A peaceable and temperate plea for Pauls presbyterie in Scotland, or, A modest and brotherly dispute of the government of the Church of Scotland wherein our discipline is demonstrated to be the true apostolick way of divine truth, and the arguments on the contrary are friendly dissolved, the grounds of separation and the indepencie [sic] of particular congregations, in defence of ecclesiasticall presbyteries, synods, and assemblies, are examined and tryed
Rutherford, Samuel, 1600?-1661.
Page  1


*Whether the power of the Keyes of the Kingdome of CHRIST, be conferred, upon the multitude of believers, as upon the first and proper subject, or upon the Church-guides?

THe Question is not understood of that Royall and Kingly po∣wer of excellency and Indepen∣dencie,* called all power,* which is only in Christ Iesus,* but of the supreme Ministeriall power, (as all expound it, Bucanus, Cartwright, Amesius, Parker) that is given to the Church. By the Keyes wee understand not the Monarchicall power of Teaching, supreme defining Articles of faith,* and judging the Scriptures, as the Jesuites of Rhemes doe dreame,*Vulcane, not Christ made these Keyes.* We deny not what Bellarmine saith, that the keyes signifie a Princedome in Scripture,* as the key of Davids house promised to Eliakim. This key Christ only keepeth: Chry∣sostomePage  2 and Gregory both say,* that the care of the whole Christian Church was committed to Peter, which proveth not his Princedome,* but only his ministeriall power, given to all the Apostles, as well as to him: but the Metaphor is borrowed from a Steward,* or Master-household, who hath the keyes of the house given to him, to open and shut doores, at his pleasure,* as Calvin, Bucan, Whitaker explaine it well, and it is the power of preaching and governing given to the guides of the Church, as servants to open and shut Heavens doore to believers, or impenitent persons.

If wee rightly proceed, these distinctions are to bee considered.

1. There is a power physicall,* and a power morall of the Keyes.

2. A power popular of the Keyes that belongeth to all, and a power authoritative that belongeth to the Guides only.

3. The power of the Keyes is in Christ, as in the formall subject and fountaine. 2. In the Church of believers, as in the finall object, seeing all this power is for the Church. 3. In the Guides, as in the exemplar cause representing the Church, as we say the image is in the glasse,* and learning in the booke, and this Petrus de Alliaco, and Gerson hath the like.

4. The Keyes may be thought to be given. Mat. 16. to Pe∣ter, as Prince and King of the Apostles, as Papists say, or, 2. As Peter representeth the Church of believers, as some say, or, 3 As bearing the person of Church guides, as we shall demon∣strate, God willing.

5. There is a power ordinary,* and a power extraordinary.

6. The Keyes may be thought to be conferred by Christ, im∣mediately,* either by the immediation of Christs free donation and gift or or by the immediation of simple designation:* in the for∣mer respect the keyes were given by Christ once to the Apostles; and still to the Worlds end,* to the Church guides, immediately without the Churches power intervening: in the later respect Christ giveth the keyes mediately, by the popular consent and election of the Church of believers,* who doe under Christ de∣signe and choose this person rather than that person, Thomas ra∣ther than John, for the sacred office of weelding the Keyes, nei∣ther Page  3 is any man now elected immediately by Christ,* as the Apo∣stles were.

7. Then we may well distinguish in this question these foure, 1. Power physicall. 2. Power morall. 3. Power of order,* and jurisdiction. 4. The use and exercise of that power.

Wee are to observe, that it hath beene a noble and grave Question betwixt the Church of Rome,* and the Vniversitie of Paris (as Spalanto, and Robert Parker with others have observed) whether Christ hath given the power of the keyes immediately to all the faithfull, and by them to the Pastours and Doctors, as the Parisians hold (so teacheth Almain, Ioan. Major, Gerson and Occam) or if Christ hath given the keyes immediately to the Church guides, as we maintaine from Gods Word. The mistake hath beene, that some Do∣ctors believe that the power of the keyes, seeing it is for the good of the whole Church, must have some common sub∣ject, viz. the universall Church, in which it must for orders cause first reside, before it be given to certaine guides; But neither Scripture, nature, nor reason requireth such a shif∣ting of the keyes from hand to hand, seeing Christ can keep them, and immediately put them in their trust, whom he liketh best. Hence for the determination of the Question.

