of the
Independant Churches of Christ.

Being an Answer to Mr. Edwards his
Booke, which hee hath written against the
Government of Christs Church, and
Toleration of Christs Publike Worship;

Briefely Declaring
That the Congregations of the Saints ought not to have
Dependancie in Government upon any other; or direction
in worship from any other than Christ their Head
and Law-Giver.

By Katherine Chidley.

I Sam. 17.45. Thou commest unto me with a Sword, and with a Speare, and with a Sheild, but I come unto thee in the name of the Lord of Hoasts the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
Ivdges 4.21. Then Jael, Hebers wife tooke a naile of the tent, and tooke an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the naile into his temples and fastened it into the ground, (for he was fast asleepe and weary) and so he died.

Printed for William Larnar, and are to be sold at
his Shop, at the Signe of the Golden Anchor, neere
Pauls-Chaine. 1641.

*1v *2r

To The Christian Reader; Grace, Mercy, and Peace, from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is, and hath beene (for a long time) a Question more enquired into than well weighed; Whether it be lawfull for such, who are informed of the evills of the Church of England, to Separate from it: For my owne part, considering that the Church of England is governed by the Canon Lawes (the Discipline of Antichrist) and altogether wanteth the Discipline of Christ, and that the most of them are ignorant what it is, and also doe professe to worship God by a stinted Service-Booke. I hold it not onely lawfull, but also the duty of all those who are informed of such evills, to separate themselves from them, and such as doe adhere unto them; and also to joyne together in the outward profession and practise of Gods true worship, when God hath declared unto them what it is; and being thus informed in their minds of the knowledge of the will of God (by the teaching of his Sonne Jesus Christ) it is their duty to put it in practise, not onely in a Land where they have Toleration, but also where they are forbidden to preach, or teach in the name (or by the power) of the Lord Jesus.

But Mr. Edwards (with whom I have here to deale) conceiving that the beauty of Christs true worship, would quickly discover the Foggy darknesse of the Antichristian devised worship; and also that the glory of Christs true Discipline, grounded and founded in his Word, would soone discover the blacknesse and darkenesse of the Antichristian Government (which the poore people of England are in bondage unto) hath set his wits a work to withstand the bright comming of Christs Kingdome (into the hearts of men) *2 which *2v which we are all commanded in the most absolute rule of Prayer to petition for; for the turning aside whereof Mr. Edwards hath mustred up his forces, even eight Reasons, against the government of Christ, which hee calls Independant; and hath joyned unto these eight, ten more; which he hath made against Toleration; affirming that they may not practise contrary to the course of the Nation wherein they live, without the leave of the Magistrate, neither judgeth he it commendable in them to aske the Magistrates leave, nor commendable in the Magistrate to heare their petitions, but rather seeketh to stirre up all men to disturbe their peace, affirming most unjustly, that they disturbe the peace of the Kingdome, nay, the peace of three Kingdomes, which all the lands under the Kings Dominions know to be contrary, nay I thinke most of the Kingdomes in Europe cannot be ignorant what the cause of the disturbance was;

But this is not the practise of Mr. Edwards alone, but also of the whole generation of the Clergie; as thou maist know, Christian Reader, it was the practise of the Bishop of Canterbury to exclaime against Mr. Burton, Doctor Bastwicke, and Mr. Prynne, calling them scandalous Libelers, & Innovators (though they put their own name to that which they write, and proved what they taught by divine authority) and this hath beene alwayes the practise of the instruments of Sathan, to accuse the Lords people, for disturbing of the peace, as it hath been found in many Nations, when indeede the troublers be themselves and their fathers house. But in this they are like unto Athalia crying treason, treason, when they are in the treason themselves.

But for the further strengthning of his army, he hath also subjoyned unto these his Answer to sixe Reasons, which he saith, are theirs, but the forme of some of them seemeth to be of his owne making; all which thou shalt finde answered, and disproved in this following Treatise.

But though these my Answers are not laid downe in a Schollerlik way, but by the plaine truth of holy Scripture; yet I beseech thee have the patience to take the paynes to reade them, and spare some time to consider them, and if thou findest things disorderly placed, labour to rectifie them to thine own mind. And if there be any weight in them, give the glory to God; but if thou seest nothing worthy, attribute not the weakenesse thereof to the truth of the cause, but rather to the ignorance and unskilfulnesse of the weake Instrument.

Thine in the Lord Jesus,

Katherine Chidley


The Answer to Mr. Edwards his Introduction.

I Hearing the complaints of many that were godly, against the Booke that Mr. Edwards hath written; and upon the sight of this his Introduction, considering his desperate resolution, (namely) that he would set out severall Tractates against the whole way of Separation. I could not but declare by the testimony of the Scripture it selfe, that the way of Separation is the way of God, who is the author of it, Dout, 32. 8. 1 King. 8. 53. which manifestly appeares by his separating of his Church from the world, and the world from his Church in all ages.

When the Church was greater than the world, then the world was to be separated from the Church; but when the world was greater than the Church, then the Church was to separate from the world.

As for instance; When Caine was a member of the Church, then the Church was greater than the world; and Caine being discovered, was exempted from Gods presence; Gen. 4: 14. 15. 16. before whom he formerly had presented himselfe: Gen. 4. 3. but in the time of Noah, when the world was greater than the Church Mat. 24. 38. 39. 1 Pet. 3. 20. then Noah and his Family who were the Church, were commanded to goe into the Arke Gen. 7. 1. in which place they were saved, when the world was drowned, Ver. 21. 22, 23. yet Ham being afterward discovered, was accursed of his Father, and Shem was blessed, and good prophesied for Japhat.

Afterward when the world was grown mightier than the Church againe, then Abraham was called out of Ur of the Caldeans, *3 both *3v both from his country and from his kindred, and from his fathers house Gen. 12. 1. (because they were Idolaters), to worship God in Canaan.

Moreover, afterwards Moses was sent, and his brother Aaron, to deliver the children of Israel out of the Land of Egypt when Pharaoh vexed them, Exo. 3. 7, 8, 9. 10, Chap. 6. 26. 27. at which time God wrought their deliverance, And 12, 42. separating wondrously between the Egyptians and the Israelites, and that which was light to the one, was darknesse to the other.

Afterwards, when Corah and his Congregation rebelled against God, and were obstinate therein Num 16. 12, 13 14. the people were commanded to depart from the tents of those wicked men Ver. 21. 24, 25, 26. then were the children separated from the parents, and those who did not separate, were destroyed by fire, Ver. 35. and swallowed by the earth, Ver. 31, 32, 33. upon the day which God had appointed Ver, 5. as those of Noahs time, who repented not, were swallowed by water.

Moreover, when God brought his people into the promised Land, he commanded them to be separated from the Idolators, and not to meddle with the accursed things. Deut. 5, 26. 27. And for this cause God gave them his Ordinances and Commandments; and by the manifestation of their Obediance to them, they were knowne to be the onely people of God, Deut. 28. 9. 10. which made a reall separation.

And when they were carried captive into Babylon at any time for their sinnes: Ezza. 1. God raised them up deliverers to bring them from thence: Hag. 1. 2, 3. 4. 8. 12. 14. and Prophets to call them from thence Ier 51. 6. and from their backesliding. Jer. 3. 12. Hos. 11, 7. And it was the practise of all the Prophets of God, (which prophesied of the Church under the New Testament) to separate the precious from the vile, and God hath declared that hee that so doth shall be as his mouth, Jer. 15. 19.

And we know it was the practise of the Apostles of the Lord Jesus, to declare to the people that there could be no more agreement betweene beleevers and unbeleevers, than between light and darkenesse, God and Belial, as Paul writing to the Corinthians doth declare, when he saith, Be not unequally yoked together with unbeleevers; for what fellowship hath righteousnesse with unrighteousnesse? and what communion hath light with darkenesse, and what concord hath *4r hath Christ, with Belial? or what part hath he that beleeveth with an Infidell? and what agreement hath the Temple of God with Idolls? for yee are the Temple of the living God, as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walke in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people; Wherefore come out from among them, and be yee Separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the uncleane thing, and I will receive you, and I will be a Father unto you, and yee shall be my sonnes and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty, Christ made so great a difference betweene the world and the Church, that hee would not pray for the world; yet would die for the Church, which was given him out of the world; and without a Separation the Church can not be known from the world. 1 Cor. 6. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.

Moreover, they are pronounced blessed, which reade, heare, and keepe the words of the Booke of the Revelation of Jesus Christ; Rev. 1. 3. among which sentences, there is a commandement from heaven for a totall Separation. Rev. 18. 4.

These things (in briefe) I have minded from the Scriptures, to prove the necessitie of Separation; and though the Scripture be a deepe Well, and containeth in the Treasures thereof innumerable Doctrines and Precepts tending to this purpose; yet I leave the further prosecution of the same, till a fitter opertunity be offered to me, or any other whom the Lord shall indue with a greater measure of his Spirit.

But Mr. Edwards, for preparation to this his desperate intention, hath sent these Reasons against Independant government, and Toleration, and presented them in the Honorable House of Commons; which Reasons (I thinke, he would have to beget a Snake, to appeare (as he saith) under the greene grasse; for I am sure, he cannot make the humble petitions of of the Kings subjects to be a Snake, for petitioning is a way of peace and submission, without violence or venum; neither can it cast durt upon any government of the Nation, as he unjustly accuseth the Protestation Protested, for that Author leaveth it to the Magistrate, not undertaking to determine of himselfe what government shall be set over the Nation, for the bringing of men to God but leaveth it to the consideration of them that have authority,

And whereas Mr. Edwards grudges that they preach so often at the Parliament; in this he is like unto Amaziah, who bid the Prophet Amos to flee away into the Land of Judea, and not to Prophesie at Bethel, the Kings Chappell, and the House of the Kingdome. Amos 7. 12. 13. And


And though Mr. Edwards boast himselfe heare, to be a Minister of the Gospell, and a sufferer for it, yet I challenge him, to prove unto me, that he hath any Calling or Ordination to the Ministry, but that which he hath successively from Rome; If he lay claime to that; he is one of the Popes household; But if he deny that calling; then is he as void of a calling to the worke of the Ministry, and as void of Ordination, as any of those Ministers, whom hee calleth Independant men, (which have cast off the Ordination of the Prelates) and consequently as void of Ordination as a macanicall trades man.

And therefore I hope that Honourable House that is so full of wisedome (which Mr. Edwards doth confesse) will never judge these men unreasonable, because they do Petition, nor their petitions unreasonable before they are tried, and so proved, by some better ground, then the bare entrance of Mr. Edwards his Cavit, or writ of Ne admittas, though he saith he fetched it from heaven; for I know it was never there, Neither is it confirmed by the Records of holy Scripture; but taken from the practise of Nimrod, That mighty Hunter before the Lord, Gen. 10, 8, 9. and from the practise of Haman that wicked persecucu ter, ter, Eester 3. 8. 6. 6. & from the evill behaviour and malicious speeches, and gesture of wicked Sanballet, Neh. 6, and Tobias, who were both bitter enemies to God, and sought to hinder the building of the walles of Jerusalem.

But the Prophet Haggai, reproveth not onely such as hindred the building of the Lords House, but also those that were contented to live in their seyled Houses, and suffer the Lords House to lie waste, Hag. 1.

A1r 1

An Answer To Mr. Edwards his Booke, Intituled, Reasons against the Independent Government in particular Congregations.

Mr. Edwards,

Iunderstanding that you are a mighty Champion, and now mustering up your mighty forces (as you say) and I apprehending, they must come against the Hoast of Israel, and hearing the Armies of the Living God so defied by you, could nort be withheld, but that I (in stead of a better) must needs give you the meeting.

First, Whereas you affirme, That the Church of God (which is his House and Kingdome) could not subsist with such provision as their father gave them: which provision was (by your owne confession) the watering of them by Evangelists, and Prophets, when they were planted by the apostles, and after planting and watering to have Pastors and Teacheers, with all other Officers, set over them by the Apostles & their own Election, yet notwithstanding all this provision, the Father hath made for them, it was evident (say you) they could not well stand of themselves, without some other helpe.

This was the very suggestion of Sathan into the hearts of our first Parents; for they having a desire of some thing more then was warranted by God, tooke unto them the forbidden fruit, as you would have the Lords Churches to doe, when you say they must take some others besides these Churches and Officers, and that to interpose authoritatively; and these something else you make to be Apostles, Evangelists, and Elders of other A Churches, A1v 2 Churches, whereas you confessed before, that these are the furniture of Christs Kingdome; and wee know their authoritie was limitted, within the bounds of the Word of God: as first, If any of them would be greater, he must be servant to all. Secondly, they were forbidden to be Lords over Gods heritage. Thirdly, they were commanded to teach the people, to observe onely those things which Christ had commanded them.

And whereas you seeme to affirme, that these Offices were extraordinary and ceased, and yet the Churches have still neede of them: You seeme to contradict your selfe, and would faine cure it againe, in that some other way which you say, you have to supply the want of them, but this other way you have not yet made known: You presuppose, it may be by some Sinods and Councels, to make a conjunction of the whole.

