Select Page

A Reply to Dr. Morton's General Defense of Three Innocent Ceremonies

William Ames (1576-1633) - One of the Greatest Theological Puritans and Writers

Today, many Christians are turning back to the puritans to, “walk in the old paths,” of God’s word, and to continue to proclaim old truth that glorifies Jesus Christ. There is no new theology. In our electronic age, more and more people are looking to add electronic books (ePubs, mobi and PDF formats) to their library – books from the Reformers and Puritans – in order to become a “digital puritan” themselves. Take a moment to visit Puritan Publications (click the banner below) to find the biggest selection of rare puritan works updated in modern English in both print form and in multiple electronic forms. There are new books published every month. All proceeds go to support A Puritan’s Mind.

“The first act of religion, therefore, concerns those things which are communicated to us from God. The other concerns those things which we yield to God.”

A reply to Dr. Mortons generall Defence of three nocent [sic] ceremonies viz. the surplice, crosse in baptisme, and kneeling at the receiving of the sacramentall elements of bread and wine.

Ames, William, 1576-1633., Calderwood, David, 1575-1650, attributed name.

 

A REPLY TO DR. MORTONS GENERALL DEFENCE OF THREE NOCENT CEREMONIES. viz.

 

The Surplice, Crosse in Baptisme, and kneeling at the receiving of the sacramentall elements of Bread and Wine.

 

Printed in yeare 1622.

 

THE PREFACE.

 

SIR,

HOwsoever ther be many vnknown motiues which lead men in these dayes unto conformitie, yet those which are openly professed, may be referred either vnto M. Sprints way, who confesseth the ceremonies to be imposed contrary unto the rules of Gods word, and yet contendeth that they are to be used in case of deprivation: Or else to D. Mortons way, who avoucheth the sayd cer•monies to be agreeable unto the rules of Gods word, and therfore s•ch as ought to be observed simply. Now he that considereth wel of the ma•ter, shall find that there is no ground for the conscience to rest on in either of these wayes. As for M. Sprint, (to speak nothing of his mis-alledging very many authors) he hath but three main arguments: and to all three he hath given sufficient answer himselfe. His first argument is taken from the doctrine and practise of the Apostles about the Iewish ceremonies. Now all the force of this reason doth depend upon that paritie or equalitie which is supposed to be betwixt our ceremonies and the Iewish, our ministers warrant and the Apostles: so that if this paritie faileth, the whole argument falleth. Yet M. Sprint himselfe confesseth, pag. 250. 256. that those Iewish ceremonies were not every way so evill as ours are: neither doth or dare he say, that ministers now haue such particular warrant for conformitie, as the Apostles had for applying themselves a little while unto some of the Iewish ceremonies.

 

His second reason is, that a lesser dutie must yeeld unto a greater. Now this case by his own cōfession p. 30. doth not hold so, as that a man should doe a thing formally, simply, and in nature evill, for any good. Now he knoweth, as appeareth p. 45. that the ceremonies in controversie are esteemed such by most of these that now oppose them. So that this reason can be of no force with them.

 

Page  [unnumbered]

His third reason is, because refusall of conformitie in case of deprivation, tendeth to condemne in a manner all true Churches which haue taught and practised otherwise. Hee meaneth by condemning, accusing of error. Now M. Sprint himselfe doth thus condemne all or the most of the Churches which he alledgeth to haue practised such ceremonies. For in confessing our ceremonies to be inconvenient, scandalous, evill, such as the urging of them cannot be justified, and yet affirming that almost all Churches haue appointed and used such, even out of the case of deprivation or such like necessitie, doth he not plainly accuse all those Churches of error? These things considered, I thought is needless to spend much time in examining M. Sprints booke any further. But according to your desire, I will shew you mine opinion in briefe concerning the chiefe passages which are in Thomas Chesters, or as he was wont to be called, Doctor Mortons Defence of three ceremonies, commonly used in our Churches, which I doe the more willingly vndertake, because divers things are therin handled of singular vse in divinitie, whereof I profess my selfe a Student, though in the ministerie I cannot find a setled station. But before I come to the Defence it selfe, first, I would faine vnderstand the reason why three Ceremonies are onely defended, seeing there be many threes of those things which stay many godly men from subscription and conformitie, as is to be seen even in that abridgement which this Defender doth chiefly oppose? Is it because our best Prelats haue onely a care to perswade if it may be, those that are in the ministery, to that conformity which is most of all noted, not regarding in the meane time, what becommeth of so many godly learned yong men, who not onely for these, but for divers other corruptions also, are forced to turne away from the ministerie, whereunto their education, gifts and hearts did carry them, while many lewd fellowes, the chiefe spots and blots of our congregations, doe possess their places.

 

I would know also what the reason should be, that the innocencie onely of these ceremonies is defended? Is this all that is required in ceremonies forcibly obtruded upon ministers and people, even to the silencing, excommunicating, and uttter undoing of many hundreds? Is this all, I say, that is required, that such ceremonies be in some sence innocent, or not hurtfull? surely not scripture onely, and sound reason, but common sense will looke for some good necessarie use in such ceremonies,

and not innocencie alone.

 

And then what is the sence (trow you) in which these ceremonies may be called Innocent? when Calvin (whom the Defender calleth an honorable witnes) would devise a charitable title for them, he stiles them tolerabiles incptiae, viz. tolerable fooleries, or fopperies, Epist. 200. & 206. When he speaketh more out of iudgement, hee not onely calleth them frivoulous and unprofitable, but saith plainlie that their proper name is hurtfull, noxious, or nocent, cleane contrarie to this Defendants language. Surely one of these writers, not differing onely, but flatly opposing and contradicting the other, must needs be farre wide.

 

Innocent indeed these ceremonies may be called in regard of their materials, and the fashions also which they haue in their naturall being: for the cloth of a Surpless and the fashion of it is innocent, and so are all the idols of Papists and Heathens verie innocent: so that this is no praise. But if we look at the use whereunto they haue been applyed, and wherein they haue beene a long time employed, I may truely say by the devill, not onely among the Papists, but even in our Churches, to the breeding of dissention and distraction among brethron, to quenching of many, and many a burning shining light, to the grieving and unsetling of so many good soules, and to the advancing of the Kingdome of darkeness: If these things I say be considered, then it is more then manifest, that this licking them over with a fair word will make them no more innocent indeed then Pilats hands were when they were washed. The fashion of a Surplice naturall or artificiall in another use, as if a Porter or Baker weare such a garment is indifferent.

 

If it shall be said, that notwithstanding these accidentall abuses, yet the ceremonies are innocent in their own nature and use: I answer, first, they having no necessary use otherwaies, and these being the ordinary effects which haue followed on them, there is no rule of Logick much less of zeale that will allow the Defendant simply to call them innocent. 2 It is a shame for our Prelates to talk of the ceremonies innocencie, when they cannot defend their own innocencie in obtruding and urging of them. They are wont to say, the practise and manner of urging we will not defend, but the lawfulness or innocencie of the things themselues. Indeed for a private man to stand upon such termes is tolerable: but for the Prelates, whose hands are chiefe in this trespass, to cover their owne guiltiness under figleaved innocencie of three ceremonies, is too too grosse. If Thomas or D. Morton in times past had pleaded for the ceremonies innocencie, it might haue been well interpreted: but for Thomas Chester, Thomas Lichfild, or any that bear•th a Cathedrall name, to write of the innocencie of three ceremonies, passing by three hundred foule nocencies which are plainly to be seen in the Prelates urging and managing of these ceremonies, this is somewhat like as if Samson when he had sent Foxes with fire-brands in their tailes among the corn, should then haue written unto the owners of that corne a long letter concerning the innocencie of Foxes and Fire-brands.

 

Thirdly and lastly, it is sufficiently proved, and shall (by Gods grace) be further maintained against this Defendant, that these three ceremonies are not innocent or lawfull in their •se.

 

This I had to say concerning the Title. Now before I come to the book it selfe, some few things are to be questioned in the Epistles, which are three, according to the number of the ceremonies defended. In the first Epistle to the Marquis, • I would willingly learn, what that Church is, which is the mother of the Non-conformists? it must of necessitie be either the faithfull Congregations which are in England, collectiuely considered: or else the Hierarchie, consisting of Archbishops, Bishops and their Officers. If the •ormer ••here understood, then this Defence is begunne with a Slander. For neither is the Non-conformist an adversarie impugning those Congregations, nor doe they defame their religious worship, nor infringe their wholesome libertie, nor contemne their just authoritie: but of all these things are the Prelates manifestly guiltie. For they in their Lordly humours, doe scorne and defame the most religious people as Puritanes: they hinder the people from hearing of Sermons in another parish, though they haue none, or worse then none at home: they are enemies to that preaching wherby the godly people finde themselues most edified: they inslaue both Minister and people, not onely to themselues, but even to their Chancellors, Commissaries, officials, and such like officers of their own making, to whom not Christ onely, but all the Primitiue Church saith plainely, Depart from me I know you not: they denie anie authoritie at all to be either in the Congregations, or in their Ministers, except it

Page  [unnumbered]

be a little of courtesie from the Ordinarie. These things are so well known, that they need no proofe.

 

If by the Church heer be meant the Hierarhie, then wee profess plainely we acknowledge no such mother. She is a Step-dams, usurping this title and authoritie, without all warrant from God our Father. Shee is a creature of mans making, and may more lawfullie be removed when it pleaseth man, then ever she was by him crected.

 

Secondly, I marvaile with what conscience this man can spend a great part of his Epistle in stirring up a Courtier unto the opposing of. Non-conformists? As if this were a great point of admirable wisedome and zeale, as he calleth it: and the Courtiers such, as stood in most need of instigations to the zeale of Formalitie, being otherwise for substance such as they should be.

 

Thirdlie, what agreement is there in this Argument, to conjure a man by the obligation of his Baptisme, to stand for the defence of certaine ceremonies? was he baptized into the faith of the cermonies? or is he bound to maintaine everie ceremonie which men haue brought into that Church where he was baptized? If he were conjured by his Bishoping to such things as these, there would be more reason in the consequence.

 

Fourthlie, what need is there that great men should be called to aide and assist the Prelats against Non-conformists? haue they not power enough in their own hands? can they not at their own pleasure suspend, depriue, excommunicate, & what almost they please? Do they not tread these poore men under their feet? Is it because that the Prelats cannot yet sufficientlie prevaile against thē in the consciences of men, and therfore call for further help in vaine? Or is the meaning, that such men should be helped unto great Bishoprickes, as are most Zealous against Non-conformists? If this be the matter, I dare say the Petition shall be granted, and yet the Petitioner, except he make great progresse in this eagerness, will hardlie get beyond Lichfild, at least not to Canterburie.

 

In the second Epistle to the Non-conformists, manie things are jumbled together, which afterward must be examined, but here cannot. For this Epistle taketh the whole book for unanswerable, and therefore should rather haue been set at the end then at the beginning: one•ie one ridiculous piece of Rhetorick is to be touched, wherein (forsooth)

Page  [unnumbered]

the Non-conformists aboue all their other faults wherewith they are usuallie charged and loaded, are now as it were lovinglie intreated to acknowledge themselues guiltie of superstition. The reason is rendred, because there is a negatiue superstition, the formall cause whereof is the forbearing and forbidding of things lawfull as unholy and profane: and the Non-conformists haue such negatiue opinions, as kneel not, cross not, weare not, &c.

 

All this is nothing else but a trick of prevention usuall with craftie men, who choose to lay that upon their adversaries which they know more properly to belong unto themselues. But I would that this Defendant, or rather Accusant, had given us some plaine reason of his new opinion, there is no definition of superstition, properly so called, that will father this conclusion. The Schoolemen doe with one consent place superstition in a kind of excess of Religions worship, Thom. 2. 2. q. 92. art. 1, from whom in this point our Divines doe not dissent. Now though this excess do seem sometims to consist in a negation, yet 〈◊〉 excess or errour in negation, is never called by any author that ever writ (I dare say) superstition, when he meaneth to speake properly, except that very negation, abstinence or forbearing be held as a special worship. Now in the Non-conformists there is no such thing to be found: they doe not abstaine from these Ceremonies, but as they doe from other unlawfull corruptions. Suppose they erre, yet everie erronious deniall of things lawfull is not superstition.

 

The Defendant therefore heere being overhastie to charge his adversaries, considered not well what weapon he choose. But if he had well remembred what is said of superstition, not onely by our Divines, but even by some of the Papists themselues, he would haue forborne to make mention of this word. For our Divines, let honourable Calvin speak, Iust. l. 1 c. 12. s. 1 Inde mihi videtur dicta superstitio, quod modo & praescripta ratione non contenta supervacuam rerum congeriem accumulet. Papists thus. Superstitio est (saith Azorius Inst. mor. l. 9 c. 11) cum quis Deo cultu• tribuit inanem & vanum, scil. commentitia & futili aliqua caeremonia eum venerando, vel cum quis Deum honorat falsis vanis, & frivolis ceremoniis, id est, As Swarez doth in a manner interpret it, quando honor Dei in iis rebus ponitur, quibus revera non colitur, ut in caeremoni•s superfluis, & ad salutem animae nihil conferentibus. If this touch not the Defendant, I would desire him to peruse what

Page  [unnumbered]

Mr. Parker hath written concerning the superstition of the Crosse, and giue some answer to the same, before he threaten any more such kindness as this is upon the Nonconformists.

 

Another thing also is by a figure of praetermition ins•nuated in this Epistle, not unworthie consideration, viz. that many Parliaments and Convocations haue established these rites. To this I answer, 1 the Prelats in such matters as these, haue no respect unto the authoritie of Parliaments. For they frame Canons, urge and excute them with•ut the consent of any Parliament, nay flatly against them. For so wee reade in the Records of that worthie Parliament which was ann: 1610. Among the Canons late made by the Clergie of England in their Convocation, it vvas thought that some of their Can•ns did extend to charge the bodies, lands, and goods of the subjects of the Realme, further then vvas lawfull and meet. We therefore made a good law to make voide such Canons as doe charge the bodies, lands, and goods of the subjects, unlesse that the same canons vvere confirmed by Parliament. 2 The Defendant cannot bring forth one Act of Parliament now in force, that doth allow of Subscriptions and Conformitie to be urged as now it is by the Prelats. This appeareth by the judgement of the foresaid Parliament in those words of their petition, where they complaine, That diverse painfull and learned Pastors that haue long travelled in the vvork of the Ministery, vvith good fruit and blessing of their labours, vvho vvere ever readie to performe the legall Subscription, appointed by the Statute of 13 Eliz. which onely concerneth the Confession of the true Christian Faith, and doctrine of the Sacraments, yet for not conforming in some points of Ceremonies, and refusing the Subscription directed by the late Canons, haue been removed from their Ecclesiasticall livings, being their freehold, and debarred from all meanes of maintenance, to the great griefe of sundry well-affected Subjects. 3 It is well known that the Prelates themselues in their proceedings about these matters, doe so farre violate the Statutes of Parliament, that they are by law subject unto a Praemunire.

 

Now as for Convocations, not to dispute here what manner of Synods they be, 1 It is well known that they consist now of a Faction, and that in memorie of man, they never concluded any thing for the common good of the Church more then by others was better done to their hands: but much evill hath come from among them, and more would

Page  [unnumbered]

but that many times their commission serveth not but onely to giue Subsidies, and then to tell the clock. 2 They are servile to those on whom they depend, and tirannicall over the poore that are subject unto them: 3 there are verie few that haue place in them which are not gross offenders against the most ancient Canons. As for example, it was observed that in that Convocation which established and revived these corruptions, of 300 or 400, there were not aboue twise three, which were not, or had not been gross Non-residents or Pluralists. D. Morton himselfe, in a Latine Sermon had before a Convocation some 8 yeares since, described well the most part of them (though he did not speak distinctlie of the number) to be unsavorie salt. For he gaue us three notes whereby corrupt Ministers in England might be discerned. 1 That they studied chieflie and stuft their Sermons with Friers and Iesuits: 2 that they sought occasions to disgrace Calvin: and 3 that if anie neighbour Minister be more diligent and conscionable then they, they brand him straight with the name of Puritan. These notes are well known to agree unto most of our convocated Prelates. 4 The authoritie of this Convocation either against or without consent of Parliament, is not to be regarded, much less against the Scriptures.

 

In the Epistle to the Reader, this onelie I would inquire of, what is the reason, that seeing he choose to himselfe for Cheife Opposites, the Lincolneshire Ministers, he doth not deale with all their Arguments, nor the twentieth part of their Allegations, but onelie with such as he thought fittest for his purpose? Of this I will not saie all. But this I maie not omit, that considering he knew how much hath been said against the Ceremonies by them and others, especiallie by M. Parker, which he never attempted to answer, neither hee, nor others for him, had anie cause to triumph in this booke, as in a compleate Defense.

 

Page  1

A Reply to Doctor MORTONS GENERAL DEFENCE OF THREE Nocent Ceremonies.

 

CAP. I.

 

SECT. II.

VVHATSOEVER is objected in this Section for the All-sufficiencie or perfect fulnesse of the Scripture, I will take for granted, because nothing is denyed by the Defendant. It is granted therefore at the first entrance, that the Scripture condemneth whatsoever is done, not onely against the vvarrant and direction of the Word, but also that vvhich is done beside it.

 

SECT. III.

BVT that which before the Defendant durst not denie, now he commeth to oppose in the proofes of it: Which is a strange course, in him especially that professeth a distinct logicall proceeding.

 

In the propounding of our confirmation, I note two things once here in the beginning for all following occasions to be marked, 1 this Defendant doth us wrong in distributing our confirmations into those vvhich are taken from Scriptures, and those that are from the Fathers, and those that are from Protestant Divines: as if these were in our estimation of the same kinde. Wheras we professe that vvee ascribe no force unto any testimony of man, as if it vvere a proofe, but onely bring such allegations in as illustrations in regard of our adversaries perverse prejudice. 2 He vvrongeth us likewise in that difference vvhich he insinuateth betwixt the Fathers and our Divines, calling their testimonies Iudgements, and the other onely Confessions: we acknowledge no such imparitie. If this vvere nothing but idle rhetorick in the Defendant, it may be passed by.

 

Page  [unnumbered]

In the answer brought to Heb. 3 2, vve haue this distinction given us: some points concerning religion are doctrinall, and some meerly ceremoniall. The former are sufficiently revealed in Scripture: but the latter are left to the libertie of the Church. But 1 vvhy is that denyed here by a distinction, which passed vvithout deniall or distinction in the former section? 2 vvhat kind of distinction is this, vvhich doth not distinguish of any terme vvhich is in the objection? 3 the Defendant should haue done vvell to haue explained and confirmed his distinction. For doctrinall opposed to ceremoniall in the formall signification of these vvords, I never heard of before that I remember: and sure I am no sound reason vvill allow. Ceremoniall is opposed to Morall, and sometime to substantiall; but to doctrinall it cannot properly, because there is ceremoniall doctrine as vvell as morall or substantiall. 4 To vvhich of these points vvill the Def referre the Hierarchie of Bishops? or are they no points of Religion? For the negatiue part of this answer, that ceremoniall points of Religion are not revealed in the Scripture, but left to the libertie of the Church: it is too too nakedly set down for to beare any colour of truth vvith it. For 1 vvas this true before the comming of Christ? then all the ceremoniall law is Apocriphall. 2 is this true universally (as it is heere set down) in the new Testament? then vvater in baptisme, and bread and wine in the Lords Supper, are no ceremoniall points of Religion. 3 the caution that is given Deut. 4. 2 and such like, did they not conteyne in them ceremoniall points of Religion? then it vvas lawfull for the Iewes, to adde, detract, and alter the ceremonies according to their pleasure; and doth not that law binde us as vvell as the Iewes? then vve doe the Papists wrong, in putting them to so much trouble as vve doe in finding out shifts to avoide the dint vvhich such places giue them.

 

But to leaue this mishapen distinction: An answer is given at length to the place alledged out of Heb. 3. 2 concerning the comparison betwixt Christ and Moses: sect. 4 5.

 

SECT. IIII.

IN this Section comparison is made betwixt Christ and Moses in reall faithfulnes, as he calleth it. But this sufficeth not to loose the knot. For Moses vvas faithfull in all the house of God, and Christ vvas not inferiour, but in all parts of his office Propheticall concerning all points of Religion, vvas no doubt as faithfull as Moses.

 

Page  3

SECT. V.

HEre the Defendant can find nothing to bring out of Scripure for Christs faithfulnesse in rituall ordinances, but as Moses appointed ceremonies, so Christ removed them. Is not this a proper explication of Scripture, to interpret a similitude by a dissimilitude? The Scripture maketh Christ like unto Moses: this Defendant expoundeth the likenesse to be in this, that Christ pulled down that which Moses had set up.

 

Out of M. Calvin, Instit. lib. 4. c. 10. S. 30. he taketh upon him to decide this question. But he should haue dealt more plainly, and according to the scope of his author, if he had cited Bellarmine de pont. l. 4. c. 17. where the same words are according to his meaning. For in that place of Calvin there is nothing at all which vvithout grosse aequivocation will serve the Defendants purpose: For Calvins meaning was nothing lesse then to teach that Christ had given libertie unto men for to prescribe at their discretion mysticall signes in the Church: but onely to dispose of such circumstances as in their kind are necessarie, but in particular determination doe varie. He instanceth in the next section in the circumstance of time, vvhat houre the congregation should meet: in the place, how large, or in what fashion the Church should bee built: in meere order, what Psalmes should be sung at one time, and what another time. These and such like circumstances of order and comelinesse, equally necessary in civill and religious actions are understood by Calvin: not significant ceremonies, proper unto religious worship, such as ours are now in controversie. This allegation therefore borroweth all the shew it hath from the ambiguous meaning of the word ceremonies.

 

The same deceit is in the known case which the Defendant adjoyneth to Calvins words. For if by Rites he meaneth such circumstances of order and decencie, as were before mentioned, then I grant all he saith: but if by Rites he meaneth ceremonies properly of religious nature, use, and signification, such as the crosse in baptisme, and surplice are knowne to be, then there is no reason in his speech. For 1. there is no necessitie that in any nation the Churches should haue any religious ceremonie of spirituall signification, beside those which Christ hath appointed to all: and if the Defendant can shew any such necessitie, then I would desire him also to shew by what rules, and for vvhat cause these religious ceremonies imposed upon us in England, are fitter for us, or tend more to our edification, then other ceremonies would, or then they would in any other nation under heaven. Except both these positions be proved, the words of this section are all but wind: and proved I am sure they never were nor will be.

 

Page  4

SECT. VI. VII.

THe second place of Scripture handled by the defendant, is 2. Sam. 7. 7. Where I cannot but marvell why so resolute a disputer would passe by in silence, Deu. 4. 2. & 12. 32. Prov. 30. 6. Lev. 10. 12. all which places are alledged by the Lincolnshire ministers (against whom he professeth principally to write) & choose this place which they bring in after the former. Was there not a cause? But to take him as we finde him, he professeth plainly, that it vvas lawfull for David vvithout speciall vvarrant to build a house unto God: and in this he is so peremptory, that he condemneth the contrary opinion of notable precipitancie, and presumeth to make this example a ground of confutation against his adversaries, disputing as he pedantically speaketh first by extortion, and then by retortion out of this place. But if his extortion bee meere torting and torturing of the text, we need not feare his retortion.

 

Now that the purpose of David vvas partly condemned, appeareth plainly, 1. because it vvas prohibited, as here the Defendant in his answer expressely granteth. 2. Because as honorable M. Calvi• well observeth on Act. 7. 46. It was not lawfull for man to choose a place for Gods Name & Ark, but it was to be placed in that place which God himselfe should shew, as Moses doth often admonish. Neither durst David himselfe bring the Ark into the threshing floore of Arauna, vntill the Lord by an Angel from heaven had witnessed unto him that that was the place chosen by himselfe, 2. Sam. 24. 11. 3. Because it cannot bee absolutely excused from some mixture of rashnesse vvith zeal, that he should resolue absolutely to build an house unto God, before he knew either vvhat manner of house God vvould haue built, or when, or by whom: seeing vvithout the especiall direction and assistance of Gods spirit, nothing of this kind could bee well done. How could David haue built a house, except the Lord had filled vvith the spirit of vvisedome Bezaliel and Aboliab, or some such?

 

The Arguments brought by the Defendant for the contrary opinion are nothing worth. 1. Nathan (sayth he) had allowed the purpose of David, v. 3. But iudicious Iunius answereth (in his notes upon that place) that so Samuel out of humane infirmitie, said that Eliab vvas the man vvhom God vvould haue king, 1. Sam. 16. 7. 2. God calleth Da•id his servant, which hee never doth in reproofe. Which is not true, though the reproofe be for a thing simply evill: as is plainly to be seen Isa. 1. 3, •er. 2. 13. and in many such places, vvhere my people is as much as my servant. But the very word Servant also is twice thus used in one verse, Isa. 42. 19. much lesse when the affection is good in the generall, and blemished onely

Page  5

by some circumstance. For then why may not a good title bee given as an allowance of that vvhich is good, and yet the evill be at the same time reproved? so many learned divines doe interpret that of the Midwiues, Exod. 1. 19. 20. 21. Moses was reproved and brought to his graue for a sinne, and yet when his death is recorded, it is sayd that Moses the servant of the Lord died, Deut. vlt. The Churches are sharply reproved Rev. 2. & 3. and yet are stiled by the name of Churches, and golden Candlestickes: and their ministers who are chiefly reproved are called Starres. 3. there is another reason rendred by Salomon of this restraint. 1. Reg. 5. 3. 4. But the Defendant should mark that one reason doth not exclude another. In this place of Samuel two reasons are rendred, as Tremelius and Iunius note, the second of which is taken (as he saith) from the example of Davids auncestors, vvho never vndertook any such thing, because they knew the calling of God vvas to be exspected. 4. God himselfe commended this purpose of David. 1. King. 8. 17. As if the same affection may not in divers respects be both commended and condemned. But this evasion of Mr. Hy. 1 passe over, sayth the Defender, as childish and absurd. And why so I pray? 1. Because God himselfe did interpret this affection for a deed. 2. Hee did note this deed as speciall, saying in both respects, thou didst well, that it was in thy heart. In which words if there be any consequence, or good sence, then not onely Mr. Hy. his evasion, but logick it selfe is childish and absurd.

 

SECT. VIII. IX. X. XI.

IN these passages two places of Scripture are obiected, vnder the name of Mr. Hy: but I verily thinke Mr. Hy hath some vvrong done him in the matter. Howsoever, I will not undertake to maintaine that these places are fitly alledged and urged: though by proportion the force of the argument used in those places (who required these things at your hands) is strong against our ceremonies. We will not imitate D. Cary now Bishop of Exeter, that proved the Surplice by the armour of light, Rom. 13. 12. nor them that prove kneeling at the communion, and at the word Iesus, out of the bowing of the knee of all creatures, Phil. 2. 10. nor those that fetch the crosse out of the letter Tau. Eze. 9. 4. Neither need the Defender please himselfe in this, that by some places of Scripture the ceremonies are not condemned: it is enough if they were condemned but by one onely testimony of Scripture, or by one sound argument drawne out of Scripture, though no more could be brought. But what kind of dealing is this, for him that professeth a confutation principally of the Lincolne shire Ministers, to passe by divers texts of Scripture alledged by them, and to

Page  [unnumbered]

bring forth other of an vncertaine author, never publickly propounded in any of our writings?

 

SECT. XII.

THe last place of Scripture handled in this Argument, is Yer. 7. 31. the force of which, as it pertaineth to the purpose in hand, is in the last vvords, which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart. The reason lieth thus (to take honorable Calvins interpretation upon the place) seing God under this title onely condemneth that which the Iewes did, because hee had not commanded it them: therefore no other reason need be sought for the confutation of superstition, then that they are not by commandement from God. Now the Defendant answereth, that this was a thing forbidden, and in that sence was sayd not to be commanded. What is this to the purpose? therein lieth the strength of our argument: that not to command in things that pertaine to worship, is all one with forbidding. But you collect (sayth he) that this was not against, but onely besides the word. It is not our collection but his owne vaine conceit. Our argument is drawne from the forme of speech here used. See Mr. Cartwright in his Reply p. 48. fully clearing this poynt. When I read this objection first (sayth he) I wondred that in disting•ishing besides the word and against it, you simbolized so well with Bell•rmine, in his distinction of mortall and veniall sinne. He was as it seemeth, in a wondring humour. But 1. why doth he not wonder not onely at our late Divines, but at Chrysostome also, as symbolizing with Bellarmine, vvhen he in Gal. 1. 8. doth so distinguish betwixt teaching contrary to the Gospell, and beside the Gospell? Why doth he not wondringly also accuse Iunius for symbolizing with Bellarmine, while he refuteth Bellarmine by this distinction, contr. 3. l. 4. c. 17. an. 10? it were easie, if needfull, to produce other honorable partners in this fault: but we need no other then perswaders to subscription, vvho haue drawne divers into this net, by telling them, that though the things they stand upon be beside the word, yet they are not contrary thereunto, and that onely is affirmed by subscribers. 2. Wee are not the authors of this distinction, but they which thereby excuse humane inventions in Gods worship. Wee are constrained to follow and ferret them in their own holes. See Mr Cartwr. Repl. p 36. 3 yet if need vvere, there might be shewed though not a reall, yet a rationall distinction betwixt these two. 4. The Defendants answer doth expresly herein symbolize with Bellarnine de Pout. l 4. c. 19.

 

For the other allegations of Scripture quoted in the Abridgement for confirmation of the same truth vvith the former, the

Page  [unnumbered]

Defendant referreth us to Chap. 2. Sect. 2. 3. 4. 5. vvhere onely one of them is touched.

 

SECT. XIII.

TO many testimonies alledged out of the Fathers, answer is given, 1. That they speake not of things onely beside the Scripture, but of things contrary: which answer is againe repeated under the forme of a distinction betwixt Scriptura negans, and negata. 2. They speak not of ceremonies, but of doctrines.

 

To vvhich the reply is easie: 1. our meaning is mistaken, I feare, wilfully, when wee are made authours of an opposite distinction betwixt beside and against in this case. It sufficeth vs that beside in poynts of religion, bee all one with against. 2 Though those generall sayings be applyed to doctrines in most of the places alledged, yet that hindereth not, but▪ the truth of them may be taken so generally, as to include also religious ceremonies. A particular or proper conclusion may be drawne from a generall proposition, and yet the proposition remaine generall still in the largest extent that it is capable of.

 

SECT. XIIII.

TO the testimonie of Tertullian de Cor. c. 2. That is prohibited which is not permitted, two things are likewise answered, 1. that it maketh not against our ceremonies, for they are permitted: vvhich is nothing else but a meere shift. For Tertullians meaning must needs bee of other permission then the Defendant can chalenge to our ceremonies, though he begg the question: otherwise there should be no sence in his words. 2. he sayth, Wee may blush to speak of Tertullian in this case: because hee professeth traditions in the same booke. To which I answer: that then all our writers may blush vvho alledge many things out of the fathers which they in other places gainesay. 2. Wee blush not to make vse of truth where we finde it, though error follow it at the heeles; rather let our Idolizers of the Fathers blush, vvhen they see their shame. Yet of this answer wee shall haue occasion to make use hereafter.

 

SECT. XV.

IN this Section answer is made to some allegations brought out of Protestant Writers (not unto all vvhich the Abridgement citeth for the perfection of the Scriptures) where 1. the Defendant answereth for himselfe, that his meaning was not of matters meerly ceremoniall. And so, say I, the meaning of our argument vvas not of such meere ceremonies as the Defendant here

Page  [unnumbered]

describeth in the end of this Section, if he meane by meere ceremonies mere order and decencie: but our ceremonies are of another nature, because they haue doctrine or teaching in them, and therefore are doctrinall, as he pleaseth to speak, or mixt, 2. confessing that in one place he speaketh of ceremonies, he limiteth his speech to such ceremonies as are made essentiall parts of a sacrament, as Milke in stead of Wine: sopping in of bread into the cup, and wringing in of the grape; these ceremonies hee accounteth doctrinall. But here I vvould faine heare a good reason, vvhy sopping of the bread into the cup is more doctrinall, or more against the vvord, then the crosse in baptisme. Bread and Wine were ordained by Christ to a holy use in the Church: so is not the crosse: sopping hath some agreement vvith reason: crossing hath none; sopping was vsed by Christ himselfe the same night, and at the same table vvhere the sacrament was appointed: crossing vvas never used by Christ or his Apostles. In sopping there is no new materiall signe appointed, but a new fashion onely of vsing the old: in crossing a new signe is obtruded. So that sopping seemeth to bee better then crossing. If opinion of necessary use doth put a difference: our men can easily conclude in the Convocation house, that it is not the opinion of the Church of England, and then all will be well. If sopping seeme to bee a part of the sacrament: crossing when it is done in the very act of sprinkling, (as many times it is) maketh as much shew of bearing a part in baptisme. But what if out of the Lords Supper, a little before, or a little after, vvhile the prayers are making vvhich belong to the Supper, there should be appointed such a sopping to bee used of all that communicate for mysticall signification, I vvould know of the Defendant whether this were allowable or no by his doctrinall distinction? If not, vvhy should he shew more favour to the crosse?

 

In excusing of B. Iewel, and D. Whitakers, nothing is sayd by the Defendant, which hath not formerly been confuted.

