Good Counsell, to the Petitioners for Presbyterian Government, That they may
declare their Faith before they build their Church.


The Saints of God being separated from Idolatry, and joyned togetheer in the fellowship of the Gospel, have ever enjoyed commission from Christ to practise
all the parts of Gods true Religion, and also to keep the Ordinances of God from contempt or profanation amongst themselves. And this power they have
from God though with persecution, now, in this time of Parliament. Persecution, I say, not from the Parliament, (further then they neglect to preserve
their peace according the Law of God) but persecution, as it arose from the Pope, and Bishops in former time primarily; so would it do now from their
sons, who call themselves Divines, yea, even in the height of it, if they might have their wils, as appeareth by their late Petition, for which there was a publick
calling out for hands.

Well was it with the Kings of Israel when they took the counsell of Gods true Prophets though few in number, but such a Clergy which is naturally addicted to persecution
cannot be a blessing to any Parliament or Nation, as appeareth by the Scripture. And therefore my desire is, that the Parliament may submit to God for direction
and counsell, even to beware of men, especially of false Prophets, or any evill workers what ever they be; And that all persons fearing God, in the City of London, or elsewhere,
may blesse God, for fulfilling his promises unto them, that their eyes enjoy their Teachers, though in an upper roome, as Christ and his Apostles met. But for the City of Londons
Ministery (which is so much commended in the Petition) I think their readinesse is, as the rest of that generation in the countreys of the Land: even to find out where their
maintenance lieth; And so far are they from keeping Gods Ordinances from pollution and contempt, that [to enjoy their pay] they will work contrary to a known rule, and
expresse command; Cast not holy things unto dogs: yet these men (I say) rather then they will want their patrimony, they will constrain all men to partake of the Ordinances
of God.

They bewail that the children should come so neer to the birth, and that there is no strength to bring forth: But I think the children are sufficiently brought forth unto them. If their
means be established upon them, by the Parliament (as I am informed it is for a certain time:) for I know no other Children they mean, but two: viz: Maintenance
and Power: The one they have as Saul had the fat cattell, contrary to Gods commandment. The other they shall never have: for God will fight against such as fight for them, as it appears
at this day: for they by usurped power ever shed the blood of the Saints, and Martyrs of Jesus, and now God is making inquisition for the blood which hath been spilt,
and the more fiercely they go on to build up a Babel with blood; the more speedily will God come down to see their wickednes and to confound them.

And though they say it is in fervour of spirit; for the house of their God, and although the Parliament may bear with them, at their entreaty, yet God will (in his own time)
deal with sinners.

They further complain,| that | there are damnable errors broached amongst them, (that is to say, amongst the Presbyterians;) for amongst the people of God none can
so soon deliver any point of false doctrine but he shall be severly dealt with according to the rule of Christ;) but the Presbyters practise is to preach what they list without controll,
therefore errors may be broached by them privilegio.

But they say, divers are fallen off within these few yeers. But me thinks they do not speak pertinently, for men cannot be said to fall off which were never on, or from a government
that was never setled, and they themselves say, their Government is not yet established.

