The utter routing of the whole army of all the Independents and Sectaries, with the totall overthrow of their hierarchy ..., or, Independency not Gods ordinance in which all the frontires of the Presbytery ... are defended ...
Bastwick, John, 1593-1654.
Page  1

THE Vtter Routing of the whole Army of all the INDEPENDENTS and Sectaries, with the totall overthrow of their Hirarchy, that new Babell, more groundlesse than that of the Prelates.

THe Apostle Saint Paul in the fourth of the Ephesians, exhorting all Christians to walk worthy of the Vocation whereunto they were called, and to behave themselves as beseemed Brethren; wisheth them with all lowlinesse and meeknesse, with long suffering and patience, to bear one with another in love: And useth a forceable Ar∣gument, to move them to brotherly kind∣nesse, Because, saith he, there is but one body and one spirit and one hope of Salvation: We all worship one God, we are all con∣secrated to him with one Baptisme, and we all hope for one and the self-same glory: Therefore as there is but one Lord, one faith, one Baptisme; so be yee also of one minde, live in love, and keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace. If ever there was need of this exhortation, there is now singular use of it, especially in this distracted Nation wherein we live. For the division of a Kingdom is the ruine of it: the division of a family destroys it: the division between brethren brings a confusion amongst them. It hath ever bin observed, That diversity of judgment & opinion hath made a difference in affection. The difference between the Iews and the Samaritans in points of Religion, made the Disciples desire, That fire might come down from heaven to end that controversie. Page  2 The difference between us and the Papists, and the diversity of opinions between us, made them, because they could not bring down fire from heaven, fetch it out of hell, to blow up the Par∣liament; and because that had not the desired effect, and the diver∣sity of opinion stil remaining, makes the difference of their affection from us so great, that nothing can expiate their indignation against us, but the utter internetion and destruction of us all; and this and this only, next unto our own sins, is the cause of all those fatall calamities this miserable kingdome is now imbroyled with. And therefore, all care and diligence among brethren, should be used to get a right understanding one of another, and to move them to bear one with another, and ever to call to minde the saying of Abraham to Lot, Gen. 13. Let not us contend together for we are brethren. I am most assured, if there were a right understanding of the differences that are now among brethren, there could not be such bitter expressions one against another, and such alienation of affection as is now too frequent and too well known to the common enemy. We are commanded, If it be possible, as much as lies in us, to be in in peace with all men, Rom. 12. 18. And the fruits of discord are set down in the 5th of the Galathians verse 15. If saith the Apostle ye bite and devoure one another, take heede yee be not consumed one with another, and in the 20. verse. Hatred saith the Apostle, varience, emulation, strife, heresies &c. and envyings are of the flesh, and they that do such things shall not enter into the Kingdome of God. A double misery follows those that do these things, misery here, and misery hereafter, it excludes men out of heaven. The contemplation of the sad condition, that will inevi∣tably come upon that Land, Kingdome, and Church, where those variances and heart-burnings are, and where there is such diversi∣ty of opinions, and by reason of them, such difference in affecti∣on, put me chiefely upon this imployment, to see and try, if by any possible meanes, I could, by shewing wherein the difference between the brethren lyeth, be an instrument of a good accord amongst them: resolving with my self by Gods assistance whatso∣ever others do, to observe to the uttermost of my abilities, the royall Law, Jan. 2. 8. I do conceive, that if there were a right understanding one of anothers opinions, the world would won∣der there should be such invectives in every pamphlet one against another, and such varience among those that are joyned together Page  3 and that with nighest relations. The truth is, the mis-understan∣ding of each others opinions and the mis-prisian of each others intentions, is the onely cause of this diversity of affection which to the dishonour of God and of our holy profession, and indeed to the disgrace of Christian Religion, every where too much ven∣teth it selfe. And therefore as Abraham said unto Lot, so say I to all those that love the truth in sincerity and wish the Peace of Zion; Let not us contend, especially with evill language, for we are bre∣thren; we have one father, we worship one God, we have one light, one truth, one way. And this I professe to all the world, That I contend not for victory, but for that ancient light, the faith once delivered unto the Saints, Iude 3. For that truth which we have heard from the beginning, 1 Iohn 2. ver. 14. for the old way, verse 6. The way the truth and the life, Ioh. 14. and for the honour of that Church against which the gates of hell can never prevaile; in the which there are all those undeceiveable marks, as are able for ever to declare her to be built upon the foundation of Peter, in which the Gospell of Jesus Christ is purely and sincerely both preached and beleeved, and where the Sacraments are rightly administred, and in the which there is the true invoca∣tion of God, and all other requisites that make her a true Church; and from which there is no just cause of separation. That I have dedicated this Treatise to no man, nor sought the patronage of any Authority, no mortall creature I presume, will blame me, know∣ing my Reasons. For writing in defence of the Prerogative Roy∣all of Kings, against Papall Usurpation; I dedicated my booke unto the King of great Britaine, France, and Ireland, supposing my selfe safe under his protection, whose honour and imperiall dignity I maintain: but all men know, what misery to the ruine of me, my wife, and many small children came upon me by it, through the power and exorbitant authority of the Prelates: so that for my duty and Loyalty to the King, I had a prison for my reward, and the scornes and contumelies of the world to comfort me in it. And when I most humbly petitioned his highnesse, complaining against the injustice done me, and most submissively supplicated his Majesty (who was the Caesar to whom only I could then appeal) that he would be pleased to grant me one of these humble requests, either That his Majesty would be pleased, but for one houre to give me a hearing of my just defence; or if Page  4 that could not be granted, That at lest he would then grant me that liberty in his Kingdome, that he denyed not to Crows and Kites and other Vermine, that I might provide for my young ones; and if his highnesse would not be pleased to condescend unto either of the former just demands, That then he would give me leave to depart the Kingdom, and to go into any other Country where I might enjoy my Liberty and provide for my poore di∣stressed family. I am most assured there was never a more equall Petition put up to any Prince in the world, yet his Majestie vouch∣safed not to yeeld unto any of these my requests, nor to any other Petition put up either by my poor distressed wife or calamitous children; so that without any wrong unto his Majesty, I may truely say, That Paul found more favour from a Heathen Roman Caesar, then I had from a Christian King, the defender of the faith. After I saw all possibility of releefe was now taken from me, I writ my Apology to the Bishops themselves, discovering unto them their unjust proceedings in their Courts, and their unrighte∣ous dealings towards my selfe, and gave them my reasons of all I spake, without any offensive language and without any perturbation of Spirit; and Dedicated this my Booke to the Lords of his Majesties Privy Councell, expecting ayde and re∣liefe from them, and indeed I had no hope of succour from any other, nor knew none to whom I could better apply my selfe, ear∣nestly imploring their patronage; but they, as it is well knowne, of Patrons became my unjust Judges, and after they had made me a spectacle to Men and Angells, and exposed me to the scorne and ludibry of the world, sent me into banishment, where I lived a living death and a dying life, and suffered such intolerable mise∣ry of all sorts, as would exceed beliefe to relate; and I am most confident, if all the particulars were truly known, the world ne∣ver heard the like, and there I had ended my dolefull life, had not God of his infinite mercy called this Parliament, and put into their hearts to redeem me from my captivity; for the which incompa∣rable favour, I do, as of duty I am ever bound, professe my selfe to the last drop of my blood to be their servant in the Lord, and in all their most just and honourable imployments; I hope, with all fidelity to answer to the expectation of the world, and shall in life and death shew my selfe to be one, that without all by-respects shall ever aime at the glory of God▪ the honour of them and my Page  5 Country, and the common good of all: and shall never by Gods assistance do any thing in their concernment, that shall be unbe∣seeming a Man and a Christian. Now because by my sad experi∣ence, I found that I could neither from King nor Nobles have pro∣tection, I resolved never any more in Gods matters, to shroud my self under any covert but Divine Providence, and that, I with an assured confidence promise my self, especially when I now main∣tain the prerogative royall of the King of Saints, & King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is our Lawgiver, upon whose shoulders the government of his Church is laid, who is the wonderfull Coun∣seller, the Prince of peace; whose dignity and royalty in all this dispute between me and Mr. Walter Mountague, I have to the ut∣termost of my power maintained, under the shadow of whose wings I have ever found there is only safety; whose blessed assi∣stance, in all calamities, they that trust in him, may be most assi∣ed of. His patronage now and his defence, is my shield, whose cause and the honour of whose kingdome at this time I contend for. And howsoever, in all my life, in all humane learning, I was never so wedded to my own resolves, but▪ upon better reason I could easily be divorced from them, yet in Gods matters, if an Angell should come from Heaven and teach me, that, that there were another way to happinesse, then by that new and living way, the blood of Jesus Christ, who was the Lambeslaine from the be∣ginning of the world, I would count him Anathema. Or if an Angel should tell me there were a new way of worshipping God, and serving him, then that which God himself hath set down in his holy Word, I would account him accursed; for I have learned to believe God and Faith upon their word and bond, without any either Angelicall or Humane reason, or the authority of Coun∣els and Fathers: and whatsoever I finde a warrant in Gods Word for, I have learned to cleave close to it against all humane reason, supposing such men none of Gods, nor Faiths, truest friends that will not believe them upon their own word and bond, except they have reason, humane authority, Councels, and Fathers, and aine traditions joyned with them for sureties. Again, if any man should go about to perswade me, that there were any other go∣vernment established in the Church of God, then an Aristocrati∣call and a Presbyterian one, I should notwithstanding all humane reason to the contrary, submit my self to that kind of government, Page  6 as being most confidently assured that it is warranted in Gods Word; which all Christians are bound for ever to make the Rule and Square, both of our faith, manners and government. And here I must minde all those that shall read this Book, that this is no new opinion of mine, but that which I have once and again suffered for▪ and if ever they have read my Elenchus religionis papisticiae, or my Flagellum pontificis, or my Apologie, or any of my Latine Books, in all those they will finde, that the cause of all my sufferings was this, and this only, That I maintained that all Churches were to be governed by an Aristocraticall and Presbyte∣rian government, which in those Books I have clearly and fully (through Gods assistance) made good. Yea, in in my answer to the Bill of Information put up against me in the Star-chamber, they shall have some reasons I gave there, of this my tenent, to the Lords of his Majesties Hrivie Councell, and Judges in the Star-chamber; so that I stand to my principles and am no starter. And if then a∣mongst Gods people it was thought an opinion worthy the suffe∣ring for, and my Christian brethren deemed me worthy of honour for it, and afforded me their prayers, and shewed me and mine in all our distresses, many curtesies, when we found little favour from our own brethren (which their humanity I must never for∣get, but with all due thankfulnesse for ever acknowledge) I say, if then this my opinion was thought Orthodox, and worthy of their applause, I see no good reason why a truth then should not be counted a truth now; for the Word of God out of which I had it, is the same, and if it were good then, it is good now: for the change of mens minds cannot change the truth, but it must be e∣ver truth: but this my opinion I learned out of Gods Word then which shall be for ever, by his gracious assistance the warrant of my beliefe and practice. This Word therefore, I desire all my Christian Brethren, in the deciding of this question now agitated, amongst Gods people and his faithfull servants, concerning Church-government, to take into their hands, and with those no∣ble Breans to sit down and examine whatsoever shall be said on either side according to the holy Scrigtures: and I intreat them also to lay aside all passion (which Religion has no need of) and all vain-glory and bitternesse, which is a dishonour to our holy calling, and in the spirit of meeknesse, and with a Virgin judge∣ment, not ravisht with any previous or anticipated opinion, to Page  7 come and approach to the Altar of truth, and so consider and exa∣mine, which of those two opinions the Brethren on both sides now sacrifice themselves unto, be the offering that will best endure the firy-tryall, 1 Cor. 3. 13, 14, 15. viz. Whether the Presbyterian go∣vernment Dependent, or a Presbyterian government Independent, both now laid upon the Altar, be the acceptablest service, and best pleasing sacrifice. This is granted on all sides, and of necessi∣ty it must be yeilded unto, that that Oblation is the best and most acceptable that is offered up by faith, without which it is impos∣sible to please God, and that sacrifice only is offered up by faith, which is according to his Word, and has its warrant from his re∣vealed will, which is the rule both for worship and the govern∣ment of his Church we are to be guided by. The Brethren on both sides agree about the rule in deciding of this Coutroversie and make the written word the rule. They agree also about the materials, both acknowledging a Presbytery, the difference between them is only, about the mould and manner of the offering. I will therefore state the questions between us, and shew wherein we differ, and then set▪ down my own opinion with my reasons, and after en∣deavour to be a Moderator for the determining of this unhappy difference, which hath been an occasion of so much rejoycing to the common Enemy.

There is a two-fold question between us, they call the Presbyte∣rians, and our Brethren they tearme Independents. The first is concerning the government of the Church, vi. whether it be Presbyterian Dependent, or Presbyterian Independent. The se∣cond question is, concerning the gathering of Churches: but of that in its due place. The first question is whether many Congre∣gations or Christian Assemblies (commonly called Churches in our dialect) in the which there are all the acts of worship, or all Ordinances, as the pure preaching of the Gospell, the due and right administration of the Sacraments, the true invocation of God, Discipline rightly executed, and all other performances, which make for the essence and form of a true Church, and in the which assemblies likewise, they have all such officers and helps of Government▪ as in their severall places being rightly imployed, may serve for the edification of the same, and mutuall comfort and benefit of each other, and the preservation ofall, as Presbyters, doth preaching and ruling and Deacons, and all other Officers; I say Page  8 the question between us and the brethren is, Whether all these severall Congregations and Assemblies, may be accounted but one Church, or make but one Church within their Precincts; and be to be under the government and rule of one Presbytery, or a Councell or Colledge of many Presbyters together, upon which, all the Congregations and severall Assemblies under it are to depend; and to which in all weighty businesses they are to ap∣peal, for any injury or conceived wrong, or scandall; or for re∣dresse of any abuses in Doctrine or manners, and for the exercising of Church-Discipline upon incorrigable and scandalous offenders; as admonition for giving offence, suspension from the Ordinances till amendment and reformation; or if obstinate, Excommuni∣on? Or whether every one of those particular Congregations, or Assemblies be they never so small, severally or considered a part, and by themselves be Independent; that is to say, have full and plenary authority within themselves, without reference to this, or any other great Councell or Presbytery, for transacting or deter∣mining all differences about faith or manners amongst themselves, or for the redressing of any grievances or abuses, or the exercising of the power of Discipline or jurisdiction, and from the which there is no appeal for relief, though the parties offended conceive they have never so much injury or wrong done them? In a word, whether two Presbyters with a slender Congregation, have an absolute kinde of Spirituall Soveraignty among themselves, in their own Congregation, and as ample authority as was given to the whole Colledge of the Apostles, Mat. 18. and to the whole Presbytery in the Church of Ierusalem? And this is the first Question: Which that it may the better be understood, I will propound it in a simile, and that in a matter well known unto all men: The government of this famous City of London, and of many other great Cities through the Kingdome, are called Cor∣porations, that is to say, majestracies; and have in them a Secular or Civill Signory or Presbytry, who are invested with Anthority to exercise all acts of Government amongst themselves, as if they were an absolute Principality; and this Government, by which all Citizens and inhabitants within their Precincts and liberties, are to be ruled and ordered, as occasion and necessity shall require, is committed to the Lord Mayors, Aldermen, and Common-Councell, who onely by such other Officers as they Page  9 shall elect and choose, are to manage and exercise this government so, that all particular Citizens, and all the Companies of severall Tradesmen, are in their particular Wards, Precincts, and Fellow∣ships, by their constitutions and Charter, to depend upon the deter∣mination of that Counsell, and are to make their addresses unto them upon any urgent occasion, or conceived wrong, or when it concerns the common good, and for the time to stand unto their ar∣bitrement. Now then, the question between us and our Brethren is, as if there should arise a controversie in these severall Corpora∣tions; Whether the Companies in each City where they all have their severall Halls, and their severall assemblies and meetings upon all occasions, and have all their Officers, and exercise also a power of ruling and jurisdiction among themselves be indepen∣dent, that is to say, have plenary authority within themselves without reference to the Lord Mayor or Aldermen or Common-counsell, to determine of all things among their severall Compa∣nies, and from the which there is no appeale for reliefe; though one be never so much injured and damnified by any unjust act; and whether these severall Companies and severall Assemblies be each of them a severall Corporation or Magistracy, or all of them put together make but one Corporation, under one civill Presby∣tery consisting of the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common-counsell? This I thought fit to propound, that every one may the better understand the question. Now, as this kingdome of Eng∣land hath its severall Porporations through all Pounties, and the which Porporations, although they have their severall Pompa∣nies in them, yet are all dependent upon a civill Presbytery and Common-counsell, and every Company in them makes not a se∣verall Porporation or Magistracy, or a severall City, but are all dependent upon the Common-counsell or Presbytery, for the bet∣ter ordering and governing of them in all their common affaires, and for the redressing of abuses, and taking away and removing of common grievances, and have their severall appeals to the Common-counsell, the Lord Mayor, and Aldermen; and if they finde no justice there nor satisfaction, have their redresse and ap∣peal to some generall Court, or some supreame judicature, as to the Parliament of the Kingdome, who redresse and determine all things according to the lawes and constitutions of the whole Kingdome. So in the Kingdome of the Lord Jesus Christ, which Page  10 is his Church, all these severall Churches which we reade of in the holy Scrupture of the New Testament, are so many severall Corporations and Associations, all the severall congregations and assemblies as so many severall Companies in them, depend∣ing upon a Presbytery or Common-counsell and Colledge of Pa∣stors and Rulers, all making up but one Church in every one of their jurisdictions and severall Precincts, though they be consi∣stent of never so many severall Assemblies, according to the great∣nesse of the Cities or Townes wherein they are, or according to the severall Hundreds or Divisions assigned to each Presbytery, and all these severall associations to be groverned by their se∣verall Presbyteries for the better ordering and preserving of the same, to the which every particular man, as well as any Assem∣bly or Congregation, may have their appeal for the redresse of any abuses or enormities, and if they finde themselves wronged there, then they have appeals to some other higher Presbytery or Coun∣sell of Divines for relief and justice; and both they and all other of the severall Corporations to be governed and regulated by the Laws and Statutes given by Christ himself, the onely Head and King of his Church, according onely to whose laws they are to be governed and ruled for the common good and preservation of the whole Church, divided into those severall Jurisdictions, Cor∣porations or Precincts, in imitation as neer now as may be of the Churches of Ierusalem, Ephesus, Corinth, and Galatia, &c. and whose lawes alone must be the rule for the ordering of all their government, doctrine, and manners.

I have premised this I have now said, that all men may the bet∣ter understand the state of the Question and controversie in hand. Now then, if it shall be made appear out of the holy Scripture, That all the severall Churches we have mention of in the New Testament, were all particular corporations or associations, and governed by a Common-Councell of Presbyters, or by a Presby∣teriall government in each of them; and that there were many assemblies and congregations in those severall Churches, and all of them had their distinct Officers amongst themselves, in the which likewise they had all the Acts of Worship amongst them∣selves, and did partake in all ordinances of Church-fellowship, es∣pecially in the preaching of the Word, Prayer, & in the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lords Supper, and yet made but one Church, Page  11 and were all governed by a common-counsell of Presbyters, or by a common Presbyterie within their Precincts, then it must of necessity follow, that as the Mother-churches were first govern'd, all the Daughter-churches to the end of the world must be so go∣vern'd, and according to that rule that is set down in the Word of God. So then, the question in hand between us and our Bre∣thren is, Whether, there were many Congregations and Assemblies in any of those primitive Churches, as in that of Ierusalem the Mother Church, and many Elders or Presbyters in that Church, and all other Officers; and whether all those Congregations and Assemblies were one Church, and those Presbyters and Officers all of them Elders and Officers of that one Church, and whether all those Congregations and Assemblies were under one Presbytery? Which is the opinion of the Presbyterians, and the contrary that of the Independents. This I say is the question between us and our Brethren. Now then if it can be proved, that there were more Beleevers in the Church of Jerusalem then could all meet in one place, or in one congregation for all acts of worship; and if it can be evidently elucidated, that there were se∣verall assemblies and congregations in the Church of Jerusalem, & yet so, as they made but one church for government; then our Bre∣thren must of necessity acknowledge that the church of Jerusalem, was govern'd by a common-councell of Presbyters, or was presby∣terially governed. Neither did our Brethren ever yet undertake to prove, that in case there were many Assemblies in Jerusalem, they had severall and independent presbyteries, neither it they should go about to prove, could they do it. And therfore we may conclude, and that with very good reason and warrantable authority, that as the Mother-church, the church of Jerusalem, in her greatest glory was govern'd, so all other Churches must likewise be regulated to the end of the world; For out of Zion shal go forth the Law, & the Word of the Lord from Ierusalem, Isay 2. v. 3. We must have both our Law from thence, and our paterne of government. And out Brethren do make the Church of Jerusalem the patern of their proceedings.

Now that all things may be handled in good order and in a me∣thodicall way, I will reduce the whole Disputation concerning the first Question into these foure Propositions, and prove them in order. The first, That there were many Congregations and severall Assemblies of Beleevers in the Church of Ierusalem, in the which they enjoyed all acts of worship, and all the Ordinances amongstPage  12 themselves, and did partake of all acts of Church-fellowship, especi∣ally of preaching, and in the administration of the Sacraments and Prayer, and that before the Persecution we reade of, Acts 8. v. 1. The second, That all these Congregations and severall Assemblies made but one Church. The third, That the Apostles and Elders go∣verned, ordered, and ruled this Church, joyntly and by a Common∣counsell and Presbytery. The fourth, That this Church of Ierusalem and the government of the same, is to be a pattern for all severall con∣gregations and assemblies in any City or vicinity to unite into one Church; and for the Officers of those congregations to governe that Church joyntly in a Colledge or Presbyterie.

But before I come to the proof of these particulars, it will not be amisse in generall to take notice that all the Churches we read of in the New Testament, were Aristocratically and Presbyteri∣ally governed, and were all dependent upon their severall Pres∣byteries; and that the ordering and managing of that govern∣ment lay onely upon the Presbyterie; and was their peculiar who had the power of the Keyes. Now Christ gave the Keyes to the Apostles and Presbyters only, and whatsoever the Apostles did in ordering and setling the government of the Church, they did by Christs command; and that order and constitution they set down in the Church, was to be perpetuated and continued to the end of the world. And the violating of this order and di∣vine constitution, was the occasion of the rise and growth of An∣tichrist, and the very cause of all those confusions that the Christi∣an world hath for these many generations been wearied and an∣noyed with; and the occasion of all those Schismes, Sects, and Heresies the world hath ever swarmed with: and the re-establi∣shing and reducing of it to its pristine constitution, will be a means not only of removing all scandall, and taking away of all di∣vision amongst Brethren, and be a singular means also of establi∣shing a flourishing government in Church & State, and for the pro∣curing of the blessings of God upon the three Kingdoms, but a way also of ruining that Man of Sinne, and of making an absolute Re∣formation through the whole world.

Let us therefore first take notice what government was establi∣shed by God in all the Primitive Churches, Acts 14. 23. And when they had ordained them Presbyters (for so it is in the origi∣nall) in every Church, and had prayed with fasting, they commen∣dedPage  13them to the Lord, on whom they beleeved. Here are two things observable. The first that the government of the Church was committed to the Presbyters. The second, that the Presbyteriall government was that government that was established in every Church; for so saith the Holy Ghost, when they had ordained them Presbyters in every Church. This was Gods ordinance, Acts 20. 17. And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the Presby∣ters of the Church. Here we see there were many Presbyters in one Church. And Verse 28. Take heed therefore unto your selves, saith the Apostle, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you Bishops, to feed the Church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood. Here, as we may observe, that in Gods Dialect, Presbyters and Bishops were all one, so likewise is evident that the Church was committed to their government: this Church therefore of Ephesus was under a Presbytery, and was to be regulated joyntly by them by a common-councell of Presbyters. And Paul to Titus, chap. 1. vers. 5. For this cause, saith he, life I thee in Creet, that thou shouldest put in order the things that are wanting, and ordaine Presbyters in every City, as I appointed thee. If any man be blamelesse, &c. for a Bishop must be blamelesse as the Steward of God, &c. From this place likewise we may take notice of the parity between Presbyter and Bishop, and that the Presbyterian government was that way of ruling that God appointed, not in one City onely, but in every City, and that these Presbyters were the Stewards in Gods house, which is his Church, 1 Tim. 3. and had the government of those Churches in every City laid upon them, which they were joyntly to governe and order by the common-counsell of Presbyters. And Paul in his first Epistle to Timothy, chap. 5. v. 17. Let the Presbyters, saith he, that rule well, be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in word and doctrine. Still we ever observe, that the rule and government of the Church was in the Presbyters hands. And the Author to the Epistle to the Hebrews, ch. 13. 7. Remember, saith he, them that have the rule over you, who have spake unto you the Word of God, whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. And vers. 17. Obey, saith he, them that have the rule over you, and submit your selves, for they watch for your soules, as they that must give an account, &c. And in vers. 24. Salute all them, saith he, that have the rule over you, and all thePage  14Saints. Here againe he injoynes all the Churches to yeild obedi∣ence, and to submit themselves unto the government of the Pres∣byterie, shewing them that it is their place to obey, and for their Ministers to rule; and that so long as they command in the Lord, they out of conscience ought to obey them, and that for a double reason; For they watch, saith he, for your souls, and they must also give an account of their stewardship. And in 1 Peter 5, 1, 2, 3. The Presbyters that are among you, saith Saint Peter, I exhort, who am also a Presbyter, and a witnesse of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed; feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the over sight thereof, not by con∣straint, but willingly, &c. neither as being Lords over Gods he∣ritage, but being examples to the flock. And Saint James chap. 5. ver. 14. Is any among you sick? saith he, let him call for the Pres∣byters of the Church. He doth not say of the Churches, but of the Church. So that the Presbyterian government was in every Church, and every Church was to submit it self unto the Presby∣tery. And in Acts 15. it is said, that Paul and Barnabas went up to the Apostles and Presbyters, &c. And when they came to Ieru∣salem they were received of the Church (it is not said of the Chur∣ches, but of the Church) and of the Apostles and Presbyters, &c. and Verse 6. And the Apostles and Presbyters came together to consider of the matter, &c. and Vers. 22. Then pleased it the A∣postles and Presbyters with the whole Church, &c. and wrote Letters by them after this manner. The Apostles, and Presbyters, and Brethren. And Acts 21. 17. And when we were come to Ie∣rusalem, saith Saint Luke, the Brethren received us gladly. And the day following Paul went in with us in to Iames, and all the Presbyters were present. From all which places, and many more which might be produced, it is most clear and evident, that in all Cities there was a Presbytery, and that the Presbyters had the power of order, namely, of preaching, and the power of jurisdi∣ction, that is of ruling, which was ever to be exercised with o∣thers, and not alone; and that consisted in admitting of mem∣bers, and in conventing men before them upon occasion, in ad∣monishing if any offended, in suspending them from the holy Com∣munion till reformation or amendment; and if they continued obstinate and incorrigble, in excommunicating and casting of them out of the Church, and upon repentance, in receiving of Page  15 them in again, and in ordaining of Officers, and in appointing the times of meeting, and the places where.

And within these limits, as I conceive, is all the power given to the Presbyters terminated, and this they are by Gods Ordi∣nance joyntly and by the common-counsell of Presbyters to exer∣cise, and it peculiarly belongeth unto them; and therefore the Presbyterian government was the order of ruling and governing all Churches, that God himself established, and is to be continu∣ed unto the end of the world; neither do I ever read, that the people or the congregations were joyned with them in their com∣mission, or had any power given them of ruling. For Saint Paul professeth of himself in 1 Cor. 14. 37. that whatsoever he writ in his Epistles Were the Commands of the Lord. And the same may be said of all the other Apostles. Now Paul writ to Titus, that the Churches in all Cities should be governed by a Presbytery. And in the first Epistle to Timothy he commands Timothy again and a∣gain in chap. 5. vers. 21. and in chap. 6. v. 12, 13. I give thee charge in the sight of God, saith he, That thou keep this Command without spot, unblameable till the appearing of our Lord Iesus Christ. Here Timothy and all Ministers in him, are to the end of the world bound to maintain that government unblameable that was ap∣pointed by the Apostles; and that was the Presbyterian govern∣ment, and the ruling of all Churches by joynt consent, and a com∣mon counsell or Colledge of Presbyters; so that nothing ought to be done or transacted of publick concernment without their joynt and mutuall accord or agreement and common consent of the Presbytery. And therfore when Diotrephes assumed unto him∣self and his particular congregation a power and authority to rule according to his will and pleasure, without the consent of the Pres∣bytory, & opposed Iohn the Presbyter, he sharply reproves his pro∣ceedings and signifies to the Church Epist. 3. That when he came he would remember his words, and teach him how to prate against the Presbytery with malicious words; For he (saith S. Iohn) con∣tenteth not himself only to prate maliciously against us, but he will not receive his brethren, nor suffer others, but casteth them out of the Church; which is an evill thing in him; saith Saint Iohn: But for you, saith he, speaking to the Church, follow not that which is evill but that which is good. It was evill in him to assume unto himself alone, and his particular Congregation, that power that Page  16 belonged unto the colledge or councell of Presbyters, and was to be moderated and exercised onely by the conjoynt and com∣mon consent of the Presbytery. For God had appointed, that his Church should be governed by a Presbytery; and Diotrephes would have his Congregation Independent, and have an absolute jurisdiction within it self, Which, saith Saint Iohn, is an evill thing. So that I cannot but wonder our brethren the Independents should call Diotrephes the Patriarch of the Presbyterians, as one of them did to me not long since; whereas if the place be du∣ly weighed and considered; it will appear that he was the first that opposed the Presbyterian Govenment, and for the which he was by Saint Iohn sharply reproved, and in him, all that follow his steps, and will not submit themselves to the Presbytery which is Gods Ordinance, and that will not receive the brethren into the Churches, but upon their own termes and conditions. But of this businesse when I come to the second Question.

In the mean time I must here make reply to what Mr Knollys by way of Answer hath to say to this Argument drawn from Dio∣trephes his practise which was occasioned as I related before, by reason of a discourse between me and an Independent, who affir∣med, That Diotriphes was the patriarch of all the Presbyterians: which opinion of his Mr Knollys doth seem to favour, as by his words may appear, but I hope to make the contrary more evident then yet it hath been, viz. That Diotrephes was the primate of the Independents, and of all those of the congregationall way. But first I will set down Mr Knollys his words at large, to take away all occasions of their calumniating tongues, who ordinarily use to say, That we keep from the world their Arguments, that we may the better delude the people, and hold them in ignorance. His words therefore by way of answer to that Argument are these.

Now let the reader judge (saith he) whether the Doctor be not much mistaken in his commentary exposition and application of this place of Scripture. And let me give you to understand, that Saint Iohn saith verse the 9. I wrote unto the Church. But seeing no men∣tion is made of any particular congregation, how can the Doctor so confidently affirme that it was his particular congregation? Now the reader may see plainly, that the Doctor can expound those bre∣thren and their Elders or Presbyters, which the Scripture calls a Page  17 Church, to be a particular congregation. And what it was which Saint Iohn had written to the Church is not in this Epistle, nor in any other Scripture delcared, except it was, to receive those brethren which he saith ver. 8 ought to be received, and ver. 10 whom Diotre∣phes would not receive, how then doth the Doctor say that Diotre∣phes assumed that power to himselfe, which belonged unto the Col∣ledge and Councell of Presbyters, without whose joynt and mutuall agreement, and common consent nothing ought to be done or trans∣acted of publike concernment? is the receiving of brethren, or cast∣ing out of brethren a power which belongs to a colledge of Presbyters, and neither the one nor the other may be transacted by the Elders and Brethren of a particular congregation unlesse the Court or common-councell of Presbyters conjoyntly consent unto it? Let it be also considered, that D otrephes opposed the brethren and forbad them that would have received those who Saint John saith vers. the 8. we ought to receive, yea and cast them out verse 10. of the Church, to wit, ex∣communicate them. Doth it hereby appear that Diotrephes would have his congregation Independent, and have an absolute jurisdiction within it selfe? No, but Diotrephes would lord it over the Church, and have the preeminency above his brethren, whether fellow-Elders or fellow Saints. Diotrephes loving the primacy amongst them, he would be the Primate and Metropolitan of the Church, and have the preeminency of all the Presbyters in it, and brethren of it. The Doctor could have urged this Scripture against the domineering Prelates, and why should he marvell, that his brethren should now urge it against the Court of Presbyters. It is confest that Diotrephes did that which was evill in usurping authority over the Church and those brethren he cast out of the Church; But that he was the first that opposed the Presbyterian government, or that he did affront a Court or common▪councell of Presbyters, it is more then I know, or the Doctor can prove. For had Diotrephes done so, why was he not convented before them? Surely the Apostle Saint Iohn would rather have written to the colledge of Presbyters (if there were any such) then to the Church, or in writing to the Church, would tather have sent him a summons to appear at some consistory before the Court and common-councell of Presbyters, then to warne them to take heed of hi evill, that they did not follow it. And doubtlesse St John would have writen thus: Diotrephes loves to be a Primate amongst you, wherefore when the Presbytry, that is to say, the Ma∣gistracy Page  18 or Signiory of grave, solid, learned, religious, and wise Di∣vines and Ministers come to keep order, and meet together in a Court and common-councell, I will remember his deeds, and informe, or complain to the Court and common-councell of Presbyters, that he prates against us (the Presbyters) with malicious words. But the Apostle Saint Iohn (did not know any Court or Common-councell of Presbyters, neither Classicall nor Synodicall, to appeal unto) Nor can the Doctor make good those appeals he mentioneth page 10▪ to be according to the Scripture of truth, to wit, that every particular man, as well as any assembly or congregation, may have their appeals to the Presbytry of their Precinct, hundred, or division under whose jurisdictions they were, and if they found themselves wronged there, that they have appeals to some other higher Presbytry or Councell of Divines for releefe and justice. I only aske the Doctor how he can prove those appeals by Scripture; and if he could, whether that higher Presbytry or councell of Divines (especially if they may say the Holy Ghost and wee) be not as Independent as these brethren and their churches, against whom the Doctor hath written. And if so, then such a high Presbytry or councell of Divines, is not Gods Or∣dinance by the Doctors own confession and affirmation. Therefore the Apostle writes to the Church or particular congregation where∣of Diotrephes was a Member and an Elder, whom he knew had pow∣er to judge him as well as the Church or particular congregation of Corinth had power to judge them that were members therein, 1 Cor. 5. 12. 13. and therefore might as warantably admonish Diotrephes as the Church of Colosse might Archipus: Coloss. 4. 17. And if nothing of publike concernment ought to be done or transacted with∣out the joynt and mutuall accord or agreement, and common consent of the Presbytry; Iohn the Presbyter would not have transgressed so farr, as to take upon himselfe this authority over Diotrephes to tell the Church of his faults, and to say, he would remember him and sharply reprove him, and teach him to prate against the Presbytry with malicious words, which belonged unto the Court and common-councell of Presbyters. But I shall have a just occasion to say more touching this matter, in the answer unto the third question, and therefore passing by the objection with his answer mentioned page 19. to the 29. unto its due place. I shall desire seriously to consider the Doctors proof of his first proposition, which he laboureth first by pro∣ducing such Scriptures, as he conceiveth make for the manifestation Page  19 of the truth, and from thence frames and formeth his arguments. Thus Mr Knollys in way of reply speaketh to my argument con∣cerning Diotrephes and of his intention what he will do in the in∣suing discourse to all the other arguments.

I have here set down his words at large, omitting only the greek and latin texts which he School-boy-like scribleth, to little other purpose than to shew his own vanity, and to perswade the ignorant people, that he is some-body in the Greeke and Latine tongue (which kind of learning notwithstanding the most of his fraternity generally despise and contemne) I have therefore omit∣ted them, especially having learned this lesson from Saint Paul, 1 Cor. chap. 13. vers. 19. rather to speak five words to the under∣standing of the people, that I might teach others, then ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. And truly unlesse there be some con∣troversie concerning the Interpretation or about the text (as there is not here) I conceive it the greatest folly in the world; writing in the vulgar tongue and for the common benefit of all men, to insert sentences either of Greek or Latin, except very varly; for it but pudders the reader that is not skilled in the languages, neither do we finde that it was the custome either of the holy Prophets, or a∣ny of the ancient Greek or Roman fathers in all their Writings or Sermons, to use any, but their vulgar tongue without it were very seldom and that with interpretation. I say therefore, those flashes being excepted I have punctually set down all that he had to say against any of my arguments both here and every where, that nei∣ther he nor any of his party may complain, that I had not set down their words in their full strength, and so might fall into the same condemnation with him, who hacketh and minseth my arguments at pleasure, picking and choosing what he thinks himself best able to deal with, either wholly omitting the other or slighting of them which is the ordinary method both of Mr Knollys, J. S. and my brother Burton and all the Independents, wherein they deal not fairly with me, nor ingenuously nor candidly with the people: for in so doing they delude them and meerly play the jug∣lers.

This large discourse of Master Knollys, if it be well weighed, hath but little substance in it, it consisting of absurdities and contraditi∣ons and flat denyalls of that which he often granteth. In breife, if the reader will but duly consider every passage of his answer, Page  20 with whathe grants in the third and the 11. pages of his pamplet, he will speedily perceive, that whiles he labours to confute others, he gives a fatall blow to his own cause, and overthrowes that opinion which both he and all those of the congregationall way labour to maintaine, and withall by the examination of the particulars he will the better discerne into the futility of Master Knollys and the vani∣ty of those of his party, that beleeve & take every word of his, for an Oracle though it be never so distructive totheir own cause. The sum of this his answer is this, that I ammistaken in my comentary expo∣sition and application of this place of Scripture. These are his words.

It will not be amisse therefore, in the first place to take notice what he denyeth in his answer, and what he affirmeth, with the reasons of both, that the reader may the more easily perceive the vanity of error and the force and efficacy of truth. First he denyeth that Diotrephes would have had an absolvte juris∣diction within himself and have had his Congregation indepen∣dent, and that he was the first that opposed the Presbyterian Go∣vernment, or that he had any particular congregation: He deneyeth also that Saint Iohn knew any Court or Common counsell of Pres∣byters either Classicall or Synodicall to appeale to his time. The reasons of his denyals are these. First, because saith he, there is no mention made of any particular congregation Diotrephes had. Secondly, it is not declared what it was that Saint Iohn had writ unto the Church in his Epistle nor in any other Scripture, except it were to receive those brethren which Diotrephes would not receive and therfore, how saith God can the D affirme that Diotrephes as∣med theypower to himself which belonged unto the Colledge and councell of Presbyters &c? and to prove that Diotrephes was not the first that opposed the Presbyterian government, he saith, had he done so, then he should have been convented before them, which he was not; and therefore he did not oppose a Court or common Councell of Presbyters. Besides Saint Iohn would then have wrot rather to the Colledge of Presbyters (if they had been any such) than to the Church, or in writing to the Church would rather have sent him a summons to appeare at some Consistory, than to warne them to take heede of his evill, that they did not follow it, and doubtlesse he would have written thus. Diotrephes loves to be a Primate amongst you: therefore when the Presbytery comes to keepe order, and to meet together in a Court common Coun∣cell, Page  21 I will remember his deeds, and informe and complaine to the Court that he prats against us with malicious words. Now when neither of this was done by the Presbytry, nor by Saint▪ Iohn, it is manifest that Diotrephes did not oppose the Presbytry, and that Saint Iohn then knew not of any Court or common coun∣cell of Presbyters either Classicall or Synodicall to appeale to in his time. And then in the third place he putteth me upon the proofe of those appeales I made mention of page 10. affirming that I can∣not make them good: And in the last place, he afferteth that Saint Iohn wit to the Church and particular congregation whereof Diotrephes was a member, and that, that congregation had power to judge of him, and the reason of this his assertion, is, because saith he, this Church had the same power over Diotrephes, that the Church of Corinth and that of Colosse had over their members.

Having thus briefly set down what Master Knollys both denies and affirmes with the reasons of each, I shall now answer to every severall branch in order; and if I be the more large in my reply, I crave pardon, in regard it is not only a businesse of publicke con∣cernment and about the principle question now in debate, but that it will give the more light to the wholo following discourse.

For answer therefore to his reason of my mistake, in my com∣mentary exposition and application of that place of Scripture viz: that there is no mention made of any particular congregation that Diotrephes had, I say, there was no neede of making any mention of it: For if there were many Presbyters in all the Primative and Apostolicall churches, and in that Church by name in which Dio∣trephes was Presbyter as it is evident out of all the places above quoted as out of the 14. of the Acts and the 15. and 20. and 21. of the same booke and the Epistle of Paul to Tit. Chap. 1. ver. 5. and the 1. Epist. oPet. chap 5. ver. 1. 2. 3. and the 13. of the Heb. and Saint Iames the 5. and the 3. Epistle of Saint Iohn which Master Knollys himself acknowledgeth and if it be also apparently evi∣dent from all those severall Scriptures, (as it is) that those Pres∣byters were fixed with in their particular jurisdictions, with a speciall charge given them in common, to looke unto the flocks committed unto their charge, and to feede the Church of God which he had redeemed with his precious blood, which word feede includes the Keys, to wit, the power of order and preaching and the authority of jurisdiction and rule, and from the which charge Page  22 they were not to depart, as too too many of the Independent Mini∣sters now amongst us dayly do, leaving the poore sheepe in the wil∣dernesse: I say when all these things are evident out of the holy Scripture it necessarily followeth, when Diotrephes was an Elder and Presbyter in that Church Saint Iohn writ unto, which Master Knollys confesseth, that he had there his particular congregation, and therfore there was no neede of making any mention of it: for very common reason will dictate thus much, to any man, that if any great grasier have ten or twelve thousand sheepe and many severall walks and places of pasturage to feed them in, and hath severall pastours to looke unto them all, as not a few Shephards can feede ten or twelue thousands sheepe, and gives them all a charge in common of looking to his sheepe and feeding them, although all those severall pastours are to have a generall care of all those sheep that have his marke upon them, and that are within the limits of his severall walks and grasing places, yet it is to be understood, that every one of them hath his severall flocke committed to him in speciall for he must not be idle, over the which he is to have the particular inspection and care for the well ordering of it, with this limitation, that he may not wrong the flocke, or do any thing con∣trary unto his Masters pleasure, or to the dammage or prejudice of his other fellow Pastours or their flocke: All this I say, good reason will dictate to any rationall man, and dayly experience will confirme it.

In the same manner things were ordered, in the primitive and Apostolicall Churches, all whose Elders and Pastours in them, had the charge of the severall flocks committed to them in com∣mon, all the which they were to governe communi consilio presby∣terorum as it is by all the Independents themselves confest: for all those Churches were Aristocratically and Presbyterianly go∣verned: and therefore according to the wisdome and common councell of their Elders, this Presbyter had the charge of the sheepe of such a ward or walke committed unto his care; and that Elder had such a Circuit committed unto his charge, and a third Elder had such a precinct committed to his cure, and so of the rest, with this proviso alwayes, that all things of publicke concernment, and that tended to the common good both of sheep and Pastours should be ordered by the joynt and common coun∣cell of the severall and respective Presbyters in an orderly and Page  23 well regulated way: for all things in the Church were to be done in order and decency and uniformitie which could never have been, if every Pastour and Presbyter and every particular congre∣gation under them severally would have governed as pleased themselves, without any reference to the Colledge or common counsell of all the Presbyters, which was the failing of Diotrephes here, for which he was greatly blam'd by Saint Iohn. And that all those Churches were to be governed by their severall Presby∣tries, and that the people were not to intermeddle with the go∣vernment of them Master Knollys himselfe in the third page of his pamphlet and in the eleventh of the same doth accord, who citing my words in my introduction to my booke deduceth from them foure conclusions, which I shall by and by set downe after I have related the grounds of them.

Before (saith he) the Doctor comes to proove his four particu∣lar Propositions, he saith it will not be amisse in generall to take no∣tice that all the Churches we read of in the new testament were ari∣stocratically and Presbyterially Governed, and were all Dependent upon the severall Presbyters, and produceth divers places of Scrip∣ture to prove the same, and two sheets are spent wholly in proving thereof, from the 12 page to the 29. These words Mr Knollys quo∣teth out of my book. Now hear his answer. All which (saith he) should it be granted, onely proves. First, that in every City or Church there was a Presbytery, For they Ordained them Elders in every Church, Act. 14. That thou Ordain Elders City by City, Tit. 1. v. 5. Secondly, that as there were Apostles and Elders in the church of Jerusalem, so there were Elders, in the church of Ephesus Acts the 20. ver. 25. and in the church of Corinth and in the church of Galatia and Philippy, &c. Thirdly, that those severall chur∣ches were dependent, upon their several Presbyteries, and they were to obey them who had the rule over them, Hebr. 13. 7. 17. 24. Who were their guids, obey your guids. Fourthly, that this Presbyterian church Government God hath appointed as his Ordinance to be continu'd to the end of the World, the which whosoever resisteth, resisteth the Ordinance of God. These are the foure conclusions Master Knolleys gathereth out of my arguments, but with all adds, saying, that all this doth not prove, that this Presbyterian Church government is dependent upon a supreame judicature, to the Decrees of which they must submit themselves and their churches. This saith Mr. Knollys doth not follow; but of that in its due place.

Page  24 In the mean time it will be much to the purpose, a little to consider his expressions. All which saith he) should it be gran∣ted proves: First, &c. to wit, the four conclusions now layd down in this place, I intreat the Reader to behold the vanity of the man, in so speaking, all which shuld t be granted, as if he did me a great courtesie and favour to yeeld unto me, that which the holy Scripture in exresse wods declareth o be the will and plea∣sure of God and that which I had out of the blessed word of truth sufficiently ev need, and which no man can deny, except he will deny the Scripture and Word of God which hath perspicu∣ously and in fo mall termes set own, that there was a Colledge & Presbyte ie of Elders, orda ned and constituted in very Church or City who were to have the rule over the people in their severall congreations, within their rcin s wch M Knollys himself con∣senteth unto, as is evident by his 4 conclusions. So that if ever there had been any time of denying or not granting, that all the Chur∣ches of the New Iestament were all Arstocratically and Presby∣terianly to be govern'd, and were so many severall Eccle a••icall Corpo ations, and that all those Scriptures I had produced for the proof of the same, had not been rightly applyed and alleadged, now had been the time (when this businesse was in question and agitation) for Mr Knollys to have shewen his skill and to have produced the reasons of his dislike and gain-saying, but when he confirmed what I proved, as is manifest from his four conclusions it is a great folly in the man, to say, all which should it be granted, when he himselfe acknowledgeth as much, and in expresse terms in the eleventh page of his book hath these words; It is not denyed (saith he) by the brethren, (meaning the Independents) that the Presbyters in all Churches, were the men in the Government of the Churches, in which they were Elders: These are his own words, by which he consens to that I had written to be true, to wit, that all the Churches of the New Testament were all Aristocratically to be governed, that is, that all the particular congregations under the severall Presbyters were to be moderated and regulated Communi consilio Presbyteram: so that if every Congregat on and particular assembly, then the pastor and Elder also of that congre∣gation, as being but a chiee member of it, is to be ordered and governed by the joynt and common councell of the whole col∣ledge of Presbyters, and that by Mr Knollys his own concession Page  25 from which grant of his, I shall now likewise deduce these ensu∣ing conclusions, which will necessarily follow out of his words, and all of them fatall to his own principles, and to the opinion of those of the congregationall way.

The first, that the people are wholly excluded from Govern∣ment in the Church; for saith he, It is not denyed by the brethren, that the Presbyters in all Churches, were the men in Government of the Churches, in which they were Elders: So that the people and Church though presbyterated (as they speak) have not the government in their hands, as indeed they have not, as never ha∣ving received the Keyes, nor never having been made stewards of the Church, nor joyned in Commission with the Elders, and there∣fore they can never either receive in members, or cast out offen∣ders; for all these are acts of Government and belong onely to the Rulers of the Church, whom the people are ever to obey in the Lord, as he granteth, and by this he overthrows all that which af∣terward he affirms, that the Church or Congregation of which Diotrephes was an Elder, had power over him; and this is the first conclusion, that of necessity followeth out of Mr Knollys his words; but more of this in the sequell of this discourse.

The second conclusion that follows out of his words is this That the Government was not put into the hands of any one El∣der with his Congregation, but into the hands of many Elders, that is, into the hands of the whole Presbytery, to wit, the Court or Colledge of Presbyters; so that they, and they only, joyntly and together, had the power, both to question, convent and censure; for M. Knollys saith, It is not denyed by the brethren, but that the Presby∣ters in al churches were the men in the government: according to that of S. John If I come, I will remember his deeds which he doth prating against us. So that whosoever shall, Diotrephes like, indeavour to al∣ter this government, and assume it to themselves from the other Elders and from the Presbyters, or to invest the people with it, or joyn them in commission with the Elders, or to arrogate unto themselves or to their particular congregations, an absolute juris∣diction within themselves, and an Independency from them; and shall go about to disgrace and prate against the Presbyters, and la∣bour to bring them into the hatred of the people, and shall take this liberty at pleasure, to cast out whom they will out of their congregations, or to bring in whom they please upon their Page  26 owne tearmes and conditions, and exercise an absolute Lordly Do∣minion amongst themselves over their congregations and the severall members in them, all such are guilty of Diotrephes his sinne, and offend in like manner, and are equally to be blamed as assumers unto themselvs of that power which only belongeth to the presbytery; now when all the Independents are guilty of this crime, they may justly with Diotrephes be censurd: and this is the second conclusion that necessarily followeth from Mr. Knollys his words.

The third is this, that there were many congregations in all the primitive churches, and yet made all of them within their severall precincts and jurisdictions but one church; for so it was here in the church that Saint Iohn writeth unto, where there were many Elders as Master Knollys confesseth, in the which every Elder had his particular congregation as well as Diotrephes, for they were no way inferiour to him; so that, if he had his particular con∣gregation they each of them severally had their congrega∣tions likewise, and yet they were all of them to be governed and ruled communi consilio presbyterorum, which kind of govern∣ment Diotrephes opposing, or refusing obedience unto, and af∣fecting a Supremacy and jurisdiction to himselfe and his con∣gregation independent from the presbytery, was justly blamed by the Apostle Saint Iohn, in that he prated against the presbyters with malicious words. So that by all that I have now said, these three positions are clearely manifest which Master Knollys denyeth, viz: the first, That Diotrephes had a particular congrega∣tion. The second that he affected an absolute jurisdicton within himselfe and to have his congregation independent, and that he was the first that opposed the presbyterian government; for we never read of any that prated malicious words against the Pres∣byterie before. The third that the church that Saint Iohn writ unto, was governed by the common counsell of the Presbytery at that time, and that Saint Iohn did then acknowledge a Court and com∣mon councell of Presbyters both Classicall and Synodicall to ap∣peale unto, all which Master Knollys notwithstanding doth per∣emptorily deny. But for the fuller elucidation of the truth, I will first make all these propositions good from Master Knollys his own words in this his answer, and then I will prove those seve∣rall appeales I made mention of page 10. and after that, evidently evince that the people and congregation in any Church have Page  27 not power to judge their Ministers, and that it is a meare babble in M. Knollys to say, that if nothing of publicke concernment were to be done without the joynt consent of the Presbytery, that then Saint Iohn the Presbyter would not have transgressed so farre as to take upon him this authority over Diotrephes, to tell the Church of his faults &c. all these things I will methodically handle, and then go on to answer whatsoever Master Knollys hath to say to all my other arguments in their due places.

And for proofe, that Diotrephes had a particular congregation, which Master Knollys saith there was no mention of, waving the reasons above specified, from that nigh relation that is be∣tweene a Pastor and a flocke, which is so much urged by all the Independents, I say waving all those reasons, I will make use of Master Knollys his owne words, for it may be, he will beleeve himselfe, and perhaps his Disciples and followers and those of the congregationall way will give more credit to him, whom they accompt very learned, then to any thing I can pro∣duce out of the holy Scripture: and if they will duly consider and ponder his expression they will then perceive not only his errors, but how palpably he everywhere contradicteth him∣selfe and woundeth their cause, and everteth their opinion, whiles he laboureth with all his power to maintaine and defend it.

Diotrephes (saith he) opposed the brethren and forbad them that would have received them, yea and cast them out (ver. 10.) of the Church; to wit, excommunicated them; but doth it hereby appear (saith he) that Diotrephes would have his congregation indepen∣dent? and have an absolute jurisdiction within it selfe? N (saith he) but, Diotrephes would lord it over the Church, and have the Preeminency above his brethren, whether fellow Elders or fellow Saints. By the way, take notice, that in Master Knollys his opinion, Diotrephes was a Saint, Saint Diotrephes therfore let him be even such another Saint as himselfe and his brethren are. Diotrephes (saith he) loving the primacy amongst them, would be the Primate and Metropolitan of the Church, and have the pre∣eminency of all the Presbyters in it, and brethren of it. And why therefore should the Doctor marvell that his brethren should now urge this place against the Court of Preshyters? Thus Master Knollys while he seemes to answer, most maliciously and wicked∣ly calumniates his brethren and labours to perswade the world Page  28 that the presbyters of our times are like Diotrephes, in affecting Supremacy over their fellow Presbyters and over the churches; and all this to inrage the people against them, when it is they them∣selves, that would bring all men under their slavery, and have an absolute authority and jurisdiction Independent in their seve∣rall congregations within themselves, which was the sinne of Diotrephes. But out of Master Knollys his words, it appeareth that Diotrephes had a particular congregation: For Church and congregation are Synonimaes in his Dialect, which is yet more clearely evident from his words page the 7. which are these: Therefore (saith he) the Apostle writs to the Church or particu∣lar congregation, whereof Diotrephes was a member and an Elder, who he knew had power to judge him. These are Master Knollys formall expressions; out of all which it doth now evidently ap∣peare, that there were many Presbyters and many congregati∣ons in that Church Saint Iohn writeth unto, and that Diotrophes had his particular congregation amongst them; for so Master Knollys doth in expresse termes acknowledge, and in so spea∣king contradicts himselfe, and vindicates me from the error he ac∣cused me of, who affirmed, I was much mistaken in my commentary exposition and application of that place, saying there was no mention made of any particular congregation Diotrephes had, And yet here he asserteth that Saint Iohn writ to the church or particular con∣gregation, whereof Diotrephes was a member and an Elder: so that he hath done my worke for me once and again, and made himselfe guiltie of that fault he charged me with page 6 and page 7. By which all men may see not only the contentious∣nesse and restlesnesse of the creatures spirit, and the folly of the man who contradicteth himselfe at every hand, but may also gather that that Church consisted of many congregations, all the which made but one Church within its precinct, and was to be governed by the joynt consent and common counsell of the Presbyterie; and that Diotrephes aspiring to the primacy amongst them and seeking to stand singular by himselfe with his congregation, and to be Independent, and to have no relation or reference to the Presbyters of that Church, became an of∣fender by it, and was therefore severely reproved by Saint Iohn for his so doing, in opposing his brethren in taking in and casting out of what members he pleased, by his sole and absolute authority; Page  29 all which Mr Knollys accordeth to: whether therefore this were not to make his congregation Independent, and whether Diotre∣phes was not the first that opposed the Presbyterian government, and affronted a Court and common▪councell of Presbyters (seeing we read of none that did these things before him) and whether those that now seek to establish an absolute jurisdiction in every congregation within themselves Independent, be not rather like Diotrephes than those godly Ministers that desire the government in common according to Gods holy word, I leave it to the judge∣ment of the learned to consider; and whether or no Mr Knollys doth not palpably contradict himselfe in all this his discourse: for he acknowledgeth that Diotrephes had his particular congre∣gation and opposed the Presbyters in it, and that he did evill in usurping authority over the church and those brethren he cast out: and yet notwithstanding he said it was more then he knew, or I could prove. Whether this therefore be not to contradict himself and to say and unsay and meerly to trifle, I leave to the judgement of all intelligible men.

I conceive that all men that are but of ordinary capacity, when they shall well consider my argument and Mr Knollys his reply unto it, will say▪ that Diotrephes assumed that power to himselfe, which belonged to the Colledge and councell of Presbyters; for if he had not bin a transgressour, and an offender against Saint Iohn and the other Presbyters, the Apostle would never have said, Wherefore if I come▪ I will remember his deeds which he doth, pra∣ting against us with malicious wordes, &c. so that by us there, must necessarily be understood, Saint John himselfe and the other Pres∣byters; for he includes himselfe in the number of those that Dio∣trephes prated against and opposed. Now Saint John was an El∣der, for so he calleth himselfe, and Mr Knollys acknowledgeth it, and confesseth also that there were many more Elders in that Church, and against all those did Diotrephes prate with malicious words in opposition to their authority, which Mr Knollys doth not gain-say, yea he affirmrth it, that Diotrephes would lord it over the Church, and have the preeminency above his brethren, whether fellow-Elders or fellow-Saints, he would be Primate, saith he, and Metropolitan of the Church, and have the preeminency of all the Presbyters in it, and Brethren of it. Doth it not then sufficiently appear from Mr Knollys his own words, that Diotrephes assumed Page  30 that power to himselfe, that belonged to the Colledge and coun∣cell of Presbyters, and that he was the first that opposed the Pres∣byterian government, and that affronted the common-councell of Presbyters? without speaking of malicious words against them, & lording it over the Church and taking in and casting out of mem∣bers and ruling after an arbitrary way, and with a sole power and authority within himselfe in his congregation, and violating that order of government God had established in that Church, be not in Mr Knollys▪ and those of his parties judgement, to assume that authority to himselfe that belonged unto the councell of Presby∣ters, and openly to oppose the Presbyterian government, and to affront all the Presbyters which were ridiculous in any man to af∣firme? I am confident all intelligible Christians will say, there was never any opposition of any court or councell of Presbyters, if this were not; and yet Mr Knollys saith it is more then he knoweth or I can prove, that Diotrephes assumed that power to himselfe that belonged unto the Colledge of Presbyters, or that he opposed the Presbyterian government, and yet acknowledgeth the thing in for∣mall words; whether therefore he doth not again and again contra∣dict himselfe and confirme my argument and fight against his own opinion, I leave it to the judgement of the learned.

I shall also desire the reader seriously to consider with himselfe, whether these words of Saint Iohn, Wherfore if I come, saith he, I will remember his deeds which he doth, prating against us with malicious words, do not necessarily inferre, that there was a Court and common-councell of Presbyters in that Church to appeal, un∣to in Saint Iohns time? For to what purpose otherwise should St. Iohn have said, If I come, I will remember his deeds, if there had bin no power and authority in that Church to have called Diotre∣phes to an accompt and to have punished and censured him? But, saith Mr Knollys; If Diotrephes had affronted the Court and com∣mon-councell of Presbyters, why was he not convented before them? Surely the Apostle and Elder Saint John, would rather have writ to the Colledge of Presbyters (if there had bin any such) than to the Church, and would rather have sent him a summons to appear at some Consistory, and would have writ thus, Diotrephes loves to be a Primate among you; wherefore when the Presbytry come to keep or∣der and to meet together in a councell, I will remember his deeds and informe against him that he prae against us with malicious words;Page  31but the Apostle did not know of any such Court or councell of Pres∣byters to appeal unto. Thus Mr Knollys triflingly cavilleth: As if Saint Iohn and the Presbyters had been all ignorant of their duty, and as if in writing unto the Church, Saint Iohn did not in that write to the Presbyters in it also, as well as Christ writing unto the seven Churches and in sending unto them did not also write unto the Angels and Presbyters in them, when we learne from all those Epistles and from the holy Scripture that the government of all those seven churches, as of all the Apostolicall churches through the world, lay only on the Presbyters shoulders, which Mr Knollys also assenteth unto, saying page 11. That it is not denyed by the bre∣thren, that the Presbyters in all Churches, were the men in the go∣vernment of the Churches in which they were Elders. So that it cannot be denied but in his writting to the Church, he writ unto the Pres∣byters principally who were the Officers in it and the cheife mem∣bers of it, and knew very well that there was a Court of Presbyters in that Church, who would in convenient time have called Diotrephes to an accompt, though Saint Iohn had never come thither; but he signifying that when he came he would remember his deeds, made them retard their proceeding against him, for a time, that he being a fellow-Presbyter with them (as Peter was, with those Presbyters he writs unto 1 Epistle Pet. chap. 5.) might have the hearing of the cause amongst the other Presbyters; all which sufficiently confirmeth that Saint Iohn did acknowledge a common councell of presbyters in that Church to appeale unto. And therefore all Master Knollys his whibling questions are vaine and meerely to delude the people: for what man is there so stupid or so unexperienced in matters of government, or but understands the practice of our times in every corporation, or Committee, through the Kingdome, that knowes not if any Alderman of any Corporation, or any Commissioner of any Committee should affect a particu∣lar domination to himselfe over his fellow-Aldermen or Com∣missioners, or over the people that were under their charge, whenas they are by their charters and Commissions, to governe their several corporations, Hundreds, Rapes, Ridings or Wapentaks by the common consent, and joynt counsell and aggreement of them all, so that no order made without their combined authority or the joynt consent of them all, or the major part of them, Page  32 should be binding and of force, I say, who doth not know, that if any of those Aldermen or Commissioners contrary unto their Charter or Commission should not onely assume unto himself a particular power of ruling and ordering things by himselfe, and of giving Lawes unto others and in bringing in or putting out, either in the Corporation or Committee, whom they pleased; and should also use disgracefull words against their fellow-Aldermen or Com∣missioners, that any either Alderman or Commissioner doing any of these things, doth not oppose the Corporation & Committee with the commissioners in them, and by that offend against their go∣vernment, and deserveth thereby severely to be punished? And who doth not likewise know, that if either any of the Aldermen or any of the Commissioners should understand of this their disor∣derly carriage, and should informe the Corporation or Committee of it by letters, and say, that when he came he would remember his deeds, by these his expressions doth not acknowledge likewise that there is both in the corporation and committee a standing court, in which there was power at all times for the punishing and censuring of any such offender? I am most assured that he will so conclude that there is a court there, and withall will say, that this or that commissioners information doth no way impeach or hinder the proceedings of that court, or minorise its power, but that it may go on to censure such as shall offend against their authority, if it can be proved by others, though that commissio∣ner that informed against him should not be present. And even so it was in the Church Saint John writ unto, it had a court, and power within it selfe of proceeding against Diotrephes, and would have used it against him, whether S. Iohn had come or no, although we may suppose that they did not proceed against him till Saint Iohn came: yea, I shall make it good out of Mr Knollys his words that there was a court in that church. But by this, I say, it appear∣eth that Saint Iohn knew very well that there was a court or coun∣cell of Presbyters to appeal unto in his time, in that church, though Mr Knollys affirmeth the contrary, peremptorily asserting that S. Iohn knew no such Court to appeal to, and that I cannot prove any such appeals. But it is ordinary with M. Knollys to confute the holy Scriptures, and to contradict himself as he doth both here and in all other of his answers, as in their due places we shall see. For what Christian ever with deliberation did read the Scripture, that Page  33 can beleeve that St. Iohn could be ignorant that there was a court and Presbytry in every church, when M. Knollys himself acknow∣ledgeth it? Without doubt Saint Iohn knew the government that was then established in all churches, as well as Mr Knollys. He could not be ignorant what government God had appointed & established in every church which was a Presbytery (as appear∣eth from all the places above quoted) which was a Court, to wit, a company of officers in every church armed with power & authori∣ty from God himself within their severall Presbytries to order, rule and govern the people under them, and to convent any offender be∣fore them and to proceed against him by censure and punishment: If the crime layd against him were sufficiently proved, and that the people under them were to yeild obedience unto them in the Lord, such a power was every Presbytery invested with through all the Apostolicall churches; and this Mr Knollys hath acknowledged in divers places in this his Pamphlet, & in this his very answer concer∣ning Diotrephes, as we shall see by and by. And all this S. Iohn could not be ignorant of, and that in the Church of Ierusalem, in which hee was both a Pastor and a Member, that the Presbytery ru∣led there, and that all the people made their addresses (as well for the good of their soules, as for the better rectifying of abuses) to the Apostles and Presbyters of that Church, and appealed alwayes unto them, and never applyed themselves unto the people or the multitude, as we may see in these particulars: as,

First, when they were pricked in their hearts, they applied them∣selves unto the Apostles for direction, saying, men and brethren what shall we do? Acts 2. they went not to the church or people, but to the Apostles, knowing that the Ministers were their guides, and that they were to be directed by them, and that they were bound to obey them. And so in the fact of Ananias and Saphira his wife, when they had purloyned the goods of the Church; for whereas it was ordered and agreed upon by common consent that the price of those possessions that were sold should be layd down at the Apo∣stles feet, and that distribution should be made unto every man ac∣cording as he had need; contrary to this order Ananias kept back part of the price, Saphira his wife also being privy to it: Hereupon the people appeal unto the Apostles in whose hands the government then lay, and who had power to censure and pu∣nish them, as they did for that their delinquency, as it is to be seen Page  34Acts the 5. they went not to the people and Church, but applyed themselves to the Presbytery; and of this proceeding Saint John was not ignorant.

Again when the widdowes were neglected in the daily mini∣stration, for the taking away of this abuse, they appealed unto the Apostles, as we may see in the sixt of the Acts (and not unto the Church or people) who ordered that businesse, and determined the controversie amongst them, to which the people assented. This also Saint Iohn was not ignorant of: And he knew very well that the Presbytery in Ierusalem and all other Churches had power to send any of the Apostles or their other Ministers into any other place to preach, or upon any message, as we may see it Acts the 8▪ and Acts 14, & 15. For the Presbytery of Ierusalem sent Peter and Iohn to the City of Samaria to preach amongst the people there, which they could not have done except the Presbitry had had pow∣er and authority in their hands over thē; we see also the same in the Church of Antioch, where they sent Paul and Barnabas and their ministers to the Presbitry at Ierusalem, & the Presbitry of Ierusalem they likewise sent their decrees by their Ministers through all Cities and Churches, which they could not have done, had they not had authority over the Ministers. Again S. Iohn knew very well that the power of admitting of members lay not in the peoples hands; for we read Acts the 9. When Paul came to Ierusalem and assayed to joyn himself to the Disciples, and that they being affraid of him, & believing not that he was a Disciple, St Paul appeals from them to the Presbytery of the Apostles in whose hands the government lay; and declaring unto them how matters were, they admitted him into fellowship with them, without the consent of the people & their good liking, for the government did not belong unto them. All these proceedings Saint Iohn knew very well, and therefore could not be ignorant that there was a Court and Councell to ap∣peal to in all Churches: Yea Saint Iohn knew also that the Presby∣try of Ierusalem had power and authority over any of the Apostles, and did upon any occasion convent them before them as we may see in the 11. chap. and 21. where Peter was called before the Presbytery for going in to the Gentiles, and was therefore to give an accompt of his actions there, which he did; all with shews there was there a standing Court: and so in the 21. chapter the Presby∣try gave Saint Paul an order and direction how to behave himself Page  35 toward the weak ones; which he followed; all which shewes that they only had the power in their hands, and that there was a court there, and that it belonged not to the people; all these things, I say, S. Iohn was not ignorant of, & therfore knew very well that in that Church also where Diotrephes was a Presbyter, there was a Court and Common-councell of Presbyters to appeal unto, or else he would never have said, If I come I will remember his deeds. But why should I spend time in proving that which to any understan∣ding man is as evident a nd clear as almost any other truth in the holy Scripture? especially when Mr Knollys hath proved it himself in formall words in many places in this his answer; for he confes∣seth that there was a Presbytery established in every Church, and that the government of those Churches was put into the Presby∣ters hands, and that the people were to obey those Presbyters as their guides; and in expresse termes page the seventh saith, There∣fore the Apostle writes to the Church or particular congregation whereof Diotrephes was a Member and an Elder, who he knew had power to judge him, as well as the Church or particular Congregati∣on of Corinth had power to judge them that were Members therein, 1 Cor. 5. 12. 13. And therefore might as warrantably admonish Diotrephes, as the Church of Colosse might Archippus Coloss. 4. verse 17. in these words, He confesseth that Saint Iohn knew that the Church whereof Diotrephes was a Member and Presby∣ter, had power to judg him; which doth necessarily infer that there was at that time a court there; for judgement and censure and in∣flicting of punishment is the act of a court or Magistracy and of those that are in authority and armed with power; besides for fur∣ther illustration of his meaning, he saith that the church Saint Iohn writ unto, had the same power over its Members that the church of Corinth had over its Members: Now all men that have read the first and second Eistle of Paul to the Corinthians, know very well that there was a court in the church of Corinth with plena∣ry authority from Christ himselfe, both to convent and censure, and that with the severest punishment those that did publikely scandalize the Gospell, as is evident by the excommunication of the incestuous person; now if that church that St. Iohn writ unto were equall in power to that of Corinth, and that of Colosse, and to all the other Apostolicall churches, as Mr Knollys confesseth and laboureth to prove; then these conclusions will necessarily follow Page  36 from his argumentations. The first, that Saint Iohn could not be ignorant that there was a court and common-councell of Presby∣ters in that church to appeal unto; for Mr Knollys saith, that Saint John knew that that Church had power to judge Diotrephes, and therefore in this contradicteth himselfe; for in the sixth page he affirmed that Saint Iohn knew not any such court.

2ly, it follows that there was an Uniformity of government in all the Apostolicall and Primitive churches: Wch wholy overthrow∣eth the tenent of many of the Independents who hold the contra∣ry; so that one church had not one manner of government, and another church another manner of government peculiar unto it selfe, and distinct from the other; but they were all governed alike by their severall Presbyteryes, and had equall authority and power within their severall precincts, as the church at Ierusalem, Ephesus, Corinth, in all which there were many congregations, and yet all of them made but each of them a particular church within their respective jurisdictions, and were all to be governed by the joynt consent of there severall Presbytries.

And lastly, that this order of government was to be perpetuated to the end of the world, which when Saint Diotrephes laboured to violate in assuming it to himselfe and his congregation, both hee and all these that follow his steps, deserve severely to be punished for it, as prevaricators against both precept and example of all well ordered churches and Christians. And this shall suffice to have replyed by way of answer to what Mr Knollys had to say for proofe that Saint Iohn knew not of any Court or Common-coun∣cell of Presbyters, either classicall or synodicall, to appeal unto in his time.

And now I come to make good those appeals I made mention of page 10. which Mr Knollys thinketh a thing impossible for me to do; to wit, That every particular man, as well as any assembly or congregation, may have their appeal to the Presbytery of their Pre∣cinct, Hundred or Division under whose jurisdiction they were; and if they finde themselves wronged there, then they have appeales to some other higher Presbytery or Councell of Divines for reliefe and justice.

These appeales Master Knollys saith I cannot make good to be according to the Scripture of truth, although the having re∣course by appeales, from Inferiors to Superiors and from one Page  37 Court to another, is so evident by the very light of nature, and approved of by the practice of all Nations and Churches in all ages, and is also so apparent by the holy Scriptures both of the old and new testament, as there is scarce any truth more obvious to all understanding men; yet Master Knollys peremptorily asser∣teth, that they cannot be made good out of the Scriptures of truth; so that it is manifest, to all men, that be there any truth never so perspicuous, he is resolved to beleeve nothing but what he conceiveth to be according to the Scripture of truth.

Therefore for the gratifying of Master Knollys, and all such as with candour and ingenuity and without any prejudice shall reade the insuing lines, I shall in this place adde something more fully and distinctly to that which I spake in the foregoing page for the proofe of those appeales I mentioned page 10. and suf∣ficiently evince, they are warranted by the Word of truth: and for that purpose, I shall first produce the authority of holy Scrip∣tures and bring forth some Presidents out of the unerring word for the confirmation of the same; and then I shall also ratifie the use of appeales by reasons and from the practice of all ages in all Nations. And all this I shall the more willingly do in this place, although it is done againe and againe in this treatise; and onely because Master Knollys affirmeth that I cannot make good that appeales be according to the Scripture of truth. And for proofe ofthis, I will begin with that of our Saviour Matth. 13 vers. 15. Wherefore (saith he) if thy brother shall trespasse against thee, go and tell him of his fault betweene thee and him alone, &c. But if he heare thee not, appeale higher to two or three more: And if he shall neglect to heare them, appeale yet higher, tell it then unto the Church, that is to the Court of Presbyters in that precinct. So that from this place it is evident, that appeales are warranted by the Word of truth; for truth it self, hath taught us the Doctrine of appeals. And for Presidents of appeales there are many in the New-Testament, to say nothing of the Old. To begin with that in the 5. of the Acts which we finde recorded after Christ's ascension in the questioning of Ananias and Saphira, whereas by conjoynt argrement it was appointed and ordered amongst them, that all things should be common, and that selling their possessions, they should bring Page  38 the price of them and lay it also at the Apostles feet; which very expression signifieth and denoteth what great authority and power the Apostles and Presbyters in the Church of Jerusalem were then in, and sufficiently declares that there was a Court there, as all the carriage of that businesse doth abundantly prove. I say therefore, when they had made such an order by com∣mon consent, and when it was found out that Ananias and Saphira his wife had not dealt faithfully in that businesse, nor according to publike agreement, but had consented together to deceive their brethren, and by that had scandalized the Gospel, the Church or people for the redressing of this abuse, take not the matter into their owne hands, nor challenge not any power unto themselves for the punishing of Ananias and Saphira, as well knowing their place then, and that the government did not belong unto them, but to the Elders and Rulers over them; they appeale therefore unto the Apostles and make their com∣plaint unto them, and exhibit their Articles against Ananias and Saphira, as both guilty of the same crime, whereupon they were convented before the Apostles as Delinquents; Peter then being there president and chiefe judge, and finding them guilty▪ sentenced them both, from God himselfe, and punished them for their sinne with death; by which we may take notice not onely of an appeale, but that there was a standing Court of Presby∣ters in Jerusalem and that they had in it plenary power from Christ for the tryall and punishing of all offenders and of casting them out of the Church, if Scandalous, as well as the Church of Corinth; and it stands with all reason; for Jerusalem was the mother Church, and therefore was inferior to none of the Daugh∣ter-Churches and to this Court of Presbyters were all appeales ever to be made by the people of that precinct; as this one in∣stance doth sufficiently declare. And that other president in the 6. of the Acts where we have a second appeale upon an other publike scandall, which was the neglect of their widdowes in the daily Ministration where they applyed themselves unto the Apostles; for the particular congregations assumed not the authority into their hands of redressing the abuse, nor challenged not any right to the government, but appealed unto the Apostles for remedy, who ordered that whole businesse by joynt consent, to which all the people willingly submitted themselves as it is at Page  39 large to be seene in the sixt Chapter of the Acts. The third appeale we finde Acts the ninth, where Paul assaying to joyne himself to the Disciples, and they being afraid of him, and doubt∣ing whether he were a beleever, Saint Paul forth with appeals from them to the Apostles, who he knew had the authority in their hands, and making knowne his cause unto them, they forthwith admitted him into Church-fellow-ship with them without the consent of the people, who indeed had nothing to do, either in the admitting of members of casting of them out; and therefore they allowed of the appeale of Saint Paul, to teach all men whe∣ther to fly, to wit the to Presbytery, if they be injured by the people or debard from any Church-priviledge by them, for they only are the stewards of the Church and have the Keys of the kingdom of heaven to open and shut the doores to whom they shall thinke fit, or unworthy; and this is the place of the Presbyters, and not of the people: for they are injoyned to obey their guids and to sub∣mit themselves in the Lord to what they order and appoint ac∣cording to the Word of God. Here we have three presidents of appeales in the mother-church of Ierusalem to the Presby∣tery upon any abuse, so that by the mouth of their witnesses out of the word of truth this truth of appeales is sufficiently confirmed; And that the Presbytery at Ierusalem had plenary power over the very Apostles and could call them at any time to an accompt, is manifest from the eleventh of the Acts where Peter was convented & questionedbefore them and was forced to give an accompt of his going in to the Gentiles and Preaching unto them, which he wil∣lingly yelded unto, knowing it was their place to question any; yea the Presbytery in every Church could send the very Apostles & Ministers to Preach in any place or city or upon any Message, as we see they sent Peter and Iohn to Samaria, and the Church of Antioch sent Paul and Barnabas with other Ministers to the Presbytery of Ierusalem, as is evident Acts the 14. and Acts 15. and therefore all these examples sufficiently prove that all the people of every Church made their appeales to their severall Presbyteries, if there arose any controversies and abuses among themselves: and if there arose any difference between Church, and Church, or betweene Presbytery and Presbyterie about any points of Doctrine or Religion, then they made their ap∣peales for the determining of those controversies to Councells Page  40 and Synods, as we may see it Acts the 15. and this is one of Gods Ordinances as the Independents themselves doe acknow∣ledge. So that for the Doctrine of appeales it is so cleare that all the learned and judicious cannot doubt of it; and I am most assured that those that shall but with due deliberation seriously examine the Scriptures above quoted and those that follow in this dis∣course, for the confirmation of the same truth, will wonder that any man that pretends to learning as Master Knollys doth, should ever dare say, that appeales cannot be made good to be accor∣ding to the Scripture of truth, whereas there is almost no truth in the holy Scripture more cleare and evident than this of appeales.

