The unlavvfulnesse and danger of limited episcopacie· VVhereunto is subioyned a short reply to the modest advertiser and calme examinator of that treatise. As also the question of episcopacie discussed from Scripture and fathers. / By Robert Bailly pastor of Killwunning in Scotland.

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The unlavvfulnesse and danger of limited episcopacie· VVhereunto is subioyned a short reply to the modest advertiser and calme examinator of that treatise. As also the question of episcopacie discussed from Scripture and fathers. / By Robert Bailly pastor of Killwunning in Scotland.
Baillie, Robert, 1599-1662.
London :: Printed for Thomas Vnderhill, at the Bible in Woodstreet,

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Morley, George, 1597-1684. -- Modest advertisement concerning the present controversie about church-government.
Episcopacy -- Early works to 1800.
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"The unlavvfulnesse and danger of limited episcopacie· VVhereunto is subioyned a short reply to the modest advertiser and calme examinator of that treatise. As also the question of episcopacie discussed from Scripture and fathers. / By Robert Bailly pastor of Killwunning in Scotland." In the digital collection Early English Books Online 2. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 14, 2024.


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A Reply Unto the modest advertisement and calme examination of the unlawful∣nesse and danger of limited EPISCOPACIE.

AMong the multitude of rare novelties, * 1.1 which of late have bin seen, Wee must take it for one not the least, that Epis∣copall men have so far in writing changed their stile, as to meet their greatest ad∣versaries, and extreame opposites, with no more, then modest advertisements, and calme exami∣nations. God and the Parliament must be thank∣ed, that men may now dispute, and discourse up∣on Miters, without the hazard of starving in a

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close prison, after the losse of eares, and stig∣matizing of cheeks upon the pillory. Who yester∣day did rage like Lyons, to day take upon them the skin of the meekest lambs. * 1.2 If with the out∣side, the inward parts be truelie metamorphosed, a short time after the rising of this Honourable Court will declare. For the present they must pardon the worlds misbelief of their total change while in the art of dissembling they are yet so im∣perfect, as to let appeare at the lands foot their old Leonine paw: for besides that in the middest of your modestie you cannot forbeare the old Common place of calumnious railing against the verie well deserving Saints of God, Calvin, and Knox, as usurpers of greater authority over their brethren, then any Bishop did ever in your knowledge assume in England, a 1.3 Your very par∣ty whom you professe to rencounter with no∣thing but calmenes and moderation, is traduced openly by you without any cause, as a bloudie man, as one who for the obteining of his conclu∣sion, the overthrow of Bishops, threatens the shedding not of vulgar blood, but that of Princes, of their whol families, and no lesse then the ruine of Kingdomes: You make him a Turkish Der∣vise, b 1.4 rather then a Preacher of the Gospel, c 1.5 an

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ambitious Corah, a very Devill changed in an An∣gell of light: d 1.6 his arguments not onely to bee false, but Satanick illusions. Behold, this is the calmnesse of your examination, the meekenesse and moderation of your advertisement.

The greatest part of your professed vertue, * 1.7 we find to consist in a key-coldnes, and well nigh mute-silence, when the hotest, and most pungent arguments approch your skin. Heere it is indeed, where the meeknes of your spirit, and unwilling∣nesse to strive, doth most appeare; for you are ever sure, when any pressing reason is brought, either altogether to let it go, as if you were stone-deafe, or if you take courage to contradict, your answers are so evidently impertinent, or triviall, and weak, that we might doubt whether this your opposi∣tion were made in earnest, or meerly for fashion, unlesse we did see it in the conclusion offered un∣to the grave eie of the high Court of Parliament, before which no wise Man will adventure of purpose to trifle.

Who so misdoubts the equity of this our sharpe censure, let him be onely pleased to fight with his own eies both the writs, comparing part with part, and every Argument with its answere,

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readily after this labour hee will subscribe my Sentence: To facilitate the paines of any, who are desirous to undertake this travell, I am content to go before in the way.

The Authours Preface, * 1.8 though short, yet full of nervous considerations, it is your wis∣dome to passe by without one syllable of exami∣nation.

After the Preface, * 1.9 the Treatise it selfe begins with this proposition; All the lawfull offices of the Church are appointed by God in his holy word: This serves both for a Major to the first ar∣gument, and a Principle for all the ensuing dis∣course. The Authour proves his Principle by a number of cleere Scriptures, by many evident reasons deduced from Scripture, and diverse grounds of the most intelligent adversa∣ries; what oppose you to all this? That the reader may not observe how you speake to the point, you cast up at the entry a quantity of dust, to marre his sight, you lay downe a Principle no∣thing pertinent to the purpose: You propone a number of questions, which come not neere the Proposition of your party, when at last you come to your answer, you will neither grant, nor deny, nor distinguish your adversaries Proposition, nor dare you oppose any thing to the manifold argu∣ments whereupon it is builded, onely you fall in before the time, and out of the due place up∣on the Hypothese of Episcopacie, and by way of contrary argumentation, with some old Popish flourishes of words, you insinuate to the simple,

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rather then prove to any intelligent minde, that your Episcopacie, as an Apostolike institution is to be embraced with a divine faith, no lesse then the Creed, or the most holy Scripture.

Your Principle is, That all would be carefull to keep the publike peace, as also, * 1.10 That no man for gain of things temporall, would lose eternall: Your Falcon flight is here so high, your springs so far away, your conduit pipes so crooked, that he must have a skilled eye who can perceive the ways, how you bring home your waters, for any use to the purpose in hand. Doe you thinke that these who petition the Parliament, for rooting out of Episcopacie, e 1.11 which yet (as the whole Ile are now eye∣witnesses) is the proper crime of your dearest friends: for who else, to keepe upon their heads their tottering Mitres, did draw the King, and all his Dominions, to the very brink of the late de∣sperate danger.

The other halfe of your Principle, were very expedient to bee enlarged, and gravely applyed to these whom it concernes. You cannot bee ignorant who these men are, who these Yeeres past, upon no other grounds that can be conjectured, but only their own temporall advantages, and worldly feares, have betrayed the eternall truths of God. Who

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these are, who so long have sate still in a lethar∣gick quietnesse, and yet cannot bee gotten awa∣ked to break off their dumbe silence, when Armi∣nianisme, and all the heads of the Canterburian Popery, from so many Pulpits and Presses, have been over-spreading the whole Land.

The questions which so severely you urge to be answered, * 1.12 needed not to have been at all pro∣poned. Anent your first, suppone we grant that salvation may be obtained under Episcopacie, what then, will this inferre that Bishops necessa∣rily must be retained, and that their rooting out is needlesse? All your friends confesse, that under the Pope, and Cardinals, salvation may be by all, and is by the most, obtained: Will you there∣fore conclude, that the ejection of the Pope, and Cardinals out of England, was a needlesse work? Your friends do so indeed, f 1.13 And so your Epi∣scopall principles force them, but I hope the Parliament, to whom you submit your Treatise, will be loth in haste by your perswasion to bring back the Pope, and Cardinals Authoritie.

