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.
Page  1

A Dispute touching Scandall and Christian libertie.

Quest. I. Concerning Scandall.

Whether or not Ceremonies, and the use of things not necessarie in Gods worship, when they Scandalize, be unlawfull?

I Doe the more willingly enter this Dispute, and with reverence to the more learned, shall exa∣mine the Doctrine of the late Doctors of Aber∣dene in their Duplyes. Because I occasioned their thoughts touching Scandall, by a private dispute of the nature of Scandall, which I undertooke while I was confi∣ned in Aberdene, with one of the chief Doctors.

Our 10 Argument. Ceremonies and things not necessarie in*Gods worship fail against Charitie, by the grievous cryme of Scandall.

The practice of things indifferent, and not necessarie, is then unlawfull, when from thence ariseth the scandall or occasion of the ruine of ou Brother.

But from the practice of Ceremonies and things not necessa∣rie ariseth Scandall, and occasion of the ruine of our brother. Ergo, the practice of such is unlawfull. Observe our Argu∣ment leaneth on a ground given, but not granted that the Ce∣remonies be indifferent, though to us they be evill: I prove the Proposition, 1 Rom. 14. 14. I know and am perswaded by the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean of it selfe; but to him that esteemeth anything unclean, to him it is unclean. V. 15. But if thy brother be grieved (weakened in his Christian race) Now wal∣kest thou uncharitably, destory not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 20. For meat destroy not the worke of God. Then for crossing, kneeling, holy dayes, destroy not him for whom Page  2Christ died, 1 Cor. 8. 9. 1 Cor. 10. 28. So the brazen Serpent must be removed, when it is a scandalous object of Idolatrie, Ezra 8. 22. Ezra for feare of Scandall, will not seeke a band of men of the King, lest the King should believe the hand of God would not bee with his people, as he had said, Yet a band of men had been more necessarie then the Ceremonies. So 2 King. 23. 10 Josiah is commended for defiling Tophet, to prevent occasion of offering Children to Molech: for this cause God iudgeth an house without Battlement, and the sending abroad a goaring Oxe to be murther, Deut. 27. 28. Exod. 22. 28. 29. 33. Exod. 23. . Deut. 7. 3. and Levit. 19. 14. Thou shalt not lay a stumbling block before the blind. Marrying with the Canaanites was forbidden, for the ruine occasioned by that, to the soules of Gods people. I prove the Assumption, aGretzer saith, In Cere∣monies Calvinists are the apes of Catholicks. 2. If such a worship had been in the Temple or Synagogue, so as the Jewes in the same act might, have worshipped Jehovah and the Canaanites Baall or Dagon, as at one table the Papists may kneele and adore bread, with the Protestant, receiving the Sacrament, it would be a raigning scandall. 3. Atheists have mocked Religi∣on, for the Surplice, and other Masse-toyes. 4. Papists say Pro∣testants are returning to their Mother Church of Rome▪ 5. Wee cannot in zeale preach against Popish traditions, and practise Popish Ceremonies. 6. Lascivious carousings, drunkenness, har∣latrie, come from observing of holy dayes. That this may be more cleare. 1. The nature of a scandall would bee cleared. 2, The Doctrine of the Apostle Paul about Scandall proponed.

A Scandall is a word or action or the omission of both, inordi∣nately spoken or done, whence we know, or ought to know, the fall of weake, wilfull or both, is occasioned to thse, who are within or without the Church. 1. It is a word or deed seene to others▪ Sin∣full thoughts not being seen, are not publick scandalls, though to the man himselfe they occasion sinne. Hence non-conformi∣tie simply to a thing indifferent, must onely be scandalous, as joyned with contempt, formall contempt in things indifferent, is inward and invisible to men. 2. Omission of words and deeds scandalize. Silence in Preachers, when God▪ matters go wrong is scandalous: So Sanchesb 3. Not every word & deed doth scan∣dalize, Page  3 but such as are done unorderly.cSanches saith these words and deeds, Quae carent rectitudine, which want some mo∣rall rectitude; o as Aquinasd saith, of themselves are in∣ductive to sinne, doth scandlize: or that eM. Anton. De Dominis Archiep. Spalatens. saith, which is indictive to sinne, or the cause of great evill, or hindereth good, as our faith, zeale, love, &c. that scundalizeth. For though none of these fall out, if the work or word, or omission of either be such, as of it selfe, is apt to scandalize, it is an active scandall. Hence every little scandall is a sinne, either in it selfe, or in the unordinate way of doing . But what objects are properly scandalous, shall be discussed. 3. When we know such words and deeds doe scan∣dalize, and they be not necessarie to be done, yea, and if wee ought to know; for though the pronness and procliviti of our brethren, or others to sinne, be in some respect, questio facti, yet is it also questio juris, a question of Law, the ignorance where∣of condemneth when the things themselves are doubtsomely evill, but not necessary to be done; Hence the practice of a thing indifferent, when there be none that probably can be scandalized, and hath some necessitie, is lawfull: as Colos. 2. 16. Let no man therfore judge you in meat r drinke, &c. yet in case of scandall it is unlawfull to cat. See 1 Cor. 10. 27. Eat whatsoever is set before you asking no question for conscience sake. 28. But if any say, this is offered in sacrifice, to Idolls, eat not for his sake who shewedit, for conscience sake—Conscience, I say, not thine owne, but of others. Therefore practising of things indifferent, or non-practising, are both lawfull, according as persons are present who may be scandalized, or not scandalized; but this is in things though in nature indifferent, yet in use having some necessitie, as eating of meats, but the case is otherwayes in things altogether indifferent, as our Ceremonies are, which are suppo∣ned to lay no ty on the conscience, before God, o incline to ei∣ther side, as they say, to crosse, or not to crosse, laying aside the Commandement of men. For if no-crossing be all's good, as crossing, then though there be non-scandalized, yet because it is such an action in Gods worship, as is acknowledged to be in∣different, and hath appearance of adding to Gods word and worship, it is inductive to sinne, and scandalous, though none Page  4 should hence be actu secundo, ruinated, and made to stumble. But if any in Pauls time, as the case was, in the Church of Co∣rinth should eat meates at a table, forbidden in the Law, he not knowing that a Jew was there, this may seeme invincible ig∣norance, because ignorance of a meere fact, not of a law, if that Jew should be scandalized through his eating, it should seeme to me, to be scandall taken, but not culpably given. 4. It is said in the definition, That these inordinate words or deeds occa∣sioneth the fall of others. 1. Because the will of the scandalized, or his ignorance is the efficacious and neerest cause, why he is scandalized, that is, why he sinneth; actions or words are oc∣casions onely, or causes by accident, for none ought to be scan∣dalized, as none ought to sinne, ad peccatum nulla est obligati. 2. Because, as to be scandalized is sinne, so to scandalize active∣ly is sinne, though actuall scandall follow not, as Peter scanda∣lized Christ culpably, when he counselled him not to die for sin∣ners, though it was impossible that Christ could be scandalized▪ 5. It is said, (whereby weake or wilfull, within, or withot the Church may be scandalized) For I hope to prove that it is no lesse sinne actively to scandalize the wilfull, and malicious, then the weak, though there be degrees of sinning here, and we must eschew things scandalous for their sake who are without the Church.

For the Second I set down these Propositions 1. from Rom. 14.

1. Proposit. The weake are not to be thraled in judgement, or practice in thornie and intricate disputes, in matters indifferent. This is cleare Rom. 14. v. 1. Ergo When people know not mi∣stie distinctions of relative and absolute adoration, of worship essentiall or accidentall, they are not to be here thraled by a Law to practice Ceremonies humane.

2 Proposit. If a weake one eat herbs, fearing the practice of things forbidden by Gods law, he is commended, and his absti∣nence praise-worthy, as Rom. 14. v. 2. 3. and he ought not to be judged, and so ought not to be a wed by a Law. Then abstinence and non-conformitie is lawfull in such a case.

3. Proposit. He that eateth, he that eateth not; he that pra∣ctiseth, he that practiseth not indifferent things, is not to be judged. 1. God hath received the eater. 2. You are not to judge Page  5 another mans servant. It is against the Law of Nations. 3. If the weake fall, God is able to raise them. Ergo, if he be not to be judged, as a contemner of Gods law in things indifferent, farre lesse should he be judged, by the Church law.

4. Proposit. Observers of dayes, or non-observers of dayes should have certaintie of Faith in these indifferent things; Ergo, the light of the Word should lead Rulers, and People here, v. 5. in things indifferent.

5. Proposit. The observer of indifferent things, as dayes in that case at Rome, and the non-observers of dayes should not trouble one another▪ because both are to observe, and not ob∣serve indifferent things, for Gods glory. 1. Both gives thankes. 2. Both liveth and dieth as Christs, for Gods glorie. 6. 7. 8. 9. Therefore Gods glorie is the end that ruleth the use of Ceremo∣nies, as they are indifferent.

Proposit. 6. v. 10. 11. 12. a Christian should not condemne a Jew▪ no one brother another, in things indifferent. 1. Because we are brethren. 2. Because it is Christs place to judge; and con∣demne. 3. Because every man must give an account for himself. Ergo. Lawes of Rulers to condemne or punish, are not to be made in such cases.

Proposit. 7. v. 13. When the use of things indifferent is a stum∣bling block and scandall to our brethren they are against cha∣ritie and unlawfull.

Proposit. 8. v. 14. there is a Prolepsis. Meats clean, or not clean, may be eaten, but all meats are clean; and Paul is per∣swaded of that by Iesus Christ. Ergo, The Apostle answereth, 1. by denying the major Proposition in two cases, and setteth downe a distinction. All things are clean in themselves, but they become unclean, in two cases. 1. If one weake in the faith be∣lieve▪ that the meat, that he eateth, is against the word of God, the me at to him is unclean. 2, If he eat before, one that believeth it is forbidden in Gods Law, to eat such meats, his eating is a stumbling blocke to the weake. But one might say, It is a taken Scandall, and not given: for it is lawfull to eat, thy brother deemeth it unlawfull out of ignorance of Christian libertie, so say Formalists Ceremonies be indifferent; if any offend at the use of them, it is ascandall taken, not given. O but Paul forbiddeth to scandalize, or to eat.

Page  6Hence the 9. Proposit. The use of things indifferent, as Cere∣monies, before any Law e made of them▪ by confession of Formalists, is indifferent▪ and may be done▪ and not done, but if they scandalize, Paul proveth by eight arguments they are unlawfull▪ 1. If fighteth with Charitie, that for meat, so ltle a thing, for the knot of a straw, a Ceremonie, thou slay thy brother▪ for whom Christ died, v. 15. Where these reasons be. 1. It is uncharitable walking. 2. It is murther, slay not him. 3. It is contrary to Christs love, who died for thy brother. 4. It maketh Religion and Christian libertie, to be evill spoken of, v. 16. 5. From the nature of these things▪ which are indifferent, these in which the Kingdome of God consisteth not, as Meats and Surplic crossing kneeling, &c. when they scandalize, ought to be omitted, as being against righteousness, and being sinnes of murther. 2. Against Peace, sinnes of contention, 3. against joy of the Holy Ghost, making sad, and discouraging thy brother in his Christian ace, and he that serveth God in peace and righte∣ousnesse, and joy is acceptable v. 18, 6. The use of things indif∣ferent in case of scandall conduce not to peace and edification, v. 19. 7. It is a destroying of the worke of God▪ v. 20. illustra∣ted by a repeated prolepsis, but the meat is clean; ea, but (saith Paul) it is evill, and so morally unclean to him that eateth with offence, v. 20. 8. Ab equo & ono, we are to doe good, but to eat and drink with the scandalizing of our brother, and to practise Ceremonies is not Good▪

Proposit. 10. The practising of things indifferent, or Ceremo∣nies for the very •••ing of the aith, that we have Christian libertie to practise, or no practise in the case of scandall, is not lawfull, v. 22. set downe by a proepsis, Keep the faith of thy Chri∣stian libertie (in case of scandall) to thy selfe, and to God.

Proposit 11. In the use of things indifferent, we are to allow our selves, that is to have the approbation of our Conscience, that what we doe is lawfully, v 22.

Proposit. 12. He that practiseth indifferent things, with a doubting conscience, and not in faith, sinneth, and is condem∣ned, v. 23.

1 Cor. 6▪ v 12 All things (indifferent) are lawfull in them¦selves, but they are not expedient. If we be brought under the Page  7 power or band of them by law. Ergo, in the meanes of wor∣ship, not onely must we see what is lawfull, but also what is profitable and conducing to the end. He reasoneth upon a given, but not granted hypothesis, that Fornication is indifferent, as the Gentiles taught, as we doe in the matter of Ceremonies.

1 Cor. 7. v. 6. But this I speake by permission▪ not of Comman∣dement. Ergo in things, in which God hath granted us libertie, to doe, or not to doe, permission hath place, not obliedging necessi∣tie, or penall lawes.

13 Proposit. There cannot be commanding Lawes in things that are polltickly good, or evill, according to the individuall complexion▪ temperature, or gifts of singular men, to marry, or not to marry, cannot be commanded, for where God looseth, no power on earth can bind▪ v. 33.

1 Cor. 8. v. 7. Paul condemneth them in the use of their liber∣tie Christian, Howbeit there be not in every man this knowledge, then that Rulers may make lawes in things indifferent, with∣out scandall, they must remove ignorance. 2. If there be but one person weake (there is not in every man that knowledge) in knowledge, a Law obliedging all, in things indifferent cannot be made.

Ʋ. 8. There is a definition of a thing indifferent. It is a thing that commendeth us not to God, which neither helpeth, nor hinde∣reth pietie, nor maketh a man better, or worse before God. Then Ceremonies pretended to be for order, decencie, edification, to stirre up the dull minde to spirituall duties, cannot be things in∣different.

Hence observe 1. The materialls of worship, as linnen, cloathes, habites, gestures may be in their physicall considera∣tion indifferent, but as applyed by formulistes, they cannot be indifferent, for in their use, kneeling appropriated to sacramen∣tall bread, linnen appropriated to the body of a Priest, while he officiateth, cannot be but religious or prophane. 2. If God com∣mand gestures he commandeth this gesture, hic & nunc. If in generall, ••ealing be forbidden, then for Achan, to steale this Babylonish garment, must be forbidden. 3. It seemeth to have been after-noon with Henry Lesly (a) of after cuppes, when he saith, if Papists and Protestants be two divers kindes Page  8 of worshippers then their actions of worship must be indifferent, as be their agents, for actions are distinguished by their objects and ends, Papists in kneeling worship their God of bread, we in kneeling at the Sacrament worship the true God. For when a Turk and a Christian doe both worship Dagon, it is the same Idolatrie, though urcisme and Christianisme be different reli∣gions. Though kneeling to an Image, the similitude of God, and that same kneeling to Jehovah, represented in that simili∣tude, Es▪ 40. v. 8. make one formall object, the Image the mate∣riall, Jehovah the formall object▪ yet is it idolatrie. 4. Our cir∣cumstances of time and place, cannot properly be called indif∣ferent, for they may be considered two wayes. 1 Physically. 2 Religiously. Physically. The Commandement injoyning a thing, injoyneth also time and place convenient, he that saith (th shalt not kill) in that same very Commandement said (Cain, thou shalt not kill Abel in this place of the field, at this time,) so to believe, and to believe in this time and place, falleth both under one, and the same Commandement; And it is true, the lawfulness of Worship may be marred by bad Circumstan∣tiating of the worship, If one shall pray, when the Pastor doth preach; But Circumstances must be convenient, and so commanded, and so not indifferent, but Circumstances have no religious respect put on them by God, and therefore in that state have no roome in Gods worship,

V. 1. If any man see thee, who hast knowledge, sit at meat in the Idols Temple shall not the conscience of him that is weake, e emboldened, to eat these things that are offered to Idolls. Hence a naked sight of that which is ordinarily exponed to be a Com∣munion with an idoll, as kneeling religiously to bread is, must be a scandall. 2. The supposed knowledge of one, who saith, an Idoll is nothing, but directeth his worship to God, when ex∣ternall gestures are used in an idolatrous way, doth not free the practise of such a worship, from scandall.

V. 11. 12. 13. Scandalizing in eating things, otherwise poore and cleane, is a scandalizing of a weake brother, against the price of Christs blood, &c. 1 Cor. 10.

V. 16. 17. 18. Communion in Rites and Cerimonies o a raise worship, is a communion with the Idoll, and Satan.

Page  9V. 22. Though you keep your heart to God, ye provoke the Lord to jealousie.

V. 23. Rulers are not to seeke their owne, in things in∣different.

V. 25. Things sacrificed to Idol, yet in no religious state, are clean meates, and may be eaten. Surplice on a Noblemans por∣ter is no Masse habit, and so not scandalous.

29. 30. In things indifferent, I must abstaine from sing my libertie, where I am in danger to be evill spoken of, and that our liberty be called licentiousnesse.

Quest. II.

Whether or no the Ceremonies and things indifferent com∣manded by humane authority be objects scandalous, and what rules are to be observed in eschewing scandalls.

FOrmalists object, That Ceremonies be not noent agents in giving scandall, but men doe unjustly take scandall, whereas innocent Ceremonies give none.

But observe that a scandall is given two wayes. 1 Physically.* 2. Morally. Physically, when the object hath an influence meerely physicall in raising Scandall, in this meaning, as there be no passion, but it hath an action; so there is no scandall ta∣ken, but it is some way given. The Pharisees are scandalized at Christs preaching. The preached Word had some influence on their corruption to scandalize it, but physicall, not morall: but sinfull and inordinate actions, scandalize morally by contribu∣ting, a morall influence culpably to the scandalizing of others. Hence the question is, wherein standeth this morall and culpa∣ble influence.

The objects in Generall from whence commeth scandall be*foure. 1. Things good. 2. Things sinfull and evill. 3. Things indifferent, inordinatly, or unseasonably done. 4. Things that have appearance of evill.

A thing good of it selfe is not scandalous, but there be two Goodthing. 1. Some simply necessary▪ s to love God, not to steale, not to forsweare, these be never scandalous. 2. Some Page  6〈1 page duplicate〉Page  7〈1 page duplicate〉Page  8〈1 page duplicate〉Page  9〈1 page duplicate〉Page  10 good duties positive of affirmative precepts, as not necessarie, hic & nunc, may be omitted to eschew scandall. School men move a question. If it be lawfull to omit workes commanded of God, or of the law of nature to eschew the scandall of our brethren? I answer, a naturall commandement to eschew the scandalizing of my brother, obliedgeth in some Circumstances, but not simply, for it obliedgeth not when there occurreth a Commandement naturall of greater obligation, whether it be naturall or positive, if I cannot decline the transgression of the law of God, in the declining of scandalizing my brother, Cer∣tainly the Commandement of not scandalizing doth not ob∣liedge, for I am more obliedged to have a care of my owne sal∣vation, then of my brothers, and so to prevent my owne sinnes, the•• the sinning of my brother: yet Coeteris paribus, if all other things be alike, as aBecanus saith. A naturall command, such as is, (not to scandalize) that is, (not to commit soule∣murther) doth oblige more, then a positive Commandement, as to heare the Word hic & nunc. I am obliedged hic & nunc, to omit hearing of the Word to keep my brother from killing himselfe, and to preserve my brothers temporall life. because, the Lord will have mercie, and not sacrifice. Though I be not obliedged universally to omit the hearing of the Word▪ and re∣ceiving of the Sacraments, to eschew the scandall of my bro∣ther. 2. Sinnes publickly committed, are of their owne nature culpably scandalous.

3. In things indifferent, from whence ariseth a Scandall there be two things. 1. The use of the thing it selfe. 2. The use of it, with the non-necessitie of existence in it. As the causey stones are not scandalous, if any fall on them, nor the layer of the causey to be blamed therefore, because causay stones be ne∣cessarie, but if any lay an huge block in the way, which hath no necessary use there, he who doth so is the cause of the fall, be∣cause he contributeth to the fall, that which is the occasion, and so the cause of the fall, for every occasion is a certaine cause. 2. Because he contributeth such an occasion as hath no morall necessitie of existence, so the brazen Serpent having lost its vertue of curing and being adored as God, is formally a scanda∣lous object, and the Prince suffering that to remaine, when it is Page  11 not necessarie, and withall occasioneth the idolatrie of many, doth culpably scandalize, and so these who for sole will com∣mandeth such things as the worship of God may want, doe also scandalize. They object, Christ might have healed on another day, then the Lords. Ergo, the non-morall necessitie maketh not the object formally scandalous, nor doth the contributer thereof culpa∣bly scandalize.

Answ. That Christ should cure on the Sabbath, was moral∣ly necessary. 1. If it were but from his owne will, but mens will cannot make things necessary. 2. It was necessarie to shew, that the Sonne of man was Lord of the Sabbath. 3. That the Sabbath was made for man. and not man for the Sabbath. 4. To shew, that workes of mercy are to be preserred to workes of Ceremonies, and that God loveth mercie, rather then Sacrifice,

When the dutie is onely possible, and the good lesse necessary, then the good of non-scandalizing, then we are not, for hope of a possible dutie, and lesse necessarie, to doe that from whence a Scandall doth arise. So it was not lawfull for Paul to take stipend, which should have hindered the promoving of the Gos∣pell, though he might have imployed that stipend upon chari∣table uses, because that Charitie was a dutie onely possible, and incomparably lesse necessarie, then the promoting of the Gospell. So 1 Cor. 6. 7. Why suffer ye not rather losse? yet by that suffering losse, they were lesse able for workes of Charitie, and to provide for their Familie and Children, but the gaine was temporall, and not to be compared with a good fame upon Christian religion, which was slandered by heathen, when they went to law, Christian against Christian, before an Heathen Judge.

The fourth scandalous object, is that which hath appearance of evill. Not every thing is such, for good hath the appearance of evill. bPaybodie to elude this, sheweth a number of things which have appearance of evill, but are good, and he nameth among them, Hushaies abiding with Absolon in his conspiracie, which was plaine dissimulation, but that properly hath appea∣rance of evill. 1. Quod plaerum{que} fit malo fine, as the Schoole∣men define it, that which ordinarily is done for an evill end, as Page  12 to ly in bed with another mans wife, to sit at the Idols table, to bow to an Image. 2. That which being good in it selfe, yet be∣cause of the circumstances is exponed vain-glory, as to pray in the streets, its ordinarily exponed to be for this end, to be seen* of men. These who expone that place, 1 Thess. 5. Abstaine from all appearance of evill, to be, abstaine from that which seemeth evill to the conscience, and judgement of the doer, or onely of doctrine reach not the Apostles minde: for to sit at the Idols table, to bow to an Image, and keepe the heart to God, are out of doubt ap∣pearances of evill forbidden in the text, yet are they not do∣ctrines seeming evill alwayes, to the judgement of the practi∣sers. They object, to looke up to the beavens and Sunne may have appearance of praying to the Sunne and heavens, for in the exter∣nall fact, no more could be done by a person adoring the Sun. Ergo, such appearances cannot be scandalous Objects. Answer, lifting up of the eyes in prayer, are naturall adumbrations and expres∣sions of the elevation of the heart, required in prayer, Psal. 25. v. 1. and so commonly exponed by all Nations, and therefore cannot be appearances of evill. Hence these rules.

