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Full text of "The works of John Owen"

PRIKCETfiy. N. .J. ^^ 
Division j^ 'r~> 
No. Case, p^^ V" 

No. Shdf\ SectioAt .,.;..., 

No. Book, „_j4^,_.-^-i_ 

The John III. Krcbs Oonation. 





















And sold by J. Parker, Oxford ; Deighlon and Sons, Cambridge ; D. Brown, 
Waugb and Innes, and H. S. Baynes and Co. Edinburgh ; Chalmers and 
Collins, and M. Ogle, Glasgow ; M. Keene, and R. M. Tims, Dublin. 






The epistle dedicatory • iji 

Preface vii 

Of the administration of holy things among the patriarchs before the law • • • 9 


Of the same among the Jews, and of the duty of that people distinct from 
their church officers 13 


Containing a digression concerning the name of priests, the right of Christians 
thereunto by their interests in the priesthood of Christ, with the pre- 
sumption of any particularly appropriating it to themselves 24 


Of the duty of God's people in cases extraordinary concerning his worship • • 35 


Of the seveidl ways of extraordinary calling to the teaching of others. The 

first way 36 


What assurance men extraordinarily called can give to others, that they are 
so called in the former way ■« 39 

The second way whereby a man may be called extraordinarily • • • ■ • • 43 


Of the liberty and duty of gifted uncalled Christians, in the exercise of divers 
acts of God's worship 48 


To the Reader Ixv 

Rules of walking in fellowship, with reference to the pastor or minister that 
watcheth for our souls • • 69 


Rules to be observed by those who walk in fellowship, and considered to stir 
up their remembrance in things of mutual duty one towards another 77 



Aggravations of the evil of schism, from the authority of the ancients. Their 
incompetency to determine in this case, instanced in the sayings of Austin 
and Jerome. The sayings of Aristides. Judgment of the ancients sub- 
jected to disquisition. Some men's advantage in charging others with 
schism. The actors' part privileged. The Romanists' interest tlierein. 
The charge of schism not to be despised. The iniquity of accusers justifies 
not the accused. Several persons charged with schism on several accounts. 
The design of this discourse in reference to them. Justification of dif- 
ferences unpleasant. Attempts for peace and reconciliation considered. 
Several persuasions hereabouts, and endeavours of men to that end. Their 
issues I ........ t • I Ill 


The nature of schism to be determined from Scripture only. This principle 
by some opposed. Necessity of abiding in it. Parity of reason allowed. 
Of the name of schism. Its constant use in Scripture. In things civil and 
religious. The whole doctrine of schism in the epistles to the Corinthians. 
The case of that church proposed to consideration. Schism entirely in 
one church. Not in the separation of any from a church ; nor in subtrac- 
tion of obedience from governors. Of the second schism in the church of 
Corinth. Of Clemens's epistle. The state of the church of Corinth in 
those days ; 'ExxXn^-ia. Tra^oinoZa-a Ko():v9ov. Tlapotno; who : wapoixi* what. 
ITa'po;^o?, ' paracia.' To whom the epistle of Clemens was precisely written. 
Corinth not a metropolitical church. Allowance of what by parity- of rea- 
son may be deduced from what is of schism aflfirmed. Things required to 
make a man guilty of schism. Arbitrary definitions of schism rejected. 
That of Austin considered : as that also of Basil. The common use and 
acceptation of it in these days. Separation from any church in its own 
nature not schism. Aggravations of the evil of schism ungrounded. The 
evil of it from its proper nature and consequences evinced. Inferences 
from the whole of this discourse. The church of Rome, if a church, the 
most schismatical church in the world. The church of Rome no church of 
Christ ; a complete image of the empire. Final acquitment of Protestants 
from schism on the principle evinced. Peculiarly of them of the late re- 
formation in England. False notions of schism the ground of sin and 
disorder 121 


Objections against the former discourse proposed to consideration. Separa- 
tion from any church in the Scripture not called schism. Grounds of such 
separation. Apostacy, irregular walking, sensuality. Of separation on the 
account of reformation. Of commands for separation. No example of 
churches departing from the communion of another. Of the common 
notion of schism, and the use made of it. Schism a breach of union. The 

I union instituted by Christ 147 



Several acceptations in the Scripture of the name churcli. Of the church 
catholic properly so called. Of the church visible. ■ Perpetuity of parti- 
cular churches. A mistake rectified. The nature of the church catholic 
evinced. Beilarmine's description of the church catliolic. Union of the 
church catholic, wherein it consists. Union by way of consequence. 
Unity of faith. Of love. The communion of the catholic church in and 
with itself. The breach of the union of the church catholic, wherein it 
consisteth. Not morally possible. Protestants not guilty of it. The papal 
world out of interest in the church catholic. As partly profane. Bliracles 
no evidence of holiness. Partly ignorant. Self-justitiaries. Idolatrous. 
Worshippers of the beast • • t 152 


Of the catholic church visible. Of the nature thereof. In what sense the 
universality of professors is called a church. Amiraldus's judgment in 
this business. The union of the church in this sense, wherein it consists. 
Not the same with the union of the church catholic ; nor that of a particular 
instituted church. Not in relation to any one officer, or more, in subordi- 
nation to one another. Such a subordination not proveable. To, ajp^aT'a 
of the Nicene synod. Of general councils. Union of the church visible 
not in a general council. The true unity of the universality of professors 
asserted. Things necessary to this union. Story of a martyr at Bagdat. 
The apostacy of churches from the unity of the faith. Testimony of 
Hegesippus vindicated. Papal apostacy. Protestants not guilty of the 
breach of this unity. The catholic church in the sense insisted on, granted 
by the ancients. Not a political body 167 


Romanists' charge of schism on the account of separation from the church 
catholic proposed to consideration. The importance of this plea on both 
sides. The sum of their charge. The church of Rome not the church 
catholic: not a church in any sense. Of antichrist in the temple. The 
catholic church how intrusted with interpretation of Scripture. Of inter- 
pretation of Scripture by tradition. The interest of the Roman church 
herein discharged. All necessary truths believed by Protestants. No con- 
trary principle by them manifested. Profane persons no members of the 
church catholic. Of the late Roman proselytes. Of the Donatists. Their 
business reported, and case stated. The present state of things unsuited 
to those of old. Apostacy from the unity of the church catholic charged 
on the Romanists. Their claim to be that church sanguinary, false. Their 
plea to this purpose considered. The blasphemous management of their 
plea by some of late. The whole dissolved. Their inferences on their 
plea practically prodigious. Their apostacy proved by instances. Their 
grand argument in this cause proposed : answered. Consequences of 
denying the Roman church to be a church of Christ, weighed 188 


Of a particular church ; its nature. Frequently mentioned in Scripture. 
Particular congregations acknowledged the only churches of the first insti- 



tution. What ensued on the multiplication of churches. Some things pre- 
mised to clear the unity of the churches in this sense. Every believer 
ordinarily obliged to join himself to some particular church. Many things 
in instituted worship answering a natural principle. Perpetuity of the 
church in this sense. True churches at first planted in England. How 
they ceased so to be. How churches may be again re-erected. Of the 
union of a particular church in itself. Fouudaion of that union twofold. 
The union itself. Of the communion of particular churches one with 
another. Our concernment in this union 213 


Of the church of England. The charge of schism in the name thereof pro- 
posed and considered. Several considerations of the church of England. 
In what sense we were members of it. Of anabaptism. The subjection 
due to bishops. Their power examined. Its original in this nation. Of 
the ministerial power of bishops. Its present continuance. Of the church 
of England, what it is. Its description. Form peculiar and constitutive. 
Answer to the charge of schism, on separation from it, in its episcopal 
constitution. How and by what means it was taken away. Things neces- 
sary to the constitution of such a church proposed, and offered to proof. 
The second way of constituting a national church, considered. Principles 
agreed on and consented unto between the parties at variance on this ac- 
count. Judgment of Amiraldus in this case. Inferences from the com- 
mon principles before consented unto. The case of schism in reference to 
a national church in the last sense, debated. Of particular churches, and 
separation from them. On what accounts justifiable. No necessity of 
joining to this or that. Separation from some so called, required. Of the 
church of Corinth. The duty of its members. Austin's judgment of the 
practice of Elijah. The last objection waved. Inferences upon the whole. 2i3 


To the Reader cclvii 

CHAP. I. ,•••»>;•..• 259 

An answer to the appendix of Mr. C.'s charge • « 272 

A review of the charger's preface 279 

Of the nature of schism 281 

CHAP. V. 293 

CHAP. VI. 300 



Of Independentisra and Donatism • • 310 

CHAP. IX 316 



Independency no schism 324 







The state of the Judaical church. The liberty given by Christ, 1. From 
the arbitrary impositions of men ; 2. From the observances and rites insti- 
tuted by Moses. The continuance of their observation in the patience and 
forbearance of God. Ditference about tliem stated. Legal righteousness 
and legal ceremonies contended for together, the reason of it ' 397 


The disciples of Christ taken into his own disposal. General things to be ob- 
served about gospel institutions. Their number small. Excess of men's 
inventions. Things instituted brought into a religious relation by the au- 
thority of Christ. That authority is none other. Suitableness to the matter 
of institutions to be designed to their proper significancy. That discover 
able only by infinite wisdom. Abilities given by Christ for the adminis- 
tration of all his institutions. The way whereby it was done, Eph. iv. 
7, 8. 11 — 16. Several postulata laid down. The sum of the whole state of 
our question in general ' 403 


Of the Lord's Prayer, and what may be concluded from thence, as to the in- 
vention and imposition of liturgies in the public worship of God. The 
liberty whereunto Christ vindicated, and wherein he left his disciples • • • • 409 . 


Of the worship of God by the apostles. No liturgies used by them, nor in 
the churches of their plantation. Argument from their practice. Reasons 
pleaded for the use of liturgies. Disabilities of church officers for gospel 
administration to the edification of the church. Uniformity in the worship 
of God. The practice of the apostles as to those pretences considered. 
Of other impositions. The rule given by the apostles. Of the liturgies 
falsely ascribed unto some of them 413 


The practice of the churches in the first three centuries as to forms of public 
worship. No set forms of liturgies used by them. The silence of the first 
writers concerning them. Some testimonies against them 419 



The pretended antiquity of liturgies disproved. The most ancient. Their 
variety. Canons of councils about forms of church administrations. The 
reason pleaded in the justification of the first invention of liturgies an- 
swered. Their progress and end • 424 


The question stated. First argument against tlie composing and imposing 
of liturgies. Arbitrary additions to the worship of God rejected. Li- 
turgies not appointed by God. Made necessary in their imposition: and 
a part of the worship of God. Of circumstances of worship. Instituted 
adjuncts of worship not circumstances. Circumstances of actions, as such, 
not circumstances of worship. Circumstances commanded made parts of 
worship. Prohibitions of additions produced, considered, applied 43 1 


Of the authority needful for the constituting and ordering of any thing that is 
to have relation to God and his worship. Of the power and authority of 
civil magistrates. The power imposing the Liturgy. The formal reason 
of religious obedience. Use of the Liturgy an act of civil and religious 
obedience; Matt, xxviii. 20. No rule to judge of what is meet in the 
worship of God, but his word ' 446 


Argument second. Necessary use of the Liturgy exclusive of the use of the 

means appointed by Christ for the edification of his church 451 


Other considerations about the imposition of liturgies 456 





























1 HAVE perused this discourse touching 'The Admini- 
stration of things commanded in Religion,' and conceive it 
written with much clearness of judgment, and moderation 
of spirit, and therefore do approve of it to be published in 


May 11, 1644. 





Having of late been deprived of the happiness to see 
you, I make bold to send to visit you ; and because 
that the times are troublesome, I have made choice of 
this messenger: w^ho, having obtained a license to pass, 
fears no searching. He brings no news, at least to you, 
but that v\^hich was from the beginning, and must con- 
tinue unto the end, which you have heard, and which 
(for some part thereof) you have practised out of the 
word of God. He hath no secret messages prejudicial 
to the state of church or commonwealth ; neither, I hope, 
will he entertain any such comments by the way, con- 
sidering from whom he comes, and to whom he goes ; 
of whom, the one would disclaim him, and the other 
punish him. Ambitious I am not of any entertainment 
for these few sheets, neither care much what success 
they find in their travel; setting them out merely in 
my own defence, to be freed from the continued solici- 
tations of some honest, judicious men, who were ac- 
quainted with their contents : being nothing but an 
hour's country discourse, resolved, from the ordinary 
pulpit method, into its own principles. When I first 
thought of sending it to you, I made full account to use 

B 2 


the benefit of the advantage, in recounting of, and re- 
turning thanks for, some of those many undeserved fa- 
vours which I have received from you. But address- 
ing myself to the performance, I fainted in the very en- 
trance ; finding their score so large, that I know not 
where to begin, neither should I know how to end : 
only one I cannot suffer to lie hid in the crowd, though 
other engagements hindered me from embracing it, viz. 
your free proffer of an ecclesiastical preferment, then 
vacant, and in your donation. Yet truly all received 
courtesies, have no power to oblige me unto you, in 
comparison of that abundant worth, which by expe- 
rience I have found to be dwelling in you. Twice by 
God's providence have I been with you, when your 
county hath been in great danger to be ruined ; once 
by the horrid insurrection of a rude godless multitude, 
and again by the invasion of a potent enemy, prevail- 
ing in the neighbour county ; at both which times, 
besides the general calamity justly feared, particular 
threatenings were daily brought unto you : under which 
sad dispensations, I must crave leave to say (only to 
put you in mind of yourself, if it should please God 
again to reduce you to the like straits), that I never saw 
more resolved constancy, more cheerful unmoved Chris- 
tian courage in any man. Such a valiant heart in a 
weak body, such a directing head, where the hand was 
but feeble, such unwearied endeavours under the pres- 
sures of a painful infirmity, so well advised resolves in 
the midst of imminent danger, did I then behold, as I 
know not where to parallel. Neither can I say less in 
her kind of your virtuous lady, whose known goodness 
to all, and particvilar indulgences to me, make her, as 
she is in herself, very precious in my thoughts and re- 
membrance : whom having named, I desire to take the 
advantage thankfully to mention her worthy son, my 
noble and very dear friend C.Westrow, whose judg- 


merit to discern the differences of these times, and his 
valour in prosecuting what he is resolved to be just and 
lawful, places him among the number of those very few, 
to whom it is given to know aright the causes of things, 
and vigorously to execute holy and laudable designs. 
But farther of him I choose to say nothing, because, 
if I would, I cannot but say too little. Neither will I 
longer detain you from the ensuing discourse, which I 
desire to commend to your favourable acceptance, and 
with my hearty prayers, that the Lord would meet you 
and yours in all those ways of mercy and grace, which 
are necessary to carry you along through all your en- 
gagements, until you arrive at the haven of everlasting 
glory, where you would be. I rest 

Your most obliged servant 

In Jesus Christ our common Master, 



The glass of our lives seems to run and keep pace with 
the extremity of time : the end of those ' ends of the 
world''' which began with the gospel is doubtless com- 
ing upon us ; he that was instructed what should be till 
time should be no more,*' said it was eayarr} w^a," the 
last hour in his time : much sand cannot be behind, and 
Christ shakes the glass; many minutes of that hour 
cannot remain : the next measure we are to expect, is 
but * a moment, the twinkling of an eye, wherein we 
shall all be changed.''^ Now as if the horoscope of the 
decaying age had some secret influence into the wills 
of men, to comply with the decrepit world, they gene- 
rally delight to run into extremes ; not that I would 
have the fate of the times to bear the faults of men,'' like 

him who cried, ovk eyw ainog ufu aXXa t^vg Kai fxotpa, tO, 

free himself, entitling God and fate to his sins; but 
only to shew how the all-disposing providence of the 
Most High, works such a compliance of times and per- 
sons, as may jointly drive at his glorious aims, causing 
men to set out in such seasons as are fittest for their 
travel. This epidemical disease of the aged world, is 
the cause, why in that great diversity of contrary opi- 
nions, wherewith men's heads and hearts are now re- 
plenished, the truth pretended to be sought with so 
much earnestness, may be often gathered up, quite neg- 

* 1 Cor. X. 11. Ta teXu tSv aiwvMv, b Rev. x. 6. 

c 1 John ii. 18. Matt. xxiv. 23. 

^' 1 Cor. XV. 52. Zanch. de fine sec. Mol, ace. proph. « Rom. ix. 19. 


lected, between the parties litigant: ' medio tutissimus' 
is a sure rule, but that fiery spirits, 

Pyroeis, Eous, et iEtlion, 
Quartusque Plilegon, 

will be mounting. In the matter concerning which I 
propose my weak essay, some would have all Chris- 
tians to be almost ministers ; others, none but ministers 
to be God's clergy : those would give the people the 
keys, these use them, to lock them out of the church ; 
the one ascribing to them primarily all ecclesiastical 
power for the ruling of the congregation, the other 
abridging them of the performance of spiritual duties, 
for the building of their own souls as though there were 
no habitable earth between the valley (I had almost 
said the pit) of democratical confusion, and the pre- 
cipitous rock of hierarchical tyranny. When unskilful 
archers shoot, the safest place to avoid the arrow is the 
white : going as near as God shall direct me to the 
truth of this matter, I hope to avoid the strokes of the 
combatants on every side. And therefore will not 
handle it tpiariKojg, with opposition to any man, or opi- 
nion, but BoynaTiKoJg briefly proposing mine own re- 
quired judgment; the summary result whereof, is, that 
the sacred calling may retain its ancient dignity, though 
the people of God be not deprived of their Christian 
liberty ; to clear which proposal, some things I shall 
briefly premise. 




Of the administration of holy things among the patriarchs before the law, 

1. CyoNCERNiNG the ancient patriarchs: from these, some 
who would have Judaism to be but an intercision of Chris- 
tianity/derive the pedigree of Christians, affirming the differ- 
ence between us and them to be solely in the name and not 
the thing itself: of this, thus much at least is true, that ' the 
law of commandments contained in ordinances,'^ did much 
more diversify the administration of the covenant, before 
and after Christ, than those plain moralities, wherewith in 
their days it was clothed : where the assertion is deficient, 
antiquity hath given its authors sanctuary from farther pur- 
suit; their practice then, were it clear, can be no precedent 
for Christians. All light brought to the gospel, in compari- 
son of those full and glorious beams that shine in itself, is 
but a candle set up in the sun : yet, for their sakes who 
found out the former unity, I will (not following the conceit 
of any, nor the comments of many) give you such a bare 
narration, as the Scripture will supply me withal, of their 
administration of the holy things and practice of their reli- 
gion (as it seems Christianity, though not so called), and 
doubt you not of divine approbation and institution. For all 
prelacy, at least until Ninirod hunted for preferment, was 
* de jure divino.' I find then, that before the giving of the law, 
the chief men among the servants of the true God, did every 
one in their own families, with their neighbours adjoining 
of the same persuasion, perform those things which they 
knew to be required by the law of nature, tradition, or spe- 

f Euseb. Eccles. Hist. lib. 1. cap. Ambr. de Sacra, lib, 4, t Eph. ii. 15. 


cial revelation (the unwritten word of those times) in the 
service of God, instructing their children and servants in the 
knowledge of their creed concerning the nature and good- 
ness of God, the fall and sin of man, the use of sacrifices, 
and the promised seed (the sum of their religion); and 
moreover, performing to. Trpog tov Osov things appertaining 
unto God. This we have delivered concerning Seth, Enoch, 
Noah, Abraham, Lot, Isaac, Jacob, Jethro, Job, and others.'' 
Now whether they did this as any way peculiarly designed 
unto it, as an office, or rather in obedient duty to the prime 
law of nature, in which, and to whose performance, many of 
them were instructed and encouraged by divine revelation 
(as seems most probable), is not necessary to be insisted on. 
To me truly it seems evident, that there were no determinate 
ministers of divine worship before the law ; for where find 
we any such offiice instituted, where the duties of those 
officers prescribed? or were they of human invention?' God 
would never allow, that in any regard, the will of the crea- 
ture should be the measure of his honour and worship: but 
the right and exercise of the priesthood, say some, was in 
the first-born; but a proof of this will be for ever wanting. 
Abel was not Adam's eldest son, yet, if any thing were pecu- 
liar to such an office, it was by him performed ; that both the 
brothers carried their sacrifices to their father, is a vain sur- 
mise.'' Who was priest then when Adam died ? Neither can 
any order of descent be handsomely contrived. Noah had 
three sons, grant the eldest only a priest ; were the eldest 
sons of his other sons priests or no ? if not, how many men, 
fearing God, were scattered over the face of the earth, utterly 
deprived of the means of right worship ? if so, there must be 
a new rule produced beyond the prescript of nature, where- 
by a man may be enabled by generation to convey that to 
others which he hath not in himself. I speak not of Mel- 
chisedec and his extraordinary priesthood: why should any 
speak where the Holy Ghost is silent? If we pretend to 
know him, we overthrow the whole mystery, and run cross 
to the apostle, affirming him to be airaTo^m 0^7/ropa, without 
father, mother, or genealogy; for so long time, then, as the 

ii Gen. iv, 26. v. 22. vi. 8, 9. &c. viii. 20. ix. 25—27. xviii. 18, 19. xix. 9. xxviii. 
1, 2. xxxiv. 26. XXXV. 3 — 5. Exod. iii. 1. Job i. 5. xlii. 8— 10. 

>Tlio. 22. iV. q. 87. ad 3. ^ Jacob Annin. de Sacerd. cli. oral. 


greatest combination of men was in distinct families (which 
sometimes were very great'), politics and economics being of 
the same extent, all the way of instruction in the service and 
knowledge of God, was by the way of paternal admonition ; 
for the discharge of which duty, Abraham is commended, 
Gen. xviii. 19. whereunto the instructors had no particular 
engagement, but only the general obligation of the law of 
nature ; what rule they had for their performances towards 
God, doth not appear ; all positive law, in every kind, is or- 
dained for the good of community ; that then being not, no 
such rule was assigned until God gathered a people, and 
lifted up the standard of circumcision for his subjects to re- 
pair unto : the world in the days of Abraham beginning gene- 
rally to incline to idolatry and polytheism,"" the first evident 
irreconcilable division was made between his people and the 
nialignants, which before lay hid in his decree : visible signs 
and prescript rules were necessary for such a gathered 
church. This before I conceive to have been supplied by 
special revelation. 

The law of nature a long time prevailed for the worship 
of the one true God. The manner of this worship, the gene- 
rality had at first (as may be conceived) from the vocal in- 
struction of Adam, full of the knowledge of divine things; 
this afterward their children had from them by tradition, 
helped forward by such who received particular revela- 
tions in their generation, such as Noah, thence called a 
' preacher of righteousness:' so knowledge of God's will in- 
creased," until sin quite prevailed, and all flesh corrupted 
their ways ; all apostacy for the most part begins in th^ will, 
which is more bruised by the fall than the understanding. 
Nature is more corrupted in respect of the desire of good, 
than the knowledge of truth ; the knowledge of God would 
have flourished longer in men's minds, had not sin banished 
the love of God out of their hearts. The sum is, that be- 
fore the giving of the law, every one in his own person 
served God according to that knowledge he had of his will. 
Public performances were assigned to none, farther than the 
obligation of the law of nature to their duty in their own 

' Gen. XIV. 14. 
"" Eccles, malignantiuni. August, con. Faust. lib, 19. cap. 11. 
" Per incienienla temporum crevit divinie cognitiones incremendira. Greg. 
Horn. 16. in Ezek. a raed. 


families. I have purposely omitted to speak of Melchisedec, 
as I said before, having spoken all that I can or dare con- 
cerning him, on another occasion. Only this I will add, 
they who so confidently aflarm him to be Shem, the!son of 
Noah, and to have his priesthood in an ordinary way, by 
virtue of his primogeniture, might have done well to ask 
leave of the Holy Ghost, for the revealing of that which he 
purposely concealed, to set forth no small mystery, by them 
quite overthrown. And he who of late makes him look 
upon Abraham and the four kings, all of his posterity, fight- 
ing for the inheritance of Canaan (of which cause of their 
quarrel the Scripture is silent), robs him at least of one of 
his titles, a * king of peace ;' making him neither king nor 
peaceable, but a bloody grandsire, that either could not, or 
would not part his fighting children, contending for that 
whose right was in him, to bestow on whom he would. And 
thus was it with them in the administration of sacred things : 
There was no divine determiuation of the priestly office on 
any order of men: when things appertaining unto God, were " 
to be performed in the name of a whole family, (as afterward, 
1 Sam. XX. 6.) perhaps the honour of the performance was 
by consent given to the first-born. Farther, the way of teach- 
ing others, was by paternal admonition ; (so Gen. xviii. 19.) 
motives thereunto, and rules of their proceeding therein, 
being the law of nature, and special revelation. Prescription 
of positive law, ordained for the good of community, could 
have no place, when all society was domestical. To in- 
struct others (upon occasion) wanting instruction for their 
good, is an undeniable dictate of the first principles of na- 
ture; obedience to which was all the ordinary warrant they 
had for preaching to any beyond their own families, observed 
by Lot, Gen. xix. 7. though his sermon contained a little 
false doctrine, ver. 8. Again, special revelation leaves as a 
great impression on the mind of him to whom it is made, so 
an effectual obligation for the performance of what it di- 
recteth unto, 'the lion hath roared, who will not fear? the 
Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?' Amos iii. 8. 
And this was Noah's warrant for those performances, from 
whence he was called *a preacher of righteousness;' 2 Pet. 
ii. 5. Thus although I do not find any determinate order of 
priesthood by divine institution, yet do I not thence con- 


elude with Aquin. 12. se. quest. 3. a. 1. (if I noted right at the 
reading of it) that all the worship of God, I mean, for the 
manner of it, was of human invention, yea, sacrifices them- 
selves ; for this will worship, as I shewed before, God always 
rejected. No doubt but sacrifices and the manner of them 
were of divine institution, albeit their particular original, in 
regard of precept, though not of practice, be to us unknown ; 
for what in all this concerns us, we may observe that a su- 
perinstitution of a new ordinance, doth not overthrow any 
thing that went before in the same kind, universally moral 
or extraordinary ; nor at all change it, unless by express 
exception, as by the introduction of the ceremonial law, the 
offering of sacrifices, which before was common to all, was 
restrained to the posterity of Levi. Look then what perform- 
ances in the service of God that primitive household of faith 
was in the general directed unto by the law of nature, the 
same, regulated by gospel light (not particularly excepted), 
ought the generality ofC hristians to perform, which what 
they were may be collected from what was forespoken. 


Of the same among the Jews, and of the duty of that people distinct 
from their church officers. 

2. Concerning the Jews after the giving of Moses's law : 
the people of God were then gathered in one, and a standard 
was set up for all his to repair unto, and the church of God 
became like a city upon a hill, conspicuous to all ; and a cer- 
tain rule set down for every one to observe that would ap- 
proach unto him. As then before the law we sought for the 
manner of God's worship from the practice of men, so now 
since the change of the external administration of the cove- 
nant, from the prescription of God ; then we guessed at 
what was commanded, by what was done ; now, at what was 
done, by what was commanded : and this is all the certainty 
we can have in either kind, though the consequence from 
the precept, to the performance ; and on the contrary, in 


this corrupted state of nature, be not of absolute necessity ; 
only the difference is, where things are obscured, it is a 
safer way to prove the practice of men by God's precept, 
charitably supposing them to have been obedient, than to 
wrest the divine rule to their observation, knowing how 
prone men are to deify themselves, by mixing their inven- 
tions with the worship of God. The administration of God's 
providence towards his church hath been various, and the 
communication of himself unto it, at sundry times, hath 
been in divers manners ; especially, it pleased him not to 
bring it to perfection but by degrees, as 'the earth bringeth 
forth fruit; first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in 
the ear.'* Thus the church, before the giving of Moses's law, 
seems to have had two main defects, which the Lord at that 
time supplied ; one in discipline or government, in that 
every family exercised the public worship of God within it- 
self or apart, (though some do otherwise conclude from Gen. 
iv. 26.) which was first removed, by establishing a consis- 
tory of elders ; the other in the doctrine, wanting the rule of 
the written word, being direpted by tradition, the manifold 
defects whereof were made up by special revelation; to nei- 
ther of these defects was the church since exposed. Whe- 
ther there was any thing written before the giving of the 
law, is not worth contending about : Austin'' thought Enoch's 
prophecy was written by him; and Josephus affirms,'' that 
there were two pillars erected, one of stone, the other of 
brick, before the flood, wherein divers things were engraven ; 
and Sixtus Senensis,'' that the book of the wars of the Lord 
was a volume ancienter than the books of Moses; but 
the contrary opinion is most received: so Chrysost. Horn. 1. 
in Mali. After its giving, none ever doubted of the perfection 
of the written word for the end to which it was ordained, 
until the Jews had broached their Talmud to oppose Christ, 
and the Papists their traditions, to advance antichrist; 
doubtless the sole aim of the work, whatever were the inten- 
tions of the workmen. 

The lights which God maketh, are sufficient to rule the 
seasons for which they are ordained ; as, in creating of the 

a Mark iv. 28. 

b Aug. de Civit. Dei. lib. 15. cap. 23. ' Joseph. Antiq. lib. 1, cap. 3. 

J Sixt. Senens. Bib. lib. 2. 


world, God ' made two great lis^hts, the greater light to rule 
the day, and the lesser light to rule the night ;' so in the 
erection of the new world of his church, he set up two great 
lights, the lesser light of the Old Testament, to guide the 
night, the dark space of time under the law, and the greater 
light of the New Testament, to rule the glorious day of the 
gospel; and these two lights do sufficiently enlighten every 
man that cometh into this new world. There is no need of 
the false fire of tradition, where God sets up such glorious 
lights. This be premised, for the proneness of men to 
deflect from the golden rule and heavenly polestar in the 
investigation of the truth; especially in things of this na- 
ture, concerning which we treat, wherein ordinary endea- 
vours are far greater in searching after what men have 
done, than what they ought to have done ; and when the 
fact is once evidenced, from the pen of a rabbi, or a father, 
presently conclude the right; amongst many, we may take 
a late treatise for instance, entitled. Of Religious Assemblies 
and the Public Service of God ; whose author would pre- 
scribe the manner of God's worship among Christians, from 
the custom of the Jews ; and their observations, he would 
prove from the rabbies ; not at all taking notice, that from 
such observance, they were long ago recalled to the ' law 
and to the testimony ;'^ and afterward for them sharply re- 
buked by truth itself. Doubtless it is a worthy knowledge 
to be able, and a commendable diligence, to search into 
those coiners of curiosities ; but to embrace the fancies of 
those wild heads which have nothing but novelty to com- 
mend them, and to seek their imposition on others, is but 
an abusing of their own seisure and others' industry. The 
issue of such a temper seems to be the greatest part of that 
treatise, which because I wait only for some spare hours to 
demonstrate in a particular tract, I shall for the present 
omit the handling of divers things there spoken of, though 
otherwise they might very opportunely here be mentioned ; 
as the office and duty of prophets, the manner of God's 
worship in their synagogues, the original and institution 
of their latter teachers, scribes and Pharisees, &c. and 
briefly only observe those things, which are most imme- 
diately conducing to my proposed subject. The worship 

« Matt. V. 6. 



of God among them was either moral, or ceremonial and 
typical; the performances belonging unto the latter, with 
all things thereunto conducing, were appropriated to them 
whom God had peculiarly set apart for that purpose. By 
ceremonial worship, I understand all sacrifices and offerings, 
the whole service of the tabernacle, and afterward of the 
temple : all which were typical, and established merely 
for the present dispensation, not without purpose of their 
abrogation, when that which was to be more perfect should 
appear. Now the several officers, with their distinct em- 
ployments in and about this service, were so punctually 
prescribed and limited by Almighty God, that as none of 
them might, aWorpKnriKOTrHv without presumptuous im- 
piety, intrude into the function of others, not allotted to 
them, as Numb. xvi. 7 — 10. so none of their brethren 
might presume to intrude into the least part of their office, 
without manifest sacrilege; Josh. xxii. 11, 12. True it is, 
that there is mention of divers in the Scripture that offered 
sacrifices, or vowed so to do, who were strangers from the 
priest's office, yea, from the tribe of Levi, as Jephthah, 
Judges xi. Manoah, chap. xiii. David, 2 Sam. vi. and 
again, 2 Sam. xxiv. Solomon, 1 Kings iii. and again, 
chap. ix. But following our former rule of interpreting 
the practice by the precept, we may find, and that truly, 
that all the expressions of their offerings signify no more, 
but they brought those things to be offered, and caused the 
priests to do, what in their own persons they ought not to 
perform. Now hence by the way we may observe, that the 
people of God, under the New Testament, contrary distinct 
from their teachers, have a greater interest in the perform- 
ance of spiritual duties belonging to the worship of God, 
and more in that regard is granted unto them, and required 
of them, than was of the ancient people of the Jews, consi- 
dered as distinguished from their priests, because their duty 
is prescribed unto them under the notion of those things, 
which then were appropriate only to the priests ; as of 
offering incense, sacrifice, oblations, and the like, which in 
their original institution were never permitted to the people 
of the Jews, but yet tralatitiously and by analogy are en- 
joined to all Christians : but of these afterward. The main 
question is, about the duty of the people of God, in per- 


forraances for their own edification, and the extent of their 
lawful undertakings for others' instruction ; for the first, 
which is of nearest concernment unto themselves, the 
sum of their duty in this kind may be reduced to these two 
heads : First, To hear the word and law of God read at- 
tively, especially when it was expounded. Secondly, To 
meditate therein themselves, to study it by day and night, 
and to get their senses exercised in that rule of their duty. 
Concerning each of which, we have both the precept and 
the practice, God's command, and their performance. The 
one, in that injunction given unto the priest, Deut. xxxi. 
11 — 13. ' When all Israel is come to appear before the Lord 
thy God, in the place that he shall choose, thou shalt read 
this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the peo- 
ple together, men, and women, and children, and thy 
stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and 
that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God ; and that 
their children which have not known, may hear and learn.' 
All which we find punctually performed on both sides; 
Nehem. viii. 2 — 5. Ezra the priest standing on a pulpit of 
wood, read the law, and gave the meaning of it, and the 
' ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.' 
Which course continued until there was an end put to the 
observances of that law; as Acts xv. 21. 'Moses of old 
time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in 
the synagogues every sabbath day.' On which ground, not 
receding from their ancient observations, the people assem- 
bled to hear our Saviour teaching with authority ; Luke 
xxi. 38. And St. Paul divers times took advantage of their 
ordinary assemblies to preach the gospel unto them. For 
the other, which concerns their own searching into the law, 
and studying of the word, we have a strict command, Deut. 
vi. 6 — 9. ' And these words, which I command thee this day, 
shall be in thy heart : and thou shalt teach them diligently 
unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest 
in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when 
thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt 
bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be as 
frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them 
upon the posts of thy house and upon thy gates.' Which 
strict charge is again repeated, chap. xi. 18. summarily 

VOL. XIX. c 



comprehending all ways whereby they might become ex- 
ercised in the law. Now because this charge is in par- 
ticular given to the king, chap. xvii. 18, 19. the perform- 
ance of a king in obedience thereunto, will give us light 
enough into the practice of the people. And this we have 
in that most excellent psalm of David, viz. cxix. which for 
the most part is spent in petitions for light, direction, and 
assistance in that study, in expressions of the performance 
of this duty, and in spiritual glorying of his success in his 
divine meditations : especially, ver. 99. he ascribeth his pro- 
ficiency in heavenly wisdom and understanding above his 
teachers, not to any special revelation, not to that propheti- 
cal light wherewith he was endued (which indeed consist- 
ing in a transient irradiation of the mind, being a superna- 
tural impulsion commensurate to such things as are con- 
natural only unto God, doth of itself give neither v; isdom nor 
understanding), but unto his study in the testimonies of 
God. The blessings pronounced upon, and promises an- 
nexed to, the performance of this duty, concern not the mat- 
ter in hand ; only from the words wherein the former com- 
mand is delivered, two things may be observed : 1. That the 
paternal teaching and instruction of families in things which 
appertain to God, being a duty of the law of nature, re- 
mained in its full vigour, and was not at all impaired by the 
institution of a new order of teachers for assemblies, beyond 
domestical then established. Neither without doubt ought 
it to cease amongst Christians, there being no other reason 
why now it should, but that, which then was not effectual. 
Secondly, That the people of God were not only per- 
mitted, but enjoined also, to read the Scriptures, and upon 
all occasions, in their own houses and elsewhere, to talk of 
them, or communicate their knowledge in them, unto 
others. There had been then no council at Trent to forbid 
the one, nor perhaps was there any strict canon to bring 
the other within the compass of a conventicle. But now 
for the solemn public teaching and instructing of others it 
was otherwise ordained, for this was committed to them in 
regard of ordinary performance, who were set apart by God; 
as^ for others before named : so also for that purpose, the 
author of the treatise I before mentioned, concludeth that 
the people were not taught at the public assemblies by 


priests, as such ; that is, teaching the people was no part of 
their office or duty; but on the contrary, that seems to be a 
man's duty in the service or worship of God, which God 
requires of him, and that appertain to his oflSce whose per- 
formance is expressly enjoined unto him as such; and for 
whose neglect, he is rebuked or punished. Now all this we 
find concerning the priest's public teaching of the people; 
for the proof of which the recital of a few pertinent places 
shall suffice: Lev. x. 11. we have an injunction laid upon 
Aaron and his sons, 'to teach the children of Israel all the 
statutes that the Lord had spoken to them by the hand of 
Moses.' And of the Levites it is affirmed, Deut. xxxiii. 10. 
' They shall teach Jacob thy statutes, and Israel thy law.' 
Now though some restrain these places to the discerning of 
leprosies, and between holy and unholy, with their deter- 
mination of difficulty emergent out of the law, yet this no 
way impairs the truth of that I intend to prove by them; for 
even those things belonged to that kind of public teach- 
ing which was necessary under that administration of the 
covenant; but instead of many, I will name one not liable 
to exception; Mai. ii. 7. 'The priest's lips should preserve 
knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth ; for 
he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts :' where both a rer 
cital of his own duty, that he should be full of knowledge to 
instruct; the intimation of the people, that they should seek 
unto him, or give heed to his teaching ; with the reason of 
them both, * for he is the Lord's messenger' (one of the highest 
titles of the ministers of the gospel performing the same 
office) ; do abundantly confirm, that instructing of the peo- 
ple in the moral worship of God, was a duty of the priestly 
office, or of the priests as such ; especially considering the 
effect of this teaching mentioned, ver. 9. ' the turning of 
many from their iniquity;' the proper end of teaching in 
assemblies : all which we find exactly performed by an ex- 
cellent priest, preaching to the people on a pulpit of wood; 
Nehem. viii. 5 — 8. Farther, for a neglect of this, the priests 
are threatened with the rejection from their office; Hosea 
iv. 6. Nov/ it doth not seem justice, that a man should be 
put out of his office for a neglect of that, whose perform- 
ance doth not belong unto it ; the fault of every neglect, 
ariseth from the description of a duty. Until something then 

c 2 


of more force, than any thing as yet I have seen, be objected 
to the contrary, we may take it for granted. That the 
teaching of the people under the law, in public assemblies, 
was performed ordinarily by the priests, as belonging to 
their duty and office. Men endued with gifts supernatural, 
extraordinarily called, and immediately sent by God him- 
self for the instruction of his people, the reformation of his 
church, and foretelling things to come, such as were the 
prophets, who, whenever they met with opposition, staid 
themselves upon their extraordinary calling, come not within 
the compass of my disquisition. The institution also of the 
schools of the prophets, the employment of the sons of the 
prophets, the original of the scribes, and those other pos- 
sessors of Moses's chair in our Saviour's time, wherein he 
conversed here below, being necessarily to be handled in 
my observations on the forenamed treatise, I shall omit until 
more leisure and an enjoyment of the small remainder of my 
poor library shall better enable me. For the present, because 
treating in ' causa facili,' although writing without books, I 
hope I am not besides the truth; the book of truth, praised 
be God, is easy to be obtained, and God is not tied to means 
in discovering the truth of that book. Come we then to 
the consideration of what duty in the service of God, be- 
yond those belonging unto several families, were permitted 
to any of the people, not peculiarly set apart for such a pur- 
pose. The ceremonial part of God's worship, as we saw 
before, was so appropriate to the priests, that God usually 
revenged the transgression of that ordinance very severely: 
the examples of Uzzah and Uzziah^ are dreadful testimonies 
of his wrath in that kind. It was an unalterable law, by 
virtue whereof the priests excommunicated? that presump- 
tuous king. For that which we chiefly intend, the public 
teaching of others, as to some it was enjoined, as an act of 
their duty, so it might at first seem that it was permitted 
to all, who having ability thereunto, were called by charity 
or necessity. So the princes of Jehoshaphat taught the peo- 
ple out of the law of God, as well as the priests and Levites ; 
2 Chron. xvii. 7 — 10. so also Nehemiah, and others of the 
chiefs of the people are reckoned among them who taught 
the people ; Nehem. viii. and afterward, when St. Paul at any 

g Cliroii. xxvi. 19 ' s ' Cast hira out;' Joliii ix. 34. 


time entered into their synagogues, they never questioned 
any thing but his abilities ; i-f he had any word of exhorta- 
tion to the people he might ' say on :"■ and the scribes, ques- 
tioning the authority of our Saviour for his teaching, were 
moved to it, not because he taught, but because he taught 
so, and such things, with authority, and against tfteir tra- 
ditions; otherwise they rather troubled themselves, to think 
how he should become able to teach, Mark vi. 2, 3. than 
him, because he did. There are indeed many sharp reproofs 
in the Old Testament of those who undertook to be God's 
messengers without his warrant; as Jer. xxii. 21,22. *I have 
not sent these prophets, yet they ran ; I have not spoken 
to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my 
counsel,' &c. to which, and the like places it may satisfac- 
torily be answered, that howsoever by the way of analogy, 
they may be drawn into rule for these times of the gospel, 
yet they were spoken only in reference to them who falsely 
pretended to extraordinary revelations, and a power of fore- 
telling things to come ; whom the Lord forewarned his 
people of, and appointed punishments for them, Deut. xiii. 
with which sort of pretenders that nation was ever reple- 
nished, for which the very heathen often derided them. He 
who makes it his employment to counterfeit God's dispen- 
sations, had then no more glorious work to imitate than that 
of prophecy, wherein he was not idle; yet notwithstanding 
all this, I do not conceive the former discourse to be punc- 
tually true in the latitude thereof; as though it were per- 
mitted to all men, or any men, besides the priests and pro- 
phets to teach publicly at all times, and in all estates of 
that church. Only I conceive that the usual answers given 
to the forecited places, when objected, are not sufficient: 
take an instance in one, 2 Chron. xvii. of the princes of 
Jehoshaphat teaching with the priests. The author of the 
book before intimated, conceives that neither priests nor 
princes taught at all in that way we now treat of; but only 
that the priests rode circuit to administer judgment, and 
had the princes with them to do execution : but this inter- 
pretation he borroweth only to confirm his ttjowtov ^tvdog, 
that priests did not teach as such ; the very circumstance of 
the place enforces a contrary sense ; and in chap. xix. 

*> Acts xiii. 16. 


there is express mention of appointing judges for the de- 
termination of civil causes in every city, which evidently 
was a distinct work, distinguished from that mentioned in 
this place ; and upon the like ground I conceive it to be 
no intimation of a moveable sanhedrim, which although of 
such a mixed constitution, yet was not itinerant, and is 
mentioned in that other place: neither is that other ordinary 
gloss more probable, they were sent to teach, that is to 
countenance the teaching of the law ; a duty which seldom 
implores the assistance of human countenance : and if for 
the present it did, the king's authority commanding it was 
of more value than the presence of the princes. Besides, 
there is nothing in the text, nor the circumstances thereof, 
which should hold out this sense unto us; neither do we 
find any other rule, precept, or practice, whose analogy 
might lead us to such an interpretation. That which to me 
seems to come nearest the truth is, that they taught also, 
not in a ministerial way, like the priests and Levites, but 
imperially and judicially declaring the sense of the law, the 
offences against it, and the punishments due to such of- 
fences, especially inasmuch as they had reference to the 
peace of the commonwealth ; which differs not much from 
that which I rest upon, to wit, that in a collapsed and cor- 
rupted state of the church, when the ordinary teachers are 
either utterly ignorant and cannot, or negligent and will 
not, perform their duty ; gifts in any one to be a teacher, and 
"consent in others by him to be taught, are a sufficient war- 
rant for the performance of it; and than this, the places 
cited out of the Old Testament prove no more. For the 
proceedings of St. Paul in the synagogues, their great want 
of teaching (being a people before forsaken of the Spirit 
and then withering) might be a warrant for them to desire 
it, and his apostolical mission for him to do it. It doth not 
then at all from hence appear, that there was then any 
liberty of teaching in public assemblies granted unto, or 
assumed by any in such an estate of the church, as wherein 
it ought to be : wiien indeed it is ruinously declining, every 
one of God's servants hath a sufficient warrant to help or 
prevent the fall; this latter being but a common duty of 
zeal and charity, the former an authoritative act of the keys, 
the minister whereof is only an instrumental agent, that 


from whence it hath its efficacy residing in another, in 
whose stead, 2 Cor. v. 19, 20. and under whose person it 
is done. Now whoever doth any thing in another's stead, 
not by express patent from him, is a plain impostor ; and 
a grant of this nature made unto all in general doth not ap- 
pear. I am bold to speak of these things under the notion 
of the keys, though in the time of the law ; for I cannot as- 
sent to those schoolmen,* who will not allow that the keys 
in any sense were granted to the legal priests ; their power 
of teaching, discerning, judging, receiving in, and casting 
out, import the thing, though the name (no more than that 
of ' regnum coelorum,' as Jerome and Augustine observe), 
be not to be found in the Old Testament : and doubtless 
God ratified the execution of his own ordinances in heaven, 
then, as well as now. What the immediate effect of their 
services was, how far by their own force they reached, and 
what they typified, how in signification only, and not im- 
mediately they extended to an admission into, and exclusion 
from the heavenly tabernacle, and wherein lies the secret 
power of gospel commissions beyond theirs to attain the 
ultimate end, I have declared elsewhere.'' 

Thus much of what the ancient people of God distin- 
guished from their priests might not do : now briefly of what 
they might, or rather of what they ought, and what their 
obedience and profession declared that they thought them- 
selves obliged unto ; private exhortations, rebukings, and 
such dictates of the law of nature being presupposed ; we 
find them farther ' speaking often one to another,' of those 
things which concerned the fear and worship of the Lord ; 
Mai. iii. 16. by their lips 'feeding many with wisdom;* 
Prov. X. 21. discoursing of God's laws upon all occasions; 
Deut. vi. 6 — 8. by multitudes encouraging each other to 
the service of God; Zech. viii. 20, 21. Isa. ii. 3. jointly 
praising God with cheerful hearts ; Psal. xlii. 4. giving and 
receiving mutual consolation; Psal. Iv. 14. and all this, with 
much more of the same nature, at their meetings, either oc- 
casional, or for that purpose indicted. Always provided, 
that they abstained from fingering the ark, or meddling with 
those things which were appropriated to the office of the 
priests : and concerning them hitherto. 

■ Aquin. Durand. 
^ Tractafu de sacerdotio Christi, contra Armin. Socini. et Papistas, nondum edito. 



Containing a digression concerning the name of priests, the right of Chris- 
tians thereunto hy their interest in the priesthood of Christ, with the pre- 
sumption of any particularly appropriating it to themselves. 

And now the transaction of these things in the Christian 
church presents itself to our consideration ; in handling 
whereof, I shall not at all discourse concerning the several 
church officers instituted by Christ and his apostles, for the 
edification of his body; nor concerning the difference be- 
tween them who were partakers at first of an extraordinary 
vocation, and those who since have been called to the same 
work in an ordinary manner, divinely appointed for the di- 
rection of the church : neither yet doth that diversity of the 
administration of government in the churches, then when 
they were under the plenitude of apostolical power, and now 
when they follow rules prescribed for their reiglement, come 
in my way. 

Farther, Who are the subject of the keys, in whom all 
that secondary ecclesiastical power which is committed to 
men doth reside, after the determinations of so many learned 
men, by clear Scripture light, shall not by me be called in 
question : all these, though conducing to the business in 
hand, would require a large discussion, and such a scho- 
lastical handling, as would make it an inconsutilous piece 
of this popular discourse; my intent being only to shew, 
that seeing there are, as all acknowledge, some under 
the New Testament, as well as the Old, peculiarly set apart 
by God's own appointment for the administration of Christ's 
ordinances, especially teaching of others by preaching of the 
gospel, in the way of office and duty, what remaineth for 
the rest of God's people to do, for their own and others' 

But here, before I enter directly upon the matter, I must 
remove one stone of offence, concerning the common appel- 
lation of those who are set apart for the preaching of the 
gospel: that which is most frequently used for them in the 
New Testament is Sm/covoi, so 1 Cor. iii. 5. 2 Cor. iii. 6. 
vi. 4. xi. 15. 23. 1 Tim. iv. 6. and in divers other places ; to 
which add uTrr/ptVat, 1 Cor. iv. 1. a word though of another 


original, yet of the same signification with the former, and both 
rightly translated 'ministers.' The names of ambassadors, 
stewards, and the like, wherewith they are often honoured 
are figurative, and given unto them by allusion only : that 
the former belonged unto them, and were proper for them, 
none ever denied, but some Rabshakehs of antichrist. An- 
other name there is, which some have assumed unto them- 
selves as an honour, and others have imposed the same 
upon them for a reproach : viz. that of priest, which to the 
takers seemed to import a more mysterious employment, a 
greater advancement above the rest of their brethren, a nearer 
approach unto God, in the performances of their office, than 
that of ministers : wherefore they embraced it, either volun- 
tarily alluding to the service of God and the administration 
thereof, amongst his ancient people the Jews, or thought 
that they ought necessarily to undergo it, as belonging pro- 
perly to them who are to celebrate those mysteries and offer 
those sacrifices which they imagined were to them prescribed. 
The imposers, on the contrary, pretend divers reasons why 
now that name can signify none but men rejected from God's 
work, and given up to superstitious vanities ; attending in 
their minds, the old priests of Baal, and the now shavelings 
of antichrist : it was anew etymology of this name, which that 
learned man cleaved unto, who unhappily was engaged into 
the defence of such errors as he could not but see, and did 
often confess :* to which also he had an entrance made by 
an archbishop ;'' to wit, that it was but an abbreviation of 
presbyters; knowing full well, not only that the signification 
of these words is diverse amongst them to whom belongs 
* jus et norma loquendi,' but also, that they are widely dif- 
ferent in holy writ. Yea, farther, that those who first dig- 
nified themselves with this title, never called themselves pres- 
byters, by way of distinction from the people, but only to 
have a note of distance among themselves : there being more 
than one sort of them that were sacrificers, and which * eo 
nomine,' accounted themselves priests. Setting aside then 
all such evasions and distinctions as the people of God are 
not bound to take notice of, and taking the word in its or- 
dinary acceptation, I shall briefly declare what I conceive 
of the use thereof, in the respect of them who are ministers 

a Hook. Eccles. Polit. lib. 5. ' ^ Wliitgift, Ans. to the Adraou. 


of the gospel : which I shall labour to clear by these follow- 
ing observations : 

1. All faithful ministers of the gospel, inasmuch as they 
are ingrafted into Christ, and are true believers, may, as all 
other true Christians, be called priests ; but this inasmuch 
as they are members of Christ, not ministers of the gospel : 
it respecteth their persons, not their function, or not them 
as such. Now I conceive it may give some light to this dis- 
course, if we consider the grounds and reasons of this meta- 
phorical appellation, in divers places of the gospel,'^ ascribed 
to the worshippers of Christ ; and how the analogy which 
the present dispensation holds with what was established 
under the administration of the Old Testament may take 
place : for there we find the Lord thus bespeaking his peo- 
ple : * Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, a holy na- 
tion ;' Exod. xix. 6. so that it should seem that there was 
then a twofold priesthood : a ritual priesthood, conferred 
upon the tribe of Levi ; and a royal priesthood, belonging to 
the whole people : the first is quite abrogated and swallowed 
up in the priesthood of Christ, the other is put over unto us 
under the gospel, being ascribed to them and us, and every 
one in covenant with God, not directly and properly, as de- 
noting the function peculiarly so called, but comparatively, 
with reference had to them that are without ; for as those who 
were properly called priests, had a nearer access unto God 
than the rest of the people, especially in his solemn worship, 
so all the people that are in covenant with God, have such 
an approximation unto him by virtue thereof, in comparison 
of them that are without, that in respect thereof they are said 
to be priests. Now the outward covenant made with them 
who were the children of Abraham after the flesh, was re- 
presentative of the covenant of grace made with the children 
of promise, and that whole people typified the hidden elect 
people of God ; so that of both there is the same reason. 
Thus as • the priests the sons of Levi' are said to ' come near 
unto God,' Deut. xxi. 5. and God tells them that 'him whom 
he hath chosen, he will cause to come near to him ;' Numb, 
xvi. 5. chosen by a particular calling * ad munus' to the office 
of the ritual priesthood : so in regard of that other kind, 
comparatively so called, it is said of the whole people, * What 

c Rev. i.6. V. 10. xx. 6. 1 Pet. it. 5, &c. 


nation is there so great that hath God so nigh unto them, as 
the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for;' 
Deut. iv. 7. Their approaching nigh unto God made them all 
a nation of priests, in comparison of those dogs and unclean 
Gentiles that were out of the covenant. Now this prerogative 
is often appropriate to the faithful in the New Testament : for 
* through Christ we have an access by one spirit unto the Lord ;' 
Eph. ii. 18. And chap. iii. 12. * We have boldness and access 
with confidence :' so James iv. 8. 'Draw nigh unto God, and 
he will draw nigh unto you :' which access and approximation 
unto God seemed, as before was spoken, to be uttered in allu- 
sion to the priests of the old law, who had this privilege above 
others in the public worship, in which respect only things 
then were typical. Since because we enjoy that prerogative 
in the truth of the thing itself, which they had only in type, 
we also are called priests : and as they were said to draw 
nigh in reference to the rest of the peqple ; so we, in respect 
of them, who are strangers to the covenant, that now are 
said to be 'afar off,' Eph. ii. 17. and hereafter shall be with- 
out, ' for without are dogs,'&c. Rev. xxii. 15. Thus this me- 
taphorical appellation of priests is in the first place an inti- 
mation of that transcendent privilege of grace and favour, 
which Jesus Christ hath purchased for every one that is 
sanctified with the blood of the covenant. 

(2.) We have an interest in this appellation of priests, by 
virtue of our union with Christ ; being one with our high 
priest, we also are priests. There is a twofold union between 
Christ and us : the one, by his taking upon him our nature; 
the other, by bestowing on us his Spirit : for as in his incar- 
nation he took upon him our flesh and blood by the work 
of the Spirit, so in our regeneration he bestoweth on us his 
flesh and blood, by the operation of the same Spirit: yea, so 
strict is this latter union which we have with Christ, that 
as the former is truly said to be a union of two natures into 
one person, so this of many persons into one nature ; for by 
it, we are 'made partakers of the divine nature;' 2 Pet. 
i.4. becoming 'members of his body, of his flesh, and of his 
bones,' Eph. v. 30. we are so parts of him, of his mystical 
body, that we and he become thereby as it were one Christ; 
' for as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the 
members of that one body being many, are one body ; so is 


Christ;' 1 Cor. xii. 12. and the ground of this is, because 
the same Spirit is in him and us ; in him indeed dwelleth the 
fulness of it, when it is bestowed upon us, only by measure. 
But yet it is still the same Spirit; and so makes us, according 
to his own prayer, one with him ; as the soul of man being one, 
makes the whole body with it to be but one man ; two men 
cannot be one, because they have two souls ; no more could we 
be one with Christ, were it not the same Spirit in him and us. 
Now let a man be never so big or tall, that his feet rest upon 
the earth, and his head reach to heaven; yet having but one 
soul, he is still but one man : now though Christ for the pre- 
sent, in respect of our nature assumed, be never so far re- 
mote and distant from us in heaven ; yet, by the effectual 
energy and inhabitation of the same Spirit, he is still the head 
of that one body, whereof we are members, still but one with 
us. Hence ariseth to us a twofold right to the title of priests. 

(1.) Because being in him, and members of him, we are 
accounted to have done, in him, and with him, whatsoever 
he hath done for us ; *We are buried with Christ,' Rom. vi. 
4. ' dead with hmi,' ver. 8. 'quickened together with Christ,' 
Ephes. ii. 5. being raised up, we * sit together with him in 
heavenly places,' ver. 6. 'risen with him;' Col. iii. 1. Now 
all these in Christ were in some sense sacerdotal ; wherefore, 
we having an interest in their performance, by reason of 
that heavenly participation derived from them unto us, and 
being united unto him that in them was so properly, are 
therefore called priests. 

(2.) By virtue of this union, there is such an analogy 
between that which Christ hath done for us as a priest, 
and what he worketh in us by his Holy Spirit, that those acts 
of ours come to be called by the same name with his, and we 
for them to be termed priests. Thus because Christ's death 
and shedding of his blood, so offering up himself by the 
eternal Spirit was a true, proper sacrifice for sin, even our 
spiritual death unto sin is described to be such, both in the 
nature of it, to be an offering or sacrifice; for *I beseech 
you, brethren,' saUh St. Paul, ' that you offer up your bodies 
a living sacrifice, holy,' &c. Rom. xii. 1. and for the manner 
of it, our ' old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin 
might be destroyed;' Rom. vi. 6. 

(3.) We are priests as we are Christians, or partakers 


of a holy unction, whereby we are anointed to the partici- 
pation of all Christ's glorious offices. We are not called 
Christians for nothing : if truly we are so, then have we an 
*unction from the Holy One, whereby we know all things;' 
1 John. ii. 20. and thus also were all God's people under the 
old covenant, when God gave that caution concerning them, 
' Touch not my Christians, and do my prophets no harm ;' 
Psal. cv. 15. The unction then of the Holy Spirit implies a 
participation of all those endowments which were typified 
by the anointing with oil in the Old Testament, and invests 
us with the privileges, in a spiritual acceptation, of all the 
sorts of men which then were so anointed; to wit, of kings, 
priests, and prophets : so that by being made Christians 
(every one is not so that bears that name), we are ingrafted 
into Christ, and do attain to a kind of holy and intimate com- 
munion with him in all his glorious offices; and in that re- 
gard are called priests. 

(4.) The sacrifices we are enjoined to offer, give ground 
to this appellation. Now they are of divers sorts, though 
all in general eucharistical ; as first, of prayers and thanks- 
givings : Psal. cxvi. 17. ' I will offer unto thee the sacrifice 
of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord ;' 
and again, ' Let my prayer be set before thee as incense, and 
the lifting up of my hands be as the evening sacrifice;' Psal. 
cxli.2. so Heb. xiii. 15. 'Therefore let us offer unto God the 
sacrifice of praise;' that is, the fruit of our lips. Secondly, Of 
good works : Heb. xiii. 16. 'To do good and to communi- 
cate, forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.' 
Thirdly, AvroOvmag or self-slaughter, crucifying the old man, 
killing sin, and offering up our souls and bodies an accept- 
able sacrifice unto God; Rom. xii. 1. Fourthly, The sweet 
incense of martyrdom ; yea, and * if I be offered up on the 
sacrifice and service of your faith;' Phil. ii. 17. Now these 
and sundry other services acceptable to God, receiving this 
appellation in the Scripture, denominate the performers of 
them priests. Now here it must be observed, that these 
aforenamed holy duties, are called sacrifices, not properly, 
but metaphorically only, not in regard of the external acts, 
as were those under the law, but in regard of the internal 
purity of heart from whence they proceed. And because 
pure sacrifices, by his own appointment, were heretofore the 


most acceptable service of Almighty God ; therefore now, 
when he would declare himself to be very much delighted 
with the spiritual acts of our duty, he calls them oblations, 
incense, sacrifices, offerings, 8cc. to intimate also a partici- 
pation with him in his offices, who properly and directly is 
the only Priest of his church, and by the communication of 
the virtue of whose sacrifice we are made priests, not having 
authority in our own names to go unto God for others, but 
having liberty through him, and in his name, to go unto God 
for ourselves. 

Not to lose myself and reader in this digression, the sum 
is, the unspeakable blessings which the priesthood of Christ 
hath obtained for us, are a strong obligation for the duty of 
praise and thanksgiving, of which that in some measure we 
may discharge ourselves, he hath furnished us with sacrifices 
of that kind, to be offered unto God : for our own parts we 
are poor, and blind, and lame, and naked ; neither in the 
field, nor in the fold, in our hearts, nor among our actions, 
can we find any thing worth the presenting unto him; 
wherefore he himself provides them for us, especially for 
that purpose, sanctifying and consecrating our souls and 
bodies with the sprinkling of his blood, and the unction of 
the Holy Spirit. Farther, he hath erected an altar (to 
sanctify our gifts) in heaven, before the throne of grace, 
which being spread over with his blood, is consecrated unto 
God, that the sacrifices of his servants may for ever appear 
thereon. Add to this, what he also hath added, the eternal 
and never-expiring fire of the favour of God, which kindleth 
and consumes the sacrifices laid on that altar : and to the 
end that all this may be rightly accomplished, he hath con- 
secrated us with his blood, to be kings and priests to God 
for evermore. So that the close of this discourse will be, 
that all true believers, by virtue of their interest in Jesus 
Christ, are in the holy Scripture, by reason of divers allusions, 
called priests ; which name, in the sense before related, be- 
longing unto them as such, cannot on this ground, be as- 
scribed to any part of them distinguished any ways from the 
rest, by virtue of such distinction. 

2. The second thing I observe concerning the busi- 
ness in hand, is, that the offering up unto God of some 
metaphorical sacrifices, in a peculiar manner, is appropriate 


unto men set apart for the work of the ministry : as the 
slaying of men's lusts, and the offering up of them being 
converted by the preaching of the gospel unto God : so 
saint Paul, of his ministry, Rom. xv. 16. 'That I should be 
the minister of Jesus Christ unto the Gentiles, ministering 
the gospel of God ; that the offering up of the Gentiles 
might be acceptable,' &c. Ministers preaching the gospel, 
to the conversion of souls, are said to kill men's lusts, and 
offer them up unto God, as the fruit of their calling; as 
Abel brought unto him an acceptable sacrifice of the fruit 
of his flock ; and so also in respect of divers other acts of 
their duty, which they perform in the name of their congre- 
gations. Now these sacrifices are appropriate to the mi- 
nisters of the gospel, not in regard of the matter, for others 
also may convert souls unto God, and offer up prayers and 
praises, in the name of their companions ; but in respect of 
the manner, they do it publicly and ordinarily ; others pri- 
vately, or in extraordinary cases. Now if the ministers, who 
are thus God's instruments for the conversion of souls, be 
themselves ingrafted into Christ; all the acts they perform 
in that great work, are but parts of their own duty, of the 
same nature in that regard with the rest of our spiritual 
sacrifices ; so that they have not by them any farther pe- 
culiar interest in the office of the priesthood more than 
others : but if these preachers themselves do not belong 
unto the covenant of grace, as God oftentimes out of his 
care for his flock, bestows gifts upon some for the good of 
others, on whom he will bestow no graces for the benefit 
of their own souls, men may administer that consolation out 
of the word unto their flock, which themselves never tasted, 
preach to others, and be themselves castaways. St. Paul 
tells us that some preach Christ out of envy and contention ; 
not sincerely, but on purpose to add to his affliction ; and 
yet, saith he, * whether in pretence or in truth, Christ is 
preached, and therein do I rejoice, yea, and will rejoice ;' 
Phil. i. 16 — 18. Surely had there been no good effected by 
such preaching, St. Paul would not have rejoiced in it; 
and yet doubtless it was no evidence of sanctification, to 
preach Christ merely out of contention (and on purpose to 
add to the affliction of his servants): but, I say, if the Lord 
shall be pleased at any time to make use of such, as instru- 


ments in his glorious work of converting souls, shall we 
think that it is looked upon as their sacrifice unto God ? 
No, surely, the soul of the Lord is delighted with the repent- 
ance of sinners ; but all the sacrifices of these wicked men 
are an abomination unto him, and therefore they have no 
interest in it; neither can they from hence be said to be 
priests of God, seeing they continue dogs and unclean 
beasts, &,c. so that all the right unto this priestly office, seems 
to be resolved into, and be the same with, the common interest 
of all believers in Christ, whereby they have a participation 
of his office. Whence I affirm, 

3. That the name of priests is nowhere in the Scrip- 
lure attributed peculiarly and distinctly to the ministers of 
the gospel as such; let any produce an instance to the con- 
trary, and this controversy is at an end : yea, that which 
jDuts a difference between them, and the rest of the people 
of God's holiness, seems to be a more immediate participa- 
tion of Christ's prophetical office, to teach, instruct, and 
declare the will of God unto men, and not of his sacerdotal, 
to offer sacrifices for men unto God. Now I could never 
observe that any of those, who were so forward of late to 
style themselves priests, v/ere at all greedy of the appellation 
of prophets ; no, this they were content to let go : name and 
thing ; and yet when Christ ascended on high, he gave some 
to be prophets, for the edification of his body, Eph. iv. 11. 
none as we find to be priests : priests then (like prelates) 
are a sort of church officers, whom Christ never appointed. 
Whence I conclude, 

4. That whosoever maintaineth any priests of the New 
Testament, as properly so called, in relation to any altar 
or sacrifice by them to be offered, doth as much as in him 
lieth disannul the covenant of grace, and is blasphemously 
injurious to the priesthood of Christ. The priest and the sa- 
crifice under the New Testament are one and the same; 
and therefore, they who make themselves priests, must also 
make themselves Christs, or get another sacrifice of their 
own. As there is but one God, so there is but ' one mediator 
of God and man, the man Jesus Christ ;' 1 Tim. ii. 5. Now 
he became the mediator of the New Testament chiefly by his 
priesthood, because by the eternal Spirit 'he offered up him- 
self unto God ;' Heb. ix. 14, 15. Neither is any now called 


of God to be a priest as was Aaron, and without such divine 
vocation to this office, none ought to undertake it, as the 
apostle argues, Heb. v. Now, the end of any such vocation 
and office, is quite ceased ; being nothing but to oflfer gifts 
and sacrifices unto God, Heb. viii. 3. for Christ hath offered 
one sacrifice for sin for ever, and is * sat down at the right 
hand of God,' Heb. x. 12. yea, 'by one offering he hath per- 
fected them that are sanctified ;' ver. 14. and if that did pro- 
cure remission of sins, there must be 'no more offering for 
sin ;' ver. 18. and the surrogation of another makes the blood 
of Christ to be no better than that of bulls and goats. Now 
one of these they must do, who make themselves priests (in 
that sense concerning which we now treat) ; either get them 
a new sacrifice of their own, or pretend to offer Christ again :^ 
the first seems to have been the fault of those of ours, who 
made a sacrifice of the sacrament, yet pretended not to be- 
lieve the real presence of Christ in or under the outward 
elements or species of them ; the other of the Romanists, 
whose priests, in their mass, blasphemously make themselves 
mediators between God and his Son, and offering up Christ 
Jesus for a sacrifice, desire God to accept him ; so charging 
that sacrifice with imperfection, which he offered on the 
altar of the cross, and making it necessary not only that he 
should annually, but daily, yea hourly, suffer afresh; so re- 
crucifying unto themselves the Lord of glory. Farther, 
themselves confessing that to be a true sacrifice, it is re- 
quired that that which is offered unto God be destroyed, 
and cease to be what it was ; they do confess by what lies in 
them to destroy the Son of God, and by their mass have 
transubstantiated their altars into crosses, their temples into 
Golgotha's, their prelates into Pilates, their priests into 
hangmen ; tormentors of Jesus Christ. Concerning them 
and ours, we may shut up this discourse with what the apostle 
intimates to the Hebrews, viz. that all priests are ceased, 
who were mortal ; now small cause have we to believe them 
to be immaterial spirits, among whom we find the works of 
the flesh to have been so frequent. 

And this may give us some light into the iniquity of 

d For offering the host or their Christ they pray : ' Supra quse, propitio ac serene 
vultu respicere digneris, et accepta habere sicut dignatus es niun era pueri tui 
justi Abel, et sacrificium patriarchs nostri Abrahie :' with many more to that 



those times, vvhereinto we were lately fallen ; in which lord 
bishops and priests had almost quite oppressed the bishops 
of the Lord, and ministers of the gospel ; how unthankful 
men were we for the light of the gospel, men that loved 
darkness rather than light. ' A wonderful and horrible thing 
was wrought in our land ; the prophets prophesied falsely, 
the priests bare rule by their means,' almost the whole 
'people loved to have it so : and what shall we now do in the 
end thereof?' Jer. v. 30, 31. Such a hasty apostacy was 
growing on us, as we might justly wonder at, because un- 
paralleled in any church, of any age : but our revolters were 
profound, hasty men, and eager in their master's service. 
So what a height of impiety and opposition to Christ the 
Roman apostacy in a thousand years attained unto ; and yet 
I dare aver that never so many errors and suspicions in a 
hundred years crept into that church, as did into ours of 
England in sixteen ; and yet I cannot herein give the com- 
mendation of so much as industry to our innovators (I 
accuse not the whole church, but particulars in it, and that 
had seized themselves of its authority), because they had a 
platform before them, and materials provided to their hand ; 
and therefore it was an easy thing for them to erect a Babel 
of antichristian confusion ; when the workmen in the Roman 
apostacy were forced to build in the plain of Christianity 
without any pre-existent materials, but were fain to use brick 
and slime of their own provision : besides, they were unac- 
quainted with the main design of Satan, who set them on 
work, and therefore it is no wonder if those Nimrods oft- 
times hunted counter, and disturbed each other in their pro- 
gress ; yea, the first mover in church apostacy knows, that 
now his time is but short, and therefore it behoves him to 
make speedy work in seducing, lest he be prevented by the 
coming of Christ. 

Then having himself a long tract of time granted unto 
him, he allowed his agents to take leisure also ; but what he 
doth now must be done quickly, or his whole design will 
be quashed : and this made him inspire the present business 
with so much life and vigour. Moreover he was compelled 
then to sow his tares in the dark, while men slept, taking 
advantage at the ignorance and embroilment of the times ; 
if any man had leisure enough to search, and learning enough 


to see and find him at it, he commonly filled the world with 
clamours against him, and scarce any but his avowed cham- 
pions durst be his advocates : in our time he was grown bold 
and impudent, working at noonday ; yea, he openly accused 
and condemned all that durst accuse him for sowing any 
thing but good wheat, that durst say that the tares of his 
Arminianism and popery was any thing but true doctrine. 
Let us give so much way to indignation, we know Satan's 
trade what it is, to accuse the brethren ; as men are called 
after their professions, one a lawyer, another a physician, 
so is he the accuser of the brethren. Now surely if ever he 
set up a shop on earth, to practise his trade in, it was our 
high commission court, as of late employed, but arexwrrc. 


Of the duty of God's people in cases extraordinarif 
concerning his worship. 

This being thus determined, I return again to the main 
ZrjTovfjisvov, concerning the duty and privilege of the com- 
mon people of Christianity in sacred things : and first, in 
cases extraordinary, in which, perhaps, it may be affirmed, 
that every one (of those I mean before named) is so far a 
minister of the gospel as to teach and declare the faith to 
others, although he have no outward calling thereunto ; and 
yet in this case every one for such an undertaking must have 
a warrant by an immediate call from God ; and when God 
calls there must be no opposition, the thing itself he sends 
us upon becomes lawful by his mission ; * what God hath 
cleansed, that call not thou common ;* Acts x. 13. never fear 
the equity of what God sets thee upon ; no excuses of dis- 
ability or any other impediment ought to take place, the 
Lord can and will supply all such defects : this was Moses's 
case, Exod.iv. 10, 11. * O Lord,' saith he, * I am not eloquent, 
neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken to thy servant : 
but I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue. And the Lord 
said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? have not I the 
Lord V So also was it with the prophet Jeremiah, when God 

D 2 


told him that he had ordained him a prophet unto the na- 
tions, he replies, 'Ah, Lord God ! behold I cannot speak : for 
I am a child. But the Lord,' saith he, * said unto me. Say 
not I am a child : for thou shalt go to all that I shall send 
th^e, and whatsoever I command thee, thou shalt speak ;' 
Jer. i. 6, 7. Nothing can excuse any from going on his mes- 
sage, who can perfect his praise out of the mouth of babes 
and sucklings. This the prophet Amos rested upon, when 
he was questioned, although he were unfit for that heavenly 
employment, either by education or course of life : ' I was 
no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son ; but I was a 
herdsman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit : and the Lord 
took me as I followed the flock, and said unto me. Go pro- 
phesy to my people Israel ;' Amos vii. 14, 15. So on the 
contrary, St. Paul, a man of strong parts, great learning and 
endowments, of indefatigable industry, and large abilities, 
yet affirms of himself, that when- God called him to preach 
his word, he * conferred not with flesh and blood,' but went 
on presently with his work ; Gal. i. 16, 17. 


Of the several ways of extraordinary calling to the teaching of 
others. The first way. 

Now three ways may a man receive, and be assured that he 
hath received this divine mission, or know that he is called 
of God to the preaching of the word ; I mean not that per- 
suasion of divine concurrence, which is necessary also for 
them that are partakers of an ordinary vocation, but which 
is required in extraordinary cases to them in whom all out- 
ward calling is wanting. 

1. By immediate revelation. 

2. By a concurrence of Scripture rules, directory for 
such occasions. 

3. By some outward acts of Providence, necessitating 
him thereunto. 

For the first, not to speak of light prophetical, whether 
it consists in a habit, or rather in a transient irradiating mo- 
tion, nor to discourse of the species, whereby supernatural 


things are conveyed to the natural faculty, with the several 
ways of divine revelation (for St. Paul affirmeth it to have 
been TroXurpwrrtuc as well as TroXvfxeptog), with the sundry 
appellations it received, from the manner whereby it came ; 
I shall only shew what assurance such a one as is thus 
called may have in himself that he is so called, and how he 
may manifest it unto others. That men receiving any reve- 
lation from God had always an assurance that such it was, 
to me seems most certain. Neither could I ever approve 
the note of Gregory on Ezek. i. viz. * That prophets being 
accustomed to prophesying, did oftentimes speak of their 
own spirit, supposing that it proceeded from the spirit of 
prophesy.'* What is this but to question the truth of all pro- 
phetical revelations, and to shake the faith that is built upon 
it ? Surely the prophet Jeremiah had an infallible assurance 
of the author of his message, when he pleaded for himself be- 
fore the princes, ' Of a truth the Lord hath sent me unto you 
to speak all these words in your ears;' chap. xxvi. 15. And 
Abraham certainly had need of a good assurance whence 
that motion did proceed, which made him address himself 
to the sacrificing the son of promise; and that all other pro- 
phets had the like evidence of knowledge, concerning the 
divine verity of their revelations, is unquestionable. Hence 
are those allusions in the Scripture, whereby it is compared 
unto things whereof we may be most certain by the assur- 
ance of sense. So Amos iii. 8. ' The lion hath roared, who 
will not fear ? The Lord God hath spoken, who can but 
prophesy?' and Jer. xx. 9. 'His word was in my heart 
as a burning fire shut up in my bones;' things sensible 
enough. Haply Satan may so far delude false prophets, 
as to make them suppose their lying vanities are from above : 
whence they are said to be 'prophets of the deceit of their 
own heart ;' Jer. xxiii. 26. being deceived, as well as deceivers ; 
thinking in themselves, as well as speaking unto others, 'He 
saith,' ver. 31. But that any true prophets should not know a 
true revelation from a motion of their own hearts, wants not 
much of blasphemy. The Lord surely supposes that assur- 
ance of discerning, when he gives that command; 'The pro- 

^ Sciendum est quod aliquando prophetae sanctidum consuluntur ex niagno usu 
prophetandi quaedam ex suo spiritu proferunt, et se hoc ex prophetiae spiiitu dicere 
suspicantur. Gregor. Horn. 1. in Ezek. 


phet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that 
hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully; what is the 
chaff to the wheat?' Jer. xxiii. 28. He must be both blind 
and mad that shall mistake wheat for chaff; and on the con- 
trary, what some men speak of a hidden instinct from God, 
moving the minds of men, yet so as they know not whether 
it be from him or no, may better serve to illustrate Plutarch's 
discourse of Socrates' Deemon, than any passage in holy 
writ. St. Austin says,'' his mother would affirm, that though 
she could not express it, yet she could discern the difference 
between God's revelation, and her own dreams. In which 
relation, I doubt not but the learned father took advantage 
from the good old woman's words of what she could do, to 
declare what might be done, of every one that had such im- 
mediate revelations. Briefly then, the Spirit of God never 
so extraordinarily moveth the mind of man to apprehend 
any thing of this kind whereof we speak, but it also illus- 
trateth it with a knowledge and assurance that it is divinely 
moved to this apprehension. Now, because it is agreed on 
all sides, that light prophetical is no permanent habit in the 
minds of the prophets, but a transient impression, of itself 
not apt to give any such assurance, it may be questioned 
from what other principle it doth proceed. But not to pry 
into things perhaps not fully revealed, and seeing St. Paul 
shews us that in such heavenly raptures there are some 
things unutterable of them, and incomprehensible of us, we- 
may let this rest, amongst those appr\Ta. It appeareth then 
from the preceding discourse, that a man pretending to ex- 
traordinary vocation, by immediate revelation, in respect of 
self-persuasion of the truth of his call, he must be as ascer- 
tained of it, as he could be of a burning fire in his bones, if 
there shut up. 

*> Dicebat se diacernere (nescio quo sapore quem verbis explicare non poterat) 
quid interesset inter Dcum revelanteni, et animam suam soniniantem, Aug. Confess. 



What assurance men extraordinarily called can give to others, that they are 
so called in the former way. 

The next thing to be considered is, what assurance he can 
give to others, and by what means, that he is so called. Now 
the matter or subject of their employment may give us some 
light to this consideration: and this is, either the incho- 
ation of some divine work to be established amongst men, 
by virtue of a new, and before never-heard-of, revelation of 
God's will; or a restoration of the same, when collapsed 
and corrupted by the sin of men. To the first of these, God 
never sendeth any but whom he doth so extraordinarily and 
immediately call and ordain for that purpose; and that this 
may be manifested unto others, he always accompanieth 
them with his own almighty power, in the working of such 
miracles as may make them be believed, for the very works' 
sake which God by them doth effect. This we may see in 
Moses, and (after Jesus Christ anointed with the oil of glad- 
ness above his fellows to preach the gospel) the apostles : 
but this may pass, for nothing in such a way shall ever 
again take place, God having ultimately revealed his mind 
concerning his worship and our salvation ; a curse being de- 
nounced to man or angel that shall pretend to revelation, for 
the altering or changing one jot or tittle of the gospel. For 
the other, the work of reformation, there being, ever since 
the writing of his word, an infallible rule for the performance 
of it, making it fall within the duty and ability of men, par- 
takers of an ordinary vocation, and instructed with ordinary 
gifts ; God doth not always immediately call men unto it : but 
yet, because oftentimes he hath so done, we may inquire what 
assurance they could give of this their calling to that em- 
ployment. Our Saviour Christ informs us, that a prophet 
is often without honour in his own country. The honour 
of a prophet, is to have credence given to his message; of 
which it should seem, Jonas was above measure zealous, 
yet such is the cursed infidelity and hardness of men's 
hearts, that though they cried, ' Thus saith the Lord,' yet 
they would reply 'the Lord hath not spoken;' hence are 


those pleadings betwixt the prophet Jeremiah and his ene- 
mies ; the prophet ' averring of a truth, the Lord hath sent 
me unto you,' and they contesting, ' that the Lord had not 
sent him, but that he lied in the name of the Lord.' Now to 
leave them inexcusable, and whether they would hear or 
whether they would forbear, to convince them that there 
hath been a prophet amongst them, as also to give the 
greater credibility to their extraordinary message, to them 
that were to believe their report, it is necessary that * the arm 
of the Lord should be revealed,' working in and by them, in 
some extraordinary manner ; it is certain enough, that God 
never sent any one extraordinarily, instructed only with or- 
dinary gifts, and for an ordinary end. The aim of their em- 
ployment I shewed before was extraordinary, even the repa- 
ration of something instituted by God, and collapsed by the 
sin of man ; that it may be credible, or appear of a truth 
that God had sent them for this purpose, they were always 
furnished with such gifts and abilities, as the utmost reach 
of human endeavours, with the assistance of common grace, 
cannot possibly attain. The general opinion is, that God 
always supplies such with the gift of miracles. Take the 
word in a large sense for every supernatural product, beyond 
the ordinary activity of that secondary cause whereby it is 
effected, and I easily grant it; but in the usual restrained 
acceptation of it, for outward wonderful works, the power of 
whose production consists in operation, I something doubt 
the universal truth of the assertion. We do not read of any 
such miracles wrought by the prophet Amos, and yet he 
stands upon his extraordinary immediate vocation; *I was 
neither prophet nor the son of a prophet, but the Lord 
called me,' &c. It sufEceth then, that they be furnished with 
a supernatural power either in, 1. Discerning; 2. Speaking; 
3. Working. The power of discerning, according to the 
things by it discernible, may be said to be of two sorts ; for 
it is either of things present, beyond the power of human in- 
vestigation, as to know the thoughts of other men's hearts, or 
their words not ordinarily to be known, as Elisha discovered 
the bedchamber discourse of the king of Syria (not that by 
virtue of their calling they come to be KopStoy vwcrrat,' knowers 
of the heart,' vVtiich is God's property alone, but that God 
doth sometimes reveal such things unto them ; for otherwise 


no such power is included in the nature of the gift, which is 
perfective of their knowledge, not by the way of habit, but 
actual motion in respect of some particulars ; and when this 
was absent, the same Elisha affirmeth, that he knew not 
why the Shunamitish woman was troubled), or, secondly, of 
things future and contingent in respect of their secondary 
causes, not precisely necessitated by their own internal 
principle of operation, for the effecting of the things so 
foreknown : and therefore the truth of the foreknowledge, 
consists in a commensuration to God's purpose. Now effects 
of this power, are all those predictions of such things which 
we find ia the Old and New Testament, and divers also 
since. Secondly, The supernatural gift in speaking I intimate, 
is that of tongues, proper to the times of the gospel, when 
the worship of God was no longer to be confined to the peo- 
ple of one nation. 

The third working, is that which strictly and properly is 
called the gift of miracles ; which are hard, rare, and strange 
effects, exceeding the whole order of created nature : for 
whose production God sometimes useth his servants instru- 
mentally, moving and enabling them thereunto by a tran- 
sient impression of his powerful grace ; of which sort the 
holy Scripture hath innumerable relations. Now with one 
of those extraordinary gifts at least, sometimes with all, doth 
the Lord furnish those his messengers of whom we treat : 
which makes their message a sufficient revelation of God's 
will, and gives it credibility enough, to stir up faith in some, 
and leave others inexcusable. All the difficulty is, that 
there have been Simon Maguses, and are antichrists, falsely 
pretending to have in themselves this mighty power of God, 
in one or other of the forenamed kinds. Hence were those 
many false prophets, dreamers, and wizards, mentioned in 
the Old Testament, which the Lord himself forewarns us of, 
as also those agentsof that man of sin, 'whose coming is after 
the working of Satan with powers and signs and lying won- 
ders ;' 2 Thess. ii. 9. I mean the juggling priests and Jesuits, 
pretending falsely by their impostures to the power of mi- 
racle-working ; though their employment be not to reform, 
but professedly to corrupt the worship of God. Now in such 
a case as this, we have, 1. The mercy of God to rely upon, 
whereby he will guide his into the way of truth, and the 


purpose or decree of God, making it impossible that his 
elect should be deceived by them. 2. Human diligence 
accompanied with God's blessing, may help us wonderfully 
in a discovery, whether the pretended miracles be of God, 
or no ; f?r there is nothing more certain, than that a true 
and real miracle is beyond the activity of all created power 
(for if it be not, it is not a miracle) ; so that the devil and all 
his emissaries are not able to effect any one act truly mira- 
culous ; but, in all their pretences there is a defect discernible, 
either in respect of the thing itself pretended to be done, or 
of the manner of its doing, not truly exceeding the power of 
art or nature, though the apprehension of it, by reason of 
some hell-conceived circumstances, be above our capacity. 
Briefly, either the thing is a lie, and so it is easy to feign 
miracles, or the performance of it is pure juggling, and so it 
is easy to delude poor mortals. Innumerable of this sort, at 
the beginning of the reformation, were discovered among the 
agents of that wonder-working man of sin, by the blessing 
of God upon human endeavours. Now from such discoveries, 
a good conclusion may be drawn, against the doctrine they 
desire by such means to- confirm ; for as God never worketh 
true miracles, but for the confirmation of the truth, so will 
not men pretend such as are false, but to persuade that to 
others for a truth, which themselves have just reason to be 
persuaded is a lie. Now if this means fail, 3. God himself 
hath set down a rule of direction for us, in the time of 
such difficulty ; Deut. xiii. 1 — 5. ' If there arise among you 
a prophet or dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a 
wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, where- 
fore he spake unto thee, saying. Let us go after other gods to 
serve them; thou shalt not hearken to the words of that pro- 
phet, or dreamer of dreams : for the Lord your God proveth 
you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God, with all 
your heart, and all your soul. Ye shall walk after the Lord 
your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and 
obey his voice, and you shall serve him, and cleave unto him. 
And that prophet or dreamer of dreams shall be put to death.' 
The sum is, that seeing such men pretend that their reve- 
lations and miracles are from heaven, let us search whether 
the doctrine they seek to confirm by them be from heaven, 
or no ; if it be not, let them be stoned, or accursed, for they 


seek to draw us from our God ; if it be, let not the curse of 
a stony heart, to refuse them, be upon us. Where the mi- 
racles are true, the doctrine cannot be false; and if the doc- 
trine be true, in all probability the miracles confirming it, are 
not false ; and so much of them, who are immediately called 
of God from heaven, what assurance they may have in them- 
selves of such a call, and what assurance they can make of 
it to others. Now such are not to expect any ordinary voca- 
tion from men below, God calling them aside to his work 
from the midst of their brethren : the Lord of the harvest 
may send labourers into his field, without asking his steward's 
consent, and they shall speak whatever he saith unto them. 


77ie second ivay whereby a man jnay he called extraordinarily . 

Secondly, A man may be extraordinarily called to the 
preaching and publishing of God's word, by a concurrence 
of Scripture rules, directory for such occasions, occurrences, 
and opportunities of time, place, and persons, as he liveth 
in, and under. Rules in this kind may be drawn either 
from express precept, or approved practice : some of these 
I shall intimate, and leave it to the indifferent reader to 
judge, whether or no they hold in the application ; and all 
that in this kind I shall propose, I did with submission to 
better judgments. 
Consider then, 

1. Thatof our Saviour to St. Peter, Luke xxii. 32. 'When 
thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren;' which contain- 
ing nothing but an application of one of the prime dictates 
of the law of nature, cannot, ought not, to be restrained unto 
men of any peculiar calling as such. Not to multiply many 
of this kind (whereof in the Scripture is plenty) ; add only 
that of St. James ; ' Brethren, if any of you do err from the 
truth, and one convert him ; let him know, that he which con- 
verteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul 
from death,' &c. From these and the like places it appears 
to me, that 

(1.) There is a general obligation on all Christians, to 


promote the conversion and instruction of sinners, and man 
erring from the right way. 

Again, Consider that of our Saviour, Matt. v. 15. ' Men 
do not light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a 
candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house :* 
to which add that of the apostle, * If any thing be revealed 
to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace ;' 1 Cor. 
xiv. 30. which words, although primarily they intend ex- 
traordinary immediate revelations, yet I see no reason why 
in their equity and extent, they may not be directory for the 
use of things revealed unto us by Scripture light ; at least 
we may deduce from them, by the way of analogy, that 

2. Whatsoever necessary truth is revealed to any out of 
the word of God, not before known, he ought to have an un- 
contradicted liberty of declaring that truth, provided that 
he use such regulated ways for that his declaration, as the 
church wherein he liveth (if a right church) doth allow. 

Farther, see Amos iii. 8. 'The lion hath roared, who will 
not fear ? The Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy ? 
And Jer. xx. 9. ' Then said I, I will not make mention of his 
name. But his word was in mine heart, as a burning fire shut 
up in my bones, I was weary with forbearing, and I could 
not stay :' with the answer of Peter and John, to the rulers 
of the Jews, Acts iv. 19, 20. ' Whether it be right in the 
sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, 
judge ye, for we cannot but speak the things that we have 
seen and heard.' 

Whence it appears, that 

3. Truth revealed unto any, carries along with it an un- 
moveable persuasion of conscience (which is powerfully ob- 
ligatory) that it ought to be published and spoken to others. 

That none may take advantage of this to introduce con- 
fusion into our congregations, I gave a sufficient caution in 
the second rule. 

Many other observations giving light to the business in 
hand, might be taken from the common dictates of nature, 
concurring with many general precepts we have in the Scrip- 
ture, but omitting them, the next thing I propose is the prac- 
tice, &c. 

1. Of our Saviour Christ himself, who did not only pose 
the doctors when he was but twelve years old, Luke ii. 46. 


but also afterward preached in the synagogue of Nazareth, 
chap. iv. 18. being neither doctor, nor scribe, nor Levite, but 
of the tribe of Judah (concerning which tribe it is evident 
that Moses spake nothing concerning the priesthood). 

2. Again, in the eighth of the Acts, great persecution 
arising against the church, after the death of Stephen, they 
were all scattered abroad from Jerusalem, ver. 1. that is, all 
the faithful members of the church, who being thus dis- 
persed, went everywhere ' preaching the word,' ver. 4. and 
to this their publishing of the gospel (having ho warrant but 
the general engagement of all Christians to further the pro- 
pagation of Christ's kingdom), occasioned by their own per- 
secution, the Lord gave such a blessing, that they were 
thereby the first planters of a settled congregation among 
the Gentiles, they and their converts being the first that 
were honoured by the name of Christians ; Acts xi. 21. 26. 
Neither, 3. is the example of St. Paul altogether imperti- 
nent, who with his companions repaired into the synagogues 
of the Jews, taught them publicly, yea, upon their own re- 
quest; Acts xiii. 15. Apollos also spake boldly, and preached 
fervently, when he knew only the baptism of John, and needed 
himself farther instruction; Acts xviii. 24. It should seem 
then, in that juncture of time, he that was instructed in any 
truth, not ordinarily known, might publicly acquaint others 
with it, though he himself were ignorant in other points of 
high concernment ; yet perhaps now it is not possible that any 
occurrences should require a precise imitation, of what was 
not only lawful, but also expedient, in that dawning towards 
the clear day of the last unchangeable revelation of God's 
will. Now in these and the like, there is so much variety, 
such several grounds and circumstances, that no direct rule 
can from them be drawn, only they may give strength to 
what from the former shall be concluded. 

For a farther light to this discourse, consider what de- 
solate estate the church of God hath been, may be, and at 
this present in divers places is, reduced to : her silver may 
become dross, and her wine be mixed with water ; the faithful 
city becoming a harlot, her shepherds may be turned into 
dumb sleeping dogs and devouring wolves; the watchmen 
may be turned smiters, her prophets to prophesy falsely, and 
her priests to bear rule by lies ; the commandments of God 


being made void by the traditions of men, superstition, hu- 
man inventions, will-worship, may defile and contaminate 
the service of God ; yea, and greater abominations'* may men 
possessing Moses' chair by succession do. Now that the tem- 
ple of God hath been thus made a den of thieves, that the 
abomination of desolation hath been set up in the holy place, 
is evident from the Jewish and Christian church ; for in the 
one it was clearly so, when the government of it was devolved 
to the scribes and Pharisees, and in the other, when the man 
of sin had exalted himself in the midst thereof. Now sup- 
pose a man, living in the midst and height of such a sad 
apostacy, when a universal darkness had spread itself over 
the face of the church, if the Lord be pleased to reveal unto 
him out of his word some points of faith, then either not all 
known, or generally disbelieved, yet a right belief whereof 
is necessary to salvation ; and farther, out of the same word 
shall discover unto him the wickedness of that apostacy, and 
the means to remove it, I demand. Whether that man, with- 
out expecting any call from the fomenters and maintainers 
of those errors, with which the church at that time is only 
not destroyed, may not preach, publish, and publicly declare 
the said truths to others (the knowledge of them being so 
necessary for the good of their souls), and conclude himself 
thereunto called of God, by virtue of the forenamed, and 
other the like rules ? Truly for my part (under correction) 
I conceive he may, nay, he ought, neither is any other out- 
ward call requisite to constitute him a preacher of the gos- 
pel, than the consent of God's people to be instructed by 
him. For instance ; suppose that God should reveal the truth 
of the gospel to a mere layman (as they say) in Italy, so 
that he be fully convinced thereof; what shall he now do ? 
abstain from publishing it, though he be persuaded in con- 
science that a great door of utterance might be granted unto 
him, only because some heretical, simonical, wicked, anti- 
christian prelate, hath not ordained him minister ; who yet 
would not do it, unless he will subscribe to those errors and 
heresies which he is persuaded to be such ? Truly I think by 
so abstaining, he should sin against the law of charity, in 
seeing (not the ox or ass of his brother falling into the pit, 
but) their precious souls sinking to everlasting damnation, 

a Ezek. xxii. 27, 28. viii. 13. 


and not preventing it when he might ; and were he indeed 
truly angry with his whole nation, he might have the advan- 
tage of an Italian revenge. 

Moreover, he should sin against the precept of Christ, 
by hiding his light under a bushel, and napkining up his 
talent, an increase whereof will be required of him at the last 
day. Now with this I was always so well satisfied, that I ever 
deemed all curious disquisition after the outward vocation 
of our first reformers, Luther, Calvin, Sec. altogether need- 
less ; the case in their days being exactly that which I have 
laid down. 

Come we now to the third and last way, whereby men 
not partakers of any outward ordinary vocation, may yet 
receive a sufficient warrant for the preaching and publishing 
of the gospel, and that by some outward act of providence 
guiding them thereunto ; for example, put case a Christian 
man, should by any chance of providence be cast by ship- 
wreck or otherwise, upon the country of some barbarous 
people, that never heard of the name of Christ, and there by 
his goodness that brought him thither, be received amongst 
them, into civil human society ; may he not, nay, ought he 
not, to preach Christ unto them ? and if God give a blessing 
to his endeavours, may he not become a pastor to the con- 
verted souls? None I hope makes any doubt of it; and in 
the primitive times, nothing was more frequent than such 
examples ; thus were the Indians and the Moors turned to 
the faith, as you may see in Euseblus : yea, great was the 
liberty which in the first church was used in this kind, 
presently after the supernatural gift of tongues ceased 
amongst men. 



Of the liberty and duty of gifted uncalled Christians, in the exercise of 
divers acts of God's worship. 

And thus have I declared what I conceive, concerning ex- 
traordinary calling to the public teaching of the word, in 
what cases only it useth to take place ; whence I conclude, 
that whosoever pretends unto it, not warranted by an evidence 
of one of those three ways that God taketh in such proceed- 
ings, is but a pretender, an impostor, and ought accordingly 
to be rejected of all God's people in other cases, not to dis- 
use what outwaid ordinary occasion from them who are 
intrusted by commission from God with that power, doth 
confer upon persons so called, we must needs grant it a ne- 
gative voice, in the admission of any to the public preaching 
of the gospel ; if they come not in at that door, they do climb 
over the wall, if they make any entrance at all. It remains 
then, to shut up all, that it be declared, what private Chris- 
tians, living in a pure, orthodox, well ordered church may 
do, and how far they may interest themselves, in holy soul- 
concerning affairs, both in respect of their own particular, 
and of their brethren in the midst of whom they live : in 
which determination, because it concerneth men of low de- 
gree, and those that comparatively may be said to be un- 
learned, I shall labour to express the conceivings of my 
mind, in as familiar, plain observations as I can ; only thus 
much I desire may be premised, that the principles and rules 
of that church government, from which, in the following 
assertions, I desire not to wander, is of that (to which I do, 
and always in my poor judgment have adhered, since by 
God's assistance I had engaged myself to the study of his 
word) which commonly is called presbyterial, or synodical, 
in opposition to prelatical or diocesan on the one side ; and 
that which is commonly called independent or congrega- 
tional on the other. 

First then, a diligent searching of the Scriptures, with fer- 
vent prayers i^o Almighty God, for the taking away that veil 
of ignorance, which by nature is before their eyes, that they 


may come to a saving knowledge in, and a right understand- 
ing of them, is not only lawful and convenient for all men 
professing the name of Christ, but also absolutely necessary 
because commanded, yea indeed commanded because the 
end so to be attained is absolutely necessary to salvation. 
To confirm this, I need not multiply precepts out of the Old 
or New Testament, such as that of Isa. viii. 20. ' To the law 
and to the testimony,' and that of John v. 39. ' Search the 
Scriptures,' which are innumerable; nor yet heap up motives 
unto it, such as are the description of the heavenly country, 
whither we are going, in them is contained ; John xiv. 2. 
2 Cor. v. 1. Rev. xxii. 1, &c. the way by which we are to 
travel laid down; John v. 39. xiv. 5, 6. Jesus Christ, 
whom we must labour to be like, painted out; Gal. iii. 1. 
and the back-parts of God discovered ; Deut. xxix. 29. by 
them only true spiritual wisdom is conveyed to our souls ; 
Jer. viii. 9. whereby we may become even wiser than our 
teachers ; Psal. cxix. in them all comfort and consolation is 
to be had, in the time of danger and trouble ; Psal. cxix. 54. 
71, 72. in brief, the knowledge of Christ, which is life 
eternal; John xvii. 3. yea, all that can be said in this kind 
comes infinitely short of those treasures of wisdom, riches, 
and goodness, which are contained in them ; ' The law of 
the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the 
Lord is sure, making wise the simple;' Psal. xix. 7. but 
this duty of the people is clear and confessed; the objec- 
tions of the Papists against it being, for the most part, so 
many blasphemies against the holy word of God ; they ac- 
cuse it of difficulty, which God affirms to ' make wise the 
simple ;' of obscurity, which 'openeth the eyes of the blind ;' 
to be a dead letter, a nose of wax, which ' is quick and 
powerful, piercing to the dividing asunder of the soul and 
spirit;' to be weak and insufficient, which 'is able to make 
the man of God perfect and wise unto salvation ;' yea, that 
w^ord which the apostle affirmeth to be * profitable for re- 
proof,' is not in any thing more full, than in reproving of 
this blasphemy. 

Secondly, They may not only (as before) search the Scrip- 
tures, but also examine, and try by them the doctrine that 
publicly is taught unto them; the people of God must not be 
like 'children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every 



wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning crafti- 
ness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive ;' Eph. iv. 14. all 
is not presently gospel, that is spoken in the pulpit ; it is not 
long since, that altar-worship, Arminianism, popery, super- 
stition, 8cc. were freely preached in this kingdom ; now what 
shall the people of God do in such a case ? yield to every 
breath, to every puff of false doctrine? or rather try it by 
the word of God, and if it be not agreeable thereunto, cast 
it out like salt that hath lost its savour : must not the people 
take care that they be not seduced ? must they not * beware 
of false prophets, which come unto them in sheep's cloth- 
ing, but inwardly are ravening wolves?' and how shall they 
do this? Avhat way remains, but a trying their doctrine by 
the rule ? In these evil days wherein we live, I hear many 
daily complaining, that there is such difference, and con- 
trariety among preachers, they know not what to do, nor 
scarce what to believe : my answer is. Do but your own 
duty, and this trouble is at an end ; is there any contrariety 
in the book of God ? pin not your faith upon men's opinions, 
the Bible is the touchstone : that there is such diversity 
amongst teachers is their fault, who should think all the 
same thing ; but that this is so troublesome to you, is your 
own fault, for neglecting your duty of trying all things by 
the word. Alas, you are in a miserable condition, if you 
have all this while relied on the authority of men in heavenly 
things : he that builds his faith upon preachers, though they 
preach nothing but truth, and he pretend to believe it, hath 
indeed no faith at all, but a wavering opinion, built upon a 
rotten foundation. Whatever then is taught you, you must 
go with it ' to the law and to the testimony, if they speak 
not according to this word, it is because there is no light in 
them ;' Isa. viii. 20. Yea, the Bereans are highly extolled 
for searching whether the doctrine concerning our Saviour, 
preached by St. Paul, were so or no, Acts xvii. 11. agree- 
ably to the precept of the same preacher, 1 Thess. v. 21. 
' Make trial of all things, and hold fast that which is good ;' 
as also to that of St. John, 1 Epist. iv. 1. 'Beloved, believe 
not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God, 
because many false spirits are gone out into the world ;' 
prophets then must be tried, before they be trusted : now 
the reason of this holds still. There are many false teachers 


abroad in the world, wherefore try every one, try his spirit, 
his spiritual gift of teaching, and that by the word of God. 
And here you have a clear rule laid down, how you may ex- 
tricate yourselves from the former perplexity : nay, St. Paul 
himself speaking to understanding Christians, requires them 
to judge of it ; 1 Cor. x. 15. ' I speak as to wise men, judge 
ye what I say.' Hence are those cautions, that the people 
should look that none do seduce them. Matt. xxiv. 4. to 
which end they must have their souls 'exercised in the word 
of God, to discern good and evil ;' Heb. v. 14, Thus also in 
one place, Christ biddeth his followers hear the Pharisees, 
and do what they should command, because they sat in 
Moses' chair. Matt, xxiii. 2, 3. and yet in another place, 
gives them a caution to beware of the doctrine of the Pha- 
risees; Matt. xvi. 12. It remaineth then, that the people are 
bound to hear those who possess the place of teaching in 
the church, but withal they must beware that it contain 
nothing of the old leaven, to which end they must try it by 
the word of God : when, as St. Paul prayeth for the Phi- 
lippians, ' that their love might abound yet more and more 
in knowledge, and all judgment, that they might approve 
things that are excellent;' Phil; i. 9, 10. Unless ministers 
will answer for all those souls they shall mislead, and excuse 
them before God at the day of trial, they ought not to debar 
them from trying their doctrine : now this they cannot do, 
for 'if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into'the pit' of 
destruction. And here I might have just occasion of com- 
plaint, 1. Of the superstitious pride of the late clergy of 
this land, who could not endure to have their doctrine tried 
by their auditors, crying to poor men with the Pharisees, 
Johnix. 'You were altogether born in sins, and do you teach 
us V A pretty world it is like to be, when the sheep will 
needs teach their pastors ; nothing would serve them, but 
a blind submission to the loose dictates of their cobweb 
homilies : he saw farther, sure, in the darkness of popery, 
who contended that a whole general council ought to give 
place to a simple layman, urging Scripture, or speaking 

Now surely this is very far from that gentleness, meek- 
ness, and aptness to teach, which St. Paul requireth in a 
man of God, a minister of the gospel. 2. The negligence 

E 2 


of the people also, might here come under a just reproof, 
who have not laboured to discern the voice of the hireling 
from that of the true shepherd, but have promiscuously fol- 
lowed the new fangledness and heretical errors of every 
time-serving starver of souls. Whence proceedeth all that 
misery the land now groaneth under, but that we have had 
a people willing to be led by a corrupted clergy, freely 
drinking in the poison, wherewith they were tainted? ' The 
prophets prophesied falsely, the priests bare rule by their 
means, the people loved to have it so : but what shall we 
now do in the end thereof?' Who could ever have thought, 
that the people of England would have yielded a willing 
ear to so many popish errors, and an obedient shoulder to 
such a heavy burden of superstitions, as in a few years were 
instilled into them, and laid upon them voluntarily by their 
own sinful neglect, ensnaring their consciences by the omis- 
sion of this duty we insist upon, of examining by the word 
what is taught unto them?* But this is no place for com- 
plaints, and this is a second thing which the people, distinct 
from their pastors, may do for their own edification. Now 
whether they do this privately, every one apart, or by as- 
sembling more togethei', is altogether indifferent. And that 
this was observed by private Christians in the primitive 
times is very apparent. 

Come we in the third place to what either their duty 
binds them to, or otherwise by the word they are allowed to 
do in sacred performances, having reference to others; look 
then in general upon those things we find them tied unto, 
by virtue of special precept ; such as are to ' warn the unruly, 
comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak ;' 1 Thess. v. 14. 
to admonish and reprove offending brethren; Matt, xviii. 15. 
to instruct the ignorant ; John iv. 29. Acts xviii. 26. to ex- 
hort the negligent; Heb. iii. 15. x. 24, 25. to comfort the 
afflicted ; 1 Thess. v. 11. to restore him that falleth; Gal. vi. 1. 
to visit the sick; Matt. xxv. 36. 40. to reconcile those that 
are at variance ; Matt. v. 9. to contend for the truth ; Jude 3. 
1 Pet. iii. 15. to pray for the sinner not unto death; 1 John 
v. 16. to edify one another in their most holy faith ; Jude 20. 
to speak to themselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual 

* Vos facite quod scriptum est, ut uno dicente, omnes examinent, me ergo dicente 
quod sentio, vos disccrnite et exaniinatc. Orig. in Josh. Horn. 21. 


songs; Eph. V. 19. to be ready to answer every man, in giving 
account of their faith; Col. iv. 6. to mark them that make 
divisions; Rom. xvi. 17. with innumerable others to the like 
purpose. It remaineth them to consider, secondly, in parti- 
cular, what course they may take, beyond private conference 
between man and man, by indiction of time or place, for the 
fulfilhng of what by these precepts, and the like is of them 
required. To which I answer. 

