A PEACEABLE AND TEMPERATE PLEA FOR PAVLS PRESBYTERIE IN SCOTLAND, OR A modest and Brotherly Dispute of the government of the Church of SCOTLAND, Wherein, Our Discipline is demonstrated to be the true Apostolick way of divine Truth, and the Arguments on the contrary are friendly dis­solved, the grounds of Separation and the Indepen­cie of particular Congregations, in defence of Ecclesiasticall Presbyteries, Synods and Assemblies, are examined and tryed.

By Samuell Rutherfurd Professor of Divinity at Saint Andrews.

PSAL. 48. 12. Walke about Zion, and goe round about her, tell the Towers thereof.
VER. 13. Marke yee well her Bulwarks, consider her Pal­laces, that yee may tell (it) to the generations following.

LONDON, Printed for Iohn Bartlet at the guilt-Cup neare St Austins-gate, 1642▪

TO THE HONOVRABLE And truly Noble Lord, Earle of Lindsey, Lord JOHN PARBROTH, &c. one of his Majesties Honourable Privy Councell.

Grace, Mercy and Peace, &c.

COnsidering (my Lord) your Lordships good minde and constant fide­lity and care in advan­cing this blessed Refor­mation, and fending both your shoulders to hold up the Kingdome of our LORD JESUS, and al­so your singular respect and reall affection to this famous Vniversity, and the faculty of Divinity in this Society, I thought it rather a matter of debtfull necessity, then of arbitrary election and choise, that this little peece that pleadeth for [Page] the Government of the Church of Scotland, should thrust it self through the thick and throng of many worthier monuments of Learning, un­der the honourable Patrociny of your Lordships name. I am not ignorant that two blocks closeth the passage to many of greater parts and abilitie then I am, to adde (I may have leave to borrow the word) to the Presses child-birth [...] travelling with no end of making many books, Eccles. 12. 12. and these be the opinions of men, and the event of Prin­ting: I may say of the former, that Opinion is a Witch and a great Inchantresse, while men call for Bookes, as nice banqueters call for di­shes to the Table, for they make such wide oddes betwixt taste-pleasant and goodnesse of meat, as if they were sworne to the roofe of their mouth, rather then to health and life; so that it is much more obvious to please few, and gratifie none, then to satisfie all. And for the event, it is not unlike dicing, for it is doubtsome if Fame be not a lost prize in writing, and if the game goe not crosse the Authors haire. And such is our cor­ruption, that the ayre or figures of a printed name is a peece of our self, and as our skin wherin our flesh and bones are kindly inchalmbered, and so were most tender of one penny breadth of this [Page] hide, or of letting one droppe of bloud of this kinde fall to the Earth. Notwithstanding of these prejudices, I have, howbeit most unable, dared to appeare also in the Presse, to say somewhat in way of a peaceable defence of our Church-government in Scotland. The pens of the worthy Reformers of the Christian Chur­ches have beene so blessed in the conscience, if not in the evill eye of envy it selfe, that they have cleared the Scripture way of the Go­vernment of CHRISTS Kingdome to lye in a midline betwixt the Popes and Pre­lates lawlesse Church Monarchy, and the un­orderly confusion of Democracie. It is not unknowne, the savoury perfume and honoura­ble name that this poore Church hath gained, partly by the whole hoast of Protestant Writers and ancient Fathers, who have unanimously put downe in print, what wee have done in practice, according to our Nationall Oath, partly by the testimony of the blessed Lights,Beza epist. 79. and faithfull Witnesses of IESUS. Brightman. I might name Reverend Beza, Revelat. of A­poc. ch. 3. 7. learned Brightman, that manly and stout Witnesse of CHRIST M. George Wishart, History of the Church of Scot­land p. 108, 109 the body of the Con­fessions of Faith. And it is as well mani­fest [Page] to the world (Sunne and Moone being Witnesses) what Prelates have attempted a­gainst Presbyteriall Governement, but one said well,Corpus Confess fide [...], p. 6. I beleeve IESUS to be a good man, and the Evangell blessed, because Satan, malice and Persecutours have done so much against them both with fire and tortures. What dust of late have they rai­sed against it? in Church, State, Court, Par­liament, three Kingdomes, in Rome, in the heart of King and many others, in Campo Martio, Esa. 23. 24. in open field, yea in the Sea, that the Sea should speake contrary to that stile of the Prophet,Cant. 6. 10. I travell in birth, I bring up children, and nothing could be the reason, but they saw the Woman looking foorth as the morning, Ps. 48. 4. faire as the Moone, cleare as the Sunne, terrible as an Army with ban­ners, and when they saw Mount Zion beau­tifull in situation, they marvelled, they were troubled and hasted away. 3 Ioh. v. 9. And what daring insolency is this? when the Prelate could not finde his Father, and thought shame of his native Father Diotrephes, Halls Remon­str [...]nce to the Parliament, an. 1641. that one D. Hall and others have put him in the line of the blood royall, and printed him an office, [Page] jure divino, by divine right; Their Prede­cessours were content of the good old, jus hu­manum. Yet I hope, put the Prelate in the Calendar of well-borne officers, bastard as he is,Senec. sent. yet many must die ere he be here. This boldnesse putteth me in minde of the saying, Laus nova nisi oritur, vetus amittitur, except Pre­lates grow in new honour they loose their old honour. But why may we not hope that both they, their god-father the Pope, and their god-Mother Rome shall loose both new and old. God hath fetched as broken a Ship to land, and yet they will be of Divine Right: Is it not true that the Learned said of necessity? Necessitati quodlibet telum utile est? Any clubbe is a sword good enough for poore neces­sity, or then it is true, Necessitas egentem mendacem facit: Necessity turneth the poore man in a lyar, or which I rather thinke; Ne­cessitas quod poscit, nisi das, eripit. If you give not willingly to necessity, what it suiteth, it must take it by strong hand and club-law. CHRIST hath fairely begun to his Vniversall conquest.Ps. 45. 3, 4. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh ô most mighty; and blessed shall all ages to come call all these Nobles who have shoul­ders [Page] to carry one stone to the raising of the wall of this Temple, and to build the Citie whose name is the LORD is there. Ezech. 48. 35. And in this course (my Lord) live, flourish and grow, and JEHOVAH build you a sure house, which is the prayer of

Your Lordships obliged ser­vant at all respective obe­dience in CHRIST SAMUEL RUTHERFURD.

To the Christian Reader.

I Am bold (reverend and Chri­stian Reader) to appeare in print to contribute my weake judgement for the govern­ment of the Church of Scot­land. In which suite I have to doe with foes and friends. To the former I speake not now, I meane Prelates, Papists and haters of the truth▪ I doubt not but I am condemned in their books of both errours and crimes, my hope to prevaile with such is small, if that be true, Damnati lingua vocem habet, vim non habet, The tongue of the con­demned hath a noise of words, but no power to perswade, except this be also true, Magna vis ve­ritatis, Truth may swim, it cannot sinke. But I speake to the godly, the lover of the Truth, the sufferer for Truth against Antichristian Prelacy, (which is but spilt Popery, or half-dyed Papistry) who possibly liketh not well of Presbyteriall go­vernment. And to such I am a debtor for love, charity, honour, and all due respect in Christ Je­sus, and a seat and lodging in my heart and highest [Page] esteeme.Phil. 1 7. And to thinke of all such is both, as the Apostle saith, [...], meet. And also (if it be be­side the truth) an honest and almost innocent error. Yea and to say to every one in whom (as reverend Bucer saith) there's aliquid Christi, Bucer. any of Christs new Creation,Hier. Sophron. as Ierom said to a friend, tibi & quod possum debeo, & quod non possum, I owe to thee what I am able to doe, and more for thy good. And of these I humbly beg equity, charity, and unpartiall weighing of precious truth. I am grieved that this should bee put on mee which a Heathen laid on his friend,Seneca. Amavit patriam quia suam, non quia pa­triam, he loved his countrey because his owne, not because his countrey. Seeing it's weaknesse to overlove a Nationall faith, because Nationall, and not because it's faith. Truth naked and stripped of all supervenient relations is love worthy. And there is as great cause of sorrow that all the Lords people should not mind one thing, and sing one Song, and joyne in one against the children of Babel. Iob 16. 19. Neither should I feare that, animo dolenti ni­hil oportet credere, sorrow deserveth no faith, Since my witnesse is in heaven, and my record on high, That I both love and dispute, I contradict and I reverence at once in this Treatise,Phil. 3. 15. and shall hope, if any be otherwise minded, God shall even re­veale this unto them. And it is meet so to doe, since our Physician Christ can well difference betwixt weaknesse and wickednesse, and will not have us cast one straw, before any whose face is towards Heaven, to cause them to stumble. Love hath a bosome and armes to carry the weake Lambes, [Page] and is a bridge over the River to keep the weake passenger dry footed. Dearly beloved, let us all in one Spirit, one love, one affection, joyne to build the City that is named,Ezech. 48. 35. The Lord is there. O that our Lord would be pleased to suspend the Heaven and glory of some, and that our Heaven might for a season be stayed out of Heaven, so we might live to see two Sisters the Daughters of one Father, and of one Mother, Ierusalem who is above, Britaines Israel and Iudah, England and Scotland comming together, weeping and asking the way to Sion, and their faces thither ward, saying, Come, let us joyne our selves to the Lord in a perpetuall Co­venant that shall not be forgotten. And not that only (for why should the Glory of our Royall and princely King, the plant of Renowne be confined within this narrow Isle o [...] Britaine?) but that he would make us eye-witnesses of his last Marriage-glory on earth, when he having cast the cursed milstone Babylon in the Sea, and sowne the land of graven Images with brimstone, and destroyed Idols out of the earth, shall be espoused on our elder Sister the Church of the Jewes, and the ful­nesse of the Gentiles. O that Christ would en­large his Love bed. And O what a honour to the servants of the Lord to beare up the taile of Christ his Marriage-robe-royall, in the day of our high and royall Solomons espousals. And what a second time-Heaven were it before eternities Heaven to have a bed in his chariot, which is bottomed with gold and paved and floured with Love for the daugh­ters of his last married Ierusalem. And who know­eth [Page] but our Lord hath now entred on that glori­ous Marriage-suit? Let us beleeve, wait on, love, follow truth and peace, be zealous for the Lord, and pray for the exalting of his Throne. And so I am.

Yours in all respective love and observance, S. R.

A Table of the Contents of the ensuing Treatise▪

CHAP. 1. QUEST. 1.
  • WHether the keyes of the Kingdome of Christ be con­ferred by Christ Jesus upon the multitude of belee­vers, as upon the first and proper subject, or upon the Church-guides only? p. 1.
CHAP. 2. QVEST. 2.
  • Whether or no some doe warrantably prove from Scrip­ture, that the power of the keyes is given to all the faithfull? p. 20.
CHAP. 3. QVEST. 3.
  • Whether or no the Church of beleevers in a Congregation be the first Church, having the highest power of jurisdiction within it selfe, and that independently, and a power above and over the Eldership, to constitute and ordaine them, and to cen­sure, depose and excommunicate them in the case of corruption of Doctrine, and scandals of life and conversation? p. 30.
CHAP. 4. QVEST. 4.
  • Whether or no our brethren prove strongly that the Church of beleevers is the first Church, having supreame jurisdiction over the Eldership? p. 38.
CHAP. 5. QVEST. 5.
  • Whether or no some doe warrantably affirme the power of [Page] the keyes to be originally and essentially in the Church of belee­vers, and in the Church-guides only, quoad exercitium, and from the Church of beleevers, as the Mistresse whom the guides are to serve, and from whom they have borrowed the use of the keyes? p. 52.
CHAP. 6. QVEST. 6.
  • Whether Christ hath left the actuall government of his Church to the multitude of beleevers? p. 63.
CHAP. 7. QVEST. 7.
  • If there be no true visible Church in the New Testament but only one Congregation meeting in one place, and no Pres­byteriall or representative Church as they call it? p. 70.
CHAP. 8. QVEST. 8.
  • Whether or no our Saviour doth warrant and allow a Church of Elders and Overseers in these words, Mat 18. Tell the Church? p. 83, 85.
CHAP. 9. QVEST. 9.
  • What members are necessarily required for the right and lawfull constitution of a true Politicke visible Church, to the which we may joyn in Gods worship? p. 92.
CHAP. 10. QVEST. 10.
  • Whether or no it be lawfull to separate from a true Church visible, for the corruptions of Teachers and wickednesse of Pa­stors and professors, where faith is begotten by the preaching of professed truth? p. 120.
CHAP. 11. QVEST. 11.
  • Whether or no separation from a true Church, because of the sinnes of the Professors, and manifest defence of scandalous [Page] persons can be proved from Gods word to be lawfull? p. 149.
CHAP. 12. QVEST. 12.
  • Whether or no some doe warrantably teach that Baptisme should be administrated onely to Infants borne of one, at least of the nearest Parents knowne to be beleevers, and who are to be admitted to the Lords Supper? p. 164.
CHAP. 13. QVEST. 13.
  • Whether or no every particular Congregation and Church hath of it selfe independent power from Christ Jesus, to exer­cise the whole power of the keyes without any subjection to any superiour Ecclesiasticall indicatorie? p. 187.
CHAP. 14. QVEST. 14.
  • Whether or no the power Ecclesiasticall of Synods can be proved from the famous Councell holden at Jerusalem? Acts 15. p. 199.
CHAP. 15. QVEST. 15.
  • Whether or noe by other valid Arguments from Gods word the lawfulnesse of Synods and Assemblies can be concluded? p. 217.
CHAP. 16. QVEST. 16.
  • Whether or no it can be demonstrated from Gods Word, that all particular Congregations have of and within themselves full power of Church-discipline without any subiection to Presbyteries, Synods, and higher Church-Assemblies? where also the question about publike prophecying of such gifted men as are not in office, is discussed against the tenent of Separatists? p. 231.
CHAP. 17. QVEST. 17.
  • Whether or no some doe warrantably teach that no man [Page] hath Pastorall power to preach and administer the Sacraments as a Pastor without the bounds of his owne Congregation. And from whence essentially is the calling of a Minister from the Presbytery, or from the people? p. 260.
CHAP. 18. QVEST. 18.
  • Certaine Quares or doubts following upon the Doctrine of independent Congregations? p. 272.
CHAP. 19. QVEST. 19.
  • Doubts generally seeming to oppose Presbyteriall govern­ment discussed and loosed, as anent ruling, Elders, Deacons, Widowes, the power of Kings in matters Ecclesiastick, p. 280.
CHAP. 20. QVEST. 20.
  • Whether or no the government of the Church of Scotland can be demonstrate from the cleare testimonies of Gods Word? p. 362.

CHAPTER I.
QUEST. 1.Whether the power of the Keyes of the Kingdome of CHRIST, be conferred, upon the multitude of believers, as upon the first and proper subject, or upon the Church-guides?

THe Question is not understood of that Royall and Kingly po­wer of excellency and Indepen­dencie, Matth 28. 18. Bucan. loc. 42 q. 2. called all power, Cartwright a­gainst Whitgist, pag. 139. which is only in Christ Iesus, Ames. English puritanisme, p 9. Parker de polit. Ecclesiast. lib. 3. cap. 1▪ but of the supreme Ministeriall power, (as all expound it, Bucanus, Cartwright, Amesius, Parker) that is given to the Church. By the Keyes wee understand not the Monarchicall power of Teaching, supreme defining Articles of faith,Rhemens. in Mat. 16. and judging the Scriptures, as the Jesuites of Rhemes doe dreame,Bellarmine. Vulcane, not Christ made these Keyes. [...] 22. [...]5, 22. [...]vel. 3. 7. We deny not what Bellarmine saith, that the keyes signifie a Princedome in Scripture,Matth. 28. 18. Chrysost. in Mat. hom. 25. as the key of Davids house promised to Eliakim. This key Christ only keepeth: Chry­sostome [Page 2] and Gregory both say,Gregor. lib. 4. E­pist 32. that the care of the whole Christian Church was committed to Peter, which proveth not his Princedome,Calvin. Institut. lib. 4. cap. 6. & Comment. in Mat. 16. but only his ministeriall power, given to all the Apostles, as well as to him: but the Metaphor is borrowed from a Steward,Bucan. loc. 42. q. 2. or Master-household, who hath the keyes of the house given to him, to open and shut doores, at his pleasure,Whitaker. to. 2. Controvers. 4. q. 2▪ [...] 5. as Calvin, Bucan, Whitaker explaine it well, and it is the power of preaching and governing given to the guides of the Church, as servants to open and shut Heavens doore to believers, or impenitent persons.

If wee rightly proceed, these distinctions are to bee considered.

1. There is a power physicall,Petrus de Allia­co de Eccles. au­thoritat. part. 3. c. l. aliquid est in alio sub [...]ective & fo [...]maliter. 2. sin [...]liter & cau­saliter. 3. ut in exemplo. and a power morall of the Keyes.

2. A power popular of the Keyes that belongeth to all, and a power authoritative that belongeth to the Guides only.

3. The power of the Keyes is in Christ, as in the formall subject and fountaine. 2. In the Church of believers, as in the finall object, seeing all this power is for the Church. 3. In the Guides, as in the exemplar cause representing the Church, as we say the image is in the glasse,Gerson. de pote­stat. Eccles. con­sider. 11. and learning in the booke, and this Petrus de Alliaco, and Gerson hath the like.

4. The Keyes may be thought to be given. Mat. 16. to Pe­ter, as Prince and King of the Apostles, as Papists say, or, 2. As Peter representeth the Church of believers, as some say, or, 3 As bearing the person of Church guides, as we shall demon­strate, God willing.

5. There is a power ordinary,Immediatio gra­t [...]ita donationis, vel. simpli [...]ts de­signationis. and a power extraordinary.

6. The Keyes may be thought to be conferred by Christ, im­mediately,Iohn 20. 22, 23. either by the immediation of Christs free donation and gift or or by the immediation of simple designation:Mat. 28. 18, 19. in the for­mer respect the keyes were given by Christ once to the Apostles; and still to the Worlds end,Marc. Antoni. de Domi. Arch. Spalat de Repub. Ecclesiastica. l. 5. c. 12. 11. 2. to the Church guides, immediately without the Churches power intervening: in the later respect Christ giveth the keyes mediately, by the popular consent and election of the Church of believers,Parker▪ de polit. Eccles. lib. 3. c. 2. Iac. de Almain [...] ▪ de potest Eccles. c. 7 who doe under Christ de­signe and choose this person rather than that person, Thomas ra­ther than John, for the sacred office of weelding the Keyes, nei­ther [Page 3] is any man now elected immediately by Christ,Gerson. de au [...]er. pap. consid. 8, 9. Ioan. Major in Mat. 16. as the Apo­stles were.

7. Then we may well distinguish in this question these foure, 1. Power physicall. 2. Power morall. 3. Power of order,Occam. l. 1. p. [...]. n. 6. and jurisdiction. 4. The use and exercise of that power.

Wee are to observe, that it hath beene a noble and grave Question betwixt the Church of Rome, N. and the Vniversitie of Paris (as Spalanto, and Robert Parker with others have observed) whether Christ hath given the power of the keyes immediately to all the faithfull, and by them to the Pastours and Doctors, as the Parisians hold (so teacheth Almain, Ioan. Major, Gerson and Occam) or if Christ hath given the keyes immediately to the Church guides, as we maintaine from Gods Word. The mistake hath beene, that some Do­ctors believe that the power of the keyes, seeing it is for the good of the whole Church, must have some common sub­ject, viz. the universall Church, in which it must for orders cause first reside, before it be given to certaine guides; But neither Scripture, nature, nor reason requireth such a shif­ting of the keyes from hand to hand, seeing Christ can keep them, and immediately put them in their trust, whom he liketh best. Hence for the determination of the Question.

I. Conclusion. 1 Conclusion. The physicall power of the keyes is given to men as they are professors, that is, men, and not Angels are capable of that power; for when they are made members of the visible Church, they are differenced both from Angels and Infidels, as Pagans and Turkes, for Angels according to Christs humble love and deepe wisedome, are not upon the list to be office bearers in his house: but this is not formally a power of the keyes, but a popular power about the keyes, whereby popular consent may be given to the key-bearers, for their election.

II. Conclusion; 2 Conclusion. There is a power popular, but not autho­ritative; a power of private Christians (not an officiall po­wer of charge) given to the visible professors to make choise of their owne office-bearers:Acts 1. 21. those against whom we now dispute,Act. 6. 4. brethren, reverend, learned and holy, doe con­found and take for one and the same, the power of electing [Page 4] or choosing officers, and the power of Ordination. And they make election of Elders (which by Gods Word is due to all the faithfull) an act of jurisdiction, whereas it is a private and popular [...]act, flowing from that spirit of grace in believers, and from the light of saving faith, and a grace that they call,Aquinas [...]2. q. 81. gratia gratum faciens, grace whereby wee are accepted to God,1 Thes. 5. 21. as Aquinas speaketh, for it is that Heavenly instinct of Believers,1 Iohn. 4. 1. whereby they try all thing, Iohn▪ 10. 8. 27. 28. and keepe that which is good, and whereby they try the spirits (even of Officebearers) whether they be of God, Heb. 5▪ 14. or not, and know the voice of the Shepheard, from the voice of a stranger, and have their senses exerci­sed to discerne good and evill. I denie not, but there is a twofold power of election of guides, one proper to belie­vers, which is, as I have described it, their choosing of Officers, De jure, and should flow from this descerning in­stinct of saving grave in believers: there is an other power of election, De facto, that floweth from a common grace of discerning in visible professors, both is sufficient for Ec­clesiasticall choosing of guides, yet both is but popular, not authoritative; but power of authoritative jurisdiction, is gratia gratis data, a common grace given to many, that are never converted nor saved; yea the office of a publike guide to save others, is given to a man that is never saved himselfe, and requireth some indowments of governing, that are not required in all the faithfull, as is cleared by Paul, 1 Ti­mothy 3.1 Tim. 3. 2, 3, 4, 5▪ 6. Therefore Gerson will have us to difference be­twixt these two,Gerson de aufer. pa consid. 16. a Pastour ad utilitatem, and a Pastour ad veritatem, and a called Pastour, and a called Christian Pa­stour.Almain de pote. laica & eccles. [...]. 3. And Almaine proveth well, that the calling to a Church-office, is not founded upon saving faith and cha­ritie. This power of choosing is a power about the keyes, but not a power of the keyes. 2. It is common to all be­lievers, who are not to take Pastours as the market goeth, upon a blinde hearesay, but officiall authoritie is given to Demas, and Iudas, and such men often. 3. It is given to women to try the spirits,M. Best Chur­ches plea against Pages. yet women have not authoritie, neither are to usurpe authoritie over men in the Church. [Page 5] I desire in the feare of God that this may be considered by William Best, Henry Iacob Go­vernm [...]. by free consent of the people, p. 70. Henry Jacob, and the Author of Presbyteriall Government examined, for our Divines, (as Daneus) give the calling of [...]hurch guides to the Presbyterie,Presbyteriall go­vernment exami­ned, an. 1641 p▪ 10, 11. and the approbation to the people Vrsine differenceth betwixt the judgement of Elders, and the consent of people; and Bu­cer judiciously distinguisheth power from authoritie;Danaeus in 1 Ti­mothy 5. 22. And Martyr, Calvin, Beza, Zuinglius, Viretus, Luther, so the Fathers,Vrsin. Cateches. p. 999. 800. an. 1587. Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose, Chryso­stome. Bucer. in Ma [...]. 16. Haecpotesta. est pe [...]es omnem ecclesi [...]m, autho­ritas modo mini­sterii penes pre­byteros & episco­pos. In this meaning, said Augustine, the keyes were given in Peter to the whole Church, so our Divines are to be expounded, when they say the power is in the Church, and the exercise of the power in the guides, for that po­wer which is in the Church of believers, is popular, not au­thoritative.

III. Conclusion. Martyr in 1 Cor. 5. The physicall power of the keyes is in all professors,Calvin. institut. l. 4. c. 5. as our first Conclusion saith. 2. The su­preme morall power in Christ Iesus, Beza Epist. 83. & confes. 5. 34. Zuinglius ad Va­len formally and inde­pendently, To mee is given all power in Heaven and Earth, Matthew 28. 18. this includeth the power of working miracles,Viretus dialogo. 20. by the hands of his Apostles, all, as well as the power of the keyes,Luther de vocat. Ministr. p. 365. Tertul. in Apol. concenlum ple­bis requirit. and is communicated to the Church not for­mally, but in the effect. 3. Power morall, about the keyes, as is said in 2. Conclusion, is given to all the faith­full. 4. The exercise of the keyes to preach, and admini­ster the seales of Grace,Cyprian. 4. 2 E­pist. 1. 2. to open and shut Heaven by the keyes,Ambros. is given to the Rulers in some things, as they are scattered and single men,Chrysost. in Mat. 16. as to preach, and administer the Sa­craments,August. without consent in speciall to every singular act:3 Conclusion. in some things, as to exercise power of Juris­diction, the exercise, and the power is given to a communitie, not to one, Vnitati, non uni, as Gerson observeth from Augustine, and Augustine from the word,Gerson de potest. eccles. consider. 4. Matthew the sixteenth, for the Church not one single man hath power of Discipline: if one Pastour himselfe alone should Excommunicate,Augustine. the Excommu­nication were null,Matth. 18. both in the court of CHRIST and his Church,Gerson ibid. Ephes. 4. 11. if a Pastour should baptize against the [Page 6] Churches minde, the Baptisme were valid, howbeit there were an errour in the fact, for power of jurisdiction is given to the members of the Church scattered, tanquam subjecto cuidam materiali & potentiali, in remote power, and not for­mally, but as they are met in a Synod in Christs name. 5. The power of the keyes is given to the Church of believers two wayes. 1. As to the end, or the small object of the keyes: and this we acknowledge as truth, for Christ gave officers for the Church, as his intended end, Hee gave some to bee Apostles, &c. for the perfecting of the Saints, for the worke of the Ministerie, for the edifying of the Body of Christ. But 2. The power of the Keyes is not given to believers as to the formall subject, that they may authoritatively make and ordaine officers. Hence the,

IV. Conclusion, 4. Conclusion. is this. When the Church standeth of believers, only as contradistinguished from her guides, it is then totum homogeneum, a body consisting of alike parts, where the denomination of the whole is given to the parts; as every part of water is water, so every three believers of five hundred believers, is a Church of believers. Now if a Church should be in a remote Island, not consociate with other Churches, and yet wanting guides, our brethren say in this case, the power of the Keyes should bee seene to bee in believers, and they might choose and ordaine their owne officers. I grant they have great Schoolemen to say with them,Iac. Almain­de potest. Eccles. c. [...]. ad 2. Si Car­dinales omnes es­s [...]nt mortui, aut nollent [...]igere, ad universalitatem fidelium spectaret elig [...]e (papam) papam octam dia [...] l. 1. p. 1. c. 31. adat. 3. potestas eligen­di esset ad La [...]cos. [...]ylvest. Sum ver. excom. 9. n. [...]. Caj [...]tan. Opus [...]. to 1. Tr [...]ct. 1. Vasy. in 3 p. disp. 244. c. 3. [...]. 30. 31. as Almaine and Oc [...]am, and the Schoole of Paris, who say, if all the Cardinals were dead, the faithfull might and should choose the Pope. Sylvester in summa, verbo. excommunicatio 9. nu. 2. saith, The Romane clergie should have the power of choosing the Pope in that case. But C [...]jetan. Tom. 1. Epist Tractat. 1. Vasquez. in 3. part. Thomas Tom. 3. Disput. 244. cap. 3. 30. 31. doe bet­ter say in that case, the power of choosing should be in the hands of a Generall Councell, and that by divine right: Then by their minde supreme power or the keyes by divine right, is in the hands of Church guides. But great Schoolemen say, that the keyes by a miracle and extraordinary might re­main in the body of the faithfull. But I say in this case Necessi­ty [Page 7] is an unbooked and naughty Lawyer, and God extraordinarily should supply the want of ordination, as he can doe the de­fect of second causes: so that if God send some pastours to a congregation that were unwilling to choose their owne El­dership, Pastours might ordaine themselves Pastors in that case to these people, and God should supply their want of popular election, and this is alls good to prove election to be in the hands of Church guides (which both our brethren and wee deny) as the other case is to prove the power of the keyes to be in the multitude. But we are now dispute­ing about the power of the keyes in a Church ministeriall, which is totum heterageneum, where the whole giveth not a denomination to the part, as every part of a man is not a man,Iu [...]lus [...] 10. [...]. lib sing. de. eccles. c. 8. a Church made up of only believers is not Christs organicall body; where there are eyes, eares, and hands, and feet, as is meaned, Rom. 12. and 1 Cor. 12. for all are here an eye of believers, and all of collaterall and e­quall authoritie, neither is there here an eye or an hand in a ministeriall function above a foote. But wee now di­spute about the keyes of a ministeriall Church, as Iunius saith, made up of integrall parts of [...] and [...] ▪ of Shepheards and Sheepe.

V. Conclusion. 5. Conclusion. The office bearers of the Church have the power of the Keyes and their office immediately from Christ, by the immediation of free gift: they have their of­fices from the Church, by the mediation of orderly designa­tion; seeing it is the Church which designeth such a man to such an office, therefore it is said, Eph. 4. 11. Hee gave some to be Apostles for the Church, he saith not, to the Church, as if the faithfull by an innate and received power from Christ, did ordaine by authoritie Ministers as their servants and Deputies, for all the authoritie is Christs, not the belie­vers. I grant what is given for the Church, in some sense, is said to be given to the Church,Chrysost. de sa­cerdo [...]. as Chrysostome said, The gift of baptisme is given to the whole Church, but the po­wer of baptising is not given to all the believers, as to the subject.

This Conclusion I prove. 1. That is not to be holden which [Page 8] is not written, as our brethren hold. So Best, Travers, Par­ker, Best Churches plea, arg. 8. p. 73. [...]ravers de disci. eccles. fol. 11. 12. Parker de polit. eccles. l. 2. c. 4, 5. Ames. M. Iacob, so also Theodoret, Cyrill, Augustine, Ambrose, but it is neither expresly, nor by good consequence in Scriptures, no precept, no promise, where all the faithfull lay hands on men for the Ministerie, as Titus, Paul, and the Presbyterie doe,Ames Fresh suit. pag. 29. 30. 1 Timothy 4. 14. or where all the faith­full doe binde and loose,Iacob. governm. 12, 13. and receive witnesses judi­cially against Elders, as Peter and Timothy have authori­ty to doe.Theodoret. in 1 Cor. 11.

2. Argument. Cyrill in Ioan. 1. August. Psal. 119. Ambros. in 1 Cor. 7. If the word say that the power of the keyes is given to certaine select persons, and not to all belie­vers, then is not this power given to all believers:1 Cor. 12. 28. but the word saith the former,Eph. 4. 11. er. The Assumption is thus proved, If these Offices that essentially include both the power and the exercise of the Keyes,1 Cor. 12. be given to some select persons and not to all the faithfull,Ioh. 20. v. 21, 22. 23. then are not the Keyes given to all the faithfull:2 Cor. 5. 20. but the Lord gave the office of Apostles,2 Argument. Pro­phets,Calvin in loc. Apostolos inau­gurat Christus in officium, cui eos prius destinarat. Bullinger. ib. [...]os orbis ecclesiae ministros decer­nit. &c. to some only. And God hath set some in the Church (then not all) first, Apostles, secondarily, Prophets, thirdly, Teachers, &c. And hee gave some to be Apostles (not all) and some Prophets, &c. Are all Apostles? The major is proved, because to be an Apostle, a Pastor, &c. is to have a power given by Christ to use the keyes by preaching, bind­ing and loosing,3 Argument. by censures, as an Apostle, Pastor. &c. This cannot be answered,Mus [...]ul. mittit ea potestate qua a patre missus est. Beza in loc. seeing there must be another power to binde and loose in Pastours, and Elders, than is in all belie­vers,Cajetan com­ment. ibid. women, believing children, and many believers unapt to governe.Toletus to. 2. com. 26.

3 Argument. To whomsoever Christ giveth the power of the Keyes,Chrysost. Aposto­los constituit hic legatos suos & vicarios. to them he gave a ministeriall spirit by way of speciall ambassage to remit and to retaine sins, as the Ambas­sadors of God in Christs stead, and them he sent, as the fa­the [...] sent him,Cyrill lib. 12. in Ioan ca. 55. & Cyprian de uni­tate Eccles. pro­pe initium. M [...]t­tit hic (inquiunt) Apostolos cum [...] ­mni pote [...]ate A­postolico numeri conveniente. as is cleare in the Scripture, As the Father sent me, so send I you, &c. He breat [...]ed on them and said, receive the Holy Ghost: whosoever sinnes ye remit they are remitted. In which words, our Divines, Calvin, Bullinger, Musculus, Beza, yea and Papists, Cajetan, Toletus, teach that Christ here did inaugurate his Disciples to preach and exercise the cen­sures [Page 9] of the Church: so also Cyrill, Chrysostome, Cyprian. But this ministeriall spirit, Christ gave not to all the faithfull, but only to the Apostles, for he sent not Mary Magda­lene and Cleophas in this place, as M. Smith saith, and why? because it is gathered from Luk. 24. 33, 34, 36. That Magda­lene and Cleophas were there, (saith he) when Christ said, As my Father sent me so send I you, Ioh. Smith in his parallel. censures and observations. against M. Ber­nard, p. 52. Therefore Mary also, and Cle­opha [...] received a ministeriall power of the keyes, all as well as [...] Apostles. I answer, but this place is all one with Mat. 28. 18, 19. where they are commanded to preach and baptize, which is not lawfull to women. 1 Cor. 14. 1 Tim. 2. And it is all one with the Commission, Mark 16 14. which is restruted to the eleven. Another weake ground he hath, that the eleven were not made Apostles, untill Christs Ascension, Act. 2. when the spirit was sent, and untill he led captivitie captive, Ephes. 4. 11. but this power was gi­ven to all the Disciples before his ascension. Answer, a high­er m [...]asure of the Spirit was powred on the Apostles at Christs Ascension, and by vertue of his Ascension, he ordai­ned Apostles, Eph. 4. 11. but will it follow, none were made Apostles untill he ascended? if this were good, by vertue of his death, wee obtaine forgivenesse of sinnes, by his ascending to heaven, we also ascend. But hence it fol­loweth not, that there is no forgivenesse of sinnes while Christ die, and that there is no ascending to heaven of the spirits of the Patriarchs and Fathers, while Christ ascen­ded. 2. That the Apostles were called, and received Apo­stleship from Christ in the dayes of his slesh, before his death, is cleare, Matth. 10. 2, 3. and that they went out, and prea­ched, and cast out divels. A second exception there is of some, who say, a concionall or preaching power of forgiv­nesse of sinnes is not given to all, to whom a loosing from sins by Church censures is given, as is cleare in our Ruling Elders, who have not power to forgive sinnes by preaching, yet have po­wer to forgive, binde and loose, by Church-censures. Answer, We may distinguish where the law distinguisheth, [...] for how­beit the power of preaching be not given formally to rule­ing Elders, yet it is effectually in the fruit given to them, in [Page 10] the judiciall and authoritative applicatio [...] in the externall court of Christs Church,Amesius de cons. l. 4. c. 29. q. 11. but believers, as believers only, have neither power to preach formally,Parker de Polit. l. 3. c. 18. nor yet effectively to apply judicially the threatnings of the word in discipline,Cyril. in Levit. l. 9. to the judiciall correction of delinquents; now the keyes in the word,Chrys. Homil. in Hag. c. 1. and the keyes in the discipline, are the same keyes of Christs kingdome,Basil. moral. c. 14. as Amesius observeth, and the keyes of the word are the keyes of the kingdome,August. contr. Faust. l. 3. c. 18. committed to all, either formally or effectively,Beda. in 1 Pet. 5. to whom the keyes of discipline are given,Best Churches plea. but they are never given to single believers who cannot lawfully preach.Iacob Gover. p. 90. Therefore single believers are not the subject of the keyes.Robinson Iustific. Smith paralell ensures, p. 52, 53

4. Argument. Such power of the keyes, without the which the Church of Christ is perfect,4. Argument. and complete for government, is superfluous, and so not of Divine, but of hu­mane Ordination. But the Church is complete and perfect in its government, in that there are in it believers, Pastours, Doctors, Elders, and Deacons, suppose no power of the keyes, be in the communitie of believers. The proposition is Parkers; so reason the Fathers, Cyrill, Chrysostome, Ba­sil. Augustine, Beda: so William Best, M. Iacob, M Robin­son. I prove the Assumption. The Eldership have no over­sight in the Lord, and there is no necessitie or exercise of the keyes, as Elders, if all believers have a ministeriall power to bind and loose: as M. Smith and others, teach: and if all e­difie by the keyes,Parker de polit. eccles. l. 3. c. 2. as Parker saith, and judicially censure, ex­communicate,English purita­nisme, 9. and ordaine, or depose their rulers, as the English Puritanisme, and authors of the presbytery exami­ned doe prove,Presbyter. Go­vern. examined. p. 12. reas. 1, 2, 3 Guide to Zion, pos. 58. p. 31. from 1 Cor. 5. and Guide to Zion. For ten believers being nothing but believers by Divine right, or als well the governing Church without the Eldership, as having them,Mat. 16. suppose all the Elders were believers. Where also there be twentie times three believers, they have all in their owne families the power of the keyes, and so there are twenty Churches, complete and independent within them­selves, joyned in twentie neighbour families, all under one covenant with God, and flying all knowne sins. Now when Christ saith, If thy brother offend thee, and obstinately refuse [Page 11] to heare, tell the Church. Which of the twenty three shall the Brother wronged have recourse unto? (tell the Church) as reason would say, must bee some visible Church, Senat or judicatorie, but all these twenty threes met within their houses are independent Churches, if they be believers as we suppose, and all visible Churches. Shall wee thinke that Christ hath left a grieved brother to a blind, Tell the Church? and yet who can know this Church? for all have alike inte­rest in Christ, which of the twenty threes bee the Church that Christ meaned in these words, Tell the Church, by this doctrine none can dreame.

5 Argument. 5. Argument. The multitude of believers hath either this power of the keyes from Christ, and from heaven; or from the earth, and from men: for I thinke our brethren will not dreame of any ecclesiastick positive law, not war­ranted in Gods word, for a third, for this Papists teach. This is Christs argument for John Baptists ministerie. If from Christ and Heaven, it is either from the law of nature, or from some divine positive law: from nature it is not. For 1. the power is not naturall, but supernaturall, reaching a supernaturall end, the gathering of the Saints, Eph 4. 11, 12. neither is this power such, as can have nature for its Author, as Almain saith,Almain de auth. eccles. c. 2. po­testas ecclesia­stica non est hu­manitus iustitui­bilis. seeing it is above natures reach. And so al­so saith And▪ Duvallius. If happily they say, it is from good consequence naturall, for because of the claime and interest that the faithfull have in Christ, Christs keyes are given to them,Duvallius in 22. as God giving Christ, he giveth all other things with Christ.Thom. [...]om. 2. de sum. pontif. tract. 4. q. 3. p. 1. I Answer. This maketh no man, but a believer, yea no gifted pastour capable of the keyes, except hee have faith in Christ, which we shall hereafter refute, as contrary to Scripture.Rom. 8. 32. Neither can it bee from any positive law, or grant, or promise in the new Testament, that all the mem­bers of the Church shall be Princes,Bellarm. de pont. Rom. l. 1. c. 6. Rulers, Commanders, that Christ hath left none to be over other in the Lord. If this be from men, it is a humane ordinance, and cannot stand. See what Bellarmine saith to this purpose.

6. Argument. 6 Argument. The power of the Keyes is either given to the believers as believers, or as they are such [Page 12] whome God gifteth for government, selected from amongst others, if the later be said, we have our intent, and the keyes must be given immediately to some selected guides: If the keyes be given to believers, as they are such, and under this reduplication, Then 1. All believing women and children have authoritie in the Lord over the congregation, which, as Duvallius saith,Duvallius 22. to. 2. tract. 4. de sum pontif. q. 3. Baines Dioce tryall q. 3. concl. 3. p. 84. is not to be admitted, for quod convenit [...] convenit [...]. Yea, 2. saith Paul Baynes, If the power of the keyes and teaching had beene given to all believers, all should have beene made Pastours and Doctours, though not to continue so in exercising the power. Parker de polit. eccles. l. 3. c. 4. And so all must have the power of seeing, as the Church eyes and Watchmen, and all the power of hearing,Presbyter Gover. examined, p. 23. as the Church eares, and cer­tainely,1 Cor. 12. 17. 24 the second act must proceed from the essence and first act, as moving must proceed from a living soule, to laugh from a reasonable soule, so to excommunicate judici­ally, to judge, correct, cast out, bind and loose, (all which Parker and others prove to agree to believers from Mat­thew 18. and 1 Corinth. 5.) must flow from a ministeriall principle, and so all must bee eyes, and eares, which is a­gainst the varietie of the gifts of the spirit. If the whole bo­dy were an eye, where were the hearing, if the whole were hea­ring, where were the smelling? v. 14. for the whole body is not one member, but many, yea, a collection of many members.

Hence,7 Argument. 7. Argument. That is not to be admitted which overturneth the order established by Christ of comman­ding,Heb. 3. 17 and obeying,1 Thes. 5. 12. and which everteth the integrall mem­bers and parts of a visible politike ministeriall body of Christ,1 Tim. 5. 17 but to give the power of the keyes to all,Ezek. 33. 7 and every one,Ezek. 34. 2, 3, 4. o­verturneth this order of Christs,Ier. 23. 1, 2, 3 Ergo, 2 Cor. 5. 20. This doctrine is not to be admitted.Mark 3, 14 The Major is undenyable.Acts 1. 8. I prove the Minor. The ministeriall Church is divided,1 Cor. 4 1, 2 as Junius saith, in Sheepe­heards,1 Cor. 4. 15 and flock,1 Tim. 4. 16. some are [...] and [...] Overseers and Watchmen, Mark 12. 2 others, such as are to submit and o­bey: Mat. 13. 3 some are Watchmen,Mat 9. 38 then they have some that they watch over: [...] Cor. 9 10. Some Shepheards, ergo, they must have Sheep: Some Ambassadors in Christs stead, [...] lib. sing. de eccles. c. 9. Ergo, They have some [Page 13] to whom they carry the Embassage, Heralds, Witnesses, Stew­ards, Fathers, Saviours, Sowers, Reapers, builders, then they must have, a People, House, Sonnes, Ground, &c. up­on whom they exercise their native operations. But if all have power of the keyes, and power to edifie by binding and loosing, all should be Overseers, Watchmen, Sheepheards, Ambassadors,Francis. Iohnson. answer to the ar­ticles of divis. p. 42. 43. and if all were Fathers, where were the Sons? What a worke would this be, that all Christians must leave their trading, husbandry, arts, sayling, and oversee the Church,Smith parallels censures and ob­servations. p, 66. Col. 4. 17. and judge and determine Church matters betwixt brother and brother. So Francis Iohnson reasoneth: Master Smith answereth two things to this.Smyth ib. p. 67. 1. The Elders (saith he) shall obey the voice of the Church, in things commanded by God, and all the Saints are to obey the Elders in things com­manded by God, and these may well stand together. I answer, If we speake of divers kindes of obedience, it is true, peo­ple is to obey the Pastours and Elders using the keyes, here the sheepe obey the Shepheards, and this is the obedience that Christ hath established in his house, and the Elders as Archippus, are to heare the flock admonishing, no comman­ding as Watchmen, Fathers, Pastours by the power of the keyes, that they would take heed to the ministerie, which they have received of the Lord, and this is but private admonition, that one man, one woman, may give to their Pastours. Now one man is not the Church bearing the keyes, but this opinion maketh Archippus and all the faithfull at Colosse to beare the keyes, and command by power of the keyes, so that all are Fathers, Pastours; Pastours by one and the same power of the keyes. His second answer is. All are not ru­lers: An incorporation may make a Major or Sheriffs, and yet the incorporation is not a Major and Sheriffe: So the Church may make Ministers, and yet the Church it selfe is not proper­ly an Elder, or a Deacon. Answer, It is not alike, An in­corporation hath a priviledge, but not any princely or magi­steriall authoritie to create a Major, but the Saints have the regall power of the keyes from Christ, not only to make Elders, but also to judge authoritatively with coequall po­wer with the Elders: by your doctrine, if the whole inhabi­tants [Page 14] of a citie may make a Major, and set themselves down in the Bench, as collaterall Judges with the Major, then all the inhabitants indeed were Majors, as all the Saints in Corinth did judicially excommunicate, why are they not then all Elders and Pastours? Shew us any authoritie that Pa­stours have in governing, which the meanest of the congre­gation hath not? And this maketh all Ministers, and all, to be Watchmen, Fathers, Overseers. This I take to have beene the errour of Tertullian, Tertul. de pudic. who will have Christ to have left all Christians with alike power.

8. Argument. 8 Argument. If there be a peculiar authoritie in Pastors over the flock,1 Cor. 4. 21. that is not in the flock, Then the keyes are not both in the Pastours,2 Cor. 13. 10. and the people: but the first is said in Scripture,Rev. 2. v. 14, 20. ergo, The later must also be said. I prove the Minor.Becanus in opus [...]. contra. M. Ant. de dominis. tom. [...] 3. What, will ye, that I come to you with a rod, or in love, or in the Spirit of meeknesse? also. Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharp­nesse, according to the power that the Lord hath given me, to edification, and not to destruction. Hence it is that the Angels of the seven Churches in Asia are rebuked for not exerc [...] ­sing discipline against Iezabel, and the holders of the Do­ctrine of Bal [...]m: which proveth the Angels had the keyes, els all alike had beene rebuked. Now that every one of Co­rinth hath the power of Pauls Rod, and his power given for edification, is most ridiculous. So Becanus the Jesuite. Can every believer say to a Church, [...]. Shall I come to you with the Rod? Yet if all have the keyes, as the subject, all have the Rod also.

9. Arg. 9. Argument. That which Christ will have to be a ministeriall po­wer in the members of his Church,Esay. [...]1. 5. to the exercise therof Christ giveth competent and answerable gifts to the foresaid effect.Esay 62. 6. But God neither giveth,Esay 60. 10, 11, 12. nor hath promised, [...]er. 1. 4. 1 [...]. nor requi­reth answerable gifts for using the keyes in all believers.Exod. 4. 11, 12. Therefore Christ willeth no ministeriall power of the keyes to be in all the members of the Church.Esay. 6. 6. The proposition I prove 1. God promiseth gifts to the priesthood of the new Testament.Ezek. 2. 1, 2. As 1. Diligence,Ioh. 20. 21. Esay 61.Act. 9. 1 [...]. That strangers shall stand and feed their flocks. 2. Zeale, Esay 62. That [Page 15] they shall never give the Lord rest. Necessitie of di­scipline p. 30. 3. That they shall be cloa­thed with salvation. 2. When God sendeth Moses, Isaiah, Exod. 3. 11. 1 [...]. Ieremiah, he giveth them gifts and abilities for the calling.Deut 34. 9. So (as the Treatist of Discipline observeth) it is oft said,Esay 61. 1, 2. The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, Esay 56. 10. and he judged Is­rael. Ieh. 23. 14, 16. So also other places for this. 3. They are condemned who take on them a calling,Ezek. 13. 7, 8. and say, Thus saith the Lord, and yet the Lord sent them not, Mat. 25. v. 25, 26 27. neither spake he to them, as in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. 4. Where the Lord giveth a calling or power, such as the keyes of his Kingdome, the not improving and putting the Lords Talent to the bank, is a sinfull digging of the Lords Talent in the earth. Hence I desire to know from Gods word, these foure things, 1. If the power of the keyes be given by Christ to all the faith­full, this power is a ministeriall calling. Where is there a pro­mise for light, prudence for government, to goe out and in before the Lords people, made to every one of the Lords people? 2. Where is the tongue promised to them all in judgement, that none shall resist, and the consolations pro­mised to them, in the discharge of this power of the keyes? 3. Where is the Spirit of the Lord comming upon them all, and every one, that they may judge the people? 4. Where are the believers condemned for usurping the keyes, and because being ignorant they cannot discharge that calling? Where is the carelesse governing of all and e­very one of the faithfull rebuked in the word of God, as a digging of the Lords talent in the earth? I adde two things to confirme this. 1. Our Divines disputing against the great Pope, the Bishop of Rome, and against the little Pope, the Prelate his god-son, and first born, come out of the Popes loynes, as Calvin, Beza, Iunius, Zanchius, Sadeel, Pareus, Vrsine, Whitaker, Reynold, and Amesius, Baines, Parker, Didoclavius, &c. They prove, if such power of the keyes and plenitude of order, and jurisdiction, were in these two creatures, the Pope and the Prelate, the wisedome of Christ in his Word, should have set downe the canons for the regu­lating of the power, besides the canons that concerneth all other Bishops or Pastours, for the heads or Monarchs dutie [Page 16] in the common wealth, is carefully set downe in the word, as what a man the King should be; but the word hath no canons for the power of the keyes, and the regulating of that power, in all and every believer, man and woman. 2. If God set downe a Canon, and requires abilities in the Church guides, as Elders labou [...]ing in the word and doctrine, and governing, and in Deacons, that, he requireth not in all believers, then the power of the keyes is not in the Church guides, and in all believers also; but the former is said, 1 Tim. 3. for it is required in a Minister that his power of the keyes may be said to be of God,1 Tim 3 that he should rule his owne house well, 1 Cor. [...]. 2 else how should he [...],1 Pet 5, 2, 3 take care to governe the Church of God? 1 Tim. 4. 16, 17 One may be a believer,1 Tim 5. 19, 20 and yet this is not required of him,2 Tim. 4. 1, 2, 3 as he is a believer, an Elder should not be a Lord over the flock,Tit. 1. 5, 6. 7 it is required of a Steward, that hee bee faithfull as a Steward, that he ordaine Elders, and these men of good report, that he receive not an accusation against an El­der: Now I hope, these are not required of believers, as be­lievers, neither were the Epistles to Timothy and Titus writ­ten so much to these men, as believers; as to them as holy Elders, and Pastours: And yet if the power of the keyes bee common to all the faithfull, these Epistles are written to all believers, primely to men, and believing children, how they should use the keyes, ordaine Elders, receive Witnesses, go­verne the Church.Iob 5. 27 Deare Brethren, see this and consider it for your good.

10. Argument. That which maketh the government of Gods house Democraticall and popular, is not to bee taught: but this Opinion is such, as I hope to prove hereafter.

11. Argument. If the power of the keyes be given to believers,Parker de polit. l. 3. c. 2. as believers, Then all, and only believers, have the power of the keyes: Quod convenit [...] convenit [...], That which agreeth to any thing reduplicative, and for this formall reason, it agreeth to that subject only: But all and only believers have not the power of the keyes. for the Major, Parker teacheth, The keyes were given to Pe­ter, as a believer, not as an Apostle. I prove the Assumpti­on. [Page 17] The believers three or foure may be excommunicated, and that justly, in which case they remaine believers, and yet being no members of the Church, cannot have the po­wer of the keyes: also many have the power of the keyes, yea, and are pastours, that are not believers: as Christ saith, Have not I chosen you twelve, and yet one of you is a Divell? Many will say to me in that day, Iohn 6. 70. Lord, we have prophefied in thy name, Mat. 7. 22. 23. and in thy name cast out Divels, &c. and yet they are workers of iniquity, Phil. 1. 16. 17, 1 [...] never knowne of Christ as his elect. So some enemies to Paul and wicked men, Phil. 1. Haters of the Gospell, and yet preached it, in such sort that Paul rejoyced that Christ was preached. Now if they bee not believers that are pastours, their pastorall acts of baptizing and administring the Sacraments are null, seeing they have no power of the keyes, many shall doubt if they have beene baptized, because they may happily doubt, yea, too justly doubt of the beliefe, and so of the pastours power of the keyes. Yea, six or ten professors and visible Saints are an independent congregation, and so have the power of the Keyes to appoint an Eldership, to Excommunicate, and yet these ten may be faithlesse hyppocrites: hence all their acts of the keyes are null. It is knowne, how Austin, Jerome and the Fathers contend that the Baptisme of Heretikes is lawfull.

12. If I shall once for all here cleare from Antiquitie, that the Eldership hath only the keyes, I also prove from Antiquitie, 1. A Presbyteriall and representative Church. 2. That the congregation of believers, is not an indepen­dent Senate, to ordaine an Eldership, and deprive them. 3. That the prime ground of an independent congregation hath no ground in Antiquitie.

Polycarpus Pastour of Smyrna an hearer of the Apostles, Polycarpus an. 143. praecipit Phi­lippensibus ut presbyteris & dia­conis, sicut Deo & Christo se subjiciant. as is thought, An. 143. willeth the Philippians to submit themselves to the El­ders and Deacons,Irenaus lib. 4. c. 43. & cap. 44. monet fideles ut cum presbyterii ordine Sermonem suum & con­versationem sine offensa praestent. Tertullian apol. c. 39. ait, seniores excommunicationi & censuris prae­fuisse. as to Christ. Irenaeus the Di­sciple of Polycarpus admonisheth the faithfull of the same. Tertullian, An. 226. saith, The Elders had the charge of excommunication and censures.

[Page 18] Ignatius very ancient,Ignatius epist. ad Tinllanos, pres­byterium definit caeu [...]m sacrum consiliarios & confessores, [...], Episc. & ibid. [...] Dei & consociatum caetum Apo­stolorum, & ib. Sed & presbyteris subjects estote, tanquam Christi A­postolis. Origen. contra Cell vo­cat. [...] ecclesiarum. Ruffin. lib. 10. c. 5. hist. eccles. Cyprian. epist. 14. ep. 33. ep. 10. ep. 68. ut s [...]cerdos peebe praesente, sub omni um occulis deligatur, & dignis at (que) idoneus publico judicio ac testimo. comprobetur, omni a [...]m (inquit l. 3. ep. 11.) ad me perlato, pla­cuit contrahi presbyterium: Fi [...] ­milianus Seniores & propositi or­dimandi potestatem habent. Clem. Alex. s [...]ro [...]n. lib. 7. penes pres­byteros est discipline quae homi­ne m [...]liores fac [...]. Basil. ad Noe Caesu. ep. 75. Interrogate [...] vesto [...], & annunci [...]tibunt vobis, quod e [...]ia usi paroe [...]i [...] loci citu di­visae esse videbantur, coron [...]men­to [...] unita erant & una sen­ten i [...] guberna [...]antur. Ath [...]nas epist: [...] o [...]thodox Hyeren Eccles habet senatum [...] presbyteri­o [...]um, [...] epist. [...]. ad Dune­tria. [...] in 1. Tim. A [...]e­quam diaboli instinctu communi presbytertorum consil [...]o ecclesia regebatur. Eusebias l. 1. de vita Constant. at the fa [...]ous Councell of N [...]e, Nar. 250. Bishops mul­titudes of Elders and Deacons. So the Magdeburg cent 1. de g [...]ber. eccles. c. 7. Socrat. l. 1. c. 8. shew­eth us that then Paph [...]utius, nei­ther a Bishop nor yet a pastour opposed the single life of Church-men. if we believe antiqui­tie, describeth our very Scotish Presbyterie, and calleth it, a Senate of Pastours and Elders, that was in the Church in his time. So Origen, who lived with Tertullian, resembleth the Pres­bytery to the Senate of a Citie, and Ruffinus a­greeth with them. Cyprian, the presbyters and other officers have the power of the keyes. So the Nicen Councell saith (as the Mageburgen. and Socrates say) Aurelius was ordained by Cypri­an and his colleagues: he requireth that the mul­titude he present to consent, but that the Presbyte­ries ordaine.

Cyprian ascribeth the same opinion to Fir­milianus. So Clemens Alexandrinus, Discipline is in the hands of the Presbyters. Basil also esta­blisheth a Presbyteriall Senate of moe parishes, as is our Scotish Presbyterie, and that by the authoritie of the ancient Fathers. Athanasius conjoyneth the people and Clergie in ordinati­on and election, and giveth to every one of them their owne part.

Jerome his minde is knowne to all. So Diony­sius Alexandrin. The Synod of Antioch, wri­ting to the Church about Samosetanus, calleth themselves Pastours, Elders, and Deacons. So also the Councell of Carthage. 4. Ambros. in 1 Tim 5. or the ancient author of that Com­mentarie, acknowledgeth the government by the Presbyterie to be most ancient.Dionysi. Alexandrin. degmata quae grassabantur inter frat [...]es (presbyteris) discutienda offe­ [...]hat. And Augu­stine against Crescon. acknowledgeth this, and Gregor. They both give the power of censures Presbyteris & senioribus, Synod Antic [...]h tom. Concil. E­piscopi, presbyteri & diaconi di­lectissimis fratribus in Domino salutem. to the Pastours and Elders. So for this also Eusebius, Zonaras, The­odoret, Chrysostome, and farther Nazianzen. To oversee and governe is due to the Pastours. Concil. Carthag. 4. ca. 23. Epis copus nullius causam audiat abs (que) praesidentia clericorum suotum, a­alioqui irrita erit sententia ejus. Ambros. in 1 Tim. S. Synagoga & postea ecclesia seniores habuit, sine quorum consilio nihil agebaturin ecclesia.

The Ancient confession of the Waldenses, An. 1535. offered to the King of Boheme, appro­ved [Page 19] by Luther, Melanchton, Bucer, and Mus­culus approveth the government by Pastours, Deacons and Elders.Augustin. contr. Crescon l. 3. c. 56. & epist. 136. Wickliffe, Iohn Hus, and Hierome of Prage adhereth to this confession, as Aeneas Sylvius witnesseth. Eusebius histor. eccles. lib l. c. 5. Zonaras in Can. 5. conoil. Lao­dicen. This was a point laid upon Wicklisse, condemned in the Councell of Constanoe,The [...]doret. hist. Eccles. lib. 1. c. 9. Chrysoct. in 2 Cor. l [...]. 26. Ordi­natio est suff [...]giis senatus. The Romanes say this in their ordina­tion of the Pope by Cardinals. Nazianzen. in Apolog. pascere, moderar; praecsie curare, &c. hujus nos curationis ministri esse debe­mus & adjutores, quicunque alliis praesumus. Confessio Waldenium an. 1535. Aeneas Sylv [...]us historiae Bohemicae cap. 35. Bellarm. de pontif. l. 1 c. 8. Concil. [...]oletau. 8. Baronius tom. 1. anno. 34. as Bellarmine saith, That Eccle­siasticall power is given immediately to the Offi­cers. So the Councell of Toled 8. yea, and Ba­ronius himselfe saith, Christ breathed his power immediately on the Apostles, Iohn. 20. The Pa­pists giving the highest power of jurisdiction to an Oecumenick Councell, teach this. The Councell of Constance saith, A generall Coun­cell hath its power immediately from Christ. A Generall Councell (of theirs) at Lawsanne, An. 1440. A Generall Councell at Pisa, An. 1512 as they call it. So the Generall Councell of Ba­sil confirmed, (as they say) by Pope Mar­tine the fifth. Concil. Constan. sess. 4, & 5. So also many famous Vniversi­tie as the Vniversitie of Cullen,Vniversitie of Cullen. consulted, ad­vised and required by Theodor.Of Ersord. an. 1440. Archbishop of Cullen,Of Cracovia anno 1440. the Vniversitie of Erford, of Craco­via, of Paris:Of Paris To adde our owne Divines, Cal­vin, Luther, Melanchton, Martyr, Musculus, &c. were supersluous.

CHAPTER II. Quest. 2.
Whether or no some do warrantably prove from Scriptures, that the power of the keyes is given to all the faithfull?

IT is needfull that we discusse the Arguments of these who ascribe this power to the faithfull. Parker de polit. eccles. l. 3. c, 2. n. 1. expounding Mat. 16. 19. And 1. Parker rea­soneth thus, proving the keyes to be given to Peter, not as hee sustained the person of an Apostle, but as he sustained the per­son of all the faithfull, Mat. 16. Peter sustaineth his person here, whose he representeth in other places: but in other places he representeth the person of believers. Ergo, The Keyes are gi­ven to him [...]ere, as he representeth the person of believers. And so the keyes are given to all believers, Mat. 16. in Peters per­son, who representeth all believers, giving in their names this confession, Thou are Jesus the son of the living God.

Answer 1. The proposition is not sure, but a begging of the question, for sometime Peter speaketh as a believer in name of the rest, Iohn 6. 68. Mat. 19. 27. sometimes as a weake and sinfull man,Chrysost. Matth. 26. 35. and as a Satan and ad­versarie to Christ,August. Mat. 16. 23. Iohn 13. 8. sometime a command is given to him,Theophyl. as an Apostle, Iohn 21. 16, 17. (2) I deny the Assumption.Nomine discipu­lorum cum se­quentium Chri­stum. He answereth in the name on­ly of these to whom Christ propounded the question, but Christ propounded the question, as Chrysostome, Augustine, Theophylact, Calvin, Beza, and Marlorat, say, only to the believing Disciples and Apostles then present, and not to all the believers.

Parker his second and third reason is, 2 Argument. The promise of the Keyes agreeth with the confession, but the confession is of all the faithfull. 2. The nearer occasion wherefore the Keyes were promised to Peter, was his second answer, but the question was [Page 21] not concerning any thing proper to Churchmen, but of that faith,Origen. tract. 6. in Mat. That Christ is the Sonne of God, which is proper to all the faithfull.Hierom. in Mat. 16. So Hilarie, Ambrose, Augustine, Theophy­lact, so Whitaker.Ambros. in Luc. l. 1. c. 24.

Answer. We may oppose Fathers to Fathers, Origen, Hi­eronymus, Cyprian. de sim­plic. praelat. Ambrose, Cyprian, teach, that the keyes were gi­ven to Peter as the first in gifts and age,August. tract. ult in loan. and in his person O­mnibus Apostolis & successoribus Petri, Almain. de po­test. Eccles. & la­ica. c. 16. to all the Apostles and successors of Peter, and so Augustine, also, Cyprian, Opta­tus and Hierome: Petrus de Alliaco ubi supra. for unities sake Peter only receiveth the Keyes, Ioan. Major. dist. 24. fol. 2 13. but in him all the rest. See more of this in Almaine, and Petrus de Alliaco, and Ioan. Major. 2. I acknow­ledge the Fathers teach that Peter received the Keyes,Basil. l. 2. contr. Eun [...]m. as Basil saith,Cyrill in Ioan. l. 2. c. 2. propter [...], for the excellency of his faith. Athanasius ad Foelicem. Chrys. homil. 4. in ca. 6. Esa. that he received the keyes for, and to all the faithfull, as to the proper subject of the keyes. God did promise an established kingdome to Ieroboam, Ambros. serm. 4 [...] if he should walke in Gods statutes:1 King. 11. 38. it followeth not therefore in the person of Ieroboam, 1 Cor, 12. 29. that an established kingdome is pro­mised to all that walke in Gods statutes.Origen tract. 1. in Mat. an vero soli Petro, & non ali­is Apostolis. Sy­nod. Coloniens. sub Adulpho. God might have re­warded the faith of Peter as he did the faith of Mary Mag­dalen, and not have made him an Apostle for his confession. God is free in his rewards,Medi. 6. c. 1. and therefore I deny that the confession of Peter, Promissio in o­mnes apostolor. and his Apostolike dignitie is of alike length and bredth, for to Peter here is promised, not on­ly the power, but the exercise of the keyes by preaching the Gospell, as is cleare, vers. 19. But I hope to all that believeth that Jesus is the sonne of God, as to many private Christians, women, and children, that believe, the exer­cise of the keyes by preaching the Gospell is not given. Are all Apostles? are all Teachers? 3. Suppose the Keyes were given to Peter, because he believed, and there­fore as a believer (which is a sickly consequence) it follow­eth not, Therefore the keyes are given to Peter, and in him to all believers, as to the subject, but only that the keyes are given to all believers, as the object, and for their behoofe: To say nothing, that by this tenet all must bee believers to [Page 22] whom the keyes are given, else the keyes are not given to them, which is most absurd.

Parker 3.3 Ob. Reasoneth thus. To be a Peter, that is, a con­stant rock, and stable believer, agreeth to all believers: Ergo, So doth the keyes to all believers. Answer. This reason, if it hath the strength of a rock against the truth, should prove that one constant believer, and that a woman, should have the power of the keyes, but one believer is not the Church, as Ans­worth granteth. 2. I deny the consequence, for so Iudas should have had no power of the Keyes, because he was ne­ver a stable believer, nor yet builded upon the Rock.

Parker yet fourthly reasoneth.4 Ob. The keyes are promised to that Church which is builded upon a Rock, and against which the gates of hell shall not prevaile, but this is not the Church of Ministers, but the Church of believers in Christ that is builded upon the rock: Ergo, Answer. I deny, that it hence followeth, that therefore the keyes are given to the Church of believers as to the first subject, so as the Church hath in her selfe this ministeriall power: Only it follow­eth, Therefore the keyes are promised to the Church buil­ded upon Christ, as to the object and end, for which Christ intendeth the keyes: for what is promised for the good, and behoofe of the Church, is promised to be given to the Church: as God promiseth to his Church in the Prophets, David, that is, Christ, Davids sonne, as their king; that is, a King for their salvation,Ho [...]ca 1. 11. but it is not a good consequence,Ezekiel 37. 24▪ Ergo, Ezekiel 34. 22. Christs Kingly power is first promised to the Church as to the subject,Esay 9. 6. To us a sonne is given. that she may derive that king­ly power from her to Christ, as our brethren say, The Church of believers doth communicate a Ministeriall po­wer and authoritie from her selfe to all her Officers. See for this also Vasquez. Vasquiz. in p. 3. Tho. to. 3. disp. 144. c. 5. in 3. Tho. to. 3. Disp. 144. cap. 5. Non quaecunque, &c. Whatever is given to Kings and Rulers, as heads of the people, are not given to the people.

Sixthly,6 Ob. Parker thus reasoneth. To whom the meanes of building on the Rock, to wit, the opening of heaven, be­longeth, to these the keyes doe belong: But the meanes of edi­fying [Page 23] one another, which is only by the word in mutuall ex­horting, Barrow. discove­rie of the false Church, p. 35. and rebuking, and comforting belongetth to all the faithfull. So Barrow. So M. Smith. If admonition (saith he) appertaine to every brother, Smyth patalles censutes. p. 36. why not excommunication? for there is power to binde and loose in two or three witnesses to­ward a brother, and why not in the body of the whole Church? Answer. 1. The Major is false, for the open­ing of heaven actively by preaching of the Word publikely, in a constitute Church, is only by the pastours, as the edi­fying by the seal [...]s is onely by them, but the opening of heaven passively, that is, opened heaven agreeth onely▪ to believers. Now the meanes actively, that is a pastorall opening of heaven agreeth onely to officers, not to all. 2. Every edifying by the word is not an act of the keyes, for there are two acts of the keyes, one preparatorie, Gradus ad rem, vel mitium materiale, this is one rebuk­ing one, and is not the action of the Church, seeing one is not a Church, this is onely a preparation to the Churches use of the Keyes, as is cleare, Matthew 18. 15 If he heare thee, thou hast gained thy Brother, the man is edifyed here, and the matter is not dilated to the Churchs as it is, verse 17. 18. The keyes are not yet used. There, is an other edifying by publike rebuking, this is Gradus in re, & initium formale, a formall act of the keyes, for if admonition private per modum communis charitatis, and not per modum specialis delegationis, were an act of the keyes,Tit. 2. 2. then because an Elder woman is to instruct the younger, one woman should have both the power and a­ctuall exercise of the kyes towards an other woman: this is absurd.

Their seventh Argument is from the Parisian Schoole,Ob. 7. All things are yours, D. Parisien. de polit. eccl p, 2 Robins. justif. in Separat. whether Paul, or Apollo, or Cephas, &c. So they cite Revel. 2. 27. So Robinson, and so Smith, so Parker. Smith paral. p 38 To whom Christ is given for a King, to them the power of Christ the King is given. Also to whome the covenant and Christ is given, to them all the promises, 2 Co­rinth. 1. 10. Psalm. 133. 3. Act. 2. 39. And so the power of binding and loosing is given. Answer 1. All are yours [Page 24] finaliter, that is, all are for you, avd tend to your salvati­on. 2. All are yours in fructu; in the fruit that God brin­geth out of all, Paul or Apollo their ministerie, out of life and death, that is, faith, comfort, salvation are yours, this is true, But all are yours, subjective, inhaesive, formaliter, All are yours formally and in possession it is false, for then yee should be all earthly Kings, all Pastours to preach and admi­nister the Sacraments. 2. Christ and the promises are made to one single believer, and that a woman, a childe, but a single woman is not the Church, having power to bind and loose in heaven. 3. The promise of binding and loosing is made to the faithfull, that is, for their good and edifying, but not to them as the subject, for in that place it is said, The world, life, and death are yours, how can the world be in the faithfull as in the subject? They doe not possesse all the world: how is death in them as the subject, ex­cept they be dead?

8. They reason thus. Parker de polit. l. 3. c. 8. Christ hath given in gift Pastors to the Church. Ergo, He hath given them the authoritie of Pa­stors, for God mocketh not his Church, to give them gifts where­of they are not capable. Hence Parker inferreth, that the power of the keyes is in the believers immediately, and in the Rulers at the second hand, and borrowed from them.

Answer. First, I retort the Argument. Christ hath gi­ven the actuall exercise of the keyes, the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the Sacraments to the Church of believers: will it hence follow, that believers, be­cause they are believers, are capable of the exercise of the keyes. This is against Parker himselfe. 2. Christ hath gi­ven Pastours to the Church (in gift) that is, to the Church as the Subject, and first disposer of these offices, it is most false, for the Rulers of the Church or Presbyterie is the first subject, and these who authoritatively under Christ doe ordaine pastours, the Church of believers doth only e­lect and choose them by a popular consent. Christ hath gi­ven Pastours (in gift) to the Church, that is for the Chur­ches good and edification: hence it followeth not that be­lievers are uncapable of Pastours in the way and manner that [Page 25] they are given to them. God mocketh not Israel, when he giveth to them David. as their King, but it followeth not the people are the first subject of the Kingly power.

9 Parker reasoneth thus, ibid. Ob. 9 Parker ib. The power spoken of, Mat. 16. and 18. should be applyed to all the Church, and to Christs friends, not to his enemies, there is no ecclesiastick power in he­retikes, and Schismatikes What is the cause, (seeing both he­retikes, and also believers doe exercise the power of the keyes) that the keyes are given to the one, that is to believers, as to the end, and not to heretikes? Surely as Gyprian saith, be­cause the authoritie is given principally to believers as to the end, and to them principally, and to others secondarily, as they are esteemed parts of the Church of believers, and have their authoritie derived from believers. Answer. The po­wer spoken of Mat. 16. 18. is given to the visible gover­ning Church, whether they be believers, or hypocrites pro­viding they be Pastours and Elders called lawfully by the presbyterie, and chosen by the people, and the power of the keyes is given to the eldership, that hath the oversight of the flocke, in the Lord, 1 Thessal. 5. as to the subject, but yet this power is given to the Church of believers to gather them in to Christ, and for the reprobate to cleare Gods justice, and to make them inexcusable, and there is no reason to aske a cause, Why both believers and heretikes exercise the power of the Keyes, seeing Christ gave this power to believers, and not to heretikes, for I say Christ hath given the power of the keyes to both, when he gifteth both with abilitie to discharge the places, and giveth them authoritie in his Church; And it is a false ground, and not farre from Anabaptisme, that there is not Ecclesiasticall power in he­retikes and Schismatikes. Iudas, and all called Pastors, and Elders (suppose they be before God, but plaistered hypocrites and covered Wolves) have no lesse the power of the keyes, as is cleare, Matthew 7. 22, 23. Philippians 1. 16. then Paul or Peter. And also it is false, that Rulers have their authoritie from believers, they have their offices by way of ordination from Christ and the Presbyterie, and by way of popular election and designation from professors [Page 26] of the Church, bee partly believers, partly unbelievers.

10. M. Smith reasoneth thus. 10 Ob. Christ gave the power of binding a [...]d loosing,Smith paral. pag. 52. 53. Mat. 18. not to the Presbytery, but to Di­sciples and Bret [...]ren, because, vers. 15. 17. the Disciples move a question concerning the Kingdome of Heaven, and Christ teacheth that little ones, that is, Brethren and Disciples are not to be offended, but to be sough! when they are lost, v. 15. he teaches the duties of admonition in the degrees thereof, for the winning of brethren: He speaketh of Brethren and Disciples, attributing to them power of binding and loosing, v. 19. promi­sing the hearing of their prayers, if they be but two or three, v. 21. 22. teaching them remission of offences private, unto seventy times seven times.

Answer. Luk. 22. All this dependeth upon this Argument. If the whole scope and intent aime at Disciples and Brethren,Mat. 7. 15. then power of binding and loosing is given to brethren, which connexion is most false, and loose: Christ speak­eth to believers of the power of the ministeriall Church, or Preaching, Baptizing, Ergo, Hee giveth to these hee speak­eth unto, and to all brethren, power to binde, and loose, and preach, and baptize: This doth not follow, for so a power to preach and baptize is given to believing women. Christ speaketh to his Disciples as Disciples, of the dominion of the Kings and Princes of the Gentiles, of false Prophets, Wolves in Sheep-skins, ergo, he giveth to his Disciples a power to be Kings, and a warrant to be false Teachers, it followeth no wayes. 2. By a brother, v. 15. is not meant a true believer, but a brother in profession, else we are not to labour to gain, by this text, unbelieving brethren, and to complaine to the Church of their obstinacie, or to forgive them private of­fences done against us to seventie times seven times, which is against the course of the Text. 3. By this glosse, little Bairnes, which are not to be offended, are brethren, which have power to binde and loose, and preach and baptize, which is absurd. 4. It is cleare, by the Church here is meant a Societie different from the faithfull and brethren, that hee speaketh of: for he will have the offended brother to rebuke before two or three brethren in private, and if the offender [Page 27] heare not (tell the Church) Now three believers, to whom the matter is already told,Smith ib. is a Church to Master Smith; for so he saith in that same place, Then Christ biddeth tell the matter to the Church, before the Church heare of it. 5. Neither doth the hearing of prayers prove a ministeriall Church, seeing God heareth the prayers of one believer in the Prison, or the Whales belly: but it is the doctrine of these, with whom we now reason, that six, professing Christ, being visible Saints (who may be unseene Divels in heart▪ and so neither Brethren, Disciples, nor little ones) are an independent visible Church, having power to binde and loose: and therefore suppose Christ spake here, to his Disci­ples and believers, of the Churches power in excommunica­tion, it is a weake collection, that therefore all Disciples have power to binde and loose: And these words, verse 18. Whatsoever ye bind on earth, &c. must be meant only of the Apostles, and of the Church, verse 18. yea, and it must ex­clude Peter and his offending brother, suppose they were both believers, because parties, by the Law of nature and Nations, cannot be Judges. But some say that these words▪ (What ye shall binde on earth shall be bound in heaven) have re­ference to a private forgiving, an [...] gaining of a convinced bro­ther before witnesses, vers. 15. And a brother in private should forgive another to seventie times seven times, 21. 22. Therefore private brethren may binde and loose. Answer, No private brother can binde on earth, for then one bro­ther might excommunicate, for these words, Whatsoe­ver ye bind on earth, &c is a ratifying in heaven, of the sen­tence of excommunication, verse 17. 2. Binding in pri­vate must be a not forgiving of private wrongs, which is a sinfull binding, and forbidden, verse 22. and Matthew, 6. 14, And rather cannot be ratified in heaven, as Ecclesiastick bin­ding and loosing is, verse 18. expresly made good and valid in heaven.

11. Smith reasoneth thus. 11. Ob. The Covenant is made with the Church,Smith paral. p. 55. and so the promises of the covenant, but cursing them that curse the Church, and blessing them that blesse the Church, Gen. 12. 3. and remission of sinnes, which is a part of the bles­sing, [Page 28] are given to believers, as a part of the covenant, Rom. 4. 7. 8. Therefore a power of binding and loosing from sin must be given, to the Church as the covenant is given to her. Answer. The covenant is given to one believing woman, ergo, by this reason also power to baptize, for Smith saith, page 51. By one and the same power doth the Church preach, pray, ba­ptize, excommunicate, absolve. But this is absurd. 2. Cur­sing and blessing, Genes. 12. and remission of sins, Rom. 4. is not the private believers cursing and remission, but Gods or the ministers publikely and authoritatively as sent of God. And so it is a vaine collection.

12. Smith reasoneth.Ob. 12 To whom Christ is given directly and immediately, as King, Priest, and Prophet, Vnto them all other things with Christ are given, Rom. 8. 32. And so the Saints are made Kings, Priests, and Prophets to God to for­give bind and loose. But Christ is given to all believers, and so the power of binding and loosing to all believers. Answer. To whom Christ is given subjectively and formally, as their gifted Redeemer to dwell into them by faith, To them all things are given either subjectively, as the personall bles­sings of the covenant, a new heart, remission of sinnes, per­severance in grace, or objectively, and finaliter, for their good, other wayes, if one manner of giving be understood in both▪ it should follow that all the believers were temporall Kings and Princes, which is most false: for temporall princedomes are given for their good, but not personally to themselves: So the power of the keyes is given for their salvation, but not to all believers personally.1 Cor. 12. 1 [...]. 29. It is in vaine to reason from the priviledges of believers as believers, to inferre that all Ecclesiastick priviledges are personally given also to belie­vers, for then should all be Apostles, all Teachers, all the whole body should be an eye, and where then should bee the hearing? And this man taketh away all necessitie of a calling by the Church to the ministerie, as doe the Arminians and Socinians. Neither can hee maintaine that there is a twofold power of the keyes, one remote belonging to men, as Christians: another nearer, that is ecclesiasticall, and gi­ven orderly by the Church: for he and his followers will [Page 29] have all believers, because they are believers in a visible Church actually to censure, bind, loose, absolve, excommu­nicate.

13. Thus reasoneth Smith and so Parker. The Spouse hath power immediately from the husband, the body from the head without any intermediating power. Ergo, The believers have power of binding without the mediation of Elders. An­swer. All comparisons halt either in one legge, or other: Every like halteth,Smith p 53. and the argument presupposeth a fals­hood,Ob. 14. that the power of binding and loosing is in the Church of believers mediately or immediately,Parker. Chrysost. de sa­ce [...]d. l. 7. which we deny, it is only in the ministeriall Church and conveyed from Christ to the Spouse as to the object and end,Hieron. in Mat▪ 16. in the fruits and effects.

14 They lastly alledge Fathers,Gratian. 7. q. 1. 16. Chrysostome saith, The power of baptizing is given to the Church. Almain de auth. eccl. c. 7. [...]at. 4. So Hierome. The whole Church hath judiciarie power over the guides. Aquinas. So Grati­an, Gerson. Hugo a Sancto Victo, Aquinas, Gerson, Councell of Con­stance, Ambrose. in Psa. 38. Quod Petro dicitur Apostolis dicitur. Almaine for this coteth Augustine. Answer. Wee are not subject to Almaine or Gerson in this question, they be otherwise expounded. What is given for the Church, is said to be given to the Church in the stile of Fathers:Augustin. tract. 124. [...]n Ioan. ec­clesia claves re­gni coelorum accepit in Petro. So doe Ambrose, Origen, Beda, Chrysostome say. What was gi­ven to Peter was given to all faithfull Pastors. And wee know that Chrysostome denyeth the power of baptizing to any but to Pastours.Lombard. l. 4. d. 19. out of Ierom. saith, habet o­mnis ecclesia claves in Episco­pis & presbyteris. So Nilus for the Greeke Church, l. 2. de. primat. and the Confef. of Sweveland art. 15. and the confess. of B [...]he. c 14. give the keyes to the Church of Be­lievers, but to them as [...]o the end. 2. As to the consenters in all.

