CHAP. 4. SECT. 5.
Why we doe not admit the Members of the Churches of Old England to*the Seales of the Covenant.
Quest. I. VVHether the Seales of the Covenant can be denyed to professors of approved piety, because they are not members of a particular visible Church, in the New Testament.
Our Brethren deny any Church Communion, and the seales of the Covenant, Baptisme, to the children of Beleevers, the Lords Supper to beleevers themselves, who come to them from Old England, because they be not members of the particular Congregation to which they come, and because there is no visible, Church in the New Testament, but one particular Parish, and all who are without a par∣ticular Parish, are without the visible Church, and so are not capable of either Church censures, or the Seales of the Covenant, because 〈◊〉 have right to the seales of the Covenant, but onely this visible Church.
We hold all who professe faith in Christ, to be members of the visible Church, though they bee not members of a visible Congregation, and that the seales of the Covenant should not be denyed to them. And for more full clearing of the questi∣on, let these considerations be observed.
First, Dist. All beleevers, as beleevers, in foro Dei, before God have right to the seales of the Covenant, these to whom the Covenant and body of the Charter belongeth, to these the seale belongeth, but in foro Ecclesiastico, and in an orderly Church-way, the seales are not to be conferred by the Church upon persons because they beleeve, but be∣cause they professe their beleeving: therefore the Apostles never baptized Pagans, but upon profession of their faith.
Second Dist. Faith in Christ truely giveth right to the seales of the Covenant, and in Gods intention and decree, called voluntas bene∣placiti, they belong onely to the invisible Church, but the orderly way •f the Churches giving the seales, is, because such a society is a profes∣sing or visible Church, and orderly giving of the seales according to Gods approving will, called, voluntas signi & revelata, belongeth to the visible Church.
Third Dist. The Church may orderly and lawfully give the seales of the Covenant to those to whom the Covenant and promises of gracePage 186doth not belong in Gods decree of election.
Fourth Dist. The Church may lawfully adde to the Church visi∣ble, such as God addeth not to the Church invisible, as they may adde Simon Magus, and the Church may lawfully cast out of the visible Church, such as Christ hath not cast out of the invisible Church, as the Church may excommunicate regenerate persons for scandalous sinnes.
Fift Dist. Then the regenerate excommunicated have right to the seales of the Covenant, as they have to the Covenant, and yet the Church doth lawfully debarre them, hic & nunc, in such a scandalous case, from the seales of the Covenant.
Wee hold that those who are not members of a particular Congregation, may lawfully be admitted to the seales of the Covenant.
First, Because those to whom the promises are made, and professe the Covenant, these should be baptized. But men of approved piety are such, though they be not members of a particular Parish. The proposition is Peters argument, Act. 2. 38.
Secondly, Those who are not Members of a particular Church may be visible professors, and so members of a visible Church, Ergo, the seales of the Covenant belongeth to them.
Thirdly, The contrary opinion hath no warrant in Gods Word.
Fourthly, The Apostles required no more of those whom they baptized, but profession of beleefe, as Act. 10. 47. Can any forbid water that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Ghost, as well as we? Act. 8. 37. If thou beleevest with all thy heart, thou mayest he baptized: no more is sought of the Jaylor, Act. 16. 31. 34.
The Authour saith: To admit to the Seales of the Covenant, is*not an act of Christian liberty, that every Christian may dispense to whom he pleaseth, but an act of Church power given to the Ministers, to dispense to those over whom the Holy Ghost hath made them overseers; but we have no Ministeriall power over those of another Congregation, and who are not members of a particular Congregation.
Answ. First, To dispense the Seales to whom we please, as if mens pleasure were a rule, were licentiousnesse, not Christian Liberty. There may be a communion of benefits, where there is no communion of punishment: Beneficia sunt amplianda.
Secondly, It is false that Pastors have no Ministeriall power Page 187 over those who are not of their Congregation; for if so, all communion of Churches should fall, for Letters of recommen∣dation from other Churches, whereof they are Members, can∣not make Pastors of New England to have a Ministeriall power over those of another Congregation, as set over them, by the Holy Ghost, as they are set over their owne Parish, to whom they be onely Pastors, having Ministeriall power, by a Church Covenant, and the peoples Ordination, as our Brethren teach.
2. Manuser. Those over whom (saith our Authour) we have no power of censure, over those we have no power to dispense the com∣munion. Now if we should censure any such for drunkennesse, or other scandals, who are not of our Congregation, it should be a non ha∣bente potestatem, an act done by those who have no power.
Answ. The major proposition by your owne Doctrine, is clearely false, for you say your a selfe, Strangers sojourning with us, members of other Churches, knowne not to be scandalous, are admitted to the Lords Supper; yet can you not excommunicate strangers, sojourning for a time, falling in scandals. For,
First, to you they are without, how then can you judge them? as you say.
Secondly, You have by the holy Ghost no ministeriall power over them, as over your owne flocke, as you expone, Act. 20. 28.
Thirdly, You looke aside at excommunication, for those of other Churches consociated in a classe, we doe lawfully ex∣communicate and censure; for excommunication is not a cut∣ting off of a person from one single Parishionall Church one∣ly, as you imagine, but a cutting off of a person from all the visible Churches consociated: first, because he is delivered to Satan, and his sin is bound in heaven, in relation to all the faster Chur∣ches, and is so to be esteemed, and not in reference to the one single Congregation, whereof he is a member. Secondly, all are to be humbled and mourne for his fall, and to consent he be cut off, and not one single Congregation onely. Thirdly, all consociated Churches shall be leavened, by keeping Church-fellowship with such a lumpe. Fourthly, all are to repute him as a Heathen, and a Publican. Fifthly, all are to ad∣monish him as a Brother, 2 Thessalon. 3. 15. Sixthly, all are to forgive him, and receive him in Church-communion, if he Page 186〈1 page duplicate〉Page 187〈1 page duplicate〉Page 188 shall repent, and occasionally to edifie him as a brother.
The Seales of righteousnesse of faitha saith the Author) are not seales to the faithfull as such, but as they are joyned together and con∣sederate in some visible Church, none but in a visible Church may di∣spense the seales, in the O•d Testament, none were partakers either of the Passeover, or of Circumcision, unlesse they were either Israelites borne, or proselytes in the Church of Israel. We read not that Job and his friends, though righteous through faith, were circumcised, nor would they have omitted to speake of Circumcision, as of a pertinent evidence of the cor∣ruption of mans nature, of which they speake much; the Sacraments (saith this same Authorbare not given to the invisible Church, nor to the members thereof as such, but to the visible particular Churches of Christ, and to the members thereof; therefore the seales are not to be givento those, who are of no particular visible Church?
Answ. 1. The Seales of the Covenant are principally gi∣ven to the invisible Church, as the Covenant it selfe in Gods decree of election is especially made with the elect, and such as shall never fall away, as is cleare, Jer. 31. 37. Jer. 32. 40. Esay 54 10. Heb. 8. 9. 10. and the invisible Church as such, as a number of beleevers have onely right before God to both Covenant and seales, yea and consequently are onely Christs body and Spouse, and redeemed Saints, and so onely have all the power of the keyes, and the ministeriall power of dispensing the Seales, and by our brethrens doctrine, the visible Church not as visible, but as the true body, Spouse, and Bride of Christ, & so as the invisible company of the redeemed ones have the Seales, and Covenant, and so all Ministeriall power of Christ is given unto them. 2. It is true the orderly and Ecclesiasticke way of dispensing the Seales, is that they bee dispensed onely to the visible Church, but this visible Church is not one parish, but all professing the faith of Christ, though they be not joyned in one visible parish by one Church oath, as the Author meaneth: for the Saints in Scripture, as Cornelius, the Eunuch, the Jaylor, did professe and visibly evidence their faith, and so that they were capable of the Seales by desiring to be saved, and saying, What shall we doe to be saved, by trembling at the Word of God, by asking the meaning of the Word of God, which expressions are in many not in-churched to particular Congregations, not did the Apostles aske if they were members of one parish before they baptized them, but if they beleeved in Christ. 3. Whe∣ther Page 189Job, his friends, Melchisedeck, Lot, and others the like were circumcised, we need not dispute, but that they were not circumcised, because they were not in a visible Church estate with Abraham, is a question and uncertaine, and therefore not sure to be a foundation of new opinions in Church Govern∣ment; but though it were granted, it followeth not, because none were circumeised but Abrahams seed, and all, and onely Abrahams seed were circumcised, therefore none are to be bapti∣zed but those who are members of one particular Congregati∣on: Alas this is a weak• consequence, rather it followeth all borne of Jewes were circumcised, Ergo all borne of Christian parents are to be baptized; and we see not but sacrificing was restricted to the visible Church, no lesse then Circumcision, yet Job sacrificed to God, Job 1. and Chap. 42.
The Author addeth The difference here is. The circumcised in Israel might rightly keepe the Passeover amongst themselves, because the whole nation of Israel made but one Church, and the officers and ministers of any one Synagogue and the Priests and Levites were ministers in ••mmune of the whole house of Israel, in proportion whereunto they that are baptized in any particular Church may in like manner require the Lords Supper, if there be no other impediment, in regard of their un∣fitnesse, to examine themselves, which is a thing requisite, to receive the Lords Supper, more then was required to receive the Passeover. But now because the Churches of the new Testament are of another con∣stitution, then the nationall Church of all Israel, baptisme in one Church doth not give a man right to the Lords Supper in another, un∣lesse the Officers of the one Church were Officers of all (as in Israel they •er•) or unlesse that one Church and the Officers thereof did recommend their right and power to another.
Answ. 1. It is true, in the one Church of Israel there was something typicall, that is not in our Churches, as one Temple, ••e high Priest, one place of sacrificing, one Priesthood, one A•ke, &c. but this was peculiar to Israel, as such a specifice Church, and typi∣•ied also the externall visible unitie of the whole visible Church of the new Testament in professing one Lord, one Faith, one Bap∣tisme, one externall communion, and government externall, de jure: but this agreed not to the Church of Israel properly as a Church; for as a Church of a nation they might con∣vene and assemble themselves in one nationall Assembly to re∣forme Religion, to renew a nationall Covenant, to turne Page 190 away a nationall judgement, to make nationall acts, that they should seeke the Lord God of Israel, and put away strange wives, Deut. 29. 2 Chron. 15. 12, 13. Nehem. 10. and this is morall, yea naturall to a number of Churches united in one nation, and no wayes typicall. 2. The proportion betwixt Israel and a parishionall Church is questioned, the Author beggeth what is in question, for it is evident that in Gods Word there is a visible Church of many Congregations, associated in many vi∣sible acts of government. 3. If the Church of Israel and the Churches of the New Testament be of different constitutions, as Anabaptists, Arminians and Socinians teacheth, we shall try. I affirme that the Constitution in matter and forme was one with the Christian visible Church. 1. Our brethren bring arguments from the constitution of the Church of the Jewes, that for matter they were a holy people, a royall generation, for forme they were united in one Church-state Covenant∣wayes, as they prove from Deut. 29. 2. Separation from sinne and the wicked world, but not from the worship of God, was commanded to them, Psal. 26. 5, 6. Esay 52. 11. 2 Cor. 6. 7. Levit. 26. 11, 12. Communion with the wicked was forbidden to Israel, 2 Chron. 19. 2. 2 Chron. 30. 6. but communion in worship both in the Synagogue and Temple was commanded to them. 3. That God required not morall preparation in them for ea∣ting the Passeover, as he doth in us, before wee eate the Lords Supper, I conceive to bee an untruth. 1. Because not to pro∣phane the holy things of God, and not to take Gods Law in their mouth and to hate to be reformed, Psal. 50. 16. not to sa∣crifice with bloody hands, Esa. 1. 11, 12, &c. Psal. 50. 8, 9, 10. Esa 66. 1. was morall, and did bind and oblige the Jewes as they doe us, and 2 Chron. 30. 6. The postes are sent to gather the people to the Passeover, charging them to turne to the Lord God of their fathers, not to be like their fathers; and it is cleare by Hezekiab• prayer, ver. 18, 19. Good Lord pardon him that prepareth his heart to seeke the Lord God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the Sanctuary, vers. 20. And the Lord hearkened, and healed the people. Ergo, there was required a preparation of the heart for the right eating of the Passeover, besides the typi∣call and ceremoniall preparation. Yea God counted the cere∣moniall preparation voyd of the morall preparation, but abo∣mination, as Esa. 66. 1. Esa. 58. 3, 4, 5, 6. and Josiahs PasseoverPage 191 is commended from this, 2 Kings 23. 22 (as Junius well obser∣veth) that none did with such care and zeale, as Josiah did prepare the Pr•es•s, the people and himselfe for the passeover, in removing all Id•latry and abominati•n, and in renewing their Covenant and reso∣luti•n, vers. 3. To walke after the Lord, and to keepe his Commandements with all their heart, and with all their soule. 4. The uncleane and uncircumcised in heart were no more members of the true and invisible Church of the Jewes, and of Christs mysticall body, his Spouse, his royall generation, then Sodom and Gomorrah, Esa. 1 10. then the Ethiopians, Amos, 9. 7. then Ammon and Moah, J•r. 9 25, 26. as in the New Testament, and the true invisible Church amongst them, as amongst us were Kings and Priests unto God, Exod. 19. 5. 9. Psal. 149. 1. as we are, 1 Pet. 2. 9, 10. Rev. 1. 5. 5. Amongst them no man could invade the Priests office, or runne unsent, no more then under the New Testament, Heb. 5. 4. 1 Tim. 4. 22. though they were to rebuke one another, Levit. 19. and they had sacrifices for sins of ignorance, Levit. 4. 27. 2. The place seemeth not to want difficultie, how many sacrifices would men offer, how often, yea while they were going home from Jerusalem (which was a long Journey to many) they might fall in these sinnes of ignorance, and as a Master Paget noteth there was no dispensation for this Law, yet when Abra∣ham travelled three dayes to Mount Moriah from Beersheba in the South, and some of the Tribes Northward, would bee als farre distant, it would be seven dayes journey to many; there∣fore the Text is, if be sinne〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉in ignorance, or through ig∣norance, that is, meerely of ignorance, as when a man in drun∣kennesse killed a man, he shall offer a trespasse offering for it, the Jewes call it in their Language 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉timgnol, magnal, for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉megnal signifieth Pallium, if he sinned with a cloake * casten over his eyes, and bWeemes said the sinnes were done of ignorance, not ignorantly, or the word in the Hebrew, is vel notificatum fuerit ei peccatum ejus, when the conscience is wake∣ned and convinced, and he can finde no rest, let him offer sacri∣fices. And a third step was excommunication and casting out of the Synagogue after the captivity, which are the very de∣grees of our Church censure. They answer, Israel had civill c government which we have not. I answer, Deut. 17. 9. He thatPage 192will not hearken to the Priest (that standeth before the Lord to mini∣ster) or unto the Judge, even that man shall dye. He saith not, Hee that hearkeneth not unto the People. 2. They say they could not in Israel forgive one anothers sinnes, as we doe in the New Testament.
Answ. It is a divine Law in the Old Testament, they were to forgive even their enemies, Prov. 20. 22. &c. aRobinson saith, No Church hath the absolute promise of the Lords visible pre∣sente, which that Church then had, till the comming of Christ, Gen. 47. 10. and 17. 7. Exod. 19. 43, 44. It was simply necessary that the Messiah should be borne in the true Church. 3. In their deepest a∣post asy God shewed them some signes of his presence, by raising up some godly King, Priest, or Prophet.
Answ. That they had Prerogatives above us is cleare, Rom. 3. 1, 2, 3. Rom. 9. 4. and that in other respects, farre more excellent, wee have Prerogatives above them, is as cleare, 2 Cer. 3. 7, 8, 9. Matth. 13. 16, 17. So one Christian Church have Prerogatives above another, but the essentiall constitution of the Church of the Jewes, and ours is one. 1. They were a ro•a•d Priest-hood, a People holy to the Lord, the Covenant made with them, as with us. 2. To them one little Leaven, leavened the whole lumpe. 3. Separation from sinne and Idolatrous wor∣ship was commanded them, as it is us. 4. Amongst them, none who hated to be reformed, were to take the Law of God in their mouth. But to returne to our Author, it is a false ground that one that is Baptized in one Church, hath not right to the Lords Supper in all Churches, for if he be Baptized to Christs death, he is Baptized to all Churches. And 2. professedly in Covenant with God in all Churches, and so hath right to the seales of the Covenant in all Churches, for Gods Covenant is not principally and first made with a Parishionall Congregation, but with the Catho∣like and universall Church comming under the name of Israel and Iudah; and secondarily with a Parishionall Congregation. Is a beleever a member of Christs body in one Congregation and not in all Congregations? Hath he the keyes as a member of Christs body, and a dwelling house for the holy Spirit in one Congregation, and loseth them and the holy Spirit both when he goeth to another Congregation?
Manuscript, Those who come from England to us are under pub∣like*scandals and reproach. It is an offence that they come to us, as members of no particular Church visible, (for they leave that relati∣in Page 193 where they left their habitation) but of one Nationall Church, where∣of Christ hath given us no patterne in the New Testament, and in 〈◊〉 he hath appointed no Nationall worship to be performed.
Answ. It is admirable that leaving a Parishionall Church in England, they leave not the true visible Church, so all the Parishionall Churches in England must be separated from, as ••om no Churches; yet in that Church, many of you had your Baptisme, your conversion to Christ, your calling to the Mini∣•e••. 2. How can it be an offence to be Members of no inde∣pendent Churches in England, whereas no such may be had there? 3. Is it a fault to be members of a Nationall Church? see if Act. 1. Act. 6. Act. 15. there be not a Church-meeting, and publike exercise of praying, discussing of matters by the Word, choosing of officers, refuting of false Doctrine? This is worship, and it is not the worship of a particular Church, but there be no true Churches but yours, and all are in offen∣ces and scandalls, who are not members of your Churches; this aAugustine layeth to Donatists, this bPareus layeth up∣on Au•baptists, that they taught, they onely were the true Church. I conceive our deare Brethren are not of this mind.
Manuscript, It is a publike offence, that though they were Bap∣tized in some Parish Church in England (saith the Author) upon som• Covenant and stipulation of Parents, or God-fathers, which al∣so was without warrant, yet they come to the Lords Table, without a∣ny publike profession of their faith or repentance?
