A Second Manuduction for Mr. RobinsonWilliam Ames (1576-1633) - One of the Greatest Theological Puritans and Writers
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“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 second manuduction, for Mr. Robinson. Or a confirmation of the former, in an answer to his manumission
Ames, William, 1576-1633.
A SECOND MANVDVCTION, For Mr. ROBINSON.
Or a confirmation of the former, in an answer to his manumission.
ANNO DOMINI. M. D C. XV.
A Second Manuduction For Mr. ROBINSON, Or a confirmation of the former, in an answer to his manumission.
IT is not much to bee merveiled at,* if one assay praevaileth not with him for publick communion, whoe was so hardly drawen unto privat, by many & long strivings. Wee may rather hope, that in time, he wil bee brought, to see reasō for that as wel as for this. The successe beeing left unto God: I thinck it a Christian part, to stretch out a litle & strengthen that hand which before was lent him for a manuduction. First then must bee marked, how farr M. R. is come already: and then the points that hee stayeth at, with the grounds of that his stay. He granteth;*If a man (remayning a member in some parish of England) intending the ministerie, & competently qualified therto, having approbation of godly & learned men, shall, without any further calling, for a time, performe the actions of prayer & prophefijing, by leave in a publick assembly there, that it is lawfull to communicate with him in that work. And moreover, that if the same man shall continue in that course for some yeares, not having any further warant, but the seal which God setteth to his labour in the fruight
of it, & the consent of those people which repaire unto him for instruction; it is lawfull, still to have communion with him. All this he acknowledgeth (though not in so plaine a māner as ingenuous dealing requireth) in calling of it privat.
This grant of M. R. is of no small moment in the consequence of it. For by vertue therof, those of his minde, may bee present at many sermons in England upon occasion, not onely to the spiritual comfort & aedification of their soules, but also to the avoyding of much danger & damage in their outward estate. For of this kinde are a multitude of religious exercises ordinarilie performed by students in the colledges of both the universities, whoe are wonte in their colledge chappels to make trial of their giftes though they be not ordeyned ministers; & not onely there, but in such assemblies of the countrie as they haue oportunitie. Some also haue been knowen to continue long, even for 20 yeeres together, in preaching by no other warrant then this: as by name, M. Flood of Northampton, & M. Marburie. By the same reason it will follow also (as by & by wee shall see) that communion may bee had in the like actions of those which have further authoritie: for this communion is of publick nature & a church action, & so for substance, of one reason with the other.
That this doeth follow upon the former grant, if so bee that such exercises of religion bee publick actions, M. R. doeth well understand: & therfore to avoyd that which he is loth to acknowledge, he denieth such actions to bee of publick nature. To this purpose he insinuateth 2 reasons. 1. Becaus a privat action may bee performed in a publick place, as a publick may in a privat: and 2 because no action is publick, that is not performed by publick calling or authoritie. The former of which I willingly grant: and therfore made no such mention of the place, as if it were of it self sufficient to make these exercises publick. The second I doe flatly denie until I see that reason which (as he sayth without any further proofe) doeth of it self teach it. For this purpose he willeth the reader to see Mr. Perkins in treatise of christian equity; where nothing is to be found that perteyneth unto this purpose. For there Mr. P. speaketh onely of such publick actiōs, as are usually called actions of law, wherin publick justice is quaestioned, the mitigation
wherof perteyneth unto that christian equitie which there is handled: such as execution of penall statutes, suing of bondes, taking forfeitures & fines are. If he would know Mr. Perkins his judgement about this point, let him see to the purpose his treatise of divine or religious worship (the thing that now is in hand) where he shall find this description, church service is that which is performed publickly in the congregation of the people of God. But leaving his testimonie, let us search a litle after that reason which Maister Robinson telleth us will teach us what actions are publick. Publick is as much as peoplelick because that which is not restreined unto one or a few,* but extended as commune to a people eyther civill or ecclesiasticall, that is peoplelick or publick. Thus some actions doen first in privat, and after extending to the knowledge of the people, become therby publick scandals, though the actors of them haue no publick calling or authoritie for doeing of them. Much more, are those actions to bee esteemed publick, which are performed in a publick place, extending to the praesent knowledge or use of the people, & so intēded, whether they bee good or evil in which respect no mā cā denie the prophecies of Zedekiach & other his fellowes 2 Crō. 18. to have beē as publick as that of Michaia, though hee onely & not they had lawfull calling or authoritie for that action. Those exercises of religion which are ordinarily used in the seperat assemblies, called prophecijngs, wherein prayers are offered up in the name of all the people, & the word interpreted unto all, they are I think esteemed publick by them selves: sure I am they are so, however they bee esteemed: yet the actors in those businesses have no special set calling or authoritie for that they doe. In the time of Wickliffe, when many that receyved light of truth from him did upon al occasions publish the same unto others eyther in churches or churchyards, or else in markets, faires, & such like open assemblies, though they did it without licence of the ordinaries, or other sufficient authoritie of that kinde, yet they are sayd to preach publikely. It is the phraze of king Ric¦hards letters against them, as is to bee seene in M. foxe, p. 406. Like phraze is used in like case, by all that write or speake therof. So that both by reason & custome, & all good rule of speech, it is manifest, that these exercises of religion which M. R. granteth lawfull are publick
actions: and so, that not onely privat, but also publick communion is by his owne confession, lawfull in the parish assemblies of England.
Thus farr then wee haue Mr. R. consenting. Now at the third demād, hee maketh a stād: but with such oppositiō as will not stand. The demand was of the same mā, whoe formerly did lawfully preach in a publick assemblie, if hee should obteyne a licence from the L. Byshop of the diocesse, without any unlawfull condition for to continue in that his course, whether that leave or licence given doeth pollute the actions, seeing a man may ask leave of the great Turk, to preach the gospell within his dominions? His answer is, that the very obteyning & receyving of such a licence is unlawfull: because it is a reall acknowledgement, that such a Byshop hath a lawfull power to grant it. Which is neyther so nor so: for. 1. The asking & receyving of leave or licence (which are both one) doeth not allways implie an acknowledgement of his lawful authoritie from whome it is sought. If any man of violence shall usurpe a power to him self, of permitting or hindering the lawful & good offices that pertaine unto honest men, so that without his licence a man could not buy or sell, or teach any science or trade of life; if an honest man whome these duties concerne, should in that case take a licence from that usurper (though hee were no better then a strong theif) no reasonable man will say, that in so doeing he did acknowledge such usurped power lawful. The rulers of Iewish synagoges had no lawfull power over the Apostles of Christ in any part of their ministerie, neyther would Paul ever acknowledge so much: yet hee & Barnabas accepted of such licence or leave from them sometime as they did usually grant unto those that acknowledged them selves lawfully subject to their authoritie. See an example act. 13.15. Mr. R. him self hath granted in the first demand that a man may preach by leave in a parochiall assemblie: which leave must bee given by the parochiall minister & churchwardens, whose authoritie hee holdeth one with the Bishops. If therfore leave or licence (whether in word or writing, that is all one) may be lawfully taken from them, without acknowledging any authoritie lawfull which is unlawfull, why not from the Byshop? 2. There is some authoritie in the Bishops derived from the king which
may bee acknowledged lawfull. Such is this of giving licence, libertie & civill authoritie for men to doe good. The civill magistrat may doe it him self; or appoint others to doe it 2 chro. 17.7. The abuse of this authoritie doeth not make it unlawfull.
