A just and necessary APOLOGY AGAINST An unjust Invective, Published by Mr Henry Burton in a late Book of his, entituled, TRVTH STILL TRVTH, THOVGH Shut out of doors.
By Edmund Calamy B.D. and Pastour of Aldermanbury.
EXOD. 20.Thou shalt not bear false witnesse against thy neighbour.
MAT. 5.22.But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his bro∣ther without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgement: and whosoe∣ver shall say unto his brother, Racha, shall be in danger of the Councel: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
LONDON, Printed for Christopher Meredith at the sign of the Crane in Pauls Church-yard, 1646.
TRVTH, No longer TRUTH, but turned into Gall and Wormwood: OR, An ANSWER to a late Pamphlet written by M. Burton, and entituled, Truth, still Truth, though shut out of Doors.
IT was the law of the Areopagite Judges, that those that pleaded before them,* should plead without prefacing, and without passion. M. Burton quite contrary to this law, first begins with a Preface, and then writes a book so full of passion, as that whosoever reads it will acknowledge, that at least when he wrote it, he was not only 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, (as he con∣fesseth of himself, pa. 2.) but (if I may invent a word to expresse that which cannot be expressed by any word now in use) 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a man, not only of like passions with others, but made up all of passion; and that whosoever will contend with him, shall be loaded with dirt, rather then with arguments, and forced not so much to answer Objections, as to wipe off aspersions. For my part, I will not defile my self, nor my an∣swer with reckoning up all the opprobries and calumnies that are cast up∣on me, not only collaterally and obliquely (as the supposed pen-man of the Pamphlet, as he cals it, to which he frames his Reply) but di∣rectly and by name. Only I crave leave to present this true, but short character of his book. His words are swords and spears, rather then words. He fights with his heels, rather then with his head, and kicks, rather then argues, and whips, rather then answers. Scarce any man since Monta∣gues Appeal hath written with more bitternesse. I may say of him, as D. Rivet doth of Bishop Montague,*This man cannot mention a man from whom be differs, though but in sleight matters, without a reproach. And as Plato said to Diogenes, when he trod upon the pride of Plato, Thou tread∣est upon my pride with greater pride: So doth M. Burton tread upon me, and whatsoever is blame worthy in me, with a pride more then Episco∣pall. And surely, if to be railed upon and reviled be sufficient to bring a man into discredit, then must I be esteemed as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as the dung, off-scouring, and filth of the world. But to all Page 3 his bitter invectives, I will return the same answer that Austin did, who when he was told that his adversary was too hard for him in railing, he said. It was an easie thing that way to conquer Austin; but the Reader should perceive it was, Clamore, non veritate, by loud crying, not by truth. And what Hierom said against Helvidius, Arbitror te verita•e convictum ad maledicta converti. It is a sign of a man not able to stand be∣fore the truth, when he betakes himself to reproachfull language.
Non eget veritas Mauri jaculis, nec arcu.
Non taliclypeo, non defensoribus isti•.
Neither is it my purpose to meddle with the controversie between M. Burton and Aldermanbury; I say, between M. Burton and Alder∣manbury. For though M. Burton saith, That his quarrell is only with four men in Aldermanbury, yet, if the Reader will lose so much time, as to look into his Narrative, he will finde that he cals upon all Alderman∣bury to be ashamed and confounded for shutting him out of doors, as he phraseth it. But I will not make this quarrell mine. For as I was never thought worthy by M. Burton to be desired to give leave to his first admission; so also I was not at all made acquainted with his dismission, and therefore am not at all concerned in the businesse. And although I shall be willing to o∣pen, not only the doors of the Church, but the door of my heart, in ad∣mitting M. Burton in a brotherly and Christian compliance; yet, not∣withstanding I shall for ever shut the door of my lips from speaking any more about t•is controversie. And the rather, because that whereas in the book to which he answers, there are these words, And that all men may be fully convinced of Aldermanburies love and good affection towards M. Burton, we doe here professe to all that read these lines, That if M. Bur∣ton will be pleased to forbear preaching his Congregationall way amongst us, and preach such things, wherein both sides agree, we will re-admit him with all readinesse and cheerfulnesse, and will promise to endeavour upon all oc∣casions to come and hear him; which offer, if M. Burton refuseth, let the worldjudge, whether M. Burton shuts himself, or be shut-out of the Church∣doors of Aldermanbury. To this friendly invitement, he answers not a word; which makes me for ever despair of his brotherly corresponden∣cy with us in our Churches. And truly, if M. Burton will not only re∣fuse to take a Pastorall charge in our Congregations, but condemneth our Churches, as having inseparable corruptions in them (for so he saith, p. 13. and repeats it twice) I say inseparable, till the very frame of them be made new; wherein he sideth directly with the Brownis•, and denieth our Churches to be true Churches, as wanting a right foundation, and constitution, pag. 14. in which, I am assured our dissenting Brethren will Page 4 be dissenting Brethren from him also) and refuseth to give us the right hand of fellowship, as it is, p. 13. and saith, That people cannot with a safe consci∣ence communicate with us, as it is, p. 23. nor acknowledge our Ministers to be their Pastours truly, as it is, p. 23. and will not forbear to preach those dangerous errours in our Churches, no wonder that any conscien∣tious Presbyterian should be shie of admitting him to preach to their people.