Answ. To say nothing of God-fathers, who are civill wit∣nesses, that the Parents shall take care to educate the childe, in the true Faith, we see no publike profession by a Church-oath, (as you meane) in the Church of Corinth, but onely that every man was to trye himselfe, and then to eate, nor in the Apostles Church at all, if you debarre them from the Lords Supper, who are not inchurched by your Oath, all the reformed Chur∣ches on Earth did never worthily eate and drinke the Lords bo∣dy and blood. It is (saith he) a publike offence, that in the Parish*Communion (which not Communion of spirits, but cohabitation be∣getteth) they partake with all ignorant and scandalous persons, not excluding drunkards, prophane swearers, whereby it commeth to passe that not a little leavin, but a great measure of leavin doth deepely leavin the whole lumpe.
Answ. This tolleration of drunkards and swearers in Page 194 the Lords Church, and at his Table, infecteth and is apt to lea∣vin all, with their evill conversation, but doth not leavin the worship to the fellow-worshippers, nor is the sinne of private persons, yea nor of our Ministers, who hath not pow∣er to helpe it, (but it is the fault of the Church) except you make no separation from a Church where a scandalous person is tolerated (for suffering moe or sewer doth not vary the spece) to be a sin publickely to be repented, before any can be mem∣bers of your Church, which is prodigious to us.
Fourthly, It is a publicke offence (saith the Authour) that they have worshipped God, according to the precepts of men, &c.
Answ. This is the crime of conformity which I wish were publickely repented, by all which hath defiled themselves with submitting to a Antichristian government, and the Will-worship of men, yet doth not this make Ministers no Ministers, so as they must receive Ordination to the Ministery of new. Peters fall took not away his Apostleship, nor Jonah• flying from God, nor Davids adultery made them not leave off to be Prophets.
Other arguments that I find in Papers from New England are these: First, There is not a Church (say they) under the New Testament, but a Congregationall Church, so it will follow, that as City priviledges belong onely to the Citizens and their children, so bap∣tisme and the Lords Supper, being Church priviledges, belong onely to the Members of particular Churches, and their seed; and that seeing sigillum sequitur donum, to apply them to any other, is to abuse them. As the scale of an Incorporation is abused, when it is added to confirme a gift to one who is not a Free man of that Incorporation, he being in∣capable thereof.
Answ. First, The case is not here, as in earthly Cities, a man who is a free Citizen in one burrough is not for that a free Ci∣tizen of all the Burroughes and Cities on earth; nor is he who is civilly excommunicated and cast out of his City priviledges in one City, cast out of his City priviledges in all other Cities, whereof he is a free member: and the reason is, there is not one common owner, and Lord of all the Cities on earth, who can give, or take away, in a Law-way, City priviledges; but the case is farre otherwayes in the priviledges of visible Churches, for he who is a member of one visible Congregation, is by his bap∣tisme, and sincere profession, and his professed standing in Co∣venant with God, a Member of all visible Congregations on Page 195 earth, as he is baptized in all Congregations on earth; and if he be excommunicated out of a single Congregation, he is excommunicated out of all, and loseth right to the Scale of the Lords Supper, in all visible Congregations, as his sinnes are bound in heaven to all also, for that one common head and Saviour, who giveth him right to the Seales of Christs body and blood in one, giveth him right to these Seales in all. For we worthily communicate with Christ in his body and blood, 〈◊〉 his body was broken, and his blood shed for one single visible Congregation, but as broken and shed for the whole 〈…〉 universall. But this forme of reasoning utterly abolish∣eth all Communion of Churches, nor can a member of one Noble Church be capable of the Seales of grace in another visi∣ble Church, because he is not a Member of that visible Church, no more then one is capable of the Priviledges of Paris, who is onely a Citizen of London, and not a Citizen of Paris. If it be said, one who is a member of a visible Church, may receive the Seales in another Congregation, if he be recommended by Letters, as a sound Professor, to that other Congregation. I Answer, Recommendatory Letters can never give a Church-right to the Church-Priviledges of the Seales of the Covenant, they doe but onely notifie, manifest, and declare the Church-right, which the man had before. Ergo, either he cannot in any sort be capable of the Seales of the Covenant in another Congre∣gation, then his owne, whereof he is an inchurched Member, which destroyeth all communion of sister Churches, or if he be capable of the Seales in another Congregation, he was capable and h•d a Church-right, in himselfe, before he received reconi∣me••a•ory Letters: yea, these whom we recommend by Letters as •it to partake of the Sacraments in another Congregation, •• presuppose they have Church-right to the Seales in another Congregation visible, then in their owne, whereof they are members; except our testimony be false. Ergo, before our recommendatory Letters, the person of approved piety was a member of all the visible Churches about, hoc ipso, and by that same reason, that he is a member of one visible Congregation; yea Peter clearely insinuateth that all who have received the Holy Ghost, are to be baptized, Act. 8. 47. as Philip, Act. 8. 37. and That if the Eunuch beleeved, be might be baptized. So that Faith, to speake properly, doth give us right to the Seales, Page 196 and to speake accurately, a visible profession of faith doth not give a man right to the seales of grace, but onely it doth noti∣fie and d clare to the Church, that the man hath right to the seales because he beleeveth, and that the Church may lawfully give to him the seales, and that profession is a condition requi∣red in the right receivers of the seales in an Ecclesiasticall way; but faith giveth the right to these seales, and because the faith of the beleever goeth with the beleever, when he goeth to ano∣ther visible congregation then his owne, that faith giveth him right to the seales in all places, and in all Congregations: for faith giveth right to receive Christ Sacramentally, not in one Congregation onely, but in all, and a visible profession doth, as a condition notifie this faith, and Church-right in all Congregations. Ergo, the man hath right in all Congregations, as he hath right in a parishionall Church. But our Brethren reply, Peter might baptize Cornelius, though he was no member of a visible Congregation, because the Apostles being •fficers in al Churches, might dispense the Seales in all Churches: but Ministers now are pastors one∣ly of the determina•e flocke, over which the holy Ghost hath set them, therefore they have not Citie Seales at their power to dispense to any other then to Citizens.
Answ. Peter his argument to Baptize is not from a tempo∣rall reason, that endureth for a while, but from a morall ar∣gument of perpetuall equitie and necessitie, till Christs second comming. He that beleeveth and hath received the holy Ghost is to be baptized. But many out of Church-state, and who are not members of a particular Congregation, have received the Ho∣ly Ghost, and doe beleeve, being Christians of approved pietie; we are to adde no restrictions, or exceptions where God ad∣deth none. Non est distinguendum, ubi lex non distinguit. They that beleeve should receive the seales, but not except they be in-Churched and members of a particular Congregation. The pro∣position is Gods Word, but the restriction or exception is not Gods Word. 2. The Apostles, though they were universall Pastors of the world, yet teach us by word and practise, who are to be admitted to the seales, even to the supper, those who do try and examine themselves, and that to the end of the world.
2. Our brethren say, It is probable that Cornelius was in Church∣state, and the Eunuch comming to Jerusalem to worship, argueth he was a proselyte, and a member of the Jewish Church not yet dissol∣ved; Page 197 Lydia and the jaylor were members of the Church of Philippi, which Church communicated with Paul at the beginning of the Gospel, Psal. 4. 15. at least it is probable, that Lidia was a member of the Church of the Jewes.
Answ. It is hard to build a new Church government contra∣ry to the doctrine of the reformed Churches upon probabili∣ties. 2. If Cornelius, Lydia and others were members of the Jewish Church, it was not a good consequence by our brethrens doctrine to make them members of a Christian Congregation, without in-churching of them by your Church-oath, for you make the constitution of the Jewish Church, and ours different; yea and as you teach, all circumcised were members of the Jewish Church, and had right to their Passeover, but all cir∣cumcised are not meet to bee members of a Christian Church, for many circumcised were Idolaters, murtherers, prophane mo•ke•s of God, Esay 1. 13, 14, 15, 16. Jer. 10. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Ezek, 10. 6. 17. 18, 9. And though the Church of Philippi was one of the 〈◊〉Church 〈◊〉 communicated with Paul, yet was there no Christian Church of Elders and people there, when Lydia was converted, for Acts 16. 13. in the place where prayer was wont to be made on the Sabbath day, none heard Paul preach, but some women, Ergo there could not be a Christian Church there; and it is certaine the jaylor before was a persecutor, and no member of a Christian Church.
They say Abraham and his seede were not circumcised, till God called him into Church-Covenant, and so into Church-state, and there is the same reason and use of baptisme, as of circumcision. If the argument taken for baptizing of infants be good, why may we not inserre a necessi∣tie of Church-membership, before baptisme, as of Church membership before circumcision? So the Apologie saith. It cannot be proved that*baptisme was imposed upon all beleevers, as such, no more then it can be proved that circumcision was imposed upon all beleevers as such; and Baptisme is no more now necessary to a beleever, whose calling or ano∣ther strong hand of Gods providence will not suffer to live in Church fellowship with Gods people, then circumcision was necessary to Mel∣chisede•k, Job or others, whom the hand of God detained from Church-fellowship, with the posteritie of Abraham; yea circumcision and the Passeover, seeing they were administrated in private houses, might more conveniently be administrated to persons not in Church-state, nor Bap∣tisme and the Lords Supper can be administrated so, in respect they arePage 198seales given to a Church body in an assembly, 1 Cor. 10. 17. and 12. 13.
Answ. Abraham, Sarah, and the Soules they had gotten in Charran, were in Church-state, obeyed God, built an Altar Gen. 12. 2, 3, 4. before the Church Covenant, which you speake of, Chap. 17. and it is denyed that that supposed oath of the Covenant made them a Church: So we see no necessitie of Church-membership, to one single Congregation, before either circumcision or bap∣tisme; for baptisme is a seale of our entry into the visible Church, as I shall prove. 2. We say not that baptisme is impo∣sed on all who beleeveth, as they are such, for God saveth divers beleevers, who are not baptized, but Gods will, the supreme I aw-giver, here is to be looked into, God would have no cir∣cumcision from Adam to Abraham, and would himselfe have the people want circumcision in the Wildernesse fortie yeares, and would have it administrated in private houses, it being a bloody and painefull Sacrament, but we have an expresse Com∣mandement of God to baptize all ordinarily of the visible Church; yet not because they are members of one single Congre∣gation, but because they beleeve & testifie themselves to be mem∣bers of the visible Church in generall: we deny that the want of membership in a particular Congregatiō, is that strong band that should hinder baptisme or the seales of the Covenant. God hath appointed no lawfull calling, such as traffiquing by Seas & •e∣quent travelling ordinary to transient members of the visible Church, to be inconsistent with the lawfull partaking of the or∣dinances of grace, & seales of the Covenant; for only those who doe not try and examine themselves, and are prophanely scan∣dalous are excluded, as swine, from the holy things of God, and from the Lords Supper, not men, because they are necessarily busied in a lawfull calling, and must ordinarily travell to farre countries, and so cannot be members of a single parish. 1. This is a physicall impediment and not a sinne, nor a morall impedi∣ment, excluding any from the Seales of grace, yea and an un∣written tradition. 2. I speake against that difference which the author maketh, betwixt the seales of grace in the Old Te∣stament, and the seales of grace in the New Testament, for there were Physicall and civill defects in the Old Testament, which by a divine Law, made some incapable of the Passeover, as if any were Lepers, bastards, borne Moabites and Ammonites, or typi∣cally uncleane, or had touched the dead, they could not eate Page 199 the Passeover, though otherwise they did beleeve in Christ to come, and were morally cleane, but by the contrary under the New Testament, there be no Physicall or ceremoniall de∣fects, no callings, no civill relations, but onely morall defects, and sinfull scandals, which doth exclude men from the Seales of grace, except you bring in ceremonies in the New Testament, of your owne devising, for all Nations, so they beleeve in Christ, Jew, or Gentile, Barbarian, or Scythian, bond or free, male or female, are to be baptized, Matth. 28. 19. God is no accepter of 〈◊〉, or Nations, or callings, Act. 10. 34, 35. compare this with ver. 46, 47. and Gal. 3. 27. For as many of you as have beene baptized unto Christ, have put on Christ, v. 28. There is neither Iew nor G••ek there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, for 〈◊〉 all me in Christ Jesus, so Gal. 6. 15. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision• waileth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
I must then say, it is boldnesse in men to say, that there is a lawfull calling in the New Testament, which our Brethren are pleased to call the strong hand of God, which maketh persons who are new creatures, and baptized unto Christ, uncapable of the seales of grace. Deare Brethren, yeeld to the cleare and evident truth of God. And for this cause, the seales of the New Testament must be more necessary in this respect, then were the Seales in the Old Testament. Our Brethren say, All circumcised might eate the Passeover (though I doubt much of it) and might enter into the Temple, if they were not legally uncleane, but all baptized may not ca•e the Lords Supper; and all baptized, though excommunicated, may enter into the congregation for the publicke worship, hearing the word, praying, praising, &c. But all circumcised, might not enter into the congregation. The places 1 Cor. 10. 17. and 12. 13. prove not, that the Seales of grace are administrated to a Church body, of a particular congregation only, as they are such; for these seales are common to all the visible Churches on earth. We many are one body, it is not to be exponed, We many are of one Parishi∣onall Congregation, and onely are one body; but We many of all the visible Churches on Earth, are one body in Christ. This you must say, except you deny all visible communion of sister Churches.
The Object. They who are not capable of Church censures, are not capable of Church Priviledges. But those that are not within the Church covenant of a particular congregation, are not capable of ChurchPage 200censure. The proposition being evident, the assumption is proved, 1 Cor. 5. 12. What have I to doe to judge those who are without, that is, without the communion of a particular congregation, So Amesius, de consc. l. 4. c. 24. quest. 1. resp. ad.
Answ. First, I answered before, the major is false, by your owne doctrine, those of another Congregation cannot be cen∣sured, but by their owne congregation, yet by Letters of re∣commendation, they may receive the Lords Supper in another Congregation. Also strangers of approved piety, may be ca∣pable of Church rebukes, which are Church censures.
Secondly, The place, 1 Cor. 5. 12. is manifestly abused, for by those who are without, are meant onely the Insidels and Heathens who are without the whole visible Church, and not those of approved piety, who are baptized and professe the truth sin∣cerely: for Peter Martyr, Beza, Calvin, Marlorat, Pareus, Zwin∣glius, so also Haymo, Aquinas, expone it with us; which is cleare, first, by the phrase of speaking (What have I to doe?) be∣ing a note of estrangement, as, Joh. 2. 4. Woman what have I to doe with thee? and 2 Sam. 16. 10. David said, What have I to doe with you, ye sonnes of Zerviah? now Paul and the faithfull at Co∣rinth are not estranged from those of approved piety of other Congregations, he tooke care to edifie and rebuke them, and so are all the Saints to edifie, censure, and rebuke one another. *
Thirdly, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, alwayes those who are without, are taken in an ill part, in the Word of God, as Mark. 4. 11. Those who are without, are the blinded and hardned, and Rev. 22. 15. for without are dogges, our Brethren expone it of the visible Church. Now not to be in Membership of such a particular congregation, is not a sin, nor a just ground of Pauls estrange∣ment of his Ministeriall power from them, it may be caused by persecution when the flocke are scattered by Wolves.
Fourthly, Those who are here without, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, are left by Paul to the immediate judgement of God, and not to be judged of the Church, ver. 13. But them that are without God judgeth. Now those who are members of another congregation then the Church of Corinth, or members of no particular congregation, and yet of approved piety, are not left to the immediate judge∣ment of God, because they are without. The banished servants of God, who suffer for the Truth, or transient members, who because their calling is ordinarily traffiquing, and so not con∣sistent Page 201 with a membership in a setled congregation, are they (I say) without, not to be edified by the censures of the Church, but left to the immediate judgement of God? this is contra∣ry to Gods Word, and an insolent interpretation, and I find i• not in your place of Amesius.
They reason from inconveniencies, Hence (say they) Church*assemblies shall be confused meetings, if all out of Church membership •e admitted.
Answ. If by confused meetings you meane, meetings of sound beleevers and hypocrites, then Christs Kingdome compared to a draw-net, wherein are good and bad, are confused mee∣tings and unlawfull; which none can say but Anabaptists. But if you meane meetings of these of your owne Congregati∣on and strangers of approved piety, these are not confused mee∣tings, but you begge what is in question, and utterly abolish all Communion of Churches.
They adde, the Church shall endanger the propbaning of the Seales, and want a speciall meanes whereby their grace and piety shall be dis•er∣ned,*if without respect of their Church estate, men be admitted to the seales; for their owne testimony is not enough: also how can they be of approved piety, who against light refuse to professe subjection to the Gospell, by an orderly joyning themselves with some approved Church when they have opportunity? seeing Church-fellowship is an action of piety required in the second Commandement, and this meane of tryall hath beene so blessed that many approved men have beene after tryall found light to others, and to their owne consciences.
Answ. Meanes of discovering sincerity or hypocrisie would be warranted by Gods word, and meanes of eschewing the prophaning of the Seales also. Simon Magus was not so try∣ed, yea when Peter found him in the gall of bitternesse, we sinde not that he cast him out of the visible Church in respect his sinne was not that publikely scandalous, as to offend the whole Church. 2. We grant that strangers are not rashly to be admit∣ted to the Seales, but you prove them not to be of approved pi∣ety, because they will not sweare your Church-oath, and your discipline, as the onely true way, and in so doing, you say they refuse Church-fellowship commanded in the second Com∣mandement; but this is to be proved, and not to be nakedly aver∣red by you; they beleeve, and can give evidences of their be∣liefe, & so should by the word of God be admitted to the Seales. Page 202Act. 10. 47. Act. 8. 37. Act. 16. 14, 15. ver. 31, 32, 33. 1 Cor. 11. 38. you deny them the Seales, as i• they were dogges and unworthy prophaners of the Seales onely, because they can∣not sweare to your Church-government, which you cannot prove from the word of God. 3. You deny them to be of approved piety who will not joyne to an approved Church, you meane your owne onely. But you adde if they have opportunity, but what if they want opportunity, then the strong hand of God deharreth them, & their seed from the Seales of Grace; now if any be to traffique by Seas, and to travell to farre Countries in a lawfull calling, he is legally uncleane and incapable of the Seales to himselfe or his seede; for he cannot in Conscience and through necessity of his lawfull calling sweare your Church-oath, for he must sweare to observe the manners of his fellow-members, to edifie them by exhortation, consolation, rebuking, to joyne himselfe in an eter∣nall Covenant to that visible Church, yea never to remove thence, except the Congregation consent: so your oath obligeth him to all these, now this is impossible because of his lawfull calling, and be∣cause he cannot be a Church-member for ever: while he traffi∣queth in his lawfull calling, the comfort of the Lords supper is denyed to him, and Baptisme to all his seede, and that by a strong hand of providence without any fault in him: shew us a warrant from the Law and the Testimony, where any are to be debarred from the Seales of the Covenant, and that ordinarily, (where sicknesse and some other Physicall impediments doth not occurre) where there is no morall unworthinesse or guilti∣nesse in the persons debarred: Will you debarre all from Church-comforts, the presence of Christ in his Church, the comfort of his walking, beside the Candlestickes, and his influence in the word Preached, the power of the keyes, the rebukes of the Saints, their exhortation and private comforting of sinners, the comforts of the Ordinances of Baptisme, and the supper of the Lord, because a strong hand of providence in a law∣full calling doth perpetually debarre them? 4. You say your trying of Church-members is a meane blessed of God, to try many mens sincerity.
