THE TRUE FORM OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT, FIRST INSTITVTED BY CHRIST, NOW USED AND PRA∣ctised in all the reformed Churches of Germanie, France, and Scotland: humbly pre∣sented to the High and Honourable Court of Parliament, at this time most happily assembled. Plainly proved by Scripture, rectifide reason, and the Testimonie of the Church, some hundreds of yeares after the Apostles time, and the ge∣nerall consent of the Churches rightly reformed in these latter times, contrary to the Romish, and our Archiepiscopall Government.
Printed at London 1642.
To the supposed Governours of the Church of ENGLAND, the Archbishops, Lord Bishops, Arch-deacons, and the rest of that order.
MAny, and most evident have our declarations beene concerning the truth of that government, which Christ hath prescribed in his word for the ruling of the Church; which we have manifested unto you, both by our writings and speeches, as occasion hath beene offered: never hath any one of you taken in hand to say any thing against it, but it hath made his eyes to dazle, as the clearest sunne-shining; whereby hee hath beene driven to wander hither and thither, groping for evasions, and yet could not escape, but hath fallen into infinite most monstrous absurdities, and blasphe∣mous assertions, (as by their writings yet extant it may appeare) so forcible is the truth, to amaze the gaine-sayers thereof, and so preg∣nant is falshood to beget and bring forth thousands of absurdities, and every one worse then other. And will you still continue in your damnable▪ and most devillish course? Have you sold your selves unto Sathan, to fight for him untill you be damned in Hell with him? Have you morgaged the salvation of your soules and bodies, for the present fruition of your pomp and pleasure? is it because you see not what you should doe? It may be so, for many are so blinde, that they grope even at noone day; but mee thinks it can hardly be so, unlesse you be they that have eyes and see not, for the cause hath beene (by the blessing of God) so managed, that many ploughmen▪ artificers, and children doe see it, and know it, and are able by the word of God to ju•tifie it, and condemne you to be adversaries unto the Gospell in resisting it. But you think that government not so needfull, and your fault but small (if it be any) in continuing your course begun. The necessity of the thing is many wayes apparant, b•th in th•t it h•th so plentifull warrant from Gods owne word, (as the course of this Book doth evident∣ly declare▪) and also in that the Gospell can take no root, nor have Page [unnumbered] any free passage, for want of it: and the greatnesse of your fault appeareth •y this, that in so doing, you are the cause, of all the ig∣noran•e, Atheisme, schismes, treasons, poperie, and ungodlinesse, that is to be found in this Land, which we challenge to prove to your faces, if wee may ind•fferently be heard, and whereof in the meane wh•le we will give you a taste: for the first it is cleare, that you are the cau••r, of that damnable ignorance, wherein the people are so generally wrapped, for that you have from time to time stopped the streames of knowledge in th•se places where the Lord in mercy bestowed the same, and in stead of able and painfull Mi∣nisters, have pe••ered the Church, either with presumptuous proud persons, that are esteemed learned, and take no paines to bring the people unto the knowledge of Iesus Christ, or (which is the grea∣test •u•ber) such ignorant asses, and filthy swine, as are not wor∣thy to live in a well ordered Common wealth: and that you are the c•us• of all Atheisme, it is plaine, for one may (as in deed many doe) p•o••sse it, and you say nothing to him for it. If the most fil∣thy liver will •awne up •n you▪ and bribe your servants, you will not onely favour him, but assist him against any godly Mini•ter whatsoever: but if any that feare God, refuse to come under the least of your Popish c•remonies, he shall be molested, till his purse be empty, or else •y your tyrannous dealing, hee have made ship∣wrack of a good conscience. And are not you the cause of all Schismes, that make a h•tch-pot of true Religion and Popery, and so give some an occasion to fall into this course, and others into that? And it is as cleare, that you are so far•e the cau•e of all trea∣sons, •s without you they had not beene: for if every Church had had her govern•ent according to Christs i•stitution; our young Ge•tlemen, and Stud•nts, had not beene (f•r want of teaching and carefull oversight) mad a prey unto the seducers; and consequent∣ly to th•se pract•s•s▪ wh•ch have brought the bodies of so many unto Ty•orne, and their soules into hell; and who •ut you be the caus• of Popery, whi•est you use them so wel, let them doe what the li•t yea▪ and keepe them in office and authority under you, yea (which m•re is) give them such offices as none that 〈◊〉 Popish can execute: I speake not of the ignorance which by▪ 〈…〉 every wh•re, which (as they confe••e) 〈…〉 their devot••n, and you are the wretched father• of that 〈…〉 wh•r•by you mu•t needs •e grandfathers 〈…〉 kind of Popery. And who can (without blushing) denie 〈…〉Page [unnumbered] be the cause of all ungodlinesse, seeing your government is that which giveth leave to a man to be any thing, saving a sound Chri∣stian. For certainly it is more free in these dayes, to be a Papist,* Anabaptist of the Family of Love, yea any most wicked one what∣soever, then that which we should be; and, I could live these twen∣ty yeares, any one of these in England (yea in a Bishops house it may be) and never be much molested for it; so true is that which you are charged with, in a Dialogue lately come forth against you, (and since burned by you) that you care for nothing but the main∣tenance of your dignities, be it to the damnation of your owne soules, and infinite millions more: Enter therefore now at the last, into the serious consideration of these things: remember that one day, you must be presented before the tribunall seat of Iesus Christ, to be arraigned for all the Soules that have gone to hell (seeing you will needs be the Rulers of the Church) since the Gospe•l •irst appeared in this Land, then shall you not be excus•d with this. The Queene and Councell will have it so: nor with that; Our state cannot beare it. For it shall be sa•d unto you, why do you not in∣forme them better of my will; why taught you them not to wor∣ship with trembling and feare, and to kisse the Son lest he 〈◊〉 angry; why did you not tell them, that all States must be rul•d 〈◊〉 my Word, and not my word by them and their polic•e•. Whe• these things shall be laid to your charge, your con•ci•nces sh•ll •n•wer; that if you had done so, you should have lo•t your dig•i•ies, which you loved and sought for especially: then shall you wish, that the mountaines would fall upon you▪ and the h•l•s cover you •rom the pre•ence of the Lam•, and from the presence of h•m that 〈◊〉 up∣on the throne. And I am perswaded▪ that you are 〈◊〉 league with Hell and have made a c•venant with Death; yea, y•u doe pe•∣swade yourselves that there is no Go•, neither sh•ll 〈◊〉 be any such day of ••count; or it were 〈◊〉, that you 〈◊〉 give you 〈…〉Page [unnumbered] Disputations by, and then shal it easily appeare, who hath the Lord on his side, and who not. The Truth will prevaile in spite of your teeth, and all other adversaries unto it, (for God disdaineth to be crossed, by dust and ashes.) Therefore be not obstinate so long, as untill you be found fighters with God; but prevent his wrath, lest it break forth against you like fire that none can quench, because of the wickednesse of your Inventions. Venture your Bishopricks up∣on a Disputation, and wee will venture our Lives, take the chal∣lenge if you dare: if the Truth be on your side, you may hereby, be restored to your dignities, and be no more troubled by us: but if the Truth be against you, what shall it profit you to win the whole world▪ and afterward lose your owne soules. If you refuse still our offer, then must you needs be guilty either of this, That you know your cause will not abide the triall, or of this, That you will take no paines to confute us that keepe such a stirre in the Church. Doe not think that because you have humane Authority on your side, there∣fore you are safe; for hee, whose authority is on our side, is the greatest, to whose voice all the Devils in Hell shall stoope; much more the silly arme of sinfull flesh. Wee have sought to advance this cause of God, by humble suit to the Parliament, by supplica∣tion to your Convocation house, by writing in defence of it, and by challenging to dispute for it; seeing none of these meanes used by us have prevailed. If it come in by that meanes, wh•ch will make all your hearts to ake, blame your selves; for it must prevaile, maugre the malice of all that stand against it, or such a Iudgement must overtake this Land, as shall cause the eares that heare thereof to ti•gle, and make us a by-word to all that passe by us. The Lord open your eyes, that you may see the confusions whereof you are the cause, and give you true Repentance, or Confound you in all your purposes that be against Him, and the regiment of his Sonne Iesus Christ. The same Lord, for the love hee beareth to his poore people, open the eyes of his Majestie, and the Honourable Coun∣cellers, that they may see your godlesse practises, and in pitie to Gods people, rid us from you, and turne away his Iudgements, which the rejecting of his holy yoke hath deserved, not punishing them that mourne for the desolation of Sion▪ with those that spoil and make havock of the Lords inheri•ance. Amen.Page [unnumbered]
To the Reader.
INfinite and unspeakable (Christian Reader) are the miseries from which Iesus Christ our Saviour hath freed us, and the benefits and blessings, wherewith in this life he beginneth, and for ever will continue to adorne us. The consideration whereof (if our thankefulnesse unto his Majestie, were any way proportionable, to that which wee endevour unto to∣wards men) should make us continually to devise, and all the dayes of our life to studie how we might shew our selves (at least in some sort) carefull to glorifie his blessed name, above all things that we desire, by how much as his love towards us, excelleth whatsoever can e•se (accor∣ding to our wish) befall unto us: but if we doe with equall ballance (on the other side) looke into the course of mans life▪ how well this dutie is performed, we shall see, that men declare themselves rather bent to spit in his face, and to defie him, then any way to honour him as their head and Soveraigne: for (to say nothing of the prophane life, and godlesse conversation, wherewith the generall number, that professeth Iesus Christ, is wholly defiled) we see that many Nations▪ people and languages are very willing to receive Iesus Christ as the•r Priest to sacrifice for their sinnes, but that he should become their King, to pre∣scribe lawes unto them, whereby they may be ruled, is of all other things the most unsavoury, yea (if it be offered) the most grievous tidings▪ and unreasonable request: wherein, albeit many Nations that have renounced that where of Rome, are heynously sinfull against his glo∣rious Majestie, yet is there none in the whole world so farre out of square as England, in reteyning that popish Hierarchie, first coyned in the midst of the mistery of iniquity, and that filthy sink of the Canon law, which was invented and patched together▪ for the confirming and increa∣sing of the kingdome of Antichrist· Wherein as great indignity is offered unto Iesus Christ, in committing his Church unto the government of the same, as can be▪ by meane unde•lings unto a King; in committing his beloved Spouse unto the direction of the mistresse of the Stewes, and Page [unnumbered] enforcing her to live after the orders of a brothel-house. For the re∣formation whereof while some have w•itten, and others according to their Callings, c••efully st•od▪ how heinously it hath beene taken, how har•ly they have beene used, and what •hamefull reproches have beene off•red (even unto the course of the Gospell) for spite that hath been ••rne unto Ref••mation▪ almost by all estates and degrees, lamentable ex•••i•nce ••th ta•g•• many •f us· but our posterity shall know it more p••ticularly, and the Church th•oughout the world shall discerne and •udge of it more evidently, when their bodyes are rotten in the dust, and their •en•es (if they repe•t not) in eternall and intollerable tor∣ments; who have re•ected a request so holy, profitable, and reasonable; yea, and handled the intreaters for the same so cruelly, unchristianly, and unlawfully: but th•y would gladly perswade themselves (if their conscience would let them) that they have onely executed justice upon us as malefactours, and they perswade men that we desire a thing, not warr•nted by the Word, not heard of in the Church of God, untill within this few yeares, nor tollerable in any Christian Common-weale whatsoever: The which monstrous slanders, albeit they have beene ma∣ny wayes, and by many men of most worthy gifts detected, and made knowne in those severall bookes that have beene published concerning the same: 〈◊〉 have I thought it necessary (in another course) to write also of it. The course of my enterprise, is first in respect of the favou∣rers of the desired reformation; Secondly of the adversaries of the same; the favourers of it are also of two sorts; ministers of the Word, and private persons, and both I hope, may have profit by it. Concerning the former▪ when these wofull troubles that were renewed upon us (by that wretched su•scription, that was every where urged) and begin to incre••e, • thought it meete to bet•ke my selfe unto that which I had read or might any way by study find out, concerning the cause, and col∣lected all into a briefe summe, and referred every thing unto some head; whi•h being ever present with me, might furnish me to answer in the defence of the truth, th•ugh it were of a sudden, by which (through the bl•ssing of God. I found such profit in my severall troubles, that I thought it a course not altogether unprofitable for others also, and upon that occasion betooke my sel•e unto a more seri•us medita∣ion about the matter, and communicating the thing with divers very worthy men, I f•und encouragement and heartening on, generally by 〈◊〉 whom I made acquainted th•rewith: so that I trust the iudge∣ments▪ yea and 〈◊〉 al•o of others, so •••ping with mine) many Mi∣n•st•rs that love the cause, and have not throughly studied it as were Page [unnumbered] meete they should, may reape some profit thereby. Now concerning pri∣vate men that love the cause, some have great affaires in hand, and have no leasure to reade the severall bookes of this argument: some when they reade, are not of sufficient capacitie to conceive the force of a reason, or to make use of it, to enforme themselves in the grounded knowledge of the cause thereby: some (which is the generall fault of our religious Gentlemen) will take no paines to reade, some are poore and not able to buy the bookes which might let them see the cause, all these (I hope) may find helpe in some measure hereby. Now concer∣ning the Adversaries unto the cause, they are of two sorts also, they that know is, and they that are ignorant of it: the former, if they write any thing against it▪ are contented to deale in so roving a course as may rather arise unto great volumes, then soun•ly to say any thing against the cause: Wherein D. Whith•ft, but especially D. Bridges, have given us an evident example: and these with others of their judgement (though none in these latter dayes, have written more un∣learnedly then they, of any argument of divinity whatsoever) are con∣tented to make the world believe (if men will be so wilfully seduced) that our arguments be no arguments, that they be grounded upon false foundations, and that we are not able to conclude our cause in any forme of reasoning The course that is here taken (I trust) shall shew that they are liars. The other sort of Adversaries be they that be meer∣ly ignorant of any thing, either for it or against it; and perswading themselves that the sway and shew of the world must needs carry the truth with it, doe (like blind bayards) boldly venture to say any thing against it, and thinke they, doe well. Now of all these sorts of people, I have to request something; I hope I shall obtaine my request (at the le•st) at the hands of some of them. The first sort of favourers (which be the Ministers) I intreat, that as they tender the glory of God, and honour of the cause which they stand in; so they would diligently imploy themselves in this, that they may be found able to defend the same by sound and evident grounds out of the Word, and so much the rather, for that the Adversaries doe greatly triumph, when they meet with one that professeth the cause, and is not able to defend it, and confute the gainsayers of it. The second sort of favourers, be the private per∣sons that l•ve the cause, whom J beseech to be carefull (as of all other points of religion) of this, that they grow in the knowledge of the Word of God, whereby they may be able▪ upon their owne knowledge to defend the truth, and not give the enemy any occasion to thinke or say, that they be of that mind, because such and such Ministers, whom they doe affect, Page [unnumbered] doe think• so. Now concerning the former sort of Adversa∣ries, to wit, they that know it, J pray them to looke into their owne hearts, and they shall find they mislike it; either because it correcteth their excessive pompe and maintenance, or requireth more travaile in their ministerie, then they are willing to undergoe, or at the least, con∣trolleth that dissol••enesse of behaviour, wherein they willingly wal∣low: and if it would please God to bring them to a serious meditation of this, that it is the will of the mighty God (before whom they must be called to give an account) which they doe resist, they would (I doubt not) more carefully looke about them. And lastly for them that being ignorant of the cause, speake evil• of that they know not, let them (if they will be admonished) vouchsafe to reade this little Booke, and weigh the reasons with an upright judgement, which shall cause them (at the least) to suspend their sha•pe censures, which so usually appeare i• their ordinary communication: and concerning us all, let us know (for one day we shall be sure to feele it) that the controversie is not about Goats w•ell (as the Proverb saith) nei∣ther light and •••fling matters▪ which may safely bee followed or re•ected (as indeed the enemies of this cause doe confidently affirme) but about no lesse matter then this, whether Jesus Christ shall be King or no; for if none is said to bee a King, but he that ruleth by the Scep∣ter of his lawes, then the turning out of these orders which Christ hath prescribed in his Word, for the ruling of the Church, is to give him the tytle, and deny him the authority belonging to the same, and so (in truth) to make him an Idol, making him to carry a shew of that which he is not, and (with the crucifiers of him) to put a Reede in his hand, in stead of his Jron rod; and crowning him with thornes, in stead of the Crowne of greatest glory; which is the cause that so many A∣theists spit in his face, and so many godlesse persons, doe make but a jest of him: but when hee commeth to shew himselfe in his glorious Ma∣jestie, it shall be said unto all these sorts of Adversaries, Those mine enemies which would not that I should raigne over them, bring hither, and •lea them before me, Luke 19.27. The which fearefull sentence, that wee may avoid, let every one of us (as may stand with our severall Callings) carefully endevour, to advance this kingdome here, which (among other assurances given us from the Lord) shall be a testimonie unto us, that we shall have part in that glory, which shall be revealed hereafter. Now concerning the order of this Booke; to direct thee (good Reader) unto thy further instruction, in the points thereof, Thou hast in every Chapter, divers proofes out of the holy Page [unnumbered] word of God, which must be the things wherewith thou mayest safely informe thy conscience: then shalt thou find also arguments drawne from reason rightly ruled by the same Word: and lastly, (because our Adversaries charge us, that we desire a thing not knowne unto the old Writers, nor agreed upon among the new) thou hast here the witnesse of them both in so plentifull and uniforme wise, as may plainely declare, that all godly learned men of all times, have given testimony unto the truth of it. If thou be satisfied therewith, give God the glory, and promote the cause by prayer, and all other good meanes that thy Calling may afford: and pray for us, that we may never shrinke, nor be overthrowne by the strength of them that fight against it.
The true Government of the Church according to Christs first Institution, and the pre∣sent practices of the Refor∣med Churches.
CHAP. I. The generall Proposition.