If you meane such a Counsell, as is mentioned, Acts 15. 4. 22. consisting of Apostles and Elders with the whole Church; then you have said no more than you have said before, and that which we grant, for this is still the furniture of the Kingdome; but if you intend that your Counsell should consist of an armie of Arch-Bishops Diocesan Bishops, Deanes, Suffragans, with the rest of that rabble, which be for their titles names of blasphemy, and such as were bred in the smoake of the pit. I deny that any of these be ordained of God, for they have no footing in his word; therefore indeede these are a part of the fruit of the forbidden Tree, which the Churches of God have taken and eaten; and this seeking out inventions of their owne, after that God made them righteous, hath brought them into a state of Apostasie, even as Jeroboams high places and Calves did the people of Israel; which may plainely appeare by the Churches of Asia. If these be that some other supply which you meane and have produced to helpe the Churches, and Cities of God (as you call them) to determine for those Churches and Cities the cases of Doctrine and Discipline in stead of those many Ministers which, you conceive them now to want, it tends to make (as they have now done) a conjunction not onely of all the Churches professing one faith into one body; but also of all the Armies of the Man of Sinne, and so to confound the Church and the world together, which the Ministers of the Gospell ought to divide, by separating the precious from the vile. Jer. 15. 19.

And whereas you affirme, The Independent Congregations now have but few Ministers;

It is very true, for indeede they are but a few people, and a few A2r 3 few hands will feede a few mouths sufficiently, if God provide meat.

But whereas you affirme, That those Congregations may have no Officer, at all by their owne grounds, and yet be independent.

I thinke, they conceive by those grounds, the Office onely of Pastor, and Teacher; but not that the Church of God hath need at any time of the helpe of any other, then God hath given and set in his Church, which be all the Officers that are before mentioned, as Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers; and to have recourse to any for counsell, helpe, or assistance, either of Church or Ministry, which is not of Christs owne, were very ridiculous. For it is recorded, Ephe. 4. 11. 12. That he gave thse for the gathering together of the Saints for the worke of the Ministry, and for the edification of the body of Christ, being so gathered; The time they must continue is, till all the Saints be in the unitie of faith. The reason wherefore they were given, was to keepe people from being tossed too and fro with every winde of Doctrine. Verse 13. 14, 16. Compared with 1. Cor. 12. And these are they, by whom all the body is coupled and knit together, by every joynt for the furniture thereof, according to the effectuall power, which is in the measure of every part, and receiveth increase of the body unto the edifying of it selfe in love. And this is according to the promise that Christ made, Matth. 28. 19. 20. to be with his Ministers in teaching his people to the end of the world.

And thus you may see Mr. Edwards, you cannot gather from our owne words, that we have neede of the helpe of any other Churches, or Ministers, to interpose (as you unjustly affirme) as it may plainely appeare by Mr. Robinsons owne words in the Justification of the Separation, pag. 121. 122. These are his words; It is the Stewards duty to make provision for the family; but what if he neglect this duty in the Masters absence? Must the whole family starve, yea and the wife also? Or is not some other of the family best able to be employed for the present necessity? The like he saith concerning the government of a Ship, of an Armie and of Commonwealths; alluding to the Church of Christ. And further expresseth, that as a private Citizen may become a Magistrate, so a private member may become a Minister, for an action of necessity to be performed, by the consent of the rest, &c.

Therefore it appeares plainely by all that hath bin said that the Churches of Christ may be truely constituted according to the Scripture, and subsist a certaine time without Pastor and Teacher, and enjoy the power of Christ amongst themselves having A2 no A2v 4 no dependancie upon any other Church or Churches which shall claime Authority or superiority over them.

And thus much for your first Reason.

Now in your second Reason, which runneth upon the calling of the Ministry, you affirme, That the government of the Independent Congregations is not of divine institution.

Which I utterly denie, and will prove it, by disproveing the following Instances by which you affirme to prove it.

Whereas you affirme, That their Independencie forces them to have Ministers without Ordination.

I Answer, it is a plaine case by the foregoing Answer, to your first Reason, that you speake untruely, for their practise is there made knowne to be otherwise; and if you will still affirme, that they have not power so to practise, you will thereby deny the truth of the Scriptures; for the Apostles were commanded to teach the Churches, to observe all things whatsoever Christ had commanded them. But Christ commanded the Apostles to ordaine Elders in every Church by election; therefore the Apostles taught the Churches to ordaine Elders by Election also. And whereas you bid us produce one instance (if we can) for an ordinary Officer to be made without Ordination , it is needlesse; for we (whom you call Independant) strive for no such thing, as you have proved it plainely out of Mr. Robinsons Booke, Apol. Chap. 1. 18. to which I send you to learne better.

Further you alleadge, That if they be ordained, it is by persons who are not in office.

Now if you meane they have no office because they are not elected, ordained and set apart by the Clergie to some serviceable administration; I pray you tell me who ordained the Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelists to their worke or Ministry? If you will say they were ordained of God, I will grant it, and doe also affirme that God hath promised the supply of them, to the end of the world, as before hath beene mentioned, from Ephe. 4. As also, it appeares by Pauls charge to Timothy; 2 Tim. 2. 2. That what things he had heard of him, among many witnesses, the same he should commit to faithfull men who should be able to teach others also: but I verily doe beleeve, that as Titus, so Timothy heard of Paul that Elders must be ordained by Election in every city, and that Titus was as much bound to communicate the things unto others, which he had learned of Paul, as Timothy was, and Timothy (we know) was to teach faithfullfull A3r 5 full men, and those faithfull men were to teach others those things that they had heard of Timothy, among which things Ordination was one, as it was delivered to Titus; and we are not to doubt of Timothius faithfulnesse in the declaring of this part of his message more than the rest, but if those to whom Timothy delivered it, were not faithfull in the discharge of their duty: but that in due time the Ordinances might possibly grow out of use, as the Churches, did by little and little apostate; yet that hinders not but that it was still written in the Scripture, that the generations to come might recover againe the right use of the Ordinances when God should by his Spirit direct them to know the same.

Moreover, I affirme, that all the Lords people, that are made Kings and Priests to God, have a free voyce in the Ordinance of Election, therefore they must freely consent before there can be any Ordination; and having so consented they may proceede to Ordination; notwithstanding they be destitute, of the Counsell or assistance of any neighbour Church; as if there were no other Churches in the Land, but onely one company of beleevers joyned together in fellowship, according to Christs institution. The promise made in the 14th. of Iohn 12. 13. is made unto them, where Christ said. The workes that he did they should doe also; & that whatsoever they should aske in his name, that he would do for them, that the Father may be glorified, and that the Spirit of truth should abide with them for ever. And that he should teach them all things, and bring all things unto their remembrance, as it is said in the following verses of the same Chapter. This (you may see) is the portion of beleevers, and they that have this portion are the greatest in the world, and many of them are greater than one, but many joyned together in a comely order in the fellowship of the Gospell, according to the Scriptures, are the greatest of all and therefore have power to ordaine, and to blesse their Ministers in the name of the Lord. Thus the lesser is blessed of the greater.

Now Mr. Edwards, I hope you will confesse, that you spake unadvisedly, when you affirmed, The maintenance of Independensie, was the breaking of Gods Ordinance, and violating of that Order and constant way of Ministers recorded in the Word.

To this I Answer, that if the Church doe elect one, he must be elected out of some more & those that are not elected, may be as able to blesse the Church in the name of the Lord, as he, therefore one of these who are not elected, being chosen by the whole Church, to blesse him in the name of the Lord, whom the A3 Church A3v 6 Church hath ordained, is the hand of the whole (who are greatest of all, and so a sufficient Officer for that worke which hee is put a part to doe.

Thus you may see (Mr. Edwards) that we doe not hold Ordination extraordinary and temporary; neither doe we hold it the least of Gods Institutions, for we have respect unto them all; But that nothing in matter of Order hath so cleare and constant a practise as this (as you do affirme) and also say, the whole frame of Church and Discipline, hath not so much ground in the word for it as this, I deny and doe affirme, that not onely this, but all Gods Ordinances have as much ground and footing in Gods Word also.

Yet notwithstanding you say, that Calvin confesseth, that there is no expresse precept concerning the imposition of hands: Hath the imposition of hands no footing in Gods Word? and yet hath not all the forme of Gods Worship so much footing as it? Here Mr. Calvin and you, will now pin all the forme of Church and Discipline, upon unwritten verities.

Further, you rehearse confusedly, the opinion of Zanchius to strengthen yours who (say you) would have the example of the Apostles and ancient Church, to be more esteemed of, and to be instead of a command.

I pray you, how doe you know it to be their example, if it be not written?

And whereas you alledge, that Zanchius saith, it is no vaine Ceremony but the holy Spirit is present to performe things inwardly, which are signified by this Ordinance outwardly.

I have granted you that already, where I affirme, that the Church having the Spirit of God hath power by an instrument of her owne chusing, to blesse the party to his worke in the name of the Lord; and I am also bound to beleeve, that God will accompany that his owne Ordinance (which is performed by them outwardly) with his owne Spirit inwardly, to furnish the party (so blessed by them) with the knowledge of the Scripture, which is able to furnish the man of God to every part of his duty. And thus you may see, that we have not departed from Christs way, nor gone any other way, in things concerning his House and Officers, then he hath directed.

And whereas you demand for what cause Paul left Titus at Crete? I answer, that I have told you before, that it was to communicate the things unto others, which hee had learned, whereof Ordination was one. And no doubt but hee declared the same to faithfull men, that they might teach others also, therefore he was there employed in preaching of the Gospell, as well A4r 7 well as if he had gone preaching with Paul.

The next thing you goe upon, is the triall of the gifts of Ministers, and then you attribute to them which have the greatest measure of the Spirit, for you say, Examination belongeth to the most skilfull, and they who have most authority.

All these things are well allowed of by us, for who hath a greater measure of the Spirit than beleevers? and who hath more skill than he that hath beene trained up in the Schoole of Christ? and hath learned this Lesson to be obedient to his Master Christ in keeping of all his commandments? and who hath greater authority upon the earth then they that are visible Saints? and what makes men visible Saints? if not the manifestation of their obedience to God the Father, and Christ his sonne, in the practise of all his Ordinances, and not to have some other Presbyters present with them, to assist them, (as you affirme) for by these other Presbyters, I know not yet who you meane.

And whereas you say, that the Church may be led into errours, or kept in a low estate by unfit Pastors and Elders.

I answer, It is a cleare truth; as wofull experience teacheth us, who live here in the Land of England.

And whereas you affirme, that visible Saints cannot ordaine Officers, because they have no gifts of prayer.

I Answer, Here you make prayer the Ordination of Ministers.

And whereas you say they are not able to conceive prayer.

Here you give the holy Ghost the lie: for Beleevers have received the Spirit of adoption to cry Abba Father,

But say you, they cannot conceive prayer according to the action in hand.

Here you would seeme to make beleevers, which have the Spirit of God, to leade them into all truths, more voide of common reason, then men that have but gifts of nature.

Againe, you say, they have not gifts to make publike exhortation, and admonition.

To which I answer, If they had first knowledge to feele the want of a Pastor, and also divers able men out of whom to elect and ordaine a Pastor, then they out of whom this person is chosen, are able to exhort, and to admonish: for he that hath not the gift of teaching, may have the gift of exhortation: againe the man that undertaketh to teach others, ought to be taught by God, and likewise to be able by sound Doctrine to withstand the Gainesayers, but a man may give good exhortations, (and that A4v 8 that publikely) that is not able to withstand the Gainesayers by sound Doctrine. By this you may see, the Church of God can never be without some Ministers, except it be (according to that spoken by Zachariah) in the day of very small things indeede, when God shall take away their Ministers by death, prison, or exile: for seeing the Churches were planted by Ministers of Gods owne ordaining; therefore they were not without Ministers in the very beginning: and still the Churches are planted by the Ministeriall power of the Lord Jesus, which cannot be exercised without fit instruments; Yet that they must want the word preached, or Sacraments administred, till they have Pastors and Teacher in Office, is yet to be proved, but that page of Mr. Robinsons, which hath beene alledged before, is sufficient for this present purpose against you, even to prove that the family must not be unprovided for, either for the absence or neglect of a Steward.

But now you seeme to insinuate an affirmation, or a supposition, I cannot well tell whether, That a ruleing Elder may be destitute of the guift of discerning, and seeme to imply, that if he be destitute, then all the Church must be destitute, if there be no more Officers then he.

Here you would faine make the ruling Elders, the eyes of the Church, and then all the rest of the body must be blinde, and so unfit to have any hand in election, and also voide of the Spirit of grace to discerne the gifts by, though it hath beene proved unto you before, that she is the greatest of all, having the Spirit of God to leade her into all truth, being the Spouse of Christ, and endowed with all his riches, gifts, and donations.

