An assertion of the government of the Church of Scotland in the points of ruling-elders and of the authority of presbyteries and synods with a postscript in answer to a treatise lately published against presbyteriall government.
Gillespie, George, 1613-1648.
Page  1


CHAP. I. Of the words Elder, Lay Elder, Ruling Elder.

THE word Elder answe∣reth to Zaken in the He∣brew, & 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the Greek. It hath foure dif∣ferent significations, 1. It noteth Age. 2▪ Antiqui∣ty. 3. Venerability. 4. An office. In the first signification, Elder is op∣posed to younger, as 1 Tim. 5.1. Rebuke not an Page  2 Elder, but intreat him as a father, & the younger men as brethren, 1 Pet. 5.5. Likewise ye youn∣ger submit your selves unto the Elder. In this sense was the Apostle Iohn called the Elder, because hee outlived the other Apostles, 2 Iohn 1. and 3. vers. 1. In the second signifi∣cation Elder is opposed to Moderne, Mat. 15.2. Why doe thy Disciples transgresse the tradi∣tion of the Elders. That is, of them of old time, Mat. 5.21. In the third signification we finde the word, Isa. 3. where the Lord saith, that he would take away from Israel the prudent and the ancient, vezaken; that is, the worthies among them, and such as were respected for wisedome. The same word, (and peradver∣ture in the same sense) is turned Elder, Exod. 2.16. Eth-zikne Israel, the Elders of Israel. So the Spanish Seijor, the French Seigneur, the Italian Signore, all comming from the Latine Senior, signifie a man of respect, or one ve∣nerable for dignity, gifts, prudence, or piety. Contrariwise, men of no worth, nor wise∣dome, men despicable for lacke of gifts and understanding, are called Children, Isa. 3.4.12. Ephes. 4.14. But it is the fourth signifi∣cation which we have now to do withall, and so an Elder is a spirituall officer, appoin∣ted by God, and called to the government of the Church, Acts 14.23. When they had Page  3 by voyces made them Elders in every Church. They have the name of Elders, because of the maturity of knowledge, wisedome, gifts and gravity, which ought to be in them: for which reason also the name of Senators was borrow∣ed from Senes.

Before we come to speake particularly of those Elders of which our purpose is to treat, it is fit we should know them by their right name, lest wee nick-name and mis-call them. Some reproachfully and others ignorantly call them Lay Elders. But the distinction of the Clergie & Laity, is Popish and Antichri∣stian; and they who have narrowly conside∣red the records of ancient times, have noted this distinction as one of the grounds whence the mystery of iniquity had the beginning of it.* The name of Clergie appropriate to Ministers, is full of pride and vaine-glory, and hath made the holy people of God to be despised, as if they were prophane and un∣cleane in comparison of their Ministers.*Ge∣rard likeneth those who take to themselves the name of the Clergie, to the Pharisees, who called themselves by that name: for that their holinesse did separate them from the rest of the Jewes: for this Etymologie of the name Pharisee, hee citeth Tertullian, Origen, Epiphanius, Ambrose, and confirmeth it from Page  4 Luke 18.10. Hence was it that some Coun∣cels discharged the Laity from presuming to enter within the Quire,* or to stand among the Clergie neere the Altar. Two reasons are alleadged why the Ministers of the Church should bee called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. First, be∣cause the Lord is their Inheritance: secondly, because they are the Lords inheritance. Now both these reasons doe agree to all the faith∣full people of God: For there is none of the faithfull, who may not say with David, Psal. 16.5. The Lord is the portion of my inheritance; and of whom also it may not bee said, that they are the Lords inheritance, or lot: for Peter giveth this name to the whole Church,* 1 Pet. 5.3. Where (if it were need∣full) we might chalenge Bishop Hall, who borroweth a glosse from Bellarmine and Gre∣gorius de Valentia, telling us, that Peter char∣geth his fellow Bishops not to dominier over their Clergie; so shutting out of the Text, both the duty of Pastors, because the Bishops onely are meant by Elders; and the benefit of the people, because the inferiour Pastors are the Bishops flocke, according to this glosse: for Peter opposeth the Lording over the〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to being ensamples to the Flocke. Surely, if this Popish Glosse bee true, Prote∣stants in their Commentaries and Sermons, Page  5 have gone wide from that Text. But Mat∣thias the Apostle was chosen by lot.* What then? By what reason doth the Ca∣non law draw from hence a name common to all the Ministers of the Gospell?* Let 〈◊〉 then banish from us such Popish names, and send them home to Rome.*Bellarmin thought we had done so long ere now: for he maketh this one of his controverted heads: Whether wee may rightly call some Christians the Clergie, and others the Laity, or not, ascribing the negative to Protestants, the affirmative to the Church of Rome.

Yet beside the Clergy and the Laity,* Pa∣pists hold that there is a third sort in the Church distinct from both, whom they call Regulares. These are such of their religious orders, as are not taken up with contem∣plation alone (like the Monkes) but with a∣ction;* such as the Dominicans, Franciscans, &c. Who helpe and assist the Clergy in their Ecclesiasticall imployments, though they themselves bee not admitted into any particular charge in the Church. Now hee who will needs side with the Papists in the distinction of Clergy and Laity, may also with them admit a third member of the di∣stinction▪ and make ruling Elders of that sort; especially since the reason why the re∣gular Page  6 Chanoins are assumed as helpers to Parish Priests,* is propter multitudinem fidelis populi, & difficultatem invenendi curatos suf∣ficientes & idoneos, saith Cardinall Cajetan, adding further, male consultum populo Chri∣stiano invenitur sine hujusmodi supplemento. Which reasons agree well to ruling Elders. For 1. Parishes containe so many, that the Minister cannot oversee all, and every one without helpe. 2. Sufficient and fit Ministers shall hardly bee every where found. 3. It is found by experience, that sinne and scandall are never well taken neede to, and redressed, where ruling Elders are not. To let all this passe, if any man will needs retaine the name of Lay Elders,* yet saith Gersomus Bucerus, What aspersion is that to our Churches? is it any other thing then that which Papists object to us for admitting Lay men into Councels? They who have place in the highest and most supreame assemblies of the Church, wherein the weightiest matters are determined, ought much more to be admit∣ted into inferiour meetings, such as Presby∣teries are.

But if we will speake with Scripture, wee shall call them Ruling Elders, Rom. 12.8. he that ruleth, 1 Tim. 5.17. Elders that rule well. They are called ruling Elders, non quia Page  7 soli sed quia solum praesunt. Pastors rule the Church even as they doe; but Pastors doe something more, from which they may bee designed. Whereas the Elders of which wee are to speake, have no other imploy∣ment, which can give them a designation, except the ruling of the Church onely. That wicked railer Lisimchus Nicanor, who assu∣med the name, but forgot to put on the vi∣zorne of a Jesuit, in his congratulatory (I should say calumniatory) Epistle pag. 61. alledgeth that they are called ruling Elders, because the Ministers are their ruled Elders. If he were a Jesuit, he may remember that in their own society, besides their Priests, Do∣ctors, Preachers, Confessionaries, &c. They have also Rectores,* or Regentes; whose of∣fice it is to see the rules of their order kept, to observe the behaviour of every one, & when they perceive any seeds of Heresie, to signifie the same to the Provinciall, and hee to the Generall. Yet are these Rectores among the lowest rankes of their officers, so that Jesu∣ites need not stumble when wee call our El∣dersruling Elders.

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CHAP. II. Of the function of Ruling Elders, and what sort of Officers they be.

*NOtwithstanding, of all the multiplicity of Popish orders, yet Peter Lombard treading the vestiges of the primitive simpli∣city, did observe that the Apostles left only two sacred orders to bee perpetuall in the Church, the order of Deacons, & the order of Elders. The administration of Deacons is exercised about things bodily. The ad∣ministration of Elders about things spirituall. The former about the goods: the latter a∣bout the government of the Church. Now Elders are of three sorts. 1. Preaching Elders, or Pastors. 2. Teaching Elders or Doctors. 3. Ruling Elders. All these are Elders, be∣cause they have voice in Presbyteries, and all assemblies of the Church, and the govern∣ment of the Church is incumbent to them all: nor onely to the Pastor and Elder, but to the Doctor also. The Bishop of Dune in his examen conjurationis Scoticae, p. 35. alledgeth, that our Church of Scotland did never yet determine whether Doctors and Deacons have right of voycing in the Consistories & Page  9 Assemblies of the Church. But had he read our booke of Policie, hee might have found, that it excludeth Deacons from being mem∣bers of Presbyteries and Assemblies, Cap. 8. but admitteth Doctors into the same, Cap. 5. The Doctor being an Elder, as said is, should as∣sist the Pastor in the government of the Kirke; and concurre with the Elders, his brethren, in all Assemblies, by reason the Interpretation of the Word, which is onely Iudge in Ecclesiasticall matters, is committed to his charge. But they differ, in that the Pastor laboureth in the word of exhortation, that is, by the gift of wisedome applieth the word to the manners of his flocke, and that in season and out of season, as he knoweth their particular cases to require. The Doctor laboureth in the word of Doctrine, that is, without such applicati∣ons as the Pastor useth, by simple teaching he preserveth the truth and sound interpreta∣tion of the Scriptures, against all heresie and error. The ruling Elder doth neither of these, but laboureth in the government and policie of the Church onely. The Apostle hath distinguished these three sorts of El∣ders, 1. Tim. 5.17. Let Elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the Word and Doctrine. Where, as Beza noteth, hee distinguisheth the Word,Page  10 which is the Pastors part, from Doctrine, which is the Doctors part. Even as Rom. 12.7.8. hee distinguisheth teaching from exhor∣tation: and 1 Cor. 12.8. putteth the word of wisedome, and the word of knowledge for two different things. Now beside those Elders which labour in the Word, and those which labour in Doctrine, Paul speaketh to Timothy of a third sort of Elders, which labour nei∣ther in the Word nor Doctrine, but in ruling well. Hence it appeareth, how truely the Booke of Policie, Cap. 2. saith, That there are foure ordinary, perpetuall, and necessary Offices in the Church, the office of the Pa∣stor, the Doctor, the Elder, and the Deacon: and that no other office, which is not one of these foure, ought to bee received, or suffered in the Church.

But when we speake of Elders, Non perso∣natos, &c. we will not have disguised and hi∣strionicall men, puffed up with titles, or idols dead in sinnes, to be meant, but holy men, who being indued with faith in God, and walking in his obedience, God authorising them, and the Church his Spouse chusing and calling them, undertake the government thereof, that they may labour to the conservation and edifica∣tion of the same in Christ,* saith Iunius. A ru∣ling Elder should pray for the Spirit and gifts Page  11 of his calling, that hee may doe the duties of his calling, and not bee like him that played the Souldan, but a Souter; hee must doe his office neither 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and pro forma, hee himselfe being Parcus Deorum caltor & infre∣quens; nor 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, doing all through conten∣tion and strife about particulars.*Si duo de nostras tollas pro nomina rebus, praelia (I may say Iurgia) cessarent, pax sine lite foret: Nor 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Empiring and Lording among his brethren and fellow Elders;*Whosoever will bee great among you, let him bee your mini∣ster; and whosoever will bee chiefe among you, let him be your servant, saith the onely Lord and Head of the Church: Nor yet 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, setting himselfe only to do a pleasure, or to get preferment to such as he favoureth; Nay, nor 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, onely by establishing good orders, and wholesome lawes in the Church, but he must carry himselfe 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, service∣ably and ministerially: for as his Function is Officium and Iurisdictio, so it is Munus, a burdensome service and charge laid upon him.

That a ruling Elder may bee such a one as hee ought to bee, two sorts of duties are re∣quisite, viz. duties of his Conversation, and duties of his Calling. The duties of his conversation are the same which the Apostle Page  12Paul requireth in the conversation of the Mi∣nister of the Word,* That he bee blamelesse, having a good report, not accused of riot, or unruly, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, a lover of good men, just, holy, temperate, not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre, not selfe-willed, not soone angry, but patient, not a brawler, not covetous, one that ruleth well his owne house, having his children in sub∣jection, with all gravity, one that followeth after righteousnesse, godlinesse, faith, love, patience, meeknesse, &c. These and such like parts of a Christian and exemplary con∣versation, being required of Pastors, as they are Elders, belong unto ruling Elders also. This being plaine, let us proceed to the du∣ties of their calling.

For the better understanding whereof, we will distinguish with the Schoole-men, a two-fold power, the power of Order, and the power of Jurisdiction; which are diffe∣rent in sundry respects. 1. The power of Or∣der comprehendeth such things as a Mini∣ster by vertue of his ordination, may doe without a commission from any Presbyterie, or Assembly of the Church, as to preach the Word, to minister the Sacraments, to celebrate marriage, to visite the sicke, to Page  13 catechise, to admonish, &c. The power of Jurisdiction comprehendeth such things as a Minister cannot doe by himselfe, nor by vertue of his ordination; but they are done by a Session, Presbytery, or Synod; and sometimes by a Minister, or Mini∣sters, having Commission, and authority from the same, such as ordination and ad∣mission, suspension, deprivation and com∣munication, and receiving againe into the Church, and making of Lawes and Consti∣tutions Ecclesiasticall and such like; where∣of we boldly maintaine, that there is no part of Ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction, in the power of one man, but of many met together in the name of Christ. 2. The power of Order is the radicall and fundamentall power, and maketh a Minister susceptive, and capable of the power of Jurisdiction. 3. The power of Order goeth no further then the Court of Conscience; the power of Jurisdiction is exercised in Externall and Ecclesiasticall Courts. Fourthly, the power of Order is sometime unlawfull in the use, yet not voide in it selfe. The power of Jurisdiction when it is unlawfull in the use, it is also voide in it selfe. If a Minister doe any act of Jurisdi∣ction, as to excommunicate, or absolve with∣out his owne parish, wanting also the consent Page  14 of the Ministery and Elders of the bounds where he doth the same, such acts are voide in themselves, and of no effect. But if with∣out his owne charge, and without the con∣sent aforesaid, hee baptise an infant, or doe any such thing belonging to the power of Order, though his act be unlawfull, yet is the thing it selfe of force, and the Sacrament remaineth a true Sacrament.