Yea this method of dealing and manner of handling of busi∣nesses of publike offences and scandals, and for the redressing of them, is ratified by the very light and Law of nature, as we may reade in all the governments under the very Heathens, and Paul made use of it, by appealing from inferiour Courts to Caesars tribunall. And I shall never be brought by all the arte and wit of man to beleeve, that Christ hath left his Church under the New Testament in a worse condition then it was under the old, where we know they had appeales from one Court to another. Nay if Christians now, had not the liberty of appeales in matters of con∣science and Religion, they should be inferior to the Pagan na∣tions; and surely Christ hath not left his Church which is his Kingdom, in a worse condition then either the Iewish or Eth∣nicke Kingdomes were, and therefore by all reason besides the Testimony of Christ Matth. the 13. and besides the Presidents I produced out of the Word of God to confirme appeales, the lawfulnesse of appeales is sufficiently established and ratified. So that I hope that which I have now briefly set downe, may satisfie any rationall man. But before I go on to prove that the people or Church have not power to judge their Ministers, which is the last thing I undertake to make good. I must say something by way of answer to a vaine and frivolous cavill of Master Knollys, which is this. If the Doctor can prove these appeales, (saith he) I aske him whether that higher Presbytery or Coun∣cell of Divines, be not as Independent as the brethren and their Churches against whom the Doctor hath written: and if so, then such a high Presbytery or Councell of Divines, is not Gods Ordi∣nance by the Doctors own confession and affirmation. The very Page  41 reading of this fond cavill had been enough for the confutation of it to any solid man: and truly had not I to deale with such a trifling creature as he is in serious businesse, who compts every word he scribleth an oracle, I would have passed by it with silence, as being nothing to the question between us, and as little to his purpose as all his other wrangling is, except it be to declare to all men, that he knoweth not his owne principles nor no good learning. But for answer, all such as know any thing in the controversie betweene us and the Independents, know that it is my opinion and settled beleefe, that all Churches and Coun∣cels are to depend upon the Word of God, and to be ruled and ordered in all their proceedings and Governments according to the direction of the same: an Angel from Heaven is not be heard that speaks not according to the written Word Gal. 1. and this Word hath directed us to the law and to the testimony, Isay 8. and procla∣med all men that speak not according to that, to be in darknesse; and therefore according to this my opinion, no Church or Councell in the world is Independent; and therfore all such Churches and Councels as have not either precept or example for their procee∣dings in the ordering and governing of them, out of the Word of God, but follow their own vaine and idle phantasies and affect In∣dependency, in my opinion they in so ordering their Churches do not according to Gods Ordinances. Now when the Indepen∣dent Governments are such, they are their own inventions; and that government only of the Presbyters, is Gods Ordinance, as ha∣ving both precept and Presidents for it in Gods Word, upon which they depend; and this is my opinion, and not that which Master Knollys would grollishly put upon me; and this shall suf∣fice for answer to that peece of non-sense of his. And now I come to the last branch of his answer, and that which I under∣tooke to make Good and prove, viz. that the people and congre∣gation in any Church have not power to judge their Ministers, which Master Knollys affirmeth they have, and for instance pro∣duceth the Church of Corinth and that of Colosse, understanding by Church the people, who he saith had power over the mem∣bers, miserably mistaking himself and abusing the ignorant and simple soules by it, as will by and by appeare to those that can discerne things that differ or are but a little acquainted in mat∣ters of government, either Ecclesiasticall or civill. For if men Page  42 do once but rightly understand what a Church is according to the discription of a Church as it is laid down in the New-Testament, and consider withall of the parts and members of that Church which by Saint Paul is compared to the body of a man: they will easily perceive, that the governors and rulers are compa∣red unto the head and all the noble parts of the body, as to the eyes, eares hands &c. which are to guide and governe all the other members in the body, and that all the other members under them are to be ordered and ruled by the head and other more no∣ble parts, and are to follow their direction; so that it is in the Church of God, as it is in the body of man, some are to rule, and others to be ruled in it and whose place it is ever to obey: For none of the members of the body leave their stations, unlesse they by violence be cut off, as all rationall creatures do very well know. For the head is ever the head, the eye is ever the eye, the eare is ever the eare, and the hand is ever the hand, &c. For Saint Paul saith 1 Cor. 12. vers. 27. Now yee are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the Church, first Apostles, secondly Prophets, thirdly Teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps in Government, diversities of tongues; are all Apostles? are all Prophets? are all Teachers? &c intimating that the Apostles, and Prophets and Teachers, and helps in Government in the Church, every of them keepes their stations, to wit, they that are once Apostles, Tea∣chers or Governors, doe continue in the Church in their seve∣rall places, ever so to be, and never lose their places, but al∣wayes to the day of their death, remaine and continue still to be Apostles, Prophets, Teachers and Rulers, according to that in the fourth of the Ephesians vers. 11. Where Saint Paul saith▪ He gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists and some Pastors and Teachers for the perfecting of the Saints, and for the worke of the Ministry and the edifying of the body of Christ, till we come all into the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the sonne of God, unto a perfect man, unto the mea∣sure of the stature of the fulnesse of Christ. We finde not in all the holy Scripture that any of those true Ministers were at any time degraded, or lost any thing either of their Titles or of their authority, but as God had put the rule and Government of the Church into their hands, and had given them the power of the Page  43 Keyes, and made them Stewards in the Church which is his body, so they were ever to be the head, eyes, eares and hands for the governing and well ordering of the Church. We finde likewise that in every severall Church of the New-Testament there was a Presbytery ordayned, as Acts the 14. &c. and that the Presbyters had the Government of those severall Churches put into their hands, that the people and members of those Churches were commanded to obey their Presbyters as their guides whom God had set over them, Heb. 13. as Master Knollys and all the learnedst of the Independents do acknowledge. We finde likewise by the practise of the Church of Jerusalem the President of all other Churches, that the people there for the redressing of any abuse amongst themselves, assumed not the power into their own hands, but applied themselves and made their addresses and appeales to the Presbytery, and that they ordered eve∣ry thing according as they thought good, and that the people wil∣lingly submitted themselves to the order. We finde further that for all acts of government, as questioning any offendos for the cen∣suring and punishing of them, for ordination of Officers, and excommunication, it was done either by the sole power and authority of the Apostles, or by the Presbyteries of the Church and those that were in office, and not by the multitude, as is ma∣nifest by that in the 2. of the Cor. chap. 2. ver. 6. a place so much abused by the Independents; sufficient (saith the Apostle) to such a man is the censure which was inflicted of many. So that it was not inflicted by all the people, but by such only in whose hands the power lay, which was the Presbytery, and therfore the Apostle saith by many or of many. And truly if we would but duly reade the Epistles of Saint Paul to Timothy and Titus which were writ to them, and in them to all the Ministers of the New-testament in all ages to come, and observe the rules set downe in them, which are to continue to the ende of the World, we shall finde that for all Acts of government and for the well ordering of the Church, it is only committed into the hands of the Ministers and presbyters of the severall Churches through all Nations, and that to them only belonged the mana∣ging of the Goverment, as the rulers and Stewards of the same▪ and that all power and authority of Government peculiarly be∣longed unto them, and that the people had nothing to do with Page  44 it but to obey. Again if we look but into the seven Churches of Asia, Revel. 2. & 2. We shall finde that all the Epistles Christ writes unto them are directed to the Angels and Ministers of those severall Churches, as upon whom the Government of those Chur∣ches lay, and who had both the praise of well doing and blame of any evill either committed or tolerated by them; for seeing they were appointed by Christ himselfe to be the Stewards and Guides of those Churches and to be the Governours of the same, all the blame of the malversation of any of the members in them, is im∣puted unto them, as if they themselves had been the cause of it, as not using their Authority for the redressing of those abuses. So that it is apparently evident through the whole New Testa∣ment, That the Ministers and Presbyters, and they onely, in every Church had the rule of the people committed unto them, as the head, eyes, ears, and hands, the more noble members; and that the people as the other members under them, were to yeeld obedience unto them in the Lord. And we find that in the holy Scripture, every man is to look unto that Office that is committed unto him, and that every one is to keep himselfe in that Station God hath placed him in, as we may see it at large, Rom. 12. ver. 6. Having gifts differing according to the grace given unto us, saith Saint Paul, whe∣ther prophecy, let us prophecy according to the proportion of faith, or ministry, let us waite on our ministry &c. He that ruleth, with di∣ligence &c. Here we finde that every man according to his place and office, he is injoyned to wait upon it and not to desert it; they that are appointed to rule, they are ever to rule; and the others that are under them, are ever to obey; every Member is to keep his station in this mysticall body; the Magistrates and Parents and Ma∣sters whether ecclesiasticall or civill, are to continue in their severall places and to keep their ranks as long as they are in those places; and all those that are under them, whether Subjects, children, or servants, they are likewise to keepe their places, and to obey all those that are over them in the Lord; and that is their place; for so the holy Scripture everywhere teacheth us, and especially in the 7. of the 1 of the Corinth. ver. 19, 20, 21, 22. Circumcision (saith the Apostle) is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandements of God; That is, the yeelding of obe∣dience to the commandments of God, and the obeying of those God hath set over us, and the honouring of those that are in au∣thority Page  45 and doing the will of God in every thing to our power, is that that commends any men unto God, especially the honouring of God himselfe and the reverencing of our godly Ministers and painfull Pastors, according to that of Saint Paul 1 Thess. 5. 12. Know them which are over you in the Lord, and esteem them very highly in love for their works sake: For God hath made them Pa∣stors, and all the people their flock; them fathers, and the people children begotten by their Ministry; them builders, and the people the stones layd by them in the building; them Stewards, and the people Domestiques under them and their conduct: So that every one in the Church of God is to continue in that Station God hath placed them in, untill they by their gifts and graces and eminent abilities be removed to a higher calling, or else for their misde∣meanours are cast out; and therefore Saint Paul saith, 1 Cor. 7. ver. 20. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called; and as if it had not bin sufficient to have once specified his mind in this businesse, in the 24 verse, he reiterateth this precept saying, Brethren, let every man wherein he is called therein abide with God. So that for the Ministers and Presbyters of the Church, or for the Magistrates of the Common-wealth, or for Masters or Parents of Families, for either of them, I say, to leave their calling in their particular places of ruling: and for either the flocks under the Pastors, or subjects under the Magistrates, or servants and children in the severall Families under their Parents and Masters, to offer to take the Government into their own hands, or to joyne themselves in Commission with them, and to take the rule in either Church, State, or Families upon them, is to leave their callings, and so to transgresse against the commandements of God who, hath injoyned the Magistrates, Ministers and Pastors both in Church and State to command, and all the people under them to obey, and in their so doing they each of them abide in the same cal∣ling and station wherein they are called: otherwise, they will be found transgressours of the Laws of God and Violaters of that Order God hath appoynted in Church and State, and bring confusion in both; Now, God is the God of Order, and hath injoyned all men to keep his commandements, and the commandement given to the Magistrates, is to rule; and the commandement given to the people in every Church is to obey their guides and yeeld double honour unto them; the honour of reverence and subjection, and the honour of Page  46maintenance; they are ever bound to obey them in the Lord: And this is the Order God appointed in all the Primitive Churches, That the Presbyters only should rule in them, and that the people should obey and not intermeddle in the government; for that is not to keep themselves in their severall Stations, and to abide in the same calling wherein they were called.

And to speake the truth, the ignorance of this doctrine and the pride of too too many hath bin the onely cause of all those confu∣sions that now the Church and State are imbroyled with; for if every man had learned but this lesson, To keep himselfe in the same calling wherein he was called, he would know that the Magistrates place whether civill or ecclersiasticall, is to command, and that the subjects and peoples place under them in their severall aboads and habitations, is to obey.

They would understand likewise, that in every kingdome, com∣monwelth, corporation, or in any Province and Country or church, that howsoever businesse of publike concernment belongs unto the whole body in each of those governments, yet the managing of them and ruling and ordering of them respectively, belongeth and pertaineth onely to those in authority, as in a kingdome or Republique, howsoever the embasladours of other nations are sent into such a Kingdome and Common-wealth about businesse that may concern the whole Countrie, yet none but the King and his Councell or the State have the ordering and managing of the busi∣nesse, and the people and subjects under them intermeddle not in those high affairs, for they are Arcana Regni and appertain not unto them. And so it is in every Corporation, howsoever the Letters or Mandates from either King, Parliament or State, are directed unto the severall Counties, Hundreds or Corporations or Cities, yet the Lieutenants, Governors, Sherifes, Mayors, Aldermen and Common-councells in each of them are to mannage the businesse and to put in execution what they are commanded and injoyned by either Letters or Mandates, and the people under them several∣ly are to yeeld obedience to what they order and command accor∣ding to the severall exigences of the times, as daily experience tea∣cheth all men; so that the directing of their Letters to the severall Counties or Hundreds or Corporations in generall, doth not invest all the people with power or joyne them in commission with the Magistrates of those respective places, but leaveth the transacting Page  47 of all things to those onely in those severall jurisdictions that are in authority and armed with power, which the people are not. Yea this truth is so well known and perceived by all such as will not wilfully blinde themselves, as it cannot be denyed; hourly experience furnishing men with Presidents of it.

For if any Delinquents be found out, they are not hailed before the people, but before such as are in authority; there is not an or∣dinary Hew and Cry that is sent to any Parish, but it is carryed to the Constable or his Deputy and to such in that Town or Village as are in place or authority, so that the people trouble not them∣selves with it; yea they will ordinarily say it concerneth them not, it is not their place to intermeddle in the businesse of State, that they affirme belonges to those that are in authority. And as it is in the affaires secular and in the State, so it is in the affaires of the Church, those in authority in the Church are to mannage the af∣faires and businesses of the Church and not the people: for God had appointed in all Churches in the New Testament (which were but so many Corporations) a standing Presbytery, and Order of Ministers and Rulers in each of them, in whose hands the govern∣ment of them all, within their severall Precincts and Jurisdictions lay, the which Government they were ever to mannage and order by common consent and joynt agreement, with which the people had nothing to do, and with the which they ought not intermed∣dle; for that had been to confound that Order God had established in each Church; and this all well-instructed Christians knew; and therefore in the Apostles times, not any that I ever read of oppo∣sed that Government before Diotrephes, who is blamed for this his temerity by St. John, to teach all men not to do the like left they fall into the same condemnation; so that they knew very well that howsoever all the Epistles of Sant Paul and the other Apostles were directed to the severall Churches of their times, yet the managing of the affairs of those Churches belonged only unto the Presbyters Stewards and Angels of those respective Churches, as we may see in those seven Churches of Asia, where the Letters and the Epistles are directed to the Angels and Ministers of those Churches as those that had the Government of them in their hands, and not to the people: And so it was in the Church of Corinth, a place that the Independents so much abuse.

Howsoever Pauls Epistles were directed to the whole Page  48 Church, yet the officers only and Presbyters of that Church had the managing of the whole businesse concerning the ince∣stuous person, both for the casting of him out and the taking of him in againe, upon his repentance, as is evident from the 2 Epistle and the second chapter where the Apostle saith sufficient to such a man is the punishment inflicted of many. So that all the people did not censure him, or inflict that punishment upon him; but many, to wit the Presbyters and those in authority in that Church. And this agreeable to all reason: and therefore Master Knollys is mightily mistaken in his Commentary exposition of this place and that of the Epistle to the Colossians, in saying that as the Church or particular congrega∣tion of Corinth had power to judge them that were members there∣in. 1 Cor. 5. 12. 13. and as the Church of Colosse had power to admonish Archippus. Coloss. 4. 17. so the Church whereof Dio∣trephes was a member, might as warrantably admonish him. These are his words, in which there is a double yea a treble fallacy: for first he taketh the word Church in another sense then the Scrip∣ture speaketh of it; which in all the Epistles of the holy Apostles for the most part, is taken collectively for a combinati∣on of many congregations under one Presbyterie within such a precinct, and he onely understandeth it for a particular congre∣gation and assembly, and by this he deceiveth the reader. 2ly By Church he understandeth the people, the Presbyters excluded, and saith that they had power to judge their Ministers, whereas indeed though in all those churches there was a power, yet it lay soely in the Presbyters hands, and they only were invested with it, and the people were ever to stand to their orders, so long as they commanded in the Lord; and the place of the people was to obey; and therefore all that he saith about this businesse is a meere non sequiturunc; and this is the third error that insueth from groundlesse principles; for this is not a good consequence, Paul writing unto the Church of Colosse hath these words, say unto Archippus that he take heed to his Ministry, and wri∣ting unto the Church of Corinth the 1. and 5. saith vers. 5. Deli∣ver such a man unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh &c. Ergo the people have the power in their hands over all the mem∣bers of those Churches both Ministers and people. This I assert doth not follow in all good reason; No more then it will fol∣low Page  49 that if any Embassador should be directed to the kingdome of England now, or if any Message should be sent unto any cor∣poration of the Kingdome commanding such service from it to the State, that the people in this Kingdom, or the people in those corporations should intermedle in the affaires of publike concernment, but all sound understanding men will say, It be∣longeth to the great and grave Councell of the Kingdom to mannage publike affaires, and to the Major and Aldermèn, and the Com∣mon-councell of each Corporation to transact and order the publicke businesse, and affaires, and for this only reason, because they are the men in those severall places that God and the people have in∣vested with authority over them and it only belongeth unto them to order all affaires of publicke concernment, who God and the people have called and appointed to this end and purpose. And so it was in all the primitive and Apostolicall Churches, the Epistles were writ to the churches, but directed to the Angels and Ministers in them, as whose place it was to watch over them for their good and who only had the power of the Keyes, to bind and loose, to cast out and take in, according to Divine authority. Yea all the world knowes, that God never gave the Keyes to the people in any Church, but to the Ministers, therefore the authority of order and jurisdiction only belongeth to the Mini∣sters and presbyters in every Church: now when Master Knollys by Church understandeth a particular congregation or assem∣bly and the people in it and not the Presbyteries in every Church; he is much mistaken in his Commentary exposition and abuseth not only himself but all those poore deluded people that follow him.

Yea, he destroyeth his own principles and those of the congre∣gationall way, for both he himselfe and I. S. do acknowledge, That the Government lay in the Presbyters hands in every church. Master Knollys his words to this purpose I have often cied before and I. S. his words are these page 11. in asserting that the Pers∣byters did rule the Church at Ierusalem, and ordinarily other Churches, whom do you hit? (saith he in his answer to me) Sure not the Independents, as you call them, we grant it is their part to rule; thus he: but of these words in their due place.

In the meane time, we may take notice, that they acknow∣ledge that the government of those severall Churches lay in thePage  50Presbyters hands, who only had the ordering of the affaires of those Churches as the Stewards over them, and whose place it was, to receive any accusations, and examine matters of scandall and to proceede against offenders by censres and punishments upon evidence and proofe made against them, as the Epistles of Paul to Timothy and Titus do sufficiently evince. And therefore it is not only against the Word of God, but their own principles, to invest the people with power and authority over their Mi∣nisters and their fellow members, as to censure them, or▪ to ex∣ercise any Act of Government over them. Neither doth Saint Paul in writing unto the Colossians and bidding them say to Archippus, that he take heede to his ministry, and in writing unto the Corinthians that they should cast out the incestuous person, investe the people in either of those Churches with power and authority over either Presbyters or their fellow members. For the power of reproofe and censure with authority belongs primarily and principally to the Pastors and Presbyters, in every Church, as the Epistles of Paul to Timothy and Titus shew, in the which all Ministers are taught their duty in their seve∣rall places, who to admonish, and how, who to ordaine, and who to cast out, and how to exercise all other Acts of government, as those of ordination, excommunication and censure &c. and all Ministers are to performe their offices judicially, & authoritatively, not by way of charity which any Christian upon just occasion observing all the vitall circumstances, of a well ordered reproofe and action, as of time place and persons may do; for there is a very great difference between the admonition of the Ministers and that of the people which lyeth in this, that the Ministers doe what they doe in the Church as Officers and Magistrates and men in place and power; and the people do it by way of charity and love and only out of Christian duty, and not with any authority they have over the people; and if their brethren will not heare them, they can goe no farther then to take one or two more with them, and if they will not heare them, then to refer it unto the Church, to tell and informe their severall Presbyteris of it, the people are confined within these limets only, and are not to exceede and go out of these bounds. Whereas the Prs∣byters and Ministers by their place have the power in their hands, to order them and censure them, which the people have Page  51 not. Neither with any good reason will it follow, if any private Christian may admonish a Minister failing in his duty, that he hath power and authority over him, for this one Member and Brother hath not over another, as having nothing to do with another mans servant, as Saint Paul sufficiently declareth in the fourteenth chap∣ter of his Epistle to the Romans; and although all Christians are commanded, Coloss. the 3. and in divers other places, to admonish one another, yet this proves not that they have rule, power and au∣thority over them, because the Scripture witnesseth the contrary. But the Ministers and Preachers of the Word, they are to rebuke, to exhort, and admonish, and censure, as Embassadours, Stewards, and Governours appointed by God himselfe over them for this very purpose and end, not onely to beseech and intreate them, but if they be refractory and disorderly to punish and censure them, and that by their place as they are officers and as they have received the Keyes, whereas other Christians do their duty onely out of love as Brethren and not as Magistrates; So that what the people do, either in admonishing or exhorting it is out of charity; or what they do in choosing of officers, or casting out of offenders out of the Church, it is either by denomination of them, or in approving and assenting unto what the Presbytery doth; as the Saints shall judge the earth so that it is not in the peoples power to hinder the casting out of any offender, if he be proved scandalous; or of receiving any into the Church or into any office of the same, if they be thought fit and worthy of it for their gifts and graces; for they have no power to do any of these things, for these are all actions of such as are in authority and have the power of ordering things in their hands, which I affirme was never given to the people.

And therefore those places quoted by Mr Knollys, to prove the authority of the people over either their Ministers or Fellow-mem∣bers, are not for his purpose, as bing misapplyed and abused, as they are daily by the Independent Brethren; So that to all rationall and understanding men from this reproofe of Diotrephes given by S. Iohn and this his censuring of him, For usurping sole authority to himselfe and prating malicious words against Saint Iohn and the Presbyters of that Church he writeth to: These two conclusions do necessarily follow.

The first; That all such as affect an absolute jurisdiction in every particular congregation within it selfe Independent, without any Page  52 reference or relation to a Councell or Colledge of Presbyters, and do speak malicious wordes against their Fellow-ministers and Pres∣byters, and do cast out whom they please, and bring in whom they will at pleasure upon their own termes, and do rule after an arbitra∣ry way all such violate the Ordinance of God and oppose that Go∣vernment that he hath established in all churches by his blessed word, and are guilty of the same crime that Diotrephes was, and if they re∣pent not will be severely punished for it: but all the Brethren of the Congregationall way are such.

The second is this: That all such Ministers and Congregations as give the authority and power of ruling and ordering the affaires of the Church into the hands of the people, either wholly excluding the Ministers, or joyning the people with them in the Government of the Church, they thus leaving their station and calling wherein they were called, are prevaricators and offenders against divine institution: For God hath given the keyes, the power of order and jurisdiction to the Ministers and Presbyters only, and injoyned the people to obey them: But such are all the Ministers and Assemblies of the congre∣gationall way, as leaving their station and calling wherein they were called: Ergo, they are all prevaricators and offenders against di∣vine institution.

And thus much I thought fit by way of answer, to reply unto all that Mr Knollys had to say, against my argument drawn from Diotrephes, and in defence of their congregationall practices▪ There yet remaines one whibling cavill more in this his answer, that I may not passe by lest he should glory I could not answer it; I will therefore say something to that and conclude this point and then go on to all his other fond answers to such arguments as he thought himselfe best able to incounter with. His words are these in the conclusion of his Babble.

If (saith he) nothing of publike concernment ought to be done and transacted without the joynt & mutual agreement, and common con∣sent of the Presbytery, John the Presbyter would not have trans∣gressed so farr, as to take upon himselfe this authority over Diotre∣phes, to tell the Church of his faults, and to say he would remember him and sharply reprove him, and teach him to prate against the Presbytery with malicious words, which belonged to the Court and Common-councell of Presbyters.

Thus Mr Knollys rather chatters than disputes, in making such Page  53 an inference from his own conceit. And therefore for Answer let Mr Knollys know, that there was no transgression in Saint Iohn against the Presbyters in taking such authority upon himselfe: for S. John was an Apostle, and an universall Pastor, tyed to no one place or flock, but had the same power and authority that Paul and all the other Apostles had over all the Churches, the care of which lay primarily and principally upon them, who were imme∣diately inspired by God, and in all their preachings and writings followed the dictates of his holy Spirit, who spake in and by them; so that whatsoever they taught or writ was to be the rule of all mens thoughts, words, actions, and governments, and it was their place to give Laws unto all Churches and Ministers in them, what they should do in the ordering and governing of the same; and therefore S. John had no lesse authority and power over this Church, wherein Diotrephes was an Elder, and in and over all other Churches, then S. Paul and all the other Apostles had in all Churches: Now if S. Paul, could give a Law unto the Church of Corinth, For the casting out of the Incestuous person, and for the carrying of themselves with Order and Decency, in their Assemblies and sharply reproove offenders in that Church, and if all the other Apostles did the like, and took such Authority upon them over all the members of those severall Churches; and that without any transgression of any divine institution, but with the very good li∣king and allowance of God himselfe, who writ the Commande∣ments of the Lord to all the Churches, then I say, Saint Iohn trans∣gressed not at all in using his authority and power given him of God over Diotrephes, in telling the Church of his faults, and saying He would remember him, and sharply reprove him; for this he might well do by his sole Authority, without any offence, as he was an Apostle, for what he did, he did by immediate Revelation and had a warrant for it from Christ himselfe, who sent his spirit to lead him into all truth.

And therefore it is a ridiculous if not an impious thing in Master Knollys, to draw such an inference from a phantasie of his own brain, in that he makes no difference between Saint Iohn and ano∣ther ordinary Presbyter and Minister, and would make that an of∣fence which was none, and infer that Saint Iohn took more upon him than he ought. Besides it had been no transgression in any other Presbyter, if he had writ so to any Presbytery, under which he had Page  54 been a fellow Presbyter, to inform them of any miscarriage in ei∣ther Pastor or member of that Church wherein he was an Elder, and if he had said, If I come I will remember his deeds, &c. For in his so speaking, he would assume no more authority to him∣selfe, then became a Presbyter to take upon him, as both to witnesse to a truth, and to give in evidence of what he knew of such a man to his fellow judges, and then to leave it to the judgement of the Presbytery and Common Councell of Elders, which Saint Iohn did, whose place it was to censure such an offender, and in his so doing he should no way impeach the power and authority of the Court or Common▪councell of Presbyters, but rather ratifie and confirme it as all learned men will gather; For by such words, he declareth that there is a standing Court or Councell there, where offenders are both to be questioned and censured; for such an ex∣pression, If I come I will remember his deeds, sufficiently declareth, that there was power in their hands, and manifesteth, that he was a judge there among the rest, who with others had the hearing of all causes there, and that all businesses of publike concernment ought to be done and transacted by the mutuall and joynt accord and agree∣ment of the Presbytery, and not to be managed by any one singly by himself, or by the people whom God had never given the Keyes unto, nor the power of rule and Government: This I affirme will neces∣sarily ensue and follow, and not that which Mr Knollys vainly intimateth. And I am confident that any judicious Christian up∣on due deliberation will say the same, and will conclude, That Saint Iohn in his so writing was no offender, though all things of pub∣like concernment in the Church were ever to be transacted by the joynt agreement and common consent of the Presbytery. So that all men that are judicious may plainly behold the futility in both the answers and cavills of this man, and well perceive that he was never cut out for a disputant, or ever fitted for Government in church or State; who if he might have his own minde would bring in a confusion in both, and violate all order divine and hu∣mane, and make the head the foot, and the foot the head.

And truly if a man would but consider the manner of Govern∣ment in their seven new Churches or rather seventy (for every ten or twelve of them prove a Church) he should find in them all, so much disorder and discrepancy amongst them, and yet every one of them pretending Divine authority for its particu∣lar Page  55 government, as he would advisedly conclude, That God was never the author of them, for God is a God of order and not of confusion: for never since the world began was there such practice in any Christian Churches, as are to be found in theirs: And to speake the truth, they are a meere mockery of all go∣vernment: for every one of those severall Churches be they never so slender and small, assumes an absolute soveranity unto themselves Independent, from all other Churches and Presbytries, from the which there is no appeale, be one never so much wronged. And they are as so many free States, and republicks, every one of them ruling within themselves as absolute Magistracies. And therefore upon all occasions, if any difference arise betweene member and member in those Churches, or betweene Church and Church as often they do, as other Countries and Common∣weales send their Embassadours to each other upon any diffe∣rence, or about states affayres; and as the House of Commons sends to the House of Lords, and the House of Lords to the House of Commons by their Messengers; and as all businesses are to be done in the Name of the States, and in the name of either Lords or Commons; so those little sucking congregations and churches; though they consist but of 10. or twenty a peece & although never an one of them knowes any more what belongs to government then the horse Master Knollys preaches on when he goeth into the Countrey yet they send their Officers in the name of the Church to any other of their Churches, upon any difference, or about any of their Grolleyes, with as great State and Grander, as if they were very absolute principalities, and they use by the report of those that have seene the manner of their carriage in their imployment in imitation of greatnesse, the same garbe and gestures that Embassadours, or those that carry a Message from the House of Commons, to the House of Lords, usually do; making their honours and conges, and they are such bunglers at the work as those that have seene them say, it is one of the ridiculosest spectacles that ever was beheld; for they make a thousand Jackinaps tricks and act their severall parts with such affectation of State, that experienced men and such as well know what belonges to the entertainment of Embassadors, affirme, that they never beheld any thing so fanaticall. It is reported that Iohn Lilburne my Scholler is Master of the Ceremonies amongst them, and Page  56 teaches them their postures of Court-ship.

If ever there were any people in the world that trampled all government both Divine and Humaine under their poluted feete, or ever made a scorne of authority I may truly say the Indepen∣dents are the en, and yet they applaud themselves in all their actions and sticke not to say, by these their doings, they set up the Lord Christ upon his throne in his Kingdome, and in their houses, and compt all those that differ from them of their congregatio∣nall way, as enemies of the Lord Iesus, and of his kingdome; and esteeme of them as of a company of Infidels; and yet they have neither precept nor president for their so doing, but St. Diotrephes in all the holy Word of God, which constituted a Presbytery in every Church and committed the government of all the congregati∣ons under each Presbytery into the hands of a Common-councel and Colledge of Elders, as that Church Saint Iohn write unto can witnesse, which was governed by the conjoynt consent of them all, in which Saint Iohn was a Presbyter, and therefore writ, If he came he would remember Diotrephes deeds: which abundantly declareth that Saint Iohn acknowledged a Court, a settled government in every church, whether the members might have recourse for redresse of any abuse or scandalls and therefore took no more upon him then belonged unto his place: and this shall suffice to have answer'd to Master Knollys his last whibbling cavill, and to have spake of this point of controversie between us in this place.

I shall answer methodically to all his other evasions in their due places which the reader shall finde as they are scattered through the booke, for he is very immethodicall in all his pam∣phlet, where I will set downe Master Knollys his owne words.

But in the meane time it is sufficiently confirmed out of the Word God and out of all the Scriptures above quoted, that all the churches we reade of in the New-Testament, were so many corporations in Christs kingdome, which were to be governed by a Common-councell of Presbyteries. And so for many yeeres after the Apostles times they were Governed Communi consilio presbyterorum, as our brethren the Independents do confesse and prove by antiquity and humane authority; which weapon I wonder they will contend with, in deciding of Gods matters, Page  57 which are only out of his holy Word to be proved, which is to be the rule of our faith.

But it seemes Saint Ambrose his authority pleaseth them well, though if we looke into it, it makes much against them. He lived as the author that cites him, saith, within the fourth Cen∣tury. His words are these upon the 1. of Timothy. Synagoga & postea ecclesia seniores habuit, quorum sine consilio nihil ageba∣tur in Ecclesia. Quod qua negligentia obsoleverit nescio, nisi doctorum desidia aut magis superbia, dum soli volunt aliquid videri. Take with it his own interpretation. The Iewes Synagogue (saith he) and afterwards the Christian church, had Elders, without whose counsell nothing was done in the church, which, by what neglect it grew out of use, I knew not, unlesse it were perhaps the sloth or rather pride of the teachers, whilest alone they would seeme to be some body. However it is acknowledged by their owne testimony, that in the Apostles time and many yeares after the Apostles, nothing was done in the church with∣out the Councell of the Presbyters.

So that it is evident the Primitive churches were governed by the joynt and common councell of the Presbytery, and the people had nothing to do with it. We may adde here unto Saint Am∣brose, Saint Ieromes testimony, who in his Commentaries upon the first chapter of the Epistle of Paul to Titus, largely declaring him∣selfe (as in many other places) concerning the occasion of the change of that government established by the Apostles, saith, Idem est ergo Presbyter qui & Episcopus & antequam, diaboli instinou, studia in religione firnt, & diceretur in populis, ego sum Pauli, ego Apollo, ego autem Cephe, communt Presbyterorum consilio Ecclesiae gubernabantur, &c. In the which words he acknow∣ledgeth by the first institution, all Churches were governed by the common councell of the Presbyters, and not by the advice of the people. Yea the very Canons of the Pope in the first part, and the 95. distinction, giving the reason why the Pres∣byterian Government came to be changed, and the Hierarchiall was put in the place; affirmeth, that it was through faction, and for the avoyding of further Schismes and rents in the Church and cities, using the very words before quoted out of Saint Ierome, and confesseth that before that time, the Churches were go∣verned Commum consilio Presbyterorum, not by the people or any Page  58 one Prelate, but by the Presbytery and their councell. And if hu∣maine authority were needfull in this businesse, I might make a volume with their very expressions, to prove the novelty of the Hierarchicall government, and that of the peoples jurisdiction assuming the Authority of governing into their hands, and the Antiquity of the Presbytery, and that by the enemies own con∣fession. Bet I am resolved to cleave only unto the Word, and sound reason deduced from thence, for the deciding of this controversie, being sorry that there was so much as occasion of naming humane authority in a point of Divinity.

As for the Presbyterian government, in the sense that I under∣stand it, there is nothing more cleere to me in all the holy Scrip∣ture, Yea the very word and name of a Presbytery signifieth a Ma∣gistracy, or Aristocracy, or Signory, or Court; that is, a Company, or Senate, or Councell of grave wise, and understanding men, invested with authority and power of ruling, ordering, and commanding, and in whose hands the government is put. And as the word is taken in the civill polity and Government, so in the Ecclesiasticall; By a Presbytery we understand, a Religious, Grave, Solid, Lear∣ned, and wise councell of Divines and Ministers, or men of in∣veterate experience; and such as know how to Rule and Govern those that are under their command, with wisdome and mode∣ration, and according to the Word of God; and the which men likewise are invested with Authority and Power for to exercise a jurisdiction over others, and are hereunto called by such as are able to judge and discerne of the sufficiency of their gifts and abilities for this worke, which the ordinary and common people cannot do. And as in the civill State, the Presbyters and Elders of the people, were those that had the rule over them for the common good of them all and for their bodily preservation; So the Presbyters and Elders in the Church are those that have the rule and government over the Churches for the spirituall good of their souls. And as Kings and Rulers are by a Metaphoricall and borrowed speech called Pastors and Sheepherds of the people, and are said to feed the flocks committed to their charge, by which word is understoode the exercise of all lawfull and mode∣rate authority agreeable to the Law of God over them; so the Presbyters and Ministers are called the Pastors and Sheepherds, yea, and Stewards over the flocks committed to their charges, Page  59 and they are commanded to feed them; by which metaphor they are invested with the authority and power both of preaching and ruling, and have the Government over those flocks put into their hands, which they must alwayes exercise according to Gods Word; they must feed them and rule them in the Lord, and not after their own wills and pleasures, they may not have dominion over our faith, as Paul saith in the 2. of the Corinthians; chap. 1. verse 24. But that they should be helpers of our joy; that is, they may not usurpe an absolute Soveraignty or power over the con∣sciences of the people, as if the spirituall state and welfare of their flocks depended on them, which is onely grounded upon their faith in Jesus Christ; but as they are the Stewards of God, and Ministers and servants of the Church, so they should com∣fort them and rejoyce their hearts in the Lord, and establish them in the faith; and use all the care and diligence that is possible, like good Shepheards, to preserve the flockes committed to their charge, that they straggle and stray not from Christs fold, and run not into the by-wayes and thickets of sinne and errour, and be corrupted with noysome food, and false Doctrine: And if they have any among them that are unruly, that they bring and re∣duce them into order: or if they have any sicke, feeble, poor or weak, that they cure, releeve, comfort, and restore such: and if they have any that are infected or scabby, that they remove such from the sound, till they be recovered: or if they have any broken or wounded, that they heal and recover them with all lenity and humanity; and that they should by common▪councell govern and order their flocks, and take speciall care that the particular Pastors and Ministers of the severall Congregations and Assemblies un∣der their Presbytery and charge, assume not any sole and soveraign Authority to themselves over the flock, to do any thing of publike concernment, without the joynt consent of that Presbytery or spi∣rituall Corporation, under whose commands they are. And it stands with all reason, that a Common councell, of godly, grave, learned, and experienced ministers, should ever be more able to manage and order a government, then two or three unexperienced men, or two or three hundred young people, of which most Con∣gregations consist, in whom the sap of youth is not yet dryed up; or if many of them should be of riper years, yet they know little what belongs to government, and therefore they can never be so Page  60 well able to govern, as men both of known learning, ancient expe∣rience, and honesty, and approved judgement and integrity, as a whole Colledge or an Assembly of learned Presbyters commonly are; who by God himself have the dispensation of the Word and the order∣ing and ruling of the Church committed unto them, and who in the Preaching of the Word, and the administration of the Sacraments, and in all ordinary acts of worship, and in governing and ruling the flocks committed to their severall charges, are the successors of the holy Apostles.

But by the way, an objection is here to be answered unto, made by some of the Independents after this manner.

The Elders and Presbyters of the Apostles times, say they, by the imposition of their hands, gave the gift of tongues and prophesie, Acts 19. 1, 2, 3, 4 5. and the 8. 18 and 1 Tim. 4. 14. and healed the sick Iames 5. 14, 15. according to our Saviours promise Mark. 16. 18. Let, say they, the Presbyters of our time, let them impose their hands upon the sick and heale them, let them by imposing hands upon their disciples inable them on a sudden to speake with strange tongues, and foretell things to come; and then we will acknowledge them for a true Presbytery, then will they be a right assembly of Elders, and the Apostles successors; but, if they cannot give to others, nor yet have for themselves in store, any of the true Apostles, any of the right Pres∣byters gifts and characters, we may not, we dare not acknowledge them as such.

These are their formall words in print. Before I come to my an∣swer, I desire there may be speciall notice taken of this Objection, and such like; for, for ought that I know, if any man will argue af∣this manner, all Christian religion may be called in question, and no man will have any Creed or Belief, except he may make his own Articles, as Thomas did, who said, Vnlesse I put my hands into his side and my fingers into the print of the nailes, I will not believe. And as the Iews said unto our blessed Saviour, Thou that savedst others, now save thy self, come down from the Crosse and then we will believe in thee, do this miracle and then thou wilt perswade us. Here we see, they would make their own Articles, or else they would have no Creed. The Jewes had learned this method of disputing from the Devill, who at his meeting of our Saviour Christ, and at his first assault, thus disputed, If thou be the Sonne of God, saith he, and wouldest have the world so believe, and me too, on thee, thenPage  61command these stones to be made bread, do this miracle first; but thou canst not do it, Ergo. So in like manner these men argue, ex∣cept, say they, the Presbyters by the imposition of their hands up∣on their Disciples, can inable them on a sudden to speake with strange tongues, to foretell things to come, and heal the sicke, &c. we will not acknowledge them to be true Elders: but let them do all these things by the imposition of their hands, and then wee will acknowledge them for a true Presbytery. See the vanity of these men, and the instability of their faith, by their own confessi∣on; miracles will make them believe any thing, if we may cre∣dit their own words, though never so contrary to their judgement and to the faith once delivered to the Saints. It is well known to the Learned, that the Apostles and those Primitive christians had extraordinary and wonderfull gifts, that ravisht the world then into admiration; and it is confest also by all understanding Chri∣stians, that those wonder-working miracles were but temporary, as the miraculous feeding of the people with Manna in the Wil∣dernesse, where they were fellow-commoners with the Angels, and continued but till they came into the Land that flowed with Milk and Honey. So those miracles of the Primitive christians continued but for a time, till the Gospell and the truth of the Christian faith and doctrine was confirmed and established, which being once done, and the holy Scriptures which were to be the rule of faith to the end of the world being left to posterity, and to which we are tyed and commanded not to be wise above that which is written, 1 Cor. 4. 6. and forbid in Gal. 1. 8, 9. to be∣lieve otherwise then we have been taught, though the Apostles or an Angell from heaven should teach otherwise; after, I say, the Doctrine of the Christian Faith and Religion was confirmed, the ordinary working of Miracles ceased. And it is said of Antichrist in 2 Thess. chap. 2. That he shall come with strong delusions and ly∣ing wonders, and with all deceiveableness in them that perish, be∣cause they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. So that I cannot sufficiently wonder, to see the dealing of these men, who in these dayes expect and look for miracles to confirme their faith, when notwithstanding we are forwarned to take heed of all false delusions, and commanded to the contrary. Shew us some miracles, say they, and then we will believe you are true Pres∣byters. So dealt the Jewes with Christ, What signe shewestPage  62thou that wee may beleeve in thee? But when Christ had shewed them signe upon signe, and miracle upon miracle, were they ever the more convinced? Did those miracles create beliefe in them? No surely, but rather hardned them and made them blaspheme. When he cast out Devils, they say he did it by the Prince of Devils. So without doubt, if the Presbyters had those gifts of miracles, that they could gratifie these men with daily prodigies and workes of wonder, they would then say, they came with lying wonders, and with the working of Satan, and they would make the world abhor them the more. There is an old saying, that hee must rise early and never goe to bed, that will please all men: and truly it would be not onely difficult, but an impossible thing, for any State or great Councell, were it never so wise, to please all the people under them. God himselfe, nor Moses, nor Aaron his servants, could please the Israelites though they saw never such wonders continually before their eyes, to confirme their authority; yea they told Moses and Aaron to their faces, that they tooke too much upon them. And afterwards they cast off Gods own government & God himselfe, as the Lord complains to Samuel, in 1 Samuel, and would set up a governement after the modell of their owne braine, as it is at large set downe in that Booke. And not long after they changed the manner of Gods worship, in Ieroboams time, and taught the feare of God, as the Lord complaineth, Isay 29. after the precepts of men, and rejected Gods commandements, as Christ saith, Matth. 15. and Marke 7. So that what they thought best in their owne eyes, that was ever best pleasing unto them. They would not content themselves with the Written Word, though they were never so often by Moses, and all the rest of the Pro∣phets, commanded to cleave unto it, saying, to the Law and to the Testimony, Isay 8. Even so it is now in these dayes, they con∣tent not themselves with that Ordinance that is set downe in the Written Word, but say, Come shew us some miracles, and then wee will beleeve you are a right Presbyterie. Our Saviour speaking to the Jewes concerning Saint Iohn the Baptist and Himselfe, Iohn, saith hee, came neither eating nor drinking, and ye say behold hee hath a Devill; the Sonne of Man came both eating and drink∣ing, and ye say, hee is a Wine-bibber, a friend of Publicans and Sinners. So that whatsoever method or way God used to con∣vert them, they cavil'd against it, and were never satisfied; Page  63 alwayes resisting the Spirit of God, as Stephen told them in Act. 7.

So now, in these our times they looke for miracles, and a new way of teaching. But all good Christians are forbid to listen af∣ter, or to give heed to miracles: and are sent unto Moses and the Prophets, Luke 16. and are commanded to search the Scripture, John 5. Yea our Saviour himselfe in the person of Abraham, Luke 16. saith, That if men will not beleeve Moses and the Prophets, they will not be perswaded by miracles: and I am confident, that could the Presbyters doe all those miracles these men desire, they would the more reproach them, and exclaime against them, and af∣firme they wrought by the Devill, as the Jews told our Saviour he did. I must confesse, I am of a contrary opinion to these men, not only in the matter of miracles, but in all external performances; for I am instructed in the holy scriptures, that the Devill can transforme himselfe into an Angell of light, and that the Deceivers and false Teachers shall come forth in sheeps clothing, and for outward appea∣rance shalequalize, if not exceed, the faithfullest & truest Pastors and Ministers of Christ; and therefore we are in speciall, commanded to take heed of such: and for my particular, if any men whatsoever of never such seeming sanctity, sufficient abilities, unblameable life, should come forth and teach any other Doctrine of Faith, Man∣ners, or Government, then that I have been taught in the holy Scrip∣ture; and should confirme this their Doctrine with never so many miracles, I will still continue stedfast in the Doctrine of the Apo∣stles, and cleave unto the written Word, and will never beleeve contrary to that, though I should undergoe the greatest misery, or be exposed to the greatest want by it, that any man ever saw: for I know that all these momentary trials and afflictions are not worthy that exceeding weight of glory that shall be revealed. And for this very point of the Presbytery, in that sense I take it, I am so well assured that it is Gods Ordinance, as I am of any point in Religion. But as I said before, if men may argue after this way. The Presbyters in the Apostles times did miracles, and sake with strange tongues, and their Schollers and Disciples did the same; doe you likewise, and then we will acknowledge you to be true Presbyters, otherwise wee will not. Thus the Jewes might have ar∣gued against all their Prophets, as against Isaiah, Ieremy, Ezekiel, &c. Moses and Elias fasted forty dayes and forty nights, and Page  64 did many miracles, do you so, and then we will beleeve you are true Prophets, and sent to us of God, otherwise we will not be∣leeve you to be true Prophets. Yea all the wicked and ungodly men of these times may argue thus also: God gave unto his Church Apostles, Evangelists, Prophets, &c. and they spake all strange tongues and divers languages, and did many miracles; but you and your Congregations, have neither Apostles, Prophets, nor E∣vangelists, nor ye have not the gifts of Tongues, nor yee can do no Miracle: Ergo, you are not the true Church. The Primitive Christians and the servants of God in those times, had the gifts of Tongues and Prophesie, and the holy Ghost came down upon them, and they spake by direction from God his infallible truth and Gospell, whose speeches were not tyed to time, and to one speaker, but many spake one after another by Interpreters, as it is at large set down in the 1. of the Corinthians, chap. 14. vers. 27. 28, 29, 30. &c. So that they spake infallible truth by direction from God: But you have none in your Congregations so miracu∣lously inspired with sundry languages, and divers tongues, nor ye do not speake infallible truths by direction from God; nor you can∣not cure diseases nor do miracles: Ergò, your religion is not the same Religion; nor your Congregations the true Church: shew us these miracles and then we will beleeve you to be the true Church, otherwise we may not, we dare not acknowledge you to be the true Church.

Again they may argue thus: The Apostles and Primitive Pastors, and Teachers preached freely, and laboured with their own hands, and were helpfull to the necessities of others, and were not burthensome and exacting from others, and spake ex tempore, by direction from God: but your Ministers in your Congregations do not preach freely, nor labour not with their own hands, nor are not helpfull to to others necessities, but are rather burdensome and exacting from others; nor they do no miracles, nor speake not immediately by inspiration, and ex tempore; but by Study and out of their Bookes, and are confined to time, and speake not in strange tongues and languages, one after another by Interpreters. Ergò, Your Ministers are not Gods Ministers, nor your Congrega∣tions the true Church, nor your people true Christians; for you want all those things that the Primitive Christians and the Primi∣tive Churches had.

Page  65 There is a Pamphlet lately come out, and highly esteemed and prised amongst many, full of such consequences as these, which if they hold good against the Presbyters, they may also for ought I know, be of equall validity to overthrow, not onely all Christian Congregations, but indeed all Christian Religion. But briefly to answer.

We look upon the Apostles and Primitive Presbyters, as men miraculously and extraordinarily gifted, and as wonder-working men for the confirmation of the truth of the Gospell to all suc∣ceeding ages; and we consider in them and in the Christians of those times, something extraordinary and temporary, as their working of miracles, and speaking of strange tongues, and gifts of healing, &c. And those we conceive were to continue no longer in the church, then for the confirmation of the truth of the Gospel; Christ himselfe proclaiming those blessed, that believe without seeing of miracles, speaking unto Thomas, Iohn 20. 29. Because thou hast seen me, saith he, thou believest, blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed. So that miracles now are not or∣dinary, and we are tied to the written Word. But we consider likewise in the Apostles and Primitive Presbyters, that that was permanent and to continue in all Ministers and Presby∣ters in succeeding ages to the end of the world, and that was the power of order and preaching, and the power of juris∣diction, that is of ruling (which is not denied by the most learned of the Independents themselves) and this I have proved by the Word of God, to be transacted over to all Christian Chur∣ches, whose Presbyters have that power given unto them; nei∣ther will the Learned Brethren deny it, whatsoever the igno∣rant may do. Yea, the very name of a Presbytery (as I said before) if we look through the whole Scripture, signifieth a Magistracy, or Signiory, or Corporation invested with authority of governing and ruling; and such a counsell and company of men, as upon whom the government under Christ is laid, and to be extended so far, as their jurisdiction extendeth, and as far as by common consent it may make for the good and edification of the church, and for the safety of the same. And such was the government of all those churches of the New Testament, which were as so ma∣ny Committees, their limits and bounds prefixed them, as at this dayall Committees through the Kingdom have in their severall Hundreds, Rapes, Wapentakes, and Cities, to whom the ordering Page  66 and government of those places that are under them, are commit∣ted; so that all that is done or transacted, must be done by the joynt consent, and councell of the whole Committee, not any par∣ticular man or any two of them severally considered by themselvs, can make an order; but that order onely is binding which is made by the joynt consent and common agreement of them all, or the greatest part of them assembled together. Even so all those par∣ticular Congregations that are within the compasse and jurisdicti∣on of the severall Presbyteries, are to be ordered and governed by the common and joynt councell of the severall Presbyters, or the greater part of them. For this was the order the Apostles establi∣shed, appointing in every City a Presbytery; and when they had so ordered the Churches, they set them all to their severall im∣ployments, the Presbyters to command, and all the people and particular Assemblies and Congregations under them, to obey; nei∣ther is it ever found in the holy Scriptures, that the people were joyned with the Presbyters in their Commission. So that they that oppose this government, resist Gods Ordinance. And if we looke into all the Epistles writ by the Apostles to the se∣verall Churches, we shall finde in them, That they enjoyne all the severall Congregations to yeeld obedience to their Pastors and Ru∣lers over them, and signifie unto them that they owe unto them double honour, especially such as labour in the Word and Doctrine; that is, they must yeeld unto them, not onely due reverence and subjection, and obedience to their councell and just commands in the Lord; but that they should also afford them the honour of maintenance, and take order there be a sufficient and competent, yea, an honourable allowance for their support; and that as they minister to them spirituall food for their soules, they should like∣wise minister unto them all things necessary for the maintenance of them and their Families, that they may comfortably and with∣out solicitous care, follow their holy imployments and wait upon their severall Ministeries. So that the place and imployment of the Presbyters, is to teach and rule the people; and this is their proper worke, and peculiarly belongs unto them; and the imploy∣ment and place of the severall congregations under them, is to hear and obey: and therefore if the severall congregations do as∣sume unto themselves the power of ruling, they take more upon them then by God is allowed them: and the Presbyters in Page  67 yeilding unto it, reject their own right, and devest themselves of that authority that God hath put into their hands; and by so doing in time may not onely bring confusion into the Church, but to all those Countries where such usurpations are tolerated. I cannot but speake my conscience in this point: And truly, very reason dictates unto a man, that they only should have the authority of commanding and ruling over the Churches, to whom the power of the Keyes is given. Now it is given only to the Ministers and Presbyters, as we see it in Iohn 20. 21. and Matth. 18. 15, 16, 17, 18. Where our Saviour Christ established a standing government, to be continued to the end of the World, the violating and the over∣throwing of the which, was the cause of all those confusions, both in doctrine and manners that is now come upon the world; and was the cause, not only of the rise, but the growth of Antichrist. And the reducing of it again into the Church, and the re▪sta∣blishing of it, will be the confusion of that Man of Sin, and of all the Antichristian-brood, and be a meanes of establishing truth and peace through the Christian world. But it will not be amisse a little to consider that place in Matth. 18. If thy Brother, saith Christ shall trespasse against thee, go and tell him of it between thee and him alone: if he shall heare thee, thou shalt gaine thy brother; but if he will not heare thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word may be esta∣blished. And if he shall neglect to heare them; then tell it unto the Church: but if he neglect to heare the Church, let him be to thee as a Heathen man and a Publican. Verily, verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall binde on earth, shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. In these words our Saviour Christ has respect unto the order and custome of judicature in those times in censuring mens manners and do∣ctrines, which among the Jewes was ordered and administred by an assembly and counsell of learned, experienced, and judici∣ous men, and by a Presbytery, Consistory, or Colledge of a∣ble men for government, chose and selected out of the peo∣ple for this very purpose, by such as could judge and discerne of their abilities: the which assembly and company, is by Christ himself called a Church, because it did represent the Church, and in this place Christ did establish the like to be continued in the Christian church to the end of the world, making his Apostles Page  68 this representative body, and their successors all the godly and ho∣ly Ministers and Presbyters, and gives unto them the same power and Authority, to judge and determine of all things belonging unto faith and manners that was observed in the Jewish church, in all Ecclesiasticall Discipline. For otherwise, the Christian church should be inferior to that of the Jews, if they had not the same Priviledges for the censuring of manners and Doctrines, and the same power of jurisdiction and ruling that they had. Now all power of jurisdiction among the Jews, was exercised not by the promiscuous multitude, or by the whole congregation, nor by any particular man, nor by two or three (as the place above spe∣cifies) but by an Assembly, Senate, Councell, or Presbytery, of understanding men assigned to that purpose, which our Saviour himself calleth a Church; & this government established in the Chri∣stian church, are the severall Presbyteries, where all things are tran∣sacted by common and joynt consent: and this was the practise of the Apostles at Ierusalem, who did all businesse of publike concern∣ment, by common and joynt consent, as is manifest, in the first chap. of the Acts, in chusing of an Apostle in Iudas his place, and in the 5. chap. in censuring Annanias and Saphira and in the 6. chap. in chu∣sing Deacons, and in the 15. chapter in determining the question there in hand, all in a Presbyterian way and by common consent.

And this is that government, that God hath commanded to be perpetuated to the end of the world, in these words; Whatsoever ye shall binde on earth, shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. So that the Presbyters onely have the power of the keyes, & it is their place only to ordain Mi∣nisters and Church Officers, (whatsoever Authority the people may exercise in the chusing of them) as Paul writes unto Timothy and Titus, and they onely are to judge and determine and to cen∣sure in matters of manners and doctrine, and the people are to allow and approve it according to the Word of God. Yea the very Synagogues of the Jews, which were the same that our churches are, were governed by a Presbytery, (as our brethren acknowledge) called by the name of the Rulers of the Syna∣gogue, who governed by joynt and common councell; as is evi∣dent and manifest, in that there were superior and inferior Judges▪ Commanders, and Rulers, according as their yeares, gravity and wisdome made them more emninent then others, and venerable to Page  69 the people: as may appeare in many places as Acts 18. ver. 8. It is said there, That Crispus the chiefe Ruler of the Synagogue be∣leeved with all his houshould. So that if there were a chiefe Ruler, or Iudge, or a President; there must of necessity be a Councell or Segniory of inferiour ones, that had Rule and Authority over others as well as he: and where there is a chiefe Justice or Judge, there are other Judges joyned with him, as all reason perswades, and there must needs be a Court of Judicature, where all things are transacted, by conjoynt and common consent and agreement: and so it was in the Synagogues of the Jewes, who were subject to, and ordered by the determinations and abitrement of their Rulers and Governours. So that the severall Churches or Syna∣gogues under the Jews were in subjection to those Rulers, and were governed according as by common councell they ordered. And Mat. the 5. vers. 22. And behold there came one of the Rulers of the Synagogue, whose name was Iairus▪ here was a speciall Ecce added to take notice, that a great man, and one in authority, came unto Christ, and that in a publick way, and one of the Rulers of the Synagogue. So that wee may observe the people in every Syna∣gogue were governed and commanded by their Rulers, and they were to yeeld obedience unto them, and were not joyned with them in Commission, but stood to their determination, as all men use to doe in Courts of Judicature, that appeal unto them for ju∣stice. And this custome and manner of government was trans∣acted over to the Christian Churches; and those that were called Rulers among them, are among Christians sometimes called Presbyters, sometimes Guides, sometimes Rulers, and by Christ himselfe and by his Apostles, are appointed over all Christian Churches as so many corporations; to which all the Assemblies and Congregations under them, and committed to their charge, are to yeeld obedience and submission, in whatsoever they command in the Lord, and according to his blessed Word; for that must be the rule both of their commanding and of the peoples obeying. And this Presbyterian government, is that manner and way of ruling all Assemblies and particular Congregations under it, that God hath appointed in his Church, to be continued to the end of the world; the which whosoever resisteth, resisteth the Ordinance of God. And this shall suffice to have spoken in generall, in way of proofe, That all Churches wee have mention of under the New Te∣stament,Page  70were Aristocratically and Presbyterially governed, that is, were under the Government of a Colledge or Assembly of Presby∣ters.

And now I come to prove in order the foure Propositions or conclusions I undertooke to make good. The first was, That there were many Congregations and severall Assemblies in the Church of Ierusalem, in the which they had all acts of worship, and did partake in all Ordinances of Church-Fellowship; and that before the persecution we reade of Act. 8. and under the persecution, and after the persecution. And for the proofe of this Proposition, and every branch of it, I will first produce such pla∣ces of Scripture as make for the manifestation of the truth, and from thence frame and forme my Arguments, Mat. 3. ver. 1, 2. 5, 6. In those dayes came Iohn the Baptist, preaching in the wilder∣nesse of Iudaea, and saying, Repent ye, for the Kingdome of hea∣ven is at hand. Then went out to him Ierusalem, and all udaea and all the Region round about Iordan, and were baptized of him in Ior∣dan confessing their sinnes. The Baptisme of Iohn, as all the learned know, was the same with that of the Apostles, for he preached the Baptisme of Repentance for the Remission of sinnes, and Bap∣tized all that came to him▪ into Iesus Christ, saying unto the peo∣ple, That they should beleeve on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Iesus, Act. 19. ver. 4. Hee had his Commission also from God as well as the Apostles, and Baptized Christ him∣selfe; hee preached also the Gospel and the Kingdome of the Messiah as well as the Apostles; and had many honourable Te∣stimonies from Christ himselfe; as, That he was the greatest Pro∣phet that ever was borne of woman, and That he was a bright shining light, and That he was his witnesse; and many other En∣comiums and praises did Christ give of him, to ratifie his Authori∣ty, and to shew that he was sent of God, and that he was that Elias that was to come before the Messiah: And all the people owned, and tooke him for a man sent of God, and Ierusalem went out to him, and all the Region round about, and were Baptized of him. In these words wee find that the people of Ierusalem were all tur∣ned Christians, and made members of the Christian Church, and were beleevers. For which way soever the word Ierusalem be taken, it signifieth a numberlesse multitude of men, or an innume∣rable company.

Page  71 For if we consider Ierusalem at this time, she was a most popu∣lous City: the Historians that write of that age, relate, That she had somtimes in her, no lesse then eleven or twelve hundred thousand; but let it be taken that these were but six hundred thousand inhabi∣tants, it is a vast multitude, and yet seldome was there lesse inha∣bitants in Ierusalem, if any beleife may be had to Historians; for at that time it was one of the Metropolis Cities of the world, and the glory of Nations and the joy of the whole Earth; and besides there was then great expectation, as we may read, Luke 19. 11. That the Kingdome of God should immediately appear, and all the Jewes out of all Nations where they were scattered, now repai∣red to Jerusalem, and returned into their own countrey, expect∣ing the Messiah. So that at this time, we cannot conceive but that there were infinites of people in Jerusalem, and it is said, That Jerusalem went out and was baptized by Iohn. By Jerusalem, here metonimycally the place is taken for the people. Now when it is said that a City goeth out, it is to be understood either of the whole people, Man, Woman, and Child, old and young, with all the inha∣bitants; as many times it happens, in great Earth-quakes, or some Pestilence or Inundation, that all the Inhabitants are forced to leave a City, and to seek some other habitation, or of some great part; but we cannot conceive the going out of Jerusalem to Iohn Baptist in that large sense and expression; so that in this place it must be taken Synecdochycally, and we are to understand a great part, or a chiefe part for the whole: as when a City is said to en∣tertaine a King, or to go out to meet a King, here it is to be under∣stood principally of the chief Officers, as the Lord Mayor, Alder∣men, and the Common-councell, and all their severall Compa∣nies, and chiefe Captaines and Commanders, with all their mag∣nificence; so that in this notion the common people and the or∣dinary Citizens are not thought on, or at least are not numbred. As when JESUS was borne in Bethlem, and the Wise Men came to Jerusalem, to enquire where they should finde him that was borne King of the Iewes, that they might worship him, for they had seen his Star, it is said, That when Herod heard these things, He and all Ierusalem was troubled with him. Here, by all Ierusalem, is to be understood all the chiefe Officers and Courti∣ers; for the common people were glad of it; for that was the day they had long looked for, and rejoyced at: but Herod being an Page  72 Usurper and a Tyrant, and all his Nobles, Peers, and Great men being confederate with him, and adjutors in his usurpation and tyranny, and conceiving that Christ was an earthly Monarch; and that after the manner of the Kings of the Earth, he would not onely pull down the Usurper, but likewise call all them in question, as guilty of High Treason, and cut them of as com∣plices and abettors; this made them tremble and feare; and be∣cause it was the generall fear of all the great men in Jerusalem, and of all the Courtiers and Officers under Herod, therefore it is said, that Herod and all Ierusalem with him was troubled. So that Ty∣rants and their complices never have any reall peace. But in this sense also it cannot be understood, that Ierusalem went out to John and was baptized; it must therefore by a Senecdoche be ta∣ken for all the common people promiscuously, or for a mighty multitude of all sorts, and of all ranks of people, and of all profes∣sions, as Publicans, Souldiers, and the ordinary Inhabitants: and in this sense the word Jerusalem must be taken for a mighty mul∣titude of men in Jerusalem that were made Christians; for other∣wise the Evangelist would have said, many went out of Ierusa∣lem also, as well as out of other places: but in saying that all Iu∣dea, and all the Regions round about, and Jerusalem went out; this metaphoricall expression doth signifie, That an infinite num∣ber of people in Ierusalem it selfe, were made Christians and Members of the Church; and that it is so to be understood, the pla∣ces following will evidently evince it: for in Matth. 11. 12. our Saviour saith, That from the dayes of Iohn the Baptist, untill now, the Kingdome of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force, then the which, there could nothing be spoke more em∣phatically, to set forth the growth and increase of Beleevers, and the multitude of Christians, as Luke also in ch. 16. v. 16. expresseth saying, That the Law and the Prophets were untill Iohn; since that time the kingdome of God is preached, and every man presseth in to it: that is, the generality of the people became beleevers, and were baptized: as it is yet more evident from Luke 7. 29, 30. by the very testimony of our Saviour, who saith, That all the people that heard him, and the Publicans, justified God, being baptized with the Baptisme of Iohn; but the P harisees and Lawyers reje∣cted the councell of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. So that by the witnesse of our Saviour Christ, except the Page  73 Pharisees and the Priests; all the people, or the generality of the people in Ierusalem were baptized, and became Christians, and imbraced the Gospell: and this was accounted among the mira∣cles that was wrought in those dayes, and as a thing of speciall observation, and as a matter of wonder; as we may see in the message our Saviour Christ sent unto Iohn the Baptist by his Dis∣ciples, when he bad them relate unto their Master, what they had seen and heard in the 22. Verse; Tell him saith he, That the blinde see, the lame walke, the Leapers are cleansed, the deafe heare, and the dead are raised, and the poore receive the Gospel; this I say, was among the miracles, that the generality of the poore imbrace the Gospel, and were baptized and made Believers: which must needs import a mighty multitude, and a great increase, or else it would not have been a thing of such wonder, and have been sent unto Saint Iohn as a miraculous thing; and a thing worthy to prove Christ himself to be the Messiah looked for; for no meere man could have wrought such a work, asto draw the hearts of the the people to imbrace the Gospel, but the Messiah himself; For Paul may plant, and Apollo may water, 1 Cor. 3. but God only the Messiah, must give the increase; he must move the heart to imbrace the Gospel, and to believe; for faith is the gift of God, Ephes. 2. and therefore this was the wonder that the generality of the people did believe and were baptized, and this was the sole work and operation of Christ, and therefore proved him to be the Prophet they looked for. And it stands with all reason that there were infinites of people in Jerusalem that believed; and that Iohn was greatly magnified of the people, and publickly fol∣lowed, because for a time, Herod himselfe countenanced Iohn Mark. 6. 20▪ and feared him, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him, and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly. And although we read not that he was baptized by Iohn, yet he highly honoured him; till Iohn re∣proved him, and told him, it was not lawfull for him to have his Brothers Wife. And in this interim of his seeming favour, we may conceive, that the Courtiers also and the great men would do as their Master did: for if we observe the manner of all Courts to this day, what the King does the Courtiers also do; if the King laugh, though there be perhaps a cause of mourning, they will all laugh; and if he frownes, though there be a cause of cheerfulnesse Page  74 and smiling, they will al frown; and if the King commends any man, they will all admire him; and if he hears any Minister glad∣ly, they will all heare him willingly: and if he when he is repro∣ved, be angry and displeased, and will cut off his head whom he had so honoured but the day before, then all the Courtiers, they will helpe him, and further the worke: as we may see, not only in the example of Iohn Baptist, but in Haman; as soon as the King frownd upon him, the Courtiers they covered his face, and up they trussed him; be it right or wrong it is all one to Courtiers. But in that interim, I say, that Iohn Baptist was in favour with the King, without doubt it animated the people greatly to follow him, and by hearing him, many thousand Saints were converted, and the multitudes of them were numerous, as is manifest from Matth. 14. 5. for it is said, That when he would have put him to death he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a Pro∣phet. Here are two observables, the one, That he that feared not God, was afraid of his servants. The second, that it was a migh∣ty multitude of Believers that were in Ierusalem; for a few could not have awed the King and kept him in feare: and therefore he was forced to defer the cutting off of his head, till he had got to him all the strength of Galilee, all his Lords and high Captains, and his chiefe Estates and Commanders, Mark 6. 21. And when he thought himselfe strong enough, then he exercised his tyranny. Yea, when Iohn was taken away, yet the multitudes of the people continued stedfast in the faith, as we may see in Luke 20. by the confession of the very enemies: for when our Saviour asked them concerning the baptisme of Iohn, Whether it was from Heaven or of Men? And they reasoned among themselves, saying, if we shall say from Heaven, he will say, why then believed ye him not? and if we say of Men, all the people will stone us, for they be perswaded that Iohn was a Prophet. Here by the confession of the very ene∣mies, all the people, or the generality of them were Believers; and it must of necessity be a mighty multitude, that kept all the Priests and all the Elders that had all the power in their hands, in awe, that they durst not so much as open their mouthes against Iohn the Baptist. From all which places, and many more that might be produced, to prove, That there were so many Believers in Ierusalem as could not all meet in one place or roome, or in one Congregation, to partake in all acts of worship; I thus argue.

Page  75 Where there was an infinite multitude, or a mighty City of Be∣lievers, there they could not all meet together in one place or roome, or in one Congregation, for the enjoying of all acts of worship, and for edification (which is required in the Churches, 1 Cor. 14. 26.) but of necessity must be distributed into severall Congregations and Assemblies, and divers divisions, that they might be all edified, and partake in all Ordinances. But in the Church of Ierusalem, by the very baptisme and preaching of Iohn, there were infinite multitudes, and a very City of Believers. Ergo, they could not all meet toge∣ther in one place or roome, or in one congregation for the enjoying of all acts of worship, and for edification (which is required in the Church of God) but of necessitie must be distributed into severall congregations and assemblies, and divers divisions, that they might all be edified, & partake in all ordinances. For the major, it is cleare, by the very light of nature, and all reason: for there is no one place or house that can contain a whole City, or infinite multitude of Be∣lievers: and if any great place could containe them, they could not all be edified and partake of all the acts of worship. For if the very great raw-bon'd building of Pauls it self were cramm'd full of peo∣ple, and had a Preacher of the strongest lungs in the City, half the people could not hear and be edified, as daily experience telleth us; so that of necessity, if they would be edified, and partake in all the Or∣dinances, they must be distributed into divers congregations, and severall assemblies. I am most assured that there were such mul∣titudes of Believers in Jerusalem, that five such buildings as Pauls could not have contained their very bodies within their wals, much lesse receive them, or entertaine them for edification. So that for the major, I am confident there is no intelligible man will doubt of it. For the Minor, it is manifest from the places above produced; for our Saviour saith, excepting the Pharisees and the Lawyers (which were but a little handfull) all the people, or the generality of them, justified God, and were baptized, and were Be∣lievers. So that the conclusion from the premises doth neces∣sarily follow. But from the former places I argue yet further after this manner.

Where there was such an infinite company and multitude of Chri∣stians and Believers, as kept a tyrannicall King in awe, and all the Magistrates and Elders in whose hands was all the power and au∣thority; and struck such a fear and terror into them all, that they Page  76 durst not exercise their cruelty and tyranny over them, though they were their inveterate enemies, and desired it: There of necessity the number of the Believers must be so great, as they could not all meet together in one place or roome, or in one congregation, for the enjoy∣ing and partaking in all the acts of worship; but if they would be edi∣fied, must be distributed into divers congregations and assemblies. But in Ierusalem there were such an infinite company and multi∣tude of Christians and Believers, as kept Herod himself, the tyrant, in awe, all the Magistrates and Elders, in whose hands was all the power and authority; and struck such a feare and terror into them, that they durst not exercise their cruelty and tyranny over them, though they were their inveterate enemies, and desired it. Ergo, of necessity the number of the Believers was so great, as they could not all meet together in one place or roome, or in one congregation, for the enjoying and partaking in all acts of worship; but if they would be edified, must be distributed into divers Congregations and As∣semblies.

For the Major and Minor of this Syllogisme, besides the force of reason and common understanding, which were enough to con∣vince any rationall creature of the truth of them: the holy Scrip∣ture it self (as from the places above specified, is manifest) proves them. So that none can doubt of the truth of the conclusion, but such as will call in question truth it selfe. I might out of the severall places above mentioned draw many more Arguments to prove the conclusion; but because I study brevity, these for the present shall serve, to prove, That by the very baptisme and Mini∣stery of S. Iohn the Baptist, there were such an infinite company of Be∣lievers in the Church of Ierusalem, as they could not al meet together in one place or congregation, for the injoying of all the Ordinances.

To these first arguments of mine, by which I proved that by the very Baptisme of S. Iohn there were more converted and made Christians and believeres in Ierusalem then could meete in any one place or Congregation, Master Knollys answers by denying the minor of my Syllogismes, and I. S. by denying they were Christi∣ans as we shall see. I will therefore reply unto them both, in order, beginning first with Master Knollys, whose words are these pag. 8. I do deny the minor proposition of these arguments saith he. Neither hath the Doctor proved, that there was an infinite number of belee∣vers, nor a very City of beleevers in the Church of Ierusalem. The Page  77 Scriptures quoted by the Doctor speak no such thing. Those places in Matthew, Mark and Luke, tell us of very many who were baptized by Iohn, and by Christs Disciples; but doe not declare how many of those baptized persons were of the Church of Ierusalem; and the Scripture witnesseth, Act. 9. 31. That there were Churches through all Iudaea, as well as in Ierusalem; and for ought I know, or the Do∣ctor either, many of those baptized persons might be in those Chur∣ches, yea the most of them, and but a few in Ierusalem; it may be no more but those hundred and twenty mentioned, Act. 1. 13, 14, 15. to whom were added about three thousand soules, who continued in the doctrine of the Apostles, and in breaking of bread and prayers, Acts the 2. 42, 43, 44. This is all Master Knollys hath to say by way of answer for the enervating of the strength of my Arguments and Reasons, by which I proved there were more converted by Iohns Ministerythen could meet in any one place in Ierusalem.

Now here before I come to reply, I referre my selfe to the ju∣dicious Reader, whether from the forgoing places, which I quoted out of the Holy Word of God, & from the Reasons and Arguments deduced out of it, it was not sufficiently evinced, That there were an infinite number of beleevers, and a very Citie of them in the Church of Ierusalem, and therefore more then could meet in any one place or Congregation: I demand I say of any intelligible Christi∣an, whether those Scriptures I cited with the Arguments deduced from them doe not speake and perswade such a thing? I am con∣fident all such as know any thing in learning, will say they doe. But for answer, Master Knollys himselfe, grants that very many were baptized by Iohn and Christs disciples, and none were bap∣tized then but Beleevers, as he and all the Independents doe con∣fesse and acknowledge; but saith he, the Scriptures quoted, do not declare how many of those baptized persons were of the Church of Ierusalem; for the Scriptures witnesse that there were Churches through all Iudaea, as well as in Ierusalem, and for ought (saith he) I know or the Doctor either, many of those baptized persons might be of those Churches, yea the most of them, and but a few in Ierusalem, it may be no more but those hundred and twenty, mentio∣ned, Acts the 1. vers. 13, 14, 15.

If a bare denyall of any Argument with a senselesse Reason or two, and an it may be, were a sufficient conviction of a truth, then Master Knollys would be a very precious Disputant, and to say Page  78Bellarmine thou lyest, would be enough to confute all the Papists: But in matters of this nature and of so high concernement, there is more required then bare denials, and vaine evasions and may∣bee's: And therefore I will take this liberty to tell Master Knollis, that hee trifles in Divinity, and deales not like a serious nor learned Christian, nor to the purpose: for this is not in question betweene mee and the Independents, how many of those baptized persons through all Iudaea and the Regions round about were resident in the Church of Ierusalem? This I say was never controverted be∣tweene us; for no man that I know of, ever doubted but that all those that came out of al Iudaea and the Regions round about to the Ministry & Baptism of Iohn and Christs Disciples, returned home againe to their severall habitations, and there remained and aboad, as those that came out of Ierusalem to Iohns Preaching and Bap∣tisme, after they were baptized, repaired to their severall houses & habitations in that Citie, and remained there waiting upon the publick Ordinances; this I conceive all men that have any under∣standing beleeve. And the Scripture sufficiently declareth, that the multitudes of Beleevers that came out of Ierusalem and were baptized by Iohn the Baptist, (to speake nothing now of the Apo∣stles and seventy Disciples) were numberlesse, and therefore were more then the hundred and twenty names; yea they were innumerable, & therefore more then could meet in any one place or a few. And if the Reader will but looke backe to the Scriptures above quoted, out of which I framed my Arguments, and consi∣der the insuing Scriptures and Reasons from them, he will easily perceive that Master Knollys is a meere Quibler, and a man no way fit for either disputation, or any serious imployment.

The Evangelists speaking of the great concourses of people that came from all quarters to the Preaching and Ministery of Iohn, and to be baptized, to avoid mistakes, doe specifie the severall pla∣ces out of which they came, with the numbers indefinitly set down that came from every place, saying, There went out to him Ierusa∣lem, and all Iudaea, and all the Regions round about Iordan, and were baptized of him in Iordan confessing their sinnes, Mat. the 3. Here it is abundantly declared that it was an infinite company that came from Ierusalem, as by the word Ierusalem is sufficiently ma∣nifest, being metaphorically set downe and taken in that place (as I said before) synechdochically for a mighty part and multitude of Page  79 people that came out of that City. And Saint Marke confirmes this, chap. 1. ver. the 5. who saith, there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river Jordan confessing their sinnes.

And the same is further ratified by the words of our Saviour, Luke 7. 29. 30. who saith, that all the people that heard him, and the Publicans justified God, being baptized by the Baptisme of John, but the Pharisees and Lawyers rejected the Councell of God against themselves, being not baptized. So that now by the mouth of three witnesses and by the testimony of Christ himselfe it is suf∣ficiently proved, That if Jerusalem and all the people of Jerusalem went out and were baptized by John (except the Pharisees and Law∣yers) that there was an innumerable multitude, and therefore more then could possibly meet in any one place or a few, and many more then the hundred and twenty names spoke of in the first of the Acts; which fond conceit of Mr Knollys is yet more evidently refuted out of the second of the Acts, where it is related that there were at that time Inhabitants and Dwellers at Jerusalem devout men, that is, true Worshippers and Beleevers from out of all the Nations under Heaven. To say nothing of Nicodemus, and of Joseph of Ari∣mathea and of many other Rulers, and of all the people and chil∣dren that cryed Hosanna and that received Christ into the City with all their acclamations and believed in him; the most of which were Inhabitants aud Dwellers in Jerusalem and such as had their aboad there, so that by this I have now said, the folly and vanity of Mr Knollys and his cavill is apparantly manifest, and this truth sufficiently clear to all, that there was an infinite number and a very City of Beleevers in the Church of Ierusalem, besides those that were of the other Churches in Judea, and therefore could not all meet in one place: For the Scripture saith that Ierusalem and they of Ierusalem went out and were baptized by Iohn the Baptist; and therefore all good Christians I am confident will ever beleeve the Scriptures and give credit unto the word of God rather then unto Mr Knollys; and if they will beleeve the Scripture of truth, then they will not onely beleeve there was an infinite number and a very City of Beleevers in Ierusalem, and that by the very mi∣nistry and preaching of Iohn, but that Mr Knollys is a very wic∣ked and blasphemous creature as who giveth the spirit of God the lye and opposeth also all good reason: For the spirit saith Je∣rusalemPage  80and all they of Ierusalem, except the Pharisees and Law∣yers, were baptized by John, and all these were inhabitants at Je∣rusalem; and Mr Knollys affirmeth the contrary and confuteth all the Evangelists; whether therefore he be not a very precious dis∣putant I refer it to the judgement of all sober-minded Christians that love sincerity, truth and plain dealing.

And this might suffice to shew the vanity and wickednesse of the man and what a vain caviller he is, that thus abuseth pretious time to abuse himselfe and miserably to delude ignorant people: But for the farther confirmation of my Minor, I will produce one or two testimonies more out of the eleventh of Mark, where there is mention made of two great companies and parties of beleevers and those all Inhabitants in Ierusalem, the one of them that fol∣lowed Christ and beleeved in him, at which the Scribes and Pha∣risees were offended, and sought how they might destroy him; but saith the Scripture, they feared him, because all the people were astonished at his doctrine, that is, they beleeved it: verse 18. an∣other company was those that were the Disciples of Iohn the Baptist, and they accompted Iohn a Prophet indeed, as all the men of Ierusalem did, verse 32. and either of these companies were so great and powerfull as they kept all Christs enemies in awe, so that they were affraid of the people of either party, and therefore there was then a very City of believers in Ierusalem and they In∣habitants, and that in Christs time, and they had been baptized by Saint Iohn, for all Ierusalem went out and were baptized by him; So that now I assure my selfe every but ordinary understanding man will gather that there was an innumerable multitude of belie∣vers in Ierusalem, and more than could meet in any one place, or a few if they had been put together, when there were two such potent parties there, as either of them kept the very enemies of Christ, the Magistrates and Rulers, yea Herod ▪himselfe in awe, which a few thousands could never have done; and all these were Inhabitans of Ierusalem and well known to the Scribes and Pha∣risees to be Christs and Iohns Disciples, and all beleevers, as wee shall more abundantly prove in the following discourse; and there∣fore my Minor doth now stand firme, That there were more be∣leevers in Ierusalem, and that by the very ministry and baptisme of John, then could meet in any one place or a few, and that there w•• an infinite number of beleevers and a very City of beleevers, which Page  81 Mr Knollys denyeth and in so doing gives the spirit of God the lys and contradicts the holy Scripture and opposeth all sound reason, and all this to maintain the fonde opinion of Independency. And this shall serve to have spoke by way of answer to what Mr Knol∣lys had to reply to my first arguments concerning the multitudes baptized by John the Baptist.

I will now give an answer to what I. S. hath to say against this argument, of whom I shall take the liberty by way of pre∣face before I come to my Reply, to speak something, and yet no more then shall be thought fit and agreeable to sound reason, and so much the rather I do it, because this man greatly vanteth him∣selfe, and because his answer is highly esteemed of amongst many of the congregationall way, who I confesse are much to be blamed that they suffer themselves to be deluded with such fellowes, ne∣ver examining their writings, but taking all for oracles they vent, and thinking it enough that there is any thing come out against a Presbyterian in way of answer, though there be nothing more destructive to their own opinion, as I am confident it will appear to all judicious men, that these answers of Mr Knollys, my Bro∣ther Burton and this I. S. are. And for I. S. I may say thus much of him that he is yet vainer then Mr Knollys in his answers; for he candidly denyeth upon all occasions the Minors of my Syl∣logismes, and then gives some sucking reasons for this his denyall; but this I. S. hath nothing of a Scholler in him; for all good Schol∣lers and Disputants will set down the arguments of their adversa∣ries in their full strength and as they are in the Copy, and then ei∣ther deny the Major or Minor, or both; or distinguish, and after they have shewen the fallacyes of the arguments, if there be any, then by their art and learning they will shew the weaknesse of them, and so evade the dinte and force of them; this I say is the method, not onely of all accurate Disputants, but of every ordi∣nary jangler, if he, at least, pretends any thing to learning: But I. S. hath not so much ingenuity in him as to do any thing of all this; but first sets down my arguments in an obscure way and to the halves, so that the unlearned Reader cannot perceive the strength of my reason; and then in a confused manner gives in his answer in the name of all the Independents, which upon due exa∣mination I am confident will appear to all learned men to be no∣thing but a packe of blasphemies and contradictions as being a Page  82 meer fighting against the truth and a giving of the spirit of God the lye, as in the sequell will be evidenced.

Our Saviour in the 3 of John verse 20. 21. saith, That hee that doth the works of darknesse, shunns the light; but he that doth truth, cometh to the light, &c. Truly I may justly accuse I. S. and his fraternity of this sin, that they not only shun the light themselvs but hinder others also from it, and do whatsoever in them lies to keep men from the knowledg of the truth and from prying into their errors, that by this means they may atttain unto their own ends, and therefore they not onely disprage all the Presbyterians, and with their calumnies labour to make them odious to the people as so many railors and persecutors, for so they call us, that they may neither hear their Sermons, nor read any books written by them, or any thing penned against their Novelties by those of that party; and all this to abuse the simple people, that by this their art they may with-hold the truth from them in unrighteousnesse: And in this facultie are all the Independents very expert who cunningly either pick and choose or curtalize and adulterate all a guments that are brought against them, or else totally passe them over with sligh∣tings, when they can no way with any reason reply unto them. And as they are generally void of all good learning and sciences, so there is neither ingenuity, candor or honesty amongst the most of them, these excellent graces and vertues being now strangers to those of the congregationall way, amongst the which fraud and juglings and all manner of dissimulation and railing are the only master pieces of their craft, by which they maintain and uphold their way and foment their errors; for should they deal fairly with us and not disswade the people from reading our books and hear∣ing our godly and painfull Ministers, and would they but set down our arguments and reasons in their full strength, the people would not onely speedily see their errors but relinquish them. And therfore they all take speciall care to keep the people in ignorance; and amongst those Artificers and Crafs-men of that new Goddesse that Diana of Independency, this J. S. though in all good lear∣ning he be a very novice, yet in this craft of jugling he is pretily expert. And that all men may see I do not falsly accuse him, I will first set down the sum of my arguments taken from the multitudes baptized by Iohn the Baptist, and and then set down in what terms he delivers them, with his vain and impious answer to them.

Page  83 The summe of my Arguments is this.

Where there was an infinitemultitude, or a mighty City of beleevers, there they could not all meete together in one place or roome or in one congregation to injoy all acts of worship for edification; but in the Church of Ierusalem, by the very baptisme and preaching of Iohn, there was an infinit multitude and a very City of believers; ergo they could not all meete together in any one congregation.

This is the sum of my first Argument. The second is this.

Where there was such an infinite company and multitude of Chri∣stians and believers, as kept a tyrannicall King in awe and all the Magistrates and Elders, in whose hands was all the power and au∣thority; and struck such a terror into them all, as they durst not exer∣cise their cruelty and tyranny over them, though they were their in∣veterate enemies, there of necessity the number of them must be so great, as they could not all meet together in one place or congrega∣tion to partake in all Acts of worship. But, in the Church of Je∣rusalem there was such a company of believers by the very baptisme of Iohn; ergo they could not all meete together in any one place or congregation.

This is the summe of my arguments, which I made good out of the Word of God, and from sound reason, as they that have read my booke with judgement, I am confident will acknowledge.

Now heare how J. S. setteth them downe with his answer to them pag. the 8. and 9. of his booke.

The Doctors first proposition is (saith he) that there were many Congregations and severall assemblies in the Church of Jerusalem &c. for proofe whereof (saith he) he bringeth the multitudes of Converts to Iohns Baptisme; the people of Jerusalem, all of them; and all Iudaea &c. whereby (saith he) all became Christians, or members of the Christian Church: for Iohns baptisme was into Iesus Christ, and the very same with that of the Apostles. Thus I. S. sets downe my Arguments, which I affirme, is not candid∣ly done of him: for the ignorant Reader cannot see into the strength of my arguments, they being delivered in such obscure tearmes, and set down also to the halves, the whole truth not being specified. For not one of ten thousand had ever seene or read my book, & I dare say, not one of an hundred of the Independents had ever vouchsafed so much as to looke into it; for I was made so odious unto them by their blasting language, as they abhorred my Page  84 very name: with all howsoever they boasted at the first coming of it out, that there were twenty pens at worke in answering of it, yet not one of them ever appeared, till three moneths after it was printed. Now all the Copyes that were printed were all gone in one weeke, so that the answers coming out so long after, and my arguments not being known to the people, and being in this obscure manner and in such darke expressions, and but to the halves set down, every vulgar understanding can never see into the weight and strength of them, especially, they having not my booke before them.

And to say the truth, all the Independents ordinarily use this method in their pretended answers, as first, to let the bookes they reply unto be forgotten, and after that to blurte out some∣thing against them, concealing the truth, and then they crow out as victors and conquerers, that they have beate up our quarters and puld downe the pillars of our discourse, as I S. doth vain∣ly in this his Pamplet, when it will appeare to all intelligible men that he hath onely cast a squib or two at them, and then as a meere fresh water Souldier speedily ran away, and left that worke to others, as he unaduisedly in the tenth page and in his wise Epistle confesseth, sayning indisposition of body, when in∣deede it was his want of wit, learning, honesty, and courage.

As I haveset downe the sum of my Arguments, and compared his expressing of my meaning, with it; I will also set downe the summe of his answer to them, which he giveth in the name of all the Independents, saying, we answerd to your reason; and then set downe his own words in their full length, that all men may see my faire dealing with him. For I. S. doth not here deny my minor as Master Knollys did, or accuse me of false Musters as he vainely and impiously doth in his answer to my second Argu∣ments. But plainly denieth that those that were baptized by Iohn Baptist were Christians, to whom my brother Burton assen∣teth, page 16. of his book saying that those beleevers that were baptized by Iohn Baptist into Christ to come, according to the Papists doctrine, were not formed into a Christian Church, or Churches, as after Christs resurrection Christians were. These are my brother Burtons formall words, who not only assenteth to I. S. in this his opinion, but also bringeth in the authority of the Papists to confirme this their doctrine, and so in this the Independents Page  85 agree with the Papists to overthrow the truth, and to maintain their abominable errors.

