AN ASSERTION OF The Government of the Church OF SCOTLAND, IN The points of Ruling-Elders, and of the Authority of Presbyteries and Synods.

With a Postscript in answer to a Treatise lately published against Presbyteriall Government.

Gesta Purgat. Caecil. & felic.

Adhibete Conclericos & Seniores plebis Ecclesiasticos viros, & inquirant diligenter que sint istae dissensiones.

August. epist. 118.

Quorum (conciliorum) est in Ecclesia saluberima authoritas.

Edinburgh, Printed for Iames Bryson, 1641.


IT is high time for those who have been long praying for the peace of Hierusalem, and with bleeding hearts have beheld the sorrowes of Sion, now to be­stirre themselves with an extraordinary diligence, and to contribute their most serious and uncessant endeavours, for the setling of these present commotions about Church affairs, in such a manner, that the sacred twins, Truth and Peace, may both cohabit under own roofe▪ and that this great and good work of Reformation may not be blasted in the bird, nor fade in the flourish, but may be brought forward to that full maturity, which shall afford a har­vest of joy to us, and to all the Churches of God.

One controversie there is about the government of the Church, and it is of such consequence, that were it well resolved upon, and rightly agreed, it should facilitate a right resolution in other matters which are in question. Now because longum iter per praecepta, breve per exempla, the way is long by precepts, short by platforms; therefore I have carefully observed the policie and government of o­ther reformed Churches. And because the nearnesse of relation swayeth my affection at least half a thought more unto that which is Scotlands (caeteris paribus) then unto that which is more remote from us, therfore I was most so­licitous to see a delineation of the government of that fa­mously reformed neighbor Church; wch when I had read, & read over again, I did conclude with my self, that if these two points at which most exception is taken, I mean the office of ruling Elders, and the authoritie of Presbyters and Synodes, which also are things common to the other [Page] reformed Churches) could be upon good grounds main­tained, there is no other thing of any moment to be ob­jected against it.

And with these thoughts I was so tossed, that I could not rest satisfied with the Quid wi [...]hout the Quare, but did conceive as great languor and desire for a demonstra­tion of that form of Church government, as before I had for a declaration of the same. Whereupon I have purcha­sed to my self from Scotland this ensuing Treatise which having fully satisfied my owne minde in the asserting of those most controverted points, I have resolved to com­municate and publish the same unto others, for the reasons following.

First, for the satisfaction of such as do through igno­rance or mistaking stumble at such a form of Ecclesiasti­call government: I do not much marvell to see those that a [...]e of a simple understanding, so far conquered, as to scru­ple the office of ruling Elders,Bishop Hall his assertion of E­piscopacie by Divine right. having heard the big words and lavish expressions of some opposites against the same; yet a poor peece it is which one of them would usher in with a tinckling Epistle, in which ‘Projicit ampullas & sesquipedalia verba.’ He maketh offer to forfeit his life to justice, and his re­putation to shame; if any living man can shew that e­ver there was a ruling Elder in the Christian world, till F [...]rell, and Viret first created them. I shall not desire to take him at his word for his life, but if he be not able to give a satisfactory answer unto that which is here sayd both from Scripture, and from antiquity for ruling El­ders, then hath he given sentence against his own reputa­tion for ever. And so much the more, that having in that assertion of Episcopacie boldly averred, [...]ag. 208.209.2 [...]1. that the name of the Elders of the Church, in all antiquity compre­hendeth none but Preachers and Divines; and that ther­fore none but they may be called Seniores Ecclesiae, though some others happily may have the title of Seniores populi, [Page] because of their civill authority; notwithstanding the reading of the observations of Iustellus, and of both the Cassaubons, Pag. 146. hath now so farre changed his tone, that in his late answer to [...]mectymnuus, he acknowledgeth that beside Pastors and Doctors, and beside the Magistrates or Elders of the Cities, there are to be found in antiquity, Seniores Ecclesiastici, Ecclesiasticall Elders also; only he alleadgeth they were but as our Church-wardens, or ra­ther as our Vestry-men: whereas indeed they were Judges in Ecclesiasticall controversies, and (in some sort) instru­ctors of the people, as shall be made to appeare▪ Meane while we do observe what trust is to be given to this bold Speaker, who hath beene forc [...]d to yeeld, what he had be­fore with high swelling words denied.

Another Instance of the same kinde is to be noted in his Remonstrance, when he speaketh of the prescript forms of prayer, which the Jewish Church had ever from the dayes of Moses, wherewith also Peter, and Iohn when they went up into the Temple at the ninth hour of Pray­er did joyn;Pag. 11. to make good his allegiance, he addeth, the forms whereof are yet extant and ready to be produced. Yet this he handsomely eateth up in his defence;Pag. 17.18. where he gives us to understand, that those set forms of prayer are indeed specified by Capellus, a writer of our owne Age; but that the book it selfe which contained these prayers, is perished a thousand years ago. Well, he is now con­tent to say that once those forms were extant; and this (forsooth) he will prove from a certain Samaritan Chro­nicle in the custodie of his faithfull friend the Primate of A [...]mach; wherein he hath found a story which transpor­teth him as much as the invention of the demonstration did Archimedes, when he cried [...], I have found it, I have found it. Yet—cred [...]t Iudaeus apella, Non ego—But this lyeth not now in my way. Only (till a full answer be ready, I thought it not amisse to give some taste of the mans vaine arrogant humour, whose best [Page] weapons are great words. As for his last record which he fetcheth from Abrahamus Scultetus, against ruling El­ders; all that and much more hath been, and here shall be abundantly confuted.

Others there be who call in question the power and authority of Ecclesiasticall Presbyteries, and of Synods, against which also some few Pens have been put to paper and have passed a censure no lesse hard then unseasonable, which (me thinks) might well have been spared, unlesse: there had been stronger and more convincing reasons for it. These I shall beseech, that with minds voyd of preju­dice, they take into consideration the second part of this Treatise, written with no heat nor sharpnesse of words, but with plainnesse, and strength of reason: And withall I shall expect that they will not think the worse of the Author, for being ready to answer him that asketh a rea­son of him, or for writing a justification of the govern­ment of the Church of Scotland, to such as did desire to be more throughly resolved concerning the same; but that rather they will make use hereof, as a key by divine Providence put into their hands, to open a doore unto further light.

Secondly, there is so much the more reason for asserting those two points, by how much they have beene mainly opposed by Sathan; for he it was whose cunning convey­ance of old, made the office of ruling Elders to come into dessuetude, through the sloth, or rather the pride of the Teachers, as Ambrose complaineth; and yet time hath not so obliterate that ancient order,In 1 Tim. 5. but that the footsteps of the same are yet to be seen in our Officialls, Chancel­lors, Commissaries, Church-wardens, and High-Com­mission men, yea at Rome it selfe, in the Cardinalls. The same old Serpent it was whose instigation made Licinius whiles he did intend the totall ruine of the Church, to fall upon this as the most effectuall means for his purpose, that he should straightly inhibit all counsells, meetings, [Page] and con [...]erencies concerning the affairs of the Church. By which meanes the Christians of his time were drawne into one of two snares. Aut enim legem, &c. for saith Eusebius, De vit [...] Const. [...] lib. 1. cap. 44. either it behoved us to be obnoxious to punishment by violating the Law, or to overthrow the Rites and Ordi­nances of the Church, by giving obedience in that which the Law did command: for great and waighty deliberations undertaken about things controverted, cannot proceed in any other manner or way, but by the right managing of Councels. The Arminians in the Netherlands, found out another of Sathans wiles; they were not able to hinder the assemb­ling of a free and lawfull Synod, but for their next best, they required of the Synod of Dort twelve conditions,Vide actae Syno. Dord. Sess. 25. and the ninth was; that there should not be in that Synod any determination or decree concerning the matters in controversie, but only an accommodation or conference, and that still it should be free to the particular Churches, to accept, or to reject the judgement of the Synod: this was a way of endlesse controversie, and justly cried down in the Synod.

Moreover, Satan ever wise in his own principles, find­ing the Church of Scotland, like an invincible Sampson, by reason of such a constitution and gove [...]nment, as being preserved in integritie, could neither admit heresie, nor schisme, did make use of the Prelacie as his traiterous Da­lilah, to betray that Sampson, into the hands of the now adverse P [...]ilistines the Papists, by stealing away both their ruling Elders, and the authority of their Presbyteries, and Synods: for he had well observed, that in these two things did their great strength lye, and that without these two, the Ministers of the Word being like so many scopae dissolut [...], both sparsed, and by themselves alone might easily be brought under the yoke. When thus the Ro­mish-affected Dalilah had taken away their strength from them, she was bold to u [...]t [...]r her insulting voice in the Ser­vice-book, and book of Canons, The Philistines be upon [Page] thee Sampson, The Papists be upon thee Scotland. In this case they did not (as Sampson then) presume that the Lord was with them as at other times; they knew he was de­parted from them:Psal. 80 14 15. They cried out, Return we beseech thee O God of Hosts, look down from Heaven, behold and visit this Vine, and the Vineyeard which thine own right hand hath planted. [...]er. 50.5. They did again ask the way to Sion with their fa­ces thitherward, saying come, and let us joyn our selves to the Lord in a perpetuall Covenant that shall not be forgotten. And now (glory be to the great Name of God, in the Church throughout all generations) they have by his healing hand quickly recovered their strength.Whittak contr. 3. de concil. quaest 1. Strength I may well call it, for sayth a learned Divine, as in things which are done by bodily strength, so in things which are mana­ged by counsells, vis unita fortior, power being put to­gether is the stronger: and in this he doth agree with Bellarm.; that though God by his absolute power can pre­serve his Church without Synods; yet according to ordi­nary providence, they are necessary for the right govern­ment of the Church. The interweaving and combining of strength, by joyning the ruling Elders of every Con­gregation, with the Pastor, or Pastors thereof into a par­ticular Eldership, by joyning also Commissioners, Pa­stors, and E [...]ders, from many particular Elderships, ordi­narily into a classicall Presbytery, and more solemnly pro­vinciall Synod.Cant. 6.4▪ Finally, by joyn [...]ng Commissioners, Pa­stors, and Elders▪ from many classicall PPresbyteries, into a Nationall Assembly; this doth indeed make a Church beautifull as Tirza, comely as Ierusalem, terrible as an Ar­mie with Banners.

It is not to be expected, but this forme of Church go­vernment, shall still be disliked by some (whose dislike shall notwithstanding the more commend it to all pious minds) I mean by prophane men, who escape not with­out censure under Presbyteries, and Synods, as they did under the Prelacie; by hereticks, who cannot finde fa­vour [Page] with a Nationall Synod of many learned and godly▪ men, as they did with a few Popish Prelats: by Matcha­vellians also, who do foresee that Presbyteriall Synodicall government, being conformed not to the Lesbian rule of humane authority, but to the inflexible rule of Divine Institution, will not admit of any Innovations in Reli­gion,Psal. 64 3. be they never so conduceable to politicall in­tentions.

Some there be who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bowes to shoot their arrows, even bitter words. They would wound both the office of ruling Elders, and the authority of Presbyteries and Synods,Math. 22.21. with this hate­ful imputation, that they are in consistent with the honor and Prerogative of Princes. Sure I am, when our Savi­our saith, Render unto C [...]esar the things which are Caesars, and unto God the things which are Gods; he doth plainly insinuate, that the things which are Gods, need not to hinder the things which are Caesars. And why shall it be forgotten, that the Prelates did assume to themselves all that power of determining controversies; making Ca­nons, ordaining, suspending, deposing, and excommu­nicating, which now Presbyteries and Synods do claime as theirs by right. To me it appeareth a grand mistery, and worthy of deliberation in the wise Consistory of Rome: That the power of Presbyteries and Synods be­ing meerly Ecclesiasticall, being rightly used, and no­thing incroaching upon the civill power, is notwithstand­ing an intollerable prejudice to Kings and Princes. But the very same power in Prelates, though both abused, and mixed with civill power, is not (for a [...]l that prejudiciall to Soveraignty.

Yet if the fear of God cannot moli [...]ie the tongues of th [...]se men, one would think that they should be brideled with respect to the Kings most excellent Majestie, who hath been gra [...]iously pleased to approve and ratifie the present government of the Church of Scotland, perceiving ( [...] [Page] tru [...]) that Gods honour, and his honour, Gods Lawes, and his Lawes may well subsist together.

Lastly, as in publishing this assertion I intend to satisfie the scrupulous,Rom. 14 23. and to put to silence the malicious; so also to confirm the consciences of such as are friends and savourers to the right way of Church government. What­soever is not of faith i [...] sin, saith the Apostle, yea though it be in a matter otherwise indifferent: how much more is it necessary that we halt not in our judgement concerning the government of the Church, but walk straight, in the plerophory and full assurance of the same, from the war­rants of the word of God; I say againe from the war­rants of the word of God, for as it is not my meaning to commend this forme because it is Scotlands, Phil. 1.9. so I hope assuredly that my Country-men will not dispise Gods Ordinance, because it is Scotlands practice, but rather follow them in so far as they follow Christ and the Scrip­ture. This therefore I pray, [...]. Tim. 2.7. that thy love may abound yet more and more, in knowledge and in all judge­ment, that thou maiest approve the things that are excellent. Consider what I say, and the Lord give thee understanding in all things, Amen.

THE CONTENTS OF the first part of this Treatise.

CHAP. I. Of the words Elder, Lay-Elder, Ruling-Elder.

FOure significations of the word Elder in Scripture. Of the nickname of Lay-Elders. That the Popish distin­ction of the Clergie, and the Laity ought to be banished. Of the name of Ruling-Elders, and the reason thereof.

CHAP. II. Of the function of Ruling-Elders, and what s [...]re of officers they be.

OF the distinction of Pastors, Doctors, Elders, and Deacons. Of the behaviour and conuersation of Ruling-Elders. Of the distinction of the power of Order and of jurisdiction. That the Ruling-Elder his power of jurisdiction, is to sit and voice in all the Consistories and Assemblies of the Church. That his power of order, is to do by way of authority those duties of edification, which every Christian is bound to do by way of charity.

CHAP. III. The first argument for Ruling-Elders taken from the Iewish-Church.

THat we ought to follow the Jewish Church in such things as they had not for any speciall reason proper to them, but as they were an Ecclesiasticall Republike. That the Elders among the Jews did sit among the Priests and voice in their Ecclesiasticall Courts, according to Baravias own confession, but were not their [...] will Magi­strates as he alleadgeth. Bilsons objections answered.

CHAP. IV. The second Argument taken from Math. 18.17.

WHat is the meaning of these words, Tell the Church? Why the Presbytery may be called the Church. Our argument from this place for Ruling-Elders.

CHAP. V. The third Argument taken from Rom. 12.8.

THe words Rom. 12.8. expounded. That by him that ru [...]eth, is meant the Ruling-Elder. The objections to the contrary answered.

CHAP. VI. The fourth Argument taken from 1 Cor. 12.28.

TH [...]t by governments the Apostle meaneth ruling-El­ders. Two glosses given by our opposites confuted.

CHAP. VII. The fi [...]st Argument taken from 1 Tim. 5.17.

OUr Argument from this place vindicated against [...]en false glosses devised by our opposites.

CHAP. VIII. The testimony of Ambrose for Ruling-Elders vindicated.

NO certain ground alledged against the authority of those Commentaries upon the Epistles ascribed to Ambrose. Other answers made by our opposites to the place upon 1 Tim. 5. confuted.

CHAP. IX. Other Testimonies of Antiquitie.

TEstimonies for Ruling-Elders out of Tertullion, Cyprian, Epiphanius, B [...]sil, Chrysostome, Hierome, Eu­s [...]bius, Augustine, Origen, Isidore, the first counsell of T [...] ­lido. Other testimo [...]ies observed by Iustellus, and Voe­tius. Bilsons answer confuted.

CHAP. X. The consent of Protestant Writers, and the confession of our op­posites for Ruling-Elders.

CItat [...]ons of sundry Protestant writers to this purpose. This truth hath extorted a confession from W [...]itgist, [Page] Saravia, Sultiffe, Camero, and M. Io. Wemys of Craigtown.

CHAP. XI. Dr. Fields five arguments against ruling-Elders, answered.

HIs first reason, that no foot-step of Ruling-Elders for many hundreth years could be found in any Chri­stian Church, answered five waies. Footsteps of Ruling-Elders in the Church of England. His second reason an­swered. That we ought to judge of the Officers of the Church, not from 1 Tim. 3. only, but from that and other places compared together. His third reason answered by the c [...]rtain bounds of the power of Ruling-Elders. His fourth reason answered by the distinction of the Ecclesia­stica [...]l Sanedrim of the Iewes, from their civill Sanedrim. His last reason concerning the names holdeth not.

CHAP. XII. The extravagancies of Whitegift, and Saravia, in the matter of ruling-Elders.

THe one alloweth of Ruling-Elders under an Infidell Magistrate, but not under a Christian Magistrate. The other alloweth of them under a Christian Magistrate, but not under an Infidell. That Ruling-Elders do not prejudge the power of the civill Magistrate, but the Pre­lacie doth, which confuteth Whitegift. That Christian Magistrates are not come in place of the Jewish Seniors, which confuteth Saravia.

CHAP. XIII. Whether ruling-Elders have the power of decisive voices when they they sit in Presbyteries and Synods.

THe affirmative proved by nine reasons. Two objecti­ons to the contrary answered. The place 1 Cor. 14.32. explained.

CHAP. XIIII. Of the Ordination of ruling-Elders. Of the continuance of their Office, and of their maintenance.

THat the want of the Imposition of hands in Ordina­tion, the want of maintainance, and the not conti­nuing [Page] alwaies in the [...]xercise of the Office, cannot be pre­judiciall to the Office it selfe of Ruling-Elders.

The Contents of the second Part.

CHAP. I. Of Popular government in the Church.

THat this question is necessary to be cl [...]red, before the question of the authority of Assemblies. That Jurisdiction ought not to be [...] by all the Members of a Congrega [...]ion, proved by [...] reasons. Objections answered. The controversie [...].

CHAP. II. Of the independencie of the Elderships of particular Con­gregations.

Dr. Fields question, wh [...]ther the power of Jurisdicti­on belongeth to the Eldership of every Congrega­tion, or to a common Presbytery made up out of many Congregations, answered by an eig [...]fold distinction. A thr [...]fold conformity of those Parishionall Elderships to the primitive pattern.

CHAP. III. Of great Presbyteries which some call Classes.

THree false gloss [...]s on 1 Tim. 4.14. confuted. That the Apostle [...] by the Presbytery a [...] Assembly of Presbyters. whereof also Fathers and Councels do speak. The warrant and authority of our Classicall Presbyteries declared both by good reasons, and by the Apostolicall patern: for assertion of the latter it is proved, 1. That in ma­ny of those Cities wherein the Apostles planted Christian religion, there was a greater number of christians then did or could ordinarily assemble into one place. 2. That in these Cities there was a plurality of Pastors. 3. That yet the whole within the City was one Church. 4. That the whole was governed by one common Presbytery. From all which a Corollary is drawne for these our Classicall Pres­byteries.

CHAP. IV. Of the authority of Sy [...]ds provinciall, and Nationall.

THat the power of Jurisdiction in the Synod, diffe­reth from the power of jurisdiction in the Presbyte­rie. The power of Jurisdiction in Synods is three-fold, dogmatick, diataktick, and critick; Whether the decrees of a Synod may be pressed upon such as professe scruple of conscience there anent.

CHAP. V. The first argument for the authority of Synods, and the subor­dination of Presbyteries [...]erto, taken from the light of nature.

THat the Church is a certain kinde of Republike, and in things which are common to her with other socie­ties, is guided by the same light of nature which guideth them, Of this kinde are her assemblies.

CHAP. VI. The second argument taken from Christs Institution.

THe will of Christ for the authority of Synods is shew­ed two waies. 1. Because else he hath not sufficiently provided for all the necessities of his Church. 2. He hath committed spirituall power and authority to the Assem­blies and Courts of the Church in generall, yet hath not determined in Scripture all the particular kinds, degrees, and bounds thereof, and that for three reasons. The parti­cular kinds of Synods appointed by the Church accord­ing to the light of nature, and generall warrant and rules of the word, are mixed, thogh not meer divine ordinances.

CHAP. VII. The third argument taken from the Iewish Church.

THat there were among the Jews a [...] least two Ecclesi­asticall Courts, the Synagogue, and the Sanedrim. That the power of the Synagogical con [...]istory was not ci­vill, but spirituall, proved against Sutliffe. That the Jews had a supream Ecclesiasticall Sanedrim, distinct from the civill Sanedrim, proved against the same Sutliffe, both from the institution therof, Deu [...]. 17. and from the restitu­tion, [Page] 2 Chron. 19. and from the practice, Ier. 26. The con­sequence of our argument, proved against such as deny it. That we ought to follow the Jewish Church in those things which it had, not as it was Jewish, but under the common respect and account of a politicall Church.

CHAP. VIII. The fourth argument taken from Acts 15.

THat we finde Acts 15. a Synode of the Apostles and Elders, with authority imposing their decrees upon many particular Congregations. Foure answers made to this argument found not to be satisfactory.

CHAP. IX. The sixt argument token from the Geometricall proportion.

THis argument from proportion doth hold, whether we compare the collectives of Churches among them­selves, or the representatives among themselves, or the representatives and collectives together.

CHAP. X. The sixt argument taken from necessitie.

THat without the authority of Synods, it is impossible to preserve unity, or to make an end of controversie. Other remedies declared to be ineffectuall.

CHAP. XI. Objections made against the authority of Synods answered.

THe place Math. 18.17. discussed. That one visible politicall Church may comprehend many Congrega­tions, proved. That the authority of Presbyteries and Sy­nods doth not rob the Congregations of their liberties, as the Prelacie did. A visible Church may be considered either metaphysically, or politically: This distinction ex­plained, serveth to obviat sundry arguments alledge [...] for the independent power of Congregations. Other two objections answered, which have been lately made.


CHAP. I. Of the words Elder, Lay Elder, Ruling Elder.

THE word Elder answe­reth to Zaken in the He­brew, & [...] in the Greek. It hath foure dif­ferent significations, 1. It noteth Age. 2▪ Antiqui­ty. 3. Venerability. 4. An office. In the first signification, Elder is op­posed to younger, as 1 Tim. 5.1. Rebuke not an [Page 2] Elder, but intreat him as a father, & the younger men as brethren, 1 Pet. 5.5. Likewise ye youn­ger submit your selves unto the Elder. In this sense was the Apostle Iohn called the Elder, because hee outlived the other Apostles, 2 Iohn 1. and 3. vers. 1. In the second signifi­cation Elder is opposed to Moderne, Mat. 15.2. Why doe thy Disciples transgresse the tradi­tion of the Elders. That is, of them of old time, Mat. 5.21. In the third signification we finde the word, Isa. 3. where the Lord saith, that he would take away from Israel the prudent and the ancient, vezaken; that is, the worthies among them, and such as were respected for wisedome. The same word, (and peradver­ture in the same sense) is turned Elder, Exod. 2.16. Eth-zikne Israel, the Elders of Israel. So the Spanish Seijor, the French Seigneur, the Italian Signore, all comming from the Latine Senior, signifie a man of respect, or one ve­nerable for dignity, gifts, prudence, or piety. Contrariwise, men of no worth, nor wise­dome, men despicable for lacke of gifts and understanding, are called Children, Isa. 3.4.12. Ephes. 4.14. But it is the fourth signifi­cation which we have now to do withall, and so an Elder is a spirituall officer, appoin­ted by God, and called to the government of the Church, Acts 14.23. When they had [Page 3] by voyces made them Elders in every Church. They have the name of Elders, because of the maturity of knowledge, wisedome, gifts and gravity, which ought to be in them: for which reason also the name of Senators was borrow­ed from Senes.

Before we come to speake particularly of those Elders of which our purpose is to treat, it is fit we should know them by their right name, lest wee nick-name and mis-call them. Some reproachfully and others ignorantly call them Lay Elders. But the distinction of the Clergie & Laity, is Popish and Antichri­stian; and they who have narrowly conside­red the records of ancient times, have noted this distinction as one of the grounds whence the mystery of iniquity had the beginning of it.Catal. test. verit. lib. 2. col. 98. O [...]iand. cent. 1. p. 8. The name of Clergie appropriate to Ministers, is full of pride and vaine-glory, and hath made the holy people of God to be despised, as if they were prophane and un­cleane in comparison of their Ministers.Loc. theol. [...].6. n. 37. Ge­rard likeneth those who take to themselves the name of the Clergie, to the Pharisees, who called themselves by that name: for that their holinesse did separate them from the rest of the Jewes: for this Etymologie of the name Pharisee, hee citeth Tertullian, Origen, Epiphanius, Ambrose, and confirmeth it from [Page 4] Luke 18.10. Hence was it that some Coun­cels discharged the Laity from presuming to enter within the Quire,Synod. Turon. 2. Can. 3. Syn. Constant. 6. can. 69. or to stand among the Clergie neere the Altar. Two reasons are alleadged why the Ministers of the Church should bee called [...]. First, be­cause the Lord is their Inheritance: secondly, because they are the Lords inheritance. Now both these reasons doe agree to all the faith­full people of God: For there is none of the faithfull, who may not say with David, Psal. 16.5. The Lord is the portion of my inheritance; and of whom also it may not bee said, that they are the Lords inheritance, or lot: for Peter giveth this name to the whole Church,Of Episcop. by divine right, pag. 2.12. 1 Pet. 5.3. Where (if it were need­full) we might chalenge Bishop Hall, who borroweth a glosse from Bellarmine and Gre­gorius de Valentia, telling us, that Peter char­geth his fellow Bishops not to dominier over their Clergie; so shutting out of the Text, both the duty of Pastors, because the Bishops onely are meant by Elders; and the benefit of the people, because the inferiour Pastors are the Bishops flocke, according to this glosse: for Peter opposeth the Lording over the [...], to being ensamples to the Flocke. Surely, if this Popish Glosse bee true, Prote­stants in their Commentaries and Sermons, [Page 5] have gone wide from that Text. But Mat­thias the Apostle was chosen by lot.Act. i.26. What then? By what reason doth the Ca­non law draw from hence a name common to all the Ministers of the Gospell?d. 21. ca. cleros Let [...] then banish from us such Popish names, and send them home to Rome.D [...] clerie. lib. 1. cap. 1. Bellarmin thought we had done so long ere now: for he maketh this one of his controverted heads: Whether wee may rightly call some Christians the Clergie, and others the Laity, or not, ascribing the negative to Protestants, the affirmative to the Church of Rome.

Yet beside the Clergy and the Laity,B [...]ll. prae fat. ante lib. de clerie. Pa­pists hold that there is a third sort in the Church distinct from both, whom they call Regulares. These are such of their religious orders, as are not taken up with contem­plation alone (like the Monkes) but with a­ction;Bell. lib. 2. de mon. cap. 1. such as the Dominicans, Franciscans, &c. Who helpe and assist the Clergy in their Ecclesiasticall imployments, though they themselves bee not admitted into any particular charge in the Church. Now hee who will needs side with the Papists in the distinction of Clergy and Laity, may also with them admit a third member of the di­stinction▪ and make ruling Elders of that sort; especially since the reason why the re­gular [Page 6] Chanoins are assumed as helpers to Parish Priests,In [...]t. 4. is propter multitudinem fidelis populi, & difficultatem inven [...]endi curatos suf­ficientes & idoneos, saith Cardinall Cajetan, adding further, male consultum populo Chri­stiano invenitur sine hujusmodi supplemento. Which reasons agree well to ruling Elders. For 1. Parishes containe so many, that the Minister cannot oversee all, and every one without helpe. 2. Sufficient and fit Ministers shall hardly bee every where found. 3. It is found by experience, that sinne and scandall are never well taken neede to, and redressed, where ruling Elders are not. To let all this passe, if any man will needs retaine the name of Lay Elders,De gub. ec [...]l. pag. 28. yet saith Gersomus Bucerus, What aspersion is that to our Churches? is it any other thing then that which Papists object to us for admitting Lay men into Councels? They who have place in the highest and most supreame assemblies of the Church, wherein the weightiest matters are determined, ought much more to be admit­ted into inferiour meetings, such as Presby­teries are.

But if we will speake with Scripture, wee shall call them Ruling Elders, Rom. 12.8. he that ruleth, 1 Tim. 5.17. Elders that rule well. They are called ruling Elders, non quia [Page 7] soli sed quia solum praesunt. Pastors rule the Church even as they doe; but Pastors doe something more, from which they may bee designed. Whereas the Elders of which wee are to speake, have no other imploy­ment, which can give them a designation, except the ruling of the Church onely. That wicked railer Lisim [...]chus Nicanor, who assu­med the name, but forgot to put on the vi­zorne of a Jesuit, in his congratulatory (I should say calumniatory) Epistle pag. 61. alledgeth that they are called ruling Elders, because the Ministers are their ruled Elders. If he were a Jesuit, he may remember that in their own society, besides their Priests, Do­ctors, Preachers, Confessionaries, &c. They have also Rectores, M. Elias Ha­sen mullerus. Hist. ordin. Je [...]. pag. 68. or Regentes; whose of­fice it is to see the rules of their order kept, to observe the behaviour of every one, & when they perceive any seeds of Heresie, to signifie the same to the Provinciall, and hee to the Generall. Yet are these Rectores among the lowest rankes of their officers, so that Jesu­ites need not stumble when wee call our El­dersruling Elders.

CHAP. II. Of the function of Ruling Elders, and what sort of Officers they be.

Lib. 4. dist. 4.NOtwithstanding, of all the multiplicity of Popish orders, yet Peter Lombard treading the vestiges of the primitive simpli­city, did observe that the Apostles left only two sacred orders to bee perpetuall in the Church, the order of Deacons, & the order of Elders. The administration of Deacons is exercised about things bodily. The ad­ministration of Elders about things spirituall. The former about the goods: the latter a­bout the government of the Church. Now Elders are of three sorts. 1. Preaching Elders, or Pastors. 2. Teaching Elders or Doctors. 3. Ruling Elders. All these are Elders, be­cause they have voice in Presbyteries, and all assemblies of the Church, and the govern­ment of the Church is incumbent to them all: nor onely to the Pastor and Elder, but to the Doctor also. The Bishop of Dune in his examen conjurationis Scoticae, p. 35. alledgeth, that our Church of Scotland did never yet determine whether Doctors and Deacons have right of voycing in the Consistories & [Page 9] Assemblies of the Church. But had he read our booke of Policie, hee might have found, that it excludeth Deacons from being mem­bers of Presbyteries and Assemblies, Cap. 8. but admitteth Doctors into the same, Cap. 5. The Doctor being an Elder, as said is, should as­sist the Pastor in the government of the Kirke; and concurre with the Elders, his brethren, in all Assemblies, by reason the Interpretation of the Word, which is onely Iudge in Ecclesiasticall matters, is committed to his charge. But they differ, in that the Pastor laboureth in the word of exhortation, that is, by the gift of wisedome applieth the word to the manners of his flocke, and that in season and out of season, as he knoweth their particular cases to require. The Doctor laboureth in the word of Doctrine, that is, without such applicati­ons as the Pastor useth, by simple teaching he preserveth the truth and sound interpreta­tion of the Scriptures, against all heresie and error. The ruling Elder doth neither of these, but laboureth in the government and policie of the Church onely. The Apostle hath distinguished these three sorts of El­ders, 1. Tim. 5.17. Let Elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the Word and Doctrine. Where, as Beza noteth, hee distinguisheth the Word, [Page 10] which is the Pastors part, from Doctrine, which is the Doctors part. Even as Rom. 12.7.8. hee distinguisheth teaching from exhor­tation: and 1 Cor. 12.8. putteth the word of wisedome, and the word of knowledge for two different things. Now beside those Elders which labour in the Word, and those which labour in Doctrine, Paul speaketh to Timothy of a third sort of Elders, which labour nei­ther in the Word nor Doctrine, but in ruling well. Hence it appeareth, how truely the Booke of Policie, Cap. 2. saith, That there are foure ordinary, perpetuall, and necessary Offices in the Church, the office of the Pa­stor, the Doctor, the Elder, and the Deacon: and that no other office, which is not one of these foure, ought to bee received, or suffered in the Church.

But when we speake of Elders, Non perso­natos, &c. we will not have disguised and hi­strionicall men, puffed up with titles, or idols dead in sinnes, to be meant, but holy men, who being indued with faith in God, and walking in his obedience, God authorising them, and the Church his Spouse chusing and calling them, undertake the government thereof, that they may labour to the conservation and edifica­tion of the same in Christ, Eccles. l. [...]. c. 3. saith Iunius. A ru­ling Elder should pray for the Spirit and gifts [Page 11] of his calling, that hee may doe the duties of his calling, and not bee like him that played the Souldan, but a Souter; hee must doe his office neither [...] and pro forma, hee himselfe being Parcus Deorum caltor & infre­quens; nor [...], doing all through conten­tion and strife about particulars.Meum & tuum. Si duo de nostras tollas pro nomina rebus, praelia (I may say Iurgia) cessarent, pax sine lite foret: Nor [...], Empiring and Lording among his brethren and fellow Elders;Matth. 20.26.27. Whosoever will bee great among you, let him bee your mini­ster; and whosoever will bee chiefe among you, let him be your servant, saith the onely Lord and Head of the Church: Nor yet [...], setting himselfe only to do a pleasure, or to get preferment to such as he favoureth; Nay, nor [...], onely by establishing good orders, and wholesome lawes in the Church, but he must carry himselfe [...], service­ably and ministerially: for as his Function is Officium and Iurisdictio, so it is Munus, a burdensome service and charge laid upon him.

That a ruling Elder may bee such a one as hee ought to bee, two sorts of duties are re­quisite, viz. duties of his Conversation, and duties of his Calling. The duties of his conversation are the same which the Apostle [Page 12] Paul requireth in the conversation of the Mi­nister of the Word,1. Tim. &c. 6.11. Tit. That he bee blamelesse, having a good report, not accused of riot, or unruly, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, a lover of good men, just, holy, temperate, not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre, not selfe-willed, not soone angry, but patient, not a brawler, not covetous, one that ruleth well his owne house, having his children in sub­jection, with all gravity, one that followeth after righteousnesse, godlinesse, faith, love, patience, meeknesse, &c. These and such like parts of a Christian and exemplary con­versation, being required of Pastors, as they are Elders, belong unto ruling Elders also. This being plaine, let us proceed to the du­ties of their calling.

For the better understanding whereof, we will distinguish with the Schoole-men, a two-fold power, the power of Order, and the power of Jurisdiction; which are diffe­rent in sundry respects. 1. The power of Or­der comprehendeth such things as a Mini­ster by vertue of his ordination, may doe without a commission from any Presbyterie, or Assembly of the Church, as to preach the Word, to minister the Sacraments, to celebrate marriage, to visite the sicke, to [Page 13] catechise, to admonish, &c. The power of Jurisdiction comprehendeth such things as a Minister cannot doe by himselfe, nor by vertue of his ordination; but they are done by a Session, Presbytery, or Synod; and sometimes by a Minister, or Mini­sters, having Commission, and authority from the same, such as ordination and ad­mission, suspension, deprivation and com­munication, and receiving againe into the Church, and making of Lawes and Consti­tutions Ecclesiasticall and such like; where­of we boldly maintaine, that there is no part of Ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction, in the power of one man, but of many met together in the name of Christ. 2. The power of Order is the radicall and fundamentall power, and maketh a Minister susceptive, and capable of the power of Jurisdiction. 3. The power of Order goeth no further then the Court of Conscience; the power of Jurisdiction is exercised in Externall and Ecclesiasticall Courts. Fourthly, the power of Order is sometime unlawfull in the use, yet not voide in it selfe. The power of Jurisdiction when it is unlawfull in the use, it is also voide in it selfe. If a Minister doe any act of Jurisdi­ction, as to excommunicate, or absolve with­out his owne parish, wanting also the consent [Page 14] of the Ministery and Elders of the bounds where he doth the same, such acts are voide in themselves, and of no effect. But if with­out his owne charge, and without the con­sent aforesaid, hee baptise an infant, or doe any such thing belonging to the power of Order, though his act be unlawfull, yet is the thing it selfe of force, and the Sacrament remaineth a true Sacrament.

