THE DEFENCE OF THE Nonconformists Plea for Peace, OR An Account of the Matter of their NONCONFORMITY, Against Mr. I. Cheney's Answer, Called The Conforming Nonconformist, And The Nonconforming Conformist. To which is added the Second Part In Answer to Mr. Cheney's Five Undertakings.

By RICHARD BAXTER.

LONDON, Printed for Benjamin Alsop, at the Angel over against the Stocks-Market. 1680.

THE PREFACE.

Reader,

TOo many of the contentions of this age do tell the world how much the several parties differ in Pie­ty and Malignity, Humility and Pride, Love and Malice, Meekness and Cruelty; But I think verily the controversie here man­aged between this brother and me, doth but tell you how weak and fumbling a thing mans understanding is here in the flesh, and what great diversity of apprehensions all men have in many things, who agree in the main; and how diversity of Lights or appearances, [Page] may cause great and confident contrariety of judgments, yea, and changes in the same person. The difference between Paul and Barnabas, and Peter and Paul. Gal. 2. tell us how far the best of mortals are from perfection. Our difference I think is not caused by contrariety of worldly Interests, (which yet divided even Abraham's family and Lot's, and much worse, Joseph's bre­thren from him) For as neither of us have any great matters of worldly wealth, but our daily bread (which is enough,) so I am perswaded that he seeketh no such thing, and I am sure I cannot if I would, who daily expect to give up my account, and carry a­bout me a thorn in the flesh, enough to cure at least the expectation of fleshly and world­ly pleasure and prosperity.

Read not therefore these books, as the conflict of enemies, but as the consultation of unfeigned loving friends who fain would understand the truth: You see he abhorreth the silencing or persecuting the ministers of [Page] England for Nonconformity: Yea, and all disaffection on such accounts.

And though I shew the great mistakes in his writing, impute them not to the habitu­al weakness of his judgment; But 1 to the badness of his cause. 2 To the newness and crudity of his thoughts about it: For though he hath been long a publick con­forming Minister, yet it is but lately that he hath received the satisfaction which he here expressed, being before purposed no more to declare or subscribe what he here defendeth: And new thoughts are seldom well digested.

I speak this the rather because some say that he is an honest weak man, that hath shewed his good will to defend their cause, but was not able to do it as it will shortly be done by some greater men that are about it. But my opinion is that his concessions and coming so near the truth doth give him so much advantage against us, that the ablest of them that [Page] stand at a greater distance, are like the more to marr their matter, and assault us with less success than he.

And I advise his Reader to pardon such slips in the book which I confute, as concern not much the cause in hand, but are only the oversights of the well meaning Author. As when pag. 8. he distributeth the Learned Ministry into several de­grees; of which one is such as have no Learning, and another such as have a little, &c. It's easie to know that this was a meer oversight. And in his supple­ment pag. 145. when he saith [‘God him­self doth assent and consent to the use of all the lyes and wickednesses of men and devils.’] It's like the Reader will think that he meaneth by the use, that [men and devils use to lye and do wickedness,] or act these sins: If so, it were odious blasphemy indeed: But by conference I have cause to believe that the Author's judgment is sound in those [Page] points; and therefore that it is but an heed­less speech, and that he meaneth no more but that [God consenteth when lyes and wickednesses are committed that men make good use of them in esse cognito,] as to repent of them or hate them or take warning to avoid the like; and that God himself will use them as occasions of some accidental good; as sickness is used to honour the skill of the Physician: And that the word Assent slipt in because his cause was in his thoughts. If you say, This is a ridiculous equivocation: To make such use of the Liturgie in esse cognito as to hate it, or perswade from it, no enemy will deny; but what is that to using it? To use the Li­turgie is to read and practise it, and so to use lying and wickedness is to lye and do wickedly: that which you call sin object­ive in esse cognito is not sin indeed, but the idea of it: but it is the real Liturgie which we must make a Covenant to use.

[Page] Ans. And who can manage an ill cause without somewhat that is too like it? And who doth any thing which needeth no re­pentance or amendment? And who is so wise as to speak wisely at all times? Let us pity one another, and pray for a teach­able mind, and long for the world of Con­cord in perfection. O how much harder is it to justifie proud Schismatical silenc­cers and persecutors of the just, than to excuse the failings of the weak! and with how great a difference shall they be shortly judged, as sure as there is a day of judg­ment to be expected! Yea, how much easi­er will it be for Sodom and Gomorrah, for Indians and Americans at that day, than for those that malignantly oppressed men of most serious piety, and fought against Christ as by his own pretended authority, and in his name.

THE CONTENTS OF THE following Book.

  • CHAP. I. THe occasions and reasons of answering Mr. Ch's. Book.
  • CHAP. II. Of Reordination,
    • Equally Sinfull with Rebap­tization in the judgment of Greg. M. § 1.
    • The ordination required, supposed the persons were not ordained before. § 3.
    • Mr. Chey's. exceptions, glosses, &c. removed. § 4, 5.
  • CHAP. III. Of the several orders of ministers. Mr. Ch's. trifl­ing in the ambiguity of the word Order noted. § 2. 3.
  • CHAP. IV. Of the Bishop's Oath to the Arch-Bishop.
  • CHAP. V. Of the Oath of Canonical Obedience.
  • [Page] CHAP. VI. Of the words Receive ye the Holy Ghost. 5 sorts of mission or commission given by Christ to his Mi­nisters.
  • CHAP. VII. Mr. C's 6. section answered. i. e. with pity: con­cerning those words to the People. To come forth and make their exceptions to the person ordain­ed.
  • CHAP. VIII. Of the damnatory clauses in the Athanasian Creed.
  • CHAP. IX. About the certainty of baptized Infants salvation made an Article of faith.
    • Mr. C. gives no answer to Mr. B's objections. § 1.
    • Bishop of Ely's judgment. § 3.
    • A case put at the conference at the Savoy, with Bishop Sanderson's answer. ibid.
    • Reply to that answer, with Bishop Morley's return to it, and the removal of that return. ibid.
  • CHAP. X. About coming to the Sacrament of the Lords supper without a full trust in Gods mercy, and a qui­et conscience.
  • CHAP. XI. Of the use of the Apocryphal writings as they are imposed by the Calendar and Rubrick, to be approved of and consented to.
  • [Page] CHAP. XII. Concerning consenting to the Imposition of Reading the Liturgy every day.
  • CHAP. XIII. About denying Christian burial to unbaptized In­fants and persons excommunicated.
  • CHAP. XIV. Touching Confirmation.
  • CHAP. XV. Whether we may declare our Consent that none should be admitted to the Communion, till he be confirmed, or desirous and ready to be con­firmed?
  • CHAP. XVI. Concerning the sole sponsion of God-Fathers in the Liturgie.
  • CHAP. XVII. Concerning the imposing of kneeling at the Lords supper.
  • CHAP. XVIII.Of the Cross in baptism.
    • as a Consecrating, dedi­cating sign. § 1.
    • Reasons against it. ibid.
    • The silence of Christ in this matter. 2.
    • It seemeth to accuse Christ's Law of imperfection. 3.
    • Christ commissioned not his Apostles to institute any new Sacrament of the Covenant of Grace. Whether it be made a Sacrament. § 2.
    • Of Gods prohibition. 12 Deut. of adding or diminishing. § 3.
    • Mr. C's Argumentum ad hominem consi­dered [Page] § 4.
    • The antient Christians practise. § 5.
    • Mr. C's objection removed. § 6.
    • The meaning of the second commandment in forbidding Images. § 7.
    • Mr Cheney's concession. § 8.
    • A full expli­cation of the nature of that sign. § 9.
    • Answer to the great Bishops notions. § 10.
    • Of the efficacy of Sacraments, from Aquinas. &c. § 11.
    • More objections answered, and cavils removed. § 12. &c.
  • CHAP. XIX. About giving the Sacrament to all parishioners thrice a year.
  • CHAP. XX. Of accusing those that are refused the communion within 14 dayes.
    • The true case of the parish mi­nister's power to suspend his own act, and not give the Sacrament against his conscience in 22 particulars. § 2.
  • CHAP. XXI. Of the Chancellor's office.
    • Of Mr. C. thirteen parts of discipline. § 2.
    • Proved to be defective. § 3.
    • Objection answered. § 4.
    • What power the parish minister hath in publishing an excommuni­cation. § 5.
  • CHAP. XXII. Of the Surplice.
  • CHAP. XXIII. Of the Rule for finding Easter day.
  • CHAP. XXIV. Concerning our Assenting, Consenting to, and ap­proving of the many disorders and defects in the Liturgy.
  • [Page] CHAP. XXV. Whether we may assent to the Preface for justifying all that was in the Book before?
  • CHAP. XXVI. Whether the Act of Uniformity be any part of the book to which we are required to give our con­sent?
  • CHAP. XXVII. About declaring it unlawful to take arms by the Kings authority against any commissionated by him.
  • CHAP. XXVIII. Of the Obligation of the Covenant handled at large. per tot.
  • CHAP. XXIX. About the exposition of Oaths and Laws.
  • CHAP. XXX. Several false devices of Mr. Ch. for stretching of Subscriptions, Covenants, and Professions. The vanity of which is discovered.
  • CHAP. XXXI. Mr. Cheney's conclusion evidenced to be a bundle of mistakes and impertinencies.
  • CHAP. XXXII. A full and clear answer to Mr. Ch's. supplement.
The second part. Mr. Cheney's Five undertakings considered.
  • 1 Quest. Whether it be certain by Gods word that Infants baptized dying before actual sin be undoubtedly saved?
  • [Page] 2 Quest. Whether may unconverted ones within the Church demand and receive the Lords supper?
  • 3 Quest. Whether a minister may put from the Sacrament those of his parish who be Christned People, and come to Church, and joyn in the pub­lick worship, and tender themselves to receive, being under no sentence of Excommunication?
  • 4 Quest. Whether the common sort of ungodly Chri­stians are to be cast out of the Church by penal ex­communication, and used as excommunicate ones?
  • 5 Quest. Whether Mr. Baxter's Doctrine and prin­ciples concerning particular Churches be sound and good?

A DEFENCE OF THE NON-CONFORMIST'S Plea for Peace, AGAINST Mr. J. CHENY, THE Non-conforming Conformist.

CHAP. I.

§ 1. DEar Brother, I have diligently read and considered your Book, and think it my duty to give a short Account of the Effect.

I have reproved many that blame you for not telling me first of it, and knowing what I could say to it, before you ventured to publish it; 1. Be­cause [Page 2] of our true Love and Acquaintance: 2. Be­cause a man should be willing to try and hear the utmost, before he engage too deep: 3. Because if you mistake, it is many and heinous sins that you may be guilty of, by hardening multitudes in im­penitency. To which I answer then, 1. I consult­ed not you before I wrote, and why then must you needs consult me. 2. A wise man can conje­cture what may be said against him, without ask­ing. 3. You might suspect some hinderance to that which you judged a necessary duty. 4. You have heard and read what the Non-Conformists say, as I did what the Conformists say, without any fur­ther consultation.

But I am most impatient with them that suspect your intention and design, and do hereby profess to them that know you not so well as I do, that I do from my heart believe you to be a better man than my self, of good judgment in other things, of greater meekness, patience, humility and self-denyal; and do verily believe that your End was to promote Christian Love and Concord (which was mine.) And as I wrote to cure mens uncha­ritable thoughts of the Non-Conformists; so did you, to cure or prevent mens thinking worse of the Conformists than they do deserve; an End that's good and necessary.

§ 2. But our measures of understanding are so various, that it is no wonder that we differ about the means: And therefore lest I should be guilty, 1. Of deserting the Truth, and Cause of Righte­ousness. 2. And of the loss of the Plaister which I made to heal the ulcerated minds of the haters and reproachers, and silencers of them that deserve it [Page 3] not. 3. And of the sin of such as be drawn by your Book to that which hath the aggravations which I named, and fear my self, I shall take the freedom of telling you and others, my thoughts of your performance in your Book.

§ 3. I. I perceive it is not your design to draw any man into so much Conformity as will procure him allowance in the Publick approved Ministry: And then what the better will the Church be for his change in all the rest, while one point of Non-conformity will keep him out as well as a hundred? For 1. You profess that you cannot justifie all, though you fain would. 2. You over-pass some in your defence. 3. You call your self a Non-con­forming Conformist. 4. You are fain to fly from your Country, being an excommunicate man, and to live in a poor condition among strangers, to keep out of the Goal, to avoid the Writ de excom­municato capiendo; and yet you lived under the Worthy and Learned Bishop Pearson, accounted one of the most moderate and best in England. And what good would so much Conformity do the Church? Can we serve them in a Prison any better than Non-Conformists may? But let us con­sider of your Defence it self.

§ 4. II. You would have your Reader have my Book before him, and you profess to answer it; and yet you profess so far to lay it by your self, as 1. To omit answering a great part of it, especially which justifieth our Preaching and As­semblies (yea I think you plead for them;) and my large Answer to the Charge of Schism you seem to approve, which we accept, and so that is no part of our Controversie.

[Page 4] § 5. 2. But you also avoid the Defence of the Corporation Declaration, which is a matter of so great importance to all the Cities and Corporations of England, as perhaps may prove more consider­able than the silencing of a thousand of the best Preachers among us for Non-conformity. But I blame you not for not doing more than you are able.

§ 6. 3. But why did you avoid the Order of my Book's Objections? and also the answering of any chief intimated reasons (while yet I did but intimate some few disclaiming argumentations?) why do you tell us, that you take them as you remember them, without the Book, and satisfie your own conscience, while you seem to answer the Book? And what drew you to begin with Reordination (which none of the Antient Non-Conformists are put upon?) But your disclaiming to defend the Oxford-Oath, and your profession that some part of the Subscriptions and Declara­tions by the Law enjoyned to Ministers, you never made your self, doth bid us to believe you, that it is to draw men to think mildly of conscientious Con­formists, that you write, if not to judge Conformity lawful, and a duty in case of silencing, &c.] And I doubt not but you will so far prevail.

But when you tell us of a Noble man impeach­ed of Treason, that made it his business only to put by that charge, you may remember that when the Great and Good Duke of Sommerset had so done, and the shout was made for his being found not guilty, he was yet (though the King's Uncle and Protector) beheaded as a Felon: Such a ju­stification doth little good. And you say truly [Page 5] [I am not to yield to the smallest Sin to save my Life.]

§ 7. I see not how this agreeth with what you say, ‘After that Mens weakness and ignorance may make it their duty of two perceived Sins proposed to them, to take the safer side, and that is to avoid the greater.’] Answ. Doubtless it is a gross Contradiction to say, It is a duty to choose, or not avoid the least Sin: For that is no Sin which a Man is not bound to avoid; and undoubtedly when two Sins are proposed, every Man is bound to avoid both, though not as equal with equal Zeal: And God never necessitateth Man to choose either, or not to avoid both: But if our own Badness disable us from avoiding both, we must be most careful to avoid the greater. I cannot pray without sinful dulness, or imperfection of Faith: But I must ra­ther avoid a total Omission than imperfect perfor­mance, for all the Faults are eminently in this. No Sin is to be done on pretence of avoiding a greater Sin: But sometime the avoiding of a great Sin, may make another thing (e.g. the omission of that which else would have been a Duty) to be then no Sin, that else would have been a Sin. Negative Commands bind ad semper.

§ 8. You say, ‘If the Non-conformist err, it is on many accounts a safe Error, because it is con­fessedly a refusal to Subscribe and Conform to a number of things in their own nature indifferent: Rigid Conformists confess them to be but Trifles comparatively, the Church might be without them and yet do well: And Moderate Conformists con­fess them to be burdensom, and the Church might be and do better without them, or if they were left [Page 6] to each Man's choice and will.’ Answ. But if we prove them far from indifferent, Non-conformity will prove a necessary and great Duty: However, I doubt the Imposers will give you as little thanks for this description of the Case, as they do us for Non-conformity▪ Specially when you add that for this, [‘We are thought Seditious, Factious, Schismatical, worthy to be Silenced, Imprisoned, Anathematized, and used as Intolerable.’] They will not love the Glass that sheweth them such a Face as you dislikingly describe.

Especially when you tell them that you [‘Are satisfied that it is in it self a great and dreadful Sin, to Silence the Non-conformists, and do by them as hath been for these many Years.’] And [‘Blame those loose Conscienced Men, who think that their Humours, Opinions, Lusts, and proud and impe­rious Wills, are fit to be the standard of Unity, Uniformity, and Edification to all the Churches.’] This is but cold pleading for Conformity.

CHAP. II.

§ 1. YOu begin with Reordination. And, 1st. I told you how the Church in all Ages hath commonly abhorred it: The Canons, called the Apostles, depose both the Ordainer that doth it, and the Ordained. Gregory Magnus, equal­leth it with twice Baptism (which perhaps you may think lawful too) you are for it upon rea­son Toties quoties. You tell us how loth we should be as to Condemn that which so many worthy Men held as were the old Conformists: And may not [Page 7] I tell you that you should be more Cautelous how you contradict all Ages of the Church, even to this Day.

§ 2. Had you heard as great a Man as I have done, declare that he could not take them for Mi­nisters, or take the Sacrament of them that had not Episcopal Ordination; and had you heard my L. Chancellor Hide give such Reasons openly for Re­ordination as I did; and had you seen the Wri­tings of so Learned a Bishop as I have seen, to prove such no Ministers as are Ordained but by Presbyters, and heard such Men, and so many Ar­gue for it as I have done, you could not have thought that the judgment of those that impose Reordination, was, or is, that Men are true Mi­nisters of Christ that are Ordained by Presbyters only? So that your sense of the Imposition is feigned.

§ 3. It is a known thing that the Church of England is not of your singular opinion for Reor­dination: You may as well feign them to be for Rebaptizing: They all renounce it with our Consent: Therefore they that require Men to be Ordained by Bishops, must needs hold that they had no true Ordination before; or else they should be for that which they abhor. So that it's past doubt, you talk of you know not what, when you make this to be but the singular Opinion of one Mr. Dodwel, disowned by all; though much in his Book besides, be by most disowned: And it is not every later Bishop that made the Law, or altered the Liturgy,

§ 4. You say that [Ordination once validly done by eminent Presbyters, and grave substan­tial [Page 8] Ministers, it doth to all intents and purposes make him a compleat Minister.] And elsewhere you maintain the Validity of Presbyters Ordinati­on: and say, ‘That it is a taking God's Name in vain, when it is done without urgent Reasons.’] I have moved to you, that the present Imposers sup­pose the contrary, (and I think, considering how much the King and Parliament left to the judg­ment of the Convocation) the present Settlement proveth what was the Convocations judgment, who are the present Church of England's representative.) They that are against Reordaining, and yet call men to be ordained, certainly judge them unor­dained before: And you are to take your Ordi­nation, and speak the words in the known sense of the Imposers; or else you equivocate: And what Reasons have you to deceive them? At least it is notorious scandal to seem to do it in an ill sense. And when you pretend that your Ministry else must be forsaken, we say, No: It is but to save you from suffering for your Ministration, as long as you can use it on suffering terms: And you have not escaped suffering, nor saved your Ministry by Conforming. If you would rather suffer, than not Preach to Non-Conformists when you had an allowed Church of Conformists, should not we rather suffer than by our Reordination submit to that which is the Churches or Laws publick pro­fessing that we were no Ordained Ministers of Christ before? when after that we have never the more liberty for our Ministry, unless we conform to all the rest. I remember three Worthy men re­ordained one fourteen, and two seventeen years ago, that had never the more liberty to Preach.

[Page 9] § 5. You say that [‘Ordination by eminent and Senior Presbyters is Episcopal Ordination, though not in the vulgar sense. For a Bishop and Pres­byter in the sense of Scripture are the same.’] Ans. Remember this when you subscribe to the distin­ction of Order. And I believe you cannot name two Bishops in England (if one) that had a Vote in Parliament and Convocation for making the imposing Laws that were of your mind: Nor two that will now say, that it is lawful to be twice ordained Presbyter: And remember 1. That it is the Act of Uniformity that requireth this last Ordination. 2. That the Bishop of London, of Lincoln, of Hereford, came into their places since; and were none of the Legislators.

§ 6. You say [‘If the Presbyters excel those Bi­shops, Ordination by them is more excellent than by these.’] Ans. And yet can you assert that they are distinct Orders, when the Power of Ordaining is made the chief part of the Bishops Order? I that am against you stick at this somewhat more than you, when the Law and Canon make the Bishop of the Quorum. And as I was ordained by a Bishop; so I never joyned with Presbyters in ordaining any man, nor did venture to lay hands on any in an Ordination.

CHAP. III.

§ 1. YOur second Section is of our Assent to the words in the Book of Ordination of the Notoreity of the Antiquity of the three distinct Orders. And 1. You justifie it by telling us that [Page 10] [difference of Holiness, Wisdom, Usefulness may be said to make different Orders.] But this is too lusory in a serious business. Words of Art or Science are to be understood according to the use of the men of that Art or Science: And the many old School Disputes, and Controversal Writers tell us long ago, how they understood the word [Orders] as Offices in Specie differing from Degrees in the same Species. In your equivocal sense you say true, that there are more than three Orders, or threescore: Yea, in the usual sense of old they had seven Or­ders, and yet they held Bishops and Presbyters to be but one of the seven; as I shewed you out of Spelman in Aelfrick's Canons of this Church of England, in the very times of Popery.

§ 2. You say you make it not an Article of your Faith, that this sense of Episcopacy is evi­dent to all men that diligently read Scripture and Antient Writers.] But the question is, Whether you Assent to it, (or more?) If not, how can you say you do? The Bishop of Hereford in Naked Truth hath given you some reasons of dissent, and Bishop Usher, and many such have done so before him.

§ 3. Whether you hit their sense or not, ga­ther by what I said to your former Point of Re­ordaining.

CHAP. IV.

§ 1. YOu next choose to speak of our Assent and Consent to the Bishop's Oath [to sub­ject himself in obedience to the Arch-Bishop, and to his Seat or Metropolitan Church, and to his Succes­sors.] And you tell us that all men are bound to subject themselves one to another: This again is too gross equivocating. Do you believe that this is the Species of subjection, which is meant in the Book and Oath?

§ 2. You better tell us, that being Episcopus pri­mae sedis, he may be reverenced as the Fore-man of a Iury.] But is this obeying him, and his Church and Successors? Is not this also Equivocation? Do they swear Obedience to the Fore-man and his Suc­cessors?]

§ 3. Your best answer is, It is enjoyned by Au­thority.] And if it were but obeying them in Civils, or circa sacra, in matters determinable by the King; this answer had much in it: B [...] when it is intend­ed to be in the exercise of the Word, and Keys, and Matters which Christ hath predetermined, those Non-Conformists that are not for the Divine Right of Arch-Bishops, cannot assent and consent to it: And those of them that are for it, do (with you) hold that there should be Parochial Bishops, or to every Church; and that those that you call Dio­cesans are indeed Arch-Bishops: And they are not for Arch-Bishops over Arch-Bishops, lest it lead you to a Pope, (as he was in the Empire at least.)

§ 4. And Successions so often prove unhappy, [Page 12] that we like not setting up one Church over ano­ther to the end of the world, when we cannot ju­stifie it at all. They that are (contrary to the Carthage Fathers) for a Bishop of Bishops, would yet have him their Ruler but as an Arch-Bishop, as General Officers in an Army over the Colonels, but not that our Church shall be set over many others; much less to swear to unknown Successors.

§ 5. And I told you divers old Councils con­demned Bishops swearing inferiours to them, as the cause of many mischiefs; and sad experience taught them to make that Canon.

CHAP. V.

§ 1. NExt you speak of the Oath or Covenant of Canonical Obedience: And you 1. Doubt whether it be an Oath. In the Act of Ordination it is but a Covenant: But (what they do now) I know not; but heretofore it was also imposed as an Oath. You tell me of my Conces­sions: I grant that [...]o far as they exercise but such power as belongeth to Officers of the King, we may obey him in covenanting to obey them. But it is in the exercise of the Keys proper to Christ's special Officers, that the Book meaneth, which you assent to; even in matters of sacred Guidance, Ex­communication and Absolution. And you say no­thing to satisfie 1. Those that are under obtruded and unlawful Bishops, that come in so contrary to Christ's and the Old Churches Order, as that the Old Canons decree them to be no Bishops▪ 2. Nor to satisfie those that think Chancellors use [Page 13] of the Keys to be unlawful. 3. Nor those that think that Officials, Surrogates, Commissaries, Arch-Deacons, being no Bishops, have no just power but what the King may give them, and not a supe­rior Power of the Keys (see Dr. Hammond's Ex­plication of it.)

§ 2. But after you think that none but the Bishop is the Ordinary; but the Church-Laws and com­mon use contradict you, and call all these, when Judges of the Court, your Ordinaries.

§ 3. And I told you (which you pass over) that this is condemned by the Decrees of Antient Coun­cils as a mischievous thing.

§ 4. You say, It binds us not to obey the Canons, else the Oath of Allegiance would bind us to it, and all the Statute-Laws.] Answ. This hath more seeming strength than the rest. But 1. If it did hold, it removeth but one branch of the difficulty. 2. And indeed he that sweareth Obedience to the King, doth swear to obey him according to the Law: And so he that sweareth Obedience to the Bishop, may mean more, and include Mandates; but he cannot reasonably mean less, and exclude the Governing Laws. But yet as we never meant that the King's Laws are all blameless, or that we will obey them if they command us to sin against God, but only will shew our submission by suffer­ing: So I confess our Oath to Bishops, as such, can mean no more. But then, were I under a King, whose very frame of Laws were unlawful, as tend­ing to extirpate Piety, I should doubt whether I might simply swear to obey him as my Governor. How far the Canons are more unmeet instruments for true Church-Government than our Laws [Page 14] are for Civil Government, I will not here en­quire.

CHAP. VI.

§ 1. YOur fifth Section is about the words [Re­ceive the Holy Ghost, &c.] in Ordination. 1. Two things you include in the sense: 1. In­ward Qualifications. 2. Investiture. But I told you 1. Inward Qualifications are presupposed, and the person examined accordingly. 2. I never heard or knew of any that received them by Ordination. 3. By Investiture it is the Ministerial Office that is given them: To none of this do you answer.

But you say, Christ used the words, and no ex­traordinary thing then conferred, &c.] Ans. 1. If Christ intended their after-reception of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost, it followeth not that we must use such words, that can promise or give no such spirit. 2. There were five several sorts of Mission or Commission then given to Christ's Ministers.

1. Christ sent out the twelve and seventy tem­porarily to Preach, do Miracles, and return; and gifted and blessed them accordingly.

2. He chose twelve as related to the number of the Tribes, and ordained them stated Apostles to the Jews, or Circumcision; and he qualified them accordingly by his Spirit.

3. He ordained them Apostles to all the world (indefinitely) and accordingly renewed their Com­mission: For this he qualified them with ordinary gifts of his Spirit initially now at his resurrection, together with their new Commission, and more [Page 15] fully and miraculously at Pentecost: You know how ignorant the Apostles were of Christ's Death, Sa­crifice, Resurrection, Ascension, &c. till he was ri­sen: And then Christ opened their understand­ings in these Articles, and gave more Faith (and answerably we must conceive other grace was given) than they had before. This cannot be de­nyed: And is not this giving of the Holy Ghost more than man must now pretend to imitate?

4. Besides these, there were after-missions of par­ticular Apostles (as Paul and Barnabas) or parti­cular messages in particular Provinces.

5. And there was the Ordaining of Bishops or Elders as fixed Guides of particular Churches: And these being ordinary Officers, were ordinari­ly to be qualified before they were ordained, and not to receive their Abilities by their Ordination: And this is the Ordination that we have to do with.

CHAP. VII.

§ 1. YOur sixth Section requireth pity, ra­ther than reply: The Church that a Bishop is ordained to, is many hundred Parishes; the Bishop of Lincoln hath many Counties. You know by whom the Bishops are Chosen, and where Consecrated: The words were originally used to the Church over which the Bishop was placed. And is it serious dealing to send word to none of them of your Time, or Place, and then call to Men in a Church in London, or a private Chappel, to come forth and speak their Exceptions? If you [Page 16] can prove that this may be Assented and Consented to, you have a stronger proving Faculty than I have.

CHAP, VIII.

§ 1. I See nothing satisfactory to the Objections which I made about the Damnatory Pas­sages in Athanasius's Creed. And I had reference much to a Manuscript, in which Mr. Dodwel is the Objector, and the Bishop of Lincoln supposed the Answerer; which he doth with great Learning and Impartiality. But to his Argument, That we are not to Assent to the truth of the Passages excep­ted against, because we read the Apocrypha, and yet the Church intendeth not to bind us to be­lieve some Untruths in it (which he nameth;) I Answered, that Athanasius's Creed is part of the Book which we must assent to, but the Apocrypha is not. I make less my self of this Scruple than the rest, because I have reason to believe Athana­sius meant it well; when I have not the same assu­rance of the meaning of the Authors of some late Impositions.

CHAP. IX.

§. 1. YOur Sect. 8, about the certainty of Bap­tized Infants Salvation, being made here an Article of Faith, I have much more to say against: But you answer not to any of the strength of my Objections.

[Page 17] 1. And how strange is it that you saw a Ma­nuscript of Bishop Usher's, telling us of [this Clause coming surreptitiously into the Book,] whereas he was Dead two Years before the Book was altered, or that Clause put in? Indeed, there was another in that sounded almost like it, which meant no more than that [A Baptized Child hath all that is necessary to Salvation,] supposing his right, (ex parte Ecclesiae) though he die without Confirmation, or the Eucharist, which were formerly given to In­fants: But this never said what the new Article saith.