THat the word of God describeth perfectly unto us, tha• forme of Governing the Church which is lawfull, and the Officers that are to execute the same; from the which 〈◊〉 Christian Church ought to swerve. Admonition in the Preface. Ecclesiasticall Discip. fol. 5. Tho. Cartwrights first booke, page 26. Discourse of Government, page 1. &c.
The Assertion of the Bishops and their adherents.
THe Word of God describeth not any exact forme of Disci∣pline, neither are the Offices or Officers, namely, and particu∣larly expressed in the Scriptures, but in some points left to the dis∣cretion and libertie of the Church. Whitgift in praeface, and page •4. answer to the Abstract, page 33.
The proofe of the former is the disproofe of the latter, which is thus declared.
1. These things write I unto thee, &c. out of which place I reason thus. That end which Paul respected in writing unto Timothy,* doth the holy Ghost direct all ministers unto for ever; for it must be kept, 1. Ti• 6.14▪ But hee wrote to direct him in the establishing •nd building of the Church. Therefore that Word must direct Ministers for ever: and consequently they neither may adde to, nor take from it, but Governe it onely by the rules that be there prescribed.
2. Every house ought to be ruled by the orders of the skilfull, wise, and carefull housholders onely: But the Church is the House of God, and God is such a Housholder: Therfore the Church ought to be ruled by the Orders of God onely, which are no where to be had, but in his Word.
Page 23. That which teacheth every good way, teacheth also how th• Church must be Governed: But the Word of God teacheth every good way,*Pro. 2.9. Therefore it teacheth how the Church must be Governed.
4. We cannot glorifie God, but by obedience to his Word; in all that we doe,* we m•st glorifie God, 1 Cor. 10.31. Therefore in all that we doe, there must bee obedience to the Word; and conse∣quently in governing his Church.
5. If meat and drinke be not sanctified unto us, but by the Word and Prayer, then much lesse is any thing holy which is done in the Government of the Church besides the Word: But the former is true by the testimonie of the Apostle,* 1 Tim 4.5. Therefore the lat∣ter must be true also.
*6. All lawfull things are of Faith, Rom. 14.23. All lawfull things that are of Faith, have a warrant from the Word; for the Word is the foundation of Faith: Therefore all things lawfull, have their warrant from the Word▪ and consequently every law∣full action in the Government of the Church.
7. Either hath God left a prescript forme of Government for the Church, under the New Testament, or he is lesse carefull for it now, then he was under the Law▪ for his care is in Guiding it: But he is as carefull now for his Church as he was then: Therefore hath he left a prescript forme to Governe it.
8. He that was as faithf•ll as Moses, left as cleere instruction, both for the building of Faith, and Government of the Church, as Moses did:* But Christ was as faithfull in Gods h•use, Heb▪ 3.2. Therefore he left as cleare instruction for them both as Moses: but Moses gave direction even for every particula•, •s appeareth in the building of the Tabernacle, and order of the Priesthood: There∣fore hath Christ also given particular direction for the Government of the Church.
9. If the Word of God have described sufficient Ministers and ministeries, for the building of the Church, and keeping it in good order,* then is our assertion true: But it hath set downe sufficient for Doctrine, Exhortation, Overseeing, Distributing, and ordering of every particular Church or generall Synode: Therefore is our Assertion true.
10. That Government which the Apostles taught and planted, is expressed it the Word of God: But the Apostles taught and plan∣ted, Pastours and Teachers for Instruction; Elders for Over-sight, Page 3 and Deacons to distribute, and that uniformly in every Church, as appeareth by their writings and practises: Therefore a certaine forme of Government is expressed in the Word.
11. Every lawfull offi•• and action in the building of the Church, is from Heaven, Matth. 21.25, 26.* Every thing that is (in the or∣dinarie building) from Heaven, is revealed in the Word: Therefore every lawfull office and action is revealed in the Word.
12. If God continued (in regard of the substance) the Church administration, as well as the things to bee administred, then as the forme of Discipline described in the Word: But the former is true, as appeareth by the particular•; for Priests, Pastours; for Teach∣ing Levites, or Doctors of the Law, Teachers; for Rulers of the Synagogue, Elders; for Leviticall lookers to the Treasurie, Dea∣cons; for the Sanedrim, the Eldership: Therefore the forme of Go∣vernment is prescribed in the Word.
13. Every wise King that is carefull for his Subjects, setteth down Lawes for the Government of the same, and will have th•m tyed to no other: But Christ is such a King unto his Ch•rch: Therefore hath he prescribed Lawes unto hi• Church, which none therein can alter or disobey; and cons•quently, the certaine forme of Government of the Church is described in the Word.
14. That which the Ministers must teach the People to observe, is set downe in the Word of God, for they may teach nothing but that which is there, Matth. 28.20. But they are to teach them to observe,* and be obedient unto the particular forme of the Church Government: Therefore the particular forme is set downe in the Word.
15. Every Government consisteth in the Governours matter whereabout they are to be imployed, and ma•ner of doing it: But in the Word are described all these particulars▪ as it is sh•wed in the 9. reason: Therefore the Word prescribeth a prescript forme of Government.
16. The Christian Religion shall f••d, that out of this Scripture,* Rules of all Doctrine have sprung, and that from hence doth sp•ing, and hither doth returne, whatsoever the Ecclesiasticall Discipline doth containe.
17. We may not give ourselves the liberty to bring in any thing that other men bring of their will;* we have the Apostles for Au∣thours, which themselves brought nothing of their own will, but the Discipline which they received of Christ, they delivered faith∣fully to the people.
*Therefore if Timothie was written unto, that he might be dire∣cted by the Word, in disposing of the Churches; if the Lawes of God onely being the Housholder, must be followed in the Church, his House; if the Word of God teach us in every good way, where∣of the Government of the Church is one; if God must be glorified in the ruling of his Church, which cannot be, but by obedience to his Word; if nothing be lawfull, but that wh•ch is of Faith, war∣ranted by the Word; if God have shewed himselfe as carefull for his Church under the Gospell, as under the Law; if Christ was as faithfull to give direction as Moses, if in the Word be described sufficient Ministers and Ministeries, to build up the Church; if that Government, which the Apostles taught and pract•sed, be in the Word; if every lawfull office and action in an ordinary building, be from Heaven, and revealed thence by the Word; if God conti∣nued the same forme (in respect of the substance) in the time of the Gospel, that was under the Law; if every wise carefull King, doe set downe Lawes for the direction of his Subjects; If the Apostles have taught us to obey that which Christ commanded; if both the Governours matter of Government, and manner of doing it, be set downe in the Word; if all that pertaineth to Ecclesiasticall Disci∣pline, spring from the Scriptures; if wee may bring nothing into the Discipline of the Church, but that which the Apostles have de∣livered us; lastly, if that be Adulterous and Sacrilegious, that is not according to the Word: then it must needs follow, that God doth describe perfectly unto us out of his Word, that forme of Go∣vernment which is Lawfull, and the Officers that are to execute the same: from the which it is not lawfull for any Christian Church to sw•rve. And contrariwise, that is a most untrue assertion to say. That the Officers and offi•es are not particularly expressed, but left to the discretion of the Church. The reasons that they alleadge against this, are in effect •one, and their objections to these reasons, not worthy to be mentioned.
EVery Officer in the Church, must be placed in some Calling warranted by the word of God, and some Congregation must have need of such a one, before hee be called to any Function. Wherein are these Propositions.
1 No Calling is lawfull in the Church, but that which is di∣rectly warranted out of the Word, unto him that executeth it.*
The Bishops and their adherents think otherwise, as their pra∣ctise in ordaining Archbishops, Lord Bishops, Deanes, Archdea∣cons, Chancellors, Officialls, &c. doth plainly declare.
2 The name and office of an Archbishop is contrary to the Word of God.*
3 No man may be ordained unto any Office in the Church, un∣till there be such a place void as he is fit for: T.C. 1 book, page 61.
They think otherwise, as their making of so many Ministers at once proveth, and as is holden, Whitgift page 222.
1 The first is proved thus: If Iohn was constrained to prove his Minister•• out of the Scriptures when the Priests accused him;* then is no Calling lawfull, that hath not his warrant in the Word, for if any be priviledged, the extraordinary Ministers (whereof he was one) are specially excepted▪ But hee proved his Ministery by the Word, as appeareth by his answer unto them▪ in the 23 verse. Ther∣fore no Calling is lawfull in th• Church, that hath not his wa•rant in the Word.
2 The Callings under the Gospell must have as good warrant as they had under the Law, because the light of the Gospell is (at the least) as cleare as that of the Law: But there was never any lawfull Calling under the Law (excepting those that were by mi∣raculous manner confirmed from heaven) which had not his direct warrant out of the Word. Therefore no Calling is lawfull in the Church, which is not directly warranted in the Word.
3 If Corah, Dathan,* and Abiram (though they were Levites) were punished for that they had no warrant for that which they presumed to take in hand, then is every lawfull Calling, both in generall warranted out of the Word, and particularly layd upon the parties from the Lord: But the former is true, as the Historie teacheth us: Therefore must the latter needs be true also.
Page 64 That which giveth comfort unto a man in the time of his troubles, must have a warrant out of Gods word: But every law∣full Calling giveth comfort unto a man to the time of his troubles: Therfore every lawfull Calling hath a warrant out of Gods word.
5 That which helpeth Gods people forward in god•ines, must have a warrant out of Gods word: for God hath promised a bles∣sing to his owne ordinance onely: But every lawfull calling in the Church, helpeth Gods people forward in godlinesse: Therefore every lawfull Calling hath a warrant out of Gods word.
Therefore if John did prove his calling out of the Scriptures; if every calling under the Law,* was warranted out of the Scrip∣tures; if Corath, &c. were punished for enterprising that which they had no warrant for, out of the Scriptures, if comfort in trou∣bles commeth onely from the Scriptures; and lastly, if every h•lp to godlinesse is warranted in the Scriptures; then, &c.
They confesse all these reasons to be true; but doe denie that the Archbishops, L. Bishops, &c. be distinct Ministers from others. Whitgift page 303. which we hold, T. C. 2. book page 438. and prove it thus.
1 Those things that have divers efficient causes, are divers: Our Bishops and the Ministers of the Word have divers efficient cau∣ses, for the one is the Ordinance of God, the other the Constitution of humane Policie, as themselves doe confesse: Therefore they are distinct Ministers from others.
2 A divers Forme maketh divers things: the Ministers of the Word, and the L. Bishops have divers formes: for their Ordination (even in the Church of England) is divers, seeing one L. Bishop may ordaine a Minister: But there must be three to ordaine one of them: Therefore they are distinct Ministers.
3 Members of one division are distinct one from another: the L. Bishops and ordinary Ministers be members of one division: for usually the Minist•rs be divided into the Rulers, and them that are to be ruled: Therefore they are distinct Ministers.
4 The things that have divers effects, are divers in themselves one from another: the L. Bishops and other Ministers have divers effects; for the one effecteth Rule and Government, the other Sub∣jection and obedience: Therefore they are divers and distinct Mi∣nisters.
5 They that be imployed about divers things are divers one from another: The L. Bishops and the ordinary Ministers, be im∣ployed Page 7 about divers things; for the one is exercised in generall view of many Congregations, and the other in the particular direction of one: Therefore they be distinct Ministers.
6 That which is perpetuall, and that which may be taken away by men, are distinct one from another: The office of the Minister is perpetuall, Ephes. 4.13. and the Bishops may be taken away as themselves confesse: Therefore they are divers, & distinct Ministers.
Therefore if the Ministers of the Word,* and L. Bishops proceed from divers causes; if they have their Being by divers formes; if they be members of one division, which (in nature) cannot be one; if they produce divers effects; if they be exercised about divers sub∣jects: lastly, if the one be perpetuall, and the other but for a time, then must it needs follow, that they are divers and distinct Mini∣sters one from another.
The name of an Archbishop, and also the office that he executeth,* is contrary to the word of God.
First, the reasons that prove it unlawfull to give the name unto any man in the Church, are these.
1 No man may have the name given him, which is prope• to our Saviour Iesus Christ: But the name of Archbishop is proper unto our Saviour Iesus Christ, as appeareth in the places quoted: Therefore no man may have the name of Archb. given unto him.
2 If the name Pope be therefore odiou•, because of that Anti∣christ, who is intituled therwith, then must also the name of Archb. when it is ascribed unto any mortall man; forsomuch as it is the ti∣tle of a speciall member of that Kingdome of Antichrist: But the former is true even by their owne confession. Whitgift page 300. Therefore must the latter be true also.
But they object divers things against this,* for the proving of the name Archb. to be lawfully given unto some men, which to∣gether with their answers doe brief•y follow.
1 Objection. Clemens alloweth of those names, as Polydor re∣porteth, lib. 4. cap. 12.
Answer. Polydor is but the reporter, and M▪ •ewell hath proved evidently against Harding that Clemens is counterfeit, and worthy of no credit.
2 Objection. Erasmus saith, that Titus was an Archbishop.
Answer. He spake as the times were wherein hee lived: but that proveth not that he held him one indeed, no more then our naming of the Archbishop of Canterbury when wee speake of him, Page 8 proveth that we like and allow his Authority.
3 Objection. Anacletus saith, that James was the first Arch∣bishop of Ierusalem.
Answer. Hee is forged (as our Answers to the Papists have shewed) but a witnesse of better credit calleth him onely a Bishop, Euseb. lib. 2. cap. 23. and Simon Bishop after him, lib. 3. cap. 22. And Iraeneus saith, lib. 4 cap 63. That the Apostles ordained Bishops every where, making no mention of Archb.
4 Objection. The Councell of Nice, Canon 6. mentioneth a Me∣tropolitan Bishop.
Answer. That proveth nothing, for it was onely as much as to say, the Bishop of the chiefe Citie.
Secondly, the reasons that prove the Office of the Archb. unlaw∣full be these.*
1 Every Ministery that is lawfull, must be of God: The office of the Archb. is not of God, for that •ee is not 〈◊〉 i• he Word, and themselves confesse that hee is of humane policie: Therefore the Office of the Archb. is unlawfull.
2 That Ministery whose originall is unknowne, hath no war∣rant from Gods word, and consequently is unlawfull. The origi∣nall of the Archb. is unknown as they confesse; Whitgift page 351. Therefore it is unlawfull.
3 That Office which is needlesse in the Church, is also unlaw∣full to be exercised in the same: The Office of the Archb. is need∣lesse, for the Ministery is perfect without it, as the Apostle proveth, Ephes. 4.13. Therefore the Office of an Archb. is unlawfull.
4 If all the gifts needfull for the perfecting of the Church, be appropriated unto other M•nisteries, then is his Ministery unlaw∣full: But all the needfull gifts, are appropriated unto P•stors, Do∣ctors, Elders and Deacons, whereof he is none: Therefore his Of∣fice is unlawfull.
5 That Office is unlawfull, which none may lawfully give: But none may lawfully bestow the Office of an Archbishop, because none can give any new gifts to adorne him withall: Therefore his Office is unlawfull.
This reason being used of all sound Divines against the Pope, is of the same value against the Archb.
6 If the Office of an Archb. be lawfull, then it is either in re∣spect of his excellencie above other men, or the place whereof hee is above other places: But neither of these have ever beene, neither Page 9 hereafter can be: Therefore that Office is unlawfull.
Therefore if the Office of the Archb. be not of God;* if the ori∣ginall of it be unknowne; if in the Church it be needlesse; if all the gifts that God hath bestowed upon his Ministery be appropria∣ted unto those Church Officers, whereof he is none; if none may lawfully bestow such an Office upon any; if it can neither be inci∣dent unto any one man for his excellencie, nor his place for prehe∣minence, then must it needs follow, that his Office is unlawfull.
Calvin in his Instit. book 4 cap 11. sect▪ 7. alleadgeth divers rea∣sons to this purpose, and Beza in his book of Divorcements, stret∣cheth the same to all the inferiour Officers under him, saying: Of∣ficials, Proctors, Promotours, and all that swinish filth, now of long time •ath wasted the Church. So doth Peter Martyr upon the Rom. 13. speaking against civill Iurisdiction in Bishops, doth by the same reasons condemne it in their subst•tutes.
But this being the corner stone of their building, they labour to support it with many prop•, the most speciall whereof are these.
1 Ob•ection. Cyprian saith▪ lib. 1. Epist. 3. ad Cornelium, Neither have •aresies and Schismes risen of any other occasion, then of that,*that the Pri•st of God is not obeyed neither one Priest for the time, and one Judge for the time in the stead of Ch•ist thought upon, to whom if the whole Brotherhood would be obedient according to Gods teaching, no man would move any thing against the Colledge of Priests.
Answer. This place is alleaged for the Pope, and the answer that M. Jewell and others make to it, serveth our turne: onely let this be noted, that Cyprian speaketh of the people at Rome, that had re∣ceived another Bishop (besides Cornelius) who was an haeretick; for all the course of his writing•, condemneth this Superiority. It is expounded by M. Jewel, booke 1. sect 4. division 5. of every Bishop: and so it is by M. Nowell against Dorman, booke 1. page 25. and also by M. Fox. tom 1. fol 93. See T. C. in his 1. reply, page 98. &c.
2 Ob•ection The Authority of the Archb. preserveth unity.
Answer Cyprian lib. 4. Epist 9. saith▪ that un•ty is reserved by the agreement of Bishops, that is of Ministers, one with another.
3 Objection. It compoundeth Controversies, that else would grow to many •eads without any speciall remedy.
Answer. Cyprian lib. 1. Epist 13. saith, that the plentifull body and company of Elders▪ are (as it were) the glew of mutuall con∣cord, that if any of our company be Author of Haeresie, the rest should help.
Page 104. Objection. Ierome upon Tit. 1. saith that in the beginning a Bishop and Priest (meaning a teaching Elder) were all one: but when men began to say, I am of Paul, I am of Apollo, &c. It was de∣creed that one should be chosen to beare rule over the rest.
Answer. From the beginning it was not so: the saying of Tertul. Contra Prax. is fit for this: That is true whatsoever is first, and that is false whatsoever is latter: and Ierome saith in the place alled∣ged, that this Authority is by custome, and not by any Institution of God; if it had beene the best way to take away divisions, the A∣postles (in whose times the controversies did arise) would have taken the same order.