Now to our purpose. We averre that this twofold power of Order and of Jurisdiction belongeh to ruling Elders as well as to Pa∣stors. The power of Jurisdiction is the same in both; for the power and authority of all Jurisdiction belongeth to the Assemblies, and representative meetings of the Church, whereof the ruling Elders are necessary con∣stituent members and have the power of decisive voycing no lesse then Pastors. How∣beit the execution of some decrees enacted by the power of Jurisdiction belongeth to Ministers alone, for Pastors alone exercise some acts of Jurisdiction, as imposition of hands, the pronouncing of the sentence of ex∣communication, the receiving of a penitent, &c. Are not these things done in the name and authority of some Assembly of the Church, higher or lower? Or are they any other then the executions of the decrees and Page  15 sentences of such an Assembly wherein ru∣ling Elders voyced. The power of Order alone shall, make the difference betwixt the Pastor and the ruling Elder; for by the power of Order, the Pastor doth preach the Word, minister the Sacraments, pray in publike, blesse the Congregation, celebrate marriage, which the ruling Elder cannot. Therefore it is falsly said by that railing Rabshakeh (whom before I spoke of) Ep. pag. 7. That the ruling Elders want nothing of the power of the Minister, but that they preach not, nor baptise in publike congrega∣tions: yet other things which the Pastor doth by his power of Order, the ruling El∣der ought also to doe by his owne power of Order. And if we would know how much of this power of Order is common to both, let us note that Pastors doe some things by their power of Order, which all Christians ought to doe by the law of Charity. Things of this sort a ruling Elder may and ought to doe by his power of Order, and by vertue of his election and ordination to such an of∣fice. For example, every Christian is bound in Charity to admonish and reprove his brother that offendeth; first, privately, then before witnesses; and if he heare not, to tell it to the Church, Levit. 19.17. Matth. Page  16 This a ruling Elder ought to doe by vertue of his calling, and with authority, 1 Thess. 5.12. Private Christians ought in Charity to instruct the ignorant, Joh. 4.29. Act. 18.26. to exhort the negligent, Heb. 3.15. & 10.24 25. to comfort the afflicted, 1 Thess. 5.11. to support the weake, 1 Thess. 5.14. To re∣store him that falleth, Galat. 6.1. to visite the sicke, Matth. 25.36.40. to reconcile those who are at variance, Matth. 5.9. to contend for the truth, and to answer for it, Iude v. 3. 1 Pet. 3.15. All which are incumbent to the ruling Elder by the authority of his calling. To conclude then, the calling of ruling El∣ders consisteth in these two things. 1. To as∣sist and voyce in all Assemblies of the Church, which is their power of jurisdiction. 2. To watch diligently over the whole flock all these wayes which have been mentioned, and to doe by authority that which other Christians ought to doe in charity, which is their power of order. And the Elder which neglecteth any one of these two whereunto his calling leadeth him, shall make answer to God for it. For the Word of God, the Di∣scipline of this Kirke, the bonds of his owne calling and covenant, doe all binde sinne up∣on his soule, if either hee give not diligence in private, by admonishing all men of their Page  17 duty as the case requireth; or if he neglect to keepe either the Ecclesiasticall Court and Consistory within the Congregation where his charge is, or the Classicall Presbyterie, and other Assemblies of the Church, which he is no lesse bound to keepe then his Pastor, when he is called and dessigned thereunto.

CHAP. III. The first Argument for ruling Elders, taken from the Iewish Church.

HAving shewed what ruling Elders are, it followeth to shew Scripture and Di∣vine right for them. Our first Argument is taken from the governement and pollicy of the Jewish Church thus: Whatsoever kinde of office-bearers the Jewish Church had; not as it was Jewish, but as it was a Church, such ought the Christian Church to have also. But the Jewish Church, not as it was Jewish, but as it was a Church, had Elders of the people, who assisted in their Ecclesia∣sticall government, and were members of their Ecclesiasticall Consistories. Therefore Page  18 such ought the Christian Church to have also. The Proposition will no man call in question; for, quod competit alicui qua tali competit omni tali. That which agreeth to any Church as it is a Church, agreeth to every Church. I speake of the Church as it is a politicall body, and setled Ecclesiasticall Republike. Let us see then to the Assumpti∣on. The Jewish Church, not as it was a Church, but as it was Jewish, had an high Priest, typisying our great high Priest Jesus Christ. As it was Jewish, it had Musitians to play upon Harpes, Psalteries, Cymbals, and other Musicall Instruments in the Temple, 1 Chron. 25.1. concerning which, hear Bellarmines confession, de bon. oper. lib. 1. cap. 17. Iustinus saith, that the use of instru∣ments was granted to the Iewes for their im∣perfection: and that therefore such instruments have no place in the Church. Wee confesse in∣deed that the use of musicall instruments agre∣eth not alike with the perfect, and with the im∣perfect, and that therefore they beganne but of late to be admitted in the Church. But as it was a Church, and not as Jewish, it had foure sorts of ordinary office-bearers, Priests, Le∣vites, Doctors, and Elders, and we confor∣mablie have Pastors, Deacons, Doctors, and Elders.* To their Priests and Levits, CyprianPage  19 doth rightly liken our Pastors and Deacons, for howsoever sundry things were done by the Priests and Levites, which were typicall and Jewish onely; yet may we well parallell our Pastors with their Priests, in respect of a perpetuall Ecclesiasticall office common to both, viz. the Teaching and governing of the people of God, Mal. 2.7. 2 Chron. 19.8. and our Deacons with their Levits, in respect of the cure of Ecclesiasticall goods, and of the work of the service of the house of God in the materialls and appurtenances thereof, a function likewise common to both, 1 Chro. 26.20. & 23.24.28.* The Jewish Church had also Doctors and Schooles, or Colled∣ges for the preservation of true Divinity among them, and of tongues, arts, and scien∣ces, necessary thereto, 1 Chron. 15.22.27. 2 King. 22.14. 1 Sam. 19.20. 2 Kings 2.3.5. Act. 19.9. These office-bearers they had for no typicall use, but wee have them for the same use and end for which they had them. And all these sorts of office-bearers among us wee doe as rightly warrant from the like sorts among them as other whiles wee war∣rant our baptizing of Infants from their cir∣cumcising of them, our Churches by their Synagogues, &c.

Now that the Jewish Church had also Page  20 such Elders as wee plead for, it is manifest: for besides the Elders of the Priests, there were also Elders of the people joyned with them in the hearing and handling of Ecclesi∣asticall matters, Jer. 19.1. Take of the ancients of the people▪ and of the ancients of the Priests. The Lord sending a message by the Pro∣phet, would have a representative body of all Judah to be gathered together for receiving it, as Tremellius noteth. So 2 Kings 6.32. Elisha sate in his house, and the Elders sate with him. We read, 2 Chron. 19.8. That with the Priests were joyned some of the chiefe of the Fathers of Israel, to judge Ecclesia∣sticall causes and controversies. And how∣soever many things among the Jewes in the latter times, after the captivity, did weare to confusion and misorder, yet we finde even in the dayes of Christ, and the Apostles, that the Elders of the people still sate and voyced in Councell with the Priests, according to the ancient forme, as is cleare from sundry places of the new Testament, Matth. 16.21. and 21.23. and 26.57.59. and 27.1.12. Mark 14 43. Luke 22.66. Acts 4.5.* This is also ac∣knowledged by the Roman Annalist Baro∣nius, who confesseth further, That as this was the forme among the Jewes, so by the Apostles was the same forme observed Page  21 in their times, and Seniors then admitted into Councels. Saravia himselfe, who dis∣puteth so much against ruling Elders, ac∣knowledgeth what hath been said of the El∣ders of the Jewes, Seniores quidem invenio in Consessu Sacerdotum veteris Synagoga,*qui Sa∣cerdotes non erant. I finde indeed (saith hee) Elders in the Assembly of the Priests of the old Synagogue, which were not Priests. Et quamvis paria corum essent suffragia & authoritas in omnibus sufragiis sacerdotum,*cum suffragiis Sacerdotum, &c. And although (saith hee) their suffra∣ges and authority in all judgements were equall with the suffrages of the Priests, &c. But what then, thinke yee, hee hath to say against us? Hee saith,* that the Elders of the Jewes were their Magistrates, which in things pertaining to the externall government of the Church, ought not to have been debarred from the Councell of the Priests, more then the Chri∣stian Magistrate ought now to bee debarred from the Synods of the Church. Now to prove that their Elders were their civill Ma∣gistrates, hee hath no better argument then this, That the Hebrew word Zaken, which is turned Elder, importeth a chiefe man, or a Ruler. We answer, First, this is a bold con∣jecture which hee hath neither warran∣ted by divine nor by humane testimo∣nies. Page  22 Secondly, Zaken doth not ever signifie a Ruler, or a man in authority, as we have shewed before. Thirdly, let us grant Zaken to bee a name of dignity, and to import a chiefe man; yet a chiefe man is not ever a Magistrate, nor a Ruler. It would onely fol∣low that they were of the chiefe of the fa∣thers of Israel that were joyned with the Priests in the Sanedrim, and so it was, 2 Chron. 19.8. Non hercle de plebe hominum lecti sed nobilissimi omnes,* saith P. Cunaeus. They were, saith Loc. Theol. to. 6. §. 28. Proceres tribuum qui allegabantur una cum sacerdotibus & scribis in sacrum synedrium. Fourthly, they who were so joyned in Coun∣cell with the Priests, 2 Chron. 19.8. are plainely distinguished from the Judges and Magistrates, vers. 11. And so are the Princes & Rulers distinguished from the Elders, Act. 4.5. Judg. 8.14. Deut. 5.23. Jos. 8.33. Fifthly, we would know whether he thought that all the Magistrates of the Jews sate in Councel with the Priests, or some of them onely: if some only, we desire either proofe or proba∣bility who they were, and how many; if all, then should wee by the like reason admit not the supreame Magistrate alone (which hee seemeth to say) into the Synods of the Church, but all Magistrates whatsoever, and Page  23 what a confusion should that bee? Sixthly those Elders that sate in the civil Sanedrim, were Rulers by their sitting there; but the Elders which sate in the Ecclesiasticall Sane∣drim, either were not civill Magistrates, or at least sate not there as Magistrates. So do our Magistrates sometimes sit with us, as mem∣bers of our Assemblies, not as Magistrates, but as Elders. Of the distinction of those two Courts, which every one observeth not, we shall speake more afterward.

We have said enough against Saravia, but Bilson doth better deserve an answer, who alledgeth more specious reasons to prove, that the Elders of the Jewes were their civill Magistrates. Hee saith, There was no Se∣nate nor Seniors among the Jewes, but such as had power of life and death, of imprison∣ment, confiscation, banishment, &c. which hee maketh to appeare thus: In the dayes of Ezra the punishment of contemners was for∣feiture of their substance, and separation from the congregation, Ezra 10.8. The triall of secret murther was committed to the Elders of every City, Deut. 21.3.4. They delivered the wilfull murtherer unto the Avenger of bloud, to be put to death, Deut. 19.12. They condemned a stubborne sonne to death, Deut. 21.19. They chastened a Page  24 man who had spoken falsly of his wife, that hee found her not a virgin, Deut. Ans. First, if it should bee granted, that the Elders spoken of in these places, were ci∣vill Magistrates, this proveth not that there were no Ecclesiasticall Elders among the Jewes.*Iustellus in his Annotations upon the Booke of the Canons of the African Church, distinguisheth betwixt the civill El∣ders mentioned, Can. 91. who were called Seniores locorum, or Vrbium: and the Ecclesia∣sticall Elders mentioned, Can. 100. who were called, Seniores Ecclesiae, and Seniores Plebis: the former name distinguishing them from the civill Elders, the latter distinguishing them from Preaching Elders. So there might be the same two sorts of Elders among the Jewes. And what then? It is enough for us that wee finde in the Jewish Church, some Elders joyned with the Priests, & employed in things Ecclesiasticall. The Elders and Priests are joyned together both in the new Testament, as Matth. 26.59. the chiefe Priests and Elders; so in other places before cited: And likewise in the old Testament, Exod. 24.1. Come up unto the Lord, thou and Aaron, Nadab and bihu, and seventy of the El∣ders of Israel, Deut. 27.1. Moses with the Elders, compared with vers. 9. Moses and the Page  25 Priests. Ezech. 7.26. The Law shall perish from the Priest, and counsell from the ancients, Jer. 19 1. Take of the ancients of the people, and of the ancients of the Priests. Wee finde also the Commandements of God first delivered to the Elders, and by them to the people, Exod. 12.21.28. and 19.7.8. It is said, Deut. 27.1. Moses with the Elders of Israel comman∣ded the people. Upon which place Hugo Car∣dinalis saith: Argumentum, &c. Here is an argument that a Prelat ought not to com∣mand any thing without the counsell of the Elders.

Secondly, but it cannot bee proved, that these Elders in the places objected, were Judges or Magistrates: nay, the contrary ap∣peareth from other places, which wee have before alledged for the distinction of Elders from Magistrates or Judges: whereunto wee may adde, 2 Kings 10.1. Vnto the Rulers of Iezreel, to the Elders, and to them that brought up Ahabs children. And verse 5. Hee that was over the house, and hee that was over the Citie, the Elders also, and the bringers up of the chil∣dren, Ezra 10.14. The Elders of every Citie, and the Iudges thereof.

Fourthly, we read of threescore and seven∣teen Elders in Succoth, Judg. 8.14. whereas the greatest number of Judges in one Citie Page  26 among the Jewes was three for smaller mat∣ters, and three and twenty for greater mat∣ters. This objection Bilson himselfe moveth, but answereth it not.