Neither is it my design to answer this book of 33. pages, in all the particulars,*Nam quis leget hac? As one said to a Philosopher, that in a great tempest at sea fell a asking many trifling Questions, Are we perish∣ing, and dost thou trifle? So say I to M. Burton, Is the Ship of England a sinking, and are there truths of the highest concernment now in agitation, and shall I stand trifling away my precious time in long replies? I cannot do this, if I would; neither would I, if I could. And besides; this Truth is now grown stale and threed-bare, especially to this new-truth-itching age, and by this last book is so drowned in Gall and Wormwood, as that it may well lose: it's name, and be called Gall and Wormwood, as that star is, which fell from Heaven, Revel. 8.11. and as cloathes when died receive the name of those colours into which they were died. And therefore I will not abuse either my self, or the patience of the Reader, or an Athenian eye so much as to frame an answer to every particular.
But that which makes me put pen to paper, though most unwilling∣ly, is, because I am in this bitter Pamphlet painted out to the world in all my worst apparell, and rendred as Blackamore-like, and as odious as the pen of an angry Scribe could make me. Now although, I thank God, I can say with the Apostle, Non aesti•o humanum diem, With me it is • small thing to be judged of men; and no new thing to be misreported and misrepresented: yet notwithstanding, because this report comes from so Reverend a man as M. Burton, and some may possibly believe it for the Authours sake: I am bound in conscience not to be so cruell to my good name, as to see it murdered in my life time, and by my silence to consent to the murdering of it, or to suffer such a picture to go uncensured, when a few words will discover the maliciousnesse and falsenesse of it. And besides, I am twice challenged by name to answer him, and thorow∣out his whole book he speaks very undervaluingly of the Reformation begun in our Churches, and laieth stumbling blocks in our peoples way, which necessity cals to remove. All which I shall 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, in few words endeavour to do.
To begin first with his Index expurgatorius of my life. I read of a Painter, that being to paint King Antigonus that wanted an eye, paint∣ed Page 5 that side of his face only that had an eye, that so his deformity might not appear. But M. Burton quite contrary labours to set me out in all my deformity.
Page 5. He saith, I have not under pretence of enjoying my Ministery, abased my self to the superstitious innovations of the Prelates, and thereby caused many both Ministers and people thorow my example to fall into the same snare. Let the guilty apply it. And let some of Aldermanbury remember Ed∣mundsbury, I say no more, verbum sapienti. Here M. Burton sets out him∣self in all his embroidery, that so my picture might be the more ugly. But M. Burton may remember that there was a time when he did abase him∣self to the superstitions of the Bishops, as hundreds in this City can wit∣nesse. And when he was appointed by a Prelate to satisfie the conscien∣ces of some that did scruple that wicked Oath, Ex officio, which he did endeavour to doe, as I am credibly informed. All which I relate to shew that that which he saith of himself is not true, and what little cause he hath to accuse others for things done 12. years agoe, that not many years before was guilty of as bad things himself.
