AN EXPLANATION OF THE SOLEMN ADVICE, Recommended by the COƲNCIL in Connecticut Colony, to the Inha­bitants in that Jurisdiction, Respe­cting the Reformation of those EVILS, which have been the Pro­curing Cause of the late Judgments upon New-England.

By Mr. James Fitch, Pastor of the Church in Norwich.

1 Sam. 7.3. And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Phili­stines.
2 Chron. 19.4. And Jehosaphat, &c.

BOSTON IN NEW-ENGLAND. Printed by S. Green for I. Ʋsher of Boston. 1683.

To the Reader,

COncerning those Brief and Nervous Discourses which are emitted here­with, the Reverend and Worthy Au­thor, had no thoughts of Publishing them, until such time as others did Importune him thereunto. As for the first Treatise, it was thus occasioned.

In the distressing time of the late War with the Indians in N-England, many of the Rulers (both Civil and Ecclesiastical) in Connecticut Colony, being sensible that publick Judgements seldome come, but as Intimations of Heavens displea­sure; and that then, of all Men the Leaders of the People are concerned to enquire into the Causes of the Lords Controversie, 2 Sam. 21.1. they did accordingly meet for that purpose. The Ministers drew up in writing what they concei­ved to be the mind of God, respecting the so­lemn Question before them; which Result, was approved of by their Magistrates, and Recom­mended to the Consideration of the Inhabitants in that Jurisdiction. This faithful Servant of Christ, did wifely take hold on that opportunity, [Page]in his publick Ministry to insist upon both the Malady and the Remedy, which there is so great cause to be enquiring into, and did reduce his Instructions into a Catechetical Method, for the better edification of the younger sort in his Congregation. Sundry Persons of Worth and Judgement hapning to be present at some of those Exercises, were very earnest to have them made more publick; to gratifie whose desires, the Worthy Author has been prevailed with to grant the Copy of what was more inlargedly viva voce, delivered. A Discourse of this nature is very seasonable and needful; and I hope will be blessed for the good of many.

As for the small tractate, respecting the Chri­stian Sabbath; the Author has (so far as I am able to discern) with very good judgement and in few words, asserted and proved the Truth whose confirmation he has undertaken. The most plausible Argument, which our Jewish Sab­batarians insist upon is, their pretending the Mo­rality of the fourth Commandment. Nor do we deny but that by virtue thereof, a seventh part of time, or one day in the Hebdomadel Revolution, ought to be kept as an holy Rest unto God. But it is evident, that some expressions in the Deca­logue, do in a peculiar manner respect the Jewish State. This is true of the Preface to the Moral [Page]Law; and of the promise annexed to the fifth Commandment; and some particulars in the tenth Commandment, are accommodated to the then state of Israel. And why some Expressions in the fourth Commandment may not be so too, our seventh day Men have as yet given us no so­lid and sufficient reason. Nay, the Learned Jews themselves acknowledge it to be so. And there­fore they are not offended when they see Chri­stians doing servile works upon the seventh day of the week, for they say the Gentiles are not ob­liged to the strict and legal observation of their Sabbath. The Jews in Amsterdam told Jackson, Sands, and other keepers of the seventh day, that except they were also Circumcised, their observation of that day was groundless. There is no place in the New Testament which the Iews do so much object against Christians as Mat. 5.17, 18. They perversely cavil and say, that the Apostles did act contrary to the Do­ctrine of their Master Christ, by telling Men that they ought not to observe the Ceremonial Law, R. Maimon (In misna L. 1. C. 9.) has a whole Chapter full of Blasphemy against those who teach that the Law is destroyed in whole or in part. The most Judicious and Learned of our Writers, acknowledge that the place mentioned has respect both to the Ceremonial and to the [Page]Moral Law; And that as [...] is set in oppposition [...] as destroying is oppo­site to fulfilling, christ did not evert the ceremo­nial Law. he did himself conform to the cere­monies of the law, and require other men to do so, as long as the author of that law did see meet to continue it; and every way fulfilled those Types which pointed at the Messiah that was to come. Our Iewish Sabbatarians who a­buse those words of Christ to countenance their Error; might as well from thence argue that the Ceremonial Law is still in force. For its certain it was not abolished until every tittle contained therein was fulfilled. It has been ob­jected, that Christians in the Primitive times ob­served the seventh day. The Christian Iews in the Apostles time had a religious respect, not only for the seventh day Sabbath, but for Cir­cumcision and other Ceremonies, until such time as the Iudaical World was utterly destroyed, but the Apostles never allowed Christianized Gen­tiles so to Iudaize. The Ebionites kept the se­venth day, but they were never accounted true Christians. The Constitutions which pass under the Name of Clement, L 7. C. 24. commend the observation both of the seventh and of the first day of the week. And Eusebius speaks of some that observed both dayes. Such Christians [Page]were certainly leavened with Iudaism. At this day, the Abyssine Christians observe the seventh day, they also observe Circumcision; and if Men will Iudaize in one particular, it is not to to be wondred at, if they be left to Iudaize in more. Of later times there have not been ma­ny of any great Fame or Note in the World, that have stood up for this Opinion. There was in England formerly Braborn and Trask; but they afterwards recanted. Within these few years, Mr. Bramfield of Sherborn was strangely drawn away into this Error. But his weightiest Objections are answered, with great judgment and candour, by the Reverend Mr. William Ben of Dorchester in Dorset (a Man whose Conver­sion was occasioned by a Sermon of his own; after which he continued an eminent Light in the Church of God for fifty years together; and than whom I never knew Man upon Earth that did maintain a greater intimacy of Com­munion with God) Nor has Mr. Bramfield made any Reply to Mr. Ben's Book, so far as I have seen or heard.

As for the present Jewish Sabbatarians in Connecticut Colony they out-do all their Predecessors, as to Insolent Behaviour, being arrived unto that height of impudent Prophaneness, that they fear not in the sight of the Sun, to bid defiance unto the Christian Sabbath, by following the servile works of their particular Callings on the Lords Day. So that it was high time for the Magistrate [Page]who is Custos utrius (que) tabulae, to interpose. And truly if it had not been so, there is reason to fear that the hand of Heaven would have done the Magistrates work, after a [...]ar more terrible manner. We cannot with truth af­firm, that visible Judgments from Heaven have befallen Christians, for not religiousl [...] observing the seventh Day, but Histories abound with Examples of Gods awful and tremendous punishments, inflicted upon the Prophaners of the Lords Day; which is a very convincing Argu­ment, that the observation of the first day of the week is of Divine Institution.

Concerning the Objector here Animadverted upon; the truth is, his Allegations are feeble and frivolous, so that some may think 'tis pity a Man of Mr. Fitch's Strength and Ability, should be improved in a Service which a far meaner hand might with ease have underta­ken. Yet considering, that sometimes as senseless an Apostate as Mahomet was, may possibly leven a World of deluded Souls, if due care be not taken to prevent it; o­thers have judged it necessary that he should be answered [...] What is written will tend either to his Conversion (which if possible the Lord grant) or else to his being left the more inexcusable & condemned in him­self, while he opposeth the light of Truth. The Apostle does both allow and require, that some and in special Ju­daizers should be rebuked sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, Tit. 1.13. Had the Antichristian Sabbatarian here refuted, only modestly scrupled whether the seventh day were not still of Divine institution, more gentleness in Expression would have been used with him; but he is not a person to be Saved in that way. If by any means he be plucked out of the fire, neither himself, nor those that have aimed at his Salvation, will be sorry, Jude 23. The Lord give a blessing to Faithful Endeavours, and vin­dicate his Truth, Name, and Sabbath, in such a way as shall be most for his own Glory.

In Order to ſome Exp …

In Order to some Explica­tion of the Solemn Advice, which our Honoured Magistrates did in the Time of our Calamity, send abroad unto the several Churches and Congregations in this Colony, we have occasion to reflect upon both

THe Provocations of New-England, and the Impediments of Refor­mation; and to make way for the following Discourse: we may consider what Moses that great Prophet of the Lord, and chief Ruler in Israel did incul­cate upon that People in Deut. 9.7. Remem­ber, and forget not how thou provokedst the Lord thy God to wrath in the Wilderness.

We ought to have and hold a remembrance what our Transgressions have been, by which the Lord hath been provoked to wrath a­gainst us.

1. The Remembrance ought to be clear and full: the Pen-men of the Holy Scriptures [Page 2]were moved by the Spirit of God, to Record clearly and fully the Provocations of which the People of God had been guilty, as is ma­nifest in Psal. 78. & Psal. 106. and through the History of the Church in the Book of God, and some of the spots of the most beautiful Saints, God would not suffer these to be for­gotten and left out of the Holy Scripture Re­cord, 1 King 15.5. Psal. 106.32, 32.

2. The Remembrance ought to be affecti­onate, with a heart suitably affected; Remem­bring what our cares and fears, grief and tears were in that day, when the wrath of the Lord appeared to be a consuming fire, and we as combustible matter; and had not the Lord quenched the fire of his wrath, with his own Bowels of Mercies, we had perished, Ezek. 16 61. Lam. 3.19, 20.

3. The Remembrance ought to be parti­cularly Reforming, considering how our sins have driven us into a perillous state, and we ready to perish in the Ocean of miseries, and shall we again provoke the Lord to wrath? will he not be angry until he hath consumed us? Ezra 9.14. if we do not remember our Provocations to our Humiliation and Refor­mation, the Lord will remember them against us, to our own confusion and destruction; al­though [Page 3]we wash our selves as with Nitre, and take much Sope, yet our iniquities are marked before the Lord, Jer. 2.22. Psal. 50.21, 22.

And we may see what Record of Provi­dences respecting a People or particular per­sons is most agreeable to holy Scripture Rule. That Record which doth declare the Righte­ous acts of the Lord & our unrighteous deeds, the superabounding Grace of God although our sins have abounded: That Record which doth set forth the Lords Justice, Mercy, Truth, Faithfulness and Almighty arm, by uncovering the feebleness, sickleness, falseness, & many o­ther bitter Provocations, both of Rulers & peo­ple, Dan. 9.7, 8. This is most like the Record in Holy Scripture, and the Church History therein contained: but such a faithful Record seldom comes forth in that age in which the then present Providences were acted, few will suffer a plain Remembrance of their Provo­cations, but the Lord hath hitherto provided some faithful Recorder, who hath left that in Record to succeeding Ages, which the present Generation would not endure to hear of, Psal. 10.4. Rom. 3.5. Psal. 78.36, 37, 38.

And that we may have and hold a convin­cing, hearty & Reforming effectual Remem­brance what our Provocations have been; let [Page 4]us consider according to that most Solemn Advice of our Rulers.

First, What that sin is which is the root actually and nextly of all the other sins?

An. Apostasie from the true Religion, con­sidered not only absolutely but comparatively as it is a declension from the stricter part of Religion, or a decay of the Beauty of a Re­ligious Profession, and this Apostacy doth shew it self in the various degrees of it, and in the bitter fruits and effects of the same.

1. Apostasie may be taken either Absolute­ly, or Comparatively. 1. Absolutely, and so its a total turning from the Faith, 1 Tim. 1.19, 20. and thus the Apostate is become a Blaspheming Infidel; or a falling from Professi­on to Prophaneness; & thus the Apostate is turned like the Dog to his Vomit, 2 Pet. 2.22, or a forsaking all Godliness, and godly wayes, and loving the present World; and thus the A­postate is become a meer Worldling, 2 Tim. 4.10.

2. Or Apostasie taken Comparatively.

1. In comparison of that which these Pro­fessors have been and done, and thus they are not the lovers of God, and doers of good works, which sometimes formerly they have been, Rev. 2.4 5.

2. Fallen away in comparison of the ex­amples of their godly Predecessors, whose Children they are after the Flesh, but not after the Spirit, Joh. 8.37.44. a noble Vine, and right Seed in respect of their Parentage, but a degenerate Plant in respect of their own practice, Jer. 2.21. and have gone away from the Ordinances of the Lord, from the dayes of their Fathers, and not kept them in that purity and power, as they were left with them by their Predecessors, Mal. 3.7.

3. In comparison of what they yet profess in words to be, but compare their words, and their works, and it is manifest that their works do deny what in words they profess, Tit. 1.16 concerning that absolute Apostasie, it is not seen in many in New-England, nor usually seen in any, unless it be in some who at first are left to Doctrinal Prophaneness, by falling into damnable Heresies, 2 Pet. 2.1. and are after­wards given up to practical Prophaneness, Infi­delity and Atheism: But as to this compara­tive and gradual Apostasie, how far New-En­gland is declined from being New-England, I must leave to the wise hearted to judge, and those only are best able to judge of this, who are kept in an awakened broken-hearted, and humbly-believing frame, by frequent heart-searching [Page 6]and self-emptying tryals.

And this comparative Apostasie doth appear.

1. In Declension from the stricter part of Religion: an apostatizing Professor in his consultations and contrivements, will chuse the licencing part of that instruction given by Christ, to be wise as Serpents, but he refuseth that restrictive part to be harmless as Doves, Mat. 10.16. but happy is he who is harmlesly wise, and yet wisely harmless. An Apostati­zing Church is intensely set to the extension of Church Liberties to the utmost extremity of them, that is the licencing part, but will be remiss in the exercise of Church Discipline, and to keep the difference clear between the clean and the unclean, that is the stricter part of Religion, Ezek. 22.26. An Apostatizing Professor will catch at Christian Liberty to please the flesh, Gal. 5.13. but will not sit as with a knife at his Throat, as the wisdome of the Spirit of God doth warn in that matter him who is given to appetite, or any sensual affection; this is the stricter part of Religion, Prov. 23.2. A withering Professor in the midst of all his Apostatizing and degenerate Practises wanteth not wit, nor will, zeal nor courage, to do some duties in which he can [Page 7]pacifie Conscience and please corruption, can honour God and exalt himself, and be as E­phraim, like the Heifer that loveth to tread out the Corn, Hos. 10.11. But as to those Du­ties in which there must be a crucifying of the flesh and the affections, Gal. 5.24. and an an­nihilating the idol self, and that the casting a­way self, shall be the way to save himself, and the hating of life shall be the only way to keep it to life eternal. Joh. 12.25. whatever a be­lieving Conscience may tell an Apostatizing Professor of the truth of these things, yet an unbelieving and backfliding heart will draw back, for he loveth pleasures more than to please God, and the praise of Men more than the praise of God, Joh. 12.42, 43. and thus the declension is from the stricter part of Reli­gion.

2. Or a decay of the beauty of a religious Profession, and this is usually seen:

1. Either in a palpable neglect of some known duty, in which it may be said of him, thou lackest one thing, Mark 10.21. and is as the deficiency or want of some part and mem­ber in the body which marreth the integrity and compleatness of the Man.

2. Or some notorious disordering and dis­placing of duties, that one service comes in [Page 8]the time and place of another, and not do­ing that which is comely, 1 Cor. 7.35. and this is as a member of the Body out of its proper place, and a want of that beautiful and joyful thing called Order, Col. 2, 5.

3. Or a greatning and heightening the re­spect unto some lesser duties, but a neglecting and not having a proportionable regard to the greater duties, Mat. 23.23. and this is as the excessive greatness of a Member above its natural proportion.

4. Or a want of that true, godly, amiable countenance, with which a Service should shine, that mixture of a true Gospel, white and ruddy Complexion, which is made up of a temperate mixture of divers Graces at once manifest, and may be compared to the Mirrh with the Spice, the Wine with the Milk, Can. 5.1. But a declining Professor is either in­discreetly zealous, Rom. 10.2. or luke warm, neither hot nor cold, Rev. 3.16. he is either Schismatically censorious, and saith, Stand by, I am holier than you, Isai. 65.5. or is so promis­cuously temporizing, that he is mixed among the People, and as a Cake not turned, Hosea 7.8.

The Conclusion of this is, that the Lord in judgement doth withhold from Apostatizing [Page 9]Professors, those beautiful visions, and trans­forming Discoveries of his Glory, 2 Cor. 3.18. he doth withdraw the rising Beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and the shadows of the Evening are stretched upon them, Jer. 6.4 5. and the temptations of Satan, and the World doth look upon them, and make them Sun­burnt, and Black, Cant. 1.6. and the Beauty of their visible Profession, doth languish as with pining sickness, their love decayeth and waxeth cold, and iniquity aboundeth, Mat. 24.12. and if there yet remain some good things with an Apostatizing People, yet how is the Gold become dim, Lam. 4.1. their Profession hath lost much of that golden splendor and precious and pleasant lustre. And thus Apo­stacy considered as a decay of the beauty of a religious Profession, and this maketh way for the clearing of the Reason, why Apostasie is the root of other sins; and that is,

1. Because other sins in nature follow this, and they are as branches or bitter fruits: the sin of omission, is in nature before the sin of commission; a neglect of what ought to be done, before the practice of that which ought not to be done; a forsaking the Fountain of living Waters, and then follows, our hewing Cisterns, broken Cisterns which can hold no Wa­ter, Jer. 2.13.

2. The other sins are (through the Lords just judgement) a punishment of the former. Apostasie, is punished with many vices, that where Apostasie comes in, behold a troop of other sins follow, Psal. 81.11, 12. 1 Tim. 5.24, 25. But of this in that which followeth.

Thus Apostasie hath been considered in the kind quality of it: Now in the next place we may see how it shews it self in the degrees of it.

The Question is, What are those degrees and steps in which this Apostasie doth shew it self?