How many good works your Bishops have forced men to omit, and how many evill to com∣mit, search the Registers of the House of Com∣mons, and you shall want no store.

Shall the Reformers be in great darknesse, and the Martyrs miserable, if in their days there was in the Church any thing, which they were not able to amend, or which came not in their minde to complain of? Did any Martyr of the Refor∣med

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Church ever die in the quarrell of Episco∣pacie, or Ceremonies? Did their persecutors require them to seale any of these things with their bloud? Was it any disgrace to these Mar∣tyrs that Queen Elizabeth rectified many things in King Edwards Liturgie, and went beyond that Reformation which in their dayes was at∣tained?

Your second questions are not unlike the first, * 1.14 for their pertinencie. All the Reformed World is fully agreed to have Episcopacie overthrown, onely some few of the English Church, for their own interest do oppose. There is as great an har∣mony among all in setting up of Presbyteries, and Synods, as in casting out the old rubbish of Bishops and their Courts; If some few of the English be scrupulous about the limits, bounds, and extent of the power of Synods, It is no mar∣vell, Episcopall tyranny has bred, and fostered more Schismes in England, then have been heard of in all the Reformed Churches beside; If this fountain of Schisme were once well stopped, We make no question, but as in Scotland, Holland, France, Swize, Geneva, and many places in Germa∣ny, there is no discord, so like wayes in England, one or two well governed generall Assemblies would amicably put an end to all the questions that are, or need to be moved about the Disci∣pline, or any thing else whatsoever.

What you enquire further, of the divine right of Presbyterie, of the places of Scripture

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brought to prove it, of the sense, and consequen∣ces of the Scriptures. In all reason you are obli∣ged to heare with us great Patience avow that the Scripttures we bring, do infer necessarily, and cleerly our Concusion, till you brought some ma∣teriall answer to the contrary.

The last of your Questions, * 1.15 is but a flash of your Rhetorick faculty of exaggeration, your self must make answer to it; for you do say that God discharges under pain of damnation all that is un∣lawfull, and that every thing is unlawfull which is against the Word of God: That Presbyters, by the Word of God, have the power of laying on the hands, and of using the keyes, you will shortly grant; that therefore an Episcopacie should be permitted, to spoile these Presbyters of the priviledges which God in his word has granted unto them, or to usurpe unto them∣selves, and devolve on their Officials, the Rites of the inferiour Clergie, you dare not deny to be a wrong which deserves amending.

At last you come to the purpose, * 1.16 the Authours Principle, but you finde it so hote, that you dare not stand long upon it.

You tell us first, that the Authours discourse upon this Principle is written with much art, and eloquence, for insinuation with the unwary Rea∣der. Who pleaseth to read the writ it selfe, shall see, that all the art of the Authour is in a very plain discourse to couch, so briefly as is possible, a number of cleere and strong probations, for to

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convince the mind of all attentive Readers.

Againe, you tell us that the Principle may be granted. Why do you mutter betwixt your teeth? speak out cleerly, and plainly, for if you grant it, your cause is lost, if you deny it, your next will be to answer the numerous arguments, where∣with it is compassed, not any one whereof you are bold to try.

In the third place, that you may leave a po∣sterne for escaping, the Authors cleere and plaine principle, That no office is lawful in Gods house, which Christ has not appointed, you transforme in an other mold, to wit, That none may admini∣ster the Word or Sacraments, impose hands, or use the keyes, but such as Christ has appointed; When thus you have taken leave to corrupt, not the words only, but the matter of your adversa∣ries very principle, * 1.17 Notwithstanding you see the Conclusion that flows from your owne propositi∣on, to wit, that your high Commissioners, your Chancellours, and all the Rabble of your Offi∣ciall Courtiours doe meddle with Church cen∣sures contrary to Christs appointment; This you do not deny, but beare us in hand that these cor∣ruptions may be amended without noise, or scan∣dall. It were good that your friends in the Con∣vocation would preveen the honourable House of Commons, that at last they would offer of free accord to passe from these long defended oppres∣sing Courts, before with greater noise and shame they be compelled to render to the Presbyterie

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these Rites, whereof too long it has been dispos∣sed, by your Bishops fraud and force.

When you have broken in unseasonably upon the Hypothese of Episcopacie, how marvellously doe you shift, and extenuate the question? The authors principle did speak expresly, and soly, of a distinct office in the Church of God: you dare not say whether Episcopacie be any such thing or not, All the distinction betwixt a Bishop and a Presbyter that you speak of, is a higher, and lower degree, as it were of the same office: Your Bre∣thren will give you small thanks for this extenua∣tion; for you know they maintaine Episcopacie to be a true, and distinct office from the Priest∣hood, unto the which, beside a Superioritie of de∣gree, the distinct faculty or power of Ordination, and Jurisdiction, essentially doth belong, where∣with simple priests, qua tales, have nought at all to doe.

Beside, the Authors principle, and the probati∣ons thereof, conclude all that you here doe re∣quire, for they inferre the unlawfulnesse of any majoritie of one Church Officer over another, without Christs appointment, from so cleere texts of Scripture, and so sound grounds of un∣controverted Divinity, as you find not your selfe disposed to answer any one of them.

While as you require proof in that place, for all the other parts of our Discipline, you are un∣reasonable. When you have given satisfactorie answers to all that is brought in the head of Epi∣scopacy,

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it will be then time, and no sooner, to proceed unto other Articles, which so long as Episcopacy stands, were needlesse to be spoken of.

In your contrary argumentations you under∣take to prove a very strange conclusion, * 1.18 That the order of Bishops is no lesse Apostolicall, then the very Creed, and to be received with no lesse faith then the very Scriptures, yea, with much more, as it seems you import; for you equal the Scrip∣tures and Bishops in this, that both are alike uni∣versall, and unquestioned traditions: but in this you seeme to give Bishops a surer ground then you grant to Scriptures, for the ground where∣upon you here, and many of your fellowes els∣where embrace the Scriptures, is sole Tradition, but the grounds whereupon you receive the or∣der of Bishops, is not sole tradition; but sun∣dry passages of Scripture also as you alleage.

