AN ANSVVER TO THE TEN COVNTER DE­MANDS PROPOVNDED BY T. DRAKES Preacher of the Word at H. and D. in the County of ESSEX.

By Wil. Euring.

PROV. 9.12.

If thou be wise thou shalt be wise for thy selfe, and if thou be a scorner thou alone shalt suffer.

Printed in the yeare 1619.

To the Reader.

IT is the manner of some quar­relsome persons, that being beaten by one aduersarie, too strong for them, they are not quiet in their mindes till they haue got another, with whom they hope to deale well e­nough; and to beate the former upon his back, wrecking upon him all that anger which they haue harboured in their heart against the other, but could not utter as they desired. So it seemes to be with this man: who having had of late (as it is reported) much comba­ting with the Morris-dauncing-Papists and Athiests in his parish, whereof lately hee was Minister: And finding them too hard for him; and that insteed of being sheep to fol­low him, they came with open mouth like wolues both against the sheep and Shepheard: he hath thought it best, seeing these wolues thus comming to saue himselfe by flying to an other place; leaving the pore sheepe in the same fould with the wolues, to shift for them­selues as they could. But not resting so, hee hath bethought him of an other sort of ad­versaries, with whom he hopes more easily to deale: and these are the poore Separatists; against whom he hath also those Morris-daun­cers, [Page 4]and many greater then they to take his part. Them he encountreth stoutly with Ten Counter-Demands (as he cals them) with which as with so many yron hornes, he hopes so to shake the silly Separatists, as not to leaue them a whole bone in their skin. But why doth he call them Counter-Demands? Not because he hath answered, but onely seen, as I heare, 7 Demands of theirs, some good space since pro­pounded by thē. These he should rather haue answered, in my judgment, if he could, for the defence of his Church Communion, Go­vernment, Ministerie, and Worshippe. But it seemes he had rather aske, then answer que­stions (as what bungler cannot better strike then fence?) and so his meaning is, to set these his Ten Counter-demands against their Seaven Demands, that so they might knock heads to­gether, to see whose is hardest. Since then it must be so, I will first set downe those Seaven, and after answer his Ten, simply, without all doubt, yet as well as I can: but plainly, and distinctly as he desireth: Intreating thee, good Reader, to beare with my vnschollership, for I haue not been brought up among the Muses, but Mariners: and am unwillingly, though par­ticularly, drawn hereunto by his importunity.

Quest. 1 Whether the Lord Iesus Christ haue in his last will & Testament given unto, and set in his Church, sufficient ordinary Offices, with their cal­lings, workes, and maintenance, for the administra­tion of his holy things; and for the ordinary in­struction, guidance, and service of his Church to the end of the world, or no?

2. Whether the Offices of Pastors, Teachers, [Page]Elders, Deacons, and Helpers be those offices ap­pointed in the Testament of Christ? or whether the present ecclesiasticall offices of Arch-Bishops. Lord-Bishops, Suffragans, Deanes, Priests, Vi­cars,, Arch-Deacons, Prebendaries, Canons, Gospellers, Petty-Canons, Epistlers, Virge­rers, Queristers, Organ-Players, Parsons, Cu­rates, Chancelors, Commissaries, Proctors, Re­gisters, Appariters or Sumners, Churchwar­dens, Doctors of Divinity, Questmen or Side­men, Deacons or halfe Priests, Chaplins or house-Priests, Clarkes, Sextons, and the rest now had and retained in the Cathedrall and Pari­shionall Assemblies of the Land, be those Offices appointed in Christs last will and testament, or no?

3 Whether the calling, and entrance into the ec­clesiasticall offices last before named, with their ad­ministrations, and maintenance now had and retai­ned in England, be the manner of calling, admini­stration, and maintenance, which Christ hath ap­poynted for the offices of his Church, or no?

4 Whether every true Church of Christ, be not a company of people called and separated out from the world and false worship and waies thereof, by the word of God, and ioyned together in the fel­lowship of the Gospell, by voluntary profession of the faith, and obedience of Christ.

5 Whether the sacraments, being seales of the righteousnes which is by faith, may be administred vnto any other, but to the faithfull and their seed, or in any other ministery or manner then is prescri­bed, and appointed by Iesus Christ the Apostle and high preist of our profession? And whether they be not otherwise administred in the parish as­semblies of England at this day, or no?

[Page] 6 Whether the booke of Common prayer, with the feasts, fasts, stinted prayers, holly dayes, and leiturgy prescribed therein & vsed in the assemblies, bee the true worship of God commanded in his word, or the devise and invention of man for Gods worship and service.

7 Whether all people and Churches without ex­ception, be not bound in religion, onely to receiue and submit vnto that Ministry, worship and order, which Christ as Lord and King hath given vnto, and appoynted in his Church: or whether any may receiue and ioyne vnto another devised by man for the worship and service of God: and consequently whether they that ioyne to the present Ecclesiasticall ministry, worship, and order of the Cathedrall and Parishionall Assemblies, can be assured by the word of God, that they ioyne to the former, or dayned by Christ, and not to the latter, devised by man for the worship and service of God.

AN ANSWERE TO TEN Counter-Demands, Propounded by T. DRAKES, Preacher of the Word at H. and D. in the County of ESSEX.

REverend sir, you haue given vs heer a Counter blow: and as it is reported, you yet thinke to giue vs, if not a greater, yet another Blow, but you earnestly desired to haue these your Ten Counter­blowes directly and distinctly ansvvered; vvhich I vvill labour to do God as­sisting mee.

Demand 1. Your first Demande is, Whe­ther our seperation from your Church or Church-assembles of England, can in any probability be plea­sing vnto God, seeing it hath had (say you) such vnhappy beginnings, and so many dismall and fatall events: the first founder of it comming to Iudas his shamefull and fearfull end, hanging him selfe: and the second (you say) totally recanting and com­ming againe to you: as divers of our proselites doe daily, &c.


This is the sume or ground of your first De­mande [Page 2]other vvords there are, here and there dropt from your pen, vvhich giue no strength at all to your demand, & therefore I passe them by, and ansvver, yea. Though this be true that you haue saide, yet may our separation from your Church or parish-assēblies of England be pleasing vnto God: and for proof hereof consi­der vvhat follovveth.

This your demand is like as if a Cananite or Philistim should thus haue demaunded of the Israelites. Whether is it like that the wars you hould against vs, can in any probability be plea­sing unto God, seeing that they haue had such vnhappy successe, vvith so many dismal & fatall events? some vvere burnt vvith fyre, Nom. 11.1 some sunke into the earth aliue, Nom. 16.32.33 some vvere destroyed of serpents. Nom. 21.6. some by the enemyes svvord. Nom. 14.45. some by the svvord of their own brethren. Exod. 32 27. Euen Moses & Aaron, your first & greatest, yea principall pillars of greatest reckoning, died in the desert for their sin. And of sixe hundred thousand men that came out of Egipt to fight against us, Exod. 12.37. onely two men are left aliue. Nom. 26.64, 65 &c. What think you Sir? Was this vvarre in any probability pleasing un­to God? if you say yea, you haue ansvvered your demande your selfe: and discovered your ovvne folly: for thus you see a Pagan might haue pleaded against Israell, Gods true Church then, vvith as much collour and more truth, then you that are called a Christian, can doe a­gainst us novv: and thus I thinke your first demande is sufficiently ansvvered.