 

Now it might bee here expected, that the Defendant should haue sayd something concerning those generall rules which God hath set downe in his vvord for the direction of the Church in rites and orders Ecclesiasticall, mentioned by the Lincolne-shire Ministers in this argument, p. 44. But neither here, nor in any other place of this booke, doth the Defendant so much as indevour to shew that our ceremonies are needfull and profitable for the edification of the people, by the more comely and orderly performance of that service which hee hath expresly prescribed in his word. This is a main matter vrged in the Abridgement, vvithout which the ceremonies cannot be innocent in their vse: and all that the Defendant

Page  9

hath hitherto endevoured to answer is in the Abridgement brought in to other end then to proue that no ceremonies are to be brought into the Church vvithout those conditions: and yet for all this, our ceremonies in this chiefe poynt are left destitute of all defence. If therefore all were granted which the Defendants argumonts or answers in this booke maintaine, yet the ceremonies wil be found nocent, and to be rejected, if it be but for their unprofitablenesse, according to that of Basil, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.

 

SECT. XVI.

THE Defendant here undertaketh to proue, that God in the scriptures hath granted a generall licence or authoritie to all Churches, to ordaine any ceremonies that may be fit for the better serving of God. But what if this were granted? what is it to the purpose? what maketh it for our ceremonies in controversie, except he can shew that they are fit for the better serving of God? Now this he no where undertaketh to prove, nor dare, I thinke, professe so much in writing, without many vnwarrantable limitations.

 

The onely scripture he bringeth is, 1. Cor. 14. 26. 40. concerning order and decencie, a place much profaned by the patrons of our ceremonies, as shall be shewed. This place is vsed (sayth he) by Fathers and all Divines, for one and the same conclusion. It is much used, I grant, and as much abused. But 1. it is not used by all Divines, to proue the institution of such ceremonies as ours lawfull. For they are much mistaken vvhich think our ceremonies to be mere matters of order: and as for decencie, they haue been often proved to be farre from it: which of it selfe to every indifferent eye is more then apparant. 2. it is not used to this purpose by any that haue authoritie sufficient to perswade us that it will beare such a conclusion, except they will shew us by what Logick they form their consequence, which the Defendant is not able to doe for them. 3. This scripture being rightly understood, doth not onely not justifie such ceremonies as ours, but plainly condemneth them. For the manifesting of which assertion, because it may seem strange to those eares that are accustomed to other sounds, I will here distinctly set down an argument drawn out of these words, against such ceremonies as ours are.

 

All that is left vnto the Churches liberty in things pertaining unto Gods worship, is to order them in comely maner. This is manifestly collected out of the place in question: so the Defendant seemeth to grant, so P. Martyr vnderstandeth it, as is to be seen in his commentarie upon 1 Sam. 14. which judgement of his is cited and approved by

Page  10

  1. Whitaker de Pont p. 841. & 844. confirmed also by Iunius against Bell. cont. 3. l. 4. c. 16. n. 86. 87. &c. 17. n. 9. 10. 12. 13. where he sheweth that Christ is the onely law-giver that appointeth things in his Church: and that he hath appointed all that are requisite: and that the Church maketh no lawes (properly so called) to appoint any new things to be used, but onely canons, orders, directions, ordering in seemly maner those things which Christ hath appointed: and that if she addeth any thing of her own, she doth decline. The reason is, because unto her is commited no authoritie of appointing new things, but a ministerie to observe and doe such things which Christ hath appointed. vide etiam Iun. de transl. imper. l. 1. c. 2. n. 26. 27. 31. This is also confirmed by sound reason, both in respect of the wisdome required in all law-makers, & perfectly found in Christ, and also in regard of the nature of such institutions. For the former reason teacheth, (as Aristotle sheweth Rhet. 1. 3.) that all which possibly may, should be appointed in the law by the giuer of it, and nothing left unto the ministerial iudges, but that which must needs be left, as matters of fact, &c. Now in the worship of God, all but particular circumstances of order, may easily bee appointed (as in very deed they were) by our law-giver Christ. As for the nature of such institutions, that doth also require so much: for whatsoever is aboue civilitie therein, if it bee not a circumstance of order, it is worship, and therfore invented by man, unlawfull will-worship. For vvhatsoever is used or acted by him that worshippeth God, in that act, it must needs be either grounded on civill humane considerations, and therefore civilitie: or an act and means of worship, and therfore worship: or the ordering and manner of disposing those acts & meanes, and therefore lawfull, if lawfully and fitly applyed: or else, at the least, idle and vaine, and therefore to be avoided, according to that of Basil, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: A fift cannot be given. By all this it may appeare, that the authority of the Church is not to appoint what she will, no not of things in their own nature indifferent, and say they be in order, or for order: but onely to order those things vvhich God hath appointed.

 

Thus farre the proposition, or first part of my syllogisme: the assumption followeth.

 

But to appoint & use the ceremonies as we doe, is not to order in comely manner any thing pertaining to Gods worship. The reason is, because order requireth not the institution or usage of any new thing, but onely the right placing and disposing of things which are formerly instituted. This appeareth 1. by the notation which is given of the word it selfe, which both in greek & latine is taken from the ranking of soldiers in certain bounds & limits of time & place. Dicebāt enim militibus tribuni, hactenus tibi licet, hic consistes, eô progrediere, huc

Page  11

revertere,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, inde ordo Scalig. and 2 by the definitions which are given therof, by Philosophers and Divines. Tull. off. lib. 1 eadem vis videtur ordinis & collocationis. Ordinem definiunt compositionem rerum aptis & accommodatis locis. Locum autem actionis, opportunitatem dicunt esse temporis. Aug. de civit. lib. 15 cap. 13 order is the disposition which fit places to things equall and unequall, id est, when things are handsomely ranked, some to goe before, and some to follow, as P. Martyr expoundeth it, loc. com. cl. 4 c. 5.

 

3 The same also is confirmed by our Divines, vvho usually giving instances of order, doe infist in time, place, and such like circumstances, making a difference betwixt mysticall ceremonies and order, many times condemning the one, and allowing the other: as the divines of France and the low Countries, in their observations on the Harmonie of Confessions Sect. 17 Beza Ep. 8. Iun. in Bell. append. tract. de cultu imaginum c. 7 n. 12 13 14.

 

4 By the context of the Chapter, viz. 1 Cor. 14. it plainly appeareth, that order is opposed to that confusion spoken of v. 33, and therfore importeth nothing but that peaceable proceeding vvhereby they that should speak, speak one by one, and the rest attend, &c. v. 30 31. So Basil expoundeth it, shewing order to consist in sorting of persons, some to this, and some to that according to their office, and in determining of time and place, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: p. 459. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. and p. 530. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.

 

Lastly, neither Luk. 1 8, neither in any place of Scripture doth the word order import any more then hath been said.

 

As for comelinesse, that is nothing but the seemlinesse of order. For as P. Martyr saith in 1 Cor. 11: it is such a tempering of actions as vvherby they may more fitly atteine their end. Otherwhere it may conteine that natural or civill handsomenesse, which is spoken of ch. 11 13, as it doth ch. 12 23, and so includeth all that which is grounded on civility, as a faire cloth and cup for the communion, a faire and firme vessell for baptisme: but not the appointing of new mysticall ceremonies, for then such ceremonies were here commanded to all Churches, vvhich the Def. I think vvill not say: and then the Apostolick Assemblies should haue worshipped God uncomelily.

 

Page  12

Thus we haue both proposition and assumption of our Argument against the ceremonies confirmed out of this place, which the Defendant choose as the onely place that could be brought for them. Now I hope vve may adde the Conclusion.

 

Therefore to appoint and use the ceremonies as we doe, is not left to the liberty of the Church, i. e. it is unlawfull.

 

SECT. XVII.

COncerning the Fathers vve are told out of Zanchius, that they had alwaies some universall ceremonies, as certaine feast daies, not appointed by God. To this vve answer, 1 If this alwaies bee taken in the largest extent, to signifie from the beginning, wee cannot beleeue the truth of this Assertion: neither can the Defend. proue it. Who can think, that presently upon the Apostles departure, their disciples should presume to be vviser then their Masters? 2 the first beginning of these feasts, vvas not by canonicall imposition to binde men unto new ceremonies, but a voluntarie accommodation in respect of the infirmity of some in the Church, or comming towards it. This appeareth by the variety vvhich was betwixt one Church and another in observing of them; and by the testimonie of Socrates, alledged and allowed by this Defend. himselfe, Apol. p. 2 lib. 2 c. 9. 3 The mischiefe that came in by these observations, in that they so soone overshadowed, obscured, and justled out of dores the simplicitie of the Gospell, and many ordinances of Christ, do sufficiently shew, that the fathers in these things had neither direction nor blessing from God.

 

But that which the ancient Churches of Christ did alwaies maintaine may not be deemed to derogate from the authority of holy Writ. If alwayes include the Apostolicall times, I grant. If otherwise, then let the Def. take to himselfe that vvhich he unreasonably cast upon us before, of symbolizing with Bellarmine con. l 4. c. 9. The same answer which our Divines giue there, will serue here. Wherunto may be added that vvhich M. Parker hath in his book of the Crosse, p. 2 ch. 9 s. 6 and de Polit. Eccles. l. 2.

 

SECT. XVIII.

FOr Protestant Divines, Bellarmines confession is alledged, who saith, That Protestants grant that the Apostles did ordaine certaine Rites and Orders, belonging to the Church, which are not set down in Scripture, cont. 1. lib. 4. cap. 3. To vvhich I answer, 1 Rites and Orders may be ordained, though such ceremonies as ours be unlawfull. And Bellarmines meaning could not be of such Rites as our Ceremonies

Page  13

are, except he spake against his conscience, for he confesseth, de cult: sanct. l. 3 cap. 7, that some of our Divines, as Brentius by name condemne such as unlawfull. 2 Bellarmine craftily bringeth in this confession of our diviues, that he may make them contradict themselues, as appeareth in the same place. His Confession therefore in this place is not so indifferent, as the Def. would haue it: 3 our Argument is not from the Scriptures negatiuely against the authority of the Apostles, which vvas all one with that of the Scriptures, and therefore understood in our Proposition, but against the ordinarie authority of the Church. Except therfore the Def. can proue either that our ceremonies vvere the rites brought in by the Apostles, or that our Convocation house hath the same authority vvhich the Apostles had, this confession of Bellarmine is nothing to the purpose.

 

SECT. XIX.

HEre the Protestants themselues are brought in confessing as much as Bellarmine said of them. But the first witnesse Chemnitius saith nothing, but that some Ecclesiasticall rites, though they haue no commandement or testimonie in Scripture are not to be rejected: vvhich in the sense now often expounded, I willingly grant. Yet the Def. should not in stead of Testimonie of Scripture, haue put warrant of Scripture: For testimonie neither in usuall acception, nor yet in Chemnitius his own meaning, is so large as warrant.

 

The place of Calvin hath been answered before. Iunius is plainly of the same minde, and so to be interpreted, so also Zanchius, Daneus and Whitaker: But because Iunius is stiled here by the Def. vvith his deserved title of Iudicious, it will not be amisse to shew his judgement fully about such additions as our ceremonies are. To name therefore one place for all at this time, because there he speaketh professedly his judgement, and bindeth it with a solemn oath, for the sincerity and impartialnesse of his conscience in that behalfe: The place I meane is in his Ecclestasticus, lib. 3 cap. 5. towards the end. Where first he distinguisheth betwixt things necessarie, and others not necessarie in the administration of the Church: and concerning even the latter sort, he modestly, but throughly sheweth how little libertie is left unto men. If any man (saith he) either by Civill or Ecclesiasticall authority will adde things not necessarie nor agreable to order, wee would not pertinaciously contend with him, but desire onely that he would seriously consider of three things. 1 By what authority or example he is led to thinke that the holy Church of God, and the simplicity of the mysteries of Christ (whose voyce onely is

Page  14

heard by his sheep,*according to the commandement of the Father, Ioh. 10 27) must be clad with humane traditions, which Christ doth reject • 2 To what end he judgeth that his things should be added unto those that are divine? For if the end be conformitie with others, it were more equitie, that other Churches should conforme to those which come neerest to the word of God, as Cyprians counsell is, then that these should conforme to the other. If the end be comelinesse, what is more comely then the simplicity of Christ? what is more simple then that comelinesse? If there be no other reason beside will, then that of Tertullian is to be thought of, the will of God is the chiefe necessitie, and that the Church of God is not tyed unto mans wills in things divine. The 3 thing to be thought on it, what event alwaies hath followed upon humane Traditions, as daily experience doth shew.

 

This vvas the judgement of Iudicious Iunius, vvherby it is manifest that he favoured not our ceremonies, nor would haue pleaded for them as the Def. under colour of his name.

 

Because Zanchius also is brought in with his deserved Title of a profound Divine, speaking nothing to the purpose in hand, I will set down his judgement concerning this point, out of that Epistle to famous Qu. Elizabeth, vvhere he treateth expresly of ceremonies, and of our ceremonies. Est autem Ecclesia sicut in doctrina, sic etiam in ceremoniis ad Ecclesiae Apostlicae regulam informanda. The Church must be ordered by the rule of the Apostolicall Church, as vvell in ceremonies as in doctrine. What can be said more contrarie to the Def. his distinction?

 

SECT. XX.

AT length vve are come to Reason. But if this reason were sound and certaine, I see no cause vvhy it should not haue had the upper hand of humane testimonies.

 

1 The first reason is grounded on the Defendants phantasie meerly. For it supposeth that vve hold some points of Religion to be onely besides the Word, and no vvay against it: vvhich not onely I haue confuted before as a cavill, but M. Cartwright long since in his Reply, p. 56: the very vvords also of this argument which the Def. here opposeth doe shew that vvee hold such things condemned by the Scriptures, and therefore against the generall rule of them, though onely beside their particular prescription.

 

2 The second reason concludeth nothing vvhich we will not grant, in the sense formerly expressed, viz. that by those some ceremonies be meant circumstances of meere order, and by man• invention, be understood mans particular determination. Otherwise

Page  15

the assumption is palpably false. Beside the proposition also is untrue, if 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉a thing indifferent, be taken in such a generall sense as some time it is found used in by Divines. Vide Sopingii Apologet. respons. ad lib. anonym. p. 166.

 

3 The third and last reason is taken from the difference of ceremonies vvhich may and must be in the Churches of Christ. The answer is, that this difference ought to bee onely in determination of particular circumstances of order, for time, place, &c.

 

SECT. XXI.

THis sect. is of al other most ridiculous. For, first it supposeth every circūstance to be of the like nature with the ceremonies in controversie. Secondly, it supposeth all circumstances to be of institution. Thirdly, it supposeth contrary circumstances ceremoniously to be practised, by the same men as of institution: for otherwise the cavillation hath no shew. Now all these are conceited dreames. But vvhat if vve should argue thus? You say these ceremonies are divine: and yet dare not deny but the rejecting of them in other Churches is divine. You retaine these ceremonies as divine, and yet haue rejected other ceremonies of like nature as divine as these. What divinitie is in such courses?

 

SECT. XXII.

AFter al this adoe about the proposition of the first argument, now vve are told of an assumption out of the Abridgment, and M. Hy. viz. that these Ceremonies haue no warrant from the word of God. For M. Hy. I cannot say much: But I am sure the Authors of the Abridgement haue great vvrong done them. Whosoever vvill turne to the place quoted by the Def. in the Abridgement, shall presently see that the words vvhich our Def. hath turned into a Proposition, are there but part of an illustration belonging to this Proposition, All ceremonies that swerue from the rules given in the word for the Churches direction in matters of ceremonie, are unlawfull. The assumption of vvhich is, but the ceremonies in question swerue from those Rules. Now all the chiefe pith both of proposition and assumption is by the Def. omitted: a by thing is put in place of the proposition, a new assumption is formed: and yet, all fatherd upon the Abridgment. But to passe by that, the assumption here set down is defensable enough.

 

He telleth us that in generall and in permissiue appointment, these ceremonies are from God, and divine. A permissive appointment, I never heard of before, nor can understand how it vvill be excused from

Page  [unnumbered]

an implicit contradiction. But for the explaining of himselfe, he bringeth Calvin affirming that some constitutions of the Church founded in Scripture, may be called divine, because they are parts of that decencie vvhich God hath commanded. All which being granted, and the like saying of Vrsin, maketh nothing at all for such ceremoniess as ours are, except the Def. can proue, that they are constitutions of meer order and decencie, agreeable also to the other rules prescribed: the contrary whereof hath been formerly declared. One rule of direction vvhich he calleth equity, is heere onely touched, and commeth after to be handled, to vvhich place I reserue it.

 

Thus much for the maintenance of that Argument which the Def. maketh the first.

 

CHAP. II.

 

SECT. I.

THIS second Argument is taken from the kind, unto vvhich such ceremonies as ours are, doe in their nature belong, viz. that they are parts of divine worship, and therefore (being mans inventions) unlawfull. Heere the Def. comes out with a wedge as he calleth it, distinguishing betwixt proper or essentiall parts of Gods worship, and improper or accidentall. But first he should haue done vvell to haue considered the nature and measure of the thing which he vvould cleaue, by the light of a definition. For otherwise he may spend his wedge, his beetle, and all his labour in vaine.

 

And so indeed he hath, as may appeare by his explication of this distinction. By proper and essentiall parts (saith he) we understand such ceremonies, which are so necessarily required to Gods service, as that the contrarie thereof must needs displease him. By accidentall parts (or appurtenances) such as serue onely as accessorie complements, ordained for the more convenient discharge of the necessarie worship of God, i. e. for decorum and edification. For 1 if all those ceremonies be essentiall parts of Gods worship, vvhich are such as the contrarity of them must needs displease God, then certainely all ceremonies vvhich serue for decorum and edification must needs be essentiall parts of Gods worship: because the contrarie of decorum and edification must needs displease God in his worship. 2 What kind of wedging is this, so to distinguish the parts of Gods worship, as that the accidentall onely, and not the essentiall shall serue for edification? 3 What cleaving or dissolving is this of the parts of worship, where the accidentall parts are rather said to bee appurtenances then parts, and yet granted to be parts? 4 What worship of God

Page  17

is there that is not essentiall? If it hath no essence of vvorship in it, surely it is no vvorship. 5 The accidentall parts of worship haue not so much communion vvith the essentiall, as the haire of the bodie (vvhich is but an excrement) hath vvith the bodie: this the Def. expresly granteth in this Sect. and shall that which is not so much as an excrement unto the chiefe vvorship, be accounted or called a part of worship.

 

SECT. III.

FOr the proofe of this, that no humane inventions are lawfull parts of Gods worship, the Abridgement alledgeth Exod. 20 4. Deut. 12 32 Es. 1 12 Mat. 15 9 Col. 2 23, three of which are onely mentioned by the Def. and two of the three onely answered, or rather put of with miserable shifts? By the precepts of men Es. 29 9 are signified (saith he) such humane ordinances as were expresly contrary to the commandements of God. But 1 if here he taketh the word expresly as opposite unto pregnant consequence, as he doth p. 2 then I hope he will grant that there is the same reason of those humane inventions which are not expresly contrary. If he taketh it largely, as conteining such consequence, then he saith nothing to the purpose, because in that sense all Religious vvorship invented by man is expresly contrary to the commandements of God. 2 Christ himselfe Mat. 15 9, doth interprete this very place of vvil-worship in generall, where for brevity sake, I refer the Def. unto M. Calvin whom he calleth an honourable Witnesse in this controversie. He after long discourse concludeth thus, fixum ergo illud maneat, fictitios omnes cultus coram deo vanos esse: imo, teste propheta maledictos & detestabiles, i. e. This must be held for certaine, that all vvorships invented by man are before God, vaine, accursed and detestable. By adding and diminishing Deut. 12 32 is not meant (saith the Def.) addition of preservation, but addition of corruption. Where 1 the phrase is strange, by adding and diminishing is meant addition. 2 This glosse is cleane contrarie to the text, for the Lord chargeth that we doe not adde to the word, that so we may keep or preserue it Deu. 4 2 even as we keep or preserue carefully that which is committed to our trust 1 Tim. 6 20: now the Def. relleth us that some addition is the meanes of keeping or preservation. Card. Cajetan himselfe interpreteth the place far more judiciously and religiously, inhibetur additio etiam pretextu custodiendi mandata Dei, even of additions that are pretended for preservation of Gods law, com. in Deu. 10. 3 He should haue done well to haue manifested unto us the addition of preservation by some example: for that which he talketh of the coyner pertaineth onely to corruption, of vvhich no man doubteth. 4 I would know if there be not also a diminution of preservation, as

Page  18

well as an addition? in the text they are joyned together. 5 This pretence vvas the old shoeing-horne to draw on superstition into the Church, as Calvin noteth on Mat. 15 2, Legislatores ipsi non jacta•ant se novum quicquā tradere, sed tantum addere cavendi formulas, quae media essent adminicula ad servandam Dei legem, i. e. the old Masters of ceremonies pretended that they meant only to bring in additions of preservation. 6 This is Bell. answer to Calvin concerning this very point and place, de effect. sacr. l. 2 c. 32 prohibet dominus additionem corrumpentem, i. e. as the Def. translateth, an addition of corruption is forbidden. This I hope is another manner of symbolizing with Bellar. then that vvhich the Def. formerly objected to Non-conformists.

 

SECT. IIII.

HEre are two testimonies brought to confute the Non-conf. his interpretation of Scripture, wherby he would infer that all kinde of will-worship is unlawfull. For that is here the question and nothing else. The first Witnesse is Danaeus, where the consequence lyeth thus, if Danaeus in one place doth apply these Scriptures to grosser will-worship then our is, then he doth not allow that they condemne all kind of wil-worship; but the first is true: ergo. is not this a faire kinde of reasoning: just as the Papist Gregorius de Valentia reasoneth, abominable idolatry is condemned, 1 Pet. 4. 3, therfore not all idolatry.

 

The other Witnesse is Zanchius in Col. 2 23, where beside that the like consequence is made as before, I would desire any indifferent man to consider these vvords of Zanchie found in that verie place. One kind of wil-worship is if any new worship, wherby God is worshipped be invented and brought into the Church. For God will onely be worshipped, and onely with that worship which he himselfe hath appointed, Deut. 6 Mat. 15, also those in 1 Thes. 1 9. By an idol in generall is meant whatsoever in Religion is brought in without the word of God. He that looketh upon these words of Zanchie, will scarce tell what to think of this Def▪ his audacious alledging of this Author, and the vaine triūph which he groundeth upon him. He thought it seemeth that few or none would ever take the paines to examine what he said.

 

In the fift Section, there is nothing on either side but a dumb shew. It shall passe for me therfore in silence.

 

SECT. VI.

HEere come the judgment of Protestants to be examined concerning this question, Whether all parts of Divine worship invented by man be not to be condemned? Where first the Defendant bringeth forth his wedge again, distinguishing betwixt essentiall, and accidentall worship as before: but in other phrases;

Page  19

for now he telleth us, that essentiall worship is that wherein i• placed 〈◊〉 opinion of Justice, sanctitie, efficacie, or divine necessitie and accidentall is any ri•e, which serveth for the more consonant and convenient discharge of that essentiall worship. But these are but words. For 1. worship doth not varie according to mens opinion: but consisteth in the nature of the action it selfe. Otherwise a man may goe to Masse, conceiving a privat opinion to himselfe, that he doth it not for justice, sanctity, efficacie, or divine necessity, but for some other cause. Or at the least a convocation house may appoint us the grossest of all the ceremonies in Poperie, and set another opinion upon it▪ 2. Sanctitie cannot be separated vvholly from such ceremonies vvhich are proper unto religion. i. appropriated unto religious persons, actions, and purposes onely, in the solemne vvorship of God. For they must either be holy, or civill, or prophane. But civill they are not; for then the bare omission of them vvould argue rudenesse and incivilitie: nor prophane, I hope, in the Def. opinion: therefore they must needs be holy. 3. There is no judicious Divine that useth to call circumstances of meere order and decencie, worship. Where did the Def. ever read that a pulpit, or a table, or a faire cloath, &c. was pronounced or stiled vvorship?

 

Come vve therefore to the examination of witnesses in particular. Calvins words are, Instit. l. c. 10. sect 8. all humane constitutions, in which the worship of God is placed, are ungodly. The Def. sayth, that 1. Calvin meaneth not by worship circumstances of order. Which is most true, neither was any reader so sottish, as ever tooke that to be his meaning. For vvhat sence could there be in these words, all humane constitutions, in which the circumstances of order are placed? 2. He telleth us that he meaneth the inward vertue of worship, which consisteth in an opinion of holinesse and justice. Where first I will not urge or grate upon the ill sound which these words have, the inward vertue of worship consisteth in an opinion. 2. How can an inward vertue be placed in an outward ceremonie? 3. The proper nature of worship is not in holinesse and justice, but in the honouring of God: and all externall ceremonies vvhose proper use is the honouring of God, are externall vvorship, as all diuinitie sheweth. This is therefore but an idle unlearned evasion, to talk of holinesse, and justice, in opinion, vvhen the question is of vvorship. Calvin never thought of such toyes. He amplifieth indeed his accusation against the Papists by such circumstances as those are, according as the Def. sheweth: but what Logick can thence conclude, that nothing else is conteined in the generall rule? Calvin himselfe professeth the contrary, as directly as if he had undertaken to confute this defender of ceremonies. For these are his words, Epist. 259. Si probe & penitus inspicitur, quid homines tantopere solicitet ad fabricandas

Page  20

ceremonias, reperiemus ex hoc fonte omnes fluxisse, quia quis{que} novum Dei cultum fingere ausus fuerit• atqui fictitios omnes cultus non modo repudiat Deus, sed etiam severe abominatur. i. The originall of all ceremonies was, that men would needs forge new worships of God: whereas God doth not onely refuse such worships, but also abhorreth them.

 

For Chemnitius, the Defendant telleth us that hee condemneth onely a ceremony which is among the Papists made necessarie. But he should shew two things if hee would answer soundly: 1 that Chemnitius doth distinguish, as he doth, of will worship, as some were lawfull, and some onely unlawfull. 2. hee should shew us at the least, that there is some vvorship which is not necessarie: for otherwise C•emnitius in condemning will-worship that is imposed as necessarie, doth condemne all wil-worship. Now we in our simple divinitie (for so it will be accounted) conceiue thus: All worship of God is that honour, dutie, and reverence vvhich the reasonable creature doth owe to the creator: and therfore cannot understand, how such a•dutie is not necessary to be performed: or how there can be a vvorship, which being part of this tribute, may rest in mans choyce vvhether it shall be paid or no. Perhaps this necessitie pertaineth onely to the vvorship commanded by God: but in that vvhich man diviseth of himselfe, there is more libertie, there being no reason, that voluntary service should be constreined. If this be the cause, then the vvorship appointed by man, is no part of his love towards God, nor any testification of it. For if it vvere, surely it should be necessarie, seeing it is necessary to loue God vvith all our hearts, vvith all our soules, and vvith all our strength.

 

The third vvitnesse is P. Martyr, loc. com. 770. vvhere he sayth, concerning things in their own nature indifferent, that speciall care must be had, lest any such thing be thought to make towards the worship of God, because divine worship dependeth not on mans will, but on Gods counsell. A man vvould think that these vvords are plaine enough for the condemning of all vvil-vvorship. True (saith the Def.) he veri•ieth your phrase of speech, but not your sence. And vvhy so? because (forsooth) he sayth in the same place, that the Church may appoynt circumstances of order: as if there were any among us that ever denied this: therefore he condemneth not the institution of accidentall parts of Gods worship. Let any man of sence give judgement here: P. Martyr sayth, it is lawfull to appoint circumstances of order, but unlawfull to appoint any worship. The Def. thus: P. Martyr alloweth men to appoynt circumstances of order, therefore he alloweth them to appoynt some worship. If this be not as plain a contradiction as any can bee framed, then (according to the proverb) let him that taught me logick, give me my money againe, Reddat minam Diogenes.

 

Page  21

In the last place (as those which make a feast use to do) D. Morton setteth down himselfe. But he may be accused though for sitting down too soon: for in the Abridgm. I find Melancthon, Bullinger, Bucanus, Perkins and others invited to this meeting, vvho now by this hastinesse of the Def. can find no place. Yet let us heare what he sayth for himselfe. I do not (sayth he) condemne all the ceremonies of Rome, but the multitude and burthen of them. To vvhich I answer, 1. the question is not here how many or how few you condemned of the Romish ceremonies: but by vvhat reason you condemned them. He that condemneth one ceremonie because it is a vvorship of mans devising, condemneth all vvorship that man deviseth: and he that condemneth a multitude in that name, condemneth one that is such, though it bee alone. 2. Because I haue heard men often speak in this maner of the fault that is in a multitude, I would willingly know, vvhat certaine limits and bounds are set by Gods law, for the number of humane ceremonies, such as now are in controversie. If there may be three, vvhy not foure, fiue, sixe, and so forth, as many as it shall please the convocation house, or him that can vvhen he vvill turne the convocation upside downe? surely, if once vve depart from Gods institution, there vvill be no place to rest our foot in, but vve must ever follow wind and tide, vvhich in religion is basenesse it selfe.

 

SECT. VII.

HEre is promised a confutation of the proposition, viz. of this assertion, all will-worship whatsoever is to be condemned, and to that purpose he bringeth forth againe his Magna Charta, Let all things be done in order. But I think that plea is sufficiently confuted. In the next place he produceth or rather as the fellow sayd once, seduceth 2 vvitnesses, Vrsine and Zanchie. But beleeue me, when I looked vpon the places vvhich he alledgeth out of them, I could not but lift up my heart unto God, and say, O Lord, how can such conceited confidence fasten on a man that regardeth either conscience or credit? How dare mortall men upon such grounds as these, obtrude the conception of their braines upon thy▪ Churches? Vrsine (saith the Def.) hath catechised them wel. True: but our proud Prelats for the most part, do scorne not onely that, but all other catechismes, except for fashion sake, that vvhich beginneth with What is your name? and though I doe not account this Def. in that number, yet I may safely say, that hee never vvell considered vvhom or vvhat he cited out of Vrsine. All that he bringeth, is out of the commentary on q. 96. ob. 3. & 5. as it is set downe by Pareus. Now before obiections be brought, it is fit and

Page  22

usuall that the Thesis or sentence be set down against vvhich those objections fight; and no vvise man will take up an answer made to an obiection, before hee considereth the assertion against vvhich that objection is made. See then vvhat the assertion of Vrsine is: Ipsae ceremoniae (Ecclesiasticae sc. quae ab hominibus praecipiuntur) non modo cultus Dei non sunt: sedetiam conscientias non obligant, &c. the very same thing vvhich we here maintaine, viz. that no lawfull ceremonies appointed by man, are the worship of God. Except therefore Ecclesiasticall ceremonies be therefore the vvorship of God, because they be not the worship of God, the Def. had no reason to alledge this place of Vrsin in this question: and so iust it is in the vvords here alledged out of the answer to the third objection, those things which serve accidentally to the glory of God, are not the worship of God. And to the 4. obj. By these examples wil-worship is not established. And to the 5. obj. Indifferent things (being done of faith) please God otherwise then the worship of God properly so called. Is it possible that any thing should be concluded from hence for vvill-wor¦ship? Surely no: and therfore the Def. himselfe maketh his conclusion out of these premises, that Divine worship properly so called is that which is ordained of God. Was there any of us that ever doubted of this? is it not the proposition vvhich this Def. undertook to confute. But in a large sence (sayth he) humane ceremonies may bee held to he a part of divine worship. This is that which we haue heard averred before in this section. I had thought we should haue seene it proved. But alas it could be no more then affirmed, and that under the shadow of a sentence whereby it is flatly condemned. Zanchie (sayth he) distinguisheth the substance of worship from those things which are annexed to worship. Why so doe all the Non-conformists. What then? are ceremonies worship in a large sence, because they are annexed to worship? then the signe of the crosse is a sacrament because it is annexed to a sacrament.

 

I wonder (sayth the Def.) how such poynts should seeme to be so raw to some of the Non-conformists. What poynts? those assertions which Vrsine and Zanchy expresse? they seeme to all of us well digested axiomes of Divinitie: but the consequence vvhich the Def. would draw from hence, is evidently so raw, that none but a very Ostridge can concoct it.

 

SECT. IX.

TO proue that our ceremonies are imposed and used as vvorship, this argument is brought: Those ceremonies which haue the kinde, nature, and definition of worship belonging to them, so that they want nothing but a right author to make them true w•rship,

Page  23

those are in their imposition and use worship, and for want of a right authour, are false wor•ip: but our ceremonies are such. Ergo.

 

The Def. his answer is, that this learning never saw print, as he thinketh, that the institution of God doth not alter the common nature of worship. 1. It may be that hee never saw it in print: but I can witnesse, that Mr. William Bradshaw, a man that knew how to frame an argument in logicall manner, as well as any Bishop in England, set this reason down in Print some 14 yeares since, in one edition (as I remember) of his treatise concerning indifferent things. But an answer to that treatise, or to this argument, was never yet seene in print, though that begging of the question be the chiefe ground of those invectiues vvhich are ordinarily used in Sermons and vvritings about these questions, viz. that they are things indifferent. This argument is also found in a treatise of the same authors, concerning Divine worship, printed 1604. 2. Though it had never seen the print before now, yet that doth not hinder, but it may be sound. For all sound reasons are not found in print. 3. There is none of our Divines that treateth of vvorship in generall and particular, but hath for substance this learning, viz. that religious worship is that which is done to the honour of God: and if it bee according to Gods commandement, then it is true; if not, then it is false. The Def. cannot name one of all that ever handled the common place of worship, that hath •ot so taught, which if it be true, then the institution of God doth not alter the common nature of vvorship: 1. it doth not make that vvorship which otherwise being used to some end, and in the same manner, without Gods institution, vvere no worship at all.