This your mighty Conclusion you prove not by any argument, but onely by a number of big words borrowed from the Papists, in this same and many more subjects. You tell us that many Scriptures are alleaged for Episcopacy, and that these Scriptures are exponed in your sense by all the Fathers, yea, by all Writers for fifteene hun∣dred yeeres. I hope that your selfe will finde it reason that wee be permitted to take your great words for nought, but vaine ecchoes in the Aire, while you be pleased to produce at least some one Scripture, some one Father, some one Writer,

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which here you have not done. Also while you would have us taking it on your naked word, that all times, all places, all persons are for Bi∣shops, and that for such Bishops as you here ex∣preslie describe, to whom alone it belongs to rule, as it is proper for the inferiour Presbyters to be ruled, suffer us to say that you are greatly mistaken, till wee have heard some one of your proofs. Your patience will here I hope be the greater, when you read in the subsequent writt for this our contradiction more Scriptures and Fathers then you in haste are like satisfactorily to answere. * 1.19 In that same short writ you will see all the Scriptures, and the most pregnant passages of antiquity which the best learned on your side are accustomed to produce, answered by the ancients themselves so cleerely, that while you give some evidence to the contrarie, Indifferent men will pronounce, that wee have but too good reason to avow Episcopacie as your selfe in the same place describes it, to be a plant which God never set in his garden, to bee a meere stranger to the ancient Church for some hundred yeeres, and e∣ver while the Pope had usurped mainly by the help of his Episcopall jurisdiction, many Anti∣christian priviledges.

Your consequences, besides the palpable er∣rour of your Antecedent, are weake, vitious, and inconsequent; though your Episcopacie be an Antichristian errour, yet it will not follow that all people who are subject to it must be con∣demned

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as Antichristian, and false worshipers of God; for you know that one fault and one quality is not sufficient to put on the subject an absolute denomination. What you adde of the fountaine and originall of Presbyteries, it shews, if not your ignorance, yet your great forgetful∣nesse, not onely what Cyprian, and other of the ancients have written of the Presbyteries in their times, but also what your selfe within a few pa∣ges does write of Presbyteries which you could admit, though with an Episcopall Moderator.

This is the matter of your first six pages, * 1.20 upon the Authours Principle; when you come to his Arguments, your Answeres are shorter, but no∣thing better. The first Argument, That these pla∣ces of Scripture, which of purpose, and most punctually set downe the offices of Gods house, especiallie the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, speak not at all of your Bishops. You first deny the Argument, albeit in your deniall you are so rationall, as nei∣ther to give any reason for what you say, nor to answere any of the proofes whereby the Author confirmed his assertion, Then you deny the ground whereupon the argument is builded, The Principle which before in the proper place you durst not deny, but rather did insinuate your granting of it; however the Authours Probation of that Principle stands as yet untouched.

While you tell us here that Tradition is a suf∣ficient ground for Episcopacie though Scrip∣ture

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were lacking, you but joine with your Brethren the Canterburians, who upon this ground presse upon us already their Altars, Crosses, Images, the primacie of the Pope, and much more, and shew their minde by this doore to let in upon us the whole flood of Anti∣christian abominations, when they find their season, especially as your self here does professe, any matter of practice, of discipline, of govern∣ment. This your popish errour of tradition is a very generall, and catholike one, which shakes not one or two but all the ground-stones of Pro∣testant reformations.

The Authours second Argument is, * 1.21 That no inferiour officer in the new testament, carries the name of any superiour; but so it is that a Presby∣ter every where carries the name of a Bishop; Therefore a Presbyter is not an inferiour officer to a Bishop. What here you bring, is so far from the shew of any answere, that it is like you have not conceived the drift of the Argument, only the non sense of your reply is compensed with your extraordinary quicknesse, to take your ad∣versarie twice in his own argument, in his owne net, first you will put him to a non plus by an In∣terrogatory, where then are ruling Elders by their names distinguished? you have read I believe the 1. Timothy 5.17. there you may see ru∣ling Elders, by their name, and surname, cleerly distinguished from Preachers of the word; you know also that there are a number of passages of

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the Fathers for these ruling Elders in the booke of Gersombucerus, which the boldest of your party for all their big words and exclamations in the eares of silly people, durst never yet after twen∣ty two yeeres advisement so much as offer to an∣swere.

Thereafter you triumph as if you had drawn from your Adversaries own pen, by an ocular de∣mōstration, the ful proof of your whol cōclusion. The superiority of a Bishop to a Presbyter by di∣vine right, because forsooth the author says, That Bishop and Pastor which are all one, are made by the Apostle superiour to a Presbyter. Wee did not believe that any man of the least acquain∣tance with these controversies, had beene igno∣rant of that common, and triviall homonomie of the word Presbyter, and Elder, sometimes ta∣ken for a preaching Elder, sometimes for a ru∣ling Elder, and sometimes for both. The Au∣thor with the Scriptures makes, a Pastor, a Bi∣shop, a preaching elder, to be altogether one, and in nothing to differ, but as three synonimous names of one, and the same officer, which by di∣vine right is indeed superiour to a ruling Elder, or Presbyter, this no man ever did question, but no way superiour to a preaching Elder, of whom alone is all the present question.

The Authors third and fourth Argument con∣firmed strongly by a number of pregnant Scrip∣tures, are all utterly mispent, * 1.22 and not one word of answere made to either of them.

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His fifth Argument, * 1.23 That by Christs institution & the constant practice of the Apostles, the pow∣er of ordination, and jurisdiction, is never commit∣ted to one Bishop, but ever to a number of Prea∣chers and others, as is cleared, by a multitude of manifest Scriptures. This you cannot deny, yet your heart will not permit you freely to grant it. You are content that in ordination, and jurisdicti∣on, Bishops should be assisted by Presbyters, but the argument infers much more, to wit that your Bishops in usurping to thēselvs the power of juris∣diction, & transferring of it to their carnal courts, that their assuming by vertue of their office the power of ordinatiō, though for the form they ad∣mit some Presbyters to be their assistāts in giving of orders, that both these faculties which make not the abuse but the two main limbs, and inte∣grall parts of the office it selfe, are wicked pra∣ctices against Christs ordinance, not to be re∣formed, but presently abolished, with a great re∣morse, that with a high hand for so long a time these tyrannous usurpations have bin maintained.

The sixt Argument was from the 22. * 1.24 Luke 25. where Christ forbids all Pastors to accept any Majority or preheminence over their brethren, This the Author proves from Scripture, Reason, and Antiquitie, to evert the office of Bishops. All that you answere is that this place does not for∣bid the Apostles to accept any degree of Ho∣nour above their brethren wherein they may go∣vern them for their profit, It follows then that by this place Bishops are not hindered to as∣sume

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as great authority over the Church as the greatest Emperours ever had over the bodies, or Christ himselfe as you confesse here over the soules of men.