15. They also adde this. He that may promise eternall life to a private believer, and denounce wrath on an unbeliever, hath power to open and shut heaven, But a private believer who should exhort his brother, Heb. 3. 13. teach and admonish, Col. 3 16. Comfort him, 1 Thes. 5. 11. may promise life to a believer, denounce wrath to an unbeliever. Ergo, He may open and shut heaven, for the word is the Key.

Answer. One private Christian may use the key toward another this way, but these are not the keyes ecclesiastically and formally that are given to the Church, seeing one man is not the Church: But only the keyes materially used in a pri­vate way, as a common servant at command of the Lord of the house may use the keyes and give broad to the barnes, but [Page 30] it followeth not hence, that the keyes are given to him au­thoritatively as to the Steward by speciall office, because this servant of charitie useth the keyes, or rather that which is in place of the keyes, which is the word in a private way.

CHAPTER III.
Quest. 2.Whether or no the Church of believers in a Congregation, be the first Church, ha­ving the highest power of jurisdiction within it selfe,Origen. in Mat. 1. Si autem super unam illam Pe­tram arbitraris universam eccle­siam aedificari a Deo, quid dices de Iacobo et Io­aune? and that independently, and power above and over their Elder­ship,Beda homil. in illud. (Quem me dicunt) Petro et caeteris Aposto­lis data est haec potestat ligandi et solvendi. to constitute and ordaine them by an intrinsecall power received from Je­sus Christ, and by that same power to censure and depose them,Cyr [...]l. in Esay l. 4 orat. 2. when they be­come scandalous in life,Chrys. in Gal. c. 2. or corrupt in do­ctrine.Cyprian. de unit. Eccles.

THe determination of this question, so neare of blood and kindred to the former two, is of much force to cleare many doubts in this subject. Hence I propound these following distinctions, as very considerable.

  • 1. A Church independent is twofold, either a Church of belie­vers in a congregation, having originally the power of the keyes within themselves, to make or unmake their officers.
  • 2. Or an Eldership of one congregation, including the con­gregation that may from an intrinsecall power, without sub­ordination to Synods provinciall or nationall, exercise all ju­risdiction. This question is of the former independent Church.
  • [Page 31] 2. A Church is considered two wayes, 1. As totum essentiale, this is a mysticall Church, consisting of only b [...]lievers, or of persons, as professing faith, a Church of faithfull, of Saints.
  • 2. The Church is considered as totum integrale, made up of officers, and a flock, this Ames. cals an instituted Church, others a Ministeriall Church, as we consider John, as a be­liever, or John, as an Elder, or minister of a Church.
  • 3. There is a twofold Primacie answerable, to this,
    Primit [...]s mystica seu Christiana, et primitas ecclesi­astica seu mini­sterialis.
    One whereby a number of believers is the first mysticall body of Christ, immediately united to Christ, as a mysticall body to the head.
    See
    This is a mysticall or Christian primacy; or (to speak so) firstnesse or principality.
    Amesii medulla l. 3. c. 31. sect. 2. et cap. 13.
  • 2. There is an other primacy or principalitie ministeriall, wher­by such a number of men are the first subject of the keyes, ha­ving power of binding and loosing, first and immediately from Christ, as is proved, Ch. 1. 4.
  • 3. Christ hath a twofold influence, as head upon these two bodies, one influence of speciall and saving grace upon the Church of believers; An other common influence, communicating to the ministeriall body the power of the keyes and gifts which hee gave to men,
    Eph. 4. 11. 12.
    to be Pastours, and Teachers, and Elders, when he ascended on high, and le [...] captivitie captive. Neither do they looke right on this question, who will have the power of the keyes an essentiall propertie of the Church of believers, for there is no reciprocation here, betwixt the propertie and the subject; seeing the power of the keyes is in many that are unbelievers, and not of Christs mysticall body. Many war­rantably preach Christ to others, and seale the covenant to others, who are unsaved men: remember the builders of the Arke: and many are Christs mysticall body, that have not the power of the keyes: All believers are not Eld [...]rs having po­wer of order.

Hence our 1. Conclusion. Rom. 8. 28. If wee speake of a Christian primacie and eminency of grace,1 Cor. 1. 24. the Church of believers sincerely professing the faith and believing is the only first true visible Church.Act. 20. 28. 1. The essence and definition of a cal­led and effectually translated company agreeth to them,Eph. 1. 25. and they are the called of God. Rev. 1. 5. 2.Mat. 19. Because the promises made [Page 32] to the redeemed, saved and washen Church belongeth to them; they are properly the Church builded on the rock, the loved and redeemed spouse of Christ. 2. This Church is the true body of Christ,Eph. 2. 22. which shall infallibly bee glorified with the head Christ.1 Cor. 12. The ministeriall Church is his body also, on which hee hath an influence bestowing upon them common gifts: but not a body which shall infallibly be glo­rified, but in so far as they are true members of the Church of believers. And here observe, our brethren have no cause to object to us, that there is not a place in all the old or new Testament, where the word (Church) signifieth only the presbyterie or Eldership (the contrary whereof, God wil­ling, I shall shew) but I desire that they will produce a place in either the old or new Testament, where the word Church signifieth a governing multitude, or a ministeriall company of onely believers having power and use of the keyes: yet this must be shewed in this dispute, if their prin­ciples stand good.

11. Conclusion. A multitude of believers sincerely pro­fessing the faith, is the first visible mysticall Church, because the definition of a visible mysticall Church agreeth to them, being redeemed professors of the Gospell. So the saints at Colosse, Corinth, Philippi, as not including their guides, is a true uisible Church. Before I come to the third conclusion, I must shew what our brethren hold anent this present que­stion. Eng. Puritanism. c. 2. sect. 1. The English puritanisme holdeth every Congregation or Assemblie of true believers,Guide to Zion, p. 7. sect. 11. joyning together according to the order of the Gospell in the true worship of God, to be a true vi­sible Church.Parker de polit. eccles. l. 3. c. 12. And that this name is unproperly given to Synods or Assemblies (of office-bearers) so also the Guide to Zion.Best Churches plea against Pa­g [...]t, sect. 8. p. 88. Parker maketh the Church of believers in any particular congregation, to be the highest and most supreme Church in majoritie and power of jurisdiction above t [...]eir owne Eldership, or Presbyterie, having power to ordaine or depose them, above all Synods of Pastours and Elders. William Best, citeth and approveth the mind of the English Church (as he calleth it) at Frankeford: the Ministers and Seniors severally and joyntly, shall have no authority to make any manner of decrees or [Page 33] ordinances to bind the congregation, or any member thereof, but sh [...]ll [...]ecute such ordinances, as shall be made by the con­gregation, and to them delivered. Hooker against Paget, They whic [...] had compleat and perfect Ministers,Discourse of troubles▪ Frank. p 115. 116 before any Classes had power to call those Ministers, they have authoritie above the Ministers.Ho [...]ker against Paget [...] 20. quest. Answ. 11. But a particul [...]r congregation had perfect and compleat Ministers, perfectly and compleatly called before any Classes.Apologie of brownists against Vnivers. of Ox­ford. Art. 2 [...] 24. To this agreeth the confession of faith, of the un­justly called Brownists, that every Christian congregation, yea two or three sequestred from the whole, hath [...]ower from Christ of election,Parker de Polit. eccles, l, 3. c. 12. 11. 3. a [...]g. 2. ordination, deposition, excommunication of the Elders or Office-bearers set over them. And expresly M. Parker,Quid igitur su­premitas alibi quam in sonte [...]? in congre­gatione fidelium. ut ibi prob [...]t. a man otherwayes of an excellent spirit for holi­nesse and learning saith, That the supremacie of Ecclesiasti­call power is in the Church of believers, contradistinguished from their guides, Paul and Apollo.

Here we see our brethrens minde cleare,P [...]otestation prin­ted an. 1 [...]16. [...]. 15. Ten or twenty believers in a congregation have from Christ, 1. The su­preme power of the keyes.The separatists thi [...]d II petition to K. [...]ames first position. 2. They are the supremest and highest Church on earth. 3. Above Pastours and Elders, even convened in a Synod in Christs name. 4. Some few believers cloathed with no ecclesiasticall office may ordaine Pastours, and Elders, deprive and excommunicate them. 5. Give ordinances and lawes to the Eldership. 6. When Synods or assemblies of office-bearers are met in assemblies, and cannot agree in their canons, the matter is to be refer­red by appeale or reference to a company of believers cloa­thed with no ecclesiasticall function, as to the most supreme ecclesiasticall judicatorie on earth. These are points unknown to Scripture, which our brethren hold.

Hence out third conclusion. The Church of believers in eminence and primacie of Christian dignitie is above the Church ministeriall as ministeriall, 1. In dignitie. 2. Sta­bilitie. 3. Causalitie. Indignitie. 1. Because the Church of believers is the redeemed and conquested purchase of our Lord Jesus, but all the office-bearers, or the ministeriall Churches of Pastours and Elders on earth, are not his redee­med ones, in so far as they are no more but officers and mini­sters [Page 34] of the house, except they be believers, and so they fall in to the redeemed Church which is a better world, than to be naked pulpit-men. 2. In stabilitie, because the advocation of Christ that the gates of hell shall not prevaile against the Church of believers, and the promises of the Covenant for perseverance standeth good for them: But no such promises of stabilitie are made to naked Church guides, but if they guide well, they fare the better; only common gifts are promised to them which cannot take them to heaven. 3. In causalitie, the Church of believers are superiour, and a­bove the Church of Church-guides, because Rulers and Of­ficers are servants and meanes imployed by Christ for the Church of believers,Tertul. apol. c. 33 Orig in [...]. hom. 7 Cypr. l. de pasto. c. 13. as for the end, office-bearers are for be­lievers, as the meanes for the end, but believers are not for office-bearers.Chrys. de sacerd. l. 3. Medicine is for our health, and meate for our life,August. de doct. Christ. l. 1. c. 18. Epiphan. contr. haeres. 73. and the end is the cause, and so excellenter than the meanes, because of these three respects, and of the necessity of consent of believers in all acts of Government. Christs kingdome being a willing people.Hieron. [...]d Gal. 9▪ 10. The Fathers, Tertullian, Origen, Cyrill. in Ioh. 20 21. Cyprian, Chrysostome, Augustine, Epiphanius, Ie­rome, Hilarius. Cyrill, Hilarie, and our late Divines, Junius, Chem­nitius, Iun. l. sing. de ec­cles. c. 9. Martyr Calvin, Beza, Willet, Fulke, Bucer, and our brethren Baines and Ames. doe ascribe a superioritie, and so an authoritie to believers,Chemnit. exam. concil. Trident. Martyr. in Cor. 5 Calvin. Com­ment. in [...] Cor. 5. 21. as to the fountaine and cause of jurisdiction above Ministers, and give the exercise of juris­diction only to officers, not because officers have not the po­wer,Be [...]a ib. aswell as the exercise, but because the being and o­peration of officers is all for the Church.Fulk against Rhemist. 1 Cor. 5. 3. Gerson also in this subjecteth the Pope, (and we every Pastour, suppone he were a double Lord Prelate) to the Church,Willet syno [...]s pa­pis. cont. 9 q 1. c. 9. that is, to the Councell or Assemblie of the Church, and that in a fourefold respect: 1. Ratione indeviabilitatis, Bayn. dioces. try. q. 3. because the ports of hell shall not prevaile against the Church, but the Pope or the Pastour is a man;Ames. medulla. l. 2. c. 32. thes [...]7 Gerson. de potest [...] ecclesiast. consid. [...]. may nod and totter. 2. Ratione regulabilitatis; be­cause the Church in a Synod may regulate and line the Pope or pastor when he crooketh, because hee is not essentially a right line. 3. Ratione multiplicitatis, because the Church con­taineth in it the Popes, or Pastours power, but the Pope or [Page 35] Pastour containeth not in his bosome the Churches power. 4. Ratione obligabilitatis, Iu [...]. l. sing. de ec­cles. c. 9. 10. 2 because the Church may appoint lawes to oblige both Pope and Pastour, but the Pope or Pastor cannot oblige the Church. Now as the Church of believers is a­bove the Church guides in Christian dignitie and excellency of grace: for asmuch as the saving grace of faith is more excel­lent, than the common graces of the power of the keyes, yet in an other respect the Church guides are a Church ministeriall in authoritie and jurisdiction above the believers. Therefore Juni­us saith, the Pastour and the flock are in divers relations, above, and inferiour to one another.

Hence, 1. Every one of these two Churches, are first and highest each in their owne kind, The Church of believers is the highest and most supreme Church (I speake of a Christian supremacie and dignitie) in the one kinde. Also a ministeriall Church is the highest and most supreme Church in its kind, to wit, in a ministeriall authoritie. But that which we prove is, that we see not in Gods word a Church of sole believers that is a governing and ministeriall Church having the keyes and po­wer and exercise of jurisdiction over the Eldership and Church-guides whatever our brethren say on the contrary.

Our first Argument is,1 Argument. Because such a Church, in name or thing is not in the old and new Testament. Therefore this in­dependent Church to us is nothing, for the Antecedent we re­quire precept, promise, or practice, for such a Church.

2. We have proved that the power of the keyes is no wayes given to sole believers,2 Argument. ergo, farre lesse can the exercise of that power be in them over their guides, except we establish a po­pular government, where all the members of the Church have the power of the keyes and doe actively use them, and judge, ordaine, consttuite, despose, and excommunicate their rulers.

3. Every lawfull power of jurisdiction is regulated by pre­cepts in Gods word,3 Argument. But this power in believers over their guides is not so regulated, for Gods word giveth precepts to regulate the Kings power to his subjects,Deut. 17▪ 8 19. 20. that he play not the Tyrant,Col. 3. 21. the Masters power to his servants, that he deale equal­ly with them,Ephes. 6. 4. 9. [...] the parents power over the children that they provoke them not to wrath,, and so in all lawfull powers that are of God. But in no place hath God said. Ye that are the flocke [Page 36] and sheepe oversee and governe your sheepheards, nor hath he said, ye that are sheep, children, sonnes of the house, use your power over your shepheards, fathers in God, stewards in Christs house with moderation and longanimitie and wisedome; nor hath he said, yee sons, [...]lock and people of God, feede, governe, and rule these that are your fathers in God, and have the oversight over you in the Lord not as lords over the Lords inheritance, but as good examples to the flocke, yet this must be in Scripture, if this power be of God.

4 If the Eldership and Church-guides be rulers and gover­nours taking care of the house of God, 4 Argument. 1 Tim. 3, 4, 5. Such as rule well the people, 1 Tim. 5. 17. such as must rule with dili­gence, Rom 12. 8. and feed the flock of God, not as lords over Gods inheritance, taking the oversight not by constraint, 1 Pet 5. 2. such as are over the people in the Lord, 1 Thes. 5. 12. such as rule over the people and the believers, watching for their soules, and must give an account to God therefore, Heb. 13. 17. 18. Then have the Elders by divine right a jurisdiction over the Lords people in the Lord, and so the Elders in authoritie and jurisdi­ction are above the people▪ And so by no reason can the peo­ple be over their overseers in the Lord, and command, watch, take care for their soules. They say divers wayes one may bee both a Sheepheard and a Sheep, the King as King is above the Pastour, and the Pastour being a man owes subjection and obe­dience to the King. Againe, as the King is a member of the Church, he is to heare and obey the pastor as the messenger of Lord of losts, according to that (he that heareth you, heareth me) and so may it be here. But I answer. The case is no way like; for our brethren make the pastours and the flock to bee over one another, and subject one to another, with one and the same kinde of subjection. I grant Archippus is over the Colos­sians to command them in the Lord, but the Colossians are not in the same power of jurisdiction over Archippus, they may only admonish him to fulfill his Ministerie, but they have no authoritative power of jurisdiction to command, to deprive, to excommunicate: but by this learning, ten Elders with the consent of ten believers may excommunicate ten believers, and these same ten believers may excommunicate these ten Elders, and his ten believers, for there is an independent Church of believers on both sides: hence sonnes and servants [Page 37] may excommunicate those that are over them in the Lord, and watch for their soules.

5. That ever in a constitute Church, except where God cal­leth extraordinarily,5 Argument. as Act. 1. 15. pastours were ordained pastours by a mul­titude,Act. 6. [...]. 6. that are not pastors nor Elders, but only believers and private Christians,Act. 14. 26. is not to be read in the word of God;1 Tim. 4. 14. for every where in the word,1 Tim. 5. 22. where pastours and elders are crea­ted,2 Tim. 2. 2. there are they ordained by pastours;Tit. 1. 5. neither find we ever Apostles or pastours to be tried and found true or false,Revel. 2. 2. 14. 15. 16. v. 20. and not suffered to teach by the sole believers, but by the Angels of the Churches. If believers being only believers may ordaine pastors, and may againe depose and excommunicate, which are the highest acts of jurisdiction, then may they preach and baptize not being called Ministers, then may the Sacraments be administrate where there are no pastours, which is absurd to the Se­paratists themselves.

6 If the whole eldership in a congregation erre and com­mit scandalous sins,6. Argument. to whom shall we complaine? not to them­selves, for they are parties to be judged: nor to a Synod, for independent congregations acknowledge no authoritie of Classes and Synods: then to the Church. What is that? To the believers: Then Christ Mat. 18. intended to erect no mini­steriall Church at all, yea the ministerie by no place in Scripture have power of jurisdiction. If not by this place Mat. 18. for Mat. 16. the keyes were given, and the binding and l [...]osing (saith our brethren) to the Church builded upon the rock, but this was the Church of believers, not the Church of Ministers: Hence have we cause to doubt, whether our brethren acknowledge a ministerie which hath received the keyes from Christ if these two prime places faile them, whereas Fathers, Doctors, Coun­cels, our Divines Protestants and Lutherans, popish Writers, Schoolemen, Canonists, casuists, acknowledge the keyes to bee given to the Apostles in these places: This doctrine will finde too great favour with the Anabaptists denying the power and authoritie and necessitie of the Churches calling to the Mini­sters of the new Testament.

7 What if the women and believing children be the grea­ter part,7 Argument. shall they be the Church, Mat. 18. which hath the power of the keyes, suppose the whole Eldership and gravest [Page 38] Christians be on the contrary side. But the Elders with them being but three or foure believers gathered together in Christs name, have also the power of the keyes, and are essentially a true visible Church, and yet are overswayed by the manifest and most ignorant.

8 When a question cannot be determined by three belie­vers (viz. a complainer and three believing brethren) who are witnesses,Argument. Mat. 18. v. 16. 17.) which to o [...]r brethren is a Church having power of the keyes) then Christ comman­deth to tell the Church which hath power to bind and loose, that is, the Elders. When the Disciples and two Apostles can­not determine the question about circumcision, and the Church of Antioch cannot determine it, the practice of the Apostles was to refer the decision to Apostles and Elders, Act. 15. 2. 6. 22. Act. 16. 4. This doctrine saith the contrary, when matters cannot be determined by Elders and Minister, the matter is to be referred to the company of private believers, as to the Principal and sole supreme Church builded on the rock, which only properly and principally and essentially hath the keyes. And this is contrary to Apostolick order.

CHAP. IV.
Quest. 4.Whether or no our brethren prove strongly, that the Church of believers is the first Church, having supreme jurisdiction a­bove the Eldership.

MAster Parker of good memorie, to prove that the Church of believers is above and superiour to the ministerial Church of Bishops or Eldership, Parker de po [...]it. eccle. l. 3. c. 12 [...]ecret. regn ju­ [...]s 35. pa [...]s in toto contine [...]u [...]: minus in majore. Gerson. 1. Reasoneth thus. The member and the part is inferiour in authoritie to the body, and the whole. But guides are members of the Church of believers: Therefore guides are inferiour to the Church of believers: So saith the law, The part is contained in the whole. Aenea [...] Sylvius. So Gerson, and the fathers of Basill, as Aeneas Silvius cited by Morton, Morton. Apol. part. 2. l. 4. c. 12. prove the Pope to be inferi­our to a Generall Councell, and that he must be judged by them. Answ. We deny not, but the guides as guides are inferiour to [Page 39] believers, inferiour in Christian dignitie and eminency, and this in as far as the guides are believers; for one believer is in­feriour to ten believers, because a part of a Church of believers is inferiour to the whole: but hence is not proved, that the guides every way that are in authoritie and jurisdiction are in­feriour to believers. The eye as a part is inferiour to the whole body, but as indued with the excellent facultie of seeing is not inferiour to the whole body. 2. Rulers as Rulers are not parts, nor members of a Congregation consisting only of believers, for in so far as they are Rulers, they are members of a Presby­teriall Church, and so they are inferiour in dignitie and autho­ritie to the whole. The Pope is a part and a base part of the ministeriall Church, but it followeth not hence, that the body or communitie of believers may censure him: neither may e­very whole, or every body exercise jurisdiction over the mem­bers: for then every familie of believers might excommuni­cate the master of the family, ten believers might excommu­nicate five. Every body that hath authoritie, and is a free incor­poration within it selfe may censure every member, but as a company of believers cannot ordaine, so neither can they de­pose or excommunicate a Minister.

Secondly,Parker 16. arg. de polit. Parker reasoneth thus. Every meane is inferiour to the end, 2 Argument. but Church guides are meanes ordained of Christ for the Church of believers, and the gathering of the Saints as Gods intended end. Therfore Church guides are inferiour to the Church of believers, and subject thereunto. So Paul 1 Cor. 11. proveth the woman to be subject to the man, because the woman is for the man. Answ. From this is only concluded, that Rulers are infe­riour in dignitie to the believers, which is neither questioned nor denyed by us: but it is not hence proved, that believers have majoritie of jurisdiction above the overseers, or that o­verseers borrow the power of the keyes from the believers as from the first subject. The woman is inferiour in dignitie to the man, and the man more excellent, but the man (suppose he be the end) hath not a jurisdiction or Lordly power over the wo­man. Christ the mediator is for the Churches salvation as for the end, it followeth not that the Church hath a jurisdiction over Christ. The good Angels are ministring spirits for the good of the heires of salvation, Heb. 1. 14. It followeth not [Page 40] by good Logick, that the heires of salvation have power of ju­risdiction over the good Angels.

Thirdly, [...] Argument. Parker reasoneth thus from the dignitie of the Church.Parker. If the Church bee a Mistresse, Spouse, and Mother, then her guides must be subject to her, Bergens Apol. pa [...]t. 2. l. 4. c. 14. as servants and sonnes. So Bergensis in the councell of Basill, So Whittaker, proveth the Pope to be subject to the Church as his Mother. Answe. The Church of sole believers is not the Spouse and mother of the Church guides, but the ministeriall Church of Pastours and elders is Queene Mother, that begetteth the sonnes of Zion to God, and so all the authoritative power that the mother hath it is from the Fathers and Pastours,Gal. 4. 19. that beget children to God; Other wayes one private Christian that is a meanes of begeating a pastour to the faith of Christ hath power of ju­risdiction over the Pastour, which no wise man will averre, when Divines subject the Pope to a generall Councell, they make him with good reason inferiour to a ministeriall Church.

Fourthly, Parker reasoneth thus. If Christ communicate a greater measure and a more immediate presence of his spirit to the Church of believers, Whittaker. than to the overseers. Then the most supreme power of jurisdiction is given to the believers, and not to the overseers. So Whittaker, where there is m [...]joritie of power, there is majoritie of assistance of the Holy Spirit ruling the Church; many eyes see more than one. (I will be with you to the end of the world) is promised to the Church. So our Divines rea­son against the Pope. Greater is the Temple than the gold that sanctifieth the Temple, the altar than the sacrifice. The faithfull cannot fall away, the guides, except they be believers may fall a­way, neither is there a promise of salvation, remission of sinnes made to the guides, which is made to the Church of believers. Ans. If the wayes of Christs presence with the believer, and with the overseers were one and the same, the argument would say some thing, but they are of divers kindes. Therefore I deny this (Where Christ is more immediately present, there is the more supreme power of the keyes, or there is the power of the keyes more principally) for it is a caption a non causa: for Christs presence by faith is not the cause of the power of the keyes Saving grace is not the cause why God giveth common gifts; for then a holier pastor should be more essentially a Pastor. Baptis­me [Page 41] administrat, by him should bee more essentially baptisme, then the baptisme administred by a lesse holy or a prophane pa­stour, this is the errour of the Donatists to hang the worthi­nesse of Gods ordinances upon the worthinesse of the instru­ments, one baptisme is not more essentially baptisme than an­other: Whatever be the goodnesse or badnesse of the Mini­ster, the power of the keyes essentially is one and the same in all. God doth more assist and more abundantly blesse one mans ministerie than another, but the difference there is in the ef­fects and manner of working, not in the essence and nature of the keyes, as we say a man of thirty yeares is more and grea­ter of stature and a bigger man than a child of foure years old, but a man of thirty yeares is not more essentially a reasonable creature than a child of foure yeares old, for the nature of man is alike essentially in both. The goodnesse of God and his good pleasure is the cause why God giveth the power of the keyes to some persons and not to othersome, the grace and holinesse of a man is not the cause. It is dangerous to a­verre that the power of the keyes is more or lesse in persons, according as they are more or lesse sanctified and graced of God, for then Mary Magdalene hath more power of the keyes, and hath more ecclesiastick authoritie than Iudas, or a­ny unbelieving Pastour duely called of Christ, and his Church. And therefore it is a sickly consequence to reason from the excellencie of the promises of grace and the measure of holi­nesse to the power of the keyes, or the measure of the power of the keyes. Our Divines reason well from a greater majoritie of grace and light pastorall, or of gifts pastorall or ecclesiastick to inferre the majoritie of power of jurisdiction, and of this speaketh Whittaker and our Divines, There is a greater mea­sure of the Spirit of prophecy and of grace ministeriall, pro­mised to the whole representative Church of Christ, con­vened in a Councell Occumenick, than to one man, the Pope, or to a Prophet, and they give, but doe not grant that the Pope is a Prophet, when they hold him to be a thiefe or a robber. Hence they prove well the Pope to be inferiour in power of jurisdiction to a generall councell of Pastours and Elders. 2. It [Page 42] is utterly false that they say, where there is more stabilitie of grace and holinesse, there is more authoritie and ecclesiastical power, When both the subjects are not capable of ecclesia­stick power, now the subjects are so here, the Eldership is a subject capable of the keyes, but the communitie of believers that are private Christians, and no more, are not capable of this power, and they beg the question who reason with us in this argument. It is soule reasoning to say, the snow is whiter than a Raven, because there is more of cold qualities elementarie in the snow, nor in the Raven because the Raven is not white at all.Ariste top. 1. l. 8▪ Aristotle taught us long since at the Schooles that the com­parative degree could not be ascribed to the subjects of whom the positive degree is denyed. Because a Raven is not white, it is va­nitie to prove that snow is whiter than a Raven. Belie­vers are not capable of the keyes remaining only believers, except God freely call them to the Ministeriall state. Belie­vers (I grant) have authoritie of grace to be Kings and Priests to God (for grace hath with it heavenly Majestie and authori­tie) but they have not authoritie officiall, or power ecclesia­stick, they want both power of order and jurisdiction, except they be called Pastours and Elders, but then they are belie­vers and somewhat more. But if they want power of jurisdi­ction, their power as members of the congregation is chri­stian, popular, private, not authoritative, not a power of the keyes. Grace true and saving addeth a faire lustre to the po­wer of the keyes, and doth graciously qualifie and adorn that power, but where there is no power of the keyes in simple believers it cannot adorne it: to please and embrouder a wicked man is not Christ. What is the power of believers shall be declared hereafter, if God permit.

4. Parker disputeth thus.4. Argument. The Church-guides must be sub­ject to the censures of the Church of believers, Parker ib. arg. 9. Col. 4. 17. whereof they are members, The Colossians must say to Archippus, Ambr. Quid ho­nor [...] qua u [...] imperator ec­clesiae filius [...] take heed to the ministerie that thou hast received of the Lord. So Ambrose thinketh it the rulers, even the Emperours honour to bee sub­ject to the Church. Nazian. calleth the Emperour himselfe a [Page 43] sheepe of the flocke, and subject to the tribunall, as Bellarmine granteth, Decret. p. 2. c. 25 Q. 8. Can. Nazian. orat. ad Bellarm. de pon­tif. Rom. l. 3. c. 14. and that (tell the Church) bindeth Peter, and the highest ruler. So Barrow, Every member is bound to the edification, ser­vice, and utilitie of the whole body commanded to reprove his brother, to bind their sins by the word of God, even their Prin­ces with chaines,Barrow discover of the false Church p. 166. to admonish Archippus, yea, though an Apostle or Angell preached an other Gospell to pronounce him accursed, Answ. That the Prelate should be above the Church, and ex­empted from the lawes and censures of the Church, whereof he is a Prelate, is most unjust, and this worthy Parker proveth unanswerably. Emperours being pastours are un­der the lawes of Jesus Christ the highest lawgiver, and so Ambrose and Nazianzen say well. But hence is not pro­ved, because the Collossians are as private Christians to admonish or rubuke their pastour Archippus. Therefore the body of believers have the power of the keyes to depose and excommunicate, and consequently to ordaine and lay hands on pastours, 1 Tim 5. 22. which is commanded and commended only to such as to Timothy and Titus, Tit. 1. 5. and in them to the Elders and Presbyterie,1 Tim 4. 14. and that (tell the Church) doeth bind Peter and oblige all Pastors and Rulers, to be lyable to the lawes and censures of the Church, but by the word Church is not meaned the Church of believers; but the Eldership of all incorporations ecclesiastick, respective of congregations, presbyteries and Synods, as God willing I shall make good.

3. Barrowes Scriptures are most corruptly wrested, for Ioseph a prince did bind in fetters the Senators of Egypt, ther­fore a private believer hath the keyes of the Kingdome of heaven to shut and open. What reason is there here? An Apostle or Angell preaching another Gospell is accursed, it followeth not. Therefore a private believer, suppone a woman who is no lesse than a man, bound to the edification service and utilitie of the whole body, is to excommunicate an Apostle, or an Angell who shall preach an other Gospell. The keyes shall be too common, if all private Christians may put to their hand, and use them, because they are to teach, ad­monish, [Page 44] rebuke, comfort, and edifie one another in a private and popular way: any may see, it is one thing for one mem­ber of the body to help one another by exhorting and rebu­king (which is a worke of common charitie) and for pastors publikely as the ambassadors of Christ Jesus, to use the keyes by publike preaching of the Gospell (which is a worke of his pastorall charge) yea these two differ as an act of obedi­ence to the law of nature and common charitie, and an act of obedience to a divine positive law.

5. Parker reasoneth thus. Coactive jurisdiction as ex­communication, 5 Object, is a meane of edification, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord, 1 Corinthians 5. 4. Now the soules of guides (Parker saith the soules of Prelates) shall bee in a wors [...] case, than the soules of the flocke, if they bee not subject to a particular Church, as Corinth: for they want that meane of edification which others have. Some say Synods are to take order with pasto [...]rs, and not the Church of Believers; But Papists answer, The Bishop is to be jud­ged by the Archbishop or Patriarch, if they shall scandalously sinne, then they are to be left to the Pope, and the Generall Councell, which cannot be had. Answer. I deny not but every pastour is subject in some things to the Eldership of the congregation, where he is, and if he were not lyable to lawes or censure, hee were a pope, but in the matter that deserveth deprivation he is only to be censured by the Pres­byterie and Synods, [...]uriscon ejus­dem est dignita­tem conferre cu­jus est aufer [...]e. & contra. for a number of believers, nay a num­ber of Ruling Elders cannot deprive him, because they can­not ordaine a pastour: for the law saith well, It is one po­wer of the keyes to ordaine and to exauthorate and deprive: But no word of God will warrant a number of believers to cen­sure ecclesiastically their pastor, not because hee is their pa­stor and they his flocke (for so the Eldership of his owne congregation might not ecclesiastically censure him, which I judge to be false) but because the Church of sole believers hath not the power of the keyes, and they have not power to censure any other believer, except in a private way, as fellow members of that same body: but in a constitute. [Page 45] Church, a Colledge of pastors and Elders only hath power to deprive or excommunicate a pastour, and there remaineth CHRISTS way of edification, that hee bee in this case censured by Synods. But yee will say, this is the Pa­pists answer. I answer, it is not, for they will have the pastour censured by the Prelate, the Prelate by the Arch-Prelate, which we deny as Antichristian, for all are to be by the Church. But Synods m [...]y erre. Then appe [...]le to a grea­ter Synod, for united force is stronger. But they also (you will say) may errr [...], I answer, and the Congregation of sole beleevers is not free from error, but this doctrine of our bre­thren shall resolve all government in the hands of th [...] people, as in the highest and most soveraigne ju [...]icature, which is to make all Pastors, all oversee [...], all Judges.

6. Parker reasoneth from the necessary defence of the Church.Object▪ 6. Every particular Church is an Armie, Keckerman polit. l. 2. c. 28. a Ship, a body, 1 Cor. 12. Therefore when they are neare danger, they have power to take order with a drunken Pilot, Hottomanm de ju­re reg [...]i [...] l. 1. c▪ 12. and put him from the rud [...]er, and to take order with a tyrann [...]u [...] Capt [...]ine, and to purge out the filth and excrements of the body. So politicians, as Keckerman, Hottomanus say a wicked Magistrate is to be deposed, if no other remedy can be found, Gerson de pa [...] Cons. 12. So Gerson. Answ. It is one thing what a multitude may doe in a desperate case of necessity, when o­verseers will not by their authority remove a wolfe and a false teacher, extremis morbis extrema remedia; Hard diseases and desperate have need of desperate cures. But it is an o [...]her case when in a constitute Church, there is a government of Christ established, for there are two things to bee considered here. 1. A popular, but withall a private substraction and separati­on from the Ministery of a knowne Wolfe and seducer, and this the Law of nature will warrand,Saravia lacet tu­tela inculpata [...], si malus [...] ab ecclesia depon [...] nequ [...] than licet tutelâ inculpa­tâ uti as Parker saith from Saravia. So the son may save him­selfe by a just defence in [...]leeing from his madde father, or his distracted friend comming to kill him. Now this defence is not an authoritative act, nor act judiciall of authoritie, but an act naturall that is common to any private person, yea to all without the true Church as well as within to take that care in [Page 46] extreme necessity, for the safety of their soules, that they would doe for the safetie of their bodies. 2. The question is whether the community of beleevers may doe this, that is, whether they by the power of the keyes given them by Jesus Christ may deprive and excommunicate the Pastor, because the Law of Nature in some cases may warrant a private sepa­ration from a corrupt ministery. 3. The case is not a like here as in a free Common-wealth, for a free Common-Wealth containeth, Ordines regni, the estates that have nomotheticke power,Iunius Brutus q. 3. and they not only by the Law of Nature may use justa tutela, Bucherius l▪ 1. 16 Althus. polit. c. 15. a necessary defence of their lifes from a Tyrants fury, but also by the Law of Nations may authoritatively represse and limite him as is proved by Iunius Brutus, Bucherius, H [...]nonius polit. disp. 2. 11. [...], Al­thusius, H [...]nonius. Therefore Henning, Amisaeus, do well di­stinguish betweene plebem & [...] populum, Isiodor l. 9. for indeed the multitude excluding the States,Orig. cont. Cels. c. 9. or the base of the people can hardly have an other Law against a Tyrant,Aristo. polit. l. 1 [...] c. 3. then the Law of Nature,Plato de repub. c. 8. but the Common-wealth including the estates of a free kingdome, hath an authoritative.Livius l. 24. na­tu [...]am multitudi­nis fi [...]it. So Isiodor, Origen, Ari­stotle, Plato, Tit. Livius, Plutarch, and that of the Councell of Basil, Plutarch in Aegid. in princ. Aenea [...] Silvius de Gest. concil. Plus valet regnum, quam rex, the Kingdome is more worth than the King, (as Silvius citeth,) is approved by all: but the multitude of sole beleevers, have not the keyes at all and therefore they can doe no other thing,Basilens. l. 1. but use a necessary defence of their soules.Gerson consid. 4 ver [...]t. 12. And what Keckerman and Hottoman saith is not against us. Also Gerson in name of the Parisians, going to the Councell of Pisan, saith a Councell may be gathe­red without the Pope (without the guides) of the Church) two wayes, Charitative, when Charity reigneth. 2. Authorita­tive, when the case of the Churches ruine requireth that a Councell should bee, and if the Pope (and Pastors) refuse to convene; and the necessary defence of soules is the like here.

7. No power is given to Pastors absolutely,Arg. 7. but to edification, and so upon condition, [...]. and therefore if the condition cease, the power ceaseth: But say yee, It ceaseth; What then? it follow­eth [Page 47] not they should be deprived, by the Church, but by the Synod: yea, but you will say, it followeth, for the power is not given for the edification of the Synod, and not for their destruction, but for the edification of the Church, and this destroyeth the Church. Also Synods cannot alwayes bee had.

Answ. If the power bee abused wholly, it ceaseth and the Pastor before God, in foro interno, hath losed his power; If it bee abused in one or two acts, it is not losed, else a King doing against judgment and justice, and a Pastor doing against pietie should leave off to be a King, and Pastor; which is hard to affirm. 2. The power authoritative, is given by the Presby­tery for the edification of the Church principally, and for the edifying of Synods and Elderships, Secondarily, but hence it followeth not that this power should bee taken away by the Church of sole beleevers. Object. Synods (saith hee) cannot bee had ordinarily. Answ. So neither publike preaching at some times; It followeth not therefore that publike preach­ing is not a meane of edifying, because through accident, and iniquitie of time the publike preaching cannot be had.

8 Parker reasoneth from the stability of the Church. 8. [...]g. Where there is more stabilitie, there is more authority, as our Divines reason, proving the Pope to be inferiour to the Councell. 1. A Church cannot be gathered in the name of Christ, but there is the power of Christ, 1 Cor. 5. 4. Matth. 18. But a Church may be, Saravia. and was constitute at first, saith Saravia, without El [...]ers and Pastors. 2. The Church hath ecclesiasticke au [...]hority, when the overseers are absent, as in the reformed Churches, or when by he­resie they lose their authority, the authority of the overseers, de­pendeth on the Church, Morton. but the authority of the Church dependeth not on the overseers. 3. When the Pastor is dead, the Church keepeth still her authoritie, Bellarmine. when the Pope is (saith Bellar­mine) the keyes remaine in the Christs hands, and he giveth them to the next Pope: Behold fleeing keyes (saith Morton.) Ans. A ministeriall Church is never gathered in Christs name, while there be a ministerie, unlesse you would say, Peter is a man be­fore he be a reasonable creature which is a contradiction, some few beleevers may meete together, but they cannot preach, [Page 48] baptize, censure, while Christs power of the keyes bee given them, except by an extraordinary power from I. C. 2. What if a Church of beleevers bee by order of nature, before there be overseers? Yet have they not the keyes while CHRIST call some of their number out to give them the Keyes, for there was no power of the Keyes of the New Testament, while Christ gave it to Iohn Baptist, and called the twelve Disciples; else their calling to bee Apostles should not bee a conferring on them the Keyes, which is false: for when, Matth. 10. 1, 5. they are sent out with power to preach, he gave them the Keyes, [...]nd yet they were a Church of Disci­ples before, and first called to faith, and then to the Keyes, and to the Apostleship. 2. The Church of beleevers have no au­thority Ecclesiasticall, nor power of the Keyes, if all the Pa­stors on earth were removed from the Church by Death, and in that case the Keyes should indeed bee only in Christs-hand, and the case being extraordinary, Christ behoved extraordi­narily, to supply the want of ordination, which Timothy, Ti­tus, and other Elders doth ordinarily give, for the Church of beleevers could not give that which they have not, and yet Bellarmines Keyes are [...]leeing Keyes, for he hath no cause to say, when the Pope dieth; The Keyes flee to Heaven, for there are living many thousand Pastors and Elders who have the Keyes suppone the Pope died, and never lived again.

10. Parker reasoneth thus, [...] If Peter stand up, Acts 2. in signe of reverence (as standing is in Scripture, Numbers. 16. 9. 1. [...]hro. 19. 11. Ezec. 44. 11. John 3. 29.) before the multi­tude of believers, then he acknowledged their authority above his; But Peter did the former, Acts 2. Answ. This argument con­cludeth not the power of the Keyes to bee in the multitude: There is Authority of grace in a multitude professing the Truth but not power of the Keyes, and certainely we de­nie not simply, but beleevers are farre above all overseers. But the question now is of superioritie and honour of juris­diction.

[Page 49] 11. If nothing must be done in a Church without the common consent of believers,Obiect. 11. then beleevers have jurisdi­ction above their over-seers;The Bretheren of the separation pe­titiō [...] to K James positi [...] 5. pag. 47. but the former is true. Act 15. Act. 1. I may adde what these of the Separation say. The faithfull had knowledge and consent in elections, Act. 1. 15, 23, 26. Act. 6. 2, 3, 5. and 14, 23. and 15. 23 25. For hearing and deciding Ecclesiasticall controversies, Act. 11. 2, 18. and 15. 2, 22. and 21. 18. 22. for wri­ting generall letters. Act. 15. 25. for sending some to build other Churches, Act. 11. 22. for sending the bene­volence of Brethren to other Churches, 1 Cor. 16. 3. and 2 Cor. 8. 19. for excommunication, 1 Cor. 5. Mat. 18. Ans. If this be a good Argument, All publike Church businesse is to be done by knowledge and consent of belee­vers, and cannot be done by their over-seers done. Ther­fore the faithfull have jurisdiction over the over-seers.

Answ. We will borrow the Argument (and give it back againe) for us; no publike businesse is to be done without the knowledge and consent of Elder­ship.Beza Confes. Q. 43. Ergo, The Eldership hath the jurisdiction. 2. That all be done by their consent,Ne (que) enim ijs assen­ [...]ior qui non nisi ex totius Ecclesiae con­sensu & rogati [...] singulu quemqu [...] excommunicari volunt. I grant, but with these distinctions, 1. Their quiet and tacite consent, for there is not required an expresse consent by word of mouth of all the multitude (as of women) speaking in the Church, for they should give reasons of their consent, if an expresse consent be required. 2 Consent of ma­nyest, not all, els the Churches deed should bind none absent. 3. A consent popular, not judiciall, els they are all made Judges. 4. Their privity is thought a consent; how could six thousand that our Bretheren make an independent Church in the Apostles time all speake. 2. All judge in Excommunication. 3▪ All reason, dispute, propone, answer, as Judges must doe; heere grave Beza, our Divines Calvine, Bucer, Bullin­ger, Melancton, Beza, Bucan, Pareus, Rivetus, Sibran­dus, Junius, Treleatius, the fathers Cyprian, Jerome, Au­gustine, Nazianzen, Chrysostome, Ambrose, Theodoret, Theophylact require all to be done, consentiente plebe. [Page 50] But my Bretheren, what if there be a discord, and beleevers deny consent. In a matter of Excommu­nication Zepperus, Pareus Vrsin, quest Catech 85. art 3. pag 47 [...]. Si vide­ant sequi maiora mala multos inter se dissentire, scindi Ecc [...]esiam, non de­bent procedere▪ Zanchius, Beza, Bucanus, Pareus thinke the Eldership should not excommunicate. 2. But what if the contagion of the not excommunicated lea­ven the whole lump? I see not how believers have a negative consent. 3. If the matter be a point of necessary truth to be determined, and the Pastours and Elders in the Lord and from his Word command it as a necessary truth to be obeyed, but the Beleevers con­sent not, I aske whither or not that which Watch­men command from Gods Word and authoritatively and judicially in his name, ought not to stand as an obliging Mandat and Canon, even when the Beleevers gain-say? Our Bretheren say, the Mandat tyeth and ob­ligeth materially and in it selfe, but not ecclesiastically, be­cause beleevers doe not consent, it hath not the force of a Canon, seeing they have the keyes. Ans. But this Canon (Arrianisme is Heresie) we suppose is all one both ma­terially and Ecclesiastically, according to that (Hee that heareth you, heareth me) and so it tyeth being de­termined by Pastours with others Synodically convee­ned. Shall it oblige the one way Ecclesiastically be­ing preached, and not the other way being Synodi­cally determined, because the people consenteth not? Certainly if power of preaching be a power of the keyes, all that are silent to that which is preached give a consent to what is preached, for silence at the hea­ring of a vow, when it is lawfull to speake is a con­sent, Numb. 30. ver. 14. Now it is lawfull to any mem­ber of the Congregation, to speake against what is unfound in Doctrine publickly delivered, so it be spo­ken timously: Hence it must follow that what tyeth and obligeth as an act of the keyes in preaching, ty­eth also when determined by the Eldership, suppose all the Congregation doe not judge and determine ju­dicially: I may say that by our Bretherens grounds, preaching is a publick Ecclesiastick act of the keyes, [Page 51] and of the whole Church, for the Church preacheth by her Pastour, as by her mouth and servant receiving authority, and the keyes to preach from the Church. Therfore all must give their consent to what is prea­ched, els it is not the Word of God or to be judged and reputed to tye us to faith and obedience, no lesse then publick acts of the Church, and this were strange, to say, the word preaching is not the word obliging ecclesiastically, except all believers women and chil­dren confirme it by their consent and suffrages ju­dicial.

12. Parker reasoneth thus. 1 [...]. Argument. If Peter render an account to the particular Church of believers at Jerusalem, Parker 16. of his eating with the uncircumcised,Gratian. Decr. part. 2. c. [...]. q. 7. c. 4. and of what may be judged scandalous,Gerson de auss [...]rib. pa. cons. 1 [...]. then the judiciall power of censuring Church-guides is in the hands of the people;Best Churches plea, p 22. [...]8. But this Peter the Apostle did Act. 11. not (as Gratian saith) ut doctor mansuetudinis, but,Concil. Basil [...]ns. as [...]erus saith, ex officio. And as Gerson saith,Doctor Paris [...]e polit. Eccles. p. 13. non ex humili condescensione, sed ex de­bito & obligatione, Jac. Almain. de authorit. Eccl c 7. not of Humility, but of duty. So reasoneth Best also. So Almain saith, Pope Nicolas said to Lotharins, except he would abstaine from the co [...]pany of his excommunicated whore, he would complaine to the Church,Occam. Dialog. l 6. part 1 c. 60. he said not, he would take order with him him­selfe, as being above a Councell.Papa de nec [...]ssitate [...] tenetur se purgare si grave scandalum oriatur apud Catholicos, probatur 8▪ ra [...]. When Symmachus the Pope contended with some, he gathered a Councell, and they iudged the matter: If two Popes contend for a Pope­dome (saith Almaine) a generall Councell is to deter­mine.

Answ. The Major is not true, Peter is to purge himselfe before any one brother offended of a scandall, and farre more before the Church: Yea, the necessi­ty of his salvation, and so the law of nature forbid­ding to offend the weake, willeth him to purge him­selfe, if he were a Pope (saith Occam) now one of­fended brother is not a church, and so the Superiori­ty of jurisdiction in believers is not hence concluded. 2. He purged himselfe before the Apostles and Bretheren, [Page 52] ver 1 and not before the Brethren onely. 3. If he had done wrong, he was obliged to confesse his scandall before one offended believer, and also before all the Church, but that prooveth not jurisdiction in the be­lievers.

13. Paul rebuketh Peter before the Church of Anti­och, Obiect. 13. ergo. That Church of Antioch might iudge Peter.

Ans. The same answer sufficeth▪ 2. It is not proved that in the presence of Believers only Paul did rebuke him from this Text.

14. Christ immediately and without the mediation of the Church (saith Parker) communicateth himselfe to be­leevers,Obiect. 14. ergo, he communicateth his power also immediately to his Church.

Ans. It followeth not, because he communicateth not his power of the keyes to the Church of belie­vers, either mediately or immediately, because he giveth it not to them at all.

CHAP. V.
Q. Whether or no some doe warrantably teach, that the power of the Keyes is essentially and originally in the Church of Beleevers, and in the Church-guides only at the second hand, and in the by, quoad exer [...]itium, so as the Church of Believers should be the mistresse delega­ting the keyes by an imbred and kindly authority, and the Church-guides as her proper servants and delegats do borrow the use and exercise of the keyes from the fore­said Church of Believers?

THe tenent of these, with whom we now dispute is that all the power of the keyes is given by Christ to the multitude of Believers, as to the first fountaine, and that this power is derived and gested by the mul­multitude [Page 53] of believers to such and such persons to be used and exercised by them, as the servants both of Christ and the Church: For the clearing of the que­stion and trying if this distinction be law-biding. These distinctions are to be observed.

  • 1. The power of the keyes may be thought to come to the Ministers of the Church three waies, as shall be cleared, 1. By mediate derivation, the Church recei­ving this power from Christ, and deriving it over to the friends of the Bridegroome. 2. By immediate do­nation, God immediately giveth the honour of the keyes to these whom he maketh his Courtyers in this kinde. 3. By application, the Church only naming the men to the office.
  • 2. The power of the keyes, and all sacred offices in Gods House, are from the immediate wisdome of Christ; The designation of such men to such offices is by the ministery of the Church.
  • 3. The power of the keyes is one thing, the lawfull exercise of the keyes is another thing.
  • 4. The Ministers may be thought the servants either of the Church, or servants of Christ for the Church.
  • 5. Designation of men by the Church to sacred offices may be thought either in the Churches free-will, or tyed to the lawes designed by Christ.
  • 6. The Church of believers may be thought either the vir­tuall or the formall subiect of the keyes.
  • 7. The power of the keyes may be thought to be given to the community or multitude of Believers or profes­sours of faith in Christ, in the generall, not design­ing one man rather then another, but leaving that to the disposition of meanes, and disposition of second cau­ses, who shal [...] be the man, as to be a Musitian, to be an Astronomer is given to mankinde as some way proper to man,
    Porphyr. Isag. c. de Proprio.
    as Porphyre saith, howbeit all and e­very one of mankinde, be not alwayes Musitians and A­stronomers.

It is thought by our Brethren, that the Church of [Page 54] believers is the first seat, the prime subject, and head fountaine under Jesus Christ, to whom the keyes are given, and that howbeit all offices and officers be on­ly of Christs institution, yet the Church of believers doe as the Spouse and Mistresse, and bride of Christ communicate the lawfull exercise of some acts of the keyes, as to preach, administer the Sacraments, over­see the conversation of the flock, care for the poore to some certain men, as her deputies and servants with borrowed authority from her selfe, as the Well-head and prime fountain under Christ of all the au­thority and use of the keyes that is in the officers of the House,Facultas Paris. de polit. Eccle [...]. pag. 1 2 an 16 [...]2 as Pastors,Vulgare est at (que) in­dul [...]tatum [...]ides ax­ioma Deum & na­turam, prius at (que) immediatius ad to­tum suppositum, quam ad aliquam partem supposits, quamvis nobilissi­mam intendere, e­am (que) ob causam fe­cultatem vi le [...]di. e. g. to [...]t d [...]tamesse homini, ut per [...]u­lum ta [...]quam per organ [...] & [...] ­sirum hominis ex­ercer [...]u [...], [...]amo­culus per & prop­ter homin [...] [...]xi­ [...]it Schola Pa [...]i siensi [...] hoc infallibi­li [...] firma­mento, congruenter ad mentem om [...]iū ora [...]quorum d [...]cto­rum Ecclesiae per­p [...]tuo, constanter [...] docuit, Christum fundando Ecclesi­am prius, immedi­atius at (que) essentials u [...] claves se [...]ts­dictionem toti de­disse Ecclesiae quam Petro, ut per unum ministeri [...]liter ex­ercerentur & pag. 2. probant per tex­tum, 1 Cor. 3. Omnia vestra sunt. Vide 16 page 3, 4. pag. 7. pag 19 & expresse pag 6. Potestas es­sentiali [...]er Ecclesiae collata est, guberna­toribus quoad exer­citium, Parisie pag. 3 [...]. Aug ad Matt 1 [...], 7 Chrysost. de sacerdot. l. 3. Tertul Apol c 35, 3 [...] Ma­donatus Su [...]u [...]a q. w. art. [...] Ferus in Mat. 6 [...]ansenius ib & Mat. [...]8 Sut­lu [...]ius de Pontif R l. 4. c 8 W [...]itak. Tō 2 contr. 5. q 2. Doctors and Elders, the Church still keeping in her own hands authority and power of the keyes in most materiall acts of the power of the keyes, as by these keyes to ordain and elect all the officers, and in case of aberration or failing to censure, depose, excommunicate them, and all members of the visible Church, and that independently, and without any subordination to Presbyteries, Classes and Synods; even as the kingly power of actuall government is in the Kings hand, and he appointeth deputies and ser­vants under himself, and in his name and authority, to do and execute his will, according to the Laws of the Kingdom, so doth the Church of believers un­der Christ by an imbred authority and power recei­ved from Christ, send out Pastors, Doctors, and El­ders in her name and authority to exercise certain mi­nisteriall acts, yet so as the Church of believers in all the acts performed by the officers, remaineth the principall and prime agent, cause and actor under Christ, and the officers only her servants, deputies and instruments, performing all by authority borrow­ed from her the bride, Queen and Spouse of Christ: This they believe to be contained in the Scriptures, and taught by Fathers and Doctors of the Church. I deny not but by the faculty of Paris, this question was agitated in the Councell of Basil and Constance, [Page 55] to bring the Pope as a sonne and servant under the power of a Generall Councell. The Sorbonists and Doctors of Paris, that are not near the smoake of the Popes glory, for this, contend with the Jesuites, men that are sworne bellies to the world and the Pope. The Parisians cite the Councell of Carthage, where Augustine was present: And Augustine, and Tertul­lian, and Chrysostome seeme to favour this. So Maldo­nate, Ferus, Jansenius, Sutluvius, Whittaker, Morton, Spalato, Gerson, Almain, Petr. de Alliac. Also Edmun­dus Richerius, and Sim. Vegorius set out a booke of Church policy, depressing the Pope, and extolling the Church power as full and compleat without a ministe­riall head, M [...]rton apolog. p. [...]lib 4 c 1 [...] M. An­to [...]tus de Dom. Ar­ch [...]epis. Spalat [...]ns. de rep [...] Eccl l. 5 c. c. 12. n. 1, 2, 3, 4 lib. 6 c 2 c. n 28, 29. as their owne Parisian Doctors acknowled­ging the command of having a Pope to be affirmative, and not to bind alwayes, and that the Churches power remai­neth full when the Pope is dead, as the Parisians say, p. 8. The booke came out without the name of an Authour, and was condemned by Cardinall Peronius, Archbishop of Senona, Gerson de [...]userib. pap & de potest Ecc. 3 4, 5 Almain de author Eccl. c 7. Petr. de Alliac. de Eccl anthorit. par: cap. 1. and Primate of France and Germany, and is refuted by Andreas Duvallius a Sorbonist. What our Di­vines say in this, I have exponed to be far otherwise then is the mind of Parker, Simon Vigerius de Eccl [...]s. & polit. po­test. Act. M. Jacob, M. Best, and the Authours of presbyteriall government examined, Ann. 1641.

Hence our first conclusion is:Mart against Vigerius. All offices and of­fice-bearers in Gods house have their warrant imme­diately from Christ Jesus,Duvallius 22. to 2. [...] 4 part. 1. contr. Vigor. Parker de Polit. Eccl l. 3 c 8. as we all agree against the bastard prelacy. 1. because of the perfection and ple­nitude of Scripture. 2 because of our Law-giver Christs wisedome,H [...]n [...] ac Goverina, p. 6. 8. and his seven Spirits that are before the Throne,Best▪ against Pag [...] ▪ Presbyter govern. examine [...], [...]n 16 [...] 1 seeing he seeth better then men. 3. because of the Scriptures. Eph. 4. 11. Rom. 12. 7, 8, 9. w 1 Cor. 12. 26, 27, 28, 29. 1 Tim. 3. Act. 20. [...]8. And there­fore Presbyters and Deacons have their offices immedi­ately from Christ, and not from the Prelates

11. Conclusion. The first subject of the keyes is ei­ther made quate or narrower, as one Pastor and some [Page 56] ruling Elders of a Congregation: And these have not the power of all the keyes, as of ordination of Pastors, and so of deposition; seeing in the Apostolike Church there were alwayes a number of Pastors at the ordi­nation of Pastors, onely they may performe some acts of discipline that concerneth that flocke. The adequate and proper subject of full power of the keyes is the presbytery of Pastors and Elders, as we shall prove here­after.

3. Conclusion. The power of the keyes indirectly commeth from the Church of beleevers to some select officers, I say (indirectly) not directly, because how­beit beleevers by no innate and intrinsicall power of jurisdiction in them, doe ordaine officers; yet they are to give a popular consent to the election of their officers, as the word of God, all the [...]athers and our Divines teach against Papists and Prelates, who take away this power from the people of God. Now by this popular election men are put in that state, where­by they may be and are ordained office-bearers by the laying on of the hands of the Elders. And this our brethrens arguments prove and no more. Hence the power of the keyes commeth to the officers three wayes, whereof we deny one. 1. As if the Church of beleevers received the keyes first from Christ, then by au­thority from Christ did give over the use of them in some acts to the officers, and did appoint them her servants. That this is not according to the Scriptures of God, I hope by gods grace to prove. 2. The power of the keyes and all power of jurisdiction and order is first in Christ, then immediately communicated to the Apostles and their successors in them, and here the offices and power is of Christ Jesus onely.Almain de Dom. natur & civil. & Eccl Concil. 2 par. 1 M. Ant [...]n. de Dom. Archie Spala de rep. Eccl. l. 5. c. 3. n 11. 3. As the application of the man to the office, and the office to the man is twofold; one by popular election, such a man pleased the multitude, Act. 1. Act. 6. Another by authoritative ordination or imposition of hands to an office in Gods house, which they would have by [Page 57] a multitude of beleevers, having no ministeriall fun­ction; but is not in the Apostolike Church of the New Testament, that ever we can reade. We find out ordi­nation by the presbytery, 1 Tim. 4. 14.

4. Conclusion. The essence and definition of a Church doth not ex aequo, equally, and alike agree to the Church of beleevers and Ministers, or office-bearers, or to a company of a visible Church, made up of these two parts, beleevers and officers, as our brethren speak of their visible Church. My reason is cleare, Belee­vers are essentially and properly the mysticall body of Christ, and the Church of redeemed ones, Eph. 5▪ 25. Act. 20. 28. And the Church builded on a rocke, which they say received the keyes from Christ (which I dare not say) but the Church of officers, that are only officers and no more, that is called of God and his Church, and cloathed with a calling to be Pastors and Doctors, Elders, Deacons, are not the redeemed of God; but may often be, and are reprobates, and not members of Christs true body according to the influence of saving grace, Now from this I inferre, that beleevers and office-bearers make not one common and true mysti­call body that hath received equally the keyes from Christ, and that these predications are unproper and figurative, and that literally and in rigor of the letter they are false. (Sion bringeth good tydings (the Church giveth sucke and milke to her children) (the Church be­getteth a man childe) because the Pastors of the Church doe these things: For there is no effective influence or causality comming from the Church of beleevers in these and the like Pastorall actions, except that they pray for these fruits of a Ministery, they chuse the men for the worke, but doe not ordaine them: But we cannot say that the Church doth formally preach and beget children to God in and through preachers, as their servants, as a King speaketh such a businesse by his Legat and Embassador; and our King doth governe and reigne in Ireland by his Deputy: Here the Kings [Page 58] authority hath influence in the acts of his Deputy, and Legat: For where will Scripture beare this (The be­leevers at Colossee preach to the beleevers at Colossee by their servant Archippus) (Philippians preach to Philip­pians by their servant Epaphroditus) And (the Church exerciseth authority, and governeth her selfe in and through the servants sent by her selfe) And (the faithfull Thessa­lonians are over themselves in the Lord, and obey them­selves in their servants, and Ministers sent by them­selves) how I say, will the holy Spirits stile of lan­guage make these in rigor true? but according to our brethrens tenents they are most true.Childley against M. Edwards, p. 10, 11. Katheren Childley against Edwards saith, pag. 10, 11. When the hand laun­ceth the foot, it cannot be said properly the action of the hand alone, because the hand is set on worke by the body, if the body be destitute of the power, for the motion of the body commeth not from the hand, but the motion of the hand from the body. So this Argument would say, The Pastor preacheth as the mouth of the Church, and prea­ching is an act of the whole Church performed by the Pa­stor as their servant or mouth; And so the power of preaching must be first in the Church, and not first in the Pastors, as motion is first in the body, and not first in the hand.

Answ. The comparison holdeth not, The Pastor is Gods mouth, Jer. 15. 19. Luk. 1. 70. But Pastors are not the mouth of the Church, and the motion is here from Christ principally, from the Pastor as the mouth instrumentally, from the Church objectively and final­ly, and the comparison of the body naturall halteth in this.

It may be objected, 2 Cor. 4. 5. We preach not our selves but Christ Jesus, and our selves your servants for Christs sake. Therefore Ministers are the servants of the Church.

Answ. Ministers may be thought the Churches ser­vants two wayes, 1. Subiectively, as if they had their authority from the Church, and were Pastors of men, [Page 59] or from men.Vasquez 10 3. in [...] 3 dis. 40. This is the questioned sense that we de­ny.Sunt servi quia la­borant pro Ecclesia, Heb. 1, 14. 2. finaliter, that is, they are servants not of the Church, but for the Church, as Christ is called our servant, Mat. 20. 28. And the Angels our ministring spirits; yet neither Christ nor the Angels have autho­rity and a Calling from us to their service. It is as if one would say, The Physitian hath skill from the sicke person; which is false, because God gave him skill for the sicke person, and not from the sicke per­son.

5. Conclusion. We judge this distinction against Scrip­ture and reason, that the power of the keyes essenti­ally, fundamentally and originally is in the Church of beleevers, and the exercise only, and some borrowed acts of the keyes should be in the officers.

1. Because we are not to distinguish where the Law doth not distinguish, 1 Arg. because this distinguishing is unknowne to the Scripture,Reguta [...]uris Non distinguendi [...] ubi Lex. non di­stingui [...]. which never giveth the keyes to the beleevers.Parker de Pol. l. c. 8. n. 4.

2. The comparison which Parker fetcheth from the Parisians,2. Arg. holdeth not. Sight is in the eye, as the instru­ment, but it is principally and originally from the whole man, for the whole man seeth by the eye. The authority of the Church is as the soule in the whole body (as Bridge­sius saith) and in every member of the body:Bridges. l. 3. p [...]32. Howbeit it doth not exercise the power in every member, but it seeth by the eye, and heareth by the eare, so the power of the keyes is in all, and every one of the faithfull, but it exer­ciseth some Acts ministeriall, as preaching, baptizing in the guides, and other are Acts in other members of the body, but the power is in all.

But I answer, That this comparison halteth many wayes.

1. The body is a physicall, organicall matter capa­ble of the soule, and a kindly or naturall house or shop for the soule to worke in, and every member may ex­ercise some vitall operation by the soules inacting of it, as hearing, smelling, seeing, moving, growing, &c. [Page 60] But the Church consisting of beleevers and Ministers, that are often opposed by way of contradiction, as be­leevers and non beleevers, and a beleever that is no more but a beleever, is not capable of the power of the keyes, it being gratia gratis data, a freely given gift of God, except the Lord be pleased freely to give it by some Law or promise; And so these that are on­ly beleevers, are as the woodden leg, or the eye of glasse in the body wanting all authoritative power of the ministery where God hath not gifted and called them, now every member of the body is inacted by the soule.

2. If this comparison hold well, as every member of the body liveth, and is denominated a living thing (howbeit every member be not an eye, or an eare) by the information of the soule: so every toe and fin­ger liveth by the inacting of the soule, actu primo, and moveth and groweth actu secundo: so must every be­leever in the body of Christ, Man and woman be actu primo, and essentially a ministeriall part and office-bearer having authority from Christ, and also actu se­cundo, exercise some ministeriall acts; for such as is the nature of the act, such is the nature of the power, and such as is the power, such is the act. If the pow­er be ministeriall, so is the act: If the act be not ministeriall (as it cannot be in these onely that are be­leevers, especially women and children) so neither is the power.

3. The whole man seeth by the eye, heareth by the eare,3. Arg. but the beleevers see by their owne eyes (as they must live by their owne faith) and not with the Pa­stors eyes, neither doe they grow by that soule of grace by which the Pastor groweth.

3. The Beleevers must either be the virtuall, or the formall subject of the keyes, They are not the virtuall subject or cause, as flint is a cause of fire; for our bre­thren say that the beleevers formally performe acts of the keyes, and that they rebuke, they excommunicate, [Page 61] they chuse their officers, which is an authoritative act of the keyes, as they teach. Now a virtuall cause is not formally the cause of the effect; as fire is the cause of fire, and doth not formally performe acts of the formall cause; food doth not formally make mo­tion in the body, but onely virtually. But they are for­ced to acknowledge that beleevers are the formall sub­ject of the keyes: It is absurd that one should essen­tially, and actu primo, have the power of the keyes, and yet he may not preach, nor baptize, that is, as if one had a reasonable soule, and yet could neither discourse nor move, nor walke.

4. The power of the keyes is either in the officers as officers,4. Arg. or onely as beleevers; if as officers, then they can­not borrow the keyes from beleevers, seeing they have them as officers, suppose they be not beleevers, and that is against the meaning of this distinction; if they have the power of the keyes onely as beleevers, then all Ministers that are non-beleevers want the keyes.

5. Office-bearers have either a nearer and more mi­nisteriall power of the keyes then beleevers,5. Arg. or onely that same ministeriall power; if the former be said, the ministery is but a naked act, that some exercise at the Churches direction sometimes, and no habituall power whereby Paul is made a Minister, Col. 1. 25. and Epaphroditus is denominated a faithfull messenger, Phil. 2. 25. for so one shall not be a Minister of Christ; but when he is in the act of his ministery, against Scrip­ture and reason. If office-bearers have onely that same ministeriall power that beleevers have, Then Ministers cannot ordaine others to be Ministers, except they be beleevers, and a Minister shall not preach from an in­ward principle, proper to a Minister; but from a prin­ciple common to him with other beleevers, which maketh no di [...]ference betwixt a beleever and a Mini­ster, but in the naked acts; And this is all one, as to say a man doth walke naked, and yet he is void of life; he [Page 62] preacheth, and hath no other inward power ministeri­all, then any beleeving woman or childe hath.

6. If the power of the keyes be originally in the Church of Beleevers,6. Arg. and the exercise only in officers, then Pastors in rigor of speech are the Churches ser­vants, and so not over them in the Lord. 2. Pastors are sent by the Church from the inherent and innate power of the Church, as if the Church had a domi­nion and authority over the Pastors, hence will it fol­low that Pastors have their authority from Beleevers, which is most absurd: For then if Beleevers should receive the keyes immediately from Christ to be com­municated to others, and applyed to men fit and able therefore, this application is not a making of a Mini­ster, or a reason why Archippus is a Minister, as the reason why a fire burneth a dry tree, is not the ap­plication of the tree to the fire, but the nature of the fire, and drinesse of the timber: If one should bring out from amongst ten glasses one, and hold it out to the Sunnes light and beames, this refulgent beauty and glancing is not from the man that bringeth the glasse before the Sunne, except occasionally, the glancing splendor is from the nature of the glasse, and the Suns light: And the man applyeth not the light of the Sunne to the glasse, but bringeth out the glasse to the light of the Sunne: So doe Beleevers but apply the fit person in their wise election to Gods office, and they apply not the office to the man, for it is presup­posed they are tyed to the rules, 1 Tim. 3. requiring such a man, as is of good report, apt to teach, &c. and the application is not in the free-will of people or Pastors, neither hath God left it to Beleevers in ge­nerall what men they place in offices. So Spalato.

7. It cannot stand with Christs wisedome,7. Arg. that he hath conferred an excellent supernaturall power of the keyes that reacheth supernaturall ends and effects,A [...]ton de Dom. Arc [...]iepise. Spalat. de repub. Eccl. Eccl. l. 6▪ c. 2. n 23, 24. and then forbidden multitudes who have this power, as men, women and children, to touch the Arke, or to [Page 63] preach, or meddle with the holy things of God. So Francis White, 8. Arg. Andrea Duvall, Soto, Victoria, Baynes.

8. Christ would have set down rules how all Beleevers should use this power,White against Fl­sh r, p. [...]4. as he setteth downe Canons how all Church-men should use their power,Du [...]allius, m. 22. tom. 2. t [...]act. [...]. Q. 5. in the Epi­stles to Timothy and Titus: Soto. If any such power (as is pretended) were originally and fundamentally in all Beleevers.Vict [...]r. Bay [...]es Dioces. [...] Q 3. con. 3. But we reade of no rules or no Canons in Gods word, obliging all Beleevers to bring in act, to actuate or exercise this power thus and thus, and not according to their owne liking; Therefore there is in them originally no such power.

CHAP. VI.
Q. 6. Whether Christ hath left the actuall government of his Church to the multitude of Beleevers?

PLato said well of Government by the hands of the people,Plato in Polit. That amongst lawfull governments it is worst, Arist. l. 4 Polit. c. 2 amongst uniust governments the best▪ Vlut. in Aegid. Aristotle saith, of of its nature it is corrupt and faulty. Plutarch calleth it the Serpents taile leading the head.Xenoph. de repub. Xenophon spea­keth not well of it.Athen in p [...]inc. Our Divines,Beza de gra [...]d. Minist. as Calvin, Beza, Chemnitius, Calvin in Mat. 1 [...], M [...]lancthon, M [...]lancthon. Luther. Luther. Junius, Junius. Pareus Pareus. make the government of the Church to partake of all the three governments. In respect of Christ the only supreame King it is an absolute Monarchy; but this is the invi­sible government for the most part in respect of the rulers as Pastors and Elders, it is an Aristocracie, the visible government being in the hands of the Elders, and in respect of some things that concerneth the whole members of the visible Church, it is a Democracie, or hath some popular government in it.

[Page 64] We are now to enquire, if the government of the visible Church be in the collective body of the Con­gregation, as indeed by consequent they teach with whom we now dispute, or in the Eldership; in Clas­ses and Synods provinciall and nationall, as it is now in Scotland. We hold that the government popular, as it is properly taken, when the collective body jud­geth and governeth to be expresly against the word of God, Eph. 4. 11. He gave some (not all) to be Apostles, &c. 1 Cor. 12. 28. And God hath set some in the Church, first Apostles, secondarily Prophets, thirdly teachers, af­ter that miracles, &c. 1 Thess. 5. 12. Now we beseech you brethren, to know them that labour amongst you, and are over you in the Lord, Heb. 13. 17. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit your selves, &c. 1 Tim. 5. 17. Let the Elders that rule well be counted worthy of dou­ble honour. Hence it is cleare as the noone-sunne, if there be some over the people of God, some that are Elders that rule well, some to whom the people should submit, and give obedience, then the whole people are not rulers, all have not the rod, nor a definitive voice in that highest censure of excommunication. All are not overseers, guides, governours, fathers, stewards, shepheards; but some are governed, subject, sons, the flocke ruled, and fed, then doth not the people governe.

2. The keyes were only given to the Elders,2. Arg. as is pro­ved.

3. God set downe in his word rules,3. Arg. canons, and directions for all lawfull governours, how Timothy and Titus should behave themselves in Gods house, in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus; but no where doth God give directions how all beleevers should rule, command and governe, neither hath he promised that Spirit to all in that charge.

4. Guides are eyes,4. Arg. eares, fathers, gifted-teachers, Eph. 4. 11. But the whole body is not an eye, for then where were the hearing? 1 Cor. 12. 17. All are not fa­thers, nor all governours gifted therfore, 1 Cor. 12. 28, 29. [Page 65] actuall government is not in the hands of all the commu­nity of believers.

5. The faults of evill government is laid upon some,5. Arg. not upon all, 1 Tim. 3. 4, 5, 6. Mat. 24. 28. Tit. 1. 7. 1 Pet. 5. 3. Revel. 2. 14, 20. 3. Ep. John v. 10. And the praise of good government is given to some, not to all, 1 Thes. 5. 12. Heb. 12. 17. 1 Tim. 5. 17. Rev. 2. 2. 2 Tim. 4. 4, 5. 1 Pet. 5. 4, 5.

6. It is against the dignity of such as are Embas­sadours in Christs roome,6. Arg. 2 Cor. 5. 20. representing his person who are to be heard as himselfe, Mat. 10. 41, 42. His Angels, Revel. 2. 1. intrusted with his secrets, 2 Cor. 5. 18. His stewards and builders, 1 Cor. 4. 1, 2, 3. Cor. 3. 10. the friends of the Bridegroom, Joh. 3. 29. Therefore they must have some honour of govern­ment that is not given to all, and every one of the people.

7. That government which necessarily includeth a confusion,7. Arg. is not to be thought to come from the God of order, popular government is such, for in some Apostolike Congregations that were independent, there were six thousand and above,Smith. 69. M Best. Act. 4. 9. Two answers are given here, 1. Smith saith one may speake for all the Church or two. Answ. These two are then a re­presentative Church, and doe speak in the name of the rest, which he denyeth. 2. M. Best saith, none should be a congregation, but so many as may orderly meet without confusion. Answ. Then the Apostles government was confused, els there was an Eldership that represented the rest, and the Church of believers was no indepen­dent Church.A manuscript for independencie of Churches. A third answer is, Let heads of Fami­lies, and fathers onely speake. Answ. Yet you fall up­on a selected and representative Church, which other­waies you deny. 2. If sonnes and servants have a like interest in Christ, and a like power of the keyes, who dare for eschewing confusion take from them what Christ hath given them? We may not do evill or rob any that good may come of it. Ainsworth against Ber­nard. [Page 66] The Authours deny they maintain popular go­vernment;Ainsworth against Bernard. Therfore (say they) the state is popular, the government on Christs part is a Monarchy, Authours of Pres­bytery gover. exa­mined. p. 23. and in the hands of Elders an Aristocracy. The people is freely to voice in Elections and judgment of the Churches, Docto. Parisi. de pol [...]ia eccles. pag. 10, 11. let the Elders publickly propone and order all things, let them reproove, con­vince, exhort, &c. So they say, they hold no Democracy or popular government. Ans. I acknowledge that the Doct­ors of Paris doe make distinction betwixt the state and government, who yet doe acknowledge a visible Mo­narchy in the Church,C [...]ncil. Co [...]stant. and so did the Fathers of the Coun­cell of Constance: For the state of the Church is indeed popular in respect nothing that concerneth the state and body of the Church, & so concerneth thē, should be done without the privity or consent of the people of God, no excommunication untill the man and his scanda­lous sinnes be delated to them. 1 Cor. 5. Nothing should be concluded in a Synod, untill the people heare and know, yea they have all place to speake, object, reason and dispute in an orderly way, as may be col­lected from Act. 15. 12, 13. letters are sent in the Churches name, charity sent to the distressed Saints in their name, officers chosen by their consent, but all this maketh no popular government, if we speak pro­perly, seeing the multitude doth not judge, define ju­dicially, nor sentence, nor command and give out Ca­nons and Constitutions. But these of whom we now speake doe constitute a popular government in the Church,Parker de polit. eccl l. 3. c. 4. which I proove, 1. Parker, the fore-said Au­thours, Best Church plea arg. 7. pag. 70. and pag. 88. Best, M. Jacob, Smith, and these that are for independency of Congregations ascribe to the whole multitude,English Puritanis▪ art. 2, 3, 4. and from 1 Cor. 5. 4, 5, 12. a judiciall exer­cise of the rod, Authors of Presb. gover examined, pag. 2, 13. and a judging of these that are within, Mat. 2. 18. The Church to be heard and obeyed that doth judicially excommunicate is not the Church of o­ver-seers (say they) but the Church of all believers. Jacob. gover 70. Smith paralel. 65. 66, 67. 3. Binding and loosing and the keyes of the Kingdome, and that is, both power and exercise is given to the Church [Page 67] builded on the rocke, against which the gates of Hell shall not prevaile, Mat. 16. 18, 19. so they teach also. 4. All the power and jurisdiction that Presbyteries and Sy­nods have, saith Parker, is from the Church of be­lievers. 5. The Congregation of believers hath pow­er of jurisdiction over the officers, and rulers of the Church,Arist [...]t. polit. l. c. 1. Bodin. l. 6. c. 74. to make and unmake, ordaine, censure, de­pose and excommunicate their over-seers (say they) Now all who have written Politiks,Tholosan. histor. polit. l. 1. as Aristotle, Bo­din, Tholosanus, Junius de politcia, q. 4. and our Divines disputing against the Popes Monarchy,Daveus polit. l. 4. c. 5. Junius, Daneus, Keckerman, Chami­er, Keckerm system. Theo. l. 3▪ c 6. Musculus, Sadeel say, these are properly Judges, who cognosce and authoritatively try, sentence, decree and punish delinquents, Cha [...]ier. pa [...]strat. to 2. l. 9. c. 2. n. 4, P. Martyr. loc, com, pag. 783. and all this the whole faithfull doe by the power of the keyes, as is prooved, ergo, there is a democraticall or popular government brought in­to Christs house this way, and all necessity of over­seers and officers taken close away.Musculus. Smith saith,Sadeel. it is Antichristian to place Rulers and Elders over the whole body of the Church. Smith paralel. pa. 54, &▪ p. [...]6. Yea, Arnisaeus de rep. l. 2. sec. 5. c. 5. he seeth not why all believers may not preach and administer the Sacraments: And if the Keyes be given to them,Spalato de rep. ec­cl [...]s. l. 1. proemio. and actuall government to over-see and rule their over-seers, I see not how this will not follow from the fore-said grounds. See what Arnisaeus and Spalato saith,Arnisa [...]us de rep. l. 2. sect c. 6. both acknowledge, that is popular government when the people ruleth themselves. Neither is it enough to say the Elders rule, because they propone and order all things, and reproove, convince and exhort; for no man will have the Apostle James, whom many of our Divines think President and Moderator of the Councell of Hierusa­lem, Act. 15. The Ruler and one that is over the Coun­cell in the Lord, and such an one as the Councell must obey and submit unto, for his place of Moderation: For the Duke of Venetia, because he moderateth their Senate,Duke of Venice. and proponeth and ordereth suffrages, is not thought by Bodine, Tolosanus, Arnisaeus, Keckerman, or any Politician to be the King and Prince of the Ve­netians, [Page 68] and Lord Judge over the Senate. The Lacede­monian government was popular,Ephori. howbeit the people did order their matters by their Ephori, Moderator of our assemblies in Scotland. that were a sort of Rulers to the people. The Moderatour of our Assembly is not Judge, or over the Assembly in the Lord: Nay, he hath not a suff [...]age and decisme voice in our Assembly, because he is Moderator, but because he is a chosen Commissioner and member of the As­sembly.Feild. So Field saith well,Turrecremat. Concil▪ Pa [...]isitus. If the Pope be only a Pre­sident in the Councell, he is not a Prince. Turr [...]cremata distinguisheth betwixt a President of Honour, and a President of Authority. The Canon of the Councell of Paris maketh the Pope above this or this Church or Bishop, but when he is in a generall Councell, he is there as a President of Honour only, Heb. 13▪ 17. not as a Prince, but as the first member by order of the Councell and sub­ject to the Councell.1 Thes. 5. 12. Now the Scripture giveth to the over-seers an authority,1 Tim 5. 17. a presidency of authority,Act. 20▪ 28. We must obey them, and submit to them, and heare them as we would heare Christ. 2. Seeing this is ordinary to our Brethren to reason thus. All the faithfull are the Spouse and Body of Christ, Kings and Priests un­to God, and have a like title and interest in him, ther­fore the Keyes are immediately communicated to them without the mediation of Rulers interveening: Hence I inferre, if all have alike right to the keys for their alike title by Faith, and right of free redemp­tion in Christ, ergo, all are alike Rulers over all in the Lord: then because believers as believers have a title and interest in Christ as their redeemer, and office-bea­rers; because office bearers have no title in Christ as Redeemer (for no office giveth a man a claime to Christ, as a redeemer, but only some generall title to him as Lord of the house) Hence it shall follow that the believers are Over-seers and Rulers and Past­ors, and that they should order and moderate all pub­lick actions: So I see no authority or preheminency given to the Church-guides, but that which is due, [Page 69] and more due to the believers then to them. As for reprooving, convincing, exhorting, these are common to all the faithfull, as our Brethren say, and so due to them by virtue of the keys, and more due then to office-bearers, who do but borrow the keyes at the second hand (as they teach) and receive them not immediately from Christ. Now we all know that A­nabaptists take away all Magistracy under the New Te­stament, all dominion conquered by warre, all rela­tion of captain and souldier, master and servant, upon this ground, that we are all Christs free-men, all Chri­stians equally redeemed in Christ; And if the sonne make you free then are you free indeed. And the New Testament maketh us all Christs ransomed ones, and so there should be no servant.Calvin. Instit. lib. 4. c▪ 10. Sect. 10, 11, 12. And we are called in Christ to liberty, be not servants of men. See what our Divines,Pareu [...] in Ca [...]ches. Miscell. in Ephoris. Christian. Relig. Bucan. loc. 49. q 10 n. 2. Calvin, Pareus, Bucan, Tilenus, Profes­sours of Leyden answer Anabaptists, Libertines, Soci­nians, Arminians thus abusing Gods Word.