§ 2. You say, many Conformists say, It is no part of Assent and Consent, because it is not used as part of the Church Service, and they subscribe to no more.] Answ. Name not those Conformists, lest you Dishonour them. Do they declare their As­sent to all things contained in the Book, and mean only the Service which they must say? Or do they [Consent to the use of all,] and take an Article of Faith to be put in for no use? Intreat them not to take the Oath of Allegiance and Supremacy, with that Latitude and Exceptiousness.

§ 3. You say, you can Assent to it in a sound sense: And [it's more than you can prove that all Infants are saved, but all that have right before God are saved, but not those that have no right before God.

Answ. 1. But you were told that the Church signifies her sense by the Canons, which forbid the Minister (on Penalty) to refuse any Child, that hath God-Fathers, not excepting Pagans, In­fidels, Atheists, or Apostates: Why did you not answer that?

2. A Right before God, signifies either proper­ly to be a Child that is under the promise of Par­don, [Page 18] in the sense of 1 Cor. 7. 14. Else were your Children unclean, but now they are holy.] And of such I am of your mind. Or else it signifieth only one that the Minister hath, Coram Deo, a right to Baptize. And so he hath as to any adult Atheist, or Heathen (or his Child) if he deceitfully pro­fess Christianity. I suppose you speak in the first proper sense.

But if you think that the sense of the Rubrick you are mistaken. No one knoweth better than Bishop Gunning, and he will tell you otherwise, viz. That God's merciful Covenant giveth us Right to bring any Child in the World to be Baptized for Salvation, as it giveth any Man right to take in an exposed Orphan into his House. And if the Spon­sor were to become Proprietor, and take the Child for his own (as Abraham Circumcised the Chil­dren born in his House) I would not dispute against it, though I were in doubt: But I have proved to you that the Liturgy, or Canon, oblige the Sponsor to no such thing, nor are they to pro­fess it: and you your self suppose the contrary, that the Parent is the First Covenanter: This Ru­brick then speaketh of any Child, and you limit it to the Seed of the Faithful, and so Equivocate. At our Conference at the Savoy, 1661. before the Bishops, I put this true Case; [I have in my Parish a profest Infidel, that derideth openly the Scripture, and the Life to come; but for fashion saith beforehand, I will bring my Child to be Bap­tized, and say as the Book requireth, and refuse my Child if you dare.] The Reverend Bishop Sanderson was in the Chair, and answered me, none of them contradicting, That if I Baptized [Page 19] him according to the Church of England that re­quireth God-Fathers, I need not scruple it. I askt him, By whom that Child had right more than any other Heathen's Child? Seeing, 1. The God-Father is oft as bad as the Parents. 2. And the God-Father taketh not the Child as a Proprietor for his own. Bishop Morley answers, That he knew some that did take them, and Educate them as their own. I answered, 1. The Canon, or Rubrick, require it not. 2. I never knew one Man yet that did it, or that ever thought that as a Sponsor, he was obliged so to do. 3. If it were otherwise; Poor Mens Children could get no God-Fathers, and Rich Men would have none. And what's this then to the sense of the Article in que­stion, that speaks of all Baptized Children? (It being of the Baptized quâ tales, and an indefinite in re necessaria.) You dare profess that of all, and undoubtedly certain by the Word of God, which you think is—true but of those that have right before God. And may not one profess any thing at that Rate?

Besides, I that know why the old words were changed into these, and by whom it was brought in, urged and procured, am fully satisfied of the sense of them that did it, by experience.

Your Exposition of the Doctrine of Baptism here adjoyned, is very sound and good. As to your Catholicon which gets down all, I may cause you to cast it up anon.

CHAP. X.

§ 1. YOur 9th Section, about not coming to the Sacrament without a full trust in God's Mercy and a quiet Conscience, tells us what the Imposure should have said, when I only except against what they have said. The Case is so gross, I am apt to think they meant as you say; especially when I consider that those must be Ruined that have not a quiet Conscience, if they will not, or dare not Communicate. But if well meaning Men put me to assent to words of a contrary sig­nification in the common use, I had rather approve their good meanings, than their imposed words, through oversight so expressed.

CHAP. XI.

§ 1. ABout the use of the Apocrypha, you quite mistook the Question: It was not chiefly whether you may use or read it, but whether you may approve and consent to the Calendar and Ru­brick which imposeth it, to be read; yea, those Books of Tobit, Iudith, Bell and the Dragon, &c. If you say that you Consent not to the Calendar and Rubrick, I ask, 1. Is it not contained in the Book? 2. Is it of no use, when the use is na­med in the Preface? Cannot we thus say any thing required, and mean what we list by it? Teach not the Papists to take the imposed Test and Oaths at such a rate as this.

[Page 21] § 2. You say, It is not on Lords Days. Answ. On the Week Days God must be Worshipped purely, and according to his Will.

§ 3. You say, It's more than you can prove that any thing is false. Why did you not an­swer the two Instances which I gave out of the Bi­shop of Lincoln's excellent Manuscript? And how much may you find in Dr. Io. Reynolds, and many other Protestants against the Papists?

§ 4. You say, If any thing be Fabulous, it may be read as an instructive Parable, some cite Aesop's Fables.] Answ. But dare you consent to the reading and imposing of Aesop's Fables, or any other, to be read in stead of God's Word, under the same name of Lessons, so many days in the Publick Worship?

CHAP. XII.

YOur 11th Section saith no more, but that you see nothing but one may Consent to the imposed reading of the Liturgy every day to save his Liberty. Ans. 1. I gave you a reason against Covenanting so to use it every Day, which you answer not. And. 2. Why took you no notice that it is the Books Imposition of this, which you must consent to, and not only the Practice? Is not the imposing Precept [contained in the Book] yea, and is it of no use?

3. And why do so few Conformists so use it?

CHAP. XIII.

§ 1. IN your 12th Section you joyn several things.

1. About denying Christian Burial to the Un­baptized Infants, and the Excommunicate, as not signifying their Damnation. But if you take in the foresaid Rubrick Articles that pronounceth certain Salvation to them if Baptized, you may see what is like to be the meaning of the Church here: And also if you read, how they use to expound their Anathema, or Major Excommunication; and on what account it is often made. Doctor Heylin tells you, That the necessity of Baptism was one of Bishop Laud's first Thesis's publickly maintained in Oxford. You are now Excommu­cate your self, but not with that Anathema which is of the hardest signification. But this is little to my objected Case.

2. But the doubt is about the words, that in sense pronounce all others that are Buried in Eng­land, saved. And you would make us believe that the Rubrick, which excepteth the Excom­municate and the other two sorts only, meaneth also the excepting of the Excommunicable, or No­torious wicked Men. But by such stretches what words may not Protestant or Papist take by an Ex­position of his own making? If three sorts excep­ted limit you not from excepting more; What can do it? I have tried the sense of the most Lead­ing Man in these Liturgick Changes that I know, whether he would consent that the words should [Page 23] be further extended to except the Excommunica­ble, or Notoriously Flagitious; and he most con­temptuously rejected it, as if it would leave power to every Presbyter to Damn whom he would (and to Excommunicate Men after Death) without a Bishop.

3. But you will prove your feigned Sense to be right, because the Canon 68. saith, [If the party Deceased were denounced Excommunicate (Majore Excommunicatione) for some grievous and notorious Crime, and no Man able to testifie of his Repentance, the Prayers are not to be said at his Burial.] Ans. Could you have more evidently confuted your self? The Church alloweth you, yea, requireth you to forbear the said Prayers, 1. If it be a no­torious Sinner. 2. Excommunicated. 3. And that (Majore Excommunicatione.) 4. And there be no proof of his Repentance. And hence you can infer, That the Church meant it also of Notorious Sinners not Excommunicate. What Alchimy is this? Whereas the Church is herein specially care­ful that the Priest may not be the Judge: What need the Major Excommunication be put in, if it were not meant? The Canon here declareth the Churches Sense more obligingly, than any Bishop can do.

CHAP. XIV.

§ 1. WHat you say of the whole substance of Confirmation referred to the Pa­rish Pastor, the Ceremony only reserved to the Bi­shop, is all without Book, and a meer mistake, as [Page 24] the Bishops will soon tell you, and common expe­rience. Had you heard what the Bishops at Wor­cester. House before the King and Lords said a­gainst inserting into the King's Declaration of Ec­clesiastical Affairs, that one word [Consent] viz. the Minister's Consent to the confirming of those of his Flock, and how it after came in; you would not have talkt at this rate of our Consent.

CHAP. XV.

§ 1. YOur fourteenth Section is of the doubt [Whether we may Declare our Consent that none should be admitted to the Communion, till he be confirmed, or desirous and ready to be confirmed?

To this 1. You say of your own head, That Con­firmation is not intended for them that have been al­ready admitted to the Lord's Table;] without any proof, though clean contrary to your Covenant of Conformity. The words are, That [‘None are to be admitted till,’ &c.] And you say, That by [None] is meant [None except all that have been so already admitted, that is, most of the Communicants by far in England, and all that come out of France, Hol­land, Scotland, &c.] What a great limitation hath this [None?] None except almost all, or most.

Boccaline tells us of a device at Rome to make a man's throat swallow a Pompion; and then no doubt any Physician may procure the swallowing of a Pill.

§ 2. But you are perswaded you shall not meet with one person that will not desire it rather than be put from the Sacrament.

[Page 25] Ans. 1. But it is not your own practice only that you must profess consent to, but to the Use of the Rubrick, as it is a Law to all others: Do you think no other shall meet with such, because you may not?

2. Remember that the Confirmation in question is little kin to that which I and Mr. Hanmer have written for: A very Learned Bishop told me late­ly, that it is for the giving of the Holy Ghost by Imposition of hands: And (whatever you feign) it is confined to the Order of Bishops. Do you know what Dallaeus de Confirmat. hath said against it? And that all are against it as with us that are a­gainst Diocesan Prelacy? I know few Non-Con­formists in England, that are for it, or desire it. When I pleaded for it in 1660. hoping to have reduced the English Confirmation to that which I described in my Treatise of Confirmation, had you but heard how much the truly Learned, judicious, honest Dr. Wallis said against it, who is a publick Professor in Oxford, a Conformist, and the King's Chaplain, you would not think that you shall ne­ver meet with any that will not desire it, &c.

3. I think most of England are unconfirmed; if they desire it, what keepeth them from it?

4. They may not desire it, and yet not be kept from the Sacrament: For he that receiveth it not of you, or any Conformists, may receive it of others: And all the Conformists that ever I saw deliver the Sacrament, give it to the unconfirmed, and never ask them whether they desire it. And yet you must covenant not to give it to any such as desire not Confirmation and Consent that this be imposed on all others.

§ 3. But you say, Such a remote possibility shall [Page 26] not keep you from Conformity.] That is, You will Consent to the Use of this Rubrick, which requireth, that none in England give the Sacrament to any that desire not our Episcopal Confirmation, which almost all the Non-Conformists desire not; and most of England shew by their practice, that they desire not, because you conceit that you shall meet with none such your self, who perhaps may never ad­minister the Sacrament, (at least till you are ab­solved from your Excommunication.) And yet you are so honestly against Division, that you will not separate from the Non-Conformists, and their As­semblies, though you suffer for it. These things hang not well together.

CHAP. XVI.

§ 1. YOur 15th Section is against my greatest Objection; the manner of baptizing by God-fathers sole sponsion, in the Liturgy: Where you take your own Order, and not mine (to satis­fie your self,) and put four questions, and over­look the main, or say as good as nothing to it. My first question is, Which way the Child cometh to have right to Baptism, any more than all the Infidels Children in the world? That is, Whether the meer Sponsion of God-fathers who adopt not the Child, nor take him for their own, nor are at all required to do so, do give or prove a Right to Bap­tism (and consequently to undoubted Salvation or pardon) in all the Infants of Apostates, Sadduces, Infidels, Brutists, Arrians, Socinians, Wicked men, Atheists; yea or of any other? I told you how [Page 27] Conformists and other Divines here differ; but you easily pass by the difficulty.

2. And the next question is, Whether the Church of England require any ground of title in the Infant besides the Sponsion of the fore-de­scribed God-fathers, and God's general Promise? And I have proved that they do not: It is not the Parents Christianity or Faith that they require, nor the Grandfathers, nor any Pro-parents, or A­dopters or Proprietors. Nor do they ask, Whose Child it is? but forbid us to refuse any that have God-fathers; nor do they suffer the Parent to be one of the God-fathers, but forbid him so much as to speak there, as dedicating his own Child to God, and forbid us to urge him to be present: Yet are they utterly disagreed of the Child's title: Some say it is from God's Covenant only; and that all Children on Earth have title, and want but one to offer them to Baptism, as he may take in an exposed Orphan. Some say that the God-fathers Act is his Title to Baptism. Some say, it is the Churches Faith. And by the Church some mean the Ministers; some mean that Parish; some mean the Diocesan Church; some the National Church; and some the Universal Church: But you seem to think the title is from the Parent, but you speak it not out, nor much meddle with the case; and the Church seemeth not to be of that mind; though St. Paul say [Else were your Children unclean, but now are they holy.]

§ 2. But you say, The Parent is not excluded nor forbid to be present.] Ans. But 1. No man in the Town is forbid to be present: Doth it follow that any man giveth title to the Child who may but [Page 28] be present if he will? If the Parents Faith were thought necessary to the Title (or a Pro-parents) the Book would require it, and require the Mini­ster to take account of it, or at least would suffer the Parent to be one of the Sponsors, or to speak one word of Sponsion, all which is expresly for­bidden by the Canon, and by the Book appro­priated to others.

§ 3. But you say, If he will he may profess and Covenant for his Child, yea, the Minister may and ought to urge and require him.] Ans. What, and yet Conform? When he is forbid, and the Mini­ster forbid to suffer it?

§ 4. But say you, [‘The Canon is no part of the Liturgy, nor are we bound to it wherein it is against the Liturgy and good Order.’]

Ans. 1. By the Can. 36. we are all to subscribe to use no other form in Administring the Sacraments but the Liturgy: And you shall be no Minister here if you subscribe not to that Canon, though you should say, It is against good Order. 2. The Liturgy it self appropriateth the whole Sponsion to the God-Fathers. 3. Our question is of the Churches sense herein: And it is the same Church the made the Canons; and still owneth them: Therefore in the Canon the Church expoundeth her sense, more obligingly than you, or any Bi­shop can expound it. So that for you to assent and consent to the form of Baptism in the Chur­ches sense, and when you have done, to say that you may and must go against it, because the Canon binds not, is a method of Conforming, which I will not follow you in.

§ 5. What you tell me of my Decision in my Directory, is nothing to our present Case.

[Page 29] But you say, The Canon supposeth the Parents as present, or Consenting and Principal, for he procureth the God-Fathers, and the Sureties are his Deputies, or Seconds, and yet undertakes not the Parents duty.]

Ans. I have proved to you that the Canon, or Church, neither foundeth the Title in the Parent, nor permitteth him any Sponsion; and professed­ly layeth it all on the God-Fathers, saying; That it is by that the Child believeth, and promiseth, per­formeth, &c. And no such word of the Parents Faith: Nay, all Children of Infidels or Atheists; must be thus Baptized. This therefore is your meer disproved Fiction.

Secondly, That the Parent must procure the God-Fathers, no way proveth that he is supposed to be a Christian or Consent, or that he is the Principal Sponsor: For it is for the Child's sake, that the Law bindeth him to get Sponsors, and all Atheists and Infidels among us, are bound to send their Children with Sponsors to be Baptized as well as Christians.

§ 6. You say, The Sureties undertake not to do the Duties of a Parent, nor more than they can do, &c.] Ans. Then it is not undertaken at all: For all that is to be undertaken is by them, and no­thing at all required of the Parents.

§ 7. As to the Interrogatories, and Profession, that the Child is said to Repent, Believe, forsake the Devil, Consent, &c. and not only to be the Child of one that Repenteth, Believeth (which is his Title) you say it is but to oblige the Infant: But professing to Believe and Repent at present, and promising to do it hereafter, are different things.

[Page 30] But you say, These words may be submitted to till better may be had.] Ans. And why may you not say so of any Untruth? But the question is, whether they may be Consented to, and approved?

§ 8. As to the great Question, [Whether it be the Intention of the Book that we deny Baptism to such as cannot procure God-Fathers, and God-Mo­thers, or to such as out of Conscience scruple and re­fuse to procure them, and will stand as Undertakers themselves▪] You say, No surely.

Ans. Alas, how little know you what the Con­formity is which you defend? 1. Are not all Mi­nisters to subscribe to Administer the Sacraments in no other Form than the Liturgy? Canon 36. 2. Doth not the Liturgy make the God-Fathers Office necessary? and a great part of the Baptis­mal Office is the Ministers Speech to them and their Answer, and the Charge laid on them. Can you say all these words if no Sponsor be there? Or can you have such Answers? 3. Doth not the Church Command that no Parent be God-Fa­ther to his own Child, and no Questions or Answers be used but the words of the Liturgy? 4. And did you ever know a Child Baptized without any Sponsor? You rightly call your self The Non-con­forming Conformist; for you plead for it and against it, in the same Lines? Your contradiction meet­eth through all your Book.

§ 9. You add, [‘If it be lawful to violate a Divine Command to save the life of a Beast (the Sabbath) sure it is lawful to violate a Humane Rule, or Order, rather than cast Infants out of the Church, and deny them Christian Baptism.’] Ans. It is so: And therefore it is unlawful to Con­sent [Page 31] to that which I must not do, and to Covenant to use that which I must not use. If I must not obey it, I must not Covenant to obey it.

But perhaps you mean that the Law-makers intended, that in such cases the Ministers have leave to violate it, and admit Men to the Com­munion that will not have God-Fathers, for God intended such liberty in his Law.

Ans. God's Law was not violated by David, the Priests, or the Disciples, in the instanced cases of the Sabbath: For he never forbad them what they did in those Circumstances: Yea, his Law had been violated [I will have Mercy and not Sacrifice] had they done otherwise; and he hath no Contradictory Laws: It is said that the Priests in the Temple brake the Sabbath and are blame­less, that is, They violate materially the outward rest of the Sabbath, but they violate not God's Law; else they were not blameless. But you can prove no such things by the Church Laws in que­stion, as that Ministers may break them by ad­mitting such Persons to the Sacrament as it ex­cludeth. For, 1. You Covenant to Administer only according to the Liturgy. 2. The Canon punisheth all Ministers that give it against the Prohibition. 3. And the Rubrick excludeth your supposed power of Dispensation. Can you believe your self that the meaning of the Liturgy and Ca­non is [None shall be admitted that desire not God-Fathers, except such as will not out of an Er­ring Conscience?]

Are those then admitted, that through Pro­phaneness desire not God-Fathers? If so, then you make the sense to be [Those that have not God-Fathers [Page 32] shall not be admitted to that Sacrament, ex­cept all that will not, viz. Conscienciously, or Pro­phanely.] If not, then the sense must be [You shall admit none to that Sacrament that have no God-Fathers, through Parents Prophaneness, but all that have none through scruple of Conscience.] And who cannot pretend such scruple? And who will not pretend it, when that will justifie them? And how would the Bishops reproach such an Exposi­tion, which either maketh every Priest a judge of Mens Hearts, (whether their pretence be true or not) or else admitteth all that will not have God-Fathers, while the admission of any of them is expresly forbidden? It is a stretching Exposition indeed which is against the whole form of the Office, and the express words of the Churches Canon, [No Parent shall be God-Father to his own Child.] Try whether any two Bishops in England will allow you any such Exposition.

If such be allowed in this Case, why not in all other like it? And so the meaning of Law, Ca­nons, and Rubrick be, [You shall do thus except when you have Moral Reason against it, such as is Mercy, which must be preferred.] Do you know how many have been Fined and sent to Goal for Preaching, though they pleaded for it Mercy to Mens Souls? Do you believe that it was the meaning of the Parliament and Bishops, [You shall keep no Conventicles, nor omit the Liturgy or Ceremonies, or Subscription, &c. unless when Mercy is to be preferred?] They that have Au­ditors that cannot bear the Liturgy, when they omit it in mercy to the Flock. I pray you get us an authentick signification of this Sense.

[Page 33] The words cited by you in the Preface to the Articles of 1604 are impertinent to our business: It followeth not that you have leave to break the Laws when you think mercy requireth it, because ‘they are not equivalent to the Eternal Word of God, nor bind conscience as of necessity in the nature of them,’ considered in themselves] and not in the Authority of the Commander. Again I ask, Shall any man escape punishement by such a plea of mer­cy? Are not two thousand Ministers silenced, and more, that pleaded Mercy to themselves and others, for the reason of their Non-conformity? Did your Learned, Pious, Moderate Bishop, excuse you for that plea? Doth not the express words of the Law, and Canon, and Rubrick, and the sentence and execution of all Judges to this day, confute your exposition and exception?

You truly say [It is a sin to make a false con­struction of the Law.] But if against the express words, and scope, and common judgment and exe­cution, you will presume to put your sense, which is merciful, because Charity thinketh no evil. Any thing, almost, may be so said, consented to, and sworn.

I have spoken with a Papist that hath taken the Oath of Supremacy, and wrote for it; because it is to be supposed that it is only the spiritual power called Pastoral, which the Pope claimeth over England, or such give him; and only the Power of the Sword which the King claimeth, and deny­eth to him and Foreigners. And he citeth a fairer pretence for his exposition than you do here for yours: And thus all may take up the Oath of Su­premacy that hold but the Popes Spiritual Supre­macy [Page 34] over us and all the world. What words can be so bad, that a man may not feign in Charity a good sense of?

§ 9. You say the Liturgy alloweth private Baptism without the Cross, and God-fathers. Ans. 1. Thence I must gather, that it doth not so allow publick Baptism; no not on pretence of necessity and mercy; else why had they not exprest their allowance of one as well as of the other? 2. And even there, it must be repeated after in the Con­gregation with God-fathers that believe, and pro­mise in the Name of the Child; (And in the house there is nothing named, or required of the Pa­rent, but some one (whoever) is only to name the child.)

§ 10. In the Margin you say [‘There is no ex­press prohibition in all the Liturgy, tying Ministers in no case, to baptize without the Cross, and to give the Sacrament to kneelers only: and to bap­tize none without Sureties.’]

Ans. I am glad that your whole writing favour­eth of that spirit of Love and Christian Peace and Forbearance, as your dislike of these things signi­fieth. And while we agree about the sense of God's Law, we shall not break Charity for our differing of the sense of the Laws of man: But seeing you put these great points (of my Non-conformity) here together, I shall briefly repeat the reasons of my exposition against yours.

Words are to signifie the mind and the matter. If the Book speak intelligibly, so as to oblige us to one sense, it's nothing to our case whether the prohibition be express.

I. The Liturgy-Rubrick saith [‘There shall be [Page 35] for every male-child to be baptized, two God-fathers, and one God-mother; and for every fe­male, one God-father, and two God-mothers.’]

II. The whole transaction, beside prayer to God, and the act of Baptizing, is mainly speech to the God-fathers, and demands of them, and their answer, by professing Abrenunciation, Faith, de­sire to be Baptized, resolved Obedience: They must name the Child. They are exhorted to see that the Child be taught what a solemn Vow, Pro­mise and Profession he made by them, &c. and to be brought up to the Bishop to be confirmed.

III. In the Baptism of the Adult, the God-fathers are called but [Witnesses] as not giving the person Title to Baptism. But in the Baptism of In­fants, they do profess and covenant in the Child's name, and he doth it by them, as his very Title.

IV. The Catechism saith, That Repentance and Faith are required of persons to be Baptized; and, as the old Book said, They perform them by their Sureties; so the new one saith, They promise them by their Sureties, and therefore are Baptized.

V. For the Cross, the Liturgy saith [‘Here the Priest shall make a Cross on the Child's fore-head.’] And it referreth us to the Canon for the sense and reasons.

VI. The Communion-Rubrick saith, [He shall deliver it into their hands, All meekly kneeling.]

VII. The last Rubrick saith, [It is ordained in this Office, that the Communicants shall receive the same kneeling.]

VIII. The same Church by Can. 36. requi­reth every Minister to subscribe that he will use the Form in that Book prescribed in Publick Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and no other.’]

[Page 36] IX. And the Can. 27. saith, [‘No Minister when he celebrates the Communion, shall wittingly ad­minister the same to any, but to such as kneel, under pain of suspension.’] Can the Church more plainly speak the sense of her Liturgy? You say It is against Schismaticks. Yes, 1. That is the end; and the words express the means. 2. And it is ex­pository, calling those Schismaticks that scruple and refuse to kneel.

X. Those that say the Liturgy hath any thing contrary to the Scripture, or that the Ceremonies are such as he may not use, approve, &c. are ex­communicate ipso facto: And therefore as Schis­maticks not to be admitted to the Sacrament till they repent of that their wicked Errour, Can. 4, 5, 6, 7.

XI. Can. 14. ‘All Ministers shall observe the Orders, Rites and Ceremonies prescribed in the Book of Common-Prayer, as well in reading the holy Scriptures, and saying of Prayers, as in ad­ministration of the Sacraments, without either dimi­nishing, in regard of Preaching, or in any other respect (note that) or adding any thing in the matter or form thereof.

XII. Can. 29. [‘No Parent shall be urged to be present, nor be admitted to answer as God-father for his own Child; nor any God-father or God-mother shall be suffered to make any other an­swer or speech than by the Book of Common-Prayer is prescribed in that behalf.’]

If yet the Church have not declared her sense of the Liturgy, but that I may Baptize without Cross or God-fathers, and give the Sacrament to them that sit, rather than refuse them, I can un­derstand [Page 37] no mans words. And what can constrain an unwilling person to understand?

XIII. Yet I say again, If I practice on any pretence of mercy, according to your Rule, the Judges will condemn me; the Justices will send me to the common Gaol, among Rogues, to lie six months, and will fine me twenty pound, and forty pound a Sermon, as I have tryed; and the Bishops or their Courts will excommunicate me, and prosecute me to lay me in Gaol; as you have tryed who fly to escape it. And are not these made Judges of the sense of the Law? and will not all this convince us what it meaneth?

Because you have put three of the chief matters of my Non-conformity here together, I have an­swered all together. If you will prefer the judg­ment of the Bishops before all this, I pray you do not pretend that some honest Bishop (that had no hand in our Changes and Silencing) saith to you in private; but get it us under the hands of many of them, if you can [that because mercy is to be preferred before sacrifice, we may Baptize with­out the Cross, and God-fathers, and may give the Sacrament to them that kneel not, if they dissent through consciencious fear of living.]

CHAP. XVII.

§ 1. IN your sixteenth Section you profess your liking of sitting at the Lord's Supper ra­ther than kneeling: How then can you declare [Assent, Consent and Approbation] to the Liturgy [Page 38] (expounded by the Canons) which in plain words, and by sharp penalties on Dissenters, so much pre­ferreth kneeling before sitting.

§ 2. Your preferring the preaching and hearing of the Word, and Prayer, and Praise, as more excel­lent than the carnal (you mean the outward) part in the Lord's Supper, is very far from Conformity to the common sense of the Bishops, who ordered the Altaring of the Communion Tables, and com­mended bowing towards them, and suspended so many Ministers on such accounts; even far from the sense of Arch-Bishop Laud, expressed in his life by Dr. Heylin, and of the whole Church of England expressed in the Canons of 1640.

§ 3. I answered before your conceit that the Liturgy alloweth you to give the Sacrament to them that kneel not, and your distorting the Ca­non, because the Title is against Schismaticks, when they mean that those that kneel not, shall be taken and excluded as Schismaticks, and so excommuni­cated (as I have proved) and not that the word is distinguishing and limiting, allowing you to ad­mit those to sit that are not Schimaticks. The Bishops will deride that Exposition. They that heard us at the Savoy, can tell you who that Dr. (now a Dean) was, who craved leave to have dis­puted the Case against me, and to have proved [That it is an Act of mercy to those that scruple and refuse to receive the Sacrament kneeling, to deny them the Communion of the Church therein.]

CHAP. XVIII.

§ 1. YOur seventeenth Section is for the Cross in Baptism. I distinctly proved that the Church imposeth it [‘As a Symbol of our Christian Profession, and as a consecrating dedicating sign, by which 1. God's part of the Covenant is signified, even the Grace by him given, and the duty by him imposed on us. 2. And the Receiver's part is signified, and by solemn Engagement there professed, even his Faith in Christ crucified, and his resolution and self-obliging Consent or Covenant to be the Lords as dedicated to him, and to perform all the future duties of the Covenant,’ And that this is the true description of a Sacrament of the Covenant of Grace. The word [Sacrament] larg­lier taken, may signifie no more than man may in­stitute: But a Sacrament strictly taken as thus de­scribed, I suppose man may not institute. 1. Be­cause Christ hath instituted two as an act of his Royal Prerogative. And if any Institution be pro­per to his Kingly and Priestly Power, it must be such: No other can be named excluding this. And if none be proper, what is it for him to be Great and One Law-giver to his Church? If Legisla­tion, the chief part of Supreme Government, be common to him and Bishops, why is not that Royal­ly Common?

2. And if Christ would have had any more Sa­craments of the Covenant of Grace, he would have somewhere expressed his Commands and Di­rections to his Ministers to make them: But he that hath given them full Commands and Di­rections [Page 40] for Preaching, Prayer, Baptizing, and his Supper; and for their other duties for the Flocks, hath not said a word to them of this; either bid­ing them make new Sacraments, or telling them how many, or directing them what, or how to do it; nor how to use them when made; nor pro­mising to bless them.