But Iohn Claydon (sayth Mr. R.) a martyr of Christ was otherwise minded, when he witnessed, that the Byshops licence to preach the word of God was the true character of the beast. Which testimonie is found in deed in the book of martyrs, p. 588. But 1. It is not Iohn Cleydons, but found in a book wherof hee was the owner but not the author: for hee could neyther write nor read. 2. Whosoever was the author, the meaning was, that in regard of the conditions required by those Byshops, & the persons that usually obteyned their approbation, licences might be helde as a note of one that followed the beast of Rome: though those conditions beeing removed, ther was no such wickednesse in the bare licence. This meaning may bee gathered out of the answer of William Thorp, whoe may probablie be judged the author of that treatise wherin this testimonie was found. For concerning the Byshops licence, hee rendereth a iust reason why the godly preachers in those days did not seeke them p. 492. In this his speach to the archbyshop. Sir, as touching your letters of licence, or other Byshops, which yee say wee should have to witnesse that wee were able to bee sent for to preach: wee know wel, that neyther yow sir, nor any other Byshop of this land, will grant to us any such letters of licence, but if wee should oblige us to yow, & to other Byshops by unlawfull othes, not to passe the bounds & termes which yee sir with other Byshops wil limit to us. And since in this matter your termes bee some too large & some too strait: wee dare not oblige us thus to bee bounde to you for to keepe the termes which yow will limit, as yow doe to friers & such other preachers.
- If one good martyr out of zeal had given that testimonie in such a sense as Mr. R. wil haue it understood in, yet the generall consent of almost (if not absolutely) al the other martyrs beeing otherwise, as is wel knowen to such as have read their stories, this one of it self could work no great praejudice.
This for the answer directly applied unto the demand. Vnto the comparative reason annexed, that a man may ask leaue of the great Turk to preach the gospell within his dominions, he opposeth 2
things. 1. A difference betwixt leave & licence, that to ask leaue is to desire one not to hinder him: but to obteine a licence of the Byshop, is to obteine publique authoritie of the publique officer, & according to the publique lawes of the church, to exercise a publique ministerie. 2. That the great Turk is a lawfull civill magistrat with whose civill authoritie it is lawfull to partake: But so is not the Byshop a lawfull ecclesiasticall officer, with whose spirituall iurisdiction gods servants may communicate. In all which ther is not one sound sentence. For 1. What difference soever he may imagine betwixt leave & licence, my meaning was, that it was lawfull to obteine a licence of the Turk for to preach the gospell in his Dominions.
- Leave from one that is in authoritie, so as he that hath it shalbe hindered of none subject unto that authoritie, is a licēce with authoritie. So that the difference betwixt leave & licence, insinuated by him must consist onely in the great sound of the word publique so oftē repeated in vaine, publique authoritie, publique officer, publique lawes, publique ministerie: Which how idle it is, hath formerly been shewed. 3. He that hath a Byshops licence & orders too, hath no such authoritie actuall conferred upon him therby, but that hee may bee hindered many ways, even by those that are subiect unto the Byshop, from ever exercising that wherto he hath licence so that in this respect, ther seemeth not so much as full & perfect leave to bee conteyned in a Byshops licence. 4. That the Turk is a lawful magistrat, it would trouble Mr. R. to prove. 5. The Byshop hath some jurisdiction exercised about spiritual causes, which may lawfully bee communicated with. 6. And lastly, though all this were so as Mr. R. sayth, that it were unlawfull for to seek or take such a licence of a Byshop, yet it doeth not follow, but it might be lawfull to communicat with him that hath taken it: especially seeing it was lawful before, and the man doeth & hath all good that he did or had before, onely with this difference, that he doeth that with licence of the Byshop which he did before with his connivence. So that this demand remaineth unanswered: which was not made of the getting of licence, but of communicating with him that had gotten one.
Which communion can be no more unlawfull, then that which schollers haue with a schoolmaister, who hath takē a Bishops licēce
(according as many are urged to doe) from the same Bishop: or that which subiects haue had with their lawfull king sometime when he was crowned or set up by the Pope.
THe 4. Demand was concerning a man that hath taken that forme of admission which is called orders of the diocessan,* not knowing any evill in it, whether such a fault, if it bee a fault, doeth pollute that communion with him which otherwise is lawfull? that it doeth not Mr. R. seemeth to witnesse in his former treatise p. 15. For this he referreth the reader unto that answer which he gave to the former demand: and so doe I to the refutatiō of it. Wheras he addeth, that his testimonie is misaplied, because his meaning was, that a humaine infirmitie about an externall ordinance doeth not hinder from communion in actions performed meerely by personall grace; I answer, that it is possible for a man which hath such orders, to performe the actions of prayer & preaching even in a publick place, meerly by vertue of the personal grace & gifts which God hath endued him with all. Especially this man of whom heere we speak, who yet hath no speciall state or reference by office unto those that communicate with him in the word & prayer. The reason therfore is one and the same, in this case, & that which Mr. R. speaketh of.
THe fift quaestion was of a man that being desired, & so chosen by some assembly wherin there are many fearing God apparently, he taketh a pastoral charge of them,* hauing the Byshops & patrons admission, but cheifly grounding his calling upon the peoples choyse, and that he doe nothing but the same he did before, besides the administration of the sacraments to such as are in charitie & discretion to bee esteemed worthy, what hindereth from communion heer? To this a four fould answer is given in shew, though none in deed. 1. Hee denieth an assembly gathered & consisting of many fearing God, & many without the fear of God, to bee a lawfull church assemblie, hauing right in communion to call & enjoy a Pastor. But the question was made of an assembly wherin are many fearing God apparently, without his supplie of many not fearing God,
though with them ther may be mingled some which give not such apparent evidence of Gods grace to be in them, but rather praesumptions of the contrarie. Will Mr. R, denie the title of a true church unto all assemblies that haue some such amongest them? then must hee condemne most rashly not onely a multitude of praesent churches (Dutch & Frēch) but those of Corinth, Galatia, Pergamus, Thyatira, Sardis, & Laodicea also, of which the Apostles & Christ him self gave other judgement. 2. He telleth us, that none can truely take a pastoral charge in the Parish assemblies: because he cannot governe or rule the flock. But first, a man may truely take upon him that which he cannot fully & in every part performe or fullfill, desiring & endeavoring so farr as his knowledge & abilitie extendeth. Otherwise, no high Preist in Israel from the time of Salomon unto the time of Hezekia did truely take upon them the charge of a high preist: because none did celebrat the passouer which was a principall sacrament, in such sort as was writtē. 2. Cron. 30.5.26. Nor keepe the feast of tabernacles in a far lōger time. Nehem. 8.17. Nor did any king al that time truly take upon him the charge or office of a king: because none did reforme things as he ought. If any difference bee, their sinne was greater, that might haue doē their duty & would not, then theirs that would & cannot. Secondly, the meere want of performing one part of the charge, doeth not hinder but that a man may well communicat in the other parts, which are well undertaken & discharged also. 3. He addeth, that the church of Englād acknowledgeth no such calling as is cheifly grounded on the peoples choyce. Such private intendimēts & underhand professions of particular persons in secret, are cloaks of shame & craftinesse, like unto disguised familisme. And if any ministerie bee so grovnded, it is not the ministerie of the church of England. But what that church of England alloweth which he understandeth by this title, it maketh nothing to the quaestion. It is enough if such a calling bee in some assemblies of England. Yet for a minister to lay the cheif ground of his calling upon the peoples choice, so that he haue withall those formallities required, I know no law in England that doeth forbid or disallow it. Ther is therfore no necessitie for him that doeth so, to speak of it in secret onely: hee may professe it in the pulpit, as many haue been knowen to doe, & yet bee a minister of a church established
by the law of England. Neyther is that after consent by acceptance & submission which Mr. R. speaketh of so slight a matter for this purpose as he would make it. For as in wedlock, the after consent of parents or parties doeth often make that a lawfull state of mariage which before & without that was none: & in governement, acceptance & submission doeth make him a king which before was a tyrant, though in their nature these actions bee rather consequences then causes of that calling, so is it betwixt minister & people. All the wind that he spendeth therfore in this answer, is but a venting of his praejudiciall passions. The quaestion it self he secretly granteth, in making a ministerie grounded on the peoples choyce to bee no ministerie of the church of England: insinuating therby, that with such a ministerie he cannot say but communion is lawfull. Now that ther is such a ministerie to be found in England, as it is manifest in diverse places, so he him self doeth as much as witnesse it in the next page, where he affirmeth that in sundry places the people are ready to suffer persecution with their ministers.* For if the lifting up of a hand in tokē of consent be a choosing, a cōsent declared by such fruights must needes implie no lesse.