Now to our purpose. We averre that this twofold power of Order and of Jurisdiction belongeh to ruling Elders as well as to Pa­stors. The power of Jurisdiction is the same in both; for the power and authority of all Jurisdiction belongeth to the Assemblies, and representative meetings of the Church, whereof the ruling Elders are necessary con­stituent members and have the power of decisive voycing no lesse then Pastors. How­beit the execution of some decrees enacted by the power of Jurisdiction belongeth to Ministers alone, for Pastors alone exercise some acts of Jurisdiction, as imposition of hands, the pronouncing of the sentence of ex­communication, the receiving of a penitent, &c. Are not these things done in the name and authority of some Assembly of the Church, higher or lower? Or are they any other then the executions of the decrees and [Page 15] sentences of such an Assembly wherein ru­ling Elders voyced. The power of Order alone shall, make the difference betwixt the Pastor and the ruling Elder; for by the power of Order, the Pastor doth preach the Word, minister the Sacraments, pray in publike, blesse the Congregation, celebrate marriage, which the ruling Elder cannot. Therefore it is falsly said by that railing Rabshakeh (whom before I spoke of) Ep. pag. 7. That the ruling Elders want nothing of the power of the Minister, but that they preach not, nor baptise in publike congrega­tions: yet other things which the Pastor doth by his power of Order, the ruling El­der ought also to doe by his owne power of Order. And if we would know how much of this power of Order is common to both, let us note that Pastors doe some things by their power of Order, which all Christians ought to doe by the law of Charity. Things of this sort a ruling Elder may and ought to doe by his power of Order, and by vertue of his election and ordination to such an of­fice. For example, every Christian is bound in Charity to admonish and reprove his brother that offendeth; first, privately, then before witnesses; and if he heare not, to tell it to the Church, Levit. 19.17. Matth. [Page 16] This a ruling Elder ought to doe by vertue of his calling, and with authority, 1 Thess. 5.12. Private Christians ought in Charity to instruct the ignorant, Joh. 4.29. Act. 18.26. to exhort the negligent, Heb. 3.15. & 10.24 25. to comfort the afflicted, 1 Thess. 5.11. to support the weake, 1 Thess. 5.14. To re­store him that falleth, Galat. 6.1. to visite the sicke, Matth. 25.36.40. to reconcile those who are at variance, Matth. 5.9. to contend for the truth, and to answer for it, Iude v. 3. 1 Pet. 3.15. All which are incumbent to the ruling Elder by the authority of his calling. To conclude then, the calling of ruling El­ders consisteth in these two things. 1. To as­sist and voyce in all Assemblies of the Church, which is their power of jurisdiction. 2. To watch diligently over the whole flock all these wayes which have been mentioned, and to doe by authority that which other Christians ought to doe in charity, which is their power of order. And the Elder which neglecteth any one of these two whereunto his calling leadeth him, shall make answer to God for it. For the Word of God, the Di­scipline of this Kirke, the bonds of his owne calling and covenant, doe all binde sinne up­on his soule, if either hee give not diligence in private, by admonishing all men of their [Page 17] duty as the case requireth; or if he neglect to keepe either the Ecclesiasticall Court and Consistory within the Congregation where his charge is, or the Classicall Presbyterie, and other Assemblies of the Church, which he is no lesse bound to keepe then his Pastor, when he is called and dessigned thereunto.

CHAP. III. The first Argument for ruling Elders, taken from the Iewish Church.

HAving shewed what ruling Elders are, it followeth to shew Scripture and Di­vine right for them. Our first Argument is taken from the governement and pollicy of the Jewish Church thus: Whatsoever kinde of office-bearers the Jewish Church had; not as it was Jewish, but as it was a Church, such ought the Christian Church to have also. But the Jewish Church, not as it was Jewish, but as it was a Church, had Elders of the people, who assisted in their Ecclesia­sticall government, and were members of their Ecclesiasticall Consistories. Therefore [Page 18] such ought the Christian Church to have also. The Proposition will no man call in question; for, quod competit alicui qua tali competit omni tali. That which agreeth to any Church as it is a Church, agreeth to every Church. I speake of the Church as it is a politicall body, and setled Ecclesiasticall Republike. Let us see then to the Assumpti­on. The Jewish Church, not as it was a Church, but as it was Jewish, had an high Priest, typisying our great high Priest Jesus Christ. As it was Jewish, it had Musitians to play upon Harpes, Psalteries, Cymbals, and other Musicall Instruments in the Temple, 1 Chron. 25.1. concerning which, hear Bellarmines confession, de bon. oper. lib. 1. cap. 17. Iustinus saith, that the use of instru­ments was granted to the Iewes for their im­perfection: and that therefore such instruments have no place in the Church. Wee confesse in­deed that the use of musicall instruments agre­eth not alike with the perfect, and with the im­perfect, and that therefore they beganne but of late to be admitted in the Church. But as it was a Church, and not as Jewish, it had foure sorts of ordinary office-bearers, Priests, Le­vites, Doctors, and Elders, and we confor­mablie have Pastors, Deacons, Doctors, and Elders.Lib. 1. Ep. 9. To their Priests and Levits, Cyprian [Page 19] doth rightly liken our Pastors and Deacons, for howsoever sundry things were done by the Priests and Levites, which were typicall and Jewish onely; yet may we well parallell our Pastors with their Priests, in respect of a perpetuall Ecclesiasticall office common to both, viz. the Teaching and governing of the people of God, Mal. 2.7. 2 Chron. 19.8. and our Deacons with their Levits, in respect of the cure of Ecclesiasticall goods, and of the work of the service of the house of God in the materialls and appurtenances thereof, a function likewise common to both, 1 Chro. 26.20. & 23.24.28.Iun. Eccles. lib. 2. cap. 5. Mos. and Aaron. ii. 2. c. 2. Alsted. Thesau. Chro. pag. 265. Fer­neius. Theol. lib. 7. pag. 151.152. Mar [...]yr. loc. com. class. 4. cap. 1. p. 745. The Jewish Church had also Doctors and Schooles, or Colled­ges for the preservation of true Divinity among them, and of tongues, arts, and scien­ces, necessary thereto, 1 Chron. 15.22.27. 2 King. 22.14. 1 Sam. 19.20. 2 Kings 2.3.5. Act. 19.9. These office-bearers they had for no typicall use, but wee have them for the same use and end for which they had them. And all these sorts of office-bearers among us wee doe as rightly warrant from the like sorts among them as other whiles wee war­rant our baptizing of Infants from their cir­cumcising of them, our Churches by their Synagogues, &c.

Now that the Jewish Church had also [Page 20] such Elders as wee plead for, it is manifest: for besides the Elders of the Priests, there were also Elders of the people joyned with them in the hearing and handling of Ecclesi­asticall matters, Jer. 19.1. Take of the ancients of the people▪ and of the ancients of the Priests. The Lord sending a message by the Pro­phet, would have a representative body of all Judah to be gathered together for receiving it, as Tremellius noteth. So 2 Kings 6.32. Elisha sate in his house, and the Elders sate with him. We read, 2 Chron. 19.8. That with the Priests were joyned some of the chiefe of the Fathers of Israel, to judge Ecclesia­sticall causes and controversies. And how­soever many things among the Jewes in the latter times, after the captivity, did weare to confusion and misorder, yet we finde even in the dayes of Christ, and the Apostles, that the Elders of the people still sate and voyced in Councell with the Priests, according to the ancient forme, as is cleare from sundry places of the new Testament, Matth. 16.21. and 21.23. and 26.57.59. and 27.1.12. Mark 14 43. Luke 22.66. Acts 4.5.Anno 58. n. 10. This is also ac­knowledged by the Roman Annalist Baro­nius, who confesseth further, That as this was the forme among the Jewes, so by the Apostles was the same forme observed [Page 21] in their times, and Seniors then admitted into Councels. Saravia himselfe, who dis­puteth so much against ruling Elders, ac­knowledgeth what hath been said of the El­ders of the Jewes, Seniores quidem invenio in Consessu Sacerdotum veteris Synagoga, De divers. grad. minist. Evang. cap. [...] 1. p. 108. qui Sa­cerdotes non erant. I finde indeed (saith hee) Elders in the Assembly of the Priests of the old Synagogue, which were not Priests. Et quamvis paria corum essent suffragia & authoritas in omnibus sufragiis sacerdotum, Ibid. p. 118. cum suffragiis Sacerdotum, &c. And although (saith hee) their suffra­ges and authority in all judgements were equall with the suffrages of the Priests, &c. But what then, thinke yee, hee hath to say against us? Hee saith,Ibid. p. 10 [...].118. that the Elders of the Jewes were their Magistrates, which in things pertaining to the externall government of the Church, ought not to have been debarred from the Councell of the Priests, more then the Chri­stian Magistrate ought now to bee debarred from the Synods of the Church. Now to prove that their Elders were their civill Ma­gistrates, hee hath no better argument then this, That the Hebrew word Zaken, which is turned Elder, importeth a chiefe man, or a Ruler. We answer, First, this is a bold con­jecture which hee hath neither warran­ted by divine nor by humane testimo­nies. [Page 22] Secondly, Zaken doth not ever signifie a Ruler, or a man in authority, as we have shewed before. Thirdly, let us grant Zaken to bee a name of dignity, and to import a chiefe man; yet a chiefe man is not ever a Magistrate, nor a Ruler. It would onely fol­low that they were of the chiefe of the fa­thers of Israel that were joyned with the Priests in the Sanedrim, and so it was, 2 Chron. 19.8. Non hercle de plebe hominum lecti sed nobilissimi omnes, De repub. Jud. lib. 1. c. 12. saith P. Cunaeus. They were, saith Loc. Theol. to. 6. §. 28. Proceres tribuum qui allegabantur una cum sacerdotibus & scribis in sacrum synedrium. Fourthly, they who were so joyned in Coun­cell with the Priests, 2 Chron. 19.8. are plainely distinguished from the Judges and Magistrates, vers. 11. And so are the Princes & Rulers distinguished from the Elders, Act. 4.5. Judg. 8.14. Deut. 5.23. Jos. 8.33. Fifthly, we would know whether he thought that all the Magistrates of the Jews sate in Councel with the Priests, or some of them onely: if some only, we desire either proofe or proba­bility who they were, and how many; if all, then should wee by the like reason admit not the supreame Magistrate alone (which hee seemeth to say) into the Synods of the Church, but all Magistrates whatsoever, and [Page 23] what a confusion should that bee? Sixthly those Elders that sate in the civil Sanedrim, were Rulers by their sitting there; but the Elders which sate in the Ecclesiasticall Sane­drim, either were not civill Magistrates, or at least sate not there as Magistrates. So do our Magistrates sometimes sit with us, as mem­bers of our Assemblies, not as Magistrates, but as Elders. Of the distinction of those two Courts, which every one observeth not, we shall speake more afterward.

We have said enough against Saravia, but Bilson doth better deserve an answer, who alledgeth more specious reasons to prove, that the Elders of the Jewes were their civill Magistrates. Hee saith, There was no Se­nate nor Seniors among the Jewes, but such as had power of life and death, of imprison­ment, confiscation, banishment, &c. which hee maketh to appeare thus: In the dayes of Ezra the punishment of contemners was for­feiture of their substance, and separation from the congregation, Ezra 10.8. The triall of secret murther was committed to the Elders of every City, Deut. 21.3.4. They delivered the wilfull murtherer unto the Avenger of bloud, to be put to death, Deut. 19.12. They condemned a stubborne sonne to death, Deut. 21.19. They chastened a [Page 24] man who had spoken falsly of his wife, that hee found her not a virgin, Deut. Ans. First, if it should bee granted, that the Elders spoken of in these places, were ci­vill Magistrates, this proveth not that there were no Ecclesiasticall Elders among the Jewes.Bertram de Pol. Jud. cap. 16. saith, that these Elders did continue among the ten Tribes, even after the defe­ction of Jero­boam. Senio­res erant qui in mores & vitam piorum virorum, &c. Inquirebam & reprehensioni­bus censur s (que) Ecclesiasticis animad [...]erte­bant. Ho [...]um Seniorum & reliquae Eccle­siae coetus & actiones mo­derab [...]ntur Prophetae: [...] ut ad Prophe­tae d [...]mum a­l quando se­niores conve­nirent, 2 Reg. 6.32. Iustellus in his Annotations upon the Booke of the Canons of the African Church, distinguisheth betwixt the civill El­ders mentioned, Can. 91. who were called Seniores locorum, or Vrbium: and the Ecclesia­sticall Elders mentioned, Can. 100. who were called, Seniores Ecclesiae, and Seniores Plebis: the former name distinguishing them from the civill Elders, the latter distinguishing them from Preaching Elders. So there might be the same two sorts of Elders among the Jewes. And what then? It is enough for us that wee finde in the Jewish Church, some Elders joyned with the Priests, & employed in things Ecclesiasticall. The Elders and Priests are joyned together both in the new Testament, as Matth. 26.59. the chiefe Priests and Elders; so in other places before cited: And likewise in the old Testament, Exod. 24.1. Come up unto the Lord, thou and Aaron, Nadab and [...]bihu, and seventy of the El­ders of Israel, Deut. 27.1. Moses with the Elders, compared with vers. 9. Moses and the [Page 25] Priests. Ezech. 7.26. The Law shall perish from the Priest, and counsell from the ancients, Jer. 19 1. Take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the Priests. Wee finde also the Commandements of God first delivered to the Elders, and by them to the people, Exod. 12.21.28. and 19.7.8. It is said, Deut. 27.1. Moses with the Elders of Israel comman­ded the people. Upon which place Hugo Car­dinalis saith: Argumentum, &c. Here is an argument that a Prelat ought not to com­mand any thing without the counsell of the Elders.

Secondly, but it cannot bee proved, that these Elders in the places objected, were Judges or Magistrates: nay, the contrary ap­peareth from other places, which wee have before alledged for the distinction of Elders from Magistrates or Judges: whereunto wee may adde, 2 Kings 10.1. Vnto the Rulers of Iezreel, to the Elders, and to them that brought up Ahabs children. And verse 5. Hee that was over the house, and hee that was over the Citie, the Elders also, and the bringers up of the chil­dren, Ezra 10.14. The Elders of every Citie, and the Iudges thereof.

Fourthly, we read of threescore and seven­teen Elders in Succoth, Judg. 8.14. whereas the greatest number of Judges in one Citie [Page 26] among the Jewes was three for smaller mat­ters, and three and twenty for greater mat­ters. This objection Bilson himselfe moveth, but answereth it not.

Fiftly, as for the places which hee obje­cteth against us, the first two of them make against himselfe. In Ezra 10.8. wee finde not onely the civill punishment of forfeiture, but also as Pellicanus on that place, and Zepperus de pol. Eccl. lib. 3. cap. 7. doe observe the Ecclesiasticall punishment of excommuni­cation, or separation from the Congregati­on: the former answering to the councell of the Princes, the latter to the councell of the Elders. The place Deuter. 21.3.4. maketh against him in three respects. First, the Elders of the City did but wash their hands over the beheaded Heifer, and purge themselves before the Lord from the bloodshed, which was a matter rather Ecclesiasticall then ci­vill, neque enim, &c. For there was no neede of a Iudge here who should be present formally as Iudge, saith Bonfrerius, the Jesuite, upon that place. Secondly, the controversie was decided by the word of the Priests, vers. 5. Thirdly, Tostatus thinketh that the Elders & the Judges are plainely distinguished, vers. 2. Thy Elders and thy Iudges shall come forth. Quaeras hic, &c. Thou mayest here aske, saith [Page 27] Pelargus, why the Elders of the people and the Iudges were both together called out? I answer, because God will have both the Magistrate and the subjects to be innocent, &c. As for the o­ther places, that which seemeth to prove most for the civill power of the Jewish El­ders, is Deuter. 22. yet heare what that fa­mous Commentator, Tostatus Abulensis, saith on that place, Quando talis, &c. When such a cause was to bee judged, because it was very weighty, the Elders of the City did meet toge­ther with the Iudges thereof, for in such facts there is some place for conjecture, and the El­ders who are the wiser sort, can herein bee more attentive then others. So hee noteth upon Ruth 4.2. that the Elders sate in the gate about the controversie betwixt Boaz and the other Kinsman, not as Judges, but as wit­nesses and beholders, that the matter might bee done with the more gravity and respect. Which doth further appeare from vers. 9.11. In like manner wee answer to Deut. 21.19. the Judges decided that cause with advice and counsell of the Elders: and so the name of Elders in those places may bee a name not of office, but of dignity, signifying men of chiefe note, for wisedome, gravity, and ex­perience. In which sense the word Elders is taken, Gen. 50.7. as Tostatus and Rivetus ex­pound [Page 28] that place. In the same manner we say of Deuter. 19.12. and in that case it is fur­ther to bee remembred that the Cities of re­fuge had a kinde of a sacred designation and use, for the Altar it selfe was sometimes a place of refuge, Exod. 21.14. and when the sixe Cities of refuge were appointed, they were of the Cities of the Levits Numb. 35.6. that by the judgement and counsell of the Levits who should best understand the Law of God, such controversies might be deter­mined, as Pellicanus on that place saith well; for this cause some read Josh. 20.7. They san­ctified Kedesh, &c. Besides, if it bee true that these causes were judged, not in the City where the murder was committed, but in the City of refuge,In Jos. 20. quaest. 3. as Serrarius holdeth with Masius and Montanus, and alledgeth for it some very considerable reasons, then doth Bilsons Argument from Deut. 19.12. faile also in this respect, for the Elders there men­tioned are the Elders of the City where the murder was committed.

CHAP. IV. The second Argument taken from Matth. 18.17.

OUR second argument we take from Matth. 18.17. Tell the Church. Let an obstinate offender, whom no ad­monition doth amend, bee brought and jud­ged by the Church. Where first of all, it is to bee condescended upon, That though hee speaketh by allusion to the Jewish Church, as is evident by these words, Let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a Publican; Yet hee meaneth of the Christian Church, when he saith, Tell the Church, as may appeare by the words following, Whatsoever ye bind on earth, &c. which is meant of the Apostles and Ministers of [...]he Gospell, Joh. 20.23. so that hee did not send them to the Synedrium of the Jewes, when hee bade them tell the Church: nor, 2. doth hee meane of the Church universall; for then we should have none of our wrongs redressed, because wee cannot assemble the Church universall; nay, nor the representative of it, which is an Oecu­menicke Councell: Nor 3. can wee under­derstand it of the collective body, of a parti­cular [Page 30] Church or Congregation; for hee who is the God of order, not of confusion, hath committed the exercise of no Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction to a promiscuous multitude. Nor 4. can it be taken of a Prelate, who being but one, can no more be called the Church, nor one can be called many, or a member be called a body. Non enim una persona potest dici Ecclesia, saith Bell. de Eccles. l. 3. c. 17. Cum Ecclesia sit populus & regnum Dei. It is plaine, that the Church there spoken of, is a certaine number met together, Where two or three are gathered together. D [...] guber. Ec­cles. cap. [...]. p. 70.71. &c. Nor 5. can wee with Erastus and Bilson expound it of the Christian Magi­strate; which exposition, beside that in a new­fangled language, it calleth the Magistrate the Church, and goeth about to overthrow all Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction. It is also utterly contrary to the purpose of Christ, and to the aime of that discipline which he recommen­deth to bee used, which is the good of our brother, and the gaining of him from his of­fence, whereas the exercise of civill jurisdicti­on of the Magistrate is not intended for te [...] good of the offender, and for the winning of him to repentance; but for the publike good of the Common-wealth, and for the preservation of peace, order, and justice, therein according to the lawes. Wherefore [Page 31] by the Church whereof our master speaketh, we must needs understand such a representa­tive meeting of the Church, wherein a scan­dalous and obstinate person may, and ought to be judged.Praelect. tom 1. p. 23. And what is that? Collegium Presbyterorum, saith Camero. The Presby­tery whereof mention is made, 1 Tim. 4.14. Tell the Church, that is, [...] saith Chrysostome, expounding the place: he meaneth the Presbyterie made up of Pa­stors and ruling Elders.In 4. praecept. col. 741. Contr. 3. l. 2. c. 6. And so Zanchius and Iunius expound him. The Pastors were [...], because of their presiding in the Consistories of the Church. The ruling Elders were [...], because of their ruling the flocke.D. of Tract. 17. [...]. 2. Div. 4. Whitgift saith, Truth it is, that the place of Matthew may be understood of Seniors, but it may bee aswell understood of any other, that by the order of the Church, have authority in the Church. His confession in behalfe of Seniors we accept, but that he maketh this Scripture like a nose of waxe, and the go­vernment of the Church like the French fashion, that we utterly abhorre. But how is the Presbytery called the Church, and why? First, even as the body is said to see when as the eyes alone doe see;Ubi supra, pag. 26. so saith Ca­mero. The Church is said to heare that which they alone doe heare, who are as the eies of [Page 32] the Church. Secondly, it is a common forme of speech to give the name of that which is represented to that which representeth it. So wee commonly say that this or that is done by the States of Holland, which is done by the Senate at Hague. Now though Bishops or Pastors alone cannot represent the Church, because hearers also belong to the definition of the Church; yet the Pres­bytery can well represent the Church, be­cause it containeth, beside those who labour in the word, ruling Elders put in authority by the Church for the government thereof, as Gerard rightly resolveth.Loc. Theol. tom. 6. p. 137.. Our Divines prove against Papists that some of these whom they call Laickes ought to have place in the Assemblies of the Church by this Ar­gument among the rest; because otherwise the whole Church could not be thereby re­presented. Thirdly,Num. 8 9.10. the Lord commanded that the children of Israel should lay their hands upon the Levits at their consecration, and that the whole congregation should bee brought together for that effect. This, as some have observed out of Aben-Ezra, [...] of Eccl [...]s. discip. pag. 87. can­not bee so understood as if the many thou­sands which were then in the Hoste of Israel had all laid their hands upon them, but the Elders of Israel onely representing them. [Page 33] So the Lord saith,Exo [...]. 12.3. verse [...]1. speake to all the Congregattion of Israel, &c. But the execution of this command is expressed thus, Then Moses cal­led for all the Elders of Israel, and said unto them &c. 2 Cor. 4.5. So Josh. 20.6. Fourthly, Pastors and Elders, as they are the Ministers of Jesus Christ, so are they the Ministers and servants of his Spouse the Church. From that which hath beene said we may draw our Argument in this forme.

Whatsoever Courts doe represent the Church, these are made up of ruling aswell as teaching Elders.

But Presbyteries and all Assemblies of the Church are Courts which represent the Church. Ergo. The proposition is proved thus: Whatsoever Courts represent hearers aswell as teachers, and the people aswell as the Ministery, these are made up of ruling as well as teaching Elders.

But whatsoever Courts doe represent the Church, these represent hearers aswell as teachers, &c. It is plaine enough that the Church cannot bee represented except the hearers of the word, which are the farre greatest part of the Church be represented. By the Ministers of the word they cannot be represented more then the Burghes can bee represented in Parliament by the Noblemen [Page 34] or by the Commissioners of Shires▪ there­fore by some of their owne kinde must they be represented, that is by such as are hearers and not preachers. Now some hearers cannot represent all the rest, except they have a cal­ling and commission thereto, and who can those be but ruling Elders?

CHAP. V. Our third Argument taken from Ro­mans 12.8.

OUR third Argument is grounded upon Rom. 12.8. The Apostle hath declared before that, as there are many members in one body, and all the members have not the same office, for the office of the eye is to see, of the eare to heare, &c. So are their gifts given to the severall office-bearers of the Church, wherewith every one in his owne office may glorifie God and edifie the Church, vers. 4. with vers. 5.6. These gifts he saith are differing, according to the grace given to us; that is, according to the holy charge and office given unto us by the grace and favour of God: so vers. 3. Through the [Page 35] grace given unto me, saith Paul: that is through the authority of my Apostleship, which by grace I have obtained. Now whiles he ex­horteth every one to the faithfull and hum­ble use of his gift which he hath received for the discharge of his office, he illustrateth his exhortation by the enumeration of the or­dinary Ecclesiasticall offices vers. 6.7.8. And as Beza, In illum lo­cum. Eccles. l. 2. c. 1. Piscator, and Iunius doe well resolve the text. First, he maketh a generall division of functions in the Church, making two sorts of the same Prophesie, whereby is meant the faculty of expounding Scrip­ture: and Ministerie comprehending all o­ther imployments in the Church. Prophe­cying the Apostle sudivideth into Teaching, which is the Doctors part, and Exhortation which is the Pastors. Ministery he subdivi­deth in Giving, which is the Deacons part. Ruling which is the ruling Elders part, and Shewing mercy, which pertained to them who had care of the sicke. Against this com­mentary which we have made upon the A­postles words.De Presbyt. p. 87. Sutcliffe objecteth a double injury which we doe to Pastors. First, if these our Elders be the Rulers here spoken of, then Pastors ought not to rule: as if (forsooth) Elders could not rule except they rule alone. Next hee saith wee make these Elders as [Page 36] necessary to the Church as Pastors; so that a Church cannot be where there are not ruling Elders, even as there is not a Church where there are not Word and Sacraments. Surely, a Church may happen to want Pastors, and so to want both the preaching of the Word, and the use of the Sacraments for that time: And so may it want Elders, and still remaine a Church, but defective and maimed. How­beit the Pastors are more necessary then the Elders, because they doe not onely rule, but preach beside.

But to passe this, there are other things which better deserve an answer: for one might object, 1. That the Apostle seemeth to speake of severall gifts onely, not of seve­rall offices. 2. If hee speake of Offices, by what reason make we Prophesie and Ministery generall kindes, and all the rest particular of­fices. 3. Why would the Apostle put the Deacon before the Elder. 4. Bishop An­drewes in his Sermon of the worshipping of Imaginations, maketh a fourth objection, that by our interpretation of this place, wee make Qui miseretur to be Latine for a widow.

To the first of these we answer, The Apo­stles Protasis speaketh of severall offices, not in the same, but in severall members: how then should we make his Apodosis to speak of [Page 37] severall gifts in the same, and not in severall office-bearers of the Church: wherefore, as seeing, hearing, tasting, &c. doe differ sub­jectively in respect of the members, which doe see, heare, &c. So speaketh the Apostle of teaching, exhorting, ruling, &c. as they are in different office-bearers. It is least of all credible which Bilson saith de Eccles. gubern. c. 10. p. 186.187. that the Apostle speaks not of the gifts of office-bearers, but of gifts di­stributed unto all the members of Christs mysticall body, even unto women. Hee had shewed us a great secret, if hee could have made it appeare, that all who are in the Church, women and all, may both prophesie and rule. In this hee shall have the praise of out-stripping the Separatists. We know that private Christians may teach and exhort one another; but they doe not so devote them­selves thereto, as altogether to wait upon tea­ching and exhorting, which is the case the A­postle speaketh of.

To the second wee say, that Prophesie and Ministery are put in abstracto, and [...]oyned with a plurall [...]; but teaching, exhorting, gi­ving, ruling, and sh [...]wing mercie, are put in c [...]ncreto, and to each of them the single article pre fixed; which is a sufficien [...] warrant to expound Prophesie and Ministery, as Genera, [Page 38] and the rest as Species, Chrysostome conside­ring the word Ministery, saith, Rem hic gene­ralem ponit.

To the third we answer, He which is first named, hath not alwayes some prerogative or dignity above him which is last named▪ else doe the Papists rightly argue, that Peter was the chiefe of all the Apostles, because they finde him named before all the rest, Matth. 10.2. Act. 1.13. The Apostle inten­ded to reckon out all ordinary offices in the Church; but he intended not the precise or­der. Chrysostome upon this same place saith: Vide quomodo ista indifferenter ponat quod minutum est primo: quod magnum est posteriore loco. Ephes. 4.11. hee putteth Pastors before Teachers: here to the Romans he putteth Tea­chers before Pastors.

To the fourth wee answer, That though it be ordinarily most convenient, that the office of attending the sicke bee committed to wo­men, yet it is not essentially necessary to the offifice: And as Aretius noteth upon the place, wee may under [...] comprehend not onely widowes appointed to attend the sicke, but old men appointed to receive and entertaine strangers: [...]oc. com. class. 4. cap 1. p. 746. Which is also judiciously observed by Martyr. Besides, when the Apostle, 1 Tim. 5. teacheth what is required in wi­dowes, [Page 39] who should bee made Diaconesses; this hee requireth among other things, that they be not such as live in pleasures and idle­nesse, and take not care to provide for their owne houses, verse 6.8. [...]; which though Erasmus and Beza turne in the feminine, quod si qua, yet our English Translators, and many good Interpreters, turne it in the masculine. And surely it shall have more weight if it agree to men as well as women, saith Calvin upon that place. Now they who read in the masculine, that which the Apostle saith there of wi­dowes, will not, wee suppose, blame us for reading, Rom. 12.8. in the masculine also, He that sheweth mercie. Wee conclude our third Argument thus:

Whatsoever office-bearer in the Church is different from Pastors and Teachers, and yet ruleth the Church, he must needs bee a ruling Elder.

But [...] mentioned, Rom. 12.8. is different from Pastors and Teachers, and yet ruleth the Church. Ergo.

CHAP. VI. Argument 4. from 1 Cor. 12.28.

OUR fourth Argument is drawn from 1 Cor. 12.28. where we finde againe an enumeration of sundry offices in the Church (though not so perfect as that Rom. 12.) and amongst others, Helps, that is, Deacons, and Governments, that is, Ruling El [...]ers. Where wee cannot enough admire how the Authors of the new English trans­lation were bold to turne it thus, Helps in Governments, so to make one of two, and to elude our Argument. The originall hath them cleerely distinguished, [...]. And I finde some late editions of the Eng­lish translation to have it as it is in the Greek, Helps, Governments. How this change hath been made in the English Bibles, I know not. Chrysostome expounding, this place doth not take Helps and Governements to be all one, as Bilson hath boldly,De gub. Eccl. cap. 10. p. 204 but falsly averred. Nay Chrysostome maketh the meaning of [...], to be ut pauperes suscipiamus: and the meaning of [...], he expounded to be praeesse ac curam gerere & res administrare spirituales. The former belongs to Deacons, [Page 41] the later to ruling Elders. Two answers are made to this place.

First,Of the Church lib 5. cap. 26. D. Field answereth, that both here and Rom. 12.8. we reason à genere ad speciem affirmativè; because the Apostle mentioneth Governours whom he requireth to rule with diligence, therefore they were such Elders as we plead for.Answer to the Admon. p. 114.115 Whitgift saith, the word Go­vernours, 1. Cor. 12.28. and Rulers, Rom. 12.8. is generall, and may either signifie Christi­an Magistrates, or Ecclesiasticall, as Archbi­shops, Bishops, or whatsoever other by lawfull authority are appointed in the Church.

We reply,Temporis il­lius conditio­no [...] de qu bus­libet praefe­ctis Paulum loqui oftendit quia tuncnulli erant pii Ma­gistratus: sed de Senioribus qui morum e­rant Censores saith Calvine upon Rom. 12.8. first, if the Apostle had mentio­ned Rulers or Governours alone, then might we have indeed guessed, that hee meant a ge­nerall kinde onely, and no particular Species: But since he hath enumerate so many Species, as Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, gifts of mi­racles, gifts of tongues, &c. Surely they did ei­ther most ignorantly, or most maliciously erre who tell us, that the Apostle putteth a Genus in the midst of so many Species. Secondly, the Apostle speaketh onely of Ecclesiasticall Officers, God hath set some in the Church, &c. What meant Whitgift to extend his words to the civill Magistrate. T. C. answered him, that hee could not distinguish betwixt the Church and Common-wealh, and so betwixt [Page 42] the Church Officers, and the Officers of the Common-wealth. He replied, that he could not put any such difference betwixt them, that the one may not be comprehended under the Apostles word, as well as the other. For I utterly renounce, saith he, that distinction inven­ted by Papists, and maintained by you, which is, that Christian Magistrates governe not in the respect they be Christians but in the respect they be men; and that they governe Christians, not in that they bee Christians, but in that they bee men: which is to give no more authority to the Christian Magistrate in the Church of Christ, then to the great Turke. Let our opposites here goe by the eares among themselves: for M. Io. Wemys holdeth,De Reg. prim. p. 123. that all Kings have a­like jurisdiction in the Church, Infidels as wel as Christian Kings. We hold that Christian Magistrates governe their subjects, neither as Christians, nor as men, but as Magistrates; and they governe Christian subjects as Chri­stian Magistrates. In like manner, Christians are governed by Magistrates, neither as they are Christians, nor as they are men, but as they are subjects, and they are governed by Chri­stian Magistrates, as they are Christian sub­jects. And we all maintaine, that a Christian Magistrate hath great authority over Christi­an subjects, in things pertaining to the conser­vation [Page 43] and purgation of religion, which the great Turke, nor no Infidell Magistrate hath, or can have, except hee become Christian. But what doe I digressing after the imperti­nencies of a roving disputer? for what of all this? Let Christian Magistrates governe as you will, will any man say that his office is Ecclesiasticall, or to be reckoned among A­postles, Prophets Teachers? &c. Wherefore

Let us proceed to the other answer, which is made by Saravia:De diver. grad, minist. Evang. c. 11. p. 115. Hee saith, that though the Apostle, 1 Cor. 12.28. reckon out diffe­rent gifts, wee need not for that understand different persons, nor make different orders and offices in the Church, of the gifts of mi­racles, healing, tongues, and prophecies, which might bee, and were in one man. Whereupon he resolveth the Text thus: that first, Paul setteth downe three distinct or­ders, Apostles, Prophets, and Teachers; then he reckoneth forth these common gifts of the holy Ghost (and the gift of governing amongst the rest) which were common to all the three.De Presbyt. p. 87. De perpet. Ec­cles. gubet. cap. 10. p. 190, 191. The Apostle saith not Governours, but Governments, saith Sutcliffe, to shew that he meaneth of faculties not of persons. So saith Bilson in like manner.

For confutation of all this, it is to be re­membred: First, that the gifts spoken of by [Page 44] the Apostle, are given of God for the com­mon good and edification of the Church, And God hath set some in the Church, &c. Se­condly, these gifts the Apostle considereth not, abstract [...]è à subjectis; but as they are in men indued with them, as is plaine; for hee had before reckoned forth the gifts them­selves, vers. 8.9.10. and if here he did no more but reckon them over againe, this were actum agere. He is now upon the use and ex­ercise of these gifts by the office-bearers of the Church, vers. 27.29. And though the Apostle, vers. 28. speaketh concretively on­ly of these three, Apostles, Prophets, and Teachers, yet the rest must bee understood in the same manner, per metoxymiam adjuncti; as when wee speake of Magistracy and Mini­stery, for Magistrates and Ministers▪ yea, the Apostle, vers. 29.30. so expoundeth himself where hee speaketh concretivè of the same things whereof hee seemed before to speake abstractivè. Hee speaketh of them as they are in different subjects, which is most evident both by his protasis wherein hee did againe presse the same simile of the severall offices, not of the same but of severall mem­bers of the body; and likewise by the words immediately subjoyned, Are all Apostles, are all Prophets? are all Teachers? He would have stood here and said no more, if he had meant to distinguish these three orders only as Sa­ravia [Page 45] expoundeth him. But now to make it plainely appeare that hee spoke of the other gifts also, as they are in different persons, hee addeth, are all workers of miracles? have all the gifts of healing? doe all speake with tongues? doe all interprete? where wee may supply, are all for helps? are all for governe­ments? But can it bee for nought that the Apostle ommitteth these two, when he doth over againe enumerate all the rest? vers. 29.30. It is as if he had said, there are some who have none of those speciall, and (for the most part) extraordinary gifts. All are not Apostles, all are not Prophets, &c. for some have but common and ordinary gifts, to bee Deacons or Elders for government.

There is a great controversie betwixt the Iesuits and the Doctors of Sarbon, about the meaning of this place which we have now expounded.C. 5. Sect. 50. The Jesuits in their Spongia, writen against the censure of the University of Paris, contend, that by Helps the Apo­stle meaneth, the regular Chanoins, who help the Bishops and the Priests in preaching, ministering the Sacraments, and hearing confessions. By governments they say hee meaneth secular Priests, whom they call pa­rochi. And because hee putteth helps before governments, they inferre that Regular Cha­noins are of an higher degree [...]in the Hie­rarchy [Page 46] of the Church, then Secular Priests. This they maintaine (good men) for the cre­dit of their owne Polypragmaticke order, and not for the credit of other regular Cha­noins, you may be sure. The Doctors of Sorbon in their Vindicia Censura, written by Aurelius, Pag. 378.380. considered that they could not maintaine the meaning of the Apostle to bee onely of different gifts (which no doubt they had answered, if they had thought it to carry any probability) therefore they acknowledge that under these gifts are contained also the degrees of the Hierarchy. And that the A­postles words doe partly belong to the com­mon gifts of the Spirit, as powers and inter­pretation of tongues, partly to the Hierarchy: of this later sort,Pag. 362. &c. they make helps and govern­ments. And by the helps they seeme to un­derstand Archdeacons and Curates.

But now to conclude this Argument also, thus it is: They who have the gift and office of governing the Church, and are different from them, who have other gifts and offices in the Church, can be no other then the ru­ling Elders, which we plead for.

But these [...] spoken of, 1 Cor. 12.28. are such. Ergo.

CHAP. VII. Argument 5. from 1 Tim. 5.17.

OUR fift Argument is taken from a cleer place, 1 Tim. 5.17. Let the Elders that rule well bee counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and do­ctrine. Hence we reason after this manner.

These Churches which had some Elders that laboured not in the Word and Doctrine, yet were worthy of double honour for ru­ling well, had the very same ruling Elders we plead for.

But the Apostolicke Churches had some Elders that laboured not in the Word and Doctrine, yet were worthy of double honor for ruling well. Ergo.

The Argument riseth from the plaine Text, then which what can be cleerer? But there are some who would darken light, and ligh­ten darkenesse.

Doctor Field propoundeth three glosses upon this place for the frustration of our Ar­gument.Of the Church. l. 5. c. 26. First, that the guides of the Church are worthy of double honour, both in respect of governing and teaching, but especially for their paines in teaching; so that the A­postle [Page 48] noteth two parts or duties of Presby­teriall offices, not two sorts of Presbyters. This is manifestly against the Text, which speaketh of officers, not of offices, of per­sons, not of duties, for it is not said, especially for labouring, &c. But especially they that la­bour, &c.

