The divine right of church-government and excommunication: or a peacable dispute for the perfection of the holy scripture in point of ceremonies and church government; in which the removal of the Service-book is justifi'd, the six books of Tho: Erastus against excommunication are briefly examin'd; with a vindication of that eminent divine Theod: Beza against the aspersions of Erastus, the arguments of Mr. William Pryn, Rich: Hooker, Dr. Morton, Dr. Jackson, Dr. John Forbes, and the doctors of Aberdeen; touching will-worship, ceremonies, imagery, idolatry, things indifferent, an ambulatory government; the due and just powers of the magistrate in matters of religion, and the arguments of Mr. Pryn, in so far as they side with Erastus, are modestly discussed. To which is added, a brief tractate of scandal ...
Rutherford, Samuel, 1600?-1661.

SECTION I. Certain Introductory Conclusions, tending to clear the perfection of the Scriptures in all things, as well Ce∣remoniall, as Non-Ceremoniall.

1. Conclusion.

CHrist Jesus hath so far forth set down, and sta∣blished*a perfect Plat-forme of Church-Govern∣ment in all Morals, not only both for the inward, but also for the outward, and externall Govern∣ment of his House, that he hath left no Liberty or Latitude to Magistrates, or Churches whatsoever to choose and settle such an orderly Forme of Church-Government or Discipline, as is most suitable to their parti∣cular Civill-Government, Laws, Manners, and Customes, so this Forme be not repugnant to the Word of God.

I shall first explaine the Tearmes of the Conclusion: 2. Con∣firme it: 3. Vindicate it from the objections of Adversaries.

1. The Church-Government of which I here speak, is a Church-Government* in its Morals: To exclude those things that are meer∣ly Physicall and Humane in this Government, as a Pulpit of this or that matter, Stone or Timber, or of this Timber, or of any other kinde; a Communion-Table of this, or that forme; a Cup of wood, or of metall, as Silver, Tin, &c. It is a Morall thing, either Morally good or evil, that there be an Officer in the Church that Christ hath not appointed, or that there be none but such as Christ hath appointed: yet is it not Morall that a Pastor be such or such a Page  2 Country man, so he be apt to teach, and holy; Crossing, signifying the dedication of the Baptized Childe to the service of Christ must be Morall, but what sort of River the ••ter of Baptisme be, is meerly Physicall, not Morall.

So there be two sort of things in Gods Worship, things either* meerly Morall, or meerly Naturall.