I. Suppose all be strong, in whose presence I practise, a thing indifferent, yet if it have no necessitie, no aptitude to edifie, and* have onely all its goodness from the will of commanders, in practising, I scandalize, 1. Because the strong are apt to sinne, and so apt to be scandalized, and the action is idle, and not rea∣sonable, having no other reason but the meere will of Rulers. 2. If I probably know my practice, shall come to the know∣ledge of these, who shall be scandalized, I scandalize them in such an action.

II. Rule. Though the practice of things indifferent, having some necessitie, be lawfull, as 1 Cor. 10. 27. Eat what is set be∣fore you▪ asking no question for conscience sake▪ Yet the aith and conscience of things indifferent, is never indifferent, we are ne∣ver to judge a thing indifferent, necessarie, nor a thing necessa∣rie, indifferent, and practice in that judgement, so erroneous is finfull, and not of faith, Rom. 14 . 22.

III Rule. An universall omission of good, of obeying affir∣inative precepts, for the eschewing of scandall, cannot be lawfull for it is 1. necessarie for my salvation to obey affinnative pre∣cepts, Page  13 though not in all differences of time. In this meaning aAugustine said, We are not to abstaine from good workes, (he meaneth a totall abstainence) for any scandall. And Ter∣tullianbgood offendeth non, save a wicked minde, But at sometime an obedience to an affirmative precept, hic & nunc may be omitted, when we see that from the doing thereof, the ignorant and weake will commit great sinnes. So cAquinas,dBannes.eSanches for affirmative precepts of the law of nature (saith fBannes) must sometime be omitted, for the eschewing of scandall, for they doe not obliedge, but when, and after such a manner, as is convenient.

V. Rule. To doe any good action, or lawfull, or indifferent, when I probably foresee a scandall will follow, is an active scandall, for I preferre my owne will, to my brothers salvation (saith gAntoninus, and hNavarret,) and therefore saith (i) Antoninus; A virgin going abroad, without just necessitie, where her beautie shall be a snar to young men, or to goe out up∣on a necessary cause with a whorish attire, is an active scandall, her feet▪ abideth not in her house, saith kSolomon. And lNavarr, saith, It is to sinne mortally and mSilvester saith, If the Popes commandement doe but smell of veniall sinne, and if by giving audience thereunto, it be presumed that the state of the Church shall be troubled, or a scandall shall arise, though the commandement goe out under the paine of Excommu∣nication, it is not to bee obeyed. oVasques, and Page  14pSuarez say, to sell, gift, or dispose of any things indifferent, when we foresee they shall abuse them, is to commit the sinne of active scandalizing. Yea, the forme of an Idol, though he ne∣ver adore it, doth highly scandalize, and qAntoninusrSil∣vester,sCorduba,tMetina,u the Jesuit Zanches teach, That to contribute to that which we see, shall induce any to sinne, is to be guilty of scandalizing. And the reasons be these; 1. We are not to preferre our will to the salvation of our brother. 2. Things lesse necessarie, then our brothers salvation, in that case become not necessarie, and so fruitlesse and idle. 3. Charitie infer∣ferreth, that we hinder so far, as we can, the ruine of our brothers soul, Scandaell is spirituall homicide. 4. To contribute any morall help, and influence to our brothers fall, and soul-ruine, is to be ac∣cessarie to his sinne▪ Hence Ceremonies and things not ne∣cessarie to salvation, may be omitted altogether in their speciali∣ties, when the practising of them doth scandalize, and so though kneeling in Gods worship cannot well be universally omitted, yet kneeling appropriate to such an act of worship may be omitted, and ought to be omitted, if it scandalize, and Ceremo∣nies which scandalize universally, seeing they are not in their very kinde necessarie to salvation, are to be abolished.

Yet I may adde one caution here. To contribute helpe for the doing of that, which of it selfe is necessarie, which I know, an other in respect of humane frailtie, will abuse to sinne is no active scandall. So to lay hands on a qualified Pastor is not sinne, though I foresee through humane frailtie, he will abuse his power in some things to sinne. So, for an Artificer to make swords, though he know some shall abuse them to murthering the innocent, is no scandalous work. I take not on me to pre∣scribe rules for eschewing scandall in all occurrences of provi∣dence. The godly learned can see more then I can doe in this matter, where love should be warie to lay a straw in the way of any weake traveller.

Page  15

Quest. III.

Whether or no we may deny obedience to the lawes of our Superiours, for feare of Scandall causleslie taken.

THis is not my question, but a question of the Do∣ctors of Aberdeen, yet it conduceth for the times, and because one of the learnedest of these Doctors did agitate the question of scandall with me in pri∣vate, before the writing of that book, I desire liber∣tie to vindicate my selfe, by discussing two chapters of this purpose.

And first the question seemeth to me many wayes vaine. 1. They aske about denyall of obedience, which is not proved, but presumed to be obedience. 2. They presume that the Ma∣sters, the Lord Prelates of Pearth faction are our Superiours, by no law of God, or our Church was ever any superioritie confer∣red upon them. 3. They say for scandall causlesly taken: if they meane that there be no just reason indeed why any should take scandall, they say nothing against us, for we thinke to take scandall, is to sinne, if they know any just reason or cause of sinne, except Satan and mens free-will, we shall be taught of them. If they meane scandalously taken, that is, not culpably given by the practisers of Ceremonies, this is a Chimera, and to us no question, for we are not to denie obedience to lawfull lawes, for eschewing Scandall, when obeyers doe give no cause culpably of Scandall, they would have formed the question to our reverend and learned Brethren if they had dealt plainly. Whether or no, we may desist from practising Coremonies, which, setting aside the law of Superiours, are indifferent, when from the practising of them ariseth the ruine of many soules, for whom Christ died. In things necessarie commanded and forbidden of God, we cannot deny obedience, but the matter of the lawes is silenced in the question to deceive the reader.

Page  16


IF the Scandall arising from the Articles of Pearth come, ex conditione operis, from the very enormitie in these Articles, then are we to forbeare these rticles ever, and not onely while they be tryed in a lawfull▪ Assembly for such are either sinne, or have a manifest show of sinne. But if the scandall arise not from the Articles themselves, but from malice or weaknesse, we deny that we are totally to abstaine from obedience to lawfull Superiours, for eschewing Scandall causlesly taken, and we marvell from whence ye have learned this strange and harsh doctrine.

Answ. 1. Your enumeration is weake, for we know no Scandall justly taken, but proceeding from both these, weak∣nesse or wickedness of nature, is the neerest cause of all Scan∣dall taken, because it is the cause of all sinne, and to be scanda∣lized is sinne. Also it is here taken from the enormitie of the deed, in that practising of things indifferent, if a scandall taken either weakly or maliciously thence arise, there is enormitie in the deed, yet totall abstinence is not hence concluded, because, cessante ratione scandali, when the ground of the Scandall is re∣moved, there is no enormitie in the fact. 2. You define to us, or rather divine, that then there is an irregularitie in the fact that justly scandalizth, when either the fact is a sinne, or then hath a manifest shew of sinne. And we wonder where you learned this strange Divinitie, for 1 Cor. 10. 27. To eat meat at a Feast that you are invited unto▪ is neither sinne, because v. 23. 25. it is lawfull: The earth is the Lords, nor is it such as hath a manifest shew of sinne, as all having sense knoweth. One of your prime Doctors defined to me, these onely have manifest appearance of sinne, Quae plrum{que} fiunt malo fine, which for the most part are done for an evill nd, such as is to lye in bed with another mans wife, to kneele before an Idoll. The formr, in the exposition of all is done for adulterie, the latter for Idolatrie. I am sure to eat meats at an Infidels feast, is not of that nature which is done ordi∣narily for an evill end, it is ordinarily done to refresh nature, and to sol••e it, which hath no manifest shew of sinne, and yet if there be a weake one beside, who saith, that meat is offered Page  17 to Idols, in that case to eat, is to scandalize 32. and is against the glory of God, v. 31. 3. You aske from whom we learned this strange doctrine to deny obedience to the lawes of Superiours for scandall causlesly taken; And we answer, we learned it from the Apostle Paul, who saith 1 Cor. 8. 13. If meat offend my weake brother, I will eat no flesh (I will abstaine totally and absolute∣ly) while the world standeth. This abstinence for the date of the worlds standing, God be thanked, is longer then the time to a lawfull Generall Assembly was at that time: yet the Apostle proveth, Rom. 14. That to eat, or not to eat, was at that time as indifferent, as to practise, or not practise Ceremonies, also who ever offended at Pauls eating of fleshes, were offended out of weakness, v. 7. and it was in that sense, scandall causlesly taken.

Duplyers pag. 59. n. 34.

The Author of the popish English Ceremonies, saith that both Ca∣jetan* and Bannes affirm, that we should abstain a spiritualibus non necessariis, from spirituall duties not necessarie to salvation, when Scandall ariseth from the doing of them, but none of the Schoole∣men euer taught to abstaine totally, and altogether from any spiri∣tuall dutie, for eschewing the scandall of either weake, or wicked.

Answer. What the author of the English Popish Ceremo∣nies saith in that subject, all your learning shall never be able to Answer, for our brethren, required but abstinece from these Ceremonies, till they be tryed in a lawfull Generall Assemblie, for they never were yet tryed in a lawfull Assemblie, till the late Assemblie at Glasgow, anno 1638. 2. That Author argueth a Majore, and we desire an Answer, if we may abstaine from spirituall duties commanded by the most high Superiour the Lord our God. hic & nunc in case of Scandall. Ergo, farre more are we to abstaine, from practising of dead Ceremonies voyd of all spirit of life, in the case of scandall, yea and univer∣sally, and totally we are to abstaine, because the Superiours have no power to make lawes in materia scandalosa, when that which they command is scandalous; and in the very matter soule-murther.


Thomas and his followers say, Bona spiritualia non necessaria*Page  18 sunt dimittenda propter scandalum, in ijs quae sunt sub consili, non vero sub praecepto▪ We may omit spirituall duties for eschew∣ing scandall which fall under counsell, but not under comman∣dement.

Answer. We conceive you not to be Papists, to hold this distinction, then farre more things indifferent for a time, in case of scandall may be forborne, when Counsells the performance whereof merit a greater degree of glorie in heaven▪ may be su∣spended. 2. It is false, for aAquinas saith, Actiones quan∣tumcun{que} rectae at{que} utiles omittendae. So b D. Bannes.


The most accurat Casuists and Interpreters of Thomas, deny, that we can deny obedience to civill and Ecclesiasticall lawes▪ for schewing scandall of the weake. So Navarrus in manali cap 19. sect. 44. Vasquez to.5. Tract▪ de Scandalo, dub. 1. sect. 5. Becanus to. post. part. 2▪ tract 1. cap 27. q. 5. Ferdin. de Castro Palao oper. moral. tract. 6. disp. 6▪ pnct. 16. Duvall. 22. tract. de Charit. q. 19. art. And they ite Thomas, Duranaus, Almain, Anton▪ lorent.

Answer 1. cAquinas saith, Excommunication may be omitted in the case of scandall. Now the Churches precept of Excommunication is no counsell, but a precept. And it is law∣full saith Thomas to rebuke our brother, and an act of Mercy and Charitie commanded (saith d he) in the law of nature, and so not a Counsell. Yet saith Thomas, in case of scandall it may be omitted.eNavar. doth contradict you, read when you please. And Ferdin••d▪ de Castro Palao, you thought we had not these authors to find you out and give o Vasquezf right play, Wee may omit the ••aring of a Masse which is no Counsell, but command to save the temperall life of our brother.gBecanus,hDuvallius may be seen to crosse you.***

Page  19


The School-men well us not to forbeare obedience, with a quite disclaiming of the authoritie of the Law, as you doe. Ans, Lawfull authoritie of Prelates lawes we know none. 2. School-men say more, that the obligation of lawes doe cease in case of scandall.


This kinde of forbearance for eschewing of scandall we improve. 1. Arg. The author of English Popish Ceremonies, part. 1. cap. 4. sect. 4. Not to obey the lawes of the Church in things whereof we are certainly perswaded they are not unlawfull and inexpedient, is a contempt and a scandall. But we are perswaded the things here, to wit, Articles of Pearth be neither unlawfull nor inexpedient. Ergo▪ The major is yours, the Assump. we prove by the light of our conscience.

Answer. The author sayth so indeed, but withall he sayth, that Church lawes bind not the conscience, because they are Church lawes, Sed propter rationem legum, for the reason of the lawes; and such you cannot show to be in your Ceremonies. 2. The Assumption is badly proved, for your consciences are not transparent glasse; except that light come out in arguments founded upon the law and testimonie, and where this is not, there is no light, Es. 8. 20. an erring conscience proveth nothing, so you beg the question.

Duplyers 2. arg. n. 37.

That which may be removed by information and instruction, can∣not be awarrand to us of a totall abstinence, from the obedience of the lawes, or which is all one, of an avowed disclaiming of the au∣thoritie of them. But the scandall of the weake taken by Pearth Articles, may be removed by information, or instruction. Ergo.

I must crave here leave for a pause, and aske the question. Page  20 1. If information and light given to beware of the scandall of Ceremonies and things indifferent, can make them the lawfull object of Church Canons, D. Forbes and other say so. But 1. This* is that which Papists say to our Divines, who object that Ima∣ges are pits and snares to Idolatrie. This danger (saith aJo∣hannes de Lugo) the Popes Professor at Rome, is easily prevented by the instruction and care of Prelates, who are to teach, that Ima∣ges have no dignitie of themselves, but onely from the samplar. And so bBellarm. the Jesuit, cƲasquez.dEstius.eThe Councell of Magountine helpeth the matter. Let our Pastours (say they) carefully teach the people, that Images are not set up, that we should adore them, but that they should be helps for our memorie. 2. Paul gave strong reasons for lawfulnesse of dayes, and meats, that weake Jewes should not be scandalized at the eating thereof. yet he would neither passe them in a Church Canon, nor practise them himselfe, while the world stand∣eth, 1 Cor. 8. 13. yea, he proveth Rom. 14. by eight strong Ar∣guments, that it was not lawfull to practise them. Ergo, he pre∣suproseth that information of Pastours should not take away the scandall of the weake, as Rom. 14. 14. There is nothing un∣cleane of it selfe. Ergo, It is lawfull to eat all meats, 1 Cor. 10. 26. The earth is the Lords. Ergo, eat what is set before you, v. 23. all things are lawfull, and yet he saith, eat not, give no of∣fence, if meat offend my brother, I will not eat to the worlds end. 1 Cor. 8. 13. 3. This vaine argument presupposeth that the want of literall information, is the adequat cause of falling in scandall, a vaine reason. Peter actively and culpably scandali∣zed Christ in his carnall counsell, Master, pitty thy selfe, Mat. 16 21. 22. 23. yet Christ was sufficiently inlightened, that he could not be scandalized. But certaine it is, that the will and depraved inclination is the cause why we fall in scandall, even when we know that others who publickly sinneth, doth sinne, and that we should not be scandalized. Now no reason in Pa∣stors preaching, or in Church-Canon, can take away the inclina∣tion Page  21 of the heart to evill, and therefore no information of Pastors can remove the scandall of the weake; For then David in committing adulterie, Noah in drunkenness, Lot in his ince∣stuous folly with his owne daughters, Peter in denying his Sa∣viour, should not have caused others within, or without the Church to stumble, nor have culpably scandalized them; So David. Noah, Lot, and Peter, had preached to all that heard of their fall, that adulterie, drunkenness, incest, and denyall of Christ, were grievous sinnes to be avoyded, and that it was sin for any to be scandalized thereat, for such information should have given sufficient literall information to beware of the like sinnes. Yea, a father might inclose in a chamber, his sonne and a beautifull virgin, and if he should sufficiently informe his son of the guiltiness, and punishment of harlotrie, he should not lay a stumbling-block before his sonne. Yet we all know, a stumbling-block may be layed before the inclination no lesse, then before the blind minde, yea suppose, to warne a Traveller of a pit, in his way, might be sufficient, to make the digger of the pit free of laying a stumbling-block in the way (as it is not) seeing to make a pit is not indifferent, yet it shall not free the Commanders of Ceremonies and the acts of Pearth Assemblie of active scandall, because men naturally loving life and health, hate to fall into pitts, which may indanger their life, and so have no inward morall inclination to fall into a pitt; but men though informed of spirituall falls, and warned to beware of them, yet love and incline to Idolatrie, and therefore to warne them to beware, and yet set the powder neere the fire, is but to scorne the craft, and to mock men. Yea, in that they desire and require, that the people beware of the Ceremonies, and require that Pastours informe them of the danger; they grant that Ce∣remonies are powder amongst the pitchers, and yet they be in∣nocent, and indifferent creatures, as if they would call them in∣different pitts, indifferent whoores to allure, beware of them; indifferent pest-cloathes, see that your inclination touch them not. Yea, then Ezechiah had given no scandall, if he had com∣manded the brazen Serpent still to stand, and had commanded the Priests to preach that the Serpent was not God, and there∣fore warned the people of their Idolatrie in burning Incence to Page  22 it, onely let it stand as a memoriall of Gods power in curing the people, who were stinged with Serpents in the Wildernesse. So if the Israelites should give their sonnes and daughters to marry strange women of the Canaanites, if they should ordaine the Priests to teach carefully their married children, to beware, that they were not drawne away, by these idolatrous marriages, to serve the Gods of the Canaanites, they should not lay a stum∣bling-block before their sonnes and daughters. Yea, these who excell in light, may be weake in grace, and in hazard to be in∣snared, by the idolatrie and superstition of Ceremonies.

4. The law of nature provideth all possible and lawfull meanes for the removall of every thing, that may rnine his soule, for whom Christ died, but not onely information of the danger of Ceremonies, but also the removall of the pitts themselves, to wit, the Ceremonies are possible and lawfull meanes.

5. 1. This were an idle Sabbath work to expound such theams as these Sacramentall bowing is an humble adoring of God, not of bread, (and as it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save beleevers, so it pleased Prelates, by the foolishnes of holy dayes and Saints dayes, to teach the people articles of faith, and by the Surplice to teach pastorall innocencie, and by confirmation to blesse children▪) 2 cCalvin, and dLuther teach, that no word should be heard in the Church, nisi purum Dei verbum, but the pure word of God. Surplice humane and Saints dayes, cros∣sing, kneeling, cannot be a text that Ministers can preach on, and expound, for they are commanded to speak Gods word, Ezech. 7. To read Gods law, and give the meaning and sense thereof, Nehem. 8. 8. and to expone the Scriptures, Luk. 24. 27. not to teach the meaning of wretched Ceremonies, for in that they should not be the Pastours of Christ, but speak with the mouth of Anti∣christ, and Exod. 12. 26. 27. If the children ask the fathers, what mean yee by this Passeover, they were to answer, It is the Sacri∣fice of the Lords Passeover. So if they ask what meaneth your kneeling to Bread, your Saints dayes, your Surplice and Cros∣sing, you must answer, they are the Ceremonies of the Lords Sup∣per, and Baptisme; What uncouth bleating were this? 6. Shall people (saith D. Ammesebe fedde with this East wind, the ver∣tue of Surplice, when there be so little time, to learne the mainePage  23things of the Gospell? also some preach none, some studie never Ceremonies, some blush to speake of such toyes. Yea▪ and al∣as often saith,fBannes the weake are not capable of distincti∣ons, it is hard to draw the wits of rude people along the untwi∣sted threed of distinctions, that the elements are objectum adora∣tionis à quo significative and objectum adorationis relativae mate∣riale, non adorationis formale. I conceive the Doctors of Aber∣deen have adoe with their wits to understand them, they must be taught of D. Mortounes essentiall and accidentall worship; of Bellarmines additions perfecting, and additions corrupting the word of God. And whereas D. Forbes saith; It is a shame for Ministers, and teachers of others to pretend weaknes, though the flock might be ignorant. Answer. Weakness, is weakness of faith, Rom. 14. 1. and weaknesse of grace, not weakness in literall light. And I thinke Ministers may pretend this upon too good grounds, and weaknes of faith is often a great inclination to superstition. 2. Though the Ministers refusing the Ceremonies, should understand them as well as these who writ bookes for their defence, yet it will not follow that they should practise them, for their forbearance is for feare of scandalizing the weak. Paul had perfect knowledge of his Christian libertie, as any man, yet he would not eat meats to the worlds end, which should offend his brother. The stronger should not scandalize the weak, because they are stronger.

Duplyers pag. 63. n. 38.

Thirdly, if for Scandalls taken, especially by the malicious, we may disclaime the authority of a Law, then we may ever disclaime the authoritie of all lawes of Church and State, for there is no∣thing commanded by lawes, but some, either through weaknes, or through malice, may take offence at it.

Answer. 1. For scandalls taken, and also given, by either weak, or wilfull, when the matter is indifferent, and hath evident conformitie with Jewish and Popish rites, and is not necessarie, we may disclaim the authoritie of all such lawes, true. Ergo, we may for scandall maliciously taken, deny the authority of all lawes, it followeth not. Ex affirmatione spciei male colligitur negatio generis. It is not for taken scandall, but for given scan∣dall, Page  24 that we disclaime the authoritie of these lawes. 2. The Doctors will have us believe, upon the sole light of their consci∣ence, n. 36. that they thinke the Ceremonies lawfull and expedient. But for us, they will not credit us in that, but out of malice we are soandalized, and not out of weaknesse.

Duplyers n. 39. 4. arg.

Fourthly, We ought not for eschewing scandall causlesly taken, to injure or offend any man, by denying to him, that which is due to him, and therefore we ought not, for eschewing scandall causlesly taken▪ to offend and injure our Superiours. The Antecedent is pro∣ved▪ for if a man be excommnicated, shall his wife, children, and servants flie his company, and so deny these duties which they owe to him, for feare that others be scandalized? and if we may not for scandall causlesly taken abstaine from these duties, that we owe to private persons farre lesse may we abstaine from obedience, which we owe to Superiours, &c.

Answer. Against the Law of disputing, you lay downe a ground, which is a principall part of the question that is practi∣sing these Ceremonies be obedience due to Superiours, and none practising for a time an injuring of Superiours in their due, though Gods affirmative precepts be omitted for a time, as the not hearing the Word, the not receiving the Sacraments, in case of Scandall, Gods due is not taken from him. If you will be more zealous for the honour of Prelates and men, then for the honour of God. Answer the Argument your selfe: I am not to re∣prove a scorner because of the scandall, he shall but trample, as a sow, upon any word of reproofe, yet the scandall were causlely taken if we should doe so, The good word of God should fur∣nish no just cause to him, yet am I not taking from God his due, and your bare word, that this is disobedience to Superiours, not to practise Pearth Ceremonies is not enough to us. 2. Your probation is weak, That children and wife keep company with the Excommunicate father, is a commandement of the law of nature, and Gods necessary law, and to deny this to an husband and father is such a sinne, as the eschewing of a scandall can ne∣ver legitimate, but I hope kneeling to Bread, and Crossing, and Surplice (commanded in our Canons and Service-book) are at Page  25 the best commanded by a positive law, and not commanded in the law of nature, and so very unlike to naturall duties that wife and children owe to father and husband. 3. I retort this Argument. We may not wrong men in that which is their due. Ergo, We may not wrong God in his due, but it is his due; (Murther not him for whom Christ died practise not Ceremonies before the weake who shall be scandalized thereat.)