Ans. Apostasie doth shew it self in the neg­lect of several Duties of Gods Worship, or of Family Duties, or private Christian Meet­ings, and at last in the neglect of the Publick Worship of God.

1. Apostasie beginneth in secret, in the neg­lect of secret Prayer, that which is called clo­set Prayer, or praying alone, Mat. 6.6. or in the neglect of self examination; that which is called a judging a Mans self. 1 Cor. 11.31. to judge our state whether it be happy or mi­serable, to judge our daily way and particular actions, whether they be good or evil, and to this is requisite some convenient season daily, and a Conscience and Heart awakened to im­prove the timely way of Self examination, [Page 11] Lam. 3.40. Jer. 8.6. And the neglect of these Duties is, either total, as those who have cast off secret Prayer, and Self-examination, and do neglect any set, solemn and steady atten­dance to these duties, Job 15.9. unless it be in some fit of distress, and then they cry to God, and say, Arise and save us, Jer. 2.27.

2. Or if they do daily attend to these Du­ties, and yet neglect that which is of most per­sonal and special concernment to their own Souls; you may be in a secret place with a Friend, and have much discourse, and that in secret, and yet not one word of secret things, but that which any one may hear: likewise, you may be in prayer alone in secret, and yet not one word of that which is of most secret concernment to your Soul, but that which may be exprest before a Family or a Congregation; and thus one principal end of Secret Prayer is lost, which respecteth the Confession of secret sins, Psal. 19.12. and the petitioning for those personal and secret favours which may not so conveniently be exprest before others, Psal. 38.9. But the specialty intended in the hand­ling of this, is to shew how far the neglect of these secret Duties doth argue a declension from Religion.

1. Those who neglect secret Duties have [Page 12]lost one main evidence of sincere worshipping of God, not only because they live in the neg­lect of a known command of Christ, Matth. 6.6. and not only because they do decline from the usual practice of the godly, who are wont to perform these secret duties daily morning and evening, and sometimes thrice a day, Psal. 55.17, Dan. 6.10. but how is it pos­sible these can have an evidence of sincere worshipping of God, seeing they attend no worship but what is before men, and therefore must be judged to act the part of a Hypocrite, so our Saviour Christ reasoneth, Mat. 6.5.

2. Those who neglect these secret Duties, have lost the sense of personal, inward Soul-difficulties; for whosoever feels in a broken-hearted manner, his Soul pinched and press'd with difficulties, he must and will have an out­let by secret Prayer, Acts 9.11. Behold he Prayeth, he embraceth Prayer not only as a duty, but as a gracious liberty; but amongst his Soul difficulties, he ever finds some which cannot be so particularly and expediently reached but by secret Prayer, and calleth for a praying apart, Zech. 12.14. but those who neglect these secret duties are past feeling of these difficulties, and as they feel no such need of secret prayer, so Christ passeth by them, as [Page 13]those who have no work for Christ to do for them in secret, and what will they do in that time, when Hezekiah like, they must turn their face towards the wall; and then if secret prayer be not the means to take the last step right, they fall into the everlasting pit, Isai. 38.2.

3. These have lost the presence of Christ in secret; and as they have forsaken him in secret, so he will forsake them openly. There are many are very desirous to hold the pre­sence of Christ openly, although they neglect his presence in secret, but this cannot be, they have no promise and grounded hope of his presence openly, who do neglect the means of his presence in secret, Mat. 6.5. Apostasie first beginneth in closets and secret places, and that which is in secret, evil in the sight of God, 2 King. 17.9. and then behold greater, and more open abominations than these: And so we proceed to the Second.

2. A neglect of Family Duties; as Prayer in the Family morning and evening, and are of the number of those Families which do not call upon the Name of God, Jer. 10.25. or neglect reading the Word of God daily in the Family, or occasional repeating of Ser­mons, or of that daily instructing the Family [Page 14]by Catechising or other profitable means as is commanded, Deut. 6.7. and this neglect is,

1. Either total and are under the same sentence of wrath with the Heathen, and are heathenish Families, Jer. 10.25.

2. Or those who are inconstant in these Du­ties if prayer in the evening, yet none in the morning, or if prayer, yet have strangely for­got that by Word and Prayer all is sanctified, 1 Tim. 4.5. but the specialty I intend in this is not so much to prove these to be duties, for who knoweth not this, who knoweth any thing of the Word of God, and of the practice of godly Families; but let us consider how far a neglect of these doth argue Apostacy from Religion.

1. These want true sanctified love to their Families; the natural love doth incline them to take care and provide for their Families in things of concernment to the outward Man, 1 Tim. 5.8. Otherwise they are worse than an Infidel, and if they had true sanctified love to their families, this would make them as readily to take care for their Families in their Soul concernments, and Abraham-like as a head of the Family, to instruct, yea command an attendance to the great things of God, Gen. 18.19. but these want natural affection truly sanctified.

2. These want love to God, and to their own Souls.

1. They want love to God, for this would dispose them to a through care to bring up their Family in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, Eph. 6.4.

2. They want love to their own Souls, its not possible for one to pitty his own Soul, but presently he will pitty and take care of the Souls of others, especially of those who are nearly related to him: if a Master of a Fa­mily be under a strong impression, and a Bo­wel melting working of a Spirit of love to his own Soul, Ephraim-like to bemoan himself, Jer. 31.18. he will then need no other motive to make him pray in his Family, Instruct, Cate­chise, and use all possible means for the good of his Family.

3. These want true love to Church and Common-wealth; they cannot but know that such as Families are, such at last the Church and Common-wealth must be. How can it be that a Master of Family, who liveth in neglect of Family Duties, should prove a true Friend to the purity and power of Religion in Church, or to a true pious Government in the Common wealth? he that will not serve God in his own House, will not be a true Ser­vant [Page 16]of God in the house of the Lord, nor in the Common wealth, let us view well Joshuah's speech and practice, Josh. 24.15. and what David saith, Psal. 101.2.

The third Particular followeth, and that is a neglect of private Christian Meetings.

1. As those set and solemn Meetings for Conference about the great things of God, and to pray together, and sometimes adding Fasting and Prayer.

2. Or those occasional Meetings of Chri­stians, taking opportunities as they have oc­casions one with another, to converse about their Soul concerns.

And the neglect of these is either 1. Total; there are some who have wholly forsaken these Assembling of themselves together: or 2. If they hold up some set Meetings; yet as to those intimate Discourses, by laying toge­ther their Observations of the times, and o­ther Soul-concerns, as those Jewels spoken of in Mal. 3.16. from these they are Strangers, and will give no heart-encouragement to other Christians to come near to them, with intimate Conference about personal and par­ticular Experiences of the Lords dealing with them; and these know not what it meaneth to come into that broken hearted way of ac­knowledging [Page 17]one to another, their temptati­ons snares, and Soul-hazards, and that which is called by the Apostle a confessing of Faults one to another, and a praying one for another, Jam. 5.16.

But the specialty likewise we intend in this, is to shew how far these neglects do argue de­clensions.

1. These neglect a principal means of pra­ctical communion of Christians, that wherein much of the life of it doth consist; for pra­ctical Christian Communion cannot principal­ly consist in Apellations, and Titles, nor in meeting together at a Sacrament; but in caring one for another, as members of the same body, 1 Cor. 12.25. bearing one ano­thers Burdens, Gal. 6.2. communicating one to another of spiritual gifts, Rom. 1.11, 12. but those solemn Christian Meetings or occa­sional intimate Discourses, whereby Christians are intimately acquainted with one anothers Burdens, and Soul-concerns; these lead into the life of practical communion, and where these Christian Meetings fail, their communion vanisheth into Names, Titles, or some very powerless forms of communion.

2. These do give place to many dangerous Temptations and distempers; for while they [Page 18]live as Strangers from the Souls one of ano­ther, or any such intimate Christian Confe­rences; the Tempter is at hand upon the least occasion, to come in with uncharitable sugge­stions, and to imploy any evil In [...]rument to sow seeds of discord amongst Christians, 2 Cor. 12.20. and when these come to the [...]ords Supper, the Gospel Passeover, if they be not past seeling, they will find it too hard for them to eat with the unleavened Bread of Sincerity, 1 Cor. 5.8. with that true Gospel spirit of unity as becometh those who eat of the same spiritual Bread, 1 Cor. 10.16. yea its usually seen (through the Lords just judgement) that those who are become Strangers from Christian Meetings, or the hearty way of the management of them, that they are left to too much familiarity with other Companions to the reproach of their Profession, and harm to their own Souls, and at last the wrath of God comes and finds them in fellowship with Children of Disobedience in some works of darkness, which they ought to have reproved, Eph. 5.11.

The next Consideration follows:

Quest. How Apostasie doth shew it self in the neglect of publick Worship?

The Answer is, In neglect either of those [Page 19]Ordinances which all are commanded to at­tend, as publick Prayer, and hearing the Word of God Preached, and particularly of Sanctifying the Sabbath; Or a neglect of those Ordinances which do properly belong to those in Church Relation, and particularly in neglect of the Lords Supper and Church Dis­cipline.

1. A neglect of those publick Ordinances which all are commanded to attend, as pub­lick Prayer, and hearing the Word preached, and this neglect is, either.

1. Upon some unnecessary occasions, not works of Mercy, as Mat. 12.13. but from an unwillingness to break throng any considera­ble difficulty, or to beat cost about publick Worship not as David, who would not offer that to the Lord which cost nothing. 2 Sam. 24.24.

2. Or not careful to come seasonably to the publick Worship, as before the first Pray­er, or entrance be made into the publick Wor­ship; in these they are careless, not as those in Nehemiah's time, who were seasonably ready, and waited for the publick Worship of God, Neh. 8.1.

3. Or attending upon the Ordinances in a slighty and sleepy manner, not offering their [Page 20]Bodies as a living Sacrifice, Rom. 12.1.

4. Hastening a way upon unnecessary occa­sions before the last Prayer be ended, or be­fore the Blessing be dispensed, not as those who went not away before the Name of the Lord was put upon them, in a way of blessing by the Lords Messenger, Numb. 6.26, 27. More particularly this neglect doth shew it self and Apostasie therein, in the neglect of Sanctifying the Sabbath; and that is either,

1. In neglecting to prepare for the Sab­bath by a timely breaking off from worldly Occasions, but do run on to the very time of the beginning of the Sabbath, to that in their Worldly concerns, their foot steppeth into the time of the Sabbath, or so nigh to it that they cannot prepare for holy time, and the Duties of the same so suddenly, Isai. 58.13.

2. Or in the time of the Sabbath, a neglect to Sanctifie the Holy time, having forgot to practice that which is so plainly declared: Call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, and honourable, and shalt honour him, not doing thine own wayes, not finding thine own pleasure, not speaking thine own words, Isai. 58.13.

3. As soon as the Sabbath is ended, those who do fall into vain and unprofitable discour­ses, [Page 21]which at all times are sinful, Ephes. 5.4. but in a Sabbath Evening are the Soul robbing temptations, by which Satan does bereave them of all the good they have seen or heard of God in the holy Day, or are running into their worldly Discourses, as if they were glad the Sabbath were ended, Ames 8.5.

But let us likewise in this consider how far these neglects do argue a declension from Re­ligion.

1. These who do neglect the publick Wor­ship, and particularly the Sabbath, do fall short of that Religiousness which many Hy­pocrites and meer Formalists do attain, for these in the publick Worship of God, will be­have themselves as the Lords People are wont to do, Ezek. 33.31, 32. Many have the form of Religion and not the power, 2 Tim. 3.5. Many have the letter of Worship and not the Spirit, Rom. 2.28. but those who have not the form, the letter, and external part of worship are far off from the power, the spirit and inward worshipping of God.

2. These do by their practice say, that the worship of God is a burden, and an abhorring to them, their loathness to come to the pub­lick Worship, their wearisome Behaviour in the time of it, and their hastening from it do [Page 22]testifie to their faces, that the Sabbath, and the Word of the Lord is a burden to them, and these are a burden to the Lord, and he threatens to forget them, to forsake them, and to cast them out of his presence, Jer. 23.39.40. & 17.27. these by their works do say, their Souls have abhorred God; and the Lord he saith he hath abhorred them, and that he will not feed them; but that which dieth let it die, and let the rest eat the flesh one of another, Zech. 11.8, 9.

The second follows, and that is the neglect of those Ordinances which do properly be­long to those in Church Relation.

1. A neglect of preparing for, and of com­ing to take hold of the Covenant, Isai. 58.4.5 not as those whose faces are Zionward, and weeping they will go to seek the Lord, and joyn themselves in a perpetual Covenant ne­ver to be forgotten, Jer. 50.4, 5. but those who turn their backs upon the visible Cove­nant, and the administrations of it, do by their practice disown God, and say, the true God is not their God; for how can God be their God, but by Covenant; and what is the Church Covenant, but an Administration of the Covenant of Grace: and that Soul who doth by words or works, by opinion or pra­ctise [Page 23]turn away from the Covenant, by negle­cting to prepare for it, or take hold of it, is a stranger from the Covenant, and liveth with­out God, Eph. 2.12. and if by his Parentage and Birth, he is in visible Covenant, and when grown up, yet doeth neglect to look after it, or take hold of it, he doth by his practise despise his Birth right; and the time may come when he may seek for a Blessing with tears, and yet find no place of Repentance, Heb. 12.16, 17.

2. Or those who neglect the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, and can content themselves to be Baptized, or to have their Children Bapti­zed, but are insensible of the need of the Lords Supper, that great Seal of Communion with Christ and his Church, 1 Cor. 10.16, 17. or that hastening to this great Ordinance without due and that worthy preparation in the way of self-examination, and discerning the Lords body, and these do eat and drink their own dam­nation, 1 Cor. 11.29. and if the Church doth admit those to the Lords Table who are visi­bly unworthy, they will provoke the Lord a­gainst them, as the Church at Corinth did, that for this cause many amongst them were weak, and many sickly, and some were taken away by death, 1 Cor. 11.30.

3. Or those who in their Church Relation do live in the neglect of Church Discipline, that is, they give offence but will not give sa­tissaction, Mat. 5.23. or they will take offence but not manage it according to Christs Order, Mat. 18.15. Lev. 19.19. and whatever their goodly words are, yet they are but as a Hind let loose, Gen. 49.21. and their works say, they will not have Christ to rule over them; and the quarrel the Lord hath against these & the al [...]rementioned, is that which is called the quarrel of his Covenant, Lev. 26.25. a most searful quarrel. And to conclude this Dis­course, we may consider,

1. Some do despise the Covenant in the administrations of it, or by their practice pro­fess, that the Covenant is not worthy of their care labour and cost, and it may be drop some scoff or mocking expression, but will not seek the Lord in the way of his Covenant, these are in the high way to that unpardonable sin against the Holy Ghost, of counting the blood of the Covenant an unholy thing, and of doing de­spite to the spirit of Grace, Heb. 10.27, 28.

2. Some have visibly taken hold of the Co­venant but do live in the breach of it, Psal. 78.37, 38. & 50.16, 17. and the Lord saith, what hast thou to do to take my Cove­nant [Page 25]into thy mouth, seeing thou hatest in­structions, and castest my words behind thee. And the quarrel the Lord hath against a People or particular persons, whether it be for despising his Covenant or breach of Cove­nant ever implieth.

1. These are guilty of sinning against the greatest love; for the love of God in conde­scending to enter into Covenant with a sinner, is the highest act of love, and to despise this Covenant or the things of it, or live in the breach of it, is to spit reproach and contempt in the most beautiful face of divine Love: do you thus require the Lord, O foolish People and unwise, Deut. 32.6.

2. These sin against the only Remedy. What cure and relief can there be for sinners but from Christ, and how doth Christ relieve but in the way of his Covenant, in the admini­stration of it: how can those escape who neglect this great Salvation? Heb. 2.3. and hence follows the greatest punishment for the quarrel of the Covenant, Amos 3.3. You I have known of all the Families of the Earth, and you I will punish, when the inquiry is made when they see what plagues & sicknesses come upon the Land, wherefore hath the Lord done thus to this Land? and the Answer is, because [Page 26]they have forsaken the Covenant of the Lord God of their Fathers, Deut. 29.23, 24, 25. and thus we see how Apostasie doth shew it self in the degrees of it.

1. How gradual it is: First, A growing cold in secret Duties, then remiss and formal in Family duties, and at length slighty and cold in communion with Saints, in private and publick Ordinances, and at last twice dead and pulled up by the roots, Jude 12. they were dead as to a principle of spiritual life, as all are by nature, and they are dead as to the life and zeal of visible Profession which they some­times had.

2. As these declensions are gradual, so they grow on upon an Apostatizing people insen­sibly, at first somewhat afraid and startled, but by a customary declension grow insensible of the danger, and so ready to heal themselves with lazy desires, and pretended good mean­ings, and formal covenantings, until at last they are left to a good opinion of their state, that they say, Wherein shall they return? as if they were not convinced; although from the dayes of their Fathers, they had gone away from the Ordinances of the Lord and not kept them in that purity and power, as they were left to them by their Fathers, Mal. 3.7. Jer, 8.5, 6.

In the next place follows the consideration of the bitter fruits of Apostasie, as they are specified in the advertisement of our Rulers; and for the clearing the particulars, let us especially observe how it comes to pass that a People living under the means of Grace are left to those abominations: and the Question in the first place is,

How it comes to pass that some living under the means of grace are left to gross Ignorance or abuse of their light and knowledge?

