First Reason against shutting Men up for the Plague, From the Communion of Saints, and the practise of the Primitive Christians.
1. WEre Men (those sociable Creatures) made thus, every Man to live by himself? and if the Principle of self-preservation may alter the course of Nature, is this the Com∣munion of Saints we believed? is this the mutual care we ought to have one of another? We can endure to read in Eusebius of Heathens, who as soon as the Pestilence was among them diver∣ted themselves, and fled from their most loving and dear friends, throw∣ing them half dead in the Streets: how they left the dead unburied to be devoured of Dogs, to the end they might avoid death, which yet they could not escape.
While we observe withal how Grace above Nature enabled the Primitive Christians by reason of their great love and brotherly Charity (they are Eusebius his own Words) not sparing themselves to cleave one to another, to visit the sick of the Plague, to attend them diligently, to Cure them in Christ though it cost them their Lives; and being full of other mens maladies took the Infection off their Neigh∣bours, and tronslated off their own accord the sorrows of their Neigh∣bours upon themselves; fulfilling indeed the common saying, that friendship is alwayes to be retained. In this sort, the best of our Bre∣thren departed this life, whereof some were Ministers, some were Deacons, in great reverence among the Common People: So that this kind of death for their great Piety and strength of Faith may seem to differ nothing from Martyrdom; for they took the dead Bodies of the Saints, whose breasts, faces, and hands lay upwards, and closed their eyes, shut their mouths, and joyntly with one accord, being like af∣fectioned, embraced them, and prepared their Funerals, their own be∣ing a little while afterward in all likelyhood prepared by others, for the Living continually traced the steps of the Dead.
Then as the Body was one, and had many Members, all those Members being one body, so was Christ; for by one Spirit were all Men Baptized into one Body, the eye said not to the hand I Page 5 have no need of thee; nor the head to the foot I have no need of thee; yea, the weaker the Members of the Church were, the more care they had of them; and there was no Schism in the Bo∣dy, each Member having an equal care one of another; and so if one Member suffered, all the Members suffered with it: they all looking on themselves as the Body of Christ, and Members in particular: Then they did not Excommunicate whole Families when it pleased God to visit them; no, then the Elders of the Church carefully attended them, prayed with them, and the effectual fervent prayer of those righteous Men availed much.