First, Lawful things must be done lawfully ; if any unlaw- 
ful circumstance attends the performance of a lawful action, 
it vitiates the whole work, for * bonum oritur ex integris ;' for 
instance, to reprove an offender is a Christian duty, but for 
a private man to do it in the public congregation, whilst 
the minister is preaching, were, instead of a good act, a foul 
crime, being a notorious disturbance of church decency and 

-Secondly, That for a public, formal, ministerial teaching, 
two things are required in the teacher : First, Gifts from God ; 
Secondly, Authority from the church (I speak now of or- 
dinary cases) ; he that wants either, is no true pastor. For 
the first, God sends none upon an employment but whom he 
fits with gifts for it: 1. Not one command in the Scripture 
made to teachers ; 2. Not one rule for their direction ; 
3. Not one promise to their endeavours ; 4. Not any end 
of their employment; 5. Not one encouragement to their 
duty; 6. Not one reproof for their negligence ; 7. Not the 
least intimation of their reward, but cuts off ungifted idol 
pastors, from any true interest in the calling. And for the 
other, that want authority from the church, neither ought 
they to undertake any formal act, properly belonging to the 
ministry, such as is solemn teaching of the word ; for, 
1. They are none of Christ's officers ; Eph. iv. 11. 2. They 
are expressly forbidden it ; Jer. xxiii. 21. Heb. v. 4. 3. The 
blessing on the word is promised only to sent teachers ; 
Rom. X. 14, 15. 4. If to be gifted, be to be called, then, 
(1.) Every one might undertake so much in sacred duties, as 
he fancies himself to be able to perform ; (2.) Children (as they 
report of Athanasius*") might baptize ; (3.) Every common 
Christian might administer the communion : but endless are 
the arguments that might be multiplied against this fancy : 

■* Eusebius, Ruf, 


in a word, if our Saviour Christ be the God of order, he hath 
left his church to no such confusion. 

Thirdly, That to appoint time and place, for the doing 
of that which God hath appointed indefinitely to be done, 
in time and place, rather commends than vitiates the duty ; 
so did Job's friends in the duty of comforting the afflicted, 
they made an appointment together to come and comfort 
him; Job ii. 11. and so did they, Zech. viii. 21. and so did 
David, Psal. cxix. 62. 

Fourthly, There is much difference between opening or 
interpreting the word, and applying the word upon the ad- 
vantage of such an approved interpretation ; as also between 
an authoritative act, or doing a thing by virtue of special 
office, and a charitable act, or doing a thing out of a motion 
of Christian love. 

Fifthly, It may be observed concerning gifts, 1. That 
the gifts and graces of God's Spirit, are of two sorts ; 
some being bestowed for the sanctification of God's people, 
some for the edification of his church, some of a private 
allay, looking primarily inwards, to the saving of his soul 
on whom they are bestowed (though in their fruits also 
they have a relation and habitude to others), other some, 
aiming at the commonwealth or profit of the whole church, 
as such : of the first sort are those mentioned. Gal. v. 
22, 23. * The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,' &.c. with 
all other graces that are necessary to make the man of God 
perfect, in all holiness and the fear of the Lord ; the other 
are those ^agiafxara irviVfxariKa, spiritual gifts of teaching, 
praying, prophesying, mentioned 1 Cor. xiv. and in other 

2. That all these gifts coming down from the Father 
of lights, are given by the same Spirit, ' dividing to every 
one as he will ;' 1 Cor. xii. IL he is not tied in the bestow- 
ing of his gifts to any sort, estate, calling, or condition of 
men, but worketh them freely, as it pleaseth him, in whom 
he will ; the Spirit there mentioned is that God which 
* vvforketh all things according to the counsel of his own 
will;' Eph. i. 11. they are neither deserved by our good- 
ness, nor obtained by our endeavours. 

3. That the end why God bestoweth these gifts on 
any, is merely, that within the bounds of their own calling 


(ill which they are circumscribed, 1 Cor. i.24.) they should 
use them to his glory, and the edification of his church. 
' For the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man 
to profit withal;' 1 Cor. xii. 7. Christ gives none of his 
talents to be bound up in napkins, but expects his own 
with increase;" and from these considerations it is easily 
discernible, both what the people of God, distinct from 
their pastors in a well-ordered church, may do in this kind 
whereof we treat, and how. In general then I assert. 

That for the improving of knowledge, the increasing of 
Christian charity, for the furtherance of a strict and holy 
communion of that spiritual love and amity which ought to 
be amongst the brethren, they may of their own accord as- 
semble together, to consider one another, to provoke unto 
love and good works, to stir up the gifts that are in them, 
yielding and receiving mutual consolation, by the fruits of 
their most holy faith. Now because there be many Uzzahs 
amongst us, who have an itching desire to be fingering of 
the ark, thinking more highly of themselves than they 
ought to think, and like the ambitious sons of Levi, taking 
too much upon them; it will not be amiss to give two 
cautions, deducted from the former rules. First, That they 
do not, under a pretence of Christian liberty and freedom 
of conscience, cast away all brotherly amity, and cut them- 
selves off from the communion of the church; Christ hath 
not purchased a liberty for any to rent his body; they will 
prove at length to be no duties of piety, which break the 
sacred bonds of charity. 

Men ought not, under a pretence of congregating them- 
selves to serve their God, separate from their brethren, 
neglecting the public assemblies, as was the manner of 
some, rebuked by the apostle, Heb. x. 25. There be peculiar 
blessings, and transcendent privileges annexed to public 
assemblies, which accompany not private men to their re- 
cesses; the sharp-edged sword becomes more keen, when 
set on by a skilful master of the assemblies ; and when the 
water of the word flows there, the Spirit of God moves upon 
the face thereof, to make it effectual in our hearts. ' What? 
despise you the church of God?' 1 Cor. xi. 22. 

Secondly, As the ministry, so also ought the ministers, 

<-■ Eccles. xii, 9. 


to have that regard, respect, and obedience, which is due to 
their labours in that sacred calling. Would we could not 
too frequently see more puffed up with the conceit of their 
own gifts, into a contempt of the most learned and pious 
pastors ; ' these are spots in your feasts of charity, clouds 
without water, carried about of winds.' It must doubtless 
be an evil root, that bringeth forth such bitter fruit. Where- 
fore let not our brethren fall into this condemnation, lest 
there be an evil report, raised by them that are without ; 
but * remember them who have the rule over you, who have 
spoken unto you the word of God ;' Heb. xiii. 7. There is no 
greater evidence of the heavenly improvement you make 
by your recesses, than that you * obey them that are guides 
unto you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your 
souls, as they that must give an account, that they may do 
it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for 
you ;' ver. 17. Let not them who despise a faithful painful 
minister in public, flatter themselves, with hope of a bless- 
ing on their endeavours in private. Let them pretend what 
they will, they have not an equal respect unto all God's or- 
dinances. Wherefore that the coming together in this 
sort may be for the better, and not for the worse, observe 
these things : 

Now for what gifts (that are as before freely bestowed), 
whose exercise is permitted, unto such men, so assembled ; 
I mean in a private family, or two or three met 6juo0u/xaSov 
in one. 

And first we may name the gift of prayer, whose exer- 
cise must not be exempted from such assemblies, if any be 
granted; these are the times, wherein the Spirit of grace and 
supplication is promised to be poured out upon the Jeru- 
salem of God; Zech. xii. 10. Now God having bestowed 
the gift, and requiring the duty, his people ought not to be 
hindered in the performance of it. Are all those precepts to 
pray in the Scriptures, only for our closets? When the 
church was in distress for the imprisonment of Peter, there 
was a meeting at the house of Mary the mother of John; 
Acts xii. 12. ' Many were gathered together, praying,' saith 
the text ; a sufficient warrant for the people of God in like 
cases. The churches are in no less distress now, than at that 
time ; and in some congregations the ministers are so op- 


pressed, that publicly they dare not, in others so corrupted 
that they will not, pray for the prosperity of Jerusalem. Now 
truly it were a disconsolate thing, for any one of God's 
servants to say, during all these straits, I never joined with 
any of God's children in the pouring out of my prayer in 
the behalf of his church ; neither can I see how this can 
possibly be prevented, but by the former means ; to which 
add the counsel of St. Paul, speaking to themselves, in 
psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, making melody in 
their hearts unto the Lord ;' Eph. v. 19. 

Secondly, They may exercise the gifts of wisdom, know- 
ledge, and understanding in the ways of the Lord ; com- 
forting, strengthening, and encouraging each other with 
the same consolations and promises, which by the benefit 
of the public ministry, they have received from the word. 
Thus in time of distress the prophet Malachi tells us, that 
' they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and 
the Lord hearkened and heard,' &c. chap.iii. 16. comforting 
(as it appears) one another in the promises of God made 
unto his church, against the flourishing of the wicked, and 
overflowing of ungodliness, the persecution of tyrants, and 
impurity of transgressors. 

Thirdly, They may make use of the tongue of the learned 
(if given unto them) to speak a word in season to him that 
is weary ;' Isa. 1. 4. for being commanded to confess their 
faults one to another, James v. 16. they have power also to 
apply to them that are penitent the promises of mercy. 
We should never be commanded to open our wounds to 
them who have no balm to pour into them; he shall have 
cold comfort who seeks for counsel from a dumb man ; so 
that in this, and the like cases, they may apply unto, and 
instruct one another in the word of God, doing it as a cha- 
ritable duty, and not as out of necessary function, even as 
Aquila and Priscilla expounded unto Apollos the word of 
God more perfectly than he knew it before; Acts xviii. 23. 
In sum, and not to enlarge this discourse with any more 
particulars, the people of God are allowed all quiet and 
peaceable means, whereby they may help each other for- 
ward in the knowledge of godliness, and the way towards 
heaven. Now for the close of this discourse, I will remove 
some objections, that I have heard godly men, and men not 


tinlearned lay against it, out of a zeal not unlike that of 
Joshua, for Moses' sake, the constitute pastor's sake (to 
whom, though I might briefly answer with Moses, * I would 
to God all the Lord's people were prophets;' I heartily wish 
that every one of them had such a plentiful measure of spi- 
ritual endowments, that they might become wise unto sal- 
vation, above many of their teachers, in which vote I make 
no doubt but every one will concur with me, who have the 
least experimental knowledge ; what a burden upon the 
shoulders, what a grief unto the soul of a minister, knowing 
and desiring to discharge his duty, is an ignorant congre- 
gation, of which, thanks to our prelates, pluralists, non- 
residents, homilies, service-book and ceremonies, we have 
too many in this kingdom ; the many also of our ministers 
in this church, taking for their directory the laws and pe- 
nalties of men, informing what they should not do, if they 
would avoid their punishment, and not the precepts of God, 
what they should as their duty do, if they meant to please 
him, and knowing there was no statute, whereon they might 
be sued for (pardon the expression) the dilapidation of 
souls, so their own houses were ceiled, they cared not at all 
though the church of God lay waste), I say, though I might 
thus answer, with opening my desire for the increasing of 
knowledge among the people; of which, I take this to be 
an effectual means, yet I will give brief answers, to the 
several objections. 

Object. 1. Then this seems to favour all allowance of 
licentious conventicles, which in all places the laws have 
condemned, learned men in all ages have abhorred, as the 
seminaries of faction and schism in the church of God. 

^Ms. That (under correction) I conceive, that the law layeth 
hold of none, as peccant in such a kind, but only those, who 
have pre-declared themselves to be opposers of the worship 
of God, in the public assemblies of that church wherein they 
live: now the patronage of any such, I before rejected; 
neither do I conceive, that they ought at all to be allowed 
the benefit of private meetings, who wilfully abstain from the 
public congregations, so long as the true worship of God is 
held forth in them : yea, how averse I have ever been from 
that kind of confused licentiousness in any church, I have 
somewhile since declared, in an answer (drawn up for my 


own and private friends' satisfactions) to the arguments of 
the Remonstrants, in their Apology, and replies to Vedelius, 
with other treatises, for such a liberty of prophesying, as 
they term it. If then the law account only such assemblies 
to be conventicles, wherein the assemblers contemn and de- 
spise the service of God in public, I have not spoken one 
word in favour of them : and for that canon which was 
mounted against them, whether intentionally, in the first 
institution of it, it was moulded, and framed against Ana- 
baptists, or no, I cannot tell ; but this I am sure, that in the 
discharge of it, it did execution oftentimes, upon such as had 
Christ's precept and promise, to warrant their assembling ; 
Matt, xviii. 19, 20. Not to contend about words, would to 
God that which is good might not be persecuted into odious 
appellations, and called evil, when it is otherwise; so to op- 
pose it to the tyrannical oppression of the enemies of the 
gospel : the thing itself, rightly understood, can scarce be 
condemned of any, who envies not the salvation of souls. 
They that would banish the gospel from our houses, would 
not much care, if it were gone from our hearts ; from our 
houses, I say, for it is all one whether these duties be per- 
formed in one family, or a collection of more; some one is 
bigger than ten other; shall their assembling to perform 
what is lawful for that one, be condemned for a conventicle? 
Where is the law for that? or what is there in all this more 
than God required of his ancient people, as I shewed before? 
Or must a master of a family cease praying in his fa- 
mily, and instructing his children, and servants in the ways 
of the Lord, for fear of being counted a preacher in a tub? 
Things were scarcely carried with an equal hand, for the 
kingdom of Christ, when orders came forth on the one side, 
to give liberty to the profane multitude to assemble them- 
selves at heathenish sports, with bestial exclamations, on 
the Lord's own day; and on the other, to punish them who 
durst gather themselves together for prayer, or the singing 
of psalms ; but I hope, through God's blessing, we shall be 
for ever quit of all such ecclesiastical discipline, as must be 
exercised according to the interest of idle drones, whom it 
concerneth to see that there be none to try or examine their 
doctrine, or of superstitious innovators, who desire to ob- 
trude their fancies upon the unwary people. Whence comes it 


that we have such an innumerable multitude of ignorant 
stupid souls, unacquainted with the very principles of re- 
ligion, but from the discountenancing of these means of 
increasing knowledge ; by men who would not labour to do 
it themselves ? O that we could see the many swearers, and 
drunkards, and sabbath-breakers, &c. in this nation, guilty 
only of this crime ; would the kingdom were so happy, the 
church so holy ! 

Object. 2. Men are apt to pride themselves in their gifts, 
and flatter themselves in their performances, so that let them 
approach as nigh as the tabernacle, and you shall quickly 
have them encroaching upon the priest's office also, and by 
an over-weening of their own endeavours, create themselves 
pastors in separate congregations. 

Ans. It cannot be, but offences will come, so long as there 
is malice in Satan, and corruption in men, there is no doubt, 
but there is danger of some such thing ; but hereof the li- 
berty mentioned is not the cause, but an accidental occasion 
only, no way blameable ; gifts must not be condemned, be- 
cause they may be abused : God-fearing men will remember 
Korah, knowing, as one says well, thatUzzah had better ven- 
tured the falling than the fingering of the ark : they that truly 
love their souls, will not suffer themselves to be carried away 
by false conceit, so far as to help overthrow the very con- 
stitution of any church by confusion, or the flourishing of 
it by ignorance, both which, would certainly follow such 
courses; knowledge if alone pufFeth up, but joined to cha- 
rity it edifieth. 

Object. 3. But may not this be a means for men to vent 
and broach their own private fancies unto others ? to foment 
and cherish errors in one another? to give false interpreta- 
tions of the word, there being no way to prevent it? 

Ans. For interpreting of the word, I speak not, but apply- 
ing of it being rightly interpreted ; and for the rest, would to 
God the complaints were not true, of those things that have 
for divers years in this church been done publicly, and out- 
wardly according to order ! but that no inconvenience arise 
from hence, the care rests on them to whom the dispensa- 
tion of the word is committed, whose sedulous endeavour to 
reprove and convince all unsound doctrine, not agreeing to 
the form of wholesome words, is the sovereign and only re- 


niedy to cure, or means to prevent this evil. For the close 
of all, we may observe, that those who are most offended, 
and afraid, lest others should encroach upon their callings, 
are for the most part such, as have almost deserted it them- 
selves, neglecting their own employment, when they are the 
busiest of mortals in things of this world. To conclude, 
then, for what I have delivered in this particular, I conceive 
that I have the judgment and practice of the whole church 
of Scotland, agreeable to the word of God, for my warrant; 
witness the act of their assembly at Edinburgh, An. 1641. 
wherewith the learned Rutherford concludes his defence of 
their discipline, with whose words I will shut up this dis- 
course ; 'Our assembly also, commandeth godly conference 
at all occasional meetings, or as God's providence shall dis- 
pose, as the word of God commandeth, providing none in- 
vade the pastor's office, to preach the word, who are not 
called thereunto by God and his church.' 

E S H C O L ; 








For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the 
ignorance of foolish men. — 1 Pet. ii. 15. 


There are, Christian reader, certain principles in 
church affairs, generally consented unto by all men 
aiming at reformation, and the furtherance of the 
power of godliness therein, however diversified among 
themselves by singular persuasions, or distinguished by 
imposed and assumed names and titles; some of these, 
though not here mentioned, are the bottom and founda- 
tion of this following collection of rules for our walking 
in the fellowship of the gospel : amongst which, these 
four are the principal : 

First, That particular congregations or assemblies 
of believers, gathered into one body, for a participation 
of the ordinances of Jesus Christ, under officers of their 
own, are of divine institution. 

Secondly, That every faithful believer is bound by 
virtue of positive precepts, to join himself to some such 
single congregation, having the notes and marks where- 
by a true church maybe known and discerned. 

Thirdly, That every man's own voluntary consent 
and submission to the ordinances of Christ in that 
church whereunto he is joined, is required for his union 
therewith, and fellowship therein. 

Fourthly, That it is convenient that all believers of 
one place should join themselves in one congregation, 
unless through their being too numerous, they are by 
common consent distinguished into more ; which order 
cannot be disturbed without danger, strife, emulation, 
and breach of love. 

These principles, evident in the word, clear in them- 



selves, and owned in the main by all pretending to re- 
gular church reformation, not liable to any colourable 
exception from the Scripture, or pure antiquity, were 
supposed and taken for granted, at the collection of 
these ensuing rules. 

The apostolical direction and precept in such cases 
is, that whereunto we have attained, we should walk 
according to the same rule ; unto whose performance 
the promise annexed is, that if any one be otherwise 
minded, God will also reveal that unto him. The re- 
maining differences about church order and discipline, 
are for continuance so ancient, and by the disputes of 
men made so involved and intricate ; the parties at va- 
riance so prejudiced and engaged, that although all 
things of concernment appear to me, as to others, both 
consenting with me, and dissenting from me, clear in 
the Scriptures; yet I have little hopes of the accomplish- 
ment of the promise in revelation of the truth, as yet 
contested about in men differently minded; until the 
obedience of walking suitably and answerably to the 
same rules agreed on, be more sincerely accomplished. 

This persuasion is the more firmly fixed on me 
every day, because I see men, for the most part, to 
spend their strength and time more in the opposing of 
those things wherein others differ from them, than in 
the practice of those which by themselves and others 
are owned as of the most necessary concernment : to re- 
call the minds of men, at least of those, who having 
not much light to judge of things under debate (espe- 
cially considering their way of handling in their 
disputing age), may have yet much heat and love 
towards the ways of gospel obedience, from the en- 
tanglements of controversies about church affairs, and 
to engage them into a serious, humble performance of 
those duties, which are by the express command of 
Jesus Christ incumbent on them in what way of order 


they walk, are these leaves designed. I shall only add, 
that though the ensuing rules or directions may be 
observed, and the duties prescribed performed with 
much beauty, and many advantages by those who are 
engaged in some reformed church society ; yet they are 
(if not all of them, yet) for the most part, such as are to 
be the constant practice of all Christians in their daily 
conversation, though they are not persuaded of the ne- 
cessity of any such reformation as is pleaded for : and 
herein I am fully resolved, that the practice of any one 
duty here mentioned, by any one soul before neglected, 
shall be an abundant recompense for the publishing my 
name with these papers, savouring so little of those or- 
naments of art or learning, which in things that come to 
public view, men desire. to hold out. 

F 2 




Rules of walking in fellow ship, ivith reference to the pastor or minister 
that watcheth for our souls. 

Hule I. 1 HE word and all ordinances dispensed in the ad- 
ministration to him committed, by virtue of ministerial 
authority, are to be diligently attended and submitted unto, 
with ready obedience in the Lord. 

1 Cor. iv. 1. * Let a man so accountof us, as of the minis- 
ters of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God/ 

2 Cor. V. 18. 20. ' God hath committed unto us the mi- 
nistry of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for 
Christ, as though God did beseech you by us.' Chap. iv. 7. 
* We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency 
of the power may be of God, and not of us.' See chap. vi. 1. 

Gal. iv. 14. * You received me as an angel of God, even 
as Jesus Christ.' 

2 Thess. iii. 14. * And if any man obey not our words, note 
that man, and have no company with him.' 

Heb. xiii. 7. 17. * Remember them that have the rule over 
you, who have spoken unto you the word of God. Obey 
them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves : 
for they watch for your souls, as they that must give an ac- 
count, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for 
that is unprofitable for you.' 

Explication L There is a twofold power for the dispens- 
ing of the word : 1. Avvafiig, or ability ; 2/E^ov<Tia, or autho- 
rity : the first, with the attending qualifications mentioned 
and recounted 1 Tim. iii. 2 — 7. Tit. i. 6 — 8. and many other 
places, is required to be previously in those, as bestowed on 
them, who are to be called to office of ministration, and may 
be in several degrees and measures in such as are never set 
apart thereunto, who thereby are warranted to declare the 


gospel, when called by the providence of God thereunto ; 
Rom. X. 14, 15. For the work of preaching unto the conver- 
sion of souls, being a moral duty, comprised under that 
general precept of doing good unto all, the appointment of 
some to the performance of that work by the way of office, 
doth not enclose it. 

The second, or authority proper to them who orderly are 
set apart thereunto, ariseth from, 

1. Christ's institution of the office, Eph. iv. 11. 

2. God's providential designation of the persons. Matt, 
ix. 38. 

3. The church's call, election, appointment, acceptation, 
submission. Gal. iv. 14. Acts xiv. 23. 1 Thess. v. 13, 14. 
Acts vi. 3. 2 Cor. viii. 5. which do not give them dominion 
over the faith of believers, 2 Cor. i. 24. nor make them 
lords over God's heritage; 1 Pet. v. 3. but intrust them 
with a stewardly power in the house of God, 1 Cor. iv. 12. 
that is, the peculiar flock over which, in particular, they are 
made overseers. Acts xx. 28. of whom the word is to be 

1. As the truth of God, as also from all others speak- 
ing according to gospel order in his name. 

2. As the truth held out with ministerial authority to 
them in particular, according to the institution of Christ : 
want of a due consideration of these things, lies at the bot- 
tom of all that negligence, carelessness, sloth, and wanton- 
ness in hearing, which have possessed many professors in 
these days. There is nothing but a respect to the truth, and 
authority of God in the administration of the word, that will 
establish the minds of men in a sober and profitable at- 
tending unto it. Neither are men weary of hearing until they 
are weary of practising. 

Motives to the observance of this rule, are ; 

1. The name wherein they speak and administer; 2 Cor. 
v. 20. 2. The work which they do ; 1 Cor. iii. 9. 2 Cor. 
vi. 1. 1 Tim. iv. 16. 

3. The return that they make; Heb. xiii. 17. 

4. The regard that the Lord hath of them in his employ- 
ment; Matt. X. 40—42. Luke x. 16. 

5. The account that hearers must make of the word 
dispensed by them; 2 Chron. xxxvi. 15, 16. Prov. i. 22—29. 


Psal. cxxxviii. 2. Luke x. 16. Mark iv. 24. Heb. ii. 1—3. 
Heb. iv. 2. 

Rule II. His conversation is to be observed, and dili- 
gently followed, so far as he walks in the steps of Jesus 

1 Cor. iv. 16. • I beseech you be ye followers of me :' chap, 
xi. 1. * Be ye followers of me, even as 1 also am of Christ.' 

Heb. xiii. 7. ' Remember them who have spoken unto you 
the word of God, whose faith follow, considering the end of 
their conversation.' 

2 Thess. iii. 7. * For yourselves know how ye ought to 
follow us ; for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among 

Phil. iii. 17. ' Brethren, be followers together of me, and 
mark them which walk so, as you have us for an example.' 

1 Tim. iv. 12. 'Be thou an example of the believers in 
word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.' 

1 Pet. v. iii. * Be ensamples to the flock.' 
Explication II. That an exemplar conversation was ever 
required in the dispensers of holy things both under the Old 
Testament and New, is apparent: the glorious vestments of 
the old ministering priests, the soundness and integrity of 
their person, without maim, imperfection, or blemish, Urim 
and Thummim, with many other ornaments, though primi- 
tively typical of Jesus Christ, yet did not obscurely set out 
the purity and holiness required in the administrators them- 
selves; Zech. iii. 4. In the New, the shining of their light 
in all good works. Matt. v. 16. is eminently exacted : and 
this not only, that no offence be taken at the ways of God, 
and his worship by them administered, as hath fallen out in 
the Old Testament, 1 Sam ii. 17. and in the New, Phil. iii. 
18, 19. but also that those who are without may be con- 
vinced, 1 Tim. iii. 7. and the churches directed in the prac- 
tice of all the will and mind of God by them revealed ; as in 
the places cited. A pastor's life should be vocal; sermons 
must be practised, as well as preached ; though Noah's 
workmen built the ark, yet themselves were drowned ; God 
will not accept of the tongue, where the devil hath the soul. 
Jesus did do and teach ; Acts i. 1. If a man teach uprightly, 
and walk crookedly, more will fall down in the night of his 
life, than he built in the day of his doctrine. 


Now as to the completing of the exemplary life of a mi- 
nister, it is required, that the principle of it be that of the 
life of Christ in him. Gal, ii. 20. that when he hath taught 
others, he be not himself a cast-away;' 2 Cor. ix. 27. with 
which he hath a spiritual understanding, and light given 
him into the counsel of God, which he is to communicate, 

1 John V. 20. 1 Cor. ii. 12. 16. 2 Cor. iv. 6, 7. and that the 
course of it be singular. Mat. v. 46. Luke vi. 32. whereunto 
so many eminent qualifications of the person, and duties of 
conversation are required, 1 Tim. ii. 3 — 6, &c. Titus i. 6 — 9. 
and his aim to be exemplar to the glory of God, 1 Tim, iv- 
12. so is their general course, and the end of their faith to 
be eyed. 

Heb. xiii. 7. And their infirmities, whilst really such, and 
appearing through the manifold temptations whereunto they 
are in these days exposed ; or imposed on them through the 
zeal of their adversaries, that contend against them, to be 
covered with love. Gal. iv. 12, 13. and this men will do, 
when they conscientiously consider, that even the lives of 
their teachers are an ordinance of God, for their relief under 
temptations, and provocation unto holiness, zeal, meekness, 
and self-denial. 

Rule III. Prayer and supplications are continually to be 
made on his behalf, for assistance and success in the work 
committed to him. 

Eph. vi. 18, 19. * Pray always with all prayer and sup- 
plication in the Spirit, for me, that utterance may be given 
me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the 
mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador.' 

2 Thess, iii. 1, 2. * Brethren pray for us, that the word of 
the Lord may run and be glorified, and that we may be 
delivered from the hands of unreasonable and wicked men.' 
1 Thess. v. 25. Col. iv. 3. * Praying also for us, that God 
would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mys- 
tery of Christ:' Heb. xiii. 18. 

Acts xii. 5. * Prayer was made without ceasing of the 
church unto God for him:' Heb. xiii. 7. 

Explication III. The greatness of the work ; for which 
who is sufficient? 2 Cor. ii. 16. The strength of the oppo- 
sition which lies against it, 1 Cor. xvi. 9. Rev. xii. 12. 1 Tim. 
iv. 3 — 5. the concernment of men's souls, therein, Acts xx. 


26 — 28. Heb. xiii. 7. 1 Tim. iv. 16. the conviction which 
is to be brought upon the world thereby, Ezek. ii. 5. 1 Cor. 
i. 23. 2 Cor. iii. 15, 16. its aim and tendency to the glory 
of God in Christ, call aloud for the most effectual daily con- 
currence of the saints in their supplications for their sup- 
portment. That these are to be for assistance, encourage- 
ment, abilities, success, deliverance, and protection, is proved 
in the rule. As their temptations are multiplied, so ought 
prayers in their behalf. They have many curses of men 
against them, Jer. xv. 10. it is hoped, that God hears some 
prayers for them : when many are not ashamed to revile 
them in public, some ought to be ashamed not to remem- 
ber them in private. 

1. The word will doubtless be effectual, when ability for 
its administration is a return of prayers; Acts x. 30, 31. 

2. The ministers' failing is the people's punishment ; Acts 
viii. 11. Isa. xxx. 20. 

3. His prayers are continually for the church; Isa. Ixii. 
7, 8. Rom. i. 9, &c. 

4. That for which he stands in so much need of prayers 
is the saints' good, and not peculiarly his own. Help him 
who carries the burden ; 1 Tim. iii. 8. Phil. ii. 17. Col. i. 24. 

Rule IV. Reverential estimation of him with submission 
unto him for his work's sake. 

1 Cor. iv. 1. ' Let a man so account of us as of the mi- 
nisters of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.' 

1 Thess. V. 12, 13. ' And we beseech you, brethren, to 
know them which labour among you, and are over you in the 
Lord, and admonish you ; and to esteem them very highly 
in love for their work's sake, 

1 Tim. V. 17. * Let the elders that rule well be counted 
worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the 
word and doctrine.' 

1 Pet. V. 5. * Submit yourselves to the elders.' 

Heb. xiii. 17. ' Obey them that have the rule over you, 
and submit yourselves.' 

Explication IV. The respect and estimation here required 
is civil, the motive sacred, whence the honour of the minister 
is the grace of the church, and the regard to him a gospel 
duty acceptable to God in Christ ; 1 Tim. v. 17. Honour and 


reverence is due only to eminency in some kind or other; 
this is given to pastors, by their employment ; proved by 
their titles ; they are called * angels,' Rev. i. 26. Heb. xii. 
22. ' bishops' or overseers, Ezek. iii. 17. Acts xx. 28. 
2 Cor. V. 20. ' stewards,' 1 Cor. iv. 1. Titus i. 7. 'men of 
God,' 1 Sam. ii. 27. 1 Tim. vi. 11. ' rulers,' Heb. xiii. 7. 17. 
' lights,' Matt. V. 14. * salt,' Mat. v. 13. * fathers,' 1 Cor. 
iv. 15. And by many more such-like terms are they de- 
scribed. If under these notions they honour God as they 
ought, God will also honour them as he hath promised ; 
and his people are in conscience to esteem them highly for 
their work's sake : but if any of them be fallen angels, 
thrown-down stars, negligent bishops, treacherous ambas- 
sadors, lordly revelling stewards, tyrannical or foolish rulers, 
blind guides, unsavoury salt, insatiate dogs, the Lord and his 
people shall abhor them, and cut them off in a month ; 
Zech. ii. 8. 

Rule V. Maintenance for them and their families, by the 
administration of earthly things, suitable to the state and 
condition of the churches, is required from their pastors. 

1 Tim. v. 17, 18. 'Let the elders viho rule well be ac- 
counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour 
in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture saith. Thou 
shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The 
labourer is worthy of his reward.' 

Gal. vi. 6, 7. * Let him that is taught in the word, com- 
municate to him that teacheth in all good things. Be not 
deceived ; God is not mocked : for whatsoever a man soweth, 
that shall he also reap.' 

1 Cor. ix. 7.9 — 11. 13, 14. 'Who goeth a warfare any'time 
at his own charges ? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not 
of the fruit thereof? who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of 
the milk of the flock ? It is written in the law of Moses, 
Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out 
the corn. Doth God take care for oxen ? Or saith he it 
altogether for our sakes ? for our sakes, no doubt, this is 
written : that he that ploweth should plow in hope, and he 
which thresheth in hope should be made partaker of his 
hope : if we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a 
great thing, if we shall reap your carnal things? Do ye 
not know, that they which minister about holy things, live 


of the things of the temple 1 and they which wait at the 
altar, are partakers with the altar ? Even so hath the Lord 
appointed, that they which preach the gospel should live of 
the gospel.' Matt, x. 9, 10. ' Provide neither gold, nor silver, 
nor brass, in your purses ; nor scrip for your journey, neither 
two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves : for the workman is 
worthy of his meat.' 

Add to these and the like places, the analogy of the pri- 
mitive allowance in the church of the Jews. 

Explication V. It is a promise to the church under the 
gospel, ' that kings should be her nursing fathers, and 
queens her nursing mothers ;' Isa. xlix. 23. To such it be- 
longs principally to provide food and protection for those 
committed to them ; the fruit of this promise the churches 
in many ages have enjoyed : laws by supreme and kingly 
power have been enacted ; giving portions and granting pri- 
vileges to churches and their pastors. It is so in many 
places, in the days wherein we live ; on this ground, where 
equitable and righteous laws have allowed a supportment in 
earthly things to the pastors of churches, arising from such 
as may receive spiritual benefit by their labour in the gos- 
pel, it is thankfully to be accepted and embraced, as an issue 
of God's providence for the good of his. Besides, our Sa- 
viour warranteth his disciples to take and eat of their things, 
by their consent, to whomsoever the word is preached ; 
Luke X. 8. But it is not always thus ; these things may 
sometimes fail ; wherefore the continual care, and frequently 
the burden, or rather labour of love in providing for the pas- 
tors, lies, as in the rule, upon the churches themselves, 
which they are to do in such a manner as is suitable to the 
condition wherein they are, and the increase given them of 
God. This the whole in general, and each member in par- 
ticular is obliged unto ; for which they have as motives, 

1. God's appointment, as in the texts cited. 

2. The necessity of it: how shall he go on warfare, if he 
be troubled about the necessities of this life ? they are to 
give themselves wholly to the virork of the ministry ;] 1 Tim. 
iv. 15. 

Other works had need to be done for them. 

3. The equity of the duty : our Saviour and the apostles 
plead it out from grounds of equity and justice, and all kind 


of laws and rules of righteousness, among all sorts of men ; 
Matt. X. 10, 1 Cor. x. 10. Allowing proportionable rectitude 
in the way of recompense to it with the wages of the la- 
bourer, which to detain is a crying sin ; James v. 4, 5. The 
wretched endeavours of men of corrupt minds, to rob and 
spoil them of all, that by the providence of God, on any 
other account, they are righteously possessed of. 

Rule VI. Adhering to him, and abiding by him in all 
trials and persecutions for the word. 

2 Tim. iv. 16. * At my first answer no man stood with 
me, but all men forsook me : I pray God that it may not be 
laid to their charge.' 

2 Tim. i. 16 — 18. * The Lord give mercy unto the house 
of Onesiphorus ; for he oft refreshed me, and was not 
ashamed of my chain. But when he was in Rome, he 
sought me out very diligently, and found me. The Lord 
grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that 
day : and in how many things he ministered unto me at 
Ephesus, thou knowest very well.' 

Explication VI. A common cause should be carried on 
by common assistance ; that which concerneth all should 
be supported by all ; when persecutien ariseth for the word's 
sake, generally it begins with the leaders ; 1 Pet. iv. 17, 18. 
the common way to scatter the sheep, is by smiting the 
shepherds; Zech. xiii. 7, 8. It is for the church's sake he 
is reviled and persecuted ; 2 Tim. ii. 10. Col. i. 24. And 
therefore it is the church's duty to share with him, and help 
to bear his burden. All the fault in scattering congrega- 
tions, hath not been in ministers ; the people stood not by 
them in their trial ; the Lord lay it not to their charge. The 
captain is betrayed, and forced to mean conditions with his 
enemy, who going on, with assurance of being followed by 
his soldiers, looking back in the entrance of danger, he finds 
them all run away. In England usually, no sooner had per- 
secution laid hold of a minister, but the people willingly re- 
received another : perhaps a wolf instead of a shepherd. 
Should a wife forsake her husband because he is come in 
trouble for her sake ? when a known duty in such a relation 
is incumbent upon a man, is the crime of a backslider in 
spiritual things less ? Whilst a pastor lives, if he suffer for 
the truth, the church cannot desert him, nor cease the per- 


formance of all required duties, without horrid contempt of 
the ordinances of Jesus Christ. This is a burden that is 
commonly laid on the shoulders of ministers, that for no 
cause whatsoever -they must remove from their charge, when 
those that lay it on will oftentimes freely leave them and 
their ministry without any cause at all. 

Rule VII. Gathering together in the assembly upon his 
appointment, with theirs joined with him. 

Acts xiv. 27. ' When they were come, and had gathered 
the church together.' 

These are some of the heads wherein the church's duty 
consisteth, towards him or them that are set over it in the 
Lord ; by all means giving them encouragement to the work, 
saying also unto them, ' Take heed to the ministry you have 
received, that you fulfil it in the Lord;' Col. iv. 17. For what 
concerneth other officers, may easily be deduced hence by 
analogy and proportion. 

Rules to be observed by those who walk in fellowship, and considered to stir 
vp their remembrance in things of mutual duty one towards another, 
which consisteth in. 

Rule I. Affectionate, sincere love in all things, without 
dissimulation towards one another, like that which Christ 
bare to his church. 

John XV. 12. ' This is my commandment, That ye love one 
another, as I have loved you.' 

John xiii. 34, 35. ' A new commandment I give unto you, 
That ye love one another : as I have loved you, that ye also 
love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are 
my disciples, if ye have love one to another.' 

Rom. xiii. 8. * Owe no man any thing, but to love one 
another ; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.' 

Eph. V. 2. 'Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us.' 

1 Thess. iii. 12. 'The Lord make you to increase and 
abound in love one toward another.' 

1 Thess. iv. 9. ' Yourselves are taught of God to love one 

1 Pet.i. 22. ' Seeing ye have purified your souls in obey- 
ing the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the 


brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart 

1 John iv. 21. 'And this commandment we have from 
him, that he who loved God, do love his brother also.' 

Rom. xii. 10. 'Be kindly affectioned one to another in 
brotherly love.' 

Explication I. Love is the fountain of all duties, towards 
God and man; Matt. xxii. 3. 7. the substance of all rules 
that concerneth the saints; the bond of communion ; 'the 
fulfilling of the law ;' Rom. xiii. 8 — 10. the advancement of 
the honour of the Lord Jesus, and the glory of the gospel. 
The primitive Christians had a proverbial speech, received, 
as they said, from Christ ; ' Never rejoice but when thou seest 
thy brother in love ;' and it was common among the heathens 
concerning them ; ' See how they love one another ;' from their 
readiness for the accomplishment of that royal precept of 
laying down their lives for their brethren. It is the fountain, 
rule, scope, aim, and fruit of gospel communion : and of no 
one thing of present performance, is the doctrine of the Lord 
Jesus more eximious, and eminent above all other directions 
than in this, of mutual, intense, affectionate love amongst 
his followers, for which he gives them innumerable precepts, 
exhortations, and motives, but above all, his own heavenly 
example. To treat of love in its causes, nature, subject, fruits, 
effects, tendency, eminency, and exaltation ; or, but to re- 
peat the places of Scripture wherein these things are men- 
tioned, would not suit with our present intention ; only it may 
be plainly affirmed, that if there were no cause besides, of 
reformation and walking in fellowship, but this one, that 
thereby the power and practice of this grace, shamefully to 
the dishonour of Christ and his gospel, lost amongst those 
who call themselves Christians might be recovered, it were 
abundantly enough to give encouragement for the undertak- 
ing of it, notwithstanding any oppositions. Now this love is 
a spiritual grace, wrought by the Holy Ghost, Gal. v. 22. 
in the hearts of believers, 1 Pet. i. 22. whereby their souls 
are carried out, 1 Thess. ii. 8. to seek the good of the chil- 
dren of God, as such, Phil. v. Eph. i. 15. Heb.xiii. 11. unit- 
ing the heart unto the object so beloved, attended with joy, 
delight, and complacency in their good. The motives unto 
love, and the grounds of its enforcement from. 


1. The command of God, and nature of the whole law, 
whereof love is the accomplishment ; Lev. xix. 34. Matt. xix. 
19. Rom. xiii. 9, 10. 

2. The eternal, peculiar, distinguishing, faithful love of God 
towards believers, and the end aimed at therein by him ; Ezek. 
xvi.8. Deut. i. 8. xxxiii. 3. Zeph. iii. 17. Rom. v. 8. Eph.i. 4. 

3. The intense, inexpressible love of Jesus Christ, in his 
whole humiliation and laying down his life for us, expressly 
proposed as an example unto us; Cant. iii. 10. John xv. 13. 
Eph. V. 2. 

4. The eminent renewal of the old command of love, with 
such new enforcements that it is called * a new commandment,' 
and peculiarly 'the law of Christ;' John. xiii. 34. xv. 12. 
1 Thess. iv. 9. 2 John 5. 

5. The state and condition of the persons between whom 
this duty is naturally to be exercised, as 

(1.) Children of one father; Matt, xxiii. 8. 

(2.) Members of one body; 1 Cor. xii. 12, 13. 

(3.) Partakers of the same hope ; Eph. iv. 4. 

(4.) Objects of the same hate of the world ; 1 John iii. 13. 

6. The eminency of this grace. 

(1.) In itself, and divine nature ; Col. ii. 2. 1 Johniv. 7. 
1 Cor. xiii. 

(2.) In its usefulness ; Prov. x. 12. xv. 17. Gal. v. 13. 
Heb. xiii. 1. 

(3.) In its acceptance with the saints ; Eph. i. 15. Psal. v. 
1 Cor. xiii. 

7. The impossibility of performing any other duty with- 
out it; Gal. v. 6. 1 Thess. i. 3. 1 Johniv. 20. 

8. The great sin of want of love, with all its aggravations. 
Matt. xxiv. 12. 1 John iii. 14, 15. and the like, are so many, 
and of such various consideration as not now to be insisted on. 

Love, which is the bond of communion, maketh out it- 
self, and is peculiarly exercised in these things following. 

Rule II. Continual prayer for the prosperous state of the 
church, in God's protection towards it. 

Psal. cxxii. 6. 'Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they 
shall prosper that love thee.' 

Phil. i. 4, 5. ' Always in every prayer of mine for you all, 
making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel 
from the first day until now.' 


Rom. i. 9. 'Without ceasing I make mention of you all 
in my prayer.' 

Acts xii. 5. ' Peter was kept in prison, but prayer was 
made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.' 

Isa. Ixii. 6, 7. * Ye that make mention of the Lord keep 
not silence. And give him no rest till he establish, and till 
he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.' 

Eph. vi. 18. * Praying always with all prayer and sup- 
plication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all per- 
severance and supplication for all saints.' 

Col. iv. 12. ' Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of 
Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in 
prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the 
will of God.' 

Explication II. Prayer, as it is the great engine whereby 
to prevail with the Almighty, Isa. xlv. 11. so it is the sure 
refuge of the saints at all times, both in their own behalf, 
Psal. Ixi. 2. and also of others; Acts xii. 4. It is a benefit 
which the poorest believer may bestow, and the greatest 
potentate hath no power to refuse ; this is the beaten way 
of the soul's communion with God, for which the saints have 
many gracious promises of assistance, Zech. xii. 10. Rom. 
viii. 26. innumerable precepts for performance, Matt. vii. 
7. 1 Thess. v. 17. 1 Tim. ii. 8. with encouragements there- 
unto, James i. 5. Luke xi. 9. with precious promises of accept- 
ance. Matt. xxi. 22. John xvi. 24. Psal. li. 15. By all which, 
and divers other ways, the Lord hath abundantly testified 
his delight in this sacrifice of his people. Now as the saints 
are bound to pray for all men, of what sort soever, 1 Tim. 
ii. 1, 2. unless they are such as sin unto death, 1 John v. 
16. yea, for their persecutors. Matt. v. 44. and them that 
hold them in bondage, Jer. xxix. 7. so most especially for all 
saints, 1 Phil. i. 4. and peculiarly for those with whom they 
are in fellowship. Col. iv. 12. the Lord having promised, 
that ' upon every dwelling place, and all the assemblies of 
mount Zion,' that there shall be * a cloud of smoke by day, 
and a shining of a flaming fire by night,' Isa. iv. 5. it is every 
one's duty to pray for its accomplishment. He is not worthy 
of the privileges of the church, who continues not in prayer 
for a defence upon that glory. Prayer then for the good, 
prosperity, flourishing, peace, increase, edification, and pro- 


tection of the church, is a duty every day required of all the 
members thereof. 

1. Estimation of the ordinances. 

2. Concernment of God's glory. 

3. The honour of Jesus Christ. 

4. Our own benefit and spiritual interest. 

With the expressness of the command, are sufficient mo- 
tives hereunto. 

Rule III. Earnest striving and contending in all lawful 
ways, by doing and suffering for the purity of the ordinances, 
honour, liberty, and privileges of the congregation, being 
jointly assistant against opposers and common adversaries. 

Jude 3. * And exhort you, that ye should contend ear- 
nestly for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.' 

Heb. xii. 3, 4. ' For consider him that endureth such con- 
tradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied, 
and faint in your minds. Ye have not resisted unto blood, 
striving against sin.' 

1 John iii. 16. ' Hereby perceive we the love of God, be- 
cause he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down 
our lives for the brethren,' 

Gal. V. 1. ' Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith 
Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with 
the yoke of bondage.' 

Ver. 13. ' For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty.' 

1 Cor. vii. 23. ' Ye are bought with a price ; be not ye 
the servants of men.' 

Cant. vi. 4. 'Thou art beautiful, O my love, terrible as 
an army with banners.' 

1 Pet. iii. 15. ' Be ready always to give an answer to 
every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in 
you with meekness and fear.' 

Explication III. The former rule concerned our dealing 
with God, in the behalf of the church ; this, our dealing with 
men ; to the right performance hereof many things are re- 
quired : as, 

1. Diligent labouring in the word, with fervent prayer, 
to acquaint ourselves with the mind and will of God, con- 
cerning the way of worship which we profess, and the rules 
of walking, which we desire to practise, that so we may be 
able to give an account to humble inquirers, and stop the 

VOL. XIX. o 


mouths of stubborn opposers ; according to our knowledge, 
such will be our valuation of the ordinances we enjoy: a 
man will not contend unless he knows his title. 

2. An estimation of all the aspersions cast on, and in- 
juries done to the church to be Christ's, and also our own; 
Christ wounded through the sides of his servants, and his 
ways ; and if we are of his, though the blow light not imme- 
diately on us, we are not without pain : all such reproaches 
and rebukes fall on us. 

3. Just vindication of the church against calumnies and 
false imputations ; who can endure to hear his parents in 
the flesh falsely traduced? And shall we be senseless of her 
reproaches who bears us unto Christ ? 

4. Joint refusal of subjection, with all gospel opposition 
to any persons or things ; who, contrary to, or besides the 
word, under what name soever, do labour for power over 
the church, to the abridging of it of any of those liberties 
and privileges which it claimeth as part of the purchase 
qf Christ ; to them that would enthral us, we are not to give 
place, no not for an hour. 

Rule IV. Sedulous care and endeavouring for the pre- 
servation of unity, both in particular and in general. 

Phil. ii. 1 — 3. 'If there be therefore any consolation in 
Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, 
if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like- 
minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one 
mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vain-glory ; 
but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than 

Eph. iv. 3, 4. 'Endeavouring to keep the unity of the 
Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one 
Spirit,' &c. 

1 Cor. i. 10. ' Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, 
and that there be no divisions among you ; but that ye be 
perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same 

2 Cor. xiii. 11. 'Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one 
mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be 
with you.' 

Rom. xiv. 19. 'Let us therefore follow after the things 


which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify 

Rom. XV. 5. ' Now the God of patience and consolation 
grant you to be like-minded one toward another/ &c. 

1 Cor. vi. 5 — 7. 'Is it so, that there is not a wise man 
amongst you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between 
his brethren? but brother goeth to law with brother. Now 
therefore there is utterly a fault among you.' 

Acts iv. 32» ' And the multitude of them that believed 
were of one heart and of one soul.' 

Explication IV, Union is the main aim and most proper 
fruit of love ; neither is there any thing or duty of the saints 
in the gospel pressed with more earnestness and vehemency 
of exhortation than this. Now unity is threefold ; first, Purely 
spiritual, by the participation of the same Spirit of grace ; 
communication in the same Christ, one head to all. This 
we have with all the saints in the world, in what condition 
soever they be ; yea, with those that are departed, sitting 
down in the kingdom of heaven, with Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob. Secondly, Ecclesiastical or church communion, in 
the participation of ordinances, according to the order of the 
gospel. This is a fruit and branch of the former; opposed to 
schism, divisions, rents, evil surmisings, self-practices, cause- 
less differences in judgment in spiritual things concerning 
the kingdom of Christ, with whatsoever else goeth off from 
closeness of affection, oneness of mind, consent in judgment 
to the form of wholesome words, conformity of practice to 
the rule ; and this is that which in the churches, and among 
them, is so earnestly pressed, commanded, desired, as the 
glory of Christ, the honour of the gospel, the joy and crown 
of the saints. Thirdly, Civil unity, or an agreement in things 
of this life, not contending with them, nor about them, every 
one seeking the welfare of each other. Striving is unseemly 
for brethren ; why should they contend about the world who 
shall jointly judge the world? 

Motives to the preservation of both these, are, 

1. The remarkable earnestness ofChrist andhis apostles 
in their prayers for, and precepts of, this duty. 

2. The certain dishonour of the Lord Jesus, scandal to 
the gospel, ruin to the churches, shame and sorrow to the 



saints, that the neglect of it is accompanied withal ; 
Gal. V. 15. 

3. The gracious issues, and sweet heavenly consolation, 
which attendeth a right observance of thera. 

4. The many fearful aggravations wherewith the sin of 
Trending the body of Christ, is attended. 

5. The sad contempt and profanation of ordinances, 
which want of this hath brought upon many churches : for 
a right performance of this duty, we must, 

(1.) Labour by prayer and faith, to have our hearts and 
spirits throughly seasoned with that affectionate love, which 
our first rule requireth. 

(2.) Carefully observe in ourselves or others, the first be- 
ginnings of strife, which are as the letting out of waters, and 
if not prevented will make a breach like the sea. 

(3.) Sedulously apply ourselves to the removal of the first 
appearance of divisions ; and in case of not prevailing, to 
consult the church. 

(4.) Daily to strike at the root of all dissention, by la- 
bouring for universal conformity to Jesus Christ. 

Rule V. Separation and sequestration from the world 
and men of the world, with all ways of false worship, until 
we be apparently a people dwelling alone, not reckoned 
among the nations. 

Numb, xxiii. 9. * Lo, the people shall dwell alone, and 
shall not be reckoned among the nations.' 

John XV. 19. * Ye are not of the world, but I have chosen 
you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.' 

2 Cor. vi. 14 — 16. 17, 18. ' Be ye not unequally yoked to- 
gether with unbelievers : for what fellowship hath righte- 
ousness with unrighteousness ? and what communion hath 
light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Be- 
lial ? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel ? and 
what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye 
are the temple of the living God, Wherefore come out from 
among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not 
the unclean thing ; and I will receive you, and will be a Father 
unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the 
Lord Almighty. 

Eph. V. 8. 'Walk as children of light:' ver. 11. 'And 
have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.' 


2 Tim. iii. 5. ' Having a form of godliness, but denying 
the power thereof; from such turn away.' 

Hosea iv. 15. ' Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet 
let not Judah offend ; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither 
go ye up to Beth-aven.' 

Rev. xviii. 4. 'Come out of her, my people, that ye be 
not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her 

Prov. xiv. 7. * Go from the presence of a foolish man, 
when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.' 

Explication V. Separation generally hears ill in the 
world, and yet there is a separation suitable to the mind of 
God ; he that will not separate from the world and false 
worship, is a separate from Christ. 

Now the separation here commanded from any persons, 
is not in respect of natural affections, nor spiritual care of 
the good of their souls, Rom. ix. 3. nor yet in respect of 
duties of relation, 1 Cor. vii. 13. nor yet in offices of love 
and civil converse, 1 Cor. v. 10. 1 Thess. iv. 12. much less 
in not seeking their good and prosperity, 1 Tim. ii. 11. or 
not communicating good things unto them. Gal. vi. 10. or 
living profitably and peaceably with them ; Rom. xii. 18. 
but in, 1. Manner of walking and conversation ; Rom. xii. 2. 
Eph. iv. 17 — 19. 2. Delightful converse and familiarity 
where enmity and opposition appears; Eph. v, 3, 4. 6 — 8. 
10, 11. 3. In way of worship, and ordinances of fellowship ; 
Rev. xviii. 4. Not running out into the same compass of 
excess and riot with them, in any thing ; for these three, and 
the like commands and discoveries of the will of God, are 
most express ; as in the places annexed to the rule ; neces- 
sity abundantly urgent, spiritual profit and edification, no 
less requiring it. Causeless separation from established 
churches, walking according to the order of the gospel 
(though perhaps failing in the practice of some things of 
small concernment), is no small sin; but separation from 
the sinful practices, and disorderly walkings, and false un- 
warranted ways of worship in any, is to fulfil the precept 
of not partaking in other men's sins ; to delight in the 
company, fellowship, society, and converse of unsavoury, dis- 
orderly persons, proclaims a spirit not endeared to Christ, 
Let motives hereunto be, 


1. God's command. 

2. Our own preservation from sin, and protection from 
punishment;, that with others we be not infected and 

3. Christ's delight in the purity of his ordinances. 

4. His distinguishing love to his saints ; provided, that 
in the practice of this rule, abundance of meekness, patience, 
gentleness, wisdom, and tenderness be exercised : let no 
offence be given justly to any. 

Rule VI. Frequent spiritual communication, for edifica- 
tion according to gifts received. 

Mai. iii. 16. 'Then they that feared the Lord, spake 
often one to another ; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, 
and a book of remembrance was written before him for 
them that feared the Lord, and thought upon his name.' 

Job ii. 11. * Now when Job's three friends heard of all 
this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from 
his own place : for they had made an appointment to- 
gether, to come to mourn with him, and to comfort him.' 

Eph. iv. 29. * Let no corrupt communication proceed out 
of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edify- 
ing, that it may administer grace unto the hearers.' 

Col. iv. 6. ' Let your speech be alway with grace, sea- 
soned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer 
every man.* 

Eph. V. 4. ' Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor 
jesting, which are not convenient : but rather giving of 

1 Thess. V. 11. * Wherefore comfort yourselves together, 
and edify one another, even as also ye do.' 

Heb. iii. 13. 'Exhort one another daily, while it is called 
To-day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitful- 
ness of sin.' 

Jude 20. • Building up yourselves on your most holy 
faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.' 

Heb. X. 24, 25. * Let us consider one another, to pro- 
voke unto love and good works : not forsaking the assem- 
bling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but 
exhorting one another ; and so much the more, as ye see the 
day approaching.' 

Acts xviii. 26. 'Whom when Aquila and Priscilla had 


heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him 
the way of God more perfectly.' 

1 Cor. xii. 7. ' The manifestation of the Spirit is given 
to every man to profit withal.' 

Explication VI. That men not solemnly called and set 
apart to the office of public teaching, may yet be endued 
with useful gifts for edification, was before declared ; the 
not using of such gifts, in an orderly way, according to the 
rule and custom of the churches, is to napkin up the talent 
given to trade and profit withal : that every man ought to 
labour, that he may walk and dwell in knowledge, in his 
family, nOne doubts; that we should also labour to do so 
in the church or family of God, is no less apparent. 

This the Scriptures annexed to the rule declare, which 
in an especial manner hold out prayer, exhortation, in- 
struction from the word, and consolation ; now the per- 
formance of this duty of mutual edification, is incumbent 
on the saints. 

1. Ordinarily, Eph. iv. 29. v. 3. 5. Heb. iii. 13. Believers 
in their ordinary daily converse, ought to be continually 
making mention of the Lord ; with savoury discourses 
tending to edification, and not waste their opportunities 
with foolish, light, frothy speeches that are not convenient. 

2. Occasionally, Luke xxiv. 14. Mai. iii. 1. 6. If any 
thing of weight and concernment to the church be brought 
forth by Providence, a spiritual improvement of it, by a due 
consideration amongst believers, is required. 

3. By assembling of more together by appointment, for 
prayer and instruction from the word; Acts xviii. 23. xii. 12. 
Job ii. 11. Eph. V. 19. James v. 16. Jude 20. 1 Thess. 
XV. 14. This being a special ordinance and appointm.ent of 
God, for the increasing of knowledge, love, charity, experi- 
ence, and the improving of gifts received ; every one con- 
tributing to the building of the tabernacle ; let then all vain 
communication be far away. The time is short, and the 
days are evil ; let it suffice us, that we have neglected so 
many precious opportunities of growing in th6 knowledge 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and doing good to one another ; 
let the remainder of our few and evil days be spent in living 
to him who died for us; be not conformed to this world, nor 
the men thereof. 


Rule VII. Mutually to bear with each other's infirmities, 
weakness, tenderness, failings, in meekness, patience, pity, 
and with assistance. 

Eph. iv. 32. * Be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, 
forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath 
forgiven you.' 

Matt, xviii. 21. 'Then came Peter to him, and said. How 
oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?' 
ver. 22. ' Jesus said unto him, I say not unto thee, seven 
times, but until seventy times seven.' 

Mark xi. 25, 26. ' And when ye stand praying, forgive, if 
you have aught against any, that your Father which is also 
in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do 
not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven for- 
give your trespasses,' 

Rom. xiv. 13. ' Let us not therefore judge one another 
any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stum- 
bling-block, or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.' See 
ver. 3, 4. 

Rom. XV. 1, 2. * We then that are strong ought to bear 
the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 
Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edi- 

1 Cor. xiii. 4 — 7. * Charity suffereth long, and is kind ; 
charity envieth not; charity is not rash, is not puffed up, 
doth not behave itself unseemly, is not easily provoked, 
thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in 
the truth ; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all 
things, endureth all things.' 

Gal. vi. 1. ' Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, 
ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit 
of meekness ; considering thyself, lest thou also be 

Col. iii. 12 — 14. ' Put on therefore, as the elect of God, 
holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness 
of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, 
and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against 
any ; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above 
all these things put on charity, which is the bond of per- 

Explication VII. It is the glory of God to cover a mat- 


ter ; Prov. xxv. 2. free pardon is the substance of the gos- 
pel ; the work of God in perfection, Isa. Iv. proposed to 
us for imitation. Matt. viii. 26 — 28. Whilst we are clothed 
with flesh we do all things imperfectly ; freedom from fail- 
ings is a fruit of glory ; we see here darkly as in a glass, 
know but in part, in many things we offend all; who know- 
eth how often ? mutual failings to be borne with, offences to 
be pardoned, weakness to be supported, may mind us in 
these pence, of the talents forgiven us. Let him that is 
without fault throw stones at others. Some men rejoice in 
others' failings ; they are malicious, and fail more in that 
sinful joy than their brethren in that which they rejoice at. 
Some are angry at weaknesses and infirmities ; they are 
proud and conceited, not considering that they themselves 
also are in the flesh. Some delight to dwell always upon a 
frailty; they deserve to find no charity in the like kind. 
For injuries, who almost can bear until seven times? Peter 
thought it much. Some more study revenge than pardon ; 
some pretend to forgive, but yet every slight offence makes 
a continued alienation of affections, and separation of con- 
verse. Some will carry a smooth face over a rough heart. 
Christ is in none of these ways ; they have no savour of 
the gospel; meekness, patience, forbearance, and forgive- 
ness, hiding, covering, removing of offences, are the foot- 
steps of Christ : seest thou thy brother fail, pity him ; doth 
he continue in it, earnestly pray for him, admonish him ; 
cannot another sin, but you must sin too? If you be angry, 
vexed, rejoiced, alienated from, you are partner with him in 
evil, instead of helping him. Suppose thy God should be 
angry every time thou givest cause, and strike every time 
thou provokest him. When thy brother offendeth thee, do 
but stay thy heart, until thou takest a faithful view of the 
patience and forbearance of God towards thee ; and then 
consider his command to thee, to go and do likewise. Let 
then all tenderness of affection, and bowels of compassion 
towards one another, be put on amongst us, as becometh 
saints. Let pity, not envy; mercy, not malice; patience, 
not passion; Christ, not flesh; grace, not nature; pardon, 
not spite or revenge, be our guides and companions in our 

Motives hereunto are. 


1 . God's infinite mercy, patience, forbearance, long-suf- 
fering, and free grace towards us, sparing, pardoning, pity- 
ing, bearing with us, innumerable, daily, hourly failings and 
provocations; especially all this being proposed for our 
imitation, in our measure, Matt. x. 24. 28. 

2. The goodness, unwearied and unchangeable love of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, putting in every day for us ; not 
ceasing to plead in our behalf, notwithstanding our con- 
tinual backsliding ; 1 John ii. 1, 2. 

3. The experience which our own hearts have of the 
need wherein we stand of others' patience, forbearance, and 
pardon 5 Eccles. vii. 20. 22. 

4. The strictness of the command, with the threatenings 
attending its non-performance. 

5. The great glory of the gospel, which is in the walk- 
ing of the brethren with a right foot, as to this rule. 

Rule VIII. Tender and affectionate participation with 
one another, in their several states and conditions, bearing 
each other's burdens. 

Gal. vi. 2. * Bear ye one another's burdens, and so 
fulfil the law of Christ.' 

Heb. xiii. 3. ' Remember them that are in bonds, as 
bound with them ; and them that are in adversity, as being 
yourselves also in the body.' 

1 Cor. xii. 25, 26. 'That there should be no schism in 
the body ; but that the members should have the same care 
one for another. And whether one member suflfer, all the 
members suflfer with it ; or one member be honoured, all the 
members rejoice with it.' 

2 Cor. xi. 29. ' Who is weak, and I am not weak? who 
is oflfended, and I burn not?' 

James i. 21. 'Pure religion and undefiled before God 
and the Father, is this 5 to visit the fatherless and widows 
in their afiliction,' &c. 

Matt. xxv. 35. * I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat : 
I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink : I was a stranger, and 
ye took me in : naked, and ye clothed me : I was sick, and 
ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.' Ver. 
40. * Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of 
these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.' 

2 Tim. i. 16, 17. ' The Lord give mercy unto the house of 


Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed 
of my chain. But when he was in Rome, he sought me out 
very diligently, and found me.' 

Acts XX. 35. * I have shewed you all things, how that 
so labouring ye ought to support the weak,' &c. 

ExpIicationVllI . The former rule concerned the carriage 
and frame of spirits towards our brethren in their failings : 
this is in their miseries and afflictions. In this also, con- 
formity to Christ is required, who in all the, afflictions of his 
people is afflicted, Isa. Ixiii. 9. and persecuted in their dis- 
tresses ; Acts ix. 4. Could we bring up our spiritual union, 
to hold any proportion with the mutual union of many 
members in one body, to which it is frequently compared; 
this duty would be excellently performed. No man ever yet 
hated his own flesh: if one member be in pain, the rest have 
little comfort or ease; it is a rotten member which is not 
affected with the anguish of its companions. They are 
marked particularly for destruction, who in the midst of 
plentiful enjoyments, forget the miseries of their brethren; 
Amos vi. 6. If we will not feel the weight of our brethren's 
afflictions, burdens, and sorrow, it is a righteous thing that 
our own should be doubled ; the desolations of the church 
makes Nehemiah grow pale in the court of a great king ; 
Nehem. i. 10. They who are not concerned in the troubles, 
sorrows, visitations, wants, poverties, persecutions of the 
saints, not so far as to pity their woundings, to feel their 
strokes, to refresh their spirits, help bear their burdens upon 
their own shoulders, can never assure themselves, that they 
are united to the head of those saints. Now to a right per- 
formance of this duty, and in the discharge of it, are re- 

1. A due valuation, strong desire, and high esteem of 
the church's prosperity in every member of it; Psal. cxxii. 6. 

2. Bowels of compassion as a fruit of love, to be sensi- 
ble of, and intimately moved for, the several burdens of the 
saints ; Col. iii. 19. 

3. Courage and boldness, to own them without shame 
in all conditions ; 2 Tim. i. 16, 17. 

4. Personal visitations in sicknesses, troubles, and 
restraints, to advise, comfort, and refresh them; Matt^ 
XXV. 36. 


5. Suitable supportment by administration of spiritual 
or temporal assistances, to the condition wherein they are. 
The motives are the same as to the former rule. 

Rule IX. Free contribution, and communication of tem- 
poral things, to them that are poor indeed, suitable to their 
necessities, wants, and afflictions. 

1 John iii. 17, 18. 'Whoso hath this world's good, and 
seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of 
compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in 
him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in 
tongue ; but in deed and in truth.' 

1 Cor. xvi. 1, 2. * Now concerning the collection for the 
saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, 
even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week, let every 
one of you lay by him in store as God hath prospered him.' 

2 Cor. ix. 5 — 7. * Let your gift be ready as a matter of 
bounty, not covetousness; he that soweth sparingly, shall 
reap sparingly. Every man, according as he purposeth in 
his heart, so let him give ; not grudgingly, or of necessity; 
for God loveth a cheerful giver.' So the whole eighth and 
ninth chapters of this epistle. 

Rom. xii. 13. ' Distributing to the necessity of the 
saints, given to hospitality.' 

Gal. vi. 10. ' As we have therefore opportunity, let us 
do good unto all men, especially to them who are of the 
household of faith.' 

ITim. vi. 17, 18. 'Charge them that are rich in this world, 
that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, 
but in the living God, who giveth us all things richly to 
enjoy ; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, 
ready to distribute, willing to communicate ; laying up in 
store for themselves a good foundation against the time to 

Heb. xiii. 16. 'To do good and to communicate forget 
not, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.' 

Levit. XXV. 35. ' And if thy brother be waxen poor, and 
fallen in decay with thee, then thou shalt relieve him.' 

Matt. XXV. 34 — 36. ' Come, ye blessed of my Father, in- 
herit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of 
the world : for I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat : 
I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink : I was a stranger, and 


ye took me in : naked, and ye clothed me : I was sick, 
and ye visited me : I was in prison, and ye came unto me.' 
Ver. 40. ' Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it 
unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it 
unto me.' 

Explication IX. The having of poor always amongst us, 
and of us, according to our Saviour's prediction. Matt, 
xxvi. 11. and the promise of God, Deut. xv. 11. serves for 
the trial of themselves and others ; of their own content, with 
Christ alone, with submission to the all -disposing sove- 
reignty of God ; of others, how freely they can part, for 
Christ's sake, with those things wherewith their hand is 
filled. When God gave manna for food unto his people, 
every one had an equal share, Exod. xvi. 18. 'and he that 
gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little 
had no lack;' 2 Cor. viii. 15. This distribution in equality 
was again, for the necessity of the church, reduced into 
practice in the days of the apostles; Acts iv. 35. Of the 
total sum of the possessions of believers, distribution was 
made to every man according to his need. 

That every man, by the ordinance and appointment of 
God, hath a peculiar right to the use and disposal of the 
earthly things wherewith he is in particular intrusted, is 
unquestionable. The very precept for free distribution and 
communication, are enough to prove it ; but that these 
things are altogether given to men for themselves and their 
own use, is denied ; friends are to be made of mammon. 
Christ needs in some, what he bestows on others ; if he hath 
given thee thine own and thy brother's portion also to keep, 
wilt thou be false to thy trust, and defraud thy brother ? 
Christ being rich, became poor for our sakes ; if he make 
us rich, it is that we may feed the poor for his sake ; neither 
doth this duty lie only (though chiefly), on those who are 
greatly increased ; those who have nothing but their labour, 
should spare out of that for those who cannot work; Eph. 
iv. 28. The two mites are required as well as accepted. 
Now the relief of the poor brethren in the church, hath a 
twofold rule. 

First, Their necessity. 

Secondly, Others' abilities. 

Unto these two must assistance be proportioned ; pro 


vided that those which are poor walk suitably to their con- 
dition; 2 Thess. iii. 10, 11. And as we ought to relieve 
men in their poverty, so we ought, by all lawful means, 
to prevent their being poor : to keep a man from falling, is 
an equal mercy to the helping of him up when he is down. 
Motives to this duty are, 

1. The love of God unto us ; 1 John iii. 14. 

2. The glory of the gospel, exceedingly exalted thereby; 
Titus iii. 8. 15. Matt. v. 6. 

3. The union whereunto we are brought in Christ, with 
the common inheritance promised to us all. 

4. The testimony of the Lord Jesus, witnessing what is 
done in this kind, to be done unto himself; Matt. xxv. 

5. The promise annexed to it, Eccles.xi. 1. Prov.xix. 17, 
Deut. XV. 10. Matt. x. 42. 

The way whereby it is to be done, is by appointing some. 
Acts vi. to take what is voluntarily distributed by the bre- 
thren, according as God hath blessed them, on the first day 
of the week, 1 Cor. xvi. 1. and to distribute to the necessity 
of the saints, according to the advice of the church ; besides 
private distributions wherein we ought to abound ; Matt. vi.3. 
Heb. xiii. 1^. 

Ruk X. To mark diligently, and avoid carefully, all 
causes and causers of divisions ; especially to shun seducers, 
false teachers, and broachers of heresies and errors, contrary 
to the form of wholesome words. 

Kom. xvi. 17, 18. * Now I beseech you, brethren, mark 
them which cause divisions and offences, contrary to the 
doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them : for they 
that are such, serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own 
belly ; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the 
hearts of the simple.' 

Matt. xxiv. 4, 5. ' Jesus said unto them. Take heed that 
no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, 
saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many.' Ver. 23 — 25. 
* Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or 
there ; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, 
and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders ; 
insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the 
very elect. Behold, I have told you before.' 


i Tim. vi. 3 — 5. ' If any man teach otherwise, and consent 
not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, 
he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions 
and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, 
evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt 
minds, and destitute of the truth: from such withdraw 

2 Tim. ii. 16, 17. * But shun profane and vain babblings ; 
for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their word 
will eat as doth a canker.' 

Titusiii. 9, 10. * But avoid foolish questions and gene- 
alogies, and contentions and strivings about the law ; for 
they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is a heretic, 
after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing 
that he that is such, is subverted, and sinneth,being con- 
demned of himself.' 

1 John ii. 18, 19. ' Little children, it is the last time : and 
as ye have heard, that antichrist shall come, even now are 
there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last 
time. They went out from us, but they were not of us ; 
for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have conti- 
nued with us : but they went out, that they might be made 
manifest that they were not all of us.' 

1 John iv. 1. ' Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try 
the spirits whether they are of God ; because many false 
prophets are gone out into the world.' 

2 John 10, 11. 'If there come any unto you, and bring, 
not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither 
bid him God speed : for he that biddeth him God speed, is 
partaker of his evil deeds.' 

Acts XX. 29. * For I know this, that after my departing 
shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the 
flock :' ver. 30. ' Also of your ownselves shall men arise, 
speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them :' 
ver. 31. 'Therefore watch.' 

Rev. ii. 14. 'I have a few things against thee, because 
thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam.' 
Ver. 15, 16. ' So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of 
the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. Repent ; or else I shall 


come to thee quickly, and will fight against thee with the 
sword of my mouth.' 

Explication X. The former part of this rule was some- 
thing spoken to rule 4. If the preservation of unity ought 
to be our aim, then certainly the causes and causers of di- 
vision ought to be avoided ; ' from such turn away.' There 
is a generation of men, whose tongues seem to be acted by 
the devil ; James calls it, * Set on fire of hell ;' chap. iii. 6. 
As though they were the mere offspring of serpents, they 
delight in nothing but in the fire of contention ; disputing, 
quarrelling, backbiting, endless strivings, are that they live 
upon. ' Note such men, and avoid them.' Generally they 
are men of private interests, fleshly ends, high conceits, and 
proud spirits ; * from such turn away.' For the latter part 
of the rule in particular, concerning seducers, that a judg- 
ment of discerning by the spirit rests in the church, and 
the several members thereof, is apparent; 1 John ii. 27. 
1 Cor. ii. 15. Isa. viii. 28. To the exercise of this duty 
they are commanded, John v. 1 . 1 Cor. x. 5. so it is com- 
mended. Acts xvii. 11. and hereunto are they encouraged, 
Phil. i. 9, 10. Heb. v. 14. 'If the blind lead the blind, both 
will fall into the ditch :' that gold may be suspected, which 
would not be tried. Christians must choose the good and 
refuse the evil. If their teachers could excuse them, if 
they lead them aside, they might well require blind sub- 
mission from them. Now that the brethren may exercise 
this duty aright, and perform obedience to this rule, it is 

1. That they get their senses exercised in the word, to 
discern good and evil ; Heb. v. 14. Especially, that they 
get from the Scripture a form of wholesome words, 2 Tim. 
i. 13. of the main truths of the gospel, and fundamental ar- 
ticles of religion; so that upon the first apprehension of the 
contrary, they may turn away from him that brings it, and 
not bid them God speed ; 2 John 10. 

2. That they attend and hearken to nothing but what 
comes to them in the way of God. Some men, yea, very 
many in our days, have such itching ears after novelty, that 
they run greedily after every one ' that lies in wait to de- 
ceive, with cunning enticing words,' to make out some new 


pretended revelations; and this from a pretended liberty, 
yea, duty of trying all things ; little considering that God 
will have his own work done, only in his own way. How 
they come it matters not, so they may be heard. Most of the 
seducers and false prophets of our days, are men apparently 
out of God's way, leaving their own callings to wander 
without a call, ordinary or extraordinary, without providence 
or promise; for a man to put himself voluntarily, uncalled, 
upon the hearing of them, is to tempt God, with whom it is 
just and righteous, to deliver them up to the efficacy of 
error, that they may believe the lies they hear. Attend only 
then to, and try only that which comes in the way of God ; 
to others bid not God speed. 

3. To be always ready furnished with, and to bear in 
mind the characters, which the Holy Ghost hath given us in 
the word, of seducers ; which are indeed the very same, 
whereby poor unstable souls are seduced by them ; as, first. 
That they should come in sheep's clothings, goodly pre- 
tences of innocency and holiness. Secondly, With good 
words and fair speeches, Rom. xvi. 17, 18. smooth as butter 
and oil. Thirdly, Answering men's lusts in their doctrine, 
2 Tim. iv. 3. bringing doctrines suitable to some beloved 
lusts of men, especially a broad and easy way of salvation. 
Fourthly, Pretences of glorious discoveries and revelations ; 
Matt. xxiv. 24. 2 Thess. ii. 2. 

4. Utterly reject and separate from such as have had 
means of conviction and admonition; Tit. iii. 10. 

5. Not to receive any without testimony from some of 
the brethren of known integrity in the churches: such is 
the misery of our days, that men will run to hear those, that 
they know not from whence they come, nor what they are ; 
the laudable practice of the first churches, to give testimo- 
nials to them that were to pass from one place to another, 

1 Cor. xvi. 3. and not to receive any without them. Acts ix. 
26. is quite laid aside. 

6. To walk orderly, not attending to the doctrine of any, 
not known to, 'and approved by, the churches. 

7. To remove far away all delight in novelties, disputes, 
janglings, contentions about words not tending to godliness, 
which usually are beginnings of fearful apostacies ; Tit. iii. 9. 

2 Tim. iv. 3. 1 Tim. ii. 3—5. 



Rule XI. Cheerfully to undergo the lot and portion of 
the whole church in prosperity and affliction, and not to draw 
back upon any occasion whatever. 

Matt. xiii. 20, 21. 'But he that received the seed into 
s4;ony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and 
anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in him- 
self, but dureth for a while ; for when tribulation or per- 
secution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is of- 

Heb. X. 23—25. 32—39. ' Let us hold fast the profession 
of our faith without wavering ; for he is faithful that pro- 
mised : and let us consider one another, to provoke unto 
love and to good works : not forsaking the assembling of 
ourselves together, as the manner of some is ; but exhorting 
one another : and so much the more, as ye see the day ap- 
proaching. But call to remembrance the former days, in 
which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of 
afflictions ; partly, whilst ye were made agazing-stock, both 
by reproaches and afflictions ; and partly, whilst ye became 
companions of them that were so used. For ye had com- 
passion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling 
of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in 
heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away 
therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of 
reward. For ye have need of patience; that, after ye have 
done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For 
yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will 
not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith : but if any man 
draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we 
are not of them who draw back unto perdition, but of them 
that believe to the saving of the soul.' 

2 Tim. iv. 10. 16. 'For Demas hath forsaken me, having 
loved this present world. At my first answer, no man stood 
with me, but all men forsook me ; I pray God that it may 
not be laid unto their charge.' 

Explication XI. Backsliding from the practice of any 
way of Christ, or use of any ordinances, taken up upon con- 
viction of his institution, is in no small degree in apostacy 
from Christ himself. 

Apostacy, in what degree soever, is attended with all 
that aggravation which a renunciation of a tasted sweetness 



and goodness from God for transitory things, can lay upon 
it ; seldom it is that backsliders are without pretences. 
Commonly of what they forsake, in respect of what they 
pretend to retain, they say, as Lotof Zoar, 'Is it not a little 
one?' But yet we see, without exception, that such things 
universally tend to more ungodliness : every unrecovered 
step backward, from any way of Christ, maketh a dis- 
covery of falseness in the heart, whatever former pretences 
have been. 

They who, for motives of any sort, from things that are 
seen, which are but temporal, will seek for, or embrace being- 
presented, colours or pretences for declining from any gos- 
pel duty, will not want them for the residue, if they should 
be tempted thereunto. 

The beginnings of great evils are to be resisted. That 
the neglect of the duty whereof we treat, which is always 
accompanied with contempt of the communion of saints, 
hath been a main cause of the great dishonour and confusion 
whereunto most churches in the world are fallen, was in 
part touched before. It being a righteous thing with God, 
to suffer the sons of men. to wax vain in their imaginations ; 
in whom, neither the love of Christ, nor terror of the Lord, 
can prevail against the fear of men. 

Let this, then, with the danger and abomination of back- 
sliding, make such an impression on the hearts of the saints, 
* that, with full purpose of heart they might cleave unto the 
Lord, follow hard after him,' in all his ordinances ; that if 
persecution arise, they^may cheerfully follow the Lamb whi- 
thersoever he goes ; and by their close adhering one to 
another, receive such mutual assistance and supportment, 
as that their joint prayers may prevail with the goodness 
of God, and their joint sufferings overcome the wickedness 
of men. 

Now to a close adhering to the church wherein we walk 
in fellowship, in all conditions whatsoever, without dismis- 
sion attained upon just and equitable grounds, for the em- 
bracing of communion in some other churches. 

Motives are. 

First, The eminency and excellency of the ordinances 

H 2 


Secondly, The danger of backsliding, and evidence of 
unsoundness in every degree thereof. 

Thirdly, The scandal, confusion, and disorder of the 
churches, by neglect thereof. 

Rule XII. In church affairs to make no difference of 
persons, but to condescend to the meanest persons and ser- 
vices, for the use of the brethren. 

James ii. 1 — 6. 'My brethren, have not the faith of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 
For if there come unto your assemblies, a man with a gold 
ring, in goodly apparel ; and there come in also a poor man 
in vile raiment ; and ye have respect to him that weareth the 
gay clothing, and say unto him. Sit thou here in a good 
place ; and say to the poor man. Stand thou there, or sit 
here under my foot-stool : are ye not then partial in your- 
selves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, 
my beloved brethren ; Hath not God chosen the poor of 
this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which 
he hath promised to them that love him ? But ye have de- 
spised the poor,' &c. 

Matt. XX. 26, 27. ' But it shall not be so among you ; 
but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your 
minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him 
be your servant.' 

Rom. xii. 16. ' Be of the same mind one toward another. 
Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. 
Be not wise in your own conceits.' 

John xiii. 12 — 16. ' So after he had washed their feet, 
and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he 
said unto them. Know ye what I have done to you ? Ye 
call me Master, and Lord : and ye say well ; for so I am. 
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye 
ought also to wash one another's feet. For I have given you 
an example, that ye should do even as I have done to you. 
Verily, verily, I say unto you. The servant is not greater 
than his Lord; neither he that is sent, greater than him that 
sent him.' 

Explication XII. Where the Lord hath not distinguished, 
neither ought we ; in Jesus Christ there is neither rich nor 
poor, high nor low, but a new creature; generally, 'God 


hath chosen the poor of this world to confound the 

Experience shews us, that not many great, not many 
wise, not many mighty after the flesh, are partakers of the 
heavenly calling ; not that the gospel of Christ doth any 
way oppose, or take away those many differences and dis- 
tinctions among the sons of men, caused by power, autho- 
rity, relation, enjoyment of earthly blessings, gifts, age, or 
any other eminency whatsoever, according to the institution 
and appointment of God, with all that respect, reverence, 
duty, obedience, and subjection due unto persons in those 
distinctions ; much less, pull up the ancient bounds of pro- 
priety and interest in earthly things; but only declares, 
that in things purely spiritual, these outward things, which 
for the most part happen alike unto all, are of no value or 
esteem : men in the church are considered as saints, and not 
as great, or rich ; all are equal, all are naked before God. 

Free grace is the only distinguisher, all being brethren 
in the same family, servants of the same master, employed 
about the same work, acted by the same precious faith, 
enjoying the same purchased privileges, expecting the same 
recompense of reward, and eternal abode. Whence should 
any difference arise ? Let then the greatest account it their 
greatest honour, to perform the meanest necessary service 
to the meanest of the saints ; a community in all spiritual 
advantages should give equality in spiritual affairs ; not he 
that is richest, not he that is poorest, but he that is hum- 
blest, is accepted before the Lord. 

Motives hereunto, are 

1. Christ's example. 

2. Scripture precepts. 

3. God's not accepting persons. 

4. Joint participation of the same common faith, hope, &c. 

5. The unprofitableness of all causes of outward differ- 
ences in things of God. 

Rule Xlll. If any be in distress, persecution, or afflic- 
tion, the whole church is to be humbled, and to be earnest 
in prayer in their behalf. 

Acts xii. 5. 7. 12. ' Peter therefore was kept in prison; 
but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto 
God for him. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came 


upon him, and a light shined in the prison : and he smote 
Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up 
quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And when 
he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary 
the mother of John, whose surname was Mark ; where many 
were gathered together, praying.' 

Rom. xii. 15. 'Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and 
weep with them that weep.' 

1 Cor. xii. 26, 27. ' And whether one member suffer, all 
the members suffer with it ; or one member be honoured, all 
the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, 
and members in particular.' 

2 Thess. iii. 1, 2. ' Pray for us, brethren, that we may 
be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men.' 

Explication XIII, This duty being in general made out 
from, and included in, other former rules, we shall need to 
speak the less unto it ; especially, seeing that upon consider- 
ation and supposition of our fellow-membership, it is no more 
than very nature requireth and calleth for. God delighteth, 
as in the thankful praises, so in the fervent prayers of his 
churches; therefore he variously calleth them by several dis- 
pensations to the performance of these duties. Now this oft- 
times, to spare the whole church, he doth by the afflictions of 
some one or other of the members thereof; knowing that, that 
near relation, which by his institution and Spirit is between 
them, will make the distress common, and their prayers 
closely combined. Spiritual union is more noble and excellent 
than natural ; and yet in this it were monstrous, that either 
any member in particular, or the whole in general, should not 
both suffer with, and care for, the distress of every part and 
member. That member is rotten and to be cut off, for fear 
of infecting the body, which feels not the pains of its asso- 
ciates. If then any member of the church, do lie under the 
immediate afflicting hand of God, or the ])rosecuting rage of 
man, it is the duty of every fellow-member, and of the church 
in general, to be sensible of, and account themselves so 
sharers therein, as to be instant with God by e.arnest suppli- 
cation, and helpful to them by suitable assistance, that their 
spiritual concernment in that affliction, may be apparent ; 
and that because, first. The will of God is thereby fulfilled. 
Secondly, The glory of the gospel is thereby exalted. Thirdly, 


Preservation and deliverance to the vi^hole church procured. 
Fourthly, Conformity vi^ith Christ's sufferings in his saints 
attained. Fifthly, An inestimable benefit of church fellow- 
ship enjoyed, &c. 

Rule XIV. Vigilant watchfulness over each other's con- 
versation, attended with mutual admonition, in case of dis- 
orderly walking ; with rendering an account to the church, 
if the party offending be not prevailed with. 

Matt, xviii. 15 — 17. * If thy brother shall trespass 
against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him 
alone : if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 
But if he will not hear, then take with thee one or two 
more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word 
may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, 
tell it unto the church.' 

1 Thess. v. 14. ' Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them 
that are unruly.' 

Heb. iii. 12, 13. ' Take heed, brethren, lest there be in 
any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the 
living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called 
To-day ; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitful- 
ness of sin.' 

Heb. X. 24, 25. * And let us consider one another, to pro- 
voke unto love and to good works : exhorting one another, 
and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.' 

Heb. xii. 13.15, 16. ' Make straight paths for your feet, lest 
that which is lame be turned out of the way, but rather let 
it be healed. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the 
grace of God ; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble 
you, and thereby many be defiled j lest there be any forni- 
cator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of bread, 
sold his birthright.' 

Lev. xix. 17. 'Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy 
heart : thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not 
suffer sin upon him.' 

2 Thess. iii. 15. ' Yet count him not as an enemy, but 
admonish him as a brother/ 

Rom. XV. 14. ' And I myself also am persuaded of you, 
my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all 
knowledge, able also to admonish one another.' 

James v. 19, 20. ' Brethren, if any of you do err from the 



truth, a nd one convert him, let him know, that he which 
converteth the sinner from the error of his way, shall save 
soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.' 

Prov. xxix. 1. ' He that being often reproved stiffeneth 
his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without 

Explication XIV. There is a threefold duty included in this 
rule, the main whereof, and here chiefly intended, is that of 
admonition, whereunto the first is previous and conducing; 
the latter, in some cases consequent, and attending Chris- 
tians' conversation : whether you consider the glory of God, 
and the gospel therein concerned ; or the bonds of relation, 
with those mutual endearments wherein they stand engaged ; 
and obligations that are upon them for the general good 
and spiritual edification one of another, this duty is of emi- 
nent necessity and usefulness. Not that we should curiously 
pry into one another's failings ; much less maliciously search 
into doubtful unknown things, for the trouble or dispa- 
ragement of our brethren ; both which are contrary to that 
love which thinketh not evil, but covereth a multitude of 
faults ; but only out of a sense of the glory of God, the ho- 
nour of the gospel, and care of each other's souls : we are to 
observe their walking, that what is exemplary therein may 
be followed, what faileth may be directed, what is amiss 
may be reproved, that in all things God may be glorified, 
and Christ exalted. 

Now admonition is twofold : 1. Authoritative, by the way 
of power ; 2. Fraternal, by the way of love. The first again 
is twofold; (1 .) Doctrinal, by the way of teaching ; (2.) Dis- 
ciplinary, which belongeth to the whole church ; of these we 
do not treat. The latter also is twofold : hortatory, to en- 
courage unto good ; and monitory, to reprove that which is 
amiss : it is this last which is peculiarly aimed at, and in- 
tended in the rule. This then we assert, as the duty of every 
church member towards them with whom he walks in fellow- 
ship; to admonish any from the word, whom they perceive 
not walking in any thing with a right foot, as becometh the 
gospel, thereby to recover his soul to the right way, that 
much caution and wisdom, tenderness and moderation is 
required in the persons performing this duty; for want 
whereof, it often degenerates from a peaceable remedy of 


evil, into fuel, for strife and debate is granted. Let them, 
then, who are called to perform this duty, diligently consider 
these things : 1. That in the whole action he transgress not 
that rule of charity which we have, 1 Cor. xiii. 7. Gal vi. 
2. Let him have peace at home, by an assurance of constant 
labouring to cast out all beams and motes from his own eye ; 
Matt. vii. 5. 3. Let him so perform it, that it may evidently 
appear, that he hath no other aim but the glory of God, and 
the good of his brother reproved ; all envy and rejoicing in 
evil being far away. 4. Let him be sure to draw his admo- 
nitions from the word, that the authority of God may ap- 
pear therein, and without a word let him not presume to 
speak. 5. Let all circumstances attending time, place, per- 
sons, and the like, be duly weighed, that all provocation in 
the least manner, may be fully avoided. 6. Let it be con- 
sidered as an ordinance whereunto Christ hath an especial 
regard. 7. Let him carefully distinguish between personal 
injuries unto himself, wliose mention must have far more of 
forgiveness than reproof, and other 'offences tending to pub- 
lic scandal. Lastly, Let self-examination concerning the 
same or the like miscarriage, always accompany the bro- 
therly admonition. 

These and the like things being duly weighed, let every 
brother, with Christian courage, admonish from the word, 
every one whom he judgeth to walk disorderly in any parti- 
cular whatsoever; not to suffer sin upon him, being ready to 
receive content and satisfaction upon just defence, or pro- 
mised amendment : and without this, in case of just offence, 
a man cannot be freed from the guilt of other men's sins. 
Let also the person admonished, with all Christian patience, 
accept of the admonition, without any more regret of spirit, 
than he would have against him who should break the wea- 
pon wherewith he was in danger to be slain : considering, 

1. The authority of him who hath appointed it. 

2. The privilege and mercy he enjoy eth by such a spi- 
ritual prevention of such a danger, or out of such an evil, 
which perhaps himself did not discern. 

3. The dreadful judgments which are everywhere threat- 
ened to despisers of reproofs, Prov. xxix. 1. and so thank- 
fully accept just admonition from the meanest in the con- 


For the last, or repairing unto the church in case of not 
prevailing by private admonition ; our Saviour hath so 
plainly laid down both the manner and end of proceeding 
in Matt, xviii. that it needeth no explanation ; only I shall 
observe, that by church there, ver. 17. cannot be understood 
the elders of the church alone, but rather the whole congre- 
gation ; for if the offended brother should take with him two 
or three of the elders unto the offender, as he may, then were 
they the church, and the church should be told of the 
offence before the reproof hath been managed by two or 
three, which is contrary to the rule. 

Rule XV. Exemplary walking in all holiness and god- 
liness of conversation, to the glory of the gospel, edification 
of the church, and conviction of them which are without. 

Psal. xxiv. 3, 4. ' Who shall ascend into the hill of the 
Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath 
clean hands, and a pure heart ; who hath not lift up his soul 
unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 

" • Matt. V. 16. 20, ' Let your light so shine before men, that 
they may see your good works, and glorify your Father 
which is in heaven. For I say unto you. That except 
your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the 
scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the king- 
dom of heaven.' 

Matt. xxi. 19. ' And when he saw a fig-tree in the way, 
he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, 
and said unto it. Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for 
ever,' &c. 

2 Cor. vii. 1. ' Having therefore these promises, dearly 
beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the 
flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.' 

2 Tim. ii. 19. ' And let every one that nameth the name of 
Christ, depart from iniquity.' Tit. ii. 11,^12, 14. 'For the 
grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all 
men, teaching us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly 
lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this 
present world. Who gave himself for us, that he might 
redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a pecu- 
liar people, zealous of good works.' Eph. iv. 21 — 23. * If so 
be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as 
the truth is in Jesus : that ye put off concerning the former 


conversation the old man, which is [corrupt according to the 
deceitful lusts ; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.' 
1 Pet. iii. 1, 2. * Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your 
own husbands, that if any obey not the word, they also may 
without the word be won by the conversation of the wives ; 
while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with 
fear.' Heb. xii. 14. ' Follow peacewith all men, and holiness, 
without which no man shall see the Lord.' Eph. v. 15. 16. 'See 
then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise ; 
redeeming the time, because the days are evil.' 2 Sam. 
xii. 14. 'Howbeit because by this deed thou hast given great 
occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child 
also that is born unto thee, shall surely die.' 

Explication XV. Holiness becometh the house of the Lord 
for ever, without it none shall see God. Christ died to wash 
his church, to present it before his Father without spot or 
blemish, to purchase unto himself a peculiar people, zealous 
of good works. It is the kingdom of God within us, and by 
which it appeareth unto all that we are the children of the 
kingdom. Let this then be the great discriminating cha- 
racter of the church from the world, that they are a holy, 
humble, self-denying people : our Master is holy, his doc- 
trine and worship holy ; let us strive that our hearts may 
also be holy. 

This is ourwisdo«i towards them that are without, whereby 
they may be guided, or convinced ; this is the means whereby 
we build up one another most effectually. Examples are 
a sharper way'^of instruction than precepts ; loose walking 
causing the name of God to be blasphemed, the little ones 
of Christ to be offended, and his enemies to rejoice, is at- 
tended with most dreadful woes. Oh, that all who are called 
to a holy profession, and do enjoy holy ordinances, did 
shine also in holiness of conversation, that those who accuse 
them as evil doers, might have their mouths stopped, and their 
hearts filled with shame, to the glory of the gospel ! To this 
general head belongeth wise walking in all patience, meek- 
ness, and long-suffering towards those that are without, 
until they evidently appear to be fighters against God ; when 
they are to be prayed for. Hither also might be referred 
the patience of the saints in all tribulations, sufferings, and 
persecutions for the name of Christ. 


Motives for the exercise of universal holiness in acts in- 
ternal and external, private and public, personal and of all 
relations, are 

1. The utter insufficiency of the most precious ordi- 
nances, for any communion with God, without it. 

2. The miserable issue of deceived souls, with their bar- 
ren, empty, fruitless faith. 

3. The glory of the gospel, when the power thereof hath 
an evident impression on the hearts, thoughts, words, actions, 
and lives of professors. 

4. Scandal of the gospel, the advantage of its adversaries, 
the shame of the church and fierce wjrath of God, following 
the unsuitable walking of the professors. 

5. The sweet reward which the practice of holiness 
bringeth along with it, even in this life ; with that eternal 
weight of glory, whereunto it leadeth hereafter ; unto which 
the holy Son of God bring us all, through the sprinkling of 
his most holy blood. 

And these are some of those rules, whose practice is re- 
quired from the persons, and adorneth the profession of 
those who have obtained this grace, to walk together in fel- 
lowship, according to the rule of the gospel ; towards others 
also ouo-ht they, with several limitations, and in the full lati- 
tude towards the brethren of the congregations in commu- 
nion with them to be observed. 









Aggravations of the evil of schism, from the authority of the ancients. 
Their incoynpetcncy to determine in this case, instanced in the sayings 
of Aitstin and Jerome. The saying of Aristides. Judgment of the 
ancients subjected to disquisition. Some men's advantage in charging 
others with schism. The actors' part privileged. The Romanists^ in- 
terest herein. The charge of schism not to he despised. The iniquity of 
accusers justifes not the accused. Several persons charged with schism 
on several accounts. The design of this discourse in reference to them. 
Justification of differences unpleasant. Attempts for peace and recon- 
ciliation considered. Several persuasions hereabouts, and endeavours of 
men to that €7id. Their issues. 

It is the manner of men of all persuasions, who undertake 
to treat of schism, to make their entrance with invectives 
against the evils thereof, with aggravations of its heinous- 
ness. All men, whether intending the charge of others, or 
their own acquitment, esteem themselves concerned so to 
do. Sentences out of the fathers, and determinations of 
schoolmen, making it the greatest sin imaginable, are usually 
produced to this purpose. A course this is which men's 
apprehensions have rendered useful, and the state of things 
in former days easy. Indeed whole volumes of the ancients, 
written when they were actors in this cause, charging others 
with the guilt of it, and consequently with the vehemency 
of men contending for that wherein their own interest lay, 
might (if it were to our purpose) be transcribed to this end. 
But as they had the happiness to deal with men evidently 
guilty of many miscarriages, and for the most part absurd 
and foolish, so many of them having fallen upon such a no- 
tion of the catholic church and schism, as hath given occa- 
sion to many woful mistakes, and much darkness in the 
following ages, I cannot so easily give up the nature of this 



evil to their determination and judgment. About the aggra- 
vations of its sinfuhiess I shall not contend. 

The evidence which remains of an indulgence in the best 
of them, Ttj afxiTQia TriQ av'^o\Kt]Q in this business especially, 
deters from that procedure. From what other principle 
were those words of Augustine ; * Obscurius dixerunt pro- 
phetge de Christo quam de ecclesia : puto propterea quia 
videbant in spiritu contra ecclesiam homines facturos esse 
particulas : et de Christo non tantam litem habituros, de 
ecclesia magnas contentiones excitaturos.' Cone. 2. ad 
Psal. XXX. Neither the affirmation itself, nor the reason 
assigned, can have any better root. Is any thing more 
clearly and fully prophesied on than Christ? or was it 
possible that good men should forget with what contests 
the whole church of God all the world over had been ex- 
ercised from its infancy about the person of Christ? Shall 
the tumultuating of a few in a corner of Africa, blot out the 
remembrance of the late diffusion of Arianism over the world ? 
But Jerome hath given a rule for the| interpretation of what 
they delivered in their polemical engagements; telling us 
plainly in his Apology for himself to Pammachius, that he 
had not so much regarded what was exactly to be spoken in 
the controversy he had in hand, as what was fit to lay load 
upon Jovinian. And if we may believe him, this was the 
manner of all men in those days. If they were engaged, 
they did not what the truth only, but what the defence of 
their cause also required. Though I believe him not as to 
all he mentions, yet doubtless we may say to many of them, 
as the apostle in another case, "0\wg r\TTr\}xa Iv vfxiv lariv. 
Though Aristides obtained the name of Just, for his upright- 
ness in the management of his own private affairs, yet being 
engaged in the administration of those of the commonwealth, 
he did many things professedly unjust; giving this reason, 
he did them Upbg rr^v viro^emv r^e Trarpidog (TV)(yrig adiKiag 


Besides, the age wherein we live having, by virtue of 
that precept of our Saviour, * Call no man master,' in a good 
measure freed itself from the bondage of subjection to the 
dictates of men (and the innumerable evils with endless en- 
tanglements thence ensuing), because they lived so many 
hundreds of years before us ; that course of procedure. 


tliough retaining its facility, hath lost its usefulness, and is 
confessedly impertinent. What the Scripture expressly 
saith of this sin, and what from that it saith may regularly 
and rationally be deduced (whereunto we stand and fall), 
shall be afterward declared. And what is spoken suitably 
thereunto by any of old, or of late, shall he cheerfully also 
received. But it may not be expected that I should build 
upon their authority, whose principles I shall' be necessi- 
tated to examine. And I am therefore contented to lie low, 
as to any expectation of success in my present undertaking, 
because I have the prejudice of many ages, the interest of 
most Christians, and the mutual consent of parties at va- 
riance (which commonly is taken for an unquestionable 
evidence of truth) to contend withal. But my endeavours 
being to go, ' non qua itur, sed qua eundum est,' I am not 
solicitous about the event. 

In dealing about this business among Christians, the ad- 
vantage hath been extremely hitherto on their part, who 
found it their interest to begin the charge. For whereas 
perhaps themselves were, and are of all men most guilty of 
the crime; yet, by their clamorous accusation, putting 
others upon the defence of themselves, they have in a man- 
ner clearly escaped from the trial of their own guilt, and 
cast the issue of the question purely on them whom they 
have accused. The actors or complainants' part was so 
privileged by some laws and customs, that he who had des- 
perately wounded another, chose rather to enter against 
him the frivolous plea, that he received not his whole sword 
into his body, than to stand to his best defence, on the 
complaint of the wounded man. An accusation managed 
with the craft of men guilty, and a confidence becoming 
men wronged and innocent, is not every one's work to slight 
and wave. And he is in ordinary judgments immediately 
acquitted, who avers that his charge is but recrimination. 
What advantage the Romanists have had on this account, 
how they have expatiated in the aggravation of the sin of 
schism, whilst they have kept others on the defence, and 
would fain make the only thing in question to be, whether 
they are guilty of it or no, is known to all. And therefore, 
ever since they have been convinced of their disability to 
debate the things in difference between them and us, unto 

vox. XIX. I 

1 14 OF SCHISM. 

any advantage from the Scripture, they have almost wholly 
insisted on this one business, wherein they would have it 
wisely thought, that our concernment only comes to the 
trial, knowing that in these things their defence is weak, 
who have nothing else. Nor do they need any other ad-' 
vantage ; for if any party of men can estate themselves at 
large in all the privileges granted, and promises made to 
the church in general, they need not be solicitous about- 
dealing with them that oppose them ; having at once ren- 
dered them no better than Jews and Mahometans,^ heathens 
or publicans, by appropriating the privileges mentioned 
unto themselves. And whereas the parties litigant, by all 
rules of law and equity, ought to stand under an equal 
regard, until the severals of their differences have been 
heard and stated ; one party is hereby utterly condemned 
before it is heard ; and it is all one unto them, whether they 
are in the right or wrong. But we may possibly in the issue 
state it upon another foot of account. 

In the mean time it cannot be denied, but that their 
vigorous adhering to the advantage which they have made 
to themselves (a thing to be expected from men wise in 
their generation), hath exposed some of them, whom they 
have wrongfully accused, to a contrary evil; whilst in a 
sense of their own innocency, they have insensibly slipped 
(as is the manner of men) into slight and contemptible 
thoughts of the thing itself whereof they are accused. 
Where the thing in question is but a name or term of re- 
proach, invented amongst men, this is incomparably the 
best way of defence. But this contains a crime; and no 
man is to set light by it. To live in schism, is to live in 
sin ; which, unrepented of, will ruin a man's eternal condi- 
tion : every one charged with it must either desert his 
station, which gives foundation to his charge, or acquit 
himself of the crime, in that station. This latter is that, 
which in reference to myself and others, I do propose : as- 
senting in the gross to all the aggravations of this sin, 
that with any pretence from Scripture or reason are heaped 
on it. 

And I would beg of men fearing God, that they would 

» Solis nosse Deos et Coeli numina Tobis ■ • ■ 
. 3ut solis nescire datum. 


not think, that the iniquity of their accusers doth in the 
least extenuate the crime whereof they are accused. Schism 
is schism still, though they may be unjustly charged with 
it; and he that will defend and satisfy himself by prejudices 
against them with whom he hath to do, though he may be 
no schismatic, yet if he were so, it is certain he would jus- 
tify himself in his state and condition. Seeing men on false 
grounds and self-interest may yet sometimes manage a good 
cause, which perhaps they have embraced upon better prin- 
ciples, a conscientious tenderness and fear of being mistaken, 
will drive this business to another issue. ' Blessed is he who 
feareth always.' 

It is well known how things stand with us in this world ; 
as we are Protestants we are accused by the Papists to be 
schismatics. And all other pleas and disputes neglected, 
this is that which at present (as is evident from their many 
late treatises on this subject, full of their wonted confidence, 
contempt, reviling, and scurrility) is chiefly insisted on by 

Farther, among Protestants, as being reformatists, or as 
they call us Calvinists, we are condemned for schismatics 
by the Lutherans ; and for sacramentarian sectaries, for no 
other crime in the world, but because we submit not to all 
they teach ; for in no instituted church relation would they 
ever admit us to stand with them; which is as considerable 
an instance of the power of prejudice, as this age can give. 
We are condemned for separation, by them who refuse to 
admit us into union. But what hath not an irrational attempt 
of enthroning opinions put men upon ? 

The differences nearer home about episcopal government, 
with the matter of fact, in the rejecting of it, and somewhat 
of the external way of the worship of God formerly used 
amongst us, hath given occasion to a new charge of the guilt 
of the same crime on some ; as it is not to be supposed, that wise 
and able men, suffering to a great extremity, will oversee or 
omit any thing, from whence they may hope to prevail them- 
selves against those, by whose means they think they suffer. 
It cannot be helped, the engagement being past, but this ac- 
count must be carried on one step farther. Amongst them 
who in these late days have engaged, as they profess, into 
reformation (and not to believe that to have been their in- 

I 2 

1 16 OF SCHISM. 

lention is fit only for them, who are concerned, that it should 
be thought to be otherwise, whose prejudice may furnish 
them with a contrary persuasion), not walking all in the same 
light as to some few particulars, whilst each party, as the 
manner is, gathered together what they thought conduced 
to the furtherance and improvement of the way wherein 
they differed one from another, some unhappily to the height- 
ening of the differences, took up this charge of schism against 
their brethren; which yet, in a small process of time, being 
almost sunk of itself, will ask the less pains utterly to re- 
move and take off. In the mean time, it is amongst other 
things (which is to be confessed) an evidence that we are 
not yet arrived at that inward frame of spirit, which was 
aimed at Phil, iii, 15, 16. whatever we have attained as to 
the outward administration of ordinances. 

This being the state of things, the concernment of some 
of us lying in all the particulars mentioned, of all Protes- 
tants in some, it may be worth while to consider, whether 
there be not general principles of irrefragable evidence, 
whereon both all and some may be acquitted from their se- 
vei'al concernments in this charge, and the whole guilt of 
this crime put into the ephah, and carried to build it a 
house in the land of Shinar, to establish it upon its own base. 

I confess I would rather, much rather, spend all my 
time and days in making up and healing the breaches and 
schisms that are amongst Christians, than one hour in jus- 
tifying our divisions, even therein, wherein on the one side 
they are capable of a fair defence. But who is sufficient for 
such an attempt? The closing of differences amongst Chris- 
tians is like opening the book in the Revelation : there is none 
able or worthy to do it in heaven or in earth, but the Lamb: 
when he will put forth the greatness of his power for it, it 
shall be accomplished, and not before. In the mean time a 
reconciliation amongst all Protestants is our duty, and prac- 
ticable; and had perhaps ere this been in some forwardness 
of accomplishment, had men rightly understood, wherein 
such a reconciliation according to the mind of God doth 
consist. When men have laboured as much in the improve- 
ment of the principle of forbearance, as they have done to 
subdue other men to their opinions, religion will have an- 
other appearance in the world. 