Ans. Because some under the means of Grace have rejected the knowledge of God, and therefore are left to gross ignorance, or not loving truth as truth, and therefore are left to abuse their light and knowledge to their destruction.

1. Some have rejected knowledge, that its become the object of their hatred, as if in­struction was not worthy of their love, and if they be reproved, they do despise reproof, and the reprover, and will not obey the voice of their Teachers, Prov. 5.12, 13. the reading good Books, the Writing and Repeating of Sermons, the Schools of Learning, the con­versing with the wise; and all good means of knowledge in their hearts they despise, Prov. 1.22, How long ye simple ones will ye love sim­plicity, [Page 28]and scorners delight in scorning, and fools hate knowledge, Prov. 1.22.

2. The punishment upon these followeth, therefore they are left to a sottish ignorance, they have not so much light as shall keep them from sottish and bruitish ignorance, Jer. 4.22. they are sottish Children, they have no under­standing, Jer. 5.4. surely they are poor and foolish, they know not the way of the Lord, and the judgement of their God, they have rejected the knowledge of God, and are there­fore left to the darkness of gross Ignorance.

A second sort are those upon whose Con­sciences the light hath shined, but have not loved truth as truth, these have knowledge and will be searching and proving excellent things, and having a form of knowledge, may be guids to the blind, and hold forth light to those who are in darkness, Rom. 2.18, 19, 20. and these love to live under an able Ministry, and will uphold Schools of Leaaning, and be in the use of all means of knowledge, but yet never did receive the love of the truth, 2 Thes. 2.10. the truth it self, and the true knowledge of it, was never the ultimate and principal ob­ject of their love, but only a mediate object, that by means of their light and knowledge, they set up advance and serve some Idol in [Page 29]their hearts, but do not like to retian to God in knowledge as its the knowledge of God, Rom. 1.28.

2. The punishment upon these is, therefore they are left to abuse their light and know­ledge to their destruction, either to pride and vain glory, their knowledge hath puffed them up, 1 Cor. 8.1. or they are by means of their light become the more subtile to devise co­verts for sin, and the more slye in opposing se­cretly the life and power of Godliness, the more crafty to deceive others and to cheat their own Souls, the more wise to do evil but to do good they have no knowledge and are blinded at last with self conceitedness, and say the Law of the Lord is with them, but they have rejected the Word of the Lord, and what wisdome is in them. Jer. 8.8, 9.

1. Some truths of greatest concernment to them they shall not see, but groap for light at noon day as if it were night, Deut. 28.29. Isai. 59.10.

2. Those Truths which they do see, yet they shall be left to misapply, pervert, and wrest to their destruction, Act. 13.10, 11. 2 Pet. 3.16.

3. Those Truths which they do apply rightly, yet their hearts shall not be affected with them, and not be reformed by them, but [Page 30]to them, it shall be as if they knew nothing, Isai. 6.8, 9. these have often perverted their understanding and abused their knowledge, and their understanding and knowledge shall pervert and mislead them, Isai. 47.10.

The second follows concerning Prophane­ness: the Question is,

How it comes to pass that some under the means of Grace are givtn up to Prophaneness?

The Answer is, Because some under the means of Grace have rejected saving Grace in the Gospel, and therefore the Lord with­draws common restraining Grace from them, and they become prophane.

1. Some are prophane, although they live under the means of Grace, these will not shew a civil respect to Religion and that good man­ners which civility will teach; their words are scornful and mocking, abusing the Holy Scriptures in a jesting and deriding manner, like those Scoffers who said, where is the pro­mise of his coming? 2 Pet. 3.3, 4. these are a pest and a most dangerous infection in societies, by their evil communication do cor­rupt good manners, 1 Cor. 15.33. their Coun­tenance, Gestures and Lives do declare them to be like a mocking Ishmael, or prophane Esau, Heb. 12.15, 16. look diligently lest any [Page 31]man fail of the Grace of God lest there be any Fornicator or Prophane Person as Esau.

2. These have rejected saving Grace in the Gospel, the God of all Grace by the means of his Grace, the Ordinances, and by the graci­ous Examples of the godly, seconded by some afflicting providences, and sometimes with convictions and terrors of Conscience hath been striving with these, but they would not hearken to his voice, and would have none of him and his saving Grace, and therefore are given up to their hearts lusts, Psal. 81.11, 12. Wo unto thee, wilt thou not be clean, when will it once be, Jer. 13.27.

3. Hence the Lord hath withdrawn re­straining Grace, that those who reject saving Grace in the Gospel, and will not live as be­cometh godly men; the Lord withdraws common restraining Grace from them, that they shall not live as becometh men, this is the reason why some are so lewdly filthy, that in their filthiness is lewdness, because they would not be purged, and therefore the Lord saith, they shall not be purged, but the Lords fury shall rest upon them, Ezek. 24.13. this is the reason why some under the means of Grace are more prophane than some others who [Page 32]enjoy no such means to reform them, and that they are become more prophane then be­fore they enjoyed the means of Grace; be­cause they have provoked the Lord by their resistings of the strivings of the Spirit of Grace, to give them up to most horrid and hellish prophanenss, that as Israel's abomina­tions shall exceed the filth of Samaria and Sodom, Ezek. 16.51. and of this bitter fruit of Apostasie: that Man of God of most blessed memory, Mr: Thomas Hooker, was wont fre­quently to warn New-England, saying, do you wonder that some in New-England are left to such abominations, I tell you that some in New-England will be given up to greater pro­phaneness. His Sermons upon Psal. 81.11, 12 and Rom. 1.28. do at large declare this.

The third bitter fruit, concerning gross neglects of relative Duties: And the Que­stion is,

Why are some under the means of Grace left to those palpable neglects of relative Duties, in Family, Church and Common-Wealth?

The Answer: Because some under the means of Grace, living in neglect of Duties towards God, and of duties towards others in the Lord, its just with the Lord to leave them to gross neglects of relative duties one to­wards another.

1. There are some who though they enjoy the means of Grace, yet they live in the neg­lect of duties in Relation to the God of Grace, he hath profered a holy Marriage Covenant to them; and himself as the only suitable March and Husband for the immortal Soul, Isai. 54.5. but they have loved Strangers and after them they will go, Jer. 2.25. neither will they honour him as a Father, nor fear him as their Master, but despise his Name, Mal. 1.6. if they call him their God, yet they cast off the thing that is good, Hos. 8.2.5

2. Hence it follows, these never did per­form duties in relation to others in the Lord, for this is the Religious and true Gospel band in all Relations; Husbands love your Wives, as Christ loved his Church, Eph. 5.25. Wives submit your selves to your Husbands, as is fit in the Lord, Col. 3.18. Children obey your Pa­rents in the Lord, Ephes. 6.1. Servants obey your Masters in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord, Col. 3.22. But those who do not consci­entiously attend duties in Relation to the Lord, do feel no such Religious band upon their hearts and Consciences in relation to o­thers, but act only as moved by some natural or moral Principles which are too weak to re­sist the violence of temptations and distempers.

3. Therefore its just with the Lord to leave these to some notorious neglects of relative duties one to another; if the Husband be a man of Belial, he is likewise a Nabal, and fol­ly is with him, 1 Sam. 25.25. and will behave himself foolishly or bitterly against the Wife of his Bosome, Colos. 3.19. If the Wife doeth not subject to her Husband in the Lord, as the Church is subject to Christ, she will be left to act the part of a Zipporah, in a reproachful manner to her Husband, Ephes. 5 24. Exod. 4.25. If Parents, and Heads of Families do neglect obedience unto and to act in imitati­on of the Heavenly Father, and live as if they had no Master in Heaven, Ephes. 6.9. they will be left either by their rash passions to provoke unto wrath, Ephes. 6.9. and to discourage those under their Government, Col. 3.21. or they will by an unadvised indulgence neglect to bring theirs up in the nurture and admoni­tion of the Lord, Eph. 6.4. but let them live like the wild Ass in the Wilderness, snuffing up the Wind, Jer. 2.24. and if Children are not in subjection to the Father of Spirits, they will not behave themselves reverently to the Fathers of their flesh, Heb. 12.9. They do not fear God the ancient of dayes, and they will behave themselves proudly against the Aged, [Page 35]the base against the Honourable, Isai. 3.5.

The like may be said of neglect of duties in a Plantation, Church and Common-wealth-Relations, if Rulers Civil or Ecclesiastick do not rule actually in the fear of God, 2 Sam. 23.3. they will either tolerate intolerable dis­orders and not care for those things, Act. 18.17. or they will lade Men with burdens grievous to be born, but they themselves will not touch the burden, Luk. 11.46. and will turn Judge­ment to Wormwood, Amos. 5.7.

And if a people do not subject to Rulers for the Lords sake, they will either pervert Orders, and wrest Laws to the bringing in of Disorder, and set up corrupt Rulers, those of whom the Lord saith, he knew them not, Hos. 8.3. and like People at last like Priest, Hos. 4.9. or they will despise Dominions, Jude 8. and behave themselves as Thorns that the man that shall touch them, must be senced with iron, 2 Sam. 23.6.

The third bitter fruit of Apostasie is Con­tentiousness.

Q. How is Contentiousness a bitter fruit of Apostasie?

Ans. Because those who have turned from the right way of true peace with God, and their own Consciences are given up to those [Page 36]contentious Principles and Practices, which shall break their peace with others.

1. There is the right way of true peace with God, and with our own Consciences, namely to abhor every known sin, to deny our selves, to mortifie Pride, Envy, Hypocri­sie, and all self humoring Lusts, Jam. 4.1, and in this right way of peace to take hold of the strength of God, Isai. 27.4. Luk. 1.79.

2. Those who turn from this right way of true peace with God, are given up to Conten­tiousness, the things of their peace are hidden from their eyes, Luk. 19.42. there is no judg­ment in their goings, they have made to them­selves crooked paths, and they shall not know peace, Isai. 59.8. 1. Those who strive against their Maker, and set Briars and Thorns in Battel against God, Isai. 27.4. its no wonder if the best of them be as a Briar, and the most upright of them be as a Thorn-hedge, Mich. 7.4.

2. Those who will not deny themselves for the sake of true peace with God and their own Consciences, let it not seem strange if they will not deny themselves to please others in that which is good, and would be to edification, Rom. 15.27.

3. Those who have vexed the Holy Spirit of God, by their Rebellion or Unfaithfulness, Isai. 63.10. they will grieve others by their giving offence, or rashly taking up of offences, or contentious manner of managing offences, and will make divisions, Rom. 16, 17.

4. Those who never had the sense of the sweetness of true peace with God and their Consciences, cannot in a right Gospel sense be kind and tender-hearted, ready to forgive as God for Christs sake forgiveth, Eph. 4.32. These have broken the staff of beauty; and the staff of Bands and Brother-hood shall like­wise be broken, Zech. 11.10, 14.

5. Those who have been wonted to flatter their own Souls with a false peace, and to heal the hurts of their Consciences slightly, Jer. 6.14. and would not endure the faithful wounds of a Friend, by searching reproofs; these will speak peaceably to a neighbour, and yet their hearts lie in wait, Jer. 9.8. the con­clusion of this is, that fire of Divisions which consumeth their peace with Neigbours did first begin in the fire of Gods wrath, because of some grievous provocation against God, Judg. 9.20, 21. Isai. 4.21.

The fourth bitter Fruit is Sensuality.

Qu. How is Sensuality a bitter fruit of A­postasie?

Ans. Because those who have despised the things of the Spirit of God, the only objects of Spiritual senses, are given up to please their sensual Lusts by Objects suitable to the carnal senses.

1. There are the things of the Spirit of God, those Graces of the Spirit in and by the means of Grace communicated; Love, Peace, Joy, Long-suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness. Temperance, Gal. 5.22, 23. and these are the Objects of the spiritual sen­ses: to [...]ear what the Spirit saith, is only by a spiritual sense of hearing. Rev. 2.7. to see the things of the Spirit, is only by a spiritual sensa of seeing, 1 Cor. 2.14. and to tast the things of the Spirit is requisite a spiritual sense of tasting. Psal, 34 8. Heb. 5.14.

2. But those who have despised the things of the Spirit are given up to their sensual lusts, these are sensual and have not the spirit, Jude 19. they have taken more pleasure to hear a vain song or the noise of a Fiddle, then to hear the blessed sound of Emmanuel's voice, Psal. 89.15. they take more delight to behold vanity then to see the beauty of the Lord in his House, Psal. 27.4. these take more pleasure [Page 39]to please their appetite with meat and drink, and to content other sensual lusts, then to feed upon the flesh, and drink the blood of the Son of God, John 6.56. and the feast of fat things, and wine of the Lees, and those Gospel dainties are despised. Isai. 25.6.

3. Hence they are given up to sensual Lusts.

1. Sometimes to excessive Drinking, Eph. 5.18. and sometimes to lasciviousness, Eph. 4.19.

2. They commonly do walk at the utmost bounds of liberty, and abuse their Liberties unto carnal libertinism, and sensual licentious­ness, Gal. 5.13.

3. Take these at their best, the savour they have of the Gospel and of some common gifts of the Spirit, is no better than a savour of Death unto Death, 2 Cor. 2.16. for they sa­vour the things of the flesh as more pleasant then the things of the spirit, and love pleasures more than God, 2 Tim, 3, 4. and do only sa­vour those common gifts of the spirit which they can receive and abuse unto carnal and in­ferior purposes and ends.

4. And Hence it is that some do expend more upon their sensual lusts, than to uphold the work of Christ in Church and Common­wealth, [Page 40]wealth, and are more in debt annually in the Ordinary keepers Book for strong Drink, than in the Town & Countrey Rate, these have pre­pared their Corn, their Flax, and their Wool for their sensual lusts, as sometimes they did for Baal, Hos. 2.8, 9. and the Lord threatens to take away their Corn, and Flax, &c. in the season of them.

The fifth bitter Fruit of Apostasie is Pride.

Quest. How is Pride a bitter Fruit of Apo­stasie?

Ans. Because those who will not seek the praise which is of God by a humble walking, are given up to seek the praise which is of men by lifting up themselves by some vain glorious means.

1. We ought to seek the praise which is of God, Rom. 2.28, 29. and this by a humble walking, which is alwayes in every state good, Mich. 6.8.

2. Those who will not seek the praise which is of God, are given up to seek the praise which is of men; for they love the praise which is of men more than the praise which is of God. John 12.43. and this their ambiti­on doth shew it self in lifting up themselves by some vain-glorious means, in which we may consider.

1. The lifting up: 1. In respect of Infe­riors, contemning them, Luk. 18.9. and some­times oppressing them, abusing of power and greatness to the wronging of Inferiours, as great Fishes devour the lesser, Hab. 1.13, 14. but their Pride will not suffer them to conde­scend to those who are of low degree, Rom. 12.16. except it be Absalom like, to humble themselves at a turn, that they may exalt themselves.

2. In respect of Equals, aspiring after a firstness and honour above those unto whom honour is due equal with themselues, but those who are first shall be last, Mat. 20.16.

3. In respect of Superiors; Pride some­times is not ashamed to shew it self, in lifting up the Proud above a Superior; yea, to cast down a Superiour, that by his fall the Proud may exalt himself, Isai. 3.5. this is like Absa­lom's lifting himself up above, and against his Father.

2. The means by which the Proud do usu­ally lift up themselves, are vain-glorious.

1. In aspiring after some priviledge above others, some freedome from a burden, that they may be eased, and let others be burden­ed, 2 Cor. 8.13, 14. affecting some precedency and preheminence above others, when no [Page 42]reason can be given for it, but only they ha­ving a high conceit of some supposed worth in themselves, and therefore love the prehe­minence, Iohn 3.8. but if they sought the praise which is of God, by a humble walking, this would teach them in lowliness of mind to serve God, and to esteem others better than themselves, Phil. 2.3.

2. A second vain-glorious means by which the proud doth lift up himself, is some sign or badge of honour.

1. Some Title of Honour which hath a very pleasant sound in an ambitious ear, to be called Master, or to have some chief place in places of Meetings, otherwise he doth not sit easie, Mat. 23.6, 10. Many instances may be given to shew how Pride the first born of the Devil is fruitful, but the jettings, and vaunt­ings of Pride in many in their Apparel is so manifest, that the humble are grieved to be­hold it, and the proud themselves are vexed with envy, to see so many equally lifting up themselves.

2. That strange affectation of being first and forward, and of being furthest and most in a new & strange Fashion, for which the Lord threatned to punish the Kings Children, Zeph. 1.8.

2. An affecting of such Apparel as shall make them seem to be of a higher rank than they are, so that no distinction of the ranks and degrees can be discerned by their Apparel; none between Rich and Poor, Ruler and Sub­jects, Master and Servant, Mistriss and Hand­maid; these by their Apparel do shew that parity is pleasing to their Pride.

3. These spend so much upon Apparel that either they wast their Estate, or lie in Debt, or pinch their Bellies of necessaries, that they might adorn and deck themselves with the or, naments of Pride.