And these that fly out from amongst them, separating themselves from them, and incorporate themselves into separated Assemblies, are not (as they say they be) such as
hold damnable heresies, but such abide still amongst the Presbyterians themselves; and therefore the Lords people are constrained (by the power of the Word of truth) to separate
themselves from such persons, that are (retained in the Church of England) godlesse in their lives, and blasphemous in their judgements, yet such persons notstwithstanding
are (in matters of worship) one with the whole body of the Land; and these be the vessels that the houses of their Gods are yet filled with all. But it is not so with those
that separate themselves from them: for they admit not in their societies any that hold blasphemous errors, neither do they set up illeterate persons among them for their Pastors,
as the Presbyterians unjustly accuse them. True it is, they manage their meetings with boldnesse, because they have some ground to beleeve that the Parliament will not suffer
them to be wronged, for performing the true worship, to the true God, in a peaceable manner, under their protection (as also correction in case they should walk as the Presbyterians
in their Petition have falsly accused them, saying they “manage their meetings with insolencie”, which is an unjust accusation; And “in contempt of all Authority”, which is also
untrue: “To the disturbance of the City”: which is another falshood: “Every one doing that which is right in his own eyes”: which is an unjnust affirmation as the rest) for they order their
walkings according to the rule of Gods Word: But these Petitioners accuse not onely the people, but also the Parliament, for they say “every one doth that which is right in his
own eyes, and there is no controll or course to reclaim them”
: whereby it is evident, they render the Parliament very infirm, or carelesse. And the people of God plead not any such priviledge
to be without controll: but alwayes submitted themselves in duty to the Magistrates power, which is set up by God, as well for the punishment of evill doers, as for the praise
of those that do well
. Therefore all these Petitioners inferences against the people of God be slanders. And the Religion of God doth not breed division, either in Kingdom, City, or
family in any civill respect: for Religion teacheth men submission to their duty. (But this hath been a false accusation of Mr. T.E. long ago, which hath been disproved at
large.) Religion (I say) breeds no difference then what was from the beginning, the wicked envying the godly, that their sacrifices are accepted, and theirs rejected, and
thats the emnity which Christ hath put between the two seeds, and it shall be as Christ saith, five in a house, two against three, and three against two. But the cause is envy,
and not Religion. And whereas these Presbyterians affirm in their Petition that the “Separates set up illeterate men to be their Pastors”, let that come to the triall, for we desire not
to be led by blind guides; Therefore I could wish it might please the Parliament to examine the gifts of such whom these call illiterate (that so it may appear how reasonable
we are) either by disputation between the Presbyters and them: or by proving them, to give the sence of any Scripture which they shall appoint; and by this it shall appear
whether these Presbyterians are true men: for there is never a Minister of the Seperation that feareth to set his food against any Presbyter whatsoever he be, to dispute the
case concerning the matter, ministery, worship, or government of the Church, or any principle of Faith which it shall please the Parliament to call upon them for the managing of,
that so it may appear unto all men who are best informed in the mind and will of God, and by this it will also appear who are the Orthodoxall Preachers, and who are the Preachers
of new Gospels, and consequently who be the setters of division; and who they be upon whom their scandalous conclusions fall.

And as for Tolerations of all Religions I cannot conceive to be proper; for there is but one true Religion, and that is it which hath Gods Word for their rule.

And for breaking Sabbaths, we know the Christian Sabbath now under the Gospel is the first day of the week (commonly called Sonday) or the Lords day, which we judge
ourselves bound in conscience to set apart for the worship and service of God by the Rules of Scripture both Law and Gospel; and are also free to submit to the Magistrates
to humble our selves before God in case of eminent danger, and to give him publick thanks for all the eminent deliverances, the Magistrates command being grounded
upon the Word of God.

Therfore the Presbyterians slandring the people of God, will make their reformation the more difficult; for no man ever set himself up honestly, by accusing of others falsly.

And as touching our Brethren the Scots, we honour them for their parts, and shall remain thankfull unto God for them, or for any help we have received from them; yet
we can never submit our consciences to be captivated, or made subject to mens wils: for God onely hath power in that case. Yet I speak freely (for my part) I shall not be
offended at whatever lawfull Government the Parliament in their wisdom shall set up in the Nation for the preaching of the Gospel, to bring those thousands, and millions
of people, (who yet lie in ignorance) to the knowledge of God, and obedience of the faith, that so they may become fit matter, even living stones to be built to God a spirituall
: for there can be no true reformation in a State of generall Apostasie, but by seperating the precious from the vile; and not to impose the worship of God on a people that are not capable,
for that will bring a curse rather then a blessing; Therefore the truly godly ought to arise and be doing, and God hath promised to be with them, and they are not
to neglect to worship God for want of the command of Authority, as is the manner of many.

Moreover, these take notice that God hath rewarded the beginnings of the Parliaments Reformation; And truly all Christians ought to observe the same; for God useth to reward
all those that do his will. And I hope God will still be mercifull to them if Justice be executed by them. And it is to be desired that the wicked may be brought to condigne
punishment, and the innocent set free who have lain in prison a long time for worshipping the true God after the true manner, as Mr. Turner hath, who is therefore in prison
at Westminster; and others who also suffer in th e like case, such out-breakings of envy (I am sure) procure no mercy but judgement.

Now that the Parliament may hasten to set up Christs true discipline which he hath left to his Church; that is and ought to be the desire of all Christians. But that the modell (specified
in the Petition) is it, stands the Presbyterians upon to prove. And therefore (in my judgement) it were better for them to make their confession of faith and catechise
first, according to the rule of Gods Word, and then shape their Church according to that, rather then shape their Church according to the modell, and their faith according
to their Church. “Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thy self in the field: and afterwards build thine house”. INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to that regMe is unmatched.Prov.24.27.

K. C.hidley