Fiftly, as for the places which hee obje∣cteth against us, the first two of them make against himselfe. In Ezra 10.8. wee finde not onely the civill punishment of forfeiture, but also as Pellicanus on that place, and Zepperus de pol. Eccl. lib. 3. cap. 7. doe observe the Ecclesiasticall punishment of excommuni∣cation, or separation from the Congregati∣on: the former answering to the councell of the Princes, the latter to the councell of the Elders. The place Deuter. 21.3.4. maketh against him in three respects. First, the Elders of the City did but wash their hands over the beheaded Heifer, and purge themselves before the Lord from the bloodshed, which was a matter rather Ecclesiasticall then ci∣vill, neque enim, &c. For there was no neede of a Iudge here who should be present formally as Iudge, saith Bonfrerius, the Jesuite, upon that place. Secondly, the controversie was decided by the word of the Priests, vers. 5. Thirdly, Tostatus thinketh that the Elders & the Judges are plainely distinguished, vers. 2. Thy Elders and thy Iudges shall come forth. Quaeras hic, &c. Thou mayest here aske, saith Page  27Pelargus, why the Elders of the people and the Iudges were both together called out? I answer, because God will have both the Magistrate and the subjects to be innocent, &c. As for the o∣ther places, that which seemeth to prove most for the civill power of the Jewish El∣ders, is Deuter. 22. yet heare what that fa∣mous Commentator, Tostatus Abulensis, saith on that place, Quando talis, &c. When such a cause was to bee judged, because it was very weighty, the Elders of the City did meet toge∣ther with the Iudges thereof, for in such facts there is some place for conjecture, and the El∣ders who are the wiser sort, can herein bee more attentive then others. So hee noteth upon Ruth 4.2. that the Elders sate in the gate about the controversie betwixt Boaz and the other Kinsman, not as Judges, but as wit∣nesses and beholders, that the matter might bee done with the more gravity and respect. Which doth further appeare from vers. 9.11. In like manner wee answer to Deut. 21.19. the Judges decided that cause with advice and counsell of the Elders: and so the name of Elders in those places may bee a name not of office, but of dignity, signifying men of chiefe note, for wisedome, gravity, and ex∣perience. In which sense the word Elders is taken, Gen. 50.7. as Tostatus and Rivetus ex∣pound Page  28 that place. In the same manner we say of Deuter. 19.12. and in that case it is fur∣ther to bee remembred that the Cities of re∣fuge had a kinde of a sacred designation and use, for the Altar it selfe was sometimes a place of refuge, Exod. 21.14. and when the sixe Cities of refuge were appointed, they were of the Cities of the Levits Numb. 35.6. that by the judgement and counsell of the Levits who should best understand the Law of God, such controversies might be deter∣mined, as Pellicanus on that place saith well; for this cause some read Josh. 20.7. They san∣ctified Kedesh, &c. Besides, if it bee true that these causes were judged, not in the City where the murder was committed, but in the City of refuge,* as Serrarius holdeth with Masius and Montanus, and alledgeth for it some very considerable reasons, then doth Bilsons Argument from Deut. 19.12. faile also in this respect, for the Elders there men∣tioned are the Elders of the City where the murder was committed.

Page  29

CHAP. IV. The second Argument taken from Matth. 18.17.

OUR second argument we take from Matth. 18.17. Tell the Church. Let an obstinate offender, whom no ad∣monition doth amend, bee brought and jud∣ged by the Church. Where first of all, it is to bee condescended upon, That though hee speaketh by allusion to the Jewish Church, as is evident by these words, Let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a Publican; Yet hee meaneth of the Christian Church, when he saith, Tell the Church, as may appeare by the words following, Whatsoever ye bind on earth, &c. which is meant of the Apostles and Ministers of he Gospell, Joh. 20.23. so that hee did not send them to the Synedrium of the Jewes, when hee bade them tell the Church: nor, 2. doth hee meane of the Church universall; for then we should have none of our wrongs redressed, because wee cannot assemble the Church universall; nay, nor the representative of it, which is an Oecu∣menicke Councell: Nor 3. can wee under∣derstand it of the collective body, of a parti∣cular Page  30 Church or Congregation; for hee who is the God of order, not of confusion, hath committed the exercise of no Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction to a promiscuous multitude. Nor 4. can it be taken of a Prelate, who being but one, can no more be called the Church, nor one can be called many, or a member be called a body. Non enim una persona potest dici Ecclesia, saith Bell. de Eccles. l. 3. c. 17. Cum Ecclesia sit populus & regnum Dei. It is plaine, that the Church there spoken of, is a certaine number met together, Where two or three are gathered together.*&c. Nor 5. can wee with Erastus and Bilson expound it of the Christian Magi∣strate; which exposition, beside that in a new∣fangled language, it calleth the Magistrate the Church, and goeth about to overthrow all Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction. It is also utterly contrary to the purpose of Christ, and to the aime of that discipline which he recommen∣deth to bee used, which is the good of our brother, and the gaining of him from his of∣fence, whereas the exercise of civill jurisdicti∣on of the Magistrate is not intended for te good of the offender, and for the winning of him to repentance; but for the publike good of the Common-wealth, and for the preservation of peace, order, and justice, therein according to the lawes. Wherefore Page  31 by the Church whereof our master speaketh, we must needs understand such a representa∣tive meeting of the Church, wherein a scan∣dalous and obstinate person may, and ought to be judged.* And what is that? Collegium Presbyterorum, saith Camero. The Presby∣tery whereof mention is made, 1 Tim. 4.14. Tell the Church, that is, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 saith Chrysostome, expounding the place: he meaneth the Presbyterie made up of Pa∣stors and ruling Elders.* And so Zanchius and Iunius expound him. The Pastors were 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, because of their presiding in the Consistories of the Church. The ruling Elders were 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, because of their ruling the flocke.*Whitgift saith, Truth it is, that the place of Matthew may be understood of Seniors, but it may bee aswell understood of any other, that by the order of the Church, have authority in the Church. His confession in behalfe of Seniors we accept, but that he maketh this Scripture like a nose of waxe, and the go∣vernment of the Church like the French fashion, that we utterly abhorre. But how is the Presbytery called the Church, and why? First, even as the body is said to see when as the eyes alone doe see;* so saith Ca∣mero. The Church is said to heare that which they alone doe heare, who are as the eies of Page  32 the Church. Secondly, it is a common forme of speech to give the name of that which is represented to that which representeth it. So wee commonly say that this or that is done by the States of Holland, which is done by the Senate at Hague. Now though Bishops or Pastors alone cannot represent the Church, because hearers also belong to the definition of the Church; yet the Pres∣bytery can well represent the Church, be∣cause it containeth, beside those who labour in the word, ruling Elders put in authority by the Church for the government thereof, as Gerard rightly resolveth.*. Our Divines prove against Papists that some of these whom they call Laickes ought to have place in the Assemblies of the Church by this Ar∣gument among the rest; because otherwise the whole Church could not be thereby re∣presented. Thirdly,* the Lord commanded that the children of Israel should lay their hands upon the Levits at their consecration, and that the whole congregation should bee brought together for that effect. This, as some have observed out of Aben-Ezra,* can∣not bee so understood as if the many thou∣sands which were then in the Hoste of Israel had all laid their hands upon them, but the Elders of Israel onely representing them. Page  33 So the Lord saith,*speake to all the Congregattion of Israel, &c. But the execution of this command is expressed thus, Then Moses cal∣led for all the Elders of Israel, and said unto them &c.* So Josh. 20.6. Fourthly, Pastors and Elders, as they are the Ministers of Jesus Christ, so are they the Ministers and servants of his Spouse the Church. From that which hath beene said we may draw our Argument in this forme.

Whatsoever Courts doe represent the Church, these are made up of ruling aswell as teaching Elders.

But Presbyteries and all Assemblies of the Church are Courts which represent the Church. Ergo. The proposition is proved thus: Whatsoever Courts represent hearers aswell as teachers, and the people aswell as the Ministery, these are made up of ruling as well as teaching Elders.

But whatsoever Courts doe represent the Church, these represent hearers aswell as teachers, &c. It is plaine enough that the Church cannot bee represented except the hearers of the word, which are the farre greatest part of the Church be represented. By the Ministers of the word they cannot be represented more then the Burghes can bee represented in Parliament by the Noblemen Page  34 or by the Commissioners of Shires▪ there∣fore by some of their owne kinde must they be represented, that is by such as are hearers and not preachers. Now some hearers cannot represent all the rest, except they have a cal∣ling and commission thereto, and who can those be but ruling Elders?

CHAP. V. Our third Argument taken from Ro∣mans 12.8.

OUR third Argument is grounded upon Rom. 12.8. The Apostle hath declared before that, as there are many members in one body, and all the members have not the same office, for the office of the eye is to see, of the eare to heare, &c. So are their gifts given to the severall office-bearers of the Church, wherewith every one in his owne office may glorifie God and edifie the Church, vers. 4. with vers. 5.6. These gifts he saith are differing, according to the grace given to us; that is, according to the holy charge and office given unto us by the grace and favour of God: so vers. 3. Through the Page  35 grace given unto me, saith Paul: that is through the authority of my Apostleship, which by grace I have obtained. Now whiles he ex∣horteth every one to the faithfull and hum∣ble use of his gift which he hath received for the discharge of his office, he illustrateth his exhortation by the enumeration of the or∣dinary Ecclesiasticall offices vers. 6.7.8. And as Beza,*Piscator, and Iunius doe well resolve the text. First, he maketh a generall division of functions in the Church, making two sorts of the same Prophesie, whereby is meant the faculty of expounding Scrip∣ture: and Ministerie comprehending all o∣ther imployments in the Church. Prophe∣cying the Apostle sudivideth into Teaching, which is the Doctors part, and Exhortation which is the Pastors. Ministery he subdivi∣deth in Giving, which is the Deacons part. Ruling which is the ruling Elders part, and Shewing mercy, which pertained to them who had care of the sicke. Against this com∣mentary which we have made upon the A∣postles words.*Sutcliffe objecteth a double injury which we doe to Pastors. First, if these our Elders be the Rulers here spoken of, then Pastors ought not to rule: as if (forsooth) Elders could not rule except they rule alone. Next hee saith wee make these Elders as Page  36 necessary to the Church as Pastors; so that a Church cannot be where there are not ruling Elders, even as there is not a Church where there are not Word and Sacraments. Surely, a Church may happen to want Pastors, and so to want both the preaching of the Word, and the use of the Sacraments for that time: And so may it want Elders, and still remaine a Church, but defective and maimed. How∣beit the Pastors are more necessary then the Elders, because they doe not onely rule, but preach beside.

But to passe this, there are other things which better deserve an answer: for one might object, 1. That the Apostle seemeth to speake of severall gifts onely, not of seve∣rall offices. 2. If hee speake of Offices, by what reason make we Prophesie and Ministery generall kindes, and all the rest particular of∣fices. 3. Why would the Apostle put the Deacon before the Elder. 4. Bishop An∣drewes in his Sermon of the worshipping of Imaginations, maketh a fourth objection, that by our interpretation of this place, wee make Qui miseretur to be Latine for a widow.

To the first of these we answer, The Apo∣stles Protasis speaketh of severall offices, not in the same, but in severall members: how then should we make his Apodosis to speak of Page  37 severall gifts in the same, and not in severall office-bearers of the Church: wherefore, as seeing, hearing, tasting, &c. doe differ sub∣jectively in respect of the members, which doe see, heare, &c. So speaketh the Apostle of teaching, exhorting, ruling, &c. as they are in different office-bearers. It is least of all credible which Bilson saith de Eccles. gubern. c. 10. p. 186.187. that the Apostle speaks not of the gifts of office-bearers, but of gifts di∣stributed unto all the members of Christs mysticall body, even unto women. Hee had shewed us a great secret, if hee could have made it appeare, that all who are in the Church, women and all, may both prophesie and rule. In this hee shall have the praise of out-stripping the Separatists. We know that private Christians may teach and exhort one another; but they doe not so devote them∣selves thereto, as altogether to wait upon tea∣ching and exhorting, which is the case the A∣postle speaketh of.

To the second wee say, that Prophesie and Ministery are put in abstracto, and oyned with a plurall 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; but teaching, exhorting, gi∣ving, ruling, and shwing mercie, are put in cncreto, and to each of them the single article pre fixed; which is a sufficien warrant to expound Prophesie and Ministery, as Genera,Page  38 and the rest as Species, Chrysostome conside∣ring the word Ministery, saith, Rem hic gene∣ralem ponit.

To the third we answer, He which is first named, hath not alwayes some prerogative or dignity above him which is last named▪ else doe the Papists rightly argue, that Peter was the chiefe of all the Apostles, because they finde him named before all the rest, Matth. 10.2. Act. 1.13. The Apostle inten∣ded to reckon out all ordinary offices in the Church; but he intended not the precise or∣der. Chrysostome upon this same place saith: Vide quomodo ista indifferenter ponat quod minutum est primo: quod magnum est posteriore loco. Ephes. 4.11. hee putteth Pastors before Teachers: here to the Romans he putteth Tea∣chers before Pastors.

To the fourth wee answer, That though it be ordinarily most convenient, that the office of attending the sicke bee committed to wo∣men, yet it is not essentially necessary to the offifice: And as Aretius noteth upon the place, wee may under 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 comprehend not onely widowes appointed to attend the sicke, but old men appointed to receive and entertaine strangers:* Which is also judiciously observed by Martyr. Besides, when the Apostle, 1 Tim. 5. teacheth what is required in wi∣dowes, Page  39 who should bee made Diaconesses; this hee requireth among other things, that they be not such as live in pleasures and idle∣nesse, and take not care to provide for their owne houses, verse 6.8. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; which though Erasmus and Beza turne in the feminine, quod si qua, yet our English Translators, and many good Interpreters, turne it in the masculine. And surely it shall have more weight if it agree to men as well as women, saith Calvin upon that place. Now they who read in the masculine, that which the Apostle saith there of wi∣dowes, will not, wee suppose, blame us for reading, Rom. 12.8. in the masculine also, He that sheweth mercie. Wee conclude our third Argument thus:

Whatsoever office-bearer in the Church is different from Pastors and Teachers, and yet ruleth the Church, he must needs bee a ruling Elder.

But 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 mentioned, Rom. 12.8. is different from Pastors and Teachers, and yet ruleth the Church. Ergo.

Page  40

CHAP. VI. Argument 4. from 1 Cor. 12.28.

OUR fourth Argument is drawn from 1 Cor. 12.28. where we finde againe an enumeration of sundry offices in the Church (though not so perfect as that Rom. 12.) and amongst others, Helps, that is, Deacons, and Governments, that is, Ruling Elers. Where wee cannot enough admire how the Authors of the new English trans∣lation were bold to turne it thus, Helps in Governments, so to make one of two, and to elude our Argument. The originall hath them cleerely distinguished, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. And I finde some late editions of the Eng∣lish translation to have it as it is in the Greek, Helps, Governments. How this change hath been made in the English Bibles, I know not. Chrysostome expounding, this place doth not take Helps and Governements to be all one, as Bilson hath boldly,* but falsly averred. Nay Chrysostome maketh the meaning of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to be ut pauperes suscipiamus: and the meaning of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, he expounded to be praeesse ac curam gerere & res administrare spirituales. The former belongs to Deacons,Page  41 the later to ruling Elders. Two answers are made to this place.

First,* D. Field answereth, that both here and Rom. 12.8. we reason à genere ad speciem affirmativè; because the Apostle mentioneth Governours whom he requireth to rule with diligence, therefore they were such Elders as we plead for.*Whitgift saith, the word Go∣vernours, 1. Cor. 12.28. and Rulers, Rom. 12.8. is generall, and may either signifie Christi∣an Magistrates, or Ecclesiasticall, as Archbi∣shops, Bishops, or whatsoever other by lawfull authority are appointed in the Church.