But it may be sir, you vvill not be thus sa­tisfied, [Page]vvithout your particulars be examined. M. Bolton, vvhich (you say) vvas the first founder of our separation, hanged himself, as did Iudas: vvell. Proue you as much for Boi­ton as I doe for Iudas. As vve deny Bolton to haue been the first founder of our separation, so sure I am, that Iudas vvas one of the first and principallest publishers of the gospell of Christ: for he vvas numbered vvith the Apostles, be­ing one of the tvvelue and had received fel­lovvship in their ministration, Act. 1.17.

And vvill you novv therefore call the Gos­pell and Christianity into question, as whether it be of God or no? because this Iudas hanged himselfe: if no, vvhat vvaight then is in your demand? And novv I pray you sir consider also that this M. Boltō, one of the Elders of that se­parated Church vvhere of M. Fits vvas pastor in the beginning of Queene Elizabeths raigne, first revolted at Pauls Crosse, falling back again to you: and vvas reproved & excommunicated for this, by that separated Church: and after­ward, not haveing grace to returne or repent hanged himselfe. This being so M. Boltons martyrdom is little for the credit of your cause, or Church, whereof he dyed a member.

The second you say totally recanted &c. And this you note to bee Browne. And say I, so did Demas. 2. Tim. 4.10. vvhich sometime vvas a fellow-helper with Paul as vvell as Luke Col. 4.14. Phil. 2.4. As divers others in all ages haue done, vvho loved this present vvorld more then God. Can it not therefore stand vvith your liking Sir, that the Gospell vvhich Christ or Paul preached, can in any probability bee [Page]pleasing unto God, because Iudas hanged him­selfe, and Demas totally recanted it. I pray you Sir consider vvhat the Apostle saith; What though some haue not beleeved or been unfaithfull, shall their unfaithfulnesse, make the faith of God without effect? God forbid. Rom. 3.3.4.

And againe, consider I pray you: Christian religion vvas at a lovv ebb vvhen so many went back from Christ, that hee said to the twelue, will yee also leaue me. Ioh. 6.66. yet you see still Christianity florisheth: and wee, to our exceeding great comfort do behold it. And for us, though many bad ones haue gon a way, yet God bringeth better in their place dayly. And thus I thinke your first Demande is di­rectly and distinctly ansvvered, as you desire. Onely this I will further add concerning M. Browne, that he hath so left it in practise, as to shew the corruption of his heart; yet so hol­deth it in professed iudgement, as shevvs the strength of the truth, stil upholding it self in so evil a conscience: who professeth in keeping his Ministry, that he liveth of the spoiles of Babylon.

And for Master Boulton, although you think you haue great advantage against us in his case & some others, who haue faln from us: yet if things be rightly considered, the contrary vvill appeare. And as Abimelech king of Gerar, vvhen he reproued Abraham for denying Sarah to be his vvife, had more need to haue reproued him­selfe for his want of the feare of God, & of cō ­mon humanity, by vvhich pore Abraham was driven to that strayt: so you, in upbraiding us with these mens fals, had more need reproue your selves, & your ovvn most unmercifull dea­lings [Page]towards us, by which divers are forced to deny the truth as Abraham did his vvife, a­gainst their consciences: vvhereuppō follow­eth most fearefull dispayre & sometimes such wofull events as this vpon Boltons Apostacie was; & so you are before the Lord, made guil­ty both of the bloud of the bodies, & of the soules of those miserable men.

And whereas you haue a marginall note of one M. Nowel in Warwick-shire; you are the first from whom I ever heard any thing of that man, and therefore this is all that I can say, If hee vvere not fully perswaded of the truth in that estate vvherein he stood, but dyed vvith a troubled mind seeking the truth: vvhat doth this make ether against us, or for you? I see nothing, let vvise men judge &c.

2 Demand. Your second demand is, as I vn­derstand it. Whether our profession, religion, and discipline, as it standeth in opposition to your Parish­assembles in England and the rest of the reformed Churches, can be of God, or haue any approbation from God: seeing that it hath no vertue, power, and efficacy in it, (as the Gospel preached in your parish­assemples through Gods blessings aboundantly hath) to win, convert, and draw vnto our party, and pro­fession, Atheists, Papists, Heretiks, rude, profane &c.

2 Answer. To this your demand I answere yea: our profession religion and discipline (as you call it) may be of God, and haue approba­tion frō God, though not converting any such. And if it be so of God, as it be approved in his word, it is enough, though we haue not converted any at all; and for proofe hereof, as [Page]also for further ansvver to your demand, con­sider this that follovveth.

Your demand is like as if a Cananite should thus haue demaunded of Noah. Gen. 6. Can this thy Arke building, be of God, or haue any approbation from God, seeing that in all this time there appeareth neither vertue, povver, nor efficacie to vvin, convert, and dravv vnto thy party any at all? for thou canst hardly shevv any one person converted vnto thee by thy preaching, or Arke building these hundered and tvventy yeers? vvhat thinke you Sir? could Noah his Arke building be of God, or haue any, &c

Also, I pray you Sir consider vvith your selfe vvhat ansvver you vvould haue made, if any of your Morris-dancing papists or prophane Atheists (vvith whom you, but lately, vvere much cumbered) should haue demanded the lyke of you? Your administration, and mi­nisteriall office, had so little vertue, povver, and efficacy in it, among them, that you were glad to leaue them vnconverted & come away from them: and it may be, they deemed your ministry not to be of God, nor to haue a­ny approbation from God: and you your selfe also peradventure, thinking the same thing, and seeing also that those to vvhom you sued for redresse, could not or vvould not giue any more vertue, power, or efficacy to your Ministry, and office, you tooke the best course, as you thought, even to leaue them in their Idolatry and prophanes and come avvay from them: for the vvhich I vvould haue you minde vvell and consider vvhat the Lord saith. Zacha. [...].17. [Page 7]surely sir, seeing that you thus deeme of things by the effects, you can not but thinke very hardly of your selfe: considering the small effect your ministry hath vvrought, espe­cially amongst your Morris-dauncers.