And thus you still deny the Authority & ability of the Church giving to the persons in office all power and deserning. But this is indede according to your practise here in England, but not according to the minde and Spirit of God.

And for the neighbour Churches Counsell, I deny not, but that it may be imbraced, and the Saints have cause to praise God for any helpes of Gods ordaining. But if they want the helpe of a neighbour Church to Counsell them, or neighbour Ministers to direct them: yet if they be a Church of Jesus Christ, they have (as hath beene said before) power among themselves to elect and ordaine their owne Officers; as also the Spirit of discerning, whereby to try their gifts, and yet be farre from falling into that evill, which they complaine against in the Episcopacie (namely) for one man to have the sole power of Ordination.

By all these particulars, you may clearely see all your pretendedded B1r 9 ded proofes and former assertions disproved, as I promised you, in the entrance of this my answer to your second Reason.

So that these two first Reasons, being (as I conceive) the greatest Champions, which you have sent out in this skirmage, are now both slaine, and made voide of all the life that ever was in them, for, they were made most of suppositions, and of things that appeared unto you by likelihood, without any ground from the Scriptures: and of some other thing than Gods Word allowed: and of some triviall affirmations which were not grounded upon any truth of Gods Word.

Now, these two being thus turned aside, by one of the meanest of all the Army of Jesus Christ, you may justly feare, that all the rest of your souldiers will run away wounded.

In your third Reason, You say it is not to be thought, that Christ would institute such a Government of his Church which affords no helpe; nor allowes no way or remedy for innocent persons that are wronged.

Which thing I grant to be very true; but touching the means and helpes which you pleade for, that is, some other Synods to appeale unto, I tell you I know not what Synods you meane. But this I affirme that there are no larger Synods to be kept to settle Church differences, then the comming together of the Ministers, and Brethren, as it is mentioned in the 15th. of the Acts, which I have garranted you in my Answers to your former Reasons.

And whereas you strive for appeales:

I Answer, It is the rule of Christ, that if one brother doe trespasse against another; and if the brother offending will not be reclaimed by the private admonition of the brother offended, he is to be admonished by one or two other brethren with him; Matth. 18. 15. 16. 17. but if he will not heare them, the brother offended is to tell the Church; and if he will not heare the Church, then he is not to be accounted a brother but as a Heathen man and a Publican; if not as a brother, then out of the fellowship: then if the wrong be any personall injury, as oppression, or fraud, or any other sinne of these natures, the Law is open, where he may appeale for Justice to the Magistrate in any part of the Kingdome, where-ever he liveth; but if it be a matter of scandall; as if hee should be a drunkard, or incontinent, or the like, then he hath sufficient remedy, when such a one is cast out of his society. By this you may see, the way of government given by Christ Jesus, the King of peace, is the way of peace and righteousnesse.

And whereas you affirme, That if the controversie touching Circumcision, should have beene ended in the Church of Antiochia, then parties must have been Judges. B Here

B1v 10

Here, you would seeme by this to make the whole Church of Antioch leavened with the Doctrine of Justification by Circumcision, which to doe is a very great slander, as it appeares by Paul & Barnabas opposing them there, and that Churches sending Paul and Barnabas to have the Churches advise at Jerusalem concerning this matter. Acts 15. 1. flawed-reproduction

But whereas you affirme, That the Church of Antiochia, judged it unequall to decide the case among themselves:

I answer, That they judged it unequall, is more than is expressed in that place: but if that should be granted, it will make against you, for their reason in sending the matter to Jerusalem, was, because the parties were members of the Church of Jerusalem, as it appeares by Acts 15. 1. 5. 24. The first verse sheweth, that they were men of Judea; the 5th. verse proves that they were Beleevers; The 24th verse declares, that they went out of the Church of Jerusalem unto them. And by this you may see plainely, that this Chapter (above all the Chapters that I can finde) proves Independencie upon your owne ground; that the Church of Antiochia judged it an unequall thing for them to judge the members of the Church of Jerusalem. And by this you may perceive how you have either erred, not knowing the Scriptures or else you have done worse in labouring to darken the truth by evasions, or false glosses.

Thus much for your third Reason.

In your fourth Reason you affirme, That the light and Law of Nature, with right reason, is against the Independancie of particular Churches; which is an unjust affirmation as hath been plainely proved before in the Answer to your third Reason. But a few words concerning this Reason.

You say it is found necessary, in bodies naturall, that the particular members doe joyne in one, for the good of the whole, and that the whole being greater than a part, the severall parts should be subject too, and ordered by the whole: All this I have granted you freely already in the Answer to your second Reason; where I have plainely proved unto you, that the hands of the Church are ordered by the whole body, in the Ordination of the Ministery: And this is according to the very Scripture it selfe, for the holy Ghost speaketh so, in 1 Cor. 12. 1 Cor. 12. Comparing the Church of God to the naturall body of a man; and therefore when the hand lanceth the foote, it cannot be said properly to be the action of the hand alone, because the hand is set a worke, by the body; neither can the body set the hand a worke, if it be destitute of the power B2r 11 power, for the motion of the body commeth not from the hand, but the motion of the hand from the body; and thus you may see I have granted your comparison. And the nearer politicke bodies doe goe to this Rule; the more orderly they are guided; for as all the cities and country of England, make up but one Kingdome, and all the people in England ought to be subject to one King; so all the Independant Congregations in England, and out of England, (that are guided by the Lawes of Christ) make up but one Kingdome spiritually to him that is their King.

Now concerning Armies; though I be very ignorant in these things, yet thus much I conceive, that all the Armies, that belong to the Kingdome ought to be under the banner of their owne King; even so all the particular Congregations of Christ, are to be guided by the Lawes of their owne Captaine Christ, who rideth before them with his garments dipt in blood, and they follow after him riding upon white horses, Revel. 19. 11, 12. 13, 14.

We reade also in the Scripture of another armie, which were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ: And this armie (I conceive) consisteth of those Locusts, which ascended out of the bottomlesse pit, Rev. 9.. And these, as I told you before, are Arch-Bishops, Diocesan Bishops, Deanes, Prebends, &c. and the rest of the rabble; and these also have a King over them, which is the Angell of the bottomlesse pit, who is said to be the great red Dragon the Devill and Sathan, Rev. 12. 3. 9. and 20.2 who gave unto this armie his power and throne, and great authority, Rev. 13. 2. Therefore, to any Counsells that are held, or Canon Lawes that are enacted by any Captaine of this armie, the Churches of Christ ought not to submit, though they should be commanded, by any Statute Law of the Kingdome; for those Statute Lawes are not according to Christs Rule, but ought by all Councells of State to be repealed.

And whereas you say, It is alledged by the Separation; that hold Independancie, That the Magistrate of Leyden cannot governe in Delph:

This I hope you will grant; for I am sure the Magistrates of Coventry cannot execute their office in Shrewsbury, neither can the one Towne chuse Magistrates for the other: and this still proves Independencie, for either of these may chuse their owne, and guide their owne at all times, except they forfeit their Charter.

Now whereas you say, the people alleadge for themselves, that the B2 Law B2v 12 Law of nature teacheth them to make a Covenant; though there be neither precept nor practise of it in the word.

I suppose you misconster their sayings, for the text alleadged in Thessalonians 4 9 doth not prove that brotherly love was never written of in the Scripture; but that it had beene so sufficiently taught of God by written precepts, that it needed not to be written againe. Besides, I am able to prove by the Scripture, that there is both precept and practise for a Church Covenant: the which I will answer you in the Answer to your 6th. Reason, where you begge the Question.

Concerning what is asserted by some Divines of Scotland, That in such things as are alike common to the Church, and Commonwealth, and have the same use in both, and that whatsoever natures light directeth the one, directeth the other also.

You know (by what hath beene formerly spoken) I have fully assented unto it.

I also agree with Amesius, as farre as he agrees with the truth; but to agree with you in that falsehood, that the Government of independant Churches, is against the light of nature and right Reason, that I have denied, and disproved sufficiently already.

This having answered every particular thing in this Reason, that hath not beene answered already, I proceede to the Fifth.

In your 5th Reason you affirme, That there be many Rules in Scripture, that doe require the combination of Churches into Synods; for proofe whereof you say, that Amesius confesseth, the Rules and Commands to be such as these; Let all things be done to edification, decently and in order, Cor. 14. 26. 40. and follow after the things which make for peace, Rom. 14. 19. So Phil. 4. 8. And you conclude that Synods are found to be for edification, peace, and order. But you have brought no Scripture yet that proveth it; and I know all Scripture is against it, therefore I deny it. And as for the Scriptures alleadged (as you say) by Amesius, they are such as were spoken to particular Congregations: and in the particular Congregation of Colosse, Paul beheld a comely order, notwithstanding there were no Synod consisting of any but onely the members and Ministers of that Congregation, Col. 2. 5.

And as for commands, which you say are some generall, and others particular; Here you labour by evasions to turne away the truth; for you your selfe know, that every particular command reacheth not to the generall, though a generall command reach to every B3r 13 every particular. Now if you can shew us in the Scriptures any generall command, that all the Churches should, or an example that all the Churches did gather a Councell of some Ministers out of every particular Congregation, to make Decrees or Lawes to impose upon the whole, then you will speake speake something to the purpose, but as yet you have not spoken one word that proveth any such thing.

And whereas you alleadge that Scripture, That the Spirits of the Prophets must be subject to the Prophets, 1 Cor. 14. 32.

I Answer, That that is given to particular Congregations; and therefore not to all in a Province or Nation, and so not to Synods: And Paul never sought to winne credit not obedience to Orders established by himselfe, (as you say) for he never made any other Orders, nor taught the people any other thing than what he had received of the Lord Jesus, as it is plaine in 1 Cor. 11. Be ye followers of me (saith he) as I am of Christ, and in the 23. verse of the same Chapter, I have received of the Lord (saith he) that which I have delivered unto you. Paul also writes unto these Corinthians, (whom he had converted unto the faith) to be followers of him, 1 Cor. 4. 16. in ver.verse 17. he sheweth them, that therefore he sent Timothy unto them, to the end that Timothy should put them in remembrance of Pauls wayes in Christ, as Paul had taught every where in every Church. Here you may see Paul brings not the Example of the Synod before them, nor layes upon them any Decree or Command, to practise otherwise than he himselfe had learned in Christ; yet I hope you will not deny, but that this Church spoken of, was a Church of Christ as well as the Church of Colosse.

Now the next thing to be considered is, that which you alleadge of Pauls submission, to the practise of what was agreed upon, by the common consent of James, and the rest of the Elders, Acts 21. from 18. to 27.

The Reason why they counselled Paul to doe the thing, was, because of the information that the Jewes had then against Paul; that he taught the people to forsake Moses, Acts 21. 21. Now I hope you will not deny, but that this was a false affirmation.

The thing wherein they conceived he transgressed was, by bringing in Trophimus an Ephesian, (as they thought into the Temple) because they saw him with him in the citie.

This was but their supposition, as it appeares in the 29 verse of this Chapter.

Now what the Elders counselled Paul to doe, in respect of giving offence to the Jewes, was no injunction to any to follow B3 the B3v 14 the same example, except it were in the same case.

Now Paul himselfe was a Jew, and taught all men that Christ was come to fulfill the Law, and not to destroy the Law; therefore he condescended to circumcise Timothy because his mother was a Jew, and the Jewes knew his father was a Grecian. Act. 16. 1. 3. But Titus a Grecian was not compelled to be circumcised; yea, though there were false brethren craftily crept in, to spy out their liberty; Paul gave not place to them, no not for an houre, Gab. 2. 3 4. 5.

Now the things that the Elders counselled Paul to doe, was to purifie himselfe, with them that had a vow, and to contribute with them; and the reason wherefore they counselled Paul to doe this, was, that it might appeare to the Jewes that Paul was a Jew, and not an uncircumcised person, for the Jewes knew that it was a sinfull thing to bring into the Temple any uncircumcised person in heart or flesh, Ezek. 44. 7.

Now Paul in all this did nothing but what was commanded in the Law, as purifications and vowes, &c.

Moreover, this counsell of James and the Elders unto Paul, was not generall to the beleeving Jewes; neither was it generally or particularly to the Gentiles, but particularly to Paul, and the rest with him, because of the false report which the Jewes had received of him.

And as this Counsell was not generall, so it was not perpetuall, but served to put an honorable end to the Law, which Christ came to fulfill, and not to destroy.

By all this it appeares, it maketh nothing for any counsell that you plead for, to establish any unwritten verities; for such counsels are the counsels of darknesse: because they are not according to the Law and the Testimony, it appeares there is no light in them: therefore they are not of authoritie to bind any particular member of the Church, much lesse the generall, as you say they are.

But seeing you confesse, that no Synod can say, It seemeth good unto the holy Ghost and to us; it plainely appeares that your counsels presume without the counsell of the holy Ghost. But you may see, that the Church of Jerusalem did nothing without the counsell of the Spirit, neither determined of any thing, that was not written in the Scripture. So the Churches of God now ought to presume to do nothing but what the written Word allowes them; being taught the true meaning thereof by the Spirit that God hath given them.