Having evinced the unlawfulnesse of Epis∣copacie it selfe by the former Arguments, * 1.25 no∣thing enervate by all your Opposition, in the rest of the treatise the Author reasons against the lawfulnesse of the least degrees, and best limita∣tions of that evill; his first argument is well con∣firmed with Scripture, and reason, you answere but to one piece, casting by the first, and strong∣est parts of it, to wit, all parts, all degrees, all meanes, all appearances of the discharged evill; you had good reason to cut off all these portions from the Argument, for you saw that your di∣stinction was not applicable to these, for you will be loath to deny that Episcopacie, howso∣ever limitate, is some degree, some part, some mean, some appearance, not by accident, but of its own nature, of that Episcopacie which now stands in England.

The part of the Argument which you take in hand is not sufficiently answered, for you clear your distinction with no more then your own simple assertion, That limited Episcopacie is not in it selfe, but alone by Satans malice, either a cause, or a beginning, or a provocation to Epis∣copacie as now it stands; Surely that effect which has followed limited Episcopacie, in all places where ever it has dwelt, may not well be denyed

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to be naturall unto it, however you dare not ap∣ply your distinction, for it will sound harshlie in the eares of your Neighbours, that limited Epis∣copacie should be a beginning, & a provocation, by the malice and craft of the Devill, of that E∣piscopacie which now in Rome and England has place.

The Author in the next place by cleer Scrip∣tures does prove, * 1.26 That the reformation of Epi∣scopacie must be taken, not from the times of the posteriour Fathers, but from the beginning, the dayes of Christ, and the Apostles; your answere is short, but how good, your selfe be judge. You grant the Argument in all things which have a divine patterne; but that Presbyteriall Govern∣ment is such, you deny: you remember that the question here is alone of Episcopacie, what say you of its patterne? if its patterne be not divine you have lost your labour; If it bee divine, then according to your selfe it must bee conformed to the first, and Apostolicall times. As for Pres∣byteriall Government which placeth the pow∣er of Ordination and Jurisdiction, never in one, but in a multitude of Presbyters, that the pat∣terne thereof is Scripturall, and divine, your selfe before durst not contradict.

While you make it the Authors tenet, that all the fathers, and all Christians, in all ages throughout the world, have agreed to bring forth Antichrist, wee acknowledg a tract of your pro∣fessed modestie, for the furthest the Author sayes

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is that many of the fathers did unwittingly bring forth the Antichrist, and that the lights of the Protestant Churches, at, and since the reformati∣on, have discovered many secrets concerning the Antichrist, which were not knowne in former a∣ges; that you have not faith to believe this, Wee doe not marvail, for this is one of the heads a∣mong many more, wherein you of the faction, long ago have made Apostacie from the English, and all the reformed Churches; So far are your brethren from denying the Popes Antichristia∣nisme, that they avow his holinesse this day to be a true and lawfull Bishop, the first Patriarch of the Christian world, from whose See of Rome the English derive their succession, and to whom in reason all Bishops where ever they live, ought subjection, and canonicall obedience.

In the third place the Author casts together a number of grave considerations against all degrees of Episcopacie, * 1.27 almost in every sen∣tence is couched a pithy Argument. In your answers you are in such haste, that you cast all behind your Back, you ascribe to him that he did not write, that Popery and Prelacy are insepa∣rable; This your own conceit you refute, but of all your partie hath said, you take notice of no∣thing, save one word, that Prelacie is a step to Poperie; Sundry reasons are brought by the Author to prove this, all which you misken, only you argue to the contrarie, that the suppressing of Episcopacie is the way for supporting of Popery

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and introducting Anarchie. Upon this last you run out in a large discourse; for this is the field wherein you of the faction are wont to expatiate with greatest delight.

You prove your first point by a cleer mistake, * 1.28 distinguish the Accident from the Subject, Epis∣copacie from Bishops, you will finde that neither the Councell of Trent, nor any Popish Divine are for suppressing of Episcopacie; This office to the uttermost of their power they all uphold, neither have you or any of your brethren any one argument for that office, which is not bor∣rowed from them: It is true that the most of the Papalines doe suppresse other Bishops, to make great their Pope, but the meanes whereby they put under the Popes feet both Bishops, Fry∣ers, and all, both Clergie, and Laity, is chiefly this unhappie instrument of Episcopacie, which in the Popes person they advance to the highest degree of its extension, and this is nothing lesse then true Antichristianisme. If you have read Padre Paulo's History of that Councel you name, you must subscribe what I have said.

That from the removall of Episcopacie, * 1.29 con∣fusion and anarchie does follow, you would have the Divines of New England to prove by the Au∣thors principles. The manifold cōclusions which you ascribe to these Divines, whether they will own them or not, themselves doe know, with their tenets I am not well acquainted, onely it seemes nothing marvelous, if Episcopall cruelty

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banishing them to the Wildernesse of a new World, should have driven them to greater ex∣travagancies then any you name, but were they once freed of all feare of that monster Episcopa∣cie, and brought back to their Countrey, where in libertie and peace they might enjoy in a nati∣onall assembly, the benefit of a leasurely con∣ference with their brethren, wee make little doubt of their acquiescing to the govern∣ment of all the rest of the Reformed Chur∣ches.

As for these grounds, you make the Author lay for them, you are no more happie here then in the rest of your writ; For this is your Syllo∣gism. Whatsoever God has not established in his Church, is unlawful; but God has not established that some pastors should be over others; there∣fore this is unlawfull: What a poore caption is in your minor in the word Some taken for one only, or for more, for one Bishop, or for more Pastors, & Elders conveened in a Synod or Pres∣bytery? That any one should rule over the rest, the Author has proved it to bee against the or∣dinance of God; That a Presbytery and Synod of many should be over every one particular per∣son, when ever it shall be challenged, it may be easily proved to be according to holy Scripture and all good reason.

What you subjoine about the State of the question, though it be not very tymous in the end of your dispute, yet wee shall consider

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it since you so request. You say that the state of the question is not whether a Bishop in the Pri∣mitive times had a Presbyterie under him, This you dare not deny unto us, for you know too wel, and all that have looked upon any of the Anci∣ents, must confesse that a Bishop without a Pres∣byterie was a strange Monster in the primitive times, and a plain non ens not to be found in ma∣ny hundred yeeres in the Christian World. But withall you may not deny the impudent oppres∣sion of your Bishops in England. * 1.30 Their oppres∣sion in that (as they have learned alone from Po∣pish Bishops in the late most corrupt times) they have abolished the ancient Presbyteries, It is true that some of them now, when they are like to be compelled to live a little in order, begin to shew their contentment to have set up again in all the Kingdome these Presbyteries, but who of them all before this time were ever heard to speake one word of restoring the Church to the use of Presbyteriall government, which now they dare not deny to be her due by right both divine and also Ecclesiastick, in all the ancient times of any puritie. Their impudence that hither∣to they have had faces and browes to beare the King and State in hand, that their Episco∣pall Government without Presbyteries was according to the Practice of the ancient Church, that Antiquity, Universality, and what not, was for them, when yet the least twitch of triall must extort from them a cleere confession, That the chief sinews of that government which was uni∣versall

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in the ancient Church, was seated in the body of Presbyteries, the very name whereof till the sitting down of this Parlament all of you did abhorre, cane pejus, et angue. If there remain any drop of ingenuous blood, you would proclaim openly, and no more mutter within your teeth, that your late injurious errour, and without fur∣ther delay your selfe be the first, and most ear∣nest Solicitor of the Parlament, for the re-erecti∣on in all the Kingdome of these Presbyteries, which now at last you confesse were universally in use in all the purer times of antiquity.