And whereas he bids some of Aldermanbury remember Edmundsbury, I would have him to know, that if it were lawfull to boast, I could tell him, That for 10. years I preached at Edmundsbury faithfully and pain∣fully thrice a week. And that there are many now in Heaven blessing God for my Ministery there; and that I can have the testimony of all the godly people and Ministery in Bury, and thereabouts, in a larger manner then is fit for me to desire; and that I refused offers of 400lb per annum to tarry with them; and that I have been often called to return to them, with expressions of their unhappinesse in my departure: but I am a fool in thus boasting, let the Reader pardon me, since I am constrained unto it. One thing more I will adde, That had not Bishop Wren put in his foul feet, to defile those clear waters, I should have lived and died with that people, whom I still love and bear in my heart, and am assured that if M. Burtons book come amongst them, they will abominate it, be∣cause it makes use of Edmundsbury to make me odious to Alder∣manbury.
But M. Burton, pag. 7. Bids the Scribe put M. Calamy in minde how one at Edmundsbury or Rochford, that he might not suffer for the truth, did pro∣stitute his Ministery to all those superstitious and idolatrous Innovations of the Prelates in those daies, whereby he became a snare in Mispeh, both to Mi∣nisters and people: And that for so doing, according to divine Canon, he was to be barred from his Ministery as Ezek. 44.13. And he bids him tell me the ex∣ample of Origen, &c.
Page 6The Reader may perceive by these words, and those that follow, pag. 7. and pag. 8. That the indictment is drawn in very high language, and that I am charged as guilty, not only of superstition, but Idolatry, and I∣dolatry as bad as that of Origen, when he offered incense to Idol-gods; and that for so doing, I am for ever to be debarred from my Ministery: Which accusation is so high, as that I cannot but say as the Archangel faith, Jude v. 9. The Lord rebuke thee.
In answer to this black bill of indictment, I say, that so farre as it holds forth to the world any thing that is true, I shall be willing to own it. Of all Austins works, there are two books of his which I have ever most prized, and desire most to imitate, his book of Confessions, and his book of Retractations. Who doth not admire David in his Psalms, which we call poenitentiall, or Psalms of spirituall restitution, wherein he labours to satisfie the Church for the scandall he had given? And Solomon also for his Ecclesiastes, or his book of his spirituall retractations? Chrysostome observes it of Paul, as his greatest honour, that although he had obtain∣ed pardon of God for his sins, yet he is not ashamed to reckon them up to the world, 1 Tim. 1.13. And therefore, I hope, none shall shew more willingnes in confessing or retracting any thing wherein I have erred. And if I have wanted the fore-wit of innocency, I will not be wanting in the after-wit of godly sorrow and true repentance. Thus much I an∣swer in generall.
But in particular to M. Burton I answer.
1. That whereas he cals himself, pag. 11. my elder brother; he deals in this, not as a brother, much lesse as an elder-brother, that should have lesse passion, and more discretion. And whereas he cals me, pag. 9. a Christian, he deals with me in this, not as with a Christian. For suppose I were guilty of all he writes, yet I would answer him, as Beza did the Papists (who, because they could not answer his arguments upbraided him with the vices of his youth) Hihomires invident mihi gratiam Chri∣sti, These men envy me▪ the free grace of God that hath pardoned these in me. And as Austin answered the Donatist (that separated from all the Christian Churches in the world, and affirmed, that there were no true Churches to be communicated withall but theirs, and were also divi∣ded amongst themselves in minutula frustula, as Austin saith) who not being able to confute his arguments, reproached him for his former life, when he was a Manichee, The more (faith Austin) you blazon my sins and spirituall diseases to the world, the more will I commend my Physician that hath healed them all.