And here also we consider things Circumstantiall, as Time, Place, &c. And circumstances are either meerly Physicall, or 2. meerly Morall, or 3. mixt, partly Morall, partly Physicall; Circum∣stances meerly Physicall are such adjuncts of divine worship, as are common and unseparable concomitants of both civil, naturall, and Religious or Sacred actions performed by men, and as they are such, contribute no Morall goodnesse, or badnesse to the action or Agent in the performance thereof, such as I take to be the seven indivi∣duall proprieties of every man; Forma, figura, locus, tempus strips, patria, nomen, under Forme and figure: The first two, I compre∣hend, such a proportion of body, a man of a high stature, or low; a man beautifull, or not beautifull, to which I crave leave to reduce all externall Formes of habites, as cloathes, the head covered, or not covered, the situation of the body, as as they are in them∣selves, meer Physicall acts; kneeling, sitting, standing; the eyes cast down to the earth, or lifted up; the hands lifted up, or not lifted up, the knocking on the breast, or not knocking, motions of the soul, that are naturall Time, Place, Fami∣ly, Country, Name, as such a person, Thomas, not Iohn: the son of such a man, not of such a man; 1. All these are common con∣comitants of Civill, Naturall, and Religious actions, for all actions performed by man of what kinde soever, as naturall, to eat, sleep; or civill, to declaime an oration before the people; or religious, to preach or pray, must be done by some persons, Iohn or Thomas, men of some Family, in some time, in some place, for they are not actions eternall, and so must be done in time and place so▪ the Agents must, have some habite, some gesture in the doing of all these actions, and they are unseparable Adjuncts of all these actions because neither actions naturall, civill, nor Religious, can be performed, but by some persons, in some habite and gesture, in some time, in some place: and lastly, they are meere circumstantials, and contribute no Morall goodnesse or badnesse to the actions, as they are but common and Page  3 unseparable circumstances; for because he preacheth in time, or in place simply, the preaching is neither Morally good, nor ill, better or worse, because Thomas prayeth in Gown or Cloak in this place, rather then that place (so it be not, Locus ut sic, of intention, such a Re∣ligious place, before the Image of Christ, or the Father, or the Virgin Mary) the praying is neither the more, or the lesse acceptable to God because of these common and unseparable adjuncts: Hence there can be no such force in these circumstances, as to make the actions indif∣ferent: Such as contend for the lawfulnesse of Ceremonies, say our circumstances of time, place and the like, is nothing but a meerblinde; for we cannot (say they) enumerate all these circumstances, for habite, ge∣sture, person, are not meer circumstances and they mustcome in under the lap of this general, &c. or the like: To which I answer, that to my know∣ledge all these that are meer Physical circumstances, are particularly enumerated, such as are, 1. Time: 2. Place, 3. Person, or Agent: 4▪ Name. 5. Family: 6. Condition, as Country, Family, House: 7. Habits or Gar∣ments: 8. Gestures, as sitting, standing, lifting of the eyes or hands,* knocking on the breast, kneeling, and there is no blinde in this enu∣meration, for there be no other particulars that can be enumerated, except this time of the day, eight or ten of clock, this place, not any other, this person not another, and these are only considered here as circumstances, not as such and such circumstances, but the truth is, the enumeration of Symbolicall Rites, as Crosse, Surplice, and the like, is really a blinde, and is an enumeration with a wide belly, and includeth species, and not individuals only, as Symboli∣call Ceremonies, such as are Crossing, Bells, Oyle, Salt, Spettle, Milk, turning to the East, toward the people, from the people, toward the Altar, with a high voice, with a low voice, and a thousand the like; yea, all the old Ceremonies of Moses with a new face, all the toyes of the Masse, of the Dedication of Churches, which would fill a Volumne like the Rationale of Durandus: 2. Some Cir∣cumstances are meerely Morall, for as Divines distinguish Time and Place; in Time as Time, and as such a Religious Time, the Lords Sabbath, Tempus, & tempus ut sic, and Place as Place, or such a Religious place, Locus, & locus ut sic▪* So we may distinguish here, between circumstances in common or in grosse, and such and such circumstances; As time is a common adjunct of Divine Worship: But such a time, to wit, the Lords∣day,Page  4 is both the time of Worship, and Worship it self. So there is place of Worship, and there is such a Religious place, The holy of holiest, the Temple. A habit is a meer accident of Worship, the person, John or Thomas, is also an accident; but if God com∣mand such an Ephod as Aaron and the Priests were to wear, this is not a meer circumstance; that the person who administreth the Lords-Supper, be John or Thomas, is a meer circumstance; but that this person be a called Pastor, not a private man, is more then a circumstance. And therefore these circumstances, taken in com∣mon and their Universall nature, are meerly Physicall circumstances; but taken in their particular and determinate restrictions, as such circumstances, they may be meerly Morall circumstances, such as are the common adjunct of the time of Worship, the place, and the Sabbath time and the Temple for Iewish Worship. The former are circumstances meerly Physicall, the latter meerly Morall; I mean, as they are restricted other wayes: The Temple of Jerusalem served as our meeting places do, to sence off the injuries of Heaven and Sun; but that is as a place, not as such a place.

3. There be some mixt circumstances, as these same Physicall circumstances, clothed with their own seasonable conveniences; so time for Worship, and due and convenient time is required, there may be some Scandalous and Superstitious time for Worship. A ha∣bit in the Preacher is required, and that a grave one; a place is re∣quired for private Worship, and a fit place, such as is not the Mar∣ket-street for private Praying; the inconveniency of the circum∣stance may vitiate the Worship.