And this I conceive, was the cause that moved my brother Burton in the ninth page of his booke in the beginning of his answer, to say, `as for your indefinite enumeration of those multi∣tudes baptized by Iohn the Baptist and Christs Disciples, we take no notice of them. This is his expression there, concerning the which in due place. Surely if my brother Burton had thought them Christians, he would have demeed them worthy to have been taken notice of: but in this he agreeth with I. S. and the Papists.

Now I will give you the summe of I. S. his Arguments, in way of answer, by which he denieth that those that were baptized by Iohn the Baptist were Christians.

The first is because (saith he) they were baptised into Christ that was to dye, and not dead; therefore in his dialect they were no Christians.

The second, they were not baptized with the holy Ghost and with fire; therefore thy were no Chrstians.

The third, they were no more Christians then the Iewes that passed through the red Sea; but they were no Christians; ergo they also that were baptized by Iohn were no Christians.

The fourth, The baptisme of Iohn was not perfect, ergo those that were baptised by him were no Christians.

The fifth, those that were baptized by Iohn, did not only hasitate, but were scandalized at the true Messiah, and under the forme of Iohns baptisme did fight against the true baptisme and baptiser the Lord Jesus: ergo they were no Christians.

Sixthly, they that were baptized by Iohn were not cast into a Church mould, according to the New▪testament forme, neither were they members of one Christian Church at Jerusalem, ergo they were not Christians; and this Argument is brought in by way of a corallary.

This must needs be the scope of his answer, or else he sayth nothing to the purpose in denying my Arguments, which were not only to prove, that those that were baptized by Iohn Baptist were Christians and beleevers, but also that they were in such multi∣tudes as they could not all possibly meete in any one place, or con∣gregation to communicate in all the Ordinances and all Acts of worship to edification. The dint and force of the which Argu∣ment, Page  86 he thinkes he sufficiently evadeth, by denying that they were Christians at all. So that if this Answer be well looked into and examined, it will appeare that whiles he boasteth and glori∣eth that he hath beate up my quarters, he beates up Saint Iohns quarters, yea Christs quarters, and all his Disciples quarters before Christs death and Ascension, and all the quarters of all Christians that now live in the world: For if none are well Baptised and made Christians indeede, but such as are Baptised with the Holy Ghost and with fire, then all those that were baptised before Christs Ascension were no true Christians, nor no Christians in these our times, nor many Generations before us, who were not baptised by the Holy Ghost and with fire; and by these his fond cavills he overthroweth the Scripture it self and all Divine and humane Authority, and gives the Spirit of God the lye.

And truly such a peece of impious ignorance with such impu∣dent confidence my eyes yet never beheld before I. S. and his complices came into the World. So that it stranges me e∣ceedingly that such men as he and they are, should be suffered by those of the Congregationall way to go unpunished, who may shame them all, as indeed they are a shame to all Christian Re∣ligion: For I appeale to the judgement of all such as have any knowledge in Religion or love to the truth, or have any modera∣tion or good temper yet left in them, whether this be a thing tolerable in any that has the name of a Christian, to play not only the juglers, to deceive and delude the poore people, but to give the Spirit of God the lye, and then to vapour and brag of it as of a conquest?

But now I will set downe his Arguments in his owne words, and give my answer to them severally. We (saith he) answer to your reasons. So that he writes in the name of all the Indepen∣dents, as one of the Commanders and Captaines in their Militia, and as one of their Champions, and therefore in the name of them all, sayeth, We answer to your reasons. Now take notice what he answers in the name of the whole Fraternity.

1. Iohns Baptisme, was into Christ, but it was in Christum mo∣riturum, not in Christum mortuum. This is J. S. his first answer. Truly one that should but looke on all his Answers to my Argu∣ments, would wonder what the man meant by them, and to what Page  87 purpose he uttered these words: for they are a manifest fighting against the Scripture of truth; as all the judicious and learned will wel perceive. And I have heard both learned & pious men say, that they did not beleeve, that I. S. did well understand himselfe when he writ this book: and there is some reason of this their opi∣nion: for hee confesseth in his wise Epistle, that hee was in a course of Physick at the wels; & who knowes but the man might then be somewhat distemperd in his braine, and so might doe the actions of a man crased? and his very language doth in a manner speake as much, both in this his Answer, and in many other passa∣ges of his Book, as in their due places will appeare, yea the very title also, and his Epistle being senselesse, calling his Pamphlet Flagellum flagelli, and the beating up of Doctor Bastwicks quarters, when he never came nigh them, and the taking hold and shaking of the Pillars of his discourse, when hee never so much as touched them, with many such other expressions, all which have no cor∣respondency amongst themselves, and shewes that the man is ei∣ther a very stranger in Rhetorick, not knowing how to keep him∣selfe to his Metaphor, or else that hee is crased indeed; and truly so every one will conceive, if they duly weigh and consider all pas∣sages in his booke; especially this answer of his to my Arguments: by which hee labours to prove that those that were baptized by Iohn the Baptist were no Christians, no Beleevers; which he doth by very senselesse reasons: the first of which I have related, viz. that they were baptized into Christ to dye and not dead, and there∣fore in his opinion they were no Christians. I omit his latine expression, as thinking it a vaine thing in him to insert latine sentences writing in the vulgar tongue, especially in handling points of divinity, & those of great concernment, which the people should have set before them in perspicuous and plaine termes.

But now take notice how the man contradicteth himselfe in his answer; for the drift of it is to prove, that those that were bapti∣zed by Iohn the Baptist were no Christians, and yet hee sayeth, they were baptized into Christ. Then they were Christians by his owne confession, for Iesus Christ was yesterday, and to day, and the same for ever, Heb. 13. and He was ever the Mes∣siah, the seed of the woman that should breake the Serpents head, that Rocke upon which the Church was built, against which the gates of Hell should never prevaile, Mat. 16. So that they that were bap∣tized Page  88 into Iesus Christ, whether whiles hee was living or dead, whether before his Nativity, death or ascension, or after, are all good Christians; therefore he contradicteth himselfe in saying they were not Christians; for it is not the circumstance of time that makes an alteration in the substance and essence of any thing: for the Passeover in Egypt, was the same for substance that it was in the Wildernesse, and in the land of Canaan; for otherwise it should follow that the Supper of the Lord celebrated by Christ himselfe before his passion, and in memoriall of his death, should not be the same with that it was after Christs Re∣surrection and Ascension; and that the Apostles that received the Lords Supper, were not Christians then as well as after his death, which I thinke I. S. will not dare affirme; but if he should, I am confident all the well grounded Christians in the world would be his adversaries in this; for the Apostle Saint Paul in the 1. of the Corinth. 11. 23, 24, 25. makes them all one for substance; and as the Sacrament of the Lords Supper was the same for essence be∣fore Christs death that it was after, so was the Sacrament of Bap∣tisme, to all that were baptized; and hee was as good a Christian that was baptized in to Christ before his death, as hee that was baptized into him after his Ascension, as all good reason will per∣swade; for Christ was ever the Messiah and King of his Church; which will yet more evidently appeare, if wee compare earthly things with heavenly.

I demand therefore of I. S. or any of the congregationall way, whether all such subjects as take the oath of allegiance, or sweare fealty to any King, who is owned by the people and whole Kingdome to be their lawfull King, as appointed and set over them of God, and is openly proclamed through the whose Realm to be their King, though at that time hee be in an other Countrey, and but now comming to take the possession of his Kingdome, I say I demand whether such subjects as take the oath of allegeance and sware fealty unto him, before he comes and sits visibly upon his Throne, be not by this their oath become that Kings subjects, as truly and as really, as if the King were bodily present? I demand further, when hee is in person come into his Kingdome, and vi∣sibly amongst them, saluted and entertained and owned by the people for their King, whether or no those subjects that then take their oath of allegeance, and promise by that their oath their subje∣ction Page  89 unto him, bee not as really and truly his subjects, as those that after hee is inaugurated and gone into one of his other King∣domes, take then the oath of allegeance, and sware subjection unto him in all his just commands? I am confident that all men that are but a little skilled in politicks, or any good learning, will ac∣knowledge, that either of the former subjects, are as truly and really subjects unto him though they never saw him (as many hundred thousands never did their Kings) as those that tooke the oath when hee was gone in triumph into an other of his King∣domes. And thus it was with those that were baptized by Iohn the Baptist, that great Officer of Christs kingdome, and the blessed Apostle, those Stewards, Secretaries, privie Counsellors, & Embas∣sadours of his Royaltie, who all baptized those that came unto them into Iesus Christ the King and Messiah, as well before his death as after, and all they owned him as well then for their King as after, crying Hosanna thou sonne of David, and strowing their garments in the way, saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord, peace in Heaven, and glory in the Highest, Luke 19. vers. 4. and therefore it is a senslesse reason, yea contra∣dictory unto it selfe that I. S. bringeth, considering there is no dif∣ference for the substance of the matter, though there be some va∣riety in respect of the circumstance of time; and in this fond error of I. S. is my brother Burton and the Papists, who thinke there was a great difference between the Baptisme before Christs death and that after his death, when indeed for substance there was none, no more then was betweene the Sacrament of the Lords Supper before Christs death and after. And therefore all those that received either of those Sacraments or both of them be∣fore his passion, were as good Christians as those that received them after; for hee was owned by them at that time to be the Lambe of God that was to take away the sins of the world of be∣leevers, and to be the King of the Iews, the Saviour of his people, to be the anoynted Christ, & they took the Sacraments upon it, which is as much as the oath of allegeance to any King, which were suffi∣cient to make them as good Christians as any that should come after them, and therefore they that were baptized by Iohn the Bap∣tist into Christ to dye, which I. S. doth acknowledge, they were all as good Christians as any now baptized by the Indepen∣dents; and therefore that hee faith to the contrary and in opposi∣tion Page  90 to this truth is a meer babble and a contradiction of himselfe. And this shall suffice to have spoke to his first answer to prove that those that were baptized by Iohn the Baptist were as good Chri∣stians as any other that were baptized after Christs death.

His second is as senselesse, which is this. To say (saith he) that the Baptisme of Iohn was the same with Christs and the Apostles, is flat contrary to the assertion of Iohn himselfe and the Apostles, Mat. 21. 25. Act. 18. 25. I baptize you with water (saith he) but there comes one after me, who shall baptize with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. These are the words of his second argument to prove that those that were baptized by Iohn the Baptist were no Christians. In the entrance of this his answer he beats the ayre, and fights with his owne shadow and falsifies my words; for I never said nor thought it, that the Baptisme of Iohn was the same with Christs; for the Scripture relateth that Christ baptized not at all, Iohn 4. vers. 2. I said indeed, it was the same with the Apostles, and that is mani∣fest out of many places of the holy Scriptures, as out of the 3. of Luke, ver. 2. & Iohn the 1. v. 33. where Iohn himself speaking saith, hee that sent mee to baptize with water, the same said unto me, &c. Yea one of those places quoted by himselfe, Matth. 21. vers. 25. sufficiently declares that Iohn had his Commission from God him∣self, (whose Prophet he was) to baptize with water, and the Apo∣stles themselves before Christs death and Ascention baptized but with water, and had no other Commission but that Saint Iohn the Baptist had, and Iohn baptized with the Baptisme of Repentance, saying unto the people, that they should beleeve on him which should come after him that is on Christ Iesus, Act. 19. vers. 4. and the ve∣ry Apostles Baptisme before Christs death vvas no other but the Baptisme of repentance and to beleeve in Christ; yea faith and repentance was the summe of all the Preaching, both of Iohn and of all the holy Apostles, both before Christs death and after, as wee may see, Acts 20. vers. 21. where the Apostle saith, Testifying both to the Iewes, and also to the Greeks, repentance to∣wards God, and faith towards our Lord Iesus Christ. Now when the Baptisme of Saint Iohn and the Apostles, both before Christs death and after was all one for substance, and all into Christ, as wee may yet further see, Acts the 8. 16. where it is said they were bap∣tized in the name of the Lord Iesus. It was no error in mee to say that the Baptisme of Iohn was into Christ Iesus, and the very same with that of the Apostles, for the Holy Ghost which is the Page  91 spirit of truth hath so taught mee: and therefore all those that were baptized by Iohn the Baptist were as good Christians and beleevers as those that were baptized by the Apostles, if re∣pentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Iesus Christ, and being baptized into him could make good Christians; which were blasphemy to gain-say, and nothing else but to give the spirit of God the lye: and therefore J. S. affirming that there was a diffe∣rence between the Baptisme of Iohn and that of the Apostles, and denying that those that were baptized by Iohn were Christians, gives the spirit of God the lye: for the holy word of God which was penned by his spirit asserteth the contrary: And for that text that he citeth out of the third of Matthew, where Iohn saith, I baptize you with water, but there comes one after me who shall bap∣tize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire; this is nothing to his purpose nor nothing against my opinion: For, as I said before, it was never my beliefe that the baptisme of Christ and Iohns bap∣tisme was all one, seeing Saint Iohn the Baptist hath taught the contrary, as in the words alledged it is sufficiently declared: But I demand of I. S. whether the Apostles, all whose names were written in heaven, were not as good Christians and Beleevers in Jesus Christ by Iohns baptisme, before they had received the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and were baptized with fire (which we read of Act. the 2.) as they were after the cloven tongues appeared un∣to them? ver. 3. If either he or any of his fraternity shall deny it, then they must deny the sixteenth chapter of Matthew and the sixt of Saint Iohn, where we finde that honourable confession of all the Apostles where they testifie their faith in Christ into whom they had been baptized before that, yea they must deny the whole Scriptures of the New Testament which affirme the contrary: And if the baptizing of any with the Holy Ghost and with fire be that thing onely that makes men Christians and Beleevers, then none that were not so baptized were good christians: for the gifts of the Holy Ghost as the diversity of tongues and working of mi∣racles, were not promiscuous and given to all as Saint Paul doth sufficiently declare, 1 Cor. 12. 30. Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? So that all the people were not bapti∣zed with the Holy Ghost; and therefore by I. S. his learning were no christians: Neither was that the worke of the Apostles, but it was Christs work onely who first breathed the spirit upon the A∣postles Page  92 and after his ascenion first poured down those gifts upon them, Acts the 2. and after that at many other times through the prayer of the Apostles and putting on of their hands upon the Be∣leevers Christ for the confirmation of their Ministry, and to ma∣nifest to all those that were converted by them that they were sent by him, shed down those miraculous graces upon many, but gave them not to all; and it is also declared that they first be∣lieved and then they were baptized with the Holy Ghost; and wee have but one President that I remember in the holy Scripture, that any received the gifts of the Holy Ghost, be∣fore they were baptized with water, and that is those of Corne∣lius his house: but all the rest were baptized with water before. And therefore those gifts made them not Christians but declared them to be beleevers, and were the effects of their faith, which notwithstanding were not conferred by the Apostles, but were im∣mediately given by the spirit of Christ: So that those visible gifts were not essentiall for the making of any Christians and Beleevers; for they were alwayes Beleevers before they received them; and if those gifts had been essentiall and absolutely necessary for the making of any Christians, then all that had received them should have been saved, which they were not; besides then, many hundred thousands of the primitive Christians should not have been true Beleevers and Christians indeed; for all men generally received them not (as I proved before) and all the Christians, for ought I know, since the Primitive times, and all that now live should be no good Christians: for they were not and now are not bap∣tized with the holy Ghost & with fire. So that al men may see with how little reason this I. S. speaketh in these his argumentaions, and how vain and impious he is in all his cavills: this shall suffice to have spoke concerning his second answer. And now I come to his third, which is as good as the two former: His words are these.

3. Therefore now, (saith I. S.) by Iohns baptisme they were not all made Christians no more then the body of the Iewes before John were turned Christians by being baptized in the red Sea &c. For they were baptized into Christ by their baptisme, 1 Cor. 10. 3. I deny not but this baptisme of John was to prepare men for Christ, and did beare a more immediate relation to such a worke, then any Ordinance before, but it did not make them absolute Christians. It did not absolve and perfect the new Church, I mean not so far as that Ordinance of baptisme was to do afterwards.

Page  93 Thus I. S. blasphemeth rather then disputeth: For that he saith is impious in the highest degree; for it is an apparent giving of the spirit of truth the lye, and a confuting of Christ himselfe and Saint Paul, and an opposing of the generality of all the Indepen∣dents, as every understanding man will easily gather: for the Scrip∣ture everywhere and all the orthodox Divines, yea and all the In∣dependents that ever I talked with or read of before I. S. and my Brother Burton, acknowledge that those that were baptized by the Baptist and Christs Disciples before Christs death, were Chri∣stians and Beleevers; for otherwise they could not have been bapti∣zed. Notwithstanding I. S. out of his learning denyeth not one∣ly that they were Christians, but affirmeth also that those that were baptized by Moses in the red Sea were no Christians; whe∣ther therefore this be not to beat up the quarters of Iohn the Bap∣tist, Christ himselfe and the quarters of Moses the servant of the Lord, and of all the Independents, and to pull down the very pil∣lars of the holy Scriptures; and be not a horrid blasphemy in I. S. I leave to the judgement of the learned! Our saviour saith Luk. the 7. v. 29. 30. And all the people that heard him, & the Publicans justified God, being baptized with the baptisme of John, but the Pharisees and & Lawyers rejected the Councel of God against themselves being not baptized of him. Here we have Christs testimony, who asserteth that (the Lawyers and Pharisees only excepted) all that heard Iohn of which innumerable multitudes of them came from Jerusalem, for all Ierusalem went out to him, did justifie God and did not reject his Councell, that is to say, they were Believers; for the councel of God in the ministry of Saint Iohn to all the people was, that they should repent and believe in the Messiah and in token of their faith that they should be baptized; now this sweet councell for the ob∣taining of free grace and favour offered unto them by God, in the ministry of Iohn did the Pharisees and Lawyers reject to their own perdition; for they would not bring forth fruits meet for repentance, that is they would neither believe in the Messiah nor repent nor be baptized; and therefore as a company of Infidels and unbelee∣vers they despised the councell of God and his grace and favour; but all the other that heard Iohn saith Christ, justified God, and did not reject his councell, that is, they acknowledged that God was just, faithfull, mercifull and gracious, and therefore beleeved his promises and repented and were baptized and were all as good Page  94 Christians and Beleevers as any were, if any credit may be given to Christs words. Whether therefore we ought rather to beleeve the words of Christ and his testimony or I. S. his language, I refer it to the judgement of the advised reader! Christ declareth they were Beleevers and Christians, for they justified God and rejected not his councel, but imbraced his grace and favour and free mercy; I. S. saith the contrary. It is true that the name of Christian, was not given to beleevers, till they were called so at Antioch, yet to beleeve, in Christ and to be baptized into Christ, made them as well Christians before his suffering as after; for otherwise Abel, Enoch, Noah, Moses, Abraham, David and all those Martyrs spoke of Hebrewes the eleventh, and all those baptized by the Apostles be∣fore Christs death, should not have bin Christians, which were wic∣kednesse to think, when the Scripture affirmeth that they not only lived by faith, but did all those wonders by vertue of their faith in Christ, and that they all injoyed the promises; and therefore it must necessarily follow they were Christians, as all beleeving in Christ and living and dying in that faith. So that howsoever they had not the name of christians and were not so called which makes nothing against the reality of the thing, for we contend not about words, yet they were all true christians, they being all built upon that Corner stone and upon the foundation Jesus Christ, and diffe∣ring nothing for the essence and substance or object of their faith from any that did succeed them in all ages to come.

And therefore I. S. affirming that by the baptisme of Iohn the beleevers then were not made Christians, and that the Israelits Baptised by Moses in the cloude were no Christians, overthrowes the holy Scriptures and gives Christ the lye, and confutes Paul himself who in the 10. of the 1 of the Cor. ver. 1. 2. 3. affirmes, that our fathers were under the cloude, and all passed through the Sea and were all baptised by Moses in the cloude and in the Sea, and all eate the same spirituall meate, and did all drink the same spirituall drinke (for they all drank of the same spiritual Rock that followed them and that Rock was Christ) by the which testimony of the Apostle they were as good Christians: as the Corinthians; for he comparing them together, sheweth that they were equall to them in priviledges, and were as good Christians as they, according to that of Peter Acts the 15. vers. 9. and put no difference between us and them purifying their hearts by faith; & as he had proved that the Israelits were equall in Page  95 Priviledges with the Corinthians, and all other Christians, so he declareth likewise if the Corinthians and all other Christians did of∣fend against God as the Israelites did, they should likewise be equall to them in punishments: For God was no respector of persons, but as inevery nation he that feareth God & worketh righteousnesse is accep∣ted of him, Acts 10. ver. 35: so whatsoever Christians, of what Na∣tion so ever, whether Iewer or Gentiles shall offend as the Israelites did, they shall be equally punished. So that by the witnesse and testimony of Paul in this tenth chapter of the 1 of the Cor. and the 11. of the Hebrewes, and from the above cited Scriptures all our fathers under the cloude and all the Patriarkes, and all those Martyrs, and all those that were baptised by the Baptist and Christ Disciples, were all as good Christians as any Baptized after Christs death or now by those of the Congregationall way or any Christians in the world; and all that I here say is most true if any beliefe may be given to the holy Word of God. And therefore I. S. affirming the contrary blasphemeth. And now I come to his fourth Argument. Which is this.

The learned and judicious know (saith he) that Iohn was but the Messenger before Christ Mal. 3. ver. 1. And his baptisme was but as the streaming of light in the Heavens before the day, and he did only bring and restore all things to their legall perfection by water, the element of the law; but Christ Iesus he comes and Baptizes with fire, consummats all things with this transforming powerfull element, even his spirit, Thus I. S. speaketh.

To examine all the errors in these words, would take up much time, and require a large discourse, but I study brevity. As for the first part of this his answer, where he saith, the learned and Iudi∣cious know, that Iohn was but the Messenger before Christ, &c. it is a peece of vanity in him to produce the testimony of men to prove that Iohn was a Messenger of Christ, when the holy Scripture in many places assertsit, and when Christ himself hath declared that Iohn the Baptist was that Elias that was foretold should prepare the way before the Lord and make his pathes straight: but this I may truly say of I. S. that he is a meere stranger in all good learning and as ignorant in all Divinity and in the holy Word of God, as those judicious he speakes of, were singularly excellent and mighty in the Scriptures and all sound theologie, whose works and godly solid writings, if ever he had read with un∣derstanding, Page  96 he could never have bin so prodigiously blasphemous as he is in all his discourse and chiefly in these his answers: for there is not any one of them in which there is not great impiety to be discovered: as in this to accuse Iohns Baptisme and Mi∣nistry of imperfection, and to say they were but as the strea∣mingsoflight in the Heavens before the day, when notwithstanding Christ himself hath often given so many honourable testimonies of Iohn, and his Ministry, saying in the 5. of Iohn 32. that he bare witnesse of him, and that his witnesse was true, and in the 35. ver. in expresse words affirming that he was a burning and shining light, and that the Iews for a season did rejoyce in his light. And yet I. S. boldly and peremptorily affirmeth that the Baptisme of Iohn was but as the streamings of light, and that they were not consummate Christians that were baptised by him. Who shall we beleeve? I. S. or Iesus Christ? Christ saith Iohn was a burning and shining light. I. S. sayeth he was but as the streaming of light; if this be not to give Christ the lye, I know not what it is! Christ in the seventh chapter of Luke and the 28. verse, sayth, That Iohn the Baptist was the greatest Prophet that was ever borne of women. Then, he was inferior in his Ministry to none of them, no not to Moses himself, of whom the author to the Hebrewes chap. 3. vers. 5. saith with a verily, that he was faithfull in all the house of God as a servant for a testimony of those things that were to be spoken after. Now if Moses did his worke perfectly, as he did, and baptized those perfectly in the Cloude and in the sea as Paul asserteth 1 Cor. 10. and did all he did in perfection and ac∣cording to the paterne shewed him in the Mount and according to the will of God, and did perfectly consummate his Ministry, then Iohn the Baptist also did the like, for Christ saith that amongst those that are borne of women, there is not a greater Prophet then Iohn the Baptist: that is there was not one more faith∣full and that did his worke more compleatly and with more perfection: which Christs owne words in the third of Matthew do yet more fully declare vers. 15. saying suffer it to be so now: for thus it becommeth us to fulfill all righteousnesse. Now if the Baptist did fulfill all righteousnesse in his Ministry, then he did it compleatly and made those that were baptized by him perfect, compleat and consummated Christians; for he in his Office, fulfilled all righteousnesse; if therefore there were any imperfection Page  97 (as I. S. saith) in the Baptisme and Ministry of Iohn, then he did not fulfill all righteousnesse, and then Christs words should not be true, which is a high point of blasphemy to thinke, much more to say and print as I. S. doth: for he that fulfills all righte∣ousnesse in his Office doth it perfectly and compleatly, but Iohn did so: ergo all those that he baptized were compleat Christians. I demand therefore of I. S. my brother Burton and of all the In∣dependents, whether Christ was well baptized, or no by Iohn the Baptist? I presum they will not deny but that he was perfectly baptized. And if Christ himselfe was well baptized, then all that were baptized by John were also well baptized and were perfect and compleat Christians, for John was sent of God to baptize; and he obeyed Gods command in this his Ministry, and in that also fulfilled all righteousnesse, and therefore all those that were baptized by Iohn & by the Apostles before Christs death and ascen∣sion, were as perfect Christians as any that were baptized after Christs resurrection; and if they were not well baptized then Christ was not well baptized, which were high impiety to affirme; nei∣ther will I ever be induced to beleeve, that Iohn Baptist did not know as well how to make compleat Christians, as I. S. or as any of the Independent Ministers; for I know Iohn was sent of God for this worke, and that he fulfilled all righteousnesse in it, and I know also that he was faithfull in his Ministry to the death, and feared not the face of Herod nor of any Mortall creature: for all this the Scripture ascertanieth unto me; but that our Independent Ministers were ever sent of God, and bid to set up their new lights and to preach, up their congregati∣onall way or a toleration of all Religions, I doubt it. For first I know that they ranne back-ward, and forward, to and fro, before they were ever sent, and that they preach that they were never commanded from God, and that when they should have preached andstood to witnes the truth, many of them ran away and deserted it and did not stand to it as Iohn Baptist did, but like those hire∣lings Christ speaks of, Iohn the tenth, when they saw the Wolfe comming, cowardly ranne away, and left their poore flocks to the fury of those beasts and many of them now have left their flocks in the wildernesse and have deserted their charges con∣trary to the command of God Acts 20. vers. 28. who saith by the Apostle Take heede therefore unto your selves, and to all thePage  98flocke, over which the holy Ghost hath made you Bishops, to feeds the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own bloud. In all these respects, and many more that I could name, I greatly doubt whether the Independent Ministers were ever sent of God: but for Iohn, I know he was, and I know in like manner that he fulfilled all righteousnesse in his Ministery, and made those he Baptized perfect Christian; I know likewise that he made innumerable multitudes of them, and that Jerusalem came out and was Baptized also, which when I. S. denyeth I assert he is a wicked and blasphemous fellow, and that if he had his due deserts, he ought to be spued not only out of their seven new churches here in London, but out of all their severall new fangled congre∣gations through the Kingdome as an Alien and stranger from the common-wealth of all learning and goodnesse. And this shall suffice to have spoke to the fourth learned answer. I now come to the fifth as good as the rest; his words are these.

So farre was it (saith he) that all that were Baptized by Iohn, were made Christians, that even Iohns owne Disciples (who had the best and frequentest instruction) not onely hesitated, but were right downe scandalized at the true Messias Iohn 3. ver. 26. and others did under the forme of Iohns baptisme, fight against the true baptisme and baptizer the Lord Iesus. So that I conceive (saith he) this Argument (were it granted that all the people re∣ceived Iohns baptisme) will stand in little steade to prove the conclusion, viz: that they were made Christians, much lesse cast in∣to a Church mould, according to the New Testament forme, and least of all that they were all members of one Christian Church at Ierusalem. These are his formall expressions, by which he la∣boureth to prove, that those that were baptized by Iohn the Baptist were no Christians; in these his words there is a double Argument by which he indeavours to unchristian all those that were Baptised by the Baptist. The first is, because as he falsly sup∣poseth they were enimies of Christ. The second is in that they were not rightly moulded. So that in this his last Paragraffe or Section, we have two Arguments together. Which being added to the former make up six in all, by which the profound disputant J. S. unchurches and unchristins all those that were baptised by John. Now because I. S. and his complices do place so much strength in these two last Arguments, I shall desire the reader the more Page  99 seriously to weigh and consider them with the conclusions deduced from them by I. S. and my reply to them.

First whereas hee denieth that all that were baptized by Iohn were made Christians, as it is a begging of the question, so in his thus speaking hee overthrows the whole Ministry of Iohn the Bap∣tist, and contradicts the Holy Scriptures, and all those places I quo∣ted out of them in my former reply; and which is more, hee con∣tradicteth himselfe: for hee confesseth that Iohn Baptized in to Christ, and he baptized none, as all the Independents acknow∣ledge, but beleevers; therefore they were Christians by his owne confession; and yet here as often formerly he denieth they were Christians. But because I have spoke of this before, I will now come to his reasons. His first reason, to prove they were not Christians, is, because (saith he) Iohns owne Disciples (who had the best and frequentest instruction) not only hesitated, that is doubted, but were right downe scandalized at the Messiah. The second is because others did under the forme of Iohns Baptisme, fight against the true baptisme and the Baptizer the Lord Iesus. These his reasons, I affirme, are nothing else but a meer calumny, and a false accusation, and to speake the truth, are but his owne wicked and groundlesse surmises; and if every man, from his owne fictious and fond conceits, and supposed premises, may take the liberty thus to vent himselfe, I know no truth in the whole word of God, but may be called in question, yea overthrown and I know no Christians nor Saints but may at any time be unsainted and unchristianed. Our Saviour Christ in the 7. of Luke, vers. 32, 33, 34. compareth those of his time, unto little children sitting in the market place, and calling one to another, and saying; wee have piped unto you, and you have not danced; wee have mourned unto you, and ye have not wept; for Iohn the Baptist came neither eating bread, nor drinking wine, and ye say he hath a Devill. The Sonne of man is come eating and drinking, and ye say, behold a glutto∣nous man, and a wine Bibber, afriend of Publicans and Sinners. But wisedome is justified of all her children. By which words of our Saviour wee see nothing could please the Gentlemen of his time.

Now if ever there were an age in the world, or company of men in it, that might be compared to these little children, then this of ours, and the people in it, especially the Independents may Page  100 be, who are pleased with nothing, and can least of all indure any Vniformity in the Church, against which they professedly both write and preach, and as those in our Saviours dayes did speake against the Ministry of Iohn the Baptist, and against Christ himself; so at this very day amongst us, there are many that make nothing of the Ministry of Iohn, professing they take no notice of those that were baptized by him or Christs disciples, and I. S. peremptorily affirmeth, that those that were baptized by him were no Christians, and that his Ministry was imperfect; and therefore I conceive all men will judge, that the Independents may well be compared to those of Christs time, who unchurch all but themselves. But saith I. S. they were Iohns owne Disciples that both doubted and hesitated, and were right downe scandalized at the true Messias, and for proofe of this his saying hee produceth the 3. of Iohn, vers. 26. I will therefore set downe the words of the text with the forgoing verse, which will give some light to the busines in hand, verse 25. Then there arose (saith the Evangelist) a question betweene some of Iohns disciples and the Iewes about purifying, and they came unto Iohn and said unto him, Rabbi, hee that was with thee beyond Iordan, to whom thou barest witnesse, behold the same baptizeth and all men come to him. These are the words out of which I. S. grounds all his accusation against Iohns Disciples, by which hee would prove them no Christians. But if men would but duly weigh and examine the text, they will easily perceive, there is not so much as a very similitude of the illation and conse∣quence I. S. inferres from thence. For first the question there started, was not betweene Iohns Disciples and Christs, but be∣tweene the Disciples of Iohn and the Jewes, that is betweene the Scribes and Pharisees and Iohns Disciples, who were enemies of Iohn the Baptist as well as of Christ, and therefore questioned all they did, ever and anon asking Iohn and Christ by what authority they preached and did those things they did. And so here the Jewes, they questioned with Iohns Disciples concerning his Mi∣nistry, (as by all conjecture it may be gathered) & about legall puri∣fications, of which they were very studious and great observers, to which the Pharisees had added many of their ovvne, as wee may see, Matth, the 15. and Marke the 7. and therefore they con∣tended with Iohns Disciples about purifying, supposing, that there was no need of Iohns baptisme and washing, seeing they had so Page  101 much rinsing and purifying already amongst them. So that it seemes the contention betweene the Jewes and Iohns Disciples arose upon this, that Iohns Disciples much magnified the Baptisme of their Master, and the Jewes and Pharisees, they extolled as much their Purifications, thinking them necessary to salvation, which error of the Jewes, notwithstanding, had often by the Pro∣phets beene confuted, as in Isa. 1. and many other places. Now Iohn, that hee might revoke all men from this error, that they should not rest in corporall vvashings and in outvvard perfor∣mances, exhorts them to looke unto Christ, vvho vvas the truth of which all those ceremonies were but the shadowes and were all fulfilled in him, and therefore that they should by faith wholy rely upon him for salvation as the sequell of the chapter doth suffi∣ciently shew. Now in the heate of this dispute, the Evangelist re∣lateth in the 26. verse, that they came unto Iohn, and said unto him, Rabbi, hee that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou bearest witnesse, behold the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. Out of which words I see no reason why I. S. should gather, that Iohns Disciples not only hesitated, but were right downe scandali∣zed at the true Messias, but I see very good ground, why the con∣trary may be concluded; if they were Iohns Disciples and that they dearely esteemed Christ and much honoured him rather then that they vvere offended with him.

But first, it is not said that Iohns Disciples came unto him, onely it is related that some came unto Iohn, they came unto him saith the Scripture: which they, it is not specified; for Iohns Disciples and the Jewes contended, and the Jewes are put in the last place, so that it may be gathered that they were the Jewes, rather then Iohns Disciples that came unto him, as being last spoken of & men∣tioned: and if they were the Jewes, then they vvere the knovvn and profest enemies, both of Iohn and of Christ; and therefore were none of Iohns Disoiples, as I. S. fondly perswadeth himself; for they were continuall enemies, and adversaries to them both; so that if they came unto Iohn they came unto him by way of com∣plaint, and as being scandalized, & then they were not Iohns fol∣lowers and schollers, for they were better taught then to be scan∣dalized at Christ. But should I grant unto I. S. for disputation sake, that they were Iohns owne Disciples, which yet cannot clear∣ly be proved. It doth not follow from those words that they ei∣ther Page  102 doubted or were scandalized at the true Messiah, as I. S. vain∣ly and impiously concludes. For if any should hear some one of the Independent ministers greatly magnifie one of his brethren and fellow ministers, as to be a man sent from heaven, and should say of him, That he was the rarest preacher one of them in the world, as they do mightily extoll one another: and upon the praises and commendations of this man many thousands of people should by and by flock after him, wheresoever they should hear he prea∣cheth: and some one or more of his followers should come unto this minister that so praysed him and say, Sir, such a man who you so commended in such a place, behold he now preacheth and all men come to him and follow his ministry! would such a relation I pray, as this made unto him that had formerly praised that minister, in∣fer, that those that told him of such concourses of people as ran af∣ter him not only hesitated but wer right down scandalized at him? I am confident that upon mature deliberation no rationall crea∣ture would make such an inference. Neither can I see any ground why either I. S. or any of his associats or any other should so con∣clude. For the Scripture relateth every where that there was fairer agreement, and much love and amity between Johns Disciples and Christs, and that they knew one another very well and desired to imitate one another: so that they did not envy one anothers ma∣sters prosperity, nor doubted not of one anothers masters mini∣stry, nor were scandalized one at anothers masters happinesse: And there is very good reason for it: For they all knew that John had so honourable an esteem of Christ, as he thought himself not worthy to carry his shooes Mat. 3. 11. they knew also how highly Christ had often magnified Iohn, proclaiming him to be the grea∣test prophet that ever was borne of women, and how that Christ had commanded John to baptize himselfe, so much he honoured his mi∣nistry. They by their experience likewise knew that their was great correspondency & continued amity between their masters, and that they justified each others ministry and that before all the people, John teaching the people, That he was the Messiah and the Lambe of God, that was to take away the sins of the world; and Christ upon all occasions making mention of John with great prai∣ses saying, That his ministry was from heaven and that he was his messenger to prepare his way before him.

So that I say in all these respects and many more that might be Page  103 specified it followeth that Iohns Disciples neither hesitated nor were scandalized at the true Messiah, as I. S. grollishly and wic∣kedly inferreth. Besides they knew that at Christs Baptisme Mat. 3. The Holy Ghost discending like a dove lighted upon him, and a voice came from Heaven saying this is my beloved sonne in whom I am well pleased. So that Iohns Disciples that were dayly with their master and waited upon his ministry, which onely preached up the Kingdome of Christ, could not doubt, much lesse be scandalized at the true Messiah Jesus Christ.

Again, in the 1. of Iohn it is related there, that Iohn openly among all the people proclaimed Christ to be the Lambe of God, and sayeth that hee knew him so to be, by the discending of the spirit from Heaven upon him, because, that God that sent him to baptize with water, said unto him, upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit discending and remaining on him, the same is hee which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost, and I saw (saith hee) and bare record that this is the Sonne of God. And all this was spoke in the hearing of Johns Disciples, so that they could not doubt now of the Messias, or be scandalized at him, for then they should have beene very untaught Schollers, which the words following, verse 33. shevves they vvere not: for two of Iohns Disciples at that time hearing their Master speake these vvords, beleeved and follovved Iesus, and inquired vvhere he dvvelt, vvho inviting them to come and see, went with him to his aboad and tarried with him that night; and the story and dis∣course follovving shevves that they vvere so confirmed in their faith, and were so far from doubting and being scandalized at the Messiah, as they likewise preached him and gained Disciples to him. And the same we may say of all Iohns other Disciples that they honoured Christ very much and predicated his fame unto their master upon all occasions as in the 7. of Luke when the rumour of Christ miracles was spred abroad, Iohns Disciples were alwayes wont to relate it unto their master. Whereupon Iohn at one time calling unto him two of his Disciples, sent them unto Jesus saying, art thou he that shall come or looke we for another? which message was not sent by S. Iohn, that either he or his Disciples doubted or hesitated or were scandalized at the true Messiah, but that they all also might be as well eye witnesses of his miracles as others, and might say another day that they had not onely heard of his fame, but that they themselves had seen his wondrous works: For JohnPage  104 desired by all manner of wayes hee could, to publish the King∣dome of the Messias, and knew that the more witnesses Christ had, and them of knowledge of reputation, the more their report and preaching of him would be credited, especially when they themselves could say, that they had seene him working miracles, and that Christ bade them goe and tell Iohn what things they had seene and heard, how that the blind see, and the lame walke, and the Lepers are clensed, the deafe heare, the dead are raised, and the poor receive the Gospel: and for this very end did Iohn send two of his Disciples to Christ, not that either he or they doubted whether he was the Messias or no, but that they might be eye witnesses and relate these things with the more confidence both unto the people, and to those that should be pen men of the Holy Scriptures, as St. Luke in the 1 chapter v. 2. Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eye witnesses and Ministers of the Word: according to that of Saint Peter, Acts the 1. verse 21. Wherefore of these men which have companied with us, all the time that the Lord Iesus went in and out amongst us, beginning from the baptisme of Iohn unto the same day hee was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witnesse with us of his resurrection. So that it may well be gathered, that Iohn the Baptist had a speciall eye to the future, and desired not only in his owne person to preach up Christs Kingdome, but that his Disciples after him might relate to their Auditors and to the holy pen-men what they had both heard with their owne eares, and seene with their own eyes, and so might the better witnesse unto Christ: neither will any man deny but that Iohns Disciples, might also be much strengthned in their faith in beholding those wonderful miracles of Christ, though they no way doubted or hesitated or were scandalized at the Messi∣asbefore, no more then the people in Samaria doubted concerning him, Iohn 4. after the woman had said to the men of that Citie, Come see a man which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? then it is said, they went out and came unto him, and many of them beleeved for the saying of the woman which testified hee told mee all that ever J did; but many more beleeved because of his owne word, and said unto the woman, now wee beleeve, not be∣cause of thy saying, but because wee have heard him our selves, and know that this is indeed the Christ the Saviour of the world. The Scripture saith they beleeved before upon the womans relation, Page  105 but wee now coroborated in their faith, and so it was with Iohns Disciples and followers. But shall there be any therefore from that bee so stupid as to thinke that any of Iohns Disciples that had the best and frequentest instruction concerning the Messias, could either doubt or be scandalized at him, because the people followed Christ, and John sent his Disciples to him? No surely, none would so conclude but I. S. and his Fraternity. Much lesse would they say, that others did under the forme of Iohns Bap∣tisme, fight against the true Baptisme and Baptizer the Lord Ie∣sus; which is I. S. his second reason, or rather folly and madnesse; and upon this their wicked conceit and groundlesse opinion inferre that they were no Christians as I. S. doth. For there is not any one word in all the Holy Scripture, that does relate that any that were baptized by Iohn, did under the forme of that Baptisme, fight against the true Baptisme and Baptizer the Lord Jesus: what a wicked and abominable Fellow then is this I. S. that dares thus at pleasure traduce the generation of the just, and falsely accuse all Iohns owne Disciples, and all those that were baptized by him to be enemies of Jesus Christ the Messias? and upon this bare opinion of his to unchristian them all? it may now be no wonder to any good Christian that the whole rout of the Independents unchurch us, and make no Christians of us, and asperse and speak all manner of evill of us at pleasure, calling us the profest enemies of Jesus Christ & his Kingdom seeing upon all occasions they doe the same to all those that were baptized by Iohn and Christs Disci∣ples all which I. S. proclaims to be no Christians, as his words doe sufficiently speak. But from the testimony that he produceth to prove that Iohns Disciples were scandalized at Christ: I gather the contrary for the reasons above specified, and conclude with al, that there were innumerable multitudes daily converted by Christs and Iohns Ministry, & were all made good Christians; for it is said in the chapter quoted by him, that all men came to him, & Iohn and they were all baptized; so that not a few congregations could contain all them that came from Ierusalem: for all Jerusalem came out to John and our Saviour sent this message unto Iohn in the 7. of Luke as one of the miracles he wrought, that the poor received the Gospel, that is, not onely the poore in spirit, but the multitudes of people that were poore and indigent in respect of these outward things and wanted those riches that others abounded with, and he affirmes of Page  106 these that they received the Gospell and imbraced the free grace and favour of God, and that they were the Pharisees and Law∣yers only that reiected the counsell of God against themselves; but for all the poore saith he and all others that heard Iohn, they im∣braced the Gospel, and were Gospel Christians and such as believed aright and as they ought to beleeve, and therefore if the testimony of Christ may be credited, they were cast into a Church mould, according to the New Testament forme and were very good Christians, and that in mighty multitudes; for all Jerusalem and the poore received the Gospel, and therefore they could not meet in one and a few congregations together at any one time.

But because I S. so peremptorily affirmes, that were it granted, that all the people received Iohns Baptisme, yet it would stand me in little stead to prove the conclusion: viz that they were made Christi∣ans: These are his words, adding with all, much lesse, that they were cast into a Church mould according to the New Testament forme, and lest of all that they were all members of one Christian Church at Ierusalem, which is one of their chiefe Arguments by which I. S. & they of his fraternity uphold their opinion of Independency, and by which they unchurch all other churches but their own at this day. I say in all these regards I will spend the more time about this argument, the which howsoever it be brought in by I. S. but as as a corallary, yet it may stand for his sixth Argument and the best in the bunch, to maintaine and uphold there with their way of Independency, therefore I will first put his words into a Syllogisticall frame, then consider the waight of the reasons con∣tained in them.

All such as were not cast into a Church mould according to the New testament forme, and lest of all were members of one, Christian church in Ierusalem, they were not made Christians: but all they of Ieru∣salem that went out to Iohns baptisme and were baptized by him, were such as were not cast into a Church mould according to the New testament forme; least of all, were they members of one Chri∣stian Church in Ierusalem; ergo they were not made Christians. This is I. S. his Argument which he sets downe by way of a corallary; the Minor of which I deny, affirming they were cast into a church mould as the sequell wlil shew. But because by this Argument, the Independents do not only unchurch and unchristian all those that were baptized by Iohn the Baptist, but indeed unchurch and Page  107 unchristian all the Protestant Churches through the world and all other churches but their owne; I shall be something the larger in examining it with the severall termes and expressions of the same, and then shew and discover the futility and vanity of it, by which I am confident the errors of their wayes will the better appeare; for by that it will be manifest, that the In∣dependent doctrine is but an old peece of Popery in new clothes: though varnished over with fine colours, that it may come forth into the world more lovely and lesse suspected, and it is as little prevalent to maintaine their cause as the Papists is to uphold their Babell.

The Papists and the Independents here agree in these two things.

First, They both deny, that those beleevers that were baptized by Iohn the Baptist into Christ to come, were formed into a Christian church or churches; for we have I. S. his formall words in this his answer in the name of all the Independents confidently denying that they were made Christians; and my brother Burton in expresse termes page 9. of his booke accor∣deth unto him, saying in the name of all his brethren, we take no notice of them as formed into a church or churches, and pag. 16. of his booke he produceth the Papists doctrine to prove this their opinion to be legitimate: So that in this point of their beliefe the Papists and the Independents agree against all the current and the whole Schooles of all the most Orthodoxe Pro∣testant Divines who hold they were Christians.

Secondly, they agree in this also that both of them hold that the forme of a church must ever be visible and apparent: So that were their never so many Assemblies of Christians in a city or country, and all beleevers, if they be not cast into such and such a mold and forme, then theyare not churches properly so called, but in their dialect they are either Heritickes or no Chri∣stians, but proclaimed enemies of Iesus Christ and his Kingdom. So that according to the Papists doctrine, all those Christians that are not within the limits, compasse and bounds that they have circumscribed their church with, and are not under that visible forme of government they have appointed; they accompt them all Heritickes and no churches: as all men know. And in the same manner, do the Independents unchurch all churches in the world Page  108 but such as in their opinion are cast into a church mould ac∣cording to the New Testament forme, and have their distinct Officers and Members, united into one body respectively. That is to say, speaking in their owne language, all such con∣gregations and assembles, as are fluid and are not joyned and united together by an explcite particular Covenant & fixed in their officers and Members & having a Presbytery of their own, with ab∣solute Soverainty and power within themselves Independent, they are no churches, and all those Christians that are not within the compasse and limits of this their new mould or modell, they pro∣claime them enemies of Iesus Christ and his kingdome, and accompte of them as a company of infidels and affirme that they are no true churches, nor churches properly so called.

So that we see, that both the Papists and Independents agree in this, that they bound and limit all churches to such and such an externall forme; so that wheresoever that is wanting accor∣ding to their dialect, though otherwise they have the preaching of the Gospel, the right administration of the Sacraments and the true invocation of God; they are no churches properly so called. And both of them farther accorde and agree in this, that the forme of their churches consists in the distinction of their Officers and members and the uniting of them into one body respective∣ly; they must not be fluid as they speake, but they must be fixed in their Officers and Members, and having a Presbytery of their owne, with absolute soverainty and jurisdiction within themselves Independent. But in this the Papists deale far more honestly then the Independents: for they have in many large volumes fully set downe the modell of their government, and what it is, and shew how they are fixed in their Officers and Members; and for their chiefe Officers, they say they are the Pope and his Pres∣bytery at Rome, the Cardinals, Patriarchs, Primates, Metropo∣litans, Archbishops &c. and we know where to finde them, and what their modell and government is to a hare: But what the Independents modell is or will be, no man could yet ever learne but by conjecture: which I must confesse seemes a won∣derfull thing to me, that they should thus at pleasure unchurch and unchristian all churches and Christians as not formed into a church mould after the New Testament forme, and yet never declare what that forme and mold is. And yet this is, their daily wicked practice. Page  109 So that all men may see, if they will not put out their eyes, that in this and many other of their tenents and opinions the Independents are but a company of Mungrell Papists, and would have all men belieeve with an implicit faith as their Churches believe, and take all they speake as Oracles, though it be never so groundlesse. But we have learned Christ better then so, who is the Prophet and King of his Church and who hath commanded us to heare him Matth. 17. and to obey his voyce Iohn 10. and not to give eare unto strangers. And from his blessed Word we have learned these two lessons, the first that wheresoever the Gospel of the Kingdome of Iesus Christ is faithfully and truly Preached by Ministers sent by him, and where this Everlasting Gospell is im∣braced and believed and yeelded obedience unto by the people, and where there is the right Administration of the holy Sacra∣ments and the true invocation of God, they are a true church or churches, although they be fluid, and be not fixed in their Officers and members, and have not that externall forme either the Papists or the Independents speake of; and for this our faith, we have warrant from Gods holy Word. Secondly we are taught out of the holy Scriptures, also that there may be a true church or churhes in many nations and kingdomes where they injoy not all the Or∣dinances in a publicke manner: nor where their very meetings together are not allowed unto them by authority; for all such as confine a church or churches to these externall formes they speak of, they confound the essence and substance of a church with the adjuncts and Accideuts of it; whereas churches may be true churches, and yet want the externall forme of Govern∣ment, as may by innumerable places of holy Scripture be proved: as for instances. In Israel where God had set up his owne worship and established a forme of Government, and comman∣ded that it should punctually be observed, yet we read in the 2 of the Chron. chap. 15. ver. the 3. these words: Now for a long season Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching Priest, and without law. So that from this place we may gather, that their did not then appeare any externall forme of a church, no not in Israel, when the true God was not publickly known amongst them, and yet notwithstanding God had there his true church amongst them, yea in the greatest height of Idolatry when all the Prophets were persecuted and lay hid in Caves, Page  110 yet at that time also, God had seven thousand that never bowed knee to Baal; So that it is evident that it is not the externall forme that is absolutely required for the making of a true church, but it may be a true church without that externall appearance they speak of: For a church is one thing, and the outward forme and discipline is another.

And truly if a man will not suffer himselfe willingly to be delu∣ded with appearances and naked shaddowes for the truth it selfe, and will but consider the great variety and change of the church in respect of the outward alteration of the government of it in all ages, after God himself had set it up in Abrahams Family, and con∣sider it in all its peregrinations and pilgrimages, and that after God had given unto Abraham and his seed such directions for the setting up of his worship wheresoever he and his posterity should come, and should also behold the diverse alterations of things in the worship and service of God, and if he should with all consider that if the church should have been onely to be found where there had been such visible ordinances and formes of Worship and Go∣vernment as God had appointed, and no where else; then there would not have been a church of God any where visibly to appear and be found many times in the world in those dayes; and yet the true church alwayes remained in Abrahams Family and God had his people and a true church amongst his seed, as will appear by these examples. I will briefly name some.

We know that the Israelites and Hebrewes the onely people of God and his first borne, continued many generations as strangers in Aegypt, all the which time they never offered up any outward Sacrifices unto God; for that had been an abomination to the Ae∣gyptians and they would not tolerate and suffer that in their land; which moved Moses to sollicite Pharaoh, to give the people of God leave that they might go a dayes journy to sacrifice in the Wilderness, giving him the reason of his postulation saying, that they could not sacrifice in Aegypt, for that was an abomination to the Aegyptians: So that it is apparent that all the time they remained in Egypt, they had not that publike Ordinance & that externall form of worship: And yet all that while they were a true Church and were visibly known by their Religion to be distinct from the Egyptians, as who professed the knowledge and worship of the true God whose name they called upon through all their tribes and whom they served nightPage  111and day: and yet I say they had not the use of publike sacrifices: onely they had Circumcision amongst them that discriminating Ordinance from other nations. But if that had been the forme of this true Church, then all the time they remained in the wilderness which was forty years, there was no visible forme of a Church: for they circumcised not their children there, and that reproach was not taken away till they came to Gilgall, or at lest had passed the red Sea. So that if the Church had been tyed to externall formes, we shall for many years together finde no true formed Church in those times. Nay when they were come into the land of Canaan, how often was the face of the Church in the dayes of the Judges so deformed as no man almost could see any forme or comlinesse in it; all the externall beauty which was the worship, be∣ing either wholy forgotten or so adulterated and polluted with I∣dolatry as there was not left any appearance of a true Church a∣mongst them? and yet at that time they were the people of God and his chosen people and a true Church; but if they had sought to know it by any externall form it could never have bin found: So that the Church of God may be a true church though it want an out∣ward form and discipline. Yea after that God had set up his worship in the dayes of David and Solomon, and had commanded that that forme of Government should be continued and perpetuated to the coming of the Messiah, how many alterations notwithstanding were there found both in Iuda and Israel, and how did Idolatry spread it selfe abroad through both those Kingdomes, So that Ido∣latry was not only committed under every green tree and in all groves and upon every mountain and high place, but even in Jerusalem the holy city yea in the very Temple? So that now there was no exter∣nall forme of a Church left, and yet then also had God his Church there, and they were the people of God and dearly beloved of him.

And again when they were carryed into captivity into Babilon, we know that all the time they continued there, they had neither sacrifices nor many other ordinances that God had appointed a∣mongst them, they could not so much as sing a song of Sion in that strange land, and wee read of no other exercises amongst them but of the morall worship of prayer and reading the prophets and of prophecying and comforting of one another in the Lord, and of their resolution not so much as to bow in the least to worship any Page  112 Idoll of the heathens, or so much as stooping to reverence any pro∣fessed enemy of the people of God, as Mordecay would not to Ha∣man, nor the three children to the idoll of Nebuchadnezer, nor Da∣niel leave his praying; but all these kinde of services are not ac∣compted the forme of a Church amongst the learned, and yet wee read of no other formes of worship the Jews had, neither through all the Provinces of Ahasuerus and through all Babilon and As∣syria and Aegypt where they were scattered; We read indeed that they fasted and prayed upon all occasions, and that they spake one to another, and they exercised amongst themselves the morall worship in all their Synagogues which were all the true Churches of God then through the world; and yet they had not that visible forme that God had appointed, in any of those Countryes whither they were driven and carryed captives; they onely made their prayers and supplications toward Ierusalem and the Temple the holy place.

So that if the Church of God had been at any time tyed to ex∣ternall formes they could not then have been Churches properly so called, as not having any externall forme; and yet they were all be∣fore the law and under the law and since the law true Churches, notwithstanding they wanted the externall forme and discipline. And the same may be said of the Church of God since the begin∣ning and growth of Antichrist, that it hath been so defaced for many generations together that none by its externall forme or di∣scipline could find a true Church in it; yet God had in this spirituall Babylon a true Church ever; and therefore the true Church is not confined to externall formes and discipline. But to say nothing of that, if the Christian Church be bounded within these limits, ei∣ther the Papists or the Independents encompasse in their Churches with, then I affirme that the very Church of Jerusalem was not a true formed Church, which notwithstanding they both acknowledge was a true Church, and the Independents confesse that it was the first formed Church, Acts the second: For in the Church of Ierusalem there was neither Pope, nor Cardinalls, nor Patriarkes, nor Pri∣mates, nor Paultripolitans, nor Archbishops, nor any Conclave, nor any Masses, nor any of that Service they have set up in their Romish Church, nor that Forme of Church Government they have establish∣ed: neither had they any of these fixed officers. And therefore the Church of Rome having lost that forme the Church of Ierusa∣lemPage  113 had, and being adulterated both in doctrine discipline and manners, that cannot be a true Church; and then it will follow, That the true Church is not so tyed to any externall forms that if they be failing they cannot be a true Church; for then there shold have been no true Church or Churches in the world all the times of An∣tichrists reigne. Nay, if the doctrine of the Independents be true and orthodox, the very Church of Jerusalem, Acts the 2. which they call the first formed church, was no more a true formed church, nor cast into a Church mould according to the New Testament forme, then those that were baptized by Iohn the Baptist were; for they describe a Church unto us after the New Testament forme to be a company of Saints or Beleevers, consisting of no more in num∣ber then can all meet together in one place or congregation, having their distinct officers and members united together into one body by a particular explicite Covenant: So as that assembly or church must not be fluid, but fixt in its members and officers; having a Presbytery of its own with absolute authority and jurisdiction within it selfe In∣dependent and injoying all Gods holy Ordinances. This is the discrip∣tion of an Independent Church after the New Testament forme as they call it, as far as by their practise and writings we can gather; So that whatsoever Church wants this forme according to their language, is no true formed church, as not being cast into a church mould after the New Testament forme: And by this their modell the church it selfe of Ierusalem was not a true moulded church af∣ter the New Testament forme, as I shall here briefly in some par∣ticulars shew, and more largely demonstrate when I come to my brother Burton. For it is confest by the Independents that at that time there were three thousand soules added to the church, and five thousand after that, it was then a true formed Church after the New Testament forme▪ and yet at that time they acknowledge they wanted Deacons and Presbyters; and they confesse withall as we shall see in its due place, they wanted that part of discipline of casting out corrupt Members, so that then they had not a Presby∣tery in the church of Jerusalem; and withall the Independents af∣firme that many of the Beleevers and Saints of Ierusalem were in∣habitants of other churches through Iudaea; for they say there were many other churches there, and that many of those belonged unto the other churches, and it is sufficiently proved also out of the holy word of God and acknowledged by my brother Burton, that therePage  114were more assemblies and congregations of Beleevers in the church of Ierusalem then one; yea he confesses that in its infancy the num∣ber of them was so great, as they could not all meet in any one place, and yet they were but one church. Neither do we ever read that they tyed themselves to each other by any particular explicite Covenant or counted such a Covenant the forme of a true church.

From all which I gather, that the difinition or description of the Independents Church is erroneous, or if it be orthodoxe, then the very Church of Ierusalem was not a true formed Church after the New Testament formewhen, they say it was.

For first, there were more Beleevers in Ierusalem then could all meet in one congregation, or a few, yet though in severall and distinct places and assemblies, they all made but one Church: which is con∣trary to the Independents doctrine.

Secondly, they had no fixt Officers and Members united into one body respectively nor no Presbitery: for if there were not then Deacons at all, nor Elders as the Independents doe acknowledge, and if many of the Beleevers in Ierusalem were strangers, and had their habitations in other cities as they say, then they were not fixt, neither in their Officers nor Members, an yet a true Church; not in the Elders nor Deacons, for they then had none at all; nor in their members, for they confesse many of them were strangers, and did not inhabite and dwell there, and therefore no fixt Members: and for the Apostles they were notfixt, bnt as Noahs Dove was sent out by him and returned with an olive leafe in her mouth, & at the next time departed and went her way, so the Apostles they were the universall Messengers of Christs Kingdome, which were to be sent out into all nations with an olive leafe in their mouthes that tro∣phie of Peace and glad tydings, they were to preach the Gospel in all nations, and howsoever for a time they remained in Ierusalem, yet all men know that was not their abiding place, for they were not fixed Officers there, but were to goe out into all countries to preach and baptize, and when the persecution came, according to the Independents doctrine, then all the Members of that Church were scattered, and there were none left in Ierusalem, if their do∣ctrine be ound, but the Apostles: so that it is most certaine those Members were not fixt but fluid when they ran this way and that way to save themselves: so that the Apostles those great Pastors of the Church remained in Ierusalem, according to their language Page  115 all alone without either sheep or Lambes; they also were not fixed, bnt were afterward sent into all nations to teach and baptize▪ as I said before; withall the Independents confesse, they had no Discipline in the Church of Ierusalem, for they want ed that part of it, viz. excommunication, and therefore they had no Presby∣tery in it, nor no jurisdiction within it selfe, Ergo it was not a true formed Church after the New Testament forme, if their doctrine be true and good, neither could they then injoy all the acts of wor∣ship; and therefore was no better then those that were made chri∣stians by the Baptismeof Iohn; for in the Church of Ierusalem, there were more then could meet in any one place, which the Independents wil not admit of by their difinition, & they had neither fixed offi∣cers nor Members nor that part of disciplin, Ergo, they did not injoy all Gods Ordinances. In a word there was nothing in the Church of Ierusalem that now the Independents require for the moulding up of a Church after the New Testament forme, no more then was amongst those that were baptized by the Baptist.

And therefore all that I. S. and the Independents bable about the forme and mould of a Church after the New Testament forme, is to little purpose, yea meere vainty: for it is evident out of the holy Scripture, that a Church may be a true formed Church after the New Testament forme, although it want all those things that either the Papists or the Independents thinke absolutely necessary for the moulding up a Church after the New Testament forme. For the very Church of Ierusalem which was the Mother-church, and which was to be a patterne to all other Churches was a true formed Church, and at that very time according to the Indepen∣dents learning; and yet I say then, shee had neither fixed Of∣ficers nor Members, nor any external explicite particular covenant, nor discipline, nor many other requisites that they now require as necessary for the forming of a true Church, as wee shall see more at large in its due place.

But now to returne and come more closely to examine I. S. his words that we may discover yet more fully the fallacious juglings of both himselfe and all the Independent Ministers, and that all the people may the better understand what it is to to be cast into a Church mould after the New Testament forme, and vvhat is ab∣solutely necessary and required of all men to be made a Member of a Christan Church, and vvhat that forme is the Scripture hold∣eth Page  116 out unto all Christians, to be the mould of a christian Church according to the New Testament forme, all vvhich termes and expressions being vvell explaned, then the grollery of those of the congregationall vvay vvill the better appeare.

I will therefore that those that are the most ignorant may the better understand the termes these Juglers use, First say some∣thing briefly concerning the governement of the Church of the Iewes under the Law in Moses his time, and under the Kings both of Iuda and Israel through all their cities, and what it was that was requisit and thought necessary for the casting off any into a Church mould after the old Testament forme; which being de∣clared, the trifling of all the Independent Ministers will be more obvious to all men.

For the manner of the governement of the Church of the Iews, wee are to consider it under a double nation, as it had a ceremo∣niall service and a morall worship and both appointed by God; yet the former but temporary, the other for duration. Now in re∣gard of the manner of the administration it was divers; for the ceremoniall worship was ordered after a monarchicall way; there was a high Priest that typified Christ▪ that was to make the atonement betweene God and the people, who was in a spe∣ciall manner to mediate with God for the twelve Tribes of Israel▪ and hee had many Priests under him for the offering up of daily sacrifices, either of prayses or of reconciliation in the ma∣teriall Temple they were tyed; but the High Priest onely went once a yeare into the Holy of holies, for the making of an at∣tonement for himselfe and the people, and this way of administra∣tion of the Church continued to the coming of Christ who was the true high Priest typified, and who through the eternall spirit ha∣ving offered himselfe without spot to God, to purge our consci∣ences from dead workes to serve the living God, Heb. 10. verse 14. and for this cause is the Mediator of the New Testament; by his death and suffering hee hath put an end to that way of administra∣tion. But there was an other way of Administration in respect of the morall worship, which was ever to remaine in the Church; and that was in their severall Cities, in their Synagogues and Vil∣lages, and all those Synagogues that were through all Iudaea and Israel, and through the vvorld, vvho vvere all governed by Pres∣byters and Elders vvhich vvere called Rulers; so that all those Sy∣nagogues Page  117 that vvere in the severall Villages or Hamlets within the jurisdiction and limits of every Citie were all of them governed after a classicall and collegiate way, and those Synagogues were as our Parish Churches now at this day are amongst us.

Now these Elders and Rulers in Moses time were first appoint∣ed to rule and governe the people in common, so long as they were in the Wildernesse; but after they were come into the Land of Canaan, then they had their Elders and Rulers in every Citie ap∣pointed over them, who had the government of the people com∣mitted unto them, and whose care it was that the morall wor∣ship and service of God, as the reading of the Law and the Pro∣phets, and the interpretation of the same should be every Sabbath day continually preserved in all their Synagogues, by their Priests and Levites, and Scribes and Lawyers, and they had also the power in their hands of conventing any before them upon Delinquency, and of censuring and punishing of them upon proofe of the same: And they were called the Church, as is to be seene Matthew the 18. and there is not any truth almost in all the new testament that is more evidently cleare than this, that all the Synagogues were governed by a Court or Classis or College of Rulers, for they had inferior judges and Superiour in them yea many chiefe rulers in all cities as we may see in Antioch and Pisidia Acts the 13. 14. 15. where Paul and his company went into the Synagogue on the Sabbath day and sate downe, and after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the chiefe Rulers (for so it is in the originall) sent unto them, saying men and brethren, if you have any word of ex∣hortation for the people, say on. Out of which words these three things are observable.

First, That there were many Governors and chiefe Rulers as well as inferior rulers that governed their Synagogues in every city in common, and that they had a Courte in them to order all the Sy∣nagogues and people under their jurisdiction, and that they were all Aristocratically governd and by the common counsell of them all, not by any particular Iudge or Ruler.

The second observable is, that their whole imployment was to uphold and preserve the true worship of God, and to see that the Holy Scriptures were read and interpreted, that men women and children might be brought up in the nurture and feare of the Lord, and that all things should be managed with order and decency.

The third thing observable, is this, that their people yeelded Page  118 subjection unto those Rulers, and did not intermeddle with their government, nor did not take upon them to command any Minister to Preach or appoint any one to exhort: but it was the place of the Rulers to doe this, and they willingly submitted themselves to this Government without joyning themselves in com∣mission with them, as knowing it was their place to obey.

And this kind of Government, was that that was established in all cities through the world where the Jewes were permitted to exercise their Religion, and this kind of government was trans∣acted over to the Christian church to be perpetutated to the ende of the world, and therfore there was through all cities Presbyters ordained as the Scripture saith Acts the 14. and Tit. 1. that were to governe the church by their common councell; and this is ac∣corded unto by all the Independents who acknowledge that in the Apostles times and many Generations after, all the churches of the New testament were governed communi consilio presbytero∣rum; And that the Church of Jerusalem in respect of the moral worship was governed both in Christs time and after his death and ascention, by a colledge of Elders and Presbyters, all the Evan∣gelists and the Acts of the Apostles doe testifie it; and this way of government I say was transacted over to the Christian church and is that forme and mould of church government that is ac∣cording to the New Testament forme, into the which mould of government those that were baptized by Iohn were cast which was a Presbytery. For the Scripture never speakes of that of the congregationall way. And this shall suffice to have spoke at this time and in this place concerning the manner of the Ad∣ministration of the government both in respect of the Ceremo∣niall service and morall worship under the Law, and what it ought to be under the Gospel.

And now a word or two concerning the manner of admitting members then into the church of the Iewes and what was reputed necessary for the making of any one a member and Pro∣selite there after the old testament forme; and what is required now for making of any a member of the Christian church. The whole Scripture of the old testament and the new declares that all those that were aliens and strangers unto the common-wealth of Israel, if they desired to be made partakers of the pri∣viledges of the Iews and to be all accompted in the number ofPage  119the people of God, they were to be instructed in the Law of Moses, and they were to yeeld obedience unto that, and in token that they beleeved in the true God, and submitted themselves to his Law and to that discipline he had taught in the bookes of Moses and the Prophets, they were to be circumcised, which when they yeelded unto and tooke the Covenant of Circumcision, they were forthwith made members of the Church of the Iewes, and had as good right to all the ordinances of God under that government as any other of the Iewes; and this I say is sufficiently confirmed in the holy Scriptures everywhere. Now under the New testament the Church of God being compared sometimes to a Kingdom and Empire, and sometimes to a city; and all the members of it being compared to free Denizons and citizens, where so ever the Gospel of this Kingdom and City is faithfully preached, and the people by the Embassadours and Ministers of the same being invited to come in and yeeld obedience unto it, if they do believe and obey, that is, if they do beleeve and repent and willingly submit unto the sound of it, and offer themselves to make profession of it, and in signe of this their obedience and faith receive the seale of this Covenant and are baptized, they are forthwith to be admitted without any reluctation, and having once received the seale of this Covenant the seale of Baptisme, they are forthwith made free Denizons of this Kingdome and free-men of this city, and have as good right to all the priviledges of the same as any other, and may through the whole world of Christians partake in all the Ordinances of that Kingdome and City as well as any other Christians: as in the Roman Empire and now in all Corpora∣tions through the world, they that were Citizens of Rome or they that are Freemen in any of them, as they did then partake in all the priviledges of the Romans and might abide and dwell in any place, and trafficke, buy and purchace in what part of it they pleased, injoying all those inmmnities that any then did, and so likewise now as those that are Free-men of any city or corporation do in their severall precincts injoy all the privi∣ledges of each of them, and may set up in any Parish or in any part of the city or within the jurisdiction of the same, and ex∣ercise all their severall trades, and have as much priviledge for their so doing as any of the other Citizens; so I say in the same manner, it is in the Kingdom of Christ and his city which Page  120 is his church, Every one that makes profession of the Gospell, that beleeves, repents and is Baptized, has as good right to all the Ordinances of the Church as any Christian in the primitive times or any Independents now in the world, and that by ver∣tue of the great Charter of this Kingdome and City the Gospell, and by the practice of Iohn the Baptist and the Apostles, who re∣quired no more of all men and people in their time for the ma∣king of them members of Christs Church but that they should repent and beleeve and be Baptized, as we may see in the third of Matth. and in the second of the Acts, and in those of Sa∣maria in the 8. Chapter, and in the Eunuch Paul, Lydia, and the Goaler, and those of Cornelius his house, of all the which no more was required for the making of them Christians but to repent and beleeve and to be Baptized, by which they were invested with a right to all the priviledges through all Churches in the world and might partake in all the Ordinances of Christs Kingdome where so ever they came, as we may see in Paul and those that ac∣companyed him in his journies. Wheresoever they came they com∣municated with them in all Churches, in all the Ordinances as in the breaking of bread and prayer: So that to repent and be∣leeve, and to be baptized, is all that according to the Gospell of Jesus Christ is required of any man or of any people to cast them into a Church mould according the New Testament forme, and to make them not only members of the Catholike visible Church, but of any church in particular, if the Word of God is to be beleeved and given credit unto.

Now when all those that came out of Ierusalem unto Iohn, did repent and beleeve and were baptized by Iohn the Baptist, they were cast into a Church mould after the New Testament forme and were all made as good members of that church as any that were baptized after Christs death and ascention by Peter and the other Apostles, and might whensoever they went from Jerusalem to any other place where christians dwelt, partake in all the ordi∣nances as those did that by reason of the persecution were scatte∣red, who we read of that wheresoever they came they went into their Synagogues and Churches, and they preached and converted the people, and partaked and communicated in all the ordinances a∣mongst them without any gain-saying; and so all the Christians that are true Beleevers and are baptized, wheresoever they travell Page  121 or dwell whether in France or Germany, Italy or the Low Coun∣tryes, or in any part of the world amongst the true Protestants, they have as great right to all the ordinances in those churches as any of the Natives: For they are all free Denizons of Christs Kingdome and free men of the city the church of God which is Christs my∣sticall body, and therefore as members of the same may partake in all the Priviledges and Benefits that any member may do; I mean in respect of the ordinances, as breaking of bread, hearing of the word preached and in prayer and all the essentiall priviledges; for to all those they have right unto by their very admission into the church by their baptisme, and whosoever shall refuse communion with them that beleeve, and are baptized and live a godly holy and pious life, unlesse they will observe their own traditions, they are Delinquents & Prevaricators against the King of his church Ie∣sus Christ, and do no way set him up upon his throne, but by this meanes they dis-throne him. And therefore J. S. and all those of his fraternity, that not onely unchristian and unchurch all those that were baptized by Iohn the Baptist and Christs Apostles be∣fore Christs death, but at this day unchurch and unchristian all Christians and Churches but their own, are guilty of high contu∣macy against the King of Saints and King of Kings, and are most injurious to all their christian Brethren: And truly there cannot be found scarse in the world such an example of temerity and un∣advised rashnesse and want of charity and common wisdome, as is every day to be observed amongst the Independents who are ever talking of a Church mould after the New Testament forme, and excluding all from being true Churches that are not so moulded, and yet never tell us what it is.

For in the holy Scripture we have never read of any other Church mould or of any New Testament forme, but of publishing the Gospel and of preaching faith and repentance, and of yeelding obedience unto it, and of beleeving and repenting and being baptized, which both John the Baptist and all Christs Disciples and the bles∣sed Apostles and all the faithfull Ministers of the Gospel had a com∣mission to do, and a command withall, and a blessing annexed unto it, that whosoever did repent, beleeve and was baptized, should not onely be admitted a visible member of the catholicke visible Church, but should be saved. The words of our Saviour Christ unto his Disciples, Marke 16. ver. 15, 16. are these, GoPage  122 (saith he) into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature; he that beleeveth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that beleeveth not shall be damned. Out of the which words and commission of our Saviour I evidently gather that when John the Baptist and Christs Disciples in their severall ministryes went according to their commission preaching from place to place and from city to city and publishing the glad tydings of the kingdom of the Messi∣ah and baptizing such as beleeved, they cast them into a Church mould after the New Testament forme, and therefore made them all members not onely of the Catholique visible Church but of all those severall particular Churches and Synagogues through all the cities of Judaea and through the world where they preached the Gospel, as well as at Ierusalem, and that as many of Ierusalem as were baptized by Iohn and Christs Disciples were all members of that Church and as truly moulded into a Church mould after the New Testament forme and made as reall members and free deni∣zons of Christs Kingdome as any of the new congregations at this day, unlesse any will think and beleeve that John the Baptist and the blessed Apostles were ignorant how to gather Churches, and nescient of the right mould and forme of the New Testament chur∣ches, and had not learned their lesson so well as our Independent Ministers: which were a piece of impiety and horrid wickednesse to affirme: For then it would follow, that those that were baptized by Iohn and by the Apostles and Christs seventy Disciples, were never saved: For I. S. denyes they were Christians and that they were cast into a church mould after the New Testament forme, or members of the christian church, and therefore by consequent they were in the state of damnation.

But if all this be wickednesse so much as to think, then there is a way yet to Heaven and that a safe one which the Independents are ignorant of; for they preach up their way as the narrow way to heaven, proclaiming all those that are out of it to be enemies of Jesus Christ and his kingdome, and in the state of perdition; and yet Iohn the Baptist was ignorant of their way and cast not his Dis∣ciples into their mould, and yet they went safely to the King∣dome of heaven, yea they entred into it by violence as our Saviour speaketh.

And therefore by this that I have now said by way of answer, all men may see the futility and impiety of I. S. and how ground∣lesse Page  123 all his arguments are, and may very well conclude, That all those that were baptized by John the Baptist and by Christs Dis∣ciples before his death, were members of Christs Church and true be∣leevers, and that as many of them as came from Jerusalem were members of that church; and they may also from the foregoing ar∣guments gather, That those that came out of Jerusalem to his baptism were in such multitudes (for all Ierusalem went out unto him and were baptized) as they could not all possibly meet in any one place or congregation or a few; & therfore I am confident that all those that shall read both what Mr Knollys and I. S. have fondly and impi∣ously replyed to my arguments, and what by way of answer I have here set down, will adjudge, that such unworthy wranglers and cavillers as these are ought by their severall Churches to be se∣verely censur'd for this their ignorance and impiety. And this shall serve to have replyed to these their exceptions against my first arguments concerning the multitudes baptized by Iohn the Bap∣tist: I shall answer to all their other severall cavills in their due places.

I will now therefore go on to shew the increase of beleevers that were made by the miracles and preaching both of Christ and his Apostles, and from the severall places out of the holy Scripture frame my arguments as out of the former to prove the same con∣clusion. John the 4. ver. 1, 2. Now when the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Iesus made and baptized more Disciples then Iohn (though Iesus himselfe baptized not, but his Disciples:) Here observe that where there was a mistake in the relation, there the Evangelist forthwith shews it to rectifie mens understandings; as where it was reported that Christ baptized, he shewes it was a mistake, for his Disciples onely baptized: but where it is said, that Iesus made more Disciples then Iohn, that is taken pro confesso; and it was true; for Iohn himselfe in the 3. chapter ver. 30. had said, He must increase, but I must decrease. Christ therefore made many more Disciples and Beleevers then Iohn, and added dayly to the church, that was then in Jerusalem, such as should be saved; for he came to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and he received all that came to him, John the 6. 37. And as many as received him, to them he gave power to become the sonnes of God, even to them that beleeve upon his name, John 1. 12. And these were infinite multi∣tudes, as we shall see by and by. In Iohn the 7. 31. it is said thatPage  124many of the people of Ierusalem beleeved on him; And verse the 40. they said, of a truth this is that Prophet: And in the same chapter when the high Preists sent the officers to apprehend Christ, and re∣turning without him, and the high Priests demanding the reason why they had not brought him, the officers replyed saying, That never man spake as this man. ver. 47, 48. Then answered the Phari∣sees, are ye also deceived? Doth any of the Rulers or the Pharisees believe in him? But this people that knoweth not the Law is cursed. Take here notice of the confession of the very Pharisees; excepting themselves and the High Priests, they acknowledge that the generality of the people believed in him. Here was increase upon increase of Christians and Believers, all the people generally believed in him: certainely one place could not have contained them all. And which is yet more to be observed; that whereas the Pharisees said, none but the cursed people believed in him, and none of the Rulers; in this very chapter we finde one Ruler one Nicodemus, Vers. 50. none of the least of the Rulers. And in Iohn 12. 42. it is affirmed, That among the chiefe Rulers many be∣lieved on him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confesse him, lest they should be put out the Synagogue. And in Verse 11. of the same chapter, it is asserted, That many of the Iewes went away and believed on Iesus; here was multiplication upon multi∣plication of Believers. And in Vers. 19. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, perceive ye how ye prevaile nothing? be∣hold the world is gone after him. These words the Pharisees spake in private among themselves deliberately, and confest that the world of men were turned Christians; all Ierusalem swarmed with Believers; without doubt all these could not meet in one place.

And indeed through all the Evangelists we shall reade of infinite multitudes that believed in him; and the reason is given, Matth. 7. 29. Because he taught them as one having authority, and not as the Scribes: and did such works of wonder, and wrought such miracles, as in Iohn 7. 31. they confest none could do but Christ: and in Chap. 12. Vers. 11. it is related, that the raising up Lazarus from the dead made many believe on him, and was the cause that such multitudes of people followed him, and did so high∣ly honour him and magnifie him; and did receive him com∣ming into Jerusalem with such an acclamation, crying, Hosanna, as in this 12 Chapter is specified; and is more largely set downe Page  125 in Matth. 21. 8. where it is related, That a great multitude spread their garments in the way, and others cut down branches, and the people that went before, and they that came after, cryed Hosanna, and said, this is Jesus the Prophet of Nazareth; they all believed in him, and confessed him before the world. Now our Savionr saith, He that shall confesse me, and own me before men, I will confesse and own him before my Father in Heaven. Here is a whole City of Believers and Confessors. Yes, the very children believed in him▪ and openly, and in the Temple cried Hosanna. And Christ him∣self allowed of their testimony, and avouched they did well, and accordingly as was written. And in Luke 19. 47, 48. it is said, That he taught dayly in the Temple, but the chief Priests and Scribes, and the Elders of the people sought to destroy him, and could not finde what they might do; for all the people were very at∣tentive to heare him. The universality therefore of the people by all these places were believers, and such as followed Christ: So that a man may wonder, how that Ierusalem it self, though it were a mighty City, could containe such multitudes of people as believed in Christ: so far improbable it is, that any one place or Congregation could containe the hundreth part of them. And we may also gather, that the great miracles at his Suffering, and at his Resurrection, and the apparition of so many that rose from their graves and went into the holy City, made a great increase and ad∣dition of Disciples and new Believers; so that the number was daily augmented; we finde no diminution: but if some that fol∣lowed Christ for bread, that were but Hypocrites, left following him; yet in those places we read again and again of numberlesse companies that daily came in, and believed in him.

And to all this we may adde, that Iohn the Baptist and his Disci∣ples, a little before his death; and Christ and his Disciples, by reason of the increase of the multitudes of Believers, were forced to bap∣tize in severall places. For so it is in Ioh. 3. 23. After these dayes came Iesus and his Disciples into the land of Iudea, and there he tarried with them and baptized, and Iohn also was baptizing in Enon▪ neere Salim, because there was much water there, and they came and were baptized. And very reason will tell all men, that of necessity there must be an innumerable multitude of beleevers, (for none were Baptized but beleevers) that must take up an hundred preachers or thereabouts; for our Saviour had twelve Apostles, and 70. Di∣sciples, Page  126 as we may see in the 9. of Luke, and in the 10. chapter of the same book: and Iohn had also many Disciples, though not so many as Christ, and all these were imployed in preaching the Gospell, and many of them in working miracles and wonders; so that the very Devills were subject unto them, as they rejoy∣cingly confest to Christ, when they returned to give him an ac∣count of their Ministery. And without doubt if these miracles wrought so with the very Disciples, they prevailed much more generally with the people to make them beleeve; so that infinite multitudes of people came in and were Baptized, as the Scrip∣ture it selfe informeth us. And of necessity, so many Ministers, must have severall places to Preach in, and severall congrega∣tions and Assemblies to Preach to, and severall places to Bap∣tize in: for otherwise there would have beene great confusion; for but one of them could speake at once; and all these Disciples were taken up in their severall Ministeries, and had their hands full, as the Scripture it self sufficiently declareth in expresse words; for it is said, That Christs Disciples Baptizedin Indaea: and Iohn in Enon neere Salim, because there was much water there. It seemes there was too little water to Baptize them in, in others places, which expression is worthy to be taken notice of. And amongst those that came to be Baptized, multitudes of them came from Ierusalem.

And if wee compare times with times, which will make much for the evidencing of the truth, and consider the divers passages in the holy Scriptures, wee shall find the like division of the peo∣ple in those dayes; some standing for Christ and Iohn Baptist, and speaking in the justification of them and their Ministery, and others that were of the Pharisaicall faction, and of the high Priests company; as is even in these our dayes, betweene them they call Caviliers, and those they call Parliamentiers. Now what twenty or thirty places in the Citie of London, can containe all the Parliamentiers to partake in all acts of Worship? Or what ten places can hold all those of the Prelaticall Faction, that contend for their Bishops and Service, and all their other trumpery and accoutrements? And yet, although they be in divers and sundry Assemblies, they are still the Prelaticall party, and all of them of the Malignant Church: and as the diversity of the places changeth not their complexions, so it altereth not their faith, nor manners, Page  127 but they continne still Malignants and remaine all Members of the Malignant Church.