And yet for further ansvver to your de­mand, consider sir, vve are a poore vveak dispi­sed people here in England, hated and persecu­ted of all, or the most part in the lande: and therefore, if vve haue any meetings or com­ming together on the Lords day? they must be very private for feare of such persecuting ad­versaries as cannot indure (and are ignorant of) the truth of Gods ordinances to be taught and practised, so that Papists, Atheists, and such like profane, come not at our exercises: and hovv is it possible vve should convert any that come not to heare vs? If vve should demand of you, how many Turks and Saracens haue been converted in your Parish assemblies, vvhat an­svver vvould you giue vs, that vvill not an­svver your selfe.

2 To let passe the Churches in this vvay, beyond the seas, vvhich haue their more free meetings, and able ministeries, and vvhere this blessing of God in converting men, is more seen, then, I think, in any of the Parishes that ever you your selfe vvere minister of (though you haue beene in more then a good many or then a good Pastour should or vvould be) I may bouloly say, that we, hovv fevv or meane soever vvee are; do convert more to our Chur­ches thou you do to yours. All these Atheists, Heretickes, and prophaine persons vvere as vvell of your Church before their conversion, [Page] [...] [Page 7] [...] [Page 8]as after: and for the Papists, eyther they come to hear you, and then they are of your Church also, namely Church-Papists, or not: and then, hovv doe you convert them by your ministry. Besides, it is evident, that the number of Pa­pists do dayly increase in the land infinitely; such is your plentifull conversion of Papists.

But indeede Sir, your follovving vvords, vvherein you please to terme vs, refined refor­mers, saying, that we seduce only the sound, and per­vert and estrange from you those that are otherwise well affected, & of som vnderstāding &c. are worth the considering: and I intreat the Godly rea­ders to take knovvledg of this that follovveth.

First I professe vnfainedly vvith an vpright heart as in Gods presence, vvho knovveth the secrets of all hearts: that neither I my selfe, nor any other (to my knowledg) that profes­seth the same course of true religion vvith me) did ever intend or once conceiue, so much as in thought, any one poynt or parte of sedition, or evill conspiracie, against any mans person: much lesse against the kings maiesty his royall state, & government: but vve do acknowledge his maiesty to be supreme governour in all his dominions in all causes and over all persons of vvhat estate or degree so ever they be: and that no person may declyne or appeall from his authotity or iudgment in any cause vvhat­soever: but that in all things obedience is due vnto him, eyther Actiue if the thing comman­ded be not against Gods vvord, or Passiue if it be: except pardon can be obtained: and here­unto vvee doe diligently exhorte and pro­voke all men at all times &c.

This being in the first place considered, it is true that you say: our cause hath vvrought most vppon such as haue some vnderstanding and knovvledg; and are of tender consciences plyable to the truth: others of more corrupt consciences haue set against us, and against our cause, and blasphemed it &c.

The consideration of this, will in any wise mans iudgment rather lead vnto our cause, then from it, when the better sort, by your owne confession, doe come to vs, the worser and baser sorte remayne still with you. And this much for answer to your second demand, novv to your third.

This your third demand is of another kinde differing from the former: for here you seeme to leaue your nationall Church and Parish­assembles of England, and make your demand only for your reformed assemblies: wherein you say the Gospell is sincerely preached and professed, and the sacraments duly admini­stred &c. But of this particular you shall haue ansvver vvhen I come to your 7 and 8 demand?

3. Demand. Your demand is here to know. Whether those reformed Assemblies whereof you speake are worse then the Iewes Sinagogues: and your ministers worse then the Scribes and pharises which sat in Moses Chayer? Whom Christ comman­ded the people to heare &c.

3 Answ. Your demand then being onely in desence of your reformed Assemblies, it had been vvell, if you had shevved us vvhere and vvhich those assemblies be, that are reformed. Wee knovv indeed, that many amongst you both ministers and people haue made much [Page]suite to Parliaments, and vvrote many bookes (of vvhich I haue read some) for reformation of your Church and Ministery: but still to the best of our discerning, all your parish assem­blies are as before vnder one and the same or­der, and maner of vvorshippe ministerie, and confusion of people: all governed by the fame spirituall laws, & spirituall Lords, their spiritu­all courts, and canons: all being stil one Church, all one communion and fellovvshippe: so that your Demand being onely for your reformed assemblies, and yet you tell us not which nor vvhere they be, how can vvee giue you a di­rect ansvver to your demand.

First therefore tell us vvhere and vvhich those assembles be that are reformed, & then you shall haue a direct ansvver, God vvilling. In the meane time vve vvill take this for one advantage among the rest: that is, that there appeareth a checke in your conscience, because you make your defence, or demand but for a part of your Church: that is, your reformed assemblies: vvhereby you intimate, that there is a vvorser sort of assemblies, that are vnrefor­med, vvhich you vvill not pleade for: vvhere as if your Church or Church-assēblies of Eng­land vvere Christs true Church, vve thinke you should haue labored to defend the vvhole: is not every one of Christs true Churches to be defended? hovv deceitfully then doe you deale vvith your Church that seeke to vphould your reformed assembles and neglect the rest: all being in one brotherhood and communion to­gether,

But it may be sir, you are driven to shift for [Page 11]your selfe: therefore if you vvill shevv vs vvhich be your reformed assembiles, vve will shevv you great difference betvveen those Si­nagogues of the Ievves, vvhere Christ and his disciples did teach, and your parish assemblies: great difference betvvene those that sat in Mo­ses Chayre, vvhich vvere in true office vnder Moses according to the lavv, and you, vvith the rest, that haue no true office vnder Christ according to the gospell. Your mighty reason a minore ad majus (which words indeed I vnder­stand not) is this: If (say you) our Lord Iesus, his disciples and people, did not separate from thire Sinagogues and assemblies, that vvere in faith and maners more defectiue then ours are: much lesse ought they to separate from our assembles, vvherein all the grounds of Chri­stian religion are soundly held and professed, (you might haue added) and but fevv pra­ctise, neither of preists nor people, in vvhom couetousnes, vvrath, enuie, and contention doe daily abound: many thousands neither know­ing, nor regarding to knovv vvhat true faith meaneth: and for their manners vvhich you vvould seeme so much to commend: let the manners even of that Parish assembly vvhere­in your selfe did of late exercise your spirituall authority in vain: as also the mānerly conditi­ons and conversation of almost all in generall, testifie hovv true this your bold affirmation of their manners is: and vvithall, let the Rea­ders minde, that although you boast of all the grounds of christian religion, yet it is but held and professed; not practised among you: so that it may seeme you beleeue also, that to [Page 12]hould and professe, (vvithout obedience) is sufficient for the salvation of the professors: but to the intent that this may be better discer­ned, I doe intreat and desire all that are chri­stianly minded to reade and consider of these fevv places of scripture. Iam. Tit. 1.16.2. Thes. Eze. 22.26 I vvill only poynt the places, let the godly reade and iudge.