I did say that Christ Iesus hath set down in the Word, a perfect Plat-form of Church-Government, in all Morals; I say in all Mo∣rals,* because the Word doth not teach us any thing of circumstan∣ces, Physicall as Physicall. Scriptura talia non ponit, sed supponit: The Scripture saith not, That the Worship of God must have a time, a place, when, and where its to be performed, a person, who is to perform it, a habit, or garments on the person that Worship∣peth; the Scripture teacheth none of these, but supposeth that they are and must be; because nature teacheth, that without time, place, person, habit, gesture, its unpossible that these or any humane acti∣ons can be; and therefore Prelaticall Formalists, do without all sense or reason, require that we should prove by Scripture, the law∣fulnesse Page  5 of time, place, person, habit, gesture in Gods Worship; for these are presupposed in all actions, Naturall, Civill, Religious, Pri∣vate, Publike, Lawfull, unlawfull, in acts of Arts, Sciences, of Mo∣rall conversing and all; yea, there is as good reason, that they de∣mand Scripture to prove he must be a living man, who hath a rea∣sonable soul, and senses, and is born of a woman, who Preacheth and Administrateth Sacraments, which is presupposed by nature.

When the Heretick willeth me to prove from Scripture that Christ is very man; it is a vain thing he should demand of me be∣side to prove by Scripture, that Christ is such a one also as can laugh, weep, admire, sing, sigh, &c. for these are presupposed to follow mans nature; and if Scripture prove Christ to be a true man, it presupposeth by natures light, that he can laugh, he can weep, and that in some time, some place, in some habit, in some ge∣sture, so he be a man; for that is presupposed by the light of na∣ture, and known by the most Barbarous who never heard of Scrip∣ture; and therefore there is no greater reason to put us to prove all the naturall and unseparable circumstances of Worship, such as time and place, without which it is impossible any action at all can be performed; then that we should presse Prelats to prove by Scrip∣ture, that Iames Ʋsher is born of English or Irish Parents, for sense and nature can prove all these without Scripture: But because their Ceremonies of Crossing, bowing to Altars, Festivall dayes, Oyl, Salt, Spittle, Masse▪ clothes, are nothing warrantable by natures light, and must have Morall and Symbolicall influence in Worship, as positive Religious observances, having some spirituall signification and use, (except they be reasonlesse fancies) we have just reason to demand a warrant and speciall Charter for all Morals, and so for their Ceremonies in the Scripture, and to call their &c. humane Ceremonies and the like, a blind: For if Prelats can prove these Ce∣remonies to be from Christ, and warranted by his Testament, we shal yield that their natural circumstances of time, when you should Bow to Altars, and Crosse a Baptized Infant, and where, or in what place you should wear Surplice; and that the person that useth Oyl, Spittle, Salt, in Baptisme, must do it in some habit, and with some gesture, either sitting, standing, lying, or kneeling, are all warrantable and lawfull from the light of nature; for if Gods light of Scripture, warrant wearing of a Surplice, as it doth warrant Page  6 Sacramentall eating and drinking, the light of nature must warrant these concreated, naturall, and unseparable circumstances of time, place, person, habit, gesture used in both the former and the latter.