Secondly, he saith, among Elders some la­boured principally in governing and mini­stering the Sacraments, some in preaching. So Paul sheweth that he preached and labou­red more then all the Apostles,1 Cor. 15.10. & 1.14. Act. 14.12. but baptised few or none. And when Paul and Barnabas were companions, and their travells equall; yet Paul was the chiefe speaker; so that though both were worthy of double honour, yet Paul especially. But for answer to this. First, we would gladly know what warrant had hee for expounding Pauls more aboun­dant labouring then all the Apostles, of his preaching alone? Secondly, what warrant for such a distinction of Elders, that some laboured principally in governing, some in preaching? Because Paul preached and did not baptise, and because hee was the chiefe speaker when hee and Barnabas travelled to­gether: therefore some Elders laboured in governing, some in preaching; good Logick forsooth. Thirdly, thought he that the A­postle [Page 49] did ever account such Ministers as doe not mainly labour in preaching to be worthy of double honour: nay, it was never the Apo­stles minde to allow any honour, farre lesse double honour, either to non-preaching or to seldome preaching Ministers.Hom. 15. in 1 Tim. Vt quid enim doctor appellatur nisi ut doc [...]at? saith Chryso­stome. 4. Tell me whether is preaching a duty belonging to all the Ministers of the Gospell or not? if it be not the duty of all, then it is the duty of none, but a work of supererogation or some such thing; for if some be not bound to preach by their Presbyteriall order and vo­cation, what is there that should binde others to preach? The order and calling of a Pres­byter is alike common to all. Now if all bee bound to preach (which Field himselfe see­meth to say in his first glosse, when hee cal­leth paines in teaching, a part or duty of the Presbyteriall office, no lesse then governing) how shall those Presbyters bee worthy of double honour, who doe not the duties of their Presbyteriall office, but leave the one halfe of them undone?

Thirdly, saith Field, there were some that remained in certaine places for governing of those who were already wonne by the prea­ching of the Gospell: others travelled with great labour, from place to place, to preach [Page 50] Christ to such as had never heard of him. Both these were worthy of double honour, but especially the later, who did not build up­on anothers foundation, nor governe those whom others had gained. The Poet would here answere:

Non minor est virtus quam quaerere parta tueri.

A Physitian would haply say, that to pre­vent the recidivation, is as much worth as the cure. But I answer, 1. There is no such opposition in the Text, but a subordination rather: for Elders who labour in the word and doctrine, are not contra-distinguished from Elders that rule well, but are declared to bee one kinde of Elders that rule well. 2. Though the Apostles and Evangelists tra­velled from one Countrey to another, to preach Christ to such as never heard of him; yet where hath hee read that some of these who were meere▪ Presbyters (for of such speaketh the Text in hand) did so likewise? It rather appeareth from Act. 14.23. Tit. 1.5. that Elders were ordained in every Citie, there to remain at their particular charges, and no Elders finde we ordained by the Apostles ordinatione vaga.

We have heard D. Fields three glosses up­on this place in question. Sutcliffe hath given us other three which are no better.De Presbyt. cap. 12. First, he [Page 51] saith, that if there bee here any distinction of ruling Elders, it is betwixt those that labour more aboundantly and painfully, and betwixt those that labour not so much.De diver. grad. minis. Evang. c. 13. Paren. cap. 11. pag. 38. Episcop. by div. right. pag. 219. This glosse is also received by Saravia, by Titen, by Bishop Hall in his Assertion of Episcopacie by divine right. They tell us, it is one thing to preach, another thing to labour in the word and do­ctrine, Answ. 1. It is not the ministery of the word, but the ministery of ruling which here the Apostle maketh common to both. 2. This exposition alloweth not onely honour, but double honour; yea, a high degree of double honour to such as take no paines in preaching, but are sparing therein. 3. It maketh the A­postles speech not to grow, but to fall: for [...] when they have stretched it to the full, noteth onely great labour, whereas to rule well importeth both great labour and great prudence, dexterity, faithfulnesse and charity beside. 4. It maketh the last part of the speech, In the Word and Doctrine, to bee superfluous: for they hold that all the difference here, is in the measure or manner of labour, and no dif­rence in re subjecta. 5. All who have any charge in the Ministery, are called [...] 1 Thess. 5.11. If they be at all faithfull, and worthy of honor, then do they labour, 1 Cor. 3.8. yea, in labouring, watch, as they that must give account, Heb. 13.27. 6. The Rhe­mists [Page 52] doe interpret the Apostle in the same manner. But Cartwright answereth them; If hee had meant any extraordinary labour, hee would rather have sayd,2 Cor. 11.27. 1 Thess▪ 2.9. [...], then [...]: for other where hee useth [...], as a degree of painful travell above [...], which is put for common labour, Rom, 16.12.

But it may be the next Commentary shall be better. The words, saith Sutcliffe, are to be rendred thus: Let Elders that rule well, bee counted worthy of double honour, labouring greatly in the Word and Doctrine: so that the later part of the speech is added exegetically, to shew who they bee that rule well, to wit, these who labour greatly in the word and do­ctrine. That the words are so to bee under­stood, he undertaketh to prove from the text it selfe: For, saith hee, one who purposeth to say in Greeke, especially they who labour, will not say, [...], but [...]. Thus changing the Participle into a Verb, and the prepositive article [...], which is written with an aspiration alone, into the subjunctive [...] cum accentu gravi, for this answereth to the relative who, which the prepositive article doth never. Moreover, saith he, if the Apo­stle would have distinguished Elders into these that preach, and these that preach not, he would have added the adversative particle [...] after [...]: for [...] signifieth indeed [Page 53] especially, but [...] alone without [...] signifi­eth greatly, or much, as here it doth. Answ. 1. This reading of his is very harsh, and had need to sound better before it contradict both the English Translators, and the common current of Protestant Interpreters. 2. Hee is not so very well skilled in the Greeke, as hee boasteth to bee, unlesse he make the Apostle Paul a great Ignoramus in that language. For hee putteth a Participle with the Pre­positive Article for a Verbe and a Rela­tive, Philip. 4.7. [...], and the peace of God which passeth all understanding. So Eph. 4.22. [...]. The old man which is cor­rupt, and v. 24. [...]. The new man which after God is created. 1 Thess. 5.12. [...]. To know them which labour among you. If S [...]t­cliffs rule hold, we may not read it so, but thus, To know them labouring among you. So Apoc. 7.14. [...], These are they who come out of great tribulation. Many places of this kinde there are, which I need not cite. 3. An Ellipsis of the particle [...], is no error, no not in members of an opposi­tion, as Col. 2.23. much lesse in the distin­ction of a Species from the Genus. 4. [...] without [...], is put for especially, as well as when it hath [...], 1 Tim. 4.10. who is the Saviour of all [Page 54] men, especially of these that beleeve. [...]. This skilled Grecian would have us to conceive it thus: God is the Saviour of all men who beleeve much: and so it shall be a com­fortlesse text for those of little faith.

Surely this man had need to be more happy in his third exposition; and now let us know what it is? He saith, that though wee could evince, that the Apostle here speaketh of some other Elders besides the Ministers of the word; yet wee shall have no advantage for our ruling Elders: for the Apostle being to prove that the Ministers of the word ought to be maintained, why might he not, saith he, use this generall proposition, That all Rulers, whether publicke or domestick, whether Ci­vill or Ecclesiasticall, are to bee honored? When the Apostle speaketh of the chusing of Deacons, he will have them to bee such as have ruled their own houses well. This is his last refuge, and how weak, let any ma [...] judge. We have heard of many sorts of Rulers, but who did ever hear (before Sutliffe told it) of Domesticke or Civill Elders that rule well. Had not the word Elders been in the Text, but the word [...] alone, he might have been the bolder to have given this sense. But since the Apostle speaketh not generally of [Page 55] them that rule well, but of Elders in the Church that rule well, this marreth his glosse altogether.

Bilson giveth yet another sense,De perpet. Eccl. gub. c. 10. That there were two sorts of Elders, some who laboured in the word and doctrine, some who had the care of the poore: both were worthy of dou­ble honour; but especially they who labou­red in the word. Answ. Deacons are distin­guished from Elders, Rom. 12. 1 Cor. 12. 1 Tim. 3. and by all antiquity. If wee make Deacons to bee Elders, and the care of the poore to be an act of ruling, then let us make what you will of the plainest Scriptures.

I finde in Didoclavius three other interpre­tations beside the former:Altar Damasc. cap. 12. First, Bridges saith, That by Elders who labour not in the word and doctrine, are meant rulers or inferiour Magistrates, chosen for compounding of ci­vill controversies. Answ. 1. This is a strange language to call civill Magistrates by the name of Elders. 2. The Apostle is speaking of Ecclesiasticall not of Civill office-bearers. 3. This exposition maketh Pastors who la­bour in the word and doctrine, to bee a sort of civill Magistrates, because they are a kinde of Elders that rule well.

Next, Bishop King expoundeth this place of old and infirme Bishops, who cannot la­bour [Page 56] in the word and doctrine. Answ. 1. The Apostle speaketh of Presbyters, not of Pre­lates. 2. To rule well importeth as great la­bour as preaching, and somewhat more, as I shewed before, so that they who cannot la­bour in preaching, cannot labour in ruling neither. 3. They who have eviscerate and spent themselves in the work of the Ministry, who have been (as long as they could stand up­on their feet) valiant Champions for the truth, against the enemies thereof, who have served their time according to the will of God, with­out the staine of Heresie, Schisme, Apostasie, or unfaithfulnesse, when they become old and infirme, they ought not to be the lesse honoured (as the impious verdict of this Pre­late would have it) but so much the more honour ought to be given to their hoare head found in the way of righteousnesse.

Another Glosse is given by the same King, namely, that the Apostle would have Mini­sters, not onely to live well, but to feed also by the word and doctrine. Answ. 1. The ri­sing of the Apostles words doth not concern duties, but persons, as wee have said before. 2. To live well is not to rule well, unlesse wee will make all who live godly, to rule well. 3. Thirdly, this glosse doth stil leave a double honor to Ministers that live well, though they do not preach.

[Page 57]We see now, our opposites have been trying all windes to fetch upon us: but here we leave them betwixt winde and wave: [...]or this our last argument carrieth us away with full saile.

CHAP. VIII. The testimony of Ambrose for ruling El­ders vindicated.

IF wee looke backe beyond the times of declining unto the first and purest times of the Church, wee shall finde ruling Elders to be no new fangled device at Geneva; but that the primitive government and policy of the Church hath beene in them restored. There is one place of Ambrose which clee­reth it sufficiently. He writing on 1 Tim. 5.1. Rebuke not an Elder, saith, Vnde & Synagoga, &c. Wherefore both the Iewish Synagogue, and after the Church had Senior or Elders, without whose counsell nothing was done in the Church: which by what negligence it grew out of use, I know not, except perhaps by the sloth, or rather by the pride of the teachers, whi [...]es they alone will seeme to be something. This sentence is also cited in Glossa ordinar. And it sheweth [Page 58] plainely that as the Jewish, so the Christian Church had some Elders, who though they were not Teachers of the Word, yet had a part of the government of the Church upon their shoulders. But that this came into desue­tude, partly through the sloth of the teachers and Ministers of the Word, whiles they were not carefull to preserve the ordinances of God, and the right way of governing the Church; and partly through their pride whilst they would doe all by themselves, and have no consorts,

Vtinam modo nostra redirent
In mores tempora priscos.

But let us heare a triple divination which the non-friends of ruling Elders give forth upon this testimony.Episcop. by div. r [...]ght. p. 226. First, Bishop Hall tel­leth us that it is not Ambrose, but a counter­feit who wrote that Commentary upon the Epistles, and for this he alledgeth our owne Parker against us. The truth is, Bella [...]mine and Scultingius taught him this answer: The place of Parker he citeth no [...] in the Margine; but I believe the place he meaneth of is de polit. Eccles. lib. 2. cap. 13. where he holdeth indeed, that the author of these Commenta­ries was not Ambrose, Bishop of Millaine; [Page 59] but sheweth withall, that he nothing doub­teth of the Catholike authority of the Com­mentaries themselves; Hoc vero, &c. This saith he, may befall the best Author whosoever he be, that some may ascribe his workes to ano­ther. But that hee lived before the Councell of Nice, this addeth weight to his testimony of the Seniors. These Commentaries are common­ly cited by our Divines, as Ambrose's. I finde them in Erasmus his edition, both at Collen, 1532. and at Paris, 1551. acknowledged to bee the genuine workes of Ambrose, only the Prefaces before the Epistles are called in question. They are also acknowledged in the edition of Costerius at Basile, 1555. Six­tu [...] Senensis ascribeth them to Ambrose in like manner. The edition of Collen, 1616. hath an observation prefixed, which repudiateth many of his workes, and these Commenta­ries among the rest. Yet the last edition at Paris, 1632. hath expunged that observation, which they had not done if they had appro­ved the same: Howsoever that same obser­vation maketh those Commentaries to bee as old as 372. or 373. Perkins in his prepara­tive before his demonstration of the pro­bleme, calleth in question the Commentary upon the Hebrewes,Critic. sacr. l. 3 c. 18. but no more. Rivet sheweth that these who reject them, doe nei­ther [Page 60] give good reasons for their opinion; neither yet doe agree among themselves. Bellarmine ascribing them to Hilarius Dia­conus, Maldonat to Remigius Lugdunensis, the Censors of Lovaine to the Author of the questions of the old and new Testament. I beleeve that Cooke in his Censura Scriptorum veterum, P. 134. hath touched the true cause why these Commentaries are so much called in question, which is the perfidiousnesse of Pa­pists, who when they finde any thing therein which they imagine to bee for their advan­tage, then they cry, Saint Ambrose saith thus, but when they finde any thing therein which maketh against them, then they say as Hall doth, It is not Ambrose, but a counterseit; I must confesse that Hall is wiser in disclai­ming the same, then his fellowes in acknow­ledging them: yet because he found that the Testimony may bee of force, though not Ambrose's, and beside had no proofe for this alledgeance, he durst not trust to it, but thought upon another answer.

De gub. Eccl. cap. 11. p. 210. De Presby [...]. c. 13. Of the Church. lib. 5. cap. 26.To proceed then to their next conjecture. Bilson, Sutcliffe, and Doctor Field, tell us that Ambrose meant of Bishops, who exclu­ded other Clergy men from their consultati­ons, and that by the name of Teachers hee might fitly understand the Bishops, seeing [Page 61] none but they have power to preach in their owne right, & others but onely by permission from them. This is a most desperate shift for a bad cause. For first, there is no warrant nei­ther from Scripture nor Antiquity to distin­guish Bishops from other Ministers of the Word by the name of Teachers. Secondly, as for that reason alledged that none but Bi­shops have power to preach in their owne right, it is contrary to that which Field him­selfe saith in the very next Chapter, where he holdeth that Presbyters are equall with Bishops in the power of order, and that they may preach and minister the Sacraments by vertue of their order, as well as Bishops. Thirdly, neither did the advising of Bishops with Presbyters cease in Ambrose his time.C. 27. For as Field himself noteth out of the fourth Councell of Carthage (which was holden shortly after Ambrose his writing hereof) all sentences of Bishops were declared to bee void, which were not confirmed by the presence of their Clergy. Let us also heare Hierome and Chrysostome, (who lived both in the same age with Ambrose) what doth a Bi­shop, Epist. ad Evag. saith Hierome, ordination excepted, which a Presbyter may not doe? By ordination alone, saith Chrysostome, In 1 Tim. hom. 10. are the Bishops higher, and this onely they seem to have more then Prebyters. [Page 62] Which were not true if Bishops had then go­verned the Churches by themselves, exclu­ding the counsell and advice of Presbyters: Yea, though ordination was the only one thing which made the difference▪ In Eph [...]s. 4. Ambrose himself sheweth that Presbyters in Egypt did also ordain when the Bishop was not present.

We have heard Sutcliffe and Doctor Field, but Saravia, De divers. gra. minist. Evang. c. 12. Parae [...]. c. [...]. p 42. E­pisc. by div. [...]g [...]t. p. 227. and after him Tilen, and after them both Hall, hath forged another glosse upon the place of Ambrose. They boldly a­verre that the Elders without whose coun­sell Ambrose saith nothing was done in the Church, were Elders by age and not by office. We reply. First, falshood can­not keepe its feet. Before we heard Saravia maintaine that the Seniors among the Jewes, who sate in Ecclesiasticall Assemblies with the Priests, and had equall suffrages therein with the Priests, were their Rulers and their Magistrates, now he telleth us they were old men, Elders by age only, not by office. Se­condly, in his defence of that same twelveth Chapter against Beza, hee acknowledgeth that the Christian Church had other Elders by office, besides the Ministers of the Word. The Church saith hee, hath had Elders some by divine institution, as the Pastors of Churches, and Ministers of the Word of God. [Page 63] Others by condition of age or office▪ or estimation, or learning and experience. How could hee then astrict the words of Ambrose to Elders by age onely? 3. Where was it ever read or heard, that old men, who had no Ecclesia­sticall office, were taken into the assemblies of the Church, so that nothing was done with­out their counsell? 4. The Elders of whom Ambrose speaketh, are opposed to the Tea­chers, therefore they are not Elders by age: for such are some of the Teachers themselves. 5. Ambrose indeed in his preceding words had expounded the place of the Apostle, 1 Tim. 5.1. of Elders by age: but thereupon he tooke occasion to speake of Elders by of­fice also. 6. That the Elders which wee read to have been in the Jewish Church, were not Elders by age▪ Basil sheweth plainly, whose testimony we shall heare by and by.

CHAP. IX. Other Testimonies of Antiquity.

THus having cleared the place of Am­brose, come we now to other testimo­nies of the Ancients. Tertullian in his Apologeticke against the nations,Cap. 39. speak­ing of the Meetings and Assemblies of Chri­stians, [Page 64] sheweth, that besides other things done therein, they had also corrections, censures, and excommunication, and that in the ex­ercise of this discipline. Praesident probati quique Seniores, honorem [...]stum non pretio sed testimonio adepti: with us doe sit all the appro­ved Seniors, as presidents or rulers, having ob­tained this honour not by price, but by a good te­stimony. Cyprian in his Epistles doth often protest,L. 1. [...]p. 8. l. 2. [...]p. 5. l. 3. [...]p. 10. ibid. [...]p. 11. that from the beginning of his Bi­shopricke he did all things by common con­sent and advice both of his Clergie & people. Will any man thinke, that in ordination, ex­communication, reconciliation of penitents, and such like things whereof Cyprian speak­eth in these places, he sought the counsell and advice of the whole Congregation, and of all and every one therein? or rather that the people gave their counsell and consent by the Eldership representing them? Surely, this doing of all things with the advice and coun­sell of the whole, both Clergy and People▪ he otherwhere sheweth to have beene nothing else, but the doing of all things by the advice & counsell of the Presbytery; which had not been so, if there had not been in the Presby­tery some of all sorts to represent the rest. Omni actu, Lib. 3. [...]p. 11. saith he, adme perlato placuit con­trahi Presbyterium, &c. ut firmato consilio [Page 65] quid observari deberet consensu omnium sta­tueretur.

Epiphanius writing to Iohn, Bishop of Ie­rusalem, concerning the tearing of a vaile which hee had seene in the Church of a vil­lage called Anablatha, with the image of Christ, or some Saint, upon it, and concer­ning another vaile which he had sent for it, intreateth him to give order to the Elders of that place to receive the vaile from the bea­rer. It is not to bee thought there were many preaching Elders in a small village, hee speaketh in the plurall, Precor ut jubeas Pres­byteros ejusdem loci &c.

Basilius M [...]gnus in his Commentary upon Isa. 3.2. where the Lord threatneth to take a­way from Israel the Ancient, or the Elder, sheweth from Numb. 11.16. how warily such Elders were to be chosen, and that their gifts, not their age, made them Elders, he pro­veth from Dan. 13.50. (which is the history of Susanna) where the Jewish Elders at Ba­bylon say to young Daniel, Come sit downe a­mong us, and shew it us, seeing God hath given thee the honour of an Elder. Then he addeth, Ad hunc, &c. After this m [...]nner sometimes it happeneth, that youths are found in honour to be preferred to these Elders who slothfully and [Page 66] negligently lead their life. These Elders then a­mong the Iewes were falsly so c [...]lled: for God tooke away as the man of warre and the Pro­phet, so the Elder from the people of the Iewes. Therefore let the Church pray, that the Elder (worthy to be so called, be not taken away from her self. The whole tenor of his discourse im­porteth, that the Christian Churches had such Elders as wee read to have been in the Jewish Church, whereof Daniel was one. And of them hee seemed to mean a little be­fore, Habet &c. The Church also hath Iudges, who can agree brother and brother.

In 1 Tim. hom. 10. Chrysostome compareth the Church to a house, because as in a house there are wife, children and servants, and the care or go­vernment of all is incumbent to the master of the family: So is it in the Church, wherein, beside the ruler of the same, nothing is to bee seen, but as it were wife, children, and ser­vants, [...]. But if the Gover­nour of the Church, saith he, hath fellows or con­sorts in the government thereof, so hath the man also the wife to be his consort in the government of his house. If it be said, that by the Ruler of the Church, he meaneth the Bishop, and by his consorts preaching Presbyters, who [Page 67] are the Bishops helpers in the govern­ment of the Church; I answer, If wee un­derstand by [...] the Bishop,Hom. 11. then wee make Chrysostome contradict himselfe: for in his next Homily hee sheweth plainly, that Presbyters have [...], the ru­ling of the Church as well as Bishops, and that the whole purpose of his former Ho­mily agreed to Presbyters no lesse then Bi­shops. Now then, who were the consorts which Pastors of Churches, or preaching El­ders had in the government of the Church? Could they bee any other then Ruling El­ders?

Hierome upon that place of Isaiah, saith: Et nos habemus in Ecclesia Senatum nostrum, coe­tum Presbyterorum: cum ergo inter caetera etiam senes [...]udea perdiderit, quomodo poterit habere concilium quod proprie Seniorum est. And what sense shall we give to these words, unlesse we say it is imported that both the Jewish and the Christian Church had such an Eldership as we plead for. Else why did both hee, and Basil make such a parallell betwixt the Jewish and the Christian Church in the point of El­ders? Surely, if we understand by the Elders of the Christian Church whereof they speake, the Ministers of the Word alone, wee must also understand by the Elders of [Page 68] the Jewish Church, whereof they speake, the Priests, which no man will imagine.

L. 7. c. 23. Eusebius in his History citeth Dionysiu [...] Alexandrinus, relating his disputes with the Chiliasts after this manner: When I was at Arsenoi [...]a where thou knowest this doctrine first sprung, &c. I called together the Elders and Teachers inhabiting those villages, there being present also as many of the brethren as were willing to come, and I ex [...]orted them publikely to the search of this doctrine, &c. By the Tea­chers here are meant the Pastors or Ministers of the Word, who are most frequently cal­led by the Fathers Teachers, or Doctors: neither can it bee supposed that there were any Teachers besides the Pastors in these ru­rall villages, which notwithstanding we see had beside their Pastors or Teachers, Elders also.

Augustine writeth his 137. Epistle to those of his owne Church at Hippon, whom he de­signeth thus: Dilectissimis [...]ratribus, clero, senioribus & universae plebi Ecclesiae Hippo­nen [...]is cui servio in dilectione Christs. To my welbeloved brethren the Clergy, the Elders, and the whole people of the Church at Hippon whom I serve in the love of Christ. Hee putteth El­ders, or Seniors in the middle betwixt the [Page 69] Clergy and the people as distinct from both, and yet somewhat participant of both.

Isidorus Hispalensis speaking of the pru­dence and discretion,Sent. l. 3. c. 43. which Pastors should observe in teaching of the Word, giveth them this advise among others: Prius doc [...]ndi sunt Seniores plebis ut per [...]os infra pos [...]tifacilius doceantur. The Elders of the people are to bee first taught, that by them such as are placed under them may be taught the more easily.

Origen speaking of the tryall of such as were to bee admitted members of the Church,Contr [...]. Cels. lib. 3. saith, Nonnulli praepositi sunt, &c. There are some Rulers appointed who may en­quire concerning the conversation and manners of these th [...]t are admitted, that they may de­barre from the Congregation such as commit filthinesse.

In the acts of the 5. Councell of Toledo ac­cording to the late editions,C. 1. we read that Cinthila (whom others call Chintillanus) came into that Councell, cum optimatibus & Senioribus palatii sui. But Lorinus hath found in some ancient copy,In Act. 4.5. Cum optimatibus & Senioribus populi sui, with the Nobles and the Elders of his people. I would know who were these Elders of the people distinguished from the Nobles.

[Page 70] The Councell of Carthage held An. 407. Can. 6. ma­keth mention of Seniors, who were ex­pected from new Germany to come to the Councell, and unto whom the Councell remitted the e­lection of a part of the Judges, who should decide the cause of Maure [...]ius. In actis purgatio­nis Caeciliam & Faelicis, we reade, Episco [...]i, Presbyteri, Diacones, Seniores. A­gaine, Cleri [...] & Seniores Cirthensium. Sundry letters were produced and read in that con [...]erence; One directed Clero & S [...]i [...]ibus: another Clericis & Se­ni [...]bus. The letter of Purpurius to ylvanus, sp [...]aketh thus, Adhibe [...]e [...]nderi­ces & Senior [...]s plebis Ecclesiasticus vir [...]s & inquirant diligenter quae sint istae dissensi­ [...]n [...]. August. [...]b. 3. contr▪ Crescon. c. 56. Pe [...]grinus p [...]e [...]yter & Seniore Ec­clep [...] Must ca [...]ae regi [...]nis. Againe, Serm. 19. de verb. D [...]m. Cum ob eriorem aliq [...]em à Senioribus [...]rguuntu [...] & imput [...]tur alicui de [...]lis cur Ebrius fue­rit, &c. Ep [...] Concil [...] Carbarsussi [...]ani apud eundem August. [...]ar. in Psal. 36. Necesse nos fuerat Primi [...] i caus [...]m, quem plebs sanct [...] Cartha [...]mensis Ecclesiae [...]piscopum fuerat in ovile Dei sortita, Seniorum [...]ire [...]is [...] jusdem Ecclesiae postulant [...]bus audire atque discutere. Optat. lib. 1. adv P [...]men. er [...]nt Ecclesiae ex auro & argento quam plurima ornamenta, &c. qua [...]i ( [...]thers read quas) [...]idelibus Senioribus commendavit. And after, Convocantur supra memora [...] Seniores, &c. Gregor. M. lib. 11. Ep. 19. Si quid de quoc [...]nque Clerico and aures tuas pervenerit, quod te juste poslit of­fendere, facile non cred [...]s, sed praesentibus Ecclesiae tuae Seniorib [...]s dili­genter est perserutanda veritas, & tanc [...] qualnas rei poposcerit, Canonica districtio culpam feriat delinguentis. Epist. Synodalis Concil. Pictavien. a­pud Gregor. T [...]ron. l. 10. c. 16. de sponsilibus quoque ai [...] coram Pontifice Clero vel Senioribus pro nepte sua orphanula ar [...]as accepisse.These things may suffice from antiquity to give some evidence that the office of ru­ling Elders is not Calvins new fangled de­vise at Geneva, as our adversaries are pleased to call it: but for further confirmation of this point, Voetius disp. 2. de Senio. and before him Iustellus in annot. & notis in cod. Can. Eccles. Afric. Can. 100. hath observed sundry other pregnant testimonies from antiquity for ru­ling Elders, especially out of these notable records Gesta pu [...]gationis Caeciliani & Faelicis, to be seen in the Anna's of Baronius, An. 103. and in Albaspinaeus his edition of Optatus. These testimonies I have here set downe in the Margine.

[Page 71]From which passages it is apparant, that in the dayes of Ambrose these Seniors were neither in all places, nor altogether growne out of use; but that both in the Easterne and Westerne Churches, manifest footsteps of the same remained: neither is his testimony before alledged, repugnant hereunto: for we may understand his meaning to be either that in some places, or that in some sort, they were growne out of use, because peradven­ture the Teachers beganne to doe some­things without their counsell and advice which in former times was not so.De gubern. Eccles c. 11. p. 215. Bilson answereth two waies to the testimony from the 137. Epist. of August. and belike hee would have answered in the same manner to these other testimonies, he saith we may un­derstand by these Seniors either the better part of the Clergy, or the Senators & Rulers of the City. That they were neither Bishops nor preaching Presbyters, nor Deacons, it is manifest, for they are distinguished from all these, In act. purgat. Cacil. & Fal. and they are called by Isi [...]ore and P [...]rpurius, Seniores plebis. Besides, it were strange if August. Bishop of Hippo writing to his Clergy, should distin­guish either the Deacons from the Presby­ters by the name of the Clergy which was common to both, or some preaching Pres­byters [Page 72] from other preaching Presbyters, by the name of Seniors. On the other part, that they were not Magistrates of Cities, it is no lesse plaine: for they are called Seniores▪ Ec­clesiae and Ecclesiastici viri, they instructed the people, and had place in judging of causes Ecclesiasticall.

Ibid. pag. 253.But elsewhere Bilson taketh upon him to prove, that those of the Clergie who were by their proper name called Presbyters, were also called Seniores, as those who came neerest to the Bishop in degree, wisedome, and age. And this he proveth by a testimony of Am­brose. Offic. l. 1. c. 20. Viduarum ac virginum domos nisi [...]isi­tandi gratia Iuniores ad re non est opus & hoc cum Senioribus hoc est cum Episcopo, vel sigra­vior est causa cum Presbyteris. Answ. 1. Here the Seniors are the Bishop, which is neither good sense, nor any thing to his purpose. 2. Hee hath left out a word, without which the sentence cannot be understood, and that is vel: Ambrose saith, Hoc est vel [...]um Episco­po, &c. and so the words may suffer a three­fold sense: for either Seniores is here a name of age or of office. If it bee a name of age, as may bee presumed by the opposition thereof to Iuniores, then the meaning of Ambrose is, that young men should not goe into the hou­ses of virgins or widowes, except it bee with [Page 73] some men of age, and these to bee the Bishop or the Presbyters. If [...]t be a name of office the [...] may wee either understand, that by the Presbyters he meaneth ruling Elders, and by the Bishop the Pastor of any particular Church,Cont [...] [...]. de Con. i [...]. [...] (for if Whitaker be not deceived, Pa­st [...]rs have the name of Bishops, not onely in S [...]pru [...]e, but in the ancient▪ Church also:) Or that hee comprehendeth under the order of Elders, not onely the Preaching Presby­ters, but the Bishop also, who was chiefe a­mong them. By the first sense Bilson doth gaine nothing, by the other two hee hath worse then nothing▪ for any of them destroy­eth his chiefe grounds.

CHAP. X. The consent of Protestant Writers, and the con [...]es [...]ion of our opposites for ruling Elders.

THE office of Ruling Elders is not onely maintained by [...] ▪ Cart [...]right, A [...]rs [...], Bucer [...], and others whom our opposites will call partiall Writers, let him who pleaseth read the com­mentaries of Martyr, [...], Gualther, Hem­mingius, [Page 74] Piscator, Paraus upon Rom. 12.8. 1 Cor. 12.28. Aretius on Act. 14.23. Zepper. de Polit. Eccles. l. 3. c. 1. & 12. Bullinger on 1 Tim. 5.17. Arcul [...]rius on Act. 14.23. Ca­tal. Test▪ verit. col 103. Os [...]and. cent 1 l. 4. c. 11. Chemn [...]t exam part 2. p [...]g 2 [...]8 Gerard. lo [...]. Theol. tom. 6 p [...]g. 363 [...]64. Muscul. loc. com. de Eccles. c. 5 Bucan. loc com. [...]oc 42. Sueta­nus de Discipl. Eccles. part. 4 c. 3. Polanus Synt. l. 7. c 11. Zanchius in 4 praecep col. 727. Iunius animad. in Bell [...]r cont 5. l 1. c 2 Da­naeus de Polit. Christ. l. 6 p 452. Alsted. Theol. cas. pag. 518.520. Soping [...]us ad bonam fidem Sibrandi▪ pag. 253. &c. The Professours of Leyden, Synt. pur. Theol. Disp. 42. and sundry others, whose testimonies I omit for brevities cause, it is enough to note the places. The Author of the Assertion for true and Chri­stian Church policie, pag. 196.197. ci­teth for ruling Elders, the testimony the Commissioners of King Edward the sixt, au­thorised to compile a booke for the reforma­tion of Lawes Ecclesiasticall; among whom were the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Bishop of Ely. They say, Let the Minister going apart with some of the Elders, take coun­sell, &c. Voet [...]us citeth to the same purpose, Marlorat, Hyperius, Fulke, Whittaker, Fenner, Bunnius, Willet, Sadeel, Lubbertus, Trelcatius [Page 75] (both the one and the other) yea Socinus and the Remonstrants.

Besides we have for us the practise of al wel reformed Churches, and the Confessions of the French, the Belgicke, and the Helve­ticke Churches to be seene in the harmony of Confessions.

But what will you say if the adversaries of ruling Elders be forced to say somewhat for them?Def. tract▪ 17▪ cap. 1. Whitgift confesseth not onely that our division of Elders, into preaching Elders and ruling Elders, hath learned patrons; but also that the Christian Church when there was no Christian Magistrate had governing Seniors:Answer to the Admonit. p. 114. and elsewhere he saith, I know that in the Primitive Church, they had in every Church Seniors, to whom the government of the Congregation was committed. Saravia lendeth them his word likewise,Ubi supra cap. 9. p. 104. Quod à me, &c. Which is not disputed by mee in that mea­ning that the Belgicke Churches, or any other which doe with edification use the service of these Elders, should rashly change any thing, before that which is better bee substitute. A­gaine, speaking of the government of ruling Elders; [...]b. cap. [...]1. p. [...] 118. he saith, Quod ut, &c. Which as I judge profitable and good to bee constitute in a Christian Church and Common-wealth, so I affirme no Church, no Common-wealth to bee [Page 76] bound thereto by Divine Law: except perhaps necessity compell, or great utility allure, and the edification of the Church require it. Loe here the force of truth struggling with one contra­ry minded. Hee judgeth the office of ruling Elders, profitable and good, yet not of divine right; yet h [...]e [...]cknowledgeth that necessity, utility, and the edification of the Church, maketh us tyed to it even by divine right. But if it be profitable and good, why did he call in question the necessity, at least the uti­lity and the edification of it? can one call in question the utility of that which is profi­table? he would have said the truth, but it stucke in his teeth, and could not come forth. Sael [...]vius de concil. lib. I cap. 8. saith that among the Jewes, Seniores tribuum, the El­ders of the Tribes did sit with the Priests in judging controversies of the Law of God. Hence hee argueth against Bellarmine, that so it ought to bee in the Christian Church also, because the priviledge of Christians is no less [...] th [...]n the priviledge of the Jewes. C [...]mero tells us, [...] that when the Apostle, 1 Co [...]. 6. reproveth the Corinthians, for that when one of [...] had [...] matter against ano­th [...] they [...] the Saints to bee [...]udges [...] no [...] by the [...] the [...] m [...]ltitude, sedeos [Page 77] qui in Ecclesia constituti cra [...]t, De regis pri­matu lib. [...] p. 68. ut vacarent gu­bernationi Ecclesiae: that is, [...]hose who were or­dained in the Church, to give themselves to the government of the Church. My Lord Craig­tanne finding the strength of that Argument, that if beside the Ministers of the Word, other grave and wise Christians may be pre­sent in the greatest Assemblies and Councels of the Church, why not in Presbyteries al­so? answereth, that indeed it is not amisse that the wiser sor [...] among the people be joy­ned as helpers and assistants to the Pastors, providing that this their auxiliary function be not obtruded as necessary. This is some­what for us; but we say further, if it be ne­cessary in Oecumenicke Councells (for no lesse doe the Arguments of our Divines in that question with the Papists conclude) then is it necessary in Presbyteries also.

CHAP. XI Doctor Fields five Arguments against ruling [...].

HIS fi [...]st Reason that shewed [...] to think [...] there were [...] any [...] [Page 78] Church, is because Bishops, Presbyters, that preach and minister the Sacraments, and Deacons, howsoever they much degenera­ted in later times, yet all still remained in all Christian Churches throughout the World, both Greeke and Latine, in their names and offices also in some sort. But of these ruling Elders, there are no foot-steps to bee found in any Christian Church in the World, nor were not for many hundred yeares; whereas there would have beene some remaines of these as well as the other, had they ever had any institution from Christ or his Apostles, as the other had. To this wee answer. 1. If the Christian Churches throughout the World had wan­ted ruling Elders longer then they did, yet prescription can be no prejudice to the ordi­nance of God. 2. After that the golden age of the Apostles was spent and gone, exact diligence was not taken, to have the Church provided with well qualified Ministers, but many unfit men, yea, sundry heretickes en­tred into that sacred vocation, whereby it came to passe that corruption and errour overflowed the Churches,Eccles. hist. lib. 3. c. 32.35. Col. 103. as both Eusebius proveth from Aegesippus and catalogus testi­um veritatis from Irenaus. Might not this be the cause of changing the office-bearers [Page 79] and government of the Church. 3. In the Roman, yea in Prelaticall Churches there are scarce any foot-steps at all of the offices of preaching Presbyters, and Deacons, as they were instituted by the Apostles. The Apostles ordained Presbyters to preach the Word, to minister the Sacraments, to go­verne the Church, and to make use of the keyes. But the Popish and Prelaticall Presbyters have not the power of the keyes, nor the power of Church government, for it is proper to their Prelates; as for the other two they are common to their Deacons, for they also doe preach and baptise. The office of the Popish Priest standeth in two things, to con­secrate and offer up the body of Christ, and to absolve the faithfull from their sinnes: See Conci. Triden. de sacr. Ordin. cap. 1. Hier. Savanarola. Triumph. cruc. lib. 3. cap. 16. And the same two make up the proper office of the Priest by the order of the English Service Booke. As touching Deacons, they were ordained by the Apostles for collecting receiving, keeping, and distributing of Ec­clesiasticall goods, for maintaining of Mini­sters, schooles, Churches, the sicke, stranger, and poore. The Popish and Prelaticall Dea­cons have no such office, but an office which the Apostles never appointed to them; for [Page 80] they had no preaching nor baptising Dea­cons. Philip preached and baptised, not as a Deacon, but as an Evangelist, Acts 21.8. Besides at the time of his preaching and bap­tising, hee could not have exercised the office of his Deaconship, by reason of the persecu­tion, which scattered rich and poore and all, Acts 8.1. that which Steven did, Acts 7. was no more then every believer was bound to doe, when he is called to give a testimo­ny to the truth, and to give a reason of his faith and practice. 4. Others of the faithfull, besides the Ministers of the Word, have beene admitted unto Councells and Synods by many Christian Churches throughout the World, as is well knowne; and this is a ma­nifest foot-step of the government of ruling Elders. 5. Nay in the Church of England it selfe, at this day, there are foot-steps of ru­ling Elders, else what meaneth the joyning of Lay-men with the Clergy in the high Commission to judge of matters Ecclesiasti­call? S [...]ravia saith, [...] the Churchwardens which are in every Parish of England, have some resemblance of ruling Elders, whose change appointed by law, he saith, is to col­lect, keepe, and deburse the goods and reve­nues of the Church, to preserve the fabricke of the Church▪ and all things pertaining [Page 81] thereto sure and safe, to keep account of bap­tismes, mariages, and burials, to admonish de­linquents & other inordinate livers, to delate to the Bishop or his substitutes, such as are in­corrigible, & scandalous, being sworn thereto: also to observe who are absent frō the praiers in the Church upon the Lords dayes, & upon the holy dayes, & to exact from them the pe­nalty appointed by law, and finally to see to quietnes & decency in time of divine service.