As for that which you desire to bee the State of the question, * 1.31 whether ever there was a Pres∣bytery without a Bishop over it, you will I hope bee content after the fashion of reasonable men to speake of things not of names, you will make no question with us about the name of Bishops, which wee never deny to be frequent, both in Scripture, and antiquity, But the thing signified by this name, An officer, as all your partie de∣scribes him, who in his Diocesse hath the power of Ordination, and Jurisdiction, by vertue of his office, This is the subject of all our question. You affirme that in the ancient times Bishops in this Sense were set over Presbyteries, Wee do deny. We should be glad to see your Affirmation pro∣ved, that ever there was in the Church of God any such Bishops before the Pope had brought his Bishoprick to the Cope-stone of Antichristi∣anisme; Our negative wee have laboured to

Page 26

prove in the following treatise, by more passages of antiquity then you will have leasure in haste to answere.

As for the Bishops of the ancient Church which agree with yours onely in the naked name, but in the essentiall parts of the office doe differ as much as the Duke of Venice this day from the Duke of Muscovie, as the Emperours of Rome in the dayes of Seneca from the old Imperatores in the time of the Common-wealth: The question about them will bee whether their right in these anciēt times was divine, or human, whether they stood by Apostolick tradition, or alone by Ec∣clesiasticall constitution established at the Chur∣ches pleasure, and so by her free will removea∣ble. You will be a better disputer then any of your side who yet have appeared if you can make good the first, yea that you can prove the second to have been universal, we do not believe. If every Church would search their originall rights, as they of Scotland have done their own, readily as these have found their Church in the most ancient times governed by Presbyters without any bishops at all, so much as in name, for some hundred yeers, so many other natio∣nall Churches might finde the same upon the like diligence of tryall; however when it comes to the exactest search, it will appeare that Epis∣copacie was at most but an humane Ecclesiastick constitution, neither more ancient, more univer∣sall, nor received upon any better grounds then

Page 27

the Primacie of the Patriarch of Rome, then the manifold fraternities of the Monkes, Fryers, and Nunnes, These, though according to your friends assertion, so anciently, so universally, so piously established, that all the reformed, and England among the rest, are much to be blamed both for their first rashnesse to reject, and there too long lingring since to restore them, yet as England did never repent the casting out of the former, according to the example of her sisters abroad, so now wee believe, if shee may be pleased to follow the same example in casting out the other shee shall have as little cause of sorrow.

The Author did shew at length the vanity of their expectation who deceive themselves with hopes to get Bishops kept in order by the bonds of any imaginable limitations: * 1.32 for the demonstration hereof, he sets downe the caveats, whereby the Scottish Kirke and Kingdome did bind their Bishops, then which England can not invent harder this day for theirs. The knot can∣not be faster tied. The Scots had their Bishops consent, subscription, and solemn oath, The King in person in the generall Assembly did ratifie the bargaine, numbers of Parliaments did establish the liberties of Presbyteries. Sundry reasons the Authour brings to cleer that England is not a∣ble at this time to employ such meanes to keepe their Bishops low, as Scotland then did use, your answere to all is compendious: you say that all your adversaries arguments are weake, but how

Page 28

your saying may be proved, you take not time to tell us.

The Author in the end of his writ makes an∣swere to a number of the common jargous of Prelaticall men, * 1.33 especially that of Schisme in the Church, and danger to the State, which by the removall of Episcopacie, they take upon them to prophesie, will certainly fall out: To both these Objections hee gives a number of ve∣ry satisfactory and grave replies. In your answer you misken well neere them all, These few you picke out are cast in a strange confusion here and there in your Papers.

Against his replies to the first objection of Schisme, you rejoinder that the divisions of New England are witnesses of these Schismes which proceed from the want of Episcopacie: you do well to speake to us of men in an other World, with whose estate we are not acquainted, but can you say that there are half so many Schismes in New England where Bishops are not, as we see in Old England where Bishops are in their full Strength. Speak of the things we know, Behold the Churches of Europe, from whence Bishops are banished, Scotland, France, Holland, Swize, Geneva, &c. Did you ever heare of any either Schisme or Heresie, in these places, except when Presbyteriall government was suppressed? did that discipline any sooner get leave to em∣ploy its native strength, but in a short time it made the Countries where it dwelt free of all these evills

Page 29

It is made evident in the next place, * 1.34 that the keeping of Episcopacie on foot any longer, in all probability will fill the Church of England with many pitifull divisions, both amongst themselves at home, and from all their Neighbours abroad; concerning the reformed Churches over sea you answer, that in time bigon you have kept good correspondence with them, notwithstanding of all the difference in discipline; but truly the correspondence you speake of is to be ascribed much rather to the patience and long suffering of your good Neighbours, then to any well deser∣ving of your Bishops: for their doctrine in the point of Episcopacie, is cleerly Schismaticall, as you may see in the Pedagogick, and Master Likes Letter of Andrews to Muleine, and in other of your Prelaticall writs, where your men with the Papists, by all the arguments they can invent, do presse the Reformed Churches to embrace their Episcopacie as an Apostolike institution, the want whereof puts them from the very being of a Church, & makes the calling of their Preachers to be unlawfull, without any right. This wound, I grant your Bishops, when they have given it, go about incontinent to cure, but in vaine, for if their ground of Episcopacies divine right hold, it is not possible to defend the calling of these Ministers who refuse Episcopall Ordination.

While here you prefer for number, and equall both for learning and pietie, the Lutheran Chur∣ches to all the rest of the Reformed, we doe not marvell, since you contemne them both so farre,

Page 30

that when they are joined together, being com∣pared with the Roman Church, and the Grecian which follows the Roman in the most of her er∣rours and Idolatries, to be but a few persons in the West of Europe, not comparable with all the Christians, as you speake Pag. 12. upon the face of the earth.