I. Conclusion.* The physicall power of the keyes is given to men as they are professors, that is, men, and not Angels are capable of that power; for when they are made members of the visible Church, they are differenced both from Angels and Infidels, as Pagans and Turkes, for Angels according to Christs humble love and deepe wisedome, are not upon the list to be office bearers in his house: but this is not formally a power of the keyes, but a popular power about the keyes, whereby popular consent may be given to the key-bearers, for their election.

II. Conclusion;* There is a power popular, but not autho∣ritative; a power of private Christians (not an officiall po∣wer of charge) given to the visible professors to make choise of their owne office-bearers:* those against whom we now dispute,* brethren, reverend, learned and holy, doe con∣found and take for one and the same, the power of electing Page  4 or choosing officers, and the power of Ordination. And they make election of Elders (which by Gods Word is due to all the faithfull) an act of jurisdiction, whereas it is a private and popularact, flowing from that spirit of grace in believers, and from the light of saving faith, and a grace that they call,*gratia gratum faciens, grace whereby wee are accepted to God,* as Aquinas speaketh, for it is that Heavenly instinct of Believers,* whereby they try all thing,*and keepe that which is good, and whereby they try the spirits (even of Officebearers) whether they be of God,* or not, and know the voice of the Shepheard, from the voice of a stranger, and have their senses exerci∣sed to discerne good and evill. I denie not, but there is a twofold power of election of guides, one proper to belie∣vers, which is, as I have described it, their choosing of Officers, De jure, and should flow from this descerning in∣stinct of saving grave in believers: there is an other power of election, De facto, that floweth from a common grace of discerning in visible professors, both is sufficient for Ec∣clesiasticall choosing of guides, yet both is but popular, not authoritative; but power of authoritative jurisdiction, is gratia gratis data, a common grace given to many, that are never converted nor saved; yea the office of a publike guide to save others, is given to a man that is never saved himselfe, and requireth some indowments of governing, that are not required in all the faithfull, as is cleared by Paul, 1 Ti∣mothy 3.* Therefore Gerson will have us to difference be∣twixt these two,* a Pastour ad utilitatem, and a Pastour ad veritatem, and a called Pastour, and a called Christian Pa∣stour.* And Almaine proveth well, that the calling to a Church-office, is not founded upon saving faith and cha∣ritie. This power of choosing is a power about the keyes, but not a power of the keyes. 2. It is common to all be∣lievers, who are not to take Pastours as the market goeth, upon a blinde hearesay, but officiall authoritie is given to Demas, and Iudas, and such men often. 3. It is given to women to try the spirits,* yet women have not authoritie, neither are to usurpe authoritie over men in the Church. Page  5 I desire in the feare of God that this may be considered by William Best,*Henry Jacob, and the Author of Presbyteriall Government examined, for our Divines, (as Daneus) give the calling of hurch guides to the Presbyterie,* and the approbation to the people Vrsine differenceth betwixt the judgement of Elders, and the consent of people; and Bu∣cer judiciously distinguisheth power from authoritie;* And Martyr, Calvin, Beza, Zuinglius, Viretus, Luther, so the Fathers,*Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose, Chryso∣stome.* In this meaning, said Augustine, the keyes were given in Peter to the whole Church, so our Divines are to be expounded, when they say the power is in the Church, and the exercise of the power in the guides, for that po∣wer which is in the Church of believers, is popular, not au∣thoritative.

III. Conclusion.* The physicall power of the keyes is in all professors,* as our first Conclusion saith. 2. The su∣preme morall power in Christ Iesus,* formally and inde∣pendently, To mee is given all power in Heaven and Earth, Matthew 28. 18. this includeth the power of working miracles,* by the hands of his Apostles, all, as well as the power of the keyes,* and is communicated to the Church not for∣mally, but in the effect. 3. Power morall, about the keyes, as is said in 2. Conclusion, is given to all the faith∣full. 4. The exercise of the keyes to preach, and admini∣ster the seales of Grace,* to open and shut Heaven by the keyes,* is given to the Rulers in some things, as they are scattered and single men,* as to preach, and administer the Sa∣craments,* without consent in speciall to every singular act:* in some things, as to exercise power of Juris∣diction, the exercise, and the power is given to a communitie, not to one, Vnitati, non uni, as Gerson observeth from Augustine, and Augustine from the word,*Matthew the sixteenth, for the Church not one single man hath power of Discipline: if one Pastour himselfe alone should Excommunicate,* the Excommu∣nication were null,* both in the court of CHRIST and his Church,** if a Pastour should baptize against the Page  6 Churches minde, the Baptisme were valid, howbeit there were an errour in the fact, for power of jurisdiction is given to the members of the Church scattered, tanquam subjecto cuidam materiali & potentiali, in remote power, and not for∣mally, but as they are met in a Synod in Christs name. 5. The power of the keyes is given to the Church of believers two wayes. 1. As to the end, or the small object of the keyes: and this we acknowledge as truth, for Christ gave officers for the Church, as his intended end, Hee gave some to bee Apostles, &c. for the perfecting of the Saints, for the worke of the Ministerie, for the edifying of the Body of Christ. But 2. The power of the Keyes is not given to believers as to the formall subject, that they may authoritatively make and ordaine officers. Hence the,