Doctor Fields second reason is for that Paul, 1 Tim. 3. shewing who should be Bi­shops and Ministers, who Deacons, yea, who Widowes; passeth immediatly from descri­bing the qualitie of such as were to be Bi­shops and Ministers of the Word and Sacra­ments, to the Deacons, omitting these ruling Elders that are supposed to lye in the midst betweene them, which he neither might nor would have omitted, if there had beene any such. To this the answer is easie. 1. As we collect the actions and sufferings of Jesus Christ, and the institution of the last supper, not from any one of the Evangelists, but from all of them compared together, for that one toucheth what another omitteth; so doe we judge of the office-bearers of the Church not from 2 Tim. 3. only, but from the col­lation of that and other places of Scripture of that kind. Ruling Elders are found in o­ther places, and in the fifth Chapter of that [Page 82] same Epistle, though not in the third. 2 Neither were there any absurdity to hold, that the Apostle in that third Chapter com­prehendeth all the ordinary office-bearers in the Church under these two Bishops and Deacons, and that under the name of Bi­shops, he comprehendeth both Pastors, Do­ctors, & ruling Elders: for as al these three are overseers, so to them all agree the qualities of a Bishop here mentioned, whereof there is only one, which seemeth not to agree to the ruling Elder, viz. that he should be apt to teach,De div. gra. minist. cap. 9. vers. 2. Yet Beza maintaineth a­gainst Saravia, that the ruling Elder teach­eth as wel as the Pastor, only the Pastor doth it publickly to the whole congregation; the ruling Elder doth it privately, as he findeth every one to have need. And we have shewed before that as a private Christian is bound in charity to teach the ignorant, so the ruling Elder is bound to doe it ex off [...]cio.

The third reason, which Doctor Field bringeth against us, is, for that neither Scrip­ture nor practice of the Church, bounding the government of such governours, nor gi­ving any direction how farre they may goe in the same, and where they must stay, lest they meddle with that they have nothing to doe with, men should bee left to a most [Page 83] dangerous uncertainety in an office of so great consequence. Our answer to this is: 1. Wee have shewed already the certaine bounds of the power and vocation of ruling Elders. 2. It was not necessary that the A­postle should severally set downe Canons and directions: first, touching Pastors, then Doctors; lastly, ruling Elders, since they are all Elders, and all members of the El­dership or Presbytery; it was enough to de­liver canons and directions common to them all, especially since the duties of ruling El­ders are the same which are the duties of Pastors, only the Pastors power is cumula­tive to theirs, and over reacheth the same in the publicke ministery of the Word and Sa­craments, and so doth Paul difference them, 1 Tim. 5.17.

His fourth reason is, because we fetch the paterne of the government of ruling Elders, from the Sanedrim of the Jewes, the plat­forme whereof wee suppose Christ meant to bring into his Church, when he said, Tell the Church; whereas, saith he, it is most cleere that the court was a civill court, and had a power to banish, to imprison, yea and to take away life, till by the Romans the Jewes were restrained. Wee answer that Beza de Presbyteri [...]. I. B. A. C. De polit. civil. & [Page 84] Eccl. lib. 2.De poli. Eccl. lib. 3 cap. 7. I [...]. Deut. 17. ibid. In a. Reg. 23. Moses and Aaron. lib. 5. cap. 1. De gu [...]er. Ec. pag. 62. Harm. de pass. cap. 8. Also Zepperus, Iunius, Piscator, Wolphius, Godwin, Bucerus, Gerard, And sundry others have rightly observed that the Ecclesiasticall Sanedrim among the Jewes was distinct from the civill, yet both called by the name of Sanedrim. Wee grant with Beza that sometimes civill causes were de­bated and determined in the Ecclesiasticall Sanedrim, but this was done [...], non [...], as he saith, the fact which was meerely civill was judged in the [...]ivill Sane­drim, but when the civil [...] Judges could not agree de jure, even in civill causes, in that case resolution was given by the other Sa­nedrim; as in like cases by the juris-consults among the Romans, for the conservation and interpretation of the law did belong to the Leviticall Tribe. Hence it is that we read 2 Chron. 19.8.11. Iehosaphat set in Ierusa­lem of the Levits, and of the chiefe Priests, and of the chiefe of the Fathers of Israel, some for the Lords matters, among whom presided Amariah the chiefe Priest, and some for the Kings matters, among whom presided Z [...]badiah the Ruler of the house of Judah. [...]bi sup. ca. 1 [...]. pag. 119. Saravia saith this place proveth not that there were two distinct consistories, one for civill, another for Ecclesiasticall things; because, saith he, by the Kings matters are [Page 85] meant matters of peace, and warre by the Lords matters, the matters of law and judge­ment which are called the Lords matters, because the Lord was the author of their civill lawes;Deut. 20. and 21. and 24. what a crazie device is this? did not matters of peace and warre come under the civill lawes, which God had delivered to the Jewes, as well as any matter of judgement betwixt man and man? and what can bee more plaine then that the Lords matters or things pertaining to God,Heb. 5.1. when they are differenced from other mat­ters, are ever understood to bee matters spi­rituall and Ecclesiasticall?In Deut. 17. Quapropter, where­fore saith Iunius, the Readers are to be warned whosoever they bee that consult the histories of ancient times, that where they read the name Syned [...]tum, they wisely observe whether the ci­vill Assembly or the Ecclesiastical be meant of, because that name was confused, and indistinct, after the times of Antiochus.

But notwithstanding that in these latter times all good order had much degenerate and growne to confusion, yet it seemeth to me, that even in the dayes of our Saviour Christ, the Civill and Ecclesiasticall courts remained distinct, let me say my opinion with all mens leave, and under correction of the more learned, that night that our Lord was betrayed, he was led to the Hall of Cajaphas, [Page 86] where there was holden an Ecclesiasticall Sanedrim, which asked Jesus of his Disci­ples, and of his doctrine, received witnesse a­gainst him, and pronounced him guilty of blasphemy, Mat. 27.57. Mark 14.53.55. Ioh. 18.19. Nothing I finde in this Councell why we should think it civill: for as touching the smiting and buffeting of Christ, Mat. 26.67. Luk 22.63. some think it was by the servants of the high Priests and Elders after that they themselves had gone home, & left the Coun­cell; howsoever, it was done tumultuously, not judicially, and tumults may fall forth in a­ny Judicatory whether civill or Ecclesiasti­cal As for the sentence which they gave, Mat. 26.66. He is guilty of death, it proveth not that this was a civill Court: for just so, if an in­cestuous person should bee convict before an Assembly of our Church, the Moderator might ask the Assembly, what thinke ye? and they might well answer, He is guilty of death, away with him to the Magistrate. Shortly then the matter debated in this nocturnall Councell, was meerly Ecclesiasticall, and the accusation of sedition and making himselfe a King, were not spoken of till he was brought before P [...]at But there was another Sanedrim convocat in the morning▪ Mat 27 1. Mark 15.1 Luk 22 66. and this seemes to have been not Ecclesiasticall but Civill, 1. because they [Page 87] meddle not with the triall of his doctrine, nor any examination of witnesses thereanent: on­ly they desire to heare out of his own mouth, that which hee had confessed in the other Councell, viz. that he was the Christ the Son of God; whereupon they take counsell how they might deliver him to Pilate, which was the end of their meeting 2. M [...]k saith, They bound him, and carried him aw [...]y to Pilate. 3. The Ecclesiasticall Councell had already done that which they thought pertained to them: for what should they have convened again? Some say, that a [...]l the high Priests, Scribes and Elders, were not present at that nocturnall councell, and that therefore they convened more fully in the morning. But that the nocturnall Councell was fully convened, it is manifest from Mat. 26.59. Mark 14.53.55. 4. This last Councell led Jesus away to Pil [...]te, and went themselves with him to ac­cuse him before Pilate of sedition, and of ma­king himselfe a King, Luk. 23.1.2. Mat. 27.12. 5. They complain that the power of capitall punishment was taken from them by the Ro­mans, importing that otherwise they might have put him to death by their law, Ioh. 18.31.

Now D. Fields last reason is, For that all Fathers or Councels mentioning Elders, place them betwixt Bishops and Deacons, and make them to be Clergy men, and that in the Acts [Page 88] where the Apostles are said to have constitute Elders in every Church, Pastors are meant, is strongly confirmed from Act. 20.17.28. where the Elders of the Church of Ephesus are commanded to feed the flocke of Christ o­ver which they were appointed over-seers, whence it followeth inevitably, that they were Pastors.Cont. Sarav. Ubi sup. c. 12. Com. in act. 14 We answer, 1. Ambrose spea­keth of Elders which were not Pastors. 2. Be­za & Gualther expound the place Act. 14.23. where the Apostles are said to have ordained Elders through every Church, of ruling as well as preaching Elders. 3. As for that which he alledgeth from Act. 20. Beza, Ubi sup. cap. 9. Eccles. lib. 2. cap. 1. Cens. in con­fess. cap. 21. pag. 275. Iu­nius, and the Professors of Leyden, hold, that the names of Bishops and Pastors are com­mon both to ruling and preaching Elders, and that the Scripture giveth these names to both, howsoever in Ecclesiastical use for distinctiōs cause, they are appropriate to teaching El­ders. Surely the ruling Elder both overseeth the flocke and feedeth the same, both by dis­cipline, and by private admonition; and for these respects may bee truly called both Bi­shop and Pastor. 4. How small reason hee hath to boast of the Fathers, we have already made it to appeare. 5. It is a begging of the question to reason from the appropriation of the name of Elders to the Pastors.

CHAP. XII. The extravagancies of Whitgift and Sara­via in the matter of ruling Elders.

THese two Disputers, doe not (as D. Field) altogether oppose ye govern­ment of ruling Elders, but with cer­tain restrictions; about which notwithstan­ding they differ betwixt themselves▪ [...]hit­gift alloweth of ruling Elders under a Ty­rant, but not under a Christian Magistrate, but [...]ayeth they cannot be under an Infidell Magistrate. Me thinkes J see here Sampsons Foxes, with their tailes knit together, and a firebrand betwixt them, yet their heads looking sundry wa [...]es.Answ. to the admon. pag. 114. To begin with Whit­gift, he saith in one place. I know that in the primitive church, they had in every church seniors, to whom the Government of the Con­gregation was committed, but that was before there was any Christian Prince or Magistrate &c. In another place. My reason, why it (the Church) may not bee governed under a Christian Magistrate, is it may under a Ty­rant is this: God hath given the chiefe au­thority in the government of the Church to the Christian Magistrate, which could not bee so, if your Seigniory might aswell retaine [Page 88] their authority under a Christian Prince, and in the time of peace, is under a Tyrant, and in the time of persecution; for tell me, I pray you, what authority Ecclesiasticall remaineth to the civill Magistrate, where this Seigni­ory is established?

Hee who pleaseth may find this op [...]ion largely consuted by Beza de Presbyterio con­tra Erasmum, and by I. B. A. C. polit. civil. & Eccles. Reply p. 140 Jn the meane while I answer. First, T. C. had made a sufficient Reply hereunto (which Whitgift here in his de­fence should have confuted, but hath not) viz. That if the Seniors under a Tyrant had medled with any Office of a Magistrate, then there had beene some cause why a god­ly Magistrate being in the Church, the Of­fice of a Senior, or at least so much as hee exercised of the Office of a Magistrate should have ceased.

But since they did onely assist the Pastor in matters Ecclesiasticall, it followeth, that as touching the Office of Elders, there is no distinction betwixt times of Peace and Persecution. Secondly, There were Seni­ors among the Jewes under Godly Kings, and in times of Peace: Why not likewise amongst us? Thirdly, The Ecclesiasticall [Page 89] power is distinct from the civill, both in the subject, object, and end; so that the one doth not hinder the other: The Magistrates power is to punish the outward man with an outward punishment, which the Presby­tery cannot hinder, for he may civilly bind whom the Presbytery spiritually looseth, and civilly loose, whom the Presbytery spi­ritually bindeth, and that because the Magi­strate seeketh not the repentance and salva­tion of the delinquent by his punishment (as the Presbytery doth) but onely the maintenance of the authority of his lawes, together with the quietnesse and preserva­tion of the Common-wealth.

Whence it commeth, that the delin­quent serapeth not free of the Magistrate, though hee bee penitent and not obstinate. 4. How thought Whitgift, that the christian Magistrate can doe those things which the Seigniory did under a Tyrant? Can the Ma­gistrate by himselfe determine questions of Faith? Can he know what order and decen­cie in circumstances is fitte [...]t for each Con­gregation? Can he excommunicate offen­ders, &c. 5. When Bishops exercise Eccle­siasticall jurisdiction (yea and the civill too) this is thought no wrong to Princes: [Page 90] Is it a wrong in the Presbytery, yet not in this Prelacy? Good Lord what a My­sterie is this! 6. When Presbyters are established in their full power, there remaineth much power to the Prince even in things Ecclesiasticall, as to take di­ligent heed to the whole estate of the Church within his dominions, to indict Sy­nods, and civilly to proceed in the same, to ratifie the constitutions thereof, and to adde unto them the strength of a civill sanction, to punish Heretickes, and all that disobey the assemblies of the Church, to see that no matter Ecclesiasticall be carryed factious­ly or rashlie, but that such things bee deter­mined in free assemblies, to provide for Schollers, Colledges, and Kirkes, that all corrupt wayes of entring into the Ministe­ry, by Simony, bribing patrons &c. be re­pressed, and finally to compell all men to doe their duty according to the Word of God, and Laws of the Church. 7. Whatsoe­ver be the power of the supreame Magi­strate, Ecclesiae tamen, Pol. Christ. l, 6 page 452, &c. Yet let him leave to the Church and to the Ecclesiasticall Rulers (such as are the Ministers of the Gospell, El­ders and Deacons) their owne power in hand­ling Ecclesiasticall things, untouched and whole saith Danaeus. For the Ecclesiasticall [Page 91] power doth no more hinder the civill ad­ministration, then the Art of singing hinde­reth it, saith the Augustan confession. 8. We may answer by a just recrimination,Act. de potest. Eccl. that the Prelacy (not the Presbytery) is prejudi­ciall to the power of Princes, and hath often incroached upon the same. The Bishops assembled in the eight Councill of Constan­tinople;Can 14. ord [...]ined that Bishop▪ should not light from their horses, when they chance to meet Princes, nor basely bow before them, and that if any Prince should cause a Bishop to disparage himselfe by doing o­therwise, he should be excommunicated for two yeares.Can 17. They also discharged Princes from being present in any Synod, except the O [...]cumenicke.Can [...]7 The 1. Councill of Toledo or­daineth that Quoties Episcoporum Hispano­rum Synodus convenerit, toties universalis Concilii decretum propter salutem Principum factum, peractis omnibus in Synodo recitetur, ut iniquorum mens territa corrigatur. From which canon Osiander collecteth, that some of the Bishops were not faithfull and loyall to the Kings of Spaine. The inquisition of Spaine Anno 1568. presented to King Phi­lip twelve Articles against the Netherlands, Hist. of the Netherlands lib. 9. page 309. one whereof was, That the King write unto and command the Clergie of the Netherlands, that with the Inquisition they should accept of [Page 92] 15. new Bishops, the which should be free from all secular jurisdiction, yea in cases of Trea­son. Now as touching the contrary conceit of Saravia, no div. grad. minist. evāg. cap. 11. p. 110.114.116. he alloweth such Elders as the Iewish Church had to be joyned now with Pastors under a Christian Magistrate, but under an Infidell Magistrate, hee saith they could have no place; for he taketh the Iew­ish Elders to have bin their Magistrates, & that in like manner, none but Christian Ma­gistrates should sit with the Ministers of the Word in Ecclesiasticall Courts, Princes and Nobles in generall or Nationall Coun­cills, and Magistrates of cities in particu­lar consistories. This is as foule an error, as that of Whitgift; for 1. His opinion of the Iewish Elders, that they were their Magi­strates we have confuted before. 2. Though it were so, that no Ruling Elders ought to be admitted, now except Christian Magi­strates, yet might they have place under an Infidell Prince: as Ioseph under Pharaoh, Daniell under Nebuchadnezar. There have beene both Christian Churches, and Chri­stian Magistra [...]es under Hereticall, yea In­fidell Princes 3. If Christian Magistrates be come in place of the Iewish Seniors, and ought to be joyned with the Ministers of the Word in the consistories of the church. [Page 93] We demand quo nomine, quo jure? whither doe they sit as Christian Magistrates, or as men of singular gifts chosen for that effect? Jf as Magistrates then shall we make a mix­ture and confusion of civill & Ecclesiasticall function, else how shall men by vertue of civill places sit in spirituall Courts? Jf as men of singular gifts chosen to sit, then may others aswell as they having the like gifts and election be admitted to sit also. 4. Saravia contradicteth himselfe,Ibid. p. [...]20 for a little after he admitteth grave and godly men in the judicatories of the Church, whither they be Magistrates or privat men, sive illi ma­gistratu fungantur sive in rep. vivant pri­vati.

CHAP. XIII. Whether Ruling Elders have the power of decisive voyces, when they sit in Prebyteries and Synods.

THere are sundry questions pro­pounded by D. Field and other ad­versaries of Ruling Elders, where­into they thinke wee are not able to satisfie them, as 1. Whether Ruling Elders ought to have decisive voyces, even in questions of Faith and Doctrine, and in the tryall and approbation of Ministers? 2. Whether these Elders must be in every Congregation with power of ordination, deprivation, sus­pension, excommunication, and absolution, or whether this power bee onely in Mini­sters and Elders of divers Churches con­curring? 3. Jf they be Ecclesiasticall per­sons, where is their ordination? 4. Whe­ther these [...] be perpetuall or annuall, and but for a certaine time?

[Page 95]Whether they ought to serve freely or to have a stipend? Touching the first of these; since the reformation which Luther began, it was ever maintained by the Protestāt wri­ters, that not the Ministers of the word a­lone, but some of all sorts among Christi­ans ought to have decisive voices in Coun­cils. But Dr. Field will admit none to teach and define in Counc [...]ls,Lib. 5. [...]. 4 [...] but the Ministers of the word onely: others he permits onely to consent unto that which is done by them. Saravia alloweth grave and learned men to sit with the Ministers of the word,Vbi supra c. 9. p. 93, 94. Paren. c. 11. yet not as Iudges, but as Counsellors and Assessors onely. Tilen will not say that the Bishops and Pastors of the Church ought to call a­ny into their Councill, but that they may doe it when there is need. Against whom and all who are of their mind we object. 1. The example of Apostolicke Synods. Mat­thias the Apostle after Gods owne designa­tion of him, by the lot which fell upon him, was chosen by the voices, not onely of the Apostles, but the other Disciples, who were met with them Act, 1.26. [...] i. e. Simul suffragiis electus est, as Arias Mon­tanus turneth it.In Act. 1.26. For the proper and native signification of [...], as Lorinus sheweth out of Gagveius, is to choose by voices. The Professors of Leyden have no­ted [Page 96] this consensus Ecclesiae per [...] in the election of Matthias Cens. in Confess. cap. 21. Jn the Councill of Hierusalem Act. 15. we find that beside the Apostles the El­ders were present, and voiced definitively, for they by whom the Decree of the Synod was given forth, and who sent chosen men to Antioch, were the Apostles and Elders, Gerard, Loc. Theol. com. 6. n. 28. and th [...] Profess. of Leyden, cens. in conf. c. 21. un­derstand that the Elders spoken of v. 5. & 6. were the ruling Elders of the Church of Hierusalem, joyned with the Apostles, who laboured in the word. Other Protestāt wri­ters understand by the name of Elders there, both preaching and ruling Elders. The Bre­thrent, hat is the whole Church, heard the disputes, and consented to the Decrees, v. 21, 22, 23 Ruling Elders behoved to doe more then the whole Church, that is voice definitively. Lorinus the Jesuite saith, that by the name of Elders there, wee may un­derstand not onely Priests, but others be­sides them. Viz. antiquiores & anctoritate praecellentes discipulos, Disciples of greatest age and note. And this he saith is the rea­son why the vulgar Latine hath not retai­ned in that place the Greeke word Presby­teri, but readeth Seniores. 2. Wee have [Page 97] for us the example of Ecclesiasticall Courts among the Iewes, wherein the Iewish El­ders had equall power of voicing with the Priests, and for this we have heard before, Saravia's plaine confession. 3. The ex­ample of ancient Councils in the Christian Church. Constantine in his Epistle which he wrote to the Churches, concerning the Nicene Councill saith; I my selfe as one of your number was present with them (the Bi­shops) which importeth that others of the Laity voiced there with the Bishops as well as he, and hee as a chiefe one of their number. Euagrius lib. 2. cap. 4. saith, that the chiefe Senators sate with the Bishops in the Councill of Chalcedon. And after he saith, The Senators decreed as followeth. The fourth Councill of Carthag [...], c. 27. spea­king of the transportation of a Bishop or of any other Clergie man,Caranza in summa con­cil. p▪ 357. saith, sane si id Ec­clesiae vtilitas fiendum poposecrit, decret [...] Pro eo clericorum & laicorum Episcopis porrecto, in praesētia Synodi transferatur. The Decrees of the Synod of France holden by Charlemain [...] about the yeare 743. are said to have beene made by the King, the Bishops, the Pres­byters, and Nobles. Many such examples might we shew, but the matter is so cleere that it needeth not.L [...]b. 1. cap. 8. 4. The Revieu of the Councill of Trent written by a Papist, [Page 98] among other causes of the Nobility of that Councill maketh this one, that Lay-men were not called nor admitted into it, as was the forme of both the Apostolicke and o­ther ancient Councils, shewing also from sundry Histories and examples, that both in France, Spaine, and England, Lay-men vsed to voice and to judge of all matters that were handled in Councils: alleaging further the examples of Popes themselves. That Adrian did summon many Lay-men to the Lateran Councill, as members there­of, that in imitation of him Pope Leo did the like in another Councill at the Lateran under Otho the first, and that Pope Nicholas in Epist. ad Michael Imperat. acknowled­geth the right of Lay-men to voice in Coun­cils, wherein matters of faith are treated of, because faith is common to all. [...]bid. The same writer sheweth also from the Histories▪ that in the Councill of Constance, were 24. Dukes, 140 Earles, divers Delegates from Cities and Corporations, divers learned Lawyers, and Burgesses of Universities, 5. The Protestants of Germany, did ever refuse to acknowledge any such Councill wherein none but Bishops and Ministers of the word did judge.Vide fosciculum rerum expeten­darum. When the Councill of Trent was first spoken of in the Dyet at Norim­berg, Anno 1522. all the estates of Germany [Page 99] desired of Pope Adrian the 6. That ad­mittance might be granted as well to Lay-men as to Clergie-men, and that not onely as witnesses and spectators, but to be judges there. This they could not obtaine, there­fore they would not come to the Councill, and published a booke which they entitu­led, Causa cur Electores & caeteri confessioni Augustanae addicti ad Cōcilium Tridentinum non accedant. Where they alleage this for one cause of their not comming to Trent, because none had voice there but Cardinals, Bishops, Abbots, Generals, or superiors of orders, wheras laickes also ought to have a decisive voice in Councils, 6. If none but the Ministers of the word should sit and voice in a Synod, then it could not bee a Church representative, because the most part of the Church (who are the hearer [...] and not the teachers of the word) are not represented in it. 7. A common cause ought to be concluded by common voices. But that which is treated of in Councils is a common cause pertaining to many parti­cular Churches. Our Divines when they prove against Papists that the election of Ministers and the excommunication of ob­stinate sinners ought to be done by the suf­frages of the whole Church they make use of this same argument; That which con­cerneth [Page 100] all ought to be treated of and judged by all. 8. Some of all estates in the com­mon-wealth, voice in Parliament, therefore some of all sorts in the Church ought to voice in Councils and Synods; for de pari­bus idem judicium, A Nationall Synod is that same to the Church, which. A Parlia­ment is to the Common-wealth. 9. Those Elders whose right we plead, are called by the Apostle rulers, Rom. 12.8. 1 Tim. 5.17. and Governours, 1 Cor. 12.28. there­fore needs must they voice and judge in those assemblies, without which the Church cannot be ruled nor governed. Jf this be de­nyed them they have no other function be­hind, to make them Rulers or Governours of the Church. Rome was ruled by the Se­nate, not by the Censors; and Athens was governed by the Ar [...]opagus, not by the inferiour Office-bearers, who did only take heed, how the Lawes were observed. But let us now see what is objected against this power of Ruling Elders, to voice in Coun­cill, and to Iudge of all things, even matters of faith treated therein. First it is alleadged that lay-men have not such abilities, of gifts and learning, as to judge aright of such mat­ters. But I dare say there are Ruling Elders in Scotlād, who in a theological dispute, should powerfully spoyle many of those who make [Page 101] this objection. 2. Antonius Sadeel, Iohannes a Lasco, Morney, and such like shew plainely to the world, that gifts & singular learning, are not tyed to Bishops and Doctors of the Church. 3. Neither doe men of subtile wits and deepest learning, prove alwayes fittest to dispute and determine questions of faith. It is marked in ye historie of the Councill of Nice, that there was a Lay-man therein, of a simple and sincere mind, who put to silence a subtile Philosopher, whom all the Bi­shops could not compes [...]e. 4. There are many both in Parliament and secret Coun­sell without all controversie able to give their suffrages, and to judge of matters in hand, who notwithstanding, are not of such learning and Eloquence as to enter into the lists of a publique dispute. 5. And if the gifts and abilities, of the most part of ruling Elders, were as small as their adversaries will be pleased to call them, yet this con­cludeth nothing against their right power of voicing, but onely against their aptitude and fitnesse unto that, whereto their right would carry them. And we doubt that e­very Pastour be well gifted, for all which cōmeth within the compasse of his vocati­on, or doth well every thing, which he hath power to doe. Another objection is made from 1. Cor. 14.32. The spirits of the Pro­phets, ar [...] subject to the Prophets: whence they collect, [Page 102] that prophets, and preachers of the word, ought to be judged by such as themselves are, that is by Prophets and Preachers, and by none other.Praelect [...] c [...]m. 3 [...] p 1176, [...]61. To this we say, 1. There owne Camero giveth us another commen­tarie upon that place, rightly observing, that the Apostle there speaketh nothing of try­ing or judging the spirits, but onely of the order, which is to be kept in the Church: for whereas in the Church of Corinth, the Prophets did prophecy tumultuously, ma­ny or all of them at once, and would not give place one to another, this the Apostle condemneth, and will have the Prophets so farre subject to the Prophets, as that when one riseth up to prophecy, the rest may hold their peace. 2. That this is the sense it is cleare, from the order and depen­dance of the Text, for v. 30. he comman­deth him that prophecieth in the Church to hold his peace, when any thing is revea­led to another Prophet that sitteth by, now this he enforceth by foure reasons. 1. Be­cause so they might all prophecy one by one, and they were mistaken, who thought that all could not prophecy, except many spake at once. 2. All that were in the Church might learne and all be comfor­ted, by every Prophet, which could not be, except they prophecied severally one by [Page 103] one. 3. The Spirits of the Prophets are not arrogant, but humblie subject one to ano­ther, each giving place to other. 4. God is not the Author of confusion, but of peace and order.

CHAP. XIV. Of the Ordination of Ruling Elders, of the continuance of their Office, and of their maintenance.

TOuching the first of these, it cannot be denyed, but as Election to the Office, so ordination to the exer­cise thereof, is a thing common both to Preaching and Ruling Elders. Howbeit in Scotland imposition of hands is not used in the Ordination of Ruling Elders, as it is in the Ordination of Preaching Elders, yet this is not to bee thought a defect in their Ordination;In 1. Tim. 4.14. Exam: part 2. p. 221 loc. theol. de minist. eccl. sect. 159. Loc. 42. Animad. in Bellarm. cōt. 5. lib. 1. c. 3. de guber, ec­cles. lib, 2. cap. 3. N. 54 &c. cap. 4. N. 13.19. for imposition of hands is not an Act but a signe of Ordination, neither is it a necessary signe but is le [...]t free: it is not therefore without reason, that Calvin, Chem­nitius, Gerard, Buca [...], Ia [...]i [...], Bucerus, and many other of our learned Writers, yea the Arch-bishop of Spalato doe all make a di­stinction, betwixt the essentiall act of ordi­nation, [Page 104] and the externall rite thereof, hol­ding that ordination may be full, valid and compleat, not onely without the unction used in the Roman Church, but even with­out the laying on of hands, used in the Re­formed Churches. After the Election of Ru­ling Elders, with the notice & consent of the whole Church, there followeth with us a publique designation of the persons so ele­cted, and an authoritative or potestative Mis­sion, Ordination, or Deputation of them unto their Presbyteriall functions, together with publique exhortation unto them, and prayer in the Church for them, which wee conceive to bee all that b [...]longeth either to the essence, or integrity of Ordina [...]ion. I meane not to condemne Imposition of hands, nor any other convenient signe, in the Ordination of Ruling Elders, onely J in­tend to justifie our owne forme, as suffici­ent.

As for the maintenance and the continu­ance of the Office of Ruling Elders, wee love not unnecessary Multiplication of questions, let every Church doe herein what they find most convenient. The manner of our Church, in these things, is such, as best be fitteth the condition of the same, & such [Page 105] as cannot be in reason condemned; Neither is a stipend, nor continuance in the Functi­on till Death, essentiall to the Ministery of the Church, but separable from the same. The Levites of old served not at all times, but by course, and when they were 50. yeares old, they were wholly liberat, from the burden and labour (though not from the attendance) of the Leviticall service, and Ministers, may still upon the Churches permission, for lawfull Reasons, and urgent Necessities, be absent a whole yeere, and lon­ger too, from their particular charges. The Apostles, when they were first sent through Iudea, tooke no stipend, Mat. 10.8, 9. Nei­ther did Paul take any at Corinth, 1 Cor. 9.18. The Ministers among the Waldenses, worke with their hands for their maintai­nance. The old Patriarchs were Priests and Preachers, to their families, and maintained themselves by the worke of their hands, fee­ding of Flockes, tilling the Ground, &c, These things I do not mention as Rules, to be followed by us, but to shew, that the in­termission of the exercise of the Ministery, the want of maintainance and labouring with the hands, are not altogether repug­nant, nor inconsistent, with the Nature of the vocation, of the Ministers of the word, [Page 106] but in some cases hic & nunc, may bee most approveable in them, much more in Ruling Elders. The Revenues of our Church are so small, that they cannot spare, stipends to Ruling Elders, which maketh them willing to serve without stipends, and lest they should be overburdened, with this their ser­vice, though they be chosen and called to be Ruling Elders as long as they live, at least till they m [...]rit, to be deposed, yet our booke of policie alloweth them, that ease of inter­mission and serving by course, which was allowed to the Levits of old in the Temple. The double honour which the Apostle commandeth to give unto Elders that rule well,1. Tim. 5.17. needeth not to be expounded of main­tainance and obedience; for by double ho­nour wee may either simply understand, much honour, or by way of comparison double honour, in respect of the Widowes, whom hee had before commanded to ho­nour,Ibid. v. 3. as Calvin expoundeth the place. Both these Interpretations doth Oecumenius give upon the same place.

The other question propounded by D. Field concerning Ruling Elders, shall have a resolution in that which followeth, and so J will proceed, conceiving that which hath [Page 107] beene said for Ruling Elders, shall satisfie such as desire to understand, though nothing can satisfie the malicious, nor them who are willingly ignorant.

Here endeth the first Booke.

THE Second Part, concerning the Assemblies of the Church of SCOTLAND, and Authority thereof.

CHAP. I. Of popular Government in the Church.

THere bee some that call in question the Warrant and Authority of classicall Presbyteries, of provinciall Synods and Nationall Assemblies, as they are used and maintained in the Church of Scotland. I meane not the Praelaticall facti­on, whom we set aside, but even some who are as Antiepiscopall as we are. The Scru­pulosity of such (at least of many such) herein doth (we conceive) proceed not from any [Page 109] perversnesse of mind, but onely from cer­taine mistakings, which better information may remove.

But first of all wee require those, whom we now labour to satisfie, to condescend up­on another point, viz. that the exercise of Ecclesiasticall power and jurisdiction in a particular Congregation, ought not to bee committed to the whole collective body thereof, but is peculiar to the Eldership re­presenting the same; for in vaine doe wee debate the other point concerning Presby­teries and Assemblies, if this latent preju­dice still occupy their minds, that the Go­vernment of the Church must needs be po­pular, exercised by the collective body, which happily may in some sort bee done within the bounds of a well limited Congre­gation, but is manifestly inconsistent with classicall Presbyteries & Synods, because the collective Bodies of all particular Congre­gations within the bounds of a shire, of a Province, of a Nation, cannot bee ordinarily, nor at all ordinatly, as­sembled together, and if they could, [Page 110] I beleeve that the Separatists themselves would in that case allow a dependencie or subordination of particular Congregations unto the more generall Congregation. So that the point of popular government being once cleared, it shall facilitate the other question concerning the Subordination of particular Elderships to class [...]icall Pres­byteries & Synods. Now there are good rea­sons why this popular government or exer­cise by jurisdiction by all can not be admit­ted into a Congregation.

First, in every Christian Congregation, there are some Rulers, some ruled, some Go­vernors, some governed, some that com­mand, some that obey, as is manifest from Hebr. 13.17. 1. Thes. 5.12. 1. Tim. 5.17. But if the whole Congregation have the Rule and Government, who then shall be ruled and governed? It will be answered, that in the ex­ercise of jurisdiction, every Member is to act according to it's owne condition, the head as the head, the eye as the eye, &c. that the Rulers and Governors of a Congrega­tion are to have the principall condu [...] of businesse, and to bee Heads, Eares, Mouths, &c. to the Congregation.

[Page 111]But this simile maketh rather for us then against us, for though every member bee usefull and steadable in the body according to it's owne condition, yet every member neither can nor doth exercise those princi­pall actions of seeing, hearing, tasting, &c. I say not that other members cannot see, heare, taste, as the eyes, eares, and mouth doe, but they cannot at all see, heare, nor taste. So if the Rulers of a Congregation be as the eyes, eares, mouth, &c. then other members of the Congregation cannot at all act those actions of government which they act. Hence it is that some, who make the whole Congregation the first subject of the power of spirituall Jurisdiction, doe notwithstanding hold that the whole Church doth exercise the said jurisdiction as Principium quod, the Eldership alone, as Principium quo, even as the whole man seeth, as Principium quod, the eye alone, as Principium quo, and so of all the rest. Thus doe they put a difference betwixt the pow­er it selfe,Suecan. de dis­cip. Eccles. part 4. c. 2▪ and the exercise of it, ascribing the former to the collective body of the Church, the latter to the representative: knowing that otherwise they could not preserve the distinction of Rulers and ruled in the Church.

[Page 112]Secondly, it is well knowne that in Con­gregations the greater part are not fit to exercise Jurisdiction, for they can not ex­amine the Doctrine and abilities of Mini­sters, how should they ordaine them? They can not judge of questions and controver­sies of faith, how shall they determine the same? They can not find out and disco­ver Hereticks, how shall they excommuni­cate them? It is answered that this evill proceedeth from another, viz. That there is too much sloth and oversight in the ad­mission of such as are to be members of a Congregation,Mos est scripturae ita loquide parte tanquam de [...] to, sicut Co­rinthios in primis suae Epistolae par­tibus ita lau­dat Aposto­lus, tanquam omnes tales essent, cum essent lauda­biles quidam eorum, saith Augustine writing to Paulinus., and that they would be fit enough to doe their duty, if they were all Saints, they meane appearantly, and in the judgement of charity such, Rom. 1.7. 1 Cor. 1, 2. Eph. 1, 1. But say we againe, 1. Why may wee not hold that when the Apostle writeth to the Saints at Rome, at Corinth, &c. he meaneth not, that all who were in those Churches, were either truely or ap­pearantly Saints (for some wicked ones there were among them, and manifestly vi­tious, Rom. 16, 17, 18. 1 Cor. 5.9.11.) But that his meaning is, to direct his Epi­stles to so many as were Saints at Rome, Co­rinth, &c. mentioning them alone; be­cause to them, and to none but them, did [Page 113] God send his word for a blessing, it being sent to others that they may goe and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and ta­ken, as the Prophet speaketh. 2. If it should be granted that the Apostle giveth the name of Saints to all and every one that were in the Churches of Rome, Corinth, and Ephesus, yet Mr. Ainsworth himselfe answering Mr. Bernard holdeth that they are called Saints by externall calling onely, wherewith many are called who are not chosen, and who have no appearant markes of election. Others say that they were called Saints, in respect of their baptisme, wherein they were all consecrated and devoted to God. Some say that they were all Saints, in respect of their profession. 3. Howsoever it was that they were all called Saints, yea put the case they had beene all truely Saints, surely their san­ctification can not import their fitnesse to exercise jurisdiction in the Church. The former is a speciall grace of the holy Spi­rit given to one for his owne Salvation: The other is a common gift of the Spirit, given for the benefit of the Church.