5. Objection. Calvin saith that the Apostles had one among them to governe the rest.
Answ. That was not in Superioritie, but for Order, to propound the matters, gather the voyces, and such like; which •s meete to be in every well ordered meeting: but his Authority is no more over the rest, then the Speaker in the Parliament hath over the other Knights and Burgesses.
6. Ob•ect. Paul was Superiour to Tim•thy and Titus.
Answ. Paul and they had divers Offices, whereof the Apostles Office was the chiefe, the like is to be said of Timothy and Titus, having Superiority over the other Ministers, for that they were Evangelists, a degree above ordinarie Ministers.
*Ther•fore if the place alledged out of Cyprian, make nothing for Archb. if unity be not preserved by him, but by the Bishops a∣mong themselves; if his Authority make nothing to the taking away of Controversies; if it be meerely invented by man, and not from the beginning; if it bee by Custome, and not by any Ordi∣nance of God; if neither one Apostle over the rest, nor any of them over the Evangelists, nor of the Evangelists over the Pastours and Teachers, will serve to prove their Authority: then must it needs follow, that it is utterly unlawfull.
*No man may be Ordained unto any Office in the Church, untill there be such a place voyd as he is fit for, T.C. booke 1, page 61. Whitgift, page 222.
1. As was the 12. place for Matthias, so is a certaine Church, to every Church officer: But Matthias was not ordained unto the place of an Apostle,* untill Judas by hanging himselfe, had made it void, Act. 1.20. Therefore may none be ordained unto any Office in the Church▪ before the place where he may be imployed, be de∣stitute of such a one.
Page 112. As the Apostles did in planting of the Churches, so must it be done in the building thereof for ever: But they Ordained neither Pastour, Teacher, Elder or Deacon, but to some certaine Church that had need thereof: Therefore may none be ordained unto any Office, untill a place be void that hath need of him.
3. Those things that be of one beginning, continuance and end∣ing, cannot be one, before or after another: But a Minister, and the execution of his Ministry in a lawfull standing be so; for they bee Relatives, and have reference one unto the other: Therefore a Mi∣nister ought not be ordained before there be a Ministery whereunto he is to be allotted.
4. If none ought to be called to be a Shepheard, that hath no flock of Sheepe to keepe: neither any Watchman, that is not allotted to some place to watch: then may none be Ordained to any Office, before there be a place void for him: for Ministers are in this sence tearmed shepheards and Watchmen: But the former is true, as eve∣ry simple man can easily perceive: Therefore the latter is true also.
5. To doe contrary to the precepts and practize of the Apostles is unlawfull: But to ordaine any officer, without a certaine place wherein he may be imployed, is contrary to the precepts and pra∣ctize of the Apostles, as it appeareth, Tit. 1.5. Act. 14.23. Therefore to ordaine any officer of the Church, without a certaine place whereunto he is to be allotted, is unlawfull.
6. It was ordained that no Elder, Deacon,* or any other Eccle∣siasticall officer, should be ordained a Apolelymen•s, that is loose∣ly, or let at randone (but a• afterward is expounded) specially in a Church of Citie or Towne,
7. The ordination that is made without a title, let it bee void:* and in what Church one is intituled, let him there remaine.
8. He complaineth that ministers were ordained, being chosen by no Church, and so went here and there, h•ving no certaine place.
9. That action, which never is read to be practized, but by Ido∣laters, is unlawfull: To have wandring officers, is onely •ound to be in idolaters, as appeareth, Iudg. 17.8. Therefore it is unlawfull.
Therefore, if the Apostles ordained not Matthias▪ untill the place was void; if in planting of Churches,* they ever alotted Officers to their proper places; If Minister and ministery be of one begin∣ning, continuance and ending; If it be with a Minister, and his mi∣nistery, as with a Shepheard and his flocke, that he cannot bee the one, but in respect of having the other; If it be unlawfull to trans∣gresse Page 12 the precepts and practice of the Apostles; If no Minister in the Church, be ordained at randone; If the ordination that is with∣out a title be voyd; If Jerome complained of it, as a great fault in his time; If no example be found of it, but in Idolaters: then must it needs follow, that to ordaine any Church officer, untill there be such a place void as he is fit for, is utterly unlawfull: and so the Bb. making of many Ministers at once, and licencing of wandring Preachers, is contrary to the word of God.
*They will have something to say for every action they doe, be it never so shamefull: That which they alledge for this, is, that Paul and Barnabas did wander.
*The Apostles office (and so the Evangelists as assistants unto them) was to preach the Word, and plant Churches in every part of the world: but the order that they left, is a president for us, which is that every Church have their proper Officers, and that there bee no other elsewhere to be found.
*EVery Church-officer ought to execute the office committed un∣to him▪ with all faith•ull diligence, and consequently be con∣tinually resident upon his charge, T.C. book 1. page 65.
They deny not the proposition, but the consequent that is in∣ferred upon it,* as appeareth by their writings, Whitgift page 246. and by their daily practice in giving dispensations for many Bene∣fices. The reasons we alledge to prove the necessitie of perpetuall residence, and the unlawfulnesse of nonresidence be these that fol∣low.
1. A Shepheard hath a flocke to the end to feed it continually: The Minister is a shepheard, and his charge a flocke: Therefore he ought to feed it continually, and consequently to bee perpetually resident, for how can he feed them from whom he is absent?
2. Where God doth place any man, there his continuall travaile is needfull, for God is most wise in disposing every thing: But God placeth every right Minister over that people, which is his charge: Therefore his continuall travaile is needfull there, and consequent∣ly he may not discontinue.
3. Flockes that are in danger, are (by carefull Shepheards) watched night and day, Luke 2.8. Every Congregation is a flock in danger, for the enemy goeth about like a roaring Lyon, •Pet. 5.8. and soweth tares whilest men sleepe, Matth. 13.25. Therefore Page 13 every congregation is to be watched night and day by the Mini∣ster thereof, and consequently he may not be non-resident.
4 If his duty to them requireth so much travaile, as may con∣tinu•lly set him on work, then may he not be non-resident: But it is evident (that it doth so) to all them that either know by the word of God, what study, prayer, doctrine, exhortation, &c, be re∣quired of him, or maketh any conscience of giving account for the souls committed to their charge: Therefore may not they be non-resident.
5 If the Minister cannot apply himselfe fruitfully, to the capaci∣ty of his people, unlesse he have particular knowledge of their dis∣position, and capacity, th•• is it not lawfull for him to be non-re∣sident: for by continuall residence among them, hee may know them and not else: But the former is true, as the small knowledge that the people get by generall teaching, doth evidently declare: Therefore it is not lawfull for him to be non-resident.
6 If the Ministers of the Gospell, be as narrowly tyed to their charges, as the Priests under the law, then may they not be non-re∣sident: For they were alwayes ready in the Temple, to answer the doubts, 1 Sam. 1.9: But it is cleare that they are, because men are now as hardly trayned unto godlines, and the enemie is as wrath∣full as he was then: Therefore they may not be non-resident.
7 If the Minister must be an example to his people; then must he be daily present with them, that they may behold him: But the former is true, 1 Tim. 4 12. Therefore is the latter true also.
8 He whom the sheep are to follow in and out, •nd must know by the voyce, ought to be continually among them: A good Mini∣ster of the word is such a one, John 10.4. Therefore he must be re∣sident among them.
9 None can be alwayes •eady to feed his flock, that is absent from it: Every Minister must be alwayes ready to feed his flock, because it dependeth upon him. 1 Pet. 5.2. Therefore every Mini∣ster is to be resident with his flock.
10 He that must take heed to his flock, watch over it, and feed it, must be resident continually with it: Every Mini•ter must doe so▪ Act. 20 28. Therefore &c.
11 If Satan be the cause of non-residence, then is it utterly un∣lawfull: But Satan is the cause of it, 1 Thes. 2.17.18. Therefore it is utterly u•lawfull.
12 That which abridgeth the love of God to his people, and Page 24 comfort to the Minister, that same is unlawfull: But not to be re∣sident doth both: Therefore it is unlawfull.
13 That which hindreth the loving familiarity that should be betwixt the Minister and his people, that same is unlawfull: But non-residence doth so, for it maketh them strange one to another, and argueth small love in him towards them: Therefore it is un∣lawfull.
14 To be absent from them that have interest in us, and conti∣nuall need of us, is unlawfull, which wee can see to be true in our servants, &c: But the congregation hath an interest in the Mini∣ster, and continuall need of him: Therefore it is unlawfull for him to be absent from them.
15 If the Priests might not dwell farre from the Temple, then may not Ministers be non-resident: But the former is true, as ap∣peareth by th•s; that they had houses builded close to the Temple. 1 Chron. 28.13. Therefore the latter is true also, seeing the residence of the one is as needfull as the other, as appeareth in the sixt reason.
16 Let no Clerk be placed in two charges, for it is filthy mer∣chandise,* and no man can serve two Masters, and every one must tarry in that place whereunto he is called.
17 Damasus compareth them that set over their charges to others,* to harlots that put out their children, that they may give themselves to lust the sooner.
*18 It was ordained that none, either Bishop or Elder, should goe from Citie to Citie.
Therefore, if a Mini••er have the charge of a flock committed unto him,* to the end to feed it; if God place men, to the end to have them there imployed; if flocks in danger have need of continuall watch; if the Ministers duty to his flock requireth all that travaile that hee can performe; if hee cannot be fruitfully profitable unto them, without continuall residence; if his residence be as strictly required as theirs under the Law; if hee cannot be a patterne unto them without he be resident; if they cannot follow him, nor know him if he be absent; if he cannot be alwayes ready to feed his flock, unlesse he be there; if he cannot take heed to them, feed them, and watch over them, without his presence; if Satan be the Author of non-residencie; if his absence abridge Gods love to them, and com∣fort from himselfe; if absence be an hinderance to the loving fami∣liarity that should be betwi•t him and them; if they have interest in him, and continuall need of him; if hee may no more be absent, Page 15 then th• Priests dwell from the Temple; if the Councel of Nice did upon good grounds forbid it; if absence be like to the practise of an harlot; if it be not lawfull to goe from place to place; then is non-residence unlawfull, and the practise thereof contrary to the word of God.
The belly (for which non-residencie is defended and practised) hath no cares, therefore it is that they heare not these evident sounds; yet have they very little to say for it, so grosse is the error thereof; so much as hath any shew of reason, is here set down and answered.
1 Objection. Two Parishes may be united, why then may not one have charge of them both before, when they be two.
Answer. Because one shepheard may keepe one flock though it be great, but he cannot keepe two, being very little, and going in divers pastures; againe, one man may have so many flocks as hee can lead in and out every Sabbath, to the exercises of Religion, which is very plaine that hee cannot doe, to more then one con∣gregation.
2 Ob•ection. Parishes were divided by men, as especially by Denis the Monk, Pope of Rome.
Answer. That is untrue, for the Apostles divided the Church into congregations, and placed Elders over every one of them, as the whole course o• the Acts and Epistles of the Apostles proveth: and Whitgift confesseth page 250. Therefore these mists, notwith∣standing non-residencie, must needs be unlawfull: and certainly those that have any sparkle of conscience, feare of God, or love to their flocks, will never defend it, much lesse enter into the practise of it.
IT belongeth to the Church, to make choise of those Officers which Christ would have placed in the same: T. C. 2 booke,* 1 part, page 193. Ecclesiast. Discip. fol. 40. and Whitgift confesseth it, page 164.
They deny this, as their denying of all the arguments that bee brought for it doth prove, Whitgift page 154.166, &c. and their practise of allowing patrons, and also being such themselves doth evidently decla•e.
If the former be proved true, then the latter must return to An∣tichrist, which •s thus declared.
Page 161 That which was the continuall and constant practise of the Church in the time of the Apostles, that same is to be followed for ever, which appeareth by this, that the ordinances given from God by Paul,* 1 Tim. 6.14. are enjoyned to be kept untill Christ come to judgement: But it was the constant, and the continuall practise of the Churches, then to have a stroke in the choise of their owne ec∣clesiasticall Officers, Act. 1.26. where the Apostles presented two, to the peoples liking: whereof God was to be prayed unto, to make one an Apostle, Act. 6.3. where the Church is willed to choose their Deacons, and Act. 14 25. where they gave their consent in the choosing of their Elders, by the stretching forth of their hands: Therefore it belongeth to the Church to choose their own Church Officers.
2 If the people had an interest in the liking of their teaching Levites,* (which were of the tribe of Aaron) then much more must the people now, for there was greater likelihood, that they were sent of God, then any of the common sort of men: But the former is true, as appeareth by the manner of the setting of them aside unto that office in the law: Therefore must the latter needs be true also.
3 That which pertaineth unto all, ought to be approved of all the congregation: But every Ministery in the Church, pertaineth to all the congregation: Therefore, authority to approve of them, pertaineth to all the congregation.
4 That election which is most effectuall to bring the people to obedience, is of all other the best, and to abridge it, is unlawfull: But election by common consent, is most effectuall to bring the people to obedience; when they shall see him teach or rule, whom they themselves have chosen: Therefore election by the Church is the best, and all other kinds of elections unlawfull.
5 That election which procureth greatest reverence of the peo∣ple to their teachers and rulers is meetest, and all others unlawfull: But for the people to consent in the election of their Governours, procureth greatest reverence, in their hearts towards them: There∣fore election by the people is the best, and all others be unlawfull.
Testimonies of the ancient Writers.
*6 The Minister should be chosen (the people being present) in the eyes of all, and should be by the common judgement, and testi∣mony approved worthy and fit, &c. Therefore this is the lawfull vocation by the word of God, where those which are chosen, be appointed by the consent and approbation of the people. For which Page 17 also, he bringeth divers authorities out of the Scriptures.
7. That is truly and certainly a Divine election of a Bishop,* which is made by the whole Church.
8. Let the people have authority to choose their Clerkes and Ministers.*
9. They runne (speaking of the life of the Clerkes) to Bishops suffra•a•• certaine times of the yeare,* and bringing some summe of money, they are anoynted and ordained, being chosen of none, and afterward the Bishop without any lawfull election,* is chosen in huggermuger of the Canons, or Prebendaries onely, without the knowledge of the people.
10. In the Oration of the death of his Father,* approveth the election by the people, at large, and confuteth them that would hinder it
11. When he appointed Eradius to succeed him, faith,* it was the approved right and custome, that the whole Church should either choose o• consent unto their Bishop.
12. Anthimius choosing a Bishop without the peoples consent, filled all Armenia with sedition.*
13. Why did Peter communicate the election with the Disci∣ples? left the matter should have turned to a braule,* and have fal∣len to a contention.
Testimonies of generall Councells.
14. It is meete that you should have power, both to choose,* and to give their names that are worthy to be among the Clergie, and to doe all things absolutely according to the lawes and decrees of the Church, and if it happen any to dye in the Church, then those which were last taken, are to be promoted, to the honour of him that is dead, if they be worthy, and if the people choose them.
15. Let the people choose, and the Bishop approve, and seale up the election with them.*
16. In an Ep•stle to Damasus, Ambrose, &c. saith, wee have or∣dained Nectarius Bishop of Constantinople, &c. the whole Citie de∣creeing the same; and Flaviarus was appointed Bishop of Antioch, the whole Citie appointing him.
17. When he hath beene examined in all these and found fully instructed, then let him be ordained Bishop,* by the common con∣sent of the Clerkes and lay people.
18. Let not him be counted a Priest in the Church,* whom the Clergie, and people of that Citie where he is, doe not choose.
Page 18*19. If any Bishop after the death of his Predecessor, be chosen of any, but of the Bishops of the same Province, and of the Clergie and Citizens, let another be chosen: and if it be otherwise, let the ordination be void and of none effect.
Testimonies out of the Emperours Lawes.
*20. Following the doctrine of the holy Apostles, &c. wee or∣daine, that as oft as it shall fall out, that the Ministers place shall be void in any Citie, that voyces be given of the Inhabiters of that Citie, that he (of three which for their right faith, holinesse of life, and other things, are most approved) bee chosen to the Bi∣shopricke which is most meete o• them.
*21. Being not ignorant of the holy Canons: that the holy Church should use her honour the more freely, we assert unto the Ecclesiasticall order, that the Bishops be chosen, by the election of the Clergie and people
*22. He decreed, that he should be Bishop of Rome, whom all the people of Rome should consent to choose
*23. Lodovicke the second, commanded by h•s Letters, the Ro∣mans to choose their owne Bish•p▪ not looking for other mens voyces, which (being strangers) could not so well tell wh•t was done in the Common-wealth, where they were strangers, and that it appertained to the Citizens.
*24. Let the people (saith Otho the Emperour) choose and I will approve it.
The testimonies of the new Writers.
25. The new Writers, as Musculus, in his common places, in the t•tle of Magistrates: Bullinger upon 1 Tim. 4. Calvin. Justitut. Bo•ke 4 chap. 3. sect 15 Harmon. confes. Helvet. cap. 18. and many others are on our side in this behalfe.
26. If there be none that write against it, but •he Papi••s, and no arguments us•d against it, but those which b• borrowed out of the Popish writers, then doth it belong to th• Church to choose their owne Church officers: but the former is true, as a•l that doe reade them that write o• this argument doe know, and as is manifest, by compari•g Pighius, Hosius, &c. with Whitgift: Therefore the latter is true also.
Therefore seeing the interest of the Church in choosing of their Church officers,* is grounded upon the word of God, both in com∣mandement, and continuall practize, both in the Old and N•w Te∣stament; seeing it is warranted by the l•ght of common •eason; Page 19 seeing it is commended unto us, by the manifold practize of all an∣cient times, so long as any sinceritie remained, not onely in the time of persecution, but also o• peace; seeing it hath beene confir∣med by so many generall Councels, and ratified by the Decrees of so many Emperours; seeing it hath such a cloude of witnesses, both of ancient and latter times, of the best approved writers; seeing none doe set themselves against it, but the Papists, or they that invade it onely with the same weapons that are fetched out of the Popes Ar∣mory, it must needs follow, that it belongeth unto the Church to choose their Church officers: and that the taking away of this free∣dome, abridgeth the liberty that Christ hath endowed his Church withall, and bringeth her into great bondage, as Musculus truly affirmeth.