IV. Conclusion,* is this. When the Church standeth of believers, only as contradistinguished from her guides, it is then totum homogeneum, a body consisting of alike parts, where the denomination of the whole is given to the parts; as every part of water is water, so every three believers of five hundred believers, is a Church of believers. Now if a Church should be in a remote Island, not consociate with other Churches, and yet wanting guides, our brethren say in this case, the power of the Keyes should bee seene to bee in believers, and they might choose and ordaine their owne officers. I grant they have great Schoolemen to say with them,* as Almaine and Ocam, and the Schoole of Paris, who say, if all the Cardinals were dead, the faithfull might and should choose the Pope. Sylvester in summa, verbo. excommunicatio 9. nu. 2. saith, The Romane clergie should have the power of choosing the Pope in that case. But Cjetan. Tom. 1. Epist Tractat. 1. Vasquez. in 3. part. Thomas Tom. 3. Disput. 244. cap. 3. 30. 31. doe bet∣ter say in that case, the power of choosing should be in the hands of a Generall Councell, and that by divine right: Then by their minde supreme power or the keyes by divine right, is in the hands of Church guides. But great Schoolemen say, that the keyes by a miracle and extraordinary might re∣main in the body of the faithfull. But I say in this case Necessi∣ty Page  7 is an unbooked and naughty Lawyer, and God extraordinarily should supply the want of ordination, as he can doe the de∣fect of second causes: so that if God send some pastours to a congregation that were unwilling to choose their owne El∣dership, Pastours might ordaine themselves Pastors in that case to these people, and God should supply their want of popular election, and this is alls good to prove election to be in the hands of Church guides (which both our brethren and wee deny) as the other case is to prove the power of the keyes to be in the multitude. But we are now dispute∣ing about the power of the keyes in a Church ministeriall, which is totum heterageneum, where the whole giveth not a denomination to the part, as every part of a man is not a man,* a Church made up of only believers is not Christs organicall body; where there are eyes, eares, and hands, and feet, as is meaned, Rom. 12. and 1 Cor. 12. for all are here an eye of believers, and all of collaterall and e∣quall authoritie, neither is there here an eye or an hand in a ministeriall function above a foote. But wee now di∣spute about the keyes of a ministeriall Church, as Iunius saith, made up of integrall parts of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉▪ of Shepheards and Sheepe.

V. Conclusion.* The office bearers of the Church have the power of the Keyes and their office immediately from Christ, by the immediation of free gift: they have their of∣fices from the Church, by the mediation of orderly designa∣tion; seeing it is the Church which designeth such a man to such an office, therefore it is said, Eph. 4. 11. Hee gave some to be Apostles for the Church, he saith not, to the Church, as if the faithfull by an innate and received power from Christ, did ordaine by authoritie Ministers as their servants and Deputies, for all the authoritie is Christs, not the belie∣vers. I grant what is given for the Church, in some sense, is said to be given to the Church,* as Chrysostome said, The gift of baptisme is given to the whole Church, but the po∣wer of baptising is not given to all the believers, as to the subject.

This Conclusion I prove. 1. That is not to be holden which Page  8 is not written, as our brethren hold. So Best, Travers, Par∣ker,*Ames. M. Iacob, so also Theodoret, Cyrill, Augustine, Ambrose, but it is neither expresly, nor by good consequence in Scriptures, no precept, no promise, where all the faithfull lay hands on men for the Ministerie, as Titus, Paul, and the Presbyterie doe,* 1 Timothy 4. 14. or where all the faith∣full doe binde and loose,* and receive witnesses judi∣cially against Elders, as Peter and Timothy have authori∣ty to doe.*

