A survey of the Survey of that summe of church-discipline penned by Mr. Thomas Hooker ... wherein the way of the churches of N. England is now re-examined ...
Rutherford, Samuel, 1600?-1661.
Page  56

CHAP. XIIII.

The answers of Mr. Hooker to the arguments of Mr. Ru∣therfurd are discussed and disapproven. The places Acts 2. 37, 38. &c. And Magus his admission, Act. 8. 15. considered.

FIrst Argument. In the first receiving of members by the Apo∣stles, there was but a professed willingnesse to receive the Go∣spel howbeit seme received it not from the heart.

M. H. answereth; There was not only a professed willingnesse, but a practicall reformation, that in the judgement of charity giveth grounds of hope that there is something reall, before the contrary ap∣peare; Therefore Peter who received Magus upon his approbation of the truth, and outward conformity thereunto in the course of his life, rejected him as one in the gall of bitternesse, who had no share in Christ, and therefore certainly would not suffer him in the privi∣ledges of communion, so persisting without repentance.

Ans. 1. Not professed willingnesse, but also practicall reforma∣tion is required. But is not professed willingnesse in murtherers * of Christ, who said, What shall we doe to be saved, some practi∣call reformation? There is nothing but conjectures, that the A∣postles did not admit all and every one of the three thousand, untill they had experience of their state of grace. and judicially determined*so of them all. 2. This practicall reformation was not an experi∣ence of their practise of savoury walking, required by M. H. p. 1. cap. 2. pag. 14, 15. in visible saints before admission, except some four or five houres time may create an habituall experi∣ence, for the same very day they were baptized, Acts 2. 41. (3) M. H. should prove that the Apostles found this practicall re∣formation in all, Ananias, Saphira, and the whole 3000; and that the Apostles tryed and smelled the savourinesse of saving grace in all; in Saphira, the Text giveth not the least jot of this, we mu take it upon the naked assertion of M. H. 4) That this practi∣call reformation gave to the Apostles judgement of charity ground Page  57 of hope, that there was something reall, that is, the whole number about three thousand (none excepted, for all were made Church-saints visible) gave grounds of hope that they were all really (otherwise their speaking and hearing the word was reall, that is, not imaginary) internally and effectually called, and born over againe of the spirit, and so chosen to life eternall from e∣ternity, before the Apostles durst without the offending of God admit them to Church-fellowship and visible communion; those (I say) must be proven. If I durst, I am not farre from judging the godly and judicious in cold blood, free of heate of dispute, dare not so judge of the Text, Acts 2. or Acts 8. (5) There is no shadow Acts 8. that Peter (M. H. should say Philip) ad∣mitted*not Magus while he saw such grounds of the sorcerers reall conversion and reall predestination to glory (6) Peter said that Magus had no share in Christ. True, but said he that he was an unbaptized man who had no share in the visible Church? No. (7) But he would not suffer Magus to share in the priviledges of communion, he persisting without repentance.

True, but it is no answer to the argument from the manner of receiving in, this is something to the casting out, (8) that Peter reproveth him in the gall of bitternesse. 2. Exhorts him to repent, to pray for pardon, were great priviledges of Church-communion * bestowed upon Magus.

The practise of the Apostolick Church is to be considered in three cases. The 1. Case is.

1. When Churches are gathered out of Churches, for exam∣ple, out of Galatia, Ephesus, where infants are born and baptised * Church-members within the visible Church, hence we seek a warrant, why these who were once members of the visible * Church and baptized, as the answer to the 32 sayeth, and so clean and holy, 1 Cor. 7. 14. Rom. 11. 16. (2) In covenant with God, Acts 2. 38, 39. Act. 15. 14, 15. Gen. 17. 7. 2 Cor. 6. 16, 17, 18. &c. (3) And so redeemed by the blood of Christ and baptized into his body, 1 Cor. 12. 13. even unto Christ, Gal. 3. 17. Act. 2. 38, 39. when they come to age, are for no scandall unchurched, and because they cannot give evidence of reall conversion, yet for 60. or 80. years, and to their dying day, are no more Church-members then Pagans?

Page  58 2. How could ye baptize Pagans? They are so straited with this, that many among them call for Bishopping or confirma∣tion againe. 3. How is it that you once baptized them Church-members and within the Covenant, and so baptized them but for the foresaid want? How is it now (1) You teach, exhort, rebuke, comfort them, and you have no Pastorall call to them more then to Pagans? (2) How, or what calling, or what sort of officers are your Pastors to them? or who called you to take care and watch for their souls who are without, and to you as Pagans? (3) How can you offer Christ all the day long to Pa∣gans? 4. If they refuse to hear the Gospel, you cannot judge them, for they are without, 1 Cor. 5. 12. to you; and Christian * Magistrates cannot compell them that are without to the means of grace by your way.

