Page 33]them, an Account whereof has been already given in Print, so far as hath been thought suf­ficient to answer the Calls of Providence, and to clear my Books from those false Representations of my Principles about Singing, gross Abuses and foul Untruths published in Mr. Keach's Breach Repaired, and other Pamphlets, in wrong to me and my Printed Treatises; which Abuses being justly charged upon him and them in Print, many of them under the Hands of several Pastors of Churches, and several particular things by nine other Brethren, they still remain unanswered, on so clear a Record, as that they have not since in more than four years time appear'd in vindication of themselves: And the reason why they have not done it may easily be perceived, for the matter charg'd upon them is in their own Books, and so cannot be stifled from the knowledge of any that will take the Trouble to look into it. But to proceed, my chief Business being to give an Answer to Mr. William Collins's Defence, and to clear my self from his Slander, I shall here recite Mr. Collins's Words, which are the ground of my Charge against him, and are as follows: Saith he,

‘The Author which Mr. M. cites out of Marlorate on Mat. 26.30. pretends it is uncer­tain with what words they praised God; that is, whether it was with the common Passover Hymn, or some other of Christs own, which might be more suitable to the occasion, and whether they saug this Praise, or spake it sim­ply; the following Words of the Author not being well rendred by Mr. Timme, I shall set down, they are these, Graecum verbum laudem [Page 34]quidem, maxime quae Deo debetur; includit, non autem necessario evincit, quòd cecinerint; i. e. The Greek Word indeed includes praise, chiefly that which is due to God, but undoubtedly it doth evince that they sang. 1. From the genuine signification of the Original Word. And, 2. From the Current of Learned men, who go this way.’

Thus the Latine was falsly Englished, for it should be as it was afterwards altered by them in a few of those Books, but it doth [not] ne­cessarily evince that they sang; which is the same in sence as my Author Mr. Timme reads it, viz. but it doth not thereupon follow that they did sing it. Now as to the Correction that was made (after this Abuse was taken notice of abroad) the whole Paragraph was not taken away, as it ought to have been, neither was the former part of it at all altered, which discovers the Design of Mr. Collins to deceive his unlearned Reader with a false Tran­slation of the Latine, as plainly appears from the Paragraph. 1. Because for Mr. Collins to tell us, that Mr. Timme had not well rendred Marlorate's Latine, when he had rendred his true sence, he must needs do it on purpose to deceive his unlearned Reader with his false translation of it; for otherwise seeing Mr. Timme had done it in the right sence, there was no need at all for Mr. Collins to write that Paragraph against him. 2. If the word [not] had only been left out in Mr. Collins's English, we might have imputed it to be the Printers fault; but we also find that Mr. Collins saith, that Mr. Timme pretended it is uncertain, whether they sang that Praise, or spake it simply, and then in contradi­ction [Page 35]to him, he asserts, That undoubtedly it doth evince that they sang. 3. 'Tis plain that the word [not] was left out, on purpose to deceive the unlearned Reader, because there is no Reason to believe, that Mr. Collins did design positively to affirm from Marlorate's Latine, That Christ and his Disciples did not sing the Hymn after Supper, by translating the Latine falsly, to give an undoubted Testimony against his own Cause, but to make his unlearned Reader believe that un­doubtedly they did sing, when he knew in his Conscience that the Latine leaves it undetermi­ned, saying only, That it doth not necessarily evince or shew that they sang, Mat. 26.30.

Moreover, I well remember, that I told Mr. Collins, between him and me alone, of his abu­sing my Author, and he excused it with laying the fault upon the Printer; but I answered, that tho' Printers sometimes correct Words, yet they never use to add a whole Paragraph to their Authors Books; and therefore I said, it look'd like a design'd Abuse, to which he made me no answer, and so we parted.

And as to the Correction that was made in some few of those Books, to cover the Deceit from me at first, it was not of the former part of the Paragraph, for the alteration began at the last Clause of the Englishing the Latine. And I have yet reason to complain, that it was no sufficient satisfaction for the wrong done me, because some time after it was told me that this Abuse was corrected, I desired my Brother Mr. Luke Leader to go to Mr. Keach for one of them, and my Brother testifies that Mr. Keach took down several of those Books from off the Shelf, [Page 36]before he could find one that was corrected; and to my own knowledge since it was pretended they were corrected, some of those Books were in other places exposed to publick sale uncor­rected. Besides, I have also seen, and can pro­duce two others of those Books, that are testi­fied to be lately bought at Mr. Keach's, or of his Daughters, that sold them in their Shop in the months of June and July last, 1696. that have this abuse remaining in them uncorrected, in the last leaf of the Book, which might easily have been removed if they would. Having thus recited the matter of Fact, tho' not in the same Order as it was printed before, I shall here take some notice of Mr. Collins's Defence that he makes for himself, at the end of Mr. Alllen's Vindica­tion of his Essay. And,

1. I Observe, that Mr. Collins owns that he wrote that sheet of Paper, viz. at the end of Mr. Keach's Breach repaired.

2. He acknowledgeth there was a false Tran­slation of a Latine Passage in it, but says, that this was done by the Overseer of the Press, who altered the truth of his Translation: And by this he also owns himself to be the Author of that Paragraph, the former part whereof, which proves that he design'd to make that false Translation, he makes no Answer to.