- He excepteth against baptizing of all infants borne in the Parish. But (to absteine from by controversies) it shall suffice for that, that other churches doe extend the use of that sacrament to as great largenes as England doeth, with whome not withstanding Mr. R. wil not denie all communion publick.
The 6 quaestion was of a deprived & silenced minister, why a man should not hear him when he preacheth? Mr. R. after a censorious note or two passed upon such ministers, giveth for answer, that such a man remayning still a minister of the church of England, & preaching by that calling, cannot bee communicated with, without submission unto and upholding of the prelats antichristian authoritie, which in that work hee exerciseth. Which is a conceyt past commune apprehension. That hee which by the prelat, the prelats cannons, & all that his authoritie can make, is forbidden to preach, often times excommunicated also by him, and all this for witnessing against his usurped authoritie, should in performing that duty, which also he did law fully before he receyved any commission from any prelat, not onely exercise the prelats
authoritie, but so exercise it, that no christian man may bee present therat, without actuall submission to antichristian power. I can say no more, but let him that readeth give judgement.
To the 7 & last demand, which was of one that thorough infirmitie admitteth of some corruptions in the exercise of his ministerie, he answereth nothing of momēt, but what was examined before, & therfore need not a several triall.
*THus much for maintenance of the arguments implied in the foresayd quaeres. Wherin also those barrs are now removed which were by Mr. R. opposed before in generall, & now as wee haue seen, particularly applied. Yet further some what to pursue the matter, it may bee a defense of that which is sayd allready. The principall & in deed the onely ground of opposition was layd by him in this, that such a Parishionall minister is a branch of the prelacie, as receyving power from it, by which it doeth administer. My answer was by deniall, with this distinction, that a parishionall minister as I formerly described had power of right unto his ministery before ever he had to doe with the prelat, though a power of externall legall abilitie, he may bee sayd to receyve from the prelat in part. When I sayd he had nothing to doe with the prelat before he had gotten right, my meaning was, that he had not to do about that pastorall charge.
Yet wee may suppose him also not to haue proceeded by such degrees as were formerly for argumēt sake set in ranke, but first to have dealt with the people or been dealt with by them, having never seen any prelat in all his life, or as good as not seen him. To come then to the poynt, his answer is, that no parish assemblies haue power of right to choose their ministers. Wheras on the contrarie it is most evident that every congregatiō of christians hath right unto this thing from Christ him self so inseparablie annexed unto it, that no externall oppression by others, or abuse of their owne cā possiblie deprive them of this right, so long as they remaine a christian assemblie or congregation. Suppose they bee in externall bondage, & that in some sense spirituall, yet no matter of fact can take away right, while they abide such as Christ hath given that right unto.
The whol case may be cleared in this example, two single persons a¦gree on mariage betwixt themselves, with allowance of parents, & haue by vertue of that cōtract, mutual right one in other, yet the lawes of the place where they live hauing ordered that none shall be held for married persons without certain formes which they appoint, they haue not externall legall power or libertie one in the other, before such rites be performed. Even so standes the matter betwixt minister & people in Englād, they agreeing or cōtracting betwixt them selves have right one in other: but externall legall power or libertie they must receyve from others. Another example also I would haue considered, the emperor sometime was so subiect unto the pope that he had not liberty of emperiall rule untill he receyved his crowne from Rome: yet was the emperor then no proper part of the papacie, nor did he take his right from the pope, neyther did those that submitted unto him, therin communicat with the popes authoritie. So is this in hand. If Mr. R. will shutt his eyes against the light I cannot make him see the difference that is betwixt these two powers.
OVt of Mr. R. his owne grounds there were certain assertions observed,* which shew that the power of preaching which ministers in England doe exercise professing that to be their main office, is not properly a part of the prelats power. The first was, that the office of the prelats is founded on their usurpation of the churches rights in calling of officers & censuring of offenders: power therfore of preaching can bee no part of it. To which first he answereth, that that which I admitt in his affirmation hath enough in it to ouerthrow my consequence: for if it belong to the prelats to cal ministers & that in calling them they giue thē power & authoritie to preach, then it followeth undeniablie, that those ministers thus preaching, doe therein exercise the prelats power. And if unto this bee added such an aestimation of all the ecclesiasticall state in England as he cōceyteth, & would haue others to take for granted, then he sayth all wil follow that he desires. Onely he disliketh, that diligent preaching should be accounted the ministers mayn office: because that in abstracted notions, it is rather a work then an office, & such a work as may bee performed by Apostles, or others that are no pastors, & therfore
as he full wisely concludeth, it cannot bee the pastors office maine or mean. Secondly he descants upon the word founded, affirming that men may haue power to doe more then they very thinges upon which their office is founded &c. But 1. A man may take an argument from that which he doeth not with consent admit. And so did I in using his assertion concerning the Byshops authoritie in calling of ministers: never granting (as former passages doe sufficiently witnesse) that all authoritie of calling them resteth in the prelat. 2. A man may bee in some sort called by another to exercise some power which is not his that so called him. As when a physitian is called by the civil magistrat or by a Bishop to exercise such art as he hath, amōg the people that are ruled by him. For no man I think will say that such a phxsitian in giving of a potion doeth exercise a kingly or an episcopall power. So likewise is the case of a schoolmaister set in place by a Bishops licence & authoritie: in teaching of grammar, he doeth not exercise the power of a Byshop. 3. Though in strictnes of distinction, an office dissereth, from the work of it, yet Mr. R. I hope will give us leave to follow in phraze of speach the custome of speakers & writers, whoe doe usually call that work mens office wherto by office they are seperated, Especially seeing the Apostle Paul himself doeth call the office of a Byshop a worke. 1. tim. 3.1. And the work of ministrie, a ministerie. Rom. 12.7. But it seemeth he doeth not esteeme preaching any proper work of a pastors office, because Apostles & others may doe it. As if the apostles & ordinarie pastors had not one generall office, because they haue not the same in speciall; or that one man may not be tied by office unto a work which another also hath libertie by oceasion to doe without such a speciall office. As if it were not a deacons office to distribute unto the poore, becaus others may doe so.
- His strict acception of the work founded cā neyther stād with his other interpretation of the word office nor with that sentence wherto it belongeth. For a prelats office or state is in nature before that usurpation he speaketh of, & not founded upon it. Neyther is the quaestion, whether prelats haue power to preach or no, nor yet whether that be in the strictest sense a foundation of their office, but whether their office, doeth so conteyne that as a part of it, as that, whosoever
preacheth with in their diocesse, must needes execute a part of their office or power?