We reply,* first, if the Apostle had mentio∣ned Rulers or Governours alone, then might we have indeed guessed, that hee meant a ge∣nerall kinde onely, and no particular Species: But since he hath enumerate so many Species, as Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, gifts of mi∣racles, gifts of tongues, &c. Surely they did ei∣ther most ignorantly, or most maliciously erre who tell us, that the Apostle putteth a Genus in the midst of so many Species. Secondly, the Apostle speaketh onely of Ecclesiasticall Officers, God hath set some in the Church, &c. What meant Whitgift to extend his words to the civill Magistrate. T. C. answered him, that hee could not distinguish betwixt the Church and Common-wealh, and so betwixt Page  42 the Church Officers, and the Officers of the Common-wealth. He replied, that he could not put any such difference betwixt them, that the one may not be comprehended under the Apostles word, as well as the other. For I utterly renounce, saith he, that distinction inven∣ted by Papists, and maintained by you, which is, that Christian Magistrates governe not in the respect they be Christians but in the respect they be men; and that they governe Christians, not in that they bee Christians, but in that they bee men: which is to give no more authority to the Christian Magistrate in the Church of Christ, then to the great Turke. Let our opposites here goe by the eares among themselves: for M. Io. Wemys holdeth,* that all Kings have a∣like jurisdiction in the Church, Infidels as wel as Christian Kings. We hold that Christian Magistrates governe their subjects, neither as Christians, nor as men, but as Magistrates; and they governe Christian subjects as Chri∣stian Magistrates. In like manner, Christians are governed by Magistrates, neither as they are Christians, nor as they are men, but as they are subjects, and they are governed by Chri∣stian Magistrates, as they are Christian sub∣jects. And we all maintaine, that a Christian Magistrate hath great authority over Christi∣an subjects, in things pertaining to the conser∣vation Page  43 and purgation of religion, which the great Turke, nor no Infidell Magistrate hath, or can have, except hee become Christian. But what doe I digressing after the imperti∣nencies of a roving disputer? for what of all this? Let Christian Magistrates governe as you will, will any man say that his office is Ecclesiasticall, or to be reckoned among A∣postles, Prophets Teachers? &c. Wherefore

Let us proceed to the other answer, which is made by Saravia:* Hee saith, that though the Apostle, 1 Cor. 12.28. reckon out diffe∣rent gifts, wee need not for that understand different persons, nor make different orders and offices in the Church, of the gifts of mi∣racles, healing, tongues, and prophecies, which might bee, and were in one man. Whereupon he resolveth the Text thus: that first, Paul setteth downe three distinct or∣ders, Apostles, Prophets, and Teachers; then he reckoneth forth these common gifts of the holy Ghost (and the gift of governing amongst the rest) which were common to all the three.* The Apostle saith not Governours, but Governments, saith Sutcliffe, to shew that he meaneth of faculties not of persons. So saith Bilson in like manner.

For confutation of all this, it is to be re∣membred: First, that the gifts spoken of by Page  44 the Apostle, are given of God for the com∣mon good and edification of the Church, And God hath set some in the Church, &c. Se∣condly, these gifts the Apostle considereth not, abstract••è à subjectis; but as they are in men indued with them, as is plaine; for hee had before reckoned forth the gifts them∣selves, vers. 8.9.10. and if here he did no more but reckon them over againe, this were actum agere. He is now upon the use and ex∣ercise of these gifts by the office-bearers of the Church, vers. 27.29. And though the Apostle, vers. 28. speaketh concretively on∣ly of these three, Apostles, Prophets, and Teachers, yet the rest must bee understood in the same manner, per metoxymiam adjuncti; as when wee speake of Magistracy and Mini∣stery, for Magistrates and Ministers▪ yea, the Apostle, vers. 29.30. so expoundeth himself where hee speaketh concretivè of the same things whereof hee seemed before to speake abstractivè. Hee speaketh of them as they are in different subjects, which is most evident both by his protasis wherein hee did againe presse the same simile of the severall offices, not of the same but of severall mem∣bers of the body; and likewise by the words immediately subjoyned, Are all Apostles, are all Prophets? are all Teachers? He would have stood here and said no more, if he had meant to distinguish these three orders only as Sa∣raviaPage  45 expoundeth him. But now to make it plainely appeare that hee spoke of the other gifts also, as they are in different persons, hee addeth, are all workers of miracles? have all the gifts of healing? doe all speake with tongues? doe all interprete? where wee may supply, are all for helps? are all for governe∣ments? But can it bee for nought that the Apostle ommitteth these two, when he doth over againe enumerate all the rest? vers. 29.30. It is as if he had said, there are some who have none of those speciall, and (for the most part) extraordinary gifts. All are not Apostles, all are not Prophets, &c. for some have but common and ordinary gifts, to bee Deacons or Elders for government.

There is a great controversie betwixt the Iesuits and the Doctors of Sarbon, about the meaning of this place which we have now expounded.* The Jesuits in their Spongia, writen against the censure of the University of Paris, contend, that by Helps the Apo∣stle meaneth, the regular Chanoins, who help the Bishops and the Priests in preaching, ministering the Sacraments, and hearing confessions. By governments they say hee meaneth secular Priests, whom they call pa∣rochi. And because hee putteth helps before governments, they inferre that Regular Cha∣noins are of an higher degree in the Hie∣rarchy Page  46 of the Church, then Secular Priests. This they maintaine (good men) for the cre∣dit of their owne Polypragmaticke order, and not for the credit of other regular Cha∣noins, you may be sure. The Doctors of Sorbon in their Vindicia Censura, written by Aurelius,* considered that they could not maintaine the meaning of the Apostle to bee onely of different gifts (which no doubt they had answered, if they had thought it to carry any probability) therefore they acknowledge that under these gifts are contained also the degrees of the Hierarchy. And that the A∣postles words doe partly belong to the com∣mon gifts of the Spirit, as powers and inter∣pretation of tongues, partly to the Hierarchy: of this later sort,* they make helps and govern∣ments. And by the helps they seeme to un∣derstand Archdeacons and Curates.

But now to conclude this Argument also, thus it is: They who have the gift and office of governing the Church, and are different from them, who have other gifts and offices in the Church, can be no other then the ru∣ling Elders, which we plead for.

But these 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 spoken of, 1 Cor. 12.28. are such. Ergo.

Page  47

CHAP. VII. Argument 5. from 1 Tim. 5.17.

OUR fift Argument is taken from a cleer place, 1 Tim. 5.17. Let the Elders that rule well bee counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and do∣ctrine. Hence we reason after this manner.

These Churches which had some Elders that laboured not in the Word and Doctrine, yet were worthy of double honour for ru∣ling well, had the very same ruling Elders we plead for.

But the Apostolicke Churches had some Elders that laboured not in the Word and Doctrine, yet were worthy of double honor for ruling well. Ergo.

The Argument riseth from the plaine Text, then which what can be cleerer? But there are some who would darken light, and ligh∣ten darkenesse.

Doctor Field propoundeth three glosses upon this place for the frustration of our Ar∣gument.* First, that the guides of the Church are worthy of double honour, both in respect of governing and teaching, but especially for their paines in teaching; so that the A∣postle Page  48 noteth two parts or duties of Presby∣teriall offices, not two sorts of Presbyters. This is manifestly against the Text, which speaketh of officers, not of offices, of per∣sons, not of duties, for it is not said, especially for labouring, &c. But especially they that la∣bour, &c.

Secondly, he saith, among Elders some la∣boured principally in governing and mini∣stering the Sacraments, some in preaching. So Paul sheweth that he preached and labou∣red more then all the Apostles,* but baptised few or none. And when Paul and Barnabas were companions, and their travells equall; yet Paul was the chiefe speaker; so that though both were worthy of double honour, yet Paul especially. But for answer to this. First, we would gladly know what warrant had hee for expounding Pauls more aboun∣dant labouring then all the Apostles, of his preaching alone? Secondly, what warrant for such a distinction of Elders, that some laboured principally in governing, some in preaching? Because Paul preached and did not baptise, and because hee was the chiefe speaker when hee and Barnabas travelled to∣gether: therefore some Elders laboured in governing, some in preaching; good Logick forsooth. Thirdly, thought he that the A∣postle Page  49 did ever account such Ministers as doe not mainly labour in preaching to be worthy of double honour: nay, it was never the Apo∣stles minde to allow any honour, farre lesse double honour, either to non-preaching or to seldome preaching Ministers.*Vt quid enim doctor appellatur nisi ut docat? saith Chryso∣stome. 4. Tell me whether is preaching a duty belonging to all the Ministers of the Gospell or not? if it be not the duty of all, then it is the duty of none, but a work of supererogation or some such thing; for if some be not bound to preach by their Presbyteriall order and vo∣cation, what is there that should binde others to preach? The order and calling of a Pres∣byter is alike common to all. Now if all bee bound to preach (which Field himselfe see∣meth to say in his first glosse, when hee cal∣leth paines in teaching, a part or duty of the Presbyteriall office, no lesse then governing) how shall those Presbyters bee worthy of double honour, who doe not the duties of their Presbyteriall office, but leave the one halfe of them undone?

Thirdly, saith Field, there were some that remained in certaine places for governing of those who were already wonne by the prea∣ching of the Gospell: others travelled with great labour, from place to place, to preach Page  50 Christ to such as had never heard of him. Both these were worthy of double honour, but especially the later, who did not build up∣on anothers foundation, nor governe those whom others had gained. The Poet would here answere:

Non minor est virtus quam quaerere parta tueri.

A Physitian would haply say, that to pre∣vent the recidivation, is as much worth as the cure. But I answer, 1. There is no such opposition in the Text, but a subordination rather: for Elders who labour in the word and doctrine, are not contra-distinguished from Elders that rule well, but are declared to bee one kinde of Elders that rule well. 2. Though the Apostles and Evangelists tra∣velled from one Countrey to another, to preach Christ to such as never heard of him; yet where hath hee read that some of these who were meere▪ Presbyters (for of such speaketh the Text in hand) did so likewise? It rather appeareth from Act. 14.23. Tit. 1.5. that Elders were ordained in every Citie, there to remain at their particular charges, and no Elders finde we ordained by the Apostles ordinatione vaga.

We have heard D. Fields three glosses up∣on this place in question. Sutcliffe hath given us other three which are no better.* First, he Page  51 saith, that if there bee here any distinction of ruling Elders, it is betwixt those that labour more aboundantly and painfully, and betwixt those that labour not so much.* This glosse is also received by Saravia, by Titen, by Bishop Hall in his Assertion of Episcopacie by divine right. They tell us, it is one thing to preach, another thing to labour in the word and do∣ctrine, Answ. 1. It is not the ministery of the word, but the ministery of ruling which here the Apostle maketh common to both. 2. This exposition alloweth not onely honour, but double honour; yea, a high degree of double honour to such as take no paines in preaching, but are sparing therein. 3. It maketh the A∣postles speech not to grow, but to fall: for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 when they have stretched it to the full, noteth onely great labour, whereas to rule well importeth both great labour and great prudence, dexterity, faithfulnesse and charity beside. 4. It maketh the last part of the speech, In the Word and Doctrine, to bee superfluous: for they hold that all the difference here, is in the measure or manner of labour, and no dif∣rence in re subjecta. 5. All who have any charge in the Ministery, are called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 1 Thess. 5.11. If they be at all faithfull, and worthy of honor, then do they labour, 1 Cor. 3.8. yea, in labouring, watch, as they that must give account, Heb. 13.27. 6. The Rhe∣mists Page  52 doe interpret the Apostle in the same manner. But Cartwright answereth them; If hee had meant any extraordinary labour, hee would rather have sayd,*〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, then 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: for other where hee useth 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as a degree of painful travell above 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is put for common labour, Rom, 16.12.

But it may be the next Commentary shall be better. The words, saith Sutcliffe, are to be rendred thus: Let Elders that rule well, bee counted worthy of double honour, labouring greatly in the Word and Doctrine: so that the later part of the speech is added exegetically, to shew who they bee that rule well, to wit, these who labour greatly in the word and do∣ctrine. That the words are so to bee under∣stood, he undertaketh to prove from the text it selfe: For, saith hee, one who purposeth to say in Greeke, especially they who labour, will not say, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Thus changing the Participle into a Verb, and the prepositive article 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is written with an aspiration alone, into the subjunctive 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉cum accentu gravi, for this answereth to the relative who, which the prepositive article doth never. Moreover, saith he, if the Apo∣stle would have distinguished Elders into these that preach, and these that preach not, he would have added the adversative particle 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 after 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 signifieth indeed Page  53especially, but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 alone without signifi∣eth greatly, or much, as here it doth. Answ. 1. This reading of his is very harsh, and had need to sound better before it contradict both the English Translators, and the common current of Protestant Interpreters. 2. Hee is not so very well skilled in the Greeke, as hee boasteth to bee, unlesse he make the Apostle Paul a great Ignoramus in that language. For hee putteth a Participle with the Pre∣positive Article for a Verbe and a Rela∣tive, Philip. 4.7. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and the peace of God which passeth all understanding. So Eph. 4.22. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. The old man which is cor∣rupt, and v. 24. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. The new man which after God is created. 1 Thess. 5.12. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. To know them which labour among you. If St∣cliffs rule hold, we may not read it so, but thus, To know them labouring among you. So Apoc. 7.14. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, These are they who come out of great tribulation. Many places of this kinde there are, which I need not cite. 3. An Ellipsis of the particle , is no error, no not in members of an opposi∣tion, as Col. 2.23. much lesse in the distin∣ction of a Species from the Genus. 4. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 without , is put for especially, as well as when it hath , 1 Tim. 4.10. who is the Saviour of all Page  54 men, especially of these that beleeve.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. This skilled Grecian would have us to conceive it thus: God is the Saviour of all men who beleeve much: and so it shall be a com∣fortlesse text for those of little faith.

Surely this man had need to be more happy in his third exposition; and now let us know what it is? He saith, that though wee could evince, that the Apostle here speaketh of some other Elders besides the Ministers of the word; yet wee shall have no advantage for our ruling Elders: for the Apostle being to prove that the Ministers of the word ought to be maintained, why might he not, saith he, use this generall proposition, That all Rulers, whether publicke or domestick, whether Ci∣vill or Ecclesiasticall, are to bee honored? When the Apostle speaketh of the chusing of Deacons, he will have them to bee such as have ruled their own houses well. This is his last refuge, and how weak, let any ma judge. We have heard of many sorts of Rulers, but who did ever hear (before Sutliffe told it) of Domesticke or Civill Elders that rule well. Had not the word Elders been in the Text, but the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 alone, he might have been the bolder to have given this sense. But since the Apostle speaketh not generally of Page  55 them that rule well, but of Elders in the Church that rule well, this marreth his glosse altogether.

Bilson giveth yet another sense,* That there were two sorts of Elders, some who laboured in the word and doctrine, some who had the care of the poore: both were worthy of dou∣ble honour; but especially they who labou∣red in the word. Answ. Deacons are distin∣guished from Elders, Rom. 12. 1 Cor. 12. 1 Tim. 3. and by all antiquity. If wee make Deacons to bee Elders, and the care of the poore to be an act of ruling, then let us make what you will of the plainest Scriptures.