3. To make more, seemeth to accuse Christ's Law or Institution of Imperfection: Subordinate actions do not so: But to make Ordinances ejus­dem generis, with those which he made, not as a meer man, nor as a meer Minister, but as Me­diator, or King of the Church, doth seem to say, That Christ left half his work undone. Did he institute Baptism and his Supper, as a meer Man, or a meer Minister? then à quatenus ad omne any Man, or any Minister may do the like, and make more Sacraments: But if as King of the Church, and as Saviour, then none but our King of the Chuch and Saviour may do the like.

Christ hath instituted one day of each week to commemorate his Resurrection, as God the Crea­tor instituted a weekly Sabbath (as I have proved in a peculiar Treatise.) Men may set apart one day in a year for special Thanksgivings, or Com­memorations, and one day in a week, e. g. in a time of Plague and danger, to fast and pray, &c. But if any should make another weekly day of holy observance, to commemorate the same work of Christ's Resurrection, or our Redemption, which Christ did separate that day to commemorate, I think he would be both an unjust accuser of Christ's Law, as insufficient, and an unjust usurper of his Prerogative.

[Page 41] 4. And it is considerable to me, that though Christ so extraordinarily Commissioned and Qua­lified his Apostles to record his Words and Acts in Scripture, and settle Church-Orders and Infe­riour Offices, and teach the Nations to observe all that he had Commanded them; yet even them did did he never Commission to make a new Sacra­ment of the Covenant of Grace; nor did they ever make one; but contrarily rebuked those that would but have kept up some of the old Ceremo­nies, Divine or Humane: And was not the Cross a stumbling and foolishness to the World in the Apostles Days? and yet they never made such a Sacrament. And who hath equal Power with them?

§ 2. If any say the Church doth not make it a Sacrament, I answer: 1. It is not the Name that we contend about, but the thing. 2. I have be­fore proved it by the Constitutive parts which you answer not. 3. If Christ had Instituted the Cross as the Church doth, [as a Badg of our Christiani­ty, dedicating the Child to God as a solemn Cove­nanting Figure, by which the Minister in God's Name, and in the Persons, pronounceth him Conse­crated and engaged, as signifying both God's part or Grace of the Covenant, and Mans part or Duty.] I ask, Whether you would not have c [...]led this a Sacrament? And if it want but Divine Instituti­on and Benediction, it wanteth indeed a due Effi­cient, but it is still a Humane Sacrament, though not a Divine; and therefore an unlawful Sacra­ment. I would but know whether Men may make New Sacraments of the Covenant of Grace, or not? If yea, how many? and Quo jure?

[Page 42] § 3. And God's Prohibition, Deut. 12. of ad­ding or diminishing, is not washt away so easily as your words would make Men believe. You say, It reacheth to the whole Duty of Man, and Government of the Church, &c. Ans. There be some things in the Duty of Man and Church-Mat­ters, that God hath left to Man: To do those is no addition to God's Laws: But to do the like work that God by his Law hath done, which he never left to Man, seemeth to me the Addition there forbidden: e.g. If Men had made another Tabernacle, another Ark of the Covenant, ano­ther holy Vestment for Aaron, another Sacrament like Circumcision, or the Passeover; he that so reproved their worshiping in the High Places, would have reproved these.

§ 4. But the sum of your defence is ad Homi­nem to my self, for granting the lawfulness of hu­mane private professing Signs, and of the Cross as such: It's strange to me, that you that are so ju­dicious, can discern no more difference between, 1. Private and publick Church-actions. And, 2. Between a bare professing Sign in genere, and a Sacramental Covenanting-dedicating Symbolical Sign in specie.

1. Every Sacramental Symbol is a professing Sign: But every professing Sign is not a Sacra­mental Symbol (a solemn Sacramental Celebra­tion of a Mutual Covenant, by an investing signi­fication of the parts of both the Covenants.) Doth it follow then, that because Men (yea, any Man) may make a professing Sign of his Mind, that Man (yea, every Man) may make a new Sacrament? An Israelite might have lift up his [Page 43] Hand to signifie consent to a Duty, or to answer a Question: But might he therefore have imitated Circumcision, or the Passeover? When a Man is Baptized, if you ask him whether he consent, he may signifie it by Bowing, lifting up his Hand, by Writing, which are all but to the same use as Speech: But he must Sacramentally signifie it by the reception of Baptism, as the instituted solemn Co­venanting Symbol of his Religion. But for any to make to the Church of Christ, a new Sacramen­tal Symbol for such a Covenanting use, is another Matter.

A Man that at the Lord's Supper, is asked whe­ther he consent to Christ's Covenant, may signifie it as aforesaid: But he may not therefore joyn to the Sacrament such another Covenanting Symbol of Christianity, e. g. To make (or consent to, and approve and use) a Law that all Christians shall, solemnly after the Eucharist, have their Heads anointed with Oyl, to signifie that they are Mem­bers of Christ, and hereby Covenant with him and the Holy Ghost, as signifying his Grace recei­ved, and their Duty performed and promised; and this applied by a Minister Officiating, as by his Commission.

§ 4. I perceive by your mistaking Inferences, that you understood not my distinction of Private and Publick, and thought I had meant Secret, or Open, or before Few or Many: Whereas I speak in the sense that these words are commonly used in Politicks, e. g. When they distinguish Index pub­licus & privatus, Res publicae & privatae, Acti­ones publicae & privatae, &c. Publick is that which either belongeth to the Society, or a Publick [Page 44] Officer as such: As a meer Subject is Homo priva­tus, so his Actions and Affairs, meerly as his, are private: The Aerarium of the Commonwealth though kept secretly is the publick Treasure. The judgment of a publick Judge, when few are pre­sent in his Chamber, is Iudicium publicum; and the judgment of a meer Arbitrator before thou­sands, is Iudicium privatum: A private Man's arbitrary Words or Actions in Westminster-Hall at the Bar, are Actiones privatae.

§ 5. I have more reverence for the Ancient Christians, than to be a bold condemner of all their Actions, which I wish they had not done (and had they foreseen the Consequents, they would not have done). And I must, Fide humanâ, give some credit to those ancient Writers, specially such as Augustine, who tells us of Miracles adjoyned to some use of the Cross: And considering how they used it, I find it was (when those things were done) as a private arbitrary professing Sign, such as it would have been to say by words [I am a Christian,] or [I trust in Christ,] or [I am not ashamed of a Crucified Saviour.] And if when one asked them of their Faith, or derided them for trusting in a Crucified Man, they an­swered by crossing, I judge them not for so doing: The occasions and Persons might excuse such a private professing Action. But if they would turn this into a publick Church-Ordinance by a Law, and into a Humane Sacrament of the Covenant of Grace, requiring all to receive it as the common Badge of Christianity; I reproach not the approvers, but I dare not approve it, or so use it.

[Page 45] § 6. You say, [We must reduce what is said in the Canon to the words in the 39 Articles, and the Liturgy, for they contradict not themselves.]

Ans. There is no shew of contradiction. If the Church in three Books express her sense, must I not set all together, and take them in all? And when the Liturgy purposely referreth the un­satisfied to the Canon for her sense and reason, it's an odd way of expounding it, to forsake the Canons Exposition, and say, I reduce it to the Li­turgy. Doubtless all three together express their sense.

§ 7. The second Commandment forbad not all private use of Images, either a Civil, or meer Me­morative or Monitory private (yea, or publick) use. As it forbad not Iacob to pitch a stone of re­membrance, or the Israelites to make a Memora­tive and Monitory Altar, and yet forbad such an Altar for Worship to be erected without God's Order. But it was external symbolizing with Ido­laters by Images, which the second Commandment forbad; that is, either worshiping them, or God by them; or by setting them up in the place of Worship, seeming so to do. So it is not all use of a Cross that breaketh the second Command­ment. When you have proved lifting up the hand, or laying it on the Book, &c. to be Sacraments, I shall further answer you: Or if the second Com­mandment oblige us not to use Christ's Sacraments (as it is now one of Christ's Commandments) then I shall confess that it forbiddeth not us to devise the like.

§ 8. You say, [If it be a Sacrament, it would be universally unlawful. If Baptism had not been [Page 46] ordained by Christ, it would have been traiterous and sinful to use it as a Sacrament.] Ans. You grant us enough; I durst not have used the word traiterous so boldly, lest I should anger the Con­formists. But when did you prove that every professing sign is used to the same use in specie, as the covenanting dedicating Symbol of the Cross is? This was a supposition not so easily to have been begged.

§ 9. As to my Simile, That Baptism is Christ's Badge or Colours; it illustrates in the point of simi­litude: And so it doth, that the King would take it ill to have a publick badge of the Order of the Garter to be added to his Star by a private Sub­ject, much more for any to make a Law for all his Subjects, to be known by a badge of private in­vention.

You say, That it's lawful to wear those Colours in the Troop, which he may wear out. Ans. Yes, if he may wear them out in specie to the same use and ends. But if you at a Funeral wear a black Ribbon, and your General's Colours be white; and some Souldiers will make a Law, That the badge of all the Souldiers shall be black Ribbons, joyned to the white, it would not then be lawful for you in or out of the Troop to wear that black as the badge of a Souldier, much less to declare that you approved of, and consented to the impo­sition. And when you tell me, I allow the use of it, I tell you, I allow not your use prescribed by the Church.

You say, I can never prove that Christ forbad it: And yet you say before that, It's traiterous to have made a Sacrament (without Christ.)

[Page 47] But you affirm, That it's made but for the same use in Baptism, which I allow out. But why did you not give some answer to my express proof of the contrary? Or why put you me so oft to re­peat it? It is an outward visible sign, by which in the solemnizing of the Covenant between Christ and us, the person is dedicated to God, by receiving the said sign of the Grace of the Covenant, and the obligation of the Covenant, and of the persons professed consent and engagement to the duties of it.

1. That it is a Badge of Christianity, the thir­tieth Canon saith twice.

2. That it is an honourable Badge by which the Infant is dedicated to the service of God; the same Canon saith.

3. That it is a Covenanting sign, both the ce­lebrating words, and these of the Canon shew.

4. That it is a sign of professed Consent to the Covenant-duties there named [Not to be ashamed to confess the Faith of Christ crucified, and manfully to fight under his banner against the World, Flesh and Devil, and to continue Christ's faithful Servant and Souldier to his lives end.] The words shew, and none denyeth.

5. That it is an Obliging sign, both as imposed by God's Minister, and as self-obliging by the said professed Consent, is also exprest in the same words. And this is it which is called The Covenant-Vow. The person is Vowed or Devoted to God by two Sacramental signs, Baptism and the Cross.

6. That it signifieth also God's Grace given by that Covenant, the words of the expository Ca­non 30 shew: [To dedicate them by that badge to [Page 48] his service, whose benefits bestowed on them in Baptism, the name of the Cross did represent [To the service of him that dyed on the Cross.]

7. Yea, that it is an Investing sign, delivering the Church-priviledges, appeareth in the words: [We receive this Child into the Congregation of Christ's Flock, and do sign him with the sign of the Cross.]

8. And that it is to operate Grace morally on the Intelligent, is exprest in the foresaid words of instructing and obliging signification, with the preface of the Liturgy [To stir up the dull mind of man to the remembrance of his duty to God by a no­table and special signification whereby he might be edified.]

§ 10. Anno 1660. endeavouring to prevent what followed, I used these same reasons with the great Bishop, who, I think, hath had the first and and chief hand in the matter as it standeth, and he denyed but two things of the Sacramental Cross; 1. That it is of God's institution, which he thought essential to a Church-Sacrament: To which I say, It is a humane unlawful Sacrament; but that it is not Divine we easily grant.

2. That the Cross giveth Grace. I answered, that effectually it doth not, because God will not bless unlawful means: But it is appointed by man to give or work Grace. This I proved, 1. Because as it is a Receiving sign into the Church, it deli­vereth by Investiture the Relative Grace of Church-priviledges. 2. As the Water of Baptism worketh morally, by signifying the washing of Christ's Blood; so the Cross is to operate morally, by signi­fying Christ's Crucifixion, the benefits of the Cross, [Page 49] and our duty. But he laid the stress of his Cause on this assertion, That Sacraments, as such, are to give grace otherwise than by such moral operation; and it is no Sacrament that is not instituted to give God's grace otherwise than morally.] I told him how commonly Protestants maintain that they are not instituted to give grace physically; but only morally, and by investiture in relations. And here we broke.

And because I must expect that from others that are driven to it, this will be the last refuge; I will add, that even the wisest Papists themselves do maintain only such moral Causality in Sacraments.

§ 11. And here, with respect to the foremen­tioned Article of the certainty of Baptized In­fants Salvation; and also the answering of this Ob­jection, I shall cite some of their words, to shew you at how great a loss the most Learned Papists are about things that every poor English Minister may be certain of, or profess to hold, or else be silenced or ruined: Though it be ascribing too much to the opus operatum in Sacraments that we grievously accuse the Papists of.

I. Aquinas of the Efficacy of Sacraments, saith, 1. That they are aliquo modo Causae gratiae. 2. Not meerly Causa sine qua non. 3. Aqua baptismatis habet operationem propriam in Corpus, & ut instru­mentum Divinae misericordiae, habet effectum ulte­riorem; non ad gratiam quasi eam attingens in vir­tute principalis agentis, sed ad dispositionem prae­viam; quae in quibusdam sacramentis est Chara­cter, in aliis aliquis ornatus animae proportionatus Characteri. 4. In sacramentis est aliqua virtus supernaturalis quae est ipsis principium agendi in [Page 50] quantum sunt instrumenta Divinae misericordiae. Et haec virtus est Ens spirituale, incompletum sive in­tentionale.

Scotus and Ockam confute this at large; and Pet. de Aliaco Card. Cameracensis (a most judicious School-man) briefly after them in 4. q. 1. B. C. contending that Sacraments are properly no Cau­ses of grace, but improperly; because Deus in sacra­mentis ordinavit sic agere, non quod ipsa sacramenta agant: Et de tali ordinatione & libera promissione ipse certificavit Ecclesiam: Vel ex sola voluntate al­terius ut Causa sine qua non, quae non invenitur in naturalibus; sed (sicut meritum) in Moralibus; & proprie non est causa: Et quod sacramentum sive per virtutem propriam, sive per virtutem ei collatam, non est proprie Causa Efficiens alicujus dispositionis in anima ad gratiam praeviae (aut ipsius gratiae.)

So that their judgment is, that it is only Con­ditio sine qua non, dispositiva, moralis (improperly called dispositiva,) and not of the effecting, but the reception of grace. A man that doth use God's Ordinance, being in the way where God doth give his grace, and performeth the receptive Condition: Yet none of them deny a Moral Objective Cau­sality on the Considering Adult.

And Brianson in 4. q. 1. fol. 6. 1. doc. conclud­eth Sacramenta non sunt Causa effectiva gratiae, sed selum per modum meriti; per ea datur gratia citing Ricardus, Scotus, Aureolus, Fr. Perusius, &c. against Thomas and Alexand. herein.

And 4. q. 9. Concl. 1. fol. 152. he saith [Bap­tismus indiget fide, (quae est dispositio & funda­mentum omnium sacramentorum) vel in se, ut in adultis; vel in alio, ut in parvulis, pro quibus sunt [Page 51] Fide-jussores Paternus & Materna.] And if so, what undoubted certainty is there of thousands whose God-Fathers themselves have no true Faith.

And, Quod ficte recipientes Baptismum non ha­bent gratiam Baptismi, dicunt Scholastici. vide Bri­anson, in 4. q. 4. Doct. 1. Fol. 34.

And even Pope Gregory 7. (Hildebrand) in Roman Council saith, [That neither feigned Faith in Baptism, nor feigned Repentance in Penance, do save any.] I know what some say for the saving of all Heathens, Infidels, or Atheists Infants, snatcht perhaps by military force to Baptism, viz. Ex fide Ecclesiae, of which I have spoken else­where (in Christ. Directory.) But their proofs I take for Error and worse.

And as to this and their Causality Ex opere ope­rato, Suarez saith, (de Legib. li. 9. c. 6. pag. 748. Col. 2. de Circumcis.) Nam etiam ipsa fides paren­tum erat conditio necessaria, & sine qua'non; & tamen de illa non dici potest quod gratiam daret In­fanti ex opere operato, nec quod gratiam contineret; imò nec causa justificans parvulos dici potest, nisi latè aut improprio modo, sicut dicitur de quolibet remedio seu conditione sine qua non.] Whence he infer­reth, that Circumcision did not justifie Infants.

And even Petr. à Sancto Ioseph. saith (Thes. Univers. de Sacrament. pag. 93.) Sacramentum est signum sensibile Divinitùs institutum longo tem­pore durans, Sanctitatem aliquam, saltem EX­TERNAM, conferens, & veram significans: Et pag. 101. Though with the highest he hold, that [Sacramenta novae legis conferunt gratiam, id (que) ex opere operato & immediate; duplicem scili­cet; aliam respondentem dispositioni, aliam ipsi Sa­cramento, [Page 52] cum antiqua adultis nullam conferrent nisi ratione dispositionis: Yet he saith, [Sacramenta novae Legis non producunt gratiam Physice sed Mo­raliter.]

And when the Papists that must exceed in ascri­bing to Sacraments, have no more to say, and are at such a loss, we leave it to the judgment of the Impartial, whether no Protestant should be suffered to Preach the Gospel without Ruine, who cannot declare that [It is certain by the Word of God, that Infants Baptized and dying before actual Sin, are undoubtedly saved,] none excepted: And whether Physical, or any but Relative and Mo­ral Efficacy be essential to a Sacrament; or any save Aptitudinal, or fitness, to convey. to fit Receivers.

And whether as to the new Article of Faith, it had not been enough for us to have said as the Synod of Dort. Art. 1. c. 17. [Quandoquidem de voluntate Dei ex verbis ipsius nobis est judicandum, quod testatur liberos fidelium esse Sanctos, non qui­dem Natura sed beneficio faederis gratuiti, in quo illicum Parentibus comprehenduntur; pii Parentes de electione & salute suorum, quos Deus in Infantia ex hâc Vita evocat, dubitare non debent.]

And I dissent not from the old Rubrick, [That no Man shall think if any Detriment shall come to Children by deferring of their Confirmation, he shall know for truth, that it is certain by God's Word, that Children being Baptized, have all things ne­cessary for their Salvation, and be undoubtedly sa­ved.] That is, without any other Sacrament, supposing them to be the Children of the Faith­ful: And I am sorry any Dispute of mine occa­sioned [Page 53] any one to endeavour the altering of these words so much for the worse. But I have long digressed.

§ 12. If God's Word were not the sufficient Law by which your Cause and ours are to be try­ed, I would vie with you against your Plea from Humane Opinion, or Authority: And shew you, 1. That the Apostles not using it, will weigh down the Ancients and others using it. 2. That the Ancients used it not so ill as we must do, as a Sacrament of the Covenant; but as a meer pro­fessing Sign of their not being ashamed of Christ; till it did degenerate by degrees. 3. That the Learning and Piety of them that have refused it, hath been equal to theirs that so used it. 4. That he that readeth Bernard, Gerson, Kempis, Thau­luus, Gerhardus, Zutphaniensis, Sales, and abun­dance such (yea, Persons of Resolution) will think there have been very holy Papists; and for number they exceed the Protestants: And yet that proveth not Popery to be lawful. 5. That the Bap­tized's White Garment, Milk and Hony, not knee­ling on Lord's Days, &c. were more generally used of old, and yet are not now so well thought of: Nor the giving the Eucharist to Infants, nor the Millenary Doctrine, much the Ancients Lan­guage, like the Arrians, which P [...]tavius citeth.

§ 13. Your main Argument you say, is, that [Ye obey that Command, Mat. 28. 19. And Christ doth not forbid you to use the Cross.] Ans. As if you should say, When I Celebrate Christ's two Sacraments, I obey his Commands; and he hath not forbidden me to use two (or ten) more. As when you are commanded to believe in Christ as [Page 54] your Saviour, it is implied that you must take no other for your Saviour; so when you are com­manded to Hear and Obey him as the great Pro­phet and King of the Church, it is implied that you Hear and Obey no other as such: And there­fore give to no other any of the Prerogatives of Christ, and ascribe nothing to Man's Law which is proper to his, which you confess to make a Sa­crament is: Lest your hear, In vain do they Wor­ship me, teaching for Doctrine the Traditions of Men: If it be Sin, it is worse than Suffering. Do you think Worshiping in the high Places, was worse than this?

§ 14. You plead the Law of Nature, even Mercy to the Magistrate's Soul, to keep him from Silencing and Persecuting; and to the Peoples Souls, that they may have good Ministers.] Ans. What then? If the Cross be lawful to be used as prescribed, then no doubt I should use it. If it be not, must I sin when the Magistrate bids me to save him from Persecuting me? The Martyrs might so have saved Bonner and Gardiner, by a Lye: But this is no saving them: For if they First draw me to Sin, endanger my Soul, and would Silence me, or destroy my Body if I did not; this doth increase their Guilt, and not dimi­nish it. 2. And you may exercise Mercy to the People, as Ministers did the first 300 Years, in a Suffering way, and by good Example, better than by Sin, and consent to corrupt the Ministry and Church.

§ 15. You call the Crossing, and such things [‘Trifles and Bawbles, on which weak and child­ish Minds dote, yet wise Parents may please their [Page 55] Children with Bawbles.’] Ans. The Bishops will be more offended at this, than the Non-con­formists: They that cannot allow us the pity due to weak Children, will not take it well to be told that we are Fathers, and they the Children whom we must please with Bawbles.

And you say, [‘The external part of Baptism, is not so excellent as Prayer or Preaching.’] Wa­ter and Words, be not matters worth our compa­ring; but remember, Words are part of Baptism too; and the Solemnizing the great Vow and Co­venant between God and believing Sinners, on the terms and to the great ends of Baptism, is a high transaction of unspeakable Concern: And it's shame to many that cry out against Anabap­tists, that they reverence it far less than they.

§ 16. But you say, [‘We assent not, and con­sent not to the Imposing of it.’] Ans. Nor I, and therefore I will not say that I do. Is not the Im­posing of the Cross expresly in the Book? And do you not plead for it openly, declaring that you Assent and Consent to all things contained in it, and prescribed by it? What can be plainer?

§ 17. You say, [I‘t's better to do a doubtful small Evil, than forbear a certain and great Good.’] Ans. Negatives bind ad semper, but Affirmatives do not. And that which is Evil and not Good, is ill called Better: No evil must be done that can be avoided: None that good may come of it. The Apostles and Pastors of the three first Ages did good against the will of Go­vernors. What if a Man doubt whether a Lye or Perjury be Sin in such a case? must he therefore do it that he may Preach without Persecution? [Page 56] It is no Duty to you, much less a greater which you cannot do, but on condition you will Sin.

§ 18. You say that [‘Though he that doubt­eth is damned if he eat, the case is not like the using of the Cross, because there is liberty.’]

Ans. I have said so much of Rom. 14. in my Treatise of the Church Called, that I need not add much more. The advantage seemeth to me more on the other side: They that did eat, or forbear, did it in Conscience to the Will of God, as they that kept a Day or not. But that Text expresly commanding even Church-Governors, to do no­thing contrary to mutual forbearance in such things; here Conscience towards God is set against our obeying the supposed unlawful command of Man, and our escaping Persecution. The Iews then Persecuted those Christians that would not conform to their Law in Meats and Days, even to the Death, and more sharply than the Romans did: And they seemed to be Scandalized by them, to the hindrance of their Conversion. Why then, was that Case free, and ours of the Cross not free?

CHAP. XIX.

§ 1. YOur 18th Section is about giving the Sa­crament to all the Parishioners, thrice a Year. You say, It could not be the Churches meaning to give it to all.

Ans. Darkness is a great advantage to one that must be hid, or run away; and confusion to one that must defend an Error. They are two di­stinct [Page 57] parts of our Dissent, 1. That all the Parishi­oners are enjoined to Communicate thrice a Year.

2. That we are enjoined to give it (not to all, but) to more than we can with a safe Conscience. You prove that there are Limitations to the last; but that proveth not that they are so to the first.

Do you think that it will excuse a Man that Communicates not, to say, [I am not willing to be Confined,] or [I am out of Charity,] or (I am a scandalous Sinner,) or (the Church did suspend me for Scandal, or Contumacy:) If it will, the Papists may save their Estates, or others called New Recusants at least: But the Law and Liturgy, and Canon, all shew the contrary: If they are unfit, it's long of themselves, say they: And that shall not excuse them from a Gaol.

You will say, It commandeth them not to re­ceive unfit, but to be fit and then receive. Ans. True: But, 1. All the Parish of natural Capacity are commanded to be fit and then receive, and punished if they do not, though morally never so unfit. 2. Fitness is not gotten by bare Com­mands. 3. There are multitudes unfit, and ought not in that unfitness to receive, that the Law lay­eth no hold on for any other Fault; and many that cannot receive it; much less can the Minister by the Law keep away. Too many know them­selves to be secret Atheists, and more to be Infidels, or Sadduces, that believe no Life to come: Many are conscious of secret Fornication, Drunkenness, Stealing, Deceiving, &c. rhe Minister or Magi­strate is no judge of these: Yet if they Commu­nicate not, they break the Rubrick and Law, and are to be punished. Many hundreds are conscious [Page 58] of secret unpreparedness, and many timorous ho­nest People so afraid of eating and drinking Judg­ment, &c. that they dare not come: And many on many accounts are unwilling; and yet all these are commanded to come. In a word, No unwil­ling Person hath right to the Sacramental Benefits: and yet all such are commanded on great Penal­ties to Communicate thrice a Year.

2. And I hinted how many were forced to admit to our wrong and theirs; which you an­swer not.

CHAP. XX.

§ 1. YOur 19th Section is for our accusing those that we refuse to the Ordinance, within fourteen days, that he may proceed against them according to the Canon. And first you tell us a strange thing, which were it true, would half reconcile me to the English sort of Prelacy, viz. [‘That the lesser Excommunication out of a par­ticular Congregation, seems to be allowed to all the Parish Ministers.’] Say you so! What a sleep have I been in these 50 Years, (since I have been Ordained it's 41 Years) that never could hear or read of any such thing? I have indeed read some honest Passages like it, in the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiast. published by Iohn Fox, which died before it was born, and only shewed the good purposes of King Edward, and his Divines. But in our Articles, Canons, Liturgies, or Book of Ordination, I can find no such thing, nor imagine what could thus deceive you. Nor can I see any [Page 59] such thing in Cosms's Tables, nor in any Confor­mist's Writings, which describe our Church Go­vernment. What was in Doctor Mocket's Book that was burnt, I know not; By the Execution done on it, and their hatred of Arch-Bishop Ab­bot, I should think it was as likely to be there as any where: But if it were, it is no proof. The Laws and Authorized Church-Canons and Forms, must decide the Case. Were there but any tole­rable Parish Discipline, I would never quarrel against Diocesans; Nay, could I but have been a Pastor, and not a meer Slave, or Executioner of the will of others, against my Conscience.

§ 2. I cannot imagine what you mean, unless it be that the Canon and Rubrick say, That we shall not admit to the Communion, such [As be openly known to live in Sin, notorious, without Re­pentance, nor any who have maliciously and openly contended with their Neighbours, till they be Recon­ciled; nor any that desire not Confirmation.]

But, 1. Do you take this temporary suspension of my act of delivering this Man the Sacrament, to be the Minor Excommunication, viz. our of that particular Congregation? You are much mistaken, as any Bishop or Chancellor can tell you. He is Member of that Congregation still: You only su­spend your own Act, and his Reception, till his Case be tried and judged by the Chancellor, or Diocesan, whether he shall be cast out, or not.

2. Nay, could all our importunity with the Bishops, have prevailed but for a Power in the Parish Minister, (for Pastor they would not have been called) to suspend his own Act, and not give, or deny the Sacrament against his knowledg and [Page 60] Conscience, I should not have said much against Diocesans, nor any reasonable Appeals to them. But I will tell you what I take our Case to be, after my long enquiry.

I. The great Parishes that have many score thou­sand Souls, are such as the Priest (or Incumbent, I may call him) knoweth not one of a multitude of his Parishioners. (And Bishop Taylor of Repen­tance Pref. saith, A man cannot take charge of, or answer for the Souls that he knoweth not.) And though fame say, That in such a Parish there are multitudes of Atheists, Infidels, Hobbists, Brutists, Socinians, Drunkards, Whoremongers, Perjured, &c. while they are almost all strangers to the Minister, he can deny the Sacrament to none of them pro tempore. And how can the Incumbent know in such Parishes what they are?

II. If he know a man to be a Papist, if he be a Church-Papist, or have a dispensation, he cannot on that account deny him the Sacrament. Yea, Dr. Heylin in the Life of Arch-Bishop Laud, mak­eth it his commendable design to have drawn the Papists into our Churches, (as they were, say some others, in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's Reign; and this, say they, is to be a Queen Eliza­beth Protestant, to be one that will communicate with the Papists in our Liturgy.) But many good Ministers dare not give the Sacrament to a Papist, till he repent and renounce the Papal Universal Government, and their grossest corruptions.

III. If the Minister know any man to be an Adulterer, Fornicator, Drunkard, or Heretick, or Infidel, by private conference, confession, or other notice, and cannot prove it, he must give him the Sacrament.