A Second assertion wherof use was made in the manuduction was,*preaching is no naturall or necessarie part of the parochiall ministers office. Concerning this sentence, Mr. R. complayneth first that it was by me unjustly reproched, & secondly, that my inference upon it is of no force. Reproch it I did not, but so reprove it as it was worthy: wondering much at the shamelessnesse of it. Now I doe much lesse merveyl at it then I did before: seeing that which he heere affirmeth of the parochiall minister, he doeth as boldly affirme of all ministers & true pastors, viz: preaching is not the pastors office, eyther main or mean. I doe rather merveyl, that he should cast that upon parochiall ministers for a crime, which he maketh to be the case of all true pastors. Yet for the reproof I used, it was deserved. I saye, it was an intemperat speech, proceeding from an impotent sicknesse of mind: that is, an unreasodable assertion arising out of passion or perturbation. My reason annexed was, because he can find marijng, churching, burijng among the naturall or necessarie parts of this ministrie, things not mentioned in the ordination: but cannot find preaching any part, though it be expressely mētioned, & that as a mayn part. Whoe doeth not see, that such partiall dealing doeth proceed from passion? the force of this argument thus couched in that comparison, Mr. R. observing wil take no knowledge of, but frameth another, which he thought he could answer: and simply proproundeth my reason to bee, that preaching the word is expresly mentioned in the ordination: & therfore a naturall & necessarie part of the parochiall ministers office. Though this I neyther sayd nor meant, yet if it bee rightly understood, viz: that preaching of the word is mentioned as the principall work to which he is ordeyned, the argument is good & sound: & the objections which Mr. R. hath brought against it, are but as the raising of a litle dust unto the clearenes of a shining light. It is mentioned also in the ordination of a maspreist: But is not mentioned as the cheif work wherunto he is concecrated: sacrifizing for quick & dead is the maine. Yet according to the intention of those which first framed that forme of ordination,
it is manifestly the office of him that is so ordeyned, to preach the word of God. So also is ministring the discipline of Christ as the Lord hath commanded, expresly mentioned. So is it also a part of his office, though he be not now permitted to performe it, according as he should. The Bishop also expressely bids his ordeyned one, receive the H. Ghost: doeth he therfore so receyve it? most trifling. Is this the quaestion now, whether the ordeyned one receyveth every thing that he is bidden receyve? or doe those words any ways import an office of such receyving? The greatest part of the ministers want abilitie of preaching, therfore it cannot be a naturall or necessarie part of their office. So did the greatest part of the preists & levites in the days of Ieremie, & the other prophets: was it therfor no naturall or necessarie part of their office? But the publique lawes doe approve of their inabilitie to preach, by appointing homilies to be read by them. It is a publick slander to say so, when as in the very preface to those homilies, the appointers of them doe declare, that their intent was not to approve such unsufficiencie, but to make some kind of supplie for that which was wanting in such men toward the performance of their office, and that for a time onely, while better provision might be made. Wherby also it is manifest, that it is not law, but pretense & abuse of law that continnueth such blots in so many assemblies.
This of the speach reproved: now for the inference deduced out of it. Which was, that if preaching be no naturall part of such a ministers office, then he in preaching doeth not exercise any power receyved from the prelat: neyther doeth he that cōmunicates with him in that action of preaching, therby communicat with him in any corrupt office of prelacie, or preisthood receyved from it. Wherunto Mr. R. answereth, that though it bee not a naturall & necessarie part or work of his office, yet is it a casuall & arbitrary part or work, which when it is doen, proceedeth from the same power with those that are naturall, that is, from the authoritie of the prelate. But whoe doeth not see how casuall & arbitrarie the answers of this man are? Sometime preaching is no office of the ministers, neither main nor mean, as we heard before: sometime it is a part, but not naturall or necessarie. And where did he learn (I wonder) to distinguish the parts of any thing into naturall & preternaturall, necessarie & casuall? that which is preter-naturall
to a wholl is no part of it, neyther is ther any part which is not in some degree necessarie. The duety of preaching may bee a naturall & necessarie part of the ministers office: though the work of it be not so necessarily urged, as the office doeth require. That the work also is made no more necessarie, it ariseth not from the nature of the office, but from the corruption of the officers.
A Third assertion of Mr. R. applied unto the former purpose, was that the root beeing plucked up, the branch cannot survive:* for the prelacie being plucked up, the parochiall ministerie might stand stil, in al the substantiall parts of it: as reason wil teach any man that considereth without passion, and experience also sheweth in many parts of Germanie. Therfor the parochial ministerie can bee no proper branch of the prelacie. For answer heerunto, first, he denieth & merveyleth that I would affirme, the same parochiall office & power of ministerie to remaine in any churches of Germanie that was in use when prelats were there in time of poperie, which was mas-preisthood. But 1. It was not affirmed, that the ministerie there doeth remaine the same with that which was there before: but the same for substance with that which is Englād though we haue prelats & they haue none. The truth of which is evident unto all that haue any knowledge of the state of those churches.
- If the removing of the masse & the reference of preisthood unto it, doeth necessarily inferr a change of the ministeriall function, (as this answer importeth) why then doth Mr. R. so much forget himself, in affirming that the office of a masse preist & of a parochial minister is one & the same?
And for the poynt: the reasons by Mr. R. alledged (to prove that the parochial ministerie cannot stand in all the substantiall parts of it if the prelacie be taken away) are so frivolous & voyd of substance, that if passion & praejudice be taken away, they cannot possibly stād. 1. All the ministers are made & appoynted by the Bishops: if therfore the Bishops be taken away, how can the ministers remayne the same? take away the correlative & relation ceaseth.
Trew, the relation ceaseth, But is that externall relation unto an efficient cause any part of the substance or essence of
the ministerie? I had thought that the substance & essence of a thing had consisted in matter & forme, & not in such externall relations. Mariages are also made (as Mr. R. affirmeth) by Bishops authoritie: take away Bishops therfore & by this reason the mariages shall not remayne the same for substance which they are now. Licences for teaching school & in many places for practizing of physick are given by the Bishops & their officers: take away the Bishops, & may not the same schoolmasters & physitians yet stil remayn (for substāce) that were before? Fie upon sophistrie.
- Take away the prelacie (sayth Mr. R.) and how can such a ministerie continue, wherof one part (viz: ruling) shall bee usurped by the prelat? As if when once that power is taken from the minister, it now apperteyned to the substance of his ministery, by whome it were usurped, whether he that possessed it were a Byshop, or a high commissioner, or of some other place! that which is without a thing may be changed without any substantiall change of the thing it self: else how can Mr. R. say that eyther the function of masspreists, or of Popish Byshops doe remaine still in England as of olde for substance, when ther is so great an alteration in that supreme power from whence of olde they were derived? The office of a king also, it remayneth the same for substance now, that it was in time of poperie, for the substantiall parts of it: yet one part therof was in those times usurped & possessed by the pope, & is now restored to the crowne, viz: power over ecclesiasticall persons, & in ecclesiasticall causes. It cannot therfore be denied, but by the same reasō, the parochial ministery should abide the same for substance that now it is, thovgh that part which is now usurped by Byshops should be restored againe. So that Bishops being removed, whether that power of ruling should be translated unto some other officers, or setled in the ministers as it ought, Mr. R. argument hath by neyther way any waight or force at all.
- Take away (sayth he) the provinc: & diocesan churches & prelats, the parochiall churches & ministers, as partes of them, must fall also. As partes of them in deed they must of necessitie fall: that is, they must cease to be partes of them: but it doeth not therfore follow, that any thing of their internall substance should fall. The nationall church of England, & so the provincial & diocesan did once stand members, or
partes of the oecumenicall papall church of Rome: now that is removed out of England, so farr at least, that this nationall church is not subiect unto Rome, nor dependant on it, or conteyned in it as a part in a wholl: yet Mr. R. will say that the same diocesan provinciall & nationall church remayneth (for substance) that was before. Why doeth he not then see that parochiall churches may remayn the same for substance, though diocesses and provinces did follow the other?