3. He tells us that he strictly enjoined the Au­thor of the Book, (viz. Mr. Benjamin Keach) that the leaf wherein it was should be reprinted, and that a Letter was immediately sent to me, to let me know that this false Translation was not in his Copy; and yet notwithstanding this that I falsly in Print charge him with this Tran­slation: [Page 37]And he also says, that this willful Sin he laid to my Charge, before an Assembly of Elders and Messengers at Devonshire-Square Meet­ing House some years ago, where being Self-con­demned, (as he saith) I had, to the best of his remembrance, nothing to say in my own Defence. This being the Sence and Substance of Mr. Col­lins's Defence, my Answer follows. And,

1. To what he says of a Letter being sent me, I must return him this Answer, viz. That I have not the least knowledge of any such Letter that was ever sent me, or came to my Hands, from him or any other Person whatsoever, concerning that matter: But if it had been so, yet his Evidence in this case had been no better than what he has now presented to us in print, and is disproved by the former part of his own Paragraph, which is as clear a Testimony, as if there had been an hundred personal Witnesses against him: And therefore, the main part of his Defence, which is that he corrected the English, and added the word [not] which was left out, does not at all clear him from my charge, ground­ed on the former part of his Paragraph, viz. That he wrote it, and consequently did falsly English that Latine, on purpose to abuse my Au­thor, and deprive his unlearned Reader of that sound Testimony of the true signification of the Greek Word Hymneo, in Mat. 26.30. In the next place my business is to clear my self from the latter part of Mr. Collins's Defence, where he says, that this willful Sin (viz. of charging him with this false Translation) he laid to my Charge before an Assembly of Elders and Messen­gers [Page 38]at Devonshire-square Meeting-House, some years ago; where being self-condemned, as he saith, I had, to the best of his Remembrance, no­thing to say in my own Defence. To which I Answer,

1. That that Assembly of Elders and Messen­gers at Devonshire-square Meeting-House, which Mr. Collins speaks of, was in the Year 1692. and was the first time that such a general Assembly met in that place, that ever I heard of, or was concerned with, and since that I have not been present at any such Assembly; and therefore what Mr. Collins asserts concerning my self-condemna­tion, cannot relate to any other time.

2. Through the unrighteous Clamour and In­fluence of Mr. William Collins and Mr. Benjamin Keach, with the help of some of their Friends, the Names of my two Books, or Reply and Nar­tive bound up in one Book, in answer to Mr. Keach, were printed in a Paper, to which was put the Names of seven Brethren, who in that Paper determined, That none of the Members of the Churches do buy, give or disperse any of these Books, (say they) aforesaid under writ. But as my Name was not at all mentioned in that printed Paper, so there was no particular matter or thing charged in it on me, or any of my Books, in wrong to any Person or Books whatsoever. Be­sides, in the same printed Paper, those seven Bre­thren did there own, that they had not seen my Books, which they had there censured, and deter­mined that I should call them in, and leave them to their dispose, insomuch as it does appear that this sower contrivance (of foisting the Names of my Books in at the end of that Paper, which [Page 39]propely concerned other Persons and Books there­in named, and not mine, which they own they had not then seen) was not to relieve Mr. Keach and Mr. Collins from any wrong done to them by me, or any of my Books, but to stifle my Testi­mony for the truth that was then coming forth, in my large Reply to Mr. Keach's Breach repair­ed, and that his Abusive Book might have the freer course to advance their singing among the Church­es. Therefore I desire it may be well consi­dered, whether there is any reason to believe that I was self-condemned for falsly accusing Mr. Wil­liam Collins, when those seven Brethren in their printed paper laid no particular matter or thing, in wrong to any person, unto my charge: Nor does Mr. Collins in his Defence pretend they did. What reason then is there to imagine, that at the same time I should in apparent wrong to my self, condemn my self? especially consider­ing, that as soon as I could (after I had know­ledge that my Books were so abused in that paper by those seven Brethren) I drew up and print­ed some Remarks on it, in vindication of my self, and to clear my Books from that Injustice, which Remarks have never yet been answered. Surely therefore this carries a demonstration that I was not self-condemned, and that Mr Collins's Assertion of it is a contrived Lye, a Confirmation whereof you have as follows.