[Page 61] IV. If he (that converseth not with one of an hundred himself; and can know them but by hear-say) shall hear a neighbour or two, or ten, report that such a one is taken by those that con­verse with him to be an Heretick, Atheist, Infidel, Scorner at Christ and Scripture, a Fornicator, Drunkard, &c. he cannot deny him the Sacra­ment unless the reporters will stand to it as wit­nesses. And it's known, 1. That few that can prove it will tell it the Minister. 2. Good people that hear it, cannot prove it. 3. Those that can prove it, and privately tell it, will not trouble themselves, and offend their neighbours, by wit­nessing it openly. What need we more than ex­perience? Do not your Books and Complaints tell us, that not only Coffee-houses and Taverns, but other places are witnesses of abounding A­theism, Infidelity, or Sadduceism; and that our Parishes have great numbers of them? And how many such have you known in London excom­municated, or openly suspended? And are not the London Ministers able good men, that would do it if they could? Ask them why it's never done. If you say, that such come not, but excom­municate themselves: I answer, 1. Are they not still members of the Parish-Church? 2. How doth the Minister know that they come not, who know­eth very few of his Parishoners? 3. It's known by their acquaintance, that such ordinarily com­municate so far as to satisfie the Law. For what should hinder them when it is their interest?

V. If the Minister should have private proof against one Atheist of forty; or one Drunkard or Fornicator of many, if he cannot get his witnesses [Page 62] to travel far, and for nothing become odious to the accused, to attest it before the Chancellor or Bishop, the Minister must give him the Sacrament after he is acquit by the Court for want of proof.

VI. If proof be brought, and the Proctors fail managing it, or the Chancellor favour the ac­cused, or the man resolve before he goeth [I will say, I repent, and then deny me the Sacrament if you dare,] or if his saying he repenteth, satisfie the Judge that knoweth him not, while the Minister that is his neighbour heareth no sign of it; but contrarily of his malice against him for accusing him, he must still give him the Sacrament, if the Chancellor acquits him.

VII. Nay, if he be excommunicated first, and by friends, fees, or saying I repent, get the Chan­cellor's Absolution, he must be received to Com­munion, though the Minister see not the least sign of his repentance, but the contrary.

VIII. If Ignorance be so common in the Parish, that we have reason to judge that of twenty or thirty thousand Parishioners (more or fewer) one half of them understand not the very Essentials of Christianity, and of the Sacrament; yet the Mini­ster must refuse none. I that have but three ser­vants, can seldom have all three such as with my plain teaching will be brought while they are with me, to understand all the Essentials, and be capable of the Sacrament. And though in general experience telleth us of the great numbers of such, yet the Minister cannot know them. He that know­eth not their faces, much less ever catechized half. And commonly children and ignorant people will [Page 63] say the words of the Creed and Lord's Prayer, when they are grosly ignorant of the sense. 2. And if the Minister know such an one to be so grosly ignorant, the Law giveth him not power to deny him the Sacrament.

IX. How should the Minister have power to excommunicate one out of a particular Church, when his Parish is not a particular Church, but a part of a Diocesan Church only? It's known, now it is maintained by Bishops, That the Dioce­san is the particular Church; That it is no Church that hath not a Bishop of its own: That Ecclesia est plebs Episcopo adunata; and therefore the name of Pastor is usually appropriated to the Bishop; and in most places of the Liturgy where Bishops, Pa­stors and Curates were joyntly named, one of the two first is put out of the New Book, and only Bishops and Curates, or Pastors and Curates men­tioned: And who can cast out of a Church, that is no Church in the Rulers sense?

X. I have had many Parishioners that have made me know that they take me for none of their Pastor, nor will do; nor themselves for any of my Flock; and yet to satisfie the Law, or fame, or humour, they will demand the Sacrament. A Mi­nister cannot refuse such a one, but must do the one part of a Pastor's Office to them that disclaim the relation.

XI. If I upon strong suspicion of gross Igno­rance, would desire my neighbours (aged or young) to come and speak with me, and would try them and instruct them; or if I desire to con­fer with them on a just private suspicion of He­resie or Atheism, or accusation or fame of wicked [Page 64] living; and if they refuse to speak with me, or give me any answer or account, but shut their doors against me, and bid me meddle with my own business, I have no power to refuse them the Sacrament.

XII. I have known many persons, that for fear of being guilty of the body and blood of Christ, would be in danger of desperation or distraction, should they receive it: Yet if, for fear of an Ex­communication, such unwilling ones come, I must give it them. And I know too many that let me know, that though they will have the Sacrament, they do not consent to the Essentials of the Sacra­mental Covenant, but think Christ's terms too hard (till they have sinned longer;) yet these must I admit to the Sacrament.

XIII. On the other side, I must give it none that dare not take it kneeling, nor any that think Conformity unlawful, nor that the Canon calleth Schismaticks.

XIV. I must give it to none of the most wor­thy of my Flock, whom the Bishop or Lay-Chan­cellor will excommunicate, if it be but for not paying fees, or not appearing at his Court.

XV. The Priest must publish the Chancellor's or Bishop's Excommunication, if against the most conscionable of his Flock.

XVI. And he must publish the Chancellor's or Bishop's Absolution, though he know the party to be most unworthy.

XVII. He hath no power to judge whom to take into the Church by Baptism, but must Baptize any Child of Atheists, Brutists, Heathens, Infidels or Hereticks, that have but God-fathers, who ne­ver [Page 65] take them for their own, though his conscience be against it, as is aforesaid.

XVIII. He hath no power to forbear pro­nouncing Absolution from all sin in absolute terms, to any sick man that will say he repenteth, and de­sire it, though by never so much evidence the Priest judge it to be either counterfeit, or from meer attrition or fear, without love.

XIX. I have proved that he hath no power to forbear pronouncing all Atheists, Infidels, Brutists, Adulterers, Drunkards, worldlings, &c. saved, at their Burial, except the unbaptized, excommuni­cate and self-murderers.

XX. In a word, the Priest is so far from having the power of excommunicating out of a particular Church, that he hath no power to do the necessary previous acts. 1. If he would tell him his fault privately, the sinner may refuse to speak with him, as is said. 2. If he would take two or three wit­nesses, he may refuse yet to speak with him, or hear him. 3. If he would tell the Church where he hath Communion, and would publickly admonish him before them all, and pray for him by name, that he may repent, he doth more than he can an­swer, and the man may have his Action against him accordingly at Law.

XXI. If a Minister will prosecute at the Bi­shops Court all that he hath cause to keep from the Sacrament (as he must do within fourteen daies) 1. It will take him off all his Ministerial studies almost, in many great and wicked Parishes. It will be work enough to travel long journeys as an Informer. 2. It will spend all his Benefice, in the charge of journeys, Proctors, and bringing wit­nesses [Page 66] so far. 3. He shall but get the hatred of sinners, and never be like more to do them good: Whereas, had he power to use true Pastoral Dis­cipline with them, his love and tenderness might possibly melt them into repentance, which a Chan­cellor's Court, so like a Civil Judicature, and putting them to great expences and danger, is unlike to do. Nor did I ever in my whole life know one sinner brought to Repentance seemingly serious, by their Courts.

XXII. To conclude, If the Minister have power to keep any from the Sacrament for four­teen daies, till he prosecute them, they will as mem­bers, have all other Communion with that Church even in Prayer, Praise and Thanksgiving, and the Baptizing of his Child, &c. Albaspineus (that great and notable describer of the Churches Customs) tells us, that the Old Excommunication did shut them out of all other Church-Communion, as well as the Sacrament; even their oblations were not accepted.

If I understand the Case of the Parish-Priests, and their Power of Discipline, this is it. And is this the Power of the Keys or Excommunication?

If you ask me, How I would have all this reme­died; I have oft enough answered it, and will not here repeat it. Only I would have a Minister have some such freedom as a School-master or Philosopher hath in his School; and not a meer slave or Agent of others, to take in and use, and exclude and say, as strangers to the Flock command him, against his conscience and knowledge of the Case; till it be proved, that it shall justifie him at judgment for all such actions, to say, The Law, Bishop or Chan­cellor commanded me.

[Page 67] § 2. You tell us as by your many Years Expe­rience, that private repelling by Counsel and Per­suasion, may serve with most. And 1. I wonder that you that had but a small Country Chappel and no Church at all, where near Neighbours might easily be spoken with, should talk of your Experience as an argument against that which is of notorious matter of Fact. 1. Shew me where Law, Canon, or Rubrick, giveth power to the Priest to refuse a Parishioner that saith, [I take you not for my Pastor, nor to have any authority over me, but as the Bishop's Curate, to do what the Law bids you, and I will not speak with you.] 2. Do you not now dwell in London? where Parishes are so great that the Parson can do no such thing on one of a Multitude, nor doth so much as know them? And know you not that de facto, there are Multitudes that will refuse, and scorn to give you any account, or hear you, or come to you, or admit you to any such discourse with them? I had the most obedient tractable People to deal with that ever I knew: And yet I had some that attempted by present violence to Murder me, for Admonishing them, and forbid­ding them the Sacrament; and many that would give me no other account of themselves, but de­mand of me to deliver them the Sacrament as the Canon and Liturgy order it, whenever they ap­pear at Church and require it: Hundreds and Thousands will stoop to no other Terms in the great Parishes of England.

§ 3. I confess, if ever I had been thought to­lerable under our Prelates, and had thought my self able (as I do not) for the care of some of [Page 68] the smaller Parishes, I should have most trusted to the New Liturgy for my power to keep away some of the grosly Ignorant [as being not ready to be Confirmed,] because they know not the Cate­chism. But now I perceive by you, this were not like to serve my turn; for you say, [It is only for those that never yet Communicated,] when as mul­titudes of the Aged are grosly ignorant of the Essentials that have long Communicated. 2. And divers of these grosly ignorant Persons are Con­firmed long ago. Bishop Morton was one of the Learnedst and best Bishops, that ever I knew: And when I was fourteen or fifteen Years old, I and my School-fellows, and abundance of Boys and Girls, when he came into the Country, went as to some Spectacle, and without any certificate, or question to us, or instruction of us, we all kneeled in a long row in a Church-yard, in the Path-way, and as he went by, he laid his Hands on every one, and huddled over a short Collect, of which I scarce understood one sentence that he said; and I was never the wiser, nor fitter for the Sacrament that I perceived.

§ 4. But you say, that [The Order binds to a Repelling by publick Admonition and Church Power notifying to the Congregation, such a Man's Crimes and Scandals, as a Fornicator, &c. and warn him not to come to the Sacrament, till he have made open confession of his Sins, and reformed his Life.]

Ans. What Order is it that binds us to this? If you mean Christ's Order, we must do it: If you mean the Churches, where shall we find it? This is like the Rubrick new Article of Faith, which will Silence us all who are not certain by God's [Page 69] Word, that Baptized Infants (without exception) are undoubtedly saved; and yet that Charity was wanting that should but once have cited the Text that maketh it undoubtedly certain. A short labour for so great an End. So when you might know how very far it would go to reconcile me to our Prelacy, could I but prove what here you say, yet you will not so much as tell me where to find it: Nay, if you that have studied the Law, would but have told me how to escape, when I am accu­sed for doing it.

§ 5. But your next is too apt to provoke Laughter, viz. [‘Suppose you honestly tell the Ordinary, that the uncapable are too many to be presented, lest Violence make them worse, and Excommunicating them signifie nothing, but en­danger them to rise in Rebellion, or Mutiny, and turn you and us out of Place (that reason is con­siderable) or quite leave our Assemblies, and turn Quakers, Papists, Infidels, and precipitate Souls to Hell by Obstinacy and Viciousness: But if you will leave it to me, I will Christen their Children and keep them within the Church; (Is that Ex­communicating them?) as Hearers, and Lear­ners, and Candidates, &c. Do I not then honestly perform the Law?’

Ans. Your honesty I shall commend. And Christ's Law you may much perform. But what Law of the Church is it that you thus per­form? What is the Law that giveth you any such power? What Law forbids it you, I have shew­ed. Let the Rejected sue you, and let the Judges tell you, whether you have kept the Law: The issue will answer you better than I can.

[Page 70] But you say, It is the Intention of the Law that you perform.

Ans. You have proved me also, and all of us, Conformists, before we were aware. The end of the Law is to edifie and save Men, and to prefer Mercy before Sacrifice: But all this I do, or endeavour in my Preaching, Dwelling, and Practice: Ergo, I am a Conformist, and perform the Law. But that did not keep me out of the common Gaol, nor save my Library. And must we be punished for Conforming? Break the Law and Canon, and say you did it in Mercy and kept it, and try whether you will pass for a Conformist? Did you not thus keep the end of the Law when you Preacht at Warrington? and did your Excommunicators call it Conformity?

§ 6. But you say, All that are accused are not Excommunicate, nor laid in Gaols; it is to be hoped that the Ordinary will do them Iustice.

Ans. 1. As they did you. 2. They may escape the Gaol by flying their Country, as you do: But what shall they do with their Wives and Chil­dren? 3. But we grant you all this: If 500 in a great Parish should be accused by the Minister as uncapable of the Sacrament by gross Ignorance, Infidelity, Heresie, or Crimes, and as you say, they be not Excommunicate; when they come home acquit, the Minister must give them the Sacrament the next time. 4. But our question is not what the Ordinary will do, but what the Law and Ca­non bind him and you to do?

CHAP. XXI.

§ 1. YOu entitle the next Section, of the Chan­cellor and his Office, and reading Ex­communications, and the Order and Discipline in the Church of England. And, 1. You tell us of them that would have Unordained Ruling Elders in every Parish. But, 1. If that be ill, how will it justifie Lay-Chancellors? 2. Cannot many with the Pastor better govern one Parish, than one Chan­cellor can many Scores, or Hundreds? 3. Some give Lay-Elders only a part of the Magistrates work, and some only to be Delegates for the People to do but what they may do, who cannot be oft present, and to be occasional Arbitrators; and some that give them any use of the Keys, take them not for Lay-men, but Ministers separated to that Ec­clesiastical Office?

§ 2. You tell us of thirteen parts of Discipline among us: To which I said enough before. 1. No Atheists, Infidels, or Pagans then must be refused Baptism, if communicating God-Fathers (how bad soever) present him who never take him for their own, and we doubt can neither give or prove his Title: And that we are disabled to keep the unworthy from the Communion, I have proved; and the Excellent, Learned, Pious, Parish Priests of London, tell you by Practice.

2. Few Communicants are Confirmed, and Sacramental Capacity is not required to Confirma­tion: And if it be not used, or worse, by Bishops [Page 70] [...] [Page 71] [...] [Page 72] who only have the power, what satisfaction is that to the Parish Priest and Church?

3. There is no sufficient means to Convict, and keep away scandalous Sinners.

4. The Sinner hath power to forbid you pri­vate Admonition by refusing to speak with you, or come near you.

5. What is Family Power to the Church? We thank you for nothing. But were not Parents formerly disabled from keeping Children and Ser­vants from spending much of the Lord's Day in Dancing? &c. And doth not the Canon yet dis­able them from bringing them to hear a Sermon at the next Parish Church, when they have none at Home?

6. The Lawyers that I speak with, take all for meer Falshood that you say of the Priests power, of publick admonition of sinners by name, not censured by the Ordinary. You say, Where is it forbidden? I ask you, Where is the Priest authorized to do it? If not, the Man will have his Action against him, and Ruine him; and the Bishop may suspend him for Usurpation. And, 2. Of all the worthy Parish Incumbents in London, who did you ever hear once do it? I never one heard one do it, nor heard of one that did it in my life, except a Non-conformist, or a hot Parson point at a Puritan in the Church for some Non-conformity in a Circum­stance. Reverse then your charge of Hypocrisie, if you find it must fall on all the worthy London Incumbents: For they all speak for Discipline, though not for more.

7. If there be half as many bad Ministers as the Country saith there is, it's a small honour to [Page 73] the Church, to reproach the Fathers that admit them as sinning against Church, Law, and Con­science; and a small relief to Peoples Souls to tell that some Body had power to have provided bet­ter. But the People had no such power, to save themselves from a bad one; though the Church for 700, if not more Years, took him to be no Bishop but an Usurper, that came not in by the consent of the Flock, and election of the Clergy, of which more elsewhere.

8. Do or can Bishops by Visitations know the People and their Cases of a thousand, or many hundred Parishes, so as to hear and judge them? Would they not have ten thousand scandalous Sinners sometime to try and exhort to Repentance in one, or few Days?

9. and 10. We are glad that the old prohibi­tions of Afternoon Sermons and Lectures, are not yet revived: But how few Parishes have such Lectures comparatively? and how few have Ca­techizing? And they that have none, may not go to another: If you think that it will save the Peoples Souls, that the Priest might have instruct­ed them if he could and would, and that the Bi­shop should have made him do it, I dissent.

11. I have seen no Visitation Articles of late, but in the old ones of 1634, 1635, 36, 37, 38, 39. the Church-wardens were to swear to persecute Men for so many things which they thought their Duty (as the foresaid going from a Non-preaching Minister, keeping private Fasts, and such like) that many Men that feared an Oath and Persecution, suffered because they durst not be Church-war­dens.

[Page 74] 12. I confess more manners of Church-censures are in use among us, than we desire. The Canons will tell them to you: Else so many hundred Non-Conformists formerly and lately had not been for­bid to Preach, nor all forbid to admit Non-con­forming Christians to Communion; nor had they been ipso facto excommunicate (though Ant. de Dom. Spalatensis say so much to make odious all excommunicating ipso facto (who, they say, first de­vised the name of a Doctrinal Penitence.) And Bishop Ier. Taylor saith so much against it.

And I confess that there is the Magistrate's sword to back all this; by which about two thou­sand of us were silenced, and you fly out of your Country from the Writ de excommunicato capi­endo.

§ 3. My belief of your unfeigned honesty makes one at last pity you, and wonder when you add [What more would you have?] what it was that could tempt you to contract the guilt of defending things of such publick and sad an Aspect and pro­spect, against such light, and after such experience of the effects, and in such a time! 1. Do you be­lieve in your conscience, that the Bishop of York, Norwich, Lincoln, London, or the rest, with a Chan­cellor, and his Officials and Arch-Deacons, can possibly exercise that Discipline, or the hundredth part of it, which Christ hath appointed, were they never so honest? 2. Do you believe that a Lay-Chancellor, who you confess hath not the power of the Keys, doth or can well execute them? 3. Do you not know how little of the Parish-Go­vernment against scandals is exercised by the Bi­shop; and how almost is done by this Chancellor [Page 75] and Officials? 4. Do you not know how unlike their Courts are to fit a sinner for absolution by true Repetance? 5. Did you ever in your life know a sinner brought to a repentance seemingly unfeigned by them? 6. Did you ever hear such worthy men of greatest honesty and Learning as Dr. Lloyd, Dr. Stillingfleet, Dr. Tillotson, Mr. Sharp, &c. name any in the Pulpit or Church by way of publick admonition and invitation to repentance, who was not first censured by the Ordinary? 7. Do you think none of them would do it, if they thought it a duty, and the lawful and safe way of Discipline? 8. Do you think their Parishes have no scores or hundreds of Brutists, Atheists, Drun­kards, Fornicators, or other scandalous sinners? 9. Do you think they can possibly know any thing of their peoples gross Ignorance, Infidelity, Atheism, yea, or Scandal, who can know so few of the persons? (much less can the Bishop.) 10. Do you think that it is exercise enough of this Disci­pline, when about 5000 in a year only commu­nicate to leave 20000 or 30000 more, as mem­bers of the Church in that Parish, that use not to communicate, or else may come when they will extraordinarily to save them from the Law, though utterly unknown to the Minister? (And so pro­portionably in Parishes half as big.) And how is it possible this can be amended rebus sic stantibus? And would not so many good men amend it, were it possible? Oh draw not the guilt of so many and such things on your self without cause! Were it as small a thing as the Israelites High Places, if you cannot amend it, do not become the open defender of it. Iudas himself at last accused the Pharisees [Page 76] and High Priests, and justified Christ. I do not think he would have written a Confutation of Christ's reproofs, recited in Matt. 15. and 23, &c. How can you pray for a Reformation of that which you think needeth none? And hath the Church and Cause of holy Discipline lost so much of your prayers too? If you say to God, as you do to us, [What more would we have?] I am glad that God hath a firmer people that will pray for more.

§ 4. You say [As to the Chancellor and his Of­fice, it is less matter by whom Excommunication be done, so it be honestly and soundly done. He is a Christian, he is a man of Knowledge and Learn­ing; he is authorized by the Laws of the Kingdom; his Office is incorporate into the Government of the Nation. Though he may not bind and loose as a Pastor, he may as a Christian, authorized by the King. See Matth. 18. 15, &c.

Ans. This is a great business. 1. Why said you before, that the Power of the Keys belongs to the Pastors, &c? But you meant [not only to them.] 2. Is it the same sort of Excommunication and Ab­solution which belongs to the Pastor and to a Lay-man? If not, you say nothing to our business. For our Laws, Canons and Church pretend here no dif­ference. I confess that there are three acts of se­paration, which the Magistrate may do. 1. He, may command Bishops and Pastors to do their Office faithfully in excommunicating notorious impeni­tent criminals. 2. When they are excommunicated, he may forbid them intruding into the Church. 3. He may judge the flagitious to be stigmatized, or be taken as out-lawed, and forbid men to be familiar with them.

[Page 77] But the Power of the Church is a power of judg­ing what individual persons are fit or unfit for Baptism, the Eucharist, Church Entrance, and Church Communion, is the Church is the Porch of Heaven, and as a preparation to the final judg­ment. And it is not another sort, but this sort which the Lay-Chancellor pretendeth to exercise in the Bishop's name.

I have been thought by some to give my self too much to Magistrates in Church-matters: But I am far from your mind, for the reasons following.

1. It is notorious, that in Scripture Christ hath instituted a special Office to use these Keys, and do this work, which he would not have done, had he left it common to any others.

2. The Power of the Keys is so much of the essential comprehensive title of that Office, as that it is nullified when it is made common.

3. If this part may be done by the Lay-men or Magistrate, no man can give a reason why any of the rest may not, even not only to be the stated Teachers of the Church, and their Guides in Wor­ship, but also Baptizing and administring the Lord's Supper. As it is more to be the Law-makers than the Cryers, and the Judge, than the Marshal; so it is more to decree who shall have the Sacra­ments, than barely to deliver it them, which the Deacon may do. And so we shall have not only Lay-Baptizers, but Lay-Preachers, Lay-Admini­sters of the Lord's Supper, or by contradiction, Lay-Priests.

4. You plead for Conformity, and may easily know that the Church of England abhorreth this Opinion.

[Page 78] 5. When King Henry the Eighth was called Head of the Church, to avoid the Papists calumnies, Queen Elizabeth and King Iames have published their disclaiming of that power of Word and Sa­craments, called that of the Keys; and if my Ears deceived me not, I have heard our present King profess the same.

6. The judgment and practice of the Churches of all Ages and places since Christ, is against you; I think Helvetia it self not excepted. And should this be nothing to you, who call on us to reve­rence the Old Conformists?

7. The reason of the Institution fully satisfies me. It was not meet so great a trust should be placed in unfit men: As in case of Ordination, it must be men that are able to try the persons, as to skill and life, that must be trusted with so weighty a business; and also such that can have leisure to attend it; and therefore as an Office are empower­ed for it, and separated to it, lest it miscarry; so as to Baptism, Absolution, Excommunication, it must be done by men, 1. That are capable of full acquaintance with the person, witnesses and cause. 2. And that can try and judge of it. 3. And especially of the persons Faith and Repentance; (for it is on these that the sentence must pass:) No Bap­tism without Faith: No Excommunication with­out obstinate Impenitence: No Absolution with­out Repentance.) 4. It must be by men fit to exhort them to Faith and Repentance, and confute their Errours, and pray for them that God would give them Faith and Repentance. 5. And it is so great a part of the world, and all the Church of Christ, that this, or much of this must be done for, [Page 79] that reason shewed it needful, that it be made the work of a great and special Office. And if so, then those men that do it, 1. Must be tryed as Or­dained Ministers be: 2. And Ordained to the Of­fice of doing it: 3. And profess to do it as such Officers: 4. And not lacerate that Office, and change it, by taking a part of it, and leaving the rest: And so they must be no Lay-men.

I could with that you had studied and consulted better, before with such more than Erastian singu­larity you had pleaded for so dangerous a thing as Church-Levelling, or so much overthrow of the necessary sacred Office, and set your self against the judgment and practice of the Christian Church. But all men have their hour of temptation; and all do not overcome.

§ 5. You say, The Excommunication is of no force till published by the Parish-Minister, who hath power, if he please, to make it his Text, and de­clare the nature, use and ends, &c.

Ans. 1. I had rather have a better Text. 2. It is of force if another publish it. 3. It's part of the true Charge of the Minister himself, and will, trusting another with it, discharge him. 4. We fear being guilty of the Lay-man's Usurpation, and the Church-Confusion. 5. But worst of all, it is people fearing God that the Canon excommuni­cateth ipso facto, and that the Chancellor is to ex­communicate. Had it been my duty to pronounce you excommunicate, because the Chancellor de­creed it? 6. Where you say, If I know the sen­tence to be void, unjust and illegal, I am not to publish it.

Ans. Well set together. But if you know it to [Page 80] be unjust, and yet legal, according to the Canon, you must publish it, or be a Non-Conformist, and may be suspended: And are all the Canons Decrees just?

CHAP. XXII.

YOU speak next of the Surplice; of which I gave you no occasion. But we that know that the true meaning of the Liturgy is, that all must use it that shall be suffered to officiate, 1. Will not believe you, if you tell us the con­trary hereafter, and lay it only on the Canon, and think it nothing that you are obliged to consent to, and aprove. 2. Nor will I yet believe that you will undertake to justifie the ejecting and si­lencing of all that dare not use the Surplice: Or if you will, you cannot. The 14th and 15th of the Romans cannot be confuted; nor the many proofs that I have given, that it reacheth our case, in my late Book for the Church's Concord. And why talk you of the Surplice, and omit the main Question, Whether we may consent to the Liturgy, Preface and Rubrick, which impose it as they do? You durst not consent to silence two thousand, or one that dare not use it.

CHAP. XXIII.

§ 1. YOur next Section is of the false Rule for finding Easter-Day. To this you say, [If really there be an Error, I assent not to it.] Ans. Nor I: Nor will I say I do when I do not. And to what purpose then do you write for Confor­mity, when one Lye must not be told to save our Liberty?

§ 2. But you say, It is not an Error in Divi­nity. Ans. What then? May I Lye about any other things?

§ 3. But you say, Some yet continue to affirm it is no Error. Ans. And what will not some Men affirm? You see how hard it is for a Non-confor­mist to be justified with some Men, when all the Almanacks in England cannot do it in such a point. I am too weak to deal with Men, that will not take such evidence as this.

You say, That it is questionable, whether this be any part of the Book to be assented to. Ans. You had some fair pretence to deny the act of Unifor­mity to be a part, though the Contents say it is, but if this be questionable, you may question (as the School-Men) so long till you leave us little un­questionable. This would increase my Resolution against Conformity, when we cannot be sure what it is that we must Assent and Consent to, and what not: How can you tell us which is or not of the Book, if this be not?

§ 4. You say, [For the time past none will lay it to the charge of the Conformists, and for the time [Page 82] to come it will be abated, those that shall Subscribe and Conform.]

Ans. How oft have I told you, that I am lay­ing nothing to the Charge of others, but excusing our selves? But I cannot justifie them that will do they know not what. Especially it is sad that, when such a Convocation which is the Represen­tative Church of England, shall all consent to draw up such things to be imposed on a King­dom; and so great a Parliament require assent to it on the Penalties enacted and executed on so ma­ny, they should have no more honourable a de­fence than you make for them.

§ 5. And who it is that hath the power to abate us that which the Law so severely requireth, we do not yet know, unless it be the King, whose Mind you know not. It is the Bishop that you mean: But I doubt the Lawyers that have so lately que­stioned the Kings Power of Dispensation, will contradict you that give that to the Bishop which they deny the King.

CHAP. XXIV.

§ 1. THe next Section is about our Assenting to, Consenting to, and approving the many Disorders and Defects in the Liturgy. You confess there are such, and name many of them. And the sum of your Answer is, That you Assent and Consent to use the formes though disordered and defective, and the Assent and Consent is no other­wise to be understood.

Ans. Soon said, but where's the proof? 1. The [Page 83] words are, All things contained in, and prescribed by the Book. Is the mode and disorder none of the [All?] If I should say, I Approve, Assent, and Consent to something but not all; or the Matter, but not the Order and Manner, doth this answer the common sense of the universal words? What if the Book did say the Lord's Prayer, or Ten Commandments backward, or Baptized in the Name of the Holy Ghost, the Son, and the Fa­ther, or began as it ends, &c. may I declare that I Consent to, and approve all things contained in it, and prescribed by it?

§ 2. As to your limitation of the sense to the word Use, I have told you that the Parliament re­jected it, and that it is a groundless Fiction, and that it makes your Cause no whit the better were it granted.

CHAP. XXV.

§ 1. THe next is, Whether we may assent to the Preface for justifying all that was in the Book before.

You say that It was not the intent of the Book to bind any Man to approve the Errors of Transla­tors and Printers, nor to use the Forms in the Li­turgy so as to contradict one another.

Ans. 1. Printers Errors indeed are not the Con­vocations, nor the Books as made by them: Did I instance in any of them. But if Translators Errors also be excepted, our difficulty of under­standing the Imposition still increaseth. Then it seems as to the Psalms, Epistles and Gospels, we [Page 84] Assent and Consent only to the Original Text, and so much as we judge well Translated. I thought it the Book by ill Translation had grosly contradicted, or depraved the Scripture, it had been one of the worst sort of Errors. I told you where it directly contradicteth the Text. What Heresie may not be brought in by a false Transla­tion? We thank God for the worst, as a great Mercy to the Church; and by them that will not receive a better in the Psalms, we are thus com­manded to justifie even that which was worst, lest they should be thought to have needed any amendment. And you make your self their Ex­positor without their Authority, and tell us that the intent of the Book is not to bind us to approve the Errors of Translators: And I believe you as the Book is distinguished from the Authors, and so hath no intent at all. But if the Translaton hath done, as Heylin saith the King's Printer did, that put [Thou shalt commit Adultery,] for [Thou shalt not,] and I were commanded to approve of all things contained in the Book; whatever you shall say or do, I would have done as Iohn Fox the Martyrologist did, saith Heylin, who brought a Greek Testament (supposing the Hebrew. old Testament) and said to them, [I am ready to subscribe this: If that will not serve your turn, take my Prebendship of Salisbury, which is all the Pre­ferment that ever I had of you, and much good may it do you.]

