Of national churches their description, institution, use, preservation, danger, maladies and cure, partly applied to England
Baxter, Richard, 1615-1691.
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OF National Churches: Their Description, Institution, Use, Preser∣vation, Danger, Maladies and Cure: Part∣ly applied to England.

Written by RICHARD BAXTER, for promoting peace when the pacifying Day shall come, by Healing their Extremes that are willing of Peace and Healing. And for the fuller Explication of the Treaty for Con∣cord in 1660 and 1661. and of the Kings Gracious Declaration about Ecclesiastical Affairs, for which he had publick thanks, by them that afterward rejected it. And for further Explication of his Treatise of Episcopacy, and many others written for Peace and rejected.

Rev. 11. 15.

The Kingdoms of this World are become the King∣doms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall Reign for ever and ever. Chap. 19. 16. King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Matth. 5. 9.

Blessed are the Peace-makers; for they shall be called the Children of God.

Jam. 3. 17.

The wisdom that is from above is first Pure and then Peaceable, &c.

London, Printed by T. Snowden, for Thomas Parkhurst at the Bible and Three Crowns, the lower end of Cheapside. 1691.

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THIS short Discourse cometh not from the expectation of pleasing any of the Extremes, the Tyrannical or the Con∣founders. And therefore in a Time and Coun∣trey where those that escape Extremes are few, it must expect but the private approbation of those few. But those few and their Cause, are so considerable, as that if God mean not to forsake the Land, they may yet become the Agents and stamina of a happy concordant Re∣formation. Of which in the appearance of Se∣cond Causes, there is yet no great prospect, nor like to be, unless God cause the Supreme Power, by Wisdom and Righteousness, or by Page  [unnumbered] their own constraining Interest and Necessity, to drive the Worldly Unpeaceable Sort, to obey Healing Precepts for their own Advantage, contrary to their Temptations and Inclinati∣ons. If such a day come when I am dead, these Principles will be of use. They are not lately taken up by me, as you may see in my Five Disputations of Church Government, &c. in my Treatise of Episcopacy, Nonconformity stated, &c. and in our frustrated Treaty for Concord 1660, 1661.

In the state that we are in while we have none to whom we have any Call or Hope to address our selves for publick Concord, let us keep our selves from the guilt of unpeaceableness, and bear the Slanders and Wrongs of false Accusers, and thank God for checking the Power of Per∣secutors, and let us make peace among those that we may speak to with any hope, and wait on God till he shew us whether he be saving or forsaking the Land, and the rest of the Reform∣ed (Unreformed) Churches.

And to them that will be offended with me for saying so much for Bishops and Archbishops, let them know that this Book is but an Atten∣dant on a bigger, written against a Foreign Ju∣risdiction or Popery, which sheweth that I am Page  [unnumbered] no more for the Extremes of others' than of theirs. As also my Treatise of Episcopacy hath shewn: And here I have proved that Popery is but a Fabrick built on the Ruins of National Churches or Christian Kingdoms: And if it ever fall it must be by their Restoration. The Lord pity the Blind, Malignant, Self-destroying World, and prepare us better for a better Society.

London,March 26. 1691.

Richard Baxter.

LET the Reader note that § 7, 8, 9, and 10. of the XIIth. Chapter are misplaced, and must be read as the end of the IXth. Chapter. The rest of the Errata's I have not time togather.

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CHap. I. What a National Church is.

Ch. II. That Christ Instituted such a Church Form.

Ch. III. In the Execution as well as Embrio Judea was such.

Ch. IV. Particular Churches and Pastors how far Essential to a Na∣tional Church, and what are its Materials.

Ch. V. The Pastors or Bishops of National Churches are to be of three Ranks. Apostolick Successors.

Ch. VI. Who must be the Lay-members of National Churches.

Ch. VII. What is the Confederacy or Concord needful to a Na∣tional Church.

Ch. VIII. How far this Confederacy and Concord bindeth the Mem∣bers of a National Church to Conformity.

Ch. IX. That Christ hath Instituted no Ecclesiastical Government in Man of any larger extent than National; much less Universal nor of Foreign Jurisdiction: And that the French Aristocracy with the Popes Primacy and Patriarchate is as bad as Papal Mo∣narchy.

Ch. X. Whether Universal Church Government (more than per partes) be of Apostolick Succession.

Ch. XI. Whether National Church Primacy or Aristocracy, infer Universal.

Ch. XII. 1. Whether the Romans Church Policy should be chosen as strengthning the common Christian Interest. 2. Whether Prote∣stants Differences and Divisions make the Roman way of Concord necessary. 3. Whether Protestants or Papists have more Errors.

Chap. XIII. What are the Dangerous Diseases of a National Church.

Chap. XIV. Whether the Present Church of England be of a sound Constitution, and what is Necessary to its Welfare, Safety, Strength, and Peace.

Chap. XV. The Case answered, Of Tolerating Dissenters, from the Laws or Customs of a National Church.

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Books Printed for and Sold by Tho. Parkhurst at the Bible and Three Crowns in Cheapside near Mercers Chapel.

RIchard Baxter's Catholick Theology plain, pure, peaceable, for Pacification of the Dogmatical Word-Warriours in three books, Folio.

—His Church History of Government of Bishops and their Councils Abbreviated, Quarto.

—His true History of Councils enlarged and defended, Quarto.

—His Treatise of Episcopacy, Quarto.

—His Saints Everlasting rest in four parts, Quarto.

—His Paraphrase on the New Testament, Quarto.

—His Life of Faith in three parts, Quarto.

—His answer to Dodwel and Sherlock, Quarto.

—His Catholick Communion in five parts, Quarto.

—Catholick Communion doubly defended, &c.

—Whether Parish Congregations be true Christian Churches de∣fended against both Extremes & Unnecessary Divisions, Quarto.

—His Apology for Non-Conforming Ministers, Quarto.

—His Naked Popery &c. Quarto.

—His Treatise of Knowledge and Love, Compared &c. in two parts, Quarto.

—His English Non-Conformity as under King Charles the se∣cond and King James the second, truely Stated and Argued, the Second Edition, Quarto.

—His Treatise of Self-Denial, Octavo.

—His Defence of Non-Conformists Plea for Peace, Octavo.

—His Full and Easy satisfaction, which is the True and Safe Religion, Octavo.

—His Key for Catholicks, opening the Juglings of the Jesuits, Octavo.

—His Catechizing of Families, Octavo.

—His Scriptures Gospel Defended, and Christ, Grace, and free Justification vindicated against the Libertines, Octavo.

—His Two Disputations of Original Sin, Octavo.

—His Cain and Abel Malignity, that is, Enmity to Serious God∣liness, &c. Octavo.

Page  [unnumbered] —His Call to the Unconverted to turn and live, &c. Octavo.

—His Glorious Kingdom of Christ described and clearly vindi∣cated, &c. Quarto. stitcht.

—His Reply to Mr. The. Beverly's Answer to my Reasons against his Doctrine of a thousand years, Quarto stitcht.

—His Farewel Sermon prepared to have been Preached to his hearers, at Kederminster at his departure, but forbidden, Quarto. published by himself.

—Moral Prognostication. 1st. What shall befall Churches on Earth till Conquered by restitution of primitive Purity, Simpli∣city and Charity. 2. How the restitution is like to be made (if ever) and what shall befall them thenceforth to the end, in that Golden Age of Love. Quarto stitcht.

—His search for the English Schismatick, Quarto stitcht.

—His Immortality of the Soul, Octavo.

—His Treatise of Justifying Righteousness in two books, Octavo.

—His Revolt to a Foreign Jurisdiction, in two parts, Octavo? Joseph Alleine of Conversion, in Octavo, large Print, with Cases of Conscience.

—Alleine of Conversion, in Twelves, smaller Print, with Cases of Conscience.

—Alleine's Sure Guide, in Twelves.

Mr. Steel of Old Age.

Vincent of Conversion.

—Touchstone of Grace and Nature.

—Of Conscience.

—The Spirit of Prayer.

—Of Love among Christians.

—Three Funeral Sermons.

—Principles of the Doctrine of Christ.

Page  1

Chap. I. What a National Church is.

§ 1. A National Church and a Christian Kingdom consti∣tuted of a Christian Soveraign Magistrate, and of Christian Subjects worshiping God (ordinarily) in true Particular Pastoral Churches,) is the same thing.

§ 2. The ignorance of this hath confounded the Christian World, by two extreams.

On one side a double mischief hath been by this ignorance introduced. First, That of Popery, which first prophaneth the Sacred Office of Kings and Magistrates, feigning them to be but a sort of secular Animals, that have the care only of mens Bodies and trading and worldly Affairs, and not of Souls, or of mens everlasting Safety; as if this belonged only to Priests; whereby they make Kings to be as much baser than Priests, as the Body is viler than the Soul, and teach the Subjects accord∣ingly to dishonour and contemn them.

2. And while they confine Princes to the bounds of their own Dominions, they pretend that the whole World must have one Church Soveraign, either Monarchical, Aristocratical, or mixt; which yet Humane Nature is utterly uncapable of; so that truly Popery is founded on the degrading of Princes and States, and overthrowing true National Church-bounds, to set up an absurdly pretended Universal Soveraignty instead of it, under Sacerdotal Heads.

§ 3. And this mistake hath corrupted the late Innovating Prelatists, that would be called the Church of England; who have learnt of the Papists to appropriate the name of the Church, or at least Church-Government, to the Clergy; and so think that a National Church must be unified and constituted by a National Sacerdotal Head, either single or collective: And that a Prince is not sacred enough to be a National Church Head. That this novel Opinion is contrary to the Laws, and the sense of Lawyers, and the Doctrine of the Church of Eng∣land, and the very Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, is so Page  2 well known, as forbids me to lose any time in proving it.

It's true, that Queen Elizabeth, and our Kings and Doctors have justly appropriated the Power of the Word, Sacraments, and the Keys of Admission to Christian Communion, and of Excommunication and Absolution, to the Pastoral Office, and have proved that Christ did himself institute that Office, and not leave it to the will or power of Princes to institute, abrogate or alter it: But it is as true, that Princes are the Governours of those Pastors, and may punish them for Male-administration, and dispose of the things circasacra undetermined by Christ.

§ 4. By this mischievous Errour also the Clergy have been drawn to tempt Kings and Magistrates to think that they are but Civil Officers, and have not much need to be very studious to understand the Scriptures, but must leave that to Bishops and Priests, and take it on their words: By which they have been perverted and let loose to ungodliness and debauchery, wasting that time in Luxury, and Sports, and Idleness, which should have been spent in studying of the Word of God; and govern by erroneous ungodly Laws, because they know not the Law of the Lord: Whereas God hath commanded Kings and Rulers to study his Law diligently, and keep it alwaies before their eyes and on their hearts, and to govern according to it, and make it the chief work of their Office to promote the obe∣dience of it.

§ 5. Moses was more the Mediator between God, as Legisla∣tor, and the People than Aaron was, and was better acquainted with the Law, and the meaning of it, than Aaron was: It was he that is called King in Jesurun: And God instituted a Pro∣phetical Succession of such, which the Israelites sinned in chang∣ing for Kings: A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up to you like to me, him shall you hear] tho' it meant Christ remotely and eminently, it meant his Successors proximately. Joshua was commanded the study of God's Law: And David and Solomon are undeniable Instances to prove that Kings were by God ap∣pointed to be more wise and holy persons than the Priests. And indeed if Kings be not better skill'd in God's Word than most of the Popish Priests are, no wonder if they be the Subjects of Priests, and be lightly esteemed as unmeet to Govern; espe∣cially if Mr. Dodwell's Doctrine were true, that [

the Essential work of the Ministry, according to my Principles is to trans∣act Page  3 between God and Man; to seal Covenants on behalf of God, and to accept of those which are made by Men; and to oblige them to perform their part of the Covenant by other∣wise authoritatively excluding them from God's part. Hence results the whole Power of Ecclesiastical Government: And for this no great gifts and abilities are essential. All the skill that is requisite essentially, is only in general to know the be∣nefits to be performed on God's part, and the duties to be performed on Man's, and the Nature and Obligation of Co∣venants in general, and the particular Solemnities of Eccle∣siastical Covenants. And of this how any man can be unca∣pable, who is but capable of understanding the common dealings of the World, &c.

If it be much more knowledge than this that is commanded to Kings and Rulers, then are they the more sacred persons, and fitter to be Heads of a National Church, than such Priests are.

§ 6. Bishops or Pastors may be the constitutive Heads of Particular Churches, and yet not of National, nor therefore cease as such to be under the Government of Christian Princes; nor Princes thereby be made Priests. A School-Master, a Colledge-Master, an Hospital-Governour, a Philosopher, may be the Head of his particular Society, and yet under a Prince that is not of his Art. The King is no Physicion, and yet Ruleth Physicions, not as a chief Physicion, but by the General Go∣vernment of a King.

The Masters of Sciences and Arts (as such) govern none but Volunteers, and therefore not by the Sword: It's Princes that do that.

§ 7. Though Moses Law, as such, bind not us, nor any, fur∣ther than Christ hath put it into his Law, and many things in their Policy, are unsuitable to our times and places, and more in their way of Worship; yet the true nature of such a Natio∣nal Church as Christ did institute, must be known by know∣ing what the Jews Church was as National, and how far Christ would have continued that form of Government, and what change it was that he was for.

§ 8. 1. Christ would not have the Jewish Nation to retain their peculiarity as distinct from the Catholick Church, for he came to call the Gentile World.

2. He intended not to make Jerusalem the Seat of a Regent Page  4 Church over the rest of the World, as it then was over the Jews; for he knew that it was to be destroyed.

3. He intended not to settle one High Priest over the whole Catholick Church, nor over the National Church: For de∣facto he did it not; and he knew that the High Priest did typi∣fie himself only.

4. He intended not to continue the Law of Moses as such; nor its Ceremonious Worship; but only so much of it as was of the Law of Nature common to others; and so much of the Policy as by parity of cases and reason, is suited to others as well as to the Jews.

§ 9. But 1. He offered to be King over them as a holy National Kingdom-Church.

2. He accordingly appointed the number of Twelve and Se∣venty under him, as related to the Twelve Tribes, and to their great Council.

3. He sent these first to work upon them by Doctrine and Perswasion, his Kingdom being a Government of Love, Mercy and Free Grace, that would have none but Volunteers.

4. He gave them Laws by which he would govern them, with promises of Reward, and threats of Penalty.

5. He extended this offered State and Priviledge to them and their Children.

6. He intended to set up his Government in Power by Chri∣stian Princes, as soon as his Word and Providence had ripened the Church for it.

§ 10. I shall prove all this in the next Chapter, when I have told you first, that as the Papal Party hath been set up in their Usurpation (Universal and National) for want of understand∣ing Christ's Institution of Kingdom-Churches; so the separa∣ting and dividing part of the Nonconformists have by this over∣sight, run into many hurtful Errours, and unpeaceable and un∣justifiable ways.

1. How much the very name of a National Church is dis∣tasted by very many zealous persons through meer ignorance, is too commonly known.

2. And in Independents, and too many Presbyterians, the custom prevaileth, of calling the exercise of Pastoral Discipline, by the name of the Kingly Government of Christ, as distinct not only from his Prophetical and Priestly Office, but also from Page  5 his Government by Magistrates: As if Christ governed not as King, as much and more eminently by Princes as by Priests, or Pastors.

3. And if a man speaketh but what Scripture speaketh for Christ's Government of the Churches by Magistrates, they call him an Erastian: Whereas the Errour of Erastus (an excellent Protestant Physicion) was not his being for the Government of Princes, but his taking down the Power of the Keys too much, which was the Office of Pastors, and making Church-Commu∣nion over-common, and too much denying Excommunication: (Of which I have written a peculiar Treatise to Dr. Ludov. Molinaeus, shewing the true difference between the Power of Magistrates and Pastors.)

4. And hence great disorder hath arisen from the underva∣luing of the Confederacy of all particular Churches in the same Kingdom; and from a disobedience to the lawful determina∣tions of Princes in Church Affairs, and even from the causless singularity of every humorous Sect, as slighting the Concord of the Confederate Churches; what abundance of Schisms had it prevented (with their dismal Effects) if men had but retained. a due Reverence to Church Confederacies and Concord, and to the Christian Magistrates Power? which caused the Presbyte∣rians in Scotland and Ireland, so marvelously to keep up Concord, and keep out Sects, though they were against Diocesans, because they maintained National Church Confederacy.

§ 11. It may perhaps be useful to others that I here con∣fess my own Ignorance and Errour, that I once thought that the Scots way of a National Church Confederacy and General As∣semblies, was but a sadling the Horse for Papal Usurpation to ride upon: For I considered not that National Churches truly stated were Christ's Institution, and the principal way to keep out Popery.

§ 12. And whereas in my Defences against Dr. Stillingsleet and Dr. Sherlock, I called the Christian Magistrate an Acciden∣tal Head, and urged them hard to name the Essential National Church-Head; I spake on supposition of their Opinion which I opposed, that Bishops only were such Essential Heads, from whom A National Church must be unified and specified: But I still professed to own a National Church as a Christian King∣dom, containing Confederate Pastoral Churches: And of this the Soveraign Power is the Essentiating Head.

Page  6 § 13. The names of distinction of Civil and Ecclesiastical as differencing the Office of the Christian Magistrates and Pastors, may be used as well understood; but is too Popish, and used by Papists and some others, to obscure and debase Christ's Go∣vernment by Magistrates, as if they were only for secular uses: Whereas indeed in a Church as National the Prince is the chief Ecclesiastical Officer of Christ. And the true differencing terms are fetcht, not from the subject matter, so much as from the Mode of Government, one being forcible by the Sword, and the other only on Conscience by the Word, doctrinally opened, and personally applied by the Keys. And Ruling is called Civil, because it is the Regiment over Cives quâ tales, so it is Eccle∣siastical as it is over Cives quâ Christianos, and over particular Churches and Pastors; and for Souls more than for Bodies, and worldly Estates.

§ 14. A National Church containeth not all that dwell in the Land, but all that are Burgesses or Free-men in Church re∣spects. All be not Citizens that dwell in the City; but they that are Denisons, and have City-Rights and Priviledges. As Christ is Head over all things, To his Church, Eph. 1. 23. so a Christian King is Head over his inhabiting Enemies and Aliens, and Head to all Civil Denisons as he is a King; and Head to all Christian Church Denisons as he is a Christian King.