2. But I answer in the second place, That this indictment is drawn Page 7 with a blacker coal t••n the truth will bear, and is as false as odio•. And herein M. Burton deals with me, just as Christopher Dow dealt with him. This Christopher Dow was one that undertook to answer M. Burtons book, called an Apology, or an Appeal, and spends all his second Chapter in •ipping up the life of M. Burton; he tels us that. But I will not off•r s• much injury to M. Burton, or discover so much malice in my self, as to copy out that foul picture that is there drawn of M. Burton: I abhor such dealing. I believe not the things to be true: because I soppose them spo∣ken out of malice, to render his adversary odious. •re•ate the story, on∣ly to manifest to the indifferent Reader, that M. Burton takes just the same course with me, raking up from the dead what he conceives was done by me 12 years ago at least: which things, though they should all prove true, yet, I hope, the impartiall Christian will no more justi∣fie M. Burtons practice against me, then they did Christopher Dows a∣gainst M. Burton. But when they shall perceive the charge to be false, they will conclude, that M. Burton hath committed such a fault, which a sea of water will hardly wash off.
First, He saith, Let the Scribe put M. Calamy in minde, how one • Ed∣mundsbury or Rochford, &c. It shews then he cannot tell at which of these two places this Idolatry was committed, whereby the Reader may perceive upon what slender information he builds his heavy accusa∣tion. But let M. Burton take notice of that, which thousands will at∣test beside my self, that I left Bury (a place for situation and whol∣somenesse of air, so excellent, that Camden saith, Sol no• vidit •rbem s•t• elegantiorem) to go to Rochford, where I got a quartane ague that con∣tinued many years, and s•ffered as much misery, I dare say, as any of our dissenting brethren did in their banishment into the unwholsome air of the Low-countries, meerly and only to be free from conformity to Bi∣shop Wrens Innovations.
He saith, That at Edmundsbury or Rochford, I did prostitute my Mi∣nistery to all •hose superstitious and idola•rous Innovations of the Prelates in those daies; and I did this, that I might not suffer for the truth, and that by this I became a snare in Mispeh to Ministers and people, and that for so doing I am to be debarred from my Ministery, and that in this I did as bad as Ori∣gen, or the Christian souldiers in Julians daies, that offered incense to Idol∣gods. To all which, let not M. Burton be offended, if I answer in his own words, p. 1. Finde me a man that hath sharp teeth, &c. But I will not answer railing with railing. Only, I say, this is a high breach of the ninth Commandment: For can M. Burton prove that I did prostitute my Ministery to all those superstitious and idolatrous Innovations, &c. I say, Page 8to all, &c. Surely, I never bowed to; or towards the Altar, to, or towards the East. I never read that wicked book of liberty for sports upon the Lords day. I never read prayers at the high Altar, placed at the upper end of the Church, where the people could not hear. I have often preached a∣gainst Innovations, and once I did it at a publike Visitation, and was cal∣led in question for my labour, and should have been sent for to the High Commission, had not God raised up a speciall friend to prevent it. I never justified the Oath ex Officio, nor ever prosecuted any man or woman at the High Commission. I never (to my best remembrance) at any time preached for the justification of any of the Innovations. In some few things I did, I confesse, conform according to the light I then had, out of the uprightnesse of my heart, not to avoid suffering for the truth (the Lord knoweth) though M. Burton sitting as Lord over my conscience is not ashamed to judge of my intentions, as well as my actions, and to say, I did it that I might not suffer for the truth: which cannot but be a rash, if not a most unjust censure. And for those particular things wherein I yeelded, I had the consent of the godly people in Bury, who did professe unto me, that if my conscience would give me leave to yeeld to those things, they would not be offended with what I did, nor like my Ministery any whit the worser; and how then could that that I did be such a snare to Ministers and people? But how will M. Burton prove that that which I did was Idolatry, and to be parallel'd with the Idolatry to the Heathen∣ish gods, like that of Origens, and of the Christian souldiers in Julians time, and for which I am to be debarred from my Ministery? Surely, when he wrote these words he consulted more with Machivil, then with his Bible: I will answer in his own words, pag. 16 Calumniate boldly, and some reproach will stick, by this time our stomack being accustomed to the poi∣son under his tongue, hath learned to digest all. But let M. Burton ask his own conscience how far in former times he hath been guilty of that which he accuseth others. And if I should be so wicked, I could name some of his brethren of the Congregationall-Way, that have yeelded far more to the Prelates innovations then I have done. But I abhor to practise that which I condemn in others.
But that which followeth is (if any thing can be) more oftensive and scandalous, and renders me more odious and abominable.