Thirdly, it were not possible to exercise ju­risdiction by a whole Congregation without [Page 114] great confusion and disorder: therefore this way cannot be from God, who is not the author of confusion but of order. If it be answered, that order may be kept in a Congregation exercising Iurisdiction as well as in a Nationall, at least in a Oecu­menicall Synod, where there will be as great a multitude, and peradventure grea­ter, then there is in a well-bounded Con­gregation. Wee reply it is not so much the multitude, which should make disor­der in the exercise of Jurisdiction by a whole Congregation (though indeed in many Congregations the multitude alone would hinder order) as the rudenesse of the vulgar sort, who if they should all speake their judgement, what a monstrous and un­avoidable confusion should there be? The members of Nationall and Oecumenicall Councils, are supposed to be men of know­ledge and discretion, and so may be kept in good order, much more easily then a rude multitude in the Congrega­tion.

They who are of another judgement ob­ject to us: First, our Saviours precept, Matth. 18.17. Where hee biddeth us not [...]ell the Eldershish, but tell the Church. Ans. By the Church he meaneth the representa­tive [Page 115] body of the Church, even as that which was spoken to the Elders of Israel, Exod. 12.21. was said to be spoken by all the Con­gregation of Israel, Supra part 1. cap 4 e. [...] c. 11. Ib. verse 3. and he who was judged by the Elders, was said to bee judged by the Congregation, Ios. 20.6. More of this place we say elsewhere. Next they object the example of excommunica­tion by the whole Congregation of Corinth, for the Apostle sheweth that it was the du­ty of the whole Congregation, to cast out that incestuous man. 1 Cor. In like manner hee writeth to them all, to receive him againe, when he had repented, 2 Cor. 2.6.8, 9. Answer. Whether the power of excommunication in actu pri­mo seu quo ad esse, did belong to the col­lective body of the Church of Corinth or not, is a question controverted, and to this day sub judice lis est, yet even those who hold the affirmative part of the question, doe notwithstanding say, that i [...] [...] secun­do seu quo ad operari, the power pertained onely to the [...] body of that Church which [...] P [...]esbytery: which is also confirmed by 2. Cor. 2.6. where the Apostle speaking of the censure of that incestuous man, saith not, that it was [Page 116] inflicted, [...], but [...] not by all, but by many. Hee was judged and sentenced by those [...], that is by the Pastors and Elders of Corinth, howbeit the execution & finall act of that high censure, was to be with the consent and in the pre­sence of the Congregation.

Thirdly, it is objected, that Matthias was chosen by the whole number of the Disciples, Act. 1. and so were the Dea­cons chosen, Act. 6. and Elders in every City were made per [...], the Congre­gation signifying their suffrages by the lif­ting up or stretching forth of their hands, Act. 14.23. Therefore Jurisdiction ought to be exercised by whole Congregations. Answ. This Argument faileth two waies, 1. Though ordination of Office-bearers in the Church be an act of Jurisdiction, it doth not appeare that the election of them is an act of jurisdiction likewise. Though the solemnizing of marriage be an act of authority, yet the choice and desire of the parties is not an act of authority. 2. Or (if you will) election of Ministers is one of the Rights and Priviledges of the Church, yet no act of jurisdiction. 3. And if electi­on were an act of authority and jurisdicti­on, [Page 117] yet the alleadged examples prove no more but that this act of jurisdiction is to be exercised by the whole body, in Ecclesia constituenda, non constituta. It may bee so indeed in Churches at their first erection, but being once erected, and all necessary Office-bearers therein planted, from thence­forth the election of Elders pertaineth to the Presbytery, De pol. Eccl. l. 2. cap. 12▪ to the Pastor and Elders, as Zepperus writeth, though still with the con­sent of the Church.

Fourthly, it is objected, that what con­cerneth all ought to be done with the con­sent of all. Answ. Wee hold the same, but the consent of all is one thing, the ex­ercise of jurisdiction by all, another thing. Ainsworth in one of his Epistles to Paget, condemneth the Elderships sitting and jud­ging matters apart from the Congregation.Arrone, pag. 23. Paget answereth, that though the Eldership sit apart to judge, yet before any sentence be given for the cutting off of any offen­der, or for any other thing which con­cerneth all, matters are first propoun­ded to the whole Church, and their prayers and consent required.

[Page 118]And surely this forme of proceeding shi­neth forth to us in that Apostolicall Synod at Ierusalem, for the Apostles and Elders, met, sate, and voiced apart from the whole Church, as Calvin noteth from Act. 15, 6. and they alone judged and decreed Act. 16.4. In the meane while were matters made knowne to the whole Church, and done with the consent of all, Act. 15.22.

If it be objected from verse 12: that the whole multitu [...]e was present in the Synod: I answer, we may understand with Piscator the multitude there spokē of to be the mul­titude of the Apostles & Elders, V. 6. or if we should understand by the multitude the whole Church, this proveth onely that the whole Church heard the question disputed, not that they were all present at the judging and determining of it. If it be further ob­jected that the Synodall Epistle came not onely from the Apostles and Elders, but from the brethren, that is, the whole Church. The answer is easie. The Brethren are mentioned, because it was done with their knowledge, consent, and applause.

To say no more, wee would gladly bury this controversie about popular govern­ment, in eternall silence and oblivion, and to this end we are content it be packt up, [Page 119] in the words which the Separatists them­selves (doubtlesse perpending the Reasons above-mentioned) have set downe in the 14. Article of the Confession of their Faith published, Anno 1616▪ for this they say. Wee judge each proper Pastor, may and ought to bee trusted by the Congregation, with the mana­ging of all points of their Ecclesiasticall af­faires and Government, so farre, that he with his assistants doe execute and administer the same: yet so that in matters of waight, the whole Congregation doe first understand there­of, before any thing be finished, and the finall act bee done in the presence of the whole Con­gregation, and also that they (the said Con­gregation) doe [...]ot manifestly dissent there­from. We are heartily content, that Congre­gations doe fully enjoy all the Christian liberty, which here is pleaded for in their behalfe, yea and much more also; for the assistants spoken of in these words of the Confession, are other Pastors and Collea­gues, if any there be, in the same Congrega­tion, as will bee evident to any that readeth that Article. But wee are content that the Assistants spoken of be understood to bee Ruling Elders. Now if the Authors of that Confession thought the Christian liberty of a Congregation sufficiently preserved, [Page 120] when the Pastor or Pastors thereof doe manage the weighty Ecclesiasticall affaires and government, with the kno [...]ledge, [...]nd (at least tacite) consent of the Congregation it selfe, then doe we not onely sufficiently and abundantly preserve the liberty of the Con­gregation, while as not the Pastor or Pastors thereof alone, but sundry Ruling Elders; also, representing the Congregation, doe manage the affaires aforesaid, the Congre­gation withall understanding thereof, and consenting thereto, Tacitè if not Expressè. I doe not thinke but those of the Separation at this time, will easily assent to this resolu­tion and reconcilement of the controversie, and so much the rather, because (I beleeve) they themselves doe seclude from the exer­cise of jurisdiction in the Congregation, both children under age, because of their defect of Judgement, and women, because they are forbidden to speake in the Church, and whe­ther they seclude any other, I know [...]ot, but since according to their owne Tenets, some must be secluded, and the power given to the Church, In Mat. 18.17. must in the exercise of it be re­strained to some in the Church, it is better to say with Aegidius Hunnius, that when Christ remitteth us to the Church. Mat. 18.17. He meaneth the prime and chiefe Mem­bers which represent the Church, that is Pastors [Page 121] a [...]d Elders, then to say that he sendeth us to the whole body of the Church.

One scruple more may peradventure re­maine. They will say, it is well that we re­quire the churches consent, before any waighty matter which concerneth all be fi­nished: but what if this consent be not had? Whether may the Eldership cut off an of­fender renitente Ecclesia? de pol. eccl. lib. 1, cap. 19. For their satis­faction is this, also wee say with Zepperus, Quod si Ecclesia &c. But if the Church, saith he, will not approve the sentence of Excommu­nication, nor hold it valid, and they see many disagreeing among themselves, and schismes and greater evills in the Church to follow this sentence of Excommunication: the Elders shall not proceed to Excommunication, but shall pa­tiently suffer what cannot with the good leave of the church be amended. In the meane while they shall publikely and privately admonish and exhort In 4 p [...]a [...]col. 75 6 de rep▪ ec lib. 5, 6▪ 12. [...] 67, lib. 3, contra Epist. Parmen. So saith Zanchius, that without the consent of the church no man ought to be excommunicated.

The B. of Spalato, and before him, Augu­stine hath given the reason hereof, because the end of excommunication cannot be at­tained, [Page 122] if the Church doe not consent thereto; for the end is, that the offender may bee taken with feare and shame, when he findeth him­selfe abhorred and accursed by the whole Church, so that it shall be in vain to excom­municate him, from whom the Multitude in the Church refuse to abstract their com­munion. I conclude, that in such cases; though the Pastors and Elders have the power of jurisdiction, it is not to exercise the same.

CHAP. II. Of the independencies of the Elderships of particular Congregations.

WEE have now rolled away one stone of offence, but there is another in our way. It were most strange, if the col­lective body of a Congregation, consisting it may bee of 10, 20, 30, or 40 persons, according to the grounds of these with whom we deale, should bee permitted to exercise independently all Eccleasisticall Jurisdiction: but it is almost as great a Pa­radox, to say, that the representative of every Congregation, which is the Eldership ther­of, consisting it may be of a Pastor, and two or three Ruling Elders, ought independent­ly [Page 113] to exercise the foresaid jurisdiction in all points.

I am debtor to D. Field, for answering one of those questions before propounded, concerning Ruling Elders, and here it falls in my hand. He asketh whether the power of Church-government and jurisdiction, doth belong to the Pastor and Elders of every Congregation, or to the Pastors and Elders of many Congregations joyned together in a Common Presbytery. I beleeve his ex­pectation was, that while as we would sayle through betwixt the Caribdis of Episcopall tyranny, and the Scylla of popular Anarchy, wee should not know ho [...] to direct our course, but should certainly either bee swal­lowed up in the waves of mighty difficul­ties, or split our selves upon hid Rockes of division. Our danger, I hope, is not so great as he did imagine; for we hold that the parti­cular Elderships of severall Congregations have their owne power and authority of Church-government, but with a subordina­tion unto the common or greater Presbyte­ry, whose power is superior and of a larger extent.

First, then we shall take into considerati­on, the bounds of the power of particular Elderships, and how the same may be said to be independent, and how not, for this pur­pose, [Page 124] I shall give foure distinctions out of Parker, and to these I shall adde other foure of my owne. de pol. eccl: lib, 3. cap. 20,

The first distinction is, betwixt things which are proper and peculiar to one Con­gregation,The Elders & Deacons of Ro [...]e writing to Cyprian con­cerning some publicke offen­ders. s [...]y Per. quam [...] his & i [...] vidus [...]m & on [...]rosum videtur, [...] p [...]r multos exami­n [...]e quod per multos [...]omm [...]ssum videatur fu [...]sse, & un [...] d [...] ­cere, c [...]nt [...]m grande [...]imen per multos dis fusum [...] exisse quont [...]m nec fi [...]mum de­cret [...]m potest esse quod non plur [...]m [...]rum vi­de bit [...]rh [...]bu [...]sse [...] Cypr Epist 31. [...]. and things which are common to many: the former pertaineth to the parti­cular Eldership, the latter to the common Eldership: Whence it commeth that in Scotland the cases of ordination, suspension, deposition, and Excommunication, are de­termined in the greater Presbyteries, because it doth not concerne one Congregation a­lone, but many, who be taken into the com­mon Presbytery, and who be put out of the sam [...], neither doth the Excommunication of a sinner concerne onely one Congregati­on, but the Neighbouring Congregations also, among whom (as is to be commonly suppo­sed ▪ the sinner doth often haunt & converse. Cyprian speaking of the admission of some who had fallen, and who had no recommen­dation from the Martyrs to be received a­gaine, referreth the matter to a common meeting, and his reason is, because it was a common cause, and did not concerne a few, nor one church onely. See lib. 2. Ep. 14.

The second distinction is betwixt Con­gregations, [Page 125] which have a competent and well-qualified Eldership, & small Congregations, who have but few office-bearers, and those (it may be) not sufficiently able for Church-govern­ment. In this case of insufficiencie, a Congre­gation may not independently, by it selfe, exer­cise jurisdiction, and not in re propria, saith Parker.

3. He distinguisheth betwixt the case of right administration, and the case of aberra­tion: whatsoever liberty, a Congregation hath in the former case, surely in the latter it must needs be subject and subordinate. If particular Elderships doe rightly manage their owne matters of Church-government, the grea­ter Presbytery shall not need for a long time (it may be for some yeares) to intermeddle in any of their matters, which wee know by expe­rience in our owne Churches.

4. Hee maketh a distinction betwixt the case of appellation and the case, de nulla ad­ministratione mala praesumpta. Though the particular Eldership hath proceeded aright, though it consist of able and sufficient men, and though it bee in re propria, yet if one think himselfe wronged, and so appeale, then is it made obnoxious to a higher consistory, [Page 126] for saith Parker, as the Councill of Sardis ordaineth audience must, not bee denyed to him who entreateth for it.

de pol. eccl. lib. 3. cap. 2.So saith Zepperus, speaking of the same purpose, cuivis integrum quoque sit ad superi­ores gradus provocare, si in inferioris gradus sententia aut decreto aliquid desideret.

5. Adde unto these a distinction betwixt a Congregation, lying alone in an Iland, Province, or Nation, and a Congregation bordering with sister Churches. If either there be but one Congregation in a King­dome or Province, or if there be many farre distant one from another, so that their Pa­stors and Elders cannot ordinarily meete together, then may a particular Congrega­tion doe many things by it selfe alone, which it ought not to doe, where there are adjacent neighbouring Congregations, together with which, it may, and should have a common Presbytery.

6. Let us put a difference betwixt the sub­ordination of one Congregation to ano­ther, or of ore Eldership to another, and the subordination of any Congregation, and of [Page 127] the Eldership thereof to a superior, Presby­tery or Synod made out of many Congre­gations, as one provinciall Synod is not sub­ject to another Provinciall Synod, yet all the Provinciall Synods in the Nation are subje [...]t [...] the Nationall Synod, so it is also with the ordinary consistories, one particu­lar Eldership is not subject to another, yet all the particular Elderships within the bounds of the common Presbytery are sub­ject to the same. So that there is a vast dif­ference betwixt this subordination which we maintaine, and the subordination of all the Parishes in a Diocesse to the Praelate and his Cathedrall. Where Douname doth object that all the Parishes of Geneva are Hierarchically subject to the Presbytery in the city, Parker denieth this, nisi quis &c. vnlesse saith he,De pol. Ec. lib. 3. c. 23. peradvēture one may be subject to himselfe, for the Parishes, each for their owne part, and that alihe, are this same Pres­bytery. And after, Consistorium &c. for the Consistory of the Cathedrall Church is an ex­ternall meeting, divers distinct and separate from the rurall Churches, which are no part thereof, this cannot be said of the Presbytery of Geneva.

7. Wee must distinguish betwixt a de­pendance absolute, and, in some respect, a Congregation doth absolutely depend upon [Page 128] the holy Scriptures alone, as the perfect rule of faith and manners, of worship and of Church-government, for we accurse the ty­ranny of Prelates, who claimed to them­selves an autocratoricke power over Congre­gations,Spotswood Serm. at Perth. assemb. to whom they gave their naked will for a Law. One of themselves told a whole Synod that they ought to esteeme that best which seemeth so to Superiors, and that this is a sufficient ground to the conscience for obeying, though the thing be inconvenient. We say, that Congregations ought indeed to be subject to Presbyteries and Synods, yet not absolutely, but in the Lord, and in things lawfull, and to this purpose the constituti­ons of Presbyteries and Synods are to bee examined by the judgement of Christian discretion, for a Synod is Iudex Iudicandus, and Regula regulata, so that it ought not to be blindly obeyed, whether the ordinance be convenient or inconvenient.

Last of all we are to distinguish betwixt the condition of the Primitive Churches, before the division of Parishes, and the state of our Churches now after such division. At the first when the multitude of Chri­stians in those great cities of Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, &c. was not divided into severall Parishes, the common Presbytery in the [Page 129] city did suffice for the government of the whole, and there was no need of a particular consistory of Elders, for every assembly and Congregation of Christians within the city, except perhaps to admonish, rebuke, exhort, or to take notice of such things as were to be brought into the common Presbyterie. But after that Parishes were divided, and Christian Congregations planted in the ru­rall villages, as well as in the cities, from henceforth it was necessary that every Con­gregation should have at hand within it selfe, a certaine Consistory for some acts of Church-government, though still those of greater importance were reserved to the greater Presbyterie. And thus have J, out of desire to avoid unnecessary questions, set downe my conceptions concerning the El­derships of particular Congregations, and the power of the same.

If it be said, that I seeme to deny the di­vine right of the same, or that they have a­ny warrant from the patterne of the Aposto­like Churche. I answer. I acknowledge the conformity of the same with the patterne thus farre. 1. It is to bee suposed that in some small cities (especially the same not being wholly converted to the Christian faith) there was but one Christian Con­gregation, the Eldership whereof did [Page 130] manage matters of jurisdictiō proper there­to. 2. Even in the great cities, at the first there was but one Congregation of Christi­ans, and so but one particular Eldership. 3. After that the Gospell had spread, and Chri­stians were multiplied in those great cities, it is true, they were all governed by a com­mon Presbytery, but that Presbytery was not remote, but ready at hand among thēselves. Now in this we keepe our selves as closse to the patterne, as the alteration of the Chur­ches condition by the division of Parishes will suffer us, that is to say, we have a com­mon Presbytery for governing the Congre­gations within a convenient circuit, but withall our Congregations have, ad manum, among themselves, an inferior Eldership for lesser acts of Government; though in respect of the distance of the seate of the common Presbytery from sundry of our Parishes, they can not have that ease and benefit of nearenesse, which the Apostolique Churches had, yet by the particular Elderships they have as great ease of this kinde as conveni­ently can be.

CHAP. III. Of greater Presbyteries which some call classes.

THe word [...] Presbyterie we find thrice in the New Testament, twice of the Iewish Presbytery at Hierusalem, Luke 22.66. Act. 22.5. and once of the Christian Presbytery. 1. Tim. 4.14. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which [...] given thee by prophecy, De presb, c. 12. p. 75.81. Serm. in a­poc. 1.20. with the lay­ing on of the hands of the Presbytery. Sutli­vius and Douname have borrowed, from Bel­larmine, two false glosses upon this place.

They say by [...] here, we may un­derstand either an assembly of Bishops, or the Office of a Presbyter, which was given to Timothy. Iren, lib▪ 2. c. 11. p. 161. To these absurdities let one of their owne side answer. Whereas saith D. Forbesse, some have expounded the Presbytery in this place to be a company of Bishops, unlesse by Bishops thou would understand simple Pres­byters, it is a violent interpretation, and an insolent meaning. And whereas others have vnderstood the degree it selfe of Eldership, this can not stand, De presb [...]. 1. for the degree hath not hands, but hands are mens. J find in Sutlivius, a [Page 132] third glosse. He saith, that the word Pres­byterie in this place signifieth the Ministers of the word, non juris vinculo sed ut cunque collectos, inter quos etiam Apostoli erant. Ans. 1. If so, then the occasionall meeting of Ministers, be it in a journey, or at a wed­ding, or a buriall, &c. shall all be Presby­teries, for then they are ut cunque collecti. 2. The Apostles did put the Churches [...] bet­ter order, then to leave imposition of hands, or any thing of that kind to the uncertainty of an occasionall meeting. 3, The Apostles were freely present in any Presbyterie, where they were for the time, because the over­sight and care of all the Churches was layd upon them: Pastors and Elders were nece­ssarily present therein, and did by vertue of their particular vocation meete together Presbyterially, whether an Apostle were with them, or not.

No other sense can the Text suffer but that by Presbyterie we should understand consessus Presbyterorum, a meeting of Elders, and so doe Camero and Forbesse themselves expound it. Sutlivius objecteth to the con­trary, that the Apostle Paul did lay on hands upon Timothy, which he proveth both from 2. Tim. 1. and, because extraordinary gifts were given by that laying on of hands. Ans. There is an expresse difference made betwixt [Page 133] Pauls laying on of his hands, and the Presby­teries laying on of their hāds. Of the former it is said, that Timothy received the gift, which was in him, [...] by the laying on of Pauls hands; but he received the gift [...] with the laying on of the hands of the Pres­byterie, as Didoclavius noteth. But saith Sutlivius, Timothy being an Evangelist (as you hold) how could hee be ordained by the Presbyterie? Ans. 1. Though the Presby­terie did neither give him ordination to bee an Evangelist, nor yet conferre by the lay­ing on of their hands extraordinary gifts up­on him, yet did they lay on their hands, as setting to the the Seale and Testimony, and commending him to the grace of God, even as certaine Prophets and Teachers layd hands on Paul and Barnabas, and Ananias also be­fore that time had laid his hands upon Paul. 2. The Presbyterie might ordaine Timothy to be an Elder. If so be he was ordained an El­der before he was ordained an Evangelist. 3. If the testimony of the Presbyterie, by the laying on of their hands, together, with the Apostles hands, in the extraordinary mission of Timothy, was required: much more may it be put out of question, that the Apostles committed to the Presbyt [...]ry the full power of ordaining ordinary Ministers.

But it is further objected by Sutlivius that [Page 134] this could not be such a Presbyterie as is a­mong us, because ordination and imposition of hands pertaine to none, but the Ministers of the word.Num. 8.10. Ans. 1. The children of Is­rael laid their hands upon the Levites, & we would know his reason why he denyeth the like power to ruling Elders now, especially since this imposition of hands is but a ge­sture of one praying, and a morall signe de­claring the person prayed for. 2. Howsoe­ver our practice (wh [...]ch is also approved by good Divines) is,Iun. cont. 5. lib. 1. cap. 3. Synod. pur. theol. dyp. 42. thes. 37. to put a difference betwixt the act of ordination and the externall right thereof, which is imposition of hands, ascri­bing the former to the whole Presbytery both Pastors and Elders, and reserving the lat­ter to the Ministers of the word, yet to bee done in the name of all.

Thus have we evinced the Apostles mea­ning, when he speaketh of a Presbyterie, and this Consistory we find to have continued in the Christian Church in the ages after the Apostles. Jt is certaine that the ancient Bi­shops had no power to judge any cause with­out the presence, advice and counsell of their Presbyters Conc. Carth. 4. can. 23. Field, For­besse, Saravia, and Douname, doe all acknow­ledge that it was so, and so doth Bellarmine de Pont. Rom. l. 1. c. 8. Of this Presbytery spea­keth Cyprian. Omni actu ad me perlato, placuit contrahi Presbyterium, &c.

[Page 135]Of the Presbytery speaketh the same Cy­prian, lib. 2. Ep. 8. & lib. 4. Ep. 5. Ignatius ad Trall. and Hierom in Esa. 3. Wee finde it also in conc. Ancyr. can 18 and in conc. Car­thag. 4. can. 35.40.Iren. lib. 2. p. 254.255. Doctor Forbesse alled­geth that the word Presbytery for fifteen hun­dred yeares after Christ, did signifie no o­ther thing in the Church, then a Diocesan Synod. But herein (if hee had understood himselfe) he spake not so much against Pres­byteries, as against Prelats; for a Diocesse of old was bounded within one City.Lib. 4. ep. 2. Tum­que jampridem per omnes provincias & per urbes singulas ordinati sint Episcopi, &c. saith Cyprian. It was necessary to ordaine Bishops, [...],In 1 Tim. hom. 10. saith Chrysostome, speaking of the primitive times; yea, in Country Vil­lages also were Bishops, who were called [...], that is, [...], rurall Bishops, whose Episcopall office though li­mited, yet) was allowed in the Councell of Ancyra, can. 13. and the Councell of Anti­och can 8. & 10.Hist. tripart. l. 6. cap. 4. Sozomen recordeth that the Village Majuma, which was sometime a suburbe of the City Gaza, was not subject to the Bishop of Gaza, but had its owne pro­per Bishop, and that by the decree of a Sy­nod in Palestina. The Councell of Sardis, can. 6. and the Councell of Laodicea, can. 57. [Page 134] [...] [Page 135] [...] [Page 136] though they discharged the ordaining of Bi­shops in villages, lest the name of a Bishop should grow contemptible, did neverthelesse allow every City to have a Bishop of its owne. What hath Doctor Forbesse now gai­ned by maintaining that the bounds of a Presbyterie, and of a Diocesse were all one? They in the Netherl [...]nds sometime call their Presbyteries Diocaeses:G. Bucer. de gub. Eccl. pag. 100.101. and many of our Presbyteries are greater then were Diocesses of old. Wee conclude there was anciently a Presbytery in every City which did indeede choose one of their number to preside a­mong them, and to lay on hands in name of the rest, and hee was called the Bi­shop; wherein they did more trust the de­ceiveable goodnesse of their owne intenti­ons, then advert to the rule of the Word of God.

These things premitted, I come now to that which is principally intended, viz. by what warrant and qu [...] jure, the Classicall Presbyterie among us, made up out of many neighbouring congregations, should be the ordinary Court of Ecclesiasticall Jurisdicti­on, at least in all matters of highest impor­tance, which doe concerne either all or any of those congregations.

For resolution hereof we must understand [Page 137] 1. That causes common to many congrega­tions, ought not to be judged by any one of them, but by the greater Presbytery com­mon to them all. 2. It is to bee supposed that particular congregations (at least the farre greatest part of them) have not in their pro­per Elderships so many men of sufficient abi­lities, as are requisite in judging and deter­mining the cases of the examination of Mi­nisters, of ordination, deposition, excommu­nication, and the like. 3. When one appea­leth from a particular Eldership, out of per­swasion that hee is wronged by the sentence thereof, or when that Eldership finding its owne insufficiency for determining some difficult causes, resolveth to referre the same into a higher Court: reason would that there should be an ordinary Court of a Classicall Presbytery to receive such appellations or references. 4. Congregations which lye neare together, ought all as one to keep unity and conformity in Church policy and go­vernment, neither ought one of them be per­mitted to doe an injury, or to give an offence unto another: and for these ends, it is most necessary that they be governed by one com­mon Presbytery. 5. There may be a competi­tion or a controversie not only betwixt one congregation and another, but in the same [Page 138] congregation betwixt the one halfe and the other; yea, the Eldership it selfe of that con­gregation, may be, (and sometimes is) divi­ded in it selfe. And how shall things of this kinde bee determined, but by the common Presbytery? 6. But (which is caput rei) these our Classicall Presbyteries have a certaine warrant from the paterne of the Apostolicall Churches: For proofe whereof, it shall bee made to appeare, 1. That in those Cities, (at least in many of them) where Christi­an religion was planted by the Apostles, there were a great number of Christians, then ei­ther did, or conveniently could meet toge­ther into one place for the worship of God. 2. that in those Cities there was a plurality not onely of ruling Elders, but of the Mini­sters of the word. 3. That notwithstanding hereof, the whole number of Christians within the Citie, was one Church. 4. That the whole number, and severall companies of Christians within one Citie, were all gover­ned by one common Presbytery. The se­cond of these doth follow upon the first, and the fourth upon the third.

The first proposition may bee made good by induction of particulars; and first, it is more then evident of Ierusalem, where wee finde unto 120 Disciples, Act. 1.15. added [Page 139] 8000. by Peters two Sermons, Act. 2.41. and 4.4. Besides whom, there were yet more multitudes added. Act. 5.14. And after that also, wee read of a further multiplication of the Disciples, Act. 6.1. by occasion whereof the seaven Deacons were chosen and ordai­ned: which maketh some to conjecture, that there were seven congregations, a Deacon for every one. Certainly there were rather more then fewer, though wee cannot deter­mine how many. It is written of Samaria, that the people with one accord gave heed unto Philip, Act. 8.6. even all of them both men and women, from the least to the grea­test, who had before given heed to Simon: of these all it is said, that they beleeved Philip, and were baptised, vers. 10.12. which made the Apostles that were at Ierusalem ▪ when they heard that the great City Samaria had received the word of God, to send unto them Peter and Iohn, the harvest being so great, that Philip was not sufficient for it, v. 14. Of Ioppa it is said,Act. 9.42. that many beleeved in the Lord. Of Ant [...]och w [...] read, that a great number be­leeved, and turned to the Lord, Act. 11.21. Of Iconium that a great multitude both of the Jewes, and also of the Greekes, beleeved, Act. 14.1 Of Lidda, that all who dwelt there­in, turned to the Lord, Act. 9.35. Of Ber [...]a, [Page 140] that many of them beleeved: also of the ho­nourable women, and the men not a few, Act. 17.12. Of Corinth the Lord saith, I have much people in this Citie, Act. 18.10▪ O [...] E­phesus wee finde, that [...]eare fell on all the Jewes and Greekes which dwelt there, and many beleeved; yea, many of the Magici­ans themselves, whose bookes that were bur­ned, amou [...]t [...]d to fif [...]y thousand peeces of sil­ver, so mightily grew the Word of God and prevailed, Act. Unto the multitude of Christians in those Cities, let us adde another consideration, viz. that they had no Temples (as now wee have) but pri­vate places [...]or their holy Assemblies, such as the house of Mary, Act. 12.12. the Schoole of Tyrannus, Act 19.9. an upper chamber at Tr [...]s, Act. [...]0.8. Pauls lodging at Rome, Act. 28. [...]3. Neither doe I see any reason why the Church which was in the house of Aquila and Priscilla, Rom. 16.5. 1 Cor. 16.19. should not be understood to bee a congrega­tion, as Erasmus readeth it, that is, such a-number of Christians as met together in their house. So wee read of the Church in the house of Nymphas, Col. 4.15. And of the Church [...] house of Archippus▪ Philem. v. 2. [...], i [...] is certaine, that Christians met together, [...], house by house, Doma­tius, [Page 141] Act. 2.46. both these considerations, viz. the multitude of Christians in one Citie, and their assembling together for worship in pri­vate houses, have also place in the next ages after the Apostles.Hist. Eccl. lib, 8. cap. 1. Let Eusebius speak for them both. Who can describe, saith hee, those innu­merable heaps & flocking multitudes, through­out all Cities and famous Assemblies, frequen­ting the places ded [...]c [...]ted to prayer? Thereaf­ter he proceedeth to shew how in aftertimes by the favour of Emperours, Christians had throughout all Cities, ample Churches built for them, they not being contented with the old Or [...]toria, which were but private houses. Now these two, the multitude of Christians, and the want of Temples, shall abundantly give light to my first proposition.

But it may bee objected to the contrary, that all the Disciples at Ierusalem did meet together [...], into one place, Act. 2.44. And the same is said of the Church of Co­rinth, 1 Cor. 11.20. Ans. The disciples at Ieru­salem, Vers. 46. being at that time above 3000. it can­not be cōceived how any private house could cotain them. Beside, it is said, that they brake bread that is, did celebrate the Lords Sup­per from house to house. Therefore many good interpreters understand by [...], that all the Disciples were linked together in­to [Page 142] one by amity and love, an evidence where­of is given in the next words, and had all things common. To the other place wee an­swer: 1. That Epistle, whether it were writ­ten from Philippi, or from Ephesus, was un­doubtedly written very lately after the plan­tation of the Gospel in Corinth, while as that Church was yet in her infancie. And if it should bee granted, that at that time the whole Church of Corinth might and did meet together into one place, this proveth not that it was so afterward: for the Churches increa­sed in number daily, Act. 16.5. But, 2. the place of the Apostle proveth not that which is alledged: for his words may be understood in sensu distributivo. It was no solecisme for one that was writing to divers congregations, to say, When yee come together into one place, meaning distributively of every congrega­tion, not collectively of them all together.

My second proposition concerning the plurality of the Ministers of the Word in those great Cities, wherein the Apostles did erect Christian Churches, ariseth from these grounds, 1. The multiplicity of Christians. 2. The want of Temples, of which two I have already spoken. 3. The daily increase of the Churches to a greater number, Acts 16.5.4. There was need of preachers, not [Page 143] only for those who were already converted in the City, but also for labouring to winne the unbelievers who were therein. These reasons may make us conclude that there were as many Pastors in one City as there were sacred meetings therein, and some more also for the respects foresaid. And what will you say if we finde examples of this plu­rality of Pastors in Scripture? Of the Bishops or Pastors of the Church of Ephesus, it i [...] said, that Paul kneeled down, and praied with them all, and they all wept sore, Acts 20.36.37. compared with verse 28. Here is some good number imported. To the Angell of the Church of Smyrna, that is, to the Pastors thereof collectively taken, Christ saith, The Divell shall cast some of you into prison, Revel. 2.10. which (if not only yet) principally is spoken to the Pastors, though for the be­nefit of that whole Church. This is more plaine of the Church of Thyatira, verse 24. [...], Vnto you I say, & to the rest in Thyatira: as if he would say, saith Pareus, Tibi [...]spicopo cum collegis & reliquo coetui dico. Paul writeth to the Bishop at Philippi, Phil. 1.1. and notwithstanding that there was al­ready a certaine number of Bishops or Pa­stors in that City, yet the Apostle thought it necessary to send unto them Epaphroditus [Page 144] also, Phil. 2.25. being shortly thereafter to send unto them Timotheus, verse 19. yea to come himselfe, verse 24. so that there was no scarcity of labourers in that harvest. Epaphras and Archippus were Pastors to the Church at Colosse, and who besides we cannot tell, but Paul sent unto them also Tychicus, and Onesi­mu [...], Col. 4.7.9.

Now touching the third proposition, no man who understandeth, will imagine that the multitude of Christians within one of those great Cities was divided into as many parishes as there were meeting places for worship. It is a point of controversie, who did beginne the division of parishes; but whosoever it was, whether Evaristus, or Hi­ginus, or Dionysius, certaine it is, that it was not so from the beginning, I meane in the daies of the Apostles, for then it was all one to say, in every City, or to say, in every Church. That which is [...], Tit. 1.5. is [...] Acts 14.22. This is acknowledged by all Anti-prelaticall writers so farre as I know, and by the Prelaticall writers also.

The last proposition, as it hath not beene denyed by any, so it is sufficiently proved by the former, for that which made the multi­tude of Christians within one City to be one Church, was their union under and their [Page 145] subjection unto the same Church governe­ment and governours. A multitude may bee one Church, though they doe not meete to­gether into one place for the worship of God: for example, it may fall forth, that a congre­gation cannot meet together into one, but into divers places, and this may continue so for some yeares together, either by reason of persecution, or by meanes of the plague, or because they have not such a large parish-Church as may containe them all, so that a part of them must meete in some other place: but a multitude cannot be one Church, unlesse they communicate in the same Church government, and under the same Governours, (by one Church I meane one Ecclesiasticall Republike;) even as the like union under civill government and gover­nours maketh one corporation: when the Apostle speaketh to all the Bishops of the Church of Ephesus, Acts 20.28. hee exhorteth them all to take heed to all the flocke, [...], over which the holy Ghost had made them overseers, so that the whole was go­verned by the common counsell and advice of the Elders, as Hierome speaketh: for the same reason we say not the Churches, but the Church of Amsterdam, because all the Pastors and Elders have the charge▪ and [Page 146] governement of the whole.

From all which hath beene said, I inferre this Corollary, That in the times of the Apo­stles, the Presbytery which was the ordinary Court of Iurisdiction, which did ordaine, depose, excommunicate, &c. did consist of so many Pa­stors and Elders, as could with conveniency meete ordinarily together, which is a paterne and warrant for our Classicall Presbyteries. I confesse there might be in some townes no greater number of Christians then did meet together in one place, notwithstanding whereof the Pastor or Pastors and Elders of that congregation, might and did manage the government of the same, and exercise ju­risdiction therein. I confesse also that in those Cities wherein there was a greater number of Christians then could meet together into one place for the worship of God, the Pres­bytery did consist of the Pastors and Elders within such a City: for it cannot be proved that there were at that time any Christian congregations in Landward Villages (the persecution forcing Christians to choose the shelter of Cities, for which reason many are of opinion that the Infidells in those daies were called Pagani, because they alone dwelt in Pagis) and if there had beene any such adjacent to Cities, we must thinke the [Page 147] same should have beene subject to the com­mon Presbytery, their owne Pastors and Elders being a part thereof. Howsoever it cannot be called in question that the Presby­tery in the Apostolicall Churches, was made up of as many as could conveniently meete together, for managing the ordinary matters of Jurisdiction and Church-government. The Pastors and Elders of divers Cities could not conveniently have such ordinary meetings, especially in the time of persecuti­on; only the Pastors and Elders within one City had such conveniency. And so to con­clude, we doe not forsake, but follow the paterne, when we joyne together a number of Pastors and Elders out of the congregati­ons in a convenient circuit, to make up a common Presbytery, which hath power and authority to governe those congregations; for if the Presbytery which we find in those Cities wherein the Apostles planted Chur­ches, bee a sure paterne for our Classicall Presbyteries (as wee have proved it to bee) then it followeth undeniably that the autho­rity of Church-government, of excommuni­cation, ordination, &c. which did belong to that Primitive Presbytery, doth also be­long to those our Classicall or greater Pres­byteries.