4 Demand Novv to your fourth demand, vvhich is; Whether those great multituds of people spoken of Math. &c. Ioh. can with any reason be denyed to be mem­bers of the visible church, though yet wanting the pretended constitution of the Separatists? and albeit many of them (you say) were drawne, not by do­ctrine but by miracles, report, and with their desire to be fed: &c.

4 Answ. To this your demand I ansvver directly, yea: they may vvith good reason grounded on the word of God (speaking as you doe of the multitude) be denyed to be members of any visible Church, and this doth plainely apeare in the same 2 chapters; namely, Mat. 14. Ioh. 6. which may also be compared with other scriptures to proue the same.

There were none of them members of the visible Church of Christ, but those that did visibly appeare to be Christs Disciples: but the multitude that followed him for their bellies sake were not his Disciples, as the very words of the text doe proue; where a diffe­cence is put betweene the one and the other. First, looke Mat. 14.19. where it is said, Hee caused the multitude to sit downe, and when he had [Page 13]blessed, & broke, he gaue it to the disciples & the dis­ciples to the multitude. And whē they had all eaten & were sufficed, he caused his disciples to enter into a ship while he sent the multitude away. Mat. 14.22.23. Mar. 4.4. If you say, he taught them alto­gether; it is true: yet was it in parables: and afterward he expounded all things to his disci­ples aparte. Mar. Mat.

And thus it doth plainly appear that the multitude were not his disciples: and conse­quently, not members of any visible Church of Christ: for then he would not haue sent them away empty in their soules, and full in their bodyes, but he would haue expounded all things to them altogether, for their edifica­tion and further comfort. But the text doth plainly shevv the disciples to be vvithin: and the multitude to be without. Mar.

And whereas you further demand, Whether those 3. thousand in the second of the acts, that were converted at Peters Sermō, were not true mēbers of a true visible Church before they had officers chosen among them? &c.

I Ansvver yea, they were: this you say can­not bee refuted; and it is true: but what haue you gained by this? what doth this helpe the multitude spoken of before? If I should charge you here with deceitfull dealing, by shuffling this place of the Acts with the other tvvo places of scripture, therby to make your demand seem something, and of some weight, blinding therewith the eies of your readers; I doubt you could hardly cleere your selfe with [Page 14]a good conscience: but howsoever you would seeme to shuffle them together to serue your turne, yet they are plainly distinguished thus as followeth,

This place of the Acts, speaketh of three thousand godly penitent sinners, pricked in their hearts for their sins, and converted at that sermon: the multitude spoken of in the o­ther two scriptures were not such, by your owne grant. Againe, these in the second of the Acts received the apostles doctrine gladly, and forsaking that froward generation with whom they lived, they ioyned them selues vnto the Church, as appearath in the 37.40. and 41. verses. Now who can deny these 3. thousand (though still the multitude be denied) to be members of the true visible Church when the text saith they were added to the Church? although it should be granted, that as yet they had no other officers chosen but the Apostles. But then say you, And why not our Church-assemblies in England, (much more groun­ded in the faith) a true visible Church. &c.

I ansvver no, it vvill not follovv; because (howsoever some fevv of yovv may be more grounded in knovvledge of the truth then they vvere, and thereby your sins and trans­gressions much more greater against God, by knovving more, and obaying lesse) your par­rish assemblies vvere not at the first gathred from others by the preaching of the vvord, their hearts being touched vvith godly sor­rovv for their sins, neither do they yet ap­peare to be pricked in their hearts for their sins, as those three thousand vvere. Your parish [Page 15]assemblies do not gladly receiue the Apostles doctrine, and continue therein, vvith gladnes of heart to be directed, and ordered thereby, as they did: but every man among you, vvill doe vvhat his owne heart listeth: euen according to the frowardnes and anger of his euill heart: so that vvere it not for the lavves of the nation and the power of the magistrates restrayning them more then the doctrine of Christ and the Apostles; the manifold mischiefs that would be done by one against another among you through the enuie and malice of your euill and wicked hearts, is too manifest to be denyed, and too shamefull to be defended. I do hartely desire you, Sir, to examine your own heart well in this point, & minde well the exhorta­tions that the Apostle giveth in Heb. 3.12. 2. Cor. 1. Cor. you see and know that your Parish-as­semblies are so far from continuing in the Apostles doctrine, that they neither konw (therfore not receiue) nor yet regard to know what the wholsome doctrine of the Apostles meaneth. I speake not this of all in particular, the Lord knoweth my heart is far from so thinking: I know many that haue tender con­sciences, and loving affections, and do well regard the best rhings: but I speake generally of the conditions of the most, with whom the better sort stand all in the communion, and in one order, or disorder rather: being mingled together all in one brotherhood: and that not by personall fayling, but by the very constitution and lawes of your Church, civill and ecclesiasticall, cleane contrary to [Page]the revealed will of God in his Word.

Even you your self Sir, that are a leader, and professe your selfe to be a guide to the blinde, you breake the law of God,, and defile his ho­ly things: you put no difference betweene the holy and prophane, neither discerne be­tween the vnclean and the cleane, so the Lord is prophaned among you. Eze. 22.26. Con­sider I pray you and compare together these few places of Scripture Mat. 18.1516.17. Rom. 16.17. 1. Cor. 2, Thes, 36.7. &c. and then compare this order heere ap­pointed by Christ, and his apostles, vnto the order of your Church and Parish-assemblies, & you shall see, even by these 5. places of scrip­ture, how far you are from that holy order which Christ in his last will and testament hath given and appointed vnto his visible Church to walke in, and to practise.

You compell all that are of your Parish (howsoever vnworthie or vnable) to pay their offrings, and to receiue the communion, especially at your holy time of Easter: there is the table prepared, bread and wine set, come that will and welcom. Esay, 65.11.12. yea if they be dwelling in your Parish, and will not pay their offrings, and come to the communi­on daily, they are by you presented into your spirituall Courts, thither they are summoned: if they appeare not obedienly, paying their fees, clearing the bookes &c. they shall be by that Court excommunicated out of your Pa­rish-assemblies: and then, before they may be admitted againe either to the fore named ban­quet, or to your devine service (as you call it) [Page]their purses must pay deere enough for a bles­sing, or absolution, which they must receiue humbly kneeling on their knees before Mas. Commissary, or Mas. Chancellors worship: and if they die excōmunicate before they haue re­ceived this bounsing blessing, they may not be brought into your holy ground to be bu­ried there in christian buriall, (as you call it) vnlesse their friends will first purchase absolu­tion for them. If the mould of this came not from Rome, then I pray you Sir, shew vs where you learned it: for in the whole Bible, we cannot finde any such spirituall order given or appointed by God vnto his Church.

5 Demand. Your 5. demand is Whether that in Constantines (the first Christian Emperour) tyme, and ever since, vnto M. Iohn Calvins dayes for the space of 13 hundered yeeres there was no Christian Churches in Asia, Africke and Europe, because they had the same outward constitution, formall state, Bishops, Archbishops, Metropolytans, and Church government, for substance, & substance of doctrine, that our English Church hath and re­taineth &c.