 

But Gods institution (sayth the Def.) doth distinguish necessary worship from indifferent, and essentiall from accidentall. Grant all this: what can be made of it? Doth it therefore alter the common nature of worship, making that worship, vvhich without it being used in the same manner, and to the same end, is no worship? here is no consequence at all. Beside, neither scripture, nor interpreters of Scripture, nor any good reason will allow, that there is any indifferent worship of God. Neither is it the institution of God (common to all worship) which maketh one more, and another lesse principall: but the nature of the thing instituted by him.

 

But the offering of any coloured sheep was indifferent before the Leviticall law: afterward, the offering of an unspotted lamb, was necessarie and essentiall in the worship of God. To which objection I answer, 1. This his opposition of offering any coloured sheep before the Leviticall law, to the offering of an unspotted lamb afterward, is vain and without ground from the law of God; seeing it doth no where appeare in the Scriptures, but that it was as lawfull to offer

Page  24

any coloured sheep after the law given as well as before. God requires by Moses, that the offerings of his people should be perfect, Levit. 1. 3. 10 &c. And this might well be notwithstanding diversitie of colour. The party-coloured sheepe of Iaakob were not imperfect, but of the perfectest sort, and that by the speciall direction and blessing of God, Gen. 30. 41. 42. with 31. 11. 12. God complaineth of those that offered corrupt sacrifices, torne, lame, and sicke, Mal. 1. 13. 14. But for difference of colour, there is little colour or shew of reason, that God gaue any such charge in his law. And it is the Doctors ignorance of the story, or want of due consideration that moved him thus to write. Secondly, suppose a lambe without spot to be forbidden, then I answer, That if any man before the commandement had offered an unspotted Lamb with the same mind that after it was to be offered with, as thinking that his sacrifice should in that respect haue been the more acceptable unto God, because it was of a lamb unspotted, then the offering of such a lambe had been as essential worship before, as it was after, though it could not be so true and lawfull.

 

Did the Def. never read nor heare, that matter and forme doe usually make up the essence of things? and that in institutions which are means to an end, the respect of that end is also required to the being, but a right efficient not so? let him consider a litle of the grounds of logick, or read our most logicall Divines, such as Sadeel is, and he shall soone perceive the truth. or else without that labour, let him or any other of common sence tell me, if the Temple of Ierusalem should haue been built with all the appurtenances, and sacrifices with other observances there used, without any commandement of God, according as they vvere by his appoyntment, had there not been essentiall false worship erected unto God? haue the Papists and Heathens no essential false worship, but onely accidental? It is a shame to confute such unlearned conceits.

 

SECT. X.

HEre are many proofes conjoyned under the name of M. Hy. and others: the answers to which are just such as the ceremonies be, meerly formall, without essence or substance of truth.

 

The first is, ceremonies are imposed to breed an opinion of holinesse, as M. Hooker affirmeth, p. 61. and therefore are parts of Gods worship. The consequence is not denied by the Def. not yet the antecedent directly: so that the vvhole argument seemeth to be granted, onely the Def. sayth, that Mr. Hooker did not asscribe operative holinesse either by infusion or inhesion (which two

Page  25

tearms are vnreasonably by him dis-ioyned) but onely significatiue, as his words import. To which I answer, 1. that as the nice distinctions vvhich are now used in the schooles of Iesuits, do not help, but that Popish superstition is as grosse as ever it was in practise: so this distinction of operatiue, infusion, inhaesion, significatiue, doth nothing helpe, but the common people in many places inclined to superstition, doe attribute as much holinesse to some of these ceremonies, as they doe to some holy ordinances of God. 2. The Patrones of our ceremonies, such as Mr. Hooker vvas, doe attribute that holinesse to the ceremonies vvhich the Fathers did. Now that they asscribed operatiue holinesse unto some of them, Mr. Parker hath made, plaine in his booke of the Crosse, Part. 1. p. 77. 90 92. &c. 3. Mr. Hooker doth not here speake of reverence signified by the ceremonies, but of reverence to be signified towards them, as being things holy and vvorthy reverence. 4 What Mr. Hooker asscribed unto the crosse, is to be seen in M. Parker, p. 91.

 

The second reason is, because the ceremonies are the constitutions of a sacred Synod. The force of vvhich argument lyeth in this, that a holy Assembly of spirituall Lords and their assistants, if they bee truely holy and spirituall in their authoritie, and in the exercise of it, will appoynt no ceremonies but holy: and by the the observance of the said ceremonies, haue some spirituall honour redounding unto themselues, because the vertue vvhich is found in any effect, doth redound alwayes unto the praise of the cause. To this the Defendant giveth no reall answer: onely he doth affirme (contrary to the truth) that our Convocations may bee called sacred, as well as the Churches of Christ Saints by calling. Whereas beside other differences, Churches are of God: our convocations are of man. Churches are gathered for the holy Worship of God: convocations (as experience sheweth) for nothing lesse.

 

The third reason is, because the ceremonies are appropriated to the acts of Religion in Gods service. To this the Defendant answereth by denying the consequence, because the Pulpit cloth, the communion cup, and the place of meeting are so appropriated, and yet not essentially holy. But herein he sheweth, that he doth not understand well vvhat it is that he opposeth. For these things wherof he speaketh, are onely civill, being drawn from the ordinary civill customes of men, and are of the same use out of the service of God, that they are in it: and therefore howsoever some speciall individuals of this kinde may be appropriated unto religious acts, yet the kinde is not: neither haue those specialls any other signification in the service of God, then they haue in the service of men. These therefore are not such ceremonies as now are in question, nor so appropriated to religion.

 

Page  26

The fourth confirmation is from Math. 15. vvhere such ceremonies are blamed of Christ by this reason. To this the Defendant answereth, that the act of washing is not there reproved, but the invention and opinion of an operatiue sanctitie and holinesse attributed unto it. But first, to vvhat purpose doth he deny, that the act of washing simply considered in it selfe, vvas unlawfull? was there ever any so durtie, that hee would affirme such a foule fancie? Secondly, the intention and opinion of holinesse is that vvhich now our ceremonies are charged with. Therfore in that there is no difference. Thirdly, that the Pharisies attributed any more operatiue holinesse unto their washing then many amongst us doe to the crosse, cannot bee shewed out of the Text. There is not one circumstance there vvhich may not fitly bee applied to our ceremonies. Fourthly, not onely Calvin upon the place, sayth that• the inventing of such ceremonies vvas an idle vanitie, even before the high opinion of religion vvas added vnto it: but Bellarmine himselfe De effect sacr. lib. 2. cap. 32. confesseth that Christ reproved this ceremonie in the Pharisies, because it was vaine and unprofitable.

 

SECT. XI.

HERE is set downe a reason of Mr. Hy. to proue that our Ceremonies in their use and practise are preferred and honoured aboue principall parts of Gods worship: because the ablest ministers that are, may not be suffered to exercise any ministerie in England, except they will apply themselves to these Ceremonies. To this the Defendant answereth, that it is dull So•histry: because by this meanes onely an orderly and discreet Preacher is preferred before one that is factious and exorbitant.

 

Now, if ever, hee speaketh like an Ordinarie, like a Bishop, vvhen hee sitteth in his Pontificalibus, to iudge the poore according to the Lawes of iniquitie. It seemeth some galled place of his conscience was touched, vvhen mention was made of silencing able and godly ministers for trifling ceremonies of mans invention. How much better vvere it for such men to enter into their hearts betimes, and thinke vvhat answer they can giue unto God for such palpable treacherie? But to examine a little the reason that is in this answer; under the tearme of Dull Sophistri•: hee more then denieth the consequence of the reason: yet if it be rightly understood, all his wit will not avoyd the dint of it. For 1. thus I take the meaning, which is the practise: he that is an able godly minister, if he will not use these ceremonies,

Page  27

may not be suffered to haue place in the Ministerie: but he that will use these ceremonies, though he may neither comparatiuely to the other, nor any thing competently by himselfe, be either able or godly, shall hold his place in the Ministerie. Therefore these ceremonies are preferred before the maine things of the Law and Gospell. 2 I take it thus: though there cannot be found able & discreet conformable Ministers enough to supply all the Parishes of England, yet many able and godly men are shut out of the Ministerie because they vvill not conforme to these ceremonies: therfore conformity to these ceremonies is preferred before the maine duties of Gods vvorship. If all the Defendants sharpnesse of wit can answere the bluntnesse of this Argument, vvhich every Plowman that is a good Christian doth usually make against the Prelats proceedings, then I for my part will be contented to be called dull, for from my childhood hitherto I ever took it to be unanswerable.

 

The comparison of the Lord Chancellor vvill doe him no help in this case. For that Chancellor were unworthy of his own place, vvho would for his own pleasure, or for the circumstance of a place, which may easily be changed, put out of commission a graue wise man, when another like unto him could not be found. Beside the case is nothing like: for in the circumstance of a place for commissioners to meet in, there can be no conscience pretended. But here offer hath been made by the Ministers thus wronged, solemnly to confirme by oath, that nothing but conscience doth keepe them from conforming.

 

Now for the sweet termes vvhich it pleaseth the Def. heere to use, I vvill desire no more, then that he would bring them back againe to his owne conscience, and aske that before God, 1 whether old M. Midsly of Ratsdel, vvho after he had laboured neere 50 yeare in the Ministerie to the conversion of thousands, vvas inhumanely silenced by the Bishop of Chester, vvere a factious and exorbitant man? and that vvhich I say of him because he belonged to Chester, I understand of many hundreds vvhich haue in like manner been oppressed. No doubt the evill servant which is spoken of, Mat. 24 49, vvhen he began to beat his fellow servants better then himselfe, called them factious and exorbitant fellows: but he vvith all that are like him, know better, and one day shall be constreyned to giue other witnesse. 2 I vvould know of the Def. also whether all or the most of them vvhich are in the Ministerie be orderly and discreet men in that religious meaning which belongeth to Ministers? This I am sure of, the voyce of all the Country goeth cleane otherwise. When M. Midsly, and his sonne after him vvere silenced at Ratsdel, all that country knoweth what

Page  28

an orderly discreet Preacher came into the place. When vvorthy M. Baines vvas silenced at Cambridge, as a factious exorbitant man, there vvas, beside many other unworthy Ministers, one commonly called the Vicar of hell, vvho vvas kept in, as an orderly discreet Preacher. 3 If faction and exorbitancie may be charged on them that neglect a ceremonious canon upon conscience, what name shall be found fit for the Prelates, vvho vvilfully, vvithout and against conscience continually liue in and by the breach of many substantiall, ancient and wholesome Canons? for this see M. Parker of the crosse, part. 2 c. 9 s 4.

 

SECT. XII.

HEre is alleaged the opinion vvhich many people in all parts of the land haue concerning our ceremonies, viz. that the Sacraments are not rightly & sufficiently administred without them. To this the Def. answereth three things, 1 That most people hold the contrarie: 2 That the opinion of people in observing doth not proue the judgement of governours in imposing: 3 that it is most likely that those people which thinke so are brought into that conceite by the opposition which it made against the ceremonies. But first, I would faine know of the Defendant vvhy he passeth by in silence, not onely the testimony of Chemnitius cited by the Abridgement for confirmation of this part of the assumption, but also the passages of Gods vvord, and many of the best Divines, vvhich are also alledged there in the proposition, and applyed unto this part of the assumption by the Authors of the Abridgement? surely this is not plaine dealing. Secondly, I answer that the opinion of a few may make that an action unlawfull, vvhich the opinion of many other cannot make lawfull, as is to be seen 1 Cor. 10 28, if any man say unto thee. Thirdly, it doth not appeare the most are otherwise minded. For the most being used unto the ceremonies, and not unto good teaching, may well be thought to haue the same opinion of humane ceremonies vvhich they haue of divine. Fourthly, the Def. forgetteth vvhat vvas to be proved in this place: for the question is not onely vvhether ou• ceremonies be so imposed, but also vvhether they be so esteemed and observed, as appeareth in the Abridgement. Novv the opinion of the people proveth I hope in vvhat manner they are esteemed and observed. And vvhile they are so observed, they that still impose them in those places vvhere they are so observed, may truely be interpreted so to impose them. In actions of this kinde (saith Hooker l. 5 p. 165) wee are more to respect what the greatest part of men is commonly prone to conceiue, then what some few mens wits may devize in construction of

Page  29

their particular meaning. Fiftly, the last conceit is ridiculous, that the opposing and condemning of ceremonies should make men thinke that the Sacraments are not sufficiently administred without them. The popish people (saith he) haue no great conceit of our ceremonies. Why is it then that Gretser, and some other Iesuits call our Prelats Calvino-papistae, Popish Calvinists? How is it that by these ceremonies vve are borne in hand that the Papists are likely to be drawn unto cōmunion vvith our Church? Whence is it that all our Church-papists are great maintainers of the ceremonies? The rest (saith he) which are not of your disciplining are not so many. O miserable out-facing of God and man• Who hath disciplined for this threescore yeares almost all the people of Wales? Who but the Prelates and their creatures haue had the disciplining of all the Cathedrall Churches in England, and all the poore Parishes that depend upon them? Who are the Discipliners of all the Non-residents and Pluralists forlorne charges? and who of the many ten pound cures? Doe these seem a few in the Def. eyes?

 

SECT. XIII.

THe omission of ceremonies is here alledged to be more sharply punished, then many great sinnes against the law of God, though it be vvithout so and all and contempt. To this the Def. answereth, first by denying the consequence, viz. that if this be so, then these ceremonies are preferred before the precepts of God, and unlawfull. But 1 vvhy saith he nothing to the Churches of Germanie, to Melancton, Martyr, Chemnitius, Bez•, Iunius, Lubbertus, Polanus, Bucanus, Pilkinton, Perkins, and the whole Clergie of England, brought in as allowing of this consequence, in the Abridgement? Are not all these worth one answer of the Defendants? 2 The reason that he giveth for punishing more severely the omission of a ceremony, then hainous sins, is frivolous. For the true peace of the Church doth more depend on the keeping of Gods lawes, then of observing mans inventions: especially of such things vvhich never brought peace vvith them to any Church, but as fire from hell haue alwaies bred a combustion. Neither yet can the Defendant justifie that vvhich he saith of civill governments, that they lawfully at any time more severely punish that offence which is every way lesse, then another vvhich is greater. Howsoever, he that hath but halfe an eye may see that it is but a sophisticall evasion, common to our Prelates with the Papists. I will not therfore insist in this: if you please, you may see more of this matter in M. Parker of the Crosse, part. 2 c. 1 s. 16 17. He answereth in the second place, That it is not omission, but contempt that is punished,

Page  30

  • s if 〈◊〉 Counsellour should refuse to weare 〈◊〉 L••yers gowne. But • meere omission hath been often punished with suspension. 2 The Convocation house by their Canons haue provided and appointed punishments for meere omissions. If those canons be not in all such points rigorously executed, it is either some personall good vvhich is found in some Officers, or else meere shame. For though canons doe not blush, yet the executioners haue some forhead left. 3 There may be continued omission, upon other causes beside contempt, as ignorance, conscience &c. so that vvhile the Def. so peremptorily chargeth others for slandering the Church of God, he manifestly slandereth them, which for any thing I know are as much the Church of God as the Prelates. Concerning this contempt see more in M. Parker p. 2c. 1 s. 14. As for the Lawyers gowne, it is not long enough to cover the nakednesse of this answer; no though it be stretched to the length of one of our great Prelates long traines vvhich are carryed up after them. For except the Counsellour would swear that he refused on conscience, and that he could shew the judgement of the best Lawyers for his opinion, condemning such a robe as unlawfull, the case is not like: and if the case be so put, I account that Lawyer worthy to be turned over the bar, that could not defend himselfe from contempt.

 

SECT. XIIII.

IN the next place, the same thing is confirmed by the particular indignities, vvhich peaceable, learned, godly minded men doe suffer, for but declaring of their contrary judgement: as that they are accounted Puritanes, Schismaticks, and by canon excommunicated ipso facto, so as no Councell ever censured any heresie, vvithout liberty of appeal, vvhich is not denyed to great malefactors. Conf. at Hampton. p. 26 〈◊〉. 6 & 98. In the repeating of this Argument, I adde that out of the Abridgement, vvhich the Def. for I know not vvhat reason, omitted. Now in his answer he neither denyeth antecedent, nor consequence, so that the judicious Reader may safely take all to be granted. Yet that he might seeme to say somevvhat, 1 he granteth that wee haue reason perhaps to wish, that some penalties were released. And haue we not reason then to think the Convocation vvhich set these penalties was nothing lesse then led by the spirit of God? And if the Def. can thus shew his differing judgment from that Convocation in the penalties, what disorder or exorbitancy is it for another to shevv his differing judgment from them and him in ceremonies.

 

Secondly, closly sliding by the chiefest accusation of Puritanism, vvhich yet is most ordinary, and most impure, he saith for schisme,

Page  31

that those vvhich vvill not conforme unto our ceremonies doe teach the principles of Separation. To vvhich I answer 1 That there vvas never yet any Prelate that confuted the opinion of Separatists any otherwise then by ralling vvords: vvhereas on the side, diverse most averse from conformity haue foundly confuted them. 2 Our principles doe no more tend to Separation, then Saint Iohns rule doth, vvho vvhen Diotrephes played the Dioecesan in the Church, did vvrite unto the faithfull people that they should not follow the evill vvhich vvas among them, but the good, 3 loh. 11.

 

Thirdly, he talketh of diverse distractions in the Church, while some vvill heare onely a conformable Minister, and some onely an unconformable. But what is this to the purpose? For by this reason Conformers may as well be accused of schisme as Notconformers. Againe, if all did conforme, there would be still the like distractions for some would onely heare preaching Ministers, and some would never bee present but at reading. Some vvould onely heare godly Preachers: and some vvould onely tast Lettice fit for their lippes. Who should then be the authours of schisme?

 

Fourthly, he telleth us that all Churches challenge a subscription to their orders. But 1 all Churches cannot possibly doe this lawfully: because some Churches doe directly contradict other in their decrees. 2 Few Churches require such a forme of Subscription as ours is, though they haue not the tenth part of doubts and difficulties in their formes, which we haue in ours. 3 I aske again that vvhich M Parker hath asked vvithout an answer, that a Minister of the Gospell should be deprived for disusing Popish ceremonies, vvhen vvas it ever the judgement of any man vvhich vvas of note for learning, unlesse he vvere interessed in the quarrell? Calvin, Bucer, B•za, Martyr, Zanchie, and many other haue given their judgement concerning those controversies: but shew either any of them, or among Iewel, Fulke, R•ynold, Whitakers, Perkins, or any such, that ever allowed of such tyrannie. If there vvere any one among them of that opinion, vve should haue heard of him. For our Defendant dares bring in the name heere of B•za himselfe as making for him: Notwithstanding B•za doth not onely condemne our Ceremonies in plaine termes, Epist▪ 8, but also in this very place vvhich is quoted out of Ep. 24 doth cashier our ceremonies in the first vvords quoted by the Defendant himselfe, Constitutions being thu• made &c. What understandeth the Defendant by thus, or ha• ratione? Surely those conditions going before, which doe as absolutely

Page  [unnumbered]

condemne our ceremonies as any argument in all the Abridgement.

 

SECT. XV.

AFter full satisfaction given to our Arguments about the point of the worship (as the Def. vvould haue the Reader beleeue) he commeth to confute our Assumption. viz. the ceremonies are not esteemed, imposed, and observed as parts of Gods worship. But first I would know of him, vvhy he that talketh so much every where of their own Witnesses their own Witnesses, doth here first of all giue no answer to our Witnesses, as hath been formerly shewed: and then passeth by that vvhich is alledged in the Abridg. p. 40 out of his own Witnesses, D. Covel, and D. Walkes? If they be not his Witnesses, they are at least the ceremonies Witnesses: he should therefore haue given some respect. But we shall haue another Champion come after this Def. as it is likely, vvho vvill as little regard him. For justum est quod Spartae prodest, all is good that makes for the times.

 

Secondly, whereas he hath nothing to bring for confutation of our arg•ment, but onely the judgement of the greater part of the imposers, I say, this is no vvay sufficient: For the question here is not onely of imposing, but also of esteeming and observing.

 

Thirdly, I answer to the places alledged, that it cannot be Logically concluded either from any one, or from all of them, that they are not imposed as parts of Gods vvorship. We doe not attribute any holinesse or speciall worthiness (saith the canon) unto the garments. No more (say I) is any speciall holinesse or worthinesse to be attributed unto water: yet in baptisme it hath a holy relation to holinesse. The crosse is not of the substance of the Sacrament. What then? it may notwithstanding be vvorship: except the Def. will acknowledge no vvorship but in the Sacrament. These ceremonies may be altered and changed: by vvhom? By those that appointed them. Shew me any Papist that dares affirme that the Church of Rome hath not authority to alter & change the ceremonies which her selfe hath appointed. But the opposites doe acknowledge this. Abridg. p. 53. 55. just as much as this Def. doth in this place acknowledge the same of the Church of Rome, vvhen he saith in this very page, that Bellarmine with some other Papists seeme to disclaime the necessity of ceremonies, and the placing of holinesse in them. So that in all this Section there is nothing to be found but vaine conceited confidence.

 

Page  33

CHAP. III.

 

SECT. I. II.

THE third Argument is, because all humane ceremonies, appropriated to God service, if they be ordained to teach any spirituall duty by their mysticall signification, are unlawfull. Concerning this, vve haue in the first Section a flourish of words.

 

In the second Section, some thing is said of Math. 7 8 10 11. But • vvhat vvas the reason that this Confuter of the Abridgement, should passe by or put off the first and second reason or confirmation there alledged, and snatch at one place of Scripture, vvhi•• his but a parcell of those confirmations vvherewith the second reason is backed? The first confirmation in the Abridgement is, that the second commandement forbids us to make to our selues the likenesse of any thing whatsoever for religious use: as it is understood by Bucer, Virel, Fulk, Andrewes and others. The second confirmation is, that Christ is the onely Teacher of his Church, and appointer of all meanes whereby we should be taught and admonished of any tholy duties. For illustration of this second reason, among twenty other allegations, something is brought out of Math. 7. Now the Def. passeth by the maine reasons, and all other allegations that belongeth to them, and maketh a stand at this place of Mat. 7, vvhich yet for substance hath once been handled before in the former Chapter. Is not this proper confuting?

 

Secondly, in this very text, he toucheth not that wherein onely the Abridgment groundeth their reason. For in the Abridgement, p. 32. there is nothing cited out of Mark. 7, but the 4 and 7 verses; he answereth to the 8 10 and 11 verse. What should a man say to such dealing?

 

Thirdly, they say that our Saviour by this Argument (among others) condemnes the Iewish purifyings and •ustifieth himselfe and his disciples in refusing that ceremonie, because being (the precept of men) it was taught and used as a doctrine by way of signification, to teach what inward purity should be in them, and how they ought to be cleansed from the pollutions of the Heathen. For which interpretation of the place, they alledge Chrysostome, Whitakers, the Church of Wittenberg. Calvin, Virel, Zepperus, Fulk, Rainoldus and others. To all this the Def. answereth nothing, but that with a simple denyall, he sheweth that there were other causes vvhy our Saviour condemned those vvashings: which is the very same thing vvhich the Abridgement affirmeth, vvhen they say, by this Argument among others, our Saviour condemned them. So that in all this

Page  34

Section nothing at all is said to the purpose: saue that in the winding up, the Defendant accuseth those of Sadduceisme vvhich depart so farre from the Pharisies: Which accusation, if it doth not touch our blessed Saviour himselfe, I leaue to be considered by the Defendant himselfe. Howsoever, the mentioning of Phariseisme in this matter is idle, for the Scripture saith expresly that this ceremony vvas common to all the Iewes, Mar. 7. 3.

 

SECT. III.

THE same kind of dealing vvhich vvas noted in the former Section, we meet vvith also in this. For, vvhereas in the third confirmation of this argument, the Abridgement bringeth in Augustine, the Churches of France and Flanders, Calvin, Martyr, Beza, Sadeel, Dan•us, Zepperus, Polanus, Iewel, Humfry, &c. the Defendant calleth out Augustine alone by himselfe, and that vvith a double trick. For first, he citeth but one place of Augustine vvhich vvas miscited or misprinted in the Abridgement, and leaveth out the other out of Epist. 5 rightly quoted in the Abridgement: Secondly, he maketh this place to conclude the maine argument, whereas in the Abridgement it illustrateth onely the third confirmation of that Argument. Concerning Augustine he answereth, 1 that in the first place cited there is no such thing, vvhich I grant to be true, but if in stead of lib. 3. cap. 35 be set lib. 2 cap. 1 then something vvill be found. 2 That elsewhere (not mentioning the fift Epist. which the Abridgement quoted) Augustine saith, that all holy signes are called Sacraments: but yet it doth not follow from hence that in his opinion all such signes are Sacraments, but onely in vvord or phrase of speech. Neither vvas it brought in (as he might haue marked) to proue any such thing, but onely to shew that such signes participate part of the nature of Sacraments: and this as that use of the vvord Sacrament doth confirme, so that vvhich was derived from thence, and hath been in perpetuall use, viz. that such ceremonies are called Sacramentalia, Sacramentals. But neither Augustine, nor other fathers doe disallow such ceremonies (saith the Defendant) and this we doe not deny: if by disallowing be meant constant rejecting of such things. Yet something is to be found in their generall doctrine, from vvhich we may soundly conclude against these inventions of man.

 

Page  35

SECT. IIII.

BVt in this fourth Section, more legerdemaine is used then •n many other. For when the Def. professeth to answer the testimonies of Protestant Divines found in the Abridgement, he produceth onely foure, as if there were no more to be found: vvheras in the same place of the Abridgement, viz. p. 33. there be many more ioyned to these, as before I shewed by name: and to them divers others are added p. 35. But let us heare what he can say to these foure vvhich himselfe hath chosen to answer. To Calvin he sayth, that he speaketh onely of those mysticall ceremonies which are properly sacramentall. And this, say I, was the very poynt for vvhich this place vvas alledged, viz. that such significant signes are properly sacramentall. Is not this then good answering? Concerning Mysticall-morall, I vvill speake something in the next section. Zepperus sayth hee) hath not a word of mysticall signification. The place is lib. 1. cap. 10. vvhere among divers rules, he giveth this for one, that sacramentall signes must signifie holy things to be sealed up in the heart: from vvhence hee concludeth as against Humane traditions, because God will not by them stirre up any grace in the heart of man: so in speciall by this vvith some other rules, hee concludeth against the signe of the Crosse, and other such ceremonies in Baptisme. Is this nothing? Iewel insisteth onely in sacramentall signes; and such sayth the Abridgement, are all that signifie spirituall graces. As for Beza, hee granteth him in a manner to condemne all symbolicall signes. But to extenuate his credit herein, hee would haue the reader beleeve, that no other Divine doth consent with him herein. But if any man look upon the places quoted in the Abridgement, p 35. viz, Harm. Confess. part. 2 p. 229. 230. Eiusd. Sect. 17. ad Saxon. Confess. obs. 1. Calv. in Es 20. & in Math. 21. 25. Perkins in Gal. 3. p. 231. he shall find that Beza is not alone in this poynt. Beside, Bellarmine confesseth that Brentius is of this minde, De cult. sanct: lib. 3. cap. 7. and in his 2 book De effect sacr. he ioyneth herein vvith Brentius, Calvin and Chemnitius. I vvill add one vvhom this Def. calleth worthily a judicious refuter of Bellarmine: i. Iunius. His words (in his animadversions upon Bell. de cultu sanct. lib. 3. c. 7. an. 12) are these; Quod si ad usum non potest quisquam instituere, profecto neque ad significationem homo legitime potest adhibere, &c. 1. Humane ceremonies cannot be lawfully used for signification without incroching, no not in private, much less in the Church of God & publick administration. There can bee no blessing or consecration Ecclesiasticall, without the word and prayer. Here is no word of institution: and prayer of faith there

Page  36

can be none, where there is no commandement nor promise of God instituting.

 

To Iunius add Danaeus, cont. Bell. de Cult. sanct. l. 3. c. 7. It is blasphemy 〈◊〉 thinke, that any outward thing may be made a signe in the Church, unlesse it be expresly ordained in the word, and commanded by God himselfe to be used unto that end.

 

SECT. V.

HEre that vvhich in the Abridgement is the third proofe of a proposition, and backed with many allegations, is nakedly brought in that it may be the better maistered. Symbolyca•• signification giveth unto ceremonies a chiefe part of sacraments. For the clearing of this poynt, the Defendant distinguisheth betwixt morall signes and sacramentall. Of sacramentall he maketh two parts, one after the manner of a signe, and the other of a seale: then he maketh a differenc•• betwixt morall and sacramental signes, not onely that sacraments doe seale, which morall signes do not, but also that sacramentall signes doe represent a collation of grace given by God unto man; whereas morall doe onely notifie a dutie of man which in some moral vertue he oweth unto God. Then after he findeth fault with this, that signification should bee called the chiefe poynt of a sacrament. Now for the first, I doe not marvell that he calleth his distinctions wedges: for this is a most unhappy wedge indeed, which riveth in sunder the holy sacraments of God, and maketh way for humane inventions to creep into their place.* The sacraments (sayth he) doe signifie grace conferred: and morall signes doe signifie a dutie of man in some morall vertue. But the Scripture teacheth us that the Sacraments doe also signifie the dutie of man towards God. For by the sacraments the whole covenant is signed and sealed betwixt God and man: so that not onely Gods conferring of grace, but mans dutie through grace is there professed and represented. This the name Sacrament, as it signifieth an oath or obligation, doth import, by Bellarmines owne confession: de sacram. l. 1. c. 8. This the name •ucharist doth also shew, in the Lords Supper, notifying that thankfulnesse we owe unto God. This the words of institution doe plainly testifie in the Lords Supper, Doe this in remembrance of me. And I think the Def. vvhen he considereth the matter well, will not dare to deny, but that sanctitie (which he sayth is signified by the Surplice) is signified in Baptisme: and constancie also which hee ascribeth to the crosse. If he doe, he may be easily confuted, by those places where the scripture speaketh of it, especially Rom. 6. throughout the chapter.

 

2 Against that morall signification attributed unto humane inventions,

Page  37

I propound this argument, in the words of a •overend man (whom for some reason I will not name.) To be a teacher of my understanding, and an exciter of my devotion, are such effects at require vertue inherent or assistent to those things which should be causes of them• but no signe of mans devising hath any such vertue in it, or with it: for then it must come from that word put forth in the creation, and s• things naturall should haue a force communicated to them of teaching supernaturall: or else by Gods after-institution: such we read not any but of Baptisme and the Lords supper onely: or by the Churches impetration. But this cannot be: for prayer obtaineth those effects of things, to which they serue by Gods creation and institution: but not any creating or new conception of things to supernaturall uses. For then the Church might ask that this or that creature might be made a sacrament unto her: in which case she should pray without all warrant from Gods will.

 

3 If humane inventions be such morall admonishers in spirituall duties, the consciences of men without doubt are bound to subject themselves unto their admonitions; and then unto them from whom they doe admonish, or by whom they are made admonishers: i. to mortal men, such as our convocation consists on. Is not this good divinitie?

 

4 Whatsoever is ordained in the Church as a teaching signe, that ought often to bee interpreted unto the people in Sermons: for that is the teaching which must cleare and perfect all teaching of signes: and should not they preach fairly in the name and words of Christ, that should expound unto the people the signification of a surplice and a crosse? Would not this also be much for the edification of the people, that sometime they must heare of the morall good vvhich the ceremonies teach: and sometime be admonished of the right meaning of our convocation house in the appointing of these ceremonies, left they turne them to morall evill in superstition: and at other times they must be instructed, how to defend these ceremonies against the opposers of them, lest otherwise they use them without faith? Surely all the Sermons which many Parishes heare, would •caree be sufficient for this doctrine of Ceremonies.

 

5 I dare appeale to the eonfciences of the best conforming Christians, whether ever they found themselves truely stirred up to holinesse, by the Surplice, or to constancie by the Crosse? one thing I am sure of, that in some one congregation where these ceremonies haue not appeared for 20 or 30 yeares together, there hath been more holinesse and constancie of faith, then in many Cathedrall Churches where they were never omitted.

 

This poynt being cleared, there need no great answer be given to the cavill, of making signification the chiefe poynt of a sacrament.

 

Page  38

For if the Def. meant to deale plainly, vvhy doth he change the vvords, that he may find some colour for his accusation? The Abridgement sayth onely, that it is a chiefe part: he accuseth them for saying it is the chiefe part: betwixt vvhich two phrases, he knoweth how great roome there is for a wedge. 2. To proue that signification is one chiefe part, the Abridgement alleageth Gen. 17. 11. Exod. 12. 13. Luk. 22. 19. why is no answer given to these places, if the assertion bee false? 3 The Def. himselfe in his distinction which he bringeth here concerning a sacrament, doth allow one chiefe part of a sacraments nature to be signification ad modum signi. Be••armine therefore hath as good a friend of him as of the Abridgement.