2. Argument.* If the word say that the power of the keyes is given to certaine select persons, and not to all belie∣vers, then is not this power given to all believers:* but the word saith the former,*er. The Assumption is thus proved, If these Offices that essentially include both the power and the exercise of the Keyes,* be given to some select persons and not to all the faithfull,* then are not the Keyes given to all the faithfull:* but the Lord gave the office of Apostles,* Pro∣phets,*&c. to some only. And God hath set some in the Church (then not all) first, Apostles, secondarily, Prophets, thirdly, Teachers, &c. And hee gave some to be Apostles (not all) and some Prophets, &c. Are all Apostles? The major is proved, because to be an Apostle, a Pastor, &c. is to have a power given by Christ to use the keyes by preaching, bind∣ing and loosing,* by censures, as an Apostle, Pastor. &c. This cannot be answered,* seeing there must be another power to binde and loose in Pastours, and Elders, than is in all belie∣vers,* women, believing children, and many believers unapt to governe.*

3 Argument. To whomsoever Christ giveth the power of the Keyes,* to them he gave a ministeriall spirit by way of speciall ambassage to remit and to retaine sins, as the Ambas∣sadors of God in Christs stead, and them he sent, as the fa∣the sent him,* as is cleare in the Scripture, As the Father sent me, so send I you, &c. He breated on them and said, receive the Holy Ghost: whosoever sinnes ye remit they are remitted. In which words, our Divines, Calvin, Bullinger, Musculus, Beza, yea and Papists, Cajetan, Toletus, teach that Christ here did inaugurate his Disciples to preach and exercise the cen∣sures Page  9 of the Church: so also Cyrill, Chrysostome, Cyprian. But this ministeriall spirit, Christ gave not to all the faithfull, but only to the Apostles, for he sent not Mary Magda∣lene and Cleophas in this place, as M. Smith saith, and why? because it is gathered from Luk. 24. 33, 34, 36. That Magda∣lene and Cleophas were there, (saith he) when Christ said, As my Father sent me so send I you,*Therefore Mary also, and Cle∣opha received a ministeriall power of the keyes, all as well as 〈◊〉 Apostles. I answer, but this place is all one with Mat. 28. 18, 19. where they are commanded to preach and baptize, which is not lawfull to women. 1 Cor. 14. 1 Tim. 2. And it is all one with the Commission, Mark 16 14. which is restruted to the eleven. Another weake ground he hath, that the eleven were not made Apostles, untill Christs Ascension, Act. 2. when the spirit was sent, and untill he led captivitie captive, Ephes. 4. 11. but this power was gi∣ven to all the Disciples before his ascension. Answer, a high∣er masure of the Spirit was powred on the Apostles at Christs Ascension, and by vertue of his Ascension, he ordai∣ned Apostles, Eph. 4. 11. but will it follow, none were made Apostles untill he ascended? if this were good, by vertue of his death, wee obtaine forgivenesse of sinnes, by his ascending to heaven, we also ascend. But hence it fol∣loweth not, that there is no forgivenesse of sinnes while Christ die, and that there is no ascending to heaven of the spirits of the Patriarchs and Fathers, while Christ ascen∣ded. 2. That the Apostles were called, and received Apo∣stleship from Christ in the dayes of his slesh, before his death, is cleare, Matth. 10. 2, 3. and that they went out, and prea∣ched, and cast out divels. A second exception there is of some, who say, a concionall or preaching power of forgiv∣nesse of sinnes is not given to all, to whom a loosing from sins by Church censures is given, as is cleare in our Ruling Elders, who have not power to forgive sinnes by preaching, yet have po∣wer to forgive, binde and loose, by Church-censures. Answer, We may distinguish where the law distinguisheth,* for how∣beit the power of preaching be not given formally to rule∣ing Elders, yet it is effectually in the fruit given to them, in Page  10 the judiciall and authoritative applicatio in the externall court of Christs Church,* but believers, as believers only, have neither power to preach formally,* nor yet effectively to apply judicially the threatnings of the word in discipline,* to the judiciall correction of delinquents; now the keyes in the word,* and the keyes in the discipline, are the same keyes of Christs kingdome,* as Amesius observeth, and the keyes of the word are the keyes of the kingdome,* committed to all, either formally or effectively,* to whom the keyes of discipline are given,* but they are never given to single believers who cannot lawfully preach.* Therefore single believers are not the subject of the keyes.*