Their ob•ections against those things are these.
1 Ob•ect. They were then under the crosse, •ew in number, and therfore it was easily knowne who were fit.
Answ. The Gospell was dispersed thorowout all Asia, Affricke, and much of Europe, and they could lesse keepe together, or meete, and therefore that maketh rather for us.
2. Object. Wee have many hypocrites, to whom it were dange∣rous to commit such waighty actions.
Answ. It is true, that we have many: but it is a principle in hy∣pocrisie, to be forwardst in such publike actions, that they may get fame thereby.
3. Object. They had knowledge to doe it, but our people be ig∣norant.
Answ. We should also find our people to have knowledge, if they had teaching: but howsoever they choose, they cannot have worse then ordinarily are chosen by the Bishops and Patrons.
4. Object. The Church was not then established.
Answ. That is untrue, for though it wanted the help of Magi∣strates▪ yet the Apostles could and did better establish without them, then we can with the help of them: but if this order might be altered, it had bin fitter then, for now the Magistracie may com∣pound the differences of the Elders, which help then they lacked.
5. Object Drunkards, Papists, &c. will choose them that be like themselves, and we know the best disposed be alwayes the fewest.
Answ. Such are not of the Church, but without, 1 Cor. 5.12 and therefore are not •o meddle in any holy action: but if the people should choose an unmeet man, the Eldership that governeth the Page 20 action, is to reforme them: besides this, if Gods order had her place, the Schooles of the prophets would send them none, (for the Mini∣sters especially) to make choyse of, but meet men, that whomso∣ever they tooke, he should be found sufficient.
6. Object. Paul commandeth, 1 Tim. 5.22. to lay his hands on no man rashly: therefore one did it.
Answ. He teacheth what to doe for his part, and though others would be rash, yet he should not joyne with them in it, as appea∣reth in the latter end of that same verse, for that is ascribed unto him, which also belonged unto others, because he was the director: Calvin and Musculus expound the place so.
7. Ob•ect. The Councell of Laodi•ea decreed that the people should not elect.
Answ. That is, as Calvin taketh it upon Acts 16. they might not elect alone, without the direction of some grave and good Mini∣ster, which should be the manner in the elections, that (according to Gods word) we desire.
NOne is to be admitted unto any publike office in the Church▪ untill he be thorowly examined by the Eldership, both con∣cerning his state of Christianity, and ability to th•• place whereto he is to be called, T.C. 1 book. page 38. Disci. Ecclesiast. fol. 46. They thinke one may doe it, as appeareth by the Booke of o•dering, &c. Whitgift, page 134. & 135. and their slight passing it over, thorow the Archdeacons hands▪
The former is proved, and the latter disproved thus.
1. Those that are to ordaine, must have particular knowledge of the parties to be ordained, (or else they breake the rule pr•scribed them, 1 Tim. 5.22.) which cannot be without examinat•on: But the Eldership is to ordaine every Church officer, a• shall appeare in the chapter of Ordination: Therefore it belongeth to the Elder∣ship to examine, &•.
2. The matter of greatest importance in the government of the Church, must be done by the most able Governours of the same: The approving or disproving of Church officers▪ is the matter of grea∣test importance, because the consequence of ruling well is the best, or ill the worst: and the Eldership is the Senate of most able Go∣vernours in the Church, as shall appeare in the Chap. of Eldership: Therefore the Eldership is to examine, &c.
Page 213 The way whereby a mans insufficiencie is best espied, and his ability discerned, is the fittest to examine them that are to be admit∣ted: But by the Eldership (consisting of divers) his insufficiencie is best espied, and his ability best discerned, for the common proverb telleth us, that many eyes doe see more then one: Therefore it be∣longeth to the Eldership, &c.
4 They are to examine Church Officers, that are least subject to be blinded with partiality: But the Eldership is least subject to partia∣lity, both for that they be many, who are not so easily over-ruled by affection or favour, as one, as also (and that especially) for that it being the Lords owne ordinance (as shall appeare) we are to per∣swade our selves, that his spirit shall guide them: Therefore it be∣longeth to the Eldership, &c.
5 The way that was used in the Apostles time in examining, is of us to be followed, unlesse some reason out of the word to per∣swade the conscience, can be alleadged to the contrary, which none have ever yet done: But many used in the Apostles tim• to examine, as appeareth in chosing out one to be in the place of Judas, Act 1.22.23. and fit men for Deacons, Act. 6.5. whereof the Go∣vernours especially were some, for that they were to ordaine upon knowledge, •s is said in the first reason: Therefore it belongeth to the Eldership, &c.
6 They whose testimony the people may best credit, are to ex∣amine them that are to be admitted: But the people may best cre∣dit the judgement of a company of able and sufficient men, which the Eldership rightly established must needs be: Therefore it be∣longeth to the Eldership, &c.
7 Examination belongeth unto them which may most per∣swade the people of his sufficiency, and so procure greatest reve∣rence unto him in his place: But the examination by the Eldership is such: Therefore it belongeth to the Eldership &c.
Therefore if they that are to ordaine, must examine:* if it be a matter of greatest w•ight in the government of the Church, and they the most able to dispatch it; if by them his sufficiency or in∣s•fficiency be best found out; if they be hardliest ca•ied away with affection or partiality; if the examination was such in the Apostles time; if the people may (in reason) give most credit to the exami∣nation that is by such▪ if that kinde of examination p•rswade the people best of his sufficiency, and procure him greatest reverence in his place: then must it needs follow, that it per•aineth to the El∣dership to examine those that are to be admitted to any office in the Church.
Page 22There is nothing objected against this, that hath any shew of •eason in it, and therefore it were needlesse to set any thing downe.
BEfore consent bee given to any man unto any calling in the Church, it must appeare (by sufficient triall, and due examina∣tion) that he is qualified with those gifts, that the word of God requireth in one of that place, Discipl. Ecclesiast. fol 44. T.C. 2. book, 1. part, page 368. and in many other places.
They gain-say this in two points: first, in maintaining their reading Ministery: secondly, in governing the Church, by their Commissaries and Offic•als: which both shall be overthrowne. •f wee prove these two propositions following, to b• true by the word of God.
*No man ought to be received unto the Ministery, but such as be able to teach the truth, and convince the gain-say•rs.
The Church ought not to be governed by Commissaries Offici∣als and Chancellours.*
*1 Hee that may be received into the Ministery, must be able to teach the people, whatsoever Christ hath comm•nded, Math 28.28. Onely he that is able to teach the truth and convince the gain-sayers, can teach the people whatsoever Chr•st hath commanded: Therefore none must be received into the Ministery, but such as be able to t••ch▪ &c.
2 That which is to be done conditionally, may not be done, if that condition be not kept: Men are to be received into the Ministery conditional•y, that is, if they be unreproveable, Tit. 1.5 6. There∣fore if they be not such as be there described, they may not bee re∣ceived: and consequently, none may be received, but such as be able to teach▪ &c.
3 That which cannot be done without the manifest breach of Gods commandement, may not be done at all: To receive any that be not able to teach, is a manifest breach of Gods commandement. 1 Tim. 3.1. Tit. 1.9. Therefore no man ought to be received into the Ministery, that is not able to teach, &c.
4 They whom the Lord refuseth to be his Ministers, may not be received into the Ministery: for the Ministery being the Lords har∣vest, we may admit none to labour therein, but only such, as he hath given liking of, by the rules of his word: The Lord refuseth to be his Ministers, all these that cannot teach, Hosea 4▪ 6. Therefore such Page 23 as are not able to teach, may not be received, and consequently none may be received, but those that be able to teach, &c.
5 He that may be admitted into the Ministery, must be able to divide the word of God aright, 2 Tim. 2.15. Only he that is able to te•ch and convince the gain-sayers, can divide the word of God aright: There∣fore none may be admitted into the Ministery, but hee that is able to teach, &c.
6 He that may be admitted into the Ministery, must have a treasu∣ry, furnished wi•h old things and new, and must be abl• to •ri•g it forth as occasion shall serve, Matth. 13.52. Onely hee that is able to teach, &c. is such a one: Therefore onely he may be admitted▪ &c.
7 He that can espy the enem•, & give warning afore hand now to resist him, may be receiv•d into the Minis••ry▪ •z•k 33 7. None can espy the enemie, and give warning afore-han• how to 〈◊〉 him, but both t•is able to 〈◊〉 &c. Th•ref•r• one ma• be ad•itted •nto the Minist•ry▪ but he 〈…〉 to t•ach, &c.
8 〈…〉 his people into hell, may not be ad∣m••te••nto the Mini•tery: He th•t •s not a•le to te•ch and convince the gai•-•ayer lea•eth him•e•f and his p••ple in•o 〈◊〉▪ Ma•h 15.14. Th•refore 〈…〉 no• able to teach &c. may not be admitted into the Mi••ste•y.
9 He that •reachet••ot▪ but •oldeth his peace, murdereth.*
10 He t•at preacheth not, i• not 〈◊〉, and so hee beg•tteth no •aith in man.*
11. In that S. Paul requireth that a Bishop should be wise, he bar∣reth thos•, that under the name of simplicity, excuse the folly of Mi∣nisters
12 We condemne all 〈◊〉 Ministers,* not endued with gifts ne∣cessary for a 〈…〉 that should feed his flock.
Therefore▪ if a Minister mu•• tea•h unto his people all t•at Christ hath commanded; if none may be made Ministers, but conditionally, if they be qualified w•th gi•t• meet for the same▪ if unpreaching Mi∣nisters cannot be made without the manifest breach of the comman∣dement of God; if th•y may not be made Ministers, whom the Lord refuseth to have; if every Min•ster must have a treasury well fur∣nished▪ and be able to bring forth of it when need requireth; if every M•nister mus• have •kill to see the enemie, and to give warning afore∣hand how to resist h•m; if unlearned Ministers draw their people to hell a•ter them; if he that preacheth not, be a murtherer; if he be not sent, and so doe no good: if hee be barred from the Ministery: lastly, if hee be condemned, as not to be in such a place: then must it Page 24 needs follow, that none may be received into the Ministery, but such as be able to teach the truth, and to convince the gain-sayer.
Many are the arguments that be alleadged to this purpose, and many moe may be alleadged, (for the whole course of the Scriptures tend thereunto) the testimony of all sorts of Writers, is very plentifull for this purpose: yea of the very Canon law, (as the Author of the Ab∣stract hath learnedly proved) and yet doe not our Prelates rest in the same, but have set themselves (though in a silly manner) against it, in this sort that followeth.
1 Objection. There must be reading in the Church, therefore a rea∣ding Ministery▪ Whitgift page 252.
Answ. By that reason we must have an Officer for every particular action, for there must be breaking of bread in the Church, and pow∣ring of water; but it followeth not, that therefore there must be one, whose Office must be only to break bread, or to powre water.
2 Objection. It is better to have Readers then none, for Preachers cannot be had for every congregation.
Answer. It is not better, for if they had none, they would seeke for him that they should have; whereas now, they that have a Reader only, think themselves in case good enough: but if there be such want of Preachers, why are so many of the most diligent and able ones, tur∣ned out?
3 Objection. It is impossible to have Preachers every where, and such as can be had, must be taken.
Answer. Sometimes you say all is well: and is it now impossible that our State should obey the Lords ordinance; this is the greatest disgrace to it that can be: and yet it followeth not, for no necessity may warrant us, to violate the decrees of the highest.
4 Objection. It were uncharitablenesse to turne them out that be bare Readers, for so they, their wives and children might beg.
Answer. This is to sell mens soules for morsels of br•ad: shall wee rather feare the begging of three or foure, then the damnation of a thousand? but they may be otherwayes provided for; they need not beg, many of them may returne to their occupations againe.
So that all these objections notwithstanding, the conclusion re∣maineth sure, which is grounded upon so many certaine and unmove∣able foundations.
*The Church ought not to be governed by Commissaries, and Officials, and Chancellours.
1 They which are no Elders of the Church, have nothing to doe in the Government of the same, 1 Tim. 5.17. These Chancellours, Page 25 Commissaries, and Officials, are no Elders in the Church; whether we expound Elder for a Minister, and him also, that is assistant unto the Minister in overseeing the Church, or for a Minister onely as they do: for none of them be Ministers, and if they be, they doe not rule in this respect, that they are Ministers: Therefore the Church ought not to be governed by them.
2. They that must governe the Church of God, must have a warrant for their so doing, from Iesus Christ the head of the Church: But Chancellors, &c. have no warrant so to doe, from Iesus Christ the head of the Church: There•ore the Church ought not to bee governed by them.
3. Those whose names, offices and practize, bee derived from Anti∣christ, may have nothing to do in the government of the Church▪ for who will suffer his wife to be governed by the Master of a 〈…〉: But the names, offices, and practise of Chancell•rs, 〈◊〉•nd Commissaries be such, which is plaine by this, that they have the•r ground in that filthy dunghill the C•non law: Therefore they may have nothing to doe in the government of the Church.
4. They that being inferiours, doe proudly tyrann•z• over the•r su∣periours, ought not to rule the Church of God, for it is meet it should be ruled by modest▪ humble and orderly men: But suc••re they (for being inferiours to the ministers of the Word, as our adv•rsa•i•s doe confesse, and is plaine also by the Canon law they crow over th•m as •f they were their slaves:) and if they doe not so 〈◊〉 can doe no∣thing: Therefore they ought not to rule the Church of God.
5. They that live by the faults of men, are not fit t• rule the Church of God: for they will rather increase off•nces (that th•ir 〈◊〉 m•y •n∣crease) then orderly lessen them, as experience (a•so) prov•th: But such are all Chancellours, Commissaries and Official•: Therefore they ought not to rule the Church of God.
Therefore, if Chancellors, Commissaries, and Officials bee no Elders of the Church; if they have no warrant from Jesus Christ▪* the head of the Church; if their names, offices, and practize, be derived •rom An∣tichrist; if their office compell them (being inferiours) to tyrannize over their superiours: if they live onely by the faults and offences of men: then it must needs follow, that the Church of God ought not to be governed by them.
EVery officer of the Church must be ordained by the laying on of the hands of the Eldership, T.C. 2. booke, 1. part. page 274. Dis∣cip. Ecclesiast. fol. 53.
Page 26They say if ought to be done by the Bishop alone, Whitgift▪ page 196. their daily practize doth likewise shew it.
The former is proved, and the latter disproved by these reasons follo•ing.
1. As Church officers were ordained in the Apostles time, so must they be continually, for they did lay the plot, according whereunto the Church must be built unto the end: but they were ordained in the A∣postles time by the laying on of the hands of the Eldership, Act. 6 6. & 13.3. Therefore the Church officers must be ordained by laying on of the hands of the Eldership.
2. Church officers must bee ordained by them that have warrant from the Word, to assure the parties ordained, that they are called of God: Onely the Elders•ip hath such a warrant, 1 Tim. 4▪ 14. There∣fore they ought to be ordained by the Eldership.
3. Many of the sentences alledged before, out of Councels, Empe∣rours Lawes▪ Histories▪ and 〈◊〉 writers both old and new, for ele∣ction not to be by one▪ but by divers, speake also of ordination, and so are forcible to this purpose.
*4. E•agrius came to the office of a B•sh•p unlawfully, because one∣ly Paulinus ordained him▪ contrary to the 〈◊〉 of many Canons, which provide, that they should not bee orda•n•d, •ut by all the Bi∣shops of the Prov•nce, or (at the least •y three.
*5. When a B•shop is to be ordai•ed, &c one Bishop shall pronounce the blessing▪ and the rest of the Bishops with the Elders pr•sent, shall all l•y on their •ands.
*6. When a Bishop was to be ordained, the Bishops adjoyning did ordaine him.
Therefore if Church officers were ordained in the Apostles time, not by one,*〈◊〉 by the E•dership, consi•ting of many; i• they be to ordaine, that have warrant out of the Word, to assure the parties ordained, that they are called of God; if ordination by one B•sh•p be unlawfull and contrary to many canons of Councels; if the Bishops and Elders were to lay on th•ir h••ds: lastly, if the B•shop• adjoyning were to ordai•, 〈…〉 needs follow that Church offic•rs are not to be or∣dained 〈…〉 the laying on of the hands of the Eldership.
But t•ey fight ha•d aga•nst this, because it s•riketh at a maine pillar of their •ingdom•, th•ir chiefe grounds be these.
1. Object. Paul and Barnabas ordained Elders, where is no menti∣on of an Eldership.
Answ. They are said to ordaine, because they being the chiefe pro∣cured it; so is Joshua, 5.3. said to circumcise, which was the Levites Page 27 office, so say we, the Queene hath made a law, and yet not she alone maketh any.
2. Ob•ection. Though it were so then, yet is it not so required now, no more then the community in the Apostles time.
Answer. There was no more communitie then (for they that thinke otherwise, are in that point Anabaptists) then is to be required now, so that instance maketh for us.
3. Ob•ect. Examples are no generall rules to be followed.
Answ. Examples not contrarying any rule, or reason of the Scripture, be to be followed, as if they were commandements, so that notwith∣standing any thing alledged to th• contrary, it remaineth upon the for∣mer gro•nds most stedfast, that it belongeth to the Eldership to ordain those Church officers that are to be imployed in the publike service of God.
THe ordaining of Church officers must be done with humble pray∣er of the Eldersh•p, and the Congregation▪ Discip. Ecclesi. •ol 50.
Their unreverent beginning and proceeding therewith i• a c•rner, is contrary to this: which is condemned by the proofe of our asser•ion by these reasons.
1. We are to behave our selves in these actions, as they by whom we have direction to doe them, have set us an example: But the Apo∣stles and Elders, when they ordained Church officers, did alwayes commend the action to God by prayer, together with those congre∣gations, over which they placed them, Act. 6 6 & 14.•3. Therefore the ordaining of Church officers must bee done by humble prayer of the Eldership, and Congregation.