But the reason of the ventings of Pride in these and in many other wayes, is because these have not a high esteem of Humility, as the precious cloathing, 1 Pet. 5.5. and of a meek and quiet Spirit, as more worth than Cloth of Gold, 1 Pet. 3.3, 4. but they have despised the humble walker, and called the proud happy, Mal. 3.15. and therefore though they have often heard of the evil of this sin, and known something of the fearful events of it upon some, yet Belshazzar-like are hardened in their Pride, Dan. 5.22. their pride hath stop'd their ears that they will not hear, and shut their eyes that they will not see, and although their dangerous slippings and [Page 44]Stumblings upon the dark Mountains, while they wander in their Pride, are manifest; yet they will hasten towards the top of the moun­tain until they be cast down head-long, and leave others to mourn in secret places for their pride, because they will not hear, Jer. 13.16, 17.

The sixth bitter fruit of Apostasie.

Qu. How is Ʋnrighteousness a bitter fruit of Apostasie?

Ans. Because those who have despised the true riches, and esteemed gain to be godliness, are therefore left to seek worldly Wealth by unrighteous means.

1. There is the true riches, Christ the Pearl of price, Mat. 13.46. the graces of his Spirit, to be rich in Faith, Jam. 2.5. a meek and a quiet Spirit of great price, 1 Pet. 3.4▪ and wisdom more precious than the Rubies, Prov. 3.15. to lay up treasure in Heaven, Mat. 6.20. by a true godly conversation: for godliness with contentment is great gain, 1 Tim. 6.6.

2. But the unrighteous have despised the true Riches, they are not rich towards God, Luk. 12.21. and gain is their Godliness, 1 Tim. 6.5. they will have and hold such, and so much of Godliness, as may be serviceable [Page 45]to or consistent with their worldly gain, and behave themselves as Demas who had forsaken Paul, and loved this present World, 2 Tim. 4.10.

3. Hence it is that these are left to seek Worldly wealth by unrighteous means; they will be rich, and if they cannot compass it by just means, they will get it by unjust means, although at the end they are befooled to their everlasting confusion. Jer. 17.11. 1 Tim. 6.9. But the reason why they are left to Un­righteousness, is their love to money, which is the root of all evil, 1 Tim. 6.10. and they having undervalued and despised the true ri­ches, are given up to overvalue and idolize Worldly wealth; and hence followeth such deceit, a selling truth for gain, and lying to the Holy Ghost, Act. 5.3:

1. In Bargainings: striving to defraud and go beyond another, 1 Thes. 4.6. and to devise all cunning evasions to winde away from the equal scope of a Bargain, and will not per­form it faithfully, without unjust vexing and damnifying another. Psal. 15.2, 4.

2. In Wares; Merchandize and Trading, a gaining what they can possibly, as if Justice had set them no bounds, but to gain what they can is their professed justice; and their gain [Page 46]is their godliness, 1 Tim. 6.5.

3. In Wages; impoverishing him who hi­reth, and their great design in taking work by the great (as they call it) is that they may re­ceive more Wages than their labour is worth; but their Money is put into a Bag with holes, Haggai 16.

4. In Trespassings; they are not conscien­tiously careful to prevent damages, and when they know they have damnified a Neighbour, yet if they can they will hide it, and what they cannot hide, yet they will not freely and fully make satisfaction, so that their Neighbour can not dwell safely by them. Prov. 3.29.

5. In Debts; they will engage that which they know they cannot perform in an ordinary way, and when they have promised, they are not conscientiously careful to perform their promise according to the true and equal scope of it, and that which is due, Prov. 3.27, 28. but all these and many other unrighteous pra­ctices do proceed through the Lords just judgment, from a being empty and void of sincere Love to God, and those most rich and precious things of God, and there­fore are given up to an immoderate and in­ordinate love of deceivable Riches, and there­fore are left to hold the truth in unrighteous­ness, [Page 47]and to be filled with all unrighteousness, Rom. 18.28, 29.

And what is the horrible event of this and all the former vices and bitter fruits of Apo­stacy?

Ans. Because of these vile Examples, the Heathen do Blaspheme the Name of our God, and are hardened in their Heathenish abomi­nations.

1. When the Heathen do behold those who do profess to know God, and yet do live in prophareness, sensuality, contentiousness, pride, unrighteousness, therefore they blas­pheme the Name of God, Rom. 2.24. what­ever our words be concerning God, and our Religion; but the Heathen will judge & speak of our Religion, and the things of our God according as they see our works are.

2. Hence the Heathen grow hardened [...] their heathenish abominations, and are ready to think and say, they do well to run into all manner of prophaneness, seeing they behold such vile examples in those who do profess to know the true and great God, and especially they grow hardened, and abound in that sin of Drunkenness, seeing for the sake of lucre many will sell them strong drink:

But the abominable practise of those who [Page 48]are guilty of this, doth testifie against them.

1. That they are far off from endeavouring by good works to convince and convert the Heathen, seeing for the sake of worldly gain, they will feed their Lusts to the ruine of the wealth, health, and Souls of Heathen, 1 Pet. 2.11, 12. These are Taverns and Ordinary­keepers for Heathens lusts.

2. These love their gain more than their Neighbours, or their own safety, seeing they cannot but know, that many Outrages, yea­some Murthers have been committed by Drunken Indians in their Drunken posture, and sometimes in the Families of those who have sold them strong Drink: or at least the hazard is great.

3. These love worldly gain more than God and their own Souls happiness, for if they had love to God and to their own Souls good, they would practically intend the glory of God in all they do, and give no occasion of of­fence to Jew or Gentile, nor to the Church of God, 1 Cor. 10.31, 32. but if these who thus practise had any use of their Consciences, as a witness or judge, their consciences would tell them, that while they sell strong Drink to those whom they know will abuse it to Drun­kenness, and in this, act contrary to to the [Page 49]saw of the Common wealth, founded upon moral and religious Principles, and yet in this to intend Gods glory, is as far off from the hear [...]-intention of these Heathen Taverners, and as contrary to their practice, as Heaven and Hell are contrary one to the other.

And how just it is with the Lord that the Heathen should be the rod of his anger to punish these crying abominations. The sel­ling of Amunition was for many years prohi­bited, but some for gain would secretly sell Guns, &c. to the Heathen, and at last pre­vailed to make the Law of the Common­wealth of none effect; and since that time New-England knows by woful experience the difference between fighting with Indians arm­ed with Guns, and those who had only Bowes and Arrows. But the selling of strong Drink to the Indians hath by strict Laws frequently revived been prohibited, and yet how incorri­gibly some do proceed is very manifest, and since the Wars, more abounding: And will not the Lord avenge himself of these for their Provocations, and provoke them with a foolish Nation, Deut. 32.21. If our Rulers grow weary of punishing this horrible pra­ctice, the Lord God of Gods will begin to punish it after another manner, and make these [Page 50]who are guilty, to know that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, when his time is come to take vengeance for the despising of Moral Laws, and the strivings of his Spirit of Grace, Heb. 10.31, 32.

Thus of Apostasie considered in the Na­ture, Degrees, and bitter Fruits of the same, but before we come to the conclusion of these Discourses; let us consider,

2. How it doth appear that the judgements come upon New-England▪ are because of the sins of New-England, and not for probation or any other cause.

Answ. Because New-England found guilty of those very sins, for which the judge­ments come upon them, are threatned by the Word of God: and therefore we must confess that what God hath spoken against us by his Holy Word, he hath inflicted upon us by his righteous hand.

And for the Clearing of this, let us con­sider:

1. That the judgements come upon New-England, are those which are threatned by the Word of God, are manifest to all. Who knows not the mortal sicknesses, the withering bla­stings, the Drought and the Sword to avenge the quarrel of the Covenant threatned in Lev. [Page 51]the 26. the 28. of Deuteronomie? and in many other places of Scripture, and none can be ignorant, that the Lord hath by his righteous hand executed these threatnings upon us, un­less it be those who are more senseless, then the Stork, the Turtle and the Swallow, who know their appointed times, and observe the time of their coming, but my People saith the Lord, know not the judgment of the Lord, Jer. 8.7.

2. That these judgements are come upon New-England; for the sins of New-England will appear if we consider negatively.

1. That these judgements are come not for probation only, nor principally, for God is not wont to inflict publick judgements upon a people for trial, although he doth sometimes send affliction upon an upright Job for trial chiefly, and when affliction cometh for proba­tion and trial principally it will appear upon examination, that the person afflicted is found walking in his uprightness before God, Iob 1.8, 12. and in the night of affliction, there shall be nothing found against this afflicted Saint but that which is consistent with uprightness. Psal. 17.3. but who is able to make this de­sence for New-England, as to the generality of them, and as for those who are called the [Page 52]upright, what their innocency is, and what their guilt is; this will appear in that which is in the place of it, spoken concerning the di­vers manners and sorts of guilt.

2. Neither did New England in the ti [...]e of the Wars, suffer as witnesses for righteous­ness sake, although so far as the Antichristian Malice of some might be stirring up and working in and with the rage of the Heathen, and might by the provocations of New En­gland against the Lord, take occasion to perse­cute that of Christ and the Christian Religion, which yet remained in the Churches of Christ in the Wilderness; in this respect Meat came out of the E [...]er to the godly of the Land, and they might say as that holy Martyr Brad­ford said, It is not the condemnation of Brad­ford simply intended by the Adversary, but Christ and Truth, and Bradford is nothing but an instrument in which Christ and Truth is condemned and persecuted by the Adversary; and in this respect the Lord saith, and hath, and will do for his People, as sometimes he said by the Prophet, Zech. 1.15. I am very sore displeased with the Heathen, for I was a little displeased, and they helped forward their affliction: But yet our sins must be confessed to be the Traitors, which gave the opportu­nity [Page 53]into the hands of our Enemies against us, and the Lord said of us; as sometimes of that People, Isai. 42.24. Who gave Jacob to the spoil, and Israel to the Robbers, did not the Lord, be against whom we have sinned?

In the next place Affirmatively, concerning the causes of the Judgements upon New-En­gland; that New-England is found guilty of those very sins mentioned in the writing of our Rulers, and that these are the causes of those judgements, will be made most mani­fest, if we consider the divers manners and wayes by which a People are involved in guilt.

1. Some are guilty by actual Commission, and that is,

1. Either openly after the manner of the Prophane sort, whose Countenance doth wit­ness against them, and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not, wo unto their Soul, Isai. 3.9.

2. Or secretly, and sometimes God doth inflict publick Judgements upon a People for secret sins, and that is,

1. When they are such sins as are not in the nature and kind of themsecret, but as they are by the transgressor bound up, and hiden by some deceiving Excuses, and fallacious pre­tences, [Page 54] Hos. 13.12. and the ignorance these pretend is wilful, and they are condemned by the Lord for willing ignorance, 2 Pet. 3.5.

2. Or such secret sins as go before the open sins, and the others do follow them, and together do provoke the Lord, 2 King. 17.9. and cannot be hid, 1 Tim. 5.25. both these openly or secretly are guilty of provocations by actual Commission.

2. Some are guilty by way of approbation, by consenting, Psal. 50.18. or countenancing, and thus Jehosaphat's love unto, and helping of ungodly Ahab, did provoke the Lord to wrath against him, 2 Chron. 19.2.

3. Some are guilty by way of toleration, and thus Solomon did provoke the Lord to wrath by his tolerating of the Idolatry of his Wives, 1 King. 11.4.

4. Some are guilty by their omission and neglect of means.

1. To prevent the provocations, and thus some able Expositors have thought that in this sense it was, that Israel became guilty, and were blamed by the Lord himself, for taking the accursed thing even that which was ta­ken by Achan, Josh. 7.11.

2. Or a neglect of means to reform the provocations committed; and thus Ely's [Page 55]neglect of a through reforming, and remo­ving the abominations of his Sons, did pro­voke the Lord to wrath against him and his house, 1 Sam. 2.22, 23.

Many in New-England are guilty of pro­voking sins by actual Commission, and these kindle the fire, and are Fire brands in the hand of Gods wrath; and some by approba­tion do blow up the fire, and are as the bel­lows to make the fire of Gods wrath burn: and some by toleration, do in their practise say, Let the fire burn, will do nothing to quench it, and at last some come, who with their luke warmness, and cold practices, are but as a dish of water dropping upon a great and vehement flame, but doth nothing effectually to extinguish the fire of wrath kindled and flaming by reason of provoking sins, the Lord guid every one of us by his Spirit to consider, and in a self-examining manner to see and say, What have I done to provoke the Lord? Jer. 8.5, 6.

But as to fact, the provocations of New-England are proved by many witnesses.

1. The witness of the Ministry, especially upon most solemn occasions in the most pub­lick assembly, have as watchmen warned us of the Lords controversie against New-England, [Page 56]and of the evil coming upon them, Ezek. 33.7. and this warning was given not only since the Wars, but before that evil day come.

2. Witness that great Hand writing of our Rule [...] published by their order in the Con­gregations of this Colony in a day of Fasting & Prayer in that calamitous year, 1675. and many Writings and Orders since that, calling for a renewed Confession of those crying a­bominations specified in that Writing and ex­plained in our former Discourse.

3. Witness the sighing of those whom the Lord hath marked in our Ierusalem, because they do afflict and vex their righteous Souls for the provocations they see or hear of, Ezek 9.4.

4. Witness the self condemnation, the ge­nerality of Professors have received within themselves, and do frequently at this day ex­press it one to another (saying) we and our posterity are an undone people, if more be not done for Reformation, then yet is done, yea, who can say and prove it, that there hath been any considerable reformation wrought in any one matter of weight, after all that the Lord hath spoken and done against us:

But to conclude this Discourse, let us state one Question more:

Qu. What are the Reasons why the work of Reformation doth not proceed, but is hindred after these solemn Advertisements by our godly Rulers, and after all the awful warnings from the Lords uplifted hand?

Ans. Because some do not see what ought to be reformed, some who see, but have no heart to this work; some who have a heart, but little strength; some who have strength, but do not agree to carry on together every one his part, or they spend their labour upon a people who are under the power of Judicial impeni­tency.

1. Some do not see what ought to be re­formed, and those are either.

1. Not convinced of a necessity of refor­mation, but behave themselves as those did when Godly Hezekiah, zealous for Reforma­tion, sent forth his Edict by the hand of his Officers to command the People to return to the Lord, but some de [...]ided the Messengers, nevertheless some humbled themselves, and the Lord gave them one heart to do according to the Commandment of the King and Princes respecting Reformation, 2 Chron. 30.10, 11, 12. the time hasteneth, when the bands of Mockers shall be made strong, too strong for them to break, Isai. 28.22.

2. Or these who do not see what ought to be reformed, do fix upon some lesser matters of the Law, and spend the strength of their zeal in reforming those lesser matters of the Law, but do suffer the more weighty matters of Judgement, Mercy and Faith to lye unre­formed, Mat. 23.23. and all these poor blinded Souls are ready to say as those who were reproved for wearying the Lord, for robbing of God, and were commanded to return to the Lord, with a promise that the Lord would turn towards them; but they said wherein have we wearied thee, or robbed thee? and wherein shall we return? Mal. 3.7, 8. these do not see what ought to be re­formed, but these shall see whether they will or no, either to their Conversion or their Con­fusion, Isai. 26.11.

2. Some who see a need of Reformation, but they have no heart to this work, and these are heartless either,

1. Because the work of Reformation will reach the Idols of their hearts, Ezek. 14.3. and it may be said of these as of them, 2 Chro. 28.10. are there not with you, even with you sins against the Lord your God? and these not being willing to be cleansed from the Idols of their own hearts, they are not hearty in the [Page 59]use of the means of Reformation, but Rachel-like, they devise shameful excuses to prevent the search and discovery of their Idols, Gen. 31.34, 35.

2. Or they have no heart because of the difficulties of the work of Reformation, as in Nehemiah's time, some were scared with affrighting apprehensions of seeming impos­sibilities for them to carry on so great a work, Nehem. 4.10. but what will these heartless Souls do? how can their heart endure? and hands be strong in that day when the Lord shall pour out of his fury upon them? because they had no heart to the work of Re­formation, Ezek. 22.14. and then must flee like a silly Dove without heart into the Net and Snare of Destruction, Hos. 7.11, 12.

3. Some who have a heart to the work of Reformation, but have little strength, that is,

1. Little outward strength of Abilities, and opportunity; although (through the Grace of God) they have a sufficiency of strength to reform their own hearts and lives, and their own families; and though they have but little strength, they have kept the Word of God, and not denied his Name, Rev. 3.8.

2. Although these do lay to heart the sins of the times, and their behaviour in Closet-Communion with God, and in their Families, and their converse and conversation before all doth testifie for them, that they have a heart to Reformation, but they have not the power in their hands to do any considerable matter in the publick Reformation, and for the remo­ving the abominations in the midst of Jerusa­lem; and these are the Lords marked ones, Ezek. 9.4. sealed Servants of God, Rev. 7.3. and though they cannot deliver others, yet the Lord will deliver them, Ezek. 14.14.

4. Some who have strength, but do not a­gree to carry on together the work of Refor­mation.

1. Its taken for granted of any who have but any common Notions of reforming work, that Reformation cannot confist in complain­ing against others, and yet do the same our selves; Who art thou O Man who judgest ano­ther and condemnest thy self, Rom. 2.1. nor in complaining against our selves, that we pine away in our sins, and yet do not turn unto the Lord, Ezek. 33.10, 11. how can we then live? nor in publishing Laws, and professed Cove­nantings for Reformation, and yet after all these we go on in our Trespasses, will not the [Page 61]Lord be angry until he hath consumed us Ezra 9.14.