§ 15. In what cases Subjects may be Civil Denisons that are not Christian Denisons, or Church Members, requireth so many words and cautions to open, that I omit the decision of it: But were a Christian Kingdom such as it ought to be, none should be a Civil Burgess with any Trust belonging to Government, but such as are Baptized or professed Christians, and are com∣municating Members in some Churches or Assemblies allowed or tolerated, or that ought to be tolerated. For a Kingdom and Church as formally Christian, should be Ruled by none but Visible Christians.

This is true both of Magistrates, Pastors, and the chusers of of them. But none should for this be forced or drawn to profess Christianity, or communicate against their wills, it being a priviledge that none have right to but those that earnestly de∣sired it: Nor did the Antient Churches grant it to any other: Nor would so much as receive Oblations for maintenance of Ministers from others.

Page  7

Chap. II. That Christ instituted such a Church-Form.

§ 1. THat Christ instituted such a Kingdom or National Church, I prove as followeth.

1. He was by the Prophets still described as such before his coming, as was to be the King of Israel, and Israel under him a National Church.

Moses was King in Jesurun, Deut, 33. 5. and said, A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up to you like to me, viz. that was a Prophet and King. Melchizedeck was the Type of Christ that was King of Salem, and Priest, Psal. 110. Heb. 8. David was herein a Type of Christ, and Christ was promised to sit on his Throne, Psal. 2. 6. Yet have I set my King on my holy Hill of Sion, Ezek. 37. 24. David my Servant shall be King over them, and they shall all have one Shepherd, &c. My Servant David shall be their Prince for ever. So v. 27, 28. so Hos. 3. 5. Exod. 19. 6. Ye shall be to me a Kingdom of Priests, Dan. 2. 44. Mark 11. 10. Psal. 33. 12. Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord.

2. Christ is proclaimed the King of the Jews, and claimed that title and their subjection to him, Matth. 2. 2. & 27. 11. Mark 15. 2. He was of the Line of David, and had right to his Kingdom. He was scorned and crucified for that claim, Mat. 27. 29, 37. Mark 15. 9, 12, 18, 26. Luke 23. 37. John 19. 21. The People acknowledged him King by their Hosanna. He de∣stroyeth them as Enemies that would not he should Reign over them, Luke 19. 14, 27.

3. He laid the Foundation of his offered National Kingdom among them: He owned the Title, and chose twelve Apostles in relation to the twelve Tribes; and the seventy Disciples related to their great Council: He would Preach to none but Israel, till they rejected him: He would have gathered all Jerusalem and her Children as the Hen gathereth her Chickens; but they would not, Mat. 23. 37. He destroyed them for refusing him.

4. He commissioned his Apostles to stay at Jerusalem till they rejected them. They made up the broken number of twelve as related to the twelve Tribes by Matthias, though Joses and others had also followed Christ.

5. He appointed them to Preach the Gospel to Nations, and to disciple Nations, Mat. 28. Mark 16.

Page  8 6. He planted the Gentiles into the same Olive-tree that the Jews were broken off from, Rom. 11.

7. The Jews had not been broken off from their National Church-state, but for unbelief, Rom. 11.

8. He translated the Kingdom from them, to a Nation that would bring forth the fruits of it.

9. In due time the Kingdoms of the World were made the Ringdoms of the Lord and of his Christ, Rev. 11. & 19.

10. Kings are to be the Churches Nursing Fathers.

11. All Power in Heaven and Earth is given to Christ, Mat. 28. and by him Kings Reign. He is King of Kings, and not of single persons only.

12. But what need there any other proof, while all Chri∣stians confess that All Kings are bound to be Christian Kings, and to promote Christianity to their Power; and all Magi∣strates and Subjects to be Christians: And are not they then bound to be Christian Kingdoms; and that is National Churches?

§ 2. When he had prepared them to be voluntary Subjects, by the Preaching of the Gospel, and the Church came to matu∣rity, Christ actually set up National Kingdom-Churches; and Ruled by Constantine & successive Christian Princes: And Hea∣ven and Earth rejoyced that he had taken to him his great Power and Reigned, and that the Kingdoms of the World were become his Kingdoms, Rev. 17. & 18. & 19. Infancy is fitter for Instruction than to Govern. Man is made to use Reason; but he useth little in Infancy, or till maturity. That which was first in intention, is last in execution. Mature Rea∣son in Man, and Princely Government in Kingdom-Churches, was first in intention, tho' not in execution. Who would wish that Pagans had still Reigned? What Christian wisheth not that the Persians, Indians, Turks, Tartars, &c. were all Chri∣stian Kingdoms? Why else do the Millennies hope for such a state of holy Government?

§ 3. Obj. But tho' there be no doubt of the command, insti∣tution and duty, what hope have we of the constitution, and event that Kingdoms should become Christian?

Ans. Our Question is of the Institution and Duty: confess that, and let us do our endeavour.

2. Is not this a Christian Kingdom, while King and Subjects Page  9 are baptized professed Christians? Are we a Protestant King∣dom, and not a Christian Kingdom? And are not others such?

Obj. But these be mostly but nominal Hypocrite Christians.

Ans. They are visible professed Christians. The Corn is not without Straw and Chaff. Do you look for Kingdoms that consist only of the sincere?

Obj. But Churches must consist only of those that seem sincere.

Ans. All seem sincere that profess sincerity, till it be by tryal and witness publickly disproved. There are several degrees of seeming; some by fuller evidences than others; but all that Vow it, and stand to that Vow, do seem and profess it till disproved.

Obj. But how prove you that a Christian Kingdom is a Church?

Ans. Doth your Question mean de Re, or de Nomine? I told you what I mean by a Church, no other than a Christian King∣dom consisting of a Christian Soveraign, and Christian Subjects, worshiping God in confederate particular Churches (ordinarily) will you deny the Being or the Duty of such?

If it be the Name, 1. The word Ecclesia is used for even common Assemblies, and therefore much more for Christian Societies.

2. The Israelites were called The Church in the Wilderness; much more when more fully stablished.

3. If you have any reason against the Name, disprove it.

4. If the Name be all the difference, call it as you please.

But make it not your pretence that only Priests are persons Holy enough to be Heads of Churches, and not Kings; and therefore that it is no National Church that hath not a Clergy Head, Monarchical or Aristocratical; for that's the Popish Doctrine which I have confuted.

Chap. III. In the Execution, Judea was such a Church.

§ 1. IN the Execution of his Institution, Christ in the time of Constantine, and after, made Judea it self a National Church as far as a Province of the Empire may be called a Na∣tion. The Empire, as Christian, headed by one Christian Page  10 Soveraign, and materiated by Christian Subjects obeying Christ both singly and in sacred Assemblies under their Bishops or El∣ders, was all one National Church, that is, One Christian King∣dom, long before promised by Christ, and prepared for: But as the Emperors allowed some Provinces to have subject tri∣butary Kings, and others to enjoy most of their Antient Laws and Liberties, so they might secundum quid be called Kingdoms and National Churches, though they were but Provinces and parts of the Imperial Church. And thus Judea became a Na∣tional Church.

§ 2. It is past question that many Kings who had given up their Kingdom to the Pagan Beast, followed the success of Constantine, and afterward did give up their Power to Christ, yet no Kingdom was wholly converted at once, nor of many years: But yet while the Soveraign Power and Confederate Christian Pastors and Subjects had the chief Power, it was tru∣ly a Christian Kingdom: For the Form in capable matter doth denominate.

And tho' many Heathens were long permitted in Govern∣ment, that doth but prove that the Kingdom had two sorts of free Subjects; one sort that were Christians, and so were the chief Members, who in all matters of Religion were exempted from Pagan Judicatures; and the other Heathens who had a freedom in things secular.

§ 3. Judea then was more eminently Christian than any other Nation of no greater extent: There were Arch Bishops, and Bishops, and Presbyters, and after a Patriarch: And there were more Monasteries and Religious Societies, and more Temples built there, than in any Countrey that was no greater: And more Christians flockt thither from other Nations out of a veneration for the place: And indeed it was the Mother-Church out of which all other Churches sprang: Therefore if any Province might be called a National Church, it was Judea.

§ 4. This was when the Fulness of the Gentiles came in; that is, when the Gentile Empire turned Christian: And so the Gentile Powers turned Christian, provoked the Jews to emu∣lation, and requited them by becoming Nursing Fathers to them, and bringing their Glory to Jerusalem: And so all Israel was saved; that is, the body of Abraham's natural Seed, and Page  11 also the faithful Gentiles that were the spiritual Seed, were unitedly gathered to Christ.

§ 5. Obj. But they were mostly Gentiles that then dwelt there: And that proveth no Conversion of the Jews.

Ans. The scattered Jews were in many Countreys of the Roman Empire: And most of them had neither mind nor means to return to a small and barren Land: But as many as were willing and were zealous for their Countrey did live there, and none were forbidden: And it is far most probable that the most that were there left, were such as kept their old Habita∣tions: And the most that were kill'd were the military part: In the days of Constantine, and after their Churches flourished: And what greater encouragement could they have now to re∣turn, were they converted, than they had? None would make them go against their wills: If Gentile, Christians and Jews were there mixt, they did the more fitly suit a Catholick Church-state; when Moses Policy and their Peculiarity ceased.

Should they in the feigned Fifth Monarchy-state, be con∣fined to that Countrey, which is like our Wales, how contemp∣tible a Nation would they be, in comparison of what Constan∣tine allowed them, both in Judea, and throughout all the Em∣pire? No Nation was wholly converted at the first; and if the Christian Jews that lost their name, being Catholicks, had no great mind to go to Judea, it is no wonder.

Chap. IV. Particular Churches and Pastors how far essential to a National Church, and what are its materials.

§ 1. THere is more essential to a National Church than the meer Formal Cause or Soveraign: Matter is essential as well as Form: Yet not all parts of the Matter neither, though all be parts Integral. As in the Body, a man cannot be a man without a stomach, liver, and lungs, and heart; but he may without a finger, or a hand, or leg.

§ 2. I doubt not but I have proved that the Soveraign Magi∣strate is the Formal Humane Head of his Kingdom, and as Christian of the Kingdom as Christian: And nothing remaineth disputable but de Nomine, whether a Christian Kingdom must be named a Church: which Custom, Etymology and Scripture Page  12 put past question. Our Civilians (such as Dr. Zouch, Dr. Rich. Cousins, &c. and our Lawyers say trulier than most have be∣lieved, that the King is persona mixta, & Custos utrius{que} Tabulae, and Head of the Church as a Christian Kingdom. And for want of knowing this, and the true nature and bounds of his Office, how foully many have miscarried, I have shewed.

1. Those called Erastians, carry it too far, and give the Ma∣gistrate part of the Office of the Pastors, even the Keys of Ad∣mission into the Church as a Church, and of Excommunication; which God hath put into the hand of the Pastors, by as imme∣diate a Commission, as he hath put the Sword into the hand of the Magistrate. And by this over-doing they undo: They would ruine the Prince on pretence of defending his Power: For all Authority hath also Obligation to duty: And must Princes and Magistrates be put on the task of trying the Faith and Re∣pentance of all that are to be Baptized, Confirmed, Absolved or Excommunicated? Then they must leave their own Calling, for they will here find work enough. This is like the Separa∣tists making the People Judges, by which they would undo them, calling them from their Callings, to take on them a work of which they are uncapable, and about which they will never long agree, and making them responsible to God for all their Male-administration: As if the King must not only be Go∣vernour of Physicions, but must be a Physicion himself, and give Medicines, and be answerable for the Patients lives: Or must be a Schoolmaster because he governeth Schoolmasters: And this puts them on a necessity of casting out true Discipline, and holding the Opinion that Sacramental Communication should be common to the Godly, and the openly Wicked, as being a Converting Ordinance; and that Excommunication is but Ty∣ranny. Just as those Diocesans that will have no Bishops but one over a thousand or many score or hundred Parishes, by pleading for their sole Episcopal Power, take on them the sole Obligation to Episcopal duty, and so make themselves respon∣sible for that work which requireth many hundred men, and under themselves while they undo the Churches, and leave all true Discipline undone, and mock (not God, but) men and themselves with names and ceremonious shadows.

2. And the Papal and French Prelatists, have by this Igno∣rance, got a fixed false Opinion, that, as Pastors are the Consti∣tutive Page  13 Heads of Particular Churches, so they must be of Na∣tional Churches, and that every National Church must be uni∣fied and specified by one Clergy Soveraignty, in one person, or in a Colledge or Aristocracy: Or else that a Christian Kingdom is not properly a Church; because it hath not a Priestly Head. It's true, that it is not univocally a Church of the same species or rank as a Pastoral Church is, but is more eminently, and as fitly called a Church, as Israel was.

3. And the Independent Separatists and Anabaptists, for want of understanding this, as I said before, cry down Natio∣nal Churches with scorn, and run away from National Con∣cord, into endless Divisions and Sects, while at the same time they pray and wait for National Churches in the Millennium as the Fifth Monarchy. And none of them will deny it to be the Duty of all Kings and Kingdoms to be Christians; and so that Christian Kingdoms are Christ's Institution and Com∣mand.

§ 3. But the Soveraign is the Judge, what Pastors and Churches he shall allow and maintain as parts of the National Church or Kingdom. As the Colledge is to judge who is fit to be a Physicion, and the Patient who shall be his Physicion, and the trusted Physicion, what Medicine he shall give: But the King to judge whom he will allow in his Kingdom, and to make Laws forbidding poisonous Drugs and abuses of Phy∣sicions.

Even so the Ordainers are Judges who are fit to be Pastors, and the People whom they will trust their Souls with as their Pastors, and the trusted Pastors to judge what Doctrine to Preach, and whom to receive to Communion, or to Excom∣municate; but the King to judge whom he will allow, main∣tain, or tolerate as Members of the Christian Kingdom or National Church.

§ 4. That all essential parts of a National Church, are not the Form that denominateth (as aforesaid) needs no more proof, than that Matter and Privation (by which Aristotle meant Dispo∣sitio Materiae receptiva) are not the Form of a Natural Body: So that Confederate Pastoral Churches are necessary, yea essential matter of a National Church or Christian Kingdom, when it is past being a meer Embrio, or unshapen Mass, and is come to be a well shapen Politick Body: Till then it is but as the body in the Page  14 womb, while the punctum saiiens first maketh the Heart, Eyes, Brain and Arteries, before it hath made the Stomach, Liver, Lungs and Intestines. It is not yet come to shew what Christ's Institution of a Church was.

§ 5. But our great Controversies are,

  • I. Who be the Organical Pastors that must make up a Na∣tional Church.
  • II. Who must be the Lay-members of those Churches.
  • III. What that Confederacy must be that must unite them.
  • IV. How far the Members are bound by that Confederacy.

And because Ignorance hath made these Points of so much Controversie and Consequence, I will open them distinctly. By which I conjecture it will appear, that Dr. Stillingfleet differ∣ed but about the right wording of the definition of a National Church.

Chap. V. Of Pastors or the Bishops of National Churches, that they are to be of Three ranks.

§ 1. THat Pastors are the prime necessary part of the Matter of a Kingdom-Church (tho' not the Unifying Form) is plain in Scripture, and in the nature of their Office, and of a Church.

§ 2. The Independent Separatists therefore shew gross Igno∣rance, when they make a meer Community unorganized to be a Church in sensu Politico, and then must have a Lay-man that was of the Universal Church before, to be by the Peoples Votes chosen a Member of that Church while it hath no Pastor, and then chosen their Pastor after. Whereas a meer Community is no more a Political Church without a Pastor, than a Community is a Kingdom that hath no King (individual or collective, existent or virtual.) Or than this can be a School without a Schoolmaster, or a Family without a Head of it.

§ 3. As Nature first formeth by the Soul and Spirits ex ma∣teria seminis, the heart and prime organical parts, and by them formeth all the rest, and last of all formeth the Stomach and Intestines to be the Organs of future nutrition, and then putteth in the nutriment, (which in the Chicken is the Yelk of the Egg, the bodily stamina being first made of the white) and Page  15 then closeth up the before enclosed stomach upon that food; so Christ did first by his Calband Spirit make some prime organi∣cal General or Indefinite Ministers, and by them make others, fixed in particular Churches and Offices, and by them edifie and feed, and perfect the Body by their Official Ministration, and fit the people to digest the received food for their continued nutrition.

And as the King first maketh General Officers for his in∣tended Army, and then by them, or immediately commission∣eth Generals and Captains to raise their several Regiments and Companies, and doth not make the common Souldiers before the Officers, that are to Rule them; so was it done by Christ at the gathering of his Church. But when a Church is gathered (or an Army raised) they are not to be dissolved (or disbanded) when the Pastor (the Captains or Generals) die, but continue in the existent state of a Community, and the state of a Vir∣tual Policy till a Pastor (or Ruler) be chosen, because the Legal Institution de specie, keeps up a virtual or intentional Policy still.

§ 4. Christ's first Instituted Officers were Apostles, and af∣ter the Inferior Official Disciples, immediately from himself, to convert Souls, and make them fit matter for his Kingdom-Church; and these were afterward to gather into distinct re∣gular Congregate Churches, such as were so converted by their Ministry, and to place fixed Elders over them.

§ 5. These Twelve Apostles and Seventy Disciples were first instituted in and for a National Church state. Christ found the Jews under a National Form, and therefore did not at first change that Form, but only changed the Laws and Ordinances made for their Infant state of peculiarity, which he had fulfilled for them, they being but a Paedagogy to lead to and till Christ.

§ 6. It's plain that the number of Twelve and Seventy were chosen as related to the Twelve Tribes (all then in being and known) and of the Sanedrim or great Council: And therefore a National Form of Church-Officers, and not yet Universal nor Congregational.

§ 7. Therefore Christ himself would not Preach beyond the Tribes of Israel, nor give the Childrens bread to Dogs till he was finally rejected by the Children of the Kingdom, and' so the Kingdom taken from them, and given to a Nation that Page  16 would bring forth the fruits of it. And he forbad his Apostles to go among the Gentiles, and confined them to the lost Sheep of the house of Israel.

§ 8. It is plain that Christ would have this just number of twelve kept up in relation to the twelve Tribes, till the King∣dom was taken from them, because one, and but one was to be chosen in Judas room, and so the due number of the Twelve to be kept up.

This proveth the Institution of a disparity of Ministers.

§ 8. The Keys of the Kingdom were given first to the A∣postles, before the empowering of the seventy, and that as to distinct superior Officers. And the word Keys signifieth Govern∣ment, when Christ is said to have the Keys, it is expounded by his opening and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth.

The Government was laid on his shoulders as King and Coun∣seller, Isa. 9. 6, 7, 8.

And as his Father gave the Keys and sent him, so he sent his Apostles and gave power to them.