And as in these dayes all that wish well unto the true Religion through both citie and kingdome, and love their countrey, stand for the Parliament; so in those dayes those that loved Zion and the prosperity of Jerusalem cleaved unto Christ and the Gospel and stood for him, and all his Ministers; and by all computations, though all the power and Authority was in the hands of the malignant Magistrates of those times, who were swayed and guided by the Scribes, Pharisees, Elders, and the high Priests; yet to one Phari∣see or Malignant Scribe or Ruler, there was ten of those that be∣leeved in Christ, and honoured him and all his Ministers and Dis∣ciples. Yea the Pharisees themselves do acknowledge it, not once but many times, as is evident from the places above cited, and ma∣ny more that might be produced.

So that if I should frame no Argument out of them, it is appa∣rent, that those new additions of Beleevers that were converted by Christ and his Ministry, considered by themselves a part, from those that Saint Iohn the Baptist converted, were so great and nu∣merous, that they could not all meet in any one place for partaking of all acts of worship, but of necessity must be distributed into seve∣rall Congregations and Assemblies, if they would all be edified; much lesse could they all meet together, being joyned to those that beleeved through the Baptisme and Ministry of Iohn. But out of the former places above specified I thus argue.

Where there was an innumerable multitude of beleevers, in a word, the whole people and Citie of Ierusalem, whom the Pharisees accounted accursed, there they could not all meet at any one time, or in any one roome or place and in one Congregation, to partake in all the Ordinances, but of necessity must bee distributed into seve∣rall assemblies, and divers Congregations, if they would all bee edified: But in Ierusalem (the Scribes and Pharisees, and Rulers, by their owne confession, being excepted) there was an innumerable multitude of beleevers, and in a word, the whole people and Citie of Jerusalem, whom the Pharisees accounted accursed. Ergo, they could not all meet together at one time, and in one place to partake in all the Ordinances, but of necessity must be distributed into seve∣rall assemblies and divers congregations, if they would all be edified.

For the major, no rationall man will deny is, that hath but read Page  128 the Scriptures, or is but a little acquainted with the Histories of those times. For the minor, it is evident from the places produ∣ced; and therefore the conclusion doth necessarily follow. But I yet further thus argue.

Where there was a world of beleevers, with many Rulers and men of great place and office, with infinite multitudes of men and chil∣dren, & all the people, they could not al meet together at one time, and in one place and congregation to partake in all acts of worship; but of necessity must be distributed into divers assemblies and severall con∣gregations, if they would all be edified. But in the Church of Jeru∣salem, there was a world of beleevers, with many Rulers and men of great place and office, with multitudes of men and children, and all the people. Ergo, they could not all meet together at one time and in one place, to partake in all acts of worship, but of necessity must be distributed into divers congregations and assemblies if they would be all edified.

For the Major, it is evident by the very light of nature, neither will any rationall man deny it, that hath not resolved to sacrifice himselfe to stupidity. For the Minor, the places above specified prove it: for in expresse words it is said, that the world followed him; that is, believed in him, and that great multitudes entertain∣ed him with their acclamations, and crying Hosanna, the very children also seconding them. And that the chiefe Priests, Scribes, and Elders, sough to destroy him, and could not find what to doe, for all the people were very attentive to heare him. The whole people we see here, or the generality of them, except the Scribes, Pharisees, Elders, and High Priests, (which in comparison of them were very few) beleeved in Jesus Christ, and were his Dis∣ciples, and such as were converted by his Ministry; and such a multitude there was of them, as for that present, they so awed the High Priests and Elders, that they durst not destroy Christ, though they desired it; so that the minor stands firme; and from the premises the conclusion necessarily followeth. But out of the former places I yet further thus argue.

Where ther was such an increase of multitudes of Beleevers, as that there was not water enough in any one place to baptize them all, nor any one place in the wildernesse capable to containe or receive them all; so that Christ himselfe, and his seventy Disciples, and twelve Apostles, and Iohn Baptist and all his Disciples, were for the nu∣merosity Page  129 of them, forced in severall places to preach unto them and baptize them; there they could not all meet at any one time, or in any one place or roome, or in one Congregation, to partake or commu∣nicate in all acts of worship; but of necessitie were to be distributed into severall congregations or assemblies, if they would all be edifi∣ed. But in Jerusalem there was such multitudes of beleevers that went out to the Baptisme of John and Christ, as that there was not water enough in any one place to baptize them all, nor any one place in the wildernesse capable to containe or receive them all: so that Christ himselfe and his seventy Disciples, and his twelve Apostles, and Saint John Baptist and his Disciples, were for the numerosity of them forced to divide themselves into severall places, and severall assemblies and congregations, that all the people might partake in all acts of worship, and be edified. Ergo, they could not all meet at any one time, or in any one place, but were of necessity forced to divide and distribute themselves into divers places, and severall congregations and assemblies, that they might all be edi∣fied.

For the Major and Minor of the Syllogisme, they are so evi∣dent, both by reason, and the holy Scripture, that no man that hath not resolved with himselfe to remaine incredulous, and conti∣nue in his obstinacy, can deny the truth of them; so that the con∣clusion of necessity must from the premises be granted. And all these multitudes of people were beleevers before Christs Suffe∣ring, Resurrection, and Ascension.

Now before I goe on to declare what infinite multitudes of belee∣vers were added to those that were converted by Iohns and the Disciples Ministry in the Church of Ierusalem, after Christs death, and ascension, which makes it an impossible thing, that they should all meet in one place or a few; I shall desire the Reader here to con∣sider what Master Knollys, and I. S. have replyed by way of an∣swer to all these Arguments. I will first set downe Master Knol∣lys his Reply with his Reasons, and give my answer to him, and then in order come to what I. S. that learned Gentleman hath to gainesay: Master Knollys denyes all the Minors of these Argu∣ments as his manner is, and gives some slender reasons, and makes some sleight evasions and thinkes that enough. His words are these, pag. 8. As for the world of beleevers mentioned in these argu∣ments drawne from John 12. 19. Behold the world is gone afterPage  130him, that Scripture doth not say, they beleeved in him, much lesse that there was a world of beleevers in the Church of Jerusa∣lem.

These are Master Knollys formall words, and all the ground of his denyall of the minor of all my Arguments, yea all that he hath to say against them. And it is wonderfull to see, how the people are satisfied with such delusions. But by this kind of Disputing, if it be sufficient for refutation, to deny any Arguments grounded upon the holy Scriptures, confirmed and corroborated by sound reasons: then for ought I know, men may not only confute the whole word of God, and whatsoever is evidently proved from thence, but indeed deny the Christian Religion. But that all men may take notice of this mans ignorance, and blasphemy (for to say the truth, he giveth the Spirit of God the lye, whiles hee labours to maintaine his erroneous opinion) & that my answer may be the more satisfactory, I will make these two Propositions evidently appeare.

First, that the world here mentioned that went after Christ, were such as beleeved in him.

Secondly, that there was a world of beleevers in the Church of Ie∣rusalem, and that they were inhabitants there, both which if I make good, then my Arguments will stand for ever immoveable, and it will follow, that there were more beleevers in the Church of Ieru∣salem before Christs death converted by himselfe, and by his Disci∣ples, then could all possibly meet in any one place, or congregation or a few; besides those that were converted by Iohns Ministry, and that this deniall of Mr. Knollys is groundlesse, vaine and impious.

For proofe therefore of my first Proposition, viz. that the world here mentioned were beleevers, it is manifest by the insuing reasons.

First from the manner of the Scriptures dialect, and that in ma∣ny places, which intimate and prove, that to follow Christ with love, affection, and approbation, is to be his Schollers and Disciples, and to beleeve in him, Matth. the 16. vers. 24. Marke the 8. v. 34. Luke the 9. verse 29. If any man (saith Christ) will come after mee let him deny himselfe and take up his Crosse daily and follow me. So that by these testimonies in Scripture language, to goe ater Christ, and to follow him in sincerity, is, to be Christs Scholler and Disciple, and to beleeve in him: For Chist himselfe hath so taught us, in the 12. of Iohn, verse 26. whose words are these, If anyPage  131man will serve me, let him follow mee, and where I am there shall also my servant be: if any man serve mee, him will my Father honour. So that to serve Christ, and to follow Christ, in Gods dialect, is to beleeve in Christ.

Secondly, this is so cleare a truth, that the very blind Pharisees, those Leaders of the blind did well perceive it, and tooke the multi∣tudes following of him in this sense, that they beleeved in him, which their very expression doth sufficiently declare: For say they verse 29. Perceive yee not how you prevaile nothing? Be∣hold the world is gone after him; out of which words of theirs it is sufficiently evident, that they did not understand, that like a com∣pany of giddy headed people they were gone after him, to gaze and looke upon him, as upon some novelty, but that the multitudes ad world that followed him, were such indeed as adhered to him, and beleeved in him: for otherwise, it had not beene a matter worthy of admiration and an Ecce, and a behold, for no man wonders at an ordinary thing, to see a company of people run after an eminent man, to view him and looke upon him: for there is nothing more common, nor of lesse admiration▪ neither would such a spectacle have put them all in feare and upon a consultation, how they might destroy him, and take him out of the world, if they had only thought or beleeved that the world went after him only to take notice of him, and so to have gone home againe; certainly such an opinion in the Priests & Pharisees as this, would never have so inraged them against Chris, and have made them all lay their heads together which way to murther him: Neither would it ever have extorted such words out of their heads, as to say amongst themselves in private, and that in a rage and out of indignation, and in a serious way, when they were in a deliberate consultation, behold or perceive you not how the world is gone after him? but when these words proceeded from them in private, and when they were in a deepe debate and counsell, it is manifest that they spake so out of malice & envie, and from very madnesse which arose from this, that they well perceived, that they that followed Christ beleeved in him; which is yet more confirmed by many places of holy Scripture that might be produced; but amongst o∣thers, those testimonies in the seventh of Iohn, where in expresse words it is related, that many of the people beleeved on him, and said, when Christ cometh, will hee doe more miracles then these whichPage  132this man hath done? and in the 40. verse, many of the people said of a truth this is the Prophet, others said this is the Christ, and all this was in Ierusalem, and vers. 48. Have any of the Rulers and Pha∣risees (say they) beleeved in him? but this people that knoweth not the Law is accursed; out of the which place, it is now abundantly evident, that the world spake of, in the 12. chap. were beleevers: for here the Rulers and Pharisees make a distribution of the people of Ierusalem, & divide them into two parties, and then they com∣pare them together, the one that beleeved in Christ and followed him, and were his schollers, and the other that professed they were Abrahams children, and Moses his disciples, yet they were Christs professed enemies, and such as declared themselves not to beleeeve in him: now here what the Rulers and Pharisees judgement was concerning this busines which was one of the parties, who knew very well what they spake, and the people of whom they spake, and of themselves they spake thus, have any of the Rulers and Pha∣risees beleeved in him? but this people that knoweth not the Law is accursed. So that being thus compared together, the unbeleevers are the Pharisees and Rulers, and their complices on∣ly; but all the other people of Ierusalem they beleeved in him, in their esteeme, and therefore they adjudged them accursed, which they would never have done if they had followed Christ for no o∣ther end, but to have looked upon him: for their words doe im∣port as much, as if they should have said in plaine termes, all the people, or the greatest part of the people in Ierusalem, saving the Rulers and Pharisees beleeve in Christ, and there is none oppose him but they, and that this is their very meaning and sense of the words, as learned men may easily gather.

Thirdly, the same is confirmed by Nicodemus his witnesse in private also, who knew very well how the people of Ierusalem stood generally affected towards Christ, and what opinion they had of him: heare therefore what hee saith, Iohn the 3. of whom the Evangelist speaketh thus. There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a Ruler of the Iewes, the same came to Iesus by night, and said unto him Rabbi, we know that thou art a Teacher come from God, for no man can doe these miracles except God bee with him. Here Nicodemus gives in testimony, & devidene that the generality of those in Ierusalem, and of the principallest of them as well as of the meanest, that they beleeved in Jesus, saying we know,Page  133 that is to say, all the people know, that thou art a Teacher come from God; they knew it with the knowledge of Faith and approbation, and did really beleeve that hee was come from God, and he gives a reason of his and their faith, saying, that no men can doe those miracles except God bee with him, and therefore they beleeved in him: so that Nicodemus which was a Disciple of Christ, though in secret and a great honourer of him, would give in no false ver∣dict, nor make no false Musters, and he knew very well the opinion and the esteeme the people had of him, and he asserteth that both himselfe and the people knew that Christ was sent of God, which is as much as to beleeve in him: for the same confession did the A∣postles make, Matth. 16. and Iohn the 6. saying, we know that thou art the Sonne of the living God. So that to acknowledge Christ, and to beleeve in him, is all one in the language of holy Scripture, and to follow and go after Christ out of sincerity and love and to beleeve in him, is the same if the word of God may be judge in this controversie. So that to goe after Christ then, and to follow him cordially and without worldly ends, both in the language of God and men, is to serve Christ and to beleeve in him: and therefore for all the above mentioned reasons, the world that went after Christ, & the people and multitudes that followed him, were all beleevers, and the others that either tarried at home, and followed their owne imployments, or opposed him, were unbeleevers.

Now then when a multitulde from Ierusalem followd Christ, and when a world within Ierusalem went after him, and when all the cursed people (as they called them) beleeved in him, not only by the very testimony of the enemies of Christ, but by the witnesses of the holy Scripture, it is sufficiently apparent that the World spake of in the 12. of Iohn, were all beleevers, amongst the which also out of same Chapter is proved, That many of the Rulers also believed in him. So that Master Knollys denying all this, is little better then an Infidell: For an Infidell can do no more then deny the holy Scripture and the manifest truths dis∣covered in them; and by this that I have now said, though I should not adde a word more, it is manifest, That there were more beleevers at that time in Jerusalem then could all meete in any one place to partake in all the Ordinances, except a mighty city and a world of beleevers may all meete together in one room or Congregation to communicate in all Acts of worshipPage  134to edification; Which was yet never heard of, nor never belie∣ved by any man that was not bereaved of his senses and all his wit.

But yet for farther Illustration and proofe of this truth, that if it be possible, I may undeceive the poore deluded people, I will adde a reason or two more. The Scripture is so cleare in this point, that there were innumerable believers in Ierusalem, as in the second of the Acts, besides those that were natives there, it is said there were dwellers in Ierusalem, worshippers, or devout men, that is to say beleevers out of all nations under hea∣ven. And all these sayeth the Scripture had their dwelling there. And without all doubt all these severall Nations, had their se∣verall Synagogues in Ierusalem where they heard the Word of God in their owne language, as the Dutch and French and other Nations, here in London have their churches. And the multitudes of the inhabitants in Ierusalem at all times, by the relation of the Historians of those dayes, were scarse ever lesse then seven or eight hundred thousands; and without all contro∣versie the number was now increased▪ because they daily and hourely expected the comming of the Messias whose appearing they every moment looked for: and therefore all the believing Iewes out of all Countries repaired in multitudes to Ierusalem: So that such numberlesse numbers, both of the native Iewes and strangers; required a mighty number of Teachers, and a many places to heare and to be taught in: and that there were a∣bove foure hundred Synagogues in Ierusalem, (which are chur∣ches in our dialect) the pen-men and Historiographers of those times have recorded it: and all this is probable, from the numero∣sity of Preachers and Teachers there, which the holy Scripture relateth, as the Priests & Levits, Scribes, Pharisees, Lawyers, which all sate in Moses Chaire, and all of them diligently taken up in Preaching to the people and in instructing them, upon whose Ministery by Christs command all the multitude and his very fol∣lowers were to attend Matth. 23. vers. 1. 2. 3. So that there was no separation then to be made from the publicke Assemblies where the Law and Gospell was taught, nor no gathering of new Churches, under pretence of easting them into a Church mould according to the New testament forme. Christ and his Disciples were not then so deepely learned as to be in that high Page  135 forme of Divinity; Christs followers notwithstanding were all Gospell Christians, and were all in a Church way, and I am sure of it, in the right way to heaven, if the way, the truth and the life could teach them the straight way thither: and yet they all followed the old lights still, Moses and the Prophets; Christ and his Apostles were all their Masters; we heare then of no new lights, nor new borne truths, nor of new Church moulds, and yet then the Kingdome of heaven suffered violence, and the violent tooke it by force Matth. 11, 12. they went all well to Heaven, as well and as cheerfully as any of our Independents with their new lights, and their congregationall way. But this by the by.

Now I say if there were such multitudes, both of Hearers and Teachers, there was without all doubt many places for them seveally to heare in, and it stands withall reason that the se∣verall strange Nations had Synagogues by themselves, and such men to Teach unto them in their own language as they could understand, or else they could not have been edified, and there is very good ground to induce men to beleeve that I now say: For if there was a Synagogue in Ierusalem of the Libertines, (as there was) that is to say of those that had beene slives and bond-men, but were made free, then can any man beleeve that all those severall Nations of the free-men, that abounded also with wealth and honour, (or else if they had not had great riches, they could never have journied so about from Country to Country and transported their families thither) I say in all these regardes it stands withall reason that they had their particular Synagogues also, and therefore that they were in mighty multitudes, so that a few places could not containe them all to communicate in all Acts of worship, and there∣fore of necessity in Christ his time they were distributed into many and severall Congregations; and all this I say besides the holy Scripture very reason dictats to any man but Master Knollys and I. S. and their fraturnity who all deny, that there were either in Christs life time or after his death more Christi∣ans and believers in the church of Ierusalem then could meete in one place or congregation, notwithstanding the holy Scrip∣ture sayeth, that there was a world of believers there and that all Jerusalem the very City was full of them.

Page  136 I referre therefore that which I have now spake, to the judge∣ment of all the judicious and learned, whether we ought rather to believe the Holy Scripture of truth, which was indited by the Spirit of truth, or Master Knollys who saith and writeth the contrary by the spirit of error▪ And this shall suffice to have spake for proofe of my first proposion, to wit that the world that went after Christ were believers, which Master Knollys most fondly and impiously denyeth.

The second proposition remaining to be proved is this, that there was a world of beleevers in the Church of Ierusalem, and that they were inhabitants there: Now howsoever by the proving of my former proposition, this latter also was included in it, and proved likewise as all the places above cited do sufficiently shew; for the place, where the word that followed Christ dwelt, is said to be Ierusalem; and if we but consult with the holy Scripture, especially the Gospell of Saint Iohn, we shall again and again meet with ma∣ny testimonies there besides those I have above quoted to prove the same; so that it may be thought a needlesse work in particular to prove this second proposition, seeing it is already evinced in the former; yet because Mr Knollys hath made them two propositi∣ons, and hath peremptorily delivered it, that there was not a world of beleevers in the Church of Ierusalem: I will, to gratifie him and to satisfie any that will be satisfied, prove this proposition also distinctly and severally by it selfe: viz. That there was a world of beleevers in Ierusalem, and that they were inhabitants there. For proofe of this the 12. chapter of Saint Iohn and the 29. verse, de∣claes it saying, behold the world is gone after him: This world was at Ierusalem and inhabitants there, and well known to the Scribes and Pharisees; which is yet farther ratified out of the 7. chapter ver. 48. where the people that are called accursed had their dwelling, for they were known to the high Priests, Scribes and Pharisees, which they could not have been had they not been In∣habitants; which is yet more clear from the 21. of Matthew; where it is manifest, that not only the men of Ierusalem but that the very children cryed Hosanna to the son of David; and it is wel known to all men what children do ordinarily in a publike way, it was well approved of by their parents who likewise cryed, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: as it was here in London at the begining of the parliament, when the king came into the city to seek Page  137 for the 5 Members, there was not a woman or a child that had a head as big as a crab, but cryed for the Priviledges of Parliament, & commonly as the cock crows, so crows the hen & the chickens. And by all probability it was at that time in Ierusalem, in respect of Christ, as it was then here in respect of the Parliament; the generality of all the inhabitants believed in him and honoured him, as the people generally in the city did the Parliament; which is yet more evident from the great indignation and wrath of the Priests and Scribes who were displeased to see the wonderfull things he did, and espe∣cially that they heard the children crying in the Temple saying, Hosanna to the sonne of David; by which they well perceived that the children spake no otherwise then their fathers would have them, and that the whole city of Inhabitants were such as belee∣ved in him. Yea the second of the Acts addes a great deal of strength to this argument where it is said, That there were devout men dwellers at Ierusalem out of all the Nations under Heaven be∣sides the Inhabitants that were Natives. But the eleventh of Mar. puts all out of doubt, for that chapter speaks plainly of all the In∣habitants and Dwellers in Ierusalem as well as of the strangers that came to the Feast, where it is said there were two mighty parties, either of which so awed the Scribes, chiefe Priests and all the enemies of Christ, that they durst not meddle with him, and the one of them was such as adhered unto Christ and beleeved his do∣ctrine, so that although Christs enemies sought to destroy him, yet they feared him, because, saith the Scripture, ver. 17. all the people were astonished at his doctrine, that is all the people approved of it, and beleeved in him, for he taught as one having authority Matth. 7. The other party were Iohn the Baptists Disciples all beleevers too; for it is there asserted, that all men compted John that he was a prophet indeed, ver. 32. And this party also kept the chief Priests the Scribes and the Elders, Christs capitall enemies, in such awe, as they durst not attempt any thing against Christ; and all these were inhabitants of Ierusalem: For it is said in the 28 verse, that all the people were astonished at his doctrine: and it is said ver. 32. that all men counted John a Prophet indeed: Now then if all the people of Ierusalem and all the men of Ierusalem, these two migh∣ty parties and both believers be put together, and were inhabitants there as he Scripture relateth, besides the strangers that came up to the Feast, then there was a world of beleevers in the Church Page  138 of Jerusalem; and they were inhabitants there: For the place where these Scribes and high Priests were, and where Christ then was, and where all those people were, was in Ierusalem, and all the people well known to the Rulers and Pharisees to be Inhabitants there: So that all men now may see the futility and vanity of Mr Knollys his denyall of my arguments, and may also behold the force and power of truth which asserteth, That there were more beleevers in Jerusalem, then could all meet in any one place, and that in Christs time, unlesse a world of beleevers and those inha∣bitants can meet together in any one place or congregation to injoy all acts of worship to edification; which is a grollery, yea madnesse to sup∣pose or think. And this shal serve for answer to what Mr Knollys out of his impious ignorance had to reply against my arguments for the enervating of them. And now I come to I. S. his answer to all my foregoing arguments, by which he would perswade the poor ignorant people, That there was not such a number of Belee∣vers in Ierusalem, but that they might all meet in one place: For this must necessarily be the scope of his discourse, or else it is no∣thing to the purpose or against my arguments; which were to prove, There were more beleevers in Jerusalem and that in Christs time then could possibly meet together in any one Congregation to par∣take in all Ordinances.

The reader may remember that in his former reply, he seemed not to doubt concerning the number of those that were baptized, onely he denyed that those that were baptized by Iohn, were Chri∣stians, and that they were cast into a Church mould after the New Testament forme, much lesse that they were members of one Christi∣an Church at Jerusalem; these are his own words and by this hee thought to overthrow that argument: Now here he useth another method; tacitly denying the Minor of all my Syllogismes; and the reason of his denyall is, because as he speaketh, I made false mu∣sters; he thinks me, it seemes, like the Independents, who would perswade the simple that all are Independent; and amongst other things he saith that I gave the Independents occasion shrewdly to suspect my ignorance. But I will set down his whole babble at larg and in his owne termes and words, and his full answer to all my last arguments as it is page 9, 10. of his Pamphlet. His words are these.

But note (saith he) an absurdity in the sequell of the discourse, Page  139 where the Doctor having got a multiplying glasse in his hand, goes on to make strange discoveryes of the increase of Christian believers. pag. 36. he tells us, that Christ made many more Disciples and Beleevers then John, and added dayly unto the Church, that was then in Ieru∣salem, such as should be saved. Here's two Paradoxes: First that Christ made more Disciples then John: Out of whom should hee make them? when as Iohn had swept all along with him, as you af∣firme before page 32. and not taking it Synecdochically (what ever you determine of it here). Secondly that Christ should adde day∣ly to the Church that was in Ierusalem; is not this a marvellous an∣ticipation and mistake to apply that which was done by the Disciples after Christs ascension▪ Acts 2. last, unto the ministry of Christ him∣selfe? and yet in the sequell you reckon this to the Apostles also ex∣presly page 56. Judge if here be not false musters▪ And let me tell you, you give us occasion shrewdly to suspect your ignorance (to say no worse) to talke of a Church in Jerusalem, besides the nationall church of the Jewes in the life time of our Saviour. Thus hee.

If I should discover all the errors that are in this reply, I might make a very large volume: but in regard that all learned men will easily perceive the vanity, childishnesse and horrid impiety of the man in the very reading of it: I shall not be so larg in my answer as otherwise I had thought to have been: and yet before I come to it, I cannot but complain of the dishonesty of the man that thus cur∣taileth my arguments every where, not plainly setting them down, that the people may see my reasons; but this is the ordinary way of his disputing who conceales the truth from the ignorant and simple that he may the better poyson them with his errors and no∣veltyes. After the very same manner dealeth my brother Burton with me, as we shall see in its due place, who passing by all my arguments not so much as mentioning any one of them, makes a rombobombo Syllogisme of his own, which as I suppose he fetcht out of the howling wildernesse of America, and then with Phocions hatchet, that carnall weapon, he fights with his own shaddow, and vapors like a conquerour as I. S. doth here.

But now for answer briefly, I affirme that I. S. in confuting of my arguments, by which I proved that there were more con∣verted by Christ and his Disciples and the Apostles Ministry in Jerusalem then by Iohn the Baptist; and therefore that they couldPage  140not all meete in one place or Congregation to injoy all Acts of worship, I say in his confuting of my arguments he doth not so much dispute against me, as he doth against Saint Iohn the Evangelist and the very Scripture; for the discoveries I made by my multiplying glasse (as he ridiculously speaketh) of the increase of Christian believers, were no false musters, (as he chil∣dishly scibleth) for I discovered only and declare unto all men that increase of Christian believers in Ierusalem that the holy Word of God asserteth, Iohn the 4. where it is recorded, vers. 1. 2. That Christ made more Disciples and believers then Iohn; and therefore added daily to the Church that was then in Jesu∣salem, such as should be saved; for Christ came to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel: Now the making of more Disciples is the adding of more to the church: and this the Scripture holdeth out not only to me but to all intelligible Christians, and therefore it was no error in me to affirme the same: So that whiles I. S. laboureth to confute my Arguments, he fights indeede against the Evangelist that affirmeth that Christ made mo Disciples then Iohn.

But sayeth he, here are two Paradoxes. First, that Christ made mo Disciples then Iohn.

The second, that Christ should adde dayly to the Church that was then in Ierusalem.

These in I. S. his opinion are paradoxes, that is matters of Lu∣dibry in his dialect. Yet both these truthes I spake of, are cleere out of the Word of God, and therefore whiles he wounds me, he vulnerateth Saint Iohn and blasphemeth, for he giveth the Spirit of God the lye, and denyeth the Scripture that asserts that Christ made mo Disciples then John, and therefore added more unto the church: for of unbelievers and of enemies they were made Disciples, Christians and friends; and therefore taken out of the world and brought into Christs fold and church, and by that worke of conversion they were added to it; as he that should this day take any of our Ministers and faithfull Pastors sheep out of their folds and steale them away, (as too too many of the Independent Ministers daily do) and bring them into their new congregations, may not that Independent Minister, without any marvilous anticipation or mistake, or without any error, truly be said to have added so many more to his new Page  141 church, when the number of his members is thus increased? And if another Minister be joyned with him as a teacher in that congregation or succed him, if he also shall run plundering about both city and country, as a gifted brother, and bring in a great many more poore silly sheepe into his fold then the other did, as they are notable cunning theeves, may not it truly be said of him and that without any marvilous anticipation, and mistake, that he also added unto the church, when still the the number is daily increased? I am confident that all men of sound reason will say there is no error in all this! And there∣fore I hope by all the judicious I shall be free from any blame or error, in that I said those that were converted by Christ and made Disciples by his Ministry, were added to the church and to those that were formerly converted by the Baptist. But saith J. S. how could Christ make mo Disciples then Iohn? Out of whom should he make them saith he, when Iohn had swept all along with him as the Doctor affirmeth pag. 32. Not taking it Synecdochically? Thus he shewes his acumen or ra∣ther his vanity in contradicting the Scripture and abusing me. For he that hath ever read my booke, and looks but in the 31 page toward the lower part, shall finde these words, That Je∣rusalem went out to Iohn and was baptized; it must therefore by a Synecdoche be taken for all the common people promis∣cuously, or for a mighty multitude of all sorts, and of all ranks of people, and of all professions, as Publicans, Souldiers and the ordinary inhabitants: These were my very words there. And therefore I. S. saying that I took not the word Synecdochically, belyeth me, befooleth himselfe and abuseth the reader, and fights with his own phancy. But for answer to his whibling Cavill, I say Christ converted those he made his Disciples and Schollers, out of the remmant or remainder of those that were yet un∣converted in Ierusalem, and in that work he added more unto that church, which though the mother church, as the other were Daughter churches through all Iuda, yet it was but a parti∣cular church, in that Nationall church; for the being a Nationall church doth not exclude as this man fondly conceits, parti∣cular churches from bearing the name of church, no more then the Catholike visible church doth deny the name of church to any particular churches, because they being similar parts do Page  142 partake both of the name and nature of the whole, as all the learned and Orthodox Divines do hold. And therefore taking Ierusalem Synecdochically as I then did, it is also here to be so taken, and then Christ did make mo Disciples out of the people of Jerusalem that remained yet unconverted, then Iohn had done before him, and added them unto the church at Ie∣rusalem, that particular mother church in that Nationall church, which as it was at that time in respect of morall worship go∣vernd by a Colledge of Elders or Presbyters as the Scripture everywhere relateth, which is called a church, so it was ever after governed by a Presbytery, all those Synagogues and seve∣rall churches being all combind together under the rule and go∣verment of that Presbytery, and making all but one church with∣in its precinct, after which manner all the other city churches throught Iudea following the example of this mother church were ever to be governed to the end of the world; and this is indeed the true chuch mould, according to the New Testament forme, that all churches ought to be cast into, if we will imitate the government of the mother church Ierusalem, and all the daughter churches both in Judea and Israel as that of Samaria and into this mould did the Baptist and Christ cast all they converted. Therefore when I said that Christ made more Disciples in Ie∣rusalem then Iohn, and that he added them unto that Church, I speake nothing but that I have warrant for out of the good Word of God and the Scripture of truth, and which is suffi∣ciently backt and corroborated also by all sound reason: And therefore, it is wickednesse in I.S. to say that in so speaking it is a paradox. For if it be a matter of ludibre in me and a pa∣radox to say that Christ made more Disciples then Iohn, Then likewise it is a paradox and matter of laughter in the holy Evangelist: For he in formall words saith, That Iesus made and baptized moe Disciples then Iohn. I referre my selfe there∣fore unto the judgement of all honest▪ godly minded men, whe∣ther Saint Iohn be not as well censured and traduced by this vaine and wicked fellow as my selfe, and whether in his so speaking he doth not give the Spirit of God the lye.

And his second paradox is as vaine and childish and impious as this, where he saith, is not this a marvelous anticipation and mistake, to apply that which was done by the Disciples afterPage  143Christs ascension unto the ministery of Christ himselfe? For an∣swer let I. S. take notice that in saying Christ made mo Disciples then the Baptist, and in making them added them unto the Church at Ierusalem, There is no marvelous anticipation or mistake, as I. S. unlearnedly inferrs; for in giving unto Christ his due honour and affirming he added unto the Church that was then in Ie∣rusalem, I have both the Scripture and reason for it, and in so speaking I detract nothing from the honor and dignity of the Disciples; for it is no error in any man, to apply that unto Christ Ministery, viz. the conversion of men and the adding of them to the church, which worke, properly and primarily be∣longeth unto him, though in a Metaphoricall sense it may also be attributed unto the Apostles and Ministers of the Gospell. And therefore the mistake is in I. S. and not in me; for he ap∣plyes that unto the Disciples which was done by Christ, for it is said the Lord added unto the Church dayly such as should be saved. It was done by Christ, and not the worke of the Apostles, but instrumentally; and therefore I. S. is a prevaricator, in many respects sinning both against God and man: for here, he giveth that honour which is peculiar unto Christ, unto the Disciples; and then he falsly accuseth me of an error and mistake when there is none, and then would make me guilty of his own sins, which I am free from, as all they that read my booke in the page quoted by him may see; and this is not all, but in this also he is a great offender, where by this jugling craft of his, he labours to seduce the poore people. But for farther answer, I have learned of Christ himselfe, that the Disciple is not above his Master; and therefore if I. S. will apply the worke of con∣version and adding of Disciples to the Church, unto the Mini∣stry of the Apostles after Christs ascension as he doth, I do not conceive it any paradox in me or any mistake or Anticipation to apply that worke unto Christs Ministry in his life time: for the Master is ever more to be honoured then the servant as all reason will dictate: and therefore there was no paradox in me in giving that honour unto Christ that belonged unto him who was the Master: for he came to save the lost sheepe of the house of Israel, and so he did, gathering daily some of them into his fold, and adding many more sheepe to those that Iohn the Baptist had converted: and therefore I do not think it a paradox in me Page  144 to give as much honour to the Master, as I. S. doth to his Dis∣ciples and servants: for the honour of conversion and adding unto the church is a work primarily belonging to the Lord and Prince of the Church Jesus Christ. It is great rashnesse therefore▪ and very unchristian dealing in I. S. to make mee a subject of his scorne and ludibry for well doing, and to make that a sinne and error in mee, which is a vertue; for to give Christ his due honour is a vertue; now the honour of converting of men, and adding them unto the Church is his proper work, and it peculiarly belong∣eth unto him first and last to adde unto the Church such as should bee saved: The Apostles were but the Instruments. Paul may plant, and Apollos may water, but God the Lord of his Church giveth the increase, 1 Cor. 3. Hee maketh the Church grow and multiply in∣to mighty numbers, and adds daily unto it, by the mighty working of his Spirit, and it is marvellous in our eyes: And therefore I. S. is severely to be censured and that deservedly, not only for abusing his brethren, making them offenders when they are not, but chiefly for anticipating that honour which is onely due unto Christ and God, and giving it and attributing it unto men, as it is the daily practise of the Independents to give the glory of all victories which only belongeth unto God, to the party which they call the praying army; and so hee ascribeth that honour that peculiarly belongeth unto God and Christ, unto the Apostles, which indeed pertaineth unto them only as they are instruments, and accuseth me as of an anticipation and mistake, saying, I ascribed that unto the Ministry of Christ himselfe, which belonged unto the Disciples of Christ after his ascension. It seemes to I. S. that I am a very er∣roneous man, and very unjust, that I give that honour unto Christ himself, and ascribe that work unto him, which saith I. S. belonged to the Apostles. But if this be an error, in saying that Christ ad∣ded unto the Church as Ierusalem, before his death and after his death, such as should be saved, I will live and die in this error; for this is only the worke of God; none can come unto God but by Christ, hee is the doore, the way, the truth and the life, the author and finisher of our faith, that begins and ends the worke of conversi∣on; the Apostles and all other Ministers are but his instruments, hee is the hand of god, and the arme of the Lord that doth the worke in the hearts of the people. Whether therefore I. S. or my slfe be the most erroneous in their opinions, and speake most Paradoxes about Page  145 this point, I leave it to the censure and judgement of those that have more skill in Divinity then I. S. or any of his Fra ternity.

But should I grant unto I. S. that the Apostles after Christs A∣scension had of themselves, and by their owne power, without any helpe from Christ added many unto the Church, which I yet ne∣ver did; doth this I pray in the opinion of any wise man exclude Christs adding unto the Church before his death? or was it such an obstacle or hindrance to his worke of converting men, and ad∣ding them unto the Church, that because it is said of the Apostles after Christs death that the Lord by them added to the Church, ther∣fore it is an error or mistake, to apply that unto the Ministry of Christ that was done to the Disciples? I am confident none that are not senselesse will say there is any error in so speaking, neither is there such a gulfe betweene these two things, but that they may well meet, Christ may adde and the Apostles also: For the same reason that made Saint Luke in the second of the Acts say the Lord added unto the Church daily such as should be saved, con∣firmes mee in my opinion, that as it was the Lords worke after his ascension to adde men unto the Church, so it was his worke in his life time, for hee was yesterday and to day the same for ever▪ alwayes the author and finisher of our faith, and therefore it was no antici∣pation or mistake in me, nor no Paradox as I. S. fondly saith, to con∣clude that those that were converted by Christs Ministry, were ad∣ded to those that were converted by Iohn, so that there was addition upon addition, and it was no sinne in mee to say that of Christ then that was afterwards ascribed unto him in formall words; for although the very words be not exprest, et that is set down that is equivalent unto them; for it is said Christ made moe Disciples then Iohn, it was his work, so that the disputation now is not about words & terms of expression, but about the substance of things, viz. about beleevers and Members of the Church of Ierusalem, which when the Scripture holdeth out unto us, affirming that Christ made moe disciples then John, & that at Ierusalem, then any rational man may without any anticipation or mistake, or any error or Paradox conclude that these new Converts were added then unto the Church as well as those that were converted after his Ascension were said to be added to the Church; and he that with the eye of understanding▪ should behold what the Scripture saith, and shall but duly consi∣der my Arguments drawne from thence will not gather, that I Page  146 make false Musters, as this fresh water souldier I. S. childishly speaketh; but on the contrary he will shrewdly suspect the igno∣rance, to say no worse (that I may use some of his Rhetoricke) of this novice in Divinity, and will also evidently gather that the Church at Ierusalem was a particular Church in that Nationall Church of the Jewes, and that in the time of our Saviour; and withall hee will conclude from the premises, and all that I have now said by way of answer to Master Knollys, and this I. S. that there were more beleevers in Ierusalem then could all meet in any one place or a few, and that in John the Baptists and Christs dayes, and all this without any mistake or Paradox, but from very good reason, which if this Puny Divine I. S. had beene guilty of, hee would never have beene so unadvised as to have opposed the Scrip∣ture it selfe, and all solid and learned men in speaking so rashly.

And now I referre all that I have hitherto said by way of re∣ply to Master Knollys and I. S. to the judgement of the learned to consider, whether there is either honesty or reason in these men, who to maintaine their fond errors, wil deny or affirme any thing, though never so repugnant to the Scripture, and to the very light of reason, and all this only to mislead the ignorant people; and this is all that I. S. hath to say against my Arguments drawn from the Baptisme of Iohn and Christs and his Apostles Ministry, by which I proved, that in the very dayes of John the Baptist and in Christs time there were then many more beleevers in the Church of Jerusalem then could all meet in any one Congregation.

Now for the following Arguments, by which I proved it was much more impossible for them to meet together, after there were daily added so many thousands to the Church after Christs Ascen∣sion by the miracles and Ministry of the blessed Apostles, and Christs seventy Disciples, and the other Ministers of those times: I. S. doth not so much as meddle with them, but saith pag. 10. That he had thought to have bestowd as much time on the rest, but that other considerations forbad him; and because (as he saith) there were those so able already ingaged in the Dispute: these are his words. And in his wise Epistle to me, he saith that his health forbade him. Now what a vaine fellow is this to vapour that he had whipped me out of the field, and beat up my quarters, and quartered my book, and taken hold of the pillars of my discourse and shaken them, and over∣throwne my building, as yee may see at large in the title page, and Page  147 in his Epistle to mee? and yet in the tenth page of his Booke the place above quoted, and in the same Epistle hee confesseth, his in∣disposition of body and other considerations forbad him to bestow any more time upon the Booke, and saith in expresse termes he left the worke to others; whether therefore this be not a worthlesse and witlesse Fellow to brag and glory of a victory, and beating up of a mans quarters, when hee hath only flung a squib or two at them a farre off, and then cowardly and basely ran away pretending sicknesse as fresh water souldiers commonly use to doe, I leave it to the judgement of others to consider. But of I. S. I may truly say thus much, that hee is a meere quagmire of ignorance, and wicked impudency, and farre unfit for any serious or solid im∣ployment, much lesse to be a Captaine or Commander in Christs Armies. I doe not deny, but hee may make a prettie souldier at an Independent Festivity; and I beleeve that were it to shake or pull downe the pillars of a March-pane, or to beat up the quarters of a Custard, to breake up a Wood-cock, or to storme a Venison Pa∣stie, or to plunder a Banquet, that in the Militia of good cheer he would doe very well: but notwithstanding I would have I. S. being now in a course of Physick and of an infirme body, to use some moderation when hee comes where good cheer is stirring; and therefore because hee thinkes that my judgement in such matters may be worthy of some account, for so hee intimateth in his learned Epistle; I would advise him for a time to feed upon Snayl pyes and Mushromes, and of those kind of creatures hee may find abun∣dance about the Wels at Tunbridge; that low kind of diet is best for him; & if he followes this now in the spring but some weekes, and drinks lustily of the waters there, they will wash him till hee be cleane and fit for my fingring againe, and free him from his Frensie, and make him as cleane and neat, as he saith my Post∣script hee left in those waters will be. And this is the counsell I give unto I. S. gratis, for all his learned paines in beating up my quarters. And so I have done with him at this time. I have now a few things yet to answer to what Master Knollys hath to say to those Arguments I rayse from the Ministry of the Apostles, and the multitudes converted by them after Christs Ascension, which yee shall find punctually set downe in their due places.

I will now therefore take a survey of the numbers that were ad∣ded to the Church, and to those Beleevers that were converted by Page  148Iohns & Christs Ministry, by the powerfull preaching and miracles of the Apostles after Christs Ascension; and from the divers pla∣ces I shall gather out of the Acts of the Apostles, frame such argu∣ments as shall make it yet more evident, that there were such multi∣tudes in the Church of Ierusalem, as they could not all possibly meet together, at one time, or in one place or roome, or in one Congregation, to injoy all the Ordinances, and partake in all acts of worship▪ but must necessarily be distributed into divers congregations and assem∣blies, if they would all be edified, and that before the persecution wee reade of in the Acts 3. 1. and in the persecution, and after the per∣secution. But before I come to the proofe of the particulars, I must answer to some objections made by our brethren the Inde∣pendents; the first of the which is, out of the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, from which they indeavour to prove, that the number and multitude of Beleevers in the Church of Jerusa∣lem was not so great, but that they might all meet in one roome or place, and in one congregation to partake in all acts of worship. The words on which they ground their Arguments are these: and in those dayes Peter stood up in the middest of the Disciples and said, (the number of the names together, were about an hundred and twen∣ty) men and brethren, &c. From whence they conclude, that the whole Church in Ierusalem, that is to say, all the Beleevers, did meet in one place; for in this number of names they would have all the whole Church in Ierusalem included or confined; which to moe is a wonder, that such learned men as many of them are, should so argue; for this must be the scope of the Argument if they intend to prove, That the whole Church in Jerusalem and all the Beleevers there, were not so numerous, but that they might all meete in one place, and partake in all acts of worship, and that these in Peters Company were all that Church, and all the Believers that were in Ierusalem: this, I say, must of necessi∣tie be their meaning, or else their Argument concludes nothing to the purpose. The invalidity of the which, I am most confident will by and by evidently appeare (though all the former Argu∣ments to the contrary should not so much as be thought of) and withall, it will also be obvious to any judicious man, that in all respects their Argument makes much against themselves. For if I should grant unto them, That at this instant of time that that place speakes of the whole Church in Jerusalem, or the numberPage  149then of Beleevers were no more but that one place might have con∣tained them all for the enjoying of all Ordinances (which I cannot doe, for innumerable reasons, and some of them above specified) yet it doth not follow nor evince, that after there were daily such additi∣ons of Believers, and such multitudes of new Converts added unto the Church, that then also, one place or roome could containe them all; and that they might still meet in one Congregation, and all together partake in all acts of worship. For there is a vast diffe∣rence betweene one hundred and twenty names (for there was no more in this assembly) and in many ten thousands, which all the World knowes could not bee contained in any one place of Jeru∣salem to communicate in all the Ordinances, though that place had equalized the most magnificent Structure that ever the World yet saw; especially, they could not have all met there to edification, for they could not have all heard and understood: and wee know that in the Church, all must be done to edification, and this would rather have hindred the mutuall edification of the assembly, and have brought a confusion, rather then any profit or benefit unto them. But the truth is, the number of names here spoken of, if wee will goe to the genuine interpretation of the place, not to speake of the universall consent of all the learned Interpreters, who gather that in this assembly, the seventy Disci∣ples the Lord Jesus sent out to preach through all Judes, and all those other Ministers of the Gospel that had beene Christs, and Saint Iohn the Baptists Disciples, every one of the which was thought fit for learning and divine knowledge, to succeed Iudas in his Apostleship and to be a Disciple; all these or most of them, or such like, were those that are included in the number of names. I say, to omit this Interpretation of all the most Orthodoxe Divines, and their universall agreement and harmony in their lear∣ned Commentaries about this portion of Scripture, the very words themselves following shew they were select and eminent men, and men of note, and Disciples of longest standing; and all of them or the most of them Ministers and Preachers themselves; and were indeed the Presbyters of the Church, to whom with the Apostles, the power of ruling was committed; and who with∣in themselves, and without the consent of the common multitude of Beleivers, had power to odaine their own Officers, and that by their own authority as we may see, Vers. 21. 22. Wherefore,Page  150 saith S. Peter, of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Iesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptisme of Iohn, unto that same day he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witnesse with us of the resurrection. And they appointed two, &c. and they prayed, &c. and they gave forth the Lots▪ &c. all businesses here were managed and carryed in an Aristocraticall and Presbyterian way, and all was done by a joynt consent and the common councell of them all. Here wee finde none of the multitude of the people, though Beleevers; here were no Women that gave forth their lots. Neither doth the A∣postle Peter say, Men, Mothers, and Brethren; or Men, Women, and Brethren; or Men, Brethren, and Sisters; but Men and Bre∣thren. For howsoever in the foregoing Verses it is said, that these (meaning the Apostles and Elders) all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and with his Brethren, by which they fitted themselves for the Ministery after they should receive the Holy Ghost; though I say, they joyned with them in those duties of humiliation and prayer, which any women may do, in the society and compa∣ny of godly Ministers: yet when they went about other acts of Church government, as choosing of an Apostle, then the Apostles and Elders onely by themselves, to whom the power of the Keyes was given, ordered that businesse, and left the Women to their private devotions, and their severall imployments: for in this action of giving forth their lots, there is no mention of the Wo∣men. And it is manifest from the Text it selfe, that this choosing of Matthias was at another time, and without all doubt, up∣on a set day for this purpose; for it is said Verse 15. And in those dayes Peter stood up in the middest of the Disciples, and said Men and Brethren. Here was onely Disciples, Men and Brethren, and no Sisters. Till Pope Joans time, and our dayes, Peters Keyes never hung at any womans Girdle; and we heare not in Scripture that they had any voyce in choosing of Church▪officers, and admi ting of members into the Church, or casting out of any, till these unhappy times; an usurpation not beseeming that Sex, as afterwards in its due place I hope to make appear. But this by the way.

Now to the matter in hand, I say it is apparent to any that will not shut their eyes, that all those, or most of them that were in Page  151Peters company, and at that time met together, were capable of an Apostleship, and such as were the most eminent of all Christs followers, and such as were best instructed in Christian Religion, as having been bred up in the doctrine of Saint Iohn the Baptist, and under the Ministry of Christ himselfe, the Pro∣phet of his Church; and therefore they were the Teachers of the Church and people, who were their flock which they all fed in common: And from thence it argueth, That the multitude of Beleevers in Ierusalem was not onely a distinct company from them, but that it was exceeding great and numerous, that had so many Pastors and Teachers over them: For if they had been but so small a company as is here mentioned, and that the whole Church had consisted but of sixscore names, then the Pastors exceed the number of the flocke; which is not onely absurd to thinke, but against the evident truth of the holy Scriptures, which relate unto us multitudes upon multitudes that were day∣ly converted by the ministery of John the Baptist, and of Christ and his Apostles, and added unto the Church before this their meet∣ing.

So that by this I have now said, it is most clear and evident, that all or most of these, were the most eminent Ministers of the Gospell, and the Presbytery of the Church. But in this, that our Brethren do acknowledge, That this assembly here spake of were the church, it makes as much against them, and greatly for us: for it is manifest▪ from the Text, that they were the Ministers and Preachers of the Gospell, and in that they give them the name and title of the Church, it followeth that the representative body and Presbytery is a Church, and that to them onely belongs the power and authority of the Keyes: according to that of our Saviour in Matth. 18▪ 17, 18. Tell it unto the Church, &c. and whatsoever ye binde on Earth shall be bound in Heaven; and whatsoever ye loose on Earth shall be loosed in Heaven. By which words, all au∣thority is put into the true Ministers hands; so that they onely have the power and authority of ordaining Pastors and Presbyters among themselves; as Paul sufficiently declares in his Epistles to Timothy and Titus: and that they have not onely the title of the Church, but a Charter and Warrant also granted unto them of ruling and governing the Church, and of ordaining Church▪offi∣cers, and that by joynt and common consent among themselves, Page  152 without the helpe and assistance of the people and congregations under them, which by God were never joyned in commission with them.

And howsoever Paul in the 1. of the Corinthians, chap. 6. for the taking away the scandall in going to Law before unbeleevers, gave them liberty to make choyce of somethat were least esteemed in the Church, for the deciding of their controversies; yet that did not authorize them to make choyce of all other Church Offi∣cers; for he limits them to go no farther then to the choyce of such as are of least esteeme. And howsoever likewise, the Apostles in the 6. of the Acts, to free themselves from all impediments, that they might the better attend upon their Ministeries, and that without interruption they might Preach the Gospell, gave them liberty to chuse their Decons and Deconesses: yet they prescribe the Rule by which they shall chuse them, and keep the authority of ordaining them still in their own hands: Looke you out among you, say they, men of honest report, full of the holy Ghost, and wisedome, whom we may appoint over this businesse, and when they had chose such, saith the Scripture, They put them before the Apo∣stles, and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. So that howsoever they gave unto them a Liberty to chuse, yet it was with limitation, not an absolute liberty; for if they had chose men that had not been of approved honesty, well gifted, and wise, and qualified as they appointed, it was arbitrary in the Apo∣stles to reject their choyce; for they keep the power of Ordination still in their own hands, and to them it did belong to ratifie their Election; so that the people had not the power of Ordination then, nor have not to this day, no not of the meanest Deacon or Deaconesse, that belongs onely unto the Presbytery, much lesse have they power of ordaining Presbyters.

Indeed for the deciding of controversies and differences, they have a liberty given them of making choise of some petty men amongst them▪ and that they may do without the Presbytery; but they have no power of Ordination. Neither did I ever yet read in the Sacred Scriptures that the people or Congre∣gation had any hand at all in choosing of Ministers and Pres∣byters, neither were they fit for that imployment; for it is one thing to judge of mans externall carriage and manners, and another thing of his sufficiency for his indowments and abilities Page  153 of learning, and that men of learning and knowledge onely can do, and the Sons of the Prophets; and it is in speciall given in charge to the Presbyters and Ministers, as it is manifest in the Epistles of Paul to Timothy and Titus, 1 Tim. 4. 14. Tit. 1. And they onely know how rightly to examine them, in the knowledge of the tongues and Sciences, and such Arts as are requisite, be∣sides the knowledge of the holy Scripture; all which are little enough for the making of a Minister compleat and fit for that Sacred imployment. And all the Primitive Churches in the Apostles times willingly submitted themselves to what the Pres∣bytery then did, and assented to their choyce, as in the 14. of the Acts vers. 23. it appeareth.

But I say, in that our brethren do acknowledge this company this hundred and twenty names, to be a church, and in that it is also suf∣ficiently manifest, that they are considered in a distinct notion from the people, which also in the holy Scriptures, when they are joyned with their Ministers, are called a church (as is frequently to be seen through the acts of the Apostles) and in that it doth abundantly ap∣pear, by what hath formerly been spoken, and will yet in the fol∣lowing discourse be farther elucidated, that there were many con∣gregations and Assemblies of beleevers in the Church of Ierusalem, and that they were all governed by the joynt consent and Common Councell of the Apostles and Presbyters, to whom the Apostles them∣selves were subject; who were sent this way and that way by their direction, and to whom they were to give an account of their Ministery, as we see in divers places in the Acts, and were ordered by them, what they should do, and also made their ap∣peals unto the Apostles and Presbyters in any businesse of com∣mon concernment: I say, in all these respects, it is evident, That the Church of Ierusalem consisted of many Congregations and Assemblies, and was yet but one Church, and that governed by a Presbyterian Government, and by a Common Councell of Mini∣sters, to whose order all the severall Congregation were to sub∣mit themselves; And therefore this their Argument maketh much against them and greatly for us. And this shall suffice to have an∣swered to this their first Objection; which, to speak the truth, is that that carrieth the most appearance of any Argument they pro∣duce to prove their Assertion and tenent: for all their other Objecti∣ons raised from the severall meetings of the Apostles and people, Page  154 and from the multitude comming to them about the ordaining of Deacons, by which they would perswade the world, That the company of Believers in the Church of Ierusalem was not so numerous at any time, but that they might all meete in one con∣gregation, or in one place, to partake of in acts of worship; they consist most of them in Homonymies, and meere Paralogismes, which indeed beseeme not the gravity of reverend men, and in the weighty matters of Divinity, would be undecent in a sucking Sophister; and therefore are much more blameworthy in them, who by such fallacies labour to amuse the people, to the distur∣bance of the whole Church and Kingdome, and alienating the affections of Brethren one from another.

I shall briefly runne over them. Acts 2. 46. where it is related, that the Believers and new Converts continued daily with one ac∣cord in the Temple, and breaking bread from house to house. From these words the Brethren conclude, That the multitude of Belie∣vers was not so great▪ but that they might all meete in one congre∣gation, and in one place, to partake in all acts of worship; for here in expresse words, the place where they met is specified, and it is said to be the Temple. I appeale to the wisdome of any lear∣ned man, or but of a rationall Christian, whether this be a candid or ingenuous way of arguing; That because 3000. Christians that were newly converted might meet together in the Temple of Jerusalem, Ergo, all that believed in Jerusalem that were converted by Iohn the Baptist, and all that believed by Christs ministery and miracles, and all that were converted by the Apostles, and the seventy Disciples before Christs sufferings, and all that were after his Resurrection converted for twenty years together, by the Ministry of all the Apostles, and all the other Ministers of the Gospell, they might yet all meete in any one place or Congregation, to partake in all acts of worship, and to edification. I refer this, I say, to the con∣sideration of any Learned man, or any intelligible Christian, whe∣ther this be an ingenuous way of arguing. I believe if one should argue against them after the same manner, they would laugh at him.

If one should thus dispute; Within these seven years, all the Independents continued daily with one accord in such a place, and they all met together in one congregation: Ergo, there is but one congregation, and but one Church still of Indeperdents in London,Page  155 and they all meet together in one congregation. Would not the Brethren make themselves as merry with such a way of dispu∣ting, as they have made others sad with their way of arguing? yes doublesse.

The truth is, their way of arguing is not to their owne honour, to speake but favourably of it, as will appeare. For should I grant unto them, that at that time this place of Scrip∣ture speakes of, there had beene no more Believers in Ierusalem, but those hundred and twenty names specified in the first Chapter of the Acts, and these three thousand new Converts; and accord also unto them, that all these did meet together in on place, and in one congregation, and did partake in all the Ordinances, which notwithstanding I cannot grant them, for divers reasons: for in the same place it is said, That although they continued daily in the Temple, yet they brake bread from house to house; that is to say, some of them did daily meet to hear the Word in the Tem∣ple, and then followed their severall imployments, and others in private, and they had the holy Communion or Sacrament in se∣verall houses; from which it is manifestly evident, that then when there were newly added to the Church but three thousand Believers, they had many and severall congregations and assem∣blies; and without all doubt as the multitudes of Believers in∣creased, they were still distributed into more congregations: for it is said, They brake bread from house to house; that is, they had their assemblies and meetings in severall houses and places, besides the Temple▪ and in those severall houses, they had not only the preaching of the Word and Prayer, but the administration of the Sacrament, and communicated in all the Ordinances; which they could not do in the Temple, as afterward will appeare: and all that I now say is evident from the 41. Verse of the same Chapter to the 47.

But I say, should I silence my own reason, and suffer it to speake nothing; and should I grantto our Brethren, that there were but three thousand, and that these three thousand Believers might all meet in one congregation, and partake in all the ordinances to edification: would it follow, that when ten thousand were added unto them, and twenty thousand more to them, and thirty thousand more to all these; would any may think or believe, that ten thousand men can meete in one congregation to edifie, and to partake inPage  156all the Ordinances, much lesse when there is so many thousands more added to them, that they could still meete in any one place or congregation? I thinke no man that hath not abdicated his understanding will so conclude. So that all men may see, not onely the weaknesse of this argumentation, but the strength of truth: For this very weapon with which they had thought to have defended themselves, and wounded the Truth, they wound themselves, and overthrow their own tenent; as God willing, I shall more fully by and by make appear.

But out of Chap. 5. our Brethren conceive they have a very strong and invincible Argument: where it is related, That after Ananias and Saphira were miraculously taken away, for lying unto the Spirit of God; It is said, That great feare came upon all the Church, and upon as many as heard these things. And by the hands of the Apo∣stles were many signes and wonders wrought among the people, and they were all with one accord in Solomons Porch. Ergo, say, they, the number of Believers in Ierusalem, was not so great, but that they might all meet together in one congregation; for the place where they did meet, is set downe, viz. in Solomons Porch: and it is further specified, That they were all with one accord in that place. This is their Argument faithfully and truly set downe, and with the best advantage for their cause. But to speake the truth, this kinde of arguing hath no force in it▪ neither doth it beseem grave men, to trifle thus, in the matters of God and Religion. For should I grant unto them, that all the Beleivers that then were in Ierusa∣lem, and had been converted by Iohn the Baptist, and by Christ, and all his Disciples, before the Passion and Sufferings of the Lord Iesus Christ; and the three thousand converted by the first Miracle and Sermon of Peter, after they had received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the five thousand after by the second Mira∣cle and Sermon, and after the new additions of so many multi∣tudes of Believers both of men and women, by reason of the mi∣racle wrought upon Ananias and Saphira his Wife; and the o∣ther miracles that the fifth Chapter speaketh of; should I say, grant that all these might yet have met in one place, and in any one congregation to communicate in all the Ordinances, which all reason forbids me to yeild to; will it follow, that when there were additions upon additions, and that of multitudes of Belie∣vers, that they might still meet in any one congregation to edifi∣cation, Page  157 and have communicated in all acts of worship? For in all reason we may conceive, had we no testimony out of the holy Scripture to back it, that if eight thousand were converted besides multitudes both of Men and Women, with a few Miracles and Sermons: and if at the first Preaching of the Gospell after the Re∣surrection there was such a great encrease, and such a multiplica∣tion of Christians; all understanding, I say, perswades, that in the space of twenty years, there will be innumerable multitudes ad∣ded daily to the Church, when the miraculous working of won∣ders with the same doctrine still continued▪ and with all, the same reason will dictate to any man, That then the whole multitude of all those Believers could not all meete together in one place, and in one congregation for edification, to communicate in all Ordinances. So that any judicious man, without the help of any great Schoole-learning, may perceive the invalidity and vanity of such argumentations.

And truly were it not that they are Brethren, and that I desire in the spirit of meeknesse to deale with them, I would have made it appear, that it is so poore a way of disputing, that it did not beseeme men of gravity, much lesse of learning; and that there were many wayes to evade the dint of such reasoning, and to prove the nothingnesse of the Argument, and that by the words of the Text: the people there spake of, to be in Solo∣mons Porch, are to be limited and confined within the number of those that were converted by the last miracle, and some other new miracles of the Apostles, which they were then wor∣king in Solomons Porch; for there is the place where the Apo∣stles and they were together; and I doe acknowledge, that as many as were then, and at that time, in Solomons Porch with the Apostles, were of one accord. But doth this with any rationall man conclude, that every Believer in Ierusalem, both Men and Women and all the Christians & Disciples in Ierusalem were then together in Solomons Porch, and in one Congregation? I am confident that no wise man will thinke so; for without all con∣troversie there were then such multitudes of Believers in the Church of Ierusalem, as neither many Porches nor many Tem∣ples could have contained their bodies, much lesse could they have all met in any one congregation to edifie. But I say I will not deale with Brethren so rigidly as I might, and there∣fore Page  158 wave many things that I might justly here utter.

But grant it were so, that now in the beginning of the Christian, church and if I may so speake in the infancy of it, That all the Believers then in Ierusalem might all meet together in one place; doth it follow that they might ever so doe in succeeding times, when there was such infinite increase of Christians daily added to the church? all reason wil contradict that assertion. Within this seven yeares, as all men know, one place and congregation would have contained all the Independents; but will one place now or ten con∣taine them? And there is no man as I conceive will deny, but that the Apostles and those Primitive Ministers, had another manner of converting faculty then our Brethen; for the Apostles as it is well known did not build upon others foundations; yea, they took it as a disparagement unto them; for so Saint Paul in the 15. of the Ro∣mans v. 20. affirmeth. Now our Brethren they build upon others foundations, and gather the sheep, and them the good and the fat sheep, with good fleeces on their backs; yea, the Velvit-sheep, and the Plush-sheepe, and the Sattin and Taffity-sheep, out of other Sheepheards folds; and while they seeme to gather Churches, they scatter them, and the poorsheep.

But I will proceed to the other Argument out of the sixth of the Acts, where it is related, That when the number of the Disciples was multiplyed (here we may take notice of multiplication) There arose a murmuring of the Greeks against the Hebrews, because the widdows were neglected in the daily ministration. And the Apostles called the multitude of the Disciples unto them, and gave them liberty to choose their Deacons, and it pleased the whole multitude, saith the Scripture. From thence our brethren conclude, That all the beleevers in the Church of Jerusalem came here together to the Apostles, and were then no more then could all meete in one congregation: as if our brethren should thus argue; As the wheel-barrow goes rumble, rumble, even so is Prelaticall Epis∣copacy better then the Presbyterian Government. But to be se∣rious: Should I grant unto the Brethren, That at this time, all the beleevers that were in the Church of Ierusalem, did then come together, and were all in one place, and might meet in one con∣gregation; doth it follow, when there was a dayly increase of more beleevers, and that of multitudes of them (as this very chapter signifies) that then also they might all meete together inPage  159one place or in one congregation in succeeding ages? I suppose no man will think or believe so But I must confess, that I cannot grant unto them, that by the multitude of beleevers here spake of, is to be un∣derstood every individuall Christian, or the greatest part of them, much lesse that all the whole body of them came together, and that for warrantable reason to the contrary. For the controversie and murmuring here spoken of, was not among all the Disciples and beleevers in Ierusalem, but onely between two Nations of them, viz. between the Greeks and the Hebrews. Now we are informed out of the second of the Acts verse 5. That there were dwelling in Ierusalem Iews, devout men, out of every Nation under heaven: for so in expresse words, it is said, of the which the Greeks were but one Nation, and the Hebrews another. So that all the Christians and Beleevers of all the other Nations, were of one minde, and in good accord among themselves, as the forego∣ing Chapters tell, and were at peace one with another, so that there was no murmuring amongst them, nor no controversie, con∣tention or variance, and they all continued quiet in their severall houses, and lived in love, and were none of that multitude here spoken of: so that of necessity, by the multitude in this place, we are to understand the Greeks onely and the Hebrews; for so in ex∣presse words it is specified: and this every rationall man can easily perceive.

Againe, by multitude here is to be understood not a confused company going in a tumultuous way, but a considerable number of rationall men of each differing and dissenting party, and such as were called and sent for by the Apostles, as it is commonly seen in those that go by way of complaint to petition to any councell, they send a competent multitude of understanding and able men, to grace their cause and to mannage the businesse: and not every particular and individuall person, men and women to negotiate it, which could not be without mighty confusion, which was not in this multitude: and therefore by multitude and the whole multitude, we are to understand, that both those parties that came to negotiate this businesse, were well satisfied with the Apostles Order, and they obeyed it: but from hence if any man would in∣fer and conclude, That every one of the beleeving Hebrews, and e∣very individuall beleeving Greek, that was then in Ierusalem, and that all the Greek Church and all the Hebrew Church, both men andPage  160women, not one person excepted were all in one place together before the Apostles; the whole world would judg, that this man thatshould thus argue, were very much crased in his brain: but much more would it argue a great imbecillity of wit and judgment in any one, to conclude, That all the beleevers in the Church of Ierusalem were there: And unlesse they can so conclude, the Argument is no∣thing to the purpose, nor of any validity to evince and prove the Assertion of our brethren. But if I should yeeld unto the brethren, these two things▪ the first, That all the beleeving Greeks and all the beleeving Hebrews, none excepted, were all before the Apostles in one place: yet still this will follow, that all the beleevers of e∣very severall Nation were not in this multitude and number: for they had nothing to do in the businesse, for they were no parties; so that the Argument is nothing to the purpose, but a meer fallacy to delude unstable soules, and to make them beleeve that bladders are Lanthorns.

Secondly, should I grant unto the brethren, that by multitude here, and by the whole multitude, all the beleevers then in Ierusa∣lem, were to be understood, and that then they might all meet in one congregation: doth it therefore follow, that many years after, when there was dayly such additions of multitudes of Beleevers, that they might all still meet together in one place, and in one congre∣gation for all acts of worship, and to be edified? I beleeve our Bre∣thren themselves the Independents will not grant it; yet they must grant it if they will stand to their principles.

But from this murmuring between the Greeks and the Hebrews, I, with very good reason, can frame an Argument to overthrow our Brethrens Tenent, and may from thence gather, That in the Church of Jerusalem there were many and severall Congregati∣ons, where they had all acts of worship; and that every severall nation had their severall congregations and severall assemblies, where they might heare the Word of God in their own language and to edification, and communicate in all Ordinances with com∣fort. For if there should arise a controversie in London, between the Dutch and the French, about points of Religion, or about a∣ny other matter of practice concerning Religion; and they should all apply themselves to the grave and learned Assembly for the de∣cision of it; would not all men gather that there were two di∣stinct congregations of them in the City? So it may well be con∣cluded Page  161 against our Brethren, that every severall Nation of Belie∣vers in Ierusalem, had their severall congregations and assemblies apart, (as well as the Greeks and the Hebrewes) where they might partake in all Ordinances to edification, and understand their Mi∣nisters Preaching to them in their owne language. As for my part, I verily beleeve it was so, and from warrantable reasons: and yet all these severall congregations made but one Church, and were under one Presbyterie: and for this my beliefe I shall give my reasons in the ensuing discourse. But had there beene but one Na∣tion in Ierusalem, so many thousand Believers as the Scripture re∣lates there was, could not all have met in one place, and in one con∣gregation, as all reason will perswade. So that all the Arguments of our brethren to the contrary, are but as so many Squibs which onely make a noise, and then vanish in the ayre; to say no more.

And these are the most rationall objections that as yet I ever heard from them, to the which I have briefly given my severall answers, which I hope by Gods assistance I shall ever be able to make good against them all.

And now I will goe on to prove, That by the ministry of the A∣postles, and the divers miracles daily wrought by them, after they had received the gifts of the Holy Ghost, there were such additions of multitudes of Believers to those that were converted by Saint John the Baptist, and our Saviour and his Disciples, before the death of John and the sufferings of our Saviour, that they could not all meet at any one time and in one place or congregation, to partake in all Ordinances; no, nor in a few; but were of necessity forced to be distributed into severall assemblies and congregations, and that before the Persecution, under the Persecution, and after the Persecution. And for proving of what I lay downe, which is still but the first conclusion I undertooke to make good, I will be∣gin with the first eight Chapters of the Acts, and then goe for∣ward to the ensuing story of the same Booke in order, to prove my assertion.

In the 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Chapters of the Acts, it is related how the holy Apostles imployed themselves in their several Ministeries, after they had received the gifts of the holy Ghost, & were indued with all power of working miracles, and had received the gifts also of tongues and languages; and the effects also of their Mini∣stry, preaching, and miracles, are there set downe at large: and Page  162 it is specified, that by meanes of that first miracle, when all the people of severall Nations heard the Apostles speak to them, every one in their severall tongues and languages (who were very well knowne to bee Galileans) that they were amazed to heare the wonderfull Works of God, and from their amazement it is said, they gave attention to the Sermon of Peter; the Sermon it selfe being there set downe, and the effect of it, which was, That when they had heard it, they were prickt in their heart, and said unto Pe∣ter and the rest of the Apostles, Men and Brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be Baptized every one of you in the name of Iesus Christ, for the remission of sins; and yee shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, &c. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day were added unto them about three thousand soules. And they continued stedfast in the Apostles Doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and prayer; And feare came upon every soule: and many signes and wonders were done by the Apostles: and all that believed were toge∣ther, and had all things common: and they continuing daily with one accord in the Temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladnesse and singlenesse of heart, praysing God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved. Here wee see, that by vertue of one Miracle and Sermon (God working with them) were added to the Believers, that Saint Iohn the Baptist, and Christ and his Disciples had converted, and such as were formerly baptized, three thousand more; a great Miracle: all which, with the many other that were converted afterward are called but one Church. For it is expresly said, that the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved. We heard of the great multitudes, and of a world of such as beleeved in Christ, before this Miracle and Sermon. And can any man in reason conceive, that all these could meet in any one place or congregation, to partake in all acts of wor∣ship? But let us goe on. In the 3. and 4. Chapter, by means of that Miracle that was wrought upon the Impotent Man, who was knowne to all the people to have bin a Cripple from his Mothers wombe, and through the powerfull preaching of Peter, who ex∣horted them to repent and to be converted, that their sinnes might be blotted out, when the time of refreshing should come from the pre∣sence of the Lord, &c. It is said, that many which heard the wordPage  163believed; and the number of those new Believers is there specified to be about five thousand men, which were also added unto the Church, and joyned to all the former Beleevers; so that wee have here eight thousand new Members added unto the Church, in a very little time: and this was a greater Miracle then the former. So that the Prophesie in the 110. Psalme, verse 3. was now fulfil∣led; That in the day of Christs power, his willing people from the wombe of the morning should be multiplied as the Dew upon the Earth. And which is not tobe passed by without due notice, It is supposed by the best Interpreters, and the most orthodoxe Writers, (and there is good reason for it) that these new Converts were Men, not Women and Children. And without doubt, these new Believers endeavoured to convert their Wives, Children, Ser∣vants, and Neighbours: and there is good reason also why wee should be induced to beleeve, that Truth, with such wonders and miracles annexed to it, should be as prevalent to convert Women, Children, Servants, and Neighbours, and whole Families; as er∣rours and novelties, in these our dayes, are able to misleade those poore creatures, that are ever learning, and never come to know∣ledge; and the which are carried about with every wind of do∣ctrine, and beleeve every new-borne truth (as they terme it) and follow every New Light, and every new-found way, though it tend to the confusion of the Church and Kingdome. It is said of that man of Sin, that Sonne of Perdition, that hee shall come after the working of Satan, with all power and signes and lying wonders, and with all deceiveablenesse and unrighteousnesse in them that pe∣rish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, 2 Thess. 2. But to see people so deluded without Miracles, is a Miracle. So that those poore Women that are carried about with every wind of doctrine, from that truth that was taught by Christ and his Apostles, and confirmed by so many Miracles; and those that doe and have mis-led them, have all of them a great deale to answer for. But this I speake by the way, conceiving that all those new Converts would endeavour, as the good Samaritan Woman did after her conversion, not only to bring their Wives, Children, and Families, but their Neighbours also, and whole Cities to the same faith. And I have that opinion also of all the Women and people of that Age, that they were as ready to im∣brace the truth, as the Women and people of this Age and in these Page  164 our times are to follow errors. But let us now see what effects the other Miracles wrought upon the people that are related in the 5. C. as of Ananias & Saphira his wife, who for tempting the Spirit of God, were both stricken downdead and gave up the Ghost; and the o∣ther Miracles wrought by the Apostles. It is said in Vers. 11. That fear came upon all the Church, and to as many as heard these things (& that to the rest, viz. the Scribes and Pharisees, the Maglinant party) durst no man joyne himselfe▪ And Believers were added unto the Lord, multitudes, both of men and women: Here come in the good Women now. And in Verse 26. it is said, that the Captaine, with the Officers, brought the Apostles with∣out violence (for they feared the people, least they should have stoned them.) It will not be amisse briefly to take notice of the severall effects these Miracles wrought.

Thefirst is, That great fear of offending God came on all the Church, Gods own people; which notwithstanding of the many additions of Believers is called still but one Church.

The second That none durst joyne themselves to the contrary party, the Pharisaicall malignant crew.

The third, That Believers were added to the Church, and that multitudes, no small companies both of Men and Women. Here is a new increase, and that a great one.

The fourth is, that the very Captain and Officers were awed and kept in feare, by reason of the multitude of Believers: so that those that feared not God were afraid of his servants. By which it may be gathered, That the party of Believers did ballance the number of the incredulous and Pharisacall party, if not by far exceed them, And therefore by all probability, must needs be an innumerable company and a mighty multitude; and such a number as could not all meet in any one place or congregation, to partake in all the Ordi∣nances.

And to say nothing of the diversity of Tongues and Languages which were not given to the Apostles to be uselesse and of no pro∣fit; nor to speake any thing of the divers Jewes that were then dwelling at Jerusalem, devout Men and Women, out of every Nation under Heaven; which notwithstanding may be a suffici∣ent argument to prove, That they all had their severall meeting pla∣ces, and their severall Ministers to preach unto them in their se∣verall Languages, that they might be edified. I say, for the pre∣sent Page  165 to wave all this, let us take notice what is positively set down in the last Verse of the fifth Chapter, that is, That the Apostles daily in the Temple and in every house, ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ; That is to say, they preached both publickly and privately, and the very places where they preached are set down, as in the Temple, and in every house. So that of necessity, there must be severall congregations and assemblies of Belivers in Ierusalem, according to that in the 2. of the Acts vers. the 46. where it said, That they continued daily with one accord in the Temple, and breaking of bread from house to house, which by all Interpreters is understood the administration of the Lords Sup∣per: and that the severall assemblies and congregations were wont usually to meet in private houses, is frequently mentiond in the holy Scriptures, as in the 16. of the Romanes verse the 5. and in the 1. of the Corinthians chap. 16. vers. 19. Col. 4. 14. and Saint Paul in the 20. of the Acts vers. 20. saith, That he kept back nothing that was profitable unto them, but taught them publikely and from house to house, so that they had their Assemblies as well private as publicke, even in the Church of Ephesus, where they did partake in all acts of worship; and in that Church also they had many Pres∣byters, and yet were but one Church.

But now I will passe on to the sixth chapter in the 1, 2, 3. and 7, verses it is said, That in those dayes, when the number of Disciples was multiplyed, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the He∣brews, because their widdows were neglected in their dayly mini∣stration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the Disciples un∣to them, and said, It is not reason that wee should leave the Word of God and serve tables. Wherefore brethren looke you out among you seven men of honest report, and full of the holy Ghost and wis∣dome, whom we may appoint over this businesse. But we will give our selues contiunally to prayer and to the ministery of the Word, vers. 7. And the Word of God increased, and the number of the Disciples multiplyed in Jerusalem greatly, and a great company of the Priests were obedient unto the faith. In the which words, we may take notice briefly of these observables.

The first, of the cunning and policy of the Devill, who when he cannot by all his wiles and stratagems assault the Church without, then he labours to assaile it within, as here with civill discords and differences among brethren: and in other Churches in all ages even Page  166 in, and from the Apostles times, by dissentions in opinions, by Sects, Schisms, Factions, and Heresies; and by these his wiles and craft, he first bringeth in difference in opinion, and afterwards diversity of affection, and that among brethren; and all this he doth, that in fine, he may bring ruine upon them all. And thus he be∣gan with the Church of Ierusalem, raising a controversie between the Hebrews and the Greeks, who complained That their widdows were neglected in the daily ministration; as either that they were not made Deaconesses, as the widdows of the Hebrews were, or that there was not an equall distribution of the Almes, according to the intention of the Church, who sold their possessions and goods to that end, that they might be parted to all men, as every one should have need, Acts 2. vers. 44, 45. chap. 4. v. 35. And this their supposi∣tion was the cause of that controversie.

The second observable, is, To whom the differing and dissenting parties did apply themselves and appeal; and that was to the Presbytery or Colleage of Apostles, not to any one of them par∣ticularly, but to the twelve; as in that difference at Antioch, Acts 15. Paul and Barnabas and certain other of the Brethren in the Church of Antioch appealed to the Apostles and Presbyters, and in both those differences all the Churches submitted them∣selves to the Apostles Order, and that willingly: and this exam∣ple of the Apostles, is the Rule for ordering of all controversies that all the reformed Churches set before them; deciding all de∣bates in Religion by the Word of God, and according to the pre∣sident they have laid downe unto them, by the Apostles and Pres∣byters in Ierusalem. Here I say, the whole Presbytery and Col∣ledge of the Apostles determined the businesse; neither do we reade, that the Assemblies of the Hebrews and Greeks at Ierusa∣lem, or the Church of Antioch, pretended their own Indepen∣dent authority, though severall Congregations, or challenged a power within themselves, of choosing their own Officers, or de∣termining of differences amongst themselves, or pleaded that they had Authority within themselves, to make their own Laws by which they would be orderd, or that they challenged any such priviledges unto themselves, but they all appealed unto the Pres∣bytery at Ierusalem, as the supreamest Ecclesiasticall Court, and freely submitted themselves to their arbitrement, and to the Order they set down, as the story specifieth.

Page  167 The third observable is, the imployment in which the Apostles were all taken up, and the effect of it; and their imployment is said to be continuing in prayer and the Ministery, and preaching of the Word; and the effect of this their Ministery was, That the Word of God increased, and the number of the Disciples multiplyed in Jerusalem greatly, and a great company of the Priests were obe∣dient to the faith. By all which it is most apparent, that such mul∣titudes being dayly added to the Church, and where there was such variety of teachers, and so many Apostles, and all of them taken up in preaching; and where there was so many different Nations, and such diversities of tongues and languages as was in the Church of Ierusalem, they could not all meet together at any one time, or in any one place to edification, and that they might all com∣municate in all the Ordinances, but of necessity they must be distri∣buted into severall Congregations and Assemblies, if they would a∣voyde confusion; and all that I now speak is evident by the very light of Nature and all reason; and therefore it followeth, That there were many Assemblyes and Congregations in Jerusalem, and yet all made but one Church, and that that Church was Presbyteri∣anly governed. But that I may make this truth more evidently yet appear, I will first out the former discourse frame severall Argu∣ments, and then go on to the ensuing history. And out of all these six chapters I thus argue.

Where there were eight thousand new converts, besides women and children, by vertue of some few miracles and Sermons, after Christs Resurrection added to the Church of Ierusalem, and the society of beleevers, besides those that were convertedby John the Baptist and Christ and his Apostles Ministery, before his suffering; and to the which also there were afterwards great multitudes of Beleevers both of men and women, and a great company of the Priests joyned; in so much that they kept the very Officers and Souldiers in awe, and struk a feare and terrour into them: there they could not all meet together in any one place or Congregation, to partake in all acts of Worship, but of necessity must be distributed into divers As∣semblies and Congregations. But in the Church of Jerusalem there were eight thousand new converts, besides women and children, by virtue of some few miracles and Sermons after Christs Resurrecti∣on added to the Church and society of Beleevers, besides those that were converted by John the Baptist, and Christ and his Apostles Page  168 Ministry, before his sufferings; and to which also there were after wards great multitudes of Beleevers both of men and women, and a great company of Priests also joyned; insomuch as they kept the ve∣ry Officers and Souldiers in awe, and struck a fear and terrour into them. Ergo, They could not all meet together in any one place or Congregation, to partake in all acts of worship, but of necessity must be distributed into divers Assemblyes and Congregations if they would all be edified.

For the Major it is so evident, that I cannot beleeve that a∣ny rationall man will deny it: for who yet did ever see an Assem∣bly of above ten thousand people in any one place or Congregati∣on, that could partake in all the Ordinances to edification? Yea, to af∣firme this, is to fight against common reason and dayly experi∣ence. For the Minor, it is proved by the severall places above quoted, and therefore the conclusion doth also of necessity fol∣low.

This Argument, is so well grounded upon the Scripture of truth, and corroborated also with such solid reasons as it is a won∣derfull thing, that there should bee any man now living in these dayes of light and knowledge that should be either so ignorant or erroneous as to gainsay it; and yet learned Master Knollys in his moderate answer as he calleth it, pag. 8. and 9. replyeth and answe∣reth to it, by denying the Minor of my Syllogisme for very slen∣der reasons as his custome is after this manner: I will give you his owne words which are these.

There is no mention (saith he) in any Scripture quoted by the Do∣ctor of eight thousand new Converts besides women and children. Neither doth that Scripture produced Acts 4. 4. prove any such thing. For the Reader may consider, that the number of them there mentioned are but five thousand; and albeit the Dr. make them up eight thousand, by saying those five thousand men were added to the Church, and joyned to the former beleevers, pag. 57. Yet there is a two-fold mistake in the Doctors addition, to wit; first, that some of the three thousand (may be) were women, & how then can the Doctor say, there were eight thousand new Converts besides women? se∣condly, these five thousand, are only called men and not Converts, not beleevers. For howbeit many of them hearing the word belee∣ved, yet it is not said, the five thousand men beleeved; and the truth i, the text well considered, only holds forth, that the number of Page  169 men was wade up five thousand. These are Master Knollys owne expressions, and all that hee hath to say against this Argument, with his confused reasons or rather triflings.

