The place Psal. 50. 16. What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, is discussed, and saith nothing for M. H. his visible members.
MAster Hooker his fourth reason. *
These who are excluded from his covenant, and med∣ling with that as unfit, they are not fit to have Communion with the Church; for to that all the holy things of God do in a speciall manner appertain. Its Gods house, and there all his treasure lyes, the keys of the kingdome are given to them, to them all the oracles, ordinances, and priviledges •o belong.
But these who hate to be reformed, and cast away his commande, they have nothing to do to take his covenant in their mouth. Psal. 50. 16.
It is to be observed, 1. that M. H. leaves the conclusion to the reader, and sets down a proposition and an assumption all along, such as they are: 2. he never concludes what is de∣nied, ergo, onely such visible Saints are members of the visible Church: 3. he speaks most ambiguously, such hypocrites are not fit to have communion with the Church. What Church? he knowes the question is of the visible Church onely, for he grants part. 1. c. 2. conclus •3. pag. 27. 28. that such as are found to be corrupted and grosse hypocrites being now received members, though they were not so when first admitted, are so far fit to have communion with the Church visible, as they must be tolerated and remaine members, untill they be judicially examined, convinced, and censunes applyed for reformation: 4, it is one thing to prove Page 13 that open hypocrites should not be admitted members of the visible Church, but it is the sinne of the so knowing admit∣ters, for which M. R. now disputes; and a far other thing which M. H. proveth, to wit, it is not fit that hypocrites have communion with the Church: what a lax disputing is this? they that eat and drink unworthily, 1 Cor. 11. 28. 29. and eat things sacrificed to idols, 1 Cor. 10. 21. should not have com∣munion with the Church in the holy ordinances, would Paul therefore inferre such, though converts, are not to be admit∣ted members of the visible Church? it is not fit, yea it is sin, that either professed non-converts, or latent non-converts have communion with the Church, for their very profession of the name of Christ, when there is no reality in the thing, is a most sinfull unfitnesse in Magus, in Iudas, will it follow Ergo the Church sinnes in admitting Magus and Iudas? 5. the state of the question is overturned, for the scope of Psal. 50. 16, 17. as Calvin, Musculus, Marlorat, Diodati, English Di∣vines observe well, is to presse a sincere reality in profession, and to condemn outward sacrificing and crying, we are in co∣venant with God, not onely without repentance and praying and praising in faith, 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. but when the so profes∣sing hypocrits were compartners with theeves, adulterers, &c. v. 18. 19. 20. but the place speaketh not one jot that the Church ought not to have admitted such to be members of the visible Church: 6. Let it be remembred that M. H. here makes the Jewish Church a sampler of the visible single con∣gregations under the new Testament: 7. and since all the ho∣ly things of God were committed to the Church of the Jewes, Rom. 31. 2. Rom. 9. 4, 15 Psal. 147. 19, 20. Deut. 29. 10, 11. If the * Lord called them not, nor planted them into a Church-frame, nor admitted them members, untill first they were contrary to these hypocrites Psal. 50 16. 17. and untill there was not onely a professed willingnesse to receive the gospell, (I speak the language of M. H. 16 pag. 28.) but a practicall reformati∣on in their profession (Survey part. 1. cap. pag. 14. 15.) that they savoured so much, as they had been with Iesus, and if so be they must have been the true Israel in mens esteem, before the Lord called and choosed them to be his people, it must Page 14 follow that God choosed not Israel to be his Church of free * grace and love, but when they were now professors and practi∣cally reformed, and a people calling upon God in the day of trouble, offering thanksgiving, paying vowes, loving instructi∣on, contrary to these hypocrites Psal. 50, 14, 15 16, 17, 18. which is grosse Pelagianisme, and contrary to the word of God, 2 Chron. 2. 11. Deut. 7, 6, 7, 8. Psal, 47 4. Psal. 78, 68.
8. Nor is it true that all oracles, ordinances, and priviledges de be∣long to the visible Church, as visible in M. H. sense, i. e. to every sin∣gle congregation: for there is, there may be a single congregati∣on which there is not one chosen of God, but all made up of such stuffe as Magus and Iudas, yea and the promises of an everlasting covenant, and the priviledges of election, effectu∣all calling, perseverance, glorification, are not made to single Churches or kingdomes, provinces, since the famous Churches of Rome, Ephesus, Thessalonica, of Asia are horribly fallen, these previledges belong firstly and principally to the Catho∣lick visible Church as Mysticall and invisible both subjectivè and finaliter, or objectively, especially as they are Gods trea∣sures.
M. H. pag. 18. M. R. yields the causes while he granteth the wicked are forbidden, what to be Church members? no, but to take the covenant of God in their mouth, for if they come to see their sinne, reform their evil wayes, they are non-visible Saints, therefore while they remain haters of reformation, they are not visible Saints, and have no title to be Church-members.
Answ. The cause is never a whit the more yielded, because of M. H. his mistake in proving one thing for another: the Lord, Psal. 50. 16, forbids hypocrites remaining hypocrites to take the Lords covenant in their mouth, but I said not, therefore he forbids the Church to take in any as members but these onely to come to see th•ir sinne and to reform their evil waye, as M H. saith (which is indeed to yield the cause) for if they who leave the wayes of P•ganisme, Iudaisme, Popery, and the wayes of sin, professe they are willing to be the disciples of Christ if the profession be not grossely and knownly hypo∣criticall, and their coming in be not for by-ends and to betray the cause, but morally ingenuous and negatively sincere, Page 15 the Church is to receive such, and is not forbidden to admit them as members, whether to the knowledge of the Church they be reall converts or not reall converts. I grant it is ano∣ther thing, if they refuse to come and to be baptized, Luk. 7. 29, 30. Luk. 14. 17, 18. sure no man can be a Church-member against his will. 2. The Lord may well rebuke Magus and Iu∣das while they are Church-members, the same way that he re∣bukes the hypocrites, Psal. 50. 16, 17. and say what have you to do to declare my statutes, &c. for I know your hearts, how you hate instruction, &c. and yet the Church sinnes not in admit∣ting them.
3. M. H. confounds these two, to wit, the seeing of sinne, and reforming of their evill way, which is reall and sincere repentance, if it be a saving sight of sinne, they sincerely re∣pent, if it be counterfeit, to wit, the giving evidence of godly sorrow and repentance, the Church may see the latter, and yet Magus and Iudas remaine under the same reproof, for they may in their heart hate instruction, and act these sinnes of partaking with thieves secretly, and be secret adulterers, and the word may reprove them, and yet there is no blame in the Church in either admitting them, or in bestowing Church∣priviledges upon them.