4. Argument. Such power of the keyes, without the which the Church of Christ is perfect,* and complete for government, is superfluous, and so not of Divine, but of hu∣mane Ordination. But the Church is complete and perfect in its government, in that there are in it believers, Pastours, Doctors, Elders, and Deacons, suppose no power of the keyes, be in the communitie of believers. The proposition is Parkers; so reason the Fathers, Cyrill, Chrysostome, Ba∣sil. Augustine, Beda: so William Best, M. Iacob, M Robin∣son. I prove the Assumption. The Eldership have no over∣sight in the Lord, and there is no necessitie or exercise of the keyes, as Elders, if all believers have a ministeriall power to bind and loose: as M. Smith and others, teach: and if all e∣difie by the keyes,* as Parker saith, and judicially censure, ex∣communicate,* and ordaine, or depose their rulers, as the English Puritanisme, and authors of the presbytery exami∣ned doe prove,* from 1 Cor. 5. and Guide to Zion. For ten believers being nothing but believers by Divine right, or als well the governing Church without the Eldership, as having them,* suppose all the Elders were believers. Where also there be twentie times three believers, they have all in their owne families the power of the keyes, and so there are twenty Churches, complete and independent within them∣selves, joyned in twentie neighbour families, all under one covenant with God, and flying all knowne sins. Now when Christ saith, If thy brother offend thee, and obstinately refuse Page  11 to heare, tell the Church. Which of the twenty three shall the Brother wronged have recourse unto? (tell the Church) as reason would say, must bee some visible Church, Senat or judicatorie, but all these twenty threes met within their houses are independent Churches, if they be believers as we suppose, and all visible Churches. Shall wee thinke that Christ hath left a grieved brother to a blind, Tell the Church? and yet who can know this Church? for all have alike inte∣rest in Christ, which of the twenty threes bee the Church that Christ meaned in these words, Tell the Church, by this doctrine none can dreame.

5 Argument.* The multitude of believers hath either this power of the keyes from Christ, and from heaven; or from the earth, and from men: for I thinke our brethren will not dreame of any ecclesiastick positive law, not war∣ranted in Gods word, for a third, for this Papists teach. This is Christs argument for John Baptists ministerie. If from Christ and Heaven, it is either from the law of nature, or from some divine positive law: from nature it is not. For 1. the power is not naturall, but supernaturall, reaching a supernaturall end, the gathering of the Saints, Eph 4. 11, 12. neither is this power such, as can have nature for its Author, as Almain saith,* seeing it is above natures reach. And so al∣so saith And▪ Duvallius. If happily they say, it is from good consequence naturall, for because of the claime and interest that the faithfull have in Christ, Christs keyes are given to them,* as God giving Christ, he giveth all other things with Christ.* I Answer. This maketh no man, but a believer, yea no gifted pastour capable of the keyes, except hee have faith in Christ, which we shall hereafter refute, as contrary to Scripture.* Neither can it bee from any positive law, or grant, or promise in the new Testament, that all the mem∣bers of the Church shall be Princes,* Rulers, Commanders, that Christ hath left none to be over other in the Lord. If this be from men, it is a humane ordinance, and cannot stand. See what Bellarmine saith to this purpose.

6. Argument.* The power of the Keyes is either given to the believers as believers, or as they are such Page  12 whome God gifteth for government, selected from amongst others, if the later be said, we have our intent, and the keyes must be given immediately to some selected guides: If the keyes be given to believers, as they are such, and under this reduplication, Then 1. All believing women and children have authoritie in the Lord over the congregation, which, as Duvallius saith,* is not to be admitted, for quod convenit〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉convenit〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Yea, 2. saith Paul Baynes, If the power of the keyes and teaching had beene given to all believers, all should have beene made Pastours and Doctours, though not to continue so in exercising the power.* And so all must have the power of seeing, as the Church eyes and Watchmen, and all the power of hearing,* as the Church eares, and cer∣tainely,* the second act must proceed from the essence and first act, as moving must proceed from a living soule, to laugh from a reasonable soule, so to excommunicate judici∣ally, to judge, correct, cast out, bind and loose, (all which Parker and others prove to agree to believers from Mat∣thew 18. and 1 Corinth. 5.) must flow from a ministeriall principle, and so all must bee eyes, and eares, which is a∣gainst the varietie of the gifts of the spirit. If the whole bo∣dy were an eye, where were the hearing, if the whole were hea∣ring, where were the smelling? v. 14. for the whole body is not one member, but many, yea, a collection of many members.