What man but of ordinary capacity, that had but cursorily read over my Arguments, would not have observed the truth so plaine and evidently laid downe in them▪ and confirmed with such reasons, as hee would not onely have beene well satisfied there∣with, but would have judged it either great blockishnesse in any and apparent ignorance to have yet doubted of it, or great temeri∣ty and contentiousnesse of spirit to have gainsayed such evident demonstration of verity? And yet Mr. Knollys out of the sublimi∣ty of his learning, being a confident Disputant, not onely con∣futes mee, but repels the very Scripture it selfe, and resists the Spirit of God, which is usually with him and his Complices, and all out of the spirit of error and contention to maintaine their severall factions. So that it may be admired, that such men are not abandoned and abhorred of all people truly fearing God, espe∣cially, when they see their whole study and indeavour, is, to delude and seduce poore silly creatures. But I desire the Reader here deliberately to weigh and consider what the man saith; hee deny∣eth that there is any mention in any Scripture quoted by mee, of eight thousand new Converts, besides women and children, whereas in the second Chapter of the Acts which I cited, there is mention made of three thousand added to the Church by the first Miracle and Sermon of the Disciples, and this Master Knollys himselfe doth acknowledge, pag. 8. of his Pamphlet. His words are these. To whom were added, viz. to all those that were conver∣ted before by Johns and Christs Ministry about three thousand soules, &c. Here hee confesseth there were three thousand soules added to the Church; neither is there any mention of women a∣mongst them; and in the fourth Chapter hee likewise acknow∣ledgeth, that the number mentioned there, is five thousand. His words are these. For the Reader may consider, that the number of them there mentioned, are but five thousand. Thus hee. Now all the world knowes, that three thousand and five thousand are eight thousand, and the Scriptures quoted by mee made mention of these eight thousand, what so ever M. Knollys saith to the contrary. So that no man of understanding, can doubt of the truth of what I asserted. For that which is confirmed by the testimony of the ho∣ly Page  170 Scripture, were it single and by it selfe, ought by all Christians to be beleeved; but that which hath both the holy Scripture, and learned Master Knollys his owne witnesse to confirme it, that hee cannot with any good reason deny, but that there was three thou∣sand soules at the first Miracle and Sermon of the Apostles after Christs Ascension added to the Church, and five thousand after, both the Holy Scripture affirmeth, and Master Knollys acknow∣ledgeth it: Ergo, there were eight thousand new Converts added unto the Church at Ierusalem: for these were distinct actions or effects of the Ministry of the Apostles, and produced at severall times, and upon severall occasions, from the Miracles and preach∣ing of the Apostles: for otherwise they would not have been ta∣ken such notice of as such wonders, and have beene so distinctly set downe with all the severall circumstances both of time, place, and persons; neither would there have beene such running and going, questioning and consulting about that busines, by the Magi∣strates and Officers, as there was, if some new and strange thing had not happend and falne out: for men doe not usually wonder at ordinary occurrences. Now when the holy Scripture relateth this new miracle in the 4. of the Acts, as an unexpected thing and sud∣denly hapning & as a matter of great admiration & astonishment, yea of terrour to the enemies, from the curing of the Criple, & from the preaching of Peter & Iohn, & asserteth withal, that many which heard the word, beleeved, & the number of the men was about 5. thou∣sand, v. 4. It is apparently evident, that as this was a new act & di∣stinct from the former: so that the conversion of these five thou∣sand, was a new effect and distinct one from the former, and is of purpose set down by the holy Ghost by it selfe severally, to be taken notice of as a matter of more admiration than the conversion of three thousand, by how much it was a greater work of the Spi∣rit of God, by another miracle and Sermon, to convert five thou∣sand, then three thousand. And without all controversie, it was thus recorded with all its circumstances for this very end, that it should for ever be taken notice of, as a distinct miracle and work of wonder from the former. For the holy Ghost is very accurate in the relation of it, and very carefull that there should be no mistake in the whole businesse: for in expresse words and termes it is said, Notwithstanding all the opposition that was made by the Priests and by the Captain of the Temple, and the souldiers, to hinder the Page  171 preaching of the Word, and to smother this miracle, yet many of them that heard the word (saith the Scripture) beleeved. And that there might yet be no mistake or fallacy in the story and narration, the very sum and accompt of those that were converted and be∣leeved by reason of this last miracle and Sermon, is specified, par∣ticularized, and set down in these words, and the number of the men, (viz. that beleeved, saith the Scripture) was about five thou∣sand. So that the Scripture it selfe sets down the number and cal∣leth them men, and not women and children. And it is very safe alwayes to speak as the word of God teacheth us. So that to any intelligible Christian, there can be no doubt or scruple any longer left about this point. For that which God himselfe hath dictated by his holy spirit and recorded in his holy word, we may not gain∣say; but God hath dictated by his holy spirit and recorded it in his holy word that the multitude that was converted and believed up∣on that new miracle and preaching of Peter & Iohn was about five thousand men; Ergo, it is not to be gainsaid but to be beleeved and received as an everlasting truth by all Christians. For as I said before, this was a new effect or a new act and distinct and diffe∣rent from the former; and therefore these five thousand are to be considered by themselves and apart. Now five thousand and three thousand put and joyned together make up eight thousand, which were all added to the Church, to all the former that were conver∣ted by the Ministery of Iohn the Baptist, Christ and his Disciples in Christs life time; and therefore there is no mistake in my addition as Mr. Knollys fondly and childishly concludes: and his reasons by which he would prove my mistake, are as vaine and senselesse. For (saith he) some of the three thousand (may be) were women, and how can the Doctor say there were eight thousand new converts be∣sides women? Take notice I pray of the vanity of his expression; Some of the three thousand (saith he) may be were women: and it may be they were not, and it standeth with as good reason they were not, as any he can bring to prove they were, although I did not set it down as my own opinion, but said onely, That it was the judgement of many learned men, that all those eight thousand that were converted by those two miracles and Sermons were men, and not women and children: and therefore Mr Knollys here commits a double errour: first, in making that my opinion and ascribing that to me which I onely then related as the judgement of others, and Page  172 then left it in medio; that is his first error; his second is worse: for whereas the Holy Scripture saith, that there were three thousand soules added unto the Church by the first Miracle and Sermon, and five thousand by the second, in the fourth of the Acts, Master Knollys peremptorily affirmeth they were but five thousand in all, & so gives the Spirit of God the lye; who declares there were three thousand at one time, & five at another added to the Church. But if there were but 5. thousand in all, as M. Knollys asserteth, then by his own acknowledgement they were all men and not women; and so then I had committed no error, neither can M. Knollys convince me of an error if I had said it as my own opinion that al those that were converted by those two Miracles, had been all men, and not women and children: For, for the five thousand, the word of God saith they were all men and not women, the words are these in the Originall, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: the number of men (according to Master Knollys his owne interpretation) was five thousand; and if there were five thousand men, then not women. And wee find in the Holy Scripture that the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, is alwayes taken for men, as we may see it, Matth. 15. verse 38. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and they that did eat were foure thousandmen, besides women and children. So that amongst these five thousand by the testimony of the holy Scrip∣ture, and in the judgement of Master Knollys & by his owne inter∣pretation they were all men and no women; now then if all the whole number of Beleevers that were converted by those two Mi∣racles and Sermons mounted in all but to five thousand, as Ma∣ster Knollys affirmeth they did not, and were all men as hee accor∣deth, to what purpose then doth hee rayse a new and needlesse ca∣vill against mee, because I said that it was the opinion of many learned men that those that were converted by these two mira∣cles and sermons were all men and not women and children: For I did not as I said before, relate it as my owne judgement, neither did I say there were no women amongst those eight thousand, but that it was the opinion of the learned, that they were all men on∣ly, and not women and children. But were I of as contentious a spirit as Master Knollys, and that it tended to edification, I could bring better reasons to prove they were men only and not women, then either he or any of his Fraternity can produce to the contra∣ry. But Mr. Knollys himself seemeth but faintly to assert that there Page  173 were any of them Women and Children: for he saith, it may be some of the 3. thousand were women, & thus he trifles in his answer to my first Argument, saying, it may be there were no more Be∣leevers in Ierusalem at the Feast of Pentecost but the hundred and twenty names. Now all the learned know, that to say, it may bee there were some women, makes no reall conviction of a mistake, it is but a naked and groundlesse supposition of a mistake, especially when there may be many solid reasons produced to prove they were all men and no women and children.

And therefore such kind of triflings are not sufferable in any that pretend to fear God: for vain janglings and needlesse contentions about words, is that that is condemned by the Apostle in all Mi∣nisters, in his Epistles to Timothy and Titus, and it troubles me not a little, that I have to do with such vaine kind of creatures, whose cheese bable is about words. But notwithstanding I see a providence in it: for in this, the man shewes but his ignorance, and whiles he would perswade the Reader, that he is very acute he shewes himselfe to be a very child in the art of disputation. There is an old saying, give some men rope enough and they will hang themselves. Even so it is here with Master Knollys whiles he takes that liberty to himself to run out in his discourse he intangles himself on every side as by the sequell will appeare, as here. He sayd that there was no mention in any Scripture quoted by me of eight thousand, and he denyed withall that the Scripture doth prove any such thing: and asserted moreover that the whole number of all those converts amouted but to five thousand, and he said that all these were men and not women, and yet here he confutes himself; I desire all therfore to take notice of the vanity of the man. He had confidently concluded there were but five thousand in all, and asserted that they were all men, and notwith∣standing as it were in the same breath, he makes mention of three thousand more of another company amongst the which he sayth some of them might be women: So that by his own concessi∣on, here is two distinct numbers or companies, one consisting of 5. thousand and all men and no women, and another consist∣ing of three thousand more, of which he makes a scruple saying that amongst them there might be some women: So that if the five thousand were all men, and there was yet another com∣pany of three thousand more besides, amongst which there might Page  174 be some women, as Master Knollys saith, then this three thousand was a distinct company from the former: now three thousand amongst the which there might be some women, and five thou∣sand all men, makes up full eight thousand, so that Master Knollys by his whibling againe and againe Volens nolens confirmes my assertion that the full number of those converts by these two mira∣cles & Sermons was eight thousand, and for ought any thing can be said to the contrary, they were all men besides women and children; and this is all he gaines by his fond caviling and con∣tention to prove himselfe a very jangler, and one like that wicked servant, that condemns himself by his own mouth. And this shall suffice to have spake for proofe of the number viz: that there were eight thousand besides women and children.

And now I come to his second reason, by which he labours to evince and prove they were not converts & beleevers, which I hope to make appeare to be not only groundlesse, but to be most impious and wicked, as giving the Spirit of God the lye and indeede de∣structive to their own tenents and principles. His words are these.

These five thousand (saith he) are onely called men, and not con∣verts, not believers; for howbeit, many of them hearing the word believed, yet it is not said the five thousand men beleeved. And the truth is, the text well considered, only holds forth that the number of men was made up five thousand. Thus Master Knollys.

For my owne particular, I stand astonished at the vanity, sensles∣nes and wickednesse of the man; for his words are not only a∣gainst the light of reason and the judgement of all the learned, and the very opinion of the Independents themselves, who hold that they were all converts and beleeves, but they are contradictory to the Spirit of God, giving the holy Ghost the lye as I said be∣fore; for the Scripture saith notwithstanding all the resistance and opposition made by the enemies of the Gospell to hinder the work of the Ministry: and notwithstanding all the persecution that was raysed against them for this very end, I say notwithstan∣ding all their indeavour, the holy Ghhst saith, that many of them which heard the word believed, and the number of men was five thousand. Here are two truths evidently laid downe contrary to Master Knollys his errors.

Page  175The first is, that they are not only called men, but beleevers: for saith the Scripture, they that heard the word believed.

Secondly, the number of those that believed, is there in terminis set downe to be five thousand, and the number of the men (viz. that believed) saith the text was five thousand▪ So that from this testimony of Scripture and from all my arguments deduced from thence, these two conclusions do follow evidently.

The first, that Master Knollys is a very wicked man, that thus at pleasure can give the Spirit of God the lye and oppose the truth it selfe upon all occasions.

The second, that there were more believers in the Church of Ierusalem, then could possibly all meete in any one place and con∣gregation to partake in all acts of worship, and that in its very in∣fancy; for here we read of eight thousand more cnoverts besids wo∣men and children; for the Scripture maketh mention of no women nor children newly added to all those that were converted by Iohn the Baptist, and by the ministry of Christ and his Disciples in Christs life time, and all they were innumerable: for all Jerusa∣lem went out unto them and were baptised, besides the many other thousands that the Scripture recordeth were daily added to these, all which I say could not possibly meete in one congrega∣tion to edification. And the truth of these conclusions I am most assured, will appeare so cleare in the judgement of all the learned as they wil gather that Mr. Knollys & his complices that thus sottishly oppose it, ought severely to be punished for these their wicked pra∣ctices who for the upholding of their own errors and for their base lucre and gain & for worldly ends care not what they say or do to the disturbance of church & State, for the seducing of the poor peo∣ple and hindring of the work of reformation so much to be desired.

But before I passe on to Master Knoylls his other Cavills, I shall desire the reader a little to consider what I have yet in this place to say to him. These five thousand (saith he) are called men, and not con∣verts, not believers; for howbeit many of them hearing the Word belie∣ved, yet it is not said the five thousand men believed. And the truth is, the text well considered, only holds forth that the number of men was made up 5. thousand. From hence I gather if these words of his may be credited, that it may be a very well formed Church after the new testament forme, (for this Church at Ierusalem was such an one by the confession of all the Independents) although they be Page  176 not all visible Saints, but many of them unbeleevers, Iewes and Infidels, and be not true converts; and that for the moulding up of a true Church after the new testament forme, it is not abso∣lutely necessary that they should be all visible Saints; for here Master Knollys says they were mixt good and bad together, it is not said saith he the five thousand men believed and yet they were all members: so that by his doctrine some of them were unbelievers, and notwithstanding they were all moulded up in∣to a Church body: so that they were not all visible Saints, and yet the true Saints and believers made no separation from the other: but they all continued together in Church fellowship both Saints and infidels and communicated in all Ordinances. Now whe∣ther or no Master Knollys by this doctrine of his doth not fight against the opinion of all his brethren, and utterly overthrow all the new fabricke of Independency, I leave it not onely to the judgement of the learned of the congregationall way (if there be any such) but to the censure of the seven new churches of which he is one of the pastours, and an other Saint Diotrephes, who if they do not punish him for this his Grollery, I will say they deserve censure and punishment themselves.

But this is not all I have here to say to Mr Knollys; I have this also to adde, that if any credit may be given to his words, there will then be no certainty in any thing the Scripture relateth unto us. For he saith, That those five thousand that were added to the Church are called men, and not Converts and Beleevers; and how∣beit many of them believed, yet it is not said the five thousand believed. So that if he may be credited, all that the holy Scripture hath related unto us concerning the conversion of these men is a meere fable: for the Scripture saith they believed, and he affirmeth the contrary, and sayth they were only called men and not converts not believers. Whether this fellow therefore ought not to be cast out of the seven Churches, and out of all the Churches of the world for this his wickednesse and temerity, I leave it to the judgement of all the learned, either dependents or independents. and so I will passe to his other good stuffe which in its due place you shall meete with. But in the meane time out of all the above quoted places of Scripture, I thus farther argue.

Where there was almost an hundred preachers and Ministers, be∣sides the twelve Apostles, and all these continually taken up in prayer Page  177 and preaching, and could not leave their Ministry to serve tables: and where there was such a company of believers and people as did imploy them all; there of necessity they must be distributed into divese congregations and assemblies, if they would all be edified and avoyd confusion, and partake in all ordinances. But in the Church of Jerusalem there was almost an hundred preachers and Ministers, besides the twelve Apostles; and all these were continually taken up in prayer and preaching and could not leave their ministry to serve tables: and where there was such a company of believers and people as did employ them all, there of necessity they must be distri∣buted into diverse congregations and assemblies, if they would all be edified, and avoyd confusion and partake in all Ordinances.

For the major, very reason and the common light of understan∣ding, without any reluctation will assent unto it. And for the Minor, it is manifest from Chapter the 1. ver. 21. 22. and from chapter the sixt ver. the 2 and 4. and chapter the 8. ver. 1. So that the conclu∣sion is undenyable. But out of all the former places I thus farther argue.

Where there were people of al nations under the heavens, and them in some multitudes, and most of them believers and devout men and women which waited upon the Ordinances and had a desire daily to heare the Word; there of necessity they must be distributed into divers and sundry congregations and assemblies, and have such to preach unto them severally in their owne language; or else they could not partake in all acts of worship to edification. But in the Church of Jerusalem there were people of all Nations under the Heavens, and them in some multitudes, and most of them Believers and devout Men and Women, that waited upon the Ordinances, and had a desire dayly to heare the Word. Ergo, of necessity they must be distributed into divers congregations and assemblies, and have such to preach unto them severally in their owne language, or else they could not partake in all acts of worship to edification.

For the Major, no reason can gainsay it, for the Apostles and the other Ministers imployed all those gifts of the Holy Ghost, and those divers languages which they had received for the edificati∣on of the Church, to the utmost, and did improve all opportunities for the converting of the people committed unto their charge, and for the further building of them up in their holy faith, which was Page  178 their calling and imployment: and this they could not have done, unlesse they taught those Nations in their severall Languages; and that they could not do without confusion, unlesse they were distri∣buted in severall assemblies, where they might distinctly heare their own Languages. For otherwise, as Saint Paul saith in the 1 Cor. 14. 23. if men should speak to the people with unknown tongues, if the unlearned, saith he, come in and unbelievers, will they not say that they are all mad? And therefore Tongues are given for a signe, not to them that believe, but to them that be∣lieve not. Now they were devout Men in Ierusalem and Belie∣vers; and therefore the Apostles and Ministers were to speake to them severally in their own languages: and for that purpose God gave them those Tongues, and that diversity of languages, that those that were Believers might be more edified, and that the unbelievers and unlearned, & such as belonged unto Gods election, might be con∣vinced and judged of all; and that the secrets of their hearts might be manifested, that so falling down upon their face they might wor∣ship God, and report that God was in them of a truth, as the Apostle there saith. So that I say for the Major, no reasonable creature will call it in question.

And for the Major, it is manifest out of the Chap. 2. Vers. 5. &c. and in Chap. 6. Vers. 1. and Vers. 2. 4. And for the con∣clusion, that from the Premises doth also ensue.

Againe, I thus further argue out of the former Chapters.

That which the holy Scripture in expresse words and in diverse places hath declared unto us that every Christian is bound to be∣lieve: but the Scripture in expresse words and in diverse places hath declared unto us, that there were diverse assemblies and con∣gregations of Believers in the Church of Jerusalem, and that the Apostles and all the Believers in Jerusalem, did continue daily with one accord in the Temple; and that they brake bread from house to house, and that daily in the Temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Iesus Christ. Ergo, there was diverse con∣gregations and severall assemblies of Believers in the Church of Je∣rusalem, where they did daily partake in all the Ordinances, and en∣joyed all acts of worship.

For the Major, no Christian can deny it. For the Minor, it is manifest from 46 Verse of the 2 Chapter, and Chap. 5. vers. 12. and vers. 42. and Chap. 3. vers. 12, 13. and many more Page  179 places that might be produced. And in those places it is not onely said they preached in every house, but that they brake bread from house to house; by which expression all Writers interpret, the holy Communion, and partaking of the Lords Supper: and if it should not so be understood, we never can reade that any Christians in Ierusalem besides the Apostles, ever enjoyed all acts of worship, especially those that are peculiar to Church Communion.

It is related often that they preached the Word daily in the Temple, which was common to Iewes and Christians (though no Jewish worship) as all men acknowledge. And by evident Arguments it may be proved, that they never administred the Sa∣craments in the Temple, those discriminating and distinguishing Ordinances of the Christian Church; as all the most Orthodox Interpreters gather from the ensuing words, where it is said, They continued daily with one accord in the Temple; but when they speake of the Administration of the Lords Supper, it is expres∣sed in these words, and breaking of bread from house to house, which is interpreted by all Divines, of Sacramentall bread; which phrase and manner of speaking is usually so expounded by all the Learned, upon Acts the 20. vers. the 7. And our Brethren do not deny this. And it is well known, that the Primitive Chri∣stians had their meetings and assemblies in private houses, as by the many places is manifest, which I cited but a little before.

Besides, the Sacrament of breaking bread is no Temple-ordinance; and therefore could not be adminis••ed in the Temple with the safety of the Christians and Believers: for if they were so highly displeased with the Apostles, for preaching Iesus and the Resur∣rection, in the Temple, as it appeareth Acts 4. 2. They would not have suffered them to have administred the Sacraments there. And if Paul was so assaulted, Acts 21. 28. for being but supposed to have brought Greeks into the Temple, what would these men have done, if one should have brought in a new Ordinance, and a new worship and service; and that so contrary to their legall rights? Surely the Iewes would never have suffered it, neither do the Brethren contend for this.

Now it is well known that in the Primitive Church, if not eve∣ry day, yet every first day of the Week at least, they met together to break bread; that is to receive the holy Sacrament, which was ne∣ver without preaching, as we see in Acts 20. 7. and in the places Page  180 above quoted: in which it is said, they dayly brake bread together, and that in severall and particular houses; and that of necessity must be; for a few houses could not have held so many thousands, as all reason will dictate: and if they were or could be contained under one roof, yet they must be forced to be in diverse and seve∣rall chambers or roomes. So that what is done and spoke in the one, the other knowes nothing of it, so that they are still severall congregations: as under the roofe of Pauls there are diverse meeting▪places where Men may partake in all Ordinances, and they are called severall Churches; and they that meet there several congregations, though under one roof: for the distinction of the places under one covert, makes alwayes a distinct assembly, as it is dayly seen in the severall Committees at Westminster; where every Committee of both Houses have their severall roomes and equall authority, and are yet all but one Parliament, though di∣stributed into so many severall assemblyes. So here, they had se∣verall assemblies, and that in severall houses, as is declared: and reason it selfe, without any testimony of holy Scripture, will per∣swade this: for the Apostles they all preached, and that dayly; and they must have severall roomes to preach in, to avoyde confu∣sion: for all things in the Church must be done in order, and they must have severall auditories or assemblies, or else they should preach to the walls: so that if the Apostles would all preach; and the people all heare, of necessity they must be distributed into se∣verall congregations and assemblyes, to avoyde disorder; and that there were severall congregations and severall assemblies, the pla∣ces above specified do declare and tell us. So that there is no man that resolves not to oppose all truth that is contrary to his received opinion, but may evidently perceive that there were many congre∣gations and assemblies in the Church of Ierusalem, and yet they all made but one Church, and were govern'd by one Presbytery; as the many Committees in both Houses are in divers roomes, and make divers assemblies, and have equall power and authority among themselves; and yet they all make but one Parliament; and all those severall Committees are govern'd by the joynt consent of the Great Civill Presbytery of the Kingdome, which is all the Parlia∣ment, and all this without confusion, yea, with most excellent or∣der and decency.

This is the last argument I produced out of the above cited Page  181 Scriptures to prove that there were many assemblies of belee∣vers in the Church of Ierusalem before the persecution: And con∣cerning this argument Mr Knollys before he comes to answer it, makes a little sucking preamble. His words are these.

But the Doctor (saith he) hath one argument which is more to the purpose then all the other, which I desire the reader seriously to consi∣der: page 64. Thus he.

His Answer to this Argument is as followeth, I will set down all his own words, which are these.

Now I desire the Reader to consider how the Doctor proves his Minor, which he saith it manifest from Acts 2. 46. and chapter the 5. 12. 42. and chapter 3. 11. 12. and many more places that might be produoed. page 64, 65, 66. In all which discourse, the Doctor gives you nothing but his own suppositions and conclusions, for the proofe of his Minor proposition, which is his manner of discoursing through his booke.

This Argument (saith he) I answer; First by denying the assump∣tion or Minor proposition, and the reason of my denying it is, because the Scriptures produced by the Doctor, do not in expresse words de∣clare, that there were divers assemblies and congregations of belee∣vers in the Church of Jerusalem. The Scriptures quoted do in ex∣presse words declare the contrary to what the Doctor would prove. For Acts the 2. verse 42. 46. All that beleeved were together, and they continued with one accord in the Temple. And Acts the 3. 11, 12. it is expresly said, that all the people can together to them, in the Porch which is called Solomons. Acts the 5. 12. And they were all with one accord in Solomons Porch. So that these Scrip∣tures produced by the Doctor to prove that there were divers assem∣blyes and congregations of beleevers in the Church of Jerusalem, who met together in severall places at one and the same time, upon the first day of the weeke where they did partake in all Ordinances, do expresly prove the contrary, to wit, that the Apostles▪ and all the Beleevers in the Church of Jerusalem met together with one accord in one place, to wit in the Temple and in Solomons Porch, and brake bread from house to house, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉domatim, not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉per sin∣gulas domos, and thus they did 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉quotidie day by day, and they continued stedfast the Apostles doctrine, and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers, and all that beleeved ••re toge∣ther: Acts the 2. v. 42, 44, 46. Yea the Doctor himselfe saith in his Page  182 Minor proposition, the latter part of it, That the Apostles and all the Beleevers in Jerusalem did continue dayly with one accord in the Temple, and that they brake from house to house; and this shall suffice for refutation of what the Doctor hath written touching the first proposition.

Thus profound Mr Knollys confutes my arguments. I have set down all his words at large: And as he earnestly desired the Reader seriously to consider my Argument; So I in like manner intreat him that he would but looke back upon it and advisedly weight whether there be nothing either in that or any other of my arguments and in all my discourse, but my own suppositions and conclusions for proofe of what I say, as he affirmeth, and whether I have not both Scripture and reason for what I say through my whole book; and if he shall upon mature examination perceive that I have good authority for what I say, then let him judg whether or no M. Knollys & all his complices that thus upon all occasions tra∣duce me, bee not a generation of the accusers of the brethren, and whether both Mr Knollys and all his confederats be not a company of calumniators & raylors, and Lyers rather then Saints. For I bless God I have both Scripture and sound reason for all that I say, and I speak it here in the presence of the great GOD, that if I had ever seen the least ground of truth, in all the Scripture of truth, for what they of the congregationall way hold about their Church, I would rather have suffered any misery in the world then ever have opened my mouth against their way, much lesse have written against it; but finding it not only a novell Opinion, but hereticall & indeed the very sourse of all heresies and errors, and of dangerous consequence, and such an one that if it be not speedily looked unto, will not one∣ly bring down the plagues and judgements of God upon the Nati∣on, and overthrow all the Christian Religion and all power of god∣lynesse, but all government in Church and State through City and Country and bring a miserable desolation and utter ruine upon the 3 Kingdoms, which God of his infinite mercy and goodnesse prevent.

And the consideration of all these things, in the presence of God I say it again, and no other, put me upon this imployment to op∣pose the error of the wayes of all the Independents and Sectaries, and in this course I am now in, by the grace of God and his blessed assistance I will persevere in with all my endeavours to the last period of my dayes.

Page  183 And now I come to reply to what Mr Knollys hath here set down by way of answer, and although I have formerly given an answer to all the fond cavills of the Independents concerning their severall meetings together in the Temple and in Solomons Porch, which the Reader I am confident will say is satisfactory enough to any that know what reason is, yet here again for Master Knollys farther satisfaction, if he will with any thing be satisfied, I an∣swer as followeth to what he childishly bables against this Argu∣ment of mine.

This argument of the Doctors (saith he) I answer first by deny∣ing the Assumption, &c. One would have expected that when Master Knollys began with this word first, which amongst lear∣ned and rationall men in disputing, it being a word of relation, hath ever reference to some second answer at lest if not a third and fourth; that he had had some second and third reserve of rea∣sons at least to have fallen upon my argument with, this I say all wise men would have imagined. And yet there followes neither a second, third or fourth answer. But howsoever he may speak nonsense by his calling, and by vertue of his Independency, I will take no advantage against him for that: I will examine onely the futility of his denyall which he calls a reason, which indeede is a meer contradiction not only of himselfe, but of the holy Scripture and is a giving of the spirit of God the lye as at other times, as will forth with appear,

For whereas he saith that the Scriptures produced by me do not in expresse words declare, that there were divers Assemblies and Congregations of Beleevers in the Church of Jerusalem; and that the Scriptures quoted do in expresse termes declare the con∣trary, it is most abominably false, and that by his own confession, as we shall by and by see. For should I grant unto Master Knollys which I cannot do for many reasons set down in my foregoing Discourse, That when there were but three thousand converted and added to the Church, that they might then all meet together in any one place or congregation to partake in all Ordinances, and that when there were five thousand more added to them, they might still likewise all meet together, either in the Temple or in Solomons Porch to hear the Word: I say should I to gratifie Master Knollys grant him all this; yet it will not follow, that when there were dayly new additions upon additions of other Converts and Beleevers, and Page  184 that of many thousands, that then they could still doe the same.

But I cannot grant all this, for it would be against all reason, and contrary to daily experience, which tels us, that eight thou∣sand men cannot meet in any one Congregation to partake in all acts of worship to edification. Yea, if I should grant this to Master Knollys, both hee himselfe and all his Fraternity would laugh at mee, & all learned men would conclude that I were indeed a mad man, as my brother Burton speakes of mee; for it is most certaine, that all the Beleevers and Converts in the Church of Ierusalem did never all together partake in all Ordinances, and in all acts of wor∣ship, either in the Temple, or in Solomons porch: for wee never reade that they either baptized or brake bread in either of them: neither would the Magistrate have ever indured, or suffered it, and yet both these were the discriminating, and sealing Or∣dinances, by which all Christians were distinguished from Jewes and Gentiles, and all Vnbeleevers, and it is well knowne that there was no room in any private house that could containe such a multitude to partake in all Ordinances to edifica∣tion (and this my brother Burton accordeth to, saying in expresse words, that there was no roome or place large enough (to containe them all) and the very Scripture also is cleare in this point in many places. Yea, Master Knollys assenteth to this, though hee takes no notice of what hee sayes at any time. But because hee perhaps will beleeve himself rather then me, and because also his Followers and Schollers will give credit to his words, rather then to any reasons produced by mee, let them I pray heare what hee saith.

The Apostles and all the Beleevers in the Church of Jerusalem (saith hee) met together, with one accord, in one place, to wit the Temple, and in Solomons Porch, and brake bread from house to house 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Domatim, not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉per singulas domos, and thus they did 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉quotidie, day by day, and they continued stedfastly in the Apostles doctrine, and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayer, &c.

These are Master Knollys his owne words.

From the which all learned men may easily perceive the force of truth, and the weaknesse and feeblenesse of errour: for whiles the man labours, to enervate my Argument, he contradicteth him∣selfe, and the holy Scriptures, and overthrowes his owne Princi∣ples, and confirmes my opinion; for by his owne words it is evi∣dent Page  185 there were many Congregations and Assemblies of Be∣leevers in Ierusalem which hee stifly denyed. For (saith hee) The Apostles and all the Beleevers in the Church of Jerusalem met together with one accord in one place, to wit, the Temple, and in Solo∣mons Porch, and brake bread from house to house. I desire the Reader to take notice of his expression, and see if there be not only a flat contradiction of himselfe, but a full confirmation of what my Argument proveth, viz. that there were many Congregations of Beleevers in the Church at Jerusalem, which hee peremptorily denyed. For saith hee, they met together day by day in the Tem∣ple, that is one place, and in Solomons Porch, that is an other place, and they brake bread from house to house, that is in innume∣rable places more; so that for one place we have many assigned by him; for they communicated in all those houses, in all acts of worship; for they never brake bread or baptized but they had the word also preached; for the Word and Sacraments were to goe together, so that where the one was, there was the other, and they neither baptized nor brake bread in the Temple; and a few houses could not containe such a multitude of people: and there∣fore sayes Master Knollys, they brake bread from house to house, and that daily, or day by day; now wee know that they in those dayes brake bread alwayes in the evening, so that about one and the same time there was every day, or at least every first day of the weeke innumerable Congregations and severall Assemblies, and that at one time in every house at Ierusalem; and all this I learne from Master Knollys, which saith, that they brake bread daily from house to house, that is they had severall Congregations in seve∣rall houses: Ergo, if Master Knollys be worthy of credit, or if any beliefe may be given to his words, there were many if not innu∣merable Congregations of Beleevers every day in Ierusalem, and so hee confirmes my first Proposition which hee hath taken so much paines to confute, and declares unto the whole world that hee is a man void of all reason and honesty; and truly if such a worthlesse Fellow had his due deserts for his seducing of the poore people, hee ought severely to be dealt with; and this might suffice to have answered to Master Knollys, but there yet remaines one whibling cavill made by him to be answered unto, who learned∣ly distinguisheth betweene 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 that is be∣tweene house and house, and houses by houses, and would per∣swade Page  186 the world that there were some great Mysterie, or at least some vast difference, betweene 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 house by house, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 houses by houses; vvhereas indeed if vvee consult vvith the Originall and with all Interpreters and translations, wee shall find that they are all one, and that they translate the word in the singular number after the same manner, and with the same expressions, or with words equivalent unto them that they do the plurall, making no difference betweene them; and although I ne∣ver doubted, but that the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉house by house, or in every house, was the same that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, houses by houses, or in all houses; for so they may be translated if wee stand rigidly upon the word, though the sense and meaning be the same as we shall see by & by: but I say though I never made any scruple about the translati∣on since I had acquaintance with the original, yet for farther satisfa∣ction I have consulted with all the Interpretations and translations, both in the Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, English that I could meet with, and I find them all agreeing in this, that they translate 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the singular, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the plurall after one and the same manner, and with the same expressions, and in the same words many times, or in language intimating as much, as they that render and translate the plurall 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉per domos, translate the sin∣gular likewise 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉ira domos, rendering the word both in the singular and the plurall, alwayes in the number of multitude: and they that translate 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the singular domatim translate the plural 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉domatim likewise, as they that will consult with all the Latine Translations upon the second of the Acts, and the 46. verse, and the 5. of the Acts, and the 42. verse, where the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is used in the singular number may see; Again if they will turne but to the 20. Chapter of the Acts, and the 20. verse, there they shall find 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the plurall translated after the same man∣ner the singular is by all the Latine Interpreters, that is as they did render and translate the word in the singular, so they translate it in the plurall, making no difference in their significations but taking them as all one: and so in our English translation, Acts the 2. v. 46. there they translate 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉from house to house, and in the 5. Chap∣ter, verse the 42. they render 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the singular in every house, and in the twentieth of the Acts, and the twentieth verse, where the word is in the plurall 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 they render it there from house to house, as they did in the singular, never making any difference be∣tween Page  187 the singular and the plurall; and so the Italian renders the singular number 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the fift of the Acts, vers. 4. per le case, and in the 20. of the Acts, v. 20. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the plural, he translates it likewise per le case, making no difference between the singular & the plurall as the Holy Ghost doth not, and the same I might shew out of all the Interpretations. Now it is well knowne that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in Greeke when it is joyned with the accusative case, it often, if not ever signifies in or through, and being joyned with a word of the singular number, it signifies as much as if it were joyned with the plurall, as wee may see it in the 8. of Luke, vers. the 1. where 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is rendred through every Citie. Hee went (saith the Interpretation) through every Citie preaching, or hee preached in every Citie, or in all Cities, or through all Cities; and so in the 1. of Titus, where Saint Paul saith, that hee left Titus in Crete that hee should ordaine Elders,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 that is translated in Eng∣lish in every Citie, and by Master Knollys himselfe oppidatim Ci∣tie by Citie, which is as much as in every Citie, or in all Cities, or through all the Cities of Crete, and in the fourteenth of the Acts, verse 23. it is said when they had ordained them Elders,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 Master Knollys himselfe translates the singular there per sin∣gulas Ecclesias, in every Church, that is to say in all or through all Churches; these are his own words, as you may see it in the third page of his wise Pamphlet. So that when it makes for his turne hee can make no difference betweene the singular and the plurall; yea hee translates 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉domatim, that is house by house, which is as much as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 as houses by houses, and per singulas domas, for hee that saith 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 man by man, sayes as much as men by men; and therefore hee playes the Iugler, and cheate thus to cloud, the light, that he may put off his base wares the better, and to dar∣ken the truth with his trifling about words, & al this to shew to the people that hee hath some skill in the Greeke and Latine, because hee can write the words out of the Text, which every Schoole boy can doe. But I pray see how the poore creature troubles himselfe in beating the ayre; hee saith it is in the Originall 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉doma∣tim, they brake bread from house to house, but it is not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉per singulas domos, that is to say they did not breake bread in all houses, or through all the houses; Ergo, there were not many Congre∣gations in Ierusalem, which is a meere wickednesse in him to tri∣fle thus: for hee himselfe a little before translates 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉perPage  188singulat Ecclesias, and here hee would make a great difference be∣tweene the singular and the plurall: when notwithstanding in the Originall there is none: for in the twentieth of the Acts, v. 20. there the Holy Ghost saith 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the plurall, which is all one with 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, but if Master Knollis Interpretation be good, that when the word is used in the plurall, it signifies many Congrega∣tions and Assemblies, then in the Church of Ephesus by his owne confession there were many Congregations, and yet they all made but one Church within that Precinct; and doubtlesse so it was in Ierusalem, there were many Congregations there, and yet they all made but one Church: and the truth is so evident, that Master Knollys his owne interpretation of the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the sin∣gular will carry it: for hee translates it domatim, house by house. Now I appeale to any intelligible man, that knowes but the Eng∣lish tongue, or any other language, where civility dwels, and bar∣barism is banished; whether or no, when the Magistrate sends Mes∣sengers or Officers to search for any Delinquents, and gives them in charge to search through such a street house by house, I demand I say, whether the Messengers by this their warrant are not in joyn∣ed to search every house in that street, & whether house by house be not to be understood every house and all the houses in that street: and when the Officers returne againe to the Magistrate, & relate un∣to him that according to his command & order they have diligent∣ly searched house by house through the street, doe they not I pray in this acknowledge that they have searched every house in that street yea all the houses? all men that know any thing in reason, know, that house by house, in every street, or in every Citie, is as much as all houses in that street, and in all houses in that Citie. Now when the word of God sayes, Acts 2. that the Christians in Jerusalem and Beleevers brake bread from house to house, and when in the 5. of the Acts, v. 42. it is recorded, that the Apostles daily in the Temple, and in every house, or from house to house, or house by house (as Mr. Knollys would have it) ceased not to teach and preach Iesus Christ▪ It is manifestly apparent that in every of those houses and in all those houses they had an Assembly or Congregation of beleevers, and for ought any thing can be said to the contrary, there might be as many congregations then in Ierusalem as they had Mini∣sters and Pastors there which were in abundance: For none but the Ministers might administer the Sacrament of Baptisme and the Page  189 Lords Supper: the Apostles and the Ministers of the Gospell only had the charge to feed Christs sheep and Lambes, so that the sheep and lambes were not to feede their Pastor? Now all the people under them were either sheepe or lambs, and they were not to intermedle in those holy Ordinances to administer them, though they might receive them from them; and therefore what the holy Word of God relateth to us, that we are bound to be∣lieve: but the holy Word of God relates unto us that in Ierusa∣lem, and that in the very infancy of the Church, they had con∣gregations and Assemblies every day in many severall houses at one time; yea in every house. Ergo, there were many Assemblies and Congregations of believers in the Church at Ierusalem, and that in the very infancy of it: and this Master Knollys doth ac∣knowledge; for he confesseth they had their meetings day by day, and house by house, that is to say every day and in every house they had their Congregations in Ierusalem, and so he is constrained to confesse that which he had so often and peremp∣torily denied: but such is the force, power, and efficacy of truth as it will breake out of the mouth of the enemie and fly in their faces: for Master Knollys doth confesse, that besides their meetings in the Temple and in Solomons Porch, and that daily, they had their meetings also house by house Domatim, so that their meetings and congregations in Jerusalem were num∣berlesse, if they were from house to house. But if neither the Scripture, nor his owne confession, can convince his error, at least let his owne Words take some place with him who in the 23. pag. of his learned answer hath these expressions. Some god∣ly and learned men of approved gifts came to sojourne in this city, and preached the Word both publickly and from house to house, and daily in the Temples, and in every house they ceased not to Teach and Preach Iesus Christ, and some of them have dwelt in their owne houses and received all that came unto them &c.

Thus Mr Knollys speaks, and for proof of what he saith he quotes the very places of Scriptures in the Margent of his booke that I produced as Act. 2. ver. 46. Acts the 5. 42. Acts 20. vers. 20. Where from house to house and in in every house in his dialect is all one, which it was not when I quoted it out of the Word of God. And very reason and common experience teaches all Page  190 men that wheresoever the Independents have their meeting houses they have a Church or congregation there; and as many meeting houses as they have, so many Churches ordinatly they have, witnesse Toleration-streete, which they call the holy streete I meane Coleman-streete, which an Independent one day mee∣ting me passing through it, tould me was the Saints streete, and that their were more precious Churches in that street then in all England besides, and he did confidently believe it. And I was no sooner passed from him, but turning on the right hand I saw many of the Independents going into the Nags-head a Taverne a little above Coleman-streete; there they call their Parliament, and make Committees and Chayre-men, for pre∣paring of businesses for the great Councell, and for the advising of them what to do, and there they order how they will deale with the Presbyterians; and this is one of their meeting houses also whither the Saints resort upon all occasions to consult together a∣bout the affairs of the Church & State, and that is the holy drinking Schoole of the Saints, for they say, they are all Saints, and to the pure all things are pure; and therefore they must have a pure drinking Schoole. But passing from Toleration-streete and lea∣ving their drinking schoole and they together: Let us consider their practices and what Master Knollys saith, who tells us that some godly and learned men of approved gifts came to Sojourne in this City and preached the Word of God both publickly and from house to house, and daily in the Temples and in every house, they cease not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. I demande of any of the Independents now, whether or no, wheresoever any of those gifted men preach, they have not a congregation to preach to; and whether or no wheresoever any of them hath a gatherd Church (as they call it) he hath not there n his mee∣ting house a Congregation and assembly, and whether or no wheresoever they have preaching of the Word and breaking of bread amongst them they have not a Church or Congregation there? I am confident they will none of them deny it: Yea they will acknowledge that in as many places as the Word of God is preach∣ed amongst them, and the Sacraments administred, that in all those they have a severall Church, congregation, and assembly & this very reason will dictate unto any man. And therefore if in this City there be many Congregations and assemblies in all those places where Page  191 they preach publikely, and from house to house, and in every house; not onely because Mr Knollys saith it, but because every mans rea∣son will convince him of it: after the same manner every man will conclude, That in the Church of Ierusalem there was many Con∣gregations and Assemblies; for the Scripture relates, That the word of God was preached publikely in the Temple and in Solomons Porch, and that the Saints brake bread from house to house, and that the Apostles ceased not to teach and preach Iesus Christ in every house; and therefore all Christians are bound to beleeve this because the mouth of the Lord hath spoke it, yea and it is acknowledged by Ma∣ster Knollys; from all which it doth now evidently appear to all the world, that there were many Congregations and Assemblyes of be∣leevers in the Church of Ierusalem, which Mr Knollys notwith∣standing doth wickedly deny, affirming there were no more belee∣vers in Ierusalem, then could all meet in any one place, and so he not onely contradicts himselfe and fights against the very light of reason, but which is more he gives the spirit of God the lye, and therefore he ought by all those of the seven Churches to be severely dealt with as a wicked impostor and deceiver and ought indeeed to be thrown out of all their Congregations as a jugler and a false prophet.

Having thus evidently proved that there were many Congre∣gations in the church of Jerusalem, before the persecution: I will by Gods assistance make good that there were also many Assem∣blyes under the persecution, and after the persecution; and this I do the rather undertake, because some of the brethren have said that howsoever it could be proved that before the persecution there were many severall Assemblies: yet by reason of the dispersion of the beleevers, the Church of Ierusalem was so wasted and scattered that there were no more left then could all meet in one Congrega∣tion. And were it so, that after the scattering of the Beleevers and Christians in Ierusalem, it could never be evinced and made good that there were more then could meet together in one place: yet all this were nothing for the enervating of the argument: for we must ever look upon the first constitution and government of the Church, and what it was originally and by divine constitution, and not what it was accidentally and through persecution and op∣pression and by the violence of men: for governments of Chur∣ches are often changed from their Primordiall State through many Page  192 casualties as it happened often in the Church of the Jewes: and therefore in all reformations things are to be reduced to the first rule and originall pattern: and we are not to look upon them as by occasion they vary and change through the injury of the times.

And therefore if we look into the Church of Ierusalem as she was in her youth and in her most flourishing age, we shall finde her consisting of divers Congregations and many Assemblies, and all them governed by a Common Councell and joynt consent of a Presbytery, which must be the patterne of all Church Govern∣ment to the end of the world, if wee will in our Reformation conforme our selves to Gods Ordinance and to the first constituti∣on.

But because I say they think it so difficult a thing to prove ma∣ny Congregations in Jerusalem after the persecution, I will now God willing make it evident; and not onely after the persecution, but even in, and under the persecution: and I will do it first out of that very place our brethren bring against us, and by which they labour to evince the contrary: the place is in the 8. of the Acts verse 1, 2, 4. In these words, And at that time there was a great persecution against the Church which was at Ierusalem; and they were all scattered abroad through the Regions of Iudea and Samaria, except the Apostles, verse 3. As for Saul he made havock of the Church, entring into every house and haling men and women, com∣mitted them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad, went every where preaching the word: From whence the brethren gather, that there were no more beleevers left, than could meet in one Congregation.

Before I come to prove my Assertion, I must give some Rea∣sons to evince and make good, that this dispersion and scattering of the Beleevers here spoken of, was not so generall and universall and so great, as that there might not yet remain more Congrega∣tions in Jerusalem, and more people then could possibly meete in any one place or two: for persecution is the bellowes of the Gospell, which blowes every spark into a flame: so that this their division proved their multiplication at home and abroad, as wee shall see after I have set down my Arguments and Reasons, so that it was no cause why we should conceive that there were fewer assemblies in the Church of Jerusalem then before; for although Page  193 I should grant that this persecution was very great in respect of the intention of the persecutors, as reaching to imprisonment and death of all sorts, chap. 22. verse 4. and although I should like∣wise accord, that in regard of the extent of it, it reacheh to all sorts both Preachers and Christians, because it is said, They were all scattered abroad through all the Regions, &c. except the Apo∣stles, both which notwithstanding I cannot yeeld unto for some reasons following: but I say should I grant all this, yet I affirme that this persecution rather made more Congregations in Ierusa∣lem then fewer then there were before, though they might be smal∣ler and lesser, then so, to wast them and bring them to such a pau∣city, as they might all meet in one Congregation: for this their di∣vision was a cause of their multiplication at home and abroad, as I said before, and will afterwards appear.

And even as it was here in England in the time of the Prelates power, when any assembly of those they called Puritans, were at any time found together, they were haled before Authority, (as the whole Kingdome can witnesse) and these people were all scattered; yet so, as they still had their meetings in lesse numbers; and whereas before they met perhaps a hundred in a com∣pany, now this hundred was divided into three or four severall assemblies, which were so many severall Churches; for in all these they enjoyed all the acts of worship, and did partake in all the Ordinances as fully as if they had been in the most crowded as∣semblyes; but this they did for their own safety, and that there might not be such notice taken of them: for commonly if men see a good company of people goe into a house, and none of them come out again, they will by and by gather, that there is something there to be done, more than ordinary; and that there is some exercise of Religion, or some consultation and plotting about some designe or other; and therefore it stirs up the people to take more notice of it, and then they begin to examine the occasion of that concourse, and to pry into their proceedings: whereas, if they come but in slender companies, they conceive it to be some ordinary entertainment, and think no farther of it; so that they then more peaceably enjoy the society and fellowship one of another, without any interruption, which they could not so well have done, if they had come in greater assemblies and com∣panies.

Page  194 And even so it was among the Beleevers and Christians in Ieru∣salem, in that persecution; they could not now meet in the Temple, nor possibly at their wonted meeting houses, and yet even then they had their assemblies; no terrours could make them forsake the companying of themselves together. For in that per∣secution that is spoken of in the 12. of the Acts, we finde the Church assembled in severall places; for they were praying in the house of Mary, verse 12. there was one Congregation, to which Peter comes and relates unto them the manner of his delivery, and bids them go and tell it James and the brethren; and there was an∣other assembly; and without doubt Peter went unto a third: for he would not goe among the enemies: and it stands with all rea∣son, that in this persecution also, they were as zealous as then, and therefore did not forsake the assembling of themselves together. Neither would the Apostles be idle, who gave themselves continu∣ally to prayer and the ministring of the Word, which they could not have done if there had been but as many Christians in Ierusa∣lem as could all have met in one place and in one Congregation; for one or two of the Apostles could have preacht unto them all, and then to what end or purpose did all the other Apostles tarry in Ie∣rusalem (who in all their motions and stayes, were directed by the Spirit of God) unlesse it were to comfort and support the Church there, in the heat and rage of this persecution, when they had scattered their other teachers from them? From all which it may evidently appear, that there was a very great multitude of be∣leevers at this time in Ierusalem, and that they were not diminish∣ed or scattered, though all their Pastors and Ministers, saving the Apostles, were.

And I have very good reason to induce me to beleeve, That this persecution did not extend to all Christians promiscuously, and that all the Beleevers were scattered and disperst except the Apostles, as our brethren conceive. For if wee consider the usuall method of the persecuting Jews, and the manner and custome of all the e∣nemies of the Church in all ages, wee shall ever observe that they chiefely aymed at the taking away and extirpating of their tea∣chers and Ministers, and those that instructed them. So the Iews malice was greatest against the Prophets in all ages, as we may see Matth. the 5. verse the 12. For so they persecuted the Prophets: and in the 23. of Matthew, our Saviour saith, verse 29. Woe untoPage  195you Scribes and Pharisees hyprocrites, because ye build the tombes of the Prophets, and say, if we had lived in the dayes of our Fathers, wee would not have been partakers with them of the blood of the Prophets; and therefore ye witnesse unto your selves, that ye are the children of them which killed the Prophets. Wherefore behold I send unto you Prophets, and wise men, and Scribes, and some of them you shall kill and crucifie, &c. Here our Saviour Christ declares what method they had formerly used in their persecutions; and that was chiefely to persecute their teachers, and what method they would for the future take, and that was principally To kill and crucifie, the Prophets, Wisemen, and Scribes; which Prophesie of Christ, was here in this persecution manifestly fulfilled: for here it is said, They were all (viz. their teachers) scattered abroad and persecuted, except the Apostles. It was I say ever the method and custome of persecutors to ayme principally at the rooting out and taking away of those they supposed were ablest to teach and in∣struct the people, and this enraged them against Iohn the Baptist and Christ himselfe; and that made them at this time so mischie∣vously to persecute their Ministers and Teachers. Neither do I read in all the New Testament, before thss persecution, that as yet they were come to the massacring of the common people; they had slain the Lord of Life, and stoned Stephen; and after in the 12. of the Acts we read, How Herod slew James, and because it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take Peter: they alwayes had their eyes upon their teachers and haled them to prison, as they did Peter and Iohn in the 4. of the Acts; but for the people, the onely punishment they under-went, till this persecution, was this, That they were cast out of the Synagogues, if any of them did publickly professe Christ.

Indeed in this persecution their violence extended to the ha∣ling of men and women to prison; But before, we read of no violence offered unto the people; onely they railed on them, re∣viled, and reproached them, as all wicked men, whose tongues are set on fire from Hell, use to do, on all the generation of the just.

The same method did the Prelates here in England use; they chief∣ly and more principally persecuted the faithfull and painfull Prea∣chers and Ministers every where, and such as they thought best able to instruct the people, and selected but here and there some Page  196 private families for to scare others, and this method Antichrist and his complices had learned from the devill and the Jewes. So that when it is said they were all scattered except the Apostles, it is to be understood that all their Preachers and Teachers, the Apostles only excepted, were scattered; For the word all in this place, must be understood, either of all the Beleevers, or of all the Teachers and Officers in the Church of Ierusalem, except the Apostles. But it can∣not be understood of all the beleevers, that they were all scattered; and therefore it must be understood of all the Teachers, and that for many reasons.

The first, if all the beleevers had been scattered and none left, to what end then should the twelve Apostles have remained in Ie∣rusalem? They were not to Preach to the walls, neither would they have remained there idle, but would rather have shaken off the dust of their feet, (as Christ commanded them) for a witnesse against them, Luke 10. And would have departed and have gone a∣way with the rest of the Teachers, as all good reason perswades.

A second reason is; because if this particle all be alwayes exceptive or taken to the utmost, and in the largest extent, as some of the brethren imply and would have it; then there should not one believer have been left in Ierusalem besides the Apostles, which is expresly against the Text, for vers. 3. It is said, That Saul brake into houses, haling men and women, committing them to prison, and this he did at Ierusalem at this time, as he acknowledgeth himselfe Acts 26. ver. 10. And therefore of necessity it must follow, That all the beleevers were not scattered abroad, for some of them were in prison in Ierusalem. And for ought I can gather, all the rest were in their severall houses, or else the Apostles could have had no harbour: for if all their friends had been scattered by this tempest, and if all the sheep had been drove away and the whole flock dispersed, their Pastors without doubt would have followed them: for he would be counted a very bad Shepherd that should not follow or look after the poor sheep that were scattered by the Wolves.

Neither can we imagine that the Apostles that were the Pastors of the flock of Jesus Christ, and to whose care he had committed his sheep and his Lambes, with a speciall charge that they should feed them, would relinquish their care and choose rather to dwell amongst a company of Wolves, from whome they Page  197 could expect no faire measure, then amongst the sheepe: But in that all the Apostles still remained in Ierusalem, I rather gather, and that without all controversie, they continued there for this very purpose, that they might comfort and support the Church there, and refresh the Beleevers in this heate of Persecution, when they wanted the helpe of their other faithfull Ministers and Pa∣stors.

Thirdly, it is very evident from the Text, they were onely the Preachers that were scattered; for verse 4. It is said, That they that were scattered went every where preaching the Word, which expression in the Originall, as may be proved by innumerable pla∣ces, signifieth such teachers as were Ministers by Office, and such as preached by way of Sermons to a multitude, though they might likewise in private conference instruct, which their publike Mi∣nistery did not exempt them from. And although private Chri∣stians may teach and instruct one another, as Aquila and Pris∣cilla taught Apollos, and as all Christians are commanded to in∣struct one another, Col. 3. verse 16. Yet this text speaks not of such a teaching, but of preaching, They went every where, saith the Scripture 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, preaching the Word. For teaching may be an act of Charity, but preaching is an act of Of∣fice; for how can they preach except they be sent? Rom. 10. So that by vertue of their Office, they might both publikely preach, and in private converse also instruct others wheresoever they came, whether they were sent out by persecution or by mission. As I do conceive of any of those Godly Ministers that were not many yeares since, drove from their habitations, and that were persecu∣ted out of their places by the Prelates, that they might have preached publickly in any Congregation as Ministers and men in Office, and might also have instructed privately; but the one was an act of duty as it was their Office, and the other of love and charity. And so may a well gifted private Christian instruct and teach others upon occasion, and in private conference, which is an act of love; but hee cannot properly be said to Preach, which is an act of one in Office, and belongs onely to the Presbyters and Pastors, and such as for their sufficient learning and abilities are called unto the Ministry and ordained and set apart to this Office: and such onely were those that were scattered, except the Apostles: and by all probability these Ministers and Preachers that wee Page  198 scattered were those that were at the choosing of Matthias, the seventy Disciples and many more. So that for ought I can gather, all the beleevers in Ierusalem, yet remained in their severall habi∣tations and dwellings, except those that were haled to prison. And therefore of necessity there must bee many Assemblies and Congregations yet in Ierusalem, that made all the Apostles abide and continue still among them all, which makes exceeding strong∣ly to prove, that there were innumerable multitudes of Beleevers still in Ierusalem, which of necessitie were forced to divide their as∣semblies into more distributions and lesse Congregations then for∣merly, and therefore rather multiplyed their assemblies then other∣wise, that by such Privacy they might avoide persecution, as in our times, good Christians here in London were wont to doe, when the Prelates were in their ruff. But out of this place I thus argue.

Where there were twelve of the most able, painfull, and dili∣gent Preachers in the world, and that gave themselves continu∣ally to prayer and the Ministery of the Word, and at such a time as there was most need of preaching, and when they could not pub∣likely come together, by reason of the Persecution, and where there were innumerable multitudes of beleevers of all nations to be taught and preached unto in their severall Languages and tongues; there of necessity there must be severall Congregations and assemblies for the imployment of them all, both Preachers and hearers. But in the Church of Jerusalem in the time of the hottest persecution, there were the twelve Apostles, the most able, painefull, and diligent Prea∣chers in the world, and that gave themselves continually to prayer, and the Ministery of the Word, and when they could not publickely come together, by reason of the persecution, and where there were innumerable multitudes of beleevers of all nations to be taught and preached unto in their severall Languages and tongues. Therefore of necessity there must be severall Congregations and Assemblies for the employment of them all, both Preachers and hearers.

For this Syllogisme, all and every part of it, is so cleared by what hath formerly beene said, as I am most assured, no rationall man will call either of the Propositions in question. But from the former place I thus further argue.

Where there were such multitudes of beleevers of all Nations and Countries, still remayning even in the hottest time of persecution, as Page  199 had for many years imployed and continually taken up above an hun∣dred painefull Ministers and Teachers, there they could not all meet together in any one place or roome, but of necessity must bee distributed into divers Congregations and assemblies, if they would all be edified; and much more now they were forced unto it, if they would avoyd Persecution, and provide for their owne safety: But in the Church of Ierusalem in the hottest time of Persecution, there were such multitudes of Beleevers of all Nations and Countries still remayning, as had for many yeeres imployed and continually ta∣ken up above an hundred painefull Ministers and Teachers: Ergo, they could not all meet together in any one place or roome: but of necessity must be distributed into divers congregations and assemblies, if they would all be edified, and much more now were they forced un∣to it, if they would avoid persecution, and provide for their owne safety.

The Major of this Syllogisme by the very light of nature and reason, which we may not in a matter of disputation especially relinquish, is manifest and evident. For the Minor it is also appa∣rent from the foregoing discourse: by which it is proved, that their Preachers only were scattered, and all those Ministers that were at the choosing the Apostle Matthias, chap. 1. and many more that instructed the people: but for the people and beleevers, they re∣mayned still in Ierusalem; the conclusion therefore is firme. But I will now goe on to evince, that after the persecution, there were more beleevers still in the Church of Ierusalem, then could all meet in any one place and room together: and therefore of necessity, they must be distributed into many Congregations and Assemblies: And for proofe of this Assertion, the places following will suffice: and first that in the 9. chap. of the Acts, verse 31. Then had the Churches rest through all Indaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were all edified, and walking in the feare of the Lord, and in the com∣fort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplyed. Out of which words it may evidently appeare, that persecution is but the bellowes of the Gospel; and that which the enemies of the Gospel thinke to be a meanes of extinguishing the light of it, makes it but more gloriously shine forth, and the farther to spread its rayes: for by blowing and puffing at it, they spread it the more, and extend it here and there farther abroad; as wee see by this persecution and scattering of those Preachers and Ministers of the Gospel: for Page  200 this their dispersion, by which the persecutors had thought to have wasted the Churches, was an occasion of the multiplication of them, and the cause of the increasing of Beleevers every where.

And here wee may also observe, That by how much more the rage of the enemy is great and violent, by so much it is lesse dura∣ble; for this great persecution was but short. And it cannot be con∣ceived, but they who were scattered by persecution, would upon the ceasing of it, returne againe to Ierusalem, as most people com∣monly do, t•••eir owne Countries, Cities, and places of habitati∣on after persecution. And this also must needs be a great Argu∣ment, to induce others to the love of that Religion, which they see God so much favoureth the Lovers and professors of; the which the Lord so preserveth, comforteth, and followeth with so many mercies, and upholdeth in all their afflictions and tryals, never forsaking nor never leaving them. But if those that were scatte∣red had never returned, that maketh nothing for the weakning the truth of this Proposition, that there were many Congregations and Assemblies still in the Church of Ierusalem; for this Text proveth that it was not decreased after the dispersion. Out of the which words I thus argue.

That Church before the Persecution and Dispersion of whose Mi∣nisters and Pastors, was so numerous and had such multitudes of Beleevers in it, of all Nations, as they could not all meet in any one plaee or roome, for edification, and to partake in all acts of wor∣ship, but were forced to preach in divers and sundry places, as in the Temple, and from house to house; and after the persecution ceased and the Church had rest, was greatlier yet multiplied then before; and whose companies were more & more in number increased, they of necessity could not al meet together in any one place or room for edifi∣cation, and to partake in all acts of worship, but must necessarily be distributed into divers and sundry Congregations and Assemblies if they would all bee edified. But the Church of Jerusalem, before the Persecution and Dispersion of her Ministers and Pastors, was so numerous and had such multitudes of Beleevers in it of all Nations, as they could not all meet in any one place or roome for edification▪ and to partake in all acts of worship; but were forced to preach in divers and sundry places, as in the Temple, and from house to house; and after the Persecution ceased and the Churches had rest, was greatlier yet multiplyed than before: and whose companies were Page  201 more and more in number increased. Ergo, Of necessity after the Persecution there were more beleevers in the Church of Jerusa∣lem, then could all meet together in any one place or roome for edi∣fication, and to partake in all acts of worship, but must necessarily bee distributed into divers Congregations and Assemblies if they would bee edified.

For the Major besides common understanding and ordinary rea∣son which confirme it, it is manifest from the 2, 3. and 5. Chapters of the Acts, which in expresse words signifieth, That they met daily in the Temple, and from house to house, yea in every house, and therefore that is true and out of all doubt: and for the Minor it is evident from the place above cited, where it is said, The Churches, (that is to say, all the Churches in Iudea, of which Ierusalem was the Mother Church) were multiplyed, the word in the Originall 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 signifieth properly an increase in number and multitude, and not in measure; and is so to be under∣stood in this place; and cannot being applyed unto persons, bee otherwise taken, whatsoever it may of sinnes and graces; and then also the word is capable of this construction, as may be pro∣ved if need required: so that the conclusion doth follow.

And truly that of Saint Paul in the first of the Galatians is an excellent Argument to evince that there were more Congregations in Ierusalem then one, where proving that hee had not received the Gospel which hee preached, from men, but from God, hee useth this reason; That if hee had received it from men, it must bee from the Iewes, and from the Apostles; for the Gentiles were ignorant of it, and hee was to carry the Gospel unto them, and therefore they could not teach it him; and to prove that hee received it not from the Apostles; hee thus speaketh of himselfe.

When it pleased God to reveale his Sonne unto mee, that I might preach him amongst the Heathen, I immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood, neither went I up to Ierusalem, to them that were Apostles before me; but I went into Arabia; Then after three yeares I went up to Jerusalem, to see Peter, and aboade with him fifteene dayes; but other of the Apostles saw I none, save James the Lords Brother.

Out of the which words besides the singular testimony wee have that the preaching and writings of Saint Paul, are the Gos∣pell Page  202 of Iesus Christ, and the Word of the living God, against the Papists: we may evidently gather against the Indepen∣dents, that after the persecution there were more believers in Ierusalem then either did or could all meet in one place: for in saying that he was with Peter fifteen dayes, but in all that time saw none of the Apostles save Iames, this I say, is a suf∣ficient Argument to prove more Congregations and assem∣blies of beleevers in the Church of Ierusalem, which so im∣ployed the Apostles in their severall Ministeries asthey had not so much spare time to visit Paul, and that Paul also was so taken up in preaching there, that he had no leisure to visit them. And for the diligence of the Apostles in their Ministry it is said in the sixth of the Acts, That they gave themselves con∣tinually to prayer and to the Ministery of the Word: and there∣fore they were never idle; and that the Apostles either all or the most of them continued resident for many years in Ieru∣salem, before they distributed themselves into severall Nations and Countries; and that very few of them were sent abroad, there are frequent testimonies in the Acts of the Apostles; neither as yet did I ever hear it scrupled, or call'd in question, whe∣ther the Apostles were then there or no, when Paul was at Ierusalem; for it is taken pro confesso, that either all or the most of them were at that time in Ierusalem: neither doth Saint Paul say, I saw none of the other Apostles because they were absent, or were gone to Preach the Gospell in other places. And for Saint Paul we reade, that wheresoever he came, he went into their Synagogues and into their Assemblies to Preach, and that he preacht from house to house: and he that gave so strict a charge to Timothy (and in him to all Ministers) that he should Preach in season and out of season; he himselfe without all doubt, would not neglect his duty, who in the 20. of the Acts, sets his owne example before all the Pres∣byters for their imitation in their diligent preaching, and he ordinarily preached by the day and by the night, as is mani∣fest out of the same Chapter and many other places; and surely the time he remained with Peter in Ierusalem, he was as diligent in Preaching, as he was in any of the other Churches; and he pro∣fesseth of himself that the care of all the Churches lay upon him, & that he laboured more then all the other Apostles in their particu∣lars: Page  203 so that it standeth with all reason, that while he was in Ieru∣salem he was very sedulous in Preaching, as who had both strength of body, and Gods speciall assistance, and his immediate inspi∣ration alwayes to help him in his Ministery; so that I conceive, as of charity I am bound, that Paul was daily in one assembly or other: now if there had been at that time, no more belee∣vers in Ierusalem then could have met in one place, congrega∣tion, and Assembly, then of necessity Paul must have seen the other Apostles there, as well as Peter and Iames (for they also were good Church-men, to speake a little in the Prelats dialect) and they never left the Word, but were alwayes taken up either in praying or preaching amongst them in the Temple, and from house to house, yea in every house: and if there had been but one Congregation or Assembly of beleevers in Ierusalem, the Apostles would daily upon all occasion have been with their flock: Now in that Paul saw them not in all that time he was in Ierusalem, it is evidently apparent there were more Congregations of beleevers in the Church of Jerusalem then one, and more Christians then could all meet in any one or a few places.

But to proceed to a place or two more for the further confir∣mation of this truth Acts 12. verse 24. It is said there, that the word of God grew and multiplped. Here also we have another good effect of a new sierce persecution in Ierusalem; it increased the number and multitude of Believers there after the Persecutor was taken away, For the Word of God grew and multiplyed, saith the Holy Ghost. Out of which words I thus argue.

Where the Word of God daily more and more grew and multiply∣ed after the persecution, that is to say, where there were more mul∣titudes and greater numbers of Believers added unto the Church; through the Ministery and preaching of the Gospell then was be∣fore; which notwithstanding was then so numerous, as they could not all meete in any one place or roome, to enjoy all the Ordi∣nances to edification, there of necessity they must be distributed into diverse assemblies and congregations to enjoy all the Ordi∣nances to edification. But in the Church of Ierusalem after a double persecution, the Word of God daily more and more grew and mnltiplyed; that is to say, there were more multitudes and greater numbers of Believers added unto the Church through the ministery Page  204 and preaching of the Gospell by the Apostles then was before: which notwithstanding was then so numerous, as they could not all possibly meet in any one place and roome. Ergo, there was a greater num∣ber of Beleevers after the Persecution then before: and there∣fore of necessity they could not all meete in any one place or roome to communicate in all the Ordinances, but must be distributed into severall Congregations and Assemblies if they would all be edi∣fied.

For the Major I conceive it is so evidently clear as no man of ordinary understanding will not see the truth of it. For the Minor, the Text proveth it: and if we will compare Scrip∣ture with Scripture, the truth of it will by and by be out of controversie, for in the 15. of Iohn verse 16. Our Saviour speak∣ing there to his Disciples, saith, I have chosen you and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruite, and that your fruite should remaine: that is, I have chose you to preach the Go∣spell and convert men, which is the fruite of preaching the Word; and causeth the multiplication of Beleevers, for Faith commeth by hearing, Romans 10. Now this Scripture is here fulfilled, for it is said, that the Word of God grew and mul∣tiplyed; that is, it brought forth the great fruite and increase of multitudes of Beleevers, and converted many, notwithstand∣ing all the persecutions that were raised against it and the Church. So that the conclusion must necessarily follow from the premises, and it is most apparent, that there were many Congregations of Beleevers in Jerusalem after the Persecution. But in the 21 Chapter, 20 Verse. there is a place that putteth an end to this Controversie; and with the which I will con∣clude my first assertion. In these words, Thou seest Brother (saith Saint James, and the Presbyters of Jerusalem to Saint Paul) how many ten thousands (for so it is in the Originall, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) of Jewes there are which beleeve, and they are all zealous of the Law: In this place the Evangelist speakes of the Inhabitants of Ierusalem that were Beleevers, and had their abode there, and not of strangers, as our Brethren sup∣pose; and such as they conceive were come up to Jerusalem at that time to the feast of Pentecost, at which they thinke Paul then was: which opinion of theirs might be confuted with many reasons, if it were necessary; some of the which Page  205 I shall briefly set downe. As first, it is well knowne that the feast of Pentecost lasted but one day, and that in the time of Wheat-harvest, when ordinarily but few came to Jerusalem. Besides none of the Jewes that lived out of the Countrey of Judaea, and the confines of Israel, were enjoyned to come to that feast, or any other of the feasts so farre as I remember; neither indeed could they, dwelling in such remote countryes; except they spent all their time in running about. So that as I conceive is was arbitrary in the Iewes, that dwelt in other countries, whether they would come or no to all those seve∣rall Feasts: though I have this opinion of some of the most zealous of them, and best ablest and richest of them, and that had time and leasure, that they would spare neither paines nor costs, so they might enjoy the Ordinances and the society of their Brethren. Besides we reade but of very few strangers, that were at Ierusalem at this time when Paul was there, and they were them of Asia, which were persecutors rather then believers, as the story relateth, verse 27, 28. Now the multitude of which there is mention made in this place in the 22. verse, they were all Believers, and were inhabitants, and such as were well knowne to Saint Iames and the Presby∣ters, and were all strangers to Paul; and such as had onely heard that Paul taught all the Jewes that were among the Gen∣tiles to forsake Moses, &c. And therefore none of these many ten thousands were of the believing Iewes amongst the Gen∣tiles: for they are clearly distinguished from them: for it is said, that those Myriads of believing Iewes were informed that Paul taught all the Iewes among the Gentiles, &c. They then were informed that Paul had taught others. The Iewes among the Gentiles were they who Paul had so taught, and how could they be in the number of them that were informed? Had they neede to be informed by others what Saint Paul had taught them∣selves? Therefore they must needs be the believing Iewes of Je∣rusalem, and the inhabitants and dwellers there. So that out of the Text I thus argue.

Many ten thousands of Believers could not all meet at any one time, or in any one place or congregation to enjoy all the Ordi∣nances to edification; but of necessity must be distributed into di∣verse and sundry congregations and assemblies, if they would par∣takes Page  206 in all acts of worship and be edified. But in the Church of Jerusalem after all the persecutions, there were many ten thousands believers. Ergo, they could not all meet together at any one time, or in any one place or congregation, for the enjoying of all acts of worship to edification; but of necessity must be distributed into di∣verse and sundry congregations and assemblies, they would partake in all the Ordinances, and be edified.

For the Major all reason will assent unto it; for the Minor, the text it selfe confirmes it; neither doth the word Myrias or My∣riades ever expresse lesse then ten thousand, as might out of many places of Scripture be proved and divers authors. And truly to any man but of an ordinary understanding it would seem strange, yea an incredible thing that Jerusalem the Theater of so many miracles and where there were twelve Apostles, and the most of them for the most part resident, and so many famous Preachers and Pres∣byters, and who at the first beginning of their Ministry, after they had received the gifts of the holy Ghost by their powerfull preaching and a few miracles had in a short time converted above eight thousand people, besides great multitudes both of men and women, besides Priests, and who preached dayly in the Temple, and from house to house, and that for above twenty yeares toge∣ther (as mot of the Apostles did without interruption) that in all this time of the Gospells spring, and that in so populous and nu∣merous a city that all these famous Ministers and Teachers should convert no more to the faith, then might all meet in one Congrega∣tion: I say all this will seem strange to any rationall man. And as it is against all reason, so it is against the expresse words of the holy Scriptures as hath out of many places in the foregoing discourse bin sufficiently made appear, and out of the place last cited, which doth affirme, That there were many ten thousand beleevers in the Church of Ierusalem after all the persecutions; all which could not meet in any one place to enjoy all Acts of Worship, no not in a few. Whether therfore it hath not by this and the many other testimonies of holy Scripture and the arguments out of both been sufficiently proved, That there were many Congregations in the Church of Ierusalem, I report my selfe to any that have not the pearle of prejudice in the eye of their judgement? And this shall suffice to have spoke for the proof of my first assertion.

But as in all their former discourse I faithfully set down what Page  207 Mr Knollys and I. S. had to say by way of answer and confutation to those severall Arguments they opposed, so I shall now in the same manner truly relate what Mr Knollys hath to reply by way of refutation to this my last Argument, and then I will come to what my brother Burton hath to gainsay, and reply to him in or∣der.

Master Knollys his words in way of answer to this last Argu∣ment page 9. are these.

As for the many ten thousands mentioned Acts 21. verse 20.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 comes of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 infinitus (and though the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 do sometime signifie numerum decem millium, yet not alwayes, but for some great number which cannot suddainly be told as Luke 12. 1. And Beza both according to the old and new version of the Greek in∣to Latin, reads it millia thousands, not deem millia: And so wee have it in our English Bibles translated thousands. And the follow∣ing verse 22. will make it probable that they were not so many thou∣sands; for there we thus read; the multitude must needs come toge∣ther, so that I say it is probable that they were not so many thou∣sands, but they could, yea must assemble together. Neither can the Doctor make good from those Scriptures he produceth page 26. to wit Acts the 1. ver. 21, 22. chap. 6. ver. 2, 4. and chap. 8▪ ver. 1. That there was almost an hundred Preachers and Ministers besides the twelve Apostles in the Church of Jerusalem. The twelve are na∣med indeed in Acts 6. 2. 4. but not an hundred besides, no not a∣ny one Preacher but them twelve. And as for the other two places Acts the 1. 21, 22. and Acts the 8. ver. 1. There is not any word con∣cerning Preachers or Ministers, onely some directions touching the choyce of Matthias who was one of the twelve mentioned Acts 6. v. 2. And although they who were scattered preached the word Acts 8. ver. 4. yet the Scripture doth not declare that they were Preachers or Ministers of the Church in Jerusalem.

This Mr. Knollys had to reply; whose words I have set down at large that all men may see the force of his denyall, and with how little reason these men ight against the truth, to maintain their idle opinion of Independency and of the congregationall way: viz. That there were no more beleevers in the Church of Jerusalem then ould meet in one place: And if words and denyalls and sottish eva∣sions might be sufficient to overthrow any apparent truth, then Master Knollys and his fraternity will not want them in opposing Page  208 the most grounded truth and doctrine for the upholding and main∣tenance of their fond and grollish errors.

But now to examine his words, that the truth may more evi∣dently appear, and that my Argument stands firme and good notwithstanding all Master Knollys hath to say to the con∣tarry.

First, he babbles about the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 saying that it com∣eth of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉infinitus; but what is this I say to the matter in hand thus to trifle about words, if not to amuse the ignorant people only to cloud the truth? which neverthelesse breaketh forth more illustriously for the confirming and strengthning of my Argument and for the corroborating of the truth contained in it, as will by the seqnell appear: for if 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 be derived and come from a word that signifieth infinite in the concrete, as he affirmeth, then as all the learned know, the abstract is of a larger extent: for darknesse is more then darke, and signifyeth the extremity and profundity of darke; and so in the same manner, if 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 be the abstract of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 as it is according to Master Knollys his learning, then it denotes and signifies a greater number then ten thousand, rather than a lesse, by how much Myriads an infinite and an innumerable multitude of people signifies more then a finite, then ten thousand: for so the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the 12. of Luke is translated when there were gathered together, saith the translation, an innumerable company of people insomuch that they trode one upon another, &c. an innumerable company therefore signifies rather more then ten thousand, then a lesse number in any ordinary understanding.

And the best interpretes say positus est definitus uumerus pro infinito, a definite and a certaine number for an infinite. Others inter∣pret the word thus, innumer ae turbae multitudo amultitude of immu∣merable people. So that by this his vaine jangling about the word he gaineth nothing. Yea the truth is so cleere, that he himself confesseth, that the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 sometimes signifies ten thousand, yet not al∣wayes, but for some great number which cannot suddainly be told; and for the proofe of what he saith he quots the 12. of Luke the place above mentioned, and brings Bezas his version and our English translation for the confirmation of his assertion viz. that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 doth not alwayes signifie ten thousand; and after that he abuseth his own reason to confute Saint Luke who recording Page  209 the words of St. Iames to Paul, sayes, thou seest brother how many ten thousand believing Iewes &c. To which words of Luke Master Knollys learnedly replies that the following vers. 22. will make it probable that there were not many ten thousands; for there (sayeth he) we thus reade, the multitude must needs come together; so that I say it is probable that they were not so many ten thousands, but they could, yea must assemble together.

Thus Master Knollys disputeth; so that it is manifest that he argueth not only against me, but confutes Saints Luke himself, who by the Spirit of God delivers unto the world, that there were many ten thousands of believers in the Church of Ieru∣salem, which Master Knollys by the spirit of error gainsaith; so that it is no wonder, if he and his fraternity make nothing of of my arguments, when they undertake to give the Spirit of God the lye upon all occasions: for in expresse words the spirit saith there were many ten thousands of believers in Ierusa∣lem, and Master Knollys and his associates affirme the contrary, saying that the Word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 doth not alwayes signifie ten thousand, and that it is probable there were not so many belie∣vere in Ierusalem, and he produceth Bezas his version and our Eng∣lish translation to confirme his errors; which kinde of silly ar∣guing of his, if it be good, then not only every truth of God may easily be over-throwne, but all Heresies be established: but I pray see the folly of the Man: Beza (saith he) and the English interpreters have not translated the Word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 ten thousand Ergo it is not so in the Originall: If such kind of disputing be allowed of in the Congregationall way, I shall not so much wonder hereafter that they tumble daily into so many hideous and monstrous opinions; but of the validity of this ar∣gument more by and by, In the meane time, take notice of Master Knollys his words, howsoever saith he 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, doth not alwayes signifie ten thousand, yet it is taken for so•• great num∣ber that cannot suddainly be told.

Now I referre my selfe to any intelligible and judicious man, whether in this, Master Knollys doth not plainly oppose Saint Luke, and confute what he hath writ, and whether not∣withstanding what he saith, the truth doth not yet more cleer∣ly appeare, and that by his owne interpretation of the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 for in his interpretation two things are observable; the Page  210 first, that it signifies some great number. The second, that it signifies such a great number as cannot suddainly be told: from which all rationall men wil conclude, if 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 signifie some great number that cannot suddainly be told, as Master Knollys affirms, then it signifies more then ten thousand; for ten thousand is not so great a number, nor such a number but may without any dif∣ficulty be suddainly told: for wee have read of five thousand that have suddainly been fed, and of foure thousand at another time, besides women and children that have all likewise been suddainly fed; and therefore ten thousand may suddainly be told; and al∣though those five thousand could meet together, and be suddainly fed in the fields, I will not be induced to beleeve that any one place or roome, in a Citie or house could have contained them all to communicate in al the ordinances. Now then if according to Mr. Konllys his learning there were many greatnumbers of Beleevers in Ierusalem that could not suddainly be told; all rationall men will gather, that they could not all meet in any one place or congrega∣tion to partake in all acts of worship; this I say every good accomp∣tant and intelligible man will easily gather.

But because Mr Knollys affirmes, and that so peremptorily, that the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 doth not alwayes signifie ten thousand, and to that end cites Beza's his version, and the translation of our Bibles, who interpret it thousands, and not ten thousands; I thinke it fit to say something concerning this busines in way of farther answer to Master Knollys, that all men may the better discerne in to the wickednesse of these trifling men: for all Accomptants know, and they that are but a little skilled in Arithmetick, that the word ten thousand in what language soever it be, loseth nothing of its sig∣nification, but retaines the full number, and alwayes signifies ten thousand, though any Interpreter translating the word should for ten thousand interpret it thousands, or many thousands: for this his interpretation diminisheth nothing from the signification of the word; for ten thousand is ever ten thousand: as for instance, if one writing to his friend beyond the Seas concerning the Battle at Nazebie, should relate unto him the manner of the fight in eve∣ry particular, and should also set downe the number of each Ar∣my; and in expresse words say, that the Kings Army consisted of ten thousand, and the Parliaments Army of as many, and he that should translate this Letter into the French or Dutch tongue for Page  211 this certaine number of ten thousand, should say the King came in∣to the field with thousands or many thousands, and the Parlia∣ment with as many: I demand of any understanding Arithmeti∣cian, or skilfull Accountant, or but of any intelligible creature, whether the number of ten thousand loose any thing of its signifi∣cation, or be not still ten thousand, although the Interpreter for that definite and certaine number set downe an indefinite number? I am most assured, his reason will dictate unto him, that there is no diminishing of the number, but it will ever be in the Originall Copie ten thousand, though the Interpreter did not in formall words say the King and the Parliament came into the field with ten thousand men a peece.

Even so it is here, Beza and our Translators taking the liberty of Interpreters render the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 thousands, or many thou∣sands, which word notwithstanding in the Originall signifies ten thousand. I appeale now to the judgement of any wise man and godly Christian, whether I shall cleave rather to the interpretati∣on, or to the originall and authentick Copie, or whether the Text is rather to be relyed upon or the traduction? especially when wee are commanded to goe to the Law and to the Testimony; without the guidance of which, wee shall wander in darkenesse. Isa. 8. I am confident that all judicious men will conclude that the origi∣nall is rather to be stuck to and beleeved then the interpretation. Now when in the Originall the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 ever signifies ten thou∣sand, and never lesse, but many times more, as being a word in the abstract, it followes notwithstanding all that Master Knollys, and all those of his party can say or afirme to the contrary, that the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in that place, and in all other places in the Holy Scripture, and in all good Authors, ever signifies ten thousand; and Beza himselfe upon the first verse of the 12. of Saint Luke▪ verse 1. in his briefe notes hath this expression 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 word for word (saith hee) signifies ten thousand, and so he interpre∣teth it in other places. So that Beza's his translation helpeth Ma∣ster Knollys and his brethren nothing.