Duplyers 5. arg. n. 40.

What if the thing be commanded by the Civill Magistrate under paine of death, and by Ecclesiasticall authoritie under paine of Ex∣communication, shall we for feare of scandall causlesly taken, which may be removed by information, or for the scandall of the maliti∣ous, abstaine from a thing lawfull and expedient injoyned by autho∣ritie, and incurre these grievous punishments of death▪ temporall and spirituall? We believe your selves, who speake most of scandall, would be loath to take such a yoake upon you.

Answer. The first part of this Argument is Logick from a sore▪ skinne▪ That which we are bidden doe under paine of death, that we must doe, the just logick of the King of Babylon, to prove it is lawfull to worship the Kings golden Image, Dan. 3. 15. I have scarce heard Papists for shame presse to conclude the equity and lawfulnesse of a Law, from the penaltie of a law, Suffering (as your Jesuits and Arminians teach you) falleth not under Free-will, and is not culpably evill, nor is Excom∣munication except you be Papists, death of the soule, when the cause of Excommunication is not just, and deserveth no censure, but it may be some of you think (Mr. Sibbald I know doth it) that Navarrus, and their Gregorie said true, that unjust Excom∣munication is valid, and to be feared: but if this argument (as I see not head nor feet in it) be founded upon the lawfulnesse and expediencie of Ceremonies commanded, then not to practise them at all. So first they be lawfull. 2 Expedient▪ 3 Comman∣ded by lawfull authority, is sinne, and all sinne is a death of the soule, and then you may put your Argument from grievous punishments of body and soule in your pocket, for it is of no use here▪ for whether punishment Civill or Ecclesiastick follow up∣on disobedience to Superiours, it is sinne. 3. That none of us Page  26 would die or be Excommunicated for eschewing Scandall, is no good argument, though many have suffered as hard as death, banishment, and proscription of all, and Excommunication al∣so. But the truth is, you might have said; Shall we incurre for scandall the losse of our stpends, and (one faire before the wind, qualification) for a Bishoprick?

Duplyers 6. arg. pag. 64. n. 41.

Sixtly, The denying of obediene to the lawfull commandements of our Superiours is forbidden in the i•• commandement, and con∣sequently it is sinne▪ shall we then for a scandall causlesly taken, de∣ny obedience to our Superiours, and so incurre the guiltiness of sinne? Ye commonly answer to this, that the negative part of the fift Commandement, w••ch forbiddeth the resisting of the power, Rom. 13▪ 2. is to be understood with the exception of the case of any scandall taken by others. For •• we say (say ••) that any may, or will take offence, at the ••ing of that which is commanded by our Superiours, we are not holden to oby them 42. But first, we ake, what arr and ye have o say, that the negative part of the fift Commandement •• to be understood w••• the exception of the case of Scandall▪ more then other negative precepts in the second Table?

Answer. To fill the field, an Argument already answered, is brought again to make the figure of fi up▪ The refusall of the Ceremonies till they be tryed in lawfull Assembly, is not for∣bidden in the fift Commandement, prove that▪ and take it with you. 2. You bring an Answer as commonly given •• us, that is neither ours, commonly, nor rarely▪ but it is good, build a straw∣astle, and you may soone cost a fire-ball at it, and blow it up▪ We never taught that the negative part of the fif Commande∣ment is to be understood with the exception of the case of any scandall taken by others. For this includeth all scandalls, both passive and active. Who of ours ever dreamed such a thing, if Superiours command, what God commandeth before them, doe we teach that, because others take scandall at that Command, therefore we are not holden to obey? that is scandall taken, not given. We teach no such thing▪ Rulers command to honour father and mother, if any take offence at this commandement Page  27 and obedience to either the affirmative or negative part of it, we are not to esteeme that scandall the weight of a feather, the Commandement obliedgeth. But this we teach, if when the matter of the Commandement of Rulers is indifferent, as you plead Ceremonies to be, if from obeying of these any weake or wicked be scandalized, then the Rulers doe command spirituall murther, and then their commandement is no commandement, no is it the fift Commandement. It is just like this, You shall not refuse obedience to your Rulers, commanding you to rubbe your beards when you come to the Church, or to draw a crosse line with your thumbe in the aire above a baptized infants forehead, though many soules, by obedience to these Commandements▪ be induced to love Poperie; many be made sad thinking zealous Rulers, love popish toyes better then the simplicitie of the Gospell. Now such is the Commandements of Pearth-articles, and these suffer no exceptions, for we judge them no Commandements at all, and if any such be injoyned upon pretence of any other of the nine Commandements, we hold them to be impious commande∣ments, and no obedience to be given to them at all. So if ac∣cording to the sixt Commandement, and the seven and eight, Rulers command to run Carts amongst a multitude of young Children, whence killing of some might fall out; If they should command a young man, and a faire virgine to chamber together, and command Paul in the case he was at Corinth to take stipend, though it should hinder the progresse of the Gos∣pell, as 1 Cor. 9. 23. all these were to command culpable scan∣dalls, and were unlawfull, as the Canons of Pearth faction. 3. You say, the negative part of the fift Commandement forbid∣ding the resisting of the power, Rom. 13. 2. by us, is to be under∣stood, with exception of the case of scandall taken, whereby you insinuate, that not to obey the acts of Pearth Assembly, is a resisting of the power of Rulers, Rom. 13. 2. It is ignorantly spoken, to resist every law of the Rulers, is not to resist his power, when the lawes are such as commandeth scandall: yea, by your own doctrine it is lawfull to flie when a Ruler unjust∣y, commandeth & persueth his subjects▪ pag. 3. n. 19. And to ••ie I am sure, is to refuse subjection to the Lawes of the Ruler, from whose tribunall we li, ye, and to flie so, is to resist his lawes, Page  28 but I hope it is not to resist the power, for to resist the power, bringeth damnation, and guiltinesss before God, Rom. 13. 2. But to flie from his legall Citations, is to resist his lawes, but doth not, I hope, bring damnation before God, and sinne upon the conscience, as you grant.

Duplyers n. 43.

Men are ready to stumble, and to be scandalized at our refu∣sing obedience to the lawfull Commandements of our Superiours: for they will take occasion by our cariage, to doe that, unto which by nature they be most inclined, to wit, to vilipend Lawes and Au∣thoritie.

Answer. If any stumble at our non-obedience to Pearth Ar∣ticles, and thence be induced to vilipend Lawes and Authori∣tie, it is a scandall meerely taken, no wayes given, as is cleare, because they stumble at our obedience to God, in that we refuse to kill one for whom Christ died. 2. It is no wayes true, that men are naturally inclined to vilipend Laws in a matter indifferent, (as you hold Ceremonies to be) from whence ariseth Scandall, yea, we are by nature much bent to extoll and love-lawes com∣manding soul-murther, and all lawes inductive to Poperie, which is but a masse of carnall propositions of heterodox Di∣vinitie, every way sutable to our flesh. The third exception is answered already, the fourth is to be discussed in the following Chapter.

Quest. IIII.

Whether the Precept of obedience to Superiours, or the precept of eschewing scandall be more obligatorie?

Dupliers pag. 65. n. 43.

LAst of all, when a man is peremptrily urged by his Superiours, to obey their lawfull Commandements, and in the meane time feareth▪ that if he doe the thing com∣manded by them▪ some, through weaknesse, shall be scan∣dalized▪ by his carriage; in this case he is not onely in difficultie and strait, betwixt the Commandement of men, and the Comman∣dement Page  29 of God, who forbiddeth us to doe that whereby our weake brother may be offended. But also he seemeth to be in a strait be∣twixt two Commandements of God, to wit, the precept that for∣biddeth us to doe that, whereby our weake brother may be scandali∣zed and the other, which forbiddeth, the resisting of Authoritie.

Answer. 1. The question of purpose is perversly set do ne, for they should say, whether the precept of obedience to Supe∣riours, in a straw lifting, in things indifferent, and meerely po∣sitive, and not necessarie to salvation, be more obligatorie, then the precept of God, in the law of nature, in a matter necessarie to salvation, as a Commandement of God forbidding soul-murther, and scandalizing him for whom Christ died? Or thus; Whether am I obliedged rather to obey God, forbidding me to murther my brother, or to obey man, commanding me to kneele towards Bread and Wine, and to crosse the aire with my thumbe upon the face of a baptized infant.*

2. The question seemeth to make a collision of Commande∣ments, as if God could command things contradictorie, and certainly, if the not obeying of Pearth Articles be a scandall given, as you say, it is▪ I shall undertake to prove, that the pra∣ctice of these Ceremonies is a Scandall given, and so it is not a seeming strait as you say, but a reall strait by your doctrine. There be cases wherein, whether Rulers command things, or command the contrary, a passive scandall doth arise, but because a passive Scandall, is the sinne of the scandall taker, and not of Rulers giving, the Church is not to regard it, as Matth▪ 11. 18▪ 19. The Jewes are scandalized, at Christs eating and drinking, and are scandalized at John the Baptists not eating and drinking. But neither Christ, nor John doe culpably give scandall. But there can be no such exigence of providence wherein non∣practising of your commanded Ceremonies, is a given scandall, and the practising of them is also a given scandall. Because (as aBannes, and our owne bAmsius saith▪ There is not such a perplexiti. 1. God should have brought a man then in some cases under an absolute necessitie, by way of contradiction to sinne, and murther his brother, whether he doe such a thing or not doe it. 2. Twentie Jewes are scandalized, Rom. 14. Because Paul eateth such and such meats, which they conceive are for∣bidden Page  30 by Gods law. And twentie Christians are scandalized, because Paul eateth not such and such meats, then we suppose, and its very casuall, for seeing, to be scandalized ariseth from the knowledge or ignorance of the minde, and divers men may have contrary opinions about one thing. Some thinke it un∣lawfull for Paul to eat, some thinke it unlawfull not to eat. Hence upon the use of a thing indifferent, twentie are scandali∣zed, and upon the non-using of that same indifferent thing, twentie are also scandalized. What shall Paul doe in this strait. I answer, he taketh Rom. 14. 1 Cor. 8. the negative. I will not eat flesh, if meat offend my brother. Then the twentie that are scandalized by the non-practice of the thing indifferent, doe take scandall onely, whereas Paul giveth no scandall actively. Also, the othet twentie who are scandalized by Paul his pra∣ctice of the thing indifferent, are justly scandalized, & it is both a scandall taken, and active, and a scandall given and passive. Some object, but if either of the sides be indifferent, to wit, either to use a thing indifferent, or not to use it. If ten take of∣fence at the use of it, and ten take offence at the non-use of it, there is a necessitie of scandalizing either of the sides, for the twentie weake Christians are scandalized at Pauls abstinence from such meats, conceiving that he Judaizeth, whereas the Profession of his Christian libertie in eating would edifie them, and not scandalize them.

Answer. The use of a thing indifferent is not Gods lawfull mean of edification, God hath appointed his Word, Workes, the holy and blamelesse profession of his children to edifie, and not the using of actions indifferent, yea, actions indifferent as they are such, and separated from necessitie, and morall reason, are not lawfull, and so the cessation from that action is lawfull and necessarie, and if the use scandalize, non-using of things indif∣ferent, is not indifferent, but necessarie, as non-scandalizing, and negative precepts alwayes binding, abstinence, with Paul is necessarie. It is vaine that Paybodie saith, that Peter was Gal. 2. in danger of a double scandall, for (saith he) he was in danger to scandalize the Gentiles, in refusing their companie, as if they had been no brethren, which was the greater scandall, and in danger to scandalize the Jewes in eating with the Gentiles, which was a lessePage  31sinne, and lesse scandall. But I answer, Paul did not then justly rebuke his Judaizing, Galat. 2. which doth gratifie Barronius, Bellarmine, and Papists, who will have Peter, an Apostle who could not erre. 2. It should follow that Paul rebuked Peter, be∣cause that of two evills of sinne, he choosed to commit the lesser sinne. Whereas of two evills of sinne, neither is to be chosen. One might then lawfully commit fornication to be free of adul∣terie. and so fornication should be lawfull, which is absurd. And Paul should call Gal. 2. 14. it upright walking according to the truth of the Gospell to choose a lesse sin. 3. Peter by eating with the Gentiles, should not have scandalized the Jewes, but edified them, in showing the Christian libertie they had in Christ, as is cleare, v. 5. To whom we gave no subjection, no not for an houre (by practising Jewish Ceremonies) that the truth of the Gospell might continue with you.

Duplyers pag. 66.

It is certaine we are freed from one of these precepts, for Gods precepts are not repugnan one to another. Ye commonly say, the precept of obedience to humane authoritie, must give place to the precept of eschewing Scandall, though it be causlesly taken, be∣cause the command of a Superiour cannot make that fact to be free of scandall, which otherwise would be scandalous. But it is certaine, that (laying aside the case of scandall) to denie obe∣dience to the ordinance of our Superiours, injoyning and perempto∣rily requiring of us▪ things lawfull and expedient, is really the sinne of disobedience. Ye will say, that the scandall of weake brethren, may make that fact or omission▪ not to be disobedience, which otherwise would be disobedience; because we ought not for the Commandement of man. doe that whereby our weake brother may be offended: and so the precept of obedience bindeth not, when offence of a weake brother may be feared. On the contrary we say▪ that the lawfull commandement of Superiours, may make that scandall of our weake brethren, not to be imputed unto us, which otherwise would bee imputed unto us, as a matter of our guiltinesse. No scandall f weake brethren causlesly taken, can make that fact, not to be the sinne of disobedience, which other∣wayes, that iextra casum scandali, if it were not in the Page  32 case of scandall, would bee the sinne of disobedience.

Answer. 1. This is right downe worke. But 1. I Answer, Both the precepts are not obligatorie, you say true. We common∣ly say (saith the Doctors) that the precept of obedience to hu∣mane authoritie, must give place to the precept of eschewing scan∣dall, although it be causlesly taken. We say not that Commonly, nor at all, if by Scandall causlesly taken, you mean scandall passive, onely taken, and not given, for we are not to regard such scandalls. But here the scandall is given in that, we must practise base Ceremonies, indifferent knots of straws for mens pleasure, though from thence many soules for whom Christ died, be destroyed. 2. It is good reason that the precept of obedience to humane authoritie in things which you call indifferent, and might well be sent away to Rome (were it not the Lord Pre∣lates pleasure to command them, for their owne carnall▪ ends) should yeild and be gone, and lose all obligatorie power, be∣cause it is but a positive precept, and 2. affirmative, that obliedg∣eth not ad semper, as Cross, kneele, weare Surplice. And 3. In a thing indifferent, and that this Divine Commandement of God, (scandalize not) (kill not one redeemed by Christ) should stand in force. 1. Because it is a naturall precept. 2. It is negative, and obliedgeth eternally. 3. It is of a necessarie matter, because no man-slayer hath life eternall, 1 Jh. 3. 15. But our Doctors will have the Commandements positive of men to stand, and the Commandements of God, which are expresly of the law of na∣ture to fall before their Dagon, and to lose all obligatorie power, whereas Gods owne positive law yeildeth, and loseth obligato∣rie power, when Gods naturall Commandement of mercy com∣meth in competition with it, as is cleare as the noon-day, in David famishing, who eat the Shew-bread, which by a positive law, was not lawfull to any save the Priests onely, to eat, yet must mans law stand, and Gods law of nature fall, at the pleasure of these Doctors. 3. Wee say justly, you erre in saying it is reall disobedience to deny obedience to the ordinance of Superiours, when the matter of their law is indifferent, and when it is scan∣dalous, and obedience cannot be given to it, but by saying him for whom Christ died, yea, to give obedience to Superiours in that case, is reall murthering of soules, and reall disobedience to Page  33God. Yea, and if there be murthering of a weake brother in the fact, it cannot come under the compasse of the matter of an humane law, and the Scandall maketh it no obedience to men, but disobedience to God. 4. You retort bravely, but Po∣pishly, the argument back upon us; But we bring our argu∣ment from the law of Nature (Thou shalt not murther, nor scan∣dalize) and we bring it not so much against the obedience to the Commandement of Superiours, as against the law and Commandement of Superiours, and this Argument is against the Ceremonies, as if they had not been commanded, and as they were before the Assembly of Pearth, and therefore the con∣sideration of a lawfull Commandement to take away the scan∣dall, is not to any purpose. And so 5. I may invite Papists, Je∣suites, and all the Patrons of the Pope, to thanke you, and kisse your pen, for these words we say that the lawfull Commande∣ment of Superiours (of Prelates commanding things indiffe∣rent) may make that scandall of our weake brethren not to be im∣puted unto us, which otherwise would be imputed unto us, as a matter of our guiltiness. What ever (my brethren) may be imputed to you otherwise, & before the law of Pearth Assemblie was made, as the matter of your guiltiness, was your sinne, for nothing can be imputed to Men or Angels, as guiltiness, but fin. But if the Commandements of Prelates may make that not to be imputed to you, which otherwise and before, or without that law of Superiours, would have been imputed as the matter of your guiltinesse, then the law of Superiours and Prelates may make that, which without that law, would have been sinne, to be no sinne at all. I know no more said by cBellarmine of the Universall Prelate of the world, but that he can make sin to be no sinne, and no sinne to be sinne. And dthat the Pope cannot command vertue as vice, and vice as vertue, for if he should doe so, the Church should be obliged to believe vertue to be vice, and vice to be vertue. But much good doe it you, Masters of Arts. Yet Bellarmine in his recognitions, saith not so much of his great Pope-Prelate, as you say of your little Prelates, for e he will not give the foresaid power to the Pope, but in doubt∣some Page  34 acts, and in acts of positive lawes about fasting, you give to Prelates more, to wit, that their commanding will, may make sinnes forbidden in the law of nature, to be not imputed, as the matter of our guiltinesse, and to be no sinnes; We cannot want dispensations and indulgences at home, ere it be long, if happily we pay well for them.

Yet fBernard will not have the Popes commandement to make that which is simply evill to be lawfull. gThe Popes pleasure make not things good (saith Tolet) yea, a subject (saith hAlphonsus d•••astro) may without sinne contemne the law of his Superiour, judging it to be evill, and contrary to reason.

But I reason thus; It is the incommunicable power of the Supreame Law▪ giver to make the killing of Isaac, which other∣wayes would have been imputed to Abraham as a matter of guil∣tinesse, and crueltie, to be no sinne. Ergo, Prelates have not power to make an act of soul▪murther, to be no sinne, to scan∣dalize a weake brother is to destroy him, for whom Christ died, Rom. 14. v. 15. 1 Cor. 8. v. 11. yea, and by the same law Rulers may make an act of Adulterie, an act of Chastitie, an act of lying, an act of truth speaking.

2. If Rulers, even the Apostle Paul, be tyed by the law of Nature, to Charitie to their brethren, as Rom. 14. 15. Not to stay him for whom Christ died, not to seke their owne things, but the good of their brethren, 1 Cor. 10. 24. Not to eat things sacrificed to idols, before the weake, v. 29. To doe all for the glory of God, v. 32. Then is it sinne in the Ruler himselfe to scandalize the weake. Ergo, Rulers cannot command to others that as obe∣dience, which they cannot doe themselves without prodigious disobedience to God. What Paul forbiddeth in Canonical Scrip∣ture as murther, that he cannot command in Church Canons as obedience Canonicall to Superiours.

3. Prelates shall have immediate Dominion over our con∣sciences to bind us to obedience by doing acts that otherwise should be imputed to s as the matter of our guiltinesse; and be∣cause the same power that bindeth the conscience, may also loose, so they may dispense with all the ten Commandements, and coyne to us a new Decalogue, and a new Gospell. They may legitimate murthers, paricides, and illegitimate Godlinesse▪Page  35and right•••snesse and sobriti, by this Divinitie.

4. That must be false (It is better to obey God nor man, Act. 5.) but to abstaine from scandalizing a weake brother, is an act of obedience to the sixt Commandement. Ergo, the contrary can∣not be done at the command of Prelates. 6. Gods positive lawes yeildeth (Thou shalt not kill) to wit to the law of nature. Da∣vid may eat shew bread, when he is famishing. Ergo, the Pre∣lates law farre more must yeild to the sixt Commandement (thou shalt not scandaliz, nor kill the soule of him for whom Christ died.) 7. Rulers must all be infallible law-makers. 8. Rulers might command bodilie murther, and it should not be murther, they may command to digge pitts in the way of Tra∣vellers, To marry with Infidel, to send abroad a goaring Ox, to give knives to little children.

They object. A Master a father, may command a servant and a son to do that, which if the servant or son refuse to do, their disobe∣dience scandalizeth. And again, a Master, a Father, may com∣mand the contrary, and if they disobey, they scandaliz culpably. Erg. The commanding will of a Master and a Father, and farre more of publick Rulers, may make that to be active scandall, which is no active scandall. A Carpenter may command his servant to remove a tree from the East end of his house, to the West end, and againe, he may for his sole will, to try his servants obedience, com∣mand him to remove it againe to the East end of his house.

Answer. 1. The Master, Father, Carpenter, command either these things as artificiall agents, from reason of art, and then the question is not touched, for in scandalls men are considered, as morall agents, or they command them as morall agents, and that either for their sole will and pleasure, and so they be idle and unreasonable actions, and cannot be lawfull commande∣ments, and so are they scandalous both to Commanders and o∣beyers, but they may well command upon just reasons, that which if servants and sonnes obey not, they give Scandall, and they may command the contrary of that same, at another time, when now contrary reasons maketh it lawfull and expedient, and if servants and sonnes obey not the contrary, they also give Scandall, but here the change is not from the will and authori∣tie of the Commanders, but from the things themselves, which Page  32〈1 page duplicate〉Page  33〈1 page duplicate〉Page  34〈1 page duplicate〉Page  35〈1 page duplicate〉Page  36 are changed, so that which is an active scandall at some time, the contrary of it may be an active scandall at another time, as in the ease, Rom. 14. To eat meats before the weake, which they conceive to be forbidden, by Gods law, is to slay him for whom Christ died, and an active scandall, because then the Ce∣remonies were mortall and indifferent, nothing essentially con∣stituteth an active and a given scandall, but these two; 1. That* it may be left undone, as the author of the course of conformitie, a saith well out of Hieronimus, Without hurting of the truth of a sound life, and a sound faith and righteousnesse. 2. If upon the practice of a thing indifferent, and not necessarie, any of the foresaid three wayes, we see some shall be scandalized, though* they take scandall upon an unjust ground, it is an active scan∣dall, as to eat such meats before the weake, Rom. 14. is in ano∣ther time and case, as Galat. 2. when the Ceremonies are now deadly, and upon just reasons not necessarie, the practising (I say) of the same, is an active scandall and so if any be scan∣dalized at the eating, Rom. 14. it is scandall both taken, and also culpably given, and if any be scandalized at the not eating, as the case is, Galat. 2. That is only a passive scandall, and so not given, because the times of the expyring of the dutie of Cere∣monies, and the full promulgation of the Gospell, varieth the case now, and the sole will of Rulers maketh not the change; So if any offer Incence to the Brazen Serpent, so long as it hath vertue, as Gods ordinance to cure the stinged persons, he is scan∣dalized by a passive scandall onely, for Gods institution maketh it now the necessary ordinance of God, And the Magistrates suf∣fering of the Brazen Serpent to remaine now, is no active scan∣dall, and the passive scandall is onely taken away, by informa∣tion, and the sound exponing of the right use of a necessary or∣dinance of God. But after that the Brazen Serpent loseth its vertue, and is not now an ordinance of God necessarie, if any burne Incense to it, these who are by authoritie obliedged to remove it, and doth not remove it, they doe morally and culpa∣bly scandalize.