I answer, Unlawfull meanes, as the persecution of Tyrants, may have this successe, what then? is it a lawfull meane? 2. I would Gods name were here spared; it is not a meane blessed of God, it chaseth away many from the net of the Gospell, and Page 203 the Pastorall care of the Shepheards, and is not a conquering way to gaine Soules.
John Alasto (say they) in the dayes of Edward the sixth, would*bapize none, but such as were members of that Church: and there∣fore p••paned this question to the Fathers, (Are these infants that you 〈◊〉, the seede of this our Church, that they may lawfully be Bap∣lized?)
Answ. John Alasto had reason because of some present abuse, some indifferent Atheists, infidels in heart, refused to joyne to either Churches, either Protestant or Papists, and sought Baptis∣meto their children in either Churches, as they might have it, and therefore was that question proponed to the Fathers, but it proveth not your point. Alasto excluded the Children of Atheists, who would joyne to no Church, as his words cited beare. Ergo approved Christians and their seede are to be excluded from the Seales of the Covenant. How weake is your reasoning?
If the Rechabites (say they) the Posterity of Jethro, shall live in the •idst of the Common-wealth of Israel, & some of them prove true belee∣ters, as Jonadab the sonne of Rechab. yet if they shall refuse to take bold of the Covenant of Israel, & to become Pr•selytes, it is no sinne for Israel to withold the Passeover from them, & circumcision from their Children?
Answ. You might have proved your point a nearer way, many legally uncleane, and yet sound beleevers, because of le∣prosie, for no sinne were debarred from the Seales amongst the Jewes: but have you any law to debarre any from the Seales of the Covenant of grace under the New Testament, and that or∣dinarily for no sinne? 2. aCalvin thinketh their Vow not lawfull. bBucanus,cPolyander, and dWillet think it the lawfull Vow of the Nazarites, commanded Numb. 6. What then? If by Gods Law of the Nazarites, they abstained from wine, and the Passeover? God is above his owne Law, Ergo, you may debarre men from the Seales under the New Testa∣ment for no sinne; it doth not follow. 3. How prove yee, they abstained from the Passeover? being so divine a Law, might not their Vow suffer an exception for a greater Law in eating the Passeover? I thinke it might, for in case of necessity they came and dwelt at Jerusalem, for feare of the Army of the Chaldeans, Jer. 35. 11. and yet their vow was to dwell in Tents. From these ariseth,
Page 204 Quest. I. If Pastors may performe Ministeriall Acts in any o∣ther Congregation than their owne.
This is answered unto, by a Manuscript, If you take a Mi∣nisteriall act improperly, when a Minister doth exercise his gift of pray∣ing and preaching, being required so to doe, so hee may exercise some Ministeriall acts, but this he doth not by vertue of any calling, but on∣ly by his gifts and occasionally: but if you meane by a Ministeriall act, an act of authority and power in dispensing of Gods Ordinances, as a Minister doth performe to the Church whereunto he is called to be a Minister, then we deny that he can so performe any Ministeriall act, to any other Church, than his owne.
Hence though he may preach to another congregation, yet may he not administer the Sacraments to an other then to his owne.
Answ. First, We hold that by a calling or ordination he is made a Pastor, by election he is restricted to be Ordinarily the Pastor of his flocke.
Secondly, A Pastor is a Pastor of the Catholike Church, but he is not a Catholike Pastor of the Catholike Church, as were the Apostles.
Thirdly, The Reformed Churches may send Pastors to the * Indians, for that which Acosta saith of Jesuites, wee may with better reason say it of our selves: That Pasiors are as Souldiers, and some souldiers are to keepe order, and remaine in a certaine place, others run up and don ne in all places; So some are affixed to a Con∣gregation, to feed them, others may be sent to those people, who have not heard of the Gospel. Which sending is ordinary and lawfull, in respect of Pastors sending, and the Pastors who are sent, because in Pastors, even after the Apostles be dead, there remaineth a generall Pastorall care for all the Churches of Christ. Thus sending is not ordinary, but extraordinary, in respect of those to whom the Pastors are sent, yet is it a Pastorall sending.
This opinion of our Prethren, is against the care of Christ, who hath left no Pastorall care on earth by this way, now since the Apostles dyed, to spread the Gospell to those Nations who have not heard of the name of Christ; but a Pastorall care for the Churches, is not proper to Apostles onely, but onely such a Pastorall care by speciall direction from Christ immediately Page 205 to Preach to all. 2. Backed with the gift of tongues and of miracles; and this essentially differenceth the Apostle from the ordinary Pastor; but the former Pastorall care to Preach the Gospell to all Nations, and to convert, is common both to the Apostle and Pastor.
2. Our Brethren distinguish betwixt office and the calling, and they say that the office extendeth no further then the call, and by 〈◊〉 he is onely a Pastor of this determinate flocke. But if he be a Pastor essentially in relation to none, but to his owne Congre∣gation from which he hath all his calling, as is supposed, by that same reason a Christian, is a Baptized Christian to none but in relation to that particular Church in whose society he is admitted, and he doth partake of Christs body and blood in the Lords Supper in relation to no visible professors on earth, but onely to the Parish Church whereof he is a Member, 1 Cor. 10. 17. for they expone that onely of a Parishionall Communion within one single independant Congregation. And he must be a Heathen, or as a Pagan in all Congregations on earth, but in his owne, yea and he is a visible professor of the Covenant of grace, which is one in substance, (as they say) with the Church-Covenant, and hath claime to Christ and all his Ordinances in no Congregation save in his owne. I prove the consequence, for by Baptisme the Baptized person is incorporated in Christs vi∣sible Church. 1 Cor. 12. 13. If this be true when one removeth from one Congregation to another, hee must bee re-baptized and incorporated a visible member of a body visible with them. And I see not how one can be in-churched to another Congregation, and made one body therewith, while he eate of one bread with them, as they expone, 1 Cor. 10. 17. if he be not also a member of all visible Churches on earth.
3. If a Pastor can exercise no Pastorall acts toward any Con∣gregation, save toward his owne, then a Pastor as a Pastor cannot pray for the whole visible Churches of God: but the latter is absurd: Ergo, so is the former. I prove the major, The praying for the whole visible Churches is a Pastorall Act, due to a Pastor as a Pastor. 1. Because every visible Church is oblieged as it is a Church to pray for all the visible Churches on earth: for as a Christian is oblieged to pray for all Churches visible; so farre more is a Church: now a visible Church doth not pray but by the Pastor, who is the mouth of the People to Page 206 God; and that this is a Pastorall duty due to a Pastor, I thinke is said Isa. 62. 6. I have set watchmen on thy Tower, O Je∣rusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night. Yee that make mention of the Lord, keepe no silence till he establish, and t•ll •• make Jerusalem the praise of the whole earth. Also Pastors as Pastors are to pray for the King, though the King be no member of that Congregation, whereof they be Pastors. 1 Tim. 2. 1, 2. every Pastor as a Pastor is to Preach a∣gainst the sinnes of the Land, else how can the People mourne for these sinnes? Ergo, the Pastor doth exercise Pastorall acts upon all the visible Churches on earth, upon the King, and upon the whole Land, to which he is not a Pastor by speciall election.
4. If a Pastor be oblieged to Preach in season and out of sea∣son, and that as a Pastor, and because he is a Pastor. 2 Tim. 4. 2. Ergo he is to Preach as a Pastor in any Congregation where he shall be desired.
They answer, He may Preach the word in another Congre∣gation, not by vertue of a calling or office, but by vertue of his gifts.
I answer, First, if he Preach by vertue of a gift onely, he Preacheth in that case, not as sent of God, and so int•udeth himselfe, and runneth unsent, and a meere gift to be a King or a Magistrate, maketh not a Magistrate, as a Master Robinson granteth. Ergo one cannot warrantably exercise a Pastorall act by vertue of a meere gift. 2. He may in another Congrega∣tion preach with Pastorall authority, and use the keyes by bind∣ing and loosing sinnes, according as hearers doe repent and harden their nockes against the Gospell. Ergo, he may preach as a Pastor to another Congregation. 3. There shall be no Communion betwixt Sister Churches in Pastorall acts as Pasto∣rall, which is absurd, the Communion shall onely be of Pa∣storall acts as Christian acts, but in no sort betwixt them as Pa∣storall acts.
5. The Scriptures for this opinion are weak, Ergo the opinion it selfe is weake, I prove the antecedent. Act. 20. 28. feede the flocke, over which the holy Ghost hath made you overseers. &c. there is no ground to feede even by Preaching, or by vertue of a gift, these flockes over which the holy Ghost hath not set you: Obey them that are over you in the Lord, Heb. 13. 17. & c. there is no war∣rant Page 207 to submit to other Pastors that are not over you in the Lord, though they command by vertue of a gift, not by vertue of an office or calling: these be loose consequences.
6. All reciprocation of mutuall duties amongst sister Chur∣ches, whereby they exhort, rebuke, comfort one another, must be unlawfull, for these be Church acts, and this Author saith, The office extendeth no further then the calling, but there is no calling of Church-membership betwixt sister-Churches, and therefore all these duties are not acts of the Communion of Churches, as they are such Churches or incorporations in a Church-state, but onely duties of Churches as they are Saints, but communion of Churches as Churches in the act of Church-dispensing of the Word and Seales reciprocally one to another, is not in the Word of God, as this opinion will inferre, which is a weigh∣ty absurd.
7. The Authors of this opinion hold, That if the Congregati∣on, for no fault, reject the Pastor, whom they once called and elected*to •e their Pastor, though in so doing they sinne, and reject God in rejecting him, yet they take nomen & esse, the name and nature of a pastor from him, yet (say they) hee still remaineth a Minister of Christ, till he accept a call from another Congregation.
Hence 1. such a one is a Pastor, and yet the people have ta∣ken * name and nature of a Pastor from him, as they gave him name and nature: Ergo, he is either a Pastor without a calling, which is absurd, or he remaineth a person in relation to ano∣ther flocke, who never choosed him, nor gave him any calling. 2. To adde by the way, if he be capable of a calling to another Church, Ergo, for the time he is no Minister, else they must say, he may be a Minister capable of two callings, to two sun∣dry Ministeries, which yet maketh him a Pastor not in relation to one single congregation onely.
It is true, they object that the Apostles, Matth. 18. were com∣manded to preach to all Nations, but Pastors are not so now, but are commanded to feed the flocke over which God hath appointed them, Act. 20. 28. but it is as true the Apostles were commanded to preach to all Nations, in opposition to the charge that the Prophets of old were to speake to the peo∣ple of Israel onely, and the Apostles Matth. 10. forbidden to preach to the Samaritans and Gentiles; and it is as true that Gods Spirit limited the Apostles to Preach to Macedonia,Page 208 not to Bithynia; now because this particular direction for pla∣ces is wanting in the Church, it is certaine that a man is yet a Pastor in office in relation to as many as Gods hand of pro∣vidence shall send him unto, though he be chosen by a people to feed ordinarily one determinate flocke, and though he be not an extraordinary and immediatly inspired planter of Churches, or the first planter, as were the Apostles, yet is he a Pastor in re∣lation to all. And if this be not said, 1. It were simply unlaw∣full for Pastors now to plant Churches, and spread the Gospell to those nations, who have not heard it, because all Pastors now are ordinary, and none are immediatly inspired Apostles: but it is certaine what the Apostles did, by an extraordinary gift, as such immediatly called pastors, it is unlawfull for or∣dinary Pastors to attempt to doe, as to attempt to speake with tongues, and to plant Churches by speaking with tongues and confirming it with miracles, is unlawfull. Papists, as Bel∣larmine, Suarez, Acosta, ascribe this to the Pope and his Apostles. Our Divines answer that the Apostles that way have no suc∣cessors; But what the Apostles did by an ordinary pastorall gift, as to preach the word, administrate the Sacraments, to erect and plant Churches by ordinary gifts, where the Pastors can speake to the Churches by an ordinary gift in their owne language, they are oblieged both within and without the Con∣gregation, to preach as Pastors, because where God giveth gifts pastorall to pastors, he commandeth them to exercise these gifts, else they digge their Lords talent in the earth: but God gi∣veth to Pastors pastorall gifts to preach to others then their owne Congregation, and to administrate the seales to them also, and to plant Churches. Ergo, it is presumed that the Church doth give authoritie and an externall ministeriall cal∣ling to the exercise of these gifts. 2. It is an unwarrantable point of Divinitie that the Apostles and the Pastors succeeding to them doe differ essentially in this, that Apostles might preach as Pastors to more Congregations then one, and might plant Churches, but pastors succeeding to them may not as Pastors preach to more Congregations then their owne, and may not plan• Churches, for then planting of Churches now were ut∣terly unlawfull, because it is certaine there be no Apostles on earth, and it is not lawfull for a Pastor, yea nor it is lawfull for any other gifted person to doe that which is essentiall to an Page 209 Apostle and agreeth to an Apostle as to an Apostle. It is then unlawfull for our brethren, seeing they be not Apostles, to plant Churches in India.
Nor is that comparison to be regarded much; A Magistrate or an Alderman of a Citie may not lawfully exercise his office of Magi∣stracie in another Citie whereof he is not a Maior, and therefore a Pa∣stor cannot preach, ex officio, as a Pastor in another Congregation, whereof he is not a Pastor, nor can he exercise discipline in another Congregation then his owne, seeing another Congregation hath not by voluntary agreement, oath or paction submitted themselves to his mini∣stry, nor chosen him for their Pastor.
For I answer, the comparison halteth and doth not prove the point, for by one and the same act the citie hath chosen such a man both for to be a Magistrate, and to be their Magi∣strate, and have given him thereby authority over themselves onely, so he cannot exercise the office of a Magistrate over ano∣ther Citie who hath not chosen him to be their Maior or ruler. But the flocke doth not both call such a man, in one and the same act to be a pastor, and to be their pastor, but hee is made by the laying on of the hands of the Elders, a Pastor, and a Pa∣stor in relation to all to whom God in his providence shall send him to speake, the Congregation by election doth give him no authority pastorall, but onely appropriate his pastorall authoritie to themselves in particular; and when they refuse him againe and cast him off, they take not pastorall authoritie from him, for they cannot take away that which they cannot give; he remaineth a Pastor though they cast him off, as a Colledge of Physitians do promote a man to be a Doctor of Physicke to cure diseases, a towne calleth him to be their Physitian, he may yet exercise acts of his calling, and ex officio, as a Doctor, upon other cities and inhabitants of the countrey; and when the city who choosed him for their physitian doth cast him off, they take not from him the office of doctorship which the Colledge of Physitians conferred upon him, for they cannot take from him that which they cannot give to him. Yea if any of ano∣ther flocke shall come and heare the word, the Pastor offereth all in one pastorall sacrifice to God in prayer, though there be many of another Congregation in the Church hearing; yea strangers beleevers communicate with him at the same Ta∣ble, yet is he not their Pastor. If a Pastor of a Congregation Page 210 die or be sicke, shall the children of beleevers, yea shall con∣verted Pagans being desirous to be baptized be defrauded of the comfort of Baptisme, and of the Lords Supper, for no fault in them, but onely because their Pastor is dead, may not the Congregation by their desires and requests appropriate the of∣fice of Pastors of another Congregation in some particular acts to their necessitie? yea is not their receiving of his ministry in that act (when their Pastor is dead) a calling warranting him to officiate, hie & nunc? even as the desires and choise of his owne flocke electing him to be their constant Pastor, gave him a calling to be their Pastor constantly, and in all the ordi∣nary acts of his calling? yea and it is sure as the holy Ghost set him over his owne floeke in ordinary, because they choosed him to be their Pastor, so that same holy Ghost set him over this other Congregation, in this act, to preach and admini∣strate the sacraments to them, in this exigence of the death of their Pastor; for God who ruleth officers and disposeth of them in his house, disposeth of particular Acts of his owne officers, and he is sent as a pastor from God to speake to the stanger hic & nunc, and to worke his heart to the love of Christ, and that as a Pastor no lesse then to his owne flocke, except we destroy communion of gifts, and of Pastorall gifts, Paul by the holy Ghost was made the Apostle of the Gentiles, Peter of the Jewes, Gal. 2. 8. yet Peter as an Apostle preached to, and baptized the uncircumcised Gentiles, Act. 10. 11. and Paul exercised his office of an Apostle upon the Jewes also, both by preaching and bap∣tizing, as the history of the Acts, chap. 16. chap. 17. and other places may cleare, Rom. 1. so that the contrary doctrine is a new conceite, not of God, and against the pastorall care of bringing in soules to Christ.
Quest. II. Whether or no children be received into the visible Church by Baptisme.
In this Chapter the Author will not have persons of appro∣ved pietie and baptized to be within the visible Church, and a the Author of the Apologie saith, We doe not beleeve that chil∣dren are received within the visible Church by baptisme, for if they be not in Christs Church, before they be baptized, what hath a Minister to doe to baptize them who are not of the Church? and if they be with∣in Page 211 the Church before baptisme, how shall they be received in the Church by baptisme? if you say, they may be received, that is, declared by bap∣tisme to have beene received into the Church by the Covenant of their fa∣thers: We demand into which Church? not into our owne Church, for their parents were never members of a Church, and we cannot put the seale of God upon a falsehood? not into the Church from whence their fathers came, for we know not whether their fathers were casten out of the Church, or not.
Some considerations are here to be set downe.