And as for our English translation, howsoever in this place it rendreth 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 many thousands, yet in other places it giveth the right interpretation, the full number the word signifieth, as in the 19. of the Acts, v. 19. where the word is in the Originall 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 they translate it there fifty thousand pee∣ces Page  212 of silver, and ▪Beza denariorum quinquaginta millia, that is in both translations five Myriads. And so likewise in the 5. of the Revelation, verse 11. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 they ren∣der it ten thousand times ten thousand, and in Iude the fourteenth. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 they translate it, and behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of Saints. So that it is most apparent, by our interpretation that the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 never signi∣fieth lesse then ten thousand, but being taken single and by it selfe it often signifieth more, and is left free to reach to a greater num∣ber, yea an innumerable company, as in the place above quoted in the 14. of Iude, and in the 12. of the Hebrewes, verse 22. where 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in our translation is interpreted an innumerable multitude of Angels: by all which I am most assured, the learned will all conclude that, the place in the Acts〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 signifi∣eth no lesse then many ten thousands. So that all Master Knolly's pudder about that word, sheweth nothing but his vanity.

And for his reason of his probability, that there were not so many, it is impious and fights against the truth, and gives the Spi∣rit of God the lye; and as for the multitude in that place that fol∣loweth in the 22. verse, all the best Interpreters understand some of the chiefe and select men, and of the prime in authority: for all things were to be carried with order and decency, and not with confusion, which the comming together of many ten thousands would have caused, though they had bin Saints; for we see what a tumult a few zealots of the Law by stirring up the people against Paul made in the Temple. Now if all the Beleevers in Jerusalem besides women and children had met together, and some of Pauls enemies had beene there also, and suggested to the people that hee was an enemy of the Law of Moses; what a confusion may all men conceive would there then have beene? Besides, there was no one place could have contained them all: and therefore Ma∣ster Knollis his prattle, is not only against all reason, and the very opinion of all orthodox Interpreters, but indeed against the judge∣ment of the learnedst of his owne party, who by multitude in this, as in many other places, understand the more eminent and chiefest of beleevers, and men of gravity, and wisedome to ma∣nage a busines, and not a confused company as this man saith: so that what I have replyed in way of answer I perswade my selfe it sufficiently satisfieth all well grounded Christians of the truth of Page  213 my first Position; to wit, that ther were more beleevers in Ierusalem then could all meet in any one place or a few, to communicate in all acts of worship. Yet before I passe on to shew the confused∣nesse, and senselessenesse of this Master Knollys his following dis∣course, I thinke it fit out of his owne Interpretation of the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 to frame an Argument for the corroborating of the truth. His words are these. Although the word〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉doe sometime signi∣fie ten thousand, yet not alwayes, but for some great number which cannot suddainly be told. I will not quarrell his English and the manner of his expression, though it is none of the best as in many other places, lest I should seeme to be like him and his abbertors to trifle about words. But thus I argue out of his words.

Where there was not only some great number of beleevers that could not suddainly be told, but many such great somes, there they could not all meet together in one place or Congregation to communi∣cate in all acts of worship: But in the Church of Jerusalem there was not onely some great number of beleevers which could not suddainly be told, but many such great somes: Ergo, they could not all meet together in any one place or Congregation to partake in all the acts of worship: for the Major, it is evident, yea so apparent by the very light of reason, that no judicious Christian can deny it; for all men know that ten thousand may suddainly be told, if five thou∣sand may suddainly be sed; and they likewise know that ten thou∣sand cannot meet together in any one place or roome, or in any one Congregation to communicate in all the Ordinances; this I say all men know by the very light of naturall understanding, and as by daily experience they are taught; much more by the same rea∣son they will be convinced that many such great numbers cannot meet together in one Congregation to communicate in all Ordi∣nances; all this, the very light of reason suggests to any man: and therefore cannot be denyed; so that the Major of my Syllogisme is undeniable: and for the Minor, besides the holy Scripture that asserts there were many ten thousands, wee have Master Knollys his concession, that the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 sometime signifieth ten thou∣sand, but alwayes is taken for some great number that cannot sud∣dainly be told; and the word of God saith there were many My∣riads, that is many such great numbers: therefore by Master Knollys his owne interpretation of the word it followeth, that there were more Beleevers in the Church of Ierusalem then could Page  214 all meet in any one place or a few to partake in all acts of worship.

And now I will briefly examine his following discourse, though it be little to the purpose, the vanity of the which having been so often againe and againe discovered in the forgoing treatice. And then I will come to my brother Burtons answer. Master Knollys his words are these. Neither can the Doctor make good from those Scriptures he produceth pag. 62. to wit Acts the 1. vers. 21. 22. Chapter 6. ver. 2. 4. and chapter the 8. 1. that there were almost an hundred Preachers and Ministes, besides the twelve Apostles in the Church of Ierusalem, &c. for answer in a few words, I boldly affirme what the Scripture teacheth me, viz: that before the persecution we read of in the 8. chap. v. 1. and before the dispersion and scattering of the believers, besides the Apostles there were in the Church of Ierusalem almost an hundred Prea∣chers and Ministers. And for this the Word of God is cleare and evident: as in Acts the 1. verse 21. 22. Wherefore (saith Saint Peter) of these men which have companyed with us, all the time the Lord Iesus went in and out amongst us beginning from the baptisme of Iohn, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordayned to be a witnesse with us of the resurrection; and they appointed, two Ioseph called Barsabas and Matthias.

Out of the which words these insuing truths doe necessarily follow; first, that they that were assembled here with Peter and the other Apostles were ancient Disciples; for saith the text, they were such as had companyed with the Apostles, all the time the Lord Iesus went in and out amongst them, beginning from the Baptisme of Iohn &c. and therefore must needs be such as had been dili∣gent Schollers all that time in Christs Schoole and such as were well instructed in all Christian principles as is easily gathered out of the very words; for any one of them were thought fit in the Apostles judgement to succeede Iudas in his place and to be an Apostle, in regard that they had heard and seene all things Christ both spake and did till his death and ascension; for otherwise they could not have been witnesses of all things to his resurrecti∣on. All this I say in the first place doth necessarily follow.

Secondly, this truth also doth insue out of the forgoing words, that either all those men were Ministers, or the most of them: for in expresse termes it is related, that they had accompanied the Apostles the time the Lord Iesus went in and out amongst Page  215 them, beginning from the Baptisme of Iohn untill Christs ascen∣sion. Now amongst those that conversed with the Apostles, besids Iohn schollers Christ had seventy Disciples all Ministers, which he sent out two by two into all Cities to preach and to worke wonders, who came back again to him, rejoycing that the Divells were subject unto them, and they stil wayted upon Christs Ministry; we reade also of many of Iohns Disciples that came unto Christ, all which were Ministers likewise, and such as preached and bap∣tized: and all these were with Peter and the rest of the Apostles at this time, & continued with them till the persecution: for we reade of no departure of them, or separation till then: and all these were men of singular gifts and graces, and such as by the Apostles were thought fit to succeed Iudas in his Apostleship, and therefore were all Preachers and Ministers by Office, and were such as had been formerly sent out by Christ or Iohn the Baptist to preach and baptize and to worke Miracles, and therefore I affirme were all Ministers and Preachers by their place and Office; and not only gifted brethren: and the Scripture is so cleere in it, as nothing can be more apparent: for it saith Wherefore of these men which have companyed with us all the time the Lord Iesus went in and out amongst us beginning from the baptisme of Iohn unto the same day he was taken up from us, must one be ordained &c. Wherefore of necessity they must needs be ancient and inveterate Disciples and Ministers by Office, or otherwise the Apostles would not have judged them fit for an Apostleship. And all these continued with the Apostles in Ierusalem for ought any thing related to the contrary till their persecution, and were of the Presbytery in that Church: and then it is said they were all scat∣tred saving the Apostles: therefore those that went abroad Prea∣ching the Word after their dispersion and publishing the Gos∣pell, were Ministers and Preachers by Office, which taught by the way of Sermons in all places where they came, and not out of charity as gifted brethren as I have formerly sufficiently proved upon that place, whether I referre the Reader, and therefore shall not feare here to conclude that of necessity there must be an innumerable company of believers in the Church of Ierusalem, that had imployed so many faithfull Ministers and diligent Preachers almost an hundred so long a time, and the which in this their hottest persecution tooke up and imployed Page  216 twelve of the most painfull and laborious Ministers in the world, who spent all their time in Praying and Preaching amongst them: and for the performance of each of their duties, all intelligible Christians will also gather, that they must necessarily have seve∣rall Congregations and Assemblies: for all of them could not preach together at one time and in one place or roome, and therefore there were many Assemblies and Congregations even under the perse∣cution in the Church of Jerusalem, the which afterward were ex∣ceedingly multitplyed and increased when the Churches had rest as the Scripture recordeth, the which amounted to many ten thousands; all the which could not then possibly meete in one Con∣gregation or a few. And this shall suffice to have answered to what ever Master Knollys and I. S. had vainely and impiously to Cavill against such of my Arguments as they thought themselves best able by their learning to deale with, for the seducing of unstable and ungrounded people. And now I come to what my brother Bur∣ton hath to say against all my foregoing Arguments. Whose words are these.

But I come briefly to your Arguments, whereby you would prove your Classicall Presbyterian government, and so upward. The paterne hereof you take from the Christian Church at Jerusalem. Hereof many Arguments, or rather words, and tautologies you multiply, and toile your selfe and vexe your Reader withall, which you might have reduced to one. It is in summe this.

In Jerusalem were many Christian Congregations, and all these made but one Church, and so were governed by one Presbytery.

But the Church of Jerusalem, being the prime Apostolicke Church, is a paterne for all succeeding Churches.

Ergo, all Church government ought to be regulated by that, and consequently by a Presbytery over many Congregations.

As for your indefinite enumeration of those multitudes baptized by Iohn Baptist, and by Christs Disciples, we take no notice of them, unlesse formed into a Church or Churches: but following the expresse Scripture, the first formed Church we finde is in Acts the 2. which though consisting of five thousand, yet it was one intire particular Church, and not Churches; and they continued daily 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 with one accorde in one place together (vers. 1.) and in the Temple (ver. 44. 46.) growing from an hundred and twenty (Acts 1. vers. 15.) to three thousand more (Chap. 2. 41.) and then Page  217 in all to five thousand (chap. 4. 4. and all these but one Church, which assembled together to heare the Word in the Temple; and although they wanted a convenient place so spacious, as whereinto break bread, or receive the Lords Supper altogether, so as they were constrained to sever themselves into divers companies, in severall private houses to communicate; yet this severing was not a dividing of the church into so many distinct formall Churches, or Church bodyes, being but so many branches of one and the same particular Church; which though you call so many Congregations, yet properly so many Churches they were not. And therefore you never reade the Churches at or in Ierusalem, but the Church of Jerusalem. And this no nationall Church neither, witnesse those Churches in Iudea Gal. 1. 22.

Whereupon I answer to your Argument; and first to your propo∣sition. I deny that those congregations you name are so many Chur∣ches properly so called, having their distinct Officers and Members united into one Church body respectively: This I put you to prove: And without proving it, your 11. or 12. sheets spent about that argu∣ment, prove to be meer waste paper. And for your assumption, that the Church at Jerusalem as being a prime Apostolick Church, is therefore a pattern for all succeeding Churches, and therefore for a Classicall Presbytery over many Churches: You must first prove your proposition, as before, that there were many Churches in Ieru∣salem constituted in their distinct formes and bodyes.

Secondly it being no more then one entire particular Church (and not any Diocesan, or Provinciall Church, or the Presbytery thereof classicall (as you would beare us in hand) it is a paterne for all par∣ticular Churches in succeeding ages; and yet by your favour not so perfect a paterne, as no Apostolick Church besides it should also come in to make up the paterne compleat. For wee are necessarily to take all the Churches in the New Testament together, to make up one en∣tire and perfect Church paterne. For in the Church at Jerusalem, wee find election of Officers, but wee find not expressed that part of discipline for casting out of corrupt Members, as in the Church of Corinth, and so in the rest. For the Churches were not brought forth to full perfection in one day. Their very constitution had a gra∣duall growth. The Church at Jerusalem had not at first Deacons, till there was a necessity; and the largenesse of the Church required se∣ven Deacons, which is no patterne for every Church to have seven Deacons. The summe is, to make up a compleat paterne, not onely Page  218 the Church at Jerusalem, but that of Corinth, of Ephesus, those of Galatia, that of Philippi, and the rest, are to be conferred together, that each may cast in its shot to make up the full reckoning, that so what is not exprest in one, may be supplyed by the rest, to make one entire platforme. For the Scripture consists of many parts, as so many Members in one body; one Member cannot say to another I have no need of thee, 1 Cor. 12.

Againe, the Church at Jerusalem, if it must be a paterne for all other Churches, then in this that all other Churches must be subject to some one Church, because (Acts 15.) things in question were there debated, and determined, and sent to other Churches to be ob∣served. But for as much, as that Church, at that time in those things was infallibly guided by the Holy Ghost, wherewith the Apostles there were inspired, in which respect their resolutions were with au∣thority, it pleased the Holy Ghost and us (that which no particular Church since the Apostles could ever say) it followeth that the Church then at Jerusalem remaines not in all things a paterne for other Churches; for a paterne must be in all things imitable and per∣fect.

Lastly, for Appeales so much agitated, and pressed, I have said e∣nough before, and else-where (as in my vindication) to vindicate the right use of that in point of Church matters. And so I passe briefly from your first question to your second; which is concerning the man∣ner of gathering of Churches, and admitting of Members and Offi∣cers.

I have set downe my Brother Burtons expressions at large, that all men may see how fairely I deale with hm: s for his censure up∣on all my Arguments, that went before, by which I proved my first Proposition, that they are rather words and tautoligies then arguments, by which I toyled my selfe and my Reader, I passe it by, as neither regarding his pr yses, nor sleightings, who was ne∣ver yet constant to the Principles either of Humanity or Religion, but like the Camelion hee speaketh of page 3. receives impressions of sundry formes changeable according to the present condition: And as it is said of King Henry the eight, that hee never spared any man in his rage, so it may truly be averred of him, that hee never spared any in his fury & passion, neither living nor dead, upon the least conceived displeasure against them; no not those hee was most obliged to, as all that have beene familiarly acquainted with Page  219 him, and his frothy Pamphlets and language can testifie: for he spares not the King himselfe, nor Parliament upon all occasions, to the one of which notwithstanding hee was not onely obliged in all Loyaltie as a subject, but as a speciall servant: and to the other, if ever any man was ingaged in all the obligations of duty and vene∣ration, hee was, who is bound unto that great Councell for his Liberty, which is the life of life, and for his honour and good name, which is better then life; and yet hee hath spared neither, but hath most unchristianly, and undutifully, and that publickly and privately aspersed them upon all occurrences: and therefore if at pleasure hee can vilipend, sleight, traduce and speake evill of those dignities, I may not thinke my selfe agrieved, if hee most unbro∣therly in his scriblings abuse me.

Yea, I am so farre from being offended at him, for this his so dea∣ling with mee, as I thinke my selfe honoured by it, and account it matter of rejoycing, having learned that lesson of my heavenly Master, That when men revile me, reproach me and speake all man∣ner of evill of me falsely, for his names sake, that I should rejoyce and be exceeding glad; for so they have done by all the Prophets, Matth. 5. Luke the 6. and Paul tooke such dealing from the false Teachers of his time, for matter of triumph, (2 Cor. 12. verse 10.) saying, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christs sake, for when I am weake then am I strong. This I apply unto my selfe, who have suffered as much from him, and those of his party, in reproaches, in perse∣cutions, and in all manner of reviling and blasting language, as their daily Pamphlets and words can witnesse, as any man now li∣ving; and for no other cause that I know of, but that I maintaine the truth against error, and oppose the novelties and groundlesse opinions of the times; all the which will the more aggravate their judgement; because they did as immoderately prayse me (as can be proved) before they knew my differing opinion from them, as they doe now maliciously and causelesly vituperate mee: and the Lord knowes, that I am not changed in my opinion in any knowne truth from what I both beleeved and to my power pra∣ctised, above these thirty yeares; neither had I any reason to va∣ry from my Principles, they being grounded upon the unerring word of truth: and therefore for my brother Burtons and his parties sleighting of mee, and my indeavours, I wave them as Page  221 meere Grolleries, knowing that my bookes have beene read by more judicious men, then either himselfe, or any of his Fraternity, and have had the approbation of learned men at home and abroad.

And now I come to his Argument, for hee hath not so much candour, and faire dealing in him, as to lay downe my reasons, that the Reader might see the grounds of truth, but conceals them all, and makes a Syllogisme of his owne, or else hath borrowed it, from some of his American friends, and fetcht it out of the new World: For I never read the like in either Europian or Asian Wri∣ter; no nor in any African Author: & yet that Country was famous for Monsters, and usually esteemed to be the Mother and Nursery of prodigious births, and yet such a Syllogisme I never saw brought forth by any of that Nation, as this of his framing: and I am confident that every sucking Sophister will bee ready truly to say of it, as hee falsely speakes of those multitudes baptized by Iohn & Christs disciples, that they were not formed into a Church or Churches: the same I say, will any but a Novice in the Art of disputation conclude of his Syllogisme, that it hath neither forme, mood, or figure: and that I could easily make evident, were it not for mispending of precious time, and that I desire not to displease the good old Father, in discovering his nakednesse, and infirmities, who if hee were so highly offended with mee, because hee con∣ceived I meant him, when I spake of a Basket-hilted beard, how much would hee be inraged, if I should discover his ignorance, and make it appeare, that hee is a meer stranger in the art of Lo∣gick, which hee would perswade the world hee were so great a Master in.

But leaving that, I will come the matter in hand, which is of publicke concernment: and in the first place, I must needs blame him for his Sacriledge and unjust dealing, who at one time robbs the Church of Christ of such multitudes of believers as were converted and baptized by the Baptist and Christs Dis∣ciples, and by them added unto the Church of the Iews, who were then the only visible Church upon earth, and proclaimed by Christ himself (Iohn 4.) to be the only true worshippers, who saith that Salvation was of the Iews, and that the Samaritans, wor∣shipped they knew not what. Now to the Church of the Iewes those true worshippers, those that were converted by Iohn the Baptist and Christs Disciples, and baptized into Christ, were Page  221 added: and therfore they were worthy to have been taken notice of by my brother Burton, as formed into a Church or Churches, if believing in Christ, repenting and being baptized in his name and by his authority, be sufficient to make men members of a Church: for as the Catholicke visible Church consists of many Nationall, Provinciall, and Presbyterian Churches, so did the Nationall church of the Iews of many citie & Countries, Churches which were in their Dialect called Synagogues, which is the same with our Churches both in cities and countries, as all the learned well know; for in all those Synagogues they partaked daily in the morall worship, and had the Preaching of the law and the Keyes of Heaven. Now then when those multitudes that I enumerated in my arguments, baptized by Iohn and the blessed Apostles, and the seventy Disciples were all gathered into Christs fold, and made his sheepe and true believers, and that by the Preaching of the Gospell, and hearing of the voyce of their Pastors, and had amongst them all those sealing and discrimi∣nating Ordinances, that were sufficient not only to forme them into a church or churches, but to difference them from Pagans and Infidels, as who were Israelites, to whom pertained the adopti∣on, and the glory, the Covenants and the giving of the Law, and the Service of God, and the promises, as Saint Paul speaketh, Rom. 9. vers. 4. all which I conceive were sufficent and avaylable to make any then living, members of Christs Church.

I say, when they had circumcision, and the Passoever, & baptisme, and the Law and the Gospell and that worship of God that he had established amongst them, and were his peculiar people, of whom Christ had given this testimony that they were his true worship∣pers, and when they were also gathered in according to Gods own appointment, by the sound of the Gospell and by the preaching of Faith and Repentance and by the Ministry of the Word, as all the Prophets had formerly gathered Churches, then those that were Baptized by Iohn, who was a Prophet sent of God (Luke the 3.) and sent to baptize (Iohn the 1. 33.) and those that were baptized by the Disciples who were sent from Christ as he was from his Father who said Go teach all nations baptising them, &c. all they I say ought by my brother Burton and all the Independents to be taken notice of, as formed into a Church or Churches, what so ever he and I. S. say to the contrary, who in this agree, that those Page  222 that were baptized by John and by Christs Disciples were no Christians, much lesse cast into a Church mould, according to the New-Testament forme, and lest of all that they were mem∣bers of one Christian Church at Ierusalem. These are J. S. his formall words pag. 9. So that whiles these men vvill dispute against the truth, they blaspheme and give the Spirit of God the lye: for Christ hath said, that they that heare his Disciples, heare him, and that they that heare his voyce are his sheepe; novv, vvhen all those that vvere converted by their Ministry, and vvere in token of their faith and obedience baptized, and had given up their names unto Christ, they were all incorporated into his fold, which is his church, his Mysticall body, and were moulded into a church or churches, and so they are set down to us in the holy Scriptures as believers and true members of Christs church; and therefore formed into a church or churches; for there is but one Shepherd and one sheep-fold, and Christ had then no other church on earth that we reade of but that of the Iewes; and which is yet more, it was a reformed church; for Christ had cast out all the Buyers and Sellers (John 2.) out of the Temple, and cals it his Fathers house, and the house of prayer, so that it was now a pure church, and clensed from all pollutions, and in the which all Christs Ordinances were in their purity; here was the Preaching of the Gospell, the Teaching of the Law, and all the sealing Ordinances, both old and new: here was Circumcision, the Passeover, Sacrifices and Ceremonies, here was Baptisme and the Lords Supper or breaking of bread; here was the true Invocation or calling on the name of God, and that in the house of Prayer, where all Supplications were heard, and that before Christs death: Here we have all the ma∣terialls for the making or forming of a church or churches, or casting of Christians into a church mould according to the new∣testament forme (to speak a little in the Independents dialect) for here we have visible Saints in multitudes, devoute men and true worshippers from out of all the Nations under heaven (Acts 2): here we have Christ and his twelve Apostles, and his seventy Disciples, Elders and Teachers in abundance, besides many Women that followed him and ministred unto him; here was no want of Ministers and Officers and Members of all sorts besides innumerable multitudes of believers and cryers Hosanna, and all Page  223 this before Christs death, as well as after, and all these Christian believers, and such as did partake of all sealing and saving Ordinances sufficient to cast them into a church mould, and to forme them into a church or churches, as well as after Christs ascension: and therefore my indefinite enumeration of those that were baptized by Iohn and Christs Disciples, ought by my bro∣ther Burton and I. S. and all the Independents to have been taken notice of as formed into a church or churches, without Christ and his blessed Apostles who partaked in all Ordinances, be not in their esteeme reputed Christians and formed into a church, or cast into a church mould, which were blasphemy in any to thinke, and therefore is much more the height of wicked∣nesse in my brother Burton and I. S. to affirme and Print: for I. S. his expressions I produced them often before. I will now set downe my brother Burtons formall words, which I cannot but reiterate.

For your indefinite enumeration (saith he) of those mulititudes baptized by Iohn, and by Christs Disciples, we take no notice of them unlesse formed into a church or churches; but following the expresse Scripture, the first formed church we finde is in Acts 2. These are his words and that in the name of all the Indepen∣dents, saying we take no notice of them. So that by this, all men may gather that in the Independents language, and in their Divinity, Iohn Baptist, and all Christs Disciples with Christ him∣self and all Christian believers in Christs time, and all that by baptisme were received into Christs fold and church, and such as had given up their names to Christ, were not worthy to be taken notice of by the Independent brethren who esteeme of them all as no Christians, but a deformed church, and not cast into a church mould: For my brother Burton peremptorily af∣firmes, and that in the name of all the Independents pag. 11. that following the expresse Scripture, the first formed church we finde is in Acts the 2. So that they all profsse, they reade of no formed church, nor of no church cast into a church mould, according to the new-testament forme, till after Christs death; and that ex∣pr sly set down for the time of it Acts the 2. So that the Christian church before Christs death and ascension was defor∣med; that is to speake plainly, that Iohn the Baptist, Christ and his holy Apostles and all Christians made by them, were not moulded Page  224 up as they ought to be and formed into a Church or Churches; which if it be not the height of blasphemy, I refer to the judgment of any intelligent Reader! Amongst them in their new moulded congregations, a Pastor & a Teacher, and two Elders, and a Deacon and five or six brethren more and three or four Sisters can make up a formed Church after the New Testament form; Now is there any man so stupid and brutish as will not conclude that where Christ was the great Pastor and Shepherd of our Soules, and where there were James and John the sonnes of Zebedee two Teachers or Doctors, those Bonaerges, those sonnes of Thunder, and eight or nine Elders with seventy Disciples all Saints all whose names were writ in heaven with multitudes of Beleevers with many women that followed Christ the great Shepherd of our souls, who had also a Decon amongst them, Judas by name, that all these could not or did not make up a formed church or churches, when ten or twelve in their whibling congregations, so qualified as formerly, can make a formed church after the New Testament form? I say he that shall not beleeve that the Lord Jesus Christ the great shepherd of his sheep, and all his Disciples, Schollers and followers cannot as well make a formed church, as a few in our new founded or rather confounded congregations, is voyd of all reason and understanding: And they that shall peremptorily and rashly affirm that they were not a true formed church, I proclaim them guilty of blasphemy and deserving most condigne punishment: And therfore when my brother Bur∣ton and many of the Independents are guilty of this heinous and fa∣cinorous crime they ought severely to be dealt with, as prevaricators against the divine Majesty of the King of Saints and King of Kings and against the honour of the Saints in Christs time, and ought by all Christs true Disciples and such as love the honour and dignity of their King and Saviour Jesus Christ to be abominated as a compa∣ny of false teachers, calumniators and horrid seducers, how godly soever they seem to the wrold to be.

And as all such teachers as my brother Burton and his complices are, ought by Christs Saints and Servants to be looked on as a com∣pany of grand impostors and juglers: So the poor and despised Presbyterians, who they terme sinners and carnall people, and men of earth and enemies of Christ and his Kingdome, may comfort themselves in this that they are like their master and his Disciples, and all that were converted by John the Baptist and by the MinistryPage  225of Christ and his Apostles and Disciples and baptized by them: for they pronounce of us all, that we are not formed into a church or churches, nor cast into a church mould according to the New Te∣stament forme, and that we are not members of any true church nor Saints, but enemies of Christ, and at best but converts in part, as if Christ the authour and finisher of our Faith, wrought his worke to the halves, this I say may comfort all us the poore despised Presbyterians; for the same they say of Christ and his Disciples, and of all that were converted and baptized by Johns and their mi∣nistry and such as partaked in all Ordinances, of all which they af∣firm, That they were not formed into a Church or Churches according to the New Testament form: for in their babble, there was not a for∣med church, till that we reade of Acts the 2. So that neither Christ nor his Disciples nor John the Baptist and his Disciples, nor the hundred and twenty names we read of Acts the 1. in their learning were a formed church, nor all the other worshippers the Scripture speaks of Act. 2. nor thought worthy by them to be taken notice of for a church or churches; So that by this bold assertion of my brother Burton and I. S. they do not only oppose the truth, but indeed many of those of their own party and tribe, howsoe∣ver they pretend they write in the name of them all, who I am most assured will give them little thanks for this their pains; for to my knowledge the learnedst of them are against them in this point and disavow their opinion: For the principallest of them hold that the hundred and twenty names we read of Acts the first, were a true formed church as all their writings and disputes de∣clare: and therefore my brother Burton and I. S. affirming the contrary, in this they oppose many of their brethren as well as the Presbyterians; and for this their temerity, I am most confident they will be highly blamed by all the Judicious of that party.

And truly if the hundred and twenty names were not a true for∣med church, there was then none upon Earth. And if they had not been a formed church according to the New Testament forme, they could not have given a forme to other churches; for all learned christians agree in this, That it must be a true formed Church, that must make others true formed churches: For they cannot give and communicate that to others that they have not themselvs: this is one of their own principles, and therefore they cannot deny it.

Page  226 Now if the hundred and twenty names were a true formed church, then all that were baptized by Iohn and Christs Disciples, and as many as were converted by their Ministry, were a true for∣med church or churches; for they were all formed after one and the same way, so that what made the hundred and twenty Names a true formed church, made all the other a true formed church or churches, if the same cause can produce the same or the like effect.

And if men would but seriously consider, what it is that is ab∣solutely requisite or necessary and indeed abundantly sufficient for the making or forming of a true church or churches, or for the making of any man or woman a Member of a true formed church, they would soon and without any difficulty perceive, That all those that were baptized by Iohn the Baptist and Christs Disciples were as well formed into a church or churches as the hundred & twenty names and those three thousand my brother Burton speakes of, and which he alls the first formed church: For all those that were baptized by John and Christs Disciples beleeved the maine points of the christian Faith, and professed subjection unto the Gospell of Jesus Christ and his Kingdome, as well as the hundred and twenty names and the other three thousand, and this was as much as Iohn the Bap∣tist, Christ himselfe and all his Apostles required for the forming of them into a church or churches and making of any men or wo∣men Members of the same, as is manifest in the second of the Acts verse 38▪ where Peter saith, repent and be baptized. And where likewise it is recorded, That as many as gladly received the Word were baptized, verse 41. and the same day were added to the church about three thousand Soules. Neither was there required any more of those converted by Philippe in the church of Samaria, Acts the 8. or of the Eunuch or of the Goaler, or of any other that were admitted into church-fellowship in the Apostles imes, then that they should beleeve and be baptized, as is apparent through the whole story of the Acts.

Now then when all that were baptized by the Baptist and Christs Disciples, did all repent and beleeve, as the Scripture relateth they did, of which the hundred and twenty names were a part as well as those three thousand, then they were all moulded into a church forme, and formed into a church or churches as well as the three thousand, that my brother Burton confesseth, following the ex∣presse Page  227 Scripture, were the first formed church.

And if beleeving the Gospell then, and yeelding subjection un∣to it, and repenting and being baptized were sufficient to make them Members and forme them into a church or Churches, then beleeving and repenting now, and being baptized and yeelding sub∣jection unto the Gospell is sufficient for the making of either men or women Members and forming of them into a church or chur∣ches; for these were the principall things and the only things then thought sufficient by the Baptist, Christ and the blessed Apostles and all the Evangelists for the making of any Members, and that in the Apostolicall, prime and purest churches. Neither have any Ministers of the Gospell in these our dayes, any other rule to go by informing or gathering of churches or receiving of Members into any church, then that Iohn the Baptist and the glorious Apostles and Disciples of Christ had, all the which notwithstanding did then set up Christ upon his Throne as well as any Independent Ministers in our times: and therefore as it is high presumption and rashnesse in those of the congregationall way to make or frame to themselves and to the Church of God any other rules to go by in forming of churches then those set down by Christ himselfe, who is only to be heard Mat. 17. So it is a great sinne and breach of charity in them to deny those to be formed into a church or churches, that observe not their new rules, and yet observe and follow Christs injuncti∣ons and commands: from all which I may well and safely con∣clude, That when those that were baptized by the Baptist and Christs Disciples imbraced the Christian faith and professed subjection unto it and unto Christ the Messiah, and were baptized by them into Christ or in his name, who were men in office and sent of God to this purpose, as having their commission immediately from him for their so doing; for so Saint John saith, Ioh. 1. v. 33. He that sent me to baptize, &c. so Christ saith, Go teach all Nations and Baptize them, &c. Mat. 28. I say when this was the substance of Iohn & the Apostles commission, and when John performed it accordingly baptizing all Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the Regions round about, Matth. 3. and when the Disciples of Christ baptized more then John, Iohn. 4. then it followes that all those they baptized were all moulded into a Church or Churches, as well as the hundred and twenty names (who were baptized by their Ministery) and those thousands that were conver∣ted, baptized and added unto the Church in the 2. of the Acts by the Page  228 Preaching and Ministery of Peter, and the other Apostles, and were all by the same reason formed into a Church or Churches, (not with∣standing whatsoever my brother Burton and I. S. speake and dispute to the contrary) and therefore they ought to have beene taken notice of by my good brother as formed into a Church or Churches.

And if it be duly considered what the Independents teach and hold concerning a true formed Church, after the New Testament forme, and according to their Principles, then this very Church my Brother Burton saith was the first formed Church wee reade of, was neither in his owne opinion, nor according to the do∣ctrine of those of the congregationall way, a true formed Church, as not having distinct Officers and Members united into one Church body respectively, and therefore not a church properly so called: and so then it will follow, there was not at that time a true formed church in the World, which is impious to say or thinke, as in the sequell of this tractate by Gods assistance I shall abundantly make appeare, and that from my Brother Burtons owne words, and from the Independents definition of a Church: and therefore my Brother Burton ought as little to have taken no∣tice of those converted by Peters Sermon for the first formed Church as of those that were baptized by Iohn and Christs Disci∣ples, for they had not their distinct Officers and Members united into a Church body respectively according to their learning; yea they had not then Deacons at all, nor Elders as many of the Inde∣pendents hold, nor other of their requisits for the making of a for∣med Church: and therefore it was notachurch properly so called to speake in their Dialect▪ But of these things in their due place.

I will now examine his following discourse, by which the va∣nity of my Brother Burton will the better appeare, and for the which I perswade my selfe he will receive if not a severe censure, at least a moderate check, such an one as I causelessly had not long since from a Plumporidge Presbyterian brother, one of their fellow comoners and a trencher friend to that party: for my Brother Bur∣ton doth in exprsse words grant that which all the Independents and those of his faction absolutely deny, viz. That there were ma∣ny congregations and assemblies of Beleevers in the Church of Je∣salem: this I say he granteth, which all they deny, attesting the contrary, as all their dissenting Arguments shew, who labour to prove that there were not many congregations and assemblies ofPage  229Beleevers in the Church of Jerusalem; and in formall words af∣firme, That there were no more Beleevers in that Church, then did and could all meet together in one place and congregation: for they knew very well that if they should grant that, the day on their side is lost: and this caused Master Knollys by name, and I. S. to come out against me for holding there were many congregations, with a promise, that if I could prove there were more Beleevers in the Church of Jerusalem then could all meet in one place to par∣take in all acts of worship, that then the controversie would bee at an end, and so doe all the Independents say, that I ever yet talked with.

Now my Brother Burton an old Disciple, and Father amongst them, acknowledgeth that there were many congregations of Be∣leevers in the Church of Ierusalem, & that in its infancy and child∣hood, and proveth it by reason and arguments, as that there was no place great enough to containe them all; and therefore they were forced into severall assemblies, and that the largenesse of the church required seven Deacons. These are his owne words, by which he proveth many congregations in the church of Ierusalem, which was that I laboured to prove, and therefore hee hath done my worke. Now all men know where there are seven Treasurers, there must needs be an innumerable number and multitude of Be∣leevers: For two or three Treasurers would have served any one congregation though it had consisted of many more then five thou∣sand, as daily experience teacheth us. Now that there were seen at the first appointed, it sheweth a mighty vast multitude of Be∣leevers and Saints; and if in its infancy there were so many or∣dained, how many more may wee suppose were afterward in fu∣ture times made, when the multitudes of Beleevers daily increa∣sed as the Scripture relateth? and these I say are my brother Bur∣tons own Arguments against himself to prove many congregations of Beleevers at that time in the church of Ierusalem, which not∣withstanding, is that all the Independents deny. Now if his brethren doe not truly conclude of him, and say, as they did, when he writ his Protestation protested of which hee himselfe was asha∣med, that hee was a weake man, and unfit for that busines, and that hee should have left that dispute to those that had many yeares studied the question, I shall be much deceived: and if I have not beene mis-informed by some of that way, many of the most appro∣ved Page  230 of them for judgement, have already given this verdict of him, and that for his very vindiciae veritatis, or rather falsitatis, and for his Truth shut out of doores that hee was a weake man, and unfit for this imployment, as being a man of more passion and choler then grounded reason and argumentation; and there∣fore would spoyle their cause.

But now to the matter in hand. My Brother Burton acknow∣ledgeth that the Beleevers in the church of Ierusalem, were so many, in the very infancy of it, that for want of a convenient place, as wherein to breake bread, or receive the Lords Supper all together, they were constrained to sever themselves into divers companies; and to communicate in severall private houses, which concession of his quite overthrowes the opinion of those of the congregationall way as they call it; yet saith hee, this severing was not a dividing of the Church into so many distinct formall Churches or Church bodies, because but so many branches of one and the same particular church, which though (saith hee) you cal∣led so many congregations, yet properly so many Churches they were not, as not having their distinct Officers and Members united into one Church body respectively. These are his formall words. So that he distinguisheth between church and congregation, as Master Knollys doth betweene 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 not making them sy∣nonima's, as other men and those of the congregationall way usually doe, and thinkes by this his grollery to evade the dint of all Arguments that are brought to convince them. The question therefore betweene me and my Brother Burton at this time, is, Whether a congregation and a company of beleevers communicating together in church Fellowship, and in all the saving and sealing Or∣dinances, be a church properly so called, which my Brother Bur∣ton denies, saying, that although I called them so many congrega∣tions, yet properly so many churches they were not; and puts mee upon the proofe of it: and therefore to gratifie my kind bro∣ther, & to shew how willing I am to please his humour I do under∣take that work. Now if I can make it appeare, & evince, that those severall Assemblies and congregations of Beleevers in the church of Ierusalem wee reade of in the first six chapters of the Acts, were so many severall churches properly so called, then hee will acknowledge and confesse that my elevenor twelve sheets spent a∣bout this Argument prove no waste paper; and then also the contro∣versie Page  231 betweene us is at an end, and hee must turne Presbyterian Dependent if hee hath any honesty in him. This then is my taske to maintaine, and prove that those congregations and severall assemblies or companies of Beleevers in the church at Ierusalem, were so many churches properly so called, which by the grace of God and his blessed assistance I doubt not but to make good, al∣though he had sufficiently himself overthrowne the Independents doctrine, by the very granting there were many congregations in Ierusalem.

But by the way, before I come to prove what I have underta∣ken, I will take this liberty to premise thus much, if That my bro∣ther Burton speaketh of the church at Ierusalem bee orthodox di∣vinity, viz. that the severing of themselves, into divers compa∣nies, and into many severall congregations, in severall private houses, for the partaking in all the Ordinances, and for the injoy∣ing of all the acts of worship, that they might be the better edifi∣ed, makes them not so many distinct formall churches, or church bodies properly so called, (because but so many branches of one and the same particular church, the communicating and partici∣pating notwithstanding in al the which Ordinances in al ages, was thought sufficient to constitute a formall church, or a church body properly so called): then I affirme the same may be concluded of the catholick visible church; for that is but one church, and one sheep-fold, as being founded and built upon that one Rock Iesus Christ, that onely Pastor and Shepheard of his sheepe; and there∣fore one of these conclusions must necessarily insue upon his Prin∣ciples, viz. if the severing of a particular church into many con∣gregations and assemblies makes them not severall churches or church bodies properly so called, as my brother Burton teaches; because it is but one and the same church, and all those congrega∣tions are but so many branches of that one church: then the seve∣ring of the catholike visible church into many congregations and assemblies through the world, makes them not so many chur∣ches properly so called, because the church of Christ is but one and the same church, and all those congregations are but so many branches of that one church: and so by his learning there shall now be no visible churches upon earth properly so called, although they injoy all Christs Ordinances in each of them, for they are but so many branches of that one church. And if this bee good Page  232 Divinity, then let all men turne Expectants and Seekers, for wee have not in the world as yet any particular visible formed chur∣ches; for all these severall congregations are but so many branches of that one catholicke visible church: and a branch and a member of a church is not a church properly so called in my brother Burtons Dialect: and therefore wee have no true visible churches, or church bodies upon earth properly so called: this I say will neces∣sarily follow upon my Brother Burtons unsound Principles and this his opinion, which I am confident upon his more serious thoughts, and when he makes not such haste, (as he confesses he did, when he writ this his book against me) he will acknowledge to be very erroneous.

But if he shall against all reason, undertake to main∣taine the same doctrine concerning the Catholicke visible church he doth about the church of Ierusalem, I am assured he will be highly condemned by the learnedest of his party as well as by the universall consent of all the judicious Divines in the world, who I know are of a contrary judgement. But I say, if upon mature deliberation he shall acknowledge and grant that the severall congregations or churches of believers mentioned in the Scriptures, as that of Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia &c. and their own severall congregations in their new gathered churches (howsoever he will not grant that title unto our assemblies) I say if he shall but accord that both the primitive churches and their new congregations be churches properly so called or church bodies, though but so many branches and members of the Catho∣licke visible church, which yet is but one and the same church: then likewise of necessity it will follow, and he must yeild unto it, that all those severall congregations and assemblies in the church of Ierusalem were churches properly so called, though but so many branches of that one and the same particular church, because as the learned know, all particular congregations and churches that partake in all the Ordinances as they are similar parts of the whole church, so they doe all partake of the name and nature of it and are all of them churches properly so called; and there∣fore by the very same reason I say, all those severall congrega∣tions and assemblies in the church of Ierusalem being parts of that Nationall city or Presbyterian church, that one and the same church, as partaking both of the name and nature of that church, Page  233 are all of them churches properly so called; one of those con∣clusions, I affirme will necessarily follow from my brother Burtons principles. And for the better evidencing of what I have said, I will adde a few words more by way of a corollary, that whatso∣ever the whole church at Ierusalem had in it to make it the first formed church properly so called, the same had all the congre∣gations and assemblies respective∣ly and severally considered, to make every one of them churches properly so called: And therefore if the whole church at Ierusalem may challenge the name of a true formed church (as the Independents acknow∣ledge) then the severall congregations and assemblies respective∣ly and severally considered, might do the same, and were churches properly so called. For if the whole consisted of visible Saints, so did every one of those severall congregations and assemblies consist of visible Saints. And if the whole had the blessed Apostles in it and Christs seventy Disciples and all sorts of church Officers, so had every severall congregation and assembly of that church, though but a part and a branch of the whole. And if the whole church inioyed all the saving and sealing ordinances and all acts of worship, and continued stedfastly in the Apostles doctrine and fellowship and in breaking bread and in prayer, so did every one of those congregations and assemblies severally and respective∣ly considered: And therefore when all the branches of that one particular church at Ierusalem, viz: every congregation and as∣sembly severally considered and as a part, were equall to the whole church in all priviledges immunities and in whatsoever is required for the making of a true formed church, so that there was no∣thing wanting to either of those congregations that the whole church partaked in and injoyed or could challenge for the making it a compleat Church, then it followeth and that necessarily, that if the whole church be a true formed church and a church properly so called as the Independents con∣fesse, that all those congregations & assemblies severally considered were churches properly so called. This I thought good to premise. And now I come to make good what I undertooke, which is to prove those severall Assemblies in the church of Ierusalem, to be churches properly so called, which I do by this argument.

All such assemblies & congregations as daily met together in diverse companies in the Temple, and in Solomons Porch and in severall pri∣vate Page  234 houses, in the fellowship of the Gospell, and in the name of Christ, and clothed with his power, and honoured with Christs presence, being all believers and Saints, and such as gladly received the word, and were all baptized and continued stedfastly in the Apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread and in prayer, and injoyed amongst themselves in their severall congregations all the saving and sealing Ordinances, and all Acts of worship, and whatsoever priviledges and immunities the whole church par∣taked in (and the which the Independents themselves repute and thinke sufficient for the making and constituting of a formed church) and who also had amongst them in those severall assemblies Ministers immediately sent them of God and inspired with the holy Ghost, every one of the which had the keyes of the Kingdome of Heaven given unto them by Christ himselfe, with a promise to be with them to the ende of the world, and that whatsoever they loosed on earth should be loosed in heaven; and whatsoever they bound on earth should be bound in heaven, and that his spirit also should leade them into all truth; the which Ministers likewise taught them whatsoever Christ had commanded them, and that daily in the Tem∣ple and in every house, all and every one of them respectively and se∣verally taken, were true and compleate churches properly so called.

But in the church of Jerusalem there were many such assem∣blies and congregations as dayly met together in diverse companies in the Temple and in Solomons Porch, and in several private houses, in the fellowship of the Gospell, and in the name of Christ, and clothed with his power, and honoured with Christs presence, being all believers and Saints, and such as gladly received the Word, and were all bap∣tized and continued stedfastly in the Apostles doctrine and fellow∣ship, and in the breaking of bread and in prayers, and injoyed amongst themselves in their severall congregations, all the sa∣ving and sealing Ordinances, and all acts of worship and what∣soever priviledges and immunities the whole church partaked in, and the which the Independents themselves repute and thinke sufficient for the making and constituting of a formed church, and who also had amongst them in those severall assemblies Ministers immediately sent them of God and inspired with the holy Ghost, every one of the which had the Keyes of the Kingdom of Heaven given them by Christ himselfe, with a promise to be with them to the end of the world, and that whatsoever they loosed on earth Page  235 should be loosed in Heaven; and whatsoever they bound on earth should be bound in Heaven, and that his spirit also should leade them into all truth: the which Ministers likewise taught them whatsoever Christ had commanded them, and that dayly in the Tem∣ple and in every house. Ergo, all and every one of those Assemblies and Congregations respectively and severally taken, were true and compleat churches properly so called.

For the Major, no well grounded Christian will deny it, espe∣cially the Independents cannot gain say it: for if two or three met together in the fellowship of the Gospell and in Christs name make a true visible church, as those of the congregationall way hold and teach; then much more where two or three hundreds are met together in the fellowship of the Gospell and in the name of Christ and in the which also they partaked in all the saving and sealing Ordinances, as in the preaching of the Word and Prayer, and in the Sacraments of Baptisme and the Lords Supper, and that by lawfull Ministers and Officers appoin∣ted and sent by God himselfe; I say, by far better reason such a congregation is a true and visible and compleate church proper∣ly so called, as all rationall and intelligible men will easily con∣clude; and therefore this cannot be denied by the Independents, especially when (as I noted before) it is their owne Doctrine, taught in all their writings, and Preached by every one of the congregationall way, and confirmed by their own daily practice. And to passe by many books writ of late by the Ministers of New-England and some of the Independent Ministers here amongst us, I will only at this time pitch upon one who hath in my opi∣nion, dealt more candidly then any of his brethren: for he kepes no reserves Donec ad triarios redierit res, but sets downe plain∣ly what they hold. I will make bold therefore with his new blasing lights, lately set up, upon that learned Beaken, called Truth gloriously appearing from under the sad and sable cloude of oblo∣quy. In the which treatise, pag. 22. and 23. the author in the name of all the Independents declares their judgement, concer∣ing this businesse, whose words I will set down at large, desiring to deliver their minde in their own expressions rather then in mine, that they may not hereafter accuse me to have pickt and chose what made most for me and against them, and left the rest. His words are these.

Page  236

Object. It may possibly here be objected, how will it appeare that so small a number as two or three joyned together in the fellowship of the Gospell, do constitute a visible Church?

Answ. It will appeare evident by this insuing argument. Christ hath given his power, and promised his presence to two or three ioyned together in the fellowship of the Gospell; therefore two or three so joyned together, do constitute a visible church.

The Antecedent is proved from the Words of Christ Matth. 18. If thy brother offend thee, tell him of it; if he refuse to heare thee, take two or three; if he heare not them, tell it to the church: if he neglect to heare the church, let him be unto thee as an Heathen and a Publican. I say unto you, whatsoever you shall binde on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever yee shall loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven. Loe! Here's their power given them by Christ.

The presence of Christ is promised by them. vers. 20. Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the middest of them.

The consequent cannot be denied; for what people in the world may be called a church, if they may not, to whom Christ hath given his power, and promised his presence? If the gifts of Christ be of any force, if the power of Christ be of any efficacy, then they have a right to be so called. Neither is this destitute of learned men, who have given their suffrage to it. Humfred. de religione vera conservanda pag. 24. Ecclesiam cum dico, non unum aut alterum sacerdotem aut mini∣strum, sed legitimum ac Christianum catum nomino et innuo.

Besides, the definition of a visible church, will prove the consequent. A visible church is a mysticall body whereof Christ is the head, the members be Saints, called out of the world, & united together into one congregation by an holy covenant, to worship the Lord, and to edifie one another in all his holy Ordinances. This definition, though it pro∣perly looke upon a compleate church, it is appliable to two or three that are joyned together in the fellowship of the faith of the Gospell.

2, Object: But is it like that two or three there is taken for the church mentioned vers. 17. to which Christ hath given his power?

Answ. I do not say that it is alwaies so taken, for because the church doth frequently consist of many; but this I say, that it may be so taken, as the very coherence of the words shews.

Beside, it will further appeare thus; if two or three may meet to∣gether, clothed with Christs power, and honoured with Christs pre∣sence, Page  237 then two or three may be the church mentioned, vers. 17. but two or three may meet together, clothed with Christs power; for they meet in his name (as the text speakes) 1. e. clothed with his power, for name signifieth power in severall Scriptures Prov. the 18. 10. Philip. 2. 10. and honoured with his presence: and therefore two or three may be the church there mentioned.

3. Object. But such a company being destitute of Officers, can be no church.

Answ. If it had been said, they could have been no compleate church, I would have consented. But to say, that they are not a compleat church, therefore they are no church, is a Non sequitur.

A man that wants a hand, or foot, or both, is notwithstanding a man, though a maimed man, Officers do not concurr to the esse or being of a church; but to the bene esse, or well being of a church; for otherwise, put case the Officers of a church dye, then must the church be unchurched, and so Toties quoties as such a thing happens, which in times of mortality may be often. Againe, a company of believers ioyned together in the fellowship of the Gospell hath the matter and forme of a church, even before it hath any Officers, and therefore is a Church without them; it hath the matter of a Church, a company believing 1 Cor. 1. 2. Ephes. 1. 1. and it hath the forme of a Church, viz. a combining and uniting of them∣selves together into one body by the bond of an holy Covenant.

I have spoke some thing the more in this particular, to streng∣then such as have built upon this foundation; that upon the rea∣ding of any books, or hearig of any arguments on the contrary side, their hearts may not (like the heart of Ahaz Isai the 7. 1. when he heard of the confederacy of Syria and Ephraim) be moved, as the trees of the wood are moved with the winde.

This is the discourse of that Author, whose words I have re∣lated in their full length and extent, not intending at this time to shew all the errors of them, which would require a just volume, though occasonally I shall meete with some of them, and make it appeare that according to his discription of a church, which he hath taken out of Master Cotteos booke of New▪England none of the congregationall churches at this day are compleate churches properly so called. And if that also my brother Bur∣ton speakes, be true, then the very church of Jerusalem (as I said before) which he calles the first formed church, was not a Page  238 true formed church properly so called. All this occasionally I hope to make evident.

In the meane time, I will make use of such Arguments, as the new lights from the Summer Ilands afforde me, for the pro∣ving of my major proposition, which was, that, All those Assem∣blies and Congregations, met together in those severall houses at Ierusalem, every one of them respectively and severally taken, were churches properly so called. And this I doe the more willingly, because I conceive it will better sound in my brother Burtons eares, and those of his party, to heare one of their own great Rabbyes who they usually call Giants, and tall fellowes, then to heare me, who at pleasure they stile a Pigmy and Dwarfe; from his words therefore I thus argue.

If two or three met together in the fellowship of the Gospell and in Christs name, and clothed with his power, and honoured with his presence, doe constitute a visible church, as he asserteth and la∣boureth to prove in the name of all the Independents: then much more two or three hundred met together in the fellowship of the Gospell and in Christs name, and clothed with his power, and honoured with his presence, having amongst them also their law∣full Officers and Ministers, and injoying likewise all those saving and sealing Ordinances within themselves, which the Independents confesse are sufficient for the constituting of a Church properly so called, then I say, and that with far better reason, that such a company doe constitute a compleat visible Church or a Church body properly so called: but in the Church of Jeru∣salem there was not onely two or three met together or two or three such Assemblies and Congregations, but at least twelve, if not halfe twelve score, yea innumerable, in all and every one of the which, they met together in the fellowship of the Gospell and in Christs name, and clothed with his power, and honoured with his presence, and in all and every one of the which respectively and severally, they had also their lawfull Officers and Ministers, and injoyed all those saving and sealing Ordinances, which the Independents confesse arr sufficient for the constituting of a Church properly so called. Ergo all and every one of those Congregations severally and re∣spectively considered were Churches properly so called.

This Argument is grounded upon the Independents owne Prin∣ciples, and upon their very words, and corroborated with their Page  239 owne reasons, For what people (say they) in the world may bee called a Church, if they may not, to whom Christ hath given his power, and promised his presence? If the gifts of Christ be of any force, if the power of Christ bee of any efficacy, then they have a right to be so called. Thus the Independents speake; and therefore without they will renounce their owne Principles, and abjure all reason, and the very light of understanding given them of God, they must acknowledge those severall congregations in the Church of Jerusalem to be Churches properly so called, as having in every one of them whatsoever they thinke requisite and sufficient to consti∣tute a formed Church; for there were in each of them respectively such Ministers and Officers, as to whom Christ had given his power, and promised his presence, and that to the en of the world, Matth. 28. vers. the last. They had also in all those congregations, all those Priviledges, Immunities and Ordinances, the injoying of the which the Independents thinke sufficient to make any one of their new congregations a compleat and formed church, or church body properly so called: as for their Ministers and Pastors, they had all the blessed Apostles amongst them, and Christs seventy dis∣ciples, and many other Preachers abundantly furnished with al gifts as who had gone in and out with Christ from the very beginning of his and Iohns Ministry, the meanest of which was thought fit to be an Apostle, as is manifest from the first of the Acts; and they had amongst them also in their severall congregations, many Be∣leevers and Saints, and all of them extraordinarily gifted and qua∣lified, and such as continued stedfastly in the Apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers; therefore they were visible Churches, (I doe not with the Author say my∣sticall bodies) the Members of the which were visible Saints, such as were called out of the world, and united together in their seve∣rall congregations, and that with the holy covenants of Baptisme, and breaking of bread to worship the Lord in all his holy Ordi∣nances, and therefore they were so many compleat churches, and churches properly so called, as being joyned together in the fel∣lowship of the faith of the Gospel, and having in all those assem∣blies and congregations severally and respectively, both for mat∣ter and forme, that which the Independents hold ever sufficient to constitute and compleate churches properly so called: for the matter of those congregations, they were visible and miraculous Page  240 Saints, not ordinary ones, as being inspired with the Holy Ghost, and having amongst them Officers and Ministers of incomparable sanctified & transcendent indowments, viz, the holy Apostles, al the which were led into all truth by the Spirit of God, who spake in them and by them infallibly, who had all and every one of them the Keys of the Kingdome of Heaven, viz. the power of order and jurisdi∣ction, by which they preached the Gospel, and ordained and con∣stituted all other churches, and gathered and formed churches, both in Ierusalem, and in all other cities and countries wheresoe∣ver they came.

And as in all those congregations and assemblies they had the materials both for Officers and Members of true compleate for∣med churches; so t••y had likewise that which the Independents call the forme of compleate churches properly so called, to speake in their owne language; for they were all united and combined to∣gether in all and every one of those severall congregations, by the bond of an holy covenant or covenants; as that of Baptisme, and breaking of bread, those sealing Ordinances; and they had the preaching of the Word and prayer amongst them, in all which Ordi∣nances every one of those severall congregations did daily partake with the Fellowship of the Apostles, all which in these our dayes are thought sufficient by those of the congregationall way to make any of their Assemblies a true and compleat formed Church, and a Church properly so called: so that wheresoever according to their owne Doctrine and Principles, they inioy all these Ordinances in their severall meeting houses with a Pastor and Doctor, and an Elder or two and a Deacon, and three or foure good women, and as many men, every one of these severall Congregations chal∣lenge unto themselves (though they consist but of ten or twelve) the name of a formall and compleate Church properly so called, and doe conclude, that they are so many Churches properly so called, in all which they affirme and no where else that Christ is set up as King upon his Throne.

And therefore if all the severall Congregations of the Indepen∣dents considered by themselves respectively & apart, may proper∣ly in their opinion be called churches, and that for the injoying but some of the above mentioned Ordinances and Priviledges, that all those severall Congregations in the Church of Ierusalem did compleatly partake in, then all good reason will conclude that Page  241 all these severall Assemblies in Jerusalem respectively and severally considered were compleate churches properly so called; and that (as I said before) with a great deale more and better reason by how much it is certaine that those congregations and severall assemblies of Beleevers in the Church of Jerusalem had both for Matter and Forme and all other requisits, whatsoever in these our dayes can make a compleate Church or Churches properly so called.

And this that I have now said for the confirmation of the Ma∣jor Proposition of my Argument may suffice, it being grounded upon the Independents owne Principles and Doctrine, so that I shall not need any more Reasons for the corroborating of the truth of the same.

As for my Minor Proposition, they that shall reade but the first six Chapters of the Acts, and the 18. of Matt. and the 28. of the same Booke, and the sixteenth and twentieth of Saint Iohns Gos∣pel shall find it sufficiently confirmed; yea, my Brother Burton denys not, that there were many congregations in Ierusalem.

So that now, I hope every judicious and intelligible Reader from all the forgoing Discourse will see, that I have proved what I undertook, viz. that there were not only several Congregations and assemblies of Beleevers in the Church of Jerusalem (which all the Independents, saving my Brother Burton deny) but that all those severall congregations and assemblies, severally and respectively con∣sidered were Churches properly so called (which my Brother Burton thought a thing impossible to be evinced) and that all those congre∣gations and Assemblies notwithstanding made but one Church, and were all of them under one Presbyterie governed communi con∣silio Presbyterorum, which my Brother Burton & all the Indepen∣dents do acknowledge; and therfore of necessity it must follow there was in Ierusalem a subordination or combining of many Churches; all which neverthelesse were called but one Church, as being under one government, as the Churches at this day of Geneva, Bazill, and of the other reformed Cantons, all the which consisting of many con∣gregations or churches properly so called, being united and combined together and subordinate, make up but one Church in their severall Precincts, after the example of the Church at Jerusalem, and the other Primitive and purest Churches, the government of all the which was left as a patterne of imitation to all succeeding 〈◊〉 to the end of the world, to teach them to unite and combine themselves▪ Page  242 ther for the better and more orderly governing & regulating of them.

And it is very fit, that as the Mother Churches, and those the most purest ones, were ruled and ordered, so should all the Daugh∣ter Churches be moderated and regulated in all following Genera∣tions to the full consummation of all things: yea, all reason will perswade any intelligible man, that a Councel or colledge of grave Divines and experienced men, and men of Knowledge, Learning, and Integrity, should know a great deale better how to governe, then a few giddy headed, witlesse and worthlesse men, & women, which most of the new Congregations consist of.

Now in all the Primitive and Apostolicall Churches wee find this kind of government, as in the seven Churches of Asia, the which consisted of many and severall Congregations in their se∣verall Precincts, and yet made but one Church in their particular Jurisdictions, and all those my Brother Burton speaks of, and which hee brings in for the making up of a compleate paterne of Church government, were so governed communi consilio Presbyte∣rorum, as that of Ephesus, as I shall by and by briefly prove, after I have answered to what my Brother Burton hath yet to say in this busines, to whose words if any credit may be given, then the Church of Ierusalem it selfe which hee cals the first formed Church, was not a perfect formed Church; for hee accuseth that of imperfection, and not that only, but all the other Primitive and Apostolicall Churches, saying that they were not compleate within themselves; so that to make up a compleate patterne of a true constituted Church, we must borrow something from each of them; and he affirmes, that there is the same relation betweene church and churches, that is betweene the Members of the body, every one having need of the other; so that of necessity by this his doctrine they were all dependent, by the which he doth op∣pose all his brethren of the congregationall way, who hold and labour to maintaine not the perfection onely of every one of the Primitive churches within themselves; but the parity likewise of them, and the equall authority; and affirme that they were all Independent; which opinion of theirs, my Brother Burton o∣verthrowes, making them all Dependent.

But let us heare himselfe speake. Secondly, (saith hee) it being no more then one entire particular Church, and not any Diocesan, or Provinciall Church, or the Presbytery thereof classicall, as you Page  243 would beare us in hand it is a paterne to all particular Churches in succeeding ages; and yet (by your favour) not so perfect, as no A∣postolick churches besides it should also come in, to make up the patern compleat; for wee must necessarily take all the Churches, &c. as you may see at large in his words before quoted. I desire the Reader here in the second part of his answer, to take notice of his expressions; where,

First, there is Petitio principii, an ordinary Error amongst so∣phisticall dealing men: hee begs the question, denying the Pres∣bytery of the church at Ierusalem to be classicall, which notwith∣standing the Scripture sufficiently evinceth, as hath beene abun∣dantly proved, viz. that the church of Ierusalem consisted of many congregations, and notwithstanding it was governed by the joynt consent and common counsell of many Presbyters, to both which he accordeth, and yet as if nothing had beene granted by himself, or said by me, to prove it, hee grollishly denieth it.

Secondly, I shall intreat the Reader to observe, how he doth not onely contradict himselfe, but oppose all his brethren of the congregationall way: for they all acknowledge, That the church at Jerusalem, and the government of that, was to be a paterne of Government to all churches insucceeding times, as being a most perfect paterne, and the Mother church, in imitation of the which Government as they pretend, they mould up all their parti∣cular congregationall churches; saying, that as the church at Jerusalem had an absolute power within it selfe, and was not de∣pendent upon any other churches, as being compleate within it selfe, so ought every church in like manner, after the example of that church, to exercise all authority within it selfe, and not have dependency on any other; for in all particulars they avow, the church of Ierusalem was a perfect formed church, and the same they assert of all the Primitive and Apostolicall churches. This I say is the Doctrine of all the Idependents besides himselfe, that I ever have read or talked with; yea, my Brother Burton, in the beginning of his Answer to his owne Argument, saith, that the first formed Church we finde, is in the second of the Acts. Then if it was a formed Church (as hee confesseth) & then there was nothing wanting unto it; so that of necessity it must be a com∣pleate and perfect church; for that that is deficient and deformed, that cannot bee said to be perfect and compleate and a formed Page  242 church; now if it were a formed church, as he above said, then it was a perfect and an entire church, as all rationall men will easily and readily gather. And yet notwithstanding here he affirmeth that it was not a perfect paterne; and therefore (saith he) for the ma∣king up of a compleate paterne of church government, all the o∣ther Apostolicall churches besides it must come in. By which words of his, I maintaine, hee does not only oppose all those of his owne party, who all hold the contrary, but contradicts him∣selfe.

But let us heare himselfe speake: of necessity (saith hee) we are to take all the churches of the New Testament together, to make up one entire and perfect Church patern. For in the Church of Jeru∣salem, we find Election of Officers, but we find not expressed that part of Discipline for casting out of corrupt Members, as in the Church of Corinth, and so in the rest. For the Churches were not brought forth to full perfection in one day. Their very constitution had a graduall growth. The Church of Jerusalem had not Dea∣cons at first till there was necessity. The summe is, to make up a compleat patern, not only the Church of Jerusalem, but that of Corinth, of Ephesus, those of Galatia, and Philippi and the rest are to be conferred together, that each may cast in its shot, to make up the full reckoning, so that what is not exprest in the one, may be supplied by the rest, to make up one Entire Platform. For the Scripture consists of many Books, as so many Members in one body, one Member cannot say to an other I have no need of thee, 1 Co∣rinth. 12. &c.

Thus my brother Burton confuteth all his brethren, who in all their writings with an unanimous consent hold, that the church of Jerusalem and all the other Apostolicke churches were prefect formed churches, and absolute within themselves and In∣dependent: where as he blames them all of imperfection, and sayes, They must all be conferred together to make up an entire platforme, which if it be not an opposing of them all and a con∣tradicting of himselfe, I referre to the Iudgement of the lear∣ned! For he in the beginning of his answer said, The first for∣med church we met with was that in the 2. of the Acts, and yet he here accuseth it of imperfection and faylings and there∣fore not formed: for at that time saith he it wanted Deacons, and we finde not expressed that part of Discipline for casting Page  245 out of corrupt members at any time, as in the church of Corinth and the rest: So that by his Doctrine here was a great de∣fect and fayling in the Church at Ierusalem, and therefore it was not a church properly so called; for every church properly so called, according to his learning, must have not only a good Discipline but Distinct Officers and Members united into one church body respectively: for these are his formall words page 11. Now a church according to their discription truly formed and properly so called, is when it hath a particular Pastor, and Teacher or Doctor and two to three Elders, and a Deacon with ten or eleven good men and women, with an explicite particular Cove∣nant; now I shall desire my brother Burton in his reply to send me word which of all the Ministers that were there at that time was the peculiar-Pastor of this formed church, and which of them was the Teacher or Doctor or who were their Elders and who were their Deacons for the distinction of Of∣ficers and Members united into one church body re∣spectively, is that that makes up a formed church properly so called in their Dialect; and therfore if he cannot make all that I require of him clearly appeare, then he can never prove either the church at Ierusalem, or any of the primitive and Apo∣stolicall churches, churches properly so called; for we reade not in all the holy Scripture, that any church had a particular Pastor and Doctor peculiar to it self, or but two Elders and a Deacon, with a small company of men and women: or any particular Covenant; but we reade that in all the churches there were mighty multitudes of believers and many Deacons, and that they had many Presbyters set over them and church Officers to governe them in common, and nothing in particular of that distinction of Officers and Members united into one church body respectively, with any such Covenant which he and all the Independents say make a church properly so called: and with∣out which in their Language it cannot be adistinct and formall church properly so called: from which I do with very good reason conclude and that from the new light I have from my brother Burton, that either the church at Ierusalem, and all the other primi∣tive churches were not churches properly so called or well formed churches according to the new-testament forme, which were im∣pious either to thinke or say; or if they were, that then there may at Page  246 this day be compleat churches properly so called although they have not distinct Officers and Members, united into one church body respectively, but serve their flocks and congregations in common.

So that all the bable of my brother Burton and his brethren of the congregationall way, is but wickedly and unchristianly to abuse the world and to delude poore people when they demande such things of their brethren as essentially necessary for the consti∣tuting of a church properly so called as God never required at his peoples hands, and of which there is neither precept nor president in all the holy Scriptures: for this distinction of Officers they call for in all churches, and many other things they rigidly exact of us for the compleating and forming of a church after the New-Testament forme, were not in the church of Ierusalem, the mo∣ther church, and yet it was by my brother Burtons confession the first formed church and that in the judgment of all the Indepen∣dents besides himselfe, a perfect church at that time.

But because he requres of me to shew him distinct Officers and Members, united into one body respectively in all the severall congregations in the church at Ierusalem, without which he affirmeth they were no formed churches properly so called; I de∣sire of him likewise that he would shew me that distinction of Officers and Members in that whole church that he demands of me in its parts, without the performing of the which all that he hath written is nothing; and he must of necessity grant that the church at Jerusalem was not a church properly so called, if that di∣stinction I say of Officers and Members be essentiall to the complea∣ting of a church or churches. For he confesseth at that time he calls it a formed church, they had no Deacons, and all the Inde∣pendents that ever I have seene or talked with, say they reade of no Elders in the church at Ierusalem till the 12. of the Acts which was a long time after the first forming of this church: and we reade not at any time of any particular Pastor or of any Doctor or Teacher ioyned with that Pastor as is usually in the churches of the Congregationall way, but that upon all oc∣casions all the people applyed themselves to all the Apostles, and and said Men and brethren what shall we doe? and that they con∣tinued in the Doctrine and fellowship of all the Apostles and that all things were transacted by the common Counsell of all Page  247 the Apostles, and that they all laid their hands in the Ordination of the Deacons upon each of them; we heare nothing I say of any particular Pastor or Teacher or of any Elders all this while; and yet by my brother Burtons Doctrine it was a formed church then, and we neither heare nor reade also any thing of an explicit particular Covenant which the Independents call the forme of a church, neither doe we reade of many things they now rigidly require of all such s desire to be Members of their new Con∣gregations practised in that Church. I shall therefore cordially de∣sire of my brother Burton, seeing the underwriters his tributaries have given him leave (as he saith in his Truth shut out of doores) that he should baulke no truth he shall meet with in the plowing up of the Scripture, but should Preach every truth, I say he having obtai∣ned this Christian liberty of his Benefactors, and truth being now no more in prison, that he would candidly and plainly without any reserve Doe ad triarios redieritres, tell me the next time I heare from him▪ who was the particular pastor in the church at Ierusa∣lem, who was their particular Doctor or Teacher, who were their Elders, who were their Deacons: seeing my brother Burton de∣nieth any congregation to be a church properly so called if it have not its distinct Officers and Members united into one church body re∣spectively; for these are his words; therefore I put him upon this to prove, and without proving it all that he hath hitherto writ both in this book and in his vindication will all prove but waste paper to use his own language. I am confident he will not say that Iames or Peter were their Pastor or Teacher, or that any of the Apo∣stles were the Pastor or Teacher of that particular church: for they were the Universall Pastors of the visible Catholicke church, and were extraordinarily sent into all the world as the Scripture recordeth: therefore they could not be either the par∣ticular Pastors or Teachers of that church: for as the Indepen∣dents teach they must be fixt and should not leave their charge and Flocks; neither can my Brother Burton tell which were their Elders; for the Independents say they reade of none in the church at Ierusalem till the twelfth of the Acts: and there∣fore according to their doctrine they then had none: and it seemes to be my brother Burtons opinion; or he aith the Church at Je∣rusalem wanted that part of discipline of casting out of corrupt Members, which if they had had Elders, they could not have Page  248 wanted: and for Deacons, my brother Burton acknowledgeth that at that time he calleth it a formed Church, they had none: So that by this I have now said I beleeve it will be a difficult, if not an impossible thing either for him or any of his fraternity to shew me that distinction of Officers and Members in the whole Church at Ierusalem which he requires I should shew him in the several bran∣ches & congregations; without the which notwithstanding accor∣ding to his learning it cannot be a Church properly so called, and so then the church at Ierusalē it self was no church properly so called.

Therefore when he is at plow again (as now I understand he is) I desire him that he would furrow up this truth unto me, and shew me that distinction of Officers and Members; withall, I desire to be resolved how he comes to make this distinction of Officers and Mem∣bers, united into one church body respectively, to be the forme of a Church, when his brethren of the congregationall way make an ex∣plicite particular covenant to be the forme of a Church, and the Members and Officers to be the materials onely of a Church; All these truths I desire and that earnestly, that my brother Burton at his next going to plow he would lay open and discover unto mee, and then I will conclude of him that he is a singular tiller and a ve∣ry good husbandman in Christs field his Church, or otherwise hee will never be fit either to make a compleat Independent Country courtier, or an absolute Independent Gentleman, but he shall be a Haberdasher in the small wares of Independency, and with those I perswade my selfe he will be best able to trade with.

But in the mean time till I heare from him I will affirme that if it be true he saith, That the Church of Jerusalem wanted Dea∣cons and Church discipline and an explicite particular covenant and many other good things they require of us for the compleating of a church or churches properly so called, then that Church was not per∣fect and compleat, and yet we read not that the Saints of those times made any separation from their publike Assemblies and Congre∣gations though they wanted Officers and Discipline and many o∣ther things required now by them, so that we may learn from those primitive and holy Christians that we ought not to forsake the publike Assemblies of the Saints for want of some part of Discipline, or for want of some Officers, or for want of many things they now exact of all Christians for the compleating and moulding of them into Church bodies pro perly so called: for we Page  249 read, That in the Church of Jerusalem they were perfectly converted and were Saints indeed, and yet that for some wants they made no se∣paration, rent or schisme from their brethren, but that they dayly met together in their publick Assemblies, as in the Temple and in Solomons Porch, and from house to house openly and that in all love and charity with one accord; And yet if my brother Burton and the Independents may be beleeved, they had neither Deacons, nor Elders, nor distinction of Officers, nor a great part of Discipline nor many other of their requisites: So that from the pious and god∣ly example of those glorious Saints, I learn this lesson, That rents and scismes are not to be made amongst brethren for some failings in any Churches, yea though there be some defects not onely in Officers and Members, but a very want of Officers themselves and of a good Discipline also in any Church or Churches: and that they that do make rents and divisions have a great deal to answer for.

Withall I learn that it may be a true Church though there be a failing in Discipline and a want of some chiefe Officers and Mem∣bers: For my brother Burton acknowledgeth, That the Church at Jerusalem was a formed Church, although it wanted both Officers and Discipline, and all those things they now require of all such as desire to be made Members in their new Congregations. And there∣fore if this he now preacheth be solid and orthodox Divinity, and if he may be credited in what he writeth, as there was at that time no just ground of separation from their publike Assemblies for want of those things, so there is now in these our dayes no just cause of separation from our Assemblies; if there be indeed a reall want of discipline and Church Officers, which we might long since have injoyed had not he and his brethren hindred our happy begun Re∣formation. Especially I say we ought not to separate when there is no failing or want in any dominative or fundamentall pointe of Religion necessary to salvation, and where all the counsell of God requisite to eternall happinesse is dayly publikely taught in every one of our Congregations and Churches, all which the Indepen∣dents themselves do acknowledge we want not.

Besides it is granted by all orthodox Divines, that Discipline makes not for the esse but the bene esse of a Church: Yea the Inde∣pendents themselves hold, That Officers in a Church make not for the esse, but the bene esse of it, as the New Lights from the Summer Islands apparently delucidate: For they say, Though Page  250 the Officers all dye, yet the Church ceaseth not to be a church.

But to return to the matter in hand: Whereas my brother Bur∣ton affirmeth that the Church at Jerusalem wanted Discipline and that it had not Deacons at first, and that the Churches were not brought forth to full perfection in one day, and that their very con∣stitution had a graduall growth, I maintain that in all he asserteth, he is not onely exceeding erroneous and ignorant, but understand∣eth not the very doctrine of the Independents, who are all against him in those his assertions; for they all acknowledg and in express words affirm it in their writings that all the Officers of the church were virtually in the Apostles, saying they were Pastors, Teachers, ruling Elders and Deacons, &c. And therefore they wanted nei∣ther Deacons nor Elders (if their concession be true) nor any church Officers, which is point blank against my brother Burton his opinion. They confesse likewise that all the Apostles and eve∣ry one of them, had the Keyes of the Kingdome of Heaven, that is, the power of order and jurisdiction, viz: the key of knowledg and authority: And therefore they had also in the church of Jerusalem that part of Discipline of casting out corrupt Members. They ac∣knowledge in like manner that all the Apostles had equall power amongst themselves, and that they had authority over all the chur∣ches as having the care of all the churches who were committed to their charge, and that they left both the Presbyters and people in their several churches to the exercise of all their particular rights, & impeached neither of them of their liberties. And they do also con∣fess that as Paul by his own authority did excommunicate Hymene∣us and Alexander. 1 Tim. 1. ver. 20. and others: so might the other Apostles have done, if they had had the like occasion given them, and might have put any church, not only in mind of their duty and reproved them for their neglect of Discipline, but have injoyned and commanded them also to have put it in execution, as both Paul did the church of Corinth, and Saint John the seven churches of Asia: which were all well constituted, and well and perfect formed churches, by their first constitution and brought forth to full perfection in one day, so as they had no need of a gra∣duall growth as my brother Burton affirmeth. All these things I say, the Independents do accord unto. And all reason will per∣swade any well grounded Christians, That the church of CorinthPage  251 was a perfect church at its first constitution before the incestuous person appeared in it; and the same they will say of the other seven churches in▪ Asia, before the doctrine of the Nicolaitans and that of Baalam and Jezabell sprung up in them, and before those luke∣warme Laodiceans appeared and all the other offenders there spake of; all the which were so far from adding any perfection to those churches, as it was a deformity to them all, to have such creatures and failings amongst them, and it was reputed their great sinne to connive at them and suffer them to be amongst them and in their bowels, which by their first constitution they had power to have cast out: For it is well known that all those churches at their first plantation and founding had all of them their Presbyters and Elders and all other Members and Officers as consisting of Saints, and had in all those severall churches both the power of order and jurisdi∣ction and the power of the Keyes; and this in their first constitution; and therefore had no neede of a graduall growth but were all brought forth to full perfection the first day contrary to my bro∣ther Burtons doctrine.

And it is confessed likewise by the Independents and by my bro∣ther Burton himselfe, That where there are Church Officers as a Pastor and Teacher with an Elder or two and a Deacon, and where there are a few visible Saints if they amount but to the number of twenty, nay if they be but ten or twelve gathered together according to their method, that there is a compleat formed Church where Christ is set up as King upon his Throne, and that this Church is clothed with Christs power and honoured with his presence, the which like∣wise wanteth nothing for matter and forme, but hath plenary autho∣rity within it selfe; and therefore is as compleat a Church within it selfe as any church in the world; by all which it must necessarily follow and that upon their own principles, that it is brought forth in perfection in one day and hath no neede of a graduall growth.

Now I shall never beleevethat those glorious churches founded by the holy Apostles in every city in the which they had their El∣ders and Presbyters and all other Officers appointed them, the which churches also consisted of visible Saints, that they were not at their first constitution as compleat churches, and in the which Christ was not as well set up upon his Throne, as any of our new gathered churches of the congregationall way. Yea it were an Page  252 impiety to think that the blessed Apostles did not know how to gather churches and how to set up Christ upon his Throne in them, and how to bring them to perfection in one day at their first con∣stitution as well as our brethren the Independents, who notwith∣standing do all proclame they but imitate the Apostles, both in the gathering and constituting of their new churches. And there∣fore if the Independent congregations, are all compleated at their first founding and constitution, and be all compleat within them∣selves, as having plenary authority and power within themselves, much more had all the Apostolicall and Primitive Churches abso∣lute jurisdiction within themselvs at their first constitution, which is yet more manifest from the reproofe given to the Church of Co∣rinth by S. Paul who blameth them for not casting out the incestu∣ous person; and from the reproof given to some of the 7 churches of Asia by Christ himself: For otherwise they if they had not bin per∣fect and compleat at their first constitution, might have replyed and answered, That they had no power to cast out corrupt Members, and that their churches were not compleatly moulded up at their first founding, and that they wanted that part of Discipline; but none of these churches pretended any such thing, neither could they; for Saint Paul had given the church of Ephesus by name a caveat to take heed of Wolves, that would rise up among them after his departure, and had armed them likewise with power and authority for the casting of them out, as it is at large to be seen in the twen∣tieth of the Acts; and that church executed its power in finding out of false Teachers, and is praised for it, though the other are blamed. So that the neglect of this their duty, and not executing of their Discipline was that that was found fault with in them, and that they had not exercised that power that was given them in casting out of those corrupt Members from amongst them. This I say was their failing, and for this were they blamed; so that it was not for want of Discipline or that they were not perfect at their first constitution, but their negligence and their not doing their duty was their sinne.

Neither was the Church of Ierusalem inferior to any other church in power, or wanted that part of Discipline of casting out corrupt Members, as my Brother▪ Burton boldly, and without all reason affirmeth: for it is well knowne, that the church at Ie∣rusalem had power of life and death, as wee may see in the storie Page  253 of Ananias, and Saphira, his wife, the which if it could take a∣way the very life of offendors, as it did theirs for lying to the Spirit of God, then it had power to cast out any corrupt Members, and scandalous persons, if they had had any amongst them, as all rea∣son will dictate to any well grounded Christian.

But that wee reade not of any excommunicated in the Church at Ierusalem, it was not for any want of Discipline, or power in that Church of casting out offenders, but because there was no open Delinquents and scandalous persons; for they were all zea∣lous of the Law (as it is well knowne) and would suffer none in the least to transgresse it without questioning them; nay, if they conceived but an offence in the Apostles themselves, they would call them to an account, as wee may see Acts the 1. where they questioned Peter for going in to the Gentiles; and it is conceived by learned and judicious Christians, that the punishment also that was inflicted upon Ananias and Saphira, strucke so great a terrour of offending into all the Ghurch, (as it is in expresse words declared) that they durst not in publike be vitious; and therfore that made them all afraid of publike open and scandall; withall it is recorded that they were all true Beleevers, and Saints in the Church of Ierusalem, and that they continued stedfastly in the Apostles Doctrine, and Fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and prayer, and were all true converts and Saints indeed; now no church useth to cast out Saints, and men of a holy and unblame∣able conversation, and such as persevere in goodnesse, and doe their duty, but the wicked and scandalous, which when there was none in the church at Ierusalem, there was no need of excom∣munication, or at least they had no occasion of exercising that part of discipline at that time. For discipline in any church is as Magistracy in a Common-wealth or Kingdome, which is not a terrour to the good, but to the wicked, as Saint Paul speaketh Rom. the 13. it is a comfort to well doers and as, the Magistrate useth the sword onely against Offendors and Delinquents; so the Officers of the Church exercise that part of Discipline only in ca∣sting out corrupt and scandalous Members, (which is solely to bee put in execution against them:) and therefore that wee reade not of excommunication in the Church at Ierusalem, it was not for want of that part of Discipline, but because there were no pub∣lick and scandalous persons there, as in the church of Corinth.

Page  254 Besides, all men know that Discipline is one thing, and the exe∣cution of discipline is an other, and is but the result and effect of discipline, as the church is one thing, and the Administration of the Sacraments is another: Power and Authority in a court, whe∣ther ecclesiasticall or civill, is one thing, and the execution of the power of that court is an other: and as the execution of its au∣thority makes it not a court, nor giveth not the power to it, but de∣clareth it to be a court invested with authority; as in the Parliament the great and supreme court of this Kingdome, the cutting off of Strafford and the Prelates heads gave not power to the Parlia∣ment, but declared the power they had by their first constitution: for they were a court before, and had the power of execution be∣fore, but upon this occasion they exercised it: but will any man say, if they had not at this time exercised their authority as they have not done for these many years before, that the great court had wanted that part of Discipline? all men that should attempt to say that great councell wanted that part of Discipline, I beeleeve they would exercise some more of their authority to teach such an one better manners or more wit.