§. 9. But there is no doubt but this Power called the Keys or Governing Power, extended both to the ordinary and the extra∣ordinary part of the Apostles Office, and included even such mi∣raculous power as Peter executed on Ananias and Sapphira, and Paul on Elymas, and which is called giving up to Satan, that the Flesh may be destroyed, and they may learn not to blaspheme. When there were no Christian Magistrates, Christ made his Apostles the executioners of his justice, (as to sentence, as Satan was in executing their sentence) not when and how they pleased, but as the Spirit determined them.

§. 10. That the office of the Apostles was partly for an ordi∣nary sort of work, to be continued to the end of the World, and partly for the extraordinary work, which ended with them, or is now ceased, is past dispute.

1. The extraordinary work was, 1. To be immediately sent by Christs own mouth, and to go upon that Mission, and act by that Commission, (in which also the seventy did concur.)

2. To be the Witnesses of what they had seen Christ do, and of what they had heard him say.

3. To deliver this to the World by Preaching and Writing as such first Witnesses.

4. To do this under a Promise of Christ, that he would give Page  17 them his Spirit to bring all things to remembrance, and to lead them Infallibly into all Truth.

5. To speak the Languages which they had never learnt by art or use.

6. To work Miracles to confirm their Testimony and Doc∣trine; and to have the Gifts of Prophecy, Healing, &c. In which tho others did partake with them, yet it was but for a time, and not as a standing Office and Power.

7. To Sentence some men (as aforesaid) to Satans Execution.

8. To be the first planters of Congregate Churches, and or∣dainers of their Pastors or Elders, and authorized to institute such Orders and Subordinate Officers, (Deacons, Deaconnesses,) by the Inspiration of the Holy Ghost, as should continue.

9. To be Inspired Infallible Expounders of the Prophecies and Types of the Old Testament. And the Infallible deciders of Controversies.

10. To be Instrumental by Imposition of Hands in giving the extraordinary miraculous Gifts of the Holy Ghost to others.

All these are works that God hath made no Promise of con∣tinuing to the end, and therefore this part of their office ceaseth.

§. 11. II. These following Works of the Apostles cease not, and therefore in these they have Successours to the end.

1. To Preach Gods Word, and Publish the Gospel by voice or writing.

2. Indefinitely to Teach and make Disciples of all Nations, (tho' they could not Universally go to all, yet to go as far as they could, and as they were called.)

3. To gather Churches of the Converted, and settle Elders over them, and to be chief (tho' not sole) Agents and Guides in ordaining them.

4. To take care and oversight as General Pastors of the Churches Gathered and Ordered; as being not confined to be Officers only of this or that single Congregation, (tho' they might also divide their Provinces for order sake, and have their most usual habitation fixed.)

5. To administer the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lords Supper where ever they came, as General Ministers.

6. To censure or use discipline authoritatively in various Churches.

7. To try Causes upon Appeals from several Congregations.

Page  18 8. To do all this as instituted Officers Superior to the Interi∣or particular fixed Elders and Churches. All these continue.

§. 12. That all these are works to be continued is plain in Scripture. 1. The first is common to them with all Christs Ministers in the Office of Elders. And so is the fifth.

2. The second must be done by all occasionally and as far as the work of their particular Churches will allow; But that dif∣fereth much from doing it as the Work of a General Officer specially Commissioned for such general Indefinite work, and tied to no one setled Church, save for Temporary service. As we use to say, [that which is every mans work is well done by none, in comparison of that which some are specially appointed to.] Others may do it: These must do it. Others will make it their second work, but these their first.

3. The same I say of gathering and setling particular Churches: Others may do it: These must do it.

4. The fourth is proper to general Officers, to take a stated official care and oversight of many Churches as confined to no one. Others must Secondarily take a Brotherly care; But General Officers take a Fatherly Stated care of them as their province or charge. It would be tedious to cite all the texts that mention Pauls and Barnabas and such others care to preserve and edifie the several Churches which they had planted. Paul staid at Ephe∣sus some years to carry on this edifying setling work: so did John and other Apostles in their Provinces. This was not to play the Bishop in other mens Diocess, as it would be in a com∣mon Pastor if he should intrude without the particular Pastors consent; which yet a General Officer may do.

5. The same I say of Censuring.

6. And of trying Causes officially in various Congregations. There is the same reason for these in all Ages as there was in the first.

7. And that all this be done as by General Officers superior to the particular fixed Elders, hath the same reason for it now as it had at the first. All these are works that may still be done; and therefore must have Officers to do them.

§ 13. That Christ intended a setled Institution of such Dis∣parity of Ministers as to the Ordinary part of the Apostolick Office, I prove as followeth.

1. Because having found a disparity before in the Jewish Page  19 Church, he offered not to repeal it, when he offered to gather all that Church to himself, as a Hen gathereth her Chickens un∣der her Wings. Yea he sent the Lepers to the Priests and bid men hear them in Moses Chair; and owned the disparity.

§ 14. Because he formed a disparity himself, as is aforesaid between the Twelve Apostles and the Seventy, and that in some Conformity to the Jewish Church Policy. And tells his Apo∣stles that they shall Judge the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

§ 15. Because he suiteth his Governing Laws and Discipline much to what he found among the Jews. This is evident in Mat. 5. where he doth but vindicate the Law from the Phari∣sees abuse: And Mat. 18. 15. where he formeth his Discipline much to their Method. And many Learned men have proved that the Jews Baptized Proselites before John and Christ Bap∣tized. And they had the Ten Commandments before: And Selden and others shew that they had a Prayer before very like the Lords Prayer. And Grotius sheweth that they had Syna∣gogues in every City, even to small numbers, like our Parish Churches or Chappels. And Christ submitted to the Rulers of the Synagogues for his own leave to Preach.

§ 16. I once doubted (in my Dispute of Church Government) whether the Apostles Superiority was not only for their peculi∣ar advantages of Knowledge and Gifts, rather than a setled Su∣periority of Office, and whether any Pastors might not do all their Ordinary continued work. But (besides the singularity of that doubt) I was soon convinced of an Official Superiority and Disparity, not only because a Judas had been one, but because the number of Twelve in Superiority was to be kept up, by the choice of his Successor; even one from among those that had been Witnesses of Christs Words and Works as well as he. And by Pauls being made a thirteenth Apostle when the Gospel was to be carried further than to the Jews: And his claim of Apostoli∣cal Power and Priviledges.

§ 17. Especially because I find Christ, Mat. 28. 19, 20. de∣scribing the General Office as well as the Particular, even go∣ing into all the World to Disciple whole Nations, as well as to teach them to observe Christs Commands, promising to be with them to the end of the World.

§ 18. And also because it is apparent that Preaching the Gos∣pel to Heathen and Infidel Nations is a Work still to be done, Page  20 and for want of men purposely appointed to do it, the progress of the Gospel hath been wofully stopt; Few doing any thing in it but Mr. Eliots and a few honest men in New England, and they say some of the Dutch, and the Jesuits and Fryers that do it corruptly. Particular Church Work is below this.

§ 19. And I am fully confirmed when I find that the Apo∣stles themselves setled a General sort of Ministers in Superiority and General Work to succeed them. As Christ himself by his Spirit made Barnabas an Apostle, so he gave to his Church al∣so Evangelists who were General helpers of the Apostles, and were put in a state of Disparity and Superiority. Sil as and Mark, and Luke, and Apollos, and many more are named. The texts that mention the General Office and Superior power of Timothy and Titus are so well known and oft cited, that it's needless to repeat them. The charge of setling and overseeing many Churches (as in Crete) and of caution in Imposition of Hands, receiving accusations, rebuking sharply, ruling them well, ordaining Bishops and Deacons: and much more the like.

I never thought Saravia and the Kings Arguments in the Isle of Wight well answered. Mr. Prins and the common answer is, that these were not Bishops, but Evangelists. I grant it, but that confirmeth me. For the name Bishop was then ordinarily ap∣propriated to fixed particular Church Elders: But our question is not de nomine but de re, an Apostle & Evangelist were above such Bishops. Call them Apostles (as Dr. Hammond proveth that the Fathers oft call them) or call them Evangelists, or Arch Bishops or General Bishops or Diocesans or Provincial Bishops, it is not the name that is our Controversie. It proveth that the Apostles did settle a sort of General Overseers to gather and take care of many inferior Bishops and Churches, to succeed them in the ordi∣nary part of their Office.

§ 20. But another argument fixeth me in this opinion, and that is, that when it is fully proved that Christ instituted such a Disparity and Superiority he that will affirm that this doth not now continue and bind us, must prove the repeal or revocation, or prove that he did make this establishment but for a time, and how long that was. But Scripture plainly asserteth that he then ap∣pointed the foresaid Disparity, and hath any as plainly proved that he repealed it, or confined it to that Age? It is not proved that I have seen.

Page  21 And to assert this without proof is, 1. To make Christs In∣stitutions to signifie but what mans fancy thinks meet, and make us the Masters of his Laws, before we will be ruled by them.

2. It is a charging Christ with temerity or dishonourable mu∣tability, as Instituting one form of Church Ministry and Go∣vernment for one Age, and changing it presently for another.

3. It seemeth a dangerous taking Gods Name in vain, by affirming such a mutability of him, and change of his Laws, without any proof.

4. It defameth the state of his Church when it was under Persecution, and when Heaven and Earth after rejoiced in its deliverance, as if all that time it had been corrupt by owning the foresaid Disparity. And it's dangerous Presumption to Father on God that which he never did, and never owned.

§ 21. But no doubt but the Circumstances of this Superior Office or degree of Ministry, are undetermined by God (save as by General Rules) and may be altered.

As 1. Whether there shall be One only or Two such General Ministers in one and the same Diocess or Province. Christ sent out his Preachers by two and two. Paul and Barnabas, and Paul, and Silas, and Barnabas and Mark went out by Cou∣ples. Peter and Paul were together at Rome.

And Grotius and Dr. Hammond think that for the first times, till the Christian Jews and Gentiles became one Communion, the great Cities (Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, &c.) had each two Congregate Churches, and two Bishops (were it but for language sake.) And as I think the Jewish and Gentile Chri∣stian Ministers, during the time of Miraculous Gifts, (while no Christian Magistrates Ruled) were the two Witnesses men∣tioned in the Apocalypse, so I conjecture that Peter and Paul were the radical instances of them.

And when two join together it may take off envy from each.

Yet this is undetermined in Scripture and left to humane Prudence. If two cannot agree, how will such agree others?

§ 22. The Scots had at first a General visiter, that was really a General Bishop. But the Visitors aspiring and abuse changed that way. But I am told that in Ulster in Ireland each Classical Sy∣nod chuse two Grave Divines, and send them out to Preach in any Congregation in that Classis, where they see cause. As where there are young raw men, or men suspected of Heresy, Page  22 or men of scandalous fame; and to admonish and counsel such; and to tell the People that if they had any thing against their Ministers, they should tell them, and they would try them in the Classical Synod: I think this is real and laudable Episcopa∣cy, whatever name it have.

§ 23. It is also undetermined how large the Diocess be of the said General Minister (while he excludeth not Inferiors.) As Prudence would teach the Apostles to Preach in several Coun∣treys, and not all in one (when they left Jerusalem.) So Na∣tural Reason teacheth Men still to divide and know their se∣veral Provinces.

§ 24. It is undetermined how long each one shall stay in one City or place: As Paul did long at Ephesus.

§ 25. And it is left to Prudence how many subordinate Pa∣stors and Churches there, shall each oversee, so they overthrow not the said subordinate Officers and Churches.

§ 26. And it is left to Prudence what secular Lands or Riches they shall have (called Glebe.) And what secular ho∣nour they shall have. As to be Barons and Lords, or to sit in Parliaments, though Reason saith that Laws about Religion and the Church affairs, should not be made without the advice of them who are so greatly intrusted with Religion; And yet that their Riches should be such as may not be too strong a Temptation to Sensuality, Worldliness, Pride and Tyranniz∣ing over their Brethren.

§ 27. There are three ranks of Bishops: Two if not all three of Divine Institution; And when any one of the three would suppress the other two, they are corrupted into a sinful Tyranny.

I. The ordinary Presbyters are Episcopi Gregis, Bishops over the Flocks: So called and proved not only by Grotius (passim) but by most Papists, and Protestants; specially expositors on Phil. 1. and 1 Tim. 3. and 1 Pet. 5. &c.

II. The Churches being first gathered usually under some one Pastor, and he taking in the ripest of his Converts or Disciples to become his assisting Presbyters, and to avoid divisions, that one (or some other) was chosen to be E∣piscopus Praeses, the President Bishop of that particular Con∣gregate Church: As the incumbents in big Parishes are with us. And tho I can prove no Institution of this but by Gods Page  23 General Commands (of doing all in Order, Unity and to Edi∣fication) yet we have reason to believe that it was begun in the Apostles days, if Jerom say true about Mark at Alexan∣dria, who died before John. And I find no party of Christians against it of many hundred years, perhaps not of a thousand, for even Aerius called it not unlawful: And the Novatians, Dona∣tists, and other Sects were Zealous for this sort of Episcopacy.

III. And that a Superior sort of Successors to the Apostles and Evangelists were of Divine Institution I have proved before.

§ 28. The appropriating the name of BISHOPS to this Ge∣neral rank, here called the Diocesanes, contrary to Scripture and Truth, hath proved a mischievous snare for Deceit and Ty∣ranny. For hereby first our Innovators have denied the Parish In∣cumbents to be true Pastors; secondly, And the Parish Churches to be true Political Churches for want of proper Bishops or Pa∣stors, but only parts of the Diocesan Church; As if that were in∣fimae specei. 3. By this they have made the ignorant Laity be∣lieve that those ordained by the Proestotes, the parochial President Bishops, are ordained by no Bishops at all, and so must be re∣ordained. And 4. they are become the grand Enemies of Episcopacy, putting down many hundred Bishops to set up one alone. And yet perfrictâ fronte have called such as are for more, Antiepiscopal and themselves the Episcopal party. Just as if one Schoolmaster or Physition, should put down many hundred that he may be the only Schoolmaster and Physition, or one Judge put down all the Justices and Mayors, and then impudently say that they are against Physitions, Schoolmasters and Justices, and he only is for them.

But who can expect Truth or Modesty from Ungodly, Worldly, Proud, Tyrannical Men.

Tho it is not the Name that is our Controversie; I allow them the Name of Diocesanes. Yet abuse of Names hath been of mischievous effects.

§ 29. Such Diocesane or General Bishops as put down all the Particular fixed Bishops and Churches, are not only no sort of Bi∣shops of Christs Institution, but are Pernicious Enemies to Episco∣pacy and the Churches. As nominal Apostles would have been had they put down all the Particular Churches and Bishops which they should oversee; or a General Commander that would put down all the Collonels and Captains.

Page  24 § 30. To refuse to be ordained by such usurping Enemies, and to disown them, is not to refuse true Episcopacy.

§ 31. If these usurping Bishops would swear Men to obey them, and refuse to ordain any that will not Assent, Consent, Subscribe or Covenant, to sin against God by Omission or Commission, especially many great and hainous sins, he that refuseth such ordination may truly say, he could not be so or∣dained; the Bishop was the refuser and not he: And he hath better ordination that is ordained by Parish Bishops on lawful Terms.

§ 32. Yet if the Christian Prince make a true Diocesan that putteth not down the Parish Churches, to be of the Quorums, and have a Negative voice in Ordinations, of such as he will own and maintain; I think none should scruple submission: For while Diocesans are good Men, it seemeth to be a way safe and orderly.

§ 33. There are two degrees of deposing the Parish Pastors:

I. When somewhat essential to their Office it self is denied de specie. (As Mr. Dodwell would have the Office made and specified by the Will and Intention of the Ordainer.) This only the Inno∣vaters are guilty of.

II. When the Essentials of the Office are owned, but the exercise sinfully restrained. This the Old English Canons and Bishops were guilty of. But it unhappily was by fitting their Canons to the State of the Parish Priests that came newly out of Popery, and were by ignorance and errour unfit for their Office and Work.

But of all this I treated with unquestionable evidence of Truth in my Treatise of Episcopacy, which is yet unanswered.

§ 34. Those that only abusively restrain the Parish Pastors in the exercise of their Offices, and are but misgoverning Dio∣cesans, may yet be owned as true Ministers de specie tho we must not own their sinful Misgovernment: But those that de∣stroy the very Office of the Parish Pastors in any essential part, and their Churches, are no true Ministers of Christ de specie, nor to be owned as such while they will be the sole Pastors of many hundred Congregations.

§ 35. How came this General Episcopacy that was to gather and fix Churches to be so much ceased?

A. 1. By the difficulty and costliness of the work of Apo∣stolick Page  25 Travels and Labours: Ministers chose the easier state of a fixed particular Ministry. 2. The particular Bishops living among Heathens, found work enough on those within their reach, and so by degrees conjoined the two Offices of General and Particular Episcopacy into one. 3. And when the Heathen near them were converted, ambition drew them to enlarge their Particular Churches into one Diocesan Church, instead of ga∣thering the new Swarms into a new Hive, under a true particular Bishop. And thus Satan hath by subtilty, reduced the Churches to be too like to the Heathen World, by killing Religion, and turn∣ing it into Hypocritical Ceremony and meer Names, while one Bishop will needs undertake the work of many Score or Hundreds, which he cannot possibly perform.

§ 36. Q. How prove you that the Largeness of the Diocess altereth the Species of Episcopacy and Churches?

A. It doth not at all if it put not down the subordinate Pa∣rish Pastors and Churches; But if it turn them into half-Pastors and Chappels, by destroying their essence it is easily proved: Because it is two sorts of Communion that specifie the two sorts of Churches and Pastors. The lowest particular sort is for presential personal Communion, of such as may personally con∣verse and may know each other, and may at least sometime assemble for such Communion: But National, Provincial or Diocesane Communion is but by distant agreement in the same Profession, among persons perhaps many hundred Miles distant that never see each other. And the Ministerial Work doth accordingly differ. Dr. Hammond maintaineth that in Scrip∣ture times there were no Bishops that had any more than a Congregation to whom he Preached and Personally Officia∣ted.

Chap. VI. Who must be the Lay-Members of National Churches.

§ 1. INfidels and Heathens may be free Members of a King∣dom as a Kingdom, and in a Kingdom as Christians may be tolerated when they cannot be cured; And may be used as Inferior Officers in such secular affairs as they are capa∣ble of. But a Christian Kingdom and Church as such, consist∣eth of no Denisons, Burgesses or men free and empowered in Page  26 matters of Religion, but only such as are Baptized or openly professed Christians (and their Children) and are not proved to have nullified that profession by Heresie or such sin as ren∣dreth their profession incredible and invalid. And all these Baptized Visible Christians must be taken for such Members.