OF scShism. 117 

I have considered and endeavoured to search into the 
b6ttom of the two general vi^ays fixed on respectively by 
sundry persons, for the compassing of peace and union 
among Christians, but in one nation, with the issue and suc- 
cess of them in several places ; namely, that of enforcing 
uniformity by a secular power on the one side, as was the 
case in this nation not many years ago (and is yet liked by 
the most, being a suitable judgment for the most), and that 
of toleration on the other, which is our present condition. 
Concerning them both I dare say, that though men of a good 
zeal, and small experience, or otherwise on any account full 
of their own apprehensions, may promise to themselves much 
of peace, union, and love, from the one or the other (as they 
may be severally favoured by men of different interests in 
this world, in respect of their conducingness to their ends), 
yet that a little observation of events, if they are not able to 
consider the causes of things, with the light and posture of 
the minds of men in this generation, will unburden them of 
the trouble of their expectations. It is something else that 
must give peace unto Christians than what is a product of 
the prudential considerations of men. 

This I shall only add as to the former of these, of en- 
forcing uniformity ; as it hath lost its reputation of givino- 
temporal tranquillity to states, kingdoms, and common- 
wealths (which with some is only valuable, whatever became 
of the souls of men, forced to the profession of that which 
they did not believe) the readiest means in the world to root 
out all religion from the hearts of men, the letters of which 
plea are in most nations in Europe washed out with rivers of 
blood (and the residue wait their season for the same issue), 
so it continues in the possession of this advantage against 
the other, that it sees, and openly complains of the evil, and 
dangerous consequences of it ; when against its own, where 
it prevails, it suffers no complaints to lie. As it is ludicrously 
said of physicians, the effects of their skill lie in the sun, but 
their mistakes are covered in the church-yard : so is it with 
this persuasion ; what it doth well, whilst it prevails, is evi- 
dent : the anxiety of conscience in some, hypocrisy, forma- 
lity, no better then atheism in others, wherewith it is attended, 
are buried out of sight. 

But as I have some while since ceased to be moved by 


the clamours of men, concerning bloody persecution on the 
one hand, and cursed, intolerable toleration on the other, by 
finding all the world over, that events and executions follow 
not the conscientious embracing of the one or other of these 
decried principles and persuasions, but are suited to the 
providence of God, stating the civil interests of the nations; 
so I am persuaded, that a general alteration of the state of 
the churches of Christ in this world, must determine that 
controversy : which, when the light of it appears, we shall 
easily see the vanity of those reasonings wherewith men are 
entangled, and are perfectly suited to the present condition 
of religion. But hereof I have spoken elsewhere. 

Farther, let any man consider the proposals and attempts 
that have been made for ecclesiastical peace in the world, both 
of old, and in these latter days ; let him consult the rescripts 
of princes, the edicts of nations, advices of politicians, that 
would have the world in quietness on any terms, consulta- 
tions, conferences, debates, assemblies, councils of the clergy, 
who are commonly zealots in their several ways, and are by 
many thought to be willing rather to hurl the whole world 
into confusion than to abate any thing of the rigour of their 
opinions, and he will quickly assume the liberty of aflSrming 
concerning them all, that as wise men might easily see flaws 
in all of them, and an unsuitableness to the end proposed, 
and as good men might see so much of carnal interest, self, 
and hypocrisy in them, as might discourage them from any 
great expectations ; so, upon many other accounts, a better 
issue was not to be looked for from them, than hath been 
actually obtained ; which hath for the most part been this, 
that those that could dissemble most deeply, have been 
thought to have the greatest advantage. In disputations, 
indeed, the truth for the most part hath been a gainer; but 
in attempts for reconciliation, those who have come with 
the least candour, most fraud, hypocrisy, secular baits for 
the subverting of others, have in appearance for a season 
seemed to obtain success. And in this spirit of craft and 
contention are things yet carried on in the world. 

Yea, I suppose the parties at variance are so well ac- 
quainted at length with each other's principles, arguments, 
interests, prejudices, and real distance of their causes, 
that none of them expect any reconciliation, but merely by 

0]F SCHISM. ] 19 

one party's keeping its station, and the other coming over 
wholly thereunto. And therefore a Romanist, in his preface 
to a late pamphlet about schism to the two univerities, tells 
us plainly, that, ' If we will have any peace, we must without 
limitation submit to, and receive those Kvptag do^ag, those 
commanding oracles which God by his holy spouse pro- 
poundeth to our obedience.' The sense of which expressions 
we are full well acquainted with. And in pursuit of that 
principle he tells us again, p. 238. *That suppose the church 
should in necessarj'^ points teach error, yet even in that case 
every child of the church must exteriorly carry himself quiet, 
and not make commotions' (that is, declare against her) 'for 
that were to seek a cure worse than the disease.' Now if it 
seem reasonable to these gentlemen, that we should renounce 
our sense and reason, with all that understanding which we 
have, or at least are fully convinced that we have, of the 
mind of God in the Scripture, and submit blindly to the 
commands and guidance of their church, that we may have 
peace and union with them, because of their huge interest 
and advantage, which lies in our so doing, we profess our- 
selves to be invincibly concluded under the power of a con- 
trary persuasion, and consequently an impossibility of re- 

As to attempts then for reconciliation between parties at 
variance about the things of God, and the removal of schism 
by that means, they are come to this issue among them, by 
whom they have been usually managed, namely, politicians 
and divines ; that the former perceiving the tenaciousness 
in all things of the latter, their promptness and readiness to 
dispute, and to continue in so doing with confidence of suc- 
cess (a frame of spirit that indeed will never praise God, 
nor be useful to bring forth truth in the world), do judge 
them at length not to have that prudence, which is requisite 
to advise in matters diffused into such variety of concern- 
ments as these are, or not able to break through their un- 
speakable prejudices and interests to the due improvement 
of that wisdom they seem to have ; and the latter observing 
the facile condescension of the former in all things that may 
have a consistency with that peace and secular advantage 
they aim at, do conclude, that, notwithstanding all their pre- 
tences, they have indeed, in such consultations, little or no 


regard to the truth ; whereupon, having a mutual diffidence 
in each other, they grow weary of all endeavours to be carried 
on jointly in this kind ; the one betaking themselves wholly 
to keep things in as good state in the world as they can, 
let what will become of religion ; the other to labour for suc- 
cess against their adversaries, let what will become of the 
world, or the peace thereof. And this is like to be the state 
of things, until another spirit be poured out on the profes- 
sors of Christianity, than that wherewith at present they 
seem mostly to be acted. 

The only course then remaining to be fixed on, whilst our 
divisions continue, is to inquire wherein the guilt of them 
doth consist, and who is justly charged therewith; in espe- 
cial what is, and who is guilty of the sin of schism. And 
this shall we do, if God permit. 

It may, I confess, seem superfluous to add any thing 
more on this subject, which hath been so fully already 
handled by others. But, as I said, the present concernment 
of some fearing God, lying beyond what they have under- 
taken, and their endeavours for the most part having tended 
rather to convince their adversaries of the insufficiency of 
their charge and accusatiow, than rightly and clearly to state 
the thing or matter contended about, something may be far- 
ther added as to the satisfaction of the consciences of men 
unjustly accused of this crime, which is my aim, and which. 
I shall now fall upon. 



The nature of schism to be determined from Scripture only. This principle 
bi/ some opposed. Necessity of abiding in it. Parity of reason allowed. 
Of the name of schism. Its constant use in Scripture.^ In things civil 
and religious. The whole doctrine of schism in the epistles to the Co- 
rinthians. The case of that church proposed to consideration. Schism 
entirely in one church. Not in the separation of any from a church ; nor 
in subtraction of obedience from governors. Of the second schism in the 
church of Corinth. Of Clemens's epistle. The state of the church of 
Corinth in those days : 'EKKXtjcria Trapoiicovaa KopivQov. UdpotKog who : 
irapoiKia what. Hapoxog, ' paracia.' To ivhom the epistle of Clemens was 
precisely written. Corinth not a metropolitical church. A llowance of what 
by parity of reason may be deduced from what is of schism affirmed. 
Things required to make a man guilty of schism. Arbitrary definitions 
of schism rejected. That of Austin considered : as that also of Basil. 
The common use and acceptation of it in these days. Separationfrom any 
church in its own nature not schism. Aggravations of the evil of schism 
ungrounded. The evil of it from its proper nature and consequences 
evinced. Inferences from the whole of this discourse. The church of Rome, 
if a church, the most schismatical church in the tvorld. The church of 
Rome no church of Christ: a complete image of the empire. Final ac- 
quitment of Protestants from schism on the principle evinced. Peculiarly 
of them of the late reformation in England. False notions of schism the 
ground of sin and disorder. 

The thing whereof we treat being a disorder in the instituted 
worship of God, and that which is of pure revelation, I sup- 
pose it a modest request to desire, that we may abide solely 
to that discovery and description, which is made of it in 
Scripture; that, that alone shall be esteemed schism, which 
is there so called, or which hath the entire nature of that 
which is there so called ; other things may be other crimes ; 
schism they are not, if in the Scripture they have neither the 
name nor nature of it attributed to them. 

He that shall consider the irreconcilable differences that 
are among Christians all the world over about this matter, 
as also what hath passed concerning it in former ages, and 
shall weigh what prejudices the several parties at variance 
are entangled with, in reference hereunto, will be ready to 
thinly, that this naked appeal to the only common principle 
amongst us all, is so just, necessary, and reasonable, that it 
will be readily on all hands condescended unto. But as this 


is openly opposed by the Papists, as a most destructive way 
of procedure, so I fear, that when the tendency of it is dis- 
covered, it will meet with reluctancy from others. But let 
the reader know, that as I have determined Trpwrtjitav rrjv 
(i\{]9eiav, so to take the measure of it from the Scripture 
only, * Consuetudo sine veritate est vetustas erroris ;' Cyp. 
Ep. ad Pomp, and the sole measure of evangelical truth, is 
his word, of whom it was said, 6 Xoyog 6 (rbg aXij^eia IdTt. 
' Id verius quod prius, id pi'ius quod ab initio, id ab initio 
quod ab apostolis,' says Tertul. It is to me a sufficient 
answer to that fond question, Where was your religion before 
Luther ? Where was your religion in the days of Christ and 
his apostles? My thoughts to this particular are the same 
with Chrysostom's on the general account of truth, "Epxirai 
'EAXrjv KOI Xiyei, on jSouXojUat •y^^^^'^''" XjOiortai'Oc aXAu ovk 
oTSn rhn Trpocr^wfiai, fxaxri Trap' v/j1v TroXXi) koX araaig, TroXitg 
^opvjdog, TToiov t'Aojuai Sojfxa ; tI alpi]aofxaL ; ^Kaarog \iyn on 
ly(i) aXrj^evit), nvi irei^u) ; firjBtv liXcjg ddwg Iv rmg ypa<j)a'ig 
KaKiiv TO avTO irpopaXXovTat Travv ye. tovto virep ripuiv el plv 
yap XoyKTfxoXg iXiyoixev ird^ecF^ai UKOTOjg l^opv(5ov d Se raXg 
ypa<j>aig Xiyofiev irtaTevsiv avraX dl cnrXaX koi aXtj^eig ; evKoXov 
aoiTo Kpivopevov, ung iKHvaig avptpiovel omog \pi,anavog' ting 
pa\eTai ovTog Troppu) tov Kavovog tovtov. Horail. 3. in Acta. 

But yet lest this should seem too strait, as being at 
first view exclusive of the learned debates and disputes 
which we have had about this matter, I shall, after the con- 
sideration of the precise Scripture notion of the name and 
thing wherein the conscience of a believer is alone con- 
cerned, propose and argue also what by a parity of reason 
may thence be deduced, as to the ecclesiastical common use 
of them, and our concernment in the one and the other. 

The word which is metaphorical, as to the business we 
have in hand, is used in the Scripture, both in its primitive 
native sense, in referrence to things natural, as also in the 
tralatitious use of it about things politic and spiritual, or 
moral. In its first sense we have the noun. Matt. ix. 16. Kal 
Xtlpov ax}<jpa yiviTai, 'and the rent' (in the cloth) ' is made 
worse :' and the verb, Matt, xxvii. 51. KaroTrtrao-^a tov vaov 
t(Tx<'<r3^>?j * the vail of the temple was rent ;' koi al niTpai ha\ia^r]- 
aav, 'and the rocks were rent:' both denoting an interruption 
of continuity by an external power in things merely passive. 

or SCHISM. 123 

And this is the first sense of the word 5 a scissure or division 
of parts before continued, by force, or violent dissolution. 
The use of the word in a political sense is also frequent ; 
John vii. 43. SxtV/xa ovv Iv ri^ o-^Xm, ' there was a division 
among the multitude ;' some being of one mind, some of 
another. John ix. 16. Kat a^iGfxa r]v Iv avrotg, ' there was a 
division amongst them : and chap. x. 19. likewise. So Acts 
xiv. 4. 'EffYtaSri] Se to TrXfjS'oc r?jc ttoXew^, 'the multitude of the 
city was divided :' and chap, xxiii. 7. 'There arose a dissen- 
tion between the Pharisees and Sadducees.' Kai la^K^^y] to 
TtXri^og, ' the multitude was divided,' some following one, 
some another of their leaders in that dissention : the same 
thing is expressed by a word answering unto it in Latin. 

' Scinditur incertum studia in contraria vulgus.' And 
in this sense relating to civil things it is often used.* 

This being the next posture of that word, from whence 
it immediately slips into its ecclesiastical use, expressing 
a thing moral or spiritual ; there may some light be given 
into its importance, when so appropriated, from its constant 
use in this state and condition, to denote differences of mind 
and judgment with troubles ensuing thereon, amongst men 
met in some one assembly about the compassing of a com- 
mon end and design. 

In the sense contended about it is used only by Paul in 
his First Epistle to the Corinthians, and therein frequently : 
chap. i. 10. I exhort you, ju?) y Ivvfxlv a-)(i<7}iaTa, 'that there be 
no schisms amongst you :' chap. xi. 18. when you meet in' 
the church, ukovu) axiafjiaTa iv vfuv virapxeiv, ' I hear there 
be schisms amongst you :' chap. xii. 25. the word is used in 
reference to the natural body, but with an application to the 
ecclesiastical. Other words there are of the same import- 
ance, which shall also be considered, as Rom. xvi. 17, 18. 
Of schism in any other place, or in reference to any other 
persons, but only to this church of Corinth, we hear nothing. 
Here then being the principal foundation, if it hath any, 
of that great fabric about schism, which in latter ages hath 
been set up, it must be duly considered ; that if it be pos- 
sible, we may discover by what secret engines or artifices 
the discourses about it, which fill the world, have been hence 

a O? TW puiif^riv olxovvrtg Silft£piV&»)a-civ £ij ra /ueg>j, not ovusn oofA-nms-av wpo; aWn>^t>vq, 
K«i lyiviro (Aiyti. (rpfiVjwa. Chronic. Antioch. Joh. Male, p. 98. A. MS. Bib. Bod. 


deduced, being for the most part, universally unlike the thing 
here mentioned : or find out, that they are built on certain 
prejudices and presumptions, nothing relating thereto. The 
church of Corinth was founded by Paul, Acts xviii. 8 — 10. 
with him there were Aquila and Priscilla; ver. 2. 18. After 
his departure, Apollos came thither, and effectually watered 
what he had planted, 1 Cor. iii. 6. It is probable that 
either Peter had been there also, or at least that sundry per- 
sons converted by him were come thither, for he still men- 
tions Cephas and Apollos with himself; chap.i. 12. iii. 22. 
This church, thus watered and planted, came together for 
the worship of God, etti to avro, chap. xi. 20. and for the ad- 
ministration of discipline in particular, chap. v. 4. After 
awhile, through the craft of Satan, various evils in doctrine, 
conversation, and church-order crept in amongst them : 
for doctrine, besides their mistake about eating things 
• offered to idols,' chap. viii. 4. some of them denied the ' re- 
surrection of the dead ;' chap. xv. 12. In conversation they 
had not only the eruption of a scandalous particular sin 
amongst them, chap. v. 1. but grievous sinful miscarriages, 
when they ' came together' about holy administrations; chap, 
xi. 21. These the apostle distinctly reproves in them : their 
church-order, as to that love, peace, and union of heart and 
mind, wherein they ought to have walked, was wofully dis- 
turbed with divisions and sidings about their teachers ; 
chap. i. 12. And not content to make this difference the 
matter of their debates and disputes from house to house, 
even when they met for public worship, or that which they 
all met in, and for, they were divided on that account; chap, 
xi. 18. This was their schism the apostle dehorts them 
from, charges them with, and shews them the evil thereof. 
They had differences amongst themselves about unnecessary 
things ; on these they engaged in disputes and sidings, even 
in their solemn assemblies ; when they came all together 
for the same worship about which they differed not. Pro- 
bably much vain jangling, alienation of affections, exaspe- 
ration of spirits, with a neglect of due offices of love ensued 
hereupon. All this appears from the entrance the apostle 
gives to his discourse on this subject, 1 Cor. i. 10. Yla- 
fHtKoXio vfuit;, 'iva to avro \iyr)Ti 7TavT£g, ' I beseech you that 
ye all speak the sajne thing.' They were of various minds 


and opinions about their church affairs, which was at- 
tended with the confusion of disputings : let it not be so, 
saith the apostle ; koX fxi) ri Iv v/xXv ay^icr/jiaTa, ' and let there be 
no schisms among you ;' which consist in such differences 
and janglings : he adds, r^re St KaTtj^TiafiivoL Iv t({i avT(^ 
VOL Koi ev Ttj avTfj yvu)fxri ; 'but that ye be perfectly joined 
together in the same mind, and the same judgment.' They 
were joined together in the same church-order and fellow- 
ship, but he would have them so also in oneness of mind 
and judgment, which if they were not, though they con- 
tinued together in their church-order, yet schisms would be 
amongst them. This was the state of that church, this the 
frame and carriage of the members of it, this the fault and 
evil whereon the apostle charges them with schism, and the 
guilt thereof. The grounds, whereon he manageth his re- 
proof, are their common interest in Christ, chap. i. 13. the 
nothingness of the instruments of preaching the gospel, 
about whom they contended, chap. i. 14. iii. 4, 5. their 
church-order instituted by God, chap. xii. 13. of which 

This being, as I said, the principal seat of all that is 
taught in the Scripture about schism, we are here, or hardly 
at all to learn what it is, and wherein it doth consist. The 
arbitrary definitions of men, with their superstructions and 
inferences upon them, we are not concerned in. At least I 
hope I shall have leave from hence to state the true nature 
of the thing, before it be judged necessary to take into con- 
sideration what by parity of reason may be deduced from it. 
In things purely moral, and of natural equity, the most ge- 
neral notion of them is to be the rule, whereby all particu- 
lars claiming an interest in their nature are to be measured 
and regulated; in things of institution, the particular in- 
stituted is first and principally to be regarded : how far the 
general reason of it may be extended is of after considera- 
tion ; and as is the case in respect of duty, so it is in respect 
of the evils that are contrary thereto. True and false are 
indicated and tried by the same rule. Here then our foot is 
to be fixed ; what compass may be taken to fetch in thinos 
of a like kin, will in its proper place follow. Observe then, 
1. That the thing mentioned is entirely in one church, 
amongst the members of one particular society. No men- 


tion is there in the least of one church divided against an- 
other, or separated from another, or others ; whether all 
true, or some true, some false, or but pretended. Whatever 
the crime be, it lies wholly within the verge of one church, 
that met together for the worship of God and administra- 
tion of the ordinances of the gospel ; and unless men will 
condescend so to state it upon the evidence tendered, I 
shall not hope to prevail much in the process of this dis- 

2. Here is no mention of any particular man's, or any 
number of men's separation from the holy assemblies of the 
whole church, or of subduction of themselves from its power, 
nor doth the apostle lay any such thing to their charge, but 
plainly declares, that they continued all in the joint cele- 
bration of that worship, and performance together of those 
duties, which were required of them in their assemblies; 
only they had groundless, causeless differences amongst 
themselves, as I shall shew afterward. All the divisions of 
one church from another, or others, the separation of any 
one or more persons from any church or churches, are 
things of another nature, made good or evil by their cir- 
cumstances, and not that at all which the Scripture knows 
and calls by the name of schism ; and therefore was there 
no such thing or name as schism, in such a sense, known in 
the Judaical church, though in the former it abounded. All 
the different sects to the last, still communicated in the 
same carnal ordinances ; and those who utterly deserted 
them, were apostates, not schismatics ; so were the body of 
the Samaritans, they worshipped they knew not what, nor 
was salvation among them ; John iv. 22. 

3. Here is no mention of any subtraction of obedience 
from bishops or rulers in what degree soever, no exhortation 
to regular submission unto them, much less from the pope 
or church of Rome ; nor doth the apostle thunder out against 
them. You are departed from the unity of the catholic church, 
have rent Christ's seamless coat, set up 'altare contra altare,' 
have forsaken the visible head of the church, the fountain 
of all unity; you refuse due subjection to the prince of the 
apostles ; nor, you are schismatics from the national church 
of Achaia, or have cast off the rule of your governors; with 
the like language of after days ; but when you come toge- 


ther, you have divisions amongst you : * behold, hovjr great a 
matter a little fire kindleth !' 

A condition not unlike to this befalling this very church 
of Corinth, sundry years after the strifes nov^ mentioned 
were allayed by the epistle of the apostle, doth again ex- 
hibit us the case and evil treated on. Some few unquiet 
persons among them drew the whole society (upon the 
matter) into division and an opposition to their elders. 
They, who were the causes, fxiapag koi avomov araa^wq, as 
Clement tells them in the name of the church at Rome, 
were oXiya irpoaojira a few men, acted by pride and mad- 
ness : yet such power had those persons in the congrega- 
tion, that they prevailed with the multitude to depose the 
elders and cast them out of office : so the same Clement 
tells them, 6pu)fj.ev on Iviovg vfxiig jUiTayayeTe kqXwc iroXirnvo- 
fxivovQ Ik. Trig afxifxirrtog avTolg TETifxri/JLexnig \(iTOvpyiag. What 
he intends by his (.uTayayere, &c. he declares in the words 
foregoing, where he calls the elders, that were departed this 
life, happy and blessed, as not being subject or liable to ex- 
pulsion out of their offices ; ov yap evXajSouvrat fxr) rtg avrohg 
fxeraaTrjai) airo tov lEpvfxivov avrolg tottov. Whether these 
men, who caused the differences and sedition against those 
elders that were deposed, were themselves by the church 
substituted into their room and place, I know not. This 
difference in that church, the church of Rome in that epistle 
of Clement calls everywhere schism, as it also expresses the 
same thing, or the evil frame of their minds and their actings 
by many other words ; ^fjXoc, £p<Cj araatg, di(i)yfxog, uKara- 
araaia, aXa^oivia, rv^og, TroXefxog, are laid to their charge. 
That there was any separation from the church, that the 
deposed elders, or any for their sakes withdrew themselves 
from the communion of it, or ceased to assemble with it for 
the celebration of the ordinances of the gospel, there is not 
any mention: only the difference in the church, is the 
schism whereof they are accused. Nor are they accused of 
schism for the deposition of the elders, but for their dif- 
ferences amongst themselves, which was the ground of their 
so "doing. 

It is alleged, indeed, that it is not the single church of 
Corinth, that is here intended, but all the churches of 
Achaia, whereof that was the metropolis : which though as 


to the nature of schism, it be not at all prejudicial to what 
hath been asserted, supposing such a church to be ; yet be- 
cause it sets up in opposition to some principles of truth, 
that must afterward be improved, I shall briefly review the 
arguments whereby it is attempted to be made good. 

The title of the epistle in the first place is pretended to 
this purpose : it is i) iKKXrima ^eov irapoiKOvcra 'Pwfiriv ry 
£(CK:Xr}(Tia tov ^eov TrapoiKoixjy Ko^iv^ov' ' wherein' (as it is 
said) * on each part the' irapoiKia or whole province, as of 
Rome, so of Corinth, the region and territory that belonged 
to those metropolises, is intended.' But, as I have formerly 
elsewhere said, we are beholden to the frame and fabric of 
church affairs in after ages for such interpretations as these ; 
the simplicity of the first knew them not; they who talked 
of the church of God, that did TrapoiKuv at Rome, little then 
thought of province or region. 'EKKXi](yia Trapoticouffa'Pw/xjjv, 
is as much as tKicXrjffia iv 'ItpocroXviaoig, Acts viii. 1. TiapoiKoc; 
is a man that dwells at such a place, properly one that 
dwells in another's house, or soil, or that hath removed from 
one place, and settled in another ; whence it is often used 
in the same sense with fXETotxog, he is such an inhabitant, 
as hath yet some such consideration attending him, as 
makes him a kind of a foreigner to the place where he is ; 
so Eph. ii. 19. TrapoiKoi and (rvfXTToXXTai are opposed. Hence 
is TrapoiKia, which, as Budseus says, differs from KaroiKia, in 
that it denotes a temporary habitation ; this a stable and 
abiding. UapoiKtu) is so to ' inhabit,' to dwell in a place, 
where yet something makes a man a kind of a stranger. So 
it is said of Abraham, TrtcrrEi irapc^K-qaev dg ti)v yrfv Trig 
iTrayyeXiag Mg aXXoTpiav' Heb. xi. 9. 1 Pet. ii. 11. joined 
with TraptTTidnixog (hence this word by the learned pub- 
lisher of this epistle is rendered ' peregrinatur, diversatur'); 
and more clearly Luke xxiv. 18. av fxovog irapoiKalg Iv 'Itpov 
aaXrjfi, which we have rendered, 'are you only a stranger in 
Jerusalem.' Whether TrapoiKia and ' paraecia' is from hence 
or no, by some is doubted ; irapoxog is ' convivater,' and 
Trapoxn ' prsebitio,' Gloss, vetus : so that 'parochial' may 
be called so from them, who met together to break bread, 
and to eat. Allow * parochia' to be barbarous, and our 
only word to be ' paroecia' from irapoiKLa, then it is as much 
as the Voisinage, men living near together for any end 


whatever. So says Budaeus irapoiKoi are TrpocrotKoi ; thence 
churches were called irapoiKiaq, consisting of a number of 
them, who were irapoLKoi or TTQoaoiKoi. The saints of God 
expressing the place which they inhabited, and the manner, 
as strangers, said of the churches whereof they were'EKKXrjo-ia 
TTapoiKOvaa 'Pojjurjv and £»cKXrjorta irapoiKovaa KopivOov '. this is 
now made to denote a region, a territory, the adjacent re- 
gion to a metropolis; and such-like things, as the poor 
primitive pilgrims little thought of. This will scarcely, as I 
suppose, evince the assertion we are dealing about; there 
may be a church of God dwelling at Rome or Corinth, 
without any adjacent region annexed to it, I think. Be- 
sides, those who first used the word in the sense now sup- 
posed, did not understand a province by TrapoiKia, which was 
with them (as originally) the charge of him that was a 
bishop, and no more. E-n-ap^ia was with them a province 
that belonged to a metropolitan ; such as the bishop of 
Corinth is supposed to be. I do not remember where a 
metropolitan's province is called his irapoiKia, there being 
many of these in every one of them. But at present I will 
not herein concern myself. 

But it is said, that this epistle of Clement was written 
to them, to whom Paul's epistles were written ; which ap- 
pears, as from the common title, so also from hence, that 
Clement advises them, to whom he writes, to take and con- 
sider that epistle, which Paul had formerly wrote to them; 
now Paul's epistle was written to all the churches of Asia, 
as it is said expressly in the second, 'To the church of God 
which is at Corinth, with all the saints, which are in all 
Asia;' chap. i. 1. And for the former, that also is directed 
TTaat ETTtKaXoujUEVotc TO ovofxa Tov Xptcrrou Iv iravTi tottc^, and 
the same form is used at the close of this, koi juera ttuvtwv 
7ravTa\ri KeK\r]fiiv(i)v viro tov Qeov, wherein all places in Achaia 
(and everywhere therein) not absolutely are intended ; for 
if they should, then this epistle would be a catholic epistle, 
and would conclude the things mentioned in it, of the letter 
received by the apostle, &c. to relate to the catholic church. 

Ans. It is confessed, that the epistles of Paul, and Cle- 
ment, have one common title ; so that ry EKKXrjtri^ TrapoiKoixry 
Kopiv^ov, which is Clement's expression, is the same with 
Ty lKK\r]<Ti<} Tig ovary Iv Kopiv^(^, which is Paul's in both his 



e}3i3tles, which adds little strength to the former argument 
from the word TrapoiKovaa ; ovay Iv KoQiv^^i, as I suppose, 
confining it thither. It is true, Paul's second epistle, after 
its inscription ry eicKXrjcrta ry ovtry Iv KoptvS'w adds <n)v Toitg 
ajioiQ tram rote ovmv ev oXrj ry Ax^ta. He mentions not any 
where any more churches in Achaia than that of Corinth, and 
that at Cenchrea ; nor doth he speak of any churches here in 
this salutation, but only of the saints. And he plainly makes 
Asia and Corinth to be all one, 2 Cor. ix. 2. so that to me 
it appears, that there were none as yet, any more churches 
brought into order in Achaia, but that mentioned ; with that 
other at Cenchrea, which, I suppose, comes under the same 
name with that at Corinth; nor am I persuaded, that it was 
a completed congregation in those days. Saints in Achaia 
that lived not at Corinth, there were perhaps many ; but 
being scattered up and down, they were not formed into so- 
cieties, but belonged to the church of Corinth, and assem- 
bled therewith, as they could, for the participation of or- 
dinances : so that there is not the least evidence, that this 
epistle of Paul was directed to any other church, but that of 
Corinth. For the first, it can scarce be questioned ; Paul 
writing an epistle for the instruction of the saints of God, 
and disciples of Christ in all ages, by the inspiration of the 
Holy Ghost, salutes in its beginning and ending all them, 
that on that general account are concerned in it. In this 
sense all his epistles were catholic, even those he wrote to 
single persons. The occasion of writing this epistle was 
indeed from a particular church, and the chief subject matter 
of it was concerning the affairs of that church. Hence it is 
in the first place particularly directed to them ; and our pre- 
sent inquiry is not after all that by any means were, or might 
be, concerned in that which was then written, as to their pre- 
sent or future direction, but after them who administered 
the occasion to what was so written, and whose particular 
condition was spoken to : this, I say, was the single church of 
Corinth. That iravreg ol £7riKaXovjLif voi to ovofxa tov Xpiarov Iv 
TravTLTOTTU), ' all in every place,' should be all only in Achaia, or 
that Clement's jutra TravTUJv Travra^^j tojv K£K\r}fxiv(t)v vtto tov 
Otov, should be 'with them that are called in Achaia,' I can 
yet see no ground to conjecture. Paul writes an epistle to 
the church of Ephesus, and concludes it, J7 xaptCi"*'"" iravTwv 


rwu ayaTrii)VT(i)v tov Kvpiov r]fiCov 'Irj^owv XpiexTov Iv tK^^apaiq : 
the extent of which prayer is supposed to reach farther than 
Ephesus, and the region adjacent. It doth not then as yet 
appear that Paul wrote his epistles particularly to any other, 
but the particular church at Corinth. If concerning the lat- 
ter, because of that expression ' with all the saints which are 
in all Achaia,' it be granted there were more churches than 
that of Corinth, with its neighbour Cenchrea (which whether 
it were a stated distinct church on no, I know not), yet it 
will not at all follow, as was said before, that Clement, at- 
tending the particular occasion only, about which he and 
the church of Rome were consulted, did so direct his epistle, 
seeing he makes no mention in the least, that so he did. 
But yet, by the way, there is one thing more that I would 
be willingly resolved about in this discourse, and that is 
this ; seeing that it is evident that the apostle by his ttuvtec 
Iv TTavTi TOTTto ; and Clemens, by his navTojv Travra^r} kekXjj- 
fievbjv, intend an enlargement beyond the first and immediate 
direction to the church of Corinth, if by the church of Co- 
rinth, as it is pleaded, he intend to express that whole re- 
gion of Achaia, what either the apostle, or Clemens do ob- 
tain by that enlargement, if restrained to that same place. 

It is indeed said, that at this time there were many other 
episcopal sees in Achaia ; which until it is attempted to be 
put upon some kind of proof, maybe passed by: it is granted 
that Paul speaks of that which was done at Corinth, to be 
done in Achaia, Rom. xv.26. as what is done in London is 
without doubt done in England : but that which lies in expecta- 
tion of some light or evidence to be given unto it is, that there 
was a metropolitical see at Corinth, at this time, whereunto 
many episcopal sees in Achaia were in subordination, being 
all the irapoLKia of Corinth, all which are called the church of 
Corinth, by virtue of their subjection thereunto : when this 
is proved, I shall confess some principles I afterward insist 
on will be impaired thereby. 

This then is added by the same author, 'That the eccle- 
siastical estate was then conformed to the civil : wherever 
there was a metropolis in a civil-political sense, there was 
seated also a metropolitical church : now that Corinth was 
a metropolis, the proconsul of Achaia keeping his residence 
there, in the first sense is confessed.' And besides what 



follows from thence, by virtue of the principle now laid 
down, Chrysostom calls it a metropolis, relating to the time 
wherein Paul wrote his epistle to the church there in the 
latter sense also. 

The plea about metropolitical churches, I suppose will be 
thought very impertinent to what I have now in hand, so it 
shall not at present be insisted on. That the state of churches 
in after ages was moulded and framed after the pattern of 
the civil government of the Roman empire is granted ; and 
that conformity (without offence to any be it spoken) we 
take to be a fruit of the working of the mystery of iniquity. 
But that there was any such order instituted in the churches 
of Christ by the apostles, or any intrusted by authority from 
their Lord and ruler, is utterly denied ; nor is any thing, but 
very uncertain conjectures from the sayings of men of after 
ages, produced to attest any such order or constitution. 
When the order, spirituality, beauty, and glory of the church 
of Christ shall return, and men obtain a light whereby they 
are able to discern a beauty and excellency in the inward, 
more noble, spiritual part, indeed life and soul of the wor- 
ship of God, these disputes will have an issue. Chrysostom 
says, indeed, that Corinth was the metropolis of Achaia, but 
in what sense he says not ; the political is granted, the ex- 
clesiastical not proved ; nor are we inquiring what was the 
state of the churches of Christ in the days of Chrysostom, 
but of Paul. But to return. 

If any one now shall say. Will you conclude, because this 
evil mentioned by the apostle is schism, therefore nothing 
else is so? 

I answer. That having before asserted this to be the chief 
and only seat of the doctrine of schism, I am inclinable so 
to do : and this I am resolved of, that unless any man can 
prove that something else is termed schism by some divine 
writer, or blamed on that head of account by the Holy 
Ghost elsewhere, and is not expressly reproved as another 
crime, I will be at liberty from admitting it so to be. 

But yet for what may hence by a parity of reason be de- 
duced, I shall close with, and debate at large, as I have pro- 

The schism then here described by the apostle, and 
blamed by him, consists in causeless differences, and con- 

OF SCHlSftl. 133 

tentions amongst the members of a particular church, con- 
trary to that of love, prudence, and forbearance, which are 
required of them to be exercised amongst themselves and 
towards one another; which is also termed aTacrig, Acts 
XV. 21. and Bixo(TTa(Tia, Rom. xvi. 17. And he is a schis- 
matic that is guilty of this sin of schism, that is, who raiseth, 
or entertaineth, or persisteth in such differences ; nor are 
these terms used by the divine writers in any other sense. 
That any men may fall under this guilt, it is required, 

1. That they be members of, or belong to, some one 
church, which is so by the institution and appointment of 
Jesus Christ. And we shall see that there is more required 
hereunto than the bare being a believer or a Christian. 

2. That they either raise or entertain, and persist in 
causeless differences with others of that church more or less, 
to the interruption of that exercise of love in all the fruits 
of it, which ought to be amongst them ; and the disturbance 
of the due performance of the duties required of the church, 
in the worship of God. As Clement in the forementioned 
epistle, (piXovLKOt eare lideXcpoi koX Zi]\(i)TaL irepi jut) avi^Kovruyv 
ilg (rwTt]piav. 

3. That these differences be occasioned by, and do be- 
long to, some things in a remoter or nearer distance apper- 
taining to the worship of God ; their differences on a civil 
account are elsewhere mentioned and reproved, 1 Epist, 
chap. vi. for therein also there was from the then state of 
things an i^TTr^fxa, ver. 7. 

This is that crime which the apostle rebukes, blames, 
condemns, under the name of schism, and tells them that 
were guilty of it, that they shewed themselves to be carnal, 
or to have indulged to the flesh and the corrupt principle of 
self, and their own wills, which should have been subdued 
to the obedience of the gospel. Men's definitions of things 
are for the most part arbitrary and loose ; fitted and suited 
to their several apprehensionsof principles and conclusions ; 
so that nothing clear or fixed is generally to be expected 
from them : from the Romanists' description of schism, who 
violently, without the least colour or pretence, thrust in the 
pope and his headship, into all that they affirm in church 
matters, least of all. I can allow men that they may extend 
their definitions pf things unto what they apprehend of an' 


alike nature to that, which gives rise to the whole disquisi- 
tion, and is the first thing defined. But at this I must pro- 
fess myself to be somewhat entangled, that I could never 
yet meet with a definition of schism, that did comprise, that 
was not exclusive of that which alone in the Scripture is 
affirmed so to be. 

Austin's definition contains the sum of what hath since 
been insisted on : saith he, 'Schisma ni fallor est eadem 
opinantem, et eodem ritu utentem solo congregationis de- 
lectari dissidio.' Con. Faust, lib. 20. cap. 3. By * dissidium 
congregationis' he intends separation from the church into a 
peculiar congregation; a definition directly suited to the 
cause he had in hand, and was pleading against the Dona- 
tists. Basil, in Epist. ad Amphiloch. Con. 44. distinguisheth 
between aiptaig, a^KTfia, and Trapacrvvaytoy^ : and as he makes 
schism to be a division arising from some church contro- 
versies suitable to what those days experienced, and in the 
substance true, so he tells us that Trapaavvaycjyri is when 
either presbyters, or bishops, or laicks hold unlawful meet- 
ings, assemblies, or conventicles, which was not long since 
with us the only schism. 

Since those days schism in general hath passed for a 
causeless separation from the communion and worship of 
any true church of Christ (the Catholic church, saith the 
Papist), with a relinquishment of its society, as to a joint 
celebration of the ordinances of the gospel ; how far this 
may pass for schism, and what may be granted in this de- 
scription of it, the process of our discourse will declare. 
In the mean time I am most certain, that a separation from 
some churches, true or pretended so to be, is commanded in 
the Scriptures ; so that the withdrawing from, or relinquish- 
ment of, any church or society whatever, upon the plea of its 
corruption, be it true or false, with a mind and resolution to 
serve God in the due observation of church institutions, ac- 
cording to that light which men have received, is nowhere 
called schism, nor condemned as a thing of that nature, but 
is a matter that must be tried out, whether it be good or evil, 
by virtue of such general rules and directions, as are given 
us in the Scriptures for our orderly and blameless walking 
with God in all his ways. 

As for them who suppose all church power to be invested 


in some certain church oflficers originally (I mean that which 
they call ofjurisdiction),whoon that accountare* eminenter/ 
the church, the union of the whole consisting in a subjection 
to those officers according to rules, orders, and canons of 
their appointment, whereby they are necessitated to state 
the business of schism on the rejection of their power and 
authority, I shall speak to them afterward at large. For 
the present, I must take leave to say, that I look upon the 
whole of such a fabric, as a product of prudence and ne- 

I cannot but fear lest some men's surmisings may prompt 
them to say, that the evil of schism is thus stated, in a com- 
pliance with that, and them, which before we blamed : and 
seems to serve to raise slight and contemptible thoughts of 
it, so that men need not be shaken though justly charged 
with it. But besides that sufficient testimony, which I have 
to the contrary, that will abundantly shelter me from this 
accusation, by an assurance that I have not the least aim 
SouXfuEtv vTTo^iaei, I shall farther add my apprehension of 
the greatness of the evil of this sin, if I may first be borne 
with a little in declaring what usual aggravations of it I do 
either not understand, or else cannot assent unto. 

Those who say it is a renting of the seamless coat of 
Christ (in which metaphorical expression men have wonder- 
fully pleased themselves), seem to have mistaken their aim ; 
and instead of an aggravation of its evil, by that figure of 
speech, to have extenuated it : a rent of the body well com- 
pacted, is not heightened to any one's apprehension, in its 
being called the renting of a seamless coat : but men may 
be indulged the use of the most improper and groundless 
expressions, so they place no power of argument in them, 
whilst they find them moving their own, and suppose them 
to have an alike efficacy upon the affections of others. I 
can scarce think that any ever supposed that the coat of 
Christ was a type of his church ; his church being clothed 
with him, not he with it. And therefore, with commendation 
of his success who first invented that allusion, I leave it in 
the possession of them who want better arguments to evince 
the evil of this sin. 

It is most usually said to be a sin against charity, as 
heresy is against faith. Heresy is a sin against faith, if I 


may so speak, both as it is taken for the doctrine of faith, 
which is to be believed, and the assent of the mind whereby 
we do believe. He that is a heretic (I speak of him in the 
usual acceptation of the word, and the sense of them who 
make this comparison, in neither of which I am satisfied), 
rejects the doctrine of faith, and denies all assent unto it. 
Indeed he doth the former by doing the latter. But is schism 
so a sin against charity ? doth it supplant and root out love 
out of the heart ? is it an affection of the mind attended 
with an inconsistency therewith? I much question it. 

The apostle tells us, 'that love is the bond of perfection,' 
Col. iii. 14. because in the several and various ways whereby 
it exerts itself, it maintains and preserves, notwithstanding 
all hinderances and oppositions, that perfect and beautiful 
order, which Christ hath appointed amongst his saints, 
wherein men by schism are kept off, and withheld from the 
performance of any of those offices and duties of love, which 
are useful or necessary for the preservation of the bond of 
perfection ; then is it, or may in some sense be said to be, a 
sin against love. 

Those who have seemed to aim nearest the apprehension 
of the nature of it in these days, have described it to be an 
open breach of love, or charity. That that expression is 
warily to be understood, is evident in the light of this single 
consideration. It is possible for a man to be all, and do all, 
that those were, and did, whom the apostle judges for schis- 
matics, under the power of some violent temptation, and 
yet have his heart full of love to the saints of the communion 
disturbed by him. It is thus far then in its own nature a 
breach of love, in that in such men love cannot exert itself 
in its utmost tendency in wisdom and forbearance for the 
preservation of the perfect order instituted by Christ in his 
church. However I shall freely say, that the schoolmen's 
notion of it, who insist on this as its nature, that it is a sin 
against charity, as heresy is against faith, is fond and be- 
coming them ; and so will others also, that shall be pleased 
to consider, what they intend by charity. 

Some say it is a rebellion against the church, that is, the 
rulers and officers of the church. I doubt not but that there 
must be either a neglect in the church in the performance of 
its duty, or of the authority of it in so doing, wherever there 


is any schism, though the discovery of this also have innu- 
merable entanglements attending it. But that to refuse the 
authority of the church is to rebel against the rulers or 
guides of it, will receive farther light than what it hath done, 
when once a pregnant instance is produced, not where the 
church signifies the officers of it, but where it doth not sig- 
nify the body of the congregation in contradistinction from 
them, or comprising them therein. 

Add unto these, those who dispute whether schismatics 
do belong to the church or no, and conclude in the nega- 
tive; seeing according to the discovery already made, it is 
impossible a man should be a schismatic unless he be a 
church member. Other crimes a man may be guilty of on 
other accounts ; of schism, only in a church. What is the 
formal reason of any man's relation to a church, in what 
sense soever that word is used, must be afterward at large 

But now this foundation being laid, that schism is a 
causeless difference or division amongst the members of 
any particular church, that meet together, or ought so to 
do, for the worship of God, and celebration of the same 
numerical ordinances to the disturbance of the order ap- 
pointed by Jesus Christ, and contrary to that exercise of 
love in wisdom and mutual forbearance, which is required 
of them, it will be easy to see, wherein the iniquity of it 
doth consist, and upon what considerations its aggravations 
do arise. 

It is evidently a despising of the authority of Jesus 
Christ, the great sovereign Lord and head of the church. 
How often hath he commanded us to forbear one another, 
to forgive one another, to have peace among ourselves, that 
we may be known to be his disciples, to bear with them 
that are in any thing contrary minded to ourselves ? To 
give light to this consideration, let that which at any time 
is the cause of such hateful divisions, rendered as consider- 
able as the prejudices, and most importune affections of 
men can represent it to be, be brought to the rule of love 
and forbearance, in the latitude of it, as prescribed to us by 
Christ, and it will evidently bear no proportion thereunto. 
So that such differences, though arising on real miscarriages 


and faults of some, because they might otherwise be han- 
dled and healed, and ought to be so, cannot be persisted in 
without the contempt of the immediate authority of Jesus 
Christ. If it were considered, that he standeth in * the con- 
gregation of God;' Psal. Ixxxii. 1. that he dwells in the 
* church in glory as in Sinai in the holy place,' Psal. Ixviii. 
17, 18. 'walking in the midst of the candlesticks,' Rev. i. 13. 
with his eyes upon us as a * flame of fire,' ver. 14. his pre- 
sence and authority would perhaps be more prevalent with 
some, than they seem to be. 

Again, His wisdom, whereby he hath ordered all things 
in his church, on set purpose, that schism and divisions 
may be prevented, is no less despised. Christ who is the 
wisdom of the Father, 1 Cor. i. 24. the stone on which are 
seven eyes, Zech. iii. 9. upon whose shoulders the go- 
vernment is laid, Isa. ix. 6, 7; hath in his infinite wisdom 
so ordered all the officers, orders, gifts, administrations of 
and in his church, as that this evil might take no place. To 
manifest this, is the design of the Holy Ghost, Rom. xii. 
3 — 9. 1 Cor. xii. Eph. iv. 8 — 14. The consideration in 
particular of this wisdom of Christ, suiting the officers of 
his church, in respect of the places they hold, of the au- 
thority wherewith from him they are invested, the way 
whereby they are entered into their function, distributing 
the gifts of his Spirit in marvellous variety, unto several 
kinds of usefulness ; and such distance, and dissimilitude 
in the particular members, as in a due correspondency and 
proportion give comeliness and beauty to the whole, dis- 
posing of the order of his worship, and sundry ordinances 
in especial, to be expressive of the highest love and union, 
pointing all of them against such causeless divisions, might 
be of use, were that my present intendment. 

The grace and goodness of Christ, whence he hath pro- 
mised to give us one heart, and one way, to leave us peace, 
such as the world cannot give, with innumerable other pro- 
mises of the like importance, are disregarded thereby. So 
also is his prayer for us: with what affection and zeal did he 
pour out his soul to his Father forour union in love ! That 
seems to be the thing his heart was chiefly fixed on, when 
lie was leaving this world ; John xvii. what weight he lay 


thereon, how thereby we may be known to be his disciples, 
and the world be convinced that he was sent of God, is 
there also manifested. 

How far the exercise of love and charity is obstructed 
by it, hath been declared. The consideration of the nature, 
excellency, property, effects, usefulness of this grace in all 
the saints in all their ways, its especial designation by our 
Lord and Master, to be the bond of union and perfection, in 
the way and order instituted for the comely celebration of 
the ordinances of the gospel, will add weight to this ag- 

Its constant growing to farther evil, in some to apostacy 
itself; its usual and certain ending in strife, variance, de- 
bate, evil surmisings, wrath, confusion, disturbances public 
and private, are also to be laid all at its door. What far- 
ther of this nature and kind may be added (as much may 
be added) to evince the heinousness of this sin of schism, I 
shall willingly subscribe unto ; so that I shall not trouble 
the reader in abounding in what on all hands is confessed. 

It is incumbent upon him who would have me to go 
farther in the description of this evil than as formerly 
stated, to evince from Scripture, another notion of the name 
or thing than that given, which when he hath done, he shall 
not find me refractory. In the mean time I shall both con- 
sider what may be objected against that which hath been 
delivered, and also discuss the present state of our divisions 
on the usual principles, and common acception of schism ; 
if first I may have leave to make some few inferences, or 
deductions from what hath already been spoken, and, as I 
hope, evinced. 

On supposition that the church of Rome is a church of 
Christ, it will appear to be the most schismatical church in 
the world. I say on supposition that it is a church, and 
that there is such a thing as a schismatical church (as per- 
haps a church may from its intestine differences, be so not 
unfitly denominated), that is, the state and condition thereof. 
The pope is the head of their church, several nations of 
Europe are members of it. Have we not seen that head 
taking his flesh in his teeth, tearing his body and his limbs 
to pieces ? Have some of them thought on any thing else, 
but, * Arise, Peter, kill and eat,' all their days ? Have we not 


seen this goodly head, in disputes about Peter's patrimony, 
and his own jurisdiction, wage war, fight, and shed blood, 
the blood of his own members ? Must we believe armies 
raised, and battles fought, towns fired, all in pure love, and 
perfect church order? not to mention their old * altare con- 
tra altare,' anti-popes, anti-councils ; look all over their 
church, on their potentates, bishops, friars, there is no end 
of their variances. What do the chiefest, choicest pillars, 
eldest sons, and I know not what of their church at this 
day ? do they not kill, destroy, and ruin each other, as they 
are able ? Let tliem not say these are the divisions of the 
nations that are in their church, not of the church ; for all 
these nations on their hypothesis are members of that one 
church. And that church, which hath no means to prevent 
its members from designed, resolved on, and continued 
murdering one of another, nor can remove them from its 
society, shall never have me in its communion, as being 
bloodily schismatical. Nor is there any necessity, that men 
should forego their respective civil interests, by being mem- 
bers of one church. Prejudicate apprehensions of the na- 
ture of a church, and its authority, lie at the bottom of that 
difficulty. Christ hath ordained no church, that inwraps 
such interests, as on the account whereof, the members of 
it may murder one another. Whatever then they pretend 
of unity, and however they make it a note of the true church 
(as it is a property of it), that which is like it amongst them, 
is made up of these two ingredients. Subjection to the pope, 
either for fear of their lives, or advantage to their liveli- 
hood ; and a conspiracy for the destruction and suppression 
of them that oppose their interests ; wherein they agree like 
those who maintained Jerusalem in its last siege by Titus ; 
they all consented to oppose the Romans, and yet fought 
out all other things among themselves. That they are not 
so openly clamorous about the diflferences at present, as in 
former ages, is merely from the pressure of Protestants 
round about them. However, let them at this day silence 
the Jesuits and Dominicans, especially the Baijans and the 
Jansenians on the one part, and the Molinists on the other ; 
take off the Gallican church from its schismatical refusal 
of the council of Trent; cause the king of Spain to quit his 
claim to Sicily, that they need not excommunicate him 


every year ; compel the commonwealth of Venice to receive 
the Jesuits ; stop the mouths of the Sorbonists about the 
authority of a general council above the pope, and of all 
those, whom opposing the papal omnipotency they call 
politicians ; quiet the contest of the Franciscans and Do- 
minicans about the blessed Virgin ; burn Bellarmine's 
books, who almost on every controversy of Christian reli- 
gion gives an account of their intestine divisions, branding 
some of their opinions as heretical, as that of Medina about 
bishops and presbyters, some as idolatrical, as that of 
Thomas about the worship of the cross with * latria,' &c. 
and they may give a better colour to their pretences, than 
any as yet it wears. 

But what need I insist upon this supposition ; when I 
am not more certain, that there is any instituted church in 
the world, owned by Christ as such, than I am, that the 
church of Rome is none, properly so called. Nor shall I 
be thought singular in this persuasion, if it be duly consi- 
dered what this amounts unto. Some learned men of latter 
days in this nation, pleading in the justification of the 
church of England, as to her departure from Rome, did 
grant that the church of Rome doth not err in fundamentals, 
or maintained no errors remedilessly pernicious and de- 
structive of salvation. How far they entangled themselves 
by this concession I argue not. The foundation of it lies 
in this clear truth, that no church whatever, universal or 
particular, can possibly err in fundamentals, for by so doing 
it would cease to be a church. My denying then the syna- 
gogue of Rome to be a church, according to their principles, 
amounts to no more than this ; the Papists maintain in their 
public confessions, fundamental errors; in which assertion 
it is known I am not alone. 

But this is not the principle, at least not the sole nor 
main principle, whereon I ground my judgment in this case; 
but this, that there was never any such thing in any tolera- 
ble likeness or similitude, as that which is called the church 
■ of Rome, allowing the most skilful of its rabbles to give in 
the characters and delineations of it, instituted in reference 
to the worship of God by Jesus Christ. The truth is, the 
whole of it is but an imitation and exemplar of the old im- 
perial government ; one is set up in chief and made aviinv- 


^vvog in spirituals, as the emperors were in civil things ; 
from him all power flows to others ; and as there was a com- 
munication of power by the emperors in the civil state 
to prgefects, proconsuls, vicars, presidents, governors of the 
lesser and greater nations, with those under them, in various 
civil subordinations, according to the dignity of the places 
where they did bear rule and preside, and in the military to 
generals, legates, tribunes, and the inferior officers ; so is 
there by the pope, to patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, in 
their several subordinations, which are as his civil state ; 
and to generals of religious orders, provincials, and their 
dependants, which are as his military. And it is by some 
(not in all things agreeing with them) confessed, that the 
government, pleaded for by them in the church, was brought 
in and established, in correspondency and accommodation 
to the civil government of the empire ; which is undeniably 
evident and certain : now this being not thoroughly done 
till the empire had received an incurable wound, it seems to 
me to be the making of an image to the beast, giving life to 
it, and causing it to speak. So that the present Roman 
church is nothing else but an image or similitude of the 
Roman empire, set up in its declining among and over the 
same persons in succession, by the craft of Satan, through 
principles of deceit, subtlety, and spiritual wickedness, as 
the other was by force and violence, for the same ends 
of power, dominion, fleshliness, and persecution with the 

The exactness of this correspondency in all things, both 
in respect of those who claim to be the stated body of his 
ecclesiastical commonwealth, and those who are merely 
dependent on his will, bound unto him professedly by a 
military sacrament, exempted from the ordinary rules and 
government of his fixed rulers in their several subordina- 
tions, under officers of their own immediately commission- 
ated by him, with his management of both those parties to 
balance and keep them mutually in quiet and in order for 
his service (especially confiding in his men of war, like the 
emperors of old), may elsewhere be farther manifested. 

I suppose it will not be needful to add any thing to 
evince the vanity of the pretensions of the Romanists or 
others against all or any of us, on the account of schism. 


upon a grant of the principles laid down, it lies so clear in 
them without need of farther deduction ; and I speak with 
some confidence, that I am not in expectation of any hasty 
confutation of them, I mean, that which is so indeed. The 
earnestness of their clamours, importuning us to take no- 
tice of them by the way, before I enter upon a direct debate 
of the cause, as it stands stated in reference to them, I shall 
only tell them, that seeking to repose our consciences in 
the mind of God revealed in the Scriptures, we are not at 
all concerned in the noise they make in the world. For 
what have we done? Wherein doth our guilt consist? 
Wherein lies the peculiar concernment of these aWoTpieiria • 
KOTTot? Let them go to the churches, with whom we walk, 
of whom we are, and ask of them concerning our ways, our 
love, and the duties of it ; Do we live in strife, and va- 
riance? -Do we not bear with each other? Do we not wor- 
ship God without disputes and divisions ? Have we differ- 
ences and contentions in our assemblies? Do we break any 
bond of union, wherein we are bound, by the express insti- 
tutions of Jesus Christ? If we have, let the righteous re- 
prove us, we will own our guilt, confess we have been 
carnal, and endeavour reformation. If not, what have the 
Romanists, Italians, to do to judge us ? Knew we not your 
design, your interest, your lives, your doctrines, your wor- 
ship, we might possibly think, that you might intermeddle 
out of love and mistaken zeal, but *ad populum Phaleras:* 
you would be making shrines, and thence is this stir and 
uproar. ' But we are schismatics in that we have departed 
from the catholic church ; and for our own conventicles, 
they are no churches, but sties of beasts.' But this is most 
false. We abide in the catholic church under all the bonds 
wherein by the will of Christ we stand related unto it; 
which if we prove not with as much evidence as the nature 
of such things will bear, though you are not at all con- 
cerned in it, yet we will give you leave to triumph over us. 
And if our own congregations be not churches, whatsoever 
we are, we are not schismatics ; for schism is an evil 
amongst the members of a church, if St. Paul may be 
believed. * But we have forsaken the church of Rome.' But 
gentlemen, shew first how we were ever of it. No man 
hath lost that which he never had; nor hath left the place 


or station wherein he never was. Tell me when or how we 
were members of your church ? We know not your lan- 
guage, you are barbarians to us. It is impossible we should 
assemble with you. * But your forefathers Left that church, 
and you persist in their evil.' Prove that our forefathers 
were ever of your church in any communion instituted by 
Christ, and you say somewhat. To desert a man's station 
and relation, which he had on any other account, good or 
bad, is not schism, as shall farther be manifested. 

Upon the same principle, a plea for freedom from the 
charge of any church, real or pretended, as national, may 
be founded and confirmed ; either we are of the national 
church of England (to give that instance) or we are not; 
if we are not, and are exempted by our protestation, as be- 
fore, whatever we are, we are not schismatics ; if we are 
fatally bound unto it, and must be members of it, whether 
we will or no, being made so we know not how, and con- 
tinuing so we know not why, shew us then what duty or 
office of love is incumbent on us, that we do not perform? 
Do we not join in external acts of worship in peace with the 
whole church? Call the whole church together, and try 
what we will do. Do we not join in every congregation in 
the nation ? This is not charged on us ; nor will any say, 
that we have right so to do, without a relation to some par- 
ticular church in the nation; I know where the sore lies. 
A national officer, or officers, with others acting under them 
in several subordinations, with various distributions of power, 
are the church intended. A non-submission to their rules 
and constitutions, is the schism we are guilty of. 

Quern das finem rex niagne laborura! 

But this pretence shall afterward be sifted to the utmost. 
In the mean time let any one inform me, what duty I ought 
to perform towards a national church, on supposition there 
is any such thing, by virtue of an institution of Jesus Christ, 
that is possible for me to perform, and I shall (tvv^h^ address 
myself unto it. 

To close these considerations with things of more imme- 
diate concernment. Of the divisions that have fallen out 
amongst us in things of religion, since the last revolutions 
of this nation, there is no one thing hath been so effectual a 


promotion (such is the power of tradition and prejudice, 
which even bear all before them in human affairs) as the 
mutual charging one another with the guilt of schism. 
That the notion of schism, whereon this charge is built by 
the most, if not all, was invented by some of the ancients, 
to promote their plea and advantage with them with whom 
they had to do, without due regard to the simplicity of the 
gospel, at least in a suitableness to the present state of the 
church in those days, is too evident. For on very small 
foundations have mighty fabrics, and juopjUwXuKia in religion 
been raised. As an ability to judge of the present posture 
and condition of affairs, with counsel to give direction for 
their order and management, towards any end proposed, not 
an ability to contrive for events, and to knit on one thing 
upon another, according to a probability of success for con- 
tinuance, which is almost constantly disturbed by unex- 
pected providential interveniences, leaving the contrivers at 
a perplexing loss, will be found to be the sum of human 
wisdom; so it will be our wisdom in the things of God, not 
to judge according to what by any means is made present 
to us, and its principles on that account rendered ready to 
exert themselves, but ever to recoil to the original, and first 
institution. When a man first falls into some current, he 
finds it strong and almost impassable ; trace it to its foun- 
tain, and it is but a dribbling gutter. Paul tells the mem- 
bers of the church of Corinth, that there were divisions 
amongst them, breaches of that love and order, that ought 
to be observed in religious assemblies. Hence there is a 
sin of schism raised, which when considered as now stated, 
doth no more rclato to that treated on by the apostle, than 
* Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?' doth to the pope's su- 
premacy ; or Christ's saying to Peter of John, ' If I will that 
he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?' did to the report 
that went afterward abroad, ' that that disciple should not 
die.' When God shall have reduced his churches to their 
primitive purity and institution, when they are risen, and 
have shaken themselves out of the dust, and things of reli- 
gion return to their native simplicity, it is scarce possible to 
imagine what vizards will fall off, and what a contrary ap- 
pearance many things will have, to what they now walk up 
and down in. 



I wish that those who are indeed really concerned in 
this business, namely, the members of particular churches, 
who have voluntarily given up themselves to walk in them 
according to the appointment of Christ, would seriously con- 
sider what evil lies at the door, if they give place to cause- 
less differences and divisions amongst themselves. Had 
this sin of schism been rightly stated, as it ought, and the 
guilt of it charged in its proper place, perhaps some would 
have been more careful in their deportment in their relations. 
At present, the dispute in the world relating hereunto, is 
about subjection to the pope, and the church of Rome, as 
it is called : and this managed on the principles of edicts 
and of councils, with the practices of princes and nations, 
in the days long ago past, with the like considerations, 
wherein the concernment of Christians is doubtless very 
small. Or of obedience and conformity to metropolitan 
and diocesan bishops in their constitutions, and ways of 
worship, jointly or severally prescribed by them. In more 
ancient times, that which was agitated under the same name, 
was about persons or churches renouncing the communion 
and society of saints with all other churches in the world, 
consenting with them in the same confession of faith, for 
the substance of it. And these differences respectively are 
handled, in reference to what the state of things was, and is 
grown unto in the days wherein they are managed. When 
Paul wrote his epistle there was no occasion given to any 
such controversies, nor foundation laid making them pos- 
sible. That the disciples of Christ ought everywhere to 
abound in love and forbearance towards one another, espe- 
cially to carry all things in union and peace in those societies 
wherein they were joined for the worship of God, were his 
endeavours, and exhortations : of these things he is utterly 
silent : let them who aim to recover themselves into the like 
state and condition consider his commands, exhortations, 
and reproofs. Things are now generally otherwise stated, 
which furnisheth men with objections against what hath 
been spoken, to whose removal, and farther clearing of the 
whole matter, I shall now address myself. 



Objections against the former discourse proposed to consideration. Separa- 
tion from any church in the Scripture not called schism. Grounds of such 
separation. Apostacy, irregular walking, sensuality. Of separation on 
the account of reformation. Of commands for separation. No example 
of churches departing from the communion of another. Of the common 
notion of schism, and the use made of it. Schism a breach of union. The 
union instituted by Christ. 

That which lies obvious to every man against vehat hath 
been delivered, and which is comprehensive of what parti- 
cular objections, to which it seems liable and obnoxious, 
is, that according to this description of schism, separation 
of any man or men from a true church, or of one church from 
others, is not schism ; seeing that is an evil only amongst the 
members of one church, whilst they continue so to be : which 
is so contrary to the judgment of the generality of Christians 
in this business, that it ought to be rejected as fond and absurd. 

Of what hath been the judgment of most men in former 
ages, what it is in this, what strength there is in an argu- 
ment deduced from the consent pretended, I am not as yet 
arrived to the consideration. Nor have I yet manifested^ 
what I grant of the general notion of schism, as it may be 
drawn by way of analogy or proportion of reason, from what 
is delivered in the Scriptures concerning it. 

I am upon the precise signification of the word and de- 
scription of the thing, as used and given by the Holy Ghost: 
in this sense I deny that there is any relinquishment, de- 
parture, or separation from any church or churches, men- 
tioned or intimated in the Scripture, which is, or is called 
schism, or agreeth with the description by them given us of 
that term. Let them that are contrary minded attempt the 
proof of what they affirm. As far as a negative proposition 
is capable of evidence from any thing but the weakness of the 
opposition made unto it, that laid down will receive it by 
the ensuing considerations. 

All blameable departure from any church or churches, or 
relinquishment of them mentioned in the gospel, may be re- 
duced to one of these three heads or causes : 1 . Apostacy. 
2. Irregularity of walking. 3. Professed sensuality. 

L 2 


1 , Apostacy or falling away from the faith of the gos- 
pel, and thereupon forsaking the congregations or assem- 
blies for the worship of God in Jesus Christ is mentioned, 
Heb. X. 25. fxi) lyKaToXe'nrovTtg rrjv liriavvaywjriv kavriov, 'not 
wholly deserting the assembling ourselves, as is the man- 
ner of some.' A separation from, and relinquishment of, the 
communion of that church, or those churches, with whom 
men have assembled for the worship of God, is the guilt here 
charged on some by the apostle. Upon what account they 
so separated themselves is declared, ver. 26. ' they sinned 
wilfully, after they had received the knowledge of the truth;' 
thereby slipping out their necks from the yoke of Christ, 
ver. 28. and ' drawing back to perdition ;' ver. 39. that is, they 
departed off to Judaism. I much question, whether any one 
would think fit to call these men schismatics ; or whether we 
should so judge, or so speak of any, that in these days should 
forsake our churches, and turn Mahometans ; such departure 
makes men apostates, not schismatics. Of this sort many 
are mentioned in the Scriptures. Nor are they not at all ac- 
counted schismatics, because the lesser crime is swallowed 
up and drowned in the greater, but because their sin is 
wholly of another nature. 

Of some, who withdraw themselves from church com- 
munion, at least for a season, by their disorderly and irregular 
walking, we have also mention. The apostle calls them, 
aruKToiy 1 Thess. v. 14. * unruly,' or 'disorderly persons,' not 
abiding in obedience to the order prescribed by Christ in 
and unto his churches ; and says, they walked araKTivg ; 
2 Thess. iii. 6. out of all church order ; whom he would 
have warned and avoided : so also aToirovg, chap. iii. 2. per- 
sons that abide quietly in no place or station, but wandered 
up and down ; whom whatever their profession be, he de- 
nies to have faith. That there were many of this sort in the 
primitive times, who through a vain and slight spirit neg- 
lected and fell off from church assembles, when yet they 
would not openly renounce the faith of Christ, is known. 
Of such disorderly persons we have many in our days wherein 
we live, whom we charge not with schism, but vanity, folly, 
disobedience to the precepts of Christ in general. 

Men also separated themselves from the churches of 
Christ upon the account of sensuality, that they might freely 


indulge to their lusts and live in all manner of pleasure all 
their days ; Jude 19. These are they that separate them- 
selves, sensual, having not the Spirit.' Who are these? 
They that * turn the grace of God into laciviousness and that 
deny the Lord God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ,' ver. 4. 
* that defile the flesh after the manner of Sodom and Gomor- 
rah,' ver. 7, 8. that spoke ' evil of things they knev^^ not, and 
in things they knew naturally as brute beasts they corrupted 
themselves,' ver. 10. sinning openly like beasts against the 
light of nature; so ver. 12, 13. 16. 'These,' saith the apostle, 
'are they that separate themselves,' men given over to vv^ork 
all uncleanness with delight and greediness in the face of the 
sun, abusing themselves and justifying their abominations 
with a pretence of the grace of God. 

That there is any blameable separation from, or relin- 
quishment of, any church or churches of Christ, mentioned 
in the Scripture ; but what may be referred to one of those 
heads, I am yet to learn. Now whether the men of these 
abominations are to be accounted schismatics, or their crime 
in separating themselves to be esteemed schism, it is not hard 
to judge : if on any of these accounts, any persons have with- 
drawn themselves from the communion of any church of Christ, 
if they have on any motives of fear, or love, apostatized from 
the faith of the gospel, if they do it by walking disorderly 
and loosely in their conversations, if they give themselves 
up to sensuality and uncleanness, and so to be no more able 
to bear the society of them whom God hath called to holiness 
and purity of life, and worship, they shall assuredly bear 
their own burden. 

But none of these instances are comprehensive of the 
case inquired after ; so that for a close of them, I say, for a 
man to withdraw or withhold himself from the communion 
external and visible of any church or churches, on the pre- 
tension and plea, be it true or otherwise, that the worship, 
doctrine, discipline, instituted by Christ is corrupted among 
them, with which corruption he dares not defile himself, it 
is nowhere in the Scripture called schism, nor is that case 
particularly exemplified, or expressly supposed, whereby a 
judgment may be made of the fact at large ; but we are left 
upon the whole matter to the guidance of such general prin- 
ciples and rules as are given us for that end and purpose. 


What may regularly, on the other hand, be deduced from 
the commands given to * turn away from them who have 
only a form of godliness,' 2 Tim. iii. 5. to ' withdraw from 
them that walk disorderly, 2 Thes. iii. 6. not to bear nor 
endure in communion, men of corrupt principles, and 
wicked lives. Rev, ii. 14. but positively to separate from an 
apostate church. Rev. xviii. 4. that in all things we may 
worship Christ according to his mind and appointment, 
what is the force of these commands aTTOTjolTTEfrS'at, juj) awa- 
vajxi'yvva^ai, irapaTrdaa^ai, ekkXiveiv, fxrj koiviovuv, /ujj \iyeiv 
Xaipuv, (l>tvyHv, and the like, is without the compass of what 
I am now treating about. 

Of one particular church departing from that commu- 
nion with another, or others, be it what it will, which it 
ought to hold, unless in the departing of somej of them, in 
some things, from the common faith, which is supposed not 
to relate to schism, in the Scripture we have no example. 
Diotrephes assuming an authority over that church wherein 
he was placed, 3 John 9, 10. and for a season hindering the 
brethren from the performance of the duty incumbent upon 
them, toward the great apostle and others, makes the nearest 
approach to such a division : but yet in such a distance, that 
it is not at all to our purpose in hand. When I come to con- 
sider that communion that churches have, or ought to have 
among themselves, this will be more fully discussed. Neither 
is this my sense alone, that there is no instance of any such 
separation as that, which is the matter of our debate, to be 
found in the Scripture. It is confessed by others differing 
from me, in and about church affairs. To ' leave all ordinary 
communion in any church with dislike, where opposition or 
offence offers itself, is to separate from such a church in the 
Scripture sense ; such separation was not in being in the apo- 
stles time,' say they. Pap. Accom. p. 55. But how they 
came to know exactly the sense of the Scripture in and about 
things not mentioned in them, I know not. As I said before, 
were I unwilling, I do not as yet understand how I may be 
compelled to carry on the notion of schism any farther : nor 
is there need of adding any thing to demonstrate how little 
the conscience of a godly man, walking peaceably in any 
particular church-society, is concerned in all the clamorous 
disputes of this age about it j being built on false hypo- 


thesis, presumptions, and notions, no other way considera- 
ble, but as received by tradition from our fathers. 

But I shall for the sake of some carry on this discourse 
to a fuller issue ; there is another common notion of schism, 
which pleads to an original from that spoken expressly of 
it, by a parity of reason, which tolerable in itself, hath been 
and is injuriously applied, and used, according as it hath 
fallen into the hands of men who needed it as an engine to 
fix or improve them in the station wherein they are, or were ; 
and wherewith they are pleased. Indeed, being invented for 
several purposes, there is nothing more frequent than for 
men, who are scarce able to keep off the force of it from their 
own heads, whilst managed against them by them above ; 
at the same time vigorously to apply it for the oppression 
of all under them. What is on all hands consented unto, 
as its general nature, I shall freely grant that I might have 
liberty and advantage thence to debate the restriction and 
application of it to the several purposes of men prevailing 
themselves thereon. 

Let then the general demand be granted, that schism is 
^laipemg rrjc horrjTog, * the breach of union;' which I shall 
attend with one reasonable postulatum, namely, that this 
union be a union of the appointment of Jesus Christ : the con- 
sideration then of what, or what sort of union in reference to 
the worship of God, according to the gospel, is instituted and 
appointed by Jesus Christ, is the proper foundation of what 
I have farther to offer in this business. Let the breach of 
this, if you please, be accounted schism ; for being an evil, 
I shall not contend by what name or title it be distinguished. 
It is not pleaded that any kind of relinquishment or deser- 
tion of any church or churches is presently schism, but 
only such a separation as breaks the bond of union insti- 
tuted by Christ. 

Now this union being instituted in the church, according 
to the various acceptations of that word, so is it distin- 
guished. Therefore, for a discovery of the nature of that 
which is particularly to be spoken to, and also its contrary, 
I must shew, 

1. The several considerations of the church, wherein, 
and with which, union is to be preserved. 

2. What that union is, and wherein it doth consist, which 


according to the mind of Christ we are to keep and observe 
with the church, under the several notions of it respectively. 

3. And how that union is broken, and what is that sin 
whereby it is done. 

In handling this triple proposal, I desire that it may not 
be expected that I should much insist on any thing that falls 
in my way, though never so useful to my end and purpose, 
which hath been already proved and confirmed by others 
beyond all possibility of control ; and such will many, if 
not most of the principles that I proceed upon appear to be. 


Several acceptations in the Scripture of the name church. Of the church 
catholic properly so called. Of the church visible. Perpetuity of par- 
ticular churches. A mistake rectified. The nature of the chirch catho- 
lic evinced. Bellarmine^s description of the church catholic. Unioii of 
the church catholic, wherein it consists. Union by way of consequence. 
Unity of faith. Of love. The communion of the catholic church in 
and with itself. The breach of the union of the church catholic, wherein 
it consisteth. Not morally possible. Protestants not guilty of it. The 
papal world out of interest in the church catholic. As partly profane. 
Miracles no evidence of holiness. Partly ignorant. Self-justitiaries, 
Idolatrous. Worshippers of the beast. 

To begin with the first thing proposed. The church of 
Christ living in this world, as to our present concernment, is 
taken in Scripture three ways. 

1. For the mystical body of Christ, his elect, redeemed, 
justified, and sanctified ones throughout the world, com- 
monly called the church-catholic militant. 

2. For the universality of men throughout the world, 
called by the preaching of the word, visibly professing and 
yielding obedience to the gospel; called by some the church- 
catholic visible. 

3. For a particular church of some place, wherein the 
instituted worship of God in Christ is celebrated according 
to his mind. 

From the rise and nature of the things themselves, doth 
this distinction of the signification of the word church arise; 
for whereas the church is a society of men called out of the 


world, it is evident there is mention of a twofold call in 
Scripture, one effectual, according to the purpose of God, 
Rom. viii. 28. the other only external. The church must 
be distinguished according to its answer and obedience to 
these calls, which gives us the two first states and consider- 
ations of it. And this is confessed by the ordinary gloss, 
ad Rom. 8. 'Vocatio exterior fit per prsedicatores, et est com- 
munis bonorum, et malorum, interior vero tantum est electo- 
rum.' And whereas there are laws and external rules for 
joint communion, given to them that are called, which is 
confessed, the necessity of churches in the last acceptation, 
wherein obedience can alone be yielded to those laws, is 
hereby established. 

In the first sense the church hath as such the proper- 
ties of perpetuity, invisibility, infallibility, as to all neces- 
sary means of salvation attending of it ; not as notes whereby 
it may be known, either in the whole, or any considerable 
part of it, but as certain adjuncts of its nature and existence. 
Neither are they any signs of less or more certainty, whereby 
the whole may be discerned or known as such ; though 
there are of the individuals whereof it doth consist. 

In the second, the church hath perpetuity, visibility, and 
infallibility as qualified above, in a secondary sense; namely, 
not as such, not as visible and confessing, but as comprising 
the individuals whereof the catholic church doth consist. 
For all that truly believe, profess ; though all that profess, 
do not truly believe. 

Whether Christ hath had always a church in the last 
sense and acceptation of the word, in the world, is a most 
needless inquiry : nor are we concerned in it, any farther 
than in other matters of fact, that are recorded in story : 
though I am apt to believe, that although very many in all 
ages kept up their station in, and relation to, the church in 
the two former acceptations, yet there was in some of them 
scarce any visible society of worshippers, so far answering 
the institution of Christ, as to render them fit to be owned 
and joined withal, as a visible particular church of Christ. 
But yet, though the notions of men were generally corrupt, 
the practice of all professors throughout the world, whereof 
so little is recorded, and least of them that did best, is not 


rashly to be determined of. Nor can our judgment be cen- 
sured in this, by them who think that when Christ lay in 
the grave there was no believer left but his mother, and 
that the church was preserved in that one person : so was 
Bernard minded, Tractat. de Pass. * Dom. (ego sum vitis) 
sola per illud triste sabbathum stetit in fide, et salvata fuit 
ecclesia in ipsa sola.' Of the same mind is Marsilius in 
Sent, qusest. 20. art. 3. as are also others of that sort of 
men. See Bannes in 2. 2. Thom. quaBst. 1. art. 10. I no way 
doubt of the perpetual existence of innumerable believers in 
every age, and such as made the profession that is abso- 
lutely necessary to salvation one way or other : though I 
question a regular association of men, for the celebration of 
instituted worship, according to the mind of Christ. The 
seven thousand in Israel, in the days of Elijah, were mem- 
bers of the church of God, and yet did not constitute a church- 
state among the ten tribes. But these things must be far- 
ther spoken to. 

I cannot but by the way remind a learned person, with 
whom I have formerly occasionally had some debate in print 
about episcopacy, and the state of the first churches, of a mis- 
take of his, which he might have prevented with a little inquiry 
into the judgment of them, whom he undertook to confute 
at a venture. I have said, that there was not any ordinary 
church officer instituted in the first times, relating to more 
churches in his office, or to any other church, than a single 
particular congregation ; he replies, that ' this is the very 
same, which his memory suggested to him out of the Saints' 
Belief, printed twelve or fourteen years since, where, instead 
of that article of the apostolic symbol, the holy catholic 
church, this very hypothesis was substituted.' If he really 
believed that in professing I owned no instituted church 
with officers of one denomination in Scripture, beyond a 
single congregation, I renounced the catholic church, or 
was any way necessitated so to do, I suppose he may by 
what hath now been expressed, be rectified in his apprehen- 
sion. If he was willing only to make use of the advantage, 
wherewith he supposed himself accommodated by that ex- 
pression, to press the persuasion owned in the minds of ig- 
norant men, who could not but startle at the noise of deny- 


ing the catholic church, it may pass at the same rate that 
most of the repartees in such discourses are to be allowed 
at. But to proceed. 

In the first sense the word is used Matt. xvi. 28. * Upon 
this rock will I build my church, and the gates of hell shall 
not prevail against it.' This is the church of the elect, re- 
deemed, justified, sanctified ones, that are so built on Christ; 
and these only, and all these are interested in the promise 
made to the church ; there is no promise made to the church 
as such, in any sense, but is peculiarly made therein, to 
every one that is truly and properly a part and member of 
that church. Who, and who only are interested in that 
promise, Christ himself declares, John vi. 40. x. 28, 29. 
xvii. 20. 24. They that will apply this to the church in any 
other sense, must know that it is incumbent on them to es- 
tablish the promise made to it unto every one that is a true 
member of the church in that sense, which whatever be the 
sense of the promise I suppose they will find difficult work 
of. Eph. V. 25 — 27. ' Christ loved the church, and gavehim- 
self for it ; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the wash- 
ing of water by the word, that he might present it to him- 
self a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such 
thing.' He speaks only of those, whom Christ loved ante- 
cedently to his dying for them, whereof his love to them 
was the cause ; who they are is manifest, John x. 15. xvii. 
17. And those on whom by his death he accomplished the 
effects mentioned, by washing, cleansing, and sanctifying, 
bringing them into the condition promised to the 'bride the 
Lamb's wife,' Rev. xix. 8. which is the 'new Jerusalem/ 
xxi. 2. of elected and saved ones; ver. 27. Col. i. 18. con- 
tains an expression of the same light and evidence ; ' Christ 
is the head of the body the church ;' not only a governing 
head, to give it rules and laws; but as it were a natural head 
unto the body, which is influenced by him with a new spi- 
ritual life, which Bellarmine professeth against, as any re- 
quisite condition to the members of the catholic church, 
which he pleaded for. In that same sense, ver. 24. saith the 
apostle, ' I fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of 
Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church :' 
which assertion is exactly parallel to that of 2 Tim. ii. 10. 
* Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sake, that they 


may obtain salvation ;* so that the elect and the church are 
the same persons under several considerations : and there- 
fore even a particular church, on the account of its partici- 
pation of the nature of the catholic, is called elect; 1 Pet. v. 
13. and so the church. Matt. xvi. 18. is expounded by our 
Saviour himself, chap. xxii. 24. But to prove at large by a 
multiplication of arguments and testimonies, that the catholic 
church, or mystical body of Christ, consists of the whole 
number of the elect, as redeemed, justified, sanctified, called, 
believing, and yielding obedience to Christ throughout the 
world (I speak of it as militant in any age), and of them only, 
were as needlessly ' actum agere,' as a man can well devise. 
It is done already, and that to the purpose uncontrollably, 
' terque quaterque.' And the substance of the doctrine is 
delivered by Aquinas himself, p. 3. q. 8. a. 3. In brief, the 
sum of the inquiry upon this head, is concerning the matter 
of that church, concerning which such glorious things are 
spoken in Scripture ; namely, that it is the spouse, the wife, 
the bride, the sister, the only one of Christ, his dove unde- 
filed, his temple, elect, redeemed, his Zion, his body, his 
new Jerusalem ; concerning which inquiry, the reader knows 
where he may abundantly find satisfaction. 

That the asserting the catholic church in this sense is no 
new apprehension, is known to them who have at all looked 
backvvard to what was past before us. ' Omnibus consider- 
atis,' saith Austin, ' puto me non temere dicere, alios ita esse 
in domo Dei, ut ipsi etiara sint eadem domus Dei, quae di- 
citur sedificari supra petram, quse unica columba appellatur, 
quae sponsa pulchra sine macula, et ruga, et hortus conclu- 
sus, fons signatus, puteus aquae vivae, paradisus cum fructu 
pomorum, alios autem ita constat esse in domo, ut non per- 
tineant ad compagem domus. — Sed sicut esse palea dicitur 
in frumentis];' de Bapt. lib. 1. cap, 51 . who is herein followed 
by not a few of the Papists. Hence saith Biel. * Accipitur 
etiam ecclesia pro tota multitudine praedestinatorum ;' in 
Canon. Miss. Lee. 22. In what sense this church is visible, 
was before declared. Men elected, redeemed, justified as 
such are not visible, for that which makes them so is not : 
but this hinders not but they may be so upon the other con- 
sideration ; sometimes to more, sometimes to fewer, yea, 
they are so always to some. Those that are may be seen ; 


and when we say they are visible, we do not intend that 
they are actually seen by any that we know, but that they 
may be so. 

Bellarmine gives us a description of this catholic church 
(as the name hath of late been used at the pleasure of men, 
and wrested to serve every design that was needful to be 
carried on) to the interest which he was to contend for, but 
in itself perfectly ridiculous. He tells us out of Austin, that 
the church is a living body, wherein is a body and a soul, 
thence, saith he, the soul is the internal graces of the Spirit, 
faith, hope, and love : the body is the external profession of 
faith ; some are of the soul and body perfectly united to 
Christ by faith, and the profession of it ; some are of the 
soul that are not of the body, as the catechumeni, which are 
not as yet admitted to be members of the visible church, but 
yet are true believers. Some, saith he, are of the body that 
are not of the soul, who having no true grace, yet out of 
hope or temporal fear do make profession of the faith, and 
these are like the hair, nails, and ill humours in a human 
body. Now, saith Bellarmine, our definition of a church 
compriseth only the last sort, whilst they are under the head 
the pope ; which is all one, as if he had defined a man to be 
a dead creature, composed of hair, nails, and ill humours, 
under a hat. But of the church in this sense so far. 

It remaineth, then, that we inquire what is the union 
which the church in this sense hath, from the wisdom of its 
head, Jesus Christ. That it is one, that it hath a union with 
its head, and in itself, is not questioned. It is one sheepfold, 
one body, one spouse of Christ, his only one as unto him ; 
and that it might have oneness in itself, with all the fruits of 
it, our Saviour prays, John xvii. 19 — 23. The whole of it is 
described, Eph. iv. 15, 16. * May grow up into him in all 
things, which is the head, even Christ : from whom the whole 
body fitly joined together and compacted by that which 
every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in 
the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body to 
the edifying itself in love.' And of the same importance is 
that of the same apostle. Col. ii. 19. ' Not holding the head, 
from which all the body, by joints and bands having nourish- 
ment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the in- 
crease of God.' 


Now in the union of the church in every sense, there is 
considerable both the ' formalis ratio' of it, whence it is, 
what it is, and the way and means whereby it exerts itself, 
and is useful and active in communion. The first, in the 
church, as now stated, consists in its joint holding the head, 
and growing up into him by virtue of the communication of 
supplies unto it therefrom, for that end and purpose. That 
which is the formal reason and cause of the union of the 
members with the head, is the formal reason and cause of 
the union of the members themselves. The original union 
of the members is in and with the head ; and by the same 
have they union with themselves as one body. Now the in- 
habitation of the same Spirit in him and them, is that which 
makes Christ personal, and his church, to be one Christ mys- 
tical, 1 Cor. xii. 12. Peter tells us, that we are by the pro- 
mises 'made partakers of the divine nature, 2Epist. i.4. We 
are ^dag koivwvoi ^vcteijog, we have communion with it : that 
^da<}>vmg is no more but Kaivri KTiaig, I cannot easily consent. 
Now it is in the person of the Spirit whereof we are by the 
promise made partakers : he is the Spirit of promise, Eph. 
i. 13. promised by God to Christ, Acts ii. 33. hray^ikiav tov 
ayiov TTv^vfxaTog i\a[5e Trapa row irarpbg, and by him to us, 
John xiv. 16. being of old the great promise of the cove- 
nant, Isa. lix. 21. Ezek. xi. 17. xxvi. 36. Now in the parti- 
cipation of the divine nature consists the union of the saints 
with Christ, John vi. 55. our Saviour tells us, that it arises 
from eating his flesh and drinking his blood: *He that 
eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and 
I in him.' This he expounds ver. 63. 'It is the Spirit that 
quickeneth, the flesh profiteth not.' By the quickening Spi- 
rit, inhabitation in Christ, and Christ in it, is intended. And 
the same he manifests in his prayer that his church may be 
one in the Father and the Son, as the Father is in him, 
and he in the Father, John xvii. 21. for the Spirit being the 
love of the Father and of the Son is ' vinculum Trinitatis :' 
and so here of our union in some resemblance. 

The unity of members in the body natural with one 
head is often chosen to set forth the union of the church, 
1 Cor. xii. 12. xi. 3. Eph. v. 23. Col.i. 19. Now every man 
can tell, that, union of the head and members, whereby 
they become all one body, that and not another, is oneness 


of soul; whereby the whole is animated, which makes the 
body, be it less or greater, to be one body. That which 
answers hereunto, in the mystical body of Christ, is the ani- 
mation of the whole by his Spirit, as the apostle fully, 1 Cor. 
XV. 45. The union between husband and wife is also chosen 
by the Holy Ghost to illustrate the union between Christ 
and his church. ' For this cause shall a man forsake his 
father and his mother and cleave to his wife, and they two 
shall be one flesh ; this is a great mystery, but I speak con- 
cerning Christ and his church;' Eph. v. 31, 32. The union 
between man and wife we have, Gen ii. 24. * They be no 
more twain but one flesh ;' of Christ and his church that 
they are one spirit. ' For he that is joined to the Lord is 
one spirit;' 1 Cor. vi. 17. See also another similitude of the 
same importance, John xv. 5. Rom. xi. 16, 17. This, I say, 
is the fountain radical union of the church catholic in itself, 
with its head and formal reason of it. 

Hence flows a double consequential union that it hath 
also. 1. Of faith. All men united to Christ by the in- 
habitation of the same Spirit in him and them, are by it 
from and according to the word, ' taught of God,' Isa. 
liv. 13. John vi. 45. so taught, every one of them, as to 
come to Christ, ver. 46. that is, by believing, by faith. They 
are so taught of God, as that they shall certainly have that 
measure of knowledge and faith, which is needful to bring 
them to Christ, and to God by him. And this they have 
by the unction or Spirit, which they have received, 1 John 
ii. 21. 27. accompanying the word by virtue of God's cove- 
nant with them ; Isa. lix. 29. And hereby are all the mem- 
bers of the church catholic, however divided in their visible 
profession, by any differences among themselves, or differ- 
enced by the several measures of gifts and graces they have 
received, brought to the perfection aimed at, to the unity of 
the faith, and to the * acknowledgment of the Son of God, 
to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness 
of Christ;' Eph. iv. 13. 

Nor was this hidden from some of the Papists them- 
selves. 'Ecclesia sancta corpus est Christi uno Spiritu 
vivificata, unita fide una, et sanctificata,' saith Hugo de 
Victore, de Sacram. lib. 2. as he had said before in the for- 
mer cap. ' Sicut scriptum est qui non habet Spiritum Christi, 


hie non est ejus : qui non habet Spiritum Christi, non est 
membrum Christi ; in corpora uno Spiritus unus, nihil in 
corpora mortuum, nihil extra corpus vivum.' See to the 
same purpose, Enchirid. Concil Colon in Symbol. 

With peculiar reference to the members themselves, 
there is another necessary consequence of the union men- 
tioned ; and that is the mutual love of all those united in 
the head as before towards one another, and of every one 
towards the whole, as so united in the head Christ Jesus ; 
there is an ' increase made of the body to the edifying 
itself in love ;' Eph. iv. 16. And so it becomes the bond of 
perfectness to this body of Christ. I cannot say, that the 
members or parts of this church have their union in them- 
selves by love 5 because they have that with and in Christ, 
whereby they are one in themselves, John xvii. 21. 23. they 
are one in God, even in Christ, where their life is hid; Col. 
iii. 3. But it is the next and immediate principle of that 
communion, which they severally have one with another, 
and the whole body, in and with itself. I say then, that the 
communion which the catholic church, the mystical body 
of Christ, hath with and in ^itself, springing from the union 
which it hath in and with Christ, and in itself thereby, 
consists in love, exerting itself in inexpressible variety, ac- 
cording to the present state of the whole, its relation to 
Christ, to saints and angels, with the conditions and occa- 
sions of the members of it respectively; 1 Cor. xii. 26, 27. 

What hath been spoken concerning the union and com- 
munion of this church, will not I suppose, meet with any 
contradiction. Granting that there is such a church, as 
that we speak of, ' ccetus prsedestinatorum credentium,' the 
Papists themselves will grant that Christ alone is its head, 
and that its union ariseth from its subjection to him, and 
dependance on him. Their modesty makes them contented 
with constituting the pope in the room of Christ, as he is 
as it were a political head for government ; they have not as 
yet directly put in their claim to his office as a mystical 
head, influencing the body with life and motion ; though 
by their figment of the sacraments communicating grace, 
* ex opere operato,' and investing the original power of dis- 
pensing them in the pope only, they have contended fair 
for it. But if any one can inform me of any other union. 


or communion of the church, described as above, than these 
laid down, I shall wilUngly attend unto his instructions. In 
the mean time, to carry on the present discourse unto that 
which is aimed at, it is manifest, that the breach of this 
union must consist in these two things : 

1. The casting out, expelling, and loosening that spirit, 
which abiding in us, gives us this union. 

2. The loss of that love, which thence flows into the 
body of Christ, and believers, as parts and members thereof. 

This being the state of the church under the first consi- 
deration of it, certainly it would be an extravagancy scarcely 
to be paralleled, for any one to affirm a breach of this union, 
as such, to be schism, under that notion of it which we are 
inquiring after. But because there is very little security 
to be enjoyed in an expectation of the sobriety of men in 
things wherein they are, or suppose they may be concerned, 
that they may know beforehand what is farther incumbent 
on them, if in i-eference to us, they would prevail themselves 
of any such notion, I here inform them that our persuasion 
is, that this union was never utterly broken by any man 
taken into it, or ever shall be to the end of the world, and I 
suppose they esteem it vain to dispute about the adjuncts 
of that which is denied to be. 

But yet this persuasion being not common to us, with 
them with whom we have to do in this matter, I shall not 
farther make use of it, as to our present defence. That any 
other union of the catholic church, as such, can possibly 
be fancied or imagined by any (as to the substance of what 
hath been pleaded), leaving him a plea for the ordinary 
soundness of his intellectuals, is denied. 

Let us see now then what is our concernment in this dis- 
course; unless men can prove that we have not the Spirit 
of God, that we do not savingly believe in Jesus Christ, that 
we do not sincerely love all the saints, his whole body, and 
every member of it, they cannot disprove our interest in the 
catholic church. It is true, indeed, men that have so great 
a confidence of their own abilities, and such a contempt of 
the world, as to undertake to dispute men out of conclu- 
sions from their natural senses, about their proper objects, 
in what they see, feel, and handle, and will not be satisfied, 
that they have not proved there is no motion, whilst a man 


162 or SCHISM. 

walks for a conviction under their eye ; may probably ven- 
ture to disprove us, in our spiritual sense and experience 
also, and to give us arguments, to persuade us that we have 
not that communion with Christ, which we know we have 
every day. Although I have a very mean persuasion of my 
own abilities, yet I must needs say, I cannot think that any 
man in the world can convince me, that I do not love Jesus 
Christ in sincerity, because I do not love the pope, as he is 
so. Spiritual experience is a security against a more cun- 
ning sophister, than any Jesuit in the world, with whom the 
saints of God have to deal all their lives; Eph. vi. 12. And 
doubtless through the rich grace of our God, help will arise 
to us, that we shall never make a covenant with these men 
for peace, upon conditions far worse than those that Nabash 
would have exacted on the men of Jabesh Gilead, which 
were but the loss of one eye with an abiding reproach j they 
requiring of us, the deprivation of whatsoever we have to 
see by, whether as men or Christians, and that with a re- 
proach never to be blotted out. 

But as we daily put our consciences upon trial as to this 
thing, 1 Cor. xiii. 5. and are put unto it by Satan ; so are 
we ready at all times to give an account to our adversaries 
of the hope that is in us. Let them sift us to the utmost, 
it will be to our advantage. Only let them not bring frivo- 
lous objections, and such as they know are of no weight 
with us; speaking (as is their constant manner), about the 
pope and their church, things utterly foreign to what we are 
presently about, miserably begging the thing in question. 
Let them weigh, if they are able, the true nature of union 
with Christ, of faith in him, of love to the saints ; consider 
them in their proper causes, adjuncts, and effects with a 
spiritual eye, laying aside their prejudices and intolerable 
impositions ; if we are found wanting as to the truth and 
sincerity of these things, if we cannot give some account of 
our translation from death to life, of our implantation into 
Christ, and our participation of the Spirit, we must bear our 
own burden ; if otherwise, we stand fast on the most noble 
and best account of church-union whatever; and whilst this 
shield is safe, we are less anxious about the issue of the 
ensuing contest. Whatever may be the apprehensions of 
other men, I am notin this thing solicitous (I speak not of 


myself, but assuming for the present the person of one con- 
cerning whom these things may be spoken), whilst the effi- 
cacy of the gospel accomplisheth in my heart all those 
divine and mighty effects, which are ascribed unto it as 
peculiarly it works towards them that believe ; whilst I 
know this one thing, that whereas I was blind, now I see ; 
whereas I was a servant of sin, I am now free to righteous- 
ness, and at liberty from bondage unto death ; and instead 
of the fruits of the flesh, I find all the fruits of the Spirit 
brought forth in me to the praise of God's glorious grace ; 
whilst I have an experience of that powerful work of con- 
version, and being born again, which I am able to manage 
against all the accusations of Satan, having peace with 
God upon justification by faith, with the love of God shed 
abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost investing me in the 
privileges of adoption ; I shall not certainly be moved with 
the disputes of men, that would persuade me, I do not be- 
long to the, catholic church, because I do not follow this, 
or that, or any part of men in the world. 

But you will say, this you will allow to them also with 
whom you have to do, that they may be members of the 
catholic church : I leave other men to stand or fall to their 
own master ; only as to the papal multitude, on the account 
of several inconsistencies between them, and the members 
of this church, I shall place some swords in the way, which 
wilfreduce their number to an invisible scantling; I might 
content myself by aflSrming at once, that upon what hath 
been spoken, I must exclude from the catholic church all, 
and every one, whom Bellarmine intends to include in it as 
such ; namely, those who belong to the church as hairs 
and ill humours to the body of a man. But I add in par- 

1. All wicked and profane persons, of whom the Scrip- 
ture speaks expressly that they shall not enter into the 
kingdom of God, are indisputably cut off: whatever they 
pretend in show at any time in the outward duties of de- 
votion, they have neither faith in Christ, nor love to the 
saints : and so have part and fellowship neither in the union 
nor communion of the catholic church. 

How great a proportion of that synagogue, whereof we 
are speaking, will be taken off by this sword ; of their 

M 2 


popes, princes, prelates, clergy, votaries, and people, and 
that not by a rule of private surmises, but upon the visible 
issue of their being servants to sin, haters of God and good 
men, is obvious to all. Persons of really so much as re- 
formed lives amongst them are like the berries after the 
shaking of an olive-tree ; 1 Cor. vi. 7 — 10. Rev. xxii. 15. 

I find some persons of late, appropriating holiness and 
regeneration* to the Roman party, on this account, that 
among them only miracles are wrought; which is, say they, 
the only proof of true holiness. But these men err as their 
predecessors, 'not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of 
God.' Amongst all the evidences that are given in Scripture 
of regeneration, I suppose they will scarcely find this to be 
one ; and they who have no other assurance that they are 
themselves born of God, but that some of their church work 
miracles, had need maintain also that no man can be as- 
sured thereof in this life. They will find that a broken reed"* 
if they lean upon it. Will it evince all the members of 
their church to be regenerate, or only some ? If they say 
all, I ask then what becomes of Bellarmine's church, which 
is made up of them who are not regenerate ? If some only, 
I desire to know on what account the miracles of one man 
may be an evidence to some in his society that they are re- 
generate and not to others? or whether the foundation of 
that distinction must not lie in themselves ? But the truth is, 
the miracles now pretended are an evidence of a contfary 
condition to what these men are willing to own ; 2 Thess. 
ii. 11, 12. 

2. All ignorant persons, into whose hearts God hath not 
shined, 'to give them the knowledge of his glory in the face 
of Jesus Christ,' are to be added to the former account. 
There is a measure of knowledge of absolute and indispen- 
sable necessity to salvation, whereof how short the most of 
them are, is evident. Among the open abominations of the 
papal combination, for which they ought to be an abhor- 
rency to mankind, their professed design of keeping the 
people in ignorance is not the least ; Hos. iv. 6. That it 
was devotion to themselves, and not to God, which they 

» Ille coetus Cliristianoruni qui solus in orbe claret regeneratis est ecciesia ; solus 
coetus Christianorum papae subditorum claret regeneratis ; ergo. prob. apud illos 
solos sunt qui miracula faciunt. ergo. Val. Mag. 

'' Deut. xiii. 1, 2. Matt. vii. 22, 23. Exod. iii. 7. 


aimed to advance thereby, is by experience sufficiently 
evinced : but that, whose reverence is to be preserved by 
its being hid, is in itself contemptible. What other thoughts 
wise men could have of Christian religion in their manage- 
ment of it, I know not. Woe to you Romish clergy, * for 
you have taken away the key of knowledge ; ye entered not 
in yourselves, and them that were entering in you hindered.' 
'The people hath perished' under your hands ' for want of 
knowledge;' Zech. xi. 15 — 17. The figment of an implicit 
faith, as managed by these men, to charm the spirits and 
consciences of poor perishing creatures with security in 
this life, will be found as pernicious to them in the issue, 
as their purgatory, invented on the same account, will be 

3. Add to these all hypocritical self-justiciaries, who 
seek for a righteousness as it were by the works of the law, 
which they never attained to, Rom. ix. 31, 32. though they 
take pains about it; chap. x. 15. Eph. ii. S — 11. By this 
sword will fall the fattest cattle of their herd. How the 
hand of the Lord on this account sweeps away their de- 
votionists, and therein takes down the pride of their glory, 
the day will discover ; yet, besides these, there are two other 
things that will cut them down as the grass falls before the 
scythe of the mower. 

1. The first of these is idolatry: 'Be not deceived, no 
idolaters shall inherit the kingdom of God ;' 1 Cor. vi. 9. 
'Without are idolaters;' Rev. xxii. 15. This added to their 
lives hath made Christian religion, where known only as by 
them professed, to be an abomination to Jews and Gentiles. 
Some will one day besides himself answer for Averroe's de- 
termining of the case as to his soul : ' Quonian Christian! 
adorant quod comedunt, anima mea sit cum philosophis.' 
Whether they are idolaters or no, whether they yield the 
worship due to the Creator to the creature, hath been sifted 
to the utmost, and the charge of its evil, which the jealous 
God doth of all things most abhor, so fastened on them 
beyond all possibility of escape, that one of the wisest of 
them hath at length fixed on that most desperate and profli- 
gate refuge, that some kind of idolatry is lawful, because 
Peter mentions ' abominable idolatries,' 1 Pet. iv. 5. who is 
therein so far from distinguishing of several sorts and 


kinds of it to any such purpose, as that he aggravates all 
sort and kinds of it with the epithet of nefarious, or abo- 

A man may say. What is there almost that they have not 
committed lewdness in this kind withal? on every hill, and 
under every green tree is the filth of their abomination 
found : saints and angels in heaven ; images of some that 
never were ; of others that had been better they never had 
been ; bread and wine, cross and nails, altars, wood, and 
iron, and the pope on earth are by them adored. The truth 
is, if we have any assurance left us of any thing in the world, 
that we either see or hear, feel or taste, and so consequently 
that we are alive, and not other men, the poor Indians who 
worship a piece of red cloth, are not more gross idolaters 
than they are. 

2. All that worship the beast set up by the dragon, all 
that receive his mark in their hands, or forehead, are said 
not to have their * names written in the book of life of the 
Lamb,' Rev. xiii. 8. which what aspect it bears towards the 
visible Roman church, time will manifest. 

All these sorts of persons we except against, as those 
that have no interest in the union of the catholic church. 
All profane, ignorant, self-justiciaries, all idolaters, wor- 
shippers, or adorers of the papal power, if any remain among 
them, not one way or other visibly separated from them, 
who fall not under some one or more of these exceptions ; 
as we grant they may be members of the catholic church, 
so we deny that they are of that which is called the Roman. 
And I must needs inform others by the way, that whilst the 
course of their conversation, ignorance of the mystery of the 
gospel, hatred of good men, contempt of the Spirit of God, 
his gifts and graces, do testify to the consciences of them 
that fear the Lord, that they belong not to the church ca- 
tholic, it renders their rebuking of others, for separating 
from any instituted church national (as is pretended), or 
more restrained, very weak and contemptible. All dis- 
courses about motes, have a worm at the root, whilst there 
is a beam lies in the eye. Do men suppose, that a man who 
hath tasted how gracious the Lord is, and hath by grace 
obtained communion with the Father and his Son Jesus 
Christ, walking at peace with God, and in a sense of his 


love all his days, filled with the Holy Ghost, and by him 
with joy unspeakable and glorious in believing, is not 
strengthened against the rebukes and disputes of men, 
whom he sees and knows by their fruits, to be destitute of 
the Spirit of God, uninterested in the fellowship of the gospel, 
and communion thereof? 


Of the catholic church visible. Of the nature thereof. In what sense the 
universality of professors is called a church. Amiraldus's judgment in. 
this business. The union of the church in this sense wherein it consists. 
Not the same tvith the union of the church catholic ; nor that of a par- 
ticular instituted church. Not in relation to any one officer, or more, in 
subordination to one another. Such a subordination not proveable. Td 
dpxata of the Nicene synod. Of general councils. Union of the church 
visible not in a general council. The true unity of the universality of 
professors asserted. Thinys necessary to this union. Story of a martyr 
at Bagdat. The apostacy of churches from the unity of the faith. 
Testimony of Hegesippus vindicated. Papal apostacy. Protestants not 
guilty of the breach of this unity. The catholic church in the sense in- 
sisted on, granted by the ancients. Not a political body. 

The second general notion of the church, as it is usually 
taken, signifies the universality of men professing the doc- 
trine of the gospel, and obedience to God in Christ, accord- 
ing to it, throughout the world. This is that, which is 
commonly called the visible catholic church, which now, to- 
gether with the union which it hath in itself, and how that 
unity is broken, falls under consideration. 

That all professors of the gospel throughout the world, 
called to the knowledge of Christ by the word, do make up, 
and constitute his visible kingdom, by their professed sub- 
jection to him, and so may be called his church, I grant. 
That they are precisely so called in Scripture is not un- 
questionable. What relation it stands in to all particular 
churches, whether as a genus to its species, or as a totum 
to its parts, hath lately by many been discussed. I must 
crave leave to deny that it is capable of filling up, or of 
being included in, any of these denominations and relations. 
The universal church we are speaking of, is not a thine; that 


hath, as such, a specificative form, from which it should be 
called a universal church ; as a particular hath for its ground 
of being so called. It is but a collection of all that are 
duly called Christians in respect of their profession ; nor 
are the several particular churches of Christ in the world, 
so parts and members of any catholic church, as that it 
should be constituted, or made up by them and of them, for 
the order and purpose of an instituted church, that is, the 
celebration of the worship of God, and institutions of Jesus 
Christ according to the gospel ; which to assert, were to 
overthrow a remarkable difference between the economy of 
the Old Testament and the New. Nor do I think that par- 
ticular congregations do stand unto it in the relation of 
species unto a genus, in which the whole nature of it should 
be preserved and comprised, which would deprive every one 
of membership in this universal church, which is not joined 
actually to some particular church or congregation, than 
which nothing can be more devoid of truth. To debate the 
thing in particular, is not my present intention, nor is need- 
ful to the purpose in hand. 