Even so it was in the Church at Ierusalem, they had discipline in that Church, though wee reade not of the putting of it in execution, as we do in the Church of Corinth, and Ephesus, neither wil any ra∣tionall man conclude, that all the other Primitive Churches wan∣ted that part of discipline; because I say wee reade onely of the execution of it in the church of Corinth, and that of Ephesus, which is commended for it, and some of the other seven chur∣ches are blamed for not casting out their corrupt Members, and because they had not at that time exercised their authority, neither reade wee of it in the churches of Galatia, Colosse, nor amongst the Thessalonians, nor in the church of Rome, nor Antioch, nor in Samaria: will any man therefore say that all these churches wan∣ted that part of Discipline, because wee reade nothing of it in them? I am confident they will not be so fanaticall, as to make such a conclusion from so brainsick a premise: much lesse will any intelligible christian argue as my Brother Burton does, say∣ing, wee reade not of that part of Discipline in the church at Ie∣rusalem, of casting out corrupt Members, Ergo, it had it not: this would indeed prove a non sequitur, and such a consequenct or conclusion could least of all have been made from the Church at Ie∣rusalemPage  255 upon such an Antecedent, then from any of the other chur∣ches, because the church at Ierusalem had not only the power of the Keyes within it selfe, but a legislative power also, who gave Lawes to all other churches, both for the ordering and ruling of them, and for the exercising of their Discipline in every particu∣lar, and that by Gods appointment; for out of Sion shall goe forth the Law (saith the Prophet) Isa. 23. and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. So that the Church at Ierusalem the Mother church gave power to all the daughter churches, and that both the power of Order and Jurisdiction; the power was radically in it, and in that church was the fountain of all authority, the streames of the which flowed to all the other churches of the world: For out of Zion shal go forth the Law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

And can any rationall man thinke it gave away all its power, and did not keepe a reserve▪ donec ad triarios redierit res? I beleeve that all the Independents will much blame my brother Burton for this his rashnesse, in affirming the church at Ierusalem wanted that part of Discipline for casting out corrupt Members, when the Apostles themselves had all power in their hands bequeathed unto them by Christ himselfe, who said, Mat. 28. verse 18. 19. All power is given to mee in Heaven and Earth, goe yee therefore and teach all Nations, &c. and Iohn the 20. verse 21, 22, 23. as my Father hath sent mee, even so send I you; and when hee had said this, hee breathed on them, and saith unto them, receive yee the Holy Ghost; whose soe∣ver sinnes ye remit, they are remitted unto them, and whose soever sins yee retaine they are retained: Loe! here was plenary authority gi∣ven unto all the Apostles, who as they had the Keyes promised them in the sixteenth of Matthew, here they now received them, and therefore they had the power in their hands, both of order and jurisdiction, which the Keyes imported, as all the learned know, and the very Independents doe not deny; now this power was not onely given unto them, but unto all faithfull Ministers their successors, to whom Christ made a promise as well as to the A∣postles, Matth. 28. that hee would be with them to the end of the world; neither doe wee ever reade that the Apostles and Ministers in the church of Ierusalem did ever relinquish their power, and therefore they wanted not that part of Discipline, as my Brother Burton grollishly affirmeth, who begins now to doubt, when hee begins to dote; but if there had been any just occasion, without Page  256 all controversie, they would have put it in execution; but that church consisting of visible Saints, and having no scandalous per∣sons amongst them, had no occasion of the exercise of that part of Discipline: which they wanted not though they exercised it not; for it is to be believed that the Apostles would have dis∣charged their duty in punishing offendors if there had beene any.

And I believe that the Independents would blame any of their Schollers and Members if they should say their new congregated churches wanted that part of Discipline of casting out of cor∣rupt Members, though they have not as yet in some of them put it in execution: for they have learned to distinguish between the power of a Church and the execution of that power in a church: for as it doth not argue that a Court of Justice hath not power of life and death when notwithstanding it is invested with the Au∣thority of hanging and drawing, though perhaps after it is erected they either have no occasion of executing that authority that is given, or them out of Clemency will for a time shew mercy and use lenity towards offendors, not taking the extremity of the Law the more with humanity and kindnesse to reclaime them; even so in all well constituted Churches the not executing of the power given them by Christ, or the not having just occasion of putting that power in execution, doth not prove a want of that power: and if any of the Members of the new congregations should so argue, against their new church Officers, I believe they would soone make use of their Keyes to shut such a Member out of their Church doores, as my brother Burton falsly complaines that Truth was lately shut out of Aldermanbury Church doores.

And truly if one of their whibbling congregations have no want of that part of Discipline, though they execute it not: shall any man be so temerarious and unadvised as to thinke that the power of the church, in Ierusalem was evacuated or enerva∣ted, or that they had not that part of Discipline, when there was greater power in it then in any church in the world, all who had all the Apostles amongst them and as Christs and Iohn Disci∣ples, all of them armed with the Keyes of the Kingdome of Heaven, and when the Magazine and treasury of all power resided continually in that church, and therefore that part of Discipline, when all other churches derived their power, au∣thority Page  257 and jurisdiction from that as the mother church. And to this I now say, I am most assured all judicious men will easily consent and agree. And therefore my brother Burton affirming that the church at Ierusalem wanted that part of dis∣cipline of casting out of corrupt Members, saying, That neither the Church at Ierusalem was a perfect patterne, nor none of the Primitive churches were compleat within themselves, but that they must all of them necessarily be conferred together for the making up of a compleat paterne; so that every one of them was to bring in its shot to make up the full reckoning, that so what is not ex∣pressed in the one may be supplied by the rest to make up a com∣pleat platforme. These are his formall words, adding with all, That as the Scripture consists of many bookes, and the body of many members, and one Member cannot say to the other I have no need of thee 1 Cor. 11. So it was amongst the Apostolicall churches they had all need one of another. I say my brother Burton in his thus speaking, is not only against the opinion of all the Indepen∣dents (for the which, I am assured th•• will sharply reprove him) but Volens Nolens concludes, that all the Primitive churches were necessarily dependent one upon another as the severall Mem∣bers are in one body, which is that that all those of his party pe∣remptorily deny, though indeede it be an Evangelicall truth, as I shall god willing abundantly prove in examining the government of all those churches my brother Burton enumerateth, as that of Corinth, Phililppi, those of Galatia and the rest, with that of Ephe∣sus, all which he brings in for making up of his compleat paterne and all the which I will take notice of though he and his Schollers will take no notice of my indefinite enumeration, of those that were baptized by Iohn the Baptist and Christs Disciples to be for∣med into a Church or churches.

I say although he will take no notice of my enumeration, I will take notice of those churches he enumerateth, and prove them all Classicall and dependent upon their severall Presbyteries, and that there was not an Independent church such as they describe unto us in the world in the Apostles time nor before our dayes, nor never such a whimsie taken notice of before this doting age of the world. I shall also take notice of his words for matter of comfort to us poore Presbyterians who the Independents tearme at every word an Antichristian brood, who may not think it much Page  258 nor be offended with it, but rather rejoyce when they accuse our churches not to be well formed churches after the new testa∣ment forme, and when they say that our churches are not perfect churches and churches properly so called: for here my brother Burton a Master illdependent, censureth and judgeth not onely the congregations in the church at Ierusalem to be no churches pro∣perly so called, but the whole church of Jerusalem it selfe for want of a great part of Discipline and for want of Officers, and blameth all other Churches, accusing them likewise of faylings and imperfections, saying, that they must be all conferred toge∣ther for the making up a compleat platforme, which is in plaine English to say they were all defective and not compleate and formed churches, which indeede is a horrid peece of blasphe∣my and deserves condigne punishment from all those of his party.

And truly as it is a matter of wonder to see when men once desert and forsake the truth, what errors out of pride and giddinesse they soone fll into, so it may exceedingly rejoyce and comfort us, that in all their aspersing of us and daily calumni∣ating our Churches for some faylings and imperfections as they conceive, and in their denying of them to be true formed churches; for in this we are like sufferers with all the Primitive and Apo∣stolicke churches, all the which my Brother Burton accuseth of imperfection and for faylings, so that if he will censure them, it is no wonder they not only condemne all our churches for Antichristian and not well formed Churches, but separate from them as from so many Synagogues of Satan, for so they tearme our Assemblies: But now to take notice of my brother Burtons enumeration.

The sum of all (saith he) to make up a compleat paterne, not onely the Church at Jerusalem, but that of Corinth, and those also of Galitia and that of Philippi, Ephesus and the rest are to be conferred together to make up one entire platforme. Thus he▪ Now then if it can be proved that all these Churches my brother Bur∣ton enumerates, as that of Corinth, Philippi, those of Galatia, of Ephesus and the rest, did consist of many and severall congrega∣tions within their severall Precincts, and yet were all of them governed by the Common Councell of their severall Presbyte∣ries, and all of them notwithstanding made but one Church iPage  259 their severall jurisdictions, and that all those Churches I say were Classically governed, and were all dependent upon their severall Presbyters, as being subordinate to them, and likewise subject to the Synodicall Decrees at Ierusalem; then it will follow, that all churches in succeeding ages to the end of the world are to be so governd: for all these churches make up an entire and compleat paterne or platforme of governing all churches for future ages, as my brother Burton granteth. I shall there∣fore desire the reader (it being a businesse of so great importance) to give me leave, as I proved the Church of Ierusalem to consist of many Congregations or Churches which my brother Burton calls branches of that Church, therefore necessarily depending upon the stock: So now briefly to evince, that all those Churches my bro∣ther Burton enumerats consisted likewise of many Congregations and were all Classically governed. And then I will also prove, that according to the Independents definition of a Church, their very Congregationall Churches and Assemblies are not true Churches properly so called, and withall I shall make good by Gods assistance and that from their own Principles, that they are Dependent, All which I will doe in order.

And first I will begin with the Church of Samaria which is one of the rest my Brother Burton saieth must be taken in for the making up a compleat platforme. This City of Sama∣ria was the Regall City and the Palace or Chamber of the Kings of Israell, and was one of the greatest Cities then in the world, and next to Ierusalem the famousest in all Palestine and one of the greatest in all Canaan for extent, and it must needs be a great one that could entertaine the whose Assyrian army at one time, and it was exceeding populous, as all the stories of the Kings and Chronicles witnesse, in the which we know there was a true Church in Christs time and that planted by Christ himselfe, as we may see in the 4 of Iohn where we reade that our Saviour converted not onely the woman of Samaria but many more who were made beleevers by his Ministry, as they themselves acknowledge and testifie; and to this Church were many thousands added by the preaching and miracles of Philip: for it is said of them Acts the 8. vers. 6. 10. 12. 14. that all those that had bin seduced by that Jugler Simon Magus, which were in no small numbers, every one of them being Page  260 undeceived by the preaching and wonders of Philip, now be∣lieved and were baptized, so that there was a mighty company: for it is related that the people of the City with one accorde from the greatest to the least, both men and women believed and were baptized. Now if any man shall duly consider and weigh things, this City was no contemptible one, as appears from that I said before; and yet it is asserted by the holy Ghost who is worthy to be believed and credited that all the people of that City from the greatest to the least both men and women believed and were bapti∣zed: and therfore they could not all meet in any one place or a few, neither was any one Pastor able to Teach them all, which ap∣peareth in that the Church of Ierusalem at first sent two of the chiefest Apostles Peter and Iohn to Samaria, so that all this shews there was an innumerable company of believers in that City, all which could not meete in any one or a few places as all reason will easily perswade. Besides, the Apostles, Evange∣lists and the Ministers of those times had an other manner of converting faculty, then the Independents in our dayes, who I never yet heard converted any, though they have perverted and seduced many. For the Apostles and Evangelists and the primitive Ministers there, were immediatly sent of God, and in∣spired with the holy Ghost and spake in all Languages, and did Miracles such as none could doe but those that came from God, as Nicodemus said unto Christ, that none could doe such works and miracles as he did except God were with him, Iohn 3. 2. for they cured all manner of diseases with their word and shaddow, they raised the dead, made the lame to walke, and cast out Devils, and did whatsoever was wonderfull. Withall they Preached unto them the glad tidings of joy and peace and of everlasting happinesse after a miserable life here; and did also instruct them how to order their wayes and conversations here, so that they might live with honour and dye with comfort, and be usefull to all men both in life and death and after death. And the Apostles, Evangelists and Ministers of those times, as they did good wherever they came, so they lived so holily and unblameably in all manner of conversation, and were men of such integrity, sincerity and of such plaine upright dea∣ling, as the people that beheld their conversation, and saw with∣all their workes of wonder that they did, said of them, that Page  261 gods were come downe amongst them in the likenesse of men, so that they converted whole cities and countries wheresoever they came; yea, it was an ordinary thing with them to bring whole Nations in a short time, and with a few Miracles to the obedi∣ence of the faith, as wee may see through the whole Storie of the Acts, and from that of Paul, Rom. the 15. verse 18. 19. where the Apostle abundantly declareth the effect of the Gospel and Mi∣racles of those times, who wrought so powerfully wheresoever they came, even to the converting of whole countries and cities, and so they prevailed in this citie of Samaria, that the people of the same were speedily converted from the greatest to the least, both men and women, who all beleeved and were baptized; and what rationall man will thinke, or can beleeve, that all the people men and women of a mighty and royall citie, could meet in any place or a few to partake in all acts of worship, but must necessa∣rily be distributed into divers congregations and churches, if they would partake in all ordinances? and yet all these made up but one Church, as being under one government, that of the Presbyterie; for there were Presbyters ordained in every Church, and in every citie, as is apparent from Acts the 14. verse 23. and Titus the 1. And now I have proved that the two Mother cities of Palestine, Ierusalem and Samaria consisting of many congregations, were Presbyterially and classically governed: I will goe on to the other cities of the Gentiles enumerated by my brother Burton, and prove that they also consisted of many congregations, and assem∣blies, and were all subordinate to their severall Presbyteries and Classes.

And first I will begin with the citie of Corinth, wch was a famous citie, and in the which there was an illustrious church, and therfore in it also there was constituted a Presbytery, that was many Presby∣ters to governe and rule that Church and those congregations un∣der them: for it is said, Acts the 14. that Paul and Barnabas ordained them Presbyters in every church, and Paul and Barna∣bas were Ministers in the church of Corinth; yea, Paul planted this church, and Apollo with Barnabas, and the Presbyters wa∣tred it; and therefore there must necessarily be many congregati∣ons and assemblies in that church: For one Pastor or Minister would have beene sufficient for owne flocke, at least a Pastor and a Teacher, or a Doctor would have beene sufficient to have fed one Page  262 congregation: now in that they had many ordinary Pastors, and many extraordinary Teachers in it, with all good reason it follow∣eth, that there were many assemblies and many congregations in that church, which will yet more abundantly appeare from its first constitution or planting: for wee reade of multitudes, both of Jewes and Gentiles in that Citie that beleeved, Acts the 18. verse 5. 7, 8. &c. and that besides Iustus, Crispus also and all his houshold, and many Corinthians beleeved, and were baptized, and the Lord also said that hee had many people in that Citie, ver. 10. which by the diligent preaching of Paul for eighteene moneths together were converted, verse 11. for whose further building up in their most holy faith, Paul, Apollos, Timothy, Cephas, and many other extraordinary, & famous Ministers and Teachers, besides their owne Presbyters, were all constantly imployed in season & out of season in preaching the Gospel, and administring the holy Sacraments, and labouring in word and doctrine, 1 Cor. 3 & 4. all the which imports many congregations and assemblies of Be∣leevers in that Citie.

Besides, both the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians shew that there were multitudes of deceitfull Teachers, Seducers, and false Apostles, which urged the ceremoniall Law, and the obser∣vation of it, and they also had their congregations and assemblies: there were also many vaine Instructers and idle Teachers, who though they kept the foundation, yet built upon it wood, hay and stubble: Now all reason will suggest, that Pastors of such severall minds, and teaching such severall & discrepant doctrines had all of them schollers, & followers of the same opinion wherof their seve∣ral Pastors were, as now we see in the several Sects in our times; & therefore they did not all meet in one or a few places, except we un∣derstand their meetings for the convention of their Officers with a part of the more choyce people for discipline; besides, as wee have expresse mention of a Church in Aquila, and Priscylla's house, 1 Cor. 16. so there were many other meeting places in Co∣rinth, where the Christians assembled themselves together: for in expresse words there is mention made in that Epistle of churches in the plurall number, 1 Cor. 14. verse 34. Let the women saith the Apostle keepe silence in the Churches: by which it followeth, that in Gods dialect congregation and church are synonima's, and not that onely, but that there were many churches in this church Page  263 of Corinth, and that they were all but one church, as being so many branches, and depending all upon that stocke, and there∣fore were all classically governed, and subordinate to one Presby∣terie.

The same may be concluded of the Church of Philippi, where verse the 1. Paul and Timothy salutes all the Bishops and Dea∣cons, so that in the first entrance of that Epistle wee meet with a colledge of Bishops and Presbyters, for they were all one, and wee meete also with many Deacons; all which proves to any un∣derstanding man that there were many congregations and chur∣ches; for one Deacon would have served for one congrgeation or assembly; and yet they all made but one church, as being subor∣dinate to one Presbyterie, and governed by their joynt consent and common Counsell; and that there were multitudes of Belee∣vers there, it is evident from the variety of Teachers, besides their good and godly Bishops; for Paul saith, there were dogs amongst them, evill workers, and those of the concision, and he bids the Philippians to beware of those, Chap. 3. verse 2. and there were many other of their Teachers which were worldly men, that minded earthly things, whom hee proclames enemies of the Crosse of Christ, who made their belly their God, as too many of the Independent Ministers now adayes doe, chapter 4. verse 18, 19. and gives them in command to shun their exam∣ple, and only to follow his, and such as walked as hee did, whose conversation was in Heaven; and many such Teachers there were in the Church of Philippi, and such as taught the Gospel out of good will and sincerely; all which sufficiently prove there were many congregations of Beleevers in this Church; and that it was yet but one Church, and governed by a classis and colledge of Bi∣shops and Presbyters. And the same may be said of the church of Galatia, where Paul complaines that there were many false teachers amongst them, which hee wisht were rooted out, and cut off or destroyed: so that it followeth, that in that church also, there were many congregations, and they were all governed by the joynt consent & common counsel of a Presbyterie there; for there were Presbyters ordained in every church, and in every Citie. And now I come to the seven churches of Asia, and that by name my brother Burton speaks of, viz. the church of Ephesus, with which I will conclude, and this was but one church in the singu∣lar Page  264 number, Revel. the 2. of the which Paul called the Elders to him, Acts the 20. verse 17. In the which church there were such infinites of Beleevers, as they could not all possibly meet in any one place or a few; yea, Paul himselfe declareth as much in expresse words in the 20. chap. verse 20. where hee saith that hee taught them publickly, and from house to house, which in the ori∣ginall is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 which by Master Knollys his learning signifies per singulas domos, and therefore by him acknowledged to be many congregations, as in the forgoing discourse is sufficently proved; and all reason indeed will perswade it, had it not in words beene specified. For Ephesus was a famous citie, and a place of great trafficke, where Paul preached two whole yeares, by whose hands God wrought no small Miracles, so that all they that dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Iesus, both Iews and Gentiles; and through other wonders that were wrought in that city, it is related that the word of God grew mightily and prevailed, as it is at large ch. 19. set down, so that great multitudes of the very Schollers, and such as studied curious Arts, were also converted, and burnt their Bookes, the price of which amounted to fifty thousand peeces of silver, in so much that feare came upon all the Greekes and Iewes that dwelt in Ephesus, and the name of the Lord Iesus was magni∣fied. And can any man conceive or beleeve, that all the Jewes and Greekes in Ephesus a mighty citie, and a mart Towne, could all meet in any one place together to communicate in all acts of worship, yea? were it not a madnesse to thinke so, if the very diversitie of their languages and tongues of the people did not dis∣swade it? for if they would all be edified, they must understand their Ministers preaching unto them, which so many people of se∣verall Languages and dialects could never do by any one; for it was then a Miracle to have the gift of tongues, which for the most part were conferred upon the Ministers, and Publishers of the Gospel, and upon such as were to be sent from place to place, and from Citie to Citie to convert the Nations, such as were the Apostles, Evangelists and Prophets, all extraordinary men, and very seldome had the ordinary people the gifts of the Holy Ghost conferred upon them, but it was chiefly upon some select and cho∣sen ones, not upon all promiscuously, bu upon such as the Apo∣stles laid their hands; for if it had beene upon all, then Simon Magus needed not have offered money to the Apostles for the Page  265 purchasing of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, if those graces had been promiscuously given; but without all doubt it was but to some sortsof men for the most part that the gift of tongues was distri∣buted, such as the Apostles made speciall choyce of, for so it ap∣peares, 1 Cor. 12. ver. 10. 11.

And therefore when the common people had not the understan∣ding of all languages, they if they would be edified, must have such to preach to them as they could understand, and therefore all the Jewes and Greeks in Ephesus must necessarily have divers places to meet in, if the multitudes of them otherwise had not been so great but that they might have assembled themselves together, and onely that they might be edified. Besides the great multi∣tudes that we read of at the first plantationof this church, the Scripture saith Acts the 20. That for three whole years together Paul taught them night and day as an extraordinary Minister; they had also Timothy sometime amongst them and other extraordinary teachers and a whole colledge of Bishops and Elders ver. 28. who all had the care of the flock committed to them with a charge that they should feede that church which Christ had redeemed with his blood; They had a commission likewise given them to oppose all false Teachers, which they faithfully performed, as the Lord beareth them witnesse, Revel. the 2. ver. 2. saying, I know thy workes, and thy labour and thy patience, and how thou canst not beare them which are evill, and thou hast tryed them which say they are Apo∣stles, and are not, and hast found them lyars. By which we learne that the Government of that Church was wholly committed into the hands of the Presbyters, who had the charge for the examina∣tion and tryall of the doctrine of all Teachers that came amongst them; and that they were invested with power likewise and au∣thority of casting them out that were Deceivers and fals Teachers; and we farther learne that the care of all those severall congrega∣tions was committed to all the Bishops and Presbyters of that Church in common; and although it consisted of many congre∣gations, yet it was but one church, and therefore was classically governed communi consilio Presbyterorum; and so were all the other six churches of Asia governed, in all and every one of the which there were many congregations and churches of beleevers as is manifest from the manner of Christs concluding his Epistles, sent by the Ministry of Saint John to all those Asian churches Rev.Page  266 the 2. ver. 7. Let him that hath an eare hear what the spirit saith to the churches: From the which I thus argue.

He who maketh the particular or singular church he writeth to, to be a multitude or company of Churches not one onely (as the body is not one member onely) he doth make that one church to which hee writeth to in singular or particular, to be a Presbyterian, Clas∣sicall, or Collegiate Church: But Christ in his Epiphonemicall con∣clusion to every Church, which he had spoken to in singular or in particular, doth speak of the same as of a company or multitude of Churches, let him that hath an eare heare what the spirit saith to the Churches: Ergo, One Church hath many Churches in subordi∣nation to it, and is classically or collegiately governed communi con∣silio Presbyterorum.

To the which argument the Independents answer by denying of the assumption, saying, that the words may be taken consequen∣tér, as well as antecedentér, with relation to what followes, as well as to what goes before; and they cite Junius his testimony for the proofe of this their denyall, nothing to the purpose. They pro∣duce also Master Bains his authority to as little end. Christ (saith he) doth not use the plural number, in respect of the one Church pre∣ceding, but in respect of the seven collectively taken, it being his will that the Members of each singular Church should lay to heart both severally and joyntly, whatsoever was spoken to them and to o∣thers.

This is the Answer, the Author of the New Lights from the Summer Islands in the name of all the Independents makes to this Argument, page 133. And if words may serve for answers, those of the congregationall way will never want Answers and Replyes; but we look for reasons and not for words in any men that shall deny our arguments: And therefore when he hath no reason for his gainsaying, the argument shall for ever stand in force, to prove many Congregations and many Churches in the Church of Ephesus and in the other six Churches. And truly he granteth the argument whiles he seemeh to oppose it, saying, that the words may be taken consequenter as well as antecedenter: So that he acknowledgeth the wor•• may be taken antecedenter as well as consequenter, that is, with relation to what goes before, as well as to what follows: viz: both wayes▪ which is as much as I require and as much as by the ar∣gument I laboured to prove. For who ever denyed that when Christ Page  267 spake to his Apostles bidding them watch, that what he spake to them, he spake to all men? So who ever yet denyed that when Christ in the conclusion of every one of his Epistles to the Asian Churches, said, Let him that hath an eare hear what the spi∣rit saith to the Churches, that by Churches there, Christ hath as well reference not onely to all the seven churches in Asia, but to all succeeding Churches to the worlds end, that they should by their examples be forewarned lest they likewise offend in the same manner? For all men know, That whatsoever was written, was written for our instruction upon whom the ends of the world are come: Though primarily, principally and antecedenter he hath reference to all the severall Congregations, Assemblies, or Churches in each of those Churches; as first to those of Ephesus which is yet called but one Church in the singular number, as the others also, as con∣sisting of many severall companies and severall congregations, yet being all combined together in their severall Precincts and subor∣dinate to each of their Presbyteries, were all collectively taken but for one Church within their particular jurisdictions: and there∣fore Christ speaks to them all severally in the conclusion of all his Epistles in the number of multitude as to many, though in the beginning of his Epistles he writes to them all as particular and sin∣gular Churches, because though each of them consisted of many congregations (as I said before) yet they were subordinate to their several Presbyteries and governed by the common counsel of their severall Presbyteries in a classicall way.

And there is all reason to convince any man that the word Church in those Epistles should as well be considered collectively, as the word Angell: Now all orthodox writers and the very Indepen∣dent Ministers themselves hold that by Angell is meant all the Ministers and Presbyters in each of those severall Churches: And therefore if the word Angell in those severall Epistles may or be to be taken and interpreted collectively for many Ministers; then the word Church also may or is to be taken collectively for many Churches: For those of the congregationall way do acknowledg, that Pastor and lock are relatives and have reference one to ano∣ther: Now if there were many Pastors in each of those Churches, then there must likewise be many Flocks in each of those churches: but that there were many Pastors and Bishops in those churches it is manifest by their constitution: For the Apostles ordained Pres∣bytersPage  268in every Church Acts 14. and in the church of Ephesus by name we finde many Presbyters and Bishops, a whole colledge of them Acts the 20▪ ver. 17, and 28. And therefore it is manifest there were many congregations and assemblies of Beleevers as in that church so in the other six: for in expresse words Paul sayes that he preached unto them in the Church of Ephesus publikely, and〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉that is in every house which is by Master Knollys acknow∣ledged to signifie many several congregations in that church. And as it is at this day amongst us, when the Independents preach publike∣ly and from house to house or in every house, every one of the shallowest understanding knowes, that they have severall congre∣gations and severall meeting places, and therefore severall chur∣ches: even so it is to be understood by the same expression, that there were many churches in that one church of Ephesus, because they had many assemblies and many meeting places which the Scripture saith, they had both publikely and privately. It seemes that the Magistrates there were converted, and the Christians in that city had obtained so much favour from them, that they allow∣ed them publike places of meeting as well as private, as may be gathered from Pauls words who said, That he had taught them publikely and from house to house.

Now where there were such multitudes of people as could take up a famous Apostle night and day for three whole yeares together, who ceased not all that while to warne every one with teares Acts 20. 31. and that publikely and privately ver. 20. and where there were ma∣ny more extraordinary Teachers, besides a whole Colledge of Bishops and all of them faithfull and painfull Preachers as appears Revel. 2. ver. 2. and all these likewise continually imployed, there of necessity there must be severall churches and congregations: but in the church of Ephesus there were such multitudes of people as imployed the A∣postle Paul for three whole yeares night and day and many other ex∣traordinary Ministers, besides a whole colledge of faithfull and la∣borious Pastors and Bishops: Ergo, there were severall churches and congregations in the church of Ephesus, and therefore the word church is to be taken collectively, as well antecedenter as conse∣quenter as well as the word Angell: for there is the same reason of both.

Now then if the word Angell in the Independents opinion 〈◊〉 to be taken collectively, the word church by as good Au∣thority Page  269 is to be so taken, and therefore as there were many Angels and Ministers in the church of Ephesus, so there were many Assemblies and churches in that church, by all which it undenyably followeth that one church may have many churches in subordination to it, as this of Ephesus and the other Asian churches had, and consequently was Collegially and Classically governed communi consilio presbyterorum: Now then when the the church of Ephesus and all the other churches my brother Burton enumerateth were all so governed, it followes that all these churches must be a paterne of government for the regulating and moderating of all other churches to the end of the world, which being all Presbyterially and Classically governed as hath been proved, all other churches at this day are to be Classically and Presbyterially moderated; so that now when it is manifest both by Scripture and reason and by the Independents owne con∣cession that the word churches may be taken as well Anteceden∣ter as consequenter, it matters nothing what Master Baines thinks to the contrary, whose judgement in this businesse is very erro∣neous, how Orthodoxe soever he was in his other writings: for there is no man though of never so greatlearning or parts, no not an Angel that shall ever by Gods assistance make me believe or im∣brace any doctrine or opinion that is contrary unto the holy Scrip∣ture and all sound reason, as this novell tenent and whimsie of the Independents is: and truly so it appeareth to be from my brother Burtons owne words: who by his induction of so many churches and by that nigh relation he affirmes they all had each to other, and amongst themselves, concludes they were all de∣pendent, For if there was as great or nigh a relation betweene church and church, as is between member and member in the body of a man (as he asserteth) so that the one cannot say to the other I have no neede of thee, then of necessity they must be all de∣pendent: but there is as great or nigh arelation between church and church as my brother Burton asserteth, as there is betweene mem∣ber and member, so that the one cannot say to the other I have no neede of thee: Ergo they are all dependent. For the antecedent it is so cleere that all intelligible men will assent unto it. And for the assumption, my brother Burtons words confirme it, and therefore the conclusion doth necessarily insue.

And if men would but consider and that duly, the mnner of Page  270 the civill government in all the Cities we reade of in the old Testament, both in Iuda and Israel, and the Ecclesiasticall go∣vernment in them, the truth would, easily be perceived and the controversie would quickly be at an end amongst all sober minded Christians. Now in those severall Cities we shall finde, that under their severall Kings and Princes they were all gover∣ned by a secular Presbytery called by the name of Elders and Nobles, whose civill power and Authority under those Kings and Princes extended as far as the severall bounds and ter∣ritories under their severall Cities delated themselves and not only within their wals: for as at their first constitution they were so many severall kingdomes as the Scripture relateth and had their severall jurisdictions and bounds; so into whosesoever hands and Authority they were in succession of time devolved, either by con∣quest, donation agreement or compact, they commonly conti∣nued their Antient dimensions and limits, and as farre as their secular power extended it selfe in respect of their civill govern∣ment and policy, the same limits did the Ecclesiasticall ever observe, and governed all the Townes and Villages under them, all whose inhabitants and dwellers in their severall abodes and habitations within the compasse of their severall jurisdictions were called Citizens, and the whole country in their severall pre∣cincts were called by the names of the severall Cities, as all Histories relate. And if we will but examine the Annals of times, all men may finde that which I now say to be true. For we see in the change of all governments, from Democratiall to Aristocraticall, and from both to Monarchy, that as far as their bounds and limits extended themselves before their changc, the Monarchsor Kings that either invaded those Governments or were brought in by election or the free choyce of the people, extended their sole power to the extreamest limits of those severall govern∣ments and in their owne name ruled those severall Countries, which before were governed by the Common counsell of their States, Senats, Elders or Judges, as we see it hapned not onely in the king∣domes of Iuda and Israel after the government of the Israelites was changed into a Monarchie, but even in the Roman Empire and all other kingdomes; for when Caesar had invaded the Sove∣rainty and had made himselfe Perpetuus dictator, as farre as the bounds and limits of the Roman Aristocracy extended itsPage  271selfe before the change, so farre did his sole power expatiate and extend it selfe after the alteration; and the same power did all the succeeding Emperours exercise to the extremest bounds of that Empire till the dissolution of it, as all Histories de∣clare.

Even so when the severall Presbyteries through the Christian world were through the cunning and policy of Antichrist, that man of sinne, changed into Episcopacies, as farre as the seve∣rall Presbyteries extended themselves, so farre did the severall Bishops appointed over them extend their sole power and ex∣ercise their sole Authority. Hence arose so many broyles conten∣tions and digladiations amongst those severall Bishops about the bounds and limits of their severall Seas and jurisdictions, of which all Ecclesiasticall stories are full; all the which doe suf∣ficiently prove and declare to any man of but ordinary under∣standing that in those severall Cities which were after their change of government, the Seates of their Bishops and Prelates, they had many Townes and Villages and many Churches and Con∣gregations under them all the which before this alteration were all governed by their severall Presbyteryes respectively and were all uuder them, and were ordered and moderated communi consilio Pesbyterorum which the Independents themselves do acknowledge, and my brother Burton by name in his vindication.

Hence is was that the blessed Apostles went from City to City, to Preach the Gospell there in their Synagogues, as the whole Scripture of the new testament relateth, and they did not only Preach the Word to them in their severall Cities, but in each of them ordained and constituted Presbyteries, giving charge to Titus and Timothy to doe the same, leaving the government of all those congregations and Churches in those severall Cities in the hands of those severall Presbyteries in their severall juris∣dictions, injoyning also those severall Presbyteries and Churches to observe the Decrees of the Synod and Councell of Jerusalem, and commanding the people, all Christians and believers in those severall Cities under them, to be subject and obedient to all their severall Ministers and Guides set over them, and to observe all that they should from God teach them to observe and doe, as we may see out of the severall places I set downe at large in the foregoing discourse, as out of the 14. of the Act. 23. Acts 20. 27. 18. Tit. 1 Page  272verse 5. 1 Tim. 5. verse 17. Heb. 13. verse 7, 17, 24. and the first of Pet. 5. 2. Iam. 5. 14. and Acts 15. 23. Acts 16. 4. Acts 21. 25. All which places of holy Scripture, and all the Arguments by which I prove all the Primitive and Apostolicall churches to be classically governed, my Brother Burton and I. S. passed by, not so much as taking notice of them, as they did not of those multitudes baptized by Iohn the Baptist, and Christs Disciples, of whom likewise they took no notice as not formed into a church or churches. But as our Saviour said to the Seducers, Matth. 22. Yee erre not knowing the Scriptures; so I may truly say of all the severall Sectaries of this time, they erre not knowing the Scrip∣tures, nor the power of God to punish them for their wicked∣nesse; For would they but take the word Church in that sense the holy Scripture delivereth it unto us and relateth it, the controver∣sie would soone be at an end. Now the word Church in all the places above quoted, and through the whole Scripture of the New Testament for the most part, is taken collectively, either for all the catholike invisible or visible Church, or for the representative body of the church, or for many congregations and assemblies of Beleevers, all combined together under one government, either in a citie or countrie partaking in all the Ordinances, as in preach∣ing, and praying, and the administration of the holy Sacraments, and in the exercising of godly discipline; not onely within the wals of those severall cities, but through all the townes and villa∣ges, as farre as the bounds and limits of their severall govern∣ments, precincts, and jurisdictions did extend, as Acts the 15. 23. The Apostles and Elders send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch, that is, to the Church in An∣tioch, and in Syria, and in Cilicia. So that church is most often ta∣ken collectively, as the church of Geneva at this day, and of Ba∣sil, and the other reformed Cantons, as it was in the seven churches of Asia. Now when the word church for the most part in holy Scripture is taken in this sense, as the church at Ierusalem, the church of Samaria, Antioch, Philippi, Corinth, &c. and where there were many congregations and churches combined together, and all collectively taken, in this the Independents and all Sectaries erre, that they alwayes take the word church for no more then can meete together in one of their pipkin congregations, to partake and communicate in their Ordinances; whereas the Scripture as I have Page  273 in all the forgoing discourse sufficiently proved, taketh the word collectively for many congregations under one government, al∣though every one of those severall congregations considered apart and by it selfe may truly and properly be called a church, as being a Branch and Member of some particular church, and communi∣cating in all essentiall Ordinances with it, as hath abundantly bin proved; yet still it is considered but as a Member, and a Branch or part depending upon the whole particular church under which it is, and therefore classically governed.

From all which I may conclude, that when all those severall Churches, as that at Ierusalem, Samaria, Corinth, Philippi, Ephe∣sus, which my brother Burton saith must be brought in to make up a compleate paterne of Church government, were all colle∣ctively taken, and classically and collegiatly governed, as consi∣sting of many congregations, and yet but under one Presbyterie in their severall precincts and jurisdictions, my Arguments will everstand good; yea, they are all strengthned from my brother Burtons Concession and his expresse words. For if when there were but three thousand Beleevers in the Church at Ierusalem, as it appeares, Acts the 2. they were then forced to sever themselves into divers companies, because they wanted a convenient place so spacious as wherein to breake bread, as my brother Burton saith, how impossible a thing was it for them all after that time to meet together in any one place or a few, when the church at Ieru∣salem multiplyed daily, and that by many thousands, and at last grew so numerous as they amounted to many Myriads, or innu∣merable companies, as appeareth Acts the 21. all which not∣withstanding my brother Burton passeth by and taketh no notice of, wilfully deceiving the poore people, in concealing from them so apparent a truth: But should I take notice of the error of his words and discover all his juglings, my discourse would swell in∣to a mighty volume: for to speake the truth, his expressions con∣taine in them a heape of fraud and confusion, all which hee must one day give a severe account for. But not to take notice I say of his severall faylings: what he grants, is to be taken notice of, viz. that when the Church at Ierusalem was in its infancy they wanted a convenient place spacious enough to communicate in all ordi∣nances, and therefore they were constrained to sever themselves into divers companies in severall private houses to communicate▪ Page  274 Then of necessity when that Church was multiplyed into many ten thousands, they must needs be distributed into many and many congregations and churches to partake in all the Ordinances, and all these were but one church, and under one Presbytery, as my brother Burton acknowledgeth.

So that now I am most confident every judicious Reader will easily perceive, that my Brother Burton, and all those of the congregationall way meerly trifle, and delude the poore and igno∣rant people, whiles with their scriblings they trouble the world, in making rents and schismes in church and state.

But heare yet how hee cavilleth: the church of Ierusalem saith hee, cannot bee a paterne to all churches, for then all Churches must have seven Deacons, and must bee all subject to some one Church; because things in question, were there debated and deter∣mined, and sent to other Churches to be observed; and in regard al∣so that that Church was infallibly guided by the Holy Ghost; in which respect, the resolution of that Church was with authority; it pleased the Holy Ghost and us, which no particular Church since can ever say. In these respects (saith hee) it followes then that the Church of Ierusalem remaines not in all things a patterne for other Churches; for a paterne must bee in all things imitable and per∣fect. Thus my Brother Burton makes a noyse to little purpose, contradicting all those of his owne party that I ever yet read or talked with, who all acknowledge that the Church of Ierusalem was a paterne to all churches; and from the example of that church, (as they pretend) they forme and governe all their chur∣ches, and labour to reduce all to that paterne, and ground all their proceedings upon the Plat-forme of that church, and doe all as they affirme, in imitation of that, holding Synods to bee one of Gods ordinances, and ground it upon the meeting of the Apostles and Elders in the 15. of the Acts: and yet my Brother Burton here maintaineth the contrary, as his words sufficiently declare: for which his grollery, I beleeve all those of his Fraternity will give him little thankes, and blame him for his so great haste in an∣swering mee: who in his wise Epistle to the Reader saith, I hasted at last as fast, as before I was slow, if possible to recover our bro∣ther: so that it seemes hee made more haste then good speed (ac∣cording to the Proverbe) Canis festinans caecos parit catulos, and will have cause at leisure to repent; for hee hath by this his jug∣ling Page  275 and conjuring quite rased the foundation, and overthrowne the whole Fabrick of the new Bable of Independency, which his brethren had beene so busie and diligent to lay, erect, maintaine, and uphold, and that from the example of the Church of Ierusa∣lem.

But it will not be amisse to examine his trifling reasons of this his gain-saying, and denyall that the Church of Ierusalem cannot be a paterne to other churches: for then saith he, every Church must have seven Deacons, and all Churches must be subject to one Church, and to the Decrees of that Church, which they cannot be, there being none now infallibly guided. Thus my Brother Burton out of the acumen of his wit disputes at randoun: after the very same manner did the Prelates in their generation dispute against the godly people they termed Puritans, when they alleaged the example of Christ and the blessed Apostles in receiving of the Sa∣crament of the Lords Supper, as that they all received it either sitting or using a Table-gesture: and therefore that all Christians, and Christs Disciples were bound to imitate and to follow his and the Apostles examples rather then Antichrists, as a paterne set downe to them of receiving the Holy Communion to the end of the world.

To which the Prelates, and those of that faction replyed, that if the Puritans would make Christ and his Apostles in receiving the Lords Supper a paterne for their imitation; then they must always celebrate it in an evening, and that after supper, and in an upper roome, and in a private house, and not in publick, and then they must never exceed twelve or thirteene communicants, and they must be all men and no women: and an hundred such other toyes they brought to prove, that the example of our blessed Saviour and his holy Apostles was not to be a paterne of imitation for the re∣ceiving of the Lords Supper to all Christians in succeeding ages: and after the same manner doth my brother Burton now trifle to no purpose. For as the example of Christ and the blessed Apo∣stles was a paterne in respect of substance, and not in every cir∣cumstance, which was never required; so was the church of Ie∣rusalem, in respect of substance, and not in every circumstance to be a paterne to all churches for their imitating to the end of the world; As for instance.

The church at Ierusalem had liberty given them by the Apostles Page  276 to nominate and make choyce of Deacons, when there was a ne∣cessitie of such Officers & to nominate and make choyce of as ma∣ny as they thought sufficient for their occasions. And in this it was a paterne to all churches in succeeding ages, that they like∣wise if they had need of Deacons, might make choyce of holy and godly men, and of approved integrity, and of as many as they had need of, whether fewer or more, and as often as their occasions required, no church being limited for the number; and as the Apostles onely in that church ordained the Deacons, and not the people, so the Ministers and Presbyters only, in all churches should doe the same. And as upon any difference amongst the brethren that are joyned together in church Fellowship (as it hap∣ned then betweene the Grecians and the Hebrewes, Acts 6. about their widowes, who they thought were neglected in the daily Ad∣ministration) they made their appeales to the Apostles for redresse; so in this the church at Ierusalem is a patern to all other churches upon any occasions of such or the like difference, to appeale unto their severall Presbyteries: and as they willingly submitted them∣selves to their determination, so when the Presbyters command or appoint any thing in the Lord, and according to his word, the people are to yeeld willing subjection & obedience to their order; and in their so doing to make the church of Ierusalem their pa∣terne: and as in the church of Ierusalem there were many congre∣gations and churches, and all these were combined together, and subordinate to one Presbyterie in this also the church of Ierusalem is to be a paterne to all churches in succeeding ages, that they may doe the like in imitation of that church, which is for ever to be a paterne to them; and as upon occasion then certaine men went downe from Iudaea to Antioch, Acts 15. 1. and troubled the peo∣ple there and in other churches, with words subverting their soules, saying that they must be circumcised and keepe the Law vers. 24. pretending they came from the Apostles and had a command from them of their so doing, so that upon this the churches sent unto the Apostles and the Elders at Ierusalem for the determination of this busines in debate, & waited patiently for their resolution, with∣out making any rents or schismes in the church: and as the Apostles and Elders of that church and of other churches called a councell and Synode and there disputed and debated the matter with ar∣guments and reasons searching the holy Scriptures What was thePage  277good will and pleasure of God in them, and accordingly determi∣ned that difference and question by the written Word, and from thence commanded that the Decrees of that Councell should be ob∣served in all Churches.

After the very same manner in this their so doing, the church of Ierusalem is a paterne to all other churches upon the like oc∣casions, it any difference of opinion rise amongst the churches, or if any new heresies spring up tending to the subversion of the soules of the people, how holy and godly so ever they seeme to be that broach them, and what pretence so ever they make that they have them from divine Authority; I say upon the like occasions in Imitation of the Apostles and Elders in the church at Ierusalem, Kings and Princes, and Christian Magistrates and those that are in Authority, may call a councell or Synod of Di∣vines together; and as the Apostles and Elders there debated things by dispute and reason, and by searching the holy Scripture found out the truth, and determined the question and sent their Decrees which were binding, to all other churches: so I affirme also in this their so doing that church is a paterne of imitation to all churches in all Nations and Countries and Christian churches in them, that Ministers out of severall Presbyteries in a representa∣tive body may meet together by the appointment of their Ma∣gistrates, and dispute those questions by reasoning and discourse, and finding by searching of the Word of God, what his good will and pleasure is, may determine the question accordingly, and give out their decrees grouned upon the written Word, with authority to be observed by all those churches under their severall Jurisdictions; and as the people then did patiently wait till the determining of that difference without making of any rents, schismes, or separations, one from another, and did then yeild obedience to those decrees without any reluctation, but ob∣served them all willingly after the debate; so ought all people in imitation of them and following their example, with patience to wait, without making any rents and divisions, till things are fully discussed and determined in any such Synode or coun∣cell, and then willingly and cheerfully submit themselves and yeild obedience to them, and in their so doing they have the church at Ierusalem for a paterne and the Apostles and Elders of that church and the other churches for an example of imita∣tion Page  278 so long as they injoyne nothing contrary to the Word of God. For this way of governing the church by Synods and Councells, upon differing and dissenting opinions betweene church and church, and upon occasion of any new Heresies sprung up in Christian Countries or any old ones revived, as it hath its paterne from the church at Ierusalem and that of Antioch which is left for our imitation that all churches upon the like occasion should follow it; So this way of ruling is grounded upon most excellent reason: as most agreeable both to the Law of God and nature and the practise of all Nations and Kingdomes of which we have many presidents in the holy Scriptures besides this coun∣cell at Ierusalem and some others. For as all Nations and King∣doms have been ever governed by generall councells and have ever had their severall appeales, from inferior Courts and councells to Superior upon either publicke grievances, or upon any differences betweene Province and Province, and County and County, or betweene Corporation and Corporation, or City and City, or upon any Pressures or oppressions, or impeachments or incroach∣ments of each on the others liberties or through injustice or in∣juries done to each of them, from some that are in power and au∣thority; So the church of Iesus Christ which is his Kingdome, is inferior to no other Kingdome upon earth; but in that also the severall Corporations that are under it, which are so many Pres∣byterian churches, have in like manner the liberty of their appeales upon any of the aforesaid or above named occasions. And al∣though they all injoy equall priviledges amongst themselves (as the severall Provinces, Counties, Corporations and Cities in any kingdome do) so as they cannot severally and by themselves considered, give a Law each to other; yet as in a generall councell in Kingdomes and Common-wealths, when the Knights, and Barons and Burgesses of each of them are all met together in their representative bodies in a Parliament or Diet, may being so Assem∣bled together, not only redresse any abuses, and punish Delnquents, but also for the better government of those severall Doinons for the future, give Lawes to each Province, County, City and Corpo∣ration, yea and unto the whole Country, And enact penall Statutes both to them, and to the whole Countries under them according to the fundamentall Lawes of the Kingdomes and Countries. In the same manner it is in the visible Catholicke church which Page  279 is Christs Kingdome: although in it, the severall Presbyteries and churches considered by themselves and as having equall Autho∣rity amongst themselves, cannot give Lawes to each other, seve∣rally and by themselves considered, as the Church of Corinth, and that of Antioch, and Ephesus, and the other could not pre∣scribe to each other a rule or Law to walke by with Autho∣rity, but only in an examplary way by well doing: yet all these severall churches ioyning together in a generall councell, as they did at Jerusalem Acts the 15. and having from each of them de∣ligated and sent their Presbyters and Ministers as so many Burgesses, of their severall cities and Corporations, and they being all met together upon any grievances and having by debating of the matters and differences in question by dispute and by disqui∣sition found, What is the good will of God, and what is his plea∣sure in his good Word and in the holy Scriptures which are the Fundamentall Lawes of his Kingdom may in any Christian coun∣cell so called, and ordering their businesse as the councell and Synod of Ierusalem did, give out their Decrees and those binding ones to all those severall churches that are under their juris∣dictions, and all these severall churches ought to yeild obedience to them. And in this their so doing they have the church of Ierusalem and the other churches a president and a paterne. For (I say) in all these respects the church at Ierusalem is a paterne to all other churches. And as in the church at Ierusalem, Corinth, Philippi, Samaria, Ephesus, &c. the Apostles, Evangelists, and the Presbyters in every one of those churches had the charge of each of those churches committed to them in common, as is ma∣nifest from all the places above quoted, and through the holy Scrip∣ture; and as they fed them all and governed them all in common: so in that also both the church at Ierusalem and all the other chur∣ches (according to my brother Burtons doctrine who saith they must all come in for the making up of a compleat platforme) I say as all the Presbyters and Ministers fed those severall chur∣ches in common, so they are a paterne to all churches in all suc∣ceeding ages to the end of the world, that they may do the same in their severall and respective Presbyteries. Neither is there any president or example in all the holy Scriptures of the new-Testament, that any church had its peculiar Pastor and Teacher, or Doctor alloted to it, with but two or three Elders and a Dea∣con Page  280 with a slender congregation of people of the which they only had the cure and care for the feeding and ruling of it, and the which had absolute Authority within it self, and from which there was no appeale, the which notwithstanding the In∣dependents assert is a true formed church after the new testa∣ment forme; such a modell of a church I affirme can never be shewed or proved in all the new testament. God (saith Saint Paul 1 Cor. 12. vers. 28.) hath set some in the church; first Apo∣stles, Secondarily Prophets, thirdly Teachers, after Miracles, then Gifts of healing, helps in government, diversities of Tongues; are all Apostles? are all Prophets? are all Teachers? &c. and in the 4. of the Ephesians vers. 11. When Christ ascended on high, he gave gifts unto Men, &c. and he gave some Apostles and some Prophets: and some Evangelists: and some Pastors and Teachers: for the perfecting of the Saints &c. all the which places are to be understood concerning the Catholicke visible church. So that to appropriate these places of Scripture to any particular church, as those of the Congregationall way do, is to abuse and pervert the holy Scriptures for the upholding of their unwarrantable proceedings: for if these Scriptures are to be applyed unto every particular congregationall church, then there must not only be a Pastor and a Teacher, but many Pastors and many Teachers in each of them besides other church officers; and then the Pastors and Teachers would be more in number many times then the flocke; and if we looke upon all particular Churches founded by the Apostles which must be a paterne indeed to all churches, then we shall finde that in all of them, severally, they had many Presbyters, as in the 14. of the Acts and in the 20. of the same, and in all the above cited Scriptures doth abundantly appeare. So that there is no ground in all the holy Scripture of the new mo∣dell of the Congregationall way: for following the expresse Scrip∣ture, (to use my brother Burtons owne words) the first formed church we finde is in the Acts the second, which consisted of many thousands, and in that church there were no distinct officers and members united into one church body respectively: for all the Apostles and Ministers of that church fed and ruled that church in common: and therefore after the very same example and paterne may all Christian churches to the end of the world do the same and be well formed churches, & yet have neither a particular Pastor nor Page  281 Teacher, nor distinct officers amongst them: for neither the church of Ierusalem, nor any of the Primitive and Apostolike Churches had that distinction of officers amongst them, and all and every one of them neverthelesse were well formed churches, and therefore in this they be a paterne to all churches.

And as in the church of Ierusalem and in all the other churches all those that were converted and added to them were none of them forced to walke either Dayes, or Moneths, or years with them before their admission, that they might either know the Saints and Members of that Church, or be known of them, no were ever forced to make a publike confession of their faith, and bring in the evidences of their conversion or to enter in by an ex∣plicite particular covenant, and to obtain the consent of the whole church before their admittance: So in this the Church of Jerusalem and the other Churches of the New Testament are to be a pattern to all other churches to the end of the World that they may follow the example of that Mother Church, and all the primitive Daughter-Churches in admitting of their Members without any of these things; for that was the first formed Church, and yet shee required no such things of any that were added into her. But of this in its due place.

And as the Ministers of the Church in Jerusalem, the Apostles and Teaches only had the power of government, and admitting of Members, and did it without the consent of the people, as wee may see in their first admission of Members, who applyed themselves unto the Apostles onely, saying men and brethren what shall wee doe? and not unto the people; and as in that Church, when the people and Beleevers opposed any that desired to be admitted, as they did Saint Paul, Acts the 9. verse 26, 27. of whom they were afraid, not beleeving hee was a disciple, and hee then appeal∣ing to the Apostles, who upon hearing of the truth of the busines, they admitted him comming in, and going out without their con∣sent; in this also the Church of Jerusalem is to be a paterne to all Ministers and people in all succeeding Churches, that it is the Mi∣nisters place onely to admit of Members, and not the peoples, and if they should gaine-say the admission of any upon either their feares or jealousies, or out of other respects, that then they may have their appeales from them to the Presbyters in each Church, and giving them an account of their faith, they are by them to be admitted, notwithstanding the dislike and dissenting of their brethren; for ofPage  282this way of proceeding wee have the Church of Ierusalem for a paterne.

And as the Church at Ierusalem, and all the other Primitive Churches never made any rents and schismes from the publike assemblies for some faylings, but alwayes constantly frequented their publike meeting places, notwithstanding the many corrup∣tions of the Teachers, both in Doctrine, Discipline and Man∣ners, and had not only the example of the blessed Apostles, but of Christ also in so doing, who when he was questioned concerning his doctrine, said, I taught publickely in the Temple, and in the Synagogue, and not in corners and by places, and he inioyned the peo∣ple also to doe the same, Matth. 23, saying, the Scribes and the Pha∣risees sit in Moses his seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe that observe and doe, but doe not yee after their workes, &c. So likewise other Churches to the end of the world ought to imi∣tate this Church as their paterne, not to separate from the pub∣like assemblies, and those Churches for some faylings, especially when they are found in doctrine, and preach all saving truths needfull to salvation without any mixture of humane inventions; and so much the rather all Churches ought to imitate the example of the church of Ierusalem, and the other Primitive Churches in this, not only because they have Christs both example and precept for it, but because also separation is blamed by the Apostle Paul in the Hebrewes, Heb. 10. and therefore forbidden, who saith, verse 23, 24, 25. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith, without wa∣vering (for hee is faithfull that promised) and let us consider one an other, to provoke unto love and good workes, not forsaking the assem∣bling of our selves together, as the manner of some is: but exhor∣ting one an other, and so much the more, as you see the day ap∣proaching, It seemes the Jewes presuming of their owne holi∣nesse, and that they were the peculiar people of God, thought basely of the Gentiles, and began to separate in that regard from their publike assemblies, as too many now adayes of the Ildepen∣dents doe from their brethren, thinking themselves more holy then they: the Apostle therefore writing to his countrey men the Jewes, blames them for this, and in them reproveth all that doe the like, and forbids them so to doe; and Saint Iohn speaking of such as made schismes in the Church, saith, that if they had beene of us they would not have gone out and departed from amongstPage  283us; but in that they separated from amongst them, it was ma∣nifest that they were not of them: so that hee maketh it a marke and note of Apostates to make rents and schismes in any Church from the publike assemblies; in all these regards therefore wee ought to take heed of separation, and ought in this to make the church of Ierusalem and the other Primitive Churches our pa∣terne and example, and not to separate from the churches and assemblies of the Saints, though indeed there should be many faylings in them, which when the churches of the congregatio∣nall way daily doe, they are highly to be blamed as offenders a∣gainst precepts and presidents, both of Christ and the blessed A∣postles, and against the example of all the Primitive churches who never did it; all the which notwithstanding my brother Burton saith ought to be conferred together for the making up of a perfect paterne for our imitation; they therefore not following their paterne, but making rents, have in their so doing much to answer for.

Lastly, as the church at Ierusalem, and all the other churches my brother Burton enumerates, are to be a paterne to all churches in succeeding ages, in their well doing and in what was prayse worthy: so likewise, wherein either the whole churches, or any officers or members in them, were fayling in their duty, and for it either reproved, threatned, or punished for their owne disobe∣dience, or but for their indulgence at others in their sinnes, as old Ely, I Sam. 3. in that hee did not correct and chastise his wic∣ked sons, and the seven churches of Asia for their particular faylings, especially those of Pergamos, Thyatira, and Laodicea, for suffering the doctrinc of Balaam, Jezebel, and of the Nicolai∣tans, though it was not with approbation of the same, but onely in that they connived at them, and did not exercise their power in casting out those offenders, and punishing those luke∣warme Laodiceans, who were indifferent what religion was set up or imbraced amongst them; I say in all these respects, both these churches and people and all other churches for their fayl∣ings and punishments are examples to us, to teach and forwarne us not to offend in the like manner, lest partaking with them in their sinnes, wee partake with them also in their severall plagues and punishments: for whatsoever was written was pend for our ad∣monition upon whom the ends of the world are come, 1 Cor. 10. Page  284verse 11. and therefore if wee will tolerate all religions among us, and shall not be zealous for the honour of our God, and la∣bour by all our might to establish his true worship, and for the extirpating of all heresies and scandals, the Lord will have a con∣troversie against us, as hee had against them, and if wee repent not, will remove his Candlesticke from us, and leave us in darke∣nesse and in the shadow of death, as hee hath done those churches in Asia, who are all now under the Mahumetan superstition. For wee must take notice, that as every command of God is both preceptive and prohibitive; so there is something in the practise and manners of all the Saints and churches of God, as that in the Israelites, 1 Cor. 10. and in the above mentioned churches that have some things in them to be shunned and avoyded, as their spe∣ciall sinnes and faylings, and some things in them likewise to bee imitated, as their zeale, piety, vertues, and godly examples, and holy courage, which as they are all praise worthy, and for which they ought ever to be honoured, so they are set downe for our lear∣ning and imitation that wee should doe the same; yea, this their ex∣ample is as a command to us that wee should follow them in this their well doing; and where they did evill and fayled in their duty, in this, there is a prohibition to all christians and to all churches in succeeding ages to the end of the world, to take heed left they doe the like, and so fall into the same condemnation, as Paul speakes, 1. Tim. 3. verse 6. where prohibiting the Evangelist to ordaine a novice for a Minister, (he saith) lest being lifted up with pride hee fall into the condemnation of the Devill: for by his pride hee was cast out of heaven, that saith the Apostle hee was condemned for; therefore lay thou no hands upon a novice, lest hee be lifted up with pride and fall into the same condemnation.

So that in all the former respects, both the church at Ierusalem, and all other churches, and the people of Israel are a paterne to us, upon whom the ends of the world are come, that wee should al∣wayes set them before our eyes, if wee desire to injoy those mer∣cies and blessings they partaked in for their well doing, or to shun and avoid those punishments were inflicted upon them for their sins negligences and rebellions.

And this I thought good to say, in way of answer, to my bro∣ther Burton concerning the Church at Jerusalem, and the other Churches enumerated by him, all the which hee asserteth are to bee Page  285 conferred together for the making up of a compleate paterne and plat forme of Church government, and yet grollishly denieth that they can be a paterne in all things, which to speake the truth, is a peece of non-sense and a contradiction.

But before I conclude with him and shut up this discourse, I shall desire the Reader a little to ponder and weigh my brother Burtous expressions in the very entrance of this his answer, and reply to his own argument. For your indefinite enumeration (saith he) of those multitudes baptized by John the Baptist, and Christs disciples, wee take no notice of them, unlesse formed into a Church or Churches: but following the expresse Scripture, the first formed church wee find is in Acts the second.

These words deserve due consideration. Amongst those that were baptized by Iohn the Baptist, Christ himselfe was one, the Lord of life, who sanctified that ordinance in his owne person, and that in a speciall manner, as being done by his speciall com∣mand, and that for the fulfilling of all righteousnesse, both in him∣selfe and in the Baptist, as it is at large set downe, Matth. 3. and it was ratified by all the blessed Trinity, as by the immediate de∣scension of the Spirit of God upon Christ, in the likenesse of a Dove who was the person baptized, with a voice from God the Father out of Heaven, saying, this is my beloved Sonne, in whom I am well pleased. So that Christ, God the Father, and God the Holy Ghost did sanctifie and confirme this ordinance, not only to all those that had beene baptised by Iohn, and Christs disciples, who were also baptized by Iohn: but to all those in all future ages that should be baptized by Christs disciples, and all his faithfull Mini∣sters, which hee sent into all nations to preach and baptize them, Matth. 28. to all which hee promised his presence to the end of the world. So that I am most assured, all good Christians be∣leeve, that Christ was well baptized; and if he was well bapti∣zed, it cannot be denyed but that all those that were baptized by Iohn and Christs disciples, were all likewise well baptized, and were all good Christians: for both Iohn, and the Disciples had their commission from God and Christ himselfe for their so doing; and therefore if any authority from Heaven, and a speciall com∣mand from God, and a mission from him, be of any force to ra∣tifie, and ascertaine any ordinance, then the baptisme of Iohn and Christs disciples was authenticke; and all those that were bapti∣zed Page  286 by them, ought to have beene taken notice of by my brother Burton, and all the Independents, as formed into a church or churches, except they doe indeed beleeve, that Christ the King and head of his church, with his blessed Apostles and all his se∣venty Disciples, whose names were written in Heaven, and all those multitudes of men and women, that administred unto him and followed him, of whom hee gave this testimony, Matth. 12. ver. 49, 50. Behold my mother and my brethren; for whosoever shall doe the will of my father, which is in heaven, the same is my brother, & sister and mother; except I say they beleeve all these cannot make up a formed Church or churches, which were impiety to thinke.

Now I referre it to the judgement of any well grounded chri∣stians, whether or no they doe not beleeve that the great Pastor and Shepheard of our soules Christ Iesus, with his mother, bre∣thren and sisters, with all those that heard the voice of this their Shepheard, and knew it, and therefore followed him, and beleeved in him, with all Johns Disciples and those that were baptized by his and Christs disciples Ministry, cannot as well make up a formed church or churches, as any of our new formed congregations with a Pastor and Teacher, and a few other of their conceited Members? I am fully perswaded, that upon due deliberation, they will say, they can see no good reason, but that Christ the chiefe Pastor of his sheepe, and so many true beleevers and Saints with him, should not all of them as well make up a formed church or churches, as ten or twelve in one of our new congregations; and therefore that they ought to have beene taken notice of by my brother Burton, and those of his Fraternity as formed into a church or churches; which notwithstanding they doe not, asserting in expresse termes, that they take no notice of them as formed into a church or churches; which if it be not the highest point of blasphemy and temerity, I know not what either blasphemy or rashnesse is in any.

The Ildependents have unchurche all the reformed churches, and all churches but those of the congregationall way, and now they unchurch all those glorious Christians that were baptized by the Baptist and Christs disciples; wee (saith my brother Burton in the name of them all) take no notice of them unlesse formed into a church or churches. So that wee may not wonder, at least wee may not take it in ill part that they unchurch us, and deny our churches here in England, and all other reformed churches, to beePage  287formed churches after the New Testament forme; for they say the same of Christ and all that beleeved in him, and that were bap∣tized into him, whiles hee was upon earth, affirming, that they were not formed into a church or churches. So that having so good company, we may the more quietly sit downe, when wee are so like our Master and his Disciples and Followers, of all the which they say they take no notice of them as formed into a Church or Churches.

These words may not slightly be passed over: Wee (saith my brother Burton) take no notice of them, unlesse formed into a Church or Churches, &c. What men ordinarily take no notice of, they slight or little regard, especially if they speake those words from the judgement of deliberation, and not upon extemporary passion: or except they be in very great haste, and then they may be somewhat excused, if they passe by their best friends and take no notice of them; otherwise if they speake it out of seriosity, that they take no notice of men, it is as much as to say they slight them, regard them not, or despise them. But I have a better opinion of my brother Burton (though he thinketh very unworthily of me) then that hee should slight his best friend Jesus Christ, and take no notice of him, and his disciples, and all the beleevers in Christs time▪ especially when hee pretends That hee onely labours to set him up upon his Throne as King, and counts all his dissenting brethren from his wayes, enemies of Iesus Christ and his Kingdome. I say, in this regard I harbour a more favourable and a more charitable opinion of my brother Burton, then that upon mature deliberation and serious thoughts, he should take no notice of Christ, and his Apostles and Followers, and of all the faithfull baptized by Iohn and Christs disciples as not for∣med into a church or churches; and yet these are his words, we (saith he) take no notice of them as formed into a Church or Churches.

I therefore conceive more venerably of him, as that it was in his haste, when he thus spake and printed; for so hee intimateth in his learned Epistle to the Reader; therefore (saith hee) I hasted at length, as fast, as before I was slow if possible to recover our bro∣ther; a charitable Gentleman toward a brother, though not well advised! It seemes here was some tumour began to grow and made him giddy and run like a chicken without a scalpe, which needs timely lancing, to prevent some inflammation to a head, whiles the hu∣morPage  288flows in so fast to use some of his own Rhetorick. This humour of his made my good brother idle-brained, and occasioned him to make more haste then good speed; certainly it either perverted his judgment, or put him into a lunacy, or into one of his odd dreams; for otherwise he would have taken notice, if not of those multi∣tudes baptized by Iohn and Christs Disciples, atleast of Christ himselfe his good Friend, his Lord and Master, the King of Saints and King of Kings, the mighty Potentate, the sole and only head and Lawgiver and Governour of his Church: I say if he had not been in very great haste indeed and giddy withall in his brain, or in some distraction, He would have taken notice of Christ and have thought him and his blessed Apostles and seventy Disciples and those likewise that were baptized by John with Christs Mother, Brethren and Sisters, worthy to be esteemed a formed Church or Churches; yet he and his brethren passe by them all; saying, we take no notice of them as formed into a Church or churches; so that it is no wonder they at this day take no notice of our Churches and that they abso∣lutely deny them to be formed into a church or churches after the New Testament forme, when they do the same to all the belee∣vers in Christs time.

Surely that Subject that should passe by his King and Soveraign, and all his retinue and Courtiers, and take no notice of him and them, and should yeild him no reverence, would be thought crased in his brain; especially if he should in a slighting manner say, He tooke no notice of them. And all men that should hear such an ex∣pression from him, would not onely judge such an one a very un∣bred man and an uncivill fellow, but that deservedly he ought to be taught better manners. And without doubt a King that should understand of such a Subject, if he at any time had need of his fa∣vour, would reply unto him, Sir, you woud take no notice of me and my servants, go now to those for help that you think worthy to be ta∣ken notice of: As the Lord said unto the Israelites, who when they were oppressed by their cruell enemies and came then flying unto him for his assistance, Go, saith he, to your gods, that in your prospe∣rity yee served, and seek help from them. And truly if the businesse be seriously considered, this my brother Burtons and his associates dealing with Christ and his Disciples and Followers, is not alto∣gether unlike the dealing of the Israelites with the Lord, at least in words: For in plain termes they say, we take no notice of them asPage  289formed into a church or churches, so that Christ and his Disciples are very little beholding to those of the congregationall way.

Certainly, the man was in very great haste when he uttered these words, or exceedingly distemperd in his brain; for otherwise Christ had been worthy to have been taken notice of, if his followers had not. Our Saviour speaks of some, that at the last day shall say un∣to him, Lord, Lord, have we not preached in thy Name, and in thy Name have we not done wondrous works? Mat. 7. ver. 22, 23. To whom Christ saith, he will reply, Depart from me, I know you not. And doubtlesse if my brother Burton and his complices deeply re∣pent not of these their words, and of all their evill dealing, in se∣ducing and mis-leading of the poor people and of making rents and schismes in Church and State, but shall still persevere in the errour of their wayes, and will not yet take notice of those multi∣tudes baptized by John the Baptist and Christs Disciples and of Christ himselfe and his Followers, nor of their brethren at this day through all the Reformed churches, as formed into a Church or Churches; it is to be feared that whatsoever both he and those of his party shall pretend, As that they have preached in his name, and done wondrous works, in gathering of new churches, and preaching up the congregationall way and publishing of new truths, and setting up of new lights and placing Christ upon his Throne; I say whatso∣ever they shall in this kinde pretend, Except they all repent of this their wickednesse and uncharitable dealing towards all their Chri∣stian Brethren, it is to be feared, that Christ will say to them as he professeth he will say to the others, I know ye not, depart from me ye that worke iniquity, and they all likewise perish.

For what can any man that hath not resigned his understanding think lesse of this so weighty a businesse? but that Christ may say unto them at that day, You have taught it in your congregations and printed in your bookes set forth by authority by all your consents, and that upon deliberation, that you take no notice of all those mul∣titudes that were baptized by John and my Disciples, to be formed into a Church or Churches. These (will he say) are your owne words and that in capitall letters; nay you deny them to be Christi∣ans, for so J. S. speaketh page 8, and 9. in the name of all the bre∣thren, giving many reasons there to the contrary, asserting that by the baptisme of John they were not made Christians, much lesse cast into a church mould, according to the New Testament forme, and Page  290 least of all, that they were all Members of one Christian church at Jerusalem: These are his expressions; For which he hath been much applauded by all of that fraternity, who usually say of him when he rideth through the streets, there goeth he that beat up Doctor Bast∣wicks quarters; approving of this good worke of his in unchristia∣ning all those that beleeved in mee and were baptized by the Ministry of my servant John the greatest Prophet that ever was borne of wo∣man, and sent by me and my father to baptize them: And of Mr. Burton they never speak but in high praises, blessing God that he hath answered Bastwicks Book, which he writ in defence and maintenace of my honour, and for the reputation of all that beleeved in me, and were baptized in my name; So that all those books that were set forth by those of the congregationall way to my dishonour and the disrepute of my followers are approved of by you all, and in them you say you take no notice of those multitudes that were baptized by John as for∣med into a church or churches.

Now amongst those that were baptized by John, I was one, and my Disciples and my Mother and my Brethren, &c. So that you slight us all, and take no notice of us, as formed into a Church or churches; that is in plain words, you are ashamed of us and deny us; Now those that are ashamed of me and deny me before men, and take no notice of me and my Disciples, and of my Brethren and Sisters and Mother, and of those that beleeved in me and followed me whiles I was upon the earth, to be formed into a church or churches, I will be ashamed of them and deny them, and take no notice of them before my Father in Heaven to be formed into a church or churches: For he that de∣spiseth my Disciples and my Followers, despiseth me, and he that de∣spiseth me, despiseth him that sent me; Yea, whosoever shall despise one of these little ones that beleeve in me, it were better that a milstone were hanged about his neck and that he were cast into the midst of the sea. This was one of my statute laws, will Christ the King of his Church say. Now you of the congregationall way take no notice of me, nor of them that beleeved in me and were baptized in my name by John and my Disciples, as formed into a church or churches; for these are your own expressions; I therefore will take no notice of you of the oongregationall by-path, as formed into a church or churches; not onely for these your hard speeches against me and those that belee∣ved in me, but because in all my holy word I never appointed such a modell and forme of churches as you have erected amongst you, I Page  291 therefore in all these respects, take no notice of you as formed into a church or churches; I know you not; depart from me; this I presume any rationall man will be ready to gather will be the doome of those that take no notice of Christ and his Followers.

Of these their words and of this their dealing therefore, except my brother Burton and his associates, seriously, unfainedly and speedily repent, they must give a dreadfull accompt at the last day. For if we must give an accompt of every idle word, what an accompt then must be given of such expressions as these are, which despise Christ himselfe and his blessed Apostles and all his Followers and all that beleeved in him when he was upon the earth, and take no notice of them as formed into a church or chur∣ches? And what a dreadfull reckoning must he and his abetters give for all those erroneous, impious and uncharitable opinions they have of late hatched and brought into the world? the very naming of the which would be unpleasant to a true sanctified soule, as this amongst the other, that they take no notice of Christ and his Dis∣ciples and Followers and all those that were baptized by John to be formed into a church or churches? Yea what a fearfull accompt must they at that day give for all their bitter and reviling speeches and malitious practises against all their Christian brethren through the Reformed churches who they have all unchurched?

Yea my brother Burton and his complices must also give a great accompt of this, that whereas they should have taught the people the way of God truly and plainly and have delivered unto them the whole counsell of God, they not onely professe they will keep a reserve Donec ad triarios redierit res, contrary to the command of God who hath injoyned all his servants to be ready to give an accompt of their hope to whosoever shall demand it 1 Pet. 3. and preach it publickly and upon the house topp whatsoever he taught his Disciples in secret and privately, but blame all churches but their own of the congregationall way, as not rightly formed ac∣cording to the New Testament forme, and yet would never set down to their brethren the modell of that forme and shew it unto the people and Saints of God that they might all be undeceived if in an error, although they have bin often & again sollicited thereunto, and although also they by promise had ingaged themselves to deliver in their modell by such a time, and by this their unjust and unrigh∣teous dealing have kept the people of God and many pretious souls Page  292 in ignorance of many principall truths if their doctrine be true, and caused the people by that means exceedingly to erre and to remain still in darknesse; when notwithstanding they glory that they set up every day many New Lights, which is in them all a most fear∣full and abominable sinne, and of the which as of all their hard words against their brethren, and of all their calumnies and re∣proaches, and bringing up an evill name and report against the Presbyterian government as the wicked Spies did against the good Land, of all these things I say as of all their errors, scismes and he∣resies, and especially of their taking no notice of those multitudes baptized by John and Christs Disciples to be formed into a church or churches, they except they speedily repent, must give a dreadfull accompt at the great day, and my brother Burton especially; for he is one of the principall Leaders and Captains in this Militia and new Modell of Ill-dependency.

If some yong Sprigge that had been turn'd about with every stream of opinion, and carryed about this way and that way with every wind of doctrine, had spake such words only, and had bin the author of such novell opinions and of such double dealing and jug∣ling, I should never have wondred at it, knowing how unstable youth is; but for an old Tree, in which the sap of youth should now be well dryed up, and which should be stiffe and unmoveable and for ever to be settled; for such a one I say as my brother Burton was expected to be, to be unstable, thus tossing and tumbling a∣bout with every stream of new doctrine or every novell blast of any windy opinion, it sheweth that it is either founded upon a sandy ground or a brittle foundation or rotten at the very root, and that if it be not speedily looked unto and underpropped that it will sud∣denly fall, and that the fall thereof will be very great; which that it may not happen to my brother Burton, and that the Lord would give him and his associates repentance for all their unthankfulnesse to God and for all their evill dealings and uncharitablenesse to∣wards their brethren, and especially towards my selfe, it shall be my earnest prayer for them all who they have so much despised and ilified.

And this I thought fit to speak concerning my brother Burtons reply, to whatsoever he had to say in way of answer concerning my first four propositions and the whole first part of my booke. What he hath to reply to my arguments about the second question, Page  293 touching the gathering of churches, shall be answered in their due place, after I have spake alittle, according to my promise, con∣cerning the Independents definition of their Church, which occasi∣onally I met with, when from their owne Principles I confirmed my arguments, that if any thing, it might make them more spe∣cious in the Independents eyes, or at least that they might not be so inraged against me hereafter, when they shall take notice that I spake nothing, but what I ratified and made good from their own grounds: Their definition of their church is this.

A visible Church is (say they) a mysticall body, whereof Christ is the head, the Members Saints, called out of the world, and united together into one Congregation by an holy Covenant, to wor∣ship the Lord, and to edifie one an other in all his holy Ordi∣nances.

Before I discover all the errors of this definition, and come to shew that according to this their description of a Church, there has never as yet beene a true formed church, and that none of the congregationall churches themselves (if this their definition bee good) be true formed churches; and which is more, that they must of necessity, be all dependent, I shall set downe the chiefe things ob∣servable in it.

First, they define a visible church, to bee a mysticall body, of which Christ is the head, the Members Saints, &c.

Secondly, they assert, that this church is but one congregation, or as many as can conveniently meet together in any one place to partake in all Gods holy Ordinances.

Thirdly, they affirme, that the forme of this church, is a holy explicite covenant, which falsely they make one of Gods Ordinan∣ces: or they say, they are united together into one congregation by an holy covenant. Now it cannot be holy, except it be one of Gods Ordinances, and have his command and authority for it, which is that that ingraves holinesse upon it: otherwise it is either diabo∣licall, or at least but humane. So that in the Independents learn∣ing, wheresoever any of these things are wanting, in any congre∣gation of christians, it is not a formed church: for this is their definition of a church, within the bounds and limits of which whatsoever church doth not come, and within the which it is not terminated, it is no true church; and so by this, all particular churches that are and have beene in the world, neither were nor Page  294 are true formed churches, no not the very Independent congre∣gations themselves, as I hope by Gods assistance I shall illustri∣ously make appeare, after I have said something in order of the particular branches of this their definition, and have shewed the absurdities of it, and the impossibilities of attaining such a church as they have set out, and the great inconveniences, and indeed the unsupportable bondage that would redound unto thousands of Gods people, if these men might have their mind, and all things according to their definition: For from such a church as they de∣scribe and desire, though it consist but of ten or twelve, bee they never so erroneous in their doctrine, and never so corrupt in their manners, and never so perverse, malicious and unplacable in their minds and wils, and let their unjustice done against any poore oppres∣sed Member, by them, be never so great or exorbitant, there is no appeale from it, or helpe or redresse to be expected by any appeale to any other court, church, or Ecclesiasticall Tribunall; which is a yoake of one of the most horrid tyrannies and slaveries that ever the world yet saw, and which neither wee nor our Fore-fathers could ever beare, a greater then the which never any men voluntarily put themselves under, before these our unhappy times. All the which I shall, God assisting mee, in the examination of the seve∣rall parts of this definition, make evident.

And first, whereas they define a visible church, to be a mysticall body. If any Presbyterian should have so spake, the Indepen∣dents would have said, it had beene a bull. For visible and mysti∣call cannot be predicated of one and the same body, at one and the same time: for if it be mysticall, then not visible, and if vi∣sible then not mysticall: and therefore their definition belongs ra∣ther to the invisible church, then to any visible congregation, be∣cause the matter of it is the mysticall body of Christ, consisting of Saints, and such as are truly holy and godly, which none know but God himselfe; for no man can certainly and positively say, that this or that man is a Saint, but in the judgement of charity, which is often mistaken, as the Independents themselves acknow∣ledge they have beene: for the time was, that they thought some men Saints (who are the same still, they then were) and yet now they not only thinke, but say, though falsely, they are Devils, and repent that ever they prayed for them. But most true it is, that God only knowes who are his: yea, the Apostles themselves, Page  295 though of more discerning spirits then any in our age, yet could not discover Iudas; Christ onely knew hee was a Devill; it was hidden and a mysterie to the Apostles, and the same to this day lies hid from all men, who are Saints indeed; that belongs onely to God, it is his Prerogative, who is the searcher of all hearts: and therefore their definition is absurd, groundlesse, and vaine in this branch of it, when they say a visible church is a mysti∣call body consisting of none but Saints. And then it would follow, that none of the Apostolicall churches were true formed churches, according to this their modell; for wee reade not onely of many scandalous walkers amongst them, but of some hereticks, and yet they ceased not to be true churches, what ever the Independents thinke now of such congregations as are mixt, though in none or in very few of them, they can discover any such offenders as were in the church in Corinth, Galatia, Philippi, and in some of the seven churches of Asia; and therefore if their definition bee good, none of the Primitive churches were true churches; yea, I hope to make it evident in the sequell, that none of the churches of the congregationall way are then true churches, as not consisting of all Saints.

But now I come to the second branch or part, viz. that the Church they desire, must be but one congregation injoying all Gods Ordinances in it: which if it be true and good in this branch also, then the Church at Ierusalem was not a well formed church; for there were many congregations; and then also never a Church in the world to this day was a true church; much lesse can any of our new congregations challenge that title and be true churches, it being impossible, though they consist but of one congregation apeece, for them severally to injoy all Gods Ordinances in any one of them: for amongst Gods Ordinances the Independents both in New-England, and here amongst us, hold, that Synods and Councels are one of Gods Ordinances, and yet they are not chur∣ches properly so called in their dialect, though as they are representa∣tive bodies of many churches, they may have that name given them, and are churches in my notion and according to my under∣standing; but I say, not properly according to their language: for their congregations consist of particular Pastors and Teachers, and of two or three Elders apeice and Deacons, and of a few men and women, and have many other pretty things required for the Page  296 moulding of them up into formed churches, after the New-Testa∣ment forme; whereas in Councels and Synods, they have neither particular Pastors, nor Teachers over them, nor any such Elders and Deacons as they require, nor no women; so that no particu∣lar church in the world to this present day injoyed that Ordinance in it.

For a Synod and Councell consists of Presbyters onely, and that of many, not onely out of any one particular church though never so large and great, but out of many, sent and delegated from each of them respectively and severally; yea, many times not only out of many severall Presbyteries adjacent, but out of o∣ther countries and Provinces; as that at Jerusalem, and all the an∣cient Councels, and that lately at Dort, and this our Synod now present; and their imployments likewise are of an other nature, then that of ordinary Pastors in their severall congregations, as all men know: and therefore not a church properly so called, ac∣cording to their language; for a Synod and church, are two di∣stinct things, and both of them together were never yet found in any one congregation in the world; and so by consequence, there was never any congregation or particular church that yet injoyed all Gods Ordinances, and therefore if their definition be good, they were no true churches, for they had no Synod or Councell in them: neither can any of our new congregations at this day have a Synod in them, and therefore they injoy not all Gods Or∣dinances in them severally, and so come not within the compasse, bounds and limits of their owne definition, and therefore remaine not true formed churches, as not injoying that Ordinance.

Besides, there are other Ordinances that the congregationall churches cannot injoy: for there is an impossibility of it, not on∣ly in the beginning and first constitution of them, but many times after in regard of mortality, and the death of their Elders and Pa∣stors, and other Officers, or when there remaines but one alive, as it often happens in our new congregations; and therefore of ne∣cessity they must bee Dependent, if they will injoy all Ordinan∣ces, or else be no churches, as not injoying all Ordinances: As for instance, there are Ordinances that neerly concerne every particular congregation, which cannot be performed by that a∣lone; for how can a particular congregation, which for the most part consists of ignorant men and women, try the sufficiency of the Page  297 Presbyters, that are to be elected or put over them, when they have no knowledge in those Sciences, Arts, Faculties and Histo∣ries, and of the tongues and languages, as Latine, Greeke, He∣brew, and are ignorant in many other things, that in some compe∣tency are required in all such as are to be made Presbyters and Mi∣nisters over them; when I say not any one in those congregations, many times, have any knowledge in any one of those arts and sciences, in all which a Minister ought in some measure to bee versed in, if hee will take upon him that high calling, and charge of the Ministry, and duly and rightly performe it unto them: and were it so, that in all these new gathered churches they had such intelligible Members, who when they have made choyce of them, shall give them imposition of hands which belongs onely to the Presbyterie and Elders to perform, & cannot be done by the people, who never were appointed by God to ordaine Officers in his church, as all the learnedst of the Independents hold and teach: so that when any Elders and Presbyters, and other church Offi∣cers are to be ordained in their new gathered churches, they permit not the common people to impose hands upon them, but alwayes desire Elders and Presbyters of other congregations to doe it, without whose helpe they cannot injoy this Ordinance a∣mongst themselves; and therefore if they will have it, they must necessarily be Dependent. The same may be said of the Ordi∣nance of Excommunication; but I will first speake of impositi∣on of hands, and ordination of Elders and Officers, the which howsoever in some of the more unlearned Independents esteeme it to be of small weight, and but a complement; yet it is one of Gods holy Ordinances, which the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrewes accounts and reckons amongst the Principles of Religi∣on, and a part of the Foundation, Heb. 6. ver. 1, 2, which place of Scripture, one of the Fathers of the congregationall way, Ma∣ster Henry Iacob by name, who first baptized their new gathered churches, with that compellation of Independent churches, for his owne advantage exceedingly urged to overthrow the lawful∣nesse of the Ministers of the church of England, because as hee supposed, the church of England erred in the Foundation, not having the due and right imposition of the hands of the Presbyte∣rie, though in this as in many of his other opinions hee was very much mistaken: for those that imposed hands upon the Ministers Page  298 at their Ordination, were Presbyters. Yet I say, they can urge this place for their advantage against us, and therefore I see no rea∣son why wee also may not much more make use of it against them, it being Gods owne institution, and to be perpetuated to the worlds end in all churches; so that wheresoever this Ordi∣nation and Imposition of hands by the Presbyterie is wanting in any church, that church cannot be truly said to injoy al Ordinances within it selfe; for there is an impossibility of obtaining or injoy∣ing this Ordinance of Ordination of Officers, by the Imposition of the hands of the Presbyterie, and that often in their new ga∣thered churches, not onely in the beginning of them, and in their first constitution (as I said before) but at many other times also, and that by reason of the death and mortality of their Elders, or when but one of them remaines alive, which frequently happens amongst them, as daily experience teacheth us, so that of neces∣sitie they must crave the helpe of other churches, and therefore in all these respects are Dependent; for not any one Elder alone, and by himselfe can ordaine an other, there must be more together for that imployment; for it must bee done by the imposition of the hands of the Presbyterie if it be justly done and according to Gods appointment; that is, of many Presbyters as the word imports.