- He reckoneth up sundry corruptions, idoll preists, crosse & surplice with such vanities, mixture of profane with the godly, and asketh, if it be possible that the prelacie beeing abolished such things should remayne as now? I answer 1. It is possible. Ther are more meanes of disorder & corruption then one. Neyther can any such necessarie cōjunction be shewed betwixt the prelacie & these abuses, but that it is possible to seperat one from the other. Yet 2. If they should all be abolished with the prelacie, no reasonable man wil therfor say that the substance of parochial churches should be therin chāged. If praejudice could be set apart, the shallownesse of this & the former reasons could not be hid from the eyes of him that framed them.
TO a mayn obiection by Mr. R. urged, viz:*that all parochiall ministers are subiect unto the spirituall iurisdiction of prelats, answer was given, first, that so are privat christians subiect unto the same jurisdict••, not onely in their church actions which they performe with others in publick, but also for personall & private opinions & behaviours: this subiection therfore doeth no more hinder cōmunion with the one then with the other, in things that are good. To which answer Mr. R. replieth nothing: but referreth unto his former book: where as good as nothing is to be found. If there had bene a fit answer to be given, wee should certainly eyther haue had it repeated heere (for of repetition Mr. R. is not so nice) or at least the page quoted where wee might haue found it. But in deed it is not possible, but if meere subiection to Bishops bee in it self a sufficient barr against publick communion, it must also be held sufficiēt against such privat in & for which a man is also subiect.
The second answer unto the forenamed obiection was that the greatest part of the prelats iurisdiction is from the king derived
unto those that doe exercise the same, and therfore must of necessitie be a civill power, such as the king might as well performe by other civill officers, as it is in the high commission. The lawes of the land doe so esteeme it, &c. In this Mr. R. insisteth much, as thinking no small advantage to be given him, & therfore requireth of the reader wel to observe what heere is sayd on both sides. In which request I ioigne with him: so that it be marked withall, that I doe not undertake to justifie the Byshops wholl state, much lesse their proceedings, but onely so far, that some subiection unto some of their authoritie is not simply unlawfull.
Mr. R. plea (after his praeamble) ariseth unto these 3 defenses. 1. The lawes doe no where derive from the kings civill authoritie, the power of the Bishops spiritual administratiōs, but doe onely make the king an establisher & up holder civilly of this power. 2. Though the lawes of the lād did esteeme this iurisdiction civill, yet it doeth not follow that therfore it is such in deed: because they misesteeme diverse things. 3. That the prelats iurisdiction is not civile, as appeareth playnly by 5 reasons of him alledged. For the first of these, I appeal 1. To the oth of the clergie to the king, established by a statut law in the reign of king Henry 8. exstāt in Mr. Fox p. 961. Where the Byshop sweareth, that he knowledgeth himself to hold his Bishoprick of the king onely.
- To the act that was then made for the supremacie, wherin all iurisdictions belonging to the title of head of the church in Englād are givē to the king, as it is in the same book p. 963.3. I appeal to the 5. Book of Sr Edward Cooks reportes, where he sheweth out of the law that Bishops are the kings spirituall judges, their lawes his ecclesiasticall lawes, their iurisdiction so dependāt on him, that he may exempt any man from it, & grant the same also to whome he will. For the which purpose, he that desireth may finde plētiful proofs in a book intitled, an assertion for church policie. Now wheras M. R. aledgeth, that the same iurisdiction ecclesiasticall which had been in use in popery, & a great part of the popish hierarchy was confirmed primo Elizabethae, he hath put another weapon in our hands for to wound his cause withall. For the very title of that statute is, an act restoring to the crowne the ancient jurisdiction over the state ecclesiastical. And the whol house of commons haue so interpreted the meaning of that restauration which is therin
made, that by vertue therof the king is inabled to give power & jurisdiction ecclesiasticall to any subiect borne, so if it please him all causes may bee taken from Byshops & their officers, & given unto other men in every parish of England. This interpretation is found in the bill of greivances presented to the king by those of the lower house an. 1610. Printed in a book called a recorde of some worthy proceedings &c.
That this or any other judgemēt of the law is not infallible, I easily admit, especially touching the quaestion of lawfull or unlawfull, good or evill, of which kind those instances are which Mr. R. chooseth in this place to appose. But 1. Seeing that when we alledge the parishes to be severall churches, & to be considered as they subsist in their severall conditions, and the calling of ministers in many assemblies to be grounded on the peoples choice &c. wee hear it still opposed with loud voyce, the lawes of the land allow no such things, they acknowledge no such matter &c. Was it not both fit & necessarie then to declare the judgement of lawe? or can he with honestie reject the sentence of lawe so ligtly now, whoe a litle before built all upon it. 2. The quaestion is heere of a matter of fact, and the positive not morall nature of it, whether this authoritie commeth from the king or no, not whether it bee every way good & laudable (as is the controversie about crosse, syrplice & such like abuses which he mentioneth) and in such a case if the the lawes say yea, and those that submit to them say also yea, Mr. R. must pardon us, if his no be reiected, except his reasons be passing strong.
His first reason why this power is not civil is because it is not coactive or bodily enforcing, but the Bishop after excomunication can goe no further except he procure a civill coactive processe by writt out of another court. I answer 1. Though it had no bodily enforcing at all annexed unto it yet it might be a civill power. Bodily enforcing is but a penall sanction which commeth after the authoritie or power civil, & may bee seperated from it 2. It is therfore coactive or bodily enforcing, because it may directly require as due & by law belonging unto it such coactive assistance by other officers as Mr. R. himself speaketh of. So many civill commissions & letters patent are granted to men which haue no authoritie seated in themselves for forcing of mē unto obedience, but haue authoritie to charge the constable or justice that
next is to ayd them in their affayres, which authoritie of theirs notwithstanding is civil, & in that respect coactive.
A second reason is taken from the works of prelats iurisdiction, which are for substance (sayth he) the making of ministers, & excommunicating of offenders, with their contraries & appurtenances: which are not civil workes, neyther can be performed by any civil magistrat. Where, if by can or may he understandeth such right as men haue for their deedes by the law or word of God, then I willingly grant that no civil magistrate may by his civill office performe those workes of ordination excommunication &c. Neyther can the Byshop so performe them: heerin consisteth that presumptuous usurpatiō wherof they are guilty before God & man. But if he understandeth such right or power as men haue for their deedes by mans law, then I avouch out of the former grounds & testimonies of law, that any other civil magistrat may receyve authoritie of iurisdiction in those causes as well as prelats. Which experience confirmeth de facto in the high commissiō, & some other courts. Wherby it is manifest, that though these workes in their nature be spirituall, yet (thorough great abuse) they are performed by civill authoritie. Secondly I answer, that these workes of ordination & excommunication with their contraries & appurtenances are not the substance or in effect the wholl iurisdiction which Bishops doe exercise in their provinces & dioces, though Mr. R. affirme it againe & againe. For 1. The principall iurisdiction which prelats haue is under the king to make certain rules canons or lawes for ordering of certain causes cōmitted unto them 2. Those causes are for a great part of them meerely civil, such as by Gods law the civil magistrat hath power to order. Of which kind are the causes of matrimonie, of wills or testaments & many circumstances pertayning to the severall churches within their precincts. 3. In the very businesse of ordination & excommunication, it is of substance to see that worthy men be admitted & unworthy excluded. The formes of ordination & excommunication usurped by them, are corrupt appurtenances to those lawfull actions, & not the substance wherto all the rest apperteyne.