But because I said that circumstances of time and place have a* threefold consideration, Physicall, Morall, and Mixt: and I have spoken onely of these circumstances in a Physicall or naturall consi∣deration; therefore in the other two considerations there being in∣volved some Morall goodnesse, and because there is no Morall good∣nesse imaginable, but it must have its essentiall form and being from a Law or word of God; therefore all the former circumstances, as they are clothed with either morall conveniency and expediency, or with some Religious positive goodnesse, must be warranted by the Word of God, or the Rules of sinlesse and spirituall Prudence, which can∣not deviate from the word of God: For circumstances clothed with Religious Positive goodnesse, such as are the Sabbath day, the holy of Holiest, the Temple; these are not meer circumstances, but worship it self: So a Religious habit, as an Ephod or a Surplice, is not a meer circumstance, or a meer habit, but a worship, or such a part or limb of worship as must be warranted by the word of truth, else it is nothing but a will-device, and a forgery, and so to be rejected. And as touch∣ing things of Prudence, they are things properly mixt, as at what hour Sermon shall begin in such a Church, at eight, or nine, or ten of the clock; how the worship shall be ordered, whether you should begin the Worship with a word of Prayer, or a word of Praising, or a word of Exhorting to stir up for the duty of the day, is a matter of Prudence; and because God hath not laid the band of a Precept on us, to begin with either of the three; therefore it would seem, that though the things themselves be Morall, and must be war∣ranted by a Word of God; yet the order is not Morall, but Pruden∣tiall, and so cannot fall under a command of the Church; for to me it is hard, that men and the Church should lay on a tie or bond of a Precept where God hath laid on no such bond; The Church, in these mixt things, where the Morality is not clear, at farthest, can but go on to directive advises, as Paul doth, 1 Cor. 7. 6. 12. Not to imposing of Laws, nor to injunctions or Command∣ments under the pain of Church-censures; for Christ must bind and ratifie in Heaven, all Church-censures on earth, and so the Church cannot command nor censure, but as Christ himself would command or censure.

Page  7Now because the rest of the conclusion shall be farther cleared; I prove that Christ hath so far forth set down a perfect Plat-form of Church-Government in the Scripture, as he hath not given a liber∣ty to Rulers, Prelats, or to the Church her self, to set up a variable Plat-form sutable to their particular Civill Government, Laws, Manners and Customes.

1 Arg. What ever maketh the man of God perfect, thorowly fur∣nished*unto all good workes, and is written for this end, that any Timo∣thy or Faithfull Pastor, might know how he ought to behave himself in the House of God. That must make the man of God perfect in this good work, of holy walking, as a perfect Governour, or a perfect Church-member, to be governed in all Morall acts of Discipline and godly behaviour, according to the spirituall policie of the Lords house, and so must hold forth a perfect Plat-form of Disci∣pline, which doth not varie, ebbe and flow, and alter according to the Civill Government, Laws, Manners and Customs of men: But the Scriptures of God doth so instruct all Members of the visible Church, both Governours and governed, 2 Tim. 3. 16, 17. 1 Tim. 3. 14, 15. Ergo, the Scripture must hold forth a perfect form of Discipline which doth not varie, ebbe, flow, and alter according to the Civill Governments, Laws, Manners and Customes of men. The Proposition is made good: Because, 1. to walk according to the spirituall Policie of the Lords house, must be a good work, and so a Morall and Lawfull work, and a due conversing in the spiritu∣all Society of the Church, according to the Rule of the Word. 2. If this Morall walking be according to a Rule that may crook, bow and varie according as Civill Customes of men and Cities al∣ter and varie at mens pleasure, It is a Morall walking, no more ac∣cording to the Rule of Scripture, then the contradicnt thereof is according to this Rule, but falleth and riseth, hath its ups and downs at the meer nod and pleasure of men, who may change Customes and Manners every year twice, if so it please them. For what Scripture teacheth me a Civill Custome of a City, as not to carry Ar∣mour in the night, to take up the Names of all between sixteen years of age and sixty? Or what Scripture teacheth me, a Bishop may be above the Pastors of the Church, or a Bishop may not be? Surplice, Cros∣sing, Bowing and Cringing to wooden Altars, may be or may not be? Deacons may be, or may not be? even as customes and guises of Page  8 the Civill State, appear as Meteors in the Aire, and in the fourth part of a night, disappear and vanish to nothing; to say, that the word teacheth the Church to abstain from blood, is a part of the* perfection of the Scripture, and yet the Scripture teaches that ab∣stinence from blood, not as an eternall, and unalterable Law, for we are not now tied to abstain from blood, therefore the Scripture may make the man of God perfect in some works that are alterable* and changeable: This (I say) is no Answer, for saying that God should now make abstinence from blood, and things strangled, in∣different, as he made them in that intervall of time, Acts 15. When the Ceremonies were mortall, but not deadly and unlawfull, as is clear in that Paul, Act. 16. 1, 2, 3. circumcised Timothy, that Rite being then indifferent; and yet he writeth in another case, when the Gospel is now fully promulgated, that to be circumcised maketh a man a debtor in conscience, to keep the whole Law of Moses, and so to abstaine from eating of blood, and things strang∣led, must be a falling from the Grace of Christ, and an Apostacy from the Gospel, Gal. 5▪ 1, 2, 3. 4, 5, 6▪ 7. The like I say of observing of dayes, which, Rom. 14. 5, 6. were indifferent, and in another case, Gal. 4. 9, 10. Col. 2. 16, 17. Deadly, unlawfull, and not necessary, so the matter, Acts 15. which in the case of scandilizing the weak, is abstinence from things indifferent, say that they are indifferent, bindeth as a perpetuall Law to the end of the world, and bindeth us this same very day, Rom. 14. 20. In the Morality of it, as abstinence from murthering, One for whom Christ died, Rom. 14. 15. 1 Cor. 8. 12, 13. 1 Cor. 10. 26, 27, 28. And upon the ground laid by Prelates, which is most false and untrue, to wit, that many Positive things in Church-Government, such as are Prelats deemed to be warranted by Apostolick, though not by Divine right: Ceremonies, and Cros∣sing, kneeling to bread, Altars, Surplice, Rochet, corner-Cap, yea, and Circumcision, a Passeover-Lambe, and all the Jewish Ceremo∣nies, though with another spirit and intention, then to shadow forth Christ to come in the flesh, imagined to be indifferent, and alterable things, we hold that all these are to be abstained from, as eating of blood, and things strangled of old were, if you say they are as in∣different, as blood, and some meats were in the case, Act. 15. Rom. 14. 1 Cor. 8. 1 Cor. 10. Its a most false principle as we shall hear, and therefore the Scripture, if it make the man of God perfect to e∣veryPage  9good work, as the Apostle saith, it must teach us to abstain from all these as scandalous, and must set down as perfect and particular directions for Church-Government, as Paul doth, Rom. 14. Set down a particular Platform, how we shall eschew Murther; for scandalizing our Brethren in the use of things indifferent, is spiritu∣all Murther, Rom. 14. 15. 20.