Hence we see it is foolish and vaine, that some say, such as cHooker.dD. Forbes.eD. Sanderson, and fLynde∣say, pretended Bishop of Edinburge, and Mr. Paybodie. That asPage  37 Rome and Corinth the Church had not past her determination upon eating, and not eating, nor made any Church lawes upon these things indifferent, and therefore to eat, or not to eat, were matters of every private mans choise; But it is not the like case with our Ceremonies, for they remaine no longer indifferent, but are necessa∣rie to us, after that the Church hath now made a commanding law upon them, and so the scandall that ariseth from our dutie of obedi∣ence, to lawfull authoritie, is taken, and not given.

I answer, it is most false, that eating and not eating, in case of scandall was under no law in the Church of Rome and Co▪ rinth. For these most indifferent acts in their use, and cloathed with their Circumstances, when, where, and before what per∣sons, were under the unalterable law of nature, as (destroy not him, with thy meat for whom Christ died) a law which as the gcourse of conformitie saith well, cannot be dispenced with by no power but Gods. And Paul proveth by stronger arguments, to eat in the case of Scandall, was not indifferent, but simply evill, Then all the Prelates Canons on earth can afford, as Rom. 14. by eight Arguments, as we have seen, that it fighteth against Charitie, v. 15. Now walkest thou not charitably. 2. It is a destroying of him for whom Christ died, and so murther. 3. Contrary to Christs love, who died for that weake brother. 4. It maketh Religion and Christian Libertie to be evill spoken of. v. 6. &c. It is a sham then to say, that eating, or not eating, was indifferent, because free from any ty of a Church Canon, see∣ing eating before a weake brother is under the ty of unanswera∣ble Arguments taken from the law of nature, and Gods Canons written in the heart, forbidding under the pain of Goa's anathe∣ma, and curse, (heavier then the Church anathema,) that we should, for meat, destroy him for whom Christ died, and so are the Canon-makers, and Lords of Ceremonies under a curse, if they for crossing, kneeling, surplice, destroy him for whom Christ died, or command him to be destroyed, by the practice of Cere∣monies. 3. If this be a good reason the Church of Rome, and Corinth might have made such Ceremonies as these.

Notwithstanding the eating of meates, which some suppose to be forbidden by Gods law, be a killing of him for whom Christ died, and against Charity▪ and a reproaching of our Christian li∣berie,Page  38yet it seemed good to the holy Ghost, and to us, the Prelates of Rome and Corinth, to command eating of such meats, before weake ones, for whom Christ died. But certainly Paul would ne∣ver have commandd, in a Canon, that which he writeth in Canonicall Scripture, to be a murthering of him for whom Christ died, and that which he would not practise himself, to the worlds end, so long as it standeth in the case of indifferencie, as he saith of eating of fleshes, conceived by some weake ones to be against Gods law, 1 Cor. 8. v. last, The Pope himselfe would, nor dare in conscience, to practise any of his owne Canons, even though they were yet not Canonically commanded or forbidden. Paul would not dare to put a law upon the Romans or Corinthians, to eat, or not to eat meats, before the weake, but commandeth not eating in the case of scandall. 4. Idolatrie is ever idolatrie, (saith athe course of conformitie) and so scandall being sinne it cannot cease to be sinne, because superiours commandeth it. 5. Though Apostolick authoritie being meerly divine, should command that which is in it self murther, and was urther, before it be Canonically commanded, (which I think also is a false hypothesis) yet it shall never follow that humane autho∣ritie, or Ecclesiastick authoritie can command scandall, which is spirituall murther; For if Ecclesiastick authoritie may com∣mand murther, they may command idolatrie, for active scan∣dalizing is as essentially murthering of one for whom▪ Christ died, as to worship an idoll, is essentially idolatrie. Therefore Master Sydserfe pretended Bishop of Gallway being straited with this argument, sayd, Though humane authoritie cannot in∣vert the nature of things, or make spirituall murther, to be no murther, yet they can by a Church Canon put the mindes of people in such a change, as now they are not in the hazard to be justly scandalized▪ for a scandall (sayd the Prelate)▪ is ens rationis, no reall thing but a fiction of reason, the nature of it being in the ap∣prehension of the ignorant and blind, who are scandalized, and a law may remove this ignorance, when it giveth light, and sheweth the expediencie of things indifferent. To which I answered, you may, call idolatrie, if you please, and all sinnes, fictions of rea∣son, but not only doth scandall given proceed from ignorance and blindnesse of the apprehension of the partie scandalized, but Page  39 also from the unseasonable practising of a thing, which is no wayes necessarie in the worship of God. The course of b con∣firmitie saith well, He that denieth that there is any scandall, is like one who could not see the wood, for the trees—the walking of Diogenes is meetest for a Zeno, who against all reason denyeth that there is any motion. We may hence judge what to say of c D. Forbes his Answer to the place, 1 Cor. 9. Who saith that Paul was under no Ecclesiasticall law, not to take wages, and therefore in not taking wages, he was not a contemner of Ecclesia∣sticall authoritie, but we are under a Church law to practise the Ceremonies, and yet we refuse them. I answer; If then the Church of Corinth had commanded Paul in their Canons to take stipend, for preaching, he was obliedged to take stipend, yet he proveth that it was not lawfull for him, as the case of scandall then stood, to take wages, v. 18. he should abuse his power in the Gospell, and v. 19. 20, 21. he should not have becommed all things to all men to save some, and these things had been sinfully scan∣dalous, if (as the case was then) Paul for a penny of wages, which he might have wanted, having no familie to provide for, should have layd a stumling block before many. And the Do∣ctordaith No humane power can compell a man, to doe that, which he cannot doe, except inevitably he give scandall. The Do∣ctor addeth; The Apostle teacheth not that to take stipend was unlawfull, or of it selfe scandalous, yea he taught it was lawfull, and that they should not be scandalized thereat, because Christ hath ordained, that he who serveth at the altar, should live upon the Altar, but you teach that the Ceremonies are unlawfull. I Answer 1. In this argument of Scandall, we give, but doe not grant, that they are not unlawfull, but indifferent. 2. Though to take wages be lawfull, yet it followeth not, that it is not in Pauls cae at Corinth of it selfe scandalous; for to eat all meates is lawfull, Rom. 14. and 1 Cor. 10. 23. All things are lawfull, v. 26. The earth is the Lords, yet to eat before the weake, was in it selfe scandalous, Rom. 14. 15. 16. 17. 1 Cor. 10. 28. 29. 3. It is a most weake reason to prove that to take wages was not scandalous, because forooth the Corinthians should not have been scandalized: for to be scandalized is to sinne, and there is no reason in sinning, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. If this be good, Page  40 adulterie and murther in David, is not of it selfe scandalous, for as no man hath reason to sinne, so no man hath reason to be scandalized, at Davids sinne. Pauls taking wages at Corinth should have been a sinfull hindering of the Gospels progresse, and therefore of it self sinfull; and so of it selfe scandalous. But I return to the Doctors.

Duplyers pag 67. 68. n. 46 47.

As for that which yee say, that when Scandall may be taken at the doing of the thing commanded, then the thing commanded becommeth inexpedient, and so ought not to be obeyed; that yee be not more deceived with this errour, we pray you marke, that a thing commanded, by our Superiours, in Church or Policie, my be two wayes inexpedient, to wit, either in respect of some particular Persons, who though weaknesse, or malie, doe stumble at it, or else in respect of the body in generall, because it is contrary to Or∣der, Decencie and Edification. If the thing commanded be inex∣pedient, the former way, we may indeed, in such a case, for eschew∣ing the Scandall of the weake, forbeare the practice of the thing commanded, Hic, & nunc, in some particular places, and times: provyding alwayes we doe this without offence of our Superiours, and without the scandall of others, but we cannot totally forbeare practice, for we are to looke more to the utilitie, which the body of the Church may receive, by the thing commanded, and by our obe∣dience to our Superiours, then to some particular persons. 47. But if the thing commanded be in our private judgement inexpedient, the other way, we ought not for that, to deny Obedience to the lawes of the Church; for when the inexpediencie of a thing is questio∣nable, and probable arguments may be brought, pro and contra, concerning the expediencie of it, wee have sufficient warrant to practise it, if the Church inact it as expedient. Otherwayes your way is so dangerous, that there shall never be peace, nor unitie in the Church, for men ordinarily are divided in judgement, concerne¦ing the expediencie of things. Suppose a Synode consisting of one hundred Pastours, threescore shall think this particular Ceremonie expedient, for the good of the Church, and in respect of pluralitie of voyces▪ make an act to be concluded for the establishing of it, shall the remnant fourty, who are of the contrary judgement, deny obedience to the acts of the Synode?

Page  41Answer. 1. This distinction of inexpedient in the matter of indifferent Ceremonies is Popish and vaine, for if the Ceremo∣nie be indifferent, and may be wanted in the worship of God (as these Ceremonies be) if one soule, for whom Christ died, shall be murthered thereby, it is hoc ipso, to be judged inexpedient and scandalous in it selfe, and so cannot fall under the object of a Church Canon, as 1 Cor. 8. 13. If meat make my brother to stum∣b'le (he saith not the whole Church) I will not eat. Ergo, he cannot command others to eat. 1 Cor. 10. 28. But if any man,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, say to you, this is offered in sacrifice to Idols, eat not,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, for his sake that shewed it. Ergo, if it seem expedient, and so be scandalous to one, let alone to a whole Church, we are totally to forbeare it, and Paul would, while the world standeth, 1 Cor. 8. 13. forbeare it. 2. You will not have us to forbeare a thing indifferent, that actively (for the passive scandall, I hope, you regard not as a scandall) doth scandalize, but with a provision that we doe it without offence of Superiours, and without the scandall of others. But I aske, Doctors, what you meane by Offence of Superiours, if you meane without dis∣pleasing and inciting our Superiours to anger. 1. You ignorant∣ly confound displeasing and Scandalizing, When a Pastor re∣buketh Superiours, as Jeremiah, Elias, and John Baptist, in the good old world did, they did displease Superiours, but not scan∣dalize them; yea, they did edifie their Superiours, while as they did offend them. It is wicked Divinitie, to mean, that we are not to eschew the murthering of a weake brother for whom Christ died providing we offend not, that is, displease not our Superiours. Will you to please men displease the God of hea∣ven, and commit spiritual homicide? This is worse then Poperie.

But if you meane, that wee are to forbeare the thing commanded for eschewing the scandall of the weake, providing we doe it without the offence of Superiours, that is without the active scandalizing of Superiours, then 1. your distinction is vaine, for if we scandalize culpably our superiours by our for∣bearance, though it be inexpedient to all private persons, we are not to forbeare, because in no case can we breake the sixt Commandement, and scandalize our Superiours. 2. You shall be forced to give case, wherein we are necessitated by GodsPage  42 providence, and that by way of contradiction, whether we for∣beare, or forbeare not, to murther either the soules of some weake ones, or the soules of Superiours, by our forbearance of the practice of things judged expedient by Superiours, you make us to murther the soules of Superiours by the non-for∣bearance, or you will have us to murther the soules of weake breathren, if we practise. This is a wronging of Providence, and a Maichean tenent, that we can be under such a necessitie of sinning. Yea, there must be two centray revealed wills in God, commanding, by forbearing the Ceremonies, not to mur∣ther Superiours, and commanding by not forbearing, not to murther weak brethren; and so God commandeth both to for∣beare, and also not to forbeare. If you say, the weake may be informed, and then it is a passive scandall onely, and practising is lawfull at the commandement of Superiours. I answer, 1. Then your distinction hath no use here. 2. I answer. Let the Superiours, who have more knowledge, be informed, that to abstaine from a practice, that may murther any one redeemed by Christ, is Christs commandement (Thou shalt doe no mur∣ther) then it is but a passive scandall, and not an active, or cul∣pably given scandall. Ergo, we are to forbeare the thing com∣manded for eschewing of the scandall▪ (hic & nunc) of the weake, even though with the offence, that is the passive scandall of Su∣periours and others, which is contradictorie to the Doctours. 3. If we may forbeare obedience to Gods positive Commande∣ments, hic & nunc, for esehewing of Scandall, farre more may we, hic & nunc, not crosse, not kneele, hic & nunc, when cros∣sing and kneeling murthereth one for whom Christ died, even though it offend our Superiours. Ergo, this provision of the Do∣ctors is vaine; and Superiours are unjustly offended, if our non∣murthering of weake brethren offend them, nor are we to care for the Doctors provision here. 4. No utilitie can truly redound to the whole Church by practising of an indifferent thing which culpably occasioneth the murthering of a weake brother, Ex∣cept our Doctors meane, that sinne may edifie the whole Church. 5. They say, if the things in our private judgement be inexpedient the second way, that is to the Church, the Church cannot Command them, except the Church command against Page  43 her conscience. 6. If matters in their expediencie be questiona∣ble and probable on both sides, the Churches determination should end the controversie (saith the Doctors) this is the Do∣ctrine of the Jesuites, aSuarez.bThomas Sanches, and cGregor de valent. as I shew before d when a thing is pro∣bable, and I be resolved in conscience against neither of the sides, and feare the one side be murthering him, for whom Christ died, which is against Gods commandement, and know that humane authoritie commandeth the contrary and am per∣swaded it is indifferent, and a positive commandement of men, if the Churches determination be here to sway my conscience; to practise, is to me blind obedience, for humane authoritie as it is such, giveth no light. Ergo, it cannot remove my doubt∣ing, and beget faith; and also the conscience is so much the bolder to venture on a sinne, against God, for feare of eschewing a sinne against men, which is questionable, and in a matter in∣different, this is also the stout conscience of Bonaventura 2 sent. dist. 39. plus est standum praecepto Praelati quam conscientiae. 7. Our Doctors say, our way is against the peace of the Church: But I answer, their way is Popish, and against the truth of God, in commanding our consciences to rest upon the wicked will of men. And their instance of a Synod of a hundred Pastors may be brought aswell to prove the Synode of Trent is to be obeyed, as for the present purpose,

Duplyers, pag. 69.

Yee will say this argument is Popish, and leadeth men to acqui∣esce. without tryall, upon the determination of the Church. But we answer in matters of faith the truth, whereof may be infalli∣bly concluded out of the word of God▪ we ought not, without tryall to acquiesce unto the Doctors of the Church, and in this respect we dissent from Papists, who ascribe too much to the authoritie of Councells, as if their decrees were infallible. But in matters of Po∣licie, if we be certaine, that in their owne nature, they are indiffe∣rent, and if the expediencie of them onely be called in question, see∣ing no certaine conclusion, concerning their expediencie, can be in∣fallibly drawn out of Gods word—we are to acquiesce to the de∣crees of the Church. 1. Because otherwise it is impossible to agree Page  44 in one conclusion, in matters of this kind. 2. Disobedience shall prove more hurtfull then obedience.

Answer 1. This is a wide step, to make all things in Scrip∣ture, either matters of faith, or matters indifferent. That there were eight persons in Noahs Arke, and that Sampson sew a thou∣sand with the jaw bone of an asse, are not matters of faith, as mat∣ters of faith are contradistinguished, from things indifferent, many are saved, who neither know nor believe many things of this historicall veritie in Scripture, yet are they not matters in∣different. But the Doctors are reconcilers with the Belgik Ar∣minians, who deny all the things contraverted betwixt Papists and us, and betwixt us and Arminians, and Anabaptists, at least the most part of them to be fundamentall▪ and that either side may be believed, and holden, without hazard of salvation, and therefore we are to leane to the Churches determination in these without farther inquirie. 2 They mean, that in matters contra∣verted, and in all things indifferent; as whether in this, or that fact, we doe murther him for whom Christ died; Wee are to give our faith and conscience over to the Church without further tryall. 3. What if wee be▪ not perswaded of the indiffe∣rencie of the things commanded but doubt whether they bee commanded or forbidden in the Word, as is now the present case of Ceremonies to us, for we cannot be perswaded of their indifferencie, and the Doctors saith they are not matters of faith. Ergo, by their own doctrine their distinction is defe∣ctive. 4. Scripture is also perfect in resolving us, what is scan∣dall and murthering of our brother, as what is Idolatrie and Blasphemie, and therefore we are not to hang our faith here up∣on the Churches Canons without farther tryall, as you say. 5. That the Scripture is perfect in matters of faith, but imperfect in matters of Policie, that is in matters wherein we may kill him for whom Christ died, is no better then the Papists distin∣ction, who teach us that the Scripture is perfect in the articles of faith, not in traditions, so Scotusa saith. True Theologie according to Divine revelation is onely of things in Scripture, or which may be deduced out of Scripture. And Suarezb saith, Things that belong to accidentarie rites are left to the Churches determination, but the Scripture implicitly containeth all articles of fearePage  45faith. And so saith cBannes, and dDuvallius. 6. Your feare is vain, that we shall have no order nor peace, if Scripture be judge, and not the authoritie of the Church, in matters which you call indifferent, for the Church giveth out Canons concerning things strangled, & blood, which were matters indif∣ferent, and that from the word of God, Act. 15. and that in great unitie and peace. Gods word maketh unitie, and not mens au∣thoritie. 7. Disobedience to Church Canons in case of given Scandall, is neither disobedience, nor hurteth at all; It possibly offendeth men who will tyrannize over the Conscience, and if any be induced thereby to sin, it is a scandall taken, not given. Abstinence from murthering a weak brother, is obedience to God, and so no active Scandall.

In the 48 Section▪ The Duplyers doe but redouble over again the arguments already brought and answered by me divers times to D▪ Robert Barron in private, while he was silenced, and (as I conceived) satisfied. Especially, they say our disobedience to superiours in things lawfull and expedient, is most scandalous to others, and that because we, by nature, are most unwilling to be curbed, and to have our libertie restrained. Therefore Calvin*saith, God, that he may allure us to obedience to ••••riours, called, superiours, Parents.

I answer. 1. The Doctors are too hastie to call that obedi∣ence to Superiours which is in question, We say it is disobedi∣ence to the ixt Commandement, because it is a scandalizing of our brother. Ergo, it is not obedience to the fift Commande∣ment to practise indifferent Ceremonies, when they doe scanda∣lize. 2. Our argument is made against the practise of Ceremo∣nies, before they be enacted in a lawfull Assemblie, if they be murthering of the weak, before Pearth-Assemblie, the will of Prelates, yea, and all the authoritie of men or Angels, cannot make the practise of them, to be no murther, for mens will can∣not make that which is sinne and guiltinesse before God, to be no sinne, but due obedience to the fift Commandement, though the Doctors expresly say this.

Duplyers, pag. 71. Sect. 44.

But we with good warrant oe averre, that the precept which fobiddeth the resisting of the civill power, and in generall the de∣nying Page  46 of obedience to the lawfull commandements of our Superiors, is of greater obligation then the precept of not scandalizing. Their first reason I put in forme to them thus. That is of greater obliga∣tion which commandeth acts edificative to all, then that which com∣mandeth acts edificative to some only, for the good of all is to be preferred to the good of some particular persons, and we are to have a greater care of the salvation of all, then of some. But the precept of obedience to Superiours is universall, and commandeth the act of edifying all to wit, obedience to Superiours, and an act to eschew the scandall of all to wit, disobedience. But the precept of eschewing the scandall of some, doth but edifie some only, and not all Ergo &c.

Ans. 1. It is soon proved by your learning, for the precept of Gods law to eschew scandall, to you is no precept, and so of no obligation, when Superiours command to scandalize, so you may prove that snow is whiter then the raven, when as the ra∣ven is not white at all.

I answer. 2. That precept is of greater obligation that com∣mandeth acts edificative to all, then that which commandeth acts edificative to some. It is true, 1. if it be a lawfull command of God, but the ssumption applyed to your purpose is most false, the command to obey Prelates, when they command things in∣different, the obedience whereof doth culpably occasion the murthering of him, for whom Christ died, is not a commande∣ment edificative to all, yea, it is a Commandement of acts destructive to the soules of all. This Argument would have some colour, if it were not a vaine begging of the question, for they lay downe as, confessed, that the practise of Ceremonies, from whence many soules are ruined, is obedience, and obedi∣ence to the fift Commandement. This is to be proven, and con∣stantly denyed by us, because disobedience to the sixth Com∣mandement, and murthering of our brother, cannot be obedi∣ence to the fift Commandement.

Duplyers pag. 72. n. 50.

The fift Commandement commeth neerer to the nature of pietie* and religion contained in the first Table, and the honouring of pa∣rents (as your owne A•••sius saith) by prophane authours, is Page  47 called by the name of religion and pietie. 2. It is the ground of obe∣dience (sayeth Pareus) to be given to all the rest of the precepts of the second Table. 1. Because all societies Oeconomicke, civill, and Ecclesiasticke doe consist, and are conserved by the subjection of nferiours to superiours. 2. Our superiours are set over us, to the end, we may doe our dutie to all others. Hence saith your owne Amesius; Crymes which directly procure the perturba∣tion, confusion, and eversion of societies, are more grievous then the violation of the singular precepts: and Dyonisius Bishop of Alexandria, writing to Novatus saith, Martyrdome suffered for eschewing of schisme, is more glorious, then Martyrdome for es∣chewing Idolatrie.