 

But (sayth he arguing herein against himselfe) if signification bee a principall part of a sacrament, then all the morall signes used in the Le•iticall worship, should be properly deemed sacraments. Why so? because things take their denomination from the principall parts. True: but 1. as hath been observed, there is difference betwixt a principall and the principall. 2. Every thing that hath denomination from a principall part, hath not properly the same name vvith it. A man may in some sense be called spirituall, because his principall part is a spirit: yet he may not be properly deemed a spirit. 3. all those ceremonies which had signification in the Leviticall law, haue this denomination from sacraments, that they are properly called Sacramentall: 1. participating something of the nature of sacraments, though they be not sacraments properly so called.

 

SECT. VI.

A Second objection from reason is here brought in• viz. that if ceremonies which God himselfe hath ordained to teach his Church by then morall signification, may not now be used: much lesse may any of those which man hath devised. But vvhy doth the Def. passe by all the allegations vvhich belong to this reason in the Abridgement, p. 33. 34. they cite to this purpose first the Councel of Nice, Austine, Martyr, Bullinger, Lavater, Hospinian, Piscator, Cooper, Westphal•s, &c. And then after, Calvin, Bullinger, Hospinian, Arcularius, Virel, Bison, Reynolds, Willet, &c. And againe, Calvin, Bullinger, Chemnitius, Danaeus, Hospinian, Arcularius, our book of Homilies, Humphrey, Reynolds, Willet, &c. Are all these worth no answer? at least they shew, that this is no new reason divised by the Nonconformists: but the common tenent of Protestants, and the ground whereby they confute the superstition of Papists.

 

Yet let us heare his answer to the reason as it is nakedly in it selfe considered: remembring alwayes, that he can say nothing, but that

Page  39

which the Papists may as well say for many, of their ceremonies against this argument pressed vpon them by our Divines.

 

His first answer is, that the use of some Iewish rite, without any Iewish opinion, is not damnable; instancing in circumcision and Easter. Where 1. he should haue told us, how a Iewish rite can bee used, without some part of a Iewish opinion? For he himselfe after contendeth, that our ceremonies are not the same with the Papists, because wee haue not the same opinion of them which the Papists haue. 2. What doth he mean by this new tearme domnable? I hope he doth not symbolize with the Papists in their difference of mortall sinne and veniall? of which fault he so vainly accused us before. If he meane by not damnable, not unlawfull: then hee holdeth circumcision, as it is used vnder Prester Iohn, to be lawfull. If hee meaneth any thing else, as, that it doth not utterly destroy the being of a Church, then he speaketh some truth, but nothing at all to the purpose.

 

His second answer is, that it is farre more safe to invent new ceremonies, then to use those which God once appoynted, and now hath abolished: because they might ingender an opinion of necessitie: and so might bring in all the Leviticall law. Where 1. it is well he confesseth plainly, that all the Iewish ceremonies are abolished: for therein hee contradicteth that which hee sayd in his former answer. 2. from hence our divines use thus to argue, Num vero veteres figurae sublat•• sunt, ut locus esset novis? num divin• sublatae sunt, ut human• succederent: i. Are divine ceremonies abolished, that humane may bee erected in their place? They are the words of Doctor Whitaker, de Pontif. cont. 4. •. 7. c. 3. and the reason is strong. For if it had been the will of God that we should haue bee been taught by other signes then those that are appoynted in the New• Testament, hee could easily, and vvould surely either haue chosen some of the old, or appoynted some new in their places. 3. Though there may bee more danger in some respect, on the one side, yet there may bee more absolutely on the other. 4. The inventing of new humane ceremonies haue ingendred an opinion of necessitie in them: and haue brought in all the Popish law of rites: so that even in these respects, it may be questioned in whether side is greater danger.

 

SECT. VII.

THe third and last reason vvhich the Def. could find brought against significant ceremonies, is, that this will open a gappe to

Page  40

images, oyle, spittle, and all Popish, ceremonies: all which Bellar•in• commendeth, as fit to put men in remembrance of good things, &c. To this hee answereth divers things. 1. This consequence (sayth hee) from some to all• is too lavish. But this consequence is of his owne framing: for the consequent vvhich the Abridgement maketh, is from the common nature of significant ceremonies, to every speciall, being equally considered in regard of other circumstances. Neither is there any occasion at all in the Abridgement for that ridiculous consequence which the Def. maketh from may to must▪ in his example of the Kings Councell.

 

Secondly, It is as unreasonable (sayth hee) as if a Patient that hath some drugges prescribed him, should thence conclude hee may taste of all. But it is as reasonable, say I, as if a Patient having some druggs prescribed unto him, should thence conclude, he may taste of any which are of the same nature, especially if the same Physitian should prescribe them unto him.

 

Thirdly, It is unconscionable (sayth hee) because there are many abuses mixed with Popish ceremonies. Which answer seemeth meerly unconscionable; because it is plainly expressed in the Abridgement, that this inference doth consider the Popish ceremonies onely, in regard of that signification vvhich they haue of good things.

 

Fourthly, he disproveth the use of oyle and spittle, because they were once vsed miraculously. As if the mir•culous using of any thing did forbid, that it should at any time after bee used for signification. Surely then the many miracles vvhich histories do record to haue been done by the Crosse, must needs banish that also out of the Church.

 

Fiftly, for Images, hee sayth, They are not to be called Popish, but onely in regard of superstitious adoration. As if Cassanders image were not Popish: which is an assertion, 1. directly against all our Divines, vvho not onely confute the Papists for adoration of their images, but also for having them in any religious use, especially in Churches; for this is the controversie betwixt Calvin and Bellarmine, de Imag. lib. 2. c. 9. wherein this Defendant taketh Bellarmines part. Secondly, it is directly against the Homily concerning images: unto which we are bound to subscribe. Thirdly, it confirmeth the soule words of Bellarmine, who saith that the Apologie of the Church of England lieth, in saying that the Councel of Frankford decreed that Images should be abolished, De Concil. Auth. lib. 2. c. 8. for the onely answer is that which lunius giveth in his notes upon that chapter, an. 56. He that forbiddeth Images to be worshipped, doth forbid the having of Images worshipable, especially in Churches: Which answer this Defendant doth flatly deny.

 

Page  41

Sixtly, for holy water, he sayth, that may bee accounted Christian, were it not for the operatiue power which is ascribed unto it in Poperi•. But good Protestants, I thinke, will rather beleeve Calvin, who calleth it a kind of repetition of baptisme. Instit. l. 4. c. 10. sect. 20. and Iunius, who peremptorily affirmeth, that no humane ordination, opinion, or superstition, can make it good and profitable. in Bel. de Cul. sanct. l. 3. c. 7. At the least let it be called Iewish, not Christian: for Christ will not haue his name called upon such superstitious devices: neither can it, without taking in vaine.

 

7 Lastly, he sayth, there is no reason to deprive the Church of power of ordeining significant ceremonies, because she may abuse it: wherein he saith true. But to argue from manifest abuses, against that which is called use, and yet is as like those abuses as one egge is like another, this I hope is reason.

 

That which by the way is brought out of Peter Martyr, is not of any great force. For he there persuadeth that unto Hooper out of a good aff•ction, which out of conscience he durst not doe himselfe, though his place at Oxford did tie him unto it, as hee professeth in an Epistle, p. 1127. Where also hee sheweth, that the chiefe end that moved him so to persuade Hooper, was because he hoped, that by his and such mens yeelding, the ceremonies might in time be abolished: which we find to be an erronious conjecture. But that hath much lesse reason in it which he addeth, viz. that the open gap of many ceremonies is now quite shut up, because our church is contented to admit of so few, and no more. For 1. we haue not so much as the word of our Prelats for this nil-ultra. 2. The gap is every day made wider and wider by such defenses as this is, which allow of Images themselues for some religious use. For by this meanes any crucifix may come in, that is not greater then the Church doore. 3 They that shut up a gap upon their pleasure onely, can when they please open it againe.

 

Now I haue maintained the testimonies and reasons which this Def. could find in the Abridg, against significant ceremonies, I wil add one, lest it should be forgotten, or lost: which I know not how the Def. leaped over, seeing in the Abridg, it hath deservedly the first place among all the proofes, which are brought in to this purpose. The argument stands thus in the Abridg. p. 31. The second commandement forbids us to make to our selves the likenesse of anything whatsoever, for religious use: and so is this commandement understood by Bucer, Virel, Fulk, and D. Andrewes now Bishop of Winchester. And p. 32. 33. D. Andrewes is brought in alledging this for the root of all superstition and idolatry, that men thought they could never haue admonitions and helps enough to stirre them up to wo•ship God. Yet God (sayth he) had given foure meanes, viz. the word written, the word

Page  42

preached, the sacraments, and the book of the creatures.

 

Now lest the Def. may seeme to have passed over this proofe as unworthy any answer, I will briefly add the grounds of it.

 

  1. The word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉likenesse used in the second commandement is generall, and comprehendeth under it all religious similitudes, because they are homogeneal to Images there expresly forbidden.

 

  1. Significant ceremonies are external acts of religious worship, even as they are used to further devotion. Suarez in Thom. p. 3. •. 65. a. 4. Bell. de effect. sacr. l. 2. c. 29. &c. 31. and therefore being invented of man, of the same nature of Images, by vvhich and at which God is vvorshipped. The Def. distinction of essentiall & accidentall worship, vvill help no more here, then the Papists 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Gods law is not mocked with vain distinctions.

 

  1. The affirmatiue part inioyneth obedience to all the worship appoynted by God: all which was significative, Heb. 8. 5. & 10. 1. from whence it followeth, that no significant ceremonies must by man be brought into religious actions. The nature of the affirmatiue sheweth the qualitie of the negative: by the circuit of the one, we may learn the compasse of the other.

 

4• Significant ceremonies which are by institution, must of necessitie belong vnto the second commandement. An accurate distinction of the commandement will easily shew this. But nothing contained in the second commandement is permitted to man. For to him this comandement in regard of making, is wholly negatiue. Thou shalt not make to thy self, &c. Which words, as Calvin sayth, Nos à carnalibus observatiunculis, quas stolida mens nostra comminisci solet, in t•tum revocant & abstrabunt.

 

SECT. VIII.

IN this passage there is nothing to bee found but a noyse of vvords crackling like thornes under a pot: Let it therefore vanish of it selfe.

 

SECT. IX.

HEre the Defendant undertaketh and beginneth a confutation from Scriptures of that assertion, vvhich denieth significant ceremonies of mans institution to bee lawfull in Gods worship. Now a man would haue exspected by the title, some rule of Scripture: but seeing none can bee found, vvee must bee content vvith examples: vvhich notwithstanding are nothing so firme and certaine as rules. Yet let us heare what examples he can bring.

 

Page  43

The first example is Abrahams directing of his servant to put his hand under his thigh vvhen he did swear. It is mervaile he did not beginne before. Abraham. For Suarez the Iesuit to proue the same point for substance, bringeth Abels sacrifice, Noahs Altar &c. in Thom. 3. qu. 65 a 4, which serue also as much to the purpose as this example. But to the point in hand. 1 It is in all probabilty false, that Abraham appointed this ceremony. So Calvin, Iunius and others upon the same place, doe judge, because it vvas a signe of subjection usuall in those easterne parts.

 

2 It is false also (vvhich he faith in the second place) that swearing is the most divine seruice of God of all other. For the proper end of swearing is not to vvorship God, but to confirme a truth: though in the appealing unto a supreme Witnesse and Iudge worship is implyed, and so an oath appropriated unto God as a part of his vvorship, not in the principall end of it, but in manner of seeking that end. This is plaine by the nature of an oath.

 

3 It cannot be proved, that this ceremony did teach any spirituall dutie. It is most probable, that it was a common signe of subjection used in solemnities of that kinde, as well out of an oath as in it, vvithout any respect unto Christ, as vvith it. If the Def. never read any such thing (as he saith he did not) I cannot helpe that. I assent unto Calvin herein the rather, because that as imposition of hands in those parts did alwaies signifie some superiority, so this under position of hands vvas by proportion fit to signifie subjection of inferiours.

 

4 Lastly, if all this vvere granted, that this signe vvas appointed, that it vvas appointed in solemne vvorship, and that it did signifie a holy thing: yet tho Defendant should remember that Abraham vvas a Prophet, and of more authority by farre in the Church of God, then our Convocation-house. So that this instance is nothing to the purpose, as, I am perswaded, Abrahams servant vvould sweare, if he vvere heere present, and it vvere needfull, even in the same manner that then hee did to his Master.

 

SECT. X.

HEere comes in a stragling objection, as it is here alledged vvithout any dependance, omitted in the place whereto it belongeth. I vvill not therefore presse it in this place. Onely it vvould be marked how little the Defendant careth what he saith, so that he say something to every thing: 1 he answereth that

Page  44

Papist• doe commonly teach by their ceremonies some new doctrine, not warranted by Scriptures. For confutation of which, the Papists may well appeale to Durandus his Rationale, vvhere he sheweth the signification of almost all the Popish rites. Now if the Defendant can there finde one signification of a hundred, vvhich teacheth any strange doctrine not warranted by the Scriptures, I haue taken my numbers amisse. 2 He saith the Papists ceremonies differ from ours in application, by their opinion of necessity and holinesse. But 1 the question heere is onely of signification: and therfore it is out of time to talke of application: 2 the Papists doe not hold their ceremonies absolutely necessarie to salvation. For this Bellarmin• de verbo non scripto l 4 c. 11 denyeth of all unwritten traditions, as also Aquinas 12. qu. 147 a 4 ad 1. Neither doe th•y hold them essentially necessary to the being of a Sacrament: This Aquinas with all his followers deny, p 4 qu. 66 a 10. vvhere he saith expresly, that all signes invented•ly man are onely for stirring up of devotion, and procuring of reverence to the Sacraments: vvhich is, word for word, our English plea. 3 It doth not appeare that the learned Papists haue any opinion of all their significant ceremonies, vvhich this Def. doth not maintaine. For Suarez a principall Iesuit in Thom. p. 3 q. 65 a 4 propoundeth onely three errours as he calleth them, vvherin Protestants differ from Papists concerning ceremonies in generall: wherof the first is, that onely those things which are written ought to be retained and used in the Church: The second is, that no outward worship of God is lawfull, but onely that which is appointed by God. The third and last is, that the Church hath not power of commanding and ordeyning those things (hee meaneth mysticall ceremonies) which are necessarie for the convenient celebration of the Sacraments. Now there is none of these three points vvherin Swar•z and the Def• doth not jumpe.

 

SECT. XI.

THE next example is the day vvhich Mordeca• and Ester appointed, Est. 9 concerning vvhich I answer 1 it was no mysticall ceremonie: but a circumstance of order. When Bellarmine objecteth the same example to like purpose against the Protestants, de cult. sanct. lib. 3. c. 10. Iunius answereth, praeceptum fuit politicum: it was a precept of order. And some of our owne Writers at home that it was appointed for a civill use, a day of rejoycing.

 

Page  45

SECT. XII.

THE Feast of Dedication, ordained by Iulas Maccabeus is also alledged by Bellarmine de cult. sanct. li. 3 c. 5. & de Rom. pont•li. 4 c. 17 but we need not be so carefull of excusing Machabeus and those times from all fault. Christ seemeth, saith hee, to approue that feast, Ioh. 10 22, but seemeth, onely, say I. It is said that Christ vvho had been before that time resident in Ierusalem, vvas walking in Salomons porch at the Feast of Dedication, when some Iewes came to aske him vvhether he was the Christ or no; doth it follow that he observed the Feast? As for Danaeus h••re cited, it hath been shewed before how well he liked of significant ceremonies ordained by man.

 

SECT. XIII. XIIII.

HEere M. Cartwright is brought in as answering the former objections out of the Machabees and Ester. But M. Cartwright p. 197, doth professe that there is as great difference betwixt these two, as is betwixt heaven and earth. And in his Confutation of the Rhemists, vvho urge the feast of Dedication as this Def. doth in Ioh. 10 22, he answereth plainely, that this Feast was unduely instituted and ungroundedly by the Machabees. Which also he proveth by such reasons as neither the Rhemists, nor this D•f. vvill ever answer. Yet let us heare, vvhat he hath chosen out of M. Cartwright to answer. The Church may appoint holy daies in certaine cases: but it is one thing to restraine part of the day, and another to restraine the whole day. Where 1 M. Cartwright is vvronged by the Def. for he confesseth (in the places quoted) expresly, that upon some extraordinary cases the Church may restraine a whole day, as at a solemne fast. 2 He should let us see vvhat mysticall signification is in the times appointed, as he striveth to doe in other significant ceremonies: if he vvould haue a more particular answer, otherwise they are alledged heere to no purpose to proue significant ceremonies.

 

The other vvords quoted out of M. Cartwright are, that the ex•mple out of Ester is no sufficient warrant for our Holy daies: 1 because our estate ought not to be so ceremonious as theirs, 2 That was done by a speciall direction of the spirit of God. To this the Def. answereth first, that if then when the ceremonies were so many one might be added, much more now. Which consequence vvere good, cae•eris par•bus, if all other things did agree: but this is that very thing vvhich M. Cartwright denyed. He answereth in the second place, that it is

Page  46

presumption to imagine a speciall direction where none can be proved. But how shall vve trust this man in relating the Arguments and Answers of the Ministers in private conference, vvhen now the second time, as it vvere in one breath, he so unjustly accuseth M. Cartwright as giving no reason for that he saith, vvhose printed booke doth confute him? for so it followeth in M. Cartwright, immediately upon the vvords by him quoted, p. 194. This may appeare by another place, where the Iewes changed their fasts into feasts, onely by the mouth of the Lord, through the ministerie of the Prophet. For further proofe whereof I take the 28 ver. where it appeareth that this was an order to endure alwayes, even as long as other feast daies, which were instituted by the Lord himselfe: so that what abuses soever were of that feast, yet as a perpetuall decree of God it ought to haue remained: whereas our Churches can make no such decree, which may not upon change of time and other circumstances be altered. For the other proofe hereof I take the last verse. For the Prophet contenteth not himselfe with that, that he had r•hearsed the decree, as he doth sometime the decree of profane Kings, but addeth precisely, that as soone as ever the decree was made, it was registred in this booke of Ester, which is one of the bookes of Canonicall Scripture: declaring therby in what esteem they had it. If it had been of no further authority then our decrees, or then a canon of one of the Councels, it had been presumption to haue brought it into the Library of the Holy Ghost.

 

SECT. XV. XVI.

IN the title of these two Sections, the Defendant promiseth an instance of a ceremonious instrument belonging unto the vvorship of God. But he bringeth none saue the Altar of the two tribes mentioned, Iosh. 22 vvhich hee cannot shew to haue been any instrument of Gods worship: so that he seemeth meerely to haue forgotten his title. But for the thing it selfe M. Parker long since p. 1 c. 2 s. 33 hath given this answer. 1 that we may better argue from the Altar of Damascus 2 King. 16 against the crosse, then they can from this Altar for it. 2 that this Altar of the two Tribes, vvas not in state or use religious as the Crosse is, vvhich he confirmeth by the confession of B. Babington on the second Com. and by the testimony of Lavater on Ios. hom. 61, 3 that in this our men say nothing vvhich the Papists alledge not for their superstitions, and the Lutherans for their images, as probably as they, Masi•• and Chitreus upon this place. To the same purpose tendeth the answer vvhich the Def. hath set downe in the name of certaine Ministers. Let us here therefore his Reply. 1 He proveth the setting up of this Altar to haue beene humane, which

Page  47

no man that I know ever doubted of.

 

2 He would proue that it vvas appointed to Gods service. But alas he can bring no colour for that. It was a patterne (saith hee) of the Lords altar, which was a chief• instrument of Gods worship: as our crosse is a resemblance of the crosse of Christ. Where 1 vvhy doth he compare the crosse vvheron Christ did suffer vvith the Lords Altar? that crosse vvas no more holy, then the souldiers that nailed Christ to it, or then Iudas, that betrayed him into their hands: and therefore the signe of that crosse in respect of the resemblance vvhich it hath to that, is no more holy then the picture of Iudas. 2 Is every resemblance of a holy thing holy? then every Al•house picture, vvhich resembleth any thing belonging to the Scripture & holy uses, is also holy. 3 If any of the Tyrians which vvrought under Salomon about the vvork of the Temple, should haue procured a modell of the Temple to be drawne, and carried it vvith him into his Country for to haue shewed it them for newes, had that model been religious or holy? the Def. thought he had to doe with such as vvould beleeue whatsoever he said.

 

3 He goeth about to proue, that it vvas mysticall signification •eaching a spirituall dutie: because that one end of it vvas, in respect of the present Gileadites, to teach that the Lord was God: and another in respect of their posterity, to testifie their consent in the true Religion. But in all this faire shew, there is scarce one word true. For 1 it doth not appeare out of the text, that there vvas intended any use of it for the present age that then lived. The contrary appeareth plainly, vers. 27, 28 &c. The last verse cited to this purpose by the Defendant, must be interpreted as Iun•us noteth out of the 30 verse. So that even by this it is manifest that a direct helpe unto devotion vvas not sought for in the erecting of this altar. For then not onely the two Tribes then living should haue had use of it, but most of the other Tribes should haue had reason to haue imitated their example, in setting up Altars of devotion even at every three-way-leet, as crosses are wont to stand. 2 in regard of posterity, the immediate end was to testifie, that though they were separated from the other Tribes by the river Iordan, yet they belonged to the same people, and had right to come unto the same place of vvorship. Now vvhat is this to a ceremonie which hath state and immediate use in the speciall solemne worship of God? the use of this testifying vvas to procure a consent and approbation in future times among the other Tribes, that these two Tribes might be suffered to come to the Temple for to worship God there. So that neither the two Tribes, nor the other ten were stirred up by this Altar as by an instituted mystical ceremonie unto vvorship or devotion: for as for the two Tribes, they vvere

Page  52

onely to shew this monument unto those vvhich called their right into qu•stion. And the other were to consent and grant them their right. What is this to a garment of religion, or solemne religious vvorship?

 

SECT. XVII. XVIII. XIX. XX. XXI.

THE second instance is Salomons altar, 1 King. 8 64, wherein 1 I cannot but marvell at the addition vvhich the Def. maketh unto the Text, vvhen he telleth us out of the Scripture of an altar, and of a brazen Altar, built by Salomon, vvithout speciall warrant: whereas in the text there is neither mention made of brasse, nor of Altar, but onely of sanctifying the inner part of the Court: he did not surely attend much unto that vvhich hee wisheth to another, sect. 20 in these vvords, I would you had leasure to looke more directly upon the text alledged. But for the matter it selfe, it is vvorth the marking, to obserue by this example vvhat authority is given unto men in the vvorship of God by our Masters of ceremonies, not onely to appoint accidentall vvorship, but even that vvhich is principall and most essentiall: that which maketh other essentiall vvorship to be holy: For what is this else, vvhen they say man may of his own head appoint an Altar? If they say man may appoint an Altar, but not the offering upon the Altar, let them heare our Saviours answer, Math. 23 19 Yee fooles and blind, whether is greater, the offering, or the Altar that sanctifieth the offering?

 

As for our answer it is the same vvhich all our divines giue unto Bellarmine: as the objection is the very same vvith that which Bellarmine oppose•h to Calvin, de pont. lib. 4 c. 19. 1. this act of Salomons was by speciall direction of Gods Spirit. So D. Whitakers answereth, de pont. c. 4 qu. 7. ad arg. 7 quicquid Salomon fecit, id Dei authoritate & spiritus sancti nutu fecit. So D. Su•cleife de pont. l. 4. c. 6. But from M. Nic. this answer vvill not be received. The Def. saith it can never be proved. But suppose an altar to haue been built as the Def. vvill haue it, and then I hope the nature of the thing doth sufficiently proue it, as before I shewed: Beside Salomon had not yet declined from the right vvaies of his father David, vvho did attempt nothing about the Temple but according to the vvriting which he received from God, as he told Salomon 1 Chron. 28 19, Neither is it to be omitted, that Salomon at that very time vvhen he did this thing in question, was acted and lifted up extraordinarily in communion vvith God: as appeareth by that divine prayer vvhich he then made for the Dedication of the Temple, vvhich cannot be judged but to proceed from the extraordinary

Page  53

direction of Gods holy Spirit. Lastly, if that had not been so, yet the high Priest was at hand vvith Vrim and Thummim, by which vvhen it was so easie to haue speciall direction, vvho can thinke that Salomon would venture on such a matter as this upon his own head? But the contrary is proved (saith the Def.) because a reason is rendred in the Text which moved Salomon to doe that he did. As if these two could not stand together, to doe a thing upon some reason: and yet to doe it upon speciall direction from God! see Num. 36.

 

A second answer is given by some of our Divines, that Salomon did this out of the equity of Moses law: so Iunius cont. 3. l. 4. c. 19. To this the Def. replyes, that this answer overthwarts the former. Which is nothing so. For Salomon might be, and no doubt vvas in speciall manner directed to see the equity of the Law, and specially directed and authorised also to follow it. The Def. therfore is deceived in that advantage which he maketh of this answer.

 

A third answer is brought in by the Def. under the name of M. Nic. viz. that God by his visible descending approved of the worke of the Temple, and did authorize Salomon to doe that he did. To whom the Def. vvisheth more leasure, that he may look better upon the Text, vvhere he should not finde that God approved the Temple of Salomon by any visible appearance, untill the sacrifice was ended. But if the Def. had had both leasure and pleasure to looke better upon the text, before he had censured another, then 1 he would haue seene that God appeared in the Temple before the sacrifice was either ended or begun: 1 King. 8 10 11 2 Chron. 5 13 14. 2 He should haue seene also that Salomon built the brazen Altar, not of his own head, nor upon a suddain which vvas impossible, but by the same direction that he did all the other holy things, 2 Chron. 4. 1. 3. He would not haue talked so loosely as he doth heere s. 20, vvhere no man can gather by his vvords, that he knoweth of any Altar appointed particularly of God, beside the Altar of incense.

 

A fourth answer is, that vvhich Daneus giveth unto Bellarmine, •on. 3 lib. 4 c. 19, viz. that this was not a new additament for kinde, but for some circumstance onely; because this Court was sanctified by God, Exod. 27 & 40, and Salomon is said to sanctifie because he put it to that use which was not ordinarie. To this the Def. replyeth nothing vvorth the answering: but onely that he accuseth M. Nic. and so in deed the Divines formerly alledged, of unconstancie & unconsonancie: whereas the answeres that haue been given may very vvell concurre all of them in one action, and one answer. The rest of his talke doth hang upon the hornes of his new found brazen Altar: and there I leaue it.

 

Page  50

SECT. XXII.

COncerning synagogues, I answer, 1. they were no significant ceremonies about which the question now is, 2. it is most likely though that the same Prophets vvhich erected schools, called schooles of the Prophets, were the first founders of those synagogues. 3. seeing in the synagogues there was no significant ceremony of action or apparrell, appointed by men, to bee used in them: therefore in the Christian congregations, vvhich in forme of vvorship, (saving the addition of sacraments appointed by God) is altogether the same with the synagogues, there ought much lesse to be any.

 

SECT. XXIII. XXIIII. XXV. XXVI.

THe first example brought out of the New Testament, are the the feasts of charitie, ordained (as the Def. sayth) by the Apostles. To which our answer is ready, that if they were ordained by the Apostles, then they vvere not humane, but divine, and therefore nothing pertaining to our question. To this the Defendants reply is, that if divine be opposed unto constitutions not commanded of God, then we could not haue uttered a more unlearned position: because all Divines distinguish betwixt divine, Apostolicall, and Ecclesiasticall traditions. All Popish Divines indeed doe allow of this distinction, because it maketh for their purpose: and some of our English vvhen they vvrite in defence of the Hierarchie, or of the ceremonies: but so deeply to accuse those that refuse it, for vvant of learning, this is too magisteriall For 1. that vvhich came from the Apostles as they vvere Apostles, that came from the spirit of God, Act. 15. 28. 1. Cor. 7. 40. and to call that divine which hath the divine spirit of God: 1. God himselfe for authour, vvhat vvant of learning is in this? 2 Iunius vvas a Divine, and learned, yet he sayth, that this distinction betwixt Divine and Apostolicall traditions, is almost imaginarie and superfluous in Bellcont. 1. lib. 4. c. 2. an. 6. Danaeus calleth it a childish distribution, in eund. loc. more learned divines, might easily be named, that doe so allow of this distinction. And indeed, to examine it by that learning, by vvhich distinctions are chiefly to be tried, it hath no Logick at all in it. For 1. the distinction pretended betwixt things appoynted for perpetuall use, and those that may be altered upon occasion: This distinction or difference (I say) is no way contained, in the tearmes Divine, Apostolicall 2. Some things vvere immediatly by Christ appointed, vvhich vvere not perpetuall:

Page  51

as many things proper to the Apostles and their times. And some things appoynted by the Apostles which were to be perpetuall, as the essentialls of Ecclesiasticall government.

 

A second answer is brought in, that these feasts were abrogated by the Apostles. Then (sayth the Def.) 1. they were not of divine institution. Not in that sence indeed, which meaneth by divine perpetuall: but yet they might be divine, as gifts of tongues, healing, prophesying, &c. vvere. Then 2. (sayth he) the Church may institute and abrogate as the Apostles did. The consequence is but faint: yet the consequent or thing inferred, may be granted, so that the Church keep within her bounds. Our finall answer is, That these feasts of charitie were not of mysticall signification, nor yet meerly Ecclesiasticall. And indeed it is plaine, that these feasts did carry no ordained signification, but that which nature her selfe had imprinted in their foreheads. For who knoweth not that familiar feasting of poore and rich together, is a demonstration and preservation of loue, vvithout institution? and yet this is all that the Def. can say for their signification. Neither were these feasts merely Ecclesiasticall or religious, because they were used in the assemblies: for they were also used in the same manner, and to the same end, out of the assemblies. Their proper end was reliefe of the poore, and maintenance of brotherly loue.

 

Last of all, for the ordination of these feasts, it cannot be shewed to haue been Apostolicall. Peter Martyr in 1. Cor. 11. 22. judgeth otherwise. So that in this example, the Def. can neither shew mysticall signification, religious ceremonie, nor Ecclesiasticall ordination: and yet except all these be proved, the instance maketh nothing at all unto his purpose. But that which hee lacketh in weight of arguments, he strives to make up in number.

 

SECT. XXVII.

THE next instance (like the former) is the kisse of peace. To vvhich our answer is, that it was a naturall indicant signe of peace and reconciliation. But the Def. borrowing light from some oratoriall phrases of the Fathers, will proue the contrarie: though it be as manifest as any thing can be, both by Scripture, and also by other histories, that it was a civill naturall fashion used in those parts upon ciuill occasions as well as holy. Now what doth hee proue? First the institution, so farre as it was not commanded by Christ, was humane. This he affirmeth, but proveth not: and in his affirmation wavereth like a reed shaken with some winde. So farre it was from Christ; and so farre it was from man: and yet we heare not how farre from either. The plain truth is, it was of no institution

Page  48

at all: but of naturall inclination and civill custome, vsed long before the comming of Christ, as is to be seen every where in the old Testament, Gen. 29. 13. 1. Sam. 20. 41. &c. yet by direction or custome it received constant application unto some speciall acts. Secondly, he sayth, it was significant, that is, it had a naturall fitnesse to declare the inward affection of loue. What is this to a signification imposed by man? it vvas so significant as shaking of hands: vvhich gesture also used to be joyned with it: Tunc ambo nexi ad invicem dextras damus in osculo pacis sacrae, &c. It did so signifie loue as the turning away of the face doth signifie alienation of minde. But (sayth he) it signified Christian loue. As if Christian loue had not in it the common nature of loue, and therefore cannot be signified partly by naturall signes common to loue. Cleanlinesse in the celebration of the sacraments, is the same that it is at another feast; though in regard of that application, it may be called Christian or holy cleanlinesse or decencie. Thirdly, he sayth, it was used in time of holy worship. So no doubt was giving of the upper place unto the Elders, &c. in token of reverence: and yet it was no religious instituted signe of mysticall signification: such reasons as these bewray more confidence then good consideration.

 

SECT. XXVIII.

THe third and last example vvhich is brought out of Scripture, is, the covering and uncovering of the head at divine service, 1. Cor. 11. to vvhich I answer as before, that it was a civill order of decencie, used as well out of Gods worship, as in it. But here the Def. taketh paines to make many collections, and confirme the same by divers witnesses. Because (as he sayth) this poynt is of some moment; though the other were of none: let us therfore briefly consider what they be.

 

  1. I would first learne (sayth he) whether this ceremonie of covering and vncovering were not significant of some good thing? I answer, that this fashion which he abusiuely calleth a ceremonie, was significant in a generall sence: that is, it did declare or argue a good thing.