2. But publick Reformation must be carri­ed on principally by those who are in publick place; the Rulers of the Common-wealth holding and handling the Sword of Justice imp [...]rtially, and brightly, to the terror of evil doers, Rom. 13.3. executing judgement in the Gates, and seeking truth, Jer. 5.1. And the Ministers of the Lords House managing the two edged Sword of the Spirit, Heb. 4.12. both in Doctrine and Discipline, making and keeping the difference clear between the clean and the unclean, the Holy and the Prophane Ezek. 44.23. and then the People ready to strengthen the hands of their Rulers, as he said to Ezra, This matter belongs to you, arise and do it, and we are with you, Ezra 10.4.

3. But if every one do not practically a­gree to carry on according to their places and power, their part, the whole work of Reformation will be obstructed in some de­gree or other.

If those who are in chief place, and have the greatest Power, shall leave the greatest Burden of the work upon the shoulders of those who are in inferiour places, and power, these will sink under the burden or miscarry in [Page 62]the exercise of their power, and the work fall to the ground: but whatever the care and courage, faithfulness and zeal of chief Rulers may be, yet if Inferiour Officers be not Men of approved wisdom and integrity, Laws will not be executed, and the Oathes of civil Offi­cers will be violated; and because of these Oathes the Land mourneth, Hos. 4.2, 3. for no publick Reformation can proceed.

5. Or whatever the care and pains may be of Reformers in faithfulness to God, and to his People, yet when they spend their Labour upon a People who are under the power of judicial impenitency:

1. Their labour will be in vain at present as to the work of Reformation; if that peo­ple had Moses to be their Ruler, yet they will be stiff necked, and be corrupting themselves, and one another, and be an unreformed and unreforming People, against whom the Lord had Sworn in his wrath they should never en­ter into his rest, Numb. 14.30. And if Isaiah were the Minister to a People under judicial impenitency, they may hear but shall not un­derstand, they may see but shall not perceive and not be converted, Isai. 6.10.

2. And yet this is sometimes the heavy work of Pious Rulers, thus to labour in the [Page 63]fire, and spend themselves, and be spent until at last the Bellows are burnt, and Lead con­sumed, and a melting in vain, the Wicked are not taken away; the Lord in just judgment hath said, they shall be reprobate silver, Jer. 6.29, 30. for after the most reforming means, they will not be reformed, but will trespass more and more, and yet grow into a self-con­ceited and self-justifying way: and the just and holy One of Israel saying against these, he that is unjust, let him be unjust still, and he that is filthy let him be filthy still, and he that is righteous let him be righteous still, and he that is holy let him be holy still; and behold (saith the Lord) I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be, Rev. 22.11, 12.

3. And yet the harder the work of Refor­mers is, and they found faithful in it, though labouring with a People under a judicial im­penitency, and it is in vain as to that people: but yet their work proveth the more accepta­ble to God, and they shall be the more glo­rious in the eyes of the Lord, Isai. 49.4, 5. 2 Cor. 12.15. and those Rulers are in the way to see peace and truth in their dayes, as Heze­kiah, Josiah, and other godly Rulers had this favour graunted to them; although their [Page 64]work was amongst a People judicially decline­ing and running to ruine: yet seeing these Kings Ruled with God, and were fa [...]thful to his Saints, the Lord gave them Peace and Truth in their dayes, 2 King. 20.19. and 22.20.

4. And although such godly Rulers by their interceding with God, and faithful la­bouring to reform a revolting people may preserve them from ruine in their time; but yet if they be a people whose Rebellion and stiff neck is manifest while yet their godly Ru­l [...]rs ar [...] with them, Deut. 31.27. it is not all that th [...]ir Rulers can do will preserve them at pr [...]sent [...]rom many fearful Judgements; as those which were inflicted upon the Israelites in the Wilderness, although Moses was with them, Psal. 106.23. Psal. 73.34, 38. and when the time is come that the Lord findeth none to make up the Hedge, and to stand up in the Gap before the Lord for the Land, then will the Lord pour out of his Indignation upon them, and consume them with the fire of his wrath, and recompence their own way upon their heads, saith the Lord God, Ezek. 22.30, 31.

But O that we did hearken unto the Lord, that he might not give us up to our Hear [...] Lusts, to walk in our own Counsels, the [...] [Page 65]would soon subdue our Enemies, and turn his hand against our Adversaries; but our time should endure for ever, and he would feed us with the finest of the Wheat, Psal. 81.11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16.

But O that we did fear and flee these spiri­tual judgements more than any other judge­ments; for Jesus hath said, For judgement I am come into this world, that they which see not, might see, and they which see may be made blind: if ye were blind, ye should have no sin, but now ye say wee see, therfore your sin remaineth, Iohn. 9.39, 40.

And Oh that we could wrestle and agonize by a spirit of prayer, that this Gospel-vengeance may not be poured out upon our souls and the souls of our children! crying earnestly to the Lord for his zeale, his strength, the sounding of his bowels. O Lord why hast thou made us to err from thy wayes, and hardned our heart from thy fear; the people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while, Isai. 63.15, 16, 17, 18.

THE COVENANT Which was Solemnly Renewed by the Church in Norwich in Connecticut Colony in New-England, March 22. 1675.

IN this Calamitous Year 1675, the Year of Jacobs trouble in the Wilderness, in which the Lord doth scourge New-England by the Outrage of the Heathen; a Year never to be forgotten.

And we who are in Church state, being cal­led by our Pious Rulers, with other Congre­gations in this Colony, and in Conseience of our duty moved to seek the Lord by Fasting and Prayer: and having considered the Par­ticulars contained in the Writing sent from our Rulers to the several Churches in this Co­lony, and which we ought to keep in Record for succeeding Generations, in which they do advertise us of those sins, for which the fierce [Page 68]wrath of the Holy one of Israel is poured o [...]t upon New-England; first by Blastings of the Fruits of the Earth, but in this year by cutting off the Lives of many by the Sword, and laying wast some Plantations, and threat­ning ruine to the whole.

Although to wonderment we have been hitherto preserved in the midst of the Heathen, yea, somewhat by means of some Heathen; but we feeling in this day of the Lords search­ing our Jerusalem as with a Candle, we cannot clear our selves (though through Grace) both we, and ours have been preserved from those many gross acts of Prophaneness, and Drunkenness, Uncleanness, and such like Scandals specified in that Writing, and do de­sire humbly to be thankful for some progress of Converting Work in some of the rising Generation among us: But while we do be­hold many unconverted Souls in this destroy­ing year, and the same sins working in us the causes of them, as in others; and a great degree of dangerous neglects of that which ought to be for the prevention of Apostasie, and that the departings of the Glory of God from a People are by little and little, and not total at once: We do see cause to judge and cast down our selves at the Footstool of the [Page 69]Lord, being covered with shame. And seeing true Repentance doth not end only in confes­sion, but is restless for Reformation, and so­lemn Covenanting with our God is a means (through his Grace) in order to Reforma­tion, as we find in the tenth of Ezra, and o­ther Holy Scriptures and pious Examples: We do therefore this Day Solemnly Covenant to Endeavour uprightly by dependance upon the Grace of God in Christ Jesus our only Sa­viour.

First, That our Children shall be brought up in the Admonition of the Lord, as in our Families, so in publick; that all the Males who are eight or nine years of age, shall be presented before the Lord in his Congregation every Lords Day to be Catechised, until they be about thirteen years in age.

Secondly, That those who are about thir­teen years in age, both Males and Females, shall frequent the Meeting appointed in pri­vate for their instruction, and to accustome them timely to the exercise of Church Disci­pline, and these to continue belonging to this Meeting, so long as they abide under Family Government of Parents or others, or until they are come to the enjoyment of full Com­munion with the Church.

Thirdly. That those who are grown up, so as that they are in that respect, left to be at their own dispose, shall be required to take hold of the Covenant of their Fathers hold­ing forth qualifications suitable to that solemn duty, or at least that they hold forth a consci­encious endeavour in the use of means to prepare for the same; and if they be negli­gent they shall be admonished of their sin; and if obstinate, they shall be cut off from the Congregation of the Lord by that Dreadful Ordinance of Excommunication.

Fourthly, Whereas the indulgence of Pa­rents in bearing with the evil Behaviours of their Children, their disobedience, unmanner­ly gestures, prodigality, and vain and unseem­ly Fashions, or other things not becoming those who are given to the Lord, is too mani­fest, and we are prone through fear or favour, or not observance to neglect admonishing such, the Church doth appoint some Brethren to take notice of such Children, and timely, meekly, wisely, and faithfully to admonish them, and their Parents, as the matter shall require, and if private means doth not pre­vail, then to manage the complaint orderly in other steps.

Fifthly, Whereas the Sacrament of the [Page 71]Lords Supper, the Seal of Communion, ought o [...]en to be celebrated; for the prevention of neglect, we do determine (God granting opportunity) that we will be in the use of that Ordinance once in every six Weeks.

Sixthly, Whereas it is too often seen, that many through fear, or favour, or sense of in­ability, do behave thems [...]lves to their Bre­thren, as if they were not concerned in that g [...]est Duty of Admonishing their Brother for offensive behaviours, unless it be in cases wh [...]rein they themselves suffer wrong, and h [...]nce love decayeth, and offences abound, and Christs Government, in works denied: We do sol [...]mnly pr [...]mise, that we will in any w [...]s [...] rebuke, a [...]d [...]o [...] suffer sin to rest upon our Bro [...]her, but deal faithfully according to Christ [...] Order.

And seeing we feel by woful Experience how pr [...]ne we are soon to forget the works of the Lord, and our own Vows; We do agree and determine, that this Writing or Contents of it, shall be once in every Year read in a Day of Fasting and Prayer before the Lord, and his Congregation; and shall leave it with our Children, that they do the same in their solemn dayes of mourning before the Lord, that they may never forget how their Fathers [Page 72]ready to perish in a strange Land, and with sore grief and trembling of heart, and yet with hope in the tender mercy, and good will of him, who dwelt in the burning Bush, did thus solemnly renew their Covenant with God: And that our Children after us, may not provoke the Lord and be cast off as a de­generate Off-spring, but may tremble at the Commandment of God, and learn to place their hope in him, who although he hath gi­ven us a Cup of Astonishment to drink, yet will display his Banner over them, who fear him.


A BRIEF DISCOURSE Proving that the First Day of the Week is the Christian Sabbath; Wherein also the Objections of the Anti-Christian Sabbatarians of late risen up in Connecticut Colony are refuted.

By Mr. James Fitch Pastor of the Church in Norwich in New-England.

Gal. 4.10, 11. Ye observe dayes, and moneths, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
Gal. 5.12, I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
Col. 2.16, 17. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the New Moon, or of the Sabbath-dayes. Which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ.

Printed in the Year 1683.

ARguments Grounded upon the Word of God, to prove that the First Day of the Week is by Di­vine Appointment the Day separa­ted for Holy Worship, and ought to be kept Holy unto the Lord, according to the Rules of Sanctifying the Sabbath, and consequently the Cessation of the seventh Day Sabbath in these Gospel Dayes.

And then a Reply to John Rogers his An­swers to some Questions sent to him from the Honourable Governour of Connecticut; and likewise an Answer to John R. his seven Que­stions with which he concluded.

Concerning the Arguments, the Question is not now concerning the Name, whether to be called a Christian Sabbath, which some take to be Analogically a resemblance to the Jewish Sabbath; or whither to be called the Lords Day, which some have thought to be a [Page 76]more Gospel Name. But the Subject of our Discourse at this time, is not concerning the Name but the thing, and far be it from me to imagine that I can add any thing to, or do so well as those Worthies, Doctor Bound, Mr. Abbot, Dr. Owen, & Mr. Baxter, Mr. Shepard, and others have done in their Learned Ela­borate Discourses upon this Subject, only I shall take some Arguments which to me seem most suitable to my present purpose.

1. The first is from Rev. 1.10. in which the Apostle declared, that he was in the Spirit on the Lords Day: For the opening of which words to make way for the Argument we may Consider:

First, It was some particular Day in the week, which the Apostle calls the Lords Day: for his Scope is to notifie at what particular time he had the Visions and Revelations of so great concernment to all the Churches in all Ages to the end of the World, and this he cal­leth the Lords Day:

Arg. Which was either some particular day, or some general name applicable to any day of divine Vision, if so then the answer should be the same with the Question, and prove and make evident nothing, for the question is what day he had these divine visions [Page 77]and the Answer then should be in the day of divine Visions, far be it from us to think that the Apostle guided by the Spirit of God in every word he said, could speak such nonsence: therefore it must be understood of some par­ticular day in the week.

2. Secondly, It was some particular Day well known to the Churches of Christ to whom he wrote, by that name of the Lords Day.

Arg. For it was a Day well known to the Churches by the name of the Lords Day, or else unknown and obscure, and would want an Exposition; far be it likewise from us to think that the Apostle guided by the Spirit of God, and having undertaken to make known to the Churches in what particular Day he had those Divine Revelations, should put an obscure and unknown name upon the Day by which the Churches could not know what he meant; therefore it is to be understood of a particular day well known to the Churches of Christ.

3. Thirdly, This particular Day so well known to the Churches by the name of the Lords Day, was a Day of divine Institution a Holy Day:

Arg. For it is called the Lords Day, either because it was a day of divine Revelation, or a [Page 78]Day by divine Institution; but it was not cal­led the Lords Day, because it was a day of divine Revelation, for as we heard before, this would be to speak nonsense, and nothing to the Question, therefore it was called the Lords Day, because it was so by divine Institution, and so a Holy Day.

Take one Argument more for the clearing of this, That which is honoured by the Holy Ghost in the Apostle, with the same honou­rable and holy Title and Name as belongs to the Lords Supper, and other holy Institutions is holy as these are.

Arg. The reason is, for if the Holy Ghost should honour this particular Day with as sa­cred a Name of Honour, as Ordinances are, and yet not be a holy Day, it would be to ho­nour it above its due, and consequently to degrade other divine Institutions, but this can­not be, but the day spoken of hath the same honourable title and name, as the Lords Sup­per, the Word of the Lord. &c.

4. That the particular Day well known to the Churches of Christ, called by the same honourable and holy Title or Name, as the Lords Supper is, and other holy Institutions was the first day of the week.

And for the Proof of this, let us consider [Page 79]Arguments of all sorts, inartificial, and arti­ficial abundantly confirmed by the Holy Scri­ptures, Light and Evidence.

First, To begin with inartificial Arguments, viz. Test [...]mon [...] of all the Churches in all ages, from the Apostles times, until you come nigh to our dayes; take Mr. Baxter's own words, It is unquestionable to any man versed in antiquity, that all the Churches of Christ, Greek and Latin, Syrian, Ethiopick, Persian, and Ar [...]b [...]ck called the first day of the week the Lords Day: and further he and other Wor­thies have and do give the chalenge unto any one to cite out of approved Histories, or from but one an [...]ent Writer, but one Church, or but one Christian or but one Heretick, who did gainsay this but of late times. And what force there is in this Argument we may now weigh it; the Word of God saith, that the Testimony of two Men is true, John 8.17. this is granted of all who have but humanity, that it is legally true, and the contrary to this is legally false, and we may know what to judge of him that speaks it: but the Testimony of all the Churches of Christ, from the Apostles time from age to age, may well have the cre­dit which belongs to two men, and somewhat more, especially if we consider that it was not [Page 80]possible all the Churches East and West, those who had no opportunity one with another, that these could convene or any wayes consult to deceive their poor posterity with a lie, by telling them that the first day of the week had the holy name of the Lords day, and was to be kept holy, when if it were false: but they all spake the same thing, because they were guided according to truth, which came from the same spirit of truth, breathing in the Apostles, and guiding the Churches in the primitive time, to declare the same to their Children, and so to Childrens Children in all ages, according as it was said in another case, Psal. 78.6, 7. and if de facto as they call it, concerning the fact, for that we now speak of (viz.) that the first day of the week from the primitive time, was called the Lords day, if Histories be of no use to inform us, or what they say ought not to be credited, although they generally speak the same thing as to fact what was done, I know not of what use they be: but all the Books and Histories of the Church of Christ concerning the time of the ten Persecutions, and ever since, may be com­mitted to the Flames as unworthy of credit: and let us never Write and Record any thing more for the benefit of Posterity of this kind: [Page 81]But I take it for granted that no sober minded Christian will agree to this whatever John Ro­gers his judgement may be.

And if any do desire to see more fully how it is proved that the first day of the week is the Lords day by the testimony of the antient Wri­ters; let them read Mr. Samuel Cradock's Book Entituled Knowledge and Practice, and Mr. Baxter's Book, concerning the first Day of the week by Divine Appointment the Lords Day; in which Books may be seen the antient Writers cited in their several places and ages from the primitive time to the latter time, at­testing the first day of the week to be the Lords Day.

We have at present done with the first Ar­gument, as it respects Testimony.

2. But let us proceed to that kind of Argu­ment which by the Learned is called Artificial, and argues from the Artifice, Frame and Na­ture of the thing, and must necessarily be granted to be the strongest way of Reason­ing.