2. Arg. That which is a lamp to the feet, and a light to the path,* Psal. 119. 105. And causeth us understand Equity, Iudgement, Righ∣teousnesse, and every good way, Prov. 2. 9. And to walk safely, so that our feet stumble not, Prov. 3. 25. Prov. 4, 11, 12. Prov. 6. 23. That must be a lamp and light to our feet, and walking in a Platform of Church-Discipline, so as we shall not erre, sin or stumble therein: But if the light be so various, doubtfull, alterable, as we may walk this way, or the contrary way, according to the Civill Laws, altera∣ble*Customes and Manners of the people, we shall not so be guided in our path, as our feet shall not stumble; the Church might then suf∣fer Jezabell to Prophecie, and these that hath the Doctrine of Ba∣laam, or not suffer them, as the Civill Laws, and alterable Customes of the people should require: Now the Scriptures doth clearly insi∣nuate, that the Law and will of God revealed in the Word, is a Rule of walking straightly and of declining sin, and any stumbling in our way, which deserveth a rebuke and a threatning, such as Christ uttereth against the Church of Pergamos, Rev. 2. 14, 15, 16. And of Thyatira, v. 17, 18. Now if these Churches had no certain Rule or Word of God, from which they should deviate and erre in their path of Discipline, but the Customes and alterable Ci∣vill Laws and Manners of men, they were unjustly rebuked by Christ, which to aver were Blasphemy.