The second Case is.

When the Apostles came with the Gospel to the Gentiles, Act. 14. 47, 48. to Lystra and Derbe, Act. 14. 6, 7. to Philippi, Act. 16. 12. to Corinth, Act. 18. 6, 7, 8, 9. to Ephesus, Act. 19. 9, 10. &c. our brethren must prove, 1. That the Apostles first teached to them as no officers, having no Pastorall care of their souls, untill they were in the judgement of charity reall con∣verts, and then they preached to them as Church-members: (2) And untill they were satisfied in conscience of the good spirituall e∣state one of another, as lively stones to be laid upon the spirituall building, as their way teacheth; And untill they in their practise and profession (if we look sayeth M. Hooker) in their course accor∣ding to what we see by experience, or receive by report and testi∣mony from others. Or lastly, look we at their expressions, favour so much as though they had been with Jesus. And 3. The A∣postles knew not any such thing in visible converts, as that they should form themselves from an intrinsecall power in themselves into an organicall body and ordaine their own El∣ders; for to draw this out of any thing we find in Scripture is done with as great difficulty, as to extract water out of a stone; all we find the Apostles did was to preach Christ to them, and an interval of time, as is clear after Act. 13. 14 they had preached Page  95 the Gospel, Act. 14. 6. ver. 21. they returned to Lystra, and to *Iconium, and to Antioch; and ver. 23. and ordained Elders in every Church: all which times it appeareth they were visible Churches without seales, and when they preached the Gospel to the aged, and it was received by a profession of faith sincere, whether really or supposed only, presently without delay (as is well observed by M. R. Baxter in his accurate treatise) they baptize Magus, Act. 8. 12. 13. such as hear the word, among * whom were Ananias and Saphira, who were baptized members, Act. 2. 41, 45. compared with Act. 4. 33, 34. and Act. 5. 1, 2, 3, 4. &c. they baptize Cornilius and his house, Act. 10. 44, 47, 48. When the Corinthians and Crispus and his house believed, they were baptized, and the Jayler and his house, Act. 16. 30, 31, 32, 33. Lydia and her house, ver. 14. 15. And the Eunuch having heard the word and believing was baptized, Act. 8. 35, 37, 38. when the multitude hear Iohn and confesse their sinnes they are baptized, Mark 1. 5. and that without any such conjectures of the congregationall way of trying members, as is above said.