And if wee take a survey and view of all the Primitive and A∣postolicall churches, as that at Ierusalem, of Philippi, Ephesus, and the other Asian Churches, wee shall find in them all, an esta∣blished Presbyterie (as I have abundantly proved) many Elders and Pastors in each of them, appointed over them to govern and rule them in common, and all those severall Presbyteries had in each of them the power of Order and Jurisdiction, and the au∣thority of imposing of hands, and ordination of Elders and Offi∣cers within themselves in their respective Presbyteries, so that they were as so many Corporations or Committees, having their Presidents and Chaire-men, with all other Officers amongst them∣selves, and that in abundance, as the Scripture relateth, as in all well ordered Corporations at this day it is to bee seene; so that if any one or more of their Presbyters or Officers dyed within their severall preeincts, they did by vertue of their severall Charters presently goe to the Ordination of new ones, and of as many as they had need of, of which they had store and choyce for the most part, as all well ordered Corporations at this day have, who if their Page  299 Presidents dye or any of their Aldermen, or any of their Common Councell, or any of their other Officers, they forthwith make election of others, out of some of their Free-men, or of men well knowne to them for sufficiencie, wisedome and discretion, and all other abilities, without having recourse to any other Cor∣porations; for they are armed with authority within themselves for this purpose, and they have usually choyce enough of men fit for their imployments; and so it was in the Apostolicall and Pri∣mitive Churches, who collectively taken, were all collegiatly and classically governed, and depended upon their severall Pres∣byteries in their severall jurisdictions, which if they had beene single congregations only, as the Independents would perswade the deluded people, they could never have done, for the many rea∣sons both now and in the foregoing Discourse specified. So that I am consident, it sufficiently now appeareth to any rationall man, that no particular Congregation can injoy all Gods Ordi∣nances within it selfe, without Dependency upon others, there being an impossibility of it self.

The same may be said of the other Ordinance of Excommuni∣cation, which cannot in any particular congregation be injoyed without it be Presbyterated, to use their owne expression; that is to say, except it have their Presbyters and Elders, and Church Officers within it selfe annexed to it: for they amongst the Inde∣pendents, that hold that excommunication must be inflicted by the votes of the whole Congregation, understand it then onely to be a compleate and formed Church, and to be an entire and a whole congregation, when it consists of their Elders & their other Officers, as well as of the people, and affirme, that the people without the Elders cannot excommunicate any, nor the Elders without the peo∣ple; and they of the Independent party on the other side (for they doe not all agree amongst themselves in their Church government) which hath retarded the bringing in of their new nodle, least that by it they should loose many of their Disciples and Followers which they well know would soone breake of, if they should not humour them in their new mould; and therefore they cun∣ningly juggle with the people and faine pretences, when indeed if they had meant Christianly and honestly, they would long since have brought in their new noddle of church government; but fearing what would insue, and which would not be for their Page  300 profit and honour, they have hitherto made delayes to the great disturbance of Church and State, and the seducing of many; but I say those of the congregationall way, that hold that this Ordinance of Excommunication belongs unto the Elders onely, and put it into their hands, excluding the people from their votes, and that for many inconveniences as they suppose which are not yet removed, for all that, as will by and by appear, yet I say on all sides they agree, that without the Presbyters consent none can be excommunicated be they never so scandalous, so that so long as any congregation is without their Presbyters and Officers they cannot injoy this Ordinance also, neither can they ordaine them within themselves without help from other Churches, as I said before, and therefore they want this Ordinance till their new supply, and that they must crave from other churches when their officers are dead, and therefore of necessity they must still be Dependent; but now let it bee granted, that when their church or congrega∣tion is againe recruted and made up againe, or presbyterated and compleate in respect of both Officers and Members, and that it consists of ten, twenty or thirty, or it may be of a few more, which is a pretty full church and congregation amongst them, what inconveniences, and them of dangerous consequence, would forth with insue upon it; yea under how intolerable a yoake of slavery would many oppressed Christians by this meanes groan under, when at any time they are unjustly and wrongfully inju∣red by them? for there is no appeale from them to any other Court or Church-Tribunall for redresse or reliefe: let them be never so much wronged, or injured, or damnified by them; For if the formidable sentence of excommunication passe once a∣gainst any person, be it right or wrong, they throw and cast him out of communion not onely amongst themselves, but the whole visible catholick Church, and deliver him up to the devill; there∣fore if this ordinance of excommunication be once inflicted upon any Member by the whole congregation (as some of the II-depen∣dents would have it) or by two or three Presbyters only as others contend, the misery and grievance is never the lesse, nor the incon∣venience (and that of dangerous consequence) the lesse avoidable as will dayly appear: for if all the congregation passe this sentence, many of the Members who have their votes, are private men, and for the most part unlearned and unexperienced, through want of Page  301 yeares, parts, education and breeding, and not able to understand the nature of the allegations and probations, they being many times so intricate, so that they can never be able to apply the rule unto the case for the inflicting of a just censure, and may be in danger also to bear a peculiar hatred or ill will unto their persons, and so apt to be swayed by their passion to do unjustice, or may be over-awed by fear or threatnings of some other in the congregation who are the enemies to the party in question, so that they being powerfull men, rich in estate amongst them, and they being poor and indi∣gent people whose dependency may be upon them as they are ei∣ther children, servants, workmen or tenants, of which most of the congregations consist, and they daring not displease them, especially if they be their friends, as many times it happens for all or any of these respects, I say they going with the stronger side may passe this sentence of excommunication against him most unjustly, as it often happeneth; & this must go for currant if the most voices carry it, and from them the party unjustly dealt with hath no appeal: but if they be obstinately bent against him, must live and dye in this condition under this heavy doome, which I beleeve in every under∣standing mans judgement will seem an intolerable inconvenience, for there is no appeale from them. On the other side be it granted that the Elders onely of this particular congregation have the power of excommunication in their hands, they are not ordinarily above two or three, and many times none of the learnedst, wisest and honestest men that ever were borne, and therefore are lyable and in danger of the same temptations that the other were, because of particular relations, and their dependence on their congregation for their maintenance and support: who they ordinarily dare not dis∣please: for they know the ficklenesse of the people and how little a thing will disgust them and alienate their affections from them, which would be a cause also of withdrawing their contributions and supplies by which they support themselves and their families, and commonly when any rich and great man falls of from a Mini∣ster though he be never so faithfull and diligent in his place yet he will withdraw many, yea of themselves the unstable people will take occasion by others example to slight and neglect their Mini∣sters as hourly experience teacheth us; for, humor not them in eve∣ry thing and they are gone. Yea but publickly or privately re∣prove them for their malversation or for any erroneous opinion Page  302 they hold, and they will become your secret, if not your open enemies, and upon the least occasion be ready to side with any to do their Minister a displeasure, which when their Ministers well know, they are very fearfull of offending any, especially their more weal∣thy and abler Members; besides we know upon what slender oc∣casions differences many times do arise amongst nearest friends, when it concernes their profit or reputation, or their judgement in things of their estates or religion; for if you jumpe not with them in their opinion in all things, they stand at a distance; or hinder them in the least thing but in their gain and profit, and they will beare a secret grudge unto a man and wait an opportunity to do him a dis∣pleasure and to be even with him; and this every man knowes is the practice of most men; so that for any of these reasons men will be ready to harbour a displeasure against any Member, and if hee be called in question for any conceived miscarryage or scandall or for any different opinion, and this come once to banding and debate in the Church or Congregation, and there be siding on both sides, and parties made on each side, so that they grow into a heat, the Ministers and Presbyters in their severall Congregations are by this meanes brought into many straights, not knowing what many times to do, as not daring to displease either side, which way soe∣ver their private judgment leads them; but ordinarily it is observed, That the Ministers will go with the strongest party and will gratifie that, and that for their own emolument and private interest; neither is this all, but the Presbyters and Ministers themselvs in their Churches many times are subject to the same passions and affections as I said before, that other men are, and for some secret and private grudg a∣gainst the person in question they may use the extremity and pro∣nounce the sentence of excommunication against him, which when it is once past, there is now no remedy of appeal left unto him, be the unjustice or wrong never so great; and presidents of this nature there are many to be met with in the congregationall Churches, as I shall if occasion serve be able to prove. What a sad condition therefore are such poor oppressed men in when this formidable sentence is once passed against them; and when it lies in the brest of a two or three Presbyters amongst them? and what a horrid yoke of bondage do miserable men by this means by their volunta∣ry subjection bring upon themselves through their wilfull giddy∣nesse, when they yeeld to so unwarrantable a government as to Page  303 stand to the verdict either of a little ignorant congregation or of two or three men that are subject to the same temptations that o∣ther men are? and then to be without all help or hope of reliefe be they never so much injured by them.

But let it be supposed and granted that a slender Congregation of people or those two or three Elders in every one of their Con∣gregations were as fre from infirmities and temptations as Angels, which they are not, yet the weightinesse and solemnity of the censure requires to be performed by a whole Councell and Colledge of Pres∣byters and Elders of a combined Presbytery which is Gods Ordi∣nance, as I have abundantly evinced: so that it being passed not by the votes of a few people or by the voice of two or three Elders only; and they lyable to so many temptations also; but by the con∣joynt agreement and consent of a great Presbytery free from any such temptations and exceptions, it may be done with the more ad∣vised and combined authority, and be more dreadfull to the party, and be the better accepted and submitted unto without heart burn∣ing and grudging against either the Congregation or particular El∣ders, or fear of revenge.

But will some say, How if this whole Colledge of Elders should erre in their consure and do iniustice, for some of the above mentioned reasons, what remedy or reliefe then has the iniured person offended by their censure? For answer, he hath the benefit of his appeale to a higher Presbytery or Classis; & if wronged there, he hath the benefit yet of appeal to a higher Presbytery and Classis; and if he have no releife there, yet he hath the benefit of an appeal to a Synod, which is Gods Ordinance also; so that he hath still hope of reliefe and he still in Gods way; and so long as there is hope and he takes a right course, he needs not dispair, and if at one time he finde not redresse in one Presbytery nor in one Synod and Councell, he may in ano∣ther; it is good ever to wait upon God in his Ordinances; for in so doing we have a promise of a blessing, and here is alwayes com∣fort and expectation of reliefe, and this is not onely Gods method, but the custome of all Nations and Kingdomes for the well order∣ing and governing of them and for the redressing of grievances and abuses; and i there can no justice be had by this his endea∣vour in no Court, this still doth uphold a drooping spirit and comfort him that he hath used all lawfull meanes and doth for ever commit himself and his wayes to God, who is a reliever of the Page  304oppressed, and a revenger of the wrongs and injuries done unto his Elect, who hath said, Luke 18. ver. 7, 8. Shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you he will avenge them speedily. So that there is mercy with him that he may be feared, and therefore I say, There is ever hope in the use of lawfull meanes, and in all their just appeals. But grant there be no justice on earth to be found in any Courts, and that there were such an universall corruption amongst all judges both Ecclesiasticall and Temporall, which were great uncharity to sup∣pose, much lesse to say, Yet, I say, the people of God when they are unjustly oppressed shall ever be able to solace themselves in this, That there is forum poli, as well as there is forum soli, that there is a Court in heaven as well as there are Courts on earth; there is a great tribu∣nall before which all men must one day appear, to give an account of all their unrighteous dealing on earth, the thought of which will support the most drooping and oppressed spirit: which not withstan∣ding doth not alwayes cast away his confidence, as long as there are any Courts and higher councells to appeal to here in this world, which all those that submit themselves to the Presbyterian Govern∣ment are like to enjoy; whereas those of the congregationall way and that stand for the II-dependent Government deprive them∣selves of, and not onely bring themselves under an unsupportable slavery, but would subjugate the whole world to the same bon∣dage and tyrannicall usurpation, Which the Lord preserve his people from, and put it into the hearts of the great Councell of the King∣dome, and all cordiall and understanding men to oppose with all their might, as they love the peace of Church and State, and the establish∣ing of the true religion in these three Kingdomes, and the propagation of the Gospell to the worlds end; all the which the whimsicall opini∣on of Independency will hinder, which indeed tendeth to no o∣ther end but to bring in an Anarchy and a confusion of all things, and the setting up of Athisme or a Pantheon of all Religions, to the great dishonour of God and the disturbance of our Church and State, and the alienating of the nighest allyes one from another, and to the distraction of all men, as our small and little experience of that way hath by wofull tryall and dayly experience taught us.

And this shall suffice to have spoke of the second branch of their definition in discovering the absurdities of it, and the impossibi∣lities Page  305 of attaining such a church as that sets down, and the great in∣conveniences, with the unsupportable bondage that would neces∣sarily ensue upon it to all such as should subject themselves to such a Government as the Independents would bring into the world.

I now come to the third part of their definition, viz. Their par∣ticular explicite holy Covenant, which they not onely call the form of a Church, but make it an holy Ordinance, which it cannot be for the reasons above specified, as having no warrant from God our father, nor no example in any of the primitive Churches, who had no other but the generall Covenant, which all the Presbyte∣rians allow, as it is authorized by God himselfe, though they reject that particular explicite Covenant brought in by the Independents, as being an humane Ordinance, which all Christians in Gods ser∣vice ought to abhor, as not commanded and injoyned unto them by the King of his Church Christ Jesus, whose voyce onely they are bound to hear, and who alone they are to set up as King upon his Throne, who is their Lawgiver and mighty Councellor, and the sole governour of his Church and Kingdome. And should it be accorded and granted to the Independents, That this their particular expli∣cite Covenant were indeed the forme of a Church, as they would perswade the people, then all the primitive and Apostolicall Chur∣ches, as well as all the reformed Churches at this day in the world besides their own congregations, were not true formed Churches, which were a great wickednesse and impiety to aver and main∣tain.

But besides this their unwarrantable Covenant which they make the forme of a Church, they require of all such as will enter into Church fellowship with them, many other pretty things, which they hold not onely requisite, but Gods Ordinance also; as,

First, That they should walk some weeks, moneths, and perhaps years, with them for a proof of their conversation, and for the tryall of their behaviour and manners, and except they can please the whole church, there can be no admittance at last.

Secondly, after their good liking of their carriage, they injoyn them to make a publike confession of their faith; and if that dislikes them, they cannot be admitted.

Thirdly, after this, they require of them to bring in the eviden∣ces of their true conversion, as the time when, the place where, and Page  306 the manner how, all which if the congregation approve not of as sufficient, they cannot be yet admitted.

Lastly, they that are to be admitted, must have the consent and approbation of the whole congregation both of men and women, or else by their Charter they cannot be admitted into Church-com∣munion with them. All these things as I am able to prove, they require in some of their Congregations, before any can be admit∣ted as joynt members amongst them; never a one of the which conditions or injunctions not withstanding hath either precept or president for it in all Gods holy Word. And therefore it is an un∣sufferable flavery that they impose upon the people, besides this their particular explicet covenant, which they make the form of the Church, which should they onely require, without any of their o'her grolleries, were a bondage too unsufferable; for in that their Covenant, as I have been informed by some of them, when in fa∣miliar manner, and in the time of our friendship, I desired to know the method of admitting of their joynt members, and especially what the Covenant imported, and what they promised in it, and what by it they were tyed unto, and for answer they replyed, that three things were contained in this their holy explicite Covenant.

First, That they promise and by this Covenant binde themselves to each other in all Church fellowship, as to be helpefull one to another in all things, and especially to their Pastors, and to stand one by ano∣ther without desertion of each other, and that in the greatest dan∣gers and difficulties, and to yeeld obedience and willing subjection and conformity not onely to those truths that are now imbraced and en∣tertained amongst them, but also willingly to submit themselves to all such New Light for the future, that God shall by his Word and by the Ministry of their Pastors discover unto the Church. This as I have been informed by the Independents, is the first thing they re∣quire of those that are to be admitted as members, and which they promise and Covenant to performe.

The second thing contained in the Covenant, is, That if they be single persons either batchelors or maidens, widdows, or widdowers, they may not marry without the consent of the Church.

The third thing contained in this their holy Covenant, is, That they may not remove their habitations and dwellings, though never so advantagious unto them for their traffick and tradings, into any remote place from them, without the consent of the Congregation, and Page  307 some other things there are comprised under this Covenant, which they keep among themselves as arcana regni as secrets of their Kingdome, all the which if they be seriously looked into, contain in them so many mysteries of Iniquity; yet all of them exceeding∣ly advantageous unto themselves, they all tending to the strength∣ning of their partie, and the more corroborating their combination, as those that are judicious have well observed.

But were there no other slavery and bondage, in their whole re∣ligion, but this of their covenant and of the appertinances belong∣ing thereto, as amongst others, their blind obedience, there was ne∣ver yet a greater yoak of servitude put upon poor people under Antichrist himself; and the truth is, as the Papists oft times, scou∣red over old holy dayes with new ceremonies and solemnities, and put them upon the people to be observed as new ones; even so the Independents furbush over old errors with new varnish, to make them more specious to the deluded people, and bring them in as new truths, and set them up as new Lights, when they are nothing else but ancient errours, and very Popery it selfe in a new attire, as is apparent to any that will not wilfully put out their eyes. In the time of the Prelates raign, every ceremony they brought in was excepted against as a human tradition, and that worthily: and every invention and tradition of man was rejected as Po∣pery, and will-worship was abhorred as Antichristian; and to serve God by the precepts of men, and by a service established onely by humane authority, was rejected as a thing displeasing un∣to God, and thought unsufferable; and to have Prelates set over them to Lord it over Gods heritage was thought the highest point of tyranny; and for the removall of them root and branch with all their trumpery and appertinances, all the Independents themselves, with the whole city and the greatest part of the Kingdome, petiti∣oned the great Councell of the Kingdome; and not onely so, but many of them have ventured their lives in the just defence of their Christian libertie, and have offered their estates and exposed themselves and theirs to greatest dangers in this good quarrell, which will ever be to the immortall honour of them all to all suc∣ceeding ages, and they will be an example to other Nations to do the like. Yet behold every one of these things revived now and brought in amongst the ignorant people, and contended for with all severity and eagernesse, as for the Oracles of God, notwithstan∣ding Page  308 ding they are but the inventions of men, there being neither precept nor president for them in the whole Word of God, nor any pra∣ctise of them in any of the Apostolicall and Primitive Churches: and therefore it doth necessarily follow, That their whole service and Discipline with all their concomitants are but their own ap∣pointments, for which there is no warrant or pattern in the whole Word of truth; and as for their Ministers and Pastors, both in New England & in their new Congregations here they Lord it over the poor people, in as high a manner (as can be proved) as ever the lordly Prelates did, in respect of their supercilious behaviour; and yet the people swallow all these things as Gods Ordinances, and bind themselves by their unholy Covenant to observe them, which in any understanding mans judgement, that knows what his Chri∣stian lberty is, and in the which he is commanded to stand fast in, Gal. 5. ver. 1. is the most intolerable yoak of bondage which the world yet ever saw.

And thus having briefly discovered some of the errors of their definition and shewed the absurdities of it, and the inconveniences of such a Church as they would have, and evinced also, that accor∣ding to that, there has never yet bin a true formed Church on earth, and that all the congregationall Churches, if they will be included within the compasse of that discription, they must necessarily be Dependent; I will now come to my last and main conclusion, which is to prove that none of the Churches of the Congregationall way are true Churches, as not consisting of all visible Saints, and therefore not to be communicated with in holy things: which I shall do from their own argument. For thus they dispute a∣gainst us.

Those Assemblies (say they) or Churches, in which the Mem∣bers are not visible Saints, called out of the world and united toge∣ther into their severall Congregations by an holy Covenant to worship the Lord and to edifie one another in all his holy Ordinances, they are no true formed Churches according to the New Testament forme, and ought not to be communicated with in holy things, but are to be sepa∣rated from, unlesse they will be made companions with such kinde of Saints as Job would not set with the doggs of his flocke, being tagg ragg, with whom godly soules can no more converse then with hea∣thens.

But, the Parochiall Congregations through the whole KingdomePage  309are such. Ergo, they are not true formed Churches after the New Testament forme, and ought not to be communicated with, unlesse &c. This is the Il-dependents doctrine they teach their Disciples con∣cerning our Churches, as appeareth in all their Pamphlets, as in that of I. S. and my brother Burtons especially, and this is one of the ca∣pital arguments which they use, to maintain their separation from us; and upon which they ground the gathering of their new Congrega∣tions, the futility and vanity of the which every one that shall but vouchsafe to read this book shall finde in many places discovered. I will therefore in this place, make use of the same against them∣selvs to prove that their Churches and new gathered congregations are not true formed Churches after the New Testament forme, as not consisting of all visible Saints, and therefore not to be commu∣nicated with in holy things as the severall insuing arguments will declare: which I desire the Independents themselves would with∣out any prejudice seriously consider and ponder, that they may the better discern into the errors of their wayes, and in time repent of all their unrighteous and uncharitable dealing towards their brethren. I thus argue.

Those Churches and Congregations, the Members of the which are not visible Saints, called out of the world and united together in∣to their severall Assemblies by an holy Covenant to serve the Lord in all his holy Ordinances, but are joyned together in a wicked con∣spiracy and combination against the people of God and his Ordinances and to hinder the reformation of the Church: they are no true formed Churches after the New Testament forme, and the Members of them are not true visible Saints and therefore ought not to be communica∣ted with in holy things, but to be separated from. But all the Chur∣ches of the Congregationall way are such: Ergo, they are not true formed Churches after the New Testament forme; and therefore by their own doctrine, not to be communicated with in holy things, but to be separate from, and that for the same reasons the Il-depen∣dents falsly pretend they sever themselves from our publique Assem∣blies.

The Major of this Syllogisme is their own, and therefore they cannot gainsay it; the Minor therefore being proved, the conclu∣sion will necessarily insue. And as for the Minor, I thus evince it.

Those Churches and Congregations whose Members are raylors▪ Page  310 révilers, slanderers, covenant-breakers with God and man, ordinary ly∣ars, notorious calumniators and false accusers (such as in holy Scrip∣ture are called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 Devils) heretiques, open seducers and causers of division and offences contrary unto the doctrine of Christ, such as all Christians have a special command to take heed of and to shun, and are prohibited to receive into their houses or bid God speed, or so much as to eat with, they are no visible Saints nor good Damons: and there∣fore no true formed Churches nor to be communicated with in holy things.

But the churches of the congregationall way consist of such Members: Ergo, they are not visible Saints, and therefore no true formed churches nor to be communicated with in holy things.

For the Major of this Syllogism, it is grounded upon Godsown word, and has its warrant for it as the insuing places sufficiently prove, Rom. 16. ver. 17, and 18. Now I beseech you brethren (saith the Apostle) marke them which cause divisions and offences▪ contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoyde them: 1 Cor. chap. the 5. ver. 11. But now I have writ unto you (saith Saint Paul) not to keep company, if any man that is called a bro∣ther, be a fornicator, or covetous, or an Idolater, or a raylor, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, with such an one no not to eat. 1 Tim. chap. the 6. ver. the 3. and 5. If any man teach otherwise, and con∣sent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ and to the doctrine which is according to godlinesse, from such with∣draw thy selfe, and 2 Tim. chap. 3. ver. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. In the last dayes (saith the Apostle) shall perilous times come: For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, without naturall affection, covenant or truce∣breakers, false accusers or make-bates, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, trayterous, heady, high-minded, lovers of plea∣sures more then lovers of God, hauing a forme of godlinesse, but de∣nying the power thereof: from such trne away; for of this sort are they which creep into widdowes houses and lead captive silly women laden with sinnes, &c. Tit. 3. ver. 10. A man that is an he∣reticke after the first and second admonition reject saith the Apostle, 2. John ver. 10. If there come any unto you (saith Saint John) and bring not the doctrine of Christ, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed, is par∣taker of his evill deeds. And Gal, 1. ver. 8, 9. If we or an Angell Page  311 from Heaven (saith the Apostle) preach otherwise then that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed; as I said be∣fore so I say now againe, if any man preach unto you any other Gospell, then that you have received, let him be occursed. Out of all the which places and many more that might be produ∣ced, we are taught to shun and decline the society and fellowship of all such Christians as are corrupt in their doctrine or manners, and such as either preach or practise otherwise then they have pre∣cept or example for in the holy word of God; especially we are to have no communion with them, when they not only preach ano∣ther way to Heaven then that which Christ and the holy Prophets and blessed Apostles have chalked out unto us and delivered unto the Church, but have joyned themselves in a wicked and unwar∣rantable Covenant to persist and continue in this practice; for they are no Saints: But such are those of the Congregationall way, whose Teachers and Members are combined together to persevere in their wicked practices and courses; and therefore by expresse command from Heaven we are to have no communion with such unlesse we will be found fighters against God, and partake in their punishments: And these places of holy Scripture with these reasons shall suffice for the proofe of the Major proposi∣tion.

For the Minor, that the churches and assemblies of those of the congregationall way consist of Raylers, Revilers, Slanderers, and covenant-breakers, &c. it is evident and well knowne to all such as are acquainted with the practise of the Independents, and are verst in their doctrine, and have read their Pamphlets, which consist chiefly of errors, untruths, and right-downe raylings, as amongst others, those of my brother Burton, and Iohn Lilburne, not to mention the Pamphlets of all the other Independents, the very names of which would make a booke, in all the which there is little other but rayling and dangerous novelties. Some of my brother Burtons, and Iohn Lilburnes expressions, with an other or two more which write in the name of all the Independents, I will produce, that by the mouth of two or three of their wit∣nesses, the truth of their proceedings in their Raylings, Errors and Lyes, and bad practises may be yet more evident. My brother Bur∣ton in his Vindication hath these insuing words against all the Pres∣byterians, both Ministers and people: and first against the Mini∣sters Page  312 of whom hee saith, that they deny, disclaime, and preach a∣gainst Christs kingly Government over mens consciences and chur∣ches, so that such a conversion (as is wrought by them) comes not home to whole Christ; and such with their converters, doe deny Christs kingly Government, or at least, and best, they are conver∣ted but in part, and that maine thing is wanting, to wit, Christs kingly Office. And in his Vindiciae veritatis hee accuseth mee, pag. 21. for taking Christs name in vaine, because in my Booke I asser∣ted that the Ministers of the church of England set up Christ up∣on his Throne; which for mee to affirme, hee saith it is to take the name of Christ in vaine: his words are these.

And here saith he, I challenge our brother for taking Christs name in vaine, when insteed of finding Christ set upon his Throne in their congregations, we find there no more but an Image, such as Michal had made up insteed of King David; or as those that in mockery made of Christ a Pageant King, stripping him, and putting on him a scarlet Robe, and on his head a Crowne of Thornes, and in his hand a reed, saluting him with Haile King of the Iewes, with which title over his head they crucified him; therefore (saith he) those passages quoted out of my Booke will stand good against their opposers. These are his words against all the Ministers of the Church of England. Now of all the people that are not of the congregationall way, and of their new Assemblies, my bro∣ther Burton in his Vindication hath these words, Wee exhort them (saith he) to set up Christ King in their hearts: Wee exhort them to become and professe to be those Saints of whom Christ is King, for hee is King of Saints, Revel. 15. 3. but they will not beleeve us (saith hee) they will not depend upon Christ as the only Law-giver and King over their consciences. Now what would you have us to doe in this case? (saith hee) baptize the Infants of such parents, as will not in this respect professe or confesse Christ to be their King? why doe you not know (saith hee) that no Infants have any title to Baptisme that are not within the Covenant visibly? and how are they within the Covenant visibly, but by ver∣tue of their parents faith outwardly professed? and what outward profession of faith is there in their parents that refuse Christ for their onely King? that are ashamed or afraid to professe to be in covenant with Christ as their King? if therefore the parents pro∣fesse not, yea, refuse thus to be in visible covenant, can the chil∣drenPage  313be said to be in visible covenant, and so to have a right in Baptisme, the externall Seale of the Covenant? here is an obex, a barre put. These are my brother Burtons owne words, which I have set downe at large, omitting many other such expressions; the summe of them briefly is this; that all the Ministers of the Church of England, that are not in their combination, doe deny, disclaime and preach against Christs Kingly Government over mens consciences and churches, and are no better then the perse∣cuting Jewes that made a mocke, scorne, and ludibry of Christ; and that all the people under their Ministry, are men unconverted, or at least converted but in part, wanting the maine thing, to wit, Christs kingly office, men visibly out of the covenant of grace, who have not so much as an outward profession of faith, who de∣ny Christ to be their King; to whose persons and infants the very Sacraments and seales of grace, with all church communion, may and ought to be denyed. Now I referre my selfe to the judge∣ment of all learned and impartiall Christians, whether there can be uttered with the tongue or pen of men any more injurious, un∣just ralings and revilings, or more untrue and false accusations against their brethren? For all those godly Christians through the thre Kngdomes can witesse the contrary, who by the peaching of the Word and Gospel have beene converted by the Ministry of the chuch of England: Yea, the Independents themselves, and my brother Burton, if they will no belye the truth, must acknowledge next under God their conversion to the Ministers of the church of England: for none but converts and beleevers are to be admitted into their new congregations; and I never yet heard that the Independent Ministers converted any, and therefore when my brother Burton accuseth all the Ministers and beleeving people of the church of England, to be enemies of the Lord Jesus, when they all indeavour to set him up upon his Throne as King, it is a most horrid wickednesse in him, and those of his party to beare false witnesse against their Neighbours, and so to calumniate and revile the true servants of the Lord by which they come to take the Devils office upon themselves, and become all of them false Accuers of the brethren, Raylers and Persecu∣tors, and Seducers, and therefore no Saints. Yea, it is ordinary with my brother Burton as can be proved, both to speake and print untruths, and notorious falsehoods; but passing many of Page  314 them by, in some of his last bookes, as Truth shut out of doores, and in this his Booke called Vindiciae veritatis, which may bee more properly stiled Vindiciae mendacii in the 24. page, speaking there most maliciously against learned Master Edwards, and my selfe, hee saith, that hee by his pen and preaching, and that I by my pen, labour to take an order that the Independents shall have no Pulpits to preach in at all, Witnesse (saith he) that late mis-rule at your towne of Colchester upon your bookes, and T. E. his preach∣ing; by which words of his, hee would make the deluded peo∣ple beleeve that there was some great Persecution stirred up at Colchester against some Independent Ministers there, to hinder them from preaching in their Pulpits; which is a most notorious falshood, the contrary of which is true; for the Independents made a mis-rule in the very Church against Master Edwards, and openly reviled him in the congregation, using many rayling spee∣ches against him, and that against all the Laws of Christianitie and civilitie, and had almost by their barborous carriage against him, raysed a tumult in the Towne to the disturbance of them all, had it not timely by the wisedome of some beene prevented. So that it may easily be perceived, what the Independents would doe a∣gainst the Presbyterian Ministers, if the authority were once wholly in their hands, when they so timely begin where their fa∣ction is any thing powerfull; yet such is the boldnesse, or rather impudencie of these men, that when they are the only Persecu∣tors of others, and the Raysers up of tumults and commotions against the faithfull Ministers of the Gospel, they falsely spread it abroad that they are persecuted by us, and not suffered to come in our Pulpits, as my brother Burton doth here accuse the good peo∣ple of Colchester, and those of Alderman-bury, as if they also had shut truth out of doors; when notwithstanding it can by a cloud of witnesses from Colchester bee proved that the Independents made the mis-rule, and that my brother Burton shut himselfe out of doores at Aldermanbury, and yet hee untruly accuseth them of that crime of persecution; and this is the generall practise of all the Independents, falsely to accuse and calumniate their brethren; and my brother Burton and Iohn Lilburne are Masters in this art, and therfore surely they can be no Saints, without Devils be Saints: for so the holy Scripture calleth such: I have cited some of my brother Burtons expressions; I shall now set downe some of IohnPage  315Lilburnes language, concerning both the Ministers and beleevers of the church of England. In his Letter to my brother Prynne, to omit many of his rayling and violent calumnies there against the Ministers, hee saith that they are the sworne enemies of Iesus Christ; yea, the profest enemies of their anoynted Christ, and in his one of his Pamphlets which he made in prison, & which he lately againe set forth upon more mature deliberation, hee hath many most unchristian, bitter, and unsavery expressions, and so apparently untrue, that every child can say hee is a notorious ca∣lumniator and Lyer. Some of them I will here set downe: a∣mongst other things hee speaketh of the church of England, and of the faithfull, hee thus uttereth himselfe, affirming

That the Church of England is a true whorish Mother, and that they that are of her, were base begotten, and bastardly children, and that shee neither is, nor never was truly married, joyned, or united unto Jesus Christ in that espousall band, which his true chur∣ches are, and ought to be, bnt is one of Antichrists nationall who∣rish Churches and Cities, spoken of Revel. 16. 19. &c. That the Church of England is false and Antichristian; and as shee is a false and Antichristian church, shee can never make true Officers and Ministers of Iesus Christ; and absolutely denies, that conversion and confirmation, and building up in the wayes of God, are wrought by the Ministry of the church of England; for how (saith he) can they build them up in that which they themselves are ignorant of, and enemies unto? for as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so doe these men also resist the truth, &c. and further asserteth, that as hee hath taken paines by the word of God, and demonstrable argu∣ments grounded thereupon, to prove the church of England antichri∣stian; so hee promiseth to all the world, that hee will in the strength of the Lord of Hosts, for ever separate from Church, Ministry, and Worship of England, and all and every one of them, as Anti∣christian and false: And concludes, that all the Ministers of the church of England are not true Ministers of Christ, but false and Antichristian Ministers, and that our Religion neither is the true Religion, nor that it leads men the true way to salvation: And af∣firmes, that hee groundedly and absolutely denies, that either the Church of England is or ever was a true Church; innumerable more such sentences might be produced out of this Pamphlet Page  361 to this effect, and from many such premises as these, hee exhorts all good people that are in the bosome of the Church of England, as they love their own inward peace, and spirituall joy, to withdraw their spirituall obedience and subjection from her. Now here a∣gaine I appeale to all judicious Christians, what the Devill the Accuser of the brethren could have spake more raylingly and false∣ly against the faithfull servants of God, both Ministers and peo∣ple, then what Iohn Llburne in the name of all those of his Fra∣ternity hath uttered against them all. Surely, if any Enemies, Persecutors, Raylers, and Revilers of the people of God, and false Accusers ever lived upon the earth, they are those of the congrgationall way; and therefore they are no Sints. Ye, when they write most mildly against the Presbyterians, they call them Lyons, Beares, Wolves, Tygers, and in their ordinary lan∣guage in towne and countrey, they never see almost any Minister pass by them, but they call them Baals Priests, the lims of An∣tichrist, the Antichristian brood, the Devils Ministers, Presbyty∣rants, with a thousand other words of conumely; and of all their Presbyterian brethren, both Scots and English, they speake of them most shamefully upon all occasions, terming them sonnes of earth, sinners, carnall people, enemies of Christ Jesus and his King∣dom; nay, they revile us in the open streets when we passe by them; and all that I now say, the Independents themselves cannot deny to be most truly related by mee; and their very bookes and all their Pamphlets are now in the hands of the people, and daily read by them, and they all can witnesse for mee, that I have wronged them in nothing; by all which, that part of my Minor is sufficiently proved, that all the Independents are notorious Ray∣lers, Revilers, and false Accusers, and therefore no Saints, nor good Daemons, but such as ought to be separate from and not to be communicated with in holy things, as not formed into a church or churches after the New-Testament forme, which ought to consist of all visible Saints.

And that they have caused divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine of Christ, is also apparent, and that from the great rents, schismes and factions they have causelessely made amongst their brethren in church and state, having neither Precept nor President in the whole Booke of God for any of their practises, and proceedings in their new congregations, and therefore this Page  317 truth also being by the sad experience of all men notoriously knowne, wee have a command to shun them and take heed of them, as of a company of Seducers and false Teachers, who so long as they persevere and continue in these their ungodly wayes, they proclaime themseves to be no Saints nor good Daemons, but a Generation of vipers and serpents, and such as all godly soules ought to have no communion with, whatsover their pretences of holinesse and sanctity be.

And that they are notorious covenant breakers, it is most evi∣dent and apparent to all that will not wilfully shut their eyes; for they have entred into a solemne covenant and oath, and that made in the presence of God, to labour for a through reformation of Religion in the Kingdome of England, and Ireland, in Do∣ctrine, Worship and Discipline, according to the word of God, and the example of the best reformed Churches; and in expresse words also, they have vowed and covenanted in the presence of Almigh∣ty God, the searcher of all hearts, with a true intention to performe the same, as they shall answer it at the great day, that they will without respect of persons indeavour the extirpation of Popery, Pre∣lacy, Superstition, Heresie, Schisme, Prophanenesse, and whatsoe∣ver shall be found contrary to sound doctrine and the power of god∣linesse, lest they partake in their sinnes, and thereby be in danger to receive of their plagnes. They▪ have vowed also, with all faithful∣nesse to indeavour the discovery of all such as have beene, or shall bee Incendiaries, Malignants, or evill Instruments by hindring the reformation of Religion, dividing the King from his people, or one of the Kingdomes from an other, or making of any factions, or par∣ties amongst the people contrary to ths league and covenant. And all the Independent Ministers in the Reverend Assembly did faith∣fully promise unto their brethren, and under their owne hands by writing confirme it, that they would preach such doctrines publickly only as tended to Faith, Repentance, and Salvation, and that they would not trouble the people with any of those contro∣versies concerning Discipline and Church-government, till they saw what Plat-forme of Discipline the Parliament and the Assem∣bly should set downe; and solemnly promised also by such a time to bring in their modell; and others of the Ministers of the con∣gregationall way when they came out of New-England, entring into serious discourse with some of their brethren the Ministers Page  318 of the Church of England, that had suffered much under the Pre∣lates tyrannie, and that indeed had indured the brunt, and under∣gone the heate of the day of their cruelty and persecution, and of whom they had experience for their faithfulnesse and constan∣cy in the truth; I say some of these fugitive Ministers after their returne, entring into communication with them, and demanding of them what Discipline and Government they intended now in place of the Prelaticall usurpation to establish and set up, for an∣swer they told them, that their indeavour God assisting them, should be to set up a Government according to the word of God as nigh as they could, after the example of the best reformed chur∣ches, in Scotland, France, Germany, and Low-countries; where∣upon they immediately replying, said, if this be indeed your reall intention, then in the presence of God wee give you the right hand of Fellowship, resolving to stand to you and by you faithfully unto the death. All that I now relate can be proved by an Iliad of witnesses.

Notwithstanding all these Covenants, Promises, and serious in∣gagements, and that in the presence of God, they have all of them blake all these covenants and promises, made both to God and man, and have violated them all and every one of them, and have not only neglected to bring in their modell of government, though promised by them, and againe and againe urged to it, but made factions, rents and schismes in the Church, and preached up the congregationall way, and brought an odium and hatred of the Presbyterie amongst the people, and most shamefully continually inveighd against their brethren the Presbyterians, and all their pro∣ceedings: and have laboured also with all their might and power to hinder the reformation of Religion, and to breake the union betweene the two nations, Scots and English, and to bring in a toleration of all Religions under the name of liberty of consci∣ence, which tendeth to nothing but profanesse and all licenti∣ousnesse, which is against the power of godlinesse, and against their solemne vow and covenant made before God and men; and therefore all they that doe these things, as all the Il-depen∣dents daily doe, they are no Saints in Gods Dialect, nor good Daemons, but a Generation of wicked and ungodly men, with whom all good Christians ought to have no communion with in holy things, as not being churches after the New Testament form. Page  319 But will some say, though some of the Independents should bee guilty of all these crimes, yet they are not all to be condemned as equally guilty. For answer, here I shall make use of my Bro∣ther Burtons Learning, pag. 16. where indeavouring to make all the Conformists guilty of Persecution, hee hath these words, the most of the Conformists (saith he) if not all, have had their hands lesse or more, either by acting or assenting, or by silence or conni∣vence in the persecution of those godly Ministers and people which stood out against the Antichristian usurpation over their conscien∣ces, inferring from thence that they were equally guilty.

I have made choyce of his words, though it bee a truth and doctrine set downe in holy Scripture, and confirmed by the light of nature, and by the practise of all nations, both Jewish, Chri∣stian and Heathenish, who adjudge Consentors, Connivers, and Abettors, and all the complices in any treason, conspiracy, wic∣kednesse and malefice as equally guilty as the Actors, Plotters, or Contrivers, as all Histories both divine and humane doe declare; and for some examples out of holy Scriptures wee find that al∣though Iezabel was by name the principall agent in killing and persecuting of the Prophets, yet all the Israelites are accused as guilty, because they connived and assented by their silence unto their death; and therefore the holy Prophet saith, they have slaine thy Prophets, and have brake downe thy Altars; and so all the Jewes are adjudged guilty of the death of Christ, as well as He∣rod and Pontius Pilate, as consenters and allowers of it; and so Christ himselfe accuseth all the Jewes as guilty of the death of all the holy Prophets, in that they allowed of their Fathers doings, by building the Monuments of the Prophets, by which their acti∣on our Saviour saith that they allowed of their doings, and in ex∣presse words chargeth them as equally guilty; the same hee said of them concerning the death of Iohn the Baptist, ye saith hee have done to him whatsoever seemed good unto you; whereas it is related in the Gospel, that it was Herods act, who only is said to have commanded that Iohn should be beheaded; yet this wic∣kednesse is laid upon all the Jewes as connivers, and by their si∣lence consenters unto it; and Paul in like manner accuseth all the Gentiles in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, and all the Jewes in the second chapter, of all those sinnes hee layes to their charge, though they were not many of them actors and com∣mitters Page  320 of these haiuous crimes, but in that they connived at them, and by their silence allowed of them or hindred them not, or by punishing the offendrs prevented them not, which was the sin of old Ely in not punishing his sonnes for their wickednesse; So that by all these examples out of the word of truth and by my brother Burtons own words and learning, it is apparently evident tha all such as by their silence connive and assent unto any wickednesse, persecution, rayling, or covenant-breaking, they are as qally guilty as the actors and contrivers: Now when all the I••pen∣dents as well Ministers as people in any of thse ways or in all of them are guily of rayling, reviling, seducing, and Cove∣nant-breaking and making divisions contrary unto the Doctrine of Christ, and of hindring Reformation, and of breaking the Uni∣on between the Nations of England and Scotland in as much as in them lies, it followeth thy are neither visible Saints nor good Daemons; and that those Churches that consist of such Members, are not true formed Churches after the New Testament forme; for they are to consist of visile Saints, and therefore they ough to be separated from; and all good Christians ought to have no commu∣nion with such Churches in holy things▪ as being mixt Congrega∣tions and tagg ragg, and such Saints as ob would not set with the doggs of his flock. And this shall suffice to have spoke for the proof of my fist Argument.

My second Argument is this:

Those Congregations and Assemblies whose Members contrary to the example of all the holy Prophets and Servants of God, who were ever humble in their own eyes, continually, falsly, and pharisaically and upon all occasions boast themselves of their owne righteousnesse (so much condemned in holy writ) calling themselves the pretious and holy servants of God, the godly party, the praying people, the onely men of Gods right hand, the Saints, the generation of the Just, hating and despising their poor brethren, and are ever plotting against them, accounting them as Heathens and Infidels, and departing from them as more holy then they; all such, I say, are neither visible Saints nor good Daemons, as being by Christ himselfe and the holy Scripture condemned and therefore are not true Churches after the New Te∣stament orm▪ whose Members ought to be all visible Saints; but are mixt Congregations with whom truly godly souls ought not to com∣municate in holy things.

Page  321 But all the Congregations and Assemblies of the Il-dependents are such as consist of such Members: Ergo, they are neither visible Saints nor good Daemons, and therefore ought not to be communica∣ted with in holy things, but to be separated from, by all the truly godly souls.

For the Major proposition no man can deny it, now if the Mi∣nor be confirmed, then there is no man that will doubt of the truth of the conclusion; for that will necessarily insue from the pre∣mises.

The parts of the Minor are these: The first, That it was ever the practice of all the holy servants of God, to be humble in their owne eyes.

The second, That God did ever condemne such as justified them▪ selves and boasted of their own righteousnesse.

The third, That the Il-dependents do both falsly and pharisaically boast themselves when they call themselves the pretious and holy ser∣vants of God, the godly party, the praying people, the onely men of Gods right hand, the Saints and the Generation of the just.

The fourth, That they do despise their Christian brethren and se∣parate from them as being more holy then they; By all which they declare themselves to be neither Saints indeed nor good Daemons, nor a Church or Churches after the New Testament forme, and therefore ought to be separated from.

I shall now prove all these parts in order beginning with the first, by which the conclusion will be the more obvious to every judi∣cious Reader, and I hope, to many of the Il-dependents themselves if they will seriously and without partiality weigh all things: And for the evincing of that, I will begin with Abraham the Father of all the faithfull, who saith, Gen. 18. ver. 27. Behold now I have taken upon me to speake unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes. Here we see Abraham had no high thoughs of himselfe, nor of his own righteousnesse, which example of his was left to all his children in succeeding ages, to teach them to esteeme meanly of themselves and not pharisaically to boast of their owne holinesse. Jacob likewise in 32. of Genesis ver. 9, 10. speaking unto the Lord saith, O God of my Father Abraham, and God of my Father Isaac, &c. I am not worthy of any the least of the mercyes and of the truth which thou hast shewed unto thy servant, &c. Here likewise we see what a low esteem he had of himselfe. The same we finde in EzraPage  322 the 9. ver. 6. who in the name of all the people, said, O my God I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our heads and our trespasse or guiltinesse is grown up to the heavens, &c. And so in the ninth of Nehemiah, ver. 1. &c. The children of Israel were assembled with fasting and with sackclothes and with earth upon them; they were all in a po∣sture of humility as the whole Chapter declareth. Job also that righteous and upright man, in the 42. chapter ver. 6. saith, Where∣fore I abhorre my selfe, and repent in dust and ashes. He had no bigg thoughts of himselfe and his own holinesse. The same we see in Isaiah that great and holy Prophet, who in the 64. chapter ver. 6. in the name of all the people of God in his age he saith, But we are all as an uncleane thing, and all our righteousnesses as filthy raggs, and we all do ade as a leafe, and our iniquities like the wind have taken us away, &c. They had no proud conceipts of their own righte∣ousnesse, nor vaunted not of their holinesse and sanctity. Neither was Daniel in any other posture, though a man greatly beloved of the Lord, chapter 10. ver. 11. Yet he in the 9. chapter in the name of all the people humbly prostrated himself, Seeking unto the Lord by prayer and supplication with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. Say∣ing, O Lord the great and dreadfull God, &c. We have sinned and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly and have rebelled, ver. 3, 4, 5, &c. And so we might run through all the Old Testa∣ment and finde all the Prophets and holy men of God ever con∣fessing their own vilenesse, and never boasting of their own righte∣ousness. The Publican also and the Prodigall had learned this lesson, the one of which said Luke 15. ver. 19. I am not worthy to be cal∣led thy sonne: the other standing afar of, Luke 18. ver. 13. would not so much as lift up his eyes unto Heaven, but smote upon his brest saying, God be mercyfull unto me a sinner. All the faithful, and truly holy people, and godly party, both under the Old and New Covenant, had learned this lesson of self-denyall; and Paul acknow∣ledged himselfe the greatest of all sinners, crying out of himselfe, Rom. 7▪ O miserable man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death! They had no overtowring conceipts or thoughts of their own holinesse and righteousnesse, nor never boasted them∣selves that they were the onely holy people and the generation of the Just: That was the practice of the Justiciaries, yea of the hypo∣crites and wicked under the Law and of the Pharisees in the time Page  323 of Christ, as we may see in Isaiah 65. ver. 5. who said, Stand by thy self, come not neer to me, for I am holier then thou, &c. The Pha∣risee also stood and prayed thus with himself; God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this Publican; I fast twice a week, and I give tythes of all that I possesse, &c. By which it may evidently appear, that those that boast themselves of their own righteousnesse and holinesse treade not in the steps of father Abraham and all the truly holy Prophets and people of God in all ages, but in this their so doing they de∣viate from heir example, and imitate the example of the wicked Pharisees and old Justiciaries, and therefore are justly to be bla∣med and found fault with as transgressors against both the precept of God, and example of Christ (who said) Learn of me for I am humble and meek, Mat. 11. & against the President of all the faith∣ful wch is the second part of my Minor, which is to prove, That God did ever condemn such as justified themselves and boasted of their own righteousnesse, as is manifest from that place in Isaiah above quo∣ted in the 65. chap. ver. 5. where the Lord saith, that such as gloryed they were more holy then others, were as smoke in his nose and fire that burneth all the day. And in the 16, of Luke ver. 15. He said unto the Pharisees, Ye are they which justifie your selves before men, but God knowes your hearts; for that which is highly e∣steemed amongst men, is abomination in the sight of God. And in the 18. of Luke the place above cited ver. 9. He in a Parable re∣proved certain which trusted in themselves as being righteous, and despised others. And told them plainly ver. 14. That the Publican that meanly esteemed of himselfe, went down to his house justified ra∣ther then the other; For every one (saith Christ) that exalteth him∣selfe, shall be abased, and he that humbleth himselfe shall be exalted. Yea, it is the command of Christ Matth. 16, to all such as will be his Disciples ver. 24. That they should deny themselves and take up their Crosse dayly and follow him: Now self-denyall and boasting of their own holinesse cannot stand together, for Saint Peter in his first Epistle chap. 5. commands all Christians to be subject one to another, and to be clothed with humlity, saying, That God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble; Humble your selves there∣fore (saith he) under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. The same lesson doth Saint James teach us chap. 4. v. 6. And if we look through the whole Scriptures we shal find, That GodPage  324looketh unto those onely that are of a poor and contrite spirit, and that tremble at his word, Isaiah 66. ver. 2. The same also the Lord saith Isaiah the 57. v. 15. Thus saith the Lord the high and holy One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose Name is holy, I will dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to re∣vive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. David had learned this lesson also, who in the 51. P salme saith, A broken and a contrite heart O Lord thou wilt not despise. But for all such as pharisaically boast themselves of their own righ∣teousnesse God will despise and resist: especially when they come far short of the Pharisees righteousnesse who fasted ordinarily twice or thrice a week, and gave tythes of all they had, and were very bountifull and charitable to the poor and did many other things praise worthy, whereas all the Il-dependents are so far from giving tythes of all they have, as they would not willingly that any other should give them writing books to the contrary and that bit∣ter ones; and for the many other acts of holinesse in the Pharisees, as fasting & deeds of charity, the world knows they are not so fre∣quent in them towards their poor brethren that dissent from them: but in running from sea to land, and from one place to another to make Proselytes and seduce the people, they are very like the Pha∣risees, and in boasting and glorying of their own righteousnesse, in this they qualise if not exceed the Pharisees and Justiciaries of old, and if they repent not, God will have a controversie against them, for God resists the proud and will give grace unto the humble, and in the 30▪ of the Proverbs ver. 72. God saith there, That there is a generation pure in their own eyes, and yet they are not purged from their filthynesse: Gods people were ever humble, but the Il-depen∣dents are not, as will by and by appeare in the sequell.

The third part now to be proved: viz. That the Il-dependents do both falsly and pharisaically boast themselves when they call them∣selves the pretious and holy servants of God, &c. Now that they boast and glory of their own holinesse, and that they are the onely people, and the godly party, all that are acquainted with their language and have heard their Sermons, and have seen their books, can bear witnesse with me of the truth of that I now charge them with, neither can the Il-dependents themselves deny it. And that they falsly glory and boast of their own righteousnesse, holinesse, and sanctity, is my taske now to prove, which by the grace of Page  325 God I will do running through all and every severall branch of their gloriations. And to begin with the first, when they call themselves the onely pretious servants of God, and the godly party, in this their glorying, I say, they as falsly as Pharisaically boast, which will evidently appear, if we duly examine who in Gods di∣alect are a holy people and the onely holy servants of God. In the 1 of the Corinthians chap. 7. ver. 34. The Apostle there describes who are the holy people, they (saith he) are such, as care not for the things of the world, but for the things of the Lord, how they may be holy in body and spirit; They were such, as being bought with a price, studyed, how they might glorifie God in their bodyes and in their spirits which were the Lords. 1 Cor. 6. ver. 20. And how they might cleanse themselves from all filthynesse of the flesh and spirit, per∣fecting holinesle in the fear of God. 2 Cor. 7. ver. 1. The holy ser∣vants of the Lord, are such as present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God as their reasonable service, and that from the consideration of Gods great mercyes unto them. Rom. 12. ver. 1. They pressed toward the mark to the high calling of God in Jesus Christ. Phil. 3. 14. Whose conversation was in Heaven. ver. 20. Those Saints minded not earthly things, but being contented with food and rayment, they esteemed godlinesse the greatest gain. 1 Tim. 4. Gold and silver (saith Peter) I have none. Acts 3. He studied onely to be holy, and regarded not the world. The life of all the godly and holy party was above in heaven, according to that of So∣lomon Prov. 10. They were not groveling upon the earth, nor re∣garded not the things of this life, they were changed from that they were before, they were now no longer conformable to this world, but they were transformed by the renewing of their mind, that they might prove what is that good, that acceptable will of God. Rom. 12. ver. 2. According to that of Paul, Eph. 23. 24. They were renewed in the spirit of their mind, they had put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousnesse and true holinesse, Yea they were renewed in knowledge after the Image of him that created them. Coloss. 3. ver. 10. In a word, all the truly holy and god∣ly party have an universall change wrought in them, their under∣standings witts and affections are changed they are all heavenly, the whole frame of their lives and conversations are changed, they are all heavenly; so that they by all their actions declare they are such as really minde nothing but heavenly things, they are morti∣fied Page  326 men, they seeke not great things, nor they intangle not them∣selves with earthly businesses, they onely mind heavenly things, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God, Coloss. 1, 2, 3. No sooner was Levi called from the receipt of custome, but hee re∣linquished and left the world and followed Christ. The same did Zacheus, distributing that hee had liberally to the poore, and ma∣nifesting to the world, by giving full satisfaction to all men that could say they were damnified by him, that now hee minded no∣thing but heavenly things, the things of the Lord, how he might be holy in body and spirit which were the Lords; and this was the practise of all the holy servants of God in all ages, they were heavenly minded, lowly, humble, meeke, they were of one mind, having compassion one of an other, they loved as brethren, they were pittifull and courteous, they rendred not evill for evill, or rayling for rayling, but contrariwise blessing, knowing that they were thereunto called, that they should inherit a blessing, they refrayned their tongues from evill, and their lips spake no guile, they eschewed evill, and did good, they sought peace and ensued it, 1 Pet. 3. verse 8 9, 10, 11. they loved without dissimulation, they abhorred that which was evill, and cleaved to that which was good, in honour they preferred one an other, Romans 12. verse 9. in Lowlinesse of mind they esteemed of others better then themselves, Phil. 2. ver. 2. 3. they wete all heavenly minded men, who regarded no worldly things, neither doe we ever reade in all the sacred Scriptures, that any of the holy Prophets or Saints of old, were taken up with the world, or aspired to the Honours and Dignities of the same, but chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, then to injoy the pleasures of sinne for a while; yea, they esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches then all the treasures of Egypt, they chose rather to wander about in deserts, in sheeps skins, and goats skins, na∣ked, despised, and contemned, in the caves and dens of the beasts of the earth, then to dwell in the greatest affluency of worldly things, they slighted all the world, and all the Glory of it, & exposed them∣selves to any miseris and hazards, rather then in the least world∣ly pleasure to insnare their affections in things below, as the ele∣venth chapter of the Hebrews doth fully declare.

Now if wee looke upon the generality of the Il-dependents, wee shall find them void of all the above-named graes, as being men most addicted to the world and worldly things, and that Page  327 when shee is in her old age, so that it is ordinarily observed, that howsoever they call themselves the holy people and godly party, there is none more covetous, none are more taken up with the plea∣sures and bravery of the world, none more envious and malicious, none more proud, haughty, & supercilious, none more greedy and having then they, & none more worldly; so that ye shal find them at the receipt of custom through the kingdom, meer Toule-gatherers, which was amongst the Saints of old counted a trade incompatible with holinesse and godlinesse; for Publicans generally were all esteemed the worst and wickedest of men; yet I say, the Inde∣pendents at this day for the universality of them, are taken notice of for their worldly mindednesse, so that through the whole Realme you shall find them in all the Excise offices, in all the cu∣stome houses, and in all the gainefull places and imployments by Sea and Land, in all the Committees, in all gainefull offices in the Army, and through all the Courts of the Kingdome; neither are there any that aspire more to all places of honour in all parts of the Land then they, and make more use of their friends, by run∣ning, riding and letters, for the hindring of any other but them∣selves, in attaining places of Dignity and Emolument wheresoe∣ver they are vacant, as daily experience teacheth us, and as it can be proved by a cloud of witnesses; yea, so notorious are their co∣vetous and ambitious designes to all men, that the very Malignants can say, that they have got all the rich plunder into their possessions, and have made themselves wealthy with the spoyles of others, and especially those that came out of New England have beene ta∣ken notice of amongst others to have bought things plundered of mighty worth, at small rates, and have sent them over thither, in so much that the very Cavaliers, and Gentlemen of good ranke and place have told mee, that if ever they got the day, they would make a voyage into New-England, to demand their plundered goods of them. And it is well knowne, what vast summes of money they have gathered through the Kingdome of godly peo∣ple, under pretence of relieving the poore Saints there, and for the sending over boyes, and young children, and so they have all of that party bestirred themselves in getting of monies under the pre∣text of good uses, and buying of plundered Goods, as if they had studied nothing but the getting of earthly things; so that where∣soever there is any money stirring, or any gainefull offices, thither Page  328 doe the Independents fly, like a company of flyes upon a gald Horses backe: yea, their very Ministers have got all the gainefull Lectures through towne and countrey, many of them having two or three very profitable ones at once, the least of which by report, would maintaine two or three Families, when as many more learned then themselves cannot get bread to put in their childrens bellies, so that they are generally cryed up, and other godly and painefull Ministers are despised through their calumnies and craft; so that all men may easily perceive, that the world and they are very good friends, whereas the holy people of old cared not for the things of the world; and for bravery and gallantry, & all manner of voluptuousnesse they exceed all men; yea the very Daughters of Ierusalem never minc'd it more, Isay the 3. then the Independents wives and daughters doe, nor never injoyed greater pleasures then they, in so much that it is one of the infallible notes of the Il-dependents, both men and women, to exceed all others in bravery and delicacy; never was there such a gallant Generation of Saints since the world began; yea, their very Ministers, and their Dames go rather like Ruffians, then the holy & mortified people of God, & matrons of old, in so much that some of the Il-dependents themselves were heard say, when my last booke came out in my owne defence against Iohn Lilburne, where I made my selfe mer∣ry with them, at the which so many of them stormed against mee with indignation, at that time I say, some of the Indepen∣dents were heard to say, that what Doctor Bastwicke had writ merrily was too too true: for the truth is say they, they are too much given to their pleasures, and to good cheere, & many of them are abominably proud and covetous, and gaping after honours and riches, and are so unbridled in their expressions, and so disorderly in their carriages, and many times so insolent in their behaviours, as they justly give offence and scandall, both in word and deed, to many that otherwise would have harboured better opinions and conceits of them; and that that I now say, and a great deale more, can be proved; and amongst other things they related, that they being present at the Committee of examinations, never saw any man more injuriously abused by any then I was; in so much, that they admired my patience, I could carry my selfe at that time so calmely towards them. So that if need be, I shall be able to produce good witnesses from amongst the Il-dependents themselves, that by Page  329 their testimony shall make good this my charge against them for their worldly mindednesse, and extreme pride and insolency, and their unchristian dealing towards their brethren; I shall not want the witnesses also of some, and they of good quality, that have fallen off from walking with them, who are ready to attest, that the sole and chiefe moving cause of their disliking their compa∣nies, was for the very reasons I have now specified, who will affirme, that they could not continue in so costly aud chargeable a Religion, they having found a cheaper way to Heaven, it will also be proved, that whereas many before they came acquainted with them, and to be of their Fellowship, they could for three or foure hundred pounds a yeare maintaine themselves and their families, and doe a great deale of good to many distressed people, and indigent and persecuted Chri∣stians; but since they grew into acquaintance with those of the con∣gregationall way, what with the entertainment of them and their party, and presents, and what with their frequent relieving of those of that Fraternity, it hath stood them in eight hundred, nine hun∣dred, a thousand pounds yearely; yea, some times more, so that it has beene admired how they have subsisted: and it is well knowne, that one of their chiefe designes is to get into their societies, the chiefest and richest people every where, and especially the more ho∣nourable women, by meanes of which, they exceedingly strengthen their party: for those poore creatures not diving into the subtilty of their proceedings, and being carried on with a blind zeale, conceive they can never doe too much for them; and therefore upon all occa∣sions, stirre up their Husbands and friends to advance the cause (as they call it) and to the uttermost with their power and purses to pro∣mote it; and hence arise those factions on all sides, every one of them in their particular places seeking the maintenance of their party; hence it is, that▪there are so many dayes amongst those of the con∣gregationall way, set apart, for the seeking of God (for that is their language) for the gaining of some great & wealthy personages into their new gathered Churches, which they call the conver∣sion of them, when indeed it is nothing but the perverting, and misleading of them into the by-wayes of their errors. I could if need were, instance many a Godly Family, that were knowne to bee of approved Integrity, Piety and Holinesse, before these men appeared in the world, and yet are now reputed the holy people and Saints, and onely for being of the congregationall Page  330 way. The truth of this thing is so apparent, as some of the In∣dependents themselves have uttered it, that they well perceive, that many of their Ministers seeke themselves, whiles they pre∣tend they seeke the good of others; yea, they seeke the world whiles they perswade others to abandon it. Saint John sayes, 1 Epist, Love not the world, nor the things that are in the world; for he that loves the world (saith hee) the love of the Father is not in him. It is an impossible thing in Gods Dialect to serve two Masters, they can∣not serve God and Mammon: for the friendship of the world is en∣mity with God, saith Saint Iames. Now then when it is evident by all the practises of the Independents, that they for the greatest part of them gape after the world, and are chiefly imployed in those things that worldly men are taken up in, as in biting and de∣vouring one an other, in hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, &c. It is manifest they are not the only holy & spirituall people, if Pauls doctrine be true, Gal. 5. ver. 15. 20, 21. and that the Independents are too too busie in these im∣ployments, daily and sad experience teacheth us, neither is there any truly iudicious and impartiall Independent, that can gainesay what I now write. Besides, the holy people of old, as Abraham, Ja∣cob, Ioshua, Cornelius, &c. were such as with their whole houses ser∣ved the Lord, they would have none in their Families but such as were of one and the same Religion, they would neither connive at, indulge or tolerate any Religion in their houses, but that God had appointed, as all the holy Scriptures testifie, they at their up∣rising, and lying down, at their goings out and comings in, Deut. 6. and Deut. 11. instructed their children and families in the statutes and commandements of the Lord; they with their Men-servants, and Maid-servants, and the stranger within their Gates, Exod. 20. tooke care that all of them under their roofes should sanctifie the Sabbath, and keepe all the commandements of the Lord; they thought it their duty and their place, to see that they should serve the Lord with one shoulder, and with one lip, they left them not every one to the liberty of his owne conscience, but according to the expresse rule exacted obedience from them, to the commande∣ments of the Lord: and this they esteemed to bee the holinesse well pleasing unto God, not their owne fained conceits. Now in this thing also most of the Il-dependents are fayling in their duty, as can be proved, who leave their Families to their owne Page  331Genins in the serving of God, so that they may goe whether they please on the Lords day, and bee of what Religion and Sect they like best; and therefore they follow not the example of the Godly Party, and holy Saints, and servants of God of old. In all these regards, and many more that might be specified, it is ap∣parantly evident, that those Churches of the congregationall way doe not consist of all Saints, as being but mixt assemblies as well as the congregations of their brethren that they separate from, and therefore they are not the only holy people, as not be∣ing crucified unto the world, and the world to them, as the holy people of old were, when they are wholy for the world; and this shall suffice to have spake concerning the first title they digni∣fie themselves with above their brethren, calling themselves in all their preachings and writings the holy people, and godly party, whereas the truly holy people and Godly Party were ever humble in their owne eyes, and thought basely of themselves, counting themselves wretched and miserable sinners.

Neither doth the other title truly and onely belong unto them, when they call themselves the praying people: for our Saviour hath said, Not every one that saith Lord Lord, shall enter into the king∣dome of Heaven, but hee that prayeth according to his will, for so Saint Iohn asserteth, in his first Epistle, chap. 5. verse 14. this is the confidence wee have in him, that if wee aske any thing according to his will hee heareth us. So that it is not the meere praying of any people that will procure audience from God, but the praying according to Gods will; for Christ hath said, Matth. 6. that men are not heard for their much babbling, for that is a thing dis∣pleasing unto him, but in that they pray according to his direction and will; so that of necessity it followeth, they onely are the praying people properly so called, that in all their supplications and requests follow the rule set downe by Christ himselfe the on∣ly Prophet of his Church, and who knew best what the will of God was, and what the meaning of the Spirit of God was; for he onely it is, that must helpe our infirmities in prayer, for wee of our selves know not what to ask, Rom. 8. It wil not be amisse there∣fore briefly to run over some of those Petitions, that the Lord hath set downe for an everlasting rule for all the truly praying people, to square their prayers by, the which whosoever in prayer swar∣veth from, they cannot properly be called the truly praying people.

Page  332 Our Saviour teacheth us, Matth. the sixth, vers. 9▪ 10▪ 〈◊〉 13▪ saying, when ye pray, say Hallowed be thy name. So that they that pray aright desire that the name of God may be glorified, and in so praying they desire that whatsoever hinders the glorifying and hallowing of Gods name, may be taken away and removed; now the toleration of all Religions under pretence of liberty of conscience, which all the Independents not onely pray for, but with all their might labour for, will not make for the hallowing and glorifying of Gods name, but greatly to his dishonour, and the unsanctifying of his holy name, and be a meanes of bringing in of profanesse and atheisme, and all manner of abominations, and damnable heresies, as the very connivence at them already teaches all men: therefore they that pray, that as there is but one God, one truth, and one true Religion, so that no other may bee tolerated, pray according to his will, and are the onely true pray∣ing people; and those that pray for liberty of conscience, and the toleration of them all, as the Independents doe, are not the onely true praying people, whatsoever they pretend unto the deluded world, for they pray not according to Gods will.

Againe, the truly praying people are taught to say thy King∣dome come, in which Petition they are instructed to pray, not onely that the Kingdome of Glory may come, but the Kingdome of Grace, viz. that the Gospel may be everywhere published, preached and set up; and to that end that God would send faith∣full Labourers into his Vineyard and Harvest; and in so praying, they earnestly desire, that whatsoever hinders the preaching of the Gospel, as the toleration of all Religions doth, may be taken a∣way; now the Independents pray for a toleration, and for liber∣ty of conscience, and labour as much as in them lyes the hinde∣rance of sending faithfull Labourers into Gods Harvest, and much discourage those that are already sent▪ and hinder also the setting up of that Discipline and Government that would most make for the advancement of Christs Kingdome, and for the coming of the same; therefore they are not the truly praying peo∣ple, for they pray not according to Gods will.

Againe▪ the true praying people are taught to say thy will bee done on earth as it is in heaven, and in their so praying they are in∣structed to pray for the removall of all such things as are against the good will and pleasure of God, and doe hinder the doing of Page  333 his will. Now God hath revealed in his will, that as there is but one God and one Mediator, so there is but one Faith, one Baptism and one Religion, and that all the people of God should bring up their children and families in the nurture, knowledge and fear of this one and onely true God▪ as Abraham, Jacob, Joshua, and Cornelius, and all the faithfull and dear servants of God in all ages have ever done, and that they should instruct their children and housholds in the Statutes and Commandments of the Lord at their lying down and rising up, at their goings out and commings in: Deut. 6. & Deut. 11. and Eph. 6. v. 4. And that both they and their men-ser∣vants and maide servants, and the stranger within their gates, should sanctifie Gods Sabboths and keep all his Commandments, Exod. 20. And this is the duty of all parents and masters of families, and this they are for ever tyed unto by the revealed will of God, and that they should not spare their nighest allies and kindred that should labour or indeavour to bring in any other Religion then that God hath appointed in his holy and blessed word: Den. 13. and this they that pray aright and according to Gods will, pray may be done to the end of the world, and that both they and their fa∣milies and all the families of the earth may continue to instruct their housholds and families according to the commandments of God which is his revealed will, and that whatsoever shall hinder the doing of this will of God may be removed abominated and abhorred, as the toleration of all Religions will do, and that pre∣tended liberty of conscience, as hourly experience teacheth us; for by this both the duties of the first and second tables are neglected on all sides: for neither fathers nor masters of families can per∣forme or discharge their duties, if a Toleration of all Religions should once be set up; for then both servants and children, and the strangers within their houses, should every one of them be left to the liberty of their consciences without control, so that they may go whither they will, and imbrace what Religion or Heresie they please; and therefore it concernes all men more earnestly to pray for the setting up and establishing of the onely true Religion, and the rooting out of all false and erroneous Religions; for in this they do according to Gods will: And they onely that thus pray, are the true praying people; But the Il▪dependents pray that there own wils may be done, & not Gods will; for they pray for a Tolera∣tion of all Religions, and that against the revealed will of God who Page  334 hath declared his will to the contrary: Deut. 13. Yea Christ him∣selfe in his Epistles to the Church of Pergamos and Thyatyra: Rev. 2. ver. 12. &c. 18. sheweth his high displeasure against them for but suffering and conniving at those false doctrines that were taught amongst them. Yea in this blessed prayer of Christ we are taught to pray not only that the will of God may be done on earth, but he farther addeth by way of example and for a patern of our i∣mitation, that it may be done on earth as it is in heaven: Now all those that are Christs Disciples, know, that there is but one Religi∣on in Heaven, and one way of worship there, as there is but one God; they therefore that pray for a Toleration of all Religions as the Il-dependents do, are not the onely true praying people, seeing they would have the will of God otherwise done on earth then it is done in heaven; for in heaven there is but one Religion; and therefore they pray contrary to the will of God when they pray for liberty of conscience and a Toleration of all Religions.

Again the truly praying people are taught to pray lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evill; therefore they pray a∣gainst the toleration of all Religions, which is not onely a great temptation and an occasion of evill, but the very sourse and foun∣tain of all errours, schismes, heresies, and of all abominations, and of all the evills both of sin and punishment, that can light upon any Church, Nation or Kingdome, as we may see by the example of the Churches of Pergamos, and Thyatyra, to the which the Lord saith, Repent, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight a∣gainst thee with the sword of my mouth. And I will cast her into a bed of great tribulation, and will kill her with death, and all the Churches shall know, that I am he which searcheth the reines and hearts, and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. I say therefore from very good ground, that a Toleration of all Re∣ligions is not onely a great temptation, but the greatest evill in the world, and would be a meanes of bringing plagues and judge∣ments upon the three Kingdomes, and a distraction and disorder amongst all the people and a confusion of all things; against all the which as so many temptations and capitall evills, all truly godly praying people if they will pray according to Gods will, ought in∣cessantly to put up their dayly supplications, as they desire the fa∣vour of God and the removeall of his judgements, and in their so praying they do but their duty and according to the will of God: Page  335 Therefore when the Il-dependents pray for a Toleration of all Re∣ligions under the name of liberty of conscience, and labour for it, and hinder with all their power the setting up of the onely true Religion and worke of Reformation, and the setting up of such a Government in Christs Kingdome, which is his Church as he hath revealed in his blessed will, and they have also covenanted to bring in, in their so doing they neither pray that Gods name may be hal∣lowed, nor that his Kingdome may come, nor that his will may be done, nor that they may not be led into temptation, and be delive∣red from evill; and therefore they pray not aright, and are not as they falsly boast themselves the only true praying people; for they pray not according to Gods will.

Now when those Churches of the Congregationall way consist of such kinde of praying Members, it is apparently manifest they are a mixt Generation of men, and not the Generation of the just, nor the men of Gods right hand, which is another title they falsly and pharisaically also claime and challeng unto themselves, as they did the former, as will by and by appear upon due examination and discussion of the true sense of that expression. For those that are the men and people of Gods right hand properly so called, are such, as with all their might stand up in defence of Gods true Religion, and earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the Saints, Jude 2, 3. and are not onely ever ready to lay down their lives for that an∣cient faith, but with all their power to fight for it to the last drop of their blood, in opposition to all errours, superstition, heresies, and all manner of false worship, and in opposing whatsoever is a∣gainst the power of godlinesse as a Toleration of all Religions is, which tends only to the bringing in of all prophanenesse and irreli∣gion.

Now the Il-independents deny, that they did ever fight for Re∣ligion: Yea, I my selfe have heard many of them say, That it is unlawful to fight for Religion, and they professed that when they went out with the sword in their hands, they fought onely for the liberty of their consciences, and for a Toleration of Religion which is a part and branch (as they said) of the Subjects birth-right: All this I can with many more depose, and therefore they falsly arrogate unto themselves that title of being the men of Gods right hand, which no more belongs unto them then the other ensignes and titles did: And as little right have they to the title of Saints and the generati∣on Page  336 of the Just (which is so frequently in their mouthes) if wee bring them to the true touchstone of that mettle; therefore it may be to very good purpose to turne to the 15. Psalme and briefly to run over that where we shall finde a true description of Saints indeed.

Who (saith the Psalmist) shall abide in thy Tabernacle, and who shall dwell in thy holy hill? that is to say, who are Saints indeed and the generation of the Just? For answer, the Holy Ghost, that best knew who were Saints indeed, sets down the characters of true Saints. The first of which is, his upright walking; He that walk∣eth uprightly (saith the spirit of God) This is a metaphoricall ex∣pression, signifying the trade of a mans life, his custome and car∣ryage in it, as when a man is said to walk after the flesh, it is as much in the dialect of holy Scripture as to say, He goeth on in his naturall condition and in his irregenerate state, in his ignorance, blindenesse, wicked courses and practises, and hath no work of grace wrought in his heart, nor any chang in his will and affections, nor in his whole frame of life and carriage, but he is the old man still, Rom. 18. ver. 1. So to walk uprightly, in Scripture language, is, to walk after the spirit, to be regenerate, to be a holy and heavenly minded man, who doth all the actions of one borne again of the water and of the spirit, he makes the Law of God his delight, and squares his life and actions according to that rule and the direction of his blessed word, and he orders his life by that rule in all integrity, sincerity and without hypocrisie, or any base or by-ends or wordly respects. He makes it his employ∣ment with Enoch and Noah to walk with God secretly as well as o∣penly, in all manner of conversation, in his thoughts words and deeds, as if he were ever in the sight and presence of God, walking uprightly also towards men, carrying himselfe justly towards all, but especial∣ly his main aime is to indeavour that the true worship and service of God may be set up in his family, and wheresoever he hath power; hee declines not to the right hand nor to the left in matters of Religion, but keeps himselfe strictly to the rule and goes right on according to the direction of that: He halts not between two Religions or more, for he knowes how much that is disspleasing unto God, who said un∣to the people by his Prophet, Why halt ye between two Religions? That God cannot indure in any people, no more then he can indure the lukewarme Laodiceans that are neither hot nor cold, but in∣different what Religion be set up, so they may injoy their case; all Page  337 such he knows God hath and will spew out of his mouth; Such therefore as halt and limp in Religion and hop first on this side to this Religion, and then on the other side to that other Religion, and a little after limp into another opinion, and soon after hop in∣to another Sect, all that walk thus, are no Saints in Gods dialect: For the true Saints indeed they walk up ghtly before God in that one Religion he hath appointed, they turne not to the right hand nor to the left, they take no by-way or crosse path in Religion, they halt not, nor limp not, nor doubt not of their way; neither do they sit still or make a stand, nor set not a foot backward in Religion, all which were not to walk uprightly before God, but all the true Saints walk uprightly, they go on with constancy without inter∣ruption in their Religion that way Jerem. 6. They are not carry∣ed sometimes this way with this wind of doctrine, and sometime that way with that blast of opinion, but they walk right on, they set not a step backward from their first love to Religion like the Church of Ephesus, Revel. 2. but passe forward toward the price and mark of their high calling with as great a zeal and fervency as at first, and hate all false wayes and erroneous religions, they persevere in all the wayes of God and in the footsteps of all the Saints of old, and imitate all those vertues and graces that are com∣mendable in the Saints and all the Churches; They cannot indure that any doctrine of Baalam, Jezabell, or of the Nicolaitans should be connived at amongst them, or tolerated, or any other Religion but that which the Lord our God hath appointed and established in his blessed word, and in that they walk and persevere, they decline not in their love to it, they go not backward with Demas to im∣brace the present World, nor with Hymeneus and Philetus; they will deny no truth of God, nor with any Hereticks innovate any thing in their Religion, but they walk uprightly to the marke of the high calling in Jesus Christ: They stand not still neither, nor make no pause in their way, but they are ever journying and in the action of well doing, going from strength to strength till they come to the heavenly Zion, they go on cheerfully in their Religion, yea they run the race set before them with patience, and that through thick and thin of all afflictions and persecutions, and abate not their pace, casting aside every thing that presseth down, as the love of the world, the love of honours and riches, the love of pleasures, the love of profits, the love of friends, and all earthly emoluments, Page  338 yea and the sin that sticks so close unto them, all their hereditaty and inbred corruptions, yea they reject likewise all novelties in Religion, nothing can hinder them from walking uprightly in the old way God has appointed them to walk in, but in despite of all impe∣diments they not onely walk, but run the race, and the whole race set before them, Looking upon the author and finisher of their faith Jesus Christ, who for the glory that was set before him indured the crosse, despised the shame, and is now set down at the right hand of God in heaven, Heb. 12. 2. He made that good confession to the death before Pontius Pilate and witnessed the truth; All they therefore that are conformable to Jesus Christ and desire to walk in his steps and that are Saints indeed and the generation of the Just, can never indure a Toleration of all Religions; for that is not to walk upright∣ly with their God, nor after Christ example; for Christ whipt the Buyers and Sellers out of the Temple, and would not tolerate them but layd corporall punishment upon them for their evill doing, and preached against the Scribes, Pharisees and Saduces, and all er∣roneous Sects in his life time, and after he was ascended into hea∣ven he wrote unto the Churches of Pergamos and Thyatyra, sharp∣ly reproving them for suffering and tolerating amongst them any other Religion then that he had appointed, and for but conniving at any novelties in Doctrine and Religion. They therefore that follow the ill example of those of the Church of Pergamos and Thy∣atyra, and not onely suffer all manner of Religions amongst them, but labour and indeavour to have an indulgence and a toleration for all under the pretence of liberty of conscience, they follow not the ex∣ample of Christ the Prophet of his Church, nor the example of A∣braham, Jacob, Ioshua and all the Patriarks and blessed Apostles who abhorred all novelties and tolerations, and therefore they walk not uprightly with their God and are not Saints indeed according to Gods own description of a true Saint.

Now whether therefore the Il-dependents by their practises can challenge this Character to themselves, I leave it to the judgement of the learned, when they would have a Toleration of all Religions.

But now to passe on to the second Character of a true Saint, He that worketh righteousnesse, saith the spirit, they that make it their imployment to render to every one their due obedience and sub∣jection to the higher powers, Rom. 13. Tribute to whom Tribute, Page  329 Custome to whom custome, fear to whom fear, honour to whom ho∣nour is due, and they that will owe no man nothing but love, and that love one another, knowing that he that loveth fulfilleth the Law, they are Saints properly so called v. the 7. In a word, all that are Saints indeed in Gods repute, worke righteousnesse; they first give unto God his true worship and labour for the establishment of that Re∣ligion onely that he hath appointed, they cannot indure the Tole∣ration of all Religions, neither will they connive at or indulge that any way of serving and worshipping of God should be permitted, where they have power and ability to hinder it, but that which God himselfe hath commanded; for they know that that is not to work righteousnesse; for that is not to give God his own, For he appointed but one Religion, and that he challengeth for his own; so then, they that set up any other but that, or tolerate more, or allow of a Toleration of all Religions, they work not righteousnesse towards God; for that is unjustice and a thing highly displeasing unto his di∣vine Majesty, as taking his right and authority out of his hand who is King of his Church, and substituting themselves in his place, which is the greatest injustice and unrighteousnesse in the world; and therefore all that are the true Saints indeed and the generation of the just, dare not attempt any such unjust thing; for they work righ∣teousnesse.

Again, the true Saints in like manner work righteousnesse towards all men, they yeeld all subjection to those that are in authority o∣ver them, and they give the Magistrates their due honour and reve∣rence, yeelding unto them all the duties of obedience and subjecti∣on and veneration, and they yeeld unto the Ministers and all their Brethren the duty of love and their true honour, and so are fulfillers of the law of God. They therefore that maligne their brethren and detract from their praises and hate them and speak evill of them and of those that are in dignity and authority, and raile of those in the Ministry, and as much as in them lies endeavour to make them odiou