Ans. You said before matters of Policie are not matters of faith. Amesius is a Protestant writer in matters of faith, by grant of all, it is like then you terme mesius our owne, not yours, because he wrote against Arminians and Papists, and so that Arminians and Papists are yours, and Protestant Divines ours. 2. We grant the precedencie and dignitie to the fift Com∣mandement above the rest, but your Ceremonies that break the sixth Commandement, shall find no roome in the fift Com∣mandement. Cause the fift Commandement speak thus, if you can; Notwithstanding, that crossing, kneeling, surplice, humane holy dayes occasion the soule murther of him for whom Christ died, yet we the Prelates command the practise of the foresaid Ceremo∣nies as good and expedient for edification, for our Commandement maketh the murthering of our brethren, to be obedience to the fift Commandement. But if Prelates may command that which would be otherwise, without, or before the Commandement, spirituall murthering and scandalizing of our brother, they may command also, that which would be otherwise without, or be∣fore their command, adulterie against the seventh, and theft a∣gainst the eighth, and perjurie and lying against the ninth Commandement, and concupiscence against the tenth; for the fift Commandement hath the precedencie before the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth Commandements, no lesse then before the sixth, which forbiddeth the killing of our brothers soule. 3. What Amesius and Parens saith, doe well prove the dignitie of the fift Commandement, above all the Commandements of Page  48 the second Table; but this is not to our purpose, but every commandement of the fifth Commandement; yea, every com∣mandement of the first Table, is not above every commande∣ment of the second Table. The love of God, is more then the love of our neighbour, and the love of God should, and doth, command obedience to all the ten Commandements, Deut. 30. 6. 7, 8. & Deut. 10. 12. Yet every duty and commandement that the love of God requireth of us, as to offer sacrifice, is not for that a greater commandement then every commandement of the second Table, yea, the taking of a sheepe out of a ditch on the Lords day, commanded in the sixth Commandement, is more then sacrifices commanded in the second Commandement, as our Saviour saith, Math. 12. v. 11, 12. and though the fift Commandement be laid upon us as the fountaine and cause, yea to this end, that we should keepe all the rest, as Divines say well. Yet it followeth not that every commandement of the fift Commandement, as when my father commandeth me to preach in a linnen Ephod, and to cast a Character with my thumbe in the aire, as crossing is, shall be of more obligation then this commandement of God (Thou shalt not destroy his soule for whom Christ died) 4. It is false, that denying of obedience to Pearth-Assemblie, commanding indifferent straws and feathers as (kneele to consecrated Bread, the Image of Christ crucified) doth directly procure the perturbation and confusion of humane societies, as the Doctors saith. There is great difference betwixt subjection to superiours, and obedience to superiours; When private men, as the three Children will not bow to Nebuchad∣nezzars Image, there is no confusion brought in for that, if they had risen against the King in armes, as Papists doe in Ireland against our King, that is confusion, and subverteth directly hu∣mane scocieties, but to suffer punishment by Superiours, is sub∣jection to superiours, as is cleare, 1 Pet. 2. 17. Honour the King. 18. Servans be subject to your Masters with all feare, not only to the good and gentle but also to the froward. 19. For this is thanke-worthy (this subjection) if a man, for conscience reward God▪ enaure griefe, suffering wrongfully. 5. What Dionysius said of the ill of schisme is for us, for schisme is against love to our brethren, and a renting Christs body. 1 Cor. 1. 13. and a grea∣ter Page  49 evill then non-obedience to Prelates, when they command indifferent Ceremonies, occasioning the r••ne of him for whom Christ died. To say nothing that the Doctors of Aberdeen are the Schismaticks who have now separated from the Church of Scotland, and our Nationall covenant with God.

Duplyers pag. 37. n. 51.

Thirdly, these offices or duties, which we owe to others by way of Justice, are more strictly obligatorie, then these which we owe to them, only by way of charitie. But we owe the dutie of obedience* to our Superiours, by way of justice, and therefore it is more obli∣gatorie, then the duty of eschewing scandall causlesly taken, which is a duty only of charity. 1. The major is a maxime not only of Scholasticks▪ and of Popish casuists, but also of our Divines. So Amesius, The major is cleare for the duty of obedience which wee owe to the publicke Lawes of the Church and Kingdome is▪ Justi∣tia legalis, a generall legall Justice, and as it is in subjects, it is a vertue inclining them to the obedience of all lawes made for the benefit of the Common-wealth, as Aristotle saith. 2. It is debi∣tum obedientiae, the debt of obedience which we owe to our Supe∣riours, grounded upon the proper right which our Superiours have to exact this right of us, so that they may accuse us of injurie, and censure us, if we performe it not. Debitum justitiae fundatur in proprio jure alterius; and also it is debitum morale, a debt of dutie unto which we are tyed by morall honestie in Gods comman∣dement. There is a great difference betwixt these two debts; As for example, a man oweth moneys to the poore by a morall debt, but to his creditours he oweth them by a legall debt, or debt of ju∣stice: and therefore he is more strictly obleiged to pay his creditour then to give almes. Such like by morall honestie, and Gods pre∣cept also; a man oweth to his neighbour, a pious carefulnesse, to imped sinne in him, by admonition, instruction, good example, and by omission even of things lawfull, when he seeth that his neighbour in respect of his weaknesse, will be scandalized by them. But his neighbour hath not such a right to exact these duties of him, nei∣ther can he have action against him, for not performing of them, as our lawfull Superiours have for our due obedience?

Ans. 1. Here be the white shifts of Mr. Sanderson, Paybodie,Page  50Downham, who place Loyaltie above Charitie. We owe to our brother love, but to the Ruler (say they) love and justice. 1. Why doe they not extend Loyaltie to its utmost, even loyal∣tie to the King of kings? whose royall law saith▪ (Thou shale not scandalize (Thou shalt not murther) they draw in loyaltie to Rulers who shall die as men, and to their commandement of things indifferent, which God hath not commanded. 2. It is true, these duties which we owe to others by way of justice, are more obligatorie then these which we owe only by way of charitie, caeteris paribus, When duties of the law of Nature, and mo∣rall Law, are compared together, then indeed the duties which we owe, both by the tye of Justice and Charitie, are more obli∣gatorie, then the duties that we owe only by the tye of Charitie. As for example; My father is in danger, before my eyes, to be drowned, in one deepe water; and before my eyes also, my neighbour and friend is in danger of the like kind; the two tyes and bands of Justice and Charitie, both by the fifth and sixth Commandements are more obligatorie, hic & nunc, and doe more strictly obliege, that I run to succour, and preserve the life of my father, then the life of my neighbour, for the obligation to my neighbour, is only charitie, by the obligation of the sixth Commandement, which obligation ceaseth, hic & nunc, at this time, when my fathers life is in hazard; and thus farre the Do∣ctors argument goeth for strong, as Schoolemen, Casuists, and Divines teach. But it is not to a purpose for the Doctors; For all offices and duties generally, and universally, of what ever kind, which we owe by way of Justice, are not more obliga∣torie, then duties which we owe, only by way of Charitie, as when duties of a positive commandement of God, enjoyned by our Superiours, and duties which we owe by charitie only, are compared together, then the Doctors major Proposition is not cleare of it selfe, as they dreame, nor doe Casuists or Amesius, or Divines say with them, but truth, and all our Divines say a∣gainst them. Let us suppose that the King, and Convocation, and Assembly of Priests and Prophets of Israel make a Canon according to Gods Word. That no manner of man presume to eat shew-bread, save the Priests only. All men owe obedience to this, both because it is Gods expresse Law, and by the band Page  51 of Justice, the Elders and Assembly of the Ancients have for∣bidden it. But if our Doctors argument stand strong, David at the point and hazard of famishing for hunger, sinned in eat∣ing shew-bread, yet Christ acquiteth him of all sinne, and saith Math. 12. 5. he and his followers are 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, blamelesse. Now Davia was under a dutie by mercy, and love to his owne life, and he lives of his followers, to eat shew-bread, and he was under the band of Justice, by the law of the Ancients of Israel, and Gods law, not to eat. Therefore in some cases, when our Superiours commandements are only positive Lawes, they are not more obligatorie, then duties of Charitie, only commanded in the law of nature. I cleare it further thus, I see my neigh∣bour in danger before my eyes of drowning, and my father commandeth me to goe and labour, or sowe his farme in that time, while I am to preserve the life of my neighbour in pre∣sent danger, to lose his life, in a great water. By the Doctors maxime I am under the higher obligatorie tye of Justice, to obey my father, who commandeth a thing both lawfull and necessarie by vertue of the higher Commandement, to wit, the first of the second Table, then I am obliged by the sixth Com∣mandement, and of charitie only, to give present succour and help to my dying neighbour, so I must let my neighbour die in the waters, to give a dutie of justice to my father, of farre lesse necessitie. I would not commit my conscience to such Casuists, as are the Doctors of Aberdeen. But if the Doctors would see with some new light of reason; it is cleare, that not only the tye of Justice maketh the precept more obligatorie, but also the weightinesse of the thing commanded; Yea, and if the positive Commandements of the Lord our God, who of Justice and king∣ly soveraigntie▪ hath right to aske obedience of us above all earthly Superiours doe yeeld and cede as lesse obligatorie, then commandements of love only, that are commanded in the law of nature. What doe our Doctors clatter and fable to us of a right of Justice, that mortall Rulers have to command in things indifferent, from which the destruction of soules doth arise? for these commandements of Rulers, (kneele religiously before bread, the vicegerent image of Christ crucified) (keepe humane holy-dayes) Crosse the aire with your thumb above a baptizedPage  52infants face) at best, are but positive Commandements, not warranted by Gods word. But shall they be more obligatorie by a supposed band of Justice that Prelates have over us to command, such toy's then this divine law of God and Na∣ture, Rom. 14. For indifferent dayes, meats, surplice, destroy not him for whom Christ died? All the Casuistes, and Schoolemen, Navarra, Sylvester, Sanchez, Raphael de la Torre, Meratius, Duvallius, Thomas, Scotus, Bonaventura, Suarez. Ʋasquez, Grego. de Valentia, Albertus, Richardus, Biel, Corduba, Ange∣lus, Adrianus, Alphonsus, Becanus, yea, and all the hoast of our Divines cry with Scripture, that Mercie and the precepts of Love, and of the Law of nature, are more obliga∣torie then Sacrifice, burnt offerings, and Gods owne positive lawes, yea, and that positive lawes lose their obligatorie power, and cease to be lawes, when the lawes of nature and necessarie duties of mercie and love (as not to murther our brother) (not to scandalize) standeth in their way. I might wearie the reader here with citations, and bewilder my selfe also, but it is a point of Divinitie denyed by none at all. 3. What we owe of Justice to our Superiours, is indeed both a morall debt of obe∣dience, and a debt of justice, and law which Rulers may seeke by their place, and ex jure, as Aristotle saith, but this right is limited, Rulers have no right to seeke absolute obedience, but only in the Lord, not against charitie. And though the place of Rulers be authoritative, yet their commanding power, as touch∣ing the matter of what they injoyne is only Ministeriall, and they cannot but in Gods place exact, that which is Gods due, and seeing God himselfe, if he should immediatly in his owne person command, he would not urge a positive commandement, farre lesse the commandement of light and vaine Ceremonies, against and beyond the precept of love, not to destroy a soule for whom Christ died. Ergo, Superiours under God, who bor∣row all their right from God, cannot have a higher right then God hath. 4. The comparison of a man who oweth moneys to a Creditor, and oweth moneys to the poore, is close off the way, for he is obliged to pay the Creditour first, but the case here is farre otherwise; The debt of practising indifferent feathers and straws, such as kneeling, crossing, wearing Surplice, is neither Page  53 like the debt owine to the poore, nor to the creditour; For na∣tures law, and Gods word, 1 Cor. 10. 18, 19. maketh the non∣practise, non-murthering obedience to God, when the practise of indifferent things, is a soule-stumbling to the weake, and the practising is but at its best obedience to a positive Law, and ought to stoope, and goe off the way, and disappeare when na∣tures Law (Murther not) doth come in its way. When the Doctors put Loyaltie above Charitie, they suppose obedience to commandements commanding scandalizing of soules to be loy∣altie to Superiours, which is questioned, it being treason to the Soveraigne of heaven and earth, to destroy his Image, it is ta∣ken as loyalty by our Doctors, but not proven to be loyaltie, and so a vaine question here, whether Loyaltie be above Cha∣ritie or not. But I dismisse the Doctors till another occasion. Other things as Popish tenents, in their booke are a thousand times answered by us.

Quest. V.

Whether or not in every indifferent thing are we to eschew the scandall of all, even of the malicious?

IT is knowne that many take offence at tolling of Bells, at a Ministers gowne while hee preacheth, at the naming of the dayes of the weeke, after the Hea∣then style from the seven Planets, as Sunday, the day of the Sunne; Moonday, the day of the Moon, &c. It is true, Bells are abused by Papists, while as they be consecrated, bap∣tized, used to chase away devils. But these be scandals taken, and not given, for we read not of scandals culpable in Gods word, but there be some apparent morall reason in them. 2. The ob∣ject scandalizing hath no necessitie, why it should be. Now there is a necessitte of Bells to give warning to convocate the people to Gods worship, and they are of meere civill use, and have no morall influence in the worship, for the same tolling of bells is, and may be used to convocate the people to a Baon∣court, to heare a declamation, to convocate Souldiers; there is Page  54 no apparent morall reason why the tolling of a Bell should scandalize, and the toller of the Bell for warning of the bodily and personall convocation of the people, is not a morall agent properly; the action of tolling remaineth within the sphere of an actin physicalin lineà Physicâ, non in lineâ morali aut re∣ligisâ aut Theologiâ, for so here I must contradistinguish a Physical action from a Religious action. 2. The tolling of bels have a necessitie of expediencie, I mean necessity in specie, in the kind, though not in in lividuo, in the particular, and no parti∣cular can be more fit and convenient: people must have some publ que signe for the dyat of meeting▪ else the worship would be wearisome to those who met long before the time, and it would be scandalous and inconvenient, to others to meet after the publick worship is begun. If any say, tolling of Bells is not necessarie, sounding of Trumpets, beating of Drummes may be civill signes of convocating people; touling of bells be∣ing so fouly abused by Papists to superstition, and so being not necessarie ought to be removed. But I answer, beating of Drummes wanteth the necessitie of conveniencie, as in raynie weather it could not be, nor can they give warning so conve∣niently: blowing of Trumpets might seeme as Jewish, Joel cap. 2. v. 15. as tolling of Bells seemeth Popish, and the degrees of necessitie of conveniencie should sway the Chuches deter∣mination in these cases, and this exsuperancie of necessitie of conveniencie is in all things, though we cannot see it alwayes; 2. The instamped civill gravitie in a Gowne, maketh it neces∣sary with the necessitie of expediencie, being in it selfe a grave habit fit for an Oratour who is to perswade. 3. The names of dayes to signifie civill times and things, out of a religious state is necessary now: and the Holy Ghost doth use for civill signi∣fication such termes, as Mars-street to signifie civill and meere∣ly historically such a place. And the Ship whose signe is Castor & Pollux, yet these were heathen names, and most superstitious, and cannot be used in a religious state. I grant, we may not term our Jehovah, Jupiter or Baal; nor Christ, Mercurius, though he be the word of Gods mind to us, for God teacheth us other words and language in his Word. The truth is, that a learned noble Lord said well and judiciously, all the indifferencie (in thePage  55world) lyeth in our understandings, and the darkenesse thereof—but there is none in the things themselves, or actions, which are still either unlawfull or necessarie. And this is most true in a∣ctions morall and humane. The Church putteth indifferencie on nothing, there a necessitie in respect of our darknesse, many be scandalized at things which seeme not necessarie to them, yet are they in re, in themselves necessarie. But conformists object, That the very will of the Church, Act. 15. made things indiffe∣rent before the act now to become necessarie, if then the Church may take away indifferencie, she may give also. But I answer, The antecedent is most false, Junius, Calvin, Beza, Bullinger, Brentius, Pomeranus, Marloret, and the text clearly saith, by the law of Nature these were scandalous. So bOrigen think∣eth to eat bloà was scandalous. And cStrabo saith, the hea∣then in their sacrifice dranke blood; Yea, d saith Tertullian, the heathen dranke mens blood, and eAugustine saith, they forbade these for a time in the case of scandall▪ that the ancient Synogogue might be buried with honour; Yea, fIreneus,gTertullian, and hCyprian will have these drawne to a spirituall sense, that they should abstaine from Idolatrie, shedding of blood and fornication; And i the Jesuit Lorinus saith this was a positive Law, which without the case of scan∣dall, doeth not strictly abolish. kCajetanus, Fornication by Gods law was forbidden, the other things in the Canon were forbidden to gratifie the Jews.lPhilippus Gamethaeus a Sorbe∣nist saith, they were forbidden to nourish concord betwixt Jew and Gentile, for the infirmitie of the Jewes. 2. That the will of the Councell made them not necessarie, whereas before the act they were indifferent, is cleare. 1. It had then been needlesse to discusse the matter by Scripture. 2. To alledge the holy Ghost as author of the Synod; It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, &c. if the bare will of men had made them necessrie.

But saithm Paybodie, Any good thing may become an occa∣sion of evill by accident, and through our fault, the Word con∣demneth not occasions of ill by accident, but such only as are Page  56 occasions of evill, and in themselves evill things, indifferent are not in themselves evill.

Ans. All occasions whether ill in themselves or indifferent, are occasions of sinne by accident, and through our fault who abuse them, but all occasions because occasions, and not because evill are forbidden, when as they are not necessarie, and this is Gods argument to prove that the Jewes are not to marry with the Canaanites for (saith the law) they will turne away your heart, after their Gods, to send abroad a goaring oxe, to seeke his food, hath no sinne in it, save only it may occasion the kil∣ling of men; and the building of houses without battlements, and the going by the doore of the whoore, or comming neere her house, are not of themselves ill, but only forbidden under this reduplication, because they are occasions of ill: sinnes, as sinnes are forbidden, and as occasions of sinnes, they are also new sinnes, having a distinct illegalitie and guiltinesse in them, from this that they occasion sinne: and Gods law (as all Divines reach) forbiddeth sinne, and all occasions of sinne. Drunken∣nesse is both forbidden as intemperancie, and also as an occasi∣on of lust, and of speaking perverse things, as is evident, Pro. 23. 33. For then the spirit of Gods argument were null to dis∣swade from drunkennesse, as he doth in these wods, Thine eye shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Now we can shew that many wayes Ceremonies oc∣casion sinne, as 1. they trimme and decore a Church for harlot lovers, from Rome, forbidden, Jer. 2. 33. Suarez, Franciscus de sancta clara, Gretserus, and other Papists, for these, werein love with the Church of England. 2. They occasion dissention in Gods house, and are contrary to peace, Ps. 34. 14. Heb. 12. 19. Rom. 12. 18. and so to be rejected. 3. They beare false witnesse of Poperie, which we disclaime. 4. They are against the spiri∣tuall worshiping of God, and lead us backe to the carnall com∣mandements, and beggerly rudiments of the law, from the Gospell, against the word of God, Joh 4. 24. Gal. 4 9, 10. Heb. 7. 16. Heb. 9. 8. 9. Gal. 3. 25. 26. Gal. 4. 1. 2. Coll. 2. 20. They are torches in day light, and vaine and uselesse. 5. They bring us under bondage to men, contrary to the Apostle, Col. 2. 20. and to the ordinances of men, and under the power of things,Page  57 1 Cor. 6. 12. 6. They are against our Christian libertie. They answer, especially aPaybodie, and b D. Forbes, that Chri∣stian libertie is not restrained by doing, or not doing a thing indiffe∣rent, for so there should be no lawes made at all by the Church, con∣cerning things indifferent, but Christian libertie not hurt, if 1. the Ceremonies be free to the conscience, and not made necessarie. 2. If they be not made necessarie to salvation. 3. If they be holden al∣terable by mans authoritie. Ans. The question is perverted▪ for we question not if the use of things indifferent lay a bond on Christian libertie, but if the will of authoritie can make a law of things indifferent; when there is no intrinsecall necessitie in the things themselves, when necessitie of edification layeth on a tye, Christian libertie is not indeed restrained, for God then layeth on a bond. 2. Externall eating of meats, and observing of dayes, is a part of the libertie, wherewith Christ hath made us free, Coll. 2. 21. Eat not, touch not, taste not, men eat not meat with their minde or conscience, but with the teeth of their bo∣dy, and to such externall eating, men are dead with Christ, as touching externall observation thereof, and Paul, Gal. 2. 19. as dead to the Law, living to God, and crucified with Christ, is freed from such Judaizing, as Peter fell into, but that Judaizing did not bind Peters conscience, neither was it repute of him, as necessarie to salvation, as he had taught, Act. 10. And the false Apostles pressed Circumcision, not, as tying the conscience, or as necessarie for salvation, but Gal. 6. 12. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. only, that they may not suffer affliction for the crosse of Christ, and yet to be circumcised externally without necessitie of conscience before God, crossed directly the libertie wherewith Christ had made them free, Gal. 5. 1. and 1 Cor. 9. Have we not power to lead about a wife, and sister aswell as others? Yet if the Prelates at Corinth should have made an act, forbidding Church-men to marry, though they had esteemed not marry∣ing, both free to the conscience, and also not necessarie to salva∣tion, they had laid bands upon Pauls libertie. 3. We see not how the Ceremonies are left free to the conscience, because they are alterable by the Church, for the reason of kneeling to bread, of humane dayes, of Surplice, is morall, not Nationall; there is no reason why prophaning of the Lords Supper, should not be Page  58 eschewed, in all the world, and at all times, as in Britaine, and at this time; and Crossing and Surplice doth signifie dedication to Christs service, and Pastorall holinesse in all the world, as in Britaine, and therefore they cannot be nationall rites and altera∣ble, but must be universall, and at all times, and in all places doctrinall. 4. The very externall Washings, Feasts, New-Moones, Offerings, though they should be thought free toward the conscience, are externall burdens against Christian libertie, as our Divines, aCalvin,bChemnitius,cPolanus teach∣eth, and dBellarmine answereth, the places alledged speaketh of Jewish servitude. But our Divines especially eJunius and fWhittakerus answer Bellarmine, that Paul, Coll. 2. speaketh against all Commandements of men, yea, hee speaketh against Angel▪ worship, which is not a Jewish shadow, whereof Christ is the bodie. But they say it is a wide rule, that all things that may be wanting in Gods worship, are to be omitted in the case of scandall. I answer, there be three sort of things here consi∣derable. 1. Things not commanded of God, as all religious ob∣servances, these are utterly unlawfull, when the using of them scandalizeth. 2. Things that fall under an affirmative precept, and these cannot be totally omitted, for eschewing scandall: for what ever God hath commanded is some way necessarie. Ergo, it some wayes, and in some cases, may be done, though offence be taken at it, but branches, or parts of affirmative precepts may be omitted, for eschewing of scandall, as such a particular kneeling in prayer, in such a place: but Gods affirmatiue pre∣cepts leave not off to be alwayes scandalous actively though information be given, for where the use hurteth, the abuse and scandall is not taken away by teaching, to teach how Images should not be abused, make not Images to leave off to be scan∣dalous objects. 3. There bee some things of meere civill use, as Bells, Gownes, Pulpits, preaching on Tuesday or Thurs∣day. These be considered two wayes. 1 As necessarie with ne∣cessitie of conveniencie simply. 2. With necessitie of convenien∣cie. secundum prevalentiam graduum, as convenient in the high∣est degree of necessitie, or that morall, maximum quod sit, in the first degree, what scandalizeth▪ is to be rejected; in the last re∣spect they oblige, and if any be scandalized thereat, it is taken Page  59 and not given. It may be the Church sees not alwayes the highest and superlative conveniencie, in these Physicall circum∣stances, but they oblige not because of the Churches authoritie, no more then the word of God borroweth authority from the Church, but they have an intrinsecall necessitie in themselves, though right reason in the Church see not alwayes this necessi∣tie, therefore that a signe be given for convening the people that the Preacher officiate in the most grave and convenient habite is necessarie, Jure divino, by Gods law, and that tolling of Bells, and a Gowne, a Pulpit bee as particulars most convenient for these ends, the Church Ministerially doth judge, so as the obligatorie power is from the things themselves, not from the will of humane Superiours. No necessitie of peace which is posterior to truth, no necessitie of obedience to authoritie, no necessitie of uniformitie in these externals, simply, and as they are such, are necessities obliging us to obedience: for things must first in themselves be necessarie, before they can oblige to obedience. I must obey Superiours in these things of conveni∣ent necessitie, because they are convenient, and most convenient in themselves, and so intrinsecally most necessarie, but they are not necessarily to be done in themselves, because I must obey Su∣periours, and because I must keep uniformitie with the Church. The will of Superiours doe find in things necessitie, and good of uniformitie, but they doe not make necessitie, nor the good of uniformitie: We should be servants of men, if our obedi∣ence were ultimatè resolved, in the meere will of Superiours, in any the least circumstance of worship: and what I say of acti∣ons, holdeth in matters of meere custome also.