1. Baptisme is not that whereby we are entred into Christs mysticall and invisible body as such, for it is presupposed we be members of Christs body, and our sinnes pardoned already, before baptisme come to bee a seale of sinnes pardoned, but baptisme is a seale of our entry in Christs visible body, as swearing to the Colours is that which entreth a Soul∣dier to be a member of such an Army, whereas before his oath, he was onely a heart friend to the army and cause.
2. Baptisme as it is such is a seale, and a seale as a seale addeth no new lands or goods to the man to whom the Charter and seale is given, but only doth legally confirme him in the right of such lands given to the man by the Prince or State, yet this hindereth not but baptisme is a reall, legall seale, legally confirming the man in his actuall and visible profession of Christ, remission of sinnes, regeneration, so as though before baptisme he was a member of Christs body, yet quoad nos, he is not a member of Christs body visible, untill he be made such by baptisme.
3. This question toucheth the controversie anent the efficien∣cie, working and operation of the Sacraments, of which I give a tast shortly.
Sacraments are considered as Sacraments, in abstracto, in genere sig∣n•rum; the reprobate doe receive holy Seales and Sacraments, else they could not be said to prophane the holy things of God, and so they may be Sacraments and worke no grace ei∣ther by themselves or from God, all operation from, or about the Sacrament then must be accidentall to a Sacrament.
2. Sacraments are considered in concreto, according to all which they include in their use, to wit, as they consist of the signe, the thing signified, the institution of God, and the pro∣mise of grace, and in this meaning aAltisiodorensis (as I conceive) maketh the Sacraments not efficient causes of grace, yet materiall causes containing grace, uti vas medicinam, so the Scripture saith, Baptisme saveth, as the Physitians glasse cureth the Page 212 disease, and bGuliel. Parisiens. said not ill, that the Sacra∣ments have a power to obtaine grace by faith and prayer, that is, being used in faith and sincere calling upon God, they ob∣taine grace; so to speake accurately this is all about the Sacra∣ment, rather then from the Sacrament: to which sense cDu∣randus,dOccameGabriel BielfAliacensis doe deny the Sacraments to be Physicall instruments producing grace in a Physicall way, (though Papists cry out against our Divines for teaching so) onely they say, God at the presence of the Sacra∣ment produceth grace of his meere free will, ad praesentiam Sa∣cramenti operatur deus gratiam ex solâ liberâ suâ voluntate. And for this cause gGregorius de Valentia saith these Schoolemen nihil amplius tribuere Sacramentis, quam haeretici tribuunt, give no more to the Sacraments then hereticks give; yet hVasquez, and a Jesult professor at Rome iJoan. de Lugo teach that the Sacraments are morall causes of grace, but not physicall. It is grosse that kHenricus saith, that God createth grace, per tactum Sacra∣mentorum, by the touch of the Sacraments, as Christ cured the Leper by the touch of his hand: for Sacraments are not mira∣cles, as Papists say, Phisicke worketh upon a mans body when he sleepeth, so doe Sacraments justifie and worke grace, ex opere operat•, though the faith of the Sacrament-Receiver doe worke nothing at all.
4. Sacraments are considered. 1. As holy signes. 2. As Re∣ligious seales. 3. As instruments by which faith worketh. 4. As meanes used by, us out of conscience of obedi∣ence to Christs commandement who hath willed us to use them.
Sacraments as signes are objective and morall causes, exci∣ting the mind as the word doth in a morall way, they repre∣sent Christ and him crucified, and this Sacraments have com∣mune with the word. The Sacrament is a visible word teach∣ing us. 2. Sacraments have the consideration of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉& non〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉tantum, they be seales, and not teaching and representing signes onely: this way also they have no reall or physicall acti∣on in them or from them; for a seale of a Prince and State, as it is such, conferreth not an acre or rigge of land, but it is a legall Declaration that those lands written in the body of the Charter, doe duely belong to the Person to whom the Char∣ter is given. But aArminians do here erre, as bEpiscopius,Page 213 and also, cSocinus, and dSmalcius, who teach that the Sa∣craments be nothing but externall rites and declarative signes, scadowing out Christ, and the benefits of his death to us, be∣cause they find a morall objective working in the Word of God, but a substantiall and Physicall working betwixt us and Christs bodie (they say) is ridiculous, but they would re∣member that this is an insufficient enumeration, the seale of a Kings Charter hath besides a morall action on the mind, by bringing to the mind such lands given to such a man, and so the seales, worketh upon the witnesses, or any who readeth the Charter as well as upon the owner of the Charter: I say beside this the seale hath some reall action, I grant not in it, but about it, and beside it; for it sealeth that such lands are really and in effect given by the Prince and State, the action is about the seale, not in or from the seale: When a Generall of an Army delivereth the keyes of a Castle to a Keeper thereof, he saith [I deliver the house to you] when he delivereth the Keyes one∣ly Physically, and not the stones, walls or timber of the house, by a Physicall action or Physicall touch, contactu Physico, yet in delivering the keyes, he doth really deliver to him the Castle, but in a legall and morall way.
Arminians and Socinians may see here that there is neither an action by way of naked representation and teaching, for the Sacrament is a teaching signe to the beholders who receive it not, nor is it a Physicall action, as if Christs Physicall body in a Physicall way were given; yet it is an action reall, and morall: so the Sacraments are signes exhibitive and not naked signes. Our brethren doe side with Arminians and Socinians, who so often teach that Sacraments make nothing to be what they were not, but onely declare things to be what they are. It is true, the formall effect of a Sacrament is to seale and confirme; to seale and con∣firme is but a legall strengthning of a right, and not the adding of any new thing. Yet in this the Sacrament differeth from a seale. 1. That to a civill seale there is not required the belee∣ving and faith of the owner of the Charter, to make the seale effectuall; for whether the Lord of the lands beleeve that his seale doth confirme him in the lands, or not, the seale of it selfe by the Law of the Prince & State maketh good his right to the lands: but Sacraments doe not worke ex opere operato, as civill seales doe worke, even as Physicke worketh upon the body, Page 214 without the faith of the mind, though the man bee sleeping. Hence the third consideration of a Sacrament as an instrument, Faith, in and through the Sacrament being wakened and stirred up layeth hold upon Christ his death and benefits, and for this cause there is a reall exhibition of the thing signified, and the Sacrament is an exhibitive seale.
4. The Sacrament in the use is considered as wee use it in obedience to God, who saith in the Lords Supper, Do this in remembrance of me, and in this it differeth from a civill seale al∣so. The Prince doth not conferre a seale to confirme a man in his land upon condition, that he will make use of it, other∣wayes it shall be to him as no seale. But God hath given the scale of grace upon condition that wee make use thereof in Faith, else the Sacrament is blanke and null. Therefore if you beleeve, and not otherwayes, the Sacrament of the Supper seal∣eth and confirmeth you in this, that Christ is given already, and is in the present given to be nourishment to your soule to life eternall; and so oft as you eate, the certioration and assurance groweth, and the faith is increased, and a further degree of a communi∣on with Christ confirmed; but it is not so in civill seales, though yee repeate and reiterate the same seale of lands, ten thousand times, it never addeth one aker more to the in heri∣tance, because the repetition of a civill seale is not commanded under the promise of addition of new lands, nor is it comman∣ded, as obedience to the owner of the Charter, that hee should make use of the seale; but from the using in faith, the Sacra∣ment, we receive increase of Grace, and a Sacramentall Grace.
Hence Baptisme is a seale of our incorporation in Christs visible Church, 1 Cor. 12. 13. For by one spirit we be all baptized into one body, whether we be Jew or Gentile, or whether we be bound or free, Act. 2. 41. Then they that received the word were baptized, and the same day there were added unto them three thousand souls, so Matth. 28. 19. the taught Disciples are to bee baptized in his name, Act. 8. 38. Philip was this way received in the Christian Church, and Cornelius, Act. 10. 47. and Lidia, Act. 16. 15. and the Jaylor, vers. 23. 2. That which distinguisheth by a visible note the Church as visible from the invisible Church, and from other visible societies, and sealeth our visible union with Christs body, that is, the seale of our entry in the visible Church, but baptisme is such, Ergo. 3. What circumcision was to the Page 215Church of the Jewes, that baptisme is to the Christian Church, because, in re significatâ, in the thing signified and inward sub∣stance of the Sacrament, they were both one, Col. 2. 11. 12. Phil. 3. 3. But circumcision was a seale of the Jewish entry in the visible Church, Gen. 17. 13. It being the Covenant of God in the flesh, & the uncircumcised being commanded to be cut off from Gods people, v. 14. 4. This is according to the Scriptures and the doctrine of the fathers, Augustine, Cyrill, Basilius, Tertullian, Hieronymus, Theophylact, Theodoret, Ambrose, Cyprian who con∣stantly so teach; so doe our Divines aCalvin,bBeza,cBu∣•nus,dPareus,ePiscator,fAnton. Wallaeus,gTilenus,hKickermanus. So Zanchius, Polanus, Sihrandus, Rivetus, Fen∣nerus, Whittakerus, Raynoldus, Willetus, and the professors of Leyden 〈◊〉.
Our Brethren say, it is the opinion of the iAnabaptists, that the Church is made by baptisme, and Papists have the same con∣ceit, and therefore place their Font at the Church doore to signifie mens entry into the Church by baptisme; but we beleeve not that baptisme doth make men members of the Church, nor to be administrated to them who are without the Church, as the way to bring them in, but to them that are within the Church, as a seale to confirme the Covenant of Grace to them.
Answ. 1. Anabaptists deny that any ought to be baptized while thy come to age, and while they beleeve and be regenerated: and they say not farre from your selves in this, who teach it to bee ab∣surd, to put a blanke seale upon a falshood, and so you presuppone all to be regenerated, and truly within the Covenant before they can be sealed to be within the Covenant by baptisme; and yet you do not think all Infants of beleeving parents to be rege∣nerated and truly within the Covenant, then is the seale blanck. Also you say, baptisme is not to be administrated to those who are without, but onely to those who are within the Church, you meane not within the Church by profession, for Infants have no profession, and you say the Sacrament cannot be put on a blanke or a falshood, Ergo, you thinke all that are baptized ought to be within the Church really, and not in profession ouely; Ergo they must all come to age and beleeve before they can be bap∣tized. 2. We say not that baptisme maketh a Church mysticall, and the true and lively body and Spouse of Christ, but that it is a seale confirming us of our entry in the visible Church. 3. The Page 216 placing of the Font at the Church doore as a mysticall signe of our entry in the Church is an Antichristian ceremony of mens de∣vising, which wee disclaime. 4. If Infants baptized must bee within the Church, before they can be baptized, how deny you to receive them to the Lords Supper when they come to age, while they bee againe, by your Church-oath, received within the Church? then are they both within the Church, because they are baptized, and without the Church, because they are not received in by your Church-oath againe. 5. If baptisme be a seale of grace to confirme the Covenant of grace to those who are within the Church, that is, onely a single Congregation, (for you deny that there be any visible Churches in the New Testament save these onely) then are persons baptized persons, and confirmed in the Covenant of grace onely within a single Congregation. I would know if baptisme should not then be repeated and reiterated in every ones person, as they come to a new Congregation; for they are confirmed in the Covenant of grace, by baptisme onely in one single Congregation, as you teach.
Their second and third reason is, aBaptisme and all ordi∣nances are priviledges given to the Church, so it maketh not the Church, but the Church is before baptisme and all ordinances; the use also of baptisme is to be a seale of the Covenant, now a seale is not to make a thing which was not, but to confirme a thing which was.
Answ. 1. The Church is indeed the Church mysticall and the invisible body of Christ before baptisme, but this prov∣eth not but baptisme is a seale of our entry in the visible Church, for if this be a good argument, your Church-covenant, which to you is an ordinance of God, falleth to the grrund; for persons are the true Churches of Christ before all the ordinances of Christ; Ergo, by your Church-covenant men doe not become Christs visible Church. 2. The argument hath no feet, for the ordinance of preaching the Word is a priviledge of the Church and ordinance of God, yet is not the Church before the preach∣ing of the Word; for birth is not before the seed, but the seed before the birth; the preaching of the Word is the seed of the Church, 1 Pet. 1. 23. and a meane of gathering the Church, Rom. 10. 14. and it is also a priviledge of the Church, for hee dealeth not so with every nation to send his Gospell to them, Psal. 147. 19, 20. 3. When you say that a Seale doth not make a thing thatPage 217was not, but confirme a thing that was; while you would seeme to refute Papists, who vainely teach that Sacraments doe con∣fe•re grace ex opere op•rato, by the deed done; yet doe you make the Sacrament but a naked signe, and take part with Arminians and Socinians, whose very arguments in expresse words you use; for aSocinius goeth before you in this argument, and so doth bSmalcius follow him. 〈◊〉 and sealing there is requi∣red the trying of the thing, and some •••hing or document; but that ceremony (a baptisime) and that rite, though it bee ••ly, doth nothing to the remission of sins, but it doth onely shadow out, and as it 〈◊〉 deline•ue and point forth remission of sinnes by the washing of water •xp•ned in the Word of God. You say, Sacraments 〈◊〉 make a thing that was not, but confirme a thing that was before; you can have no other meaning then to deny all cansalitie and all reall exhibition of grace in the Sacraments: for if a Sa∣crament make not a thing that was not before, or if God give n•t, and really produce, conferre and exhibite grace, and a stronger measure of faith, and assurance of remission of sinnes, at the due and right use of the Sacrament, the Sacrament is a naked signe, and not an exhibitive Seale. But if Christ give and in the present exhibit as surely remission of sinnes, as the infant is washen with water, as our Divines, and the c Palatinate Catechise teacheth, yea and d the confession thereof, and e the Synod of Dort teacheth, then by the Sacrament of Baptisme, a thing is made that which it was not. It is true a civill seale, as I said before, addeth no new lands to the owner of the Charter, but if Christ by his Seales rightly and in faith used, doe not onely confirme grace and pardon, but also really exhibite and give grace and pardon in a further degree, and a new measure of assurance to the conscience which there was not before, you goe not a streas breadth from Arminians and So∣cinians, especially seeing fEpiscopius,gHenricus Welsingius saith that remission of finnes is not sealed by baptisme, but signified onely, and h the Remonstrants in their Apologie while they expone our Communion with Christ in the Lords Supper, and will reject a Physicall union of our soules with the Physicall sub∣stance Page 218 of Christs body, which we also reject, they say that com∣munion signifieth onely a profession of one and the same worship, whereby Christians sol•mnly testifie that they adhere to Christ as to •• partaker of the Table of devils and of devils themselves, 1 Cor. 10. 18 20. is a testimony of a communion with the Devills: but the Word of God saith more, Gal. 3. 17. As many of you as are baptized, have put on Christ, So Rom. 6. 3. Therefore we are buried with •im by baptisme unto his death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead, by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walke in newnesse of life, Ephes. 5. 26. That he might sanctifie and cleanse his Church with the washing of water by the word, T it. 3. 5. and 1 Pet. 3. 21. The like figure whereunto even baptisme doth also now save us, &c. all this is more then a naked signification, otherwise Manna saved Israel, and the water of the rocke did wash them from their sinnes, and the sacrifice of bulls and goates did cleanse from sinne, and open heaven to sinners. Therefore by baptisme and the Lords Sup∣per something is made what it was not before, as by partaking of the Table of Devils, the partaker is really made a partaker with the devill, and an Idolater; and his Idolatry that he committed before was not onely confirmed and signified to be what it was before. And in this civill Seales and Sacraments differ, as I observed before.
Argu. 4. God (say they) had a Church when there was neither baptisme nor circumcision, yea baptisme hath beene administrated and*no Church-members made thereby, and men have beene made mem∣bers of Christ and not then baptized; and John and Christs Disciples baptized, Matth. 3. 6. John 4. 1. but neither Christ nor John made new Churches, they all living and dying members of the Jewish Church of which they were before, and if any of them after became members of Christian Churches, they were not then baptized when they were so ad∣mitted, having beene baptized before.
Answ. We teach not that baptisme constituteth the Church simply, as the Church, but that it is a seale of a visible member∣ship, and all baptized by John Baptist, and the Disciples of Christ, were thereby entred in a visible profession that they be∣leeved in Christ already come, and so were made members and citizens by that publicke symbole and seale, that they were members of the Christian Church, though as yet it received not that name of a Christian Church, and they were members both of the Jewish and Christian Church: For these are not con∣trary Page 219 incorporations, and they needed not to bee baptized a∣gaine when they were added to the Christian Church, for they were never added to the visible Christian Church; nor needed they to be added, seeing they were members of that Church before.
Argu. 5. These inconveniences (say they) should follow. 1. Baptis∣me should be administrate by such as are not ministers at all; for who should baptize them who are converted without the Church? extraordi∣nary officers are ceased and ordinary are limited onely to their owne f••ks: also the Church is before the ministers, for the Church hath power to choose ministers; now if baptisme make the Church, then must ••n be baptized before there be ministers to baptize them.
Answ. You see to what absurdities your owne grounds drive you, for if none can baptize but these of a fixed Congregation, and if they can baptize none but their owne Congregation, none as a sent Pastor whose feet is pleasant on the mountaines, can preach and beget faith in a company of unbeleevers, not in a Church-state, which is a limiting of the wise God, who by Pa∣stors as Pastors can beget faith in men without a parishionall Church, which is contrary to Gods Word, Rom. 10. 14. 2. It is false that the Church ministeriall, which only can baptize, is be∣fore the officers, for they should then be before themselves, which is absurd, nor is there such necessitie of baptisme, as that those who are no ministers should baptize.
2. Inconvenient. It should follow that Papists should be mem∣bers of the Church, for they have baptisme so farre right, as that it cannot be repeated.
Answ. If your Church-covenant bee that which essentially con∣stituteth a Church-member, then Papists, Atheists, and Hypo∣crites may be Church-members also by this reason, because they may sweare your Church-oath. Hypocrites doubtlesse doe it. And this argument is as much for the Anabaptists as against us, for it should prove that none should be baptized but members of the true Church and sound beleevers: now by baptisme none a•e made members of the true Church except where baptisme is received by true faith, which is more, nor can bee done by a Papist; nor is it inconvenient to say that Papists as baptized & under that reduplication are members of the visible Church, though as baptized thus and thus, they be not members of the true visible Church, professing the sound faith.