§ 2. Where the Essentials of Christianity are Visibly Pro∣fessed there may be a great difference of Members in Gifts and Soundness. Some may be Eminently Laudable and Useful, and some may be so Faulty as are fit for Rebuke and Punish∣ment, and yet all Members.

§ 3. The Priviledges of some that are not Disfranchised or Excommunicate, may yet be suspended while they are under trial. For as nothing but Capital Crimes or Excommunication for Impenitence after due Admonition doth cut them off, so while they have rendered this justly questionable, just Legal Tryal must needs suspend their questioned right, till Judgment decide it, whether they be impenitent or not, or their Crime be Capital.

§ 4. In the Jewish State, many hainous Sins were to be pu∣nished with Death. As Murder, Blasphemy, Worshiping False Gods, drawing men from the true God, Cursing Parents, Willful, and Obstinate Gluttony, and Drunkenness, and De∣bauchery after Parents Patient endeavours to reform them, A∣dultery, Incest, Sodomy, some Perjuries. And dead men can be no Church Members on Earth: Therefore this Death for Sin was an Excommunication and more. Therefore they that Plead that any such should be tolerated because the Jews were often such and not Excommunicated, is to plead the example of Criminals against the express Letter of the Law, and argue à facto prohibito contra legem prohibentem. And whether Mr. Galaspi and others have proved any more than Church-Suspen∣sion against any but those that were to be put to Death, I leave the Reader to consider.

§ 5. It is a Controversie, whether the Church be in the Common Wealth (or Kingdom) or the Common Wealth in the Church: And the former is by most asserted.

Ans. 1. Under Infidel or Heathen Kings that are out of the Church themselves, the Church is in the Common Wealth. 2. And under Christian Kings or other Soveraigns, the Parti∣cular Churches are in the Common Wealth as parts in the Page  27 whole. 3. And as the Common Wealth is taken so largely as to comprehend Pagans in Inferior Magistracy (as in the days of the first Christian Emperors; there the Church is in the Common Wealth.

But take the Common Wealth as meerly and truly Christian, and it is the same thing with the National Church, and one is not in the other, being but two Names for one thing.

§ 6. The appropriating the Name of the Church to the Clergy as distinct from the Laity, is the Plot or Part of Popish Tyranny and Fallacy: Implying falsly that the National Church must be specified and unified by a Priestly Head, Monarchical or Aristocratical; and that a King is not a person sacred enough to be the Supream Head in his own National Church; Nor the people Holy enough to be its Materials: As if Lords, Com∣mons, Citizens and other Lay Christians were no parts of the Church, when Great Magistrates are Nobler parts than a mul∣titude of Ignorant Vicious Curates and Priests.

§ 7. From this Cheat they have claimed the sole Power as of Divine Right, of making Canons that shall be obliging Laws, and of being the sole determiners of Religious Cases. Too many Presbyterians, and Independants are for this Clergy claim, calling only the Ministers work, the exercise of Christs Kingly Office. But the Frenchified Prelatists much more.

§ 8. Hence is the common sence and abuse of the distinction of Civil and Ecclesiastical Government; intimating that Kings are not to Govern the Church, not meddle beyond Civil and Secular concerns. But of this before.

§ 9. The power of the Sword or force, belongeth only to the Magistrate to be used by him as Judge and not as the Cler∣gies Lictor or Executioner, the Bishops and Clergy have no for∣cing Sword power unless the King give it them: for which most∣ly they are unmeet having proper work enough of their own: Tho some cases may be excepted.

Page  28

Chap. VII. What is the Confederacy or Concord needful to a National Church.

§ 1. AFfirmatively. 1. A Baptismal Confederacy, to be all the true Subjects of one God, one Christ and Holy Ghost, against the Devil, World and Flesh.

§ 2. 2. A Consent to live as Christians in Love to one ano∣ther; and to addict our selves to the good of one another, spe∣cially to the welfare of the whole Body, and to do as we would (justly) be done by.

§ 3. 3. To be all the Loyal subjects of one Christian Sove∣raigns Power.

§ 4. 4. To be all for the publick Worshiping of God and our Redeemer in Christian Assemblies, guided and ruled by Christian Pastors (or Bishops) qualified and described by Christ in his Word the instituter of the Pastoral Office, and not of any new sort of humane Ministry, or uncapable persons that are wanting in any thing essential to the Office.

§ 5. 5. To take the Sacred Scripture for the Word of God, and the sufficent Rule of Divine Faith and Holy living; And to profess an explicite Belief of the Creed as it was trans∣mitted to us from the Apostolick Churches, and to take the Lords Prayer for the summary rule of our desires and hopes; and the Decalogue as owned and expounded by Christ, for the summary rule of our Obedience, with the Sacraments institu∣ted by him.

§ 6. 6. To profess Obedience to true Authority in Parents, Magistrates and Pastors and all true Governours, so far as they are empowered by God, and to obey God above all, and no men against him and his Laws. And Rulers to profess to obey God, and Rule as his Ministers for the Common welfare and to promote the obedience of Gods Laws.

§ 7. 7. For Magistrates, Pastors and Parents, to profess their endeavour to promote the true Preaching of the Gospel, and the transmitting of it in Purity to Posterity, and to en∣courage and not unjustly forbid or hinder the publication and practice of it.

§ 8. Negatively, 1. It is not meet that this confederacy so appropriate the Body of the National Church, to any one Page  29 Party or Sect though it should be (or thought to be) sounder or better than the rest, excluding any that have all the necessa∣ries before named, though they have many tolerable errors and imperfections.

§ 9. It is not lawful to make things unnecessary to be taken or used as necessary to the National Church Unity. Nor to make snares and impose them by such needless Laws, to si∣lence or eject any true and tolerable Ministers; much less the soundest; imposing things sinful or needless, or that are unfit to be the Conditions of Unity, and so unavoidably excluding capa∣ble Conscionable worthy men for want of complying with those terms, is the commonest cause of Schism in the Christian World, and the effect of Ignorance, Pride and Tyranny, none being more worthy to be excluded than such Schismatical ex∣cluders, that make the Laws that should be the bonds of Con∣cord, to be the greatest Engines of Division.

§ 10. The present Orthodox Protestant Nonconformists, are as truely Members of the Church of England, justly so call∣ed, as any Diocesans or Conformists in the Land, and if they be not better confuted than hitherto they have been, they may truely be said to be the soundest, most judicious, and most conscionable, and the most peaceable Members of this Church. And to deny such Nonconformists to be true and honourable parts of the Church of England, is but such an effect of Igno∣rant Arrogance and Slanders as is the shame of the speaker, and implieth some dishonourable definition of the said Church. And they that make their mutable Forms and Ceremonies essential to the Church, make a Ceremony of the Church it self, and cannot answer the Papists that challenge us to prove its antiquity: Our Liturgy is not so old as Luthers time.

As Rome by claiming to be the whole Church, hath made ma∣ny think that it is not so much as a part; so Conformists calling themselves the whole Church of England, hath tempted many to take them for no part.

§ 11. But yet unsound and hurtful Members may be restrain∣ed and corrected, when they are not silenced or cast out: And proving them true parts doth not prove them to be sound parts, or such as must not be rebuked. But tender avoiding sin, by preferring Gods Law before Mans, and founding our Concord on Christs instituted capable terms, and not on the Page  30 Sand of ensnaring humane Impositions, is far from being the mark of unsound Members. Yet meerly to tolerate them to Preach in deep Poverty that deserve most encouragement, is not free from Injury and Schism.

Chap. VIII. How far this Confederacy and Concord bindeth the Members of a National Church to Conformity to the common sence and practice.

§ 1 VVHoever is convinced that Christian Kingdoms or National Churches are of Christs Institution, must needs know that it is the duty of all its Members, to do their best to preserve them and promote their welfare as con∣sidered in that form; and not only to seek their own Salvation, or the prospering of their particular Churches or Parties, not only to seek the common good of Christians as such in Commu∣nity; But to keep up the National Polity in all lawful things in the way of their several places and callings. For he is un∣worthy to be a Denison in any lawful Society, that promoteth not its well faring.

§ 2. And here it is a grand duty to know the distinct Rights of the Governing and the Governed part. And to know that though they are distinct, they ought not to be opposite but con∣junct.

A fancy hath been by one of late divulged, that it is a hei∣nous crime to say that the King and People have a separate or separable interest; So far may rashness precipitate the ignorant: That King and Subjects have a distinct interest is past all doubt: That these interests ought not to be opposite or set against each other is also doubtless. And that they are divisi∣ble is doubtless; else they would never fall out about them. And that they are faultily divided: And no doubt but they may and must be divided Numerally and Notionally, so they be not opposite.

§ 3. What I say of Kings I must say of Parents and Pastors, and Tutors: When the Subjects are various and really divided Numerically, there the Accidents are divers and divided: For the Accidents cannot be the same and indivisible that are in va∣rious subjects. But the rights of Rulers and Subjects are diverse; Page  31 And the Persons or Subjects of these Rights are diverse and separate in sensu Physico: Therefore the Rights are diverse and Physically seperate.

§ 4. The Genus and fixed part of the Species being ordained by God himself, the mutable Form (Monarchy, Aristocracy and Mixt,) and the determination of the Person or Line is by men, and that is by mutual Consent and Contract.

None can force a man to be King, or Pastor against his Will. And Government is a state of great care and great dan∣ger to Soul and Body: And will any man in his Wits under∣take it without security to his own interest? The Kings di∣stinct and separate interest, is 1. His own Life, to be secured against Treason. 2. His Honour as Gods chief Officer, and in a sort representer, which is therefore Gods own Honour in him. This is made distinct and Physically separate (tho not opposite) in the Fifth Commandment. And the doubt whether that Commandement be part of the first or second Table, or rather partly of each as the Cardo utrinsque, doth make it a hard question, what interest is the highest: Of which Michael Hud∣son hath subtilly treated.

The King also hath a distinct interest 3. In his Family and Personal Estate. 4. And in such necessary aid of Men and Tri∣bute, as may enable him to Govern and Defend the Land: Tho the Subjects may as Proprietors make limiting Contracts to secure their own Propriety and Interest.

And the Peoples right is in general the common good and safety, and particularly to be defended, and their contracted form of Go∣vernment not overthrown; nor the Kingdom to be given up to a Foreign Power, or any Usurper, much more that none that will execute such Papal Tyranny as is determined of in the General Council at Laterane sub Innoc. 3. to destroy or exterminate the Kingdom un∣less they would Damn their Souls by forsaking sound Religion; I say that no such be their King, or Potent Governour. Because re∣gere and perdere are inconsistent: And they who design it and profess their subjection to any Power or Law or Religion that obligeth to it, are to be supposed to be doing it: Especially if their prepa∣rations shew their purposes, and Magistrates be set in Power that are under the same Obligations: And though a party or person must fly or suffer rather than Embroil the Kingdom in War or Re∣bellion for their defence; Yet a whole Kingdom, cannot be de∣prived Page  32 of the right of self defence, unless by Gods Sentence on their notorious forfeiture of Life.

§ 5. The Kings Interest is chief in Majority, in genere cause efficientis. And the Kingdoms chief in Meliority, in genere causae finalis, it is false that the King who is singulis major, is Univer∣sis Minor in Authority or Jure regendi: But it is true that the King tho singulis melior (melioritate Relativd) is not universis me∣lior) for finaliter, the King was made for the Kingdom, rather than the Kingdom for the King: And yet both King and King∣dom are made by God and for God; that is, for his Will or Plea∣sure and his Glory and Honour: And as it is the Honour of Gods Soveraignty, Wisdom and Justice that is glorified in the Magistracy, so even the honour of Magistracy is part of the final meliority: As Gods Love glorified in the common good, is another part of it: And so God is the Beginning and the End, and All in All. And this is the Rulers Interest.

§ 6. The People have no Jus regendi, Governing Authority to use themselves, or to give to others: So false is the Principle of Mr. Hooker and Laud, and many others, that make them the Fountain of Power. They have the Power called strength (in which a Horse excelleth a Man) but not Authority. If any Nation be Democratical it is not because men are born with any right to Political Government, but only to Private Self∣government. But because Contract hath so ordered the Form of Government. And indeed tho a City may be Democratically Governed, I know not how any great Nation can possibly be so: So that I think there is scarce any true Democracy in the World.

For to chuse Governours is not to Govern: And those that by the People are chosen are an Aristocracy. Rome was not all the Roman Empire: What right then had the Populus Romanus to Govern the Empire? This was not like Democracy, where the Majority of the whole body Governs.

The same I may say of Venice as they Govern all that are un∣der them. It is truely an Aristocracy.

§ 7. Mankind is by dullness and sloth, so far drowned in Ig∣norance, that the great concerns of Souls, Bodies and Kingdoms are disordered and almost hopelesly confounded by the igno∣rance of those that will be the Rulers of them. I. Soul matters and Church matters are ravelled by Ignorant Proud Self-con∣ceited Page  33 Priests, and have been so above 1300 years: The things of Religion being mysterious, and Students Dull and Impatient of hard Study.

II. The Diseases and concerns of the Body are so abstruse, that if among one thousand that practise Physick there be ten that do not kill any of their Patients, they escape well that e∣scape their Hands: All the Neighbours about us hurt us not, be∣cause we trust them not: But Physicions kill far more than Enemies.

III. And I would it were not so with Politicians, who will be the determiners of the affairs of Kingdoms and Churches: where an error may be pernicious to the Society and Nation. The best Politician that ever I knew was wont to lament, that Law∣yers and Divines usually studied what the Law of the Land saith, and what Gods Law saith, and never well studied what a Law in genere is, what Government and the several Causes of it are, and being Ignorant in Political Doctrine, understand not the words or things that they talk of: And all through uncapableness and sloth.

§ 8. How commonly do such dispute the foresaid case, whe∣ther the Prince or People be the chief, without distinguishing Majority and Meliority? How oft do they speak of their diffe∣rent Right, without distinguishing, separate or distinct from opposite? How oft do they falsly tell us that the People are the Fountain of Power? And how oft do they tell us that Go∣vernment (Monarchical or Aristocratical) are a meer Trust, and Rulers only the Peoples Trustees, without distinguishing what is of God in it, and what is of man, and what trust God com∣mitteth to them, and what men commit? And what power people have by Nature, and what by Contract.

§ 9. I have oft proved that Political Government of Socie∣ties, is so far different from Self-government, that it is not the contribution of the Self-governing power of individuals given up to one, that maketh political power. It's fully proved,

1. In that God is the prime Soveraign, from whom all Power is given. There is no Power but of God. 2. And God hath gone before man, and hath instituted Government himself, by the Law of Nature and of Scripture, and hath not staid for man to do it? How can man be the Fountain of that which God hath instituted before him? He hath not left man to his own Page  34 choice whether he will have Government or not; but hath pre∣vented him by the obligations of Necessity and Command. 3. And God hath made Universal Political Laws, for Societies and Legislation is the first part of Government. 4. And he maketh Rulers as his Ministers and instituteth their Office in specie to be for the promoting of obedience to his own Law and for his Glory and the common good: So that it is of Gods in∣stitution I. That there be humane Governors as Gods Officers. II. That finally they be for his Glory, and the common welfare. III. And that materially they take God's Laws for the prime Laws of their Government: As that they punish sins against the Ten Commandments, according to their weight: And thus far they are God's Trustees. And if the People forbid any of this, it is but Nullity and Rebellion against God.

But the People are Proprietors, and may limit the Ruler in the dispose of their Propriety: And they have the choice of the Per∣son, or Line, and Family that shall rule them; who it shall be, and whether One, or Many, or How many: For these and other cir∣cumstances God hath not previously determined, (save that his Providence making some one by Conquest or strength to be only able to rule and protect them, imposeth on them a necessity of consenting to that One.) And in these things the Ruler is the Trustee of the People, but not in the former; so that in the prime essential parts of power the People are but the Objects, and the King is to them (in different degrees) the Tru∣stee of God for the People, as the Shepherd is his Masters Trustee for the Sheep, and not the Trustee of the Sheep.

The same I say of true Pastors of the Churches: God hath specified their Office, tho' the People may circumstantiate it.

§ 10. Princes having the Power of Legislation even about the undetermined circumstances of Religion, as well as things secular, and also to enforce Obedience to God's Laws, all Subjects are bound to obey them herein; yea tho' they so far mistake as to chuse the circumstances that might have been better chosen, if they command not sin: For who doth any thing so well but it might have been done better? For instance, should they chuse a tolerable, but less perfect Version and Meeter of Psalms, or Translation of Scripture, or form of Publick Worship, or Time, Place, Utensils, Ministers, &c. Concord in those otherwise not the best, may be better and a greater duty, than for better to be Page  35 singular, disobedient and dividers, or the encouragers of other mens singularity and divisions.

§ 11. If there were no Law or Mandate of the Prince for such concord as aforesaid; yet because a National Church should have the comfort, beauty and strength of as much concord as can be attained without greater hurt than it will compensate; all the Members of it ought to study the maintenance of such unity, concord and harmony; and if the Pastors and Churches agree on any such lawful circumstances, to comply and conform to such agreement; and to shun affected causless singularity. In such ca∣ses Augustine rightly resolved to do as the Church did where he came: It being a disturbing discord, for one man to be odd against a lawful Custom without cause. As for instance, if one would affect to be covered with his Hat at Prayer or Psalmody when the rest are uncovered; or to use a gesture contrary to all the rest. Conformity in things lawful, beseemeth them that pro∣fess themselves Members of such National Churches as consist of United Confederate Congregations.

§ 12. But if on pretence of Concord or Confederacy, yea or Laws, any would tyrannically impose sinful things, or else make things lawful so much more necessary than in themselves they are, as to become the necessary Conditions of Union or Commu∣nion, excommunicating, persecuting, or unchurching all that dif∣fer from them, and appropriating National Church Membership only to those that obey such ensnaring Canons or Agreements; It is not lawful to own or countenance such Usurpation and Ty∣ranny, nor to deny those that they deny or condemn, to be true parts of the National Church: It being only Concord in things essential that is necessary to the Essence, and Concord in parts integral that is necessary to Integrity, and Concord in convenient Accidents that is necessary to the accidental Comeliness of the Church. And contrarily, Concord against Essentials nullifieth a Church, and Discord against Essentials nullifieth a Member; and want of Integrals rendereth it maimed; and want of due Ac∣cidents uncomely; and ill Accidents (in Concord or Discord,) partly scabbed and less beautiful.