Moreover, the counsell of Jerusalem imposed nothing upon B4r 15 upon the Gentiles for a Law, but counselled them to abstaine from some necessary things, which would be either offensive to the Jewes, or sinfull in themselves, Acts 15. 29. 20. 28. 29.

Now seeing the Church of Jerusalem hath done nothing, but by the counsell of the written word, in forbidding things sinfull in themselves and offensive to their brethren, it appeares to be plainely against your Synods, and dependencie in government, which in cases difficult, doe establish things which have no footing in Gods word; neither have they, by your owne confession, in their Counsels any one, who is immediatly and infallibly imnspired by the Spirit, and able of himselfe to satisfie the controversie, they being by your owne confession inferiour to Paul and Barnabas; And Paul and Barnabas might teach nothing but what was taught in the Law and the Prophets. And therefore, by this it appeares you have not grounded any affirmation or supposition upon Gods word; for the proving either of your Synods or dependencie.

Thus much for your fifth Reason.

In your sixth Reason you affirme that the government of the Church by Synods, is no where forbidden by God in the new Testament, either directly, or by consequence.

But I doe affirme the contrary, and prove it thus;

That whatsoever Government is not commanded by God is accursed, and that is plainely manifested in the New Testament, Rev. 22. 18.

But your government by Synods is not commanded by God, and therefore is accursed; as it will appeare in the following discourse.

Whereas you say, that all the Ministers are greater than one:

I have already proved, that the Church of Christ is greater than all the Ministers.

You say Synods appoint no other office or Officer in the Church, which Christ hath not appointed. See the Answer to his second Reason against Independencie.

Me thinkes you are strangely put to your shifts, that dare not tell the world what you meane by your Synods. But if you meane the Councell or Convocation that used to sit at Pauls, I have told you already they are none of the Councell of Christ, neither hath he appointed that councell or any other councell, to make, or ordaine, either Officers or Offices for his Church, therefore so to affirme is blasphemie, for he himselfe is their Lord and Law-giver, and hath instituted every particular Ordinance in his Church, that the Church hath neede of, therefore it is (as hath been said already) against the Law and light of nature, and B4v 16 and contrary to edification, order, peace, purenesse, lovelinesse, for any to decree for, or injoyne upon, the Assemblies of the Saints any other practise but those that the Apostles have taught, which they themselves had learned from the Lord Jesus; but as for you Mr. Edwards, it appeareth plainely that you doe not understand nor see the forme of the Lords House; which causeth you to call upon any to produce a particular word, or rule, for the order of Gods worship, what must be performed first; what second, what third, what fourth, and so of the rest; and that no Ordinance, and part of worship may be in another order. Further, you chalenge them if they can, to shew a particular word or rule out of the New Testament, for their Church Covenant, which you say, is the forme of the Church.

You also inquire for the forme of Excommunication, and Ordination, and gestures in the severall Ordinances of God. And this you say they are not able to doe, but onely in generall rules.

I have told you already that generall rules reach to every perticular, and that is no more than you seeme to know already: for you have confessed, that there are generall rules to teach every one of these particulars, which you could not chuse but acknowledge; otherwise you would have made Christ not so faithfull in his house as Moses. But the more you know, the greater is your sinne, in that you labour to turne away the light; and you are still repairing of those thresholds, which have beene set up by Gods thresholds. If I had any hope therefore that you would be ashamed of all that you have done, I would shew you, though not all that I see, yet what I am able to expresse of the forme of the house of God, and the paterne thereof, and the going out thereof, and the comming in thereof, and all the Ordinances thereof, and the Lawes thereof and write it in your sight, that so you may keepe the whole fa-shion thereof, and all the Ordinances thereof, and doe them. See Ezek. 43. 11.

As for the Ordinance of Election, Ordination, and Excommunication &c. I have declared already the forme to them that have their eyes open to see it. But they cannot see the forme of the house, that have not repented them of the evills that they have done, therefore I will cease to strive with such persons, for they may live and stay long enough, and be of no Church of Christ.

Thus much for your Sixth Reason.

In your 7th Reason you say, That consociation and combination, in way of Synods, is granted by themselves, (and you produce for your Authors these foure; Christ on his Throne, Examination of Prelates Petition, Syons Prerogative Royal, and the Protestation Protested; which Authors C1r 17 Authors, if the Reader please to examine, shall find cleare against you) That which you have gathered here from these Authors is, that they grant that one Church should be content that matters of difference and importance should be heard by other Churches, as also to be advised and counselled by other Churches, &c.

I answer, though all should confesse, that it is profitable to have the counsell of their brethren and neighbour Churches in doubtfull cases, yet this will be farre from proving the lawfulnesse of your Synods; as may appeare by the Authors that your selfe hath here alledged, for they intend no such Consociation, nor Combination, which you have mentioned: but seeing your selfe would have something which you cannot prove, you would begge of others to grant it or prove it for you.

Concerning the Orders, or Decrees of the Church of Jerusalem (Acts 16 4.) they were not such Decrees as were alterable, but such as were warranted by God, and a perpetuall Rule for all the Churches of the Gentiles.

You neede not tell me what Amesius speaketh of the parts of Discipline, as if any of the Separation, held it to consist all in Excommunication; for I have told you already, that they have seene the forme of the Lords house, and have respect unto all his Ordinances, and doe not take one for all.

Neither is it granted you, that admonitions and reproofes, and decreeing of Excommunications should be by Officers of other Churches, towards members of any Congregation, though in the same constitution; the contrary most evidently appeareth, even by the practise of the Church of Antioch, who brought the matter to the Church of Jerusalem, which concerned the Church of Jerusalems members, neither may any of the Churches now be subject to the censures of other Congregations, except they must be subject to humane Ordinances; but in case, both the members, and the Church, be obstinate in any knowne sinne, then are the Churches of God bound to admonish her, and reprove her, and reject her; as if the Church of Antiochia had found the Church of Jerusalem all leavened with the Doctrines of Justification by circumcision; then had the Church of Antiochia power to admonish, reprove, and reject the Church of Jerusalem, and not have communion with them, if they persisted obstinate in that evill; for the Church of Antiochia was not inferiour in power to the Church of Jerusalem.

Thus much for your seventh Reason.
C In C1v 18

In the beginning of your Eight Reason you say they grant and confe sse, That Churches of one constitution ought to withdraw from, and renounce communion and fellowship with a Congregation or Church that is fallen into sinne, as false Doctrine, and evill discipline, &c.

I answer, I have granted you, that in the conclusion of the answer to your 7th Reason, if the Church stand obstinate in sinne and will not be reclaimed.

But that they should be complained on to Synods and Classes, and subject to their censures, that is but a question of your owne begging, and remaines for you to prove, and denied of me.

The next thing you would know is the difference betweene excommunication and rejection, and would seeme to make them both one.

To which I answer, Titus had power to reject a person, Tit 3. 10. but we doe not reade that he had power of himselfe to excommunicate that person.

A wicked man may be said to reject God when he rejecteth his Word. So Saul rejected God, (1 SamSamuel. 15.23. therefore God rejected him from being King, vers.verse 26. but did he excommunicate God? So the people of Israel rejected God 1 SamSamuel. 8.7 and 10 19. Did they therefore excommunicate God?

Here Mr. Edwards, you may see that Excommunication is more than rejection, as it also plainely appeares by Pauls words, 1 Cor. 5 4.5. where he delivers unto them the forme of Excommunication, in these words; When ye are gathered together, and my spirit, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that such a one by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ be delivered unto Sathan &c.. Here Mr. Edwards, you may plainely see the forme of this part of the Lords house; This you see Paul had determined before; and also that Pauls spirit was together with the Church in the action doing; yet Paul tooke not upon him that power of himselfe, but committed the action to the Church who had the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, as he himselfe testifieth, which plainely proves, that the Church had the power that Paul had not, for though Paul was a good Counsellor, yet he was no executioner in that action, but as a member for his part. Here Mr. Edwards you may see the difference betweene rejection and excommunication; a man in rejecting the Law of God may be said to reject God, and he that addes to, or diminisheth from the Lawes of God, rejects God, in rejecting the counsell of God, which injoynes him neither to adde, nor diminish: but you by pleading for your unknowne Synods and ungrounded dependence, reject the counsell of God: and so doe all those, that assist you in it. The

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The next thing you affirme is; That this government of Independencie (which I have proved to be Christs government) overthrowes the Communion of Saints.

To which I answer, This appeares to be contrary by that which hath beene said already; as for example, the difference betweene the Church of Antiochia, and the Church of Jerusalem; turned to good, because they undertooke not the authority to determine the case themselves, as hath beene said; because it was against the members of the Church of Jerusalem: and this increased union and communion in both Churches, as we may plainely see, for Peter communicated unto them what God had revealed unto him: and Paul & Barnabas declared what God had done by them. James calls them back to consider what Peter had declared; and backes it with the Scripture, manifesting how it agreed with the words of the Prophets, as you may reade at large in Act. 15. Thus you may see what sweet Communion was betweene these Churches that were both Independant.

Now, whereas you say it cannot be in a Christian Common-wealth, or Nation.

I doe affirme it may stand with Christs Church in a Common-wealth, as may plainely appeare in the three first Chapters of the Revelations, which testifies that there were seven Churches in Asia, and these seven Churches were compared to seven golden Candlestickes, Rev. 1. 20. and every Candlesticke stood by it selfe, and held forth her owne light, as appeares by those severall messages, which were sent to those seven Churches, for had they had a dependencie one upon another in respect of power; then one message would have served unto them all; and what sinne any of the Churches or Angels were guilty of, would have been laid unto the charge of all the Churches and Angels, but wee see it was otherwise. As for instance, there was none charged for suffering the woman Jezebel to teach the people, to commit fornication, and to eate things sacrificed to Idols, Rev. 2. 20. but the Angell of Thyatira; by this you may plainely see there was not one Angell set over them all, not one Synod oppointed to judge and correct them all, which is the thing you labour for. Yet it cannot be said that the Independancie of these seven Churches hindred their communion, either with Christ their head, or one with another; neither was it any disturbance to the Commonwealth or Nation wherein they lived.

And here you cannot say that I have evaded, but have answered you directly, to these your doubts, and suppositions, and to many of your Iffs, which have beene your spies sent out in this Scout; And moreover, I will answer all your many Reasons as C2 I C2v 20 I come to them (though they be joyned in battle with these) I meane your following Reasons against Toleration; and also batter, or drive backe your answers which you have made to the Six Reasons, which you say be theirs, and yet neither this Scout, nor the joyned, nor the subjoyned forces, shall be able to discover what strength is on my side, although they be formed by you in battle aray.

Now I have proved the Independant Government to be Christs Government; I will also prove in my Answers to these your following Reasons, that the Independant Congregations performe Christs publike worship, and therefore ought to be tolerated, and maintained in the practise thereof.

In the beginning of your first Reason against Toleration, you grant, that the Scriptures speake much for Toleration, and bearing with one another in many things, both in matters of opinion and practise, and the Scriptures you quote are very pertinent to this purpose, but alwayes provided, they are to be understood as spoken properly to particular Congregations, and not unto any whole Nation.

But to stand for the Toleration of the maintenance of Heresie, and Schisme, is not the Toleration that we plead for (as farre as hath beene yet made knowne) but rather your insinuation: for I have declared unto you already in the driving backe of the first Scout of your Army,. That God hath provided a way and meanes to purge every Congregation of his from all such persons that doe offend, whether it be in matters of Faith or Order. Neither doe any that stand for Christian liberty comdemne them for cruelty, or that it is against charitie.

For if we compare the Church with one man or a few then it will easily appeare, that the one doth out-weigh the other: And you say, Calvin saith, It is cruell mercy which preferres one man, or a few, before the Church: To these words of Calvin I doe fully agree unto, for they are of the same nature with my former Answers to your Reasons against Independancie, where I have proved against you, that the weight and power lieth in the Church and that the Church is above the Ministers, and that the Ministers have C3r 21 have their power by the Church to exercise in the Church, and not the Church by the Ministers.

The next thing to be considered in this your Reason, is your peremptory affirmation, but grounded upon no Scripture, (namely) That to set up Independant and separated Churches, is a Schisme in it selfe, and that it will make great disturbance in the Church, both to the outward peace, and to the faith and conscience of the people of the Kingdome.

Now that it is a Schisme in it selfe, I deny; and prove the contrary thus;

God hath commanded all his people to separate themselves from all Idolatry 2 Cor. 6. 14, 15. 16. 17. and false worshipping Rev. 14. 9, 10, 11. 12. and false worshippers Chap. 18. 4. (and therefore it is no Schisme) except you will make God the Author of Schisme) & this is according to the Prophet Esaiahs words, Esay 1. which is the first Lesson that every one ought to learne; even to cease to doe evill. But I hope it will not be denied but that they are to learne another lesson, which is, to learne to doe well: but to doe well is to keepe all Gods Commandements, and to obey God rather then men.