Page 220Also (say they) baptisme may remaine where as Church-member∣ship is dissolved, as in the case of excommunication, Matth. 18. 17. or of voluntary and unjust departure, 1 Job. 2. 19. Jude 19. Heb. 10. 25. in which case such Schismaticks are no members of the visible Church, asaAm•sius saith: and if the Church bee dissolved, the Church membership ceaseth, for, Relata se mutuo ponunt & tollunt.
Answ. This is against your selves, and doth as well prove that baptisme is not a seale of the covenant of grace, for an excommunicate person may remaine externally without the covenant to the visible Church, when baptisme remaineth a seale, and may be a seale of a grace or priviledge, which is in∣terrupted or removed in act, but remaineth in habite: as to bee the eldest sonne of a King, may be a seale of the sonnes hei•e∣ship, and yet he may for a fault be disherited and cast out of his place. The Church and Church-membership are Relata secundum es•, not secundum dici onely, or relata〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: but baptisme and Church-membership are not so perfect relatives, but baptisme doth remaine and the Church-membership may bee dissolved: as the Burgesse ticket whereby a man hath right to all the citie priviledges may remaine, when the man for some crime com∣mitted against the citie hath lost all his citie priviledges and is not now a free citizen, in which case his Burgesse ticket sealeth nothing to him: so baptisme sealeth not actuall membership in case of excommunication, yet remaineth baptisme valid in the acts of sealing other things. As for Schismatickes who onely for Schisme are out of the Church, and doe hold no er∣roneous point of doctrine, and are not yet convinced, they are yet members of the visible Church, as aMorton saith from Gerson, as also bGlorianus; but he who is casten out as a Schis∣maticke, is in the same case with an excommunicate per∣son.
Lastly, baptisme is not a priviledge of a particular visible Church onely; nor doth the place of 1 Cor. 12. vers. 13. meane of the visible parishionall Church of Corinth, but of the whole visible Church of Jew and Gentile, bond and free, as the words doe beare.
Quest. III. In what cases it is lawfull to separate from a Church.
In this discourse three things must bee discussed, 1. With Page 221 what Church retaining the doctrine of fundamentalls, we are to remaine. 2. Whether our separation from Rome bee not warrantable. 3. Whether wee may lawfully separate from true Churches, for the sinnes of the Churches. 1 Cor. 3. 11. Ano∣ther foundation can no man lay, then that which is laid, Jesus Christ. Hence Jesus Christ is the foundation of faith reall or personall, and the knowledge of Christ is the dogmaticall foundation of faith, Upon this foundation some build gold, that is, good do∣ctriae: some hay and stubble, that is, as cCalvin faith, curious doctrine,dPareus, vaine and frivolous doctrine. We are to distin∣guish betwixt articles of faith, or res fidei, matters of faith, and fundamentall points of faith. Matters of faith I reduce to three. 1. Fundamentall points. 2. Supra-fundamentalia, superstructions ••illed upon fundamentalls. 3. Circa-fundamentalia, things about ma•ers of Faith; for praeter fundamentalia, things indifferent and besides the foundation in matters of Religion, and morall car∣riage, I acknowledge none; fundamentalls are the vitall and noble parts or the soule of Divinitie. The ignorance of funda∣mentalls condemneth, which is to be understood two wayes. 1. The Ignorance of fundamentalls, such as are supernaturall fundamentalls, condemneth all within the visible Church as a sinne; but it doth not formally condemne those who are without the visible Church, Job. 15. 22. It onely maketh those who are without the Church incurable, but doth not formal∣ly condemne them: as medicine not knowne, and so not re∣fused, maketh sicke men incurable, as a losse, but doth not kill them as a sinne. 2. Superstructures, which by consequence, arise from fundamentalls, are fundamentalls by consequent and secondarily; as the second ranke of stones that are immediat∣ly laid upon the foundation, are a foundation in respect of the higher parts of the wall, and therefore are materially funda∣mentall: and the ignorance of these virtually condemne, and the denying of such, by consequence is a denying of the foun∣dation.
Things about the foundation, circa fundamentalia, are all things revealed in the word of God, as all Histories, Miracles, Chronol•gie, things anent Orion, the Pleiades, the North starres, Job 38. 31. 32. That Paul left his cloakc at Troas. The knowledge of these is considered three wayes. 1. As necessary, by necessitie of a meane, necessitate medii, and the knowledge; so is not neces∣sary Page 222 to salvation, many are in glory (I doubt not) who lived in the visible Church, and yet knew never that Sampson killed a Lion; but the knowledge of all these is necessary, necessitate praecepti, because all in the visible Church are oblieged to know these things, therefore the ignorance of these onely doth not actually condemne, but virtually and by demerit lead to con∣demnation. 2. This knowledge is considered as commanded in the excellency thereof, and so error and bad opinions about these are sinfully ill, though in the regenerate, by accident, such errors condemne not, where the foundation is holden. 3. The knowledge of these is considered as commanded and enjoyned to us with the submission of faith; for the authority of God the Speaker, and the malicious opposing of these is a fundamentall error, not formally, but by evident consequent, for though the matter of these errors be not fundamentall, yet the malicious opposing of these is a fundamentall error against this principle [What ever God saith is true;] but God saith there were eight soules in the Arke of Noah. Hence because the hi∣storiall things of Scripture and things about the foundation, as that Paul purified himselfe with the Jewes, Act. 21. that Paul rebuked Peter, Gal. 2. is no lesse true, because God hath so spo∣ken in his Word, then this fundamentall point [Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners] it is cleare that the specifice and essentiall forme of a fundamentall article is not taken from the authoritie of God speaking in the Word, (seeing Gods autho∣ritie is one and the same in all that he speaketh) but from the influence that the knowledge of an article hath to unite us to God in Christ, and bring us to salvation. And secondly, it will follow that this [Thou shalt not by the use of things in∣different kill him for whom Christ died] and the like be no lesse fundamentall, by evident consequent, in respect it is spo∣ken by Gods own authority, then articles of our faith, Thirdly, it followeth that formalists ignorantly divide matters of Gods worship, into matters of Faith, or points fundamentall, and things indifferent, as if many Scripturall truthes were not to be found in Gods Word, such as the miracles of Moses, and Elias, the journeyes of Paul, which are neither matters funda∣mentall, nor yet things indifferent. Fourthly, many things may be fundamentall, by consequent, to one who can reade the Word, and heareth it read, which is not by consequent Page 223 fundamentall to a rude and ignorant man.
The knowledge of points fundamentall is necessary. 1. To obtaine salvation. 2. To keepe communion with a true Church; for we are to separate from a Church subverting the founda∣tion and laying another foundation. Fundamentalls are re∣stricted by many to the Creed of Athanasius, and bGregorius*Nazimzen, and cCyrillus of Jerusalem, to the Apostles Creed; (as it is called) others reduce all fundamentalls to the famous Creeds of Ni•e, of Constantinople, of Ephesus, of Chalced•n;dEsti∣us restricteth fundamentalls to things necessary for the well or∣dering of our life; eDavenantius saith better, That such are fundamentall, the knowledge whereof is simply necessary to salvation, i• ignorance whereof doth condemne. Doctor Potter calleth them P•ime and capitall doctrines of our Religion, or of that faith which essentially constituteth a true Church, and a true Christian; which is good, but that he contradivideth from these things not fundamentall, which may be disputed on either side, and can∣not * be determined by the Word of God, and must lie under a [non liquet] is his error. Yet he may know that gBellarmine saith right many things are of faith, (and cleare in Scripture, as histori∣call relations) which are not funda∣mentall.hCamero, and a greater Divine then CameroiDom. Beza re∣duceth all fundamentalls to things which necessarily belongeth to faith and obedience: and k great Calvin re∣trincheth fundamentalls within the Apostles Creed: lOccam will have the militant (Catholicke) Church alwayes explicitely or ex∣pressly beleevings things necessary to salvation: and our Divines teach that the Catholike Church cannot erre in fundamen∣talls: they meane with pertinacie and obstinacie. 2. In all fundamentalls. 3. Totally and finally. But wee are not to be∣leeve Papists, who say things are fundamentall, materially in themselves, as all points necessary to bee beleeved, but things are not formally fundamentall, but such things onely as the Church d•fineth to be fundamentall. But 1. the foundation of our Faith is Gods Word, and Gods Word is necessary to be belee∣ved to salvation, whether the Church define it or no: to ab∣staine from Idolatry is necessary to be beleeved, though AaronPage 224 and the Church of Israel say the contrary, neither doth Gods Word borrow authority from men. 2. If the Church may make points to be fundamentall by their definition, whereas before they were not fundamentall, then may the Church make articles of faith; Sure I am Paipsts, as Gerson, Occam, Al∣maine, Suarez, yea and a very Bellarmine is against this. Yea and by that same reason they may make fundamentall points to bee no fundamentall points, and they may turne the Apostles Creed into no faith at all, for ejusdem est potestos creare & annihi∣lare. 3. There cannot be a greater power in the Church, to de∣fine Articles of faith, then is in God himselfe; but the very au∣thority of God doth not define a matter to bee an article of faith, except the necessitie of the matter so require, for God hath determined in his word, that Paul left his cloake at Treas, but that Paul left his cloake at Troas, is not (I hope) an article of faith, or a fundamentall point of salvation. 4. What can the Church doe, (saith aVincentius Lyrinens.) but declare that that is to be beleeved, which before in it selfe was to bee beleeved: and bBellarmine saith, Councells maketh nothing to be of infallible verity, and so doth cScotus say, Verity before heresies (erat de fide) was a matter of faith, though it was not declared to be so by the Church: Determinatio non facit vertatem, saith O•cam, The Churches deter∣mination maketh no truth. 3. The evidence of knowledge of fun∣damentals is gravely to bee considered. Hence these distin∣ctions.
1. One may beleeve that Christ is the Sonne of God by a Divine faith, as Peter doth, Matth. 16. 17. and yet doubt of the necessary consequences fundamentall. Ergo, Christ must bee de∣livered into the hands of sinners, and bee crucified, as the same Peter doubted of this: for as one may fall in a grievous sinne, though regenerated, and faile in act, and yet remaine in grace, in habitu, the seed of God remaining in him; so may Peter and the Apostles doubt of a fundamentall point of Christs rising from the dead, John 20. v 8, 9. in an act of weake∣nesse, and yet have saving faith in Christ, as it is like many of of the Saints at Corinth denyed an article of their Faith, the ri∣sing againe of the dead: one act of unbeleefe maketh not an in∣fidell.
2. Dist. A simple Papist and a Lutheran not well educa∣ted doth beleeve upon the same former ground, that Christ is Page 225 true man, & hath an habitual faith of this article, that Jesus Christ is truly the Son of David, & yet holdeth transubstantiation, or con∣substantiati•, that Christs body is in many sundry places in hea∣ven, and earth, on this side of the Sea, & beyond Sea, yet the con∣n•xion betwixt Christs humanitie and this monster of transub∣stantiation not being possible, all the error may be meerely phi∣losophick, that the extention of quantitative parts without or beyond part, is not the essence of a quantitative body; while as the rude man beleeveth firmely that Christ is true man, and so beleeveth contradictory things by good consequence; therefore the qualitie of the conscience of the beleever is to be looked into, since fundamentall heresie is essentially in the mind, and pertinacy and selfe-conviction doth inseparably follow it. 1. There is a conscience simply doubting of funda∣mentall points, this may be with a habit of sound faith. 2. A scrupulous conscience which from light grounds is brangled about some fundamentall points, and this is often in sound beleevers, who may and doe beleeve, but with a scruple. 3. A conscience beleeving opinions and conjecturing and guessing, as in Atheists, this is damnable; but where obstinacy is, as de∣fending with pertinacie transubstantiation, and that it is law∣full to adore bread, this pertinacious defending of Idolatry doth inferre necessarily, that the faith of the article of Christs humanitie is but false and counterfeit, and not saving.
3. Dist. There is a certitude of adherence formall, and a cer∣titude of adherence virtuall. A certitude of adherence formall is, when one doth adhere firmly to the faith of fundamen∣talls. A certitude of adherence virtuall is, when with the for∣mall adherence to some fundamentall points, there is an igno∣rance of other fundamentall points, and yet withall a gracious disposition and habit to beleeve other fundamentalls, when they shall bee clearely revealed out of the word, so Luke 24. Christ exponed the resurrection, and the articles of Christs suf∣ferings and glorification, vers. 25, 26, 27. to the Disciples who doubted of these before, and yet had saving faith of other fun∣damentall points, Matth. 16. 17. 18.
4. Hence there be two sorts of fundamentalls, some prin∣cipally and chiefely so called, even the elements and beginning of the doctrine of Christ, as Credenda, things to be beleeved in the Creed, the object of our faith; and p•tenda, things that Page 226 we aske of God, expressed in the Lords Prayer, the object of our hope specially. 2. Agenda, things to be done, contained in the decalogue, the object of our love to God and our bre∣thren; Others are so secundarily fundamentall, or lesse funda∣mentalls, as deduced from these; yea there be some artcles of the Creed principally fundamentall, these all are explicitely to be beleeved, noted by aVigilius Martyr, and bPareus: as that Christ died and rose againe, &c. Other Articles are but modi articulorum fundamentalium, and expositions and evident deter∣minations of cleare articles: As Christs incarnation, and tak∣ing on our flesh is explained by this, conceived of the holy Ghost, and borne of the Virgin Mary; the death and suffering of Christ is exponed by subordinate articles, as that he suffered under Pon∣tius Pilate, was crucisied, &c. and these lesser fundamentalls are to be beleeved, necessitate praecepti, because God commandeth them, but happily non necessitate medii. It is possible many bee in glory who beleeve not explicitely, but onely in the dispo∣sition of the mind, (as some are baptized, in voto, in their desire onely) these lesser fundamentalls, it is enough they have the faith of non-repugnancy, or negative adherence to these, so as they would not deny them, if they had beene proponed to them in a distinct and cleare way.
5. The faith of fundamentalls is implicit three wayes. 1. In respect of the degree of beleeving. 2. In respect of the ob∣ject. 3. In respect of the subject, or our adherence to things beleeved. In respect of degrees the faith is implicite and weake three wayes, as Calvin may teach. 1. Because we are igno∣rant of some lesse fundamentalls. 2. Because we see in a mirror and imperfectly. 3. In respect of beleeving upon a false ground, as for miracles. In respect of the object, the certaintie is most sure, as sure as that God cannot lie.
In respect of our adherence of understanding and affections; in this respect the knowledge of fundamentalls must bee cer∣taine. 1. By a negative certitude which excludeth doubting, and so Pastor and people must have a certitude of fundamen∣talls, as Rom. 14, 5. Col. 1. 9. Heb. 5. 12. but for a positive certitude there is not that measure required in a teacher that is in a schol∣ler, for all the body cannot be an eye, 1 Cor. 12. 17. yet is a Chri∣stian certitude and fulnesse of perswasion required even of all Christians, Colos. 2. 2. Colos. 3. 16. highest and greatest in its Page 227 kind, though many may bee saved with lesse, yet a distinct knowledge of fundamentalls in all is not necessary by a neces∣sitie of the meanes, necessitate medii, as Beza and Doctor Ames* teach.
There is a faith of fundamentalls implicite in respect of the will and affections which Papists make a wide faith, as the J•u•e Becanus thinke to beleeve these two fundamentalls, 1. That there is a God. 2. That this God hath a providence con∣•••ning mens salvation, though other particulars be not knowne. Or implicite faith is, saith Estius, when any is ready to beleeve what the Church shall teach; which faith (Suarez saith) though it include ignorance, yet keepeth men from the danger of errors, be∣cause it doth submit the mind to the nearest rule of teaching, to wit, to the Church; the knowledge of fundamentalls in this sense doth not save, but condemne. Thomas saith better then he.
6. Dist. They are not alike who beleeve fundamentall here∣•ies. 2. And who defend them. 3. And who teach them, and obtrude them upon the consciences of others. For the first, ma∣ny beleeve fundamentall errors who are ignorant of them, and doe thinke that they firmely adhere to Christian Religion, O•cam termeth such, haereticos nescientes, ignorant heretickes, as * the Marcionites, and the Manicheans, and these the Church should tolerate while they bee instructed. It is true the Je∣suite Meratius saith, When many things are proposed to the under∣standing for one and the same formall reason, to wit, for divine authori∣tie, the understanding cannot imbrace one but it must imbrace all, nor ••ject one, but it must reject all, which is true of a formall maliti∣ous rejecting; the Manichean beleeveth nothing because God saith it, and hath faith sound and saving in nothing, but it is not true of an actuall or virtuall contempt, in one or two fun∣damentalls, because beleevers out of weakenesse, ignorance, and through strength of tentation may doubt of one fundament∣all, as the Disciples doubted of the resurrection, Joh. 20. 9. and yet in habite beleeve all other fundamentalls, but the Church is to correct such as professe fundamentall heresies, and to cast out of the Church seducers and deceivers.
7. Dist. It is one thing to hate a fundamentall point, as that [Christ is consubstantiall with the Father] as the Arians doe, and another thing, by consequence to subvert a fundamentall point, as Papists by consequence deny Christ to bee true man, Page 228 while they hold the wonder of Transubstantiation, yet doe not they hate this conclusion formally [that Christ is true man.]