Neyther doeth Mr. R. agree with himself in making all the substance of spirituall government to consist in calling of ministers and
exercising of censures, or ordination & excommunication: seeing his opinion is that all this may be doen by the people, & yet in his former book (p. 26.) affirmeth government not to belong to them, wherin (sayth he) doeth the people govern as many please to reproach us?
The third argument is taken from the forme used in consecration of Byshops, wherin no mention is made of civil authoritie, but onely of spirituall. Wherunto I answer. 1. That their episcopall jurisdiction over a special diocesse or province is not expressed in that consecration: nor any thing of substance which is not conteyned in a parochiall ministers ordination. Which is an argument that the Byshop receyveth not that iurisdiction from him by whose hands he is consecrated, but from some other power, & that is from the king. 2. It is not necessarie that words & formes of consecration should agree in all pointes with the state of a Byshop. For a Byshop in that state & proceeding which now is in use, is partly fish & partly flesh, or such a compound as were the feete of Nebuchadnetsars image,* that were part of yron & part of clay, which did not cleave one to the other: for so is he, part of civill power which is of sound mettall or yron, & part of spirituall usurpation, like myrie clay.
The. 4. Argument is vaynly built upon a supposition which formerly was proved false, viz: that all the civil iurisdiction which prelats haue, cōsisteth in their being privy councellers, high commissioners, or iustices of the peace. This therfor needeth no further answer. Onely let it be observed that Mr. R. in defending of the separation, as well as I in opposing it, doeth iustifie some part of the authoritie which Byshops exercise in England,*professing communion with it and submission unto it. The onely quaestion is, how much of their authoritie is such. Let preiudiciall insinuations & groundlesse imputations therfore be layd aside, and that quaestion onely discussed.
The last argument is raised from a forme of words used by the-Byshops, in that they proceed in the name of God, & not in the kings name as all civile proceedings doe. Wherunto I answer. 1. That a sound & convincing argument cannot be brought from words of forme & office. If they should change their stile, & begin their actiōs in the king name, I doubt whether Mr. R. would allow of that as any strong reason for their civill authoritie. 2. Many actions are performed
with the same words of forme, as all wills or testaments &c: which yet are no spiritual but civil deedes. So Henrie the fourth king of England began his clayme to the crowne. In the name of God, amen. I Henrie of Lanc. &c: as it is in Mr. Foxe p. 474. Yet was not any other then a civil claime. 3 I affirme thatit is an abuse against lawe, that Byshops in their acts of iurisdiction doe not use the kings name: and therfore howsoever that the formal words be wanting, yet the thing it self is to bee understood, viz: as Sr Ed. Cooke hath written, that howsoever the forme runneth in the Byshops name, yet the authoritie is no other but the kings.
This I will shew by an instance most pregnant. Byshop Farrar in king Edwards days, being troubled & vexed by evil Willershad (amōgest other) these 2 articles obiected agaynst him as deserving deprivation 1. that he appoynted his Chancelour by his letters of commission, omitting the kings maiesties stile & authoritie &c. 5. Item he hath commonly made his collations & iustitutions, as he did his first commission, in his owne name & authoritie without expressing the kings supremacie. To the first, the Byshops answer was, that what formalities soever be wanting in his commission, yet the kings maiesties stile & authoritie was fully set forth in the same commission. Neyther did the sayd chancelour offer to visit but in the kings name & authoritie, to the sayd Bishop committed. To the fifth he sayth, that the sayd defendāt made his collations & institutions in his owne name, not by his owne āuthoritie, nor by any others▪ fave onely the kings authoritie, according as he hath declared in his first article, expressing in them the kings supremacie with the Byshops owne name & seale of office, as he ought to doe according to the prouision of the kings statute in such a case. See Mr. Foxe p. 1405.1406. In which one plea, we haue the authoritie of statute, the sentence of lawyers & iudges, with the confession & practise of prelats themselves, for the kings name & authoritie to give life unto their proceedings.
Heere it must be observed, that this accusation & answer of B. Farrar was grounded immediatly on a statute made the first of Edward 6. wherin it was enacted, that the Byshop, should make their proces & writinges in the kings name, and that theyr seales should be the kings armes. Which act was but an appendix declaring & adding forme
to that statute of supremacie made in Henry 8 his dayes, wherby ecclesiasticall iurisdiction was annexed to the crowne so as all Byshops were to fech it from thence. Now though that act of king Edward was repealed in Queere Maries time, and not since revived, yet that doeth declare the meaning of the former statute of Henrie 8. to be such as hath been sayd: which statute is now in force. Howsoever, the Byshops haue (undoubtedly) the same kind of state which they had in the days of king Edw. If therfore they were thē civil officers, proceeding by the kings authoritie, they are also now such, viz: of civil nature for their state, deriving their iurisdiction frō the king, though they proceed not in his name so formaly as in king Edwards days they did, & now in reason they should.
THus much for that obiection touching spiritual subiection.* Concerning which, I found nothing further directly perteyning unto the purpose, except one passage which I found p. 30. Where these words are, they who thus disclaym in word the Byshops governement, confesse themselves therin to be under no spirituall externall government at all, & so be lawles persons & inordinate walkers &c. This because it sounded as a dangerous & deepe charge, ensuing upon that former defense which was made, that good ministers are no branches of the prelacie nor necessarily dependent on them as spiritual officers, I thought it needfull to give answer unto it.
My answer therfore did consist in these 3 branches, 1. That ther was no such want of spirituall governement in the ministers which governe themselves well, as could be a iust barrt against all communion with them: seeing privat men living in the same want, may well be communicated with. 2 That they are subiect unto some spirituall governement. And 3. That for that want of government which they are in, they are no more lawlesse walkers or inordinate walkers then Mr. R. himself is, whoe is not subiect to any other spirituall government then they are except he will say that the people governe him, which he counteth to be a reproche. Now let us hear what replie he maketh.
- He pleadeth, that he did not infer this exception upon the former ground. But let that passage of his book be wayed p. 29.30. And
it will be found that against his allegation of the parochiall ministers being a branch of the prelacie, this was one defense, that they are not subiect to their government, wherupon this inference followeth, that then they are inordinate walkers & lawles persons. Which is the very same order of inference that I observed. 2. He sayth it was not alledged to prove communion unlawfull with them, but as a reproof &c. But seeing the main reason was for unlawfulnesse of communion because of their branching out of prelacie, and the allegation nothing but an establishing of that reason by removall of one principall defense supposed to be brought for it, it must of necessitie tend unto the same ende, of barring from all communion. And in deed, if it were not a slander, it were none of the weakest arguments which he hath alledged.
- He affirmeth the 1. and 2. Answer to be beside the purpose because they speak onely of personall, or civill, or else a more generall kind of government then he intended, whoe spake onely of outward guidance and ordering of the church in her publike affaires, in which respect he affirmeth all in the parrish assemblies to be lawlesse persons, if they be not under the prelates jurisdiction spirituall. Wherto I answer 1. That such good governmēt as he granteth these mē personally, civilly, & generally to be ruled lawfully & religiously by (for all this he denieth not) is more then sufficient to remove from them that imputation of lawlesse & inordinate walkers, which he without law or limit had cast upon them. And for this purpose were those 1 & 2 answers opposed. Neyther yet can it be with any truth affirmed, that in that strict acception of government the former imputation doeth cleave unto all in all assemblies. Are there none in any assemblies that are any way in any measure guided & ordered by their ministers in publique affaires? what not in those prayers wherin they goe before the people and direct them in their supplicatiōs by a special gift of prayer? is there no guidance & ordering by the preaching of the word? surely this accusatiō may in no sense be excused frō overlashing. Lastly it is alledged that this, not beeing subiect to government is misapplied by me unto ministers, whē he spake it of the people, as is evidēt by his reply. Wheras indeed the cōtrarie may better be gathered out of the replie. For therin (p. 30.) he speaketh first in general termes excluding none: & after doeth
take in the ministers in special, expressely naming them no lesse thē 6 times in that one side of a leaf. The truth is, he findeth himself touched, not with a touch of wit (as he termeth it) but with a glance of his owne toung: and therfore hath now to help that, changed the terme of spirituall government into another of the power of Christ for the censures, and because he doeth not acknowledge himself to be under any externall spiritual government, yet under the power of censures he is, therfore the want of this in ministers & people he choseth now to impute for a lawlesse & inordinate state p. 19 As if this power of censuring were such a thing as every want therof were a sufficient cause of so deepe a censure: and this were not rather an audacious & abusive strayning of the apostles phraze, applijng that unto most godly men which he spake of the scandalous. Or as if all power of censuring in any degree, were wanting because the liberty of proceeding is in a great part restreyned. But thus much for this obiection: and so for the justification of some publike communion to be lawful in England.