Prelats say, Some things in Church-Policie, are Fundamentals, not to be altered; but there be other things alterable. And of things of Policie of the former notion, we have a certain Platform in Scripture; but of the latter, not any at all is necessary; and the not suffering of false Teachers in the Church, is of the former sort. But I Answer, some Scripture or reason ought to be given of this distinction: If all be Morall and unalterable that are necessary to Salvation, its good▪ But to suppresse Jezabell and false teachers, is not necessary, Neces∣sitate medii; for then the Salvation of that Church were desperate, and past remedy, which should suffer false teachers; surely then Page  10Pergamos and Thyatira, were in a certain irremedlsse way of E∣ternall* Damnation, as are these who are void of all Faith and know∣ledge of Fundamentall Articles; I conceive Prelats will hold their hand, and not be so rash as to say this; If these other things of Po∣licie be necessary, necessitate precepti, in regard that Iesus Christ hath commanded them to be observed, why then are some things alterable which Christ hath commanded to be observed some things unalter∣able? Crosse & Surplice, which Prelats say have been in the Church these twelve hundred yeers, are in themselves as positive, & have as small affinity with the Civil Laws, Customes & Manners of Nations (except they mean sinfull Customes) as Sacramentall eating and drinking. And the like may be said of all the alterable Ceremonies sometimes in use, in England, and now in force amongst Papists.

3. Arg. That Commandement which Timothy is o keep without*spot unrebukeable, untill the appearing of our Lord Iesus Christ 1 Tim. 6. 13. is no alterable command that falleth and riseth with the Cu∣stomes, Civill Laws and Manners of men. But Paul commandeth under that, every Positive Law of Church-Discipline to be thus kept, of which he speaketh in these Epistles to Timothy.

Mr. Hooker denyeth the assumption; For Paul (saith he) restrain∣eth*the words to one speciall Commandment amongst many; and there∣fore it is not said, keep the Ordinances, Laws, Constitutions, which thou hast received; but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that great Commandment, which doth principally concern thee and thy calling, that Commandment that Christ did so often inculcate unto Peter (Feed my sheep) and that Act. 20. Attend to your selves and all the flock, &c. And that, 2 Tim. 4. 1. I charge thee in the sight of God, &c. Preach the word, and teach the Gospel without mixture, &c. And these words (till the appearance of Christ) doth not import the time wherein it should be kept; but rather the time whereunto the finall reward for keeping it was reserved according to that, henceforth is laid up for me a crown of Righteousnesse. It doth not import perpetuall observation of the A∣postles Commandment, for it bindeth not to the Precept of choosing of Widows, as the Adversaries grant. We do not deny, but certain things were Commanded to be, though Positive, yet perpetuall in the Church. Ans. 1. If Paul restrain this to one speciall Commandment, sure it is so generall and comprehensive a Commandment of feeding the Flock, as taketh in all the speciall Positive Commandments be∣longing Page  11 to feeding, by both Word and Discipline, which is enough for the perpetuity of all Positive precepts of Discipline and Policie, even till Christs appearance to judge the world; and I wonder that Hooker expoundeth this by 2. Tim. 4. 1. As if Paul did mean the precept of Preaching only, and that soundly and without mix∣ture; and yet passe by the Parallel place, 1 Tim. 5 21. Almostin the same stile of Language, in which place he speaketh of many spe∣ciall Positive precepts and Rules of Policie, as of poor widows, the Almes to be given to them; the not rebuking of an Elder, the office of Elders Governing, and of Elders labouring in the Word and Do∣ctrine, the not receiving an accusation against an Elder, but under two or three Witnesses, the publike rebuking of those who offend publikely, the not admitting to the Ministry raw and green souldiers not tryed, and many other particulars of Policie, of all which he saith gravely, v. 21. I charge thee before God and the Lord Iesus Christ, and the Elect Angels, that thou observe these things &c. Cer∣tainly, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, these things was not one Commandment, but all the precepts of Faith, and of Church-Government spoken of in this E∣pistle; and truly shall think that Paul who particularzth that Timothy should not drink water, but a little wine because of his infir∣mity, and of bringing with him the cloak that he left at Troas, and the*parchments, 2 Tim. 4 doth far more specfi all the positives of poli∣cie, and writ, how all the Timothies and Pastors are to behave them∣selves in the Church of God: If Ceremonies and all these alterable trifles had not been excluded out of the Platforme; for a Religious Masse-Surplice, is of far more consequence then Pauls old cloak, and yet Paul spake of the one in Canonick-Scripture, never of the other; and Oyle, Spittle, Salt, Crosse in Baptisme being positive significant Rites, and having continued in the Church so many hun∣dred years, should far rather have been specified in Scripture then Timothies drinking of water: yea, and if all the alterable positive things of Policy, as Crosse, Surplice, be commanded as necessary in the generall, though not in this or that particular, as Hooker and o∣ther Formalists do teach, then sure the meaning must be: I give to thee, O Timothy, charge in the sight of God who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, &c. That thou▪ keep this Commandment of Crossing, Surplice, bowing to Altars, of corner-Cap, or of the equi∣valent of these, without spot irrebukeable to the appearance of JesusPage  12Christ; for the precept of feeding the Flock, must include all these; and though Ceremonies in particular be alterable, and not comman∣ded in Hythothesie; yet that in generall there should be such posi∣tive Ceremonies is necessary, and the Apostle (say they) comman∣deth them, 1 Cor. 14. 40. Yea, (as Dunam saith) humane Holy∣dayes, are commanded in the fourth Commandment, and Burges saith, all the Ceremonies are commanded in the third Command∣ment, and Formalists; who denyed the Prelate to be of Divine in∣stitution, made a Ceremony of him, and made him a decent and orderly thing; which as the Poet said, to me is like the act of death, that brought Great Alexander, to whom the whole world was not sufficient, in small bounds, in the Grave under two foot of earth, and this maketh the great Pope, the Catholick Bishop of the earth a little Ceremony: But this little Ceremony hath these many hundred years infested the whole earth. 2. If this precept be not a perpetu∣all binding precept till Christs second appearance, but only rewar∣ded with life eternall at Christs appearance, yet shall it follow that all things included in the precept of feeding the flock, and so all the Surplice, Crossing, Will-worship or their equivalent, without which, feeding cannot be in a decent and orderly way (as they say from, 1 Cor. 14. 40.) must be rewarded with life eternall: let For∣malists wait at the day of judgement for a reward, of a Garment of glory for wearing a linning Surplice, my faith cannot reach it.