 

2 I would ask what thing it is that is hereby signified? I answer, subjection and superiour power. But there is a relation also to God, sayth the Def. I answer, there is in mans superioritie, a kind of resemblance of Gods soveraignite: and so there is also, as Calvin observeth, in omni principatu in all superiour power: so that this maketh covering and uncovering, no more a religious significant ceremonie, then the upper seat of a heathen Magistrate sitting in judgement: for by that seat is signified a superioritie, in which there is some image of Gods sovoraigntie. There is nothing alledged out

Page  49

of our Divines by the Defendant, which may not as well bee applied to the Iudges bench, as to this covering and uncovering. And the Apostle doth shew plainly, that the vaile he speaketh of, vvas of the same nature vvith long haire. So that, by the Def. reason, mens short, and vvomens long haire, must be accounted religious mysticall ceremonies.

 

3 Our third demand (sayth he) is, whether these ceremonies of covering and uncovering, were not instituted to bee observed in Gods publicke worship? I answer, it was required that they should be observed in holy Assemblies. But 1. it was not onely required in Gods publick vvorship, but also as Calvin upon the place granteth, In quovis graviore coetu aut matronarum aut virorum, in any graue meeting of men and women. And instit. lib. 4. cap. 10. sect. 29. ne mulieres in publicum nisi velatae procedant: •. Whensoever they goe into publicke places. 2. It was not instituted primarily and principally for Gods worship. If it were, I aske, vvhen and by whom? Paul surely did not institute a new ceremony in this place: for v. 14. he groundeth his admonition upon nature, i. as Calvin well expoundeth it, vpon a received vse and ancient custome in those parts: which some through lightnesse began unseemly to transgresse. There is nothing alledged out of Martyr or Chrysostome against this answer.

 

  1. Fourthly (sayth he) wee desire to know, whether this matter were not a thing indifferent? I answer, it is indifferent in the generall nature of it; yet at that time, and in that place, they sinned that did otherwise, even before Paul, or any of their overseers, gaue them charge about it.

 

Lastly, (sayth he) it is worthy our inquirie to learne how farre other Churches may be directed by this example? I answer, so farre just as the Apostles rule stretcheth, 1. Cor. 14. 40. Let all things be done comely.

 

Now the Defendant hath a direct answer to all and every one of his demands, let him cast up his summe, and he shall finde, that he hath proved just nothing. Hee could find but three examples in all the New Testament, vvhich had any colour, so as they might bee alledged for mysticall ceremonies, appropriated to Gods vvorship, by mans institution. The Loue-feasts, the kisse of peace, and the vaile of women. And yet there is not one of these three, (as any indifferent man, if he hath common sense may see by that vvhich hath been said) that can be shewed either to be of mysticall signification, other then nature giveth it, nor appropriated unto Gods worship more then to civill occasions, nor yet ever instituted by any man in the Church of God. Is it not a marvellous thing that men should presume so as they doe to domineere in words and deeds over poore men, in such things as

Page  54

they can shew neither precept nor patterne for in all the Scriptures.

 

We will descend lower, saith the Def. And that, I assure him, is his best course: for so long as he wadeth in the pure waters of holy Scripture, he doth but striue against the streame: descending lower to humane vvritings, he may finde the vvaters troubled, and so bring some fish to his net. Yet having the Scriptures on our side, vvee need not feare to follow him vvhether soever he pleaseth to leade us.

 

SECT. XXIX.

HEere is alledged the universal custome of the ancient Church, even from the Apostles times for confirmation of humane mysticall ceremonies in Gods vvorship. To vvhich I answer, 1 of the first and purest times, next after the Apostles, this cannot be proved: nor is likely, because it is not to be thought that all Churches vvould immediately admit of any thing vvhich they had not received from the Apostles. 2 For the next ages it may easily be shewed, that the best Writers taught many generall rules concerning the perfection of Scripture, and the purity of Gods worship, vvhich cannot stand vvith these humane inventions: howsoever in their practise they vvere carried away unto other customes. 3 The infinite troubles of those times against Infidels and Heretickes, about the chiefe grounds and maine foundations of faith, vvould not suffer them to examine these points of lesse moment as they should. And in deed, they vvere so taken up with those conflicts, that they neglected many usuall truths. So that if all should be received vvhich the Fathers practised, neither any thing understood but by their interpretations, vve should be destitute of much truth, and overcharged vvith the burthen of humane presumptions, as Augustine complained in his time, ep. 119, 4 the Lord in justice vvould haue Antichrist to prevail: which mysterie could never haue grown to any ripenesse, had the worship of God been preserved sincere. That corruption begot him, and the reformation thereof must be his utter ruine. It is sufficient that the lamentable experience of fifteen hundred yeres hath declared unto us, vvhat fruit of significant ceremonies brought by man into Gods worship are wont to affoord unto those that affect them. To fetch authority in this case, from their practise, by which hath insued such inestimable hurt to the Church of God, is not the vvisedome of the burnt child, vvho dreadeth the fire.

 

Page  55

SECT. XXX.

OF our own Writers the Def. heere opposeth unto us, Calvin Iunius, Chemnitius and Zepperus. Now for these, it hath been plainely manifested before, that they all vvith one consent condemne humane symbolicall ceremonies in Gods worship: and that upon good grounds out of Gods word. Now therefore if any thing elswhere hath fallen from any of them by occasion, sounding to the contrary, then we may well think that either their meaning is mistaken therin, or else they shewed themselues to be men: and indeed (to say the truth) there is a little varietie to bee found in some of our divines concerning the poynt of ceremonies. But the cause thereof being marked, will make it lesse offensiue. All our Divines, when they look into the clear chrystall of the scripture, condemne plainly all devices of man in Gods worship, whatsoeever: but againe, some of them when they fixe their eyes on the false glosse of ancient times, and consider withall how hardly men are drawen from their accustomed vanities, and what good some men may doe by applying themselves somewhat to the times, then receiving another kind of impression, they seeme sometime to vvaver in their words. This observation I thought fit to set down in generall, because it may haue good use in some particular places which this Def. threat•eth hereafter to object. But as for the places here quoted, the answer is easie.

 

Calvin in the first place, disputing against the grosse corruptions of the Papists, sayth, he doth not contend therein about ceremonies, vvhich hee might truely say not onely comparatiuely, but even absolutely in regard of contention with others, who did not obtrude them upon him. And so I am assured few or none would contend much about ceremonies, if they would not force them vpon others.

 

In the other place, he understandeth by ceremonies, such as are given us of God: as the following words shew: Paucae igitur nobis divinitus datae sunt ceremoniae. What indeed he thought was to bee given to the rude people in this kinde, he shewed sufficiently, not onely by his words formerly cited, but also by his practise, in that he banished such ceremonies utterly not onely out of Geneva, but also out of all Churches, vvhich hearkned vnto his counsell.

 

Chemnitius in regard that some ceremonies were in use where he lived, handleth them so gently as he can: and speaketh too favourably of Images: yet in other places, the truth wresteth from

Page  56

him and Brentius also, a right confession, as hath been alledged before.

 

Zepperus meaneth onely that the simple having of Images in Churches is not such impietie as doth unchurch a people.

 

Iunius and Chemnitius in the last place, doe but give a difference betwixt the Fathers and Papists use of some things. Here is nothing directly against our assertion. But if all these witnesses did speak as the Defendant would haue them in these places mentioned, what were that to the cloud of testimonies which are brought forth in the Abridgment, and unanswered as yet by the Defender. His own mouth will testifie that our Divines are generally on out side. For in that regard (if he speaketh with good reason) he calleth them still our owne witnesses. Our owne they are not, because we alledge them onely: for so both Fathers, and Papists, and Conformists also are alledged by us: but because they speake plainly for us. Which appeareth also the more by his silence at the most part of their speeches.

 

SECT. XXXI.

AFter much sayling in the maine sea, the Defendant directeth his course (as he sayth) homeward to the narrow seas, by instancing, in the practise of Non-conformists themselues. His comparison is good: for as the scriptures were too deepe for him to fasten any anchor of a conforming argument in: so the practises of vveak men are so full of sands and shelves, that here hee can haue no sure riding. The sea of Rome turned, by one of our Prelates, mare Romanum, is the best harbour of all the world for the ceremonies to arriue and rest in.

 

The first example brought is the forme of an oath, vvhich is taken on a booke. To which I answer, 1. That if this forme of swearing can be proved to bee of the same nature with the crosse in baptisme, &c. we will rather abandon this forme to avoyd the Crosse, then admit of the crosse for loue of this. 2 I affirme, that it vvere much better that this forme (invented by Papists, and abused not onely by them, but also by many among our selues) were abolished, as it is in other Countries not Popish,* then reteined. Mr. W. Thorpe a Martyr, or Confessor, in King Henry the fourth his dayes, refused to sweare upon a booke, alledging Chrysostome for the same opinion. 3. This forme if it bee vvorship, seemeth to be essentiall and necessarie vvorship, not accidentall: for no man is esteemed to haue taken his corporall oath (as Lindwood affirmeth) but hee that sweareth upon a booke. 4. It is not our practise to make any more of touching the book, then of lifting up,

Page  57

of the hand, vvhich is used in other Countries: i. to make it a signe of assent unto that which is required of us. So that I for my part vvould not finde fault vvith those vvhich sometime hold out a service-booke, or any other to touch and kisse: for it is all one vvhether we shew our assent one way or another, so it be shewen i• a decent manner. 5. This forme is not used in the speciall solemne worship of God: but in a civill assembly, where occasionally God is called upon for confirmation of the truth. And indeed, as the Def. speaketh well, an oath is rather a cognifance or note of supreame worship, then proper and direct vvorship.

 

SECT. XXXII.

THe next instance is, The observation of the Lords day: vvhich the Defendant would never haue brought in as an example of a humane ceremonie, if he had not either been sea-sicke or else sleepie with his long sayling which he spake of in the former section. For he taketh it for granted, that we hold the Lords day to be an institution of man, vvhich we utterly deny: We hold, as Iunius answereth Bell. about this matter de cult. sanct. l. 3. c. 10. an. 33. c. 11. an. 3. it is the divine institution of Christ himselfe.

 

By the vvay here he bringeth in a testimony of Zanchius, calling our Temples types and shadowes of the celestiall Temple. But Zanchier meaning was not to make them destinated instituted types: but onely such things as by accommodation may serve fitly to put us in minde of such a matter: even as any arbitrarie similitude that is fit, may be called a tyde and shadow. I would the Defendant would read the very next Thesis of Zanchie to that hee quoteth: there he should see, that Images, though they bee not for the present worshipped, yet ought to be removed out of Churches, because they helpe not but hinder the vvorship of God. If Images, then by the Def. own former grant, mysticall ceremonies of mans invention: and so mysticall Churches too.

 

SECT. XXXIIII.

IN this last section, some reason is promised for a finall confutation of the Non-conformists in this poynt; but I for my part can see none. Nothing (sayth he) is properly called a ceremony, if it be altogether destitute of signification. Then (say I) away, and out of the Church with all ceremonies properly so called, of mans invention. But vvhy hath hee gone about to deceiue us so often before, by confounding circumstances of order and decencie with other ceremonies, & now in the winding up of all, confesseth

Page  58

that they cannot be properly called ceremonies? surely there is no reason in this kind of dealing, but onely that which they call Sophistry.

 

Calvin (sayth the Def.) and some other, doe accuse the Popish ceremonies because they are dumbe. I answer, they accuse them also for speaking, as the scripture doth condemne Images both for being dumb, and also for teaching lies. So that lay all together which those Divines say, and you shall find that in their judgement, humane ceremonies in Gods worship, are like a foole in a place of honour, vvho vvhether hee speaketh, or holdeth his peace, still sheweth himselfe unworthy of that place.

 

CHAP. IIII.

 

SECT. I.

THis argument in the Abridgement, p. 17. standeth thus: It is contrary to Gods word to use (much more to command the use of) such ceremonies in the worship of God, as man hath devised, if they be notoriously knowen to have been of old, and still to be abused unto idolatry or superstition by the Papists, specially if the same be now of no necessarie use in the Church. But our ceremonies are such: Ergo.

 

The Defendants answer is very briefe: he dares not absolutely deny either part of the argument. Hee could not finde a fit distinction whereupon to ground a conditionall deniall with reason: he contents himselfe therefore to make a shew of distinguishing after an unreasonable manner. For he doth not distinguish of any one tearme found in the argument: nor maketh the parts of his supposed distinction such as will beare any Logicall sence. If (sayth hee) you require such ceremonies to bee abolished, then wee deny your Major: but if you understand indifferent things, or meane an absolute, not a convenient necessitie, wee deny your Assumption. If this and but if that, this forme of speech, as indeed, every distinction, implieth some dissention and segregation in the parts distinguished. But here is no shew of any such thing, betwixt abolishing and indifferencie, or absolute necssitie. I know not what to make of such a confused distinction. It is as if one should say, If you require an establishing of the ceremonies, I deny one thing; but if you vnderstand convevient ceremonies, I deny another thing. Such kind of speaking is nothing else but non sence, or as some use to call it, a very bull. Let this generall answer therefore passe: though he sayth, that in it we may see our marks, and take our aime.

 

Page  59

SECT. II.

THE Abridgement beginneth the proofe of the proposition thus. This may appeare 1 by the second Com: vvhich forbids all provocation unto spiritual fornication, as the seventh doth unto that which is carnall. 2 By ••e commandement and direction God hath given as in his vvord, 3 By the equity and reason of these commandements. Now the Def. though he professeth a full answer to all that is objected, yet he silently passeth over the first proofe out of the second Command. vvholly: and in the 2 and 3 proofe, vvhere about forty places of Scripture are cited for confirmation of them, he doth not attempt to answer aboue 8 or 9. But let us examine his answer to these.

 

Lev. 18 &c. three kinde of things are forbidden, 1 incest, 2 rounding their heads and cutting their flesh for the dead, 3 sowing with diverse seeds, and letting diverse beasts to ingender together. The first was a sin against nature: the second was a wicked custome of infidelity; the third did signifie adulterie: in all which our ceremonies are innocent. He answereth heere onely unto the places taken out of the 18 and 19 of Lev. concerning vvhich I reply 1 that in the first place the vvords are generall, v. 3 4: howsoever therefore in the following verses they be applyed unto foule sinnes, yet seeing in other places of Scripture the like application is made unto ceremonies, they vvere therfore mentioned as the generall ground, comprehending both kindes in it, and joyned unto other places condemning conformity vvith idolaters even in matters of ceremonie. 2 The second and third vvere no more vvicked, nor yet so much in any respect among the Heathen, as our ceremonies haue been among the Papists: And therefore in these, M. Calvins collection in Lev. 19 27, is sound, God would haue his people to know, that they could not haue his favour, except they would in all points be unlike to such, and goe as farre as they could from their fashions and examples, especially in those rites wherein there was any shew of Religion. 3 I vvould demand whether, if the high Preist, vvith the vvhole Synedrion of the Iewes lawfully assembled, had vvith one consent decreed, that vvheras the Lord enjoyneth, Lev. 19 Yee shall not sow with diverse seeds, nor cut round your heads, nor marre the tusts of your beards: this vvas onely in regard of infidelity, and in respect of an evill signification: but seeing the things are in their nature indifferent, and that it might be convenient for them to use them, they vvould therefore all from thenceforth use the same, provided that none should use them upon infidelity as the heathen did, not make any evill interpretation of them: I vvould demand (I say)

Page  60

whether such a decree should ever haue been lawfully made, or vvarrantably obeyed? I thinke the Def. vvill say no. But why? Perhaps because of the expresse commandement to the contrary; but doth not this commandement then respect some other reason, beside those vvhich by this decree should be now taken away? and may we not collect a further matter from them?

 

SECT. III.

BEcause one usuall evasion, much esteemed by the patrones of our ceremonies, is, that they had a good beginning: therfore the Authors of the Abridgement to stop that muse, adde that even such things are to be cast away, which had a good originall and use (if they be not still necessarie and commanded of God) when once they are knowne to haue been defiled by idolatry, or abused unto it. For proofe vvherof they alledge Lev. 26 1, and other places more. But the Def. heere singleth out this one, and denyeth that the titulary pillars of the heathen (which vvere set up at limits of their grounds) had a good beginning. Suppose that this be true, and that the Authors of the Abridgment were mistaken in this place: is not the same thing sufficiently proved our of 2 King. 18 4, Dan. 1 8, Hos. 2 16 17. But yet it is more then probable, that those titular pillars, vvere at the first onely set up for civill use: because many statues vvhich afterward served onely for vvorship, vvere at the first onely for civill respects, and these had still a civill use for distinction of bounds. But Calvin collecteth, that no statue was heere condemned, but that which was erected to represent God. Calvin indeed hath those words: but vvhat kinde of representation he meaneth, he sheweth sufficiently before, omnes picturas quibus corrumpitur spiritualis Dei cultus: all pictures that corrupteth Gods spirituall worship. And after, quaecunque nos a spiritualie•us cultu abducun•: whatsoever lead us from the spirituall worship of God.

 

Iacob erected a pillar for a religious monument (saith the Def.) Gen. 28, true: but not after the Law vvas given against it: so also he offered sacrifices, and many other things, in such sort as after the Law vvas not lawfull.

 

SECT. IIII.

THE third proofe in the Abridgement standeth thus: the equity of these commandements is thus set down in Scripture: 1 the detestation which the Lord our God being a jealous God beareth unto idolatry, and all the instruments and tokens thereof, as unto spirituall whoredome, Exod. 20 5 6, Deut. 7 25 26. 2 that we cannot be said

Page  61

sincerely to haue repented of the idolatry or superstition whereby wee or our forefathers haue provoked the Lord unlesse we be ashamed of and cast away with detestation all the instruments and monuments of it, 2 Chron. 33 15, Es. 1 29 & 2 20 & 30 22 2 Cor. 7 11, Cal. in Deut. serm. 52 ep. 86 p. 166 167. 3 that we shall be in danger to be corrupted. Ex. 34 12 15, Deut. 7 4. 25. 26, Iud. 2 13, Gal. 2 5. 4. Wee shall harden Idolaters, Ezech. 16 54 1 Cor. 6 10. 5. There is more danger in Popish ceremonies, because the Pope is Antichrist, and we converse more with Papists then with other Idolaters.

 

Now of all these reasons and allegations the Def. answereth directly to nothing, but onely to those words see Calvin: and yet not to them neither as they are cited in the Abridgement. For there it is, see Calvin in his 52 serm. on Deut. and ep. 87. Now on these places the Defendants eyes vvould not serue to looke: or at least, his heart would not suffer him to giue answer, they are so pregnant. If we haue any drop of good zeale in us, it must needs vexe and grieue us to see the markes and signes of idolatry: and that we must to the uttermost of our power deface them, &c. nothing upon pretence must be tolerated in the Church, which came either from Satan or from Antichrist. Yet the Def. saith, he hath seen Calvin upon Exod. 23 & 24, and Numb. 23 and Deut. 7 12, and findeth that Calvin holdeth these precepts of destroying Altars and Groues, to binde the Iewes onely, not Christians: and he biddeth us see Calvin on these places. Surely I haue looked and could finde no such thing. If there had been any thing vvorth the knowing, for maintenance of the ceremonies, we should haue heard of the words of Calvin; whereas now Calvin is brought in expresly affirming that we may use temples which haue been defiled vvith idoles: which is nothing at all to the question of unnecessary ceremon. But if the Def. would discusse this poynt out of Authors, vvhether the lawes alledged out of the old. Testament against the monuments of Idolatry, doe not bind Christians, why doth he not answer to the testimonies of Calvin, Martyr, Grineus, Wolphius, Visinus, Machabeus, Zanchius, Simlerus, Zepperus, Fulk, & our book of homilies alledged to this purpose in the Abridg. p. 24.

 

SECT. V.

IN one place of Scripture yet, viz. Dan. 1 8, the Def. thinketh he hath some advantage; because Calvin interpreteth it otherwise then of ceremoniall pollution. But therein the Abridgement followed that interpretation which is most generally, received: for which see Iunius in his Commentary upon the place. And suppose that pollution vvas not ceremoniall or idolatrous, yet I hope the Def. vvill not say but if the meat had been so

Page  62

polluted Daniel vvould haue absteyned from it.

 

Take therefore some other testimonies to proue your assertion, saith the Def. So confidently as if he knew of no •estimonies vvhich he had not answered. What can one say to him that vvill not take that which is thrust into his hands, and yet calleth for more, as if he could finde none?

 

SECT. VI.

THE last thing vvhich the Def. vvill take knowledge of, as alledged out of the Scriptures, in this point, is the example of Hezekiah 2 King. 1• in breaking down the brazen Serpent. This example is so famous, that he could not omit it: yet he knoweth not vvell what to say unto it.

 

First, he giveth fiue reasons for the abolishing of the brazen serpent. As if any of us doubted, but that Hezekiah had reason enough for that he did: Or, as if there could not be reasons enough alledged, and those almost the very same, for abolishing of our ceremonies. Let them be abolished by publick authority, and I vvill undertake reasons to justifie, the action done, vvill easily be acknowledged even of those that now can see none to perswade unto the doing of it.

 

Secondly, he propoundeth, as very observable, that Hezekiah did not abolish the idols vvhich Salomon suffered to be set up, because they were neglected. But 1 it may vvell be thought that those idols vvere destroyed by Hezekiah, and set up againe before the time of Iosiah, as many other superstitions were. 2 It cannot be doubted but they should haue been destroyed, even though they were for the time neglected: because either Hezekiah had as good cause to destroy them as Iosiah: or else he might haue prevented that cause which Iosiah had: and to prevent evill, we are as well bound, as to correct it.

 

Thirdly, he citeth Zanchius to proue, that this is not an universall remedy for all abuses of ceremonies. The place in Zanchie I cannot finde: neither skilleth it much. I grant the conclusion, it is not a remedy for all abuses of ceremonies, viz. for such as Gods appointment hath made necessary to be retayned. Besides the words of Zanchie heere cited by the Def. doe onely therfore seem to make for him, because they are not full enough against him. But in other places of the same book Zanchius judgement is plain enough, as p. 649 vvhere from this example he reproveth those that keep the reliques of superstition in some holy places; though they haue removed them out of Churches. And if about this matter the Def. doth ascribe any thing to the judgement of our

Page  63

divines, vvhy doth he not answer the testimonies of Augustine, Calvin, Martyr, Wolphius, Lavater, Zanchius, Sadeel, Iewel, Bilson, Fulk, Rainolds, Andrews, Perkins, alledged to this purpose in the Abridgement, p. 24?

 

Fourthly and lastly (vvhich onely in deed is to the purpose) the Def. vvould shew us a disparity betwixt the idolatry of the Iewes, and that of the Papists. The first is, that that idolatry of the Iewes was done publickely, and generally, and in the bowels of the same Church: but the Papists is not so. To which I answer 1 these circumstances are not rendred as reasons of the abolishing in the text, but invented by the Def. 2 private particular idolatry is to be removed as well as publick and generall: 3 all these circumstances did more then agree to our ceremonies in the beginning of our reformation. And sure they are not grown better since, by any good that they haue done.

 

The second difference vvhich the Def. imagineth, is that there was no other meanes to cure the idolatry of those times: but now there is. I answ. 1 this is the very question whether there be any other sufficient meanes to cure the disease of humane ceremonies idolatrously abused beside abolishing. 2 It is a vaine imagination vvhereby this difference is confirmed, and no reason at all. In the Dominions of our Ezekias (saith the Def.) this disease would be found curable without any such extremity. But the experience of 50 or 60 yeares shew, that hitherto it is not cured neither in Ireland, nor Wales, to say nothing of England. Surely our Prelates are miserable Phisitions, that in a disease so easie to be cured, suffer the patients to languish under their hands, unto death. Especially (saith he) in this our most truely reformed Church, which doth most liuely expresse the face and full body of her primitiue mother Church. This he hath now 3 or 4 times repeated: as if he did desire to make a question of it: and here propounds it vvith a doubt, if you will allow. It is not sit heere to make a long digression about this matter. In short therefore thus, vve allow with all thankefulnes, that our Church is to be called a reformed Church in regard of the main points of faith, which are purely and freely taught among us vvith publick approbation: and also in regard that the grossest superstitions are by publick authority cast out of our Assembles. But if our Ecclesiasticall government be considered, and some ceremonious superstions, wee deny utterly, that vve haue such a reformation therin, as may represent the face of the primitiue Church. Let the Defendant tell us, if ever the primitiue Church had such chanting idol service as is every day to be seen in our Cathedrall Churches? If there were in the primitiue Church Chancellors, Commissaries, Officials under the

Page  64

Bishops, which executed the censures of that Church? If he can shew any primitiue pompous Bishops that had sole authoritie of ordination & excommunication? If any Minister was called in the primitiue Ch. without expresse consent of the congreg. over which he vvas set? if Ministers vvere then vvont to goe to law for their places? if the Primitiue Church ever heard of Pluralists, Non-residents or dumb ministers? If either in primitue or else in Popish Church almost simony was ever so ordinary as it is with us? If ever so many prophane men, openly known to be contemners of Religion, vvere members of any primitiue Church, as are of ours? If ever he read of such carnall proceedings about Ecclesiasticall affaires in primitiue times, as are every day practised in our spirituall-courts? who tooke money for ordination, citation, absolution, or change of pennance?

 

I will not insist on these things, because they are beside our present question; but onely desire the Def. to behold this face which I haue described in a right glasse, and see if it be the face of the pure primitiue Church.

 

SECT. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.

THE testimonies of Councels and Fathers, alledged in the Abridgement about this point, are largely ranked by the Def. into 14 Sections, as if the maine burden of this Controversie did lye upon their authority: vvheras in the Abridgement they are briefly mentioned as illustrations. I vvill therefore according to the intent of those vvhich alledged them, consider all together.

 

  1. In the fift Councell of Carhage it is true, that he saith, those Altars vvere onely expresly appointed to be abolished, vvhich were set up vvithout reliques of Martyrs. But let the Def. shew any reason, why those also were not to haue the same measure vvhich had reliques of martyrs in them? Surely the Councell▪ seemeth to aime at a perfect reformation: but stayed at this, because of the superstition vvhich then prevailed among the peoples as they shew in that parenthesis (si fieri potest) if it may be: and in the next Canon.

 

8 In the next canon (saith the Def.) they would onely haue immediate instruments of Idolatry then brought into publicke use abolished. But how doth he gather this glosse out of the Text? Or wherein doth this glosse excuse our ceremonies, especially as they were in the beginning of our reformation? and since they haue mended as soure Al• doth in summer.

 

Page  65

9 To the decree of the Councell of Bracara, forbidding men to decke their houses &c. in such manner and at such time as idolaters did, the Def. answereth nothing that hath any shew of reason in it. For our ceremonies differ nothing from the Papists in place, persons, time, but onely in some opinion: Now the Councell there doth not forbid the opinion, but the ceremony, even to them vvhich were of a better opinion.

 

10 The Councell of Affrick doth giue a reason why they condemned certaine feasts, because, they were drawn from the errours of the Gentiles. Heerein I am sure it maketh against our ceremonies.

 

11 To Tertullian de Coron. the Def. saith lesse then nothing. For he doth not speake of the same individuall habite which was used to idolatry, as the Def. vainely pretendeth: nor of that kind which was onely used in idolatrous worship. For in the same book c. 13, he saith this habit of a garland vvas used in most base places, as playes, stewes, jakes &c.

 

12 The like answer is given unto Tertullian de Orat. 1 in generall it is said, that Tertullian doth not condemne these ceremonies meerly for resemblance with idolaters: but for opinion of efficacie and necessity: wheras the contrary is plaine in Tertullian, for he saith expresly, Propterea in nobis reprehendi meretur, quod apud idola celebratur. Therefore it is to be blamed in us, because it is used before Idols: And B. Iewel Def. Apol. vvith many other of our best Writers against the Papists doe urge these testimonies of Tertullian meerely in regard of resemblance. 2 In washing (saith the Def.) some did then hold an opinion of efficacie and necessitie. If they did, that is nothing to the purpose; for they might be condemned in that behalfe, and yet meerely also for resemblance vvith idolaters. But no such thing appeareth in Tertullian, he telleth us plainely, that the vvashing before prayer vvas a significant sign in remembrance of Christs delivering unto the Iewes by Pilate, when he had washed. Cum scrupulose percontarer, & rationem requirerem, compe•i commemorationem esse in domini deditionem, c. 11, so that I doe not see but that this vvashing vvas every way like unto our signe of the crosse in regard of the originall signification and use of it. 3 In the ceremony of dossing cloakes before prayer, there was an opinion of necessity, because Tertullian saith, si sic oportet, if this ought to bee done. As if sic oportet, ought to be done, ought alwaies to be expounnded of an absolute necessitie. Doe not our Prelates now say, sic oportet, vve ought to use the ceremonies, and yet disclaime this opinion of necessity? Tertullian onely condemneth, Vacua observatio, vanitas, quae sine ullius dominici out apostolici praecepti authoritate fit, atque adeo superstitioni deputanda• All these agree to our ceremonies

Page  66

as well as to that. 4 For sitting upon beds after prayer, the opinion of necessity is onely condemned by Tertullian (saith the Def.) because he inferreth, otherwaies we ought not to pray but sitting. But that inference is onely upon an allegation out of Hermas vvhich Tertullian opposeth to himselfe about the matter. Concerning the ceremony it selfe, the grounds of his condemnation are, perinde faciunt nationes: apud idola celebratur. So that the Defendant hath given no colourable answer unto Tertullian. Yet one thing he cannot conceale, though it be nothing to the purpose, viz. that Tertullian in that place condemneth sitting at prayer, which we bring up our Schollers unto. He might surely haue concealed this, as being a shamelesse slander in regard of us, as all that know us can vvitnesse: and a shamefull practise of our Prelats, generally in all prayers before and after Sermons, except it be vvhen the Lords prayer is repeated: for it is vvell known how little respect they giue unto any prayers, but onely to the Lords prayer, and those that are in the Service-book.

 

13 Melchiades forbad fasting at the same time vvith Pagans. That was (saith the Def.) because they lived in the same Conutrey, at the same time and place Nothing else he hath to answer. And doth Countrey, time and place, make such a difference, that the same ceremonies in one Countrey, time and place, shall be Christian, and in another Paganish? What if the Countries be vvithin halfe a daies saile, as France is to England, and the time be the same, as it is in our case? confesse the truth, and shame the devill.

 

14 Ambrose disswaded Monica from bringing of vvine and cakes to the Church. There is no proportion (saith the Def.) for that was an act of sacrificing performed by women, vvho are forbidden to sacrifice, as well as to preach: devised by private persons: of an idolatrous invention. The first of which answeres is Bellarmines de sanct. beat. l. 1. c. 14, but evidently false. For the Papists themselues are not so grosse as to confesse that they offer any proper sacrifice unto any creature whatsoever, Bellat. de sanct. beat. lib. 1 cap. 12: and shall I we thinke the mother of Augustine, with other religious women in those purer times to haue been guilty of so great impiety? Epiphanius may call it a sacrifice in a rhetoricall phrase, because it was an offering: but in disputations we must speake properly, yet Epiphanius doth call it onely an offering. 2 the person or sexe of a woman, maketh no difference. For Monica was not the inventer and appointer, but onely the actor: and a woman may bring her offering and lay it upon the Communion table as well as a man. 3. It doth not appear that this was the invention of private persons: there haue been Bishops vvhich haue fathered as good children as

Page  67

this was: and I do not know why such a thing, or any significant ceremony may not be lawfully used upon privat devotion, if it bee lawfull for men to impose it. 4. If that vvhich Monica did vvas Idolatrous, it is the very thing for vvhich our ceremonies are accused. 5. Lastly, neither Ambrose, Augustine, or Monica regarded these things in condemning of that act: for the reasons are onely two Ne ulla occasio ingurgitandi se daretur ebriosis: & quia illa quasi parentalia superstitioni gentilium essent simillima. The latter of which, viz. resemblance of •igans, is that vvhich vve urge.

 

15 To a graue sentence of Augustine, counselling to forsake all the toyes of Pagans, if vve vvould winn them, nothing is answered but that those toyes are not to be used together with Pagans, as if apart some of those toyes at the least may be profitably used. Surely to return his own phrase upon him, de bove & efus caud•, if others wil eat up the oxe, this Def. wil make no bones of the taile, so it be apart.

 

16 The Councel of Nice decreed that Christians might not keep the feast of Easter at the time, or in the manner as the Iewes did. Not (sayth the Def.) that it was alwayes unlawful so to do, which question I vvill leave to them that are skilful in human trao•tions, but 1. for hatred of the Iewes. 2. because of the Iewes insultation. 3. for vniformitie. The last of these causes doth not agree: for vniformitie might as well haue followed, if all Christians could have been drawen to the same time with the Iewes. The other two agree vvel to our ceremonies. For we are to hate the idolatrous superstitions of the Papists vvith a perfect hatred. And the Papists do insult ouer us for this, that we haue borrowed our ceremonies from them; as is to be seen in the Abridg. p. 25. where much is sayd to this purpose, & by the D. unanswered. And I vvould fain know for what causes other ceremonies of the Papists are abolished, if not these, or for such at the least as would sweep away our ceremonies in controversie, as vvell as them, if it pleased them that haue such bezomes in their hands?

 

17 The Councell of Gangren forbad fasting on the Lords day onely (sayth the Def.) if it were in contempt of Christian profession. But Augustine Ep. 86. telleth us the true reason vvas because the heretickes did reach men to doe so, sacra solemnitate statuta; with religious solemnitie, as the Papists now doe in the Crosse. And whereas the Defen• asketh, if there be any contempt of any Christian article in our ceremonies: I answer, the crosse cannot be otherwise used, then with proiudice, disgrace, and so some kinde of contempt cast upon baptisme.