2. The greater the action i• that is in hand, the more carefull must they bee that have it in hand, to humble themselves by prayer, for the Lords assi•tance there•n: Bu• the ordaining of Church officer•, is an a∣ction of most weighty importance: •h•refore they that have it in hand (which be the Eldership to ordain him, and Congregation to re∣ceive him) ought to hum•le themselves in earnest pra•er before hand.
3. They that shall have part in the comfort or discomfort o• the action, are to joyne tog•ther in pr•yer un•o God for the better event, and against the wors•: but the Eldership and people, shall both have part in the event •f t•e action: Therefore th•y are to joyne together in humble prayer before hand, &c.Page 28
CHurch officers must be ordained by laying on of hands; in this they agree with us, concerning the ceremonie it selfe, albeit nei∣ther in the parties by whom, nor on whom it must be conferred. The profit of this Ceremonie appeareth in reasons following.
1. That which stirreth up every partie, to pray with more fervencie, is profitable to be used: But such is this Ceremonie, for it affecteth the ordainers, when they feele him for whom they pray; and the ordai∣ned when he feeleth a calling and charge from God (as it were) sen∣sibly comming upon him, and the congregation, when they see him se∣parated from the rest, by whom they shall reape much comfort or griefe: Therefore the use of it is very profitable.
2. That which helpeth forward the party ordained in his care, to walke with a good conscience in his calling, is profitable to be used: Such is the imposition of hands, for both it declareth unto him, that he is separated of God for that purpose, and also giveth him hope, that his hand who allotted him thereunto, will alwayes assist him in the course of that calling: Therefore it is of a profitable use.
3. That which worketh a more acknowledgment of Gods ordinance in the hearts of the people, is profitable to be used: such is the laying on of hands, for it declareth unto them, that the Lord hath placed him in that Calling over them: Therefore it is profitable to be used.
*Therefore seeing the Ceremonie of laying on hands is forcible, to increase the fervencie of every partie, when they pray; seeing it assureth the calling to the party ordained, and giveth him an argument of good hope, for the blessing of God upon him in the course of the same; and seeing it procureth a more perswasion in the people, that he is allotted unto them from the Lord himselfe; it is evident that it is not a vaine and idle ceremonie (as many doe imagine) but of good and profitable use, in all ordinations.
THe Lord hath ordained that there should bee one Bishop or Pa∣stor (at the least) president over every Congregation, who are of equall authority in their severall charges, and in the generall govern∣ment of the Church, T.C. 1 bo•ke, page 22. & 2 booke, 1 part, page 515.
They maintaine contrary unto this, these two.
1. That one may have two or mo charges, and be absent from them, •s their dispensations and practize doe prove.
2. That one Minister may have a soveraigntie and Lordship over Page 29 his ••llow Ministers, which both being disproved, the former •ssertion will remaine still sure.
1. One man may not have mo charges then be is able in any mea∣sure to discharge: No man is able in any measure,* to discharge the du∣tie that is belonging to mo flocks then one, seeing hee cannot preach unto them, both in season and out of season: Therefore no man may have more Charges then one.
2. That which maketh an open entrance to the enemy to spoyle, cannot be lawfull: for one to have moe charges then one, maketh open entrance for the enemy to spoile, for the Woolfe watcheth to devoure, whilest the shepheard is absent: Therefore no man may have mo charges then one.
3. The which hath neither precept, nor president for it, either in Gods word, or any approved Writer, •ut onely from Antichrist, is un∣lawfull: But such is the having of mo charges th•n one: Therefore it is unlawfull.
4. That which declareth a Minister to be more desirous of the fleece, then to profit the flocke, that same is unlawfull: But such is the having of moe charges then one, for were it not for the gaine, they would thinke one a burden as heavie as they could beare: Therefore it is unlawfull.
5. All the reasons that be alledged in the third chapter, against non∣residence, are forcible to this purpose, for if he may not be nonresident, he may not h•ve mo charges, unlesse he be willing to be quartered, that every charge may have a piece of him.
He reckoneth them among theeves,* and their action to be theeve∣ry, condemned by that commandement.
Therefore,* if one man cannot in any tollerable measure discharge mo charges then one; if to have mo maketh an open entrance to the ene∣my to spoyle; if it have neither precept, nor president for it, but onely in the kingdome of Antichrist; if it declare the practizers to be more desirous of the fleece, then to feed the Flocke; If all the reasons that condemne nonresidencie be against it; Lastly, if it be plaine theevery: then must it needs follow, that one may not have two, or mo charges.
Their objections (such as they be) are set downe in the 3 chapter, and the answers unto them.
The second Proposition that they hold is thi•.*
One Minister may have a sover•igne authoritie, and Lordship over his fellow Ministers: which is thus disproved.
1. They that have their commission indiff•rently given them, with∣out difference betweene one and another, are of equall authoriti•, and Page 30 may not be one over another: but such is the commission of all Gods Ministers indifferently, as appeareth, Matth. 28.19.20. Therefore they are of equall authority, and may not have any dominion one over another.
2. That which Christ hath directly forbidden, that may not in any case be allowed but is ever unlawfull: But Christ hath directly for∣bidden, that one Minister should have dominion over another, Matth.•0.25. Luk. 22 25. Therefore one Minister may not have superioritie or dominion over another.
3. They that may not be Lords over the people of God, may much lesse be Lords over the Ministers, for the Ministers be (in respect of the Ministery) above the people: but a Minister may not be Lordly over Gods people (as is testified by him on whom they would father the greatest lordlinesse) 1 Pet. 5.3. Therefore one Minister may not bee Lord, or have superiority over another.
*4. It is ordained, and is equall and right, that every mans cause be heard, where the fault was committed: and it is meete to handle the matter there, where they may have both the accusers, and witnesses of the fault; which sheweth that every Minister had authority over his owne flocke, and no other to meddle.
*5. Bishops, wheresoever they be in all the world, are equall to our Bishops, or Parish Ministers and Preachers; Of none it can be said one is Lord, another is Servant: whatsoever belongeth to the Church, belongeth equally to all, saving that some are of better gifts then others, howbeit such gifts cause no inequallitie or Lordship in the Church.
*6 In the Apostolike Church, the ministers of the Word, were none above another, and were subject to no head or president, &c.
7. The honour of a Bishop, being taken from the rest of the Mini∣sters, and given to one, was the first step to Papacie.
8. Christ did most severely forbid unto the Apostles and their suc∣cessors, primacie and dominion.
9. Equall power and function is given to all Ministers of the Church, and that from the beginning, no one preferred himselfe be∣fore another, saving onely that for order, some one did call them to∣gether, propounded the matters that were to be consulted of, and ga∣thered the voyces.
*Therefore, if all Ministers have their commission indifferently given unto them, If Christ have forbidden, that one Minister should have dominion over another; if no minister may exercise dominion over Gods people; if authoritie to handle Controversies, belonged to Page 31 every severall congregation; if a Bishop and Parish Minister be all one; if in the Apostles time, no Minister was above another; if the su∣periority of one above another, was the first step to the Papacie; lastly, if they have equall power and function from the beginning: than must it needs follow, that no Minister may have superiority, or exercise dominion over another.
Their objections hereunto (so many as are worthy any answer) be these.
1. Object. Christ Math. 20.25. forbiddeth onely ambition, and not dominion, as Musculus expoundeth it.
Ans. Musculus his judgement appeareth in the 6 and 7 reasons, the place is expounded against superiority by Calvin, Bulling. Zwing. G•al∣ter, Hemingi•s, &c. But let it be so expounded: that dominion is am•i∣tion, because it causeth a man to aspire above his •ellow Ministers.
2. Object. The Greek word signifieth rule with oppression, which is the thing that is forbidden.
Answ. That is not so, for Luk. 22 25. useth the single verbe Kurieu∣ein, which signifieth simply to rule: the sonnes of Zebedeus desired not to oppresse but to rule, which desire •e reproved.
3 Objection. Christ saith not, no man shall be so, but hee that will be so, desiring it.
Answer. But Luke saith, let the greatest be as your servant, and therefore that is but a silly shift.
So that their assertions being overthrown,* and their objections an∣swered, it remaineth, that we prove yet more directly, that the Lord hath ordained, that there should be a Bishop resident over every con∣gregation; which is thus proved.
1 If a Bishop and Minister be all one, then must there be a Bishop in every congrega•ion, for every man will confesse that every con∣gregation ought to have a Mi•ister: But a Bishop and a Minister is all one, as appeareth by this tha• S. Paul describeth not one quality for the Bishop, but it is also the quality of every good Minister; and also in that hee describeth no other Minister but the Bishop: Therefore there ought to be a Bishop in every congregation.
2 S. Pauls Bishops and his Deacons were appointed to one place, as appeareth both in the description of them, and the practise of the Apostles: But the Deacons were in every Congregation, which ap∣peareth, Phil. 1.1. Acts 6.2. that Office being needfull every where; and in that it continued so, longer then the Office of Bishops, Athana∣sius Apol. 2. Jerome Contra 〈◊〉, &c. Therefore there ought to be a Bishop in every congr•••t••n.
Page 323 That which Paul enjoy••• to Titus, is also to be practised al∣wayes in the like 〈◊〉: But he commanded him to ordaine Elders in every Citie, Tit. 1.5. which are expounded in the next verse to be Bi∣shops: Therefore there must be a Bishop in every congregation.
*4 Every Church should have her Communion Table, and every Church her Bishop.
5 Where there was found any worthy to be a Bishop, there a Bi∣shop was appointed,* and where there was not to furnish both Bishop and preaching El•er (hee meaneth the Doctor) there the Apostles made a Bishop, and left the Elder.
*6 If a Bishop runne into a slander, and many Bishops cannot sud∣denly be gathered; his cause shall be heard of twelve Bishops &c.
7 If an Elder be accused, hee may call six Bishops from the places hard by.
S•ories make mention of Bishops of little Townes, as (a)Soti•us Bishop of the Village Cuman: (b)Mares, Bishop of a sm•ll Towne called Solicha:(c)Gregory, Bishop of a small Citie, called Nazian∣zum:(d) The Bishop of a Castle.
9 A Minister, that is to say, a Bishop, •nd (a little after) the Apostle doth plainly teach, that a Minister and a Bishop i• all one, and (upon Titus) a Bishop and a Minister are the same: and (ad Ocea•um) with the ancient Fathers, Bishops, and Elders were all one.
10 D.Barnes (in his 〈◊〉 Article) saith, I will never beleeve, nei∣ther can I ever beleeve,* that one man may by the law of God, be a Bi∣shop of two or three Cities, yea • a whole Country, for that it is con∣trary to the doctrine of S. Paul, who writing to Titus, commandeth that •e should ordaine a Bishop in every Towne.
11 It is pitie to see how farre the Office of a Bishop is degenerated from the originall in the Scripture;* it was not so in the beginning, when Bishops were at the best, at the Epistle to Titus testifieth, that willeth him, to ordaine in every Citie, &c. They know the primitive C•ur•h had no such Bishops as we have, untill the time of Silvester the first.
*Therefore, if a Bishop and a Minister be all one; if Bishops were to be where Deacons are who were in every congregation; if Paul en∣joyne•Titus to ordaine Bishops in every Citie; and if every Church had her B•shop a long time after the Apostles, as appeareth by the te∣stimonies of Councels, Histories, and learned Writers, both old and new: t•en mu•• it needs follow, that there ought to be a Bishop in every Congregation.Page 33
FOr the further revealing of the truth, God hath ordained, that there should be in the Church Doctors, whose office is to be imployed in teaching of doctrine, and is an office dif∣ferent from that of the Pastour.
The latter part of this proposition, is the thing which espe∣cially they doe deny, which is thus prooved to be true.
1. Those which the Apostle (in speaking of distinct officers) doth distinguish one from another, are severall and distinct one from another: But the Apostle doth distinguish the Pastour and teacher, one from another, Rom. 12.7.8. and Ephes. 4.11. Even as he distinguisheth man and woman. Gal. 3.28. See the Greek of them both: Therefore the office of pastour and Doct∣or are distinct one from another.
2. As are the gifts that adorne offices, so are the officers themselves, for the execution of the office, consisteth in the em∣ploying of the gifts: But the gifts of the pastour and Doctor are divers, as appeareth 1. Cor. 12.8. And by experience, for some hath an excellent gift in doctrine, and not in application, and others excell in application and exhortation, that •re very meane, in delivering of doctrine: Therefore the office of a pa∣stour and teacher, are distinct one from another.
3. Those that are to take a divers course in teaching are di∣vers, and different in their functions, for else why should they be enjoyned to take a divers course: But the pastour is to take one course, and the Doctor another, for the one is to direct himselfe principally to exhort, and the other to attend upon doctrine: Rom. 12.7, 8. Therefore the office of pastour and Doctor, be distinct offices the one from the other.
4. The Ecclesiasticall stories (especially speaking of the Church of Alexandria) doe usually make a difference betwixt the Bishop and the Doctor.
5. Cathedrall Churches have yet some shew thereof left in them, who (besides the Bishop) have also one that readeth a Lecture in divinity.
6. If the distinguishing of them, make more for the building of the Church, then the uniting of them; then are they to be distin∣guished, & not made all one: But the form•• is true, as appeareth by this, that hardly is a people brought to asound knowledge Page 34 of godlines, by him that inst•ucteth in doctrine continually, & as hardly are we stir•ed up to a zealous care of our duetie, th•ugh we be ex•orted contin•ally; which both should be with lesse continuance, if one man were to performe all: Therefore they are to be esteemed distinct offices, and not parts of one office, which one is to performe.
Therefore, if the Apostle Paul distinguisheth them one from another; if God do• usually bestow doctrine and exhortation upon severall persons, where in each is found to excell, and to be no body in the other; if the pastour be commanded to take one course in teaching, and the Doctor another; if Ecclesiasti∣call stories doe usually distinguish them; if Cathedrall Churches have yet some steps left of the distinction; if to distinguis• them; maketh more to the building of the Church, then to u∣nite them: then must it needs follow, that the office of pastour and Doctor be distinct, and different the one from the other.
EVery congregation ought to have Elders to see into the manners of the people, and to be assistant unto the mini∣sters, in the government Ecclesiasticall. T. C. book 1. pag. 174. Disc. fol. 120. which they denie, Whitg•ft p. 627. And their practise in keeping them out of the Church: but it is proved to be true, by these reasons following.
1. That which the Apostles established in every congregati∣on, ought still to continue, seeing the Church must be ruled by the same lawes, that it was ruled by then, and needeth as great furtherance now, as it did then: But the Apostles established Elders in every congregation, Act▪ 14.23. Which cannot be un∣derstood of preaching Elders onely; considering that the scar∣city of them was such, as Paul was constrained to send Timo∣thy and Titus to great cities, which he could hardly spare, as he often testifieth: Therefore ther• ought to be such Elders, as are onely to assist in government i• every congregation.
2. Those which God hath ordained to help forward the buil∣ding of the Church, ought to be in every congregation, unlesse it may appeare that some congregation needeth not so much helpe, as Christ hath appointed: But Christ hath ordeined El∣ders in the Church, for the helping forward of the building of Page 35 the Church 1 Cor. 12.28. Therefore such Elders ought to be in every congregation.
3. That which being wanting, the body cannot be entire, that same must be in every congregation: But the Elders can∣not be wanting, and the Church be an entire body Rom. 12.8. Which every congregation should be, Rom. 12, 4. Therefore there ought to be such Elders in every congregation.
5. If the word of God doe describe such Elders in the Church, then ought they to be in every congregation, which is cleare by this, that every congregation hath need of them, as well as any: and that every congregation must have all the other officers of the Church: and that every congregation is of equall dignity in the body of Christ: but the word of God describeth unto us such Elders. 1. Tim. 5.17. Therefore they ought to be in every congregation.
5. There is no Church,* that can stand without her Eldership or councell.
6. It belongeth onely to the Bishop to baptize,* and the Elder and Deacon may not do it, but upon the Bishops licence.
7. Neither Elder nor Deacon have right,* but upon the Bi∣shops commandement (so much as) to baptize.
8. Elders fell away thorough the ambition of the teachers.*
9. Valerius the Bishop did contrary to the custome of the Apostolicall Churches, in appointing Augustine to preach, be∣ing but an Elder.
10. After that Arrius was convicted of haeresie,* it was de∣creed that Elders should no more preach.
11. The number of the Elders of every Church,* ought to be encreased, according to the multitude of the people.
12. Speaking of the Elders that were to assist the Minister,* he lamenteth, that it is so fallen out of the Church, that the name doth scarce remaine.
13. Certaine of the people were joyned with the pastour,* in the governement of the Church, because the pastour was not able to doe all himselfe.
15. Whitgift confesseth, that in the Primitive Church, they had in every Church certaine Seniors, pag. 638. Let it then ap∣peare out of the word, to satisfie the conscience, how it may be left out.
Page 3616. If the platforme set downe to Timothy and Tit•s be for all Churches, then must Elders be in all; for these Elders are there described: but it is a platforme for all Churches, and that to the end of the world, 1 Tim. 6.14. Therefore they ought to be in every congregation.
17. That which is contained in every minsters commission to teach and practize, must be in every congregation: but the ordination and practize of that office, is in every Ministers com∣mission, Mat. 28.20. Or else they ordained Elders without warrant from Christ, which none dare affirme: therefore there must be Elders in every congregation.
18. Wheresoever a bishop must be, there must also the Elder bee, which appeareth by this, that where the one is described, there is the other also: but a Bishop must be in every congre∣gation, as I have proved sufficiently in the 10. Chap. There∣fore there ought to be Elders in every congregation.
19. If the Apostles laboured for uniformitie in the least things, and established in all Churches one order, then must there be Elders in every congregation, for they were in some, as all men doe confesse: but the former is true, as not onely the view of their practize declareth, but also the Apostles expresse words▪ Thus I teach in all Churches: Therefore the latter is true also, that in every congregation there must be such Elders.