§ 2. And you tell us without proof, that when at Christmas we are bid say [As on this day Christ was born] for divers Days, it intends not that we shall use the words [this Day,] but on [Page 85] one Day (and so at Whitsuntide, &c.) That is, It expresly imposeth the very words that we shall read, forbidding us by the Canon to alter or di­minish, and yet it meaneth not that we should use them. May you not then say what you list, which you think should have been commanded you, and suppose it the meaning of the Com­mand? You say, This is but a favourable inter­pretation: You should have said truly, [It was their oversight, which if they had seen they had amended.] And I do not say that they meant amiss: But if they speak amiss, and our hum­ble Prelates that are Servi servorum Dei, come after them, and command me on pain of Silence to Assent, Consent to, and Approve the words, they shall take my Liberty and Life if they will; but I will not Approve them. It is all things in the Book that we must Consent to, whatever was in their Minds. If they bid me Approve the say­ing, that [Christ's Body and Blood is really pre­sent, under the forms of Bread and Wine,] and mean as well by it as Cousins, Heylin, &c. did, I will not Approve it, though you should. Though Luther de Conciliis, & Dav. Derodon say, that Nestorius meant soundly, yet the Councils con­demned him for a Heretick, and owned not his words, whatever he meant.

§ 3. But you say, [It is not that the old Book was faultless, but that They were fully persuaded in their judgments that it was so.]

Ans. You think this but a [favourable Inter­pretation] too. But by your leave, [If they had said that we are fully persuaded in our judgment, that the Council of Trent hath nothing contrary to [Page 86] the Word of God,] and then required me to de­clare my Assent and Consent to all things contained in that Book, I should not have done it. If you understand the words so, others will not.

CHAP. XXVI.

§ 1. YOu next undertake to prove, that the Act of Uniformity is no part of the Book to be Consented to. The Contents say it is: You say it is not. Are these Contents part of the Book? If so, Then they are false: If not, How shall we know what is or is not part of the Book? Your Proofs are no Proofs.

1. You say, The Act it self nameth the Book as distinct from the Law. Ans. And what then? No more followeth but that the word [Book] is sometime taken in the full sense, and sometime more narrowly. So the Body is oft distinguished from the Head, and the Kingdom from the King: Will you therefore infer that the Head is no part of the Body, nor the King of the Kingdom, ful­ly taken? The Preface is usually distinguished from the Book, and so is the Index, or Contents, Margin, Title, &c. And yet Preface, Index, Con­tents, Title, Margin of the Book, are all parts of the Book. Your second Proof is of the same sort.

§ 2. Your third saith, The Book must rather (if either) be a part of the Act, because it is sub­joined. Would you by this rate of Argument convince us? Is the Book part of the Preface, or Contents, or Index, if these go first? Is the House part of the Porch, or the Porch part of the House? [Page 87] Is the Body part of the Head? or the Kingdom part of the King? or the Family part of the Porter?

But you say, It is absurd to say that the thing to which the Appendix is annexed, is part of the Appendix. It is so; therefore say not so your self. But is not the Appendix part of the Book? And doth the Acts, being placed first, make it no Ap­pendix? And were it put in the end, were it not the same thing?

§ 3. Your Fourth is no better, viz. [‘The Old Act of Uniformity is a declared part of the Con­tents, and bound up with the Book; and if this be part, we must subscribe contradictions, to use two Common-Prayer-Books.’

Ans. Is that old Act, the old Book? Is sub­scribing to that Act, subscribing to the old Book? Why obtrude you on us such things unproved? 2. Do you not know that the New Act not only confirmeth the Old, but also altereth the sense of it, and tells you that henceforth it shall be un­derstood, as meaning this New Book? And as Bishop Taylor truly tells you, Laws are not the Laws of the dead, but of the living, who there­fore give them what sense they please. And yet shall so sober a man tell us, That subscribing the Old Act, is subscribing the Old Book? I begin to be weary answering such reasonings as these.

§ 4. Your fifth and sixth Reasons are from the general sense and opinion of all Divines, as for you: And you say, Never any to this day did think that the 36th Canon and Subscription includ­ed the Act.

Ans. You now practice what you plead for. [Page 88] Can you tell what every Subscriber to this day thought? He is yet living that at the Savoy un­dertook to prove it an Act of Mercy to them to put all from the Sacrament that did not receive it kneeling. And you know that All the Bishops in the Lords House had their part in making that Act of Uniformity, with all its penalties. And as certainly they did consent to the making and imposing of it; so what should make you sure that they never meant (no not one of them) that any others should be bound to the same, when they put it into the Book, and put in the words [All things contained] and when it is so natural to such men to desire that all men approve of what they do? I should think it ten to one, that they that think it their duty to do such a thing, as the silencing of two thousand Ministers on those terms (or five thousand if they had not conformed,) will be very much concerned to have their act approved: And that they that will not endure us to speak in the praying Desk, or at either Sacrament to God in any one word but what they write down for us to say, are likely to desire that we may be also bound to approve of their Sanctions of this Law. But I am sure you speak that which you know not to be true.

§ 5. To your Seventh I answer, What would have plainer than the express Assertion of the Contents themselves?

§ 6. In your Eighth you say, [‘Many Con­formable men think Nothing in the Book is to be assented to, but what is ordinarily to be read, and the Ceremonies to be used.’] Ans. Put this [Page 89] down then as one point of our Nonconformity, which deserveth silencing; and ruine that, when we cannot profess to [‘Assent and Consent to all things contained and prescribed in the Book’] and mean by [All things, only the Ceremonies, and so much as is ordinarily to be read.] But again, teach not Papists to expound the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy at this rate.

§ 7. You say, 1. That the Title is no part of an Act of Parliament. 2. Nor any but the Man­datory is part of a Law.

Ans. But you might have known that we will not believe you: Why then should you thus put us off with your bare word? Though the word [Law] (as all words) be equivocally oft used, and taken for the chief part, yet as properly taken, and pertinently to our question, we will yet be­lieve whatever you say, 1. That the prefatory Reasons, and the penal and premiant Sanctions, are parts of the Act and Law. 2. Yea, that the Title is part of the Act, if it be made and prefix­ed, and promulgate with it by the Legislators.

But I will tell you how you may know: If you openly deprave all the rest of the Law or Book, and some one indict you for it, the Judge may satisfie you better than I can.

§ 8. But you are never so confident as where you are most overseen. You say, Our strongest reason from the Contents doth most strongly confute it self. This Title is not only part of your proof, but all that I can see. For that which you take for your proof, that [Then the Old Act of Uni­formity, and consequently two Books, are consented to, and our Governours speak non-sense] is either [Page 90] worse than non-sense, or I understand not sense from non-sense. I have called before for your proof, that [Two Acts are two Common-Prayer-Books] when the latter establisheth the former ex­presly, as binding only to the New Book! The words are [Be it enacted—That the several good Laws and Statutes of this Realm, which have been formerly made, and are now in force for the Uniformity of Prayer, &c. shall stand in full force and strength, to all intents and purposes whatsoever, for the establishing and confirming of the said Book entitled, &c. herein before mention­ed, and shall be applyed, practised, and put in use for the punishing of all offences contrary to the said Laws, with relation to the Book aforesaid, and no other.] And they have caused the Act of Elizabeth, to be bound with this Book, as it was with the Old: And doth this infer two Books from two Acts, &c? Alas Brother! that we should trouble and wrong the world at this rate of un­advised confidence. This old Canonical Sub­scription is also continued; and yet it is here en­acted, that it shall mean only this New Book, and no other.

You add, If the Printer, or any other through oversight bind up the Apocrypha, and put in the Contents of the Holy Bible, is it a part of it?

Ans. 1. It is not the Printer's act, but the Law-maker's that we have to do with.

2. If the Law-maker cause the Printer to put the Apocrypha in the Bible, and call it a part of it in the Contents, I will say that he declareth it to be a part, though I believe him not. And I will call God's Word his Word, if Aesop's Fables [Page 91] be bound with it; and I will subscribe to God's Word. But if the Law-maker bind other Books with it, and in the Contents call them part of the Book, and then bid me declare Assent and Con­sent to all things in that Book, I will not obey him.

CHAP. XXVII.

ABout declaring it unlawful, on any pretence whatsoever, to take Arms by the King's Au­thority against any Commissioned by him.

§ 1. Here you will prove (in your proving way) that it meaneth only [against such as be just­ly and legally commissioned in the due pursuance of their Commission.] Before I answer you, I will give you my reasons for the contrary.

1. The Act of Militia seemeth to me to give another sense of the whole matter: Read it and judge.

2. This Subscription, and other like Professions, were purposely imposed for the renunciation of the late Parliament Arms. But in your sense what will it have done to satisfie or oblige any man in that or the like case, when they profest the same thing, and said, that it was only unjust and unlaw­ful Commissions, and an unlawful pursuit that they resisted? Be their words true or false, this was their pretence, and they would in the heat of the War have subscribed to what you say.

3. This was made and imposed to keep men from the like for the time to come: But this would not keep them; for they would take it.

[Page 92] 4. Are you ignorant what striving there hath been in Parliament to have got the word [Law­fully or Legally] commissioned in, and it could ne­ver be obtained? (save that not long ago it was carryed once in a Grand Committee of the House of Lords only, very many years since this Act was made.) Some say They had reason not to express it, though they meant it, lest it should be abused. I an­swer, Then they had reason to desire not to be so understood. And then we cannot, nor ought, not so to understand them against their wills; and the non apparere, and non esse of their sense is all one to us.

5. They knew that it was this that would herein have satisfied dissenters, and tended to the Con­cord which they professed to desire; and yet they would not yield to any such limitation or exposition.

6. There were such Reasons brought against your sense as these in the House. 1. No resisting Arms are lawful. 2. If Subjects be made Judges whether the King's Commissions be lawful or not, it it is no restraint of Rebellion at all. For it's as easie to say, They are unlawful, as to say, We may resist them though lawful, and far more easie. Who will not pretend it?

7. Non est limitandum aut distinguendum de lege sine lege: But in so great a business as this, do you think our Governours will not take it for a heinous thing, for such as you or I to put in the word [Lawful] into Subscriptions and Oaths, which so many great men did so long and delibe­rately study.

8. A Papist or Jesuit will take it in your words; for he will say, That no Commission against the Pope's Countermands, or his Authority, or Canons are lawful.

[Page 93] § 2. Now to your proofs; 1. You say, [The Act it self implieth it; for else, what use is there for Laws and Parliaments? The King may do what he will: He is free to violate his Corona­tion Oath, and set up Arbitrary Government by a Law.]

Ans. Did you ever read Bishop Taylor against Resistance in his Ductor Dubitant. who despair­eth of proving any thing in the world, if he can­not prove that? Have you read Dr. Hearne, Mr. Digs, Mich. Hudson, Mr. Welden, Dr. Arn­way, &c? you are answered by many.

1. That the King may not do any such thing lawfully.

2. But if he do it, he is answerable only to God.

3. And that the Subject hath no remedy but prayers and tears. Yet it followeth not, say they, that Laws or Parliaments are vain: For by them the King governeth as far as he please, and they are his instruments.

§ 3. Your second Reason is, The calling in the the King's Indulgence, as contrary to Law, sheweth it.

Ans. Did they that declared it contrary to Law, declare that men may resist it by Arms?

§ 4. 3. You say, [The Iudges at Westminster unanimously agree upon this sense and exposition of the Law, and their common practice no less.]

Ans. I will give you a Lawyer's Fee if you will prove it. When, and how did they ever de­clare any such Agreement? What practice is it that you mean? Do they commonly resist un­lawfully Commissioned Souldiers by Arms? Or [Page 94] declare for it. 2. But if this were true (which I believe not, whatever their secret judgment may be) it followeth not the Parliament which made this Law was of that mind. 3. Your as­sertion is raw (‘That the Iudges are made the publick Expositors of Laws, made by King and Parliament.’) There are two sorts of Exposi­tion of Laws: One is but limited to a particular Case and Person, in order to the applicatory Sen­tence for or against that Man: And so the Judges are Expositors. The other is Universal, so as to oblige all the Subjects as the Law it self doth, so that they must understand the Law, antecedently to their Obedience. And this is proper to the Law-giver: For the sense of the Law is its Es­sence: And Judges are not the Law-makers. Common Politicks might have taught you this.

§ 5. 4. You say [The Parliament's proceedings against Chancellor Hide and the Earl of Danby, shew their sense.] Ans. 1. It was not the same Parliament that prosecuted them both. 2. What did the Parliament to any such purpose? Is im­peaching a Delinquent, taking Arms against the King's Commission, if unlawful? You say, [‘They mean not to unhinge the Right of the Subject, the Priviledge of Parliaments, to make void all Oaths, Bonds, Engagements of all the legal au­thorized Iudges, Mayor, Magistrates, Constables, Officers of the Kingdom.’] Ans. You are a bold Man if you dare say that all these are made void, unless the King's unlawful Commissions may be resisted by Arms. You are for the Bishops resol­ving your Doubts: I pray you go ask the Bishops that had a hand in making the Act, (Bishop Mor­ley, [Page 95] or such other that came not in since) whe­ther you have hit of the true meaning of it?

CHAP. XXVIII.

§ 1. YOur 27th Section is of the Non-obligati­on of the Covenant (or Vow.) And here you tell us first how much you can declare, and then you give us just twenty Reasons against the making and taking of the Covenant, which you knew were impertinent to any thing that I said: And yet many of them are as impertinent to the end which you seem to intend; and a Co­venanter would soon shame. A bad Argument wrongeth the best Cause.

1. You say, There was never such an Oath ta­ken by any Person fearing God. Ans. How prove you that? Oh! very easily: You bid us prove the Affirmative. Pitiful! So you may affirm that never Man in the World said or did that, which we cannot prove that some said or did: or affirm an universal Negation, because we prove not the contrary. 2. Might not an Arrian at Nice (Conc. 1.) say, Never such a Creed was drawn and imposed before. 3. May not the Pope say to the first Protestants, Never such a Protestation was made before? 4. But I pray you read better the Scottish History, and see whether no such Covenant was made in Scotland before.

Your 5th is more pitiful, being a Game at Equivocation. 1. Did you think that the word [Prelacy] in the Common, or the Imposers sense, [Page 96] did mean Pastors that excel in Gifts and Grace. You may next say, it meant Kings, or School-Masters; when yet they adjoined an expository Description. And I have told you, 1. That Doctor Burges, Mr. Gataker, and many more openly de­clared that they would not Covenant against the Primitive Episcopacy, and were ready to enter their Protestation; and the Assembly to satisfie them, added the Description, as meaning only the Eng­lish concatenated frame. 2. And the House of Lords took it upon Mr. Coleman's making the same Exposition.

2. But the Bishops will give you little thanks for subjecting them to all Pastors that have better Gifts and Grace: And they will laugh at you for talking, as if this were the Prelacy in question.

In your 6th you tell us, That Bishops Name and Thing are Scriptural: And yet pag. 6. you say [A Bishop and a Presbyter in the Sense and Language of the Scripture, are the same.] The Reader may think that when you affirm, and when you deny, it is the same. And you ask how they would take an Oath to extirpate Presbyters, and were told, They mean not to extirpate them as Bishops, but as Presbyters.

Ans. Did you think you spake to the Case?

1. If they thought a Presbyter as such, as bad as a Bishop as such, no doubt they would have taken that Oath.

2. But do you take a Bishop here for the same as a Presbyter, or as a species of Presbyters, or as a superiour to Presbyters? Which ever it is, it's nothing to the Case in hand: He that saith, We [Page 97] renounce Diocesan Prelacy, but not Preeminence of Gifts, nor Parochial Episcopacy, doth but say plainly, I renounce not another thing by renoun­cing Prelacy in the known and explained Sense: But he that saith, renounce Presbyters but not Bishops, as they signifie the same thing, or as Presbyters signifieth the whole Genus; or yet as Bishops are the Governours of Presbyters, speak­eth gross Contradictions.

And when after you Argue sometimes from the worth of the Persons to the goodness of the Of­fice, and sometime from the old Episcopacy, to the English Diocesan Prelacy; you do but lose your words as to us.

And I could wish you would have left out your medium of multitudes of Protestants that would turn Papists, if the Papists could prove as much for them of Antiquity and Univer­sality, as the English Diocesan Prelacy can: When I consider how in the same Empire they grew up together, I would not have you be the Man that should Dispute with a Papist, who un­dertaketh to prove the Roman Primacy as ancient as our Species of Diocesan Prelacy described in the Covenant, and to be acknowledged then by as many. I say not that they can prove it: But I had rather you laid not so much upon it.

You equivocate when you say, All sides are for Bishops: You will have few assenters when you say, ‘That Episcopacy, Presbytery, and Indepen­dancy, are not three forms of Church-Govern­ment, as three is contrary to Unity (viz. of such Form:’ And when you say, ‘Extirpate one [Page 98] and extirpate all (the Forms) because Godli­ness is the same in all.’ Are not Monarchy, Ari­stocracy, and Democracy, three Forms, contrary to unity of Form; though Humanity, Piety, and Regiment, be the same in all? Do they that extirpate Presbytery, or Democracy, extirpate all? But why should I trouble the Reader, or you, by any further opening of your mistakes in a Case that I am not concerned in, and is none of our Controversy?

When you say that [The generality of the Non-conformists are for a well tempered Prelacy,] you infer an odious guilt on those Prelatists, who write vehemently for our Ruine; as intolerable because we are against Episcopacy: I could name you many such besides Dr. Saywel.

You say, ‘The Presbyterians and Independants, were as bitter against one another, as the Prelates were against them both, saving Violences, and Coercive Restraints.’

Ans. I refer it to your second thoughts,

1. Whether this be sober Consistency.

2. Whether it be true.

1. To be [as bitter, except Violence, and Co­ercive Restraint,] is in English to be [as bitter, except being far more bitter,] q. d. [The differing Protestants in Ireland were as bitter against each other, as the Papists against both, saving Cruel­ties and Murders.] Bradford's School-master, was as hurtful to him as Bonner, except Imprison­ment and Burning him. He that chides me is as hurtful to me as he that maimeth me, except hurt­ing me more. When you have excepted Silencing, [Page 99] Imprisoning, and taking away all our Maintenance, you except much.

2. But yet is it true? Remember it was but Presbyterians and Independants that you speak of: Read the Book of their Assembly Debates: Read all their Writings against each other: I will not except Mr. Edward's Gangraena, and see whe­ther they do not acknowledg more of God's Grace in one another, and own more of the duty of Loving and Forbearing own another, than the Prelatists do by either. Read the Canons that Excommunicate them ipso facto as for wicked Error; and read Doctor Heylin, Fowlis, the Book against Mr. Calamy's Farwel Sermon, the Counterminer, L'Estrange, the Friendly Debate, Mr. Parker; and a multitude more such; and of old Bi­shop Bancroft; and in a word, the Ordinary Vi­sitation Articles, or Peter Studley, and a multitude such, that Preacht and Wrote against them as Hypocrites, Pharisees, Schismaticks, and such like, and then consider how far you have here swerved from known truth. I may say that I knew all those Times, and the sorts of Persons menti­oned, much better than you: Many Sectaries were very bitter, and some too bitter against them. The Presbyterians and Independants con­tended with too much intemperance and unskil­fulness. But sure if they had thought as ill of one another as the Prelates did of both, when they had power, they would as much have Silen­ced and Ejected one another; which they did not. I remember not ever to have known any meer Presbyterian or Independant, especially [Page 100] Ministers, but openly declared that they looked on both parties as the Servants of Christ, whom they should love and honour. But this is nothing to our Cause.

You say truly, [‘An Oath is a sacred thing, and it is dangerous to use Shifts and Stretches.’] And if so, it is not without danger to persuade thousands so to do, or to justifie many hundred thousand if they will be down-right perjured.

You say, [‘If one may judge of those Times by these now present, a great many swore Pell-mell they knew not what, because they knew not what Presbytery, Independancy, and Episcopacy was.’]

1. No doubt many did so.

2. But they partly knew what the English Pre­lacy was, by long Experience; and they swore not for Presbytery or Independancy, nor against all Episcopacy.

3. But if you think that they do so in these Times, you and I should lament it: For God will not hold them Guiltless, whether they be Pastors and Churches, or Cities and Corporations, that take his Name by Perjury in vain: It's better call them to Repentance, than justifie them in it. To contract the guilt of the Perjury of many thou­sands is an expeditious way to Misery, and doth a great deal in a little time.

§ 2. Having thus proved that which I denied not, you proceed to add Nineteen Propositions about the Case in question, in all which it is not easie to be sure which side you conclude for: You grant most of my premises, which make against [Page 101] Perjury. You confess, that If any one Person be bound by that Oath to endeavour an alteration of Church Government, no Man may with a safe Conscience subscribe this. And, If there be evil in the Government of the Church, which may well and conveniently be reformed, you do not see but that all that have taken that Oath, stand bound in their Places and Calling to endeavour it: There can be no just Reformation without some Alteration. A great deal more than this you grant, how Rulers are bound to yield in things confest indifferent, which others account Sin, were it but to heal our Breaches: And what a Sin it is to cast out of the Church multitudes of holy Conscientious Men for a small and tolerable Error, when all have some, &c. But yet instead of a Conclusion, if you are intelligible, you induce Men to subscribe, though that which they fear, be (not accusing any) lest they should be guilty of many hundred thousand Perjuries.

You say, 1. [‘We must in expounding Laws regard the meaning of our Governours.’]

Ans. True: But is it their meaning de ge­nere, or de specie, or individuo? Our Governour's meaning is not to approve Perjury. But suppose yet they had commanded me to swear that no man is bound by the Oath of Supremacy; is it no Perjury so to swear. Then we might swear any thing commanded while the Com­mander saith, He is not for Perjury. If Rulers command men to marry their own Sisters, and yet say, That they abhor Incest, may one ju­stifie this because they are against Incest? If [Page 102] Rebels rise in Arms against their Rulers, but yet renounce Rebellion, how are they to be ex­pounded?

But you say, [‘If there be any thing in the Government contrary to the Word of God, The Laws, Canons, Liturgy, Offices of Iudges and Ministers do bind all men against it, as null and void, though not abolished by Parliament.’]

Ans. And what then? Do you infer [There­fore we may subscribe; or therefore we must in­terpret nothing in the Law to be against God's Word; or therefore we must not subscribe it? The last is the true Conclusion. If Socinians renounce all that is against God's Word, and yet com­mand you to renounce Christ's Godhead, may you do it?

2. But I would fain see the words which you here suppose in the Law, Canons and Liturgy; and whether they leave us all to be Judges what is against God's Word? And,

3. I would have you expound to me, 1. The Canon that requireth us to subscribe, that There is nothing in the Liturgy against God's Word. 2. And that which excommunicateth all that say there is any thing against it. 3. And the Law that layeth us in Gaol, and ruineth us, if we so say and do forbear accordingly. Is it an Argu­ment to say, [The Law renounceth all that is contrary to the Word of God; and Excommu­nicateth, and Silenceth, and ruineth you, if you say that there is in the Liturgy any thing against it: Ergo, You may subscribe though there be somewhat against it, because the Law disown­eth [Page 103] it?] I would not think you mean this: There­fore I know not what you mean to infer, unless it be your next words: [‘Therefore what Faults be in the Government, are rather the Faults of the Governours.’] Alas, this is it and worse. Thus you might infer, There is no fault in the Papal Government, if the Pope in general re­nounce all that is against God's Word, and then bids you swear that Popery is not against it. Turks and Heathens renounce in general all sinning against God, and yet I would not say that their Laws may be owned as sinless.

You say, [‘If all Governours in Church and State faithfully did their Duties according to the Canons, Liturgy, &c. it would be happy for all sides.’]

Ans. No Man can tell by these words, whe­ther you mean [If they did all that the Laws and Canons command them,] or [If they did the good part and left out the bad.] If the later be your sense, it is against you: If it have a bad part which we must not do, it hath a part which we must not consent, covenant, or promise to do. If the former, then you have part of your Hap­piness, and may soon enough see more. Your honest words elsewhere shew that you take it for no Happiness, to have all professed Non-confor­mists Excommunicated according to the Canon, and Silenced and Ruined according to the Law.

And yet I cannot tell how to agree you with your self: You say, [All good and peaceable Men would be protected, whether Conformists, or Non-conformists.

[Page 104] Ans. As Mr. Field, Mr. Thompson, and others that died in Gaol were; or as Mr. Hughs, Mr. Ioseph Allen, and others that died by their Pri­son-Diseases were; or as those that must be Silen­ced, or lie in Gaol six Months, and pay forty pound a Sermon; or as Men Excommunicated ipso facto are protected.

§ 3. You say, [‘The words of the Declara­tion do not say, No Man is bound to endeavour the alteration of the Governours but the Govern­ment, that is, Of the Laws, Rules, and Canons, by which they govern, and the several Offices which be in the Church.—These may be good.— The office may be Divine, or justly prudential, or tolerably lawful.—Suppose the Oath and Cove­nant doth not bind to endeavour the alteration of the Chancellor's Office.—’ Your Conclusion seems implied in your Challenge. [‘Now let any Non­conformist prove that there is any Office in the English way of Church Government simply un­lawful, &c.]’

Ans. 1. Have you answered the proof that I pretend to have brought in my Disput. of Church Government? If not, must I write it again as oft as you will bid me? Or would it be here meet to write a Treatise to answer this your Challenge? But get it tolerated, and it shall soon be done.

2. You say, The Government is the Laws, Rules, and Canons, by which they Govern: And if these need not be altered, why did you before disown the exercise of them, as a great Sin? And yet this [Page 105] implieth [The Law and Canon, which Excommu­nicate Non-conformists, and which deny the Lord's Supper to those that kneel not, and which silence Non-subscribers to the 36th Canon, and which deny Baptism to those that scruple the English use of the Cross and God-fathers, and which ruine all that preach when Silenced, need no alteration, as simply unlawful.]

But we must prove them unlawful: Come to me then in private, and let us debate the Case, and I will prove to you as much as I affirm. In the mean time, if it will go for any Proof with you, I crave your answer to these Arguments which some use, that doubt of the lawfulness which they dare not deny.

I. A Church-governing Office for the exercise of that power of the Church Keys by Lay-men, which Christ hath appropriated to the Clergy is sinful: But such is the Office of our Lay-Chan­cellors: Ergo, &c.

II. A species of Prelacy which is destructive of, or inconsistent with the form of particular Churches, and of Bishops and Presbyters, and the exercise of that Church-Discipline which Christ and his Spirit in the Apostles did institute is sinful. But (they fear) such is the English Diocesan species of Prelacy: Ergo, &c.

III. The Government which is to be the execu­tion of the foresaid Canons, and Act of Unifor­mity, &c. for Expelling, Excommunicating, Si­lencing, Imprisoning, Ruining Non-conformists, you said before was unlawful—But—Ergo.

But here I would, as your real Friend, advise [Page 106] you to two things more; as well as not needlesly to contract the guilt of that which you call grie­vous Sin in others.

1. That you will publish your Retractation of those words [‘The words of the Declaration do not say, No Man is bound to endeavour the alte­ration of the Governours, but only of the Go­vernment.’]

Do you consider what you say?

1. You know that it is the Government of the State as well as Church, that is here expressed: And do you think that the King and Parliament never intended to keep Men from deposing the King? Or the Lords, and Commons, and Judges, though they changed not the Species, but set up others in their steads? Or will the Bishops so ex­pound it to you, as that it meaneth not that you are not obliged by the Covenant, to pull down all the present Bishops if you set up others in their stead?

2. That you avoid the commoner answer of others, who say, That it is only the Essentials of Government that are here meant, and not any Integrals, or Accidents. For,

1. The King and State-Government is here touched. And dare you say that [If any Man think that the Covenant bindeth him to destroy all the King's Civil Government, except the bare essentials of Monarchy, that the Parliament in­tended not here to contradict him?]

2. And I doubt the Bishops will be angry with you and call you Schismaticks, if you say that the Parliament here meant not to contradict them [Page 107] that say, they are bound by the Covenant to turn our Diocesan Bishops into Parochial ones, or into one in every Corporation, and to take down their Court Officers, and their Lordships, Parliament, Power and Wealth. That which serveth Men best in Arguing, will not best please the Men that they plead for.

You say, [‘We grant that there is no one thing in the Episcopal Government, but what we may well bear with, and submit to.’]

Ans. 1. We well may and must bear with that which we cannot help. In Moscovy we may fear that all Preaching is put down, saving reading Homilies; and a Man may there live Godly: But do not you therefore tell all Men, that if the same were done here, we may enter into a solemn Co­venant, never to endeavour to reform it: No, were it but the high places in Iudaea.

2. Submitting is either by Obedience, or meer Patience. Under Papists and Turks Men must sub­mit by Patience: But if you say, We hold that we must obey all that they command, our practice tells you, It is not true. But the question is, Whether there be no one thing, but what we may covenant ne­ver to endeavour to alter, and subscribe that no Par­liament Man, or any other in England, is bound by that Oath, which they took, to endeavour it? The Law forbids me to say, They are, and therefore I say it not: But if you say, They are not, Dare you undertake to answer for them?