The sum is, the universal church is not so called upon 
the same account that a particular church is so called. The 
formal reason constituting a particular church to be a parti- 
cular church, is, that those of whom it doth consist, do 
join together according to the mind of Christ in the exercise 
of the same numerical ordinances for his worship : and in 
this sense the universal church cannot be said to be a 
church, as though it had such a particular form of its own ; 
which that it hath, or should have, is not only false but im- 
possible. But it is so called, because all Christians through- 
out the world (excepting some individual persons provi- 
dentially excluded) do, upon the enjoyment of the same 
preaching of the word, the same sacraments administered 
in specie, profess one common faith and hope ; but to the 
joint performance of any exercise of religion, that they 
should hear one sermon together, or partake of one sacra- 
ment, or have one officer for their rule and government, is 
ridiculous to imagine ; nor do any profess to think so, as to 
any of the particulars mentioned, but those only, who have 
profit by the fable. As to the description of this church, I 
shall acquiesce in that lately given of it by a very learned 



man. Saith he, * Ecclesia universalis, est communio, seu 
socielas omnium ccetuura' (I had rather he had said, and he 
had done it more agreeable to principles by himself laid 
down, ' omnium fidem Christianam profitentium sive illi ad 
ecclesiasaliquas particulares pertineant, sive non pertineant') 
* qui religionem Christianam profitentur, consistens in eo, 
quod tametsi neque exercitia pietatis uno numero fre- 
quentent, neque sacramenta eadem numero participent, 
neque uno eodemque omnino ordine regantur, et guber- 
nentur, unum tamen corpus in eo constituunt, quod eundem 
Christum servatorem habere se profitentur, uno in evangelio 
propositum, iisdem promissionibus comprehensum, quas ob- 
signant, etconfirmant sacramenta, ex eadem institutione pen- 
dentia.' Amyrald. Thes. de Eccles. nom et. defin. The. 29. 
There being then in the world a great multitude, which 
no man can number, of all nations, kindreds, people, and 
languages, professing the doctrine of the gospel, not tied to 
mountains or hills, John iv. but worshipping IviravTi roTrt^; 
1 Cor. i. 2. 1 Tim. ii. 8. let us consider what union there 
is amongst them as such, wrapping them all in the bond 
thereof, by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ; and 
wherein the breach of that union doth consist, and how any 
man is or may be guilty thereof. 

I suppose this will be granted : that only elect believers 
belong to the church in this sense considered, is a chimera 
feigned in the brains of the Romanists, and fastened on the 
reformed divines. I wholly assent to Austin's dispute on 
this head against the Donatists : and the whole entangle- 
ment that hath been about this matter, hath arisen from 
obstinacy in the Papists in not receiving the catholic church 
in the sense mentioned before ; which to do, they know 
would be injurious to their interest. 

This church being visible and professing, and being now 
considered under that constituting difference, that the union 
of it cannot be the same with that of the catholic church 
before mentioned, it is clear from hence, that multitudes of 
men belong unto it, who have not the relation mentioned 
before to Christ and his body ; which is required in all com- 
prehended in that union; seeing 'many are called, but few 
are chosen.' Nor can it consist in a joint assembly, either 


ordinary or extraordinary, for the celebration of the ordi- 
nances of the gospel, or any one of them, as was the case 
of the church of the Jews, which met at set times in one 
place for the performance of that worship which was then 
required, nor could otherwise be accomplished. For as it 
is not at all possible, that any such thing should ever be 
done, considering what is, and shall be, the estate of Christ's 
visible kingdom to the end of the world ; so it is not (that I 
know of) pleaded, that Christ hath made any such appoint- 
ment: yea, it is on all hands confessed, at least cannot 
reasonably be denied, that there is a supersedeas granted to 
all supposals of any such duty, incumbent on the whole 
visible church, by the institution of particular churches, 
wherein all the ordinances of Christ are duly to be ad- 

I shall only add, that if there be not an institution for 
the joining in the same numerical ordinances, the union of 
this church is not really a church-union : I mean, of an in- 
stituted church, which consists therein, but something of 
another nature. Neither can that have the formal reason 
of an instituted church as such, which as such can join in 
no one act of the worship of God instituted to be performed 
in such societies : so that he that shall take into his thoughts 
the condition of all the Christians in the world ; their pre- 
sent state, what it hath been for fifteen hundred years, and 
what it is like to be iwg rrig avvreXdag tov aiMvog, will easily 
understand, what church-state they stand in, and relate unto. 

3. It cannot possibly have its union by a relation to any 
one officer given to the whole, such a one as the Papists 
pretend the pope to be. For though it be possible that one 
officer may have relation to all the churches in the world, 
as the apostles severally had (when Paul said the care of all 
the churches lay on him), who by virtue of their apostolical 
commission were to be received, and submitted to in all the 
churches in the world, being antecedent in office to them ; 
yet this neither did, nor could make all the churches one 
church ; no more than if one man were an officer or magis- 
trate in every corporation in England, this would make all 
those corporations to be one corporation. I do not suppose 
the pope to be an officer to the whole church visible as such. 


which I deny to have a union or order capable of any such 
thing ; but suppose him an officer to every particular church, 
no union of the whole would thence ensue. That which is 
one church must join at least in some one church act, nu- 
merically one. So that though it should be granted that 
the pope were a general officer unto all and every church in 
the world, yet this would not prove, that they all made one 
church, and had their church-union in subjection to him, 
who was so an officer to them all ; because to the constitu- 
tion of such a union as hath been shewed, tl^ere is that 
required, which in reference to the universal society of 
Christians, is utterly and absolutely impossible. But the 
non-institution of any such officer ordinarily to bear rule 
in and over all the churches of God, hath been so abun- 
dantly proved by the divines of the reformed churches, 
and he who alone puts in his claim to that prerogative 
so clearly manifested to be quite another thing, that I 
will not needlessly go over that work again ; something 
however shall afterward be remarked, as to his preten- 
sions, from the principles whereon I proceed in the whole 

There is indeed by some pleaded a subordination of 
officers in this church, tending towards a union on that 
account; as that ordinary ministers should be subjected to 
diocesan bishops, they to archbishops or metropolitans, they 
again to patriarchs ; where some would bound the process, 
though a parity of reason would call for a pope. Nor will 
the arguments pleaded for such a subordination rest, until 
they come to be centred in some such thing. 

But, (1.) Before this plea be admitted, it must be proved, 
that all these officers are appointed by Jesus Christ, or it 
will not concern us, who are inquiring solely after his will, 
and the settling of conscience therein. To do this with 
such an evidence, that the consciences of all those who are 
bound to yield obedience to Jesus Christ may appear to be 
therein concerned, will be a difficult task, as I suppose. 
And to settle this once for all, I am not dealing with the 
men of that lazy persuasion, that church affairs are to be 
ordered by the prudence of our civil superiors and gover- 
nors, and so seeking to justify a non-submission to any of 
their constitutions, in the things of this nature, or to evi- 

172 or SCHISM. 

dence that the so doing is not schism ; nor do I concern 
myself in the order and appointment of ancient times, by 
men assembled in synods and councils, wherein whatever 
was the force of their determinations in their own seasons, 
we are not at all concerned, knowing of nothing that is ob- 
ligatory to us, not pleading from sovereign authority, or our 
own consent, but it is after things of pure institution that I 
am inquiring. With them who say there is no such thing 
in these matters, we must proceed to other principles than 
any yet laid down. 

Also it must be proved, that all these officers are given, 
and do belong to the catholic church as such, and not to 
the particular churches of several measures and dimensions 
to which they relate ; which is not as yet, that I know of, 
so much as pretended by them that plead for this order. 
They tell us indeed of various arbitrary distributions of the 
world, or rather of the Roman empire into patriarchates, with 
the dependent jurisdictions mentioned ; and that all within 
the precincts of those patriarchates must fallwithin the lines 
of the subordination, subjection, and communication before 
described ; but as there is no subordination between the 
ofl&cers of one denomination in the inferior parts, no more 
is there any between the superior themselves, but they are 
independent of each other. Now it is easily discernible 
that these patriarchates, how many or how few soever they 
are, are particular churches, not any one of them the catho- 
lic, nor altogether comprising all that are comprehended in 
the precincts of it (which none will say that ever they did), 
and therefore this may speak something as to a combination 
of those churches, nothing as to the union of the catholic as 
such, which they are not. 

Supposing this assertion to the purpose in hand, which 
it is not at all, it would prove only a couibination of all the 
officers of several churches, consisting in the subordination 
and dependence mentioned, not of the whole church itself, 
though all the members of it should be at once imagined or 
fancied (as what shall hinder men from fancying what they 
please?) to be comprised within the limits of those distribu- 
tions, unless it be also proved that Christ hath instituted 
several sorts of particular churches, parochial, diocesan, 
metropolitical, patriarchal (I use the words in the present 

OK SCHIS.M. 173 

vulgar acceptation, their signification having been somewhat 
otherwise formerly ; * paroecia' being the care of a private 
bishop, * provincia' of a metropolitan, and * diocesis' of a pa- 
triarch), in the order mentioned, and hath pointed out which 
of his churches shall be of those several kinds throughout the 
world ; which that it will not be done to the disturbance 
of my principles, whilst I live, I have some present good 

And because I take the men of this persuasion to be 
charitable men, that will not think much of taking a little 
pains for the reducing any person whatever from the error of 
his way, I would entreat them that they would inform me 
what patriarchate, according to the institution of Christ, I 
(who by the providence of God live here at Oxon) do ' de 
jure' belong unto ; that so I may know how to preserve the 
union of that church, and to behave myself therein ; and this 
I shall promise them, that if I were singly, or in conjunction 
with any others, so considerable, that those great officers 
should contend about whose subjects we should be (as was 
done heretofore about the Bulgarians), that it should not at 
all startle me about the truth and excellency of Christian 
religion, as it did those poor creatures, who being newly 
converted to the faith, knew nothing of it but what they re- 
ceived from men of such principles. 

But that this constitution is human, and the distribu- 
tions of Christians in subjection unto church-officers, into 
such and such divisions of nations and countries prudential 
and arbitrary, I suppose will not be denied. The ra apxaXa 
of the Nicene synod intends no more; nor is any thing of 
institution, nor so much as of apostolical tradition pleaded 
therein. The following ages were of the same persuasion. 
Hence in the council of Chalcedon, the archiepiscopacy of 
Constantinople was advanced into a patriarchate, and many 
provinces cast in subjection thereunto, wherein the primates 
of Ephesus and Thrace were cut short of what they might 
plead TO. apxaia for. And sundry other alterations were like- 
wise made in the same kind ; Socrat. lib. 5. cap. 8. The 
ground and reason of which procedure, the fathers assembled 
sufficiently manifest in the reason assigned for the advance- 
ment of the bishops of Constantinople, which was for the 
city's -sake Eia to uvm avTriv viav Pw/wrjv, Can. 3. Con. Con- 


Stan. And what was the judgment of the council of Chalce- 
don upon this matter may be seen in the composition and 
determination of the strife between Maximus bishop of An- 
tioch, and Juvenalis of Jerusalem, Ac. 7. Con. Cal. with 
translation of provinces from the jurisdiction of one to an- 
other. And he that shall suppose that such assemblies as 
these were instituted by the will and appointment of Christ 
in the gospel, with church-authority for such dispositions 
and determinations, so as to make them of concernment to 
the unity of the church, will, if I mistake not, be hardly be- 
stead in giving the ground of that his supposal. 

4. I would know of them who desire to be under this 
law, whether the power with which Jesus Christ hath fur- 
nished the officers of his church come forth from the su- 
preme mentioned patriarchs and archbishops, and is by them 
communicated to the inferiors, or ' vice versa j' or whether 
all have their power in an equal immediation from Christ ; 
if the latter be granted, there will be a greater independency 
established than most men are aware of (though the Pa- 
palins understood it in the council of Trent), and a wound 
given to successive episcopal ordination, not easily to be 
healed. That power is communicated from the inferiors to 
the superiors will not be pleaded. And seeing the first must 
be insisted on, I beseech them not to be too hasty with men 
not so sharp-sighted as themselves, if finding the names they 
speak of barbarous and foreign as to the Scriptures, and the 
things themselves not at all delineated therein, eTrixovai. 

5. The truth is, the whole subordination of this kind, 
which ' de facto' hath been in the world, was so clearly a 
human invention, or a prudential constitution, as hath been 
shewed (which being done by men professing authority in 
the church, gave it, as it was called, 'vim ecclesiasticam'), 
that nothing else in the issue is pleaded for it. And now 
though I shall, if called thereunto, manifest both the unrea- 
sonableness and unsuitableness to the design of Christ for 
his worship under the gospel, comparative novelty and mis- 
chievous issue of that constitution; yet, at the present, being 
no farther concerned, but only to evince that the union of 
the general visible, church doth not therein consist, I shall 
not need to add any thing to what hath been spoken. 

The Nicene council, which first made towards the con- 


firmation of something, like somewhat of what was after- 
ward introduced in some places, pleaded only, as I said be- 
fore, the TO. apxaXa, old usage for it, which it would not have 
done, could it have given a better original thereunto. And 
whatever the antiquities then pretended might be, we know 
that CLTT apxng ow/c fiv ourwc- And I do not fear to say, what 
others have done before me, concerning the canons of that 
first and best general council, as it is called, they are all 
hay and stubble; nor yet doth the laying this custom on 
TO. ap;j^a7a, in my apprehension, evince their judgment of any 
long prescription. Peter, speaking of a thing that was done 
a few years before, says, that it was done a<f i7juepwv ap\anov, 
Acts XV. 7. somev/hat a greater antiquity, than that by him 
intended, I can freely grant to the custom by the fathers 

But a general council is pleaded with the best colour 
and pretence for a bond of union to this general and visible 
church. In consideration hereof, I shall not divert to the 
handling of the rise, right use, authority, necessity of such 
councils, about all which, somewhat in due tune towards 
satisfaction may be offered to those who are not in bondage 
to names and traditions. Nor shall I remark what hath 
been the management of the things of God in all ages in 
those assemblies, many of which have been the stuins and 
ulcers of Christian religion. Nor yet shall I say, with what 
little disadvantage to the religion of Jesus Christ, I sup- 
pose a loss of all the canons of all councils that ever were 
in the world, since the apostle's days, with their acts and 
contests (considering what use is made of them) might be 
undergone. Nor yet shall I digress to the usefulness of the 
assemblies of several churches in their representatives, to 
consider and determine about things of common concern- 
ment to them, with their tendency to the preservation of 
that communion, which ought to be amongst them ; but as 
to the present instance only offer, 

1. That such general councils, being things purely ex- 
traordinary and occasional (as is confessed), cannot be an 
ordinary standing bond of union to the catholic church ; 
and if any one shall reply, that though in themselves, and 
in their own continuance they cannot be so, yet in their 
authority, laws, and canons they may : I must say, that be- 


sides the very many reasons I have to call into question the 
power of law-making for the whole society of Christians in 
the world, in all the general councils that have been, or 
possibly can be on the earth ; the dispute about the title of 
those assemblies, which pretend to this honour, which are 
to be admitted, which excluded, are so endless ; the rules 
of judging them so dark, lubricous, and uncertain, framed 
to the interest of contenders on all hands; the laws of them, 
which ' de facto' have gone under that title and name, so 
innumerable, burdensome, uncertain, and frivolous ; in a 
great part so grossly contradictory to one another ; that I 
cannot suppose that any man, upon second thoughts, can 
abide in such an assertion. If any shall, I must be bold to 
declare my affection to the doctrine of the gospel main- 
tained in some of those assemblies, for some hundreds of 
years, and then to desire him to prove, that any general 
council, since the apostles fell asleep, hath been so con- 
vened, and managed, as to be enabled to claim that au- 
thority to itself, which is, or would be due to such an as- 
sembly, instituted according to the mind of Christ. 

That it hath been of advantage to the truth of the gos- 
pel, that godly learned men, bishops of churches, have con- 
vened, and witnessed a good confession in reference to the 
doctrine thereof, and declared their abhorrence of the errors 
that are contrary thereunto, is confessed. That any man, 
or men, is, are, or ever were, intrusted by Christ with au- 
thority so to convene them, as that thereupon, and by vir- 
tue thereof, they should be invested with a new authority, 
power, and jurisdiction, at such a convention, and thence 
should take upon them to make laws and canons, that 
should be ecclesiastically binding to any persons, or 
churches, as theirs, is not as yet to me attended with any 
convincing evidence of truth. And seeing at length it 
must be spoken, I shall do it with submission to the 
thoughts of good men, that are any way acquainted with 
these things, and in sincerity therein commend my con- 
science to God ; that I do not know any thing that is ex- 
tant, bearing clearer witness to the sad degeneracy of 
Christian religion in the profession thereof, nor more evi- 
dently discovering the efficacy of another spirit than what 
was poured out by Christ at his ascension, nor containing 


more hay and stubble, that is to be burned and consumed, 
than the stories of the acts and laws of the councils and 
synods, that have been in the world. 

2. But to take them as they are, as to that alone wherein 
the first councils had any evidence of the presence of the 
Holy Ghost with them, namely, in the declaring the doc- 
trine of the gospel ; it falls in with that which I shall give 
in for the bond of union unto the church in the sense 
pleaded about. 

3. Such an assembly arising cumulative out of particu- 
lar churches, as it is evident that it doth, it cannot first 
and properly belong to the church general, as such ; but it 
is only a means of communion between those particular 
churches as such, of whose representative (I mean virtually, 
for formally the persons convening for many years ceased to 
be so) it doth consist. 

4. There is nothing more ridiculous than to imagine a 
general council, that should represent the whole catholic 
church, or so much as all the particular churches that are 
in the world; and let him that is otherwise minded, that 
there hath been such a one, or that it is possible there 
should be such a one, prove by instance, that such there 
hath been since the apostles' times; or by reason, that 
such may be in the present age, or be justly expected in 
those that are to succeed, and we will, as we are able, crown 
him for his discovery. 

5. Indeed I know not how any council, that hath been 
in the world these thirteen hundred years and somewhat 
upwards, could be said to represent the church in any sense, 
or any churches whatever. Their convention, as is known^ 
hath been always by imperial or papal authority ; the per- 
sons convened such, and only they who, as was pretended 
and pleaded, had right of suffrage, with all necessary au- 
thority in such conventions, from the order, degree, and 
office, which personally they hold in their several churches. 
Indeed a pope or bishop sent his legate, or proxy, to repre- 
sent, or rather personate him, and his authority. But that 
any of them were sent, or delegated by the church wherein 
they did preside, is not so evident. 

I desire then, that some man more skilled in laws and 
common usages than myself, would inform me, on what ac- 



count such a convention could come to be a church-repre- 
sentative, or the persons of it to be representatives of any 
churches ; general grounds of reason and equity, I am per- 
suaded, cannot be pleaded for it. The lords in parliament 
in this nation, who being summoned by regal authority, sat 
there in their own personal right, were never esteemed to 
represent the body of the people. Supposing indeed all 
church-power in any particular church, of whatever extract 
or composition, to be solely vested in one single person; a 
collection of those persons, if instituted, would bring to- 
gether the authority of the whole. But yet this would not 
make that assembly to^ be a church-representative, if you 
will allow the name of the church to any but that single 
person. But for men, who have but a partial power and 
authority in the church, and perhaps separated from it, 
none at all, without any delegation from the churches to 
convene, and in their own authority to take upon them to 
represent those churches, is absolute presumption. 

These several pretensions being excluded, let us see 
wherein the unity of this church, namely, of the great so- 
ciety of men professing the gospel, and obedience to Christ, 
according to it, throughout the world, doth consist; this 
is summed up by the apostle, Eph. iv. 5. ' one Lord, one 
faith, one baptism.' It is the unity of the doctrine of faith, 
which men profess, in subjection to one Lord Jesus Christ, 
being initiated into that profession by baptism ; I say, the 
saving doctrine of the gospel of salvation by Jesus Christ, 
and obedience through him to God as professed by them, is 
the bond of that union, whereby they are made one body, 
are distinguished from all other societies, have one head 
Christ Jesus, which as to profession they hold, and whilst 
they do so, are of this body, in one professed hope of their 

1 . Now that this union be preserved, it is required that all 
those grand and necessary truths of the gospel, without the 
knowledge whereof no man can be saved by Jesus Christ, 
be so far believed, as to be outwardly and visibly professed 
m that variety of ways, wherein they are, or may be called 
out thereunto. There is a ' proportion of faith ;' Rom. xii. 6. 
a ' unity of faith, and of knowledge of the Son of God ;' 
Eph. iv. 13. a measure of saving truths, the explicit know- 



ledge whereof in men, enjoying the use of reason within, 
and the means of grace without, is of indispensible necessity 
to salvation, without which it is impossible that any soul in 
an ordinary way should have communion with God in 
Christ, having not light sufficient for converse with him, 
according to the tenor of the covenant of grace. These 
are commonly called fundamentals, or first principles, which 
are justly argued by many to be clear, perspicuous, few, 
lying in an evident tendency to obedience. Now look what 
truths are savingly to be believed, to render a man a member 
of the church catholic invisible ; that is, whatever is re- 
quired in any one, unto such a receiving of Jesus Christ, 
as that thereby he may have power given to him to become 
the Son of God ; the profession of those truths is required, 
to instate a man in the unity of the church visible. 

2. That no other internal principle of the mind, that hath 
an utter inconsistency with the real belief of the truths ne- 
cessary to be professed, be manifested by professors. Paul 
tells us of some, who, though they would be called Chris- 
tians, yet they so walked as that they manifested themselves 
to be 'enemies of the cross of Christ;' Phil. iii. 18. Cer- 
tainly those who, on one account, are open and manifest 
enemies of the cross of Christ, are not on any, members of 
his church : there is 'one Lord,' and 'one faith' required, as 
well as 'one baptism;' and a protestation contrary to evidence 
of fact, is in all law, null. Let a man profess ten thousand 
times, that he believes all the saving truths of the gospel, 
and by the course of a wicked and profane conversation evi- 
dence to all, that he believes no one of them, shall his pro- 
testation be admitted ? shall he be accounted a servant in 
and of my family, who will call me master, and come into 
my house only to do me and mine a mischief, not doing 
any thing I require of him, but openly and professedly the 
contrary? Paul says of such. Tit. v. 15, 16. 'They profess 
that they know God, yet in works they deny him, being abo- 
minable, disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate;* 
which though peculiarly spoken of the Jews, yet contains a 
general rule, that men's profession of the knowledge of 
God, contradicted by a course of wickedness, is not to be 
admitted, as a thing giving any privilege whatever. 

3. That no thing, opinion, error, or false doctrine, evert- 

N 2 


ing or overthrowing any of the necessary saving truths pro- 
fessed as above, be added in and with that profession, or 
deliberately be professed also. This principle the apostle 
lays down and proves. Gal. v. 3, 4. notwithstanding the pro- 
fession of the gospel, he tells the Galatians, that if they were 
bewitched to profess also the necessity of circumcision, and 
keeping of the law for justification, that Christ or the pro- 
fession of hira would not profit them. On this account the 
ancients excluded many heretics from the name of Christians ; 
so Justin of the Marcionites and others, wv ovBsvX Koivwvovfjiev 
ol yvwpiZovTeg a^iovg koi aaej^elg, Kcit a^iKOvg, koI avofxovg 
avTOvg vTTap\ovTag, koi aviX tov tov 'I»)<7oi)v ai^Hv ovofiari 
fiovov bjiioXoysiv Koi Xpiariavovg iavToiig Xiyovcriv, 6v rpoirov ol 
£v ToXg tdvtai to ovofia tov Qeov lTriypa(}}ov<n Tolg yiipoTroLi]Taig. 
We are at length then arrived to this issue ; the belief 
and profession of all the necessary saving truths of the gos- 
pel, without the manifestation of an internal principle of the 
mind, inconsistent with the belief of them, or adding of other 
things in profession, that are destructive to the truths so 
professed, is the bond of the unity of the visible professing 
church of Christ. Where this is found in any man, or num- 
ber of men, though otherwise accompanied with many fail- 
ings, sins, and errors, the unity of the faith is by him or them 
so far preserved, as that they are thereby rendered members 
of the visible church of Christ, and are by him so esteemed. 

Let us suppose a man by a bare reading of the Scriptures, 
brought to him by some providence of God (as finding the 
Bible in the highway), and evidencing their authority by 
their own light, instructed in the knowledge of the truths of 
the gospel, who shall thereupon make profession of them 
amongst them with whom he lives, although he be thou- 
sands of miles distant from any particular church wherein 
the ordinances of Christ are administered ; nor perhaps 
knows there is any such church in the world, much less hath 
ever heard of the pope of Rome (which is utterly impossible 
he should, supposing him instructed only by reading of the 
Scriptures); I ask whether this man, making open profession 
of Christ according to the gospel, shall be esteemed a mem- 
ber of the visible church in the sense insisted on or no? 

That this may not seem to be such a fiction of a case as 
may involve in it any impossible supposition, which being 


granted, will hold a door open for other absurdities ; I shall 
exemplify it in its most material * postulata' by a story of un- 
questionable truth. 

Elmacinus, who wrote the story of the Saracens, being- 
secretary to one of the caliphs of Bagdad, informs us, that 
in the year 309 of their Hegira, about the year 921 of our 
account, Muctadinus the caliph of Bagdad by the counsel 
of his wise men, commanded one Huseinus the son of Maii- 
sor to be crucified for certain poems, whereof some verses 
are recited by the historian, and are thus rendered by 
Erpenius : 

' Laus ei qui manifestavit humilitatem suam, celavit inter 
nos divinitatem suam permeantem donee ccepit in creatura 
sua apperere sub specie edentis et bibentis ; 

' Jam que aspexit eum creatura ejus, sicuti supercilium 
obliquum respiciat spercilium.' 

From which remnant of his work it is easily to perceive, 
that the crime whereof be was accused, and for which he 
was condemned and crucified, was the confession of Jesus 
Christ the Son of God. As he went to the cross he added, 
says the same author, these that follow : 

'Compotur mens nihil plane habet in se iniquitatis, bi- 
bendum mihi dedit simile ejus quod bibit fecit hospitem in 

And so died constantly (as it appears) in the profession 
of the Lord Jesus. 

Bagdad was a city built not long before by the Saracens, 
wherein it is probable there were not at that time any Chris- 
tians abiding : add now to this story what our Saviour speaks, 
Luke xii. 8. 'I say unto you, whosoever shall confess me be- 
fore men, him shall the Son of man confess before the angels 
of God ;' and considering the unlimitedness of the expression 
as to any outward consideration, and tell me whether this 
man, or any other in the like condition, be not to be reck- 
oned as a subject of Christ's visible kingdom, a member of 
his church in the world. 

Let us now recall to mind what we have in design. Grant- 
ing for our process' sake, that schism is the breach of any 
unity instituted and appointed by Christ, in what sense so- 
ever it is spoken of, our inquiry is, whether we are guilty in 
any kind of such a breach, or the breach of such a unity. 

182 OF SCHISxM. 

This then now insisted on being the union of the church of 
Christ, as visibly professing the word, according to his own 
mind, when I have laid down some general foundations of 
what is to ensue, I shall consider whether we are guilty of 
the breach of this union, and argue the several pretensions 
of men against us, especially of the Romanists, on this 

1. I confess that this union of the general visible church 
was once comprehensive of all the churches in the world ; 
the faith once delivered to the saints being received amongst 
them. From this unity it is taken also for granted, that a 
separation is made, and it continues not as it was at the first 
institution of the churches of Christ, though some small 
breaches were made upon it immediately after their first 
planting. The Papists say, as to the European churches 
(wherein their and our concernment principally lies), this 
breach was made in the days of our forefathers ; by their 
departure from the common faith in those ages, though be- 
gun by a few some ages before. We are otherwise minded, 
and affirm, that this succession was made by them, and their 
predecessors in apostacy, in several generations by several 
degrees ; which we manifest by comparing the present pro- 
fession and worship with that in each kind which we know 
was at first embraced, because we find it instituted. At 
once then, we say this schism lies at their doors, who not 
only have deviated from the common faith themselves, but 
do also actually cause and attempt to destroy temporally 
and eternally all that will not join with them therein. For as 
the mystery of iniquity began to work in the apostles' days, 
so we have a testimony beyond exception in the complaint 
of those that lived in them, that not long after the opera- 
tion of it became more effectual, andthe infection of it to be 
more diffused in the church. This is that of Hegesippus in 
Eusebius Eccles. Hist. lib. 3. cap. 26. who affirms that the 
church remained a virgin (whilst the apostles lived) pure and 
uncorrupted; but when that sacred society had ended its 
pilgrimage, and the generation that heard and received the 
word from them were fallen asleep, many false doctrines 
were preached and divulged therein. 

I know who hath endeavoured to elude the sense of this 
complaint, as though it concerned not any thing in the 


church, but the despisers and persecutors of it, the Gnostics. 
But yet I know also, that no man would so do but such a 
one as hath a just confidence of his own ability to make 
passable at least any thing that he shall venture to say or 
utter. For why should that be referred by Hegesippus to 
the ages after the apostles and their hearers were dead, with 
an exception against its being so in their days ; when, if the 
person thus expounding this testimony may be credited, the 
Gnostics were never more busy nor prevalent than in that 
time which alone is excepted from the evil here spoken of. 
Nor can I understand how the opposition and persecution 
of the church should be insinuated to be the deflowering 
and violating of its chastity, which is commonly a great pu- 
rifying of it ; so that speaking of that broaching and preach- 
ing of errors, which was not in the apostles' times, nor in 
the time of their hearers, the chiefest time of the rage and 
madness of the Gnostics ; such as spotted the pure and un- 
corrupted virginity of the church, which nothing can attain 
unto that is foreign unto it, and that which gave original 
unto sedition in the church : I am of the mind, and so I con- 
ceive was Eusebius that recited those words, that the good 
man intended corruptions in the church, not out of it, nor 
oppositions to it. 

The process made in after ages, in a deviation from the 
unity of the faith, till it arrived to that height wherein it is 
now stated in the Papal apostacy, hath been the work of 
others to declare ; therein then I stated the rise and progress 
of the present schism (if it may be so called) of the visible 

2. As to our concernment in this business, they that will 
make good a charge against us, that we are departed from 
the unity of the church catholic, it is incumbent on them to 
evidence that we either do not believe and make profession 
of all the truths of the gospel indispensably necessary to be 
known, that a man may have a communion with God in Christ 
and be saved. Or, 

2. That doing so, in the course of our lives we manifest 
and declare a principle that is utterly inconsistent with the 
belief of those truths which outwardly we profess. Or, 

3. That we add unto them, in opinion or worship, that, 
or those things, which are in very deed destructive of them, 



or do any way render them insufficient to be saving unto us. 
If neither of these three can be proved against a man, he may 
justly claim the privilege of being a member of the visible 
church of Christ in the world, though he never in all his life 
be a member of a particular church ; which yet, if he have 
fitting opportunity and advantage for it, is his duty to be. 

And thus much be spoken as to the state and condition 
of the visible catholic church, and in this sense we grant it 
to be, and the unity thereof. In the late practice of men, 
that expression of the catholic church hath been an ' indivi- 
duum vagum,' few knowing what to make of it, a ' cothurnus,' 
that every one accommodated at pleasure to his own prin- 
ciples and pretensions. I have no otherwise described it 
than did Irenseus of old : said he, ' Judicabit omnes eos, qui 
sunt extra veritatem, id est, extra ecclesiam;' lib. 4. cap. 62. 
and on the same account, is a particular church sometimes 
called by some, the catholic : ' Quandoque ego Remigius 
episcopus de hac luce transiero, tu mihi hseres esto, sancta 
et venerabilis ecclesia catholica urbis remorum ;' Flodo- 
ardus, lib. 1. 

In the sense insisted on was it so frequently described 
by the ancients. 

So again Irenseus: ' Etsi in mundo loquelss dissimiles 
sunt, sed tamen virtus traditionis una et eademest, et neque 
hse, quae in Germania sunt fundatse, ecclesise aliter credunt, 
aut aliter tradunt, neque has, quae in Hibernis sunt, neque 
hse quae in Celtis, neque hae, quas in Oriente, neque hae quae 
in ^gypto, neque hae quae in Lybia, neque hse quae in medio 
mundi constitutae : Sed sicut sol creatura Dei in universo 
mundo unus et idem est, sic et lumen et prsedicatio veritatis 
ubique lucet;' lib. 1. cap 3. To the same purpose Justin Mar- 
tyr, Ovde 'iv yap 6\o)g larX to yevog av^pwTTOJv tire [iap^apwv, 
£iTe EXX^vwv, the airXiog, wTiviovv ovofiari Trpoaayogivofxiviov 
rj ajua^ojSituv, r/ aoiKUiv KaXovfievov, tj ev aKtivaig KTr]V0Tp6(j)U)v 
oIkwvtwv Iv oig fxrj dta tov ovofxarog tov aravpto^ivTog 'I)/<tow 
ivX^"- KOt tvxapiaTiaL t((> Trarpl koi TTOtrjr^ Tb)v oXwv yivojvrai. 
Dialog, cum Tryphone. 

The generality of all sorts of men worshipping God in 
Jesus Christ, is the church we speak of; whose extent in 
his days Tertullian thus related : * In quem alium credide- 
runt gentes universae, nisi in ipsum, qui jamvenit? Cui 


enim alii, gentes crediderunt, Parthi, Medi, et Elamitae, et 
qui habitant Mesopotamiam, Armeniam, Phrygiam, et im- 
morantes Egyptum et regionem Africse, quae est trans Cyre- 
nem Romani, at incolse tunc, et in Hierusalem Judaei et 
gentes cseteree, ut jam Getulonum varietates et Maurorum 
nulli fines Hispanarum omnes termini, et Galliarum diversse 
nationes et Brittanorum inaccessa loca Romanis, Christo 
vero subdita et Sarmatarum et Dacorum et Germanorum et 
Scytharum et abditarum multarum gentium et provinciaruni 
et insularum multarum nobis ignotarum, et quse enumerare 
non possumus, in quibus omnibus locis Christi nomen, qui 
jam venit, regnat ad Judseos.' 

Some have said, and do yet say, that the church in this 
sense is a visible, organical, political body. That it is visible 
is confessed, both its matter and form bespeak visibility, 
as an inseparable adjunct of its subsisting. That it is a 
body also in the general sense wherein that word is used, or 
a society of men embodied by the profession of the same 
faith, is also granted. Organical, in this business, is an 
ambiguous term ; the use of it is plainly metaphorical, 
taken from the members, instruments, and organs of a natu- 
ral body; because Paul hath said, that in 'one body there 
are many members,' as eyes, feet, hands, yet the body is but 
one ; so is the church. It hath been usually said, that the 
church is an organical body : what church Paul speaks of in 
that place is not evident; but what he alludes unto, is. The 
difference he speaks of, in the individual persons of the 
church, is not in respect of office, power, and authority, but 
gifts or graces, and usefulness on that account ; such an 
organical body we confess the church catholic visible to be; 
in it are persons endued with variety of gifts and graces for 
the benefit and ornament of the whole. 

An organical political body is a thing of another nature ; 
a politic body or commonwealth, is a society of a certain 
portion of mankind united under some form of rule, or go- 
vernment, whose supreme and subordinate administration is 
committed to several persons, according to the tenor of such 
laws and customs as that society hath, or doth consent unto. 
This also is said to be organical on a metaphorical account, 
because the officers and members that are in it, and over it. 


hold proportion to the more noble parts of the body. Kings 
are said to be heads, counsellors o^S'aXjUoi jSao-tXewv : to the 
constitution of such a commonwealth distinctly, as such, it 
is required that the whole hath the same laws ; but not that 
only. Two nations most distinct and different, on the ac- 
count of other ends and interests, may yet have the same in- 
dividual laws and customs for the distribution of justice, and 
preservation of peace among themselves. An entire form of 
regimen and government peculiar thereunto is required for 
the constitution of a distinct political body. In this sense we 
deny the church whereof we speak to be an organical, political 
body, as not having indeed any of the requisites thereunto. 
Not one law of order; the same individual moral law, or law 
for moral duties it hath ; but a law given to the whole as such, 
for order, polity, rule, it hath not. All the members of it are 
obliged to the same law of order and polity in their several 
societies ; but the whole, as such, hath no such law : it hath 
no such head or governor as such ; nor will it suffice to 
say, that Christ is its head ; for if, as a visible political body, 
it hath a political head, that head also must be visible. The 
commonwealth of the Jews was a political body ; of this God 
was the head and king : hence their historian saith their go- 
vernment was QaoKparia ; and when they would choose a king, 
God said they rejected him who was their political head ; to 
whom a shekel was paid yearly as tribute, called the * shekel 
of the sanctuary.' Now they rejected him, not by asking a 
king simply, but a king after the manner of the nations ; yet, 
that it might be a visible political body, it required a visible 
supreme magistrate to the whole; which when there was 
none, all polity was dissolved amongst them ; Judges xxi. 
Christ is the head of every particular church, its lawgiver, 
and ruler : but yet to make a church a visible, organical, po- 
litical body, it is required that it hath visible governors and 
rulers, and of the whole. Nor can it be said that it is a poli- 
tical body that hath a supreme government and order in it, 
as it is made up and constituted of particular churches; and 
that in the representatives convened doth the supreme visi- 
ble power of it consist; for such a convention in the judg- 
ment of all ought to be extraordinary only ; in ours is utterly 
impossible, and ' de facto' was not among the churches for 


three hundred years, yea, never: besides, the visible catholic 
church is not made up of particular churches as such ; for 
if so, then no man can be member of it but by virtue of 
his being a member of some visible church, which is false : 
profession of the truth, as before stated, is the formal reason 
and cause of any person's relation to the church visible, which 
he hath thereby, whether he belong to any particular church 
or no. 

Let it be evidenced, that the universal church whereof 
we speak hath any law or rule of order and government, as 
such, given unto it; or that it is in possibility as such, to 
put any such law or rule into execution ; that it hath any ho- 
mogeneous ruler or rulers that have the care of the admi- 
nistration of the rule and government of the whole, as such, 
committed to him or them by Jesus Christ ; that as it hath 
the same common spiritual and known orders and interest, 
and the same specifical ecclesiastical rule given to all its 
members, so it hath the same political interest, order, and 
conversation, as such ; or that it hath any one cause consti- 
tutive of a political body, whereby it is such, or hath at all 
the form of an instituted church, or is capable of any such 
form ; and they that do so shall be farther attended to. 



Romanists' charge of schism on the account of separation from the church 
catholic proposed to consideration. The importance of this plea on both 
sides. The sum of their charge. The church of Rome not the church 
catholic: not a church in any sense. Of antichrist in the temple. The 
catholic church how intrusted with interpretation of Scripture. Of in- 
terpretation of Scripture by tradition. The interest of the Roman church 
herein discharged. All necessary truths believed by Protestants. No 
contrary principle by them manifested. Profane persons no members of 
the church catholic. Of the late Roman proselytes. Of the Donatists. 
Their business reported, and case stated. The present state of things un- 
suited to those of old. Apostacy from the unity of the church catholic 
charged on the Romanists. Their claim to be that church sanguinary, 
false. Their plea to this purpose considered. The blasphemous manage- 
ment of their plea by some of late. The whole dissolved. Their infer- 
ences on their plea practically prodigious. Their apostacy proved by 
instances. Their grand argument in this cause proposed: anstvered. 
Consequences of denying the Roman church, to be a church of Christ, 

Let us see now what as to conscience can be charged on 
us, Protestants I mean, who are all concerned herein, as to 
the breach of this union. The Papists are the persons that 
undertake to manage this charge against us. To lay aside 
the whole plea * subesse Romano pontifici/ and all those 
fears, wherewith they juggled, when the whole world sat in 
darkness, which they do now use at the entrance of their 
charge. The sum of what they insist upon firstly, is. The 
catholic church is intrusted with the interpretation of the 
Scripture, and declaration of the truths therein contained, 
which being by it so declared, the not receiving of them im- 
plicitly, or explicitly, that is the disbelieving of them as so 
proposed and declared, cuts off any man from being a mem- 
ber of the church ; Christ himself having said, that he that 
hears not the church, is to be as a heathen man or publican; 
which church they are, that is certain. It is all one then 
what we believe, or do not believe, seeing that we believe 
not all that the catholic church proposeth to be believed, 
and what we do believe, we believe not on that account. 

Ans. Their insisting on this plea so much as tlicy do, is 
sufficient to evince their despair of making good by in- 


stance our failure in respect of the way and principles by 
which the unity of the visible church may be lost or broken. 
Fail they in this, they are gone ; and if they carry this plea, 
we are all at their disposal. The sum of it is, the catholic 
church is intrusted with sole power of delivering what is 
truth, and what is necessary to be believed. This catholic 
church is the •church of Rome ; that is, the pope, or what 
else may in any juncture of time serve their interest. But 
as it is known, 

1. We deny their church, as it is styled, to be the ca- 
tholic church, or as such, any part of it, as particular 
churches are called or esteemed. So that of all men in the 
world, they are least concerned in this assertion. Nay, I 
shall go farther; suppose all the members of the Roman 
church to be sound in the faith, as to all necessary truths, 
and no way to prejudice the advantages and privileges 
which accrue to them by the profession thereof, whereby 
the several individuals of it would be true members of the 
catholic church ; yet I should not only deny it to be the 
catholic church, but also, abiding in its present order and 
constitution, being that which by themselves it is supposed 
to be, to be any particular church of Christ at all; as want- 
ing many things necessary to constitute them so, and having 
many things destructive utterly to the very essence and 
being of that order that Christ hath appointed in his 

The best plea that I know for their church-state, is, that 
antichrist sits in the temple of God. Now although we 
might justly omit the examination of this pretence, until 
those, who are concerned in it, will professedly own it, as 
their plea ; yet as it lies in our way, in the thoughts of 
some, I say to it, that I am not so certain that Ka^laai hq 
Tov vaov Tov ^eov, signifies to ' sit in the temple of God ;' 
seeing a learned man long ago thought it rather to be a ' set- 
ting up against the temple of God;' Aug. de Civitate Dei, 
lib. 10. cap. 59. But grant the sense of the expression to 
be, as it is usually received, it imports no more, but that the 
man of sin shall set up his power against God, in the midst 
of them, who by their outward visible profession have right 
to be called his temple, which entitles him, and his copart- 


ners in apostacy, to the name of the church, as much as 
changing of money, and selling of cattle, were ordinances 
of God under the old temple, when by some men's prac- 
tising of them in it, it was made a den of thieves. 

2. Though as to the plea of them, and their interest, 
with whom we have to do, we have nothing requiring our 
judgments in the case ; yet * ex abundanti,' we add, that we 
deny that by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ the 
catholic church visible is in any sense intrusted with such 
an interpretation of Scripture, as that her declaration of 
truth should be the measure of what should be believed ; or 
that, as such, it is intrusted with any power of that nature 
at all, or is enabled to propose a rule of faith to be received, 
as so proposed, to the most contemptible individual in the 
world ; or that it is possible that any voice of it should be 
heard or understood, but only this, I believe the necessary 
saving truths contained in the Scripture ; or that it can be 
consulted withal, or is, as such, intrusted with any power, 
authority, or jurisdiction; nor shall we ever consent, that 
the office and authority of the Scriptures be actually taken 
from it, on any pretence. As to that of our Saviour, of 
telling the church, it is so evidently spoken of a particular 
church, that may immediately be consulted in case of dif- 
ference between brethren ; and does so no way relate to the 
business in hand, that I shall not trouble the reader with a 
debate of it. But do we not receive the Scripture itself 
upon the authority of the church ? I say if we did so, yet 
this concerns not Rome, which we account no church at all. 
That we have received the Scripture from the church of 
Rome at first, that is, so much as the book itself, is an in- 
tolerable figment. But it is worse, to say that we receive 
and own their authority, from the authority of any church, 
or all the churches in the world. It is the expression of 
our learned Whitaker, ' Qui Scripturam non credit esse 
divinam, nisi propter ecclesise vocem, Christianus non est.' 
To deny that the Scripture hath immediate force and effi- 
cacy to evince its own authority, is plainly to deny them; 
on that account being brought unto us, by the providence 
of God (wherein I comprise all subservient helps of human 
testimony), we receive them, and on no other. 


But is not the Scripture to be interpreted according lo 
the tradition of the catholic church? and are not those inter- 
pretations so made to be received ? 

I say, among all the figments that these latter ages have 
invented ; I shall add, amongst the true stories of Lucian, 
there is not one more remote from truth than this assertion ; 
that anyone text of Scripture maybe interpreted according 
to the universal tradition of the catholic church, and be 
made appear so to be, any farther than that in general the 
catholic church hath not believed any such sense to be in 
any portion of Scripture, which to receive, were destructive 
of salvation. And therefore the Romanists tell us, that the 
present church (that is theirs) is the keeper and interpreter 
of these traditions ; or rather, that its power, authority, and 
infallibility, being the same that it hath been in former ages, 
what it determines, is to be received to be the tradition of 
the catholic church ; for the trial whereof, whether it be so 
or no, there is no rule but its own determination ; which if 
they can persuade us to acquiesce in, I shall grant that 
they have acquired such an absolute dominion over us, and 
our faith, that it is fit that we should be soul and body at 
their disposal. 

It being then the work of the Scripture to propose the 
saving truths of Christ (the belief and profession whereof 
are necessary to make a man a member of the church) so as 
to make them of indispensable necessity to be received ; if 
they can from them convince us that we do not believe and 
profess all and every one of the truths or articles of faith 
so necessary as expressed, we shall fall down under the au- 
thority of such conviction ; if not, we profess our con- 
sciences to be no more concerned in the authority of their 
church, than we judge their church to be, in the privileges 
of the church catholic. But, 

2. It may be we are chargeable with manifesting some 
principles of profaneness, wherewith the belief of the truth 
we profess hath an absolute inconsistency : for those who 
are liable and obnoxious to this charge, I say, let them 
plead for themselves ; for let them profess what they will, 
and cry out ten thousand times, that they are Christians, I 
shall never acknowledge them for others than visible ene- 
mies of the cross, kingdom, and church of Christ. Traitors 


and rebels are not ' de facto' subjects of that king or ruler 
in reference to whom they are so. Of some, who said they 
were Jews, Christ said they ' lied, and were not, but the sy- 
nagoge of Satan ;' Rev. ii. 9. Though such as these say they 
are Christians, I will be bold to say, they lie, they are not, 
but slaves of Satan. Though they live within the pale, as 
they call it, of the church (the catholic church being an 
enclosure as to profession, not place), yet they are not within 
it, nor of it, any more than a Jew, or Mahometan within the 
the same precinct : suppose they have been baptized, yet if 
their belly be their God, and their lives dedicated to Satan, 
all the advantage they have thereby, is, that they are apos- 
tates and renegadoes. 

That we have added any thing of our own, making pro- 
fession of any thing in religion absolutely destructive to the 
fundamentals we profess, I know not that we are accused, see- 
ing our crime is asserted to consist in detracting, not adding. 
Now unless we are convinced of failing on one of these three 
accounts, we shall not at all question but that we abide in 
the unity of the visible catholic church. 

It is the common cry of the Romanists that we are schis- 
matics. Why so ? because we have separated ourselves from 
the communion of the catholic church. What this catholic 
is, and how little they are concerned in it, hath been de- 
clared. How much they have prevailed themselves with ig- 
norant souls by this plea, we know. Nor was any other 
success to be expected in respect of many whom they have 
won over to themselves^ who being persons ignorant of the 
righteousness of God, and the power of the faith they have 
professed; not having had experience of communion with 
the Lord Jesus, under the conduct of them; have been, upon 
every provocation and temptation, a ready prey to deceivers. 

Take a little view of their late proselytes, and it will 
quickly appear what little cause they have to boast in them. 
With some by the craft and folly of some relations they are 
admitted to treat, when they are drawing to their dissolution. 
These for the most part having been persons of dissolute and 
profligate lives ; never having tasted the power of any reli- 
gion; whatever they have professed in their weakness and 
disturbed dying thoughts, may be apt to receive any impres- 
sion that with confidence and violence is imposed upon 


them. Besides, it is a far easier proposal to be reconciled 
to the church of Rome, and so by purgatory to get to hea- 
ven, than to be told of regeneration, repentance, faith, and 
the covenant of grace, things of difficulty to such poor crea- 
tures. Others that have been cast down from their hopes 
and expectations, or out from their enjoyments, by the late 
revolution in these nations, have by their discontent, or 
necessity, made themselves an easy prey to their zeal. What 
hath been the residue of their proselytes ? What one who 
hath ever manifested himself to share in the power of our reli- 
gion, or was not prepared by principles of superstition almost 
as deep as their own, have they prevailed on ? But I shall 
not farther insist on these things. To return ; 

Our communion with the visible catholic church is in the 
unity of the faith only. The breach of this union, and therein 
a relinquishment of the communion of the church, lies in a 
relinquishment of, or some opposition to, some or all of the 
saving necessary truths of the gospel. Now this is not 
schism, but heresy or apostacy ; or it is done by an open 
profligateness of life : so that indeed this charge is nothing 
at all to the purpose in hand : though through grace, in a 
confidence of our own innocency, we are willing to debate 
the guilt of the crime under any name or title whatever. 

Unto what hath been spoken, I shall only add the re- 
moval of some common objections, with a recharge on them, 
with whom principally we have as yet had to do, and come 
to the last thing proposed. The case of some of old, who 
were charged with schism for separating from the catholic 
church on an account wholly and clearly distinct from that of 
a departure from the faith, is an instance of the judgment of 
antiquity, lying in an opposition to the notion of departure 
from the church now delivered. Doth not Augustine, do 
not the rest of his orthodox contemporaries, charge the Do- 
natists with schism, because they departed from the catho- 
lic church ? And doth not the charge rise up with equal ef- 
ficacy against you as them ? At least doth it not give you 
the nature of schism in another sense than is by you granted. 

The reader knows sufficiently, if he hath at all taken no- 
tice of these things, where to find this cloud scattered, without 
the least annoyance or detriment to the Protestant cause, or 
ofany concerned in that name, however by lesser differences 

VOL. XIX. o 


diversified among themselves. I shall not repeat what by 
others hath been at large insisted on. In brief, put the whole 
church of God into that condition of liberty and soundness 
of doctrine, which it was in when the great uproar was made 
by the Donatists, and we shall be concerned to give in our 
judgments concerning them. 

To press an example of former days, as binding unto duty, 
or convincing of evil, in respect of any now, without stating 
the whole ' substratum' of the business, and complete cause, 
as it was in the days and seasons wherein the example was 
given, we judge it not equal. Yet although none can with 
ingenuity press me with the crime they were guilty of, un- 
less they can prove themselves to be instated in the very 
same condition, as they were against whom that crime was 
committed, which I am fully assured none in the world can; 
the communion of the catholic church then pleaded for be- 
ing, in the judgment of all, an effect of men's free liberty and 
choice, now pressed as an issue of the tyranny of some few; 
yet I shall freely deliver my thoughts concerning the Do- 
natists, which will be comprehensive also of those other, 
that suffer with them in former and after ages under the 
same imputation. 

1 . Then, I am persuaded, that in the matter of fact, the 
Donatists were some of them deceived, and others of them 
did deceive, in charging Csecilianus to be ordained by ' tra- 
ditores ;' which they made the main ground of their separa- 
tion, however they took in other things (as is usual) into 
their defence afterward. Whether any of themselves were 
ordained by such persons, as they are recharged, I know not. 

2. On supposition that he was so, and they that ordained 
him were known to him to have been so ; yet he being not 
guilty of the crime, renouncing communion with them 
therein, and themselves repenting of their sin, as did Peter, 
whose sin exceeded theirs, this was no just cause of casting 
him out of communion, he walking and acting in all other 
things suitable to principles by themselves acknowledged. 

3. That on supposition they had just cause hereupon to 
renounce the communion of Csecilianus, which according 
to the principles of those days, retained by themselves, 
was most false ; yet they had no ground of separating from 
the church of Carthage, where were many elders not ob- 


noxious to that charge. Indeed to raise a jealousy of a fault 
in any man, which is denied b)'^ him, which ue are not able to 
prove, which, if it were proved, were of little or no import- 
ance, and on pretence thereof to separate from all who will 
not believe what we surmise, is a wild and unchristian course 
of proceeding. 

4. Yet grant farther, that men of tender consciences, re- 
gulated by the principle then generally received, might be 
startled at the communion of that church, wherein Caecili- 
anus did preside ; yet nothing but the height of madness, 
pride, and corrupt fleshly interest, could make men declare 
hostility against all the churches of Christ in the world, who 
would communicate with, or did not condemn that church; 
which was to regulate all the churches in the world by their 
own fancy and imagination. 

5. Though men out of such pride and folly might judge 
all the residue of Christians to be faulty and guilty in this 
particular, of not condemning and separating from the church 
of Carthage ; yet to proceed to cast them out from the very 
name of Christians, and so disannul their privileges and or- 
dinances, that they had been made partakers of, as mani- 
festly they did, by rebaptizing all that entered into their 
communion, was such unparalleled pharisaism and tyranny, 
as was wholly to be condemned, and intolerable. 

6. The divisions, outrages, and enthusiastical furies and 
riots that befell them, or they fell into, in their way, were in 
my judgment tokens of the hand of God against them : so 
that, upon the whole matter, tlieir undertaking and enter- 
prise was utterly undue and unlawful. 

I shall farther add, as to the management of the cause 
by their adversaries, that there is in their writings, especi- 
ally those of Austin, for the most part a sweet and gra- 
cious spirit breathing, full of zeal for the glory of God, 
peace, love, union among Christians ; and as to the issue of 
the cause under debate, it is evident that they did suffi- 
ciently foil their adversaries on principles then generally 
confessed, and acknowledged on all hands, though some of 
them seem to have been considering, learned, and dexterous 

How little we are at this day, in any contests that are 
managed amongst us about the things of God, concerned 

() 2 


in those differences of theirs, these few considerations will 
evince, yet notwithstanding all this, I must take liberty to 
profess, that although the fathers justly charged the Dona- 
tists with disclaiming of all the] churches of Christ, as a 
thing wicked and unjust, yet many of the principles whereon 
they did it were such, as I cannot assent unto. Yea, I shall 
say, that though Austin was suflBciently clearjn the^nature 
of the invisible church catholic, yet his frequent'confound- 
ing it with a mistaken notion of the visible general church, 
hath given no small occasion of stumbling, and sundry un- 
happy entanglements to divers in after ages. His own book 
' De Unitate Ecclesise,' which contains the sum and substance 
of what he had written elsewhere, or disputed against the 
Donatists, would afford me instances enough to make good 
my assertion, were it now under consideration or proof. 

Being then thus come off from this part of our charge 
and accusation of schism, for the relinquishment of the ca- 
tholic visible church, which as we have not done, so to do 
is not schism, but a sin of another nature and importance; 
according to the method proposed, a recharge on the Ro- 
manists, in reference to their present condition and its un- 
suitableness to the unity of the church, evinced, must briefly 

Their claim is known to be no less, than that they are 
this catholic church, out of whose communion there is no 
salvation (as the Donatists was of old): that also the union 
of this church consists in its subjection to its head the pope, 
and worshipping of God according to his appointment, in 
and with his several qualifications and attendences. Now 
this claim of theirs, to our apprehension and consciences, is, 

1. Cruel and sanguinary ; condemning millions to hell, 
that invocate and call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
believing all things that are written in the Old and New Tes- 
taments, for no other cause in the world, but because they 
are not convinced that it is their duty to give up reason, 
faith, soul, and all to him, and his disposal, whom they have 
not only unconquerable presumptions against as an evil and 
wicked person, but are also resolved, and fully persuaded 
in their consciences, that he is an enemy to their dear Lord 
Jesus Christ, out of love to whom, they cannot bear him. 
Especially will this appear to be so, if we consider thei-r far- 

01' SCHISM. 197 

ther improvement of this principle to the killing, hanging, 
torturing to death, burning of all that they are able, who 
are in the condition before mentioned. This upon the mat- 
ter is the great principle of their religion. All persons that 
will not be subject (at least in spiritual things) to the pope, 
are to be hanged or burned in this world, or by other means 
destroyed, and damned for ever hereafter. This is the sub- 
stance of the gospel they preach, the centre wherein all the 
lines of their writings do meet; and to this must the holy, 
pure word of God be wrested to give countenance. Blessed 
be the God of our salvation, who as he never gave merciless 
men power over the souls and eternal condition of his saints, 
so he hath began to work a deliverance of the outward con- 
dition of his people from their rage and cruelty ; which in 
his good time he will perfect in their irrecoverable ruin. In 
the mean time, I say, the guilt of the blood of millions of in- 
nocent persons, yea, saints of God, lies at their doors. And 
although things are so stated in this age, that in some nations 
they have left none to kill ; in others are restrained, that they 
can kill no more ; yet retaining the same principles with 
their forefathers, and justifying them in their paths of blood, 
I look upon them all as guilty of murder, and so not to have 
eternal life abiding in them; being as Cain of that wicked 
one, who slew his brother. I speak not of individuals, but 
of those in general that constitute their governing church. 

2, Most false, and such as nothing but either judiciary 
hardness from God, sending men strong delusions that 
they might believe a lie, or the dominion of cursed lusts, 
■pride, ambition, covetousness, desire of rule, can lie at the 
bottom of. For, 

1. It is false, that the union of the catholic church, in 
the notion now under consideration, consists in subjection 
to any officer or officers ; or that it hath any peculiar form, 
constituting one church in relation to them, or in joint par- 
ticipation of the same individual ordinances whatever, by 
all the members of it; or that any such oneness is at all pos- 
sible ; or any unity whatever, but that of the faith which 
by it is believed, and of the truth professed. 

2. It is most ridiculous, that they are this catholic 
church, or that their communion is comprehensive of it in 
its latitude. He must be blind, uncharitable, a judge of 


what he cannot see or know, who can once entertain a 
thought of any such thing. Let us run a little over the 
foundations of this assertion. 

First, Peter was the prince of the apostles. It is denied; 
arguments lie clear against it. The gospel, the acts of the 
apostles, all confute it. The express testimony of Paul lies 
against it ; our Saviour denies it, that it was so, gives order 
that it should not be so. The name and thing is foreign to 
the times of the apostles. It was a ministry, not a princi- 
pality, they had committed to them -, therein they were all 
equal. It is from that spirit, whence they inquired after a 
kingdom and dominion before they had received the Spirit 
of the gospel, as it was dispensed after Christ's ascension, 
that such assertions are now insisted on. But let that be 
supposed, what is next? He had a universal monarchical 
jurisdiction committed to him over all Christians. For 
Christ said, ' Tu es Petrus, tibi dabo claves, et pasce oves 
meas.' But these terms are barbarous to the Scripture ; 
monarchy is not the English of 'vos autem non sic' Juris- 
diction is a name of a right, for the exercise of civil power. 
Christ hath left no such thing as jurisdiction, in the sense 
wherein it is now used, to Peter or his church. Men do 
but make sport and expose themselves to the contempt of 
considering persons, who talk of the institutions of our Lord, 
in the language of the last ages ; or expressions suitable to 
what was in practice in them. He that shall compare the 
fraternal church admonition and censures of the primitive 
institution, with the courts, powers, and jurisdictions, set 
up in pretence and colour of them in after ages, will admire 
at the likeness and correspondency of the one with the 
other. The administration of ecclesiastical jurisdiction in 
the papacy, and under the prelacy here in England, had no 
more relation to any institution of Christ (unless it be, that 
it effectually excluded the exercise of his institutions), than 
other civil courts of justice among Christians have. Peter 
had the power and authority of an apostle in and over the 
churches of Christ, to teach, to instruct them, to ordain 
elders in them by their consent wherever he came ; so had 
the rest of the apostles. But as to this monarchy of Peter's 
over the rest of the apostles, let them shew what authority 
he ever exercised over them, while he and they lived to- 



gether : we read that he was once reproved by one of them, 
not that he ever reproved the meanest of them. If Christ 
made the grant of pre-eminency to him, when he said, * Tu 
es Petrus,' why did the apostles inquire afterward, who 
among them should be greatest? And why did not our 
Saviour on that dispute plainly satisfy them, that Peter 
was to be chief? But chose rather to so determine the 
question, as to evince them of the vanity of any such in- 
quiry? And yet the determination of it is that that lies at 
the bottom of the papal monarchy. And why doth Paul 
say, that he was in nothing inferior to any of the apostles, 
when (if these gentlemen say true), he was in many things 
inferior to Peter ? What special place hath the name of Peter 
in the foundation of the new Jerusalem ? Rev. xxi. 14. 
What exaltation hath his throne among the twelve, whereon 
the apostles judge the world, and house of Israel, Matt, 
xix. 28. What eminency of commission for teaching all 
nations, or forgiving sins ? What had his keys more than 
those of the rest of the apostles, John xx. 3. What was pe- 
culiar in that triple command of feeding the sheep of Christ, 
but his triple denial, that preceded ? Is an injunction for 
the performance of duty, a grant of new authority? But 
that we may make some progress, suppose this also ; Why, 
this power, privilege, and jurisdiction of Peter was to be 
transferred to his successors, when the power of all the 
other apostles, as such, died with them. But what pre- 
tence, or colour of it, is there for this assertion? What one 
tittle or iMTu is there in the whole book of God, giving the 
least countenance to this imagination ? what distinction 
between Peter and the rest of the apostles on this account, 
is once made, or in any kind insinuated ? Certainly this was 
a thing of great importance to the churches, to have been 
acquainted with it. When Paul so sadly tells the church, 
that after his departure grievous wolves would spoil the 
flock, and many among themselves would arise, speaking 
perverse things, to draw disciples after them ; why did he 
not give them the least direction to make their address to 
him, that should succeed Peter in his power and office, for 
relief and redress ? Strange, that it should be of necessity 
to salvation to be subject to 1iim, in whom this power of 
Peter was to be continued ; that he was to be one, in whom 

200 OF SCHIS.M. 

the saints were to be consummated ; that in relation to hira 
the unity of the catholic church, to be preserved under pain 
of damnation, should consist, and yet not a word spoken of 
him in the whole word of God ! 

But they say, * Peter had not only an apostolical power 
with the rest of the apostles, but also an ordinary power 
that was to be continued in the church.' But the Scripture 
being confessedly silent of any such thing, let us hear what 
proof is tendered for the establishment of this uncouth as- 
sertion. Herein then thus they proceed: It will be con- 
fessed that Jesus Christ ordained his church wisely, accord- 
ing to his infinite wisdom, which he exercised about his 
body. Now to this wisdom of his, for the prevention of 
innumerable evils, it is agreeable, that he should appoint 
some one person with that power of declaring truth, and of 
jurisdiction to enforce the receiving of it, which we plead 
for. For this was in Peter, as is proved from the texts of 
Scripture before mentioned, therefore it is continued in 
them that succeed him. And here lies the great stress of 
their cause ; that to prevent evils and inconveniences, it 
became the wisdom of Jesus Christ to appoint a person, with 
all that authority, power, and infallibility, to continue in his 
church to the end of the world. And this plea they manage 
variously with much sophistry, rhetoric, and testimonies of 
antiquity. But suppose all this should be granted ; yet I 
am full well assured, that they can never bring it home to 
their concernment by any argument, but only the actual 
claim of the pope wherein he stands singly now in the 
world; which that it is satisfactory to make it good'de 
fide,' that he is so, will not easily be granted. The truth is, 
of all the attempts they make against the Lord Jesus Christ, 
this is one of the greatest, wherein they will assert, that it 
became his wisdom to do that which by no means they can 
prove that he hath done ; which is plainly to tell us what 
in their judgment he ought to have done, though he hath 
not; and that therefore it is incumbent on them to supply 
what he hath been defective in. Had he taken the care he 
should of them and their master, that he and they might 
have ruled and revelled over, and in the house of God, he 
would have appointed things as now they are, which they 
affirm to have become his wisdom. He was a king that 


once cried, * Si Deo in creationeadfuissera, mundum melius 
ordinassem.' But every friar or monk can say of Jesus 
Christ, had they been present at his framing the world to 
come (whereof we speak), they would have told him what 
had become his wisdom to do. Our blessed Lord hath left 
sufficient provision against all future emergencies and in- 
conveniences, in his word and Spirit given and promised to 
his saints. And the one remedy which these men have 
found out, with the contempt and blasphemy of him and 
them, hath proved worse than all the other evils and dis- 
eases, for whose prevention he made provision ; which he 
hath done also for that remedy of theirs, but that some are 
hardened through the righteous judgment of God and de- 
ceitfulness of sin. 

The management of this plea by some of late is very 
considerable; say they, ' Quia non de verbis solum Scrip- 
turse, sed etiam de sensu plurima controversia est, si ecclesiee 
interpretatio non est certa intelligendi norma, ecquis erit 
istiusmodi controversise judex ? sensum enim suum pro sua 
virili quisque defendet ; quod si in exploranda verbi Dei 
intelligentia nullus est certus judex, audemus dicere nullam 
rempublicam fuisse stultius constitutam. Sin autem apos- 
toli tradiderunt ecclesiis verbum Dei sine intelligentia verbi 
Dei, quomodo prsedicarunt evangelium omni creaturee ? 
quomodo docuerunt omnes gentes servare qusecunque illis 
fuerunt a Christo commendata. Non est puerorum aut 
psittacorum prsedicatio, qui sine mente dant, accipiuntque 
sonum.' Walemburg, Con. 4. Num. 26. 

It is well, that at length these men speak out plainly. 
If the pope be not a visible supreme judge in and over the 
church, Christ hath in the constitution of his church dealt 
more foolishly than ever any did in the constitution of a 
commonwealth. If he have not an infallible power of de- 
termining the sense of the Scriptures, the Scripture is but 
an empty, insignificant word, like the speech of parrots or 
popinjays. Though Christ hath by his apostles given the 
Scripture to make the man of God wise unto salvation, 
and promised his Spirit unto them that believe, by whose 
assistance the Scripture gives out its own sense to them, yet 
all is folly if the pope be not supreme and infallible. The 


Lord rebuke them, who thus boldly blaspheme his word 
and wisdom. But let us proceed. 

This Peter, thus invested in power that was to be tra- 
duced to others, went to Rome, and preached the gospel 
there. It is most certain, nor will themselves deny it, that 
if this be not so, and believed, their whole fabric will fall 
to the ground. But can this be necessary for all sorts of 
Christians, and every individual of men among them, to be- 
lieve, when there is not the least insinuation of any such 
thing in the Scripture ; certainly, though it be only a matter 
of fact, yet being of such huge importance and consequence, 
and such a doctrine of absolute and indispensable necessity 
to be believed, as is pretended, depending upon it, if it were 
true, and true in reference to such an end and purpose as 
is pleaded, it would not have been passed over in silence 
there, where so many things of inconceivable less concern- 
ment to the church of God (though all in their respective 
degrees tending to edification) are recorded. As tp what is 
recorded in story; the order and series of things, with the 
discovery afforded us of Peter's course and place of abode 
in Scripture, do prevail with me to think steadfastly, that 
he was never there ; against the self-contradicting testimo- 
nies of some few, who took up vulgar reports then, when 
the mystery of iniquity had so far operated at least, that it 
was judged meet that the chief of the apostles should have 
lived in the chief city of the world. 

But that we may proceed, grant this also, that Peter 
was at Rome, which they shall never be able to prove ; and 
that he did preach the gospel there ; yet so he did, by their 
own confession, at other places, making his residence at 
Antioch for some years ; what will this avail towards the 
settling of the matter under consideration ? There Christ 
appointed him to fix his chair, and make that church the 
place of his residence ; AJjjoot ! 

Of his meeting Simon Magus at Rome, who in all pro- 
bability was never there (for Semo Sangus was not Simon 
Magus, nor Sanctus, nor Deus Magnus), of the conquest 
made of him and his devils, of his being instructed of 
Christ not to go from Rome, but tarry there and suffer, 
something may be said from old legends. But of his chair. 


and fixing of it at Rome, of his confinement, as it were, to 
that place, in direct opposition to the tenor of his apostoli- 
cal commission, who first told the story I kiiow not ; but 
this I know, they will one day be ashamed of their chair, 
thrones, and sees, and jurisdictions, wherein they now so 
please themselves. 

But what is next to this? The bishop of Rome succeeds 
Peter in all that power, jurisdiction, infallibility, with what- 
soever else was fancied before in him, as the ordinary lord 
of the church, and therefore the R,oman church is the ca- 
tholic; 'quod erat demonstrandum.' Now though this 
inference will no way follow upon these principles, though 
they should all be supposed to be true, whereof not one is 
so much as probable ; and though this last assertion be vain 
and ridiculous, nothing at all being pleaded to ground this 
succession ; no institution of Christ ; no act of any council 
of the church; no will nor testament of Peter; but only it 
is so fallen out, as the world was composed of a casual con- 
currence of atoms ; yet seeing they will have it so, I desire 
a little farther information in one thing that yet remains ; 
and that is this, the charter, patents, and grant of all this 
power, and right of succession unto Peter, in all the advan- 
tages, privileges, and jurisdiction, before mentioned, being 
wholly in their own keeping, whereof I never saw letter or 
title, nor ever conversed with any one, no not of themselves, 
that did ; I would be gladly informed, whether this grant 
be made to him absolutely, without any manner of condi- 
tion whatever; so that whoever comes to be pope of Rome, 
and possessed of Peter's chair there, by what means soever 
he is possessed of it, whether he believe the gospel or no, 
or any of the saving truths therein contained, and so their 
church must be the catholic church, though it follow him 
in all abominations ; or whether it be made on any con- 
dition to him, especially that of cleaving to the doctrine of 
Christ revealed in the gospel? If they say the first, that it 
is an absolute grant, that is made to him without any con- 
dition expressed or necessarily to be understood, I am at an 
issue, and have nothing to add, but my desire that the grant 
may be produced ; for whilst we are at this variance, it is 
against all law and equity, that the parties litigant should 
be admitted to plead bare allegations, without proof. If 


the latter, though we should grant all the former monstrous 
suppositions, yet we are perfectly secure against all their 
pretensions, knowing nothing more clearly and evidently, 
than that he and they have broken all conditions that can 
possibly be imagined, by corrupting and perverting almost 
the whole doctrine of the gospel. 

And whereas it may be supposed, that the great condition 
of such a grant would consist in his diligent attendance to 
the Scriptures, the word of God, herein doth the filth of their 
abominations appear above all other things. The guilt that 
is in that society or combination of men, in locking up the 
Scriptures in an unknown tongue, forbidding the people to 
read it, burning some men to death for the studying of it, 
and no more, disputing against its power to make good its 
own authority, charging it with obscurity, imperfection, in- 
sufficiency, frighting men from the perusal of it, with the 
danger of being seduced and made heretics by so doing, 
setting up their own traditions in an equality with it, if 
not exalting them above it, studying by all means to decry 
it as useless and contemptible, at least comparatively with 
themselves, will not be purged from them for ever. 

But you will say, this is a simple question. For the pope 
of Rome hath a promise that he shall still be such a one 
as is fit to be trusted with the power mentioned ; and not one 
that shall defend Mahomet to be the prophet of God sent 
into the world, or the like abominations; at least, that be he 
what he will, placed in the chair, he shall not err, nor mistake 
in what he delivereth for truth. Now seeing themselves, as 
was said, are the sole keepers of this promise and grant also, 
which they have not as yet shewed to the world ; I am 
necessitated to ask once more, whether it be made to him 
merely upon condition of mounting into his chair, or also 
upon this condition, that he use the means appointed by 
God to come to the knowledge of the truth? If they say 
the former, I must needs say, that it is so remote from my 
apprehension, that God, who will be worshipped in spirit and 
and in truth only, should now under the gospel promise to 
any persons, that be they never so wicked and abominable, 
never so openly and evidently sworn enemies of him and his 
anointed, whether they use any means or not by him ap- 
point<jd, that they shall always in all things speak the truth. 


which they hate, in love, which they have not, with that 
authority which all his saints must bow unto; especially 
not having intimated any one word of any such promise in 
the Scripture, that I know not whatever I heard of in my 
life that I cannot as soon believe. If they say the latter, we 
close then as we did our former inquiry. 

Upon the credit and strength of these sandy foundations 
and principles, which neither severally nor jointly will bear 
the weight of a feather, in a long-continued course of apos- 
tacy, have men conquered all policy, religion, and honesty, 
and built up that stupendous fabric , coupled together with 
subtle and scarce discernible joints and ligaments, which 
they call the catholic church. 

1. In despite of policy they have not only enslaved kings, 
kingdoms, commonwealths, nations, and people to be their 
vassals, and at their disposal ; but also contrary to all rules 
of government, beyond the thoughts and conjectures of all 
or any that ever wrote of, or instituted, a government in the 
world, they have in most nations of Europe set up a go- 
vernment, authority, and jurisdiction, within another go- 
vernment and authority settled on other accounts, the one 
independent on the other, and have brought these things to 
some kind of consistency; which that it might be accom- 
plished never entered into the heart of any wise man once 
to imagine, nor had ever been by them effected, without 
such advantages, as none in the world ever had in such a 
continuance but themselves: unless the Druids of old in 
some nations obtained some such thing.* 

2. In despite of religion itself, they have made a new 
creed, invented new ways of worship, given a whole sum 
and system of their own, altogether alien from the word of 
God, without an open disclaiming of that word, which in 
innumerable places bears testimony to its own perfection 
and fulness. 

3. Contrary to common honesty, the first principles of 

* Si qiiis aut privatus, aut populus eorum decreto non stetit, sacrificiis inter- 
dicunt. Heec posna apud eos est gravissima ; quibus ita est interdictum, ii numero 
inipiorura, et sceleratorum habentur, ab iis oranes decedunt, aditum eorum ser- 
monemque defugiuiit, nequid ex contagione incomraodi accipiant; neque iis petenti- 
bus jus redditur, neque honos ullus coramunicatar : his autem omnibus Druidibus 
prseest unus; qui sumtnam inter eos habet authoritatem : hoc mortuo, si quis ex 
reliquis excellit dignitate, succedit : at si sunt plures, suffragio Druiduin allegitur : 
iionnunquam etiamde principatu armis contendunt. Caes. lib. 6. de Bell. Gal. ; 


reason, with violence to the evident dictates of the law of 
nature, they will in confidence of these principles have the 
word and sentence of a pope, though a beast, a witch, a'con- 
juror, as by their own confession many of them have been, to 
be implicitly submitted to in and about things which he nei- 
ther knoweth, nor loveth, nor careth for ; being yet such in 
themselves as immediately and directly concern the everlast- 
ing condition of the souls of men. And this is our second 
return to their pretence of being the catholic church : to 
which I add, 

3. That their plea is so far from truth, that they are, and 
they only, the catholic church, that indeed they belong not 
to it, because they keep not the ' unity of the faith,' which 
is required to constitute any person whatever a member of 
that church, but fail in all the conditions of it. For, 

1. To proceed by way of instance, they do not profess 
nor believe a justification distinct from sanctification, and 
acceptance thereof; the doctrine whereof is of absolute and 
indispensable necessity to the preservation of the unity of the 
faith; and so fail in the first condition of professing all ne- 
cessary truths. I know what they say of justification, what 
they have determined concerning it in the council of Trent, 
what they dispute about it in their books of controversies. 
But I deny that which they contend for to be a justification; 
so that they do not deny only justification by faith, but 
positively, over and above, the infusion of grace, and the ac- 
ceptance of the obedience thence arising ; that there is any 
justification at all consisting in the free and full absolution 
of a sinner, on the account of Christ. 

2. They discover principles corrupt and depraved, utterly 
inconsistent with those truths, and the receiving of them, 
which in general by owning the Scriptures they do profess. 
Herein to pass by the principles of atheism, wickedness, 
and profaneness, that effectually work and manifest them- 
selves in the generality of their priests and people; that of 
self-righteousness, that is in the best of their d6votionists, 
is utterly inconsistent with the whole doctrine of the gospel, 
and all saving truths concerning the mediation of Jesus 
Christ therein contained. 

3. That in their doctrine of the pope's supremacy, of 
merits, satisfaction, the mass, the worshipping of images, 


they add such things to their profession as enervate the 
efficacy of all the saving truths they do profess, and so fail 
in the third condition. This hath so abundantly been mani- 
fested by others, that I shall not need to add any thing to 
give the charge of it upon them any farther evidence or 

Thus it is unhappily fallen out with these men, that what 
of all men they most pretend unto, that of all men they have 
the least interest in. Athenaeus tells us of one Thrasilaus an 
Athenian, who being phrenetically distempered, .whatever 
ships came into the Pyraeum he looked on them and thought 
them his own, and rejoiced as the master of so great wealth, 
when he was not the owner of so much as a boat: such a 
distemper of pride and folly hath in the like manner seized 
on these persons with whom we have to do ; that wherever in 
Scripture they meet with the name church, presently, as 
though they were intended by it, they rejoice in the privi- 
leges of it, when their concernment lies not at all therein. 

To close this whole discourse I shall bring the grand 
argument of the Romanists (with whom I shall now in this 
treatise have little more to do), wherewith they make such a 
noise in the world, to an issue. Of the many forms and 
shapes whereinto by them it is cast, this seems to be the 
most perspicuously expressive of their intention. 

Voluntarily to forsake the communion of the church of 
Christ is schism, and they that do so are guilty of it; 

You have voluntarily forsaken the communion of the 
church of Christ: 

Therefore, you are guilty of the sin of schism. 

I have purposely omitted the interposing of the term 
catholic, that the reason of the argument might run to its 
length; for upon the taking in of that term we have nothing 
to do, but only to deny the minor proposition; seeing the 
Roman church, be it what it will, is not the church catholic; 
but as it is without that limitation called the church of 
Christ indefinitely, it leaves place for a farther and fuller 

To this by way of inference they add, that schism, as it 
declared by St. Austin and St. Thomas of Aquin, being so 
great and damnable a sin; and whereas it is plain, that 
out of the church, which, as Peter says, is as Noah's ark. 


1 Pet. iii. 20, 21. there is no salvation, it is clear you will be 
damned. This is the sum of their plea. 

Now as for the fore-mentioned argument, some of our 
divines answer to the minor proposition, and that both as to 
the terms of voluntary forsaking, and that also of the com- 
munion of the church. For the first, they say they did not 
voluntarily forsake the communion of the church that then 
was, but being necessitated by the command of God to re- 
form themselves in sundry things, they were driven out by 
bell, book, and candle, cursed out, killed out, driven out by 
all manner of violence, ecclesiastical and civil; which is a 
strange way of men's becoming schismatic. 

2. That they forsook not the communion of the church, 
but the corruptions of it, or the communion of it in its cor- 
ruption, not in other things, wherein it was lawful to con- 
tinue communion with it. 

To give strength to this answer, they farther add, that 
though they grant the church of Rome to have been at the 
time of the first separation a true church of Christ, yet 
they deny it to be the catholic church, or only visible 
church then in the world ; the churches in the East claiming 
that title by as good a right as she. So they. Others princi- 
pally answer to the major proposition, and tell you, that se- 
paration is either causeless, or upon just ground and cause ; 
that it is a causeless separation only from the church of 
Christ that is schism ; that there can be no cause of schism, 
for if there be a cause of schism materially, it ceaseth to be 
schism formally : and so to strengthen their answer ' in hy- 
pothesi,' they fall upon the idolatries, heresies, tyranny, and 
apostacy of the church of Rome, as just causes of separa- 
tion from her ; nor will their plea be shaken to eternity : so 
that being true and popular, understood by the meanest, 
though it contain not the whole truth, I shall not in the 
least impair it. 

For them, who have found out new ways of justifying 
our separation from Rome, on principles of limiting the ju- 
risdiction of the bishop of Rome to a peculiar patriarchate, 
and granting a power to kings or nations, to erect pa- 
triarchs or metropolitans within their own territories, and 
the like ; the Protestant cause is not concerned in their 
plea; the whole of it on both hands being foreign to the 


Scripture, relating mostly to human constitutions, wherein 
they may have liberty to exercise their wits and abilities. 

Not receding from what hath by others solidly been 
pleaded, on the answers above mentioned ; in answer to the 
principles I have hitherto evinced, I shall proceed to give 
my account of the argument proposed. 

That we mistake not, I only premise, that I take schism 
in this argument in the notion and sense of the Scripture 
precisely, wherein alone it will reach the conscience, and 
bear the weight of inferring damnation from it. 

1. Then I wholly deny the major proposition, as utterly 
false, in what sense soever that expression, ' true church of 
Christ' is taken. Take it for the catholic church of Christ, 
I deny that any one, who is once a true member of it, can 
utterly forsake its communion ; no living member of that 
body of Christ can perish ; and on supposition it could do 
so, it would be madness to call that crime schism : nor is 
this a mere denial of the assertion, but such as is attended 
with an invincible truth for its maintenance. 

Take it for the general visible church of Christ ; the vo- 
luntary forsaking of its communion, which consists in the 
profession of the same faith, is not schism, but apostacy, 
and the thing itself is to be removed from the question in 
hand : and as for apostates from the faith of the gospel, 
we question not their damnation ; it sleepeth not : whoever 
called a Christian that turned Jew or Mahometan a schis- 
matic ? 

Take it for a particular church of Christ, I deny, 

(1.) That separation from a particular church, as such, as 
merely separation, is schism, or ought to be so esteemed ; 
though perhaps such separation may proceed from schism, 
and be also attended with other evils. 

(2.) That however, separation upon just cause and ground 
from any church, is no schism : , this is granted by all 
persons living. Schism is causeless, say all men however 
concerned. And herein is a truth uncontrollable, separa- 
tion upon just cause is a duty ; and therefore cannot be 
schism, which is always a sin. Now there are five hundred 
things in the church of Rome, whereof every one, grafted as 
they are there into the stock and principle of imposition 
on the practice and confession of men, is a sufficient cause 



of separation from any particular church in the world ; yea, 
from all of them, one after another, should they all consent 
unto the same thing, and impose it in the same manner, if 
there be any truth in that maxim ; * It is better to obey God 
than man.' 

2. I wholly deny the minor proposition also, if spoken 
in reference to the church of Rome ; though I willingly ac- 
knowledge our separation to be voluntary from them ; no 
more being done than I would do over again this day, God 
assisting me, were I called unto it. But separation in the 
sense contended about, must be from some state and condi- 
tion of Christ's institution, from communion with a church 
which we held by his appointment ; otherwise it will not be 
pleaded that it is a schism, at least not in a gospel sense. 
Now though our forefathers, in the faith we profess, lived 
in subjection to the pope of Rome, or his subordinate en- 
gines, yet they were not so subject to them, in any way or 
state instituted by Christ; so that the relinquishment of 
that state can possibly be no such separation, as to be 
termed schism. For I wholly deny that the papacy, ex- 
ercising its power in its supreme and subordinate officers, 
which with them is their church, is a church at all of Christ's 
appointment, or any such thing. And when they prove it 
is so, I will be of it. So that when our forefathers with- 
drew their neck from his tyrannical yoke, and forsook the 
practice of his abominations in the worship of God, they 
forsook no church of Christ's institution, they relinquished 
no communion of Christ's appointment. A man may possi- 
bly forsake Babylon, and yet not forsake Zion. 

For the aggravations of the sin of schism from some 
ancient writers, Austin and Optatus, men interested in the 
contests about it, Leo and Innocent, gaining by the notion 
of it then growing in the world, Thomas Aquinas and such 
vassals of the papacy, we are not concerned in them ; what 
the Lord speaks of it, that we judge concerning it. It is 
true of the catholic church always, that out of it is no salva- 
tion, it being the society of them that shall be saved ; and 
of the visible church in general, in some sense and cases; 
seeing with the heart ' man believeth to righteousness, and 
with the mouth confession is made unto salvation ;' but of 
a particular church in no sense, unless that of contempt of a 


known duty ; and to imagine Peter to speak of any such 
thing is a fancy. 

The consequence of this divesting the Roman synagogue 
of the privileges of a true church in any sense, arising in 
the thoughts of some to a denial of that ministry, which we 
have at this day in England, must by the way a little be 
considered. For my part (be it spoken without offence), if 
any man hath nothing to plead for his ministry, but merely 
that successive ordination which he hath received through 
the church of Rome, I cannot see a stable bottom of owning 
him so to be ; I do not say, if he will plead nothing else, 
but if he hath nothing else to plead. He may have that 
which indeed constitutes him a minister, though he will not 
own that so it doth. Nor doth it come here into inquiry, 
whether there were not a true ministry in some all along 
under the papacy, distinct from it, as were the thousands in 
Israel in the days of Elijah; when in the ten tribes, as to 
the public worship, there was no true ministry at all. Nor 
is it said that any have their ministry from Rome, as though 
the office, which is an ordinance of Christ, was instituted 
by antichrist : but the question is, whether this be a suffi- 
cient and good basis and foundation of any man's interest 
in the office of the ministry, that he hath received ordina- 
tion in a succession, through the administration of, not the 
woman flying into the wilderness under the persecution of 
antichrist, not of the two witnesses prophesying all along 
under the Roman apostacy, not from them to whom we 
succeed in doctrine, as the Waldenses, but the beast itself, 
the persecuting church of Rome, the pope and his adherents, 
■who were certainly administrators of the ordination pleaded 
for : so that in doctrine we should succeed the persecuted 
woman, and in office the persecuting beast. I shall not 
plead this at large, professedly disclaiming all thoughts of 
rejecting those ministers, as papal and antichristian, who 
yet adhere to this ordination; being many of them eminently 
gifted of God to dispense the word, and submitted unto by 
his people in the administration of the ordinances, and are 
right worthy ministers of the gospel of Christ. But, 

I shall only remark something on the plea that is in- 
sisted on by them, who would (if I mistake not) keep up in 

p 2 


this particular, what God would have pulled down. They 
ask us, why not ordination from the church of Rome as well 
as the Scripture ? In which inquiry I am sorry that some 
do still continue. We are so far from having the Scriptures 
from the church of Rome, by any authority of it as such, 
that it is one cause of daily praising God, that by his pro- 
vidence he kept them from being either corrupted or de- 
stroyed by them. It is true, the Bible was kept among the 
people that lived in those parts of the world where the pope 
prevailed : so was the Old Testament by the Jews ; the 
whole by the eastern Christians : by none so corrupted as 
by those of the papal territory. God forbid we should say 
we had the Scriptures from the church of Rome, as such ; if 
we had, why do we not keep them as she delivered them to 
us, in the vulgar translation, with the apocryphal addi- 
tions ? The ordination pleaded for, is from the authority of 
the church of Rome, as such : the Scriptures were by the 
providence of God preserved under the papacy for the use 
of his people ; and had they been found by chance, as it were, 
like the law of old, they had been the same to us that now 
they are. So that of these things there is not the same 

It is also pleaded, that the granting true ordination to 
the church of Rome doth not prove that to be a true church. 
This I profess I understand not; they who ordained had no 
power so to do, but as they were officers of that church ; as 
such they did it; and if others had ordained, who were not 
officers of that church, all would confess that action to be 
null. But they who will not be contented that Christ hath 
appointed the office of the ministry to be continued in his 
churches, that he continues to dispense the gifts of his 
Spirit for the execution of that office when men are called 
thereunto, that he prepares the hearts of his people to desire 
and submit unto them in the Lord, that as to the manner of 
entrance upon the work, they may have it according to the 
mind of Christ to the utmost in all circumstances ; so soon 
as his churches are shaken out of the dust of Babylon with 
his glory shining on them, and the tabernacle of God is 
thereby once more placed with men, shall have leave for me 
to derive their interest in the ministry through that .dark 


passage, wherein I cannot see one step before me : if they 
are otherwise qualified and accepted as above, I shall ever 
pay them that honour which is due to elders labouring in 
the word and doctrine. 


Of a particular church ; its nature. Frequently mentioned in Scripture. 
Particular congregations acknowledged the only churches of the first in- 
stitution. What ensued on the multiplication of churches. Somethings 
premised to clear the unity of the church in this sense. Every believer 
ordinarily obliged to join himself to some particular church. Many 
things in instituted worship answering a natural principle. Perpetuity 
of the church in this sense. Tru£ churches at first planted in England. 
Hoio they ceased so to be. How churches may be again re-erected. Of 
the union of a particular church in itself. Foundation of that union 
twofold. The union itself. Of the communion of particular churches 
one with another. Our concernment in this union. 

I NOW descend to the last consideration of a church, in the 
most usual acceptation of that name in the New Testament, 
that is, of a particular instituted church. A church in 
this sense I take to be a society of men, called by the word 
to the obedience of the faith in Christ, and joint performance 
of the worship of God in the same individual ordinances, 
according to the order by Christ prescribed. This general 
description of it exhibits its nature so far as is necessary to 
clear the subject of our present disquisition. A more accu- 
rate definition would only administer farther occasion of 
contesting about things, not necessary to be determined as 
to the inquiry in hand. Such as this was the church at 
Jerusalem that was persecuted. Acts viii. 1. the church 
whereof Saul made havoc, ver. 3. the church that was 
vexed by Herod, Acts xii. 1. Such was the church at 
Antioch, which * assembled together in one place,' Acts 
xiii. 14. wherein were sundry prophets. Acts xiii. 1. as that 
at Jerusalem consisted of elders and brethren. Acts xv. 22. 
the apostles or some of them being there then present,, which 
added no other consideration to that church than that we 
are now speaking of. Such were those many churches where- 
in elders were ordained by Paul'sappointment, Acts xiv. 23. 


as also the church of Csesarea, Acts xviii. 22. and at Ephe- 
sus. Acts XX. 14. 28. as was that of Corinth, 1 Cor. i. 2. 
vi. 4. 11, 12. xiv. 4, 5. 12. 19. 2 Cor. i. 1. and those men- 
tioned. Rev. i. 2, 3. all which Paul calls the churches of the 
Gentiles, Rom. xvi. 4. in contradistinction to those of the 
Jews; and calls them indefinitely the churches of God, ver. 16. 
or the churches of Christ, 1 Cor. vii. 17. 2 Cor. viii. 18, 19. 
23. 2 Thess. i. 4. and in sundry other places. Hence we have 
mention of many churches in one country, as in Judea, 
Acts ix. 1. in Asia, 1 Cor. xvi. 19. in Macedonia, 2 Cor. 
viii. 1. in Galatia, Gal. i. 2. the seven churches of Asia, 
Rev. i. 11. and unto rag iroXng, Acts xvi. 4. al eKKXrjatai an- 
swers, ver. 5. in the same country. 

I suppose that in this description of a particular church 
I have not only the consent of them of all sorts with whom I 
have now to do, as to what remains of this discourse, but 
also their acknowledgment that these were the only kinds of 
churches of the first institution. The reverend authors of 
the Jus Divinum Ministerii Anglicani, p. 2. c. 6. tell us, 
that • in the beginning of Christianity the number of be- 
lievers even in the greatest cities were so few, as that they 
might all meet lirl to avrb, in one and the same place. And 
these are called the church of the city, and the angel of 
such a city was congregational, not diocesan;' which dis- 
course exhibits that state of a particular church which is 
now pleaded for, and Avhich shall afterward be evinced, 
allowing no other, no not in the greatest cities. In a re- 
joinder to that treatise, so far as the case of episcopacy is 
herein concerned, by a person well known by his labours in 
that cause, this is acknowledged to be so. ' Believers,' 
saith he, ' in great cities were not at first divided into pa- 
rishes, whilst the number of Christians was so small that 
they might well assemble in the same place,' Ham. Vind. 
p. 16. Of the believers of one city meeting in one place, 
being one church, we have the like grant, p. 18. ' In this 
particular church,' he says, ' there was one bishop, which 
had the rule of it, and of the believers in the villages ad- 
jacent to that city; which as it sometimes was not so, Rom. 
xvi. r, 2. so for the most part it seems to have been the case ; 
and distinct churches upon the growth of the number of be- 
lievers were to be erected in several places of the vicinage. 


And this is the state of a particular instituted church 
which we plead for. Whether in process of time, believers 
multiplying, those who had been of one church met in seve- 
ral assemblies, by a settled distribution of them, to celebrate 
the same ordinances specifically, and so made many churches; 
or met in several places in parties, still continuing one body, 
and were governed in common by the elders, whom they in- 
creased and multiplied in proportion to the increase of be- 
lievers; or whether, that one or more officers, elders, or 
bishops, of that first single congregation, taking on him or 
them the care of those inhabiting the city wherein the 
church was first planted, designed and sent some fitted for 
that purpose, upon their desire and choice, or otherwise, 
to the several lesser companies of the region adjacent, which 
in process of time became dependent on, and subject to, the 
officer and officers of that first church from whence they 
came forth, 1 dispute not. I am satisfied that the first 
plantation of churches was as hath been pleaded : and I 
know what was done afterward on the one hand or the other 
must be examined, as to our concernment, by what ought 
to have been done. But of those things afterward. 

Now according to the course of procedure hitherto in- 
sisted on, a declaration of the unity of the church in this 
sense, what it is, wherein it doth consist, with what it is to 
be guilty of the breach of that unity, must ensue; and 
this shall be done after I have premised some few things 
previously necessary thereunto. 
I say then, 

1. A man may be a member of the catholic church of 
Christ, be united to him by the inhabitation of his Spirit, 
and participation of life from him, who upon the account of 
some providential hindrance, is never joined to any particu- 
lar congregation, for the participation of ordinances, all his 

2. In like manner may he be a member of the church 
considered as professing visibly ; seeing that he may do all 
that is of him required thereunto, without any such con- 
junction to a visible particular church. But yet, 

3. I willingly grant, that every believer is obliged, as in 
a part of his duty, to join himself to some one of those 
churches of Christ; that therein he may abide in doctrine, 


and fellowship, and ' breaking of bread and prayer,' ac- 
cording to the order of the gospel, if he have advantage and 
opportunity so to do. For, 

1. There are some duties incumbent on us, vi^hich can- 
not possibly be performed, but on a supposition of this duty 
previously required, and submitted unto. Matt, xviii. 15 — 17. 

2. There are some ordinances of Christ, appointed for 
the good and benefit of those that believe, which they 
can never be made partakers of if not related to some such 
society; as public admonition, excommunication, participa- 
tion of the sacrament of the Lord's supper. 

3. The care that Jesus Christ hath taken that all things be 
well ordered in these churches, giving no direction for the 
performance of any duty of worship merely and purely of 
sovereign institution, but only in them, and by them, who 
are so joined, sufficiently evinced his mind, and our duty 
herein. Rev. ii. 7, 11. 29. iii. 6, 7. 12. 1 Cor. xi. 

4. The gathering, planting, and settling of such churches 
by the apostles, with the care they took in bringing them to 
perfection, leaving none whom they converted out of that 
order, where it was possible for them to be reduced unto it, 
is of the same importance. Acts xiv. 23. Tit. i. 5. 

5. Christ's institution of officers for them, Eph. iv. 11. 
1 Cor. xi. 28. calling such a church his body, ver. 29. ex- 
actly assigning to every one his duty in such societies, in 
respect of the place he held in them, with his care for their 
preservation from confusion, and for order, evinces from 
whom they are, and what is our duty in reference unto them. 

6. The judging and condemning them by the Holy Ghost, 
as disorderly blameable persons who are to be avoided, who 
walk not according to the rules and order appointed in these 
churches, his care that those churches be not scandalized 
or offended, with innumerable other considerations, evince 
their institution to be from heaven, not of men, or any pru- 
dential considerations of them whatever. 

That there is an instituted worship of God to be continued 
under the New Testament until the second coming of Christ, 
I suppose needs not much proof. With those with whom 
it doth so I am not now treating, and must not make it my 
business to give it evidence, by the innumerable testimonies 
which might be alleged to that purpose. That for the whole 


of his worship, matter, or manner, or any part of it, God hath 
changed his way of proceeding, and will not allow the will 
and prudence of man to be the measure and rule of his ho- 
nour and glory therein, contrary to what he did or would 
allow under the law, is so prejudicial to the perfection of the 
gospel^, infinite wisdom, and all-sufficiency of Christ, and so 
destructive to the whole obligation of the second command- 
ment, having no ground in the Scripture, but being built 
merely on the conceit of men, suited to one carnal interest 
or other, I shall unwillingly debate it. That as to this par- 
ticular under consideration, there were particular churches 
instituted by the authority of Jesus Christ, owned and ap- 
proved by him ; that officers for them were of his appointment, 
and furnished with gifts from him for the execution of their 
employment ; that rules, cautions, and instructions for the 
due settlement of those churches were given by him ; that 
these churches were made the only seat of that worship, 
which in particular he expressed his will to have continued 
until he came, is of so much light in Scripture, that he must 
wink hard that will not see it. 

That either he did not originally appoint these things, or 
he did not give out the gifts of his Spirit, in reference to the 
right ordering of them, and exalting of his glory in them ; 
or that having done so then, yet that his institutions have 
an end, being only for a season, and that it may be known 
when the efficacy of any of his institutions ceaseth ; or that 
he doth not now dispense the gifts and graces of his Spirit, 
to render them useful, is a difficult task for any man to un- 
dertake to evince. 

There is indeed, in the institutions of Christ, much that 
answers a natural principle in men, who are on many ac- 
counts formed and fitted for society. A confederation and 
consultation to carry on any design, wherein the concern- 
ment of the individuals doth lie, within such bounds, and 
in such order, as lies in a ready way to the end aimed at, is 
exceeding suitable to the principles whereby we are acted 
and guided as men. But he that would hence conclude, 
that there is no more but this, and the acting of these prin- 
ciples, in this church constitution whereof we speak, and 
that therefore men may be cast into any prudential form, or 
appoint other ways and forms of it than those mentioned in 


the Scripture, as appointed and owned, takes on himself 
the demonstrating that all things necessarily required to the 
constitution of such a church-society are commanded by 
the law of nature, and therefore allowed of and approved 
only by Christ, and so to be wholly moral, and to have no- 
thing of instituted worship in them ; and also he must know, 
that when, on that supposition, he hath given a probable rea- 
son why never any persons in the world fixed on such so- 
cieties in all essential things as those, seeing they are na- 
tural, that he leaves less to the prudence of men, and to the 
ordering and disposing of things concerning them, than 
those who make them of pure institution, all whose circum- 
stances cannot be derived from themselves; as those of 
things purely moral may. But this is not of my present 

2. Nor shall I consider, whether perpetuity be a property 
of the church of Christ in this sense ; that is, not whether a 
church that was once so may cease to be so, which it is 
known I plead for in the instance of the church of Rome, 
not to mention others ; but whether by virtue of any pro- 
mise of Christ, there shall always be somewhere in the world 
a visible church, visibly celebrating his ordinances, Luke i. 
33. ' He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of 
his kingdom there shall be no end ;' is pleaded to this pur- 
pose. But that any more but the spiritual reign of Christ 
in his catholic church is there intended, is not proved. 
Matt. xvi. 18. ' Upon this rock will I build my church,' is 
also urged ; but to intend any but true believers, and that as 
such, in that promise, is wholly to enervate it, and to take 
away its force and efficacy : chap, xviii. 18. 20. declares the 
presence of Christ with his church wherever it be, not that 
a church in the regard treated of shall be. To the same pur- 
pose are other expressions in the Scripture. As I will not 
deny this in general, so I am unsatisfied as to any parti- 
cular instance for the making of it good. 

It is said, that true churches were are at first planted in 
England. How then, or by what means, did they cease so to 
be? how, or by what act, did God unchurch them? They 
did it themselves meritoriously by apostacy and idolatry, 
God legally by his institution of a law of rejection of such 
churches. If any shall ask, How then is it possible, that 


any such churches should be raised anew ? I say, that the 
catholic church mystical, and that visibly professing, being 
preserved entire, he that thinketh there needs a miracle for 
those who are members of them to join in such a society 
as those now spoken of, according to the institution of Christ, 
is a person delighting in needless scruples. 

Christ hath promised, that where * two or three are ga- 
thered together in his name, he will be in the midst of them ;' 
Matt, xviii. 20. It is now supposed, with some hope to have 
it granted, that the Scripture being the power of God to 
salvation, Rom. i. 16. hath a sufficient efficacy and energy 
in itself, as to its own kind, for the conversion of souls ; yea, 
let us, till opposition be made to it, take it for granted, that 
by that force and efficacy it doth mainly and principally 
evince its own divinity, or divine original. Those who are 
contented for the honour of that word which God delighteth 
to magnify to grant this supposition, will not, I hope, think 
it impossible, that though all church-state should cease in 
any place, and yet the Scripture by the providence of God 
be there in the hand of individuals preserved, two or three 
should be called, converted, and regenerated by it. For my 
part, I think he that questions it, must do it on some cor- 
rupt principle of a secondary dependent authority in the 
word of God as to us ; with which sort of men I do not now 
deal. I ask whether these converted persons may not pos- 
sibly come together, or assemble themselves in the name of 
Jesus ? may they not upon his command, and in expectation 
of the accomplishment of his promise, so come together, with 
resolution to do his will, and to exhort one another thereto; 
Zech. iii. 10. Mai. iii. 10. Truly I believe they may, in what 
part of the world soever their lot is fallen. Here lie all the 
difficulties, whether being come together in the name of 
Christ they may do what he hath commanded them, or no ? 
whether they may exhort and stir up one another to do the will 
of Christ ? Most certain it is, that Christ will give them his 
presence, and therewithal his authority, for the performance 
of any duty that he requireth at their hands. Were not men 
angry, troubled, and disappointed, there would be little dif- 
ficulty in this business. But of this elsewhere. 

3. Upon this supposition, that particular churches are 
institutions of Jesus Christ, which is granted by all with 


whom I have to do, I proceed to make inquiry into their 
union and communion, that so we may know wherein the 
bonds of them do consist. 

1. There is a double foundation, fountain, or cause of 
the union of such a church : the one external, procuring, 
commanding; the other internal, inciting, directing, assist- 
ing. The first is the institution of Jesus Christ, before men- 
tioned, requiring peace and order, union, consent, and agree- 
ment, in and among all the members of such a church ; all to 
be regulated, ordered, and bounded, by the rules, laws, pre- 
scripts, which from him they have received, for their walk- 
ing in those societies. 

The latter is that love without dissimulation, which al- 
ways is, or which always ought to be, between all the mem- 
bers of such a church ; exerting itself in their respective 
duties one towards another, in that holy combination, where- 
unto they are called and entered for the worship of God : 
whether they are those which lie in the level of the equality 
of their common interest of being church-members, or those 
which are required of them in the several differences, whereby 
on any account whatever they are distinguished one from 
another amongst themselves ; for ' love is the bond of perfect- 
ness ;' Col. iii. 14. 

Hence then it appears, what is the union of such a church, 
and what is the communion to be observed therein, by the 
appointment of Jesus Christ. The joint consent of all the 
members of it, in obedience to the command of Christ, from 
a principle of love, to walk together in the universal cele- 
bration of all the ordinances of the worship of God, insti- 
tuted and appointed to be celebrated in such a church; and 
to perform all the duties and offices of love, which in refer- 
ence to one another, in their respective stations and places, 
are by God required of them ; and doing so accordingly, 
is the union inquired after. See Phil. ii. 1 — 3. iv. 1 — 3. 
1 Cor. i. 10. 2 Cor. xiii. 11. Rom. xv. 5. 

Whereas there are in these churches, some rulers, some 
ruled ; some eyes, some hands in this body ; some parts vi- 
sibly comely, some uncomely ; upon the account of that va- 
riety of gifts and graces which is distributed to them: in the 
performance of duties, regard is to be had to all the parti- 
cular rules that are given with respect to men in their seve- 


ral places and distributions. Herein doth the union of a 
particular church consist ; herein have the members of it 
communion among themselves, and vi^ith the whole. 

4. I shall farther grant, and add hereunto ; over and 
above the union that is between the members of several par- 
ticular churches, by virtue of their interest in the church 
catholic, which draws after it a necessity of the occasional 
exercise of duties of love one towards another, and that 
communion they have, as members of the general church 
visible, in the profession of the faith once delivered unto 
the saints ; there is a communion also to be observed be- 
tween these churches, as such, which is sometimes, or may 
be exerted in their assemblies by their delegates, for declar- 
ing their sense, and determining things of joint concernment 
unto them. Whether there ought to be an ordinary com- 
bination of the officers of these churches, invested with 
power for the disposal of things and persons that concern 
one or more of them, in several subordinations, by the in- 
stitution of Christ ; as it is not my judgment that so there 
is, so it belongs not unto my present undertaking at all to 

That which alone remains to be done, is to consider 
what is our concernment as to the breach of this union, which 
we profess to be appointed by Jesus Christ; and that both 
as we are Protestants, as also farther differenced, according 
to the intimations given at the entrance of this discourse. 
What hath already been delivered about the nature of schism, 
and the Scripture notion of it, might well suffice, as to our 
vindication in this business from any charge that we are or 
seem obnoxious unto. But because I have no reason to sup- 
pose, that some men will be so favourable unto us, as to 
take pains for the improvement of principles, though in them- 
selves clearly evinced on our behalf; the application of them 
to some present cases, with the removal of objections that 
lie against my intendment, must be farther added. 

Some things there are, which upon what hath been 
spoken, I shall assume and suppose as granted in thesi, 
until I see them otherwise disproved than as yet I have 
done. Of these the first is, That the departing or secession 
of any man or men, from any particular church, as to that 
communion which is peculiar to such a church, which he 


or they have had therewith, is no where called schism, nor 
is so in the nature of the thing itself (as the general signi- 
fication of the word is restrained by its Scripture use); but is 
a thing to be judged, and receive a title according to the 
causes and circumstances of it. 

2. One church's refusing to hold that communion with 
another which ought to be between them, is not schism pro- 
perly so called. 

3. The departure of any man or men from the society 
or communion of any church whatever, so it be done with- 
out strife, variance, judging, and condemning of others, be- 
cause according to the light of their consciences they can- 
not in all things in them worship God according to his mind, 
cannot be rendered evil but from circumstances taken from 
the persons so doing, or the way and manner whereby and 
wherein they do it. 

Unto these I add, that if any one can shew and evince 
that we have departed from, and left the communion of, any 
particular church of Christ, with which we ought to walk ac- 
cording to the order above mentioned, or have disturbed and 
broken the order and union of Christ's institution, wherein 
we are or were inwrapped, we put ourselves on the mercy of 
our judges. 

The consideration of what is the charge on any of us, on 
this account, was the first thing aimed at in this discourse ; 
and as it was necessary from the rules of the method wherein 
I have proceeded, comes now in the last place to be put to 
the issue and trial, which it shall in the next chapter. 