Pag. 7. But you will say, you have repented: Would God it Were a repent∣ance not to be repented of. For Were it so, how could the old spirit of bondage still remain, only turned into the spirit of domination? Or how could there be such an Antichristian spirit in man to oppose the Kingly Government of Je∣sus Christ over consciences and Churches, and to persecute all those of this Page 9 Way? Or how could men be still so ignorant of the Waies of Christ, and stand out so stifly against them, had they truly bewailed their former superstitious a∣bominations? They clamour on us to shew them a Model, a patern of What We hold. We call upon them for sound repentance for their superstitious practi∣ces, in subjection to an Antichristian Hierarchy, according to that, E•ek, 43.10, 11. If they be ashamed for all their iniquities, then shew them the patern of the house. Thus farre M. Burton.
The plain English of these words is this, That none ever repented of their conformity to Prelaticall Innovations, but Independents. And that there is a spirit of domination in all Ministers that are not of his way: and that the government which he m•intains is the Kingly office of Jesus Christ; and that they are all of an Antichristian spirit that oppose it: which words savour so much of that spirit of domination and Antichristianisme, which he condemns in others, as that I wonder M Burton is so blinde as not to see it. But I perceive by this very pass•ge, that let the Presby∣terian Ministers meet never so often to humble themselves by prayer and fasting for their former conformity (as they have of•en done) yet, if they will not turn Independents they must still be accounted amongst the number of those, that as M. Burton saith, pag. 7. have been vassals to Antichrist, and defiled themselves with doing the drudgeries of lording Pre∣lates, and Without any more adoe, when occasion is offered, With dry eyes to pretend for Christ in a Way of Reformation. Surely such kinde of language will never gain Proselytes to the Congregationall-Way.
For my own particular I crave leave to declare to all that shall read these lines what I have done to manifest my repentance, and let M. Bur∣ton then judge whether it be a repentance to be repented on, or no.
First, I went to Bury, and there made in a Sermon, a recantation and retractation of what I had done, in the hearing of thousands. And this I did before the times turned against Episcopacy, not out of discontent, nor because I was disappointed of my expected preferment at Court.
Secondly, After my comming to London at the beginning of this Par∣liament I was one of those that did joyn in making Smectymnuus, which was the first deadly blow to Episcopacy in England of late years.
Thirdly, My house was a receptacle for godly Ministers in the worst of times: here was the Remonstrance framed against the Prelates: here were all meetings. I was the f••st that openly before a Committee of Par∣liament did defend that our Bishops were not only not an Order distinct from Presbyters, but that in Scripture a Bishop and Presbyter were all one. I blush to sp•ak of these things, but the judicious Reader will con∣sider Page 10 how I am provoked to it, and will pardon me. The Lord know∣eth I did these things to make reparation to the Church of God, for what wrong I had done Her. For my conscience was at last fully satisfied, that the bringing in of those innovations was but a shoing-horn to draw in, if not the Pope, yet Popery, and it was the grief of my soul that I had had the least hand in ushering in either the one or the other.
But what is all this, as long as I turn not Independent? This will not satisfie M. Burton. And therefore he brings that plac•, Ezek. 43.10, 11. If they be ashamed for all their iniquities, then shew them the pat•rn of the house. But may we not be ash•med of our iniquities, and yet continue to hold the discipline of the reformed Churches? Hath God shewed the patern of his house to none of the reformed Churches in Geneva, Fr•nce, Scotland, &c? This is a bold assertion: m•st we comply with M. Burton in his Model (which I perceive by what is in his book, is farre different from the judgements of his brethren) or else we shall never see the patern of Gods house? But What Will M. Burton say to those Presbyterian Mini∣sters that never conformed either to the old or new Ceremonies of the Prelates? What Will be say to old M. Dod, M. Hildersham, M. Ball, &c. M. Rath∣bane, and many others? Did not those reverend Ministers see the patern of Gods house? And yet it is Well known that they Wrot many books against those that refused communion with our Churches, and were their greatest enemies.