Hence,* 7. Argument. That is not to be admitted which overturneth the order established by Christ of comman∣ding,* and obeying,* and which everteth the integrall mem∣bers and parts of a visible politike ministeriall body of Christ,* but to give the power of the keyes to all,* and every one,* o∣verturneth this order of Christs,*Ergo,* This doctrine is not to be admitted.* The Major is undenyable.* I prove the Minor. The ministeriall Church is divided,* as Junius saith, in Sheepe∣heards,* and flock,* some are 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Overseers and Watchmen,*others, such as are to submit and o∣bey:* some are Watchmen,* then they have some that they watch over:* Some Shepheards, ergo, they must have Sheep: Some Ambassadors in Christs stead,*Ergo, They have some Page  13 to whom they carry the Embassage, Heralds, Witnesses, Stew∣ards, Fathers, Saviours, Sowers, Reapers, builders, then they must have, a People, House, Sonnes, Ground, &c. up∣on whom they exercise their native operations. But if all have power of the keyes, and power to edifie by binding and loosing, all should be Overseers, Watchmen, Sheepheards, Ambassadors,* and if all were Fathers, where were the Sons? What a worke would this be, that all Christians must leave their trading, husbandry, arts, sayling, and oversee the Church,* and judge and determine Church matters betwixt brother and brother. So Francis Iohnson reasoneth: Master Smith answereth two things to this.* 1. The Elders (saith he) shall obey the voice of the Church, in things commanded by God, and all the Saints are to obey the Elders in things com∣manded by God, and these may well stand together. I answer, If we speake of divers kindes of obedience, it is true, peo∣ple is to obey the Pastours and Elders using the keyes, here the sheepe obey the Shepheards, and this is the obedience that Christ hath established in his house, and the Elders as Archippus, are to heare the flock admonishing, no comman∣ding as Watchmen, Fathers, Pastours by the power of the keyes, that they would take heed to the ministerie, which they have received of the Lord, and this is but private admonition, that one man, one woman, may give to their Pastours. Now one man is not the Church bearing the keyes, but this opinion maketh Archippus and all the faithfull at Colosse to beare the keyes, and command by power of the keyes, so that all are Fathers, Pastours; Pastours by one and the same power of the keyes. His second answer is. All are not ru∣lers: An incorporation may make a Major or Sheriffs, and yet the incorporation is not a Major and Sheriffe: So the Church may make Ministers, and yet the Church it selfe is not proper∣ly an Elder, or a Deacon. Answer, It is not alike, An in∣corporation hath a priviledge, but not any princely or magi∣steriall authoritie to create a Major, but the Saints have the regall power of the keyes from Christ, not only to make Elders, but also to judge authoritatively with coequall po∣wer with the Elders: by your doctrine, if the whole inhabi∣tants Page  14 of a citie may make a Major, and set themselves down in the Bench, as collaterall Judges with the Major, then all the inhabitants indeed were Majors, as all the Saints in Corinth did judicially excommunicate, why are they not then all Elders and Pastours? Shew us any authoritie that Pa∣stours have in governing, which the meanest of the congre∣gation hath not? And this maketh all Ministers, and all, to be Watchmen, Fathers, Overseers. This I take to have beene the errour of Tertullian,* who will have Christ to have left all Christians with alike power.

8. Argument.* If there be a peculiar authoritie in Pastors over the flock,* that is not in the flock, Then the keyes are not both in the Pastours,* and the people: but the first is said in Scripture,*ergo, The later must also be said. I prove the Minor.*What, will ye, that I come to you with a rod, or in love, or in the Spirit of meeknesse? also. Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharp∣nesse, according to the power that the Lord hath given me, to edification, and not to destruction. Hence it is that the Angels of the seven Churches in Asia are rebuked for not exerc∣sing discipline against Iezabel, and the holders of the Do∣ctrine of Balm: which proveth the Angels had the keyes, els all alike had beene rebuked. Now that every one of Co∣rinth hath the power of Pauls Rod, and his power given for edification, is most ridiculous. So Becanus the Jesuite. Can every believer say to a Church,*Shall I come to you with the Rod? Yet if all have the keyes, as the subject, all have the Rod also.

