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.

CHAP. III.

Other arguments of M. Hookers for the constitution of the Church of his visible Saints.

MAster Hookers two reasons.

These are is to be members of Christs Church that are*subjects of Christs kingdome.

The Church is the visible kingdome, in which Christ reigns by the scepter of his word, ordinances and discipine: he is our king, he is our Law-giver; they, who are in professed rebellion, are tray∣tors, Page  7 not subjects, the members of the body are under the motion and guidance of the head; Wolves are contrary to it. But visible Saints, as formerly described, are onely subjects of this kingdome. Christ is the king of Saints, not of Dunkards, Atheists, they alone Saints) proclaim subjection in their practice.

Answ. The terme (onely) is wanting in the proposition, which is in the assumption and conclusion, contrary to right Logick.

2. These are fit to be members of Christs Church visible) that are subjects (by an influence of grace, to wit, from their head and king calling effectually, Acts 15. 14, 15. Isai. 55. 4. 5. and giving them repentance and forgiveness of sins, Acts 5. 31.) of the kingdome of Christ, visible or invisible; the proposition is true, but that such visible Saints as Magus and Iudas the traytor (which are the visible Saints M. H. defines *in terminis, part. 1. cap. 2. pag. 15. conclus. 2.) are subjects and onely subjects of this kingdome, as his assumption sayes in express termes, is most false; now that the argument must mean of the subjects of Christs kingdome real, and of mem∣bers by the influence of saving grace from Christ their head and king, I prove from the argument that M. H. brings from Isa. 33 22. for M. H. his visible Saints Magus and Iudas cannot. 〈◊〉 Say, the Lord is our Law-giver, the Lord is our Iudge, the Lord is our king and he will save us; if Sorcerers and Traytors should say so they should lie. Isaiah speaks of real converts and the true Sion, whose stakes and cords shall never be removed, so as the gates of hell (saith Marlorat on the place) shall not prevail against them. He speaketh (as yet saith Pisca∣tor) to the godly Iews; so that (saith Calvin) God is in the miast of her; therefore she shall not be moved: for (saith Musculus) my sheep shall no man pluck out of my hand. 2. He speaketh of these (not of such as Iudas and Magus) who shall be prote∣cted and saved by the Lord, vers. 21, 22. he speaks of the true Church which acknowledges God her Law giver and King so Calvin; the Church (saith Bullinger) is so armed with the Page  8 grace of God, that she yields not to evils, nor is broken, but re∣mains ever sure. 3. He speaks of that kingdome and people, whose inhabitants shall not say, I am sick, the people that dwell*therein, their iniquity shall be forgiven them, vers. 24. onely the citizens of the Church (saith Calvin) are adorned with this priviledge, pardon of sins; and it pertaines (saith Gualter) to the Church onely and h•…r citizens; because (saith Luther) the gdly people hath a God gracious, therefore their sins are forgiven. So Buinger, Oecolampadius, Diodati, English Divine, Zwing∣lius, and the popish interpreters, Carthusianus, Vatablus, Arias, Montanur, Corn. à Lipide, Gasp. Sanlius, Lyranus, never man before pious M. Hooker, expoun•…d the place of such vi∣sible Saints, as have room in this house, to wit, Witches and Traytors. 2. To Sin a single congregation, as if the gates of hell could not prevail against such cypers: And 3. he must not be Kng and Law-giver (by this way) to godly visible be∣lievers, when their congregation is broken, dissipated by perse∣cution, death of officers, O poor comfort!

But these are fit to be members in Christs Church that are sub∣jects in Christs kingd me, by influence of politick guidance and common gifts; the proposition in that sense is neither pro∣ved by Isaiah 33. 22. or any reason, but the just contrary conclusion, to wit, that believing and really pardoned Sion, vers 22. 23, 24. must be the persons that make up the king∣dome of Christ: nor does it conclude any thing but contrary to M. H. and the way of the congregation, to wit, Ergo onely such as are visible Saints, according to the politick influence and common gifts, are fit to be members of the visible Church; which is a most false conclusion, for also true believers sincerely pro∣fessing the faith, and who are subjects of Christ according to the influence of saving grace, remission and pardon, v. 22, 23, 24. are fi to be, and really are members of the visible Church, except the argument conclude that onely hypocrites appearing to be believers real, are fit to be members of the visible Church, which is most false by the grant of adversaries, and by the truth it self.

3. M. H. suppresseth the conclusion, and proves the propo∣sition, that reall believers are fit to be members of the mysticalPage  9 and true Church, which neither we, nor he deny; and the terme in rationall charity directed by the word, which should be in both propositions, is neither mentioned in the Argument, not in the Scriptures and Proofs, an unknown way of arguing: and for the assumption,

But visible Saints (that is, Saints in the judgement of charity ruled by the word) are onely subjects of his kingdome.