Arg. The Apostle calls the Day as it was by the Lord made, and as it is, or else he did miscal it; the first part of this disjunct Pro­position must be granted, that the Apostle did call the Day as it is, as the Lord had made, [Page 82]for none will dare to say that he miscalled it, unless it be those who have learned to Blas­pheme. The Minor follows, that the first day of the Week was made by the Lord above any other day of the week to be the Lords Day in Gospel times; and for the Proof of this let us now Consider:

1. First, this was the day in which our Lord rose, John 20. [...]. Luk. 24.1.

2. This was the day in which he appeared to the two Disciples after his Resurrection to teach them, Luk. 24.13.

3. This was the day in which he appeared to the Apostles, and gave them their Commis­sion, and the Holy Ghost to enable them, Luk. 24.33, 36. John 20.19, 20, 21, 22.

4. And this was the day he chose again to ap­pear, when Thomas was with them, John 20.26.

5. And this was the day promised and pro­phesied of and sulfilled as in the former par­ticulars.

It was the day promised in Psal. 118.24. called the day the Lord hath made: speaking by way of Promise and Prophecie of Christs Resurrection Day, as it is express in the words.

And that which some have mentioned in Ezek. 43.27. hath likewise its weight, that [Page 83]the eighth day shall be the day wherein their Offering shall be accepted.

Arg. Take the Argument from hence, ei­ther this was performed literally, or typically, if literally, then the eighth day which is our first day of the week, was Honoured and San­ctified above the seventh day, and tha [...] by the Lords appointment: but thus it was not be­fore the Gospel times for that would be con­trary to Numb. 28.9, 10. therefore, it is to be understood typically, viz. what day in Gospel times the Worship of God, shall be accepta­ble, and that is the eight day which is our first day of the week.

And that day of his Resurrection was the day of performing that great promise and prophecie, Thou art my Son, this day I have be­gotten thee, for thus its expounded by the A­poste, Act. 13.33. God hath fulfilled the same to us, in that he hath raised up Jesus again, as it is written in the second Psalm, Thou art my Son this day I have begotten thee.

For although Christ is the Son of God from everlasting, yet this was the day in which he was declared to be the Son of God by Resur­rection from the dead, Rom. 1.4. and the first day of the week was the very day for the per­formance of this promise, Heb. 1.5. as Pareus [Page 84]doth more fully explain it.

And to conclude this, and though we can­not expect that those who are under a penal blindness and deafness, will either give or take reason until the Lord shall give them an ear to hear, and an eye to see, and because they say they see their sin remaineth, John 9 41. Bot to help the mind and memory of those who are sensible of their weakness, but are willing to hear and see: Let us gather up briefly that which hath been said out of Rev. 1.10. as followeth;

The day called the Lords Day is some par­ticular day well known to the Churches of Christ, otherwise it was in vain, and to no purpose for the Apostles to have spoken a word of the Day.

And this day called the Lords day was a Holy Day, otherwise it could not have the holy name proper unto holy things and holy time.

And that the day called the Lords Day is the first day of the week, this hath been pro­ved both by the Testimonies of all Churches in all ages, though cavelled against by some in late times, yet this their Testimony may well pass for legal Testimony in any Court of Justice upon Earth, and they who oppose it [Page 85]must be legally condemned for Liars.

And more then all this it hath been infallably proved by the Word of God, and his Works, that the first day of the Week is the very day which the Lord by his Prophets foretold he would make to be the day in which above all other dayes we should rejoyce, Psal. 118 24.

And with his Almighty hand he hath per­formed it by the working of his mighty power which he wrought in Christ Jesus when he raised him from the dead, Eph. 1.20. And in this very day revealing himself to his Disci­ples as the exalted head of his Church and People. And in this very day Commission­ing his Apostles, and breathing the Holy Ghost in the same day upon them, to impower and enable them in all things respecting their work as Apostles of Christ, and particularly by the Holy Ghost guiding the Apostles to settle the first day of the Week in all the Churches of Christ, as it is the Lords day and our Christian Sabbath: but more of this in that which followeth.

And thus that which the Lord hath wrought according to his Word, may well pass or divine Testimony in the Court of Consecience, that the first day of the week is by Divine [Page 86]Institution the Lords Day, and our Christian Sabbath.

And now let us proceed in the second place to prove that the first day of the week, which the Lord hath made by his word and works to be the Lords Day and our Christian Sabbath, was settled by the Apostles in all the Churches in the primitive time.

First, By their Doctrine, Secondly, By their Practice.

1. By their Doctrine, for for the clearing of this, let us consider; Heb. 4.8.9.

Where the Apostle doth by his Doctrine inform us of a Rest which remaineth to the People of God, and another day of Rest; and to make way for the Argument, let us open that Scripture.

1. First, he speaks of a Sabbatism, so the Word in the Original is, a Rest resembled by the seventh day Rest, spoken of in the third and fourth verses, and by the Rest in the Land of Canaan mentioned in the seventh and eighth verses.

2. This is another Rest, and therefore ano­ther day for this Rest: thus in 8, & 9 verses, and I shall at present content my self with Pa­reus his Exposition until I meet with a better; that [...] in the Psalms to which the Apostle [Page 87]had respect, did speak of another Rest, and a day of Rest which is neither the seventh day Rest, nor the Rest in the Land of Canaan, but signified and exemplified by the one, and sha­dowed out by the other and the Apostles de­monstration of this Doctrine may be expound­ed by ad sjunctive Syllogisme.

Arg. Either it is of the first rest of God in which he ceased from the Works of Creation or of that rest in Canaan, or of some other rest, and of another day of rest, but not of the two former; and therefore the conclusion of the Apostle is in the 8th and 9th verses of ano­ther Sabbath of rest.

3. This rest, and day of rest spoken of by the Apostle remaineth, so it is express in the words of the 9th verse, which remaining pro­perly, belongs to this rest, intimating by this his Doctrine, that the other rest, the seventh day rest is removed, for the remaining signi­fieth the stability and permanency of this Go­spel rest, and the day of that rest, but the re­moving of the thing shaken, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain, Heb. 12.27. The rest on the seventh day, and that day of rest was miserably shaken by the sin and fall of man, which brought the Curse not only upon himself and his Posterity, but upon [Page 88]the works of Creation; and therefore the Lord did not only threaten to destroy Man, but likewise to destroy the Beasts, the Creep­ing things, and the Fowls of the Air; for saith the Lord, it repenteth me that I have made them, Gen. 6.7.

Thus was the seventh dayes Sabbath which was a memorial of Gods resting from, and complacency in his works of Creation, sha­ken by Mans sin, and Gods curse upon the Creatures because of Man, and the Com­mandment for the sanctifying the seventh dayes Sabbath did remain as a hand-writing against sinful and fallen Man, as other Ordi­nances and Hand-writings did, until Christ comes and brings in better Ordinances, and a better day of rest which remaineth as the A­postle by his Doctrine instructeth us.

4. The Rest and day of Rest which remain­eth, is that into which Christ first entred, and at length did perfectly possess, and into which he leadeth his People, but Christ entred into his rest the first day of the week, when he rose from the dead, and at length he passed in­to the full possession of the Mansions and rest­ing places, ver. 14. and he that entred into his rest ceased from his Works as God did from his, ver. 10.

5. The remaining of this day of Rest is spoken of in the present tense; it is said there­fore there remaineth a Rest, so that it is that which at present the people of God do possess although the perfection of it is reserved for them when they shall come to the Mansions prepared by Christ for them, Joh. 14.2, 2 Pet. 1.11. the words being thus opened the Argu­ment now follows.

Arg. That if the People of God have ano­ther day of Rest which is not the seventh day rest, but that which Christ doth lead them in­to by his own Example, and by way of com­munion with him who entred into his rest in the first day of the week, then the first day of the week is the day of our Gospel Rest, and of our Christian Sabbath, and consequently a cessation of the seventh dayes Sabbath; but the proof of all these particulars we have in the former: and concerning Christs entring into his Rest on the first day of the Week, I shall yet speak more fully concerning that as I shall meet with it in some of the Objections of John Rogers.

In the second place, to prove that the Apo­stles by their Doctrine did settle the first day of the week to be our Christian Sabbath, we may see in 1 Cor. 16.12.

1. That which is there exprest is by way of precept and injunction, for so the Apostle saith, he had given order concerning the col­lection of the Saints, and therefore not left it as a matter of indifferency or liberty, but whosoever did neglect this, did transgress the Apostolical precept and order.

2. This order for the collection for the Saints was not only sent to the Churches at Corinth, but to the Churches at Galatia, so that it was an order and injunction common to the Churches:

3. The order did not only respect the col­lection it self, but the time and day of it, that upon the first day of the week, let every one lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him: so it is express in the 2d. verse, now the Argument follows.

Arg. The first day of the week was either a common and indifferent day, or a holy day, the day of the Christian Sabbath, but no com­mon and indifferent day; for how could the Apostle by his injunction and order, make it necessary for the Churches to attend this work of mercy, collection for the Saints on the first day of the week, if it was but a com­mon day, and thus esteem one common day above another contrary to his Doctrine, Rom. [Page 91]14.5. far be it from us to think that the Apo­stle could so contradict his own Doctrine, but it was because the first day of the week was made to be a holy day, and such works of mer­cy are very suitable unto the day.

2 Arg. Or thus, the Apostle did order collection for the Saints to be on the first day of the week, either because it was the Christi­an Sabbath, or for some other reasons, but I have so long waited to he [...]r of some other rea­sons, why the Apostle should lay an injunction upon all Churches to have such an honourable respect to this day, without any consideration of it as the Lords Day and Christian Sabbath, and all the Objectors and Cavillers against the first day of the week the Lords day, have not brought forth the least appearance of any reason to the contrary, that I confess I begin to think, that the Opponents themselves with­in themselves, have received a Sentence of despair of giving any reason, only they have travelled and brought forth one poor Obje­ction, that there is not a word spoken of a Sabbath here, and who saith there is? but the Argument is taken from the Apostles Order, and by Apostolical Order advanced the first day of the week above any other day, and that the reason of this is, either because it is the [Page 92]day of the Christian Sabbath or for some o­ther reason which never yet was brought to light, and therefore we conclude as in the former that the Apostle by his Doctrine did settle the first day of the week to be a holy day, a Christian Sabbath.

Now in the next place, concerning the pra­ctice of the Apostles & the practice of the Churches, of which much may be said in or­der to their attendance to holy Duties in the first day of the week, because it was a day separated for holy Worship, but at present we may consider Acts 20.7.

First, it was a Church assembly there spoken of, for it is said the Disciples came together.

2. Secondly, the end for the sake of which they came together, it was for the sake of re­ligious duties, that they might partake of the Lords Supper called breaking of Bread in this place, as in Act. 2.42. and did not go alone without other Religious performances, viz. Prayer and hearing the Word Preached.

3. Thirdly, It is spoken of as a custom, and usuall practice of the Disciples, therefore it is said on the first day of the week when the Disciples came together. Paul having wait­ed for and taking this opportunity to Preach to them, for he abode seven dayes among them, but this was the last day, his being [Page 93]ready to depart on the morrow, as is exprest in the 7th verse.

Arg. Hence the Argument is, Paul and the Disciples with him either kept the Seventh day Sabbath or the first day of the week a Christian Sabbath, or else they kept no Sabbath at all, if they had kept the seventh day Sabbath, that was the day before this First day of the Week, then they had a meeting after a Sabbath manner for Religious Duties, then the Evangelist would not have spoken of this Meeting on the First day as the only Church Meeting of the seven dayes of the A­postles abode amongst them; therefore it was the first day of the Week in which Paul and the Disciples assembled, and kept as a Christian Sabbath.

Much more hath been said by others, and I have somewhat more in readiness to say if the occasion calleth for it, and God giveth oppor­tunity.

But at present having proved that the first day of the Week was by the Lord himself made by his Word and by his Works to be the Lords day, and our Gospel and Christian Sabbath, and his Apostles were guided by the Holy Ghost to settle it in the room and place of the seventh day, both by their Doctrine and by their Practice; we proceed to make [Page 94]Reply to John R. his Answers to the Questi­ons: And concerning his Preface to his An­swers, I shall at present omit it until I come to his Conclusion and then consider both his Pre­face and Conclusion together, these and the Superscription being to the same Purpose, and the same for substance.

Quest. 1. The first Question: Are not just and necessary Consequences from Scripture to be taken for the mind of the Holy Ghost in Scripture, or else how shall we Answer the Pa­pists against the error of Transubstantiation?

John R. his Answer is,

Ans, If the Consequence drawn from Scripture is agreeable to the Scripture and no wayes contrary to the Scripture, it must be granted truth, because it speaks what the Scri­pture speaks. But as to the Papists John R. saith, they had no Scripture that said a piece of Bread was the body of our Lord, or that our Lord was turned into a piece of Bread, or that Bread was turned into our Lord; for our Lord did not say to his Disciples, Take eat this Bread is my Body, as the Papists did affirm, therefore they said that which the Scripture did not say, so do you say that which the Scri­pture doth not say, for you call the first day of the Week the Christian Sabbath, but the [Page 95]Scripture doth not; you call every first day of the Week the Lords Day, but the Scri­pture doth not so.

Reply The Reply to Iohn R. his Answer follows:

His Answer consists of two parts,

1. First, partly of a seeming Concession granting that Consequences drawn from Scripture and agreeable to Scripture are truth, &c.

2. Secondly he compareth us unto the Pa­pists, for saying that which the Scripture doth not say, and the Argument he gives is, If we say the first day of the Week is the Lords day and the Scripture doth not say it, then we are like the Papists.

Reply, The Reply is, that we have already proved that the Scripture saith, that the first day of the Week is the Lords day, and there­fore Iohn R. doth falsely Reproach us, and I might say, that he that will hold to the letter of a Scripture, although contrary to the spi­ritual scope of that and other Scriptures, is like the Papists in their defence of Transub­stantiation from those words, this is my Body: But Iohn R. doth hold to the letter of the fourth Command respecting the seventh dayes Sabbath, contrary to the command of Christ [Page 96]in the Gospel and that which is most spiritu­all and proper scope of that command, as ap­pears by the former arguments, and more shall appeare in that which follows, therefore in this John R. is like the Papists.

Qu. 2. Is not Rest meerly due and proper to succeed Labour?

Ans. John R. granteth that Rest necessa­rily follows Labour, and that God rested on the seventh day after his six dayes work was ended.

Qu. 3. Was not Jesus Christ as he was God equall with the Father, and as he was God Man was Lord of the Sabbath; he himself declareth in the fourth Command, and requireth Man to do the like by the Command?

Ans. John R. his Answer is that Jesus Christ as he was God was equal with the Fa­ther, all things was created for him and by him, But John R. saith, the next part is an assertion, yet not a solid one in this case, for as Jesus Christ was God he was commander of the Sabbath, yea the whole Law, but as he was Man, he was made of a Woman under the Law: And further Iohn R. saith, but if thou hast reference to the Scripture, Mar. 2.28. which saith, Therefore is the Son of Man Lord of the Sabbath Day, he doth not say, God Man but the Son of Man.

Reply, The Reply to Iohn Rogers is,

1. First, He grants that Christ as God, is the Commander and Lord of the Sabbath.

2. Secondly, He denies him to be the Lord of the Sabbath, as he is God Man: to which the Reply is,

Reply, By God-Man is meant, God and Man personally united, that is, the Son of God having assumed a humane nature into personal union with his Divine nature, is both God and Man; and if he be not Lord of the Sabbath as he is God and Man then he is not head over all things as he is God and Man, Eph. 1.21.22. then not Mediator as God and Man, 1 Tim. 2.5. And the Argu­ment he gives now follows:

For saith Iohn Rogers, as he was Man he was made of a Woman, and made under the Law, hence his Argument is, if Christ as a M [...]n was made of a Woman under the Law, then as God-Man he is not Lord of the Sabbath. If this be good Divinity then let Iohn R. pro­ceed to say, that because he was Man, made under the Law, therefore as God Man he is not head of his Church and is not the Medi­atour, and as God Man he shall not return to be the Judge of the World; this is so far [Page 98]from being solid, that it is contrary to the frame of Gospel Scriptures.

2. Secondly, He argues from Mark 2.28. his Expositions are these, but if thou hast re­ference to that Scripture which saith, the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath, he doth not say God Man but the Son of Man; whence his Argument is, if the Scripture saith that the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. then Iohn Rogers judgeth it is not a solid assertion to say Christ as God Man is Lord of the Sab­bath.

Reply, My Reply is, that if Christ the Son of Man be Lord of the Sabbath its either as he is the Son of God, or as the Son of Man, or as he is God and Man; not as the Son of God considered without being the Son of Man for the words are express, that the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.

2. Secondly, Not as the Son of Man, this Iohn Rogers granteth to be too low, because thus he was under the Law, and therefore it must be as he is God Man, that he was Lord of the Sabbath, and yet Iohn Rogers saith this is not a solid assertion, but he hath given no solid Argument to the contrary, but that which fights against it self.

Only a Question from hence he doth pro­pound, [Page 99]I find it to be so long winded, and yet so short spirited as to any reason belonging to the Question in hand, that I can hardly spare Pen, Ink and Paper to Transcribe it, but we must have it as it is:

These are Iohn Rogers his words; I shall propose a Question in this matter, if in Scri­pture it is said, That the Man was not made for the Woman, but the Woman for the Man, and in Scripture the Man is called the Lord of the Woman, why then if the Sabbath was made for Man and not Man for the Sabbath, is not Man Lord even of the Sabbath day; for though a Man be Lord of his Wife, yet he ought not to put her away in respect of the Law of God that hath made those two one, so likewise the Sabbath, though man be Lord of it, in respect it was made for him, and not him for it; yet by virtue of Gods command, ought not to prophane it: yet if in case it was so that Man must either omit the deed of mercy to Man, or prophane the Sab­bath by doing the deed of mercy to the Man, he ought to prophane the Sabbath and do the deed of mercy, in respect the Sabbath was made for Man and not Man for the Sabbath; for God hath preferred the Man above his Sabbath, not ma­king him for the Sabbath but the Sabbath for him; for in this respect God hath made him Lord even of the Sabbath day.