I finde in Didoclavius three other interpre∣tations beside the former:* First, Bridges saith, That by Elders who labour not in the word and doctrine, are meant rulers or inferiour Magistrates, chosen for compounding of ci∣vill controversies. Answ. 1. This is a strange language to call civill Magistrates by the name of Elders. 2. The Apostle is speaking of Ecclesiasticall not of Civill office-bearers. 3. This exposition maketh Pastors who la∣bour in the word and doctrine, to bee a sort of civill Magistrates, because they are a kinde of Elders that rule well.

Next, Bishop King expoundeth this place of old and infirme Bishops, who cannot la∣bour Page  56 in the word and doctrine. Answ. 1. The Apostle speaketh of Presbyters, not of Pre∣lates. 2. To rule well importeth as great la∣bour as preaching, and somewhat more, as I shewed before, so that they who cannot la∣bour in preaching, cannot labour in ruling neither. 3. They who have eviscerate and spent themselves in the work of the Ministry, who have been (as long as they could stand up∣on their feet) valiant Champions for the truth, against the enemies thereof, who have served their time according to the will of God, with∣out the staine of Heresie, Schisme, Apostasie, or unfaithfulnesse, when they become old and infirme, they ought not to be the lesse honoured (as the impious verdict of this Pre∣late would have it) but so much the more honour ought to be given to their hoare head found in the way of righteousnesse.

Another Glosse is given by the same King, namely, that the Apostle would have Mini∣sters, not onely to live well, but to feed also by the word and doctrine. Answ. 1. The ri∣sing of the Apostles words doth not concern duties, but persons, as wee have said before. 2. To live well is not to rule well, unlesse wee will make all who live godly, to rule well. 3. Thirdly, this glosse doth stil leave a double honor to Ministers that live well, though they do not preach.

Page  57We see now, our opposites have been trying all windes to fetch upon us: but here we leave them betwixt winde and wave: or this our last argument carrieth us away with full saile.

CHAP. VIII. The testimony of Ambrose for ruling El∣ders vindicated.

IF wee looke backe beyond the times of declining unto the first and purest times of the Church, wee shall finde ruling Elders to be no new fangled device at Geneva; but that the primitive government and policy of the Church hath beene in them restored. There is one place of Ambrose which clee∣reth it sufficiently. He writing on 1 Tim. 5.1. Rebuke not an Elder, saith, Vnde & Synagoga, &c. Wherefore both the Iewish Synagogue, and after the Church had Senior or Elders, without whose counsell nothing was done in the Church: which by what negligence it grew out of use, I know not, except perhaps by the sloth, or rather by the pride of the teachers, whies they alone will seeme to be something. This sentence is also cited in Glossa ordinar. And it sheweth Page  58 plainely that as the Jewish, so the Christian Church had some Elders, who though they were not Teachers of the Word, yet had a part of the government of the Church upon their shoulders. But that this came into desue∣tude, partly through the sloth of the teachers and Ministers of the Word, whiles they were not carefull to preserve the ordinances of God, and the right way of governing the Church; and partly through their pride whilst they would doe all by themselves, and have no consorts,

Vtinam modo nostra redirent
In mores tempora priscos.

But let us heare a triple divination which the non-friends of ruling Elders give forth upon this testimony.* First, Bishop Hall tel∣leth us that it is not Ambrose, but a counter∣feit who wrote that Commentary upon the Epistles, and for this he alledgeth our owne Parker against us. The truth is, Bellamine and Scultingius taught him this answer: The place of Parker he citeth no in the Margine; but I believe the place he meaneth of is de polit. Eccles. lib. 2. cap. 13. where he holdeth indeed, that the author of these Commenta∣ries was not Ambrose, Bishop of Millaine; Page  59 but sheweth withall, that he nothing doub∣teth of the Catholike authority of the Com∣mentaries themselves; Hoc vero, &c. This saith he, may befall the best Author whosoever he be, that some may ascribe his workes to ano∣ther. But that hee lived before the Councell of Nice, this addeth weight to his testimony of the Seniors. These Commentaries are common∣ly cited by our Divines, as Ambrose's. I finde them in Erasmus his edition, both at Collen, 1532. and at Paris, 1551. acknowledged to bee the genuine workes of Ambrose, only the Prefaces before the Epistles are called in question. They are also acknowledged in the edition of Costerius at Basile, 1555. Six∣tu Senensis ascribeth them to Ambrose in like manner. The edition of Collen, 1616. hath an observation prefixed, which repudiateth many of his workes, and these Commenta∣ries among the rest. Yet the last edition at Paris, 1632. hath expunged that observation, which they had not done if they had appro∣ved the same: Howsoever that same obser∣vation maketh those Commentaries to bee as old as 372. or 373. Perkins in his prepara∣tive before his demonstration of the pro∣bleme, calleth in question the Commentary upon the Hebrewes,* but no more. Rivet sheweth that these who reject them, doe nei∣ther Page  60 give good reasons for their opinion; neither yet doe agree among themselves. Bellarmine ascribing them to Hilarius Dia∣conus, Maldonat to Remigius Lugdunensis, the Censors of Lovaine to the Author of the questions of the old and new Testament. I beleeve that Cooke in his Censura Scriptorum veterum,* hath touched the true cause why these Commentaries are so much called in question, which is the perfidiousnesse of Pa∣pists, who when they finde any thing therein which they imagine to bee for their advan∣tage, then they cry, Saint Ambrose saith thus, but when they finde any thing therein which maketh against them, then they say as Hall doth, It is not Ambrose, but a counterseit; I must confesse that Hall is wiser in disclai∣ming the same, then his fellowes in acknow∣ledging them: yet because he found that the Testimony may bee of force, though not Ambrose's, and beside had no proofe for this alledgeance, he durst not trust to it, but thought upon another answer.

*To proceed then to their next conjecture. Bilson, Sutcliffe, and Doctor Field, tell us that Ambrose meant of Bishops, who exclu∣ded other Clergy men from their consultati∣ons, and that by the name of Teachers hee might fitly understand the Bishops, seeing Page  61 none but they have power to preach in their owne right, & others but onely by permission from them. This is a most desperate shift for a bad cause. For first, there is no warrant nei∣ther from Scripture nor Antiquity to distin∣guish Bishops from other Ministers of the Word by the name of Teachers. Secondly, as for that reason alledged that none but Bi∣shops have power to preach in their owne right, it is contrary to that which Field him∣selfe saith in the very next Chapter, where he holdeth that Presbyters are equall with Bishops in the power of order, and that they may preach and minister the Sacraments by vertue of their order, as well as Bishops. Thirdly, neither did the advising of Bishops with Presbyters cease in Ambrose his time.* For as Field himself noteth out of the fourth Councell of Carthage (which was holden shortly after Ambrose his writing hereof) all sentences of Bishops were declared to bee void, which were not confirmed by the presence of their Clergy. Let us also heare Hierome and Chrysostome, (who lived both in the same age with Ambrose) what doth a Bi∣shop,* saith Hierome, ordination excepted, which a Presbyter may not doe? By ordination alone, saith Chrysostome,*are the Bishops higher, and this onely they seem to have more then Prebyters.Page  62 Which were not true if Bishops had then go∣verned the Churches by themselves, exclu∣ding the counsell and advice of Presbyters: Yea, though ordination was the only one thing which made the difference▪*Ambrose himself sheweth that Presbyters in Egypt did also ordain when the Bishop was not present.

We have heard Sutcliffe and Doctor Field, but Saravia,* and after him Tilen, and after them both Hall, hath forged another glosse upon the place of Ambrose. They boldly a∣verre that the Elders without whose coun∣sell Ambrose saith nothing was done in the Church, were Elders by age and not by office. We reply. First, falshood can∣not keepe its feet. Before we heard Saravia maintaine that the Seniors among the Jewes, who sate in Ecclesiasticall Assemblies with the Priests, and had equall suffrages therein with the Priests, were their Rulers and their Magistrates, now he telleth us they were old men, Elders by age only, not by office. Se∣condly, in his defence of that same twelveth Chapter against Beza, hee acknowledgeth that the Christian Church had other Elders by office, besides the Ministers of the Word. The Church saith hee, hath had Elders some by divine institution, as the Pastors of Churches, and Ministers of the Word of God. Page  63 Others by condition of age or office▪ or estimation, or learning and experience. How could hee then astrict the words of Ambrose to Elders by age onely? 3. Where was it ever read or heard, that old men, who had no Ecclesia∣sticall office, were taken into the assemblies of the Church, so that nothing was done with∣out their counsell? 4. The Elders of whom Ambrose speaketh, are opposed to the Tea∣chers, therefore they are not Elders by age: for such are some of the Teachers themselves. 5. Ambrose indeed in his preceding words had expounded the place of the Apostle, 1 Tim. 5.1. of Elders by age: but thereupon he tooke occasion to speake of Elders by of∣fice also. 6. That the Elders which wee read to have been in the Jewish Church, were not Elders by age▪ Basil sheweth plainly, whose testimony we shall heare by and by.

CHAP. IX. Other Testimonies of Antiquity.

THus having cleared the place of Am∣brose, come we now to other testimo∣nies of the Ancients. Tertullian in his Apologeticke against the nations,* speak∣ing of the Meetings and Assemblies of Chri∣stians, Page  64 sheweth, that besides other things done therein, they had also corrections, censures, and excommunication, and that in the ex∣ercise of this discipline. Praesident probati quique Seniores, honorem stum non pretio sed testimonio adepti: with us doe sit all the appro∣ved Seniors, as presidents or rulers, having ob∣tained this honour not by price, but by a good te∣stimony. Cyprian in his Epistles doth often protest,* that from the beginning of his Bi∣shopricke he did all things by common con∣sent and advice both of his Clergie & people. Will any man thinke, that in ordination, ex∣communication, reconciliation of penitents, and such like things whereof Cyprian speak∣eth in these places, he sought the counsell and advice of the whole Congregation, and of all and every one therein? or rather that the people gave their counsell and consent by the Eldership representing them? Surely, this doing of all things with the advice and coun∣sell of the whole, both Clergy and People▪ he otherwhere sheweth to have beene nothing else, but the doing of all things by the advice & counsell of the Presbytery; which had not been so, if there had not been in the Presby∣tery some of all sorts to represent the rest. Omni actu,* saith he, adme perlato placuit con∣trahi Presbyterium, &c. ut firmato consilio Page  65 quid observari deberet consensu omnium sta∣tueretur.

Epiphanius writing to Iohn, Bishop of Ie∣rusalem, concerning the tearing of a vaile which hee had seene in the Church of a vil∣lage called Anablatha, with the image of Christ, or some Saint, upon it, and concer∣ning another vaile which he had sent for it, intreateth him to give order to the Elders of that place to receive the vaile from the bea∣rer. It is not to bee thought there were many preaching Elders in a small village, hee speaketh in the plurall, Precor ut jubeas Pres∣byteros ejusdem loci &c.

Basilius Mgnus in his Commentary upon Isa. 3.2. where the Lord threatneth to take a∣way from Israel the Ancient, or the Elder, sheweth from Numb. 11.16. how warily such Elders were to be chosen, and that their gifts, not their age, made them Elders, he pro∣veth from Dan. 13.50. (which is the history of Susanna) where the Jewish Elders at Ba∣bylon say to young Daniel, Come sit downe a∣mong us, and shew it us, seeing God hath given thee the honour of an Elder. Then he addeth, Ad hunc, &c. After this mnner sometimes it happeneth, that youths are found in honour to be preferred to these Elders who slothfully and Page  66 negligently lead their life. These Elders then a∣mong the Iewes were falsly so clled: for God tooke away as the man of warre and the Pro∣phet, so the Elder from the people of the Iewes. Therefore let the Church pray, that the Elder (worthy to be so called, be not taken away from her self. The whole tenor of his discourse im∣porteth, that the Christian Churches had such Elders as wee read to have been in the Jewish Church, whereof Daniel was one. And of them hee seemed to mean a little be∣fore, Habet &c. The Church also hath Iudges, who can agree brother and brother.

*Chrysostome compareth the Church to a house, because as in a house there are wife, children and servants, and the care or go∣vernment of all is incumbent to the master of the family: So is it in the Church, wherein, beside the ruler of the same, nothing is to bee seen, but as it were wife, children, and ser∣vants, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. But if the Gover∣nour of the Church, saith he, hath fellows or con∣sorts in the government thereof, so hath the man also the wife to be his consort in the government of his house. If it be said, that by the Ruler of the Church, he meaneth the Bishop, and by his consorts preaching Presbyters, who Page  67 are the Bishops helpers in the govern∣ment of the Church; I answer, If wee un∣derstand by 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 the Bishop,* then wee make Chrysostome contradict himselfe: for in his next Homily hee sheweth plainly, that Presbyters have 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the ru∣ling of the Church as well as Bishops, and that the whole purpose of his former Ho∣mily agreed to Presbyters no lesse then Bi∣shops. Now then, who were the consorts which Pastors of Churches, or preaching El∣ders had in the government of the Church? Could they bee any other then Ruling El∣ders?

Hierome upon that place of Isaiah, saith: Et nos habemus in Ecclesia Senatum nostrum, coe∣tum Presbyterorum: cum ergo inter caetera etiam senes udea perdiderit, quomodo poterit habere concilium quod proprie Seniorum est. And what sense shall we give to these words, unlesse we say it is imported that both the Jewish and the Christian Church had such an Eldership as we plead for. Else why did both hee, and Basil make such a parallell betwixt the Jewish and the Christian Church in the point of El∣ders? Surely, if we understand by the Elders of the Christian Church whereof they speake, the Ministers of the Word alone, wee must also understand by the Elders of Page  68 the Jewish Church, whereof they speake, the Priests, which no man will imagine.

*Eusebius in his History citeth Dionysiu Alexandrinus, relating his disputes with the Chiliasts after this manner: When I was at Arsenoia where thou knowest this doctrine first sprung, &c. I called together the Elders and Teachers inhabiting those villages, there being present also as many of the brethren as were willing to come, and I exorted them publikely to the search of this doctrine, &c. By the Tea∣chers here are meant the Pastors or Ministers of the Word, who are most frequently cal∣led by the Fathers Teachers, or Doctors: neither can it bee supposed that there were any Teachers besides the Pastors in these ru∣rall villages, which notwithstanding we see had beside their Pastors or Teachers, Elders also.