 

18 The 1 councel of Bracar forbad abstinence frō flesh, that Christians might shew themselves to differ from Priscillianists, the Def.

Page  68

answer is, that the Papists do not consort with us in the same ceremoniall acts as the Priscillianists did with the Catholicks, at the same ordinaries & banquets. But there is no such reason rendred, or limitation set in the councell, of the same ordinaries and banquets: the same ceremonie onely is condemned.

 

19 Thrice-dipping in Baptisme was condemned by a Councel of Toledo, approved by Leo, because it was the custome of Heretickes. This was (sayth the Def.) because an hereticall construction was made of it. Even so (say we) a superstitious construction is made of our crosse, not onely by the Papists, but by our owne canons and Canonicall imposers of it.

 

20 Leo forbidding men to have any thing to do with hereticks, meaneth it onely of doctrinal conference, sayth the Def. But conformitie with them in their ceremonies is a greater fault (for the nature of it) then doctrinall disputing with them. Therefore the testimonie holdeth, from the lesse to the greater.

 

Thus in briefe I haue examined his particular answers unto our testimonies out of Councells and Fathers. B•t one answer might haue served for all, viz. that they were not brought in by the Authors of the Abridgement for to make an immediat conclusion by against our ceremonies, as the Def. in his answers evermore taketh them: but to illustrate the proposition vvhich condemneth conformitie with Idolaters in their ceremonies. And herein wee haue not onely the Fathers, but even the Papists themselues in words many times consenting with us. Suarez. in Thom. p. 3. q. 65. maketh it one rule which the Church is to follow in appointing of ceremonies.

 

Now the Def. passeth from the proposition of this argument, unto the assumption. But he should haue done vvell to haue made a little stand at the armie of Protestants vvhich are brought in as giving witnesse to this truth. Abridg. p. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. & 25. why had we not heare one head of Protestant Divines, as vvell as in the former arguments, seeing more are cited here then in them? Surely the Def. could not tel how to giue a colorable answer to so many pregnant testimonies, and therfore thought good to passe them over in silence, and make his reader beleeve, that none were objected, because none are answered.

 

SECT. XXI.

THe Def. here meaning to say something against the assumption, setteth it down by halves, or rather by quarters. For the assumption is, Abridg. 26. 27. our ceremonies in question are humane inventions, of no necessary use, and abused to idolatry. He setteth it

Page  69

thus downe, our ceremonies haue been idolatrously abused by Papists. There is great difference, as by and by we shal see. His answer is by a distinction: These ceremonies are either generally or individually and numerally the same that haue beene abused to idolatry: If generally, then it hindereth not, but they may still lawfully bee vsed, though they haue been so abused. If individually, then it is not true, which is affirmed: neither doth it follow from thence, that they must be abolished, because they haue been so abused, except they be the same formally: i. in intention and opinion of those that impose and practise them: What miserable shifts is the Def. put to? he told us before, his distinctions were wedges: but this is a very pick-lock, made for to open the doores of Gods• Church into those ceremonies against vvhich by the keyes of Gods kingdome they are streightly shut up. For by this meanes any kind of Popish, Iewish, Heathenish ceremonie may come in, so there be new particulars of the same kinde, and a new intention used. The first assertion is most grosse, viz. that in ceremonies abused to Idolatry, those are not forbidden which are generally the same, but onely the same individualls. For by the like reason, of ceremonies instituted by Christ, those onely are commanded which Christ individually and numerally did sanctifie: not all of the same kinde. So also Papists are iustified against all the charges of our divines, who accuse them for using of Iewish and Heathenish ceremonies: for they are not the same individually and numerally, but onely in kinde with those vvhich Iewes and heathens used. So the meaning of the scripture, forbidding conformitie with the heathen Idolaters, should onely be of using the same particular rites and ceremonies with them: as if when the cutting of their heads, & rounding of their haire like the heathen, vvas forbidden to the Israelites; Lev. 18. & 19. there had been danger lest the people of Israel should either get heathen mens heads, and set them upon their shoulders, or heathen mens beards, and set them upon their faces, and then put them into the forbidden fashion. It is but folly to confute largely such a beggarly assertion.

 

But if (sayth the Def.) the same generally be forbidden, then you cannot justifie any one of your owne ceremonies of order and decencie. Why so? because there is no gesture or circumstance of worship which hath not been abused to Idolatry. Now he sheweth plainly wherefore hee set downe onely a peece of the assumption: for if the reader marke, that our assumption is onely of ceremonies devised by man, and of no necessarie use, then he shall see that this poore obiection concerning circumstances of order and decencie, can haue no place here: for they are of necessarie use in their kinde, neither are they meere inventions of man, as the ceremonies are, by Bellarmines owne confession, de effect. sacr. lib. 2. c. 29. For the second, that our ceremonies

Page  70

are not 〈◊〉 the same which the Papists haue solemnly abused to Idolatry, if this be granted, it is no marvel: for it is altogether impossible to carry the same particular signe of the crosse so far as, from the font to the Church doore: or to keep it in being, so long as it is in making. Hath not the Def. then found out a great subtil mysterie in this distinction? yet it seemeth more true, that the Papists doe give divine honor unto the same individual ceremonies which are used in England: especially to the signe of the crosse as it is used among us. For Bellarmine ascribeth divine honour and operation unto the signe of the crosse as it was used by heathens, by Iewes, by Iulian the Apostate, Bell•de eff. sacr. l. 2. c. 31. Though the Papists count us hereticks, and I know not what, yet they esteeme us not vvorse then Pagans, unbeleeving Iewes, & cursed Apostates. Seeing therefore they yeeld such honor to this signe as it was used by them, they cannot deny it unto our individuall crosses.

 

The last conceit, that our ceremonies are not formally the same with the Papists, because we haue another intention and opinion of them then they, and therfore need not be abolished, is as vain as the former. For (not to dispute here of materiall and formall identitie) 1. a very shew of Idolatry must be abstained from and abolished. 2. It cannot bee sayd simply and truely, that our intention and opinion concerning the ceremonies, is not the same with the Papists. For we haue no intention or opinion in the use of the crosse, or other ceremonies, but the Papists haue the same; onely they haue some other opinions about these things vvhich wee haue not. And if this doth make a ceremonie not the same, that men haue not altogether the same opinion of it, then among the Papists there are also as many kinde of ceremonies, crosses, Surplices, &c. as there is diversitie of opinion about their nature and use, vvhich no man wil say. 3. the Altar erected by Vria, 2. King. 16. vvas an idolatrous Altar, like that of Damascus, though it vvas for another intention. 4. the Papists doe ascribe divine honour to the ceremonies used vvith our intention, as formerly vvas shewed out of Bellarmine. 5. This is the Papists answer vvhen they are accused for symbolizing with Pagans and Iewes in their ceremonies: Licet in externo symbolo sit aliqua similitudo, absolute tamen maximum est discrimen: nam à sine & intentione sumunt externae actiones speciem suam. Bell. de effect. sacr. lib. 2. c. 32.

 

SECT. XXII.

HEre, as a ground of confutation, the Def. setteth downe the profession of the Church of England: vvhich because hee drawes no conclusion from, it is not needfull to examine, though it cannot be defended, that the most abused ceremonies are

Page  [unnumbered]

taken away (as this profession telleth us) because no one ceremony among the Papists hath been so much abused as the crosse. That therefore onely I would haue here marked, how this profession doth confute this Defender. For he would make us beleeve, that none of the old ceremonies used in Poperie, are reteined, because they are not formally the same in respect of intention and opinion. But this profession telleth us plainly, that some of the old ceremonies doe remaine.

 

SECT. XXIII.

NO example can the Defendant find in all the booke of God, for lawfull reserving of Idolatrous ceremonies, but only two; one of Gedeon, Iudg. 6. 26. and another of Ioshua, los. 6. 19. and yet of Gedeons example, the Def. himselfe confesseth, that it vvas by speciall commandment from God: and that it is not every vvay imitable. And of Ioshuas, beside that it was also the expresse commandement of God; and that there is no mention made of things appropriated unto Idolatry, but onely of goods which had been the possession of Idolaters: so that he may fetch as good an argument and better, from the Spanish Crusadoes, for the crosse in baptisme, then from the riches of Iericho. It doth no way appeare in the text, but that the vessells were first molten, and then the gold onely, and the silver, brasse or yron of them, brought into the tabernacle. So that by this wretched penurie of Scripture proofes, it is manifest, that the vvarrant for reteining of humane Idolatrous ceremonies, must be fetched out of another court, then that vvhich God holds in his holy word.

 

SECT. XXIIII.

I Had thought verily that the Def. would haue brought some pregnant testimonies out of the Fathers, though he could finde none in the holy Scriptures. But he is here also as farre to seeke as before: for he bringeth nothing at all vvorth the answering. The feast of Easter (which now the fourth time is brought upon the stage by the Def. in vain) was never generally observed at the same time with the Iewes, nor ever so appointed by any decree or canon of Councel: if it had, yet that had been but an agreement in a circumstance of time, and the translation of it to another time, did shew, they liked of no conformitie of Iewes. There were feasts also appoynted at times differing from hereticks. What Cart-rope will draw a conclusion from hence for conformity with idolaters in their ceremonies? Besides, feasts & fasts, he nameth habits, but giveth no instance or proofe at all of any such thing. Circumcision, he sayth, was continued under many Christian Bishops of Ierusalem. But let him shew that those Christian Bish. allowed of any such thing.

Page  72

I neuer heard nor read of more confident conclusions out of such beggarly premisses.

 

SECT. XXV.

THe reasons had need be strong, when they come without any testimonie of Scripture, and antiquitie. But here the Defendant is as much forsaken of all helpe, as he vvas in the other. His first reason is, because hereticks haue perverted the sacraments Now he knew that the question is of humane ceremonies, not of Gods holy institutions: therfore he fetcheth about, and draweth this to his purpose, by gathering from thence, that it is almost impossible to finde any ceremony without exception. All which we grant, of human significant ceremonies, as he knoweth well: except therefore hee be resolved to make a trade of begging the question, I know not vvhat he should meane by this unreasonable reason.

 

SECT. XXVI. XXVII.

THe very same disease is found in his second reason: vvherout he can conclude nothing, but that some things abused may afterward be rightly used; vvhich vve vvillingly grant: nay, it may be granted of some human ceremonies also▪ as if the Surplices of England were turned into under garments for poore people: and vvoodden crosses were given them for firing. But if any conclude from hence, that therfore they may haue lawfull state in Gods vvorship, and there haue a good use, surely his wit & words might bee better used.

 

In the 27 section there is no shew of any reason at all, except affirmations bee reasons.

 

SECT. XXVIII.

THE last reason is, because Poperie and Popish rites are not to be esteemed of equall abomination with Paganisme and Paganish rites. Suppose this vvere true every way (as it is not) yet in this they may •agrree, that both alike are to bee detested and abandoned. Nay, a lesser superstition the authors and countenances wherof are neere at hand, doth call for more hastie removall, then a greater, whose authours and users are vnknown. Howsoever, vvhen the scriptures bid us flie from Idolatry, and that also particularly, from Popish Idolatries without any distinction, as from Divells, Ap. 18. a few smoothing vvords cannot satisfie our consciences in this, but, that wee are as well and as farre to flie from

Page  73

Popish Idolatry, as from Paganish. But if the Defendant vvould haue throughly discussed this question, vvhy did hee not answer that vvhich Mr. Parker hath to this purpose? p. 1. c. 1. S. 25. or that vvhich is alledged in the Abridgement, p. 24.

 

SECT. XXIX.

OVR Witnesses can give the Defendant but small aid, being separated from scripture and reason; yet he catcheth at three, Calvin, Martyr, and Zepperus. Calvin (sayth he) teacheth that there is great difference betwixt Turks and Papists, lib. de vitand superst. True, but in the same place hee answereth the consequence vvhich you would make from hence, viz. that therefore vvee need not flie so farre from Popish superstition, as from heathen: and in the same place also hee argueth from Turkes to Papists. Calvins purpose was not to condeme any thing but that which is evill in it selfe. True, in that discourse vvherein he dealeth against those vvhich could swallow downe the masse it selfe: it had been no vvisedome to dispute vvith them about Crosse and Surplice. Hee alloweth of Temples which haue been abused to Idolatry. So doe we, because they are not religious ceremonies, of mysticall signification, vvithout necessarie use. And is this all that can bee brought out of Calvin? Then surely hee doth not contradict the many sentences of condemnation vvhich as other where, so also in that very Tractate, he passeth against Idolatrous reliques.

 

Zepperus is alledged as allowing of Temples, which haue been abused, because they were not immediat instruments of Idolatry. So doe we al•o, as before I sayd, for that and other causes. But altars in the same place he condemneth: which yet are retained in our Cathedrall Churches, and I hope the crosse being an Idoll it selfe, had as immediat commu•ion with Idolatry, as Zepper or any reasonable Iudge would require for the cashiering of it.

 

As for Peter Martyr, howsoever in one epistle to Hooper, he setteth as good a colour upon the reliques of Idolatry as he could, because he thought by a little yeelding of Hooper and such men, the superstitions themselues might quickly be removed: yet in another Epistle, p. 1125. he giveth this peremptorie sentence, Profecto si ex animo superstitiones edissemus, vel ipsa eorum vestigia omnibus modis curaremus extirpanda: 1. If wee hated superstition from the heart, wee would abolish all the reliques of it. To the same purpose he speaketh p. 1127. vvhere he sheweth that his conscience would never suffer him to weare the Surplice, when he vvas Canon of Christ church in Oxford. If this vvere not his reason, hee had some other very much a kin to this. Neither will the Defendant say hastily, I

Page  74

hope, that either Peter Martyr, or Hooper, were disorderderly exorbitant men in those times, fit to be displaced, that more discreet conformists might come in their places: as now he pronounceth of those that refuse to conforme.

 

SECT. XXX.

WHen all faile, a contradiction must be found betwixt our conclusions, and our confessions and practises, but I assure my selfe, there is not any reader so simple, but if hee look over this section, will presently see, that he hath not brought one example of any humane ceremonie, not necessarie, notoriously known▪ to haue been abused unto Idolatry, that is allowed by us. Why then should I spend ink and paper in labouring to un•wine such ropes of sand? Onely I would ask the Defendant certaine questions.

 

  1. If a Temple, a Bell, or a Table-cloth haue such idolatry put uppon them by the Papists, as the crosse hath?

 

2 If his own heart do not tell him, that there is a civill use of such things, which cannot be imagined of the crosse?

 

3 What superstition there was in the meere significations given by Durandus unto Bells, and Bell-ropes, vvhich is not to be found in the Crosse and Surplice?

 

4 Whether the Pagan use of Bay-leaues vvhich was aboue a thousand yeares past, doth cast such a reflection upon our civill use of bay-leaues, as the Popish superstition doth upon our ceremonies?

 

5 What sence he had to find fault with us for not altering the situation of Churches?

 

6 If it be all one to call a ship by the name of Castor and Pollux, as Paul doth, Act. 28. 11. and to use a religious ceremonie in Gods worship, vvhich is taken from these Idolls?

 

7 If it be one thing to change copes into cushions, and to use a Masse vestiment in Gods worship?

 

8 If it be not a kind of slander to say, that the Church of Geneva imposeth a round wafer cake, like the Papists, to be used in the Lords Supper, when as onely unleavened bread is used, because custome in that part more prevailed, then the grave advice of Calvin, Farel, Viret, and the other excellent pastors? And if it bee not a wide leap, to bring in the practise of Geneva, for an instance of the Non-conformists practise in England?

 

By that time these questions be truely answered, the Defendant vvill haue but a small harvest out of our confessions and practises.

 

Page  75

CHAP. V.

 

SECT. I. ad X.

THE Authours of the Abridgement framed a strong Argument against our ceremonies from the rules of ceremonies prescribed in the Word, p. 43 &c. with this Argument vvhen the Defendant vvas not able to grappell, as it stood in the parts combined, he thought good to sever some parcels of it, and try vvhat he could say to them apart. Thus out of this one Argument he hath taken that which he calleth our first: and out of the same he hath made up this fift: and yet hee hath quite left out a great part of the sinewes wherewith that one reason is knit together in the Abridgement.

 

The argument is taken from the scandall or offence vvhich the imposing and using of these ceremonies do bring unto divers sort• of men.

 

The Defendant heere maketh great flourishing in nine whole Sections, defining, dividing, and subdividing a scandall, as if he would make all cleare before him: but at the end of all this preparation, he maketh no application of these Rules unto the matter in hand at all: but onely, telleth his Reader, p. 154, That these divisions and subdivisions will expedite all difficulties, so that out of them he may collect the true and false sense of Scriptures alledged. It vvere sufficient therefore either to deny this power to be in his divisions: or else to set down as many other subdivisions of scandall (vvhich vvere easie to doe) and then tell him that these vvill expedite the controversie, and that from them hee may collect the errours of his answer. But I will notwithstanding briefly shew my opinion concerning some of these dictates.

 

The definition vvhich he onely alloweth of as accurate is, that a scandall is a wilfull offence against Christians, in provoking of them unto any damnable errour or sinne, by any sensible externall meanes: Sect. 1. Wherein notwithstanding many faults may be found. For 1 every scandall is not wilfull, except the word be taken more largely then use of speech will allow. 2 Every scandall is not against Christians. 3 A scandall is not onely by provoking to sinne, but also in hindring from good. 4 what doth he meane to put in the word damnable? the occasioning of any sin, sufficeth to make up a scandall.

 

Among his subdivisions, the first thing I except against is, section 5, vvhere he distinguisheth so betwixt persons and causes,

Page  76

either determined or undetermined, that in matters determined by the Church (as he teacheth) obedience is to be given without respect of scandall: and onely in matters undetermined there is a charitable consideration to be had of other mens consciences. This is a new and a tickle point of Divinity touching the tenderest part of our spirits, even our consciences, and other mens also. It ought therefore either not to haue been propounded, or else to be well confirmed either with testimonies, or vvith reasons drawn out of Scripture. But alas the Def. thrusteth it upon us without any such vvarrant. The peace of the Church (saith he) is to be preferred before the grievance i. e. scandall of any sort of men. As if the peace of the Church did not more consist in avoyding of scandals, then in observing of humane ceremonies! it is not the peace of God which is broken by a charitable care of avoyding offences, but by rushing into them.

 

A scandall in the nature of it is spirituall murder. Now suppose a Superiour should command a thing in it selfe indifferent, whereupon murder vvere like to follow, as to runne a horse, or a cart, in a certain way, at a certaine time, when it may be unwitting to the commander, little children were playing in the way, vvould any mans conscience serue him to doe it?

 

Avoyding of scandall is a maine duty of charity. May Superiours at their pleasure appoint how farre I shall shew my charity towards my brothers soule? Then surely an inferiour earthly court may crosse the determinations of the high Court of heaven.

 

The superiours haue no power given them for destruction, but onely for edification. If therefore they command scandalls, they goe beyond their commission: neither are we tyed therein to doe as they bid, but as they should bid.

 

If determination by superiours vvere sufficient to take away the sin of a scandall. Then they doe very ill that they doe not (so farre as is possible) determine all things indifferent, that so no danger may be left in giving of offence by the use of them. Then the Church of Rome is to be praysed in that she hath determined of so many indifferents; then Paul with the other Apostles might haue spared a great deale of labour in admonishing the Churches how they should avoyd offences about some indifferent things. A farre shorter way had bene either to determine the matter finally, or else to haue given order that the Churches should among themselues determine it at home.

 

But say that the Archbishop of Corinth (for now I suppose such a one) had called his Convocation, and vvith consent of his Clergie had determined that men might, and for testifying of

Page  77

liberty should at a certaine time eat of such and such meats which men formerly doubted of: would not yet the Apostle haue given the same direction he did? would not good Christians still haue had care of their brothers consciences? Can the determination of a superiour be a sufficient plea at the barre of Gods judgement seat, for a man that by vertue or force thereof alone, hath done any action that his conscience telleth him will scandalize his brother?

 

Lastly, I vvould faine know whether those superiours doe not giue a great scandall, vvhich take upon them determinately to impose unnecessary rites vvhich they know many good men will be scandalized by?

 

The second notorious flaw vvhich I finde in the Defendant his subdivisions is sect 9, where he granteth that much indulgence indeed is to be used in things indifferent towards weake persons, whose infirmity proceedeth onely from simple ignorance: but that onely till such time as the doctrine concerning such things haue been sufficiently declared: because a scandall doth alwaies presuppose a meer weakenesse for want of due meanes of knowledge. For 1 Paul had sufficiently declared that it vvas lawfull for him to take wages, yet he would not, 1 Cor. 9, he had given sufficient reasons for the lawfulnesse of eating all kind of meats, yet he abstayned, and so counselled others, for feare of scandall, Rom. 14 1 Cor 9. 2 There can be no certaine set time for all sorts of men vvhen they are sufficiently taught. 3 Who is this Def. that he dare judge so many of his fellow servants, that in such indifferencies as our ceremonies are held to be, they take offence not upon weakenesse, but upon presumption? 4 What authority haue our Prelats to obtrude unnecessary ceremonies upon the Church, vvhich must be declared before they can be used? Is it fit that the people should be troubled with the declararion of mens inventions, vvhen they are hardly brought to heare willingly the maine things of the Gospell? 5 Is it not more agreeable to the wisedome of God, Ex. 21. 33, to fill up the pit, then to set one by for to warne the passengers they fall not into it? 6 There vvas never yet sufficient declaration of this doctrine of ceremonies throughout England. In many places there is no preaching at all. Many preach so, that they declare nothing almost to the people but their own folly. Many are ashamed, or at least unwilling to declare unto the people mens devices. Many declare them so corruptly that the scandall thereby is not removed but increased. And among those that goe about vvith some good mind to declare this kind of doctrine, there is almost as great variety of declarations as there is of declarers: while some will haue them significant some not: some say they are good and profitable

Page  78

to edification, and others condemning them as altogether unfit, declare them to be tollerable for avoiding of a greater mischiefe: Some will haue them onely civill, and others Ecclesiasticall: some excuse all but the crosse, and some extoll the crosse aboue all. Are not such declarations (thinke you) likely to informe well the consciences of poore men who doubt more whom they should take for a good Declarer, then they did at the first of the things themselues?

 

SECT. X.

AMong the instances of scandall arising from the ceremonies, that vvhich in the Abridgement hath the third place is set first by the Def. viz, that the superstitions Papist will be hardened in the liking of his abominable Religion, from which he seeth wee borrow our ceremonies, and increase in his hope of the full restoring of it againe. To this the Def. answereth, that our rites are not the ceremonies of Papists, because they are purged from superstition. But 1 that they are not purged from all superstition hath sufficiently been declared before. 2 This plea of transubstantiating of ceremonies by the breath of our Convocation is a meere shift, contrary not onely to the language of all our Divines, and to that vvhich every mans senses doe tell him, but also to the publicke profession of the Church of England, in the preface to our service-book, as it is cited by him p. 127. For there we are told 1 that an abatement is made of the excesse of Popish ceremonies: All therefore are not abolished, but some remaine. And vvhich be they, if these in question be not? 2 That some of the old ceremonies doe remaine. What sense can be given of these words, if our ceremonies be not the same with those vvhich were of old among the Papists? if it were meant of old ceremonies not used among the Papists, then they doe not remaine, nor are retained, but restored. 3 That none are devised anew▪ therefore they must needs be taken from the Papists, or from the Fathers: but of the Fathers surplice or kneeling at the communion, no instance can be given: and as for the crosse, the Def. himselfe will not defend, I thinke, all that use vvhich the Fathers put it to. 3. The Papists own words doe sufficiently manifest how they are hardened by the imposition and use of our ceremonies. For as it is shewed in the Abridgement p. 25, they seek to justifie their superstition by this, that we haue borrowed our ceremonies from them. And some of them thence conclude (as there is shewed) that our Governours like vvell of their superstition. Beside Gretser, a principall Iesuit saith, that in these ceremonies our Ministers are as Apes of Popish Priests,

Page  79

Apol. pr• Gregor. 7 pag. 8, and in his defence, t•m. 2 lib. 4 cap. 16 saith, that our Convocation house in imposing these Ceremonies, doe crosse the judgement of our best Divines. Lastly, the respect of that Popish superstition wherwith our people were then generally infected, was the chiefe, if not the onely cause why these ceremonies vvere retained by our first Reformers. See more of this in M. Parker, p. 2 c. 6 sect. 10.

 

SECT. XI.

THE second instance is, that that the prophane will draw many arguments hence to blesse himselfe in his contempt of all Religion. The Def. asketh, from whence? I answer, from hence: 1 that Religious rites are invented by men, and appointed to be used in Gods worship, euen after the same manner that Gods Ordinances are, or at least vvere of old: 2 That trifles are urged, to the increasing of contention: 3 that many place such holines in these things vvhich they know to be mens devises: 4 that other ceremonies are cryed down, as if they vvere against Religion, vvhich yet are every vvay as good as these: 4 that religious men are more molested for these toyes, then they are for their profanenesse.

 

SECT. XII.

THE third instance of scandall is in vveak brethren, who will be drawn to yeeld unto the ceremonies against their consciences, or else doubtingly: and some also will grow to dislike some Ministers for these things, and so be hindred from profiting by their ministery. To this the Def. answereth in many words: but the summe of all he saith is, that these are not weake brethren, because they haue been diligently catechised by Non-conformists. But 1 the Corinthians no doubt vvere diligently catechised: and yet there were many weak among them. 2 The Def. I hope taketh order (or else he may be ashamed) that all his Dioc•ffe be diligently catechised; yet I thinke he will not say but there are many vveak soules in that circuit: 3 The Catechisers he speaketh of haue had enough to doe, to teach the people the maine points of Religion: as for instructing them concerning the lawfulnesse of humane ceremonies, they left that to those that impose th•m, or to their servants: 4 After long teaching and sufficient knowledge, there may be still a weaknesse in regard of some things, through many circumstances required unto strength, beside bare knowledge. Lastly, we confesse, that (upon supposition that the Def. his doctrine be sound in these points) we are yet weak in these points, as we are also in some other,

Page  80

wherein our adversaries are so strong, that they can beare many Churches and such like things, upon their shoulders, without feeling any burthen of them, which we cannot. See M. Park. ca. 6 sect. 18.

 

SECT. XIII.

THE fourth instance is thus set down in the Abridgement, pa. 50, As there is danger in the use of these ceremonies in all Congreg•tions, so especially if they sh•ll be brought backe againe unto those, where they haue been long out of use. In this case Calvin, Brentius, B•cer, Hemingius, Beza, Grinaeus & other great Divines esteem• them wicked and unlawfull.

 

To all this the Def. giveth no answer: but onely taketh occasion to make a frothy comparison betwixt the lawes and power of particular Congregations, and the vvhole Convocation house. Which because it neither pertaineth to the present purpose, nor containeth any thing of moment, I leaue as I found: though it may be easily proved, that many particular Congregations can tell better vvhat is fitting for their edification in some things, then all our Nationall Convocation. Nay, I dare boldly say, there is no Towne of note in all England, but twelue men may be chosen out of, vvhich would finde out Canons more to the edification of all the Congregations in England, then those are, which B. Bancroft with his Clergie, concluded.

 

SECT. XIIII.

A Fift instance, or rather an inlargement of the former is, in respect of the Ministers who haue formerly refused the ceremonies, for whereas the Minister is bound to lead his people forward unto perfection; and to provide by all good meanes, that his ministery be not despised: by this meanes be shall draw them back again unto the liking of superstition; or at least not to dislike it so much as they haue done: and giue them evident occasion to blame his Ministery, and to call in question the truth of all his doctrine.

 

Here the Def. commeth upon them vvith open mouth, avouching peremptorily, that this is a false, presumptuous, irreligious, partiall, and pernicious pretense: and all this he will proue. If he can, vve shall the easilyer beare these great words. But why is it False? forsooth, because most of the Non-conformists haue once subscribed: the contradicting of which subscription is no lesse a matter of discredit then returning unto conformitie. What kind of proofe is this? because they were subject to another discredite, therefore this is no discredit. Beside it doth not appeare, nor is likely that most of these Ministers

Page  81

did ever absolutely subscribe: neither is it likely: because it is well known how easie and how ordinary it vvas in Qu Elizabeths dayes, to enter into the Ministry without passing under that gallowes. If the most had, yet how would this proue it a falle pretence in the rest? If all had done so, yet this vvas no act of their Ministerie, nor known it may be to their people, and therfore the crossing of it did not so directly tend to the discrediting of their Ministery, as the crossing of their publick doctrine. Lastly, that which is done before a man be setled in the Ministery at one time, without any great deliberation, is not of such note as that which a man hath long professed & perswaded by reasons taken from the word of God. By all this it appeareth, that this first accusation of falsehood vvas rather an adventure as the Def. himselfe calleth it, the• a grounded assertion.

 

He did but adventure neither to call the same plea presumptuous. For he can finde no other reason to beare up this charge withall then, that they seeme to arrogate to themselues a prerogatiue proper to the Apostles. How can this be I wonder, seeing they follow herein the direction of the Apostle himselfe, Tit. 2 15. Let no man despise thee. What this prerogatiue is, he doth not plainly tels us: but compriseth it in two places of Scripture, 1 Cor 15, Gal. 2 18, the first vvherof is nothing at all to the purpose. For the Apostle doth not say as the Def. maketh him, If we be found false witnesses, then is your faith in vaine: but if Christ be not risen; then are we false Witnesses, and your faith is vaine: Which also any preacher of the Gospell may say vvithout falshood or presumption to his people. The second place, If I build againe that which I haue destroyed, I make my selfe a prevaricator, is applyable to any Minister that hath taught the truth against Popish superstition. This very doctrine M. Perkins gathereth out of the words. Proculcavimus superstitionem Papisticam &c. I hope the Def. doth not thinke he may build up any superstition, and not be accounted therefore a prevaricator: if he doe; or though he doe not, let him consider vvhere the presumption lyeth.

 

But vvhy irreligious? because it is persisting in an errour, for the preservation of their own credit. But 1 vvho taught the Def. to make that vvhich is in question the ground of an accusation in dispute. First, let him proue that it is an errour, before he take it so for granted, that upon that ground he vvill challenge mens reasons as irreligious. 2 It is not their credit, but the credit of their Ministery vvhich they speake of. 3 Is it such an irreligious thing, to desire that certaine ceremonies may not bee imposed upon them, lest their Ministery be by that meanes prejudiced?

 

Page  82

Why partiall? because men should rather yeeld to Conformitie for the credit of the Church: i. e. for the credit of the Convocation house. Alas, the credit which a great part of that generation doth seek for, is that they may rejoyce in our flesh. But suppose they meant sincerely: vvould the Def. haue men discredit and prejudice their Ministery, to bring some credit unto other mens decrees? Or doth the forbearing of some ceremonies bring such discredit to the Authorizers of them? surely then they are more for the honor of mortall men, then for the honour of God. For Gods honour and worship is no vvaies prejudiced by their absence.

 

The last charge is pernitious. And heere many words are used to giue countenance unto that one. The maine ground is, Woe to me if I preach not the Gospell; and Simon lovest thou mee? then feed my sheep. Wherupon he gathereth, that it is a pernicious thing for a Minister to put himselfe unto silence. But 1 vvhat is this to the question of discrediting ones Ministrie? 2 Although we were most vvorthy to haue these remembrances out of Scripture rubbed upon us yet the Prelates are altogether unworthy and unfit to doe it. Let any man conceiue vvith himselfe B. B•ncroft, or any other in the end of the Convocation, after all the Canons were concluded, comming forth as Prolocutor, and speaking thus to the Ministers assembled together before him. Men and brethren, the reverend fathers of this Convocation, as they alwayes meditate on the law of God, and every part of it, both day and night; so especially doe they lay to heart those passages of holy Writ which properly concerne their office: as woe unto me if I preach not the Gospell: and Simon lovest thou mee? feed my sheep. Out of these considerations, being carryed with a fervent zeale both of preaching themselues in their severall pl•ces, and also of procuring more faithfull Preachers, and more fruitfull preaching throughout the land, they haue over and aboue the institutions of Christ, appointed certaine ceremonies strictly to be observed of every Minister: so that whosoever shall heereafter upon any pretense refuse to obserue the same, they shall be esteemed factious, schismaticall, disarderly, exorbitant men, and for that cause by their Ordinary suspended and deprived. oNw for the preventing of such a mischiefe your tender mother would haue you to understand by my mouth, that if any man bee thrust out of the Ministery for not yeelding to these constitutions, howsoever they may seeme unto him such as the Church cannot lawfully appoint, nor hee obserue, yet he is author of his own silencing: and therefore you must all be exhorted to consider well of those parcels of Scripture which haue so much prevailed with your carefull mother. Woe is me if I preach not the Gospell; Simon lovest thou mee? feed my sheepe.

 

Page  83

Would not he that heard such a speech as this from a Prelate b• forced to call for for a bason? and after he had recovered himselfe he might well giue answer in these words, I heare the words of a deceitfull tongue. Behold thou art called a Bishop, and gloriest in that title: thou perswadest thy selfe, thou art a chiefe guide and father of the Church, thou therefore that teachest another, teachest thou not thy selfe? Thou that sayest it is a woefull thing not to preach the Gospell, doest thou neither preach Christ faithfully, nor suffer those that would? Darest thou by thine owne authoritie, and for thine owne pleasure, hinder so many able men from preaching? thou that professest the flocke must bee fed, doest thou thrust out feeders, and keep in starvers? Therefore thou art inexcusable, ô Prelat, whosoever thou art, that condemnest another for that whereof thou art both beginning and ending.