Of the church of England. The charge of schism in the name thereof 
proposed and considered. Several considerations of the church of Eng' 
land. In what sense we were members of it. Of anabaptism. The sub- 
jection due to bishops. Their power examined. Its original in this na- 
tion. Of the ministerial power of bishops. Its present continuance. Of 
the church of England, what it is. Its description. Form peculiar and 
constitutive. Answer to the charge of schism, on separation from it, in 
its episcopal constitution. How and by what means it was taken away. 
Things necessary to the constitution of such a church proposed, and of- 
fered to proof. The second way of constituting a national church, consi- 
dered. Principles agreed on and consented unto between the parties at vari- 
ance on this account. Judgment of Amiruldus in this case. Inferences from 
the common principles before consented unto. The case of schism in refer- 
ence to a national church in the last sense, debated. Of particular churches, 
and separation from them. On what accounts justifiable. No necessity of 
joining to this or that. Separation from some so called, required. Of the 
church of Corinth. The duty of its members. Austin's judgment of the 
practice of Elijah. The last objection waved. Inferences upon the whole. 

That which first presents itself, is a plea against us, in the 
name of the church of England, and those intrusted with the 
reglement thereof, as it was settled and established some 
years since; the sum whereof, if I mistake not, amounts to 
thus much. 

You were sometimes members and children of the church 
of England, and lived in the communion thereof, professing 
obedience thereunto, according to its rules and canons ; you 
were in an orderly subjection to the archbishops, bishops, 
and those acting under them in the hierarchy, who were of- 
ficers of that church ; in that church you were baptized, and 
joined in the outward worship celebrated therein ; but you 
have now voluntarily, and of your own accord, forsaken and 
renounced the communion of this church; cast offyour sub- 
jection to the bishops and rulers; rejected the form of wor- 
ship appointed in that church, that great bond of its com- 
munion ; and set up separated churches of your own, ac- 
cording to your pleasures ; and so are properly schismatics. 

This I say, if I mistake not, is the sum of the charge 
against us, on the account of our late attempt for reforma- 
mation, and reducing of the church of Christ to its primi- 


tive institution, which we profess our aim in singleness of 
heart to have been, and leave the judgment of it unto God. 
To acquit ourselves of this imputation, I shall declare, 

1 . How far we own ourselves to have been, or to be, mem- 
bers or children (as they speak) of the church of England, 
as it is called or esteemed. 

2. What was the subjection wherein we or any of us 
stood, or might be supposed to have stood, to the prelates or 
bishops of that church. And then I shall, 

3. Put the whole to the issue and inquiry, whether we 
have broken any bond or order, which by the institution and 
appointment of Jesus Christ we ought to have preserved en- 
tire, and unviolated : not doubting but that on the whole 
matter in difference, we shall find the charge managed 
against us to be resolved wholly into the prudence and 
interest of some men, wherein our consciences are not 

As to the first proposal ; the several considerations that 
the church of England may fall under, will make way for the 
determination of our relation thereunto. 

1. There being in this country of England much people 
of God, many of his elect called and sanctified by and 
through the Spirit and blood of Christ, with the washing of 
water and the word, so made true living members of the 
mystical body, or catholic church of Christ, holding him as 
a spiritual head, receiving influences of life and grace from 
him continually, they may be called, though improperly, 
the church of England; that is, that part of Christ's catholic 
church militant which lives in England. In this sense it 
is the desire of our souls to be found and to abide members 
of the church of England, to keep with it, whilst we live in 
this world, the ' unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.' 
Jerusalem which is above, is the mother of us all; and one 
is our Father, which is in heaven; one is our Head, So- 
vereign, Lord, and Ruler, the dearly beloved of our souls, 
the Lord Jesus Christ. If we have grieved, offended, 
troubled the least member of this church, so that he may 
justly take offence at any of our ways, we profess our rea- 
diness to lie at his or their feet for reconciliation, accordino^ 
to the mind of Christ. If we bear not love to all the mem- 
bers of the church of England in this sense, without dissi- 


mulation (yea, even to them amongst them, who through 
mistakes and darkness, have on several accounts designed 
our harm and ruin); if we rejoice not with them, and suffer 
not with them, however they may be differenced in and by 
their opinions, or walkings ; if we desire not their good, as 
the good of our own souls, and are not ready to hold any 
communion with them, wherein their and our light will give 
and afford unto us peace mutually; if we judge, condemn, 
despise any of them, as to their persons, spiritual state, and 
condition, because they walk not with us, let us be esteemed 
the vilest schismatics that overlived on the face of the earth. 
But as to our membership in the church of England on this 
account, we stand or fall to our own master. 

2. The rulers, governors, teachers, and body of the peo- 
ple of this nation of England, having by laws, professions, 
and public protestations, cast off the tyranny, authority, and 
doctrine of the church of Rome, with its head the pope; and 
jointly assented unto, and publicly professed the doctrine 
of the gospel, as expressed in their public confession, vari- 
x>usly attested and confirmed, declaring their profession by 
that public confession, preaching, laws, and writings suitable 
thereunto, may also be called on good account, the church 
of England. In this sense, we profess ourselves members 
of the church of England, and professing and adhering to 
that doctrine of faith in the unity of it, which was here esta- 
blished and declared, as was before spoken. As to the at- 
tempt of some, who accuse us for everting of fundamentals, 
by our doctrine of election by the free grace of God, of 
effectual redemption of the elect only, conversion by the 
irresistible efficacy of grace, and the associate doctrines, 
which are commonly known, we suppose the more sober 
part of our adversaries will give them little thanks for their 
pains therein : if for no other reason, yet at least, because 
they know the cause they have to manage against us is 
weakened thereby. Indeed it seems strange to us, that we 
should be charged with schism from the church of England, 
for endeavouring to reform ourselves, as to something relat- 
ing to the worship of God, by men everting, and denying so 
considerable a portion of the doctrine of that church, which 
we sacredly retain entire, as the most urgent of our present 
adversaries do. In this sense, I say, we still confess our- 



selves riiembers of the church of England ; nor have we made 
any separation from it, but do daily labour to improve, and 
carry on the light of the gospel which shines therein, and 
on the account whereof it is renowned in the world. 

3. Though I know not how proper that expression of 
children of the church may be under the New Testament, 
nor can by any means consent unto it, to be the urging of 
any obedience to any church or churches whatsoever on that 
account ; no such use being made of that consideration by the 
Holy Ghost, nor any parallel unto it insisted on by him; yet 
in a general sense, so far as our receiving our regeneration 
and new birth, through the grace of God by the preaching of 
the word, and the saving truths thereof here professed, with 
the seal of it in our baptism, may be signified by that ex- 
pression, we own ourselves to have been, and to be children 
of the church of England, because we have received all this 
by the administration of the gospel here in England, as dis- 
pensed in several assemblies therein : and are contented, that 
this concession be improved to the utmost. 

Here indeed are we left by them who renounce the bap- 
tism they have received in their infancy, and repeat it again 
amongst themselves. Yet I suppose, that he who upon that 
single account will undertake to prove them schismatical, 
may find himself entangled. Nor is the case with them ex- 
actly as it was with the Donatists. They do the same thing 
with them, but not on the same principles. The Donatists 
rebaptized those who came to their societies, because they 
professed themselves to believe, that all administration of 
ordinances not in their assemblies was null: and that they 
were to be looked on as no such thing. Our anabaptists do 
the same thing, but on this plea, that though baptism be, yet 
infant baptism is not an institution of Christ, and so is null 
from the nature of the thing itself, not the way of its admi- 
nistration : but this falls not within the verge of my defence. 

In these several considerations we were, and do continue 
members in the church of God in England ; and as to our 
failing herein, who is it that convinces us of sin? 

The second thing inquired after, is, what subjection we 
stood, or were supposed to have stood in, to the bishops ? 
Our subjection being regulated by their power, the conside- 
ration of this, discovers the true state of that. 


They had, and exercised in this nation, a twofold 
power ; and consequently the subjection required of us 
was twofold. 

1. A power delegated from the supreme magistrate of 
the nation, conferred on them, and invested in them, by the 
laws, customs, and usages of this commonwealth, and ex- 
ercised by them on that account. This not only made them 
barons of the realm, and members of parliament, and gave 
them many dignities and privileges, but also was the sole 
fountain and spring of that jurisdiction, which they exer- 
cised by ways and means, such as themselves will not plead 
to have been purely ecclesiastical, and of the institution of 
Jesus Christ. In this respect we did not cast off our sub- 
jection to them; it being our duty to * submit ourselves to 
every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake.' Only when- 
ever they cohimanded things unlawful in themselves, or unto 
us, we always retreated to the old safe rule, ' whether it be 
meet to obey you or'God, judge ye.' On this foundation, I 
say, was all the jurisdiction which they exercised among 
and over the people of this nation built. They had not 
leave to exercise that, which they were invested in, on an- 
other account, but received formally their authority thereby. 
The tenour whereby their predecessors held this power be- 
fore the reformation, the change of the tenour by the laws 
of this land, the investiture of the whole original right 
thereof in another person than formerly, by the same means, 
the legal concession and delegation to them made, the en- 
larging or contracting of their jurisdiction by the same laws, 
the civil process of their courts in the exercise of their au- 
thority, sufficiently evince from whence they had it. Nor 
was any thing herein any more of the institution of Jesus 
Christ, than the courts are in Westminster Hall. Sir Edward 
Coke, who knew the laws of his country, and was skilled in 
them to a miracle, will satisfy any in the rise and tenour of 
episcopal jurisdiction : ' De jure regis eccles.' What there 
is of primitive institution, giving colour and occasion to 
this kind of jurisdiction, and the exercise of it, shall farther 
(God assisting) be declared, when I treat of the state of the 
first churches, and the ways of their degeneracy ; let them, 
or any for them, in the mean time evince the jurisdiction they 
exercised, in respect whereunto our subjection in the first 

Q 2 


kind was required, to derive its original from the pure in- 
stitution of Christ in the gospel, or. to be any such thing as 
it was, in an imagined separation from the human laws 
whereby it was animated ; and more will be asserted than I 
have had the happiness as yet to see. Now I say, that the 
subjection to them due, on this account, we did not cast off; 
but their whole authority, power, and jurisdiction was re- 
moved, taken away, and annulled by the people of the land 
assembled in parliament. 

But this, they reply, is the state of the business in hand ; 
the parliament, as much as in them lay, did so indeed as is 
confessed, and by so doing made the schism, which you by 
adhering to them, and joining with them in your several 
places, have made yourselves also guilty of. 

But do these men know what they say, or will it ever 
trouble the conscience of a man in his right wits, to be 
charged with schism on this account? the parliament made 
alteration of nothing but what they found established by the 
laws of this nation, pleading that they had power committed 
to them to alter, abrogate, and annul laws, for the good of 
the people of the land. If their making alterations in the 
civil laws and constitutions, in the political administrations 
of the nation be schism, we have very little security, but 
that we may be n^ade new schismatics every third year, whilst 
the constitution of a triennial parliament doth continue. In 
the removal then of all episcopal jurisdiction founded in the 
laws and usages of this nation, we are not at all concerned. 
For the laws enforcing it, do not press it as a thing neces- 
sary on any other account, but as that which themselves 
gave rise and life unto. But should this be granted, that 
the office was appointed by Christ, and the jurisdiction im- 
pleaded annexed by him thereunto ; yet this, whilst we abide 
at diocesans, with the several divisions apportioned to them 
in the nation, will not suffice to constitute a national church, 
unless some union of those diocesans, or of the churches 
whereunto they related, into one society and church, by 
the same appointment, be proved, which to my present 
apprehension, will be no easy work for any one to un- 

2. Bishops had here a power as ministers of the gospel, 
to preach, administer the sacraments, to join in the ordina- 

OF SCHISM. 229 . 

tion of ministers, and the like duties of church officers. To 
this we say, let the individuals of them acquit themselves, 
by the qualifications mentioned in the epistles to Timothy 
and Titus, v^^ith a sedulous exercise of their duty in a due 
manner, according to the mind of Christ to be such indeed, 
and we will still pay them all the respects, reverence, duty, 
and obedience, which as such, by virtue of any law or insti- 
tution of Christ, they can claim. Let them come forth 
with weapons that are not carnal, evidencing their ministry 
to the consciences of believers, acting in a spirit and power 
received from Christ, and who are they that will harm 
them ? 

I had once formerly said thus much. ' Let the bishops 
attend the particular flocks over which they are appointed, 
preaching the word, administering the holy ordinances of 
the gospel in and to their own flock, there will not be con- 
tending about them.' It was thought meet to return by one 
concerned, ' I shall willingly grant herein my suffrage, let 
them discharge them (and I beseech all, who have any way 
hindered them, at length to let and quietly permit them) on 
condition he will do this as carefully as L I shall not con- 
tend with him concerning the nature of their task, be it as 
he saith the attending to the particular churches over which 
they are appointed (the bishop of Oxford over that flock or 
portion, to which he was, and is appointed, and so all others 
in like manner), be it their preaching and their administering 
the holy ordinances of the gospel in and to their own flock, 
and whatever else of duty and ' ratione ofiicii' belongs to a 
rightly constituted bishop ; and let all that have disturbed 
this course so duly settled in this church, and in all churches 
of Christ since the apostles' planting them, discern their 
error, and return to that peace and unity of the church, from 
whence they have causelessly and inexcusably departed.' 

Though I was not then speaking of the bishops of 
England, yet I am contented with the application to them ; 
there being amongst them men of piety and learning, whom 
I exceedingly honour and reverence : amongst all the bishops, 
he of Oxford is, I suppose, peculiarly instanced in, because 
it may be thought, that living in this place, I may belong to 
his jurisdiction. But in the condition wherein 1 now am by 
the providence of God, I can plead an exemption on the 

•230 OF SCHISM. 

same foot of account, as he can his jurisdiction. So that 1 
am not much concerned in his exercise of it, as to my own 
person. If he have a particular flock at Oxon, which he 
will attend according to what before I required, he shall 
have no let or hinderance from me ; but being he is, as I 
hear he is, a reverend and learned person, I shall be glad of 
his neighbourhood and acquaintance. But to suppose that 
the diocese of Oxon, as legally constituted and bounded, is 
his particular flock or church, that such a church is insti- 
tuted by Christ, or hath been in being ever since the apostles' 
times, that in his presidency in this church he is to set up 
courts, and exercise a jurisdiction in them, and therewith a 
power over all the inhabitants of this diocese or shire (ex- 
cepting the exempt peculiar jurisdiction), although gathered 
into particular congregations, and united by a participation 
of the same ordinances ; and all this by the will and appoint- 
ment of Jesus Christ, is to suppose what will not be granted. 
I confess, as before, there was once such an order in this 
place, and that it is now removed bylaws, on which founda- 
tion alone it stood before : and this is that wherein I am 
not concerned. Whether we have causelessly and inex- 
cusably departed from the unity of the church, is the matter 
now in inquiry. I am sure, unless the unity can be fixed, 
our departure will not be proved. A law unity I confess, 
an evangelical I am yet in the disquisition of. But I confess 
it will be to the prejudice of the cause in hand, if it shall be 
thought that the determination of it depends on the contro- 
versy about episcopacy : for if so, it might be righteously 
expected that the arguments produced in the behalf and 
defence thereof, should be particularly discussed. But the 
truth is, I shall easily acknowledge all my labour to no 
purpose, if I have to deal only with men, who suppose that 
if it be granted, that bishops, as commonly esteemed in this 
Ration, are of the appointment of Christ, it will thence fol- 
low, that we have a national church of Christ's appointment : 
between which indeed there is no relation or connexion. 
Should I grant, as I said, diocesan bishops, with churches 
answerable to their supportment, particled into several con- 
gregations, with their inferior officers, yet this would be 
remote enough from giving subsistence and union to a na- 
tional church. 

OF SCIilSM. 231 

What then it is which is called the church of England, 
in respect whereto we are charged with schism, is nextly to 
be considered. 

Now there are two ways whereby we may come to the 
discovery of what is intended by the church of England; or 
there are two ways whereby such a thing doth arise. 

1. * Descendendo,' which is the way of the prelates. 

2. * Ascendendo/ which is the way of the Presbyterians. 
For the first, to constitute a national church by descent, 

it must be supposed that all church power is vested in 
national officers, viz. archbishops, and from them derived to 
several diocesans by a distribution of power limited in its 
exercise to a certain portion of the nation, and by them com- 
municated by several engines to parochial priests in their 
several places. A man with half an eye may see that here 
are many things to be proved. 

Thus their first church is national, which is distributed 
into several greater portions termed provinces; those again 
into others, now called diocesses; and those again subdi- 
vided into parochial or particular congregations. Now the 
union of this church consisteth in the due observance of the 
same worship specifically by all the members of it, and sub- 
jection according to rules of their own appointment (which 
were called commonly canons), by way of distinction unto 
the rulers before mentioned in their several capacities. And 
this is that which is the peculiar form of this church. That 
of the church catholic absolutely so called is its unity with 
Christ, and in itself by the one Spirit whereby it is animated. 
That of the church catholic visibly professing the unity of 
the faith, which they do profess, as being by them professed. 
That of a particular church as such, its observance and per- 
formance of the same ordinance of worship numerically, in 
the confession of the same faith, and subjection to the same 
rules of love for edification of the whole. Of this national, as 
it is called, the unity consists in the subjection of one sort 
of officers unto another, within a precinct limited originally 
wholly on an account foreign to any church-state whatever. 
So that it is not called the church of England from its partici- 
pation of the nature of the catholic church, on the account of 
its most noble members ; nor yet from its participation of the 
nature of the visible church in the world, on the account of its 


])rofession of the truth; in both which respects we profess 
our unity with it; nor yet from its participation of the nature 
of a particular church, which it did not in itself, nor as 
such, but in some of its particular congregations; but from 
a peculiar form of its own, as above described, which is to 
be proved to be of the institution of Jesus Christ. 

In this description given of their church-state, with 
whom we have now to do, I have purposely avoided the 
mention of things odious and exposed to common obloquy, 
which yet were the very ties and ligaments of their order, 
because the thing, as it is in itself, being nakedly repre- 
sented, we may not be prejudiced in judging of the strength 
and utmost of the charge that lies against any of us, on the 
account of a departure from it. 

The communion of this church, they say, we have for- 
saken, and broken its unity, and therefore are schismatics. 

I answer in a word, laying aside so much of the jurisdic- 
tion of it mentioned before, and the several ways of its ad- 
ministration, for which there is no colour or pretence that 
it should relate to any gospel institution ; pass by also the 
consideration of all those things which the men, enjoying 
authority in, or exercising the pretended power of this 
church, did use all their authority and power to enjoin and 
establish, which we judge evil; let them prove that such a 
national church as would remain with these things pared off, 
that is in its best estate imaginable, was ever instituted by 
Christ, or the apostles in his name, in all the things of abso- 
lute necessity to its being and existence, and I will confess 
myself to be what they please to say of me. 

That there was such an order in things relating' to the 
worship of God established by the law of the land, in and 
over the people thereof; that the worship pleaded for was 
confirmed by the same law; 'that the rulers mentioned had 
power, being by the magistrates assembled to make rules 
and canons to become binding to the good people of the 
commonwealth, when confirmed by the supreme authority 
of the nation, and not else; that penalties were appointed to 
the disturbers of this order by the same law, I grant. But 
that any thing of all this, as such, that is, as a part of this 
whole, or the whole itself, was instituted by the will and ap- 
pointment of Jesus Christ, that is denied. Let not any one 


think, that because we deny the constitution pleaded about 
to have had the stamp of the authority of Jesus Christ, that 
therefore we pulled it down and destroyed it by violence. 
It was set up before we were born, by them who had power 
to make laws to bind the people of this nation, and we found 
men in an orderly legal possession of that power, which ex- 
erting itself several ways, maintained and preserved that 
constitution, which we had no call to eradicate. Only 
whereas they took upon them to act in the name of Christ 
also, and to interpose their orders and authority in the 
things of the worship of God, we entreated them that we 
might pass our pilgrimage quietly in our native country (as 
Israel would have gone through the land of Edom, without the 
disturbance of its inhabitants), and worship God according 
to the light which he had graciously imparted to us, but 
they would not hearken. But herein also was it our duty 
to keep the word of Christ's patience. Their removal, and 
the dissolution of this national church, arose, and was car- 
ried on, as hath been declared, by other hands, on other 

Now it is not to any purpose, to plead the authority of 
the church, for many of the institutions mentioned; for 
neither hath any church power, or can have, to institute and 
appoint the things whereby it is made to be so; as these 
things are the very form of the church that we plead about; 
nor hath any church any authority but what is answerable to 
its nature: if itself be of a civil prudential constitution, its 
authority also is civil, and no more. Denying their church 
in that form of it, which makes it such to be of the institu- 
tion of Christ, it cannot be expected that we should grant 
that it is, as such, invested with any authority from Christ, 
so that the dissolution of the unity of this church, as it had 
its rise on such an account, proceeded from an alteration of 
the human constitution whereon it was built; and how that 
was done, was before declared. Then let them prove, 

1. That ordinary officers are before the church, and that 
in ' ecclesia instituta,' as well as ' instituenda,' which must 
be the foundation of their work. (We confess extraordinary 
officers were before the church, nor, considering the way of 
men's coming to be joined in such societies, was it possible it 
should be otherwise; but as for ordinary officers, they were 


an exurgeucy from a church, and serve to the completion of 
it ; Acts xiv. 23, 24. Tit. i. 5.) 

2. That Christ hath appointed any national officers, with 
a plentitude of ordinary power, to be imparted, communi- 
cated, and distributed to other recipient subjects, in several 
degrees within one nation, and not elsev/here. I mean such 
an officer or officers, who in the first instance of their power, 
should on their own single account relate unto a whole 

3. That he hath instituted any national church, as the 
proper correlatum of such an officer ; concerning which also 
I desire to be informed, whether a catalogue of those he 
hath so instituted, be to be obtained, or their number be 
left indefinite ? whether they have limits and bounds pre- 
scribed to them by him, or are left to be commensurate to 
the civil dominion of any potentate, and so to enjoy or suffer 
the providential enlargements or straits, that such domi- 
nions are continually subject unto? whether we had seven 
churches here in England during the heptarchy of the 
Saxons, and one in Wales, or but one in the whole? If seven, 
how they came to be one? if but one, why those of Eng- 
land, Scotland, and Ireland, were not one also; especially 
since they have been under one civil magistrate ? or whe- 
ther the difference of the civil laws of these nations be not 
the only cause, that these are three churches? and if so, 
whether from thence any man may not discern whereon the 
unity of the church of England doth depend? 

Briefly, when they have proved metropolitan, diocesan 
bishops in a firstness of power by the institution of Christ, 
a national church by the same institution in the sense 
pleaded for; a firstness of power in the national officers of 
that national church to impose a form of worship upon all 
being within that nation by the same institution, which 
should contain ihe bond of the union of that church ; also, 
that every man who is born, and in his infancy baptized in 
that nation, is a member of that national church by the 
same institution, and shall have distinguished clearly in and 
about their administrations, and have told us what they 
counted to be of ecclesiastical power, and what they grant 
to be a mere emanation of the civil government of the 
nation, we will then treat with them about the business of 


schism. Until then, if they tell us that we have forsaken 
the church of England in the sense pleaded for by them ; I 
must answer, that which is wanting cannot be numbered. It 
is no crime to depart from nothing; we have not left to be 
that which we never were, which may suffice both us and 
them as to our several respective concernments of con- 
science and power. It hath been from the darkness of men, 
and ignorance of the Scriptures, that some have taken ad- 
vantage to set up a product of the prudence of nations in 
the name of Jesus Christ, and on that account to require 
the acceptance of, it. When the tabernacle of God is again 
well fixed amongst men, these shadows will fly away : in the 
mean time, we owe all these disputes, with innumerable 
other evils, to the apostacy of the Roman combination, 
from which we are far as yet from being clearly delivered. 

I have one thing more to add upon the whole matter, 
and I shall proceed to what is lastly to be considered. 

The church of England, as it is called (that is, the people 
thereof), separated herself from the church of Rome. To 
free herself from the imputation of schism in so doing, as 
she (that is, the learned men of the nation) pleaded the 
errors and corruptions of that church, under this especial 
consideration of their being imposed by tyrants; so also, by 
professing her design to be nothing but to reduce religion 
and the worship of God to its original purity, from which it 
was fallen. And we all jointly justify both her and all other 
reformed churches in this plea. 

In her design to reduce religion to its primitive purity, 
she always professed, that she did not take her direction 
from the Scripture only, but also from the councils and ex- 
amples of ihe four or five first centuries, to which she la- 
boured to conform her reformation. Let the question now 
be, whether there be not corruptions in this church of Eng- 
land, supposing such a national state to be instituted. What 
I beseech you, shall bind my conscience to acquiesce in what 
is pleaded from the four or five first centuries, consisting of 
men that could and did err, more than that did her's, which 
was pleaded from the nine or ten centuries following? Have 
not I liberty to call for reformation according to the Scrip- 
ture only ? or at least to profess that my conscience cannot be 
bound to any other? The sum is, the business of schism 


from the church of England, is a thing built purely and 
simply on political considerations so interwoven with them, 
so influenced from them, as not to be separated. The famous 
advice of Maecenas to Augustus, mentioned in Dio Cassius, 
is the best authority I know against it. 

Before we part with this consideration, I must needs 
prevent one mistake, which perhaps in the mind of some 
may arise upon the preceding discourse : for whereas sun- 
dry ordinances of the worship of God are rightly to be ad- 
ministered only in a church, and ministers do evidently 
relate thereunto, the denying of a national church-state 
seems to deny that we had either ministers or ordinances 
here in England. The truth is, it seems so to do, but it 
doth not ; unless you will say, that unless there be a na- 
tional church-state, there is no other; which is too absurd 
for any one to imagine. It follows, indeed, that there were 
no national church officers, that there were no ordinances 
numerically the same to be administered in and to the nation 
at once ; but that there was not another church-state in 
England, and on the account thereof, ordinances truly ad- 
ministered by lawful ministers, it doth not follow. And 
now if by this discourse I only call this business to a re- 
view, bv them who are concerned to assert this national 
church, I am satisfied. That the church of England is a 
true church of Christ, they have hitherto maintained against 
the Romanists, on the account of the doctrine taught in it, 
and the successive ordination of its officers, through the 
church of Rome itself, from the primitive times. About the 
constitution and nature of a national church, they have had 
with them no contention : therein the parties at variance 
were agreed. The same grounds and principles, improved 
with a defence of the external worship and ceremonies es- 
tablished on the authority of the church, they managed 
against the nonconformists and separatists at home. But 
their chief strength against them, lay in arguments more 
forcible, which need not be repeated. The constitution of 
the church now impleaded, deserves as I said the review : 
hitherto it hath been unfurnished of any considerable de- 

2. There is another way of constituting a national church, 
which is insisted on by some of our brethren of the presby- 

OF SCHISM. ' 237 

terian way. This is, that such a thing should arise from the 
particular congregations that are in the nation, united by 
sundry associations and subordinations of assemblies in and 
by the representatives of those churches. So that though 
there cannot be an assembly of all the members of those 
churches in one place, for the performance of any worship 
of God ; nor is there any ordinance appointed by Christ to 
be so celebrated in any assembly of them (which we sup- 
pose necessary to the constitution of a particular church), 
yet there may be an assembly of the representatives of them 
all by several elevations for some end and purpose. 

In this sense, say some, a church may be called national, 
when all the particular congregations of one nation, living 
under one civil government, agreeing in doctrine and wor- 
ship, are governed by their greater and lesser assemblies, 
(Jus Divinum Minist. Anglic, p. 12.) but I would be loath 
to exclude every man from being a member of the church 
in England, that is, from a share in the profession of the 
faith, which is owned and professed by the people of God 
in England; who is not a member of a particular congrega- 
tion. Nor does subjection to one civil government, and 
agreement on the same doctrine and worship specifically, 
either jointly or severally constitute one church, as is known 
even in the judgment of these brethren. It is the last ex- 
pression of lesser and greater assemblies that must do it ; 
but as to any such institution of Christ, as a standing ordi- 
nance, sufficient to give unity, yea, or denomination to a 
church, this is the to Kpivofxevov. And yet this alone is to 
be insisted on. For, as was shewed before, the other things 
mentioned contribute nothing to the form nor union of such 
a church. 

It is pleaded, that there are prophecies and promises of 
a national church, that should be under the New Testament, 
as Psal. xxxii. 10—12. Isa. ii. 2. x. 18, 19. 24, 25. That it 
is foretold and promised that many whole nations shall be 
converted to the faith of the gospel, and thereby become 
the people of God, who before were no people, is granted ; 
but that their way of worship shall be by national churches 
governed by lesser and greater assemblies, doth not appear. 
And when the Jews shall be converted, they shall be a na- 
tional church as England is : but their way of worship shall 


be regulated according to the institution of Christ in the 
gospel. And therefore the publishers of the life of Dr. 
Gouge have expressed his judgment found in a paper in his 
study, that the Jews on their calling shall be gathered to- 
gether into churches, and not be scattered, as now they are. 
A nation may be said to be converted, from the professed 
subjection to the gospel of so many in it, as may give de- 
monstration to the whole : but the way of worship for those 
so converted, is peculiarly instituted. It is said, moreover, 
that the several congregations in one city, are called a 
church, as in Jerusalem; Acts vi. 1. xii. 1. 3. xv. 14. 22. 
So also may all the churches in a nation be called a national 
church. But this is to Iv ap\yi ; nor is that allowed to be 
made a medium in another case, which at the same time is 
'sub judice' in its own. The like also may be said of the 
church of Ephesus ; Acts xx. 17. Rev. ii. 1 . Nor is it about 
a mere denomination that we contend, but the union and 
form of such a church : and if more churches than one were 
together called a church, it is from their participation of the 
nature of the general visible church, not of that which is 
particular, and the seat of ordinances. So where Paul is 
said to persecute the church of God, Gal. i. 13. it is spoken 
of the professors of the faith of Christ in general, and not 
to be restrained to the churches of Judea, of whom he speaks, 
ver. 22, 23. seeing his rage actually reached to Damascus, 
a city of another nation. Acts xxii. 5, 6. and his design was 
vpbg TO yivog. That by the church, mentioned 1 Cor. xii. 28. 
X. 32. Eph. iii. 21. is intended the whole visible church of 
Christ, as made up into one body or church, by a collection 
of all particular churches in the world by lesser and greater 
assemblies (a thing that never was in the world, nor ever 
will be), is denied, and not yet by any that I know proved : 
not that I am offended at the name of the church of England, 
though I think all professors, as such, are rather to be called 
so, than all the congregations. That all professors of the 
truth of the gospel, throughout the world, are the visible 
church of Christ, in the sense before explained, is granted. 
So may, on the same account, all the professors of that 
truth in England, be called the church of England. But it 
is the institution of lesser and greater assemblies, com- 
prising the representatives of all the churches in the world, 


that must give being and union to the visible church in the 
sense pleaded for throughout the world, or in this nation, 
and that bounded to this relation by virtue of the same in- 
stitution that is to be proved. 

But of what there is, or seems to be, of divine institution 
in this order and fabric, what of human prudent creation, 
what in the matter or manner of it I cannot assent unto, I 
shall not at present enter into the consideration; but shall 
only, as to my purpose in hand, take up some principles 
which lie in common between the men of this persuasion 
and myself, with some others otherwise minded. Now of 
these are the ensuing assertions. 

1. No man can possibly be a member of a national church 
in this sense, but by virtue of his being a member of some 
particular church in the nation ; which concurs to the making 
up of the national church. As a man doth not legally be- 
long to any county in the nation, unless he belong to some 
hundred or parish in that county; this is evident from the 
nature of the thing itself. Nor is it pleaded, that we are 
one national church, because the people of the nation are 
generally baptized, and do profess the true faith, but be- 
cause the particular congregations in it are ruled, and so 
consequently the whole, by lesser and greater assemblies. 
I suppose it will not be on second thoughts insisted on, that 
particular congregations, agreeing solemnly in doctrine and 
worship under one civil government, do constitute a national 
church ; for if so, its form and unity, as such, must be given 
it merely by the civil government. 

2. No man can recede from this church, or depart from 
it, but by departing from some particular church therein. 
At the same door that a man comes in, he must go out. If 
I cease to be a member of a national church, it is by the 
ceasing or abolishing of that, which gave me original right 
thereunto, which was my relation to the particular church, 
whereof I am. 

3. To make men members of any particular church or 
churches, their own consent is required. All men must ad- 
mit of this, who allow it free for a man to choose where he 
will fix his habitation. 

4. That as yet, at least since possibly we could be per- 
sonally concerned who are now alive, no such church in this 


nation hath been formed. It is impossible that a man shoukl 
be guilty of offending against that which is not : we have 
not separated from a national church in the presbyterian 
sense, as never having seen any such thing ; unless they will 
say, we have separated from what should be. 

5. As to the state of such a church as this, I shall only 
add to what hath been spoken before, the judgment of a very 
learned and famous man in this case, whom I the rather 
name, because professedly engaged on the Presbyterians' 
side. It is Moses Amyraldus, the present professor of di- 
vinity at Saumur, whose words are these that follow. ' Scio 
nonnunquam appellari particularemecclesiam communionem, 
ac veluti confcBderationem plurium ejusmodi societatum, 
quas vel ejusdem linguae usus, vel eadem rei-pub. forma' 
(the true spring of a national church) 'una cum ejusdem 
disciplinsB regimine consociavit : sic appellatur ecclesia Gal- 
licana, Anglicana, Germanica particularis, ut distinguatur 
ab universali ilia Christianorum societate ; quae omnes Chris- 
tiani nominis nationes complectitur : at uti supradiximus, 
ecclesise nomen non proprie convenire societati omnium 
Christianorum, eo modo quo convenit particularibus Chris- 
tianorum ccBtibus; sic consequens est, ut dicamus, ecclesise 
nomen -non competere in eam multarum ecclesiarum parti- 
cularium consociationem eodem plane modo. Vocetur ergo 
certe ecclesiarum quae sunt in Gallia communio inter ipsas, 
et ecclesia si ecclesia, est multarum ecclesiarum confoede- 
ratio non si nomen ecclesise ex usu Scripturse sacrse acci- 
piatur. Paulus enim varias ecclesias particulares, quae erant 
in Achaia, ecclesias Achaise nuncupat, non ecclesiam Achaise 
vel ecclesiam Achaicam.' Amyral. Disput. de Ecclesise Nom. 
et Defin. Thes. 28. 

These being, if I mistake not, things of mutual acknow- 
ledgment (for I have not laid down any principles peculiar 
to myself, and those with whom I consent in the way of the 
worship of God, which yet we can justly plead in our own 
defence), this whole business will be brought to a speedy 
issue. V 

Only I desire the reader to observe, that I am not 
pleading the right, liberty, and duty of gathering churches 
in such a state of professors, as that of late, and still 
amongst us, which is built on other principles and hypo- 


theses, than any as yet I have had occasion to mention ; but 
am only in general considering the true notion of schism, 
and the charge managed against us on that single account, 
which relates not to gathering of churches, as simply con- 
sidered. I say, then, 

1 . Either we have been members by our own voluntary 
consent, according to the mind of Christy of some particular 
congregations in such a national church, and that as * de 
facto' part of such a church, or we have not. If we have not 
been so (as it is most certain we have not), then we have 
not as yet broken any bond, or violated any unity, or dis- 
turbed any peace or order of the appointment of Jesus 
Christ ; so that whatever of trouble or division bath fol- 
lowed on our way and walking, is to be charged on them 
who have turned every stone, to hinder us our liberty. And 
I humbly beg of them, who acting on principles of reforma- 
tion according to the (commonly called) presbyterian plat- 
form, do accuse us for separation from the church of England, 
that they would seriously consider what they intend thereby. 
Is it that we are departed from the faith of the people of 
God in England ? they will not sustain any such crimina- 
tion. Is it that we have forsaken the church of England as 
under its episcopal constitution? have they not done the 
same ? have they not rejected their national officers, with all 
the bonds, ties, and ligaments of the union of that pre- 
tended church ? have they not renounced the way of wor- 
ship established by the law of the land ? do they not dis- 
avow all obedience to them who were their legal superiors 
in that constitution ? do they retain either matter or form, 
or any thing, but that naked name of that church ? and 
will they condemn others in what they practise themselves? 
As for a church of England, in their new sense (which yet 
in some respects is not new, but old), for what is beyond a 
voluntary consociation of particular churches, we have not 
as yet had experience of it. 

That we shall be accused of schism, for not esteeming 
ourselves made members of a particular church against our 
wills, by buying or hiring a habitation within such a pre- 
cinct of ground, we expect not ; especially considering what 
is delivered by the chief leaders of them, with whom now 
we are treating, whose words are as followeth : ' We grant, 



that living in parishes is not sufficient to make a man a mem- 
ber of a particular church. A Turk, or pagan, or idolater, 
may live within the precincts of a parish, and yet be no 
member of a church. A man must, therefore, in order of 
nature, be a member of the church visible, and then living in 
a parish, and making profession of Christianity, may claim 
admission into the society of Christians within those bounds, 
and enjoy the privileges and ordinances which are there dis- 
pensed;' Ans. of Commit, p. 105. This is also pursued by 
the authors of Jus Divinum Ministerii Anglicani, p. 9, 10. 
where, after the repetition of the words first mentioned, they 
add, that * all that dwell in a parish and constantly hear the 
word, are not yet to be admitted to the sacraments ;' which 
excludes them from being 'fideles,' or church-members, and 
makes them at best as the catechumeni of old, who were 
never esteemed members of the church. 

If \ve have been so members by our own voluntary con- 
sent, and do not continue so to be, then this congregation 
wherein we are so members, was reformed according to the 
mind of Christ (for I speak now to them that own reforma- 
tion, as to their light) or it was not. If it were reformed, 
and that a man were a member of it so reformed by his own 
voluntary consent, I confess it may be difficult how a man 
can leave such a congregation without their consent, in 
whose power it is to give it him, without giving offence to 
the church of God. Only I say, let all by-respects be laid 
aside on the one hand, and on the other, all regard to repute 
and advantage, let love have its perfect work, and no church, 
knowing the end of its being and constitution to be the 
edification of believers, will be difficult and tenacious as to 
the granting a dismission to any member whatever that shall 
humbly desire it, on the account of applying himself to 
some other congregation, wherein he supposes and is per- 
suaded that he may be more effectually built up in his most 
holy faith. 

I confess this to be a case of the greatest difficulty that 
presents itself to my thoughts in this business. Suppose a 
man to be a member of a particular church, and that church 
to be a true church of Christ, and granted so by this person, 
and yet upon the account of some defect, which is in, or at 
least he is convinced and persuaded to be in, that church, 



whose reformation he cannot obtain, he cannot abide in that 
church to his spiritual advantage and edification ; suppose 
the church on the other side, cannot be induced to consent 
to his secession and relinquishment of its ordinary external 
communion, and that person is hereby entangled; what 
course is to be taken? I profess, for my part, I never knew 
this case fall out wherein both parties were not blameable. 
The person seeking to depart, in making that to be an in- 
dispensable cause of departure from a church, which is far 
short of it ; and the church in not condescending to the 
man's desire, though proceeding from infirmity or tempta- 
tion. In general, the rule of forbearance and condescen- 
sion in love, which should salve the difference, is to give place 
to the rule of obeying God in all things according to our 
light: and the determining in this case, depending on cir- 
cumstances in great variety, both with reference to the 
church offending and the person offended. He that can 
give one certain rule in and upon the whole, shall have much 
praise for his invention. However, I am sure this cannot be 
rationally objected by them, who esteeming all parishes, as 
such, to be churches, do yet allow men on such occasions to 
change their habitations, and consequently their church rela- 
tions. ' Men may be relieved by change of dwelling;' Sub- 
com. of Div. p. 52. And when a man's leaving the ordinary 
external communion of any particular church for his own 
edification, to join with another whose administration he is 
persuaded in some things more, or fewer, are carried on more 
according to the mind of Christ, is as such proved to be 
schism, I shall acknowledge it. , 

As then the not giving a man's self up unto any 
way, and submitting to any establishment pretended, or 
pleaded to be of Christ, which he hath not light for, 
and which he was not by any act of his own formerly en- 
gaged in, cannot with any colour or pretence of reason 
be reckoned unto him for schism, though he may, if he 
persist in his refusal, prejudice his own edification; so no 
more can a man's peaceable relinquishment of the ordi- 
nary communion of one church in all its relations, to join 
with another, be so esteemed. For instance of the first case; 
suppose by the law of this nation the several parochial 
churches of the land, according to arbitrary distributions 

K 2 


made of them, should be joined in classical associations, and 
those again in the like arbitrary disposal into provincial, and 
so onward (which cannot be done without such interve- 
niences as will exonerate conscience from the weight of pure 
institution); or suppose this not to be done by the law of the 
land, but by the voluntary consent of the officers of the pa- 
rochial churches, and others joining with them; the saints of 
God in this nation, who have not formerly been given up 
unto, or disposed of, in this order, by their own voluntary 
consent, nor are concerned in it any farther, than by their 
habitation within some of these difterent precincts, that by 
public authority, or consent of some amongst them, are com- 
bined as above; nor do believe suclr associations to be the 
institutions of Christ, whatever they prove to be in the issue ; 
I say, they are by their dissent and refusal to subject them- 
selves to this order, not in the least liable to the charge of 
schism; whatever they are, who neglecting the great duty 
of love and forbearance, would by any means whatever im- 
pose upon them a necessity of so doing. For besides what 
they have to plead, as to the non-institution of any such 
ordinary associations, and investiture of them with power and 
authority in and over the churches, they are not guilty of the 
disturbance of any order, wherein they were stated accord- 
ing to the mind of Christ; nor of the neglect of any duty of 
love that was incumbent on them. 

For the latter; suppose a man stated in a particular 
church, wherewith he hath walked for a season, he discovers 
that some perhaps of the principles of its constitution are not 
according to the mind of Christ, something is wanting or 
redundant, and imposed in practice on the members of it, 
which renders the communion of it, by reason of his doubts 
and scruples, or it may be clear convictions, not so useful to 
him as he might rationally expect it would be, were all things 
done according to the mind of Christ; that also he hath de- 
clared his judgment as he is able, and dissatisfaction: if no 
reformation do ensue, this person, I say, is doubtless at 
liberty to dispose of himself, as to particular church-com- 
munion, to his own best advantage. 

But now suppose this congregation whereof a man is sup- 
posed to be a member, is not reformed, will not nor cannot 
reform itself (I desire that it may be minded with whom 


1 have to do, viz. those who own a necessity of reformation, 
as to the administration of ordinances, in respect to what 
hath been hitherto observed in most parochial assemblies). 
Those I have formerly dealt withal are not to be imposed on 
with this principle of reformation; they acknowledge none 
to be needful; but they are not concerned in our present 
inquiry. Their charge lies all in the behalf of the church of 
England, not of particular assemblies or parishes, which it 
is not possible that according to their principle, they should 
own for churches, or account any separation from any of 
them to be blameworthy, but only as it respecteth the con- 
stitutions of the church national in them to be observed. If 
any claim arise on that hand, as to parochial assemblies, I 
should take liberty to examine the foundation of the plea, 
and doubt not, but that I may easily frustrate their attempts. 
But this is not my present business; I deal, as I said, with 
them who own reformation ; and I now suppose the congre- 
gation, whereof a man is supposed to be a member on any 
account whatever, not to be reformed. 

In this case, I ask, whether it be schism or no, for any 
number of men to reform themselves, by reducing the prac- 
tice of worship to its original institution, though they be the 
minor part lying within the parochial precinct ; or for any of 
them to join themselves with others for that end and pur- 
pose not living within those precincts? I shall boldly say, 
this schism is commanded by the Holy Ghost, 1 Tim. vi. 5. 

2 Tim. iii. 5. Hos. iv. 15. Is this yoke laid upon me by 
Christ, that to go along with the multitude where I live, that 
hate to be reformed, I must forsake my duty, and despise the 
privileges that he hath purchased for me with his own pre- 
cious blood? Is this a unity of Christ's institution, that I 
must for ever associate myself with wicked and profane men 
in the worship of God, to the unspeakable detriment and dis- 
advantage of my own soul ? 

I suppose nothing can be more unreasonable than once to 
imagine any such thing. 

However, not to drive this business any farther, but to 
put it to its proper issue. When it is proved, that this is the 
will and appointment of Jesus Christ, that every believer> 
who liveth within such a precinct allotted by civil constitu- 
tions, wherein the people or inhabitants do, or may usually 


meet for the celebration of the worship of God, or which they 
have light for, or on any account whatever do make profes- 
sion of, how profane soever that part of them be from whom 
the whole is denominated, how corrupt soever in their wor- 
ship, how dead soever as to the power of godliness, must 
abide with them and join with them in their administrations 
and worship, and that indispensably ; this business may come 
again under debate. In the mean time, I suppose the people of 
God are not in any such subjection. I speak not this as laying 
down this for a principle, that it is the duty of every man to 
separate from that church, wherein evil and wicked men are 
tolerated (though that opinion must have many other atten- 
dances before it can contract the least affinity with that of the 
same sound, which was condemned in the Donatists), but this 
only, I say, that where any church is overborne by a multi- 
tude of men wicked and profane, so that it connot reform it- 
self, or will not according to the mind of Christ, a believer is 
so far at liberty, that he may desert the communion of that 
society without the least guilt of schism. But this state of 
things is now little pleaded for. 

It is usually objected about the church of Corinth, that 
there was in it many disorders and enormous miscarriages, 
divisions, and breaches of love : miscarriages through drink 
at their meetings ; gross sins in the incestuous person tole- 
rated ; false doctrine broached ; the resurrection denied ; 
and yet Paul advises no man to separate from it, but all to 
perform their duty in it. 

But how little our present plea and defensative is con- 
cerned in this instance, supposed to lie against it, very few 
considerations will evince. 

1. The church of Corinth was undoubtedly a true church, 
lately instituted according to the mind of Christ, and was 
not fallen from that privilege by any miscarriage, nor had 
suffered any thing destructive to its being; which wholly 
differences between the case proposed in respect of many 
particulars, and the instance produced. We confess the 
abuses and evils mentioned had crept into the church, and 
do thence grant, that many abuses may do so into any of the 
best of the churches of God. Nor did it ever enter into the 
heart of any man to think, that so soon as any disorders fall 
out, or abuses creep into it, it is instantly the duty of any 


to fly out of it, like Paul's mariners out of the ship, when 
the storm grew hazardous. It being the duty of all the 
members of such a church, untainted with the evils and cor- 
ruptions of it, upon many accounts to attempt and labour 
the remedy of those disorders, and rejection of these abuses 
to the uttermost; which was that, which Paul advised the 
Corinthians all and some unto, in obedience whereunto they 
were recovered. But yet this I say, had the church of Co- 
rinth continued in the condition before prescribed, that no- 
torious, scandalous sins had went unpunished, unreproved, 
drunkenness continued, and practised in the assembles, men 
abiding by the denial of the resurrection, so overturning the 
whole gospel, and the church refusing to do her duty, and 
exercise her authority to cast all those disorderly persons 
upon their obstinacy out of her communion ; it had been 
the duty of every saint of God in that church, to have with- 
drawn from it, to come out from among them, and not to 
have been partaker of their sins, ijnless they were willing to 
partake of their plague also ; which on such an apostacy 
would certainly ensue. 

I confess Austin, in his single book against the Donatists, 
Post Collationem, cap. 20. affirms, that Elijah and Elisha 
communicated with the Israelites in their worship, when 
they were so corrupted, as in their days, and separated not 
from their sacraments (as he calls them), but only withdrew 
sometimes for- fear of persecution; a mistake unworthy so 
great and wise a person as he was. The public worship of 
those ten tribes in the days of those prophets was idolatrous, 
erected by Jeroboam, confirmed by a law, by Omri, and con- 
tinued by Ahab. That the prophets joined with them in it, 
is not to be imagined. But earnestness of desire for the at- 
taining of any end, sometimes leaves no room for the ex- 
amination of the mediums, offering their service to that 

Let us now see the sum of the whole matter, and what it 
is that we plead for our discharge as to this crime of schism, 
allowing the term to pass in its large and usual acceptation, 
receding for the sake of the truth's farther ventilation, from 
the precise propriety of the word annexed to it in the Scrip- 
ture : the sum is, we have broken no bond of unity, no order 
instituted or appointed by Jesus Christ, have causelessly 


deserted no station, that ever we were in, according to his 
mind, which alone can give countenance to an accusation of 
this nature. That on pure grounds of conscience we have 
withdrawn, or do withhold ourselves from partaking in some 
ways, engaged into upon mere grounds of prudence we 

And thus from what hath been said, it appears in what a 
fair capacity, notwithstanding any principle or practice owned 
by us, we are to live peaceably, and to exercise all fruits of 
love towards those who are otherwise minded. 

There is not the least necessity on us, may we be per- 
mitted to serve God according to our light, for the acquit- 
ting ourselves from the charge, which hath made such a 
noise in the world, to charge other men with their failings, 
great or small, in or about the ways and worship of God. 
This only is incumbent on us, that we manifest that we 
have broken no bond, no obligation, or tie to communion, 
which lay upon us by the will and appointment of Jesus 
Christ our Lord and Master : what is prudentially to be 
done in such a nation as this, in such a time as this, as to 
the worship of God, we will treat with men at farther leisure, 
and when we are lawfully called thereto. 

It may be some will yet say (because it hath been often 
said), there is difference between reforming of churches al- 
ready gathered and raised, and raising of churches out of 
mere materials. The first may be allowed, but the latter 
tends to all manner of confusion. 

I have at present, not much to say to this objection, be- 
cause, as I conceive, it concerns not the business we have 
in hand : nor would I have mentioned it at all, but that it is 
insisted on by some on every turn, whether suited for the 
particular cause for which it is produced, or no. In brief, 

1. I know no other reformation of any church, or any 
thing in a church, but the reducing of it to its primitive in- 
stitution, and the order allotted to it by Jesus Christ. If 
any plead for any other reformation of churches, they are 
in my judgment to blame. 

And when any society, or combination of men (whatever 
hitherto it hath been esteemed), is not capable of such a re- 
duction and renovation, I suppose I shall not provoke any 


wise and sober person, if I profess, I cannot look on such 
a society as a church of Christ, and thereupon advise those 
therein who have a due right to the privileges purchased for 
them by Christ, as to gospel administrations, to take some 
other peaceable course to make themselves partakers of them. 
2. Were I fully to handle the things pointed to in this 
objection, I must manage principles, which in this discourse 
I have not been occasioned to draw forth at all, or to im- 
prove. Many things of great weight and importance must 
come under debate and consideration, before a clear account 
can be given of the case stated in this objection. As, 

1. The true nature of an instituted church under the gos- 
pel, as to the matter, form, and all other necessary consti- 
tutive causes, is to be investigated and found out. 

2. The nature and form of such a church is to be exem- 
plified from the Scripture, and the stories of the first churches, 
before sensibly infested with the poison of that apostacy 
which ensued. 

3. The extent of the apostacy under antichrist, as to the 
ruining of instituted churches, making them to be Babylon, 
and their worship fornication, is duly and carefully to be 

Hie labor, hoc opus. 

Here lies our disorder and division ; hence is our dark- 
ness and pollution of our garments, which is not an easy 
thing to free ourselves of ; though we may arise, yet we 
shall not speedily shake ourselves out of the dust. 

4. By what way and means God begat anew, and kept 
alive his elect, in their several generations, when antichris- 
tian darkness covered the earth, and thick darkness the na- 
tions, supposing an intercision of instituted ordinances, so 
far as to make a nullity in them, as to what was of simple 
and pure institution ; what way might be used for the fixing 
the tabernacle of God again with men, and the setting up of 
church worship according to his mind and will. And here 
the famous cause of the united brethren of Bohemia would 
come under consideration ; who concluding the whole pa- 
pacy to be purely antichristian, could not allow of the ordi- 
nation of their ministers by any in communion with it; and 
yet being persuaded of a necessity of continuing of that or- 
dinance in a way of succession, sent some to the Greek and 


Armenian churches, who observing their ways returned with 
little satisfaction ; so that at last committing themselves and 
their cause to God, they chose them elders from among them- 
selves, and set them apart by fasting and prayer ; which was 
the foundation of all those churches, which for piety, zeal, 
and suffering for Christ, hath given place to none in Europe. 

What was the way of the first reformation in this nation, 
and what principles the godly learned men of those days 
proceeded on, how far what they did may be satisfactory to 
our consciences, at the present, as to our concurrence in them, 
who from thence have the truth of the gospel derived down to 
us; whether ordinary officers be before or after the church, 
and so whether a church-state is preserved in the preserva- 
tion of officers, by a power foreign to that church, whereof 
they are so ; or the office be preserved, and consequently 
the officers, inclusively in the preservation, and constitution 
-of a church : these, I say, with sundry other things of the 
like importance, with inferences from them, are to be con- 
sidered to the bottom, before a full resolution can be given 
to the inquiry couched in this objection, which, as I said, 
to do, is not my present business. 

This task then is at its issue and close ; some consider- 
ations of the manifold miscarriages that have ensued for 
want of a due and right apprehension of the thing we 
have now been exercised in the consideration of, shall shut 
it up. 

1. It is not impossible, that some may, from what hath 
been spoken, begin to apprehend that they have been too 
hasty in judging other men. Indeed none are more ready 
to charge highly, than those who when they have so done, 
are most unable to make good their charge ; ' si accusasse 
sbfficiat, quis erit innocens?' what real schisms in amoral 
sense have ensued among brethren, by their causeless mutual 
imputation of schism in things of institution, is known. And 
when men are in one fault, and are charged with another, 
wherein they are not, it is a ready way to confirm them in 
that wherein they are. There is more darkness and diffi- 
culty in the whole matter of instituted worship, than some 
men are aware of; not that it was so from the beginning, 
whilst Christianity continued in its naked simplicity ; but 
it is come occasionally upon us by the customs, darkness. 


and invincible prejudices, that have taken hold on the minds 
of men by a secret diffusion of the poison of that grand 
apostacy. It were well, then, that men would not be so 
confident, nor easily persuaded, that they presently know 
how all things ought to be, because they know how they 
would have some things to be, which suit their temper and 
interest. Men may easily perhaps see, or think they see, 
what they do not like, and cry out schism and separation, 
but if they would a little consider what ought to be in this 
whole matter, according to the mind of God, and what evi- 
dences they have of the grounds and principles, whereon 
they condemn others, it might make them yet swift to hear, 
but slow to speak, and take off from the number of teachers 
among us; some are ready to think, that all that join not 
with them are schismatics ; and they are so, because they 
go not with them, and other reason they have none ; being 
unable to give any solid foundation of what they profess ; 
what the cause of unity among the people of God hath suf- 
fered from this sort of men, is not easily to be expressed. 

2. In all differences about religion to drive them to their 
rise and spring, and to consider them as stated originally, 
will ease us of much trouble and labour. Perhaps many of 
them will not appear so formidable, as they are represented. 
He that sees a great river, is not instantly to conclude that 
all the water in it comes from its first rise and spring, the 
addition of many brooks, showers, and landfloods, have 
perhaps swelled it to the condition wherein it is ; every dif- 
ference in religion is not to be thought to be as big at its 
rise, as it appears to be when it hath passed through many 
generations, and hath received additions and aggravations 
from the disputings and contendings of men, on the one 
hand and the other engaged. What a flood of abomina- 
tions doth this business of schism seem to be, as rolling 
down to us through the writings of Cyprian, Austin, and 
Oplatus of old ; the schoolmen, decrees of popish councils, 
with the contrivances of some among ourselves, concerned 
to keep up' the swelled notion of it ! Go to its rise, and vou 
will find it to be, though bad enough, yet quite another 
thing, than what by the prejudices accruing by the addition 
of so many generations, it is now generally represented to 


The great maxim, 'to the law and to the testimony,' truly 
improved, would quickly cure all our distempers : in the 
mean time, let us bless God, that though our outward man 
may possibly be disposed of, according to the apprehension 
that others have of what we do, or are, our consciences are 
concerned only in what he hath appointed. How some 
men may prevail against us, before whom we must stand or 
fall according to their corrupt notion of schism, we know 
not; the rule of pur consciences, in this, as in all other 
things, is f^ternal and unchangeable. Whilst I have an un- 
controllable faithful witness, that I transgress no limits pre- 
scribed to me in the word, that I do not willingly break, or 
dissolve any unity of the institution of Jesus Christ, my 
mind, as to this thing, is filled with perfect peace. Blessed 
be God, that hath reserved the sole sovereignty of our con- 
sciences in his hand, and not in the least parcelled it out to 
any of the sons of men, whose tender mercies being often- 
times cruelty itself, they would perhaps destroy the soul 
also, when they do so to the body, seeing they stay there, 
as our Saviour vvitnesseth, because they can proceed no far- 
ther. Here then I profess to rest, in this doth my con- 
science acquiesce ; whilst I have any comfortable persuasion, 
on grounds infallible, that I hold the head, and that I am 
by faith a member of the mystical body of Christ, whilst I 
make profession of all the necessary saving truths of the 
gospel, whilst I disturb not the peace of that particular 
church, whereof by my own consent I am a member, nor do 
raise up, nor continue in any causeless differences with 
them, or any of them, with whom I walk in the fellowship 
and order of the gospel, whilst I labour to exercise faith 
towards the Lord Jesus Christ, and love towards all the 
saints, I do keep the unity which is of the appointment of 
Christ; and let men say, from principles utterly foreign to 
the gospel, what they please or can to the contrary, I am 
no schismatic. 

3. Perhaps the discovery which hath been made, how 
little we are many of us concerned in that, which, having 
mutually charged it on one another, hath been the greatest 
ball of strife, and most effectual engine of difference, and 
distance between us, may be a means to reconcile in love 


them that truly fear God, though engaged in several ways 
as to some particulars. I confess I have not any great 
hope of much success on this account ; for let principles 
and ways be made as evident, as if he that wrote them car- 
ried the sun in his hand; yet, whilst men are forestalled by 
prejudices, and have their affections and spirits engaged 
suitably thereunto, no great alteration in their minds and 
ways, on the clearest conviction whatever, is to be expected. 
All our hearts are in the hand of God ; and our expectations 
of what he hath promised are to be proportioned to what 
he can effect, not to what of outward means we see to be 

4. To conclude ; what vain janglings men are endlessly 
engaged in, who will lay their own false hypotheses and 
preconceptions, as a ground of farther procedure, is also in 
part evident, by what hath been delivered. Hence, for in- 
stance, is that doubty dispute in the world, whether a 
schismatic doth belong to the church, or no ? which for the 
most part is determined in the negative ; when it is impos- 
sible a man should be so, but by virtue of his being a 
church member. A church is that * alienum solum/ wherein 
that evil dwelleth. The most of the inquiries that are made, 
and disputed on, whether this or that sort of men belong to 
the church or no ? are of the same value and import. He 
belongs to the church catholic, who is united to Christ by 
the Spirit, and none other. And he belongs to the church 
general visible, who makes profession of the faith of the 
gospel, and destroys it not by any thing of a just incon- 
sistency with the belief of it. And he belongs to a particu- 
lar church, who having been in a due order joined there- 
unto, hath neither voluntarily deserted it, nor been judicially 
ejected out of it. Thus one may be a member of the 
church catholic, who is no member of the general visible 
church, nor of a particular church, as an elect infant, sanc- 
tified from the womb, dying before baptism ; and one may 
be a member of the church general visible, who is no mem- 
ber of the church catholic, nor of a particular church, as a 
man making profession of the true faith, yet not united to 
Christ by the Spirit, nor joined to any particular visible 
church ; or he may be also of the catholic church, and not 


of a particular ; as also of a particular church, and not of 
the catholic. And a man may be, every true believer walking 
orderly, ordinarily is, a member of the church of Christ in 
every sense insisted on ; of the catholic church, by a union 
with Christ the head ; of the visible general church, by his 
profession of the faith ; and of a particular congregation, by 
his voluntary associating himself therewith, according to 
the will and appointment of our Lord Jesus Christ. 









AouXov Ky^iou ov Set /t*a;^£&ai. — 2 Tim. ii. 24. 

As" Tov Ims-ytoTTov aveyxAnTov Eivai, a;? ©£ou oiJtovo^ov, fxh au&«5«, jW^ ojyjXov, 
ju^ TTttfoivsv, jW^ 7r^wTW, ^^ ai<7p^5o»EjW. — Tit. i. 7. 


Christian Reader, 

It is now about three weeks since, that there was 
sent unto me, a book entitled, Independency a Great 
Schism : as the frontispiece farther promiseth, under- 
taken to be managed against something written by 
me, in a treatise about the true nature of schism, pub- 
lished about a year ago ; with an addition of a charge 
of inconstancy in opinion, upon myself: of the one^, 
and the other, the ensuing discourse will give a far- 
ther and full account. Coming unto my hands at 
such a season, wherein, as it is known, I was pressed 
with more than ordinary occasions of sundry sorts, I 
thought to have deferred the examination of it, until 
farther leisure might be obtained, supposing that some 
fair advantage would be administered by it, to a far- 
ther Christian debate of that discovery of truth, and 
tender of peace, which in my treatise I had made. 
Engaging into a cursory perusal of it, I found the 
reverend author's design and discourse, to be of that 
tendency and nature, as did not require, nor would 
admit of any such delay. His manifold mistakes in 
apprehending the intention of my treatise and of the 
severals of it ; his open presumption of his own prin- 
ciples, as the source and spring of what pretends to be 
argumentative in his discourse, arbitrarily inferring 
from them, without the least attempt of proof, what- 
ever tenders its assistance to cast reproach on them 
with whom he hath to do ; his neglect in providing a 
defence for himself by any principles not easily turned 
upon him, against the same charge which he is pleased 
to manage against me; his avowed laying the founda- 
tion of his whole fabric, in the sand of notoriously 
false suppositions, quickly delivered me from the 
thoughts of any necessity to delay the consideration of 

VOL. XIX. s 


what he tendered to make good the title of his dis- 
course. The open and manifest injury done, not only 
to myself, in laying things to my charge which I know 
not, lading me with reproaches, tending to a rendering 
of me odious to all the ministers and churches in the 
world, not agreeing with me in some few things con- 
cerning gospel administrations, but also to all other 
churches and persons of the same judgment with my- 
self, called for a speedy account of the true state of the 
things contended about. 

Thou hast therefore here. Christian reader, the pro- 
duct (through the grace of him who supplieth seed to 
the sower) of the spare hours of four or five days, in 
which space of time this ensuing discourse was begun 
and finished. Expect not therefore any thing from it, 
but what is necessary for the refutation of the book, 
whereunto it is opposed ; and as to that end and pur- 
pose, I leave it to thy strictest judgment. Only I 
shall desire thee to take notice, that having kept myself 
to a bare defence, I have resolvedly forborne all re- 
charge on the presbyterian way, either as to the whole 
of it, whence by way of distinction it is so called, or 
as to the differences in judgment and practice of them 
who profess that way, among themselves, which at 
this day, both in this and the neighbour nation, are 
more and greater, than any that our author hath as yet 
been able to find amongst them whom he doth prin- 
cipally oppose. As the ensuing sheets were almost 
wrought off at the press, there came to my hand a vin- 
dication of that eminent servant of God, Mr. John 
Cotton, from the unjust imputations and charge of the 
reverend person with whom I have now to do, written 
by himself not long before his death. The oppor- 
tunity of publishing that discourse, with the ensuing, 
being then lost, I thought meet to let the reader know, 
that a short season will furnish him with it. Farewell, 
and love, truth, and peace. 

Christ Church College, Oxon. July 9, 1657. 







The present state of things in the Christian world, will on a 
slight consideration yield this account of controversies in 
religion ; that when they are di'iven to such an issue, as by 
foreign coincidences to be rendered the interest of parties at 
variance, there is not any great success to be obtained by a 
management of them, though with never so much evidence 
and conviction of truth. An answering of the profession 
that is on us, by a good and lawful means, the paying of that 
homage and tribute we owe to the truth, the tendering of as- 
sistance to the safe-guarding of some weaker professors there- 
of, from the sophisms and violence of adversaries, is the most 
that in such a posture of things, the most sober writers of 
controversies can well aim at. 

The winning over of men to the truth we seek to main- 
tain, where they have been pre-engaged in an opposition unto 
it, without the alteration of the outward state of things, 
whence their engagements have insensibly sprung and risen, 
is not ordinarily to be expected. How far I was from any 
such thoughts in the composing and publishing my treatise 
of the nature of schism, I declared in sundry passages in the 
treatise itself. Though the thing contended about, whatso- 
ever is pretended to the contrary, will not be found amongst 
the most important heads of our religion, yet knowing how 
far, on sundry accounts, the stated fixed interest of several 
sorts of men engageth them to abide by the principles they 
own in reference thereunto, I was so far from hoping to see 
speedily any visible fruits of the efficacy of the truth I had 

s 2 


managed, that I promised myself a vigorous opposition, 
until some urgent providence or time, altering the frame of 
men's spirits, should make way for its acceptance. Freely I 
left it in the hand of him, whose truth I have good security 
I had in weakness maintained, to dispose of it with its issues 
and events at his pleasure. I confess, knowing several par- 
ties to be concerned in an opposition to it, I was not well 
able to conjecture from what hand the first assault of it would 
arise. Probability cast it on them who looked on them- 
selves in the nearest proximity of advantage by the common 
notion of schism opposed. The truth is, I did apprehend 
myself not justly chargeable with want of charity, if I 
thought that opposition would arise from some other prin- 
ciples, than mere zeal for a supposed truth, and therefore 
took my aim in conjecturing at the prejudices that men 
might fear themselves and interests obnoxious unto by a re- 
ception and establishment of that notion of schism, which I 
had asserted. Men's contentedness to make use of their 
quietness in reference to popery, Socinianism, Arminianism, 
daily vented amongst us, unless it were in some declamatory 
expressions against their toleration, which cost no more 
than they are worth, if shaken off by a speedy engagement 
against my treatise, confirmed such thoughts in me. After, 
therefore, it had passed in the world for some season, and 
had found acceptance with many learned and godly persons, 
reports began to be raised about a design for a refutation of 
it : that so it should be dealt withal I heard was judged neces- 
sary at sundry conventions ; what particular hand it was 
likely the task would fall upon, j udging myself not concerned 
to know, I did not inquire. When I was informed how the 
disposal of the business did succeed, as I was not at all 
surprised in reference to the party in general from which it 
did issue, so I did relieve myself under my fears, and loath- 
ing to be engaged in these contests, by these ensuing con- 
siderations. 1. That I was fully persuaded that what I had 
written was for the substance of it the truth of God, and 
being concerned in it only on truth's account, if it could be 
demonstrated that the sentence I had asserted, was an un- 
lawful pretender thereunto, I should be delivered from pay- 
ing any farther respect or service to that, whereunto none at 
all was due. 2. That in the treatise itself so threatened, I 


had laid in provision against all contending about words, ex- 
pressions, collateral assertions, deductions, positions, all and 
every thing, though true, that might be separated from the 
life or substance of the notion, or truth pleaded for. 3. That 
v^^hereas the whole weight of the little pile turned on one 
single hinge, and that visible and conspicuous, capable of an 
ocular demonstration, as to its confirmation or refutation, I 
promised myself that any man who should undertake the de- 
molishing of it, would be so far from passing that by, and set- 
ting himself to the superstruction, that subsists in its single 
strength and vigour, that indeed finding that one thing neces- 
sary for him, he would solely attempt that, and therein rest. 
This I knew was evident to any considering person that 
should but view the treatise, that if that foundation were 
cast down, the whole superstructure would fall with its own 
weight; but if left standing, a hundred thousand volumes 
against the rest of the treatise could not in the least preju- 
dice the cause undertaken to be managed in it. Men might 
indeed by such attempts manifest my weakness and want of 
skill, in making inferences and deductions from principles of 
truth, wherein I am not concerned, but the truth itself con- 
tended for, would still abide untouched. 4. Having ex- 
pressly waved man's day and judgment, I promised myself 
security from a disturbance by urging against me the au- 
thority of any, of old or late ; supposing that from the evic- 
tion of their several interests, I had emancipated myself 
from all subjection to their bare judgments in this cause-. 
5. Whereas I had confined myself to a bare defensative of 
some, not intending to cast others from the place, which in 
their own apprehensions they do enjoy (unless it was 
the Roman party), I had some expectations that peace- 
loving godly men, would not be troubled that an apparent 
immunity from a crime was without their prejudice or dis- 
advantage manifested in behalf of their brethren, nor much 
pain themselves to reinforce the charge accounted for. So 
that the bare notion of schism, and the nature of it ab- 
stracted from the consideration of persons, would come under 
debate. Indeed, I questioned whether in that friendly compo- 
sure of affections, which for sundry years hath been carrying 
on between sober and godly men of the presbyterian and 
congregational judgment, any person of real godliness would 


interest himself to blow the coal of dissension, and engage 
in new exasperations. I confess I always thought the plea 
of Cicero for Ligarius against Tubero most unreasonable; 
namely, that if he had told (as he calls it) an honest and 
merciful lie in his behalf, yet it was not the part of a man to 
refel it, especially of one who was accused of the same crime; 
but yet I must needs say, a prompt readiness to follow most 
questionable accusations against honest defensatives, from 
good men unjustly accused by others of the same crime, I 
did not expect. I added this also in my thoughts, that the 
facility of rendering a discourse to the purpose, on the busi- 
ness under consideration, was obviated by its being led 
out of the common road, wherein common-place supplies 
would be of little use to any that should undertake it; not 
once suspecting that any man of learning and judgment 
would make a return unto it out of vulo;ar discourses about 
ministers' calling, church-government, or the like. How far 
these and the like considerations might be a relief unto my 
thoughts, in my fears of farther controversial engagements, 
having the pressure of more business upon me than any one 
man I know of my calling in the whole nation, I leave it to 
the judgment of them who love truth and peace. But what 
little confidence I ought, in the present posture of the minds 
of men, to have placed in any or all of them, the discourse 
under consideration hath instructed me. That any one thing 
hath fallen out according to my expectations and conjec- 
tures, but only its being a product of the men, of the persua- 
sions owned therein, I am yet to seek. The truth is, I can- 
not blame my adversary ' viis et modis' to make good the 
opposition he is engaged in ; it concerns him and his advisers 
beyond their interest in the appearing skirts of this contro- 
versy. Perhaps, also, an adjudged necessity of endeavour- 
ing a disreputation to my person and writings, was one in- 
gredient in the undertaking; if so, the whole frame was to 
be carried on by correspondent mediums. But let the prin- 
ciples and motives to this discourse be vfhat they will, it is 
now made public, there being a warmer zeal acting therein, 
than in carrying on some other things expected from the 
same hand. 

To what may seem of importance in it, I shall with all 
possible plainness give a return. Had the reverend author 


of it thought good to have kept within the bounds by me 
fixed, and candidly debated the notion proposed, abstract- 
ing from the provocations of particular applications, I should 
most willingly have taken pains for a farther clearing and 
manifesting of the truth contended about. 

But the whole discourse wherewith I have now to do is 
of another complexion, and the design of it of another ten- 
dency; yea, so managed sometimes, that I am ready to 
question whether it be the product and fruit of his spirit 
whose name it bears : for though he be an utter stranger to 
me, yet I have received such a character of him, as would 
raise me to an expectation of any thing from him, rather 
than such a discourse. 

The reader will be able to perceive an account of these 
thoughts in the ensuing view of his treatise. 

1. I am without any provocation intended, and I hope 
given, reviled from one end of it to the other; and called, 
partly in downright terms, partly by oblique intimations, 
whose reflections are not to be waved, Satan, atheist, scep- 
tic, Donatist, heretic, schismatic, sectary, Pharisee, &c. and 
the closure of the book is merely an attempt to blast my re- 
putation, whereof I shall give a speedy account. 

2. The professed design of the whole is to prove inde- 
pendency, as he is pleased to call it, which what it is he 
declares not, nor (as he manages the business) do I know 
to be a great schism, and that Independents (by whom it is 
full well known whom he intends) are schismatics, secta- 
ries, the troublers of England. So that it were happy for 
the nation, if they were out of it; or discovering san- 
guinary thoughts in reference unto them ; and these kinds 

of discourses fill up the book, almost from one end to the 

3. No Christian care doth seem to have been taken, nor 
good conscience exercised from the beginning to the ending, 
as to imputation of any thing unto me, or upon me, that may 
serve to help on the design in hand. 

Hence, I think, it is repeated near a hundred times, that 
1 deny their ministers to be ministers, and their churches 
to be churches, that I deny all the reformed churches in the 
world, but only our own (as he calls them) to be true 
churches ; all which is notoriously untrue, contrary to my 


known judgment, professedly declared on all occasions, con- 
trary to express affirmations in the book he undertakes to 
confute, and the whole design of the book itself. I cannot 
easily declare my surprisal on this account. What am I to 
expect from others, when such reverend men as this author, 
shall by the power of prejudice be carried beyond all bounds 
of moderation, and Christian tenderness in offending? I no 
way doubt but that Satan hath his design in this whole bu- 
siness. He knows how apt we are to fix on such provoca- 
tions, and to contribute thereupon to the increase of our 
differences. Can he, according to the course of things in 
the world, expect any other issue, but that in the necessary 
defensative I am put upon, I should not wave such re- 
flections and retortions on him and them, with whom I have 
to do, as present themselves with as fair pleas and pretences 
unto me, as it is possible for me to judge, that the charges 
before mentioned (I mean of schism, heresy, and the like) 
did unto him. For as to a return of any thing in its own 
nature false and untrue, as to matter of fact, to meet with 
that of the like kind wherewith I am entertained, I suppose 
the devil himself was hopeless to obtain it. Is he not filled 
with envy to take notice in what love without dissimulation 
I walk with many of the presbyterian judgment? what 
Christian intercourse and communion I have with them in 
England, Scotland, Holland, France, fearing that it may 
tend to the furtherance of peace and union among the 
churches of Christ? God assisting I shall deceive his ex- 
pectations, and though I be called schismatic and heretic a 
thousand times, it shall not weaken my love or esteem of 
or towards any of the godly ministers or people of that way 
and judgment with whom I am acquainted, or have occasion 
of converse. 

And for this reverend author himself, I shall not fail to 
pray, that none of the things, whereby he hath, I fear, ad- 
ministered advantage unto Satan to attempt the exaspera- 
tions of the spirits of brethren one against another, may 
ever be laid to his charge. For my own part I profess in 
all sincerity, that such was my unhappiness, or rather hap- 
piness in the constant converse which in sundry places I 
have with persons of the presbyterian judgment, both of the 
English and Scottish nation, utterly of another frame of 


spirit, than that which is now shewed, that until I saw this 
treatise, I did not believe that there had remained in any 
one godly, sober, judicious person in England, such thoughts 
of heart in reference to our present differences, as are visible 
and legible therein : 

Tantsene anlniis coelestibus irse? 

I hope the reverend author will not be offended, if I make 
bold to tell him, that it will be no joy of heart to him one 
day, that he hath taken pains to cast oil on those flames, 
which it is every one's duty to labour to extinguish. 

But that the whole matter in difference may be the better 
stated and determined, I shall first pass through with the 
general concernments of the book itself, and then consider 
the several chapters of it, as to any particulars in them that 
may seem to relate to the business in hand. It may possibly 
not a little conduce towards the removal of those obstruc- 
tions unto peace and love, laid in our way by this reverend 
author, and to a clearer stating of the controversy pretended 
to be ventilated in his discourse, to discover and lay aside 
those mistakes of his, which being interwoven with the main 
discourse from the beginning to the end, seem as principles 
to animate the whole, and to give it that life of trouble, 
whereof it is partaker. Some of them were, as absolutely 
considered, remarked before ; I shall now renew the mention 
of them, with respect to that influence which they have 
into the argumentative part of the treatise under conside- 

1. First, then, it is strenuously supposed all along, that I 
deny all, or any churches in England, to be true churches 
of Christ, except only the churches gathered in the congre- 
gational way, and upon their principles : then, that I deny 
all the reformed churches beyond the seas to be true 
churches of Christ. This supposition being laid, as the 
foundation of the whole building, a confutation of my 
treatise is fixed thereon, a comparison is instituted between 
the Donatists and myself: arguments are produced to prove 
their churches to be true churches, and their ministers true 
ministers. The charge of schism on this bottom is freely 
given out and asserted, the proof of my schismatical sepa- 
ration from hence deduced, and many terms of reproach are 


returned as a suitable reply to the provocation of this opi- 
nion. How great a portion of a small treatise may easily be 
taken up with discourses relating to these heads, is easy to 
apprehend. Now lest all this pains should be found to be 
useless, and causelessly undergone, let us consider how the 
reverend author proves this to be my judgment. Doth he 
evince it from any thing delivered in that treatise he under- 
takes to confute ? doth he produce any other testimonies out 
of what I have spoken, delivered, or written elsewhere, and 
on other occasions to make it good ? This I suppose he 
thought not of, but took it for granted, that either I was of 
that judgment, or it was fit I should be so, that the difference 
between us might be as great, as he desired to have it ap- 
pear to be. 

Well, to put an end to this controversy, seeing he would 
not believe what I told the world of my thoughts herein 
in my book of schism, I now inform him again, that all these 
surmises are fond and untrue. And truly for his own sake 
with that respect which is due to the reputation of religion, 
I here humbly entreat him not to entertain what is here af- 
firmed with unchristian surmises, which the apostle reckons 
amongst the works of the flesh, as though I were of another 
mind but durst not declare it, as more than once in some 
particulars he insinuates the state of things with me to be. 
But blessed be the God of ray salvation, and of all my de- 
liverances, I have yet liberty to declare the whole of my 
judgment in and about the things of his worship. Blessed 
be God, it is not as yet in the power of some men to bring 
in that their conceited happiness into England, which would 
in their thoughts accrue unto it, by my removal from my na- 
tive soil, with all others of my judgment and persuasion. 
We are yet at peace, and we trust that the Lord will deliver 
us from the hands of men, whose tender mercies are cruel. 
However be it known unto them, that if it be the will of the 
Lord upon our manifold provocations to give us up to their 
disposal, who are pleased to compass us with the ornaments 
of reproaches before mentioned, that so we might fall as a 
sacrifice to rage or violence, we shall, through his assistance 
and presence with us, dare to profess the whole of that truth, 
and those ways of his, which he hath been pleased to re- 
veal unto us. 


And if on any other account this reverend person sup- 
pose I may foster opinions and thoughts of mine own and 
their ways which I dare not own, let him at any time give 
me a command to wait upon him, and as I will freely and 
candidly answer to any inquiries he shall be pleased to make 
after my judgment and apprehensions of these things, so he 
shall find that (God assisting)! dare own, and will be ready 
to maintain, what I shall so deliver to him. It is a sufficient 
evidence that this reverend author is an utter stranger to 
me, or he would scarce entertain such surmises of me as he 
doth. Shall I call in witnesses as to the particular under 
consideration? one evidence by way of instance lies so near 
at hand, that I cannot omit the producing of it : not above 
fourteen days before this treatise came to my hands, a learned 
gentleman, whom I had prevailed withal to answer in the 
vespers of our act, sent me his questions by a doctor of the 
presbyterian judgment, a friend of his, and mine. The first 
question was, as I remember, to this purpose : * Ultrum mi- 
nistri ecclesise Anglicanse habeant validam ordinationem.' I 
told the doctor, that since the questions were to pass under 
my approbation,! must needs confess myself scrupled at the 
limitation of the subject of the question in that term 'eccle- 
sia Anglicana,' which would be found ambiguous and equi- 
vocal in the disputation; and therefore desired that he 
would rather supply it with ' ecclesiarura reformatarum,' or 
some other expression of like importance; but as to the thino- 
itself aimed at, namely, the assertion of the ministry of the 
godly ministers in England, ! told him, and so now do the 
reverend author of this treatise, that I shall as willingly en- 
gage in the defence of it, with the lawfulness of their churches, 
as any man whatever. ! have only in my treatise questioned 
the institution of a national church, which this author doth 
not undertake to maintain, nor hath the least reason so to 
do, for the asserting of true ministers and churches in Eng- 
land; ! mean those of the presbyterian way. What satis- 
faction now this reverend author shall judge it necessary for 
him to give me, for the public injury which voluntarily he 
hath done me, in particular for his attempt to expose me to 
the censure and displeasure of so many godly ministers and 
churches as ! own in England, as a person denying their 
ministry, and church station; I leave it to himself to consider. 


And by the declaration of this mistake how great a part of 
his book is waved as to my concernments therein, himself 
full well knows. 

2. A second principle of Hke importance.which heis pleased 
to make use of, as a thing granted by me, or at least which 
he assumes, as that which ought so to be, is that whatever 
the presbyterian ministers and churches be, I have separated 
from them, as have done all those whom he calls Indepen- 
dents. This is another fountain, out of which much bitter 
water flows. Hence we must needs be thought to condemn 
their ministry and churches. The Brownists were our fa- 
thers, and the Anabaptists are our elder brothers, we make 
a harlot of our mother, and are schismatics and sectaries 
from one end of the book to the other. * Quod erat demon- 
strandum.' But doth not this reverend author know that 
this is wholly denied by us? Is it not disjDroved sufficiently 
in that very treatise which he undertakes to answer ? 

He grants, I suppose, that the separation he blames, must 
respect some union of Christ's institution: for any other, 
we profess ourselves unconcerned in its maintenance, or dis- 
solution, as to the business in hand. Now wherein have we 
separated from them as to the breach of any such union ? 
For an individual person to change from the constant par- 
ticipation of ordinances in one congregation, to do so in an- 
other, barely considered in itself, this reverend author holds 
to be no separation. However for my part, who am forced 
to bear all this wrath and storm, what hath he to lay to my 
charge ? I condemn not their churches in general, to be no 
churches, nor any one that I am acquainted withal in par- 
ticular. I never disturbed, that I know of, the peace of any 
one of them, nor separated from them ; but having already 
received my punishment, I expect to hear my crime by the 
next return. 

3. He supposeth throughout that I deny not only the 
necessity of a successive ordination, but as far as I can un- 
derstand him, the lawfulness of it also. By ordination of 
ministers, many upon a mistake understand only the impo- 
sition of hands that is used therein. Ordination of ministers 
is one thing, and imposition of hands another, differing as 
whole and part ; ordination in Scripture compriseth the 
whole authoritative translation of a man from among the 


number of his brethren into the state of an officer in the 
church. I suppose he doth not think that this is denied by 
me, though he tells me, with the same Christian candour and 
tenderness, which he exerciseth in every passage almost of 
his book, of making myself a minister, and I know not what. 
I am, I bless the Lord, extremely remote from returning him 
any of his own coin in satisfaction for this love. For that 
part of it which consists in the imposition of hands by the 
presbytery (where it may be obtained according to the mind 
of Christ), 1 am also very remote from managing any op- 
position unto it. I think it necessary by virtue of precept, 
and that to be continued in a way of succession. It is, I 
say, according to the mind of Christ, that he who is to be 
ordained unto office in any church, receive imposition of 
hands from the elders of that church, if there be any therein. 
And this is to be done in a way of succession, that so the 
churches may be perpetuated. That alone which I oppose 
is the denying of this successive ordination, through the au- 
thority of antichrist. Before the blessed and glorious re- 
formation, begun and carried on by Zuinglius, Luther, Cal- 
vin, and others, there were, and had been two states of men 
in the world, professing the name of Christ and the gospel, 
as to the outward profession thereof. The one of them in 
glory, splendour, outward beauty, and order, calling them- 
selves the church, the only church in the world, the catholic 
church; being indeed and in truth in that state wherein 
they so prided themselves, the mother of harlots, the beast, 
with his false prophet. The other party, poor, despised, per- 
secuted, generally esteemed and called heretics, schismatics, 
or as occasion gave advantage for their farther reproach, 
Waldenses, Albigenses, Lollards, and the like. As to the 
claim of a successive ordination drawn from the apostles, I 
made bold to affirm, that I could not understand the vali- 
dity of that successive ordination, as successive, which was 
derived down unto us, from and by the first party of men in 
the world. 

This reverend author's reply hereunto, is like the rest of 
his discourse: p. 118. he tells me, 'This casts dirt in the face 
of their ministry, as do all their good friends the sectaries, 
and that he hath much ado to forbear saying, The Lord re- 
buke thee.' How he doth forbear it, having so expressed 


the frame of his heart towards me, others will judge: tlie 
searcher of all hearts knows, that I had no design to cast 
dirt on him, or any other godly man's ministry in England. 
Might not another answer have been returned without this 
wrath ? — This is so, or it is not so, in reference to the ministry 
of this nation. If it be not so, and they plead not their suc- 
cessive ordination from Rome, there is an end of this differ- 
ence. If it be so, can Mr. C. hardly refrain from calling a 
man Satan, for speaking the truth ? It is well if we know of 
what spirit we are. 

But let us a little farther consider his answer in that 
place. He asketh first, 'Why may not this be a sufficient 
foundation for their ministry, as well as for their baptism?' 
If it be so, and be so acknowledged, whence is that great 
provocation that arose from my inquiry after it? For my 
part I must tell him, that I judge their baptism good and 
valid, but to deal clearly with him, not on that foundation. 
I cannot believe, that that idolater, murderer, man of sin, 
had since the days of his open idolatry, persecution, and en- 
mity to Christ, any authority more or less from the Lord 
Jesus committed to him, in or over his churches. But he 
adds, secondly, 'That had they received their ordination from 
the woman flying into the wilderness, the two witnesses, or 
Waldenses, it had been ail one to me, and my party ; for they 
had not their ordination from the people (except some ex- 
traordinary cases), but from a presbytery, according to the 
institution of Christ.' So then, ordination by a presbytery 
is, it seems, opposed by me and ray party ; but I pray, sir, who 
told you so? when, wherein, by what means have I opposed 
it? I acknowledge myself of no party. I am sorry so grave 
a minister should suffer himself to be thus transported, that 
every answer, every reply, must be a reflection, and that 
without due observation of truth and love. That those 
first reformers had their ordination from the people, is ac- 
knowledged; I have formerly evinced it by undeniable tes- 
timony. So that the proper succession of a ministry amongst 
the churches that are their offspring, runs up no higher than 
that rise. Now the good Lord bless them in their ministry, 
and the successive ordination they enjoy, to bring forth 
more fruit in the earth to the praise of his glorious grace. 
But upon my disclaiming all thoughts of rejecting the mi- 


nistry of all those, who yet hold their ordination on the ac- 
count of its successive derivation from Rome, he cries out, 
' egregiam vero laudem,' and says, 'that yet I secretly derive 
their pedigree from Rome.' Well then, he doth not so : why 
then, what need these exclamations ? we are as to this mat- 
ter wholly agreed ; nor shall I at present farther pursue his 
discourse in that place : it is almost totally composed and 
made up of scornful revilings, reflections, and such other 
ingredients of the whole. 

He frequently and very positively affirms, without the 
least hesitation, that I have ' renounced my own ordination,' 
and adds hereunto, that • whatever else they pretend, unless 
they renounce their ordination, nothing will please me;' 
that ' I condemn all other churches in the world as no 
churches.' But who, I pray, told him these things? did he 
inquire so far after my mind in them, as without breach of 
charity to be able to make such positive and express as- 
sertions concerning them ? A good part of his book is taken 
up in the repetition of such things as these, drawing in- 
ferences and conclusions from the suppositions of them, 
and warming himself by them into a great contempt of my- 
self and party, as he calls them. I am now necessitated to 
tell him, that all these things are false, and utterly in part 
and in whole untrue, and that he is not able to prove any 
one of them. And whether this kind of dealing becomes a 
minister of the gospel, a person professing godliness, I leave 
it to himself to judge. For my own part I must confess, 
that as yet I was never so dealt withal by any man, of what 
party soever, although it hath been my unhappiness to pro- 
voke many of them. I do not doubt but that he will be 
both troubled and ashamed when he shall review these 
things. That whole chapter, which he entitles, Indepen- 
dentism, is Donatism ; as to his application of it unto me, or 
any of my persuasion, is of the same importance, as I have 
sufficiently already evinced. I might instance in sundry 
other particulars, wherein he ventures without the least 
check or supposition, to charge me with what he pleaseth, 
that may serve the turn in hand ; so that it may serve to 
bring in, *he and his party are schismatics, are sectaries, 
have separated from the church of God, are the cause of all 
our evils and troubles,' with the like terms of reproach and 


hard censures, lying in a fair subserviency to a design of 
widening the difference between us, and mutually exaspe- 
rating the spirits of men professing the gospel of Jesus 
Christ, one against another, nothing almost comes amiss. 
His sticking upon by-matters, diverting from the main bu- 
siness in hand, answering arguments by reflections and the 
like, might also be remarked. One thing wherein he much 
rejoiceth, and fronts his book with the discovery he hath 
made of it, namely, concerning my change of judgment as 
to the difference under present debate, which is the sub- 
stance and design of his appendix, must be particularly 
considered, and shall be, God assisting, in the next chapter 


An answer to the appendix of Mr. C.'s charge. 

Though perhaps impartial men will be willing to give me 
an acquitment from the charge of altering my judgment in 
the matters of our present difference, upon the general ac- 
count of the co-partnership with me of the most inquiring 
men in this generation, as to things of no less importance; 
and though I might against this reverend brother, and others 
of the same mind and persuasion with him, at present re- 
lieve myself sufficiently by a recrimination, in reference to 
their former episcopal engagements, and sundry practices in 
the worship of God them attending, pleading in the mean 
time the general issue of changing from error to truth 
(which that I have done as to any change I have really 
made, I am ready at any time to maintain to this author), 
yet it being so much insisted upon by him as it is, and the 
charge thereof in the instance given, accompanied with so 
many evil surmisings, and uncharitable reflections, looking 
like the fruits of another principle than that whereby we 
ought in the management of our differences to be ruled, I 
shaJl give a more particular account of that, which hath 
yielded him this great advantage. The sole instance in- 
sisted on by him, is a small treatise published long ago by 
me, entitled, The Duty of Pastors and People distinguished ; 


wherein I profess myself to be of the presbyterian judgment. 
^ Excerpta' out of that treatise, with animadversions and 
comparisons thereon, make up the appendix, which was 
judged necessary to be added to the book, to help on with 
the proof that independency is a great schism : had it not 
been indeed needful to cause the person to suffer, as well as 
the thing, some suppose this pains might have been spared. 
But I am not to prescribe to any, what way it is meet for 
them to proceed in, for the compassing of their ends aimed 
at. The best is, here is no new thing produced, but what 
the world hath long since taken notice of, and made of it 
the worst they can. Neither am I troubled that I have a 
necessity laid upon me to give an account of this whole 
matter. That little treatise was written by me in the year 
1643, and then printed ; however, it received the addition of 
a year in the date affixed to it by the printers, which for 
their own advantage is a thing usual with them. I was 
then a young man myself, about the age of twenty-six or 
twenty-seven years. The controversy between indepen- 
dency and presbytery was young also ; nor indeed by me 
clearly understood, especially as stated on the congregational 
side. The conceptions delivered in the treatise were not 
(as appears in the issue) suited to the opinion of the one 
party, nor of the other; but were such as occurred to mine 
own naked consideration of things, with relation to some 
differences that were then upheld in the place where I lived, 
only being unacquainted with the congregational way, I 
professed myself to own the other party, not knowing but 
that my principles were suited to their judgment and pro- 
fession ; having looked very little farther into those affairs, 
than I was led by an opposition to episcopacy and ceremo- 
nies. Upon a review of what I had there asserted, I found 
that my principles were far more suited to what is the judg- 
ment and practice of the congregational men, than those of 
the presbyterian. Only whereas I had not received any 
farther clear information in these ways of the worship of 
God, which since I have been engaged in, as was said, I 
professed myself of the presbyterian judgment, in opposition 
to democratical confusion ; and indeed so I do still ; and so 
do all the congregational men in England, that I am ac- 
quainted withal ; so that when I compare what then I wrote* 



with my present judgment, I am scarce able to find the 
least difference between the one and the other ; only a mis- 
application of names and things by me gives countenance 
to this charge. Indeed not long after, I set myself se- 
riously to inquire into the controversies then warmly agitated 
in these nations. Of the congregational way, I was not ac- 
quainted with any one person, minister or other ; nor had I, 
to my knowledge, seen any more than one in my life. My 
acquaintance lay wholly with ministers, and people of the 
presbyterian way. But sundry books being published on 
either side, I perused, and compared them with the Scrip- 
ture, and one another, according as I received ability from 
God. After a general view of them, as was my manner in 
other controversies, I fixed on one to take under peculiar 
consideration and examination, which seemed most methodi- 
cally and strongly to maintain that which was contrary as I 
thought to my present persuasion. This was Mr. Cotton's 
book of the Keys. The examination and confutation hereof, 
merely for my own particular satisfaction, with what dili- 
gence and sincerity I was able, I engaged in. What pro- 
gress I made in that undertaking, I can manifest unto any 
by the discourses on that subject, and animadversions on 
that book yet abiding by me. In the pursuit and manage- 
ment of this work, quite besides, and contrary to my ex- 
pectation, at- a time and season wherein I could expect 
nothing on that account but ruin in this world, without the 
knowledge or advice of, or conference with, any one person 
of that judgment, I was prevailed on to receive that, and 
those principles which I had thought to have set myself in 
an opposition unto. And indeed this way of impartial ex- 
amining all things by the word, comparing causes with 
causes, and things with things, laying aside all prejudicate 
respects unto persons, or present traditions, is a course that 
I would admonish all to beware of, who would avoid the 
danger of being made independents. I cannot indeed deny, 
but that it is possible I was advantaged in the disquisition 
of the truth I had in hand, from my former embracing of the 
principles laid down in the treatise insisted on ; now being 
by this means settled in the truth, which I am ready to 
maintain to this reverend and learned author, if he or any 
other suppose they have any advantage hereby against me. 


as to my reputation, which alone is sought in such attempts 
as this : or if I am blaraeably^riable to the charge of incon- 
stancy and inconsistency with my own principles, which he 
thought meet to front his book withal, hereupon I shall not 
labour to divest him of his apprehension, having abundant 
cause to rejoice in the rich grace of a merciful and tender 
father, that men seeking occasion to speak evil of so poor a 
worm, tossed up and down in the midst of innumerable 
temptations, I should be found to fix on that which I know 
will be found my rejoicing in the" day of the Lord Jesus. 

I am necessitated to add somewhat also to a surmise of 
this reverend man, in reference to my episcopal compliances 
in former days, and strict observation of their canons. This 
indeed I should not have taken notice of, but that I find 
others, besides this author, pleasing themselves with this ap- 
prehension, and endeavouring an advantage against the truth 
I profess thereby. How little some of my adversaries are 
like to gain, by branding this as a crime, is known ; and I 
profess I know not the conscience, that is exercised in this 
matter. But to deliver them once for all from involving 
themselves in the like unchristian procedure hereafter, let 
them now know what they might easily have known be- 
fore ; namely, that this accusation is false, a plain calumny, 
a lie. As I was bred up from my infancy under the care of 
my father, who was a nonconformist all his days, and a pain- 
ful labourer in the vineyard of the Lord ; so ever since I 
came to have any distinct knowledge of the things belong- 
ing to the worship of God, I have been fixed in judgment 
against that which I am calumniated withal ; which is no- 
toriously known to all that have had any acquaintance with 
me : what advantage this kind of proceeding is like to bring 
to his own soul, or the cause which he manageth, I leave to 
himself to judge. 

Thus in general, to take a view of some particular 
passages in the appendix destined to this good work ; the 
first section tries with much wit and rhetoric to improve the 
pretended alteration of judgment to the blemishing of my 
reputation, affirming it to be from truth to error ; which, as 
to my particular, so far as it shall appear I am concerned (I 
am little moved with the bare affirmation of men, especially 
if induced to it by their interest), I desire him to let me 



know when and where I tnay personally wait upon him to 
be convinced of it : in the raftun time, so much for that sec- 
tion : in the second, he declares what my judgment was in 
that treatise about the distance between pastors and people, 
and of the extremes that some men on each hand run into : 
and I now tell him, that I am of the same mind still, so that 
that note hath little availed him. In the third, he relates what 
I delivered, 'that a man, not solemnly called to the office of 
the ministry by any outward call, might do as to the preach- 
ing of the gospel in a collapsed church-state :' unto this he 
makes sundry objections, that my discourse is dark, not 
clear, and the like ; but, remembering that his business was 
not to confute that treatise also, but to prove from it my in- 
constancy, and inconsistency with myself, he says, I am 
changed from what I then delivered : this is denied, I am 
punctually of the same judgment still : but he proves the 
contrary by a double argument. 1. Because I have re- 
nounced my ordination. 2. Because I think now, that not 
only in a complete church-state, but when no such thing can 
be charged, that gifts and consent of the people is enough 
to make a man a preacher in office : both untrue and false 
in fact. I profess I am astonished, to think with what frame 
of spirit, what neglect of all rules of truth and love this bu- 
siness is managed. In the fourth section, he chargeth me 
to have delivered somewhat in that treatise about the per- 
sonal indwelling of the Holy Ghost in believers, and my 
words to that purpose are quoted at large. What then? am 
I changed in this also ? no, but that is an error in the judg- 
ment of all that be orthodox : but that is not the business in 
hand, but the alteration of my judgment; wherefore he 
makes a kind of exposition upon my words in that treatise, 
to shew that I was not then of the mind that I have now de- 
livered myself to be of, in my book of schism ; but I could 
easily answer the weakness of his exceptions, and pretended 
expositions of my former assertions, and evidence my con- 
sistency in judgment with myself in this business ever since; 
but this he saith is an error which he gathered out of my 
book of schism ; and somebody hath sent him word from 
Oxford that I preached the same doctrine at St. Mary's. I 
wish his informer had never more deceived him; it is most 
true I have done so, and since printed at large what then I 


delivered, with sundry additions thereunto ; and if this re- 
verend author shall think good to examine what I have pub- 
lished on that account (not in the way in this treatise pro- 
ceeded in, which in due time will be abhorred of himself and 
all good men, but with candour, and a spirit of Christian in- 
genuity and meekness), I shall acknowledge myself obliged 
to him : and in the mean time I desire him to be cautious of 
large expressions, concerning all the orthodox, to oppose 
that opinion, seeing evidences of the contrary lie at hand in 
great plenty : and let him learn from hence how little his 
insulting in his book on this account is to be valued. Sect. 
5. he shews that I then proved the name of priests not 
to be proper, or to be ascribed to the ministers of the 
gospel ; but that now (as is supposed in scorn) I call the 
ministers of their particular congregations parochial priests: 
untrue ! In the description of the prelatical church, I shewed 
what they esteemed and called parish ministers amongst 
them. I never called the presbyterian ministers of parti- 
cular congregations, parochial priests. Love, truth, and 
peace ; these things ought not thus to be. Sect. 6. he 
labours to find some difference in the tendency of several 
expressions in that treatise, which is not at all to the pur- 
pose in hand, nor true, as will appear to any that shall read 
the treatise itself. In sect. 7 — 11. he takes here and 
there a sentence out of the treatise and examines it, inter- 
lacing his discourse with untrue reflections, surmises, 
and prognostications : and in par^cular, p. 238, 239. But 
what doth all this avail him in reference to his design in 
hand? not only before, but even since, his exceptions to the 
things then delivered, I am of the same mind that I was, 
without the least alteration. And in the viewing of what 
I had then asserted, I find nothing strange to me, but the 
sad discovery of what frame of spirit the charge proceeded 
from. Sect. 12. doth the whole work ; there I acknowledge 
myself to be of the presbyterian judgment, and not of the 
independent or congregational. Had this reverend author 
thought meet to have confined his charge to this one quo- 
tation, he had prevented much evil that spreads itself over 
the rest of his discourse, and yet have attained the utmost 
of what he can hope for from the whole ; and hereof I have 
already given an account. But he will yet proceed, and. 


sect. 13. inform his reader, that in that treatise I aver, that 
two things are required in a teacher, as to formal ministerial 
teaching. 1. Gifts from God. 2. Authority from the 
church: well! what then? lam of the same mind still: but 
now I cry down ordination by presbytery ; what, and is not 
this a great alteration and sign of inconstancy ? Truly, sir, 
there is more need of humiliation in yourself, than triumph- 
ing against me ; for the assertion is most untrue, and your 
charge altogether groundless ; which I desire you would be 
satisfied in, and not to be led any more by evil surmises, to 
wrong me, and your own soul. He adds, sect. 14. two cau- 
tions, which in that treatise I give to private Christians in 
the exercise of their gifts, and closeth the last of them with 
a juvenile epiphonema, divinely spoken, and like a true pres- 
byterian : and yet there is not one word in either of these 
cautions that I do not still own and allow ; which confirms 
the unhappiness of the charge. Of all that is substantial in 
any thing that follows, I affirm the same, as to all that which 
is gone before. Only as to the liberty to be allowed unto 
them which meet in private, who cannot in conscience join 
in the celebration of public ordinances, as they are per- 
formed amongst us, I confess myself to be otherwise minded 
at present, than the words there quoted by this author do 
express. But this is nothing to the difference between pres- 
bytery and independency : and he that can glory, that in 
fourteen years he hath not altered or improved in his con- 
ception of some things, .of no greater importance than that 
mentioned, shall not have me for his rival. And this is the 
sum of Mr. C.'s appendix; the discourse whereof being car- 
ried on with such a temper of spirit as it is, and suited to 
the advantage aimed at, by so many evil surmises, false sug- 
gestions, and uncharitable reflections, I am persuaded the 
taking of that pains, will one day be no joy of heart unto 



A review of the charger's preface. 

His first chapter consists for the most part in a repetition 
of my words, or so much of the discourse of my first chapter 
as he could wrest, by cutting off one, and another parcel of 
it from its coherence in the whole, with the interposure of 
glosses of his own, to serve him to make biting reflections 
upon them with whom he hath to deal. How unbecoming 
such a course of procedure is, for a person of his worth, gra- 
vity, and profession, [perhaps his davrtpaL ^povridtQ, have 
by this time convinced him. If men have a mind to perpe- 
tuate controversies unto an endless, fruitless reciprocation 
of words and cavils ; if to provoke to easy and facile retor- 
tions ; if to heighten and aggravate differences beyond any 
hope of reconciliation, they may do well to deal after this 
manner with the writings of one another. Mr. C. knows 
how easy it were to make his own words dress him up in all 
those ornaments wherein he labours to make me appear in the 
world, by such glosses, inversions, additions, and interposi- 
tions, as he is pleased to make use of; but ' meliora spera- 
mus.' Such particulars that seem to be of any importance 
to our business in hand, may be remarked as we pass through 
it: p. 1. he tells us the Donatists had two principles. 1. 
That they were the only church of Christ in a corner of Af- 
rica, and left no church in the world but their own. 2. That 
none were truly baptized, or entered members of the church of 
Christ, but by some minister of their party.'^ These principles, 
he says, are again improved by men of another party : whom 
though yet he name not, yet it is evident whom he intends ; 
and p. 3. he requires my judgment of those principles. 

Because I would not willingly be wanting in any thing 
that may tend to his satisfaction, though I have some reason 
to conjecture at my unhappiness in respect of the event; I 
shall with all integrity give him my thoughts of the princi- 
ples expressed above. 

1 . Then, if they were considered in reference to the Do- 
natists who owned them, I say, they were wicked, corrupt, 
erroneous principles, tending to the disturbance of the com- 


munion of saints, and everting all the rules of love that our 
Lord Jesus Christ hath given to his disciples and servants to 
observe; if he intend my judgment of them in reference to the 
churches of England, which he calls independent, I am sorry 
that he should think he hath any reason to make this inquiry. 
I know not that man in the world who is less concerned in ob- 
taining countenance to those principles than I am. Let them 
who are so ready on all occasions, or provocations, to cast 
abroad the solemn forms of reproach, schismatics, sectaries, 
heretics, and the like, search their own hearts as to a con- 
formity of spirit unto these principles. It is not what men 
say, but what men do, that they shall be judged by. As the 
Donatists were not the first who in story were charged with 
schism, no more was their schism confined to Africa. The 
agreement of multitudes in any principles, makes it in itself 
not one whit better, and in effect worse. For my part, I ac- 
knowledge the churches in England, Scotland, and France, 
Helvetia, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Muscovia, &c. 
as far as I know of them, to be true churches ; such, for 
aught I know, may be in Italy or Spain ; and what pretence 
or colour this reverend person hath to fix a contrary persua- 
sion upon me, with so many odious imputations and reflec- 
tions, of being one of the restorers of all lost churches, and 
the like, I profess I know not. These things will not be 
peace in the latter end; shall the sword devour for ever? 
I dare not suppose that he will ask, why then do I separate 
from them? he hath read my book of schism, wherein I have 
undeniably proved, that I have separated from none of them, 
and I am loath to say, though I fear before the close of my 
discourse I shall be compelled to it, that this reverend author 
hath answered a matter before he understood it, and confuted 
a book, whose main and chief design he did not once appre- 
hend. The rest of this chapter is composed of reflections upon 
me from my own words wrested at his pleasure, and added 
to according to the purpose in hand, and the taking for 
granted unto that end that they are in the right, we in the 
wrong, that their churches are true churches, and yet not 
esteemed so by me, that we have separated from those 
chvirches, with such like easy suppositions. He is troubled 
that I thoughtthe mutual chargings of each other with schism, 
between the Presbyterians and Independents, was as to its 


heat abated and ready to vanish : wherein he hath invincibly 
compelled me to acknowledge my mistake ; and I assure him 
I am heartily sorry that I was mistaken, it will not be some- 
body's joy one day that I was so. He seems to be oflPended 
with my notion of schism, because if it be true, it will carry 
it almost out of the world, and bless the churches with ever- 
lasting peace. He tells me, that a learned doctor said ' my 
book was one great schism ;' I hope that is but one doctor's 
opinion ; because, being nonsense, it is not fit it should be 
entertained by many. In the process of his discourse, he 
culls out sundry passages, delivered by me in reference to the 
great divisions and differences that are in the world among 
men professing the name of Christ, and applies them to the 
difference between the Presbyterians and Independents, with 
many notable lashes in his way; when they were very little 
in my thoughts, nor ar^ the things spoken by me in any 
tolerable measure applicable to them. I suppose no rational 
man will expect that I should follow our reverend author in 
such ways and paths as these; it were easy in so doing to 
enter into an endless maze of words, to little purpose, and I 
have no mind to deal with him as he hath done by me, I like 
not the copy so well as to write by it; so his first chapter is 
discussed, and forgiven. 