Now Gods commands to his people, is, that they learne to know the forme of the house (as I have told you before) and all the Ordinances of the house, and to doe them, Ezek. 43 11. but the Ordinances of Christs Kingdome under the Gospell, (amongst the rest) are Doctrine, Fellowship, breaking of Bread, and Prayer; which Ordinances the Saints continued stedfastly in, and are commended for their constancie in the same, Acts 2. 42 and that in every particular Church or Congregation, though there were divers in one Nation, and yet I hope you will not affirme it was any disturbance to the Nation (otherwise then Christ hath shewed shall ever be, that the seed of the Serpent, shall persecute the seede of the Woman) for Gods people are said to be a peaceable people and the Lord himself hath said that he hath set them in the world as Lambs among Wolves. Now there must needs be a disagreement betweene Lambes and Wolves but the Lambes are not the cause thereof. By this you may see that Separation is not a Scisme, but obedience to Gods Commandement.

And for any Magistrate to give way for men to separate, from the worship of the Kingdome established by Law (if that worship be not according to Gods Law) is the Magistrates duty; and the Magistrate shall partake of no sinne in so doing because there is no sinne committed. Therefore the Magistrate ought not to forbid the practise of Gods Worship; when hee C3 hath C3v 22 hath power to command it; for he is set up for the practise of those that doe well, and for the punishment of evill doers.

And therefore you did well, when you admonished the Parliament in your Epistle, See the 3. & 4 leafe of his Epistle. to cast out of the way all stumbling blockes, and to breake downe all Images, and Crucifixes; and to throw downe all altars, and remove the High places; and to breake to pieces the brazen Serpents which have beene so abused to Idolatry and Superstition. So then you grant, that much may be done (as it seemeth by your speech) and yet if there be not a full reformation, even to the throwing downe of the High places, it will prove a blemish to the reformers.

You say, he that doth not forbid, when he hath power he commands. Reason 1. Pag. 23.

But I hope you doubt not but the Parliament hath power, and therefore whatsoever they doe not forbid (by your owne ground) they have or doe command.

But in the Protestation, they have not forbidden Gods Worship, which is according to his Word; but they have Protested (and have injoyned others so to doe) to maintaine and defend the Protestant Religion, expressed in the Doctrine of the Church of England, against all Popery, and Popish Innovations within this Realme &c. And in the Interpretation of their meaning of the said Oath, they binde us neither to the set forme of Worship, Discipline, or Government, nor any Rites or Ceremonies of the said Church of England.

Now if we must withstand Popery, and Popish Innovations, then we must needs withstand such dependencie as makes up a whole Nation a Church both good and bad, without separating the precious from the vile, and also such Synods or Counsels that decree, and make Lawes, and impose them upon any Church to keepe, having not the Word of God to warrant them; for these are Popish Innovations, and to be withstood by us, according to our Oath.

And truely Mr. Edwards, you might have asked the independant Ministers a question in private, (for you knew where to find them) and not have propounded so silly a question before the Parliament, when there was none there to answer you.

Your Question is, Whether it be fitting, that well meaning Christians should be suffered to goe to make Churches? Pag. 23.

To this I Answer, It is fitter for well meaning Christians than for ill-meaning Christians, for well-meaning Christians be the fittest on the earth to make Churches, and to choose their Officers; whether they be Taylors, Felt-makers, Button- makers, Tent-makers, Shepherds, or Ploughmen, or what honest Trade C4r 23 Trade soever, if they are well-meaning Christians; but illmeaning Priests are very unfit men to make Churches; because what they build up with one hand, they pull downe with the other.

Further you seeme to feare the spreading of Heresies, if there be not a hindrance of these Assemblies.

But you should rather feare that your owne glory would be eclipsed by their gifts and graces; for they are not men of so meane parts as you would make them: but are able to divide the Word of God aright by the spirit that God hath given them. Therefore I would wish you rather to let your heart bleed for your selfe and for the evills that you have done. For Christ will never suffer any to perish for whom he died.

Thus much for your first Reason.

In your second Reason you say, the Toleration desired will not helpe to heale the Schismes and Rents of your Church.

To which I answer, that if you Church be not the Church of Christ, it will not heale it indeede, for though the Prophets would have healed Babel, it could not be healed.

You say that Ministers and people will not submit to the Reformation and Government setled by Law.

It is very like so, if it be not free from Innovations of Popery, because they are sworne to the contrary.

But you say many doubts will arise in the peoples mindes, that the Gover mnnment of your Church is not ordered according to the Word of God.

To this I answer; If you meane the Church of Englands Government, establised by the Canon Law. I thinke it is out of doubt with the most, for they that understand but little, doe see and know that that Government is vaine and Popish; and that is the reason (as I conceive) why so many refuse to conforme to it: and if you feare that that will prove so great a division, you may doe well to counsell the Magistrates, to expell all such Government, and to reject all such Synods and Counsells, and to labour to understand the minde of God, and to set up his Government over Beleevers in the Kingdome of England.

And whereas you say, that many of the people who yet be not in this Church way, are possessed with these principles (of the Independant way) and much looking towards it:

I say it is pitty they should any longer be led about by the way of the Wildernesse.

2. You doe affirme, that the mindes of multitudes of Professors in England C4v 24 England, and especially in the City of London, are upon all occasions, very apt to fall to any way in Doctrine or discipline, that is not commonly received by the Church.

I answer, Indeede the Proverbe is verified upon them. The burned child dreads the fire; for they have beene so long deceived by your false glosses, that now their eyes being a little open, the light appeareth very sweete unto them; yea, although they see men but like trees, as the blinde man, when his eyes began to be opened, who had beene blinde from his birth.

The third thing which you have laid downe in this Reason, is; That the Ministers will not be tied, from preaching those points in publike, nor from speaking of them in private.

To which I answer, I hope they will not indeed, for it were their great sinne, if they should not declare Gods whole Councell, so farre as he hath revealed it unto them.

But if they would (you say) the people both men and women, are so strangely bold and pragmaticall, and so highly conceited of their way as the Kingdome of Christ and the onely way of Christ, that out of those principles, they would be drawing many of their friendship and kindred; and many would (say you) come unto them.

I answer, that this (I hope) you count a vertue, for it is the property of the Sheepe when they fare well, to call their fellowes. But Hogges will not doe so.

The fourth thing to be minded is (that you say) Liberty, the power of government, and rule, to be in the people, are mighty pleasing to flesh and blood, especially in meane persons, and such as have beene kept under.

To which I answer, that they that have beene kept under, have beene kept under by the tyranny of the Man of Sinne; This you confesse to be especially the poore, upon whom those Taskemasters have laid the greatest burthens. Therefore for them to affect liberty is no wonder.

And whereas you say they would have the power and Rule:

I answer, It is not any power or Rule which is pleasing to the flesh (as you speake, thinking them to be like those Priests, Whose god is their belly, whose glory is their shame, who minde earthly things) but it is the power of Christ which they stand for, as they are members of the Churches of Christ; to which Churches Christ the King thereof hath given all power in spirituall things.

And that the Church of Christ consisteth of meane persons, is no wonder; for wee have learned, that the poore receive the Gospell, and you know you have granted, that it stands with the light and Law of Nature, That the liberty, power, and rule, should D1r 25 should be in the whole, and not in one man or a few; so that the power must rest in the body; and not in the Officers, though the Church be never so poore.

Now the fifth thing you minde in this Reason is, That Tolleration will be made use of to strengthen their way.

And you also conclude, it will be granted, that the ablest Ministers could not answer them, and therefore were content they should have a Tolleration.

You doe very well to feare the worst, but you had done better if you had armed your selfe against them, and answered the Scriptures, they bring by Scripture: But it is a plaine case, you could not do that, & therfore your feare was just; but if you were a wellminded man, or a wellmeaning Christian man, you should not have feared the comming of the truth to light, nor have been afraid of reformation, because it would worke to your greater divisions, and rents, for Christ came not to set peace upon the earth, (as I have told you before) but the seede of the Serpent will be ever playing his part.

Thus much for your second Reason.

In your third Reason you affirme, That Tolleration will breed divisions, and Schismes, disturbing the peace and quiet of Churches, and Townes.

I answer, I have told you already, we plead for no tolleration that shall disturbe the peace of Churches or Townes.

Moreover, you say, it will not onely doe so, but it will also breed divisions in families betweene husband and wife, brother, and brother.

To which I answer, There was a division in the first Family that ever was, and brother rose up against brother, but Tolleration was not the cause of it; but the malice of Sathan in the seed of the Serpent, as it hath beene, and is now at this day.

And this is according to Christs words, Luke 12. 52, 53 which saith, That there shall be five in one house, two against three, and three against two, &c and in Matth. 10. 34, 35, 36. Thinke not (saith he) that I come to send peace into the earth, I came not to send peace, but the sword: For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in Law against her mother in Law, and a mans enemies shall be they of his owne household; and moreover, in Luke 21. 16. our Saviour doth declare, that we shall be betrayed, both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolkes, and friends. D Now D1v 26 Now if Christ may be said to be the Author of evill, then you may say that Toleration of true Religion is the cause of this division.

Againe you say, (O how) this will occasion disobedience.

To this your Lamentation I answer. O that you would remember the rule 1 Tim. 6. 1 that every servant ought to count his Master worthy of all honour; and in the judgement of charitie beleeve, that persons professing the Gospel will learne that lesson.

Next you say O! how will this take away that power & authority which God hath given to Husbands, Fathers, and Masters, over wives, children, and servants.

To this I answer, O! that you would consider the text in 1. Cor. 7. which plainly declares that the wife may be a beleever, & the husband an unbeleever, but if you have considered this text, I pray you tell me, what authority this unbeleeving husband hath over the conscience of his beleeving wife; It is true he hath authority over her in bodily and civill respects, but not to be a Lord over her conscience; and the like may be said of fathers and masters, and it is the very same authority which the Soveraigne hath over all his subjects, & therfore it must needes reach to families: for it is granted that the King hath power (according to the Law) over the bodies, goods, and lives of all his subjects; yet it is Christ the King of Kings that reigneth over their consciences: and thus you may see it taketh away no authority which God hath given to them.

The next thing you say is, that they cannot be certaine, that their servants and children sanctifie the Lords day.

To which I answer, that indeede unbeleeving Masters take as little care of this as they that have given liberty to prophane the Lords Day; but beleeving Parents and Masters, may easily know (if their children or servants be of any Congregation) what their life and conversation is, and therefore this can hinder no duties, or workes of Families (as you falsely affirme) nor crosse the good and peace of Families.

By this you may see, that this your groundlesse affirmation, is no good Reason against Toleration.

And therefore the Court of Parliament (to whom you submit for judgement) may easily see that good members both for Churches and Common-wealths, may issue out of such Families, that live under Christs government, and that such Families may be good Nurseries, both for Church and Commonwealth.

Thus much for your third Reason.
In D2r 27

In your fourth Reason you doe affirme, that there will be great danger of disputes amongst you about Government and Worship, and Dotrine, and practises (in the Conclusion) you say, it will be about a question where Saints goe when they die, whether to heaven or a third place.

I Answer, This is a question I never heard amongst the Separates, (or any of those whom you call Independant men), but amongst the Papists of Rome, and England.

The next thing is, about sitting with hats on to breake bread?

I Answer, this may be a question indeed, but not to breede division; for it may be as lawfull for one man to sit covered & another uncovered, as it may be lawfull for one man to receive it sitting, and another lying in bed. But if any man list to be contentious, the Churches of God have no such custome.

Thus much for your Fourth Reason.

In your fifth Reason you affirme, that the Ministers of the Kingdome, can have little assurance, of the continuance of their flockes to them, if such a toleration be granted, but that the tolerated Churches will admit them into fellowship, and increase Churches out of their labours: and that they should doe little else but spend and be spent.

To this I answer, that if you were the Ministers of Christ, as you would be taken to be, it might be your comfort, joy, and glory, for it was the Apostles worke to gather the Saints, and to travell in birth of children; and they did not grudge that they were added unto the Churches of Christ, but tooke care for them being so added, for the care of all Churches lay upon them, and therefore they were as Fathers, and Nurses, unto them; and the Gospell admits of no such theft as to steale away members from other Churches: but if men draw neere to the truth (which never were members of any Church) and offer themselves to joyne unto us; we may admit them upon good experience of their life and conversation, for those members that travelled from one Church to another, were commended unto those Churches by Letters from the Church where they were members, or else they could not have beene admitted: and thus you may see the way of the Gospell admits of no such disorder.

Now whereas you say, that this Toleration upon any light occasion of demanding dues; or preaching against any thing they like not, opens a wide doore, and will invite them to disert their Ministers.