Therefore if the Apostles established Elders in every con∣gregation;* if Christ hath esteemed their helpe needfull to fur∣ther the building of his Church; if without them a congrega∣tion cannot be entire; if the word of God say that they ought to be in the Church; if it was continued so long after the A∣postles time: and be approved by the testimony of many very learned, both old and new writers, and confessed by the grea∣test adversary unto them; if they be within the compasse of eve∣ry Ministers commission; if they are to be, wheresoever a Bishop must be; if the Apostles established uniformity, even in the meanest thinges; then must it needs follow, that there ought to be such Elders in every congregation, as are to assist the Mini∣ster in the government of the same.
They confesse it was so in the Apostles time, but seeme to say somewhat that it cannot be under a Christian magistrate thus:
1. Object. God hath given the Soveraigne authoritie over his Page 37 Church to the Christian magistrate, which these Elders would abridge.
Answ. No more then the eldership abridged the soveraigntie of David over Israel, for his governement is temporall, and theirs spirituall.
2. Object. Gualter upon the 1 Cor. 5. denieth it to be need∣full under a Christian Magistrate.
Answer. Gualter denieth excommunication under a Chri∣stian Magistrate, hee is as partiall in this argument at Whit∣gift.
3. Objection. The Prince hath the authority that the Elders had.
Answ. That is no truer, then to say the Prince hath authority to preach the word, &c. for these be things, that his high au∣thority must see done, but he may doe none of them himselfe.
But there bee many reasons which may bee alleadged,* to prove that they are (at the least) as necessary under a Christian Magistrate in these dayes, as they were in the time of the A∣postles, as namely these:
1. The lesse able that Ministers are to direct their people in the waies of godlinesse, the more neede they have of the assi∣stance that God hath allowed them in his word: But Ministers are now lesse able (especially under Christian Magistrates, when men are overtaken with ease and peace, which quench go•d things) then they were in the time of the Apostles: Therefore there is as great (if not greater) neede of Elders now, then was in the time of the Apstoles.
2. If Christian Magistrates bee to maintaine the order that Christ hath set downe for the governement of his Church, then must there be Elders in it under a Christian Magestrate, for El∣ders are appointed of 1 Cor. 12.8. But Christian Magestrates are to maintaine the order that Christ hath set downe for the ruling of his Church, Isai. 49.23. Therefore there must be El∣ders in the Church, under a Christian Magestrate.
3. If the rule of Christ cannot bee perpetually observed, tell the Church, unlesse there be Elders; then must there bee such under a Christian Magestrate: But the former is true, for by the Church is there meant the Seanate of Ministers and Elders, as shall be proved in the chapter of Excommunication: Therfore there must be Elders, under a Christian Magistrate.
Page 384. If the whole governement of the Church described in the Epistles to Timothie and Titus, bee to bee observed untill the end, then must there bee Elders under Christian Magestrates, for they are contained in those Epistles: but the former is true 1 Tim. 6.14. Therefore there must be Elders under a Christi∣an Magistrate.
5. Where sinners ate more outragious, and the best most subject to waxe cold, there is greatest neede of all the helpes that God hath ordained to punish sinne, and to cherish well doing: But so it is under a Christian Magistrate especially in the peace of the Church, as Whitgift confesseth, pag. 643. Therefote there is (at the least) as great neede of Elders (seeing they are helpers uppointed of God) under a Christian Magi∣strate, as at any other time.
*Therefore if Mininisters be lesse able now, then in the Apo∣stles time; if Christian Majestrates must maintaine the order prescribed by Christ; if else the rule of Christ, (till the Chru•ch) cannot be still observed; if the whole goverment described by Saint Paul, must be kept for ever; lastly if there bee, (at the least) as great neede of all the helpes that can be, as ever there was: then must it needes follow, that Elders are as necessary in the Church under a Christian Magestrate, as in the time of persecution.
THere ought to be in every congregation certaine Deacons, endued with those qualities, which the word of God des∣cribeth; whose office is onely in receiving the liberty of the Saints, and destributing it unto the needy, T. C. 1 booke, pag. 190. Discip. Eccles. fol. 119.*
This assertion hath two branches, which both are gaine said by our adversaries, the first whereof is this. The office of the Deacon, consisteth onely in receiving and distributing un∣to the poore, the liberality of the Saints, which they deny Whit∣gift pag. 582. The booke of ordering, &c. that maketh 〈◊〉 a de∣gree of the Ministrie: but the proposition being proved true, maketh their opinion and practise appeare false, which is thu•.
1. That wherein Stephen and the rest were imployed, is the office of a Deacon: for the first institution of them by the Page 39 Apostles, is in that example: But they were onely to attend upon the provision for the poore, Acts 6.4 &c. Therefore the office of the Deacon, is onely to attend upon the distributing the poore, from the libe•alli•y of the Saints.
2. That which the Apostle maketh an ordinary and distinct office from others in the Church, must be attended upon by them, that are in the same office▪ and not bee mingled with any other; but the Apostle Rom. 12.8. maketh destributing in simplicity, such an office as it is expounded by M. Calvin, Be∣za, Bucer, Martyr. &c. Therefore the Deacons office must bee attended upon, and consequently, it consisteth onely in dist••∣buting, &c.
3 That which the Apostles found themselves insufficient for, that can no man now discharge in any tollerable measure, for they were more adorned with gifts, then any be now: but they found themselves insufficient for the Ministrie of the word, and destributing unto the poore also, Acts. 6.2. Therefore no man can in any tollerable measure, discha•ge the office of a Minister and Deacon also, and consequently, the Deacon is to attend upon distributing onely.
4. If the Ministeries of the word bee perfect, without the Deacon, then may •ee not meddle in the same, for how may one lawfully labour, in that wherein there is no neede of him: But such is the ministery of the word, where the severall Mi∣nisters thereof are named, Ephes. 4.11. wherein the Deacon is not contained, as Whitgift c•nfesseth, pag. 308. & 309. There∣fore the Deacon may not meddle with the Ministry of the word, and consequently must be implyed onely in destributing &c.
5. If there be no qualitie required in the perfect description of the Deacon, which is proper to the Ministery of the word, then is not be to medle with the same: But the former is true, as appeareth, 1 Tim. 3.8. Therefore the latter is true a so, and consequently, hee must attend onely upon distributing, &c.
6. If it belong to the Deacons office, to meddle with the Minestery of the word and Sacraments, then it is greater, then that of the pastor, for that the doing of both, requireth greater gifts then the one: But it is not a greater, but inferiour office to the pastor, as appeareth by all those places, wherein Page 40 they are described, that the Deacon is described after the Bishop: therefore his office is not to meddle with both, and consequently hee must attend upon distributing, &c.
*7. Deacons are Ministers of tables, and not of holy things.
8. In the Ministers sicknesse, the Deacons shall roade the Ho∣milies of the Fathers.
9. The Deacons have neede of great wisedome, al∣though the preaching of the word bee not committed unto them: and further, it is absurd that they should doe both the office of Preaching, and caring for the poore, concidering that they bee not able to doe both thorowly.
10. Although the (goods of the CHVRCH in∣creasing) there were besides the Deacons,* subdeacons and Archdeacons, and yet the Deacons remained still in their charge for the poore, and were not as yet mingled with the Bishoppes or Priests, and with the order of them which taught.
11. The Office of Deaconshippe, was religiously kept in the CHVRCH,* untill it was driven out by Anti∣christ.
*12. This Office must of necessitie bee restored as it is described, Acts the Sxth, if England (for hee speaketh it in the behalfe of our Church) will receive the Discipline of Christ.
*13. Speaking of these Deacons, lamenteth that this or∣der, is so fallen out of the Church that the name doth scarse remaine.
*14. Describing the Deacons of the Apostles time, saith, that wee after their example, ought to have the like.
15. The office of distributing the goods of the Church, is an ordinary function in a CHVRCH lawfully consti∣tuted;* the which Section thirty, hee calleth the Deacon∣ship.
Page 41Therefore if Stephen and the rest were imployed,* onely in distributing the goods of the Church; if the Apostle maketh the Deacons office, an ordinary and distinct office from all others in the Church; if the Apostles were not sufficient for the ministery of the word, and distributing; if the ministeries of the word be perfect without the Deacon; if in the descrip∣tion of the Deacon, no qualitie be required, that is proper to a Minister of the word; if to deal in both would make the Deacon a g•eater officer then the Pastor; if the Councels, an∣cient writers, and the sound writers of latter times, do declare that the Deacons were to be wholly imployed in the distribu∣ting of the goods of the Church; then must it needs follow, that his office is not to meddle with any part of the Ministery of the Word and Sacraments, but to attend onely upon the di∣stributing of the liberalitie of the Church, unto them that stand in need thereof.
Their objections hereunto, be these two that follow.
1 Objection. Philip one of the seven Deacons did preach, Act. 8.8. therefore Deacons may preach the Word.
Answer. Philip was a Deacon of the Church at Jerusalem, while they abode together, but now he was not any more so, but an Evangelist, as he is ever tearmed after, by vertue of which office he did preach.
2 Object. Steven, being a Deacon, preached, Act. 7.2.
Answ. He preached not; for all that is there, was but his Apology at the seat of judgement, which every man in the like case may do, and which many of the Martyrs have done.
So that the former proposition being true, upon the grounds alledged, notwithstanding these objections, we are to proceed to the second, which is this.
There ought to be such Deacons (as are described in the for∣mer proposition) in every congregation,* which is thus proved.
1 That office which every congregation hath need of, ought to be in every congregation: But every congregation hath need of the Deacons office, which appeareth by this, that they have poore to provide for (or else they must regard the necessitie of others) and the liberalitie of others to distribute: Page 42 Therefore Deacons ought to be in every congregation.
2 That which is indefinitely appointed for the good of the Church, belongeth unto every congregation, as well as to any one: But such is the appointment of the Deacons. 1. Tim. 3.8. Therefore there must be Deacons in every congregation.
*3 Every Church ought to have their office of Deaconship.
4 All the reasons (or the most of them) that are alledged, chap. 10. for a Bishop in every congregation, and chap. 12. for Elders in every congregation; are forcible hereunto.
Therefore, if there be the like need of Deacons in one con∣gregation,* that is in another; if they be appointed indefinitely for the good of the Church; if every Church must have their office of Deaconship, and L••tly, if there be like reasons to prove them belong to every Church, that be for Bishops and Elders: then must it needs follow, that there ought to be Deacons in every congregation.
THere ought to be in every congregation, an Eldership, consisting of a Pastor or Pastors▪ Doctor (if there be any) and Elders, whose authoritie Christ hath ordained to be per∣petuall in his Church, to govern the same onely by the rules of Gods Word: T.C. 1. book, pag. 175. Discip. Ecclesiast. 123. which containeth these 3. particular propositions, defended by us, and gainsaid by the Bb. and their adherents.
1 The Eldership ought to be in every congregation.
2 The office of the Eldership is perpetuall.
3 The Church must be governed, onely by the rules of Gods Word.
*The first is denied by them, Whitgift pag. 627. and by their practise, in tying the government of many Churches to the Bb. sea, it is thus proved.
1 Whatsoever Chr•st hath ordained, as a means, to keep men in obedience to the Gospel, that same must be in everie congregation, for particular men are in particular congrega∣tions: But Christ hath ordained the Eldership for that end, as appeareth, Matth. 18.15. &c. where Chrysost▪ expoundeth: Tell Page 43 the Church: that is, saith he, the governours of the Church: Therefore the Eldership ought to be in every Church.
2 Where all sorts of Elders ought to be, there must be also the joyning of their offices in one, for the good of that con∣gregation over which they are placed: But all sorts of Elders ought to be in every congregation, as is proved in the 10. chap. for Bishops, the 12. for Elders, &c. Therefore there must be an Eldership in every congregation.
3 If no particular congregation have greater priviledges given thereunto by the Word of God then others have, then must there either be no Eldership at all (which is false, in that Elders are proved to be by the Word of God in the Church) or else it must be in every congregation: But every congrega∣tion is of like priviledge, which appeareth by this, that it is a perfect body of it self: Therefore there must be an Eldership in everie congregation.
4 The same warrant that is in the Word of God, for to have an Eldership in one place, is a warrant for it in all; for the Word of God tyeth it, not to Churches in cities, but inde∣finitely to the Church: But there is warrant for it out of the Word to be some where, as appeareth by this, tha• the Apo∣stles are said to establish it, and make mention of it: Therefore it must be in every congregation.
Therefore, if the Eldership be ordained by Christ,* as a means to keep men in obedience unto the Gospel; if all sorts of El∣ders must be in every Church; if every congregation be of e∣quall priviledges; lastly if there be the like warrant for it in every Church, that is in any: then must it needs follow, that there ought to be an Eldership in every congregation.
Whatsoever is objected against this, that hath any shew in it, is answered in the 12. chap. of Elders.
The office of the Eldership is ordained by Christ to be per∣petuall, and ordinarie for the government of his Church,*T. C. 1. book, 177. denied by them▪ Whitgift, 627. and by their practice in keeping it out: but the truth of it appeareth by these reasons that do follow.
1 If the causes why Christ would have an Eldership in his Church be perpetuall,* then must also the thing it self be perpe∣tuall: But the causes are perpetuall, which be to govern the Page 44 Church by the rules of his Word, and that ecclesiastically: Therefore the Eldership is perpetuall.
2 If Christ be the author of the Eldership, and left it by the Apostles to be established in the Church, then it is perpetuall; for his commission given to the Apostles, is to be observed un∣to the end of the world: But Christ is the author of it, as ap∣peareth both by his giving of the gifts for the particular members thereof, and the whole body of it; as also in that the Apostles did establish it in the Church, who went not from their commission, 1. Cor. 11.12. Therefore the Eldership is perpetuall.
3 Whatsoever is the commandment of God, once deliver∣ed by him, is never repealed again, and to be acknowledged of every spirituall man; that same is to be received by the Church of God to be perpetuall: But such is the government of the Church by Pastors, Doctors, and Elders, and so of the whole Eldership, as appeareth in that they are all mentioned in the writings of S. Paul, which are so esteemed: 1. Corinth. 14.37. Therefore the government of the Church by an Eldership is perpetuall.
4 That whose severall parts is perpetuall, and which hath perpetuall gifts given, for the furnishing thereof for ever; that same must needs be perpetuall: But the severall parts of the Eldership, as Pastor, Doctor▪ and Elders, be perpetual, as is pro∣ved in the 10. & 12 chap. Therfore the Eldership is perpetual.
5 Whatsoever is grounded upon the generall command∣ments, and rules of the Scriptures, that same is perpetual: But the governing of the Church by the Eldership, is such, as hath partly been proved in election and ordination, and execution of the severall Church officers, which is the greatest part of government, and shall further appear, in the censures of the Church hereafter: Therefore the government of the Church by the Eldership, is perpetuall.
6 Whatsoever manner of government hath sufficient power, and that from God, to begin, continue, and strengthen, both the governors of the Church in their callings, and the people in the course of obedience unto Christ; that same government is to be perpetuall: But such is the government by the Elder∣ship, as appeareth by this, that the Apostles used no other: Page 45 Therefore the Eldership is to be perpetuall.
7 That government which the 12 Apostles, and Paul▪ before they consulted together, did uniformly ag••e in, that same must needs be of God, and consequently perpetuall, unlesse the repealing of it do appear: but such is the government by the Eldership, (for all the adversaries thereunto, confesse that it was in the Apostles time:) Therefore it is perpetuall.
8 Whatsoever hath the same grounds, that the preaching of the Wo•d and ministration of the Sacraments have, the same is perpetuall: But such is the government of the Elder∣ship, for it is grounded upon the commandments of Christ▪ and practise of the Apostles: Therefore it is perpetuall.
9 That which hath the like grounds to be perpetuall, that the Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelists, had to be for a time, the same is perpetuall: But such is the government of the Church by an Eldership, which appeareth by this, that they are therefore ceased, because their gifts of immediate calling, &c. be gone, and the gifts of these, joyntly and severally do remain: Therefore it is perpetuall.
10 Whatsoever is the perpetuall and ordinarie remedie to cure diseases of the Church, and strengthen the health of the same, that same is perpetuall: But such is the government by the Eldership, as appeareth by the necessitie, and profit of the severall offices thereof, and of this, that we are still to observe in causes of extremities: Tell the Church, Matth. 18.17. There∣fore it is perpetuall.
11 That government which was in the Church appointed of God under the Law, and continued (in respect of the sub∣stance) by Christ and his Apostles, and bettered (in respect of the accedents) by them, that same is perpetuall: But such is the government by the Eldership, as appeareth in the 12. reason of the 1 chap. Therefore it is perpetuall.
12 If there be any reason why this government should be alterable (being once set in the Church by Christ) it is either in respect of the extraordinarie offices ceased, or the addition of the Magistrate: But not of the former, because the Church hath never had any need of extraordinary gifts, but God hath given them, and so will he ever: nor of the latter, for that the Magistrates office is to defend the building of the Church by Page 46 that order which Christ hath set downe, and not to alter any thing therein: Therefore it is perpetuall.
13 Either this government is the best and perpetuall, or els there is none, and so Christ should be thought to have left his Church without a government, which is disproved in the 7 and 8 reasons in the first chap. for this was once established by Christ, and so was no other: But some government must needs be the best and perpetuall: Therefore this is perpetuall.
*14 No man may justly forbid (speaking of the Church-government) to returne to the old constitution of the Church of God, and to receive it before the custome of men.
15 Experience teacheth this order (speaking of the Church government) was not for one age, but necessary to all ages.
16 Though the Common-wealth change her government, yet the Church must keepe hers still.
17 Lamenteth, that some were found among them that are esteemed forwardest, which would not have the same disci∣pline used now adayes, that was in the Apostles times, obje∣cting the difference of times and men.
*18 The Apostles have written these Lawes, (speaking of Discipline) not for a day, or for the first age, but to endure for all times to come; and therefore have ratified them with a most earnest obtestation: 1 Tim. 6.14. that these commande∣ments should be kept untill the day of the Lord.