Of the nature of schism. 

The second chapter of my book, whose examination this 
author undertakes in the second of his, containing the foun- 
dation of many inferences that ensue, and in particular of that 
description of schism which he intends to oppose, it might 
have been expected, that he should not have culled out pas- 
sages at his pleasure to descant upon, but either have tran- 
scribed the whole, or at least under one view have laid down 
clearly what I proposed to confirmation, that the state of the 
controversy being rightly formed, all might understand what 
we say, and whereof we do affirm: but he thought better of an- 
other way of procedure, which I am now bound to allow him 


in ; the reason whereof he knows, and other men may con- 

The first words he fixes on are the first of the chapter, 
* The thing whereof we treat being a disorder in the insti- 
tuted worship of God ;' whereunto he replies, ' It is an ill 
sign or omen, to stumble at the threshold in going out ; these 
words are ambiguous, and may have a double sense, either 
that schism is to be found in matter of instituted worship 
only, or only in the differences made in the time of celebrat- 
ing instituted worship ; and neither of these is yet true, or yet 
proved, and so a mere begging of the thing in question: for,* 
saith he, * schism maybe in, and about, other matter besides 
instituted worship.' 

What measure I am to expect for the future from this 
entrance or beginning, is not hard to conjecture. The 
truth is, the reverend author nndprstood me not at all, in 
what I affirmed : 1 say not, that schism in the church is either 
about instituted worship, or only in the time of worship, but 
that the thing I treat of, is a disorder in the instituted wor- 
ship of God, and so it is, if the being and constitution of any 
church be a part of God's worship ; but when men are given 
to disputing, they think it incumbent on them to question 
every word and expression, that may possible give them an 
advantage : but we must, now we are engaged, take all in 
good part as it comes. Having nextly granted my request 
of standing to the sole determination of Scripture, in the con- 
troversy about the nature of schism, he insists on the Scrip- 
ture use and notion of the word, according to what I had 
proposed ; only in the metaphorical sense of the word, as ap- 
plied unto civil and political bodies, he endeavours to make 
it appear, that it doth not only denote the difference and di- 
vision that falls among them injudgment, but their secession 
also into parties; which though he proves not from any of the 
instances produced, yet because he may not trouble himself 
any farther in the like kind of needless labour, I do here in- 
form him, that if he suppose that I deny that to be a schism, 
where there is a separation, and that because there is a sepa- 
ration, as though schism were in its whole nature exclusive 
of all separation, and lost its being when separation ensued, 
he hath taken my mind as rightly, as he has done the whole 
design of my book, and my sense in his first animadversions 


on this chapter. But yet, because this is not proved, I shall 
desire him not to make use of it for the future as though it 
were so. The first place urged, is that of John vii. 43. * There 
was a schism among the people :' it is not pretended that 
here was any separation : Acts xiv. 4. ' the multitude of the 
city was divided,' that is, in their judgment about the apo- 
stles and their doctrine; but not only so, for ol fxlv rttrav, is 
spoken of them, which expresses their separation into par- 
ties : what weight this new criticism is like to find with 
others, I know not ; for my part, I know the words enforce not 
the thing aimed at, and the utmost that seems to be intended 
by that expression, is the siding of the multitude, some 
with one, some with another, whilst they were all in a pub- 
lic commotion, nor doth the context require any more. The 
same is the case. Acts, xxiii. 7. where the Sadducees and 
Pharisees were divided about Paul, whilst abiding in the 
place where the sanhedrim sat, being divided into parties long 
before ; and in the testimony cited in my margent for the use 
of the word in other authors, the author makes even that 
^ufiepicy^riaav dg to, ixeprj, to stand in opposition, only to thfio- 
vorjaav, nor was it any more. There was not among the people 
of Rome such a separation as to break up the corporation, 
or to divide the government, as is known from the story. 
The place of his own producing. Acts xix. 9. proves indeed 
that then and there, there was a separation, but as the author 
confesses in the margent, the word there used to express it 
hath no relation to axiofJio- Applied to ecclesiastical things, 
the reverend author confesses with me, that the word is only 
used in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, chap. xi. 18, 19. 
and therefore, that from thence the proper use and importance 
of it is to be learned. Having laid down the use of the word 
to denote difference of mind and judgment, with troubles en- 
suing thereupon, amongst men met in some one assembly 
about the compassing of a common end and design, I proceed 
to the particular accommodation of it, to church-rents and 
schism in that solitary instance given of it in the church of Co- 
rinth. What says our author hereunto ? Says he, p. 26. * This 
is a forestalling the reader's judgment, by a mere begging of 
the thing in question : as it hath in part been proved from 
the Scripture itself, where it is used for separation into par- 
ties, in the political use of the word, why it may not so be 


used in the ecclesiastical sense, I see no reason.' But if this 
be the way of begging the question, I confess I know not 
what course to take to prove what I intend. Such words are 
used sometimes in warm disputes causelessly ; it were well 
they were placed where there is some pretence for them ; 
certainly they will not serve every turn. Before I asserted 
the use of the word, I instanced in all the places where it is 
used, and evinced the sense of it from them : if this be beg- 
ging, it is not that lazy trade of begging which some use ; 
but such as a man had as good professedly work as follow. 
How well he hath disproved this sense of the word from 
Scripture, we have seen; I amnot concerned in his seeing no 
reason why it may not be used in the ecclesiastical sense, ac- 
cording to his conception, my inquiry was how it was used, 
not how it might be used in this reverend author's judgment. 
And this is the substance of all that is offered to overthrow 
that principle, which if it abide and stand, he must needs 
confess all his following pains to be to no purpose. He sees 
no reason but it may be as he says. 

After the declaration of some such suspicions of his, as 
we are now wonted unto, and which we cannot deny him 
the liberty of expressing, though I profess he do it unto my 
injury, he says, * this is the way on the one hand to free all 
church-separation from schism, and on the other to make 
all particular churches more or less inschismatical ;' well, 
the first is denied ; what is offered for the confirmation of 
the second ? saith he, ' what one congregation almost is 
therein the world, where there are not differences of judg- 
ment, whence ensue many troubles about the compassing of 
one common end and design. I doubt whether his own be 
free therefore.' If any testimony may remove his scruple, I 
assure him, through the grace of God, hitherto it hath been 
' so, and I hope it is so with multitudes of other churches ; 
those with whom it is otherwise, it will appear at last to be 
more or less blameable on the account of schism. 

Omitting my farther explication of what I had proposed, 
he passes unto p. 27. of my book, and thence transcribes 
these words : * they had differences among themselves about 
unnecessary things, on these they engaged into disputes 
and sidings even in the solemn assemblies, probably much 
vain janglings, alienation of affections, exasperations of 


spirit, with a neglect of due offices of love ensued hereupon ;' 
whereunto he subjoins, 'that the apostle charges this upon 
them is true, but was that all? were there not divisions into 
parties as well as in judgments ? we shall consider that ere 
long.' But I am sorry he hath waved this proper place of 
the consideration of this important assertion ; the truth is, 
' hie pes figendus,' if he remove not this position, he la- 
bours in vain for the future. I desire also to know what he 
intends by divisions into parties ; if he intend that some 
were of one party, some of another, in these divisions and 
differences, it is granted; there can be no difference in 
judgment amongst men, but they must on that account be 
divided into parties ; but if he intend thereby, that they 
divided into several churches, assemblies, or congregations, 
any of them setting up new churches on a new account, or 
separating from the public assemblies of the church whereof 
they were, and that their so doing is reproved by the apo- 
stle under the name of schism, then I tell him that this is 
that indeed whose proof is incumbent on him. Fail he 
herein, the whole foundation of my discourse continues firm 
and unshaken ; the truth is, I cannot meet with any one 
attempt to prove this, which alone was to be proved, if he 
intended that I should be any farther concerned in his dis- 
course, than only to find myself reviled and abused. 

Passing over what I produce to give light and evidence 
unto ray assertion, he proceeds to the consideration of the 
observations and inferences I make upon it, p. 29. and 

The first he insists upon is, that the thing mentioned is 
entirely in one church, amongst the members of one parti- 
cular society ; no mention is made of one church divided 
against another, or separated from another. 

To this he replies, 1. 'That the church of Corinth, was 
a collective church, made up of many congregations, and 
that I myself confess they had solemn assemblies, not one 
assembly only; that I beg the question by taking it for one 
single congregation.' But I suppose one particular con- 
gregation may have more than one solemn assembly, even 
as many, as are the times, wherein they solemnly assemble. 

2. I supposed I had proved that it was only one con- 
gregation, that used to assemble in one place, that the apo- 


stle charged this crime upon, and that this reverend author 
was pleased to overlook what was produced to that pur- 
pose, I am not to be blamed. 3. Here is another discovery, 
that this reverend person never yet clearly understood the 
design of my treatise, nor the principles I proceed upon. 
Doth he think it is any thing to my present business, whe- 
ther the church of Corinth were such a church as Presby- 
terians suppose it to be, or such a one as the Independents 
affirm it? whilst all acknowledge it to be one church, be 
that particular church of what kind it will, if the schism 
rebuked by the apostle consisted in division in it, and not 
in separation from it, as such, I have evinced all that I in- 
tended by the observation under consideration. Yet this 
he again pursues, and tells me, ' that there were more par- 
ticular churches in and about Corinth, as that at Cenchrea, 
and that their differences were not confined to the verge of 
one church (for there were differences abroad out of the 
church), and says, that at unawares I confess that they dis- 
puted from house to house, and in the public assemblies ;* 
but I will assure the reverend author I was aware of what 
I said. Is it possible he should suppose that by the verge 
of one church I intended the meeting place, and the 
assembly therein ? was it at all incumbent on me to prove 
that they did not manage their differences in private, as 
well as in public ? is it likely any such thing should be ? 
did I deny that they sided and made parties about their 
divisions and differences ? is it any thing to me, or to any 
thing I affirm, how, where, and when, they managed their 
disputes, and debated their controversies ? it is true there 
is mention of a church at Cenchrea, but is there any mention 
that that church made any separation from the church of 
Corinth ? or that the differences mentioned were between 
the members of these several churches ? is it any thing to 
my present design, though there were twenty particular 
congregations in Corinth, supposing that on any considera- 
tion they were one church ? I assure you, sir, I am more 
troubled with your not understanding the business and 
design I manage, than I am with all your reviling terms 
you have laden me withal. 

Once for all, unless you prove that there was a separa- 
tion from that church of Corinth (be it of what constitution 


it may by any be supposed) as such, into another church, 
and that this is reproved by the apostle under the name of 
schism, you speak not one word to invalidate the principle 
by me laid down ; and for what he adds, * that for what I 
say there was no one church divided against another, or 
separated from another, is assumed, but not proved, unless 
by a negative, which is invalid;' he wrests my words. I 
say not there was no such thing, but that there was no 
mention of any such thing; for though it be as clear as the 
noonday, that indeed there was no such thing, it sufficeth 
my purpose that there was no mention of any such thing, 
and therefore no such thing reproved under the name of 
schism. With this one observation, I might well dismiss 
the whole ensuing treatise, seeing of how little use it is like 
to prove, as to the business in hand, when the author of it 
indeed apprehends not the principle which he pretends to 
oppose. I shall once more tell him, that he abide not in his 
mistake, that if he intend to evert the principle here by me 
insisted on, it must be by a demonstration that the schism 
charged on the Corinthians by Paul consisted in the sepa- 
ration from, and relinquishment of, that church whereof 
they were members, and congregating into another not be- 
fore erected or established ; for this is that which the re- 
formed churches are charged to do by the Romanists, in 
respect of their churches, and accused of schism thereupon: 
But the differences which he thinks good to manage and 
maintain, with, and against the Independents, do so possess 
the thoughts of this reverend author, that whatever occurs 
to him, is immediately measured by the regard which it 
seems to bear, or may possibly bear thereunto, though that 
consideration were least of all regarded in its proposal. 

The next observation upon the former thesis that he 
takes into his examination, so far as he is pleased to tran- 
scribe it, is this : ' Here is no mention of any particular man 
or number of men separating from the assembly of the 
whole church, or subducting of themselves from its power ; 
only they had groundless causeless differences amongst 
themselves.' Hereunto our author variously replies, and 
says, 1. 'Was this all? were not separations made, if not 
from that church, yet in that church as well as divisions ? 
Let the Scripture determine ;' chap. i. 11. v. 3. * I am a dis- 


ciple of Paul said one, and I a disciple of ApoUos said an- 
other, in our language : I am a member of such a minister's 
congregation, says one, such a man for my money, and so 
a third ; and hereupon they most probably separated them- 
selves into such and such congregations, and is not sepa- 
ration the ordinary issue of such envyings V 

I doubt not but that our reverend author supposeth that 
he hath here spoken to the purpose, and matter in hand ; 
and so perhaps may some others think also. I must crave 
leave to enter my dissent upon the account of the ensuing 
reasons ; for, 1. It is not separation in the church by men's 
divisions and differences whilst they continue members of 
the same church, that I deny to be here charged under the 
name of schism, but such a separation from the church, as 
was before described. 2. The disputes amongst them about 
Paul and ApoUos, the instruments of their conversion can- 
not possibly be supposed to relate unto ministers of dis- 
tinct congregations among them. Paul and ApoUos were 
not so, and could not be figures of them that were, so that 
those expressions do not at all answer those which he is 
pleased to make parallel unto them. 3. Grant all this, yet 
this proves nothing to the cause in hand ; men may cry up 
some the minister of one congregation, some of another, and 
yet neither of them separate from the one, or other, or the 
congregations themselves fall into any separation ; where- 
fore, 4. he says, 'probably they separated into such and 
such congregations.' But this is most improbable; for 
first, there is no mention at all of those many congregations 
that are supposed, but rather the contrary, as I have de- 
clared, is expressly asserted. 2. There is no such thing 
mentioned or intimated, nor, 3. Are they in the least re- 
buked for any such thing, though the forementioned diflPer- 
ences, which are a less evil, are reproved again and again, 
under the name of schism ; so that this most improbable 
improbability, or rather vain conjecture, is a very mean 
refuge and retreat from the evidence of express Scripture, 
which in this place is alone inquired after. Doth indeed 
the reverend author think, will he pretend so to do, that the 
holy apostle should so expressly, weightily, and earnestly, 
reprove their dissensions in the church, whereof they were 
members, and yet not speak one word, or give the least in- 


timation of their separation from the church ; had there 
indeed been any such thing ? I dare leave this to the con- 
science of the most partially-addicted person under heaven, 
to the author's cause, who hath any conscience at all; nor 
dare I dwell longer on the confutation of this fiction, 
though it be upon the matter the whole of what I am to 
contend withal. But he farther informs us, that ' there was 
a separation to parties in the church of Corinth, at least as 
to one ordinance of the Lord's supper, as appears, chap. xi. 
18. 21 — 23. and this was part of their schism ; ver. 16. 
And not long after they separated into other churches, 
slighting and undervaluing the first ministers and churches 
as nothing or less pure than their own, which we see prac- 
tised sufficiently at this day.' Atis. Were not this the head 
and seat of the first part of the controversy insisted on, I 
should not be able to prevail with myself ,, to cast away- 
precious time in the consideration of such things as these, 
being tendered as suitable to the business in hand. It is 
acknowledged that there were differences amongst them, 
and disorders in the administration of the Lord's supper; 
that therein they used * respect of persons,' as the place 
quoted in the margin by our author, James ii. 1 — 3. mani- 
fests that they were ready to do in other places. The dis- 
order the apostle blames in the administration of the ordi- 
nances was, when they ' came together in the church,' ver. 18. 
when they ' came together in one place,' ver. 20. there they 
tarried ' not one for another' as they ought, ver. 33. but 
coming unprepared, some having eaten before, some being 
hungry, ver, 21. all things were managed with great con- 
fusion amongst them, ver. 22 ; and if this prove not, that the 
schism they were charged withal consisted in a separation 
from that church with which they came together in one 
place, we are hopeless of any farther evidence to be ten- 
dered to that purpose. That there were disorders amongst 
them in the celebration of the Lord's supper is certain ; 
that they separated into several congregations on that ac- 
count, or one from another, or any from all, is not in the 
least intimation signified ; but the plain contrary shines in 
the whole state of things, as there represented. Had that 
been done, and had so to do been such an evil as is pleaded 
(as causelessly to do it is no small evil), it had not passed 

VOL. XIX. u 


unreproved from him, who was resolved in the things of 
God not to spare them. 2. That they afterward fell into 
the separation aimed at to be asserted, our reverend author 
affirms, that so he may make way for a reflection on the 
things of his present disquietment. But as we are not as yet 
concerning ourselves in what they did afterward, so when 
we are, we shall expect somewhat more than bare affirma- 
tions for the proof of it ; being more than ordinarily con- 
fident, that he is not able from the Scripture, or any other 
story of credit, to give the least countenance to what he 
here affirms. But now as if the matter were well discharged, 
when there hath not one word been spoken, that in the least 
reaches the case in hand; he saith, 3. 'By way of sup- 
position that there was but one single congregation at 
Corinth, yet,' said he, ' the apostle dehorts the brethren 
from schism, and writes to more than the church of Corinth,' 
chap. i. 2. Ans. I have told him before, that though I am 
full well resolved that there was but one single congrega- 
tion at Corinth in those days, yet I am not at all convinced 
as to the proposition under confirmation to assert any such 
thing, but will suppose the church to be of what kind my 
author pleaseth, whilst he will acknowledge it to be the 
particular church of Corinth. I confess the apostle dehorts 
the brethren from schism, even others as well as those at 
Corinth, so far as the church of God, in all places and ages, 
are concerned in his instructions and dehortations, when 
they fall under the case stated, parallel with that which is 
the ground of his dealing with them at Corinth ; but what 
that schism was from which he dehorts them, he declares 
only in the instance of the church of Corinth ; and thence 
is the measure of it to be taken, in reference to all dehorted 
from it. Unto the third observation added by me, he makes 
no return, but only lays down some exceptions to the ex- 
emplification given of the whole matter, in another schism 
that fell out in that church about forty years after the com- 
posure of this, which was the occasion of that excellent 
epistle unto them from the church of Rome, called the 
epistle of Clement ; dissuading them from persisting in that 
strife and contention, and pressing them to unity and agree- 
ment among themselves. Some things our reverend author 
offers as to this instance, but so, as that I cannot but sup- 


pose, that he consulted not the epistle on this particular 
occasion ; and therefore now I desire him that he would do 
so, and I am persuaded he will not a second time give coun- 
tenance to any such apprehension of the then state of the 
church, as though there were any separation made from it 
by any of the members thereof, doing or suffering the in- 
jury there complained of, about which those differences and 
contentions arose. I shall not need to go over again the 
severals of that epistle ; one word mentioned by myself, 
namely, n^TayaytTz, he insists on, and informs us, that it im- 
plies a separation' into other assemblies ; which he says, I 
waved to understand. I confess I did so in this place, and 
so would he also, if he had once consulted it. The speech 
of the church of Rome is there to the church of Corinth, in 
reference to the elders whom they had deposed. The whole 
sentence is, opwfxev yap 6tl Iviovg v/xtlg juerayayfrt koXwc TroXt- 
Tivofxivovg Ik r»jc afxiixTTuyg avToig TeTijULrjfiivng XeiTOvpyiag" 
and the words immediately going before are, /xaKapioi ol 
TrpoodoiTTopriaavTiig TrptcrjSwTfpot oiTivig eyKapirov koX reXeiav 
£XOv Trjv avaXvaiv, ov yap ewXajSouvrat jurj rig avTOvg fxeracTTijcry 
arro tov Idpofxivov avroXg tottov : then follows that opwfxev ds. 
Our author, I suppose, understands Greek, and so I shall 
spare my pains of transcribing Mr. Young's Latin tY-ans- 
lation, or adding one in English of mine own ; and if he 
be pleased to read these words, I think we shall have no 
more of his usTayayere. 

If a fair opportunity call me forth to the farther manage- 
ment of this controversy, I shall not doubt but from that 
epistle, and some other pieces of undoubted antiquity, as the 
epistle of the church of Vienna and Lyons, of Smyrna, with 
some public records of those days, as yet preserved, worthy 
all of them to be written in letters of gold, to evince that 
state of the churches of Christ in those days, as will give 
abundant light to the principles I proceed upon in this whole 

And thus have I briefly vindicated what was proposed as 
the precise Scripture notion of schism, gainst which indeed 
not any one objection hath been raised, that speaks directly 
to the thing in hand. Our reverend author being full of 
warm affections against the Independents, and exercised 
greatly in disputing the common principles which either 

V 2 


they hold, or are supposed so to do ; measures every thing 
that is spoken by his apprehension of those differences, 
wherein as he thinks their concernment doth lie : had it not 
been for some such prejudice (for I am unwilling to ascribe 
it to more blameable principles), it would have been almost 
impossible that he should have once imagined that he had 
made the least attempt towards the eversion of what I had 
asserted ; much less that he had made good the title of his 
book, though he scarce forgets it, or any thing concerning 
it but its proof, in any one whole leaf of his treatise. It re- 
mains then that the nature and notion of schism, as revealed 
and described in the Scripture, was rightly fixed in my 
former discourse ; and I must assure this reverend author, 
that I am not affrighted from the embracing and maintaining 
of it, with those scarecrows of new light, singularity, and 
the like, which he is pleased frequently to set up to that 
purpose. The discourse that ensues in our author con- 
cerning a parity of reason, to prove that if that be schism, 
then much more is separation so, shall afterward, if need be, 
be considered, when T proceed to shew what yet farther may 
be granted without the least prejudice of truth, though none 
can necessitate me to recede from the precise notion of the 
name and thing delivered in the Scripture. I confess I 
cannot but marvel, that any man undertaking the examina- 
tion of that treatise, and expressing so much indignation at 
the thoughts of my discourse that lieth in this business, 
should so slightly pass over that, whereon he knew that I 
laid the great weight of the whole. Hath he so much as 
endeavoured to prove, that that place to the Corinthians is 
not the only place wherein there is in the Scripture any 
mention of schism in an ecclesiastical sense ; or that the 
church of Corinth was not a particular church. Is any thing 
of importance offered to impair the assertion, that the evil 
reproved was within the verge of that church, and without 
separation from it ? and do I need any more to make good 
to the utmost that which I have asserted : but of these things 

In all that follows to the end of this chapter, I meet with 
nothing of importance that deserves farther notice : that 
which is spoken is for the most part built upon mistakes ; as 
that when I speak of a member or the members of one par- 


ticular church, I intend only one single congregation, ex- 
clusively to any other acceptation of that expression, in 
reference to the apprehension of others : that I deny the re- 
formed churches to be true churches, because I deny the 
church of Rome to be so ; and deny the institution of a 
national church, which yet our author pleads not for. He 
Avould have it for granted that because schism consists in a 
difference among church-members, therefore he that raises 
such a difference, whether he be a member of that church 
wherein the difference is raised, or of any other or no (sup- 
pose he be a Mahometan or a Jew), is a schismatic : pleads 
for the old definition of schism, as suitable to the Scripture, 
after the whole foundation of it is taken away : wrests many 
of my expressions ; as that in particular, in not making the 
matter of schism to be things relating to the worship of God, 
to needless discourses about doctrine and discipline, not ap- 
prehending what I intended by that expression of the wor- 
ship of God : and I suppose it not advisable to follow him 
in such extravagancies. The usual aggravations of schism 
he thought good to reinforce, whether he hoped that I would 
dispute with him about them I cannot tell. I shall now 
assure him that I will not, though if I may have his good 
leave to say so, I lay much more weight on those insisted on 
by myself, wherein I am encouraged by his approbation 
of them. 


The third chapter of my Treatise consisting in the preventing 
and removing such objections as the precedent discourse 
might seem liable and obnoxious unto, is proposed to ex- 
amination, by our reverend author, in the third chapter of 
his book ; and the objections mentioned undertaken to be 
managed by him ; with what success, some few considera- 
tions will evince. 

The first objection by me proposed, was taken from the 
common apprehension of the nature of schism, and the issue 
of stating it as by me laid down; namely, hence it would 


follow that the * separation of any man or men from a true 
church, or of one church from others, is not schism.' But 
now waving for the present the more large consideration of 
the name and thing, which yet in the process of my dis- 
course I do condescend upon, according to the principle laid 
down; I say that in the precise signification of the word, 
and description of the thing as given by the Holy Ghost, this 
is true : no such separation is in the Scripture so called, or 
so accounted ; whether it may not in a large sense be esteemed 
as such, I do not dispute, yea, I afterward grant it so far, as 
to make that concession the bottom and foundation of my 
whole plea, for the vindication of the reformed churches from 
that crime. Our reverend author reinforces the objection by 
sundry instances; as, 1. 'That he hath disproved that sense 
or precise signification of the word in Scripture ;' how well 
let the reader judge. 2. ' That supposing that to be the only 
sense mentioned in that case of the Corinthians, yet may 
another sense be intimated in Scripture, and deduced by 
regular and rational consequence.' Perhaps this will not be 
so easy an undertaking, this being the only place where the 
name is mentioned, or thing spoken of in an ecclesiastical 
sense; but when any proof is tendered of what is here af- 
firmed, we shall attend unto it. It is said indeed, that if 
' separation in judgment in a church be a schism, much more 
to separate from a church :' but our question is about the 
precise notion of the word in Scripture, and consequences 
from thence, not about consequents from the nature of things, 
concerning which, if our author had been pleased to have 
staid awhile, he would have found me granting as much as 
he could well desire. 3. 1 John ii. 19. is sacrificed, ajUETpf^rrjc 
avOoXKrig, and interpreted of schism ; where (to make one 
venture in imitation of our author) all orthodox interpreters, 
and writers of controversies, expound it of apostacy ; neither 
will the context or arguing of the apostle admit of another 
exposition. Men's wresting of Scripture to give countenance 
to inveterate errors is one of their worst concomitants ; so 
then that separation from churches is oftentimes evil is 
readily granted : of what nature that evil is, with what are 
the aggravations of it, a judgment is to be made from the 
pleas and pretences that its circumstances affords : so far as 


it proceeds from such dissensions as before were mentioned, 
so far it proceeds from schism, but in its own nature ab- 
solutely considered it is not so. 

To render my former assertions the more unquestionably 
evident, I consider the several accounts given of men's 
blameable departures from any church or churches men- 
tioned in Scripture, and manifest that none of them come 
under the head of schism, Apostacy, irregularity of walking, 
and professed sensuality, are the heads whereunto all 
blameable departures from the churches in the Scripture 
are referred. 

That there are other accounts of this crime, our author 
doth not assert ; he only says, that ' all or some of the places' 
I produce, as ' instances of a blameable separation from a 
church, do mind the nature of schism as precedaneous to 
the separation.' Whatever the matter is, I do not find him 
speaking so faintly and with so much caution through his 
whole discourse as in this place: all or some do it; they 
mind the nature of schism ; they mind it as precedaneous to 
the separation : so the sura of what he aims at in contesting 
about the exposition of those places of Scripture is this ; 
some of them do mind (I know not how) the nature of 
schism, which he never once named as precedaneous to se- 
paration; therefore the precise notion of schism in the Scrip- 
ture doth not denote differences and divisions in a church 
only; 'quod erat demonstrandum.' That I should spend time 
in debating a consideration so remote from the state of the 
controversy in hand, I am sure will not be expected by such 
as understand it. 

Page 77. [p. 149.] of my treatise I affirm, * that for a man to 
withdraw or withhold himself from the communion external 
and visible of any church or churches, on that pretension or 
plea (be it true or otherwise) that the worship, doctrine, or 
discipline instituted by Christ is corrupted among them, with 
which corruption he dares not defile himself, is nowhere in 
the Scripture called schism ; nor is that case particularly 
exemplified, or expressly supposed, whereby a judgment 
may be made of the fact at large, but we are left, upon the 
whole matter, to the guidance of such general rules and 
principles as are given us for that end and purpose.' Such 
is my meanness of apprehension, that I could not understand 


but that either this assertion must be subscribed unto, as 
of irrefragable verity, or else that instances to the contrary 
must have been given out of the Scripture; for on that 
hinge alone doth this present controversy (and that by con- 
sent) turn itself. But our reverend author thinks good to 
take another course (for which his reasons may easily be 
conjectured), and excepts against the assertion itself in ge- 
neral: first, as ambiguous and fallacious; and then also 
intimates that he will scan the words in particular, ' Mihi 
jussa capessere,' &,c. 1. He says, that 'I tell not whether 
a man may separate where there is corruption in some one 
of these only, or in all of them ; nor, 2. How far some or all 
of these must be corrupted before we separate.' Aiis. This 
is no small vanity under the sun, that men will not only 
measure themselves by themselves, but others also by their 
own measure. Our author is still with his finger in the sore, 
and therefore supposes that others must needs take the 
same course. Is there any thing in my assertion whether a 
man may separate from any church or no ? any thing upon 
what corruption he may lawfully so do? any thing of 
stating the difference betwixt the Presbyterians and Inde- 
pendents? do I at all fix it on this foot of account when I 
come so to do? I humbly beg of this author, that if I have 
so obscurely and intricately delivered myself and meaning, 
that he cannot come to the understanding of my design, 
nor import of my expressions, that he would favour me with 
a command to explain myself, before he engage into a 
public refutation of what he doth not so clearly apprehend. 
Alas, I do not in this place in the least intend to justify 
any separation, nor to shew what pleas are sufficient to 
justify a separation, nor what corruption in the church se- 
parated from is necessary thereunto, nor at all regard the 
controversy his eye is always on ; but only declare what is 
not comprised in the precise Scripture notion of schism, as 
also how a judgment is to be made of that which is so by 
me excluded, whether it be good or evil. Would he have 
been pleased to have spoken to the business in hand, or any 
thing to the present purpose, it must not have been by an 
inquiry into the grounds and reasons of separation, how far 
it may be justified by the plea mentioned, or how far not; 
when that plea is to be allowed, and when rejected; but 


this only was incumbent on him to prove ; namely, that 
such a separation upon that plea, or the like, is called 
schism in the Scripture, and as such a thing condemned. 
What my concernment is in the ensuing observations, ' that 
the Judaical church was as corrupt as ours, that if a bare 
plea, true or false, will serve to justify men, all separatists 
may be justified,' he himself will easily perceive. But how- 
ever, I cannot but tell him by the way, that he who will 
dogmatize, in this controversy, from the Judaical church, 
and the course of proceedings amongst them, to the direction 
and limitation of duty as to the churches of the gospel, 
considering the vast and important differences between the 
constitutions of the one and the other, with the infallible 
obligation to certain principles, on the account of the ty- 
pical institution in that primitive church, when there neither 
was nor could be any more in the world, must expect to 
bring other arguments to compass his design, than the ana- 
logy pretended. For the justification of separatists of the 
reason, if it will ensue, upon the examination for separation, 
and the circumstances of the separating, whereunto I refer 
them, let it follow, and let who will complain. But to fill 
up the measure of the mistake he is engaged in, he tells us, 
p. 75. ' that this is the pinch of the question, whether a 
man or a company of men may separate from a true church, 
upon a plea of corruption in it, true or false, and set up an- 
other church, as to ordinances, renouncing that church to 
be a true church. This,' Saith he, * is plainly our case at 
present, with the doctor and his associates.- Truly I do not 
know that ever I was necessitated to a more sad and fruit- 
less employment in this kind of labour and travail. Is that 
the question in present agitation? is any thing, word, tittle, 
or iota spoken to it? is it my present business to state the 
difference between the Presbyterians and Independents? do 
I any where do it upon this account ? do I not every where 
positively deny that there is any such separation made ? 
nay, can common honesty allow such a state of a question, 
if that were the business in hand, to be put upon me ? are 
their ordinances and churches so denied by me as is pre- 
tended? What I have often said, must again be repeated; 
the reverend author hath his eye so fixed on the difference 
between the Presbyterians and the Independents, that he is 


at every turn led out of the way into such mistakes, as it 
was not possible he should otherwise be overtaken withal; 
this is perhaps * mentis gratissimus error :' but I hope it 
would be no death to him to be delivered from it. When I 
laid down the principles which it was his good will to op- 
pose, I had many things under consideration, as to the 
settling of conscience in respect of manifold oppositions ; 
and to tell him the truth, least valued that which he is 
pleased to manage, and to look upon as my sole intend- 
ment : if it be not possible to deliver him from this strong 
imagination, that carries the images and species of inde- 
pendency always before his eyes, we shall scarce speak * ad 
idem' in this whole discourse. I desire then that he would 
take notice, that as the state of the controversy he proposes, 
doth no more relate to that which peculiarly is pretended 
to lie under his consideration, than any other thing what- 
ever that he might have mentioned ; so when the peculiar 
difference between him and the Independents comes to be 
managed, scarce any one term of his state will be allowed. 
Exceptions are in the next place attempted to be put in to 
my assertion ; that there is no example in the Scripture of 
any one church's departure from the union which they ought 
to hold with others, unless it be in some of their departures 
from the common faith, which is not schism; much with 
the same success as formerly : let him produce one instance, 
and, ' en herbam.' I grant the Roman church, on a supposi- 
tion that it is a church (which yet I utterly deny), to be a 
schismatical church upon the account of the intestine di- 
visions of all sorts : on what other accounts other men urge 
them with the same guilt, I suppose he knows by this, that 
I am not concerned. Having finished this exploit, because 
I had said, if I were unwilling, I did not understand how I 
might be compelled to carry on the notion of schism any 
farther ; he tells me, ' though I be unwilling, he doubts not 
but to be able to compel me.' But who told him I was un- 
willing so to do? do I not immediately, without! any com- 
pulsion, very freely fall upon the work? did I say I was 
unwilling ? Certainly it ought not to be thus. Of his abili- 
ties in other things I do not doubt ; in this discourse he is 
pleased to exercise more of something else. 

There is but one passage more that needs to be remarked, 


and so this chapter also is dismissed. He puts in a caveat 
that I limit not schism to the worship of God, upon these 
words of mine : 'The consideration of what sort of union in 
reference to the worship of God' (where he inserts in the re- 
petition, ' mark that'), * as instituted by Jesus Christ, is the 
foundation of what I have farther to offer ;' whereto he sub- 
joined ' the design of this is, that he may have a fair retreat, 
when he is charged with breach of union, in other respects, 
and so with schism, to escape by this evasion : this breach 
of union is not in reference to the worship of God in one 
assembly met to that end.' I wish we had once an end of 
these mistakes, and false uncharitable surmises. By the 
' worship of God,' I intend the whole compass of institutions, 
and their tendency thereunto ; and I know that I speak 
properly enough. In so doing I have no such design as I 
am charged withal, nor do I need it; I walk not in fear of 
this author's forces, that I should be providing beforehand 
to secure my retreat. I have passed the bounds of the pre- 
cise notion of schism before insisted on, and yet doubt not 
but, God assisting, to make good my ground. If he judge 
I cannot, let him command my personal attendance on him 
at any time, to be driven from it by him : let him by any 
means prove against me at any time a breach of any union 
instituted by Jesus Christ, and I will promise him, that 
tvitli all speed I will retreat from that state, or thing, 
whereby I have so done. I must profess to this reverend 
author, that I like not the cause he manages one whit the 
better for the way whereby he manageth it. We had need 
watch and pray that we be not led into temptation ; seeing 
we are in some measure not ignorant of the devices of 

Now that he may see this door of escape shut up, that 
so he may not need to trouble himself any more in taking 
care lest I escape that way, when he intends to fall upon 
me with those blows which as yet I have not felt, 1 shall 
shut it fast myself, beyond all possibility of my opening 
again. I here then declare unto him, that whenever he shall 
prove that I have broken any union of the institution of 
Jesus Christ, of what sort soever, I will not in excuse of 
myself insist on the plea mentioned, but will submit to the 
discipline, which shall be thought meet by him to be exer- 


cised towards any one offending in that kind : yet truly on 
this engagement I would willingly contract with him, that 
in his next reply he should not deal with me as he hath 
done in this, neither as to my person, nor as to the differ- 
ences between us. 


Having declared and vindicated the Scripture proper notion 
of schism, and thence discovered the nature of it, with all its 
aggravations, with the mistakes that men have run into who 
have suited their apprehensions concerning it unto what 
was their interests to have it thought to be, and opened a 
way thereby for the furtherance of peace among professors 
of the gospel of Jesus Christ ; for the farther security of the 
consciences of men unjustly accused and charged with the 
guilt of this evil, I proceeded to the consideration of it in 
the usual common acceptation of the word and things, that 
so I might obviate whatever with any tolerable pretence is 
insisted on, as deduced by a parity of reason from what is 
delivered in the Scripture, in reference to the charge ma- 
naged by some or other against all sorts of Protestants. 
Hereupon I grant, that it may be looked on in general as 
diaipeaig Ivwrtroc, ' a branch of union,' so that it be granted 
also, that that union be an union of the institution of Jesus 
Christ. To find out then the nature of schism under the 
consideration of the condescension made, and to discover 
wherein the guilt of it doth consist, it is necessary that we find 
out what that union is, and wherein it doth consist, whereof 
it is the breadth and interruption, or is supposed so to be, 
over and above the breach above-mentioned and described. 
Now this union being the union of the church, the several ac- 
ceptations of the church in Scripture are to be investigated, 
that the union inquired after may be made known. The 
church in Scripture being taken either for the church catho- 
lic, or the whole number of elect believers in the world (for 
we lay aside the consideration of that part of this great fa- 
mily of God, which is already in heaven, from this distinc- 
tion), or else for the general visible body of those who pro- 
feiB the gospel of Christ, or for a particular society joining 


together in the celebration of the ordinances of the New 
Testament, instituted by Christ to be so celebrated by them. 
The union of it, with the breach of that union in these seve- 
ral respects, with the application of the whole to the busi- 
ness under consideration, was to be inquired after ; which also 
was performed. 

I began with the consideration of the catholic invisible 
church of Christ, and the union thereof. Having declared the 
rise of this distinction, and the necessity of it from the nature 
of the things themselves; as to the matter of this church, or 
the church of Christ as here militant on earth, I aflSrm, and 
evince it to be, all and only elect believers : the union of this 
church consists in the inhabitation of the same Spirit in all 
the members of it, uniting them to the head Christ Jesus, 
and therein to one another. The breach of this union, I 
manifested to consist in the loss of that Spirit, with all the 
peculiar consequences and effects of him in the hearts of 
them in whom he dwells. This I manifest according to our 
principles to be impossible ; and upon a supposition of it, 
how remote it would be from schism, under any notion or ac- 
ceptation of the word ; so closing that discourse with a charge 
on the Romanists, of their distance from an interest in this 
church of Jesus Christ. 

Our reverend author professes that he hath but little to 
say to these things ; some exceptions he puts in unto some 
expressions used in the explication of my sense, in this par- 
ticular. That which he chiefly insists upon, is the accommo- 
dation of that promise. Matt. xvi. 28. ' Upon this rock will 
I build my church,' to the church in this sense, which he 
concludes to belong to the visible church of professors. Now 
as I am not at all concerned, as to the truth of what I am in 
confirmation of, to which of these be applied, so I am far 
from being alone in that application of it to the catholic 
church which I insist upon : all our divines that from hence 
prove the perseverance of all individual believers, as all do 
that I have met withal, who write on that subject, are of the 
same mind with me. Moreover, the church is built on this 
rock in its individuals, or I know not how it is so built. The 
building on Christ, doth not denote a mere relation of a ge- 
•neral body to his truth, that it shall always have an exist- 
ence, but the union of the individuals with him, in their being 


built on him, to whom the promise is made. I acknowledge 
it for as unquestionable a truth as any we believe, that Christ 
hath had, and ever shall have to the end of the world, a visi- 
ble number of those that profess his name, and subjection to 
his kingdom ; because of the necessary consequence of pro- 
fession upon believing; but that that truth is intended in 
this promise, any farther but in respect of this consequence, 
I am not convinced. And I would be loth to say, that this 
promise is not made to every particular believer, and only 
unto them ; being willing to vindicate to the saints of God, 
all those grounds of consolation which he is so willing they 
should be made partakers of. 

As to the union of this church and the breach of it, our re- 
verend author hath a little to say. Because theremay be ' some 
decays in true grace in the members of this church,' he affirms, 
* that in a sort there may be said to be a breach in this union, 
and so consequently a schism in this body.' He seemed for- 
merly to be afraid lest all schism should be thrust out of the 
world : if he can retrieve it on the account of any true be- 
liever's failing in grace, or falling for a season, I suppose he 
needs not fear the loss of it, whilst this world continues. 
But it is fit wise and learned men should take the liberty of 
calling things by what names they please ; so they will be 
pleased withal, not to impose their conceptions and use 
of terms on them who are not able to understand the reasons 
of them. It is true there may be a schism among the mem- 
bers of this church, but not as members of this church, nor 
with reference to the union thereof. It is granted that 
schism is the breach of union, but not of every union; much 
less not a breach of that, which, if there were a breach of, it 
were not schism. However, by the way, I am bold to tell 
this reverend author, that this doctrine of his concerning 
schism in the catholic invisible church, by the failings in 
grace in any of the members of it for a season, is a new no- 
tion; which as he cannot justify to us, because it is false, so 
I wonder how he will justify it to himself, because it is new. 
And what hath been obtained by the author against my prin- 
ciples in this chapter, I cannot perceive. The nature of the 
church in the state considered, is not opposed ; the union as- 
serted not disproved ; the breach of that union is denied, as 
I suppose, no less by him than myself. That the instances 


that some saints, as members of this church, may sometimes 
fail in grace more or less for some season; and that the mem- 
bers of this church, though not as members of this church, 
yet on other considerations, may be guilty of schism, concern 
not the business under debate, himself I hope is satisfied. 


Our progress in the next place is to the consideration of 
the catholic church visible. Who are the members of this 
church, whereof it is constituted, what is required to make 
them so, on what account men visibly professing the gospel 
may be esteemed justly divested of the privilege of being 
members of this church, with sundry respects of the church 
in that sense, are in my treatise discussed. The union of 
this church, that is proper and peculiar unto it as such, I 
declared to be the profession of the saving doctrine of the 
gospel, not everted by any of the miscarriages, errors, or op- 
positions to it, that are there recounted. The breach of this 
union, I manifest to consist in apostacy from the profession 
of the faith, and so to be no schism, upon whomsoever the 
guilt of it doth fall : pleading the immunity of the Pro- 
testants as such from the guilt of the breach of this union, 
and charging it upon the Romanists, in all the ways whereby 
it maybe broken, an issue is put to that discourse. 

What course our reverend author takes in the examina- 
tion of this chapter, and the severals of it, whereon the 
strength of the controversy doth lie, is now to be consi- 
dered. Doth he deny this church to be a collection of all that 
are duly called Christians in respect of their profession? to 
be that great multitude, who throughout the world profess 
the doctrine of the gospel, and subjection to Jesus Christ? 
doth he deny the union of this church, or that whereby that 
gr6at multitude are incorporated into one body as visible 
and professing, to be the profession of the saving doctrines 
of the gospel, and of subjection to Jesus Christ according to 
them ? Doth he deny the dissolution of this union, as to the 
interest of any member by it in the body, to be by apostacy 


from the profession of the gospel? Doth he charge that 
apostacy upon those whom he calls Independents, as such, 
or if he should, could he tolerably defend his charge ? Doth 
he prove that the breach of this union is, under that forma- 
lity, properly schism? nothing less, as far as I can gather. 
Might not then the trouble of this chapter have been spared? 
or shall I be necessitated to defend every expression in my 
book, though nothing at all to the main business under 
debate, or else independency must go for a great schism. 
I confess this is somewhat a hard law, and such as I cannot 
proceed in obedience unto it, without acknowledging his 
ability to compel me to go on farther than I am willing j 
yet I do it with this engagement, that I will so look to 
myself, that he shall never have that power over me any 
more; nor will I upon any compulsion of useless, needless 
cavils and exceptions do so again : so that in his reply he 
now knows how to order his affairs so, as to be freed from 
the trouble of a rejoinder. 

His first attempt in this chapter is upon a short discourse 
of mine, in my process, which I profess not to be needful to 
the purpose in hand, relating to some later disputes about 
tile nature of this church ; wherein some had aflSrmed it to be 
a genus to particular churches, which are so many distinct 
species of it, and others that it was a totum made up of 
particular churches as its parts, both which in some sense 
I denied ; partly out of a desire to keep off all debates about 
the things of God from being inwrapped and agitated in 
and under philosophical notions, and feigned terms of art, 
which hath exceedingly multiplied controversies in the world 
and rendered them endless, and doth more or less straiten 
or oppose every truth that is so dealt withal : partly because 
I evidently saw men deducing false consequents from the 
supposition of such notions of this church. For the first way, 
our reverend author lets it pass only with a remark upon 
my dissenting from Mr. Hooker, of New England, which he 
could not but note by the way, although he approves what 
I affirm. A worthy note! as though all the brethren of the 
presbyterian way, were agreed among themselves in all 
things of the like importance; or that I were in my judg- 
ment enthralled to any man or men, so that it should deserve 


a note when I dissent from them. Truly, I bless God, I am 
utterly unacquainted with any such frame of spirit, or 
bondage of mind, as must be supposed to be in them whose 
dissent from other men is a matter of such observation. 
One is my master, to whom alone my heart and judgment 
are in subjection: for the latter, I do not say absolutely that 
particular churches are not the parts of the catholic visible, 
in any sense, but that they are not so parts of it as such, so 
that it should be constituted and made up by them, and of 
them, for the order and purpose of an instituted church, for 
the celebration of the worship of God, and institutions of 
Christ, according to the gospel ; which, when our author 
proves that it is, I shall acknowledge myself obliged to him. 
He says indeed, that ' it was once possible that all the members 
of the catholic church should meet together, to hear one 
sermon,' &.c. But he is to prove that they were bound to 
do so, as that catholic church, and not that it was possible 
for all the members of it under any other notion or consi- 
deration so to convene. But he says, they are bound to do 
so still, but that the multitude makes it impossible : ' credat 
apella:' that Christ hath bound his church to that which 
himself makes impossible. Neither are they so bound : they 
are bound, by his own acknowledgment, to be members of 
particular churches, and in that capacity are they bound so 
to convene, those churches being by the will of God ap- 
pointed for the seat of ordinances. And so what he adds, in 
the next place, of particular churches being bound ac- 
cording to the institution of Christ to assemble for the cele- 
bration of ordinances, is absolutely destructive of the former 
figment. But he would know a reason why forty or more, 
that are not members of one particular church, but only of 
the catholic, meeting together, may not join together in all 
ordinances, as well as they may meet to hear the word 
preached, and often do ; to which I answer, that it is because 
Jesus Christ hath appointed particular churches, and there 
is more required to them, than the occasional meeting of 
some, any, or all if possible, of the members of the catholic 
church as such, will afford. 

His reflections upon myself, added in that place, are now 
grown so common, that they deserve not any notice. In his 
ensuing discourse, if I may take leave to speak freely to our 



reverend author, he wrangles about terms and expressions, 
adding to, and altering those by me used in this business, at 
his pleasure, to make a talk to no purpose. The sum of 
what he pretends to oppose is, that this universal church, 
or the universality of professors, considered as such, neither 
formally as members of the church catholic, mystically elect, 
nor as any members of any particular church, have not as 
such, any church form of the institution of Christ, by virtue 
whereof they should make up one instituted church, for the 
end and purpose of the celebration of the ordinances of the 
o-ospel therein. If he suppose^ he can prove the contrary, 
let him cease from cavilling at words, and by expressions, 
which is a facile task for any man to engage in, and no way 
useful, but to make controversies endless, and answer my • 
reasons against it, which here he passeth over, and produce 
his testimonies and arguments for that purpose. This tri- 
vial ventilation of particular passages cut off from their in- 
fluence into the whole, is not worth a nut-shell, but is a 
business fit for them who have nothing else to employ them- 
selves about. 

Coming to consider the union that I assign to this church, 
after whose breach an inquiry is to be made, which is the 
main, and only thing of his concernment, as to the aim he hath 
proposed to himself, he passeth it over very slightly, taking- 
no notice at all of my whole discourse, from p. 116. to p. 133. 
[pp. 169 — 178.] of my treatise, wherein I disprove the pre- 
tensions of other things to be the union, or bond of union to 
this church j he fixes a very little while on what I assign to 
be that union. This, I say, ' is profession of the faith of the 
o-ospel, and subjection to Jesus Christ according to it:' to 
which he adds, that they are bound to more than this, viz. 
'to the exercise of the same specifical ordinances, as also to 
love one another, to subjection to the same discipline, and 
where it is possible, to the exercise of the same numerical 
worship.' AH this was expressly affirmed by me before ; it 
is all virtually contained in their profession, so far as the 
things mentioned are revealed in the gospel: only as to the 
celebrating of the same numerical ordinances, I cannot grant 
that they are obliged hereunto as formally considered 
members of that church, nor shall, until our reverend author 
shall think meet to prove, that particular congregations are 


not the institutions of Jesus Christ. But hereupon he 
affirms, that that is a strange assertion used by me, p. 117. 
namely, * That if there be not an institution of joining in the 
same numerical ordinances, the union of this church is not 
really a church union.' This is no more but what was de- 
clared before, nor more than what I urged the testimony of a 
learned Presbyterian for : no more but this, that the univer- 
sality of Christians throughout the world, are not under 
such an institution as that, to assemble together for the 
celebration of the same numerical ordinances ; the pretence 
of any such institution being supplied by Christ's acknow- 
leged institution of particular churches for that purpose. 

What I have offered in my treatise, as evidence that Pro- 
testants are not guilty of the breach of tliis union, and that 
where any are, their crime is not schism but apostacy, either 
as to profession or conversation, I leave to the judgment of 
all candid, sober, and ingenuous readers ; for such as love 
strife, and debates, and disputes, whereof the world is full, I 
would crave of them, that if they must choose me for their 
adversary, they would allow me to answer in person, ' viva 
voce,' to prevent this tedious trouble of writing, which for 
the most part is fruitless and needless. Some exceptions 
our author lies in, against the properties of the profession 
by me required, as necessary to the preservation of this 
union : as to the first, of professing all necessary saving 
truths of the gospel, he excepts that the apostles were ig- 
norant of many necessary truths of the gospel for a season, 
and some had never heard of the Holy Ghost, Acts xxix. 
and yet they kept the union of the catholic church. And 
yet our author, before he closeth this chapter, will charge the 
breach of this union on some, whose errors cannot well be 
apprehended to lie in the denial of any necessary truth of 
the gospel, that is indispensably necessary to salvation. As 
to his instance of the apostles, he knows it is one thing not to 
know clearly and distinctly for some season, some truths 'in 
hypothesi,' and another to deny them being sufficientljr and 
clearly revealed ' in thesi ;' and for those in the Acts, it is 
probable they were ignorant of the dispensations of the Holy 
Ghost, with his marvellous effects under the gospel, rather 
than of the person of the Holy Ghost : for even, in respect 
of the former, it is absolutely said that ' the Holy Ghost w^g 

X 2 


not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified.' I shall not 
pursue his other exceptions, being sorry that his judgment 
leads him to make them ; that which alone bears any aspect 
to the business in hand, he insists on, p. 99. in these words : 
' I have intimated and partly proved, that there may be a 
breach of union, with respect to the catholic church, upon 
other considerations' (namely, besides the renunciation of 
the profession of the gospel), ' as first. There is a bond that 
obliges every member of this church to join together in ex- 
ercising the same ordinances of worship : when then any 
man shall refuse to join with others, or refuse others to join 
with him, here is a branch of love and union among the 
members of the catholic church, and in the particular 
churches as parts of the catholic' 

The reader must pardon me for producing and insisting 
on these things, seeing I do it with this profession, that I 
can fix on nothing else so much to the purpose in hand ; and 
yet how little these are so, cannot but be evident upon a 
slight viev/ to the meanest capacities. For, 1. he tells us 
there may be a breach of union, with respect to the catholic 
church, on other considerations ; not that there may be a 
breach of the union of the catholic church. 2. That there 
is a bond binding men to the exercise of ordinances ; so 
there is, binding man to all holiness ; and yet he denies the 
vilest profane persons to break that bond or this union. 3. 
That there may be a breach of union among the members of 
the church ; but who knows it not, that knows all members 
of particular churches, are also members of this church ge- 
neral. Our inquiry is after the union of the catholic church 
visible, what it is, how broken, and what the crime or evil is 
whereby it is broken, what obligations lie on the members 
of that church, as they stand under any other formal consi- 
derations ; what is the evil they are any of them guilty of, 
in not answering these obligations, we were not at all in- 
quiring, nor doth it in this place concern us so to do. And 
in what he afterward tells us, of some proceedings contrary 
to the practice of the universal church, he intends, I suppose, 
all the churches in the world, wherein the members of the 
universal church have walked or do so ; for the universal 
church, as such, hath no practice as to celebration of ordi- 
nances; and if he suppose it hath, let him tell us what it is. 


and when that practice was. His appeal to the primitive 
believers, and their small number will not avail him : for al- 
though they should be granted to be the then catholic visi- 
ble church (against which he knows what exceptions may 
be laid from the believers amongst the Jews, such as Cor- 
nelius, to whom Christ had not as yet been preached, as 
the Messiah come, and exhibited), yet as such, they joined 
not in the celebration of ordinances, but (as yet they were) 
as a particular congregation ; yea, though all the apostles 
were amongst them, the foundation of all the churches that 
afterward were called. 

He concludes this chapter with an exception to my as- 
sertion, ' that if the catholic church be a political body it 
must have a visible political head, which nothing but the 
pope claims to be.' Of this he says, ' 1. There is no neces- 
sity ; for,' saith he, 'he confesses the Gommonwealth of the 
Jews was a political body, and God, who is invisible, 
was their political head. 2. Jesus Christ is a visible head, 
yea, sometimes more, 'visus,' seen of men whilst on earth, 
though now for a time in majesty (as some great princes do), 
he hath withdrawn himself from the sight of men on earth, 
yet is he seen of angels and saints in heaven.' Ans. 1. I 
confess God was the King and Ruler of the Jews, but yet that 
they might be a visible political body, the invisible God ap- 
pointed to them, under him, a visible head ; as the pope blas- 
phemously pretends to be appointed under Jesus Christ. 
2. Jesus Christ is in his human nature still visible ; as to his 
person, wherein he is the head of his church, he ever was, 
and is still invisible. His present absence, is not upon the 
account of majesty, seeing in his majesty he is still pre- 
sent with us ; and as to his bodily absence he gives other 
accounts, than that here insinuated. Now it sufEceth not 
to constitute a visible political body, that the head of it, in 
any respect may be seen, unless as that their head he is 
seen. Christ is visible, as this church is visible ; he in his 
laws, in his word, that in its profession, in its obedience. 
But I marvel that our reverend author, thus concluding for 
Christ to be the political head of this church, as a church, 
should at the same time contend for such subjects of this 
head as he doth, p. 96. namely, persons * contradicting their 
profession of the knowledge of God, by a course of wicked- 


ness, manifesting principles of profaneness, wherewith the 
belief of the truth they profess hath an absolute incon- 
sistency ;' as I expressly describe the persons, whose mem- 
bership in this church, and relation thereby to Christ their 
head, he pleads for. Are indeed these persons any better 
than Mahometans, as to church privileges ? they are indeed, 
in some places, as to providential advantages of hearing the 
word preached ; but woe unto them on that account ; it 
shall be more tolerable for Mahometans in that day of Christ, 
than for them : shall their baptism avail them ? though it 
were valid in its admistration, that is, was celebrated in obe- 
dience to the command of Christ, is it not null to them? is 
not their circumcision uncircumcision? shall such persons 
give their children any right to church privileges? let them, 
if you please, be so subject to Christ, as rebels and traitors 
are subject to their earthly princes : they ought, indeed, to 
be so, but are they so ? do they own their authority ? are 
they obedient to them? do they enjoy any privilege of laws? 
or doth the apostle any where call such persons as live in a 
course of wickedness, manifesting principles utterly incon- 
sistent with the profession of the gospel, brethren ? God 
forbid we should once imagine these things so to be ! And 
so much for that chapter. 


Of Independentism and Donatism. 

The title of our author's book is. Independency a great 
Schism : of this chapter, that it may be the better known 
what kind of schism it is, Independentism is Donatism. Men 
may give what title they please to their books and chapters, 
though perhaps few books make good their titles. I am 
sure this doth not as yet, * nisi accusasse sufficiat.' At- 
tempts of proof we have not as yet met withal : what this 
chapter will furnish us withal, we shall now consider. He 
indeed that shall weigh the title, Independentism is Dona- 
tism, and then casting his eye upon the first lines of the 
chapter itself, find that the reverend author says, he cannot 


but ' acknowledge, that what I plead for the vindication of 
Protestants from the charge of schism, in their separation 
from Rome, as the catholic church, to be rational, solid, and 
judicious,' will, perhaps, be at a loss in conjecturing how I 
am like to be dealt withal in the following discourse ; a little 
patience will let him see, that our author lays more weight 
upon the title, than the preface of this chapter; and that 
with all my fine trappings I am enrolled in the black book 
of the Donatists : but, 1. ' Quod fors feret feramus sequo 
animo ;' or as another saith, ' debemus optare optima, cogi- 
tare difficillima, ferre quaecunque eruot ;' as the case is fallen 
out, we must deal with it as we can. 1. He saith, ' he is not 
satisfied, that he not only denies the church of Rome (so 
called) to be a particular church, p. 154. but also affirms it 
to be no church at all.' That he is not satisfied with what 
I affirm of that synagogue of Satan where he hath his throne, 
I cannot help it, though I am sorry for it. 

I am not also without some trouble, that I cannot un- 
derstand what he means by placing my words, so as to in- 
timate that I say, not only that the church of Rome is no 
particular church, but also that it is no church at all ; as 
though it might in his judgment or mine be any church, if 
it be not a particular church ; for I verily suppose neither 
he nor I judge it to be that catholic church, whereto it pre- 
tends. But yet as I have no great reason to expect that 
this reverend author should be satisfied in any thing that I 
affirm, so I hope that it is not impossible, but that, without 
any great difficulty, he may be reconciled to himself, affirming 
the very same thing that I do, p. 113. [p. 168.] It is of Rome 
in that sense, wherein it claims itself to be a church, that I 
speak ; and in that sense, he says, it is no church of Christ's 
institution, and so, for my part, I account it no church at 
all : but he adds, that he is ' far more unsatisfied that I un- 
dertake the cause of the Donatists, and labour to exempt 
them from schism, though I allow them guilty of other 
crimes.' But do I indeed undertake the cause of the Do- 
natists ? do I plead for them? will he manifest it by saying 
more against them in no more words, than I have done ? do 
I labour to exempt them from schism ? are these the ways 
of peace, love, and truth, that the reverend author walks in ? 
do I not condemn all their practices and pretensions from 


the beginning to the end ? can I not speak of their cause in 
reference to the catholic church and its union, but it must 
be affirmed that I plead for them? But yet as if righteous- 
ness and truth had been observed in this crimination, he 
undertakes as of a thing granted to give my grounds of 
doing, what he affirms me to have done : the first is, as he 
says, ' his singular notion of schism, limiting it only to dif- 
ferences in a particular assembly. 2. His jealousy of the 
charge of schism to be objected to himself and party, if se- 
parating from the true churches of Christ be truly called 
schism.' Ans. What may I expect from others, when so 
grave and reverend a person as this author is reported to be, 
shall thus deal with me? Sir, I have no singular notion of 
schism, but embrace that which Paul hath long since de- 
clared, nor can you manifest any difference in my notion 
from what he hath delivered ; nor is that notion of schism 
at all under consideration in reference to what I affirm of 
the Donatists (who in truth were concerned in it, the 
most of them to the utmost), but the union of the church 
catholic, and the breach thereof. Neither am I jealous or 
fearful of the charge of schism, from any person living on 
the earth, and least of all from men proceeding in church 
affairs upon the principles you proceed on. Had you not 
been pleased to have supposed what you please, without 
the least ground, or colour, or reason, perhaps you would 
have as little satisfied yourself in the charge you have un- 
dertaken to manage against me, as you have done many good 
men, as the case now stands, even of your own judgment in 
other things. 

Having made this entrance, he proceeds in the same way, 
and, p. 164. lays the foundation of the title of his book and 
this chapter, of his charge of Donatisnij in these words : 
'This lies in full force against him and his party, who have 
broken the union of our churches, and separated themselves 
from all the Protestant churches in the world, not of their 
own constitution, and that as no true churches of Christ :' 
this, I say, is the foundation of his whole ensuing discourse ; 
all the ground that he hath to stand upon in the defence of 
the invidious title of this chapter, and what fruit he ex- 
pects from this kind of proceeding, I know not ; the day will 
manifest of what sort this work is 5 although he may have 


some mistaken apprehensions to countenance his conscience 
in the first part of his assertion, or that it may be forgiven 
to inveterate prejudice, though it be false ; namely, that I 
and my party (that is the phraseology this author in his 
love to unity delights in) have broken the union of their 
churches (which we have no more done, than they have 
broken the union of ours, for We began our reformation 
with them on even terms, and were as early at work as they), 
yet what colour, what excuse can be invented to alleviate 
the guilt of the latter part of it, that we have separated from 
all the reformed churches as no churches ? and yet he re- 
peats this again, p. 106. with especial reflection on myself: 
* I wonder not,' saith he, ' that the doctor hath unchurched 
Rome, for he hath done as much to England and all foreign 
Protestant churches, and makes none to be members of the 
church, but such as are by covenant and consent joined to 
some of their congregations.' Now, truly, though all righteous 
laws of men in the world, will afford recompense and satis- 
faction for calumniating accusations and slanders of much 
less importance than this, here publicly owned by our reve- 
rend author, yet seeing the gospel of the blessed God re- 
quires to forgive and pass by greater injuries, I shall labour 
in the strength of his grace to bring my heart unto con- 
formity to his will therein ; notwithstanding which, because 
by his providence I am in that place and condition, that 
others also that fear his name may be some way concerned 
in this unjust imputation, I must declare that this is open 
unrighteousness, wherein neither love nor truth hath been 
observed. How little I am concerned in his following pa- 
rallel of Independentism and Donatism, wherein he proceeds 
with the same truth and candour, or in all that follows there- 
upon, is easy for any one to judge. He proceeds to scan 
my answers to the Romanists, as in reference to their charge 
of schism upon us, and says, ' I do it suitable to my own 
principles.' And truly if I had not, I think I had been 
much to blame. I refer the reader to the answers given in 
my book, and if he like thera not, notwithstanding this 
author's exceptions, I wish he may fix on those that please 
him better ; in them there given, my conscience doth ac- 

But he comes, in the next place, to arguments, wherein if 


he prove more happy than he hath done in accusations, he 
will have great cause to rejoice. By a double argument, as 
he says, he will prove that there may be schism besides that 
in a particular church. His first is this : 

'Schism is a breach of union, but there may be a breach 
of union in the catholic visible church.' His second this : 
'Where there are differences raised in matter of faith pro- 
fessed, wherein the union of the catholic church consists, 
there may be a breach of union, but there maybe differences 
in the catholic, or among the members of the catholic church 
in matter of faith professed, ergo.' Having thus laid down 
his arguments, he falls to conjecture what 1 will answer, 
and how I will evade ; but it will quickly appear, that he is 
no less unhappy in arguing and conjecturing, than he is 
and was in accusing. For to consider his first argument, 
if he will undertake to make it good as to its form, I will 
by the same way of arguing, engage myself to prove what 
he would be.unwiUing to find in a regular conclusion. But 
as to the matter of it, 1. Is schism every breach of union? 
or is every breach of union schism ? Schism in the eccle- 
siastical notion is granted to be in the present dispute, the 
breach of the union of a church, which it hath by the insti- 
tution of Christ; and this not of any union of Christ's insti- 
tution, but of one certain kind of union ; for as was proved, 
there is a union, whose breach can neither in the language 
of the Scripture, nor in reason, nor common sense, be called 
or accounted schism, nor ever was by any man in the 
world, nor can be v/ithout destroying the particular nature 
of schism, and allowing only the general notion of any sepa- 
ration, good or bad, in what kind soever. So that, secondly, 
it is granted, not only that there may be a breach of union in 
the catholic church, but also that there may be a breach of 
the union of the catholic church, by a denial or relinquish- 
ment of the profession wherein it consists; but that this 
breach of union is schism, because schism is a breach of 
union, is as true, as that every man who hath two eyes, is 
every thing that hath two eyes. For his second, it is of the 
same importance with the first, there may be differences in the 
catholic church, and breaches of union among the members 
of it, which are far enough from the breach of the union of 
that church, as such. Two professors may fall out and 


differ, and yet I think continue both of them professors still. 
Paul and Barnabas did so ; Chrysostona and Epiphanius did 
so ; Cyril and Theodoret did so. That which I denied was, 
that the breach of the union of the catholic church as such, 
is schism. He proves the contrary, by affirming there may 
be differences among the members of the catholic church, 
that do not break the vmion of it, as such. But he says, 
though there be apostacy, or heresy, yet there may be schism 
also; but not in respect of the breach of the same union, 
which only he was to prove. Besides evil surmises, re- 
proaches, false criminations, and undue suggestions, I find 
nothing wherein my discourse is concerned to the end of 
this chapter, p. 109. upon the passage of mine; 'we are thus 
come off from this part of schism for the relinquishment of 
the catholic church, which we have not done, and so to do, 
is not schism, but a sin of another nature and importance ;' 
he adds, ' that the ground 1 go upon, why separation from a 
true church (he must mean the catholic church, or he speaks 
nothing at all to the business in hand) is no schism, is that 
aforementioned, that a schism in the Scripture notion is 
only a division of judgment in a particular assembly.' But 
who so blind as they that will not see? the ground I pro- 
ceeded on evidently, openly, solely, was taken from the na- 
ture of the catholic church, its union, and the breach of that 
union, and if' obiter' I once mention that notion, 1 do it upon 
my confidence of its truth, which I here again tender my- 
self in a readiness to make good to this reverend author, if 
at any time he will be pleased to command my personal at- 
tendance upon him to that purpose. To repeat more of the 
like mistakes and surmises, with the wranglings that ensue 
on such false suppositions to the end of this chapter, is cer- 
tainly needless ; for my part, in and about this whole busi- 
ness of separation from the catholic church, I had not the 
least respect to Presbyterians or Independents as such, nor 
to the differences between them, which alone our author out 
of his zeal to the truth and peace attends unto. If he will 
fasten the guilt of schism on any on the account of separation 
from the catholic church, let him prove that that church is 
not made up of the universality of professors of the gospel 
throughout the world, under the limitations expressed ; 
that the union of it as such, doth not consist in the profes- 


sion of the truth ; and that the breach of that union, whereby 
a man ceases to be a member of that church, is schism; other- 
wise to tell me that I am a sectary, a schismatic, to fill up 
his pages with vain surmises and supposals, to talk of a dif- 
ference and schism among the members of the catholic 
church, or the like impertinences, will never farther his dis- 
course among men, either rational, solid, or judicious. All 
that ensues to the end of this chapter is about the ordination 
of ministers, wherein however he hath been pleased to deal 
with me in much bitterness of spirit, with many clamours 
and false accusations ; I am glad to find him, p. 120. re- 
nouncing ordination from the authority of the church of 
Rome as such, for I am assured, that by so doing, he can 
claim it no way from, by, or through Rome ; for nothing 
came to us from thence but what came in and by the au- 
thority of that church. 


We are now gathering towards what seems of most imme- 
diate concernment as to this reverend author's undertaking; 
namely, to treat of the nature of a particular church, its 
union and the breach of that union ; the description I give of 
such a church is this ; * It is a society of men called by the 
word to the obedience of the faith in Christ, and joint per- 
formance of the worship of God in the same individual or- 
dinances according to the order by him prescribed.' This I 
profess to be a general description of i ts nature, waving all con- 
tests about accurate definitions, which usually tend very little 
to the discovery or establishment of truth : after some can- 
vassing of this description, our author tells us, that he grants 
it to be the definition of a particular church, which is more 
than I intended it for; only he adds, that according to this 
description, their churches are as true as ours ; which I pre- 
sume by this time he knows was not the thing in question. 
His ensuing discourse of the will of Christ, that men should 
join not all in the same individual congregation, but in this 
or that, is by me wholly assented unto, and the matter of it 
contended for by me, as I am able ; what he is pleased to 


add about explicit covenanting and the like, I am not at all 
for the present concerned in ; I purposely waved all expres- 
sions concerning it, one way or other, that I might not in- 
volve the business in hand with any unnecessary contests ; 
it is possible somewhat hereafter may be spoken to that sub- 
ject, in a tendency unto the reconciliation of the parties at 
variance. His argument, in the close of the section for a 
presbyterian church, from Acts xx. 17. because there is men- 
tion of more elders than one in that church, and therefore it 
was not one single congregation, I do not understand ; I 
think no one single congregation is wholly completed ac- 
cording to the mind of Christ, unless there be more elders 
than one in it ; there should be elders in every church ; and, 
for my part, so we could once agree practically in the mat- 
ter of our churches, I am under some apprehension that it 
w^ere no impossible thing to reconcile the whole difference, 
as to a presbyterian church or a single congregation. And 
though I be reproved anew for my pains, I may offer ere 
long to the candid consideration of godly men, something 
that may provoke others of better abilities and more leisure, 
to endeavour the carrying on of so good a work. Proceed- 
ing to the consideration of the unity of this church, he takes 
notice of three things laid down by me, previously to what 
I was farther to assert ; all which he grants to be true, but 
yet will not let them pass without his animadversions. The 
two first are, that, 1. ' A man may be a member of the catholic 
invisible church ;' and, 2. ' Of the visible catholic church, and 
yet not be joined to a particular church.' These, as I said, 
he owns to be true, but asks how I can ' reconcile this witji 
what I said before, namely, that the members of the catholic 
visible church are initiated into the profession of the faith by 
baptism ;' but where lies the difference? why, saith he, ' bap- 
tism, according to his principles, is an ordinance of worship 
only to be enjoyed in a particular church, whilst he will 
grant (what yet he doth deny, but will be forced to grant) 
that a minister is a minister to more than his own church, 
even to the catholic church, and may administer baptism 
out of a particular church, as Philip did to the eunuch.' 
Ans. How well this author is acquainted with my principles, 
hath been already manifested ; as to his present mistake, I 
shall not complain, seeing that some occasion may be ad- 


ministered unto it, from an expression, of mine, at least as it 
is printed, of which I shall speak afterward ; for the present, 
he may be pleased to take notice, that I am so far from con- 
fining baptism subjectively to a particular congregation, 
that I do not believe that any member of a particular church 
was ever regularly baptized : baptism precedes admission 
into church membership, as to a particular church ; the sub- 
ject of it, is professing believers and their seed ; as such 
they have right unto it, whether they be joined to any par- 
ticular church or no; suitable to this judgment hath been 
my constant and uninterrupted practice. I desire also to 
know, who told him that I deny a minister to be a minister 
to more than his own church, or averred that he may perform 
ministerial duty only in and towards the members of his 
own congregation, for so much as men are appointed the 
objects of the dispensation of the word, I grant a man, in 
the dispensations of it, to act ministerially towards not only 
the members of the catholic church, but the visible mem- 
bers of the world also in contradistinction thereunto. 

The third thing laid down by me, whereunto also he as- 
sents is, 'that every believer is obliged to join himself to 
some one of those churches, that there he may abide in doc- 
trine and fellowship and breaking of bread and prayer :' but my 
reasons, whereby I prove this, he says he likes not so well : 
and truly I cannot help it. I have little hope he should like 
any thing well which is done by me : let him be pleased to 
furnish me with better, and I shall make use of them; but 
yet when he shall attempt so to do, it is odds but that one 
or other, will find as many flaws in them as he pretends to 
do in mine ; but this, he saith, he shall make use of, and 
that, he shall make advantage of, and I know not what, as if 
he were playing a prize upon a stage. The third reason is, 
that which he likes worst of all, and I like the business the 
better, that what he understands least, that he likes worst ; 
it is, ' that Christ hath given no direction for any duty of wor- 
ship, merely and purely of sovereign institution, but only to 
them and by them who are so joined ;' hereupon he asks, 
1. * Is baptism apart of worship?' Ans. Yes, and to be so per- 
formed by them, that is a minister in, or of them ; I fear my 
expression in this place led him to his whole mistake in this 
matter. 2. ' Prayer and reading of the word in private fa- 


milies, are they no duty of worship V Ans. Not merely and 
purely of sovereign institution. 3. * Is preaching to convert 
heathens a duty of worship?' not, as described, in all cases; 
when it is, it is to be performed by a minister ; and so he 
knows my answer to his next invidious inquiry, relating to 
my own person ; against my fourth reason, taken from the 
apostle's care to leave none out of this oi'der who were con- 
verted, where it was possible, he gives in the instance of the 
eunuch, and others converted where there were not enough 
to engage in such societies ; that is, in them with whom it 
was impossible : my fifth is, from Christ's providing of of- 
ficers for these churches ; this also he saith is ' weak as the 
rest, for first, Christ provided officers at first for the catholic 
church, that is, the apostles. 2. All ordinary officers are set 
first in the catholic church, and every minister is first a mi- 
nister to the catholic church, and if, saith he, he deny this, 
he knows where to find a learned antagonist.' 

Ans. But see what it is to have a mind to dispute ; will 
he deny that Christ appointed officers for particular 
churches, or if he should have a mind to do it, will his ar- 
guments evince any such thing ; Christ appointed apostles, 
catholic officers, therefore he did not appoint officers for par- 
ticular churches; though he commanded that ' elders should 
be ordained in every church,' pastors and teachers are set 
first in the catholic church, therefore Christ hath not ordained 
officers for particular churches. But this is the way with 
our author ! If any word offers itself, whence it is possible 
to draw out the mention of any thing, that is, or hath at any 
time been, in difference between Presbyterians and Inde- 
pendents, that presently is run away withal; for my part, I 
had not the least thought of the controversy which to no 
purpose at all he would here lead me to ; but yet, I must tell 
him, that my judgment is, that ordinary officers are firstly 
to be ordained in particular churches ; and as I know 
where to find a learned antagonist as to that particular, so 
I do, in respect of every thing that I affirm or deny in the 
business of religion, and yet I bless the Lord I am not in 
the least disquieted or shaken in my adherence to the truth 
I profess. 

My last reason, he saith, is ' fallacious and inconsequent/ 
and that because he hath put an inference upon it never in- 


tended in it. Now the position that these reasons were 
produced to confirm being true, and so acknowledged by 
himself, because it is a truth that indeed I lay some more 
than ordinary weight upon, it being of great use in the days 
wherein we live, I would humbly entreat this reverend 
author to send me his reasons whereby it may be confirmed, 
and I shall promise him if they be found of more validity 
than those which, according to my best skill, I have already 
used, he shall obtain many thanks, and much respect for 
his favour. 

What he remarks upon, or adds to my next discourse, 
about instituted worship in general, I shall not need to in- 
sist on ; only by the way I cannot but take notice of that 
which he calls ' a chief piece of independency,' and that is, 
'that those who are joined in church fellowship are so con- 
fined, that they cannot or may not worship God in the same 
ordinances in-other churches ;' how this comes to be 'a chief 
piece of independency,' I know not. It is contrary to the 
known practice of all the churches of England that I am 
acquainted with, which he calls Independents. For my 
part, I know but one man of that mind, and he is no child 
in these things. 

For the ensuing discourse about the intercision of ordi- 
nances, it being a matter of great importance, and inquired 
into by me merely in reference to the Roman apostacy, it 
needs a more serious disquisition, than any thing at present 
administered by our author will give occasion unto ; possi- 
bly in convenient time I may offer somewhat farther towards 
the investigation of the mind of God therein : every thing 
in this present contest is so warped to the petty difference 
between Presbyterians and Independents, that no fair pro- 
gress nor opportunity for it can be afforded. If it may be, 
in my next debate of it, I shall wave all mention of those 
meaner differences, and^ as I remember I have not insisted 
on them in what I have already proposed to this purpose, 
so possibly the next time I may utterly escape. For the 
present, I do not doubt but the Spirit of God in the Scrip- 
ture, is furnished with sufficient authority to erect new 
churches, and set up the celebration of all ordinances on 
supposition that there was an intercision of them. To de- 
clare the way of his exerting his authority to this purpose. 


with the obviating of all objections to the contrary, is not a 
raatter to be tossed up and down in this scambling chase ; 
and I am not a little unhappy, that this reverend person 
was in the dark to my design and aim all along, which hath 
entangled this dispute with so many impertinences. But, 
however, I shall answer a question which he is pleased to 
put to me in particular. He asks me then, * whether I do not 
think in my conscience that there were no true churches in 
England until the Brownists our fathers, the Anabaptists our 
elder brothers, and ourselves arose and gathered new 
churches V With thanks for the civility of the inquiry in 
the manner of its expression, I answer. No ; I have no such 
thoughts, and his pretence of my insinuation of any such 
thing, is most vain, as also is his insultation thereupon ; 
truly if men will in all things take liberty to speak what 
they please, they have no reason but to think that they may 
at one time or other hear that which will displease. 

Having investigated the nature of a particular church, I 
proceed in my treatise of schism, to inquire after the union 
of it, wherein it doth consist, and what is the breach 
thereof. The sura is, the joint consent of the members to 
walk together in celebration of the same numerical ordi- 
nances, according to the mind of Jesus Christ, is that 
wherein the union of such a church doth consist. This is 
variously excepted against, and I know not what disputes 
about an implicit and explicit covenant, of specificating 
forms, of the practice of New and Old England, of admission 
of church-members, of the right of the members of the ca- 
tholic church to all ordinances, of the miscarriage of the 
Independents, of church matriculations, and suchlike things, 
not once considered by me in my proposal of the matter in 
hand, are fallen upon. By the way he falls upon my judg- 
ment about the inhabitation of the Spirit, calls it an error, 
and says, so it hath been reputed by all that are orthodox ; 
raising terrible suspicions and intimations of judgments on 
our way from God, by my falling into that error; when yet 
I say no more than the Scripture saith in express terms 
forty times, for which I refer him to what I have written on 
that subject, wherein I have also the concurrence of Po- 
lanus, Bucanus, Dorchetus, with sundry others Lutherans 
and Calvinists. It may be when he hath seriously weighed 



what I have offered to the clearing of that glorious truth of 
the gospel, he may entertain more gentle thoughts both 
concerning it and me. 

The rest of the chapter I have passed through, once and 
again, and cannot fix on any thing worthy of farther debate. 
A difference is attempted to be found in my description of 
the union of a particular church, in this and another place ; 
because in one place I require the consent of the members 
to walk together, in another mention only their so doing, 
when the mention of that only was necessary in that place, 
not speaking of it absolutely, but as it is the difference of 
such a church from the church catholic, some impropriety 
of expression is pretended to be discovered ('id populus 
curat scilicet') : which yet is a pure mistake of his, not con- 
sidering unto what especial end and purpose the words are 
used. He repeats sundry things as in opposition to me, 
that are things laid down by myself and granted. Doth he 
attempt to prove that the union of a church is not rightly 
stated ; he confesseth the form of such a church consists in 
the observance and performance of the same ordinances of 
worship numerically. I ask, is it the command of Christ 
that believers should so do? is not their obedience to that 
command, their consent so to do? are not particular 
churches instituted of Christ? is it not the duty of every 
believer to join himself to some one of them? was not this 
acknowledged above ? can any one do so without his con- 
senting to do so ? Is this consent any thing but his volun- 
tary submission to the ordinances of worship therein ? As 
an express consent and subjection to Christ in general is 
required to constitute a man a member of the church ca- 
tholic visible ; so if the Lord Jesus hath appointed any par- 
ticular church for the celebration of his ordinances ; is not 
their consent who are to walk in them, necessary thereunto? 
But the topic of an explicit covenant, presenting itself with 
an advantage, to take up some leaves, would not be waved, 
though nothing at all to the purpose in hand. After this, 
my confession made in as much condescension unto com- 
pliance as I could well imagine, of the use of greater as- 
semblies, is examined, and excepted against, as ' being in 
my esteem,' he saith, 'though it be not so indeed, a matter 
of prudence only.' But I know full well, that he knows not 


what esteem or disesteem I have of sundry things of no 
less importance. The consideration of my ' postulata/ pro- 
posed in a preparation to what was to be insisted on, in the 
next chapter, as influenced from the foregoing dissertations, 
alone remains, and indeed alone deserves our notice. 

My first is this : ' The departing of any man or men 
from any particular church, as to the communion peculiar 
to such a church, is nowhere called schism, nor is so in the 
nature of the thing itself, but is a thing to be judged and 
receive a title according to the circumstances of it;' to this 
he adjoins ; ' this is not the question, a simple secession of 
a man or men upon some just occasion is not called schism ; 
but to make causeless differences in a church, and then se- 
parating from it, as no church, denying communion with it, 
hath the nature and name of schism in all men's judgments 
but his own.' Ans. What question doth our reverend author 
mean ? I fear he is still fancying of the difference between 
Presbyterians and Independents, and squaring all things by 
that imagination ; whether it be a question stated to his 
mind or no, I cannot tell, but it is an Assertion expressive 
of mine own, which he may do well to disprove if he can. 
Who told him that raising causeless differences in a church, 
and then separating from it, is not in my judgment schism? 
May I possibly retain hopes of making myself understood 
by this reverend author ? I suppose though, that a perti- 
nacious abiding in a mistake is neither schism nor heresy ; 
and so this may be passed over. 

My second is, ' One church refusing to hold that com- 
munion with another, which ought to be between them, is 
not schism properly so called.' The reply hereunto is two- 
fold : 1. ' That one church may raise differences in, and with 
another church, and so cause schism.' 2. " That the Inde- 
pendents deny any communion of churches, but what is 
prudential, and so that communion cannot be broken.' To 
the first I have spoken sufficiently before, the latter is but 
a harping on the same string. I am not speaking of In- 
dependent churches, nor upon the principles of Inde- 
pendents, much less on them which are imposed on them. 
Let the reverend author suppose or aver what communion of 
churches he pleaseth, my position holds in reference to it, 
nor can he disprove it ; however, for my part, I am not ao 

Y 2 


quainted with those Independents, who allow no communion 
of churches but what is prudential ; and yet it is thought, 
that I know as many as this reverend author doth. 

Upon the last proposal we are wholly agreed, so that I 
shall not need to repeat it ; only he gives me a sad farewell 
at the close of the chapter, which must be taken notice of: 
' Is,' saith he, ' not the design of his book to prove, if he 
could, and condemn us as no churches ? let the world be 
judge j' and I say, let all the saints of God judge; and Jesus 
Christ will judge whether I have not outrageous injury 
done me in this imputation : ' but,' saith he, * unless this be 
proved, he can never justify his separation.' Sir, when 
your and our brethren told the bishops, they thanked God 
they were none of them, and defied the prelatical church, 
did they make a separation or no; were they guilty of 
schism? I suppose you will not say so ; nor do I ; yet have 
I done any such thing in reference to you or your churches? 
I have no more separated from you, than you have done 
from me ; and as for the distance which is between us upon 
our disagreement about the way of reformation, let all the 
churches of God judge, on which side it hath been managed 
with more breach of love, on yours or mine. Let me assure 
you, sir, through the mercy of God in Jesus Christ, I can 
freely forgive unto you all your reproaches, revilings, hard 
censurings, and endeavours to expose me to public obliquy, 
and yet hope that I may have, before we die, a place in your 
heart and prayers. 


Independency no schism. 

We are come now to the chapter that must do the work 
intended, or else ' operam et oleum perdidimus ;' Inde- 
pendentism a great Schism, is the title of it; what this In- 
dependentism is, he doth neither here declare, nor in any 
other part of his book ; nor do I know what it is that he 
intends by it. I hear indeed from him that it is a schism, a 
sect, but of what peculiar import, or wherein it consists, he 
hath not declared. I suppose he would have it taken for 


separation from true churches, but neither doth the notion 
of the name, though individiously broached and disavowed 
by them, to whom it is ascribed, import any such thing ; 
nor is the thing itself owned by them with whom he pre- 
tends to have to do. I find indeed that he tells us, that all 
sectaries are Independents ; Anabaptists, Seekers, Ranters, 
Quakers. Doth he expect that I should undertake their 
defence ? what if it should appear, that I have done more 
against them than our reverend author, and many of his 
brethren joined with him ; he may perhaps be willing to 
load myself and those which he is pleased to call my as- 
sociates, my party, I know not what, with their evils and 
miscarriages. But is this done as becomes a Christian, a 
minister, a brother? what security hath he, that had he 
been the only judge and disposer of things in religion in 
this nation, if I and my associates had been sent to plant 
churches among the Indians, that he should have prevented 
eruption of the errors and abominations which we have been 
exercised withal in this generation, unless he had sent for 
duke D'Alva's instruments to work his ends by? and indeed 
there is scarce any sect in the nation, but had they their 
desires, they would take that course. This may be done by 
any that are uppermost if they please. But how shall wa 
know what it is he intends by Independentism ? All, it may 
be, that are not Presbyterians are Independents. Among 
these some professedly separate, both from them and us 
(for there are none that separate from them but withal they 
separate from us, that I know of), because, as they say, nei- 
ther theirs nor ours are true churches ; we grant them to 
be true churches, but withal deny that we separate from 
them ; is it possible at once to defend both these sects of 
men? Is it possible at once with the same arguments to 
charge them? The whole discourse, then, of our reverend 
author being uniform, it can concern but one of these sects 
of Independents; which it is, any man may judge that 
takes the least view of his treatise. He deals with them 
that unchurch their churches, unminister their ministers, 
disannul their ordinances, leaving them churchless, officer- 
less, and in the like sad condition. Is this Independentism 
a schism? though that it is properly so called, he cannot 
prove, yet I hope he did not expect that I should plead for 


it ; wliat I shall do in this case, I profess, well I know not. 
I here deny that I unminister their ministers, unchurch 
their churches ; hath this author any more to say to me or 
those of my persuasion? doth not this whole discourse pro- 
ceed upon a supposition that it is otherwise with them with 
whom he hath to do ? only I must tell him by the way, that 
if he suppose by this concession, that I justify and own 
their way, wherein they differ from the congregational mi- 
nisters in England, to be of Christ's institution, or that I 
grant all things to be done regularly among them, and ac- 
cording to the mind of Christ, therein I must profess he is 
mistaken. In brief, by Independentism he intends a sepa- 
ration from true churches, with condemning them to be no 
churches, and their ministers no ministers, and their ordi- 
nances none, or antichristian ; whatever becomes of the 
nature of schism, I disavow the appearing as an advocate in 
the behalf of this Independentism. If by Independentism 
he understand the peaceable proceeding of any of the people 
of God in this nation in the several parts of it, to join them- 
selves by their free consent to walk together in the ob- 
servation and celebration of all the ordinances of Christ 
appointed to be observed and celebrated in particular 
churches, so to reform themselves from the disorders wherein 
they were entangled, being not able in some things to join 
in that way of reformation, which many godly ministers, 
commonly called Presbyterians, have engaged in, and seek to 
promote, without judging and condemning them as to the 
whole of their station or ordinances. If this, I say, be in- 
tended by Independentism, when the reverend author shall 
undertake to prove it schism, having not in this book spoken 
one word or tittle to it, his discourse will be attended unto. 
This whole chapter then being spent against them who 
deny them to be true churches, and defend separation, I 
marvel what can be said unto it by me, or how I come to be 
concerned in it, who grant them true churches, and deny 

But our reverend author, knowing that if this bottom be 
taken from under him, he hath no foundation for any thing 
he asserts, thought it not sufficient to charge me over and 
over with what is here denied, but at length attempts to 
make it good from mine own words; which if he doth effect 


and make good, I confess he changes the whole nature and 
state of the dispute in hand. Let us see then how he an- 
swers this undertaking. 

From those words of mine, ' the reformation of any 
church, or any thing in it, is the reducing of it to its pri- 
mitive institution :' approving the assertion as true, he 
labours to evince thaf I deny their churches to be true 
churches ; how so, I pray? 'why we erect new churches out 
of no churches ; and it had been happy for England if we 
had all gone to do this work among the Indians.' What 
will prove England's happiness or unhappiness, the day will 
manifest; this is but man's day and judgment; he is 
coming who will not judge by the seeing of the eye, nor by 
the hearing of the ear. In the mean time, we bless God, 
and think all England hath cause to bless God, whatever 
become of us, that he, and our brethren of the same mind 
with him in the things of God, have their liberty to preach 
the gospel, and carry on the work of reformation in their 
native soil, and are not sent into the ends of the earth, as 
many of ours have been. But how doth our gathering of 
churches deny them to be true churches ? Doth our grant- 
ing them to be true churches, also grant that all the saints 
in England are members of their churches? It is notoriously 
known, that it is and was otherwise, and that when they 
and we began to reform, thousands of the people of God in 
these nations had no reason to suppose themselves to be- 
long to one particular church rather than another. They 
lived in one parish, heard in another, removed up and down 
for their advantage, and were in bondage on that account all 
their days. 

But he says, ' in some words following I discover my very 
heart.' I cannot but by the way tell him, that it is a suffi- 
cient evidence of his unacquaintedness with me, that he 
thinks there is need of searching and racking my words to 
discover my very heart, in any thing that belongs (though 
in never so remote a distance) to the worship of God. All 
that know me, know liow open and free I am in these 
things, how ready on all occasions to declare my whole 
heart ; it is neither fear nor favour can influence me unto 
another frame. But what are the words that make this 
noble discovery ? They are these that follow : ' When any 


society or combination of men (whatever hitherto it hath 
been esteemed) is not capable of such a reduction, and re- 
vocation' (that is to its primitive institution) * I suppose I 
shall never provoke any wise or sober person, if I profess I 
cannot look on such a society as a church of Christ.' His 
reply hereunto is the hinge upon which his whole discourse 
turneth, and must therefore be considered. Thus then he ; 
' Is not this, reader, at once to unchurch all the churches of 
England since the reformation? for it is known, during the 
reign of the prelates they were not capable of that reduc- 
tion ; and what capacity our churches are now in for that 
reduction, partly by want of power and assistance from the 
magistrate, without which some dare not set upon a reform- 
ation, for fear of a praemunire, partly by our divisions 
amongst ourselves, fomented by he knows whom, he cannot 
but see as well as we lament.' And hereupon he proceeds 
with sundry complaints of my dealing with them. And now. 
Christian reader, what shall we say to these things ? A naked 
supposition, of no strength nor weight, that will not hold in 
any thing or case, namely, that a thing is not to be judged 
capable of that which by some external force it is withheld 
from, is the sole bottom of all this charge. The churches 
of England were capable of that reduction to their primitive 
institution under the prelates, though in some things hin- 
dered by them from an actual reducement; so they are now 
in sundry places, where the work is not so much as at- 
tempted ; the sluggard's field is capable of being weeded ; 
the present pretended want of capacity from the non-assist- 
ance of the magistrate, whilst perfect liberty for reformation 
is given, and the work in its several degrees encouraged, 
will be found to be a sad plea for some, when things come 
to be tried out by the rule of the gospel. And for our 
divisions, I confess 1 begin to discover somewhat more by 
whom they are fomented, than I did four days ago ; for the 
matter itself. I desire our reverend author to take notice, 
that I judge every church capable of a reduction to its 
primitive institution, which, all outward hindrances being 
removed, and all assistances granted that are necessary for 
reformation according to the gospel, may be reduced into 
the form and order appointed unto a particular church by 
,}esus Christ; and where any society is not so capable, let 


them call themselves what they please, I shall advise those 
therein, who have personally a due right to the privileges 
purchased for them by Jesus Christ, in the way of their ad- 
ministration by him appointed, to take some other peace- 
able course to make themselves partakers of them ; and 
for giving this advice, I neither dread the anger nor indigna- 
tion of any man living in the world. And so I suppose by 
this time the author knows what is become of his, ' quod 
erat demonstrandum ;' and here in room of it I desire him 
to accept of this return. 

Those who in the judgment of charity were and continue 
members of the church catholic invisible by virtue of their 
union with Christ the head thereof, and members of the 
general visible church, by their due profession of the saving 
truths of the gospel, and subjection to Christ Jesus their 
King and Saviour according to them, do walk in love and 
concord in the particular churches, whereof by their own 
consent and choice they are members, not judging and con- 
demning other particular churches of Christ, where they are 
not members as they are such, as to their station and pri- 
vileges, being ready for all instituted communion with them, 
as revealed, are not according to any gospel rule, nor by any 
principles acknowledged amongst Christians, to be judged 
or condemned as guilty of schism ; but such are all they 
for whom, under any consideration whatever, I have pleaded 
as to their immunity from this charge, in my treatise of 
schism; therefore they are not to be judged so guilty. If 
you please you may add, ' quod erat demonstatum.' 

I shall not digress to a recharge upon this reverend au- 
thor, and those of the same profession with him, as to their 
mistakes and miscarriages in the work of reformation, nor 
discuss their ways and principles, wherein I am not satisfied 
as to their procedure. I yet hope for better things than to 
be necessitated to carry on the defensative of the way where- 
in I walk by opposing theirs. It is true that he who stands 
upon mere defence, is thought to stand upon none at all ; but 
I wait for better things from men, than their hearts will yet 
allow them to think of. I hope the reverend author thinks, 
that as I have reasons wherewith I am satisfied as to my own 
way, so I have those that are of the same weight with me 
against him. But, whatever he may surmise, I have no mind 


to foment the divisions that are amongst us ; hence I wil- 
lingly bear all his imputations without retortion. I know 
in part how the case is in the world. The greatest chargers 
have not always the most of truth ; witness Papists, Luther- 
ans, Prelatists, Anabaptists. I hope I can say in sincerity, 
I am for peace; though others make themselves ready for 

But we must proceed a little farther, though as to the 
cause by me undertaken to be managed, causelessly. The 
discourse of our author from the place fixed on, wherein he 
faintly endeavoured to make good the foundation of this 
chapter, which I have already considered, consists of two 
parts. 1. His animadversions on some principles which I 
lay down, as necessary to be stated aright and determined, 
that the question about gathering churches may be clearly 
and satisfactorily debated. Some of them, he says, have 
been handled^by others, which if it be a rule of silence to him 
and me, it might have prevented this tedious debate : what- 
ever his thoughts may be of my pamphlet, I do not fear 
to aflSrm of his treatise, that I have found nothing in it, 
from the beginning to the ending, but what hath lien neg- 
lected on booksellers' stalls for above these seven years. For 
the rest of those principles, which he excepts against, as he 
thinks meet, I leave their consideration to that farther in- 
quiry, which the Lord assisting, I have destined them unto. 
The way of gathering churches upon a supposition of their 
antecedency to officers, he says, is very pretty, and loads it 
with the difficulty of men's coming to be baptized in such a 
case; but as I can tell him of that which is neither true nor 
pretty, in the practice of some whom he knows, or hath rea- 
son so to do, so I can assure him that we are not concerned 
in his objection about baptism, and with them who may pos- 
sibly be so, it is a ridiculous thing to think it an objection. 
And for that part of my inquiry, whether the church be be- 
fore ordinary officers, or they before it, as slight as he is 
pleased to make of it, it will be found to lie very near the 
bottom of all our differences, and the right stating of it, to 
conduce to the composure and determination of them. His 
charges and reflections which he casts about in his passage, 
are not now to be farther mentioned; we have had them 
over and over, indeed we have had little else. If strong, 


vehement, passionate affirmations, complaints, charges, false 
imputations and the like, will amount to a demonstration in 
this business, he hath demonstrated independentism to be a 
great schism. 

He shuts up his discourse as he began it, reciting my 
words by adding, interposing, perverting, commenting, in- 
quiring ; he makes- them speak what he pleases, and com- 
passes the ends of his delight upon them. What content- 
ment he hath received in his so doing, I know not; nor shall 
I express what thoughts I have of such a course of proce- 
dure: this only I shall say, it is a facile way of writing trea- 
tises and proving whatever men have a mind unto. 

My last task is to look back to the beginning of this last 
chapter, and to gather up in our passage what may seem to 
respect the business in hand, and so the whole matter will 
be dismissed. The plea insisted on for immunity from the 
charge of schism, with reference to the episcopal govern- 
ment of the church of England, and the constitution which 
under it it is pretended to have had, he passes over, thouo-h 
on sundry accounts his concernments lie as deeply in it as in 
any thing pleaded in that treatise. The things he is pleased 
to take notice of, as far as they tend in the least to the issue 
of the debate between us, shall be reviewed. Considering 
the several senses wherein that expression, ' the church of 
England,' may be taken, I manifest in my treatise, in which 
of them, and how far, we acknowledge ourselves to have 
been, and to continue members of the church of England. 
The first is as it comprises the elect believers in England : 
what the unity of the church in this sense is, was before 
evinced ; our desire to be found members of this church, 
with our endeavour to keep the unity of it in the bond of 
peace, was declared. I am grieved to repeat our reverend 
author's exceptions to this declaration ; says he, ' Unless he 
think there are no members of this church in England, but 
those that are of his formed particular churches, I fear he 
will be found to break the union that ought to be between 
them.' And why so, I pray? The union of the members of 
the church in this sense, consists in their joint union to, and 
with, Christ their head by one spirit. What hath the reverend 
author to charge upon me with reference thereunto ? Let 
him speak out to the utmost ; yea, I have some reason to 


think that he will scarce spare, where he can strike ; God 
forbid that 1 should think all the members of the catholic 
church in England to be comprised either jointly or severally 
in their churches or ours, seeing it cannot be avoided, but 
you will keep up those notes of division. I doubt not but 
there be many thousands of them who walk neither with 
you nor us. He adds, that by gathering saints of the first 
magnitude, we do what lies in us, to make the invisible 
church visible : it is confessed, we do so ; yea, we know that 
that church which is invisible in some respects, and under 
one formal consideration, is visible as to its profession which 
it makes unto salvation. This, with all that lies in us, we 
draw them out unto : what he adds about the churches being 
elect, and the uncomely parts of it, which they may be for a 
season who are elect believers, because it must be spoken, 
are useles cavils. For the scornful rejection of what I affirm, 
concerning our love to all the members of this church, and 
readiness to tender them satisfaction in case of offence, with 
his insinuation of my want of modesty and truth in asserting 
these thoughts, because he will one day know that the words 
lie so despises were spoken in sincerity, and with the reve- 
rence of the great God, and out of love to all his saints, I 
shall not farther vindicate them ; such hay and stubble must 
needs burn. 

My next profession of our relation to the church of Eng- 
land, in respect of that denomination given to the body of 
professors in this nation, cleaving to the doctrine of the gos- 
pel, here preached and established by law, as the public pro- 
fession of this nation. But he tells me, first, 1. * That many 
independent churches of this nation, are grossly apostatized 
from that doctrine, and so are heretical.' 2. * That the wor- 
ship was professed and protested, and established as well as 
the doctrine, and that we are all departed from it, and so are 
schismatical ; for we hold communion with them,' he says, 
' in the same doctrine, but not in the same worship.' Atis. 
His first exception ariseth from the advantage he makes use 
of, from his large use of the word ' independent,' which will 
serve him in his sense for what end he pleaseth. In the sense 
before declared, his charge is denied. Let him prove it by 
instance if he be able. Surely God hath not given orthodox 
men leave to speak what they please, without due regard to 


love and truth. 2. As to the worship established in this na- 
tion by law (he means the way of worship, for the substan- 
tials of it we are all agreed in), I suppose he will not say a 
relinquishment of the practice of it is schism ; if he do, I 
know what use some men will make of his affirmation, though 
I know not how he will free himself from being schismatical ; 
for his renewed charge of schism, I cannot, I confess, be 
moved at it, proceeding from him, who neither doth nor will 
know what it is. His next endeavour is to make use of an- 
other concession of mine, concerning our receiving of our re- 
generation and new birth by the preaching of the word in 
England ; saying, could they make use of our preaching, &c. 
But the truth is, when the most of us by the free grace of 
God received our new birth through the preaching of the 
word, neither they nor we, as to the practice of our ways, 
were in England; so that their concernment as such, in the 
concession is very small ; and we hope since in respect of 
others, our own ministry hath not been altogether fruitless, 
though we make no comparison with them. 

In rendering of the next passage which is concerning Ana- 
baptists and Anabaptism, I shall not contend with him ; he 
hath not in the least impaired the truth of what I assert in 
reference to them and their way. I cannot but take notice 
of that passage, which for the substance of it hath so often 
occured, and that is this, ' Doth not himself labour in this 
book to prove that the administration of ordinances in our 
assemblies is null, our ordination null and antichristian.' 
For the proof of which suggestion he refers his reader to p. 197. 
[p. 211.] of my book. I confess, seeing this particular quota- 
tion, I was somewhat surprised, and began to fear that some 
expression of mine (though contrary to ray professed judg- 
ment) might have given countenance to this mistake, and so 
be pleaded as a justification of all the uncharitableness and 
something else, wherewith his book is replenished; but 
turning to the place I was quickly delivered from my trouble, 
though I must ingenuously confess I was cast into another, 
which I shall not now mention. 

Pao;e 167, we arrive at that which alone almost I ex- 
pected would have been insisted on, and quite contrary 
thereto, it is utterly waved ; namely, the whole business of a 
national church, upon which account indeed all the pretence 


of the charge this reverend author is pleased to manage, doth 
arise. Take that out of the way, and certainly they, and we 
are upon even terms ; and if we will be judged by them who 
were last in possession of the reiglement of that church, 
upon supposition that there is such a church still, they are 
no more interested in it than we, yea, are as guilty of schism 
from it as we. But that being set aside and particular 
churches only remaining, it will be very difficult for him to 
raise the least pretence of his great charge. But let us con- 
sider what he thinks meet to fasten on, in tha,t discourse of 
mine about a national church. The first thing is my inquiry, 
whether the denial of the institution of a national church 
(which he pleads not for) doth not deny in consequence that 
we had either ordinances or ministry amongst us ? to which 
I say, that though it seems so to do, yet indeed it doth not, 
because there was then another chuich-state, even that of 
particular churches amongst us ; with many kind reflections 
of my renouncing my ministry and rejecting of my jejune 
and empty vindication of their ministry (which yet is the 
very same that himself fixes on), he asks me, how I can in my 
conscience believe, that there were any true ministers in this 
church in the time of its being national ? and so proceeds to 
infer from hence my denying of all ministry and ordinances 
among them. Truly, though I were more to be despised 
than I am (if that be possible), yet it were not common pru- 
dence for any man to take so much pains to make me his 
enemy, whether I will or no. He cannot but know that I 
deny utterly, that ever we had indeed, whatever men thought, 
a national church ; for I grant no such thing as a national 
church in the present sense contended about. That in Eng- 
land under the rule of the prelates, when they looked on the 
church as national, there were true churches, and true mi- 
nisters, though in much disorder as to the way of entering 
into the ministry and dispensing of ordinances, I grant 
freely ; which is all this reverend author, if I understand 
him, pleads for; and this, he says, I was unwilling to acknow- 
ledge, lest I should thereby condemn myself as a schisma- 
tic. Truly, in the many sad differences and divisions that 
are in the world amongst Christians, I have not been with- 
out sad and jealous thoughts of heart, lest by any doctrine 
or practice of mine I should occasionally contribute any 


thing unto them ; if it hath been otherwise with this author, 
I envy not his frame of spirit. But I must freely say, that 
having, together with them, weighed the reasons for them, 
I have been very little moved with the clamorous accusa- 
tions, and insinuations of this author. In the mean time, if 
it be possible to give him satisfaction, I here let him know, 
that I assent unto that sum of all he hath to say, as to the 
church of England ; namely, that the true and faithful mi- 
nisters, with the people in their several congregations, ad- 
ministering the true ordinances of Jesus Christ, whereof 
baptism is one, was and is the true church-state of England, 
from which I am not separated ; nor do I think that some 
addition of human prudence, or imprudence can disannul the 
ordinances of Jesus Christ, upon the disayower made of any 
other national church-state; and the assertion of this, to 
answer all intents and purposes, I suppose now that the 
reverend author knows that it is incumbent on him to prove, 
that we have been members of some of these particular 
churches in due order, according to the mind of Christ, to 
all intents and purposes of church membership, and that we 
have in our individual persons raised causeless differences 
in those particular churches whereof we were members re- 
spectively, and so separated from them, with the condemna- 
tion of them; or else, according to his own principles, he 
fails in his brotherly conclusion, 'Idov poSoc, tSou 7rj]Sr'jjua. I 
suppose the reader is weary of pursuing things so little to 
our purpose : if he will hear any farther, that Independents 
are schismatics, that the setting up of their way hath 
opened a door to all evils and confusions, that they have 
separated from all churches, and condemn all churches in 
the world but their own ; that they have hindered reforma- 
tion and the setting up of the Presbyterian church ; that 
being members of our churches, as they are members of the 
nation, because they are born in it, yet they have deserted 
them ; that they gather churches which they pretend to be 
* spick and span new ;' they have separated from us, that they 
countenance Quakers, and all other sectaries, that they will 
reform a national church whether men will or no, though 
they say that they only desire to reform themselves, and 
plead for liberty to that end. 

If any man, I say, have a mind to read or hear of this any 


more, let him read the rest of this chapter, or else converse 
with some persons whom I can direct him to, who talk at 
this wholesome rate all the day long. 