To tell you the truth: I know not well how to answere this your demand: yet not be­cause it is so divinely grounded on the word of God: but only because I want scoole lear­ning, and knowledge of auncient Authors wri­tings: as being not able to read and vnderstand them: so that now you haue me at a non plus: as wise men and fooles vse to say.

Yet this is one thing much to be lamented: that a man of your place and learning should leaue the Scripture, the true worde of the li­ving [Page]God, and thus inquire of the dead: but according to the ould proverbe, like will to like.

5 Answer. Thus much I say for answer to this your far-fetched demand: I do beleeue and am fully perswaded by the word of God, that in whatsoever Emperours or Kings time, since the time of Christ: in what Nation or Country soever: whether in Asia, Africk, Eu­rope, (or wheresoever) any Church or Chur­ches hath been, is, or shall be gathered or con­stituted in any other manner, or by and with any other matter, vnder or vnto any other wor­ship, ministry, spirituall Governours, or spiritu­all government, then the same for substance in manner and matter, which Christ and his Apostles haue appointed in the new testa­ment: they are not the true visible Churches of Christ.

I do not meane hereby, an absolute true and perfect gathering or constituting: but that all things, both for the gathering and continuing of the true visible Church of Christ, must be (so far as can be discerned by men) agreable to the word of God, as God shall make men able to discerne and vnderstand the Scrip­tures. And this is all that I can say for answer to this your demand: only I will not loose the good advantage that I haue gained by the same; which is this; I see that you are not able to approue your Church by the word of God, and therefore you are driven to make inquiry, and to look about you to see if you can espie and find out any other Churches, though never so far of, whose constitution or [Page]gathering, ministry and worship, ecclesiasti­call Governors and Ecclesiasticall government, is for substance lyke vnto you, hoping by them to iustifie your selues: but how like it is that other Churches can afoord you any help or sauegard, when as by the verdict of Gods word you stand cōdemned, let the godly iudge. Hee hath neede of a staffe that leaneth on a reed. And yet even for this your poore proof, it is affirmed by some, who know those histories, that it is a very boast without all truth, that the Churches either in Constantines time, or a long time after, were gathered by compulsi­on of all, tag and rag, in the empyre, as yours are of all, in the kindome: or that there were any such Arch Bishops, or Lord Bishops, with sole authority to rule and governe. Be­sides, let the Reader note how in your very Demand, you do grauut the great difference betweene the Churches since Calvines time, that is betweene all reformed Churches; and your vnreformed Church of Enland.

6 Demand. Your sixt Demand is, Whether the reformed Churches in the lower and higher Germany, in France, the Churches in Geneva, &c. that come neerer to our constitution and discipline (you say) then yours in England do; be true visible Churches or no? &c.

To this your Demand, you haue added two branches depending vppon the former, the which I will answer, as you haue set them downe one afer another.

6 Answer. I answer yea, they are true visible constituted Churches, and haue a true and lawfull ministery set over them: both which, [Page]you in your Parish-assemblies want.

Then you further demand, and say. If they be such, why then do not we adjoyn our selues to some of those, but distaste them (you say) as much as wee do yours? I thinke Sir, it had been a poynt of wisedom first to haue heard our answer before you had thus hastily affir­med, that we distast them as much as we do yours: but Solomon hath answered you for your haste, Pro. 29.20. And I will answer your Demand.

I haue in my former answer affirmed thē to be true constituted Churches, & that they haue a true & lawful ministry set over thē: whereby you see we do not alltogether distaste them as much as we doe yours. And now to this your Demand; which is: why we do not adioyne our selves vnto them &c. I think this may serue for answer: we can not vnderstand their lan­guage: and I think you cannot giue vs any good reason why we should adioyn our selves to worship God though in a true Church, when we can not vnderstand what they say: for how should we profit or be edified by their doctrine how should we say Amen to their giving of thanks, seeing we know not what they say? 1. Cor. 14.16.17.

You yet further Demand: Why we do not in iudgement assent vnto any or all those reformed Churches that with a ioynt consent (as may appeare (you say) by the harmony of confessions) ac­knwledge the Church of England to be a true Church, and giue it the right hand of fellowship? how dare they (say you) refuse? &c.

To this I answer: I do not know that the [Page 21]word of God bindeth vs to assent vnto the iudgment of true Churches, any further then we vnderstand their iudgment to assent with (and agree vnto) the word of God.

True Churches may err in their iudgment of another Church, especially if they be not rightly informed of their estate: as it appea­reth the reformed Churches are not rightly informed of yours: for how then can they approue of the constitution, ministry, spiritu­all governours, & spirituall governmēt of your Church to be warrantable by the word of God, but they must in so doing condemne themselues: for in all these points they are as far contrary to you, as white and black: true and false are the one to the other: and I sup­pose none will say that two such cōtraries can be both true. But mind with all: the Apostle saith to perticular Churches and persons, iudge ye what I say, 1. Cor. 10.15. beleeue not every spirit, but try the spirits &c. 1, Ioh. 4.1. And againe, if any man preach otherwise vnto you then we haue preached, let him be accursed. Gala. 1.8.9.

Now you seeme to teach vs another Gos­pell: for you would not haue vs iudge and try our selues and others by the word of God, but send to other Churches in Germany, in France, and Geneva, heare what they say and what they iudg for truth or falshood: if they approue, who dare disalow? if they giue the right hand of fellowship, how dare we refuse? &c.

Thus you daube with vntempered morter, haueing nothing but such ould popish va­lour [Page]to countenance your Counter-Demands: doth ill beseeme a man of your place and learning. Heare what the word of God saith, To the Law and to the Testimony: if they speake not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Isay. 8.20.

Your leaving of this Law and this Testimo­ny makes vs leaue you: you may as well bid vs put out our owne eyes, that other men may lead vs: and as soone will we follow you in that, as in this your popish counsell.

We haue learned to liue by our owne faith, and to know that every man must bear his owne burden, and answerr for him selfe vnto God. Hab. 2.4. Gala. 6.5. And to think that any may excuse them selues, or be the boulder because they haue the approbation of others, when they can not approue them­selues by the word of God, will proue but an evill and false delusion of Sathan: therefore seeing that all men, even whole Churches may erre in their iudgments: let every man take heed how he iudgeth, and how he depen­deth on other men, and makes flesh his arme, and will not heare the word of the Lord, that reproveth his iniquities: As for the reformed Churches, we beleeue that they reioyce for the many truthes you witnes against Popery, and we also do the like: but if you rely vppon their aprobbation, and will not examine your waies, and try your selves by the word of God, you may perish in your sins, and other churches shal not be able to excuse or saue you. And thus I think your sixt Demand is suffici­ently answered. Let him that readeth consider.