But Master Sanderson, D. Forbes, M. Paybodie, teach that we are not to regard the scandall of the malitious, as of Pharisees. To which I answer, We are to have alike regard, in case of scandall, to wicked and malitious, as to weake and infirme. For we are not to regard the passive scandall of the weake more nor of the wicked, for who ever stumble at the necessarie ordi∣nances of God, they take a scandall, which is not culpably gi∣ven. But that we are to regard the active scandall of all, even the most malitious, I demonstrate thus, 1 Rom. 14. 15. Paul proveth that we are not to scandalize our brother, 1. because it Page  60 is against charitie. 2. Because we are not to destroy him, for whom Christ died: but we owe love to the malitious, even to our enemies, and must not walke uncharitably toward him, as the law of God requireth. 3. A malitious man is one for whom Christ died, very often, as is cleare in Paul before his con∣version.

2. 1 Cor. 10. 32. Wherefore give no scandall, neither to the Jewes, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God. 33. Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine owne profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. Here be many ar∣guments for our purpose, All men; whether weake or wilfull, are either Jewes or Gentiles, and none more malitious against Paul, and the Gospell, then the Jewes, yet must we take heed that we give them no scandall.

3. If we must please all men, in all things indifferent, Ergo,* also malitious men. 4. If we must seeke the profit not of our selves, but of all men, and seeke to save them, and so seeke the salvation even of the malitious, as Christ prayed for his maliti∣ous enemies, so must we not scandalize them. 5. I argue from the nature of scandall, scandall is spirituall murther, but the sixt Commandement for biddeth murthering of any man, either weake or wilfull, for no murtherer can have life eternall, 1 Joh. 3. 15. Now weaknesse or malice in the scandalized is acciden∣tall to the nature of scandall active, for active scandalizing is to doe inordinately and unseasonably, that which hic & nunc may be omitted, from which any is scandalized, either weake or wilfull, to lay a snare to kill a wicked man (except it be, by the authoritie of him, who beareth the sword under God) is murther, no lesse then to kill an innocent man. 6. To scanda∣lize actively, is to be accessarie to the sinne of the partie scan∣dalized, but we may not be accessarie to the sinne of either wil∣full, wicked, or weake, for it is against the petitions, that we are taught to pray, Hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdome come, Thy will be done, in earth, as it is in heaven. They love not the comming and enlargement of Christs kingdome, who doe not, what they can to hinder sinne, farre lesse is Gods honour their care, who doe that unnecessarily, by which any may fall in sin. 7. It is against the gentlenesse required in Preachers, and by Page  61 proportion required in all, who are with patience to wait upon these who oppose the truth, if God peradventure will give them repentance, to the acknowledgement of the truth. 2 Tim. 2. 24. 25. 8. It is contrary to the example of Christ, and his Apostles, who as the learned aParker saith, eschewed the active scan∣dalizing of the malitious, Christ payed tribute, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, lest we should scandalize the malitious Pharisees, for it could not but of malice be taken by Pharisees, who sought no∣thing more then to bring Christ within the compasse of disly∣altie to Caesar.

Quest. VI.

A further consideration of things not necessary, and how they be scandalous objects.

1. Dist.

SOme things are necessarie physically, as to eat flesh,*and some things are necessarie morally, either be∣cause of a law of nature, or a positive or divine command.

2. Dist.

The same way, Some things are not necessarie physically, and that either simply, as wee may live simply without some rare meats, that our Land and soyle doth not afford, or in some respect only, as without such and such flesh for∣bidden by the law of God. Or things are not necessary Morally or Theologically, as to eat forbidden-meats befor a weake Jew.

3. Dist.

Some things Physically necessarie, as to eat fleshes being apt to nourish my body, may be Morally or Theologically not necessarie, being stambling blocks to my weak brother.

4. Dist.

Some things may be necessarie, in specie, and that morally, as to heare the Word, to Pray. But, in individuo, clothed with such and such circumstances may be not necessarie, as to goe to heare the Word, when my brothers house is on fire, that hearing is not neces∣sarie, but may be scandalous, and the like we may say of praying in the streets.

Page  62
5. Dist.

Some things may be necessarie Physically in private▪ as to eat for health some fleshes, which publickly before weake Jews, as the case was Rom. 14. is Morally not necessarie, but scandalous.

6. Distinct.

Some things are not necessarie, because of the mere positive will of God. As the temple of Baal, and therefore was to be e∣stroyed,* not for the abuse of it for a house has alwayes some ne∣cessary use to man now in the state of sin. And of this kind were the cattell of the Amalakites, which were as necessarie of themselves for food, and sacrifice, as other cattell▪ and the Babylonish garment, and wedge of Gold, to which Achan's slimie hands did cleave, and therefore ehey were not necessarie, but to be abstained from by Saul and the Israelites. because of the sole positive command of God, Other things are not necessarie, both because God forbiddeth them and because of the scandal and sinfull consequences, that are pos∣sible to fall out, as for Gods people to marry with he idolarouCanaanites, was not necessarie▪ both because Gods forbidden will made it not necessarie morally, and also because they might draw away Gods people to serve their Gods, which was a feaable, and a very possible snare, thought some idolatresses being married to the Jews, might have been drawne from their idolatrie, and gained to the faith of the God of Israel.

1. Concl. Monuments, or instruments of idolatrie, are of two sorts, either such things as have no other use at all, but to con∣tribute* sorne subservient influence in, or unto idolatrous wor∣ship, and because these have all their warrant from a meere commandement of man, they are simply not necessarie, as the graven image, the idols themselves, all positive observances in Gods worship destitute of any command of God, and the use of these in any case must be scandalous, and so unlawfull, be∣cause, if the Brazen Serpent now losing its primitive divine effect, which was to cure the stinged people, if it be but the passive object of robbing God of his glorie, in that Incense is burnt to it, have no use at all▪ but to be, as it were, a robbers Den to receive the stolne-away glory of God, it must be abo∣lished. It is true things necessary abused in regard of our cor∣ruption, are to be purged, and restored to their own use, but if Page  63 they be uselesse, and of themselves have no fruite, but only, that they are fit to be abused, as useless pittes by the way side, and the Brazen Serpent, and a Razor put in the hand of a childe, and images, they are to be removed, both subject and accident, for that they be uncapable of purgation, therefore they are ca∣pable only of abolition. It is not enough to say that wee may*devise a good use for them, as we may use Images to put us in re∣membrance of God, for we may never devise the use of a thing not necessarie in Religion, when as we cannot devise the thing it selfe. But here we cannot devise the thing it selfe. Yea, if the thing it selfe be good, and lawfully usefull. As the eating of flesh, yet if it be lesse necessary, for the life, then the edificati∣on of my brother. The Apostles excellent rule, Rom. 14. v. 15. must stand as a law discharging my eating▪ No man for this or this mat, which is lesse necessarie, ought to hinder the salvation of his brother, which is more necessarie, by destroying his brother for meat. For cleare it is, this or that meat, without which I may live, is of fare lesse necessitie comparatively, then the sal∣vation of one for whom Christ died. True it is also, if my bro∣ther be scandalized, and so his soule in hazard, if I eat any at all, in that case, the scandall is meerly passive, for though my brothers salvation be of greater consequent and necessitie then my temporal life, yet my totall abstinence from meat is a killing of my selfe and heynous murther, and so forbidden in the sixt Commandement, and so a destroying of my own soule. And eating for conscience sake is necessarie, though eating of this or this meat be not necessary.

But there be other things that are instruments of idolatrie and subservient thereunto, in a Common and Physicall influ∣ence, as a Temple builded to the honour of a Saint, and for the adoring of Images, and for the reading and opening the word of God in the New and old Testament, though in a cor∣rupt way, these are not properly monuments of Idolatrie. Now the house or Church, as such is no monument, nor uselesse instrument in worship, such as is a Surplice, a humane holy day, for it hath, as such, being a thing of walls and timber, no other, then that very same physicall influence in worshipping either the true God, or a Saint, that it hath in civill use, in our Page  64 ordinarie dwelling, to wit, to fence our bodies, in religious, in naturall, in civill actions, from injuries of heaven, clouds, and sin. The adjuncts of the Church, as Crucifixes, Images, Altars, Ravels, Masse-clothes, and the like, are properly Monuments, and instruments of Idolatrie, because these are not necessary, as is the materiall house, nor have they any common and physicall influence in the worship, as the Temple hath, yea all the neces∣sitie or influence that they have in the worship, is only religi∣ous and humane flowing from the will of men, without either necessitie from our naturall Constitution of body, or any word of Scripture, and therefore they are to be removed upon this ground, because they are unnecessarie snares to Idolatrie.

Object. This particular Temple or house builded for Saint Pe∣ter, S. Paul, S. Cutbert is not necessarie for the worship of God, be∣cause other houses of as convenient use, and necessitie may be had, for the worship of God, and this particular house ought to be de∣molished as Jehu 2 King. 10. 27. destroyed the house of Baal, and made it a draught-house, as the law saith expresly, Deut. 7. 25.* The graven Images of their Gods, shall yee burne with fire, thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that (is on) them▪ nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination un∣to the Lord thy God. v. 26. Neither shalt thou bring an abomi∣nation unto thy house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it, but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhorre it, for it is a cursed thing. Or at least these Churches may be imployed for some other use, then for the worship of God, where they may bee snares.

Ans 1. We are carefully to distinguish betweene a law of Nature, or a perpetuall binding Morall law, which standeth for an eternall rule to us, except the Law-giver himselfe by a supervenent positive law, which serveth but for a time, doe loose us from an obligation thereunto, and a positive tempo∣rarie law. God saith in an exoresse law, of nature▪ that obligeth us perpetually (The sunne shall not be put to death for the sins of the father) no Magistrate on earth can lawfully take away the life of the son, for the sin of the father, for this eternally obligeth. Yet Saul was to destroy the sucking children of the Amalekites for the sinnes of their fathers, but he had a positive temporarie command of God to warrant his fact, 1 Sam. 15. 2. 3. Page  65 none can inferre that we are from this law, which was a par∣ticular exception, from a Catholick perpetually obliging mo∣rall law, that Magistrates are now to take away the lives of the sucking infants of Papists. So this is perpetuall and morall, and warranteth us for ever to use all the creatures of God for our use. 1. Tim. 4. 4. Gen. 1. 27. 28. then we may lawfully use Gold, Silver, Houses, all creatures for meats, except some par∣ticular positive law, or some providentiall emergent necessitie* forbid us, as the Ceremoniall lawes of the Jewes forbidding the eating of swines flesh, and some other meats, were no other thing, but Divine positive exceptions from the law of nature and creation, in the which God had created swines flesh, and all these other forbidden meats for the use of Man, and so by the same reason, God hath ordained Church and houses to fence off us the injuries of Sunne and Aire, in all our actions civill and religious, except that by a peculiar Precept, he forbid the use of the house of Baal, to the Jewes, to be a typicall teaching to us of Gods hating of Idols and Idolatrie, but not of our de∣molishing and making uselesse all houses builded to the honour of Idols and Saints under the New Testament, except wee had the like Commandement that the Jewes had.

These who oppose us, in this, can no more inhibite us by any law of God, of the se of a creature granted to us by the law of the creation, then they can interdyte us of the use of another creature, nor are we more warranted to demolish Temples and materiall houses which have only a physicall and common use alike in all our actions, Naturall, civill, and Ecclesiasticall or Religious, then of eating swines flesh, or of other meats forbid∣den in the Ceremnial Law, and to answer to the Argument, this or that materiall house builded to the honour of Paul and Peter is every way as necessarie in the worship of God▪ as a Temple builded of purpose for the worship of God, though another house may conduce as much for the worshipping of*God▪ as this, yea it hath the same very necessarie Use, and Phy∣sicall conveniencie, for the serving of God, that any other house hath, which was never builded for the honour of a Saint, which I prove, 1. because no creature of God▪ that is usefull to us, by the law of creation, is capable of any morall contagion to make it Page  66 unlawfull to us, but from the mee will of God as the Gold and Silver, and Idol houses of the false Gods, and Images of Canaan are in•••secally, and by the Law of creation, as pure, and mo∣rally clean, as the Gold and Silver and Synagogues of the Jewes, and had their Physicall and civill necessitie, the one, as the other had. But from whence was it that the Jewes might make use of their owne Silver and Gold, and houses, and not of the houses, or silver and gold of the heathen Gods and Idols? Certainly this was from Gods meer positive will and command, fobidding the Gold and houses of the Idols of Cannan, and not forbidding the other, the Adversaries can give no other reason: therefore they must give us the same positive Commandement, for not making use of the Gold and Silver, and Temples of the Popish Idols, and Saints under the New Testament, that the Iewes had for refusing the Gold and Silver, and demolishing the Tem∣ples of the heathenish Idols of Canaan. And if they say, Th•• the very command that warranted the Iewes to abstaine, from the*use of the heathes Gold and Idol-temples, doth warrant us to ab∣stain from the use of the Gold and Idol-temples of Papists. It is answered, we have no warrant from the Word, but it shall warrant us as well to abstaine from swines flesh; if it be replyed, every creature of God eatable i Good, and may be recei∣ved lawfully▪ 1 Tim▪ 4 6 Rom 14▪ 14▪ I answer, so all gold, all silver all houses serving to ••nc off the injuries of heaven, and aire, are good, and fit for Mans use, and now blessed in Christ under the New Testament, except you say, that it is not lawfull to make use of the Gold and Silver of a Papis•• Image, no of crees of the Papists fields that baret•• fruit, for these also were discharged to the Iewes, Deut 20. v. 19▪ 20▪ and the reason why they ight not cut downe the t••••▪ th•• be•••• fruit, because these trees were mans life, Deuter. 20 19 whereas t•••• that beare no fruit were to be cut down, as not so necessarie for mans life. Now this reason is morall and perpetuall, and so are houses to sence off the injuries of the clouds a Manslife; except they bee forbidden by a positive law of God, and so necessarie as without the se of houses no worshipping of God can be or∣dinarily; And therefore in the second place, as we use Gold Sil∣ver, Tamples▪ and materiall houses (though abused to Idolatrie) Page  67 because the Lord hath created them for our use, his law of Crea∣tion warranting us to use them, so can we not refraine from* the use of them, though abused by Papists, except wee have a speciall positive law to warrant us to refraine from the use of these necessarie creatures of God, so usefull for the life of man; For according to the grounds of these against whom we now dispute, the Garments of silke or cloth of Gold, that hath co∣vered Popish Images, the Gold and Silver of the Popish Images, though melted and dissolved into innocent mettall, the Materiall Temples builded to the honour of Saints, are to be cast away and utterly abolished, as unlawfull to be used in any sort, for the*Jewes according to the Law, Deut. 7. 19. 20. might make no use of the gold or silver of the Heathen-Image, and Achan brought a curse on himselfe, for the simple taking for his use, the wedge of Gold, and the Babilonsh Garment. Now we have no law in the New Testament to abandon the use of the creatures, for as Cornelius was not to count that meat uncleane, which God ad clnsed, Act. 10. 15. So neither are we to count Silver and Gold, and houses uselesse, which God in the Creation made Good, and usefull for our life, and therefore no morall conta∣gion can adhere so to these creatures, as we are utterly to disuse them, as creatures cursed, because they were abused, except it can be proved that the abuse of them hath deprived us of the necessarie use, that they have by the law of Creation; for cer∣taine it is, as the killing of the sucking infants of the Amala∣kites was typicall, and tyeth not us to kill the young children of Papists so was the disusing, or not using of Gold, Silver and Houses, abused to Idolatrie, typicall.

And before I come to the second Conclusion, An house for the worship of God is amongst the things that are necessarie, by way of dis-junction in speciè, not in individuo; that is, a house is necessarie, in its Physicall use, to fence off our bodies, the in∣juries of Sunne, Aire, and heaven, but not this house, for ano∣ther* house may serve the turne as conveniently. But some ob∣ject Then this, or this house Dedicated superstitiously to the re∣ligious honour of a Saint ought to be removed out of the worship of God, 1 because by your owne confession. Th•• individual house so abused is not necessarie. God may will be worshipped, withoutPage  68this house, though it never had been, in rerum naturâ. 2. From the worshipping of God in so Superstitious a place, many truly godly are so scandalized, that for worshipping God in such Superstiti∣ous and Idolatrous places, they have Separated from your Church, conceiving that in so doing you heale the wounds of the Beast; It is true, it may be their weaknesse, yea but be it so, that it were their wickedness, that they are scandalized, yet by your doctrine, in things not necessarie you are not to doe any thing by which either the weake, or the wicked may be scandalized; as is cleare in the eating of meats, Rom. 14.

Ans. This argument may 1. be retorted against these who hold with us the same doctrine of Scandal, for, without eating of Swines flesh, my life may be preserved, and a malitious Iew may be, and necessarily is highly scandalized, that I, who pos∣sibly am a Iew converted to the Christian faith, doe eat Swines flesh before him, for he conceiveth me to be an Apostate from Moses his law, therefore I should abstaine from eating Swines flesh before a Iew, who out of Malice is scandalized, by my do∣ing a thing not necessarie, hic & nunc. But the conclusion is ab∣surd: nor doe I think that many truly godly of the Strictest Separation doe stumble at our Churches out of wickednesse. Many truly Godly and Sincere refuse to come to our Churches, whereas many scandalous, well lustered hypocrites, who know∣eth nothing of the power of godlinesse, but are sitten downe in the Scorners Chaire are admitted to the Lords Supper, and as the former cannot be excused, so I pray God, that the latter draw not downe the wrath of God upon both Kingdomes. 2. Things not necessarie which actively produce scandall must not be only indifferent Physically in their naturall use, as This or this house, but they must be indifferent both Physically and Mo∣rally, for the Meats spoken of, Rom. 14. at that time, were both wayes indifferent. 1. They were not necessary but indifferent Physically in an ordinarie providence, both then and now, for ordinarily my life may be preserved, and suffer little losse by not eating Swines flesh, or such meats, in case of extreame necessitie of sterving, if any could have no other meat, they might eat then, as the case was, Rom. 14. because Mercie is better then Sacri••• at alltimes. 2. These things Rom. 14. were indifferent Page  69Theologically or Morally in their owne nature, 1. v. 3. Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not: and let not him which eateth not, judge him that eateth, for God hath received him. 2. Because v. 17. The kingdome of God is not meat and drink. Sure, in Moses his time, to abstaine from such meats, and eat such, as the Lambe of the Passeover, the Manna, to drinke of the water of the Rock, was worship, and so some part of the kingdome of heaven, but it is not so now, saith Paul. 3 Paul clearly maketh them Morally indifferent. 1 Cor. 8. 8 But meat commendeth us not to God, for neither if we eat, are wee better (morally and before God) neither if we eat not, a e we (Mo∣rally) theworse. Now this Temple or House Physically is indif∣ferent, and not necessarie for the worship of God, for men may be defended from the injuries of Sunne and aire, Though this house had never been in rerum naturâ. But this Temple or house though dedicated to a Saint is not Morally indifferent, but Morally necessarie, so as if you remove it from the worship, because abused to Idolatrie, and give it in no use in the defending of our bodies from the injuries of the Wind, Raine and Sunne, you Iudaize, and doe actively scandalize the Iewes, and harden them in their Apostasie, and so this house though abused to Idolatrie, is not indifferent Morally, as the meats Rom. 14. But the using of it is necessarie and an asserting of our Christian libertie, as to eat blood, and things strangled, and Swines flesh even before a Iew, so to use all houses for a physicall end to defend our bodies from heat and cold, is a part of the libertie wherewith Christ hath made us free. But Cere∣monies have no naturall and physicall use. The crossing of the aire with the Thumbe, the keeping of a day religiously with∣out warrant of the Word, are not taught in the Schoole of Na∣ture, and so are naturally not necessarie as This or this house, though abused to Superstition is, and the Adversaries that say they are Morally indifferent, as good, and as Spirituall Cere∣monies in kind and nature, may be devised in their place. But in all this dispute of Scandall, we give, but doe never grant that the Ceremonies are indifferent, wee dispute here that they are scandalous, and so unlawfull in their use, upon the principles of Formalists; whereas we judge them in their nature, because Page  70 they have not God, but the will of men to be their father and author, to be unlawfull, and repugnant to Scripture, because not warranted by either command, practice, or promise in Scripture.