9. Arg.* That which Christ will have to be a ministeriall po∣wer in the members of his Church,* to the exercise therof Christ giveth competent and answerable gifts to the foresaid effect.* But God neither giveth,* nor hath promised,* nor requi∣reth answerable gifts for using the keyes in all believers.* Therefore Christ willeth no ministeriall power of the keyes to be in all the members of the Church.* The proposition I prove 1. God promiseth gifts to the priesthood of the new Testament.* As 1. Diligence,*Esay 61.*That strangers shall stand and feed their flocks. 2. Zeale, Esay 62. That Page  15 they shall never give the Lord rest.* 3. That they shall be cloa∣thed with salvation. 2. When God sendeth Moses, Isaiah,*Ieremiah, he giveth them gifts and abilities for the calling.* So (as the Treatist of Discipline observeth) it is oft said,*The Spirit of the Lord came upon him,*and he judged Is∣rael.* So also other places for this. 3. They are condemned who take on them a calling,* and say, Thus saith the Lord, and yet the Lord sent them not,*neither spake he to them, as in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. 4. Where the Lord giveth a calling or power, such as the keyes of his Kingdome, the not improving and putting the Lords Talent to the bank, is a sinfull digging of the Lords Talent in the earth. Hence I desire to know from Gods word, these foure things, 1. If the power of the keyes be given by Christ to all the faith∣full, this power is a ministeriall calling. Where is there a pro∣mise for light, prudence for government, to goe out and in before the Lords people, made to every one of the Lords people? 2. Where is the tongue promised to them all in judgement, that none shall resist, and the consolations pro∣mised to them, in the discharge of this power of the keyes? 3. Where is the Spirit of the Lord comming upon them all, and every one, that they may judge the people? 4. Where are the believers condemned for usurping the keyes, and because being ignorant they cannot discharge that calling? Where is the carelesse governing of all and e∣very one of the faithfull rebuked in the word of God, as a digging of the Lords talent in the earth? I adde two things to confirme this. 1. Our Divines disputing against the great Pope, the Bishop of Rome, and against the little Pope, the Prelate his god-son, and first born, come out of the Popes loynes, as Calvin, Beza, Iunius, Zanchius, Sadeel, Pareus, Vrsine, Whitaker, Reynold, and Amesius, Baines, Parker, Didoclavius, &c. They prove, if such power of the keyes and plenitude of order, and jurisdiction, were in these two creatures, the Pope and the Prelate, the wisedome of Christ in his Word, should have set downe the canons for the regu∣lating of the power, besides the canons that concerneth all other Bishops or Pastours, for the heads or Monarchs dutie Page  16 in the common wealth, is carefully set downe in the word, as what a man the King should be; but the word hath no canons for the power of the keyes, and the regulating of that power, in all and every believer, man and woman. 2. If God set downe a Canon, and requires abilities in the Church guides, as Elders labouing in the word and doctrine, and governing, and in Deacons, that, he requireth not in all believers, then the power of the keyes is not in the Church guides, and in all believers also; but the former is said, 1 Tim. 3. for it is required in a Minister that his power of the keyes may be said to be of God,* that he should rule his owne house well,*else how should he〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉,*take care to governe the Church of God?* One may be a believer,* and yet this is not required of him,* as he is a believer, an Elder should not be a Lord over the flock,* it is required of a Steward, that hee bee faithfull as a Steward, that he ordaine Elders, and these men of good report, that he receive not an accusation against an El∣der: Now I hope, these are not required of believers, as be∣lievers, neither were the Epistles to Timothy and Titus writ∣ten so much to these men, as believers; as to them as holy Elders, and Pastours: And yet if the power of the keyes bee common to all the faithfull, these Epistles are written to all believers, primely to men, and believing children, how they should use the keyes, ordaine Elders, receive Witnesses, go∣verne the Church.*Deare Brethren, see this and consider it for your good.

10. Argument. That which maketh the government of Gods house Democraticall and popular, is not to bee taught: but this Opinion is such, as I hope to prove hereafter.

11. Argument. If the power of the keyes be given to believers,* as believers, Then all, and only believers, have the power of the keyes: Quod convenit〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉convenit〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, That which agreeth to any thing reduplicative, and for this formall reason, it agreeth to that subject only: But all and only believers have not the power of the keyes. for the Major, Parker teacheth, The keyes were given to Pe∣ter, as a believer, not as an Apostle. I prove the Assumpti∣on. Page  17 The believers three or foure may be excommunicated, and that justly, in which case they remaine believers, and yet being no members of the Church, cannot have the po∣wer of the keyes: also many have the power of the keyes, yea, and are pastours, that are not believers: as Christ saith, Have not I chosen you twelve, and yet one of you is a Divell? Many will say to me in that day,*Lord, we have prophefied in thy name,*and in thy name cast out Divels, &c. and yet they are workers of iniquity,* never knowne of Christ as his elect. So some enemies to Paul and wicked men, Phil. 1. Haters of the Gospell, and yet preached it, in such sort that Paul rejoyced that Christ was preached. Now if they bee not believers that are pastours, their pastorall acts of baptizing and administring the Sacraments are null, seeing they have no power of the keyes, many shall doubt if they have beene baptized, because they may happily doubt, yea, too justly doubt of the beliefe, and so of the pastours power of the keyes. Yea, six or ten professors and visible Saints are an independent congregation, and so have the power of the Keyes to appoint an Eldership, to Excommunicate, and yet these ten may be faithlesse hyppocrites: hence all their acts of the keyes are null. It is knowne, how Austin, Jerome and the Fathers contend that the Baptisme of Heretikes is lawfull.