I answer by demanding of that which you call dues; you may indeede give just occasion, for you may demand for due, that which is not due; as all the Priests of England doe. LikewiseD2 wise D2v 28 wise by preaching of Doctrine, you may give just occasion, if you justifie the wicked, and condemne the just, and make sad the hearts of those whom God would not have made sad; and then if your people flye from you, you may thanke your selves; but concerning what you count to be your due, I will declare hereafter. For this see the Reply to his Answer to their third Reason for Toleration.

Thus much for your fifth Reason.

Now in the beginning of your sixth Reason, you say, that liberty will be an undoubted meanes and way of their infinite multiplication and increase, even to thirty fould.

Truely I thinke you are afraid, as Pharaoh was, least the Lords people should grow mightier then you.

Next you say, if the Parliament could like to have more of the Greede of them, and have a delight to have multitudes exempted from the Ecclesiasticall Lawes of the Land, &c.

I answer, it is no disgrace to the Parliament, if they should so delight, though never Parliament before had done the like.

Moreover, you say, they have increased within this nine moneths, without a toleration, therefore (you conclude) they would multiply much, if they had a toleration, in many, if not in most Townes and Parishes; and you say it cannot be helped.

All this I grant may be; although they have not a Toleration, I thinke they will increase; for the Taskemasters can lay no heavier burthens upon them, then they have laid already: but though they should increase, it will not be unprofitable, for the increase of beleevers will be the strength and glory of the Kingdome; for they will in all lawfull things, be subject to the Kings Majestie their dread Soveraigne, and to all the wholesome Lawes of his Land, and therefore it will be no danger to have (as you say) swarmes of them.

Thus much for your Sixth Reason.

obscuredg 29. In your 7th. Reason you affirme that it will be very prejudiciall dangerous and insufferable to this Kingdome, for Saints two, or three, or more, to gather, and combine themselves in Church Fellowship, having onely power from Christ their immediate heade: without expecting warrant from any Governors.

First, whereas you say it will be prejudiciall:

I answer, It can prejudice none in the Kingdome, except it be the Priests, and it will be but of a little tithes, which they dare not in conscience pay, because those Jewish Ceremonies are ceased, D3r 29 ceased, and if they have not Toleration, that will be all one (in that respect,) for they will rather suffer, then doe any thing against conscience.

Now whereas you say it will be dangerous, and insufferable to the Kingdome, both these I deny; for if they were offensive people, two or three or a few could doe but little hurt. But they have beene proved to be a peaceable people, and the suffering of such hath never beene dangerous to any Nation, but the not suffering of such to live quietly in a Land, or to passe quietly thorow a land, hath brought Judgements upon such Lands.

Now whereas you seeme to imply, that they should aske leave of the Magistrate, to gather and combine themselves into visible Churches, &c.

I answer, I doe not reade that any ever asked leave of the Magistrate for such a thing; nor to performe any of the parts of Gods Worship or Discipline: and yet you confesse that these independant men doe petition, to the Parliament for liberty. For this see his Book pag. 55. Now I pray you Master Edwards, would you have Magistrates, and Kings, and Princes to have more power over their subjects then over their bodies, estates, and lives? would you have them be Lords over their consciences? I pray you where must Christ reigne then? Must he sit at the Magistrates footestoole? and take what power the Magistrate will give him? (I meane spirituall power of gathering and making Churches) and such Lawes as the Magistrate will give him leave to have, to rule over them by? Here you thrust Christ into a narrow corner; for you would faine force him to give his glory to some other, and his praise to some graven Image, of your owne devising, which he hath said he will not doe. Esay 42. 8.

But methinkes it were fitter for men of your coate, to ground the Government of Christs Church, upon the written Word of God, and not upon Statute Lawes, nor Canon Lawes, which you call Ecclesiasticall; for it will be no disparagement to the Imperiall Crowne of this Realme, for Christs Church to be governed by Christs owne Lawes.

The next thing is, you say, the Oath of Supremacie was appointed by Law for Ecclesiasticall persons to take. Pag. 30. lin. 30. 31.

Methinkes that was a good consideration, for Ecclesiasticall persons have beene in all ages ready to tyrannize, over Kings and Emperours.

But now you aske the independant men (as you call them) a question; but before you come to the question, you lay downe an affirmation or a conclusion: (namely) That these, independent men give power to the Churches.

D3 To D3v 30

To which I answer; If they should doe so, they were very ignorant, and very presumptuous, for Christ hath given power to the Churches, and all the Ministers that doe administer in the Churches, must have the power by the Church.

But say you, they give that power to the Churches, which the Papists give unto the Pope.

I answer, if they doe so they are blasphemers for the Papists acknowledge the Pope to be the head of the Church: which title all men ought to give onely unto Christ.

But now to your question; which is, whether they will take the Oath of Supremacie, or doe acknowledge in their prayers, The King Defender of the Faith? &cetcetera.

To which I answer, This Ooath you say, was ordained for Ecclesiasticall persons, and I hope these Ecclesiasticall independant men (if I may safely so call them) will ever, both acknowledge, and maintaine, that the King is supreme over all the Land, therefore over the Church of the Land, though it consist of the Clergie, as it appeares by that Oath which you say was appointed for the Clergie.

But whether they doe acknowledge the King, defender of the Faith, &c.etcetera which is the later part of your Question?

To this I answer. It is out of all doubt, that these men doe desire from their heart, (as well as all the Lords people) that the King may defend the Faith of Christ Jesus, and dayly make their prayers and supplications to God for him, and that in conscience and obedience to God, being commanded in his Word so to doe, for they know it is a duty laid upon them; for prayers and supplications must be made for Kings, and all them that be in authoritie; 1 Tim. 2. 1.2. but none can make axceptable prayers, but the Saints, for the prayers of the wicked are abomination unto the Lord Pro. 15. 8. But that all Kings have beene defenders of the Faith of Christ, I deny; for there is but one Faith, Eph. 4. 5. and those that do maintaine that true faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, lawfully have that title given them; and none other may lawfully have it but they.

You will happily say, Queene Mary was not a Defender of the Faith. But I say unto you, if the Crowne of England give unto Kings and Queens that title; Queene Mary had as much right to the title as Queene Elizabeth. &cetcetera.

Secondly, you say, they hold that the imposition of lawfull things, doth make them unlawfull, (which you say is a strange paradoxe.) Pag. 31. lin. 36.

I answer, the imposition of lawfull things doe not make them unlawfull, if he that imposeth them have authoritie so to doe: as for example; the imposition of an Oath is very lawfull; but if D4r 31 if it be imposed by him that hath not authoritie, though it make not the Oath unlawfull simply in it selfe, yet it makes the use of it unlawfull, at that time, both to him and to me.

But as for formes of prayer: which (you say) they doe confesse to be for order, and lawfull in themselves, yet unlawfull, being imposed.

I say, not as you say, they say, for I know no forme of prayer lawfull in it selfe, for any of the Lords people to tie themselves unto; nor that ever was imposed upon any by Christ, or his Apostles; (We reade in 1. Tim. 2. 1. 2. that all manner of prayers must be made unto God; and amongst other, supplications must be made for Kings, but there was no forme of words given by which wee must pray for any: and we are commanded to pray with the Spirit, and to pray with understanding;) but we are commanded to avoid an evill manner of praying; that we should not be like the Hipocrites; which love to stand and pray in the Synogogues, Matth. 6. 5 nor that we should make vaine repititions as the Heathens, which thinke to be heard for their much babling: Ver. 7.8. and as also we are forbidden an evill manner of praying; so wee are commanded by God what manner to use, as it is Matth. 6.9. plaine in Matth. 6. 9.

The manner is that wee must in our prayers acknowledge God to be our Father.

And secondly, That he is in heaven.

Thirdly, we must give glory to his Name..

Fourthly, we must pray for the coming of his Kingdome.

Fiftly, we must pray that the Lords Will may be done, both in earth and in heaven. Ver. 10.

Sixthly, wee must pray for all things necessary for this life, which is there set forth under the name of dayly bread. Ver. 11.

Seventhly, wee must pray for the forgivenesse of our owne sinnes; Ver. 12. and we are also put in minde, that as wee would have our owne sinnes forgiven, so we should forgive others; if they acknowledge their offences, according to that in Luke 17. 4. If thy brother trespasse against thee seven times a day, and seven times a day, and seven times a day, and say it repenteth him, &c.etcetera

Eightly, we must pray against temptations to be delivered from the evills thereof. Ver. 13.

And lastly, we must conclude with thankesgiving acknowledging the Kingdome to be the Lords and all power, and glory to be due unto him, not onely for that present time, but for ever.

Here you may see we are taught the manner how we ought to pray, but we are tied to no forme of words, yet we are to beleeve that this is a perfect Rule, and that we may sufficiently ground all the D4v 32 the petitions we neede to put up from this very rule.

As for Example,

As we desire to acknowledge God to be our Father, so wee ought to desire, that others would doe the like.

And whereas we ought to pray for the Kingdome of God to come, we are not to limit it to this, (that Christ may come to rule in us onely) but that he may rule as a King in the heart of all his chosen.

Neither ought wee alone to acknowledge praises but wee ought to desire that prayses to God may be acknowledged by others also, and that they may grant the Kingdome, and power, and glory to be his, not that he should be a King onely to rule in the hearts of men, but also that he may rule and governe the actions of the bodies of men in his outward worship: as we are commanded to glorifie God with our bodies and soules, and the reason is because they are his, 1 Cor. 6. 20. Now, if our bodies and soules be Gods, then it must needs be granted, that it is in spiritual worship: for in all civill things it hath beene acknowledged already, that both bodies and lives are our soveraigne Lord the Kings; in whose Land we dwell.

Now if there were any forme of prayer for men to bind themselves unto, it would have beene shewed, either in this Scripture, or in some other; which thing you have not yet proved.

That they were not tied to this forme of words is plaine by another Evangelist, which doth not use the same words, but addeth some, and leaveth out other some; and also the whole forme of thankesgiving, is left out by Luke, (Luke 11. 2. 3.4. Compared with Matth. 6. 9.) and to seeke the helpe of any booke but the Bible to teach men to pray, is to disable God which hath promised to give Beleevers his Spirit, whereby they shall cry Abba Father, Rom. 8. 15 and that that Spirit should leade them into all truth, and bring all things to their remembrance Ion. 14. 26. Therefore a forme of prayer for men to tie themselves unto, cannot be sufficient and pleasing to God though it were never imposed by any.

Thirdly, you lay another slander upon us, as though we should affirme, that Christian Princes, and Magistrates, who are defenders of the Faith have no more to doe in and about the Church, then Heathen Princes.

This is not true, for we know that Christian Princes, and Magistrates ought to be members of Christs Church; and so being, they may be Officers in the Church; And if they be Defenders of the Faith, they be such as defend the pure worship of God, manifested in his Word, as also the true professors thereof, and that against all tyrannicall power that shall attempt to suppresse either it or them, as the good Kings of Judah and Israel did E1r 33 did, by slaying the Servants and Prophets of Baal who had slaine the Lords people.

But Heathen Kings cannot be said to be members of the Church of Christ before they know Christ, and then they become Christian Kings. Therefore, to vent upon all occasions, such principles as you see wee hold, and maintaine, is not (as you say) dangerous and insufferable, neither are the people.

But you say further, that the people for a great part of them are heady and refractory, and proud, and bitter, and scornfull, and dispisers of authoritie, and that they will not suffer publike prayers to be prayed, but that by their gesture and threatning of the Ministers, they have laboured to hinder the use of them: And these people (I gather from your owne words) are the professors in England, and especially in the city of London; and it is very like to be so; because they were there at the time of your service; (for neither the Separates nor Semiseparates (as you call them) use to be there at the time of your service (for ought I know:) and these Professors you have also called Idle, & busibodies, tatlers also, as it is said, 1 Tim. 5. 13. very wanton in their wits (say you) affecting novelties in Religion, and liking of points that are not established nor commonly held, and these you say are many of the professors. For this see the third part of his Answer to their second Reason against Toleration, pag. 30. And in your second Reason against Toleration, Pag.page 24. (you say) that the mindes of multitudes of the Professors in England, and especially in this citie, are upon all occasions very apt to fall to any way in Doctrine or Discipline that is not commonly received by the Church, &c. But I tel you, you ought not to blame any for withstanding any thing in Gods worship, which is not grounded in his Word: Neither (if the whole body of the worship there tendred be the invention of man) ought any of them to be blamed for opposing such a worship; because it is according to their Protestation.

Yet I justifie none that will oppose disorderly, as either by casting up of hats, or threatning the Minister, or any the like unseemely behaviour; for I judge it better for them to depart in peace, if they have not faith in the action performed.