8. Dist. Though it were true which Doctor Christo. Potter saith, If we put by the Points wherein Christians differ one from ano∣ther,*and gather into one body the rest of the articles, wherein they all gnerallaly agree, we should finde in these propositions, which without all controversie are universally received in the whole Christian world, so much truth is contained, as being joyned with holy obedience may be sufficient io bring a man to everlasting salvation. I say, though this were true, yet will it not follow that these few fundamen∣talls received by all Christians, Papists, Lutherans, Arians, Versti∣ans, Sabellians, Maccdonians, Nestorians, Eutychanes, Socinians, Ana∣baptists, Treithitae, Antitrinitarii (for all these be Christians and validely baptized) doe essentially constitute a true Church, and a true Religion. Because all Christians agree that the old and New Testament is the truth and Word of God, and the whole faith of Christian Religion is to bee found in the Old Testa∣ment, acknowledged both by Jewes and Christians; for that is not the Word of God indeed in the Old Testament, which the Jewes say is the Word of God in the Old Testament. Yea the old and new Testament, and these few unc•n••averted points received universally by all Christians are not Gods Word, as all these Christians expone them, but the dreames and fan∣cies of the Jewes saying, that the old Testament teacheth that Christ the Messiah is not yet come in the flesh, the Treithitae say there be three Gods, yet are the Treithitae Christians in the sense of Doctor Potter: so that one principall as that There is one God, and Christ is God and man, and God is noely to be adored, not one of these are uncontraverted, in respect every society of Sectaries have contrary expositions upon these common funda∣mentalls, and so contrary Religions. Who doubteth but all Christians will subscribe and sweare with us Protestants the Apo∣stolicke Creed but will it follow that all Christians are of one true Religion, and doe beleeve the same fundamentalls? now these fundamentalls are the object of faith according as they signifie things. To us and to the Treithitae this first Article (I beleeve in God) as I conceive doth not signifie one and the same thing; now joyne this (I beleeve in God) with holy obedience as wee expone it, and as the Treithitae expone it, it could never bee a Page 229 step to everlasting salvation; for it should have this meaning, (I beleeve there is one only true God, and that there be also three Gods) and what kind of obedience joyned with a faith made up of contradictions, can bee availeable to salvation? 3. One generall Catechise and confession of faith made up of the com∣monly received and agreed upon fundamentalls, would not make us nearer peace, though all Christians should sweare and subscribe this common Christian Catechise, no more then if they should sweare and subscribe the old and new Testament, as all Christians will doe, and this day doth.
9. Disl. Though the knowledge of fundamentalls be neces∣sary to salvation, yet it cannot easily be defined, what measure of knowledge of fundamentalls, and what determinate num∣ber of fundamentalls doth constitute a true visible Church, and * a sound beleever, as the learned Voetius saith.
Hence 1. They are saved, who soundly beleeve all funda∣mentalls materially, though they cannot distinctly know them, under the reduplication of fundamentalls, nor define what are fundamentalls, what not.
2. Though a Church retaine the fundamentalls, yet if wee beforced to avow and beleeve as truth, doctrines everting the foundation of faith, against the article of one God; if we must worship as many Gods as there bee hosties, if Christs Kingly, Priestly, and Propheticall office be overturned, as we were forced in Popery to do, we are to separate from the Church in that case.
It is not true that Master Robinson saith, This distinction of fundamentalls and non-fundamentals in injurious to growing in*grace, whereas we should be led on to perfection, as if it were suffi∣cient for a house, that the foundation were laid.
Answ. It followeth not, for the knowledge of fundamen∣talls is onely, that wee may know what is a necessary meane of salvation, without which none can be saved, notwithstan∣ding, he who groweth not, and is not led on to perfection, never laid hold on the foundation Christ; nor are we hence taught to seeke no more, but so much knowledge of fundamentals, as may bring as to heaven, that is an abuse of this Doctrine. 2. Robinson faith fundamentall truthes are holden and professed by as vile here∣tickes as ever were since Christs dayes, a company of excommunicates may hold, teach and defend fundamentall truths, yet are they not a true Church of God?
Page 230Answ. Papists hold fundamentalls, and so doe Jewes hold all the old Testament and Papists hold both new and old, but we know they so hold fundamentalls, that by their doctrine they overturne them; and though there bee fundamentalls taught in the Popish Church, which may save if they were be∣leeved, yet they are not a true and ministeriall Church simply, because, though they teach, that there is one God, they teach also there is a thousand Gods whom they adore, and though they teach, there is one Mediator, yet doe they substitute infinite Mediators with and besides Christ, so that the truth is, not a formall, ministeriall and visible active exter∣nall calling is in the Church of Rome, as it is a visible Church, in the which wee can safely remaine, though funda∣mentalls be safe in Rome, and the bookes of the old and new Te∣stament be there, yet are they not there ministerially as in a mother whose breasts we can sucke; for fundamentall points falsely exponed, cease to be fundamentall points, yea as they be ministerially in Rome, they be destructive of the foundation, though there bee some ministeriall acts valid in that Church, for the which the Church of Rome is called a true Church,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, in some respect, according to something essentiall to the true Church, yet never sine adjecto, as if it were a true Church, where we can worship God. Fundamentalls are safe in Rome materially in themselves, so as some may be saved who beleeve these fundamentalls; but fundamentalls are not safe in Rome, Ecclesiastice, Ministeraliter, Pastoraliter, in a Church way, so as by beleeving these from their chaires so exponed, they can be sa∣ved who doe beleeve them. 2. Out of which we may have the doctrine of faith and salvation as from a visible mother, whose daughters we are. Some say the fundamentalls amongst Lu∣therans are exponed in such a way as the foundation is everted? I answer, There is a twofold eversion of the foundation. 1. One Theologicall, Morall and Ecclesiastick, as the doctrine of the Councell of Trent, which is in a ministeriall way, with professed obstinacy against the fundamentall truths rightly exponed, and such an eversion of the foundation maketh the Popish Church no Church truely visible, whose breasts we can sucke. But for Lu∣theranes, their subversion of the foundation by philosophick consequences without professed hatred to the fundamentalls, and that not in an Ecclesiasticke and Ministeriall way, doth Page 231 not so evert the fundamentalls, as that they bee no visible Church. The learned Pareus sheweth that there be no difference * betwixt us and Lutherans in heads absolutely necessary to salva∣tion, the dissention is in one point onely anent the Lords Sup∣per, not in the whole doctrine thereof, but in a part thereof, not necessary for salvation. There were divisions betweene Paul and Ba•nabas, betwixt Cyprim an African Bishop, and Stephanus Bishop of Rome, anent baptisme of hereticks, which Cyprian re∣jected as no baptisme; betwixt Basilius Magnus and Eusebius Ce•ariensis, because Basilius stood for the Emperour Va•ns his power in Church matters; so was there dissention betwixt Augu∣stine and Hier•nimus anent the ceremonies of the Jewes, which Hyeronymus thought might be retained to gaine the Jewes; so there was also betwixt Epiphanius and Chrysostome anent the bookes of Orig•n. The Orthodox beleevers agreed with the Novations against the Arrians anent the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; the consubstan∣tialitie of Christ; and though excommunicate persons defend and hold all fundamentalls sound, and so may bee materially a true Church, yet because their profession is no profession, but adenying of the power of godlinesse, they cannot be formally a visible Church, but are for scandalls casten out of the visible Church.
But (saith Robinson) most of England are ignorant of the first ru∣diments and foundation of Religion, and therefore cannot bee a*Church.
Answ. Such are materially not the visible Church and have not a profession, and are to be taught, and if they wilfully re∣maine in that darknesse are to be cast out.
But (saith he) the bare profession of fundamentalls maketh not a*Church; they must be a company of faithfull people, and if they must not be truely faithfull, then they must be falsely faithfull; for God re∣quireth true and ready obedience in his word, according to which wee must define Churches, and not according to casuall things.
Answ. This is a speciall ground that deceiveth the Separatists, their ignorance (I meane) of the visible Church, for the visi∣ble Church consisteth essentially neither of such as be truely faith∣full, nor of such as must be falsely faithfull; for the ignorant man seeth not that the visible Church includeth neither faith, nor unbeliefe in its essence or definition. It is true, to the end that professors may be members of the invisible Church, they must Page 232 be beleevers, & must beleeve, except they would be condemned eternally; but to make them members of the visible Church nei∣ther beleeving nor unbeleeving is essentiall, but onely a professi∣on ecclesiastically in tear, that is not scandalous & visibly & appa∣rently lewd and flagitious, such as was the profession of Si∣mon Magus, when he was baptized with the rest of the visible Church, Act. 8. And God indeed requireth of us true worship and ready obedience, as he saith, but not that a visible Church should be defined by true and sincere obedience: for essentials onely are taken in a definition, and casuall corruptions are on∣ly accidentall to Churches, and fall out through mens faults, and therefore should not be in the definition either of a visible or an invisible Church; nor should ready and sincere obedience which is a thing invisible to mens eyes, be put in the definition of a visible Church, for it is accidentall to a visible Church, and nothing invisible can be essentiall to that which essentially is vi∣sible; the visible Church is essentially visible. Anent separation from Rome we hold these Propositions.
1. Profession consistetly not onely in a publike ministeriall avowing of the truth, but also in writing, suffering for the truth, and death-bed-confessions of the truth; These worthy men in their owne bowells, as Occam, Petrarcha, Gerson, Miran∣dula, these who in their death bed renued confidence in merits, Saints, Images, were the true Church, and the other side the false Church, all the Churches of Asia excommunicated by Victor, as aBellarmine saith and Binnius;bPope Stephen then and his Councell denying communion to Cyprian and fourescore of Bi∣shops must bee the Separatists, and Cyprians and his adherents the true Church. 2. In this division we are united to the true Apostolick, to the ancient Church, to the true ancient Church of Rome, which opposed the Apostate Church of Rome, but an immediate and personall adherence to, and union with the an∣cient Church is not essentiall to a visible Church.
The separation from a true Church, where the Word of * God Orthodox is preached, and the Sacraments duely admi∣nistred, wee thinke unlawfull; and the place for separation mainely I would have vindicated, 2 Cor. 6. 14. Be ye not unequal∣ly yoaked together with unbeleevers, &c. Robinson will have this strong for their separation, and saith. 1. It is true, he findeth fault with the beleeving Corinthians, communicating with the unbelee∣ters Page 233 in the Idol feasts, but with all it must be considered, that the Apo∣stle up in this particular occasion delive•eth a generall doctrine, as from •••••tion, 1 Cor. 5. to forbid commingling with fornicators, with 〈◊〉 persons, with Idolaters, &c. and as he forbiddeth partaking with the wicked in their evills, yet then therein did he forbid all reli∣gious communion with them, since their very prayers, and other Sa∣crifices are their evills, wherein whilst the godly doth communicate with them, what doe they else but acknowledge their common right and inte∣rest in the holy things with them?
Answ. 1. It is good that Robinson with the interpreters doth acknowledge, that Paul forbiddeth communicating with unbeleevers a• Idol feasts, as the place will command us to separate from the Masse Service, and therein let it be that hee inferreth a generall; Ergo, you are to separate from all the worship of the Gentiles Idols, and are not to be mixed with them in their ser∣vice, which they give to their false gods: but this is not the generall which includeth separation from a Church, in the service of a true God, the service being lawfull, and onely evill to some worshippers and by accident, because they eate to them∣selves damnation, but not damnation to others.
2. But he forbiddeth (saith he) all partaking with the wicked in their evills. I distinguish their evills in their evills, of their per∣sonall sins in not worshipping the true God in faith, sincerity & holy zeale, that I deny, and it is to be proved, Christ himselfe and the Apostles eated the Passeover, and worshipped God with one whom Christ had said had a devill, and should betray the Sonne of man, and was an uncleane man, Job. 13. 11, 12. 18. He forbiddeth all partaking with the wicked in their evills, that is, in the unlawfull and Idol-worship, or in their superstitions and will-worship; that is true, but nothing against us, or for your separation. If it be said, Judas was neither convicted of his Trai∣tory to Christ, nor was he knowne to the Apostles by name to be the man, for some of them suspected themselves, and not Judas to bee Traytor: but you communicate with such as be professed and avowed Traytors, and persons knowne to be scandalous, and so you acknowledge you have a common right in these holy things, with these persons.
Answ. 1. Christ shewed to the Disciples that they were an un∣cleane societie, and that one had a devill, and therefore though they knew not the man by name who had the devill, they knew the societie to have a devill, and to be uncleane, for that one Page 234 man his cause, and so neither Christ nor his Disciples should have taken part with the evills, and the Prayers and sacrifices of the wicked, for in so doing they acknowledge that they have commune right and interest in the holy things of God, with some who have a devill, and with an uncleane societie; but you cannot con∣demne Christ and the Disciples communicating at that Supper.
2. Though the scandalous person bee not convicted of the scandall, that doth make the scandall more grievous and hay∣nous to the scandalous person, in that he dare remaine in a sin, though he be convicted of his guiltinesse by the Church, but it doth not make the persons scandall to be no scandall, and no uncleannesse at all; for magis & minus non variant speciem, more or lesse of sinne doth not vary the nature of sin: now if Paul will the Corinthians to meet together to eate the Lords body, as hee doth, 1 Cor. 11. and know that there bee amongst them carnall men, such as goe to Law with their brethren before Infidels, such as deny the resurrection, such as come drunke to the Lords Sup∣per, though they bee not convicted of these sinnes by the Church, yet if they be knowne to others, as Paul doth declare them in that Epistle, they must pollute the Lords Table before the Church convict them, no lesse then after the Church hath con∣victed them, though the pollution may bee more and greater after Church-conviction, then before, yet Paul willeth all the Co∣rimbians to acknowledge their communion with the sinnes of the non-convicted, and with their abominable and wicked sacrifices and prayers, which none can teach or be∣leeve of the Apostle led by an infallible spirit, and therefore to communicate with them, is not to take part of their evills.
3. He saith at last, They who communicate at the same Table with scandalous persons, what doe they else but acknowledge their commune right and interest in the holy things of God, with such scandalous per∣sons? And this is that which Master Coa•hman saith, This ban∣quet*of the Lords Supper, is the nearest fellowship that the Saints have in this world; what lying signes and dec•avable demoust•ations d•e these make who communicate they care not where, nor with whom, but thinke if they examine themselves, it is well enough, forgetting that it is an act of communion? for if we sever the word Sacrament from com∣munion, we put out Gods tearme and put in our owne.
Page 235 But I answer. 1. These who are baptized by one spirit unto one body, as all the visible Churches are, 1 Cor. 12. 13. & professedly heare one Word preached, doe thereby acknowledge they have one communion, right and interest in these holy things, to wit, in a com∣munion with Christ in remission of sinnes, and regeneration sealed in baptisme, and in one common Saviour, and common faith preached in the Gospell; and is this communion unlaw∣full, and this fellowship a lying signe, because all baptized, and all hearing one Gospell, and that in an avowed profession, are not knowne to be regenerated? Then should no Infants be baptized, except they know all in the visible Congregation bap∣tized with them to bee regenerated also, for it is certaine that we have a communion most inteare and visible with all who are baptized.
2. It is no inconvenient to professe that we are all one visible body in the Lords Supper, 1 Cor. 10. 17. though wee be not one invisible, true, and mysticall, and redeemed body of Christ, as it is said, 1 Cor. 10. 2. That all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud, and in the Se•t, v. 3. and that all did eate the same spirituall meat, v. 4. and that all did drinke the same spirituall drinke, the rocke Christ, yet did they not sinne in this, and partake with the wicked in their •ills, to wit in their wicked prayers and sacrifices, because it is said, v. 3. God was not pleased with many of them in the Wilder∣nesse, because, v. 6. They lusted after evill things, and many of them were Idolaters, Epicures, fornicators, tempters of Christ, and mu∣murers, and there sell of them in one day twenty three thousand, v. 7. 89, 10, 11. And upon the same ground Paul saith in the same place, v. 16, 17. that we many (speaking of the Corinthians) are all 〈◊〉•read, and one body, and yet v. 21. many of these were parta∣•ers of the Table and cup of the devills: and in the next Chapter, many came drunke to the Lords Table, many did eate and drinke their owne damnation, and were stricken therefore of God with sicknes and de•th, v. 18, 19, 20. 29, 30, &c. and yet v. 33. Paul charg∣•th them to come together to the Lords Supper, so farre is hee from a shadow of separation. The Sacrament is a seale of their unitie of one body, and is a Seale of their communion with Christ, v. 16. but all who receive the signe, have not a commu∣nion with Christ, nor are they all sealed, as one body mysticall of Christ, onely they are in profession by eating one bread, declared to be one body, and doe become one body visible, and Page 236 no question many make the Sacrament to themselves a lying signe, and a blaneke ordinance. But first, this is not the sinne of such as doe communicate with those, who receive the blaneke seale, and make the Sacrament to themselves a lying seale and dam∣nation; for they are commanded to exaamine themselves, and so to eate, but they are not commanded to examine their fel∣low-communicants, and they are to judge themselves, but not to judge their fellow-communicants.
Master Coachman. How can any godly man consent, or say Amen*(saith be) to such an holy action, when it is joyntly done, by such, as for the most part, are the enemies of God?
Answer 1. This maketh against the man, and the Churches of New England, for they admit constantly to the hearing of the word, and so to the prayers of the Church, those who are not received members of the visible Church: how can any godly man say Amen to the action of hearing the word, when it is joyntly done by Gods enemies? I prove the Antecedent, the unity of faith hearing one word of faith preached, Eph. 4. 5. maketh a visi∣ble body in profession, even as the joynt partaking of one bread, and one cup in the Lords Supper, maketh one body, by obsig∣nation or sealing, 1 Cor. 10. 16, 17.
2. Division of hearts in hearing, while some follow Paul, some Apollo, some Cephas, maketh a schisme and division in Christs body, 1 Cor. 13. Ergo, in hearing one and the same word preached, there is a visible Church-union, for all division of that kind presupposeth a union, and unity in a visible in∣corporation.
3. 1 Cor. 14. 26. When yee come together (as one Church body) every one of you hath a Psalme, hath a Doctrine, vers. 4. He that pro∣phecieth edifiesh the Church, vers. 31. so yee may all prophecy one by one, that all may learne, and all may be comforted, 35, it is shame for a woman to speake in the Church. Therefore the Saints meet together in one Church to be edified, and comforted by doctrine and hearing of the word, doe all joyntly performe an action of hearing and learning of the word of God, and are in that one Church, and one visible body, and called one Church, verse 4. 5. that the Church may receive edifying, verse 12. Seeke that yee may excell (by prophecying) to the edifying of the Church, vers. 23. If therefore the whole Church come together, unto some place, &c. vers. 28. if there be not an interpreter, let him keepe silence in the Church,Page 237 verse 34, 35. And these who understand, are all to say, Amen, to that which is prophecied, verse 16, 17. And yet that action of hearing and saying Amen to the word preached, and to the prayers of the Church, is done by many unregenerated, who are yet in the state of enmity with God, as our Brethren grant, in that they doe admit all to be a Church, and one Church hea∣ring the word preached.
2. But how can they say Amen, (saith he) to a holy action done 〈◊〉 Gods enemies?
I answer, 1. This objection is no lesse against Paul and the word of God, then against us; for many enemies to God, whose hearts are rockie, thorny and stony ground, doe heare the 〈◊〉of God, and that by Gods commandement, Matth. 13. vers. 2. 3, 4, 5. & c. The deafe and the blind are commanded to heare, Esai. 42. 18. Esai. 28. 9, 10. and these whom God hath cove∣red with a spirit of slumber, are to heare the words of the sea∣led booke, Isai. 29. 9. 10, 11. even those who stumble at the word, and fall, and are broken, Esai. 8. 14. 15, 16. 1 Pet. 2. v. 8. What godly man can say, Amen, to such a holy action, as is performed by Gods enemies?