You say, Their Office binds them to no evil. That is, None of the things fore-mentioned are evil: Which you said were so.

[Page 108] Again you say, All the while Excommunicati­ons and Church Censures are soundly done, it's the the less matter by whom they are done.

Ans. 1. Do not say so to the King about King­ly Government: Nor to the Judges if an intruder invade the Tribunal.

2. Make the Bishops believe this if you can, of any that should usurp their Office.

3. Make the Parish Priests believe it if you can, who are so angry with us for helping them at a distance, though we invade not Places.

4. Make any sober Ministers believe if you can, that if the Word be well Preacht, and Sa­craments soundly Administred, it is no matter who doth it.

5. Make any Master of a Family, or Husband, believe it as to their Offices, that it's no matter who doth it, so it be soundly done. If the Wife do believe, it's two to one the Husband will not.

§ 4. Again you say, [‘By the Government of Church and State, whatsoever is absolutely sinful is forbidden,—the Laws declare it Null, &c.]

Ans. This is before answered. You say, Si­lencing and Excommunicating the Non-conformists here, are sinful. Instead of this impertinent talk, go try your Oratory on the Judges and Bishops; if you can persuade them that the Law forbids them all to fine, Imprison, or Silence us, or Ex­communicate us: Why did you not use this pret­ty Argument for your self?

2. And do not Papists, and Turks say, that No Law against God is in force? And doth their [Page 109] Government therefore contain no evil? Or will you tell them that swear to amend it, that it's well enough already?

You tell us what to say to the Bishops and Judges for our selves: But if by this Medium, I would prove that I am conformable to the Law, and they are the Non-conformists that punish me, because they break the Law of God; I doubt they would Laugh at me first, and send me to Gaol next.

§ 5. But in answer to, Where read we in Scrip­ture of the Chancellor's Office? You repeat again, [If soundly done, no Man may reprove them.] I will not repeat my Answer: But I add; If so, No Man may reprove the Boys if they soundly Whip their Master when he deserveth it; nor a Cobler that will send Offenders to Prison as the Lord Mayor doth: Nor a Justice, yea, or a Tinker, that will step up in the Chancery, or King's-Bench, to do Justice.

§ 6. But though I will not Laugh at your Writing; I should hardly forbear if I heard you do what page 95, you say you would do, viz. [‘If a Bishop, or Arch-Bishop, or Chancellor, live where you are Pastor, and be a Member of your Congregation, you must needs look on your self as obliged by the Laws and Canons of the Church and State, by the Word of God, and by the Rules of the Common-prayer-Book, publickly to admonish him, if he grosly misdemean himself, and do a scandalous crime; and if he shall not by [Page 110] open confession give satisfaction to the Church, bar him from the Sacrament, and declare him Disorderly and Contumacious, and that if he do not repent he shall perish; and warn the People to beware of such evil Courses, and to have no more to do with him than they needs must: And this I maintain to be part of the Discipline and Govern­ment of the Church of England.]

Ans. I would I could see this bout. I doubt he will have something to do with you Your Chancellor had the wit to begin with you first. I pray you forget not this Case when you go to the Bishop for his sense of the Liturgy, and tell us his answer when you come Home.

I must profess this is an edifying Passage: As when I read in Saltmarsh, that Christ repented and believed for us, it let in more Light against Liber­tinism, than I had before: So doth this Passage raise up some useful doubts in me about our Churches, which I thought not on till now.

Q. 1. Whether are the Bishops that dwell in the London Parishes (or others) Members of the Parish Church where they dwell?

Q. 2. If they are not, Whether dwelling in the Parish make a Christian a Member of the Pa­rish Church?

Q. 3. If not, what is it that makes a Mem­ber, and how are the Pastors special Flock truly known to him from others?

Q. 4. If they be Members, to whom shall we present the Bishop for not coming to Church, or for his Crimes? Is it to himself?

[Page 111] Q. 5. Whether is the Bishop, or the Parish Priest there the higher Power, or Governor? and which must obey?

Q. 6. Doth the Canon that forbids Men to go from their own Parish Churches, extend to the Bishop?

Q. 7. How is the Bishop one of the Parson's Flock, and the Parson one of the Bishop's Flock, both at once?

Q. 8. Whether the Bishop that is Excommu­nicated by the Parson out of the Parish Church, be cast out of the Universal? or other Churches, may have Communion with him, or not?

Q. 9. What if the Parson Excommunicate the Bishop, and the Bishop the Parson both at once, what a Case are they in? And which shall stand, one or both, and how far?

Q. 10. How will the Parson practice his Con­formity, who consenteth when he putteth any one from the Sacrament, to certifie the Ordinary within fourteen Days? will he prosecute the Bi­shop to himself, or to his Chancellor?

Q. 11. Doth not this Instance prove Mr. Chey­ney, to be a mistaking Expositor of the Church-Government, the Bishops themselves being Judges? and would not one days practice of any such thing convince him by Experience, that the Church of England now take not Parish Parsons for Parish Bishops?

Q. 12. Is he in the right, page 96. that this Course would make Bishops, and Arch-Bishops, and Chancellors, stand in awe of the Priests? why then did you not thus awe your Bishop and Chan­cellor?

CHAP. XXIX.

YOur 28th Section hath nothing in it that re­quireth many words for Answer: That Oaths and Laws must be charitably expounded no one denieth, so they be truly expounded. In this we stand to Bishop Sanderson's Rules, which are far better stated than any thing here said by you.

And your citing my limited and conditional approbation of the Assemblies Catechisms, and the Synod of Dort's, is certainly no Reason for my absolute and unlimited professing to Assent and Consent to all things, in Books which have so much more which I dissent from.

CHAP. XXX.

§ 1. YOur 29th Section containeth your unpro­ved Opinions, and false Devices, for stretching Subscriptions, Covenants and Profes­sions. And first you tell us of the difficulty of using any words that may not seem doubtful: But yet if there be not a satisfactory intelligible­ness in words, Humane Converse is overthrown, and Oaths of Allegiance, and all Contracts are of little use unto their ends.

§ 2. You say, [‘Though there be in this Vo­lume which we call the Common-prayer-Book, many Matters, Sentences, and Words bound all [Page 113] together, yet do we Assent and Consent to no more but that which goes under the name of the Service of the Church, and the Rules and Orders touching the same, and the Rites and Ceremonies thereof.’

Ans. If you say [All things contained in it] means not [all things] indeed, tell us what difference there is between the Equivocations of the Jesuits, and this of yours. So one tells me, that [when we profess to Assent to all in the Bible,] the mean­ing is [To all the Precepts, Promises, and Words of God in it, but not that there is no Humane Errors in Numbers and Chronologie, Genealogie, Hi­story, or Citations.] And so you may say, [I will swear not to endeavour any alteration of the Government of the State, but I mean not to al­ter Monarchy.] And what may not one thus say and swear?

2. But yet I think it is no great number of [Matters, Sentences, and Words] which are nei­ther (Service, Rules, Orders, or Rites.) Ru­bricks and Calendars, and some Prefaces belong to these. But it is a strange Interpretation which would exclude Doctrinals, such as the Article of Faith, of the certain Salvation of all Infants bap­tized, and dying before actual Sin. Your Cita­tions signifie nothing for your purpose, but tell us what you would have them signifie.

§ 3. But now I come to Sampson's Hair, the very strength of all your Book, page 115. The Preface saith, [‘When Doubts arise in the Use and Practice of the same, to appease all such diversity (if any arise) and for the resolution of all Doubts concerning the manner how to [Page 114] understand, do and execute the things contain­ed in this Book, the Parties that so doubt, or diversly take any thing, shall always resort to the Bishop of the Diocess, who by his discretion shall take order for the quieting and appeasing of the same, so that the same Order be not contra­ry to any thing contained in this Book.’] Whence you gather, that the Law makes the Bi­shop the common Expositor; and if he gives a good Exposition, or by silence shew consent, all is safe, and you may Conform.

I confess this Reed is the strongest support of your Cause that I have met with: And I am not censuring others that lean upon it: I doubt not but they may be better Men than I: But I will tell you why I cannot.

1. It is a help to those that be in doubt: But I am out of doubt in many of the Reasons of my Non-conformity; and therefore it is no help to me.

2. The words expresly limit the Bishops Ex­position, [so that his order be not contrary to any thing in the Book.] If it be not contrary to the Book, it will give me no satisfaction: If it be contrary, it is of no force.

3. It is only about (the things contained in the Book) that the Bishop must resolve us: Now ei­ther the Acts of Uniformity are part of those things, or not: If yea, then it is the Acts also that I must Assent and Consent to; which you as well as I are far from. And you maintain that the Act is no part of the Book: If not, then the Bishop hath no power to expound the Act: And [Page 115] the forms of Assent and Consent, and Subscripti­on imposed, are parts of the Act.

4. The words make not the Bishop the pub­lick or common Expositor of the Law, or Book, as Judge; but only as a Teacher, who bindeth but so far as he tells the truth: The Bishop must teach his ignorant or divided Clergy, how to un­derstand what they understand not: And this is not about their Subscriptions, but matters of Use and Practice (as where the Table shall stand, and such like.) That it maketh not the Bishop the obliging Judge of the Law, appeareth,

1. Because here is no such word.

2. The foresaid limitation speaketh the con­trary.

3. Else there might be as many Religions, Do­ctrines, or Practices as Bishops, or many at least: I will give you all the little Money in my Purse, if you will get me under the hand of Bishop Morley, Bishop Gunning, Bishop Sparrow, and Arch-Bishop Stern, their approbation of your Ex­positions of the parts of Conformity, written in your Book. And I suppose you know how zea­lously many write (as well as Doctor Saywel) against tolerating diversity of Forms and Rites, and Orders of Worship. And this would be to set up as many Sects, or Ways, as differing Bi­shops pleased. This Case was notably tried be­tween Arch-Bishop Laud, and the Church that followed him, and Williams, Bishop of Lincoln, about the Table, or Altar.

4. Else Bishops would have the Legislative Power: For the sense of the Law is the Law: [Page 116] And if the Parliament form but the Letter or Body of it, and the Bishop may give it what Sense or Soul he pleaseth; it is he that will be the chief Law-maker.

5. Else Bishops might corrupt and change our Religion and Church, under pretence of Expo­sition. Bishop Godfrey Goodman of Glocester, who was a Papist, might have set up Popery in his Diocess, by putting a Popish sense upon Sub­scription, Words, and Practices: And the Bi­shops by agreement might set up Popery in the Land, by the same means. Or a Bishop might set up Non-conformists, by gratifying them by his Expositions. The thing meant in those words is no such dangerous power, but only an Instru­cting and a Pacifying, informing of the Clergy, when they ignorantly differ about some dark Word, or Circumstance, or Practice; the Bishop must teach them the true sense of the Book, but do nothing against any thing therein.

6. Is it not called An Act for Uniformity, and imposeth all the heavy Penalties on purpose to procure Uniformity? Would they have Silenced and Ruined two thousand Ministers for Non-con­formity, if Uniformity had not been thought of more worth than their Ministerial Labours? And can you think that after all this, they meant to leave it to the particular Bishops, whether there should be any Uniformity or not? You think one Bishop will say, [You are Parish Bishops, and may publickly admonish and reprove the Scandalous, and Excommunicate them Excommunicatione minore: You may give them the Sacrament, that conscienci­ously [Page 117] scruple Kneeling; you may Baptize them that conscienciously scruple the dedicating Cross, and the English sort of God-Fathers; you may refuse to say the words of Prayer, which imply his Salvation, over the Dead who were Excommunicable, though not Excommunicated: You may understand the Ar­ticle which professeth the certainty of Baptized In­fants salvation, of those only that are the Children of faithful Parents, or Pro-parents; you may say you Assent to all in the Book, and mean not all but some part, and that not as true, but as usable: You may profess Consent to use it all, and yet not mean to use the Calendar, or Rubricks, or to Ad­minister the Sacraments otherwise than as aforesaid: You may Say, or Subscribe, or Swear, that it is, on any pretence whatsoever, unlawful to take Arms against any Commissioned by the King, and mean only such as are lawfully Commissioned. You may subscribe that no one in England that sware it, is bound by the solemn Vow and Oath, to endeavour any alteration of Government in Church or State, and mean only that he must not endeavour it by Se­dition or Rebellion.] And so on to the end.

But other Bishops will say the clean contrary: viz. That the Bishop is the only Pastor, and the Parish Priest hath none of the power here named, and so of all the rest: And what Uniformity then will there be? Know you not how they write against such different Administrations, as destructive and intolerable?

7. And know you not that a Bishop hath no power against the Canons? The Canons are their own Laws and Judgment, and bind them: And [Page 118] when the Canon saith, e. g. He shall be suspended that giveth the Sacrament to one that kneeleth not; or that the Non-conformists are ipso facto Excommunicate, &c. Hath the Bishop authority to say the contrary?

8. And you know that I wrote not to accuse you, or any Man for Conforming, but to tell them that judge us worthy to be Silenced and Ruined, what our Non-conformity is: And what use then is your own Latitude to me, or such as I, though I went your own way? For I have askt and heard the Opinion of divers Bishops al­ready, and they have said clean contrary to you. I have heard him that first forbad me Preaching in his Diocess, say, that [The Liturgy forbid­deth delivering the Sacrament to any that Kneel not.] I can shew it you under his Hand, that the Priest must not be Judge, when to omit the forementioned words at the burial of the Dead; nor tolerated in such Liberty as you presume on. I have been told by a Bishop, That seeing Christ died for all, the Children of any Parents in the World have right to Baptism, and any Man hath as good right to present to it an Infidel's Child, as to take in an exposed Infidel's Child to his House in Charity. I told you, that Bishop Sanderson, publickly before the Bishops, Nemine contradicente, told me, That I need not question Baptizing any Infidel's Child, if God-Fathers presented him ac­cording to the Order of the Church of England. Are we not then concluded against Conformity by the Bishop's judgment, by your own Rule? And must not you be a Non-conformist in the [Page 119] Diocess of any such Bishop as these?

9. And by your Rule, a Man must be a Con­formist in one Bishop's Diocess, and a Non-con­formist in another's; and change his mode of Re­ligion as he Travelleth, or doth change his Dwelling. I imagine that by your Rule, I might partly Conform in the Diocess of London, or Lin­coln, Hereford, or Carlisle; but I should be as Non-conformable as I am, in the Diocess of Win­chester, Ely, York, Norwich, and any other as far as I yet know.

I conclude that your Catholicon may purge your self from all Non-conformity, but it is utterly unprofitable to me: Facile credimus quod volu­mus. I have had as much reason as you, to be willing to find Conformity lawful, if it be so: I have lost many thousand Pounds more by Non-conformity, than you have got by Conformity. But I have no such Byas on my Will, as should set all my Wit on work to find, or buy a Rope for my Conscience. And I find nothing better that you offer me herein.

§ 4. When you have told us, [Where no God-Fathers can be had, we must Christen without;] and such like: You say, [‘And this is the com­mon sense put upon the Law, by the Law-makers themselves, that is, by the Bishops.’]

Ans. What reason did you think we have in such an Historical Assertion, to believe your bare word? In what Synod did they declare it? Why did you neither name the Bishops, nor the Time, or Place, or Witness, by which it might be pro­ved [Page 120] the common sense? But could you think this should convince me, that know it to be false?

§ 5. You tell us, pag. 119. [‘If it were a part of Assent and Consent, that Ordination by good and substantial Presbyters were null, it would be a hard point indeed,—to Unchurch Churches, and Unbaptize the Baptized, and plead the cause of Satan, the Pope, and all Malignants of the Ministry, in the Name of Christ.’

Ans. Excuse us then for not Conforming. I before gave you this Proof, that it is the sense of the Law-makers, or Bishops: They that abhor Reordination (or twice ordaining to the Priesthood) and yet require those to be ordained by Bishops, who were before ordained by Presbyters, must be judged to hold the said Ordination by Presbyters to be null.— But, &c. Ergo.

§ 6. 1. You say, ‘No Man that I know of, takes the Silenced Ministers, and those ordained by Presbyters only, for no Ministers at all, unless one Mr. Dodwel, a high-flown Man, whom Con­formists themselves do utterly dissent from in this.’

Ans. Your ignorance is no good reason for my Conformity: If you know of no more, I do. Read Mr. Th [...]rndike, of Forbearance of Penalties: Ask Bishop Gunning his judgment, &c. If your acquaintance be so small, you should not write of that which you know not.

§ 7. 2. But you say, All, both Rulers and [Page 121] ‘People, Conformists themselves do own them for Ministers; otherwise they would take some course for the Rebaptizing of all Baptized by them.’

Ans. Did you ever read the Conference at Hampton Court? Did you dream that all these take Laymens Baptizing for null? Or do you conclude that all think what you think?

§ 8. 3. You prove it from the toleration of the Foreigners Churches in London.

Ans. How will you prove that they judge all true Ministers whom they Tolerate?

§ 9. 4. You say, the ‘Acts against Conven­ticles, and the Five Mile Act prove it.’

5. ‘The King's Proclamation for Indulgence proveth it.’

6. ‘The Fines and Imprisonments for Conventi­cles prove it.’

7. ‘The allowing four Persons to meet in pri­vate proveth it.’

8. ‘The common sense of Bishops, Divines, and People of the Church of England, prove it.’

Ans. You may next say, That any thing that you see or hear proveth it. It's liker these prove the contrary, than this. By this Men may see how little satisfaction we may expect from your arguing. You greatly wrong the King, Parlia­ment, and Bishops, if you think they take all for Ministers, Men, Women, or Children, whose meeting they tolerate: You leave out the Argu­ment from the Act of Uniformity, which punish­eth all by a hundred Pound a time that Administer [Page 122] the Sacrament, being not ordained by a Bishop. Doth that prove them Ministers too?

§ 10. You say, [‘As to the Peoples Confor­mity, I know no one thing required of them to Conform to, but what they may do with a good Conscience.’

Ans. Why then did you pass by the answer­ing of my Book concerning their part? Particu­larly about the Corporation-Declaration? Should they be in the right that think all the Cities and Corporations in England to be under that—which I am loth to name; and that Plagues, Flames, and Poverty, are God's Revenge; Oh! what a thing would it be for a Servant of Christ, to say to them in Print, [O England repent not!]

CHAP. XXXI.

§ 1. YOur Conclusion is also a bundle of Mi­stakes, and Impertinencies.

1. It is more than three or four points that the new Conformity addeth to the old.

2. If the number or goodness of the old Con­formists did prove their Cause good, many things would have a far stronger Proof of that kind, from the ancient Churches, which yet you judge to be unlawful; and in other Countries the same Argu­ment will be turned against you.

3. Such Men as you call [The main Body of the best Divines,] were very few in comparison of the Ignorant bad Clergy.

4. It is not true that Mr. Knewstubs was a Con­formist, nor Dr. Reynolds neither, unless I be one. The Petition of the Non-conformists to King Iames, was called Millenary; because it had a thousand Hands in a little compass.

5. That some then did, and now do scruple more than others, is impertinent to our Business, and it were a wonder if it were not so, till Men are arrived at scrupling nothing.

6. The 36th Canon was the chief point of the old Non-conformity, and will receive no ju­stification by the worth of any Subscribers. I doubt not but Bernard, Gerson, &c. were holy Men, that subscribed far worse.

7. Sponsors of an ill sort are never the better, [Page 124] because there was a better sort of old; nor be­cause these were before the new Liturgy.

8. Page 125. You could wish Ministers would make the Parents to be present chief Underta­kers, that is, to be Non-conformists called Con­formists. The rest needeth but the repetition of what is said before, which would rather tire than edifie the Reader.

CHAP. XXXII.

SInce the writing of my Answer to your Book, you were with me, and when I gave you two or three Objections which I published not, you gave me no Reply to them, but went from me and Printed an Answer to them in a Supple­ment. Seeing your judgment is most for that way, I crave your patience while I use the way you choose. I confess my judgment is, that you have unavoidably made me a great Temptation to you: For if you be not a Man of great Hu­mility, you will

1. Be offended to find all your Labour pro­ved to be hurtful, and your Reasoning vain; and you will think that the disgracing of them by a just Confutation, falleth on your self.

2. And you will be tempted to turn your thoughts too partially, to justifie what once you have so publickly said, and so to run further into the Extream. But my persuasion of your great sincerity, maketh me hope that you will over­come [Page 125] the temptation which you have chosen.

I. I thought that the word [Use of all] did much aggravate, and not extenuate the burden of the Declaration, as added to Assent. But to them that thought otherwise, I thought that when both Lords and Commons at a Conference upon Reasons given, had rejected that Exposi­tion which confineth the sense of the words to [Use,] it had been a more satisfactory notice of the Law-givers sense, than either your private Conceit, or any Bishops Exposition could be. But you tell us, That this Conference was no Law, or repeal of the Law.

Ans. Impertinent! It is an Exposition of the meaning of the Law-makers only, that we are enquiring of, and not the repealing or making of a Law. It is the Law-makers part to be the publick obliging Interpreters of the Law to the whole Kingdom. We are enquiring in point of Conscience, how we must understand them: And you will not believe them it seems, unless they make a new Law, to tell you the sense of the old one.

II. Every one may know, that it's usual for the Means to have somewhat in it for the End, besides the intending of the End it self; and that usually Laws and Canons command many Means for one End. And therefore to make your full and constant usage of Conformity to be the End, and the Assenting and Consenting to all things in the Book to be the Means, even [Page 126] in that form of words, are no contradiction. And it's usual to be stricter in prescribing forms of Words, for Oaths, Covenants, or Confessions, than in the other integral parts of a Law. And it is a great wrong to a Parliament of England to say either that, in such a form imposed on the Learned and Consciencious Tribe, they knew not how to speak intelligibly according to the common use of words, or that they were so mischievously Malignant, as seventeen or eigh­teen Years to refuse to open their sense, for the healing of so distracted and endangered a Church and Nation, if they meant not as their words do signifie according to common use. It's no vanity to say, I have known the Men, Bishops and Commons, better than you have done, and heard more of them and their Debates, than you have done; and I am satisfied in my Conscience to conclude, that they meant plainly as they speak, and no better: Even that no Man's pro­mise to use the Liturgy shall be taken for trusty and satisfactory, that will not declare that he Assenteth and Consenteth to all things contain­ed in it, and prescribed by it:] And this plainly Ex animo, without uncouth Exposition, Equivo­cations, or Jesuitical mental Reservations.

§ 2. I have not wit enough to find out sense in your Quibble, that [‘If the later words (the Form) do import more than the former (for the Use) then there is something added and al­tered, which possibly may inconsist and be contra­diction.’]

[Page 127] Ans. Is not all prescript of Means an additi­on to the Precept De fine? Doth the prescript of the Oath of Supremacy and Allegiance, im­pose no more than to be Loyal? Yes: It re­quireth a particular test of Loyalty. Doth the Command of subscribing the thirty nine Arti­cles contain no more, but to be Orthodox? Yes: It enjoineth us by this means to profess those particulars, in which our Orthodoxness con­sisteth.

§ 3. Assent when thus distinguished purpose­ly from Consent, signifieth Assenting to some Truth, and Consent respecteth the Good. So that when you make Assent to be but the same as [Consent to Use] you feign them to speak Non­sense, or to Tautologize. You say, [You Assent to all,] but not that All is true: Which is a Con­tradiction, or Equivocation.

§ 4. [‘Prove (say you) that there is any one thing in the Book, which may not in the course of Conformity be godly used?’]

Ans. To some Men I will undertake to prove nothing. If there be no proof in the Book which you write against, when you have got leave to Print it, you are likely to have more. Till then, to call for proof when you have it, and speak not sense against it, is too easie a way to satisfie the Just.

§ 5. III. I told you by word of Mouth, that your Catholicon of trusting, to the Bishops [Page 128] Exposition of the Book (yea, to his silence, so gentle and tractable are you become) is no re­lief to you for expounding the Assent, Consent. Subscription against the obligation of the Vow, and about Arms, &c. because these are part of the Act of Uniformity; and you say, that Act is no part of the Book. To this you Print your An­swer, that you [‘Have another string to your Bow.] viz. That the Bishop is by Law the Or­dinary, to Ordain and take Subscriptions, and may admit Ministers to subscribe these Tests with such Explications, Meanings, and Allowances, as will well stand with the words justly and fairly construed.’

Ans. 1. The Bishop is not made the Expoun­der of the Law, but the Receiver of your Sub­scription according to the Law.

2. If you will confound Indulgent Connivance, and Conformity, must we do so too? This is Mr. Humphrey's project, And I freely confess to you, That if you can meet with an Indulgent Bishop, it's a fairer way to intromit a Dissenter, than any that you have named in your Book. All words are ambiguous: The sense is the Soul of them. If, e.g. I were commanded to say that [The Scripture is not God's Word,] and I had leave to expound it;

1. [All Scripture, or Writing, is not God's Word, but the sacred Bible is:] Or [It is not God's Eternal Coessential Word, which is Christ;] were it not for Scandal, this might be said as true. And some think the Scandal is sufficiently avoided, if you give in your sense in Writing, and make [Page 129] it as publick as is your Subscription. But I think that the very subscribing such scandalous Words, will scandalously harden others, and encourage Tyrannical Imposers more, than your Exposition can Cure; and therefore I would not use them.

And if I would, I could cast in such an Exposi­tory Writing, whether the Bishop will or not.

And if he accept it, I pray better under­stand that, This is not Conformity, but Indulgence, Connivance, Toleration, or Prevarication: You might as well say, He Conformed, that by the King's Indulgence, was excused from Subscribing and Declaring.

You put a Supposition, that you had gone to Bishop Sanderson, and askt his sense according to his Rules, de Juramento.

Ans. I doubt your Party will think you be­tray their Cause by Prevarication.

1. I told you how publickly in a meeting of Bishops, Bishop Sanderson gave his judgment about Baptism against you.

2. I cited the words of his Rules de Iuramento, in the Book which you answer, as being plainly against Conformity: And you give no answer to it, and yet suppose them to be for you. This is too supine neglect to satisfie us.

§ 5. You come over your foresaid sense of the Declaration again, and pag. 160. ‘You have better bethought you, and will take the Debate of the Lords and Commons as useful to know the mean­ing of the Law.’

Ans. What shall we do then by your Useful Error? Why you now say, [You know nothing in the Book but what may be assented to as true.]

[Page 130] Ans. And why was this so much disclaimed be­fore? When you put us to the trouble of Confu­ting you, you Confute your self by changing your Cause, and so we labour in vain.

Your Repetitions of the same things, with say­ing and unsaying, and bare saying without proof are so many, that I will not wrong the Reader with Confuting any more of them, save only to give you some account why I am sorry: 1. That you retract your saying that Oaths are stricti juris, 2. And that while you pretend to own Bishop Sanderson's Rules de Iuramento, you renounce this which is one of the chief of them. And I will tell you the reasons of my dissent from that, and most of your Book.

IV. By stricti juris, is not meant the meer Li­teral Sense as different from the less Proper, which is more notified; but strict is contradistinguished from loose and stretcht. I told you the Rule that we go by in this, and it pleased you not to Con­fute it. Thus much I repeat:

1. ‘We must take Oaths, Covenants, and Professions imposed by Authority, in the sense of the Imposers as near as we can know it.’

2. ‘But if they discover their Sense in words so unmeet, as that in the Vulgar Sense they seem false or wicked, we must number such with un­lawful words, unless we can by the publick no­tifying the Exposition avoid the Scandal.’

3. ‘We are to take the Laws, and im­posed words of Rules, especially in Oaths, Co­venants, and Professions, in that sense as those words are commonly used and understood in that time and place, by Men of that Profession: [Page 131] Unless the said Rulers make known, that they use them in a different unusual sense.’

4. ‘We must not presume that they mean not as they speak, by an unusual sense, upon dark and uncertain Conjectures, especially dictated by our Interest, but only by Cogent Evidence. These are our Rules.’

The reasons why we cannot Swear, or Cove­nant, or profess in your Laxe and stretched sense, nor call that sense honest, as you do, (especially on pretence of a Bishop's Exposition, contrary to what I have reason to be fully satisfied our Law-makers meant) are those which I gave you in the thirty Aggravations, Sect. 16. which it did not please you to contradict. These few I repeat:

I. The words of the Third Command are dreadful, God will not hold him guiltless that ta­keth his Name in vain, or falsly.

II. Such licentious stretching of Oaths and Professions overthrow that mutual trust which is necessary to Humane Converse.

III. It depriveth the King of his due security of his Subjects Loyalty, and of his Peace and Life. I much fear lest relaxing and stretching the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy but as much as you relax and stretch the words of the Subscrip­tion, Declaration, Liturgie, &c. may untie the Consciences of Rebels and King-killers so far, as to make way for, and consist with Rebellion, and kil­ling the King.

IV. It seemeth to me most dangerously to ex­pose the Lives of all the Subjects of the Kingdom, to the will of their Enemies, and to be a Vertual Murdering of many, or any (if not all) Per­sons [Page 132] that have Enemies: For while two false Swearers may take away a Mans Life, if Men are taught to stretch Oaths and Equivocate, it will embolden the Consciences of Men so far, as that few Mens Lives shall have any security, but be at the mercy of any Rogues. It is a wonder of God's Merciful Providence, that false Swearers murder no more than they do: But such a Laxity would make our Case far more dangerous.

V. I that greatly fear lest God's late dreadful Corporation Iudgments, Plague, Flames, Poverty, and Divisions, are inflicted for Corporation Sins, and among those Sins, eminently for Perjury, am more inclined to call them in Bradford's words at the Stake, Repent, O England, than to encourage them in such Sin, and by Printing, to persuade them not to repent.