CHAP. IV. Of the authority of Synods Provinciall and Nationall.

TOuching Synods, I shall first shew what their power is, and thereafter give arguments for the same. The power of Jurisdiction which wee ascribe un­to Synods, is the same in nature and kinde with that which belongeth to Presbyteries, but with this difference, that Presbyteries doe exercise it in an ordinary way, and in matters proper to the congregations within their circuit. Synods doe exercise this pow­er in matters which are common to a whole province, or nation; or if in matters proper to the bounds of one Presbytery, it is in an extraordinary way; that is to say, when ei­ther Presbytery hath erred in the managing of their owne matters, or when such things are transferred to the Synod from the Pres­bytery, whether it be by appellation or by reference.

The power of Jurisdiction, whereof I speake is threefold, [...], and [...]. So it is distinguished by our writers, [Page 149] and all these three doe in manner foresaid be­long unto Synods. In respect of Articles of faith or worship, a Synod is Iudex or Testis: In respect of externall order and policie in circumstances, a contriver of a Canon, or [...] In respect of heresie, schisme, obstinacie, contempt and scandall, Vindex: not by any externall coactive power (which is peculiar to the Magistrate) but by spirituall censures.

The dogmaticke power of a Synod, is not a power to make new Articles of faith, nor new duties and parts of divine worship, but a power to apply and interpret those Articles of faith, and duties of worship which God hath set before us in his written Word, and to declare the same to be inconsistent with emergent heresies and errours. To this pur­pose it is that the Apostle calleth the Church the pillar and ground of truth, 1 Tim. 3.15. [...], not [...], which may be expounded ei­ther in sensu forensi, the Church is the pub­licke witnesse, notifier and keeper of truth; even as in Courts and places of judgement, there are pillars to which the Edicts of Ma­gistrates are affixed, that people may have no­tice thereof: or in sensu architectonico ▪ as the Church by her faith is built upon Christ, or (wch is all one) upon the doctrine and truth of [Page 150] Christ, contained in the writings of the Pro­phets and Apostles, and leaneth thereto: so by her Ministery she upholdeth, under-pro­peth, and conserveth this same truth, lest, as the Prophet speaketh, Truth fall in the streets, & perish among men. Truth standeth fast in the Church, and is kept firme, while it is profes­sed, preached, propugned and maintained a­gainst all contrary errour and heresie. In the same sense saith the Apostle, that unto the Jewish Church were committed the Oracles of God, Rom. 3.2. by them to be kept, interpreted, propa­gated, &c.

By the Diatakticke power a Synod may institute, restore, or change, according to the condition and exigence of the Church, the externall circumstances in the worship of God, and Ecclesiasticall discipline: I meane those circumstances which are common both to civill and sacred Societies, the conve­niencie whereof is determinable by the light of Nature, alwayes observing the generall rules of the Word, which commandeth that all bee done to the glory of God, that all bee done to edifying, that all bee done in order and decencie, that we give none offence, that wee support the weake, that we give no place to the enemies of the truth, nor symbolize with Idolaters, &c. Now for avoiding dis­order [Page 151] and disconformity in a Nation profes­sing one Religion, it is fit that Nationall Sy­nods give certaine directions and rules even concerning these rites and circumstances, not having therein an Arbitrary or Autocratorke power, but being alwayes tied to follow the rules foresaid.

The Criticke power of a Synod, is not a Lordly imperious dominiering over the flocke of Christ, which is not to bee ruled with force and cruelty; but it is the power of spirituall censures, as excommunication, deposition, and the like, most necessary for the repressing of heresie, errour, obstinacie in wickednesse, and scandals, otherwise in­corrigible. Without this power, schismes and offences could not bee cured, but should the more increase; whileas liberty is left to heretickes, schismatickes, and obstinate per­sons, without any censure to pester and di­sturb a whole Nation, without any regard to the constitutions of a Nationall Synod.

But may one say, if the Decrees of a Synod concerning matters of Faith or Worship, may and ought to bee examined by the sure rule of the word of God, and onely to be re­ceived when they doe agree therewith; and if also the constitutions of a Synod in exter­nall circumstances, doe not binde, except ex [Page 152] aquo & bono, and propter justas mandandi causas: or, as Divines speak, in casu scanda­li & contemptus, and not for the meere will or authority of a Synod; and if therefore all Christians are by the private judgement of Christian discretion, following the light of Gods Word and Spirit, to try and examine all decrees and constitutions of any Synod whatsoever, to know whether they may law­fully receive the same, as our Divines main­taine and prove against Papists. If these things be so, it may seeme contrary to Chri­stian liberty, and to the Doctrine of Prote­stant Writers, that Synods should exercise the foresaid Criticke power, or inflict any spirituall censures, at least upon those who professe, that after examination of the de­crees or constitutions, they cannot bee per­swaded of the lawfulnesse of the same.

Ans. 1. Our Divines by those their tenents, meane not to open a doore to disobedience and contempt of the ordinances of a Synod, but onely to oppugne the Popish errour con­cerning the binding power of Ecclesiasticall lawes, by the sole will and naked authority of the law-maker, & that Christian people ought not to seek any further reason or motive of o­bedience. 2. A Synod must ever put a dif­ference betwixt those who out of a reall [Page 153] scruple of conscience, doe in a modest and peaceable way, refuse obedience to their or­dinances, still using the meanes of their bet­er information, & those who contemptuously or factiously disobey the same, labouring with all their might to strengthen themselves in their errour, and to perswade others to be of their minde. 3. This objection doth mi­litate no lesse against Ecclesiasticall censures in a particular congregation, then in a Natio­nall Synod. And they who doe at all ap­prove of Church censures to be inflicted up­on the contemptuous and obstinate, shall put in our mouthes an answer to objections of this kinde.

CHAP. V. The first Argument for the authority of Synods, and the subordination of Pres­byteries thereto, taken from the light of nature.

HAving now described the power of particular Elderships (which we call Sessions) of Classicall Presbyteries, and of Synods, Provinciall and Nationall, [Page 154] it remaineth to confirme by Arguments the subordination and subjection of the particu­lar Elderships, to the Classicall or common Presbytery, of both to the Provinciall Sy­nod, and of all these to the Nationall Assem­bly: So that every one may perceive what reason the Church of Scotland hath to give unto the higher Ecclesiasticall Courts autho­rity over the lower.

I might insist long enough both in the Te­stimonies of Protestant Writers, and in the examples of the reformed Churches abroad, as also in the examples of all the ancient Churches, all speaking for this authority of Synods. But these I shall passe, because I know Arguments from Scripture, and reason, are required, and such we have to give.

First of all I argue from the very light & law of nature. That same light of nature which hath taught our Common-wealth, beside the Magistrates and Councells of particular Burghs, to constitute higher Courts, for whole Shires, Baliveries, Stuartries, Regali­ties; and above all these, the supreame Court of Parliament to governe the whole Nation, hath also taught our Church to constitute Synods Provinciall and Nationall, with power and authority above Presbyteries. Wee are farre from their minde who would [Page 155] make Policy the Mistresse, and Religion the Handmaid, and would have the government of the Church conformed to the government of the State as the fittest paterne. But this we say, in all such things as are alike common to the Church and to the Common-wealth, and have the same use in both, whatsoever natures light directeth the one, it cannot but direct the other also; for as the Church is a company of Christians subject to the [...]aw of God, so is it a company of men and wo­men who are not the outlawes of nature, but followers of the same. It is well said by one, Hoc certissimum est &c. [...].B.A.C. de Polit. civil. & Eccles. p [...]g. 43. This is most certaine, that the Church is a certaine kinde of Republike▪ for it hath all those things which all Re­publikes must need, have, but t [...]h [...]th them in a different way, because it is not a Civill▪ but an Ecclesiastic [...]ll Republike. And againe, Est ergo, &c. [...]o that this Republike is much more perfect then all others, and therefore cannot but have the things which they have that are in dignity farre inferi [...]ur to it. So saith Robinson in his justif. of separ. pag. 113. The visible Church, saith he, being a politie Ecclesiasticall and the perfect on of all polities, doth comprehend in it whatsoever is excellent in all other bodies politi­call. Now so it is, that while as some hold the government of the Church to bee Monarchi­call, [Page 156] others Aristocraticall, others Democra­ticall, others mixed of all these; they all ac­knowledge that the Church is a Republike, and ought to bee governed even as a Civill Republike, in things which are alike com­mon to both: of this kinde are Courts and Judicatories, which doe alike belong to both, and have the same use in both, viz. for rule and government; therefore as na­tures light doth undeniably enforce diversity of Courts in the Common-wealth, some par­ticular, some generall, some lower, some higher, and the latter to have authority over the former, it doth no lesse undeniably en­force the like in the Church, for de paribus idem judicium. It cannot bee denyed that the Church is led by natures light in such things as are not proper to religious holy uses, but alike common to civill societies, at least in so farre as they are common to sacred and civill uses. The Assemblies of the Church in so farre as they treat of things Spirituall and Ecclesiasticall, after a spirituall manner, for a spirituall end, and doe consist of spirituall Office-bearers as the members constituent, in as farre they are sacred, and the Church is therein directed by the Word of God alone; yet the having of Assemblies and Consisto­ries, and divers sorts of them, and the lower [Page 157] subordinat to the higher, all this is not sacred nor proper to the Church, but common with her to the Common-wealth, nature com­mending therein to the one, what it com­mendeth to the other.

CHAP. VI. The second Argument, taken from Christs Institution.

AS wee have Nature, so have wee Christs Institution for us, and this shall appeare two wayes. First, the fidelity of Christ, both in his Propheticall & in his Regall or Nomotheticall power, was such, that he hath sufficiently provided for all the necessities and exigences whatsoever of his Churches, to the end of the world. Therefore the Apostle calleth him as faith­full in all the house of God,Heb. 3.2. as ever Moses was, who delivered lawes serving for the go­vernment of the Church of the Jewes in all cases. Whence we collect, that the autho­rity of Classicall Presbyteries over the El­derships of particular congregations, and the authority of Synods over both, must needs have a warrant from Christs owne Institu­tion, [Page 158] because without this authority, there are very important necessities of the Chur­ches, that cannot be helped. For example, in most congregations, especially in Dorps and Villages, when a Pastor is to be ordained, the particular Eldership within the congregation can neither examine and try his gifts, and his, soundnesse in the faith, (which examination must necessarily precede his ordination;) nor can they discover him, in case he be a subtile and learned hereticke; nor yet can they pray in t [...]e congregation over him which is to be ordained, and give him publicke exhortation and admonition of his duty, God having neither given to the Elders of every congre­gation, nor yet required of them such abili­ties. What shall be done in this case?Against Paget Chap. 5. Ains­worth would have the worke stayed, and the Church to want a Minister, till she be able to doe her workes, and her duties which are proper to her. Alas! bad Christ no greater care of the Churches then so? shall they be destitute of a Pastor, ever till they be able to try his gifts and soundnesse, and to exhort and pray at his ordination? and how shall they ever attaine to such abilities except they bee taught? and how shall they bee taught without a Teacher? Now the power and authority of Classicall Presbyteries, to o [...]d [...]in [Page 159] Pastors in particular congregations, shall cut off all this deduction of absurdities, and shall supply the Churches need. I may adde a­nother instance concerning the Classicall Presbytery it selfe. What if the one halfe thereof turne to be hereticall, or it may bee the major part? They shall either have most voyces, or at least the halfe of the voyces for them, and there shall bee no remedy, unlesse the authoritative determination of a Synod be interposed.

Secondly, the will of Christ for Provin­ciall and Nationall Assemblies to bee over Presbyteries, even as they are over the El­derships of particular congregations, appear­eth also in this. He hath given us in the new Testament, expresse warrant for Ecclesiasti­call Courts and Assemblies in generall, that such there ought to be, for the right govern­ment of the Church, Matth. 18.20. Where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there am I in the midst of them. Act. 15.6. And the Apostles and Elders came together for to consider of this matter. From these and the like places, it is plaine, that Christ willeth jurisdiction to bee exercised, and controver­sies to bee determined by certaine Consisto­ries and Assemblies. Of the exercise of ju­risdiction is the first place, which I have cited [Page 160] to bee understood, as the cohesion thereof with the purpose which went before, shew­eth. Of determining questions of faith, and enacting lawes concerning things in their owne nature indifferent, is the other place to be understood, as wee shall heare af­terward. So then, wee truely affirme of Ec­clesiasticall Assemblies in generall, that po­wer is commited by Christ unto them, to exercise jurisdiction, to determine questions of faith, and to make constitutions about things indifferent, in the case of scandall. Now the severall sorts of these Assemblies are not particularly determined in Scripture, but left to be particularly determined by the Church, conforme to the light of Nature, and to the generall rules of the Word of God. And the particular kindes of Assem­blies appointed by the Church, conforme to the light and rules foresaid, doe fall within the compasse of those precepts which are Divine-Ecclesiastica: they are mixed (though not meere) divine ordinances. Even as the Scripture warranteth times of fasting, and times of thankesgiving, shewing also the cau­ses and occasions of the same, and the right manner of performance; but leaveth the par­ticular dayes of fasting and thankesgiving to be determined by the Church, according to [Page 161] the rules of the Word. In like manner, the Scripture commendeth the renewing of the covenant of God in a Nation that hath bro­ken it, but leaveth the day and place for such an action to be determined by the Church, according to the rules foresaid. Now if the Church following the generall warrant and rules of the Word, command to fast such a day, to give thankes such a day, to renew the covenant of God such a day; these things are divine ordinances mixedly, though not meerely; and he who disobeyeth, disobeyeth the commandement of God. The like may be said of catechising, and of celebrating the Lords Supper, (which are not things occa­sionall, as the former, but ordinary in the Church:) they are commended by the war­rants of Scripture, but the particular times and seasons not determined. The like wee say of the order to be kept in baptisme, and in excommunication, which is not determi­ned in the Word, though the things them­selves be. The removing of scandals, by putting wicked persons to publike shame, and open confession of their faults in the Church, hath certaine warrant from Scrip­ture, yet the degrees of that publike shame and punishment, are left to be determined by the Church, according to the quality [Page 162] of the scandall, and the rules of the Word. Now the Church appointeth some scanda­lous persons to be put to a greater shame, some to a lesser, some to [...]ee o [...]e Sabbath in the place of publike repentance, some three, some nine, some twenty five, &c. And if the of­fender refuse that degree of publike shame which the Church, following the rules fore­said appointeth for him, hee may be truely said, to refuse the removing and taking away of the scandall, which the Word of God in­joyneth him, and so to disobey not the Church only, but God also. Just so the Scripture having commended unto us the governing of the Church, the making of Lawes, the exercise of Jurisdiction, the de­ciding of controversies, by Consistories and Assemblies Ecclesiasticall, having also shew­ed the necessity of the same, their power, their rule of proceeding and judging, who should sit and voice in the same, &c. But leaving the particular kindes, degrees, times, bounds, and places of the same to be resol­ved upon by the Church, according to the light of naturall reason, and generall rules of the Word: The Church for her part, fol­lowing the generall warrant and rules fore­said, together with the light of nature, hath determined and appointed Assemblies, [Page 163] Provinciall and Nationall, and to exercise respectively that power which the Word giveth to Assemblies in generall. The case thus standing, we may boldly maintaine that those particular kinds and degrees of Eccle­siasticall Assemblies, are Gods owne ordi­nances mixedly, though not meerely.

But what can bee the reason, may some man say, why the Scripture hath not it selfe determined these kinds of Assemblies parti­cularly. I answer, three reasons may be gi­ven for it: 1. because it was not necessary, the generall rules of the word together with natures light which directeth Common-wealths in things of the same kind, being suf­ficient to direct the Church therin. 2. As se­sons and times for the meeting of Assem­blies, so the just bounds thereof in so many different places of the world, are things of that kinde which were not determinable in Scripture, unlesse the world had beene filled with volumes thereof; for, Individua sunt Infinita. 3. Because this constitution of Sy­nods Provinciall and Nationall, is not uni­versall for all times and places: for example, there may be in a remote Island 10. or 12. Christian congregations, which beside their particular Elderships have a common Pres­bytery, but are not capable of Synods either [Page 164] Provinciall or Nationall. Againe, let there bee an Island containing forty or fifty Chri­stian congregations, there shall be therein, beside Presbyteries, one kinde of a Synod, but not two kindes. Besides, the reformed congregations within a great Nation, may happly be either so few, or so dispersed and distant, or so persecuted, that they can neither have Provinciall nor Nationall Assemblies.

CHAP. VII. The third Argument, taken from the Iewish Church.

IN the third place we take an Argument from the example of the Jewish Church; for as in their Common-wealth there was a subordination of civill Courts, every City having its proper Court, which did consist of seven Magistrates, if we beleeve Iosephus: the Thalmudicall tradition maketh two Courts to have beene in each City, the lesser of the Triumvirat, and the greater of twenty three Judges. Beside these, they had their supreame Consistory, the civill Sanedrim, which governed the whole Nation, and had [Page 165] authority over the inferiour Courts. So was there also a subordination of Ecclesiasticall Courts among them: they had a Consistory in every Synagogue, for their Synagogues were appointed not only for prayer and prai­sing of God, and for the reading and expoun­ding of the Scriptures, but also for publike correction of offences, Acts 26.11. They had besides, a supreame Ecclesiastical Court, whereunto the whole nation, and all the Synagogicall Consistories were subject. This Court having decayed, was restored by Ichoshaphat, 2 Chron. 19.8. and it had the name of Sanedrim, common to it with the supream civill Court. From this Court did the reformation of that Nationall Church proceed, Nehem. 6.13. On the second day were gathered together the chiefe of the fathers of all the people, the Priests and the Levits, un­to Ezra the Scribe, even to understand the words of the Law. And they found written in the Law, &c. Whether there was yet another Ecclesiasticall Court, in the midle betwixt the Synagogue and the Sanedrim, called [...], a Presbytery, Luke 22.66. Acts 22.5. and made up possibly out of the particular Synagogues within the Cities, I leave it to learned men to judge: howsoever, it is plaine from Scripture, that there was at least a two­fold [Page 166] Ecclesiasticall Court among the Jewes the Synagogue and the Sanedrim, the latter having authority above the former.

Sutlivius denyeth both these, and so would have us believe that the Jewish Church had no Ecc [...]esiasticall Court at all.De Presbyt. pag. 25. As for the Sy­nagogues, he saith, they treated of things civill, and inflicted civill punishments, and a civill excommunication. That they inflicted civill punishment, he proveth from Mat. 10. and 23. and Luke 21. where Christ foretel­leth that his Disciples should bee beaten in the Synagogues. That their excomunication was civill, he proveth by this reason, that Christ and his Disciples when they were cast out of the Synagogues, had notwithstanding a free entry into the Temple, and accesse to the sacrifices. Answ. This is a grosse mistake; for 1. the civill Court was in the gate of the City, not in the Synagogue. 2. He who pre­sided in the Synagogue was called the chiefe Ruler of the Synagogue, Acts 18.8.17. the rest who sate and voiced therein, were called the Rulers of the Synagogue, Acts 13.15. They who sate in the civill Court had no such names, but were called Judges. 3. Our Saviour distinguisheth the Synagogicall Courts from the civill Courts of judgement in Cities, calling the one Councells, the o­ther [Page 167] Synagogues, Matth. 10.17. 4. The bea­ting and scourging in the Synagogues was an errour and abuse of the later times, the cor­rective power of those Consistories being properly spirituall, and ending in excommu­nication, Jo. 16.2. Isai. 66.5. the liberty of which spirituall censures the Romans did permit to the Jewes, together with the li­berty of their religion, after they had taken away their civill Jurisdiction. 5. Civill ex­communication is an unknowne word, and his reason for it is no lesse unknowne; for where he hath read that Christ or any of his Disciples were excommunicate out of the Synagogues, and yet had free accesse to the Temple, I cannot understand, if it be not in the Gospell of Nicodemus. I read, Luke 4.28.28. that Christ was in a great tumult cast out of the City of Nazareth ▪ but this I hope no man will call excommunication. The blinde man, Joh. 9.34. was indeed excom­municated out of the Synagogue, but wee no where read that hee was thereafter found in the Temple: we read of Christs walking in Solomons porch, Jo. 10.23. but that the blinde man was then with him, it can never be proved, and if it could, it should not im­port any permission or leave given to excom­municate persons to enter into the Temple, [Page 168] but that some were bold to take this liberty. 6. The casting out of the Synagogue cannot be called civil excommunication, because the communion and fellowship of the Jewes in the Synagogue was not civill, but sacred: they met for the worship of God, and not for civill affaires. 7. If by civill excommunica­tion he meane banishment, or casting out of the City (for I conceive not what other thing this strange word can import) then how doth he suppose that they had still free accesse to the Temple, who were so excommunicated, for this importeth that they were still in the City.

Wee have now evinced an Inferiour Ec­clesiasticall Court among the Jewes. Come we next to the supreame Court. That there was an high Ecclesiasticall Sanedrim, di­stinct from the Civill Sanedrim, is observed by Pelargus on Deut. 17. and S [...]pingius ad bonam fidem Sibrandi. pag. 261. & seq. Be­side many others cited before, part. 1. chap. 11. And that it was so, wee prove from three places of the old Testament, to passe other places, from which certaine collections may be had to the same purpose.

First, we finde Deut. 17. a distinction of two supreame Judicatories, to bee set in the place which the Lord should choose to put [Page 169] his name there, the one of the Priests & Levi [...]s, the other of the Judges: & unto these two su­preame Courts, the Lord appointed all mat­ters which were too hard for the inferiour Judges in the Cities of the Land, to bee brought and determined by their authority, and the sentence of the Priests or of the Judges to be obeyed both by the parties and by the inferiour Judges, under pain of death, v. Presbyt▪ pag. 16. To this Sutlivius answereth, that there is only one Sanedrim in that place, which was civill, as appeareth by their jud­ging of the causes of blood, and their recei­ving of appellations from the civill Judges mentioned in the preceding Chapter. As for the Judge which is spoken of v. 9. and 12. he saith, we must understand that it was the high Priest. Ans. 1. The disjunctive Or doth distin­guish the Judges from the Priests, verse 12. as Iunius and Ainsworth doe rightly note up­on that place: The man that will doe presump­tuously, and will not hearken unto the Priest (that standeth to minister there before the Lord thy God) or unto the Iudge. Here a distinction be­twixt the Court of the Priests and the Court of the Judges, which Lyranus also acknow­ledgeth. 2. The Chaldee readeth Iudges in the plurall. By the Judge, saith Ainsworth, is understood the high Councell or Senat of [Page 170] Judges, even as they who are called Priests, verse 9. are called the Priest, verse 12. and 1 Chron. 4.42. many Captaines are in the Hebrew called an head. 3. The high Priest cannot be understood to bee the Judge there spoken of, both because there were many Judges, as hath beene said, and because wee finde not in Scripture that ever the high Priest was called by the name of the Judge. 4. Whereas hee objecteth that the causes of blood, and other civill causes were judged in this Sanedrim. Wee answer, there were two severall things in those civill causes,De gub. Eccl. cap. 2. p. 43. the Ius and the factum. The Ius was judged in the Court of the Priests, because as B [...]lson teacheth, the civill Law of the Jewes was Gods judiciall Law,Mal. 2.7. and it was to be sought at the Priests mouth. But the fact being meerely civill, was judged by the civill Court. Sutl [...]vius objecteth, that many incon­veniences shall follow this distinction. 1. Judges are hereby made ignorant of the Law. 2. That two Courts of judgement are appointed in one sentence. 3. That a Judge (the Priest) may give out a sentence which he cannot execute. 4. That the civill Judges doe in vaine inquire concerning the fact which was before certaine by the Law, nam ex facto jus oritur. 5. That the civill [Page 171] Judges are dumbe Images, which must pronounce according to the sentence of o­thers. To the 1. we say that our distinction doth not import that the Judges were igno­rant of the Law, but that it pertained not to them to judge the meaning of the Law, when the same was controverted among the Infe­feriour civill Judges: this pertained to the Court of the Priests. 2. It is no absurdity to expound a disjunctive sentence of two seve­rall Courts. 3. He who answereth meerely, de jure, hath nothing to doe with execution of persons more then theory hath to doe with practice, or abstracts with concrets. 4. The fact can never be certaine by the sen­tence, de jure. It is not the probation, but the supposition of the fact whereupon the expo­sition of the sence of the Law is grounded. 5. The cognition of the fact, not of the law, do [...]h belong to an Inquest in Scotland, they are Iudic [...]s fact [...], non Iuris. Yet no dumbe Im [...]es I suppose. 6. Hee hath followed the Popish Interpreters, in making the Judge to be the High Priest forso they expound it for the Popes cause; yet they themselves ac­knowledge the distinction of Ius and factum. See Corn. a lapide. in Deut. 17.7. If error had not blinded this mans eyes with whom I deale, I should believe hee had beene [Page 172] flumbring when these things fell from his pen.

But to proceed, as these two Sanedrims were instituted in the Law of Moses, so were they after decay or desuetude restored by Iehoshaphat, U [...]i supra p. 20., 2 Chro. 19.8. Sutlivius answereth, that wee have here only one Sanedrim which judged both the Lords matters, and the Kings matters, and that it was not an Ecclesiasticall Court, because it judged causes of blood, and other civill causes wherein appellation was made from the Judges of the Cities. By the Lords matters, hee saith, are meant criminall and civill causes, which were to be judged ac­cording to the Law of the Lord; and by the Kings matters are meant, his patrimony and domesticke affaires. Answer 1. The Text di­stinguisheth two Courts, one which medled with the Lords matters, whose president was Amariah, the chiefe Priest: another which medled with the Kings matters, whose pre­sident was Zebadiah. This is so plaine, that Bonfierius the Jesuit on Deut. 17. though he maketh the Priests to have beene the Judges, yet acknowledgeth two distinct Courts, 2 Chron. 19. 2. The words vers. 8. must be understood respectively,Alt. dam. p. 24. as Didoclavius hath observed, which we explaine thus, Moreover in Ierusalem did Iehshoaphat set of the Levits, [Page 173] and of the Priests, and of the chiefe of the Fa­thers of Israel, for the judgement of the Lord, (that is for causes Ecclesiasticall) and (repeat, of the Levits, of the Priests, and of the chiefe of the Fathers of Israel) for controversies (about civill matters, saith Piscator.) So that some of them were appointed to judge the one, and some of them to judge the other, which pro­veth not either that the Courts were one, or that the same men sate in both, but only that some of the Priests and some of the Fathers of Israel were in both. 3. The Lords matters Lavater and Piscator expound to be matters Ecclesiasticall, the Kings matters to be things civill; and this exposition comprehendeth all things which did fall within the power of those Courts. But Sutlivius glosse doth not so, for there were sundry things to be judged which were neither the Kings domesticke affaires, not yet causes criminall or civill, such as were questions about vowes, questions about the meaning of the Law, and judging betwixt the holy and the prophane, betwixt that which was cleane and that which was uncleane. These and such like Ecclesiasticall causes he leaveth out, and they are indeed left out of the power of the civill Sanedrim, and reserved to the other, for in such contro­versies the Priests were to stand in judge­ment, [Page 174] Ezech. 44.23.24. Lastly, it is not to be thought, that the high Sanedrim should neede to be troubled with the Kings dome­sticke affaires, farre lesse that this should be made the one halfe of their commission.

Now as wee have the institution of these two supreame Courts, Deuter. 17. and the restitution of them both, 2 Chron. 19. so have we an example of both, Jerem. 26. For first, Ieremiah was condemned, as worthy of death, because hee had spoken against the Temple and the holy place, verse 8.11. and herein saith, Oecolampadius on that place, hee was a Type of Christ, against whom it was pronounced in the Councell of the chiefe Priests and Elders,Matth. 26.66. He is guilty of death. So did this Ecclesiasticall Court conclude ag [...]i [...]st Ieremy, He is worthy of Death: yet the c [...]n [...]rary was concluded in the civill Sane­drim, verse 10.16. This man, say they, is not worthy to dye, for he hath spoken to us in the Name of the Lord our God. As much as to say, you Priests have given sentence de jure a­gainst Ieremiah, but we finde he is not guilty of the fact whereof he is accused, for he hath spoken nothing but the truth which the Lord sent him to speake; therefore as you pronounced him worthy of death, upon supposition of the fact, wee now pronounce [Page 175] that he is not worthy of death, because wee finde him blamelesse of the fact. Sutclivius denieth that the Priests were Iudices Iuris, Ubi supra pag. 28. and the Princes Iudices facti; only the Prin­ces did against the will of the Priests set Ieremiah free, whom they had destinated to death: But say I, he must either deny that Ieremiah was judged in two severall Courts, or not, if he deny it, the Text is against him: for that hee was judged in the Court of the Princes, it is plaine from verse 10.16. and that hee was judged in the Court of the Priests, is plaine also from verse 8.9. Where we finde the Priests comming together, nei­ther to reason with Ieremiah (for they had no such purpose as to give him leave to speake for himselfe) nor yet to accuse him; for that they do before the Princes, v. 11. Therefore it was to give sentence for their part against him, which they did; but if he grant that sen­tence was given in two Courts, I would gladly know what difference could bee made betwixt the one sentence and the other, ex­cept that difference, de jure, and de facto, es­pecially the same suting the Text so well as hath beene said.

Of the vestigies of those two supreame Courts still remaining in some sort distinct, in the daies of Christ, I have spoken before. [Page 176] And now to proceed.Bertram. de polit. Jud. cap. 11. ex 18. Wee have proved the Antecedent of this our present Argument, concerning distinct Ecclesiasticall Courts among the Jewes, and the subjection of the lower unto the higher of the Synagogue unto the Sanedrim.

Sutliv. de Pres. cap. 2.But we have yet more to doe, for the con­sequence of our Argument is also denyed both by the Prelaticall faction, and by others (whom wee are more sorry to contradict) holding that reasons fetcht from the Jewish Church,Robinson Just. of separ. p. 163. doe better fat the Prelats, then the Consistorians; howsoever now to fetch the forme of Government for the Church, from the Church of the Jewes, were, say they, to revive the old Testament. To me it seemeth strange, that both the one side, and the o­ther, doe when they please, reason from the formes of the Jewish Church, and yet they will not permit us to reason in like manner. The former goe about to prove the Prelacy by the high Priesthood, and the lawfull use of Organs in the Church, from the like in the Temple of Solomon. The latter doe argue, that a Congregation hath right not only to elect Ministers,See apolog. a­gainst the Ox­ford D.D. p. Ro­binson Justis. p. 122.123. but to ordaine them, and lay hands on them, because the people of Israel laid hands on the Levits. That the maintainance of the Ministers of the Gospell, [Page 177] ought to bee voluntary, because under the Law, God would not have the Priests and Levits, to have any part or inheritance in the Land of Canaan, but to be sustained by the Offerings and Altars of the Lord. That the power of excommunication is in the body of the Church, because the Lord laid upon all Israel the duty of removing the uncleane, and of putting away leaven out of their houses at the feast of Passover. Is it right dealing now, to forbid us to reason from the forme of the Jewes. I will not use any further ex­postulation, but let the Reader judge. The truth is this, even as that which is in a childe, as he is a childe, agreeth not to a man, yet that which is in a childe, as he is animal rati­onale, agreeth also to a man: so what wee finde in the Jewish Church, as it was Jewish, or in infancy and under the pedagogy of the Law, agreeth not indeed to the Christian Church. But whatsoever the Jewish Church had, as it was a politicall Church, or Eccle­siasticall Republike (of which sort of things, the diversity and subordination of Ecclesia­sticall Courts was one) doth belong by the same reason to the Christian Church. I say further, though the Common-wealth and civill Policy of the Jewes, be not in all points a patterne to our civill Policy, yet I am sure [Page 178] it is no errour to imitate the civill policy of the Jewes, in such things, as they had, not for any speciall reason proper to them, but are common to all well constituted Common-wealths, and so wee may argue from their Common-wealth, that it is a good policy to have divers civill Courts, and the higher to receive appellations from the Inferiour, as it was among them. Shall wee not by the very like reason fetch from their Ecclesiasti­call Republike, diversity of Spirituall Courts, and the supreame to receive appel­lations from the Inferiour, because so was the constitution of the Jewish Church, and that under the common respect and ac­count of a politicall Church, and not for any speciall reason, which doth not concerne us.

CHAP. VIII. The fourth Argument, taken from Acts 15.

THE example of the Apostolicall Churches, Acts 15. maketh for us. The Churches of Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia, being troubled with the question [Page 179] about the Jewish Ceremonies, the matter was debated and disputed at Antioch, the chiefe towne of Coelosyria, where Paul and Barnabas were for the time. It is very pro­bable, that some out of the other Churches in that Province, as also out of the Churches of Cilicia, were present in that meeting and conference, for they were troubled with the very same question, no lesse then the Church of Antioch. Howsoever the matter could not be agreed upon in that meeting, but a refe­rence thereof, was made to a more generall assembly at Hierusalem, and for that effect Paul and Barnabas, and others with them, were sent thither. All this is cleare by com­paring verse 2. with 23. Hereupon the Apo­stles and Elders did synodically come toge­ther at Hierusalem, and decided the question, giving forth decrees to be observed by the particular Churches, Acts 15.6.28. and 16.4. We will not dispute what sort of Synod this was, only that it was a Synod with authority over many particular Churches and Congre­gations, and whereunto the meeting at An­tioch (whether it was provinciall, or Presby­teriall only) did referre the determination of the question about Jewish ceremonies.

It is answered by some. 1. That the reason of sending Paul and Barnabas to Hierusalem, [Page 180] was to know whether these teachers who pressed the observation of the ceremoniall Law had any such commission from the A­postles and Elders, as they pretended. 2. That there is here no Synod, nor assembly of the Commissioners of divers Churches, for there were no Commissioners from the rest of the Churches in Iudea, Galilee, and Samaria, mentioned Acts 9.31. nor from the Churches of the Gentiles mentioned Act. 14.23. neither were Paul and Barnabas, and the rest who went with them, Commissioners to represent the Church of Antioch, but mes­sengers only to make narration of the case. 3. Not only the Apostles and Elders, but the whole Church at Hierusalem met together. 4. If the resolution which was given, be con­sidered, as the judgement of the Church at Hierusalem, it was only her advice to her si­ster Churches, if otherwise considered, it was a decree absolutely Apostolicall, and divine Scripture by infallible direction from the holy Ghost, and for that reason imposed up­on all the Churches of the Gentiles, though they had no Commissioners there.

These answers had need to be stronger, be­fore that so many Fathers, Councells, and Protestant Writers, who have understood the matter otherwise should all bee put in an error.

[Page 181]To the first wee reply, that the reason of sending Paul and Barnabas to Hierusalem, was not so much to know, whether these tea­chers had commission from the Apostles and Elders, to presse the keeping of the Law of Moses, as to get a resolution of the question it selfe, verse 2. about this question. Now the question was not what commission the Apo­stles had given to those teachers, but whether they should be circumcised, after the manner of Moses, verse 1.

To the second, we say, that if Paul and Barnabas, were messengers to make narration of the case, certainely they were more then sufficient messengers, and there was no need of others to be joyned in message with them, so that it appeareth the rest who were sent with them were Commissioners to represent the Churches which sent them. Neither is it credible, but that all the Churches of Syria and Cilicia, which were in the same case, with the Church of Antioch, did send their Commissioners also to Hierusalem, for other­wise, how could the Apostles and Elders have so certaine and perfect intelligence of the case of those Churches, verse 23. Beside it had beene a great neglect in those Chur­ches, if they had not sent some to Hierusalem, as the Church of Antioch did, for if it was [Page 182] expedient which Antioch did, they ought no lesse to have done it, their case being the same. Moreover it may be collected from verse 3. that the other Churches through which Paul and Barnabas passed in their journey, did send some companions along with them, to joyne with them in their errand, and to give their consent in the meeting at Hierusalem, unto that which was to be concluded. This is the observation of Cajetan, Mentzerus, Calvin, Gualther, and other Interpreters upon that place.

Lastly, it is no way probable, that the Apostles and Elders at Hierusalem, together with those who were sent from the Churches of Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia, and the other Churches through which Paul and Barnabas did travell, would come together without acquainting the rest of the Churches of Ju­dea, which were so neare at hand, and might so easily send their Commissioners to Hie­rusalem.

To the third wee reply, that it cannot bee proved from the Text that the body of the Church of Hierusalem was present, but rather it appeareth from verse 6. that they were not present,Chap. 1. as hath been said before. And though it were granted that they were present, yet Master Robinson saith,Justif. p. 266. that they did no [Page 183] more then consent to the decree.