You professe at last, it is a small thing to you, to differ from all the Reformed, when you joine with the ancient Kirke in the first three hundred Yeeres; we have shewn before the vanitie of this Language, for in Episcopall Government, you differ little lesse from the ancient Kirke, then from the Reformed, of whom yee were speak∣ing, for the ancient Presbyterie is a stranger to your Land, and your Episcopacie would be as great a stranger in any Christian Kirke, for the first five hundred Yeers, as the drink of Muscovia would be this day in Venice, or the Empire of Ty∣berius in Rome, in the days of Cato the elder.

The Authour named the jealousies that would be inavoidable betwixt the two Kirks of Eng∣land and Scotland, if Episcopacie, which the one, with the King, and all the Worlds consent hath cast downe, should by the other bee kept on foot; upon this passage you fall once and again, at the first time, that you may have a larger scope for a tract of your modestie, you draw a pas∣sage from another farre distant place of the Au∣thours writ, where hee sayes no more, but that vices contrarie to pietie, righteousnesse, and so∣brietie, where they doe raign, are certaine fore∣runners

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and causes of many calamities, judge∣ments, and changes of States, Kingdomes, and Families. This you cut out from its own place, and joine with the fore-named sentence, that from both you may make out your verie modest conclusion, that your author, more like a Turkish Darvise, then a Minister of the Gospel, does threaten to overthrow Bishops, by the bloudie Sword, by the change of States, Families, and Kingdomes, and that not the author alone, but also all the Presbyterians, yea, the Presbyte∣riall government it self, is guiltie of persecuting the persons, and tyrannously pressing the souls of men, no lesse then the papists; if this be your stile when your mood is calme, how crabbed must your dialect be when you are commoved?

When in your roving you fall the second time upon this same point, you answer somwhat more pertinently then is your custome, That you trust the Scots will count it as unreasonable to have their discipline pressed upon the English, as they did esteem it, to have the English pressed upon them; but I pray you, what if the Scots should leave here their own way, and follow your ex∣ample, might any of you in reason complaine of such a retaliation? Did ever your Bishops give over to force upon the Scots the English Govern∣ment with all their might, till the whole Isle was in armes, and in the midst of a dangerous war? Left they ever their designe, till God, the King, and the Parliament, made them unable for a fur∣ther

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prosecution thereof. It is like that the Scots will be loth to follow that your example; Yet certainly, they have all the reason of the World to perswade with all their power, their Brethren of England to joine with them, and all the Refor∣med everie where, to batter downe that unhap∣pie Episcopacie, without any resting, till the grea∣test Bishop, the Antichrist himself, from whom the Prelates of England confesse they draw the line of their pedigree be overthrowne, and quite abolished.

If in this no lesse noble then necessary enter∣prise the English will bee lacking to themselves, in this season of so golden an occasion, the Scottish cannot faile to register for the posterity a Protestation of their great and too well groun∣ded feares, that Episcopacie in England may well change the habit, but never the nature, that as it has beene ever since the Reformation a bitter fountain of almost all the troubles that hath vex∣ed the Scotish Kirk, so it shall remain like it self a Spring of future woes to the Churches of the whole Isle.

The domestike divisions which are like to encrease amongst the Subjects of England, if that root wee speak of be not drawne up, and cast over Sea towards Rome whence it came, the au∣thor expresseth them cleerely; all that you an∣swer is a salt gybe; it is truly strange if any should make question that as to this day many of the most Godly in England who have been far from

Page 33

resisting authority in any thing, yet could never follow the Doctrine of the Bishops so far, as with them to believe that the sentence of au∣thority, whether Civill or Ecclesiasticke, was a sufficient argument to perswade their consci∣ence that Bishops were a holy ordinance, so hereafter that many more who walk most care∣fully according to the rule of Gods law, will re∣fuse to submit their hearts to the government of Bishops, though after the losse of their cares, their Heads should be chopped off from their shoulders.

The Authour in his Answer to the second or∣dinarie Objection, anent the danger of change, * 1.35 propones a number of very wise considerations, whereby he makes it evident, that presbyteriall Government will much better accord with the estate of England, then Episcopall; all these you passe by in your answer, only you snatch at a word or two, in some few of them. The Author upon presupposition of his first principle, that no Office might be permitted in the House of God, without his own appointment, inferreth, that as a man would be loth to suffer any of his servants to place in his house Governours beside his own knowledge: so that Christ will not be content when any does erect in his Church, Bishops to be guides, which hee did never ordain.

You touch not the point while yee tell us, that a Wiseman would never permit a Democratie to be erected in his Family, and so that none

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would set up a Presbyterie in the Church; a Presbyterie is not a Democracie, but be what ever it may, the reason here proceeds alone from the authoritie of a Master, to plant in his owne house what Government he will, without liber∣tie for servants to dispute the qualitie thereof.

In the current of his Discourse, * 1.36 amongst other interrogations, the authour did question, if in a whole Synod there was none meet to presede, but only one perpetually: For it is well known that in every dioces there is a number much mee∣ter for any good service then the Bishop. Of this harmlesse question you make a great quarrell, and compare the authour to Cora, your selfe to Aaron, and his interrogation to the rebellious speeches of that wicked man, Numb. 16.

When the whole has sufficiently overthrown all the matter of Episcopacie, whether abso∣lute or limitate, hee bringeth sundry arguments, why the verie name of a Bishop would not be retained, but you are not pleased to take notice of any one of them.

In the last two pages, verie cleerlie by divers evidences, he declareth the great and rare oppor∣tunitie which God hath put in the hand of this present Parliament to remove the whole root of Episcopacie, with as great ease, as to cut off its branches; all this you misken, only to give us a further taste of the temper of your modest Spi∣rit, you insinuate, Pag. 14. that the greatest oppor∣tunitie you can remark in this season, is for men

Page 35

by fraud and force to worke out their owne ends.

When you have done with the authour, * 1.37 you turn your selfe to two other sorts of men, first to these who presse Presbyterian Discipline upon a meere humane right; who these are I doe not know, if any such be, it seems they are more un∣considerate then your verie self, and many others of the Prelaticall faction, who dare not now de∣nie, what ever before was their language, the di∣vine right of the Presbyterie, that the principall members thereof, the preaching Presbyters, are invested by God with the power of Ordination, and Jurisdiction, though the Bishops of England, ever since the Reformation, have spoiled them of their due, and kept them in slaverie, as much altogether if not more, as the Romish Bishops doe their inferiour slaves of the Clergie this day.