But methinkes (Mr. Edwards) you have foulely missed it, in that you have vilified your brethren, to call them by the names of those mockers which (Paul testified) should come in the last time, that should be heady, and high minded, and proud boasters, and despisers of authority; for such as these have not the power of godlinesse, (and by this you make your Church a foule Church, and defile shrewdly your owne nest, and make it appeare to all men that you live in a Cage of uncleane birds) & therefore you are commanded from such to turne aside; 2 Tim. 3. 5. if the feare of God be in your heart. E More- E1v 34 Moreover, You say, you feare they will not tolerate the Government established by the Ecclesiasticall, and civill Lawes, and you would faine father the cause of this your feare upon Separates, and Independancie, whereas you cannot be so ignorant, but that you must know, that the government established by Law may stand without the leave of Separates, for they have neither power to give toleration, nor to prohibit toleration, for, or against, any thing.

But you say, you would rather pray against toleration, than prophesie of the wofull effects of it.

I answer, if you can make such a prayer in a time acceptable, then sometimes such prayers will be accepted which are not grounded upon Gods Word.

But of the wofullest effects of toleration, you have prophesied already, in that you say, they will withstand your Doctrine and your dues, For this see his fift Reason against toleration. pag. 28. lin. 12, 13. and that will be a wofull effect indeede! when you shall be driven, to cry out, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, for in one houre is so great wealth come to desolation.

Thus much for your Seventh Reason.

In your Eight Reason, you affirme, That these Independant men, where they have power, as in New-England, will not tolerate any Churches or Government, but in their owne way.

In using the word these, you carry the matter so darkely, that I know not whom you meane, for you have named none.

But you seeme to say, they be men that have power in New-England.

I answer, Indeede it may happen to be so; That there may be some men there, that take upon them authority, to binde mens consciences, as you and all your fellowes do here. But if it have beene so, I thinke it was, because they had (here in England) taken upon them an oath of conformity, (as you have sometimes done;) and because the tyranny of the Prelats was so mighty, against all good men, that they were faine to go away privately, and so had not time or opportunity publikely to disclaime this their Oath; and then there might be feare, that upon complaint made for disorder committed there, in suffering the liberty of the Gospel there which could not be admitted here, they might have beene sent for backe by their Ordinaries, and so have been committed to some stincking prison, here in London, there to have been murdered, as divers of the Lords people have beene, of these late yeares, as I am able to prove of my owne knowledge; and if they have banished any out of their Patents, that E2r 35 that were neither disturbers of the peace, of the Land, nor the worship practised in the Land, I am perswaded, it was their weakenesse, and I hope they will never attempt to doe the like. But I am still perswaded, they did it upon the same ground, that having knowledge in themselves, that their former Oath, might be a snare unto them, if they did not hold still some correspondencie with the practise of England, even till God should open a way or meanes for them to seeke free liberty for all, by the approbation of authority.

The next thing you minde against them is, that they would not admit liberty, to some of their brethren, which were godly Ministers, though they did approve of them, as being against Ceremonies.

To this, 1. I answer, that it is strange that any man should send to aske their liberty. 2. It is much more strange to me (if it be true, as you say, that these men were against Ceremonies) that there should be any difference betweene them, and the Ministers in New England.

But it seemes (by your speech) they would have gone in a middle way, which presupposeth to me, that they are so farre from being against Ceremonies, that are already invented, that they would have set up some invention of their owne.

The next thing you charge some of them with, is, That they would not admit into fellowship, those that would not enter into their Covenant, and professe faith, and submit to their Church Orders, though they would be of their Church .

Me thinkes you have strange evasions, but I pray you answer me to these two questions: the first is, how men of yeares of discretion, may (by the rule of Gods Word) be admitted into fellowship, and not professe their faith.

Secondly, how men may be accounted, to be of the Church, and not submit unto the orders of the Church: Seeing that the Apostle Paul had these two things to rejoyce in; the beholding of the Saints stedfast faith, and comely order, in the Church.

But you say, that these men who would faine have a toleration in this great kingdome, will not allow any in their small particular Congregations.

Truely (Mr. Edwards) It were good for you to labour to understand the minde and will of God for your selfe, and have charitie towards your brethren; and hope well, that they have so much knowledge, of the Lords will, that they will not pleade for such an absurdity, as to set up one Church, within another, and so make a schisme. But the Toleration they plead for, is that Gods true worship, may be set up in the Kingdome by those that understand what it is; and that by the sufferance of E2 the E2v 36 the Governors; and that it should be setled in a peaceable way; which would be farre from disturbing the peace of three Kingdomes, (as you invectively speake;) but to set up a Congregation in a Congregation, would be confusion, even as to set up one Kingdome, within another.

The next thing you charge them with, is, that they are partiall; (by a supposition of your owne:) for you say, it is ordinary for men, when they are not in place, nor have no power in Church or Common-wealth; and hold also Doctrines and principles contrary to what is held and established; to pleade for Toleration; but when the same men come to have place and power (say you) they will not tolerate others; and you say, that you doe beleeve that these are the men which now indeavour a toleration.

To this I answer, you may doe well to let this beleefe of yours be no Article of your faith, because it stands upon no ground; for though a man may hope the best, and feare the worst; yet he may beleeve nothing but what he hath proofe for. But I doe beleeve that all this is your evill surmising, (to think, that if they had power in their hands to settle a Government, they would tolerate none but their independant way,) as it may plainely appeare by the Protestation Protested, which you quote here for your Author, for though the Protestor declare what he would have for the Churches of the Saints; yet he doth not take upon him to determine, what Government or rule, shall be set up in the Land, to bring men out of darknesse to light, but leaveth that to the judgement of them which have the power, even the King and Parliament.

Thus much for your Eight Reason.

In you ninth Reason you affirme, that toleration may be demanded, upon the same grounds, for Brownists, Anabaptists, and Familists, and others who professe it is their conscience.

To which I answer; That seeing you plead for them, I may well hold my peace. But I thinke the Familists will not aske liberty for toleration if they be as (I doe conceive) of the Sect of the Libertines mention in the Acts.

But, say you, these may be pleaded for upon better grounds then SemiSeparates and the Reason you say is, because they deny the truth of your Church.

Answer, I do beleeve, those (whom you call Semi-Separates) do deny the truth of your Church also; (though not in all respects) and so farre as they be Separates, they must needs deny the Church from which they Separate.

But you here demand, whether Papists may not petition and have hope for E3r 37 for toleration, seeing it is their conscience.

To this I answer, I know no reason why they may not petition and hope to speede also, seeing they have many friends in the Kingdome.

Further, you adde, that if one sort may have an exemption from the Religion established, why not others?

I answer, There may be many reasons given, why those may not have freedome (of any great resorts in the Land) which have often attempted, by plots, and treachery to ruinate the Land.

The next thing you affirme, is, if ever the doore of toleration, should be but a little opened, there would be great crowding in.

To this I answer, That the more good men doe imbrace the whole truth of God, the better it will be, but there have beene too many crowders and creepers in in all ages; and we may justly feare it will be so still; for the Text saith, in the 2 Pet. 2. 2. That many shall follow their destruction, and some of them shall doe it through covetousnesse, who shall with fained words make merchandise of the Lords people (as is plaine in the next verse) whose destruction sleepeth not. But who these creepers in be, appeares by the 15. verse of this Chapter, That they were they that loved the wages of unrighteousnesse as Balaam did: But if any one so doe, his last end shall be worse then his beginning.

This much for your ninth Reason.

In your Tenth Reason, you affirme, That the first principle of the Independant way is, That two or three Saints wheresoever, or by what meanes soever they doe arise; separating themselves from the world into the fellowship of the Gospell, are a Church truely gathered: for this you quote Mr. Robinsons Justification, pag. 221.

But in that page there is no such thing written, as I can finde, but seeing it commeth so neere the truth, we neede not to contend about it. For I doe affirme, that a company of Saints, Separated from the world, and gathered into the fellowship of the Gospell (by what meanes so ever it be, that matters not, so it be by the teaching of the Sonne of God, according to that in Heb. 1. 1.) these Saints (I say) separating themselves, and being gathered into the fellowship of the Gospell (though they combine themselves without the warrant of the Governours) are a true Church, and have right to all Gods Ordinances, Matth. 18. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. Rev. 21. 27. and 22, 14, 15. not onely to admit men into fellowship, but also to admonish, to reprove and to cast out of their societie all obstinate offenders amongst them that doe transgresse, either against the first or second Table; having (as hath beene said before) the Spirit of God to E3 guide E3v 38 guide them, and wisedome from above to judge of persons, and causes, within the Church, though they have nothing to doe to judge those that are without.

And this doth not make way for Libertisninisme, for Heresies and Sectaries (as you say) neither doth it make men to runne from their owne Ministers, because they restraine them from sinne, or keepe them to Gods Ordinances, (as you doe affirme) for if any separate for any such cause, they shall not be received into fellowship, nor justified of any of the Lords people.

But the way of the Gospell, as hath beene plainely proved, is not to live without Gods Ordinances, nor to live at liberty (as you say) except you meane the liberty wherein Christ hath set them and commanded them to stand fast, because he hath made them free, Gal. 5. 1. By this you may see the Saints are called into liberty; but not a liberty to sinne (as you would insinuate) but to be freed from the yoake of bondage, which is the tyranny, or tyrannicall government of the Canon Lawes, either of Rome or England.

But you say, all heretickes, Sectaries, or libertines will count themselves Saints, as well as the Independant men; and the reason you seeme to give for this, is, because the Ministers, and Magistrats of the Kingdome, shall not have power to determine who be Saints. Pag. 34.

Now let all men judge what a weighty argument this is, who is he that knows any thing, & knows not this, that the Priests in England which are the Bisops creatures, do generally justifie the wicked, and condemne the just, and are not these meet men to judge Saints? they justifie none that will not be conformable, and yeeld unto the traditions which they have invented, in their Councels and Convocations; though they have not one title of Gods Word to warrant them; Furthermore, they condemne all that will not submit, to their devised worship, even in all the traditions thereof: and this is the dependancie which they have brought all men unto, both high and low, even to be subject to their wills, which is a Law.

But now touching the Magistrate, you would seeme to inferre that he should have no more power than a Priest.

It is plaine, the Priests have no power, but what they have by permission, and sufferance, though they have dependancie upon the Pope himselfe, but the Magistrate hath power given him of God, by whom he is set up, for the praise of those that doe well, and for the punishment of evill doers, and hath the same rule given him (whereby to judge them) that God hath given to his Church; especially Christian Magistrates, notwithstandingwithstanning E4r 39 withstanding they are opposed, yet they have power given of God; as you may reade in Acts 7 35. This man Moses whom they forsooke saying, who made thee a Prince and a Judge, the same God. sent for a Prince and a deliverer: and this is he which was as a God unto Aaron; when Aaron was as the mouth of Moses to the people, Exod. 4. 16. Now if you Priests could have proved your selves as Aaron, then you might have beene assistanrts to Godly Magistrates to deliver the Lords people out of the hands of Tyrannicall Princes; Exod. 5. 17. but contrariwise, you adde afflictions as Pharaohs Taskemasters did; even you (Mr. Edwards) when you say the Lords people are wanton-witted and idle, when they desire to have liberty to serve God.

And thus you sit in the consciences of men; judging zeale to be hypocrisie; but the time will come, when every worke shall be brought to judgement.

And now drawing neere to an end of this Answer to your tenth Reason (which is the last of this your joyned army) it is good to looke backe a little, and consider what hath been said.

You have spoken much for Dependencie; but upon whom you doe depend, I cannot tell;

You labour to bring men into doubts, by you suppositions, but you doe not make any conclusion, which is Gods way, that men fearing God, may expect a blessing when they walke in it, but you cry out for Dependencie, upon Councels, and Synods, and Churches; I pray you what Dependencie hath the Church of England upon any other Church? for I suppose you will say, that all the Land is but one Church.

If you say, that you have Dependencie, upon the Church of Rome; I doe beleeve you; for the Bishop of Canterbury hath said so much, in his booke, where hee confesseth, Rome to be as leprous Naaman, and England to be the same Naaman cleansed.

Now that it is the same, may easily be proved, by divers of your owne Authors. But you in your Epistle, affirme, it is not cleansed, in that place, where you say, that there is yet Altars and Images, brasen Serpents, abused to Idolatry, with divers other things, which you would have purged out.

By this it appeares, that it is the same with Rome, in the very nature of it, though not in every Circumstance, and this (for any thing can be discerned) is the Dependancie, for which you pleade: even the Dependancie and affinitie, betweene Rome and England.

There- E4v 40

Therefore you should rather have said, That in the belly of this Dependancie, doth lurke all liberty, and heresie, and whatsoever, Sathan, and the corrupt hearts of men have a pleasure to broach. For in that way, it is too common, for men to broach their owne pleasures; for their Religion is made of mens inventions.

Thus much for your 10th. Reason.

Yet furthermore, (for addition to these ten Reasons, you adde a Question; Pag. 34. your Qeuuestion is, what these men would have in this Toleration, Whether the number of five or sixe Congregations onely, and no more? Or whether the number shall be left undetermined, and be free to multiply? &c.

For answer to this, I doe affirme, that the number ought not to be limitted, for the Churches of the New Testament were free to multiply, not onely in greatnesse, but also in number. I say they were left free by God; for the Apostles were not limitted, from constituting Churches wheresoever men were brought to beleeve in Christ.