To the last answer, it is containe that the conclusion of that meeting at Hierusalem, was not a naked counsell and advice, but a decree imposed with authority upon the Churches, Acts 15.28. and 16.4. and 21.25.Robinson ib And whereas it is affirmed, that the decree was meerely Apostolicall, and that the Elders did no more then consent thereto, even as the brethren did, this is ma­nifestly against the Text, for Acts 16.4. It is said of Paul and Silas as they went through the Cities they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the Apostles & Elders that were at Hierusalem. And Act. 21.25. all the Elders speaking to Paul, say, as touching the Gentiles which believe, wee have written and concluded that they observe no such thing. That this was spoken by al the Elders, is plain from v. 18.19.20. So then the Elders did de­creee, ordaine, and conclude these things to bee imposed upon the Churches of the Gentiles,Whittak. con­trov. 3. de con­quaest. 3. Sed ut totam istam controversiam dirimamus inspiciamus (quaeso) Act. 16.4. Ubi legi­mus Paulum civitatibus illis per quas transibat tradidisse [...], &c. Quis nunc negare audet Presbyteros quo (que) habuisse suffragium, decisivum, &c. Nam vocabulum [...] ad utros (que) ex aequo accommodatur, Haectam aperta sunt ut ne­mo refragari possit. and not the Apostles only. Now the Elders of the Church of Hierusalem, had [Page 184] no authority to impose their decrees upon all the Churches of the Gentiles, with whom they had nothing to doe, as Mr. Robinson saith truely. Since therefore these things were imposed upon the Churches of the Gentiles, as the decrees ordained by the Apostles and Elders, at Hierusalem, this doth necessarily import that there were in that meeting, delegates and commissioners from the Churches of the Gentiles, which did represent the same.

CHAP. IX. The fifth Argument, taken from Geome­tricall proportion.

AS is the proportion of 3. to 9. so is the proportiō of 9. to 27. of 21. to 81. &c. This rule of Giometricall proportion affoordeth us a fifth Argument for the point in hand. If we should grant the government of the Church to be popular, then by what proportion, one or two are subject to a whole congregation, by the same proportion is that congregation subject to a provinciall▪ or a nationall congregation. I meane, if all [Page 185] the congregations in a province or a nation were assembled into one collective body (as all the males of the Jewes did assemble thrice in the yeare at Hierusalem, and as in the daies of the Judges,Jud. 20.1. the whole congregation of the children of Israel was assembled together in Mizpeh, as one man, from Dan even to Beersheba, foure hundred thousand men, to try the cause of the Levite, and to resolve what to doe there-anent, which meeting of the Nation, was ordered by Tribes, the Tribes by families, the families by persons) in that case any one particular congregation behoved to be subject to the generall congre­gation, by the same reason whereby one man is subject to the particular congregation, whereof he is a member, because the whole is greater then a part, and the body more then a member. Now the same rule holdeth in the representatives of Churches, whether we compare them with the collectives, or among themselves. If wee compare the re­presentatives with the collectives, then as one congregation is governed by the particular Eldership representing the [...]ame, by the like proportion are 14. or 16. congregations governed by a Classicall Presbytery repre­senting them all: by the same proportion are all the congregations in a province subject [Page 186] to a Provinciall Synod: by the same ought all the congregations in a nation to be sub­ject to a nationall Assembly, all of them be­ing either mediatly or immediatly represen­ted in the same;De pol. Eccl. p. 331.332. for as Parker saith well, many Churches are combined into one, in the very same manner, as many members are combined into one Church.

If we compare the representatives among themselves, then by what proportion, a par­ticular Eldership representing only one con­gregation, is lesse in power and authority, then a Classicall Presbytery which represen­teth many congregations? by the same pro­portion is a Classicall Presbytery lesse in power and authority then a Provinciall Sy­nod, and it lesse in authority then a Nationall Synod. So that the authority of Presbyte­ries whether Parochiall or Classicall being once granted, this shall by the rule of pro­portion inferre the authority of Synods. I know that Synods are not ordinary Courts, as Presbyteries are; but this and other dif­ferences betwixt them I passe: the argument holdeth for the point of authority, that Sy­nods when they are, have authority over all the Churches in a Province or a nation, even as Presbyteries have over the congregations within their bounds.

CHAP. X. The sixth Argument, taken from ne­cessity.

WEE have another reason to adde, and it is borrowed from lawlesse ne­cessity, for without a subordination among Ecclesiasticall Courts, and the authority of the higher above the inferiour, it were utterly impossible to preserve unity, or to make an end of controversie in a Nation. A particular congregation might happily end questions and controversies betwixt the members thereof, and so keepe unity within it selfe (and not so neither, if the one halfe of the congregation be against the other) but how shall controversies betwixt severall congre­gations be determined, if both of them bee independent? how shall plurality of religi­ons be avoided? how shall an apostatizing congregation be amended?

It is answered: 1. If a particular congrega­tion neglect their duty, or doe wrong to a­nother, the civill sword may proceed against them to make them doe their duty. 2. A par­ticular congregation ought in difficult cases [Page 188] to consult with her sister Churches, for so much reason dictats, that in difficult cases, counsell should be taken of a greater number. 3. Sister Churches when they see a particular congregation doing amisse out of that relati­on which they have to her, being all in the same body, under the same head, may and ought to admonish her, and in case of gene­rall apostacy, they may withdraw that com­munion from her, which they hold with the true Churches of Christ.

But these answers are not satisfactory. The first of them agreeth not to all times, for in times of persecution, the Church hath not the helpe of the civill sword: a persecuting Magi­strate will bee glad to see either division or apostasie in a congregation; but so it is, that Christ hath povided a remedy, both for all the evills and diseases of his Church, and at all times. The Church (as was said before) is a Republike, and hath her lawes, Courts, and spirituall censures within her selfe, whe­ther there be a Christian Magistrate, or not.

The second answer leaveth the rectifying of an erring congregation to the uncertainty of their owne discretion, in seeking counsell from a greater number. And moreover, if this be a dictate of reason to aske counsell of a greater number, when the counsell of a few [Page 189] cannot resolve us, then reason being ever like it selfe, will dictate so much to a congregati­on, that they ought to submit to the authority of a greater number, when their owne autho­rity is not sufficient to end a controversie a­mong them.

To the third answer wee say, that every private Christian may and ought to with­draw himselfe from the fellowship and com­munion, either of one man, or of a whole congregation, in the case of generall apo­stasie. And shall an apostatizing congregation be suffered to runne to hell, rather then any other remedy should bee used, beside that (commonly ineffectuall) remedy which any private Christian may use? God forbid.

What I have said of congregations, I say also of Classicall Presbyteries. How shall sentence be given betwixt two Presbyteries at varience? How shall a divided Presbyte­ry be re-united in it self? How shall an Hereti­call Presbytery be reclaimed? How shall a negligent Presbytery be made to doe their duty? How shall a despised Presbytery have their wounded authority healed againe? In these and such like contingent cases, what re­medy can bee had, beside the authority of Synods?

CHAP. XI. Objections made against the authority of Synods, answered.

THey who dislike the subordination of particular congregations unto higher Ecclesiasticall Courts, object against us,Matth. 18.17. our Saviours precept, Tell the Church. Wheresoever wee read in Scripture of a visible politicall Church, and not of the invisible Catholike Church, it is ever meant, say they, of a particular congregation, used to assemble in one place for the exercise of Gods publike worship; & when the Scripture spea­keth of a whole Province or Nation, the plu­rall number is used, as the Churches of Gala­tia, the Churches of Macedonia, the Churches of Asia, &c. Wherefore our Saviour in those words did deliver the power of Ecclesiasti­call Jurisdiction, neither to Classicall Pres­byteries, nor to Synods, but to particular con­gregations only.

Answ. 1. This place proveth indeed that particular Churches have their owne power of Jurisdiction, but not that they alone have it. 2. Yea, it proveth that they alone have it [Page 191] not, for Christ hath a respect to the forme of the Jewes, as is evident by these words, Let him be unto thee as an Heathen or a Publican. Now we have proved that there was among the Jewes an high Ecclesiasticall Sanedrim, beside the particular Synagogicall Courts: So that by pointing out the forme of the Jewish Church, hee recommendeth a subor­dination, and not an independency of parti­cular Churches. 3. By the Church in that place is meant the competent Consistory of the Church, and so it agreeth to all Ecclesia­sticall Courts respectively. This sence is given by Parker, D [...] pol Eccl. lib. 3. cap. 20. p. 318. though he be most tender in the vindication of the liberty of congregati­ons. Nam cum▪ &c. For, saith he, since Christ would have every man to be judged by his owne Church, Matth. 18. or if the judgement of his owne Church should displease him, yet ever it must be by the Church, that is, by a Synod of many Churches 4. As for the reason alled­ged for proofe of the contrary exposition, I oppugne it both by reason, and by their owne Tenents, and by Scripture. By reason, because the rule of Geometricall proportion (whereof we have before spoken) proveth a congregation to bee a part of a Nationall Church, even as one man is a part of a con­gregation; for as five is the hundreth part of [Page 192] five hundreth, so is five hundred the hundreth part of fifty thousand. By their own grounds, because they hold the forme of a visible Church, to consist in the uniting of a num­ber of visible Christians into one, by the bond of a holy covenant to walke in all the wayes of God. Then say I, we may say the Church of Scotland, as well as the Churches of Scotland, because all the particular Chur­ches in Scotland, are united together into one, by the bond of a Nationall oath and cove­nant, to walke in all the waies and ordinances of God. By Scripture also, because Acts 8.1. we read of the Church at Hierusalem, not the Churches: Howbeit there were at that in­stant above eight thousand Christians at Hie­rusalem, and all these still in the City (for the first scattering of them followeth thereafter in that Chapter.) This great number, neither did, nor could usually assemble into one place for the worship of God, but they met [...] house by house, Acts 2.46. And whereas objection is made to the contrary from Acts 2.44. and 5.12. and 6.2. Wee have before answered to the first of these places, for it is to be expounded by Acts 4.32. they were in one; that is, they were of one heart, and of one soule. The second place may be expoun­ded of the Apostles, and the preceding [Page 193] words favour this exposition; but though it should be takē of the multitude, it prove [...]h not their meeting together into one place for the worship, of God, for it was an extraordinary confluence, upon an extraordinary occasion of that which had befallen to Ananias and Saphira. The last place proveth no more, but an extraordinary and occasionall mee­ting, and it is also to be understood that they met turmatim, as foure hundred thousand men did assemble together, Jud. 20.1.

Another Scripturall instance we give from 1 Pet. 1.1. with 5.2. the Apostle writing to the dispersed Jewes in severall Provinces, calleth them all one flocke. Wee read that Laban had many flockes, Genes. 30.36.38. yet are they all called one flocke, verse 31.32. so were all the flockes of Iacob called one flocke, Genes. 32.7. and 33.13. In like man­ner every one of the particular Churches among those dispersed Jewes was a flocke, but compared with the whole, it was but a part of the flocke. It is no more absurd to say that a congregation is both a body, in respect of its owne members, and a member in respect of a Nationall Church, then it is to say, that every beleever considered by him­selfe, is a tree of righteousnesse, and a Tem­ple of God, yet compared with others, he is a [Page 194] branch of the Vine, and a stone of the Tem­ple, for all those waies is hee called in Scrip­ture.

Sundry particular flockes may bee called one flocke, three waies: 1. Respectu pastorum, when the same shepheards oversee & take care of the whole. See an example both of the one kinde of shepheards, Luke 2.8. and of the other, Acts 20.28. 2. Respectu pabuli: So Paul Baynes speaking of the Low Countries,Dioces. tryall. pag. 21. where sundry congregations in one City make but one Church, saith, that the sheepe feed together into one common pasture, though they bite not on the same individuall grasse. 3. Respectu pedi, when many congregations are governed by the same Pastorall staffe of Ecclesiasticall Lawes and Discipline.

It is further objected, that Presbyteriall government and the authority of Synods, doe rob the congregations of their rights and liberties, no lesse then the Prelacy did; so that the Churches of Christ in the removall of Episcopacy, have changed Dominum only, not Dominium. Answer. There is a vaste dif­ference; for 1. Episcopall governement is Monarchicall, and Christ hath left no Eccle­siasticall Jurisdiction to bee exercised by one man. Presbyteriall and Synodicall governe­ment is partly democraticall, in respect of the [Page 195] election of Ministers and Elders, and the doing of matters of chiefest importance, with the knowledge and consent of congregations: partly aristocratical in respect of the parity of Presbyters and their consistorial proceedings and decrees. The Monarchicall part is Christs peculiarly. 2. The Prelacy permitteth not to congregations any act of their owne Church government, but robbeth them of their par­ticular Elderships,De pol. Eccl. pag. 358. which (as Parker well no­teth) the Classicall Presbyteries doe not. 3. It is one thing, saith Baynes, for Churches to subject themselves to a Bishop and Consistory, Ubi supra. wherein they shall have no power of suffrage: Another thing to communicate with such a Pres­bytery, wherein themselves are members and Iudges with others. 4. The congregations did not agree not consent to Episcopall govern­ment, but were sufferers in respect of the same, but they doe heartily agree to the go­vernement of Presbyteries and Synods, in witnesse whereof they send their Commissio­ners thither to concur, assist, & voice. 5. Speci­all respect is had in Presbyteries and Synods, to the consent of congregations, in all matters of importance, which are proper unto the same. This the Prelacy did not regard. 6. Presbyteries and Synods doe not (which the Prelats did) imperiously and by their sole [Page 196] arbitrement domineer over congregations, for their power is directive only, ministeriall, and limited by the Lawes of God and Na­ture, and the lawdable Ecclesiasticall Lawes received and acknowledged by the congre­gations themselves. 7. Experience hath shewed us Presbyteriall and Synodicall go­vernment to bee, not only compatible with, but most conduceable for the supportment and comfort of congregations: whereas E­piscopall government draweth ever after it m [...]lam ca [...]d [...]m, and a generall grievance of the Churches.

Some other objections there are, for obvi­ating whereof I shall permit and explane a distinction which shall serve to answer them all. We may consider a visible Church, ei­ther metaphysically or politically. It is one thing to consider men as living creatures endued with reason; another thing to con­sider them as Magistrates, masters, fathers, children, servants, &c. So is it one thing to consider a visible Church as a society of men and women separated from the blinde world by divine vocation, and professing together the Gospell of Jesus Christ. Another thing to consider it as a political body, in which the power of Spirituall government and Juris­diction is exercised, some governing and some governed.

[Page 197]These are very different considerations; for first, a visible Church being taken entita­tively or metaphysically, her members doe ordinarily communicate together in those holy things which fall under the power of order, which I may call sacra mistica; but being taken politically, her members com­municate together in such holy things as fall within the compasse of the power of Juris­diction, which I may call sacra politica. Se­condly, Infants under age being initiated in Baptisme, are actually members of the Church in the former consideration, but po­tentially only in the latter, for they neither governe, nor yet have the use of reason to bee subject and obedient to those that doe go­verne. Thirdly, one must necessarily bee a member of the Church metaphysically be­ [...]ore he can be a member of the Church po­litically, but not contrariwise. Fourthly, many visible Churches have sometimes beene, and may bee without Officers, and so with­out Ecclesiasticall government and exercise of Jurisdiction for that time, yet still retai­ning the Essence of true visible Churches: whereas a Church which never yet had any Officers ordained therein (of which kinde there have beene many at the first conversion of a Nation to the Gospell) or which hath [Page 198] losed all her Officers by death or persecuti­on, is not for that time an Ecclesiasticall Re­publicke, nor can bee such till she have Offi­cers. This if they had observed who have taken so great paines to prove that there hath beene, and may bee a Church without Offi­cers, it should happily have made them thinke their labour l [...]st. It might also have taught Henry Iacob to distinguish betweene a Church visible and a Church ministeriall or politicall, and not to understand these three termes to be all one, as he doth in his L [...]tter, bearing date the 4. of September 1611. pag. 9. Fiftly, my being a member of any one visible Church metaphysically, giveth me right and title to communicate with another visible Church (where for the time I am) in sacris misticis, such as the word, prayer, &c. But my being a member of any one visible Church politically doth not give me right and title to communicate with another visible Church (where for the time I am) in sacris politicis ▪ such as ordination, deposition, ex­communication, &c. Hereunto doth Master Robinson assent in these words, As a man once baptized is alwaies baptised, Justifi [...]. p. 317. so is he in all places and Chur [...]hes where hee comes (as a baptized person) to enjoy the common benefits of his bap­tisme, and to discharge the common duties which [Page 199] depend upon it. But a Pastor is not a Pastor in every Church where hee comes upon occ [...]sion, neither can he require in any other Church, sa­ving that one over which the holy Ghost hath set him, that obedience, maintainance, and other respects which is due from the officers to the people; neither stands he charged with that mi­nistery and service, which is due to the people from the officers. The like he would have said of an Elder or a Deacon.

Now this distinction shall serve to answer the obiections following.

Object. Justif. of Se­par. pag▪ 112. Every Christian congregation is a compleat body Ecclesiasticall, having all the parts and members, and all Church officers which Christ hath instituted: therefore eve­ry congrgation hath the full and absolute power of Ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction.

Answ. Every Christian congregation is a compleate Church or body of Christ meta­physically; that is, hath the compleate Es­sence of a true visible Church; yet every such congregation is not a compleate Ecclesiasti­call Republicke, except in some certaine cases whereof wee have spoken, Chap. 2. And further, we answer, that this objection is alledged to prove, that 2 or 3 gathered toge­ther in the name of Christ, have immediately under Christ the full power of Ecclesiasticall [Page 200] Jurisdiction; but sure I am, that two or three gathered together in the name of Christ, are not a compleate Ecclesiasticall body, having all the members and officers which Christ hath instituted, for they themselves hold that in every Christian congregation by Christs institution there ought to be at least five Of­ficers, and when those five shall be had, there must bee also a certaine number of Christian people to bee governed and served by them. So that their Argument doth not conclude that which they propose to prove.

Ibid. Object. They who have received Christ, have received with him power and right to enjoy him (though all the world bee against it) in all the meanes and ordinances by which hee doth communicate himselfe unto the Church. But every company of faithfull peo­ple, if they be but two or three have received Christ; therefore every such company, &c.

Answ. If by the receiving of Christ, they meane the receiving of Christ on his throne, or the receiving of him in his ordinance of Church government, then wee deny their Assumption, for every company of faithfull people is not a Church politically, as wee have shewed already. Indeed every compa­ny of faithfull people who have received Christ in this manner, hath right and title to [Page 201] enjoy him in all his politicall ordinances, yet not independently, but by a certaine order and subordination. But if by the receiving of Christ, they meane receiving of him to salvation, or receiving of him by his Word and Spirit, wee grant, that not onely every company of faithfull people, but every parti­cular Christian hath right and title to enjoy him in the mystical ordinances of the Word, Prayer, &c. as often as the same can be had; yea further, hath right and title to the fruit and benefit of Ecclesiasticall jurisdicton, the exercise whereof is committed by Christ to the officers of the Church, Intuitu Ecclesiae tanquam finis. But that every company of faithfull people, who have received Christ to salvation, hath right and title to enjoy him in his politicall ordinances, by their own ex­ercising of all Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction, and that independently, this is more then either hath been, or can be proved.

Object. Ibid. The union betwixt Christ and his Church is as strait and immediate, as the u­nion betwixt the Vine and the Branches, be­twixt the Head and the Body, betwixt the Husband & the Wife. Therefore every true Church of Christ hath direct & immediate interest in, and title to Christ himself, & the whole new Testament, and every ordinance of it.

[Page 202] Answ. The strait union betwixt Christ and the Church, expressed by these comparisons, cannot bee understood of the Church ta­ken politically: for then the union betwixt Christ and the Church might be dissolved as often as the Church ceaseth to bee ordered and governed as an Ecclesiastical Republick. It is therefore to be understood either of the invisible Church, or at most of the visible Church taken metaphysically or entitatively. But I adde withall, it is to be likewise under­stood of every faithfull Christian: so that not onely every true Church, but every true member thereof, by vertue of this union, hath direct and immediate title to Christ, and to the benefit of all his ordinances for his edifi­cation and salvation. This is all which the Argument can conclude, and it maketh no­thing against us.

Ibid. Object. If all things be the Churches, even the Ministers themselves; yea, though they be Paul, Cephas, and Apollos, then may every Church use and enjoy all things immediately under Christ. But the first is true, 1 Cor. 3.24. Therefore, &c.

Answ. Neither can this prove any thing a­gainst us: for when the Apostle saith, All things are yours, whether Paul, &c. He is to bee understood not onely collectively of the [Page 203] Church, but distributively of every belee­ver, who hath right to the comfortable en­joyment and benefit of these things, so farre as they concerne his salvation. And in like manner I may say to the members of a­ny particular congregation, All things are yours, whether Sessions or Presbyteris, or Provinciall or Generall Assemblies. And what wonder? God is our Father, Christ our elder brother, the holy Ghost our Comfor­ter, the Angels our keepers, heaven our inhe­ritance. It is therefore no strange thing to heare, that as the supreame civill power, so the supreame Ecclesiasticall power is appoin­ted of God in order to our good and benefit,Rom. 13.4. 2 Cor. 13.8.10 that it be not a tyranny for hurt, but a mini­stery for help.

These are the objections alledged for the independent and absolute power of congre­gations. But this is not all: Some seeme to make use of our own weapons against us, ma­king objection from the forme of the Jewish Church, which wee take for a plat-forme. They say,Ibid. Pag. 344. that the Synagogues of the Jewes were not as the particular Churches are now: for they were not entire Churches of them­selves, but members of the nationall Church, neither could they have the use of the most solemne parts of Gods worship, as were then [Page 204] the sacrifices.Pag. 161. That the whole nation of the Jewes was one Church, having reference to one Temple, one high Priest, one Altar; & it being impossible that the whole body of a Nation should in the entire and personal parts meet and communicate together in the holy things of God, the Lord so disposed and or­dered, that that communion should bee had after a manner, and in a sort, and that was by way of representation: for in the Temple was daily sacrifice offered for the whole nationall Church. So the names of the twelve Tribes upon the shoulders of the Ephod, and upon the Breast-plate, and the twelve loaves of Shew bread, were for Israel signes of re­membrance before the Lord.Pag. 162. That now the Church consisteth not (as then) of a Nation, but of particular Assemblies, ordinarily com­municating together in all the Churches ho­ly things: whence it commeth, that there are no representative Churches now, the founda­tion thereof, which is the necessary absence of the Church which is represented, being taken away in the new Testament.Pag. 163.191. That be­sides all this, if wee take the representative Church at Jerusalem for a paterne, then as there not onely hard causes were opened, and declared according to the Law, but also the sacrifices daily offered, and the most so­lemne [Page 205] service performed without the pre­sence of the body of the Church: so now in the representative Churches, (such as Pres­byteries and Synods) consisting of Officers alone, there must be not onely the use of ju­risdiction, but the Word and Sacraments, whether people bee present or not: for how can there be a power in the Church of Offi­cers for the use of one solemne ordinance out of the communion of the body, and not of another?

Answ. 1. To set aside the sacrifices, & other ceremonial worship performed at Jerusalem, the Synagogues among the Jewes had Gods morall worship ordinarily therein, as Prayer, and the reading & expounding of the Scrip­tures. 2. Whatsoever the Synagogues had, or whatsoever they wanted of the worship of God, they had an Ecclesiasticall Consistory, and a certaine order of Church government: else how shall we understand the excommu­nication, or casting out of the Synagogue, the Rulers of the Synagogue, and the chiefe Ruler of the Synagogue? (of which things we have before spoken.)

I will not here dispute whether every sin among the Jewes was either appointed to be punished capitally, or else to bee expiated by sacrifices; but put the case it were so, this proveth that no excommunication or Eccle­siasticall [Page 206] censure was not then necessary: for beside the detriment of the Common-wealth by the violation of the Law, which was pu­nishable by death; and beside the [...] and guiltinesse before God, the expiation where­of by the death of Christ was prefigured in the sacrifices, there was a third thing in pub­like sinnes, which was punishable by spiri­tuall censures, and that was the scandall of the Church, which could not be taken away by the oblations of the delinquent, but rather made worse thereby, even as now a publike offender doth not take away, but rather in­crease the scandall of the Church by his joy­ning in the acts of Gods worship, so long as there is no Ecclesiasticall censure imposed upon him; neither yet (to speake properly) was the scandall of publike offences punish­able by bodily punishments, but the Church being a politicall body had her owne Lawes, and her owne censures, no lesse then the Common-wealth. 3. As the Synagogues were particular Churches politically, so all of them collectively were one Nationall Church politically, governed by one su­preame Ecclesiasticall Sanedrim, which is the representative wee meant of in our Argu­ment. 4. But if we take the Nationall Church of the Jewes metaphysically, there was no [Page 207] representative thereof, unlesse it were all the males who came thrice in the yeare to Ierusa­lem. The daily offering of Sacrifices was not by a representative Church, but by the Priests: and though there were twelve loaves of Shewbread before the Lord, and the names of the twelve Tribes upon the brest­plate, this proveth not a Church representa­tive, but signes representative. 5. The body of the Church is now (as then) necessarily absent from the Consistorial actions of deba­ting and deciding matters of Church go­vernment, and of Jurisdiction; and so that which was called the foundation of a repre­sentative Church doth still remaine.

Now before I make an end, I must answer yet other two objections which have beene lately made.Christ on his Throne. pag. 57.58. There is one who objecteth that the Assembly of the Apostles, Acts 15. can bee no president nor patterne for succee­ding ages: First, because the Apostles were inspired with the holy Ghost, which whol­ly guided them in all matters of the Church; so as in that their determination, they say ex­pressely,Act. 15.28. It seemed good to the holy Ghost and to us to lay upon you no greater burthen. Now, what Synod in any age after the Apostles could ever say that they were infallibly inspi­red and assisted by the holy Ghost? Secondly, [Page 208] that injunction of the holy Ghost and of the Apostles was but [...], for that present time, for the avoiding of offences betweene Jewes and Gentiles. But the like we read not afterward in all the writings of the Apostles.

Ans. 1. I say with Whittaker, Posse alia, &c. That other lawfull councells may in like manner affirme their Decrees to be the Decrees of the ho­ly Ghost, Contr. 3. de conc. quest. 6. if they be like unto this councell, and if they keepe the same rule which the Apostles did keep and follow in this councell, for if they decree and determine nothing but from the Scriptures, which was done in this councell; and if they ex­amine all questions according to the Scriptures, and in all their Decrees follow the voyce of the Scripture, then may they affirme that the holy Ghost hath so decreed. 2. If the Doctrine or exhortation of a Pastor well grounded upon the Scriptures bee the Word of God, then much more is the Decree of a Synod well grounded upon the Scriptures, the Decree of the holy Ghost. 3. That Assembly was not of the Apostles alone, but of the Apostles and Elders, neither did the Decrees proceed from the Apostles alone, but from the A­postles and Elders, Acts 16.4. and 21.25. and in the place which is now obje­cted, Acts 15.28. not the Apostles alone, but the Elders with them, say, It seemed good [Page 209] to the holy Ghost and to us. What the Elders did then, the Elders may doe now, for time hath not diminished their authority. 4. Nay, what the Apostles did in that Synod, the Elders may doe in a Synod now; for the Apostles then did nothing but in the ordina­ry and common way of disputing and deba­ting, comparing reason with reason, and sen­tence with sentence, and thereafter framing the Decree according to the light which they had by reasoning and by searching the Scrip­tures. But (which is most observable) the sentence of the Apostle Peter in that Synod was very imperfect and defective; for he only disswadeth from imposing the yoke of the ceremoniall law upon the Churches of the Gentiles, but maketh no mention of any overture for avoiding the offence betwixt the Jewes and the converted Gentiles at that time, which I may suppose he would have done, if his light and judgement had carried him that farre: In this the Apostle Iames sup­plieth the defect of Peters sentence,Apud Whit­tak. ubi supra. and pro­poundeth an overture which pleased the whole councell, and according to which the decree was given sorth. This made Luther to say that Iames did change the sentence of Pe­ter. And all this it pleased God so to dispose, that we might understand that Synod to bee [Page 210] indeed a president and paterne for ordinary Synods in succeding ages. 5. Henry Iacob in his third argument for the Divine Institution of the Church, saith: It is absurd and impos­sible, that the Text Matth. 18. was never un­derstood for 1500 yeares after Christ. Sure this Text, Act. 15. was never understood for that whole space, if the Assembly there men­tioned, be not a president to succeeding ages. 6. It maketh nothing against us, that he saith, the decree of the Apostles & Elders, was for that present time onely; nay, it maketh for us: for in this also that Synod was a paterne to succeeding ages, forasmuch as Synods now have no power to make a perpetuall restraint from the practice of any indifferent thing, (such as was then the eating of bloud, and things strangled) but onely during the case of scandall. And moreover, the decree of the Apostles and Elders in that Synod, is also perpetuall, in so farre as it is conceived a­gainst the pressing of circumcision as neces­sary to salvation.

[...] and modera [...]e dis­course concer­ning Church as [...]res. pag. 25.26.One objection more I finde in another late Peece, which striketh not at the authority a­lone, but at the very reputation of Synods. This Authour alledgeth, that the ordinary government by Synods, is a thing of great confusion, by reason of the parity and equali­ty, [Page 211] the voyces being numbred, not weighed. Equidem (saith a wise Father) at vere, &c. To say the truth, I am utterly determined never to come to any Councell of Bishops: for I never yet saw good end of any Councell: for Councels abate not ill things, but rather increase them. Answ. 1. If the parity and equality make a great confusion in the ordinary government by Synods, it shall make no lesse, but rather greater confusion in an extraordinary Synod: so that there is no ground for his restriction to that which is ordinary. 2. If the num­bring of voyces, and the parity of those that doe voyce, make a confusion in Synods, why not in Parliaments also, and in other civill Courts? 3. That testimony doth only strike at the Councels of Bishops, and so maketh not against parity, but against imparity in Councels: And, to say the truth, wee have found in our owne experience, that Prelati­call Synods have not abated, but rather in­creased evils in the Church. 4. The words of Nazianzen (for he is the Father here meant of) are not to be understood against Synods, but against the abuse of Synods at that time.Ubi supra, quaest. 1. And in this we must pardon him (saith Whit­taker) that he shunned all Synods in those e­vill times of the Church, when the Emperour Valens was opposite to the Catholicke faith, [Page 212] and when the faction of heretickes did most prevaile: in that case indeed Synods should have produced greater evils. But we trust it shall be now seen that well constituted and free Synods of Pastors and Elders, shall not increase, but abate evill things.


A POST-SCRIPT, In answer to a Treatise very lately published, which is intituled, The Presbyteriall Governement examined.

WHen the Printer had done all except two sheets of my former Treatise, there came to my hands a peece against Presbyteriall Go­vernement, which promi­seth much, but performeth little. Though my time be very short, yet I trust to make an answer to it, as full as it deserveth.

It hath a magisteriall and high sound­ing title, undertaking the examination of Presbyteriall Governement. But Presby­teriall Government secretly smileth, be­cause [Page 2] while she was ready to say much more for her selfe, he did not put her to to it, lest himselfe should have been put ad metam non probandi. But he particularizeth himselfe, and telleth us he hath unfolded the weaknesse of our grounds, and dispro­ved our pretended proofs. The truth is, that the best of them & the most of them he hath not touched. He addeth that hee hath proved out of the Word of God the liberty of the people in choosing th [...]ir own officers. This may be added [...]aute, but caste, I am sure it is not. He would make the world beleeve that Presbyterians are a­gainst the peoples election of their officers, which is a calumny. He saith, he hath an­nexed certaine arguments, proving Pres­byteriall Governement to be contrary to the pattern which Christ hath left in the New Testament. These arguments shall be answered with no great difficulty. In this place I shall only say a word of them in generall. The man hath a notable facul­ty of proving that wherein the Presbyteri­ans do agree with him, and passing that wherein they disagree from him. Many humane testimonies and citations of wri­ters he mustreth together, to make a sim­ple reader beleeve that many are of his judgemen [...] ▪ But I find none of them all [Page 3] except two or three to affirme any thing which we deny. But why hath he taken all this paines? He will present it (forsooth) to the Kings most excellent Majestie, and to the right honourable Lords, and the ho­nourable house of Commons now assem­bled in Parliament. As if it were to be ex­pected that a popular and independant forme of Church government in every Congregation, which should most certain­ly open a doore to a thousand remedilesse confusions, may obtaine his Majesties roy­all assent, or the acceptation of the High Court of Parliament. Nay, brother, seek some other friends to your cause, for, if wise men be not too too much deceived▪ the King and the Parliament in their great wisdome do fore-see, that whensoever E­piscopall government shall be removed, another form of Provinciall and nationall Church government must needs succeed unto it.

Now to come to the substance of his discourse; first hee maketh a quarrell against the Presbyteries of particular Churches (which are in Scotland called Sessions ▪) then against all higher Consisto­ries in the Church.Pag. 1. As for the Presbyteries of particular Churches, he judgeth them three wayes defective. First he requireth [Page 4] that all who are admitted into the compa­ny of Elders, even the governing or ruling Elders should be apt to teach and able to ex­hort with sound doctrine and convince gaine­sayers, 1 Tim. 3.1. [...]. 1.5. [...].9. and that not only privately, or in the Consistory, but in the publick assembly al­so, if not exactly, yet competently.

Answ. 1. Though ruling Elders ought to teach, exhort, rebuke, &c. both in the Consistory, and privately from house to house, as the case of every family and per­son doth require (which is all that can be drawne from those alleaged places to Ti­mothy and Titus, if so be they ought at all to be extended to ruling Elders) yet there is no place of Scripture to prove that they ought to teach publikly in the Congrega­tion. 2. That expression if not exactly, yet competently is somewhat mysterious. 3. Ruling Elders are expresly distinguished from those that labour in the word and doctrine. 1 Tim. 5.17. and from these that teach or exhort, Rom. 12.7, 8. 4. If ruling Elders shall [...]each publikly in the congre­gation ex officio, and with cure of soules (as they speak) why shall they not also mini­ster the Sacraments, which are pendicles and seals of the word, and therefore com­mitted to those, who are sent to the pub­lick preaching of the Gospell, Matth. 28.19. [Page 5] 5. Though he speak here only of ruling Elders, yet I doubt he requireth of, at least will permit to all men that are members of the Church the same publick teaching and prophesying in the Congre­gation.

The second defect which he wisheth supplied,Pag. 2, 3. is, that the temporary ruling El­ders may be made perpetuall and for life, which he enforceth by foure reasons. This I assent unto providing he admit a distin­ction betwixt the office it selfe, and the ex­ercise of the same. The office of a ruling Elder ought to be for his life no lesse then the Pastors; yet must we not condemne those Churches which dispense with the intermission of their actuall attendance for a certaine space, and permit them to exercise their office by course, as the Levits did of old, whose example himselfe here taketh for a patterne.

The third thing he saith is of most mo­ment.Pag. 4. He doth complaine that the Elders do not administer their publik office pub­likly as they should, but only in their pri­vate Consistory. He doth permit them in­deed to meet apart for deliberation (whereof we shall here afterward) but he will have their Church-office which in the Lord they have received, to be executed [Page 6] publickly in the face of the Congregation. 1. Because an office publick in the nature, ought also to be publick in the administra­tion. 2. Because the reformed Churches cannot know their Elders whether they be good or bad, except by heare-say. 3. Because otherwise the Elders can not mi­nisterially take heed to the whole flock as they are warned to do, Acts 20.28. Ans. 1. Ruling Elders do execute their office not only in the Consistory, but from house to house throughout al the bounds of the Cō ­gregation; wch may easily make thē known to that Church where they serve, whether they be good or bad. 2. Their Consistoriall sentences in all matters of importance, such as ordination, Church censures, excom­munication, &c. are made knowne to the whole Church. 3. He passeth a short cen­sure upon the reformed Churches. The re­formed Churches is a great word, but this man maketh a moat of it. 4. The place Acts 20.28. cannot helpe him, for ruling El­ders do feed and oversee the whole flock, both by discipline in the Consistory, and by taking heed to all the sheepe several­ly, as every one hath need, and in that re­spect may be called both Pastors and Bishops. Beside I doubt he can prove that place to be meant of ruling Elders. He [Page 7] He goeth on to make plaine what hee hath said,Pag. 5. by descending to some particulars in which the Elders office s [...]emeth especially to consist, and these are saith hee, The admitting of members into the Church, upon profession of faith made, and the reproving and censuring of obstina [...]e of­fenders. These are the most frequent publike administrations of the office of Ruling Elders. And what of them? hee saith, as they leave the execution of these things, to the Elders alone in the setled and well ordered state of the Church, so doe they deny, that they can be rightly and orderly done, but with the peoples privity and consent. His restriction to the setled and well ordered estate of the Church, I cannot understand. Hee had done well to have explained what hee meaneth by that not setled, nor well orde­red state of the Church, in which he thinks it belongeth not to the Elders alone, to ad­mit or cut off members. His other ambi­guous expression I understand better, for by the peoples privity hee meaneth, that the people should heare the voyces and suffrages of the Elders, and by the peoples consent, hee meaneth the peoples voting with the Elders, as wee shall heare after­ward. That the admission of members,Pag. 6. [Page 8] ought to bee with the peoples privity and consent,Page 6. hee will prove by two reasons. 1. Because wee finde in the acts of the A­postles, that men were received into the fellowship of the Church, and baptized publikely, and in the face of the congre­gation. 2. Because the whole communal­ty, being neerely to joyne with these that are admitted, ought to take knowledge of the profession of their faith. These rea­sons can neither conclude the peoples right of suffrage in this matter, nor so much are the peoples hearing of the suf­frages of the Elders: But only that the matter might not bee ended without the peoples knowledge and tacite consent. Beside there is no small difference to bee put betwixt the admission of Jewes, Infi­dells, and Hereticks, upon their profession of the true Christian faith, and the admis­sion of such as have transported them­selves from another Christian congregati­on, bringing with them a sufficient testi­monie of their holy profession of faith, and good conversation. In the meane while, Let the Reader note, that this dis­puter hath here in a parenthesis interlaced grosse anabaptistry, holding it a kinde of unorderly anticipation to baptise infants, who cannot give a confession of their [Page 9] faith. And within a few lines, he lets ano­ther thing fall from his pen, which smel­leth strongly of the Anabaptisticall tenent, concerning having all things common, even bodily goods.