The third Case is,

When the Christian Church is framed out of the visible Church; and in this I propound these considerations (1) Act. 2. There is no such processe as M. H. talks of, pag. 14. 15. (2) No hint of a covenant to a single Congregation, except ye speak of a baptismall Covenant. (3) The Apostles shall not act as A∣postles,* but in an erring way, choosing Ananias and Saphira re∣probate mettall in this first Temple, and say, that they acted as Pastors ordinary in a Church way and fallibly, it is not to be supposed, that they more de facte actually erred, and that they thrust in chalke stone, and rotten timber, apt to destroy the whole building, such as were Ananias and Saphira, in the first samplar, then they erred in making heterodox and erroneous acts, Act. 15. in their first samplar of Synods, and yet we prove they acted not as infallible Apostles in that Synod, but by a fal∣lible and ordinary gift, yet so that de facto actually they erred not. (4) Any man judge of M. Hookers words pag. 30. that Pe∣ter required of these 3000. to repent and be baptized, accor∣ding Page  60 to the like call of Christ, and that Philip saw the like in Magus, ere he baptized him, and that the Apostles had a large measure of spirituall discerning; But if their discerning was put out in admitting none but such as they judged to be reall con∣verts, it failed in this, and they laid hands suddenly in few hours space upon Ananias and Saphira: and so did Iohn Baptist upon an huge multitude, Matth. 3 Mark. 1. Luk. 4. nay their admit∣ting of such, whereas their eminency of discerning could have framed the first samplar of Church-constitution without one hypocrite, sayeth to me. That it is the revealed will and intent of the Lord, that men usurp not the chairs of Christ to passe a sentence upon the inward state of Church-members, before they be admitted into his work-house of conversion. Yea it is destructive to the Lords end to close the gates upon many heirs of glory, and lock fast the doores of Christs office-house, his vineyard, his kingdome, his house, upon multitudes to be saved and wrought upon and espoused to Christ, after they are un∣churched, untill they be visible converts, 2 Cor. 11. 1, 2, 3, 4. Gal. 4. 19. (5) The Apostles are accurate in trying of some Church-members, to wit, of Elders and Deacons, and bid re∣ceive some, and reject others, Act. 6. 13. Act. 13. 2, 3. 1 Tim. 3. 1, 2, 3, 4. &c. 10, 11, 12. Tit. 1. 9, 10, 11. 2 Tim. 2. 2. 1 Tim. 5. 17, 22. But shew us rule, Canon, precept, practise of Apostles, for judiciall electing of Church-members; yea to me it is one act of the Lords deep providence in the execution of his decrees of election and reprobation; for when the Lord sends the word of his kingdome to a Nation, and calls them, and they professe to hear, there hath the Lord a visible kingdome, and the Lord builds his house, not Moses, not Paul. (6) The place Act. 2. pleads more for a reall and internall repentance, and continued * and prorogated all their life, ver. 46, 47. they abiding in the A∣postles doctrine and fellowship stedfastly, 42. then for a visible re∣pentance in the judgement of charity, though we exclude not visible repenting of some, but in our brethrens sense, visible repenting, i. e. reall and sincere, so farre as the judgement of charity can reach. 2. Reall and sincere repenting of all and e∣very one. 3. Antecedently and before admission to Church∣membership, we ever exclude, and we say there is not one JotPage  61 in the word, that the Apostles had such a judgement of Ana∣nias, Magus; and our brethren cannot prove it. The believing of Magus and his adent continuing with Philip, Act. 8. 13. with eagernesse, as dogs in hunting to follow the prey, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉*Beza cites Mar. 3. 9. Budaeus to stick to any as an assidu∣ous convey, proveth not what M. Lock r sayeth; for Luke in∣spired by the holy Ghost, who needeth not borrow the judge∣ment of charity, but seeth the heart, testifieth of Magus that he believed in his way. All our Divines, Calvin, Gualther, Pis∣cator,*Marlorat, Beza, Brentius, Bullingerus, Pomeranus, Sar∣crius, Diodati, English Divines, say, it was but an historicall and temporary faith; if the holy Ghosts meaning were that Magus did savingly believe, we shall not eschew the Apostasy of true believers. The Text saith not that Magus savingly believed to the judgement of Philip, and the Church of Sa∣maria; they saw his faith as they saw his wondring in his clea∣ving to Philip, and yet this our brethren must prove. Now they saw only such a faith, in the effects, as the Text speaks of; but the Text speaks of a temporary faith: but that they believed the sorcerers temporary faith to be saving faith, and would not otherwayes have baptized him, that M. Hooker and M. Lockyer conjecture; but in the Text, there is no shadow of such a thing; had there been praying with liberty, and in the holy Ghosts strong perswasion, much labour of glorying in tribulation, re∣joycing with joy unspeakable, by selling all and following the Gospel, something had been said, and if the Church had refu∣sed without these to baptize him. (7) I retort the argument thus.

Such should be the members of the visible Church before they be admitted, as Peter requireth the thousands to be before they were admitted members: But Peter requireth of the 3000. re∣all repentance; Repent and be baptized, &c. Yea such repen∣tance * as thereby their anxious conscience might be satisfied, who asked, Men and brethren what shall we doe? Ah, we slew the Lord of glory. Ergo, The members of our Church must have reall, not visible repentance only, before the Church can admit them. But the conclusion is absurd even to the Anabaptists. The proposition is M. Hookers and our brethrens in terminis;Page  62 the assumption is the holy Ghosts, Act. 2. Yea and the cha∣racters of reall conversion, Act. 2. are spoken by Luke inspired of God, not in relation to the fallible discerning of Apostles. There are not only visible signs, but 1. hearing, 2. saying, Men and brethren what shall we doe? 3. joyning in ordinances with the Apostles, 4. Some expressing of joy in hearing the word, possibly in their countenance. The rest were reall, 1. They were pricked in heart, not visibly, but really, so Calvin, Bez, Gual∣ther,*Sarcerius, Brentius, Bullingerus; as also before them, Chry∣sostome, Hieronymus, Cyrillus, Hierosolomytanus; this cannot but be reall.

(2) They were added unto the Church. M. H. granteth, that the holy Ghost in Luke spoke this. Now the Apostles acting as ordinary Pastors in a fallible way (as our brethren say they acted here) could not see this internall adding made by the Lord, ver. 47. The Lord added to the Church, &c. he added not Ananias and Saphira thus; and their receiving the word with gladnesse of heart, ver. 47. must be reall and internall gladnesse of heart, as their eating of bread with gladnesse and singlenesse of heart; all which as they were not visible to the Apostles, so be∣ing reall must be ascribed by an ordinary figure, to the greatest part. Now that Ananias and Saphira were such reall members pricked in heart, or received the word with joy, Luke sayeth not. But M. H sayeth it without warrant of the word.