12. If I shall once for all here cleare from Antiquitie, that the Eldership hath only the keyes, I also prove from Antiquitie, 1. A Presbyteriall and representative Church. 2. That the congregation of believers, is not an indepen∣dent Senate, to ordaine an Eldership, and deprive them. 3. That the prime ground of an independent congregation hath no ground in Antiquitie.

Polycarpus Pastour of Smyrna an hearer of the Apostles,*as is thought, An. 143. willeth the Philippians to submit themselves to the El∣ders and Deacons,* as to Christ. Irenaeus the Di∣sciple of Polycarpus admonisheth the faithfull of the same. Tertullian, An. 226. saith, The Elders had the charge of excommunication and censures.

Page  18Ignatius very ancient,* if we believe antiqui∣tie, describeth our very Scotish Presbyterie, and calleth it, a Senate of Pastours and Elders, that was in the Church in his time. So Origen, who lived with Tertullian, resembleth the Pres∣bytery to the Senate of a Citie, and Ruffinus a∣greeth with them. Cyprian, the presbyters and other officers have the power of the keyes. So the Nicen Councell saith (as the Mageburgen. and Socrates say) Aurelius was ordained by Cypri∣an and his colleagues: he requireth that the mul∣titude he present to consent, but that the Presbyte∣ries ordaine.

Cyprian ascribeth the same opinion to Fir∣milianus. So Clemens Alexandrinus, Discipline is in the hands of the Presbyters. Basil also esta∣blisheth a Presbyteriall Senate of moe parishes, as is our Scotish Presbyterie, and that by the authoritie of the ancient Fathers. Athanasius conjoyneth the people and Clergie in ordinati∣on and election, and giveth to every one of them their owne part.

Jerome his minde is knowne to all. So Diony∣sius Alexandrin. The Synod of Antioch, wri∣ting to the Church about Samosetanus, calleth themselves Pastours, Elders, and Deacons. So also the Councell of Carthage. 4. Ambros. in 1 Tim 5. or the ancient author of that Com∣mentarie, acknowledgeth the government by the Presbyterie to be most ancient.* And Augu∣stine against Crescon. acknowledgeth this, and Gregor. They both give the power of censures Presbyteris & senioribus,* to the Pastours and Elders. So for this also Eusebius, Zonaras, The∣odoret, Chrysostome, and farther Nazianzen. To oversee and governe is due to the Pastours.*

The Ancient confession of the Waldenses, An. 1535. offered to the King of Boheme, appro∣ved Page  19 by Luther, Melanchton, Bucer, and Mus∣culus approveth the government by Pastours, Deacons and Elders.* Wickliffe, Iohn Hus, and Hierome of Prage adhereth to this confession, as Aeneas Sylvius witnesseth.*This was a point laid upon Wicklisse, condemned in the Councell of Constanoe,*as Bellarmine saith, That Eccle∣siasticall power is given immediately to the Offi∣cers. So the Councell of Toled 8. yea, and Ba∣ronius himselfe saith, Christ breathed his power immediately on the Apostles, Iohn. 20. The Pa∣pists giving the highest power of jurisdiction to an Oecumenick Councell, teach this. The Councell of Constance saith, A generall Coun∣cell hath its power immediately from Christ. A Generall Councell (of theirs) at Lawsanne, An. 1440. A Generall Councell at Pisa, An. 1512 as they call it. So the Generall Councell of Ba∣sil confirmed, (as they say) by Pope Mar∣tine the fifth.*So also many famous Vniversi∣tie as the Vniversitie of Cullen,*consulted, ad∣vised and required by Theodor.*Archbishop of Cullen,*the Vniversitie of Erford, of Craco∣via, of Paris:*To adde our owne Divines, Cal∣vin, Luther, Melanchton, Martyr, Musculus, &c. were supersluous.