AT the Request of Mr. Isaac Marlow, who de­sired me to testifie what I remember of what past in the General Assembly of the Messengers of the Baptized Churches, in they year 1692. concern­ing him, I do hereby declare, that I do remem­ber [Page 40]there was then some Discourse that pass'd from him and Mr. William Collins, about some mat­ter of Difference between them two: But I do not remember that there was any thing spoken to Mr. Marlow aforesaid, by the Elders and Brethren then present, by which it might seem as if they judged him self-condemned: And I do believe they did not see any reason to charge him with the same, neither was there any conclusion made by them against him, tending to any such thing; for had there been such an apprehension and con­clusion about him, it would be inserted in the Narrative of their Proceedings, that was pub­lished of that Assembly; in which all that per­use it will se there was no such thing charged on him. In Witness whereof I have set my Hand this 29th. of the 8th. Month, 1696.

William Kiffin. [a Pastor]

THese are to certifie whom it may concern, that I was at the Assembly of Elders and Messen­gers held at Devonshire-square Meeting House, in the year 1692. and heard the matter indifference debated between Mr. William Collins and Mr. Isaac Marlow, and Mr. Marlow did stand firmly to what he had written and printed in his Book. And I also declare, that I do not remember that I heard Mr. Marlow say any thing in order to Self-con­demnation; (had there been such a thing declared by him, I do not question but I should have heard it fully improved against him) nor that the As­sembly or any part who acted by the Authority of the whole, did charge Mr. Marlow or any of [Page 41]his Books, with doing any wrong to any Person or Books whatsoever.

Witness my Hand Octob. 10. 1696.

Hugh Smith. [a Minister]

WHeras it is desired that we should give some brief account in relation to a par­ticular case concerning Mr. Isaac Marlow's being self-condemned at an Assembly of Elders and Mes­sengers at Devonshire-square Meeting House, in the year 1692. for falsly charging Mr. William Collins with a false translation of some Latine, we do hereby testifie, that we were in that Assembly, where we heard Mr. William Collins mention some­thing concerning Mr. Timme, and a false transla­tion of a piece of Latine, which he said was the Printers fault; but tho' we were there concerned as Messengers and Members of that Assembly, yet we know of nothing that passed there from Mr. Isaac Marlow, that had any tendence to his self­condemnation; but contrary wise the said Mr. Marlow did strongly persist in his own vindica­tion. And we farther testifie, that that As­sembly, nor any part thereof, that acted by their appointment, did neither charge Mr. Marlow nor any of his Books, with any particular thing in wrong to any Person or Books whatsoever that we remember.

Witness our Hands, Robert Steed. [a Pastor] John Scot. [a Pastor]

I Being desired, have here drawn up the truth of what I know concerning the case of Self-con­demnation, which Mr. William Collins asserts that Mr. Isaac Marlow was under, and I testifie as fol­loweth, viz. That I was at the Assembly of Elders and Messengers, at Devonshire-square Meeting-House, in the year 1692. where on Mr. William Collins and Mr. Benjamin Keach's Reflections on Mr. Isaac Marlow, the said Mr. Mnrlow did ear­nestly desire that his Books might be examined, and did there freely promise, that if they could shew, that he had done any wrong to any, or committed any mistake, he would make full sa­tisfaction; but no particular abuse or wrong was alledged by the aforesaid Assembly, or any act­ing by their Order against the said Mr. Marlow, who there stood firmly and instantly in his own vindication: And in all the frequent converse I have had with him, both before and since, I ne­ver found any thing like self-condemnation in him about those things; and therefore I great­ly wonder that Mr. William Collins should dare to assert that Mr. Marlow was self-condemned, seeing all his words and actions shewed plainly and absolutely the contrary: I cannot therefore but conclude, that that assertion of Mr. Collins is an untruth, against the Light of his own Consci­ence, for which great Evil I desire the Lord would give him true repentance.

Witness my Hand, Octob. 12. 1696.

Luke Leader.

Moreover, this Mr. William Collins (with an other Person) is named in the aforesaid printed Paper, as one that was to Answer for the slander rais'd on our first Baptized Churches, in their Re­ply to Mr. Robert Steed's Epistle, where it's said, pag. 9. ‘We ask you whether or no generally the same Baptized Churches, in those times, did not as unanimously conclude, and declare it too, that for a Gospel Minister to have a yearly allowance, or a competent maintenance, was an humane Invention, and Antichristian? We speak in part upon our own knowledge, and by good Information we have had from others, that both those Gospel Duties and Or­dinances were equally decryed;’ (viz. Sing­ing with voices together, and Ministers mainte­nance)