The two considerations you bring to beare off these men are both impertinent, * 1.38 The first was pressed with much more acuracie and eloquence, then you, or any of your partie can use, by More the Chancelor, and the Cardinall of Rochester, in the dayes of Henrie the eighth; it was the or∣dinarie and passionate declamation of these men, that the Popes authoritie was ever reverenced in England, since it was Christian, That for many a∣ges it had been confirmed, by numbers of Par∣liaments, That Abbots and Priors were a consi∣derable part of the Parliament, at least foure

Page 36

times more then Bishops, That Monkes, Fryers, and Nuns had been established in all times, in all places, That the casting out of these would be a change exceeding dangerous for the State, That the keeping of the things with the removall of the abuses would be a reformation satisfactory to all reasonable complainers. This here is your most specious plea answered long agoe by the actions of King Henry, King Edward, Queene Elizabeth, to use now any verball reply were but superfluous.

What you speake of the great learning of your Bishops, suppone it to be true, yet you are excee∣dingly prejudicate, if you see not as much if not more of that quality in far mo of the English Di∣vines who never were Bishops, these few whose eminencies hath kythed in the episcopall charge might have advanced further, as themselves will confesse, both in learning and pietie, if they never had beene burthened with Episcopall distracti∣ons.

Your gloriation of the honour done by stran∣gers to your Divines wee doe not envie, only we conceive you mistaken, when you apply the res∣pects done to the fame of the Church of Eng∣land unto the persons of the Bishops, let bee to their Episcopacie, what ever respect that gratious Kirk has gotten from any stranger, we believe it might have been multiplied if their Bishops had long ago bin abolished, for they & their tail hath beene allways the onely subject of feare and re∣straint

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of the full and plenary affections of for∣reigne Churches towards their Sister of Eng∣land. * 1.39 To fall out upon that Common place of changes in Church or State, it doth not well be∣come you, since both your selfe, and all these of your Prelates, who would be conceived to have any sponke, either of pietie, wisdome, or mode∣ration, doe willingly consent to the far greatest part of the change, whereby you would affright the State at this time; for your selfe along all this Treatise, and the prime of your Prelates, in the draughts of Government that come from their hands, seem to acknowledge the necessitie of erecting Presbyteries over all the Land, and pulling at last from the Bishops, the power of Ordination and Jurisdiction, which too long they have unjustly possessed, that therewith the Presbyteries and Synods may bee invested, to whom by Divine Right they grant it belongs. Further, the putting downe of the Chancel∣lour and Officiall Courts as meerly abusive, the removing also of all the Clergy from Secular employments, and so from the House of Parlia∣ment. What more is petitioned, will not intro∣duce any farther change, either of custome or Laws, that is considerable; while therefore your selfe doe offer to begin, or at least to goe on with the far greatest part of the change, you ought not to be heard in opposing some farther Reformati∣on then you can agree to upon the pretended dan∣ger of alteration.

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Your other consideration is lesse pertinent to the purpose, * 1.40 but more injurious to your profes∣sed modesty, your prudence here is not ruled by reason, while you advise the holding out of the required discipline for some yeers, till by expe∣rience you have seene the fruits of it amongst your neighbours; is not the experience of twice forty yeeres and above, which many places have felt both of the Presbvteriall and Episcopall dis∣cipline, more then sufficient? in all the reformed Churches wee see powred out upon the Presby∣tery by the hand of God, the first author of it, plentifull blessings, Wee see Episcopacie cursed in every soile it commeth with very bad conse∣quences, in the Romish Churches this govern∣ment is the powerfull instrument of Satan to bar out the light of the Gospel, in England and Scot∣land wee have seene grow upon it the Aples of strife, superstition, pride, and many other evils, till of late it did become the horse, whereupon came poasting to the whole Isle, Arminianisme, Popery, and a bloudy warre for the hazard of the lives, estates, liberties, and all that was dear to any man, if the miraculous hand of God had not cast the Horse & his rider in the ditch of his vengeance; those that would wait any longer to get any further experience of the fruits of Epis∣copacie may in justice meete with the mischiefs which ordinarily fall upon them who tempt the Almighty.

What you speake of the unquietnesse of the

Page 39

Church of Scotland in the time of the Presbyte∣rian discipline, it is far beyond the truth, never Church more quiet and free from inward divi∣sions then that of Scotland, from the beginning to this houre, except so far as this unhappie instrument of Episcopacie did creat them trou∣ble.

Your boasting of so great Pietie and vertue of those plants who have grown under the sha∣dow of your government needes not any answer.

Comparisons are odious, where England had ever one gratious Plant, wee wish it had beene multiplied to a 1000, yet wee must be permitted to think that the goodnesse which has appeared in any member of the English Church has flow∣ed from other fountains then that dry one of Episcopacie, what grace it hath been the instru∣ment of, to those who have beene nearest to its influence, what vertues are most conspicuous in their families, their Cathedralls, their Chaptors, their Courts, the World knowes, If you were so wise as you pretend, you would have beene silent at this time of Episcopall fruits; read over the thousands of petitions that are presented already to the eyes of this very Parliament a∣gainst Bishops, and Preachers, their greatest fa∣vourites, you dare not say, if all the crimes that ever were known, let be presented to any judicato ry, of all the presbyterian Preachers this hundred yeeres were put to gether, that either in number or quality they come neere to the black roule

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which the registers of this own yeere will trans∣mit to the eares of after ages, of the gratious ef∣fects of that your noble plant. Who so will take pains to compare the crimes presented to the Parliaments in the dayes of Henry the Eighth, against the Fryers, Monks, and Nunnes of those times, for which their whole orders were for e∣ver banished the land, with these which now are delated of the Bishops and their faction, Wee believe that the former shall be found not so im∣portant for the razing of the Abbacies, as the la∣ter doe require the pulling up by the roote of that old rotten tree of whose fruits you are here boasting.

The other kind of men you admonish are a multitude of your brethren in the Prelaticall fa∣ction, * 1.41 whō you say are too obstinate in retaining what ever hath beene established; your advertise∣ment to them is calme, modest, & short enough, it is but in some few particulars (and that with the clause of a perhaps) wherein the generall and constant clamour against them, you confesse, is justifiable and ought to bee heard. How faintly and coldly touch you upon these evills which your conscience doth know to be crying abomi∣nations, and to have beene long committed with an high hand? you name but too few; their abo∣lishing of the fourth Command: of the Morall Law, their turning of all the pietie of the Go∣spel, into a number of Legall, and Popish Cere∣monies, their contempt of Souls for the love of