Reply, The Reply to all this is, That all this is nothing to the Question stated, and who knows not but God wi [...]l have Mercy rather than Sacrifice whether on the Sabbath day or any other t [...]me.

Qu. 4. Was not the work of Redemption as great, and Godlike as the work of Creation, and so worthy of Rest and a memorial upon its finish­ing.

Ans. Iohn R. his Answer is, the work of Creation was the greatest work that ever was, for it was the Creating of all things: and the work of Redemption the mercifullest work that ever was to Gods Elect, for by it they were redeemed: And forasmuch as the God and Father of all things ought to be obeyed as that one Law giver, who created all things and commanded all, that the seventh day should be kept holy in respect of Creation, ought to be obser [...]e [...] by resting from Labour as he did, and that because he comman [...]ed it: And forasmuch as our Lord Jesus Christ hath redeemed Gods Elect by his body and blood, and appointed for a Memorial of the same Baptism and the Lords Supper to be observed by the Redeemed ones, he ought to be obeyed in the same, as God the Father in the other, so that both these works have some thing to keep [Page 101]them in memory by the appointment of the Workmen.

Reply, The Reply to John R. his Answer is, First, He saith the work of Creation is the greatest work, and his reason is because God made all things: The Reply is,

That if the work of Creation be the great­est, then the work of Redemption is not so great as the work of Creation; but a work is greater or lesser according to the greatness of wisdom, power and goodness manifest in it, but the wisdom of God shining in the work of Redemption, excels the wisdom shining in the work of Creation, 1 Cor. 2.7. wisdom in a mystery, and the power made manifest in Re­demption is greater than in Creation, called the exceeding greatness of his power towards them that do believe, Eph. 1.19.

And for goodness to finners John R. cannot but confess it is the mercifullest work, and yet he denieth that a day shall be appointed for a memorial of this greatest work; but as it is worthy of a Day, so the Lord hath appointed the first day of the week for that end, as hath been proved by the Scriptures abovemention­ed, and therefore it is in vain for John R. to deny it.

Qu. 5. The fifth Question is, Was not the [Page 102]work finished at the Resurrection of Christ on the first day of the week, when he entred into his rest as God did into his.

Ans. John R. his Answer is, The price was paid as soon as the Sacrifice was offered, and the dead raised; but the work of Re­demption as yet not perfected in us, for we are yet under the bondage of corruption, Rom. 8.23. but to say that Christ entred into his Rest on the first day of the week I cannot, for he did assemble himself with his Disciples af­ter his Resurrection, being seen of them forty dayes before he ascended up into Heaven, and upon the day of his Resurrection did eat with his Disciples, and did travail with them, which was Labour.

Reply, The Reply is, that Iohn R. denieth that the work of Redemption was finished, because it is not finished in us: Whence his Argument is,

That if Redemption be not perfected in Believers, then not finished by Christ: but this is false reasoning for want of distinguish­ing between the work of Redemption and the work of Application: Christs work of Re­demption may be finished although the work of the Holy Ghost as sent from the Father and the Son to apply Redemption may not be [Page 103]finished and is not in this life perfected to the Elect.

Obj. The second Objection is, That Christ was not entred into rest on the first day of the week, and his reason is, because he assembled with his Disciples, did eat and travail, &c.

Reply. The Reply is, Either Christ was on the first day of the Week in a state of Humi­liation, or a state of Exaltation: if in a state of Humiliation, then his Resurrection was no degree of his Exaltation, contrary to Rom 1.3, 4 Eph. 1.20, 21. if he were in a state of Exalta­tion then in a state of blessed and glorious Rest: And although there are divers de­grees of his Exaltation, as his Resurrection, Ascention, Session at the right hand of the Father, and his return at the last Day to be the Judge, but Resurrection is one degree of his Exaltation and of his Rest; and therefore he was entred into Rest, although for the con­viction and confirmation of His Disciples, he did shew himself, and by some sensible signs make it manifest that it was himself, that very humane nature which had suffered death, was raised, that he that descended was raised, and is the same also that ascended into Heaven Eph. 4.10.

Qu. 6. Did not Christ allow this to be called his Day, as the Sacrament is called his, or the Loras Supper?

Ans. Iohn R. his Answer is, I cannot say that ever the first day of the week was called the Lords Day, and therefore cannot say whe­ther he allowed it or no, I know that the Cup which our Lord communicated to his Disci­ples, they called it the Lords Cup, and the Ta­ble at which they sa [...]e to communicate of the Bread and Wine, they called the Lords Table, and the Apostle Iohn calleth that Day in which the Lord communicated to him those Visions in the Revelations the Lords Day, but what day of the Year, or of the Week, I cannot tell.

Reply, The Reply to this is, there hath been Arguments given of all forts to prove both from humane and divine Testimony, the word and works of the Lord, the Doctrine and Examples of the Apostles of Christ, that the first day of the Week was that very day called the Lords day, Rev. 1.10. and if John Rogers was asked who his Father was, he would be ashamed to say he could not tell, and yet he cannot but know that as to humane Te­st mony, there is more clear and infallible proof, that the first day of the week was called [Page 105]the Lords Day than he can have who his Fa­ther was, this being the Testimony of all the Churches in all Ages, from the primitive time to this very day, until of late some few ha [...]e risen up and raised the Objection.

But besides all these Arguments from the Scripture have been given to prove it; and if yet Iohn R. will say he cannot sell, we must leave him to his [...]gnorance, and he ought not to be off [...]nded with us, and revile us, because we do know.

Qu. 7. Did not Christ countenance and al­low his Apostles in the practice and solemniza­tion of that day in proper Sabbath Ordinances?

Ans. His Answer is before, saying not that I know the Ordinance of the Sabbath is rest to Man and Beast, for so God ordained in the fourth Command after the six dayes work to rest.

Qu. 8, Are not Christ and his Apostles therein to be a pattern for Christians to follow, and so vertually a divine Institution?

Ans. Iohn Rogers his Answer is, that the eighth Question is answered by the Answer to the seventh, and the answer to the seventh was the same with the Answer to the sixth, viz. that he could not tell, that he did not know, and thus he makes a quick dispatch of An­swers [Page 106]to the Governours Questions: But in this he is like those who when the Question was asked them concerning the Baptisme of John, whence was it, from Heaven or of Men? they reasoned with themselves saying, if we shall say from Heaven he will say unto us, why did you not then believe him? but if we shall say of Men, we fear the People, for all hold John as a Prophet, Mat. 21.25, 26. and there­fore they concluded it was safest for them to say we cannot tell, ver. 17. Thus likewise if Iohn R. should say, that the Patern and the Examples of the Apostles, respecting Wor­ship, and particularly concerning the Sabbath, ought to be followed, then he knows it would be said, why do you not follow them? and if he should say, that their Example ought not to be followed by Christians, this would be so un-Gospel-like and un-Christian like, and therefore Iohn R. concludes it is best for him to say he cannot tell.

Qu. 9. If the old Jewish Covenant be expi­red, and sundry Ordinances about time and place, &c. altred, why not the time of the old Sabbath alterable by the Lord of the Sabbath upon a Gospel account as a memorial of Redemption?

Ans. Iohn R. his Answer is, I know not what thou dost mean by old Jewish Covenant, [Page 107]I know no Covenant in Scripture by that name, if thou dost mean the Covenant which the two Tables of Stone, the Tables of the Covenant which did contain the ten Com­mandments which Israel did enter into a Co­venant with God, by engaging to perform the same, which Covenant they brake, and peri­shed in the Wilderness for the same; God did ordain by the hand of Moses Ceremonies as a figure of the Mediatorship of Jesus Christ at this time at Mount Sinai, when Israel entred into the Covenant of works, to shew that there was mercy to be obtained by Jesus Christ, though the first Covenant was broken by them; that is to say, upon Repentance and Faith. Now though the first Covenant which was dedicated with the blood of Bulls and Goats, and accompanied with many Rites and Ceremonies which were figures of the Media­torship of Jesus Christ, which Rites and Cere­monies are done away, but none of them placed in the two Tables, for that Law is spi­ritual, and it is as easie by Gods Decree, for Heaven and Earth to pass as for a tittle of it to fail: Now the other Law contained in the former Covenant, called the Hand-writing of Ordinances, which was nailed to the Cross of Christ, which did contain meats and drinks, [Page 108]New Moons and Sabbaths, which Sabbaths was besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, but Gods seventh day-Sabbaths were commanded by the mouth of the Lord with an audible voice, written with the finger of God in Stone, death inflicted upon the breaker of it, Exod. 31.12.

Reply, The Reply is this, John Rogers his Answer is full of confusion, jombling the Co­venant of Works and the Covenant of Grace together.

1. First, The Covenant of Works was made with Adam.

2. Secondly, The Covenant of Grace may be considered either as Ceremonially and Le­gally Administred, and this John R. calls the Covenant of Works, or as it is attended with Gospel Administrations, and there the Questi­on ariseth.

Whether another day might not be more suitable upon a Gospel account than the se­venth day Sabbath? and what reason doth Iohn R. give to the contrary? I confess I be­gin to grow weary of forming his Arguments for him, because I find it more difficult to find out his reason, and to form it for him than to answer it, and could even determine for the future, that if he cannot, or will not form his [Page 109]Arguments himself, I shall leave them as I find them covered with darkness and void of form; but if there be any face of reason in this his Answer, at length it is, That the se­venth day being commanded in the Decalogue is therefore unalterable: but we have proved that Christ hath altered it, and by the Holy Ghost guided his Apostles to settle the first Day of the Week the Lords Day and our Christian Sabbath: and because I shall meet with this Objection more fully in the next Answer, I proceed to that.

Qu. 10. Is there not room left in the Words of the fourth Command for the seventh Day to be altered, and our Lords day to be sanctified by the Lord of the Sabbath? See the Preface of the Commannment. Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy, and the Conclusion only saith, the Lord blessed the Sabbath: and when the seventh day is named, it saith only is, and not shall be for ever so observed:

Ans. John R. his Answer is No: there is no room, for the seventh day is the very day commanded, and Jesus Christ hath left it upon Record, that it is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass than one tittle of the Law to fail, and hath forbid his Disciples for entertaining such a thought in these words, saying, think not I [Page 110]am come for to destroy the Law; and again, saith he; For verily I say unto you, till Heaven and Earth pass one jott or tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, who dare therefore at­tempt such a thing against Gods Law, given in such a terrible manner, being spoken by his own mouth, the Earth trembling at his Word, and so terrible was the sight that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake, and not only so, but the Son of God testifying that it shall abide as long as Heaven and Earth, as is al­ready specified, threatning also any that at­tempt such a wicked act, saying, Whosoever therefore breaks the least of these Commandments and shall teach Men so, &c. therefore who dare attempt such a presumptuous act against Gods Law, and Christs confirmation of the same Law, and what is that to purpose in the Pre­face and Conclusion, seeing the day command­ed is the seventh day and no other, so that Sabbath is proper only to the seventh day and no other: but as to the conclusion of the com­mandment, some Translate it, therefore the Lord blessed the seventh day and ballowed it, which is most agreeable, it being taken from Gods seventh day rest, Gen. 2.3. See Beza's Translation, Exod. 31.12. and death not inffli­cted upon any ceremonial Law but Excommu­nication, [Page 111]but death upon the prophaning of the seventh day Sabbath: the Reply is.

Reply: Iohn R. in this Answer is fled to his seeming Fort, and he knows if he be driven out from this, that neither he nor any for the seventh dayes Sabbath, have any Castle nor Covering for their conceited confidence, but the scope of the Question if rightly stated and plainly expressed is.

That a Sabbath as a Sabbath is first and last in the Precept, and shall not be changed, but the particular day is secondarily specified, and is mutable as other positive Laws are, the Lord having reserved a liberty to himself to change them according to his Royal pleasure, and who shall say he hath done iniquity? And as for Iohn R. his Argument, so far as it hath any colour of reason in it, is. That seeing Christ came not to destroy the Law but to fulfil it, and that in every jot and tittle of it, and there­fore not to change the seventh dayes Sabbath into the first day of the Week, and to this we shall positively and plainly Reply.

1. First, There is that which may be cal­led an actual fulfilling in all and every particu­lar point and duty required in the Decalogue, but Christ did never actually fulfil the particu­lar Duties of Parents to Children of a Hus­band [Page 112]to a Wise and many other particular points and duties contained in the Decalogue and yet his fulfilling all and every one of those Duties which had any suitableness to his sta­tion and work, as he had opportunity in rela­tion to God or Man, this is called a fulfilling of all righteousness, Mat. 3.15.

2. Secondly, There is an actual fulfilling of the Law literally; and in this sence the Priest in his Labour in Sabbath duties of his Office, might be said to prophane the Sabbath, Mat. 12.5.

And a fulfilling spiritually and finally accor­ding to the true scope of the Law, and thus he was said to be blameless, and so may we, if we keep that day holy which Christ hath appoint­ed as most suitable to Gospel times and the most spiritual scope of the fourth Command, although we prophane the seventh day Sab­bath.

3. Thirdly, To come nearer to the Text mentioned, Christ came not to make any de­structive change of the Law but to fulfil it; and therefore to make a perfecting or perse­ctive change: And the Godly, Learned do note that the word to destroy the Law signi­fies to dissolve or pull it in pieces, Christ came not to dissolve or pull the Law in pieces, and [Page 113]leave the wills of Men to a lawless liberty, but to bring in a stricter holiness and righteous­ness, and a more perfect Administration and edition of the Law, and this is expresly his scope, and Christ himself expounds his mean­ing in the following part of the Chapter, in Mat. 5. whilst Christ gives a more spiritual exposition than the corrupt Pharisees did, who did cleave to and pervert the Letter of the Law, as this Jewish Sabbatarian doth the letter of the fourth Command: but when Christ changeth the seventh day Sabbath to the first day of the week, that is the Sabbath from the seventh day of the week to the first day of the week, with respect to the commemoration, not only of the old Creation which is subje­cted unto corruption, but the new Creation the work of Redemption which shall remain: what destructive change is this of the Law in any one jott or tittle of it, and no more rea­son for any to complain of a change then they had when Christ changed, and made water in­to wine; if John Rogers cannot chuse but re­fuseth this Gospel wine, yet let him not scorn and scoff at us, for our thankful receiving of it: And if Beza be in so good credit with J. R. as he seemeth to intimate, let him credit Beza in this matter also, who attesteth that in [Page 114]an ancient Copy he had found it thus Recor­ded, That the Apostle had given order for the Collections in the first day of the week with this added the Lords Day, 1 Cor. 16.2.

But seeing this Judaizer and others of his perswasion have so wrested this Text, Mat. 5.17. we shall add one consideration more for the clearing of the same, and our Argument is this.

Arg. As Christ came to fulfil the Law, so likewise he came to fulfil the Prophets, so it is expressed in Mat. 5.17. think not saith Christ, that I am come to destroy the Law or the Pro­phets, I am not come to destroy but to fulfil.

But Christ did fulfil the Prophets, their pro­phecies by performing and answering the scope and end of the same, and by changing the Prophecies into performances: Oh most happy and glorious change, without which the Prophets their Prophecies could not have been fulfilled! this was far off from a de­structive change of one jott or tittle of the Prophecies.

So likewise Christ did fulfil the Law, and particularly that Law the fourth Command­ment, by performing and answering the scope and end of it, and by changing not the Sab­bath as a Sabbath, but by changing of the Sab­bath from the seventh day to the first day of [Page 115]the week, and this was no destructive change of one jott or tittle of the fourth Command, but a most happy and glorious change with re­spect to the glory of the Law-giver, and the good of his People, which blessed ends are more fully and perfectly attained by the change, than could possibly be by a seventh day Sabbath, as is more fully explicated in my Catechism; so that the fourth Command complains not, it is wronged not a jott, or tittle of it destroyed, no more than when vessels of Brass or Earthen Vessels are turned into Gold and that which is less perfect is turned into that which is more perfect, for though the Law of God is ever perfect as to the time and sub­ject for whom it is fitted, and so as the seventh day Sabbath as it respected the time and sub­jects for whom it was fitted, but yet when the first day of the week is appointed by the Lord of the Sabbath as most suitable to Gospel times, and the subjects of Gospel Administra­tions; now that which was less perfect respe­cting this time and state most give place to that which is more perfect, and in this the fourth Command is not destroyed but fulfilled, the Law being no Enemy to the Gospel, but like Moses and Aaron do kiss one another upon the Mount of the Lord, and thus doth the fourth [Page 116]Command and our Christian Sabbath.

Qu. 11. Whether do you well, knowing these Arguments are pleaded and accordingly practised in all Christian Churches and our Laws there­upon founded, to disturb our Peace, offend our Consciences, oppose our Government, before you gave us conviction, either by writing or other­wise, when as you were left to enjoy your own per­swasion in private?

Ans. To which John R. his Answer is, as followeth.