[Page 23] 7 Demand. Your 7 and 8 Demands are so much alike, that one may iudge them to be twins, they resemble either other, and so vn­like the rest: therfore this answer shall serue for them both vntill further occasion be offered. In your seventh Demand you thus begin. How can the Church, or Church assemblies bee false, &c.

7 Answer. I answer, your Church (and Church-assemblies) of England may be false for ought that you haue yet said to the con­trary: but if we might intreat you to set foorth and shew vs the right forme and fashion of the building of your Church, we should the bet­ter discerne it, and giue you a directer answer to your Demand then now we can do: but in the meane time we will a little consider and examine what you say. In these words of yours, how can the Church or Church-assemblies &c. you grant the whole nation to be a Church: then me things you seeme to devide that Church into many Churches, calling them Church Assemblies: meaning thereby (as I coniecture) your Parish-assemblies.

8 Demand. And so it appeareth by your 8 Demand, where you write thus: How can the formall state (as they call it) of the provinci­all, diocesan, cathedrall and Parishonall Churches of England, and the regiment thereof be vnlaw­full, &c,

Here you haue foysted in a word or two which I found not in the former, which word, because I vnderstand it not, as you (perad­venture) meane: therefore I will not meddle with it: neither will I meddle with popish [Page 24]names and titles of your Churches, though you muster them vp so valorously as if you ment to terrifie the readers with the very names of them: only this I finde your demand in both, to be: how the Church (and Parish-assem­blies) of England can be false; the rest dropt, or rather scattered abroad throughout your De­mands, is but your vnsavery salt, which you haue cast out vpon the dunghill of your coun­ter work: all being (as you think) so cou­ched together, as that it cannot be easily ra­ked abroad: but I will try, if by the help of God and the truth of his word, I can shew what vnsavery stuffe it is.

8 Answ. To these your 7. and 8. Demands I answer: that to hould and maintaine a nati­onall Church: that is to hould, that any na­tion can be a church, now in the time of the Gospell, we deeme to be erroneous and false: and do affirme that no warrant or defence for it can be found in the word of God. It is an hu­mane invention, and differeth from the testa­ment of Christ, which sheweth many Chur­ches to be in a nation or Country: as in Iudea Asia, Galatia &c. Gala. 1.2.22. Rev. 1.4. But not any nation to be a Church.

Now that yours is a Nationall Church, not only the name and title, as it is vsually called, (besides your own grant) but the cōstitutiō also sheweth: for it hath a pastor over the whole na­tion, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Metropolitan and Primate over all England: your most reverend father in God, who maketh & consecrateth the Diocesian Bishops, whereupon ariseth Diocesian Churches or Sees: and they againe make your [Page 25]Parish Priests, to the Archbishops: and to his successours the inferiour Bishops haue sworne (So help them God in Iesus Christ) all due re­verence and obedience. This your book of consecration sheweth: and we desire you to shew vs warrant for those things in the Scrip­ture, if you can: or else shew vs where you haue learned them.

In your 8 Demand you say thus; The name, calling, and office of these Bishops (for either you must meane these Bishops (or the like) or else you speake nothing to the matter in hand) Whether (say you) wee respect, ordination of mi­nisters, or power of jurisdiction: is the same for sub­stance, expressed in the New testament. And this (you say) hath been and will be proved, seeing it hath had a continuall succession from the Apostles time vnto this day &c.

If you were as redy to proove, as you are to affirme things, then were your valour some­thing worth. But you and the rest, are so loth to be drawne to prooue yow ministry and or­dination by the word of God, that if you can­not make vs take your word for the lawfullnes therof, then you will try by all means possible how you can get vs into some prison, and keep vs there, vntill you haue founde your proofe out of some other darke corner: for by the light of Gods worde wee thinke you will never be able to proue the lawfullnes thereof.

These things that you say, have indeed been often by others affirmed: but never otherwise proved then by you at this present. But if you good sir, would now take the payns to proue what you haue saide, by the word of God, your [Page 26]paines would deserue thanks of many: And withall, let me intreat you sir I pray you (be­cause you say it hath had a continuall succes­sion from the Apostles time vnto this daye) to shewe me, for my learning, which of the A­postles was the Arch Apostle or Archbishop (If you please so to call him) ouer or before all the rest, and from whom (or by what authority) he had that high place and Lordly office. And also where, and with whom he left that his Arch-Metropolitane authoritie to lord it over the rest, as these do at this day, as you say.

I professe vnfainedly, that if I could see these things proved by the word of God, I would soon (through Gods mercy) change my minde.

But in the meane time, to let passe the rest of that frothie stuffe, which might be raked together in these your 7 and 8 Demands, I will come again to your 7 demand, though I could from the 16.17.18. and 19. lines in your 8 Demand light you such a candle as I think you would be loath that any should see the light thereof, but I will not blow at that cole now, yet you (against your will I am sure) haue made a fayre beginning to kindle it, where you say thus, The Pope was not Anti­christ before he had gotten the title of vniversall Bishop, nor compleat vntill he had gotten into his bands both swords, that is, both Civill and Eccle­siasticall Dominion: if I should now add but a little of your owne fuell to that coale, these your words would discover a great part of the mistery of iniquity which growes in your mi­nistry at this day. But to let that passe, no­thing doubting but God in his good time, by [Page 27]the brightnes of the Gospel, wil cause the same to appear more and more dayly, I will come to your 7 Demand, where you tell vs of the Gospell soundly and substantially taught and professed: and the sacraments so rightly ad­ministred and received in your Church, as for proportion no country in the world (you say) nor Nationall Church whatsoever, can affoord the like, &c

The like vaine boast of all the grounds of Christian religion, soundly held and profes­sed, &c. I met with in your third Demand: but neither there nor heare you speake any word of the practise, Christian religion, and of the kingly power and office of Christ gover­ning your Church: of these things you say nothing: nothing how Christ ought to reigne as King in his Church, by his owne Lawes and ordinances executed, and administred in and by his owne offices and officers which he hath given unto and appointed in his Church forthat worke, Ephe. Rom. Not a word of this, I pray you Sir, let not this candle be light, howsoever you do: you may make your people think that Christ will be a Prophet to teach them, and a Priest to sacrifice for them, though he be not a King to rule and reigne over them in and by his owne Lawes and officers: they perad­venture know not (or dare not tell you) that this is a denying of apart of the mediatorship of Christ: therefore Sir, as long as you can, let them not know the kingly office of Christ, nor what the Holy Ghost saith in Luk. 19.27. let them know no other government, for the [Page 28]Church but your spitituall courts: it wil serue their turne well enough, untill the Lord shall moue their harts better to consider and dis­cern the truth of his will reveiled in his word, which in his good time he will do unto all those that earnestly desire, and with upright harts seeke and labour to worship and serue him in spirit and in truth. And now I will labour to shew the deceit of your vainglory in boasting of the word and sacraments, which you say are so soundly taught and admini­stred, &c.