 

Thirdly, the Apostles woe, 1. Cor. 9. belongeth to negligent, slothfull, and carelesse ministers properly, such as our Prelats know where to find enough, vvho yet neither feele nor feare that vvoe from the Bishops vvhich many faithfull preachers are wrapped in from time to time.

 

Fourthly, the Apostle doth not pronounce any vvoe for not preaching, vvhere imprisonment doth hinder. Now hee vvhose conscience is against the ceremonies, or doubteth of them, is spiritually imprisoned, so that he cannot by vsing of them, make his vvay to the pulpit.

 

Fiftly, it is a meere jest, though a bitter one, to say, that we leaue our ministeries: when we doe all that our consciences vvill suffer us to doe, for the holding of our places: and vvhen we haue done all that, depart against our wills with sorrow. Non discedit a stati•ne, qui cedit invitus. See Mr. Parker, p. 1. c. 4. s. 14.

 

But the Defendant undertaketh to proue, that the cause of silencing •is not in the Bishops that suspend and deprive us: but in our selves. He is as it seemeth, a great adventurer: For hee commeth forth upon this peece of service vvith flying colours: Know you well what you say (sayth hee) when you lay the cause of your silencing upon the Bishops? Yes surely, very well. For a cause is that which bringeth force or vertue to the being of another thing.

 

Now the first vertue (or rather vice) which tendeth to silencing. of Ministers in this case, is in the Bishops canons: they therefore are the first cause. The second vertue is in the Bishops and their officers, which are executioners of those unconscionable canons: they therefore are the secondarie cause. Non-conformitie hath no vertue in it of it own nature, nor by Gods ordinance, to bring forth such an effect as the silencing of Gods Ministers

Page  84

is• though it bemade an occasion by the perversnesse of our Prelats. I know well what I say: and will make it good against the Defendants vain pretences. The case standeth thus (sayth he) Titus (It had been more proper to say Diotrephes) the Bishop doth depriue Titius a factious & schismatical minister, that he may place Sempronius, a peaceable and discreet man, in his stead. In this proceeding, the intendment of Titus is not absolutely to deprive Titius, as he is a Minister, but as he was factious: yet so onely respectiuely, that Titius being deprived, he may constitute Sempronius: for the charge of a Bishop is not determinate to appoynt precisely this minister: but indefinite, to ordaine a minister: so that the course of Gods plow is still preserved and continued. But as for Titius, who will rather be silenced then conforme, it is evident, that the cause of his silencing being his own refractarinesse, which is onely personall and proper to himselfe, and yet hath no facultie in himselfe to appoynt or admit of a successor: he may be sayd to haue properly caused his owne suspension and deprivation.

 

This case needeth no long demurring on: for there is not one sentence in all the length of it, which doth not smell, without any uncasing. 1. are all those factious and schismaticall men, that refuse to conforme? vvas Hooper such a kind of man? vvas Peter Martyr and Mr. Perkins such, vvhen one at Oxford, and the other at Cambridge, refused to vveare the Surplice? was Mr. Goodman, Mr. Deering, Mr. More, Mr. Rogers, and such like heavenly men, the lights and glory of our Churches, vvere all these factious and schismaticall? In the presence of God it is well known they were were not. But our prelats haue this prerogatiue, they may dubbe whom they please factious aud schismaticall, and after that, there is no redemption, they must be such, be they otherwise never so full of all grace.

 

2 Are all peaceable discreet men, which are placed in the deprived ministers stead? For the best of them, they are still as great eye• sores to our Bishops almost as the other: because they reprove a great deale of Episcopall darknesse, by their practises. For the rest, the congregations over whom they are set, cannot finde it, the voyce of all the countrey is otherwise for many of them; yet according to the Prelats measure, who meat (as it seemeth) the vertues and vices of a minister by certaine ceremonies of their owne imposing, it cannot bee denied, but the most of them are very peaceable & discreet: Even so as many of the Bishops themselves were known to be afore they were Bishops, and shew themselves to be still: for Episcopatus plures accepit quam fecit bonos.

 

3 What sence can this haue, The Bishop depriveth Titius respectiuely, that he may constitute Sempronius? Doth hee know before-hand vvhom he shall constitute? then there is grosse legerdemaine, betwixt

Page  85

him and that Sem•ronius. For with what conscience can one seeke and the other assigne the place of him that is in possession? This is but some time in those benefices vvhich are fatter, and whose patrons are more foolish. Ordinarily, the vilest minister that is to be found, may succeed in the place of him that is deprived, for ought the Bishop knoweth, or for ought he can doe, except he will endure a quare impedit, which in case of morall unworthinesse, hath scarce been ever heard of.

 

4 The charge which he sayth our Bishops haue of appoynting Ministers, I vvonder from whence they haue it, or by vvhat conveyance. They say that they themselues are the proper pastors of all the parishes in their Diocesse. It is well, if they haue an ubiquitary facultie, and vvill, to performe the office of pastors to so great a people: but vvho made them such? Christ and his Apostles never knew of ordinary pastors, having charge of so many Churches. But suppose they did, by vvhom doth Christ call one of our Bishops? by the Kings congedelier, the Chapiters nominall election, or by the Arch-bishops consecration? There is none of these that can beare the triall of scripture, nor of the Primitiue Churches example?

 

6 Is the Bishops power of appointing a minister no wayes determinate to this or that minister? then it seemeth his meere will determineth of the particular person, without any iust reason. For if there be certain causes or reasons which the Bishop is bound to follow in designing of this or that minister, rather then another, then is the Bishop determinate. The Councel of Nice it selfe determined the authoritie even of Patriarches in this case: viz. that the Elders should first nominate fit men 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 secondly that the people should elect or choose out of that number, per〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: and thirdly, that the Bishop should confirme the elected 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Socrat. l. •. p. 177. What exorbitant power is this then vvhich our Bishops doe now-a-dayes chalenge unto themselues? All Classicall Divines do consent to that which Iunius setteth downe, Conc. 5. l. 2. c. 6. n. 73. that no Bishop can send or appoynt a minister sine certa ac justa ecclesiae postulatione, vvithout the certain fore-choyce of the Church: Id enim esset obtrudere non mittere. For that were to obtrude him, not to send him.

 

6 How is the course of Gods plow preserved, when for the most part the succeeding minister is thrust vpon the people against their wills, and so pernitious contentions arise, of vvhich the Bishop is cause procreant and conservant, by depriving the people of their minister, and obtruding his own minister upon them, and upholding him in al those courses vvherby he grieveth the poor people.

 

Page  86

7 As the Minister hath no facultie in himselfe to appoint a successor, so hath not the Bishop neither of himselfe, and by himselfe.

 

Thus much for the defendant his case. Whereas he addeth, that Beza and Mr. Cartwright determined with him in case of the Surplice. I answer, 1. they did not so for the crosse. 2. they did not so for subscription to either. 3. they did not so but by way of toleration, requiring also that men did speake against the imposing of the Surplice. 4. Beza was not throughly acquainted with the state of our Church. Mr. Cartwright (as I haue been certainly informed by his owne sonne) recalled that passage of his booke, and desired that his revoking of it might be made known.

 

I thought good, overseeing the Presse, to confirme the Authors report, by a more particular relation which I haue receiued from a person of good credit, set downe in writ as followeth.

 

  1. Cartwright being beyond the seas, in printing the rest of his 2. Reply, werein that indulgence is, sent to the Ministers of England who sought reformation with him, for their opinion of the use of the Surplice in case of deprivation: 22 of whom met therabout; of whom 19 ioyntly agreed that it was simply unlawfull in any case, but the other three sayd otherwise; wherefore it was agreeed by all, that each part should write their opinion and their reasons to him, which they did: but the letter of the nineteene miscarried, and that of the other three was delivered, which he taking as the letter of the whole, supposed their joynt consent had been, that the losse of the ministerie altered the case of the unlawfulness, and so that they were all against him; whereupon he mistrusting his owne judgement, and being much perplexed thereabout, suffered himselfe to be swated unto what is there written: but afterward understanding the right, hee was much more perplexed; yea (as he sayd) more then ever he was, in that to the great prejudice of the truth, he had suffered his conscience to be so defiled, which was forbidden, 1. Cor. 8. 7. which hee hartily sorrowed to many, professing that if he againe put pen to paper about that subiect, he would cleare the cause, and blame himselfe, praying them to signify the same freely in the meane time, the which they did, so that it ever since hath been currant among all his friends, and constantly, affirmed by them to all on due occasions, and particularly affirmed to M. Sprint by a Gentleman in the presence of one Nobleman, two Gentlemen, 27.

Page  87

ministers, and many professors, in his course, in the scanning his booke then about to be printed divers yeares before it was printed; sundry also of those ministers avouched the same, some on their owne knowledge, others vpon undoubted testimonie, which yet is ready to be avouched in due case of need, and should now be expressed, were not the naming of the avouchers dangerous unto them, and so not to be done without their knowledge, which now cannot be.

 

For the poynt it selfe, when a man doth but stand in doubt betwixt using the ceremonies, and suffering of deprivation, it must needs be more safe, patiently to suffer himselfe to bee thrust from his ministerie, then to reteine it and offend his conscience by using the ceremonies. For to bee restrained by authoritie from his lawfull function, because hee will not yeeld to the doing of that vvhich to him is sinne, is no more sinne in the sufferer, then to surcease his publicke preaching whilest he is held in prison, where he wanteth occasion. Thus the use of that is avoyded, which he disalloweth, and the blame of leaving his standing, is theirs vvho cast him from thence, and not his. So no sin is committed either in the use of that hee disalloweth, or in susteining deprivation. But to hold his place, and to practise against conscience, is to commit one great sin at the least.

 

Thus having examined the Defend, his adventurous charges of false, presumptuous, irreligious, partiall, and pernitious, I finde them all to bee but rash vvords of distemper.

 

SECT. XV.

IN the last place, the Defendant bringeth forth to answer the vvords of the Apostle, 1. Thess. 5. 22. Abstaine from all appearance of evill. But as this argument is not found at all in that page of the Abridgement vvhich he citeth, so in the words or sence vvhich he setteth downe, I dare say it is not used either of them, or any other against the ceremonies. Yet let us heare his answer. The Apostle speaketh (sayth he) of the opinions of privat men. But 1. vvhat vvarrant hath he to restraine a generall precept, when the vniversalitie of it agreeth vvith the law? Abstain from all appearance, sayth the Apostle: 1. sayth the Def. from some privat opinions. 2. Why must appearance of evil be needs understood of opinions onely? two or three interpreters indeed do understand it of doctrine most properly: but the most otherwise; & the word translated appearance, signifying rather an obiect of seeing then of hearing, leads us rather to the eye, as in actions, gesturs, garments, then to the ear in doctrines.

Page  88

  1. For that vvhich he addeth of privat mens opinions, there is no circumstance of the text, nor any reason or authoritie that doth vvarrant such a glosse.

 

SECT. XVII.

AMong his accusations wherein he chargeth us with manifold scandalls, the first is, that some weak ones by occasion of these differences, stand amazed, and so become more remisse in profession of religion. Where 1. it is to bee observed, that when wee spake of weake-ones sect. 12. it was put off with this pretence, that they vvere such as we had catechised. Now then, vvho are these vveak ones? I hope the Bishops provide that people of their Diocesses are well catechised: whence then is this weaknesse. 2. Differences in matters of circumstance are not wont to breed scandal, vntill some authoritie injoyne uniformitie, as vve may see in the primitiue churches. 3. If differences be the occasion of this scandal, surely those that differ from us, may as vvell be accused therefore, as we that differ from them, especially vvhen we urge nothing of ours upon them, but they impose their owne devices upon us, and so are causes of the differences. 4. the amazement vvhich some haue, vvondring vvhat vvill be the event of differences, is no damnable error, which by the Def. is required to a scandall, sect. 1. And if they grow remisse in religion upon it, that is their sinne. I am sure zeale against superstition, and for pure and undefiled worship, hath no fitnesse in it to vvork remissenesse in religion: but urging of humane devices in Gods vvorship, tendeth directly thither.

 

SECT. XVIII.

THe second charge of scandall, is in respect of the Separatists. Where 1. I aske, if Gaius had made a separation from the Church wherein Diotrephes lived, vvhether the Apostle Iohn had been cause of that scandal, because he condemned his abuse of excommunication. 3. Ioh. 9. 10. 2. If any separate from Churches where Images are retained, who is the cause, they that dislike of Images, or they that retaine them? 3. The dislike of ceremonies is not the cheife cause for vvhich separation is made: but the intollerable abuses vvhich are in Ecclesiasticall Courts: by which it commeth to passe, that many poore men being troubled at the first for a small thing, afterward are driven to flye the countrey: and flying with a hatred of such courses, are ready to receiue that impression which is most opposite unto them. The thing it selfe is plaine enough to all indifferent men, that Ecclesiasticall corruptions urged and obtruded, are the proper occasion of separation.

 

Page  89

SECT. XIX. XX.

IN the next place the Papists are alledged as persons offended by Non-conformitie, because they are utterly unperswadeable to enter into a Church where all ancient rites are professedly rejected. But 1. the refusing of conformitie by the Ministers, doe not, I hope, make these ancient rites (much lesse all) to be professedly reiected by our Church. For then we may plead the profession of our mother as well as the Defendant: which he I am sure will not grant. 2. This assertion which is given as a reason, is evidently false. For in Scotland, France, the Low-countries, and such like Churches, vvhere none of these ceremonies are retained, the power of Gods word (vvhich doth not depend on human ceremonies) is as •ffectuall to the conversion of Papists, as in England. 3. How doth this agre• vvith that vvhich the Defendant hath so often told us, that our ceremonies are not the same with the Papists ceremonies: and that the Papists haue no great conceit of our ceremonies, cap. 2. sect. 1•. 4. If our contentions about these things bee a scandall to the Papist, let them looke to it that cast these apples of contention into the Church, under the pretense of peace and uniformitie. 5. One minister without conformitie, as old Mr. Midsly of Ratsdell, vvho vvas after silenced for his labour, hath converred more Papists then any (I might say then all) of the Bishops in England, vvith all his ceremoniall observations. 6. It is vvell knowne that there are farre more Papists and Popishly affected in those places vvhere ceremonies are most observed, then where they haue been disused. 7. It is answered in the Abridgement, pag. 47. 48. that ceremonies are not for the edification of the Papists, but for the hardening of them. And that Papists are not so much to be respected as brethren. To the latter of vvhich words, the Defendant replieth vvith a descant upon the tearme Brethren, sect. 20. but sayth nothing at all to the purpose. 8. What manner of converts they are usually who are addicted to humane ceremonies, vve may see in the Archbishop of Spalato, and such others.

 

SECT. XXI.

THe greatest scandall of all (sayth the Defend.) is against the Church. Now this Non-conformists are made guiltie of two vvayes: 1. comparatiuely in this section, and then absolutely in the next. The comparatiue accusation is, that we for avoyding of offence towards our brethren, grievously offend our mother, in that wherin

Page  90

wee owe obedience unto her. Where 1. the question is taken for granted, for we deny that we owe obedience in the ceremonies to any man or societie of men. 2. If our mother be somewhat angry, that is not presently a scandall by his definition, sect. 1. but vvhen shee is provoked to a mortall errour. Now what mortall errour doe vve provoke the Church to? Our desire and scope is, that the ceremonies should be either wholly removed, or else left free to use or disuse: this is no mortall errour, I hope. The event by accident is the silencing, depriving, excluding, and molesting of us for Non-conformitie: This indeed is a great errour and sinne of the Prelates; but as vvas formerly shewed, the beginning of it is in their irregular Canons, and the ending of it, in their cruell executions. 3. by applying our selues to the will of the Prelates in these ceremonies, vvee should, though not anger, yet greatly scandalize them, by confirming them in a sinne of making their owne will a rule to the Churches, even in mysticall ceremonies of superstitious worship, contrary to their and our daily prayer, Thy will be done. 4. The convocation doth not carry herselfe like a mother toward us: neither doe we acknowledge any such honour to belong unto it. As for the faithfull congregatious of England, the greattest part of them would willingly be rid of these burthens.

 

The rest of this Section is nothing pertinent: yet two things may bee noted in it. 1. An errour that the number of the lewish Proselites was great, and the converted Gentiles few, Acts 15. 2 A grosse assertion, that after the doctrine of Indifferencie in eating of meats, was made publicke by the Church, then to haue sought by abstaining to avoyd the offence of some, had been to the preiudice of Christian libertie, and to the scandall of the Church.

 

The other accusation of contempt is onely objected sect. 22. and varnished over with a few glosing words sect. 23. and therefore may well bee answered vvith contempt. But hee that will see a full refutation of this, let him read Mr. Parker chap. 5. sect. 11. 12. I am wearie of wrastling with the winde: yet one unworthy and unchristian taunt I cannot passe by, that hee upbraideth the Ministers with, liuing upon voluntary contribution, and feare of offending their maintainers. For 1. when as he confesseth, he hath no windowes to look into mens consciences by, what rule of religion will permit him to cast upon his brethren such a suspition contrary to their profession, of practising and speaking against their consciences for gaining of a poore contribution? Is there not farre more cause to thinke, that great livings, and worldly honors (one of the choicest darts that satan hath in his quiver, &

Page  91

therfore tried against our Saviour himself when al other faild, Mat 4. 8 9) is it not more likely I say that these promotions beare more sway in the mindes of our great Prelates, then a poore supply of necessaries vvith others? 2 Neither all, nor the most part of them against whom he writeth did liue upon contributions. Though they need not haue been ashamed thereof if they had: seeing not onely the primitiu• Pastors did so, but even in our time, M. Perkins and other such lights of our Church, haue vvith that kinde of life done more good then all our Cathedrall men vvith their great revenues. 3 Who are the cause that many are forced to liue upon contribution? haue not the L•iterers of Cathedrall Churches• ingrossed a great part of that maintenance vvhereby labou•ing Preachers should be maintained? Doe not our Pluralists and Non-residents cary away the fat of the greatest livings, and leaue scarce a Serving-mans wages to their Curats; so that either they must be supplyed by contribution, or else by begging? Nay, doe not the people in divers places take it for a great courtesie at the Non-residents hands, if he vvill take his Tithes, and suffer them to procure and maintaine to themselues an honest Minister in his place? haue not our Honourable Parliament offered to provide some competent maintenance for the Ministers, if the Clergie would forbeare their sinfull excesses? 4. Why should the Ministers depend so much upon contribution, if they had such accommodatiue consciences, as this Def. surmiseth of them? Some of them with serving the time, and the addition of Simony, might come to be Bishops: & the rest might be preferred by their meanes to some certaine in-comings.

 

CHAP. VI.

 

SECT. III.

NOW vve are come to the sixt and last generall Argument, viz. that the imposition of these ceremonies is opposite unto Christian liberty. Here the Def. observeth first• that the state of this question is about liberty from the necessary observation of such things as are in their own nature indifferent. This (saith he) the Objector implyeth. But I answer, the Objector doth not imply it: he speaketh of ceremonies lawfully appointed by man, that these are to be used as things indifferent. Neither if one private Obj. had granted it, ought it therefore to be set down as the received state of the question, seeing the Abridgment, which in this defence is chiefly opposed, doth every where deny the cerem• to be in their own nature indifferent. But let that passe & examine his resolution. Ther be two kinds of necessities incident unto humane

Page  92

precepts and ordinances, in the case of indifferencie: one is necessitie of obedience to the command 〈◊〉 which can not properly prejudice Christiin 〈◊〉: the other is doctri•• necessity: when any of those properties which are essentiall unto divine Ordinances are attributed unto a humane constitution: as I immediately to •inde the conscience: 2 to be a necessary meanes to salvation: 3 to hold it altogether unalterable by the authority of man: this is a presumption and preva•ication, not onely against Christian liberty, but also against the soveraigntie of God himselfe. But I vvhat meaneth this new distinction betwixt necessite doctrinall and obediential? doctrinal before p. 3 was opposed unto ceremoni•• now unto obedientiall; both without a logick, or sound reason. 2 He should haue told us vvhat kind of necessitie obedientiall he meaneth: for B•ll• de. pont. rom. l. 4 c. 17, useth the same pretence of obedience, and alledgeth the same places of Scripture for it: and yet is confuted by Iunius, Whitakers and our Divines. 3 If there be doctrinall necessitie, in all those humane constitutions, which haue properties attributed unto them essentiall unto divine ordinances, then our ceremonies in controversie not onely haue such a mysticall signification attributed unto them as is proper unto divine Ordinances; but also that they are imposed as parts of Gods vvorship. 4 For the three properties, which the Def. mentioneth, they are such as Papists in imposing of their ceremonies (vvhich yet by the judgement of all our Divines depriue men of Christian liberty) doe disclaime. As for immediate binding of mens consciences, no learned Papish useth such a phrase. Azorius a Iesuit 〈◊〉. m•r. parte 1, lib. 5 cap. 6, saith expresly that humane lawes doe not bind, directe, proxime, & per se; directly, immediately, and of themselues. Bellarmine also, de Rom. pont. l. 4, cap. 20 ad arg. 9, saith as much; leges humanae non obligant sub poena mortis, nisi quatenus violatione legis humane offend••• Deus. i. e. they doe not immediately binde mens consciences. For necessity to salvation, the same, Bellarmine de verb. non script c. 11 saith plainly▪ That those things which are simply necessary unto salvation are set down in Scripture; and that the rest are not simply necessary. And it is plaine enough that they doe not hold them altogether unalterable by that authority vvhich brought them in: for beside, that no reasonable man can deny so manifest a truth, they haue altered many ancient Rites, as all the learned know. So that the Defendant his distinction is proved nothing else but a confusion, common to him vvith the Papists, to our ceremonies and theirs.

 

Page  [unnumbered]

SECT. IIII. V.

IN the 4 Section, the Def. objecteth to himselfe under the name of the Abridgement, the words of the Apostle, 1 Cor. 7. 35, This I speake to your profi•e, not that I might cast a snare upon you, shewing that the imposition of necessity upon things indifferent, is a very snare of mens consciences. Now though these vvords are not in the Abridgement, yet because as D. Whitakers saith, de pont. de pont. c. 4 qu. 7•aureus bic locus est, nostrae libertatis vindex; this is a golden charter of liberty; therefore it is worthy of due consideration. The summe of the Def. his answer is, that to impose a necessity where God hath left a liberty, is indeed a snare: but this necessitie is not taught in our Church. I answer, it is taught in our Church (now a daies) that Ecclesiasticall canons doe binde mens consciences. It is taught in our Church that mans will is a sufficient reason for these canons about ceremonies. It is taught in our Church, that Sacraments may not be administred, or God publickly served vvithout these ceremonies: that Ministers called and allowed of God for these ceremonies must be silenced; that they are to be excommunicated ips• facto, and accursed which oppose themselues unto them. It is taught also, that though a man doubte•• in his conscience of the lawfulnesse of them, though evident scandall vvill follow upon the using of them, yet they may not be omitted. If this be not necessity enough to insnare a mans conscience, I know not vvhat then is.

 

In the fift Section two places are objected out of the Abridgement, viz. Gal. 1, Col. 2. 20, and one of them after a fashion answered. The first answer is, that the Apostle there speaketh onely of Iewish rites, vvhich is Bellarmines answer just, de e••. sacr. c. 32 loquitur Paulus de servitute judaica, qua serpierant illi sub antiqu• lege. The second answer is, that the Apostles meaning vvas of such an observation of these ceremonies as had an opinion of necessity, overthrowing the new Testament, and establishing the old. So Bellarmin. 〈◊〉 illi cum circumcidi vellent, excidebant a gratia Christi, & simul obligabant se ad omnem legem servandam, quod erat prorsus re••e ad s•atum veteris testamen•. We on the other side vvith Daneus against that place of Bell. say generate est Pau•• dictum & prece••um; the words are generall, belonging to all parts of Christian liberty, though principally there applyed to one.

 

Now the servitude from vvhich Christ hath made us free is not onely in those things vvhich the Def. speaketh of, but also as Iun. con•. 3 l. 4 c. 17 n. 19 & 21, sheweth in subjection of our consciences unto elements of mans appointing, Gal. 4 10, and unto the

Page  94

will of men, 1 Cor. 7 23, vvhich place Beza vvell noteth, is to be understood of superstitions which some doe foolishly call indifferent things. It is not onely therfore a freedome from Iewish ceremonies, but also and even therfore as D. Whitakers gathereth from all humane ceremonies that binde or presse our consciences, Whit. de rom. pont. q. 7 c. 3 ad 5. But it is in vaine for me to alledge our Divines in this question: the Abridgement alledgeth diverse, whom the Def. would not vouchsafe an answer.

 

One thing heere the Def. noteth, that in the Abridgement mysticall and carnall are unsoundly confounded. But I say this is unsoundly collected: for these two are joyned together there only in respect of Iewish worship, and that vvhich imitateth it: And therefore it is to no end to instance in the Sacraments instituted by Christ, of cleere signification, and accompanied with the promise and liuely vvorking of the Spirit. The same poore instance hath Bellarmine de cult. l. 3 c. 7 for significant ceremonies.

 

But it savoureth of the flesh (saith the Def.) to call our ceremonies carnall. Why so I pray? the Iewish ceremonies deserved that name, you your selfe say, even vvhen they were in force: and surely ours devised by man, abused by idolaters, without necessary use, destitute of all promise and spirit, are farre more vvorthy to be called carnall, then Gods own Ordinances. Those vvere onely carnall because in comparison they vvere externall, heavie, dull things: but ours are more heavie and dull, and beside they are sinfully carnall, as hath been proved.

 

But vvhat soundnesse doth this savour of, that the Def. saith generally of the Iewish ceremonies, they signified first and prima•ily outward and carnall promises, shadowing heavenly things onely under 〈◊〉 second veile? I vvill not exagitat this assertion, because it is in the by.

 

SECT. VI.

HEere an objection is fained out of the Abridgement p. 34, I say fained, because there is none such found in the place quoted. That vvhich is there spoken concerning other Popish ceremonies, is a sixt proofe of the second Argument, distinct from the fift, vvherto that of Christian liberty doth belong. That also is handled by the Def. c. 3 l. 7, and there maintained against him. So that this might well be omitted. Yet because there is some force in the consequence, let us heare his Defence. The objection which he frameth is this: If these ceremonies do not take away our Christian liberty, and insnare the consciences of men, by their imposition; how shall not the Popish ceremonies be excusable, and free from accusation in this behalfe? His answer is, that Popish ceremonies doe infringe Christian

Page  95

liberty both in regard of their nature, and also in regard of their number. And of both these M. Calvin giveth witnesse. I answer 1 for the nature, it hath been shewed before, that a multitude of Popish ceremonies haue no other nature and necessity allowed unto them by the learned Papists, then ours haue by the Defendant himselfe. See for this Bellarmine de effect. sacr. c. 30. That which M. Calvin saith of this point is true notwithstanding in regard of the conceit which is commonly among the simple Papists, fostered by unlearned Monkes, Friers, and other Priests, for filthy lucre sake. 2 The comparisons which M. Calvin use, viz. That it is held among the Papists a greater wickednesse to omit auricular Confession, then to liue impiously; eat flesh on fasting daies, then to liue in fornication; to worke on Saints holy-dayes, then to act mischiefe, &c. These he gathereth principally from that practise of the Papists, whereby they punish more severely the breach of their ceremonies then of Gods law. Now this is not onely practised by our Prelates, but also maintained by this Defendant, chap. 2 sect. 12, vvith such faire pretence, as the Papists may well use for the defense of their practise. 3 As for the multitude of ceremonies among the Papists, that maketh their bondage greater thē ours; but doth it make ours none at all? Besides, when a few mysticall humane ceremonies are admitted, the gate is let open for a multitude: even untill the Convocation will say there be too many. For Bellarmine himselfe will grant that ceremonies are not to be multiplyed over much. Fatemur ceremonias non esse nimis multiplicandas de eff. sacr. c. 30, but what is too much, that must be left to the judgement of the Church or Convocation, saith he, and the Defendant both.

 

SECT. VII. VIII. IX. X.

IN all these Sections, the Def. goeth about to teach us the doctrine vvhich concerneth binding of mens consciences. In the first his conclusion is good and sound, God therfore and not man doth properly and directly binde the conscience of man. It is sufficient therefore to note that it is an improper phrase to say that mens lawes doe binde mens consciences, in respect that God command•th to obey the just lawes of men: for so, as Gerson observeth, the Phisitions praescripts should also binde a sick mans conscience, in respect of Gods vvill, whereby a sick man is tied to follow the good and wholesome counsell of his Physition.

 

In the 8 Section two of our Divines are brought in to proue that men are bound in conscience to obserue the just lawes of Magistrates, which none of us ever doubted of.

 

Page  96

The 9 Section is spent in proving, that Ecclesiasticall lawes haue as great force in respect of conscience as politicke. Which if it bee granted, yet nothing can from thence be concluded for the advantage of ceremonies unlawfully imposed. But 1 it is diligently to be observed, that the Church hath no commission for to make any lawes properly so called: as I haue formerly shewed in cap. 1 sect. 16. 2 the common received opinion of all our Divines is contrary to that which the Defendant heere saith: as may be seene in Bellarmine de Pont. Rom. l. 4 c. 15, and Iunius, Whit•kers, with the rest, who vvriting against Bellarmine doe not denie but defend that which he saith, Lutherani & Calvinistae omnes docent. 3 The interrogatories vvhich the Defendant ministreth unto us in this case doth not proue his Assertion. For the Church is a Society, but not compleat, if it be considered as not comprehending Christ the Head and onely Law maker of it. Breach of peace is not a sinne against an Ecclesiasticall, but a divine law. Obedience is to be yeelded unto lawfull Ecclesiasticall Governours, vvhen they bring the charge of Christ vvhose Ministers they are. See D. Whitakers de pont. Rom. cont. 4 q▪ 7 c. 2 ad 12. The Kings stamp, but vvith an act of Parliament maketh a law in England. As for Apostolicall constitutions (to vvhich our canons are as like as Apples are to Oisters) the same answer which Doctor Whitakers, contra 4 q. 7 c. 2 ad 5. vvith other of our Divines giveth to Bellarmine, may serue for our Defendant.

 

In the 10 sect. he setteth downe nothing but that vvhich he knoweth we all grant.

 

SECT. XI.

AGainst the Accusation of contempt, there vvas (as it seemeth) alledged by M. Nic. that by the same reason that Non-conformitie is contempt; bowling, disusing of capps, and such habites prescribed should be contempt. Heere the Defendant first bringeth divers interpretations out of the Casualists: and then taketh one for granted vvithout rendring of any reason, that he may by it excuse bowling and disuse of cappes. But vvhat if vvee take hold of another interpretation, esteeming the obligation by the intent of the Law-makers, vvhich vvas against Popish Recusancie of our Communion-booke, and not against refusall of some few ceremonies contained therein? I speake now of the Statute Law, not of lawlesse canons. Or what if wee should stand upon that interpretation, vvhich fetcheth the obligation from the vveight of the matter imposed,

Page  97

vvhich in our ceremonies is very little? Some of these I am sure the Bishops must flye, if they vvill defend their disuse of the Crosier staffe, vvhich they are bound by our Lawes as vvell to use, as the Ministers are surplusses.

 

But all this is needlesse, because there can be no contempt in a conscionable forbearance of unlawfull impositions; such as the ceremonies are sufficienaly proved to be.

 

SECT. XII.

HEere certaine Divines are brought in witnessing, 1 that superstitious opinions doe depriue men of Christian liberty: vvhich we deny not, but take their testimonies as making against our ceremonies: because as I haue formerly shewed some of these superstitious opinions are inseparable from the imposing and using of them. 2 That Christian liberty doth not consist in the use or disuse of things indifferent: vvhich we also vvillingly grant. But I would haue the Defendant remember, that all freedome is not in the minde and conscience. For vvhere the minde is free, the body may be bound; else Christians should not taste so much of this vvorlds misery as they doe. Now Christ hath left unto us not onely an inward liberty of minde and conscience, but also an outward freedom of our bodies and outward man, from such bodily rites in his worship as haue not his stampe upon them, and his Spirit and blessing promised unto them. Of this the Defendant saith nothing at all.

 

SECT. XIII. XIIII.

COncerning the profession of our Church so often brought in, enough hath been said before, now it sufficeth to answer, that no profession whatsoever can make humane significant ceremonies in Gods worship agree with Christian liberty.

 

As for superstition, vvhich the Defendant doth now the second time most ridiculously object, I haue answered in the beginning of this Confutation. Now onely I note: 1 how loosely he describeth that superstition vvhich he calleth affirmative: as if no man could use any thing superstitiously, except he did hold that without it the faith of Christianity, or the true worship of God could not possible consist. Never was there such a description given by any man that considered what he said.

 

2 Hovv manfully he concludeth our negatiue superstition, upon this ground, that Christ hath left these ceremonies free,

Page  [unnumbered]

which is the maine question betwixt him and us.