And certainly if the keyes and government of the Church be given to all believers,Tilen Syntag. 1. par. disp. 45. in 5 precept. because they are all made Kings, Profess. Leiden. in Synopt. purior. Priests and Prophets, and we are made free and redeemed in Christ, Theolog. disput 50. thes. 16, 17, 18. and all things are made ours, Therfore I may well inferre upon the same grounds, the keys of civill power to be Kings temporall and freemen civilly are made ours, if all things be ours, and so no Magistrate, no Captain, no souldier (peace and liberty are ours) no master or servant. I am far from thinking that our worthy Brethren do allow of this conclusion,Ignatius Epist ad Phil [...]d [...]. but the principles are too sibb and near of blood.Basil. de Spir. s [...]nct▪ c. 16. What Fathers say for the Church go­vernment by Elders, and not by the people may be seen in Ignatius, Ambros. in 1 Cor. 11. who will have us to have recourse to the Apostles,Chrys [...]st. homil. in Ma [...]. 18. as to the Colledge of Presbyters. And Basilius saith,Cyprian. epist. 72. Tertul. Apolog. c. 35. The governours of the Church are set down 1 Cor. 12. 28. And Ambrose on that place saith, the Church policy is set downe,O [...]igen. 1 Cor. 12. So Chryso­stome, August. Cyprian, Tertullian, so Origen, Ireneus, August. [Page 70] Theophylact, Hyerom. Theodoret, Hyerom, which for time I can­not cite at length.Theophylac. in Io­an, 20, 21. Theodoret.

CHAP. VII.
Q. 7. If there be no true visible Church in the New Testa­ment, but onely a congregation meeting in one place, and no Presbyteriall or representative Church (as they call it) at all.

OVr Brethren hold that the only true publick vi­sible Church in the New Testament is a Congre­gation of Believers joyned together by a voluntary pro­fession of Faith, and meeting in one place to wor­ship God. They deny 1. That the word (Church) doth ever signifie a Presbytery or Eldership. 2. They deny that there is any representative Church, proper­ly so called, or that it hath the title of a Church in the New Testament. 3. They deny that there is any Pro­vinciall or Nationall Church that can be called a visi­ble politique body of Christ. 4. They deny any Church to have power of jurisdiction over a particular Con­gregation. For the decision of the present questions, these distinctions are to be observed,

  • 1. There be odds betwixt a Church visible, and a Church ministeriall.
  • 2. There be odds betwixt a Cathedrall or mother Church (and this we deny) and a Church Nationall and pro­vinciall, which cannot meet to the worship of God in all the particular members therof.
  • 3. The Church is termed representative three wayes (as we shall heare) 1. properly, 2. commonly, 3. most properly.
  • 4. Suppose the name of Presbyteriall Church be not in the New Testament, yet if the thing it selfe be in it, it is sufficient.

[Page 71] The word Church is not taken here, 1. For the Tem­ple or House where God is worshipped. 2. Neither for foure or five that worship God ordinarily within the walls of a Family, Rom. 16. 5. Salute the Church at their House, Piscetor. Thes. de Eccles. 1 Cor. 16. 19. Philem. v. 2. It is ter­med Kahal, that is in the old Testament rendred Sy­nagogue, Iuni [...] lib. sing. de Eccles. c. 10. and Kahal rendred Ecclesia. And Kahal, Deut. 5. 22. or Hehillah, Guide to Zion, p. 2. pos. 3, 4. Deut. 33. 4. signifieth a Con­gregation of people,Ioh. Ball Tryall of Separation. ch. 12. pag. 170, 171. and Gnedah a Congregation, Exod. 16. 1. Psal. 111. 1. is turned Ecclesia, Mat. 16. 18. Act. 7. 38. Kahal is either a multitude of Nations or People, Gen. 35. 11. so Jer. 50. 9. An Assembly of Na­tions, not a Church of Nations, came against Babylon; Somtimes the Tribes and Governours are called Kahal, the Church or Assembly, 1 Chron. 13. 2, 3. 1 Chron. 29. 6. 2 Chron. 1. 2, 3. See Piscator, Junius, Guide to Zion. The word Gnedah that signifieth the Assem­bly of the Judges, Psalm. 82. 1. is turned in the New Te­stament [...]; Act. 5. 27. and Act. 6. 12. M. Ball hath observed that the Arabick Interpreter useth four words, Gamhon, Act. 19. 31, 39. 2. Gamahaton, Acts 7. 38. both signifieth an Assembly, or an Assembly of Prin­ces. 3. Kainsaton, Rom. 16. 1. Acts 11. 26. 4. Biha­ton, Matth. 16. 18. and 18. 17. the Church that hath power to determine controversies.

1. Conclusion. A number of believers professing the truth is not presently a visible politick Church, 1 Be­cause then every Christian Family should be a visible politick Church, 2 Peter offended, Mat. 18. and re­buking his offending brother, before three witnesses, and gaining his brother to repentance, v. 16. is a number of believers in that same act professing the truth, and convincing an offender, and so professing Gods wor­ship, and yet they are not the judging governing Church, because if the offender will not heare Peter, then he is to tell the Church. Hence visibility of Profession a­greeth both to a number of believers (if for exam­ple ten out of ten particular Congregations confesse [Page 72] Christ before a persecuting Judge) and also to a con­stitute Church of Believers and Elders. Then true Faith and the visible professing of true Faith is not enough to constitute a Church that ordinarily hath power and exercise of the keyes; neither find we a­ny warrant in Gods Word, that the swearing of an oath, or making a covenant, by four or five or 10. or 40. believers to worship God together as he hath com­manded in his word doth essentially constitute a visi­ble ministeriall Church, 1. Because a ministeriall Church is a body of Pastor and People, of eyes, eares, hands, feet, wherof Christ is head, Rom. 12. 4. 1 Cor. 12. v. 14, 15, &c. but a number of sole and only believers are not such a body. 2. More is there required an oath and covenant, but this is and may be where there is no mini­stery.

2. Conclusion. We deny that Christ hath given pow­er of jurisdiction to one particular Church over ano­ther particular Church, or to one Church to be a mother Church to give laws and orders,Baynes. Dioces. tryall. q 1. to little daugh­ter-churches under it; for that jurisdiction is not to be found in the Word of God,Parker de polit. ec­cles l. 3. c. 13. &c. 14. and so is not lawfull. See Paul Baynes and Parker and Cartwright. Cartwright against Whytgi [...]t.

3. Conclusion. A Church may be a visible incorpo­ration of guides and people meeting for the worship of God, and exercise of discipline, and yet not neces­sarily a Church of believers, for if there be twenty or thirty visible Saints, who are Saints in profession, they may meet for the worship of God, and consequent­ly by our Brethrers grounds, independently and with­out any subordination to Synods or classes exercise discipline. I proove that they are not necessarily be­lievers, 1. Because to make one or two formall mem­bers of a visible Church is not required that they be indeed believers, it sufficeth that they professe Faith, and be apparantly Saints; and our Brethren teach they may be Hypocrites, and often are, as Iudas was amongst the Apostles, now by that same reason all [Page 73] the thretty may be heart-hypocrites, and face-professors, for who seeth the heart? And our Brethren say the prea­ching of the word, and the administration of the Sa­craments are not essentiall notes and markes of the Church, because the word is often preached to repro­bates and unbeleevers, and by that same reason the po­wer of the keyes and discipline is exercised by hypo­crites and unbeleevers.Ames. Medul. Theol. l. 1. c. 3 [...] n. 10 2. Amesius saith it is probable (he saith not it is necessary) where the Word and Sacraments are that there are some beleevers: And I say it is pro­bable; but that at all times there should be beleevers, especially when it is first founded, it is not necessary. I say when it is first founded; because we cannot say it is possible that there should be never any beleevers there at all; for the Lord sendeth not a ministery to these where there are none chosen at all; it doth crosse the wisedome of God, who doth nothing in vaine, that he should light a candle where he had no lossed money; and the Shepheard should be sent through the fields, where there were no lossed sheep at all. Hence I inferre these consectaries. 1. that the claime and title that a people hath to Christ is not the ground why the keyes are given to that people, as to the ori­ginall subject, because they may have the Word, Sa­craments and keyes a long time, and yet want faith in Christ, and so all title and claime to Christ: All which time they have the keyes, discipline, and Sa­craments; and I beleeve their acts of discipline, cen­sures, and Sacraments, are valide, therefore the Church redeemed and builded on the rocke Christ, is not the kindly subject of the keyes. 2. The keyes are given to professors cloathed with a ministeriall calling, whi­ther they be beleevers or unbeleevers, howbeit God giveth them for the salvation and edification of belee­vers. 3. There is nothing required to make a independant Congregation, but an profession of the truth, covenant­wayes, and outward worshipping of God, suppose the members be unbeleevers.

[Page 74] 4. Conclusion. There is a visible governing Church in the new Testament, whose members in compleat number of beleevers doth not meet in one place ordi­narily for the worship of God, neither can they con­tinually so meet. 1. The Church of Jerusalem was one Church, under one government, and called one Church in the singular number, which grew from one hundred and twenty, Acts 1. to three thousand one hundred and twenty, Acts 4. 41. and then added to these, Acts 4. 4. five thousand men, which is eight thousand one hundred and twenty. And Acts 9. 35. all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron turned to the Lord, v. 42. many in Joppa beleeved in the Lord, Acts 20. 21. many thousands of the Jewes beleeved, Acts 5. 14. multitudes of beleevers moe were added to the Lord, both of men and women, Acts 6. 1. their number were multiplyed. Now it was not possible they could all meet in one house, especially seeing that prophecye was to take its first accomplishment at Jerusalem, Isa. 405. where all flesh was to see the salvation of God. And that of Joel 2. I will poure my spirit on all flesh. Baynes Diocesantry. q. 1. p. 15. Its true Bayne saith, this Church was numerous by accident, at extraordinary confluences of strangers. Yet the multitudes of thousands which I have observed from the story of the Acts (granting the confluence, Acts 2. of nations to be ex­traordinary) did meet daily, Acts 2. 46. from house to house. Now so many thousands could not meet daily, that is, ordinarily. 2. From house to house in private houses, and so it is not possible all that people did make but one Congregation independent, where 1▪ all had voices in discipline. 2. all did breake bread, that is, receive the Sacrament in a private house: so that their meeting together must be taken distributively in diverse Congregations, not collectively, for that were against edification. 2. against the nature of congre­gationall worship. 2. There was a visible Church in Samaria under one government, that could not con­vene in all the members, in one place. The nume­rous [Page 75] people in Samaria converted to the faith is knowne to all, it being the head City of the ten Tribes: So huge that all Israel was named Samaria, They re­ceived the faith, Acts 8. and as ver. 10. They all gave heed to Simon Magus, from the least to the greatest. So ver. 6. with one accord they gave heed unto these things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles that he wrought, ver. 12. they beleeved and were baptized both men and women. And that on Philip might have prea­ched to one single Congregation, who doubteth? but the number of beleevers were so many, that ver. 14. the Apostles behooved to send Peter and John to help to hold up the harvest. 3. That the Church of Ephe­sus could not be one single Congregation that met to­gether is cleare. 1. There was there a Presbytery of Pa­stors or Bishops, Acts 20. 28. and these preaching or feeding Pastors, who were to watch and take heed to false teachers rising up amongst themselves. 1. tea­ching perverse things. 2. making Disciples to them­selves: the teacher and scholler are relata, every one of them has respect to other. 2. That they were teaching Elders that did follow the Apostles doctrine is cleare, Rev. 2. 2. Thou hast tryed them that say they are Apo­stles, and are not, and hast found them to be lyars, and Christ termeth them one Church for their com­mon government.Refut. Tylen. Par. ad Scot. sect, 11 c. [...]2 The answer of Tylen saith, Christ saith not [...] to the Churches, and there­fore all the Congregation were one Presbyteriall Church at Ephesus. But it is without example in the word that one single Congregation with one Pastor onely, and some ruling Elders doth try Ministers gifts, and finding them false teachers, authoritatively to cast them out, so that the harvest has been so great, that false teachers calling themselves Apostles resorted to Ephesus, to help the good number of Pastors who were there already, Acts 20. 28. By this it is cleare that Ephesus had many Congregations in it, and many prea­chers also, who in a common society fed the flocke, [Page 76] and exercised discipline, Rev. 2. 2. neither can we say, there was but one Angell there, except we make that one a Prelate contrary to the word of God, Acts 20. 28. 2. The multitude of converts there required a Presbytery, or a multitude of consociated Pastors, Acts 19. 20. Paul continued there by the space of two yeares, so that all they who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord, 1 Cor. 16. 8. there was a great doore, and effectuall open to him at Ephesus. 2. They were once madly devo­ted to their great Idoll Diana, and had a Temple for her that all Asia wondred at▪ therefore Ephesus was no small Towne. This Temple Herostratus saith, was built by all Asia, Herostratus. and was two hundred and twenty yeares in building, and had in it (as he saith) one hun­dred and twenty seven pillars, every one of them made by severall Kings, and every one of them sixty foot high. Now ver. 19. Pauls miracles were knowne to all the Jewes and Greeks at Ephesus, and feare fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified, and many of them that beleeved, came and confessed, and shewed their deeds. v. 19. And many that used curious arts brought their books, and burnt them before all men. And what wonder? it is said, ver. 20. so mightily grew the word of God. Paul fought with beasts at Ephesus, millions here were mad upon the Idoll Diana: If the beleevers had not been the manyest, they durst not professe the burning of their bookes, nor durst Paul stay there two yeers. Hence if there was a setled Church here above two yeares, a constituted Presbytery in this City, Acts 20. 17, 28. that had power of jurisdiction to ordaine tea­ching Elders, and reject hirelings, Rev. 2. 2. and so many thousands of Greekes and Jewes, such an effectu­all doore opened to the Gospell, against so many thou­sands opposing, there was not here one onely single independent Church, that met in one house only but a Presbyteriall Church. Now they could not all preach at one time to them, being a number of preachers, Acts 20. 36. Paul prayed with them all, and yet they [Page 77] were set over that flocke by the Holy-Ghost, Acts 20. 28. therefore they had each their owne Church, and one canot officiate or exercise Pastorall acts amongst the flock of another Pastor, as our brethren would prove from this same place, Acts 20.

4. What, shall we say the Church of Rome was onely an independent single Congregation that met in one place, or house, seeing the faith and obedience of the Saints there, was heard through all the world, Rom. 1. 8. Rom. 16. 19. so that Tertullian in his time saith, halfe of the City was Christians. And Cornelius saith, beside himselfe there was forty and five Presbyters. Consider how many prime persons & families Paul saluteth, Rom. 16. Paul stileth them one Church, and one body that had jurisdiction common to all, Rom. 1 [...]. 3, 4, 5, 6,

5. So Galatia is written too as to one Church, and had one government and discipline, Gal. 5. 9. A little lea­ven (of false doctrine) leaveneth the whole lump, as 1 Cor. 5. v. 6, 7. and Gal. 5. ver. 10. He that troubleth you shall beare his judgement, whosoever he be, ver, 12. I would they were even cut off (by the rod of discipline, as Pa­reus and Perkins expound it) that trouble you. Par [...]us▪ Perkin. on Gal. So Gal. 6. 1. the spirituall are to restore in meeknesse the weake falling in sinne, and yet they were many Congregations in Galatia, Gal. 1. 2▪ 1 Cor. 16. 1.

6. We finde a Presbyterie at Antioch of Prophets and teachers, Acts 13. 1. who laid hands on Paul and Barna­bas, 2, 3. and ordained them to goe and preach. And a Presbytery at Lystra, Acts 16. 1, 2, 3. where Ti­mothy was recommended to Paul, and received in his company, and laid hands on by him: Now that this imposition of hands was not done by the collective body of the Church, but by the Elders and Presbytery is cleare from,Iun. Eccles. l. 3. c. 1. 1 Tim. 4. 14. as Iunius collecteth, for that the people laid on hands, there is no ground.

7. And Acts 21. 18. There is a Presbytery at Ierusalem of Iames, and the Elders exercising jurisdiction; for before them Paul giveth account of his ministery [Page 78] amongst the Gentiles, v: 19, 20. and they enjoyn Paul for the believing Jewes sake to purifie himselfe, v. 23, 24. which Paul obeyed, v: 26, 27. and this Presbyte­ry taketh on them the Canons of the Councell of Je­rusalem made, Acts 15. at least as a part of that famous Councell.

8 To ordaine Elders in every city is all one, as to ordain Elders in every Church, Act: 14. 23. so doth Luke expone it,Parker de Polit. Eccles. l. 3. c. 23. as Parker confesseth, Act: 20. 17. And from Miletus hee sent to Ephesus, and called the Elders of the Church, he saith not of the Chur­ches, Act: 16. 4. And when they went thorow the cities, they delivered them the decrees, &c. now what is mea­ned by cities is exponed in the next ver: 5. So were the Churches established: So Tit: 1. 5. That Thou shouldest appoint Elders in every city, as I appointed thee: Then that there bee an Eldership and Presbytery of Pastors in every city is an Apostolike Institution, and so the commandement of our Lord Iesus: for that Paul un­derstandeth there especially preaching Elders in every city, is cleare by the words following, that sheweth what sort of men preaching Elders should be, ver: 9. able by sound Doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gain-sayers, &c. Hence if an Elder­ship in a city as Ephesus and Ierusalem and Antioch, where all cannot meet for multitude, bee an Elder­ship in one Church,Discipline of Scot­land. 2. book 7. c. as our book of Discipline hath it, then there was Presbyteries in great cities, where there were many Congregations, but the former is pro­ved already, ergo, the Presbytery of many Congregations is the Apostles Presbytery.

9. If Gods word warrant a number of officers in Gods house, who ordaineth Pastors by laying on of hands, and who tryeth these who say they are Apostles and Pastors, and are lyars, and who hath jurisdiction to pu­nish false teachers, as Balaam and Iezabel, and who ap­pointeth Elders in cities and Churches; then is there a Presbytery and society of Pastors and Elders in moe [Page 79] consociated, and neighbour congregations appointed for this effect.

But there is such a number of officers in Gods House, of which number are no single believers, not cloathed with any Ministeriall calling. Therfore there must be a Presbytery, diff [...]rent from private Professours, that over­seeth many Congregations.

I prove the proposition, First, that there is such a num­ber, and that they are different from ordinary profes­sors, 1 Tim: 4. 14. Neglect not the gist that is in thee, which was given by the laying on of the hands of the Elders, Re: 2. 2. Re. 2. 14, 20. Tit: 1. 5. 1 Tim: 5 22. now that ordinary pro­fessours who are not Elders, doe lay hands on Pa­stors, ordain or appoint Elders, and judicially try and choose, or refuse false Teachers, and censure or deprive them, wanteth precept, promise or practice in the Word of God, except we say the Epistles to Timothy and Titus are not written to Church-men, but to all professours that they should lay hands suddenly on no man, that they should appoint Elders in every city: Now also that this united Presbytery is a Presbytery of one single Congregation is, 1 Against that which we have prooved of the great Church of Ephesus, Act: 20. Act: 19. Rev: 2. as also against the necessity of Pastors la­bours, who are not to stay in numbers together upon one single Congregation, where two or moe cannot be had.

To the place 1 Tim: 4. 14. some answer that, Bucer against Du­nam fortres. in I [...]edidocl. in alt. Dam [...]sc. that lay­ing on of the hands of the Presbytery was extraordinary, and ceased with the Apostles: Others say, he speaketh of the office, not of the persons.

Answ: The latter is a devise of Prelates refuted by our Divines, an office neither hath hands nor feet, but per­sons only have hands.

2. Castalio calleth this with good warrant, Castal [...]o in l [...]c. Chrysost Hug. Car­dinal. The Senate of Elders, Chrysost: and Hugo Cardinalis, a Colledge of Presbyters,Junius Thes. The [...]l. dis. 47 Thes 2. Iunius saith, it is all one with the Church, Mat: 18.

[Page 80] But thirdly, we deny not but there was an extra­ordinary laying on of hands by the Apostles by which the Holy Ghost was given, Act: 8. 18. But this is the laying on of the hands of the Apostles, as Pres­byters, which is ordinary, and is limited, and ruled by the Word, and must not be done suddenly, 1 Tim. 5. 22. now no such rule is laid upon the miraculous laying on of hands, there is no feare that the Apo­stles in working of miracles should partake of other mens sinnes, and that the ordinary laying on of hands, such as this was, did not give the Holy Ghost is cleare, Act: 14. 3. The Elders layeth hands on Paul and Barnabas, who before had received the Holy Ghost, Act: 9. 17. 3. This answer is against the nature of this Epistle, where Paul setteth down a plat-forme of Church government to be keeped unviolably to the second comming of Christ, as is cleare, 1 Tim. 6. 14. and so he saith himself, 1 Tim. 3. 15. These things I write that thou mayest know how to behave thy selfe in the Church, Gerson: Bucer. These were written for ages to come, Bucer. [...]. D [...]w­nam, p 495. so the Refutator of Tilen, and our own Rollock, and so the Fathers, Oecumenus say, he setteth downe the summe of Ecclesiasticke Discipline. Preslyteria futu­rerum saeculorum. Refut [...]il. Parenes. ad Sectos. ca. 18. sect. 9. So Chrysostome, Augustine, Enthim: Cyrillus.

10. Suppose we should grant a Presbyteriall Church be not expresly in the Word,Rol ad praeside [...] & presbytoros ecclesiae. Oecumen summā Oeconomiae ecclesi­asticae Chrysost. as we thinke it is, Mat. 18. as we shall prove, yet the thing it self cannot be denied: hence take away a Presbytery, whose it is to ordaine and censure Pastours,Augustin. of necessity the go­vernment and power of the keyes must be in the hands of the people,Enthymius. against the arguments in the for­mer Chapter,Cyrillus. that cannot be answered, for the multitude of believers cannot ordaine a Pastor, suppose we grant they are to chuse and elect their owne Pastor, yet it is not warranted by the Word that ruling Elders with one pa­stor should ordain pastors, seeing ordinations is given still to preaching Elders, Act: 14. 3. Tit: 1. 5. 1 Tim: 5. 22. 2 Tim. 2. 2. Rev: 2. 2. Act: 20. 29, 30. and to moe pastours then to one only.

[Page 81] But by the way, let us heare what is said against this.

1. The word Church signifieth alwaies a gathered to­gether Church,Obiect. 1. or such as may gather together, Act: 11. 26. a whole yeare they assembled with the Church,Assertion of go­vernment of the Church of Scot­land, par. 2. c [...] 3. p. 141, 14 [...]. p. 150, [...] Act: 20. 7. The Disciples came together to breake bread, so Act: 1. 10. Act: 2. 44, 46. Act: 5. 12. Act: 15. 25.

An. Our brother M. Gillespi saith many Interpreters ex­pound [...], they were together, that is, of one accord in love and amity: and also Churches not being builded, and they meeting in private houses, as in Maries house, Act: 12. schoole of Tyrrannus, Act: 19. 9. in an upper chamber, Act: 20. 8. Pauls lodging at Rome, Act: 28. 13. What private houses could ordina­rily contain so many thousands?

2. The Scripture speaketh so to give us an exam­ple of the publick meeting for publick worship, where it is not needefull, that all met in one place collect­ively, it is enough they meet all distributively.

3. Neither doth the word Church alwayes signifie a meeting of one single Congregation,Act. 12 5. as Act: 12. Prayers was made by the Church, 1 Cor 15. 9. that is by all pro­fessours.Act 8. 3. Herod vexed the Church, Act: 8. Saul made havocke of the Church, Act. 10. 11. I persecuted the Church. There is no necessity to expound these of people meeting ordinarily to worship God; for Herod and Saul per­secuted all, whither Apostles or professours in houses, not respecting their meeting in one place; also it shall follow that prayers were not made in private, but only in the Church, that is, in the conveened Congregation for Peter, which is absurd: And that they were a visible Church is cleare, els Herod, and Saul could not persecute them.Obiect. 2. Parker answereth, The whole Nation of the Iewes did meet at one meeting, Act. 7. 38. and are called by Luke the Church, Lu, 12. and there came in­numerable multitudes to heare Christ. Answ. That is for us, the Church of the Iews contained six hundreth thousand fighting men, beside women, children and a­ged [Page 82] persons, and the Levites that attended the Tabernacle and Arke; it were a wonder to make out of this an inde­pendent Congregation, all judging and governing both themselves and their governours: Therfore there may be a visible Church under one government that can­not ordinarily meet to heare the Word of God, and howbeit there met innumerable multitudes, Luke. 12 to heare Christ, and that with great confusion, that is forbidden in Church meetings, 1 Cor: 14. So that they trod on one another, that multitude could not be a Church, 1. Ordinarily meeting. 2. To heare one pastor. 3. To judge all the people and over-see their manners. 4. And to communicate ordinarily at one Table in the Lords Supper: this is against the nature and true use of a Congregation met in one place for the pub­lick worship.

Thirdly, Obiect. 3. they reason; the Church visible in the New Testament are called the Churches in the plurall number,Act. 9. 31. the Churches of Judea,1 Cor. 16▪ 1, 19. Galatia,2 Cor. 8. 1. Asia, Macedonia. Hence it followeth there is no visible Church larger then a Church meeting in one house. Act. 1 [...]. 41.

Answ: We reade of the Church of Hierusalem, Act: 15. where certainly there were moe particular Churches.

2 It followeth not, for moe Churches were visible and audible, Act: 15. at that famous councell, and are called so united, the whole Church, and yet sepa­rated, they were sundry churches; they are so na­med in opposition only to the Nationall and typicall Church of Iudea, not in opposition to provinciall and Nationall Churches and Synods.

5 Conclusion. A Church may be called representative three waies.

1 Properly, as if the Rulers stood in the persons of believers, judging for them, as if the believers were there themselves, as a deputy representeth the King: So Israel did sweare a covenant, Deut: 9. 14, 15. for their posterity not borne: this way the Eldership doe not judge for the Congregations, as if the Con­gregations [Page 83] did judge by them as by their instruments, as Robinson saith,Robinson in his A­pology for separa­tists. because the multitude of believers should not judge at all, therfore Elders doe not in governing represent their persons:Bannes. Tom. 3. in 22. quest. 1. art. 10, conclus. 3. So Bannes said the Pope this way hath no Legate, for he cannot give an Apostolike spirit to his Embassadour, Presbyter gov ex­amined, p 10, 11. for then he mi [...]ht leave (saith he) an apostolike spirit in legacy to some successour: We acknowledge no representative church in this sence, as the authour of presbyteriall government examined unjustly imputeth to us.

2 A representative Church may be thought a num­ber sent by a community, and elected to give laws, absolutely tying, as if believers should say, We resigne our faith and conscience to you, to held good whatever you determine without repeale or tryall; that is blinde faith, that we disclaime: all our Rulers acts in our Assemblies do bind, 1 conditionally, if they be law­full and convenient, 2 matters to be enacted are first to be referred to the congregations and Elderships of parti­cular congregations before they be enacted.

3 A representative Church is a number having electi­on and designation from the Church of believers, but ordination from the Eldership to voice, determine and command, as those who are over them in the Lord, to make constitutions and decrees according to Gods word, and this way we hold a representative Church, Mat: 18. and 1 Cor: 5. which made acts ac­cording to Gods word, tying the whole congregati­on, even the absents; for the presents representeth the absent: If the incestuous person had bin judici­ally excommunicated, the Apostle Paul and all the absents, that neither had bin actours, nor witnesses had bin tied to abstain from bortherly conversing with him, and this way the decrees of the Councell of Jerusalem tyed the absent Churches, Act: 16. 4. and Chr [...]sts power of the keyes, Iohn 20. were given to Thomas, howbeit absent, and Pauls Epistles to Col­losse, Eph [...]sus, Galatia laid an Ecclesiasticall tye upon [Page 84] these Churches that consented not to the writing of these Epistles; not onely because the matter is the Canonicke word of God, but also the tye was Ecclesiasti­call, in so farre as the flocke is obliged to heare the Pastor, according to that (He that heareth you heareth me, and he that despiseth you despiseth me.) Any absent through sicknesse or other distractions, from the ele­ction of Matthias, Acts 1. the seven Deacons, Acts 6. and the Elders chosen in every City, Acts 14. 23. were tyed to stand to the election of Matthias, the seven Deacons, and the Elders in every City; else no act of the Church were valid, where one or two dis­assenteth, or where two or three are absent by sick­nesse, and other distractions insuperable: And so here our brethren (I beleeve) cannot, in reason, deny but there is a representative Church, whose deed tyeth the absents. And the reason is cleare, that to make a Church-constitution oblige in conscience, and ec­clesiastically, there is not required as an essentiall ingredient of obligation, that all, and every one who are tyed and obliged, be personally present, to voyce and consent to the constitution; for constitutions tye Ecclesiastically, as made by the Church, but not as made by all, and every one of the Church. And the lawfulnesse of Commissioners to represent the case of the Church is cleare in Gods Word; as An­tioch sent Commissioners to Jerusalem, Acts 15. Je­rusalem sent Barnabas their Messenger to Antioch, 11. 22. But Titus, Timotheus, Epaphroditus, and others were sent by the Churches, and to the Churches, as Commissioners, and Embassadours of the Church of Christ.

CHAP. VIII.
Quest. 8. If our Saviour doth warrant a Church of El­ders and Overseers in these words, Mat. 18. Tell the Church.

WE have an argument of weight for a Pres­byteriall Church in our Saviours words, Mat. 18. 17. If thy brother (offending) neglect to heare them (the Christian witnesses before whom he is convin­ced of his [...]ault) tell the Church, but if he neglect to heare the Church, Let him be to thee as a heathen, and a Publicane. v. 18. Verily, I say to you, whatsoever ye bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever ye lose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

The Septuagint agreeth with Matthew, Septuagi [...]ta turn [...] it out of Syriacke. Aria [...]s. Mont. Tremel. Beza. Pare [...], Mus [...]ul [...]. Lyra. Hug. Card. Caieta [...]. Aquinas. Casta. dicito R [...]ipub. [...]. So Arias Montanus, Tremell, Beza, Pareus, Mus­c [...]lus, Lyra, Hug. Cardinalis, Caieta [...], Aquinas: It is not much matter that Castalio turneth (Tell the Assem­bly of the Commons) Augustine, Cyprian, Hyeronim, and all are against him. The scope of these words, is not,August. Cypr. Hier [...]n. as many beleeve, that our Saviour setteth downe a way how to remove private offences done betwixt brother and brother onely. 1. Because the words then should not prove the lawfulnesse of excommunicating for publike and scandalous sinnes. 2. The scope is as large, as binding and loosing on earth, and proporti­onally in heaven. But our Saviours ayme is, to esta­blish a Church consistory, for removing all scandals and offences out of the Church, private and publike, betwixt brother and brother, and betwixt Church and Church. Neither is there ground for the foresaid scope, because he saith (If thy brother offend) in the singular number; for what if three, sixe, tenne brethren offend, is not this course of our Saviours to be taken, [Page 86] if sixe offend sixe? Hence it followeth that the Church here signifieth not onely the Eldership of a particular Congregation, but it signifieth respectively all Presbyte­ries, and Synods, Provinciall, Nationall, and Oeco­menicke; for seeing Excommunication and Ecclesi­asticall binding and loosing is Christs remedy, against all scandals private or publike in Christs kingdome, then by a brother, by a Synechdoche is meant all that offendeth; then if a sister-Church offend a sister-Church, or a Provinciall, or Nationall Church offend a neighbour sister-Church, Christs remedies being Catho­like and universall, as farre as our diseases goe, the course must be to (Tell the Church) I purpose then first, to shew this interpretation to be agreeable to the mind of all Doctors, acknowledging one Church of Elders here,Chrys. Dic Presul. Aug. dic. Episc. Hier dicendum multis. and next to prove our interpretation. Chryso­stome Tell the Overseers, Augustine Tell the Watchmen, Hieron. We must tell many. So Cyprian, so the Coun­cell of Ancyra. Cypr. l 3 Ep. 14. Concil. Anchy. c. 18 So Ambrose, Ball saith: The Aethiopicke Interpreter saith, Tell the house of Christians. Ambran 2 Tim. 5. Ball [...]ryall of sepa­ra. c. 12. p. [...]70. Boderian, Tell the house of Judgements. All our Divines say this, Calvin, Aethiop. Interp. domo Ch [...]istiano [...]ii. Boderian domo Iudiciorum▪ Beza, Pureus, Chemnitius, Aretius, Erasmus, Polunus, Calvin com. Mat 18. Hemmigius, Hyperius, Musculus, Iunius, Pis­cator, Bucanus, Rivetus, Cartwright, Marlorat, Dan. Tossun, Bu [...]er, The harmony of confess. Helvet, French, English, Beza in Mat. 18. Vrsine, Whittaker. So Papists, Emanuel, S [...]. Victor, Parteus com. 16. Chemniti. Aretiu [...]. Parisian Doctors, Fathers of Basill, and Con­stance, Joan Gerson, Iac. Almain, Simon Vigorius, A­quinas, Occam. Erasm in Nov▪ Te. Polan. Syn [...]. l. 7 Hemmig in Ro. [...] Hyper in 1 Tim. 2. Musc. in l [...]. co. 8. Iunius in disp. Theol. disp. 47 2. Piscator loc. com de Eccl. 23. Thes 9. Bucan. loc. com. loc. 44, q. 13. Rivet Ca­tho. Ortho, tom. [...]. tract. 1. quest 8. 11. 6, Tyle [...] Syntag. disp. 38. Thes. 10. 11, 12. Cartwright against Whitgy [...]t, tract 17. c. 2. divis. 9. Mar [...]ra [...] Mat. 18. Dan. Tossa [...] in past. Evang. 48, Bucer in Rom. 12. Con [...]ess. Helvet. Gallic. Anglic. Vrsi [...]. Catech. exp. par. 2. pag. 534 Whit­takerd. [...]ontif. Rom. contr. 4 quest. 1. Emmanuel, Sa. Victor. in Mat. 18, Doct. Paris. de Po­lit. Eccles. pag. 1, [...]. 3. Concil. Basil. Constant. Gerson, Alma [...], Vigor. Aquin. Occam, Duval­li [...], l 6. par 1▪ c. 60. What Bilson, Downam, Sutluvius saith against this is answered by Parker, Ant. Waleus and other worthy divines.

[Page 87] That the Church of Elders is here understood I prove. Christ here alludeth to the Synedry and Con­sistory of the Jewes, with which his hearers were well acquainted; for he was now speaking to the Jewes, who knew his language well, and knew these termes. Brother, witnesses, Sunedry, Assembly, Congre­gation; Heathen, Publicane, and knew what Church had power to cast out and repute men for Publicanes and sinners: For as Beza observeth, who would under­stand Christ here to speake of a Christian Presbytery, that has power to excommunicate, except we consider that Christ has a respect in this forme of speech to the Iewes Church-policy: And Christ in like manner, Mat. 5. 22. acco­modateth his speech to the forme of the Jewes judi­catories: For many learned note out of the Talmud that the Jewes had three judicatories noted there. 1. The Triumviri judged small matters. 2. Their Sy­nedry consisting of twenty three judges, more weigh­ty matters, and inflicted more weighty punishments; and 3. the great Councell of 71. Judges did handle questions about false prophets, the High-priest, and of other weightiest causes; and therefore he sheweth the punishment of an offending brother amongst the Iewes too darkly; but these judicatories were well knowne to them. And here excommunication is ex­pressed in Jewish tearmes in use at that time. Let him be to thee as a heathen, that is, a stranger from the common wealth of Israel, not one of the true Chu [...]ch, but such a one as they called Goijm.Drus. [...]ot Beza [...] in Mat 18. So Drusius and Beza on this place. Now (Tell the Church) Kahal to those that know the Iewes forme of speech must be (Tell the Elders of the Congregation) amongst them, the multitude no more judged causes, then we would thinke him excommunicated who is esteemed one not [...] borne of Abraham, and so all the whole Church of the Gentiles should be excommunicated.Fran. Iohnson ex­position of this plac [...] Mat. 18. So Franc. Iohnson. 2. The Church of beleevers convened toge­ther is still a Church met together,2. Arg. for hearing the [Page 88] Word, receiving the Sacraments, 1 Cor. 11. 18, 19. 1 Cor. 14, 19, 20, 21. In which none are to speake but Pastors, and as the Separatists say, Prophets, and not all private persons; but this is a Church not assem­bled to prophecying and praying, but to rebuking, to judiciall censuring by binding and loosing, where all private persons, as their witnesses, the offended bro­ther, be they publike, or be they private persons (yea suppose a woman otherwise forbidden to speake in the Church met for worship, 1 Cor. 14.) may speake in this Church, for a woman may offend, and be excommuni­cate, or be offended, for scandals betwixt woman and woman is to be removed.

3. The Church spoken of here is such a superiour and judiciall seat,3. Arg. as ought to be obeyed in the Lord, under the paine of excommunication, and to whose voice and sentence coactive the contumacious is said to be disobedient,1 Sam. 2. 25. as [...] (and [...] and [...] to disobey in the holy tongues doth signifie.Deut. 17. 12. But a mul­titude of beleevers are no such superiour and judiciall seat as may be obeyed,Ier. 13. 10. or disobeyed by inferiours,Deut. 5. 1. un­der the paine of excommunication,Heare O Israel. for it is without the warrant of Gods Word,Luk. 10. 16. that all Christians,1 Ioh. 4▪ 6. Pa­stors, Ioh. [...] 28. Ioh. 8. 47. Elders, Ioh. 10▪ 3▪ 27. and Doctors are under the judiciall and co­active sentence of beleevers.Acts. 3. 23.

4. What ever Church may excommunicate,Heb. 3. 7. every member thereof convened with the Church may in­flict all inferiour censures also;Heb. 13. 17. 4. Arg. for whosoever may inflict judicially the greater punishment, may inflict the lesse; but all the members of the Church of be­leevers may not in this assembled Church inflict les­ser punishments: For example, a woman, a sonne, a servant, who are all equally the true members of the true Church of beleevers, being beleeving pro­fessors may not in an assembled Congregation rebuke publikely her husband and Pastor, his Father and Ma­ster: For publike rebuking being a degree of teaching, and especially in the assembled Church, the Apostle [Page 89] will not have the woman to teach publikely, and usurpe authority over the man, nor any to exhort and re­buke in the Church but Pastors.

5. These to whom the essence and definition of a Ministeriall Church having power to excommunicate (as this Church hath that power, Mat. 18. 17.) doth necessarily and essentially belong, these, and these only are here understood under the name of the Church. But so it is, that the essence and definition of a Mi­nisteriall Church having power to excommunicate, agreeth not necessarily and essentially to a company of true beleevers assembled Church-wayes, ergo, by the name of a Church here is no wayes understood the Church of true beleevers assembled Church-wayes. The proposition is undenyable, for out of the words may be gathered a definition of a Ministeriall Church, to wit, an Assembly that has power of preaching and binding and loosing, and so of all Church-cen­sures. I prove the assumption, To have power to preach, convene before them, and judicially cognosce and sentence, and excommunicate a contumacious mem­ber doth agree to these that by no necessity are be­leevers, because to have power to preach and excom­municate essentially require no more, but that persons be, 1. professors of the truth. 2. that they be gifted to preach and governe. 3. that they be duely called thereunto by the Church, as Judas and others are; but all these three are, and may be in a company in whom is no saving faith, as the word and experience cleare: For howbeit to be a called Pastor (the like I say of Elders, Park de polit. Eccl l 3 c. 13. Doctors, Deacons, and visible professors) require faith in Christ, as a gracious element and ne­cessary ingredient to make him a saved man:Answorth positions of the Church, Thes. 30. p. 121. [...] and [...]hes. 35. Presb. govern. exam. p 10, 11. Yet it is not required to the essence of a Pastor. Yea Par­ker, Answorth, and authors of Presbyter, govern▪ ex. ac­knowledge professors to be members of a visible Church, and so to have power of the keyes who are but rotten hypocrites, and what wonder? seeing God onely seeth [Page 90] the heart, and men cannot see farre in a milstone.

6. All the arguments proving that the power of the keyes is not given to all beleevers,6. Arg. but onely to the overseers of the Church, and proving that the govern­ment of Christs house is not popular, but in the hands of the Elders proveth the same,Sup. cap. 1. q. 1. & q. 6. cap. 6. for this is a ruling, and authoritative and judging Church.

7. Pareus saith, 7. Arg. The Church here meaned is the Church to be complained unto, but none can complaine to a multi­tude.

8. The practise of the Apostolike Church,8. Arg. 1 Cor. 1. The house of Eloe being grieved with the schisme of Corinth, telleth not the whole beleevers, but telleth it to Paul, and in him to the Pastors, who had the rod of discipline in their hands, and the Spirit of God giveth rules about receiving complaints to the Elder­ship, Tit. 1. 13. and never to all beleevers; therefore the rebuking and excommunicating Church spoken of here must be the Church of Elders.

9. The Church here is those to whom the keyes are given,9. Arg. Mat. 16. 19. I will give to thee the keyes, whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in hea­ven; but here the keyes are given to Peter, and in him, to the Apostles, and those to whom he said, Joh. 20. Whose sinnes ye forgive, they are forgiven, and whose sinnes ye retaine, they are retained; for that is to binde and loose in heaven, as they should bind, and loose on earth; and to whom he said (As my Father sent me, so send I you) but this Christ said to the Church of the Apostles and Elders, for he hath not sent every be­leever as his Father sent him, for that is a Pastorall sending, as is cleare from Mat. [...]8. 18. All power is gi­ven to me in heaven and in earth. Hence he draweth a conclusion, v. 19. Goe therefore and teach, &c. Which clearly includeth the keyes and power of preaching, baptizing, and governing, which agreeth not to all beleevers in any tollerable sense:Theoph. in Ioh. 20. Chry. Cyryl. As Theophilact, Chry­sostome, Cyrill, August. Hieron. Cyprian teach, and that [Page 91] this place, Ioh. 20. (As my Father sent me, so send I you) cannot be common to all beleevers, the Fathers teach Theophilact▪ in loc.

He saith to them, Enter ye in my ministeriall charge. Cyrill. in loc. & Chrysost. ibid. Creati sunt totius orbis Do­ctores. Aug.Aug. in Psal 44. Hier. Epist. ad E [...]ag in Psa. 44. Hieron. Epist. and Evagrin. Cy­prian Epist. 41. in locum Pauli, omnes successisse.Cy [...]r [...]p. 41.

10. The onely apparent Argument against this in­terpretation is weake,Arg. 10. and so our interpretation must stand: For they say that the word Church is never taken but for a company of beleevers, and the redee­med, Eph. 2. 20. builded on the rocke Christ. I deny not but the word Church is very sparingly taken for the overseers onely; yet it is taken in that sense, and there is reason why it cannot bee otherwise taken in this place; for Revelation. 2. The Angell of the Church of Ephesus, Smyrna, &c. standeth for the whole Church, and the whole Church is written un­to under the name of the Angell of such a Church: Which may be demonstrated thus, 1. because not only the Ministers, but the people that have eares to heare, are all and every one of them commanded to heare. 2, The promise of eating the tree of life, v. 7. of giving the hidden Manna, and the white stone, and the new name, and they shall be cloathed in white, and their names not blotted out of the booke of life who overcommeth, agreeth not to Ministers onely. 3. The command of being faithfull to the death, of holding fast what they have, that none take away their crowne, of strengthening what remai­neth, of being zealous, and of repenting, are not given to Ministers only. 4. The rebukes of falling from the first Love, of not watching, of lukewarmnesse are not laid upon Ministers onely; therfore to the Angell of the Church of Ephesus, of the Church of Smyrna, must need force have this meaning, Vnto the Church of Ephesus, of Smyrna, and what is said to the Angels, is said to the Churches, as is cleare, comparing chap. 1. v. 20. and chap. 2. v. 1. with v. 9. 11, 17. So Acts 18▪ v, 21, 22. [Page 92] Paul is said to salute the Church, that must be the chiefe men and Elders of the Church; for the Church being so numerous at Jerusalem, as is proved, he could not salute the Church of beleevers, 1. his manner in writing his Epistles is to salute the prime persons onely, and the rest in generall; and this being a reall salutation, or by all appearance verball, he could not salute them all man by man, seeing he saw them in the bye, and the Kirke of Jerusalem (for he landed at Cesarea) was more numerous,Also Isa. [...]0 9. O Sion that brin­geth goodtydings, is an exhortation, as Junius saith, to the preaching Church whic [...] is expounded, Isa. 51 [...]. and Nah. 1▪ 15. and R [...]m. 10. 15. only of the Pa­stors sent of God to preach the E­vangil of peace. then that he could sa­lute them all, man by man. And also the Church is named from the Pastors, Isa. 40. 9. Sion that bringeth good tydings, and it is the Preachers that ordinarily preach the good tydings, and the woman that has many sonnes, Isa. 54. 1, 2. Gal. 4. 26▪ 27. Isa. 49. 21. the woman that bringeth forth the manchilde, Rev. 12. the bride who is made the keeper of the vineyard, Cant. 1. 6. Now it is the Pastors properly that travell in birth to beget children to God, Gal. 4. 19. to the policye of which Church respect is had in this forme of speaking, the word Kahal, Gnedah Ecclesia, a Church, an Assembly doth onely signifie the Princes and Ru­lers, when the spirit is speaking of matters of go­vernment, discipline, commanding, complaints, or controversie, as he speaketh here, Psal. 62. 1. God standeth in the Church Gnedah, or Congregation of the mighty, Num. 35. 24. And the Congregation (Gnedah) shall Judge betwixt the slayer and the avenger of bloud, but it is expounded, Jos. 20. 4. and the slayer shall declare his cause before the El­ders of that City. So Deut. 11, 12, 16, 17. th [...]se that are called the men of Israel, Josh. 9. 6. are called the Princes of the Church or Congregation, v. 15. So com­pare, 2 Sam. 7. 7. spake I one word with one of the tribes of Israel, with 1 Chron. 17. 6. spake I one word to any of the Judges of Israel? So compare Exodus [...]0. 18, 19. All the people saw the thunder, v. 19. And they said to Moses, speake thou to us, with Deutronom. 5. 23. And it came to passe, when yee heard the voyce, [Page 93] out of the middes of darknesse that ye came neare to me, even all the heads of your Tribes and Elders and said, compare Exod: 4. 29. with 30. 31. also compare 1 Chr. 28. And David assembled all the Princes of Israel, the Princes of the Tribes, and the captaines of the compa­nies that ministred to the King, with chap. 29. 1. Fur­thermore David the King said to all the congregation.

Ainsworth acknowledgeth that the word (Congrega­tion) is thus taken for the Elders only;Ainsworth coun­terpoyson against M. Berdnard, p. 113 Confess. art. 24. so the Sepa­ratists in their confession cite this, Psal: 122. 3. Lev: 20. 4, 5, &c. with Mat: 18. 17. Adde to these that 1. Judges and Priests in Israel might give sentence of death, and judge of Leprosie without the peoples con­sent, Deut: 1. 16. 2 Chron: 26. 16. Deut: 17. 8. and yet Israel as well as we, were Kings and Priests to God, Exod: 19. 5, 6. Psal: 149. 1, 2. And why may not we say (Tell the Church of Elders, as Judges) and in tel­ling them, ye tell the believers, in respect that Elders are not to pronounce sentence of Excommunicati­on, while they make declaration to the Church of be­lievers.

11 Argument. That Church which the plaintiffe must tell, that is publickly to admonish the offender, but that is the Church of Elders, 1 Thes: 5. 12, 13, 14. 1 Tim: 5. 20. Luk: 10. 16. for they only are to receive publick delations, and to rebuke publickly, as is, Titus 1. 13. 1 Timothy 5. 1. and ver: 19. 2 Timothy 4. 2.

12 It shall follow, if Christ understand heere by the Church, the Church of believers, that in the case of an Elderships scandalous life, or if otherwise all the officers be taken away by death, that then a compa­ny of believing women and children being the Spouse of Christ, and so having claime and title to Christ, his covenant and all his ordinances, may censure, de­prive and excommunicate the [...]lders, and ordain El­ders and pastors with publick fasting and praying and laying on of hands. But this latter is unwritten in the [Page 94] Word of God. For 1. Private believers, farre lesse be­lieving women and children cannot judge the watch­men, and those who were over them in the Lord. 2. In the Old Testament the heads of Families only excommunicated, Gen: 21. 10, 11, 12, 13. and the Priests judged the Leper, Levit: 13. 3, 4, 5. Deut: 24. 8, 9. Numb: 5. 1. not the people, and in the New Te­stament, the Apostles and Elders only ordained pa­stors and officers with praying and laying on of hands, Act: 6. 6. Act: 13. 3. Act: 14. 23. 1 Tim: 4. 14. 2 Tim: 1. 6. 1 Tim: 5. 22. Tit: 1. 5. and never the people: al­so if three be believers happen to be an indepen­dent Church, and then the plantiff rebuking the of­fender according to Christs rule, Mat: 16. 16. before the Brethren who are witnesses, he shall tell the Church, before he tell the Church, because three are an inde­pendent Church by the Doctrine of our Brethren, and moreover if these three being a Church, shall excom­municate the offending brother before the Church (of which Christ speaketh, when he saith, tell the Church) shall heare of the matter: Then shall 1. Christs or­der be violated: 2. The offending brother shall be ex­communicated by a true ministeriall Church, [...]lave non errante, and that duly, because he is contumaci­ous to them, and yet he is not excommunicated, be­cause Christs order is violated, and the matter is ne­ver come before the Church, who hath power to binde and loose on Earth: 3. And certainly they must say three or foure believers doe not make a Church, and they must give some other thing to make up es­sentially one true visible Church, then a company of believers visibly professing one Covenant with God.

13. And we have here for us the testimony of learned Parker, 13. Arg. who is otherwise against us in this plea,Parker de politeia. l 3. c. 15. n. 1. who confesseth our Thesis, Ex hu q [...] elucta­ri cupit nobiscum, seutire necesse est ecclesiam fidelium à Christo intellect­am esse (Mat: 18.) non qua simpliciter censi lera [...], sed qua ais [...]pli [...] ex­cicet, iuxta tempe­ramentum a [...]l [...]o­croticum in pr [...] sep­terto, ecclesian quippe, primo loco, co [...]sideratam in his verbis dic ec­clesiae, praec [...]se par­tem Aristocrati­c [...]m, ad est pres­byterium, signifi­care existimamus, quae vero posterto­re commemoratur, in his verb [...], si ec­clesian non audic­rit, sic (ut Downa­mus docet) excom­municantem prep­ter contemptam ec­clesiam includit, ac non decernentem tantum ac exami­nantem, tum & partem ecclesiae de­mocraticam conti­net, quâ populi con­sensus ad excom­municationem ne­cessarius est. that in these words (tell the Church) Christ doth understand the Presbyte­ry or Eldership. Hence the word Church in the New [Page 95] Testament doth not alwayes signifie the Church of Believers, Disciples, Brethren, who pray in Christs name and are heard in Heaven, and are builded on the Rocke, and are the body and spouse of Christ, for a num­ber may be and often is, an Eldership judicially ex­communicating, and a Presbytery, yea and also in­cluding some externally professing Christ, who are not a company of redeemed ones, built by saving faith up­on the Rocke Jesus Christ. Also it is insolent that the word Church here should signifie both precisely the Eldership, and also in that same vers: the whole Congregation of believers; because the same Church to the which the offended brother should put in his bill of complaint, is that very Church which must be heard, and obeyed under the pain of excommuni­cation.

2. It is hard that the offender should be excom­municated for not hearing and obeying the Congre­gation of believers, who are not [...], over him in the Lord.

3. By grant of M. Parker the Church of believers hath not power from this place Mat: 18. to ordaine pastors to themselves, when they want pastors, or to ex­communicate their own Eldership in case of scanda­lous sins, which is against his grounds and our Bre­threns principles, who ascribe this authority to the Congregation of believers, because a number of be­lievers is not an Aristocraticall part and a select Pres­bytery and Eldership, as he saith is meaned in this word (tell the Church.)

14. The Church here cannot well mean a visible Congregation of believers and Elders conveened to heare the Word preached,14. Ar. so as he who contemneth two private admonitions should be accused and cen­sured in the face of the Congregation conveened to hear Gods Word. Because the Church meeteth in Christs name for Gods worship, if they meet in faith and humble sense of sinne, with purpose of heart to [Page 96] worship God in spirit and truth, but there is some o­ther thing required, that the excommunicating Church, meet for the actuall exercise of discipline, for beside meeting in Christs name, there is required that the Church meet with Pauls spirit, and the rod of dis­cipline, 1 Cor: 5. 4. That yee meet in the name of our Lord Iesus Christ, and my spirit with power of our Lord Iesus Christ. Then Pauls spirit as an Elder, who hath power of the rod, a spirit and power of excommuni­cation is required to this meeting. But I doubt not but the Church of believers did meet at Corinth, 1 Cor: 11. for hearing the Word and receiving the Lords Sup­per, and for ordinary wor [...]hip and praying and pray­sing when it was not needfull that Paul should write, That yee meet together in the name of our Lord Iesus and my spirit to heare the Word and to receive the Lords Supper: There was no need of Pauls spirit for that, therfore I conclude that this meeting of the excom­municating Church requireth another spirit and au­thoritative power to deliver to Satan (such as was in Paul) then is required in ten believers meeting in faith, without Pauls authoritative power, to heare Gods Word. For Paul saith of his authoritative meeting, I verily absent in body but present in spirit, have judged, &c. but Paul knew that they might meet as a num­ber of believers to heare the Word, whither Paul be absent or present in spirit, and this I observe for their mistake who teach that two or three agreeing together upon Earth and praying for one thing, are heard of God, as it is said, Mat: 18. 19, 20. is an independent Church having the power of the Keyes, for first, Christ then hath not provided a sure way, for remo­ving scandals. And when he saith (tell the Church) this (tell the Church) must be a definite, visible, con­spicuously known Church; now in one congregation, one province, one nation there be three hundreth, six or ten hundreth threes or fours of professed believers, if every three and every foure be an independent Church, [Page 91] to which of all these many threes and fours, shall the plantiffe addresse himselfe, for they be all equally inde­pendent Churches, the plantiffe is left in the midst, and knoweth not his ordinary judge, there be so ma­ny tribunals in one Congregation, yea in one Fami­ly.

2. How many key-bearing Churches shall be with­in one independent Congregation, who may all meet in publike in one house, for the joynt worshiping of God together?

3. Christ in these words, where he is said to heare two who shall agree together upon earth as touching one thing, hath no purpose to erect visible Churches with the full power of the keyes, consisting only of three or foure believers, but he doth argue here from the lesse to the more,Bucer. com. ib. as Bucer saith, and as Musculus. God will not only ratifie excommunication,Muscul com. ib. but he will heare the prayers of his children universally;Calvin. com. ib. P and this promise,Paraus com. [...]b. ver. 20. of Christs presence amongst two or three is more large and generall, then his pro­mise to ratifie the sentence of excommunication, even that Christ will be with his owne, howbeit they be not Church-waies conveened; or rather, as Paraeus saith, it is a generall promise of the presence of Christs grace in his Church, sive magnâ, sive parvâ, either great or small, and I grant it will prove the power of our Church sessions in Scotland very well, where there is often but one Pastor, and some few ruling Elders, but Christ cannot promise a Church-presence of his Spirit and grace, or such a presence wherby he ratifieth the cen­sures of the Church, but where there is a Church con­sisting of Elders and people, but if the words be pres­sed according to the letter and definite number, then it shall follow that every two believers; yea suppose two women agreeing on earth to pray for one thing, shall be a Ministeriall Church, having the power of the keys, which is most absurd: For a number of be­lievers make not a Church, having the power of the [Page 92] keys, for 1. They want the power of binding and loo­sing by preaching. 2. They are not a golden candle­stick, in the which Christ walketh, as a visible Church is, Rev. 1. Christs meaning the [...] must be, I promise my presence to the smallest Church, suppose it were possible that a Ministeriall Church could consist of the least number, that is, even of two only: but Christs purpose is not to make every two believers a visible Ministeriall Church, and every believing Family a con­gregation having the power of the keys.Vasque [...]. in 3. Tho. tom. disp. [...]44 c. 5. Vasquez the Jesuite hath arguments and ancients to speak from the Text this which we say,Enchirid. which can hardly be answe­red.Christia. instit. See that Enchiridion of the Province of Cullen under Charles the V. See also Jansenius, Synod provin. Maldonat and o­thers on this Text.C [...]loniae. Iansen. Maldonat. in Math. 18.

CHAP. IX.
Q. 9. What members are necessarily required for the right and lawfull constitution of a true politicke visible Church, to the which we may joyn in Gods worship.

IT is maintained by these of the Separation,Barrow disco of the false Church. p. 8, 9, 10 that the rightly constituted Church must consist of the Lords planting (as saith M. Barrow) all taught of God,Guide to Zion. p. 10. all plants of righteousnesse,Separat 3. pe [...]it to K. Iams▪ pas p. 44 sons of Zion, precious stones, a redeemed people, a royall generation,Confess. ar. 1 [...] p 19 A [...]sworth against Bernard reas. 5. er. p. 17 [...]. so the Guide to Zion. The true visible Church (say the Separatists) is a com­pany of people called and separated from the world, by the word of God,M. Canne neces of Sepa [...], sec. 3. pa. 174, [...]75. and ioyned together in a voluntary pro­fession of the faith. So Separatists in their petit. Mr. Ainsworth,Discovery of N. Light. printed an. 1641. M. Canne, the discovery of N. Light. For the clearing of the Question, we remit to the consideration of the Reader these distinctions.

  • 1. Distinct. There be some Saints by externall cal­ling, [Page 93] but not chosen, some Saints by internall and effectuall calling, called and chosen of God.
  • 2. Distinct. There be some members of a visible Church, who, de jure, by right and obligation should be such, there be other members of a visible Church, de facto; and in practise, who are such and such members.
  • 3. Distinct. There is a morall obligation, and so all the members of a visible Church are obliged to bee Saints by effectuall calling, there is a physicall obli­gation, and so that persons may be members of a visible Church as visible, it is not essentially required that they be effectually called.
  • 4. Dist. If a true Church and a visible Church, as visi­ble may not for a time be opposed by way of contradi­ction, as a believing Church, and a non-believing Church, I remit to be considered, and shall God willing bee cleared.
  • 5. Dist. It is one thing to be wicked and scandalous indeed and really; and another thing to be scanda­lous juridicè, and in the Court of the Church and notarily.
  • 6. Dist. A knowne and openly scandalous person and a well lustred and dyed Hypocrite are to be differenced in the Church
  • 7. Dist. Let it be considered, if the preaching of the word be not in divers considerations. 1. A mean of consti­tuting and making a visible Church. 2. A true note of a visible Church. 3. A meane of saving the believing Church, now visibly professing the Faith.
  • 8. Dist. Let it be considered if the Magistrate and King may not compell men to the confessing and pro­fessing of the faith, actu imperato, by an externall forcing power, and yet neither Magistrate nor Pa­stour can compell to heart-believing, actu elicito, by an inward moving of the heart.
  • 9. Let it be considered if a visible Church may not be a true Church by reason of some few sound belie­vers [Page 94] and sincere seekers of God, and that same whole body an infected lump and whoorish in respect of some visible professours, who are hypocrites and proud despi­sers of the Lord.
  • 10. Let it be considered if a Church may not be tear­med by Gods Spirit an whoore, no Church, no Spouse, jure & merito & quod vocationem passivam, in respect of bad deserving and their not answering on their parts to the call of God, and yet that same Church remaine de facto, formaliter & quoad vo­cationem Dei activam, formally and in regard of Gods part and his active vocation and calling the Spouse and bride of Christ. Hence our first Conclusion. The Saints by externall calling are the true matter of a visible Church.

1. The word (Ecclesia) the called of God, proveth this: For those are a true visible Church, where God hath set up a Candlestick, and whom God calleth to Repentance, Remission of sinnes and life eternall in Christ, because there bee a setled Ministery cal­ling.

2. Because all to whom the Word is preached are called the visible Church, as all within the house are vessels of the house visibly, howbeeit there bee in the house, Vessels of Honour and vessels of disho­nour.

3. So saith Ainsworth, this we hold, That Saints by calling are the only matter of a visible Church, yet with­all we hold, 2 Tim 2. 20, 11. that many are called, but few chosen. So al­so the kingdome of Heaven or visible Church is a draw net,Ainsworth against Bernard separ. [...]ch. p. 174. wherin are good and bad fishes, a barne-floore, wherin are chaffe and good wheat. See 1 Corinthians 1. 23. Collossians 1. 1, 2. Romans 1. 7. Philip. 1. 1. Math. 20. 16.

2. Conclusion, 2. Conclusion. All the members of the visible Church de jure, and by right, or by morall obligation ought to be Saints effectually called. 1. Because the comman­dement of making to themselves a new heart, Ezech. 18. 31. [Page 95] and to be renewed in the spirit of their mind, Eph. 4. 23. Rom 12. 2. and to be holy, as he who hath called them is ho­ly, 1 Pet. 1. 15, 16. It doth lay an obligation morall upon all within the visible Church. 2. Because the preached Gos­pell is the grace of God appearing to all men teaching them to deny ungodlinesse, &c. Tit. 2. v. 11, 12.

3. Conclusion. 3. Conclusion But, de facto, as the visible Church is in the field of the world, all the members of the visible Church are not effectually called, justified, sanctified, nei­ther is it needfull by a phisicall obligation for the true nature and essence of a visible Church, that all the mem­bers of it be inwardly called and sanctified, every pro­fessor is obliged to beleeve,Ioh. 3. 18, 36. else the wrath of God abideth on him, and he is condemned already. But to make a man a visible professor, and a member of the true visible Church as visible, saving faith is not essentially required, so as he should be no member of the Church visible, if he beleeve not.

That this may be right taken; observe that the visible Church falleth under a two-fold consideration. 1. In concreto, as a Church. 2. In abstracto, as visible. The vi­sible Church considered in concreto, is a part of the uni­versall, Catholike and unvisible Church which partaketh of the nature and essence of a true Church, and Christs misticall body, in which consideration we deny repro­bates and unbelevers to be members of the visible Church. 1. Because there is no reall communion (what­ever Bellarmine and Papists say on the contrary) betwixt righteousnesse and unrighteousnesse, light and darkenesse, the seed of the woman, and the seede of the Serpent, so as they can make up one true Church. 2. Because these who are not Christs, are not members of Christ, and so no part of his misticall body. 3. Because they are not bought with a price; nor his purchased flock in the blood of God, as Acts 20. the true Church is, nor builded upon a rock, as Mat. 16. 18. 4. Christ is not their Redeemer, head, High-priest, King and Saviour, and so neither are they his redeemed, his members, his people, [Page 96] subjects and saved ones. 5. Because the promises made to the chos [...]n and beleevers, to give them a new heart, regeneration, sanctification, remission of sinnes are made to them only, and in Gods gratious intention, and not to reprobates. Whence I inferre these conclusions.

1. Sepera [...]ists arguments must be weake, for they all conclude that which we deny not, and no other thing, to wit, that haereticks, adulterers, forcerers, blasphe­mers be no parts of Christs visible Church, as it is a Church. Yea we say that as the tree leg, and the eye of glasse, and the teeth of silver by art put in the body, are no members of the living body, so neither are these members of the true Church, and so much doe all our Divines, as Calvin, Beza, Junius, Whittaker, Tilen, Piscator, Pareus, Vrsine, Tr [...]l [...]atius, Sibrandus, Ame­sius prove against Papists.

2. Preaching of the Gospell is called a note of the Church, and profession of faith a note of the Church both, the former is a no [...]e of the teaching Church or minsteriall Church called, Ecclesia docens. The latter is a note of the professing Church, who professeth the faith, which we may call Ecclesia utens, or Ecclesia pra­cticè consideram.

3. Profession of the faith is thought to be true, either Subjectively. 2. Objectively. Or 3. Both Subjectively and Objectively. Profession subjectively is true when the professor doeth indeed professe and avow the truth, and doth not only seem to avow & professe the truth, and this is no note of a true Church, because it may be in hypocrites, who really goe to Church, really heare the word and partake of the Sacraments, but not sincerely. Profession true objectively is when the professor doth professe that faith which is indeed sound and orthodox. And this is a marke of the true teaching or ministeriall Church, and may be in a visible company of professors who for the time are not sincere beleevers. But a pro­fession of the faith both objectively true and subjective­ly is, when the object is orthodox and sound truth, and [Page 97] the professor sincerely and gratiously, and with an ho­nest heart beleeveth and professeth the truth, and this way profession of the truth is a true and essentiall note of a visible Church as it is a true Church and body of Christ, and so are our Divines to be expounded in this doctrine about the notes of the visible Church. But withall, the visible Church is to be considered in ab­stracto, under the notion of visibility, and as visible, and as performing all the externall acts of professing, governing, hearing, preaching, praising, administrating the seales of the covenant, binding and loosing in the externall and visible court of Christ, and under this re­duplication as obvious to mens eyes, and therefore in this notion all externall professors who are not mani­festly and openly scandalous are to be reputed members of the true visible Church, and therefore this tearme, would be considered, a true visible Church. For the ad­jective (true) may either be referred to the subject (Church) and so signifieth the true misticall body of Christ visibly, and with all sincerely professing the sound faith. Or it may be referred to the other ad­jective (visible) and so it is no other but a company of professors visible to our senses, and so truely visible, whose members may be unsound and false professours: Then the question is, whither visible Saints 1. forsaking all knowne sinnes. 2. Doing all the knowne will of God. 3. Growing in grace, M. Smith. paral. cens. obser, pag. [...]2 Discov. of N. Light prin▪ an. 1641. (as saith Smith, and the discov. of N. Light.) be the only true matter of a right and law­fully consistent visible Church and congregation; so as we are to joyne with no company of worshippers of God, but such visible Saints as these, and to acknow­ledge no other society a true Church, whereto we are obliged to adjoyne our selves as members, save only such a s [...]ciety: Or is this sufficient for the nature, and right constitution of a true visible Church, that the company that we are to joyne our selves unto, as visible mem­bers, have in it these true markes of a visible Church, The pure word of God purely preached, and the Sa­craments [Page 98] duely administred, with discipline according to Gods word, and withall a people externally pro­fessing the fore-said faith, suppose they cannot give to us manifest tokens and evidences that they are effe­ctually called, and partakers of the divine nature, and translated from death to life, and are elected, called and justified; This latter we hold as the truth of God; these of the Separation hold the former. Now we must care­fully distinguish here what are to be distinguished; for there are many questions infolded here of divers natures: For 1. The question is if the society have the word, seales and right discipline, and they professe the truth, suppose their lives be wicked; whether they should not be answerable to that which they professe? I Answer. No doubt they ought to be answerable to their light, and obey the holy calling. 2. What if many of them leade a life contrary to that which they pro­fesse, and yet the governours use not the rod of discipline to censure them: then whether should the members separate from that Church? They ought to separate, (say the Separatists,) They ought not to separate from the Church and worship, say we; they are to stay with their Mother, but to plead with her; and modestly and sea­sonably say, that Archippus and others doe not fulfill their Ministry, which they have received of the Lord. 3. What if there be purity of doctrine, but extreame wickednesse, contrary to their doctrine; whether is that company a true Church or not? I answer, it is a true, visible and a teaching or right ministeriall Church, but for as farre as can be seene, not a holy, not a san­ctified Church, and therefore must not be deserted and left. 4. What if the guides receive in as members of the Church, those who are knowne to be most scan­dalous and wicked, and not such Saints as Paul wri­teth unto at Rome, Corinth, Ephesus Colosse. Answ. The faults of the guides are not your faults who are private members, you are to keepe publike communion in the publike ordinances of Christ, but not to take part with [Page 99] their unfruitfull workes, but rather to reprove them. 5. What if the members of the Church can give no reall proofes that they are inwardly called, sanctified, and justified, and yet you see no scandalous out-breakings in them, to testifie the contrary. I answer, for as much as grace may be under many ashes, as a peece of gold amongst mountaines of earth: If they professe the sound faith, they are a true visible Church, and we are to acknow­ledge them as such, and to joyne our selves as mem­bers to such a society, or being already members, we are to remaine in that society, and not to separate from it in any sort.

The Separation doth complaine that in our Church are (as Ainsworth saith) swarmes of Atheists, Ainsworth coun­terpoyson against Bernard p. 3. Idolaters, Papists, erronious and hereticall sectaries, witches, charmers, sorcerers, Declar. of Eccles. discip. p. 171. Dialog. of theeves, adulterers, lyars, &c. The Gentiles en­ter unto the temple of God, the holy things of God, the Sacraments indifferently communicated with cleane and un­cleane, circumcised and uncircumcised: And amongst you are thousands who cannot tell how they shall be saved. So say others, as M. Barrow and Smith. Hence inferre they our Church is a false Church, not right constitute, no Spouse of Christ, no royall generation, not a people who hath Christ for King, Priest, and Prophet. We on the contrary hold this as our fourth conclusion, That how­beit openly and grossely prophane wicked persons, as knowne atheists, and mockers of Religion, Idolaters, papists, heretickes, sorcerers, witches, theeves, adul­terers, &c. are not to be keeped in the Church; but to be excommunicated, nor yet to be received into the Church as members thereof, untill they give eviden­ces of their repentance: Yet we say that there is no­thing required more as touching the essentiall proper­ties, and nature of being members of a Church, as vi­sible; but that they professe before men the faith, and desire the seales of the Covenant, and crave fellowship with the visible Church, which I prove:

1. From the manner of receiving members in the [Page 100] Apostolike Church, where nothing is required but a professed willingnesse to receive the Gospell, howbeit they receive it not from their heart, Act. 2. 41. then they that gladly received his word (Peters word) were baptized, and the same day were added to the Church about three thousand soules, v. 45. And they sold their pos­sessions and parted them to all men. Now amongst these glad receivers of the Gospell were Ananias and Saphira, ch. 4. v. 34, 35, 36, 37. chap. 6. v. 1, 2, 3. It is true they are all charged by Peter to repent, ere they be baptized, and added to the Church; but the Apostles require no more to make members of the visible Church, [...]ut 1. professed willing receiving of the word and this receiving expres­sed by an outward act of selling their goods, which was but hypoc [...]isie in Ananias and Saphira, as the event declared; yet were Ananias and Saphira, for that time members of the Churches as truly visible, and their acts of electing and chusing a Pastor, and consenting to ex­communicate scandalous persons in that time valid in Christs cout: Yea suppose Ananias had been a prea­cher, his preaching and baptizing should have been valid, by grant of Separatists. Also there is no more required by the Church of Simon Magus, Act 8. v. 13. but beleeving historically at the sight of miracles, and he was baptized and received into the Church present­ly. Now this beleeving was not seene to be saving faith to Peter and the Apostles, we know no wayes they had to know it, seeing they know not the heart, but what is said, v. 13. he continued with Philip, and wondred, which an hypocrite might doe, and he had been not long since an abhominable sorcerer, and usurped the honour of God like a sacrilegious robber of the Almighty of his glory, ver. 9, 10, 11. And the like we may see of De­mas, who forsooke Paul, 2 Tim. 4. 10 and followed the present world: There was nothing to make him a mem­ber of the visible Church then, but that for a while he followed Paul in his journeyes, and professed the faith. And the like must be said of Hymeneus and Alexander, [Page 101] who for a time were members of the true Church, as it is visible, and a professing Church; and this was knowne onely by their profession; yet that they had but a bare profession is cleare, seeing afterward they made shipwracke of faith, 1 Tim. 1. 19, 20. Now our brethren cannot deny but all these might, and did ex­ercise Ecclesiasticall Acts that were valid and ratified of God▪ yea of binding and loosing, and so nothing is required to make men members of a visible Church, but such an outward profession of faith as may befall, and hath been found in the fairest broidered and pa [...] ­mented hypocrites, who have been in the Apostolike Church. Also what more was in Judas, even after Christ had said (Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a Devill?) yet the eleven say not, Lord, discover him to us, that we may separate from him.

2. Argument. 2. Arg. If the visible Church planted and constituted lawfu [...]ly, be a draw-net, wherein are fishes of all sorts; and a house wherein are vessels of silver and gold; and also base vessels of brasse and wood; and a barne-floore wherein are wheat and a chaffe, then a Church is rightly constitute; howbeit there be in it beleevers and unbeleevers, and hypocrites, as mem­bers thereof: And there is no more required to make members of the Church visible as visible, but that they be within the net, hearers of the word, within the house as vessels of brasse, within the barne-wals as chaffe, in likenesse and appearance like wheat: But the former is true,Barrow dis [...]ov. fals Church, p 20. and granted by Barrow, Mat 13. 47. 2 Tim. 2. 20, 21. Mat. 3. 12. Barrow saith, Hypocrites are ever in the Church, but it followeth not that the pro­phane multitude for that should be admitted members without proofe of their faith. Answ. As the likenesse between the vessell of brasse, and the vessell of gold, and their being in one and the same Noblemans cu [...] ­table together, is sufficient to make the brazen vessell a part of the plenishing of the house: so the hypocrites [Page 102] externall profession, and receiving the word, and re­maining in the Church, as Ananias and Saphira, and Simon Magus his beleeving, his adhering to Philip, his desire of Baptisme maketh him a member of the visible Church, and the Church that these are in, is a truly and right constitute visible Church.

3. Argument. 3. Arg. If that Church be rightly constitute and a true Church, where the man without the wed­ding garment commeth to the Marriage of the Kings sonne, that is, where multitudes were called, and doe heare the Word, and so come to the banquet of the Gospell, that are not chosen, and are destitute of the wedding garment of faith and Christs righteousnesse, and all these that are professed hearers of the word, and yet not sound beleevers. Then a professed and ex­ternall use of the meanes (if no outward out-breakings of scandals be in them) maketh men members of the visible Church, and the Church is rightly constitute where these are; but the former is true, Mat. 22. v. [...], 3. &c. v. 11, 12, 13. and this is a point most ordinary in every visible Assembly, where the word is prea­ched, where some beleeve, and some are hardened, as in the parable of the sower, where the seed falleth upon good ground, and bringeth forth fruit, and also upon the way side, upon the rockie and thorny ground, and in the parable of the ten Virgins, to make them all the visible kingdome of heaven, there is no more required, but that all have l [...]mps, that is, a profession that they are the Bridegroomes men attending the wedding, and yet five of them wanteth oyle. And so when Christ preacheth and worketh miracles, some be­leeve, and some beleeve not, Joh. 7. 31, 32, 33. Acts 2. 48, 49, 50. compared with Acts 5. 1, 2. 2 Cor. 15. 16.

4. Argument. [...]. Arg. Israel was a right constituted Church. The covenanted people of God, an holy people to the Lord, chosen to be a peculiar people to himselfe, Deut. 14. 1, 2. Deut. 29, 10, 11, 12. a people on whom God set his love, [Page 103] Deut. 7. 7. So happy as none was like unto them, saved by the Lord the shield of their help, Deut. 33. 26, 27, 28, 29. a people with whom God would not [...]reake his oath, and Covenant made with Abraham, Judg. 2. 1. and their God, 1 King. 18. 36. 2 King. 9. 6. and he calleth them his people, Hos 6 Jer. 2. 13. married unto the Lord, Ier. 3. 14. and married for ever, Ier. 31. 36, 37. Ier. 32 40, 41. Hos 2. 19, 20. Isa. 50. 30. Psal. 80. 30, 31, 32, 33, &c. A people who had avowed the Lord to be their God, a people whom the Lord had avowed to be his pecu­liar people, Deut. 26. 18, 19. A people with goodly tents, as the gardens by the rivers side, as the trees of Liba­nus, that the Lord hath planted, Num. 24. 5, 6. A peo­ple on whom the Lord looked upon, and behold their time was the time of love, over whom the Lord spread his skirts of love, to whom God sware a Covenant, and made them his, Ezech. 16, 6, 7, 8, 9. the Lords heritage, Ier. 12. 8. his pleasant sonne, and deare childe. Ier. 31. 20. his wel-beloved, Isa. 5. 1. And yet because of transgressions and the backsliders and revolters that wre amongst them, a perverse and crooked generation, Deut. 32. 5. at that same time had waxed fat and thicke, and lightly estee­med the rocke of their salvation, v. 15. A people that had no eyes to see, nor eares to heare, nor a heart to perceive, to that day, Deut. 29. 4. spotted, but not as his children, Deut. 32. 5. a whorish people, v. 16, 17. Sodome and Go­morrah, Deut 32. 32. Isa. 1. 10. an harlot city full of mur­therers, drosse, not silver, wine and water, v. 21, 22. un­circumcised in heart, Ier. 9. 26. to God no better then un­circumcised Aethyopians, Egyptians, Philistines, and Sy­rians, Amos 9 7. these that played the harlot with many lovers, in all the high-wayes, Ier. 3. 1▪ 2, 3. The Prophets prophesying falsly, the Priests bearing rule by their meanes, and the people loving to have it so, Ierem. 5. 31. The Princes wolves, evening wolves, Ezekiel 22. 27. What Apostasie was in Israel, yea in all, except Cal [...]b and Joshuah? What harlo­trie with the Daughters of Moab? and [Page 104] that vile Idoll Baal-peor? both immediately before, and immediately after the Spirit had called them, a blessed people, goodly plants, trees of the Lords planting, Numb. 24. as may be seen in the Chapters of that story, especially, cap. 25. Hence unanswerably it must follow, A Church visible is a rightly and law­fully constitute Church, to the which we may joyne our selves as members, and yet it is a mixed multi­tude of godly and prophane, circumcised and cleane, uncircumcised and uncleane. And Moses and the Pro­phets knew Israel to be thus mixed and rebuked them, and yet tearmeth them a married people to the Lord, Jer. 3. 14.