You would haue us (and all men) take it for granted that the nation of England is the true visible Church of Christ: which you are not able to proue: then you go on, telling us of the sound and substantiall things in this your Church: but we would first intreat you to shew us your Church constituted and buil­ded according to the scripture: if your Church be as you would make us beleue, then shew it, that we may see and discerne whe­ther it be soundly and substantially built of choyse trees, and of pretious living stones (to the best of mans discerning) hewed and squared and fastned together according to the heavenly patterne: every stone living, elect and pretious: (I say still in the best of mans discerning) every stone hauing his beauty, his burden and order: all of them laboring to support one another, to edifie one another, to exhort, to admonish and reproue one ano­ther, that so they may be the habitation of God, as these scriptures do shew, Exo. 19.5.6. and chap. 25.8.9, 40. 1. Chro. 29.2. Zach. [Page 29]14.21. compared with Heb. &c. Chap. Pet. Act. Rev. 1.5.6, Heb. 3.13. Chap. 10.24.15. Lev. 19.17. Gala. 6.1 2. with many other, which I omit.

The materiall Temple (which was but a tipe of this) we read to be built from the very foundation: of choise costly perfect stones: the beames and rafters of choise Ceaders, Al­gummim trees, 1. King. 5.17. Chap. 6.7. 2. Chro. 2.8. Ezra. 3.7.12. &c.

But of the incomparable beauty and unut­terable excellency of this spirituall Temple▪ under the holy ministry & happy government of Christ, it must be such as none may grow nor be planted there, untill they be first cut off from their corrupt naturall stock where they grew before: and then be grafted into the true oliue tree, the true vine: yea and being plan­ted and ingrafted, that plant, that branch that bringeth not forth good fruit, but bringeth forth evill fruit apparantly seene and known, must be cut of and cast out, Rom. 1. Cor. 6.11. Tit. 3.3. &c. Rom. &c. Math. 3.10. and 7.19. and 15.13. Luk. 13.6. Ioh. 15.6. Math. Rom. 16.17.18. 1. Cor. Now shew us your Church to be thus built, and thus ordered according to the testament of Christ: I doe not meane thus built in per­fect maner: but that every member of your Church in the plating thereof do in the best of mans discerning, according to Godly iudg­ment, in his or their measure, hewen, fitted and squared for the building, before [...]e be [Page 30]fastned there into: for as the Apostle saith, We which liue, must no more liue unto our selues, but unto the will of him that dyed for us and rose againe: Ephe. 2 Cor. 5.15.17. 1 Pet. 4.3. We must be new creatures, for we are the workmanship of God created anew into Christ Iesus unto good works, which God hath ordayned that we should walk in them, Ephe. 2.10.

When you haue proved (and shewed us) your Church thus framed, fashioned, and or­dered, then we wil take a view of those things which you say (but you proue not) to be, therein so sound and substantially taught and administred.

But if you still boast of those good things in your Church, and yet your Church it selfe be built of rough tree, or rotten timber, hay and stubble, or of the thorns and bryers of the wildernes, and with such dead or hard stones as cannot be hewen and squared, and fastned into the building together, according to the heavenly prtterne, then is your Church a false Church, and deceitfull, notwithstanding all your sound and substantiall things therein: which things although they be (indeed) both sound and substantiall of themselues, yet will they not keep up your tottering building but in time it will fall and come to naught. And this at this time shall serue for answer to your 7 and 8 Demands: only thus much more: be­cause I would not haue you any more boast, or go about to dasell our eyes with the sight of those things which you say are in your Church, untill you haue shewed us the true forme and fashion of the building of your [Page 31]Church, I will demand of you this one que­stion;

When the Prophet Haggai, chap. 1. reproved the Iewes for that Gods house was not builded among them: would it haue been a sufficient answer for them, thinke you Sir, to haue said to the Prophet thus, Wee haue costly and faire, sound and substantiall seelings of the sweetest and purest wood, costly carved and curiously wrought, with many goodly and rich hang­ings, cushings, carpets, and curtins, with so many other costly and sumptuous ornaments and deckings, yea all whatsoever, according to the appointment of the law for Gods house, as for the proportiō, no Countrey in the world can afford the like. Nay Sir, admit they should also haue said thus. And behold also, we haue the foundation layd, and we haue many ex­pert and excellent builders, all of them sound and learned workmen: and for instruments, also, to hew and square the timber and stone, we haue so good as non can be better: of which timber and stones also we haue so great plenty, and so excellent good, with all other things necessary to finish the building, as for proportiō no country in the world can afford the like: therefore although the stones be neither layd, nor squared, nor the timber hewed, fitted nor framed: yet haue we the house of God well builded.

What think you Sir, would this haue been a sufficient answer to haue satisfied the prophet? if no, consider then how little your vaine boast will stand you in stead in the day of your appearing: search the Scriptures, and you shall [Page]find there, that every true visible Church of Christ must consist of a company of people (be they many or few) that are called out and separated from the froward generation of the world, by the Gospell, (Iohn. 15.19., &c. Act. 2.40. 2. Cor. 6.15 16.17.18.) and ioyned (or built) together into a holy communion and fellowship, a­mong themselues, Act. 2.41.44. Ephe. all of them being (in their mea­sure beleevers, pricked in their harts for their sinnes, and now laboring together to continue in the Apostles doctrine, Act. 2.27.42.

Being thus coupled and knit together they are called in the Scripture the Temple of God, 1. Cor. 3.16.17. the habitation of God, Ephe. 2.22. the Church of God, 1. Cor 1.2.2. Cor. 11. unto the which Church he daly addeth those that he will saue, Act. 2.41.47. they are then called, Saints, Rom. 1.7. 1. Cor. 1.2. they are called Holy Bretheren. Heb. 3.1. they are called the body of Christ, and members for their part of the whole building of God. Consider what is said, &c. 2. Tim. 2.7. &c.

9 Demand. And now to your Counter-Demand, which is: Whether any new lawes can or ought to be made, or inacted: or any further reformation made without the christian Princes or Magistrats consent, &c.

9 Answer. I Answer no. And I further ad, that whatsoever subiects, of what degree or state soever they be, that shall go about either to inact any new lawes in the Kings Domini­ons, or to reforme the order and state of the Kingdome, contrary to that order which is [Page 33]already established, without the consent and lawfull authority of the Prince & Magistrate, he is by the word of God iudged and con­demned worthy of damnation, Rom. 13.12. 5.6. Rev. 12.18.19. And if for this his or their offence, the Prince and Magistrats do put him or them to death (as by their lawfull an­thority they may) it is no more then they haue iustly and worthily deserved for their evill doings.