*Therefore, if the causes of once ordaining an Eldership, be perpetuall, if Christ be the Author of it, and left it in the Church by the Apostles; if it be Gods commandement, not yet repealed; if the parts of it, and gifts for it be perpetuall; if it be grounded upon the generall commandements and rules of the Scriptures; if it have sufficient power from God, to be∣gin, continue, and confirme a Church; if it was agreed upon by the twelve Apostles and Paul, before they met together; if it have the same grounds with the preaching of the Word; if it have as good grounds to be perpetuall as the Apostles, &c▪ to be for a time; if it be the perpetuall remedy against all the diseases of the Church; if it was under the Law, and inriched by Christ and his Apostles under the Gospell; if it be neither alterable in respect of the extraordinary offices ceased, nor the Magistrate added to the Church; if it be the onely govern∣ment, Page 47 that challengeth authoritie from God; if no man may justly forbid it, if it be necessary for all times; if the common∣wealth may change her government, but not the Church; if the difference of times and men be nothing against it; lastly▪ if the rules that the Apostles gave for it, be confirmed with a charge, to be kept untill the comming of Christ: then must it needs follow, that the government of the Church by an El∣dership, ought to be perpetuall.
They object, that many inconveniences would follow up∣on this government, which are severally to be answered.
1 Objection. By this every Parish shall follow their Seniors,* and then there will be so many Elderships, so many divers fa∣shions, seeing one may not meddle with another.
Answer. The government desired is uniforme for every Church, and admitteth no change, no not in outward cere∣monies, without a Synode of the choyce men of severall El∣derships.
2 Objection▪ If they being all meane men, chuse an Earle, he may not refuse, but be at their bo•k and commandment.
Answer. No man that is chosen is compelled to an office against his will, but he that despiseth to consult with others in Gods matters, because they be poore, reproacheth God that made them, Pro. 17.5.
3 Objection. It overburdeneth the Parish, to provide for the nourishment of so many Church-Officers.
Answer. It is not necessary that they should provide for any moe of them, saving those that are exercised in the mini∣stery of the Word, unlesse any of the rest may need the libe∣ralitie of the Church.
4 Objection. It bringeth in a new Popedome and tyranny into the Church.
Answer. It is blasphemie to tearme the government of Christ so, because we refuse the tyranny of the Pope, shall we therefore doe what we list, and •o• yeeld obedience to the Scepter of Christ.
5 Objection. It is a kinde of Donatisme to challenge such authoritie over Princes.
Answer. And it is flattery to suffer Princes to do what they list; this is the objection of Gualter, who is a professed enemy to discipline.
Page 486 Objection. It taketh away Princes authoritie in causes Ecclesiasticall.
Answer. No more than it did from David in his time, nor so much as the Bb. doe now▪ for the Prince requireth but this, to see the Church well ordered, which the Eldership alloweth and craveth.
7 Objection. It transformeth the state of the Common∣wealth, into a meere popularitie, and will alter the govern∣ment thereof.
Answer. It neither transformeth nor altereth any thing in it, for let it be shewed what damage would come by this dis∣cipline to any Magistracy, from the Princes throne, to the of∣fice of the headborough.
8 Objection. It will breed contention and partialitie in judgement.
Answer. Where can be greater contention than the Bb. maintaine for their kingdome, or greater partialitie than in them, to their kinsfolks, servants, Sycophants, &c.
9 Objection. It will be contemned, and so good order neg∣lected.
Answer. None ever deserved more contempt, than the Bb. and their officers doe, for all their pompe: but God whose ordinance it is, will procure sufficient awe unto it; mark how these Objections stand together, in the fourth it was tyranny, and here it is too contemptible; these be contrary.
10 Objection. All alterations be dangerous.
Answer. Never (where we change from the obedience of Antichrist, to the service of the living God) was it ever dange∣rous to amend things amisse, by that course which is descri∣bed of God: if it were, let the particular of it appeare, this might well have beene Stephen Gardiners reason for Popery, in the time of King Henry the eight.
*The Church must be governed onely by the rules of Gods Word, this is in effect, the proposition of the first Chapter, whereunto all those reasons there alledged may be referred; there is advouched generally, the certain grounds of the whole discipline, against the imagined libertie left to the Church: here is affirmed the particular direction of the Church-go∣vernment, by the authoritie of the Eldership, to proceed ac∣cording Page 49 to the rules of Gods revealed will, and not by that cur∣sed and monstrous Cannon Law, which is made manifest unto us by these reasons.
1. All governours are to execute their authoritie, by the same warrant from which they have it: But the governours of the Church of God, have their warrant to be gove•nours onely from the Word, 1 Cor. 12.28. Therefore they must govern• the Church onely by the Word.
2. The Church is to be governed by that which the Mini∣sters may teach unto the same, for they are taught to the end that they may obey, and so be governed by the same: But the Ministers may teach nothing but the Word of God. 1 Cor. 11.23. Therefore the Church is to be governed onely by the word of God.
3. That which maketh the Church obedient unto Christ, must be the direction whereby it is to be governed: Onely the Word of God maketh the Church obedient unto Christ: Ther∣fore it is to be governed by the rules of Gods Word.
4. Every kingdome or houshold, must be governed onely by the Lawes of the King, or orders of the housholder: The church is the kingdome and house of God, and his Word is the onely Law that he hath given for the same: Therefore it must be go∣verned onely by the Word of God.
5. That which was ordained to destroy the church of God, cannot be a good rule to governe the same by: But such is the cannon law, for it was ordained to strengthen the kingdome of Antichrist▪ Abstract. Therefore it cannot be a good rule to di∣rect the Church by, and consequently, it must be governed by the Word, for no other rule is offered unto us, but the one of these twaine.
6. That which was invented by the Dragon, that persecuteth the woman and her childe, that same cannot be good for the Church, which is that woman: But such is the cannon law▪ for it was invented by Antichrist, which is that dragon: Therefore it cannot be good for the ruling of the Church, and conse∣quently, &c.
7. That which strengtheneth the power of darknesse and ig∣norance, cannot be good to guide them, that must walk in light and knowledge: But the cannon law strengtheneth the power Page 50 of darknesse and ignorance, for it increaseth Popery, as appea∣reth by this, that there is scarce an Officer towards it, in these dayes of knowledge, but he is a Papist: Therefore it cannot be good to guide the Church of God.
8. That which destroyeth the Church of God, cannot be good to rule the same: But the cannot law destroyeth it, for it crosseth every faithfull Minister in the discharge of his dutie, and every go•d Christian, walking in the wayes of godlinesse, and nippeth in the head every good action, as experience tea∣cheth us: Therefore it cannot be a good rule to governe the Church by.
9. That which hath bred moe trayterous Papists in England, than the Seminaries at Rom• and Rhemes▪ that same cannot be good to governe the Church of God: But such is the cannon law, for it hath kept out discipline, nourished ignorance, and fostered superstition and popery, in all estates of people, that never came at those Seminaries: Therefore it cannot be a good rule to governe the Church of God by.
10. That which nourisheth the hope of Antichrist to returne hither againe, cannot be good to direct in the government of the Church: But such is the cannon law, for it keepeth the ca∣ges for those uncleane birds; as Archb. and L. Bb. seas, arches, cathedrall Churches, &c. Therefore it cannot be a good rule for the direction of the Church.
11. That which all the Churches have cast off, as unfit for the government of the Church, cannot be good for the same: But all the Churches, that have forsaken the Pope (yea they that have not received the discipline of Christ wholly) have cast off the cannon law: Therefore it cannot be good for the same.
12. Yea, we our selves mislike it, as appeareth by a statute made under Edw. 6.
*Therefore, if Governours are to rule by the same authoritie whereby they are governours; if the Church must be governed, by that which the Ministers may teach; if the Word of God onely, make the Church obedient unto Christ; if every King∣dome must be ruled by the lawes of their King; and if the can∣non law be ordained to destroy the Church; if it was invented to persecute the Church; if it strengthen the power of darknesse and ignorance; if it kill the Church of God; if it breed moe Page 51 traiterous Papists, than the Seminaries at Rome and Rhemes; if it nourish the hope of Antichrists returne: lastly, if all the Churches that have forsaken the Pope, have cast it off also; yea, if we our selves doe mislike it: then must it needs follow, that the Church ought to be governed, onely by that golden rule of Gods Word, & not by that leaden lump of the cannon law.
THe office of the Church-government, is meere Ecclesiasticall, and therefore the Governours of the Church may not med∣dle, but onely in Church-matters; as for example, vocation, and abdication, deciding of controversies, in doctrine and man∣ners, so far as appertaineth to conscience, and the Church cen∣sures, T.C. book 1. pag. 206. Discip. Eccle. 126. but they thinke that Church-governours, may also meddle in civill causes: Whitegift pag. 749. and their practice, that take upon them to be Councellers of state, to judge civilly, as punish with impri∣sonment, &c. But this is disproved, and so the former proved by these reasons.
1. That which our Saviour Christ refused, because it belon∣ged not unto him, ruling and teaching the Church, that same is not lawfull for any Ecclesiast. person to doe: But Christ re∣fused to divide the inheritance, Luk. 12.14. onely because he came to build a spirituall kingdome▪ for otherwise he being God, had authoritie over all things: Therefore it is not lawfull for Ecclesiasticall persons to be Judges of civill causes.
2. That which was forbidden the Apostles, is unlawfull for every Ecclesiasticall Officer, for they were the chiefe under Christ, and had (after a sort) all offices in themselves, untill they could plant them in others: But such dominion was forbidden them, as the Kings of the nations, and other civill Magistrates have, Luk. 22.28 which is, to rule civilly: Therefore they may not exercise any civill authoritie.
3. If necessary duties are to be left, rather than our duties to the Church should not be thorowly discharged, then may not a Church Officer deale in civill jurisdiction, which is lesse ne∣cessary unto him: But the former is true, as appeareth by the Page 52 words of Christ, to him that would have buried his father, Luke 9.59.60. Therefore they may not exercise any civill au∣thoritie.
4 If he that hath an office must attend upon it, then may he not meddle in another, for he cannot attend them both at once: But the former is true, Rom. 12.7. Therefore may no Church-officer, meddle with temporall jurisdiction.
5 As the Souldier is in his warfare, so are Church officers, in the ruling of Gods Church: But the Souldier entangleth not himself in the things of this life, because they are of another nature to his warfare; which place Cyprian alledgeth against a Minister, that became an Executor to his friends Will: There∣fore Church-officers may not meddle with Civill-officers, be∣cause they are of another nature, then his calling.
6 Those things that in themselves are of contrarie qualitie, cannot concur in one subject: But the governments of the Church and common-wealth be such, not onely in this, that they are the next speciall members of one generall, but also, in that the one is spirituall, and the other temporall, the one re∣specteth the soul, and the other the body. Therefore they can∣not be in one man together, and consequently, &c.
7 If the government of the Church, both in every particular mans office, and in the generall Eldership, be a matter of great weight, and the ability of man, very small in every good action, then may not a Church-officer meddle in another calling, whereby he is made lesse able to discharge his dutie: But the former is true, as all men may see, that look into the Word of God, what is required of such men, and know by the same Word, the manifold infirmities and untowardnesse of man: Therefore the latter must needs be true also.
8 If the Apostles (who were the most able of all others) found themselves unfit for two offices, which were both Ecclesiastical; then is the best Church-governour unfit for two, which be of more difference one from another, as be the government of the Church and commonwealth: But the former is true, as appear∣eth, Act. 6.2. Therefore the latter must needs be true also.
9 That which we justly reprove in the Papists, must needs (if we do like) be found more unlawfull and intolerable in our Page 53 selves: But we justly reprove the Papists, for having in their hands both the swords, that is, the Ecclesiasticall and civill ju∣risdiction: Therefore it is more intolerable being found in any of us.
10 If it be lawfull for an Ecclesiasticall person, to exercise the office of the civill Magistrate, then (on the contrary) it is lawfull for the civill Magistrate, to exercise the offices of Ecclesiasticall persons, for there is as good reason for the one, as the other▪ But the latter is unlawfull; for who would like of any L. Major, to step into the Pulpit and preach, &c. Therefore the first is un∣lawfull also.
11 They may not intangle themselves with worldly offices,* but attend upon their Ecclesiasticall affairs.
12 None of the Clarks or Clergie,* shall receive any charge of those which are under age▪ the cause of that decree, is there said to be, for that there were certain Ministers, that were Ste∣wards to Noblemen; and in the 7. Canon, that none of them should receive any secular honours.
13 The Bb. shall onely attend unto prayer,* reading and preaching.
14 He bringeth divers reasons to prove,* that Bb. may neither usurpe, nor take (being offered unto them) any civill office.
15 He sheweth how the offices are to be distinguished, and in what sort it is said, that the Fathers dealt in the things of this life, and how the corporall punishments by the Apostles were particular and extraordinarie.
16 When both the offices meet in one man,* the one hindreth the other, so that he that exerciseth the one, cannot minister the other.
17 There is no man so wise and holy, which is able to exer∣cise both the Civill, and Ecclesiasticall power,* and therefore he that will exercise the one, must leave the other.
Therefore, if Christ refused to judge in temporall causes, be∣cause it belonged not to his office;* if civill dominion was for∣bidden the Apostles; if necessarie duties are rather to be left un∣done, then our diligence in the matters of the Church should be lessened; if he that hath an office, must attend upon it; if we may not be intangled with any hindrance; if the Civill and Ecclesi∣asticall Page 54 functions, be of contrary natures; if every office in the Church, be more then any one can perfectly discharge; if the Apostles found themselves unfit for two offices of like nature; if we justly reprove the Papists for their two swords; if a Magi∣strate may not preach; if they may not meddle with worldly offices, nor be tutors to Orphans, but attend onely unto the ministery of the word, &c. if they may neither usurpe, nor take (being offered) any civill office; if they be to be distinguished to severall persons, or else one hindreth the other; lastly, if none be able to execute both, then must it needs follow, that Ecclesiasti∣call officers may not bear civill offices: and consequently the office of the Church-government, is meer Ecclesiasticall.
Their objections hereunto be these.
1 Objection. It countenanceth and maintaineth Religion, to have civill authoritie.*
Answ. It is (in deed) the Papists reason for their two swords, which M. Calvin confuteth: Instit. book 4. cap. 11. sect. 9.
2 Obj•ction. It is good to punish vice by corporall punish∣ment, that Gods Word may be the better obeyed.
Ans. It is good to preach Gods Word to men that they may obey their Prince for conscience sake; may the Magistrate ther∣fore preach? we may not do every thing that is good, but onely that which is agreeable to our callings.
3 Object. Eli and Samuel, were both Priests and Judges.
Answ. They were extraordinary (for God separated those two offices in Moses, and gave the one unto Aaron) and so was Eliahs killing of the false Prophets▪ and Christs whipping of the buyers and sellers out of the temple.
4 Object. Peter killed Ananias, therefore Bb. may have prisone.
Ans. It was by his word onely, and not by any civill punish∣ment, if they can do the like▪ Peters example will serve their tu•n•, if not, then must it be (with the former) extraordinarie.
THe placing and displacing of Church-officers, appertain∣eth unto the Eldership. This is proved in the 7. chap. & their objections are there answered for the first part, which is the pla∣cing: Page 55 but the latter part is to be cleared by some moe reasons, because the Bb. do displace the best Ministers at their pleasure, which is proved to be a most wicked action, by these reasons.
1 Those that are called unto the Ministery by the Lord from heaven, and outwardly by the means of men, so long as they are blamelesse in doctrine and conversation 1. Tim. 3.10. cannot be displaced▪ without hainous wickednesse against the manifest wil of God: But such are the Ministers that the Bb. do daily dis∣place, as they confesse themselves, when (even) in their sermons they justifie their doctrine, in saying that they differ onely in outward rites; and as their greatest enemies will say, when they are asked of such mens lives: Therefore they cannot be displa∣ced without great wickednesse.
2 Those that are carefull to discharge the dutie of Gods Ministers, both in teaching▪ and giving example to their flocks, cannot be displaced without great impietie: Such are these Ministers, that are daily displaced, as appeareth by this, that they preach more diligently then any other, and that they follow not the course of the world, in adding living unto li∣ving, but many of them (being as worthy for their gifts, as the worthiest) live poorely, rather then they will want the com∣fort of a good conscience: Therefore they cannot be put to si∣lence without great sin.
3 To deprive Gods people of their spirituall comfort, is a grievous and horrible wickednesse: To put such to silence as are before mentioned, is to deprive Gods people of their spiri∣tuall comfort: which if any man will denie, all the godly where such a one dwelleth, shall tell him he lieth: Therefore to displace such Ministers, is a hainous and horrible wicked∣nesse.
4 That which giveth occasion to the weake to stumble and fall away from the Gospel, is a hainous and horrible sin: But such is the displacing of those Ministers, as appeareth by this, that many doubt whether that which he hath taught be true, whom the professors of the Gospel do display, and by this, that many who had made good beginnings, by the discontinuance of their teachers, do fall away: Therefore to displace those Ministers, is a hainous and horrible sin.
Page 565 Those whose labours God doth blesse, cannot be displa∣ced without fighting against God, and consequently great im∣pietie: But such are th•se Ministers that the Bb. do daily dis∣place, as all that love the Gospel in every countrey can witnes: Therefore to displace them is great impiety.
6 That action which giveth the common enemy just cause to rejoyce, and hope to get the victory, is a hainous and horri∣ble offence: But such is the displacing of those Ministers, as ap∣peareth in every countrey, where such Ministers are displaced, and such enemies do dwell: Therefore to displace such, is a hai∣nous and horrible offence.
7 That action that causeth the doers thereof to be esteemed enemies to the Gospel, must needs be a hainous sin: But such is the putting of those Ministers to silence, for it maketh the peo∣ple that have any love to Religion, think that they are not of God in so doing, for, say they, he that loveth Christ, cannot crosse the course of the Gospel as these men do: therefore the displacing of them is a hainous sin.
8 That which letteth in more wickednesse at once, then the diligent preaching of the Word could drive out in divers yeers, must needs be a hainous sin: but such is the displacing of these Ministers: for, prophaning of the Sabbath, and all disorder, cometh into a congregation the same day that such a Mini∣ster, that hath long laboured against it is displaced, as experi∣ence in such places proveth: therefore to displace such Mini∣sters is a hainous sin.