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money, in a world of Pluralists, and Non-Resi∣dents, their mixing of Heaven and Earth, Christ and the World, in joyning to the burthen of their spirituall charge, the load of all the temporall of∣fices which by any means they can attain, they teach, that the Bishop is the only proper Pastor of his whole Diocesse, to whom alone the imme∣diate and most proper care of all the souls in that great flock doth belong, and yet as if it were not enough to charge one poore man with the cure of some five or six hundred thousand persons, yea of some forty or fifty hundred thousand, for readily the diocesse of Lincolne will exceed the first number, and that of London the second, as if all these brought not burthen enough to the shoulders of one man, The weight of the great Seal and of the white staff, the greatest temporall offices in the Kingdome, must be joyned thereto, that the censure of the Church should be rest, against all Law Divine, and humane, out of the hands of Preachers, & cast on the rabble of your Laick Canonists, that they by their Courts may make havock of the goods and persons of the whole Nation, In all these you doe well to con∣fesse your sinne in fighting against the voice of God, in your impudent outfacing, and obstinate resisting the cleere light of all reason; here it was indeed where your pen would have beene a little more pungent, for you know, you have to do with an hard hearted generation of men, who minde reformation in nothing if they bee not

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compelled; as every pin of their Tabernacle, and the whole frame of their government, is brought from the Mountains of Rome, so that principall maxime of Popish policie, that the Church must not be conceived by People ever to have erred, is the chiefe square, and great rule, according to the which hetherto they have ruled all their administrations, to think of a reformation in any thing were to give groūd to the adversaries, were the beginning of a declination, they see a deep precipice before them, if once they bee put to a mooving they know not where the rest and period of their discent may be, so by all meanes, the present station must bee kept without the yielding willingly of one foot of ground. * 1.42 Have not these spirituall Lords sitten already above 4. moneths in the convocation and Parliament? have any of them to this day made the least mo∣tion to stop the course of those heresies and Ido∣latries which to their certain knowledg have bin these yeers past like a gangreene, like a pest, like a firie poison infecting souls over all the Land? Should any reasonable men ever more take no∣tice of any their motions? can ever any faithful∣nesse be expected from them who so manifestly have betrayed the trust which the King and the Country did cōmit to them, of their religion, and souls? no thanks to them, that Canterbury long ere now had not so firmly rooted Arminianisme and Popery in the Church, with a tyrannous oppres∣sion in the state, as we and our posteritie had ne∣ver

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beene able in any after age to have gotten it amended. It is easie to discern what spirit hee is, who moves men to be clamorously contentious, when the question commeth to any matter of their own dignitie, their own rents, their own ce∣remonious toys, but to be dumbe like fish, when before their eyes, the doctrine, the worship, the Saints of God, are most miserably trampled un∣der the foule feet of most insolent men. Those of the Prelats who count themselves most ortho∣dox, and innocent, cannot be excused of these crimes, which by their connivence they did fo∣ster, and well neere as much promove by their suffering, * 1.43 as the other who were esteemed more guiltie by their doings; who so will be pleased to make an accurate search by what meanes the Prince of darknesse did most enable the one, I mean the Canterburian Prelats, to be so active and successfull in their evill designe, and by what means the other who still in private did professe their disaffection from these ways, were subdued to be so passive and silent, when errour, supersti∣tion, and oppression, in the Church were advan∣cing with such speed before their face, Episco∣pacie will be found the instrument which closed the mouth, and tied the hands of the one from speaking or doing those things which the honour of God, and welfare of the Church, then so deeply wounded, did require, but opened the mouth, and strengthened the hand of the other, for saying and doing what ever they found con∣duceable

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for their mischievous ends. How hap∣pie and glorious a work would it be for this gra∣cious Parliament, to adde as a Crown and Coap∣stone to all the blessings which the Church and State hath felt already, and yet expects from their hands, the breaking in pieces of this unhap∣pie instrument, which in the hands of evill men is a very sharp sword, and firebrand, for executing of all their furious follies, and in the hand of good men becometh a bond of brasse or steel, for binding them up from those good words and works, which the World would certainly have expected from them, if they had beene free of such slavish fetters?

If it might bee the will of God to move the minds of the House of Commons, to behold the teares, the sighes, the prayers, which for many yeeres numbers of godly souls have been pow∣ring out before God and men, from their hea∣vie sense of the cruell oppression, spirituall and temporall, of the hierarchie, to read with a com∣passionate eye the supplications, which from the hands and hearts of many thousands, in all the corners of the Kingdome, are come already, and daily encrease against that root of all their woe: to looke vpon the respectfull faces of all the Reformed Churches who at this instant of time with more passionate desires, with a greater measure of hope then ever before, are greedily gazing to behold, if now at last, that great stum∣bling blocke and sole impediment of a full con∣formitie

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amongst all the gracious Sisters can be gotten removed, and cast into the Sea. But above all, to blenke up and fix their thoughts upon that great God, who but just now, here saved them all from so horrible a danger, and in the midst of de∣spaire, has lifted up to them an ensigne of the fairest hopes; Unto that God, who daily walks in the midst of these Honourable Houses, which he alone has both assembled and kept thus long together above the thoughts of all men, whether friends or foes, expecting by way of thankfulnes from those who desire to bee counted faithfull servants, either to him or their Countrey, a full resolution to govern themselves in the affaires of his House, especially this great one which so neerly concernes his honour, by his sole plea∣sure, without any regard of worldly midses, or base ends, which may draw them away one haires breadth from his Majesties direction: If it may be the good pleasure of the Lord to settle such thoughts in the hearts of the house of Com∣mons, they are few who make question, but by their means, the higher house of the Peeres may be induced, as in all things else, so in this, to con∣curre in a joint supplication towards our gratious Soveraigne, that by the strength of their threefold cord, they may pul up that old bitter root, which so long hath beene noxious to the soile, both of the Church and State.

If otherwayes the thoughts of the lower house should be diverted from these and the like

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considerations, if they should faint and give over to prosecute with courage, with faith, and hope, this truly noble designe, they would do well to forethink, unto whom after ages will impute all the inconveniences which readily may be pro∣cured to the King, to the Countrey, to the Chur∣ches abroad, by this unhappy Episcopacie, which if now retained after so full an examination of its nature and consequences in so grave and wise a Court cannot but take deeper root then ever, & be more firmly established against all possibilitie of any future removall. What ever the events hereof may prove, our Gracious Sovereigne, and higher House of Parliament, may not so well be charged therewith, they having given so many late documents of their great readinesse to hear∣ken unto all the equitable motions, though never so full of difficulties at the first appearance, which the House of Commons with any unani∣mitie and earnestnesse have as yet proponed: Be∣side, it is to that House alone, unto which the nu∣merous petitions demonstrating, not only the ex∣cesses of the men, but the inherent and essentiall corruptions of the office hath been presented: It is the state of Commons that most have tasted of Episcopacies bitterfruits, It is the Commons of the Land who will most be beaten, if Bishops remain with their pastorall rod, who most will be trod upon by the feet of their pride, and spoi∣led with the violence of their rapacious hands. To this House therefore, above all others, since

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for this once, God has put in their hand to may, if they will, shall be ascribed either the un-uttera∣ble grief of the Godly, for retaining, or their un∣speakable joy, for utter abolishing all degrees of Episcopacie.



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