The next word in this your 9 Demand, are thus set downe, and thus odly pointed, or ever in a well ordered Church hath bin inacted, or made and whether, they haue done well, to separate with­out the Kings Maiesties leaue and licence, and con­sent of the state.

These your refined words, as they be in this fashion set downe, I doe not well vnderst and 2 therefore I will giue you no other answere then is already made in the former words: de­siring that this which is heere answered may be compared with that which is written for answer to the last 4 lines of your second De­mand, and I think it will giue sufficient satis­faction: and for the better cleering of all o­ther meanings: I will demand of you these two questions desiring your answer, if not printed, yet under your hand writing.

Quest. 1. Whether Christ be not the only wise God and everlasting King, and per­fect law giver to his Church: and whether all Kings, Potentats, Princes and people be not bound to submit themselues as true and faithfull subiects unto him and to his lawes given unto his Church: or whe­ther [Page]any or all of them may by their royall power, learning or authority, alter, change, leaue out, or ad unto any of those lawes which Christ hath already set forth in his last will and testament.

Quest. 2 Whether every particular man (and consequently all men be not bound by the word of God to separate themselues from every knowne sinne and error (whether in faith, or conversation of life) that the Lord shall giue him sight of: and labor diligent­ly to reforme themselues and their families according to the law and will of God re­vealed in his word, without the consent of the Christian Prince and Magistrates under whom hee liveth: or whether they bee bound to go on and continue still in their sinne or error, and not to separate from the same untill they haue first sued for, and obtained the Princes and Magistrats leaue and licence and consent of the state, that is indeed and breifly whether God must be, God or no, eexcept men will giue him leaue.

10 Demand. your tenth and last Demand is. Whether it were not the Separatists best course to returne againe to Gods true Church and people, from whom (you say) upon some conceited hard dealing they haue made an unlawfull rent, and there to confer with the best learned: and if still their consciences be somewhat tender, to supplicate for some favour and liberty: or if (say you) they will not take this course: whether it weare not good for them for the avoiding of scandill, and in expectance of some prosperous successe by [Page]the permission of our noble King and bonor able Counsell, to remoue to Virginea, and make a Plan­tation there, in hope to convert infidels to christi­anity.

Although I can partly gesse in what humor you propounded this your Demand, yet I will not answer you according to that your humor, but I will answer you even as I desire to fol­low the truth in loue and peace with you and with all men.

I answer, Those that haue separated and made an unlawful rent from Gods true Church and people (as you say) it is the best course for them to returne againe, and with godly sor­row to manifest their true and unfained repen­tance for the unlawfull rent they haue made.

And that this may be the sooner effected and brought to passe: seeing that you still take it for granted that your Nationall Church, and Parish-Assemblies of England, is the true visible Church of Christ: I do once againe in­treat you to shew vs the true forme and fa­shion of your Church: And lay you apart all wrath and Envious Anger, that so we may to­gether in peace and love: you with us, and we with you, take a view and consider of your Church, and cōpare the form & fashion therof with the forme and fassion of the true visible Church of Christ, as it is described vnto us in the scripture: If you can proue your Church or parish assemblies to be like vnto that true visible Church of Christ both for true matter whereof it is built, viz. Saints: And also for the maner of the building, beeing coupled and combined according to the heavenly pat­tern. [Page]Both you and all men shall see, that I am willing, not onely to returne againe, but also to labour with godly diligence, to live in a ho­ly communion and fellowshipe with you, la­boring to obey the lawes and ordinances of our Lord and Saviour Iesus Christ, supporting and strengthning one another in all loue: And if this good and godly course maye be accom­plished: not onely I my selfe, but all of vs, that now are separated from you, would much more willingly and gladly returne againe and labor to plant our selues againe in the meanest parte of England, to inioy peace with holinesse and to follow the truth in loue among our kindred and friends in our owne natiue cun­try, then either to continue where now many of vs as yet liue, or to plant our selues in Vir­ginia or in any other country in the world, vp­pon any conditions, or hope of any thing in this lyfe whatsoeuer. Yet euen for Virginia thus much, When some of ours desired to haue plāted our selues there, with his majesties leaue upon these three grounds, first, that they might be means of replanting the gospel amongst the heathens. Secondly that they might liue vnder the Kings government. Thirdly, that they might make way for, and unite with others, what in them lieth, whose consciences are greived with the state of the Church in Eng­land: the Byshops did by all means oppose them, and their friends therein; and though they, aboue other men, pretend the planting of the Gospell amongst heathens, as you here do, yet haue they been rather content, that the most vile miscreants in the kingdom and [Page 37]such as were rather like to turne christians to heathens then to make of heathens Christians, then they.

And thus much for answer to your ten Counter Demaunds: nothing doubting but we shall be able to beare the waight of your next blow with patience, when it comes forth. If in the meane tyme I haue not answered you to any or all these your demands as you desire, yet I haue endevoured my selfe to do it accor­ding to truth in the best of my vnderstanding, as the word of God hath directed me.

I doe intreat you sir, not to suffer the vn­aduised anger of your owne evill and froward hart, cause you to take things in the worst part; although I cōfesse that at the first sight, or view hereof, this my harsh, rude, and vnlearned writing may seeme vnpleasant and offensiue: yet vppon better and more serious considerati­ons you shall haue lesse cause to find fault.

Therfore sir, When you finde heerein any thing that may moue you to take offence, I pray you passe by it in loue, & shew you forth that godly patience, which you somtime teach to others. Remember sir, He that is slow to wrath, is of great wisedome: but he that is of a hastie minde exalteth folly, Pro. 14.29. And a­gaine, he that is slowe vnto anger is better then the mightie man: and he that ruleth his owne mynde is better then he that winneth a Citty. Pro, 16, 32.

Consider also, sir, It is you that haue drawne me to write, and therefore you haue the lesse cause to be angry, with me: except your hart be enuious, full of deceit & malice, couetous­nes, pride, and vainglory, Rom. [Page]against which things (cōsidering how euill they be in any) it may be hoped that you haue lear­ned to striue. Philip. 2.3. and doe labour to be purged from an evill conscience, Heb., I pray you sir, beare with mee for writing thus vulearnedly: I haue endevoured my selfe in the best manner that I can, to speake according to the word, as taught of the holy Ghost: from which, where I haue swarved, or abused the same, I humbly craue of you, & of euery godly wise Reader, Christi­an correction, rather then pardon: for it ought to goe before, and shall be more profitable vn­to me: yea greater every way shall the bene­fit therof be, both for me, and for others also: for I being better instructed, shall through Gods mercy, both repent and learne to amend my faults; and others shall reape the fruits of Gods graces which more plentifully by your godly and diligent care, louingly to correct what you see amisse: vnto the which dutie of loue, if I may any way stir you and others vp, I shall not thinke my labour wholy lost, but shall be very glad to see you and others so well affe­cted. Fare yee well.

Let all Glory and honor, praise and thankes be giuen to God alone.


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