2. The godly say Amen to actions of Gods worship two wayes, 1. As it is the ordinance of God injoyned, and com∣manded, to the wicked and hypocrites, no lesse then to the god∣ly, and we are to countenance their communicating, as we doe their hearing of the word, and to joyne with them both, in our reall and personall presence, and say Amen with them, as the Disciples gave their personall Amen, and their countenance and presence to a holy action at the last Supper, with one of their number, whom they knew to have a Devill, and to be a traitor, and dipped their hand in the dish with this man, after Christ had warned them, that there was such an one: but this is but to say Amen to the externall worship, which is lawfull, ac∣cording to the substance of the act.
2. The godly may be throught to say Amen to the actions of wor∣ship performed by the enemies of God, by approving, allowing, and commending the manner of their performing the holy actions of Gods worship, that is, they may be thought to approve the manner of their hearing and receiving the Sacraments, that is, when they approve their performing of those holy actions without faith, and with wicked hearts and hands, and when Page 238 they allow that they eats their owne damnation, thus no godly man can say Amen to holy actions performed by Gods enemies, nor is our externall communicating with them, a saying Amen to the wicked manner of receiving the seales, this is most unrea∣sonable, and cannot be proved by Gods word.
But Robinson will prove that in this place, 2 Cor. 6. the Lord forbiddeth communion not onely with evill workes of wicked * men, but with their persons, and that he commandeth a sepa∣ration, not onely reall, but personall.
1. Because (saith he) the Scripture hath reference to the yoaking of the unbeleevers in marriage, as the occasion of spirituall idolatrous mixture, which he reproveth; now this joyning was not in an evill, or unlawfull thing, but with the wicked and unlawfull persons.
Answer, If the man had formed a syllogisme it should be a crooked proportion, if Paul allude to the marriage with insides, then as we are not to joyne with Pagans in lawfull marriage, so nei∣ther with scand ••ous Christians in lawfull worship. This connex∣ion is gratis said, and we deny it; But as we are not to marry with Pagans, so not to sit in their Idoll-Temple, and to be pre∣sent in their Idoll-worship, else we were not to admit them, or their personall presence to the hearing of the word, contrary to your selves and to 1 Cor. 14. 24, 25. So if because we are not to marry with them, we are not to be personally present with them, at the receiving of the Sacrament, neither at the hearing of the word, nor are we to be baptized, because Sim•n Magus, and many Hypocrites are baptized. 3. Locall separa∣tion from Idoll-worship, in the Idoll-Temple, we teach as well as Robinson, but what then? he commandeth locall and personall separation from all the professors of the truth, in the lawfull worship of God, this we deny to follow.
2. The very termes saith Robinson) beleevers, unbeleevers, light, darknesse, Christ, Belial, doe import opposition not of things on∣ly, but of persons also, for things sake, so the faithfull are calledarighteousnesse,blight, and the ungodycdarknesse, and so not onely their workes, but their persons are called.
Answer. 1. We deny not opposition of persons, and sepa∣ration locall from persons in Idoll-worship, at an Idoll-Table, but hence is not concluded personall separation from wicked men in the lawfull worship of God. 2. This is for us, we are to separate from the persons; because the worship is unlawfull, Page 239 and Idoll-worship, and therefore the contrary rather followeth, i• the worship were lawfull, we would not separate, for remove the cause and the effect shall cease.
3. The Apostle (saith he) forbiddeth all unlawfull communion in the place, but there is an unlawfull communion of the faithfull with the wicked in things lawfull, as with the excommunicated, idolatrous, 〈◊〉, or my other flagitious person in the Sacraments, prayers, and other religious exercises, and the Iewes were to separate themselves, 〈◊〉 from the manners of the He•then, but even from their •er∣s•s, •zr. 19. 1. 2. and 10. 2, 3. Nehem. 9. 10. 28 30. And Paul 〈◊〉the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 5. for having fellowship, not onely in •• persons in•est, but with the incestuous person, whom therefore they 〈◊〉•urge out, and to put away from amongst themselves, verse 5. •. 13.
Answer, It is true, there is an unlawfull communion of the faithfull that is overseers and guides of the Church, to whom God hath committed the keyes of the Kingdome of Heaven, with excommunicated persons, in that they retaine one wor∣thy to be excommunicated in the bosome of the Church: but communion with the Church in the holy things of God, is not hence concluded to be unlawfull, because the guides of the people communicate with that Church where the excommu∣nicated person is suffered, it is the sinne of the Church-guides, that an excommunicated person is not cast out, and that he is suffered to communicate at the Lords Table, and to profane •, in not discerning the Lords body, but it is not the sinne of ei∣ther guides or the people, to communicate at one Table with the excommunicated person, or him that deserveth to be ex∣communicated; for not casting out is one thing, and to com∣municate with the excommunicated in the true visible Church is another thing; the former is a sinne, not to use the power that Christ hath given, but to communicate with the excommuni∣cated person, is not a sinne, but a remembring of the Lords death at Christs commandement; for one sinne maketh not an∣other sinne to be lawfull, or to be no sinne; to deliver one un∣to Satan is to debarre one from the Lords Supper, and to repute him as a Publican, and to judge him not worthy of the com∣munion in the holy things of God, with the Church; but this is not to repute the Church or guides or members as Publicans and Heathens, and as not worthy of Church-communion with the man who is cast out: we see the Church of CorinthPage 240 rebuked, for not excommunicating the incestuous man, but not forbidden to come and eate the Lords Supper with him, and these who came and did eate their owne condemnation• 1 Cor. 11. yea they are commanded to come to the publike meeting: Ergo, it is one thing not to excommunicate the scan∣dalous, a sinne, and another thing to communicate with the scandalous, which is not a sinne directly, nor forbidden at all. Though Paul have an allusion to the Lords separating of the Jewes from all other people, yet it followeth not that we are to separate from the wicked men and unrenewed, profes∣sing the truth that way; first, because there was a typicall se∣paration in marriage with Canaanites; if the Jewes should marry with the Canaanites, the marriage was null, and the Moabites and Ammonites ought not to enter in the Temple.
2. The Jewes are to separate from the manners of Hea∣then, and from the persons of strange wives, yea and to put their wives of the Canaanites after they had married them, away from them, in token of their repentanee, be∣cause the marriage was not onely unlawfull, but null, as is cleare, Ezra. 9. 1, 2, 3. N•hem. 9. 1, 2. And this was a pe∣culiar Law binding the holy seed, but doth not inferre the like separation of Christians, for 1 Cor. 7. 11, 12. it is not lawfull for a Christian to put away a Pagan wife, or for the beleeving wife to forsake the Pagan husband, and therefore that Jewish separation cannot inferre a separation from the persons and worship of unbeleevers; and it is true that Paul commandeth, to cast out the incestuous person, and to separate him from the Church, but it followeth not, therefore the Church was to separate from the publike worship because he was not cast out.
4. Saith Robinson, the Apostle inj•yneth such a separation, at upon which a people is to be esteemed Gods people, the Temple of the living God, and may challenge his promise to be their God, and to dwell a∣mongst them, and to walke there; and as for the Temple, the stone• and timber thereof, were separated from all the trees of the Forest, and set together in comely order; and he hath reference to the separating of the Jewes from all other people, as appeareth, Levit. 23, 24, 26. 11, 12. And this must be the condition of the Israel of God, to the worlds end.
Answ. There is a separation from Idol-worship here, such Page 241 as is proper to the people in Covenant with God, de jure, the visible Church should separate from Idols and the prophane world in their Idol-worship, and sinfull conversation. Ergo they should separate from the worship of God; What sewing is here? this is nothing for separation from the true Church, or true worship, for the sinnes of worshippers. Heare what in∣terpreters say, as aNon debet hoc simpliciter, de solo discessu, •x• migratione, quae corpore fit, accipi, quasi mox migrandum sit ex•mnibus locis, in quibus vel superstitiones exercentur, vel stagiti∣•s•ct inhoneste vivitur, sic ex hoc mundo migrandum esset.b Calvin, de sugienda idololatria hic concionatur. Item, Nihil non sibi lice∣• putabant in externis, promiscue se impiis super ft itionibus pollu•bant, siquidem insidelium couvivia frequent ando, communicabant prophanos • impuros ritus cum ill is, atqui cum gravissime peccarent, sibi tamen •idebantur innoxii, ergo hic invehitur Paulus in externam idololatri∣••.c Bullinger, Ego quam simplicissime intelligo de contagione •orum, volupt•tum, sacrorum adeoque idolothytorum et rerum pro∣phanarum omnium communione, putant quidam prot•nus migrandum •x quibuslibet urbibus, si non omnes, in his, per omnia deo obediant.d Meyer, Objurgat ne majorem, quam dedeceret Christianos, cum Ethnicis haberent consuetudinem, vel idolothytis vescendo, vel •••jugium contrahendo, vel ludos theatrales spectando.e Marlorat, H•tur ut caveant ab omni contagione tot sordium. Ita Theo∣phylactus, Ambrosius, et Augustinus. Paraphrastes, non in 〈◊〉 (inquit) sed in affectibus est fuga, quam suadet: so Beza, and Papists are not against this. Estius, neque Corinthii vocabantur h•bitare cum infidelibus, neque negotiari, neque cibum sumere. Chap. 8. v. 10. Signis vocat vos ad mensam &c. Vetat arctam so∣•i•atem, et necessitudinem ex qua oriebatur periculosa quaedam neces∣sit•s communicandi in moribus et religione. Salmeron docet non li•ere Christianis jungi cum idelolatris, non relinquendo patriam aut lxum, sed cultum illorum; All which Divines accord in this, that separation from Idolatry and the Idoll-tables of the Gen∣tiles is here commanded, and that because the Church of God in the New Testament, is no lesse a people in covenant with God, to whom the promises doe belong, and the presence of God working in them, then the people of the Jewes were of old: But it followeth not hence that one part of the Israel of God Page 242 under the New Testament should separate from the other. What weaknesse is this? he alludeth to Israels separation from the Nations, which was personall; therefore we are in person to separate from the true Church for their personall sinnes, when the worship is right.
But mRobinson saith, Papists, Atheists, Idolaters, Ana∣baptists, and many more, doe worship Jesus, from whose societies not∣withstanding you professe separation. 2. The Ismaelites and Edomites doe worship the true God, though not after a true manner, and yet the Israelites were a people separated from them, an Edomite might not beare any publike office among the Jewes to the third generation: yea Is∣rael was commanded to separate from Israel, for a usurpation of the mi∣nistery, Num. 16. and upon Jeroboam his defection in the ministery, worship and new devised holy dayes, 2 Chron. 11. 13, 14, 15. 1 King. 12. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32.
Answ. 1. Papists, Anabaptists, Idolaters, are disavowed by us, and from them we separate, because though they professe the true God as Edom did, yet they closely doe evert the fun∣damentals; neither we, nor the reformed Churches, in words or by consequence doe evert the fundamentals, and necessary points of salvation, and if the Church of Corinth was not to be separated from, nor Thyatira, where the resurrection was denyed, and false doctrine maintained, you have no reason to parallell us with Papists, Atheists, Anabaptists.
2. No Covenant is made with the one true God, and the Edomites and Ismaelites, but the promises are made to us, and to our children, and to as many as the Lord shall call, by the true Gos∣pell preached, Act. 2. 39.
Robinson. The Apostles (saith he) disjoyneth righteousnesse and unrighteousnesse, light and darknesse, as farre asunder, as beleevers*and unbeleevers, as the Temple of God and Idols, in which former also the union betwixt Christ and Belial, is as monstreus as in the lat∣ter: also all unbeleevers are led by the devill, and cannot be the marter of the true Church, and that some persons led by the devill and some not should be the marter of the true Church is unknowne to Scripture.
Answ. 1. In the Text, 2 Cor. 6. Righteousnesse and unrighteous∣nesse, light and darknesse are as farre asunder as the temple of God and Idols, and as Israel and Edom. I answer in respect of the object Page 243 materiall of false worship, they cannot morally be united, that is true, beleevers at Corinth worshipping the true God in Christ, cannot be united with such, as in Idols temples are at one and the same Idol worship: and as to marry Christ and Belial, light and darkenesse, is a monster, so it is no lesse morally monstrous, that the true worshippers of God in Corinth, who give them∣selves out for the servants of God, should be joyned in any So∣cietie with the service of dumbe Idols; and thus farre Israel and Edom, a servant of God and an Idolater, must separate and part companies, but in respect of the persons they may be uni∣ted in one visible corporation and Church; else you may say by this argument, because faith in the eleven Apostles and unbe∣leefe in Judas, are as contrary as light and darkenesse, Christ and Belial, and as Israels true worship and Edoms false worship, and because the righteousnesse, light and faith of the Apostolick Church. Act. 8. and the unrighteousnesse, darkenesse and unbe∣leefe of Simon Magus are contrary to others (as they are as con∣trary as light and darknesse) that therefore the eleven Disci∣ples and Judas made not one visible Church and the Apostolick Church, and Simon Magus and others in the gall of bitternesse with him, though baptized and joyned to the Church, did not make up one visible Church; now since you acknowledge no visible Church, but there be in it beside unbeleevers, though not seene, there is no visible Church of your owne, wherein this monstru∣ous combination of light and darkenesse is not. And so all your Churches are false in their constitution, if there may not be a union of the persons of men led by God, and regenerated, and of Hypocrites led by Satan, and unregenerated; and these meeting to one and the same true worship, as Judas and the eleven did eate one and the same passeover.
The Scripture (saith Robinson) denounceth the same judgement*of God, Ezech. 18. upon him that defileth his neighbours wife as to him who lifteth his eyes to the mountaines and the Idols thereof, and murtherers are excluded out of the heavenly Jerusalem as well as Ido∣laters, and Matth. 28. We are to esteeme every obstinate offender as a heathen and a Publican, and Paul chargeth the Corinthians to avoyd F•rnicators, &c. 1 Cor. 5. as well as Idolaters, so all carnall men are Idolaters, making their belly their God: and the Apostle to Titus cal∣leth Page 244 prophane persons unbeleevers or infidels; Ergo, wee should walke toward the one, as toward the other, that is, separate from them both.
Answ. 1. It is true, God denounceth judgement against leud and unknowne hypocrites, as against worshippers of the Gods of the Zidonians, as your places prove, Ezek. 18. Rev. 22. but your Logick is poore and blind, that you will separate from the true Church, in which there bee secret hypocrites, and so from your owne Churches, as you would separate from the Church of the Zidonians, who worship professedly Baa•, and deny Jehovah to be God, you make arguments without head or foote.
2. Murtherers are excluded out of heaven, and haters of their brethren, who are murtherers from life eternall, 1 Joh. 3. 15. as Idolaters, what then? Ergo, yee will exclude them out of the vi∣sible Church, and separate from them. It is good that you come out with Anabaptists to make these onely of your visible Church, who shall reigne in glory with Christ, and these onely, and all without your visible Church to be firebrands of Hell, as Revel. 22. 15.
3. We are 1 Cor. 5. to avoyd Fornicators, no lesse then Idola∣ters, true. Ergo, we are to separate from the Church, where there be Fornicators, seeing they make the Church to bee false in its constitution, as we are to separate from a societie of heathen Idolaters who worship a false God: doe you love such conse∣quences? men not forsaken of mother wit would say, I must separate from Aaron, and the whole Church of Israel, in the act of adoring the golden Calfe, which is indeed a separation from the false worship of the Church, but not separate from the Church; but would you hence inferre, because God pu∣nisheth fornication no lesse then Idolatry, that I am to separate from the Church, and all their persons and societie in the ve∣ry true worship of God, because some few persons there bee fornicators and carnall? Surely then Paul did not his dutie, who commanded communion with the Church of Corinth, 1 Cor. 5. wherein there were carnall men, and deniers of the resurrection, and such as for gaine went to the Law, with their brethren, and that before Infidels; yea because all sinne in the Page 245 demerit thereof (except you devise venials) exclude men out of the new Hierusalem, we must separate from all Churches on earth, for there be none so cleane, but there bee some sinne in it, which excludeth out of the new Hierusalem, as Idolatry doth, though there bee degrees of sinne. But some ignorant ones say the place, 1 Cor. 5. 11. is to be expounded of eating at the Communion Table, or if it bee of familiar eating and drinking, of civill conversing, then much more are wee not to communicate with them at the Lords Table. But not to eate with such a one, is not to keepe intire fellowship with him, as the phrase noteth, Psal. 4. 9. He that eat of my bread hath lift up his b•ele against me. Joh. 13. 18. Psal. 55 13. So doth Chrysostome, The•phylact us, Oecumenius expound this place, Bullinger, contu∣b••nium & interiorem convictum prohibet; So Calvin, Peter Martyr, B•za, Piscator, Pareus; So Erasmus and Aquinas, Haymo, Gag∣neius. Nor is all eating whatsoever with Heathen persons for∣bidden, Paul practised the contrary, Act. 13. 14. 5. 6. Act. 14. 8. 9. Act. 17. 16, 17. Act. 27. 34, 35, 36. Act. 28. 11, 12. 1 Cor. 10. 27.
2. The wife is not to separate, a toro & mensa, from the ex∣communicated husband, nor the sonne from the excommuni∣cated father, no positive Law can cancell the Law of nature, nor can hence bee concluded that it is unlawfull to keepe any Church communion with these, or to separate from the com∣munion, though they be at the Table. 1. Because such eate damnation to themselves, not to others. 2. Because no pri∣vate person can separate, for the Churches sinne, if the man be not convicted; And lastly, here is to bee observed, that if the Church be not in its right constitution, that is, as Mr. Ro∣binson* teacheth us, if it be not a people in whose hearts the Lord ••th written his covenant, wee are to separate from it; so as if one be found to be a non-converted, though not scandalous, he must be excommunicated for non-conversion, never break∣ing out in scandalls, a thing contrary to the Word of God, as I have proved already.
Mr. Robinson objecteth, Act. 2. 40. Save your selfe from this un∣toward generation. Ans. That is, from the malicious Jewes who de∣ny*Christ to be the Messiah. But what is this to separate from the true Church, professing Christ?