To this Mr. William Kiffin, Mr. Robert Steed, Mr. George Barrat, and Mr. Edward Man, anci­ent Pastors of Churches, in their printed Answer, page 17, 18. say, To this Charge we answer, ‘That nothing can be more falsly asserted, or more slanderously uttered: —What the judgment of those Churches in their first constitution was, concerning the maintenance of Ministers, may be seen in the 38th. Article, (of their Con­fession of Faith, printed in the year 1644.) in these Words,’ We do believe that the due main­tenance of Ministers should be the free and voluntary communication of the Church, that according to Christs Ordinance, they that preach the Gospel should live on the Gospel, &c. Likewise at the end of my print­ed Narrative nine other Brethren have cited this Article out of those Churches Confession of Faith, and have given their publick Testimony [Page 44]against the aforesaid Slander, which was not on­ly published with the Authority of Mr. William Collins's name, but he by his own agreement oblig­ed himself as a Person particularly to answer for it, as appears in the aforesaid printed Paper, where­in those seven Brethren condemn'd that slander as a great wrong to the first baptized Churches: And I see no reason why Mr. William Collins as well as his Fellow Singer, that was equally concerned with him, should not have been required, as he was, to make the same acknowledgment of his Error. And if Mr. Collins should say, that he was not requi­red to make an acknowledgment of his evil in that slander, because the fault was the other Persons alone, and therefore it was laid on him only: I answer, that Mr. Collins, &c. in that slander says, We speak in part upon our own knowledge, and by good information we have had from others, &c. which being exprest in the plural number, in­cludes more than one Person; and Mr. William Collins having submitted himself as the other, to answer for it, he must also be taken for one of the two principal Authors of that Slander, which was condemned as aforesaid. So that had those seven Brethren been more impartial, (some of whom I believe are sincere Christians, tho' sur­prized and drawn aside to cover the designs of subtile heads for singing) we might have had less occasion now to have treated on these mat­ters.

Which to conclude, seeing Mr. William Collins, for the sake of his Singing-worship, has made himself guilty of so foul a slander on our first baptized Churches, 'tis the less wonder that I and some of my Authors should meet with such [Page 45]evil Treatment from him; and to find his name (with his four Companions) to recommend Mr. Allens aforesad Cheat about the Hebrew Rhime, and to other unfair matters: For which publick Failings, and all other Sins, I desire he may have the Grace of true Repentance given to him, that his sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshment shall come from the pre­sence of the Lord.

Moreover, Forasmuch as Mr. Allen and his five Companions have so far followed the Steps of their Fellow-Champions that went before them in this controversie, as to set their Names in print, (as before is shewed) to such Deceit and Error, that cannot be justified by any of them, I think our People have no reason to re­gard their writings of it, nor to credit their publick Testimonies. And I hope those Church­es that are particularly concern'd, will in Obe­dience to Christ, and for Truths sake, discourage that Spirit of Deceit and Lying, that has appear'd in defence of the common way of singing, and is an evident sign of its being false Worship, that so the failings of particular Persons may not become their Churches Sin and Shame unto Posterity: And that they and other Churches will be watchful against the mischief of false Worship, even where it is not practised. For while any of our Churches which do not pra­ctice the common way of singing, hold Com­munion at the Lords Table knowingly, with any of their Members that practise it with other People, such Churches defile their Separation in the same nature as if they had Communion with a whole Church that practised the same, [Page 46]and lay a foundation of Ruin to their own Re­formanion from false worship; for if it be lawful by the Word of God, for a Church to have such full Communion knowingly with one Person that practiseth false Worship with other Christians, why not with ten Persons, and with a whole Church that practiseth the same Worship? and if this be lawful, then why may they not so hold Communion with the same false Worship (or with false Worshippers respecting that particu­lar) practised in their own Church, as well as with another Church that is in the practice of it. So that the natural consequence if follow­ed, of a Churches allowing full Communion at the Lords Table with one person that practiseth false Worship, leads to the bringing of it into use among themselves, and so to ruin their Separa­tion and Reformation. And if any say, that such a strict Discipline as I am for, will hazard the break­ing or dividing of many of our Churches about London: My Answer is, That if so, 'tis chiefly to be attributed to our singing Elders and Mi­nisters, that have so far corrupted them, that they cannot bear a thorough Separation and Re­formation, and then we may see what sad work they have made among us. The Lord awaken his People unto Righteousness, and supply the want of true Reformers, that I and others who have walked in Church Communion for many years, which at present are unsetled, may to our Comfort in the Bosom of a pure and com­pleatly constituted Church of Christ, leave this World when our appointed time is come.

And that none of our Churches may be un­der the Conduct of such a Treacherous Popish [Page 47]Principle of the Liberty and Power of a Go­spel-Church, as appears in Mr. Allen and his five Companions, which does not only cast con­tempt upon the Sufferings of the Saints for Reformation in Divine Worship, but openly confronts the Confessions of the Protestant Dis­senters in this Nation, and is a shame unto those six Ministers that have broach'd it among the Baptists Churches.

Isaac Marlow.

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