What seems to be my particular concernment, I shall a 
little farther attend unto. Some words (for that is the manner 
of managing this controversy) are culled out from pp. 259, 
260. [p. 243,] to be made the matter of farther contest. Thvis 
they lie in my treatise : 'As the not giving a man's self up 
unto any way, and submitting to any establishment pretended 
or pleaded to be of Christ, which he hath not light for, and 
which he was not by any act of his own formerly engaged 
in, cannot with any colour or pretence of reason be reckoned 
to him for schism, though he may if he persist in his refusal 
prejudice his own edification; so no more can a man's 
peaceable relinquishment of the ordinary communion of one 
church in all its relations be so esteemed.' These words 
have as yet unto me a very harmless aspect; but our re- 
verend author is sharpsighted, and sees I know not what 
monsters in them : for first, saith he, ' here he seems to me to 
be a very sceptic in his way of independency :' why so, I 
pray ? ' This will gratify all sects, Quakers and all, with a 
toleration:' how, I pray? it is schism, not toleration, we are 
treating about. But ' this leaves them to judge of, as well as 
others, what is, and what is not according to the mind of 
Christ;' why, pray sir, who is appointed to judge finally for 
them ? ' why then should they be denied their liberty V but 
is that the thing under consideration? had you concluded 
that their not submitting to what they have not light for its 
institution, is not properly schism, you should have seen 
how far I had been concerned in the inference : but ex- 
cursions unto Quakers, &c. are one topic of such discourses. 
But now he asks me one question, it seems to try whether I 
am a sceptic or no ; ' Whether,' saith he, * does he believe his 
own way to be the only true way of Christ, for he hath in- 
stituted but one way, having run from and renounced all 
other ways in this nation?' I promise you this is a hard 
question, and not easily answered. If I deny it, he will say 
I am a sceptic, and other things also will be brought in : if 
I affirm it, it may be he will say that I condemn their 
churches for no churches, and the like : it is good to be 
wary when a man hath to deal with wise men ; how if I 


should say that our way and their way is for the substance 
of them, one way, and so I cannot say that my way is the 
only true way exclusively to theirs: I suppose this may do 
pretty well. But I fear this will scarce give satisfaction, 
and yet I know not well how I can go any farther ; yet this 
I will add ; I do indeed believe, that wherein their way and 
our way differ, our way is according to the mind of Christ, 
and not theirs : and this I am ready at any time (God as- 
sisting) personally to maintain to him : and as for my run- 
ning from ways of religion, I dare again tell him, these re- 
proaches and calumnies become him not at all. But he pro- 
ceeds, ' If so,' saith he,* is not every man bound to come into 
it, and not upon every conceived new light to relinquish it?* 
Truly, I think Mr. C. himself is bound to come into it, and 
yet I do not think that his not so doing makes him a schis- 
matic : and as for relinquishment, I assert no more than what 
he himself concludes to be lawful. 

And thus, Christian reader, I have given thee a brief ac- 
count of all things of any importance that I could meet 
withal in this treatise, and of many which are of very little. 
If thou shalt be pleased to compare my treatise of Schism 
with the refutation of it, thou wilt quickly see how short 
this is of that which it pretends to ; how untouched my 
principles do abide ; and how the most material parts of my 
discourse are utterly passed by, without any notice taken of 
them. The truth is, in the way chosen by this reverend 
author to proceed in, men may multiply writings to the 
world's end, without driving any controversy to an issue ; 
descanting and harping on words, making exceptions to 
particular passages, and the like, is an easy and facile, and 
to some men a pleasant labour : what small reason our 
author had to give his book the title it bears, unless it were 
to discover his design, I hope doth by this time appear. 
Much of the proof of it lies in the repeated asseverations of 
it, it is so, and it is so. If he shall be pleased to send me . 
word of one argument tending that way, that is not founded 
in an evident mistake, I will promise him, if I live, a re- 
consideration of it. 

In the mean time I humbly beg of this reverend author 
that he would review, in the presence of the Lord, the frame 
of spirit wherein he wrote this charge; as also, that he 



would take into his thoughts all the reproaches, and all 
that obloquy he hath endeavoured to load me causelessly 
and falsely withal. As for myself, my name, reputation, 
and esteem with the churches of God, to whom he hath en- 
deavoured to render me odious, I commit the whole con- 
cernment of them to him, vv'hose presence through grace I 
have hitherto enjoyed, and whose promise I lean upon, that 
he will 'never leave me nor forsake me.' I shall not com- 
plain of my usage: but what am I? of the usage of many 
precious saints and holy churches of Jesus Christ, to him 
that lives and sees, any farther than by begging that it may 
not be laid to his charge : and if so mean a person as I am, 
can in any way be serviceable to him, or to any of the 
churches that he pleads for, in reference to the gospel of 
Christ, I hope my life will not be dear to me that it may 
effect it; and I shall not cease to pray that both he and 
those who promoted this work in his hand, may at length 
consider the many calls of God that are evident upon them, 
to lay aside these unseemly animosities, and to endeavour a 
coalition in love, with all those who in sincerity call upon 
the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. 

For the distances themselves that are between us, wherein 
we are not as yet agreed; what is the just state of them, the 
truth and warrantableness of the principles whereupon we 
proceed, with the necessity of our practice in conformity 
thereunto; what we judge our brethren to come short in, of, 
or wherein to go beyond the mind of Jesus Christ; with a 
farther ventilation of this business of schism, I have some 
good grounds of expectation, that possibly ere long we may 
see a fair discussion of these things, in a pursuit of truth 
and neace. 







'Trafomv, fxh wXtixTuv, ^ij ai^j^^pwsfS?. — Tit. i. 7. 

z 2 





Christian Reader, 

I HAVE not much to say unto thee, concerning the ensuing 
treatise ;* it will speak for itself with all impartial men ; 
much less shall I insist on the commendation of its author, 
who also being dead m XaXuTai; and will be so, I am per- 
suaded, whilst Christ hath a church upon the earth. The 
treatise itself was written sundry years ago, immediately 
upon the publishing of Mr. Cawdrey's accusation against 
him ; I shall not need to give an account whence it hath 
been, that it saw the light no sooner; it may suffice, that in 
mine own behalf and of others, I do acknowledge that in 
the doing of sundry things seeming of more importance, 
this ought not to have been omitted. The judgment of the 
author approving of this vindication of himself as necessary, 
considering the place he held in the church of God, should 
have been a rule unto us, for the performance of that duty, 
which is owing to his worth and piety, in doing and suffer- 
ing for the truth of God. It is now about seven months 
ago, since it came into my hands ; and since I engaged my- 
self into the publication of it, my not immediate proceeding 
therein, being sharply rebuked by a fresh charge upon my- 
self from that hand, under which this worthy person so far 
suffered, as to be necessitated to the ensuing defensative, I 
have here discharged that engagement. The author of the 
charge against him, in his epistle to that against me, tells 

a This answer to Mr. Cawdrey was prefixed to, ' A Defence of Mr. John Cotton 
from the imputation of Self-contradiction, charged on him by Mr. Daniel Cawdrey, 
written by himself not long before bis Death.' — Editor. 


his reader, that 'It is thought that it was intended by another 
(and now promised by myself) to be published to cast a slur 
upon him.' So are our intentions judged, so our ways, by 
thoughts and reports. Why a vindication of Mr, Cotton 
should cast a slur upon Mr. Cawdrey, I know not. Is he con- 
cerned in spirit or reputation in the acquitment of a holy, 
reverend person now at rest with Christ, from imputations 
of inconstancy and self-contradiction? Is there not room 
enough in the world, to bear the good names of Mr. Cotton 
and Mr. Cawdrey, but that if one be vindicated the other 
must be slurred ? He shall find now by experience, what 
assistance he found from him who loved him, to bear his 
charge, and to repel it, without any such reflection on his 
accuser, as might savour of an intention to slur him ; * mala 
mens, mains animus;' the measure that men fear from 
others, they have commonly meted out unto them before- 
hand. He wishes those 'that intend to rake in the ashes of 
the dead, to consider whether they shall deserve any thanks 
for their labour.' How the covering of the dead with their 
own comely garments, comes to be a raking into their ashes, 
I know not; his name is alive, though he be dead; it was 
that, not his person, that was attempted to be wounded by 
the charge against him. To pour forth that balm for its 
healing, now he is dead, which himself provided whilst he 
was alive, without adding or diminishing one syllable, is no 
raking into his ashes ; and 1 hope the Siitrspai ^povrtSfc of 
the reverend author, will not allow him to be offended, that 
this friendly office is performed to a dead brother; to pub- 
lish this his defence of his own innocency, written in obe- 
dience to a prime dictate of the law of nature, against the 
wrong which was not done him in secret. 

But the intendment of this prefatory discourse being 
my own concernment, in reference to a late tract of Mr. 
Cawdrey's, bearing in its title and superscription, a vindica- 
tion from my unjust clamours and false aspersions ; I shall 
not detain the reader with any farther discourse of that, 
which he will find fully debated in the ensuing treatise it- 
self; but immediately address myself to that, which is my 
present peculiar design. By what ways and means the dif- 
ference betwixt us is come to that issue wherein now it 
ytands stated, in the expressions before mentioned, I shall 


not need to repeat. Who first let out those waters of strife, 
who hath filled their streams with bitterness, clamour, and 
false aspersions, is left to the judgment of all that fear the 
Lord, who shall have occasion at any time to reflect upon 
those discourses. However it is come to pass, I must ac- 
knowledge, that the state of the controversy between us is 
now degenerated into such a useless strife of words, as that 
I dare publicly own engagements into studies of so much 
more importance unto the interest of truth, piety, and lite- 
rature, as that I cannot, with peace in my own retirements, 
be much farther conversant therein. Only whereas I am 
not in the least convinced that Mr. Cawdrey hath given sa- 
tisfaction to my former expostulations, about the injuries 
done me in his other treatise, and hath evidently added to 
the number and weight of them in this, I could not but lay 
hold of this opportunity given, by my discharging a former 
promise, once more to remind him of some miscarriages, ex- 
ceedingly unbecoming his profession and calling; which I 
shall do in a brief review of his epistle and treatise. Upon 
the consideration whereof, without charging him or his way 
with schism, in great letters on the title-page of this book, 
I doubt not but it will appear, that the guilt of the crime he 
falsely, unjustly, and uncharitably chargeth upon others, 
may be laid more equitably at his own door ; and that the 
shortness of the covering to hide themselves, used by him 
and others from the inquisition made after them for schism, 
upon their own principles, will not be supplied by such 
outcries as those he is pleased to use after them, who are 
least of all men concerned in the matter under contest, there 
being no solid medium, whereby they may be impleaded. 
And in this discourse I shall, as I suppose, put an end to 
my engagement in this controversy. I know no man whose 
patience will enable him to abide always in the considera- 
tion of things to so little purpose ; were it not that men 
bear themselves on high by resting on the partial adherence 
of many to their dictates, it were impossible they should 
reap any contentment in their retirements from such a ma- 
nagement of controversies as this. Independency is a great 
schism ; it hath made all the divisions amongst us : Brownists, 
Anabaptists, and all sectaries are Independents ; they deny 
our ministers and churches, they separate from us, all errors 


come from among them, this 1 have been told, and that I 
have heard, is the sum of this treatise. Who they are of 
whom he speaks, how they came into such a possession of 
all church-state in England, that all that are not with them 
are schismatics ; how ' de jure,' or ' de facto/ they came to 
be so instated ; what claim they can make to their present 
stations, without schism, on their own principles ; whether 
granting the church of England as constituted when they 
and we begun that which we call reformation, to have been 
a true instituted church they have any power of rule in it, 
but what hath been got by violence ; what, that is purely 
theirs, hath any pretence of establishment from the Scrip- 
ture, antiquity, and the laws of this land ? I say, with these 
and the like things which are incumbent on him to clear 
up before his charges with us will be of any value, our 
author troubleth not himself. But to proceed to the parti- 
culars by him insisted on. 

1 . He tells the reader in his epistle, that his unwilling- 
ness to this rejoinder was heightened by the necessity he 
found of discovering some personal weaknesses and forget- 
fulnesses in me, upon my denial of some things which were 
known to be true, if he should proceed therein ; for what 
he intimates of the unpleasantness that it is to him, to dis- 
cover things of that importance in me, when he professeth 
his design to be to impair my authority, so far that the 
cause I own may receive no countenance thereby ; I leave 
it to him, who will one day reveal the secrets of all hearts, 
which at present are open and naked unto him : but how, I 
pray, are the things by me denied, known to be true ? see- 
ing it was unpleasant and distasteful to him to insist upon 
them, men might expect that his evidence of them was not 
only open, clear, undeniable, and manifest as to its truth, 
but cogent as to their publication. The whole insisted on 
is, if there be any truth in reports, * hie nigrse succus loli- 
ginis, haec est aerugo mera.* Is this a bottom for a minister 
of the gospel to proceed upon, to such charges as those in- 
sinuated? is not the course of nature set on fire at this day, 
by reports? Is any thing more contrary to the royal law of 
charity, than to take up reports as the ground of charges 
and accusations? Is there any thing more unbecoming a 
man, laying aside all considerations of Christianity, than to 


suffer his judgment to be tainted, much more his words and 
public expressions, in charging and accusing others to be 
regulated by reports ? And whereas we are commanded to 
speak evil of no man, may we not on this ground, speak 
evil of all men, and justify ourselves by saying it is so, if 
reports be true ? The prophet tells us, that a combination 
for his defaming and reproach was managed among his ad- 
versaries, Jer. XX. 10. ' I have heard the defaming of many, 
fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it.' 
If they can have any to go before them in the transgression 
of that law, which he who knows how the tongues of men 
are set on fire of hell, gave out to lay a restraint upon 
them, 'Thou shalt not raise a false report,' Exod. xxiii. 1. 
they will second it, and spread it abroad to the utmost, for 
his disadvantage and trouble. Whether this procedure of 
our reverend author, come not up to the practice of their 
design, I leave to his own conscience to judge. Should 
men suffer their spirits to be heightened by provocations of 
this nature, unto a recharge from the same offensive dung- 
hill of reports, what monsters should we speedily be trans- 
formed unto ? But this being far from being the only place 
wherein appeal is made to reports and hearsays by our 
author, I shall have occasion in the consideration of the se- 
verals of them, to reassume this discourse. For what he 
adds about the space of time wherein my former reply was 
drawn up, because I know not whether he had heard any 
report insinuated to the contrary to what I affirmed, I shall 
not trouble him with giving evidence thereunto : but only 
add, that here he hath the product of half that time, which I 
now interpose upon the review of my transcribed papers : 
only whereas it is said that Mr. Cawdrey is an ancient man, 
I cannot but wonder he should be so easy of belief. Arist. 
Rhetor, lib. 2. c. 18. tells us, oi TrptcrfivTepoi, amaToi St 
ifxireiptav, and not apt to believe ; whence on all occasions of 
discourse TrpoaTL^iamv ad to 'ictwg kol Tra^aj but he believes 
all that comes to hand with an easy faith, which he hath 
totally in his own power to dispose of at pleasure. That I 
was in passion when I wrote my review, is his judgment' 
but this is but man's day ; we are in expectation of that, 
wherein ' the world shall be judged in righteousness.' It is 
too possible that my spirit was not in that frame in all 


things, wherein it ought to have been ; but that the reve- 
rend author knows not. I have nothing to say to this, but 
that of the philosopher, 'Eav rig gol cnrayjiiXri otl 6 Biiva 
as KUKuyg Xiysi, fii) 0770X0701; ttjjoc to. Xe-\6evra, oAX' a~OKpivov 
OTL ayvoeiy yap to. aXXa Trpoorovra fioi kuko. Ittu ovk av ravra 
fjLova eXeysv, Epic. cap. 48. Much, I confess, was not 
spoken by me (which he afterward insisteth on) to the ar- 
gumentative part of his book, which as in an answer I was 
not to look for, so to find had been a difficult task. As he 
hath nothing to say unto the differences among themselves 
both in judgment and practice, so how little there is in his 
recrimination of the differences among us, as that one and 
the same man difFereth from himself, which charge he casts 
upon Mr. Cotton and myself, will speedily be manifested 
to all impartial men. For the treatise itself, whose consi- 
deration I now proceed unto, that I may reduce what I 
have to say unto it unto the bounds intended, in confining 
my defensative unto this preface, to the treatise of another ; 
I shall refer it unto certain heads, that will be comprehen- 
sive of the whole, and give the reader a clear and distinct 
view thereof. 

I shall begin with that which is least handled in the two 
books of this reverend author, though the sum of what was 
pleaded by me in my treatise of schism. For the discovery 
of the true nature of schism, and the vindication of them 
who were falsely charged with the crime thereof, I laid down 
two principles as the foundation of all that I asserted in the 
whole cause insisted on; which may briefly be reduced to 
these two syllogisms. 

1. If in all and every place of the JN'ew Testament where 
there is mention made of schism, name or thing, in an eccle- 
siastical sense, there is nothing intended by it but a division 
in a particular church; then that is the proper Scripture no- 
tion of schism in the ecclesiastical sense ; but in all and 
every place, &c. ergo, The proposition being clear and evi- 
dent in its own light, the assumption was confirmed in my 
treatise, by an induction of the several instances that might 
any way seem to belong unto it. 

My second principle was raised upon a concession of the 
p-eneral nature of schism restrained with one necessary limi- 
tation,, and amounts unto this argument : 


If schisni in an ecclesiastical sense be the breach of a 
union of Christ's institution, then they who are not guilty of 
the breach of a union of Christ's institution, are not guilty 
of schism ; but so is schism : ergo. 

The proposition also of this syllogism, with its inference 
being unquestionable, for the confirmation of the assump- 
tion I considered the nature of all church-union as instituted 
by Christ, and pleaded the innocency of those whose defence 
in several degrees I had undertaken, by their freedom from 
the breach of any church-union. Not finding the reverend 
author in his first answer to speak clearly and distinctly to 
either of those principles, but to proceed in a course of per- 
petual diversion from the thing in question, with reflections, 
charges, &c. all rather I hope out of an unacquaintedness 
with the true nature of argumentation, than any perverse- 
ness of spirit, in cavilling at what he found he could not an- 
svv'er ; I earnestly desired him in my reviev/ that we might 
have a fair and friendly meeting, personally to debate these 
principles which he had undertaken to oppose, and so to 
prevent trouble to ourselves and others, in writing and read- 
ing things remote from the merit of the cause under agita- 
tion; what returns I have had hitherto, the reader is now ac- 
quainted withal from his rejoinder, the particulars whereof 
shall be farther inquired into afterward. 

The other parts of his two books consist in his charges 
upon me, about my judgment in sundry particulars, not re- 
lating in the least that I can as yet understand, unto the 
controversy in hand. As to his excursions about Brownists, 
Anabaptists, Seekers ; rending the peace of their churches, 
separating from them, the errors of the separatists, and the 
like, I cannot apprehend myself concerned to take notice of 
them; to the other things an answer shall be returned, am; 
a defence made, so far as I can judge it necessary. It mav 
be our author seeks a relief from the charge of schism that 
lies upon him and his party (as they are called) from others, 
by managing the same charge against them, who he thinks 
will not return it upon them; but for my part, I shall assure 
him, that were he not in my judgment more acquitted upon 
my principles than upon his own, I should be necessitated 
to stand upon even terms with him herein; but to have ad- 


vantages from want of charity, as the Donatists had against 
the Catholics, is no argument of a good cause. 

In the first chapter there occurs not any thing of real 
difference as to the cause under agitation, that should require 
a review, being spent wholly in things e^w rov irpayfiarogj 
and therefore I shall briefly animadvert on what seems of 
most concernment therein, in the manner of his procedure. 
His former discourse, and this also, consisting much of my 
words perverted by adding in the close something that might 
wrest them to his own purpose, he tells me in the beginning 
of his third chapter, that * this is to turn my testimony against 
myself, which is,' as he saith, ' an allowed way of the clearest 
victory,' which it seemeth he aimeth at; but nothing can be 
more remote from being defended with that pretence than 
this way of proceeding. It is not of urging a testimony from 
me, against me, that I complained, but the perverting of my 
words, by either heading or closing of them with his own, 
quite to other purposes than those of their own intendment; 
a way whereby any man may make other men's wrords to 
speak what he pleaseth : as Mr. Biddle, by his leading ques- 
tions and knitting of Scriptures to his expressions in them, 
makes an appearance of constraining the words of God to 
speak out all his Socinian blasphemies. 

In this course he still continues, and his very entrance 
gives us a pledge of what we are to expect in the process of 
his management of the present business; whereas I had said, 
that ' considering the various interests of parties at difference, 
there is no great success to be promised by the management 
of controversies, though with never so much evidence and 
conviction of truth ;' to the repetition of my words he sub- 
joins the instance of * sectaries, not restrained by the clearest 
demonstration of truth,' not weighing how facile a task it is 
to supply Presbyterians in their room; which in his account 
is, it seems, to turn his testimony against himself, and, as he 
somewhere phraseth it, ' to turn the point of his sword into 
his own bowels;' but, * nobis non licet esse tam disertis;' 
neither do we here either learn or teach any such way of 

His following leaves are spent for the most part in slight- 
ing the notion of schism by me insisted on, and in reporting 

OF SCHISM. '^49 

my arguments for it, pp. 8, 9. 12. in such a way and manner, 
as argues that he either never understood them, or is willing 
to pervert them. The true nature and importance of them I 
have before laid down, and shall not now again repeat; 
though I shall add, that his frequent repetition of his disprov- 
ing that principle, which it appears, that he never yet con- 
tended withal, in its full strength, brings but little advan- 
tage to his cause, with persons whose interest doth not com- 
pel them to take up things ou trust. How well he clears him- 
self from the charge of reviling and using opprobrious re- 
proachful terms, although he profess himself to have been 
astonished at the charge, may be seen in his justification of 
himself therein, pp. 16 — 19. with his reinforcing every parti- 
cular expression instanced in; and yet he tells me, for infer- 
ring that he discovered sanguinary thoughts in reference 
unto them whose removal from their native soil into the 
wilderness, he affirms, England's happiness would have con- 
sisted in, that he ' hath much ado to forbear once more to say. 
The Lord rebuke thee:' for my part, I have received such a 
satisfactory taste of his spirit and way, that as I shall not 
from henceforth desire him to keep in any thing, that he can 
hardly forbear to let out, but rather to use his utmost liberty ; 
so I must assure him, that I am very little concerned, or not 
at all, in what he shall be pleased to say, or to forbear for the 
time to come; himself hath freed me from that concernment. 
The first particular of value insisted on, is his charge upon 
me for the denial of all the churches of England to be true 
churches of Christ, except the churches gathered in a con- 
gregational way. Having frequently and without hesitation 
charged this opinion upon me in his first answer, knowing it 
to be very false, I expostulated with him about it in ray re- 
view. Instead of accepting the satisfaction tendered in my 
express denial of any such thought or persuasion, or tender- 
ing any satisfaction as to the wrong done me, he seeks to 
justify himself in his charge, and so persisteth therein. The 
reasons he gives for his so doing are not unworthy a little to 
be remarked. 

The first is this; he 'supposed me to be an Independent,' 
and therefore made that charge : the consequent of which 
supposition is much too weak to justify this reverend author 
in his accusation. Doth he suppose that he may, without 


offence, lay what he please to the chargeol' an Independent? 
But he saith, secondly, that he ' took the word Independent, 
generally, as comprehending Brownists, and Anabaptists, 
and other sectaries.' But herein also he doth but delude his 
own conscience, seeing he personally speaks to me and to 
my design in that book of schism, which he undertook to 
confute; which also removes his third intimation, that he 
' formerly intended any kind of independence,' &c. the rest 
that follow are of the same nature, uiid however compounded 
will not make a salve to heal the wound made in his reputa- 
tion by his own weapon ; for the learned author, called ' vox 
populi,' which he is pleased here to urge. I first question 
whether he be willing to be produced to maintain this charge; 
and if he shall appear, I must needs tell him (what he here 
questions whether it be so or no), that he is a very liar. For 
any principles in my treatise, whence a denial of their minis- 
ters and churches may be regularly deduced, let him produce 
them if he can, and if not, acknowledge that there had been 
a more Christian and ingenuous way of coming off an en- 
gagement into that charge, than that by him chosen to be 
insisted on; 'animos et iram ex crimine sumunt.' And 
again we have ' vox populi' cited on the like occasion, p. 34. 
about my refusal to answer whether I were a minister or not; 
which as the thing itself of such a refusal of mine on any 
occasion in the world (because it must be spoken), is ' purum 
putum mendacium,' so it is no tr^er, that, that was ' vox 
populi' at Oxford which is pretended; that which is * vox 
populi,' must be public: * publicum' was once ' populicum;' 
now setting aside the whispers, of it may be two or three 
Ardelio's, notorious triflers, whose lavish impertinency will 
deliver any man from the danger of being slandered by their 
tongues, and there will be little ground left for the report 
that is fathered on * vox populi.' And I tell him here once 
again, which is a sufficient answer indeed to his whole first 
chapter, that I do not deny Presbyterian churches to be true 
churches of Jesus Christ, nor the ministers of them to be 
true ministers, nor do maintain a nullity in their ordination 
as to what is the proper use and end of salvation'' (taking 
it in the sense wherein by them it is taken), though I think 
it neither administered by them in due order, nor to have in 

b Vid. Geiard. loc. Com. deMinist. Ecclesiast. sect. 11. 12. 

OF 5JCKISM. 3 51 

itself that force and efficacy, singly considered, which by 
many of them is ascribed unto it. Thus much of my judg- 
ment I have publicly declared long ago, and I thought I 
might have expected from persons professing Christianity, 
that they would not voluntarily engage themselves into an 
opposition against me, and waving my judgment which I 
had constantly published and preached, have gathered up 
reports from private and table discourses, most of them false 
and untrue, all of them uncertain, the occasions and co- 
herences of those discourses from whence they have been 
raised and taken being utterly lost, or at present by him 
wholly omitted. His following excursions about a succes- 
sive ordination from Rome, wherein he runs cross to the most 
eminent lights of all the reformed churches, and their de- 
clared judgments, with practice in reordaining those who 
come unto them with that Roman stamp upon them, I shall 
not farther interest myself in, nor think myself concerned so 
to do, until I see a satisfactory answer given unto Beza and 
others in this very point; and yet I must here again profess, 
that I cannot understand that distinction of deriving ordina- 
tion from the church of Rome, but not from the Roman 
church. Let him but seriously peruse these ensuing words 
of Beza, and tell me whether he have any ground of a par- 
ticular quarrel against me upon this account. 

* Sed prseterea qusenam ista est quseso ordinaria vocatio, 
quam eos habuisse dicis, quos Deus paucis quibusdam ex- 
ceptis, excitavit? Certe papistica. Namhaec tua verba sunt; 
hodie si episcopi Gallicanarum ecclesiarum se et suas eccle- 
sias a tyrannide episcopi Romani vindicare velint, et eas ab 
omni idololatria et superstitione repurgare, non habent opus 
alia vocatione ab ea quam habent. Quid ergo? Papisticas 
ordinationis, in quibus neque morum examen prsecessit, 
neque leges uUae servatse sunt inviolabiliter ex divino jure in 
electionibus et ordinationibus prsescriptse, in quibus puri 
etiam omnes canones irapudentissime violati sunt: quae nihil 
aliud sunt, quam foedissima Romani prostibuli nundinatio, 
quavis meretricum mercede, quam Deus templo suo inferri 
prohibuit, inquinatior: quibus denique alii non ad prcedican- 
dumsed pervertendum evangelium: alii non ad docendum, sed 
ad rursus sacrificandum, et ad abominandum (ddeXvyfxa sunt 
ordinati, usque adeo firmas tecum esse censebimus, ut quoties 


tali cuipiam pseudoepiscopo, Deus concesserit ad verum 
Christianismum transire omnis ilia istiusmodi ordinationia 
impuritas simul expurgata censeatur? Irao quia sic animum 
per Dei gratiam mutavit, quo ore, quo pudore, qua conscien- 
tia papismumquidem detestabitur, suam autem inordinatissi- 
niam ordinationem non ejurabit? aut si, ejuret, quomodo ex 
illius jure auctoritatem dicendi habebit. Nee tamen nego 
quill tales, si probe doctrinam veram tenere, si honestis 
moribus prsediti, si ad gregem pascendum apti comperiantur, 
ex pseudoepiscopis novi pastores, legitime designentur.' 
Thus he, who was thought then to speak the sense of the 
churches of Geneva and France, in his book against Saravia 
about the divers orders of ministers in the church. 

His plea for the church authority of the pope, notwith- 
standing his being an idolater, a murderer, the man of sin, an 
adversary of Christ, because a civil magistrate doth not by 
any moral crime or those whereof the pope is guilty, lose 
his jurisdiction and authority, considering the different prin- 
ciples, grounds, ends, laws, rules, privileges of the authority 
of the one and the other, and the several tenures whereby 
the one doth hold, and the other pretends to hold his power, 
is brought in to serve the turn in hand, and may be easily 
laid aside. 

And when he shall manifest, that there is appointed by 
Christ, one single high-priest or prelate in the house of God 
the whole church ; and that office to be confined to one na- 
tion, one blood, one family, propagated by natural generation, 
without any provision of relief by any other way, person, or 
family in case of misrarriage ; and when he shall have proved 
that such an officer as the pope of Rome, in any one particular 
that constituteth him such an officer, was once instituted by 
Christ, I shall farther attend unto his reason for his autho- 
rity from that of the high-priest's among the Jews, which 
was not lost as to its continuance in the family of Aaron, not- 
withstanding the miscarriage of some individual person 
vested therewithal. In the close of the chapter he reassumes 
his charge of my renouncing my own ordination, which with 
great confidence, and without the least scruple, he had as- 
serted in his answer ; of that assertion he now pretends to 
give the reasons, whereof the first is this : 

1. *The world looks on him as an Independent of the 


highest note 5 therefore he hath renounced his ordination ; 
and therefore I dare to say so. So much for that reason. I 
understand neither the logic nor raorality of this first reason. 

2. He knows from good hands that some of the brethren 
have renounced their ordination ; therefore he durst say po- 
■sitively that I have renounced mine. Prov.xii. 18. 

3. He hath heard that I dissuaded others from their or- 
dination, and therefore he durst say I renounced my own ; 
and yet I suppose he may 'possibly dissuade some from 
episcopal ordination : but I know it not, no more than he 
knows what he affirms of me which is false. 

4. He concludes from the principles in my book of 
Schism ; because I said that to insist upon a succession of 
ordination from antichrist and the beast of Rome would, if 
I mistake not, keep up in this particular what God would 
have pulled down, therefore I renounced my ordination ; 
when he knows that I avowed the validity of ordination on 
another account. 

5. If all this will not do, he tells me of something that 
■was said at public meeting (at dinner it seems) with the ca- 
nons of Christ Church, viz. that I valued not my ordination 
by the bishop of Oxford, any more than a crumb upon my 
trencher; which words whether ever they were spoken or 
TJO, or to what purpose, or in reference to what ordination 
(I mean of the two orders), or in what sense, or with what 
limitation, or as part of what discourse, or in comparison of 
what else, or whether solely in reference to the Roman suc- 
•cession, in which sense I will have nothing to do with it, I 
know not at all ; nor will concern myself to inquire ; beino- 
greatly ashamed to find men professing the religion of Jesus 
Christ, so far forgetful of all common rules of civility and 
principles of human society, as to insist upon such vain 
groundless reports as the foundations of accusations against 
their brethren ! nor do I believe that any one of the reverend 
persons quoted will own this information ; although I shall 
not concern myself to make inquiry into their memories con- 
cerning any such passage or discourse. 

Much relief for the future against these and the like mis- 
takes may be afforded from an easy observation of the dif- 
ferent senses wherein the term of ordination is often used ; 
it is one thing when it is taken largely for the whole appoint- 

VOL. XIX. 2 A 


ment of a man to the ministry ; in which sense I desire our 
author to consider what is written by Beza among reformed, 
and Gerhard among the Lutheran divines, to omit innume- 
rable others ; another thing when taken for the imposition of 
hands, whether by bishops or presbyters ; concerning which 
single act, both as to its order and efficacy, I have suffi- 
ciently delivered my judgment, if he be pleased to take no- 
tice of it. I fear indeed that when men speak of an ordained 
ministry, which in its true and proper sense I shall with 
them contend for, they often relate only to that solemnity, re- 
straining the authoritative making of ministers singly there- 
unto ; contrary to the intention and meaning of that expres- 
sion in Scripture, antiquity, and the best reformed divines, 
both Calvinists and Lutherans; and yet it is not imaginable 
how some men prevail by the noise and sound of that word, 
upon the prejudiced minds of partial unstudied men. A 
little time may farther manifest, if it be not sufficiently done 
already, that another account is given of this matter by 
Clemens, TertuUian, Cyprian, Origen, Justin Martyr, and 
generally all the first writers of Christians ; besides the 
couneils of old and late, with innumerable Protestant au- 
thors of the best note, to the same purpose. 

This I say is the ground of this mistake; whereas sundry 
things concur to the calling of ministers, as it belongs to 
the church of God, the ground and pillar of truth, the spouse 
of Christ, Psal. xlv. and mother of the family, or she that 
tarryeth at home, chap. Ixviii. unto whom all ministers are 
stewards, 1 Cor. iv. 1. even in the house of God, 1 Tim. iii. 
15. and sundry qualifications are indispensably previously 
required in the persons to be called ; overlooking the neces- 
sity of the qualifications required, and omitting the duty and 
authority of the church. Acts i. 15. vi. 2. xiii. 2. xiv. 22. the 
act of them who are not the whole church, Eph. iv. 11, 12. 
but only a part of it, 1 Cor. iii. 21.2 Cor. i. 24. 1 Pet. v. 3. 
as to ministry, consisting in the approbation and solemn 
confirmation of what is supposed to go before, hath in some 
menV language gotten the name of ordination, and an in- 
terpretation of that name to such an extent, as to inwrap in 
it all that is indispensably necessary to the constitution or 
making of ministers ; so that where that is obtained, in what 
order soever, or by whomsoever administered, who have fir&t 


obtained it themselves, there is a lawful and sufficient calling 
to the ministry. Indeed, I know no error about the insti- 
tutions of Christ attended with more pernicious conse- 
quences to the church of God than this, should it be prac- 
tised according to the force of the principle itself. Suppose 
six, eight, or ten men, who have themselves been formerly 
ordained, but now perhaps, not by any ecclesiastical cen- 
sure, but by an act of the civil magistrate, are put out of 
their places for notorious ignorance and scandal, should 
concur and ordain a hundred ignorant and wicked persons 
like themselves to be ministers ; must they not on this 
principle be all accounted ministers of Christ, and to be in- 
vested with all ministerial power; and so be enabled to 
propagate their kind to the end of the world ; and indeed 
why should not this be granted, seeing the whole bulk of 
the papal ordination is contended for as valid ; whereas it 
is notoriously known, that sundry bishops among them (who 
perhaps received their own ordination as the reward of a 
whore) being persons of vicious lives, and utterly ignorant of 
the gospel, did sustain their pomp and sloth, by selling holy 
orders as they called them, to the scum and refuse of men ; 
but of these tilings, more in their proper place. 

Take then, reader, the substance of this chapter, in this 
brief recapitulation. 

1. He denies our churches to be true churches, and our 
ministers true ministers. , 

2. He hath renounced his own ordination. 

3. When some young men came to advise about their 
ordination he disuaded them from it. 

4. He saith he would maintain against all the ministers 
of England, there was in Scripture no such thing as ordi- 

5. That when he was chosen a parliament-man he would 
not answer whether he was a minister or not ; all which are 
notoriously untrue, and some of them, namely the two last, 
so remote from any thing to give a pretence or colour unto 
them, that I question whether Satan have impudence enough 
to own himself their author ; and yet from hearsays, reports, 
rumours, from table talk, 'vox populi,' and such other 
grounds of reasoning, this reverend author hath made them 
his own, and by such a charge hath, I presume, in the judg- 

2 A 2 


meiit of all unprejialicecl men, discharged me from farther 
attending to what he shall be prompted from the like prin- 
ciples to divulge, for the same end and purposes which 
hitherto he hath managed, for the future. For my judg- 
ment about their ministry and ordination, about the nature 
and efficacy of ordination, the state and power of particular 
churches, my own station in the ministry which I shall at 
all times, through the grace and assistance of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, freely justify against men and devils, it is so well 
known, that I shall not need here farther to declare it. For 
the true nature and notion of schism, alone by me inquired 
after in this chapter, as I said, I find nothing offered there- 
unto ; only whereas I restrained the ecclesiastical use of the 
word schism to the sense wherein it is used in the places of 
Scripture that mention it with relation to church affairs, 
which that it ought not to be so, nothing but asseverations 
to the contrary are produced to evince ; this is interpreted, 
to extend to all that I would allow as to the nature of schism 
itself, which is most false ; though I said if I would proceed 
no farther, I might not be compelled so to do, seeing in 
things of this nature we may crave allowance to think and 
speak with the Holy Ghost : however, I expressly com- 
prised in my proposition all the places wherein the nature of 
schism is delivered, under what terms or words soever. 
When then I shall be convinced, that such discourses as 
those of this treatise, made up of diversions into things 
wholly foreign to the inquiry by me insisted on, in the in- 
vestigation of tlie true notion and nature of schism, with 
long talks about Anabaptists, Brownists, Sectaries, Inde- 
pendents, Presbyterians, ordination, with charges and re- 
flections grounded on this presumption, that this author and 
his party (for we will no more contend about that expression) 
are ' in solidura' possessed of all true and orderly church-state 
in England, so that whosoever are not of them are schis- 
matics, and I know not what besides, he being 

■ Gallinas filiiis albse. 

Nos viles pulli nati infelicibus ovis ; 

I shall farther attend unto them. I must farther add, that I 
was not so happy as to foresee that because I granted the 
Koman party before the reformation to have made outwardly 
a profession of the religion of Christ, although I expressed 

OF SCHISM., 357 

them to be really a party combined together for all ends of 
wickedness, and in particular for the extirpation of the true 
church of Christ in the world, having no state of union but 
what the Holy Ghost calls Babylon, in opposition to Zion, 
our reverend author would conclude as he doth, p. 34. that I 
allowed them to be a true church of Christ ; but it is im- 
possible for wiser men than I to see far into the issue of 
such discourses; and therefore we must take in good part 
what doth fall out ; and if the reverend author, instead of 
having his zeal warmed against me, would a little bestir his 
abilities, to make out to the understandings and consciences 
of uninterested men, that all ecclesiastical power being- 
vested in the pope and councils, by the consent of that whole 
combination of men called the church of Rome, and flowing 
frckn the pope in its execution to all others; who, in the de- 
rivation of it from him^ owned him as the immediate foun- 
tain of it, which they Sware to maintain in him, and this in 
opposition to all church-power in any other persons what- 
soever; it was possible that any power should be derived 
from that combination, but what came expressly from the 
fountain mentioned. I desire our author would consider the 
frame of spirit that was in this matter, in them who first 
laboured in the work of reformation, and to that end peruse 
the storieo of Lasitius and Regenuolscius about the churches 
of Bohemia, Poland, and those parts of the world, especially 
the latter from p. 29, 30. and forward. And as to the dis- 
tinction used by some, between the papacy and the church 
of Rome, which our author makes use of to another purpose 
than those did who first invented it (extending it only to 
the consideration of the possibility of salvation for indivi- 
dual persons living in that communion before the reforma- 
tion), I hope he will not be angry if I profess my disability 
to understand it. All men cannot be wise alike ; if the 
papacy comprise the pope, and all papal jurisdiction and 
power, with the subjection of men thereunto ; if it denote all 
the idolatries, false worship, and heresies of that society of 
men ; I do know that all those are confirmed by church-acts 
of that church : and that in the church public sense of that 
church, no man was a member of it but by virtue of the 
miion that consisted in that papacy, it being placed always 
by them in all their definitions of their church ; as also that 


there was neither church-order, nor church-power, nor churcli- 
act, nor church-confession, nor church-worship amongst 
them, but what consisted in that papacy. 

Now because nothing doth more frequently occur than 
the objection of the difficulty in placing the dispensation of 
baptism on a sure foot account, in case of the rejection of all 
authoritative influence from Rome into the ministry of the 
reformed churches, with the insinuation of a supposition of 
the non-baptization of all such as derive not a title unto it 
by that means, they who do so being supposed to stand upon 
an unquestionable foundation, I shall a little examine the 
grounds of their security, and then compare them with what 
they have to plead who refuse to acknowledge the deriving 
any sap or nourishment from that rotten corrupt stock, 

It is, I suppose, taken for granted, that an unbaptized 
person can never effectually baptize, let him receive what 
other qualifications soever that are to be superadded, or 
necessary thereunto. If this be not supposed, the whole 
weight of the objection improved by the worst supposition 
that can be made, falls to the ground. I shall also desire in 
the next place, that as we cannot make the popish baptism 
better than it is, so that we would not plead it to be better, 
or any other, than they profess it to be ; nor pretend, that 
though it be rotten or null in the foundation, yet by conti- 
nuance and time it might obtain validity and strength. When 
the claim is by succession from such a stock or root, if you 
suppose once a total intercision in the succession from that 
stock or root, there is an utter end put to that claim ; let us 
now consider how the case is with them from whom this 
claim is derived. 

Litis notoriously known, that amongst them the validity 
of the sacraments depends upon the intention of the ad- 
ministrator : it is so with them, as to every thing they call 
a sacrament. Now, to take one step backwards, that bap- 
tism will by some of ours be scarce accounted valid, which 
is not administered by a lawful minister ; suppose now that 
some pope ordaining a bishop in his stable to satisfy a 
whore, had not an intention to make him a bishop, which is 
no remote surmise ; he being no bishop rightly ordained, all 
the priests by him afterward consecrated, were indeed no 
priests, and so indeed had no power to administer any sa- 


craments, and so consequently the baptism that may he, for 
aught we know, at the root of that which some of us pretend 
unto, was originally absolutely null and void, and could 
never by tract of time be made valid or effectual, for like 
a muddy fountain, the farther it goes, the more filthy it is : 
or suppose that any priest, baptizing one who afterwards 
came to be pope, from whom all authority in that church 
doth flow and is derived, had no intention to baptize him, 
what will become of all that ensues thereon ? 

It is endless to pursue the uncertainties and entangle- 
ments that ensue on this head of account ; and sufficiently 
easy to manifest, that whosoever res.olves his interest in gos- 
pel privileges into this foundation, can have no assurance of 
faith, nay, nor tolerably probable conjecture that he is bap- 
tized, or was ever made partaker of any ordinance of the 
gospel. Let them that delight in such troubled waters, 
sport themselves in them: for my own part, considering the 
state of that church for some years, if not ages, wherein the 
fountains of all authority amongst them were full of filth and 
blood, their popes upon their own confession being made, 
set up, and pulled down at the pleasure of vile, impudent, 
domineering strumpets, and supplying themselves with of- 
ficers all the world over of the same spirit and stamp with 
themselves, and that for the most part for hire, being in the 
mean time all idolaters to a man; I am not willing to grant, 
that their good and upright intention is necessary to be sup- 
posed as a thing requisite unto my interest in any privilege 
of the gospel of Christ. 

2. It is an ecclesiastical determination of irrefragable 
authority amongst them, that whosoever he be that admi- 
nisters baptism, so he use the matter and form, that bap- 
tism is good and valid and not to be reiterated : yea, pope 
Nicholas in his resolutions and determinations upon the in- 
quiry of the Bulgarians, (whose decrees are authentic and 
recorded in their counsels, torn. 2. Crab. p. 144.) declares the 
judgment of that church to the full : (hey tell him, that many 
in their nation were baptized by an unknown person, a Jew 
or a pagan, they knew not whether ; and inquire of him, whe- 
ther they were to be rebaptized or no ; whereunto he answers : 
* Si in nomine S. S. Trinitatis, vel tantum in Christi nomine, 
sicut in Actis apostolorum legiraus, baptizati sunt, unum 


quippe ideraque est, ut S. Ambrosius expressit, constat eos 
denuo non esse baptizandos :' if they were baptized in the 
name of the Trinity or of Christ, they are not to be baptized 
again. Let a blasphemous Jew or pagan do it, so it be 
done the work is wrought, grace conveyed, and baptism 
valid. The constant practice of women baptizing amongst 
them, is of the same import : and what doth Mr. Cawdrey 
think of this kind of baptism? Is it not worth the contend- 
ing about, to place it in the derived succession of ours? who 
knows but that some of these persons, baptized by a coun- 
terfeit impostor, on purpose to abuse and defile the institu- 
tions of our blessed Saviour, might come to be baptizers 
themselves, yea, bishops or popes, from whom all eccle- 
siastical authority was to be derived ; and what evidence or 
certainty can any man have, that his baptism doth not flow 
from this fountain? 

, 3. Nay, upon the general account, if this be required as- 
necessary to the administration of that ordinance, that he 
that doth baptize, be rightly and effectually baptized him- 
self; who can in faith bring an infant to any to be baptized, 
unless he himself saw that person rightly baptized? 

As to the matter of baptism then, we are no more con- 
cerned, than as to that of ordination: by what ways or 
means soever any man comes to be a minister according to 
the mind of Jesus Christ, by that way and means he comes 
to have the power for a due administration of that ordinance : 
concerning which state of things, our author may do well to 
consult Beza in the place mentioned. Many other passages 
there are in this chapter that might be remarked, and a re- 
turn easily made according to their desert of untruth and 
impertinency; but the insisting on such things, looks more 
like children's playing at pushpin, than the management of 
a serious disputation : take an instance ; p. 23. he seems to 
be much offended with my commending him ; and tells me, 
as Jerome said of Ruffinus, ' I wrong him with praises ;' when 
yet the utmost I say of him is, that I had received a better 
character of him, than he had given of himself in his book, 
p. 10. and that his proceeding was unbecoming his worth, 
gravity, and profession, p. 46. or so grave and reverend 
a person as he is reported to be, p. 121. wherein it seems I 
have transgressed the rule, firinor tv epdeiv yipovra. 


The business of his second chapter is to make good his 
former charge of my inconstancy and inconsistency with my- 
self as to my former and present opinions, which he had 
placed in the frontispiece of his other treatise. The imper- 
tinency of this chapter had been intolerable, but that the 
loose discourses of it are relieved by a scheme of my self- 
contradictions in the close. His design, he professeth, in 
his former discourse was not to blast my reputation, or to 
' cause my person to suffer, but to prevent the prevalency of 
my way by the authority of my person ;' that is, it was not 
his intention, it was only his intention for such a purpose. 
I bless my God I have good security through grace, that 
whether he, or others like-minded with himself, intend any 
such thing or no, in those proceedings of his and theirs, 
which seemed to have in their own nature a tendency there- 
unto, my reputation shall yet be preserved in that state and 
condition, as is necessary to accompany me in the duties and 
works of my generation, that I shall through the hand of 
God be called out unto ; and therefore, being prepared in 
some measure to go through good report and bad report, I 
shall give him assurance, that I am very little concerned in 
such attempts, from whatever intention they do proceed ; 
only I must needs tell him, that he consulted not his own 
reputation with peaceable godly men, whatever else he 
omitted, in the ensuing comparing of me to the seducers in 
Jude, called wandering planets, for their inconstancy and 
inconsistency with themselves, according to the exposition 
that was needful for the present turn. 

But seeing the scheme at the close must bear the weight 
of this charge, let us briefly see what it amounts unto; and 
whether it be a sufficient basis of the superstruction that is 
raised upon it : hence it is, that my inconsistency with my- 
self must be remarked in the title-page of his first treatise; 
from hence must my authority (which what it is I know not) 
be impaired, and myself be compared ..to cursed apostates 
and seducers, and great triumph be made upon my self- 

The contradictions pretended are taken out of two books, 
the one written in the year 1643, the other in 1656; and are 
as follow : 


He spake of Rome as a collapsed, cor- 1 He says, Rome we account no church 
rupted church-state, p. 40. [p. 46.] [ at all, p, 156. [p. 190.] 

'Crimen inauditum, C. Csesar;' is it meet that any one 
should be tolerated, that is thus wofully inconsistent with 
himself? What! speak of Rome as a collapsed church in 
Italy, and within thirteen or fourteen years after to say, it is 
no church at all ; well ! though I may say there is indeed no 
contradiction between these assertions, seeing; in the latter 
place I speak of Rome as that church is stated by them- 
selves, when yet I acknowledge there may be corrupted 
churches both in Rome and Italy in the same treatise ; yea, 
I do not find that in the place directed unto^ I have in terms, 
or in just consequence at all granted the church of Rome to 
be a collapsed church : nay, the church of Rome is not once 
mentioned in the whole page, nor as such is spoken of : and 
what shall we think of this proceeding? But yet I will not 
so far offend against my sense of my own weakness, igno- 
rance, and frailty, as to use any defensative against this 
charge ; let it pass at any rate that any sober man freed from 
pride, passion, self -fulness and prejudice shall be pleased 
to put upon it ; 

oSe o^Sv toU; V0/J.OV1; 

But the second instance will make amends, and take 
more of the weight of this charge upon its shoulders : take 
it then as it lies in its triple column : 

Denying our ordination ' 
to be sufficient, he says he 
may have that which in- 
deed constitutes him a mi- 
nister, viz. gifts and sub- 
mission by tlie people ; p. 
193. [p. 211.] 

I must confess I am here at a stand to find out the pre- 
tended contradiction ; especially laying aside the word * only' 
in the first column, which is his and not mine. By a preacher, 
in the first place, I intend a minister : gifts, and consent 
or submission of the people, I affirm in both places to be 
sufficient to constitute a man a minister in extraordinary 
cases ; that is, when imposition of hands by a presbytery 
may be obtained in due order according'to the appointment 
of Jesus Christ. That the consent and submission of the 
people, which include election, have nothing of authority in 

Gifts in the person, and 
consent of people, is war- 
rant enough to make a man 
a preacher in an extraor- 
dinary case only ; p. 15. 
and p. 40. [pp. 22. 46.] 

I am punctually of the same 
mind still, p. 40. [p. 22.] Yet 
had said in his first book, p. 
46. [p 53.]as to formal teacli- 
ing is required, 1. Gifts. 2 
Authority from the church, 
if he do not equivocate. 


them I never said : the superadded act of the imposition of 
hands by a presbytery, when it may be regularly obtained, 
is also necessary. But that there is any contradiction in 
my words (although in truth they are not my words but an 
undue collection from them), or in this author's inference 
from them, or any colour of equivocation, I profess I cannot 
discern : in this place Mr. Cawdrey ovk iSev, aXX e^oKncriv 
iSiiv ^la vvKTa aiki]vr\v. Pass we to the third. 

He made the union of Christ and be- 1 He makes the union to be persona!, pp. 
lievers to be mystical, p. 21. [p. 27.] | 94, 95. [p. 158.] 

I wish our reverend author for his own sake had omitted 
this instance ; because I am enforced in my own necessary 
defence to let him know, that what he assigns to me in his 
second column is notoriously false, denied and disproved 
by me in the very place and treatise wherein I have handled 
the doctrine of the indwelling of the Spirit; and whether he 
will hear or forbear, I cannot but tell him, that this kind of 
dealing is unworthy his calling and profession. His following 
deductions and inferences, whereby he endeavours to give 
countenance to this false and calumnious charge, arise from 
ignorance of the doctrine that he seeks to blemish and op- 
pose. Though the same Spirit dwell in Christ and us, 
yet he may have him in fulness, we in measure ; fulness 
and measure relating to his communication of graces and 
gifts, which are arbitrary to him ; indwelling to his person : 
that the Spirit animates the catholic church, and is the au- 
thor of its spiritual life by a voluntary act of his power, as 
the soul gives life to the body, by a necessary act, by virtue 
of its union ; for life is ' actus vivificantis in vivificatum per 
unionem utriusque,' is the common doctrine of divines. But 
yet the soul being united to the body, as * pars essentialis 
suppositi/ and the Spirit dwelling in the person as a free in- 
habitant, the union between Christ and the person is not of 
the same kind with the union of soul and body : let our 
author consult Zanchy on the second of the Ephesians, and 
it will not repent him of his labour ; or if he please, an au- 
thor whom I find him often citing, namely, bishop Hall, 
about union with Christ. And for ray concernment in this 
charge I shall subjoin the words from whence it must be 
taken ; p. 133. [vol. vi. p. 446.] of my book of Perseverance. 


' I. The first signal issue and effect which is ascribed to 
this indwelling of the Spirit, is union; not a personal union 
with himself, which is impossible : he doth not assume our 
natuKes, and so prevent our personality, which would make 
us one person with him, but dwells in our persons, keeping 
his own, and leaving us our personality infinitely distinct ; 
but it is a spiritual union, the great union mentioned so 
often in the gospel, that is the sole fountain of our blessed- 
ness, our union with the Lord Christ, which we have thereby. 

Many thoughts of heart there have been about this union ; 
what it is, wherein it doth consist, the causes, manner, and 
eflfects of it; the Scripture expresses it to be very eminent, 
near, durable, setting it out for the most part by similitudes 
and metaphorical illustrations, to lead poor weak creatures 
into some useful needful acquaintance with that mystery, 
whose depths in this life they shall never fathom. That many 
in the days wherein we live, have miscarried in their concep- 
tions of it, is evident; some to make out their imaginary 
union have destroyed the person of Christ, and fancying a 
way of uniting man to God by him, have left him to be neither 
God nor man. Others have destroyed the person of believers, 
affirming that in their union with Christ, they lose their own 
personality, that is, cease to be men : or at least, those are 
these individual men. 

'I intend not now to handle it at large, but only, and that 
I hope without offence, to give in my thoughts concerning 
it, as far as it receiveth light from, and relateth unto, what 
hath been before delivered concerning the indwelling of the 
Spirit, and that without the least contending about other 
ways of expression.' So far there ; with much more to the 
purpose ; and in the very place of my book of Schism, re- 
ferred to by this author, I affirm, as the head of what I as- 
sert, that by the indwelling of the Spirit, Christ personal 
and his church do become one Christ mystical ; 1 Cor. xii. 
12. the very expression insisted on by him, in my former trea- 
tise ; and so you have an issue of this self-contradiction, con- 
cerning which, though reports be urged for some other things, 
Mr. Cawdrey might have said what Lucian doth of his true 
history ; ypacpio roivvv Trepl ojv fxrjT uSov, fxi}T tTra^ov, fiijTe 
TTOj)' ciW(i)v iirv^6nr}v> 



Let us then consider the fourth, which is thus placed : 

1. In extraordiiiary cases 
every one that undertakes 
to preach the gospel must 
have an immediate call from 
God, p. 28. [p. 36.] 

2. Yet required no more 
of before the gifts and con- 
sent of the people which 
are ordinary, and mediate 
calls, p. 15. [p. 22.] neither 
is here any need or use of 
an immediate call, p. 53. 
[p. 60.] 

3. To assure a man that he 
isextiaordinarily called, he 
gives three ways : 1. Imme- 
diate revelation ; 2. Concur- 
rence of Scripture rule; 3. 
Some outward acts of provi- 
dence. The two last where- 
of are mediate calls, p. 30. 
[p. 36.] 

All that is here remarked and cast into three columns, I 
know not well why, is taken out of that one treatise of the Duty 
of Pastors and People. And could I give myself the least 
assurance that any one would so far concern himself in this 
charge, as to consult the places from whence the words are 
pretended to be taken, to see whether there be any thing in 
them to answer the cry that is made, I should spare myself 
the labour of adding any one syllable towards their vindi- 
cation; and might most safely so do, there being not the 
least colour of opposition between the things spoken of. 
In brief, extraordinary cases are not all of one sort and 
nature ; in some an extraordinary call may be required, in 
some not. Extraordinary calls are not all of one kind and na- 
ture neither ; some may be immediate from God, in the ways 
there by me described ; some calls may be said to be extra- 
ordinary, because they do in some things come short of, or 
go beyond the ordinary rule that ought to be observed in 
well constituted churches. Again, concurrence of Scrip- 
ture rules and acts of outward providence, may be such 
sometimes as are suited to an ordinary, sometimes to an ex- 
traordinary call ; all which are at large unfolded in the places 
directed unto by our author, and all laid in their own order, 
without the least shadow of contradiction. But it may some- 
times be said of good men as the satyrist said of evil wo- 
men ; 'fortem animum prsestant rebus quas turpiter audent.' 
Go we to the next: 

1. The church govern- 
njent from which I desire 
not to wander is the pres- 
by terial. 

2. He now is engaged in j 
the independent way. 

3. Is settled in that way 
which he is ready to main- 
tain, and knows it will be 
found his rejoicing in the 
day of the Lord Jesus. 

'Hinc mihi sola niali labes :' This is that inexpiable 
crime that I labour under ; an account of this whole busi- 
ness I have given in my Review ; so that I shall not here 
trouble the reader with a repetition of what he is so little 


concerned in. I shall only add, that whereas I suppose 
Mr. Cawdrey did subscribe unto the three articles at his 
ordination ; were it of any concernment to the church of 
God, or the interest of truth, or were it a comely and a 
Christian part to engage in such a work, I could manifest 
contradictions between what he then solemnly subscribed 
to, and what he hath since written and preached, manifold 
above what he is able to draw out of this alteration of my 
judgment. Be it here then declared, that whereas I some- 
times apprehended the presbyterial synodical government 
of churches, to have been fit to be received and walked in 
(then, when I knew not but that it answered those princi- 
ples which I had taken up, upon my best inquiry into the 
word of God), I now profess myself to be satisfied that I 
was then under a mistake ; and that I do now own, and 
have for many years lived in the way and practice of that 
called congregational. And for this alteration of judgment, 
of all men, I fear least a charge from them, or any of them, 
whom within a few years we saw reading the service-book 
in their surplices, &c. against which things they do now 
inveigh and declaim. What influence the perusal of Mr. 
Cotton's book of the Keys had on my thoughts in this bu- 
siness I have formerly declared. The answer to it (I sup- 
pose that written by himself) is now recommended to me 
by this author, as that which would have perhaps prevented 
my change ; but I must needs tell him, that as I have 
perused that book, many years ago, without the effect in- 
timated, so they must be things written with another frame 
of spirit, evidence of truth, and manner of reasoning, than 
any I can find in that book, that are likely for the future 
to lay hold upon my reason and understanding. Of ray 
settlement in my present persuasion I have not only given 
him an account formerly, but with all Christian courtesy, 
tendered myself in a readiness personally to meet him, to 
give him the proofs and reasons of my persuasions ; which 
he is pleased to decline and return in way of answer, That I 
complimented him after the mode of the times ; when no 
such thing was intended. And therefore my words of 'de- 
siring liberty to wait upon him,' are expressed, but the end 
and purpose for which it was desired, are concealed in an 
&,c. But he adds another instance : 



2. He says, separation is 
no schism, nor schism any 
breach of charity; pp. 48 , 
49. [pp. 135, 136.] 

There is not one word 
in either of these cautions, 
that 1 do not still own and 
allow, p. 44. [p. 278.} sure 
not without equivocation. 

Men ought not to cut 
themselves from the com- 
munion of the church, to 
rent the body of Christ, 
and break the sacred bond 
of charity ; p. 48. [p. 55.] 

I have before owned this caution, as consistent .with my 
present judgment, as expressed in my book of Schism, and 
as it is indeed : wherein lies the appearance of contradiction 
I am not able to discern. Do not 1 in my book of Schism, 
declare and prove, that men ought not to cut themselves 
from the communion of the church ; that they ought not to 
rent the body of Christ, that they ought not to break the 
sacred bonds of charity ? Is there any word or tittle in the 
whole discourse deviating from these principles ? How and 
in what sense separation is not schism, that the nature of 
schism doth not consist in a breach of charity, the treatise 
instanced will so far declare, as withal to convince those 
that shall consider what is spoken, that our author scarce 
keeps close either to truth or charity in his framing of this 
contradiction- The close of the scheme lies thus : 

I conceive they ought not at all to be 
allowed the benefit of private meeting, 
who wilfully abstain from the public con- 
gregations. ■" 

As for liberty to be allowed to those t 
meet in private, I confess myself to* 
otherwise minded. 

I remember that about fifteen years ago, meeting occa- 
sionally with a learned friend, we fell into some debate 
about the liberty that began then to be claimed by men, 
differing from what had been, and what was then likely to 
be established ; having at that time made no farther inquiry 
into the grounds and reasons of such liberty, than what had 
occurred to me in the writings of the remonstrants, all 
whose plea was still pointed towards the advantage of their 
own interest, I delivered my judgment in opposition to the 
liberty pleaded for, which was then defended by my learned 
friend. Not many years after, discoursing the same differ- 
ence with the same person, we found immediately that we 
had changed stations, I pleading for an indulgence of liberty, 
he for restraint; whether that learned and worthy person be 
of the same mind still that then he was, or no, directly I 
know not. But this I kaow, that if he be not, considering 


the comjsass of circumstances that must be taken in, to set- 
tle a right judgment in this case of liberty, and what altera- 
tions influencing the determination of this case we have had 
of late in this nation, he will not be ashamed to own his 
change ; being a person who despises any reputation, but 
what arises from the embracing and pursuit of truth : my 
change I here own ; my judgment is not the same in this 
particular, as it was fourteen years ago ; and in my change 
I have good company, whom I need not to name. I shall 
only say my change was at least twelve years before the 
petition and advice ; wherein the parliament of the three 
nations is come up to my judgment. And if Mr. Cawdrey 
hath any thing to object to my present judgment, let him 
at his next leisure consider the treatise that I wrote in the 
year 1648, about Toleration, where he will find the whole of 
it expressed. I suppose he will be doing, and that I may 
almost say of him, as Polycteutus did of Speusipus, to /lu) 
^vva^ai -riavyjLav ayeiv viro Trig Tv^iig kv TTfyrao-vpi-yvw voctuj 
SfSejufvov. And now. Christian reader, I leave it to thy 
judgment whether our author had any just cause, of all his 
outcries, of my inconstancy and self-contradiction ; and 
whether it had not been advisable for him to have passed by 
this seeming advantage of the design he professed to manage, 
rather than to have injured his own conscience and reputa- 
tion to so little purpose. 

Being sufficiently tired with the consideration of things 
of no relation to the cause at first proposed (but, this saith 
he, this the independents, this the Brownists and Ana- 
baptists, &-C.) I shall now only inquire after that which is 
set up in opposition to any of the principles of my treatise 
of Schism before mentioned, or any of the propositions of 
the syllogisms wherein they are comprised, at the begin- 
ning of this discourse ; remarking in our way some such 
particular passages, as, it will not be to the disadvantage of 
our reverend author to be reminded of. Of the nature of 
the thing inquired after, in the third chapter I find no men- 
tion at all ; only he tells me by the way, that the Doctor's 
assertion that my book about Schism, was one great schism, 
was not nonsense, but usual rhetoric, wherein profligate sin- 
ners may be called by the name of sin ; and therefore a 


book about schism, may be called a schism. I wish our 
author had found some other way of excusing his doctor, 
than by making it worse himself. 

In the fourth chapter he comes to the business itself; 
and if in passing through that, with the rest that follow, I 
can fix on any thing rising up with any pretence of oppo- 
sition to what I have laid down, it shall not be omitted ; for 
things by myself asserted, or acknowledged on all hands, 
or formerly ventilated to the utmost, T shall not again trou- 
ble the reader with them ; such are the positions about the 
general nature of schism, in things natural and political, 
antecedently considered to the limitation and restriction of 
it to its ecclesiastical use; the departure from churches 
voluntary or compelled, &.c. all which were stated in my 
first treatise, and are not directly opposed by our author ; 
such also is that doughty controversy he is pleased to raise 
and pursue about the seat and subject of schism, with its 
restriction to the instituted worship of God, pp. 18, 19. so 
placed by me, to distinguish the schism whereof we speak, 
from that which is natural, as also from such differences 
and breaches as may fall out amongst men, few or more, 
upon civil and rational accounts, all which I exclude from 
the enjoyment of any room or place in our consideration of 
the true nature of schism in its limited ecclesiastical sense. 
The like also may be affirmed concerning the ensuing strife 
of words about separation and schism ; as though they were, 
in my apprehension of them, inconsistent; which is a fancy 
no better grounded than sundry other, which our reverend 
author is pleased to make use of. His whole passage also 
receives no other security, than what is afforded to it by 
turning my universal proposition into a particular; what I 
say of all places in the Scripture where the name or thing 
of schism is used in an ecclesiastical sense, as relating to a 
gospel church, he would restrain to that one place of the 
Corinths, where alone the word is used in that sense. How- 
ever, if that one place be all, my proposition is universal ; 
take then my proposition in its extent and latitude, and let 
him try once more if he please, what he hath to object to it, 
for as yet I find no instance produced to alleviate its truth. 
He much also insists, that there may be a separation in a 
chnrch where there is no separation from a church, and saith 

VOL, XIX. 2 B 


this was at first by me denied : that it was denied by me he 
cannot prove ; but that the contrary was proved by me is 
evident to all impartial men, that have considered my trea- 
tise ; although I cannot allow that the separation in the 
church of Corinth was carried to that height as is by him 
pretended ; namely, as to separate from the ordinances of 
the Lord's supper ; their disorder and division about and in 
its administration are reproved, not their separation from it: 
only on that supposition made, I confess I was somewhat 
surpi'ised with the delivery of his judgment in reference to 
many of his own party, whom he condemns of schism for 
not administering the Lord's supper to all the congregation, 
with whom they pray and preach. I suppose the greatest 
part of the most godly and able ministers of the presbyterian 
way in England and Scotland, are here cast into the same 
condition of schismatics with the Independents. And the 
truth is, I am not yet without hopes of seeing a fair co- 
alescency in love and church-communion, between the re- 
forming Presbyterians and Independents ; though for it they 
shall with some suffer under the unjust imputation of schism. 

But it is incredible to think whither men will suffer them- 
selves to be carried ' studio partium ;' and an^rpia avBoXKrjc ; 
hence have we the strange notions of this author about 
schism ; decays in grace are schism, and errors in the faith 
are schism ; and schism and apostacy are things of the 
same kind, differing only in degree ; because the one leads 
to the other ; as one sin of one kind doth often to another; 
drunkenness to whoredom, and envy and malice to lying ; 
that differences about civil matters, like that of Paul and 
Barnabas, are schism ; and this by one blaming me for a de- 
parture from the sense of antiquity, unto which these in- 
sinuations are so many monsters. Let us then proceed. 

That Acts xiv. 4. xix. 9. 18. are pertinently used to dis- 
cover and prove the nature of schism in an evangelically 
ecclesiastical sense, or were ever cited by any of the ancients 
to that purpose, I suppose our author on second considera- 
tion will not affirm. I understand not the sense of this ar- 
gument, * the multitude of the city was divided, and part held 
with the Jews, and part with the apostle,' therefore schism. 
in a gospel church -state, is not only a division in a church ; 
or that it is a separation into new churches, or that it is some- 


thing more than the breach of the union appointed by Christ 
in an instituted church ; much less doth any thing of this 
nature appear from Paul's separating the disciples whom he 
had converted to the faith from the unbelieving hardened 
Jevi^s, an account whereof is given us. Acts xix. 9. So then, 
that in this chapter there is any thing produced ' de novo' to 
prove that the precise Scripture notion of schism in its ec- 
clesiastical sense, extends itself any farther than differences, 
divisions, separations in a church, and that a particular 
church, I find not ; and do once more desire our author, that 
if he be otherwise minded, to spare such another trouble to 
ourselves and others, as that wherein we are now engaged, 
he would assign me some time and place to attend him for 
the clearing of the truth between us. 

Of schism. Acts xx. 30. Heb. x. 28. Jude 19. there is 
no mention ; nor are those places interpreted of any such 
thing by any expositors, new or old, that ever I yet saw ; nor 
can any sense be imposed on them inwrapping the nature of 
schism with the least colour or pretence of reason. 

But now by our author, schism and apostacy are made 
things of one kind, differing only in degrees, p. 107. so con- 
founding schism and heresy, contrary to the constant sense 
of all antiquity. Acts xx. 30. the apostle speaks of men 
speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples; that is, 
teaching them false doctrines, contrary to the truths wherein 
they had been by him instructed ; in his revealing unto 
them 'the whole counsel of God ;' ver.27. This by the an- 
cients is called heresy, and is contradistinguished unto schism 
by them constantly : so Austin a hundred times. To draw 
men from the church, by drawing them into pernicious 
errors, false doctrine, being the cause of their falling off, is 
not schism, nor so called in Scripture, nor by any of the 
ancients, that ever yet I observed. That the design of the 
apostle, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, is to preserve and 
keep them from apostacy unto Judaism, besides that it is 
attested by a cloud of witnesses, is too evident from the thing 
itself to be denied. Chap. x. 25. he warns them of a com- 
mon entrance into that fearful condition, which he describes, 
ver. 26. their neglect of the Christian assemblies, was the 
door of their apostacy to Judaism. What is this to schism ? 
would we charge a man with that crime whom we saw neg- 

2 b2 


leciing our assemblies, and likely to fall into Judaism? are 
there not more forcible considerations to deal with him 
upon? and doth not the apostle make use of them? Jude 19. 
hath been so far spoken unto already, that it may not fairly 
be insisted on again. * Parvas habet spes Troja, si tales habet.' 
In the entrance of the fifth chapter he takes advantage 
from my question, p. 147. [p. 323.] ' Who told him that raising 
causeless differences in a church, and then separating from it, 
is not in my judgment schism V when the first part of the as- 
sertion, included in that interrogation, expresseth the formal 
nature of schism, which is not destroyed, nor can any man 
be exonerated of its guilt, by the subsequent crime of se- 
paration, whereby it is aggravated. 1 John ii. 19. is again 
mentioned to this purpose of schism, to as little purpose; so 
also is Heb. x. 25. both places treat of apostates, who are 
charged and blamed under other terms than that of schism. 
There is in such departures, as in every division whatever, of 
that which was in union, somewhat of the general nature of 
schism: but that particular crime and guilt of schism in its 
restrained ecclesiastical sense, is not included in them. 

In his following discourse he renews his former charges 
of denying their ordinances and ministry, of separating from 
them, and the like ; as to the former part of this charge I 
have spoken in the entrance of this discourse ; for the latter, 
of separating from them, I say we have no more separated 
from them, than they have from us ; our right to the cele- 
bration of the ordinances of God's worship, according to the 
light we have received from him, is in this nation as good as 
theirs ; and our plea from the gospel we are ready to main- 
tain against them, according as we shall at any time be called 
thereunto. If any of our judgment deny them to be churches, 
I doubt not but he knows who comes not behind in returnal 
of charges on our churches. Doth the reverend author think 
or imagine, that we have not in our own judgment more 
reason to deny their churches, and to charge them with 
schism, though we do neither, than they have to charge us 
therewith, and to deny our churches ? Can any thing be 
more fondly pretended than that he hath proved that we 
have separated from them; upon which, p. 105, he requires 
the performance of my promise to retreat from the state 
wherein I stand, upon the establishment of such proof? 


Hath he proved the due administration of ordinances amongst 
them whom he pleads for? Hath he proved any church- 
union between them as such, and us? Hath he proved us to 
have broken that union? What will not self-fulness and pre- 
judice put men upon? 

How came they unto the sole possession of all church- 
state in England; so that whoever is not of them, and with 
them, must be charged to have separated from them ? Mr. 
Cawdrey says, indeed, that the episcopal men and they agree 
in substantial, and differ only in circumstantials ; but that 
they and we differ in substantial s ; but let him know they 
admit not of his compliances; they say he is a schismatic, 
and that all his party are so also ; let him answer their 
charge solidly upon his own principles, and not think to 
own that which he hath the weakest claim imaginable unto, 
and was never yet in possession of. We deny that since the 
gospel came into England, the presbyterian government as 
by them stated, was ever set up in England, but in the wills 
of a party of men ; so that here as yet, unless as it lies in 
particular congregations, where our right is as good as theirs, 
none have separated from it, that I know of; though many 
cannot consent unto it. The first ages we plead ours, the 
following were unquestionably episcopal. 

In the beginning of chapter the sixth, he attempts to 
disprove my assertion, that the union of the church catholic 
visible, which consists in the professing of the saving doctrine 
of the gospel, &c. is broken only by apostacy. To this 
end he confounds apostacy and schism, affirming them only 
to differ in degrees ; which is a new notion unknown to an- 
tiquity, and contrary to all sound reason : by the instances 
he produceth to this puipose he endeavours to prove that 
there are things which break this union, whereby this union 
is not broken; whilst a man continues a member of thai 
church which he is by virtue of the union thereof, and his 
interest therein, by no act doth he, or can he break that 

The partial breach of that union which consists in the 
profession of the truth, is error and heresy and not schism. 
Our author abounds here in new notions which might easily 
be discovered to be as fond, as new, were it worth while to 
consider them ; of which in brief, before Only I wonder 


why giving way to such thoughts as these, he should speak 
of men with contempt under the name of notionists, as he 
doth of Dr. Du Moulin ; but the truth is, the doctor hath 
provoked him, and were it not for some considerations that 
are obvious to me, I should almost wonder, why this author 
should sharpen his leisure and zeal against me, who scarce 
ever publicly touched the grounds and foundations of that 
cause which he hath so passionately espoused, and pass by 
him, who both in Latin and English, hath laid his axe to the 
very root of it, upon principles sufficiently destructive to it, 
and so apprehended, by the best learned in our author's way, 
that ever these nations brought forth; but, as I said, reasons 
lie at hand, why it was more necessary to give me this 
opposition; which yet hath not altered my resolution, of 
handling this controversy in another manner, when I meet 
with another manner of adversary. 

Page 110. he fixes on the examination of a particular pas- 
sage about the disciples of John, mentioned Acts xix. 2. of 
whom I affirmed, that it is probable they were rather igno- 
rant of the miraculous dispensations of the Holy Ghost, than 
of the person of the Holy Ghost; alleging to the contrary, 
that the words are more plain and full than to be so eluded, 
and for aught appears, John did not baptize into the name of 
the Holy Ghost. I hope the author doth not so much dwell 
at home, as to suppose this to be a new notion of mine; who 
almost of late in their critical notes have not either (at least) 
considered it, or confirmed it? neither is the question into 
whose name they were expressly baptized, but in what doc- 
trine they were instructed. He knows who denies that they 
were at all actually baptized, before they were baptized by 
Paul. Nor ought it to be granted without better proof than 
any as yet hath been produced, that any of the saints under 
the Old Testament, were ignorant of the being of the Holy 
Ghost ; neither do the words require the sense by him insisted 
on: aXX' ovde, d wvevixa ayiov kcFTiv, r]KOvaafjii.v, do no more 
evince the person of the Holy Ghost to be included in them, 
than in those other, John vii. 39. ovtroi fjv -nvivfia aytov; the 
latter in the proper sense he will not contend for ; nor can, 
therefore, the expression being uniform, reasonably for the 
latter. Speaking of men openly and notoriously wicked, and 
denying them to be members of any church whatever, he bids 


me answer his arguments to the contrary from the 1 Cor. v. 7. 
2Thess. xiii. 17. and I cannot but desire him that he would 
impose that task on them that have nothing else to do j for 
my own part, I shall not entangle myself with things to so 
little purpose. Having promised my reader to attend only 
to that which looks toward the merit of the cause, I must 
crave his pardon, that I have not been able to make good my 
resolution : meeting with so little or nothing at all which is 
to that purpose, I tind myself entangled in the old diversions 
that we are now plentifully accustomed unto ; but yet I shall 
endeavour to recompense this loss, by putting a speedy 
period to this whole trouble, despairing of being able to 
tender him any other satisfaction, whilst I dwell on this dis- 
course. In the mean time, to obviate all strife of words if it 
be possible for the future, I shall grant this reverend author 
that in the general large notion of schism which his opposi- 
tion to that insisted on by me hath put him upon, I will not 
deny but that he and I are both schismatics, and any thing 
else shall be so, that he would have to be so, rather than to 
be engaged in this contest any farther. In this sense he 
affirms, that there was a schism between Paul and Barnabas, 
and so one of them at least was a schismatic ; as also he 
affirms the same of two lesser men, though great in their 
generation, Chrysostom and Epiphanius ; so error and heresy, 
if he please, shall be schism from the catholic chui'ch, and 
scandal of life shall be schism. And his argument shall be 
true, that schism is a breach of union in a church of Christ's 
institution ; therefore, in that which is so only by call, not 
to any end of joint worship as such, of any union ; that 
which consists in the profession of the saving truths of the 
gospel, and so there may be a schism in the catholic church} 
and so those Presbyterians that reform their congregations, 
and do not administer the sacraments to all promiscuously, 
shall be guilty of schism ; and, indeed, as to me, what else 
he pleaseth, for my inquiry concerns only the precise limited 
nature of schism, in its evangelically ecclesiastical sense. 

Neither shall I at present (allotting very few hours to the 
dispatch of this business, which yet I judge more than it de- 
serves) consider the scattered ensuing passages about ordi- 
nation, church-government, number of elders, and the like, 
which all men know not at all to belong unto the main con- 

376 oi' SCHISM. 

troversy which was by me undertaken; and that they were 
against all laws of disputation, plucked violently into this 
contest by our reverend author. One thing I cannot pass 
by, and it will upon the matter put a close to what I shall 
at present offer to this treatise ; having said that Christ hath 
given no direction for the performance of any duty of wor- 
ship of sovereign institution, but only in them and by them 
(meaning particular churches), he answers, that, 'if I would 
imply that a minister in or of a particular church may per- 
form those ordinances without those congregations, he con- 
tradicts himself for saying a particular church is the seat of all 
ordinances :' but why so, I pray? may not a particular church 
be the seat of all ordinances subjectively, and yet others be 
the object of them, or of some of them? But, saith he, 'if he 
mean those ordinances of worship are to be performed only 
by a minister of a particular congregation, what shall become 
of the people ?' I suppose they shall be instructed and built 
up according to the mind of Christ ; and what would people 
desire more ? But whereas he had before said, that I denied 
'a minister to be a minister to more than his own church ;' 
and I had asked him 'who told him so ;' adding that explica- 
tion of my judgment, that for ' so much as men are appointed 
the objects of the dispensation of the word, I grant a minis- 
ter in the dispensation of it to act ministerially, towards not 
only the members of the catholic church, but the visible 
members of the world also in contradistinction thereunto ;' 
he now tells me a story of passages between the learned 
Dr. Wallis and myself, about his question in the Vespers, 
1654, namely, that as to that question, ' Anpotestas ministri 
evangelici ad unius tantum ecclesise particularis membra 
extendatur?' I said, that Dr. Wallis had brought me a 
challenge, and that if I did dispute on that question, I 
must dispute ' ex animo ;' although I grant that a minister, 
as a minister, may preach the word to more than those of 
his own congregation, yet knowing the sense wherein the 
learned Dr. Wallis maintained that question, it is not im- 
possible, but I might say, if I did dispute I must do it ' ex 
animo :' for his bringing me a challenge, I do not know that 
either he did so, or that I put that interpretation on what he 
did; but I shall crave leave to say, that if the learned Dr. Wallis 
do find any ground or occasion to bring a challenge unto me, 


to debate any point of difference between us, I shall not wave 
answering his desire, although he should bring Mr. Cawdrey 
for his second : for the present I shall only say, that as it is 
no commendation to the moderation or ingenuity of any one 
whatever, thus to publish to the world private hearsays, and 
what he hath been told of private conferences ; so if I would 
insist on the same course, to make publication of what I have 
been told hath been the private discourse of some men, it is 
not unlikely that I should occasion their shame and trouble : 
yet in this course of proceeding a progress is made out in the 
ensuing words; and Mr. Stubbes (who is now called my 
amanuensis, who some five years ago, transcribed about a 
sheet of paper for me, and not one line before or since) is said 
to be employed, or at least encouraged by me to write against 
the learned Dr. Wallis, his Thesis being published; this is as 
true as much of that that went before, and as somewhat of 
that that follows after; and whereas it is added, that I said 
what he had written on that subject, was a scurrilous ridicu- 
lous piece, it is of the same nature with the rest of the like 
reports. I knew that Mr. Stubbes was writing on that sub- 
ject, but not until he had proceeded far in it; I neither em- 
ployed him, nor encouraged him in it, any otherwise than 
the consideration of his papers, after he had written them, 
may be so interpreted ; and the reason why I was not willing 
he should proceed, next to my desire of continuance of peace 
in this place, was his using such expressions of me, and 
some things of mine, in sundry places of his discourse, as I 
could not modestly allow to be divulged; the following words 
to the same purpose with them before mentioned, I remem- 
ber not ; nor did ever think to be engaged in the considera- 
tion of such transgressions of the common rules of human 
society as those now passed through; reports, hearsays, 
talks, private discourse between friends, allegations counte- 
nanced by none of these, nor anything else, are the weapons 
wherewith I am assaulted. ' I have heard, I am told, if re- 
ports be true, it was ' vox populi' at Oxford, is it not so, I 
presume he will not deny it,' are the ornaments of this dis- 
course: strange! that men of experience and gravity should 
be carried by the power of these temptations not only to the 
forgetfulness of the royal law of Christ, and all gospel rule of 
deportment towards his professed disciples ; but also be 

378 ■ OF SCHISM. 

engaged into ways and practices contrary to the dictates of 
the law of nature, and such as sundry heathens would have 
abhorred. For my own part, had not God by his providence 
placed me in that station, wherein others also that fear him 
are concerned in me, I should not once turn aside to look upon 
such heaps as that which I have now passed over: my judg- 
ment in most heads and articles of Christian religion is long 
since published to the world, and I continue through the 
grace and patience of God preaching in public answerably to 
the principles I do profess; and if any man shall oppose 
what I have delivered, or shall so deliver, in print or the pul- 
pit, or in divinity lectures, as my judgment, I shall consider 
his opposition, and do therein as God shall guide : v/ith evil 
surmises, charges upon hearsays, and reports, attended with 
perpetual excursions upon the argument in hand, I shall no 
more contend. 

Some few observations on scattered passages, will now 
speedily issue this discourse. Page 112. to that assertion of 
mine, that * if Rome be no particular church, it is no church 
at all, for the catholic church it is not,' he replies, that 
* though it be not such a particular congregation as I intend, 
yet it may be a particular patriarchal church :' but, 1. Then 
it seems it is a particular church, which grants my inference. 

2. It was a particular church of Christ's institution that 
I inquired after : doth our author think that Christ hath ap- 
pointed any patriarchal church? a patriarchal church, as 
such, is such from its relation to a patriarch; and he can 
scarce be thought to judge patriarchs to be of divine institu- 
tion, who hath cast off and abjured episcopacy. 

The Donatists are mentioned again, p. 113. And I am 
again charged with an attempt to vindicate them from 
schism; my thoughts of them I have before declared to the 
full, and have no reason to retract any thing from what was 
then spoken, or to add any thing thereunto ; if it may satisfy 
our author, I here grant they were schismatics, with what 
aggravations he pleaseth, and wherein their schism consisted 
I have also declared : but he says, I undertake to exempt 
some others from schism (I know whom), that suffer with 
them in former and after ages, under the same imputation ; I 
do so, indeed, and I suppose our author may guess at whom 
I intend; himself amongst others. I hope he is not so taken 


up in his thoughts with charging schism on others, as to 
forget that many, the greatest part and number of the true 
churches of Christ do condemn him for a schismatic ; a Do- 
natistical schismatic: I suppose he acknowledges the church 
of Rome to be a true church ; the Lutheran I am persuaded 
he will not deny, nor perhaps the Grecian, to be so. The 
episcopal church of England he contends for ; and yet all 
these with one voice cry out upon him for a schismatic : and 
as to the plea of the last, how he can satisfy his conscience, 
as to the rejection of his lawful superiors, upon his own prin- 
ciples, without pretending any such crime against them, as 
the Donatists did against Csecilianus, I profess I do not 
understand. New mention is made of episcopal ordination, 
p. 120. and they are said to have had their successive or- 
dination from Rome who ordained therein : so indeed some 
say, and some otherwise ; whether they had or no is nothing 
to me, I lay no weight upon it; they held, I am sure, that 
place in England, that without their approbation no man 
could publicly preach the gospel : to say they were presby- 
ters, and ordained as presbyters, I know not what satisfac- 
tion can arise unto conscience thereby. Party and argu- 
ment may be countenanced by it ; they profess they ordained 
as bishops, that for their lives and souls they durst n*3t or- 
dain but as such; so they told those whom they ordained, 
and affirm they have open injury done them by any one's 
denial of it. As it was, the best is to be made of it: this 
shift is not handsome ; nor is it ingenuous, for any one that 
hath looked into antiquity, to charge me with departing from 
their sense in the notion of schism, declared about the third 
and fourth ages, and at the same time to maintain an equa- 
lity between bishops and presbyters; or to say, that bishops 
ordained as presbyters, not as bishops : nor do I understand 
the excellency of that order which we see in some churches, 
where they have two sorts of elders ; the one made so by or- 
dination without election, and the other by election without 
ordination ; those" who are ordained, casting off all power and 
authority of them that ordained them ; and those who are 
elected, immediately rejecting the greatest part of those that 
chose them. 

Nor did I, as is pretended, plead for their presbyterian 
way in the year 46; all the ministers, almost, in the county 


of Essex, know the contrary ; one especially, who being a 
man of great ability, and moderation of spirit, and for his 
knowledge in those things, not behind any man, I know, in 
England of his way, with whom in that year, and the next 
following, I had sundry conferences at public meetings of 
ministers, as to the several ways of reformation then under 
proposal. But the frivolousness of these imputations hath 
been spoken of before, as also the falseness of the calumny 
which our author is pleased to repeat again, about my turn- 
ing from ways in religion. 

My description of a particular church he once more 
blames as applicable to the catholic church invisible, and to 
the visible catholic church (I suppose he means as such), 
when a participation in the same ordinances numerically, is 
assigned as its difference: he asks. Whether it becomes my 
ingenuity, to interpret the capability of a church's reduction 
to its primitive constitution, by its own fitness and capacity 
to be so reduced, rather than by its external hinderances or 
furtherances ; but with what ingenuity or modesty that ques- 
tion is asked, I profess I understand not: and, p. 134. he 
hath this passage (only I take notice of his introduction, to 
his answer, with thanks for the civility of the inquiry in the 
manner of its expression): ' My words were these: Whether 
our reverend author do not in his conscience think there was' 
no true church in England till, &c. which puts me into sus- 
picion that the reverend doctor was offended that I did not 
always (for oft I do) give him that title, of the reverend au- 
thor, or the doctor, which made him cry out he was never so 
dealt withal by any party as by me ; though upon review, 1 
do not find that I gave him any uncivil language, unbeseem- 
ing me to give or him to receive ; and I hear that somebody 
hath dealt more uncivilly with him in that respect, which he 
took very ill.' 

Let this reverend author make what use of it he please, I 
cannot but again tell him, that these things become neither 
him nor any man professing the religion of Jesus Christ, or 
that hath any respect to truth or sobriety. Can any man think, 
that in his conscience, he gives any credit to the insinuation 
which here he makes, that I should thank him for calling me 
' reverend author,' or * reverend doctor,' or be troubled for his 
not using those expressions? Can the mind of an honest 


man he thought to be conversant with sucli mean and low 
thoughts? for the title of reverend, I do give him notice that 
I have very little valued it ever since 1 have considered the 
saying of Luther; ' Nunquam periclitatur religio nisi inter 
reverendissimos,' So that he may as to me forbear it for the 
future, and call me as the Quakers do, and it shall suffice. 
And for that of doctor, it was conferred on me by the univer- 
sity in my absence, and against my consent, as they have 
expressed it under their public seal; nor doth any thing but 
gratitude and respect unto them, make me once own it; and 
freed from that obligation, I should never use it more, nor did 
I use it until some were offended with me, and blamed me 
for my neglect of them. And for that other whom he men- 
tions, who before this gave so far place to indignation as to 
insinuate some such thing, I doubt not but by this time he 
hath been convinced of his mistake therein, being a person 
of another manner of ability and worth, than some others 
with whom I have to do: and the truth is, my manner 
of dealing with him in my last reply, which I have 
since myself not so well approved of, requires the pass- 
ing by such returns. But you will say, then why do I 
preface this discourse with that expression, ' with thanks 
for the civility of the inquiry in the manner of its expression?' 
I say, this will discover the iniquity of this author's proce- 
dure in this particular: his inquiry was, ' Whether I did not 
in my conscience think that there were no true churches in 
England, until the Brownists our fathers, the Anabaptists 
our elder brothers, and ourselves arose, and gathered new 
churches;' without once taking notice, or mentioning his titles 
that he says he gave me, I used the words, in a sense obvious 
to every man's first consideration, as a reproof of the ex- 
pressions mentioned ; that which was the true cause of my 
words our author hides in an &,c. : that which was not by 
me once taken notice of, is by him expressed to serve an end 
of drawing forth an evil surmise and suspicion, that hath not 
the least colour to give it countenance. Passing by all in- 
different readers, I refer the honesty of this dealing with me, 
to the judgment of his own conscience; setting down what I 
neitherexpressed, nor took notice of, nor had any singular 
occasion in that place so to do, the words being often used 
by him, hiding and concealing what I did take notice of and 


express, and which to every man's view was the occasion of 
that passage, that conclusion or unworthy insinuation is 
made, which a good man ought to have abhorred. 

Sundry other particulars there are, partly false and 
calumniating, partly impertinent, partly consisting in mis- 
takes, that I thought at the first view to have made mention 
of: but on several accounts, I am rather willing here to put 
an end to the reader's trouble and my own. 









Unto the Questions sent me last night, I pray accept of 
the ensuing Answer, under the title of Two Questions 
concerning the Power of the Supreme Magistrate 
about Religion and the Worship of God ; with one 
about Tithes, proposed and resolved. 


'Whether the supreme magistrate in a nation or common- 
wealth of men professing the religion of Jesus Christ, may 
or ought to exert his power legislative and executive, for the 
supportment, preservation, and furtherance of the profession 
of the faith and worship of God ; and whether he may and 
ought to forbid, coerce, or restrain such principles and 
practices as are contrary to them, and destructive of them?* 

The affirm^ative of both the parts of this question is 

I. From the light and law of nature. 


1. That there is a God. 

2. That this God ought to be believed in, and worshipped 
according to the revelation that he makes of himself. 

3. That it is incumbent on his worshippers in their 
several capacities, to defend and further that worship which 
answers the light and knowledge they have of him. 

4. That to revile, or blaspheme this God, or his name, is 
an evil to be punished by them who have 'jus puniendi,' or 
the right of restraint in them, or committed unto them ; 

Are all dictates of the law of nature, principles inse- 
parable from that light which is natural, and necessary unto 
rational creatures, subsisting in a moral dependence on God, 
and confirmed by Scripture ; Heb. xi. 6. Exod. xxii. 28. 

To assert then that the supreme magistrate, as such, in 
any nation, ought not to exert his authority for the ends, 
and in the way inquired after, is contrary to the light and 
law of nature. 

VOL. XIX. 2 c 


II. From the law of nations. 

1. The due and regular improvement of common natural 
notions, and inbred principles, unto universal public good, 
is the law of nations, whose general foundation is laid. 
Gen. ix. 5, 6. 

2. The constant usage of mankind in their political so- 
cieties, answerable unto right reason, is the revealer or dis- 
coverer of this law of nations. 

3. This law is an evidence and presumption of truth and 
right, paramount unto, and uncontrollable by, any thing but 
express revelation; or it is a discovery of the will of God, 
less than, and subordinate unto, no way but that of imme- 
diate revelation. 

4. The wilful breach or contempt of this law, in its allot- 
ments or assignation of bounds to the interests and con- 
cernments of men, is generally esteemed the most righteous 
ground of one nation's waging war upon another. 

5. That the supreme magistrate in each commonwealth, 
ought to exert his power and authority for the supportment, 
preservation, and furtherance of the worship of God, and to 
coerce and restrain that which would ruin it, is a maxim of 
this law of nations, manifested by the common constant 
usage, and universal entrances, unimpeached by any one 
contrary instance (where this law hath prevailed) of all 
mankind in their political societies; nor is this practice 
controlled by express revelation, but is rather confirmed ; 
Jer.ii. 10. 

Therefore to deny the lawfulness of the authority in- 
quired after, and its due execution, is contrary to the law 
of nations. 

III. From God's institution, in and by laws positive, 
upon doctrines of faith, and ways of worship, of pure 


1, Among the people of the Jews, as is known and con- 
fessed, God appointed this as the chief and supreme care and 
duty of the magistrate, to provide by the authority committed 
to him, that his worship, as by himself revealed, should be 
preserved and provided for, in all the concernments of it ; 
and that what was contrary unto it in some instances, he 


should coerce and restrain ; Deut. xiv. 2, 3. 18, 19, xvi. 

2. Though the instituted worship of God was for the 
greatest part then typical, and to endure but for a season, 
yet the preservation of that worship by God commanded, 
was a moral duty ; Deut. xvi. 20. 

3. God's command to the magistrate, for the exercise of 
his care and duty in reference unto his typical worship, did 
not respect it, as typical, but as his worship. 

4. The law and command of God for the magistrate in 
that commonwealth to take care and do as above, was not 
only an eminent privilege, blessing, and advantage to the 
commonwealth, as such; but it was also a special mercy to 
all and every one of his chosen ones in that commonwealth ; 
and what is given or granted by God to all or any of his 
saints by the way of privilege or mercy, is not disannulled, 
but either by express revocation, or the institution of some- 
what exhibiting a greater privilege or mercy, wherewith the 
former proves inconsistent. 

5. No revocation of this grant, or command and instil 
tution, no appointment of any thing inconsistent with it, 
appears in the gospel. 

Then universally to deny the right and exercise of the 
power inquired after, is contrary to the positive law of God, 
given in reference unto doctrines of faitli, and ways of wor- 
ship, of pure revelation; such as were those possessed and 
walked in under the Old Testament. 

IV. From the example of all godly magistrates, ac- 
cepted with God from the foundation of the world. 


1. There is no one magistrate left on record in the whole 
book of God, with any commendation given unto him, or 
approbation of him, as such, but it is firstly and chiefly on 
this account, that he exerted the power and duty inquired 
after. David, Hezekiah, Josiah, Nehemiah, as others, are 

2. Since the days of the publication of the gospel, no 
one magistrate hath obtained a good report among the saints 
and churches of Christ, but upon the same account. 

3. No one magistrate is remembered to have omitted 

2 c 2 


this care, work, or duty, but a mark or blot. is left upon him 
for it, as a person disapproved and rejected of God. 

4 Nothing but an express discharge by way of revela- 
tion, can acquit a magistrate from following the example of 
all and every one of them, who in their work have been ap- 
proved of God, in that wherein they were so approved. 

To affirm that the supreme magistrate ought not to exert 
his authority for the ends mentioned, is to affirm, that the 
magistrate is now accepted with God, in and for the not 
doing of that which all other magistrates have been ac- 
cepted with God in and by the doing of: which seems un- 

V. From the promises of gospel tinies, 


1. Promises given in a way of privilege and mercy, that 
men should do any thing, declare it to be their duty so to do. 

2. There are many promises that in gospel times ma- 
gistrates shall lay out their power, and exert their authority, 
for the furtherance and preservation of the true worship of 
God, the profession of the faith, the worshippers and pro- 
fessors thereof, and therein the whole interest of Zion; 
Isa.i. 26. xlix. 22, 23. 

3. All the promises relating unto God's providential dis- 
pensations in the world, with reference unto the interest of 
his church and people, do centre in this, that the rulers in 
and of the world shall exert and exercise their power in sub- 
serviency to the interest of Christ, which lies in his truth 
and his worship ; which cannot be done, if the power in- 
quired after be denied; Isa. Ix. 3. 11 — 17. Rev. xi. 15. 

To say, then, that the supreme magistrate in a common- 
wealth of men professing the true Christian religion, ought 
not to exert his legislative and executive power in the de- 
fence, and for the furtherance of the truth and worship of 
God, and for the restraint of the things that are destructive 
thereunto, is to say, that ' the promise of God is of no effect.' 

VI. From the equity of gospel rules. 


1. Whatever is of moral equity, and hath the power of 
obligation from thence, the gospel supposeth, and leaves 


men under that obligation, pressing them unto obedience 
thereunto ; Phil. iv. 8. 

2. Whatever was instituted and appointed of God for- 
merly, is of moral positive equity, if it be not repealed by 
the gospel ; and therefore the forementioned institution of 
the magistrate's duty in the things under consideration, is 
supposed in the gospel. 

3. The gospel rules on this supposition are, that the ma- 
gistrate is to promote all good, and to hinder all evil that 
comes to his cognizance, that would disadvantage the whole, 
by its civil disturbance, or provoking God against it, and 
that in order to the interest of Christ and his church; Rom, 
xiii. 1—7. 1 Tim. ii. 2. Prov. viii. 15, 16. 

4. That what is good and evil upon an evangelical ac- 
count, evidently and manifestly is exempted from these rules, 
cannot be proved. 

Therefore to say it, is contrary to the equity of gospel 

VII. From the confession of all the Protestant churches, 
in the world. 

That all the Protestant churches in the world assert, at 
least the whole of the duty contained in the affirmative of 
the question to be incumbent on the supreme magistrate, is 
known to all men that care to know what they assert. 

VIII. From the confession of those in particular, who 
suffer in the world on the account of the largeness of their 
principles, as to toleration and forbearance. 

The Independents ; whose words in their confession are 
as followeth : 

'Although the magistrate is bound to encourage, promote, 
and protect the professors and profession of the gospel, and 
to manage and order civil administrations in a due sub- 
serviency to the interest of Christ in the world, -and to that 
end^to take care that men of corrupt minds and conversa- 
tions do not licentiously publish and divulge blasphemies 
and errors, in their own nature subverting the faith, and in- 
evitably destroying the souls of them that receive them ; 
yet in such differences about the doctrines of the gospel, or 
ways of the worship of God, as may befall men exercising a 
good conscience, manifesting it in their conversation, and 
holding the foundation, not disturbing others in their ways 


or worship that differ from them, there is no warrant for 
the magistrate under the gospel to abridge them of their 

IX. From the spiritual sense of the generality of godly 
men in the world. 

This can be no otherwise known, but by the declaration 
of their judgments, and as to what can by that way be 
found out or discovered, a thousand to one, of men truly 
godly, are for the affirmative, * Vox populi Dei, est vox Dei.' 

X. From the pernicious consequences of the contrary 
assertion ; whereof I shall mention only two. 

1, The condemnation and abrenunciation of the whole 
work of reformation, in this and other nations, so far as it 
hath been promoted by laws or constitutions of supreme 
magistrates : as in the removal of idolatry, destroying of 
idols and images, prohibiting the mass, declaring and as- 
serting the doctrine of the gospel, supporting the pro- 
fessors of it; which things have been visibly owned and 
blessed of God. 

2. The destruction of the plea of Christ's interest in the 
government of thfe nations ; especially as stated by them, 
who in words contend to place him in the head of their laws 
and fundamental constitutions ; where nothing in a govern- 
ment may be done for him, nothing against them who openly 
oppose him, men can scarce be thought to act under him, 
and in subordination to him. 

The conclusion from hence is, to advance an opinion 
into any necessity of its being received, which is contrary to 
the law of nature and nations, God's institutions and pro- 
mises, the equity of gospel rules, the example of all magis- 
trates who have obtained testimony from God, that they 
discharged their duty unto acceptation with him, to the con- 
fession of all Protestant churches, the spiritual sense of the 
generality of godly men in the world, and attended in itself 
With pernicious consequences, seems to be the effect of Self* 
fulness, and readiness to impose men's private apprehensions 
upon others, the only evil pretended to be avoided by it. 

II. The next Question is, 

^^Mdy the supreme magistrate, by laws and penalties, 
cjbmpel tiny one who holds the head Christ Jesus, to sub- 


•cribe to that confession of faith, and attend to that way of 
worship which he esteems incumbent on him to promote 
and further ? 

That we may answer distinctly, observe, 

I. That the inquiry is concerning them only that hold 
the head ; for others, their case is not proposed. They are 
left to the providence of God, in his working on the hearts 
of them whom he raiseth up for governors, according to the 
measure of light, love, and zeal, which he shall be pleased to 
impart unto them. And though it cannot be proved, that 
any magistrate is authorized from God to take away the life 
or lives of any man or men, for their disbelieving or denying 
any heads or articles of the Christian religion ; yet it doth 
not seem to be the duty of any professing obedience to Jesus 
Christ, to make any stated, legal, unalterable provision for 
their immunity, who renounce him. 

II. That things or opinions of public scandal, national 
demerit, and reproach to the profession of the gospel, ought 
to be restrained from being divulged by that public speaking 
of the press, or in extrafamilial assemblies, both which, ac- 
cording to the usage of all nations, are under the power, and 
at the disposal of the supreme magistrate, was before proved 
in our answer to the first inquiry. 

III. It is agreed that the measure of doctrinal holding the 
head, consists in some few clear fundamental propositions. 

IV. It cannot be denied but that most men in the de- 
termination of this question, have run into extremes, much 
upon the account of their present interest, or that of some 
party of men, wherein and with which as to some special 
self-ends, they are engaged. 

These things being premised, I answer to the question 
negatively, and that because the authority inquired after, 
exerted to the ends mentioned, would immediately affect the 
conscience, and set up itself in direct opposition to the light 
of God therein ; a defect of proving the conveyance of such 
an authority over the consciences of men holding the head, 
having been long since discovered. 

The third Question. 

* Whether it be convenient that the present way of the 
maintenance of ministers or preachers of the gospel bo 


removed and taken away, or changed into some other pro- 

Ans. I. That the public preachers of the gospel ought to 
be maintained, by a participation in the temporal things of 
them to whom the word is preached, is an appointment of 
the Lord Christ, and of the apostles in his name and au- 
thority; 1 Cor. ix. 14. Gal. vi. 6. 

II. The reasonableness of this gospel institution is ma- 
nifested by the Holy Ghost: 1. From the law of nature; 
Luke X. 7. 1 Cor. ix. 7. 11. 2. From the law of nations in 
the same place. 3. From the tendency and equity of Mo- 
saical institutions ; 1 Cor. ix. 9 — 13. 

III. Where God by providential dispensations hath laid 
things in a nation, in a subserviency to an institution of Christ 
according to his promise, Psal. ii. 8. Isa. xlix. 23. as he hath 
done in this case, to oppose that order of things, seems to be 
a fighting against God and his anointed. 

IV. The payment of tithes, 1. Before the law; Gen. xiv. 
20. Heb. vii. 4, 5. with, 2, The like usage amongst all na- 
tions, living according to the light of nature ; 3. Their esta- 
Ijlishing under the law ; with, 4. The express relation in 
gospel appointment unto that establishment, 1 Cor. ix. 14. 
do make that kind of payment so far pleadable, that no man, 
without being able to answer and satisfy that plea, can with 
any pretence of a good uunscieuce, couiseut to their taking 

V. A maintenance by a participation in men's temporals, 
for those who preach the gospel, being expressly appointed 
by Jesus Christ, and reference for the proportion, being di- 
rectly made by the apostle, unto the proportion allotted by 
God himself under the Old Testament; for any man, or 
number of men, to suppose they can make a better and wiser 
allotment, especially when and where a near approachment 
thereunto is already made by Providence, seems to be a 
contending with him, who is mightier than they. 

VI. To deprive preachers of the gospel, when sent out into 
their Master's harvest, and attending unto their work, accord- 
ing to the best of the light which the present age enjoyeth, 
with visible and glorious success, of the portion, hire, wages, 
or temporal supportment prepared for them in the good pro- 
vidence of God, upon pretences of inconveniencies, and dis- 


satisfactions of some prejudiced men, seems to be an attempt 
not to be paralleled from the foundation of the world. 

VII. Wherever, or in what nation soever, there hath been 
a removal of the maintenance provided in the providence of 
God, for the necessary supportment of the public dispensers 
of the word, the issue hath been a fatal and irrecoverable 
disadvantage to the gospel and interest of Christ in those 

It appears then, first. That to take away the public mainte- 
nance provided in the good providence of God, for the public 
dispensers of the gospel, upon pretences of present incon- 
venience, or promise of future provision, is a contempt of 
the care and faithfulness of God towards his church, and in 
plain terms, downright robbery. 

Secondly, To entitle a nation unto such an action, by 
imposing it on them without their consent, is downright 

VIII. An alteration of the way of payment of that revenue 
which is provided in the providence of God for public 
preachers, by the way of tithes, into some other way of pay- 
ment, continuing the present right, is not obnoxious or liable 
to any of the forementioned evils, but its convenience or in- 
convenience may be freely debated. 


J. O. 










The state of the Judaical church. The liberty given hy Christ, 1. From 
the arbitrary impositions of men ; 2. From the observances and rites insti- 
tuted by Moses. The continuance of their observation in the patience and 
forbearance of God. Difference about them stated. Legal righteousness 
and legal ceremonies contended for together, the reason of it. 