Conclus. 2. As some things Physically necessarie must be ab∣stained* from, when the unseasonable using of them is a stum∣bling block to our weak brother, in the case of the morall in∣differencie of the thing, as it was in the eating, or not eating of meats once forbidden by Gods law, but then indifferent. Rom. 14. 14. 1 Cor. 8. 8. for then it was true, (But meat commendeth us not to God▪ for neither if we eat are we the better, neither if we eat not, are we the worse▪) So in the case of physicall indifferen∣cie, but of Moral and Theologicall necessitie, when an Evange∣like law of Christian libertie has passed a determination upon eating, or not eating; Then to abstaine from eating upon a pretended feare of not offending a weak Iew, is actively to ay a sinfull stumbling block before a weak Iew, and to harden him in Iudaisme, and here using of such meats, and the affirma∣tive, to wit, to eat is lawfull and necessarie, the things being now morally necessarie, not morally indifferent, where as be∣fore▪ the negative, to wit, not to eat was lawfull and necessarie. Hence to eat▪ Rom 14. 1 Cor. 8. before a weak Iew, was unlaw∣full and an active scandall, the eating or not eating then of the owne nature being morally indifferent, and to abstaine from eating before a weak Jew, Col. 2. 16. 17. Gal. 2. v. 5. 11. 12. Gal. 5. 1. 2. 3. is unlawfull and an active scandall, because now eating is morally necessarie, and a standing in, and an asserting of the libertie wherewith Christ has made us free. And upon the same ground, for the Iewes, when the Ceremoniall law stood in vigor, to make use of Baals Temple, for a Synagogue to the worship of the true God, was unlawfull and against a Ceremo∣nial Command of God, as was the sacrificing of the Amala∣kites cattell to the Lord, and the using of the Silver and Gold of the Ca••••ites Idols, Deut. 7. 25, 26. 6. 1 Sam. 15. 1, 2, 3▪ But when these things forbidden were in the case of morall indifferenc••, as were certaine meats, Rom. 14. 1 Cor. 8. and c. 10. they were not unlawfull▪ by reason of any▪ such Ceremoniall positive Commandement▪ only by the unseasonable using of them▪ Page  71 before weak Iewes, they were scandalous; But these same Idols houses, Silver and Gold now, when we are flly possessed in that libertie▪ wherewith Christ has made us free, Are so to be used as the good creatures of God given to both Iew and Gentile now under the Gospell, by the ancient Law of creation, that now to abstaine from the use of houses, Gold and Silver abused to ido∣latrie and worshipping of either Popish Saints or Idols, and the Idols of Pagans, upon any pretence of a Ceremonial Command, were to Iudaize, and to betray our Christian libertie, and the highest scandalizing and hardening of the Iewes. For that is a mere Ceremonial Commandement which depriveth us of the use of things or creatures, that are naturally usefull to us, such as are houses, cattell, silver, and Gold, upon the meere will of the supreame law-give; And upon this ground to disuse Churches builded to Saints by Papists, is Iudaizing, for the thing is not morally indifferent, as meats were in the case Rom. 14. 1 Cor. c. 8. c. 10. but the use is morally necessarie for the asserting of Christian libertie; Christ having made every creature of God good in its native use, for man, both Houses, and Gold and Sil∣ver, as all meats are 1 Tim. 4. 4. 5. Genes. 1. 28. 29. and having made all things new, Revel. 21. 5. and given us a new spirituall right to them, 1 Cor. 3. v. 21. 22. 23. and therefore to take them from us, by any Ceremoniall law, is to put us againe under the old yoake, from which we are freed through Iesus Christ, Acts 15. v. 10. 11. And the houses, and Gold and Silver, though abused to Idolatrie, doe now returne to their physicall uses▪ of which the Iewes, by a temporarie positive law, were interdyted, for the time of their inani, yea▪ if we were interdyted of any creature of God, by such a law we might not eat of oxen and sheepe, that had belonged to Papists, who are Idolaters, for Saul was never to use the Cattell of the Amalakites for common use, nor for food, nor for sacrifices to the Lord: And it should bee unlawfull to melt the Silver-Images of Papists, and convert them into money▪ for the poore, or cups them into silver bowls or cups, for the lawfull use of the Lords Supper. I grant to sell Images of Gold or Silver to these who use them, as formall Idols is unlawfull; as to sell a whore for money to these that should prosesse the buying of her for 〈…〉lo••i, were to be Page  72 accessarie to that harlotrie, especially seeing Idols formally re∣maining so are, ex naturâre, for no other end but for Idolatris; they have no necessarie physicall use for the life of man, sarre more, if they be the portraictures of the Father, Sonne, or holy Spirit▪ if they be of stone, or of any thing, that cannot be usefull for mans life, then must they be defaced and broken, le•• we lay the stumbling block of our iniquitie before others. Now, if from any law of the Iewes, or practise of Moses, and Ezechiah, houses builded to the honour of Saints, Silver and Gold of Idols, were to be made uselesse, in their physicall use, in the worship of God, or for our civill use, then were we, upon that ground, to dissolve the stones and timber of such a house, and to bray and stampe the Silver and Gold into powder, as these holy Rulers did. People here fleeing from Antichrist fall evidently in Iu∣aise, and make themselves, with the Galathans, debtors to Circumcision, and all the Ceremonies of Moses, which thing we condemne in the Anti-Christ.

Object. If we must abstaine from the use of no creature gran∣ted to us, by the law of creation, except we have the warrant of a positive Ceremoniall law for it, then the Romans were not to for, beare eating of such and such meats, before a weake Iew, for feare to scandalize him for whom Christ died, But this later is untrue: for by the law of nature, and a perpetuall law, Paul would ne∣ver, for meat, offend his brother: the law of naturall Charitie will dictate this to us, without any positive mandate, we are not for a m••thfull of meat▪ the losse whereof is so small, to put the soule of our brother to so incomparable a hazard, as to be losed.

Ans. These meats▪ Rom. 14. and 1 Cor. 8. 10. were then in∣different, but they are not so now, when the Gospell is fully promulgate, for we may not now to abstaine from Meats for∣bidden in the Ceremonial law, for feare to offend a weake Iew, for our abstinence should harden them in their ••beliefe, that Christ is not yet come in the flesh. To make Temples and houses dedicated to Saint, as indifferent now as meats were then▪ and the argument were concludent▪ But to demolish Churches and remove their physicall use now were as Iudaicall, as to forbeare to eat Swines flesh. We are not to deprive our selves of the physicall use of 〈…〉 of this▪ or this meat as thinking Page  73 we are bound by any law of God to forbeare the use thereof, and especially we are not to doe it, as conceiving we are under the tye of a law given to the Iewes, whereas we are under no such tye, or law, at all. But the disusing of Temples dedicated to Saints, that the Adversaries plead for, Deut. 7. is a totall re∣nouncing of all use of them, & the places they alledge from the Ceremoniall law doth conclude it: for the Temples, silver and gold of the Idols of Canan were altogether uselesse to Israel. It was Achan's sinne, that he tooke the Babilonish garment, and the wedge of Gold; for any use civill or religious, though he should have bestowed these for any religious use, or the reliefe of the poore and indigent: yea, though it was scandalous to none, he having taken these privately and by theft, yet the very taking of them was a curse to him, and the whole Camp of Israel, for the totall abandoning of all use whatsoever of these houses, Gold and Silver, which in themselves, and by the law of Crea∣tion were physicall, and in regard of that naturall use they had from their Creator to supply our necessitie, can have its rise from no other totall and compleat cause, but from the sole positive* will of God, discharging his people of the whole use of these creatures at all, as if they had never been created for the use of man, whether their use should be scandalous to others, or not scandalous. But by the law of nature, which, I grant, saith (Thou shalt not scandalize nor murther the soule of him, for whom Christ hath died.) The Romans, Rom. 14. and the Corin∣thians, 1 Cor. 8 were forbidden the eating of fleshes forbidden in Moses law▪ But with these two restrictions 1. they were for∣bidden not all eating of these meats in private, but only in the presence of a weak Iew, and for the conscience of others, in the case of scandal, 1 Cor 10 28, 29. (2) They were not by the law of nature that inhibites scandall, forbidden the totall use of these meats, in any case, so as they should make these meats ut∣terly uselesse to themselves, or to any others. As the Iewes were forbidden to make use of the Canaanitish Idols, Gold and mo∣ney: And of the Cattell of the Amalekites, either secretly or openly, either in the case of scandall given to others, or not gi∣ven. And Achan payed deare for his Babilonish garment, and his wedge of Gold, though he tooke it by theft.

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Ob. 2. But the reason of the law, is the soule of the law. Now the reason of the Law, Deut. 7. 25. why God forbade his peo∣ple to take the Gold or Silver of the graven image, is lst thou be ensnared therein. But this reason holdeth under the Now Testa∣ment, and is moral and perpetuall. The very matriall house de∣dicated to Saints and Idol, by Papists, is a snare to our soules; if we shall worship God in them, or if we shall name the Church from Cutbert, Giles, or the like, except we would say, as Papists doe, that we are not now, under the New Testament, so much ••∣clined to Idolatrie, as the people of the Iewes were of old.

Ans. The halfe-reason or incompleat morall ground of the* law is not the soule of the law: But you must take in all the reasons, the words of the text are these. Thou shalt not desire the silver and gold that is on them, nor take it to thee, lest thou be in∣snared therein: for it is an abomination unto the Lord thy God. v. 26. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it. Now what made that Gold an abomination to the Lord, more then all the gold of the earth? it is of it selfe the good and usefull creature of God, no lesse then all the gold of the earth: nothing made it an abomination to God, but, if we look to the originall cause, there was a positive, free command of God forbidding Israel to covet, or use that Gold. The Canaanites themselves, by the law of nature might lawful∣ly have melted that same very Gold, and made use of it, with∣out sinne. 2. It is not a good reason, Such a law had a morll and perpetuall reason. Ergo, the law it selfe is perpetuall and mo∣rall. It followeth only: Ergo, the moralitie of that law is per∣petuall. For all the Ceremoniall laws had a morall and perpe∣tuall reason: As the shadows had a moral substantiall ground in Christ the bodie of all shadowes: but it doth not follow there∣fore the shadows and Ceremoniall law in the letter must bee perpetuall: Very often in the booke of Leviticus, there is no* reason given of the Ceremoniall laws. But, be ye holy, I am the Lord, that sanctifies you. This is a morall and perpetuall reason, that endureth to the end of the world, yet it is no due consequence: therefore all these shadowes and Ceremonies shall indure to the end of the world, The reason is, because it is the sole positive will of God that maketh a temporarie concatena∣tion Page  75 between not eating blood, and not being cruell, and be∣tween sacrificing and being holy, and yet not being cruel is per∣petuall, not eating blood temporarie. (3) If things indifferent, as the eating of flesh, before a weak Jew, Rom. 14. be a snare to my owne soule and to the soules of others: I am to abstaine from these and the like. But that I must abstaine from the totall use of any creature that God has made usefull for the life of man, by the law of creation, as Israel was to abstaine from the cattell of the Amalakites, and to stamp in powder, and make altogether uselesse the Gold and Silver of the heathen Idol-Gods, is altogether unlawfull, and a very Judaizing, and its to make, as Paul saith, Jesus Christ of no effect.

Object. 3. But at least we are to abstaine, for scandalls sake, from worshipping the true God, in these Temples, and houses abu∣sed to idolatrie lest we lay a stumbling▪ block before others, even as the Romans and Corinthians were to abstaine from meats, before such weake Jews, as conceived these meats to be unlawfull; seeing the losse of such meats and abstnence, for a time▪ was nothing com∣parable to the losse of one soule for whom Christ died, so the losing of the use of a materiall house in a religious use▪ so it be imployed to some civill use, and be not totally lost, is nothing comparable to the scanalizing and isnring of the soules▪ both of Jewes and weake Christians, which will certainly follow▪ if we use Tem∣ples dedicated to Saints in Gods worship.

Ans. It is true, the losse of the use of a materiall Temple, is nothing comparable to active scandall, which is the destroying of any soule. But the refusing to worship God in these mate∣riall Temples because abused to Idolatrie, were not only a dis∣using* of the creature, without any warrant from God, but an open Judaizing and an active scandall both to Jewes and Chri∣stians, though we should imploy the houses to civill use, for a∣ny externall conformitie with the Iewes, when the thing is not indifferent, in religious acts, such as is the disusing of the Churches, is Iudaising: for should we now use Circumcision and the Passeover▪ with an open, printed and professed intenti∣on to signifie Christ already come in the flesh, and should make an open declaration against the Iewish intention in these ordi∣nances; we should no lesse Iudaize, then Peter, who Gal. 2. Page  76 did only practise an externall conformitie with the Iewes, with no Iewish intention, sure he was perswaded that Christ was al∣ready come in the flesh: yet was he justly rebuked, by Paul, for Iudaizing. For the losse of an house in a materiall or physi∣call use of it, I grant it is not comparable to the losse of a Son. But the losing of it on a religious ground, is another thing. When the religious losse of the house is not indifferent, as was the Abstinence from some meats indifferent then, but sinfully scandalous before a weak brother.

Ob. 4. But if the worshipping of the true God in these mate∣riall temples, be no lesse an ensnaring of us in popish Idolatrie, then the using of the Gold and Silver of the Canaanites Idols, then we are to disuse all worshipping of God in these houses, as well as they were: But the former is true, for we may be no lesse insnared with materiall houses, then they.

Ans. I deny the major Proposition▪ for the eating of blood, the taking of both the young bird▪ and the damme in the nest, was an insnaring of the Iewes to crueltie, through their abuse of the creatures, the use whereof God▪ had made both lawfull and necessarie to them in the Creation. The blood was the life of the beast, and the Lord requireth in us mercie▪ to our beasts life, whereas the tender mercies of the wicked are cruell▪ Prov. 12. 10. yet is it not lawfull for us to devise any way, we please, to keepe us from being snared in crueltie, for then upon the same ground, it were unlawfull for us to eat blood, contrary to the expresse word of God, Rom. 14 14. 1 Cor. 10. 25. 26. 1 Tim. 4▪ 3. 4. God by a positive and Ceremoniall Command hedged in the people of the Iewes, from being insnared in Idolatrie, and, by some Ceremonies, taught them to detest all Idolatrie: but it doth not follow, that we Christians are to inure our hearts, from being insnared with Idols, and to a detestation of Idolatrie, by these same Ceremonies that they were commanded, for then we were obliged to stampe the Golden and Silver idols, to dustand powder: and to cast the powder into the river as Moses did the Golden Calse, Deut. 9. 21. and behoved to drinke of that water, Exod. 32. 20. 1 Chro. 15. 16. 2 King. 18. 4. so it followeth no wayes, though the physicall use of a materiall Temple, should insnare us to Idolatrie, that we are therefore to disuse that house; Page  77 except we had the same Ceremoniall command to warrant us, that the Jewes had, and by this argument, you may bring us backe to observe all the Ceremonies of Moses his law, Because all these Ceremonies were appointed in the wisdome of God, ei∣ther to keepe us from being insnared in some sinne, and to raise, in our heart, a detestation thereof, or to teach us somewhat of Christ, of whom we be naturally ignorant and forgetfull.

Ob. 5. But at your first reformation of the Church of Scot∣land, your Reformers, such as M. Knox, and others▪ demolished most of the fairest Churches in that Land, and for no other reason, but because they had been nests of popish idolatrie.

Ans. That Churches in so farre as their use extendeth, far∣ther then to the commodious propulsation of injuries of Sunne and Aie, be demolished, we can well allow, for these that were demolished by our Reformers of blessed memorie; nor so spacious and inconvenient for hearing the word of God and celebration of the Sacraments, being ordained for Masses, Idols, for blind superstition, that the very length, breadth, height, beauty, and glory of them might redound to the glory of Saints and Idols, that it was reason they should be demo∣lished in so farre as they conduced nothing for the physicall and necessarie end, for which Churches are ordained under the New Testament; And thus farre we allow of the breaking of Images, Crosses, Crucifixes, and all Monuments of Idolatie, so as the matter of all these, whether Timber, Marble stones, Mettall of Gold, Silver, Brasse, or the like to be imployed, for the necessa∣rie use of mans life, but that all their superstitious forme and* religious use be utterly abolished. As for the abolishing of Bels abused in time of Poperie; because they have a necessarie and Physicall use to give warning for the seasonable conveneing of the people of God, to the publick worship, I see no ground, for it, from Deut. 7. or other places, but we must be necessitate to stampe to powder the very Mettall of Bels, and to render them not only uselesse in Churches, but any other way tending to the good of mans l••e.

Object. But Num. 31. 21, 22. rayment and skins▪ and vessels of wood taken from Midian, though taken as spoyle were purifi∣ed, and the Gold and silver, brasse, yron, &c. were purified by fire, Page  78 and not made uselesse, so the Churches dedicated to Mary, Peter, and to Angels, and Sains, are not to be made uselesse, they may be imployed for the poore to dwell in▪ but they can have no religious use in the worship of God, except we would heale the wounds of the daughter of Babel.

Ans. I deny not but Churches dedicated to Saints, and in regard of their vaine and ostentive spaciousnesse unprofitable for hearing the Word, may be imployed to civill uses for ordi∣narie dwelling; But I see no ground how this can be according to the places cited by our godly Brethren of the contrary minde except the Churches were first purified, in some Ceremonial way, as God prescribeth that the spoyle of Midian be purified, which our Brethren cannot say, except we would make our selves deb∣tors to the whole Law, for so the law was, Num. 31. and so Paul doth reject Circumcision, Gal 5. 3. and if it be said the necessitie of the poore requireth that these Temples be not loo∣sed, but imployed for the poore, as David in point of necessitie eat the Shew-bread. I answer 1. The poore, as the case was, Rom. 14. might eat Swines flesh, and so ruine him, for whom Christ died, which is absurd for their necessitie might require it. But certaine it is, Davids necessitie was layd on him by the sixt Commandement as an act of mercie in the point of star∣ving, and if any poore Iew were in the like case, I conceive it should have been scandalizing to that Jew to eat Swines-flesh, before another weake Iew. Providentiall necessitie may make that which is a sinfull scandalizing to bee obedience to the sixt Commandement, but the will of Superiours can make no such providentiall change as the D▪ of Aberdeene doe dreame▪ But if the necessitie bee lesse then the Necessitie in point of sterving, it could justifie the poore Iewes eating of meats con∣ceived to be against the law of God, as the case was, Rom. 14. But that the Church or house dedicated to a Saint, should have no physicall use in the worship of God, to defend us from the injuries of Sunne and Heaven, and yet have the same use▪ in common, for the poore to dwell in, wanteth all shadow of rea∣son, for how can it be proven that the same physicall use in the worship is unlawfull, and yet out of worship is lawfull▪ except there intervene some Ceremoniall and religious purging of the Page  79 house, by fire or some other way, which were Iudaical under the New Testament, for the necessity of the poor, is not like the neces∣sity of Davids eating of Shew-bread: Its certain, that the necessity of disusing the creature in a Physical usage, in the worship, must have a warrant in Scripture, as well as the using of the same, in the same usage, must have the like warrant.

Object. 5. But Bels are more hurtful to the souls of Gods people, who are scandalized by them, then they are useful for the tymous and seasonable convening of the people, and therefore they may well be aboli∣shed, being lesse necessary, and necessary onely ad melius esse, for the bet∣ter ordering of the Worship of God, and not simply necessary for the be∣ing of the Worship. Now as the Lord our God will have a lesser necessity to yeeld to any greater, a bodily necessity to give place to a soul-necessity (the soul being more excellent then the body) as is clear in that God would have his people to dispence with the lesser losse of the spoyl of the Amalakites of their Idols, gold and silver, that the greater necessity may stand, to wit, their not being allured, nor their teeth put a water∣ing, and their heart to a lusting after the Idols of Canaan; so would he have us to abolish the Saints Temples, the gold of Popish Images, the Bels that are lesse necessary (seeing the Sun may teach as well as the Bell) for eschewing soul-dangers in laying stumbling blocks, both before our own souls, and others.

Answ. 1. It is denyed, that Bells which have a necessary use, though onely for the better ordering of the worship of God, are any active objects of scandal, and the meer passive scandal taken at any thing not indifferent, but physically necessary, and so neces∣sary, that without it sinful inconvenients of either wearying in the service of God, or sinful neglect should follow, is no sinful scandal given, but meerly taken.

2. There be two necessities of things, one natural, and first in that regard, another religious, and in that regard secondary; the former necessity doth alwayes stand, except God remove it by some posteriour commandment. Its necessary, that Adam and Evah eat of all things that God created for eating. God (I grant) may remove this necessity in some, and command either Adam to fast for a time, or not to eat of the tree of Knowledge: So say I, warning by Bells hath a physical necessity, the use of the Temples in worshipping hath the like necessity, so have Gold and Silver a Page  80 necessity. god onely, either by a Commandment, or by an exi∣gence of providence that standeth to us (as in the case of a scan∣dal) for a command can remove the physical necessity, and inhibite Israel to use such and such Gold, as have been in use in the Heathen Idols, and may forbid to perform an act of obedience to an affir∣mative command in the case of scandal▪ as he may forbid Paul to take wages for Preaching the Gospel, though Paul have some na∣tural necessity of taking wages. But the Church without a higher warrant from God, hath no power to restrain us in the necessary use that God hath given us. Make Bells and Temples as indiffer∣ent and unnecessary as some meats were, Rom. 14. and I shall yeeld the Argument.