VI. When we cry out of the Jesuits for stretch­ing Oaths and Testimonies, and all words by Equivocations, and Mental Reservations, to the endangering of Kings and Kingdoms, and Mens Lives and Souls, it ill beseemeth us to imitate or encourage them, or to enable them to say, that they stretch words no more than we.

VII. It would be an unexcusable Sin in such a one as I, who live not in another Age, Land, or Place, where the Imposers sense could not be known, but in the same Age, and Place, and have had so many Personal Treaties with the Bi­shops and the Lord Chancellor Hide, who were the chief promoters of the Impositions, and who know so many of the Parliament and Convoca­tion that made these Forms, and have had so great and satisfactory testimony of their Minds and [Page 133] Meanings, and their Speeches and Reasons in Par­liament upon these subjects; and am fully satis­fied in my Conscience, that you satisfie their mean­ing. It is not the sense of any Bishops that came in since that Act was made, nor of any odd Per­son that is to pass for the Law-makers sense.

VIII. People commonly think that Preachers should be so much more holy than they, that if they come but near us they are safe. And there­fore if we stretch Oaths and Covenants, they may do that, and such as they count lesser Sins than Perjury; and so we may harden them to Damna­tion.

IX. It is a heinous aggravation of Sin to do it as for God, and that we may serve him in the Ministry.

X. It is a dreadful thing to undertake to justifie thousands whom we never knew, as well as the old Parliament Men whom we know, and to prove that they ought not to Repent, nor to endeavour Church Reformation, if it should prove that by a Vow they are bound to such endeavour by law­ful means.

XI. I dare not provoke God to desert me in my Ministry, (yea, and in my secret Comforts) nor tempt Men to think basely of the Ministers as a Perjured sort of Men, who cry down other Mens Sins, while they have greater of their own.

XII. It is a dreadful aggravation to do all this (not by sudden Surprize, but) upon Delibera­tion, and to make a Covenant against Duty and for Sin, and to say I ought to do it, and never to Repent; yea, and by justifying it to harden mul­titudes against Repentance: Especially if it tend to [Page 134] corrupt the publick state of the Church, and Worship.

For these Reasons I cannot use Violence with imposed Oaths, Covenants, or Professions; but must expound them in the common sense of Men of that Profession, till the Law-makers themselves shall declare that they mean otherwise.

And all this I speak but as the Reasons of our own Practice, and not at all to accuse any Con­formists: Yea, I so far excuse them against the Non-conforming Conformist, that I do take the chief Men of them whom I have known, to mean plain­ly as they speak: I suppose they really Assent and Consent to all things contained and prescribed in the Books; and really mean contrary to your stretching Expositions of Infants Salvation, of Bap­tism, Communion, Burial, and the rest. And by Dr. William Smith's Books, and such others, I be­lieve they take such Conforming Non-conformists to be (as the late Westminster Assembly proved) the most dangerous underminers of their Church.

And when we have Confuted such as you, our Work is all to begin again, with the serious Con­formists, who deal plainly and go on other Prin­ciples.

The Second Part.
Mr. Cheney's Five Undertakings Considered.

§ 1. DEar Brother, you and I have ex­posed our selves as Publick Warnings to Mankind, to take heed of an overvaluing of their own Understandings, and of a hasty confidence in their Erroneous Conceptions, and of rash obtruding that upon the World as necessary Truth, for want of Judgment and Time to digest things, which will prove very dangerous Error; and if received and practised, alas, what Mischief may it do! Erring Men know not that they Err: If I think it is you, and you think it is I, and a third think it is both, the Reader greatly profiteth by us, who learneth by our Harms, to have a due suspicion of his own Understanding; and so it be without unnecessary Scepticism, to have humble thoughts of his Con­ceptions, which have not had time and helps conve­nient to ripen them: Especially if your Friend or you be Conscious, that you have formerly or late­ly been as confident in that which you now see was your Error, you should think that the same [Page 136] Mind is still in danger of Deceit, and it's as easie to reel into the other Extreme.

§ 2. Oh what cause have we to pray, Lead us not into temptation! we little know what is in our Hearts or others, till just Trial call it up: Nor what great hurt even good Men may live to do. And if one Error get in, to how many worse it may open the Door. And if we begin to roul down the Hill, how little know we where to stop? But though Satan desire to have us that he may sift us, I hope Christ's Intercession will keep our Faith from failing. But wo, and alas, that we must, one or both (which ever is in the wrong) be instruments of Mischief against the Interest of our dear Lord, and his Truth and Church, and Mens Souls, whilst both our desires are to live in the World for no other end, but to build up that, which by Ignorance, Self-conceitedness, Error, and Rashness, we are laboriously pulling down.

§ 3. And if it be I that have by Error wrong­ed the Church, my Case is made worse by your strengthening my Temptation, when instead of convincing Argument, you give me little but na­ked Assertions; and saying [I conceive,] and run into such Singularities as all sober Men are bound to suspect, and some condemn almost all Christ's Churches, without one word of Convincing Proof.

§ 4. That you Answer only in Print to the World, the private Talk that I had with you, whilst you gave me no Vocal Answer, I take but for a small and modal Irregulatity: Some Men have Humours and Ways of their own, which they will follow. Had you done it as judiciously, [Page 137] and truly, with fear of Erring and Seducing, as you did it publickly, the rest might be well in­terpreted: But we must take it as it is.

QUESTION. I.

‘WHether it be certain by God's Word, that Infants Baptized dying before Actual Sin, be undoubtedly saved?’

§ 1. I expected your Work had been to Con­vince Men of the good of Conformity: But see­ing it is to save Men from being seduced by my Directory, you may doubt whether you will not rather tempt some impartial Men to read the words: And then your work is spoiled, when they compare them with your Accusation.

§ 2. I lookt for some plain Text of Scripture, to prove this both certain by God's Word, and un­doubted: But finding none such, I humbly be­seech you hereafter, when you have mind to shew your Argumentative strength, leave out the abu­sive pretence of the Word of God: Holy things must be holily used.

§ 3. Your first Argument is, that [A Carnal Christian hath propriety in his Child, and therefore may devote him to God, as he may his Goods.]

Ans. It had been more piously prudent to hear what could be said to such pretty new Knacks, before you had tempted the Church by publishing them.

1. Your first Proof is, 1 Sam. 26. 26, 27, 28. and there are but 25 Verses in the Chapter, and none to your purpose.

[Page 138] The next is, Lev. 27. 28. Did you ever con­sider the Text? Ainsworth, and the Rabbies, sup­pose from the Notation of the word, and from the express words, ver. 29. that it is devoting of Slaves, or Malefactors to death, that is here spo­ken of: Others better, That it includeth both the absolute dedication of acceptable Persons to Ser­vice, and of odious Persons to Death: Therefore all are not saved that are here called holy as de­voted: Neither the Cursed, nor the Levites, that by dedication obliged to Service, are hereby sa­ved: For more than Obligation is necessary to the reward. The First-born were specially to be given to God, and yet that implied not their certain Salvation.

2. A Dissembler may by his Covenant obtain a right with Man, that knoweth not his Heart; and he may be received into the outward Com­munion of the Church by God's Approbation, who Commissioneth Ministers who know not mens Hearts, to receive Men according to their Profes­sion: And these are holy to the Lord, as the Iews were; but not therefore under a promise that they shall be undoubtedly saved. Were all the Iews saved because they were a holy Nation?

3. Not only his Child, but the grossest hypo­critical Lyar himself, who is Baptized, and com­eth into the Church in Malice to betray, it, is yet holy as a Visible Member; and hath obliged him­self to real Holiness, and yet is far from a state of Salvation.

4. Nothing is holy and accepted by the Devo­ters Act alone, without God's accepting Act: Nor any further, or to any other uses than God ac­cepteth [Page 139] it to. Some he accepteth unto Visible Membership and Communion, and some to the Sacred Ministry, and some to Magistracy, &c. who are not accepted to Salvation.

5. Doth Lev. 27. prove, that all Nations in the World might devote their Children unto God, with the same assurance of acceptation as the Is­raelites?

6. The Jewish Mosaical Law is abrogated, and neither bindeth us as such, nor secureth us of ac­ceptance for obeying it.

7. All Heathens and Infidels have some proprie­ty in their Children; and yet if in unbelief they devote them with the Tongue alone to God, that will not make their Salvation undoubted.

8. Few God-Fathers have propriety in them: How then will their devoting prove their Salva­tion?

9. God hath made no promise of his accep­tance, which you can shew; therefore you cannot by his Word be certain of it.

10. God saith, that the Sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to Him; much more when he doth it with an evil mind: And he expressly saith, [Else were your Children unclean (if one Parent were not a Believer) but now are they holy.] There­fore when both Parents are Unbelievers, the Chil­dren are not accepted of God as holy.

11. The question is, of all Baptized Children: For it is Quatenus Baptizati, that they are said to be saved; and à quatenus ad omne valet consequentia: And it's an Indefinite in re necessariâ: But we have too many scorners at Christianity, followers of Hobbes, Spinosa, Pomponatius, and Vaninus, who [Page 140] for fashion sake, will bring their Children to Bap­tism: And certainly such are far worse than Hea­thens. If one believeth not in Christ, tell a wil­ful Lye, and say he believeth, can any Man think that his Child shall be ever the more saved for his Wickedness and Hypocrisie?

§ 4. You gather Christ's acceptance from Mat. 10. 13. &c. It is not said of the Infants of the Godly only, is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Ans. Nor is it said that of all Infants, or of all Baptized Infants, is the Kingdom of Heaven. The Text will prove indeed, that the Infant state is capable of Christ's acceptance into the Kingdom of Grace, and of Glory. But not that nothing is ne­cessary thereto, but that they be Infants.

If all Infants be saved, bringing them to Christ was not necessary to their Salvation. If all only that were brought to Christ were saved, it seems they were very few.

2. Is it like that any would bring their Chil­dren to Christ to be Blessed, who did not believe in him? And what reason have we to surmise that they were not sound Believers?

3. As Christ healed some blind Men, and not all, and some Lepers, Sick, &c. so if as a Specimen, to shew that Infant state is capable of Grace, he took up some Infants of Hypocrites, or Infidels, or impious Parents, (which can never be proved) it will not follow that all such shall be received, and that to Salvation.

4. If by verbal profession Parents and their Children are taken into the outward Covenant and Church, and by Water Men are born into the Visible Kingdom of God, it followeth not they [Page 141] need not to be born of the Spirit for admission into the Invisible and Heavenly Kingdom; or that the Spirit always goeth with the Water; and that the Parents answer of a good Conscience to God, is not necessary to his Child's Covenant-right to Salvati­on as well as to his own.

5. I deny that any wicked Man (much more every one) doth, yea, or can, univocally and truly, devote his Child to God according to the sense of the Baptismal Covenant. Though I grant that the love of his Childs Lust do not hold him so strongly as the love of his own; yet he that ne­ver so knew God in Christ, and so believed in Christ, and so believed in him as to perceive him practically to be better for himself than all the World and sinful Pleasures, cannot with a true and practical Affiance, so take him for his Child.

6. And God no where commandeth, or ac­cepteth the devoting of our Infants to him prima­rily, or as seperated from our selves; but only as Appendices, or Conjunct with us; that is, that we devote our selves and ours: And so not without us, but with us doth he accept them.

§ 5. Your great pretended Proof is, That all the Males of Israel were Circumcised.

Ans. 1. If you had proved that they were all saved, you had said more to the matter.

2. To open here the nature of the Iews Cove­nant of Peculiarity, as one select Nation of whom Christ should come, as distinct from, and as con­junct with the common antecedent Covenant of Grace, and to shew the reasons of the Institution of Circumcision of Abraham's peculiar Seed, and [Page 142] not for all that from Adam and Noah, were un­der the common Law of Crace, would be a work which such a light occasion would not warrant me here to stand upon.

3. The sign of Circumcision, was but the seal anexed to the Covenant: And the meer Ex­ternal Act (as Water in Baptism) entered them but into the External Church-state.

4. Almost all the gross Sinners at least, if pre­sumptuous and impenitent, were to be put to death by that Law; And dead Men beget not Children. But I have so largely handled this in my 3d Disp. of Right to Sacraments, that while you leave it unanswered, I will not repeat it on so slight a Cause.

§ 6. And what if you had proved the Salva­tion of all wicked Christians Baptized Infants? what's that to our Question, which extendeth to all, not excepting the Children of profest Atheists, Infidels, Sadduces, or Heathens, that have but God-Fathers?

§ 7. But pag. 8, 9. you tell us, that [‘In­fants by reason of their innocent harmless state, seem to be Christ's Off-spring, and to be a subordi­nate Root and Bottom to themselves, and to stand by their own innocency under Christ, and by his Divine Grace.—Look what Regeneration is to the Adult, that in some sort the Infant-state may be to Infants; that is, All Infants are in a New and Second state by Christ: So the word Regene­ration doth properly import.—Pag. 10. Christ alone without Parents Godliness, is able to the Salvation of all the Infant World.—I am not able to prove that bare having of Circumcision and [Page 143] Baptism doth save any; nor that the bare want thereof doth bar any from Salvation.’

Ans. 1. But what is this to Conformity? Did you think that this was the meaning of the Li­turgy, that all Infants are saved, when it saith All the Baptized?

2. It doth not follow that Christ saveth all, because he is able to save them.

3. I have said so much to prove Original Sin, and some participation of Guilt from our Parents Sins, and to prove God's Promises to the Faithful and their Seed, which are not made to the Infidels and Wicked, in two Disputations of Original Sin; that I refer you thither for your Answer to this unproved Fiction, of the Salvation of all In­fants, and their Regenerate Innocency.

4. Woful experience tells us, as soon as they can but speak and go, how far their Natures are from an innocent disposition: And to be void of holy Dispositions is not to be innocent.

5. If they be conceived and born Innocent, what need have they of Baptism for Remission of Sin? If you say that Christ Regenerateth all as he is the Giver of their Nature, the Church hath condemned this in the Pelagians, that make Na­ture, as from Christ, to be the same with Grace.

6. If all be Pardoned, all have the Holy Ghost (for Baptism giveth right to both.) But that's not so.

§ 8. Page 11. Did you satisfie your Consci­ence in expounding, [But now are they holy, 1 Cor. 14.] after what we have said of it to Mr. Tombes? Is it [Your Children are pure to you, as your Meat is?]

[Page 144] § 9. When you ask me [Why I say notoriously ungodly.] You consulted not the credit of your knowledg, to tell Men in Print, that you know not what Notorious signifieth; no not in Notation, or common use: As if it signified [more than or­dinary.] Notorious, is that which is certainly, openly, easily, Knowable. I have told you of some of my own Parishioners, that live in the open opposition to Christianity, seeking in their Converse to persuade Men, that the Scripture is a Book of Lyes, and Christianity a meer Deceit, and they will bring their Children to Baptism for Law and Custom-sake; and say all the Creed, and words required (it was in the time when I had leave to admit the Parent to enter his own Child in the Covenant with God.) We know now abundance of the followers of Hobbes, and Spi­nosa, and many that deride Scripture, and the hopes of Heaven, and the fears of a Hell, and think Man is but a subtle sort of Beast: Yet these will all have their Children Baptized, and to avoid the penalty of the Law, will receive the Eucha­rist. And there are others who are common scor­ners of Serious Religiousness, and persecutors of it to their power; and hate him that will tell them of the evil of the common Drunkenness and Whoredom which they live in, and glory in their Shame. We look for better proof than your Wrigling-nothings, to make us undoubtedly cer­tain from God's Word, that the Baptized Infants of all these are saved: The Rubrick meaneth, [Quia & qua, Baptized;] and you mean [Be­cause innocent, and Christ died for them, and all the Unbaptized, are saved.] But as I see none [Page 145] of your proof of the latter, so I will not crook­edly crawl into Conformity by the fallacious Ex­position. And you that were, in your last Book, uncertain your self of what you can now prove certain, do so quickly Change, and so quickly publish your Change, that your judgment hath the less power by any reverence of it to the chan­ging of mine.

QUEST. II.

WHether may Unconverted ones within the Church, demand and receive the Lord's Supper? Mr. Baxter saith flatly they may not. Right to Sacram. pag. 140. The Con­futation followeth.

§ 1. Ans. I can bethink me, but of one of these three Ends, of this your Writing: 1. Ei­ther barely to make a confession of your Faith and Judgment: 2. Or to save me from my Error by Conviction: 3. Or to save the Readers of my Book from the danger of them.

1. If the first be your Work, I confess your words [I conceive] are suitable: But Confessions use to be otherwise, concisely and orderly for­med, and no Adversaries names besides Pilate's, needed to be put into your Creed.

2. If the second or third be your Work, you seem to think very contemptible of my Judgment, and of every such Readers, when you expect that when I have written, and they have read, full Disputations opening the state of the Question, proving what I assert by many Arguments and [Page 146] Scripture, vindicating twenty Arguments of Mr. Galespies, from all that is answered to them, we should after this be convinced that our Cause is wrong, by one that neither will be at the labour distinctly to state the Controversy, nor to reply to my Answers already given to all his Reasonings and much more, nor to answer the many Arguments which I and others urge, but saith little more of any moment than [I am induced to think thus, though I once thought otherwise:] Yea, when you neither answer our Reasons, nor give us the tenth part so much for your Cause as we answered, yet we must not think that it [is on slight grounds] that you have taken up your Opinion, pag. 16. when what you say is so slight, that as I will not write over again what you vouchsafe not to answer; so, if your Reader have read my Book cited by you, I will not so reproach his judgment as to think, that he needeth any farther answer to this of yours. But if he have not read mine, nor will read it, he is in no danger of being seduced by it, and so your labour is in vain.

§ 2. But, Reader, lest so small a word as his oft [I conceive,] should prove to the unwary Synonimal to [I deceive,] I shall advertise thee briefly.

I. That my way was to distinguish of Con­version.

1. As from Heathenism, or Infidelity, Maho­metanism, or Heresie.

2. From gross Hypocrisie manifested by a no­torious wicked Life.

3. From close Hypocrisie not proved.

4. From a particular fall of a sincere Christian, [Page 147] to his integrity; or from some tolerable Error and Mistake.

II. I use to distinguish between Being sincere in the Christian Faith, and knowing that we are Sincere.

III. I use to define what the Conversion is that I speak of, in such Controversie.

IV. And I never confound the Case [Whether it may be demanded,] with the Case [whether it may be delivered.]

V. And I still distinguish between [A means which an Unconverted self-knowing Man, is com­manded by God to use for his Conversion,] and [a means which God can use, or consequently the Sinner should in the review make use of hereun­to, supposing that he hath unlawfully intruded.] As if a Man unlawfully invade the sacred Mini­sterial Office, when he is in it, there is some­what that may become a means of his Conversi­on: Or if one that hath vowed Celibate, Marry a godly Person unlawfully, it may become a means of their Conversion.

Now to make this Controversie intelligible to the unstudied, I would here perform all these parts, and distinctly by Propositions open the Matter: But it is done in the Disputations of Right to Sacraments, which he opposeth: And if every Nibbling of one that refuseth the rational task of a sober Confuter, shall call a Man to write new Books, there will be no end of tiring Readers. I doubt I have Erred already, in not letting some talk on, and shew their Mistakes and false Accu­sations without any Confutation.

[Page 148] § 3. He doth indeed limit the Case to [the Unconverted within the Church,] and you would think that by this he excluded Heathens, Mahome­tans, Infidels, and Hereticks. But remember,

1. That the Baptized not Excommunicate, are in the Universal Church.

2. And that a particular Church with him, seems to be nothing but a worshipping Assembly; and all that are there are in the Church, and when the Meeting breaks up, the Church is no Church.

3. And yet sometimes you would that think he took a Parish of such Assemblers for a Church.

4. And it is matter of Fact past all dispute, that not only all the Papists, the first ten Years of Queen Elizabeth, came to our Churches, and some do so still; but that abundance such as aforesaid, come to the Parish Churches, who in Coffee-Houses talk against Christianity, or the immorta­lity of the Soul, or the Scriptures, and such as write Books to the same purposes; and these are not converted from Sadducism, Beastiality, or Infidelity.

5. And then mark whether any of this Bro­ther's Arguments do prove, that the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, was ordained for such Men to use for their Conversion.

§ 4. Remember that the full Conversion to Sa­ [...]ing-Sincerity, is nothing else but [sincere Con­sent to the Baptismal Covenant.] And every such Consenter, and only such (Adult) are savingly converted. And that it is not that Covenant, when any essential part is omitted: To believe in the Father and not the Son, or not in the Holy Ghost, is not that Covenant: Now the Person in [Page 149] question, To receive the Sacrament as the Sacrament, (Baptism, or the Eucharist) and not to profess Consent to the Covenant, is a contradiction; no Man can do it: Covenanting is essential to it. And it is essential to it to be by God's Commission a Solemn actual investing Delivery, with application to the just receiver of a saving Right to God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and actual present pardon of Sin, and right to Life.

§ 5. And the Person in question is either,

1. One that Consenteth not, and knoweth that he consenteth not.

2. Or that Consenteth not and thinks he doth, be­cause he consenteth to some part.

3. Or one that consenteth not, and knoweth not whether he do or not.

(4. For, as for all true Consenters that know not that they do it sincerely, they are Converted Persons, and not those in Question: And a true Consenter that doubteth of his truth, but upon his best self-trial, thinks that he truly consenteth to have God for his God, and Christ for his Saviour, and the Holy Ghost for his Sanctifier, must go without certainty upon the best judgment that he make of himself.)

I. Now for the Person that consenteth not, and knoweth it, to come and demand the Sacrament for his Conversion, is all one as to say, that [It is God's Ordinance, that he is not willing after all per­suasions, to give up himself to God, as his Father, Saviour, and Sanctifier, and therefore hath no right to Pardon and Life, shall solemnly profess that he doth consent to the Covenant when he doth not, and that he doth presently by Vow give up himselfe to [Page 150] God, as his God and Father, Saviour and Sanctifier, when he doth not; that this may convert them to do that which lyingly he saith he doth: And he shall take the investing pardoning Sign and Act, when he hath no right to Pardon.] Deceive not your self, or others: Giving and Taking, Eating and Drinking, are as Speaking (significant Actions) essentially to the Sacrament: And he never recei­ved the Sacrament essentially as that Sacrament, that did not thereby interpretatively solemnly profess, q. d. [I now consent to the Covenant of Christ, and take God in Christ for my Father, Sa­viour and Sanctifier, and here give up my self to him in these Relations.] And therefore all the Ancients taught, that the Baptized were all cer­tainly presently pardoned; supposing that they real­ly consented to the Baptismal Covenant, as every adult Baptized Person did, and must profess.

And can you believe that this was Christ's In­stitution, q. d. [Come and solemnly be Perjured, and Lye, and say, Thou consentest to the Covenant when thou dost not, that this may convert thee to Consent. All your mistaken row of words, will never make this soul Cause fair.

2. But what if it be a Man that consenteth not but thinketh he doth, or yet doth not know?

Ans. It is his Sin not to know that he consent­eth not; and that will not make it lawful for him to Lye, and Vow falsly. But the harder it is for him to know his own Mind, the more excusable he is: And a false entrance is not a Sin that is un­pardonable, nor is the Sinner uncurable, but may be converted in the Church, though he came in unlawfully.

[Page 151] § 6. While preposterously you tell us who you think hath right to Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, you pass over the Fundamental Contro­versie, as if you knew it not; which is, What Baptism and the Lord's Supper are. This is it that we are mostly disagreed about: End this, and end all. I suppose you take Baptism to be the first Sa­crament, and that less is not necessary to the Lord's Supper than to it. And I presume to tell you, that Christ never ordained, nor the Church ever used any other Baptism of the Adult, than 1. That which delivered the present Remission of Sin, and right to Life, to the just receiver of Baptism; 2. and that which contained on the part of the Receiver, his present profession of sa­ving Faith and Repentance, that is, his true con­sent to the Covenant.

§ 7. The Scripture telleth us, that Baptism saveth, as containing the answer of a good Consci­ence to God: And that as many as are Baptized in­to Christ, have put on Christ, and have professed that they are buried with him by Baptism into his Death, and raised with him to newness of Life, &c.

§ 8. God in great Mercy hath delivered down to us from the Apostles, the form of Baptism by a fuller Tradition than the words of the Scrip­ture, or any things else of our Religion are deli­vered. All Ages and Churches to this Day, have retained the same form as to all the Essential parts: The very words of the Baptizer and the Baptized, the Credo, Abrenuncio, &c▪ professed full shew that all used this one Baptism, which was a pro­fessed Vow and Covenanting with God, and re­nouncing [Page 152] of the Flesh, the World, and the De­vil, for present (delivered) pardon and right to Christ and Life. See the long List in Gataker against Davenant, of the Ancients that took all the Baptized for justified.

In a word, If you make another Species of Bap­tism, which hath lower Conditions and Gifts only than these, I am past doubt;

1. That you introduce a new sort of Christi­anity.

2. That you hereby would change the very Essence of the Church, and wofully corrupt it: A worse thing than to impose new Ceremonies.

3. That by denying the truth of so universal concurrent Tradition, as the form of Baptism hath; you will shake Mens Faith by weakning the Cre­dit of that Tradition, by which we have recei­ved the Bible: It being a harder matter to keep all the words of such a Book, than the Form of Baptism, used on every Christian in the World.

4. That you will too grosly reproach all the Christian Churches, as if they had in all Ages and Places been ignorant what Christening and Christianity is, and had used a false Baptism, till of late.

5. You will contradict the Church of England which you Conform to, and all the Churches now in the World, which in their form of Baptizing, and their Catechisms and Confessions tell us, of no Baptism, but what is a present Covenanting with God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as consenters to his Covenant, giving up our selves to him in the foresaid Relations, for present Pardon, &c. See Dr. Hammona's Pract. Cat. of the Baptismal Vow. [Page 153] And is all this fit Work for two or three singular Men? To deny the said History, is to be grosly Ignorant, or Immodest.

§ 9. And now I am ashamed to trouble you and the Reader with the opening of all your Im­pertinencies and Contradictions, of [‘That Man will not be persuaded to consent to the Baptismal Covenant, and to be a Christian indeed, doth yet sigh, and grown, and pray for that which he would not have; and that the Impenitent must penitently use this means for Penitence; and be­cause whosoever will must come and take the Wa­ter of Life, therefore they that will not take it must take the Sacrament: And that the outward. Act, which is false Vowing themselves to God, and saying, They consent to the Covenant when they do not, is the means of Grace appointed for their Conversion, in which they do well, and are accepted: And that Non-consenters may fly to Christ as a merciful Physician to save Souls, and cast themselves at his Feet, Repenting, Praying, and crying for Mercy (which they would not have) and yet if they come with particular ill intentions, away with them.’] Confute what I have written to the contrary if you would con­vince me, or any Man that hath read my Five Disputations.

QUEST. III.

‘WHether a Minister may put from the Sa­crament those of his Parish who be Christned People, and come to Church, and joyn in the Publick Worship, and tender them­selves to receive, being under no sentence of Ex­communication?’ You say, He may not.

Ans. § 1. 1. What's this to the Primitive Churches that were not Parishes? Or to the Coun­tries that yet are not settled into Parish Churches? Or to such Churches as are but tolerated among Papists Parishes?

2. And all that is here mentioned, the Papists did for the first ten Years of Queen Elizabeth.

3. And remember that we have in our Parishes, many that are open Atheists, Infidels, Sadduces, Persecutors, Scorners of the Scripture and Reli­gion, open boasting impenitent Whore-mongers, Blasphemers, Drunkards, &c. and many that openly deny the Ministry, and Sacraments; and yet to avoid Penalty, and for Custom, will do all that is here named, though they deride it: And that all these are to be received (though also you suppose that they never so much as professed consent to the Baptismal Covenant) you take on you to prove.

1. Because it is the Will of Christ. [Oh! Bro­ther, dread such additions to Christ's Words.] And how is that proved? Why, [None but Dogs and Swine must be denied holy things.]

[Page 155] Ans. 1. Where found you that [None else?]

2. How prove you that none of these are Dogs or Swine?

3. Yea, are not all they swinish despisers of Grace, who will not be persuaded to consent that God shall be their God, and Christ their Saviour, and the Holy Ghost their Sanctifier, and give up themselves to him in these Relations?

§ 2. Yet Page 30. the Case is this, [‘If the People being Christened do make a credible pro­fession of true Christianity, or a profession of true Christianity which we cannot prove to be false, at least by a violent Presumption, we must accept their Profession and admit them.’]

Ans. This is mine as cited, and the plain truth. But,

1. Did you think that a credible profession of true Christianity, is not a credible profession of Conversion? Are not true Christians saved? What else are Men to be Converted to?

2. Do all such as are afore described, make such a credible profession of true Christianity?

§ 3. You tell us that the Standard that Christ hath set is that, [‘If now thou be sincerely Peni­tent, thy Sin is pardoned, and thou hast right to Salvation, and mayst come to the Lord's Table.’]

Ans. And doth not this imply, that else he should not come? And is such a Man Uncon­verted?

It is too irksome to rake up the rest of your Contradictions, and examine your slight words of the Parable of the Tares: But that rooting up the Tares forbidden is Excommunicating, or deny­ing Sacramental Communion to any Parishioner [Page 156] of your Description, who will believe that know­eth?

1. What Christ saith, Mat. 18. 15. &c. and Paul, 1 Cor. 5. and 2 Thess. 3. Tit. 3. 10, 11, &c.

2. Or he that knoweth that the Universal Church of Christ in all Ages, hath been of another mind; and indeed went at last too far against it, having no punishment for Christians, but Suspension and Excommunication.

3. And that the Christian World at this day is of another mind, though the Helvetians are too remiss in the Principles, and most in the Pra­ctice.