5. Argument.5. Arg. If the Church of the Jewes was a truly constitute visible Church, a Church that did wor­ship a God they knew, and of whom was salvation, Joh. 4. 22. in Christs dayes, and had Moses chaire among them, and teachers on that chaire whom Christ comman­ded to heare, and obey, Mat. 23 1, 2, 3. and was the Lords vineyard, Mat. 21. 33. and the Lords building, ver. 42. and had the Kingdome of God amongst them, ver. 43. and the Lords Priests whom Christ commanded to acknowledge and obey, Mat. 8. 4. and if the Lord coun­tenanced their feasts, preached in the Temple, and their Synagogues, John 5. 1. John 7. 37. John 8. 2. Luke 4. 16, 17. and that daily, and yet there was in their Church Scribes and Pharisees, who perverted the Law of God, Mat. 5. 21. who made the Law of God of none effect with their traditions, Mat. 15. 6. and polluted all with will worship, Mark. 7. 6, 7, 8, &c. Master buil­ders who rejected Christ the corner stone of the building, and slew the heire Christ to make the vineyard their owne, Mat. 21. v. 42. v. 38 killers of the Prophets, Mat. 23. 37. blinde guides who led the blind people in the [...]tch. Christs own who would not receive him, Joh. 1. 12. if they slew the Lord of glory, Acts 5. 30. Acts 2. 36. Gods house made a house of merchandise, a den of theeves, John 2. 16. the Priesthood was bought and sold, Caiaphas was High-priest [Page 105] that yeare: By Gods Law the High-Priest should have continued so all his life. All this being true, then a Church is a right constitute Church, where the cleane and uncleane are mixed.

6. The like I might prove of the Church of Co­riath, 6. Arg. Galatia, Co [...]fes art. 17. and Ephesus, Thyatira, Sardis, Laodicea. And the Separatists grant that hypocrites are often in the true visible Church, then the presence of wicked men in a visible Church marr [...]th not the constitution of a Church, onely Separatists would have a more ac­curate tryall taken before persons were received in the Church, lest the uncircumcised enter into the temple of the Lord. But all the markes that we are to take before we receive members in the Church, or they also, is but an externall profession: And the Apostles tooke no markes in receiving Ananias and Saphira, Si­mon Magus, Demas, Alexander, and Hymyneus, but onely an hypocriticall profession,Calv. Ins [...]it l. [...]. c. 1. [...]ect 8. as Calvin hath well observed, [...] and after him Cameron. We have no certain­ty of faith to know that this, or this man is a belee­ver, that another man beleeveth and is saved is not the object of my faith. 2. Hence it followeth, that of a Congregation of forty professors, foure and twenty may be, [...]. and often are but hypocrites; yet these foure a [...]d twenty, suppose twelve of them be the Pastor, Elders and Deacons, are truly parts of the Church as visible: Howbeit not parts of the Church as the Church, and as the true and mystciall body of Jesus Christ, and by this same reason all the fourty may be hypocrites for a time, because they are but men, who seeth not the heart, who did congregate this Church, and what is true of foure and twenty may befall fourty. I say (for a time) they may be all hy­pocrites, or at the first constitution of the Church, but that all shall remaine so, I thinke is against the wisedome and gracious intention of God, who doth not set up a candle and candlesticke, but to seeke his owne lost money: And where he sendeth shepheards, [Page 106] he hath there some lost sheep, because the preaching of the word is an essentiall note of a visible Church. Hence that Congregation of forty not yet converted is a true visible Church, I meane, a true teaching and Ministeriall Church in which are acts Pastorall of prea­ching, baptizing, binding, and loosing that are valid and right Ecclesiastically: For Baptisme there admi­nistrated was not to be repeated, and such a Church by the Ministery therein, is and may be converted to the saving faith of Christ: yea and Separatists would call such an independent Congregation. Hence 3. this must follow, that as to make one a Pastor, and to make twelve men Deacons and Elders, and so such as hath joynt power of the keyes, even by the grant of Separatists, with the rest of the Congregation, there is not faith in Christ required as an essentiall element, as I have proved from Mat. 7. 22. so to make these twelve members of a visible Congregation, Faith is not essentially required (suppose it be morally requi­red) so by that same reason to make other twelve mem­bers in that visible society in Christ, faith were not required, as to make Demas, Ananias, Saphira, Magus, Alexander, Hy [...]cus and some moe of that kind a visible Church: There is no more required but that profession of faith which moved the Apostolike Church to make them members of a true Church visible: For what maketh formally a member of a Church visible, to wit, profession of the faith, that same maketh forty also members of a visible Church, and quae est ratio constitutiva partium, est etiam const [...] ­tutiva totius. That which formally constituteth a part, doth formally constitute the whole, where the whole is made of parts of the same nature, as what is essen­tiall to make a quart of water, that is essentiall to make a whole sea of water, and every part of the visible Church is visible, and a visible professour, as visibility denominateth the whole, so doth it every part of the whole. And from this I inferre this fourth, That a [Page 107] visible Church as visible, doth not essentially and neces­sarily consist of believers; but only of professours of be­liefe, so that a Church and a visible Church may be op­posed by way of contradiction, as a number of believers, and a number of non-believers. For a Church essential­ly is a number of believers and Christs mysticall body, els it is not a Church, that is, a number of persons effect­ually called; for this cause I grant an Eldership of a congregation; a Synod Provinciall or Nationall are unproperly called a Church; and howbeit we list not to strive about names, we may grant our Gene­ral assembly not to be properly called a National Church, but by a figure, for the believers of the Nation are proper­ly the Nationall Church, I meane a mysticall believing Church.

5. Conclusion. The preaching of the Word and seals therof ordinarily setled in a visible society is the es­sentiall note and marke of a true Church:Ainsworth coun­terpoyson, p. 10, 11 Robinson. It is weak and vaine that Ainsworth, Robinson, Canne and Ma­ster Smith say, The preaching of the Word is no essen­tiall marke of the true Church, and why? Because for­sooth, our Masters learned from Barrow to say; It is preached to the Reprobate to whom it is the [...]avour of death unto death, and it was preached to the scoffing A­thenians by Paul Act. 17. and yet the Athenians were not a true Church. But we distinguish three things here.

There is 1. The single and occasionall preaching of the Word.

2. The setled preaching of the Word, the setling of the Candle-sticke and Kingdome to dwell amongst a people.

3. The preached Word, with the seales, especially the Sacrament of the Lords Supper. The single and occasionall preaching, or by concomitancy as to a peo­ple unconverted and unbelievers, and so it is not an essentiall note of the true Church, but a meane to ga­ther a Church to God, and this they proove, and no more, and so doe the Belgicke, Arminians and Socini­ans [Page 108] proove against our reformed Churches, that it is no marke of the Church;Simon Episcop. dis. 8. Th [...] s. 0. so Episcopius, the Remon­strants, Remonst in Apol. [...]ol 411. the Catechise of Raccovia and Socinus, but this is as if one would say: the colours and armes of such a King in warre are carried through the enemies fields,Catech. Racco [...]. ca. 1. fol. [...]98 as well as through the Kingsland;Socin. de Eccl [...]s. p. 98. therfore they are not the proper colours of such a King.

2. The setled preaching of the Word established and remaining in a Church, as the standing candle­stick, the fixed kingdome of God is the essentiall mark of the true Church, and preached in Gods blessed de­cree of Election only for, and to the chosen believers, and as it were in the bie to the prophane reprobates amongst them, and this they cannot be able to im­proove. And it was M. Smiths vanity to say, the Refor­med Churches have the Word, Calv instruct. ad­versus liler [...]. as the thiefe hath the ho­nest mans purse. Anabaptists reason just that way. See Calvin.

3. The preaching of the Word, and the seales of the setled covenant is a means of confirming those that are already converted: Neither is it much against us that the Word is preached to the reprobate; for the preaching of the Word is considered either in it selfe,E [...]ise. disp. 26. thes. 4, 5. & ib 2, 3. and actu primo, and so it is a mark of the visible Church.R [...]monst. Confess. 2 [...] sect. [...]. & A­pol sol. 2 [...]7. [...]o­nent non es [...]e p [...] ­cise necessa [...]tam ad constituendum [...] Or. 2. As it is effectuall by the Spirit of Je­sus, and actu secundo, and so it is an essentiall marke of the true Church and lively body of Christ, accor­ding to that cited by Whittaker, Calvin, Willet, Pa­raeus, Beza, Vrsine, Bucanus, and our Divines, John 1 [...]. So [...]n t [...]act d [...] Ec­cles. ad loc. Rom. 10. Socin de exter. reg. christ eccles so. 253 C [...]tech. Racco [...] de [...] christ. c. 10 pa, 305. 306. My Sheepe heare my voyce. Hence observe a vile Doctrine of Separatists, holden also by Socinians and Arrainians, as Episcopius, the Belgicke Remonstrants, Socinus, the Raccovian Catechise, and [...]heophil. Nico­laides, That all gifted persons may preach publikely, [...] Nicola [...]des Tract. de [...] cap. 1. p. 144. & ib [...] Separat. co [...]fess art. 34, 35. p. 25. and that there is no nec [...]ssity of c [...]lling of Pastors by the Pres­bytery, so doe they teach, That there can be no lawfull Pastors now after the Apostacy of of Antichrist, till t [...]ere be a constitute Church of believers to choose them, or a [Page 109] flocke to them to watch over. And therefore conversion is ordinarily wrought (say they) by private Christians, that have the gift to p [...]ophecy publikely, and yet are not Pastours; for private Christians doe gather the Church (say they) Pastours doe not ordinarily convert, they do only confirme the church of Saints already converted. A­gainst which we say.Pastors as pastors conve [...]t [...]en to [...] The new Testament of Christ telleth us of no officers to preach in Christs name, for the perfecting of the Saints, the worke of the Mi­nistry, edifying of the body of Christ,1 Arg, but Pastors and Doctors, Eph. 4. 11, 12.

2. None but such as have power of binding and loosing by the preaching of the Word,2. A [...]g. Joh. 20.

3. Those to whom Christ giveth power of pub­lick teaching,3 Arg. to those he giveth power of Bapti­zing, Mat. 28. 18, 19. and sendeth them as his Father sent him.

4. How shall they preach except they be sent? 4. Arg. Rom. 10. 14. Sending in the Apostolike Church was by praying and the laying on of the hands of the Pres­bytery, 1 Tim. 4. 14.

5. There is nothing more ordinary then that Pa­stors as Pastors,5. Arg. and by vertue of their pastorall office convert soules.1. Arg. 1. Faith is begotten by hearing a sent [...]reacher, Rom. 10. 14, 15. Ministers by whom we beleeve, 1 Cor. 3. 9. by them we receive the Spirit by the hearing of Faith, Gal: 3. 2. 2.2. People are begotten over a [...]aine by them, as by spirituall fathers and mothers, 1 Cor. 4. 15. Gal: 4. 19. 3.3. Pastors are the [...], woo­ers and under-suters to gaine the Brides consent, to marry the lovely Bridegroome Christ Jesus, Joh. 2. [...]9 2 Cor: 11. 2, 3. 4.4. Their Word is the savour of life unto life unto some, and the savour of death unto death unto others, 2 Cor. 2. 16. They are to preach with all gentlenesse, waiting if God peradventure will give repentance to the gain-sayers, 2 Tim: 2. 24, 25, 26. 5.5. They are Em­bassadours in Christs steed, beseeching men to be recon [...]i­led unto God, a Cor: 5. 20. 6.6. The weapons of their [Page 110] warfare are mighty through God to fling downe strong holds (of unbeliefe) to cast downe imaginatims, and e­very high thing, that exalteth it selfe against the knowledge of God, and to bring unto captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, 2 Cor: 10. 4, 5. and so they are to pull men out of the hands of Satan. 7.7. They are to seeke the Lords Sheep, Ezek. 34 4. Hence the object and matter that a Pastor is to worke on as a Pastor, is unbelievers, unborne men, gain-sayers, proud, disobedi­ent, keeping strong holds against Christ: So the nature of the Pastors office is to open the eyes of the blinde, to turne them from darknesse to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgivenesse of sinnes, Act: 26. 18. and this evidently evinceth, that the visible and rightly constitute Church, where God hath erected a Ministery is a number of blinded sin­ners in Satans power, and in the power of darknesse for the most part, while God by a Ministery delivers them, suppose they professe the Faith. It is also a Doctrine unknowne to the Word of God, that the Church of Christ is gathered and edified formally as a Church without Christs Ministers that are sent to gaine the consent of the Bride to marry the Bride­groome Christ. It is also unknown to Scripture that Prophets are no Pastors, and have no power of the pastorall calling or s [...]ales of the Covenant, Should those bee the ordinary officers of Christ that gather sinners in to Christ, and convert to the Faith of Jesus men dead in sins and trespasses, who yet are neither Pastours nor Doctours sent by Christ and his Church.

6. Conclusion. Seeing then the Church hath no o­ther marke and rule to looke unto, in the receiving in of members into a visible Church, but externall pro­fession, which is no infallible marke of a true convert, the Church is rightly constitute, where all borne within the visible Church and professing the Faith are received, suppose many wicked persons be there. [Page 111] Now seeing time, favour of men, prosperity accom­panying the Gospell, bring many into the Church, so the Magistrate may compell men to adjoyn themselves to the true Church.

O saith, M. Barrow. M. Ainsworth. M. Cann [...]. Object. Master Barrow, Ainsworth, Mr. Canne. The blast of the Kings horne can make no man a member of Christs body, that must be done willingly, and by the Spi­rit of Christ, not by compulsion: The Magistrate (say they) can worke faith in none, he ought indeed to abo­lish Idolatry, set up the true Worship of God, suppresse errours, cause the truth to be taught, yet he cannot constrain men to joyne to the Church.

I answer, This is a senslesse reason; for how doth the Magistrate abolish Idolatry, set up the true wor­ship of God? It is, I hope, by externall force and power: For the Magistrate as the Magistrate doth no­thing but by an externall coactive power. The Ma­gistrate useth the sword, not reasons, preaching and counsell. Yea, this way he cannot abolish idolatry, nor erect the pure worship of God, for it is a worke of Gods Spirit and a willing worke, that a subject for­sake Idols, and worship God purely at the command of a King, as it is the worke of God, that he believe in Christ, and joyn himselfe to the Church of true belie­vers.

2. That a man by externall profession adjoyn himself to the true visible Church, is not a work of saving faith, as our Masters dreame, for Simon Magus and Ananias and Saphira a turned members of the visible Church upon as small motives, as the command of a King, upon the mo­tive of gaine and honour, and were never a whit nearer Christ for all this.

3. The Magistrate cannot compell men to believe,Juniu [...] contr. [...]. cont. Bell l. 3 ca. 6. nor can the Minister by preaching, or the power of the keys doe it,Vo [...]tius despera. ca [...] Papa. l. [...]. sect. 2. c. 12. except Gods Spirit doe it, but as Junius [...]aith, he may compell men to professe beliefe, but not to believe, he may compell to the externall meanes, not to the end. 2. The Magistrate (as Voetius saith) may compell [Page 112] by remooving impediments, as idols and false teachers and authoritatively. 2. compell to the means. Now it shall be easie to answer their Objections, who wou [...]d prove that Saints are the onely matter of a rightly and lawful­ly constitute visible church.Barr [...]w discov. p. 9 [...]0.

First, Obiect. 1. Master Barrow reasoneth against us thus, The materiall Temple from the very foundation was of choyse costly stones, the beames of choyse Cedars and Algum­mim-trees, which typified the church of the new Testament, Isa. 54. 11. Behold I will lay thy stones with carbuncle and thy foundations with Saphirs, &c. Is [...]. 6. 17. for brasse I will bring gold, Isa. 35. 8. No Lyon, nor rave­nous beast shall be in the mountaine of the Lord, but the redeemed of the Lord, Jer. 31. 34. They shall all know me from the least of them, to the greatest, in this moun­taine there shall be no cockatrise, aspe, lyon, leopard un­till they have left their poyson, Isaiah 11. 6. Answer first.

These places none (except Anabaptists) can apply according to the letter, to the Church independent of e­very Parish, may not the Separatists, who [...]each that there is rotten timber in their visible Temple, and chalke stones, Lyons,Barrow disco. p [...]0 [...] pa [...]a l. p. 28. 29. Wolves, Cockatrices, for saith Barrow, Ains­worth, and all their side, there are always in the Church glorious Hypocrites; now such as Judas, Demas, Hyme­neus, and such hypocrites are not precious stones, gold, taught of God, there is not a visible Church of a con­gregation out of Heaven, where there is not a hypocrite and an unbeliever.

2. The place Isa. 54. and Jer: 31. is understood of the Catholick Church, with whom the covenant of grace is made, Isa. 54. 10. Jer: 31. 31. and this cove­nant is not everlasting, nor an eternall covenant to any one Parish Church, yea, nor to a Nationall Church, nor to Corinth, Ephesus, Pergamus, all which particular Churches are fallen under horrible Idolatry,Muscul. com in Calvin. [...] 54. Hi [...]o [...]. [...]. and in those Mountains are Lyons and Leopards, and therfore as Mus­culus, Calvin, Hierom, and the course of the Text clea­reth [Page 113] he is speaking of the begunne holinesse of the whole Church, of the redeemed under Christ, which is finally and fully accomplished in Heaven, for what use should there be of excommunication, and of the Pastors and Porters care to hold out, and cast out, by the Church censures, Lyons, Leopards, Cockatrices, if all, and every one in the Church be taught of God?

3. It is beside the Text to make the Temple of Jeru­salem a type of a Parish congregation, it was a type of Christ, Iohn 2. 21. of every beleever, 1 Cor. 6. 19. and of the whole Catholike Church.

4. Where it is said, There shall be no ravenous beast in the Mountaine of the Lord, the Mountaine of the Lord is not taken litterally for Mount Sion, as if in every little Mountaine of a visible congregation, made up of so ma­ny Saints, there were not a Iudas amongst them; But by the Mountaine of the Lord is meaned the Catholike Church, alluding to the visible Mount Sion, a type of the Church of Christ through all the earth.

2. They dispute thus: Obiect. 2. God in all ages hath appointed, and made a separation of his people from the world, before the Law, under the Law, and now in the time of the Gospell, Gen. 4. 6. Exod. 6. 3. Levit. 20. 24. Ezech. 6. 11. Psal. 84. 10.

Answ. God hath made a separation of the Church from the wicked, but not such a separation, as there remai­neth no mixture of hypocrites and unbeleevers in the Church. The Church was separated from Caines seede, yet was there Idolatry, defection and wickednesse: in the Church, till God charged Abraham to leave his country, and his fathers house. God separated his Israel from Egypt, but so that there was much Idolatry and wickednesse in Israel thus separated.

God may, and doth separate his owne from Egypt, [...] in Marriage and mixture with the Canaanites. [...] that are born in the visible Church and professe [...] us, should not be received in the Church [...] be all taught of God, all precious stones, all [Page 114] plants of righteousnesse: it followeth no way, but the contrary, therefore because they are unbeleevers under the power and chaines of Sathan, and ignorance, they are to be received in a communion with the Church, to be hearers of the word, that they may be all taught of God, and all made righteous plants.

3. They reason thus. Obiect. 3. The wicked have not Christ for their head. So the guide to Zion.Guide to Zion. pos. 32. pag 16. Separatist 3. peti­tio. 3. posit arg. 2, Barrow. d [...]sco. [...]al. Church pag 22 A true visible Church (say the Separatists) is the Temple of the Lord, the body of Christ, a kingdome of Priests, a Church of Saints, the houshold and Kingdome of God. Yea saith Barrow, a people, chosen, redeemed Saints by calling, partakers of the most precious faith, and glorious hope, the humble, obe­dient, loving Sheepe of Christ, a sheepe-fold watched by discipline, a garden well inclosed, here entreth no Cana­nite, every vessell is holy.

Answ. 1. The body of Christ, a Kingdome of Priests and Saints, and these that are partakers of the holy faith, are the chosen of God, ordained for glory in his decree of election, and effectually called and justified; but the ad­versaries say, that the visible Church is a company of Saints by calling, where (saith Ainsworth) there be many called, but few chosen, hence this argument will prove that none, no hypocrites can be in the visible Church, as a Church is indeed Christs body. Now the Church visible as a Church is indeed Christs body, a reyall Priest-hood, a chosen generation, but as visible, it is sufficient that the Church be a royall Priest-hood only in profession, and so possibly for a while, no royall Priest­hood, no chosen generation, as I have observed before. But (say they) hypocrites are not indeed and really mem­bers of the true visible Church, but only in reputation, as an eye of glasse, is not indeed a true part of the body.

I answer, then our adversaries give us no right de­scription of the true naturall and lively members of the true visible Church, he that would give such a defini­tion of a man as agreeth both to a living man, and to a pictured or painted man, were but a painted Logician. [Page 115] For they acknowledge the true parts of a visible Church to be a chosen people, a royall generation, partakers of the holy faith, either they are really and in Gods esteem a chosen people, &c. And so we are at a point, there be none members of a visible Church, none ought to heare the word as members of the Church, none ought to preach, baptize, bind and loose with the rest of the Congregation, but these that are really chosen and ef­fectually called, which cannot be said. Ainsworth then and M. Canne, and Smith doe but mocke us, when they say, The true matter of a true visible Church are Saints in profession, and in the judgement of charity, for that is not enough, they must be according to the Texts of Scripture alledged by Barrow, not onely in the judge­ment of charity, but in Gods estimation, and in the judgement of verity, a chosen people, a royall generation. If the true matter of the true visible Church be a chosen ge­neration and a royall Priest-hood only in profession, the pla­ces cited will not help them; for Peter, 1 Pet. 2. writeth not to an independent Congregation, who are in pro­fession only a chosen people; But he writeth to the Catholick Church, even to all the dispersed and sanctified, and regenerated in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bythinia, who were not only a chosen generation in profession, but also really and in Gods decree of election. Neither Peter nor Isaiah are of purpose to teach that in the independent Congregation of the New Testament there are none, but all righteous men, no stones (to speake with Isaiah) but Saphires and Carbuncles, no thornes and briers, but only the firre and the myrtle trees; no iron and brasse, but all gold and silver; no Cananite, no Lyon, no uncleane vessell, this they shall not find in the indepen­dent Congregations of Separatists, nor can it be in the vi­sible Church on earth, except they seeke the Anabaptists Church, a man in the Moone.

4. They reason thus, 4. Object. The wicked are expresly forbidden in the word of God,Guide place cited p [...] 32. pag. 16. for medling with his Covenant and or­dinances, Psal. 50. So the guide to Zion.

[Page 116] Answ. The wicked are forbidden to speake of Gods Law and his Covenant, in some case, so long as they hate to be reformed, but they are not simply forbidden; but hence it followeth not, that they should not be ordinary hearers of the word, but rather they are to be hearers, and so members of the visible Church, seing faith commeth by hearing. 2. From this argument is nothing conclu­ded against us, for such adulterers, theeves and slanderers, as are forbidden to take Gods Law in their mouth, Psal. 50. are to be cast out of the Church, and the question is, if they be not cast out, if the Church for that be no true Church, that we should remaine in, they say it lea­veth off to be a true visible Church: we deny.

5. There is (saith Ainsworth) proclaimed by God him­selfe,5. Object. enmity and warre, betwixt the seede of the woman, and the seede of the Serpent;Geneses 3. 1 Cor. 6. and there is no communion nor fel­lowship betwixt Christ and Beliall, light and darknesse. There­fore the prophane and the godly cannot be mixed together in one visible society, as two contraries are not capeable of one and the same forme.

Answ. This will prove that which is not denyed, that the godly and ungodly cannot agree well together, sup­pose the ungodly be latent hypocrites; for they have two contrary natures, as fire and water, and have two con­trary fathers, God and Sathan, but that is not denyed. But hence it followeth not but that hypocrites and unbelee­vers may be all their life in externall society with the wicked, and make up one true visible Church.

6. If the godly have a due right to the promises and seales of Gods covenant,6. Object. and his presence and blessings appertaine to them.Separatists [...]. peti­tion to K. James, 3. position, pag. 45. Mat. 28. 18, 19. 2 Cor. 6. 17. Levit. 26. 11, 12. Isa. 56. 20. Then no prophane persons can be received or retained in the visible Church with the godly; for this is, 1. To pro­phane the holy things of God, which no beleever should suffer. 2. This is contrary to the nature of the covenant that offereth remission of sinnes only to the chosen and faithfull. 3. The godly shall become one body with the wicked, by having com­munion with them. 1 Cor. 10. 16, 17. and so shall be [Page 117] defiled, Haggai 2. 12. 1 Corin. 5. 6.

Answ. 1. This argument is injurious to Gods provi­dence, who hath left no infallible meanes to keepe his owne Name and ordinances from prophanation, and his owne Church from being leavened and defiled with the uncleane. For Simon Magus, Annanias and Saphira, Demas, to whom the precious promises of the covenant were preached, and the seales conferred, could not be discerned to be hypocrites by any word of God, while the event of their out-breaking wickednesse declared them to be such, and so this should prove that God is not tender enough of the honour of his owne Name and ordinances, who should permit hypocrites to lurke in the visible Church, and heare the promises, and receive the seales of the covenant, and defile and pollute them, and Christs body the Church, for the godly by that Text are made one body, 1 Cor. 10. (if it be rightly expounded) with the latent hypocrites that come to the communion with them. 2. The promises and seales were not de­filed to Christ and his Disciples, because Iudas did heare the word, and receive the seales of the word with them: The Word and Sacraments were not polluted to Paul, because Demas did communicate with him. 3. If some one private Christian know another to be an adulterer, he is to rebuke him privately, and not to tell the Church, but in case of obstinacie, and suppose the Church would not cast out the adulterer, yet is he not to private per­sons an adulterer, while he be juridice, by two or three witnesses convicted before the Church, and all this while it is lawfull to communicate with him; for a a testimonie should not be received against any, but un­der two witnesses. We are not made one body by eating that same supper with an unbeleever, except it be one visible body communicating in one visible bread. Christ and the Apostles were not made one body misticall with Iudas, by eating the Passeover together, but only one visible externall society which is not inconvenient.

7. They reason thus: 7. Object. The leaper by the Law was not to [Page 118] remaine in the campe, but behooved for so many dayes to be removed, and not re-admitted to come amongst the people of God, while he was cleansed; the uncircumcised must not be admitted to eat the Passeover, the uncleane and uncircum­cised, the [...] the Heathen, the Moabites and Ammo­rites were not suffered to enter into the Temple: And all these signified that no profane person should be mixed with the con­gregation of beleevers.

I answer. The uncircumcised and the Heathen did sore-signifie the excommunicated, who are to be reputed as Heathen and Publicanes, Mat. 18. 17. and these are to be cast out of the Church being once sentenced and judged by the Church according to Christs order and Pauls; if the sinne be publicke, Math. 18. and 1 Tim: 5. 20. yet are they not to be debarred wholly from the society of the congregation, but they must not be counted as enemies, but admonished as Brethren, 2 Thes: 3. 15. the uncircum­cised were not counted as brethren, yea excommunica­tion is a meane to save the spirit in the day of the Lord, 1 Cor: 5. 5. and so he is under the Churches cure, as a sick son, and must heare the Word, and is to be as a Heathen, and yet not a Heathen indeed, but warned as a brother, and in some Church-communion with us.

8. They reason thus, 8. Obiect. If the prophane be admitted as mem­bers of the true visible Church, the true Church should not be distinguished from false Churches, contrary to the word of God, Psal. 84. 10. Cant: 1. 6, 7. Hos. 2, [...]9, 20. 2 Cor: 6. 15. Rev. 1. 11, 12, 20. compared with 17. 1, 5. but God hath differenced his true Church from all Synagogues of Satan, and humane societies, as a separated and sanctified people?

Answ. Gods courts, Psal. 84. 10. are differenced from the tents of wickednesse, The flocks of the companions, Cant: 1. 7. expounded to be the false Church, are differenced from the true Church, in that in the true Church are the Kidds fed beside the Shepheards tents, that is, the Word of God is purely preached in the true Church, and the mem­bers [Page 119] therof professe this Word, which is not done in the tents of wickednesse, and yet a Judas is often one of the Shepheards, and a Demas a follower of Paul and the Go­spell, a member of this true Church visible.

2. Hos. 2. Israel is called not Gods wife, and God not her husband, not because Israel left off to be a true Church, de facto, and formally, as if upon Gods part he had given her a bill of divorcement, the contrary wherof is said, v. 6, 7. he will give her grace to returne to her first husband, and 19. he will marry her, and Jer: 13. 14. hee was married to backesliding▪ Israel, that had plaid the harlot with many lo­vers, Jer. 3. 14. v. 1. but Isreal is called no wife, de jure, by her evill deservings, as a husband saith to his wife that hath plaid the harlot, you are not my wife, to wit, by law and right of deserving, for you have broken your Marriage-oath. Yet upon his part who hath not rent and cancelled the contract of marriage, nor put her out at doores with a written bill of divorcement, she is de facto and formally, still a wife, and so was God still in cove­nant with Israel, and sent his Prophets to them, and they had circumcision amongst them, and God had there seven thousand that had not bowed their knee to Baal, and had not cast off his people whom he fore-knew, Rom. 11. 1, 2, 3, 4.

3. God is present and Christ also in the midst of the se­ven candle-sticks, and walketh in his Church, and goeth not away, because these that digge downe his Altars and slay his Prophets, and so extinguish the candles, are in the visible Church, as is cleare, he walked in Ephesus be­side his candle-stick, howbeit, they had fallen from their first-love, and in Pergamus, howbeit the doctrine of Ba­l [...]am was there, and in Thyatira, howbeit, Jezabel the false Prophetesse was there seducing his people.

CHAP. X.
Quest. 10. Whither or no it be lawfull to seperate from a true Church visible, for the corruption of teachers, and the wickednesse of Pastours and professours, where Faith is begotten by the preaching of professed truth?

THat we may the more orderly proceed, these distin­ctions are to be considered, as making way to cleare the question.

  • 1. There is a separation in the visible Church, and a Separation out of, and from the visible Church.
  • 2. There is a Separation totall and whole, from any vi­sible communion with the Church; or partiall and in part, from a point of Doctrine or practise of the Church in a particular only.
  • 3. There is a Separation negative, when we deny the practise of an errour with silence, or refuse publike communi­on with the Church, but doe not erect a new Church within the Church. There is a separation positive, when we doe not only refuse practise of errours, and protest and pleade against them, but also erect a new visible Church.
  • 4. As there is a three-fold communion, 1. in Baptisme, 2. in hearing of the Word, 3. in communicating with the Church at the Lords Supper, so there is a three-fold sepa­ration answerable therunto.
  • 5. The influence of a worship corrupt may either be thought to come from the persons with whom we worship, or 2. from the matter of the worship, if corrupt, and that either, 1. by practise, or 2. by not practising somthing that an affirmative commandement of God im­paseth on us.
  • 6. A communion in worship either implyeth a consent [Page 121] and approbation of the worship, or no consent at all.
  • 7. A communion of worship when the worship in the mat­ter is lawfull, yet for the profession may be most un­lawfull, as to heare a Jesuite preach sound Do­ctrine.
  • 8. There is a separation from a friendly familiarity, and from a communion in worship.

1. Conclusion. We are to separate in the true visible Church, from all communion, wherin need-force we cannot choose but sinne, suppose we separate not from the Church, Eph. 5. 11. Have no fellowship with the un­fruitfull workes of darkenesse, but rather reproove them, Col. 2. [...]1. Touch not, taste not, handle not, 2 Epist. John. Bid him not God speed, that bringeth another do­ctrine.

2. Conclusion, from the first conclusion it will follow, that a separation in part, I meane, in some acts of pub­like worship, when we cannot chuse but fall in sin, from a true Church is lawfull, as we must separate from an ido­latrous communion, where the bread is adored: for then the Lords Table is made an Idols Table, and yet we are not totally and wholly to separate from the Church and hearing of the word, and praiers and praises of that Church, as we shall heare.

3. Conclusion. Anent separation from Rome, and spiri­tuall Babel: We have two parties to satisfie, if they would in reason be informed. 1. Papists. 2. Separatists, oppo­sers of government Presbyteriall, who thinke we have all as good reason to separate from our selves and Presbyte­riall Churches, as from Babel. But I shall speake a little of the first in some few Theses considerable for our pur­pose.

1. Consideration. Bell. de not. eccles. l. 4. c. 10. It is most false that Bellarmine saith, Churches all withered as branches separated from trees, when they separated from Rome: Joseph grew as a fruit­full Branch, and blessings was on the top of his head, when he was separated from his Brethren, Deut. 33. 16. [Page 122] For 1. The contrary is seene in the reformed Churches who never flourished, as since our separation from Rome. 2. The Churches in Asia and Africa, and especially the Greeke Church flourished ever since, and they separated from Rome, and had famous learned men in them after the separation, as Theophylact, Damascen, Occumenius, Zo­naras, Cedrenus, Elias Cretensis, Basil: Nilus, and ma­ny others, and especially the Aethiopian and Armenian Churches had both their Bishops and Assemblies, how­beit generall they could not have, seeing they were apart, not the whole Church.

2. Consideration. The faithfull before Luther, the Al­bigenses, Waldenses and others, yea the Romane Doctors themselves holding the fundamentall points with some hay and stubble builded upon the foundation made a nega­tive Separation from Babylon▪ and did neither hold, nor professe their grosse Idolatries, and other fundamentall errours, howbeit they did not hold them positively, by erecting a new Church, because the separation was then in the blade, and not ripe for the Har­vest.

3. Consideration. We hold that Rome made the Separa­tion from the Reformed Churches, and not we from them, as the rotten wall maketh the schisme in the house, when the house standeth still and the rotten wall fal­leth.

1. Because we left not Christianity in Rome, but the leprosie of Popery growing upon Christianity, seeing we kept the Apostolike faith, and did positively separate from the pookes, blybes, and ulcers of Christian Rome.

2. We did not separate from the Westerne Churches, either collective or representatively gathered in a generall Councell.

3. We departed not from a Nationall, Provinciall or Parishonall Church, or Pastors that we had before, nor from the materiall Temples and Churches, except that some not very considerable hyrelings and idoll-pastours [Page 123] would not goe before us.

4. And because the succession of fundamentall truths from generations to generations, is as necessary as the perpetuall existence of the true Catholick Church, while the covenant with night and day and the ordinances of Heaven shall continue, Jer: 31. 37. therfore there were a succession of professours and members of the Catholick Church that did ever hold these fundamen­tals, which we to this day hold against Rome; suppose Histories cannot cleare the particular persons by name.

5. We have not separated from Romes baptisme and ordination of Pastors according to the substance of the act, nor from the letter of the twelve Articles of the Creed and contents of the old and new Testament, as they stand with relation to the mind and intent of the Holy Ghost, howbeit we have left the false interpretations of the Lords of poore peoples Faith and Conscien­ces.

4. Consideration. We separate not from acts of love to have the reliques of Babel saved, howbeit we have separa­ted from communion in faith and worship.

5. Consideration. The essentiall ingredients and reasons of a lawfull divorce are here. 1. we could not lye in one bed with that sometime sister Church of Rome, but our skin behoved to rub upon her botch-boyle, and therfore we did separate from nothing but corruption. 2. There was there persecutions, and in that we are patients and ejected rather then departers on foot and horse. 3. A pro­fessed dominion over our consciences. 4. Necessity of receiving the marke of the beast, and so the plagues of the beast, to worship Images, and the worke of mens hands, a necessity of professing fundamentall errours, that subvert the foundation of faith, did all necessitate our seperation.

6. Consideration. The Church of believers might lawfully use justâ tutelâ aet [...]rnae salutis, a necessary de­fence for salvation, and forsake her corrupt guides and [Page 124] choose others, and so we had the consent of the Church to the separation, and a voice from Heaven, Come out of her my people.

7. Consideration. A collaterall and sister-Church, such as Rome ever was, is not said to separate from ano­ther; the lesser separateth alway from the greater, the member from the body. Where there is a schisme, sister-Protestant Churches then cannot be said to sepa­rate one from another, nor can the crime of schisme here be more objected to us then to Rome, but rather to Rome separating from Orthodoxe and right beleeving Rome.

8. Consideration. We separate not from men but er­rours. 2. We separate from Papisme kindly, properly and totally: from Christian Articles in no sort. 3. From points of truth sewed and engraven with Popery only by accident, breaking the thread and needle that sowed them together.

But as concerning the other point. We see not how we are to separate from the reformed Churches,Ainsworth coun­terpoyson, p 8. as Ainsworth saith, and how M. Jacob saith, Our reformed Divines cannot satisfie the obiection that Calvin and Luther, and Zuinglius, who had their ordination and calling to be Pastors from the Church of Rome, and so from Antichrist, and so our Ministers having ordination and calling from Ministers, who had their calling from Antichrist cannot be lawfull Ministers, nor our Church a true Church, see­ing it wanteth a true Ministery, except we say with them, they had their calling essentially from the suffrages and con­sent of the Church of beleevers, who have power to ordaine Ministers, and power to depose and excommunicate them if need be. But I answer, this power is in the backe of the Bible, and amongst unwritten traditions, not in the holy Oracles of the old or new Testament. Hence I will speake a word of the calling of our reformers. 2. of the Church of Rome, A [...]ton Walleu [...]ne [...]. [...] 8. if they could give a calling to our reformers,Eccles. pa. [...] ▪ 10. seeing we hold them to be an An­tichristian Church. Some answer and Walleus ap­proveth [Page 125] them, that Luther, Zuinglius, Farellus were Pastors ordinary of Churches,Tylen. sytnag. theol. dis. 23. thes. 41, 42, 43. and so had power to con­vince the gainsayers.Bucan. loc. com. 42. quest. 47. But the question yet remaineth from whence had these before them their calling? Our Divines,Profess Leydens. dis 42. thes. 41, 42, 43. Tylen, Bucan, professors Leyd. Walleus distin­guish here three things, 1. Something in the calling of our reformers was from God: so authoritatively, they were called of God, the Ministery being of God. 2. The Christian Church lying under Popery, called, designed, and ordained the men to be Pastors; so their calling according to the substance of the act was from God, and the Romane Church as a Christian Church. 3. There was corruption in the way and manner of their vocation, as the Antichristian ceremonies, and an oath to maintaine the doctrine of the Church of Rome, not onely as a Christian Church, but also as Romish, if any of them did sweare to defend the corruptions of the Church, this latter was taken away by Gods il­lumination of their minds: A called Minister sweareth to defend the truth, and this truth of this Church; but aye under the notion of truth; and if he see it to be er­rour he still holdeth the substance of his oath, in as far as it is obligatory and tyeth him in conscience.

It is objected, Obi. An Antichristian Church cannot or­daine Christian Ministers, Rome was then an Antichri­stian Church, Ergo,

Answ. Ans. That which is wholy, as touching its whole essence Antichristian, cannot ordaine Christian Mini­sters: True, A dead man cannot beget a living barne: The Romane Church was not wholly Antichristian, but kept some of Christs truth. That which is An­tichristian in part onely, may ordaine Ministers, who have the true essence of a Ministeriall calling; for Israel no wife, but a whore, Hos. 2. 2. a whore and no wife me­rito & iure, in ill deserving; yet a mother and a wife, de facto, and keeping something of a covenanted bride, is called Gods people, Hos. 4. 6. and Ezech. 16. 21. Thou hast slaine my children, then her barnes were Gods barnes [Page 126] in Covenant, and not bastards: God was still Sama­ria's God, Hos. 13. 16. a remnant according to election re­mained, Rom. 11. 5. The Orthodox Fathers acknow­ledged the Africanes as a true Church, who defended heresie, that barnes baptized by heretickes were to be baptized againe. 2. A calling is extraordinary, either in habit or in exercise; in habit, as to be an Apostle, and have the gift of miracles: Thus our reformers cal­ling was not extraordinary, they were not immediate­ly called by God from heaven; for they would not have concealed such a calling, if they had had any such: Or a calling is extraordinary in the exercise, and that two wayes; Either in the Principle moving them to teach, or 2. in the manner of teaching and efficacy; a calling extraordinary in the principle moving, is two­fold: Either a meere Propheticall impulsion of Reve­lation, stirring them up to such an act, as the Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul, and he prophecyed, this our reformers had not, because we never finde that they alleadge it. 2. A more then ordinary motion with il­lumination by Gods Spirit, speaking in the Scriptures, in which motions they were not subordinate in the exercise of their Ministery to the Church of Pastors; but immediately in that subordinated to God, and in this I prove that our reformers were extraordinary Do­ctors.

1. Because Ezech. 34. in a universall aposta [...]ye of the Prophets and shepheards, the Lord extraordinarily wor­keth, v. 11. For thus saith the Lord God, behold I, even I will both search my sheep, and seeke them out. Now this is by Pastors, when the ordinary Pastors are all failed. So Rev. 11. in that universall Apostacye under Anti­christ, when the Gentiles treade upon the utter Court of the Temple, and the holy City, God stirreth up two wit­nesses to prophecye in sack [...]loth; that is, some few Pastors (for two is the smallest number) and they prophecye, and are slaine, and yet they rise againe. We need not apply this to men in particular, as to John Hush, and [Page 127] Jerome of Prague; but certainly, some few spake against Babylon, and they were borne downe, and oppressed, and killed, and men of that same spirit rose and spake that same truth, as if the very two men who were slaine, had risen within three dayes againe.

2. Because when the Church is overgone with he­resie and Apostacye, our reformers in the exercise of their Minestery, were not to keepe a certaine flocke as in a constitute Church, and suppose they had no cal­ling but eminent gifts, they were to spread the Gos­pell to Nations, as Luther did, and suppose the people should resist them, as in many places they did; yet God called them, and they were not to expect election from people: So Cyprus and Cyrenus preached, Act. 11. and 18. and we reade of no vocation that they had from either people or Apostle.Origen, Homil 11. i [...] Num. 18. So Origen preached to a people in a certain Town, where there was not one Chri­stian, and afterwards he was chosen their Pastor.

As for the Church of Rome, suppose our Reformers have their calling thence, yet have we a true Ministry and there was a Church in Rome before the Lateran Coun­cell, which could constitute a true Ministry, as I cleare in these distinctions, for the Church of Rome it hath these parts.

1. Distinction. 1. The court of Rome and Clergy, 2. The seduced people.

2. Distinction. There is a teaching court professing and teaching Popery, and obtruding it upon the consciences of others. 2. There is a people professing and believing this with heat of zeal. 3. A people misled, ignorant, not doubting but following. 4. There is a people of God, Come out of her my people, ergo. there is a covenanted people of God there, 2 Thess. Antichrist shall sit in the Temple of God, ergo. GOD hath a Temple in Rome.

A third Distinction is necessary; a true Church is one thing veritate Metaphysicâ, with the verity of es­sence, as a sick-man, or a man wanting a legg is a [Page 128] true man, and hath a reasonable soule in him, and a true Church veritate Ethicâ, a Church morally true, that is, a sound, whole, a pure Church professing the sound faith, that is another thing. Rome is a sick-Church and a maimed and lamed Church, wanting legs and armes, and so is not morally a true Church, for vile corruption of Doctrine is there, as we say a thief is not a true man, but a false and a taking man, yet he hath a mans nature and a reasonable soule in him; the question is if Rome have the soul, life and being of a Church.

A fourth Distinction is: That the question is either of a teaching Church and a Ministeriall, professing Christ, the Word and Baptisme, or of a believing Church and Spouse of Christ.

The fifth Distinction is. If Rome relatively be a wife in comparison of other Churches, or if Rome absolutely in her self be a Church.

The sixth Distinction is. If Rome be jure and me­rito, a Spouse, or an Harlot, or de facto, a wife, not having received a Bill of Divorcement, as the Church of the Iewes.

The seventh Distinction is. If Rome according to some parts be a Spouse, and keepeth any list of marriage kindnes to her husband, or if she be according to other parts a cast off whore.

The eighth and last is, if Rome be materially a Church, having in it the Doctrine of faith, or if formally it bee no Church, having no professed faith that hath the nature of faith.

Hence shortly I say, The Court of Rome as Popish, is the falling-sicknesse of the Church, not the Church. But the same Court teaching something of Christ, baptisme, good-works, &c, hath something of the life and being of a Church, howbeit she be not a whole Church, her skinne being leprous, pocky and pol­luted.

1. Because in a Church that is no Church, there can­not [Page 129] be a true feale of Gods covenant, but in the Court of Rome there is true baptisme; for we baptize not againe children once baptized there; some of the Separation called it Idoll-baptisme, and no baptisme, which is Ana­baptisme, for then all converted Papists must be bapti­zed againe, no lesse then converted Turkes and Iewes; But 1. The covenant is there, Come out of her my people: then their baptisme confirmeth this covenant. 2. Cir­cumcision even in apostate Israel is true circumcision, her barnes the Lords barnes, Ezech. 16. 21. hee is Is­raels God, the holy one of Israel in the midst thereof. In Hezokiahs reformation the people ate the Passeover, and yet all had corrupted their wayes, and had beene a long time worshipping Idols, and they are not, 2 Chro. 30. circumcised againe, and yet Exod. 12. none but the circum­cised might eate the `Passeover.

2. Because the word of God and so the contract of Marriage is professed amongst them, and so there is an externall active calling there, and the word of the co­venant sounding amongst them, and a passive calling also, because many secretly believe and obey. 3. Many fun­damentall truths are taught that may beget faith, and so there are true and valid pastorall acts in that Church. 2. I say there is an hid and invisible Church and Temple in Rome, and these God warneth to come out of Babel, and these we by writings cry unto, that they would forsake their harlot mother, and worship the Lord in truth, and they obey, howbeit they dare not professe the truth. But the teaching Church teaching Popery and fundamentall truths, and obtruding them upon the con­sciences of others, is not the believing Church, and so not the spouse and body of Christ. 3. Rome now com­pared with Paules Rome which he did write unto, is no Church, no spouse, as a whorish wife compared with her selfe in her first moneth to her Husband, while she was chaste, is now, when she imbraceth the bosome of a stranger, no wife, and yet Rome compared with In­dians who worship Sathan, with Persians who wor­ship [Page 130] the Sunne, with the Egyptians who worshipped gods growing in their gard [...]ns, as Oneons and Garlick, for so Juvenal, ‘O sanctas gentes quibus haec nascuntur in hortis Numina.’ I say,Franci [...] John ans. to ob of Separat, pag 62, 63. being compared with these, they are the Lords Temple, 2 Thes. 24. Rev. 18. 4. and his Wife, as (one saith well) apostate Israel compared with Syrians, Phi­listines is counted Gods people, having the true God for their God, 2 King. 5. 8, 15, 17. But being compared with Judah which ruled with God, and was faithfull with the Saints, is called no wife, but an harlot, Hose 2. 2, 5. & 4. 15. & 5. 3, 4. 4. Rome iure and merito, in her bad deserving to her Lord, is no wife, no Church, no spouse, no peo­ple in covenant with God, and yet de facto and formally in possession, in profession, and for matrimoniall tables which she keepeth is a Church, and differeth from the Jewes, as a Church and no Church. 1. Because albeit the Jewes have the old Testament, which implicity and by interpretation is the covenant, yet they want two things which Rome hath which destroyeth the essence of a true Church. 1. The Iewes give not so much as a vir­tuall consent to the Marriage and the very externall active calling and invitation to come to Christ, and all mini­steriall publishing of the newes of salvation is removed from them, Acts 13. 46. but there is a virtuall consent to the Marriage with Christ in Rome, and salvation there in the word, and some ministeriall and pastorall publi­cation thereof as in the seed. 2. Iewes directly oppugne the Cardinall foundation of salvation, 1 Cor. 3. 11. Acts 4. 12. 1 Thes. 2. 15, 16. Christ Jesus, Papists professe him, and have his seales amongst them, especially bap­tisme. 5. Rome in concreto, according to her best part, to wit, secret beleevers groaning and sighing in Egypts bondage is a true Church; but Rome in abstracto, the faction of Papists, as Papists, are no spouse of Christ, but the whore of Babel, and mother of fornications. 6. How­soever [Page 131] Rome be materially a true Church, having the materiall object of faith, the doctrine of the old and new Testament common with us, yet formally they are not one Church with us, but there is a reall and essentiall separation betwixt us and them, as betwixt a true Church and an Antichristian Church, a spouse of Christ and no spouse; for faith relatively taken, faith of many united in one society doth essentially constitute a Church, and the formall object of their faith is the word of the Church, and of men, or Gods word as expounded by men, and our faiths object formall is the word of God, as the word of God, and so doe formally differ. 7. How­beit I say Rome is a Church teaching and professing, and hath something of the life and being of a true Church, yet I hold not that Rome is Christs body, nor his wife. Neither meane I with our late novators, Prelates and their faction sometimes in this Land, and now in Eng­land, that Rome is a true Church, as they taught, that is,Calv. iustit. lib. 4 cap. 2. sect. 11. so a true Church as, 1. We erred in separating from that leaper whore. 2. That her errours are not fundamentall,Junius, lib sing [...], de eccl. cap. 17. and that we and this mother can be recon­ciled and bedde together.Whittaker, contr [...], 2 quest 3. cap. 2. But what I say, is holden by our Divines Calvin, Junius, Whittaker, that famous Di­vine Rivetus; Rivet, in Catho. or­thodox. 101. q. 7. tract. 2. 11. that most learned Professor Gilbertus Voe­tius, Gil [...]. vo [...]ti [...] desper. causae papatus lib. 3. cap. 7. sect. 2. and our Divines. Voetius maketh nine rankes of these that were not dyed and engrained Papists in the popish Church. 1. Some deceived. 2. Some compelled. 3. Some ignorant. 4. Some carelesse, who took [...] not heed to that faith. 5. Some doubting. 6. Some loathing it. 7. Some sighing. 8. Some opposing and contradicting it. 9. Some separating from it. Now seeing our Church hath nothing to doe with Rome, and our ministry lawfull, Se­paratists may hence be satisfied.Spalat [...]. de. Rep. eccl. in osten e [...]r. Sua. c. 1. pag. 887. 888, Neither yet doe I thinke with Spalato de repub. Eccles. in ostensione er­ror. Suarezij cap. 1. pag. 887, 888. That the Ro­imane Church is erronious onely in excesse, seeing [...]n substantiall points there is such defect also as averteth aith.

[Page 132] 4. Conclusion, There be three sorts that have com­munion rightly with our Church, 1. Infants baptised, for baptisme is a seale of their fellowship with Christ, and therefore of communion with the Church, because Separatists will have none members of the Church, while they can give proofes thereof by signes of regeneration, infants must be without the Church, as Infidels and Turks, for none are the Church to them, but the royall generation, partakers of the holy faith, taught of God, called and separated from the world, the rest are without: hence baptisme shall either seale no entring of infants in the Church, contrary to Gods word, or the baptizing of in­fants is not lawfull, as Anabaptists teach. 2. The hea­rers of the word have a communion with the Church as is cleare, seeing these that eate of one bread are one body, these that professe in the hearing of the word, that same faith, are also that same body in profession; yet excom­municate persons are admitted as hearers of the word. Hence only the extreame and great excommunication, 1 Cor. 16. 22. cutteth of men from being simply no mem­bers of the Church, that excommunication that maketh the party as a heathen and Publican, supposeth him still to be a brother and hearer of the word, 2 Thes. 3. 14, 15. And all these are members of the Church and yet not ne­cessarily converted. 3. The regenerate and beleevers that communicate of one bread and one cup at the Lords Table, are most neerely and properly members of one visible body, and none of these are to separate from Christs body.

5. Conclusion, It is not lawfull to separate from any worship of the Church for the sinnes of the fellow-wor­shippers, whether they be officers or private Christians.

1. Because Scribes and Pharisees, 1 Arg. and the Church in Christs dayes was a most perverse Church, the rulers perverted the Law, Mat. 5. 21. denyed that hatred and rash anger was a sinne, ver. 22. or heart adultery a sin. Made the commandement of God of no effect by their tradi­tions, Mat. 15. 6. polluted the worship with superstition [Page 133] and will-worship, ver. 7. 8. Mark. 7. 6, 7, 8. said it was nothing to sweare by the Temple, devoured widdows houses, made their proselites children of damnation, Mat. 13. 14, 15, 16. were blind guides, filled the measure of their fathers wrath, slew the Lord of glory, 1 Cor. 2. 8, 9. killed and cru­cisied the Prophets, were blind guides, and the blind people followed them, and slew the Lord of glory also. The Priest-hood was keeped by Moyen, Caiphas was High-priest that yeare. But Christ by practice and precept forbad to separate from this Church. Ergo, &c, The assumption is cleare. Mat. 23. They sit in Moses his chaire, heare them, Mat. 10. 6, 7. Goe to the lost sheepe of the house of Israel and preach. And Christ and his Disciples observed their feasts, preached in the Temple and Synagogues, Joh. 1. 7, 37. Joh 8. 2. Luk. 4. 16. Luk. 1. 9. Christ reasoned with them about religion, Ioh. 10. 24, 25, 26.

Ainsworth replyeth to this,Ainsworth conu­terposs. pag. 8. Christ and his Disciples se­parated from the corruptions of the Iewish Church: and from false Churches, as from the Samaritanes. Answ. We ac­knowledge separation from corruption, but not from the worship of corrupters, when they keepe the foun­dation, the Samaratine-Church had not the foundation, but worshipped they knew not what, neither was there salvation in their Church, Iohn 4. 2. but there was the true God worshipped among the Iewes and salvation a­mongst them.

2. Ainsworth replyeth, The Iewish Church consisted still, as Moses had ordained, Levit. 20. 24. of a people separated from the heathen, and were the children of the Prophets and covenant, Joh. 4. 9. Acts 3. 25. but your Church consisteth of an unseparated people? Answ. The Priest-hood was changed,Toletus in Ioh. 10. Calvin in loo. Ioh. 11. 51. Caiphas was High-priest that yeare, against the Law (as Tollet observeth) for the High-priest,Iosephus antiq. Iud. lib. 18. cap. 3. Exod. 28. 29. by the Law was High-priest till his dying day. But all was corrupted (saith Cal­vin,) and all bought and sold (saith Iosephus:) this was as Anti-Mosaicall as our reformers Ministry is Anti­christian, if they had their calling only from Rome. [Page 134] 2. The Jewish Church consisted of men separated from heathen, who said stand back, I am holier then thou, Isaiah 65. but they were corrupters of the L [...]w, mur­therers of the Prophets and the heire Christ, Math. 21. hypocrites, will-worshippers, blind guides, blind peo­ple, &c.

Our second Argument,2. Arg. If Gods Prophets and people were never commanded to separate from the publike worship, but commanded to come up to Ierusalem and worship, pray, sacrifice with Gods people, Deut. 12, 11, 12, 13. Deut. 15. 19, 20. Deut. 16. 7, 8. v. 16, 17. And yet that people was a crooked and perverse genera­tion, Deut. 32. 5. not his children, provokers of God to jea­lousie with strange gods, sacrificers to Divells, ver. 16, 17. their workes for bitternesse like the clusters and grapes of So­dome, ver. 32. a people that had neither eyes nor eares, nor heart to understand God, Deut. 29, 3, 4. stiffe necked, foo­lish, proud, murmurers, idolaters, &c. Then the sinfulnesse of the worshippers defileth not the worship, and we are not to separate from the worship for the wickednesse of the worshippers. But the former is Scripture, Ergo separate we cannot upon this pretence. The proposi­tion is sure, for God cannot both command his people to come and worship publikely with his people, and then also forbid them, because for the wickednesse of the worshippers, they were to abstaine. Also 2. It will follow that the people should not have gone to Shiloh when God commanded them to sacrifice with Elies sonnes,1 [...]am. 2. because they committed silthinesse with the women at the doore of the Tabernacle of the Congrega­tion, because Elies soones wickednesse made men to ab­horre the Lords sacrifice.

Also 3. Because to prophecy to a people,3. Arg. and for the people to heare the word of prophecy are both acts of worshipping God, it will follow, if we must abstaine from the worship for the knowne sinnes of fellow-wor­shippers, then Isaiah sinned in prophecying to a people la­den with iniquity, corrupt children, the seede of evill doers, [Page 135] hypocrites, rebells, Sodome and Gomorrah, murtherers, oppressors, &c. Isa. 1. for Isaiah and that wicked people worshipping together, the worship was defiled to Isa­iah, by these wicked hearers, and he should have ab­stained from prophecying and separated from that pol­luted and unlawfull worship. Hence Ieremiah sinned in prophecying to Israel and Iudah, Hosea sinned, Amos sinned in prophecying to wicked people, Ionah sinned in prophecying to Niniveh; Paul sinned in preaching Christ to the obstinate Iewes, to the scoffing Athenians. And seeing they were commanded to prophecy obe­dience to Gods commandements, shall it be sin and diso­bedience, for certainely the preacher and the hea­rers of the preaching joyne in one and the same wor­ship.

Also 4. Baruch should not have gone to the house of the Lord at the commandement of Ieremiah, 4. Arg. and so at Gods commandement, Ier. 36, 6, 7. to reade the booke of the Prophecie of Jeremiah, in the eares of the Princes and people at the entry of the new-gate of the Lords house, ver. 10. because the Princes, Priests, Prophets and people fol­lowed Baalim, slew their children to Molech, forsooke the Lord their God, said to a stock thou art my father, came to Gods house and cryed, the Temple of the Lord, the Tem­ple of the Lord, and yet did steale, murther, commit adultery, sweare falsly, burne incense to Baal, and walke after other gods, Jer. 9. 2, 3, 13, 14. Chap. 5. 31. Chap. 7. 8, 9, 10. Chap. 2. 13, 14. ver. 27. Chap. 14. 15, 16. Chap. 23. 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 12. Chap. 7. 30, 31, 32. Chap. 15. 1. No peo­ple could be more desperately wicked; yet Ieremiah worshipped God with them, commanded Baruch to worship God, and commanded the King, his servants, and the people publikely to worship and heare and beleeve the word, Chap. 22. 2, 3. v. 5. Chap. 19. 3, 4. Chap. 26. 2. And besides he should have commanded the faithfull to separate from such an Idolatrous Church, and not com­manded them to heare in the Lords house, and beleeve and obey. So Ezechiel commandeth a most wicked [Page 136] and idolatrous people to joyn in the publick worship, Ezek. 6 2, 3. Chap. 20. 3, 4, 5. Chap. 21. 3, 4. so all the rest of the Prophets.

1. This idolatrous people in the judgement of chari­ty could not be judged visible Saints, seeing they were visible Idolaters, lyars, murtherers, adulterers, and an Assembly of treacherous persons.

2. It cannot be said, that to prophecy to them in publick is not to keep a religious communion with them. For to heare on Messiah preached, these same promises, threatnings, covenant, and that ordinarily, is an evident signe of a Church-fellowship, and joynt wor­shipping of God together.

There only reason that they give to this is. Robinson against Bernard. p. 100. The com­mon-wealth of Israel was a policy established by God, by covenant without exception, and so long as the Covenant stood unbroken on Gods part, though broken on their part, it was not lawfull to separate from that Church. So Ro­binson.

Others say, Ainsworth coun­terpoyson p. 8, Christ behooved to be borne of the true Church, therefore they never left off to be the true Church till Christ came.

Answ. First, we have Robinson contrary to Ainsworth, the Israelites then sacrifi [...]ed to Divels, not to God, Deut. 32. 17. [...] Chron. 11. 15. and will you say the Prophets separated no [...] from them, saith Ainsworth. We say in the act of sacrificing to Divels, the Prophets that were holy separa­ted from them, but not from their Church and lawful wor­ship. Robinson saith, They were to hold communion with that Church of Israel without exception.

2. We have a faire confession, Separatist confes. [...]. 31. that contrary to the 31. Article, The faithfull may become and stand members, and have a spirituall communion with a people, as an orderly gathered and constituted Church of Christ that are Idola­ters, thieves, murtherers, worshippers of Baal, so being they worship the true God publickly as he commandeth, and be in externall covenant with him.

3. Suppose the Church of Israel should have had a ty­picall [Page 137] priviledge in this beyond all the Churches of the new Testament, which Ainsworth will not grant, nei­ther can we see it, yet all the Separatists goodly argu­ments hence fall to the ground, if the faithfull might lawfully keep Church fellowship with the Church of Israel so corrupted. Then in the old Testament Christ and Belial, light and darkenesse might be in one Church worship. Then in the old Testament, the seed of the woman, and the Serpents seed could agree together, then it was lawfull to remain in Babel, lawfull to be­come members of an Harlot Church, and be defiled with their unlawfull worship, and to consent therunto. Then it was not required in the old Testament, that the Church of God, and his people in Covenant should be a Royall Priest-hood, an holy people. In the old Testament, the Church might be a whoore, Worship Baal, Sacrifice to Divel [...], and yet remain the Spouse and wife of Jehovah. All their passages cited in the old Testament for se­paration from a Church fall. The Church of Israel had not Christ for their King, Priest and Prophet, and therfore was not separated from all false Churches, as they prove from Hos. 2. 2. Cant. 1. 7, 8. Psal. 84. 10. in the old Testament, The wicked might have taken the co­venant of God in their mouth, contrary to Psal. 50. 16, 17. which place the authour of the Guide to Zion, Guide to Zion, pos. 32. p. 16. al­leadgeth, to prove that idolaters and wicked persons are not members of the true visible Church. Separat 3. petit to K. Iams.; pos. Then it is false that Separatists said, The Lord in all ages appointed, and made a separation of his people from the world, before the Law, under the Law, and now in the time of the Gospell. For M. Robinson teacheth us in the old Testament none were to separate from the Church of Israel though never so abhomi­nable in wickednesse.

Lastly, The Church of Israel had no such priviledge as that persons who were idolaters, thieves, worship­pers of Baal, and forsakers of the true God, and going a whoring after strange gods should remaine members of Christs true body, and a redeemed Church; for then [Page 138] they should have had a priviledge, to goe to Heaven, holding the broad way to Hell, for Christs true body shall be glorified.

Also 5. Elijah should have grievously sinned against God in gathering together all Israel on Mount Car­mell, 5. Arg. amongst the which there were seven thousand that bowed not their knee to Baal, [...]o [...]. 11. and was the Lords elected and sanctified people, and also with them the idolatrous people that halted betwixt God and Baal, 1 Kin. 18. for so he brought light and darkenesse, Christ and Belial to one and the same publick worship, for there was praying and preaching and a miraculous sacrifice, and ver. 39. All the people fell on their faces and worshipped, and Elijah knew them to be an idolatrous people, and that the faithfull in that worship behoved to have bin defiled and consenters to the unlawfull worship of these halters betwixt God and Baal.

Master Canne, M. Canne neces▪ of Sepa [...]. pa. 107. poore soule doubtsome what to say, saith, These that preach to people have not spirituall com­munion with all which are present and heare the same, for the Divell is often a hearer. But this is a poore shift, for neither Saviour, Word of God, covenant, promise, or seale belongeth to Satan: He is a hearer to carry away the seed that falleth by the way side, Mat. 13. And so because the word is not Satans in offer, and he com­meth uncalled, he hath no Church communion with the Church, but the Word preached to men, and e­specially in an ordinary way is a professed communion with all professours, for so the word of God saith, Eze. 33. 3. They come unto thee as the people commeth, and they sit before thee as my people, and they heare thy words. And Esa. 58. 2. They aske of me the ordinances of Justice, they take delight in approaching to God. And Esa. 2. 2. The peoples communion with one another in going to the Lords Mountaine to be taught his Word, is set downe as a marke of the called Church of the Gentiles.

2. To heare or professe hearing of the word is a wor­shipping of God: therefore joynt-hearers are joynt-wor­shippers, [Page 139] and have communion together.

3. To eate at one Table of the Lord is a profession that the eaters are one body, 1 Cor. 10. 17. with that same Lord, and promises are offered in the word that are sealed in the Sacrament.

4. All our Divines proove the Church of the Iewes, and the Church under the New Testament to be one Church, because that same word of the covenant, and that same faith in substance that was preached and sea­led to us, was preached to them, 1 Cor. 10. 1, 2, 3, 4. Heb: 11. Heb: 13. 8. Heb: 3. 7, 8, 12, 13. none deny this but Armini­ans, Socinians, Papists, and some other perverters of the Scriptures.

5. If a joynt hearing of the Word be denied to be a Church-communion in externall worship, upon this ground, because all that heare doe not believe, but many scoffe at the Word, many hate it, many re­ject it in their hearts, as Separatists reason; this is most weake and prooveth that all have not an internall com­munion by faith and love, but it is nothing against a Church-communion, in the matter of Separation. Also hence it might be concluded, none have a Church-com­munion that eateth at one Table, and eateth one bread and drinketh one cup, except only believers, and so all Hypo­crites in the visible Church, hearing together, praying and praysing and receiving the seales of the covenant toge­ther in one politick and visible body with believers, should be Separatists from believers, having no Church communion with believers, the contrary whereof rea­son and s [...]nse teacheth, and Scripture, Psalm. 42. 4. Psalm. 55. 13, 14. 1 Cor: 10. 17. Math: 13. 47. Mat: 12. 13. confirmeth. Master Canne seeing this saith, We affirme not that there can be no religious communion, but with members of a visible Church, our profession and practise is daily otherwaies, yet so that they be such persons, howbeit not in Church-state, yet to bee judged in the Faith by their gracious and holy walking, and are persons in the judgement of Men gracious and holy [Page 140] in their walking, but members of a visible Church are vi­sible Saints, and so if there be no religious communion to be kept, but with persons judged gracious, then is there no religious communion to bee kept, but with members of the visible Church, who are gracious and ho­ly, which is a plain contradiction.

Moreover 6.6. Arg. The zeale of Josiah commended so high­ly by God, should have bin sinfull and wicked zeale, in commanding all the people to keepte the most solemne Passeover that ever had beene since the daies of the Judges, 2 King. 23. 21, 22. and yet Iudah was universally corrup­ted with high places, idolatry and false Priest-hood, images, groves, &c. It is true Iosiah reformed all these, it is as true he sought no more of the people for their externall right worship, but profession, and could get no more, yet he commanded not separation from the Church of Iudah, for these corruptions, howbeit much heart wickednesse was amongst them, as is cleare, v. 26. Notwithstanding God turned not from the fiercenesse of his great anger against Judah.

Moreover 7.7. Arg. Asa his zeale should have bin as sinfull in commanding all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, to conveene in an Assembly (which was farre from separation) to a solemne service of swearing a Covenant, to se [...]k the Lord, under the paine of death, to both men and woemen, and presently after such abominable Idols as [...]ad bin in Iudah and Beniamin, 2 Chron. 15. 8. were they all turned visible Saints, a holy people, a chosen generation, all taught of God, all partakers of the faith and promises, so suddenly at one Proclamation?

Also 8.8. Arg. Ioshua 24. conveened all the Tribes and ex­horted them to serve the Lord, he charged them all to conveene, and they did enter in a covenant with the Lord, and he set up a stone under an oake that was by the Sanctuary, ver: 26. Now this conveening of them all, even these who v. 14. and 23. had strange gods amongst them beside the Lord, as Ioshuah knew well, and gave [Page 141] warning therof, must have bin a sinfull fact in Ioshua, in commanding a mixture of Gods people, and these that had strange gods, to assemble in the Sanctuary, and en­ter in covenant with God, and heare the servant of God exhort them so heavenly in that Sermon Chap. 23. and Chap. 24. of Ioshuah, this was light and darknesse, Christ and Belial to come to one Sanctuary to defile the wor­ship of God, pollute the people with leaven, take the name of God in vaine, if Separatists teach true Do­ctrine.

And 9.9. Arg. Moses sinned grievously, Deut. 29. in assem­bling all the men of Israel, their little ones, wives, stran­gers, hewers of wood, drawers of water to enter in an oath and covenant to serve God, which was a solemne pub­lick worship; for there was amongst that company, who ought to have bin separated, v. 4. those to whom the Lord had not given a heart to perceive, nor eyes to see, nor ears to heare to this day. So Moses in that prophaned the name of God, polluted the word of the covenant. Many other instances might bee given for this pur­pose.

3. Argument. [...]. Principall Arg. If Paul doe not only not command separation in the Church of Corinth, but also command and approove their meeting together in Church-com­munion, 1 Cor. 5. 4. 1 Cor. 11. 18, 20, 21, 22. 1 Cor. 14. 23. 1 Cor. 16. 2. where there was schismes and contenti­ous, 1 Cor. 1. 12, 13. envying and strife, 1 Cor. 3. 3. in­cest, and incest tolerated, such as is not named amongst the Gentiles, 1 Cor. 5. 1. going to law with their bre­thren for gain before Infidels, 1 Cor. 6. Harlotry, v. 15, 16. Eating at the Idols-Table, 1 Cor. 8. Keeping fellow­ship with Divels, 1 Cor. 10. 20, 2, 22. comming to the Lords Table drunken, 1 Cor. 11. 21. eating and drinking damnation, v. 29, 30. A denying of a fundamentall point of faith, the resurrection of the dead, and that with scoffing at it, 1 Cor. 15. 35. Murthering of weak soules, whom Christ had dyed for, 1 Cor. 8. 12, 13. Pauls name despitefully traduced, 2 Cor. 10. 8, 9. &c. Then it [Page 142] is unlawfull to separate from the pure worship of God, because a Church is not constitute of visible Saints, and a people all taught of God.

To this Master Barrow answereth. Barrow of a false Church, p 24. 1. These were faults of frailty and ignorance.

Answ. Such sinnes of the flesh against the law of na­ture, as envy, strife, extortion, drunkennesse at the Lords Table are not sinnes of frailty, malitious hating and reproaching the knowne and approoved servant of God, 1 Corinth: 10. 11, 12. 1 Corinth: 4. 18, 19, 20. are not frailties, but must contaminate the worship, no lesse then sins to the which obstinacy is added, howbeit possibly not in alike measure and degree. 2. We then are to thinke them members of a visible Church, and not to separate from them, howbeit in the judgement of cha­rity we cannot say, they are a royall Priest-hood, the holy seed, the sheepe of Christ, the Spouse and body of Christ, and all taught of God, as you say, for so the constitution of the visible Church is marred, and a company that is not such, is not the matter of a visible Church, as you teach.

Barrow secondly saith, We should not separate, till their sinnes be reprooved and censured, and they declared incor­rigible, and such as will not heare admonition, such were not the Corinthians.

Answ. Then we are to esteeme denyers of the re­surrection, schismatickes, extortioners, drunkards, in­cestuous persons, fornicatours knowne so to us, to bee a Royall Priest-hood, the Sheepe, bodie and Spouse of Christ, regenerate, plants of righteousnesse, precious stones of Zion, all taught of God, aye and while the Church and Professours rebuke them and censure them.

2. If these were not dispisers of Pauls admonitions, why should Paul say, 1 Cor. 4. 21. shall I come to you with the rodde? how were some of them puffed up as though Paul would not come, ver. 18. and why doth Paul never once command that they separate from the [Page 143] Church, if the Church will not use the rodde against them? if the servant of God must waite on gainsayers and obstinate persons, if at any time God shall give them repentance, 2 Tim. 2. 14, 15, 16. Should not one wait on a whole Church, or many in a Church and keep communion with them,Separatists, con [...]ess. art 36. pag 26. till God give them repentance? It's true, Se­paratists say there should be no separation from a Church till all meanes be used of rebuking, but why did not then Elijah, Moses, Joshuah, Isaiah, Ieremiah command sepa­ration? and why did they command Church-fellowship after all meanes are used, and Israel declared stiffe-necked, Deut. 9. 6. Sodome, Gomorrah, Isa. 1. 10. impudent and hard-hearted, Ezech. 3. 7. stiffe hearted, chap. 2. 4. refu­sing to hearken, pulling away the shoulder, stopping their eare, making their heart as an Adamant? Zach. 7. 11, 12. after all which Church communion with them in the word, covenant and oath of God, Sacraments, Passeover, circumcision, prayer, hearing of the word is comman­ded.

4. Argument. 4. Principall Arg. If the Apostle tearme the Gallatians the Church of Christ, brethren; Gal. 1. 2. receivers of the Spi­rit by the hearing of faith, chap. 3. 2. the children of God by faith in Christ, ver. 26. spirituall, chap. 6. 1. and so estee­meth them a right constitute Church not to be separated from, howbeit they were in part removed from Christ to another Gospell, Gal. 1. 8. bewitched, foolish, joyning cir­cumcision and the workes of the Law with faith, and so fal­len from Christ, Christ profiting them nothing, fallen from grace, running in vaine, under the Law againe, and not un­der Christ, Gal. 5. 4, 5, 6, 18. beginning in the Spirit, ending in the flesh, Gal. 3▪ 3. if so (I say) then is it not lawfull to separate from a Church, for the sinnes of the wor­shippers. But the former is true, Ergo, so is the latter. The proposition is clear, because Pauls stiles which he giveth them make them the body and spouse of Christ, and so it is not lawfull to separate from them. Also Paul writeth to them as to the Church of Christ, which is an acknowledged Church-communion.

[Page 144] 5. Argument. [...] ▪ Principall Arg. If the Church of Ephesus be a true Church, holding the candlesticke of Christ and Christs presence walking in it, that su [...]fered for Christs name, and fainted not, Rev. 2. and yet had fallen from her first-love. If Pergamus held the doctrine of Balaam, and the Nicolaitans, and murthered the Saints, had Sathans throne amongst them, ver. 13. 14. If Thyatira suffered the woman Jezabel to seduce the servants of Christ. If Sardis had a name to live, and was dead, and her workes were not perfect before God; If Laodicea turned cold, indifferent and lukewarme in the matters of God, and was ready to be spewed out at Christs mouth. Then may a church re­maine a true Church with a lawfull, visible Ministry, ha­ving power of the word, seales and Church discipline, as all these had, and cannot be separated from, except we would leave the candlesticke, and Christ walking in the midst of the golden candlesticks.

6. Argument. 6. Principall Arg. If we are to beare long in patience, and brotherly kindnesse, with the most refractarie, and stiffe-necked gainsayers, and to preach to them, and so keepe externall communion with them, as Paul saith the servant of God must doe, 2 Tim. 2. 24, 25. much more owe we this to a whole Church which doth con­tumaciously suffer, or defend a sinne, and a sinner. But the former is true, Ergo▪ so is the latter. The proposition is proved, If we owe patience and longanimity to one, then farre more to a hundred, five hundred, ten hun­dred, so Iohn Epist 3. ver. 10, 11. did beare with the Church wherein wickednesse was tollerated. This ar­gument is confirmed, That which the Prophets of God at Gods command did, preaching, and waiting on upon an obstinate Church all the day long, that same onwai­ting patience owe we to the Church, whereof we are members: But the Prophets, at Gods command, kept Church-fellowship of prophecying to a people disobe­dient, and obstinate aye till God cast them off, as Isaiah doth chap. 65. 2, 3. all the day long: The Prophets went and preached to Ierusalem after they had stoned, and kil­led [Page 145] the former Prophets, Mat. 23. 37. and after they had killed the heire Christ Iesus, they preached to them also, Acts 2. 22. Acts 3. 13, 14. Acts 4. 1, 2, 3. 5. 4, &c. so Jer. 3▪ 12. Ieremiah after he had beene put in the stockes, and the word of the Lord became a reproach, yet still prophecyed, Ier, 20. 9. Ier. 26. 12. Now a preacher in a constitute Church is a member and part of that Church where he preacheth, and is to beleeve and be saved by that same word which he commandeth others to heare, as a meane of their salvation, 1 Tim 4. 16.

7. Argument. 7. Principall Arg. If the wickednesse of a Church have such influence as to pollute the publike worship, and to defile these that communicate in the worship, so as they must separate therefrom, and if the unconverted prea­cher be not to be heard, as a lawfull Pastor. Then also we can communicate in no Church, where there are lurking hypocrites; But both these are against the word of God, Ergo separation from the Church in that kind must be against the word of God also. The proposition is cleare: If the sinnes of these that heare, and com­municate with me, defile the worship to me, they defile it whether I know their sinnes or no. If a pest man eating with me, defile my meate; the meate is infected to me, whether I know it or no, and if I be ob­liged to know it, and know it not, my ignorance is sinnefull, and doth not excuse me. Now certainely no beleever is obliged to know the latent hypocrite, it was no sinne in the eleven Apostles, that they knew not Iudas to be the traitor while God discovered him. The as­sumption I prove, an unconverted man may be a called Pastor, whom we may lawfully heare, as Iudas was a chosen Apostle, so Mat. 7. 22, 23. Phil. 1. 16, 17, 18. Also it were lawfull to be a member of no visible Church, if the sinnes of unknown hypocrites should defile the worship, because in the net and barne-floore there are alwayes bad fish and ch [...]ffe. Barrow discov. pag. 30. Judge then if M. Barrow teach judiciously. If the open sinnes (saith he) of Mi­nisters or people defile not word and Sacraments administrated [Page 146] by them, why hath God said the sacrifice of the wicked is abhomination to the Lord? Prov. 15. and that the wicked may as well kill a man, as a bullock, and what the defiled [...]riest toucheth is defiled, their prayers and sacraments are not the Ordinances of God. Answ. Except by Anabaptists, I never read the Scripture so perverted; the praying, preaching, sacraments of a defiled Priest, and an uncon­verted man, to himselfe, but not to others, are abhomi­nable, and sinne before God; whether they be censured by the Church or no, whether they be known to be de­filed and polluted sinners in the state of nature, or not knowne; because their persons are not reconciled in Christ to God, as all our Divines prove, as Augustine and Prosper proveth against Pelagians, August. cont. Ju­lian lib. 4. cap. 13. & cont. Pesag & C [...]lest. lib. [...]. cap. [...]6 Prosper. cont. Col­lat. cap. 18. and our Divines a­gainst Arminians; see for this what Arminius, Corvi­nus, and the Jesuite Bellarmine, Suarez and [...]asques saith on the contrary. The notoriety of Ministers and professors sinnes,Armin. an [...]berk. pag 244. ad a [...]t. 31. pag. 25 [...]. or their secrecy is all one, the sinne de­fileth the man, and the mans worship, preaching and prayers to himselfe,Collat. Hag. pag. 250, 251. but their sinnes doe not an [...]ll, and make of no effect the ordinances of God,Corv. cont Molin. cap. 38. that are publike, the prayer of the unconverted Minister is the prayer of the Church,Bellarm. de grat. & lib arbit. lib. 5. cap. [...]. and heard for Christs sake, howbeit the man himselfe be a taker of Gods name in vaine,Suarez. de grat. lib. 1. cap. 21. else in­fants baptised by an unconverted Pastour, were infi­dels, and yet unbaptised,Vasquez. in 12. tom. 2. disp. if his sacraments administred by him in the state of sinne be no ordinances of Christ, but abhominations that defile others as well as him­selfe. Thus the preaching of Scribes and Pharisees, the abhominable slaves of hell, as concerning their conversa­tion, were not to be heard, even while they sate on Moses chayre, the contrary whereof Christ commandeth, Mat. 23. 2, 3, 4.

8. Argument If the Church-worship must be forsa­ken,8. Principall Arg. for the wickednesse of the fellow-worshippers, then the publike ordinances of word and sacraments, should have their worth and dignity from the persons worship­ping: as preaching should be more the word of God, [Page 147] the holier the preacher be; and lesse the word of God, the lesse holy that he be, and not the word of God at all, if the preacher be an unwashen and an unhallowed Priest (whereof there are too many, alas, in our age) But this were absurd, the word hath all the essentiall dig­nity and holinesse from God, and preaching and bap­tizing are true pastorall acts and meanes of salvation, so the men be called by God and the Church having their power from Christ Jesus, whose ordinances they are, what ever be the mens morall carriage. I grant it is more unsavoury, and worketh the lesse, if the man be an ungracious slave of sinne, but that is by accident and from our corruption who cannot looke to Gods word, and receive it as his word, but we must looke who he is, a good, or a bad man who carrieth the letters; and what vessell it be that beareth Gods-treasure, if of gold, or of earth.August. contr. Donatists. This argument Augustine presseth against the Donatists.