M. H. never so much as touches, nor labours to prove, nor is there a Scripture in old or new Testament to prove that men cannot be the subjects of Christs visible Kingdome, ex∣cept Apostles, or some visible society declare and passe a judi∣ciall sentence that they are subjects of his visible kingdome. *

4. The probation is fan toto coelo from the conclusion to be proven. They (saith he) who carry themselves in pro∣fessed rebellion, they are traitors, not subjects—and Christ is the King of Saints, not of drunkards, Atheists, &c. Its true, he is no visible king to visible Pagans, nor are they as visible professed Atheists, subjects of his visible kingdome. And who teaches any such thing, and against whom doth M. Hooker dispute? if there be any such members in our Church, not censured, and if obstinate, not casten out, it is the sinfull and abused practise of men, and we professe we desire to be hum∣bled before the Lord that our Ministers and assemblies recei∣ved into our Church, men guilty of perjury drunkennesse, shedding of the blood of the people of God in the defence of the cause and sworne reformation, and that our Ministers and Elders, (ah to many of them) are scandalous, baters and mockers of piety, though our Church was in as fair way of purging the house of God, but now by the present stroke, we are deprived of liberty so to do, but that is nothing con∣cludent * against the right government of Christ, Christ is not the head and king of professed rebells; true, nor is he head and king, in a saving way, of latent rebells, or of your visible Saints, such as Magus and Iudas, ergo he is head and king to none as visible members, but to men onely judged in charity, led by the word to be reall converts, no logick can prove the consequence. But our mind is that Christ is visible head by influence of gifts, ordinances, and externall guidance to all to Page  10 whom he sayes, I will be your God, and who professe subjecti∣on to him, whether the Church shall judge them reall con∣verts, or not judge them so. M. H. arg. 3. pag. 17.

If visible Saints be not members,
Then non-visible Saints may be members.

The latter is absurd, then these who in the judgement of charity are members of the devil, may be conceived members of Christ in the same judgement of charity: charity then must pluck out her*eyes. Answ. 1. here is as good a contradiction, if any good∣nesse there be in these.

If such as are onely visibly Saints, Magus, Iudas, be no members, but rotten ones:

Then such as are non-visibly Saints, such as Peter, Paul, who are really justified and chosen, are fit visible members.

Let M. H. choose him, by his own contradiction which (he saith) divides the breadth of being (though this phancied contradiction divide neither the breadth nor the sixteenth part thereof)

If onely visibly justified and chosen Saints, who are such really, are not visible members:

Then none visibly justified and chosen Saints are fit members visible.

The antecedent is true, and Simon Magus is not a visible member to M. Hooker, by this account; and the latter is con∣tradicent to M. Hookers way: for then one who is to the eye of charity visibly justified and chosen, and that really by M. H. metaphysick, which so divides the breadth of being, as Peter visibly believing, and thereby really blessed, Matth. 16. 16, 17. shall be to the same eye of charity not visibly justified and chosen, but in the miscarrying judgement of charity, shall be no visible member, according to the reality thereof, as Simon Magus; and therefore the definition of a visible member can∣not agree both to Peter visibly believing, and to Magus visi∣bly believing; for there is a reall contradiction between Peter his believing reall, and Magus his believing reall, as good Logick demonstrates: but the latter is absurd, for both Peter and Magus are visible Saints. Let any man help M. H. in his metaphysick here.

Page  11 2. Aristotle long agoe taught us that there is no contra∣diction, * when the contradiction is not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: now there is a mids betwixt a vi∣sible Saint, as M. Hooker meanes, and a no visible Saint; for his visible Saint is, one who by the Church is judged a reall convert and his no visible Saint is one who is judged no reall convert, example of the former is Peter, or Magus, an exam∣ple of the latter is an unbaptized Pagan so judged: now the mids to us Simon Magus when he is baptized, and we teach that Philip and the Church of Samaria neither passed any judiciall sentence of Magus as a reall convert, nor yet as any non-re∣all convert, and therefore to the eyes of reason and charity (which need not to be plucked out, but have their own use) Magus, when he is admitted a visible member, is neither a re∣all member of the devil, nor a reall member of Christ, but a professor, and the judgement of the Church is abstracted both from the eternall election and the eternall reprobation of Magus, and from the reall conversion or the reall non∣conversion of Magus. And we desire one jot or word of Scrip∣ture where the servants Matth. 22. are thus limitted as M. H. supposeth, invite none to come to the wedding of the Kings sonne but such onely as you judge to be really converted and cloathed with the wedding garment: the parable saith no such thing, but the contrary, verse 9. as many as ye find bid to the marriage; yea v. 14. saith, the inviters have nothing to do to judge whether they be chosen or effectually called, or not chosen or non-effectually called, though one of them in themselves they must be. And when the Maids of wisdome Prov. 9. are sent out, reads M. H. of such a limitted commission, see you call in and admit none within the doores of wisdomes house but onely such as you judge to be the spirituall new born children of wisdome: yea the Maids expresly call in the fooles and the sim∣ple ones to be made wise, v. 4 whereas M. H sup•…oses, they have eaten the dainties of wisdome, before ever they come in a wisdomes doore. And so against common sense in lieu of an argument, he beggs the question; so

If M. Hookers visible Saints onely be not members, prove that there are such visible Saints first: otherwise the Papists may say,

Page  12If our visible Bishop be not the visible head of the Church, Then our non-visible Bishop may be head.

We grant all, and then M. H. bids us yield to what he saith without probation, and tells us it is absurd that his non-visible Saints be members, and so his visible Saints are men in the moone to us, and in reality of truth no such thing.