4. And that the Canons of this Church requi­reth the Minister to deny the Sacrament to some such as you describe: And in your former Book, you pleaded this as for Conformity: And are you changed already? And shall any Wise Man fol­low such quick Changes?

5. The Church of England forbids us to give the Sacrament to any that are not Confirmed, and desire it not, or are not ready: But such are ma­ny of your Description.

6. If the power of Excommunicating over a thousand, or many hundred Churches be con­fined to the Bishop and the Chancellor, or Officials, and so all the Parish Ministers denied it, and dis­abled, all these Churches must be Prophaned and Confounded at the will of one Man, or because he cannot do an Impossibility. And the reasons why Christ would have his Church to be visibly Holy, and a Communion of Saints, and openly differ­enced from the notoriously ungodly, are so many [Page 157] and so great, that I will not here attempt the opening of them, having often elsewhere done it.

QUEST. IV.

‘WHether the common sort of ungodly Chri­stians, are to be cast out of the Church by Penal Excommunications, and used as Excommunicate ones? You say, [I con­ceive not.’]

Ans. Would any one that pretended to confute our Errors, no better open the case in question.

1. In your sense they are Christians that never professed consent to the Baptismal Covenant, but only took the Water in order to Conversion here­after. These are no visible Christians: And I suppose by parity of Reason, the Council of Nice, which decreed the Rebaptizing of the Paulmists, would have been for Rebaptizing these.

2. Is the Ordinariness the satisfying Character, who is not to be Excommunicated? In one Coun­try those are ordinary, that are extraordinary in others: In some places Arrians are ordinary; in some Socinians; in some Papists; in some open Scorners of the Scripture, Christianity, and Reli­gion: In some ignorant Persons that know not the Essentials of Christianity, nor will learn, or let the Minister instruct them any where but in the Pulpit; in many Parishes here, not one of many (their Neighbours say) go to Church about once or twice a Year. 1 Cor. 5. 13. Put away from among you that wicked Person, ver. 11. If any Man that [Page 158] is called a Brother, be a Fornicator, or Covetous, or on Idolater, or a Railer, or a Drunkard, or an Extortioner, with such a one, no not to eat. Do not ye judg them that are within, 2 Thess. 3. It is the idle and disorderly: And these are ordinary in some places.

But we easily grant that Excommunications are not to be used Tyranically, or when they do more hurt than good. And if the Body of a Church turn, e. g. Socinians, or professedly ungodly, and will not be Reformed, the Excommunication which we plead for is, but withdrawing from them and renouncing their Communion, declaredly.

§ 2. I have oft said, that Perfidious Covenant-breakers who live in gross Sin, and still tell the Mi­nister they repent, and will not be persuaded to leave their Sin, (e. g. Whoredom, Drunkenness, Stealing, Perjury, Blasphemy,) have so far forfeited the cre­dit of their bare word, that the Pastor should see their actual amendment before he Absolve them. And now your Hand is in, the World must be sa­ved from this Doctrine too. But because it is a common principle in Nature, and in all Church Canons, and the common judgment of Divines, I will not stay to dispute it with you. But when you are a Master of a Family, if you think Fa­mily Discipline a Duty, Experience will cure your credulity: If your Servant or Son beat you, or spit in your Face, or Rob you once a Day, or Week, but for one Year together, and say still after it, I repent. But what will not Men talk for?

QUEST. V.

WHether Mr. Baxter's Doctrine and Prin­ciples concerning particular Churches be sound and good? And you confute them.

Ans. 1. Those that read them are in no dan­ger by them. And those that do, may be confir­med by so slight a confutation (as I said.)

2. As for my Book of [Universal Concord of all Christian Churches,] I know that the Devil ha­teth it so much, that I expect some far more subtile Assault than yours; or else I shall think that the Devil wanteth wit or power, more than is com­monly believed. But I am sorry that he hath drawn so good a Man to be his instrument.

§ 1. My first mentioned Error is [That a par­ticular Church is a regular part of the Universal Church, as a City is of a Kingdom.] The con­futation is [In this I conceive he is out: A parti­cular Church is to the Church Universal with a sin­gle Town, consisting of a Magistrate Governing, and People governed, according to the general Rules and Principles of Society, is to all the World.

Ans. The proof is [I conceive he is out,] and an Assertion in other words of the same that is de­nied; and so we are out both (or neither.)

1. I used the Name, and he the Definition: It may be he thought that by [City] I had meant only such Towns as are so called in England: But methinks he should know that the word [...], signifieth all such Towns as he defineth, and that it is the common definition of Civitas which [Page 160] he giveth us, as all Politicks speak de Civitate: It is therefore the same subject in the Similitude, which we both speak of.

2. The difference then must be between the words [Kingdom] and [World.] I say, A Church is such a part of the Universal, as a City is of a Kingdom: He saith, no, but [as a City is of the World.] What a dangerous Error hath he detected? But, All the World is God's Kingdom: And as it hath but one King, so I thought I might liken it to a Kingdom that hath one King, but a multitude of Corporations; without stretching the Similitude to intend that [This Kingdom is not a part of the World.]

§ 2. My second Error is, [‘He that will be a Member of a particular Church, must cohabit, or dwell near.’] The confutation is, [‘I conceive he is out.’]

Ans. What, is he against Parish Churches af­ter all this? No: He only denieth it of a transi­ent Member pro tempore as a Traveller, and grant­eth it as to a stated Member. And yet I am out. Many and many a time have I written of Chur­ches, and use to distinguish first of the Equivocal Name, saying, That an occasional meeting of Christians for Worship, may be called a Church, and a transient Christian pro tempore a Member: I have written more this way than ever he did. But declared that it is a settled Political Society that I defined, when I speak of what he now accuseth. And why should a wise and good Man thus hastily trouble the World and make discord by pretend­ing, because he cannot have leisure to know, what he speaks against?

[Page 161] § 3. My third Error is, [‘That to the being of a particular Church there is necessary a mutual Co­venant, or exprest consent between Pastor and Peo­ple, even every Member, and the more express the better: And I define a Church to be a Society of Christians consisting of Pastor and People associa­ted by consent.’]

The force of the Confutation is, [I conceive he is out.] But wherein is it? We have here such work as I never met with before.

1. He granteth that none are to each other, Pa­stor and People against their Wills. Good still. And yet do I err? [But (saith he) as Christ is Christ, and a Saviour by Office whether Sinners will or not: So faithful Ministers are Pastors by Office, whether the People accept them or no.] Reader, it is not the least blemish of my Writings, that on divers occasions I oft repeat the same things: And many a time have I distinctly said, 1. That the Ordainers judge who shall be a Minister of Christ in general. 2. The Magistrate is judge whom he will Countenance, Maintain, or Tolerate. 3. And the People must be consenting judges to whom they will trust the conduct of their Souls: As it's one thing to be a Licensed Physician, and another to be Physician to this Hospital, or Person. If this Brother mean otherwise, what meant he by saying, that No Man can be a Pastor to a People against their will? Doth he say, and unsay in the next Lines? Is Christ any Man's actual Saviour whether they be­lieve in him, and accept him or not? I have oft said, that in divers Cases, the People may be bound in duty to Consent, as all are bound to be Christians: But they are no Christians, or Church-members, till [Page 162] they do Consent: What then is it that he meaneth as our Difference?

§ 4. Yes: He saith, [‘No more is necessary to the being, or well-being of a particular Church than this; A company of Christians met together in publick for the Solemn Worship of God by Iesus Christ, having a Pastor or Minister with them to guide and govern the Congregation, and edifie him­self and them by the Word and Sacraments; where there is no Assembly of Pastor and People there is no Church, and no longer than the Assembly lasteth are they a Church.’]

Ans. Did the World ever here this Doctrine be­fore? When the Church at Ierusalem, Corinth, Cenchrea, Colosse, Laodicea, &c. and the Churches in Iudea, Galatia, &c. are mentioned, when the Apostles ordained them Elders in every Church, Acts 14. 23. Tit. 1. 3, 5. &c. Is the word Church here taken for no Christians longer than they are Assembled? Doth not Scripture, Canons, Fathers, and all Writers speak of Churches as Associated Christians, remaining Churches all the Day, and Year, and not only while Assembled? If the word Church may be taken for a Transient Assembly, doth it follow that there is no other? Have we so many Books of Ecclesiastical Policie, if there be no Political Society that is a particular Church? What an unpleasing talk is it to be put on a defence against such an Opponent?

§ 5. Saith he [‘I would but ask Mr. Baxter, what is it that you mean by Associated by consent?’]

Ans. Have I in the Books, cited by you, so large­ly told you what I mean, and must you print the Question before you will take an Answer? Saith [Page 163] he [‘Either you mean bare Assembling, or some other thing.’] Ans. Will you better understand me if I write it again than you did before? When I told you at large, in what Cases express consent by words, or other signs is meet, and that where the Laws settle Parish Churches, ordinary attend­ance and submission to the Pastor's Office must be taken for express Consent? But then I do hold that there is such a Church as I describe, and that the Pa­rish is not Unchurcht when the Assembly is dismist.

§ 6. He saith, [‘When the Assembly breaks up, the Church for that time ceaseth till the Meeting be renewed, till which time they remain Christian In­habitants, Neighbours, Families, Parishioners, or Sojourners, the Pastor of the place dwelling among them.’] Ans. In your Equivocal sense of a Church, this is true. In the Political sense they are a Church still; as the Parliament, Citizens, Souldiers, are a Parliament, City, Army, when they Assemble not. If your wrangle be de re, do you deny their continued Relation? If it be de no­mine, let the Scripture and all Nations judge, whe­ther the name Church belong to them no longer than they are Assembled.

1. Then all that stay at Home, or are Sick, are no Church-members.

2. Then the Bishop or Pastor, hath no Church but while Assembled: And he hath no Duty to per­form for his Church, but while Assembled.

3. This is quite contrary to our Diocesans, who say (as honest Mr. Cawdry himself) that a Dio­cess is the first particular Church, and that it is no matter how many Assemblies it consist of, and that there is no Church without a Bishop, and so that [Page 164] we have no more Churches than Bishops.

4. If a Bishop build a Temple on London Road, where Travellers shall be his ordinary Hearers, whom he shall never see again, this is a Temporary Transient Church; but verily it is another sort Church that is described in Scripture, and by Ignatius, Cyprian, and all Church-writers. And when the Bishop was to visit the Sick, and take care of the Poor, and to exhort from House to House, it was as for a Church, and not meerly as for Christian Neighbours: And do you think no more consent was necessary to his special Duty to these more than to others, and theirs to him, than bare Assembling? Atheists, Infidels, Hereticks, may Assemble with the rest; and Catechumens or­dinarily did so, and were never made themselves the judges, whether and when they should be Bap­tized and admitted to Communion; but the Pa­stors were the judges.

§ 7. As to your oft mentioning the words [Covenants and Oaths] for such Church Associa­tions, as if I had written for Oaths, or had not written against all needless Covenants, which though you say not, your words would make the Reader believe, whilst over and over it is but Consent com­petently expressed, which I require; those that know not your Honesty as I do, I doubt will judge it to savour of some worse Cause than I am willing to name. If Consent be not expressed, how shall it be known? And I still say Caeteris paribus, the plainest Expressions are fittest to attain their End, as the plainest Language is counted the best for Communication: Oh! how much did Cyprian, and all the old Churches differ from you about consent!

[Page 165] § 8. Another of my Errors is to say, [He is an Invader, that without consent intrudeth into their Priviledges.] Ans. 1. But it is not he that tran­siently cometh into the Temple; 2. But he that will make himself one of my special Charge, and oblige me to all the duty which I owe to my Charge and cannot pay to all Men, and he that will claim a Vote in choosing the Bishop, &c. And if of old one of your mind had said, That every Traveller or Stranger, that cometh within the Room, may claim the Sacrament without any Li­terae Communicatoriae, upon his bare word, the Bishops or Churches would not have believed you; so singular are you in all this.

You tell us, God hath made no such Corporations, and every Christian is a Freeman, &c. Ans. But how shall I know whether every Stranger that cometh in be a Christian, or was ever Baptized? Or be not a Heretick Excommunicate by other Chur­ches? Or if I am able to do the Office of a Pa­stor but for 500, and thousands more will come and claim it?

§ 9. Another of my Errors is, that Parish Chap­pels and Oratories, are no true Churches. Ans. You should not thus become an Incendiary, by preten­ding things that you will not first understand: Where do I say what you affirm? I say, That there may be several Chappels that are but parts of one Church. 2. And I say, That if a Bishop be Es­sential to a Church, then none below a Diocess is a Church; and therefore that they that so affirm, do put down all Parish Churches and turn them into meer Chappels and Oratories, which are but parts of a Church. 3. I never said, That if a [Page 166] place called in English a Chappel (yea, if a Barn, or Field, or Ship,) have such a Pastor and People meeting, as a Church must be Constituted of, that they are no true Church. 4. But if such Pastors and People related as one Church, are by Perse­cution forced to meet in several Houses, or the Sick, Weak, or Distant, to meet sometime at a Chappel, or without a true Pastor; if a Deacon pray with some of them in a House, or Oratory, this maketh not a Church Political, in the sense that I told you I used that word in; but in ano­ther (Equivocal) sense it may be called a Church, and so a Family may be.

If this be false you should have confuted it, and not wrangle in the Dark.

§ 10. You say that I blame the Bishops for putting down all the Parish Bishops and Churches— when I my self do no less by putting down all the Chapple Ministers, Chappel Meetings and Oratories, and denying them to be proper Pastors and Churches. Ans. All false, or a meer Game at Equivocal words: The word Chappel usually signifieth a place for the Assembling of some small part of a Church, with a Curate, or Houshold Chaplain, who hath only power to Preach and Pray, (and sometimes to give the Sacrament) but not to Govern: Sometime a Chappel may have a Governing Pastor, and Peo­ple subject to him in that relation, and differeth but in name from the Parish Church. It is a meer Chappel or Oratory, in the common sense, which I say is not a Political Church.

The falshood of your pretended parity of the Cases I prove: Those Congregations which are Constituted of Ministers of different Species, are [Page 167] not of the same Species and Definition: But meer Oratories, or Chappels, which have no Pastors that have the power of the Keys for Government, and Parish Churches which have such Pastors according to the Divine Institution, are constituted of Mini­sters of different Species: Ergo, They are not of the same Species and Definition (as you affirm.)

2. Those Assemblies which intentionally meet but as parts of the lowest Political Church, and those that intentionally meet as the whole or main Body of that Political Church, are not of the same Spe­cies and Definition. (No more than a Squadron, and a Captain's Company, or Troop; or a Fami­ly, and a Village or Town.) But, &c.

If Bishops deny all the Lord's Chaplains to have the governing power of the Keys, and their Fa­mily-Chappels to be true Political Churches of the same Species and Definition with a Diocesan Church, or a Parochial; do you confute them if you can, I cannot. But if I prove that every Parochial, or other proper Political Church infimae Speciei, should by Divine Order have a Pastor that hath the governing power of the Keys, and the Bishops de­ny them any such, and will have but one such in a Diocess; do you defend them if you can, I can­not: Nor are these Cases the same.

§ 11. My next Error, ‘He cannot tell whether I hold or no: But it seems I do; against compelling Men to take whom the Magistrate please for their Pastors: For I make Covenanting Essential, as be­tween a Husband and Wife; likening the Church Universal to a Kingdom, and particular Churches to Cities and Corporations.’] And here he talks of the Corporation Oath, and exclaimeth [‘Is [Page 168] this the way of curing Church Divisions? And is this the true and only way of Concord?’

Ans. Had you published and proved to us a bet­ter way, I hope we should have been thankful; and so will I, if you will truly shew me the Errors of the way that I commended. 1. He that hath read my Books which plead for no Oaths, nor for any Covenanting, but exprest consent to the Rela­tions and Offices, will perhaps think that here you were tempted to Injustice at the least.

2. Is not the Church Universal Christ's King­dom? I rather liken it to a Kingdom, than to the World, because (whatever you think) I think it is not by Christ subdivided into many particular Kingdoms as the World is, but only into many particular Churches, keeping necessary Concord, (and Obedience to Magistrates.) It is not one sort only that militate against the Cure of Divisions, by true Concord; but I am sorry that you are become one. Let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.

§ 12. He saith, [It is Qualification that maketh Christians.] Ans. No Qualifications without Con­sent and Covenanting with Christ.

And [‘It is Qualification and just Ordination, which makes Christian Pastors and Ministers at large.’] Ans. Do you confute me by repeating my one words? And (saith he) [‘It is their being placed by the Magistrate in the several Parishes, which makes them Pastors by Office, and relation to all the Christian Souls in the Pa­rishes respectively.’—If Iesus Christ shall by the Hand of the Magistrate set a faithful Minister in the Parish, he becomes as to Office and Right a Pa­stor, [Page 169] a Guide, a Minister, and Teacher to their Souls. If they receive him not, they are Rebels and Traytors against Christ, and are no longer Christian People, save as an Adulterous Wife, &c.]

Ans. Alas, where can we say a Man will stop when he is once tumbling down the Hill!

1. Why, did you think your bare word should serve for this? That it is Jesus Christ that made this the Office of the Magistrate?

2. Is it all Magistrates, or some only that have this Power, and Jesus Christ chooseth us Pastors by? If but some, what the better are we for your Discourse, if you tell us not how to know them?

And, 3. Will you not then put the People up­on a harder and more perilous Task, to judge of all Magistrates fitness for this Trust, than it would be to judge of their Pastor.

4. If it be all, then Heathens and Turks must choose Christians their Pastors. If you say, It is all Christian Magistrates, then the Protestants in France are Rebels and not Christians, for refusing Papists Priests: If it be not Papists, who are they? Must all receive Lutherans, or Socinians, or Anabaptists, or such like Pastors that live under Imposing Prin­ces of those minds?

5. Why do you limit it to [faithful Ministers] who must judge of their Faithfulness and Qualifi­cations? If the Magistrate, Papists, Socinians, Pro­phane Magistrates, or Heretical, will judge as they are. If the People, we are wheeled about to that which is resisted: And then, When is it that they must judge, before they receive him, or after? If before, then must they have trial of him, or take all for (Faithful) that are ordained by a Bishop? or [Page 170] that Being Strangers, they know no harm by him? or all the Patrons present? If so, we come to the forementioned Misery. If they must receive them first, and try them after, and depart from them when they shew themselves unfaithful; then the People must either depose their Pastors, or separate: And most that separate from the Parish Churches, do it as thinking the Ministers unfaithful: And is this your Cure of Church-divisions? And if never Preaching be a proof of the Unqualified, the Canon forbids us to go from such. And in some Countrys there are none within reach to go to from them: And if there be, the Canon suspendeth them if they receive one to their Communion, that goeth from a Non-preaching Minister.

6. Did any one Church on Earth receive a Pa­stor by the Magistrates imposition for the first 300 Years? Or had not the Churches then rightly cal­led Pastors?

7. Did not the Orthodox Churches commonly refuse Bishops, which Valens, and such Erroneous Emperors set over them?

8. Were not Parish Ministers chosen by the Bi­shops and People, and not by Magistrates for 1400 Years in all known Churches in the World? It was but the Patriarchs at first that were imposed on the People by the Emperors; and afterwards when the Henrys contended with the Pope, it was not for choice of Priests, but for the Investiture of Bishops and Abhots only; and in this they left the choice to the People and Clergie, and pleaded but for Investi­ture per baculum & annulum; so that for ought I know, Magistrates never imposed Priests on Parish Churches till the Reformation: And since then, be­sides [Page 171] Helvetia and Belgia, it is but few that do it. And even in England, it is not done by Magistracy, but by Patrons presenting, and Diocesan Prelates In­stituting. So that if this be Christ's Way of ma­king Pastors to particular Churches, there were no true Pastors or Churches for 300 Years, and per­haps none, or next none for 1400 Years in Pa­rishes: And if this Doctrine be true, the Catholick Christians in many Princes Reigns that rejected im­posed Bishops (if that were as bad as rejecting Pa­rish Priests) were Rebels and Traytors against Christ, and no Christians. And whether he so Stigmatize not the Universal Church for want of such Recep­tion of Priests, in almost all Ages, I wish him to consider. And whether that be like to be a better way of Concord, which he and few such in the end of the World devise, to the condemning of the Churches of all the former Ages, that never had any such Concord?

9. Hereby also he leaveth the Tolerated Chur­ches in France, Germany, and all the Greek Chur­ches, and Copties, and Syrians, &c. that are under adverse Princes, to be without Pastors sent in the way of Christ's Appointment. (And yet vouchsa­feth not to name one Text where Christ ever Ap­pointed it.)

10. And when he maketh all in a Parish to be the Pastors Flock, or Charge, that are Christians, he condemneth those Canons that ordained, that if Any Bishop convert not the Hereticks in his City, they shall be his Flock who doth convert them; and all that have had two Churches in one Parish. Or else he maketh Parish Priests to be Pluralists, and if there be many Chappels and Churches in his Pa­rish, [Page 172] he is the Pastor to them all: And yet he never tells us whether the Chappel Priest be also Pastor of the rest of the Parish: And if so, whether each be to Govern distinctly, or one subordinately as Governed by the other; Or whether both must agree, each being but part of the Governing power.

11. The same Man saith, That multitudes of Parishioners are Rebels, Traytors, and no Christians, &c. and yet that we must give them all the Sacrament if demanded. For multitudes demand the Sacra­ment to satisfie Law and Custom, who declare that they take not the Priest for their Pastor, nor as Au­thorized by Christ; and multitudes that know not what Christianity or a Sacrament is, and will not speak with the Minister about it.

12. Did not he say before, that the Man cannot be their Pastor without his own and the Peoples con­sent? And yet the Magistrate may make me a Pa­stor to the Parish? What? Whether I will or not? Am I also a Rebel, Traytor, and no Christian, if I refuse? What if the Parish have 60000, or 40000 Souls, and I am not able to do a Pastor's Office for 500? What if I think it is a Sin to be obtruded on dissenting unwilling People? And if my Dissent do not Unchristen me, why doth the People's Unchristen them? The Lord pity us, we need no Enemies but our selves to seduce us and destroy; nor any to make the most odious Schisms than the decryers of Schism. What Schismatick doth condemn so many Christians and Churches, as this Censure? I can scarce except Mr. Dodwel, whom in his last Book he called an odd disowned Man.

§ 13. He tells us after of the Pastor's Duty to [Page 173] teach Publickly, and from House to House: And yet it's no Church but when Assembled; and he hath equal charge of all Christians (though Papists) in the Parish.

§ 14. He saith, [No thing cuts off from a Church particular, but what cuts off from Christ, Christia­nity, and the Church Universal.]

Ans. 1. What if a Man disown only the Pastor of that Church? 2. What if he will not joyn with them in the Liturgy, or Mode of Worship there used? 3. What if that Church be Nestorians, or Eutychians, or Papists, and he separates from them, or they cast him out? 4. What if he remove his Dwelling?

§ 15. Next I am censured for demanding the People of Kederminster's consent to my Ministry, and their Church Relation. And he will now be distinct, and maketh Answers to `distinct Questions for them: But never tells us whether such Answers had been true or false, if they had given them.

His first Question is, [Do we take you to have the just qualifications of a Pastor?] And the An­swer is, [Learning is one qualification of which the Ignorant are incompetent Iudges: And for Wisdom, Holiness, and Ministerial skill of Fidelity, you are to make proof of them: This is to be answered some Years after, and not ask before-hand.]

And so under Papists, Socinians, prophane Impo­sers, you are to take all as Wise, Holy, Faithful, till some Years after you find them otherwise. Here he expoundeth his former words, for rejecting the un­qualified and unfaithful. But who shall be judge at some Years after?

His second Question is, [Do we take you to be [Page 174] duly ordained?] And the Answer is, [We are bound to judge those to be justly Ordained which are so reputed, and we have no reason to suspect.]

Ans. 1. But whose reputation is it that you rest on? Half the Parish say, you are not justly ordained but by a Bishop: The other half say, you are justly ordained by Presbyters: You falsifie, if you feign them all of a mind. 2. And who knows how to define and bound your [Reasons of Suspicion?] 3. The Canons and Bi­shops say, you have sorfeited your License if you con­form not; and without a License you may not Preach. 4. And if you will question no mens orders, you will have many Lay-Pastors.

To his 3d Quest. he answereth, [We question not your presentation.] Ans. And yet it is the Magistrate that must impose Ministers, and in times of Usurpation he feigneth them to be unquestioned. The sum hither­to is, We must take any Man for our Pastor, that is Or­dained and presented. But what if I knew that multi­tudes do not so, doth it make them of that Church be­cause they should consent and do not? Of 1800, or 2000 only 600 would come to the Sacrament, (though they usually heard) unless all the rest would receive it kneeling and administred by the Liturgy, though they were left free to use that Gesture themselves; and withal they were told that we had not a Bishops license.

The 4th Quest. is, [If we take you alone for our Pa­stor?] And it's answered, [We know of no other in view but you.] Ans. All these are Fictions. 1. I never de­sired nor consented to be their Pastor, but to be one of three. 2. I agreed with them in the Town-Hall publickly in writing, to undertake only a Lecture which I had before the War, in conjunction with another that should have the Presentation or Sequestration. And yet honest Mr. Durel tells the World that it was a rich Be­nefice given me for my Service under Cromwel, (who would never endure me to speak to him.) 3. There were three Competitors: One an old Vicar, that (somehow) preacht once a Quarter, that had the Pre­sentation and was Sequestred. (1. I will not tell you here for what.) 2. His Curate sequestred and remo­ved. 3. An old Chappel Curate, grosly ignorant and vicious, that lived by unlawful Marrying.

4. And by all this you determine that of three of us, [Page 175] none was Pastor but only that one that had the Presen­tation; and so you depose all other Curates not presen­ted. And yet the Chappels that have such Curates put in only by the Parsons are true Churches; such are your frequent Contradictions.

Sect. 16. Next as a meek Questioner, he askt me, Why I will not baptize their Infants, if I take them for Christians and Parishioners? He saith after, [If they make not a tolerable profession of Christianity in the pub­lick Assembly, they produce no valid claim, we are not to admit them.] Ans. I suppose there are in the three next Parishes here, 80000 Persons whom the Pastors ne­ver had any other account of, as to their knowledg, but by their coming to Church (and half of them that rare­ly come.) And those of us that have talkt with almost all our Parishioners, find that multitudes know not what Christianity or a Sacrament is: A man about 80 years old in Kederminster said, Christ was the Sun, and the Holy Ghost the Moon: Is standing up at the Creed then, or sitting in the Church a tolerable profession? Hobbes and his followers would do the same. 2. But what obligation is on me to baptize all the Children of those that take me for none of their Pastor? The Parish may have 20000 more than I am able to do the Pastoral Office for: I cannot tell whether they come to Church or not: If they do, they are strangers to me; some come into the Parish and others go out, and many are Lodgers: And he that as a Pastor is to Bap­tize, is also to do abundance more, to Catechize, visit the Sick, the Poor, &c. Am I bound to impossibilities for every stranger that I never knew? Nor can I know so much as whether he be Christened, or be indeed a Parishioner? Yea, a Church with you is only a present Assembly: What if these persons assemble not, or but twice or thrice a Year? What if Travellers be that day of the Church? Bishop Taylor saith (Pref. of Repen.) No one can give account of those that he knoweth not.

Sect. 17. His talk of the Tares again deserveth no an­swer, but [read Expositors.] His repeated insinuation by the word [Oaths, and Covenants] tell us that a good man may become un insinuater of Calumnies.

His two Conclusions, pag. 55. from my words are, 1. That they are no Churches that want this cementing Covenant. Ans. They are none that are not so related [Page 176] by consent expressed, by one way or other: If you turn this into [cementing Covenant] when you had newly cited my express denial, that express Covenanting was necessary, ad esse, it's worse than Ceremony, which you are already come to think lawful.

The 2d Concl. is, [The Churches that have it not in the most plain obliging way are defective, spotted, and ill-fa­voured,] because I said that the more express way is laudable ad bene esse: As if all were called spotted and ill-favoured, that want any thing laudable ad bene esse, (And will Christ take away his Churches spots and wrinkles, Ephes. 6. when there were none?)

And he saith, [This he calls the true and only way of the Churches Concord.] As if every word in the Book were called [the true and onely Way.] [‘It rather tend­eth (saith he) to Discord, and to make every single Mini­ster a Pope, or Church-tyrant, and to make Churches Schismatical and traiterous Combinations, dividing themselves from all other Churches and Christians,’ &c.]

Ans. 1. And yet he before said himself, that the un­willing cannot be Pastor and Flock: And is not this the same? 2. Thus all Christ's Churches that ever I read of for 300, yea, a 1000 Years, are Stigmatized, who still made expressed consent necessary. 3. A Pope is one that claimeth Soveraignty over all the Church on Earth: Doth he do so that taketh none for his Flock, but Consenters? 4. Which is liker Tyranny, not to pre­tend to Government over any but Volunteers, or to say, I will Govern you whether you will or not? 5. Is it Dividing and Schism, to know my Flock as Consen­ters, and not to take other Mens Flocks Sine literis Communicat [...]riis, as oft as they will dwell or lodg in my Parish? The words [Oaths,] and [Covenants] are oft again so mentioned by him, and his profession; that he hath the Episcopal and Presbyterian on his side, and other untruths so rashly uttered, that I am hearti­ly grieved for the success of his Temptation: And whether he or I be Schismatical, and differ from the Ancient Churches, I refer the Reader to my Abridg. of Church History, and to my Citations in my Book of Right to Sacraments: My Preface to Mr. Rawlet's Book of the Sacrament, confutes some of his Intimations. I thank God that I am going to a more peaceable World.

FINIS.

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