THese thinges hitherto discussed were all that I could or can yet find in M. R. book,* directly concluding against al publick communion. Yet because ther be 2 other obiections, which by some might be thought to perteyne unto the same purpose, viz: that all are urged to communion by penall statutes, and that a set forme of prayer is appointed, I added therfore concerning them, this answer following. What fault soever may be found with them, they lie not so in the way, as that they should hinder from all communiō publick, seeing there are many exercises of religion, wherin none are present by constraint, & where the service book doeth not so much as appear. As by name Mr. Perkins his exercise was, where Mr. R. hath often been, and at whose successors he hath once been since he professed seperation, wherof I am perswaded also he doeth not yet repent. Further to reason about them is beside the purpose of my writing: and in deed needlesse, seeing the accuser hath answered himself in the one, p. 9. Whē he grāteth that the reformed churches generally use a stint forme of prayer, with whō yet he wil not refuse al publick cōmunion, & make like answer to the other, out of the lawes of
Geneva, where he shall find like strictnesse to be used toward all the inhabitants of that citie, though he hath unadvisedly denied it in his so large assertion of our assemblies difference therin from all true churches in the world. This answer of mine I was forced to repeat, that the reader may see how Mr. R. (being putt as it seemeth to hard shifts) hath miserablie mangled the same without giving any answer directly to the purpose.
- He bringeth in my first answer thus, he neyther purposeth nor thinks it needfull to deal about these thinges, seeing there are many exercises of religion where none are present by, constraynt &c. Was this my answer why doeth he leave out that wherin the mayn quaestion consisteth, & wherupon all that followeth dependeth? viz: that those things doe not hinder from al communion publick. For this that reason was brought which he mentioneth: and not for that wherunto he pleaseth to applie it. Great distance ther was in my writing betwixt those words which he patcheth together.
Neyther was it my saying, that I had no purpose to deal about those thinges at all, but not further then I had answered before. this mangling & patching confoundeth all.
- He chargeth me with changing the state of the question after my evill custome, which is not (sayth he) about mens being present by constreynt at the exercises of religion, but of churches gathered by constreynt of al the profane parishioners with the other handfull. But what goodnesse is in this custome, to passe by the wholl quaestion in hand, and then to move controversie about other matters? the state of our quaestion thorougout this dispute, is, whether all publick communiō in the parish assemblies of England be unlawfull or no? the obiection in this place was that all are urged to communion by penall statutes. For answer of which I sayd that ther be many exercises of religion publick, where none are present by vertue of such constreynt, & therfore such constreynt could not hinder from all communion, though it might from some. Could any thing be more direct & presse to the matter in hād? Take we in also that which he sayth our quaestion is about; that churches are gathered by constreynt of all the profane parshioners with the other handfull, what advantage hath he by it? nothing at all, but onely that his charirie & moderation is therby made knowen. For 1. There
be many parrishes in England which are but a handfull in all, & diverse of them consisting onely of a familie two or three, having none in them that are profane. Diverse also there are more populous which haue more then a handfull of such in them as no holy man having bridle of his tongue can cal profane.
- Though lawes doe urge unto such communion, yet it cannot be reasōably gathered that al which practise accordingly are cōstreyned unto it: except Mr. R. will say that all men which live orderly with their wives & children & absteyne from murder, treason, & such like offences, doe it by constreynt, because lawes doe require & urge the same under great paynes. 3 . Though all were gathered into churches by constreynt, yet that constreynt apperteyneth not unto those exercises of religion, where none are present but of their voluntary mind. He should haue given a mad answer, that being desired to hear Mr. Perkins, should haue denied upon this ground, because that parish church where he onely taught (for a member of it a long time he was not) was gathered by constreynt, when none came to hear him by any constreynt, & of that parrish few or none to speak of were present. By all which we see, that this argument though framed thus as Mr. R. would haue it, concludeth nothing against al publick communion in England.
- For that which I by the way onely remembred, that he himself was once at a sermon in that assembly since he professed separation, as he had bene at many of Mr. Perkinses before, he answereth▪ it was neyther pertinently nor truly obiected: because at that time he disputed onely for seperation, but had not professed it.
Practised it in deed he had not in that setled manner which since he hath: but by report of some that had speach with him, he declared then to one of his acquaintāce, that he had been amōgest some company of the seperation before his comming to Camb: & exercising amongest them had renounced his former ministery. That is enough for the truth of what was affirmed. The pertinencie of it consisteth in this, that he having so often & so lately been at that exercise of Mr. Perkins & his successors cannot but know that there was no cōstreynt nor service-book that had any place or part in it. It is pertinent also by the way to know whether Mr. R. doeth repent him
for hearing Mr. Perkins? or whether he doeth reckon it among his offences against God? The historicall narration which upon this occasion he interposeth, I passe over as remote from the argument in hand.
- He acknowledgeth that for the very use of a set forme of prayer he will not seperate from a true church in things lawfull▪ But many differences he findeth betwixt the set formes of other churches & that which is used in England, even so many as make the service-book a hatefull Idol advanced above all that is called God. The temper of which speach I leaue to be considered of himself & others. My argument is granted; viz: that a set forme of prayer in it self is not a sufficient cause of denijng all publick communion. Let the manner of imposing be as hatefull as Mr. R. would make it: yet in those actions where it is not used, nor yet imposed, as in that exercise of Mr. Perkins with other like, that infection is conveyed by it I cannot possibly conceyve. I desire a freind to hear with me a sermon preached by a godly man, where he shall neyther see nor hear any thing else beside the sermon, & such prayers as belong unto it; wil any sense allow him to answer, no I dare not, ther is an idol imposed under the name of service? Surely I should think he wanted sleep that would speak so idly.
- For the state of Geneva, whose lawes doe require church communion of all the inhabitants of that citie, he seeketh as before to find some differences betwixt that & England: but granteth in the mean time, that if a state for politick respects expell out of their territories such as will not ioign in church communion, that kind of compulsion doeth not make their communion unlawfull. Meer injunction of law therfore though it be generall for all doeth not make all publick communiō unlawfull. Especially in such actions where it is manifest that none doe communicate but voluntarily. This is all that I mainteyned. Which beeing granted by Mr. R. with some other of my demands, and the rest opposed with so slender defences as we haue now shewed; I doe not find fault with the title of his writing as he doeth with mine, but acknowledge it to be a true manumission that is a setting free or a free grant of what was by me propounded: for other usuall meaning of that title I doe not understand.