 

3 How he mis-reporteth our opinion, in saving absolutely that we• hold a Surplice to haue unholinesse and pollution in it: wheras we hold that it is onely made more unfit for Gods service then it was before through idolatrous abuse: but yet unto other us•s it may be applyed.

 

4 That in stead of Scripture, he bringeth forth the universall practise of men in the Church: vvhich yet hath been formerly¦ly also refuted.

 

5 That he can finde no Divine that calleth opposing of ceremonies superstition, but onely M. Calvin in one place speaking rhetorically, as he useth to doe, and not intending any definition or distribution of that vice.

 

6 How he corrupteth P. Martyrs words, to haue some colour for a new accusation. P. Martyr taking there upon him the person of an adversarie unto Hoopers opinion (with whom notwithstanding afterward he consented, and recalled the counsell which then he gaue, as appeareth p. 1125) saith that if we should refuse all things that the Papists used, vve should bring the Church into servitude: which assertion is most true, because the Papists abused many necessarie things, even Christs own Ordinances, the observing of which is liberty. Now the Def. would haue that precisely u•derstood, and that in the rigour of every word concerning the Surplice.

 

I haue here subioyned apart an Epistle of Zanchius who otherwaies was somewhat favourable to Bishops: wherein the Reader may see his iudgement concerning superstitious garments.

 

To the most renowmed Queene Elizabeth, Defendresse of the Christian Religion, and most mighty Queen of England, France and Ireland H. Zanchius sendeth greeting.

 

MOST gracious and most Christian Queene, we haue not without great griefe understood, that the fire of contention about certaine garments, which we thought had been quenched long agone, is new againe to the incredible offence of the godly, as it were raised from hell, and kindled a fresh

Page  99

in your Majesties Kingdome: and that the occasion of this fire is, because your most gracious maiestie being perswaded by some, otherwise great men, and carried with a zeal (but certainly not according to knowledge) to retaine unitie in religion, hath now more then ever before resolved and d•c•eed, yea doth will and command that all Bishops† and M•nisters of the Churches shal in divine service put on the white and linnen garments which the Popish Priests use now in Poperie; yea that it is to be feared, least this fire be so kindled, and cast its flame so farre and wide, that all the Churches of that most large and mightie kingdome, to the perpetuall disgrace of your most renowned Maiestie, be set on a flaming fire: seeing the most part of the Bishops, men greatly renowned for all kinde of learning and godlines, had rather leaue their office and place in the Church, then against their owne conscience, admit of such garments, or at the least signes of Idola•rie and Popish superstititon, and so defile themselues with them, and giue of fence to the weak by their example. Now what other thing will this be, then by retaining of these garments, to destroy the whole body of the Church• For without doubt that is Satans intent, by casting a seed of dissentions amongst the Bishops. And that hee aimed at in the infancie of the Church by stirring vp discord between the East and West Churches, about the Passover and other ceremonies of that kind. Therfore Ireneus Bishop of Lions, had just cause in his Epistle sent out of France to Rome, sharply to reproue Victor the Pope of Rome, because he out of a kind of zeale, but not according to knowledge, was minded to excommunicate all the churches of Asia, because they celebrated not the Passover just at the same time, as they at Rome did. For this was nothing but by an unseasonable desire to retaine the same ceremonies in all churches to rent and teare a peeces the vnitie of the Churches. I therefore so soone as I heard that so great a ruine hanged over the Church of Christ in that kingdome, presently, in respect of that dutie which I owe to the Church of Christ, to your gracious Maiestie, and to that whole kingdom, intended to write thither, and to try by my uttermost endevor whether so great a mischiefe might possibly be withstood: some that fear Christ, and wish wel to your Maiestie, exhorting me to the performance of this dutie. But when I had scarcely begun to think of this course, behold our most illustrious. Prince commanded 〈◊〉 to do it, which command of his did not onely spurre me one, who of mine owe accord was

Page  100

alreadie running, but laid a necessitie of writing upon me. Wherefore this my boldnesse will seeme the lesse strange unto your gracious Maiestie, seeing my writing proceedeth not so much from mine owne will and counsell of friends, as from the commandement of my most Noble Prince, who is one of your gracious Maiesties speciall friends. Now I thought I should doe a matter verie worth the paines taking, if first I should humbly admonish your most famous Maiestie what your dutie is in this cause: and secondlie, if as your humble suppliant I should beseech you for our Lord Iesus Christs sake, to performe the same. I beseech your gracious Maiestie to take this my writing in good part, for it proceedeth from a Christian loue toward the Church, and from an especiall reverend respect that I beare to your most gracious Maiestie. The Lord knoweth all things. Now to the matter in hand.

 

Whereas the Apostle writing to Timothie, commandeth that praiers be made for Kings, and all other that be in authoritie, and saith, that the end wherefore they bee ordained, is, that wee may lead a peaceable and quiet life in all (that is, perfect) godlinesse and honestie, he teacheth plainlie enough what is the dutie of godlie Kings and Princes, namelie, that they take care, and bring to passe, that first and aboue all things, true religion, and the true worship of God, where it is banished, bee restored, and being restored, bee kept pure: all things which smell of impietie being farre removed. Secondlie, that men may liue honestlie and holilie, all kinds of vncleannesses beeing abandoned. Lastlie, that publicke peace and holie friendship bee maintained among the subiects, all occasions of contentious being, as much as possiblie may be, taken out of the way.

 

As the Apostle teacheth manifestlie, as we haue seene, so all learned men who bee of sound judgement concerning the Magistrates office, doe with one consent affirme, that these bee the three chiefe parts of the office of the Prince, and of everie godlie Magistrate. Which thing being so, I see not how your gracious Maiestie can, with good conscience, propound againe the garments in question, and other things of that kinde, smelling as yet of Popish superstition, and once banished out of the Churches, to the consciences of the Bishops* to be taken on againe, and so propound them that you should compell them

Page  101

by your commandement to receiue them againe. For first, this is quite contrarie to the first and chiefe part of the Princes office. For if the Magistrate ought to haue a chiefe care, that the worship of God be kept pure and without mixture; and if for this cause all things are to bee abandoned which may anie way either by themselues, or by accident defile this worship: and therefore all things are to bee called backe as much as may be, to the rule of God, and to the former and Apostolicall, and so the more pure and simple forme of religion: Finallie, if as the Apostle commandeth, we bee to abstaine, not onelie from all evill, but also from all appearance of evill; to what end, I beseech you most renowned and most godlie Queen, should those things bee brought againe into the Church of God, by the Princes commandement, which be contrarie to the puritie of the Apostolicall worship, which smell of Popish superstition, which bee neither availeable to the edification of the godlie, nor to order, nor for ornament, except that which is whoorish: which lastlie, can bring no profit, but on the contrarie, manie evills to the Church? It is out of all doubt, that by this law concerning apparrell, all godlie men will be offended, but the wicked will laugh in their sleeve, and hereby be put in hope to get manie moe things: as for those of the middle sort, that is, such as bee newlie converted and turned from ungodlines to godlines, and be not as yet well grounded, they will be in great danger, and if we speake according to mans judgement, they will rather looke back to the old superstition, to which by nature wee are inclined, then fixe and fasten their eyes upon true religion. And therefore this is 〈◊〉 a decree which will bring no advancement at all to godlines, but may much further vngodlinesse. For though these garments bee not evill and vncleane of and by themselves, that is, of their owne nature, yet because of the former and late abuse, they are not altogether free from uncleannesse. Certainlie it cannot bee denied, but that they will at the least, •giue occasions of manie evills and verie grievous superstitions. Now the verie occasions also of evills are to bee shunned. To what end then should these bee thrust upon the Church, from whom no profit can bee hoped, verie much evill may come? for this is to tempt God. Your famous Maiestie may well remember, that not without cause it was written, Hee that toucheth pitch, shall bee defiled with it:

Page  102

that the Apostle had reason to command, that we should purge out the old leaven, that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lumpe. And that Hosea did not foolishly reprove the Iewes, because they translated and brought a yong graffe (of superstitions) out of Israel into their owne garden, that is, the true Church. We ought, most religious Queene, to haue nothing at all to doe with the Papists in matter of religion, saue in those things which they haue common with the Apostles. Why, I beseech you, were some kings, otherwise godly, reproved and blamed in the Scriptures, that they had not taken away Churches or Temples for divine service in the mountaines, which were built by holy Fathers ere the building of the Temple, in which the Lord was wont to bee worshipped? Surely, because the Temple being now builded and ordained for divine service, God would not haue any footsteps of any other chappell at all to bee extant. Therfore also when once the kingdome of Christ was manifested, the ceremonies and garments of Aaron ought not any more to take place. For this cause the Apostles were upon good ground carefull, that after Christs ascention, they should so be taken away, that no relickes of them remained. And if they tooke them away holily, unholily haue the Papists called them back againe. Now whether it be better to follow the godly simplicitie of the Apostles, or the ungodly pompe of the Papists, who is ignorant? This recalling of such Popish garments, your gracious maiestie may beleeue me, will bee a greater evill, then peradventure it may bee seene, even to very wise men at the first blush: For me thinkes I see and heare the Monks crying out with very loud voyces in the Pulpits, both confirming their followers in their ungodlie religion, by the example of your gracious Maiestie, and also saying, What? doth not even the Queene of England also, a most learned and a most prudent Princess, beginne by little and little to come back to the religion of the holy Church of Rome, the most holy and sacred vestments of the Clergie men being taken on againe? we are to be in good hope that the day will come, wherein she will a length, though now they be thought to be dead, recall also all the other rites and sacraments of the holy Church of Rome. These and such like words, no doubt, most prudent Queene, the Monkes and Iesuites will use in the Pulpits. For they take all occasions to confirme their superstitions. Therfore to recall these stinking garments, and other rubbish of the Popish Church into the Church of Christ at this

Page  103

time, what is it but to giue the Papists an occasion, and the best that may bee, to confirme and harden themselves and thei• in their superstitions, and also to helpe them in this businesse? But let us heare what the Prophet sayd to Iehosaphat King of Iuda, when he helped Ahab; Darest thou helpe the wicked, and loue those vvho hate the Lord? For this thing the vvrath of the Lord is vpon thee. And what other thing will this bee, then even to call backe the weake from the studie of pure Religion, and to giue them a privie warning to looke backe, and returne into Aegipt? It is an easie matter for us weake men, who of our owne nature are prone to superstition, to slide backe to impietie. Therefore occasions of sliding backe to vngodlinesse, ought to be taken away, and at no hand to bee given. And what else, I pray you, meant God in forbidding to plow with an Oxe and an Asse, to sow the same field with diverse kinds of seeds, and to weare a garment woven of linnen and wollen together? It is an odious and detestable thing with God, that the same field of the Lord should bee tilled by ungodlie and godlie Bishops together; If in the same Church Popish Doctrine be taught with the Doctrine of the Gospell; Finallie, if sacraments, ceremonies, and rites, partlie Apostolicke, and partlie Popish, be used, and the Church bee cloathed with them as with a garment of linsey-wossey. For what agreement hath light with darknesse? And therfore those things which bee not of God, but from them who haue defiled Gods worship, are utterlie to be cast away, which the Lord himselfe commanded to bee done, when hee charged utterlie to destroy all things which appertained to those who should giue vs counsell to follow strange Gods, and to burne their garments, and all their stuffe with fire in the middest of the street, to shew our detestation of such Seducers, and that they might bee an execrable thing to the Lord. And who knoweth not that these garments are a part of the houshould stuffe of that Romish Seducer? There shall cleave nothing of the execrable thing, sayth hee, to thy hand, that the Lord may turne from the fiercenesse of his wrath, and multiplie thee, as he hath sworne to thy Fathers, &c. Wherefore to bring these garments, seeing they bee the houshold stuffe of Antichrist, into the Church of Christ, what is it else then to provoke God to anger, and to kindle his furie against us? Certaine it is, that he who is a true friend

Page  104

of Christ, will never seeke to haue the ornaments of Antichrist in his owne house, and much lesse will hee suffer them in the Temple of Christ. For who can indure the armes of his enemie in his owne house, and specially in the chiefest roome of the same? And if God will haue a thing destroyed and abolished, who are we that we dare build it up againe. But it is Gods will that after the death of Christ all garments of Aaron and Levi should be abolished: and hee hath plainlie enough manifested everie where, that in these our dayes he would haue all vngodlie and vaine ceremonies, pompes, deceits, and paintings of the Papists driven away by the shining brightnesse of the Gospell: because these things haue no power in them to kindle and increase godlines, but greatlie availe to the quenching of the same. Neither verilie can I see to what other end these garments tend, then in very deed (that I may now come vnto the second head) to defile and disgrace the faire face; nay, the whole bodie of the Church of England reformed according to the† Gospell; as if the chaste and honest daughter of a King should bee attired with those verie garments wherewith some famous and notable whoore used to bee adorned, and when shee were so clothed, were commanded to goe abroad in the streets. Now who can allow or judge this to bee tolerable? Wherefore though for no other, yet for this very cause, such garments ought not to bee thrust upon the Church of Christ, because that harlot of Rome hath abused, and doth still at this day abuse them (though in their owne nature they bee not evill) to evill, and to cover her fornications, or rather to entice men to commit fornication. For all these pompes, and Popish ceremonies are nothing else but whoorish paintings invented and devised for this end, that men might thereby bee allured to spirituall fornication. Is it not therefore a filthie and dishonest thing, to haue these in the Church of Christ? If the brasen serpent, which had beene ordained of God, and that for the wholesome vse of the Israelites, was taken away by godly King Ezekias, because the Israelites had abused it contrarie to the word of God: and if Ezekias bee highlie commended for this so doing, because hee had ••ned that Serpent into ashes, and commanded them to bee cast into the running water, that there might never bee any print or

Page  105

signe of it extant any more; how much more then are these vncleane garments to bee banished out of the Church of God, seeing the Apostles never vsed them, but the whoore of Rome hath used them in her Idolatrous worship, and to seduce men? For it is a verie dishonest thing, that such things as are of themselues indifferent, and haue been long used to the dispight and dishonour of God, should bee retained in the Church of God, to the hazard of the salvation of godlie men. And much lesse that kinde of garments, which is nothing but an invention of men, or rather of the Divell himselfe, devised to seduce the simple ones. Wee all know what praise those common-wealthes deserue, which make good lawes that the subiects shall not weare out-landish and strange apparrell, nor bring it into the Common-wealthes, because it is a corruption of good and honest manners, and of the Common-wealthes themselves. How then can that counsell which is given to your Maiestie, bee commended, to wit, that garments unknowne to the Christian world in tht time of the Apostles, and Apostolicall men, should bee brought into the Church of Christ. A•d if an out-landish kinde of attire bee not tolerated in well-governed Common-wealthes▪ how much lesse are Idolatrous, and heathenish garments to bee borne with in the Church, where God is to be worshipped in spirit and truth, and where hee would haue few and verie simple ceremonies? Also if God established by his Law, that a woman may not put on a mans apparrell, not a man a womans, the one beeing so well of it selfe dishonest, and contrarie to nature as the other: Why then should godlie Bishops,† and the servants of Christ bee clothed, or rather shamed and deformed with the garments of godlesse Priests, and slaues of Antichrist? Why should wee not rather, as wee bee of a divers religion from them, so also be discerned from them, at least in the performance of such duties as belong unto Gods worship, by outward signes, such as garments be? Verilie this was Gods will, and hee required of his people, that it should bee discerned from the prophane Gentiles, as by other things, so also by a divers sort of apparrell, and so should professe by this publicke signe, that it would haue nothing to doe with the Gentiles.

 

Page  106

And why should not wee doe the same? Are wee not the people of God? abides not the equitie of the same commandemet? And if the word honest bee derived of honour, what honour will it bee for the Church of Christ to haue Bishops attired and disguised with Popish visors in the administration of the Gospell and Sacraments, so as they shall rather be derided then be reverenced any whit by the people? And what commendation shall it be for your gracious Maiestie in true Churches, and among true beleevers, that you permit such trifles to bee called back into your Church? Therfore it standeth not with honesty, that holy Bishops† be compelled to receiue such visors, neither is it indeed a matter worthy of honour and praise, neither deserveth it the name of vertue. For if your Majestie should command that all English men, leaving that ancient and very graue and comely attire, should weare Turkie coats, or a souldiers weed, as it is called: who would ever approue this decree as honest? And it is much lesse praise-worthy, if godly Bishops be enioyned, laying aside, or at least changing the honest and ancient apparrell, which the Apostles wore, to wit, that common and graue habit, to put on the ridiculous and execrable or accursed garments of godlesse Mass-priests.

 

Now concerning the third part of the Princes duties, there is nothing fitter to trouble the publicke peace of the Church then this counsell. For everie noveltie, especially in religion, either by it selfe, if it bee evill, disturbs and troubles a good peace, or if it bee good, gives occasion of trouble by accident, by causing contention betweene evill and good men. But as in things which be good of themselves, of which nature the reformation of the Churches according to the will of God is, we are not to care for the troubling of that vngodlie peace, that is of the world (for Christ came not by his Gospell to keep such a peace, but rather to take it away, and to send a sword) so assuredly, by the urging of things indifferent, to trouble the peace of Churches, and to cause strife between good men and bad, yea between godlie men themselues, is so wicked, that it can by no meanes bee defended, so that Ireneus had just cause to reproue Victor Bishop of Rome, for this cause, as hath been sayd afore. For it must needes bee, that at such times the Churches be rent in peeces, then which thing, what is more hurtfull? Many examples in the histories of the Church proue this

Page  107

which I say. How many and how great troubles arose in the Primitiue Church, between those who beside the Gospell urged also circumcision and the law, and between those who upon good ground reiected them? And how great evills would this dissention haue brought to the Church of Christ, had not the Apostles betime withstood them by that councell gathered together at Ierusalem, by a lawfull examination and discussing of the cause by manifest testimonis of the Scriptur•s, and by sound reasons? If your gracious Maiestie (as you ought) desire both to be and to seeme Apostolicke, then imitate the Apostles in this matter. Neither lay and impose this yoke upon the neckes of Christs Disciples your selfe, nor suffer it to be imposed by others. But if you see that the Bishops disagree about this matter among themselves, assemble a Synod, and cause this controversie to be examined by the Scriptures. And then looke what shall be proved by plaine testimonies, and strong reasons, propound that to be observed by all, and command by your decree• that that be observed, and so take disagreement out of the Church. For your gracious Maiestie ought to be verie carefull, that there be no innovation in religion, but according to the word of God. By this means shall a true peace, concord and unitie of the Churches bee preserved. But if the proceeding be otherwise, what other thing will it be, then to take away vnitie, and to trouble the Christian peace? And this I may not passe over with silence, that by this noveltie of the busines, not onely the publick peace shall be troubled in that kingdome, but also manie else-where out of that kingdome will haue occasion given them to raise new contentions in Churches, and that to the great hinderance of godlines, and the more slow proceeding of the Gospell. For all men know, that the most part of all the Churches, who haue fallen from the Bishop of Rome, for the Gospels sake, doe not onely want, but also abhorre those garments, and that there be some Churches, though few in comparison of the former, which doe as yet retaine those garments invented in Poperie, as they verie stifly retaine some other things also, because the reformers of those Churches, otherwise worthy men, and verie faithfull servants of Christ, durst not at the first (neither iudged they it expedient) vtterly abolish all Popish things. But as the common manner is, every man likes his owne best. Now I call those things a mans owne, not so much which everie man hath invented, as those beside,

Page  108

which every man chooseth to himselfe, receiveth, retaineth, and pursueth, though they be invented to his hand by others. But if there be also annexed the examples of other men, they bee more and more hardened in them, and are not onely hardened, but also doe their uttermost endevour by word and writing, to draw all the rest to be of their minde? Therfore wee easilie see what the issue wil bee, if your gracious Maiestie admit of that counsell which some doe giue you, to take on apparrell, and other more Popish things besides. For some men, who be not well occupied, being stirred up by the example of your Maiestie, will write bookes and disperse them throughout all Germanie, of these things which they call indifferent, to wit, that it is lawfull to admit of them, nay that they be altogether to be retained, that Papists may bee the lesse estranged and alienated from us, and so we may come the neerer to concord and agreement. As if forsooth the Papists, though we for peace sake admitted of all those things, would ever amend their Doctrine, and banish out of their Churches, or at any hand lay downe their false and godless decrees, manifest and abhominable superstitions and idolatries: and there will bee some who will answer such bookes once dispersed. So of this English fire there will rise a new burning flame in Germanie and France, on which hot coles the Papists as so many Smiths a forging, will sprinkle cold water to make the flame the more vehement. And is not this a goodly benefite? Who therefore doth not see that this counsell tends to the troubling of all Churches.

 

To conclude, that golden saying of a certaine learned man is verie true and certaine, and approved by long experience, that indifferent things, that is, the question about indifferent things, is that golden apple of contention. So much shall suffice to haue spoken of the troubling of publick peace; what should I say of the consciences of privat belevers? It is manifest, that they are greatly troubled with this commandement, to put on these linnen garments. For they do so greatly complain, that their lamenting voyces & grones doe reach vnto, and are heard in Germany. Now how grievous and distastfull an offence it is to trouble the consciences of the godly, the holy Scripture sheweth: partly when it commandeth that we make not the holy Spirit sad, neither offend the weak ones▪ partly when it threatneth grivous punishments against those who

Page  109

feare not to doe these things: partly also when it propoundeth the examples of the Saints, and specially of Paul, who speakes thus; If meat offend my brother, Ile eat no flesh while the world standeth, that I may not offend my brother. For in those words hee giveth a generall rule, by his example, taken out of the doctrine of Christ, to wit, that no indifferent thing is to be admitted and yeelded unto, much less to bee urged upon others, and least of all to be commended by decree: if in the admitting, urging & commanding of it, the minds of good men, and consciences of the faithfull be offended, for a tender conscience, which feareth God, is a thing most pretious and acceptable to God. How therefore can that counsell be approved, which would haue a law established and proclaimed by the Princes command for the use of garments to be used by Ministers in the ministerie. For (to speak many things in few words) if such garments be to be propounded to the faithfull, they are to be propounded either as indifferent, or as necessary: If the later, wee doe vngodlily, because we make those things necessarie, which Christ would haue to be free: If the former, then are they to be left free to the Churches. But by commanding and compelling, we make things that bee free and indifferent, to be necessarie, and so fall into the same trespasse•. Moreover, either they be ordained of God by Moses, or they be delivered by Christ God manifested in the flesh, or they be ordained by the holy Ghost working and speaking in the Apostles, or they are of men, either godly or wicked. Those ceremonies and Levitical garments, which were ordained of God by Moses, ought all of them to haue an end after the death of Christ, as the scriptures shew plainly, especially the Epistles of Paul to the Coloss. and Hebr. therefore they cannot be revoked & called back without the transgression of Gods will. It cannot be sayd that Christ taught them, because ther is no word extant to that end, but rather he taught plainly oftentimes, that all Moses his ceremonies were ended. And the same I affirme concerning the Apostles. It remaines therefore that they be sayd to be of men. If they be from godly men, then were they ordained of them, either to edefication, or for order and comelines. But they avail not to edification, that is, to further comelines, but rather tend to the overthrow of it, as we saw before; neither for any good order, but rather they tend to disorder, for there is a confusion of godly and wicked Bishops, whereas it is meet and equall, that one of them bee discerned

Page  110

from anothe•, even by their garments also. Neither doe they make Christs spouse comelie, as we shewed a little before. Therfore we ought not to yeeld unto them. And such things as haue been invented by men, voyd of Gods spirit, doe nothing appertaine to us. Lastly, the Apostles vsed not these garments. For we haue no authenticke testimonie. Now the Church is to be fashioned after the rule of that Apostelicall Church in ceremonies and garments, as well as in Doctrine. What doe wee then with these garments in the Church? By whose authoritie can they be approved? What profit or wholsome use can the Christian people haue by them? But on the contrarie we haue shewed that godliness is weakned by them, the pure worship of God is violated, Popish superstition is by little and little called back, the godlie be offended, the wicked be confirmed and hardened in their ungodlinesses; the weak in faith are brought into hazard of their salvation; there are occasions of many evills given; Monkes and other Popish preachers are hereby helped to confirme their followers in their superstition; the wrath of God is provoked against us; those things which God would haue to bee destroyed, are hereby builded againe by 〈◊〉; the whole face of the Church is defiled and disgraced: there is a foule sinne committed against honest and good lawes forbidding the putting on of strange and outlandish garments: and so the whole Church is dishonored, Besides, the publick peace of the Church, yea of many Churches is troubled: one Bishop is set against another, the consciences of the godly are troubled, and the minds of goood men are offended, Gods spirit is made sad in them, and this apple of contention is cast, as it were, upon the table of the Gods.

 

Now seeing the matter stands thus, most gracious Queene, not onely I• but all my fellow-ministers, and all the godly prostrate before you, intreat your Maiestie, and for Iesus Christs sake, whom we are perswaded you loue from your heart, we humbly beseech your Maiestie not to embrace that counsell aforesayd, neither to giue eare to such counsellors. For those counsells (most godly Queene) are not for the good of that your Church and kingdome, nor for the honor of your Maiestie, seeing they neither serve to the increase of godliness, nor to the retaining of the honestie of the Church, neither to the preservation of publick peace, but rather verie greatly weaken all these good things, which

Page  111

your. Princely Ma• ought chieflie to stand for. Let your Ma• rather bend all your thoughts,* authoritie and power hereunto, that first and aboue all you may haue Bishops, who be trulie godlie, and well exercised in the holie scriptures, as by the blessing of God you haue very many, and that you make much of, and giue eare to them. Secondlie, that you bee carefull that with all diligence they may discarge their office, watching over the flock teach sound doctrine, confute heresies, driue away Wolues, keepe everie man in his own calling, and exhort and stirre up everie man to lead a life beseeming a Christian. The Elders also and Deacons are to be admonished, that everie one be diligent in his own office, and if need be, they are to be compelled by your gracious Ma• authothoritie, that neither the former by their sleeping and winking at the misdemeanors of the flock, suffer the reines to be loosed to all licentiousnes, and to the lusts of the flesh; neither that the later, by reason of their immoderate care for their own private businesses, neglect the poore people of the Church, and omit such other things as belong to their office. For these three sorts of men bee the verie sinewes of the Church, upon whom the salvation or destruction of the Church doth chieflie depend. Furthermore, your gracious Ma• ought to vse great care and diligence, that the Vniversities, and in them good and godlie teachers, bee well looked to, cherished, liberally maintained and preserved, for these are as the mothers, and nurses of the Churches, in which and by which those are to be fashioned, borne, brought up and adorned, who being fit, may be called from time to time to rule and governe the Churches. Last of all such things as cannot be corrected & amended by the word and discipline of the Church, as it is necessarie, that according to Gods word they be cut off and taken away by the sword of the Magistrate, so your gracious Maiestie is to take care of them: as adulteries, blasphemies, and other capitall crimes of that sort. For God hath given the Magistrate the sword for this end, that ungodly seducers, filthy knaues, and unquiet men being restrayned, the rest may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godlines and honesty. This is the matter (most gracious Queen) whereon you are to spend your thoughts, hereabout are your counsells to be occupied, here is all your strength to be shewed, namely, that (to end in a word) we all denying vngodlines and worldly lusts, may liue soberly, justly, and godlily in this present world. For this

Page  112

is the true and fairest garment of all other. For which everie man ought to take care, to wit, that having put off the old man with his workes, we put on the new man, that is, our Lord Iesus Christ, neither are there any other true ornaments which become Christian Bishops, besides those which the Apostle hath laid downe in his writings to Tim. and Tit. A Bishop must bee unreproveable, the husband of one vvife, vvatching, sober, modest, harborous, apt to teach, not given to vvine, no stryker, nor given to filthy luere, but gentle, no fighter, not covetous, one that can rule his house honestly, having children under obedience in all honestie, not forward, not angrie, righteous, holy &c. For garments and ornaments of Aarons high Priest, were types of these true ornaments; those were the shadowes, these be the bodie. Wherefore let those bee gone, and let these abide still. And then at length shall we haue the whole Church, and so the Bishops rightlie and trulie apparrelled.

 

Once againe I humblie beseech your gracious Maiestie, that thinking no more of those outward garments, you will mind and consider how these true and spirituall ornaments may be retained, put upon, and kept in the Churches. And as I said in the beginning, that according to your gracious Maiesties clemencie you will be pleased to pardon my boldnes in writing. Our Lord Iesus Christ long preserue your gracious Maiestie safe and sound to vs, and to the whole Church. From Heidelberg. 10. Septemb. 1571.

 

THus (good sir) you see how I haue endevoured to satisfie your desire concerning the general part of the Defence. If this doe not fully content you, I vvill (if it please God) add vvhat is vvanting another time. For it is fit vve should helpe one another in private, concerning these things, lest the publick sway of formalitie should make us forget or forgoe that sinceritie vvhich those men of God taught us, in whom vvhen we vvere yet children, we saw the power of godlines that made us loue their footsteps.

 

Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walke naked, and they see his shame, Apoc. 16. 15.

 

Page  113

I haue added to the Authors Reply, but without his knowledge, the advertisement following; to fill up this page, which without some purpose had otherwise been left blank.

 

WHEN you finde, good Reader, any straggling testimonies of some few forraine Divines alledged by the formalists, which seeme to savour of toleration, consider first that some did write in the dawning of the day of reformation, and therefore could not so soone see distinctly and clearly every corruption which was in the Church, 2. That notvvithstanding of greater light shining in the Church, after the rising of the Sun aboue our Horizon, the Divines treating upon many poynts, could not bee exact in everie one, or intending principally to beat downe such corruptions as did most assault their owne Churches, no vvonder that there fell from their pens some sentences not ripely digested concerning other poynts. 3. That howbeit these had purposely set themselues to consider the controversies of our Churches, yet not being throughly acquainted with the particular state of the same, might giue their iudgment in the generall case, but could not so vvell in the particular, as many worthy Divines in England haue done. 4. They vvere but men, and might erre in judgement, and so appeareth by the vveak reasons subjoyned somtimes to their opinions. And living in Churches vvhere some corruptions doe remaine, they might the more readily stumble at the like in others. 6. It hath been the practise of the English Prelates from time to time, and is at this present houre, not onely to offer preferment to Divines at home, but also to send gifts to forraine Divines, to blunt at least the edge of their zeale, if they could not make them altogether their own, as they haue done some. For proofe of this their old practise I haue here subjoyned a few lines taken out of the friendly caveat to B. Sands, then Bishop of London, vvritten ann•. 1567. extant in the book intituled, The Register.

 

Although you haue, as much as in you lieth, gone about to win credit, and as it were to tie the tongues of Bullinger, Gualter, Zanchius, and others with your bribes, which you haue divers times sent them under the name of friendly tokens and remembrances, yet when they shal be informed better of more then they were the last time, and confirmed in the former satisfaction of these two last set forth bookes, as well these that I haue named, as divers more wil not bee ashamed, like true and constant professors of the truth, to answer your L. as Aristotle did Plato, when he said, Amicus Plato, sed magis amica viritas, that is to say, openly to confesse, not in privat meeting onely, but in print also, that English ti•ne, English cloathes,

Page  114

and English silver and gold are and shall bee welcome to them, as long as they are not meant to stop them from the truth against both their conscience, and their printed writings and confessions. Yea if yee will look well on the matter, Gualter hath condemned you and your splendida Pontificalia alreadie. For in his last Epistle to you Lords, he denieth not that those informations, these two that he speaketh of delivered him, were intollerable in the Church: but trusting onely upon your words, and beleeving your coloured lying informations too much, would not credit them as t•o too monstrous things to bee in such a realme, that hau• alway had so good a report for zealousnesse in religion, and to be maintained of such men, that in time of their banishment, both hee himselfe, and a great sort more knew to be godlie, learned, and earnest in religion.

 

MElanchton did write in the dawning of the day. •anchius in •n Epistle to Bullinger, reporteth that he was of a fearefull spirit, and did many things which he did not approue. His advices in the time of the Interim proved pernicious to the Germane Churches, and grievous to all the godly. Harder things, if true, are written concerning him. P. Martyr, freer in writing after he had left England then he was before, in a letter to a certaine friend there, confesseth his oversight in advisi•g rather to conform to Popish apparell then to leaue the Ministerie, and that now with •ullinger he was of another minde, seeing the scandals which did arise unavoideably of them, which he did not perceiue before. He confesseth in another Epistle to a certaine friend there, that he could not giue full and particular direction not being acquainted with all the particular circumstances. Tu autem qui••es in ipso certamine consilia hic non expecta. Valde quippe sumus à vobis procul. In ipsa consultetis arena. Which answer holdeth in other forraine Divines. The Author of this sound Reply, craving the removall or at least the free use of the ceremonies, and that none be enthralled; or saying if there Deanes, Canons, and Prebendaries will practise them in their Cathedrall Churches, they will not contend with them, providing the Prelates impose them not upon others, is to be understood to speak onely of the English Church, where they haue kept possession ever since the Reformation, and as a man almost despairing of any cure after these fifty yeares contestation against them, rather then resolving. But all Writers condemn the reducing of corruptions into a Church, specially after exile of many yeares. Many worthies haue suffered much for Reformation, what would they haue done to withstand the re-entry of Deformation?

 

FINIS.

 

 

Bible Verse:

“For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, And people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts,” (Malachi 2:7).

APM Newsletter

advertisement
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!