9 That which interrupteth the course of the Gospel, with∣out warrant either from Gods Word, or the Laws of the land, is a hainous and horrible sin: Such is the displacing of those Ministers, as is proved in all the writings on our side; and last∣ly, in the answer to D. Bridges: therefore to displace such Mi∣nisters, is a hainous and horrible sin.
Therefore if the Ministers that be usually displaced, be cal∣led of God;* if they discharge the dutie of good Ministers, both in doctrine and life; if the displacing of them, be to deprive Gods people of their spirituall comfort; if it give occasion to some to doubt of the Gospel, and to fall away; if God give a blessing unto their labours; if the displacing of them give the Page 57 enemy matter to rejoyce, and hope to overcome; if it c••se the displacer• to be esteemed enemies to the Gospel; if it let in more wickednesse in one day, then preaching can throw out in many yeers; if it interrupt the course of the Gospel, with∣out warrant either from the Word of God, or Laws of the Land; th•n must it needs follow, that the displacing of those Ministers is a most hainous, and horrible sin against the Lord.
THe Eldership is to admonish every one, by whom offence appeareth unto them to grow in the Church: There is no question between us, about admonition it self, but this they deny, that the execution of any discipline (and therefore of this point) belongeth unto the Eldership; which point is pro∣ved in the severall Chapters going before: so that I need not say any thing of this, saving with (a reason or twain) to shew the necessitie and benefit of it in the Church of God.
1 That which private men offended, are commanded to seek unto for the redresse of the offender, is a necessarie, and an ordinarie way for the amendment of them that do offend in the Church of God: But such is the admonition of those that are in authoritie, and carry the name of the Church, Matth. 18.15. see chap. 14. and the 1. proposition of the same: Therefore admonition in such cases by the Eldership, is a necessarie and ordinarie way, for their amendment that do offend.
2 That which is more available to bring the offender to repentance, than private admonition▪ either by one, or moe, that same is very profitable and necessarie in the Church of God: But such is the publike admonition by the governours of the Church, as appeareth by this, that Christ maketh it a remedie, when the other two will not prevail, Matth. 18.15. Therefore it is verie profitable and necessarie in the Church of God.
3 That which maketh men more afraid to offend, then an• admonition that private men can give, is profitable and necessarie in the Church of God: But such is the Eldership, Page 58 before whom men know they shall be brought if they do not amend: Therefore it is very profitable and necessarie in the Church of God.
4 That which hath a greater promise to do good, then private admonition, is very necessarie in the Church of God: But such is the admonition that is given by the Eldership, be∣cause it prevaileth when the former doth not: Therefore it is profitable in the Church of God.
5 That without which, all duties of charity cannot be exercised towards sinners, is needfull to be in the Church of God: But without admonition by the Eldership, all duties of charitie cannot be exercised towards sinners: Therefore it is needfull to be in the Church of God.
6 That which would bridle the outragious sins of some, and keep in the derision and mockerie, that private admoni∣tions do receive, is needfull to be in the Church of God: But this would admonition by the Eldership do; for if men knew that they should answer unto the Church for their ill dem••∣nour, to them that rebuke them for sinning▪ they would re∣frain (at least for fear) from such kinde of outrage: There∣fore it is needfull to be in the Church of God.
*Therefore seeing publike admonition before the Eldership is to be sought, by those that are offended, and cannot be sa∣tisfied; seeing it is more available then private admonition; seeing it maketh men more afraid to offend; seeing it hath a greater promise; seeing without it all duties of charitie, can∣not be exercised towards the sinner; lastly seeing it would bridle the outragious sins of many; therefore it must needs follow, that it is very profitable, and necessarie to be in the Church of God.
THose that be not reclaimed from their faults by admoni∣tion, are by the Eldership to be suspended from the Lords Supper, or being officers of the Church, from the execution of their office, untill they do either give good testimonie of their amendment, or just cause to be further proc••ded Page 59 against. Neither is there any controversie betwixt them and us, about this point; saving that (as in the former) they will denie it to appertain to the Eldership, which is proved before. I will therefore (for their understanding that desire direction in the truth) first, shew that it is a course that hath warrant in the Scripture•; secondly, that it is of very profitable use in the Church of God: the first is thus proved.
1 Whatsoever is enjoyned, as a dutie to be done by every Christian, if he leave it undone,* he is to be compelled by the governours of the Church to do it, Luke 14.17.23. But if a mans brother have any thing against him, and he make no conscience to leave his gift there, and be first reconciled, Mat. 5.24. he is to be compelled to do it: Therefore separation from the Lords Supper is warra•ted by the Word.
2 If that commandment of Christ, Matth. 7 5. give not that which is holy unto dogs, can neither be properly under∣stood of them, that were never of the Church, nor them that be excommunicated; then it is a warrant for such separation of the unworthy, and consequently, that separation is war∣ranted in the word: But the former is true, as appeareth by this, that the meanest of the Jews did know, that holy things belonged to neither of them, and so the commandment had been needlesse: Therefore suspention is warranted by the Word.
3 If there be sinners that are not to be excommunicated, and yet it were offensive to give them the Lords Supper, then is this course warranted by the Word, for else should Christ have left his Church destitute of direction, in common and usuall difficulties, which is proved in the first chapter to be otherwise: But such s••ners there are as the notorious sinner repenting; men mainly suspected of notorious transgressions, &c. Therefore suspention hath his warrant in the word.
4 The course that God prescribed in the shadow, for cor∣porall purifyings, must in the body (in respect of the sub∣stance) be observed in the spirituall clensing of every member of the Church: But many were separated from the publike sacrifices for a season, by reason of their corporall unclean∣nesse, who, yet were not worthy to be excommunicated▪ Page 60 Therefore must also some be kept from the Lords Supper for a season, who yet appeare not so hainously to have sinned, as to deserve excommunication.
5. The Church cannot without great offence, suffer one that hath fallen into some open sinne, or that is vehemently s•spected, to have hainously offended, continue in the ad∣ministration of any publike function: But the Church cannot justly displace such a man at the first, making shew of repen∣tance, or standing upon his purgation: Therefore he must be separated for a time.
6. That which was commanded under the Law to be done to the Priest, that was uncleane in body, or suspected to be a Leaper; that same must much more under the Gospell, be done unto the Minister, or other Church-Officer, that hath sinned, or is suspected to have committed a great sinne. But such a Priest was to be separated from offering of sacrifices for a certaine time: Therefore much more must the like be done to a Church-officer in the like case.
*Therefore, if the Church be to compell a private man to doe his dutie; if, give not holy things to dogges, be under∣stood of them within the Church; if there be sinners that can∣not without offence be admitted to the Lords Supper, and yet deserve not excommunication; if for corporall uncleannesse under the Law, they were to abstaine a certaine time; and if the church cannot without great offence, suffer him that hath committed an open sinne (though he repent) or that is vehe∣mently suspected of a notorious sinne, continue in the execu∣tion of his office, untill the congregation be satisfied; Lastly, if the Priest that was uncleane, or suspected of leprosie, might not offer sacrifices: then is it plaine, that both the separation of some men from the Lords Supper, and other from the exe∣cution of their publique function for a time; is a thing war∣ranted by the word of God.
*The latter part, which is that this kinde of suspention hath a profitable use in the Church of God, is thus proved.
1. That which keepeth the godly in more carefull obedi∣ence, and keepeth in the hypocrites, that they breake not out, is very profitable for the Church of God: But such is the use Page 61 of the separation from the Lords Supper, and from execu∣ting publike function in the Church: Therefore it is profita∣ble in the Church of God.
2. That which removeth (even) the appearance of of∣fence, from the Church of God, is very profitable for the same: But such is the separation: Therefore it is profitable for the Church of God.
3. That which declareth unto the world, that the Church of God is carefull to practice that which it professeth, is ve∣ry profitable: But such is this separation, for it sheweth that they cannot away with ungodly life; no, not among them∣selves: Therefore it is profitable for the Church of God.
4. That which giveth occasion to the church, to be exer∣cised in the actions of Religion, with more sound comfort, is profitable for the same: But such is this separation, for e∣very one shall see thereby, the unworthy (for whose sakes, God might be angry with them all, Josh. 7.11.) weeded from among them: Therefore it is profitable for the Church of God.
5. That which is a speciall meanes to procure the Lord (in mercy) to continue his Word unto his Church, is profi∣table for the same▪ such is this separation; for it is a notable means to keep men in obedience to that which they professe: Therefore it is profitable for the Church of God.
Therefore, if separation of the knowne or suspected sinner,* from the Lords Supper, and such a Church officer from the execution of his publike function, doe keepe men in obedi∣ence that be godly, and restraineth hypocrites from outrage; if it remove the very appearance of evill; if it let the world see, that the Church laboureth to practice that which it doth professe; if it make every member of the Church to be exer∣cised in the actions of Religion, with greater comfort; lastly, if it be a speciall mean to procure the Lord in mercy, to con∣tinue his Word; then must it needs follow, that it is of very profitable use unto the Church of God.Page 62
WHen neither admonition, nor suspention will serve to reclaim the offender, but that it doth appeare, that he abideth in impenitency, and is incorrigible, the El∣dership, after mature deliberation, and commending of the party unto the prayers of the Church (he yet remaining ob∣stinate) is to proceed to excommunication: which containeth these propositions in question betwixt us and the Bb.
1. It may not be done, but upon great and waightie occasion.
2. It may not be done by any one man, but by the Eldership, the whole Church consenting thereunto.
The former is holden by us, T. C. 1 Book, pag. 183. Discip. Eccles. 130. and denied by them in their practice, that send it out (many times) for not paying of six pence. But our as∣sertion is thus proved, and their godlesse practice dispro∣ved.
*1. That which Christ hath ordained for the last remedy against sinne, and onely to be used when neither admoniti∣on, reprehension, nor separation from the externall commu∣nion of the Saints for a time will serve; that same is not to be used, but upon great extremitie: But such is excommunica∣tion, as appeareth, Matth. 18.15. Therefore it may not be used, but upon most waightie occasion, that is, in the case (onely) of extremitie, when no other meanes will serve the turne.
2. That which cutteth a man off from the Church of God, and giveth him over unto Satan, as one in a desperate case, that same may not be used, but in greatest extremitie: But such is excommunication, being used according as God hath left it unto his Church, 1 Cor. 5.5. Therefore it may not be u∣sed, but in greatest extremitie.
3. That which a man will do in the cutting off, of his hand or his foote, that same must the Church doe, in excommuni∣cation; for it is the cutting off, of a member: But a man will try all other wayes, and will never cut off his hand or his foote, untill he see it incurable, and ready to infect the other Page 63 parts of his body: Therefore excommunication may not be used, but in case of greatest extremitie.
4. That which is contrary to naturall affection, and work∣eth that which a loving heart doth tremble to thinke of; that same may not be done, but in greatest extremitie: But such is the excommunication, for it depriveth the party excommuni∣cated of our love, and throweth him into the most wretched case, that can be fall unto man in this life: Therefore it may not be done, but in cases of greatest extremitie.
Therefore, if excommunication be ordained of Christ, as a remedy, onely when all other helpes will not serve;* if it cut the partie from Gods Church, and give him over unto Satan; if it must •e proceeded unto, 〈◊〉 a man doth •o the cutting off of his hand 〈◊〉•oote; lastly, if it be a worke contrary unto the naturall affection of man, and 〈◊〉 that which a lo∣ving heart doth tremble to thinke upon: then must it needs follow, that it is to be proceeded unto, onely in the cases of greatest extremitie, and af••• that all other meanes have beene us•d▪ and doe appeare not to 〈◊〉.
The latter point (which is,* that excommunication may not 〈◊〉 done by one man, but by the Eldership, the whole Church consenting thereunto) is holde•〈◊〉 as, T.C. book 1. pag. 183. Discip. Ecclesiast. 130. &c. and denied by them, Whitgift, pag. 662. and their continuall practise; But our a••e•tion is th•• proved, and their opinion and practice, found to be erro∣neous and ungodly.
1. That which Christ command•d to be done by the Church, may not be done by one man, unlesse you take my L. Grace for the Church, 〈◊〉Whitgift doth, pag. 662. which needeth 〈◊〉 confutation▪ But Christ commended that ex∣communication should 〈◊〉 done by the Church, Matth. 18.15. Therefore it may not be done by one man.
2. That which Paul enjoyned the Church, when they were met together, to doe, may not be done by one man: But he commanded them 〈…〉 the incestuous person, when they were met together, 1 Cor. 5.5. Therefore it may not •• done by one man.
Page 643. That which hath need of greatest advice, and greatest authoritie, may no be done by one man▪ But such is the mat∣ter of excommunication, being the denouncing of that against a man, which he will most hardly beleeve, and being the waightiest point of discipline: Therefore it may not be done by one man.
4. Those must excommunicate, that are to deale in the o∣ther parts of discipline, as shall appeare in the Reasons fol∣lowing, and (a• I thinke) no man will deny: But the other parts of discipline are exercised not by one, but by the church, as hath beene proved: Therefore not one, but the Church is to excommunicate.
5. As it was ministred among the Jewes, so must it be in the Church forever; which appeareth by this, that it is tran∣slated unto us from them (as the Greeke word Synedri•n, be∣ing by a corrupt imitation, called Sanedrim, by the Rabbins, doth import) and had nothing ceremoniall in it: But it was executed among them by the Church, and not any one, Joh. 9.22. Therefore the Church is to excommunicate, and not one man.
*6. Saith, he would never doe any thing in his charge, with∣out the counsell of his Elders, and consent of the people.
7. The Elders, and other Church-officers, have as well power to absolve,* as the Bishop.
*8 For so much as absolution belongeth unto all, I alone dare not doe it.
*9. If there be any that have committed such a fault, that he is to be put away from the partaking of the prayers of the Church, &c. There doe beare rule, certaine of the most ap∣proved Ancients or Elders of the Church, which have obtei∣ned this honour, not by money, but by good report.
*10. It helpeth much to make the party more ashamed, that he be excommunicated by the whole Church: also in his Books of Baptisme, against the Donatists often.
*11. The Elders have interest in other censur•s of the Church, and the Church it selfe in excommunication.
12. S. Paul accuseth the Corinthians▪ for that the whole Church had not excommunicated the incestuous person.
14. It is very dangerous to permit so weightie a matter to one man, and therefore that tyranny may be avoyded,* and this censure executed with greater fruit and gravitie, the or∣der that the Apostle there useth, is still to be observed.
15. He sheweth that it pertaineth not to one man,* that it is a wicked fact that one should take the authoritie to him∣selfe, that is common to others; that it openeth a way to ty∣ranny; taketh from the Church their right, and abrogateth the Ecclesiasticall Senate, ordained by Jesus Christ.
16. The Bishops,* when they excommunicated of them∣selves alone, did it ambitiously, contrary to the decrees of godly Cannons: See Bucer against Gropper, and upon Ephes. 4. De animi C•ra, also Zuinglius in Ecclesiast.
17. It is plentifully forbidden (even) by that filthy pud∣dle, the cannon law,* and therefore it must needs be a hainous sinne, when it findeth fault with it.
Therefore,* if excommunication be to be executed (by the commandement of Christ) of the Church; if S. Paul enjoy∣ned it unto the Church; if it have need of greatest advice and authoritie; if it belong to them that may execute the other parts of Discipline; if it was so executed among the Jewes; if to absolve, be as well in the Elders power, as the Bishops; if Cyprian durst not doe it alone; if it was the action (in Ter∣tullians time) of the most approved Elders; if to be by the whole Church, helpeth much to make the partie more asha∣med, if the whole Church have interest in it; if the whole Church at Corinth was reproved, for not doing it; if it be too waightie a matter for one man; if the executing of it by one, overturneth the order appointed by Christ; bringeth in tyranny; maintaineth ambition; and lastly, be forbidden by the cannon law it selfe. Then must it needs follow, that it belongeth not unto one man to excommunicate, but unto the Eldership, and that with the consent of the whole Church.
Their Objections hereunto in defence of their owne pra∣ctice, be these:
Page 661. Objection. The right of excommunication, was in S. Paul, and not in the rest.
Answer. He gave onely direction in that, as in all other matters, which he wrote of unto them, but if they had not throwne out the incestuous person, he had remained still un∣excommunicated, for all that which S. Paul had said unto them.
2. Objection. Christ gave Peter and every Apostle power to binde and loose in earth and in heaven, which Interpre∣ters expound by Matth. 18.15.
A••wer. That power was of denouncing Gods judge∣ments▪ or pronouncing his mercy in preaching, and not of this action: they are expounded one by another, because of the ratifying of them both in heaven alike.
3. Objection. Paul did excommunicate Hymeneus and Phi∣letus.
Answer. That is, being moderator of the action, he pro∣nounced it, not that he did it alone; The same answer, is to be made unto the Fathers, as Ambrose, &c. who are said to excommunicate.
*Therefore, upon these grounds of Scriptures, Fathers, Councels, Emperours, Lawes, Histories, new Writers, and cleare light of reason. I conclude, that a Christ hath prescri∣bed unto us an exact, and perfect platforme of governing his Church at all times, and in all places; which is this, b that there ought to be no Ministers of the Word, but pastors and teachers, which are to be c called by the people, and d ordai∣ned by the Eldership, are of e equall authoritie in their seve∣rall Congregations, must f with all faithfull diligence imploy themselves, in the Ministery of the Word and Sacraments, g that there are to be in every Congregation certaine Elders, whose office is to oversee the behaviour of the people, and as∣sist their Pastour, in the government of the Church; h also Deacons, who are to be imployed onely in receiving, and be∣stowing the liberalitie and goods of the Church to the re∣liefe of the poore▪ and other necess•ry uses: i Lastly, that there must be in Congregation an Eldership of pastour, teacher (if they can have any) and Elders, who are in common, to see Page 67 that the Church be well governed, not onely in maintaining the profession and practise of the Word in generall, k but also in admonishing, reprehending, or l separating from the Lords Supper, them that walke offensively; •nd m lastly, in excom∣municating them, that by no other meanes can be reclaimed. So that all and every government, contrary or besides this, whether in part or in whole, swarveth from that order, which Christ hath set downe in his Word, and therefore is unlawfull.