Augustine writeth his 137. Epistle to those of his owne Church at Hippon, whom he de∣signeth thus: Dilectissimis ratribus, clero, senioribus & universae plebi Ecclesiae Hippo∣nenis cui servio in dilectione Christs. To my welbeloved brethren the Clergy, the Elders, and the whole people of the Church at Hippon whom I serve in the love of Christ. Hee putteth El∣ders, or Seniors in the middle betwixt the Page  69 Clergy and the people as distinct from both, and yet somewhat participant of both.

Isidorus Hispalensis speaking of the pru∣dence and discretion,* which Pastors should observe in teaching of the Word, giveth them this advise among others: Prius docndi sunt Seniores plebis ut per os infra postifacilius doceantur. The Elders of the people are to bee first taught, that by them such as are placed under them may be taught the more easily.

Origen speaking of the tryall of such as were to bee admitted members of the Church,* saith, Nonnulli praepositi sunt, &c. There are some Rulers appointed who may en∣quire concerning the conversation and manners of these tht are admitted, that they may de∣barre from the Congregation such as commit filthinesse.

In the acts of the 5. Councell of Toledo ac∣cording to the late editions,* we read that Cinthila (whom others call Chintillanus) came into that Councell, cum optimatibus & Senioribus palatii sui. But Lorinus hath found in some ancient copy,*Cum optimatibus & Senioribus populi sui, with the Nobles and the Elders of his people. I would know who were these Elders of the people distinguished from the Nobles.

Page  70*These things may suffice from antiquity to give some evidence that the office of ru∣ling Elders is not Calvins new fangled de∣vise at Geneva, as our adversaries are pleased to call it: but for further confirmation of this point, Voetius disp. 2. de Senio. and before him Iustellus in annot. & notis in cod. Can. Eccles. Afric. Can. 100. hath observed sundry other pregnant testimonies from antiquity for ru∣ling Elders, especially out of these notable records Gesta pugationis Caeciliani & Faelicis, to be seen in the Anna's of Baronius, An. 103. and in Albaspinaeus his edition of Optatus. These testimonies I have here set downe in the Margine.

Page  71From which passages it is apparant, that in the dayes of Ambrose these Seniors were neither in all places, nor altogether growne out of use; but that both in the Easterne and Westerne Churches, manifest footsteps of the same remained: neither is his testimony before alledged, repugnant hereunto: for we may understand his meaning to be either that in some places, or that in some sort, they were growne out of use, because peradven∣ture the Teachers beganne to doe some∣things without their counsell and advice which in former times was not so.*Bilson answereth two waies to the testimony from the 137. Epist. of August. and belike hee would have answered in the same manner to these other testimonies, he saith we may un∣derstand by these Seniors either the better part of the Clergy, or the Senators & Rulers of the City. That they were neither Bishops nor preaching Presbyters, nor Deacons, it is manifest, for they are distinguished from all these, In act. purgat. Cacil. & Fal. and they are called by Isiore and Prpurius, Seniores plebis. Besides, it were strange if August. Bishop of Hippo writing to his Clergy, should distin∣guish either the Deacons from the Presby∣ters by the name of the Clergy which was common to both, or some preaching Pres∣byters Page  72 from other preaching Presbyters, by the name of Seniors. On the other part, that they were not Magistrates of Cities, it is no lesse plaine: for they are called Seniores▪ Ec∣clesiae and Ecclesiastici viri, they instructed the people, and had place in judging of causes Ecclesiasticall.

*But elsewhere Bilson taketh upon him to prove, that those of the Clergie who were by their proper name called Presbyters, were also called Seniores, as those who came neerest to the Bishop in degree, wisedome, and age. And this he proveth by a testimony of Am∣brose.*Viduarum ac virginum domos nisi isi∣tandi gratia Iuniores ad re non est opus & hoc cum Senioribus hoc est cum Episcopo, vel sigra∣vior est causa cum Presbyteris. Answ. 1. Here the Seniors are the Bishop, which is neither good sense, nor any thing to his purpose. 2. Hee hath left out a word, without which the sentence cannot be understood, and that is vel: Ambrose saith, Hoc est vel um Episco∣po, &c. and so the words may suffer a three∣fold sense: for either Seniores is here a name of age or of office. If it bee a name of age, as may bee presumed by the opposition thereof to Iuniores, then the meaning of Ambrose is, that young men should not goe into the hou∣ses of virgins or widowes, except it bee with Page  73 some men of age, and these to bee the Bishop or the Presbyters. If t be a name of office the may wee either understand, that by the Presbyters he meaneth ruling Elders, and by the Bishop the Pastor of any particular Church,* (for if Whitaker be not deceived, Pa∣strs have the name of Bishops, not onely in S•••prue, but in the ancient▪ Church also:) Or that hee comprehendeth under the order of Elders, not onely the Preaching Presby∣ters, but the Bishop also, who was chiefe a∣mong them. By the first sense Bilson doth gaine nothing, by the other two hee hath worse then nothing▪ for any of them destroy∣eth his chiefe grounds.

CHAP. X. The consent of Protestant Writers, and the conesion of our opposites for ruling Elders.

THE office of Ruling Elders is not onely maintained by 〈◊〉▪ Cartright, A••rs, Bucer••, and others whom our opposites will call partiall Writers, let him who pleaseth read the com∣mentaries of Martyr, 〈◊〉, Gualther, Hem∣mingius, Page  74 Piscator, Paraus upon Rom. 12.8. 1 Cor. 12.28. Aretius on Act. 14.23. Zepper. de Polit. Eccles. l. 3. c. 1. & 12. Bullinger on 1 Tim. 5.17. Arculrius on Act. 14.23. Ca∣tal. Test▪ verit. col 103. Osand. cent 1 l. 4. c. 11. Chemnt exam part 2. pg 28 Gerard. lo. Theol. tom. 6 pg. 363 64. Muscul. loc. com. de Eccles. c. 5 Bucan. loc com. oc 42. Sueta∣nus de Discipl. Eccles. part. 4 c. 3. Polanus Synt. l. 7. c 11. Zanchius in 4 praecep col. 727. Iunius animad. in Bellr cont 5. l 1. c 2 Da∣naeus de Polit. Christ. l. 6 p 452. Alsted. Theol. cas. pag. 518.520. Sopingus ad bonam fidem Sibrandi▪ pag. 253. &c. The Professours of Leyden, Synt. pur. Theol. Disp. 42. and sundry others, whose testimonies I omit for brevities cause, it is enough to note the places. The Author of the Assertion for true and Chri∣stian Church policie, pag. 196.197. ci∣teth for ruling Elders, the testimony the Commissioners of King Edward the sixt, au∣thorised to compile a booke for the reforma∣tion of Lawes Ecclesiasticall; among whom were the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Bishop of Ely. They say, Let the Minister going apart with some of the Elders, take coun∣sell, &c. Voetus citeth to the same purpose, Marlorat, Hyperius, Fulke, Whittaker, Fenner, Bunnius, Willet, Sadeel, Lubbertus, TrelcatiusPage  75 (both the one and the other) yea Socinus and the Remonstrants.

Besides we have for us the practise of al wel reformed Churches, and the Confessions of the French, the Belgicke, and the Helve∣ticke Churches to be seene in the harmony of Confessions.

But what will you say if the adversaries of ruling Elders be forced to say somewhat for them?*Whitgift confesseth not onely that our division of Elders, into preaching Elders and ruling Elders, hath learned patrons; but also that the Christian Church when there was no Christian Magistrate had governing Seniors:* and elsewhere he saith, I know that in the Primitive Church, they had in every Church Seniors, to whom the government of the Congregation was committed. Saravia lendeth them his word likewise,*Quod à me, &c. Which is not disputed by mee in that mea∣ning that the Belgicke Churches, or any other which doe with edification use the service of these Elders, should rashly change any thing, before that which is better bee substitute. A∣gaine, speaking of the government of ruling Elders;* he saith, Quod ut, &c. Which as I judge profitable and good to bee constitute in a Christian Church and Common-wealth, so I affirme no Church, no Common-wealth to bee Page  76 bound thereto by Divine Law: except perhaps necessity compell, or great utility allure, and the edification of the Church require it. Loe here the force of truth struggling with one contra∣ry minded. Hee judgeth the office of ruling Elders, profitable and good, yet not of divine right; yet he cknowledgeth that necessity, utility, and the edification of the Church, maketh us tyed to it even by divine right. But if it be profitable and good, why did he call in question the necessity, at least the uti∣lity and the edification of it? can one call in question the utility of that which is profi∣table? he would have said the truth, but it stucke in his teeth, and could not come forth. Saelvius de concil. lib. I cap. 8. saith that among the Jewes, Seniores tribuum, the El∣ders of the Tribes did sit with the Priests in judging controversies of the Law of God. Hence hee argueth against Bellarmine, that so it ought to bee in the Christian Church also, because the priviledge of Christians is no less thn the priviledge of the Jewes. Cmero tells us,* that when the Apostle, 1 Co. 6. reproveth the Corinthians, for that when one of 〈◊〉 had matter against ano∣th•• they 〈…〉 the Saints to bee udges 〈…〉 no by the 〈◊〉 the 〈…〉 mltitude, sedeos Page  77 qui in Ecclesia constituti crat,*ut vacarent gu∣bernationi Ecclesiae: that is, hose who were or∣dained in the Church, to give themselves to the government of the Church. My Lord Craig∣tanne finding the strength of that Argument, that if beside the Ministers of the Word, other grave and wise Christians may be pre∣sent in the greatest Assemblies and Councels of the Church, why not in Presbyteries al∣so? answereth, that indeed it is not amisse that the wiser sor among the people be joy∣ned as helpers and assistants to the Pastors, providing that this their auxiliary function be not obtruded as necessary. This is some∣what for us; but we say further, if it be ne∣cessary in Oecumenicke Councells (for no lesse doe the Arguments of our Divines in that question with the Papists conclude) then is it necessary in Presbyteries also.

CHAP. XI Doctor Fields five Arguments against ruling 〈…〉.

HIS fist Reason that shewed 〈◊〉 to think there were 〈◊〉 any 〈…〉Page  78 Church, is because Bishops, Presbyters, that preach and minister the Sacraments, and Deacons, howsoever they much degenera∣ted in later times, yet all still remained in all Christian Churches throughout the World, both Greeke and Latine, in their names and offices also in some sort. But of these ruling Elders, there are no foot-steps to bee found in any Christian Church in the World, nor were not for many hundred yeares; whereas there would have beene some remaines of these as well as the other, had they ever had any institution from Christ or his Apostles, as the other had. To this wee answer. 1. If the Christian Churches throughout the World had wan∣ted ruling Elders longer then they did, yet prescription can be no prejudice to the ordi∣nance of God. 2. After that the golden age of the Apostles was spent and gone, exact diligence was not taken, to have the Church provided with well qualified Ministers, but many unfit men, yea, sundry heretickes en∣tred into that sacred vocation, whereby it came to passe that corruption and errour overflowed the Churches,* as both Eusebius proveth from Aegesippus and catalogus testi∣um veritatis from Irenaus. Might not this be the cause of changing the office-bearers Page  79 and government of the Church. 3. In the Roman, yea in Prelaticall Churches there are scarce any foot-steps at all of the offices of preaching Presbyters, and Deacons, as they were instituted by the Apostles. The Apostles ordained Presbyters to preach the Word, to minister the Sacraments, to go∣verne the Church, and to make use of the keyes. But the Popish and Prelaticall Presbyters have not the power of the keyes, nor the power of Church government, for it is proper to their Prelates; as for the other two they are common to their Deacons, for they also doe preach and baptise. The office of the Popish Priest standeth in two things, to con∣secrate and offer up the body of Christ, and to absolve the faithfull from their sinnes: See Conci. Triden. de sacr. Ordin. cap. 1. Hier. Savanarola. Triumph. cruc. lib. 3. cap. 16. And the same two make up the proper office of the Priest by the order of the English Service Booke. As touching Deacons, they were ordained by the Apostles for collecting receiving, keeping, and distributing of Ec∣clesiasticall goods, for maintaining of Mini∣sters, schooles, Churches, the sicke, stranger, and poore. The Popish and Prelaticall Dea∣cons have no such office, but an office which the Apostles never appointed to them; for Page  80 they had no preaching nor baptising Dea∣cons. Philip preached and baptised, not as a Deacon, but as an Evangelist, Acts 21.8. Besides at the time of his preaching and bap∣tising, hee could not have exercised the office of his Deaconship, by reason of the persecu∣tion, which scattered rich and poore and all, Acts 8.1. that which Steven did, Acts 7. was no more then every believer was bound to doe, when he is called to give a testimo∣ny to the truth, and to give a reason of his faith and practice. 4. Others of the faithfull, besides the Ministers of the Word, have beene admitted unto Councells and Synods by many Christian Churches throughout the World, as is well knowne; and this is a ma∣nifest foot-step of the government of ruling Elders. 5. Nay in the Church of England it selfe, at this day, there are foot-steps of ru∣ling Elders, else what meaneth the joyning of Lay-men with the Clergy in the high Commission to judge of matters Ecclesiasti∣call? Sravia saith,* the Churchwardens which are in every Parish of England, have some resemblance of ruling Elders, whose change appointed by law, he saith, is to col∣lect, keepe, and deburse the goods and reve∣nues of the Church, to preserve the fabricke of the Church▪ and all things pertaining Page  81 thereto sure and safe, to keep account of bap∣tismes, mariages, and burials, to admonish de∣linquents & other inordinate livers, to delate to the Bishop or his substitutes, such as are in∣corrigible, & scandalous, being sworn thereto: also to observe who are absent frō the praiers in the Church upon the Lords dayes, & upon the holy dayes, & to exact from them the pe∣nalty appointed by law, and finally to see to quietnes & decency in time of divine service.

Doctor Fields second reason is for that Paul, 1 Tim. 3. shewing who should be Bi∣shops and Ministers, who Deacons, yea, who Widowes; passeth immediatly from descri∣bing the qualitie of such as were to be Bi∣shops and Ministers of the Word and Sacra∣ments, to the Deacons, omitting these ruling Elders that are supposed to lye in the midst betweene them, which he neither might nor would have omitted, if there had beene any such. To this the answer is easie. 1. As we collect the actions and sufferings of Jesus Christ, and the institution of the last supper, not from any one of the Evangelists, but from all of them compared together, for that one toucheth what another omitteth; so doe we judge of the office-bearers of the Church not from 2 Tim. 3. only, but from the col∣lation of that and other places of Scripture of that kind. Ruling Elders are found in o∣ther places, and in the fifth Chapter of that Page  82 same Epistle, though not in the third. 2 Neither were there any absurdity to hold, that the Apostle in that third Chapter com∣prehendeth all the ordinary office-bearers in the Church under these two Bishops and Deacons, and that under the name of Bi∣shops, he comprehendeth both Pastors, Do∣ctors, & ruling Elders: for as al these three are overseers, so to them all agree the qualities of a Bishop here mentioned, whereof there is only one, which seemeth not to agree to the ruling Elder, viz. that he should be apt to teach,* vers. 2. Yet Beza maintaineth a∣gainst Saravia, that the ruling Elder teach∣eth as wel as the Pastor, only the Pastor doth it publickly to the whole congregation; the ruling Elder doth it privately, as he findeth every one to have need. And we have shewed before that as a private Christian is bound in charity to teach the ignorant, so the ruling Elder is bound to doe it ex offcio.