9. Argument. 9 Principall Arg. If Church-worship, where wicked people worship with us, be defiled to us beleevers, then Peters preaching was defiled to the converts, Acts 2. because Ananias and Saphira, Simon Magus did wor­ship with them: Moses, Elijah, Joshua could not but be defiled by the prefence of stiffe-necked people, whose hearts were going after Baalim, and they sinned in ta­king part and consenting to a polluted covenant, Passe­over, feast of the Lord, Sermon or the like. It is not enough to say, if they knew the worshippers to b [...] such, they were not to communicate with them. I answer, then the worship publike where wicked per­sons doe communicate, doth not of it selfe contami­nate and pollute the worship to others who are true believers, but only upon condition that believers know the wickednesse, for 1. We desire a warrant of this from the Word of God, or the nature of the wor­ship. 2. And if so be baptisme administred by a pri­vate person, whom we take to be a faithfull Pastor, should be lawfull, I never thought our knowledge had [Page 148] power to change worship from a pure and cleane case, to make it impure and uncleane, by this meanes light and darkenesse, Christ and Beliall, the womans seede and the Serpents seede may remaine together, we may stay with the infectious botch of uncleane worship, while we know it, and the Church rebuke and censure it, but it is too long, to lye in the fire, and be burnt to ashes, till we take notice of the secrets that are known to God, that is, whether the whole thousand professors that wor­ship with us, be beleevers or unbeleevers. 3. This answer helpeth not against our argument, for Moses, Isaiah, Ieremiah and the Apostles, knew most part that these with whom they did publikely communicate in publike worship were stiffe-necked, rebellious, idolatrous, superstitious, and yet they did not separate from the publike worship, for their wicked­nesse.

10. Argument. 10. Principall. Arg. That which is so hainous a sinne, as to prophane Gods name, and ordinances, to marry Christ and Belial, to mixe God and Idols that are Divells, should have been forbidden in the old and new Testament; but separation from the true worship of God for the sinnes of the worshippers is never forbidden, and communion is ever commanded in the old, or new Testament, therfore separation cannot be lawfull, and communion cannot be such a sin.

6. Conclusion. 6. Conclusion A worship may be false in the matter two wayes, either when we are to practice it, or give our assent to it, as to receive the Sacraments after an un­lawfull manner, to assent to corrupt doctrine, that is never lawfull, and here we may separate from the wor­ship, when we separate not from the Church. Or then the worship is false in the matter, but our presence doth not make it unlawfull to us; as professors may heare a preacher who preacheth the body of divinity soundly, howbeit he mixe errors with it, because what every one heareth they are to try ere they beleeve, as the Spirit of God teacheth, 1 Thes. 5. 21. Try all things, hold fast what [Page 149] is good, 1 Joh. 4. 1. Try the spirits: in so doing we sepa­rate from the Sermon, while we heare the good and re­fuse the evill: because we separate from the error of the worship, therefore to heare unsound doctrine is not to partake of false worship, because we are to heare the Pharisees, but to beware of their leaven, and finding it to be soure and unsound doctrine, we are to re­ject it.

7. Conclusion. 7. Conclusion▪ A communion in worship true in the matter, where the person called, for example, the Prea­cher is a minister of Antichrist, is unlawfull, because we are not to acknowledge any of Babel, or Baals Priests professing their calling to be of the Pope, the man of sinne.

8. Conclusion. 8. Conclusion When we separate from a Church over­turning the foundation of religion, as from Rome, we are to keepe a desire of gaining them, howbeit not a bro­therly fellowship with them. Augustine saith with us, we are in mercy to rebuke what we cannot amend, and to beare it patiently, and else where: So Ciprian, August. Epist. 162. & 50. sheweth, the Africans were esteemed a Church of Christ, howbeit they strictly held baptisme, by heretiques, to be no baptisme.

CHAP. XI.
Quest. 11. Whither or no separation from a true Church be­cause of the sinnes of professors and manifest defence of scandalous persons can be proved from Gods word, to be lawfull.

DIvers places of Scripture are abused by Separatists, to maintaine the lawfullnesse of their separation, 2 Cor. 6. 17. Come out from amongst them and separate your selves saith the Lord, 1. Obiect. Of Separatists. and touch no uncleane thing, and I will re­ceive [Page 150] you, Ainsworth coun­terposs. pag. 8. Ergo (saith Ainsworth) It is commanded us of God to come out of a corrupt Church, and separate from it, if we would be in covenant with God.

Answ. 1. This is no locall separation commanded the Corinthians, Erasm. Sarcer. in loc. 2 Cor. 6. as Erasmus Sarcerius observeth, but a sepa­ration in affection, and if it were a locall separation, it is from the Idol-table of the Gentiles, at which some did eate at Corinth to the great offence of the weake, 1 Cor. 8. 10. 1 Cor. 10. 17, 18, 19, 20. but from this is badly concluded separation out of the Church of Corinth, or any other true Church, where the word and sacraments are in purity, suppose some errors be practised by some: Paul borrowed this place from Isa. 52. 11. as Calvin thinketh,Calvin in l [...]c. where the Lord chargeth the people to come out from Babilon, seeing Cyrus had proclaimed liberty to them to come home, and applyeth it to the case of Corinth, that they should flye all fellowship with Idols, and Idols temples and tables, 1 Cor. 8. 10. because light and darkenesse, Christ and Beliall cannot agree, as he citeth from Ezech. 37. Ezech 43. 7. Levit. 26. in the former verse, Marloratus in 2 Cor. 6. as Marlorat teacheth. Now this separation in Corinth was in a Church from the Idolatry in it, which separation we allow, but not a separation out of a Church, else the wordes would beare that Paul will have them to forsake the Church of Corinth, for idola­trous tables in it, and set up a new Church of their own, which the Separatists dare not say, and is contrary to other places, 1 Cor. 5. 4. 1 Cor. 11. 1 Cor. 14. Where he commandeth and alloweth their meeting and publike Church communion, therefore this place proveth not their point.

2. This separation is such a separation as is betwixt light and darkenesse, Christ and Beliall, but the separation is not from externall communion, which Separatists urge, but from all spirituall and internall communion. For Separatists teach that alwayes there are in the Church visible hypocrites and true beleevers, for the which cause M. Barrow saith,Barrow. it is compared to a draw-net wherein there [Page 151] are both good and bad; now Hypocrites and believers together in one visible Church are light and darknesse together, and externall Church communion with the hypocrite (which is lawfull) cannot be a touching of an uncleane thing, and so Church-fellowship with the wicked cannot be Christ and Belial together.

3. That Separation here commanded is from the worship of God corrupted in the matter, where need force the Co­rinthians behoved to be joyned to Idols, v: 16▪ For what agreement (saith he) hath the Temple of God with Idols? Now he meaneth, that the faithfull who were Temples of the holy Spirit should not sit and eat at the Idols Table, which is called, 1 Cor: 10. 20, 21. The Di­vels Table and cup. But what Logicke is this? Sepa­rate from Idols, ergo, separate from a Church, where the true worship of God is, and is professed and taught; this is to be yoaked with Christs body, Spouse, truth, but to fly the errours that are in the body, which we al­so teach.

2. They object, 2. Object. Rev: 18. 4. Goe out of her my people that yee be not partakers of her sinnes, and that y [...] receive not of her plagues. Ergo, we must seperate from the Church where there is any thing of Romes worship.

Answ. It followeth not; for it is as if one would say, the wrath of God is to come upon the whore of Rome, who hath overturned the foundation of true faith. Ergo, if Co­rinth will not excommunicate the incestuous man after ye have warned them of their duty, come out of that Babel also, least ye be partakers of her sinnes. For they teach were a visible Church never so sound, pure, holy, faire in doctrine and life, yet if they refuse to cast out a scandalous person, and will spare and defend him, they are to be separated from, and those that stay in that Church and▪ keepe communion with her, are parta­kers of her sins. Howbeit some saving truths remain in the Church of Rome, and in that we keepe yet a mate­riall and reall union with Rome in as farre as they pro­fesse one God; three persons, two natures in Christ, [Page 152] &c. but we have separated from Rome. 1. Because their Doctrine of professed and commanded Idolatry, and their other Heresies everteth the foundation of Faith. 2. Because they lay another foundation above the foun­dation Christ, the Pope, and a multitude of Idol-gods, but it followeth in no sort. Ergo, we are to separate from every true Church of Christ, that is incorrigible in one fault or other.

Where is there a Christian Church that we could live in in the Earth, yea except the Anabaptists-Church, a Church of white paper as faire as Heaven, and the Sunne, that there is not a spot on more then on the triumphing Church, this on Earth is a city in the Moone.

3. They object, Obiect. 3. Ainsworth ib. Come not ye to Gilgall, neither goe yee up to Bethaven, therfore people were to separate from Idolatrous Israel.

Answ. I have prooved that the true Prophets com­manded Church-fellowship with Israel after their I­dolatry: and judge if this be good, Goe not to Beth­aven, that is the house of vanity, called Bethel the house of God, where Jeroboams calves were worship­ped, ergo, separate from all the worship of God in Is­rael: we say, Ex negatione speciei, malè concluditur ne­gatio generis, separate from Ieroboams calves: therfore separate from all true worship of God in Israel, it is a bad consequence.

4. They object, Obiect. 4. In the old Testament the Law con­sisted of outward ordinances, and if they were outwardly performed, there was no cause to separate from them. But under the new Testament, all things are become now and spirituall, where Christ hath given power to all the faith­full to censure scandalous sinnes,Barrow di [...]cov of false Church p▪ 39, 40 all should separate from a corrupt Church: So Barrow. But Master Smith hel­peth him, Smith paral. cens. p. 29, 30. All things were shadowes in the old Testa­ment: David, Jehoshaphat, &c. suffered knowne sinnes in the land, yet were they the true matter of the typicall Church, being typically and ceremonially cleane: for to the [Page 153] constitution of the typicall Church, there was not required true holinesse, but ceremoniall cleannesse: Holinesse was required of them for their acceptation before God, but not for the constitution of their Church: so there were there ty­picall Saints, typicall Hypocrites, that might have no com­munion together till they were purified, and yet being in­deed wicked persons they might have Church-communion together. But our constitution, ministry, communion, se­paration are contrary to theirs,Robinson against Bernard. p, 248. true holinesse is required un­der the new Testament. Robinson addeth, No man could absolutely separate from the Church of the Jews, for it was the onely one visible Church upon the face of the Earth, ty­ed to one Temple, Altar, Sacrifice, Priest-hood and place, they had not excommunication, as we have now, the offen­der was by bodily death cut off from the common-wealth, as from the Church?

Answ. It is most false that externall performances of du­ties were sufficient to make men members of the visible Church of the old Testament.If this difference of ceremoniall & spirituall h [...]linesse betwixt the church of old, and the Church of the new Testament stand, then the Church of the new Testament, where there are a­ny hypocrites s [...]al be no true vis [...]b [...]e Church, because hypocritos in the new Testament hath but ceremo­niall and external holines, not reall or spirituall, as the hypocrites of the old Testament. 1. Because man-slayers▪ a­dulterers, &c. were to be cut off and excommunicated from the congregation of the Lord, and their pray­ers were not accepted of God, even by Moses his law, Num: 35. 33, 34. Es: 1. 10, 11, 14, 15. Es. 66. 3, 4, 5. 2 It is false that all the worship under the new Testament is so spirituall that outward performances of externall profession in the new Testament doth not also make professours Ecclesiastically holy and separated from o­ther people not of the visible Church, for Ananias, Saphira, Simon Magus for a time were externally ho­ly, and differenced from Pagans without the Church by their baptisme and externall profession. Then Barrow must quit all places in the old Testament, for separa­tion from a wicked Ministry, as that Prov. 15. The Sacrifice of the wicked is abomination to God, was as true in the old as in the new Testament. Ergo, the Sacrifices offered by the wicked Priest were no ordi­nances of God, and did pollute others, who did commu­nicate with him.

[Page 154] 2. The Sacraments of the Jewish Church in substance were one and the same with our Sacraments, Heb. 13. 8. 1 Cor. 10. 1, 2, 3. Joh. 8. 56. Joh. 6. 50, 51. Col. 2. 11, 12. 1 Cor: 5. 7. all say this except▪ Papists, Anabaptists, Armini­ans and Socinians, and for notoriously wicked persons to use the Sacraments with prophane and wicked hearts, was most unlawfull and made them in that no members of the true Church, but as Sodome and Gomorrah, [...]s. 1. 10. as Aethiopians, Aegyptians and Philistins, Amos 9. 7. and such were forbidden to take Gods covenant in their mouth, seeing they hated to be reformed, Psal. 50. 16, 17. Their prayers were abomination when their hands were bloody, Es: 1. 15. their Sacrifices like the murthering of a man, and the Sacrificing of a dogg, which was abomination to God, Isa, 66. 3. and so are all the means they use, but I believe, if Christ was the Spouse, Priest, head of the bo­dy to the Church of the Iews, as to us, to the constitu­tion of this body visibly worshipping him in a Church-state, there was required that the people should be not only typically holy, but really, and that God should be sanctified not only typically, but really, by reall declara­tion of all that drew nigh to him, and the Song of So­lomon saith, that the communion was morall, spirituall, beside that it was typicall in some points.3 Petition to K. James. 3. pos. And this is di­rect contrary to their confession, where they make Se­paration from a corrupt Church morall, and to that se­paration of the godly from the wicked was taught of God, before the Law, under the Law, and under the Go­spell, and they teach, That all true Churches from the beginning, to the end of the world are one in nature, and essentiall constitution: And would the Lord have these to receive the seales of his covenant, as true members typicall of a typicall Church: This they say is 1 To take the name of God in vain. 2. That the Lord doth seale unrighteousnesse. 3. That he prophaneth his Sons bloud and death: then a people laden with iniqu [...]ty, a Sodome, a generation of Idolaters might all by Gods ty­picall command, claime to the promises of the covenant, and they only.

[Page 155] 3. The common beleevers amongst the Iewes had the power of the keyes, as well as we, if Separatists teach right, for they had power to rebuke one another, Levit: 19. 17. and this to them is a part of the power of the keyes,Smith paral▪ 60, 61 as Smith saith, they had power of ordi­nation to lay hands on their officers, and the right of election, as they would prove from, Levit: 8. 2, 3. a place notwithstanding abused,Separatist 3. petiti­on, 3 posit. 3▪ reas. p. 47. for the congregation there is the Princes of the congregation, as it is a hundred times taken in the old Testament, els how could six hundreth thousand persons, beside aged men, women and children lay hands on the officers? They did also excommunicate no lesse then our Church of believers, as they say,3. Petit. 8▪ posit. therfore their Church in the essence of a vi­sible Church was every way as ours, except in some acci­dentall ceremonies.

Lastly, suppose the Iewes were the only visible Church that none could separate from, yet Christ and Belial, light and darknesse should never dwell together.

5. They object, Robinson. [...]insworth. Smith. M. Canne. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump, and so a scandalous sinner not censured, maketh the whole Church an infected lump, therfore we are to sepa­rate from that Church, if they goe on, except wee would be leavened: So Robinson, Ainsworth, Smith, Canne, ob­ject.

Answ 1. There is a double infection, one physicall as leaven, that by touching leaveneth, and pest-cloaths that by touching defile the ayre or mens bodies: the com­parison holdeth not in this, I am sure. There is a morall infection by evill example, and so the incestu­ous Corinthian, not excommunicated, did infect, if a­ny should use his company as a brother and member of the Church; of this latter sort, the place 1 Cor: 5. is to be understood. The incestuous man would infect, if the guides and the Apostles spirit should [...]t cast him out: Hence it is true that Church guydes, in not excommunicating, did what was in them morally, to infect and leaven the Church: but 1. It followeth not [Page 156] that the Church was actu secundo, and actually infect­ed, howbeit, no thanks to the guides. 2. It followeth not that they should separate from a Church that might infect, because that is not Gods meane of es­chewing infection to lowpe out of one true Church to a­nother for one fault.

2. The eschewing and separating from the error of the Church, and the mans company, is enough to them to es­chew the infection. They urge, But it is atempting of God to stay in an infected lump, suppose you be not actu­ally infected your selfe, for no thankes to you, as it is a tempting of God, to keepe company with a wicked man, sup­pose by Gods grace, yee learne not his wicked fashions, a man is guilty of selfe-murther, who rydeth a swelling and dangerous river, and sinneth in so doing, suppose God gra­ciously pardon his rashnesse, and carry him through the river safe.

I Answ. 1. To stay in every place where sinners are, and to haunt the wicked mans company as his companion, is a sinfull tempting of God, suppose ye be not actually in­snared: but to stay in the company or Church, carefully flying every spot and soule ayre, that may blow sin up­on you, is no tempting of God.

But secondly, they thus urge, to stay a member of a leavened Church, and keepe Church-communion with that infected Church, is to tempt God, therfore God calleth you to separate from that Church.

I answer 1. To stay a member of that Church wholly leavened, and where the matter of the worship is leaven, and fundamentall points corrupted and obtruded upon the conscience, is to tempt God, for then I keepe communion with a leavened Church, as leavened, such as is Babell: but the assumption now is false, and the case not so here, but to keep my self and remain a member of a Church lea­vened in part with one sin, and to take no part with the sinne, and yeeld no consent therunto is no tempting of God; Paul joyned as a member with the Church of Corinth, and acknowledged them as a Church, and com­manded [Page 157] to keepe Church fellowship with them, 1 Cor: 5. 4. even when this leavened lump was souring amongst them.

But thirdly they urge, the incestuous mans sinne not censured, infected the Church, the infected Church infecteth the worship.

Answ. I deny that the sinne of the worshippers infect­eth the worship to others that are not guilty, it infecteth the worship to themselves, but not to others, a worship corrupt by accident only through the fault of the wor­shipper, may and doth make the Lords Supper damnation to the eater, and therefore the eater is forbidden so to eat; a worship in the matter and intrinsecall principle unjust and sinfull is defiled both to the man himselfe and to all that taketh part with him, as the teacher of false Doct­rine and all that heareth and believeth are defiled, but if the sin of an unworthy communicant even knowne to be so be damnation to himselfe, and defile the wor­ship to others, then Paul would have said, he that ea­teth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh his owne damnation, and the damnation of the whole Church, and Paul should have forbidden all others to eat and drinke withall, who communicateth unworthily, if he allow­ed separation, but he saith, he eateth and drinketh dam­nation, [...], to himselfe, not to all others.

But fourthly, they urge thus, We must not onely strive to rebuke, and censure one another, but we must not stay a member of that Church, in the which we are not permit­ted to doe the duty that Christ hath commanded us, for the station and place is unwarrantable, where we are neces­sitated to sinne, that is, to omit a duty of the Keyes, that God hath given to all the faithfull. Ergo, we must sepa­rate from that Church, where all the faithfull may not use the Keyes.

Answ. 1. Also if the power of the Keys be in the hands of the people, as some teach, so as they are under a com­mandement of God to rebuke authoritatively, and judi­cially to censure and excommunicate, their universall [Page 158] omission of that duty seemeth to be sinfull; and (how­beit I be loath to teach Separation) I see not how the authours who give the power of the keyes to all pri­vate Christians, are not to separate from all Churches where Presbyteriall government is, no lesse then the strictest Separatists do [...].

2. Affirmative precepts tye not in all differences of time: To rebuke your brother is alwayes lawfull, so it be done, observing due circumstances; but that every be [...]eever rebuke Church-wayes, and judicially by the po­wer of the keyes doth not tye at all, because Christ ne­ver gave that power to all. 2. Some duties tye abso­lutely, as to pray, these we cannot forbeare: Suppose a Church should make a Law, like Darius to borrow a dumbe Devill, for thirty dayes, and to pray none, that Church should not be heard, and not acknowled­ged in that. Other dutyes tye conditionally, as not to pray in publicke with a man notoriously serving Satan, and deserving to be excommunicate; yet if the Church excommunicate not, wee are not to separate from the prayer of the Church, because that person is suffered there: so these duties that tye upon a condition that dependeth upon others and not upon my selfe, tye not alwayes. I am obliged to beleeve what point the Pastor teacheth, but not absolutely, but upon condition it agrees to Gods Word.

They fifthly urge. But I am necessitated in a false Church to communicate with those whom I know to be no members of the true Church, but limbs of Satan, because in Gods court they are excommunicated, and no members of the Church; but through the corruption of these that have the power of the keyes, these are permitted to be members of the Church, who in Gods court are no members at all; and if I remaine in the Church, I must communicate with them, yea if I remaine in the Church, I must communicate at that table where the holy things of God are prophaned by dogges and swine, therefore in that case I must sepa­rate.

[Page 159] Answ. In your holiest independant Church where discipline is m [...]st in vigour, you meet with this doubt, and must separate also, if this reason be good: For sup­pose you know one to be guilty of adultery and mur­ther, and had seen it with your eyes, the party guilty to you is not guilty to the Church: For 1. you are but one, none is guilty Ecclesiastically, and to be de­bar [...]ed penally and judicially from the holy things of God, except by confession to the Church, or by two or three witnesses. 2. You know what is holden by all our Divines,Thmomas Aquin. Ca [...]etan de authori­tat pap. cap 19. yea even the Canon Law and Papists teach that the Church cannot judge of hid things, and acts of the mind.S [...]to. 22. q. 1. a [...]t. 3. Durand. So saith Thom. Aquin. Cajetan, Soto, Durandus, Almain, Gerson, Navar. Driedo, Joan. Maior. Palu­dan. Almain de potest. eccl cap. 10. Antonin. their ground is good: The Church cannot judge of that they cannot see;Gerson de vit [...] spir. lect. 4. lit. G. H. And the Chur­ches power of the keyes is all for the externall policy of the Church,Navar. in sumin. cap. 27. [...]. 57. and therefore such a sinne cannot be the object of Church-censure,Driedo de li [...]ert. Christ. li. 3. ca. 5. or cause of Separation,Maiorm. Ex­communication is ever used against externall scandals,Pa [...]u [...]a in 4. q. 3. Antonin. 3. Mat. 18. 15. 1 Cor. 5. 1. 1 Tim. 1. 19, 20. 2 Thes. 3▪ 14. shew one place where the Church excommunicateth for non-regeneration.

6. They object, 6. Obiect. It is not lawfull to call God Father ioyntly with these who are not brethren,Smith. paral. pag. 107. but sonnes of Sa­tan, Ergo, we are to separate from such. So Smith rea­soneth.

Answ. Except they be all and every one the sonnes of God,7. Obiect. that are in our visible Church, and not one hy­pocrite or childe of Satan amongst them, by this argu­ment we must separate from them, and so Separatists are to separate from their owne Congregation, where­in they acknowledge there be hypocrites. This is Ana­baptisticall holinesse, Isa. 65.

7. They object, It is not lawfull to make Christ a Me­diator to all the prophane in the land, and to make all the prophane members of his body, Ergo, we are to separate from a confused Church?

[Page 160] Answ. So was Corinth, Galatin, Ephesus, confused Churches, wherein there were hypocrites. We make Christ Mediator and Head to the visible Church, ac­cording to the best part, as Christ speaketh, Joh. 17. Thine they were, when Judas was never Gods. And Paul calleth Corinth Saints, Colosse Saints, and faithfull bre­thren,1 Cor 1. 1, 2. and Peter, the elected according to the fore-know­ledge of God,Col. 1. 1, 2. begotten againe to a lively hope, where yet there was some at Corinth.1 Pet. 1. 2, 3, 4. 2. Cor. 2. 16. To whom the Gospell was the savour of death unto death, some to whom it was hidden, whom Satan had blinded, 2 Cor. 4. 3. And some in Colosse carried away with Angel-worship,Col. 2. 18, 19. not holding the head Christ, some of those to whom Peter writeth were such, 1 Pet. 2. 8. who stumbled at the stone laid on Zi­on, and there was amongst them, false teachers privily bringing in damnable Heresies, 2. and many followed their pernicious wayes,2 Pet. 2. 1, 2, 13. spots, feasting amongst the Saints, ha­ving eyes full of Adultery, that cannot cease from sinne, &c.

8, They object, 8. Obiect. These that are mixed with unbeleevers consent to all the sinnes of the unbeleevers, and to all their prophanation of the holy things of God, seeing God hath gi­ven them the power of the keyes to hold out and excommu­nicate all wicked persons; therefore beleevers are to sepa­rate from all prophaners of the Covenant, except they would forfeit their Covenant.

Answ. A simple worshipping with hypocrites whom we know not is not a consent to their prophanation of the holy things of God; Christs eating the Passe­over with Judas; the Disciples eating the Passeover, when Christ said, One of you hath a Devill, one of you shall betray me, did not import consent, nor partaking with Ju­das his prophaning of the Sacraments. 2. Neither hath God given to all beleevers the power of the keyes that way, as is alleadged. 3. Suppose the Eldership in whose hands onely are the keyes, should permit a knowne adul­terer, who never professed his repentance therefore to the Lords Table; yet this were not in the Eldership [Page 161] the sinne against the Holy-Ghost, and to forfeit the Cove­nant, though it were a great sinne.

9. They object, God commandeth the godly to plead with their mother, because (saith he) she is not my wife, nor I her husband, Ergo, if the Church turne a harlot, the children are to protest and plead against her, as repu­ting her no mother, and so they are to forsake her.

Answ. If this place prove lawfulnesse of separation from the Jewish Church, as from a harlot cast off of God, it shall crosse a maine principle of Separatists, that the Jewish Church was the onely visible Church from which it was not lawfull to separate, seeing the Messiah be­hooved to be borne there, and the Temple, sacrifices were onely there. Also this pleading was for harlotry and Ido­latry: But M. Smith and others say, that wickednesse and Idolatry did not marre the constitution of the Jewish Church, so being they had ceremoniall and typicall holinesse according to the letter of the outward legall service; and so from this separation from the true Church is vainly colle­cted. 2. Plead with your mother for her harlotries. Hence it followeth first, 1. They were to esteem her as a mother, and of duty as sonnes to plead with her. 2. If they were to plead with her, and rebuke her, they were to keep communion with her; because non-rebuking for a time is a signe of separation and suspending commu­nion for a time, Ezech. 3. 26. Thou shalt be dumbe, and shalt not be to them a reprover, for they are a rebellious house, Ergo, reproving is a signe of communion. But they say, they were to plead with their mother by power of the keyes; and if their mother would not return to the Lord her first husband, then they were to goe on to a full separation from her.

I answer: Then two or three faithfull ones in the Church of the Jewes, no lesse then in the Christian Church were a true visible Church, having the power of the keyes. This is contrary to their owne doctrine, who make a typicall and ceremoniall cleannesse suffi­cient to constitute the Jewish Church; but require a [Page 162] reall, true, and spirituall holinesse, to the constitution of the Church of the New Testament: For if the children may plead with the mother for want of spi­rituall chastity and marriage-love to her Lord, and for that contend against her, to separate from her, as from a harlot and non-Church, then is reall holinesse requi­red for the constitution of a visible Church amongst the Jewes, as amongst us, which Separatists deny.

10. They object, Abraham 10. Object. behooved to separate from his fathers house, for the idolatry thereof, before Abrahams family was made the true Church of God, therefore there is no remaining in a Church where the worship is corrup­ted?

Answ. Separation from a Society professing Idolatry and corrupting altogether the doctrine of the Cove­nant, such as was Abrahams fathers house, we grant is lawfull, their father was an Hittite, and their mother was an Ammorite, Ezech. 16. 3, 4, 5, &c. Isa. 51. 1, 2. but what is this to separate from a Church where are the true signes of Gods presence, the Word and Sacraments in substance professed. 2. God in a particular call went before Abraham to make a Church of him, of whom the Messiah was to come, and to whom he was to give his Covenant, whereas his Covenant was not in Abrahams fathers house: This call is not made, nor this Revelation to these who separate from the Church and true Covenant.

11. They object, 11. Object. The Ministery of the Gospell should be as the holy flocke,Ezech 36, 38. So Ainsworth. as the flocke of Jerusalem in their so­lemne feasts, that the oblation might be sanctified; but when the people is a confused prophane multitude, they are not the oblation of the Lord, and so not the Church that we can remaine in to, and offer such lamed sacrifice to God in our prayers?

Answ. The same will follow in their Churches, where Minister and professors beeing whited wals, and painted hypocrites, though not knowne to others: A scabbed sacrifice is offered to God, and that hypo­crites [Page 159] are in the Church alwayes, we and they agree and teach joyntly. 2. What though the people be prophane and knowne to be a bad sacrifice, seeing they professe the truth, shall they be excluded from the prayers of the Church, and none offered to God in the prayers of the Church, but onely beleevers? shall not these be of­fered in prayer to God, who are yet unconverted? what meaneth that petition then (Thy Kingdome come) is it not a prayer of the Churches for the non-conver­ted.

12. They object, 12. Obiect. With that Church we cannot ioyne with, as members thereof, where Images and Pictures of Devils are laid upon Gods Altar for spirituall sacrifices, which is as abominable to God, as uncleane beasts were un­der the Law: And Christ cannot be a Priest to offer these in publicke Church-service to God; but prophane men in the Church are such pictures of Devils, Ergo, the true Church should not offer them to God, nor should we stay in that Church where such are offered, as Christ will not offer unto God.

Answ. 1. That same inconvenience shall ever retort upon the objectors, because hypocrites that are still in the visible Church shall be Images and Pictures of De­vils offered to God, and Christ can be no Priest to offer such to God.

2. That a visible Church may be a holy oblation laid upon the Altar of God, to be offered to God, by our High-priest Christ: It is not required for the Essence of a true and acceptable sacrifice of worship, that all and every one of the Congregation be holy and spiri­tually cleane: For then the Church of the Lords Dis­ciples and followers in the dayes of his flesh should not be a cleane offering to God, for amongst them was Judas. The Church of beleevers, Acts 2. should not be an holy oblation, but an offering to God of Images and Pictures of Devils: For in their visible Church was Ananias, Saphira, and Simon Magus: Christ our High-priest beareth the twelve Tribes of Israel in his breast, [Page 160] and offereth Israel to God as the typicall Priest did; yet all and every Idolater, Sorcerer, Murtherer in Is­rael, are not written on Christs breast, but onely thos [...] that are sealed of every Tribe, Rev. 7. It is sufficient to make the oblation holy, that there are some few be­leevers that are stamped with the Image of God, and offered in a holy and cleane oblation to God, by out High-priest Christ: For amongst Separatists were sound revolt [...]rs that left their Congregation, and wrote against the Separation; yet these were once offered to God while they were visible Saints, and esteemed to be taught of God and sound beleevers.

13. They object, Obiect. 13. That it is not lawfull to have com­munion with a Church, where there is any superstition or Idolatry, or false worship: For David would not take up the names of Idols in his lips; nor is it lawfull to touch the garment spotted of the flesh, in respect, one Achan taking the accursed spoyle, brought iudgement on all the rest, and therefore they must separate who would be free of the curse.

Answ. It is not lawfull to communicate with the holiest Church on earth in an act of false worship we grant; but every false worship doth neither make a true Church, a false Church, or no Church; neither giveth it a ground and warrant of Separation; for there was much false worship in Corinth, where many were partakers of the Idols Table, 1 Cor. 8. 10. and many denyed the Resurrection, and so Thyatira, Pergamus, Rev. 2. where were Balaams doctrine, and Jezabel the false Prophetesse, and yet none of these are to be sepa­rated from, as false Churches, and the Separatists would observe this, that when Churches in the New Testa­ment are most sharply rebuked, if communion with these Churches going on in their sinnes be Idolatry and false worship, and offering of Devils Images to God, how is it, that the Lord and his Apostles rebuketh the faults, but never warneth the true and sound beleevers to separate and make a new Church, seeing this is [Page 161] the only remedy to them, and there is not another way to escape the judgement of the whol [...] Church? 2. Da­vid would not take up the names of Idols in his lips, nor should any touch the garment spotted of the [...]lesh, nor con­sent unto, or countenance Idols, but to communicate with a Church where there is a prophane people and a false worship, in some points, is not to touch unclean garments, for the cleane and the sound worship of God is cleane, and as for the example of Achan, it is most impertinent, Israel knew not Achans sacriledge, till the Lord found out the man, and if this stand good, a lurking hypocrite, and an unseene Achan in a visible Congrega­tion, bringeth a curse on the Congregation, and from such a Congregation we are to separate, What madnes is this, we are to separate from a society, before we know any Achan to be amongst them. But Separatists say, God would not have punished Israel by making them [...]ly before the men of Ai, Josh. 7. If Israel did take no part with Achan, but because of Achans sacriledge they were punished, ver. 11. Israel hath sinned and transgressed my covenant, which I commanded them: for they have taken the accursed thing.

I answer, This giveth us occasion to speake a little of the communion with other mens sins: We partake these wayes of the Churches sins. 1. When we worke with them, and are helping causes, this communion is unlawfull. 2. When we counsell or perswade to false worship. 3. When we omit what we are obliged to doe, or commit that we should not doe, from whence others are occasioned to sin; for by morall interpre­tation, he promoveth the sin of others, who doth not give all due and obliged diligence to hinder the com­mitting of sin. 4. Those who consent to sin, who approve and praise the fact, and the committers of the fact. 5. Those that doe not rebuke sinne. 6. Those who are not displeased for it, and doth not mourne for it, Ezech. 9. and are not humbled for it, and doth not pitty the sinner, and pray that God in his mercy or justice [Page 162] may be glorified. Now of all these we are to consider how Israel did properly communicate with Achans sin. Some say there is a seventh way different from all, when we in heart desire to doe, what others doe wic­kedly, in the externall fact, As Israel also coveted in their heart what Achan tooke with his hands, or when we doe the same sinne by Analogy, that others are doing, as the Marriners are punished for Jonahs sinne, when as they were doing a sinne by Anology like the sinne of Ionah: For Ionah fled from Gods presence, as if God could not have followed him through the Seas, and had been like the Idoll-gods; and the Marriners did the same, they worshipped an Idol-god, and knew not the God that made the Heaven and the Earth. Now wherein none of these seven wayes we partake of the sins of a Church, how can their worship be defiled to us, or have any influence to infect us? but the truth is Israel were guilty of Achans sin, because they did not carefully observe, and wa [...]ne one another to take heed that they medled not with the accursed thing, but Joshuah never dreamed of Separation from Israel for Achans sin, and the Text saith not that; for they could not separate from the Church for Achans sacriledge, which was not known to them, while God discovered the same, else by this Text we are to separate from all Churches, where there doth live hidden and covered Achans, and unseen hypocrites, and thus we behoved to remove and separate up to the Church tryumphing in Heaven, or then with Anabaptists find a spotlesse Church on Earth.

14. They object, 14. Obiect. To be present at a Masse is to coun­tenance an Idol-worship, so to be present in a Church-worship where there is any errours in the worship is to countenance the errour, for what worship we countenance, to that we say Amen, and so we must consent to the wrong constitution of a Church where are prophane people?

Answ. 1. [...]o countenance a worship professedly Ido­latrous, where the name of the worship doth import the worshipping of a false god, is unlawfull, for others [Page 163] doe interpret our presence a joynt worshipping with them. But our presence at every lawfull worship that is acknowledged lawfull, doth not give so much as in­terpretatively signification of our consent to every par­ticular in the worship, because hearing, discerning, choosing or refusing, beleeving or not beleeving, accor­ding as you find the points agreeable to Gods word, or dissonant therefrom, doth interveene betwixt your pre­sence at the worship, and your consent to the worship; now the act of consenting, approving and receiving the point of worship is formally to partake of the worship, else we could not obey the precept, 1 Thess. 5. 21. Try all things: some things in the Preacher are to be borne with; the Preachers of the Separation have not an Apo­stolick and infallible spirit, if any of them preach unsound Doctrine, the presence of the hearers doth not involve them in the guilt of the Preachers erronious worship. The Pharisees corrupting of the Law was knowne and rebuked by Christ, but yet Christ forbad Separa­tion, Heare them (saith Christ, Mat. 23.) they sit in Mo­ses his chaire.

CHAP. XII.
Quest. 12. Whither or no doe some warrantably teach, that baptisme should be administrated onely to Infant [...] borne of one at least, of the nearest Parents, knowne to be a be­liever, and within the covenant? And who are to be admit­ted to the Lords Supper?

NOt only these of the Separation, but also others whom we doe most unwillingly oppose in this, hold, that Baptisme is to be denyed to Infants, whose nearest Pa­rents, one at least, are not knowne to be within the co­venant: That our mind may be knowne in this, we pro­pose these distinctions to the learned and godly Reader to be considered.

  • 1. There is an inherent holines, and there is a federall holi­nes, whereby some are holy by covenant, that is, have right to the meanes of salvation, which right Turks and Pagans have not.
  • 2. People or persons are two wayes within the covenant. 1. Truly, and by faith in Christ, and according to the election of grace. 2. In profession, because the word of the covenant is preached to them, as members of the vi­sible Church.
  • 3. There is a holines of the covenant, and a holines of co­venanters, and there is a holines of the Nation, flocke and people, and a holines of the single person.
  • 4. There is a holines of election in Gods mind, and a holines reall, and of the persons elected.
  • 5. There is a federall or covenant-holines, de jure, by right, such as goeth before Baptisme in the Infants borne in the visible Church, and a holines de facto, a formall cove­nant-holines after they are baptized.

Hence our first Conclusion, All the Infants borne with­in the visible Church, what ever be the wickednesse of their nearest Parents are to be received within the Church by Baptisme.

[Page 165] 1. Argument. 1. Arg. If the children of wicked parents were circumcised, all without exception, notwith­standing the wickednesse of their parents, then the chil­dren of these who are borne in the visible Church of Christians, are to receive that same seale in nature and substance of that same covenant of grace, which is bap­tisme. But all the children of most wicked parents, were circumcised without exception. Ergo, so are the children of Christians borne in the visible Church. The proposition cannot be denyed by our brethren. 1. They say circumcision was given only to members of the visible Church, to whom the doctrine of the covenant, Gen. 17. 7, 8. was preached, and these were professors only within the visible Church of the Jewes, Best Churches plea. arg. 3. and 4. pag. 61, 62. as M. Best saith, and if children were to be circumcised because God said (I will be your God and the God of your seed) then because this promise is made to Christians, and to their seed in the new Testament, Acts 2. 38. they should be baptized. ver. 38. be baptized every one of you, &c. ver. 39. for the promise is made to you, and to your children. Whence it is cleare, as these who were externally in covenant, were onely to be circumcised, so these, who are externally in covenant in the christian Church, are to be bapti­zed. I prove the assumption, that all the male children were to be baptized without exception. 1. From Gods commandement, Gen. 17. 10. Every man-child amongst you shall be circumcised, ver. 11. Every man-child in your generation, he that is borne in the house, and bought with money of any stranger, that is not thy seed, the un­circumcised must be cut off from his people, he hath broken my covenant. Here is no exception, but all must be circum­cised. 2. Also many must be circumsed, as these to whom the Lord gave the Land for a possession, and was Abrahams seed, according to the flesh, but the land was given to the most wicked of Abrahams seed, so cap. 8. 3. That all the children of the wicked are circumci­sed is cleare, Josh. 5. Because Joshuah at Gods comman­dement circumcised the children of Israel, ver. 2. 3, 7. whose [Page 166] wicked parents the Lord had consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord, unto whom the Lord sware that he would not shew them the Land which the Lord sware to their fathers. And Heb. 3. 10. of that generation the Lord said, They doe alwayes erre in their heart, and they have not knowne my wayes, there was in them an evill heart, an hard heart, an unbeleeving heart, ver. 13. 15, 18. and yet God commanded Joshuah to circumcise their children, therefore there was no more required of the circumcised, but that they were Abrahams seed accor­ding to the flesh, and by that same reason there is no more required of infants that they may be baptized, but that they be borne in the christian Church, for the Chri­stian baptisme, and the Jewish circumcision in substance are all one. Rom. 6. 4. Col. 2. 11. Jer. 9. 26. Jer. 4. 4. 1 Pet. 3. 21, 22. This is so true, that circumcision is put for the Nation of the Jewes, Acts 11. 2. Rom. 2. 26, 27. Gal. 2. 7. Gal. 6. 15. which speech could not stand, if most part of the children of the Jewes, for the parents wickednesse were to be uncircumcised: neither doe we reade in Gods word, that ever the children of wicked Iewes were uncircumcised, and if their circumcision had beene a prophaning of the covenant, and dishonouring and polluting of the holy things of God, the Prophets who rebuked all the sinnes of that Nation, would not have passed in silence that which should have beene a Na­tionall sinne in them: and as God determineth the qua­lity of these that eate the Passeover, that they be cir­cumcised people, and so Iewes, so doth he determine the quality of these that are to be externally circumcised, Gen. 17. every male child. Some answer that these in­fants, Iosh. 5. circumcised, were the infants of parents dead in the wildernesse, and so they were not now under the care and tutorie of their parents, but under the care of others, and so they might be circumcised.

Answ. But the death of the parents did not change their Church-state, for they were still the children of wicked parents, whose carcases fell in the wildernesse, and [Page 167] that in Gods wrath, Hebrews 3.

2. Argument. 2. Arg. If John Baptist Mat. 3. 5. baptized Je­rusalem, and all Judea, and all the regions round about, and that without any further examination of the aged, so they would confesse their sinnes, and yet he called them a generation of vipers, and so the seede of murtherers and evill doers, such as are vipers, and Christ said Mat. 18. that of their children, and such like was the Kingdome of God; then the children of Pharisees and Publicans and wicked persons are to be baptized, so their parents professe the doctrine of the covenant, but the former is true, Ergo.

3. Argument. 3. Arg. If Peter, Acts 2. 38, 39. command every one of the Iewes to be baptized by this argument, because the promise (saith he) is made to you, and to your children, and to as many as the Lord shall call, then all are to be bap­tized, to whom the promise of the covenant, and ex­ternall calling by this covenant is made, but the promise of the covenant is made to the seede of the wicked with­in the visible Church, Ergo the seale of that promise is to be conferred upon them, I prove the assumption. When God said to Abraham, I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed, by the seed of Abraham he cannot meane the nearest of Abrahams seed only, to wit, the nearest sonnes, for so by that, he should have been Abrahams God, and Isaacks God only, and not Iaacobs God, and the God of the seed of Jacob, which is against the tenour of the covenant, now if God be the God of Abrahams seed farre off, and neare downe, to many generations, the wickednesse of the nearest parents cannot breake the covenant, as is cleere, Ezech. 20. 18, 19. v. 22. v. 36, 37. v. 42, 43. Psal. 106. v. 40, 45, 46, Rom. 3. 3. Lev. 26. 44, 45. spoken of the sonnes of wicked parents, and if these children stand in the covenant, for Gods names sake, and God say expresly, Ezech. 20 18, 19. to the sonnes of wicked parents who grieved his holy spirit in the wildernesse: walke in my statutes and walke not in the statutes of your fathers, I am the Lord your God, then [Page 168] they were in covenant notwithstanding of the wicked­nesse of their fathers, and therefore by our bretherens ar­gument, the seales of the covenant should be bestowed up­on them.

4. Argument.4. Arg. If the Lord shew mercy to the thousand generations of them who love him, and keepe his comman­dements, then the wickednesse of the nearest parents, doe not remove the mercy of the covenant from the chil­dren, because the mercy extendeth to the thousand ge­nerations: But the former is said, Exod. 20. in the se­cond commandement, and therefore for the sinnes of their nearest parents, they are not excluded from the mercy of the covenant, and therefore neither from the seales of that mercy. If our brethren say, we have no as­surance of faith, that their thousand generation upward hath been lovers of God and keepers of his commande­ments, and so the children in faith cannot be bapti­zed.

I answer first, by this argument you cannot deny bap­tisme to them in faith.

2. You have not certainty of faith,Camero prelec. de visib. eccles. which must be grounded upon infallible verity, that their nearest parents are beleevers, you have for that only the judgement of charity, as Camero saith well: and this faith you have infallibly, that the sinnes of no one, or two, or foure persons doe interrupt the course of Gods immutable co­venant in the race of covenanters borne in the visible Church, Rom. 3. 3, 4. Iosh. 5. 2, 3, 4. Levit 26. 41, 42, 43, 44. Ezech. 20. 14, 17, 22.

5. Argument. 5. Arg. The infallible promise of the covenant, I will be thy God, and the God of thy seede: which is made to us Gentiles, as well as to the Jewes, Gal. 3. 10, 11, 12, 13. must make a difference betwixt the seed of Chri­stians, and the seed of Turks and Pagans, and these that are without the true Church of Christians. But if so, that the sinnes and wickednesse of the nearest parents cut off their children, from the mercy of the covenant, and hinder God to be their God; then these infants are in no [Page 169] better case through the covenant made to their grand­fathers and generations upward, then the sonnes of Turks and Pagans; for they are strangers to the covenant, and have no right to the seales of the covenant, no more then the children of Turks. I prove the proposition (I will be thy God and the God of thy seede) extendeth the covenant to the seed of the faithfull to many generations downeward, untill it please the Lord to translate his Sonnes Kingdome, and remove the candlestick from a people; Neither can the meaning be, (I will be thy God and the God of thy seed, except the nearest parents of thy seed be unbeleevers,) for that is contrary to the Scriptures a­boved cited. Neither can they say, that the children of unbeleeving parents borne within the christian Church, have right to the covenant and the seales thereof, when they come to age, and doe beleeve and repent, for so the children of Turks, if they beleeve and repent have that same right, as is cleare, Isaiah 56. 6, 7. Acts 10. 34, 35.

6. Argument. 6. Arg. If God in the covenant of grace and Evangell, will not have the sonne to beare the iniquity of the father, except the sonne follow the evill wayes of his parents, and so make the fathers iniquity his owne: then cannot the children of wicked parents be excluded from the covenant, and the seales of the covenant, for the sinnes and wickednesse of their nearest parents; But the former is said, Ezech. 18. 4. The sonne shall not beare the iniquity of his father: Now infants as yet being free of actuall sinnes, have not served themselves heires to the iniquities of their fathers. Neither can it be said, as some say, the children of Turks are not to be baptized, because their parents are without the covenant, and yet these children being free of actuall transgressions beare the iniquity of their fathers.

I answer, God keepeth a legall way with Turks and all that are without the Church, and covenant of grace, and we suppose the child borne of wicked parents to be in the case of election, and so really within the covenant, [Page 170] and it is ordinary enough that chosen and redeemed in­fants be born of unbelieving parents, in that case who can say that God layeth their fathers iniquities on them in spirituall and eternall punishments, such as is to be re­puted without the covenant, and dying in that estate, to be damned for ever.

7. Arg. 7. Arg. If the root be holy, so also are the branches, Rom. 11. 16. Now this holinesse cannot be meant of personall and inherent holinesse; for it is not true in that sense, if the fathers and fore-fathers be truly san­ctified and beleevers, then are the branches and chil­dren sanctified and beleevers, the contrary wherof we see in wicked Absalom borne of holy David, and ma­ny others: Therfore this holinesse must be the holines of the Nation, not of persons; it must be an holines, because of their elected and chosen parents the Patri­arches and Prophets, and the holy seed of the Iewes: and so the holinesse federall, or the holinesse of the co­venant. If then the Iewes in Pauls time were holy by covenant, howbeit for the present the sons were branches broken oft for unbeliefe: much more seeing God hath chosen the race and Nation of the Gentiles, and is be­come a God to us and to our seed, the seed must be holy with holinesse of the chosen Nation, and holinesse exter­nall of the covenant, notwithstanding the father and mo­ther were as wicked, as the Iews who slew the Lord of glory.

8. Argument. 8. Arg. If the speciall and only reason, why Baptisme should be denied to the children of nearest Pa­rents who are unbelievers, be weake and contrary to the Scriptures, then is this opinion contrary to Scripture al­so; but the former is true, Ergo, so is the latter: for not only the speciall, but the only argument is, because these children are without the covenant, seeing their nearest Parents are without the covenant, but this is most false many waies.

1. God commandeth (as I shewed before) that the children of most wicked Parents, Josh. 5. should be cir­cumcised. [Page 171] Ergo, God esteemed them within the cove­nant, notwithstanding of their fathers wickednesse.

2. The Lord tearmeth the children of those who slew their sonnes to Molech, and so ostered them to Divels, to be his sonnes, Ezech. 16. 20. Moreover thou hast taken my sonnes and my daughters, which thou hast borne to me, and these hast thou sacrificed to them to be devoured: is this of thy whooredomes a small matter, v. 21. That thou hast slaine my children, &c. So Ezek. 23. 37. If they be the Lords sonnes, and borne to the Lord, howbeit their Parents were bloody murtherers, and sacrificers to [...]Di­vels; then God esteemed these sonnes within the cove­nant, and who are we to exclude them out of Gods cove­nant?

3. The sonnes of most wicked Parents dying in their i [...] fancy may be saved, and of them God hath his owne chosen, as we see in many aged ones borne of wicked Pa­rents. Ergo, the wickednesse of the Parents is a weake ground to say they are without the covenant, especially seeing we affirme, God hath his decrees of Election and Reprobation of infants, Rom. 9. 11. no lesse then of aged, the contrary whereof wee know Arminians teach.

9. Arg. 9. Arg. If externall profession be sufficient without longer examination to baptize the aged, as we see in Simon Magus, Act. 8. 13. and in Ananias▪ and Saphira, Act. 2. 38, 39, 44▪ 45. compared with Act. 5. 1, 2. by the Apostles practise: Then the profession of faith in the fore-fathers is enough for us to judge their fore-fathers with­in the covenant, and consenters to the covenant; for when many thousands at once are said to enter in cove­nant with God, as is cleare, Deut. 29. 10, 11, 12, 13. Josh. 24. 24, 25. 2 Chron. 15. 9, 10, 11, 12. they could not give any larger proofs or evidences of their faith of the cove­nant, then a solemne assembling together, and a verball oath or a saying (Amen, or So be it) as Deut. 27. 14▪ 17. after which they were reputed in the covenant, and so their seed also in the covenant.August 75. Augustine his mind [Page 172] is that such infants are not to be excluded from bap­tisme,Bucan loc. com. 47. q 33. so Bucan, Calvin, Wallens, the Professours of Leyden. Calv Instit.

Let us heare shortly what our brethren say on the con­trary.Wall [...] loc. com. de baptism p. 960, 96 [...]. Professor. Leyd. in synop. purior. theol, disput. 44▪ thes. 49. M. Best and others object, Those only are to receive the seale of the covenant, whose Parents, at least one of them, in externall profession, are within the covenant; but infants borne of wicked and pro­phane parents, are not borne of parents in externall pro­fession within the covenant,1. Obiect. Ergo, the infants of wic­ked parents are not to receive the seale of the covenant. The proposition he proveth from Genes. 17. 10. This is my covenant, Best Churches plea p. 52, 53. and every man-childe amongst you shall bee cir­cumcised, and Rom. 4. 11. He received the signe of circum­cision, Separatists 3. peti­tion▪ positto▪ p. 72. a seale of the righteousnesse of Faith. The assump­tion he and others proove, Guide to [...]en. pos. 5 [...]. p. 31. because murtherers, drunkards, swearers, and whose children we baptise, declare themselves not to be Christians, nor faithfull, nor Saints by their wic­ked life, and so not within the covenant. This argument also the Separatists use.

Answ. The Major is false, and not proved from Gen. 17. or Rom. 4 for neither of these places speake of nearest Parents, father and mother one at least; the Text beareth no such thing, but the contrary. These are to receive the seale of the covenant whose fore-fa­thers are in externall profession within the covenant; for God commandeth not Abraham only to circum­cise his sons, but all parents descended of Abraham to circumcise their seed, the seed of Abraham carnally de­scended to all generations: and so the nearest parents on­ly are not to be looked unto.

2. This argument doth either proceed according to this meaning, that these infants only are to receive the seale of the covenant whose parents are within the co­venant by an inward ingrafting and union by true faith, besides the externall professing therof; or then there is no other thing required, but only externall professi­on, that the Church without sinne may conferre the [Page 173] seales; if the former be said, it will follow that God speaketh, Gen. 17. only to Abraham and his sons by faith, according to the promise, and only to believers; but God speaketh to all Abrahams sons according to the flesh. 2. Because God should speake an untruth, that he were a God by reall union of faith to all that are commanded to be circumcised; for he comman­ded thousands to be circumcised to whom he was not a God by reall union of faith: therefore these words must import, that nothing is more required, that the Church without sin may conferre the seale of the co­venant, but the children to be descended of parents professing the truth and faith, although the parents indeed, as concerning any reall union of faith, be plain strangers to the covenant, and members of the Church only as an arme of wood is a member of the body, which being true, as it must be said, the assumption is weake and sick. [...]or the question is, what it is to be externally within the covenant, it is not to slee all knowne sinnes, to be a chosen people, a people taught of God (for then God would not have commanded Joshua Chap. 5. to circumcise all Israel, because their fathers externally were within the covenant) as this argument would say; for their fathers were a generation of un­believers who knew not God, who tempted him and grie­ved his holy Spirit in the wildernesse, and professed them­selves by their murmuring never to be truly within the covenant. Then to professe the doctrine of the cove­nant is but to be borne Iewes, and avow the Lord in externall profession, and Deut. 29. sweare a covenant with him, when the heart is blinded and hardned, v. 4. And so by this it is cleare Joshua had commandement of God to give the seale of the covenant to their chil­dren, who were as openly wicked against the Lord, as murtherers, drunkards, swearers, &c. 3. This ar­gument will prove circumcision could lawfully be gi­ven to none, but the children of parents within the covenant, that is, professedly knowne to be faithfull, [Page 174] holy, and se [...]arated from the prophane world in the judgement of c [...]arity: this hath no warrant of the word. For 1. The children of the mo [...]t wicked were circum­cised, Iosh. 5. 2. We desire to know whom God forbad to be circumcised that were carnally descended of Abraham? Or shew us ex [...]mple or precept therof in the Word? 3. What God required in the parents, whose Infants the Church might lawfully and without sin circumcise, so they were borne Iewes: O saith Mr. Best, they be­hooved to be members of the Church whose infants might lawfully be circumcised. I answer, that is, ignotum per ignotius, Shew me one person being a borne Iew, whose child the Lord forbad to circumcise? 2. What is it to be a member of the Iewish Church? Is it to bee a visible Saint and taught of God? I true, that was re­quired indeed to make men acceptable before God; but to make one a visible member of the Iewish Church visible, nothing was required, but to be a borne Iew, and professe Gods truth, and keepe them from externall ceremoniall pollutions, I mean to be a member of the visi­ble Church, to keep externall and Church-communion with the rest of Gods people.

Secondly, 2. Object. they object, Not onely must they be in pro­fession within the covenant; but also members of some vi­sible Church and particular congregation, that is, that they be within the Church;M. Best Churches [...]lea. p. 60, 61▪ arg. 1 for we have nothing to do to judge them that are without. 1 Cor. 5. 12. And this M. Best Pro­veth by the order required in Gods Church, putting a difference betwixt Church-communion and Christian-com­munion, A man may be a just, peaceable, quiet man, and so meet to be a Citizen in a City, but he hath not right to the priviledges of the brughe, untill he come to them by due order; so must a man not onely be a Christian ere his childe be baptized; but also a member of a visible Church.

Answ. 1. This Objection proceedeth from a great mistake, as if Church-communion with a particular in­dependent congregation were more, and a better and [Page 175] nearer ground of baptizing, then Christian-communion, which we judge to be false; because the Catholick Church is by order of nature, and first and more prin­cipally the body, spouse, redeemed flocke of Christ, then any particular independent congregation, that is but a part or member of the Catholike Church; and therfore the covenant, promises of grace, the power of the keys, the seals of the covenant belong first & principally to the Catholike Church, & to these that are in Christian communion with her, before they belong to this or that visible part of the Ca­tholick Church, and so all ecclesiastick power of the keys must be first & more principally in the Catholick Church, then in a particular congregatiō, as a reasonable soul by or­der of nature is in man, before it be in Peter, Thomas or Iohn.

2. I believe these are within, that are professours of the true faith, suppose they be not members of the Church of Corinth, or of any setled Church, it is e­nough if they be within the covenant, and these are without only, who are Infidels and Pagans, not profes­sing the true and sound faith, as the Apostle meaneth, 1 Cor. 5. 12. Baptisme is a priviledge of the Church, not a priviledge of such a particular independent Church, and the distinction betwixt Christian-communion and Church-communion in this point is needlesse and fruit­lesse; for none are to be refused of baptisme, whose parents professe the faith and Christian-communion: Howbeit, they by Gods providence may be cast into a country where they are not, and cannot be (without due examination) members of a setled Church, as one may heare the word and joyn in publick prayer with any true Church he cometh unto, and so having Christian-commu­nion with a true Church, he hath by that same also Church communion. For baptisme is not like Burgess [...] freedome in a city, a man may be a free Citizen in one Towne or City, and not be a free citizen to have right to the priviledges of all other Cities, but he who is Christs free-man in one Church, hath Christian freedome and right to communion therby in all Churches, and may [Page 176] have Church-communion in all true Churches; but hee that is a free Burgesse in one City, is not free in all.

Thirdly, they object, If Baptisme be given to all pro­miscuously, the Church shall not be the house of God, to receive only Gods family, but a common Inne to receive all cleane and uncleane. So Best citing Cartwright.Best 16. p. 64. Separatists 3 petit. 10. pos. at. 2 reas. 3. Bap­tisme is to be administred (say the Separatists) onely to the seed of the faithfull, because such only are accounted to the Lord for a generation, which he begetteth and re­ceiveth in his Church to declare his righteousnesse in Christ, Psalm. 22. 30, 31. Rom. 4. 11. and Rom. 11. 16. Math. 10. 13, 16.

Answ. Cartwright in that place is only against the baptizing of infants of excommunicate parents who are cast out of the Church;Cartwright against Whytgift, p. 172. but as the Church is a house, so there are in the house of baptized ones, both cleane and uncleane: Neither are they all barnes of the house, who are within the house: the profession of cleannesse and holinesse, and of the faith of Christ, maketh it a house different from the society of Pagans and In [...]idels.

2. Wheras M. Best urgeth that none should be bapti­zed, but members of the visible Church: he maketh all baptized members of the Church, how then must they be all visible Saints, clean persons and holy? For baptisme maketh not the thousand part that are baptized to be vi­sible Saints.

3. This Generation begotten of the Lord and received into the Church to declare his righteousnesse, Psal. 22. is not such only as are to be baptized; for that generation, v. 30. is a seed that serveth the Lord, and v. 31. decla­reth his righteousnesse: All infants whether of faithfull or unfaithfull parents doe alike service to God, and alike de­clare his righteousnesse, that is to say, infants of what e­ver kinde can doe no service to God. If their mea­ning bee the infants of faithfull parents circumcised shall serve God, and declare his Righteousnesse, when [Page 177] they come to age: First this Text saith not they are the seed of the faithfull onely that shall serve God: For the seed of the faithfull, such as Ammon, Absolom, and Davids seed often refuse to serve God, and declare his righteousnesse, and the seed and children of wicked Parents, as Hezekiah the sonne of wicked Ahaz, and Josiah the sonne of wicked Amon, doe often serve God, and declare his righteousnesse: So they cite Scriptures, that by no force of reason doe speake for them, as Rom. 4. 11. and Rom. 11. 16. say nothing; but if the root be holy with the holinesse federall, and of the ex­ternall profession: So are the branches; but the place speaketh nothing of true inherent holinesse; for then all holy Parents should have holy and visible Saints com­ming out of their loines, which is against Scripture and experience.

Fourthly, Obiect. 4. they object, By this our Divines lose their best Argument against Anabaptists;Best 16. p. 56. namely, that children of Christians by that same warrant are to be baptized, that Infants under the Law were circumcised; but none was circumcised but a member of the visible Church under the Law. Now this ye gain-say, who would have all cleane and uncleane baptized, and so you leave your pat­terne.

Answ. We leave our patterne in no sort: For all were circumcised that were borne of circumcised Parents within the Church of the Jewes: so all are to be bap­tized that are borne of Christians, and baptized Parents professing the faith. But (say they) Drunkards, Mur­therers, Sco [...]ers, Swearers, and ignorant Atheists both Fa­thers and Mothers, whose children you baptize, doe not professe the [...]aith; for in works they deny and belye their pro­fession.

Answ. Then you will have the children of none to be baptized, but those whose parents are sound and sin­cere professors in the judgement of charity; but so Jo­shuah failed who circumcised the children of all profes­sing themselves to be Abrahams sonnes carnally; how­beit [Page 178] Joshuah knew, and was an eye-witnesse that their Fa­thers did deny and belye their profession. And John baptized the [...]eed of all, Mat. 3. that professed the faith of the Messiah, although he knew them to be a gene­ration of vipers.

2. They often require that one of the Parents be a beleever, or else the childe cannot be cleane, nor law­fully baptized, and they repose on that place, 1 Cor. 7. 14. For the unbeleeving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbeleeving wife is sanctified by the husband; Else (that is, if both were unbeleevers) were your children uncleane (that is not within the covenant) but now are they holy. And they alleadge Beza and Pareus for this.

Answ. But they mistake the word (unbeleeving) for by (unbeleeving) in that place (as the Professors of Leyden doe well observe) is meant Infidell Gentiles that are without the Church,Pro [...]es. Leyd. Synop. purior. Theol. and professe not Christ, as is cleare from the Text: For where the husband that be­leeved was married on a Pagan-wife; Walle [...] 16 disp. 44. thes. 49. or a Jew hee thought being converted to the Christian faith, he be­hooved to sunder with his Pagan-wife; and the wife converted to the Christian faith married to a heathen and Pagan-husband thought she behoved to divorce, and that the marriage could not be sanctified. The Apo­stle answereth this case of conscience: Suppose the Fa­ther be a Pagan, if the Mother be a beleever, that is, a professour of Christianity (for a Beleever is here op­posed to a Pagan) yet the children are holy by the Mo­thers or Fathers profession of Christianity. Hence the Argument is strong for us, Profession of Christianity opposed to Paganisme maketh the children cleane and holy before God by the holinesse of the Covenant; there­fore Infants borne of parents professing Christian Reli­gion are to be baptized: For that this troubled many converted, that they were married to heathen, and bond­men to them, and in such and such callings as they thought inconsistible with Christian Religion is cleare [Page 179] from verse 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.Be [...]a in [...] Cor. 7 [...]. And Beza on that place saith, it was never heard in the ancient Church that every Infidell child was to be baptized. And Pareus saith,Pareus coment. 1 Cor. 7. the children of Christian parents are holy before Baptisme by a Covenant and externall holinesse, iure, by Gods right being borne of Christian parents; And after Baptisme they are holy, de facto, formally and actually.Melanctho [...] loc. com. pag. [...]83▪ So say Melancthon and Keckerman. But I feare that these who will have none baptized but the chil­d [...]en of beleeving parents,Keckerman Syl'em [...]heol l. 3. p. 4 [...]3. aime at this, That the faith of the father is imputed to the children, which indeed reverend Beza doth maintaine:Beza in Colleg. Monpelg. p. 98. Or then a worse, that Infants are not to be baptized at all, seeing they op­pose the places that we cite for the lawfulnesse of bap­tizing Infants.Presbyter govern. exam. anno 1641 The authors of Presbyteriall government call the baptizing of children a untimous anticipation. Our brethrens mind is, that the Infants of both Parents knowne to be unbeleevers, are not to be baptized un­till they come to age, and can give proofe that they are within the covenant of grace, what Anabaptists thinke here is knowne.Boniface 4. Best. Church plea, a [...]g 5. p. 63. Some say that Boniface the 4. in the yeare 606. began the Baptisme of infants. M. Best saith too nakedly. I beleeve at Augustine, Cyprian, Origen, Cyrill, Nazianzen, Ambrose, and many other Fathers affirme, that the Church hath received the Bap­tisme of Infants from the Apostles. What? doth he not beleeve that it is most evidently in Scripture? and hath he no better warrant then the [...]athers?

Fourthly, 4. Obiect. M. Best objecteth, If there be no precept nor example for baptizing of Infants begotten of both Parents unbeleeving; then there is no promise of blessing made unto it; but the first is true, Ergo, the second.

Answ. 1. We aske with what faith, and by what pre­cept or example was ever circumcision in the whole old Testament denyed to any male-childe of the most wic­ked Jewes; and by what precept and example is Bap­tisme denyed to any Infant in the New Testament for his Parents wickednesse? the Fathers professing the [Page 180] Christian Faith: Yea, seeing Baptisme is denyed to In­fants upon a suspition, that their Parents are destitute of faith, and not within the Covenant; Now this sus­pition is not faith, nor grounded upon any word of God, or certaintie of faith; for whether an other man beleeve, or beleeve not, it is not faith, nor knowne by faiths certaintie to me, but by the judgement of cha­ritie.

Fifthly, Obiect. 5. they object, If all promiscuously be baptized, Gods name is taken in vaine, and the holy Sacrament greatly abused, Mal. 1. 12. Heb. 10 29.

Answ. This is to accuse God, as if he had not found sufficient wayes out to save his owne name from blas­phemy. Nor can our brethren by their Doctrine save his name from dishonour, nor the Sacrament from pro­phanation; because multitudes of Infants borne of be­leeving Parents are reprobates, and yet God hath com­manded to baptize them, who being reprobates must be without the covenant, and so the covenant is pro­phaned, and many Infants of wicked Parents are cho­sen, and within the covenant; yet are we forbidden by our brethren to give them the seales of the cove­nant untill they come to age, which also should be gi­ven to them, and needs force by their doctrine that Christ hath commanded a certaine way of dishonouring his name (which is blasphemy) [...]or we have not such a cleare way to know Infants cleane and uncleane, as the Priest had to know the polluted bread, and the pol­luted sacrifices, Mal. 1. 7, 12. as he citeth: For what Infants are within the covenant indeed, and chosen of God; and what not: We neither know, nor is it re­quisite that we know further then that we are to know, that they are borne within the visible Church.

Sixthly, Obiect. 6. they say, The Church of God is defiled, Hag. 2. 14, 15. Ezech. 44. 7.Best Church plea, p. 63. If all Infants promiscuously be bap­tized; for then the people and every worke of their hand, and their offering is uncleane. So M. Best.

[Page 181] Answ. We deny that children borne within the vi­sible Church are an uncleane offering to the Lord, and that the baptizing of them polluteth the Nation, and all the worship of the Nation, as they would gather from Haggai: For being borne of the holy Nation, they are holy with a federall and nationall holinesse, Rom. 11. 16. If the root be holy so are the branches: For our brethren baptize children of Parents who are hy­pocrites and unbeleevers, and so the uncircumcised in heart come into the Sanctuary: Yea Peter in bapti­zing Simon Magus, and Ananias and Saphira brought in the uncircumcised in heart and the strangers to Gods co­venant, as Best alledgeth from Ezech. 44. borrowing such abused testimonies of Gods word from Separatists, as they borrowed them from Anabaptists: For we preach and invite in the Gospell all the uncircumcised in heart, and all the wicked to come and heare and partake of the holy things of the Gospell, and receive the promi­ses thereof with faith: And when many come to this heavenly banquet without their wedding garment, Mat. [...]2. 12, 13. 2 Cor. 2. 16. Mat. 21. 43, 44. It follow­eth not, because they prophane the holy things of God, that Ministers who baptize the Infants of hypocrites, and prophane persons, are accessarie to the prophaning of the holy things of God, and that we bring in the polluted in heart to the Sanctuary of God. It is one thing whom Ministers should receive as members of the Sanctuary and Church; and another thing, who should come in, and what sort of persons they are obliged to be who come to be members. To say that Ministers should receive none into the Church but those that are circumcised in heart, and cleane and holy, and cloathed with the wedding garment of faith is more then our brethren can prove: Nay, we are to invite to the wed­ding good and bad, chosen and unchosen, Mat. 22. 9. As many as you find bid to the wedding. But that all that come to be received members of the unvisible Church are obliged to be circumcised in heart, and holy, and [Page 181] cloathed with the wedding garment, else they pro­phane the Sanctuary and holy things of God) is most true: But we desire that our brethren would prove this; The Porters that held out the uncircumcised and the strangers out of the Sanctuary, were types of the Ministers and Church of the New Testament, who should receive none to be Church-members, and in­vite none to the wedding of the Gospell, but such as have their wedding garment, and are circumcised in heart, and are cleane, and holy, else they prophane and defile the Church of God, as M. Best saith. We beleeve this latter to be an untruth, and yet the strength of this Argument doth hang upon this: They are obliged to be such who enter into the Church, else they defile the Sanctuary, Ergo, the Church and Ministers of the New Testament are obliged to invite none to any Church-com­munion, or receive them into a Church fellowship, but only the circumcised in heart: Wee utterly deny this con­sequence. It is one thing, what sort of persons they ought to be, that should be members of the Church (doubtlesse they should be beleevers) And another thing, whom the Church should receive in (these should be professors.)

Seventhly, 7. Obiect. M. Best reasoneth thus, The Minister is made a covenant-breaker, Mal. 2. 8. who baptized the childe of prophane Parents, and why? because he offereth the blinde for a sacrifice to God.

Answ. What if the Parents be esteemed beleevers, and are but hypocrites indeed, as is too ordinary: There is then a blinde sacrifice offered to God, and that by Gods commandement. 2. It followeth no way that the Minister is accessary to this sacrifice: Suppose it were blinde, as none can judge that but God; but the Minister doth what his Master commandeth him, to preach unto all, and baptize all that are borne within the visible Church; the sacrifice may be blinde by their doctrine and ours also; but that it is a sacrifice blinde to the Minister, and he a Priest to offer that blinde sa­crifice, [Page 183] is not hence concluded.

Eighthly, 8. Obiect. Best saith, Divine wrath is kindled for the prophanation of holy things.

Answ. That this is the Ministers or Churches pro­phanation of holy things is not proved: It is not wrath procured by the Ministers, or those who receive them into the Church, but wrath procured by the vnworthy incommers.

Ninthly, 9. Obiect. Separatists reason thus: If all be baptized pro­miscuously,Separatist [...] [...] pe [...] p [...]s. 10. unbeleevers and prophane, together with their children shall be counted in that state to be Abrahams seed, and heires of the promis [...], and so to be Christs, contrary to Gal. 3. 7, 29. with Gen. 15. 6. and 17. 7.

Answ. 1. A promiscuous baptizing of all we deny: It may import a baptizing of the Infants of Turkes, or of Papists, who avow they will bring up the childe baptized in the Romane faith: In which case, it would seeme Baptisme should be denied,Walleus in loc. com. as the learned Wal­leus thinketh. 2. There is a double counting on in Gods seed. 1. One according to Election, and so onely the elect are counted in the seed, as is cleare, Rom. 9. Paul expoundeth, Gen. 15. This counting in the seed is not well counted to be common to all circumcised: Sepa­ratists doe ordinarily miscount and abuse Scriptures, not caring what they cite, so that the Margen swell with citations. 2. There is an Ecclesiasticall and conditionall counting, whereby all baptized are in the judgement of charity counted Abrahams heires; but with the con­dition, that they have Abrahams faith, and be inter­nally in Abrahams covenant, and so are counted in th [...] seed, and all baptized. Hence the Separatists other two Arguments doe not conclude: For they inferre, if all must be baptized, that unbeleevers have alike interest with beleevers in the seales and priviledges of the Church, and must be counted in that same body and state with beleevers: For to the externall priviledges and visible body of the Church all professors (for they are not to be reputed unbeleevers) have alike interest; [Page 184] but to the inward favours and graces sealed in the Sa­craments, and in the true and mysticall body of Christ they have not all alike interest who are baptized. 2. Se­paratists doe ignorantly and uncharitably in this dispute take the children of the nearest Parents that are pro­phane and wicked, and unbeleeving and uncleane In­fants for all one: For because their Fathers many ge­nerations upward were within the covenant; therefore are such children in externall prof [...]ssion within the co­venant, as the Lord did shew favour to his people for Abraham and Davids sake many yeares after they were dead, when their nearest Parents were wicked and pro­phane, Psal. 106. 45, 46. Psal. 105. 41, 42. Ezech. 20. 2 [...]. and chap. 36. 21, 22.

2. Conclusion. 2. Conclus. These onely are to be admitted to the Supper of the Lord, whom in charity we judge, can and doe trye and examine themselves, and rightly dis­cerne the Lords body, and who in faith can annuntiate the Lords death, unto his second comming againe: And therefore children and infants, ignorants, and scan­dalously flagitious persons, and mad persons are to be debarred. But that none should be Church-members of Christs visible body, but such as we can, and dare ad­mit to the Lords Supper, is most false: For we put a manifest difference betwixt those that are admitted in­to Christs visible body, as ordinary hearers of the word, such as are ignorants, and many unconverted profes­sors; and the excommunicate who are admitted to be ordinary hearers of the word, but are not to be ad­mitted to the Supper of the Lord; for so we should prophane the holy things of God, and be accessary to the prophaning of the Lords body and precious bloud. Here a doubt ariseth, seeing Christ crucified is the sub­stance and object of faith in the word preached, as well as in the Sacrament of the Lords Supper; and in no sort are Ministers to be accessary to the prophaning of the holy things of God, or of casting pearles before swine, Mat. 7. 6. Mat. 15. 26. Heb. 10. 29. Hag. 2. 14, 15. [Page 185] Num. 5. 2, 3. and Levit. 19. 22. How doe we admit the ignorant and unbeleevers, yea the excommunicate, Mat. 22. 9. 2 Thess 3. 15. to the holy things of the Gospell preached, which we know they shall, and doe pro­phane? For to them the word is the savour of death un­to death, 2 Cor. 2. 16. and Christ is a rocke of offence, and a stumbling stone, a ginne and a snare, Isa. 8. 14. 1 Pet. 2. 8. and yet we are accessary to their prophaning of the Lords Table if we admit such to the Table.

Answ. There are great odds betwixt a possible and necessary meane of salvation prophaned, and a meane of salvation not necessary nor possible to reach its end for the which it is ordained: If these of the Separa­tion would distinguish this as Gods word doth, they should not so stumble about the constitution of a visi­ble Church: For the word preached is the necessary and possible meane of conversion to the most flagitious and wicked hearers; And howbeit they prophane the word, promises, and despise Christ and his covenant in the word preached; yet Ministers in receiving such into Church-communion are not accessary to the pro­phaning of Gods holy things; because they are under a necessity of offering Christ preached, as the onely or­dinary, necessary, and possible meane of salvation; Therefore we admit them to the hearing and beleeving of the word, per se, and kindly; but to the stumbling at the word by accident, by their abuse comming from themselves. But the Lords Supper being a Seale of our nourishment and spirituall growth in Christ, it pre­supposeth faith, and the begun life of God, and the new birth, and so to those who are openly flagitious and knowne unbeleevers, it is neither a necessary meane of salvation, nor yet a possible meane: Not necessary; for meat and drinke and these elements cannot nou­rish those who have no life of God in them at all: As bread and wine are not means at all to a dead man, Infestment in the husbands lands, and a dowry is no meane necessary at all to an unmarried virgin remai­ning [Page 186] unmarried. Also untill the communicant beleeve in Christ, it is not a possible Seale; for it can seale nothing to one that is not capable of nouri [...]hment, see­ing the unbeleever by no possibility can be sealed up in a growing communion with Christ. And this Supper is not a formall meane of conversion, but a formall meane of the further growth and nourishment of these who are already converted; and therefore when Mi­nisters are accessary to admit to the Lords Table these whom they know are unbeleevers, they have there a kindly influence in the prophaning of the holy things of God, in giving a meane of salvation to these to whom it is neither necessary nor possible: But in admittance of members of the Church to be ordinary hearers of the word, their influence is not kindly, and their co­operation onely accidentall. The sinne is in the abu­sers of the word onely, which is a meane both neces­sary and possible, and the fault is not in the Ministers. For this cause are we to be more strict in admitting to the Lords Supper, then in receiving of Church-members to Baptisme, and the hearing of the Word. But as we are to take care that the holy things of God be not prophaned in this Sacrament: so also that none be debarred by the under-stewards and servants whom the Master of the house hath admitted. And 1. none are to be excluded from the Table, but such as are un­der the Church-censures, except the impediments be naturall, not morall, such as age and distraction. 2. That none are reputed uncapable, but such as are juridicè, and in the Church-court, under two or three witnesses convicted; for why should the Church punishments be inflicted blindly, such as is debarring from the Lords Table? therefore the Minister hath no power of the Keyes himselfe alone, without the Eldership to de­barre any; for then he himselfe useth the Keyes by cen­suring, Pope-like, without the Church. 3. Grossely ig­norant are to be censured by the Church, and debarred: But it may perhaps be here said, I make no evidence [Page 187] of conversion required to goe before, as seene to the Church, before they dare admit to the Lords Table, but such as may be in hypocrites.

Answ. And so did the Apostolike Church, I doubt not but the Apostles did, Acts 2. 46, 47. admit Ananias and Saphira to the Lords Table: And so did Paul esteeme of Demas, and would once have admitted Hymeneus, Alexander and others; and this is cleare, 1 Joh. 2. 19. If they had been of us, they would no doubt have cont [...] ­nued with us: Then they remained for a space commu­nicators with the true Church in the word of the co­venant and seales. We are against Separatists, who will have the number of aged persons that are members of the Church, and the number of those who are to be admitted to the Sacrament, equall. We thinke multi­tudes are members of the visible Church, and must be hearers, as knowne unbeleevers, who are not to be admit­ted to the Sacrament.

CHAP. XIII.
Quest. 13. Whether or no every particular Congregation and Church hath of it selfe independent power from Christ, to exercise the whole power of the Keyes, without any subie­ction to any superiour Ecclesiasticall iurisdiction?

IT is knowne that these of the Separation, and others, whom we love and reverence, contend for the inde­pendency of every visible Congregation, denying that they are subject to Synods, Presbyteries, and Nationall As­semblies of the Churches consociated; holding that they can, and may give counsell, and brotherly advise in mat­ters doubtfull: But that Presbyteries or Synods have no Ecclesiasticall power to command in the Lord any Con­gregation whatsoever.