Although our present inquiry be merely after one part of 
instituted worship under the gospel, and the due perform- 
ance of it according to the mind of God ; yet there being a 
communication of some light to be obtained from the turn- 
ing over of that worship from the Mosaical, to the care and 
practice of the evangelical church, we shall look a little back 
unto it as therein stated, hoping thereby to make way for 
our clearer progress. What was the state of the church of 
God amongst the Jews as to instituted worship, when our 
blessed Saviour came to make the last and perfect discovery 
of his mind and will, is manifest both from the appointment 
of that worship in the law of Moses, and the practice of it 
remarked in the gospel. That the rites and ordinances of 
the worship in the church observed, were from the original 
in their nature carnal, and for the number many, on both ac- 
counts burdensome and grievous to the worshippers, the Scrip- 
ture frequently declares. Howbeit, the teachers and rulers 
of the church being grown wholly carnal in their spirits, and 
placing their only glory in their yoke, not being able to see 


to the end of the things that were to be done away, had in- 
creased those institutions both in number and weight, with 
sundry inventions of their own, which by their authority 
they made necessary to be observed by their disciples. In 
an equal practice of these divine institutions and human 
inventions, did our Lord Jesus Christ find the generality of 
the church at his coming in the flesh. The former being 
to continue in force until the time of reformation, at his re- 
surrection from the dead, should come ; both by his practice, 
and his teaching as a minister of circumcision, he confirmed 
and pressed frequently on the consciences of men, from the 
authority of the law-maker. The latter he utterly rejected, 
as introduced in a high derogation from the perfection of 
the law, and the honour of him whose prerogative it is to 
be the sole lawgiver of his church ; the only fountain and 
disposer of his own worship. And this was the first dawn- 
ing of liberty, that with the rising of this day-star did ap- 
pear to the burdened and languishing consciences of men. 
He freed them by his teaching from the bondage of phari- 
saical arbitrary impositions, delivering their consciences 
from subjection to any thing in the worship of God, but his 
own immediate authority. For it may not be supposed that 
when he recommended unto his hearers an attendance 
unto the teaching of the scribes and Pharisees, with an in- 
junction to obey their directions, that he intended aught 
but those commands which they gave from him, and ac- 
cording to his mind, whose fear they did outwardly profess ; 
seeing that both in general and particular he did himself con- 
demn their traditions and impositions, giving out a rule of 
liberty from them unto others in his own constant practice. 
Yea, and whereas he would do civil things in their own na- 
ture indifferent, whereunto he was by no righteous law 
obliged, to avoid the offence of any which he saw might fol- 
low. Matt. xvii. 24. yet would he not practise or give coun- 
tenance unto, nay, nor abstain from condemning of any of 
their ecclesiastical self-invented observances, though he saw 
them offended and scandalized at him, and was by others 
informed no less, chap. xv. 12 — 14. confirming his practice 
with that standing rule concerning all things relating to the 
worship of God, ' every plant which my heavenly Father 
hath not planted shall be rooted up.' But he is yet farther 


to carry on the work of giving liberty to all the disci- 
ples, that he might take them into a subjection to himself, 
and his own authority only. The Aaronical priesthood being 
the hinge on which the whole ceremonial worship turned, so 
that upon a change thereof, the obligation of the law unto 
that worship, or any part of it, was necessarily to cease, our 
blessed Saviour in his death and oblation entering upon the 
oflSce, and actually discharging the great duty of his priest- 
hood, did virtually put an end to the whole obligation of the 
first institution of Mosaical worship. In his death was the 
procurement of the liberty of his disciples completely finished 
as unto conscience, the supposed obligation of men's tra- 
ditions, and the real obligation of Mosaical institutions, 
being by him (the first as a prophet in his teaching, the last 
as a priest in his offering) dissolved and taken away. From 
that day all the disciples of Christ were taken under his im- 
mediate lordship, and made free to the end of the world 
from all obligations in conscience unto any thing in the 
worship of God, but what is of his own institution and 

This dissolution of the obligation of * the law of com- 
mandments contained in ordinances,' being declared by his 
apostles and disciples, became a matter of great difference 
and debate amongst the Jews to whom the gospel was first 
preached. Those who before had slain him in pursuit of 
their own charge, that he would bring in such an alteration 
in the worship of God as was now divulged, were many of 
them exceedingly enraged at this new doctrine ; and had 
their prejudices against him and his way much increased, 
hating indeed the light, because their deeds were evil ; these 
being obstinately bent to seek after righteousness (as it 
were, at least) by the works of the law, contended for their 
ceremonial works as one of the best stakes in their hedge, in 
whose observance they placed their chiefest confidence of 
their acceptance with God. But this is not all ; many, who 
falling under powerful convictions of his doctrine and mi- 
racles believed on him, did yet pertinaciously adhere to their 
old ceremonial worship ; partly for want of clear light and 
understanding in the doctrine of the person and office of the 
Messiah, partly through the power of those unspeakable 
prejudices which influenced their minds in reference to those 


rites, which being from of old observed by their forefathers, 
derived their original from God himself (much the most 
noble pleas and pretences, that ever any of the sons of men 
had to insist upon, for a subjection to such a yoke, as indeed 
had lost all power to oblige them) ; they were very desirous 
lo mix the observance of them with obedience unto those 
institutions which they through the Lord Jesus had super- 
added to them. 

Things being thus stated amongst the Jews, God having 
a great work to accomplish among and upon them in a short 
time, would not have the effect of it turn upon this hinge 
merely, and therefore in his infinite wisdom and condescen- 
tion waved the whole contest for a season. For whereas 
within the space of forty years or thereabout he was to call 
and gather out from the body, by the preaching of the gospel, 
his remnant according to the election of grace, and to leave 
the rest inexcusable, thereby visibly glorifying his justice 
in their temporal and eternal ruin; it pleased him in a way 
of connivance and forbearance, to continue unto that people 
an allowance of the observation of their old worship, until 
the time appointed for its utter removal and actual casting 
away should come. Though the original obligation in con- 
science from the first institution of their ceremonies was 
taken away, yet hence arose a new necessity of the obser- 
vation of them, even in them who were acquainted with the 
dissolution of that obligation ; namely, from the offence and 
scandal of them to whom their observance was providentially 
indulged. On this account the disciples of Christ (and the 
apostles themselves) continued in a promiscuous observa- 
tion ofMosaical institutions, with the rest of the body of 
that people, until the oppointed season of the utter rejection 
and destruction of the apostate churc'hes were come. Hence 
many of the ancients afiirm that James the less, living at 
Jerusalem in great reputation with all the people for his 
sanctity and righteousness, was not to the very time of his 
martyrdom known to be a Christian ; which had been utterly 
impossible, had he totally abstained from communion with 
them in legal worship. Neither had that old controversy 
about the feast of the passover any other rise or spring than 
the mistake of some who thought John had observed it as a 
Christian, who kept it only as a Judaical feast among the 


Jews ; whence the tradition ran strong that he observed it 
with them, on the fourteenth day of the month, which precise 
time others turning it into a Christian observation, thought 
meet to lay aside. 

Things being thus stated in the connivance and forbear- 
ance of God among the Jews, some of them not contented to 
use the indulgence granted to them in mere patience for the 
ends before mentioned, began sedulously to urge the Mosaical 
rites upon all the Gentiles that were turned unto God ; so 
making upon the matter the preaching of the gospel to be 
but a new way of proselyting men unto Judaism. For the 
most part it appears, that it was not any mistake or unac- 
quaintedness with the liberty brought in by Christ, that made 
them engage in this quarrel for Moses, but that indeed being 
themselves carnal, and, notwithstanding the outward name of 
Christ, seeking yet for righteousness by the law, they 
esteemed the observation of the ceremonies indispensably 
necessary unto salvation. This gave occasion unto Paul, 
unto whom the apostleship of the Gentiles was in a special 
manner committed, to lay open the whole mystery of that 
liberty given by Christ to his disciples from the law of 
Moses, as also the pernicious effects which its observance 
would produce upon those principles which were pressed by 
the Judaical zealots. Passing by the peculiar dispensation 
of God towards the whole nation of the Jews, wherein the 
Gentile believers were not concerned ; as also that determina- 
tion of the case of scandal made at Jerusalem, Acts xv. and 
the temporary rule of condescension as to the abridgment of 
liberty in some particulars agreed unto thereupon ; he fully 
declares, that the time of the appointment was come, that 
there was no more power in the law of their institutions to 
bind the consciences of men, and that it was not in the 
power of all the men in the world to impose th^ observation 
of them, or any like unto them, upon any one though the 
meanest of the disciples of Jesus Christ. The mind of Christ 
in this matter being fully made known, and the liberty of his 
disciples vindicated, various effects in the minds of men 
ensued thereupon. Those who were in their inward princi- 
ple themselves carnal, notwithstanding their outward pro- 
fession of the gospel, delighting in and resting on an out- 
ward ceremonious worship, continued to oppose him with 

VOL. XIX. 2 w 


violence and fury. Those who with the profession of the 
Lord Christ had also received the Spirit of Christ, and 
were by him instructed as in the perfection of righteousness, 
so in the beauty^and excellency of the worship of the gospel, 
rejoiced greatly in the grace and privilege of the purchased 
liberty. After many contests this controversy was buried in 
the ruins of the city and temple, when the main occasion of 
it was utterly taken away. 

By these degrees were the disciples of Christ put into a 
complete actual possession of that liberty which he had 
preached to them, and purchased for them ; being first de- 
livered from any conscientious subjection to the institutions 
of men, and then to the temporary institutions of God which 
concerned them not, they were left in a dependence on, and 
subjection unto himself alone, as to all things concerning 
worship; in which state he will assuredly continue and pre- 
serve them to the end of the world, under the guidance and 
direction of those rules for the use of their liberty which he 
has left them in his word. But yet the principle of the differ- 
ence before mentioned, which is fixed in the minds of men 
by nature, did not die together with the controversy that 
mainly issued from it. We may trace it effectually exerting 
itself in succeeding ages. As ignorance of the righteous- 
ness of God, with a desire to establish their own, did in any 
take place, so also did endeavours after an outward cere- 
monious worship ; for these things do mutually further and 
strengthen each other : and commonly proportionable unto 
men's darkness in the mystery of the righteousness of God 
in Christ, is their zeal for a worldly sanctuary and carnal or- 
dinances. And such hath been the force and efficacy of 
these combined principles in the minds of carnal men, that 
under the profession of Christianity, they reduced things (in 
the papacy) to the very state and condition, whei'ein they 
were in Judaism at the tiiiie of reformation ; the main prin- 
ciple in the one, and the other church in the apostacy, being 
legal righteousness, and an insupportable yoke of ceremo- 
nious observances in the worship of God. And generally in 
others the same principles of legal righteousness and a cere- 
monious worship have their pre valency in a just proportion, 
the latter being regulated by the former; and where by any 
means the former is everted, the latter for the most part falls 


of its own accord ; yea, though riveted in the minds of men 
by other prejudices also. Hence when the soul of a sinner 
is effectually wrought upon by the preaching of the gospel, 
to renounce himself and his own righteousness, and being 
truly humbled for sin, to receive the Lord Christ by faith, as ^ 
'made imtohimof God, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, 
and redemption,' there needs for the most part little arguing 
to dissuade him from resting in, or laying wait upon an out- 
side pompous worship ; but he is immediately sensible of a 
delivery from its yoke, which he freely embraceth. And the 
reason hereof is, because that good Spirit by whom he is 
enabled to believe and receive the Lord Jesus Christ, gives 
him also an acquaintance with, and an experience of, the 
excellency, glory, and beauty of that spiritual communion 
with God in Christ, whereunto believers are called in the 
gospel, which discovers the emptiness and uselessness of all, 
which before perhaps he admired and delighted in : for 
* where the Spirit of Christ is, there is liberty.' And these 
things of seeking a righteousness in Christ alone, and de- 
lighting in spiritual communion with God, exercising itself 
only in the ways of his own appointment, do inseparably 
proceed from the same Spirit of Christ; as those before men- 
tioned from the same principle of self and flesh. 


The disciples of Christ taken into his own disposal. General things to be 
observed about gospel institutions. Their number small. Excess of merCs 
inventions. Things instituted brought into a religious relation by the 
authority of Christ. That authority is none other. Suitableness to the 
matter of institutions to be designed to their jnoper significancy. That 
discoverable only by infinite wisdom. Abilities given by Christ for the 
administration of all his institutions. The way whereby it was done, Epii. 
ix. 7, 8. Several postulata laid down. The sum of the whole state of our 
question in general. 

We have brought unto, and left the disciples of Jesus Christ 
in the hand and sole disposal of him, their Lord and Master; 
as to all things which concern the worship of God, and how 
he hath disposed of them, we are in the next place to con- 

2 D 2 


sider. Now he being the Head, Lord, and only Lawgiver of 
his church, coming from the bosom of his Father to make 
the last revelation of his mind and will, was to determine 
and appoint that worship of God in and by himself, which 
was to continue to the end of the world. It belongeth not 
unto our purpose to consider distinctly and apart all the 
several institutions which by him were ordained. We shall 
only observe some things concerning them in general, that 
will be of use in our progress, and so proceed to the consi- 
deration of that particular about which we are in disquisi- 
tion of his mind and will. The worship of God is either 
moral and internal, or external and of sovereign or arbitrary 
institution. The former we do not now consider, nor was the 
ancient original fundamental obligation unto it altered or 
dissolved in the least by the Lord Christ. It was as unto 
superadded institutions of outward worship, which have their 
foundation and reason in sovereign will and pleasure, that he 
took his disciples into his own disposal, discharging them 
from all obligations to aught else whatever, but only what he 
should appoint. Concerning these, some few considerations 
will lead us to what in this discourse we principally intend. 
And the first is, That they were few, and easy to be observed. 
It was his will and pleasure, that the faith and love of his 
disciples should, in some few instances, be exercised in'a wil- 
ling ready subjection to the impositions of his wisdom and 
authority. And their service herein he doth fully recom- 
pense, by rendering those his institutions blessedly useful 
to their spiritual advantage. But he would not burden them 
with observances, either for nature or number, like or com- 
parable unto them from which he purchased them liberty. 
And herein hath the practice of succeeding ages put an ex- 
cellent lustre upon his love and tenderness. For whereas he 
is the Lord of his church, to whom the consciences of his 
disciples are in an unquestionable subjection ; and who can 
give power and efficacy to his institutions to make them 
useful to their souls? Yet when some of their fellow-servants 
came, I know not how, to apprehend themselves enabled to 
impose arbitrarily their appointments, for reason seeming 
good to their wisdom, they might have been counted mode- 
rate, if they had not given above ten commandments for his 
one. Bellarmine tells us, indeed, that the laws and institu- 


tions of the church that absolutely bind all Christians, so 
that they sin if they omit their observation, are upon the 
matter but four; namely, to observe the fasts of Lent and 
Ember-weeks, to keep the holydays, confession once a year, 
and to communicate at Easter; DeRom. Pontif. lib. 4. cap. 18* 
But whereas they double the number of the sacred cere- 
monies instituted by Christ, and have every one of them a 
greater number of subservient observations attending on 
them ; so he must be a stranger to their councils, canon- 
laws, and practices, that can believe his insinuation. 

Again, as the institutions and ordinances of Christ in the 
outward worship of God, whose sole foundation was in his 
will and pleasure, were few and easy to be observed, being 
brought into a relation of worship unto God by virtue of his 
institution and command, without which no one thing in 
their kind can do so more than another; so they were, for 
the matter of them, such as he knew had an aptness to be 
serviceable unto the significancy whereunto they were ap- 
pointed by him, which nothing but infinite wisdom can 
judge of. And this eternally severs them from all things of 
men's inventions, either to the same purpose, or in the same 
way to be used. For as whatever they shall appoint in the 
worship of God can have no significancy at all, as unto any 
spiritual end, for want of a Christ-like authority in their in- 
stitution, which alone can add that significancy to them, 
which in themselves without such an appointment they have 
not ; so they themselves want wisdom to choose the things 
which have any fitness or aptitude to be used for that end, if 
the authority were sufficient to introduce with them such a 
significancy. There is nothing they can in this kind fix upon, 
but as good reason as any they are able to tender for the 
proof of their expedience unto the end proposed to them, 
will be produced to prove them meet for a quite other sig- 
nification and purpose, and the contrary unto them, at least 
fliings diverse to them, be asserted with as fair pretences, as 
meet to be used in their place and room. 

But that which we principally shall observe \u and about 
Christ's institutions of gospel worship, is the pjvivision that 
he made for the administration of it acceptably unto God. 
It is of the instituted worship of his public assemblies that 
we treat. The chiefest acts and parts thereof may be re- 


ferred to these three heads, preaching of the word, admi- 
nistration of the sacraments, and the exercise of discipline; 
all to be performed with prayer and thanksgiving. The rule 
for the administration of these things, so far as they are purely 
of his institution, he gave his disciples in his appointment 
of them. Persons also he designed to the regular adminis- 
tration of these his holy things in the assemblies of his saints ; 
namely, pastors and teachers to endure to the end of the 
world, after those of an extraordinary employment under him 
were to cease. It remaineth then to consider, how the persons 
appointed by him unto the administration of these holy 
things in his assemblies, and so to the discharge of the whole 
public worship of God, should be enabled thereunto ; so as 
the end by him aimed at of the edification of his disciples, 
and the glory of God, might be attained. Two ways there 
are whereby this may be done. First, By such spiritual 
abilities for the discharge and performance of this whole 
work as will answer the mind of Ghrist therein, and so serve 
for the end proposed. Secondly, By the prescription of a 
form of words whose reading and pronunciation in these ad- 
ministrations should outwardly serve as to all the ends of 
the prayer and thanksgiving required in them, which they 
do contain. It is evident that our Saviour fixed on the former 
way ; what he hath done as to the latter, or what his mind 
is concerning it, we shall afterward inquire. 

For the first, as in many other places so signally in one 
the apostle acquaints us with the course he has taken, and 
the provision that he hath made; namely, Eph. iv. 7 — 16. 
* Unto every of us is given grace, according to the measure of 
the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith When he ascended 
up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 
And he gave some apostles, some prophets, and some evan- 
gelists, and some pastors and teachers for the perfecting of 
the saints ,for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of 
the body of Christ, till we all come in the unity of the faith, 
and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, 
unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ,' &,c. 
The thing ^imed at is the bringing of all the saints and dis- 
ciples of Christ, the whole church, to that measure and per- 
fection of grace which Christ hath assigned to them in this 
world; that they may be meet for himself to receive in glory. 


The means whereby this is t^ be clone and effected, is the 
faithful, regular, and effectual discharge of the work of the 
ministry, unto which the administration of all his ordinances 
and institutions do confessedly belong. That this work may 
be discharged in an orderly manner to the end mentioned, 
he has granted unto his church the offices mentioned, to be 
executed by persons variously called thereunto, according to 
his mind and will. 

The only inquiry remaining is, how these persons shall 
be enabled for the discharge of their office, and so accom- 
plishment of the work of the ministry. This he declares is 
by the communication of grace and spiritual gifts from 
heaven unto them by Christ himself. Here lieth the spring 
of all that foUoweth; the care hereof he hath taken upon 
himself unto the end of the world. He that enabled the 
shoulders of the Levites to bear the ark of old, and their 
arms to slay the sacrifices, without which natural strength 
those carnal ordinances could not have been observed (nor 
was the ark to be carried for a supply of defect of ability in 
the Levites), hath upon their removal, and the institution of 
the spiritual worship of the gospel, undertaken to supply 
the administrators of it with spiritual strength and abilities 
for the discharge of their work, allowing them supply of the 
defect of that which he hath taken upon himself to perform. 
I suppose then that these ensuing will seem but reasonable 

1. That the means which Jesus Christ hath appointed for 
the attaining of any end, is every way sufficient for that pur- 
pose whereunto it is so appointed : his wisdom exacts our 
consent to this proposition. 

2. That what he hath taken upon himself to perform 
unto the end of the world, and promised so to do, that he will 
accomplish accordingly : here his faithfulness requires our 

3. That the communication of spiritual gifts and graces 
to the ministers of the gospel, is the provision that Christ 
hath made for the right discharge of the work of their mi- 
nistry, unto the edification of his body. This lies plain in 
the text. 

4. That the exercise and use of those gifts in all those 
administrations for which they are bestowed, are expected 


and required by him. The nature of the thing itself, with 
innumerable testimonies, confirm this truth also. 

5. That it is derogatory to the glory, honour, and faith- 
fulness of the Lord Jesus Christ to affirm that he ceaseth to 
bestow gifts for the work of the ministry, whilst he con- 
tinueth and requireth the exercise and discharge of that 
work. What hath befallen men, or doth yet befall them 
through the wretched sloth, darkness, and unbelief, which 
their wilful neglect of dependence on him, or of stirring up 
or improving of what they do receive from him, and the mis- 
chiefs that have accrued to the church by the intrusion of 
such persons into the place and office of the ministry as 
were never called nor appointed by him thereunto, are not 
to be imputed unto any failing on his part, in his promise of 
dispensing the gifts mentioned to the end of the world. Of 
which several positions we shall have some use in our farther 

Our Lord Jesus Christ, then, having delivered his disciples 
from the yoke of Mosaical institutions which lay upon them 
from of old, as also from being entangled in their consciences 
by or from any inventions of men imposed on them, giving 
them rules for the practice of the liberty whereunto by him 
they were vindicated, taking them for the future into his 
own sole disposal in all things concerning the worship of 
God, he appoints in his sovereign authority both the ordi- 
nances which he will have alone observed in his church, 
and the persons by whom they are to be administered, fur- 
nishing them with spiritual abilities to that end and purpose, 
promising his presence with them to the end of the world, 
commands them to set such in his name and strength in the 
way and unto the work that he hath allotted to them. 

That now which on this foundation we are farther to in- 
quire into is, whether over and above what we have recounted, 
our Saviour hath appointed, or by any ways given allowance 
unto, the framing of a stinted form of prayers and praises to 
be read and used by the administrators of his ordinances in 
their administration of them; or whether the prescription 
and imposing of such a form or liturgy upon those who 
minister in the .church, in the name and authority of Christ, 
be not contrary to his mind, and cross to his whole design, 
for perpetuating of his institutions to the end of the world. 


in due order and manner. And this we shall do ; and withal 
discover the rise and progress which such liturgies have had 
and made in the church of God. 


Of the Lord's Prayer, and what may he concludedfrom thence, as to the in- 
vention and imposition of liturgies in the public worship of God. The 
liberty whereunto Christ vindicated, and wherein he left his disciples. 

The first plea used to give countenance unto the composing 
and imposing of liturgies, is taken from that act of our Saviour 
himself, who, upon the request of his disciples, composed for 
them a form of prayer, which being recorded in the gospel, 
is said to have the force of an institution, rendering the ob- 
servation or use of that form a necessary duty unto all be- 
lievers to the end of the world. And this plea is strengthened 
by a discovery which some learned men say they have made ; 
namely, that our blessed Saviour composed this form which 
he delivered to his disciples, out of such other forms as were 
then in ordinary use among the Jews; whereby, they say, 
he confirmed that practice of prescribing forms of prayer 
among them; and recommended the same course of pro- 
ceeding, by his so doing, unto his disciples. Now though it 
be very hard to discover how, upon a supposition that all 
which is thus suggested is the very truth, any thing can be 
hence concluded to the justification of the practice of im- 
posing liturgies, now inquired into; yet that there may be 
no pretence left unto a plea, though never so weak and 
infirm, of such an extract as this lays claim unto, it will be 
necessary to consider the severals of it. It is generally ap- 
prehended, that our Saviour in his prescription of that form 
of prayer unto his disciples did aim at two things. 1. That 
they might have a summary symbol of all the most ex- 
cellent things they were to ask of God in his name, and so 
a rule of squaring all their desires and supplications by. 
This end all universally concur in ; and therefore Matthew 
considering the doctrinal nature of it, gives it a place in the 
first recorded sermon of our Saviour, by way of anticipation. 


and mentions it not when he comes to the time wherein it 
was really first delivered by him. 2. For their benefit and 
advantage, togethei with other intercessions that they should 
also use the repetition of those words, as a prescript form 
wherein he had comprised the matter of their requests and 
petitions. About this latter, all men are not agreed in their 
judgments, whether indeed our Saviour had this aim in it 
or no. Many learned men suppose that it was a supply of 
a rule and standard of things to be prayed for, without pre- 
scribing to them the use or rehearsal of that form of words, 
that he aimed at. Of this number are Musculus, Grotius, 
and Cornelius d Lapide, with many others ; but it may suf- 
fice to intimate that some of all sorts are so minded. But 
we shall not, in the case in hand, make use of any principle 
so far obnoxious unto common prejudice, as experience 
proves that opinion of those learned men to be. Let it 
therefore be taken for granted, that our Saviour did com- 
mand that form to be repeated by his disciples; and let us 
then consider what will regularly ensue thereupon. Our 
Saviour at that time was minister of the circumcision, and 
taught the doctrine of the gospel under and with the obser- 
vation of all the worship of the Judaical church. He was not 
yet glorified, and so the Spirit was not as yet given ; I mean 
that Spirit which he promised unto his disciples, to enable 
them to perform all the worship of God by him required at 
their hands, whereof we have before spoken. That then 
which the Lord Jesus prescribed unto his disciples, for their 
present practice in the worship of God, seems to have be- 
longed unto the economy of the Old Testament. Now to 
aro-ue from the prescription of, and outward helps for the 
performance of the worship of God under the Old Testament, 
unto a necessity of the like or the same under the New, is 
upon the matter to deny that Christ is ascended on high, 
and to have given spiritual gifts unto men, eminently distinct 
from, and above those given out by him under the Judaical 
pedao-ogy. However their boldness seems unwarrantable, if 
not intolerable, who to serve their own ends upon this pre- 
scription of his, do affirm, that our Lord Jesus composed this 
form out of such as were then in common use among the 
Jews. For as the proof of their assertion which they insist on, 
namely, the finding of some of the things expressed in it, or 


petitions of it, in the writings of the Jews, the eldest whereof 
is some hundreds of years younger than this prayer itself, is 
most weak and contemptible ; so the affirmation itself is ex- 
ceeding derogatory to the glory and honour of his wisdom, 
assigning unto him a work so unnecessary and trivial, as 
would scarce become a man of ordinary prudence and autho- 
rity. But yet to carry on the work in hand, let it be sup- 
posed, that our Saviour did command that form of prayer out 
of such as were then customarily used among the Jews, 
which is false, and asserted Without any colour of proof; 
also that he prescribed it as a form to be repeated by his 
disciples, which we have shewn many very eminently learned 
men to deny ; and that though he prescribed it as a minister 
to the Judaical church, and to his disciples whilst members 
of that church, under the economy of the Old Testament, 
not having as yet received the Spirit and gifts of the New, 
yet that he did it for the use and observance of his disciples 
to the end of the world, and that not as to the objective re- 
gulation of their prayers, but as to the repetition of the 
words 5 yet it doth not appear how from all these concessions 
any argument can be drawn to the composition and impo- 
sition of liturgies, whose rise and nature we are inquiring 
after. For it is certain, that our Saviour gives this direc- 
tion for the end which he intends in it, not primarily as to the 
public worship of the assemblies of his disciples, but as to 
the guidance of every individual saint in his private devotion 5 
Matt. vi. 6. 8. Now from a direction given unto private 
persons, as to their private deportment in the discharge of 
any religious duty, to argue unto aprescriptign of the whole 
worship of God in public assemblies, is not safe. But that 
we may hear the argument drawn from this act of our 
Saviour speak out all that it hath to offer, let us add this 
also to the forementioned presumptions, that our Saviour 
hath appointed and ordained, that in the assemblies of his 
disciples in his worship by him required, they who ad- 
minister in his name in and to the church, should repeat the 
words of this prayer, though not peculiarly suited to any 
one of his institutions ; what will thence be construed to 
ensue? why then it is supposed that this will follow; That 
it is not only lawful, but the duty of some men to compose 
other forms, a hundred times as many, suited in their judg- 


mentto the due administration of all ordinances of worship 
in particular, imposing them on the evangelical adminis-^ 
trators of those ordinances, to be read by them, with a severe 
interdiction of the use of any other prayers in those admi- 
nistrations. Bellarmine, de Pont. Rom. lib. 4. cap. 16' ar- 
gues for the necessity of the observation of rites indifferent, 
when once commanded by the church, from the necessity of 
the observation of baptism, in itself a thing indifferent, after 
it was commanded by Christ. Some think this is not to 
dispute but blaspheme. Nor is the inference before men- 
tioned of any other complexion. When it shall be made to 
appear, that whatever it was lawful for the Lord Christ to do, 
and to prescribe to his church and disciples in reference to 
the worship of God, the same, or any thing of the like nature, 
it is lawful for men to do, under the pretence of their being 
invested with the authority of the church, or any else what- 
ever, then some colour will be given to this argument; 
which being raised on the tottering suppositions before 
mentioned, ends in that which seems to deserve a harder 
name than at present we shall affix unto it. 

And this is the state and condition wherein the disciples 
of Christ were left by himself, without the least intimation 
of any other impositions in the worship of God to be laid 
upon them- Nor in any thing, or by any act of his, did he 
intimate the necessity or lawful use of any such liturgies as 
these which we are inquiring after, or prescribed and li- 
mited forms of prayers or praises to be used or read in the 
public administration of evangelical institutions, but indeed 
made provision rendering all such prescriptions useless ; 
and, because they cannot be made use of, but by rejection 
of the provision by himself made, unlawful. 



Of the worship of God hy the apostles. No liturgies used by them, nor in 
the churches of their plantation. Argument from their practice. Reasons 
pleaded for the use of liturgies. Disabilities of church officers for gospel 
administration to the edification of tlie church. Uniformity in the wor- 
ship of God. The practice of the apostles as to those pretences considered. 
Of other impositions. The rule given by the apostles. Of the liturgies 
falsely ascribed unto some of them. 

Our next inquiry is after the practice of the apostles, the 
best interpretation of the mind of the Lord Jesus Christ, as 
to the 'agenda' of the church, or what he would have done 
therein in the worship of God, and how. That one end of 
their being furnished with the Spirit of Christ, was the right 
and due administration of his ordinances in his church, to 
the edification of his disciples, I suppose will not be denied. 
By virtue of his assistance, and the gifts from him received, 
they discharge this part of their duty accordingly. That 
they used any liturgies in the church- worship wherein they 
went at any time before the disciples, cannot with any 
colour of proof be pretended. The Scripture gives us an 
account of many of their prayers, of none that were a repeti- 
tion of a form. If any such were used by them, how came the 
memory of them utterly to perish from off the earth ? Some 
indeed of the ancients say, that they used the Lord's Prayer 
in the consecration of the Eucharist, which by others is denied, 
being in itself improbable, and the testimonies weak that 
are produced in behalf of its assertion. But as hath been 
shewed, the use of that prayer no way concerns the present 
question. There are no more Christ's but one; to us 
there is one Lord Jesus Christ. For him who hath aflSrmed, 
that it is likely they used forms of prayer and homilies com- 
posed for them by Saint Peter, I suppose he must fetch his 
evidence out of the same authors that he used who affirmed 
that Jesus Christhimself went up and down singing mass. 

The practice then of the apostles is not, as far as I know, 
by any sober and learned persons controverted in this matter. 
They administered the holy things of the gospel, by virtue 
of the holy gifts they had received. But they were apostles. 


The inquiry is, what directions and commands they gave 
unto the bishops or pastors of the churches which they 
planted, that they might know how to behave themselves 
in the house and worship of God. Whatever they might do 
in the discharge of their duty by virtue of their extraordinary 
gifts, yet the case might be much otherwise with them, who 
were intrusted with ordinary ministerial gifts only. But we 
do not find that they made any distinction in this matter 
between themselves and others. For as the care of all the 
churches was on them, the duties whereof they were to dis- 
charge by virtue of the gifts they had received, according 
to their commission empowering them thereunto, so to the 
bishops of particular churches, they gave charge to attend 
unto the administration of the holy things in them, by virtue 
of the gifts they had received to that purpose, according to 
the limits of their commission. And upon a supposition 
that the apostles were enabled to discharge all gospel ad- 
ministrations to the edification of the church, by virtue of 
the gifts they had received, which tliose who were to come 
after them in the performance of the same duties, should 
not be enabled unto, it cannot be imagined but that they 
would have provided a supply for that want and defect 
themselves ; and not have left the church halt and maimed 
to the cure of those men, whose weakness and unfitness for 
the duty was its disease. So then neither did the apostles 
of our Lord Jesus Christ use any liturgies, in the sense 
spoken of, in their administration of the worship instituted 
by him in his church, nor did they prescribe or command 
any such to the churches, or their officers that were planted 
in them ; nor by any thing intimate the usefulness of any 
such liturgy, or form of public worship, as after ageS found 
out and used. 

Thus far then is the liberty given by Christ unto his church 
preserved entire, and the request seems not immodest that 
is made for the continuance of it. When men cry to God 
for the liberty in his worship, which was left unto them by 
Christ and his apostles, he will undoubtedly hear, though 
their fellow-servants should be deaf to the like requests 
made unto them. And truly they must have a great con- 
fidence in their own wisdom and sufficiency, who will under- 
take to appoint and impose on others the observation of 


things in the worship of God, which neither our Lord Jesus 
nor his apostles did appoint or impose. 

Two things are principally pretended as grounds of the 
imposition of public liturgies. First, The disability of the 
present ministers of the churches to celebrate and administer 
the ordinances of the gospel to the honour of God, and edifi- 
cation of the church, without the use of them. Secondly, 
The great importance of uniformity in the worship of God, 
not possibly to be attained, but by virtue of this expedient. 
I desire to know, whether these arguments did occur to the 
consideration of the apostles or no. If they shall say they did, 
I desire to know why they did not make upon them the pro- 
vision now judged necessary, and whether those that so do, 
do not therein prefer their wisdom and care for the churches 
of God, unto the wisdom and care of the apostles. If it shall 
be said, that the bishops or pastors of the churches, in their 
days, had abilities for the discharge of the whole work of the 
ministry without this relief, so that the apostles had no need 
to make any such supply ; I desire to know from whom they 
had these abilities. If it be said that they had them from 
Jesus Christ, I then shall yet also farther ask, whether ordi- 
nary bishops or pastors had any other gifts from Jesus Christ, 
but what he promised to bestow on ordinary bishops and 
pastors of his churches. It seems to me that he bestowed 
no more upon them than he promised to bestow, viz. gifts 
for the work of the ministry, with an especial regard to that 
outward condition of his churches, whereunto by his pro- 
vidence they were disposed. It will then in the next place 
be inquired, whether the Lord Jesus Christ promised to give 
any other gifts to the ordinary bishops and pastors of the 
churches in those days, than he promised to all such officers 
in his church to the end of the world. If this appear to be 
the state of things, that the promise by virtue whereof they 
received those gifts and abilities for the discharge of their 
duty, which rendered the prescription of liturgies needless, 
as to the first ground of them pretended, did and do equally 
respect all that succeed in the same office and duty, ac- 
cording to the mind and will of Christ unto the end of the 
world, is not the pretended necessity derogatory to the glory 
of the faithfulness of Jesus Christ, as plainly intimating that 
he doth not continue to fulfil his promise; or at least a full 


declaration of men's unbelief, that they do not, nor will 
depend upon him for the accomplishment of the same. Thus 
the first pretended ground of the necessary use of such li- 
turgies as we speak of endeth in a reflection upon the 
honour of our Lord Jesus, or a publication of their own un- 
belief and apostacy. 

The second is like the former. It will not, I suppose, be 
denied but that the apostles took care for the unity of the 
churches, and for that uniformity in the worship of God 
which is acceptable unto him. Evidence lies so full unto 
it in their writings that it cannot be denied. Great weight 
every where they lay upon this duty of the churches, and 
propose unto them the ways whereby it may be done, with 
multiplied commands and exhortations to attend unto them. 
Whence is it then that they never once intimate any thing 
of that which is now pressed, as the only medium for the at- 
taining of that end? It cannot but seem strange to some, 
that this should be the only expedient for that uniformity 
which is acceptable unto God, and yet not once come into 
the thoughts of any of the apostles of Christ, so as to be 
commended unto the churches for that purpose. Considering 
the many treacheries that are in the hearts of men, and the 
powerful workings of unbelief under the most solepan out- 
ward professions, I fear it will appear at the last day, that 
the true rise of most of the impositions on the consciences 
of men, which on various pretences are practised in the 
world, is from the secret thoughts that either Christ doth 
not take that care of his churches, nor make that supply 
unto them of spiritual abilities for the work of the ministry, 
which he did in the days of old ; or that men are now grown 
wiser than the apostles, and those who succeeded them in 
the administration of the things of God, and so are able to 
make better provision for attaining the end they professedly 
aimed at, than they knew how to do. 

The heathen, 1 confess, thought forms of prayer to be a 
means of preserving a uniformity in their religious worship. 
Hence they had a solemn form for every public action ; yea, 
for those orations which the magistrates had unto the people. 
So Livius informs us, that when Sp. Posthumius the consul 
was to speak unto the people about the wickednesses that were 
perpetrated by many under the pretence of some Baccha- 


nalian superstition, he gave them an account of the usefuhiess 
of the 'solenne precationis carmen,' which he had recited 
to keep out, and prevent such differences about their reli- 
gion as were then fallen out, lib. 39. * Concione advocata cum 
solenne precationis carmen, quod praefari priusquam populum 
alloquantur, magistratus solent, peregisset consul, ita ceepit. 
Nulli unquam concioni, Quirites, tam non solum apta, sed 
etiam necessaria haec solennis Deorum comprecatio fuit, quae 
nos admoneret, hos esse Deos quos colere veuerari, preca- 
rique majores vestri instituissent, non illos,' &,c. But I hope 
we shall not prefer their example and wisdom before that of 
our Lord Christ and his apostles. 

Were prejudices removed, and self-interests laid out of 
the way, a man would think there were not much more ne- 
cessity for the determination of this difference ; Christ and 
his apostles, with the apostolical churches, knew no such 
liturgies. At least it seems, as was said, not an unreasonable 
request, to ask humbly and peaceably at the hands of any of 
the^ons of men, that they would be pleased to allow unto 
ministers of the gospel that are sound in the faith, and known 
so to be, who will willingly submit the trial of their minis- 
terial abilities to the judgment of any who are taught of God, 
and enabled to discern of them aright, that liberty in the 
worship of God which was confessedly left unto them by 
Christ and his apostles. But the state of things is altered 
in the world. At a convention of the apostles and others, 
wherein the Holy Ghost did peculiarly preside, when the 
question about impositions was agitated, it was concluded 
that nothing should be imposed on the disciples but what 
was necessary for them to observe antecedently to any im- 
positions. Acts XV. 28. necessary though not in their own 
nature, yet in the posture of things in the churches, neces- 
sary to the avoidance of scandal, whereby the observation 
of that injunction was to be regulated. Nor was there 
among the things called necessary the imposition of any 
one thing positively to be practised by any of the disciples in 
the worship of God, but only an abridgement of their liberty 
in some few external things, to which it did really extend. 
But that spirit of wisdom, moderation, and tenderness 
whereby they were guided being rejected by men, they began 
to think that they might multiply impositions as to the 

VOL. XIX. 2 E 


positive practice of the disciples of Christ in the worship of 
God at their pleasure, so that they could pretend that they 
were indifferent in themselves before the imposition of them, 
which gives, as they say, a necessity to their observation ; 
which proceeding must be left to the judgment-seat of 
Jesus Christ; Matt. xxv. 45. 

It is not worth our stay to consider what is pretended 

concerning the antiquity of liturgies, from some yet extant 

that bear the names of some of the apostles or evangelists. 

There is one that is called by the name of James, printed in 

Greek and Latin; another ascribed unto Peter, published 

by Lindanus; one also to Matthew, called the Ethiopic; 

another to Mark, which are in the Bible P. P. And pains 

have been taken by Santesius, Pamelius, and others, to prove 

them genuine ; but so much in vain as certainly nothing 

could be more. Nor doth Baronius in their lives dare ascribe 

any such thing unto them,. We need not any longer stay to 

remove this rubbish out of our way. They must be strangers 

to the spirit, doctrine, and writings of the apostles, who 

can impose such trash upon them, as these liturgies are 

stuffed withal. Tlie common use of words in them not 

known in the ages of the apostles, nor of some of them 

ensuing ; the parts in them whose contrivers and framers are 

known to have lived many ages after ; the mentioning of 

such things in them, as were not once dreamed of in the 

days whereunto they pretend ; the remembrance of them in 

them as long before them deceased, who are suggested to be 

their authors ; the preferring of other liturgies before them 

when once liturgies came in use, with a neglect of them ; which 

[vi'ith] the utter silence of the first Christian writers, stories, 

counsels concerning them, do abundantly manifest that they 

are plainly suppositions, of a very late fraud and invention. 

Yea, we have testimonies clear enough against this pretence. 

In Gregor. lib. 7. Epist. 63. Alcuinus, Amatorius, Ra- 

banus, lib. P. P. tom. 10. with whom consent Walafridus, 

Strabo, Rupertus Titiensis, Berno, Radulphus Tangrensis, 

and generally all that have written any thing about liturgies 

in former days, many of whom shew how, when, and by whom 

the several parts of that public form which at length signally 

prevailed were invented and brought into use. 



The practice of the churches in the first three centuries as to forms of 
public worship. No set forms of liturgies used by them. The silence of 
the first writers concerning them. Some testimonies against them. 

It is not about stinted forms of prayei' in the worship and 
service of God, by those who of their own accord do make 
use of that kind of assistance, judging that course to be 
better than any thing they can do themselves in the dis- 
charge of the work of the ministry, but of the imposition of 
forms on others who desire * to stand fast in the liberty with 
which Christ hath made them free,' that we inquire. This 
freedom we have manifested to have been purchased for 
them by the Lord Jesus, and the use of it continued by the 
apostles in their own practice, and to the churches planted 
by themselves. And this will one day appear to have been 
a sufficient plea for the maintenance of that liberty to the 
end of the world. Now though what is purely matter of 
fact among the succeeding churches, be not so. far argu- 
mentative as to be insisted on as a rule exactly binding us 
to the imitation of it 5 yet it is deservedly worthy of great 
consideration, and not hastily to be rejected, unless it be 
discovered to have been diverse from the word whereunto 
we are bound in all things to attend. We shall therefore 
make some inquiry into the practice of those churches, as 
to this matter of prescribing of forms of prayer in public 
church administrations, so far as any thing thereof is by 
good antiquity transmitted unto us. 

Our first inquiry shall be into the three first centuries, 
wherein confessedly the streams of gospel institutions did 
run more clear and pure from human mixtures, than in those 
following, although few of the teachers that were of note do 
escape from animadversions from those that have come after 
them. It cannot be denied but that for the most part the 
churches and their guides within the space of the time 
limited, walked in the paths marked out for them by the 
apostles, and made conspicuous by the footsteps of the first 
churches planted by them. It doth not then appear, for 

2 E 2 


aught as I can yet discover, that there was any attempt to 
invent, frame, and compose any liturgies or prescribed forms 
of administering the ordinances of the gospel, exclusive to 
the discharge of that duty by virtue of spiritual gifts re- 
ceived from Jesus Christ, much less for an imposition of 
any such forms on the consciences and practice of all the 
ministers of the churches within the time mentioned : if any 
be contrary minded, it is incumbent on them to evince their 
assertion by some instances of unquestionable truth. As 
yet, that I know of, this is not performed by any. Baronius, 
ad An. Christi 58. num. 102 — 104, &.c. treating expressly of 
the public prayers of the ancient Christians, is wholly silent 
as to the use of any forms amongst them ; though he con- 
tends for their worshipping towards the east, which custom 
when it was introduced, is most uncertain; but most cer- 
tain that by many it was immoderately abused, who ex- 
pressly worshipped the rising sun ; of which abominable 
idolatry among Christians, Leo complains, Serm. 7. De 
Nativitate. Indeed the cardinal, ad An. 63. 12, 17. faintly 
contends, that some things in the liturgy of James were 
composed by him, because some passages and expressions 
of it are used by Cyril of Jerusalem in his Mistagog. 5. But 
whereas Cyril lived not within the time limited unto our 
inquiry, and those treatises are justly suspected to be sup- 
positions, nor is the testimony of that liturgy once cited or 
mentioned by him, the weakness of this insinuation is 
evident. Yea, it is most probable, that whosoever was the 
composer of that forged liturgy, he took those passages out 
of those reputed writings of Cyril, which were known in 
the church long before the name of the other was heard of. 
I know no ground of expectation of the performance of that, 
which as yet men have come short in, namely, in producing 
testimonies for the use of such liturgies as we are inquiring 
after, considering the diligence, ability, and interest of those 
who have been already engaged in that inquiry. Now the 
silence of those, who in all probability would have given an 
account of them, had any such been in use in their days, with 
the description they gave us of such a performance of the 
worship of God in the assemblies of Christians, as is incon- 
sistent with, and exclusive of, such prescribed forms as we 
treat of, is as full an evidence in this kind as our negative is 


capable of. In those golden fragments of antiquity which 
we have preserved by Eusebius, I mean the epistles of the 
church of Smyrna about the martyrdom of Polycarpus, and 
of the churches of Vienna and Lyons concerning their per- 
secution, we have not the least intimation of any such forms 
of service. In the epistle of Clemens, or the church of 
Rome to the church of Corinth, in those of Ignatius, in the 
writings of Justin Martyr, Clemens, Tertullian, Origen, 
Cyprian, and their contemporaries, there is the same silence 
concerning them. The pseudographical writings that 
bear the names of the men of those days, with any pretence 
of considerable antiquity, as the canons of the apostles, 
Qusestiones ad Orthodoxos, Dionysius Hierarch. Divin. 
Nom. will not help in the cause. For though in some of 
them there are prayers mentioned, and that for and about 
such things as were not ' in rerum natura,' in the days 
wherein those persons lived, unto whose names they are 
falsely ascribed; yet they speak nothing to the point of 
liturgies as stated in our inquiry. Something, I confess, may 
be found in some of the writings of some one or two of 
those of the third century, intimating the use of some par- 
ticular prayers in some churches. So Origen, Homil. 11. 
in Hierimea. ' Ubi frequenter in oratione dicimus, da omni- 
potens, da nobis partem cum prophetis, da cum apostolis 
Christi tui, tribue ut inveniamur ad vestigia unigeniti tui.' 
But whether he speaks of a form, or of the matter only of 
prayer, I know not. But such passages belong not unto 
our purpose. Those who deal expressly about the order, 
state, and condition of the churches, and the worship of 
God in them, their prayers and supplications knew nothing 
of prescribed liturgies ; yea, they affirm plainly that which 
is inconsistent with the use of them. The account given of 
the worship of the Christians in those days by Justin 
Martyr, and Tertullian, is known as having been often 
pleaded. I shall only mention it in our passage, and begin 
with the latter. ' Illuc,' saith he (that is, towards heaven), 
' suspicientes Christiani'(not like the idolaters, who looked 
on their idols and images) * manibus expansis' (not embrac- 
ing altars or images as did the heathen) ' quia innocuis 
capito nudo, quia non erubescimus denique sine monitore, 
quia de pectore oramus,' not as they who repeat their 


prayers after their priests or sacrificers, but pouring out our 
prayers conceived in our breasts ; Apol. cap. 30. And again, 
cap. 39. * Corpus sumus de conscientia, religionis et disci- 
plinse unitate, et spei foedere coimus in csetum et congrega- 
tionem, ut ad Deum quasi vi facta precationibus ambiamus 
orantes. Hsec vis Deo grata est. Oramus etiam,' &.c. 
Whether this description of the public worship of the 
Christians in those days be consistent with the prescribed 
forms contended about, impartial men may easily discern. 

The former treateth of the same matter in his Apology in 
several places of it. "AOeog jutv ovv wg ovk tafiev, tov Sejui- 
ovpyov Tijjv St TOV TravTog (rejSo/xtvot, avevSei) aTjuarwi' koX gttov- 
2(Jv Kol ^vjxiafiaTbiv, ojg Ide^axOifinEv Xiyovreg, Xoyw evx'i^ '^^'■ 
iv\api(TTiag £(f>' oig vpocrcptpofXida Tracnv om] dvvafxig aivovvTSg. 
' Atheists,' saith he, ' we are not, seeing we worship the 
Maker of the world, affirming indeed, as we are taught, that 
he stands in no need of blood, drink-offerings, or incense ; 
in all our oblations we praise him according to our abilities, 
with' (or in the way of) ' prayer and thanksgivings.' This 
was, it seems, the liturgy of the church in the da s of Justin 
Martyr; they called upon God with prayer and thanks- 
givings according to the abilities they had received. The 
like account he gives of the prayers of persons converted to 
prepare themselves for baptism, as also of the prayers of 
the administrators of that ordinance. Afterward also, treat- 
ing of the joining the baptized person unto the church, and 
the administration of the Lord's supper in the assembly, he 
adds, Mera to ovTtog Xovaai tov TmrHafiivov, kh\ GvyKaTareSei- 
JUEPOV £7ri roue Xiyofxivovg aoi\<f)ovg ajofxev ivda avv^yfiivoi tiai, 
KOivag ev)(^ag Trotrjao^cvot virip re iavTcov, kol tou (jxjJTiaOivTog, 
&c. * After the believer who is joined unto us is thus washed, 
we bring him to those who are called brethren' (that is, the 
body of the church), ' thither where they are gathered 
together for to make their prayers and supplications for 
themselves and him who is' (newly) ' illuminated,' 8cc. These 
prayers he declares afterward, were made by him who did 
preside among the brethren in the assembly, that is, the 
bishop or pastor, who when he had finished his prayer, the 
whole people cried. Amen ; which leaves small room for 
the practice of any liturgy that is this day extant, or that 
hath left any memory of itself in the world. These prayers 


and supplications, he addeth, that the president of the as- 
sembly 6(71] dvvafxig avT(^ avairifXTTH, poureth out according 
to his ability; and etti ttoXu Troittrat : he doth this work at 
large, or continues long in his work of (praises unto God in 
the name of Jesus Christ). I know some have excepted 
against the usual interpretation of those words oo-rj Suvajutc; 
although they have not been able to assign any other 
tolerable sense unto them, besides that which they would 
willingly oppose. But as the rendering of them ' accordmg 
to his ability,' or ' as he is able' may not only be justified, 
but evinced to be the only sense the words are capable of; so 
the argument in hand doth not as to its efficacy depend on 
the precise signification of those two words, but on the 
whole contexture of the holy Martyr's discourse; so relating 
to the worship of the churches in those days, as to manifest 
that the use of prescribed forms of liturgies to be read in 
them was then utterly unknown. 

I suppose it will be granted, that thetime we have been 
inquiring into, namely, the first three hundred years after 
Christ, was the time of the church's greatest purity, though 
out of her greatest prosperity ; that the union of the several 
churches was preserved, beyond what afterward was ever in 
a gospel way attained, and the uniformity in worship which 
Christ requires observed amongst them; but all this while 
the use of these liturgies was utterly unknown; which 
makes the case most deplorable, that it should now be made 
the hinge whereon the whole exercise of the ministry must 
turn, it being a thing not only destitute of any warrant from 
Christ and his apostles, but utterly unknown to those 
churches whose antiquity gives them deservedly reverence 
withal ; and so cannot claim its spring and original ante- 
cedent to such miscarryings and mistakes in the churches, 
as all acknowledge to deserve a narrow and serious weigh- 
ing and consideration ; we may then, I suppose, without 
giving occasion to the just imputution of any mistake, affirm. 
That the composing and imposition of liturgies to be neces- 
sarily used or read in the administration of the ordinances 
of the gospel, is destitute of any plea or pretence, from 
Scripture or antiquity. 



The pretended antiquity of liturgies disproved. The most ancient. Their 
vai-iety. Canons of councils about forms of church administrations. 
The reasons pleaded in the justification of the first invention of liturgies 
answered. Their progress and end. 

Considering with what confidence the antiquity of litur- 
gies in the churches of Christ hath been pretended, it may 
seem strange to some that we should so much as attempt to 
divert them of that plea and pretence. But the love of the 
truth enforceth us to contend against many prejudices in 
this matter. May a denial of their antiquity, with the rea- 
sons of that denial tendered, provoke any to assert it by 
such testimonies as we have not as yet had the happiness 
to come to an acquaintance with, the advantage as well as 
the trouble will be theirs who shall so do. Only in their 
endeavour to that purpose, I shall desire of them that they 
would not labour to impose on those whom they undertake 
to inform, by the ambiguous use of some words among the 
ancient, nor conclude a prescribed form of administration 
when they find mention of the administration itself, nor 
reckon reading of the Scriptures, or singing of psalms, as 
parts of the liturgy contended about, nor from the use of 
some particular prayer by some persons, argue for the equity 
or necessity of composing such entire liturgies, or offices 
as they call them, for all evangelical administrators, and 
their necessary observation. So that these conditions be 
observed, I shall profess myself much engaged unto any 
one who shall discover a rise of them within the limits of 
the antiquity that hath been usually pretended and pleaded 
in their justification and practice. For my part I know not 
any thing that ever obtained a practice and observation 
among Christians, whose springs are more dark and obscure 
than these of liturgies. They owe not their original to any 
councils, general or provincial ; they were not the product 
of the advice or consent of any churches, nor was there any 
one of them at any time completed. No pleas can I as yet 
discover in them of old about uniformity in their use, or any 


consent in them about them. Every church seemeth to 
have done what seemed good in the church's own"? eyes, 
after once the way unto the use of them was opened. To 
whomv in particular we are indebted for that invention, I 
know not : it may be those who are wiser do; and I wish 
they would value the thanks that they may have for the 
discovery when they shall be pleased to make it. They 
seem to me to have had but slender originals. One invented 
one form of prayer, or thanksgiving, or benediction ; an- 
other added to what he had found out, which was the easier 
task. Future additions gave some completeness to their 
beginners. Those in the Greek church, which bear the 
names of Chrysostom and Basil, seem to be the first that 
ever extended themselves to the whole worship of the 
church; not that by them whose names they bear they were 
composed as now they appear, unless we shall think that 
they wrote them after their decease ; but probably they 
collected some forms into order that had been by others in- 
vented ; making such additions themselves as they judged 
needful, and so commended the use of them to the churches 
wherein they did preside. Tiie use of them being arbitrarily 
introduced, was not by any injunction we find, made neces- 
sary. Much less did any one single form plead for a general 
necessity. In the Latin church, Ambrose used one form, 
Gregory another, and Isidore a third. Nor is it unlikely 
but the liturgies were as many as the episcopal churches of 
those days. Hence in the beginning of the fifth century, in 
an African council. Can. 70. which is the 103d. in the 
Codex Can. African ; it is provided, that no prayers be read 
in the administration of the Eucharist, but such as have 
been approved in some council, or have been observed by 
some prudent men formerly; which canon, with some ad- 
dition, is confirmed in the second Milenitan council. Can. 12. 
and the reason given in both is, lest there should any thing 
contrary to the faith, creep into their way of worship. But 
this, as I said, was in the beginning of the fifth century, 
after divers forms of administration of holy things in the 
church, had by divers been invented. The finding out of 
this invention was the act of some particular men, who have 
not been pleased to acquaint us with the reason of their 
undertaking. As yet it doth not appear unto us, that those 


reasons could possibly be taken from the word, the prac- 
tice of the apostles, or the churches by them planted, or 
those which followed them for some generations, nor from 
any council held before their days ; and so it may be we are 
not much concerned to inquire what they were. Yet what 
is at present pleaded in the behalf of the first composers of 
liturgies may in the way be chiefly considered. Necessity 
is the first thing usually pretended. Many men being put 
into the office of the ministry, who had not gifts and abilities 
for the profitable discharge of the work of the ministry, unto 
the edification of the church, they who had the oversight of 
them according to the custom of those days, were enforced 
to compose such forms for their use as they judged ex- 
pedient, so providing for the edification of the church, which 
else would have suffered from their weakness and insuf- 
ficiency. Besides, many parts of the world, especially the 
east, in those days swarmed with antitrinitarian heretics of 
sundry sorts, who many of them by unsuspected wiles and 
dissimulations, and subscriptions of confessions, endea- 
voured to creep into the office of the ministry of the church, 
partly out of blind zeal to diffuse the poison of their abomi- 
nations, partly out of carnal policy to be made partakers of 
the advantages, which for the most part attended the or- 
thodox profession. This increased the necessity of com- 
posing such forms of public worship, as being filled with 
expressions pointed against the errors of the times, might 
be a means to keep seducers from imposing themselves on 
ecclesiastical administrations. Thus there is no ancient 
liturgy^ but it is full of the expressions that had been con- 
sented upon in the councils that were convened for the 
condemnation of those errors, which were in their days 
most rife and pernicious. On this ground do learned men 
of all sorts conclude the liturgy falsely ascribed to James, 
to be younger than the Nicene and Ephesine councils, from 
the use of the words ofxoovcriog and ^toroKog in it. 

But it doth not yet appear that these reasons were suf- 
ficient to justify such an innovation in the churches of 
Christ. For supposing that there were such a decay of 
gifts and abilities among them that were called to the ad- 
ministration of gospel institutions, that they were not able 
to discharge their duty in that work to the edification of 


the church, in like manner as those had done who went 
before them, this must needs have come to pass, either be- 
cause our Lord Jesus Christ did cease to give out his gifts 
to his church, as he had done in former days upon his usual 
terras ; or that men were negligent and careless in the re- 
ceiving of them from him, either not seeking them at his 
hand, or not exercising and improving of them according to 
his will and command. Other reason of this decay that I 
know of, cannot be assigned. To affirm the former on any 
pretence whatever, is blasphemously to accuse our Lord 
Jesus Christ of breach of promise ; he having, solemnly en- 
gaged to be with his disciples, not for an age or two, but 
to the end of the world, and that by the graces and gifts of 
his Spirit. I know it is pretended, that when Christians 
were multiplied, there was a necessity of appointing them 
officers, who had not the gifts and qualifications that other- 
wise would have been esteemed necessary. But I know 
withal, that it is impossible Christians should be multiplied 
in the way of Christ, faster than he is ready to give out gifts 
for their edification. The latter reason above then must be 
granted to be the cause of the defect of abilities in church 
officers, pleaded in the justification of the introduction into 
the church of composed forms of administrations to be read 
by them. I wish then we might, in the fear of the Lord, 
consider whether the remedy were well suited unto the dis- 
ease. I suppose all impartial men will grant that there 
ought to have been a return unto him endeavoured from 
whom they were gone astray, at least gospel means used for 
the obtaining of those gifts of Christ, and the improving of 
them being received. Finding themselves at the loss 
wherein they were, should they not have searched their 
hearts and ways, to consider wherefore it was that the pre- 
sence of Christ was so withdrawn from them, that they were 
so left without the assistance which others ministering in 
their places before them had received; should not they 
have pulled out their single talent, and fallen to trading 
with it, that it might have increased under their care? Was 
not this the remedy and cure of the breach made by them, 
that God and man expected Trom them? Was it just then, 
and according to the mind of Christ, that instead of an hum- 
ble returnal unto a holy evangelical dependence on himself. 


they should invent an expedient to support them in the con- 
dition wherein they were, and so make all such returnal for 
hereafter needless ? Yet this they did in the invention of 
liturgies, they found out a way to justify themselves in their 
spiritual negligence and sloth, and to render a dependence 
on the Lord Christ for supplies of his Spirit to enable them 
unto gospel administrations altogether needless, they had 
now provided themselves with an ability they could keep in 
the church, so that he might keep the furniture of his Spirit 
unto himself. And this quickly became the most poisonous 
ingredient in the apostacy of the latter times. 

Nor is there any sufficient warrant for this invention in 
the second pretence. There were many antichrists in the 
apostles' time, yet they never thought of this engine for 
their discovery or exclusion out of the church ; confessions 
of faith, or acknowledged forms of wholesome words with 
the care of the disciples of Christ, or his churches, which 
are enabled by him to judge and discern of truth and error, 
are the preservations against the danger intimated, that the 
gospel hath provided. 

This being the entrance that the liturgies inquired after 
made into the churches of God, we are not much concerned 
to inquire what was their progress. That in the western 
parts of the world they all at length centred in the Roman 
mass-book and rituals we know. Their beginnino-s were 
small, plain, brief, their use arbitrary, the additions they 
received were from the endeavours of private men in several 
ages, occasional for the most part; the number of them 
great, equal to the various denominations of the churches, 
until the papal authority growing absolute and uncontrol- 
lable, the Roman form was imposed on the world, that by 
innumerable artifices in a long tract of ages was subjected 
thereunto, and that contrary to the determination of former 
Roman bishops, who advised the continuance of the dif- 
ferent forms of administrations which were in use in several 
churches. * Mihi placet, ut sive in Romanis sive in Gallia- 
rum partibus, seu in qualibet ecclesia aliquid invenisti quod 
plus Omnipotent! Deo possit placere solliciteeligas.' Greg. 
Resp. ad Interrogat. August. 

This being the state and condition, this the issue, that 
the invention of liturgies to be read in the worship of God 


was come unto, before the reformation, I shall ^briefly sub- 
join unto it an account of what was done in these kingdoms 
in reference unto it, which will make way to the clear stating 
of the question in particular that we are farther to speak 
unto. The history of our reformation is known. I shall 
n©t speak any thing that may reflect with the least disho- 
nour on the work or the workmen. We have abundant 
cause to bless the Lord continually for the one and the 
other. Yet still we must remember that our reformers were 
men, and that the reformation was a work performed by 
men. The former never claimed infallibility, nor the latter, 
that I know of, perfection ; so that some things that were 
done by the one, and in the other, may admit of new con- 
siderations without the reflection of any thing upon them, 
that the one and the other would not readily and willingly 
admit. I shall therefore briefly give an account of that 
part of the work which concerns our business in hand. 
What was the state of this nation at the time of the refor- 
mation, and what were the minds of the greater part of men 
in them, in reference unto the work, is sufficiently declared 
in all the stories of those days. God having been pleased 
to" send the saving light of the gospel into the minds and 
hearts of them in chief rule, that is King Edward, and some 
of his counsellors, they found no small difficulties to wrestle 
withal, in dealing with the inveterate prejudices wherewith 
the generality of men were possessed against the work they 
intended. The far greater part of the clergy, true to their 
carnal present interest, with all their might and cunning 
opposed their endeavours. The greatest part of the nobility 
averse to their proceedings. The body of the people blinded 
with superstition and profaneness, easily excited by the 
priests (whose peculiar concernment lay in keeping all 
things in their old channel and course) to make head against 
their proceedings. Foreign nations round about fomenting 
to the uttermost all home-bred discontents, and offering 
themselves by the instigation of the pope, to hinder the work 
by all ways that possibly they could imagine. Amongst 
all these the body of the people, which are the king's most 
special care, as they are his strength and wealth, were 
looked on as most to he regarded, as without whose con- 
currence their discontents of all others were likely only to 


consume themselves. Now the people being in those days 
very ignorant, and unacquainted with the doctrines of the 
Scripture, were very little or not at all concerned what per- 
suasion men were of in religion, as to the articles of pure 
belief, so as they might retain the 'agenda' in the worship of 
God which they had been accustomed unto. Hence it was 
that those prelates, who were the instruments of the papal 
persecution in this nation, wisely stated the whole cause of 
their cruelty to be the mass, or the worship of the church, 
seldom unless compelled by disputations once mentioning 
of the articles of faith, which yet they knew to be the main 
foundation of the difference between themselves and the 
reformers ; because in this particular they had the advan- 
tage of the popular favour ; the people violently interposing 
themselves in the behalf of that part of the present religion 
wherein their only share did lie. Had they laid the reasons 
and grounds of their quarrel in the differences of opinions 
about the ' credenda' of the gospel, they would, scarcely have 
prevailed with the common people to carry fagot for the 
burning of their brethren, for things whereof they under- 
stood little or nothing at all. 

Our wise and provident reformers considering this state 
of things, and temper of the minds of men, however they re- 
solvedly declared for the * credenda' of the gospel, and asserted 
the articles of faith from which the Roman church had most 
eminently apostatized, yet found it their concernment to at- 
temper the way of public worship as much as possible with 
consistency with the articles of the faith they professed, to 
that which the popularity had been inured unto. Observ- 
ing plainly that all their concernments in religion lay in the 
outward worship whereunto they had been accustomed, hav- 
ing very confused apprehensions of the speculative part of 
it, it was easy for them to apprehend that if they could con- 
descend to furnish them with such a way thereof as might 
comply in some reasonable manner with their former usage, 
these two things would ensue. First, That the main reforma- 
tion in the doctrine which alone would deliver the people from 
their prejudicate opinions about the worship of God, would 
be carried on with less noise and observation, and conse- 
quently less contest and opposition. For whilst they had a 
way and form of worship proposed to them wherewith they 


could be contented, those that were wiser might believe and 
teach what they pleased, which in the providence of God 
proved in a short time a blessed means of delivering them 
from their old entanglements and darkness. Secondly, That 
their priests who were the chief instigators to all disorder 
and opposition to the whole work ,of reformation, finding a 
way proposed for their continuance in the possession of 
their places, and a worship prescribed which they could as 
easily perform and go through withal, as what they had prac- 
tised in former days, might possibly acquiesce in the pro- 
ceedings of their betters, finding the temporal interest which 
they chiefly respected, to be saved. And this afterward ac- 
cordingly they did, reading the service-book instead of the 
mass, without which supply of sucli wants and defects in 
them as I shall not name, they would never have entertained 
any thoughts of owning the reformation, nor of suffering the 
people to submit themselves thereunto. On these consider- 
ations, and for these ends, it is evident from the story of those 
times, that our present liturgy was framed. Rejecting out 
of the offices before in use, such things as were directly 
contrary to the articles of faith protested in the reformation 
in hand, translating of what remained into English, with 
such supplies and alterations as the rejection of those things 
before mentioned made necessary : the book mentioned in 
some haste, and with some other disadvantages for such a 
work, was by our first reformers compiled. And indeed 
somewhat there was in this case not much unlike that in- 
sisted on in the entrance of this discourse, between the be- 
lieving Jews and Gentiles. Many of the Jews who were 
willing to receive Christ's reformation in point of faith and 
obedience, yet pertinaciously adhered to their old ceremo- 
nious worship; violently setting themselves against any that 
durst speak a word against its continuance. That there 
might not be an endless contest and strife about the matter, 
and so the progress of the gospel be hindered amongst the 
one sort and the other, the apostles taking in hand the old 
worship, as to the Gentile worshippers whose case above 
came then under consideration, they reject and declare ab- 
rogate all such ceremonies whose necessary observation had 
an inconsistency with the doctrine of the gospel, proposing 


only some few things to be observed, which occasioned the 
greatest difference between the parties at variance. 

Now as this composition of that difference was accom- 
modated to the present scandal, and the obligation unto its 
observation to be regulated thereby; so by the removal 
thereof, itself as unto any use in the church of Christ did 
expire. Not unlike unto this of the apostle seems the aim 
of our first reformers to have been, that they might win the 
people who had been accustomed to the way of worship in 
use in the papacy unto a compliance with the doctrine of 
the gospel, and that there might not be endless contests about 
that which was presently to be practised, which perhaps they 
thought of small importance in comparison of those weighty 
fundamental truths which they had endeavoured to acquaint 
them with, and bring them to the belief of, they provided 
for the use of such parts of it, and in such a manner, as were 
not openly inconsistent with the truths which was in their 
hearts to communicate unto them. And it is not impossible 
but that this constitution might have had the same end 
with the other, if not of present use, being of things of an- 
other nature, yet of a timely expiration, when notoriously use- 
less as to the main ends intended in it, had not the interest 
of some interposed for its continuance beyond the life and 
influence of all or any of those causes or occasions. And 
hence it is that those streams at this day run strongly and 
fiercely, by the addition and pouring into of adventitious 
rivulets, with showers or rather storms of temporal interest, 
whose springs are all utterly long since dried up. 

The book of Common Prayer being composed as hath 
been declared, became from its very cradle and infancy a 
bone of contention to the church of God in this nation. 
Many of the people and ministers who seemed to be en- 
lightened with a beam of truth, of an equal lustre and 
brightness with that which shined in the minds of their 
brethren, wholly decried that prudential compliance with 
the people's ignorance and adherence to popery, which was 
openly avowed in the composition and imposition of it, and 
called earnestly for a purer way of the administrations of 
gospel ordinances more agreeable to the word and primitive 
times, than they apprehended that prescribed form to con- 


tain and exhibit. Others again in the justification of that 
whereof themselves were the authors, laboured to recom- 
mend the book, not only as to truth, but as useful and very 
beneficial for the edification of the church. It is known 
also that the contests of men in this nation about this form 
of divine service, were not confined to this nation, but were 
carried by them into other parts of the world. And should 
I pursue the suffrage that hath lain against it, from the first 
day of its composure to this wherein we live, never giving 
it a quiet possession in the minds and consciences of men, 
with the various evils that have all along attended its im- 
position, I suppose it might of itself prevail with sober men 
who desire their moderation should be known to all, be- 
cause the Judge standeth at the door, to take the whole 
matter of the imposition of this or the like form once more 
under a sedate consideration. And they may perhaps be 
the rather induced thereunto, if they will but impartially 
weigh that the opposition to the imposed liturgy hath in- 
creased daily according to the increase of light and gospel 
gifts among men. So that there seems to be no way to 
secure its station, but by an opposition unto them, and ex- 
tirpation of them, which is a sad work for any that are called 
Christians to engage into. 

I presume the conscientious reader will be able to dis- 
cover, from what hath been spoken, rules sufficient to guide 
his judgment in reference unto the use of prescribed liturgies. 
The story of their rise and progress is enough to plead for 
a liberty from an indispensable necessity of their observa- 
tion. That which is of pure human invention, and com- 
paratively of late and uncertain original, whose progress 
hath been attended with much superstition and persecution, 
stands in need of very cogent reasons to plead for its con- 
tinuance. For others will not outbalance the evils that are 
asserted to flow from it. But it may be this will not suffice 
with some for a final decision and determination of this dif- 
ference. I shall therefore briefly state the question about 
them, which only I shall speak unto, and try their use and 
usefulness by that infallible rule by which both we and they 
must be judged another day. 




The question slated. First argument against the composing and imposing 
of liturgies. Arbitrary additions to the worship of God rejected. 
Liturgies not appointed by God. Made necessary in their imposition: 
and a part of the worship of God. Of circumstances of tvorship. In- 
stituted adjuncts of worship not circumstances. Circumstances of actions, 
as such, not circumstances of tvorship. Circumstances commanded made 
parts of worship. Prohibitions of additions produced, considered, ap- 

To clear up what it is in particular that we insist upon, some 
few things are to be premised, 1. Then, I do not in especial 
intend the Liturgy now in use in England, any farther than 
to make it an instance of such imposed liturgies, whereof we; 
treat. I shall not then at all inquire what footing it hath in 
the law, how nor when established, nor what particular fail- 
ings are pleaded to be in it, nor what conformity it bears 
with the Roman offices, with the like things that are usually 
objected against it. Nor, secondly, do I oppose the direc- 
tive part of this liturgy as to the reading of the Scripture, 
when it requires that which is Scripture to be read, the ad- 
ministration of the ordinances by Christ appointed, nor the 
composition of forms of prayer suited to the nature of the 
institutions to which they relate, so they be not imposed on 
the administrators of them, to be read precisely as pre- 
scribed. But, thirdly, This is that alone which I shall speak 
unto ; the composing of forms of prayer in the worship of 
God, in all gospel administrations, to be used by the minis- 
ters of the churches, in all public assemblies, by a precise 
reading of the words prescribed unto them ; with commands 
for the reading of other things, which they are not to omit,,: 
upon the penalty contained in the sanction of the whole- 
service and the several parts of it. The liberty which some 
say is granted, for a man to use his own gifts and abilities 
in prayer before and after sermons, will, I fear, as things now 
stand, upon due consideration appear rather to be tajten 
than given. However it concerns not our present question, 
because it is taken for granted by those that plead for the 


strict observation of a book, that the whole gospel worship 
of God in the assemblies of Christians, may be carried on 
and performed without any such preaching as is prefaced 
with the liberty pretended. 

These things being premised, I shall subjoin some of the 
reasons that evidently declare the imposition and use of 
such a liturgy or form of public words, to be contrary to the 
rule of the word, and consequently sinful. 

First, The arbitrary invention of any thing, with com- 
mands for its necessary and indispensable use in the public 
worship of God, as a part of that worship, and the use of 
any thing so invented and so commanded in that worship, is 
unlawful and contrary to the rule of the word ; but of this 
nature is the liturgy we treat of. It is an invention of men, 
not appointed, not commanded of God ; it is commanded 
to be used in the public worship of God, by reading the 
several parts of it, according to the occasions that they re- 
spect ; and that indispensably ; and is made a part of that 

There are three things affirmed in the assumption con- 
cerning the Liturgy* First, That it is not appointed or 
commanded of God, i. e. there is no command of God either 
for the use of this or that liturgy in particular, nor in general 
that any such should so be, and be so used as is pleaded. 
And this we must take for granted, until some instance of 
such command be produced. Secondly, That it is made 
necessary by virtue of the commands of men, to be used in 
the public worship of God. About this there will be no 
difference. Let it be denied, and there is an end of all this 
strife. I shall not dispute about other men's practice. They 
who are willirrg to take it upon their consciences, that the 
best way to serve God in the church, or the best ability that 
they have for the discharge of their duty therein, consists 
in the reading of such a book (for I suppose they will grant 
that they ought to serve God with the best they have), shall 
not by me be opposed in their way and practice. It is only 
about its imposition, and the necessity of its observance 
by virtue of that imposition, that we discourse. Now the 
present command is, that such a liturgy be always used in 
the public worship of God, and that without the use or read- 
ing of it, the ordinances of the gospel be not administered 

2 F 2 


at any time, nor in any place ; witli strong pleas for the ob- 
ligation arising from that command, making the omissions 
of its observance to be sinful. It is then utterly impossible 
that any thing should be more indispensably necessary, than 
the reading of the Liturgy in the worship of God is. It is 
said, indeed, that it is not commanded as though in itself it 
were necessary ; either a prescribed liturgy, or this or that, 
for then it were sin in any not to use it, whether it were 
commanded by the church or not, but for order, uniformity, 
conveniency, and the preventing of sundry evils that would 
otherwise ensue, it is commanded ; which command makes 
the observation of it necessary unto us. But we are not as 
yet inquiring what are the reasons of its imposition. They 
may afterward be spoken unto : and time also may be 
taken to shew, that it were much more tolerable, if men 
would plead for the necessity of the things which it seems 
good unto them to command, and on that ground to com- 
mand their observance, than granting them not necessary 
in themselves, to make them necessary to be observed 
merely by virtue of their commands, for reasons which they 
say satisfy themselves, but come short of giving satisfaction 
to them from whom obedience is required. For whereas 
the will of man can be no way influenced unto obedience, 
but by mere acknowledged sovereignty or conviction of 
reason in and from the things themselves, commands in and 
about things wherein they own not that the commanders 
have an absolute sovereignty (as God hath in all things, 
the civil supreme magistrate in things civil that are good 
and lawful), nor can they find the reasons of the things them- 
selves cogent, are a yoke which God hath not designed 
the sons of men to bear. But it is concernilig the neces- 
sary use of the Liturgy in the worship of God that we are 
disputing, which I suppose will not be denied. 

It remaineth then to consider whether the use of the 
Liturgy as prescribed be made a part of the worship of God. 
Now that wherewith and whereby God is commanded to be 
worshipped, and without which all observation or perform- 
ance of his public worship is forbidden, is itself made a 
part of his worship. The command with This, or thus, shall 
you worship God, makes the observation of that command 
a part of God's worship. It is said that it is only a circum- 


stance of worship, but no part of it. Prayer is the worship 
of God ; but that this prayer shall be used and no other, is 
only a circumstance of it. So that though it may be pos- 
sibly accounted a circumstance, or accidentary part of God's 
worship, yet it is not asserted to be of the substance of it. 
How far this is so, and how far it is otherwise must be con- 
sidered. Circumstances are either such as follow actions as 
actions, or such as are arbitrarily superadded and adjoined 
by command unto actions, which do not of their own accord, 
nor naturally, nor necessarily attend them. Now religious 
actions in the worship of God, are actions still. Their re- 
ligious relation doth not destroy their natural being. Those 
circumstances then which do attend such actions as actions, 
not determined by divine institution, may be ordered, dis- 
posed of, and regulated by the prudence of men. For in- 
stance, prayer is a part of God's worship. Public prayer is 
so, as appointed by him. This as it is an action to be per- 
formed by man, cannot be done without the assignment of 
time and place, and sundry other things, if order .and con- 
veniency be attended. These are circumstances that attend 
all actions, of that nature, to be performed by a community, 
whether they relate to the worship of God or no. These 
men may according as they see good regulate, and change, 
as there is occasion : I mean they may do so, who are ac- 
knowledged to have power in such things. As the action 
cannot be without them, so their regulation is arbitrary if 
they come not under some divine disposition and order ; as 
that of time in general doth. There are also some things, 
which some men call circumstances also, that no way belong 
of themselves to the actions whereof they are said to be the 
circumstances, nor do attend them, but are imposed on 
them, or annexed unto them, by the arbitrary authority of 
those who take upon them to give order and rules in such 
cases. Such is to pray before an image, or towards the east, 
or to use this or that form of prayer in such gospel adminis- 
trations and no other. These are not circumstances at- 
tending the nature of the thing itself, but are arbitrarily 
superadded to the things that they are appointed to accom- 
pany. Whatever men may call such additions, they are no 
less parts of the whole wherein they serve, than the things 
themselves whereunto they are adjoined. The schoolmen 

438 A DlSCOUliSE 

tell us, that that which is made so the condition of an 
action, that without it the action is not to be done, is not a 
circumstance of it, but such an adjunct as is a necessary 
part. But not to contend about the word ; such additionals 
that are called circumstantial, are made parts of worship, as 
are made necessary by virtue of command to be observed. 
Sacrifices of old were the instituted worship of God. That 
they should be offered at the tabernacle or temple at Jeru- 
salem, and nowhere else, was a circumstance appointed to 
be observed in their offerings ; and yet this circumstance 
was no less a part of God's worship, than the sacrifice itself. 
In the judgment of most men not only prayer, and the 
matter of our prayer, is appointed by our Saviour in the 
Lord's Prayer, but we are commanded also to use the very 
words of it. I desire to know whether the precise use of 
these words be not a part of God's worship ? It seems that 
it is : for that which is commanded by Christ to be used in 
the worship of God, is a part of God's worship. The case 
is the same here. Prayer is commanded ; and the use of 
these prayers is commanded ; the latter distinctly, as such, 
as well as the former, is made a part of God's worship. Nor 
is there any ground for that distinction of the circumstantial 
or accidentary part of God's worship, and worship substan- 
tially taken, or the substantial parts of it. The worship of 
God is either moral or instituted. The latter contains the 
peculiar ways and manner of exerting the former according 
to God's appointment. The actions whereby these are 
jointly discharged, or the inward moral principles of wor- 
ship are exerted in and according to the outward institu- 
tions, have their circumstances attending them. These in 
themselves nakedly considered, have in them neither good 
nor evil ; nor are any circumstances in the worship of God, 
much less circumstantial parts of his worship, but only cir- 
cumstances of those actions as actions, whereby it is per- 
formed. And whatever is instituted of God, in and about 
those circumstances, is a substantial part of his worship. 

Nor is the prescribing of such a form of prayer a regula- 
tion of those circumstances of public prayer, for decency, 
order, and uniformity, which attend it as a public action, 
but the superaddition of an adjunct condition, with which it 
is to be performed, and without which it is not to be per- 


formed as it is prayer, the worship of God. Of this nature 
was sacrificing of old on the altar at the tabernacle or temple, 
and there alone. And many more instances of the like na- 
ture may be given. Praising of God, and blessing of the 
people were parts of the worship of God, appointed by him- 
self to be performed by the priests under the law. In the 
doing thereof at certain seasons, they were commanded to 
use some forms of words prescribed unto them for that pur- 
pose. Not only hereby the praising and blessing of God, 
but the use of those forms in so doing became necessary 
part of the worship of God. And so was the use of organs 
and the like instruments of music, which respect that man- 
ner of praising him which God then required. The case is 
here no otherwise. Prayers and thanksgivings in the admi- 
nistration of the ordinances of the gospel are of the instituted 
worship of God. Unto these, as to the manner of their per- 
formance, is the imposition of the liturgical forms spoken of 
superadded ; and their use made a necessary adjunct of the 
duty itself, so as that it may not be performed without them ; 
which makes them a no less necessary part of the worship 
of God, than any of his institutions of old were, which re- 
lated to the circumstances and the manner of his worship, 
as the temple, tabernacle, altar, forms of thanksgiving, and 
confession, composed and prescribed by the Holy Ghost 

But I suppose this will not be much gainsaid ; by some 
it is acknowledged in express terms, and for the matter of 
fact, we find that the reading of a book of service, is with 
many taken not to be a part, but the whole of the worship of 
God, which if it be done, they suppose God is acceptably 
worshipped without more ado ; and if it be omitted, what- 
ever else be done in the room of it, that God is not wor- 
shipped at all. 

Our inquiry then must be, whether such additions to or 
in the worship of God, besides or beyond his own institu- 
tion and appointment, be allowable, or lawful to be practised. 
I shall first recite the words in general of some testimonies 
that lie against such a practice, and then consider what they 
most particularly speak unto. Of this sort are Exod. xx. 
4, 5. * Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or 
any likeness of any thing, that is in heaven above, or that is 


in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them : for 
I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of 
the fathers upon the children,' &c. Deut. iv. 2. * Ye shall not 
add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you 
diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the command- 
ments of the Lord your God which I command you.' Chap, 
xii. 32. ' What thing soever I command you, observe to 
do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.' 
Prov. XXX. 6. * Add not unto his words, lest he reprove 
thee, and thou be found a liar.' Jer. vii. 31. ' They have built 
the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son 
of Hinnom to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, 
which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.' 
Matt. XV. 9. ' In vain do they worship me, teaching for doc- 
trines the commandments of men.' Ver. 13. * Every plant 
which my Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.' Also, 
Mark vii. 7, 8. Rev. xxii. 18. ' If any man shall add unto 
these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are 
written in this book.' The mind of God in these and the like 
prohibitions, the reader may find exemplified. Lev. x. 1 — 4, 
&c. Josh. xxii. 10, &c. Judg. viii. 24. 1 Chron. xv. 13. 
2 Kings xvi. 11, 12. and in other places. 

• Men who having great abilities of learning, are able to 
distinguish themselves from under the power of the most 
express rules and commands, should yet, methinks, out of a 
sense of their weakness (which they are ready to profess 
themselves convinced of when occasion is offered to deliver 
their thoughts concerning them), have compassion for those, 
who being notable to discern the strength of their reasonings 
because of their fineness, are kept in a conscientious subjec- 
tion to the express commands of God, especially conceiving 
them not without some cogent cause reiterated. 

But lest the present exasperation of the spirits of men 
should frustrate that hope and expectation, let us consider 
what is the precise intendment of the testimonies produced, 
being we have reason to look well to the justice of our cause 
in the first place ; which being cleared, we may the better 
be satisfied in coming short of favour where it may not be 
obtained. The places of Scripture produced, are taken partly 
out of the Old Testament, partly out of the New. And I 


suppose it will be granted that there is an equal force of rule 
in the one as in the other. For though these in the Old 
Testament had their peculiar respect to the worship that was 
then instituted, yet they had not as then instituted but as 
the worship which God himself had appointed. And there- 
fore their general force abides whilst God requires any wor- 
ship at the hands of men ; unless it may be made appear 
that God hath parted with that prerogative of being the ap- 
pointer of his own worship, now under the New Testament, 
which he so vindicated unto himself under the Old. Take 
them then in their general aim and intention, that which 
these and the like testimonies unanimously speak unto us 
is this, That the will of God is the sole rule of his worship, and 
all the concernment of it, and that his authority is the sole 
principle and cause of the relation of any thing to his wor- 
ship, in a religious manner; and consequently that he never 
did, nor ever will, allow that the wills of his creatures should 
be the rule or measure of his honour or worship, nor that 
their authority should cause any thing to hold a new rela- 
tion unto him, or any other but what it hath by the law of 
its creation. And this is the sum and substance of the second 
commandment, wherein so great a cloud of expositors do 
centre their thoughts, that it will not be easy for any to with- 
stand them, so that the other texts produced are express to 
all the particulars of the assertion laid down, may be easily 

That the Lord asserts his own authority and will as the 
constituting cause and rule of all his worship, was the first 
thing asserted. His repetition of * my words,' what * I have 
commanded,' and the like expressions, secure this enclosure. 
Unless men can pretend that there is the same reason of the 
words and commands of God himself, it is in vain for them 
to pretend a power of instituting any thing in the worship 
of God : for the formal reason of every such institution is, 
that the word of it is the word of God. It is enough to 
discard any thing from a relation to the worship of God, to 
manifest that the appointors of it were men, and not God. 
Nor can any man prove that God hath delegated unto them 
his power in this matter. Nor did he ever do so to any of 
the sons of men ; namely, that they should have authority 
to appoint any thing in his worship, or about it, that seemeth 


meet unto their wisdom. With some, indeed, in former days 
he intrusted the work of revealing unto his church and peo- 
ple what he himself would have observed, which dispensa- 
tion he closed in the person of Christ and his apostles. But 
to intrust men with authority not to declare what he re- 
vealed, but to appoint what seemeth good unto them, he 
never did it, the testimonies produced lie evidently against 
it. Now surely God's asserting his own will and authority 
as the only rule and cause of his worship, should make men 
cautious how they suppose themselves like or equal unto 
him herein, especially being destitute of warrant from the 
approved example or president of any that have gone before 
them. If the example of any one in the Old or New Testa- 
ment could be produced, that of his own mind and authority 
made any such additions to the worship of God, as that 
which we treat about, by virtue of any trust or power pre- 
tended from or under him, and found acceptance in his so 
doing, or that was not severely rebuked for his sin therein, 
some countenance would seem to be given unto those that 
at present walk in such paths; although I suppose it would 
not be easy for them to prove any particular instances, which 
might have peculiar exemption from the general law, which 
we know not, to be a sufficient warrant for their proceedings. 
But whereas God himself having instituted his own worship 
and all the concernments of it, doth also assert his own au- 
thority and will as the sole cause and rule of all the worship 
that he will accept, no instance being left on record of any 
one that ever made any additions to what he had appointed, 
on any pretence whatever, or by virtue of any authority what- 
ever that was accepted with him : and whereas the most 
eminent of those who have assumed that power to themselves, 
as also of the judgment of the reasons, necessary for the exert- 
ing of it, as to matter and manner, have been given up in the 
righteous judgment of God to do things not convenient, yea, 
abominable unto him (as in the papal church), it is not un- 
likely to be the wisdom of men to be very cautious of intrud- 
ing themselves into this thankless office. 

But such is the corrupt nature of man, that there is scarce 
any thing whereabout men have been more apt to contend 
with God from the foundation of the world. That their will 
and wisdom may have a share (some at least) in the ordering 


of his worship, is that which of all things they seem to desire. 
Wherefore to obviate their pride and folly, to his asserting 
of his own prerogative in this matter, he subjoins severe in- 
terdictions against all or any man's interposing therein ; so 
as to take away any thing by him commanded, or to add any 
thing to what is by him appointed. This also the testimonies 
recited fully express. The prohibition is plain, * Thou shalt 
not add to what I have commanded.' Add not to his words, 
that is, in his worship to the things which by his word he 
hath appointed to be observed ; neither to the word of his 
institution, nor to the things instituted. Indeed adding 
things adds to the word ; for the word that adds is made of 
a like authority with his. All making to ourselves is for- 
bidden, though what we so make may seem unto us to tend 
to the furtherance of the worship of God. It is said men 
may add nothing to the substance of the worship of God, 
but they may order, dispose, and appoint the things that be- 
long to the manner and circumstances of it, and this is all 
thatis done in the prescription of liturgies. Of circumstances 
in and about the worship of God we have spoken before, 
and removed that pretence. Nor is it safe distinguishing in 
the things of God, where himself hath not distinguished. 
When he gave out the prohibitions mentioned under the Old 
Testament, he was appointing or had appointed his whole 
worship, and all that belonged unto it, in matter and manner, 
way and order, substance and circumstance. Indeed there 
is nothing in its whole nature, as it belongs to the general 
being of things, so circumstantial, but that if it be appointed 
by God in his worship, it becomes a part of the substance 
of it; nor can any thing that is not so appointed ever by any 
be made a circumstance of his worship, though many things 
are circumstances of those actions, which in his worship are 
performed. This distinction then directly makes void the 
command, so that conscience cannot acquiesce in it. Be- 
sides, we have shewed that liturgies prescribed and imposed, 
are necessary parts of God's worship, and so not to be salved 
by this distinction. 

Moreover, to testify what weight be laid on the obser- 
vance of these general prohibitions, when men found out 
other ways of worship than what he had appointed, though 
the particulars were such as fell under other special inter- 


dictions, yet the Lord was pleased to place the great aggra- 
vation of their sin in the contempt of those general rules 
mentioned. This is that he urgeth them with, That they did 
things by him not appointed ; of not observing any thing 
in religion, but what he requires, that he presseth them 
withal. The command is general. You shall add nothing to 
what I have instituted ; and the aggravation of the sin pressed 
by him relates not to the particular nature of it, but to this 
general command or prohibition ; ' You have done what I 
commanded you not.' That the particular evil condemned 
was also against other special commands of God, is merely 
accidental to the general nature of the crime they were urged 
withal. And whereas God hath given out these rules and 
precepts, ' You shall do whatever I command you, and ac- 
cording as I command you, you shall add nothing thereunto, 
nor take any therefrom;' can the transgression of this rule 
be any otherwise expressed, but thus: 'They did the thing 
which he commanded not, nor did it ever come into his 
heart. ' 

It is said that the intention of these rules and prohibi- 
tions, is only to prevent the additions of what is contrary to 
what God hath appointed, and not of that which may tend 
to the furtherance and better discharge of his appointments. 
The usual answer to this abception is. That whatever is 
added, is contrary to what is commanded, though not in this 
or that particular command, yet to that command that no- 
thing be added. It is not the nature of any particular that 
is condemned, but the power of adding, in those prohibi- 
tions. Let us see then whether of these senses have the 
fairest evidence with the evident purport and intention of 
the rules, precepts, and prohibitions under consideration. 

Our Lord Jesus Christ directs his apostles to teach his 
disciples ' to do and observe whatever he commanded them.* 
Those who contend for the latter interpretation of these and 
the like precepts before mentioned, affirm that there is in 
these words a restriction of the matter of their commission, 
to the express commands of Christ. What he commands, 
they say, they were to teach men to observe, and nothing 
else, nor will he require the observance of aught else at our 
hands. The others would have his intention to be, whatever 
he commanded, and whatever seemeth good to them to com- 


raand, so it be not contrary unto what was by him com- 
manded. As if he had said. Teach men to obserye whatever 
I command them, and command you them to observe what- 
ever you think meet, so it be not contrary to my commands. 
Certainly this gloss at first view seems to defeat the main 
intendment of Christ, in that express limitation of their com- 
mission unto his own commands. So also under the Old 
Testament ; giving order about his worship, the Lord lets 
Moses know that he must do all things according to what 
he should shew and reveal unto him. In the close of the 
work committed unto him, to shew what he had done was 
acceptable to God, it is eight or ten times repeated, that he 
did all as the Lord commanded him : nothing was omitted, 
nothing added by him. That the same course might be ob- 
served in the following practice, which was taken in the 
first institution, the Lord commands that nothing be added 
to what was so appointed by him ; nothing diminished from 
it. The whole duty then of the church, as unto the worship 
of God, seems to lie in the precise observation of what is 
appointed and commanded by him. To assert things may 
be added to the worship of God, not by him appointed, which 
in the judgment of those that add them, seem useful for the 
better performance of what he hath appointed, so that they 
be not contrary unto them, seems to defeat the whole end 
and intention of God in all those rules and prohibitions ; if 
either the occasion, rise, cause of them, or their commend- 
able observance be considered. On these and no better 
terms is that prescribed liturgy we treat of introduced and 
imposed. It comes from man, with authority to be added to 
the worship that Christ requires, and ventures on all the 
severe interdictions of such additions, armed only with the 
pretence of not being contrary to any particular command, 
in the matter of it (which yet is denied), and such distinc- 
tions as have not the least ground in Scripture, or in the 
reason of the things themselves, which it is applied unto. 
Might we divert into particulars, it were easy to demonstrate 
that the instances given in the Scripture of God's rejection 
of such additions, do abundantly obviate all the pleas that 
are insisted on, for the waving of the general prohibition. 



Of the authority needful for the constliuting and ordering of any thing that 
is to have relation to God and his worship. Of the power and authority of 
civil magistrates. The poiver imposing the Lituryy. The formal reason 
of religious obedience. Use of the Liturgy an act of civil and religious 
obedience ; Matt, xxviii. 20. No rule to judge of what is meet in the tcor- 
ship of God, but his word. 

Besides the regulation of all our proceedings and actions 
in the worship of God, by the command and prohibitions in- 
sisted on in the foregoing chapter, there are two things in- 
dispensably necessary to render the prescription of any thing- 
in religious worship allowable, or lawful to be observed, both 
pointed unto by the testimonies produced. And these are, 
first. An authority to enjoin; and, secondly, A certain rule 
to try the injunction by. 

The worship of God is of that nature, that whatsoever is 
performed in it is an act of religious obedience. That any 
thing may be esteemed such, it is necessary that the con- 
science be in it subject to the immediate authority of God. 
His authority alone renders any act of obedience religious. 
All authority is originally in God, and there are two ways 
whereby he is pleased to exert it. First, By a delegation of 
authority unto some persons for some ends and purposes, 
which they being invested withal, may command in their 
own names an observance of the things about which by God's 
appointment their authority is to be exercised. Thus is it 
with kings and rulers of the earth. They are powers ordained 
of God, having authority given them by him. And being- 
invested with power, they give out their commands for the 
doing or performing of such or such things whereunto their 
authority doth extend. That they ought to be obeyed in 
things good and lawful, doth not arise from the authority 
vested in themselves, but from the immediate command of 
God, that in such things they ought to be obeyed. Hence 
obedience in general unto magistrates is a part of our moral 
and religious obedience unto God as it respects his com- 
mand, whatever the nature and object of it be. But the 
performance of particular actions, wherein by their deter- 
mination our obedience exerts itself, being resolved into 


that authority which is vested ia them, is not religious, but 
civil obedience, any otherwise than as in respect of its gene- 
ral nature it relates to the command of God in general. No 
act, I say, that we perform, whereof this is the formal reason, 
that it is appointed and commanded by man, though that 
man be intrusted with power from God to appoint and 
require acts of that nature, is an act of religious obedience 
unto God in itself, because it relates not immediately to his 
divine authority requiring that act. 

Secondly, God doth exert his authority immediately, 
and that either directly from heaven, as in the giving of the 
law, or by the inspiration of others to declare his will ; unto 
both which his word written answereth. Now whatever is 
done in obedience to the authority of God thus exerting it- 
self, is a part of that religious duty which we owe to God, 
whether it be in his first institution and appointment, or any 
duty in its primitive revelation, or whether it be in the com- 
mands he gives for the observation of what he hath formerly 
appointed. For when God hath commanded any things to 
be observed in his worship, though he design and appoint 
men to see them observed accordingly, and furnish them with 
the authority of commanding to that purpose, yet the inter- 
position of that authority of men, though by God's institu- 
tion, doth not at all hinder, but that the duty performed is 
religious obedience, relating directly to the will and com- 
mand of God. The power commanding in the case we have 
in hand is man's, not that of the Lord : for though it be ac- 
knowledged that those who do command have their autho- 
rity from God; yet, unless the thing commanded be also in 
particular appointed by God, the obedience that is yielded 
is purely civil, and not religious. This is the state of the 
matter under consideration. The commanding and imposing 
power is variously apprehended. Some say it is the church 
that doth it, and so assert the authority to be ecclesiastical ; 
every church, say they, hath power to order things of this 
nature for order and decency sake. When it is inquired what 
the church is that they intend, there some are at a loss, and 
would feign insinuate somewhat into our thoughts that they 
dare not openly assert and maintain. The truth is, the 
church in this sense is the king, or the king and parliament, 
by whose advice he exerts his legislative power. By their 


authority was the liturgy composed, or it was composed 
without authority : by their authority it must be imposed if 
it be imposed ; what is or was done in the preparation of it 
by others, unto their judgment hath no more influence into 
the authoritative imposition of it, when the act of a person 
learned in the law, drawing up a bill for the consideration of 
parliament, hath into its binding law power, when confirmed. 
In this sense we acknowledge the power ordaining and im- 
posing this liturgy to be of God, to be good and lawful, to 
be obeyed unto the utmost extent of that obedience which 
to man can be due, and that upon the account of the insti- 
tution and command of God himself. But yet supposing the 
liturgy to fall within the precincts and limits of that obe- 
dience, yet the observance and use of it being notcommanded 
of God, is purely an act of civil obedience, and not religious, 
wherein the conscience lies in no immediate subjection to 
Jesus Christ. It is of the same general nature with the 
honest discharge of the office of a constable : and this seems 
inconsistent with the nature of the worship of God. 

But whatever be the immediate imposing power, we have 
direction as to our duty in the last injunction of our blessed 
Saviour to his apostles. Matt, xxviii. 20. ' Teaching them to 
observe all things whatsoever I have commanded.' In things 
which concern the worship of God, the commanding power is 
Christ ; and his command the adequate rule and measure of 
our obedience. The teaching, commanding, and enjoining 
of others to do and observe those commands, is the duty of 
those intrusted with Christ's authority under him. Their 
commission to teach and enjoin, and our duty to do and ob- 
serve, have the same rules, the same measure, bounds, and 
limits. What they teach and enjoin beyond what Christ 
hath commanded, they do it not by virtue of any commis- 
sion from him ; what we do beyond what he hath commanded, 
we do it not in obedience to him; what they so teach, they 
do it in their own name, not his ; what we so do, we do in 
our own strength, not his, nor to his glory. The answer of 
Bellarmine to that argument of the Protestant divines from 
this place, against the impositions of his church, is the most 
weak and frivolous that I think ever any learned man was 
forced to make use of; and yet where to find better will not 
easily occur. Our Lord Jesus Christ saith, ' Go and teach 


wren to do and observe whatever I have commanded you, 
and lo I am with you ;' to which he subjoins, ' It is true, but 
yet we are bound also to obey them that are set over us, 
that is our church guides ;' and so leaves the argument as 
sufficiently discharged. Now the whole question is con- 
cerning what those church guides may teach and enjoin, 
whereunto we are to give obedience which is here expressly 
restrained to the things commanded by Christ ; to which the 
cardinal offers not one word. The things our Saviour treats 
about are principally the / agenda' of the gospel, things to 
be done and observed in the worship of God. Of these, as 
was said, he makes his own command the adequate rule and 
measure. ' Tfeach men to observe iravra 6<Ta all whatsoever 
I command;' in their so doing alone, doth he promise his 
presence with them, that is, to enable them unto the dis- 
charge of their duty. He commands, I say, all that shall to 
the end of the world be called to serve him in the work of 
the gospel, to teach- In that expression he compriseth their 
whole duty, as their whole authority is given them in this 
commission. In their teaching, indeed, they are to command 
with all authority ; and upon the non-obedience of men 
unto their teaching, either by not receiving their word, or 
by walking unworthy of it when it is received in the profes- 
sion of it, he hath allotted them the course of their whole 
proceedings ; but still requiring that all be regulated by what 
they are originally commissionated and enabled to teach and 
command. Let then the imposition of a liturgy be tried by 
this rule. It was never by Christ commanded to his apo- 
stles, cannot by any be taught as his command, and therefore 
men, in the teaching or imposing of it, have no promise of his 
presence, nor do they that observe it, yield any obedience 
unto him therein. This I am sure will be the rule of Christ's 
inquiry at his great visitation at the last day ; the things 
which himself hath commanded will be inquired after, as to 
some men's teachings, and all men's observation, and those 
only. And I cannot but admire with what peace and satis- 
faction to their own souls, men can pretend to act as by 
commission from Christ, as the chief administrators of his 
gospel and worship on the earth, and make it their whole 
business almost to teach men to do and observe what he 
never commanded, and rigorously to inquire after and into 

VOL. XIX. 2 G 


the observation of their own commands, whilst those of the 
Lord Jesus are openly neglected. 

But let the authority of men for imposition be supposed 
to equal the fancy of any, who through ignorance or interest 
are most devoted unto it, when they come to put their autho- 
rity into execution, commanding things in and about the 
■worship of God, I desire to know by what rule they are to 
proceed in their so doing. All the actions of men are or 
ought to be regular : good or evil they are,as they answer to 
or dissent from their proper rule. The rule in this matter 
must be the word of God, or their own prudence. Allow the 
former to be the rule, that is, revealing what they ought to 
command, and there is a total end of this difference. What 
a rule the latter is like to prove is easy to conjecture ; but 
there is no need of conjectures where experience interposeth. 
The great philosopher is blamed by some for inserting the 
determination of men wise and prudent into his definition of 
the rule of moral virtue. For, they say, that cannot be cer- 
tainly known whose rule and measure is fluctuating and 
uncertain. If there be ground for this assertion in reference 
to moral virtues, whose seed and principles are inlaid in the 
nature of man ; how much more is that rule to be questioned, 
when applied to things whose spring and foundation lies 
merely in supernatural revelation? How various, uncertain, 
and tumultuating, how roving this pretended rule is like to 
prove, how short it comes to any one single property of a 
sufficient rule, much more of all things that are necessary to 
complete a rule of prorocecome in such cases, were easy .to 
demonstrate. What good and useful place that is like to - 
obtain in the worship of God, which having its rise in the 
authority of man, is framed by the rule of the wisdom of 
man, and so wholly resolved into his will, I may say will be 
one day judged and determined, but that itis so already suf- 
ficiently in the word of truth. 



Argument second. Necessary use of the Liturgy exclusive of the use of the 
means appointed by Christ for the edification of his church. 

We proceed to some farther considerations upon the state 
of the question before laid down ; and shall insist on some 
other argument against the imposition pleaded for. We 
have spoken to the authority imposing ; our next argument 
is taken from the thing or matter imposed, and the end of 
that imposition. 

A human provision of means for the accomphshing of 
any end or ends in the worship of God, for which Jesus 
Christ himself hath made and doth continue to make pro- 
vision, to the exclusion of that provision so by him made, is 
not allowable. About this assertion I suppose we shall 
have no contention. To assert the lawfulness of such pro- 
visions, is in the first instance to exalt the wisdom and au- 
thority of men, above that of Christ, and that in his own 
house. This men will not nakedly and openly do, though 
by just consequence it be done everyday. But we have 
secured our proposition by the plainness of its terms, 
against which no exception can lie. It remaineth then that 
we shew, that the things mentioned in it, and rejected as 
disallowable, are directly applicable to the imposition of 
liturgies contended about. 

That the prescription of the Liturgy, to be used as pre- 
scribed, is the provision of a means for the accomplishino- 
of some ends in the worship of God, the judgment and the 
practice of those who contend for it, do suflSciently declare. 
Those ends, or this end (to sum up all in one) is. That the 
ordinances and institutions of Christ may be quickly ad- 
ministered and solemnized in the church with decency and 
order unto the edification of the assemblies wherein it is 
used. I suppose none will deny this to be the end intended 
in its imposition; it is so pleaded continually; nor is there 
any other that I know of assigned. Now of the things 
mentioned it is the last that is the principal end; namely, 
the edification of the church, which is aimed at for its own 

2 G 2 


sake, and so regulates the whole procedure of mere mediums, 
and those that are so mediums as also to be esteemed sub- 
ordinate ends. Such are decency and order, or uniformity. 
These have not their worth from themselves, nor do they 
influence the intention of the liturgists for their own sakes, 
but as they tend unto edification. And this the apostolical 
rule expressly requireth, 1 Cor. xiv. The prescription then 
of a liturgy is a provision for the right administration of the 
ordinances of the gospel unto the edification of the church. 
This is its general nature ; and in the administration of the 
ordinances of the gospel, consists the chief and main work 
of the ministry. That this provision is human, hath been 
before declared. It was not made by Christ, nor his apo- 
stles ; but of men, and by men was it made and imposed on 
the disciples of Christ. It remaineth then that we consider 
whether Jesus Christ have not made provision for the same 
end and purpose ; namely, that the ordinances and institu- 
tions of the gospel may be administered to the edification 
of the church. Now this the apostle expressly aflSrms, 
Eph. iv. 7 — 13. 'Unto every one of us is given grace accord- 
ing to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith. 
When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and 
gave gifts unto men. — He gave — some pastors and teachers ; 
for the perfection of the saints, for the work of the ministry, 
for the edifying of the body of Christ ; till we all come in 
the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of 
God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of 
the fulness of Christ.' The Lord Jesus, who hath appointed 
the office of the ministry, hath also provided sufficient fur- 
niture for the persons called according to his mind to the 
discharge of that office, and the whole duty of it. That the 
administration of the ordinances of the gospel is the work 
of the ministry I suppose will not be denied. Now that this 
work of the ministry may be discharged to the edification 
of his body, and that to the end of the world, until all his 
people in every generation are brought unto the measure of 
grace assigned unto them in this life, is expressly affirmed. 
He hath given gifts for this end and purpose ; namely, that 
the work of the ministry may be performed to the edifica- 
tion of his body. To say that the provision he hath made 
is not every way sufficient for the attaining of the end for 


which it was made by him, or that he continueth not to 
make the same provision that he did formerly, are equally 
blasphemous ; the one injurious to his wisdom, the other to 
his truth, both to his love and care of his church. For 
decency and uniformity in all his churches the Lord Jesus 
also hath provided. The administration of the same specifi- 
cal ordinances in the assemblies of his disciples convened 
according to his mind, according to the same rule of his 
word, by virtue of the same specifical gifts of the Spirit by 
him bestowed on the administration of them, constitutes 
the uniformity that he requires and is acceptable unto hina. 
This was the uniformity of the apostolical churches, walk- 
ing by the same rule of faith and obedience, and no other. 
And this is all the uniformity that is among the true 
churches of Christ, that are this day in the world. To 
imagine that there should be a uniformity in words and 
phrases of speech and the like, is an impracticable figment, 
which never was obtained, nor ever will be to the end of 
the world. And when men by the invention of rites and 
orders, began to depart from this uniformity, how far they 
were from falling into any other, is notorious from that dis- 
course of Socrates on this matter, lib. 5. cap. 21. For these 
then the Lord Christ hath made provision. And where there 
is this uniformity unto edification, let those things be at- 
tended unto which are requisite for the nature of assem- 
blies meeting for such ends, as assemblies, and all the de- 
cency and order which Christ requireth will ensue. I sup- 
pose it will not be safe for any man, to derogate from the 
sufl5ciency of this provision. If any shall say. That we see 
and find by experience, that men called to be ministers are 
not so enabled to the work of the ministry, as by virtue of 
the gifts they have received to administer the, ordinances of 
the gospel unto the edification of the church, I shall desire 
them to consider whether indeed such persons be rightly 
called unto the ministry, and do labour aright to discharge 
their duty in tha