The third reason, which Doctor Field bringeth against us, is, for that neither Scrip∣ture nor practice of the Church, bounding the government of such governours, nor gi∣ving any direction how farre they may goe in the same, and where they must stay, lest they meddle with that they have nothing to doe with, men should bee left to a most Page  83 dangerous uncertainety in an office of so great consequence. Our answer to this is: 1. Wee have shewed already the certaine bounds of the power and vocation of ruling Elders. 2. It was not necessary that the A∣postle should severally set downe Canons and directions: first, touching Pastors, then Doctors; lastly, ruling Elders, since they are all Elders, and all members of the El∣dership or Presbytery; it was enough to de∣liver canons and directions common to them all, especially since the duties of ruling El∣ders are the same which are the duties of Pastors, only the Pastors power is cumula∣tive to theirs, and over reacheth the same in the publicke ministery of the Word and Sa∣craments, and so doth Paul difference them, 1 Tim. 5.17.

His fourth reason is, because we fetch the paterne of the government of ruling Elders, from the Sanedrim of the Jewes, the plat∣forme whereof wee suppose Christ meant to bring into his Church, when he said, Tell the Church; whereas, saith he, it is most cleere that the court was a civill court, and had a power to banish, to imprison, yea and to take away life, till by the Romans the Jewes were restrained. Wee answer that Beza de Presbyteri. I. B. A. C. De polit. civil. & Page  84 Eccl. lib. 2.* Also Zepperus, Iunius, Piscator, Wolphius, Godwin, Bucerus, Gerard, And sundry others have rightly observed that the Ecclesiasticall Sanedrim among the Jewes was distinct from the civill, yet both called by the name of Sanedrim. Wee grant with Beza that sometimes civill causes were de∣bated and determined in the Ecclesiasticall Sanedrim, but this was done 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, non〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as he saith, the fact which was meerely civill was judged in the ivill Sane∣drim, but when the civil Judges could not agree de jure, even in civill causes, in that case resolution was given by the other Sa∣nedrim; as in like cases by the juris-consults among the Romans, for the conservation and interpretation of the law did belong to the Leviticall Tribe. Hence it is that we read 2 Chron. 19.8.11. Iehosaphat set in Ierusa∣lem of the Levits, and of the chiefe Priests, and of the chiefe of the Fathers of Israel, some for the Lords matters, among whom presided Amariah the chiefe Priest, and some for the Kings matters, among whom presided Zbadiah the Ruler of the house of Judah.*Saravia saith this place proveth not that there were two distinct consistories, one for civill, another for Ecclesiasticall things; because, saith he, by the Kings matters are Page  85 meant matters of peace, and warre by the Lords matters, the matters of law and judge∣ment which are called the Lords matters, because the Lord was the author of their civill lawes;* what a crazie device is this? did not matters of peace and warre come under the civill lawes, which God had delivered to the Jewes, as well as any matter of judgement betwixt man and man? and what can bee more plaine then that the Lords matters or things pertaining to God,* when they are differenced from other mat∣ters, are ever understood to bee matters spi∣rituall and Ecclesiasticall?*Quapropter, where∣fore saith Iunius, the Readers are to be warned whosoever they bee that consult the histories of ancient times, that where they read the name Synedtum, they wisely observe whether the ci∣vill Assembly or the Ecclesiastical be meant of, because that name was confused, and indistinct, after the times of Antiochus.

But notwithstanding that in these latter times all good order had much degenerate and growne to confusion, yet it seemeth to me, that even in the dayes of our Saviour Christ, the Civill and Ecclesiasticall courts remained distinct, let me say my opinion with all mens leave, and under correction of the more learned, that night that our Lord was betrayed, he was led to the Hall of Cajaphas,Page  86 where there was holden an Ecclesiasticall Sanedrim, which asked Jesus of his Disci∣ples, and of his doctrine, received witnesse a∣gainst him, and pronounced him guilty of blasphemy, Mat. 27.57. Mark 14.53.55. Ioh. 18.19. Nothing I finde in this Councell why we should think it civill: for as touching the smiting and buffeting of Christ, Mat. 26.67. Luk 22.63. some think it was by the servants of the high Priests and Elders after that they themselves had gone home, & left the Coun∣cell; howsoever, it was done tumultuously, not judicially, and tumults may fall forth in a∣ny Judicatory whether civill or Ecclesiasti∣cal As for the sentence which they gave, Mat. 26.66. He is guilty of death, it proveth not that this was a civill Court: for just so, if an in∣cestuous person should bee convict before an Assembly of our Church, the Moderator might ask the Assembly, what thinke ye? and they might well answer, He is guilty of death, away with him to the Magistrate. Shortly then the matter debated in this nocturnall Councell, was meerly Ecclesiasticall, and the accusation of sedition and making himselfe a King, were not spoken of till he was brought before P••at But there was another Sanedrim convocat in the morning▪ Mat 27 1. Mark 15.1 Luk 22 66. and this seemes to have been not Ecclesiasticall but Civill, 1. because they Page  87 meddle not with the triall of his doctrine, nor any examination of witnesses thereanent: on∣ly they desire to heare out of his own mouth, that which hee had confessed in the other Councell, viz. that he was the Christ the Son of God; whereupon they take counsell how they might deliver him to Pilate, which was the end of their meeting 2. M••k saith, They bound him, and carried him awy to Pilate. 3. The Ecclesiasticall Councell had already done that which they thought pertained to them: for what should they have convened again? Some say, that al the high Priests, Scribes and Elders, were not present at that nocturnall councell, and that therefore they convened more fully in the morning. But that the nocturnall Councell was fully convened, it is manifest from Mat. 26.59. Mark 14.53.55. 4. This last Councell led Jesus away to Pilte, and went themselves with him to ac∣cuse him before Pilate of sedition, and of ma∣king himselfe a King, Luk. 23.1.2. Mat. 27.12. 5. They complain that the power of capitall punishment was taken from them by the Ro∣mans, importing that otherwise they might have put him to death by their law, Ioh. 18.31.

Now D. Fields last reason is, For that all Fathers or Councels mentioning Elders, place them betwixt Bishops and Deacons, and make them to be Clergy men, and that in the Acts Page  88 where the Apostles are said to have constitute Elders in every Church, Pastors are meant, is strongly confirmed from Act. 20.17.28. where the Elders of the Church of Ephesus are commanded to feed the flocke of Christ o∣ver which they were appointed over-seers, whence it followeth inevitably, that they were Pastors.* We answer, 1. Ambrose spea∣keth of Elders which were not Pastors. 2. Be∣za & Gualther expound the place Act. 14.23. where the Apostles are said to have ordained Elders through every Church, of ruling as well as preaching Elders. 3. As for that which he alledgeth from Act. 20. Beza,*Iu∣nius, and the Professors of Leyden, hold, that the names of Bishops and Pastors are com∣mon both to ruling and preaching Elders, and that the Scripture giveth these names to both, howsoever in Ecclesiastical use for distinctiōs cause, they are appropriate to teaching El∣ders. Surely the ruling Elder both overseeth the flocke and feedeth the same, both by dis∣cipline, and by private admonition; and for these respects may bee truly called both Bi∣shop and Pastor. 4. How small reason hee hath to boast of the Fathers, we have already made it to appeare. 5. It is a begging of the question to reason from the appropriation of the name of Elders to the Pastors.

Page  87

CHAP. XII. The extravagancies of Whitgift and Sara∣via in the matter of ruling Elders.

THese two Disputers, doe not (as D. Field) altogether oppose ye govern∣ment of ruling Elders, but with cer∣tain restrictions; about which notwithstan∣ding they differ betwixt themselves▪ hit∣gift alloweth of ruling Elders under a Ty∣rant, but not under a Christian Magistrate, but ayeth they cannot be under an Infidell Magistrate. Me thinkes J see here Sampsons Foxes, with their tailes knit together, and a firebrand betwixt them, yet their heads looking sundry waes.* To begin with Whit∣gift, he saith in one place. I know that in the primitive church, they had in every church seniors, to whom the Government of the Con∣gregation was committed, but that was before there was any Christian Prince or Magistrate &c. In another place. My reason, why it (the Church) may not bee governed under a Christian Magistrate, is it may under a Ty∣rant is this: God hath given the chiefe au∣thority in the government of the Church to the Christian Magistrate, which could not bee so, if your Seigniory might aswell retaine Page  88 their authority under a Christian Prince, and in the time of peace, is under a Tyrant, and in the time of persecution; for tell me, I pray you, what authority Ecclesiasticall remaineth to the civill Magistrate, where this Seigni∣ory is established?

Hee who pleaseth may find this op••ion largely consuted by Beza de Presbyterio con∣tra Erasmum, and by I. B. A. C. polit. civil. & Eccles.* Jn the meane while I answer. First, T. C. had made a sufficient Reply hereunto (which Whitgift here in his de∣fence should have confuted, but hath not) viz. That if the Seniors under a Tyrant had medled with any Office of a Magistrate, then there had beene some cause why a god∣ly Magistrate being in the Church, the Of∣fice of a Senior, or at least so much as hee exercised of the Office of a Magistrate should have ceased.

But since they did onely assist the Pastor in matters Ecclesiasticall, it followeth, that as touching the Office of Elders, there is no distinction betwixt times of Peace and Persecution. Secondly, There were Seni∣ors among the Jewes under Godly Kings, and in times of Peace: Why not likewise amongst us? Thirdly, The Ecclesiasticall Page  89 power is distinct from the civill, both in the subject, object, and end; so that the one doth not hinder the other: The Magistrates power is to punish the outward man with an outward punishment, which the Presby∣tery cannot hinder, for he may civilly bind whom the Presbytery spiritually looseth, and civilly loose, whom the Presbytery spi∣ritually bindeth, and that because the Magi∣strate seeketh not the repentance and salva∣tion of the delinquent by his punishment (as the Presbytery doth) but onely the maintenance of the authority of his lawes, together with the quietnesse and preserva∣tion of the Common-wealth.

Whence it commeth, that the delin∣quent serapeth not free of the Magistrate, though hee bee penitent and not obstinate. 4. How thought Whitgift, that the christian Magistrate can doe those things which the Seigniory did under a Tyrant? Can the Ma∣gistrate by himselfe determine questions of Faith? Can he know what order and decen∣cie in circumstances is fittet for each Con∣gregation? Can he excommunicate offen∣ders, &c. 5. When Bishops exercise Eccle∣siasticall jurisdiction (yea and the civill too) this is thought no wrong to Princes: Page  90 Is it a wrong in the Presbytery, yet not in this Prelacy? Good Lord what a My∣sterie is this! 6. When Presbyters are established in their full power, there remaineth much power to the Prince even in things Ecclesiasticall, as to take di∣ligent heed to the whole estate of the Church within his dominions, to indict Sy∣nods, and civilly to proceed in the same, to ratifie the constitutions thereof, and to adde unto them the strength of a civill sanction, to punish Heretickes, and all that disobey the assemblies of the Church, to see that no matter Ecclesiasticall be carryed factious∣ly or rashlie, but that such things bee deter∣mined in free assemblies, to provide for Schollers, Colledges, and Kirkes, that all corrupt wayes of entring into the Ministe∣ry, by Simony, bribing patrons &c. be re∣pressed, and finally to compell all men to doe their duty according to the Word of God, and Laws of the Church. 7. Whatsoe∣ver be the power of the supreame Magi∣strate, Ecclesiae tamen,*&c. Yet let him leave to the Church and to the Ecclesiasticall Rulers (such as are the Ministers of the Gospell, El∣ders and Deacons) their owne power in hand∣ling Ecclesiasticall things, untouched and whole saith Danaeus. For the Ecclesiasticall Page  91 power doth no more hinder the civill ad∣ministration, then the Art of singing hinde∣reth it, saith the Augustan confession. 8. We may answer by a just recrimination,* that the Prelacy (not the Presbytery) is prejudi∣ciall to the power of Princes, and hath often incroached upon the same. The Bishops assembled in the eight Councill of Constan∣tinople;* ordined that Bishop▪ should not light from their horses, when they chance to meet Princes, nor basely bow before them, and that if any Prince should cause a Bishop to disparage himselfe by doing o∣therwise, he should be excommunicated for two yeares.* They also discharged Princes from being present in any Synod, except the Ocumenicke.* The 1. Councill of Toledo or∣daineth that Quoties Episcoporum Hispano∣rum Synodus convenerit, toties universalis Concilii decretum propter salutem Principum factum, peractis omnibus in Synodo recitetur, ut iniquorum mens territa corrigatur. From which canon Osiander collecteth, that some of the Bishops were not faithfull and loyall to the Kings of Spaine. The inquisition of Spaine Anno 1568. presented to King Phi∣lip twelve Articles against the Netherlands,* one whereof was, That the King write unto and command the Clergie of the Netherlands, that with the Inquisition they should accept ofPage  92 15. new Bishops, the which should be free from all secular jurisdiction, yea in cases of Trea∣son. Now as touching the contrary conceit of Saravia,* he alloweth such Elders as the Iewish Church had to be joyned now with Pastors under a Christian Magistrate, but under an Infidell Magistrate, hee saith they could have no place; for he taketh the Iew∣ish Elders to have bin their Magistrates, & that in like manner, none but Christian Ma∣gistrates should sit with the Ministers of the Word in Ecclesiasticall Courts, Princes and Nobles in generall or Nationall Coun∣cills, and Magistrates of cities in particu∣lar consistories. This is as foule an error, as that of Whitgift; for 1. His opinion of the Iewish Elders, that they were their Magi∣strates we have confuted before. 2. Though it were so, that no Ruling Elders ought to be admitted, now except Christian Magi∣strates, yet might they have place under an Infidell Prince: as Ioseph under Pharaoh, Daniell under Nebuchadnezar. There have beene both Christian Churches, and Chri∣stian Magistraes under Hereticall, yea In∣fidell Princes 3. If Christian Magistrates be come in place of the Iewish Seniors, and ought to be joyned with the Ministers of the Word in the consistories of the church. Page  93 We demand quo nomine, quo jure? whither doe they sit as Christian Magistrates, or as men of singular gifts chosen for that effect? Jf as Magistrates then shall we make a mix∣ture and confusion of civill & Ecclesiasticall function, else how shall men by vertue of civill places sit in spirituall Courts? Jf as men of singular gifts chosen to sit, then may others aswell as they having the like gifts and election be admitted to sit also. 4. Saravia contradicteth himselfe,* for a little after he admitteth grave and godly men in the judicatories of the Church, whither they be Magistrates or privat men, sive illi ma∣gistratu fungantur sive in rep. vivant pri∣vati.