[Page 188] I observed before that there be two degrees of a Church independent, 1. In every visible Congregation there is a number of beleevers, to whom our brethren say, Christ hath committed the power of the keyes, who have power to chuse and ordaine their owne offi­cers, Pastors, Doctors, Elders and Deacons, and also judicially to censure, rebuke, sentence, depose and ex­communicate these same office-bearers. We have dis­puted already against this independent Church. 2. There is another Church indepe [...]dent, which is that same con­gregation of beleevers new cloathed with a setled and constituted [...]ldership, one Pastor, and Elders, and Do­ctors: Of this Congregation is our present question. This Congregation againe hath either one Pastor only, with a number of Elders; or it hath a number of Pa­stors and Elders who doe meet for discipline, which is a Presbyteriall Church, such as we esteeme the Church of Corinth, the Church of Ephesus. The question is of a visible Church in both senses: And for the former, they have within themselves some power of discipline, so farre as concerneth themselves, as the Arguments of our brethren doe prove, but with subordination to the Eldership of their owne and other sister and consociate Congregations, who shall meet in a Presbytery. The Church in the latter meaning cannot conveniently meet in all and every one of the members thereof, but doth meet in their Rulers, as the Eldership of Ephesus did meet, Acts 20. 17. And Paul and James, and the El­dership of Jerusalem did meet, Acts 21. 18, 19, 20, 21. And of this Presbytery that ordained Timothy a Pastor, we read 1 Tim. 4. 14. So the Eldership of Ephesus, Rev. 2. 2. whereof there were a number of Pastors, as we may reade Acts 20. 28, 29, 36. who tried those who called themselves Apostles, and did lye, and were found lyars, Rev. 2. 2. This Presbytery consisting of moe Pastors, is the first ruling and governing Church, having power of the keyes in all points of discipline within them­selves; They have intensively power of the keyes in all [Page 189] points, and equall power (intensivè) with greater Sy­nods and Assemblies; because ordination of Pastors by them, 1 Tim. 4. 14. is as valide in the point of Church-discipline, as the Decrees made in the great Councell convented at Jerusalem, Acts 15. 21, 22, &c. But Pro­vinciall Synods, and Nationall Assemblies have greater power then the Presbyteries extensivè; because they have power as a great body to exercise discipline that concerneth the whole Congregations of all the Nation, which power is not in inferiour Elderships. Now that there is not to be [...]ound in the word a Congregation with an Eldership, and one Pastor that hath the po­wer of all discipline independently, within it selfe, I prove:

1. I reason from the Apostolike Churches practise,1. Arg. which must be a patterne to us: And first, let no man say the Argument is weake, because the Apostolike Church being lyable to persecution, and Parishes not then setled, their order cannot be a rule to us: For 1. we have not a perfect patterne if the Apostolike Church be laid aside, as no rule to us. 2. It is said, Acts 9. 31. Then had the Churches rest throughout all Ju­dea, Galilie, and Samaria, and were edefied, and walking in the feare of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy-Ghost, were multiplyed. Hence if there be not a patterne of such an independent Congregation by precept or pra­ctise, where one particular Congregation with one Pastor, and their Eldership did exercise, or may exer­cise all power of the keyes in all points: Then such an independent Congregation is not to be holden; but the former is true: For 1. an instance cannot be given in the point of ordination of Ministers, by a Congre­gation with one Pastor. We desire an instance. 2. All ordination by practise and precept in the New Testa­ment is by more Pastors then one; yea by a Colledge of Pastors, which is cleare, Acts 1. 13. the eleven Apo­stles were at the ordination of Matthias, and the Apo­stle Peter presideth in the action. And Acts 6. 2. the [Page 190] twelve Apostles did ordaine the seven Deacons, ver. 6. and prayed and laid their hands on them, ver. 6. It is vaine that Turre [...]remata and other Papists say,De P [...]tif. l. 2. c. 1. p 64. that Peter him­selfe alone might have chosen the seven Deacons.Whittaker de conc. quaest. 5. p. 150. See for this Whitgyft opposing Turrecremata, and Whittaker. Also see Acts 13. 1, 2, 3. Prophets and teachers with the Apostles sent Paul and Barnabas to preach to the Gen­tiles, and they fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them. So Paul and Barnabas, if there were not more Pastors with them, Acts 14. 23. appointed El­ders in every Church with fasting and prayer, Acts 20. 17. ver. 28. There was a Colledge of preaching Elders at Ephesus, and at Philippi, Phil. 1. 2. Bishops and Dea­cons at Thessalonica, 1 Thes. 9. 12. a multitude, that is, more then one Pastor that were over them in the Lord, and laboured amongst them, and admonished them, ver. 13 1 Tim 4. 14. a Colledge or Senate of Presby­ters or Pastors, who ordained Timothy by the laying on of hands. 2. If ordination of Pastors in the word be never given to people, or beleevers, or to ruling El­ders; but still to Pastors, as is cleare, 1 Tim. 5. 22. Tit. 1. ver. 5. Acts 6. 6. Acts 13. 3. 2 Tim. 1. 6. 1 Tim. 4. 14. And if ordination in the word of God be never in the power of one single Pastor (except we bring in a Prelate into the Church) then one Pastor, with one single Congregation cannot exercise this point of discipline, and so not all points of discipline. 3. If the preaching Elders be charged by the Spirit of God to watch against grievous wolves speaking perverse things, Acts 20. 29, 30, 3 [...]. and rebuked because they suffer them to teach false doctrine; and commended, because they try false teachers, and cast them out, Rev. 2. ver. 14. ver. 20. ver. 2. if they be commanded to ordaine faithfull men, 2 Tim. 2. 2. and taught whom they should ordaine, Tit. 1. 5, 6, 7. 1 Tim. 3. ver. 2, 3, 4, 5. 1 Tim. 5. 22. and whom they should reject, as unmeet for the worke of the Lord: Then one Pastor and a single Congregation have not the power of this point of discipline, and so they are [Page 191] not independent within themselves; but the for­mer is said by GODS Word. Ergo, so is the lat­ter.

2. Argument. 2. Arg. That government is not of God, nor from the wisdome of Christ the law-giver, that devi­seth means of discipline for edifying the people by the keyes, and omitteth meanes for edifying by the keyes the Elders of every particular congregation; but the doctrine of independent Congregations is such. Ergo, this doctrine is not of God. The proposition is cleare, Christs perfect government hath wayes and meanes in his Testament, to edifie all rankes and degrees of peo­ple, for the perfecting of the body of his Saints, Eph. 3. 11. 1 Cor. 5. 4, 5. Mat. 18. 15, 16. Iohn 20. 21, 22, 23. I prove the Assumption: If a pastor and six or twelve Elders turne scandalous in their lives, and unsound and corrupt in the Faith: there is no way of gaining them by the power of the keyes; for there be but three wayes imaginable.

1. That they should censure and use the rod against themselves, which is against nature, reason and unwrit­ten in the Word of God.

2. They cannot be censured by Presbyteries and Sy­nods; for the doctrin of independent Congregations doth abhorre this.

And thirdly, they cannot be censured by the multi­tude of believers; for 1. The Lord hath not given the rod and power of edification, such as Paul speaketh of, 1 Cor. 4. 20, 21. to the flocke over the over-seers. 2. This is popular government and worse, the flock made over-seers to the Shepheards, the sons authorized to correct the fathers. 3. We desire a pattern of this government from the word of God.

Our third argument is from many absurdities.3. Arg. That doctrine is not sound, from whence flow many ab­surdities contrary to Gods Word; but from the do­ctrine of independent Congregations without subordi­nation to Synods, flow many absurdities contrary to [Page 192] Gods Word, Ergò, that doctrine is not sound. The Major is out of controversie, and is cleare; for the Scriptures reason from absurdities, 1 Cor. 15. 14, 15. Iohn 8. 55. I prove the assumption; as,

1. The Prophets shall not be authoritatively judged by Prophets and Pastours, but by the multitude, con­trary to that, 1 Cor▪ 14. 29. Let the Prophets speake two or three, and let the other judge.

2. Authoritative and judiciall excommunication was in the Pastors and Elders power, 1 Co. 5. 4. 1 Tim. 1. 20. 2 Cor. 10. 8. 1 Cor. 4. 21. this doctrin [...]u [...]teth authoritative and ju­diciall excommunication into the hands of all the people.

3. All the assemblies of Pastours in the Apostolick Church, for the discipline which concerned many Chur­ches, upon necessary causes shall be temporary and ex­traordinary, and so not obliging us now, as Acts 1. Act. 6. Act. 11. 1. Act. 8. 14. Act. 13. 1, 2, 3. Act. 15. Act. 21. 18, 19. 1 Tim. 4. 14. and yet these same neces­sary causes of such assemblies, as Divisions betwixt Gre­cians and Hebrewes, heresies, schismes remaine in the Church to the worlds end.

4. Those who authoritatively governe and edi [...]ie the Church, are men separated from the world, not intangled with the affairs of this life, 2 Tim. 2. 2, 3, 4, 5. therefore if all the multitude governe and over-see both themselves and their guides: they are not to remaine in their callings, as trades-men, servants, merchant [...], lawyers, &c. but to give themselves wholly to the over-seeing of the Church, contrary to that which the Word of God saith, ordaining every man to abide in his calling, 1 Cor. 7. 20, 21, 22. Col. 3. 22. 1 Thess. 4. 11.

5. Believers are over-seers to excommunicate, deprive, censure, and authoritatively rebuke their pastors, and so 1. pastors of pastors, over-seers and watch-men, over their Over-seers and Watch-men. 2. The relation of pastor and flock, of feeders and a people fed is taken away. 3. That which the Scripture ascribeth to pastor [...] only, 1 Tim. 5. 19, 20. Tit. 1. 13. v. 9. is gi­ven [Page 193] to private professours. 6. The brotherly consociation of the authority and power of jurisdiction in many sister-Churches united together, is taken away, there is no Chri­stian-communion of Church officers, as Church officers 7. All particular Churches are left, in case of errours, to the immediate judgement of Christ, and obnoxious to no Church censures, suppose they consist of six or ten pro­fessours only. 8. The grounds of the doctrine are these same arguments, which Anabaptists and Socinians use against the places of Kings, Judges, Magistrates, to wit, that believers are free, redeemed, bought with a price, all things are theirs; and therfore all power, which con­sequence is no stronger the one way, then the other. 9. It layeth a blot upon Christs wisdome, who hath appointed congregations to be edified by no power of the keyes in case of aberration a [...]d incorrigible obsti­nacy. 10. It maketh the Word of God imperfect, which setteth downe no Canons, how the believers of an in­dependent Church should governe, and Paul teacheth how Timothy and Titus, and all Church-men should governe. 11. It excludeth not women from usurping authority over men, by judging, excommunicating, ordaining pastors, seeing they are the body and Spouse of Christ as believing men are. 12. It maketh the Sa­craments no Sacraments, the baptized non-baptized, and in the place of Turkes; if possibly the pastour and the ten professours of the independent Church be un­believers, which is too ordinary. 13. By this an as­sembly of Pastors and Elders from divers congregati­ons, have no more the power of the keyes, then one single man, who may counsell and advise his brother. 14. Extreme confusion and inevitable schismes hence a­rise, whilst such a sister-Church saith, I am Pauls, and her sister-Church saith, I am Apollo's, and there is no remedy against this fire. 15. The patterne of a Church governing and ministeriall, consisting of only believers, is neither in all the Scriptures, antiquity, nor in the writings of Divines. But of these I shall speake [Page 194] more fully hereafter, God willing.

4. Argument. 4. Arg. That Doctrine is not to be holden, which tendeth to the removing of a publick Ministry▪ but the doctrine of independent Churches is such. Ergo, the doctrine of independent Churches, is not to be holden. The proposition is out of doubt, seeing Christ hath ordained a publick Ministry for the gathe­ring of his Church, Ephes: 3. 11. 1 Cor: 11. 1 Cor: 14 1 Tim: 3. 1, 2, 3. Heb: 13. 17. 1 Thess: 5. 12, 13. 1 Cor: 5. 4. Math: 16. 19. Math: 28. 18. Joh: 20. 21, 22, 23.English Puritanis. me, c 2 art. 1. p. 4. Light for the [...]gno­rant, printed, an. 1641. p. 20. I prove the assumption. By the doctrine of independen­cy, two or three, or ten or twelve private Christians in a private Family,Guide to Zion, pos. 11. p. 7. joyning themselves covenant-waies to worship God is a true visible Church:Separatist. 3. p [...]tit. to King James [...] p 44. So the Eng­lish Puritanisme: So a Treatise called, Light for the ig­norant: So the Guide to Zion: So the Separatists hol­ding Independent Congregations, define a visible Church, Every company, Congregation or Assembly of true belie­vers, joyning together according to the order of the Gospell, in the true worship, is a true visible Church. This being the true definition of an independent congregation from the writings of the Patrons thereof; I prove that it taketh away the necessity of publick ministery. 1. because e­very twelve in a private Family is this way joyned together, and is an independent Church. 2 this con­gregation being independent, it hath within it selfe the power of the keyes, and is not subject (saith the English Puritanisme) to any other Superiour ecclesia­sticall jurisdiction, [...]nglish Puritanis. c 2. art. 3 p. 4. then to that which is within it self. But,

1 Katherin against M. Edwards saith, p. 7, 8. Pri­vate Christians have the Spirit. Ergo, they may pray.

Answ: God forbid we deny, but they both may and ought to pray continually: but hence it followeth not affirmativè, à genere ad speciem, therfore they may au­thoritatively, not being called of God, as was Aaron, and invade the pastors chaire, and pray and fast and lay on hands by ministeriall authority, as the pastors doe, [Page 195] Act: 6. 6. Act: 13. 3.

2. The Church (saith the Feminin Authour, p. 8.) is not blinde, so that none have power of seeing, but only the of­ficers.

Answ. All believers see and discerne true and false tea­chers, 1 Iohn 4. 1. Heb: 5. 14. 2 Cor: 3. 18. Psal: 119. 18. Ephes: 1. 17. but it followeth not, affirmativè, à genere a [...] speciem, the [...]fore they doe all see as the eye of the body, with an authoritative and pastorall light and eye; for then all the body should be an eye, where were then the hearing? 2 Cor. 12. 17. 3 Within it self there is no jurisdiction ministeriall; for in the definition of a Church ministeriall, there is deepe silence of Ministers or office-bearers; and good reason by their grounds, who hold it: For it is a society of believers joyned together co­venant wayes in the true worship of God; which so­ciety hath power to ordain and elect their owne pa­stors and Elders, here is the power of the keyes to bind and loose on earth, as Christ bindeth and looseth in Heaven, Math: 18. 18. chap: 16. 19 and a ministeriall act of these keyes, to wit, the ordaining of Pastours, Doctors, Elders and Deacons; before there be any Pa­stor, Doctor or Elder or Deacon. A ministery then must only be necessary, ad benè esse, non ad esse simplici­ter, to the better or wel-being of the independent Church, and not to the simple being of the Church▪ for the thing must have a perfect constituted being and essence, before it can have any operation, and working proceeding from that being: as one must be a living creature indued with a sensitive soule, before it can heare, or see, or touch; now this independent Church, must have the perfect essence and being of a ministeriall Church, seeing it doth by the power of the keyes within it selfe constitute and ordaine her owne Ministers and Pastors; and if they were joyned in the worship of God before they had Ministers, they did in a visible way (being a visible Church in the compleate being of a visible Church) worship God, before they had Ministers; for before they ordaine [Page 196] their Ministers, they must keepe the Apostolick order, fast and pray, and lay on their hands, for so did the A­postles, Act: 1. 24. Acts 6. v. 6. Acts 13. 3. Act: 14. 23. 1 Tim: 4. 14. 2 Tim: 1. 5. So here are, publick fasting, publick praying, publick ordination of a visible and independent Church, and as yet they have no Mini­sters; So in case the Eldership of a congregation shall all turne scandalous and hereticall: this same inde­pendent congregation may excommunicate them. Ergo before excommunication, they must publickly and by the power of the keyes, convince them of Heresie, re­buke them, pray for them, and finally by the spirit of Paul a Pastor, 1 Cor: 5. 4. judicially cast them out. Now let all be Judges, if this be farre from pastorall preaching, and if here be not ministeriall acts, and the highest judiciall and authoritative censure exercised by no Ministers at all; and what hindreth by this reason, but the independent Church (that doth publickly and authoritatively pray, fast, rebuke, convince gainsayers, make and unmake, by the power of the keyes, pastours and Mi­nisters) may also without Ministers preach, and admi­nister the Sacraments? against which the Separatists themselves doe speake and give reasons from Scripture, that none may administer the Sacraments, untill the pa­stors and teachers be chosen and ordained in their office.Separatists confess. art. 34. p. 25. But hence we clearly see an independent Church con­stituted in its compleat essence, and exercising mini­steriall acts, and using the keyes without any ministry and edifying their Ministers, so that a ministry is ac­cidentall, and a stranger to the independent Church both in its nature and working, and seeing they edifie others without a ministry: why may not private Families, where the independent Church dwelleth, edifie themselves without a publick ministry? I reade in Arminian and Socinian writings, that seeing the Scriptures are now patent to all. 1 A sent Ministry is rather use­full and profitable then necessary. 2 The preaching of the Word by Ministers is not necessary: So Epis­copi [...]s: [Page 197] The Arminians in their Apology,Episcop disput. 26. 23. and the Ca­techise of Raccovia: I will not impute these conclu­sions to our deare brethren,Remonstr. apol fol. 246. but I intreat the father of Lights to make them see the premisses.Remonstran in con­fes. c. 21 sec. [...], 4. 3 Three or foure believers this way in covenant joyned together to worship God,Cat [...]ches. Raccovi­e [...]s de eccles. C [...]i­sti a▪ 11. [...]l. 305. 306. & 16. fol. [...]01 30 [...]. have intensively and essentially all the power of the keyes, as the Councell convented at Hierusalem, Acts 15. 4. the power of Ordination, publick praying, publick and authoritative convincing of the gainsayers, and judiciall rebuking, which Paul ascribeth to the Pastors and preaching Elders, 1 Tim: 5. 20, 21. 1 Tim: 3. 2. Tit: 1. 9. 2 Tim: 4. 2. as essentiall parts proper to their calling, doe not agree at all to pastors, but by accident, in so farre as they are belee­vers, or parts of an independent congregation by this doctrine; for if the keyes and the use of the keyes, in all these ministeriall acts, be given to a society of be­lievers so joyned in covenant to serve God, as to the first, native and independent subject: all these must agree to Ministers at the second hand, and by commu­nication. For if God hath given heat to the fire, as to the first and native Subject; all other things must be hot by borrowing heat from the fire; and so Pastors re­buke, exhort, ordain Pastors, censure and excommu­nicate Pastors only by accident, and at the by, in so farre as they are believers, and parts of the indepen­dent congregation: And all these are exercised most kindly in an independent congregation by some of their number,Robinso [...] ▪ Childley. suppose there be no Pastors at all in the con­gregation. Robinson (in justification of Separatists, p. 121, 122) and Katherin Childly (against M. Edwards, pa. 3.) say, as a private Citizen may become a Magistrate: So a private member may become a Minister in case of neces­sity, to ordaine Pastors in a congregation, where there is none, and therefore (say they) the Church may subsist for a time without Pastor or Elder. Answ. In an extra­ordinary case a private man, yea a Prophet as Samuell hath performed, by the extraordinary impultion of [Page 198] the spirit, that which King Saul should doe, to wit, he may kill Agag; but an independent congregation of pri­vate men ordaining pastors (say our Brethren) is Christs setled ordinance to the worlds end. 2 The question is, whither the Church can subsist a politick ministeriall bo­dy without Pastors and Elders. 3 By this the indepen­dent way is extraordinary, where a private man may in­vade the pastors chaire; then Synods must be ordinary: els they must give us another way then their independent way or presbyteriall Churches, that is ordinary. I desire also to know, how our brethren who are for the main­tenance of independent Churches, can eschew the pub­lick prophecying of some qualified in the Church, e­ven of persons never called to be Pastours, which the Separatists doe maintaine to the griefe of the godly and learned; for in an independent congregation, where Pastors and Elders are not yet chosen, and when they are in processe to excommunicate them, who shall publickly pray, exhort, rebuke, convince the Eldership to be or­dained or excommunicated? I doubt, but a grosser point then the prophecying of men who are in no pastorall cal­ling must be holden, to the discharging of all these pub­lick actions of the Church; yea, I see not but with a like warrant, private men may administer the Sacraments; because Christ from his Mediatory power gave one and the same ministeriall power to pastors, to teach and baptize Mat: 28. 18, 19.

5. Argum. 5. Arg. If Gods word allow a presbyteriall Church, and a presbytery of Pastors and Elders: then are we not to hold any such independent congregation; for our bre­thren acknowledge they cannot consist together.Cap. 7. q 7. conc. 4. But the former is cleare, 1 Tim: 4. 14. Mat: 18. 17. 18. and is pro­ved by us already. Other arguments I shall (God willing) adde in the following questions.

CHAP. XIV.
Quest. 14. Whither or no the power ecclesiasticall of Sy­nods can be prooved from the famous councell of Jeru­salem holden, Act: 15.

NOw followeth our sixt Argument against indepen­dent congregations.Six Argument [...] a­gainst independēt congregations. Where I purpose (God wil­ling) to prove that the practise of the Apostolick Church giveth us warrant for Synods, and a meeting of Pa­stors, and Elders from many particular congregations giving and making ecclesiasticall Canons and Decrees that tye and lay a band ecclesiasticall upon many par­ticular congregations, to observe and obey these De­crees. And, 1. the popular and democraticall govern­ment of Anabaptists, where the people governeth them­selves, and the Church, we reject. 2 The Popish Hie­rarchy, and the Popish or Episcopall Synods, where my lord Prelate the Antichrists eldest sonne, sitteth do­mineering and ruling all, we reject. 3 We grant that one sister-Church, or one presbytery, or one provin­ciall or Nationall Assembly hath no jurisdiction over a­nother sister-Church, presbytery or fellow Assembly. 4 As there is a communion of Saints by brotherly counsell, direction, advise and incouragement: So this same communion is farre more to be observed by sister-Churches, to write and to send Commissioners and sa­lutations one to another; and hitherto our brethren and we goe one way. 5 An absolute, independent and unlimited power of Synods over congregations, we also condemne: Their decrees tye two wayes I grant, 1. Materially; for the intrinsicall lawfullnesse of the decree: Thus our brethren will not deny, but this tye is common to the brotherly counsell and advise of friends and brethren counselling one another from Gods [Page 200] word. For all are tyed to follow what God comman­deth in his word, whither a superiour, an inferiour or an equall speake: But we hold that the decrees of grea­ter Synods doe lay an ecclesiasticall tye upon under, or lesser Synods in those bounds where presbyteries and particular congregations are. But it is weaknesse in Separatists, and womanly and weakly said by the au­thour of Justification of independent Churches, Chidl [...]y. printed, an. 1641. under the name of Katherin Childly, pag. 17. that the Synod. Act: 15. it not properly a Synod; because their decrees were not alterable, but such as were warranted by God, and a perpetuall rule for all the Churches of the Gen­tiles, for that authour ignorantly presumeth that Sy­nods may make Canons of nothing but of circumstan­ces of meere order: Wheras Synods with good war­rant, following this Synod, have made Acts against Arrians, Nestorius, and other heretiques ecclesiastical­ly condemning fundamentall errours. And heere I enter to proove the lawfullness [...] of Synods, and to dispute against the independency of a visible pres­byteriall Church, For that which in Scotland wee call, following Gods word, 1 Tim: 4. 14. the pres­bytery.

But before we proceed, one question would be clea­red, What ground is there to tye a congregation by an ec­clesiasticall tye of obedience to a presbytery, and a presby­tery to a provinciall Assembly, and a provinciall Assembly to a Nationall Assembly: for seeing these are not in Gods Word, they would seeme devices of men, and of noe di­vine institution; one may say, whether have they war­rant in a positive Law of God, or in the law of na­ture?

I answer, they have warrant of both: for it is Gods positive law, that the Elders and Over-seers be over the Church in the Lord, Heb: 13. 17. 1 Thess. 5. 12, 13. Math: 18. 17, 18. I call this Gods positive Law, be­cause if it had bin the will of the Law-giver, he might have appointed an high-Priest, or some arch-Pastor or [Page 201] prime officer in his name to command the whole Church, like to the Judge and the high-Priest in the old Testament: So Aristocraticall government is not naturall, our presbyteries are founded upon the free-will of Christ, who appointed this government rather then another. Now the question, how subordination of congregations to presbyteries, and of presbyteries to grea­ter Synods is of natures law is harder, but a thing is naturall two wayes, 1. simply and in it selfe, 2. and by consequent; an example of the former is, by the law of nature, the hand moveth, the feet walketh, at the direction of the will, which is a commanding fa­culty that ruleth all the motions of moving from place to place: This way it is not directly naturall that Archippu [...] be governed by the Eldership and Presbytery at Colosse; because he may be removed to another Presbytery, he possibly might have bee [...]e a member of the presbytery at Corinth, and never beene subj [...]ct to the presbytery at Colosse. Example of the latter, it is simply super­naturall for Peter to be borne over againe, [...]ath: 16. 17. Iohn 1. 12, 13. but upon supposition that God hath given him a new nature, it is naturall or (as we say) connaturall and kindly to this new nature in Peter to love Christ, and to love Christs sheep and his lambes, because every like loveth a like; So the subordinati­on is not naturall: for it is not naturall for John and Thomas to be subject to such an Eldership of this congregation; for Gods providence might have dispo­sed that John and Thomas should have dwelt in ano­ther congregation as members therof, and so subject to another Eldership. But secondarily and by consequent upon supposition that they are members and inhabitants of this ecclesiasticall incorporation it is kindly and con­naturall now that they be subjected ecclesiastically to the Eldership of Christs appointing in this congrega­tion: and so the ground of the bond is (the part must be in subiection to those who command the whole) Iohn and Thomas are parts of this congregation, such an El­dership [Page 202] commandeth the whole, therefore Iohn and Thomas are in subjection to such an Elder­ship. So all the beleevers of this congregation and all the beleevers of the sister-congregations are parts of this presbytery; wheras Gods providence might have dis­posed, that all the beleevers here might have beene parts and members of another presbytery: And so by proportion sundry presbyteries are parts of a provinci­all Church, and sundry beleevers of many provinces are parts and members of a Nationall Church. Now the division of a Nation into Provinces, and of Pro­vinces into so many territories called presbyteries, and the division of presbyteries into so many congregati­ons, cannot be called a devise of mans, because it is not in the Word of God; for by that same reason, that Iohn and Thomas and so many threes and foures of beleevers should be members of an independent con­gregation, seeing it is not in the Word, it shall be also a devise of man. For all our singular acts are mixed, there is something morall in them, and that must be squared and ruled by the word; and something is in them not mo­rall, but positive, and this is not to be squared by the word; but sometimes by natures light (which I grant is a part implicite of Gods word) sometimes it is enough that the positive part be negatively conforme to the word, that is, not contrary to it: Howbeit I hold that the morality re­quired in every action, must be positively conforme to the word, for example the Law saith, Every male-childe must be circumcised the eighth day, Gen. 17. 7. Now the a­ction of Christs circumcision, and Christs presenting in the Temple, and offering of two turtle Doves, and two young pigeons is said to be according to the Law of Moses, Luke 2. 23. [...], as it is written; yet the b [...]be Iesus by name, his mother Mary who brought him into the Temple, the Priest by name that offered the Doves for him, are not written in the Scripture of Moses his law; but the morality of that action was positively con­form to Moses his law: so that every part be subject to the [Page 203] law of the whole is Gods word; but that parts and whole be thus divided it was not required to be defined in the word. But what our brethren deny is, that as Peter and Iohn are Ecclesiasticall parts of a single Congrega­tion under the jurisdiction of that single Congregation is cleare in the word of God; but that three or foure Congregations are parts [...]cclesiasticall of a Presbytery, and Ecclesiastically subjected to the government of the Presbytery; as Iohn and Thomas are parts subjected to the government of a Congregation is utterly deny­ed. But we may reply, Iohn and Thomas are to obey their Pastor preaching, in the Lord, and by that same reason they are to obey their Pastors gathered toge­ther, with the Elders in a Synod: So by that same reason, as Iohn and Thomas are to obey their Elder­ship convented in their owne Congregation to governe them, by that same reason, Iohn and Thomas of foure Congregations are to heare and obey their owne El­derships convented by that same authority of Christ in another Congregation, when a Colledge of other Elder­ships are joyned with them.

But I come to the Scriptures of God. If when the Churches of Syria, Sylicia, Antioch and Jerusalem were troubled with a question, whether they should keep the Law of Moses, and be circumcised, and could not de­termine it amongst themselves in their particular Chur­ches, they had their recourse to an assembly of Apostles and Elders at Jerusalem, who gave out a Decree and Canon anent that question, which the Churches were obliged to keep, then when particular Congregations are troubled with the like questions in doctrine and go­vernment, they are by their example to have recou [...]se to an Assembly of Pastors and Elders, that are over many Churches, and to receive Decrees also, which they are obliged to keep: But the former is the pra­ctise of the Apostolike Church, Ergo, to have recourse to a Synod of Pastors and Elders, to receive Decrees from them, that tye many particular Churches, is lawfull to us.

[Page 204] I prove the assumption, A question troubled these Churches, some false teachers said (Cyrinthus as Epi­phanius thinketh) You must be circumcised after the manner of Moses, Epiph. Acts 15. ver. 1. and there was no small dissention and disputation about this, ver. 2. and this question troubled the Church of Jerusalem, as ver. 4. and 5. doe declare: And it troubled the Churches of Antioch, Syria, and Cylicia, ver. 23. 2. That the que­stion could not well be determined in their particular Churches, is cleare from ver. 34, from three circumstan­ces, 1. The maintainers of the question troubled them. 2. They almost subverted their soules with words. 3. They alleadge a necessity of keeping Moses Law, and that it was the commandement and doctrine of the Apostles and Elders. 3. That in this question that troubled them so much, they have their recourse to a Synod, is cleare, ver. 6. And the Apostles and Elders came to consider of this matter; and ver. 2. They determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certaine others of them should goe up to Je­rusalem, unto the Apostles and Elders about this question; And that the Apostles who were led by an infallible spirit, and could not erre, might have determined the question, is cleare by their speeches in the counsell, if the Apostles had not had a mind to set down a Samplar and a Copy of an Assembly in such cases. 4. That there are here the members of a Synod is cleare, Apostles, El­ders, Brethren, ver. 23. and Commissioners from Anti­och, ver. 2. certaine others, and the Elders of the Church at Jerusalem, James, Paul, and the Elders of Jerusalem, chap. 21. v. 17, 18 compared with ver. 25. So here are Elders from sundry Congregations. 5. That these De­crees did tye and Ecclesiastically oblige the Churches; howbeit all the members were not present to consent is cleare, chap. 16. ver. 4. And as they went through the Cities, they delivered them the Decrees for to keep, Acts 21. ver. 25. We have written and concluded that they ob­serve no such things, but that they keep themselves, &c. So chap. 15. 28. It seemed good to lay on you no greater [Page 205] burden then these necessary things, &c. Now let us heare the exceptions which our brethren propound on the contra [...]y, to prove that this was no generall Assem­bly.

They object 1. This cannot be proved to be an o [...]cu­menicke Councell,Obiect. 1. that is, an Assembly of the whole Churches of the world.

Answ. Howbeit Augustine, Chrysostome, Cyrillus, Theophylact, Theodoret, Cyprian, Ambrose, and most of the learned Fathers agree, that it was an o [...]cumenicke Assembly, yet we will not contend, many Churches of Jewes and Gentiles were here by their Comm [...]ssi­oners, which is sufficient for our point. 2. The Apo­stles who were universall Pastors of the whole world, were here.

2. They object, There is no word of a Synod or Assem­bly in the Text.2. Object.

Answ. Gilbert V [...]us do classib. the [...] ▪ 7. The thing it selfe is here, if not the name, saith that learned Voetius. 2. Neither is the name of an independent Church in Scripture, nor the word Trinity or Sacrament, what then? the the things are in Scripture. 3. verse 6. [...], they assembled, and ver. 25. they were together, is plainly a Synod.

They object 3.Obiect. 3. Though there were a generall assembly here, yet it proveth nothing for the power of the keyes to be in such an assembly,Manuscript for in­dependent Chur­c [...]. but onely it saith something for a po­wer of deciding of controversies in matter of [...]aith, which implyeth no act of iurisdiction.

Answ. 1. The deciding of controversies in matters of doctrine tying the Churches, and laying a burthen on them, as it is, ver. 28. and tying them to keep the Decrees, chap. 21. 25. chap. 16. 4. is an a [...]t of jurisdi­ction, and an opening and shutting heaven by the power of the keyes, when it is done Synodically, as this is here. 2. This presupposeth that the power of the keyes is onely in censuring matters of fact, and not in a mi­nisteriall j [...]dging and condemning of false doctrine; which is against Scripture: For Ephesus is commended [Page 206] for using the keyes in condemning the doctrine of those who called themselves Apostles and were not; and Pergamus rebuked for suffering the doctrine of Ba­laam; and Thyatira is rebuked for suffering Jezabel to teach the lawfulnesse of fornication, and of eating things sacrificed unto Idols, Rev. 2. v. 2. v. 14. v. 20.

They object fourthly, 4. Obiect. The true cause why Paul and Barnabas were sent to Jerusalem, Manuscript for in­dependent Chur­ch [...]. was not to get autho­ritative resolution of the question in hand; but to know, whether these teachers had warrant from the Apostles to teach the necessity of circumcision, as they pretended they had, as may be gathered from ver. 24. To whom we gave no such command.

Answ. The contrary is seen in the Text: For if the Apostles had commanded any such thing, it was a dis­pute of fact in this Synod, and they might soone have answered that; but the thing questioned was questis iuris, a question if circumcision must be, v. 5., and that they must be circumcised, ver. 24. Also Paul and Bar­nabas were sent to Jerusalem, ver. 2. about this question. Now the question was not whether the Apostles had taught the lawfulnesse of circumcision or not? But the question is, ver. 1. Certaine men taught, except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses you cannot be saved. 2. It were a vaine thing to say that v. 6. the Apostles and Elders met about this matter, to see what the Apo­stles had taught, and what not. 3. The Apostles bring reasons from the Scriptures, and from the calling of the Gentiles, which were vaine reasons if nothing were in question; but whether the Apostles had taught this point, or not taught it. 4. That Paul and Barnabas were sent to be resolved of more, then whether the Apostles had taught this or not, is cleare by their an­swer in the Decree. It seemed good, &c. to lay no greater burden on you, and that you abstaine from meats offered to Idols, &c.

They object fifthly, [...]. Obiect. There was no combination of many [Page 207] Pastors of divers Churches, but onely a few messengers sene from Antioch to the Congregation at Jerusalem: Hence many say, it was an assembly of a particular Church, and it bindeth only as a particular and speciall meeting. So M. Best.

Answ 1. We stand not upon an exact meeting of all Churches,M. Best plea for the Church. sect. 4. pag. 33. when as the nature and essence of a Sy­nodicall and Assembly-meeting is saved: Here were Apostles and Elders, whose charge was the wide world, And the Elders of Ierusalem, and Commissioners sent from Antioch, and they send Canons and Decrees to other Churches. 2. A decree of one particular indepen­dent Congregation cannot bind another, as our brethren teach: But the Decrees made here did tye the Chur­ches of Syria, B [...]idgesias. Hugo Gr [...]tiet. Cylicia, Antioch, and Ierusalem. v. 22, 23. chap. 16. v. 4. Yea and all the Churches of the Gentiles, Acts 21. 25. remember that enemies to our Synods, as Bridgesius and Hugo Grotius object this also:De Polit. Eccles. l 3 c. 23. This is the answer of Bridgesius and Hugo Grotius who deny the necessity of reformed Synods; Parker who is for our brethren in many points refuteth this, and proveth it was a Synod.

They object sixthly, 6. Obiect. They were not neighbouring Chur­ches that sent;M. [...] ▪ 16 P 34. M. Best. for Jerusalem did lye two hundred [...]iles from Antioch: How could they that lay so far distant, or­dinarily meet, as your Classes did?

Answ. To the essence of a Synod, and the necessity thereof is not required such meetings of Churches so farre distant; but when the Churches necessity requi­reth it, the lawfulnesse thereof may hence well be con­cluded, and that when they lye so ne [...]r-hand they may more conveniently meet. 2. Neither is this much (to give M. Best his Geography at his owne measure) when the Churches were now in their infancy, and the que­stion of such importance, that the Churches travell many miles for their resolut [...]on in this.

They object seventhly, 7. Obiect. How prove you that these that were sent from Antioch, had authority in the Church of Je­rusalem.

[Page 208] Answ. Because Paul and Barnabas sent from Antioch had voyces in these Decrees.

They object eighthly, Object. 8. It cannot be proved from hen [...]e that Antioch was a Church depending on Jerusalem.

Answ. Neither doe we intend to prove such a mat­ter: But hence it followeth, that both Antioch, and Jerusalem, and Syria, and Cilicia depend upon the De­crees of these Pastors of divers Congregations assembled in this Synod.

They object ninthly, Obiect. 9. That Papists and Prelates alleadge this place to prove their Dioc [...]san Synods.

Answ. So doth Satan alleadge a Scripture, Psalme 91. which must not be rejected, because it was once in his foule mouth: Prelates alleadge this place to make Jerusalem a Cathedrall and Mother-church, having Su­premacy, and Jurisdiction over Antio [...]h, and other Churches, that there may be erected there a silken chaire for my Lord Prelate, and that Lawes may bee given by him to bind all mens consciences under him, in things which they call indifferent, we alleadge this place for an Apostolike assembly, to make Jerusalem a collaterall and Sister-church with Antioch, and the Chur­ches of Syria and Cilicia, depending on a generall Coun­cell: We deny all Primacie to Jerusalem, it was only judged the most convenient seat for the Councell: We allow no Chaire for Prelate or Pastors, but that they determine in the Councell according to Gods Word, lay­ing bands on no mans conscience farther then the Word of God, and the dictates of sound reason, and Christian prudency doe require.

They tenthly object, 10. Object. That the matter carried from An­tioch to Jerusalem was agreed upon by the whole Church,M. Best. and not carried thither by one man, as is done in your Classes. So M. Best.

Answ. It were good that things that concerne many Churches were referred by common consent to higher assemblies; but if one man be wronged, and see truth suffer by partiality, the Law of nature will warrant him [Page 209] to appeale to an assembly, where there is more light and greater authority, as the weaker may [...]ly to the stronger: And the Churches whose soules were subver­ted with words, Acts 15. v. 24. did [...]ly to the authority of a greater assembly, when ther [...] is no small dissention about the question in hand, Acts 15. 2.

They object eleventhly, Obiect. 11. The thing concluded in this as­sembly was divine Scripture, imposed upon all the Churches of the Gentiles, v. 22. 28. and the conclusion obliged, be­cause it was Apostolike, and Canonicke Scripture, not be­cause it was Synodicall, and the Decree of a Church-assembly, and so the tye was Divine, not Ecclesiasticke. It see­med good to the Holy-Ghost.

Answ. 1. So the excommunication of the incestuous man, 1 Cor. 5. (if he was excommunicated) and his re­receiving againe in the bosome of the Church, 1 Cor. 2. and the laying on of the hands of the Elders on Timothy, 1 Tim. 4. 14. and the appointing Elders at Lystra, Ico­nium, Antioch, and fasting and praying at the said or­dination, Acts 14. v. 21, 22, 23. was Scripture, and set downe in the Canonicke History by the Holy-Ghost; but no man can deny that the conclusion or Decree of excommunication given out by the Church of Corinth, and the ordination of Timothy to be a Pastor, and the appointing of the Elders at Lystra, did oblige the Churches of Corinth, Ephesus, and Lystra, with an Ec­clesiasticall tye, as Ecclesiasticall Synods doe oblige.

2. That this conclusion doth oblige as a Decree of a Synod, and not as Apostolike and Canonicke Scrip­ture, I prove 1. Because the Apostles and Prophets be­ing immediately inspired by the Holy-Ghost, in the penning of Scripture doe never consult and give de­cisive voices, to Elders, Brethren, and the whole com­munity of beleevers in the penning holy Scripture: For then, as it is said, Ephes. 2. 20. That our faith is built upon the Apostles and Prophets, that is, upon their doctrine: so shall our faith in this point, concerning the taking in of the Church of the Gentil [...]s, in one body [Page 210] with the Jewes, as is proved from Scripture, v. 14, 15, 16, 17. be built upon the doctrine of Elders, Brethren, and whole Church of Jerusalem; for all had joynt voyces in this Councell, as our brethren say, which is a great absurdity. The commandements of the Apostles, are the com­mandements of the Lord, 1 Cor. 14. 37. But the com­mandements of the whole Church of Jerusalem, 2 Pet. 3. 2. such as they say this Decree was, are not the commande­ments of the Lord: For we condemne Papists, such as Suare [...], Suarez de trip. Vasquez, Bellarmine, Cai [...]tan, Sotus, and with them Formalists, [...] tract. 1 disp. 5. se [...]. 4. such as Hooker and Sutluvius who make a difference betwixt divine comma [...]dements,Vasquez in 3 tom. 3 d [...]p 2. 6 c 3. and Apostolike commandements, and humane ordinances, for our Divines,Bellarm de verbo m [...]n [...]script. as Junius, Beza, Pareus, Tylen, Sibran­dus, Ca [...]tan, Opus. 1. tract 37. Whittaker, Willet, Reynolds, Jewell, make all Apo­stolike mandates to be divin [...],Sotu [...] de [...] l 7. c. 6. a [...]. 1. and humane comman­dements, or [...]cclesiasticall mandates, to oblige onely secondarily,Hooke [...]. polit. l. [...]. p. 15 [...]. and as they agree with divine and Aposto­like commandements:Su [...]luvi [...] de Pre [...] c. 11. p. 67. But here our brethren make mandates of ordinary beleevers, that were neither Apostles nor Prophets to be divine and Canonicke Scrip­ture. 3. That which is proper to the Church, to Christ his second comming againe, doth not oblige as Cano­nicke Scripture: [...]or Canonicke Scripture shall not be still written till Christ come againe, because the Ca­non is already closed with a curse upon all adders, Rev. 22. but what is decreed according to Gods word, by Church-guides, with the consent, tacit, or expresse of all the community of beleevers, as this was v. 22. (as we and our brethren doe joyntly confesse) is pro­per to the Church to Christs second comming, Ergo, this Decree obligeth not as Scripture. 4. The Apo­stles if they had not purpose that this Decree should oblige as an Ecclesiasticall mandate; but as Canonicke Scripture, they would not 1. have advised with all the beleevers, as with collaterall and joynt pen-men with them of holy Scripture. 2. They would not have dis­puted and reasoned together, every one helping another, [Page 211] as they doe here, v. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, &c. 3. They would not depresse and submit the immediately inspiring Aposte­like spirit to mens consent; so as men must give con­sent, and say Amen to what God the authour of Scrip­ture shall dite as Scripture. This was a villifying and lessening of the authority of Scripture; therfore necessa­rily hence it followeth this was an Ecclesiasticall de­grace of an Assembly.

They object twelfthly, Obiect. 12. That Paul and Barnabas went up to Jerusalem, not to submit their iudgement to the Apo­stles, for then they had not been infallible, neither for the necessity of an assembly, or because Congregations depend d [...]th on assemblies; but they did it 1. to conciliate autho­rity to the Decrees. 2. To stop the mouthes of false Apo­stles, who alleadged that the Lords Apostles stood for cir­cumcision, otherwise Paul himselfe might have determined the point.

Answ. 1. Paul as an ordinary Pastor, howbeit not as an Apostle, was to submit to a Synod in this case, as an Apostle he might have excommunicated the in­cestuous Corinthian, without the Church; but it shall not follow that Paul did write to the Corinthians to excommunicate him for no necessity of a Church-court and Synod, but onely to conciliate authority to ex­communication, and to stop the mouthes of enemies.

2. I aske what authority doe they meane, 1. autho­rity of brotherly advise? But these Decrees bind as the Decrees of the Church, v. 28. chap. 16. 4. chap. 21. v. 25. 2, If they meane authority Ecclesiasticall, the cause is ours. 3. If they meane authority of divine Scripture, then this Decree must have more authority th [...]n other Scriptures, which were not penned by common con­sent of all beleevers. 4. This is a bad consequence, Paul could have determined the point his alone, Ergo, there was no need of a Councell, for the Scriptures and many holy Pastors determine that Christ is equall with God the Father: It followeth not that there­fore there is no need of one Councell to condemne [...]r­rius.

[Page 212] They object 13.Obiect. 13. There were no Commissioners at this assembly from the Churches of Syria and Cilicia, therefore it was not an assembly obliging Ecclesiastically all the Chur­ches of the Gentiles.

Answ. 1. Suppose Syria and Cilicia had no Commis­sioners here (which yet we cannot grant, but give on­ly) yet Ierusalem and Antioch had their Commissioners, which maketh the meeting formally and ess [...]ntially a Synod, of many particular Churches met synodically in one; for there were many single Pari [...]hionall con­gregations both at Ierusalem and at Antioch. 2. We doubt not but the Apostles who wrote to them the Decrees of the assembly, advertised them also of that Apostolike remedy for determining the question, seeing they writ to them, ver. 24. We have heard that some have troubled you with words, sub [...]erting your soules, say­ing, ye must be circumcised, Ergo, the Apostles tendred their s [...]lvation; therefore we are to thinke that Syria and Cilicia had their Commissioners here: What if they neglected to send (á facto ad ius non valet consequentia) they should have sent Commissioners. This assemblies Decrees did lay a tye and bond upon the Churches of Syria and Cilicia, then it did either tye them as a counsell and advise, or or as a part of Scripture, or thirdly as a Decree of an Ecclesiasticall Synod: If the first be said, this Canon doth not lay a command upon them, the contrary whereof we find, v. [...]8. it layeth a burthen on them, chap. 16. 4. chap. 21. 28. and Decrees that they must keep. The second is unanswerably con­futed in answering the tenth objection: If the third be said we obtaine what we seeke, and so they should have sent Commissioners, otherwise the Decrees of Sy­nods shall oblige Ecclesiastically Churches who are not obliged to be present in their Commissioners, which neither we, nor they can affirme.

14. They object, Obiect. 14. That this is not one of our Synods, for the multitude of beleevers had voices here. And the whole multitude spake, for it is said, v. 12. Then all the [Page 213] multitude keept silence,Best. Parke [...]. and gave audience. And Whittaker saith, they had decisive voices, but in your Synods none have voyces, but only the Eldership.

Answ. 1. That the faithfull speake,Scotland disci [...]line 2. book chap. 7. propose, and rea­son, [...]. a [...]. 6 [...]. our booke of discipline saith. So saith Zuinglius, Beza Epi [...]t. 83. Beza, yea the Fathers, as Cyprian and others: Who will not have Acts made against the peoples co [...]sent;Cypr l. 4. [...]p 21, 24. it is like the multitude speake,Whit. c [...]nt. 3. q. 3. c. 3. [...] est no [...]ll [...]s ex ple [...]e [...] but orderly, seeing the Holy Ghost was here, v 28. Whittaker saith only, it is like that some of the multitude spake: And what mar­vell then many should speake, seeing it was untruth that any of Moses Law, which was also Gods Law, should be abrogated. 2. The Church may send in some cases learned and holy men to Synods, who are nei­ther Pastors, Elders, nor Doctors: So was here [...] brethren, that is, choise and able men; otherwise be­leeving women, and the whole Church of beleevers com [...] under the name of brethren in Scripture.Rom. [...] 3. Ro [...]: 12. 3. Rom. 10. 1. 1 Cor. [...]. 11. 1 Cor 3. 1. 1 Cor. 12. 1. [...]. 3. 1. 1 Thess. [...]. 1. 2 Thess. 3. 1. Iam. 3▪ 1. Par­ker saith well, The materiall ground of commissioners at assemblies is their gifts and holinesse, the formall ground is the Church calling and sending them. 3. That the whole multitude had definitive voices, is first against what we have said, expounding these words, Mat. 18. (Tell the Church) 2. It is a meere popular government refuted before.Parker de poli [...] l. 3. c. 18. [...] ex donis interni▪ pen­det▪ [...] ex de­legatione Ecclesi [...]e. [...] in act. 1 [...]. 6. Palam est ad Apo­stolicos vir [...]s re­r [...]m ad fidem [...] C [...]lv. Com [...]b v. 6. [...] lucas to­t [...]m Ecclesiam [...]. 3. I reason from the end of the Synod. These onely had definitive votes, who met together synodi­cally for to consider of this question, but these were only Apostles and Elders, v. 6. including brethren, who only had place to judge, as Bullinger and Calvin saith, and not the multitude. 4. The Canons are denomin [...] ­ted [...], Decrees ordained by the Apostles and Elders, Acts 16. 4. Acts 21. 25. 5. By what war­rant could the brethren at Ierusalem give Lawes to bre­thren of other independent congregations of Syria and Cilicia, and these also who were absent? So this [...]hall be no Syn [...]d. 6. I grant the Epistle is sent in the name of all: For 1. to send greeting in an Epistle is not an act of jurisdiction, but a sort of Christian kindness [...] ▪ 2. It [Page 214] was done by common consent of all. 3. It added some more authority. 4. It is possible the sending of the De­crees required charges and expences.

15. The Female replyer to M. Edwards, the reason (saith she) why the Church of Antioch sent the matter to be d [...]cided at Jerusalem, was because the parties were members of the Church of Jerusalem, Acts 15. 1. certaine men which came from Judaea taught the brethren, &c. v. 24. They went out from us, and this proveth independency of Churches, for the Church of Antioch judged it an unequall thing to iudge members of the Church of Ierusalem.

Answ. 1. Let it be that contenders for ceremonies were of the sect of the Pharisees; yet the soules of these of Antioch were subverted, v. 24. If Antioch had been in­dependent, they could have determined the truth, to prevent subversion of soules, who ever were the au­thors of that wicked doctrine; but their sending their commissioners to the Synod at Ierusalem proveth that in a thing common to them all they depend upon a Synod that doth oblige them all. 2. How could one independent Church at Ierusalem give Lawes to an in­dependent Church at Antioch? 3. Antioch might have condemned the heresie. Suppose they could not judge the heretickes, if they were an independent congrega­tion, seeing the heresie troubled them.

16. They object, O [...]cumenicke and universall Synods of the whole Christian Church are unpossible;M Bell Church plea sect. 7. at 7. Parker de Pol [...]. l. 3. c 13. and the Church is, and may be without Synods; therefore Synods are no ordinances of Christ. So Best. See Parker.

Answ. Whittaker saith indeed universall Synods are not simply necessary;Whittaker cont 1. q 1. p [...]2, 23. and Parker saith no more, they are not absolutely necessary, [...] Conslan. c▪ [...]9 necessitate medij, but they are necessary, necessitate praecepti, and conditionally, if some politicke union were amongst all Nationall Churches; but hence it followeth not that they are not Christs ordinances, because they are not this way necessary, necessitate me­dij; for then Baptisme and the Lords Supper, publike preaching of the word, perfect discipline were not Christs ordinances, because in time of persecution, or [Page 215] universall apost [...]sie, many, yea even whole Churches may be saved without these. 2. Synods are necessary for the well being, not simply for the being of the Church: But hence it's a weake consequence; there­fore they are not ordinances of Christ. 3. It is knowne that the Popes power hindereth generall Councels;Nanclerus Vo [...]. 1. gen 8. for the Councels of Constance and Basill, where the Popes wings were clipped,Conc [...] Constan. loc cit. made that good, burnt children dread fire. Cardinals oath, ann. 1 [...]03. Adrian, it may be with some honesty, pro­mised the councell of Trent, anno 1522. But Clemens the seventh did openly oppose Charles the fifth his Chancellors proclaiming thereof at Bononia; they fea­red the place that the Emperors power should shame them, and learned well from Ioh. 23. as Nanclerus saith, to make the place of the councell all in all: And such was Trent; for they licked and revised againe and againe all the circumstances of that councell, that it was a birth in the Popes wombe good twenty and five yeares, and then was the Popes barne borne against his will; yet generall councels should be, Popes hin­der them to be, and what wonder? Theeves love not well iustice-courts; yet by their owne Law they should be. The councell of Constance ordained that a generall coun­cell should be every ten yeares once: Yea after the councels of Lansen and Florence, the sea being void, ann. 1503. the Cardinals convened, and sweare to Almighty God, and blasphemously to Peter and Paul, that whosoever of them shall be created Pope, he shall convene a generall councell within two years after his inauguration; which oath Iulius 2. did sweare,Iulius 2 his oath. [...] of the Councell of Trent, c 1. p. 4 but had neither honesty, nor memory to performe. The facultie of Paris, and Church of France, who are still (as saith the Reviewer of the councell of Trent) at daggers drawing w [...]th the Pope and court of Rome,Br. [...] de causa Dei. [...]3 c. 53. doe cry and write for a generall coun­cell: [...], ex [...]u [...]ge. quaeso, ex­ime gladium. But (they say) [...]he articles of Paris cannot climbe oveer the Alps. It is some hundred yeares since Thomas Bradwardine of Canterbury, the hammer of the Pelagi­ans cryed to waken Simon Peter, that he might speake [Page 216] out of his Councell-chaire for grace against the Pela­gians. But J [...]suites bellies and pennes stout for their Father the Pope, thinke it wisedome that the Pope be deafe at the cryes of Dominicanes, who call for his ho­linesse tongue to determine in bickerings betwixt their order and Jesuites in the matter of Grace, Predestina­tion, Free-will, Gods providence. The Pope fearing a ge­nerall Councell, thinketh best that they rather bloud o­ther in the Schools, then that his greatnesse hazard to face the Court of a generall Councell; and therefore matters are now tryed at home. Lod. Molina the Fa­ther of the new Science, the middle light with that wild heed fansied to be in God, was cited before Cle­mens the 8 [...], and holden in processe five yeares, even before Paul the fifth, and the Cardinals, and when all was done, was whipped with a Toads stoole, and no­thing was determined,Pra [...]. de Arriba in Th [...]l. spec in pref Concil Nicae. c. 6. as saith Francis. de Ariba. Other Councels ordained that there should be in all places, Provinciall and Nationall Assemblies.Concil Trull. c. 8. So ordained the Councell of Nice, Conc A [...]r [...]. c. 138. Trulla, Africa, Sardis. Hence I adde a third distinction:Concil. Sard c. 15. From this is concluded onely that Councels are not necessary, but impossible, impossibili­tate morali, non Physicâ: Councels are only morally im­possible, not simply impossible, and that through mens corruption. It followeth not therefore they are not Gods ordinances: For seeing Churches independent are morally, and I feare, more then morally impossible, and have been hindred by Prelates, our brethren would not from hence conclude that they are not Gods ordinan­ces. A Congregation of visible Saints where there is not an hypocrite, is unpossible morally, and cannot be because of our corruption; yet such a Congregation should be, and so is an ordinance of Christ. Let me also adde the fourth distinction: Christ may well or­daine that as a necessary meane of edification, which cannot be had ordinarily in the full perfection and de­grees required, so it may be had in the degrees and parts, that may edifie, howbeit not so well, and not so con­veniently: [Page 217] so Synods are ordinarily possible, I meane lesser Synods, if not fuller and compleater, if an uni­versall Synod cannot be had, a Nationall may be in Scotland, and in England also if it please the Prelates, and if God will, whether Prelates will or will not; and if these cannot be, Provinciall Synods are, and may be, and if these cannot be, yet Synods, Elderships, and particular Churches may be; and I thinke independent Congregations in their perfection consisting of sincere beleevers onely, and a perfect Church-discipline, are Gods necessary meanes of edification, yet in their per­fection they cannot be had. But to close this point, no Divine that ever did write, or speake of this Chapter, except some of late; but they acknowledge, Acts 15. to be a formall copy and draught of a generall Assem­bly. I might cite all our Protestant Divines, the Lu­therans, Papists, Schoolemen, Casuists, all the Fathers; and Councels, all the Doctors antient and moderne; but this was to fetch water to the Sea.

CHAP. XV.
Que. 15. Whether or no by other valid Arguments from Gods word, the lawfulnesse of Synods can be concluded?

HItherto hath been sixe Arguments against Chur­ches independent, and consequently proving the lawfulnesse of Synods. Now followeth our seventh Ar­gument.

7. If there be a commandement to tell the Church when an obstinate brother offendeth a brother, then must this course also be taken when an obstinate Church shall offend a Sister-church. But the former is true, [Page 218] Mat 18. Ergo,Parker de Polit. l. 3. c. 24 so is the latter. This is not mine, but the Argument of Parker,Quid enim annon cla [...]si Synodi quae­dam species est? D. Ammes, Professors of Ley­den, and of all our Divines, Willet, Whittaker, Junius, Beza,Am [...]s Be [...]lar. &c. Our brethren say Christ speaketh, Mat. 18. of a particular Congregation,Enciv. to 2. l. [...]. c. [...], Pro [...]ess Leyd. in Sy­nop. di [...]p. [...]9. [...] and not of many Congrega­tions meeting synodically in their members of principall note, as Pastors and Elders. 1. Because an offended brother can­not have a Synod of Elders, and a Nationall Assembly al­wayes to complaine unto, and so Christ shall not set downe an expedite way to remove scandals betwixt brother and brother. 2 Christ (say they) is setting downe a way, how an obstinate offendor shall be cast out of the Church, where he was an ordinary hearer of the word, and a compartner with other professors of the holy things of God, in a parti­cular visible Church. Now these of divers Congregations partake not in a Church-communion of these same holy things of God, Word, Sacraments, and Discipline.

Answ. 1. Christ here setteth down a way how all offen­ces of brethren may be taken away; for Christs salve must be as broad and large as the soare, and excom­munication must reach as farre as offences; but of­fences are betwixt Church and Church, betwixt the Grecians and the Hebrewes, Acts 6. 1. no lesse then be­twixt a single brother and a brother.

2. I borrow the Argument and pay it home againe. Christ setteth downe a way how all scandals in his visible Church may be removed: So teach our brethren, as an offended brother cannot alwayes have recourse to a Na­tionall Assembly, and so Christs remedy shall be insuf­ficient. If by a Church, Mat. 18. we understand a Sy­nod, say they; but when the Grecian Church offendeth the Hebrew Church, the Hebrew Church cannot com­plaine to the Grecian Church, for the Law forbiddeth the party to be the Judge; therefore if they under­stand, Mat. 18. onely a Congregation, excluding all Synods, Christs remedy of removing scandals betwixt Sister, and Sister-church, shall be unsufficient; there­fore the Grecian and Hebrewes must have recourse, as [Page 219] Act. 6. to a Colledge of Apostles and Pastors, and that is a Synod.

3. I borrow the other Argument also, and shall pay it againe.

These who are consociated and neighboured to­gether in the Acts and Dentees of visible Church-communion, by rebuking one another, Leviticus 19. 17. Admonishing, Collosians 3. 16. Exhorting, Hebrewes 3. 13. comforting one another, 1 Thess. 5. 11. and pleading one against another, Hosea 2. 2. and occasional­ly communicating one with another in that same Word and Sacrament, and in eschewing the fellowship of one and the same excommunicate person.

These make up one visible politick Church, that is under a common Church-government, according to Christs discipline, which regulateth these acts of Church-commu­nion of one with another.

But so it is, that Grecians and Hebrewes, and sundry particular sister-Churches, are consociated and neighbou­red together in the fore-said acts and dentees of visible Church-communion, &c.

Ergo, divers sister-Churches so make up one visible politick Church under one common Church government, according to Christs discipline, &c.

The proposition is our brethrens, wherby they proove, and that strongly, that single professours consociated in these acts and dentees of visible Church communion, make up one visible Church under one common governement,Basil. epist. 10. and so say the Fathers Basil, Chrysost. Chrysostome, Augustine and Athanasius, August. howbeit in habitation we be separated, Athanas. y [...]t are we one body, Licet longissime se­parat [...]. and Cyprian will have nothing done in the cause of many Churches,Cypr. l. 1. epist. 8. nis [...] omnes in [...]num con­veniamu [...]. except wee all meete in one place.

The assumption for the communion of sundry Churches Parker granteth, and the Scripture is cleare, Laodicea and Colosse have a sister-communion in that same word of God, Col: 4. 16. so Corinth, Macedonia and Galatia in these same acts of charity to the Saints at Jerusa­lem, [Page 220] 1 Cor: 16. 1, 2, 3, 4. see also 2 Cor: 8. 1. Rom: 16. 27. Also if any person be excommunicate in one congrega­tion, also in all the neighbour congregations. 1. Be­cause his sinnes are bound in Heaven. 2 He is delivered to Satan, 1 Cor. 5. 4. to all. 3. Christ saith he should be as an Heathen to all, and so is excluded from Church com­munion to all. Hence these visible acts of Church com­munion require a common law and discipline of Christ to regulate them, seeing they may offend in the excesse and defect one to another, but one common discipline they cannot have, except they may by authority conveene in one Synod in their principall members. Also Field, Bilson, Field on the Church. l. 5. c. 30. Whittaker alleadge this place for Synods, all say if Pastors have authority every one within themselves and farre more when they are met in a Synod,Bilson gover. p. 52. for vis unita for­tior, Whittak. de cont. q. 5 c. 3. united force is stronger.

Our eighth Argument is,8. Arg. from the constant practise of the Apostles, if all weighty affaires that concerne equally many particular congregations were managed, not by one single congregation, but by the joynt voyces and suffra­ges of Apostles, Pastors and selected Brethren of many congregations in the Apostolick Church: Then were Sy­nods the practice of the Apostles, and n [...]t independent con­gregations, but the former is true. Ergo, so is the latter. The proposition our brethren grant. I prove the assump­tion by an induction. 1. The select Pastors of the Christian world, and select brethren, Act: 1. did elect and ordaine Matthias to be one of the twelve, because that concerned many particular Churches, the publick treasury of Aposto­lick Churches was committed to the Apostles, because that concerned them all, Act. 4. 33, 34. When the Chur­ches of the Grecians, and the Churches of the Hebrewes mur­mured the one against the other, one common Synod of the twelve Apostles authoritatively conveened, and ordai­ned with praying and laying on of hands the seven Deacons, A [...]to. Walleus loc. [...]. p. 893. Act. 6. 2, 3, 4, 5. and Walleus saith, the argument for ordai­ning Deacons, that the Pastors might attend the word and prayer, proveth also that there were then ruling El­ders. [Page 221] Also Act. 20. 28. there is a Synod of Pastors at E­phesus, whom Paul warned to take heed to the flocke, and Act: 11. 2. Peter giveth a reckning and count of his go­ing in to the Gentiles, before a Synod of Apostles and Bre­thren, for it was unpossible that the multitude of be­lievers now growne so numerous could all meete in one house, and Act. 21. 18. an Assembly of Apostles and Elders orda [...]neth Paul to purifie himselfe, a Synod of Elders, 1 Tim: 4. 14. ordained Timothy.

9. Argument is from the care of Christ Iesus the head of the Church,9. Arg. in the end of excommunication. Hence if Christ Jesus take care that one particular congregation be not leavened, and sowred with the wicked conversation of one, then farre more will he take care that many Churches be not leavened, and hath ordained excommu­nication for many, as for one; but our brethren grant he hath taken care that one lump leaven not one single congregation, 1 Cor. 5. 4. &c. I prove the proposition, For Christs remedy for remooving of scandals is hence argued to be unperfect, if excommunication doe not remove all offences, and prevent the leavening of many lumpes; for he that careth for the part must far more care for a whole Church, and ordaine excommunica­tion of a Church, for the edifying therof, 1 Cor. 4. 20, 21. 2 Cor. 10. 8. That their spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord, 1 Cor. 5. 4. 5. and since he tooke this care for a Nationall Church, Numb. 5. 2, 3, 4, 5. Who can doubt, but he hath care of edifying and saving in the day of the Lord, Churches of Nations and Provinces under the New Testament, yea and a greater care, then for sa­ving one single man, seeing the influence of his love is bounded first upon the body, bride and spouse by order of nature, before it be bounded upon one finger or toe or any particular member of the body, I meane one single person. They answer. God hath provided other meanes for whole Churches then to excommunicate them, for it wanteth precept, promise and practice to excommuni­cate a whole Church, th [...]y are to be rebuked, and we must [Page 222] pleade with obstinate Churches, Hos. 2. 2. and if they re­maine obstinate, we are to with-draw our fellowship an [...] com­munion from them, and not to acknowledge them as sister-Churches that is we are to separate from them, but there is no warrant to excommunicate them.

Answ. 1. I say this is a begging of the question, for we desire a warrant of Gods Word why sister-Churches may use some power of the keyes against sister-Churches, such as is to rebuke them, plead with them, Hos. 2. 2. and yet we may not use all power of the keyes, even ex­communication; now to rebuke and pleade against a Church, to Parker and our brethren is a power of ju­risdiction, and a sort of closing and shutting of Hea­ven.

2. The Iewes did justly excommunicate the Church of the Samaritans, and Christ alloweth therof, Iohn 4. 22. ye worship ye know not what, salvation is of the Jewes, in which words, Christ pronounceth the Iewes to be the true Church, and the Samaritans, not to be the true Church.

3. I desire to know what excommunication is, if it be not to deny all Church-communion with those who were once in our Church, now if this be done by one Sister-church to another sister-church, it is no excom­munication at all, seeing Christ hath not given the power of the keyes to one Sister-church over another, for one particular Church is not set over another in the Lord, but when the Eldership of many consociated Sister-churches denieth Church communion to one of these consociated Churches having turned obstinate in scandalous sins, I see not what this is els but excommunication and authorita­tive unchurching and ejection of such a Church. Also our brethren pleade for the peoples power in excommu­nicating, because all and [...]very one of the beleevers are to eschew the company of the person excommunicated, therfore all and every one should have hand in excommu­nicating him, as all Israel and not the Judges onely were actors in putting away the leaven, so reasoneth [Page 223] Parker M. Best, Parker. de polit. l. 3. c 4 so also the Separatistes, yea if it bee right taken, so also saith Beza, P. Martyr, Calvin, Marlorat: M Best Church plea p. 50. So Chrysostome, Augustine; for all are to consent to the excommunication of one who is a mem­ber of that visible Church with themselves,Separatist 3. petit. 8. pos ar. 3 p 6 [...]. but so it is that all consociated Churches are to eschew the com­pany of an excommunicated by a single congregation supposed by our brethren to be independent:Beza an. in 1 Cor. [...]. 4. Because 1. if they admit him to the Lords Supper with them,Martyr. com. they prophane the holy things of God.Calvin in 1 Cor. 5. 2. They an­null excommunication supposed by our brethren duely,Marlor. & clave non errante, Pareus. inflicted,Chrysost. and so they loose on earth kim whom God hath bound in Heaven, Augustin. they hold him for a member of Christ, and a brother whom Christ hath delivered to Satan, and will have to be reputed as a Heathen and a Publican. Ergo, by this reason all should have hand in excommunicating such a person, but many Sister-churches consociated together in neighbourly and sisterly Church-fellowship; as we heard beforeCol. 4. 16. 1 Cor. 16. 1, 2, 3. 2 Cor. 8. 1. Rom. 16. 27. cannot excommunicate in their owne persons being possibly twenty severall congregations. Therefore they must excommunicate in their Elderships synodically convee­ned, which is our purpose we intend. It is but a wo­manly evasion of the Femall authour who differenceth be­twixt rejection of an offending Church and excommunica­tion. K [...]therin Childley ag [...]inst M. Ed, wards, p. 18. We may reject (saith she) an offending Church, but not excommunicate: Saul rejected God, did he there­fore excommunicate God? [...]or this is but a suting of the question, it is not simple rejection of an obstinate Church that we plead for, but an authoritative unchurching and not acknowledging of an obstinate Church to be any more a Church with whom we can communicate in the holy things of God, and this is more then sim­ple rejection, or refusing to obey, as Saul is said to re­ject God. I grant we seldome find the practice of ex­communicating Churches in the New Testament, be­cause so long as a number of beleevers are in a Church, God leaveth them not all to be involved in one scan­dalous [Page 224] grosse sinne, therfore the presbytery is to cen­sure particular persons and not the whole Church, ther­fore when we separated from Rome, which was an au­thoritative declaration that Rome is now no longer a Spouse of Christ, but a strumpet, we did not separate from the faithfull lurking amongst them.

10. Argument. 10. Ar. That government is not from Christ that is deficient in the meanes of propagation of the Gos­pell to Nations and congregations that want the Gos­pell.

But the government by independent congregations is such. The proposition is cleare, 1. Because Christs keyes are perfect and opens all lockes. 2. Our Di­vines hence prove Christ a perfect Mediatour, King, Priest and Prophet; because he perfectly cureth our three­fold misery.

I prove the assumption, by the doctrine of indepen­dency. Pastors and Doctours may not preach the Gos­pell without the bounds of their owne congregation, neither can they exercise any pastorall acts else where, saith the English Puritanisme and M. Best, English Puritanis. c 2. at 6 p. 5. and so Pastors and Doctors have now, since Apostles are out of the world, [...] Best. Churches plea, arg. 8. p. 73, 74 and the Churches are planted, no authority pa­storall to preach the Gospell to those who sit in the re­gion, and shaddow of death, and if they preach the Gos­pell to those who are not of their congregation. 1. They doe it as private men, not as Pastours. 2. They have no pastourall authority or calling from Jesus Christ, and his Church so to doe. But certainely Papists, as Bellarmine, Bellar. de pontis l. 1 c. 9. Suarez, Becanus, Vasquez, Gregor. de Valen­tia seeme to say better,Suarez de tripl. vi [...]t. disp. 18. sec. 1. n. 5. who will have the authorita­tive power of sending Pastors to Nations, who want the Gospell,Becan. Vasquez. Greg. Valen. to be in the Pope, whom they con­ceive to be an universall Pastor to care for the whole Churches, so Christ hath left no pastorall authority on Earth in Pastors and Doctors to make those the Chur­ches of Christ, and to translate them to the kingdom of grace, who are yet carried away with dumbe I­dols, [Page 225] and howbeit the Apostles and their universall com­mission ordinary to preach the Gospell to all, their imme­diate calling, their extraordinary gifts be now out of the world, yet it is unbeseeming the care of Christ, that pastorall authority should be so confined at home, and imprisoned within the lists of every particular Church, consisting possibly of six or ten beleevers only, that the care for many Churches, 2 Cor. 11. 28. The pastorall care to gaine Jew and Gentile, those that are within and with­out, to be made all things to all men to save some, should be now in no pastors on earth, but dead with the Apostles, as if these places, 1 Cor. 10. 32. 1 Cor. 9. 19, 20, 21, 22, 23. Rom. 1. 14, 15. Rom. 9. 2, 3. did not presse to all Ministers of Christ, the extending of their pastorall vigilancy to the feeding and governing of all the Churches in their bounds that maketh up one visible politick body, com­municating one with another in the acts of Church-communion. Hence it must follow, 1. When the Gre­cian Church shall be wronged by the Hebrew Church, that the pastors may not synodically meet, and by joynt authority remove the offences betwixt Church and Church, as the Apostles did, Act. 6. 2. It follow­eth that all the meetings and convention of the Apo­stles and Pastours, to take care authoritatively for the Churches, as Act. 1. Act. 4 35. Act. 6. 2, 3, 4. Act. 11. 1. Act. 8. 14. Act. 14. 1, 2, 3, Act. 15. 6. Act. 21. 18, 19, 20, &c. Act. 20. 18. Act. 14 23. 1 Tim. 4. 14. were all meetings of Apostles, extraordinary, temporary, and Sy­nods of Apostles as Apostles, and not meetings of pastors as pastors to joyn their authority in one for the governing of many Churches. 3. It followeth that Pastors and Elders and Doctors may now no more lawfully meet and joyne their authority in one for the feeding of the flock, then they may take on them to worke miracles, speake with tongues, and as Apostles goe up and down the earth and preach to all the world the Gospell. O that our Lord would be pleased to reveale his minde to our deare Brethren in this point of truth. For what be extraordi­nary [Page 226] and temporary in the conjoyned authority and pa­storall care of the Apostles for all the Churches of the world, I see not, neither is it in reason imaginable, which doth not in conscience oblige Pastors, Doctors and Elders in the Church of Scotland, to conjoyne their authority in one Synodicall power for all the Churches of Scotland, O saith our Brethren, there should be too many masters, commanders and Lords over the free and in­dependent visible Churches of Christ.

I answer, seeing all these Pastors and Elders in a nationall Synod, are no other way over all the Chur­ches of Scotland, then the particular Eldership in a par­ticular congregation is over the believers, there be no more too many Lords and Masters over the whole Churches collectively united in a general Synod, then there be too many Lords over the particular congregations. For 1. in both meetings the beleevers choose their owne guides and commanders that are over them. 2. No­thing is done in either a Nationall or in a congrega­tionall Synod without the tacite consent of believers. 3. In both, it is free for beleevers to refuse and not receive, what is decreed contrary to Gods Word, See Zipperus, Zipper. de polit. l. 3. c 4. and so there is no dominion here, but what you finde, Heb. 13. 17. 1 [...]hess. 5. 14, 15. Math. 18. 17, 18. Nay, our brethren will have pastors so farre stran­gers to all congregations, save only to their owne, that M. Davenport and Mr. Best saith to the Pastours and Churches other Churches are without, and Pastors have nothing to doe to judge them, and they alleadge for this, 1 Cor. 5. 12. but by these that are (without) Paul meaneth not these who were not of the congregati­on of Corinth, but he meaneth Infidels and Heathen as in other Scriptures,Col. 5. 4. for Paul judged and excommu­nicated Hymenaeus and Alexander, 1 Tim. 1. 20. who were without the Church of Corinth, and if this ex­position, stand Pastors can extend no Church censure towards these who are of other congregations, neither can they rebuke nor admonish them as Christians, for [Page 227] these are Acts of Church-censures, as our brethren teach.

Our eleventh Argument is from the light of sancti­fied reason; for sanctisied reason teacheth that the stron­ger authority of the greater politicke body of Christ should help the parts of the body that are weaker, as 1 Cor. 12. The whole body suffereth when one member suffe­reth, and so the whole body helpeth the weaker, and lesse honourable member, 1 Cor. 12. v. 23, 26. So universall nature contendeth for the safety of particular nature, and helpeth it; therefore the greater body and Nati­onall Church is to communicate its authority for the good of a particular Congregation, which is a part thereof: But the doctrine of independency maketh every Congregation an independent and compleat body within it selfe, needing no authority to governe it, higher then its owne authority, as if it were an inde­pendent whole Church, and no part of a greater visi­ble Church: But suppose the greatest part of Corinth deny the resurrection, as often the worst are manyest, then I aske,Cant. 2. 15. whom to doth the Lord speake? Take us the little foxes that spoile the vines: He speaketh either to greater Synods, which we say, that the greater body may help a part, and save a little daughter of Sion: Or to the soundest part of the Congregation; but they are weakest and fewest, and shall the greater body looke and see a member perish, and not help? Let them help (say our brethren) with advise and counsell, but not with command and authority.

I answer, Take us the little foxes, is an act of autho­ritative and disciplinary taking enjoyned to the Church.

2. Our Argument is drawne from the greater autho­rity in the politicke body to the lesser; brotherly ad­vise is not authority. Hence authority as authority by this meanes shall not help the weaker parts of the body, contrary to that which we have at length commanded, 1 Cor. 12. Neither doe some reply well▪ that he speaks, 1 Cor. 12. of Christs invisible body, because it is said, v. 13. [Page 228] For by one spirit we are all baptized into one body, A manuscript for independent Churches, c, 1. p. 12 whe­ther we be Jewes or Gentiles. Jewes and Gentiles (saith he) make not a visible Church, but an invisible Catholike Church.

I answer 1. What can hinder under the New Testa­ment, Paul a Jew to make a visible Church with the Ephesians who are Gentiles?

2. That he speaketh of a visible politicke body is cleare while he alleadgeth, The eye exerciseth Pasto­rall acts of seeing for the foot, and that the eare hea­reth for the whole body, and when one member suf­fereth all suffer, which is principally true of a politicke visible body: For we are not baptized in one body visi­ble, with those preachers who are long agoe dead, who never preached for the good of us who now beleeve in Christ, because we never heard them preach, and so they are not eyes seeing for us.

Our twelfth Argument is from the practises of the Jew­ish Church in a morall duty.Arg. 12.

If Christ hath left the Churches of a whole Nation in no worse case then the Nationall Church of the Jewes were in, for their publike giving of thanks, for the turning away of Gods wrath, when the Land is defiled with bloud and other Nationall transgressions, for the bringing backe the Arke of God, for the renew­ing a Nationall Covenant and Oath with God in case of universall Apostasie from God and true Religion. Then hath Christ ordained to Churches in the New Testament Nationall Assemblies, which authoritatively onely can reach these ends and effects.

But Christ hath left the Churches of a whole Na­tion in no worse case then the Nationall Church of the Jewes was in, for reaching the foresaid ends and ef­fects, Ergo, &c.

I have to prove 1. That the Jewes had their solemne Assemblies for these ends. 2. That these Assemblies were morall, and so concerne us. 3. That these ends cannot be attained without Nationall Assemblies, which being [Page 229] done, I trust the Argument shall stand strong.

For the first I may prove both in the Iewish, and after their example in the Christian Church, Deut. 29. 20. All Israel were convened to enter in Covenant with the Lord. So Joshuah for the same end assembled all the Tribes of Israel, Iosh. 24 1. their Heads, Iudges and Offi­cers. And Samuel, 1 Sam. 12. gathered all Israel to renew their repentance for their sinne in asking a King. So did Hezekiah, 2 Chron. 29. 4. in an universall Apostasie. And Iosiah, 2 Chron, 34. 29. And Asa, 2 Chron. 15. 9. gathered all Iudah and Beniamin, and they sware a Cove­nant to the Lord. And Ahab, 1 King. 22. gathered foure hundred Prophets to aske counsell about going to warre against Ramoth Gilead. And Herod, Mat. 2. 3. when Christ was borne.Iulius [...]. Bull, anno 1551. Theol. l. 1. c 7. Russin l. 10. c [...]. Socra [...] Irip. hi [...]. l. 1. c. ult. So Salomon did when the Temple was consecrated, and David assembled them to bring the Arke to it's place. The examples of these Kings did godly Emperours follow and convened generall Coun­cels,Euseb. de vit. Con. l. [...]. c. 6. what ever Iulius 3. usurpe in his Bull, ann. 1551. Decemb. 15. Constantine convened the Councell of Nice, Theod. l. 5. c. 6. as saith Theodoret, Sec. l. 7. c 39. Ruffin, Socrates and Eusebius. Theo­dosius called the 2. generall Councell at Constantinople, Euag l. 1. c. 9. as Theodoret saith:Niceph. l. 14▪ c. 34. And Theodosius gathered the third generall Councell at Ephesus, Sozo [...]en. l. 3. c. 9. as Socrates and Euagrius saith.Niceph. l. 17. c. [...]7. Valentine and Martian called the Councell of Chalcedo [...], Martin Poli [...]us in Constant, 4. and the Councell of Sardis in Illyrium, as Sozomen saith: And Iustinian called the fifth generall Councell at Constantinople, as Nicephorus saith. Constan­tine the 4. gathered the sixth generall Councell at Con­stantinople, as saith Martinus Polonus. I might adde many others, but these may suffice. I prove the second particular, that convening of generall Councels in the Iewish Church was morall: For 1. an oath and vow to keep Gods Commandements is a part of the third Commandement, according to that Psalme 119. v. 106. I have sworne, and I will performe, that I will keep thy righteous iudgements, and the maintenance of the true Religion in a Land is obligatory for ever: For Iud. v. 3. [Page 230] we are willed earnestly to contend for the faith once de­livered to the Saints; and it is obedience to the third Commandement, to avow God and his Sonne Christ before men, Mat. 10. 32. And so doth Moses com­mend it in Israel, Deut. 26. 17. Thou hast avouched. the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walke in his wayes, and to keep his statutes, and his Commandements, &c. Now what ever doth lay a bond morally binding on man, doth also morally bind a whole Nation. 2. It is most certaine that bloud defiled the land of Israel morally, as it was a Land, and not as the holy Land only, Num. 35. 33. Hos. 4 1, 2, 3. 1. Because it is a sinne against the Law of Nature, for man is made according to Gods Image, Gen. 9. 6. (2.) Because bloud defileth the Land under the New Testament, as in the Iewish Church; for if this were not, the Magistrate had no warrant from Num. 33. to use the sword against the murtherer, which is that very same that is taught by Socinians, Armini­ans, E [...]iscop. disp. 13. thes. 18. 19 and Anabaptists. So teacheth Episcopius, Joan Gei­steran, Joan Ge [...]eran. [...] mag. [...] Sla [...]us aper. dec [...] 53. and Henry Slatius, so also Socinus, the Chatechise of Raccovia deny that the Magistrate now under the Messiah his kingdome should shed the bloud of any mur­therer or malefactor: [...] in d [...]sens. ver. sentent de mag polit. pa [...]. 2. f [...]32, 235 Yea if it be knowne (saith Ostoro­dius) that a man cannot be a Magistrate without shedding of bloud, Cat. ch. R [...]ov de Proc. Christi. c. [...]. p. 146 and war, It is not lawfull for him to be a Ma­gistrate, quia praecepta Christi non permittunt ulli homini adimere vitam. [...] Institut. Relig c [...]8 So also saith Smalcius, therefore need­force these precepts anent shedding of bloud are not ju­diciall. [...]ma [...]c disp 7 de [...] oper. contr. Frantz. but morall, seeing the Magistrate carrieth the sword, as the Minister of God to execute judgement upon the evill doer, Rom. 13. 4 which being undeny­ably true, a Nationall Church must have meanes allow­ed of Christ to purge the land of bloud, Sodomy, and other Nationall sinnes, for the which Canaan spewed out seven great Nations. Also, Because of swearing the land shall mourne, Ier. 23. 10. And if the Arke be taken away, as it was out of his place, 1 Chron. 13. The Land is in a hard case, we see no meanes but an Assembly of the [Page 231] Nationall Church, that by authority of the Assem­bly all may be moved to renew their Covenant with God, to repent, and to bring [...]acke againe the Gospell; as David conveened all Israel, 1 Chron. 13. 1, 2, 3, 4. to bring backe the Arke from [...]ireath-jearim: For the Gospels departure and universall Apostasie (when we are as Israel, without the true God, and a teaching Priest, as 2 Chron. 15. and withall in great trouble) is a case that concerneth not a particular Congregation onely, but the whole Land; and therefore the whole Church of the Nation must be assembled in their heads and leaders to turne away Gods wrath, and bring backe the glory that is departed from the La [...]d by renewing our Covenant with God. Lastly, the whole hoast and armies of writers, antient and moderne, may be alleadged for the lawfulnesse of Synods, as witnesseth the Tomes of the Councels generall and Provinciall.