3. That the Lord our God will have a bodily necessity as the smal∣ler, to yeeld to a soul-necessity as the greater, is a ground not so sure, but it ought to have been proved, except by a soul-necessity, you mean a necessity of saving the soul, and not sinning against God, and oppose it to a mee bodily necessity, including no sin in it▪ then I shall grant the Assertion, That the one necessity i greater then the other. But otherwise, Cateris paribus, other things being alike, I conceive it is contradicted by Iesus Christs saying, Matth. 12. cited out of Hosea, Chap. 6. I will have me•••, and not sacrifice: And here we must determine the case of scandal to the soul from the exsuperance of necessity to the body and life. The case falleth out, David and his followers are at the point of starving for hunger (it may be a question if the pre∣sen necessity be so great) there being no bread for them, but the Shew-bread, which by a Ceremonial Law of God, onely the Priests should eat: If any of the followers of David out of a groundlesse scrupulosity of conscience should have taken Pauls Argument, Rom. 14. and said to David▪ I will starve rather ere I eat this bread; for a divine law forbid me; and if▪ thou eat of it, it shall be a scandal to ••, and wilt thou for bread destroy him for whom Christ died? The Apostle Paul would not, for so smal a thing, as to eat swines flesh before a weak Jew, in the case, Rom. 14. destroy the soul of one for whom Christ died, by laying before him a stumbling block, by his unseasonable and scandalous eating. I think (if Scripture cannot possibly be contrary to Scripture) this doubt might easily be removed, by answering the case was Page  81 not alike with David in his hunger, and so in a Physicall and naturall necessitie to save his owne temporall life, that by all probabilitie was in great danger, and these who being in no such necessitie, did eat such meats scandalous, and so distructive to the soules of weake ones, and having varietie of other meats to keep them from sterving, and so a meere necessitie of preser∣ving the bodily life, if we compare one affirmative command of God, with another, may remove that which may be suppo∣sed a soule necessitie. And the reason is, because in the doctrine of scandall, which is more intricate and obscure then every* Divine conceives, God placeth acts of providentiall necessitie as emergent significations of his approving will, which are so to us, in place of a divine Commandement of Gods revealed will, and these providentiall acts of necessitie doe no lesse oblige us to morall obedience, then any of the expresse written Commandements of God. I cleare it thus. There is an expresse law. It is s•• and unlawfull for David, or any man, who is not one of the Lords Priests, to eat shew-bread. But God commeth in, and putteth David in such a posture of divine providence, that if he eat not shew-bread, he shall be sinfully guiltie of violating a higher morall law of God, who saith, I will have mercie and not sacrifice. Then Da∣vid shall be cruell to his owne life, and sinne against the sixt Commandement. Thou shalt doe no murther. If he eat not, for not to eat, when you are in a providentiall condition of sterving, if you may have it, is to kill your selfe, and this providentiall condition doth no lesse oblige you to the Morall obedience of the sixt Command, then if God in the letter of the Law should command you to eat. This fact of David was not done by any extraordinarie impulsion of the Spirit, but by a constant chanell that Providence ordinarily runneth in, according to which I, or any Professor must be obliged to preferre a worke of Mercie to Sacrifice, that is, by which we are to give obedi∣ence to the sixt Command, which is not to kill, even as with∣out extraordinarie impulsion, I may absent my selfe from hea∣ring the Word, when I find going to Church may indanger my life, for non-obedience to affirmatives, in a greater necessi∣tie▪ is ordinarie. And therefore Christian prudence, with which the Wisdome of God keeps house, Prov. 8. 12. doth determine Page  82 many things of scandall: And prudence is a vertue commanded in the word of God, for a wise man observes times, and so will he observe all other circumstances, yet there be rules here which standeth alwayes, and they be these. 1. Comparing a physicall*and meerely naturall necessitie with a morall necessitie▪ if we yeeld to the physicall necessitie, and neglect the moral, we sinne against God, and may lay a stumbling blocke before others; as to eat such meats, where the losse is small, and the necessitie of eating meerely physicall, and the eating be a scandall to the weake, we sinne and give scandall, the case is cleare, Rom. 14. for eating,* (the case being indifferent, as it was, Rom. 14.) is a meere phy∣sicall necessitie, and not scandalizing a weake brother, is a mo∣rall* necessitie. 2. Rule, if we compare a greater morall necessitie with a lesse morall necessitie, the lesse necessitie must yeeld to the greater, a necessitie of mercie must yeeld to a necessitie of sacri∣ficeing; if David then should not have eaten the shew-bread, in his providentiall necessitie of samine, he should have been guiltie both of active scandalizing the soules of others in kil∣ling himselfe, and should have killed himselfe, and the lesse mo∣rall necessitie ceaseth, and is no necessitie, when a greater moral* necessitie interveneth. 3. Rule▪ Where there is a physicall necessi∣tie of the thing, yet not extreame, and a morall necessitie of absti∣nence, we are to abstaine; The Jewes had a physicall necessitie of the Babylonish Garments, but not so extreame, in point of pe∣rishing, through cold, as David had of Shew-bread▪ in point of sterving for famine, therefore Achan should have obeyed the morall necessitie of not touching the accursed thing▪ and neg∣lected the physicall necessitie, which if it had amounted to the degrees of necessitie of mercie, rather then obeying a Ceremoniall Command, such as was (Touch nt the accursed spoyle) Ach•• might, without sinne or scandall, to himselfe or others, have* medled with the spoyle. 4. Rule. That which is necessarie, in speciè, in the kind, as to goe to Church and heare the Word, to come to the house of God and Worship, may be, in individuo, in a par∣ticular exigence of providence, not morally necessarie, but the con∣tradicent thereof morally lawfull. David doth lawfully forbeare to come to the Lords house, if he knew Saul may kill him, by* the way. The things which we are to forbeare only for neces∣sitiePage  83of scandall, and upon no other ground, these I may doe in pri∣vate, if I know they cannot come to the notice of these who shall be scandalized, upon the ground of lesse physicall necessi∣tie; as Rom. 14. beleevers, for their necessitie ordinarie, and for nourishment, might eat fleshes in private, though before a weak Jew they could n••▪ because the sinne is not in the act of eating, but wholly in the scandall, and in the manner of the unseaso∣nable doing of it. But these things which are morally not neces∣sarie, because t••••bstance of the fact is against a law we are to forbeare, both in private, because they are against a law, and in publick before others, for the scandall. as Achan sinned in taking the Babilonish Garment, though in private, and his sinne should have been more scandalous, if he had done it publickly; Now these we are upon no ordinarie necessitie to doe, but such as may incroach upon the hazard of the losse of life, in which case an exigence of providence, does stand for a Command of non∣murthering, had Saul and his Army been reduced to a danger* of starving in a wildernesse, and could have no food, except they should kill, and eat the Cattell of the Amlkites, con∣ceive, The Lords preferring of Mercie before Sacrifice, should warrant them to eat of the Amalakites Cattell, yet would this providentiall necessitie be so limited, as it may fall out, that it stand not for a divine Command; for it holdeth in affirmative commands only, and 2. so positives as there must be, yea there can be no sin eligible by such and such a case, as Lot sinned in exposing his daughters to the lust of men, to redeeme absti∣nence from Sodomie.

Hence it is cleare; we may not doe a lesse, nor counsell ano∣ther to commit a lesse sinne, to eschew a greater; as the Jesuites wickedly teach. So Tannerus, so Turrianus and others who make a scandalum permissum, a scandall that a Christian may hinder another to fall in, and yet he permitteth him to fall in it. But God hath a prerogative to permit sinfull scandals, men have no such power, when they are obliged to hinder it. The divinite of others seemeth better to me, who deny that the least veniall should be committed to eschew a greater sinne.

6. Rule. There is a principle obligation, a lesse principle, a least principle. Hence these three degrees issue from love, 1. God▪*Page  84 2. Our selves, 3. Our Neighbour: The love of God is most prin∣ciple, and is the measure of the love of our selves: the love of our selfe is lesse principall, then the love of God, and so the ob∣ligation lesse. I am to make away, life and all things, yea eternall glory as devided from holinesse, and as it includeth on∣ly happinesse, rather ere I sinne against God▪ The obligation to care for my owne salvation, is more principall, then my obligation to care for the salvation of my Brother: for the love of my selfe is the measure and rule of the love of my Neigh∣bour. Now because the obligation of caring for the soule of my brother is only secondarie, in compare of the obligation of caring for my owne salvation, I am not to sinne my selfe, or sinfully to omit any thing that is commanded me in a positive precept, to prevent the sinne of my brother▪ Yet hence it doth not fol∣low, that a positive Precept is more excellent, then the law of Nature, which is (Thou shalt not murther, nor scandalize him for whom Christ died.) Because though to care for the soule of my brother be of the law of nature simpliciter, yet is a secon∣darie obligation▪ and may cease and yeeld, to a stronger obli∣gation that tyeth me more principally to care, for my owne soule▪ for though the Command be positive, yet knowingly to sinne, by a sinfull omission, is no lesse a destroying of my owne soule, and so of the law of nature, in a higher obligation, then the other is.

7. The Jesuits, and Popish Doctors, as they are of a large* conscience in many things: so in the doctrine of scandall, to* extoll obedience to men so high; as we may doe things in themselves not necessarie, yea that hath no necessitie, but from the will of Commanders; And Formalists in this conspire▪ with them, even though from this doe flow the ruine of many soules: and though the sinfull scandalizing and ruine of these soules, flow from sinfull corruption of either ignorance or frail∣tie, or wilfulnesse or malice, yet the scandall ceaseth not to flow kindly▪ from the pretended obedience to an unlawfull com∣mand, for the thing commanded having no Necessitie▪ but the will of man is unlawfull, and it is no good reason to say, Men are scandalized through their owne ignorance and Malice. Ergo the scandall is taken, and not given, for these who were ene∣mies Page  85 to the Truth, and were so scandalized at Davids murther∣ing of Uriah, and Adulterie, 2 Sam. 12. 14. as they were by him occasioned to blaspheme. Certaine their actuall scandall was from their owne corruption. But what? Ergo, it was not also from Davids murther and adulterie? and ergo it was a scandall* only taken by the enemies, not given by David? Surely it sol∣loweth not. You may hence judge of the Rule of Lodo Cas∣pensis, a Capucean. These (saith he) that doe a worke of it selfe indifferent, for a weightie cause, and use their owne right,tuta∣tur suo jure, are excused from mortall sinne, as these who lett a house to Whores, and publick Usurers, that are not strangers, though they may commodiously lett it to others, they doe not co∣operate with sinne, because the house it but a place, and extrinse∣call and remote to the sinne. So Christians taken by Turkes for danger of their life, (which is a weighty necessitie) may furnish in∣struments necessarie for warre against Christians because they doe a worke indifferent of it selfe, for a just cause: so may a servant convey his Master to a Whore, yea and make the Bed for a Concu∣bine▪ and open the doore, and if his Master be to climbe in at a window to a whore he may lift up his foot, or reach him a ladder. Why? the servant (saith he) useth his owne right in doing a worke of it selfe indifferent, Uitur suo jure faciens opus exse in∣differens, modo non placeat ei peccatum.

A. But sure, all out jus and right that men have over their* houses, and that Captives and servants have to their Masters and Lords, is jus limitatum, a right ruled, limited▪ bounded by the word of God, nor is the worke they performe morally indiffe∣rent, (physically it is) and Captive Christians, if for danger of their life, they may prepare necessary instruments of warre against Christians, they may kill Christians also: for what power the conquering Lords have over Captives to command them to prepare fire and sword, against the innocent witnesses of Jesus Christ, because they are such, the same jus right have they to command to kill the innocent. But for no cause the most weighty, can we choose either to shed innocent blood, or to co-operate with the shedding of it, nor to co-operate with the works of darknes, for it is shamefull that a servant may law∣fully co-operate with, and thrust his master in at a window, to goe▪Page  86to a whore, the jus or dominion of Masters to command, and the right of servants to obey is only in the Lord. Yea to kill a man is Physically indifferent, for that is physically, yea moral∣ly without relation to any law indifferent, which is capable of lawfulnesse, or unlawfulnesse, according as it shall bee com∣manded of, or forbidden by God. But for a man to kill his son, is of it selfe such, certaine, if God command a Judge to kill his son, it is lawfull for the father to kill his son, if the Lord forbid Abraham to kill his son, it is unlawfull for Abra∣ham to kill his son. And therefore Caspensis hath no more rea∣son to use the Instance of captives preparing warre against in∣nocent Christians and of a servant thrusting his Master in at doore or window to a whore, then of captives killing the innocent, or of servants breaking a house, and taking away the goods of a man in the night▪ or of servants committing whoredome at the command of their Conquerors or Lords, the one kinde of action in it selfe is as indifferent and susceptible of morall law∣fulnesse, and unlawfulnesse, as the other. And if the Master doe co-operate to commit harlotrie in climbing in at a window to a whore, and to robbing, in digging thorow an innocent mans house in the night, to kill the Master of the house, and to steale his goods, then the servant that co-operateth in these same physicall actions, and also diggeth thorow the innocent mans house and kills himselfe, is the harlot, and the robber, by co∣operation and participation, no lesse then the Master. The na∣ked* relation of a captive, and of a servant, cannot make the cap∣tive and servant innocent and guiltlesse co-operators, for then to sinne at the command of any Conqueror and Master, because I am in the condition of a captive and servant, were lawfull, though God forbid and inhibite me to doe, what I doe, by the command of my Master and Conqueror, for in so doing, Utor meo jure, I use my right as a servant. For God forbiddeth me in what relation I be in, servant, or Captive, to sinne, at the com∣mand of any, or for declining any ill of punishment▪ Though as weightie as the torment of hell separated from sinfull dispai∣ring and blaspheming of God. Now to co-operate with that which I know to be a sinne, is to partake in other mens sinnes, which is forbidden, as a sinne, 1 Tim. 5. 22. Eph. 5. 11. But to Page  87runne with the theefe, and to helpe an Arch-robber, Prov. 1. 13. 14. is a consenting to his robberie and bloodshed. And to help any to digge thorow a house, or to climbe in at a window to Incest, Sodomie, Buggerie, to fetch a beast to the Master who rageth in the sinne of Beastialitie, or to setch a young man to the Master or Conqueror to the sinne of abominable Sodomie, knowing the Master and conquerors minde is to co-operate to Beastialitie and Sodomie, is as high a measure of sinfull co∣operating in these abominations, as for the servant to helpe up, or life up his Master, to goe in, at a window to an harlot, for this is a consent to these sinnes, and a consent in the highest de∣gree; so to give a knife to a Master, who seeketh it from his servant, to kill his Father, Mother, Prince, Pastor, is to consent formally to such horrible paricides, and therefore Caspensis should have brought instances in Bugrie, Sodomie, Parricide, when as he used softer Names of fornication and harlotrie.

8. The non-necessaries, or such things as need not be in the* worship of God, which do bring scandall, Must 1. be such as are neither necessarie in speciè, nor in individuo, in kind, or in spece or nature, or in their individuals and particulars, as the whole Categorie of Mens devises, as

  • 1. Unwritten traditions—not necessary, not written.
  • 2. Humane mysticall, symbolical signes and Ceremonies—not necessarie, not written.
  • 3. Humane holy dayes, crossing, kneeling to Elements, Altars, Crossing, Surplice, Rochets, &c,—not necessary, not written.
  • 4. This and this humane holy day, this crossing—not neces∣sarie, not written.*

2. These things are judged not necessarie, that are not neces∣sarie by way of dis-junction, as Surplice is not necessarie by way of dis-junction, for neither is Surplice necessarie, nor any other white or red habit, that hath some mysticall religious sig∣nification, like unto Surplice; So kneeling to the Elements is neither Necessarie, nor any the like religious honouring of them, by prostration before them, o kissing them.

Page  88But, the things of the Directorie for the publick worship, as many of them are necessarie, and have expresse warrant in the Word, as Praying, Preaching, Sacraments, Praising, &c. So 2. some things that are non-necessaries in the individual or par∣ticular words, or things, yet are they not to be removed in their alternative necessitie, either this or the like though some be ther∣by scandalized. Because though they be not necessarie simply, yet are they necessarie by way of dis-junction, as that the Minister say, either these, or the like words, for words to that sense are necessarie. So the order that the Directorie prescribes in citing such and such acts of Divine worship is necessarie ei∣ther this way, or a way as convenient not different from this, for some order of necessity there must be. So the Liturgie or Ser∣vice Booke, what ever Jos. Hall say on the contrary (as it is little that he doth, or can say) though it should containe ma∣ny things necessarie in speciè, in the kind, sit for the externall publick worshipping of God, yet because these words in Indivi∣duo, in their particulars are not necessarie, is to be reoved, be∣cause though all the matter were good (as much of it is Popish) yet that booke in its structure, frame, style, Grammer, methode, and forme is popish, and framed after the model of the Roman Missale, especially performed with the cursed Authoritie of the Councell of Trent, under Pius the fift, in all the Masses, Rubricks, Epistles, Gospels, &c. is scandalous, and a Directorie in Scripture words is better, and is therefore justly layd aside by the Reve∣vent Assemblie, and honourable Court of parliament, because there is scandall in words, in style and language, in divine wor∣ship. And these who will abstaine from practising of some things in the Directorie, for feare of scandalizing others, must give reasons from the Word that these things they forbeare, are neither necessarie simply, nor by way of dis-junction. Because as I conceive, Things neither necessarie in the same individuals, nor by way of dis-junction, are such Non-necessaries as are to be removed out of the worship of God, for feare of scandall. And that any such non-necessaries can be found in the Directorie, I doe not see as yet.

Ob. The people had the more opinion of Dietie in the thing they adored the baser it was. None hath any such opinion of the crosse.Page  89 Ergo, it is no scandalous object. Ans. All our Divines hold, that Heathens of old, and Papists of late, worship Images, as religious memorative signes of God, Hooker with one dash of his Pen, against the Prophets and Scriptures, acquiteth them of Idolatrie, therefore the Crosse may be adored, without any opinion of Dietie in it.

Obj. Be it true, that crosses were purposely appointed to ••• adored, yet not so now. The Jewes would not admit of the Image of Caesar in the Church, yet they abolished it not, but admitted it in their coyne. The adored cross differeth as farre from this, as the Brazen Serpent that Salomon made to beare up the Cisterne of the Temple, and that which Israel adored in the wilderness, And the Altars that Josiah destroyid, as being meere Instru∣ments* of Idolatrie, and that which the Tribe of Reubenrected beyond Jordan. Salomon distroyed not the Temple and Idols framed only of purpose for the worship of forrains Gods, because* they stood now as forlorne, and did no harme. Josiah afterward razed them for some inconvenients, yet God saith both these Kings, in religion walked straightly.

Ans. 1. Though the Cross were first framed for no adorati∣on; yet we plead against the Images and Crosses of Lutherans as not necessarie, in divine worship, and therefore to be remo∣ved, though never adored.

2. The people thinke Baptisme incompleat without the Crosse, Ergo, to them it has the like necessitie, as water.

3. How will Hooker prove never any burnt Incense to the Brazen Serpent, but beleeved it really to be God? that is his dreame, beside the Text.

4. By this Luther ••• have their desire; for actuall intention that Images be lawfull remembrancers of Christ, without inten∣tion of adoration, shall make Images as lawfull teaching Cere∣monies, as Hooker will have the sigue of the Crosse.

5. We remove not crosses from coyne, no more then the Jewes did the image of Csr. But wee agree with them. Hooker being judge, in Banishing them from the worship.

6. Ezechiah then might have broken the old, and made a new Brazen Serpent, for a memoriall of the miraculous cure, so Page  90 they had not burnt Incene to it; The remembrance of the old mercie should have been as good in the new, as in the old. But* certainly the Brazen Serpent was not destroyed as Brasse, but in all its religious use. It was not purged, but abolished.

7. If we may make Images and Orasses alike in shape, but dislike in use, in Gods worship, we may bring in Golden Calves to the Temples, and the Image of Dagon, and the Sidonian Gods, and Altars such as Josiah destroyed, so at their first moulding we imprint on them, chaste and innocent religious intencions and signification, and make them alike in shape, but dislike in use to heathen worship. But sure the Calfe of Egypt, and the Calfe that Aaron made, though like in shape, yet were dislike in use.

8. We read of no new Inconvenients that the Images and Temples that Salomon erected to strange Gods, did in Josiahs time, which they did not in •••ekiahs time, but that they were Monuments of Idolatrie in both; It seemes that Nooker would commend Ezechiah, for not demolishing the Images of Salomons outlandish Gods; But then it was Josiahs zeale without know∣ledge, that he demolished them. 2. We then might well suffer the Images of Jupiter, Dagon, Ashtarosh to stand before the people publickly, so they doe no harm: and Papists and Luthe∣rans say the Images of Christ and the Saints do no harme, when the Pastors carefully teach the people, that there is no Dietie nor God-had dwelling in them. 3. Wee say the signe of the Crosse is a meere instrument of Idolatrie and Superstition, and what ever good intention, or pious signification was stamped on it, at the first, by mens carnall wisdome and will zeale, it no more made it good, then if upon the Image of Dagon, you would found the like good intention and pious signification.

9. Though Ezechiah was commended by God, it no more followeth his omission in not demolishing Salomons outlandish Idols must belawfull, and a part of his upright walking in •• matters of religion, then because David is commended, as walk∣ing uprightly in all things, save in the matter of Uriah, that his numbering of the people, his revengefull attempt to destroy Na∣bal and all his, must also be a part of Davids walking uprightly before God.

Page  9110. Salomon had a warrant for the Brazen Image in the Temple, not to abolish it. But Ezechiah had no warrant not to Abolish the Brazen Serpent, after the people burnt Incense to it, even suppose the People should, upon the exhortation of the Priests, have desisted from burning Incense to it. I see not, if Images may be lawfull Remembrancers to us, so we adore them not; But the Golden Calves, the Images that Salomon made to outlandish Gods, the Image of Diana, and all the heathen Images that the Word speaketh against should be brought into the Christian Churches, to teach us to flee, and eschew the ado∣ring of these abominations, for we have as great need of Cere∣moniall and Historicall remembrancers to teach us to eschew evill, as to admonish us to follow good. But the truth is, ex∣cept we will be wiser then God, we need neither.

Obj. Some things are of their owne nature scandalous, and* cannot choose but breed offence as those sinkes of execrable filth which Josiah did turne out: Some things though not by nature generally, and of themselves, are generally turned to evill through a corrupt habit growne, and uncurably settled in the mindes of men, without the removall of the thing, as was the worshipping of the Brazen Serpent. But some, as the Crosse though subject ei∣ther almost, or altogether to as much corruption, are yet curable with more facilitie and ease.

Ans. Objects sinfull and so intrinsecally scandalous are to be removed, as the Image of Jupiter, Molech, both because sins, and and so not necessarie. 2. Because scandalous, for the truth is, even sins (if we speake accurately) are not scandalous actum secundo, in regard of our corruption, our sinnes may sad the Angels, but they are not properly scandalous to Angels, and therefore every thing actively scandalous, as scandalous is to be removed. 2. How doth Hooker prove that the Vessels made for Baal, are in their own nature more incurable then the signe of the Crosse? You may remove the superstitious intention and Idola∣trous use of any vessell, and turne it to a good use; Yet Josiah burnt them to ashes. The like may be said of the Groves which he stamped to powder, and cast in the brook Kidron, And of the Chariots five of the Sunne, which he burnt with fire, and of the Page  92 bones of dead men, not any of these, being of their owne na∣ture more indifferent, and innocent creatures of God, were of their owne nature more scandalous, and more uncurable then the signe of the Crosse. The like may be said of Altars, and I pray are reasonable men, the Priests of the high places of their own nature uncurable? are they not capable of repentance, and curable by doctrine? yet 2 King. 23. 20. Josiah slew all the Priests of the high places. 3. Teaching may remove evil customes, other∣wise how should the Gospell convert sinners, that are accusto∣med from the wombe to doe evill? Jer. 13. 23. Jer. 22. 21. E∣phes. 2. 1. 2. 3. 4. Tit. 3. 3. 4 5. therefore scandalous objects of the second kinde, are no more to be removed, then the Signe of the Crosse. 4. It is false, that scandalous objects of the third sort are more easily cured, except they be removed, for no humane prudence, when the signe of the Crosse, and the Brasen serpent, are sure, not necessarie in Gods worship. And when men have, and so still may abuse them to Superstition and Idolatrie, can make these being now actively scandalous, to be not actively scanda∣lous, as no ar can make a pite to be no pite. Indeed Gods or∣dinances, because necessarie, may bee cured, from scandall by teaching. But it is Gods only prerogative, by his commanding will to make a thing, not necessarie in his worship, to be neces∣sarie, and to alter the nature of things, so as his command could have made the Brazen Serpent, to remaine a lawfull teaching Signe, and no scandalous object, and only he might have for∣bidden the burning of Incense to it. The Ancient Ignatius, or any had no warrant to make confession of Christ before ene∣mies and mockers, by gestures or crossing, Paul did it not, Peter commandeth confession to be verball, 1 Pet. 3. 14. 15,

There be many ancient lawes, yea Divine and Apostolike con∣stitutions* acknowledged to be good, that the Church hath layd aside. Some things cannot be removed without danger of greater evils to succeed in their place. Wisedome must give place to necessitie. Seneca, Necessitas, quicquid coegit, defendit.

Ans. 2. We know no necessitie to have, nor any danger to want such wares, as Surplice, Crossing, bowing to Altars, to elements, which sure the Apostolike Church wanted, both inPage  93speciè, and in individuo. The like Papists say for adoring of I∣mages, that Hooker here saith, for Surplice, and the like Scan∣dals. So doth the Jesuit Tannerus say, in. 22. to. 3, dis. 5. de reli∣gione. q. . dub. 3. Quando dicitur Adorationem imaginum non esse licitam, qui non est scripta. Respo. (inquit) apostol fami∣liari Spiritus instinctu quadam Ecclesiis tradidernt Servanda que non reliquerunt in scriptis—inter hujusmodi Traditiones est Imaginum Christi adoratio.