Page  94

CHAP. XIII. Whether Ruling Elders have the power of decisive voyces, when they sit in Prebyteries and Synods.

THere are sundry questions pro∣pounded by D. Field and other ad∣versaries of Ruling Elders, where∣into they thinke wee are not able to satisfie them, as 1. Whether Ruling Elders ought to have decisive voyces, even in questions of Faith and Doctrine, and in the tryall and approbation of Ministers? 2. Whether these Elders must be in every Congregation with power of ordination, deprivation, sus∣pension, excommunication, and absolution, or whether this power bee onely in Mini∣sters and Elders of divers Churches con∣curring? 3. Jf they be Ecclesiasticall per∣sons, where is their ordination? 4. Whe∣ther these 〈◊〉 be perpetuall or annuall, and but for a certaine time?

Page  95Whether they ought to serve freely or to have a stipend? Touching the first of these; since the reformation which Luther began, it was ever maintained by the Protestāt wri∣ters, that not the Ministers of the word a∣lone, but some of all sorts among Christi∣ans ought to have decisive voices in Coun∣cils. But Dr. Field will admit none to teach and define in Councls,* but the Ministers of the word onely: others he permits onely to consent unto that which is done by them. Saravia alloweth grave and learned men to sit with the Ministers of the word,* yet not as Iudges, but as Counsellors and Assessors onely. Tilen will not say that the Bishops and Pastors of the Church ought to call a∣ny into their Councill, but that they may doe it when there is need. Against whom and all who are of their mind we object. 1. The example of Apostolicke Synods. Mat∣thias the Apostle after Gods owne designa∣tion of him, by the lot which fell upon him, was chosen by the voices, not onely of the Apostles, but the other Disciples, who were met with them Act, 1.26. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉i. e. Simul suffragiis electus est, as Arias Mon∣tanus turneth it.* For the proper and native signification of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as Lorinus sheweth out of Gagveius, is to choose by voices. The Professors of Leyden have no∣ted Page  96 this consensus Ecclesiae per〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the election of Matthias Cens. in Confess. cap. 21. Jn the Councill of Hierusalem Act. 15. we find that beside the Apostles the El∣ders were present, and voiced definitively, for they by whom the Decree of the Synod was given forth, and who sent chosen men to Antioch, were the Apostles and Elders, Gerard, Loc. Theol. com. 6. n. 28. and th Profess. of Leyden, cens. in conf. c. 21. un∣derstand that the Elders spoken of v. 5. & 6. were the ruling Elders of the Church of Hierusalem, joyned with the Apostles, who laboured in the word. Other Protestāt wri∣ters understand by the name of Elders there, both preaching and ruling Elders. The Bre∣thrent, hat is the whole Church, heard the disputes, and consented to the Decrees, v. 21, 22, 23 Ruling Elders behoved to doe more then the whole Church, that is voice definitively. Lorinus the Jesuite saith, that by the name of Elders there, wee may un∣derstand not onely Priests, but others be∣sides them. Viz. antiquiores & anctoritate praecellentes discipulos, Disciples of greatest age and note. And this he saith is the rea∣son why the vulgar Latine hath not retai∣ned in that place the Greeke word Presby∣teri, but readeth Seniores. 2. Wee have Page  97 for us the example of Ecclesiasticall Courts among the Iewes, wherein the Iewish El∣ders had equall power of voicing with the Priests, and for this we have heard before, Saravia's plaine confession. 3. The ex∣ample of ancient Councils in the Christian Church. Constantine in his Epistle which he wrote to the Churches, concerning the Nicene Councill saith; I my selfe as one of your number was present with them (the Bi∣shops) which importeth that others of the Laity voiced there with the Bishops as well as he, and hee as a chiefe one of their number. Euagrius lib. 2. cap. 4. saith, that the chiefe Senators sate with the Bishops in the Councill of Chalcedon. And after he saith, The Senators decreed as followeth. The fourth Councill of Carthag, c. 27. spea∣king of the transportation of a Bishop or of any other Clergie man,* saith, sane si id Ec∣clesiae vtilitas fiendum poposecrit, decret Pro eo clericorum & laicorum Episcopis porrecto, in praesētia Synodi transferatur. The Decrees of the Synod of France holden by Charlemain about the yeare 743. are said to have beene made by the King, the Bishops, the Pres∣byters, and Nobles. Many such examples might we shew, but the matter is so cleere that it needeth not.* 4. The Revieu of the Councill of Trent written by a Papist, Page  98 among other causes of the Nobility of that Councill maketh this one, that Lay-men were not called nor admitted into it, as was the forme of both the Apostolicke and o∣ther ancient Councils, shewing also from sundry Histories and examples, that both in France, Spaine, and England, Lay-men vsed to voice and to judge of all matters that were handled in Councils: alleaging further the examples of Popes themselves. That Adrian did summon many Lay-men to the Lateran Councill, as members there∣of, that in imitation of him Pope Leo did the like in another Councill at the Lateran under Otho the first, and that Pope Nicholas in Epist. ad Michael Imperat. acknowled∣geth the right of Lay-men to voice in Coun∣cils, wherein matters of faith are treated of, because faith is common to all.* The same writer sheweth also from the Histories▪ that in the Councill of Constance, were 24. Dukes, 140 Earles, divers Delegates from Cities and Corporations, divers learned Lawyers, and Burgesses of Universities, 5. The Protestants of Germany, did ever refuse to acknowledge any such Councill wherein none but Bishops and Ministers of the word did judge.* When the Councill of Trent was first spoken of in the Dyet at Norim∣berg, Anno 1522. all the estates of GermanyPage  99 desired of Pope Adrian the 6. That ad∣mittance might be granted as well to Lay-men as to Clergie-men, and that not onely as witnesses and spectators, but to be judges there. This they could not obtaine, there∣fore they would not come to the Councill, and published a booke which they entitu∣led, Causa cur Electores & caeteri confessioni Augustanae addicti ad Cōcilium Tridentinum non accedant. Where they alleage this for one cause of their not comming to Trent, because none had voice there but Cardinals, Bishops, Abbots, Generals, or superiors of orders, wheras laickes also ought to have a decisive voice in Councils, 6. If none but the Ministers of the word should sit and voice in a Synod, then it could not bee a Church representative, because the most part of the Church (who are the hearer and not the teachers of the word) are not represented in it. 7. A common cause ought to be concluded by common voices. But that which is treated of in Councils is a common cause pertaining to many parti∣cular Churches. Our Divines when they prove against Papists that the election of Ministers and the excommunication of ob∣stinate sinners ought to be done by the suf∣frages of the whole Church they make use of this same argument; That which con∣cerneth Page  100 all ought to be treated of and judged by all. 8. Some of all estates in the com∣mon-wealth, voice in Parliament, therefore some of all sorts in the Church ought to voice in Councils and Synods; for de pari∣bus idem judicium, A Nationall Synod is that same to the Church, which. A Parlia∣ment is to the Common-wealth. 9. Those Elders whose right we plead, are called by the Apostle rulers, Rom. 12.8. 1 Tim. 5.17. and Governours, 1 Cor. 12.28. there∣fore needs must they voice and judge in those assemblies, without which the Church cannot be ruled nor governed. Jf this be de∣nyed them they have no other function be∣hind, to make them Rulers or Governours of the Church. Rome was ruled by the Se∣nate, not by the Censors; and Athens was governed by the Aropagus, not by the inferiour Office-bearers, who did only take heed, how the Lawes were observed. But let us now see what is objected against this power of Ruling Elders, to voice in Coun∣cill, and to Iudge of all things, even matters of faith treated therein. First it is alleadged that lay-men have not such abilities, of gifts and learning, as to judge aright of such mat∣ters. But I dare say there are Ruling Elders in Scotlād, who in a theological dispute, should powerfully spoyle many of those who make Page  101 this objection. 2. Antonius Sadeel, Iohannes a Lasco, Morney, and such like shew plainely to the world, that gifts & singular learning, are not tyed to Bishops and Doctors of the Church. 3. Neither doe men of subtile wits and deepest learning, prove alwayes fittest to dispute and determine questions of faith. It is marked in ye historie of the Councill of Nice, that there was a Lay-man therein, of a simple and sincere mind, who put to silence a subtile Philosopher, whom all the Bi∣shops could not compese. 4. There are many both in Parliament and secret Coun∣sell without all controversie able to give their suffrages, and to judge of matters in hand, who notwithstanding, are not of such learning and Eloquence as to enter into the lists of a publique dispute. 5. And if the gifts and abilities, of the most part of ruling Elders, were as small as their adversaries will be pleased to call them, yet this con∣cludeth nothing against their right power of voicing, but onely against their aptitude and fitnesse unto that, whereto their right would carry them. And we doubt that e∣very Pastour be well gifted, for all which cōmeth within the compasse of his vocati∣on, or doth well every thing, which he hath power to doe. Another objection is made from 1. Cor. 14.32. The spirits of the Pro∣phets, ar subject to the Prophets: whence they collect, Page  102 that prophets, and preachers of the word, ought to be judged by such as themselves are, that is by Prophets and Preachers, and by none other.* To this we say, 1. There owne Camero giveth us another commen∣tarie upon that place, rightly observing, that the Apostle there speaketh nothing of try∣ing or judging the spirits, but onely of the order, which is to be kept in the Church: for whereas in the Church of Corinth, the Prophets did prophecy tumultuously, ma∣ny or all of them at once, and would not give place one to another, this the Apostle condemneth, and will have the Prophets so farre subject to the Prophets, as that when one riseth up to prophecy, the rest may hold their peace. 2. That this is the sense it is cleare, from the order and depen∣dance of the Text, for v. 30. he comman∣deth him that prophecieth in the Church to hold his peace, when any thing is revea∣led to another Prophet that sitteth by, now this he enforceth by foure reasons. 1. Be∣cause so they might all prophecy one by one, and they were mistaken, who thought that all could not prophecy, except many spake at once. 2. All that were in the Church might learne and all be comfor∣ted, by every Prophet, which could not be, except they prophecied severally one by Page  103 one. 3. The Spirits of the Prophets are not arrogant, but humblie subject one to ano∣ther, each giving place to other. 4. God is not the Author of confusion, but of peace and order.

CHAP. XIV. Of the Ordination of Ruling Elders, of the continuance of their Office, and of their maintenance.

TOuching the first of these, it cannot be denyed, but as Election to the Office, so ordination to the exer∣cise thereof, is a thing common both to Preaching and Ruling Elders. Howbeit in Scotland imposition of hands is not used in the Ordination of Ruling Elders, as it is in the Ordination of Preaching Elders, yet this is not to bee thought a defect in their Ordination;* for imposition of hands is not an Act but a signe of Ordination, neither is it a necessary signe but is let free: it is not therefore without reason, that Calvin, Chem∣nitius, Gerard, Buca, Iai, Bucerus, and many other of our learned Writers, yea the Arch-bishop of Spalato doe all make a di∣stinction, betwixt the essentiall act of ordi∣nation, Page  104 and the externall rite thereof, hol∣ding that ordination may be full, valid and compleat, not onely without the unction used in the Roman Church, but even with∣out the laying on of hands, used in the Re∣formed Churches. After the Election of Ru∣ling Elders, with the notice & consent of the whole Church, there followeth with us a publique designation of the persons so ele∣cted, and an authoritative or potestative Mis∣sion, Ordination, or Deputation of them unto their Presbyteriall functions, together with publique exhortation unto them, and prayer in the Church for them, which wee conceive to bee all that blongeth either to the essence, or integrity of Ordinaion. I meane not to condemne Imposition of hands, nor any other convenient signe, in the Ordination of Ruling Elders, onely J in∣tend to justifie our owne forme, as suffici∣ent.

As for the maintenance and the continu∣ance of the Office of Ruling Elders, wee love not unnecessary Multiplication of questions, let every Church doe herein what they find most convenient. The manner of our Church, in these things, is such, as best be fitteth the condition of the same, & such Page  105 as cannot be in reason condemned; Neither is a stipend, nor continuance in the Functi∣on till Death, essentiall to the Ministery of the Church, but separable from the same. The Levites of old served not at all times, but by course, and when they were 50. yeares old, they were wholly liberat, from the burden and labour (though not from the attendance) of the Leviticall service, and Ministers, may still upon the Churches permission, for lawfull Reasons, and urgent Necessities, be absent a whole yeere, and lon∣ger too, from their particular charges. The Apostles, when they were first sent through Iudea, tooke no stipend, Mat. 10.8, 9. Nei∣ther did Paul take any at Corinth, 1 Cor. 9.18. The Ministers among the Waldenses, worke with their hands for their maintai∣nance. The old Patriarchs were Priests and Preachers, to their families, and maintained themselves by the worke of their hands, fee∣ding of Flockes, tilling the Ground, &c, These things I do not mention as Rules, to be followed by us, but to shew, that the in∣termission of the exercise of the Ministery, the want of maintainance and labouring with the hands, are not altogether repug∣nant, nor inconsistent, with the Nature of the vocation, of the Ministers of the word, Page  106 but in some cases hic & nunc, may bee most approveable in them, much more in Ruling Elders. The Revenues of our Church are so small, that they cannot spare, stipends to Ruling Elders, which maketh them willing to serve without stipends, and lest they should be overburdened, with this their ser∣vice, though they be chosen and called to be Ruling Elders as long as they live, at least till they mrit, to be deposed, yet our booke of policie alloweth them, that ease of inter∣mission and serving by course, which was allowed to the Levits of old in the Temple. The double honour which the Apostle commandeth to give unto Elders that rule well,* needeth not to be expounded of main∣tainance and obedience; for by double ho∣nour wee may either simply understand, much honour, or by way of comparison double honour, in respect of the Widowes, whom hee had before commanded to ho∣nour,* as Calvin expoundeth the place. Both these Interpretations doth Oecumenius give upon the same place.

The other question propounded by D. Field concerning Ruling Elders, shall have a resolution in that which followeth, and so J will proceed, conceiving that which hath Page  107 beene said for Ruling Elders, shall satisfie such as desire to understand, though nothing can satisfie the malicious, nor them who are willingly ignorant.

Here endeth the first Booke.