CHAP. XVI.
Whether or no it can be demonstrated from Gods Word, that all particular Congregations have of, and within them­selves full power of Church-discipline without any subie­ction to Presbyteries, Synods, or higher Assemblies?

VEry reverend and holy men hold the affirmative part of this question,M. B [...]st Church plea [...]ect. 7. at. 1. and 4. page 68. Parker de Polit. l 3. c. 4. and deny all subj [...]ction of Congregations to Presbyteries and Assemblies. Their first Argument is,

If Churches planted by the Apostles, such as Corinth, have power within themselves to exercise Church-discipline, as to rebuke, excommunicate, loose and relaxe from excom­munication: Then ought not particular Congregations now to stand under any other Ecclesiastical authority out of themselves. [Page 232] But the former is true, 1 Cor. 5. 2, 3. So M. Best, Par­ker, the Separatists, Robinson, Authors of Presb. govern. examined, Separat. 3 pet. pos 8 a [...], 3. prove that all beleevers in Corinth had voice in excommunication.R. bi [...]s against Ber­nard, p. 70. 1. They amongst whom the fornicator was,Pres [...], govern. ex­amined, ann. 16 [...]. p. 12, 13. they who were puffed up, and sorrowed not that he was not cut off, they were to be gathered together in one, and to iudge and excommunicate, v. 12. but the fornicator was not amongst the Elders only, but amongst all the beleevers, neither were the Elders onely pussed up, nor did they onely not sorrow that the incestuous man was not cut off, but the bel [...]evers also were puffed up, and did not sorrow that he was not cut [...]ff, Ergo, all the beleevers had voices in iudging and excommunicating. 2. Of old not the Levites onely were to purge out the leaven, but all Israel also, Ergo; here not the Elders only are to purge out this leaven. 3. Paul writeth not to the Elders onely, not to be mixed with the for­nicators, but to all the faithfull. 4. The faithfull, and not the Elders only were to forgive, 2 Cor. 2.

Answ. I will first answer these reasons, and withall shew how the people had hand in excommunication, and might prove that there was a Presbytery of many Pastors at Corinth, and not a single Congregation of one Pastor, and some few Elders and beleevers, who did excommunicate. I retort these Arguments: These with whom the fornicator did converse, and so leavened them, these who were pus [...]ed up, and sorrowed not at the mans fall, and at his not being cut off by excommuni­cation, these were judicially to excommunicate with the Elders: But the fornicator conversed amongst be­leeving women and children, and did leaven them, be­leeving women and children were puffed up and sor­rowed not, Ergo, Beleeving women and children did judicially excommunicate, but the conclusion is foule, and against the Argumentators, Ergo, so must some of the premisses be foule and false, but the assumption is most true; therefore their major proposition must be false; therfore they must first acknowledge a represen­tative Church with us, and that men onely did judi­cially [Page 233] excommunicate, and not all the faithfull, except they make women ordinary Judges usurping the autho­rity over men. Then the number of these who were puffed up, and sorrowed not at his fall, &c. must be more then the number of the persons who should judici­ally excommunicate.

2. The authors of Presbyteriall govern.Pag. 23. exam. say, Elders are principally to iudge, and to be leaders and first actors in excommunicating, and people are to follow in the second roome and assent.Ant. Walleus loc. com. p. 1012. So say our Divines, Wal­leus, Bucan. loc. com. 44. q 13. Bucanus, Rollocus, Beza. Therefore Paul cannot rebuke private beleevers,Rolloc. com. in 2 Thes. 3. because they did not ex­communicate judicially in the first roome; for then Paul should have rebuked the Elders and leaders for not excommunicating in the order answerable to their place and power,Beza an. mai, in 1 Cor. 5. 4. and because they did not judicially and authoritatively lead, and goe before as first actors and prime moderators in the judiciall act of delivering of the man to Satan, and so Paul cannot in reason re­buke all the faithfull amongst whom the scandalous man did converse, and who were pus [...]ed up, and sorrowed not at the mans fall, because they did not excommuni­cate judicially, at most, they can be rebuked onely for not excommunicating in the second roome, and in that orderly and subordinate way sutable to their place and power.

3. I see no foot-step of any tollerable ground in the Text, why it should be alleadged that all the faithfull men comming to age (to speake nothing of beleeving women and children) are rebuked for not excommuni­cating judicially the fornicator; but rather the con­trary, that the faithfull out of office were not to ex­communicate judicially: For applying these words as a reproofe to beleeving men, v. 2. And ye are pu [...]fed up, and have not rather sorrowed, that [...], to the end that he that hath done this deed, [...], may be ta­ken from amongst you. He useth the passive verbe, not the active, whereby it appeareth that the beleevers [Page 234] were patients rather, then agents in the not judi­ciall and authoritative taking away of the man from amongst them, and that their fault was that they mo [...] ­ned not to God for the mans fall, and the remisse neg­ligence of the Elders, by whose authority he might have been authoritatively delivered to Satan.Pateus com. ib. O [...]lvin. Pareus saith, that he blameth the beleevers security; [...]. Jactatis vos incu [...]pali [...]es esse. Iu [...]u [...] Eccl. l. 2. c. 1, & 9. n. 14. Calvin, their not being humbled at the fall, and Cajetan, they boasted that the fornicator was the sinner, not they.

4. That great Divine Junius doth excellently observe that Paul ioyneth himselfe as an extraordinary Elder with the ordinary Eldership of Corinth, v. 4. When you are gathe­red together with my spirit: For, as I observed before, Paul requireth not only that they be gathered together in the name of Christ, which is required in all meetings for Gods worship in Prayers, Word and Sacraments; but also here he requireth that they meet (saith he) with my spirit, that is, with my Presbyteriall power of the keyes, and, 1 Cor. 4. 21. with the authority which the Lord hath given us for edification, 2 Cor. 10. 8. as I am an Elder. So said the Prophet to Gehazi, 2 King. 5. 26. went not my spirit with thee, that is, my Propheticall power, Col. 2. 5. For though I be absent in the [...]lesh, yet I am present in spirit. Now the beleevers out of of­fice did not convene in this meeting, indued with Pauls Ministeriall and Pastorall spirit; for single belee­vers receive not Ministeriall spirit from God, neither is such a spirit promised to them: Give an instance in Scripture of this promise, and we shall lose this cause; but this spirit for doctrine and discipline so given to Pastors, 1 Cor. 4. 21. 2 Cor. 10. 8. Col. 4. 17. 2 Cor. 4. 1. 2 Cor. 5. 18. 1 Cor. 12 28, 29. v. 17. therfore the com­ming together with Pauls spirit, that is, with his mini­steriall power of the keyes, as an Elder, must be restrai­ned to the Eldership of Corinth, and cannot be apply­ed to single beleevers, men, women and children, who yet were puffed up and sorrowed not, v 2. therefore this is not a gathering together of an independent Congregation [Page 235] of beleevers, men and women meeting with Pauls spirit, and his presbyteriall power of the keyes in an authorita­tive and judiciall way to excommunicate, but it must be a gathering together of these who had such a spirit and power pastorall and ministeriall, as Paul had. I deny not but the faithfull conveened, or were to con­veene in this meeting with the Eldership, for praying and hearing the word preached, which must be con­joyned with excommunication, but the meeting is de­nominated pastorall and presbyteriall with spirituall power from the speciall intended end in that act, which was authoritatively to deliver the fornicatour to Satan, V [...] in exp [...] Ca [...]e. de excom. and Vrsine thinketh not without reason that the man was excommunicated, and there being a space inter­veening betwixt Pauls writing of the first, and his second Epistle to the Corinthians, that Paul, 2 Cor. 2. writeth for relaxing him from the sentence of excommunica­tion. Also Paul when he saith, [...], I have already iudged as present, meaneth not a popular or private judging, as we say, the Physitian judgeth of the disease by the pulse,Marsil. pata. p dict 1 c. 2. and the Geometer judgeth of figures, as Marsilius speaketh, but understandeth a joynt authoritive judging with the Eldership, otherwayes he needed not to adde (but present in spirit, as if I were present, have already iudged) for whither hee had beene absent or present, hee might have given his private minde of the due demerit of so scandalous a sinne.

5. The maine thing that our brethren rest much on, is that one command of delivering to Satan, v. 4. and purging out the old leaven, v. 7. and the word of jud­ging that Paul taketh to himselfe, v. 4. is given, v. 12. to all beleevers, and to all that he writeth unto; but Paul would not say they command the beleevers to doe that which they had no authority and power from Christ to doe, if all beleevers had not power judicially to excommunicate. But I answer, beside that this is to bring in a popular government in Gods house; they [Page 236] consider not that they presuppose as granted, what we justly deny, that all and every verse of this chapter is spoken joyntly and equally to all both Elders and peo­ple, which cannot in reason be said, as in other parts of the epistle, where sometimes he speaketh of all, as 1 Cor. 1. 1, 4, 5. both pastors and people, sometimes of the people, 1 Cor. 1. 12. 1 Cor. 4. 1. sometimes of tea­chers only, 1 Cor. 3. 12. 1 Cor. 4. 2. 2. One and the same word [...], to purge out the leaven, v. 7. ap­plied to both Elders and beleevers have divers meanings, according as it is applied to divers subjects, so that the Elders did excommunicate, and purge out one way, that is authoritatively and with Pauls spirit, and mi­nisteriall power; I meane that same power in kinde and speech that was in Paul was in the Elders, for Paul was no Prelate above other pastors, and the peo­ple did purge out the leaven another way, by a popu­lar consenting that he should be excommunicate, and this is well grounded on Scripture, see Acts 4. 27, 28. Herod, Pilate, Gentiles and Iewes crucified Christ; now it is certaine they did not cruci [...]ie him one and the same way, Pilate judicially, the people of the Iewes in a popular way of asking and consenting crucified him, so 1 Sam. 12. 18. All the people greatly feared the Lord, and Samuell; that same verbe [...] jara, to fear, expres­seth both the peoples fearing of God, which is a re­ligious feare commanded in the first Commandement, and due to God only, and the peoples fearing of Sam­uell, which civill reverence given to Samuell as to a Prophet, is a farre inferiour feare, and commanded in the [...]ift Commandement, so Prov. 24. 21. My sonne feare the Lord and the King, 1 Chro. 29. 20. And the people worshipped Jehovah and the King, the verbe is [...] Shachah, which signifieth to bow and encline the body re­ligiously, but the meaning cannot be, that the people gave one and the same religious worship to God and the King, for that should be idolatry: So howbeit Elders and beleevers were rebuked for not excommu­nicating, [Page 237] and both commanded to excommunicate and purge out the leaven, it will never follow that both hath one and the same judiciall power to excommunicate, but every one should purge out the leaven, according to their place and power; and Israel is commanded to put out the leper; yet the Priest only put him out judicially, and Israel is commanded to put to death the false Prophet, and so to put away evill out of the midst of them, Deut. 13. 5. and yet the Judge did put away evill judicially and authoritatively, and the people as executioners stoning him to death, v. 9, 10. and what I say of excommunicating, that same is said of the au­thoritative pardoning of the fornicatour, 2 Cor. 2. for [...],Vrs [...]t. q. 85. p. 490, art. 3. as Vrsine observeth, is by authority to confirme their love to him, as Gal. 3. 15. the testament is confirmed, [...], and so doth Kemnitius, Calvin and Bul­linger Kemnitius exam, conc. Trid. de in­dulg. par. [...]. p. [...]9. Calvin con [...], ib. Bulling. take the word.

It is also more then evident that the Church of Co­rinth was not a congregation of believers onely, or a congregation with one pastor only, and so not an in­dependent congregation, for there was at Corinth a col­ledge of pastors and so a presbytery of Elders, Doctors, teachers and Prophets; for 1. Paul was but a founder of this Church, there were many others that built up­on the foundation Christ Jesus, and some built gold and silver, that is good and sound Doctrine, some hay and stubble, 1 Cor. 3, 11, 12, 13. 1 Cor. 4. 6. And these things, Brethren, I have in a figure trans-ferred to my selfe, and to Apollo for your sakes, that ye might learne in us, not to thinke of men a­bove that which is (written:) whence I collect, how­beit Paul, and Apollo and Cephas, were not constantly resident teachers at Corinth, yet there were other pa­stors there, of whom Paul and Apollo were named as figures, that with the lesse envy he might rebuke them, and amongst these many teachers, some said this is the best preacher, others said nay, but another preacher li­keth my eare better; and so there hath beene so ma­ny choise pastours there, as the Proverbe was true a­mongst [Page 238] them, Wealth maketh wit to waver, which Paul sharply rebuketh as a schisme, 1 Cor. 1. 12, 13. 1 Cor: 3. 4, 5. So Paul saith, Though ye have ten thousand and instru­ctors, yet have ye not many [...]athers, 1 Co [...]: 4. 15. Then they had amongst them many teachers: And it is 2. cleare from 1 Cor. 12. 14, 15, 16, 17, 28, 29, 30. that there were amongst them Apostles, Prophets, Doctors, Governments, or ruling Elders, and that this fault was a­mongst them, that the higher contemned the lower, which is, as if the eye should say, I have no need of the hand, and that they were not content of that place in Christs body, while as they would all be pastors, and all eyes, and so, where then were the hearing, v. 17. and to these especially Paul directed his re [...]uke, 1 Cor. 5. be­cause of their neglect of discipline against scandalous per­sons, not excluding the multitude of believers, who also in their kind deserved to be rebuked. 3. We may see 1 Cor. 14. There was amongst them a good number of Prophets, who both propheeyed two or three, after other, by co [...] [...]e, and who also by the power of the keyes did pu [...]lickly judge of true and false doctrine, v. 29. which is indeed our presbytery. See v. 1, 2, 3. v. 12, 13. v. 24, 25, 26. so that it is a wonder to me that any learned men should think that the Church of Corinth was one single and independent congregation, a [...]d that they met all in one house, where [...]. the Lord had much people, 2. where we are not to thinke in such a plentifull harvest of Christ, that so many pastors and teachers, and so many Apostles and Prophets, as there were there, as you may gather from 1 Cor. 14. 24, 31, 32. and so many speaking with divers tongues, so many who wrought miracles, so many who had the gift of discerning, ver. 26, 27. that all these were imployed to edifie one single congregation, who were all ordinary worshippers of God within the walles of one house, 4. We see how the false Apostles and tea­chers laboured to make Paul a despised Apostle amongst them, as is cleare in the 2 epist. ch. 10. ch. 11. ch. 12. and so their meeting together, 1 Cor. 5. 1 Cor. 11. 1 Cor. [Page 239] 14. must be expounded of their meeting distributively, not collectively, M. Rolins [...] against M. Yates, p. 28. Beza a [...]. in 1 Cor. 12. as though all met in one house; and sup­pose that the paines of so numerous a company of Pro­phets should do nothing, but feed one single congre­gation which meet all in one house,Calvin. Pareus com. in [...] 1 Cor. 12. yet there was here a Colledge of many Pastors, Prophets, Doctors and Elders, who have power of excommunication, so faith Robinson, that there were many Doctors and Teachers in this Church, and proveth it well from 1 Co. 12. for which, see what our own Divines say, as Calvin, Beza, Pareus, Bulling. Martyr. Pelican. Bulling. Martyr. Pelican. Pomera. com. in 1 Cor. 14. Pomeran. Chryso. Theoph. Oec [...]men. Ambros. So also Chrysost. Theoph. Oecumen. Ambros. Lyra. Caietan. So I thinke this place thus discussed is much against independent Churches,Lyram 1. Cor. 14. Caiet [...]. and for the presby­teries power.

They object 2.Obiect. 2. Act. 14. 2. Then appointed they Elders by the peoples consent in every Church. Ergo, Every Congregation hath power to chuse their owne Pastors and Elders.

Answ. 1. Paul and Barnabas the Apostles of Christ chose Elders in every Church, with the peoples consent. Er­go, a congregation wanting pastors who ordaineth El­ders, can and may of themselves ordaine Pastors and El­ders. What a weak consequence is this? Pastors in an Apostolick Church ordained pastors. Ergo, the multi­tude have power to ordain Pastors. I rather inferre the contrary. Ergo, there are no congregations of believers independent, who have power to ordaine Pastours without a Colledge of Pastours,Caietan. in Act. 14. 23. and observe (saith Caietan) on that place,Vasquez in 3. par. Thom. tom. 3 disp. 24 [...] c. 5. That the fasting and pray­ers of the Apostles were at the Ordination of Presbyte­ries.

2. Suppose [...] were applyed to the people,Iun. de cloric. c. 7. n 61. I see not what can in reason be said against Vasquez, T [...]len. disp 25 de voc. min thes. 15, 16. who saith, it will follow only they were created by the con­sent of the people,Calvin. com [...]b. Beza. in mai ib. Bulling. ib. and a man more to be respected then Vasquez, Fran. Iunius saith, that lifting up of the hands may well be meant of Paul and Barnabas their hands. See also Tilen, Calvin, Beza and Bullinger. Ordinary Election [Page 240] (saith hee) is from this commended, and this forme of rite of lifting up of the hands was borrowed from the Gre­cians, who gave suffrages with lifted up hands. However the peoples free election is hence authorized, which forme was used in Cyprians time,Cyprian l. 1. epist. 4. Bellar. Quando ipsa (plebs) maximè ha­beat potestatem, Theod, l. 1. c. 9. vel eligendi dignos sacerdotes, vel indignos recusandi, quod & ipsum videmus de divina authoritate descen­dere, ut sacerdos plebe presente sub omnium oculis deligatur, & dignus, at (que) idoneus publico iudicio ac testimonio comprobetur. It is nought that Bellarmine saith, they had not jus eli­gendi, power of choosing, but jus ferendi testimonium de­vitâ ac moribus, power to give testimony of the life and conversation of the pastors chosen, but good man he seeth not that this is a power of Election, by Cyprians te­stimony, and no power of choosing, which is a con­tradiction, and so saith Theodoret, avouching this to be the minde of the Councell of Nice in an Epistle to the Bishops of Alexandria, Concil Nice. epist. ad episc. Alexand. Concil. Constantin [...]. Greg [...]x. i [...] Missa­na de electione. Kran [...]zius l 8. Me­trop. c. 3. and the first generall Coun­cell at Constantinople. Only from the time of Frederick the ij. who died, ann. 1300. were the people exclu­ded from the power of choosing Pastors and Elders,Vasquez. in 3. Tho. tom. 3. disp. 244 c. 5. n. 55. and this was the deed of Gregory the ix. as Krantzi­us reporteth. Vasquez defendeth Illyricus in this, whom Bellarmine refuteth,Radevicus de gest. F [...]de, 1▪ c. 50. It is true some say the election of Alexander the iij. which was foure hundred yeares be­fore, was made by the Cardinals only, without the peo­ples consent: But 1. What may the Antichrist not d [...]? his deed is not law. 2. Who can beleeve such a drea­mer as Radevicus, Platinai [...] decret. elect. Greg [...]r. 7 Chrysost. de sacer­dot. l. 3. sol. 14. who alleadgeth this. Platine (I grant) saith, that Gregory the 7. was chosen 500. yeares before, by the Cardinals only: But to these I adde Gregory was a lawlesse man,Leo epist. 89. ad e­piscop. per V [...]ennen­sem provinc. Gregor. Mag epist. l 2 c. 69. and from lawlesse facts without the authority of Scriptures and Synods no lawfull election, without the consent of the people, can be concluded. But what can be said against Chrysost. Leo and Gregor. Magn. and many cleare testimonies for us,Gra [...]ian, dist. 32, 34 [...], 63. which are to bee seene in Gratian. all affirming that the ancient Church required the consent of the people to the ordination [Page 241] of Elders, but all these expresly speake of popular cog­nition of the good parts, gifts and holinesse of the chosen Elders, and doe still ascribe authoritative Ordi­nation of Elders to the presbyterie of Elders, as all An­cients with one pen affirme.

They object from Col. 2. 4.Obiect. 3. That the Church of Co­losse had order, and so discipline within themselves, Er­go, Colosse was an independent Church. And that same they alleadge of the Church of Thessalonica, which had the power of Excommunication within themselves, 1 Thess. 3. 6.

Answ. Seeing Epaphras, Col. 1. 7. and Archippus, Col. 4. 17. and others were their pastors at Colosse, it is no marvell that they had discipline within them­selves, but what then? therefore they had disci­pline independently, the Congregation not stan­ding under subjection to the Presbiterie, it followeth no wayes.

2. They had discipline within themselves, not be­ing compassed with sister-Churches in a Christian consociation, it will not follow therefore Churches con­f [...]ciated with other Churches. 2. Churches in case of aberration. 3. Churches in points of discipline that concerneth many Churches. 4. In the case of difficulties that cannot be expedited and determined by the particular Churches, it will not (I say) follow, that they have power of discipline indepen­dently, and without subordination to superiour judi­catures.

3. The conclusion to be proved is, that one pastor with some ruling Elders and beleevers is the most supreme ministeriall Church,Syrus [...]inistror [...] periphrasis. Beza. ib. Erasm. Calvin. Bulling. Marlorat. Su [...]vius. Brightman. Scultetu [...]. subordinate to none other Church assemblies now in Thessalonica, 1 Thess. 5. 12, 13. there were many pastours who warned and admonished them. The Syrian saith (who stand before your face to teach you) Beza saith they were teachers: so Erasmus, Calvin, Bul­linger, so he stileth the pastors: so Marlorat, Sutlu. Bright­man, Scultetus.

[Page 242] 4. They object, Obiect. 4. The seven Churches of Asia are com­m [...]nded, or rebuk [...]d by Christ for exercising or omitting discipline, every candle sticke stood by it selfe, and held forth her owne light, if they had had dependency one upon another, one message would have served them all; but one­ly Thyat [...]ra is charged for sufferin [...] J [...]zabell to teach, if they were one Church, the whole would have beene gulty of the sinnes of the part, the whole being negligent to dis­ciplinate the part, but every Church is rebuked for it's own fault, Ergo, every one was independent within it selfe. So M. Best, Author of Presb. gover. exam. and the femall do­ctrix Childley. M. Best. Pr [...]sb gov exam▪ Kath. Childley, p. 19

Answ. The first of these seven, to wit, Ephesus was not a particular congregation, but had a presbytery of Elders in it, Act. 20. 17, 36. Paul prayed with them all; this is not said in the word, but of a reasonable good number of persons;Brightman. Apoc. c. 2. Brightman under the name of an Angell, Bulling. ib. Didoclav. 11. alta Damasc. p. 132, 133, 135. he writeth to a colledge of Angels or Pastors. Bul­linger he writeth to many Pastors. Didoclav. proveth by good arguments against Downam his Angell-Prelate that he writeth to a colledge of Angels in every Church.August. hom. 2. in Apoc prapositis ec­cl [...]siaram. Augustine he speaketh to the Rulers; so saith Gregor. Magnus, Gregor. mor. in Iob l. 34. c. 4. Primasius, Beda, Haymo, Fulk, Perkins, Fox: neither hath one single pastor the power of the keyes,Primasius. Beda. Haymo. Fulk against Rh [...] ­mest. Rev. 1. 20. Perkins. Fox. but at the second hand, the beleivers have it as the prime ministeriall fountaine of all Church discipline, and so they by our brethrens learning, should have bin principally rebuked.

2. Also Asia was of the Roman Empire, and contai­ned Phrygia, Mysia, Caria, Lydi [...], Troas and Thessalo­nica, and every one of these must be proved to be sin­gle congregations, and suppose they were, they have many pastors in them, as Ephesus had, they had pow­er of discipline in all points that concerned themselves, but in things common to all, they had it not, but in depen­dence, and what? howbeit Synods could not so conveni­ently be had under the persecuting Domitian, no absurdity will follow, discipline may be exercised without provinci­all Synods.

[Page 243] 3. It is a weake ground, Every candlesticke stood by is selfe, and and held forth it's owne light: For the light of the Candlesticke is a preaching Pastor shining in light of holy Doctrine: Wee dispute not about independency of preaching Ministers in the act of preaching; but about independency of Churches in the acts of Church-discipline; And so this is a weake ground (I say) for independent Churches; yea neither is the Pastor in the act of Pastorall shining in sound Do­ctrine independent; for our brethren teach that private persons by the power of the keyes ordaine him, call him to office, censure and depose, and excommunicate him, if nee [...] re­quire, and this is no small dependency.

4. It is no lesse loose and weake to alleadge they are independent Churches, because every Church is reproved for it's owne faults; reproofe is a sort of cen­sure: What, because the fornicator, 1 Cor 5. is repr [...] ­ved for a sinne that is scarce named amongst the Gen­tiles, yea and iudged worthy to be excommunicated? shall it hence follow that the fornicator is no member de­pendent, and in Ecclesiasticall subjection to the Church of Corinth? So some of the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 15. 12. are reproved for denying the resurrection; for this was the fault of some, and not of all: But will it follow, these some were no independent parts of the Church of Corinth, but an independent Church by themselves? The faults of remisse discipline may be laid upon a whole Nationall Church in some cases, when it com­meth to the notice of the Nationall Church, that such a particular Church faileth in this and this point of dis­cipline; but we teach not that these seven Churches made up one Nationall Church; yet this hindereth not, but parts of an independent and subordinate Church may be rebuked for their faults, and yet remaine dependent parts.

5. They object, 5. Obiect. If Christ bid an offending brother tell the particular Church whereof he is a member, then that particular Church may excommunicate, Mat. 18. 19. and [Page 244] so hath power within it selfe of the highest censures,M. Best. and is independent, but the former is true, Mat. 18. Ergo, Vrsine (say they) Zuinglius, Andrewes, Kemnitius, Aretius, Pelargius, Hunnius, Vatablus, Munster, Beza, Eras­mus, Whittaker, &c. expound this of a particular Con­gregation.

Answ. 1. We shall also expound this of a particular Church, but not of such an one as hath but one Pastor, neither doe these Divines meane any other Church then a Colledge of Pastors and Elders.

2. Your owne Parker, Parker de Poli [...]. 3. c 24. the learned Voetius, and Ed­mundus Richerius, Gu [...]l. Voe [...]. de Pol. [...]ccl. thes 7. and the Doctors of Paris cite this place to prove the lawfulnesse of Synods, yea even hence they prove Peter, Edmu [...]d, Richer. de Pol. & Eccles. potest, p. 14. and so the Pope is answerable to a generall Councell.

3. When an Eldership of a particular Congregation is the obstinate brethren,Dost. Paris. de Pol. Eccl. p 13. to be censured, I desire our reverend brethren to shew in that case a ministeriall,Gerson de Potest. Eccl. consid. 4. governing, and censuring Church, consisting onely of private persons out of office, to whom the offending person shall complaine? I appeale to the whole old and new Testament, to all antiquity, to all Divines writings the word (Church) in this notion. See also G [...]rson.

6. They object, Every particular Church is the body of Christ,Obiect. 6. his Spouse, Wife, and Kingdome, and every one hath received faith of equall price,1 Cor. 12 20. 27. with 4. 17. and 5. 12. [...]nd 11. 23. 26. and [...]4. 33. Mat 18 r. 7, [...]0. 2 Pet. 1. 1. and conse­quently of equall power, and right to the tree of Life, and Word of God, and the holy things, the keyes of the King­dome,1 Tim. 1. 3. 15. the promise and use of Christs power and presenc [...], Rom. 12. 4, 8.Separatists 3. petit. Therefore there is not one Church above ano­ther. [...] pos. p. 43. So the Separatists. Best.

Answ. 1. If this argument from an equall interest and right to Christ, the promise, life eternall stand good, not only one Church shall not be over another; but also Pastors and Elders cannot be over the flocke in the Lord, nor have the charge of them, nor watch for their soules: The contrary whereof you shall reade, 1 Cor. 12. 17, 28, 29. 1 Thes. 5. 12, 13, 14. Heb. 13. 17. Ephes. 4. 11. [Page 245] and the reason is good, but truly better with Anabap­tists, then with men fearing God; because Pastors and people, King and Subject, Doctor and Scholler, being beleevers,Act. 10. 34. have all received like precious faith, and right to the tree of Life, &c. for God is no accepter of per­sons.

2. By this Argument three beleevers in an indepen­dent Congregation consisting of three hundred shall be no dependent part in Ecclesiasticall subjection to three hundred, and every three of independent Churches shall be a Church independent, and twenty independent Chur­ches shall be in one independent Church, because all the three hundred beleevers have received alike precious faith, &c▪

3. The consequence of the Argument is most weake, for precious faith and claime and interest in Christ is not the ground why Christ giveth the keyes to some, and not to others, but the ground is the good pleasure of Gods will. Christ gave not the keyes, nor any Church-authority to Judas, Demas, and the like, because of their precious faith; but because he calleth to labour in his vineyard, whom he pleaseth, and whom he pleaseth he calleth not.

7. They object, 7. Obiect. Provinciall and Nationall Churches are humane formes brought in after the similitude of [...]ivill governments amongst the Romanes,Ames. Medul. Theol. l. 1. c 32. [...] thes. 22. and there is no Church properly so called, but a Parish Church. See D. Ammes.

Answ. 1. [...], The lifting up of the hands in voi­cing at the election of Elders, Act. 14. 23. so taken from a civill forme of peoples giving their suffrages amongst the Lacedemonians, as our brethren say: Yet it is not for that unlawfull, or an humane forme, a Parishionall meeting of the people to heare the word, is taken from a civill forme of both Romanes and Grecians convening to heare declamations and Panygerickes, yet a Parishi­onall Church is not for that a humane and unlawfull Church.

2. We say not that a Synod is a properly so called mysti­call [Page 246] Church, yet its a proper ministeriall and teaching Church, such as is, Acts 15.

8. They object, Object. 8. The Popish superiority of one Church over another should be lawfull, if a Church be in bondage under a Church, better be under a great Lord Pope, and a little Lord Prelate, as under many Nationall Lords in a Nationall Church-Assembly.

Answ. 1. We make no other subjection here then our brethren make; for they make ten to be subject to [...]ve hundred in an independent Congregation: As the part is in subjection to the Lawes of the whole, so make we many Churches in Cities, Townes and Provinces subject in the Lord to all their owne Pastors and Elders convened in a Nationall Assembly: Papists make their Synods to lay bonds upon the consciences of men.

2. Their Synods cannot erre.

3. The Lord Prelate over ruleth them.

4. They make things indifferent necessary.

5. People may not examine Decrees of their Synods according to Gods Word.

6. People may not reason or speake in their Synods. We acknowledge no such Synods. 2. Papists, as Bel­larmine, Bellarm. Costerus, Pierius, doe not thinke Synods very necessary, [...] Fuchr. P [...]e [...]r in Exod 10. they call the Popes determination an easier way for ending controversies then Councels; and therefore Pierius saith here, frustra sit per plura, &c.

9. They object, 9. Obiect. If a representative Church consisting onely of Pastors, Doctors and Elders, be a Church of Christs institution, it should have a Pastor over it, as all Churches have; and if it be a generall Councell▪ the Pa­stor thereof can be no other then the Pope, and there beh [...] ­ved to be also an universall Consistory of Cardinals.

Answ I deny both these consequences, a feeding, go­verning and ministeriall Church doth not necessarily re­quire a Pastor over it. Timothy is a Pastor to himselfe, and by preaching both saveth himselfe and others, 1 Tim. 4. 16.

2. Cardinals are degrees above Pastors and Prelates, [Page 247] our Synods are made up, as Acts 15, of Pastors, Elders and Brethren, whereof we acknowledge no Pastor of Pastors but Christ Jesus, no Doctor of Doctors, no El­der of Elders, and so I see not what this consequence meaneth.

10. They object, 10. Object. That which concerneth all should be handled by all. Quod omnes tangit ab omnibus tractari de­bet; but matters of disci [...]line concerne the conscience and pra­ctise of all, Ergo, all and every beleever should handle matters of discipline, and not some few of a whole Nation who representeth the rest.

Answ. That which concerneth all, one and the same way and the manner, should be handled by all. That which concerneth all, divers and sundry manner of wayes should be handled by all divers manner of wayes: If ten men be owners of a ship, nine of them cannot sell the ship without the consent of the tenth owner: If all both Elders or Ministers, and the whole company of beleevers had one and the same power of the keyes, we see not but all, Ministers and people should have a like hand in voicing and coucluding; nor doe I well see, that if the keyes be given to all beleevers, upon our brethrens former ground, because they are the bo­dy and Spouse of Christ, how women and beleeving children can be excluded from joynt-governing and use of the keyes (except in the act of publike teaching, 1 Cor. 14. 34. 35. 1 Tim. 2. 12.) with Pastors, Doctors and Elders, seeing they are the body and Spouse of Christ, no lesse then men: God accepteth no persons, nor sexes, male or female, in these spirituall priviledges, Gal. 3. [...]8. 2 Cor. 6. 18. 1 Pet. 3. 4, 5, 6. But seeing disci­pline concerneth all divers wayes, according as God hath seated and placed persons in his Church; some in higher, and some in lower places of Christs body; therefore Ministers are to handle points of doctrine and discipline in Synods authoritatively. People also by ele­cting Commissioners to Synods, by consenting, reaso­ning, proposing and advising, and according to their place, [...]ot authoritatively.

[Page 248] 11. They object, Obiect. 11. It is a Popish abusing of the people of God to exclude them from all government of Gods house, and all meanes of edifying one another, and leade on the people in an implicit faith and [...]ind obedience.

Answ. This objection toucheth the question anent the power of private Christians in edifying one ano­ther, where I must stay a little to cleare doubts, for divers run in extremities here. Hence our

1. Conclusion. Separat 3 pet. 4. posit p. 5 We utterly condemne the doctrine of Separatists, who teach that private Christians gifted with knowledge, [...] against [...]. suppose they be out of office, are to preach the Gospell,A [...]nsworth communion of Saints. and to prophesie publikely for the edefying of the Church.

1. Because by consent of all sound Divines, all anti­quity and confession of party, and Pauls testimony, Eph. 4. 11. there are none given of Christ, when he ascen­ded on high, for the publike edefying of the Church, and gathering of the Saints to Christs second comming, save only Pastors, and Doctors and Elders. But the pri­vate gifted men are to edefie by publike prophecying, and they be none of Christs officers, and they are un­lawfull teachers.

2. To preach publikely as ordinary messengers. (I say) ordinary, because of our expectants of the ministery, who preach by the call of the Church, for a time, as the Sonnes of the Prophets, while they be ordained Pa­stors. To preach (I say) publikely, is a formall act of Pastors who are sent, Rom. 10. but these Prophets are not sent, Ergo, they ought not to preach. They answer but as Anabaptists and Socinians doe, who say to be gif­ted of God is to be sent; but I answer, Paul Rom 10. 14, 15. thinketh not so, because he understandeth such a sending, as is required in ordinary Pastors, who be­getteth faith in their hearers, v. 14. and whose feet are beautifull upon the monntaines, by bringing glad tidings of peace, v. 15. Now these were such as both were gifted, and had authority to preach. 2. Christ, Mat. 10. clearly dif­ferenceth gifting of Pastors, v. 1. from authoritative sen­ding, [Page 249] v. 5. v. 16. And also John 20, 21, 22, 23. 3. Because God challengeth such as run, and the Lord sendeth them not, Jer. 23. 21. 4. Because no man taketh that honour on him, except he be called of God, as was Aaron, Heb. 5. Suppose he be gifted as our Saviour was. 6. Publike Preachers have power authoritative to binde and loose, and accordingly God bindeth and looseth in heaven; but private beleevers have not this power but only Pastors, Mat. 18. 18. Mat. 16. 19. John 20. 23. 7. Such Preachers they dreame to be in the old Testament; but the [...]ld Testament speaketh of none but men in office, as Priests, Levites, Prophets, &c.

M. Robinson saith, R [...]binson against Tat [...]r, p 28. 1 Cor. 14. There were gifted ordinary Prophets not in office, who preached publikely.

Answ. These Prophets were Prophets by office, and so b [...]side that they were gifted, they were sent with officiall authority to preach. 1. They are such as Paul speaketh of, 1 Cor. 12. 28. God hath set some in the Church, first Apostles, secondarily Prophets, Ergo, they were officers set in the body, as Apostles were at that time, Eph. 4. 11. 2. They are called Prophets, 1 Cor. 14. v. 29, 32. But in all the old or new Testament, Pro­phets signifie over these that are in office, as the pla­ces in the margen cleare,Gen 10. 7. Exod 7 [...]. Deut. 8 55. Iudg 6. [...]. 1 Sa [...]. 3. [...]0. 1 Sam. 22. 5. 1 Sa [...]. 7. 2. 1 King. 1 8. 1 K [...]ng 1 [...]. 29. 1 King 13 11. 2 Ki [...]g 3. 1. K [...]g. 6 12. 2 King 20, 1. 2 Chron. 12. 5. Psal 7 [...] 9. Lam. 2. 20, Hab. 1 1. Mat 1. 2, M [...] 2 17. [...] 7. 6. Acts [...] 10. [...] 8, [...] 15. Rev. 11▪ 10. and a place cannot be brought where the word Prophet signifieth a man who publikely preacheth, and yet is no Prophet by office, but possibly a Fashioner, a [...]lough-man, a Shoomaker▪ 3. The formall [...]ff [...]cts of publi [...]e edefying, comfe [...]ti [...]g, convincing, converting soules are ascribed to these. [...]o­phets, v. 1, 3, 4, 5, 12, 24 25, 31. which are ascribed to pr [...] ­ching Pastors, Rom 10. 14, 15. 1 Cor. 4. 1, 2, 3. 4. In this chapter, and in chap. 13. Paul doth set downe Ca­nons anent the right use of the offices that he spake of, 1 Cor. 12. 28, 29. 5. Paul must thinke them Pro­phets by office, while as he compareth himselfe who was an Apostle and Prophet with these Prophets, v. 37. If any man thinke himselfe to be a Prophet, or spirituall, let him acknowledge that the things that I write to you are [Page 250] the Commandements of the Lord.

Also these Prophets were extraordinary and tempo­rary, as were the gifts of tongues and miracles; and therefore none out of office now are to prophesie pub­likely. M. Robinson saith, they cannot be extraordinary, because extraordinary Prophets are infallible, and can­not erre, else the Scriptures should have been written by Prophets, who could erre, but these Prophets, 1 Cor. 14. could erre and were not infallible, because their do­ctrine was to be judged, v. 29.

Answ. Part [...] com. Bul­ling. ib. Calvin. This is a silly reason, Pareus, Bulling, Calvin, Beza saith all spirits are to be tryed by the word, and all Pro­phets, even Samuell and Nathan may erre, and looke beside the booke, and may speake of their owne spirit, how then were the pen-men of Scripture infallible, saith Robinson?

I answer, there are none simply infallible but God, every man is a lyar: The pen-men of the Scripture were infallible, because when they were actually inspired by the Holy-Ghost, they could not erre: And the spirits of all Prophets are to be tryed by the word, even of Paul preaching at Berea: But it followeth not that Paul then could erre. To this they answer, that false Prophets, as Balaam, could not erre when they were actually inspired, no more then Canonicke writers.

Answ. In the case of infallibility all are alike, none are infallible by any infused habit of a Propheticall spi­rit; but false Prophets were inspired with an habituall spirit of lying, which spirit is not in Canonicke wri­ters. Robinson and others of his side thinke them not extraordinarily inspired. 1. Because these Prophets might have been interrupted and put to silence, that another to whom choiser things were revealed, might prophe­sie, v. 3. 2 Because Paul exhorteth to pray for the gift of interpretation, and to covet (saith others) to prophe­sie. Now we cannot seeke in faith from God an extra­ordinary and miraculous gift. 3. Others adde, this pro­phecying was subject to the free-will of the Prophets, for they might prophesie, or keep silence, as they pleased; [Page 251] but the acts of extraordinary prophecying are not subje­cted to the free-will of the Prophets; therefore this was but ordinary prophecying, to the which all gifted profes­sors even out of o [...]fice are obliged for the edefying of the Church of Christ to the worlds end.

Answ. All these three come to one, to wit, acts of extraordinary prophecying are under the determination of free-will.Pareus prolego in Hos. A little of this.

1. Conclusion, Pareus observeth well that there be two kinds of Prophets. 1. Some who foretold things to come, of these the Text in hand speaketh not. 2. Some extraordinarily inspired with an extraordinary grace of interpreting Scripture: The former were Prophets in the old Testament, the latter especially Prophets of the new Testament; knowledge of both were given with­out study or paines. So there was a Propheticall spirit in Paul, Gal. 1. 12. I received it not of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

2. Conclusion. The act of foretelling things to come, especially things meerly contingent, which are deter­mined onely in the free Decree of God, is not so un­der our free-will, as the acts of preaching and inter­preting Scripture out of a Propheticall infused habit: For prophecying things to come seemed to have come on the Prophets of old, as a fire- [...]lash appeareth to a mans eye in the darke ayre, he cannot chuse but see it, Ezech. 2. 14. So the spirit lifted me up, and tooke me away, and I went in bitternesse, Hiero [...]. Epist. 125. trium questionum ad Damas q [...]. in the heate of my spirit, but the hand of the Lord was str [...]ng upon me, Jer. 20. 9. And I said, I will not make mention of him, Oecumen in [...] Thes, Gregor. Mor. l. 2. c ult. nor speak any more in his name, but his word was in my heart, as a burning fire shut up in my bones, Thom. 22. q. 172. a [...]t. 2. and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay, 2. King. 3. 15. The hand of the Lord came upon Elisha, and he prophecyed. See Ierom. Oecumen. Greg [...]r. and Thomas.

The Propheticall spirit in the New Testament see­meth to be more swayed with free-will, and morall threatnings, 1 Cor. 9. 16. Woe unto me if I preach not the Gospell; yet the habit from whence he preached was a [Page 252] Propheticall principle, Galath. 1. 12. 1 Cor. 14. 32.

3. Conclu. Hence prophecying is not a habit, and it is a habit. It is not an habit. 1. Because no Pro­phet can simply prophecy when he will, except the man Christ, especially of things to come by contin­gent causes (the presence of which things (saith Suarez) is onely connaturall to God, Suarez d [...] tripl. virt. disp 8. sec. 8. n 7. and to no morrall man) com­ming on men by a transient irradiation, while as the candle of Gods propheticall light glanceth upon the fancy, and from thence to the mind, that the man may see and reade the species and images, and when this light shineth not Nathan and Samuell reade beside the Bible and are widely out. Proph [...]cy also is an ha­bit. For 1. something remaine in Isaiah and Jeremiah while they sleepe, and prophecy not, from whence they are named Prophets, and really are Prophets; for when God hath once revealed himselfe to one as to his owne Prophet, even from by past revelation. 1 There remaineth a disposition to prophecy, 1 Sam. 3. 20. All Israel knew, even from Dan to Beersheba, that Samuell was established to be a Prophet of the Lord. 2. Because there remaineth a propheticall light, whereby the man gave ass [...]nt to the last propheticall revelation, and so the species and propheticall images must remaine in the fantasie, and with these a propheticall memory of by past predictions, and so some experimentall cer­tainty, that what he fore-telleth shall come to passe: See Thomas and Caietan, Thomas 22. q. 172. ar. 2▪ now the object propheticall is knowne three wayes,Ca [...]tan. co [...]. in 22. q. 171. ar [...]. 2. 1. When the naked naturall images or species of the materiall object are only cast in by God and no more, and this is most in dreames, as Nebuchadnezar saw a tree in his dreame, but knew not that it was a King, Pharoah saw seven blasted reeds and seven leane kine, but knew not that they were se­ven yeares of Famine. And sometimes in a vision being in an extasie, as John, Rev. 1. saw 1. seven candl [...]sticks, but knew not that they were the seven Churches of Asia, while Christ revealed the meaning to him. 2. The [Page 253] images and species are knowne formally, as signes sig­nifying thus and thus, as Joseph by a propheticall light saw the seven leane kine to be seven yeares of famine. 3. Now there is a third light, to judge of the act of seeing, which I take to be two-fold. 1. When the Seer and Prophet is perswaded that what he seeth is a propheticall vision, and not a delusion of Satan, this is (as saith Pareus) the very light of prophecy,Pareus prolog. in com [...]n Hos [...]r. 1. or some extraordinary light (as saith Anto, Walleus) There is another light whereby the Seer beleeveth these things shall come to passe,Anton Walleus i [...] loc. com. de Theol p. 18. which he seeth, either by a com­mon light of historicall faith, as Pharoah might beleeve that seven yeares of plenty should come, and Balaam that Christ the starre of Jacob should certainly arise and shine upon the Church, or the Seer seeth and beleeveth by light of saving faith, as Isaiah and Daniel beleeved that the Messiah should be slai [...]e, and this latter light whatever good Schoole-men say on the contrary, is the light of faith; for the three former lights might well be in Balaam. 1. He might see in his fantasie, the species of the starre of Jacob. 2. And know that they meaned no other thing, then the Messiah. 3. And be certainly perswaded that he saw so, and that he was not deluded, yea and historically beleeve that that bles­sed Starre should arise, and yet he had no light of sa­ving faith to beleeve that the Messiah should come. So h [...]e we cannot but distinguish betwixt a prophe­ticall light, in the second and third sight, which is gratia gratis data, a free gift, and the light of saving faith, which is gratia gratum fa [...]iens, a saving grace of GOD in the sound beleever, onely in this last sight.

4. Conclus. Hence Separatists may see that extraor­dinary acts of prophecy may well be subjected to the determination of the Church, and yet be extraordina­ry inspirations, and that divers wayes.

1. Because the [...] were Prophets of the New Testa­ment, and so grace being more aboundant now nor [Page 254] under the old Testament, it can bow and facilitate free­will to acts of prophecying, and Paul from more grace laboured more aboundantly then they all.

2. Prophecying at that time in Corinth might well be obtained by prayer upon the extraordinary impulsi­on of the spirit, as Daniel obtained by prayer the in­terpretation of a dreame, neither can it be proved from 1 Cor. 14. that Paul willeth them all without excep­tion, to covet to speake with tongues and to prophe­cy, but only these that were extraordinarily moved to pray, except these (v. 31. yea may all prophecy) be con­trary to these words (1 Cor. 12. 29. are all Prophets?) which we cannot say.

3. Because it was of old in the power of Prophets to use some meanes to dispose themselves to prophe­cy, for when the passion of anger overclouded the fan­cy and the species therin, then Elisha calleth for a min­strell to play, and dispose the minde better, as Ca [...]etan saith: Howbeit for all that the Text saith, the hand of the Lord only actuated these species, and caused him to prophecy. [...] Kin 3. 15. [...] com in 2 [...] 3 ad [...] conseque [...]ter [...] ad De­ [...]m.

Neither are Robinsons arguments of great weight, I answer only these that have most apparency, 1 If the Lords giving of the spirit extraordinary to Eld [...]d and Medad made them Prophets both in office and exercise, by due proportion, gifts under the New Testament are sufficient to make men ordinary Prophets. Ro [...]i [...]s against Yales, p. 37, 38.

Answ. The antecedent is false, because to Eldad and Medad were given both the spirit of prophecy, and from that gifted spirit, came a propheticall impul­sion actually to prophecy without any farther call of the Church; for God spake then by impulsion, as he doth now by his Word, els one may say the physicall and naturall power that Samuell had to kill Agag, was a calling sufficient to authorize him to kill [...]gag, and an hability to discharge the office of the high-Priest in a man of the tribe of Iudah were a good calling for one so gifted to thrust himselfe in Aarons chair, which [Page 255] God tyed only to Levies Tribe.

2. This is that which Epi [...]copius,Epis [...]p dis. 26. thes 2, [...]. Se [...]inians and Ar­minians teach from Anabaptists, [...] trac de [...] 10. p. 88. & [...] c 10. p [...] 87, 88. so The [...]phil. Nicolai [...], And Radaecius, Catech. of Raccovia, Ostorod. Socinus the [...], 1. That the sending and calling of Mini­sters by the Church n [...]w when the Gospell is sufficiently pro­mulgated, [...] Nedo G [...]r. c. 1 p. 3. is not necessary. 2. That any gifted man hath a warrant,Cat [...]ch. [...] de [...] c. 11. p. [...], 306 [...] Insti c 42. because he is gifted to be a Pastour without a­ny call or authority officiall from the Church. And what? will Robinson say, Socin tract. de eccl. ad 10 c Rom. 10. 4. 15 & de exter. reg. [...]. fo 252. because these Prophe [...]s are gifted to baptize and to administer the Supper of the Lord, as well as they are to preach the Gospell, then by this goodly reason of his,Rem [...]str. confess. c. [...]2 sec. 1. they may be pastors without a­ny calling of the Church, and certainly any man gif­ted to be a King,Apol [...]o. 295. and a Magistrate, by the calling that the Word of God alloweth sh [...]ll by this reason have a call to leape up to the throne and the bench; but our Divines as Calvin, Parcus, Zanchius, Iunius, Be­za, make two dif [...]e [...]rent things in a lawfull calling. 1. [...], gifts for the calling, which is not enough. 2. [...], authority from the Church, which is also re­quired.

2. He objecteth, 2 Chron. 17. 7. Jehoshaphat sent his Princes to teach the cities of Judah with the Levites, and all Princes and Ma [...]istrates are bound to expound, open up, and apply the law by which they governe, else they rule by tyranny. Hence the publick Sermon of Jehoshaphat, 2 Chron. 19. to the Iudges and Levites, and his prayer, and Hezekiahs Sermons, 2 Chr 29. and Nehemiah taught the people, Neh. 8.

Answ. 1. Iunius and Ar. Mont [...]. Iehoshaphat [...] Shalach, Lesarou, read, he sent with the Princes, the Levites to teach, so that the Princes were not sent to teach.

2. It is said hee sent the Princes to teach not in their owne persons, but hee sent them to take care that the Levites should teach in time of that Aposta­cy.

[Page 256] 3. The Kings and Judges were to teach according to the judiciall Law the equity of their sentence to the ill doer, as a Judge to convince a thiefe and a murtherer may lay before him the eighth and the sixt commandement in so farre as the breach of these disturbeth the peace of the common-wealth, not as they are Church scandals, and whither the male-factor be convinced or not, the Judge punisheth with the sword, so that the Judges hand­ling of the judiciall law, and his handling of the mo­rall law now is meerly civill and coactive, neither is he to labour the conversion and repentance of the El­der, and so ecclesiasticall edification; but the handling of the law by the Separatist Prophets is meerly pa­storall and for the conversion of soules, and they are the only preachers who gather the Church of Saints; Pastors and Doctors are not to convert soules to Christ, but to confirme these who are already converted and made Saints by their Prophets, neither is the Prophets hand­ling of the law civill, coactive or regall, all which they teach themselves: So are we to thinke of these ex­hortations of Iehoshaphat and Hezekiah, they taught in­deed [...], secundum quid in a civill and coactive and regall way, by a kingly and imperiall commanding, not by a servant way, or a ministeriall or pastorall way. Ergo, Kings are Prophets, and Seers and Priests, whose lips should preserve knowledge, and ergo, Kings are Mini­sters, by whom we beleeve, and sent to open the eyes of the blinde as Prophets, 1 Cor. 14. It is a most vaine consequence. So also from Jehoshaphat, a generall of an army his publick praying having the spirit of adoption, asking helpe from the Lord of Hoasts before the armies joyne in battle, can no wayes be concluded that Ie­hoshaphat was a publick Prophet, for then at all times, as in that extraordinary warre, hee should publickly pray for the people in all Church-meetings, as did the Priest.

What he bringeth for publick preaching in the Sy­nagogue by Christ, Paul and others, which (saith hee) [Page 257] were not Pastours, is not to any purpose. Christ and Paul had a calling, ordinary or extraordinary it skilleth not, it was more then naked gifts; some private Chri­stains, Act. 8. 4. preached the Gospell, but when? in time of heavy persecution when they were scattered, v. 1. v. 4. Then all gifted Christians, trades-men or what else, not separated by Christ and his Churches calling may now preach the Gospell, yea be the ordinary and only converters of souls and gatherers of the Saints; it fol­loweth no wayes.

2. Many grave Divines thinke these were the seventy Disciples, and not private professours. Other doubts of this kind are of no weight, therfore I goe on to that which Christians may doe, and yet have they no power of the keyes.

2. Conclusion. 2. Conclusion They are to edifie, exhort, rebuke and comfort one another,Heb. 3. 13: and this they may doe, not one to one onely,Lev. 19. 17. as some say, but one to many, 1. So the Scripture saith,1 Thess 5. 11, 12. Proverb. 10. 21.Col. 3. 16. The lippes of the righteous feed many, Heb. 10. 23. Ephes. 4. 29. They are to speak words ministring grace to the hearers: Mal 4. 16. So saith Calvine, Zach. 8. 21. Bullinger, Calv. com. Hos. 2. [...] Beza, Bulling in [...]cl. 46. Davenant, Whittaker, Pareus, Zanchi­us, Beza. ib. Musculus, Gualther. 2. The word [...], exhort one another,Dav [...]nanit. in Col. 3. 16. will not beare that one with one only should conferre,Whittak. Tom. 2. de auth. scrip. l. 3. c. 14. ad, 14. but one with many (how­beit a multitude should evert the nature of private con­ference) Iam. 5. 6.Parcus in Hos. 2. 2. Zanch. pray one for another, [...], it were narrow charity to pray one for one onely,Muscul in Es. c. 2. 2. Iam. 5. 9.Gualib. hom. 17. Grudge not one against another, [...]; this forbiddeth not only grudging of one against one, but of one against many, Roman. 13. 9. Love another, [...], Gal. 5. 13. In love serve one another, and the same is to be observed in the Hebrew, Mal. 3. 16. They that feared the Lord spake oft one to another, [...] every man to his neighbour, 2 King. 7. 9. The foure Lepers said one to another, this was not one to one, but one of three, 2 Kin. 7. 6. and the Syrians said one to ano­ther, [...]. This could not have been [Page 258] one man of the Syrians speaking to one only, for then how could the whole army [...]ly, Gen 42. 21. And the Brethren of Joseph said every one to his brother, Vajo­meru [...]ish el-achiu, Gen. 37. 19. But some allow con­ference of one with many, but they deny that it ought to be indicted, fore-set or intended, but only occasio­nall: but these with ill logick distinguish, where the law distingui [...]heth not, for one and the same conference is both occasioned by the Lords chast [...]s [...]men [...]s upon Iob. ch. 1 ch. 2. and als [...] fore-set and intended by Iobs friends, who made an appointment to come together to mourne with him, and to comfort him, for the word, v. 11. [...] jagnad is to in­dict, fore-set time and place, 2 Sam. 20. 5. So A­masah went to assemble the men of Judah, but hee tar­ried longer then the time which hee had appointed him, [...] Exod. 25. 23. There will I appoint with thee or meet with thee, Job 9. 19. Who shall set mee a time to plead, Am. 3. 3. Numb. 10. 4. 2. If conference of many be lawfull, as it is Job 2. 11 Mal. 4. 16. Esa. 2. 2. Jer. 50. v. 4, 5. Zach. 8. 21. Ps. 42. 4. Ps. 55. 14 Luk. 24. 14, 15. Deut. 6. 7, 8. 9. then the fore-setting of time and place is no essentiall ingredient in the action to make it of a lawfull action, to become unlawfull, except it were fore-set upon religious reason of some sacred or mysti­call signification, as our holy dayes were: meere circum­stances, doe not change actions that way. 3. All Divines, the Fathers as Augustine, Aug. de civ. D [...]i. l. 1. c. 9. Chrysostome, Ambrose, Hyeron. Thomas, Ch [...]ys. hom in [...]x. 23. Bannes, Suarez, Vasquez, Valentia, make private ex­horting and rebuking our fallen brother a duety of the law of nature,Ambros. in Lu [...]. 17. such as to take our neighbours Oxe out of a ditch,Hyer. in Mat. 18. to visit a prisoner,Thom [...]. q. 33. to give almes to the poore:Barnes in 22. q. 33. art. 2. now if to intend time and place to lift up a brother whom God hath cast downe, to reduce him whom wee understand God hath permit­ted to wander,Suarez Vasquez ib Valentia Jesuita. be unlawfull, then to foreset time and place to visit a captive in prison, to give almes to the poore by that same reason were unlawfull, which no man, in reason, can say. 4. To intend [Page 259] and to appoint time and place for obedience to any Commandement of God doth rather make the action the more good and landable, as the more deliberation in an ill action the worse, and the more deliberation in a good action the better, Psal. 119. 30. v. 62, 106, 147.

Neither is that Objection more against us then against the word of God, while some say, If private Christians may teach, exhort and rebuke one another, then may they preach and expound the word of God.

I answer 1. For one private person to preach to one and that occasionally is no lesse unlawfull, then for one of intention and fore-setting time and place to preach to many.

2. The word maketh mutuall exhorting lawfull, and condemneth the mutuall preaching of private Chri­stians.

3. Private exhorting and teaching differ. 1. The Pa­stor rebuketh swearing as a publick watch-man, with care for many, Ex officio specialis delegationis, and au­thoritatively by the power of the keyes, the private person rebuketh swearing out of charity, with care onely of these with whom hee converseth withall, by noe power of the Keyes. A Watch-man giveth warning of the approach of the enemy, and the common Souldier may doe the same, the Schoole­master teacheth one lesson, the schoole-fellow tea­cheth that same, the one by office, the other of common Charity. 2. The Pastour interpreteth the word, the private person doeth but use, ap­ply and accommodate the sense and interpretation of the word to his owne act of beleeving, and the acts of admonishing, rebuking, comforting his brother.

Twelfthly they object against Synods. The Pope is the Antichrist, because he willeth men to appeale from their owne Churches to him, as Whittaker and Chamier. prove; but the doctrine of the Synods teach men to appeale [Page 260] from particular Churches to Synods, and by no word of God have Pastors power over other Congregations, nor their owne.

Answ. Antioch appealed from corrupt teachers, Acts 15. 2, 3. and that is Apostolike; but to appeale from a Church to a man of sin, as if he were the whole Church is Antichristian.

2. If sixe beleevers in a Congregation of forty be­leevers should censure a brother, our brethren would say that brother should appeale from these sixe (who yet make an independent Congregation) to the Church of forty, yet should not this be Antichristian.

3. To appeale from a Church as an unlawfull ju­dicatory is unlawfull, but to appeale from a lesser Church, as from a not competent Judge, to that same Church in a larger meeting is most lawfull.

4. That Pastors of divers Churches have power over many Congregations, being convened in a Synod is cleare, Acts 1. Acts 6. Acts 15.

13. They object, Obiect. 13. That this wanteth antiquity.

Answ. Conc [...]l. Sa [...]d c 17. This is said for the fashion,Con [...]l. Laodic. c. 12 what meaneth then the tomes of Councels,Con [...], Africa, c. 127 the Councell of Sardis, Laodicea, Conc. Toledo. 4. c. 25 Africa, August. con. dona­ [...] l. 2. c 3. Toledo 4. Canon Law, Cyprian, Augustine, Tertullus, Cypr. l. 2. ep. 3. Irene, Chrysostome, &c.

CHAP. XVII.
Whether or no some doe warrantably teach that a Pactor hath no pastorall power to preach and administrate the Sa­craments, without the bounds of his owne Congregation? and from whence essentially is the calling of a Pastor?

OVr brethren who teach that the ordination of Pa­stors is onely from that power of the keyes that they imagine to be in the body of beleevers must needs, [Page 261] holding such an humane ministeriall Church, fall in di­vers errors; as 1. that he cannot officiate pastorally without that number of beleevers, from whence essen­tially he hath his pastorall calling. 2. When the Chur­ches necessity shall call him to remove to another in­dependent flocke: He is no Pastor while he be ordai­ned and chosen of new by that flocke. So the English Pu­ritanisme, English Puritanis. c. 2. a [...] 6. p. 5. and M. Best. M. Best against Paget, p. 133, 134.

We hold that a Pastor may officiate, as a Pastor without his owne congregation.

1. Arg. That which the brotherhood and commu­nion of Sister-Churches requireth to be done, that Pa­stors may lawfully doe; but this the brotherhood of Sister-Churches requireth to be done, Ergo, &c. the as­sumption is proved, 1. Because death, or necessary ab­sence of Pastors, necessity of keeping the flocke. 2. Ne­cessity of convincing the gainsayers if the present Pa­stor be weake in learning, yet able to cut the word aright (saith M. Paget) requireth this.Pagets answer to Dave [...]port, p. [...]35. M. Best Church plea, p. 30, 31. M. Best answereth, Officers of Churches may be helpfull to other Churches, as Christians, but not as Ministers.

Answ. This Argument presupposeth that Pastors not as Pastors, but as Christians either may administer the Sacraments lawfully, and so any Christian may administer the Sacraments, which is both Popish and absurd, or that it is not lawfull for Pastors to administer the Sa­crament out of their owne congregation, or to any other of another congregation then their owne, and so yet communion of Sister-Churches, in these acts, is cleane taken away. 2. Our Argument is from Church-commu­nion not in Christian acts as Christian, but in ministe­riall acts as ministeriall.

2. Arg. If Ministers (as M. Paget argueth) may labour to convert unbeleeving strangers, and to adde them to their flocke, that they may enlarge Christs kingdome, then they may exercise Pastorall acts over, and above others then these of their owne charge; but the former is true, Ergo, so is the latter. The assumption is cleare, because Prov. [Page 262] 93. Wisdome sendeth out her maids to call in these that are without; and 1 Cor. 14. 24. the Prophets as Pro­phets were pastorally to convince; and so to con­vert In [...]idels, who were not of their charge. M. Best answereth, These acts are not acts of a Minister as a Mi­nister, a man and a wife, a father and a childe, a Pastor and a flocke are relatives, as I am a Father, I exercise not proper acts as a Father, but towards my owne children, what good I doe to others cannot be said to be the acts of a Father, but rather of a friend, a neighbour, a Christian, &c.

Answ. He presumeth that a Pastor may preach and exercise pastorall acts, as a Christian, but so all Chri­stians may pastorally preach though not called of God, contrary to the Scripture:Heb 5 4, [...]. Rom [...] 14, 15. 1 Tim. [...]. 21. Acts. 23. Acts 6 5. Acts 13. 2. Acts 1 [...]. 23. 2 Tim. 2. 2. 1 Tim 3 1, 1. Tit 1 5. Enerist ep 2. Cal [...]tu [...] ep 2 ad Epise. Gal c 3. [...] 3 c. de [...] Episc Vasquez in 3. Tho. To [...]. de sacr disp. 240. c. 1. n. 2. so women and private per­sons may invade the Pastors chare.

2. It is vaine to presse similitudes while they blood, for Christ properly is the bridegroome and husband of his Church, Eph. 5 6, 27. John 3. 29 Rev. 19. 9. Rev. 21. 9. Is [...]. 54 5. Pastors are but the [...] under sui­tors for the bridegroome, John 3. 29. This is Popish do­ctrine to make such a relation betwixt a mortall man and an independent Church. Pope Enaristus and Ca­lix [...]us saith, while the Bishop liveth, the Church can no more bee given to another, without his consent, nor the wife can bee given to another then to her owne hus­band, without his consent. And so said Innocentius the third therefore at the consecration, after impo­sition of hands (saith Vasquez) and anointing of the Bi­shop, and delivering to him a staffe, a consecrated and bles­sed ring is put on his ring-finger in token he is married to the Church; but what have we to do with such trash as this? For in a word, the comparison of a marriage in this point is either Popish or unseasonable, or both; because the mutuall consent betwixt A. B. and his wife, being essentially marriage, as the Canon Law, Divines, and sound Casuists acknowledge, it maketh A B. a hus­band, and also the husband of such a wife during their [Page 263] life-time; but election of the people that A. B. be their Pastor, and A. B. his acceptation of the Church as his charge, maketh him not both a Pastor, and also the Pa­stor of that Church; because the ordination of the Pres­bytery maketh A. B. formally and essentially a Pastor, I meane a called Pastor under Christ; but the election of the people and his consent doth not make him a Mi­nister, but doth only appropriate him after he is made a Minister to be the Minister of such a Church, and so the comparison halteth in the maine point for which it is alleadged; therefore A. B. is made indefinitely a Pastor for the Church, and is obliged to labour the conversion of all, within and without the bounds of his Church, in as far as he is a Pastor: But forasmuch as the Church thinketh good to appropriate his Ministery to this particular congregation, for the more commo­dious congregating and gathering of the sheep of Christ, he is not so their Pastor, as he cannot exercise Pasto­rall acts towards others also, neither doth the place, Acts 20. 28. and 1 Pet. 5. 2. insinuate any such marriage-relation betwixt Pastor and Parish, as that he is a Pastor to none but his owne Parish, for as he is to seed specially, these over which the Holy-Ghost hath made him overseer, and amongst whom he is principally by the Churches speciall appropriation and application of his ministery to them: So also hath the Holy-Ghost made him an over-seer to feed indefinitely, and as Gods providence shall offer occasion, as many as God hath pur­chased by his bloud, Acts 20. 28. and as many as are the Lords heritage, 1 Pet. 5. 3. whether they be of his owne congregation or no, as the words clearly import, and he is a Pastor to them as they are the Lords heritage conquered with his bloud, and not because he is appoin­ted Pastor over them, and no more.

3. Arg. Beleevers of divers congregations are mem­bers of a visible politicke body, and are to keep Church-communion together in exhorting, rebuking and com­forting one another, and so may eate bread at the [Page 264] Lords Table, and be made one body, 1 Cor. 10. 27. but by this doctrine they may not eat at one Table of the Lord; For if the Pastor may not administer the Sacra­ment lawfully to persons of divers congregations, nei­ther may they receive the Lords Supper from him; for if it be unlawfull for the Pastor to administer the Sa­crament to these of other congregations, seeing he is to them as a Non-Pastor, and as a Christian only, they cannot lawfully receive the Supper of the Lord from a Non-Pastor: Yea, and Pastors baptizing Infants of other congregations doe sinne, and these Infants thus bapti­zed are In [...]idels and non-baptized, because they are bap­tized by one who is a Non-Minister to the bapti­zed.

4. Arg. 4. Arg. That opinion must be reasonlesse and with­out ground, the speciall reason and ground whereof is false. But the speciall ground and reason of this opinion is false, Ergo, &c. I prove the assumption: The speciall ground thereof is, that ordination and election of Pa­stors are all one, and that Pastors have essentially their calling from the election of the people; but there be wide differences betwixt ordination of a Pastor which essentially maketh him a Pastor, and the peoples chu­sing him to be their Pastor;The [...] in. 1. as 1. that all Divines ac­cording to Gods Word make them different things,Tim. 4. 14. as doe Theophylact, Cypr. ep. 33. Cyprian, Athan ep. ad O [...]th. Ambros. com. in 1 Tim. 5. Athanasius, Ambrose, Chryso­stome, Hyperius, Aretius, Professors of Leyden, Morneus, Plessaeus, [...]hrys. [...]om. 13. in 1 Tim. Zanchius, Willet, Gers. Bucer, Zipperus. 2. The word of God restraineth ordination of officers to Pa­stors,Hyper. in 1 Tim. 4. 1 Tim. 4. 14. 1 Tim. 5. 22. 2 Tim. 2. 2. Tit. 1. 5.Ar [...] in 1 Tim. 4. Acts 6. 6.Profess Leyd. disp. 42. [...]n. 32. Ecc▪ M. Plesseus de p. 30. Acts 13. 1, 2, 3. and ascribeth election of offi­cers to the people, Acts 6. v. 5. 3. Ordination is an act of authority and supreme jurisdiction conjoyned with fasting, Zanch in 4 praecep Wille [...] Synop. pap p. 2. cont. 5. q. 3 Gers Buce [...] degub. Eccl. sect 86. p. [...]35. Zipp [...]r. de Pol. Eccl. 2. c. 1 [...]. n. 8, 9, 10. praying, and laying on of the hands of the Elders; but publ [...]e praying and dedicating the Pastor to Christs service with imposition of hands is given to Pastors, Acts 6. 6. 1 Tim. 4. 14. Acts 13. 1, 2, 3. but never to the multitude of beleevers: Give an instance in all the [Page 265] Scripture of the ordination of Pastors and officers of the New Testament that way. No man ever alleadged any; one place in Numbers they bring, where the children of Israel are said to lay on hands on the Levites; but judge how six hundred thousand sighting men could all lay their hands on the Levites? and these were not all Israel, but certainly these must be the heads and Princes of Tribes, who put hands on the Levites, as the word is often taken, as I observed before. Now ordination is an act of juris­diction, such as is to send an Embassador; but that an Embassador consent to goe (such as is election) is no act of jurisdiction: For a father to give his daughter in marriage to one is an authoritative act of a father; but for the daughter to consent to the choise, is no act of authority, but an act of her private choise. 2. Or­dination is that which formally makes the man and Pastor: The peoples election doth only appropriate the mans ministery to such and such a people: It is one thing to make a gold ring, this is an act of art, and another thing to propine and gift the ring to such a person. M. Jacob saith, the people hath power to reject a Minister who is unworthy; True, they have power to reiect him from being their Minister, but their power of election or re­jection hath no influence in either ordaining him to be a Pastor, or rejecting him from being no Pastor.

Neither is it much that M. Best saith, 1. Obiect. that in this an Apostle differeth from the Pastor, that the Apostle is a Pastor through the whole Christian world, but the Pastor is tyed to a certaine congregation out of which he is not a Pastor.

Answ. We allow of no Pastors ordained Pastors with­out a certaine flocke; but this hindereth not, but ordi­nation of a Pastor is one thing, and tying of a Pastor to be a Past [...]r of such a flocke is another thing, and that these two come from divers causes and grounds. An Apostle was a Pastor to all the world, yet might he exercise pa­storall acts of preaching and praying towards these peo­ple who would not receiue his ministery, and against [Page 266] whom he was to shake off the dust of his feet, Mat. 10. as a witnesse, and a Pastor is only the Pastor of that flocke over the which the Holy-Ghost by the Churches authority hath set him as their Pastor; but yet so, as when he prea­cheth in another congregation, he ceaseth not to be a Pastor, howbeit he be not the Pastor of that flocke.

They object, Obiect. 2. The essence of a Pastor is from something, but it can be from nothing but from the consent of the people. So M. Jacob.Hen. Iac. of Chu [...]. govern. c 7: p. 168.

Answ. The pastorall calling is essentially from some­thing, but it is not from the consent of the people; because a man may exercise pastorall acts of preaching toward these who are most unwilling to receive his ministery, Ergo, the pastorall calling must be essentially from the ordination of Elders, 1 Tim. 4. 14.

3. They object, Obiect. 3. Whatsoever is essentiall at some times and places for the making of a Minister, is essentiall for ever; but the peoples consent at some times and places is for the making of a Minister essentiall, and no other thing at that time can be essentiall: For example, when Chri­stians came first out of Antichristian tyranny, when there are no lawfull Pastors, and in the first conversion of the Indies, Separatist Protest. anno 1616. a [...]. 10. 3. pe [...]. pos 5. p. 47. M Jacob Church gov [...]n. [...]. 7. p. 47. where there are no Pastors. So Separatists and M. Jacob.

Answ. I borrow this Argument, what is essentiall at some time and places for the making of a Pastor is ever­more essentiall; but ordination of Pastors by Pastors, and sending them to preach to the Indies, who are unwil­ling to receive their ministery is onely essentiall to make a man sent thither a Pastor; for peoples consent in that case cannot be essentiall, where they will not give their consent at all, and non ens cannot be essentiall to the ma­king of a Pastor.

2. What is essentiall for making a Minister who is extraordinarily called of God, is not ever more essen­tiall to the making of a Minister ordinarily called of God, in an Island where the Gospell is, if all the Pastors should dye, the people might chuse Pastors to themselves, but [Page 267] they could not then make Pastors, God onely without the ministery of other Pastors in that case should make Pastors; but it followeth not hence that Pastors ordina­rily have not their calling to be Pastors from the ordina­tion of Pastors.

4. They object, Obiect. 4. When the Church electeth her Pastor, she saith, we give thee A. B. power to administer the word, seales and censures, and the Minister doth possesse and as­sume. Ergo, the people election is the essence of a Ministers calling.Smith ce [...]s. paral▪ p 112, 113. So John Smith.

Answ. It is presupposed by order of nature, that A. B. is first called and ordained a Pastor by Christ, and [...] laying on the hands of the Elders, 1 Tim. 4. 14. before the people can elect him for their Pastor: For if A. B. be no Pastor, people cannot chuse him to be their Pa­stor, neither doth the peoples election give any such po­wer to A. B. That power is given by the Presbyteries act of ordination, by order of nature, before the peoples formall act of election: As the husband who in a La­pidaries shop chooseth a gold ring for his wife, and putteth it on her finger, presupposeth it was a gold ring before his chusing thereof, neither doth his chusing thereof make it a gold-ring, but onely make it his wifes gold-ring by application to her: Just so, peoples ele­ction appropriateth such a man who is already a Pastor to such a charge, but doth not make the Pastor a Pastor, but chuseth him only to be their Pastor.

5. Smith laboureth to prove that the ministery com­meth not by succession from Ministers: Obiect. 5. For then (saith he) the ministery should be before there were any Church;Smith paral. [...]2. but the Church is before the ministery, and calleth the Mini­sters to office.

Answ. The Church ministeriall, the governing Church, whereof we now speake, cannot be before there be a ministery; for then there should be Ministers before there be Ministers, which is against common sense: The Church mysticall is before the Church ministeriall, I grant; but a Church mysticall, or a Church of be­leevers [Page 268] may chuse Pastors before they can ordinarily be their Pastors, but they cannot make Pastors: Yea, and God at same times supplyeth the want of popular ele­ction, while he calleth one to preach to a people, never consenting he shall be their Pastor, and so neither can the objector maintaine a succession of beleevers alwayes calling Ministers, nor doe we hold a constant ordina­tion of Pastors in a continuall line of succession from the Apostles made by Pastors, the succession may be interrupted, but then God himselfe supplyeth the want of ordinary ordination appointed by himselfe, 1 Tim. 4. 14. Tit. 1. 5. 1 Tim. 5. 21, 22. Acts. 6. 6.

6. They object, 6. Obiect. If a Ministeriall power come (saith M. Smith),Smith. ib. by succession from Presbyteries, then are Pres­byters Lords of the Churches faith, in respect that the Church cannot enioy the holy things of God, howbeit she be of her selfe the body and Spouse of Christ, without the Pres­byters consent.

Answ. Any may here see right downe Anabaptisme, because the Church cannot enjoy pastorall preaching, and the Sacraments without Pastors appointed of Christ for that effect, Mat. 28. 18, 19. John 20. 21, 22, 23. Mar. 16. 15. therefore Pastors are Lords of the peoples faith, so they may have Baptisme and the Supper of the Lord, because they are Christs Spouse and body, with­out Pastors.

2. By this goodly Argument, private beleevers prea­ching and baptizing are Lords of the faith of other pri­vate beleevers, who are their hearers, because notwith­standing that private beleevers be the body and Spouse of Christ of themselves; yet can they not, by M. Smiths reasoning, enioy the holy things of God, without the mi­nistery of private Christians preaching and administra­ting to them the Sacraments.

7. Smith objecteth, [...]. Obiect. If ministeriall power come by succes­sion from Ministers, then Ministers may excommunicate the whole Church of Christ.

Answ. This is most weake, Illud tantum possumus [Page 269] quod de iure possumus. And by this reason the beleevers may excommunicate the whole ministery also, which is no lesse absurd.

8. Smith addeth, 8. Object. If the Eld [...]rs and Deacons dye, the succession faileth, and a mnisteriall power of Christ [...]eing once lost can never be recovered againe, and so there shall be no Ministers in the world.

Answ. Suppose in this or that Church all the Mini­sters should dye, yet it followeth not that a Ministery can utterly faile in the Church: It is contrary to Eph. 4. 11. and to the perpetuity of Christs kingly govern­ment and Thr [...]ne,Psal. [...]9. 36. 37▪ which shall endure as the dayes of hea­ven: Psal. 72. v. 4, 5, 6. And what if God extraordinarily supply the want of ordination in this or that particular Church? A mi­nisteriall power is conferred in that case immediately upon some, in a Church removed from any Church-consociation from other Churches, and so Christs ministe­riall power dieth not.

9. Smith re [...]soneth thus, 9. Obiect. to prove that beleevers may ordaine their owne officers, That which is given by Christ to the Church is in the power and possession of the Church, but officers and offices are given to the Church.

Answ. What is given to the Church sinaliter & ob­iectivè, that is for the behoofe and good of the Church, for their edification and salvation as Gods proposed end, such as preaching and baptizing, that is in the Churches power and possession, is most false, and so I deny the maior proposition; for preaching and baptizing is gi­ven by Christ for the good and salvation of women and private Christians; yet women and private Christians may not preach, baptize and ordaine Ministers. What­soever is given to the Church, subiectivè, as to the proper subject, Mistresse and Spouse, to dispose and carve upon at her pleasure, is in the Churches power and possession: It is true, but now the assumption is false, because offi­cers and offices are not so given to the Church of be­leevers as to the subject. Christ ascending on high, gave Pastors and teachers for the Church of beleevers, for their [Page 270] gathering and perfecting, but not to the Church of belee­vers.

10. If two or three (saith M. Smith) faithfull ones have power to make a Church,10. Object. then have they power to make the Ministers of the Church, but two or three have power to make a Church. Ergo, two or three faithfull ones have power to make the Ministers of a Church. He proveth the major. They who can doe the greater can doe the lesse, to make a Church is greater; for the Church is the Body, Spouse and Wife, the Ministers are but an ornament of the body, and so the lesse: The assumption he proveth, two or three faithfull ones have Christ, the holy things of David, the promises. Ergo, two or three have power to make a Church.

Answ. These who can make a Church mysticall have power to make a Church ministeriall, or Ministers of a Church: that I deny: As for the probation, this pro­position (These who can doe the greater can doe the lesse) must be right taken: It is true, in these same kind of works, and in the same kind of power. Christ can for­give sinnes, Ergo, he can doe lesse, he can say to a sicke man, take up thy bed and walke: So if by prayer Jacob obtaine a blessing from God, which is greater, then by prayer he will obtaine deliverance out of the hands of Esau, which is lesse; but in powers of divers kinds it holdeth not true: A beleever by prayer may obtaine grace and perseverance, which is greater, but it follow­eth not, Ergo, hee can open the eyes of the blind, and worke miracles, which is lesse; and therefore howbeit three can make a mysticall Church, which is greater, by a power of saving grace (which is gratia gratum faciens) It followeth not, that therefore they have a ministeriall and pastorall power of the keyes (which is gratia gratis data) to preach and make Ministers: For then, because Mary Magdalen hath power to beleeve that Christ buri­ed shall rise againe from the death, which is greater; therefore she hath power to preach and baptize, which is a lesser power: He who hath power to make a ship, hath not for that power to make a cup.