But I proceed with him to the second head,Pag. 7. concerning excommunication, and Church censures by the Elders, with the peoples privity and consent. This he pro­veth by three arguments.1▪ Tim. 5.20. 1. Because Paul saith, These who sin, rebuke publikely, that o­thers also may feare a brave argument indeed. This charge is not given to ruling Elders; and if it had, it can neither prove the suf­frage of the people, nor their hearing of the suffrage of the Elders, but onely the execution of the sentence of the Elders, in the presence and audience of the con­gregation. 2. Hee argueth from these words,Mat. 18.17. Tell the Church, where hee would make it appeare, that by the Church is not meant the Senate of Elders excluding the people;Pag. 8. yea hee saith, that in this circum­stance now in consideration, it comes nee­rer the truth to expound the Church to be the Bishop, since neither Bishops nor their Court-keepers, doe exclude the people from their consistories. Sure I am, in Scot­land, (let others speake for themselves) The Bishops in their visitations, high Com­missions, [Page 10] Privie-conferences at Synod [...] (in which they passed their decrees) did exclude both the people, and the most part of the ministers. He thinkes it a course unheard of either among Jewes, Gentiles, or Christians, before this last age, that pub­like judgements should be privatly exer­cised, and without the peoples privity. This (if at all to the point) must be un­derstood, not of the finall execution, but of the judiciall sentence or decree. What then shall wee thinke that the Senators at Rome or the Areopagites at Athens, did ne­ver conclude or degree any thing, con­cerning a publike judgement, except in the audience and presence of the people. The Judges in Israel did sit in the gates of of the City, that all persons both poore and rich, great and small might have accesse unto them with their complaints, and that the sentence of judgement, might bee the more notorious & exemplary▪ being given forth and promulgat in the gates: This proveth not that the Judges did debate, voyce, and conclude all matters in the publike audience of the people.Pag. 9. It appea­reth rather that they were so accomodate, that they might doe these things apart from the multitude. It is too much for him, to affirme either that the Synagogues [Page 11] were places of civill conventions and judgements,Pag. 9. or that nothing was in the Sy­nagogues decreed without the peoples privity, while as hee hath given no proofe nor evidence at all for it.

You need not, my Masters be so curious in the notation of the name [...], which every smatterer in Divinity knoweth. But what of it? you say, the Elders (as such) are called, to wit, to their office of Elder­ship, but called out they are not, being themselves to call out the Church. It is true that the word [...] noteth not only a calling, or a gathering together, by ver­tue of verb [...], but also a separation by vertue of the particle [...]. But I hope it is no paradox to say, that the Elders are both called or gathered together unto the El­dership, and called out or separate from the rest of the Church to that office. And it is as far from a Paradox to say that they who are called out cannot call out others, especially the one calling out being to an office, and the other calling out being from nature to grace.

He cannot think that the name, Ecclesia, Church, hath been used by any Greek Au­thor before the Apostles times, or in their dayes, or in the age after them, for the as­sembly of sole Governours in the act of their government. I shall first give Instan­ces [Page 12] against him in the verb, because, hee said, the Elders (as such) cannot be said to be called out. The Septuagint reade, Deu. 31.28. [...], Gather unto me all the El­ders. The like you may find, 1 King. 8.1. 1 Chron. 28.1. I shall next put him in mind that the Septuagint sometime turne Kahal by [...], as Prov. 26.26. His wickednesse shall be shewed before the whole Congregation, [...]. And it is plaine that the name of the Congregation, or Church, is given to the Elders, for that which is said of the El­ders, Deut. 19.12. Ios. 20.4. is said of the Congregation, Num. 35.24. Ios. 20.6. So Exod 12.3. compared with verse 21. This if hee will not take well from us, with verse 21. This if hee will not take well from us, let him take it from an Anti-pres­byterian, who observeth from 1 Chron. 13.1, 2, 4. and 2. Chron. 1.3. that both Kahal and [...] are used for the Elders and Go­vernours. Guide unto Sion, pag. 5. The place Deut. 23.1, 2, 3. is well worthy of observa­tion. It is ordained that he who is woun­ded in the stones, or hath his privy mem­ber cut off, or is a Bastard, or an Ammo­nite, or a Moabite, shall not enter into the Congregation the of Lord to the tenth ge­neration. The word is Kahal in the Hebrew, and [...] in the version of the 70. yet Iu­nius, Piscator, and Pelicanus on that place, [Page 13] and Martyr on Iud. 11.1. hold that by the Church or Congregation in that place is meant Consessus I [...]dicum, the Court of Jud­ges and Rulers, which is called The Congre­gation of the mighty, Psal. 80.2. So that the true sense of the place, is the secluding of those persons from bearing any office or rule in the Common-wealth of Israel, whereby they might be members of those Courts which did represent Israel. The same sense is given by Lyranus, Cajetan, Ole­aster, Tostatus, and Lorinus. And which is more to be thought of, Ainsworth himselfe expoundeth it so, and further sheweth that it cannot be meant of joyning to the faith and religion of Israel, or entering into the Church in that respect, because Exod. 12.48, 49. Num. 15.14, 15. All strangers were upon their circumcision admitted into the Congregation of Israel, to offer sacrifices, and by consequence to enter into the court of the Tabernacle, which also appeareth from Levit. 22.18. Num 9.14. The point be­ing now cleared from the holy Scriptures, we shal the lesse need to trouble our selves in the search of prophane Authors; yet Pasor findeth Demosthenes using the word [...] pro concione magnatum.

As for that common expression of Di­vines,Pag. 10. Polan. Synt. lib. 7. cap. 11. pag. 539. that the Elders are the Church re­presentative, [Page 14] wee desire not to wrangle about names, so that the thing it selfe (which is the power and authority of the Officers sitting and judging apart from the people) be condescended upon. Yet let us see upon what grounds the name of a re­presentative Church is by this man so su­perciliously rejected. First, hee saith that no godly, no nor reasonable man will af­firme, that this representation is to be ex­tended to any other acts of religion, than these which are exercised in the gover­ning of the Church. But quo warrant [...]? shall a man be both ungodly and unreaso­nable, for affirming that the Elders may and ought to represent the Church where they serve, in preferring a petition to the King and the Parliament, for a Reforma­tion, or in bearing witnesse of the desolate condition of the Parish through the want of a ministery, or in giving counsel to a Si­ster Church, though these bee not acts of governing the Church. Well: be it, as he saith, what great absurdity shall fellow? then (forsooth) it appertains to the people primarily and originally (under Christ) to rule and govern the Church, that is, them­selves. But who saith he will so say of a government not personall, but publique, and instituted as the Churches is. Surely, [Page 15] they who think the power to be originally in the people, might here easily reply that this is no more strange than to say, that the power which is primarily and originally in the body of a Kingdome, is exercised by the Parliament, which is the representa­tive therof. But because many learned men deny the power of Church government to be originally in the people, though others, (and those very learned too) doe affirme it: therefore to passe that, I shall serve him with another answer. For as we can defend the authority of Presbyteries and Synods without wrangling about the name of a re­presentative Church, so can we defend the name of a representative Church, without debating the question, whether the peo­ple have the power originally or not. May he therefore bee pleased to take notice of other grounds and reasons for the name of a representative Church, as namely, First, what the Elders, with the knowledge and tacite consent of the Church, doe approve or dislike, that is supposed to be approved or disliked by the whole Church, which importeth, that the Church is in some sort represented by the Senate of Elders. Se­condly, as wee say wee have seene a man, when haply wee have seene nothing but his head, or his face which maketh him [Page 16] knowne unto us, (whence it is that Pain­ters represent men unto us oft-times onely from their shoulders upward) so doe wee discern & know a visible political Church, when we see in the Senate, as it were, the head and face thereof, the officers being as eyes, eares, nose, mouth, &c. to the Church, that is, being the most noble and chiefe members whereby the body is go­verned. Thirdly, the Senat of Elders is said to represent the Church, because of the affinity and likenesse betwixt it and the Se­nate, which representeth a City, or some inferior civil Corporation, affinity, I mean, not every way, but in this, that the govern­ment is not in the hands of all, but a few, and that those few were chosen with the consent of the whole Corporation. Fourth­ly, and if for these reasons the Eldership of a particular Church may be called a re­presentative Church, there is much more reason for giving this name to a classicall Presbytery, or to a Synod provinciall, or nationall, for these doe result out of many particular Churches being made up of their Commissioners.

His second reason he taketh from the nature of representations, alleaging that if the Elders in their Consistory represent the Church, then whatsoever they either [Page 17] decree or do agreeing to the Word of God, that also the Church decreeth and doth, though absent, though ignorant, both what the thing is, and upon what grounds it is done by the Elders: and this how consonant it is to Papists implicit faith, he leaveth it to wise men to consi­der. This argument is as much against the representations of Kings and States by their Ambassadours and Commissioners, it is against the representation of Churches by the Consistory of Elders, and so all the wisdome of Princes and States in their Embassages shall turne to implicit faith, because according to this ground, what the representing doth within the bounds of his Commission, that the represented doth implicitè. And now I shall leave to be con­sidered by wise men these vast differen­ces betwixt the Papists implicit faith, and the case of our Churches governed by El­derships. 1. The Church assenteth not to that which the Consistory of Elders de­creeth or doth, except it be agreeing to the Word of God, as the Reasoner him­selfe saith: but there is no such limitation in the Papists implicit faith. 2. The Con­sistory of Elders doth not presse any thing upon the Church, imperiously, or by na­ked wil and authority without any reason, [Page 12] as the Church of Rome doth with those from whom she requireth implicit faith. 3. The Papists know not what those things be which they beleeve by implicit faith: so that such a faith is rightly called mera ar­ticulorum fidei ignorantia, Ger. loc. theol. [...]om. 3. de Iusti [...]. [...] ▪ 114. a meere igno­rance of the articles of faith: but the de­crees of our Elderships whereunto our Churches do consent, are made knowne unto them. 4. Our Churches are by the judgement of Christian discretion to ex­amine all things propounded unto them, even the decrees of the Elders, whereas Papists may not examine what the Church propoundeth or commandeth. 5. Papists by their implicit faith beleeve whatsoever the Church beleeveth, because they think the Church can not erre, but our Churches conceive not only their particular Elder­ships, but oecumenicall councels to be sub­ject to error.

Pag. 11.Come we now to his third generall rea­son: whereby he laboureth to prove that the consistorian course is contrary to the practise of the Apostolick Churches, be­cause the Apostle, 1 Cor. 5. writeth to the whole Church of Corinth to excommuni­cate the incestuous man. And that by these words (when you are c [...]me together) the whole Church is to be understood,Pag. 12. he pro­veth [Page 9] by three reasons: the strength of them all, we shall take together in one ar­gument thus. They among whom the forni­catour was, who were puffed up when they should have sorrowed, and out of the midst of whom he was to be put, who had done that thing, to whom it appertained to purge out the old leven, and to whom the Apostle wrote not to be commingled with fornicators or co­vetous persons, they were to be gathered to­gether into one, and to judge and excommu­nicate that incestuous person.

But they among whom the fornicator was, &c. were not the Elders alone, but the whole Church, Ergo, &c.

And now what shall this disputer say, if I cleave this his strong argument with a wedge of his own timber, thus, &c.

If they among whom the fornicator was, who were puffed up, when they should have sorrowed, and out of the midst of whom, &c. were to judge and excommunicate that incestuous person, then women were to judge and excom­municate him, and not men only. But the latter is absurd, therefore so is the former. My proposition he must either grant, or else say that the incestuous man was not to be put out of the midst of women, and that the Apostle did not forbid women to be commingled with fornicators. My assump­tion [Page 20] is his own, Pag. 24. where he tels us from 1 Cor. 14.34, 35. 1 Tim. 2.12. that wo­men are debarred from liberty or right of voting in publick ecclesiasticall matters. Then let him see to the conclusion. Another proofe of the same point he ad­deth from 2 Cor. 2.Pag. 1 [...]. where he writeth to these same Corinthians to receive pardon, and comfort the penitent: which I might repell in the same manner. But there is a word in that same Chapter which may cleare the thing, Vers. 6. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment (or censure) which was inflicted of m [...]ny. Which many, if (as he saith in the next page) the Apostle had op­posed to himselfe alone, and not to all, then he said but the halfe of that which he meant to say. He would have the Corin­thians to think it enough that the man had beene publickly censured by so many as were in their Presbyterie. Now if he had beene censured by the whole Church, it had been more fit and emphaticall to have said censured by all. But there is another sence which well fitteth the place.E [...]r [...]. sacr. in [...]llum locum. Heinsius observeth that [...] is one thing, [...] another thing: the former noting those that exceed in number: the latter those that are chiefe in dignity, and that there­fore the Apostle when he saith [...], meaneth the rulers and Elders of that [Page 21] Church, so that the reading shall be this, Sufficient to such a man, is this censure in­flicted of the chie [...]e. In the same sence Pi [...]r­tor taketh the words: which also he doth illustrate from Mat. 12.41.42. [...] a greater then Ionah, [...], a greater then Solomon.

To conclude this case, the Apostle as in other Epistles, so in this, doth sometime point at common duties belonging to the whole Church, sometime at the du­ties of officers. That the whole Church of Corinth should have sorrowed for the incestuous man, and that it was a common duty to them, not to be commingled with fornicators,Ephes. 5.11. and to have no fellowship with the unfruitfull workes of darknesse, but rather to reprove them: In like manner it con­cerned them all to comfort him being pe­nitent. But as for the judging, and excom­municating of him, that did belong only to the Presbytery of Corinth, and so Calvin, Piscator, Paraeus, and many others expound the Apostles words.

His digression to prove that the Apostle alone,Pag. 13.14. did not give forth sentence judicia­ry upon the offender, is not against us, but against the prelaticall party, therefore I passe it.

What he alleageth from Act. 1.Pag & 6. & 14. For the Churche [...] right of suffrage in the election of Officers, we doe most hear­tily [Page 16] assent unto it, with this distinction, that when the case is such, as it was in the ex­amples alleaged, that is, when visible po­liticall Churches are to be erected, not ha­ving beene before, then the right of suf­frage in elections, doth indeed belong to the whole body: And though this way of election were ordinary, it cannot prove that the people have the power of that authority in them, to which they elect the officers: no more then the Electors of the Emperour have in them power of the im­periall dignity, saith Baynes. But now it is not ordinary, for when there is already a setled Ecclesiasticall republike, or a Church with officers, the officers for the time being ought by their suffrages to elect the officers that are wanting, with the knowledge and consent of the Church.

Pag. 17.18.Somewhat he demurreth upon Act. 15. for the vindication of which place, I refer my reader to the second part of the for­mer Treatise, Chap. 1. & 8. Neither shall I stay to examine, by what Method either this discourse or the other about elections, falleth into the proofe of his proposition, concerning that part of the Elders office, which standeth in the censuring of offen­ders.

Pag. 21.He falleth at last into his owne channell, concluding it to bee a thing most equall, that the whole Church, should clearely [Page 13] and undoubtedly take knowledge of the contumacy of the person, that is to bee ex­communicated, & of the crime for which, and this we also say with him.

One word I desire to have cleared be­fore wee proceed.Pag 20. One of his grounds in his discourse about elections, is that the Church officers, as they are the servants of Christ Jesus, so also her servants for Jesus sake,Synops. dist. 49. Th. 1. 2. Cor. 4.5. The professors of Leyden say well, that they are not properly the servants of the Church, but of God, and of Christ: They are not Lords of the Church neither, but Rulers, Guides, Bishops, and Pastors of the Church: yet not servants of the Church except, objective, that is, the servants of God in the Church, or for the Churches good. If this bee his meaning, it is well. But I doubt he hath another mea­ning, and that is, that the Church doth give the power (which is hers) unto her officers, as her servants to exercise it in her name. If this bee the matter, then let us marke with Baynes, Diocess. tryall pag. 88. that the Church doth not virtually and out of power make an officer, but shee doth it in Stewardlike manner, ministring to the sole Lord and master of the house, so that hee who is taken in doth not his office in her name, but in his masters name: as a Butler taken in by the Steward of the house, doth not ex­ecute his office in the stewards name, but [Page 24] in his masters, who only out of power did conferre it on him.

Pag. 22.But now lest any should conceive of him and those of his side, that they either exercise amongst themselves, or would thrust upon others any popular or demo­craticall Church governement: therefore he desireth the Reader to make estimate, both of their judgement and practice in this point, according to these three decla­rations.

First he saith they beleeve, that the ex­ternall Church governement under Christ, is plainely aristocraticall and to be admini­stred by some choyce men, although the state bee after a fort popular and demo­craticall.Pag. 23. In respect of the latter, he saith it appertaines to the people freely, to vote in elections & judgements of the Church; in respect of the former, that the Elders ought to governe the people, even in their voting in just liberty, by propounding and ordering all things, and (after the voting of the Church) solemnly executing, either ordination or excommunication. Behold how he runneth upon the rocke of popu­lar governement, even whiles he preten­deth to have his course another way: God send us better pilots. I remember I have read in sundry places of Bodin de repub. that the state is oft times different from the go­vernement. But sure I am, this anti-consi­storian [Page 25] maketh not only the state, but the governement of the Church to be demo­craticall, & that in the superlative degree, for the governement is democraticall, at least composed of a mixture of aristocracy, and democracy (which is the most that he dare say of the Church governement) where the people have the liberty of ele­cting their owne officers and rulers, and where the Senat so farre observeth the people, that they may not passe the finall act, in any matter of importance, without the knowledge and tacite consent o the people, though the people doe not vote in the Senat, nay though the Senat doe not vote in the hearing of the people. Now this seemeth not enough to those with whom wee have now to doe. They will have the people freely to vote in all judge­ments of the Church. And what is that, but the very exercise of jurisdiction by the people,de pol. eccle. lib. 3. cap. 7. which is the democracy of Movel­l [...]s condemned by Parker himselfe, who maketh the exercise of ecclesiasticall po­wer proper to the Rulers of the Church, though he placeth the power it selfe origi­nally in the whole Church. Let it further be observed, what difference these men make betwixt the Elders and the people in the governement of the Church: That which they make proper to the Elders is only the propounding and ordering of matters, and the excuting of some so­lemne [Page 26] act in name of the Church. This is no more then belongeth to the moderator or Praeses in any consistory, But they will have the matter to bee determined accor­ding to the most voyces of the people. And so the new forme of Church governement which is here laid before us, is a mere de­mocracy with many moderators, which is the most monstrous governement that ever was heard of.

His second declaration is, that the El­ders may and ought at times to meet apart from the body of the Church, for delibe­ration. This if hee meane only of that which hee specifi [...]th, the preparing of things so as publik [...]ly, and before the peo­ple, they may bee prosecuted with most conveniency. It is no more then what many require in moderators of Synods, to whom they think fit, that some Assessors, or Coadjutors be adjoyned for delibera­ting in private, upon the most orderly and convenient prosecuting of purposes in publike: which as it hindereth not the governement of Synods to be aristocrati­call; so neither doth the deliberation of the Elders in private, hinder the governe­ment now in question to be democraticall. But if he meane generally, that the Elders may deliberate apart upon everything whatsoever, which is to be voyced by the people, then I aske by what reason doth [Page 27] he seclude from the deliberations those who are to voice? for to give being and force to an Ecclesiasticall decree by voy­cing, is more than to deliberate upon it, whence it is that Papists give to Presbyters a deliberative voice in Councels, but not a decisive voice, and we also permit any un­derstanding godly man to propound a matter to a Synod, or to reason upon it, though none have power of suffrage but the Commissioners of Churches; So that he had greater reason to seclude the peo­ple from the voyces, than from the delibe­rations.

His third declaration comes last,Pag. 24. and that is that by the people whose right in voting they thus stand for, they understand not women and children, but only men, and them growen, and of discretion. Be­fore hee did object to us that neither in Scripture nor in Greeke Authors, the name Church is used for the assembly of sole Go­vernours: and to this I suppose I did give a satisfactory answer. But good Sir be plea­sed mutually to resolve us where you have read in Scripture, or in Greek Authors the name Church (setting aside all representa­tives of Churches and Assemblies of sole Governors) used for men alone, and them growen and of discretion, secluding wo­men and children: for now I see your re­served Glosse upon those words Tell the [Page 28] Church: Tell all the men in the Parish that are growne and of discretion, you must not take so much upon you, as to expound that Text by a Synecdoche, which none that ever wrote upon it before your selves did imagine, and yet challenge us for expoun­ding it by another Synecdoche, following Chrysostome, Euthymius, Faber Stapulensis, and many late Interpreters, who under­stand by Church in that place, the Rulers of the Church, which are the noblest part of the Church. I shall shut up this point with the words of Hyperius, Comment. in 1 Cor. 5.4. who saith that we must not understand by the Church the whole multitude, Sed potius delectos &c. But rather certaine choice Elders, noted for their learning and godlinesse, in whose power the Chu [...]ch will have to bee the judgement in such like causes, which is proved from that, that Matth. 18 after it was said, [...]ell the Church, it is added; where two or three are gathered to­gether in my name, there am I in the midst of them. And 2 Cor. 2. he saith, Sufficient is this censure inflicted by many.

We have now done with the Elderships of particular Churches,Pag. 24, 14. but there is ano­ther blow which I perceive is intended a­gainst classicall Presbyteries and Synods provincial and national, for the due power by which my opposite would have the Church to be governed, hee layeth before us in this Assertion, that every particular vi­sible [Page 29] Church hath from Christ absolute and intire power to exercise in and of her selfe, every or­dinance of God, and so is an independent body, not standing under any other Ecclesiasticall au­thority out of it selfe. And this he will prove by ten Arguments: but I shall not need to multiply answers, as hee doth arguments, because many of them are coincident. The first, third, fourth, and sixth, doe all hit up­on the same string.Pag. 26. The first is thus: If those Churches, planted by the Apostolique in­stitution, had power fully in themselves immediatly from Christ to practise all his ordinances: Then have all Churches the like power now.Pag. 28. But the first is true. Ergo. The third thus; Whatsoever was com­manded by the seven Churches to be pra­ctised by each of them, apart, in and for themselves, that no Church of God must now omit. But Ecclesiasticall government was commanded to the seven Churches to bee practised by each of them, &c. The fourth thus;Pag. 28, 29. If the Church of Corinth had power and authority within her selfe to exercise Ecclesiasticall Government; then ought not particular Congregations now to stand under any other Ecclesiastical au­thority out of themselves. But the first is true,Pag. 30. Ergo. The sixth thus. If the Apostle gave commandement unto the Eldership of Ephesus for the whole administration of all ordinances in that Church: then may [Page 30] the Eldership of every particular congre­gation, administer among themselves all Gods ordinances. But the first is true, Ergo.

Now for answer to these: First, I simply deny the connexion of the proposition of the fourth argument, because it argueth à genere ad speciem affirmative, from the exer­cising of ecclesiastical Government, to the exercising of it independently. Neither hath hee said any thing for proofe hereof. Next, the Reader will easily perceive, that both in the first and sixth Argument his ci­tations in proofe both of the propositions and assumptions, have not so much as the least colour of pertinency, and farre lesse of proofe. In both these arguments, when he would prove the proposition, he spea­keth to the assumptiō, & contrariwise. But these things I delight not to insist upon: only I shall give two Distinctions, any one of which, much more both of them shall make these arguments wholly improfita­ble unto him▪ First, I distinguish his pro­positions. That power & authority which the Church of Corinth, the seven Chur­ches of Asia, and other Apostolicall Chur­ches had to exercise Ecclesiastical govern­ment in and for themselves, the like have all Churches now which are of the like frame and condition: but the most part of particular Churches now are of a different frame and condition from the Apostolique [Page 31] Churches, and so have not such fulnesse of power as they had. Put the case that the Apostolick Churches were no greater then might and did or­dinarily assemble together into one place for the worship of God, yet since by reason of the trou­ble [...] of those times (which suffered not the Chri­stians to spread themselves abroad all the coun­trey over, but confined them within Cities and safe places) those Churches were not planted so thick and neare together, as that they might have the conveniency of Synodical consociation: hence it appeareth that they might do many things in and by themselves, which particular Congregati­ons now having the conveniency of consociation with neighbour Churches, ought not to do in and by themselves. But this I have said gratis, having in my former Treatise at length declared that the Apostolick Churches (at least the most and prin­cipall of them) were greater then could assemble ordinarily in one place of worship, and that they were served with sundry both Pastors and Elders, & that therefore our Parochiall Churches ought not to be (in respect of the points in question) compared with their Churches, nor our Parochiall Presbyteries with their Presbyteries.

The second distinction which I have to pro­pound is concerning the assumptions of the argu­ments now in hand. The Apostolick Churches did indeed ordinarily exercise Ecclesiasticall go­vernment and all the ordinances of Christ, in and for themselves, yet so that when the occasion of a Synode did occurre for determining a question [Page 32] which was too hard for particular Churches, and was also common to many Churches, in that case they did submit themselves to the authority of he Synod. Which hath also before beene made plaine from Act. 15. To practise all the ordinan­ces of God in a Church is one thing, and to pra­ctise them independantly so as nev [...]r to be subject to the authority of a Synod, is another thing. My antagonist doth after take it for granted & saith, that all learned men have granted that the Church­es of the Apostolick constitution were indepen­dant bodies.Pag. 32. But whence are you Sir that would make your Reader beleeve there are no learned men in the Churches of Scotland, France, the low-countries, and the other reformed Churches which have the governement of Presbyteries and Synods, conceiving it to be most agreeable to the Apostolicall patterne? Have you put out of the category of learned men all Protestant writers who in the controversies about Councels dispute against Papists from Acts 15.2. Why did you not among all your imeprtinent allegations, cite some few of those learned men who grant the Aposto­lick Churches to have been independant bodies? But we must heare what more you have to say.

Your first eight and tenne arguments are in like manner coincident.Pag. 29. The first you frame thus. Such actions the Church may lawfully do where­in no law of God is broken. But there is no law of God broken, when particular Churches do in and among themselves exercise all Gods ordinan­ces. Ergo. The eight thus. Whatsoever governe­ment [Page 33] cannot be found commanded in the written Word o [...] God, ought not to have any place in the Church of God. But the Government of Presby­teries and Synods over many particular congre­gations cannot be found commanded,Pag. 34. &c. The tenth thus. It is a sinne against God to adde any thing to that forme and manner of ordering Churches which Christ hath set forth in the new Testament. But to subject particular congregati­ons under any other Ecclesiasticall authority out of themselves, is to adde, &c.

Now the word independantly must be added to the assumption of the first argument, else it can­not conclude what he affirmes and we deny: for there is no question but particular Churches may exercise in and among them selves all Gods ordi­nances in those cases and with those distinctions which I have spoken of before, part 2. chap. 2. This being cleared I deny the assumption in all these three arguments. I expected proofe for it, but he hath given none, except that it cannot for shame be denied. I had thought it rather a shamefull thing for a writer to trouble his Reader with ar­guments which he cannot make good.Synops. dyp. 49: Th. 10. ex. dyp. 42. Thes. 62. But what saith he to the professors of Leyden who hold the institution of Synods not to be humane, but di­vine, wch they prove from Mat. 18. & Act. 15. Nay what is more ordinary in Protestant writers then the applying of those words, Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them, unto Synods and Councels; and hence they condemne the popish Councels, in so much that Bellarmin, Salmeron, and other Jesuits have in this contradicted all our writers, telling us (as [Page 34] these men doe) that our Saviour meaneth not of Councels in these words. Moreover that com­mandement whereby we stand obliged to fol­low the example both of the Jewish Church in the Old Testament, and of the Apostolicall Churches in the New Testament, in such things as they had not for any speciall reason which doth not concerne us, is transgressed by the withdraw­ing of Congregations from subjection unto Sy­nods. Of which things I have said enough be­fore. It is now but a poore begging of that which is in question, to object that the governement of Presbyteries and Synods hath no warrant from the Word of God.

Come we then to examine his other Arguments. His second he composeth thus.Pag. 27. If Christ in Mat. 18.17. where he saith, Tell the Church, doth mean a particular Congregation: then hath every par­ticular Congregation an intire power in and of it selfe to exercise Eclesiasticall governement, and all other Gods spirituall ordinances. But the first is true. Ergo, for the proposition he citeth some Writers who do not speak of such a connexion as he had to prove. The assumption he proveth thus. That Church which Christ intendeth in Matth. 18. hath absolute power in and of it selfe to perform all Gods ordinances. But Christ intendeth in Mat. 18. a particular Congregation. Therefore every particular Congregation hath absolute power, &c. How bravely doth he conclude the point? Specta­tum admissi risum teneatis amici ▪ We will not exa­mine our examinators logick: we know what he would say: and we woul [...] have him to know a­gaine that Christ in Mat. 18. meaneth indeed some [Page 35] sort of a particular Congregation, but neither on­ly nor independantly. Nay he meaneth all the Consistories of the Church higher and lower re­spectively, as Parker conceiveth, whose words I have before set down: and to this sense the threed of the text doth leade us, for as in the preceding words there is a gradation from one to two or three more, then to the Church, so is there a gra­dation (by the like order and reason) in the Con­sistories of the Church. Tostatus upon this place ac­knowledgeth that Diae Ecclesiae reacheth as far as to an oecumenicall Councell, when particular Churches erre in their determinations, or when the cause is common to all the Churches, for ex­ample, when the Pope is to be condemned.

His seventh argument followes in my order,Pag. 31. and it runneth after this manner. Such offices and callings without which the Church of God is cō ­pleat and perfect for government, are superfluous and humane. But the Church of God may be com­pleat & perfect for government, without Presby­teriall and Synodicall offices and callings. Ergo. I answer by a distinction. Such offices and callings without which the Church of God are according to the course of Gods ordinary providence, or at all times and in all cases, perfect and compleat for government, are indeed superfluous and humane. But that such offices and callings without which the Church by the absolute power of God or at some times & in some cases is perfect & compleat, are superfluous & humane, we utterly deny. Now for the point of Synods I shall produce no other witnesses then those which this Disputer here ta­keth to be for him.De Conc. q 1. p 29. Whittaker acknowledgeth of [Page 36] Councels that Secundum ordinariam providentiam necessaria sunt ad bonam ecclesiae gubernationem: De Pol. Eccle. lib. 3. pag. 131. ac­cording to ordinary providence they are necessary for the well governing of the Church. Parker acknow­ledgeth Synods to be sometime necessary in the Church, and he giveth example of the Councell of Nice, without which the evils of the Church in the daies of Constantine could not have bin remedied.

The ninth Argument remaineth,Pag. 33. which is this. That government which meerly tendeth unto the taking away from particular Congregations, their due power is unlawfull. But the government of Presbyteries and Synods (as they now are) doth meerly tend unto the taking away from particu­lar Congregations their due power. Ergo. I did ex­pect some strong proofe for the assumption of this argument, but we must take it as it is. He tels us out of Master Barlow ▪ that no man under the degree of a Prophet or an Apostle may prescribe Gods Church and children patternes. Our Synods are further from prescribing patterns either of worship or Church government than himselfe is. The patterne and whole manner of Church government is set down in the Scripture, those circumstāces excepted which are common to the Church with the Common-wealth, and are therefore determinable by natures light. Synods may not prescribe new patterns, no more may par­ticular Churches: but Synods may in common causes, and extraordinarily prescribe unto parti­cular churches, such things as particular churches may in particular causes and ordinarily prescribe to their owne members. If he will beleeve Parker (whom he thinks his owne) the authority which [Page 37] particular Churches have severally is not lost,de pol. eccl. lib. 3. c 13. p. 124. but augmented when they are joyned together in Sy­nods. But we have before abundantly declared how Presbyteriall & Synodical government doth not at all prejudge the rights of congregations.Supra, cap. ult. As for that which here he addeth by way of supposi­tion, putting the case that Presbyteries & Synods will not permit a congregation to reject some cō ­victed hereticks, nor to chuse any, except unfit Ministers, this is just as if one should object a­gainst Parliaments, that (as they are now) they do meerly tend to the taking away of the right and liberty of the subject, and then for proofe should put the case, that Parliaments will protect and maintaine Monopolists, Projectorers, &c.

Now in this drove of arguments,Pag. 35. the drover hath set some like the weake of the flock to follow up behind. The first two are blind, and see not where they are going: for it maketh nothing against us, either that the Eldership of one congregation, hath not authority over the Eldership of another congregation, or that a minister should not un­dertake the care of more Churches then one.

His third,Ib. p. 124. that presbyteriall power is never menti­oned in the Scripture, is a begging of the thing in question, & is answered before; yet I must put him again in mind of Parker, who speaking of churches saith: Legitur in Scripturis de conjunct a earū auct ori­tate, quando in Synodis congregantur. We read in their Scriptures of their joynt authority, when they are ga­thered together into Synods. But there is a speech of Zuinglius against representative Churches, which he may not omit. Zuing [...]ius doth indeed justly aske of the antichristian prelats, who had given them [Page 38] the name of a representative Church, & who had given them power to make Canons &c. yet hee addeth,Act. 8. expla. de his duntaxat &c. I speak of them only that are such, others who put themselves under not above the Scriptures, my writings shall nothing prejudge.

In the fourth place he objecteth,Pag. 36. that whosoever shall deny their assertion, must hold two distinct formes of Church government to be lawfull, one where particular congregations do in & of them­selves exercise all Gods ordinances;Sup [...]. cap. 2. the other where they stand under another ecclesiasticall au­thority out of themselves. I answer it is most law­full for particular congregations in and of them­selves to exercise all Gods ordinances, according to the distinctions & rules above mentioned: but this is not repugnant to their standing, under the authority of presbyteries & Synods, for which let us againe heare a tender friend of congregations. Major quidem potestas est Synodi quam unius alicujus Ecclesiae primea, Parker ubi su­pra. & parochialis; But goe we along.

Pag. 129.His first argument is, that for this reason, among others the learned say the Pope is Antichrist, viz. because he will have men to appeale from their owne Churches unto him, and to stand unto his sentence and decree: and doe not the pres­byteriall assemblies & Synods, take upon them an authority much like to it. Soft my master, Soft. Canno lesse serve you, then to match our Church governemēt with the papall usurpations. 2. I shall beseech you to remember, 1. The Pope is one and receiveth appellations monarchinally: a Synod consisteth of many, & receiveth appellations ari­stocratically: 2. The Pope receiveth appellations from other nations beyond Sea: presbiteries and [Page 39] Synods not so. 3. The Pope will have his sentēce re­ceived as infallible: presbyteries & synods acknow­ledge themselves subject to error. 4. The Pope ac­knowledgeth neither the Elders, nor the Elderships of congregations: which Presbyteries & Synods do. 5. The Pope acknowledeth no power ecclesiasti­call on earth, except what is subject to him, yea de­rived from him: and who will say so of Presbyteries & Synods. 6. The Pope receiveth appellations in other causes then ecclesiasticall: Presbyteries and Synods not so. 7. Synods are made up of the Com­missioners of Churches: The Pope neither hath any cōmission himselfe from the Churches, nor will ad­mit the Commissioners of Churches, to sit in judge­ment with him. 8. Synods when they receive appel­lations, are tyed to certaine rules of proceeding and judging, especially the Scripture. The Pope maketh his power boundlesse, and exalteth himselfe, above the very Scripture. There shall be no end▪ except I stop in time. And what need I to make so many differences betwixt light and darknesse.

A sixth argument we shall now have, what more meet and reasonable saith he, then that every mans case be there heard & determined, where the fault was cōmitted. If this rule hold thē the Parliamēt or privy Councell, ought to go to every remote coun­ty & corner of the kingdome, to judge of such faults there cōmitted, as are proper for thē to judg. His arguments must be gone with silence,Pag. 37.38 for they run upon the robbing of congregations of their right, the exercising of ecclesiasticall govern­ment, in all the apostolique Churches, & our accor­ing with Papists & the Hierarchy. All which obje­ctions have been before repelled; & it is somewhat [Page 40] strange, that the disput [...]r doth so often repeate the same arguments, to make up the greater number. A pretty art indeed: like that of the young logician who would needs prove, that the foure egs upon the table were five, because two & three make five.

In this second clause of arguments there is only one behind, and that is, that by the titles given to all particular cōgregations, viz. a kingdome, a family, a body, a Queen &c. it appeareth that all ecclesiasticall auctority, ought to be in every one of thē distinct­ly, wholly, entirely. Where let the reader observe, that he maketh the meaning of that place Mat. 3.2. the kingdome of God is at hand, to be this, a particular congregation is at hand; also that he expoundeth Eph. 2.19. & Ps. 45. of a particular congregation, which are meant of the holy Catholike Church. But say that every particular congregation is a kingdome, a family, a body, a Queene, how proveth he that these names doe agree to every congregation in re­spect of her externall policy, or ecclesiasticall go­vernment. Nay say they, doe agree in this respect, yet in a thousand examples it is to be seen, that one and the same thing is both totum & pars, the whole, & the part, in different respects. Whereof we have also spoken in the former treatise.

He concludeth, that by this time he doth suppose the reader perceiveth, that the Scriptures are every way for them, and against the Presbyteriall govern­ement, you shall doe well Sir to thinke better upon it; you have it yet to prove: Therefore goe to your second thoughts, and examine with me your not unexaminable examination. Farewell.


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