§ 13. I earnestly entreat therefore all sober Christians to take heed lest the secret desire of seeming more pious or tender con∣scienced than other godly people, and of getting applause for such tenderness, and of being reputed stricter than others, should tempt Page  36 them into opinions or practices of unnecessary distance, singula∣rity and division. Pride is a deep rooted sin in Nature; and it maketh our reputation with the stricter people, oft to become a selfish Interest, as strong as riches and wordly preferments are with the looser sort of men: And it maketh it to such as hard to undergo the sharp censures of the censorious, and to bear the imputation of want of Piety and Conscience, as to undergo im∣prisonment and want. And hereby, young ignorant Apprentice Lads and Women, being usually the most censorious, such be∣come the real Governours of their Pastors, and of the Church; especially if Persecution also cast them for a livelihood on the Peoples Charity: And so it seemeth to make it the Controversie, whether the Churches and Pastors should be governed by Bi∣shops, or by censorious Women and Boys. Satan hath more Baits to angle with than one; and more than one way of deceiving. Those that are above the sordid bait of riches or preferment, or great mens favour, may yet be overcome by the over-valuing the love and praise of a Sect, or of mistaken religious persons; especially in a time when the Clergy is grown infamous and contemptible by ignorance, worldliness, or malignity, and it is become a disgrace to be numbred with them.

§ 14. But Satan hath taught no small part of our Academick Students and our Clergy, a way to frustrate all that I have said, by accusations against my self, as if it were sufficient to turn all into scorn, if they could charge any sin on my person, or by impudent falshoods either feign me to contradict my self, or if they do the work of the Father of Lies by his proper act and imitation. On one side I am daily reviled by the Separatists and Antinomians, as over-conformable. On the other side I am reviled for Non-conformity, and told, that my practice is contrary to all that I write and preach for Peace: And it is answer enough for them to calumniate, and say that I con∣demn my self, as if this did justifie, both extreams in their im∣penitent persevering in enmity to Peace.

§ 15. To Mr. Long therefore, and such other Calumniators, who instead of a rational Confutation of my Arguments, answer by accusing me as of a contradicting unpeaceable life. I say,

1. One would think with men that have any pretence to rea∣son, honesty or honour, it should be easie to know that when the Controversie is, about Church-Government, Oaths, Sub∣scriptions, Page  37 Ministration, what I am is nothing to the Question in hand. If they take me for as errant a Knave or Rogue as Judge Jeffreys or Mr. Long have pronounced me, what's this to the common Cause of Truth and Peace?

2. If my forty five years labour for Peace, my forbearing these thirty years to gather any Church, my Communion with my Parish-Church in Liturgy and Sacrament (kneeling at the Altar) all my Writings against Schism and Separation, and for the reconciling of Word-warriours, my quiet submission to their oft imprisoning me, and seizing on, and selling all my goods, Bed and Books, as for Preaching when I was twenty miles off, and for such occasional Sermons as the Lord Chief Justice San∣ders, and the new Lord Chief Justice Polixfen gave not under their hands that I was authorized to Preach, by the Bishops License not revoked nor forfeit, and all this by Sir James Smith, and Sir James Butlers Warrants, who neither of them ever told me who accused me, nor ever called me to speak for my self; If the like Warrant before by Sir Thomas Davis; If my Imprisonment before by Justice Rosse and Philips; If my being tost from Session to Session, and bound in six hundred pound to the behaviour by Justices that openly declared they had nothing against me, but took me for innocent; If my Ba∣nishment out of the County, and five miles from all Corpo∣rations; If my attendance at Judge Jeffreys Bar in daily pain, to hear my self reviled, being forbidden to speak a word for my self, and the Lawyers reviled and threatned that spake for me; If my Confinement in the Kings Bench Prison for near two years, and a great deal more such usage, after they had in 1661. offered me a Bishoprick, and sworn me to be the King's Chap∣lain in Ordinary: And after Bishop Morley had silenced me, and published a Letter of palpable falshoods against me, which I answered, and for peace laid it by these 28 years; I say, if all this prove me unpeaceable, and them peaceable; and if my Con∣cessions in my English Non-Conformity do the same in the Judgment of these Accusers, The Lord be Judge.

Page  38

Chap. IX. That Christ hath Instituted no true Ecclesiastical Go∣vernment in Man, of any larger extent than National, much less Universal; nor of Foreign Jurisdiction: And that the French pretended Aristocracy, with the Popes Primacy and Patriarchate, is as bad or worse than Papal Monarchy.

§ 1. POpery and Clergy Usurpation which have corrupted, and broken and confounded the Christian Churches, on pre∣tence of Government, Unity and Order, have risen out of the Ruines of Christian Magistracy: The true Unifying Heads of Christian Kingdoms and National Churches, being deposed by the Pope and Clergy, their Power hath faln into the hands of the deposers.

§ 2. The means by which this was accomplished were these.

1. When there was no Christian Magistracy, the Christians by voluntary consent, to avoid Pagan Tribunals, made their Bishops their chosen Arbitrators to decide their differences. And Con∣stantine finding them in possession of it, and having no Lay-men so wise, and good, and meet, continued them in it; yet without the Power of the Sword.

2. The pious Christians were desirous that their own freely chosen Pastors should rule them, having no others so fit.

3. The Princes were so taken up with Wars, and secular things, that they had no leisure to mind it.

4. Princes and Rulers grew so ignorant, wicked and debaucht, that themselves and all others almost thought them unmeet for such holy work. They neglected the study of the Word of God, which should have made them wise.

5. The Clergy not only took the advantage of the ignorance and viciousness of Princes, but cherished them herein, and told them Scripture and holy work, were for the Priests and not for Princes.

6. They debased and prophaned the Order of Magistrates, falsly pretending, that their Office was but for the Body, &c. for worldly Peace, and the Office of Priests only was for the Soul.

7. They by degrees turned the Communion and Concord of se∣veral Foreign Churches and Nations, into one Government over all.

Page  39 8. When the Roman Empire was broken into many King∣doms, the National pretence of the Pope or Councils could reach but to some one of them; and so the Pope slightly pre∣tended to all, and turned the Imperial Universality, into a Ter∣restrial Universality, and the Roman World into the whole World, or else they had fallen.

9. In all this they took the advantage of the Ignorance of Princes and Lords.

10. And of the Wars and Enmity against each other strik∣ing in with the side that was likest to advance them.

§ 2. To this day Popery is upheld by the same means by which it was set up; especially by the Ignorance, Ungodliness, and Slothfulness of Kings and Lords: Did they exceed the Clergy as much as Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Jehosaphat, Hezekiah, Josiah, Nehemiah, Zorobbabel, did the Priests, and as much as the Heathen Emperors, Titus, Trajan, Adrian, Anto∣ninus Pius, Antoninus Philosophus, Alexander Severus, &c. did their Priests, they would be honoured above the Priests as they were: The Emperors then were thought fit to be Pontifices Maximi; and as in the times of the Ancient Family-power, an Abraham, an Isaac, and a Jacob, and a Job, and a Melchizedeck, were thought fit to have the highest Government in matters of Religion, so would it be still. And a Samuel would be Pro∣phet, and King. But as God will honour those that honour him, so those that despise him shall be lightly esteemed.

§ 3. The true way therefore to put down Popery, is for the Prince and Magistrates to claim their proper Power (yet not to usurp the Priesthood) and to study, love, and practise the Law of God, and take their Power and Laws to be only and meerly subservient to the Power and Laws of God: And to strive to understand these so clearly, as to be able to judge sound Preachers from unsound, and to know whom to coun∣tenance, whom to tolerate, and whom to suppress. It is Kings that have set up Popes, by putting down themselves, and Popes have set in to pull them down, to set up themselves: And it is Kings that must pull down Popes by reassuming their own Power and Work; and that must be by becoming fit for it.

§ 4. That Prince who granteth that his Office is but for the Body, and for Secular Ends, and the Priests only for the Soul, inviteth all his Subjects to honour every Priest before him, and Page  40 to account him base as worldly things are to be accounted as dung in comparison of the things of the Spirit and Eternity: Yea every good Christian who is commanded to exhort each other daily, and to comfort one another with the remembrance that we shall be for ever with the Lord, would be far more ho∣nourable than a King; as the Soul is above the Body, and Hea∣ven better than Earth.

§ 5. He is not worthy of Parental Honour from his Chil∣dren, that careth only for their Bodies, and seeketh not to make them the Children of God, and the Heirs of Heaven, and to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord: And if Princes be below the work of Parents, they are below their Honour: And if they will not be included in the work of the Fifth Commandment, how can men give them the honour of that Commandment.

§ 6. They that will have a Universal Prelate or Council to Govern the matters of Religion through all the World because of the unskilfulness of Kings and Magistrates should in reason, also be willing on the same Grounds to have an Universal King or Parliament to Govern all Kings, because some are Ignorant or Slothful; or an Universal Physicion, Philosopher or School∣master.

§ 7. God hath given the World often such Counsellors and such Judges, as have been fit to judge in matters of Religion, and to Judge Bishops and Preachers: Why else do our Laws subject them to Kings and Judges? Had all Lands but such Judges as through Gods Mercy England hath now, or such as were Sir Matthew Hale, and divers others in our Age, and such Counsellors as Queen Elizabeth had for the most part, or such Lawyers as France it self hath had, and the Palatinate, and Hol∣land, it would convince the World that Laymen may be fit to judge the Clergy, even in matters of Religion. And why may not Princes attain as much wisdom and honesty as their Coun∣sellors and Judges? The Christian Nations have been more be∣holden to a Constantine, Jovian, Valentinian, Theodosius Senior, Theo∣dosius Junior, Marcian, Leo, Anastasius, and many other such; and Spain to Recaredus, and divers of his Successors, and France to Carolus Mag. Ludov. Pius (save their compliance with the Pope) than to any Bishops or Councils, even for Reformation, against Heresies and Clergies Sins.

Page  41

Chap. X. Whether an Universal Church-Government be of Aposto∣lick Succession in the continued parts of their Office?

§ 1. THough those that take it for mutability and back∣sliding to change their Judgments after that the School, or their Leaders or Interest hath once fixed them, do censure me for changing and repenting, that temptation shall not pre∣vail with me, to deny Learning and Repenting, till I know at what Age we must fix our ne ultra, or who be the Teachers that we must believe as infallible, while we dispute against Hu∣mane as well as Papal Infallibility.

§ 2. I therefore penitently confess that I was long aversly suspicious of National Churches, and National Church-Gover∣vernours, because I could not see how those that held these could confute Popery: For I thought that by the same reason that Presbyters must have Bishops over them, and Bishops, Arch-Bishops, and they Metropolitans or Patriarchs; these also must have some body over them, to Ordain them, and to Govern them. And because I denied the latter, I denied also the for∣mer, and thought Episcopacy would infer Popery.

§ 3. And lest any should fall by the like temptation, and Papists should plead my Principles as for them, or should infer that if National Churches and Prelacy be Jure Divino, Univer∣sal Church Soveraignty is so also, I shall here tell those that may have the like temptations, how I escaped this: And I will add the rest of the difficulties that ever seemed to me to be of considerable weight to tempt an impartial man to Popery, and tell the less studied how to answer them better than the most can do.

§ 4. I have long known that Popery doth not essentially consist in the other Errours about Doctrine or Worship, as Images, praying to Saints and Angels, Masses, Relicts, Merits, Justification, Free-will, Purgatory, Transubstantiation, &c. If a Greek, or Armenian, or Abassine, hold these and no more, he is not therefore a Papist. You may call them Integral parts of Popery if you will, but not essential. The Essence is only the Opinion of Universal Humane Church Soveraignty, and a Church Universal Unified and formally Constituted thereby.

Page  42 § 5. This is considerable, 1. Quoad Rationem Rei; 2. And quoad Rationem Nominis.

1. As to the Thing, it is such a Soveraignty feigned, whether in a Monarchy, Aristocracy, or any mixt or other Form, as be∣ing an Usurpation of Christ's Office, and making a Vice-Christ, which is an Antichrist.

2. As to the Name, it is called Popery from them that place this Soveraignty in the Roman Pope (though it would be the same thing, if they placed it in the Bishop of Constantinople.)

§ 6. Of these there are three sorts of Papists: 1. Some place it in the Pope alone: 2. Some in the Pope and a Ge∣neral Council or Clergy agreeing: 3. And some in a General Council, the Pope being only Principium Unitatis, as having the primam sedem, priviledged ordinarily to call them, and moderate. And in the Intervals of such Councils, in an Aristocratical Colledge of all the Bishops in the World, governing per literas formatas: This last as most irrational I have at large confuted: It is the other two that deserve further confutation.

§ 7. And seeing it is the summa Potestas, or Soveraignty that is the unifying and denominating Form of a Political Society, it clearly followeth that those that now go under the name of Papists or Roman Catholicks, are indeed of three distinct sort of Churches, and not as they pretend of One. But names not understood delude the ignorant, saying it is but One Church, maketh it not One.

§ 8. They uncharitably and very hurtfully mistake, 1. Who say that Popery essentially began when God and Constantine ex∣alted the Bishops, and Pride in many abused that mercy. 2. And they that say it essentially began when Image-worship began. 3. And they that date it from the assumed Name of Universal Bishop, or Head of the Universal Church (which Leo I. assumed and Phocas gave Boniface) as long as they meant not the Uni∣versal Church on all the Earth, but only the Universal in the Em∣pire, which was long meant.

§ 9. Now among all temptations to Popery, I never found any of difficult weight but these.

I. The Apostolical Office continueth in its ordinary continued Part and Work. But Universal Church Government is an or∣dinary continued Part and Work of the Apostolick Office. Ergo Universal Church-Government (continueth) (that is, de jure divino.)

Page  43 II. The Superiority of one National Church Government is Jure Divino. Ergo, so is the Superiority of an Universal Church Government.

III. The Roman Policy seemeth greatly advantageous for the Preservation, Honour and Propagation of Christianity in the World, and hath much upheld it.

IV. The scandalous divisions of the Reformed and other Churches, are so dishonourable and weakening, and dangerous to Christianity, as seemeth to make the Roman Policy and Uni∣ty necessary.

V. The Errors of the Protestants in their Opposition to Po∣pery, are so many and gross, and their unjust accusations of the Papists so palpable, especially their Exposition of the Revelati∣on so Partial, Erroneous and Hostile as seemeth much to make their Cause more suspected than the Papists.

§ 10. These Reasons which prevailed with such great Men as Erasmus, Cassander, Grotius, and many others, need a more ac∣curate answer than most Protestants are prepared to give, which we should find were the Papists by Liberty of Religion let loose to open Disputes among us: I have tryed some Judicious Mini∣sters with the first of these, and have had but such answers as are defective and insufficient.

§ 11. The Answer which satisfieth me is this.

We must distinguish, 1. The Apostles Power as Promulga∣tors of Christs Law, and a Legislative Power to make Laws of their own.

2. Between a Legislative and a Judicial and Executive Power.

3. Between an Universal and an Indefinite Power and Exercise.

4. Between a Power to be used personally, disjunct, each one his part in his own Province, and a Power in many conjunct making one Political Person or Supreme, as in an Aristocracy.

5. Between proper Regiment, where Authorit as Imperantis is the formal Object of the Subjects Obedience; and Contract or Consent for Brotherly Agreement and Communion. And so between a Confederacy and a Political Society; and between Inequality in Teachers and Perswaders, and Inequality in Com∣manders.

§ 12. This much presupposed, we must enquire what the A∣postles Power was, that we may know how much of it is conti∣nued as ordinary.

Page  44 And, I. Names used by Christ and the Holy Ghost, were not useless to the notifying of the things signified by them. And Apostolus signified much more than Episcopus. To be an Apostle was by Christs own Mouth, or special Revelation from Hea∣ven, to be one sent Indefinitely to be his special Witness and Messenger to publish his Gospel to Infidels, and work Miracles to confirm it, and gather Churches hereby. But a Bishop as such had not this Mission and Power.

§ 13. II. The Apostles Power to speak of Christ, his words and works as Eye and Ear-witnesses, is not continued to Suc∣cessors; no more than the confirming Power of Miracles.

§ 14. III. The number of Twelve and Seventy two were a National Form fitted to the Jewish State, and not an Univer∣sal: And this National Form went before that part of the A∣postles Work and Power, which was to be Universal or Inde∣finite.

§ 15. IV. The Apostles made no Universal Laws of their own, but only promulgated the Laws of Christ; which by his Word and Spirit he taught them: And to that end, he promi∣sed and gave them his Spirit to lead them into all Truth, and bring all to their remembrance; and they were sent to all Na∣tions (indefinitely) to Convert them and Baptize them, and to teach them to observe all things that Christ had commanded them.

The Cryer is not the Law-maker, though he proclaim the Law.

The Obligations to Infant-baptism and the Lords day, alledg∣ed by some as Apostolical Laws, are from Christ himself (as I have proved elsewhere at large) the Apostles being Autho∣rized Witnesses and Promulgators. And had they done it by the extraordinary promised Spirit, it had so been Christs own Law-giving; no other having that promise of the Spirit to make a new Word of God, or Universal Law, by bringing all his Commands to remembrance, and leading them into all Truth.

The determinations, Acts 15. were also the delivery of the Law of Christ, the Holy Ghost giving them the certain under∣standing of it: And it's like that as two of the four Cases (For∣nication and Idol-Communion) were of known Morality, so the other two (strangled and Blood-eating) if not so, were not of Universal Obligation; but only to those Gentiles that lived among the offended Jews.

Page  45 The like may be said about the Institution of Deacons, and Bishops of single Churches: If they did not Institute them as in Christs Name, by his Command or Spirit, but had Authority from him to do it as Apostles. It was under the promise of the Spirits Infallible Guidance, and a Temporary Work, in which they have no Successors: For Christs Church would never be formed, nor his Laws and Word setled perfect, if we must have Men in all Ages, to add to his Church Ordinances and Officers, and to make him new Laws and a new Word: How big would his Bible be then at the last? Why have no new Scriptures as his been so made these 1600 years. I hope our Volumes of Councils will not go for such.

§ 16. V. The occasional determination of Questions about mu∣table Circumstances (as long Hair, the Vails, the Love-feasts, the time of Collections for Charity, and divers such were not Universal but Local, and not of Immutable but occasional Mu∣table Obligation; and were but such as National and Congre∣gational Governors may determine, without any Universal Su∣preme Power. The Genus or Rule by which they must be de∣termined (Edification, Love, Concord, Peace, Decency, Or∣der,) being Gods Laws.