NOw though I haue not undertaken to give answer unto every thing that Mr. R. may obiect against the state of our assemblies,* and therfore might without praeiudice neglect that addition which he hath annexed unto his answer, yet least any should think some unanswerable reasons to be conteyned in the same maintenance of his separation, I will breifly & plainly declare what I think in all the particulars of it. He undertakes to set downe, what thinges are of absolute necessitie for a true ordinary church-officer & minister of Christ, reducing the same unto 4 heads, a true visible church, a fit person, a lawfull office, and a right calling.
About the formost of these, he moveth 4 quaestions, 1. How the ministers of England can be true ministers, not being made & ordeyned such in & to any particular church? I ans: making & ordeyning are two thinges, he may be a minister that is not formally ordeyned in the church. There is a making of ministers in & to particular churches in England, when they are called in & to such churches.
- How many & which of the parrish churches consist of a people separated out from the world? How many such ther are in England, I cannot tell, because I haue no sufficient intelligence, wherby to informe my self therin. But divers assemblies ther are, well knowen to such as are not willfully ignorant, which are so far at the least seperated from the world as is of absolute necessitie to the being of a true church. Perfect seperation is not of that nature. As for the mixture in dioces &c. It is (as formerly hath been shewed) a civil combination.
- How the true forme of a church can be found in any parrish church of the land, which is not any particular act, disposition or relation, but (as he conceaveth) a publick orderly covenant & union of a particular assembly, by which it hath in it self entire right to Christ & to all the meanes of enjoying him?
Wherin. 1. It is to be observed, that it is not a very easy thing to discerne of this forme of a church: for this man that hath labored so long about the search of it, & that with more abilities & helpes then ordinary christians can atteyne unto, yet speaketh something doubt¦fully or fearfully concerning the matter, as I conceave it can be no other
then this. Me thinke then that charitie should teach him & others more sparingly to censure & condemne those assemblies which doe not practise this forme so orderly as they should: seeing difficultie of discerning a duty doeth alway lessen the fault of him that omitteth it.
- That which now he giveth for his opinion concerning this form hath a manifest contradiction in it, & therfore cannot be right. He sayth that this forme is no particular act, disposition, or relation: & yet it is a publick orderly covenant & union. A covenant & union must be taken eyther for the act of covenanting & uniting, & then it is an act; or for the state arising from that act of obligation, which is nothing else but the relation those persons obliged haue one to another & so it is a relation, or else for the thing to which they are obliged, or the signe therof, & so it may be eyther an act, or a disposition, or some other good. All these significations of the word covenant I find in scripture & use of speach: any other beside these, I doe not understand. If Mr. R. had another meaning, he should haue doen well to haue expressed it better: the poynt especially being of such momēt. The things covenanted or the signe he cannot meane: for these are not constantly resydeing in the whole & all the parts therof, which is a condition of this forme by him required: some act or relation therfore he must needs understand, gainsaying one part of the sentence by the other. 3. The truth is, this forme in strict & accurate meaning must needs be some relation by Mr. R. his owne reason. For nothing beside a relation can possiblie resyde actually one & the same and at all times in a whole companie of men, and in all the parts of that companie.
- Wheras he calleth this forme an orderly covenant, his words are doubtfull at the least. For there be many degrees of orderly proceeding in businesses publick as wel as private: and every circumstance of order doeth not apperteyne (as absolutely necessary) to the constituting forme of a true church.
Now for the declaring of the trueth concerning this matter, I pro¦pound to be considered this breif demonstration. A visible church must not be considered as a simple effect, arising of meer matter & forme, as Mr. R doeth speak of it: But as a whole or compound consisting
of partes or members: so that the members must conteyne in themselves all the essentiall both matter & forme also, which make the wholle by compacting or uniting themselves in one. Christian men being the called of God, haue in them both matter & forme essentiall for making of a visible church, else could they not giue essence or being to the church, for nothing can give that which it hath not. Now these members combining themselves into one body as they are such, doe make or rather are actually a true visible church, one integrall body not continued, but by aggregation: which integral church as it is such, hath for the constituting forme that relation which ariseth out of the combination of all the members: and so differeth not essentially from all the members compacted, but onely in reasō. Further, this integral body for the wel being of it in exercising those operations which belong unto it & wherunto it serveth, must become as we say organicall, having members of diverse rankes, some as head, mouth & eyes, the pastor, teachers, & elders, some as hāds, the deacons & helpers: wherupon ariseth another relation & forme of accidental perfection, in state of government: which is cōplete or incomplete, freely exercising the power granted by Christ to his church, or else restreyned or defective therin. Out of all this my answer is, that the essentiall forme of a visible church is the covenant of God, or true fayth made visible by profession; the notes & markes wherof are the word & sacraments rightly administred & receyved, with fruights of obedience. The integral constituting forme is that state, relation or reference which a congregation of such professors haue one to another by vertue of their setled combination, the note or mark wherof is their usuall assembling into one place & watching one over another.
The organicall active forme is that state of order wherin officers & people stand one to the other, the note of which is direction & submission. Now to the poynt, so many parrish assemblies of England as haue any competent number of good christians in them, united together for to worship God ordinarily in one societie, so many have essentiall & integrall forme of a visible church: and all they have entyre right to Christ & to all the meanes of enioying him: howsoever they are defective in the puritie of their combinatiō, & in the
complete free exercising of their power.
The 4 and last quaestion propounded by Mr. R. concerning the church is, how parrish assemblies being partes of diocesan false churches, can any more be reputed true churches, then could a particular Iewish synagogue be so reputed, which should haue made it self an entyre & independēt body in respect of the nationall church & temple? To which I answer, that ther is not the like reason. For parrish assemblies are not spirituall parts of a diocesan spirituall church: but entyre spirituall bodies though civilly combined into a diocesan government. Neyther is the principall worship performed at the cathedrall church as it was in the temple, but in the parrish assemblies themselves.
In the second head, ther is but one quaestiō moved; that is, whether a mā fitted & inwardly called to the ministery being perswaded in his heart that a lawfvll outward calling, & without sin in the enterance & continuāce can not be had in the church of England, whether such a man be not bound in conscience to seek out & procure another church &c. I ans. 1. That inward calling is not ordinarily to be built upon, without some outward approbation doeth confirme it. 2. A lawfull outward calling is had & enioyed in many churches of England. 3. He that cannot enter in one place without sin, & yet hath his heart so fully set unto the ministery that he cannot haue peace without that function ought as I think to take any good occasion of removing into some other place of more freedome.
To the demands in the 3 & 4 head, I haue answered before, that preaching is necessarily required by the natur of a ministers office in England; some ruling is exercised by those that make conscience of their duty; and unto this function men are not called meerely by the prelat.
These 4 conditions therfore so farr as they are of absolute necessitie for a true ordinary minister of Christ, are manifestly to be found in many assemblies of England. Which also Mr. R. in a manner granteth, in confessing that there are to be found in the parochiall ministery men apt to teach, unreproveable in conversation, having an inward calling from God, that is, a holy disposition & desire to administer the gospell of Christ to the glory of God & furtherance of mās salvation. For this is the 2. condition which he acknowledgeth to be found in the parochial
ministery. And can any charitable & aequall minde receyve into it self this thought, that so many mē of so good knowledg, & syncere conscience should be so far forsaken of God, all the time of their life, and that one generatiō after another, as not onely to cōtinue in Babilon as members of Antichrist but to bow downe ordinarily & give spiritual honour to so many hatefull idols exalted above all that is called God, as these men doe telus of in the English assemblies? or if Mr. R. did inwardly beleeve that they lived in such continuall practise of idolatrie as he doeth in words accuse them of, would he account them unre¦proveable men in their conversation, without any exception annexed? I say no more, but God grant me that comfort which many of them haue had in their unreproveablenes, and more to Mr. R. then he can possiblie finde in such kind of reproving or rather slandering of them. Amen.