[Page 271] 11. Smith reasoneth thus: These who have the true matter and forme, have the property which ariseth from the matter and forme, that is Christs ministeriall power to as­sume all the meanes of their edification to salvation; but two or three faithfull ones are the true matter of the Church of the New Testament, and therefore have the true forme or covenant of the New Testament, and so have a ministeriall power arising from these two.

Answ. These who have the true matter and forme of a mysticall Church of beleevers, these have the union and property of a mysticall Church resulting from matter and forme, is most true; but they have not for that the true property of a ministeriall Church; faith, and the covenant written in the heart is not the forme of a ministeriall Church, but of a mysticall Church of beleevers. Sixe borne Scottish men dwelling in Paris, make a body of Scottish men; but they are not for that a politicke body of Scottish men living according to the Lawes of Scotland: Foure beleevers are a mysti­call Church borne over againe by the Spirit of Christ; but if they be no more but single beleevers, they are not for that a ministeriall Church, which is necessari­ly a politicke body governed by Christs Lawes, con­sisting of shepheard and flocke: But this man will have three beleevers, because they are beleevers, to be Ministers, and so taketh away all vocation and ordi­nation of Church-officers by the Churches authority, which is flat Anabaptisme.

CHAP. XVIII.
Certaine Quaeres anent independencie of Congregations.

Quaere 1. IF the independencie of Congregations stand, whether or no is a Democracie, and the actu­all government of the Church in the peoples hands?

I answer affirmatively, seeing calling, ordination, cen­suring, depriving, and judiciall excommunication of Church-guides are in their hand, I see not what they want, and wherein Morellius erred.

2. Quaere. Seeing hence it followeth that single be­leevers are to pray publikely, and exhort publikely, and authoritatively convince gainsayers at the ordination and deprivation of Pastors, if they may not also publikely preach and administer the Sacrament?

I answer: If you give to single beleevers one pastorall Act, you may with the like weight of reason give to them all.

3. Whether or no is a ministery necessary in a visible Church?

I answer: seeing all these eminent acts of the Pasto­rall charge by an ordinary power may be performed by single beleevers, I cannot see any necessity of a Mini­stery.

4. Whether or no then is every mysticall Church of beleevers, because it is such, a ministeriall Church, ha­ving the keyes both in use and power?

I answer: The former doctrine standing it is.

5. If every one borne of God be not by that birth borne also a Key-bearer to open and shut Heaven?

I answer, he is.

6. If hence a Senate of Elders who laid on hands at ordination of Ministers, 1 Tim. 4. 14. 1 Tim. 5. 22. Acts 6. 6. be not then quite out of the Church?

I answer, in Churches independent it is quite gone.

[Page 273] 7. If then all beleevers as well as the Apostles, and Paul, Timothy and Titus are not to lay hands on Pastors?

Answer, no doubt they are, but precept or practise ther­fore in the Apostolike Church I see none.

8. If the doctrine of refusing Baptisme to Infants, whose nearest parents are not, one of them, at least, be­leevers, doth not inferre, that such a Church, where they are baptized is a false Church in the matter, and so in its constitution false? Hence I leave it to be answered by authors of independencie, if they should not separate from such a Church?

9. Seeing we judge Papists cruell in excluding from glory unbaptized Infants, when election and reprobation hath place in Infants not borne, Rom. 9. v. 11. If we can judge Infants borne of nearest parents unbeleevers, as the children of Pagans & Turks without the Covenant; and if the sins of one unbeleeving Father, where many foregoing generations have been lovers of God, and kee­pers of his Commandements, doth exclude the Infants from the Covenant made with these beleeving forefathers?

Answ. We are to judge them in no Covenant with God by the former doctrine. Hence we require that pla­ces of Scripture where God is said to shew mercy on a wicked race of people: Yea, whose nearest parents were most wicked rejectors of Gods Covenant, and that for the Covenant made with Abraham, as Joshuah, 5. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Ezech. 20. v. 8, 9, 10. v. 18, 19, 20, 21, 22. Psal. 106. 6, 7, 8, 9. and v. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, &c. v. 44, 45, 46. may be considered.

10. If children laden with iniquity, and the seed of evill­doers, Isa. 1. 4. doth beget in the visible Church a gene­ration which is no more holy with externall and fede­rall holinesse, th [...]n Indians and [...]artarians who never heard of Christ: And seeing such a generation hath by the former grounds no right to the meanes of salvation, we aske with what faith we can keep any Church-com­munion with such, yea how the Gospell can be preached to them.

[Page 274] 11. Whether or no we are to keep some Church-communion with an excommunicate person, who is to be rebuked as a brother, 2 Thes. 3. 15. and so is to be a hearer of the word, and for whose good we use the medicine of excommunication, that his spirit may be sa­ved in the day of the Lord, 1 Cor. 5. 4. We aske if (the doctrine of Independencie standing) we are not also to­tally to separate from an excommunicate person in the very externall Church-communion of hearing the word, seeing ten excommunicated persons joyned in Covenant for hearing of the word, are no Church, no Body, no Spouse of Christ. We see not how we are not by the for­mer grounds totally to separate from them.

12. If we may rebuke a particular Church, and if she re­maine obstinate, and will not heare, why may we not pro­ceed acording to Christs order, Mat. 18 & tell the Church?

Answ. By the former grounds we are to stand at single rebuking, and proceed no farther.

13. Suppose the independent Congregation consist of ten Elders and an hundred beleevers: If the ten El­ders abide sound in the faith, and the hundred belee­vers erre in fundamentall points of faith: In that case we aske, 1. If Christ have appointed no pastorall or mi­nisteriall act of discipline to reclaime these hundred who erre from the faith.

I answer, none at all which may, authoritatively re­claime them, for they are the supreame independent Church. 2. Because it cannot be denyed but Pastors and Doctors of the s [...]id Eldership may preach against their errours, and shoot Heaven upon the pertinacious defen­dors of these p [...]rnicio [...]s errors, and that by the power of the keyes, Mat. 16. 19. Jo [...]. 20. 23. yet have they no power of discipline to shut Heaven upon them, who thus erre from the faith, nor to bind their sins on earth, because the Eldership is not the Church, neither hath power of j [...]isdiction over the hundred erring beleevers. How can a power of binding and loosing by way of prea­ching, and that both in Gods Court and the Churches be in [Page 275] these who have no power of discipline to bind and loose.

14. Seeing the Sister-Churches of Colosse and Lao­dic [...]a, Col. 4. 16. and of Corinth, Macedonia, Achaia, Galathia, 2 Cor. 8. 1, 2, 3, 18, 19, 23, 24. chap. 9. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. are consociated together in a visible body, in externall acts of Gods worship, as to heare one and the same word of God, Col. 4. 16. and to doc Church-businesse and works of mercy toward the poore by their dele­gates and commissioners: We aske if consociated Chur­ches tyed together in a visible Church-communion of acts of divine worship be not with as good reason a visible po­litick body of Christ, as many beleevers consociated in a Church-communion, if acts of divine worship doth make a particular Congre-gation. 2. If the former Church hath not the power of the keyes upon the grounds of a visible Church-communion among themselves, as a Congregati­on hath the power of the keyes upon these same grounds? 3. If these consociated Churches be not a visible Body, Spouse, and covenanted people with God in Christ, as well as a little Congregation of sixe or ten beleevers? 4. If such a greater body may not meet in their overseers, and ex­ercise discipline, and governe the particular Congrega­tions, as a Congregation doth meet in their principall members, and governe themselves, and all the members of the particular Congregation 5. We aske a reason, why in a Congregation of three hundred beleevers par­taking one Word and Sacrament, a hundred of the three separated from the other two hundred cannot meet and exercise the power of the keyes by themselves alone, because one worship, and one government doth equally concerne them all, and by that same reason it should not be affirmed of ten Congregations, all partaking one Word and Sacraments upon occasions which neighbourly con­sociation doth furnish, that one cannot meet to exercise discipline in matters which in reason equally concer­neth all the ten Congregations without subordination to the joynt authority of all the ten? For if a hundred of three hundred cannot exercise discipline there alone, [Page 276] without the other two, reason would inforce one or two congregations of ten consociated congregations cannot meet, without subordination to the whole ten, wherof one or two congregations are part; if ten be owners of one ship, six cannot meet and dispose or sell the ship, or repaire her cordadge, or any decayed part, without the power of the other foure, whom it concerneth; so if ten congregations be visible owners and copartners of one Gospell one worship, one externall profession, and one communion with a brother, or separation from a scandalous person, we aske a reason how one con­gregation can meet and dispose of that common wor­ship, government, and haunting familiarly with, or se­parating from a member of the Church, without sub­ordination to all the ten congregations, whom it doth concerne?

15. If the Eldership of one congregation make one visible representative Church ruling and governing the absents, we aske why the Eldership of six congrega­tions may not judicially meet and rule six congregati­ons also?

16. If the power of the keyes be given to belee­vers, as beleevers, because Christ is their King, Priest and Prophet, and all things are theirs, Paul, Apollo, Cephas, the world?

1. It is asked, if none have the power of the keyes, but beleevers, and if all acts pastorall of preaching, binding and loosing, excommunicating performed by unbelee­ving Ministers and Professours be not hence made null, as performed à non hab [...]ntibus potestatem, as if Turkes and Pagans had performed these? We thinke they must be null.

2. We thinke children baptized by unbeleeving Mi­nisters not baptized.

3. An unbeleeving pastor not essentially a pastor.

4. If, because Christ is given to the elect, and all things are theirs, and so all ministeriall power of the keyes, it is questioned, if amongst these all things given to the [Page 277] beleevers, we may not include the Magistrates sword, the Kings power, the masters power over the servant, the Captains power over the souldier, so that by that same reason there be no Kings, no Judges, no Masters, no Captains, save only beleevers, we see not how this followes not, as well as that the power of the keyes, and all things are given to beleevers, because Christ is given to them.

5. We aske if the power of the keyes in binding and retaining sinnes be not given to unbeleevers, or rather for them as Gods intended end, to declare the glory of his Justice in the vessels of wrath, as Rom. 9. 17. Esa. 8. 14. 2 Cor. 2. 16. 2 Cor. 10. 6, 7, 8.

17. Quere. If the distinction of a true Church. 2. A false Church, and 3. no Church can stand? And if the distinction of true baptisme, 2. false baptisme, but valid and such as is not to be repeated, 3. and no baptisme can stand?

I answer, the doctrine of independency standing, we see not how a Church wanting the right matter and consisting of members who are not professed beleevers having saving faith, can be any thing but a non-Church, and such as is a non-Spouse, a non-body of Christ, and a non-covenanted people, and so wanting all power of the keyes.

Qu [...]re. If the baptisme of that congregation can be va­lid baptisme, not to be repeated, I leave to the considera­tion of the learned. Yea, if the Minister be an unbeleever by the former grounds, it can be no baptisme. But some [...]ay it is the baptisme of the Church, and so valid, suppose the Minister be an unbeliever, and so want power.

I answer, the whole congregation may be unbelievers, as is the Minister, and so yet the baptisme comming from the Church, cometh from these who want power, and cannot be valid.

2. Suppose the congregation be a company of believers, yet I see not how by their authority they can make the [Page 278] baptizing of a Pastor wanting all power to be valid, for then if the Church should baptize by a Turke or a Wo­man, that baptisme should be valid, which no man can say.

18. What sort of an Assembly was the meeting, Act. 15. if it was a lawfull Synod of sundry particular Chur­ches, or an extraordinary meeting, the practice whereof doth not oblige us? If it was a meere Apostolick meeting obliging as Apostolick, and if it oblige us as Aposto­lick, how commeth it that the multitude spake, and gave their mind in that which obligeth us as Cano­nick Scripture? For that the multitude spake our bre­thren collect from v. 12. and how is it that Elders and brethren determine in penning Canonick Scripture? Except the first be said, there be many doubts here, of which the way of independency cannot cleare us?

Q. 19. How commeth it that the Lords Apostles, who were to goe through all the Nations of the world to preach the Gospell, doe so often assemble together to consult about the common affairs of the Church and discipline, as Act. 1. Act. 2. Act. 4. Act. 6. 4. Act. 8. 14. Act. 11. 1. Act. 13. 1, 2, 3. Act. 15. Act. 21. 18. Act. 20. Paul and the Elders of Ephesus, v. 17, 18. 1 Tim. 4. 14. it is questioned seeing these assemblies of many pastors from sundry Churches (because the Scriptures saith they were occasioned by the present necessity of ordering things belonging to all the particular Churches) if they were only temporary, extraordinary and Apostolick meetings, which oblige not us to the like practise, how­beit there be the like cause of meetings in the Church now, as errours and corrupt doctrine in many particular Churches, as were Act. 15. the murmurings betwixt Churches, as Act. 6. a suspitious practise of a pastor, which seemeth to be against Gods law, as Peters going in to the uncircumcised, Act. 11.

20. Whither or not Paul did not some things as an A­postle, as writing of Canonick Scripture, working of [Page 279] miracles. 2. And some things as a Christian, as Phil. 3. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. 3. And some things as an ordinary Elder and Pastor of the Church delivering some persons to Satan, 1 Cor. 5. 4. and whither or no is Pauls rod and authority, and his power of excommunicating, whereof he speaketh, 1 Cor. 4. 21. 1 Cor. 5. 4. 2 Cor. 10. 8. com­mon to all believers? Our brethren must say, it is common to all believers.

21. If the power of the keyes be given to all believers, a question is, 1. If Pastors have no other power of the keyes, but that same that believers have, seeing the ground of Christs gift is one and the same, to wit, alike interest in Christ, and if alike power of preaching, baptizing, ex­communicating be in Paul, and all believers? 2. Whi­ther or no the calling of Christ and his Church doth not superadde and conf [...]rre to him who is made a pastour some farther power of the keyes, then h [...] had before he was cloathed with any such cal [...]ing, seeing, to re­buke, exhort and comfort one another, are d [...]ties of the law of nat [...]e, and would oblige all, suppose Christ had given the [...] of the keyes to none at all, wee see not, but our brethren must deny that the calling of the Church giveth any other power of the keyes then the believer had before he was called. 3. If there be not a greater power of preaching, baptizing and binding and loosing in the believers then in pastors, seeing believers give the power to pastours, and may take it away a­gaine.

22. If six believers be excommunicated, and that just­ly, clave non errante, yet remaining believers, it is questi­oned, if they keepe not still the power of the keys? they must keepe that power, and yet are no members of Christs visible body.

23. I desire a place may be produced in all the old or new Testament, where a ministeriall or governing Church is taken for a company of only believers? This our bre­thren teach.

24. If all authoritative Assemblies, for renewing a co­venant [Page 280] with God, restoring of the worship of God, be 1. A part of the paedagogy of the law of Moses, and removed by Christ? 2. If these Assemblies in the Churches of Christ now be a species of Judaisme? This we deny.

25. If believers exercising the most eminent acts of ordaining pastors, publick censuring, depriving and ex­communicating pastors, publick convincing gain-sayers, be not formally hence made by our brethren, over-seers, watch-men for the soules of Pastors and guides, and so Pa­stors of Pastors? We answer affirmatively, they are by the former grounds.

26. Let the godly and learned consider, if the Patrons of independent Churches are not to give obedience to Decrees and Canons of Synods, for the necessity of the matter, as a brotherly counsell from Gods Word ob­ligeth in conscience the brother to whom the counsell and advise is given; howbeit the tye be not authoritative by the power of the keyes, and if in that they are not to conforme.

CHAP. XIX.
Doubts against Presbyteriall government discussed, as a­bout ruling Elders, Deacons, Widowes, the Kings pow­er in things ecclesiasticall.

Quest. 1. HOw doth Calvin and Cartwright deny that the Apostle speaketh of ruling Elders, Tit. 1. and yet Junius and Beza, Calv, in Tit. 1. [...]artwright. l. 3. p. 35. that both a preaching and ru­ling Elder are there comprehended,Ju [...]us. [...] [...]vey c. 12. So the authour of the sur­vey of discipline.

Answ. A great question anent the latitude of an haire; how doth many Formalists make the Prelate an humane creature, and some jure humano, and yet Land of Canter­bury [Page 281] and D. Hall maketh him, jure divino.

2. An office may be described two wayes. 1. Direct­ly and expressely, as the Pastor, 1 Tim. 3. 2. Indirectly, as many things agreeing to the Deacon, as that he hold the mystery of saith in a good conscience, [...]e be sober, grave, faith­full in all things, &c. all which are required in the Doctor and Pastor also.

Quest. 2. How are the ruling Elders, 1 Tim. 3. omit­ted where the officers are named? Paul passeth from the Bishop to the Deacon, omitting the ruling Elder: So is hee omitted, Ephesian. 3. 11 Philip. 1. 1. it is like they are not of Christs making, who are not in Christs rowle.

Answ. Either the Prelate or the Presbyter is omitted, 1 Tim. 3. Phil. 1. not the preaching Presbyter, as is cleare by the description agreeing onely to him. Ergo, the Prelate is out of Christs rowle.

2. Doctors are omitted, Phil. 1. 1. 1 Tim. 3. and yet are set downe, Eph. 4. 11. yet are ruling Elders in other places, as Rom. 12. 1 Cor. 12.

3. Paul, 1 Tim. 3. is not describing offices, but giveth Canons, which generally agreeth to all Church-officers, howbeit he giveth instance in two, yet in such two as includeth all the rest, as he that laboureth in tea­ching and governing, and he that taketh care of the Church goods. When Moses describeth the Judge, he sheweth what a man the King, the Justice of peace, the Sheriffe, the Major of a City, the Lord of the pri­vy Councell should be, howbeit these be not named in the Text. Hence, because they are not named, it fol­loweth not that they are omitted, and not spoken of in the Text.

Quest. 3. But Elders are not, 1 Cor. 12. 29. nor yet, Rom. 12. but only governours (saith Whytgift and Dr. Field) and it is an ill argument, à genere ad speciem affir­mativè, he nameth gouernours, it followeth not therfore he na­meth your governing Elders.

Answ. 1. Where Paul setteth downe in order officers by their speciall names, ordinary and extraordinary, as [Page 282] first Apostles, secondarily Prophets, thirdly Teachers, &c. he cannot reckon out generals only, for so Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, should be also but generals, for the words in Scripture also signifie generals.

2. The enumeration should halt, which yet is orderly set down, if it were composed of a number of particulars and the generals of some easten in amongst them.

Neither can some here well understand the civill Magi­strate. 1. Because he speaketh of the Church as the body of Christ consisting of divers members ecclesiasticall, And God hath set some i [...] the Church, and also he spea­keth of the Church, Rom. 12. 5. seeing wee being many are one body in Christ, and in that place the ruler is clearly differenced from the teaching Doctor, v. 7. from the exhorting Pastour, and him who showeth mercy in the Church, but the civill Magistrate is not a Church officer whom God hath set in the Church, as hee hath set Apostles, Prophets, &c. for God hath set him in [...], in the Common-wealth, and his in­fluence in governing Gods house is meerely civill, co­active and regall, not pastorall, ecclesiastick and mini­steriall.

Neither yet can the place be meant of the governing Prelate. 1. Because the Prelate is thought to be the Apo­stles successour and is first in the roule, but the governours heere are some steps posterior to Apostles, Prophets, &c. 2. Because the Prelate giveth himselfe out to be a certaine preaching creature, such as it may be, 1 Tim. 3. 2. Tit. 1. 9. but the governours here in this lincke are contra-distinguished from Prophets and Teachers, and so the Prelate should either be a sole lord governor and no teacher, or then he shall be twise, yea thrice named in one verse, 1. under the name of an Apostle, next under the name of a Prophet, and lastly, should come in as a go­vernour, so the Prelate, as in Church and State, so also in the Bible, he should carry too much booke. Now see­ing here are governours in the Church, contra-distingui­shed from Prophets and Teachers, from a just enumerati­on [Page 283] they must be ruling Elders, and it is to be observed that the Apostle saith not, Are all Arch-bishops? are all Primates? And surely the Jesuites have no l [...]sse roome without th [...]ong to pinne in, in this wall, under the name of helpes and governments, their regular Canons and secular Priests, Til [...] Par ad Scot. Dilo [...]l. alt. Da [...]as. p. 918. as Formalists can alledge for Prelates and their long tayle. What Tilenus saith against this place is fully answered by Didoclavius, for because the Apostle confoundeth or rather reckoneth together in one enumeration ordinary and extraordinary functions in the Church, will it follow he doth not here speake of ruling Elders? If that reason be good, neither is the Prelate here, nor is the Pastor or the Doctor here, and if there be who excell in the gift of governing, who yet ar [...] not called to preach, who can deny the necessity of this office?

Many answers are given to elude the force of that place,Ruling Elders proved from 1 Tim. 5. 17. 1 Tim. 5. 17. The Elders who rule well, &c. shall ever inforce that loytering Pastors, who labour not in the Word and Doctrine are commended by the Spirit of God, as worthy of double honour. For wee reason thus.

If these sort of Elders who rule well, and especially these who labour in the Word and Doctrine are wor­thy of double honour, then are there two sorts of Elders, some who rule well, and some who labour in the Word and Doctrine.

But the former is said, 1 Tim. 5. 17.

Ergo, The latter must be true.

The proposition in terminis almost is our thesis, if two sorts of Elders bee worthy of double honour, then are there two sort of Elders, for à qualitate & ab adjuncto subjecti ponitur subjectum ipsum: Al­so if Paul make the well ruling Elder worthy of double honour, and more especially the teaching Elder, then hee acknowledgeth some well-ruling Elder worthy of double honour, howbeit, hee labour not in the Word. A reason is; because the [Page 284] positive and comparative are ever differenced, and ma­keth a number, when both are specified with particula­rities as here, they are by (well-ruling) and (labouring in the word and doctrine.) The Author of the Survay durst not looke this place in the face. Bilson, Field and Tylen deny our major proposition.

If one should say (say they) a preacher is worthy of dou­ble honour, especially a painfull Preacher, he should not say there be two kinds of Preachers, some Preachers thus and thus, and some painfull Preachers, and a King is worthy of honour, especially a iust King, he should not make two sorts; some are Kings, and some are iust Kings, as Deacons and Pastors are two sort of Offices.

Answ. He who saith a Pastor is worthy of honour espe­cially a painfull Pastor, should clearly insinuate that two sort of honours were due to Pastors two wayes con­sidered; For in the former part he should speake of the office, which indeed is worthy of honour; In the latter part he should speake of the officer in concreto, laudably discharging his office; but Paul speaketh not so; for he speaketh not of the office, and the officer, of the abstract and concret, of the office, and the use and exercise of the office, as is here alleadged; but he speaketh of officers in the exercise and use of their of­fice in both: He saith not Elders are worthy of ho­nour, for that might well beare this sense; that the office of an Elder is worthy of double honour, which sense should be most true; for the office of an Elder is worthy of double honour, which sense should be most true; for the office of an Elder is worthy of honour. Suppose the man be wicked; but the Apostle speaketh not of the office, but the officers, and the praise-worthy exercise of the office: The Elders who rule well are wor­thy of double honour, and so the example is not alike.

2. If Paul had put downe a generall onely in the former part, and said, an Elder is worthy of honour, this answer might have had some colour (howbeit but a colour) But now Paul putteth downe a speciall: El­ders [Page 285] who rule well are worthy of double honour; and with these another speciall sort of Elders, especially these who labour in the word and doctrine; and so clearly he set­teth downe two particular species and sorts of Elders: Now to make good the sense of the objectors of this, they must say, a worthy Preacher who ruleth well is wor­thy of double honour, but especially a worthy Preacher is worthy of double honour; Therefore of necessity some Elders who rule well must be meaned in the former part, who are not meaned in the second, and these can in good reason be no other but ruling Elders and tea­ching Elders; for these same sort of Elders cannot be un­derstood in both places.

3. And this sense, suppose it should stand, should have but a colour of reason, because you shall never find the Spirit of God commend and praise the simple exercise of an office; but the right and conscientious exercise thereof. Gods Spirit will not say, he who ruleth, and he who preacheth is worthy of double honour; but he who ruleth well and preacheth well is worthy of dou­ble honour.

4. By this wild interpretation men may be [...], well-governing Pastors, who labour not in the word and doctrine, and so the dumbe Prelates, who hold it all one to be damned to a Pulpit, and to a man­mill, shall be Pastors worthy of double honour. Now Paul will not say this of a right Bishop, 1 Tim. 3. 2. Tit. 1. 9. because good governing in a Pastor includeth labouring in the word and doctrine, as the whole in­cludeth the part: For preaching is a speciall act of overseeing and well-governing of soules, Jer. 1. 10. 2 Tim: 4. 2. Because the word is the instrument of pastorall governing, how can Pastors rule well by using aright the word of God, except they labour in the word, which is the shepheards staff: of right governing and painfull preaching, Heb. 13. 17. Acts 20. 28, 29, [...]0, 31. And so the Apostle shall say one thing twice; to wit, these Pastors who rule well in labouring in the word [Page 286] are worthy of double honour, especially these Pastors who labour well in the word and doctrine.

5. To labour in the word, [...] 1 Cor. 3. 8. 1 Cor. 15. 38. 1 Thes. 1. 3. Mat. 11▪ 28. is a word in the posi­tive, and not in the superlative degree: And let it be a word of the superlative degree, if the well-governing Elder here signifie the Prelate (as the currant exposi­tion of Formalists is) and the Elder labouring in the word and doctrine signifie the painfull preaching Pres­byter, then the Presbyter who is a poore Pulpit-man is more worthy of double honor and double maintenance, and the Lordly benefice, then my Lord Prelate. This glose will offend the proud Prelate.

Doctor Hall fetcheth from Scul [...]etus another poore in­terpretation: Hals humble Re­monst. to the Par­liament, an. 1641. p. 198, 199. The Elders who rule well, that is, admini­ster the Sacraments, make publike prayers, and privately ad­monish faithfull people are worthy of double honour, especi­ally these who excell in the gift of teaching, which is more ex­cellent then baptizing, 1 Cor. 1. 17.

Answ. 1. We have a new office brought in in odium tertij, out of hatred to ruling Elders, and this is a crea­ture who can baptize, administer the Lords Supper, and pray far off a print booke, and admonish in cor­ners, but cannot preach; but first I aske this fellowes name.

2. Where is such an officer in Gods word?

3. By what warrant hath one power to administer the Sacraments, and that [...], well as a well-governing Elder, who cannot preach the word and pray, this is but the reading Priest, who saith service for hire; and yet he baptizeth ex officio, by his office: Christ con­joyneth the publike preaching and baptizing, Mat. 28. 18, 19. as two parts of an office, and here they are se­parated and given to different officers.

4. How is a man called on that ruleth well, because he baptizeth well, and readeth faire in the booke? and is not called on who ruleth well, because he preacheth well? For it cannot be conceived how baptizing be­longeth [Page 287] rather to well governing then good preaching. 3. Good governing is the Prelates element; for so he saith himselfe; but to preach base, it's for his Chap­laine; and by this, to read service, to baptize, to ex­hort privately shall make the Prelate a good governing Elder, but worthy of lesse honour then the preaching Presbyter: But the right Bishop, 1 Tim. 3. must both be apt to teach, and one who can governe well, and this maketh the Prelate in office only a Reader.Field [...]. booke of the Church, c, [...]6.

But neither can Doctor Fields other glosse stand. 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 he noteth two parts or duties of Pres­byteriall offices, not two sorts of Presbyteries.

Answ. 1. By this it is the Prelates glory to preach, but he cryeth up courting and Lordly command, and in his practise cryeth downe preaching.

2. This interpretation wrongeth the Text: For the divers Pronounes must note divers persons, as is cleare in the words [...] and [...], and it is all one as if Paul should say, That Archippus who ruleth well is worthy of double honour, especially that Archippus who la­boureth in the word and doctrine, where as it is one Ar­chippus who ruleth well, and laboureth in the word and doctrine. None use to speake so supersluously, or igno­rantly,This speech where the article [...] is doubled, an [...] the adverbe [...] intervening signifie ever divers persons. who understandeth the Greeke Language, ex­cept by way of excellency persons be noted which is not here: Also it should be untrue that any should be worthy of double honour for well governing, except only he who laboureth in the word and doctrine which is against reason, and the words of the Text.

Neither can these words (Tell the Church) stand in a particular Congregation, if ruling Elders be removed, especially where there is a Pastor in the Congregation: For then the Church should either signifie the multi­tude of beleevers, which I have abundantly refuted, or the Pastor with the Deacons; but Deacons have no ju­risdiction in Gods Church by the word of God: Or [Page 288] thirdly the word Pastor it alone should signifie the Church which is Popish; therefore of necessity there must bee some Rulers with the Pastors which make the ministeriall Church, of which our Saviour spea­keth.

Neither can the famous Councell at Jerusalem, con­sisting of Apostles, Elders and Brethren, exclude ruling Elders.Field 5. booke of the Church, c. 26. D. Field citeth Cyprian, Tertullian, Hierom, Am­brose for ruling Elders,Cyp [...]. l. 4. ep. 4. l. 3. ep. [...]1. but doth no way satisfie the Reader; for he maketh them all preaching Elders, and maketh all the Presbyters to be preaching Presbyters,T [...]r [...]. in Apol. c. 39. Hier. in 3 [...]sa. & in sit. 1. that he may fill the field with Prelates.Ambr. in [...] Tim 5.

But 1. the Ancients by way of question, and as it were doubting at least polimickely determine that the Councell and voices of Elders should be had in gover­ning the Church; but seeing they all, and most expresly Hierom acknowledge, that Episcopus and Presbyter are all one, they must either understand other Elders then preaching Elders, otherwayes it was a question amongst them, if Bishops had voices in the government of the Church, which was never heard in all Antiquity.

2. Cyprian complaineth that seniores had been debar­red in discipline, but acknowledgeth that Presbyters were so proud that they were Masters of all, and ruled all absque consensu seniorum; therefore he acknowled­ged preaching Presbyters, and governing seniores to be diff [...]rent.

3. We are not to doubt but Hierom knew the mind of Antiquity better then D. Field, and that Hierom was not singular in this knowne to all: Quid facit Episco­pus, quod non facit Presbyter exceptâ ordinatione? Hence Pastors have had in the ancient Church all power of ju­risdiction with these who were, as Hierom saith, Bi­shops or Prelates, consuetudine, non dominicâ dispositione, by the Churches custome, Prelates above Pastors, and this is the judgement of all our Divines, who have ever jud­ged the contrary Popery, and a step to the Popes Chaire. I might cite Calvin, Beza, Junius, Bucan, Pareus, Vr­sine, [Page 289] Luther, Melancthon, Polan. Piscat [...]r, Sibrandus, Are­tius, Danaeus, Fenerus, Kickerman, Rivet, Walleus, Pro­fessors of Leyden, Gil, Voctius, and many others. Now if Antiquity tooke Episcopus and Presbyter for all one, ex­cept in the sole act of ordination, and in all other points of jurisdiction they were equall, what meaned that word that the Ancients all approved, none gains [...]ying that ever I saw who are not parties or corrupted by Prelates: Episcopi nihil faciunt sine consilio Cleric [...]rum; and nihil sine consilio Presbyterorum. The meaning must be ridiculous, except ruling Elders be understood. Pastors doe nothing without the advise of Pastors, and Bishops doe nothing without the counsell of Bishops; for Bi­shops and preaching Presbyters are all one, except in the act of ordination. We never read [...] soun [...] anti­quity that Bishops domineered over Bishops,; Yea it is knowne the Bishop of Constantinople, Ambr. in 1 Tim. [...]. and the [...] had the dignity above the Bishop of Rome, and the Ch [...]rch of Rome. Ambrose or as venerable a man. The Jewish Church or Synagogue, and after the Church had Seniors or Elders, without whose counsell nothing was done in the Church, which by what negligence it grew out know not, unlesse it were by the sloth or pride of the teachers, whilest they alone would seeme to be something. Here are Elders di [...]erenced from teachers: It is ignorantly replyed by Field, that none were teachers but Prelates, and all others teached by permission from the Prelate, because Valerius Bishop of Hippo gave Augustine a Presbyter leave to preach.

Answ. That none were teachers but Prelates is most false. What then, suppose we grant that? were none called teachers but Prelates? he dare not say that. Ter­tullian, Irenaeus, Hierom, Augustine, Cyprian, Ambrose, Chrysostome, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Cyrillus, Prosper. Hillarius a thousand times calleth all Pastors, Doctors, teachers: And what, howbeit Christ be the only Arch-doctor and teacher, and all others teachers by his grace and gracious permission, are not Apostles, Bishops, Pa­stors [Page 290] called teachers, a hundred times in Gods word? and this man will not give the Ancients leave to call poore Presbyters teachers, and yet Paul giveth them this name, as they are contradistinguished from Apostles, Eph 4. 11. 1 Cor. 12. 29.

Q. 4. But the Ancients knew no Lay-Elders.

Answ. Nor doe we de iure know them, they are Church-men, and should be for all their life-time en­tertained upon the Churches charges, what our Church, de facto, doth tolerate by reason of our Churches poverty, is another question.

Q. 5. How is it that your ruling-Elders doe not give imposition of hands,Surv [...]y, c. 16. p. 17; and blesse Pastors, [...]ld Chur. l. [...]. c. 26 when they are ordained, and so the lesser should blesse the grerter? So the author of Survay. So D. Field.

Answ. If they judicially cons [...]nt to imposition of hands, it is sufficient.

2. There is no inconvenience that a ruling Elder, as a part of the Presbytery blesse one, who is not yet a Pa­stor, but to be ordained a Pastor: For the ordainer as he is such is greater then the ordained.

Q. 6. Beza giveth the keyes to both Pastors and El­ders.Beza in M [...]t. 16. 19▪ Cartwright, l. 3. p 83. Cartwright denyeth the koyes to any except only to Pastors.N [...]ellius. thes. But Daniel Ni [...]llius, Theol. p 243. the keyes (saith he) were given to Peter, Survay, c. 17 [...] [...] ratione officij, by his office, and not to the Apostles only, but also to all who were to be sent to preach and govern [...].

Answ. The keyes by the preaching of the Gospell, Potestas concionalis clavium, were given to Peter as repre­senting all Pastors and Doctors, tanquam subiecto adae­quato: The keyes by way of disciplinary binding and loo­sing were given to Peter, ta [...]quam, subiecto virtuali, re­presenting not only Pastors, but also Doctors and ru­ling Elders, who were to be called and sent of God.

Q. 7. How can any voice in matters of Religion, but only Pastors, for ruling Elders are not Pastors. So Field.

Answ. B [...]llar. de con [...]. l [...]. c 15. It is Jesaite-like to reason thus with Bellar­mine, who saith, it is a pastorall act to define in Coun­cels; [Page 291] and therefore none should teach in Councell (saith Panormitan in the Councell of Basill) but Prelates who are the pillars and keyes of Heaven. Concil. So said Eccius. Basil. But the Councell of Basill thought not so,Ecc [...]us de concil. nor the Greeke Church,W [...]lus l. 2 de p [...]i [...]. for whom Nilus speaketh alleadging others whom it concerneth, should voice also.

2. Matters of discipline concerneth all, Ergo, Elders representing the people should voice.

3. Suppose that the suffrage and voice of a Pastor, and of an Elder be voices different onely in diverse relati­o [...]s to divers officers, to wit, the Pastor and the Ei­der; yet in the matter of bearing weight in the con­science from force of truth, and not from the authority of men, they are equall; and therefore ruling Elders having knowledge and light, and withall authority of office may well have voices: But it followeth not hence that these who have knowledge are formall Canon-makers, because the Decrees and constitutions of Sy­nods lay two obligations upon the people: One for the matter, and so in respect that in the morall part there­of they m [...]t be agreeable to the word, they bind the consciences to an obedience of conscience. 2. They im­pose an Ecclesiasticall tye from the authority of the Co [...]cell and Canon-makers, and so they require sub­jection or obedience of reverence for the authority of­ficiall that is in the Canon-makers: The second com­mand layeth on the first bond or tye, and the first com­mand layeth on the other bond and tye.

Q. 8. Philip and Steven, who were Dea [...]ons, baptized [...]nd preached, Acts 21. 8. Acts 7 1, 2, 3, &c. but your Dea [...]ons may not preach nor baptize, that so they may be prepared for the ministery, according to that 1 Tim. 3. 13. For th [...]y who have used the office of a Deacon will, pur­ch [...]e to themselves a good degree,Deacons cannot baptize and preach. and great boldnesse in the faith.

Answ. What Philip and Stephen did, in facto, in an extraordinary fact, nihil ponit in iure, it belongeth no­thing to Law, but the [...], of it selfe, is a serving of [Page 292] Tables, and a taking of the burden of caring for the poore of the Pastors, that the Pastors may give them­selves to the word and prayer, Acts 6. 2, 4. Now if Dea­cons ex officio, turne Preachers, and give themselves to the word and prayer, then by the Apostles reason, Acts 6. 4. they cannot serve Tables, but they must have other Deacons to take the burden of the poore off them, that they may give themselves to the word.

2. Christ ordaineth,2. Arg. Mat. [...]8. 18. Apostles and Pa­stors their successors to preach the word, and not Dea­cons.

3. There shall be moe officers in Gods house given for the edifying of the Saints,3. Arg. then Pastors and Doctors, even preaching Deacons; yea all the offices in Gods house shall be Preachers; the Prelate to Formalists is a peece of a Preacher; the Pastor and Doctor by their office must preach (the ruling Elder is nothing to them) and the Deacon is a teacher, and so all are teachers, ex officio, why then do [...]h Paul, 1 Cor. 12. difference be­twixt Governours, helps and teachers, seeing all are teachers?

4. Rom. 12. He who sheweth mercy,4. Arg. and he who di­stributeth are differenced by their specificke acts from the Pastor who exhorteth and preacheth.

5. Paul requireth,5. Arg. 1 Tim. 3. that the Pastor be apt to teach; but he requireth no such thing of the Deacon, whose qualification he describeth at length.

6. The well using of the Deacons office is no more by,6. Arg. 1 Tim. 3. 13. a degree to the ministery or pastorall calling, then, much boldnesse in the faith is a degree there­unto, for he, who ex officio, doth preach and baptize, is not a degree to a Pastor, as he who discourseth is not in degree to be a man, or in preparation a man onely; but he is formally a man, now to preach and baptize, are specificke acts of a Pastor, Mat. 28. 18. and so the Deacon must be formally a Pastor, as he is formally a a man who can and doth performe acts which proceed only from the specificke forme of a man.

[Page 293] 7. It is a mystery that a Deacon may preach and bap­tize,7. Arg. but he may not administer the Sacrament of the Lords Supper: For 1. Philip an Evangelist as well as a Deacon might have done both. 2. Is the Sacrament of the Lords Supper holier then the Sacrament of Bap­tisme, that the Deacon may administer the one Sacra­ment, and not the other? But this is a Masse-mystery, there is no Transubstantiation in Baptisme, and there­fore a woman, a laicke (as they speake) may baptize; but he must be a consecrated and orderly Priest who hath power to make and create the naturall body of Christ. So Greg. Valent. de Valentia, Suarez. Suarez, Vasquez, Bucanus teacheth us.Vasquez. 3. The word of God knoweth not any who have power to baptize,Bucanus. and have no power to administer the Lords Supper.

8. The Popish Libeller in the Survay saith,8. Arg. when now contributions and collections cease, Survay, c. 18. p. 20 [...] the Deacon may preach and baptize. Then Deacons ordained, Rom. 12. 8. Acts 6. 4, 5. 1 Tim. 3. are now out of the world, and they have given to us for a well made Deacon, an ill made and a spilt Minister; but the cause remaining the office should remaine, the Churches poverty remaineth: For the Prelate hath a singular faculty of creating beggars in his Officiall-Courts.

Q. 9. How is it that you have taken away widowes, which was an office established by the Apostles? Rom. 12. 8. For some say they should be gone, because they were tem­porary, and the heate of the Easterne Countries which cau­sed sicknesse, required them, but they are not needfull now. So saith Cartwright. Others make them perpetuall, as Fen­ner, C [...]twright l. [...] p. [...]0. some make them to be women, as Cartwright, some men, [...] defen. p. 135. as Travors, some neither men nor women onely, as Beza and Junius. T [...]av. dist. [...]ccl. p. 118, [...]19.

Answ. [...]un E [...]cl l 2 c. 4. The perpetuall use of that office we thinke continueth, that is, that there be some to shew mercy on the poore, which are captives, exiled, strangers, dis­eased, distracted, and that there be Hospitals for that effect, and Chirurgians, Physicians, aged men and wo­men, [Page 294] but that widowes were officers in the Church, as Elders and Deacons are, we thinke no; but that that service may be performed by men or women, as the Church shall thinke good. Cartwright thinketh no other then what I say. Fenner thinketh well that the sicke should alwayes be cared for, neither by men only, nor by women onely, as Beza and Junius thinke, but by both as need requireth.

Quest 10. Presbyteriall government cannot consist with a Monarchy, you ioyne with Papists in oppugning the Prin­ces authority in causes Ecclesiasticall. Cartwright, Viretus, Calvin teach that the authority of Kings commeth imme­diately from God the Creator, not from God in the Medi­ator Christ. So the Survay.

Answ. Sarvay of discipl. c. 32, 33. It is the slanderous malice of Court-Syco­phants, to say, a friend to Christ cannot be a friend to Cae­sar; but we set downe our mind here anent thus.

1. Concl. 1. Conclus. Presbyteriall government, and the regall po­wer of Monarchs doe well consist: Paul a favourer of this government, 1 Tim. 4. 14. commandeth that pray­ers be put up to God for Kings and all who are in autho­rity, and so doe we teach.

2. Conclusion. 2. Conclus. Our adversaries here corrupt the mind of Cartwright, Cartwright, p. 1. p. 93. Viretus, Calvin, and others, who say that the authority of Kings come immediately from God as Creator,Vir [...]tus dial. 3. and not from God in Christ as Mediator:Calv admonitions to the Pa [...]l. 2. of Eng. p. 61. For the kingly power is considered two wayes, 1. In ge­nerall, as kingly, and in the person of heathen Princes, who know nothing of God as a Redeemer in the Me­diator. And so the kingly power in generall as given for the good of all humane societies in generall, is from God the Creator for the good of all societies whither heathen or Christian. So Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, Nero, and Julian were essentially Kings, and yet had not their kingly power immediately from the Mediator Christ, except in this generall sense that the kingly power is a lawfull ordinance of God warranted by the word of God, and Testament of our Testator Jesus Christ, be­cause [Page 295] these are essentially Kings and lawfull Magistrates who either never heard of Christ, nor any thing of God; but onely that he is Creator of the world, or then who persecute and hate the name of Jesus Christ. It may be that the fruits of persecuting Princes, their go­vernment redound to the [...]ood and salvation of the Saints, and that by accident, as all things worke out for the good to those who love God. Now [...]ormalists denying such to be lawfull Kings, as either know not Christ, or be­leeve not in him, joyne hands with Papists, and make way for Anabaptisticall Ana [...]chy, that a persecuting, or an unbeleeving King is no King, not to be obeyed, but to be turned out of his Throne: And to this meaning, Calvin, Viretus, and Cartwright teach that the king­ly power floweth immediately from God the Cre­ator, not from God in the Mediator Christ. But 2. th [...] kingly power is considered in a speciall manner, as it is in a Christian, whether professing onely the Gospell, or truly beleeving in Christ, and so in relation to Christs Church and to the soule of a beleeving Prince, the kingly power floweth from God in and through the Mediator Jesus Christ, as all common favours which in general [...] flow from God the Creator, are sanctified, and blessed to the beleevers in the Mediator Christ, as meat, drinke, sleep, riches, kingly honour. And in this meaning, Sauls kingly honour in respect of Saul him­selfe is but a common favour flowing from the Creator; howbeit to Gods Church, for whose good he did fight the battels of the Lord, it was a speciall favour flow­ing from God in Christ, as our Divines say that creation (which in it selfe is a common favour to all) is a meane in the execution of the Decree of El [...]ction to the chil­dren of God.

3. Conclusion. 3. Conclus. Hence our Divines say, that kingly authority is the same ordinance of God essentially con­sidered in the heathen Princes,Cartwright, l. 3. p 163. as in Christian Kings, as Cartwright and others say.Ob [...]ruded [...], c. [...]. v. 2. Neither doth it follow as our unlawfull Canons teach, That the Christian Kings [Page 296] now have that same power in Causes Ecclesiasticall, which the godly Kings amongst the Jewes, as David and Salomon had: [...]or David and Salomon were Prophets as well as Kings, and had power to pen Canon [...]cke Scripture, and to prophesie, which power in Ecclesiasticke causes no King now can have. Neither doth it follow which Whytgift saith,Whytgift against [...]. that we give no more authority to the Chri­stian Magistrate in the Church of Christ then to the great Turke. Our Divines say, and that with good warrant, that the kingly power as kingly, is one and the same in kind in heathen Nero, and in Christian Constantine, As a heathen man is as essentially a father to his owne children, and a husband to his owne wife, and a King to his owne subjects; as a Christian man is a father, hus­band, and king to his owne children, wife, and subjects. Neither doth Christianity superadde, and give of new any kingly power to a King, because he is now become by Gods grace of a Heathen King, a Christian King, Chri­stianity addeth indeed a new obligation to imploy his kingly power, which he had full and entire before, now in its exercise and use to more regall and kingly acts, as to take care that the Gospell be soundly preached, the Sacraments and discipline of the Church kept pure, and heretickes punished according to that, he to whom much is given, from him much shall be required: But the same King, while he was a heathen King, had the same kingly power and authority to performe these regall acts; but being yet a heathen, he wanted [...] super­naturalis, a supernaturall or reall and physicall power to performe these acts; now this power which he wanted before he heard of the Gospell and beleeved in Christ, was not a kingly authority, for then he should not have been a compleat Heathen King before, which is against Gods word, commanding obedience to heathen Kings, Rom. 13. 1, 2. 1 Tim. 2. 1, 2. 1 Pet. 2. 17. but this power that he wanted is a Christian power to exercise regall and kingly acts: Neither is this an inconvenience, that power to exercise the acts of a calling in a Christian [Page 297] manner, be Christian and supernaturall, and yet the au­thority kingly, and not formally Christian, but such as is, and may be in a heathen King; therefore kingly power and Christian power are here carefully to be di­stinguished, and a Christian Kings power as a Christian, is more then the Turks power in Church-matters. Hence our Adversaries here dethrone and degrade the King; for they give the King a head-ship and dominion over the Church as he is a Christian man, and take that head­ship from him as a King; because if the Turke by sword should conquer Britaine, and become our King, by their grounds he should be Head of the Church, no lesse then our Christian Prince who now re [...]gneth over us, and certaine it is a poore Headship that they give to the King, even such a Head-ship as a Heathen King and the Turke, hath over subdued Christian kingdomes; and thus by their way Nero and Julian were heads of Christs Church.

2. If unbeleeving Kings cease to be Kings, then when they commit any fault that maketh them in Gods Court no members of the Church, they are to be dethroned, which is most seditious doctrine, and so Formalists herein joyne with Papists.

4. Conclusion. 4. Conclus. There be these distinctions here con­sider [...]ble:

  • 1. The Kings power ordinary and extraordinary.
  • 2. His power as a King. 2. and as a singularly graced Christian.
  • 3. His power hortatorie as a Christian, and coactive as a King.
  • 4. His power accumulative, not privative in Church-matters.
  • 5. His power in actibus imperatis, in acts comman­ding to another, and his power in actibus elicitis, which he is to performe himselfe.

If a King were a Prophet as a David, he might doe many things in an extraordinary way in Church-matters, which he cannot now ordinarily doe.

[Page 298] 2. As a singularly graced Christian, he may write Ser­mons and Commentaries on holy Scripture for edifying the Church; but this should be done by him by no kingly faculty.

3. As a Christian he may exhort others to doe their duty, but as King he may command that which Paul commanded Timothy and Titus, to commit the Gospell to faithfull men who are able to teach others, to preach in sea­son, and out of season, to lay hands suddenly on no man, and reforme Religion, purge the Church of idolatry, and superstition, as Joshuah and H [...]zekiah did, all which Church-men and Synods might doe also;2 Chron. 29. but Synods doe this in an Ecclesiasticke way,2 King. 2 [...]. upon the paine of Ecclesiasticke censures. The King doth it by a regall, kingly, and coactive power of the sword.

4. the Kings power is accumulative, in giving to the Church, and ayding and helping; God hath given to the King the ten Commandements, and the Gosp [...]ll, as a pupill is given to a Tutor: The King holds his sword above the Law of God, to ward off the stroakes of wic­ked men who doe hurt the Law; but the Kings power is not privative, to take any priviledge from the Law and the Church: so his power is as a tutor to keep, not as a father who may both give and take away from his son the inheritance; his power is defensive, not of­fensive.

5. He hath power in actibus imperatis, to command that all preach sound Doctrine, decree just Canons, ex­ercise discipline aright, but in actibus elicitis, in acts per­formed by an intrinsecall power in the agent, he hath no power: for the King as King cannot preach himselfe, nor baptize, &c. as the will may command the eye to see, the feet to walke, but the will doth not see nor walk: Here two errours are to be rebuked.

1. Whitgift saith, Wh [...]tgift, tract 3 to the ad [...] c. 6. 5. divil against Cartwright, p. 18 [...] the King is not the head of the Church as it is a society of elect and believers, for so the govern­ment is spirituall, but he is the head of the Church, as it is a visible society in externall government, comprehending [Page 299] good and evill. For 1. The government visible and exter­nall is meerly ecclesiasticall, by Christs spirituall lawes and censures, of rebuking, binding, loosing and excom­municating; but the King is not an ecclesiasticall per­son, and so not the head who hath any intrinsecall in­fluence as King in these acts.

2. He is the head of the persons who make the Church, and so is a politick head, but he is not the head of the Church visible, as it is such. The head visible and mem­ber [...] are of one nature, the King as King is a politicke and civill head, the visible Church is not a politick and civill,Cam [...]ro. [...] but an ecclesiastick body, so Camero erreth who will have all Church-men synodically constituting and de­creeing Canons, and in all acts of externall government subordinate to the King as King, as the instruments and servants are subordinate to the principall cause and first commander. 1. Because then the King should be the prin­cipall ecclesiastick matter, and prime Canon maker, the King the first excommunicater when the Church excom­municateth; but the members of a Church-Synod are immediately subordinate to Christ whose servants and instruments they are, and not the servants of the King. Nathan as a man was Davids servant, but as a Prophet he was Gods servant, and not Davids ser­vant.

Hence a third errour of court sycophantes must be reje­cted,Magistrate hath [...] no negative voyce in Synod [...]. that the King hath a negative voice in disci­pline, and in Church-Assemblies, which is most false.

1. Because Christ hath promised to lead his Church in all truth, to be with her to the end, to be in the midst of his owne assem [...]led in his name, and this promise Christ ma­keth and keepeth under Heathen Kings, who have no voice at all in Church-Assemblies, 1 Cor. 4▪ 5. Math. 18. 23. Act. 15. 28.

2. If the acts of Church-Assemblies have no ecclesiasti­call power, without the consent of a Christian [...]rince, by that same reason the acts of publick preaching, baptizing and administring the Lords Supper should lay no ec­clesiasticall [Page 300] bond upon mens consciences, except the King should consent unto these acts; but the latter is against the Word of God, Jer. 1. 10. Jer. 1. 18, 19. 2 Cor. 10. 4, 5. and most absurd. Ergo, so is the former. I prove the connexion, because that same power of Christ which is given to the Church conveened for acts of discipline is given for preaching, and the conferring of the seales of the covenant; for the Church hath the keyes to bind and loose from Christ equally independent upon any mortall man in discipline, as in doctrine, so in dis­cipline the Kings power cannot be to impede all acts of discipline or to make them null, except he consent to them.

3. Because these words are absolutely made good, 3. Arg. with­out the interveening of any other authority. Whatsoever ye binde on earth, shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever ye loose on earth, shall be loosed in Heaven, els Christ would have said, whatsoever the King or civill Magistrate shall binde on earth, shall be bound in Heaven, otherwise no­thing is ratified on earth or Heaven either, which the Church bindeth or looseth, because the King saith not Amen to it.

4. If a contumacious brother shall refuse to heare the Church,4. Arg. hee is not for that to bee excommu­nicated and to be reputed an Heathen and a Publican, because the civill Magistrate doth not repute him such an one.

5. Of that free grace,5. Arg. wherby God heareth the prayers of two or three agreeing to pray for one thing on earth, the Lord bindeth and looseth in heaven that which his Church bindeth and looseth on Earth, Mat. 18. 19. but the Lord heareth the prayers of two or three agreeing to pray for one thing on Earth, though the civill Magistrate doe not give his consent that these prayers be heard and gran­ted of God; because the Magistrate is no interces­sour without whose consent God heareth not pray­ers. The proposition is cleare from Matthew 18. ver. 18, 19.

[Page 301] 6. If the Magistrate have such a joynt power of bin­ding and loosing, 6. Arg. and of forgiving and reteining sins with the Church, then also with the Apostles and their suc­cessours; but Christ gave this power to his Apostles without any such condition, Matth. 28. 18, 19. John [...]0. 22, 23. and they practised this power without con­sent of the Magistrate, and preached and excommuni­cated against his will, 1 Tim. 1. 19, 20. 1 Cor. 5. 4. yea, as the Father sent Christ, so should the Father have sent the civill Magistrate, for so are they sent who have pow­er to forgive and retaine sinnes, John 20. 21, 22, 23.

7. That power which upon just reasons we deny to the Pope,7. Arg. that we cannot give to the King, but upon just reasons we deny to the Pope a negative voyce in Councels, to anull lawfull Councels conveened in the name of Christ, except he who is the virtuall Church say Amen thereunto, neither is the King the virtuall Church.

8. If a woe be due to a Pastor,8. Arg. if he preach not, sup­pose the Magistrate should forbid him to preach,1 Cor. 9. 6. then also is a woe due to the Church,Act. [...]. 19▪ which useth not the keyes, though the Magistrate forbid, then hath the Magistrate no such voyce, and if the Church of Pergamos be re­buked for not using the power of the keyes against these who held the Doctrine of Balaam and the Nicolaitanes even when the Magistrate was a killer of the witnes­ses of Jesus, then the Magistrat [...] hath no such negative voyce, for it should not be possible to censure the followers of such Doctrine, seeing, hee was against both Doctrine and Discipline, but the Lord repro­veth P [...]rgamos in this case, Revelation 2. ver. 13, 14, 15.

9. There is no Word of God to prove that the Lord hath given the power of th [...] keyes to the King as the King,9. Arg. and therfore we are not to believe that he hath any such power. Also if the fore-said power of the keyes be given to the Church without any such pow­er [Page 302] of the King, the Church by all the former argu­ments may conveene to exercise that power, in prea­ching, binding, loosing, excommunicating, suppose the ci­vill Magistrate should discharge and inhibit these mee­tings, for if the power of the keyes be given imme­diately by Christ to the Church, then the power of meeting for the exercise of that power must also be given, though the Magistrate say not Amen, as is cleare, Mat. 18. 18, 19, 20, 21. 1 Cor. 5. 4▪ 5. 1 Cor. 11. 19, 20. where the Church had her owne Synods without the consent of a civill Magistrate, but we are to repute it a speciall favour of God, when the King as a nursing- [...]a­ther will countenance Synods with his royall presence, God blesse our King.

5. Conclusion. 5. Conclus. The Kings royall power in adding his sanction to the ecclesiasticall constitutions, and in punishing such as are decreed to be hereticks by the Church is regall, and not ministeriall and servile. See for this the Con c. Chalced. A [...]t. 16. the Imperiall lawes, Cod. l. 1 tit. 8. leg. 2. Heretic. Vocab, & decret. p. 2. caus. 23. q. 8. c. 30. crossing Bellar. de pont l. 1. c. 7. So do their owne men goe against Bellarmine in this, as San­derus de clavib. David. l▪ 2. c. 13. Carerius de potest. sum. pont. l. 2. c. 23 Leo epist. 38. to Martian and Pulcheria, and Leo epist. 7. to Theodosius. Becanus erreth here with Bellarmine, making the King as a servant obliged to adde his sanction civill to ecclesiasticall Canons. Becan. in o­pusc. exam. conc. Anglic c. 7.

1. Because the use of the sword at Gods comman­dement is a kingly act commanded by God, and is ser­vice done to God, not to the Church.

2. Neither is the King so to execute the Churches will, as he should judge only of the fact, and of the assump­tion, yea he is to judge of the law, and of the major proposition. I or we see not in the Word of God, where a Judge is a Judge to punish a fault, and is not to know judicially that it is a fault: a Judge as a Judge should know such a thing to be heresie, and not tak [...] [Page 303] it upon the word of an Assembly of Church-men, Deu. 17. 18▪ 19. he is expresly to reade and know the law, and to know and remember the Decree, Prov. 31. 5. And the cause which he knoweth not he is to search out, Job 29. 16. all which is meant of a knowledge not of private discretion, which is required in all private Chri­stians, but (as I take these places) of a knowledge ju­diciall and authoritative which agreeth to a Judge as a Judge.

3. If a Synod erre, and decree that man to be an he­retick who is sound in the faith, the King is not ob­liged to erre with the Synod, and to punish the in­nocent, he is to decree righteous judgement, and so the King is to judge of heresie, but after a regall and civill way, and with a coactive pow [...]r, as the Synod or Church-Assembly is to judge of heresie after an ec­clesiastick way, and with a spirituall power. 2. The King punisheth heresie as it troubleth the Common-w [...]alth, and the Synod as it is scandalous and infecti­ous in the Church.

Yea and the Christian King ruleth over men as men, and also as Christian-m [...]n; he ruleth over them as men, with a dominion over their bodies, lives and goods by his civill lawes, he hath also dominion as King over men, as Christians and members of Christs kingdome and Church, not over their consc [...]ences (for that is proper only to the father of spirits) but he hath a co­active power over all men, even Pastors, as to cause them do their Christian duties, he hath power to com­pell Church-men in Assemblies to determine truth, and to use the keyes right, and to preach and use the Sa­craments according as Christ hath commanded in his Word, and to punish them when they do otherwise. What then if the King discerne that to be truth, and absolve the man, whom the Church-Assembly doth condemne as an heretick, who shall judge betwixt them?

I answer, the infallible rule of judging for both is [Page 304] the Word of God, which speaketh home unpartially to both, if they will heare, but certainly the Kings civill, kingly coactive power to compell men to doe their duty remaineth the highest and most supream pow­er on Earth, in genere potestatis politicae, in the kind of poli­tick power, and pastors and all men may, by this power, be compelled to do right, as for the abuse of the power, it is no part of the power, and in this kind the King hath a nega­tive politick and kingly suffrage and voyce in all Church Assemblies, no ecclesiasticall constitution hath the force of a law without the politick suffrage of the civill Judge. And againe the ecclesiastick power that Christ hath given to his Church remaineth: also the most supreme power under Christ in genere potestatis ecclesiasticae, and the King is subject to this power. The King is not excepted in this, He that despiseth you despiseth me, and in this, whatsoever ye shall binde on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and in this, whose sinnes ye remit, they are re­mitted, and whose sinnes ye retaine they are retained, and this ecclesiasticall power being the highest on Earth, Pastors may command Kings in the Lord, Jer. 1. 10, 18, 17. to doe their duty by an ecclesiastick power. Arminians and Formalists both aske which of the two powers are highest, and nearest unto the head Christ, whither the kingly power, or the ecclesiastick power, for two paralell highest powers on earth cannot be.

I answer, by asking which of the two shoulders, in a mans body are highest, and nearest to the mans head? Certainly one of them in a well proportioned body is not higher then another, and both are alike neare the head, as none of two pole-starrs are nearer to their Zenith and Nadir, none of two wheels in a right Chariot are high­er then another.Davenant. de iud. controver. c. 13. p. 7 [...] Barclaius de priest. c. 14. p. 110 The Church power (saith the Prelate Davenant) is highest in teaching and directing; the kingly power in commanding and compelling. Barclai compareth them to two shoulders under one head. Balth Meisnerus in sobr. Philo. par. 3. Sect. 2. c. 2. Meisner saith, one of them is not above another. Anto Spal [...] de rep. [...]c. l. 6. c. 3. [...]. 17. There is no absurdity (saith Spalato) that in two bodies formally different there [Page 305] should be two heads, yea it is necessary. Glossa. in C. Had [...]i. an. dist. 36: [...] art. Cusan. de conc. l. 3. c. 3. The Roman Glosse saith, Patricius is the Popes father in things temporall, and the Pope is his father in things spirituall, as Cusan saith, Papists (saith Spalat.) Berengarius l de myst sign. t [...]m. [...]. Bibloth patr. have deleted that out of the Glosse. Gelasius. So Berengarius, Nicolaus I. Gelasius Papa, Nicolaius the I agree to these words, Sciendum quod nec Catholicae fidei, nec Chri­stianae contrarium est legi, M Anto. de Domin. si ad honorem regni, & sacer­dotij, Arth [...]epist. Spala. de rep. eccl. l. 6. c. 3. n. 4, 5, 6, 7. Rex pontifici, & pontifix obediat regi.

Spalato seemeth against Bellarmine, to make up the losses made by Papists in Kings honour, while he hol­deth, that the King his person, and as he is a Christian man is subject to Church-power, but as King he is sub­ject to none, but to Christ, from whom immediately he hath his kingly dignity, even as (saith he) when an Em­perours servant, being a Physitian, the Emperour as Em­perour is not subject to the Physitian, but only the Empe­rour as he is a wounded man is subject to the art of his owne servant who cureth him, and that of the Emperour▪ free-will, not by coaction, so the Image-maker or he who ma­keth pourtracts, in his art is not subject to the King, nei­ther is the King as King, Master of the art of painting, or pourtract-making, the art onely is subject to the precepts and principles of art, but the person of the painter is sub­ject to the kingly power;Bellarm. contra Barcl. c. 2. for the King, as Bellarmin saith, may forbid the Image-maker to draw obscene and filthy I­mages, or to waste too much gold or silver upon his Ima­ges, or to sell his images at too deare a price. Hence, saith he, the kingly dignity is not subject to the ecclesiasticall power, or to any other power on earth, but only to Jesus Christ.

I answer, the Prelate doth well difference in the art of paintry these two. 1. That which is artificiall and is only ruled by art, that the King cannot command, another thing which is morall, as that he sell not his Images too deare, and hurt not the common wealth by spending vainly too much gold and silver on his Ima­ges, and in this the King may make lawes to limit the Painters morall carriage, but then he and his fel­lowes [Page 306] honour not the King, who call him judge over all persons, and of all causes, or in all causes: and that without any distinction; for when two Shoomakers contend about a point of tanning leather, the King is not Judge in that cause, because it is a point of art which belongeth to the art, not the King. Also the right translation of the Bible out of the Hebrew and the Greeke in the vulgar language is a cause meerly ecclesiasticall, be­longing to the Church Assembly, it were hard to make the King being ignorant of these mother languages, the Judge of that version, as he is made by them Judge in all causes ecclesiasticall, howbeit, de jure, he is a politick Judge, even in this judging by a coactive and kingly power, how­beit, de facto, and through ignorance he cannot exercise the kingly power that God hath given him in this act.

2. By this comparison, the Prelate putteth upon the King [...]ut a course peece of country honour. O (faith he) as King, I make him above all, and subject to no power in Heaven or Earth, but immediately to God; forsooth so make you the Painter, the Shoomaker, the Fashioner subject to no power in Heaven and Earth, no not to the King, but only immediately to God, only their persons are subject to the King, and so is the person of the King as a Christian man, not as a King, subject to Pastors, who may exhort him and rebuke him when he judgeth un­justly.

But 3. saith the Prelate, The wounded Emperour is sub­ject to his servant the Physitian who cureth him, not as Emperour, but as a wounded man, and that of his owne free-will and not by coaction. What meaneth this (not by coaction) but that a King, neither as King, neither as a Christian man is subject to Church-discipline, to the ad­monition of Pastors, by any ecclesiasticall coaction, or any law of God, but of the Kings owne free-will? Con­sider how Court-parasites doe dishonour the Lord, for if Nathan by Gods commandement was obliged to rebuke David for his adultery and murther, and the man of God [Page 307] obliged to cry against Jeroboams Altar, and the Seer ob­liged to reprove King Asa, and Jeremiah commanded to speake against the Kings and Princes of the land, and if the Kings of Israel and Judah were plagued of God, because they would not heare and submit to the Prophets speaking to them in the name of the Lord, then the King as a Christian man is subject to the Eccle­siasticall power, not of his owne free-will, as this flatte­rer saith, but by such Ecclesiasticall coaction as God layeth upon all men, whose spirits are subject to Christs kingly power.

4. This comparison halteth fowlely. In the art of pain­try, ye may abstract that which is morall from that which is artificiall; but in a King as a King, there is nothing artificiall, or which is to be abstracted from ju­stice and piety; for all the acts of kingly authority as kingly, are morall acts of justice, and of piety in pre­serving both the Tables of the Law (if a King command a stratagem of war, that which is meerly artificiall is not from the King as King, but from a principle of mi­litary art in him, as an expert souldier) if then the King as King be a morall agent and a preserver of both Tables, then as King he is subject to the Ecclesiasticall power.

5. Spalato faileth farre in making the end of kingly government a naturall end,Spal. ib. n. 9. not life eternall, as the end of sayling is the desired harbour, and not the kingdome of Heaven, which is l [...]fe eternall; nay, but if we speake either of the end of the worke, or the end of the wor­ker, the end of kingly power is a morall end; for the end of the worke called finis operis, is by Paul said to be, that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all godlinesse and honesty, and this is de iure, also finis ope­rantis, the end which the Ring is to intend, and so the dignity, office, acts and end of the King as the King is subordinated to Christs kingly power in Church-discipline, and yet he is the most supreme politicke po­wer on earth, and in eo genere, solo Deo minor, and above the Pastors in that kind.

[Page 308] But doe we joyne with Papists in this?Clemens 5. & tem­p [...]rales sua à nobis, & sub nobis tenet (Rex) Clemens l. [...]. c 11.

1. Papists say Kings hold their Crownes of the Pope the Church universall virtually: We thinke Nero had not his kingdome from Peter, Azorius inst. mor. p. [...] l. 4. c. 10 Papa subditos à Sacra­ments Religione erga Regem solvit. nor Domitian and Traian their kingdome from Clemens and Anacletus, nor Ha­drian from Enaristus and Alexander.

2. Innocentius 3d. forbad obedience to Emperours: Bonifacius 8 [...]. So Sander devi [...]. for hatred of King Philip of France for­bad to pay tribute to the Emperors?Monat. l. 2. c. 4. the Devill might blush to lay that upon us.Concil. go [...] 8. c. 14. Bellar. contra Bar­clatum. c. 19.

3. Was there ever amongst us the like of their 8▪ ge­nerall Councell?See more of this in Bosius d [...] sig. A Prelate shall not light off his horse,Eccles l. 17. c 3. and B [...]sius de [...]u­inis gentium, l 1. c. 18. Fazellus de reb Sion, l. 8. c [...]. Sander. de visib. nor bow to a King, nor shall a King seeke that of a Bi­shop, under the paine of two yeares excommunica­tion?

4. Did any of us thinke or write what Bellarmine hath spoken against the Lords anointed? Monat. l. 2 c. 4 Papirius Masson de Epist. Vrb. l. 5. in vita B [...]nifacij 8. B [...]rrom. Anal tom 12. anno. 1106. n. 14. all Trumpets of Treason that the Pope may de­ [...]hron [...] Kings. If Princes can­not be moved by Church-censures; and if the necessity of the Church require, the (Pope) shall free their subiects from obeying them, ipsis (que) principatus abrogabit, and shall pull their Princedome from them. I say no more of this.

CHAP. XX.
Q. 20. Whether or no the government of the Church of Scotland can be proved by Gods Word to be lawfull?

1. ARTICLE.
Of the Doctrine and worship of the Church of Scotland.

WE acknowledge the Scriptures of God contained in the Old and New Testament to containe the whole doctrine of faith and good manners, our Cove­nant rejecteth all traditions contrary, without and be­side the word of God, and so it rejecteth all religious [Page 309] observances, all humane Ceremonies, all religious sym­bolicall signes, all new meanes of worshipping God, all Images, positive Rites which have any influence in Gods worship as will-worship, and impious additions to Gods word, Jer. 7. 7. 2 Sam. 7. 7. Deut. 12. 32. Deut. 4. 2. Lev. 10. 2. Heb. 1. 13. Heb. 7. 14. 1 Chron. 15. 13. 1 King. 12. 32. Mat. 15. 14. Rev. 22. 18. whereas they want warrant from Gods word. All actions of divine worship, all religious meanes of worship, all actions of morall conversation must be warranted by ( [...]) according as it is written, for the which cause our Church condemneth kneeling in the act of receiving the Lords Supper, all Holy-dayes dedicated to God or Saints, except the Lords-day, confirmation, bed-com­munion, surplice, corner-cap, &c. because they are acts of worship and religious meanes of worship, not accor­ding to the word, as is clearly shewne to the Reader by the following Categoricke Tables, where all right worship, morall acts of discipline and conversation that are lawfull will bide the tryall of this (according as it is written) even to the last specificke and individuall hu­mane act, and where the last individuall act is proved, all the rest in that same Categorie is proved: As when I prove Peter to be a man, I prove him to be a sensitive creature, a living creature, a bodily substance, &c. which no man seeth in the Categorie of humane Ceremonies and unlawfull offices. Hence our first Categorie.

as it is written, Mat. 26. 26.
  • 1. The worship of God.
  • 2. Sacramentall worship.
  • 3. Partaking of the supper of the Lord
  • 4. Partaking of the Lords Supper in this time and place by Peter, Iames, Anna.

So in the officers of the New Testament.

as it is written, Col. 4. 17. Phil. 2. 25
  • 1. A lawfull Minister of the New Testament,
  • 2. A lawfull Pastor,
  • 3. Archippus Epaphroditus,

[Page 310] So

as it is written, 1 Cor. 5. 4, 5.
  • 1. an act of discipline,
  • 2. An act of Church-censure,
  • 3. An act of the Eldership of Co­rinth excommunicating the ince­stuous man.

The like may be said of an act of charity to the poore, 1 Cor. 16. 1.

But come to the Categorie of Formalists, and you shall see a great defect, and this (as it is written) shallbe wanting foure times, as the diagram following doth show plainly.

not written.
  • 1. Order and decency, as it is written, 1 Cor. 14.
  • 2 Orderly Ceremonies of humane insti­tution
  • 3. Sacred symbolicall signes of Religions institution devised by men
  • 4. Surplice, crossing,
  • 5. A Surplice upon William, Thomas, the crossing of this Infant John, made by this Pastor Thomas, this day and place

So the reason is cleare why we will have nothing unde­termined by Scripture in either acts of the first, or of the second Table, except meere circumstances of persons, time, and place▪ which adde no new morality to the actions, is because we hold the word of God to be per­fect in doctrine of faith, and manners, and all points of discipline, which the Patrons of Ceremonies, and hu­mane Prelates are forced with Papists to deny.

2. ARTICLE.
Officers of the Church.

THe ordinary officers of our Church are Pastors, to whom belongeth the word of exhortation, 1 Tim. 3. 1, 2, 3. 2 Tim. 1. 7, 8 Doctors, who in schooles expound the word of God, and convince gainsayers, Rom. 12. 7, 8. Eph. 4. 11. 1 Cor. 12. 28. Governours, or governing El­ders [Page 311] who rule well, Rom. 12. 8. 1 Cor. 12. 28. 1 Tim. 5. 17. Acts 15. 23. and Deacons who care for the poore, Acts 6. 2, 3, 4. 1 Tim. 3. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. As for the Prelate who is pretended to be the Pastor of Pastors, and an Ec­clesiasticall creature, having majority of power, both of order and jurisdiction above the Pastor and Doctor, the Church of Scotland did ever repute such an one the fifth element, and the sixt finger in the hand, as ha­ving no warrant in the word, and therefore unlawfull, Exod. 25. 9. Heb. 8. 5. 1 Chron. 8. 19. 11, 12, 13. 1 King. 6. 38. as also expresly condemned, Luke 22. 24, 25, 26. 1 Pet. 5. 3, 4. Mat. 18. 18. 1 Cor. 5. 4, 5, 6. Acts 1. 23. Acts 15. 24.

In the first constitution and infancy of our Church there were some visitors, and superintendents for plan­ting of Churches, because breasts and haire of our Chur­ches were not growne, after the example of the Apo­stles, who sent such to plant, and visit Churches, and appoint Elders in Congregations, Acts 8. 14, 15, 16. Acts 13. 14. 15, 16. Acts 14. 23. Tit. 1. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Acts 21. 17, 18. but after the Church was planted there was no need of such.

Titular Doctors who were Pastors onely, and taught not in the Schooles, but were onely previous dispositi­ons to Episcopacy, as blew colour prepareth a cloth for purple, our Church never allowed, upon the grounds allowing lawfull Doctors, as the Scripture doth, Rom. 12. 7, 8. 1 Cor. 12. 28. Eph. 4. 11.

3. ARTICLE.
Calling of Officers, and especially Pastors.

IVnius maketh according to Gods word three parts of the Pastors calling.

1. Election, some call it Nomination.

2. Presentation, or offering of the man.

3. Confirmation. When a place vacketh in the mini­stery, [Page 312] with us a Pastor maketh a Sermon of the necessity of a Pastor, shewing what a person the Pastor should be, after the example of Peter, Acts 1. 22. The looking out of a man is sometimes given to the multitude of belee­vers, with us, according to that, Acts 6. 3. The Apostles say, Wherefore, brethren, looke ye out seven men. But or­dinarily this beginneth at the Presbytery, or Colledge of Pastors, from whence things take their beginning, Acts 1. 15. And in those dayes (when the Church wan­ted an Apostle) Peter stood up, and said, Acts. 6. 2. then the twelve called the multitude. When they wanted Dea­cons, Acts 21. 18. the matter is brought first to the El­dership, Acts 11. 30. the Disciples charity is sent to the Eldership. Paul sent Timothy, Titus, Sylvanus, whom after the multitude did approve, Acts 14. 22. 2 Cor. 8. 16. and so doe we.

2. The person is tryed, 1. by Timothy and Titus, and so by the Presbytery. 1. his ability, that he be able to teach others, 2 Tim. 2. 3. that he be apt to teach, 1 Tim. 3. 2. Tit. 1. 9. else the Timothies of the Church lay hands suddenly on him, contrary to 1 Tim. 5. 22. So the Presbytery tryeth according to these Canons with us, his skill in the Tongues, Latine, Hebrew, and Greeke; his ability of preaching popular Sermons, and inter­preting Scripture, in controversies, in Chronology, and the history of the Church, and he must be proved and tryed by the people, by preaching sundry Sermons to them, 1 Tim. 3. 10. And let these first be proved, and let them use the office, what ever officers they shall be, Pa­stors, Doctors, Elders or Deacons. Also his grace and god­linesse is tryed by both people and Presbytery, 1 Tim. 3. 2, 3. his ability to governe, v. 4, 5. Acts 6. 3. Titus 1. 7, 8, 9. his fidelity, 2 Tim. 2. 2. and he must bring a Te­stimoniall or Christian Letters of recommendation, from those amongst whom he lived as 1 Tim. 3. 7.

3. When all this is done he is not yet a Pastor. Then a day is appointed, wherein an Edict is read and affixed on the Church-doore, and another day set for his or­dination, [Page 313] at which day the Edict is called, all who have any thing to object against his life and doctrine are thrise publikely at the Church-dore invited to come and object: And this we thinke is [...] And 1 Tim. 3. 10. [...], Acts 6. 3. to finde out, and to try the man. The day of ordination is a day of fasting and praying for Gods blessing to the ministery, as Acts 13. 23. And they ordained them Elders in every Church, and prayed with fasting, Acts 13. 3. and when they had fasted and prayed, they laid their hands on them. The Presbytery and people meeting, some Pastor, as Acts 1. 15. prea­cheth for the purpose in hand, as Peter doth there, v. 17. 18, 19. After Sermon the Pastor calleth him up before the Congregation, and demandeth if he be willing to accept the charge, and he must testifie his consent as Isaiah, Isa. 6. 8. Jer. 6. v. 7, 8. Acts 9. 20. Then the Pa­stor asketh the peoples consent, which they testifie by their [...], the lifting up of their hands, as Acts 14. 23. and the man must please the whole multitude, as Acts 6. v. 5. Acts 1. 26. This being done, the Pastor com­meth downe out of the Pulpit, and he with the Pres­bytery layeth their hands on his head, and prayeth that God would blesse him, as the Apostles did, Acts 6. 6. The Apostles prayed and laid their hands on them, Acts 13. 3. They prayed and laid their hands on them, 1 Tim. 4. 14. 1 Tim. 5. 22. all being done, the Eldership of the Congre­gation give him the right hand of fellowship, as Gal. 2. 9. The action is closed with thanksgiving, as all grave acti­ons should be, 1 Thes. 5. 18.

And this order in substance is kept in ordaining Do­ctors, Elders, and Deacons. Here are no popish toyes, which Papists use in ordination, no man is obtruded upon the flocke against their consent, and no man appointed a Pastor but of a certaine flocke, as Acts 20. 28. 1 Pet. 5. 2.

[...]

[Page 316] of the Church, which receiveth the childe in her fel­lowship, as Rom▪ 6. 3, 4, 5. 1 Pet. 4. 20, 21. The presenter of the childe is the father, or some friend if he be dead or absent, because the childe is received in the Cove­nant because the fathers are within the Covenant, and so sealed with the same seale of the Covenant, Acts 2. 37, 38 Rom. 11. 14. Gen. 17. 7, 8. 9, 10. and the action is closed with thanksgiving, as all grave, but especially actions of Gods worship should be ended, 1 Chron. 16. 7, 8, 9. and as the other Sacrament is closed, Mat. 26. 30.

6. ARTICLE.
The Lords Supper.

THese onely are admitted to the Lords Supper, who in the judgement of charity have tryed and exami­ned themselvess 1 Cor. 11. 28. The prophane and scanda­lus are debarred from this Table, as Mat. 7 6. Psal. 50. v. 16, 17. This Sacrament requiring a self-examination going before, 1 Cor. 11. 28. Therefore a Sermon of pre­paration is preached the day before, even as Christ pre­pared and dieted his guests with heavenly Sermons pre­ceding the action, as is cleare, Luke 22. 14, 15. Marke 14. 18, 19, 20. Mat. 26. 21, 22, 23. Iohn 13. v. 13, 14, 15, 16. A Table is covered, not an Altar erected, as is Luke 22. 21. Iohn 13. 28. A Sermon for the pupose in hand is preached before, as Christ doth, Joh. 13. 18, 19 20. Mat. 26. 22, 23. as a Sermon goeth before Baptisme, Acts 8. 35, 39. Acts 19. 4, 5, 6. The banqueters sit downe at Table, even as Iesus sate downe with the twelve Disci­ples, as is Mat. 26. v. 20. and v. 28. Marke 14. v. 18. and 22. the Lord honouring them with Table-honour with himselfe, as is cleare, Luke 22. 21. Iohn 13. 24, 28. The Pastor taketh the bread, and before he breake it, he giveth thanks, and prayeth for the blessing of the Elements, to the end and use appointed by Christ, even as Christ [Page 317] did, Mat. 26. 26 and thereafter taketh the bread, re­hearseth the words of the institution,