§ 17. VI. There is great difference between what the A∣postles did as Segregate or Dis-junct each one in his Province, and what they did as an Aristocratical Person or College unitedly. They Ordained Elders, gave the Holy Ghost, setled Churches, decided Controversies, wrote Books and Epistles, singly each one in his Province, and met not to write any one Book or E∣pistle by a Major College-Vote in one Body. And though their Books now oblige all the Church that have them, yet, 1. At the first writing they obliged only the Churches or Persons to whom they were written, and only after by parity of Reason bind others that have them. And every ordinary Pastor that writeth a Book that is sound Divinity, bringeth an Obligation on all that read it, to obey it according to the Evidence of truth. The Obligation of the Apostles Books and theirs, is Extensive∣ly, Indefinite or Universal to all that read or hear it: But the Degree of the Obligation Intensively is greater from the Apostles Writings, because of their extraordinary Spirit.

§ 18. VII. The decision, Acts 15. was not by a General Council nor a Pope; No such Council was called: But they Page  46 were sent and appealed to, as Men of most infallible fitness to decide that Case; and if they did it as a College, it was only as a National Church College, such as de formâ the Jews Nation had, in which relation they were first setled: For as Twelve they were only so related; others being added to be sent with them to the Centiles. And besides and after that, we never read that they did any thing but in their separate Provinces and Personal Capacity.

§ 10 VIII. And as they never did as an Universal Aristo∣cratical College, by Vote make new Universal Laws to the Church, much less by any ordinary continued Power, so nei∣ther did they as such a College, exercise Judicial or Executive power, but did it in their single Capacities only in their proper Provinces; and that was partly by an ordinary power (of Re∣proof and Excommunication) which continueth; and partly by an extraordinary miraculous power, of delivering to Satan for Corporal punishment, which power is ceased with them (Tho' Papists in a mock-imitation, deliver the Excommunicate to the Secular powers, to be kill'd, as if these were Devils.) As for the Universal Laws that tell whom to Excommunicate, they are Christs own Laws, and Rules of Judgment: To which if men may add the like, no wonder if they make Sin and Here∣sie as they please, and Excommunicate and deliver to Satan (their Magistrates) whom they will; and if he that was an Orthodox Saint this year, be burnt (without change) as an Heretick the next; and it be never certain till the end of the World, what is Heresie or Sin, and what not.

§ 20. IX. It being certain then that the Apostles did not, as an Aristocratical Supreme power over the Universal Church, Exercise Legislation, Judgment and Execution, much less by any ordinary continued power, it followeth that they have no Suc∣cessors that have such power; and all Government being contain∣ed in these three parts, there is de Jure no Universal Governour.

§ 21. X. The power of Moses and Aaron were of equal ex∣tent, and both of Divine Institution; but Aaron was under Mo∣ses Government: And Christ gave the Twelve and Seventy at first no larger Provinces or Power: And when he added more and sent them to the Gentiles, he commanded every Soul to be subject to the Princes power as of God: Therefore their power in the Empire was limited and subject to the Imperial Govern∣ment, Page  47 and so in other Lands: They were bound to fear God and Honour the King. They might by Doctoral and Nunciative Au∣thority perswade Emperors, and deliver Gods Commands, and so still may any ordinary Teacher, but not by Imperant, Judici∣al and Executive power Govern them, unless by self-subjecting they make them their Governors as Pupils do their Tutors and Patients their Physicions. Yea they could make no Man a Christian but by Persuasion to voluntary consent; and till they were Christians, they could not Govern them as Christians: And they were not Governors of the World but Monitors, and Persuaders.

§ 22. XI. Indefinite (and were it possible Universal) Con∣cord, Love and Communion; All Christians must endeavour; which Ministers do with greater Obligation and Advantage than the People, and Apostles above both.

And Kings and States are as much obliged to it as Bishops: But they are not on that pretence to make one Universal King or Senate, to be a Soveraign Power to them and all the Earth or Church: But only by Diets or Confederacies to join their Powers and Endeavours to so good an End: And so is it with Bishops and Churches.

§ 23. If they say, That it is Union and Concord with the Pope or Rome, or their Councils that we are bound to, let them but renounce their pretence to Government of all, and we shall ea∣sily decide the other difference: If we must not Unite to them as Governors, but as Brethren, they are as much bound to Love and Union with us, as we with them. And Christ is sufficient to be the Center of Union to the whole Body, and hath made them the sufficient and only Laws of Universal Concord among themselves.

§ 24.

Obj. To be obliged by Gods Law to Concord, and to have Councils and Bishops determine in what we must a∣gree, inferreth our Duty to agree in those Points which com∣eth to all one as Government by them.

Ans. 1. If they be not Governors but Equals, we have as much power to propose Articles of Agreement to them, as they to us.

2. There are no Articles of Universal Agreement in all the Churches on Earth, necessary, but what Christ hath made such. And to pretend to make such, and Usurp his Prerogative, is a sin that we must not agree with.

Page  48 3. The vanity of their talk of true Universal Councils I have oft at large detected.

4. We grant submission to the true power of National Gover∣nors and Councils, but Universal we know not.

5. Just National Laws must be obeyed: But Conciliar Ca∣nons of Concord by Equals, bind us not to Agreement, when mistake maketh them against the common Good and Ends of Concord. Nor do Mens Laws or Agreements bind us to any thing against the Laws of God.

§ 25. XII. We all own an Universal Church Government, Partite, or Exercised by parts, as all the Physicions Medicate all England, and all the School-masters teach them, and all the Judges and Justices judge them: And so Cyprian meant that Episcopatus unus est, of which each one hath a part: That is, 1. In specie institutâ. 2. Quoad Objectum, All the particular Churches governed make one Universal Church. 3. Quoad Finem. But no Man, nor any Senate or College, or Council, as una persona politica, is Soveraign. We have no Universal King but Christ.

Chap. XI. Whether a National Church Soveraignty infer the need or lawfulness of a Humane Universal Church Soveraignty.

§ 1. Ans. NO: For, 1. Man is capable of one, but unca∣pable of the other.

2. Christ hath given Commission for one, but not for the other.

3. Every Kingdom hath one Humane Soveraignty in Sword Government: But so hath not all the World one. And there is less reason for, and less possibility of one Humane Governing Soveraignty by the Word and Keys.

4. God set one Moses, and one Aaron or Priesthood over Is∣rael; but not over all the World. If Adam or Noah was such while the World was but a Family, or Tribe, he would not have it so when it was uncapable of it.

5. The Summons and Subscriptions, and the Limits of the Imperial Power tell us that the most General Councils were but Imperial, that is, National in Extent (as I have proved against Johnson.) And therefore no more can be claimed since.

Page  49 § 2. Obj. But if a Presbyter must be Ordained by a Bishop as Superior, and a Bishop by an Archbishop, and he by a Patriarch, what Superior shall make him but a Pope or Council?

Ans. 1. You may next ask, Who then must Make or Con∣secrate a Pope? Is it a Superior? Contrarily, If a Pope may be made by Inferiors (as they do) a Patriarch, a Metropolitan, an Archbishop and a Bishop may quoad esse be validly made by Men of the same Order. Yea and Presbyters too where Poli∣tick Order and Church safety forbid it not.

§ 3. It is so far from being true (as I once foolishly thought) that National Church Supremacy inferreth Popery, that it is a necessary or very great means against it, without which (though particular Souls may be saved from Popery) a Nation cannot long, nor ever was that I have read of. For Popery is but the Invading of the power of all other Bishops and Kings: And for each one to reassume his own power, is the direct Deposing of the Pope. As if one King or Senate claimed the Government of all Kings and Senates, how should these Usurpers be Depo∣sed but by every King and Parliaments reassuming their own?

§ 4. But then every party that differeth in the Form of Na∣tional Government, must not pretend that it is only their Form, that is the Bulwark against Popery. National Church Concord and Strength may be kept up by a Supreme Christian Prince or State with a Concordant Ministry, whether among themselves United as the Scots in General Assemblies, or as in England by Archbishops, Bishops and Convocations, obeying the Laws of Christ, and the just Laws of the King and State that are made for determining needful Circumstances; supposing such Bishops qualified and chosen justly, and usurping none of the Sword∣bearers power.

§ 5. That National Laws about matters of Religion may and must be made, and that Princes consulting with Pastors must make them, and that these are not to extend to all the World, is a truth unquestionable.

In England the Law must command us to use English Bibles, but not all over the World. It is meet to bind the Churches to use one Translation of the Scriptures. Else one will say, Your Text or what you alledge is not in my Bible, and another, It is not in mine. And many inconveniences would follow. And one Form of Catechism, one Form of Confession, one Metre of Page  50 singing Psalms, and about the Sacraments and other Offices one Form moderately imposed or agreed on is convenient. But if one part will too rigorously impose things needless, or com∣mand things sinful, or justly suspected; or the other side refuse things lawful and fit because imposed, National Concord will be broken.

Chap. XII. The Three other Reasons for Popery answered briefly.

Quest. III. SHould not the Roman Church Policy in reason be own∣ed for the advantage of Christianity against Infi∣dels?

Ans. 1. We deny not but Unity, Concord, Power and Riches, and the great number of Adherents, is a great advantage to Christianity against Infidels: And all these are Gods Gifts, and as such do good.

2. But the abuse of them though it do not quite frustrate the genuine Effects, yet so depraveth them, that it's a doubt whe∣ther the hurt to the common Christianity be not greater than the advantage. If Unity were maintained in Christs way it would have far better Effects than in the Papists way.

3. Yet we deny not but the Providence of God hath made use of the Roman Power, Numbers, Concord and Riches, to uphold the common Cause. But all is not Good that God over∣ruleth and useth to good, permitting Man to cause the Evil. As a Man may use the Cruelty without causing it, of a Hound, a Ferret, or a Hawk, against the Prey, to fulfil his just will.

Had National Kingdom Churches been kept up under true Christian Kings and Pastors, and these Kings and Pastors in Dyets and Councils, kept due Confederacies by Consultation and Contract without mutual Jurisdiction, the common Cause had been better promoted than it hath been by Popery, that hath shamed it and weakened it by Persecutions, Divisions, Treasons and Wars.

Quest. IV. Whether the Divisions of other Christians render the Roman Government desireable for Concord?

Page  51Ans. 1. There are more that Unite in Mahometanism, and far more in Paganism, than all the Christians in the World. And Satan knoweth how to advantage his Kingdom by Concord, as well as to weaken Christs Kingdom by Division.

2. The Bishops have made the greatest Schisms and Division in the Church that ever was made, by sinful Usurpation and Corruption, and Impositions, and Persecutions, Unchurching the far greatest part of Christians, and appropriating the Church Title to his own Sect alone. All the Bloody Murders of the Waldenses, Bohemians, and other Protestants, the Inquisition, the present Wars that France hath involved Europe in, are on pretence of Unity: We like not the Unity that Satan main∣taineth, and that at such a rate of Blood.

3. But I have before and elsewhere proved that the Protestants for all their Divisions have a far better Unity than the Papal Church hath, so that this Question is elsewhere and here suffici∣ently answered.

Quest. V. Whether the Errors of the Protestants do not so dispa∣rage them as to make the Roman Church more Honourable?

Ans. 1. That is, should not Men chuse a Leprosie to cure an Itch? We deny not but where Controversies shew our Diffe∣rences among our selves, one Party must needs be in an Error, either de re, or de nomine. But we agree in all that's necessary to Salvation and Brotherly Love: And Pride, and Envy, and Malignity, are more the Causes of our Disagreement than our Religion. Especially unskilfulness in Words and stating Cases. I have endeavoured to shew in many Books (especially my End of Doctrinal Controversies, my Catholick Theology and Methodus Theologiae) that our Differences are most in Words whose sence is not mutually understood.

How many Loads of Controversal Volumes are written by Papists against each other? And what heavy Charges of Simo∣ny, Filthiness, Heresie, &c. have even General Councils and Historians laid on the Popes and many Councils? And note, that the Pope or Council is the Essentiating Form of the Papal Church as such; and therefore an Unholy or Debauch'd, or He∣retick Head, proveth that the Church is Unholy or Heretical: Because the Form denominateth; and is Essential. But it is Page  52 not so with the Protestants, that own no Universal Head but Christ, who is Infallible and perfect.

This much I thought needful to add against them, that pre∣tend an Institution of Christ, for a Political Universal Head, and a Foreign Jurisdiction; above a National Church or Chri∣stian Kingdom.

He that would compare Papists Errors with Protestants, let him read Chamier, Blondel de Ecclesia, Molinaeus of the No∣velty of Popery, Rivet, Downame de Antichristo, Jewel, Whi∣taker, and other such.

§ 7. How few Bishops or Church Doctors are for Learning * equal to Boetius, Joh. Picus, Francis. Picus, Erasmus, Hutten, Goldastus, Freherus, Pistorius, Faber, Stephanus, (Father and Son,) Mornay, Lord Du Plessis, Mich. Hospitalius, Thuanus, the two Scaliger's, Salmasius, Grotius, Sarravius, Justellus, and ma∣ny other Lay-men? And are Kings and Magistrates uncapable of Wisdom?

§ 8. How vast is the difference between Governing one Kingdom, and Governing all the World? Do I need to aggra∣vate it? And is not one King with Wise Judges, and Justices, as capable of Governing one Kingdom, as an Utopian College of Bishops (that some dream of,) or a Pope (and Cardinals) of Governing all the World. Can such ignorant, vicious Mon∣sters as Councils have condemned for the most odious Wicked∣ness and Heresie, better Rule at Abassia, Armenia, or the Anti∣podes, than a Good King can Rule in England?

§ 9. Councils consist of the Subjects of many Foreign Prin∣ces; and usually their Princes chuse who shall go: And they that are near the place of meeting will be the most: And none can come against their Princes wills: And few Bishops will dis∣obey their Lords that send them, or that they live under: And must such Subjects of Papists, Turks, Infidels, Heathens, be Masters of England, of King and People, and of all the Religion in the World?

§ 10. Cannot Bishops at hand here better try the Cause of one accused for Heresie, Fornication, Treason, Murder, &c. and that by virtue of a Commission from God, than a meeting of Bishops out of all the World, a Thousand Mile off can try it?

§ 11. But I shall here pass by my chief proof of this (that Page  53 God hath ordained no Humane Government (distinct from meer consultation or Concord and Communion,) above Natio∣nal, Headed by Christian Soveraignty.) Because I have ready for the Press a full Treatise of it, in Two Books. The first prov∣ing Historically by their own words, that Archbishop Land, Archbishop Bromhall, Bishop Guning, Bishop Sparrow, Bishop Sam. Parker, Dr. Pet. Heylin, Mr. Thorndike, Dr. Saywell, and divers others have written for a Foreign and Universal Jurisdi∣ction. The second Book fully disproving it, and proving that the Kingdom and Church is Sworn against it, and that the Par∣liaments and the Church of England till Laud's days were against it: And that this very Parliament and Convention having taken a new Oath against it besides the old Oaths of Supremacy, to stigmatize the Church and Nation with the foresaid Perjury, would dangerously presage the Rune of the Perjured, if not of the Land.

Chap. XIII. What are the dangerous Diseases of a National Church.

§ 1. DEath cometh on Bodies Politick, as on Natural Bo∣dies, by degrees, as Diseases weaken and break them. And while they are Diseased, they are in an unlovely troublesome condition. Gods Word, and History, and Expe∣rience hath told us, what Diseases they be that are the usual pre∣sages of Confusion or Dissolution.

§ 2. In general, All sin is to the Soul what Sickness is to the Body, and hath some tendency to destruction. And the increase and abounding of Sin, is a dangerous Prognostick: sins of Sensua∣lity, Gluttony, Drunkenness, and Fornication, when they grow common and impudent, seldom go unpunished. O how dange∣rous then is the case of England, in which the Sin of Adultery and Fornication, is commonly said to be so increased, that mul∣titudes are guilty now, for One that was ever suspected of it be∣fore the Reign of K. Charles the Second. And brutish Wretches scarce take it for a shame.

Sins of Injustice and Unmercifulness, especially Rich Mens oppression of the Poor, Landlords grinding their Poor Tenants, and Judges, Justices and Lawyers unrighteousness in Suits and Judgments, are Sins threatned by the Prophets as the fore-run∣ners of Destruction.

Page  54 § 3. But especially when Rulers are the Leaders in Sin, and the Patrons of the Wicked. The Sins of Men in publick Place are publick Sins, and sooner bring publick Judgments, than the Sins of private Men. The publick Authors of the late Calami∣tous Wars of Ireland, Scotland and England, had a deep part in the Punishment as they had in the Guilt. O what a Torrent of Guilt in the Reign of Charles the Second did from King and Court over-flow this Land, by the shameless filth of all unclean∣ness! When Men shall affectedly keep Whores as the way to please the Court by Conformity to the King, as if it were an Honour or no great Dishonour; what can be expected from such horrid wickedness, but Publick, Divine, Revenging Justice?

§ 4. When did it ever go well with Judah or Israel when they had a foolish wicked King? How easie is it for such a King and a foolish wicked Senate or Parliament to undo a Nation, by Laws of Heresie, Cruelty, Persecution, Division and Iniquity? How ordinarily do such make Snares for the Conscionable, by commanding them on pain of Fining, Imprisonment, or Death, or Banishment, to do something that God forbiddeth, or not to do what God commandeth; and then to cry them down, re∣proach and ruine them, as unruly, disobedient, despisers of all Order and Government, Schismaticks and Rebels? And who may call them so with less contradiction, than they that can at their pleasure make them seem such, and few dare contra∣dict them?

§ 5. Great is the advantage that Supreme Rulers have, to put the Name of Evil upon Good, and of Good on Evil, and to pro∣cure the Vulgar to say as they? Saving that the Innocency and Worth of the Upright (especially of Wise and Charitable Per∣sons) constraineth approbation from those that know them, and are not deplorate in Diabolism. The foolish words of Princes seem wise to ignorant flatterers. But he that will dwell in Gods Tabernacle, and be a Blessing and not a Plague to the Church, must be a Contemner of vile Persons, and an Honourer of them that fear the Lord, Psal. 15. Antishenes could say that the Nation is hopeless, that cannot difference good Men from bad.

What maketh almost all under Papist Rulers to be Papists, and under Turks to be Mahometans, and under Heathens to be Heathens, but the Interest of the Opinion, Example and Power of their Rulers?

Page  55 § 6. In England and most Nations that are Christian, the King and Rich Patrons, or the Pope and his Servants, have the choice of Archbishops, Bishops, Deans and Pastors. And can it be expected that bad Men, and covetous Men, and the ha∣ters of serious Piety, should chuse Men that will promote the Doctrine and Practice which they hate?