I am willing to refer it to the Judgement of God whether I have done well or not well, who knows whether you have stood for his truth or I, but to say pleaded and practised in all Churches; I know it to be otherwise both by Books and Reasonings, and as for the Laws respecting these things, I know no Authority you have to make such Laws; for there is one Law-giver who is able to save or to destroy, re­specting the things as to matter of Worship: you ought to have been obedient to his Laws, and not to have adventured to make Laws for him, founding them upon notions, and so be­come despisers of his Laws, and persecutors of those which will worship God by his own Laws, and whatever you think of it, it is God opposeth you by us, wherein you act in dark­ness [Page 117]and not Govern according to his will and as for our not giving you conviction as you say you are so far from receiving conviction from our hands, that you would not give us liberty for to make our lawful defence, but use your unreasonable power by preventing us of law­ful plea, and also we did write the first time we were brought before you, Iohn Allyn the Secretary being Judge, which was before you had any first-day Law, as since you have made, w [...] not knowing then but that we should have had liberty to have pleaded our innocency, but was forthwith took away by the Constable and not suffered to make our defence, being fined ten shillings a piece, and committed to the Prison; and no Law of God or of this Colony produced to convict us by, which we look to be very unreasonable: and then wrote we to the Court which was then sitting but ob­tained no answer; I have a Copy of it to this day with all our hands to it as we then sent it, but being now in Prison I cannot come at it, otherwise I might have sent you a Copy of it at this time. And what I have met withal from some of the Ministers respecting this matter, it will be too much for me to write now, to assert what opposition I have met with from their hands in not lending me an ear, I [Page 118]deny that we were left to enjoy our own per­swasion [...]n private, forasmuch as God hath hid these things from the wise and prudent and re­vealed them to us, He hath required us, that what he ha [...]h told us in darkness we should speak in light; what we hear in the Ear to preach upon the house tops.

The last thing in thy Paper is as followeth,

John, when you have answered these Queries in writing, then a Reply may be made by some ab [...]e [...] hand, and published to the World, or you may send it whither you will, but further to gratifie Pride, conceit or your presumption we see no need, nor to be for edi­fication, and to this added to the former, John Rogers saith, I having answered to thy Queries writing them at large, so as where my answers may be seen, they may be seen at large with thy reproachful Superscription and false charge, with both the Superscriptions and re­viling Conclusion, I know not of one Word that is wanting that is in thy Paper, but is here exactly set down, and the Question spake to.

And John Rogers further saith, I desire now that these following things may be weighed and well considered; we have this many years suffered under the Government by Imprison­ment, Fines, and other Sufferings, under a pre­tence [Page 119]of Heresie, and acting against Christ, and being Antichrist, it must needs follow that if we are such, it must needs be because we hold such things which are Erroneous, being corrupted; and if so, why do you not shew us wherein, and confute us by the Scripture? we are ready at any time to produce our Scripture proof for what we hold, for it doth indeed belong to us to prove what we hold by the Scripture, and also it belongeth to you to prove what you hold by the Scripture; for it is not our work to prove your Opinion, nor your work to prove ours, but the affirmative party is to produce the proof, now we are the suffering party, being judged by you as if we were Antichrist, and called to an account by you: could we now have Justice at your hands, and you reasonable Men, you would demand our proof out of Scripture and weigh the same meekly and uprightly: we call you not to an account about your Opinion, but you ours, therefore it is our Opinion that is in hand, and do you think it hath a good face on it, while you are afflicting us, and charging me to be Antichrist, and acting against Christ, to put forth Questions to me about your own Opinion whenas I call you not to an account about it: but since thou hast begun to question [Page 120]about your own Opinion well may I.

Reply, The Reply to John Rogers his long Answer, and to the eleventh Querie, I can find in this his Answer, neither Divinity nor Hu­manity, neither good Reason, nor good Man­ners; but a throng of absurdities and incivi­lities: and as soon as they are brought near the Light their monstrous deformities will be made manifest to any man who hath not a blast upon his reason.

1. First, The Word of God saith, that we ought to follow peace with all Men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord Heb. 12.14.

But John R. pretending holiness proceedeth to disturb the peace Ecclesiastick, and Civil, of Pious Rulers and Godly People, and appeal­eth to God for a Judgement, like those in Isai. 48.3, 4. who said they would trust in God, but they were rebellious, and their Brow as Brass and Neck as an iron Sinew.

2. Secondly, He denies that all the Chur­ches of Christ do keep the first day of the week, as it is the Lords Day, and asserteth the contrary: but if J. R. knows of any Church in antient times or of late times, it is pity he doth not help those of his Perswasion who have been so often chalenged to mention one [Page 121]Church of Christ in former times, or one Writer, or one Christian, or one Heretick, who did gainsay this until late times: But if J. R. hath found them out and yet they must not be known but lie in obscurity, there we must leave him and his Churches at present.

3. Thirdly, God and his People hath cho­sen our Governour to be a Judge, but J. R. hath taken upon him to give him his charge, and both in his Preface and in his Conclusion, hath usurped the power to judge, both our Governour and our Laws, contrary to James 4.11. and although the Word of God saith, Rebuke not an Elder, but intreat him as a Father, 1 Tim. 5.1. and that we should be ready to give a reason of our hope with meekness and reverence, 1 Pet. 3.15. But I. R. is bold to rebuke our Governour, Dictatour-like, with­out the least appearance of meekness, but with a gross appearance of irreverence, ha­ving wholly forgot what Titles of Honour Paul gave, not only to Agrippa the King, but likewise to Festus, Act. 26. civility may be in one where sincere Conversion is not, and good Manners may be where saving Grace is not, but it is not a possible thing that sincere Con­version and saving Grace can be in that Man in whom there is not Civility and good Man­ners. [Page 122]And as for his aspersing Complaints a­gainst the Government, for proceeding against him, I have no call: nor is there any need for me to take the defence of our Rulers, they are well able to defend themselves, and will in due time clear their exceeding lenity towards John Rogers and their legal proceedings, and wipe away all his reviling Aspersions; and what hath been done by the Ministers and o­ther Christians for the conviction of I. R. and his Company is well known to those who are not meer strangers: but reprove not a Scorner lest he hate thee, Prov. 9 8. A Man that is an Heretick after the first and second Admonition reject, Tit. 3.10.

So that means of Conviction are to be im­proved with respect to the hope of good fruit but what the fruit hath been of the improve­ment of means upon Iohn R. is known to any who knows Iohn Rogers.

And whereas Iohn R. is called in that wri­ting a Prisoner of Antichrist, and this and such like expressions he calleth Revilings: I shall propound some considerations out of the Word of God to guid our Judgements.

1. First, He that sets himself in opposition to Christ in his Messengers, and in the Commu­nion and Assembling of his Church, doth act [Page 123]the part of Antichrist, 1 Iohn 2.18, 19.

2. Secondly, He that manageth his perswa­sion whatever it is against the Churches of Christ by an Antichristian spirit, is in this an Antichrist, that is to say, not with that Chri­stian Spirit as the Witnesses of Christ are wont to do, by laying aside the use of lawful liberty. As Paul in abstaining from Meat rather than offend his Brother, Rom. 14.

By practising that which there is no Rule and Command for, unless it were at present for avoiding of offence, as Paul's Circum­cising Timothy, Act. 16.3. And observing o­ther Ceremonial Rites for a time, although he was as clear in his Judgement in these things, and far more infallible than Iohn R. can be concerning his seventh day Sabbath.

And behaving themselves before those who are in place of Civil G [...]vernment, in giving a reason of their hope with meek [...]ess and reve­rence as in the forementioned place, 1 Pet. 3.15.

These and such like virtues have eminently shined in all sufferers for Christ.

But the contrary to these is an Antichristi­an Spirit, when so far from avoiding offence, that there is a catching at an opportunity to lay a stumbling block in the way, not only of [Page 124]the Prophane and the Heathen, and giving them an occasion to Blaspheme but to grieve those whose godliness is manifest to the Con­sciences of all, this is practical Antichristan­ism in a high degree.

3. Thirdly, He that presently after his pre­tended Conversion, plungeth into the errors of Anabaptism, and most rigid Separatism and Enthusiasm more deep than ever they dip any in the water, and at length is left to fall from set and solemn seasons of Prayer, and to deny the immortality of the Soul, at least to dream that after its departure out of the body, it lies in a sleep, and shall neither go to Heaven nor Hell, this is the Man who is proud, and hath dored upon his Questions until he knows nothing, 1 Tim. 6.4. This is the Man whose folly shall be made manifest unto all, 2 Tim. 3.9

The Heathen Philosophers, and the natu­ral light of reason in these very Heathen, shall rise up to condemn him. This is the Man whose destruction shall be swift, 2 Pet. 2.1 And perish in the gainsaying of Korah, Jud. 11.

4. Fourthly, He that doth all the former under a pretence of Conversion work, having been notoriously scandalous in his life; and as soon as he pretends to be converted, he pre­sently leaps into Antichristian-practices and [Page 125]runneth furiously on with an Antichristian Spirit, this is the Man whom the unclean Spirit finds to be empty, swept & garnished, & re­turns with 7 Devils worse, & the latter end of this Man shall be worse than his beginning, Mat. 12.44. And whilst he acts in such spiteful opposition against the Spirit of Christ in his Messengers and Communion of Saints, and in that Blaspheming, Reviling or dirty manner with lies and slanders against the Rulers in the Colony and Church, if this man hath not al­ready committed the Sin unto Death, yet he is in the high way to that unpardonable Sin a­gainst the Holy Ghost, Heb. 10.26, 27, 28.

But how far all these are applicable to I. R. I leave to his own Conscience, and the Con­sciences of others: I am only at present cal­led to declare the Rule out of the Word of God by which we ought to judge; and let o­thers who are eye-witnesses, and ear-witnesses of his practice give in their Testimony when they are called thereunto: But I conclude, that if the Spirit of Christ was not only in the Martyrs, the Witnesses of Christ, but like­wise in our godly Predecessours, Mr. Hooker, Mr. Cotton, Mr. Davenport, Mr. Shepard, Mr. Stone, and in many others in England & New England: That Spirit that is contrary to the Spirit of Christ in those Worthies is an Anti­christian [Page 126]Spirit, and in whomsoever it is mani­fest, that Man is no follower of these godly Pred [...]cessors; and although we are an un­worthy and declining People [...]e John Rogers, and those who are of his fellowship do n [...]t op­pose us in our declensions, but in those things in which we are followers of our godly P [...]e­decessors in those very things they shew them­selves Adversaries against us in this day.

But now I shall hasten unto a Conclusion, Iohn Rogers concludes his writing with seven Questions: The Preface to them is this; Iohn Rogers saith, I desire you since we are under Sufferings by you, that thou wouldest pro­cure and return me a direct Answer to my se­ven Questions un [...]erwrit, without shifting or shunning the same.

Iohn R. his first Question is;

Qu. 1. Whether Sin is imputed where no Law is?

Ans. That seeing the Law, whither Moral or Gospel, contains a Platform of well-doing, the contrary to this is Sin, and if no Law then no transgression; but Christ is our Judge, our Law-giver, and our King, and he will save us, Isai. 33.22. and he hath given us his command to keep the first day of the week holy as the Lords day: And the Mosaical [Page 127]Law respecting the seventh day Sabbath, in which [...] Rogers trusteth, shall condemn him for his disobedience against the Law of Christ, which is Lord of the Sabbath, as we have pro­ved already; and thus he hath an Answer to his first Question, and likewise to his second Question, Whether there can be Transgression where no Law is.

Iohn Rogers his third Question followeth;

Qu. 3. Whither or no God hath given Laws sufficiently to reprove such as are Transgressors, or is short in his Laws and so need many Assi­stants?

Ans. Gods Laws are perfectly sufficient, and they need no Assistants, but we need Assi­stants to look to the Application and Execu­tion of them against Malefactors, and to be a terror to evil Doers; and besides many other Reasons to prove this, the experience of Iohn Rogers his behaviour may be sufficient to con­vince us that the government have need of Assistants, although the Law it self needs none.

Qu. 4. Hath God any Law to forbid work on the first day of the week, and that gives liber­ty to work on the seventh?

Take likewise his fifth Question almost the same with the fourth, and then we shall answer them together.

Qu. 5: Hath God by any of his Messengers or otherwise in Scripture called the first day of the week the Christian Sabbath, or is it a humane in­vention, if not humane, quote the place in Scri­pture, for a thing is known by the name of it?

Ans. I Answer both to the fourth and fifth Question, I have proved it already by many Arguments from aforementioned Scriptures, that the first day of the week is by Christs Commandment the day appointed to be the Lords day, and our Christian Sabbath, and therefore I refer him for an Answer to that which hath been already said.

Qu. 6. If any Sect produce Consequence from Scripture, as the Judge to uphold their O­pinion, and it appear to be altogether contrary to the plain Word of God in the Scripture, whither or no I should look at it to be consequence or blind­ness in the Sect?

Ans. The Consequence from Scripture is either a necessary Consequence, and being ac­cording to Scripture, is of as full force as any plain Scripture, as John Rogers granted in his Answer to the first Question, or else it is a Consequence seemingly deduced from Scripture, but is really a perverting of, and contrary to the Scripture, as some unlearned and unstable, who wrest the Scriptures to [Page 129]their own destruction, 2 Pet. 3.16. and then it is far off from being of the same force with the Scripture: But we have given Iohn Rogers necessary deductions from plain Scriptures in the Old and New Testament, to prove that the first day of the week is the Lords day, and our Christian Sabbath; and it is in vain for Iohn R. to deny this until the Arguments be confuted.

Qu 7. Iohn Rogers his seventh Question, Whether or no there be a possibility to take out the day commanded out of the fourth Commandment, and put in one of the six working dayes, in the room thereof, and not alter one jott or one tittle of the former Law, if there be a possibility of such a thing, or ever such a thing was? I desire a Copy of it may be sent me to the Prison as soon as may be.

Ans. My Answer to this seventh Question is, that I have already proved in my Reply to his Answer to the tenth Question, that this change of the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day of the week is no destructive but a perfecting change, and so far from de­stroying the Law in a jott or tittle of it, that it is a fulfilling of the Law as really and fully as the performances of Prophecies are the fulfilling of Prophecies, and it is too late for [Page 130] John Rogers now to question, whither that be possible to be done which is already certainly performed and done as we have proved al­ready; and as for some fragments of Obje­ctions and Cavils which I. R. hath gathered out of some late Authors, and yet if all these be put together he is unable to defend his se­venth day Sabbath.

And it is as possible for I. R. to hinder the charge of the Moon as he can hinder the change of the seventh day Sabbath, seeing it is founded upon the works of Creation which is given to change: but who can hinder the stability & immutability of the first day of the Week, the Lords day; which is grounded upon the unchangeable work of our Re­deemer, according to an immutable and ever­lasting Covenant: And if it be not possible for I. R. yet to see the reason of this but ad­mire at his legal light, and despise Gospel vi­sions: Behold ye despisers wonder and perish, for I work a work in your dayes, a work which you shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you, Act. 13.41. and yet those who have the Revelations of the Spirit of Wisdom in the Gospel, shall say, this is the Lords doings, it is marvellous in our eyes, this is the day which the Lord hath made; Save now I beseech [Page 131]thee O Lord, blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord, Psal. 118.23, 24, 25, 26.

And if he that despised the Law of Moses, and particularly did prophane the seventh day Sabbath was so severely punished, as Iohn R. did note, of how much sorer punishment shall he be thought worthy, who hath despised the Gospel Commandment, and particularly the Lords day the Christian Sabbath, the Ordi­nance and Institution of Christ which he hath by his Blood purchased, Heb. 10.28, 29.

And thus I have done likewise with Iohn R. his Questions at present; and if I. R. or any for him shall undertake to make a Reply to that which hath been said, I expect they should answer my Arguments interminis, according as they are in the frame and method of them: I do not intend for the future to trouble my self with an Answer to such Lax Discourses as have nothing of the frame of an Argument with them.

And thus at present I have done speaking to Man, but this I may say, Oh Lord, I have not desired the woful day, that which came out of my [...]ips was right before thee, be not thou a terror to me, thou art my hope in the day of evil, Jerem. 17.16, 17.

And if in any thing I have said for matter or [Page 132]manner, or in any respect whatsoever I have erred, let it not be confirmed but confuted, and let me be convinced: but if that which hath been said be according to thy Holy Word revealed by the Apost [...]es of the Lord Jesus▪ let those who do, or shall oppose, be converted, and repent of this their Wicked­ness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of their heart may be forgiven them, or else let them be confounded and cut off. Act. 8.22 Gal. 5.12.

And whereas the Plague is come into a neighbouring Plantation, and some Families already shut up, the Lord have mercy upon them, and humble us deeply for our great un­fruitfulness and especially for our prophana­tion of the Lords D [...]y: what is the cau [...]e of this so fierce wrath to let loose a Spirit of Er­ror an [...] Delusion thus to rage, that those who received not the love of the truth may be de­livered up to believe a lye, and damned that have pleasure in unrighteousnes [...], (2 Thess. 10.11, 12) And whilst some rise up that they might cast down the Christian Sabbath, under a pretence of advancing the seventh day Sab­bath; Oh Lord, let not the evil one prevail with the prophaneness of others to cause them to neg­lect holy time and holy things.

Do good O Lord to those that are good, and to them that are upright in their hearts: As for such as turn aside to their crooked wayes, the Lord shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity, but peace shall be upon Israel, Psal. 125.4, 5.


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