Page 246 But Robinson saith, You deny visibly God, and his Sonne Christ. Answ. 1. Such as are thus scandalous are to be cast out.
2. If the Church neglect to cast them out, we are not to cast out and excommunicate the Church by separating from them, no more then the godly forsooke the Church of the Jewes, where there were many scandalous persons.
3. There be great oddes betwixt a froward generation pro∣fessedly denying Christ to bee come in the flesh, as the Jewes, Act. 2. (and from such a Church wee are to separate to∣tally;) and betwixt a Church where there bee many wicked persons, who in their life and conversation deny Christ, and yet doe beleeve soundly or orthodoxly the fundamentall points of salvation, and hold in profession the orthodox faith: for though wee are to separate from the bad conversation of such a generation, yet are we not to separate from the Church-worship, and Church-societie of such a generation: therefore Paul might well break off communion with the Church of the Jewes, whereof he was once a member, because after Christs death, ascension, and the Gospell was preached, it now became a fundamentall point of salvation, simply necessary to bee be∣leeved by all (That the Sonne of Mary was the Messiah) which be∣cause the Jewes maliciously denyed, they left off to be a Church; but a scandalous life in many of the professors, is not for that any ground to separate from the visible Church, professing such fundamentall points.
Robinson saith from Job. 17. 6. 7. 9. Where the Church is said to*be given to Christ, and chosen out of the world, it is cleare that the true visible Church is gathered, by separation from the world.
But I answer, to be given to Christ and chosen out of the world is meant onely of the elect and invisible Church. But Arminians, Pelagians, and old Anabaptists expound it of the vi∣sible Church, that they may make Judas, whom they alledge was chosen out of the world, no lesse then Peter, an example of their universall election, and of the small apostasie, of the tru∣ly elected and regenerated. And you have to side with you in this the Apostate aPeter Bertius,bthe Arminians at Hage,Page 247cArminius himselfe, the Socinians, as dSocinus,eTheoph. 〈◊〉; and you may see your selves refuted by Amesiusf refuting the Arminians in the conference at Hage: and this you expressely say with Arminians and Socinians. 1. Because, (as you say) Judas was one of them, whom the Father had given to Christ out of the world, whom alone of all them so given to him, he hath losed; Ergo, Christ speaketh of a visible donation.
Answ. The Antecedent is false, Joh. 6. 37. All that the Father had given me, commeth unto me, and him that commeth unto me I will in no wayes cast out, v. 39. And this is the Fathers will which ••th sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. But Judas was cast out and losed, and is not raised up at the last day, as one which com∣meth, that is, beleeveth in Christ.
2. This is the very exception of the Arminians, and Amesius answereth, quae Scriptura manifesto est judicio Iudam non it a Chri∣sto datum & commendatum fuisse a Patre ut •aeteros.
Christ (saith Robinson) speaketh of such persons as the world hated, because they were not of the world, Job. 15. 14. But the wicked world 〈◊〉 not hate men, as they are elected before God, and invisibly or in∣wardly separated, •ut as they are outwardly separated, whether they bee inwardly so or not.
Answ. 1. Invisible election and the contrary spirit that the children of God are led by, which is most unlike to the spirit that leadeth the world, is the true ground and cause why the world doth hate them; and this choosing out of the world, is seene and made visible by the fruits of the spirit to the wicked world, but the consequence is nothing, he speaketh of election that is visible or made visible, yet not as visible for often Paul t••rmeth the visible Churches, Saints, Temples, of the holy Spirit, the sonnes and daughters of the living God, and when he tearmeth them such, he speaketh to, and of a visible Church, yet not as visible, because to be the temple of the holy Spirit, and a sonne and daughter of the living God, is a thing for∣mally, and properly invisible: for faith and the spirit of adop∣tien are not things visible or obvious to the senses, but Separa∣tis•s are often deceived with this, hee speaketh to the visible Saints, Ergo, he speaketh to them as visible Saints, this is the Page 248 vaine collection of ignorant Anabaptists; Paul writeth to the visible Church, but every priviledge that hee doth ascribe to them doth not agree to them, as they are visible. He saith to the visible Church of Colossians, ch. 3. v. 3. your life is hid with Christ in God, an unvisible life cannot agree to the Colossians, as they are a visible Church, so separation from the world made manifest and visible is the cause why the world hateth the chil∣dren of God, yet that separation is formally invisible and not seene to the eye of men, for it is an action of God to choose men out of the world, and no eye mortall can see his actions, as they be such. And therefore except Robinson prove that this choosing out of the world is common to elect and reprobate, and to be seene in Peter and Iudas, he bringeth nothing against us to prove his point, but hee plainly contradicteth his owne tenents; for in his first reason, he will have the true Church separated from the world, as Iudas the traytor was separated from the world, which we grant that is separation in show, and in profession, and so maketh his visible Church to be made up of traytors and hypocrites, who cannot bee the Spouse of Christ, nor a part of Christ his mysticall body, and his redee∣med flocke. Now hee still harpeth on this, that the visible Church rightly constitute is the Spouse of Christ, the redeemed of God, the mysticall body of Christ, and so hee contradicteth him∣selfe, and saith with us that there bee no visible separation from the world, essentiall to such a Church as they dreame of, to wit, of called Saints, Temples of the holy Spirit, &c. and therefore never one of that side understood to this day the nature of a true visible Church, though they talke and write much of it; for the truth is, the essence and definition of a Church agree∣eth not equally to a true Church and a visible Church, yea a visible Church as it is visible is not formally a true Church, but the redeemed Church onely is the true Church.
Lastly, He speaketh (saith he) of such a choosing out of the world as he doth of sending unto the world, v. 18. Which sending as it was visible and externall, so was the selection and separation spoken of.
Answ. The choosing out of the world is not opposed to sending unto the world, for sending unto the world is an Apostolick sending common to Judas with the rest, whereby they were Page 249 sent to preach the Gospell to the world, of chosen and un∣chosen, of elect and reprobate, but to bee chosen out of the world, and given to Christ, is proper to the elect onely, who are chosen out of the loosed and reprobate world.
2. It is also false that the sending of the Apostles is altogether visi∣ble, for the gifting of them with the holy Spirit is a great part of sending the Apostles, as our brethren say, a gifted man is a sent Prophet; but the Lord his gifting of the Apostle is not visible.
You cannot (saith Robinson) be partaker of the Lords Table and of devills. Ergo, we must separate from the ungodly.*
Answ. The Table of Idols is that Table of devils and of false worship kindly in respect of the object that wee must sepa∣rate from, but a scandalous person at the Lords Supper parta∣keth of the Table of devils by accident, in respect the person be∣ing out of Christ eateth damnation to himselfe, but it is not per se and kindly, the Table of devils to others, and therefore I must not separate from it; The Supper was to Judas the devils Ta∣ble, because Satan entered in him with a sup, to cause him to betray the Lord; and Christ told before, one of them twelve had a devill, and so to one of the twelve the Supper was the devils Table, yet could not the Disciples separate therefrom.
Further he objecteth, Paul condemned the Church of Corinth as kn••ed lumpe, and as contrary to the right constitution, finding so many aberrations and defections from that state, wherein they were gathered unto a Church; who dare open so prophane a mouth as to af∣firme, that this faithfull labourer would plant the Lords v•neyard with such impes, or gather unto the Church flagitious persons, drunkards, i••es•tous persons, or such as denied the resurrection?
Answ. 1. Paul never insinuateth in one letter, that these wicked persons, marred the constitution and matter of the visible Church, but onely that they marred the constitution of the invisible Church, that being bought with a price, they should give their bodies to harlotry, and that in denying the resurrection they denyed the Scriptures, and turned Epicures, who said, Let us •a•e and drinke, for to morrow we shall die; but there is nothing to insinuate separation from the Church, as false in the constitu∣tion.
Page 250 2. Paul doth not plant wicked men as impes in the Lords Vineyard, they plant themselves in the roome of true mem∣bers of the Church invisible, and as the redeemed of God, when they are not so indeed, and this sort of planting is given improperly to the pastors. But if you understand by planting, the casting out of the draw-net of the word of the kingdome preached, and the inviting of as many to come in as the Pa∣stors doe finde, Matth. 22. 9. 10. even good and bad; this way it is the mouth of truth, and not a prophane mouth, that Pastors invite professors to come in, and bee members of the visible Church, though their act of inviting have no kindly influ∣ence in the hypocrisie of their profession who are invited. To professe the truth is good and laudable, and to deny it before men, damnable, and to invite men to this profession of the truth, is good and laudable also. And wisedome sendeth out her maidens, and by them inviteth simple ones and fooles to pro∣fesse the truth, and to come to the visible Church, Prov. 9. 4. Prov. 1. 20, 21. but Pastors doe not plant drunkards, and flagi∣tious persons in the visible Church, but the Apostolike Church calling to her communion Simon Magus, Act. 8. but doth not plant them as hypocrites, but as externall professors. *
Mr. Coachman saith, It is no wrong to leave the carnal multitude, as it was no hurt to Jehosaphat, when Elisha in his presence protested a∣gainst Joram, as one, betwixt whom and God hee would not inter∣cede.
Answ. Put case Jehosaphat be a Church visible worshipping God aright, you wrong his societie, if you leave the shepheards tents, where Christ feedeth amongst the Lilies till the day breake, because there bee foxes in these tents and wicked persons. Is it not (saith he) sweeter to converse with the Godly, then with the ungod∣ly? Is not the presence of faithfull Christians sweeter, when one com∣meth to powre out his prayers, and offer his oblation, then the society of carnall men?
Answ. This will prove it is lawfull to separate from Pharisees preaching the truth in Moses his chaire, the contrary whereof you were, Sect. 4. Pag. 10. because it is sweeter to heare the word with the Godly, then with the ungodly.
We have not found (saith Coachman) the honorable name of Chri∣stians Page 251 or godly men given to liars, swearers, &c. no comfort, no pri∣viledges belong to them in that state, it belongeth not unto them, but unto us to build the house of the Lord, Ezra 4. 3.
Answer. Yea, God bestoweth the priviledges of externall calling unto good and bad, even to those who preferre their lusts to Christ, Matth. 22. 9. Luk. 14. 17, 18, 19.
2. The place of Ezra is corrupted, for those were the open adversaries of Judah and Benjamin, v. 1. and were not the Church at all.
3. Onely Pastors are publicke and authoritative builders of the Church, not private Christians.
The wicked (saith he) have the things of this life above the godly, Ergo they should not be invested in the highest prerogatives above the godly: also it is a presumption to say to any carnall man, This is the bo∣dy of the Lord, that was given for thee.
Answer. It is the cry of a stone to reason thus, this argument is as much against Gods providence as against us, for God send∣eth to Capernaum and Bethsaida, the priviledge of Christs pre∣sence, in preaching the Gospel, and working miracles, yet they are an unworthy people.
2. Pastors of the separation give the body of Christ to lurk∣ing Hypocrites, are they not herein presumptuous also?
They object, To live in the want of any of Gods ordinances is not lawfull, as Matth. 28. 20. 2 Chron. 30. 8. Cant. 1. 7. 8. so saith Robinson. A man is not onely bound in his place to admonish*his neighbour, but also to see his place be such, as be may admonish his brother; a calling absolutely tying a man to the breach of any of Gods Commandements, is unlawfull and to be forsaken.
Answ. Seeing affirmative precepts tye not ad semper, and Christian prudence is to direct us here; there be some in Church communion whom we cannot without palpable inconveniences rebuke: The Ministers of New-England in their answer to the n• question, say, such as are not free (servants or sonnes) may stay in paroch Assemblies in Old England, so as they partake of no corruptions, and live not in the want of any ordinances (they meane wanting the Lords Supper) through their default; now to sepa∣rate from the Lords Supper, because of the wickednesse of the fellow-worshippers is their default, which is against Robinson,Page 252 yet we see not how masters or fathers should separate from Christs true Church more then servants or sonnes.
2. Not to admonish, in some cases, is not a breach of a Commandement, nor living besides scandalous persons in a Church, or for any to abstaine from the seales because such be in the Church, except we would goe out of the world, for Robin∣son presseth alwayes personall separation, no lesse then Church separation.
Robinson. There is the same proportion of one member sinning, of a few, of many, of a whole Church: now if one brother sinne and will not be reclaimed, he is no longer to be reputed a brother, but a heathen: Ergo, so are we to deale with a Church though there be a dif∣ferent order, the multitude of sinners doe no wayes extenuate the sinne.
Answ. 1. Then may a whole Church by this reason be excom∣municated, which our brethren deny.
2. There is the same proportion to be kept when one sin∣neth, and when a whole Church sinneth, but by observing due order; one may admonish a private brother, but not any one, or many private persons, may admonish and proceed after our Saviours order, against a whole Church in a Church way, in respect they are still inferiour to a whole Church: sister Churches and Synods are to keepe this order with one particu∣lar Church, that is incorrigible, for private persons have rela∣tion of brotherhood to private persons, and the relation is private, and Churches have Church relation to Churches, and the relation is publike; Nor are whole Churches to be excommuni∣cated, while God first remove the Candlesticke, as we see in Rome, and the seven Churches in Asia.
2. It is considerable, 1. If the whole Church be obstinate and incorrigible, or some few, or the most part.
2. If the sinnes be against the worship of God, as idolatry, or sinnes of a wicked conversation, the worship of God remain∣ing pure, and sound, at least in professed fundamentals.
3. If the idolatry be essentiall idolatry, as the adoring of the worke of mens hands, or onely idolatry by participation, as Popish ceremonies, the Surplice, and Crosse, being as meanes of worship, but not adored, and so being Idols by participa∣tion; Page 253 as aAmesius and b M. Ball doe well distinguish, and before them, so doth the learned cReynold, and dBilson make use of the distinction.
4. All lenity must be used against a Church, if not more lenity, then we use in proceeding against single persons.
5. Divers degrees of separation are to be considered: hence these considerations,
1. There is a separation Negative, or a non-union, and a sepa∣ration Positive. Though a Church of Schismaticks retaining the sound faith, yet separating from other, be deserted by any, it is a Negative separation from • true Church, and laudable: as the faithfull, in Augustins time, did well in separating from the Donatists, for with them they were never one, in that facti∣on, though they separated not from the true faith holden by Donatists, but kept a Positive union with them; so doe all the faithfull well to separate from the Churches of the Separatists.
2. If the whole and most part of the Church turne idola∣trous, and worship Idols, (which is essentiall idolatry) we are to separate from that Church: the Levites and the two Tribes did well, as e Mr. Ball saith, to make a separation from Jero∣•oams Calves; and the godly laudably, 2 King. 16. 11. did not separate from the Israel, and Church of God, because the Altar of Damascus was set up, and because of the high places. Things dedicated unto Idols, as Lutheran Images, may be called, and are called 1 Cor. 10. 34. idolatry, yet are they idolatry by participation, and so the Cup of Devils, 1 Cor. 10. Paul doth not command separation from the Church of Corinth, and the Table of the Lord there.
3. Consideration. There is a separation from the Church in the most part, or from the Church in the least and best part. In Achabs time Israel, and the Church thereof, for the most part, worshipped Baal; Elias, Micaja•, Obadiah, and other godly separated from the Church of Israel in the most part: Jeremiah wished to have a Cottage in the Wildernesse (no doubt a godly wish) that he might separate from the Church all then for the most part corrupted, yet remained they a part of the visible Church and a part in the visible Church, and therefore did he not separate from the Church according to Page 254 the least and best part thereof; The godly in England who re∣fused the Popish ceremonies, and Antichristian Bishops, did well not to separate from the visible Church in England, and yet they separated from the mainest and worst part, which cannot be denied to be a ministeriall Church.
4. Considerat. If a Church be incorrigible in a wicked con∣versation, and yet retaine the true faith of Christ, it is presumed God hath there some to be saved, and that where Christs or∣dinances be, there also where Christs ordinances be, there also Christs Church presence is; And therefore I doubt much if the Church should be separated from, for the case is not here as with one simple person, for it is cleare, all are not involved in that incorrigible obstinacy, & that is yet a true visible commu∣nion, in which we are to remaine, for there is some union with the head Christ, where the faith is kept sound, and that visibly; though a private brother remaining sound in the faith, yet be∣ing scandalous and obstinately flagitious be to be cast off, as an Heathen, yet are we not to deale so with an orthodox Church, where most part are scandalous.
5. Considerat. I see not, but we may separate from the Lords Supper, where bread is adored, and from baptisme where the signe of the Crosse is added to Christs ordinances, and yet are we not separated from the Church, for we professedly heare the word, and visibly allow truth of the doctrine maintained by that Church, which doe pollute the Sacraments, and we are ready to seale it with our bloud, and it is an act of visible pro∣fession of a Church, to suffer for the doctrine mentioned by that Church.
6. We may well hold that fAmbrose saith well, that a Church wanting the foundation of the Apostles, is to be for∣saken.
7. There is a forced separation through Tyranny from perso∣nall communion, and a voluntary separation; David was forced to leave Israel, and was cast out of the Inheritance of the Lord; the former is not our sinne, and our separation from Rome hath something of the former, the latter would be wisely considered.
8. There may be causes of non-union with a Church, which Page 255 are not sufficient causes of separation: Paul would not separate from the Church of the Jewes, though they rejected Christ, till they openly blasphemed, Act. 13. 44, 45, 46. Act. 18. 16. And when they opposed themselves and blasphemed, Paul shooke his •ayment and said unto them, Your blood be upon your owne heads, I am cleane, from henceforth I will goe to the Gentiles. There is a lawfull separation, and yet before the Jewes came to this, there was no just cause, why any should have joyned to the Church of the Jewes, who denyed the Messiah, and persecu∣ted his Servants, Act. 4. Act. 5. seeing there was a cleaner Church, to which Converts might joyne themselves, Act. 2. 40, 41 42.
9. There is no just cause to leave a lesse cleane Church (if it be a true Church) and to goe to a purer and cleaner, though one who is a Member of no Church, have liberty of election, to joyne to that Church, which he conceiveth to be purest and cleanest.
10. When the greatest part of a Church maketh defection from the Truth, the lesser part remaining sound, the greatest part is the Church of Separatists, though the maniest and grea∣test part in the actuall exercise of Discipline be the Church; yet in the case of right Discipline, the best though sewest, is the Church; for truth is like life, that retireth from the mani∣est members unto the heart, and there remaineth in its foun∣taine, in case of danger.