If the King make the Church of England, is it like if he be a Papist or Malignant, that he will chuse a Protestant and pious Church? Or that a Covetous, Drunken, Filthy, Licentious Patron will chuse a Man that will Zealously Preach against his Sins?

§ 7. But the great Cause of the Ruine of a National Church, is the Ignorance, Viciousness, Pride, Malignity, Covetousness, and Persecuting Cruelty, of a Degenerate, Carnal, Worldly Clergy.

Magistracy and Ministry are Gods great Ordinances, by which as his Instruments, and partly Representatives, he doth by an established Order, govern and keep up Order and Piety in the World. Magistrates represent him in his Super-eminence and Ruling Power: And Ministers in his Guiding and Sanctifying Wisdom and Love. And God (that will not ordinarily turn setled Order into Miracles) worketh by these, according to the aptitude of the Instruments, and the Receivers. And where there is kept up a wise and holy Magistracy and Ministry, when and where did it ever go ill with such a people, by any pub∣lick desolation?

§ 8. If Ministers be Ignorant, or unskilful in their publick Work, they will be despised. If they be Worldly and Cove∣tous the Poor will reproach them. If they be Drunkards, Gluttons, Unclean, Idle, or any way Sensual, they will be∣come the common Scorn: But if they be Enemies to serious Godliness, or Revilers, or Persecutors of Godly Men, the wick∣ed will be encouraged to be like them and hardned in their Sin; but Pious and Sober men will abhor them as the Servants of Satan, though they will not therefore cast off their Honour to the true Ministerial Office and Work.

It is not an Honourable Office, or a Reverend Garb, and Name and Title, that will hide the shame of Ignorance, Un∣godliness, Sensuality or Malignity. Their White Cloathing and Sacred Titles, which render their filthiness more visible and Page  56 odious. Bad Men will prove a greater injury to Sacred Of∣fices, than open Enemies. And it is not the Holiness of the Office, or the Goodness of Laws and Order, that will serve to Reform or make Happy a Church or Nation, in the hands of wicked Men.

§ 9. Therefore when Bishops shall be such, who Ordain and Govern the Inferior Clergy, that Church or Nation is near lost and ruined. If bad Princes chuse bad Prelates; and they Or∣dain bad Ministers, and savouring nothing but Wealth and Re∣putation, shall prove the Jealous Adversaries of Piety, and Perse∣cutors of the most serious Christians, and Encouragers of the malignant, vicious and profane, that Church and Nation is next to dead, though it have a Name to live, and be called, Ho∣nourable and Rich; how comely soever its Order and Orna∣ments may be, and though its Doctrine and profest Opinions be Orthodox.

§ 10. And it will yet render the case more desperate, if the same carnal, worldly, malignant Bishops and Clergy shall grow justly reputed the Adversaries of the most Learned, Judicious, Godly, and Laborious, and Powerful Preachers, and shall seek to Silence, Disgrace and Oppress them. The sober part of the Nation will then be tempted to take them as the Devils Militia, armed against Christ and Mens Salvation; and this the more wickedly as doing it in Christs Livery and in his Name.

§ 11. And if such a Clergy shall in enmity to the Godly, flat∣ter the profane Lords, Knights and Rich men of the World, and make them their upholders and patrons and party, to strengthen them in their sin, the Confederacy will threaten Gods Venge∣ance on them all.

§ 12. And yet the case will be more desperate, if the wick∣ed in such power shall bring an Universal Infection of Idleness, Sensuality, and Factious Enmity to serious Godliness, on the Universities and other Schools of Learning, and shall make them to be Nurseries of Ignorance, Errour, Impiety and Malignity. And if the Prelates and Priests shall teach their Pupils and Can∣didates to account men of Conscience that obey not their sinful Impositions, to be Fanatical Schismaticks, and on pretence of bringing Schism into disgrace, shall cast their dirt in the Face of Piety, and so train up youth into an enmity and scorn of that which should have their chiefest Love and Labour. Alas, if such Page  57 a Serpentine Generation, shall for staying so many years in Idle∣ness and Lust in Universities, be thought to have right to take the charge of multitudes of Souls, that never took just care of their own, and to have right to Church Dignity and Maintenance, if any bad Patron will but present them; how sad a case is such a Church and Nation in? They will bring their Ignorance and Malice into the Pulpit, and then those hearers that know bitter from sweet, and the unclean from the clean, will loath their fol∣ly: And when the Priest seeth that he is despised or loathed, he will become the Enemy of those that disesteem him; and so he will become a Wolf to the Flock: And then it is the Un∣godly part that must be his Friends and Companions in Sin, whom he will harden to their own Destruction: Thus hath a bad Clergy been the ruine of many Churches.

§ 13. And this will prove so strong a Temptation to the Re∣ligious part, to disaffect the Ministry, and to go too far in separa∣tions, as that Schisms and Pernicious Divisions will be soon multiplied: And then Persecution must be tryed on them in∣stead of Light and Love.

§ 14. But the Immediate dividing and dissolving of Church∣es and overthrow of the Peace of Christian Kingdoms, is by Ignorant, Malicious or Tyrannical Laws or Canons, that impose things forbidden of God, on pain of ejecting, and silen∣cing the most Faithful Ministers, and scorning and ruining the most Religious People, that will not sell their Souls for World∣ly Interest, nor to humour the ill designs of Tyrants. These snares are often made by meer malice and revenge, as Daniel was forbid to pray; Because they could find no fault or accusati∣on against him except it were concerning the Law of his God. Especially when, some great quarrels have exasperated revenge.

§ 15. But usually error concurreth with Malice, while Igno∣rance and Pride make Prelates and Priests still confident that all their Opinions and Impositions are just and blameless; and that all are willfully erroneous that refuse them: So rare is a humble understanding.

§ 16. And it fixeth a National Church in this way to ruine, when such an unworthy Ministry must be continued till they die, and there is no great visible hope of removing them. How ma∣ny difficulties must be overcome, before one Parish can get a cure of such?

Page  58 § 17. And yet worse is it, when there is small hope of a bet∣ter when the bad Priest is dead; but the corrupt Fountain is still sending forth polluted Streams; and Money and Friendship chuse the Man: And when the worst Man that hath but Money enough to buy a Patronage shall have the choice of a Pastor for Mens Souls.

§ 18. And yet worse will it go, when the Keys, which are the most peculiar part of the Priviledge and Office of the Pa∣stors, shall be exercised by Lay Civilians, in the Bishops name, without his judging or consent. And Government by the Word is managed by such Men, in the manner that Secular Affairs are managed, without due reverence to holy things.

§ 19. And worst of all is it, when the Body of the Nation is by such means brought to so much ignorance and sinfulness, that they would have it so; And are glad to have so much counte∣nance to their malignity and sin; and follow their malicious Military Leaders.

§ 20. And last of all when their madness hath drawn their own Swords against each other, or provoked God to let in a Foreign Enemy on them, then they must expect that God a∣venge the quarrel of his Covenant; specially when after great Mercy and long Patience they would not know the time of their Visitation, nor in their day the things that belong to their peace, but defend their sin.

Chap. XIV. Whether the National Church of England be at the present of a sound Constitution. And what is necessary to its Wel∣fare, Safety, Reformation and Peace.

§ 1. TO tell what particulars need Reformation, I have done so oft to the great displeasure of the guilty, that I have no encouragement to offend them more, by doing it again.

§ 2. And to give the true History of original, causes, and progress of our corruptions, disorders and divisions, will not be endured by them that still justifie their own and Predecessours sin, and can see no fault in any but those that they first make and then call their adversaries. I have found that the most notorious matters of fact will be denyed furiously by such men, even what Page  59 hath been said and done in their presence and mine, before a multitude of Witnesses, Bishops, Doctors and divers others: Yea things said and done in Parliaments and Armies and publick∣ly notified, are by such men contradicted with rage. Therefore I will not here tell the World, either what or who have been the causes of our sufferings and dangers; having long purposed to have done it in a Treatise by it self, called [REPENT, O ENGLAND] and therein I. To declare my own Repentance. II. To tell those called Presbyterians what they must Repent of. III. And those called Separatists. IV. And those called Anti∣nomians. V. And those called Prelatical, especially the Ruling part. But God seemeth to deny me time for that intended Work.

§ 3. That which I shall now add, is, I. To shew what there now is in the English Constitution, fitted to Christs Institution of a true National Church. II. What is yet wanting. III. And what are the Remedies.

§ 4. I. I begin with that which is Good and Laudable: Not only to avoid offence by unprofitable finding faults, but especi∣ally to rectifie those prejudiced censures that call Good Evil, and run away from Gods Mercies under the false name of Sin. This hath had no small hand in our Divisions, ever since the trou∣bles at Frank-ford and our first Reformation. The Adversaries of Popery did lay more of the personal Crimes of the Papists Bi∣shops and Priests (and Monks too) on the Office and Order than they should have done.

§ 5. I. The National Church of England is rightly constitu∣ted under one Supreme Royal Government as the Unifying Head, as I have proved.

§ 6. II. It is duely constituted of professed Baptized Christi∣ans, and Churches as the subject matter.

§ 7. III. It hath National Laws which profess their subser∣viency to the Law of Christ, and the Nullity of all that is a∣gainst it.

§ 8. IV. It maketh none Magistrates but professed Christians: No nor Burgesses and choosers of Magistrates.

§ 9. V. It hath Diocesans that are General Overseers of ma∣ny particular Churches, as Successors to the Apostles and Evan∣gelists in the ordinary parts of their Office, which I before prov∣ed to be Christs Institution.

Page  60 § 10. VI. It justly maketh Bishops Members of Parliament, it being unfit to make Laws for Religion without the Pastors no∣tice and advice.

§ 11. VII. It justly giveth large maintenance and honours to the Superior Clergy, that they may be a Protection to the Infe∣rior, and a relief to the poor, and keep up Religion from the contempt and scorn of Worldly men.

§ 12. VIII. The King is justly the donor of such honours and great revenues.

§ 13. IX. The Parish Ministers according to the true Legal Reformed Church of Englaend, are acknowledged true Pastors, as to all the essentials of the Pastoral Office (Word, Sacraments, Keys, Discipline and Ordinations.)

14. X. The Inferior Ministers in Tythes and Glebe have mostly a laudable maintenance.

§ 15. XI. All the Parish Churches are to distinguish Com∣municating Members from Non-communicating Inhabitants, and to refuse the scandalous and unconfirmed, not ready or de∣siring confirmation. And the Offices of Absolution and Burial are fitted to the Faithful, were Discipline executed.

16. XII. Yet our Law for Dissenters Assemblies, acknow∣ledgeth them all true Members of the Church of England, who agree in the essentials, notwithstanding their dissent in divers lesser things (as no doubt they are.)

§ 17. XIII. We use one and the same Translation of Scrip∣ture, and usually the same version of Psalms, Time, Place, U∣tensils, so far as allowed.

All these are laudable parts of the Constitution of a National Church.

18. XIV. To which I may add that we all renounce all hu∣mane Universal and Forreign Jurisdiction, Civil and Ecclesiasti∣cal: And all Traditions that pretend to be supplemental and perfecting to the Scripture; and all Infallibility of Popes and Councils.

None of this therefore needeth a Reformation. But what then doth?

§ 19. Ans. All these things following. I. The entrance into the Church by Baptism of Infants, is done so lightly and rashly while the Parents are forbidden to speak a word there, as Dedi∣cating their Children to God or Covenanting for them, but all Page  61 is laid on such Godfathers as never own the Children, nor ever intend to do what they Vow. And Baptism is refused if Crossing be refused.

II. The Bishop only being to Confirm all in many hundred or score Parishes, where one of many hundred is not known to him, much less examined by him; Confirmation is commonly made a deceiving Ceremony, and the Transition from the State of In∣fant Members into the State of Adult Communicants is made so wide, that the Church too little differeth from Catechumens, that I say not from those without.

III. The Parishes are many so large, that the Incumbent knoweth not his Church-Communicants, nor how many hun∣dreds or thousands stay away.

IV. The Canons, though they nullifie not the Incumbents Pa∣storship, yet fetter him by unjust restraint from the due exercise of it.

V. Faithful, able, godly men, are kept and cast out of the Mi∣nistry, for not sinning against God, or not obeying unnecessary and unfit terms of Ministration.

VI. And on the same account thousands of the Religious Lai∣ty are denied Communion, and cast into Prisons; and ruined by Fines; and till lately forbidden all Publick Worship (above four.)

VII. The Decretive Power of the Keys of Excommunication and Absolution is in the hands of Lay-men used pro formâ in the Bishops name.

VIII. Patrons have too much power in chusing Parish Pastors for all the Land, without the Flocks consent, and sufficient cau∣tion of the Patrons qualifications.

IX. Bishops are chosen without due consent or election of the Synods or People.

X. Ordinations are made by Bishops without Synods, or any Presbyters but a few whom the Bishop taketh pro formâ.

XI. The Episcopacy of Incumbents being denied by many, it is grown a common imagination that none are Ordained by Bi∣shops that are not Ordained by Diocesans.

XII. The Personal ignorance, viciousness, and disability of a great part of the Ministry is of all the rest the worst and hardest to be reformed.

XIII. The too loose tryal of the Ordained, and their necessa∣ry qualification much causeth this.

Page  62 XIV. And the corruption of the Universities is the Seminary and Nursery of our sins and dangers.

XV. Many dangerous Oaths or Covenants and Professions are hurtfully imposed on the Ministers and People, by which Guilt and Divisions are increased.

XVI. And to compleat our dangers, an enmity or deep jea∣lousie is setled between the Publick Priests, and a great part of the most seriously Religious People of the Land. This distance hath long been causing, and the causes are still continued. The badness of Priests in the time of Popery, and their contemptible insufficiency in the beginning of the Reformation tempted many zealous Protestants to too hard thoughts of the generality of them. No Party hath been faultless. It fell out that the Exiles in Germany, who were most zealous in Religion against Popery and all ungodliness, followed Geneva, and set themselves too much against Bishops and our Liturgy, that they might not partake of the sins of Popery. But Dr. Ri Cox that had been K. Edw. 6. Tutor, and had a great hand in making our Liturgy, drew Horn and others to him, and forced our Liturgy on them at Frankford, and prevailing against them, drove them to Geneva, thinking that Reformation should receive as much of the antient Forms and Ceremonies, as were not true Popery, nor forbidden of God, that the Papists might not challenge us as Novelists.

On these terms of difference they came over into England, be∣ing on both sides generally godly Protestants. The Queen (Eliz.) took part with the Conformists, and made them Bishops and Dig∣nitaries, and discountenanced the Nonconformists. The first Race of these good Bishops loved the godly Nonconforming Preachers, and connived at them, and encouraged them in their fervent, plain Preaching, and pious Living. But as that Race wore out by death, Bishopricks having great honour, power and wealth, had ma∣ny seekers; and seekers had many friends: And he that loveth wealth and honour most, is like to seek it most; and he that most seeketh is likest to find: And the greatest Lovers of the World are the worst men: And so Bishops (not all at once, but) by de∣grees were altered. Then the Nonconformists not only refusing to be Bishops, but too many declaring their Judgments to be for their fall, the Bishops having more power, resolved first to cast them down, and to do their utmost to root them out: And made their Book of Canons and Acts of Uniformity fitted to that use. Page  63 And so the Enmity turned into a ruining War, became remedi∣less, save that on both sides the godly and moderate lived peace∣ably, lamenting the extreams of the rest. Qu. Eliz. and K. James I. having silenced many hundred Dissenters that were of great worth & extraordinary piety, and the Bishops causing this, and in jealousie of the strictest People forbidding them to fast and pray together, and some other exercises of piety, and in K. Charles I. days carrying it yet higher to greater severity, and this setled them in an Enmity to Bishops as the Enemies of serious Piety, and the Bishops more sought to root them out of the Land: Till Laud carrying it further, and seeking a Coalition with those that were for a Foreign Jurisdiction (Universal Councils with a Pre∣torian Power, &c.) raised jealousies in Parliaments, who being for their Liberties against Arbitrary Government, were the more against those Bishops that seemed to be for it; till Innovation pro∣voking the Scots, the English Lords encouraged by them, and the Irish murdering two hundred thousand Protestants, affrighted England into a miserable War, and made the most zealous Ad∣versaries of Popery and Ungodliness, think that the Papists would destroy them all, if they did not help the Parliament to defend them. And the Scots would not help them, unless the Parliament would engage in the Scots Covenant against the Eng∣lish Prelacy, which proved a sinful snare of Division to all the Land. And the War ending in the Parliaments Conquest, and they conquered again and cast out by their own Army, many Divines of the Diocesan Judgment besides the scandalous were cast out: And the Restored Parliament recalling K. Charles II. (with his Clergy) the exasperated came back with a resolution of revenge, and the grand design of some was to begin where Laud left, and to extirpate Puritans, and to that end to get all power in Church and Universities, into the hands of the greatest Enemies of the Nonconformists, and to get Laws of doubled cruelty made accordingly to root them out; which so far prospered, that Universities and Ministry are sufficiently disposed into a con∣tempt and opposition to the Nonconformists; who are too ready to think that they and their well-wishers are (though not the only serious Religious part of the Land, yet the main body of them ma∣ny to one; and that the main body of the hot Adherents to their Adversaries, are the generality of the sensual, wordly, and profane; who use their Ceremonies as Solomon's Whore did her Sacrifices Page  64 and Vows, to encourage her to take her fill of Love till morning.

And the differing manner of the Religious Devotions of these two parties, maketh the distance seem remediless, if some Moderate Peace-makers prove not the Cement. One sort are all for pray∣ing by habit, called extempore; as Judges, Parliament and Lawyers speak their minds; and say that Forms and Liturgies daily repeat∣ed are usually said without life or fervency, as Boys say an Ora∣tion, and little move men. The other are for the same Liturgy and Words, and too many deride all other praying: Whereas so∣ber unprejudiced men can make a serious use of both.

But thus a Clergy modelled at the entrance of King Charles the second into a set opposition to the way of the zealously Re∣ligious People called Puritans (specially by the interest and wrath of a few hot Doctors after made Bishops,) are taken by the said people for the Captains of Prophaneness.

§ 20. Having seen what our Diseases are, it is easy to know what must be the cure: But so hard to accomplish it, that I must name the remedies with despair, unless the Almighty God will do it by means yet quite beyond our prospect, yea to cure any one of all these Maladies requireth a power more than Mans.

Qu. But is not our first Reformation and our Canons and present Laws of Conformity, a sufficient means of Concord without any new Reformation?