3. For the choosing of Widovves that are poor to take care of the poor and sicke in Hospitals; we think it just as necessary now as then, though no wayes, if there be none sick, and poor in the Church: But that Widows were Church-Officers ordained, as were Deacons, Act. 6. 6. we never thought, and therefore we do not see that the wanting of such Widows, is the want of a Positive institution of Church-Policy; for other positive things of policy that should be of perpetuall use, and not all of the same kinde, and of equall ne∣cessity: I see no reason (which I speak for Apostles) which were necessary then, and not now; But if from thence Formalists infer, that many positive things of policy are alterable, I can infer with equall strength of reason, that then Pastors, and Teachers are al∣terable by the Church, for if the one have a Divine institution to warrant it, Eph. 4. 11, 12, 13. so hath the other; and if Prelates may come themselves into the Church without any warrant but this, Page  13 that Apostles are alterable, and may put out Pastors and Teachers, because God hath put out Apostles; we have a new world of alte∣rable Church-Policy. 5. Reverent Beza referreth the Command∣ment to the Platforme of Discipline: So Ambrose in Loc. and Chry∣sostome Homil. 18. so Diodat. This Commandment which is, ver. 11, 12. Or generally all other Commandments, which are contained in this E∣pistle; Popish Writers confesse the same, though to the disadvan∣tage of their Cause, who maintain unwritten Church-Policy and Ceremonies: So Lyra and Nicol. Gorran. Mandatum quod Deus, & ego mandavimus, the Commandment of the Lord, and of me his Apostle, Cornea lapide: Quicquid tibi, O Episcope, hac Epistolâ pre∣scripsi, & demandavi, hoc serva: Salmeron, alii per mandatum in∣telligunt, Quecunque mandavi spectantia ad munus boni Episcopi.