But M. Burton goeth on to cast abroad his wilde-fire, and addeth, That all the Reformation here and there pretended to be set up in Parishes, hath rather Cam•lion-like received it's form from the fashion of the times, then from a reall, intrins•cal change wrought in the heart by the Spirit of Christ. The best way of answering this pass•ge would be to rake a little, and but a little in M. Burtons dunghill, and to bestrew him with two or three of his own dirty flowers, that he may tell others how sweet they smell, but I dare not, Nobis non licet esse tam disertis, I mu•t follow the Apostles rule, Rom. 12.21. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil With good. But how dares M. Burton say, that all the Reformation set up here and there is but pretended to be set up, and that it hath no reall, intrinsecall change, &c? The Lord give him a heart seriously to consider the rashness and uncharitablenesse of this speech.
But he adds, pag. 8. That such as now glory most in their new Re∣formation, were they not among the very last that held up the Service∣book, a• loath to lay it down, till very shame left it? Here the Reader may perceive that M. Burton doth antiquum obtinere, and resolves to like no Page 11 Reformation, but what ends in separation. And why may we not glo∣ry in our new Reformation, which in some places hath as much Scripture puritie, as the best of theirs, and is joyned with unity also, which theirs want? And what is M. Burtons Church, and his new Reformation, that it must lift up it self above all other Churches, and other Reformations? If I may believe reports, there are divisi∣ons not a few among his people, and—But I must not believe re∣ports: yet notwithstanding, if M. Burton takes leave in a bitter manner to s•y, pag. 13. Doth he not bewray his grosse or wilfull igno∣rance, if not insolence, in asking what defilements are still in their Churches? I hope he will give me leave in a milde manner to de∣mand of him, whether there be no defilements in his Church? And whether his Church be purified according to the purification of the Sanctuary? And whether, if a Church be not purified in every thing according to the purification of the Sanctuary, a man cannot with the comfort of a good conscience communicate in that Church? for so he seemes to say, pag. 23. which is a Doctrine, as fa•re from truth, as it is from peace and unitie. As for the Service-Book, let M. Burton know, that at a meeting at my house, it was resolved by above a hundred Ministers, after a long debate upon di∣vers weighty considerations, that all that could in their judgements submit to the reading of some part of it, should be intreated for a while to continue so to doe. To this our dissenting Brethren, then present did agree, and one of them made a speech to manifest his concordance. This is enough to give any man satisfaction for the late laying of it down. And if M. Burton meanes that Alderman∣bury was among the last that held up the Service Book, he is ex∣ceedingly mistaken in this; as he is in many other things, as hundreds can witnesse for me.
And thus I have endeavoured to answer so much of the book, as re∣lates to my former life and conversation. As for my answer to the o∣ther particulars, which amounteth to another sheet, I will condemn it to perpetuall silence; and the rather, because as Jacobs cattell by looking upon the rods, when they did conceive, brought forth cattell speckled and spotted, Gen. 30.41. So my fear is, left by conversing too much with his bitter invectives, I should also bring forth as angry a Pamphlet as his is, contrary to my genius, and naturall temper. For as the Painter engra∣ved his named so artificially into the picture of Min•rva, that whosoever should undertake to deface his name should be forced to deface the Page 12 goddesse also: So hath M. Burton so interlaced and interwoven his scoffing and railing speeches thorowout his whole book, that it is im∣possible to answer one, but I shall be necessitated to answer the other also, which will ill become a Presbyterian, nor well become an Inde∣pendent; and therefore I draw a vail over the rest.* Only I will put M. Burton in minde of a saying that Hi•rom relates of Domitius an Ora∣tour, Cur ego te, inquit, habeam at principem, cum tu me non habeas ut Senator•m? If he exp••ts that I should account him as a Brother, and as an elder Brother, let him not account me as an Heathen, and as a Pub∣lican; let him not so bitterly inveigh against our Assemblies, if he looks to preach in our Assemblies. And if he would be accounted as a Confes∣sour and Martyr, let him not expose my good name to Martyrdome, and therein make me a Martyr, and himself a Persecutour: For it will alwaies be accounted as great a persecution to be branded in our good names, and stigmatized for Idolaters and time-servers, &c. to all posterity by M. Burtons pen, as to be pillored and lose our ears by an Episcopall hand.