Ans. 1. If so, why did King Edward the sixth require Bucer to write for more, which he hath done in his Scripta Anglicana? And why was the Reformatio Legum Eccles. (prefaced by John Fox) Written by men Commissioned by him?

2. Are the same Canons fit for Papists, Priests and Protestant Preachers? Dr. Burnet tells you that of nine thousand Parish Priests, (besides all others ordained) there did not much above eight hundred take the Reforming Oaths to keep their livings, so that there were above eight thousand Papists Parish Priests in our Reformed Church; unless that Oath made them all true Protestants And what wonder if these were excused from Preach∣ing, and forbidden to Preach till they were further licensed. But shall the best Church in the World, called the Stupor Mundi, be all forbidden therefore after Ordination till Licensed to Preach or Expound any Doctrine or matter in the Church or elsewhere, but barely to Read.

Page  65 I will venture, though I know it will displease the impenitent to say, that I will pitty that Minister more than a poor Publican or Drunkard, who will justifie, 1. All our Canons. 2. And all the Laws made as for Uniformity and against Nonconformists, and their Execution to the silencing of about two thousand such Ministers, and the Death of many of them in and by imprison∣ment, and the ruine of the Estates of them and many more thou∣sand Godly People, 3. And the present state of the Parish Church∣es, where the alterations of the Liturgy shew that the Incumbents must not be called Pastors, and such as Dr. Fuller Dean of Lincoln are allowed to publish, that [Inauditus erat Parochorum Pastoratus ante hujus seculi & antecedentis delirium] The Pastor-ship of Parish Priests was never heard of before the Dotage (or Madness) of this and the foregoing Age. And so there is but one Pastor and Church in a Diocess. Either Mr. Clerksons book unanswered of the Primi∣tive Episcopacy, or this and such other Doctors are impudent beyond the degree of humane pravity.

And whereas they that yet delay to answer my English Non∣conformity Stated, take up usually with the reproaching one que∣stion in it, what Church the 800 were of, that one Doctor Printeth that he cured of the French Pox, should I tell them of the quality and far greater number of persons that Doctor Lower hath thrice to∣gether affirmed to have that Disease, that with the commoner Whoredom, Drunkenness, Swearing, Self-damning, scorning Godliness, yea and Gods Word it self, may warrant a man that hath any love to the Church and Souls, to intreate the Curates though they be not Pastors to bethink them, 1. Whether they know who are the Members of their Churches?

2. Whether it be they or the Bishop that must know them personally?

3. If all that dwell in the Parish, are not all the Papists, Atheists, Hobbists, Deboisht and Sectaries of their Churches?

4. If only Communicants, do they know when they come to the Altar whether they are of their Flocks or Strangers?

5. If all that Communicate not be no Members (perhaps two thousand if not four thousand in a Parish of six thousand or eight thousand) are the rest well permitted quietly to be of no Parish Communion?

6. How many of all these and the debauched have been Ex∣communicated or openly brought to Repentance in London these thirty years, according to the Canon.

Page  66 7. Have the Nonconformists more deserved it, for going from their own Parishes, or Communicating with Godly dissent∣ing Protestants.

I speak all this only if possible to procure some Repentance of the sins and divisions that threaten our ruines after the sad experi∣ence of more than the last thirty years effects. For God will not Pardon us without Repentance.

§ 21. I. Christening by Baptism, must not be made an In∣fant Ceremony, but used as one of the greatest actions of all the life of man: Parents being seriously taught to know what it is to enter their Child into the holy Covenant, and to Dedicate their Child to God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, renouncing the World, the Devil, and the Flesh: And the Parents or Pro∣parents, and not perfidious dissembling God-fathers, must solemn∣ly promise their careful education.

§ 22. II. The transition of those Baptized in Infancy into the state of Adult Communicants, must be made by an understand∣ing and solemn owning of their Baptismal Covenant, and that by such Pastors as have time to examine and instruct them, and not made a deceitful Ceremony called Confirmation, by a Diocesan that hath perhaps many hundred thousands in his Diocess.

§ 23. III. The Parishes must be known to the Pastors that take the Charge of them, and the three sorts of Inhabitants distin∣guished. 1. Those that are of another Church (as Papists &c.) or of no Church. 2. Those that are Catechumens and submit to be Catechized and Hear, 3. Those that are Communicants. And each Parish must have Ministers for number and quality suited to the number of Souls, and fit to know them and perform their un∣dertaken Office.

§ 24. IV. The partial unrighteous Canons must be cast away.

§ 25. V. Nothing sinful or unnecessary to Ministry or Commu∣nion, must be imposed as necessary Terms, nor Godly able Mi∣nisters Silenced or Persecuted causelesly, that do more good than hurt.

§ 26. VI. They that Worship not God in all our Forms and Ceremonies, or that are too scrupulous, must be tolerated to Worship as they can by themselves, so be it, their Doctrine and Worship and Conversation, and Unpeaceableness be not into∣lerable.

§ 27. VII. The Keys must be exercised only by the Clergy: Page  67 And if the Chancellors or Civilians Courts be kept up, they must be the Kings Magistrates, and use only such power as Magistrates may use.

§ 28. VIII. Those that by the Laws are to be excluded from the Communion of the Churches (publick and tolerated) should not have the power of choosing Incumbents: Nor those that ex∣clude themselves. Nor should those Patrons that choose the In∣cumbent that shall have the Place and Tythes, hinder any person from choosing to whom he will voluntarily trust the peculiar Pa∣storal care of his own Soul; Nor should men be hindered from the publick or tolerated Ministry of such as they so choose.

§ 29. IX. Ordinations should be made after sufficient tryal of the Learning and Abilities of the Ordained, in Preaching and Praying, as well as upon a full testimony of his Pious and Upright Conversation, and no Institution to a Title granted till the Pa∣rishioners have leave, warning and time, to know the man, and shew their acceptance or dissent, and be impartially heard.

§ 30. X. Bishops should usually ordain in Synods or with their concurrence: Or at least with such as the Synods choose to re∣present them.

§ 31. XI. Parish Churches must be acknowledged true Church∣es, and the Presbyters to be Episcopi Gregis, and the Incumbent that hath Curates to be Episcopus Praeses, as well as the Diocesans to be General or Archbishops. And Ordination by President Bi∣shops not called Null, or said to be no Episcopal Ordination: But the corruption of the Ministry by unqualified men is so dange∣rous a thing, that if the Supreme Power give the Diocesane a Negative power as of the Quorum, without whom no Ordinati∣on shall entitle any man to any Benefice, (leaving Incumbents on∣ly to choose their own Curates, and to concur with the Dioce∣san in other Ordinations) there will be no just cause of refusing such Diocesans Power or Ordination.

§ 32. XII. An utterly insufficient, heretical, malignant, ungod∣ly scandalous Minister is not to be maintained nor tolerated; and due means must be used to keep and cast such out.

§ 33. XIII. The purging of the Universities, and the appro∣priating of their Government and Tutoring to Godly, Wise and Conscionable men, is one of the greatest points of necessary Re∣formation. And till this be done, no man should be forbidden to choose Godly careful Tutors for his Children in his house or elsewhere.

Page  68 § 34. XIV. The sad disaffection like enmity between the Mi∣nistry and the most Religious People must be healed: which will be easily done in those Parishes, where the Ministers Preach Judiciously, Experimentally, Spiritually and Powerfully, and live Piously, Charitibly, Justly and Temperately, and love good men, and rebuke the wicked, and put due difference between the pre∣cious and the vile, those that serve God and those that serve him not, those that swear and those that fear an Oath: and make not the Church like the Commons or Wilderness. And where the Diocesans are the encouragers of serious Godliness, and duely rebuke the Enemies and neglecters of it, and the vicious and pro∣fane. I have never seen the place where such an exemplary wor∣thy Ministry did not win the Hearts of the Nonconformists, and became not very dear and amiable to them, and usually drew them to Concord where before they differed.

§ 35. But it must be a wise and godly King that must be the principal means to accomplish all this, if ever it be done; such a one that understandeth Gods Law and Interest and his own and King∣doms real welfare, may do that by good Laws and Prudent Go∣vernment, which shall be to parties of erroneous opinions, a pow∣erful byas to incline their Judgments to go right: One man we may have more hope of making wise than of multitudes. I had ra∣ther have a uniting settlement by the choice of a wise Prince and Parliament, yea or of Diocesanes of Wisdom, Piety and Peace, than by the choice of any of the extreams, whether Separatists, or the Laudian New Church men, that are for a Forreign Juris∣diction. But through Gods great mercy the most of the Godly able Nonconformists Ministers, falsly called Presbyterians, of my acquaintance, are so much for Truth and Peace and Concord, that they would rejoice to live under such Bishops, as were Na∣zianzene, Basil, Chrysostom, Austin, or such as Beadle, Usher, Downame, (tho an angry man) Jewel, Dr. Parker, Grindal, Pil∣kinton, Sandies, G. Abbot, Rob. Abbot, Hall, Carlton, Morton, Da∣venant, Brownrig and such like. And are most Episcopal Non∣conformists, and would choose none but healing Terms.

§ 36. And now what shall I gain by this Discourse? I am sure of the censure of both the extreams. And I expect that few should much regard what I have said: but that scorners will scorn still, and Fools hate Knowledge, and that Lies carry on Murders and he that is the Father of both, by both carries on his work in the World.

Page  69 But great is the Truth and will prevail at last, but whether on this side the new Heaven and Earth I know not.

§ 37. I conclude with an earnest request to Godly peaceable men that they consider well before they speak against a Nation∣al Church, or for any above National under one humane Govern∣ment, and that they will read my old dispute of Church Govern∣ment about Apostolick Successions with the additions of this Commentary and fuller proof, and Mr. Tho. Beverly's little Trea∣tise called The whole duty of Nations. And when they hear two parties claiming the Name of the Church of England, they will judge by the Reformers Law and Judgment which is worthy of that name, and that the Nonconformists that are sound are as ho∣nourable sound parts of the true Church of England as the Con∣formists at least. And that by this distinction of Bishops they will expound my Treatise of Episcopacy, and my Church Histo∣ry of Councils and former Bishops. The Lord pitty a self-de∣stroying Clergy.

Chap. XV. The Case of Toleration of Dissenters from the Common Laws and Customs of a National Church more particularly answered.

§ 1. THIS case about Toleration in and from a National Church hath been oft put to me and oft and largely an∣swered. And to what use such a work will serve I am unable to conjecture, except it be to satisfie the Writers Conscience, and set right the thoughts of them that desire what they cannot ob∣tain; And whether God will ever raise up a Generation, that wearied with Divisions and the direful effects, and forced by some Prince of Piety or Interest, to consent to a healing Peace and Concord, God knoweth and not I.

§ 2. But I will once more venture to repeat a Moral Progno∣stication,

That I think it (ex causis) exceeding probable that either England will have Popery setled in Power by a French Conquest in the French Fashion, by the compliance of those of the English Clergy who are for a Foreign Church Jurisdiction: Or else God will constrain the present Governours by the sense of their own interest if not of the inte∣rest of Religion and the common good, to open the publick Church Doors to that Concord which they have been lockt against by the Act of uniformity and such like above thirty years, and the unplacable Enemies of Peace will cast down themselves.

Page  70 For I am past doubt of what my dear friend Judge Hale said to me, that [It must be a new Act of Uniformity that must heal this Church.]

§ 3. And should we treat of such a subject as Concord and To∣leration, with whom should it be? If it be not with fit persons, we have found that it will be in vain and worse. It's God that must make peace between the Wolf or Lion, and the Lamb, and not such as I.

§ 4. 1. If we treat with Proud Men, they will have no Con∣cord but by mens granting their unjust demands, and submitting to their Wills, whatever God and Reason say against it. And they must be in Rule and the most Worthy and Innocent be at their mercy.

§ 5. 2. If we treat with Worldlings and Self-seeking men, their Worldly interest must be the measure of Concord: And how various, mutable and unrighteous is that like to be?

§ 6. 3. If we treat with malignants their terms of peace, will be directly or indirectly the suppression of serious Godliness.

§ 7. 4. If we treat with Factious Schismaticks, Hereticks or Papists, their terms will be only that which furthereth and strength∣neth their sects.

§ 8. 5. If we treat with Fools, they will not understand the case nor the reason that is urged: They will not distinguish of Places, Times, Persons, Causes, the Sence of Words, but rage and be confident in confusion.

§ 9. 6. If we deal with Timorous Cowardly Hypocrites, or low and self-saving Spirits, they will but be Nicodemites, and not venture on danger or difficulty, but stay till they see which way will be strongest and most for their advantage: Or till Governors drive them on. And then it's well if they do but consent.

§ 10. 7. Shall we then leave all to the sober godly peaceable men? It may that way do some personal and private good, but I fear they will be so low as to be contemned and so few that in the Crowd and Noise of rage, they will not be heard, nor regard∣ed, unless as little Zaccheus, they get up into a Tree by the help of some extraordinary Superior: So that there is so little hope of the success of any such attempt, and I have written so much of it long ago, almost in vain, that I will say now but this little following.

§ 11. 1. The Terms of Toleration must differ according to the different Case of the Superiors and Imposers.

2. And according to different Causes of Dissenters.

Page  71 3. And according to their different Capacities and Relations.

4. And according to their different temper and behaviour in managing their cause.

5. And as Rulers are able or unable to suppress them without more hurt than good.

§ 12. I. If Superiors have made Dissenters by sinful Laws, the Peace must be more than a Toleration, by changing those Laws. Shall the Throne of Iniquity have Fellowship with God, when they frame Mischief by a Law?

§ 13. II. A Dissenter that opposeth the Essentials of Religion, or teacheth Damnable or Treasonable Doctrines, must be diffe∣renced from those that only refuse to be Perjured, or Lie, and make a sinful Covenant and Promise, or Profession, or that scru∣ple some small unnecessary thing which to them seemeth sin a∣gainst Gods Laws.

§ 14. III. A poor weak woman or unlearned man, must not be imposed on and dealt with on the same terms as a man of wit and learning: Nor the Laity as the Clergy.

§ 15. IV. Those of a meek and quiet Spirit may be more suffered than turbulent unpeaceable men, though it be in the same material points that they dissent. Therefore much must be left to the Will of the Rulers, who can difference between Man and Man when the Law cannot.

§ 16. V. In a Country where the Preaching of faulty men (though elsewhere useful) is unnecessary by reason of a full number of better (if such a Land there were) the silencing of such men is more allowable than elsewhere. And even Heresie and many faults may have impunity, though not a justifying toleration, in a time and place where punishment and suppression cannot be used without apparent doing more hurt than good. Rulers are not bound to do what they cannot do. And they cannot do that which they must not do, because it will do more hurt than good.

§ 17. VI. In a Country where the publick Ministry and Churches are so depra∣ved that the Interest of the Church and Religion lieth more in saving People from them than in Uniting with them, there the Tolerated must be most countenanced and strengthen'd; But in a Country or Age where the Interest of Religion lyeth most in the publick Churches, and the Dissenters are a weak mistaken sort of scrupulous honest People, there the Tolerated Churches should be like so many Hopitals where weak People are cherished; but it's not desireable that it be the common case of all the City or Country.

§ 18. Obj. But such Toleration will multiply Separatists, and weaken the Church: They will be still reproaching it.

Ans. Persecution will not make them of your mind, but do more mischief, and you will not know where to stop, till Cruelty have made you odious to Humanity. And it will not make them fear you more than God: And if it did, that's but a sad Conversion.

Page  72 2. Your excelling them in Piety, and worth and works, will do more than so to silence Reproachers.

3. If the sober Godly Conformists and Dissenting Ministers were once united, then sober understanding Laity would follow them; and so strengthen them, that the To∣lerated, though pious and zealous in their way, would divindle away in a little time as full experience hath proved in this Land. It would not be the Many that would chuse a Life of unmaintained poverty, and censure: Their worth, labour, reputation, 〈◊〉 the Magistrates countenance would make the united so strong, that the rest (though loved and tolerated) would wither away.

§ 19. Obj. But long experience telleth us that such a work is impossible.

Ans. It only telleth us that it is unlikely: Because, Pride, Worldliness, Malignity, Selfishness and Madcess have got so large possession on Earth; and forsaking God's Government hath given Satan power over so much of Mankind. But God can cast out Satan, and interpose days with nights, and Summers with Winters, and turn Bedia as into sober Societies: It is but bringing men to their wits, as the Prodigal was. To give so great a number of Great men, Clergy men, Students, and de∣bauched ignorant persons, true Grace as the healing of National Churches, as in most of the Christian World are, now the mortal Enemies of Peace (while they cry it up.) This I confess is so unlikely, as scarce to be hoped for: But God can force them by their own Argument: He can make them know that they must give Peace to their Friends that in vain have long begg'd it, or suffer from their Enemies worse than they have done to their innocent Brethren. If we will not open the Church doors to Unity, that have long been shut against it, God hath Keys that can open and no man shut them. Even Heathen Rulers oft saved the Apostles and Primitive Christians from the zealous cruel blinded Jews, and Gallio drave them from the Judgment Seat. Christian Jews were saved, when Vespatian, Titus, Trajan, and Adrian destroyed about three missions of the Infidels. And if our Frenchified Foreign-Jurisdiction-men, should think to escape and prosper by a bargain of Coalition, they may be mistaken, or speed worse than if they suffered.

But I hope God will rather convince a prevailing part that All that they have got these thirty years (or thrice thirty) by their way of silencing, ruinating, reproach and violence, hath not been a due compensation, for all that they have done by it, against Ministers, People, Rulers, and themselves, and the Unity, Love, Strength and Safety of the Land: And that if they will hear none at home, God will so feelingly Preach to them from abroad, as to tell them, that if Love and Peace with Brethren sounder than they, at home seem hateful to them, yet worse it worse, and great Foreign Enemies are more terrible. They that can bear Reboboam's Yoke, may under Pharaoh's beforced to sad cryes. Thunder awakeneth when soft talk will not. It's a thundering voice that can be heard over Sea and Land. Cannons are as loud as Thunder, or may be heard as far.

§ 20. But what is the difficulty in the way to Concord? Had those that could easily do it, but opened the Church doors at first but to the liberty of Preaching a Lecture when the Incumbent consented; much more had they made a new healing Act of Uniformity, which should have eased Conscience of the fears of deliberate Perjury, Lying and Profaning holy things, and had the Conforming by petitioning Rulers, shewed that this was their desire, what would have rendered it impossible?

But forma non recipitur in materiam indispositam: It's in vain to talk of healing to yet ancapable men.

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