But say you, it is their principles to breake one Church in two or three.

I answer, I know no man that holdeth any such principle.

But say you, it hath beene so at Amsterdam, Roterdam, and London.

To this I answer, I deny not, but that there may be offences taken, and sometimes given, which may cause men to depart one from another (as Paul and Barnabas did) sometimes about persons, and sometimes about things; and wofull experience teacheth all men, that brethren are apt to fall out by the way; and that Joseph knew very well, when he admonished his brethren to the contrary. Gen. 45. 24. But though some should be offended, and could not be reconciled, (as the Scripture saith, a brother offended, is harder to be wonne than a strong citie) Pro. 18. 19. ) yet the departing of such a brother, (or brethren) cannot make that Church two Churches, yet notwithstanding this may sometimes tend to the further spreading of the Gospell, even as the departing of Paul and Barnabas did. Not that I justifie the practise of any that are not apt to beare, but that God doth sometimes, bring good out of evill, (as it was in he selling of Joseph, Gen. 50. 20. ) by turning it to his owne glory, and the good and comfort of his people.

Therefore you neede not to marvell which shall be the state approved by the Magistrate; because that properly, there remaineth but one intire state, (in such cases of division, as you have before mentioned.) By all this it appeares that it is none of our principles to breake one Church into two or three.

But F1r 41

But you say, if the number be left undetermined, there may be many Churches in a Towne.

For answer whereof, I must tell you, that I reade in the Scriptures of no more Churches in a towne, but one, as in Jerusalem where there were many Converts, yet I reade but of one Church.

Now this was in the first plantation of the Gospell, but what they might increase to afterward, the Scripture is silent in, for any thing I know.

But that there may be two or three in one place (as you say) that seemeth unto me to be confusion, except they should meete in one place for consultation, which may very well be, for God is the God of Order and not of confusion.

And I never reade in rthe Scripture, that two Churches met together in one place, for the practise of publike worship.

But say you; we may have, every where, three or foure men, of an opinion differing from others, to goe to make a Church.

To this I answer, If you meane (by every where) in every Towne of the Land, I say, although it should be so, (and though there be sixe townes in a Parish) yet it will be no no confusion; for the fewer they are together the lesse ground will there be of fearing them.

But touching divisions and subdivisions.

If any such thing happen, it is but that we which have bin told on before. The Apostles words are these, They went out from us, because they were not of us &c. 1 Joh.John 2. 19. and if evill minded men, that crept in departed from Christ, Joh.John.6. 66. 67. we neede not to thinke much, that such creepers in, should depardt from us also; yet the disorderly going away of any (as I have said before) doth not make them a Church which goe away disorderly.

And thus I have given you an answer to your second tenth Reason, I pray thee (good Reader) take notice, that here I acknowledge an ove rsight (in taking Mr. Edwards his eleventh Reason, to be a second tenth Reason) it was through my neglect, in not looking into his Errata. for in your Booke you have by your stile made it a Reason, though you seemed at the first entrance into it to make it but a question.

But before you conclude the whole, you subjoyne to these, the Answer to five or sixe things (which you would make to be their reasons) and you say that they are continually alleadged, by them for their toleration, in this Kingdome.

The first Reason (you say they bring) is, that toleration is no more then the French, and Dutch enjoy, who live among us.

F Indeed F1v 42

Indeede that is a very good reason, for methinkes it stands with equitie, that Natives borne, should have as much priviledge as Strangers.

But you would seeme to alter the state of the case, in sixe respects.

First. That the French and Dutch Protestants have nothing, nor desire nothing, as contra distinct to the Protestants of France and Holland.

I answer, if the Protestants of France, and Holland, have liberty of their conscience, and be not at all burdened, with Jewish, Popish, or Heathenish Observations, but may be free there, to worship God, according to his Will, revealed in his Word, then they that are here (amongst us) neede not to seeke more liberty, and I am sure the Independant men will aske no more.

Secondly, you say, that this liberty, was granted, by our Pious Princes, in the times of persecution to the Protestants.

Here you crosse your first respect, for if these Protestants were persecuted in France, then it is certaine their Religion was different, from the state of their owne Nation; for you say they could not enjoy their Religion at home.

Furthermore you adde, that it hath beene kept ever since, for a refuge to the persecuted Protestants.

To which I answer, The very like may be said of the libertie granted to the English Church in Amsterdame, which hath beene a refuge for the Protestants which have beene persecuted out of England ever since.

But (you say) we may enjoy our Religion in this Land, and that by the authority of the King and Parliament.

If it be so: I pray you what is the meaning, of the bleating of such cattell, as your selfe? which cry out dayly to the King and Parliament, for the suppression of the Lords people; and for the hindring of their meetings.

Thirdly, you say, The French and Dutch Churches will willingly be joyned in Government, and in one way of discipline with the Kingdome, if there be a Reformation.

Indeede if you had not added a great If, here you had told a loud untruth, but if this were performed, that there were a Reformation, according to Gods Will, I doubt not but the Independent men would doe the like.

Fourthly, you say these Churches doe not hold our principles, but doe admit of appeales in great businesses.

I answer, I have told you already, and I now tell you againe, that I admit of appeales also, such as the Scripture warrants, and F2r 43 and I have declared at large what appeales they be. For this reade the Answer to his third Reason against Independan­ cie.

Fifthly, you say, they be strangers different in Language, and have little acquaintance with you (keeping themselves for the most part among themselves) and therefore (say you) there will be the lesse danger of drawing away the people.

I answer, if they differ so little from you, as you would make the world beleeve, there were small cause of danger, or Schisme, if they will willingly be joyned (as you said before) in Government, and in one way of discipline with the Kingdome.

Further, you adde, that they vent no principles, against your Church, and Government.

I answer, Indeede, if they should never open a mouth to speake, yet their practise makes them different from you, both in worship and government; and yet it may be upon better considerations, they may draw neerer to the rule hereafter; but for my part I leave them, as being partly ignorant of their practise.

But you say, they will not admit your people to be members of their Congregations.

Answer, Indeede I doe not know that ever they have refused any; but this much I know; that some English people, that have the French, and Dutch tongue, have, and doe goe thither to heare; but that any should desire to goe thither to heare, that have not the language, were very abusurd.

Sixthly, There, is (say you) a great reason, and necessity, of allowing them Churches and places to preach, and be by themselves, and the reasons you yeeld, are (1) because many of them understand not English at all, and (2) for the benefit of strangers of their owne Religion.

To which I answer, The very same may be said concerning the English Churches in Holland.

But further you adde, that they may well be allowed some Discipline among themselves, in respect they maintaine all their owne poore.

Methinks (Mr. Edwards there should be much more reason, that the English Protestants, or Separates, should be tolerated, for the same cause, for they maintaine all their owne poore also. And furthermore, they maintaine the poore of the Church of England; yea, in every parish where their dwelling houses stand, they pay to the poore weekely, as well as any other man.

They also pay their money for the maintenance of the Visited Houses in the Parishes where they dwell.

Nay, furthermore, they pay also their mony for the maintenance of the Priests of England, (the more is the pitty) and so I feare F2 the F2v 44 the Dutch and French doe also, yea though the Priests are as Popish as they were in Queene Maries time. And this is well knowne to all Landlords that doe let them houses, for if they know them to be Separates, and that they will not, have to doe with the Priests in the pay ment of that they call dues, they make their Tenant pay the more rent, for if the Tenant will not the Landlord must. And by this you may see, their burthens are double to other mens; in that they must maintaine their owne poore and their owne Ministers, and the Church of Englands also.

And by this you may see, that you have not (in the least) altered the state of the case, betweene the Dutch, and French, and us, in the causes before mentioned.

Therefore this their first reason for toleration lies yet unanswered by you.

For answer to their second Reason, which (you say) is that they seeke no more then is granted them, in Holland; your answer to it is this,

That if that be a good ground, then Jewes and Anabaptists may have a toleration also.

To this I answer, For my part I speake for my selfe, and I suppose that they may say as much for themselves (in these late respects, which you have mentioned) as the Separates doe, for they maintaine their poore, and their Ministers, and the poore, and the Priests of the Church of England, as well as we. And I think they are persecuted and hunted also; but I will leave them to pleade for themselves.

Further, you adde, That such a Toleration is not fit, neither in Divinity, nor in policie.

I answer, I know no true Divinitie that teacheth men to be Lords over the conscience; and I thinke it is no part of Godly policie, to drive the Kings subjects out of the land, because they desire free liberty to worship God in the Land according to his will; the States of Holland are counted politicke, and yet they esteeme it the Strength of their Kingdome, to grant free libertie of conscience.

Secondly, you say, there may be a toleration for us in Holland, with much more safety to the government established, then can be here, because the people understand not our language; and also have little, or no relation to us of kindred and friendship, &c.

I answer, I must say to you, as I have said already, that there was never any danger to a Kingdome, to suffer the Lords peopleple F3r 45 ple live quietly, and enjoy their liberty.

Thirdly, you say, The people of the Holenders are generally industrious, and mind their businesse, and keeping to what is established by their Lawes, not troubling their heads so much with other points of Religion.

By this one may easily perceive your minde (Mr. Edwards) with the rest of your fellowes, and also know, that you are naturally derived from Rome, in that you would have all men, to content themselves, with an implicit faith; and to take for granted, what government your Lawes alloweth, and what worship your inventions have hatcht; and not to search the the Scripture at all.

Further you add here, that the people in England are not so, especially in this city of London and great Townes, you say many of the professors, are more idle, and busie-bodies, tattlers also, as it is said, I. Tim. 5. 13. very wanton also in their wits, affecting novelties in Religion, &c.

Now truly (Mr. Edwards) if you were of my mind, and were a member of such a Church, that had such members in it; you woulde be so farre from fearing, of being beguiled of them, that you would be very glad to have such birds taken out of your nest. But you are so farre from observing the rule of Christ (Matth. 18. 15.) that is to tell your brother of his fault betweene him and you that you rather walke with slanders and clamours, vilifying your owne mothers sonnes; so that every good man may be ashamed of you.

Fourthly, you say, that Holland tolerates us and many others, but it is more upon the grounds and necessitie of worldly respects, because of the benifite of exsise towards the maintenance of warre.

Now (Mr. Edwards) you have utterly overthrowne your owne Argument, laid downe in the beginning of your answer to this their second Reason, for then you said, it was against the rule of policie, but now you say it is their policie.

And whereas you would make the case different betweene England and Holland.

I answer, It is not different at all; for England hath the Subjects purses to maintaine warres as well as Holland; and though it be not in exsise for victuals, yet it is in some other wayes from which the subjects of Holland are freed.

The next thing you affirme, is; That your riches and strength, standeth in one way of Religion.

To which I answer, I thinke (if I could understand your minde herein) you meane the riches and strength of the Priests: F3 for F3v 46 for I am sure the riches, and strength of the Kingdome, may stand best with Toleration, as it may appeare, partly by what hath been said already, for you have heard that the Lords people (whom you thus persecute) maintaine their owne poore.

And it will also be made appeare, that they pay Scot, and Lot, in the Kingdome, in all civill respects, and are all as true subjects to the Kings Majesty, and are ready to doe him all faithfull service with other bodies, and estates, as any in the Kingdome.

But I confesse that toleration would be neither riches nor strength to the Priests, for it is sore against the peoples will, that they pay them any thing now; and it will be no wonder when it shall be made to appeare, what the Priests wages is, See the Reply to the sixth part of his Answer to this their following Reasonn. but that shall be done hereafter.

Their third Reason you say is, That if they have not liberty to erect some Congregations, it will force them to leave the Kingdome.

For answer whereof, you do affirme (in the first place) that there is no neede of a toleration for them; neither that they should leave the Kingdome for conscience, and that you say will appeare by the Reasons and principles which they doe agree to, which you say are these;

First, that they hold your Churches true, your Ministers true, Ordinances true: Further you say they can partake with you in your Congregations in all Ordinances, even to the Lords Supper.

To which I answer, Indeede here you would make the Readers beleeve, that they had opened a wide gappe, (if they should take your affirmation, without your provisall) but you come to helpe your selfe handsomely, in that you say their condition was, that it must first be provided, that scandalous and ignorant persons must be kept backe, and Cerimonies must be removed.

Methinks this is a mighty great mountaine, that stands between them, and you, and therefore you have small cause, to aske them wherefore they should desire, to set up Churches? for till this mountaine be removed, they may be true to their own principles, and not go from their word, and yet never communicate with you, either in worship, or government.

For first, If you keepe out all scandalous persons, out of all the Churches in England, from the Sacraments, and all ignorant persons; truely then your Churches will be as emptie as ours.

Secondly, If you should remove away all your Ceremonies, (which is the second part of your reformation,) you could not tell how to worship; for your whole forme and manner of worship is made of invented Ceremonies.

But F4r 47

But if you can procure such a reformation, to have your Church all consist of persons of knowledge, fearing God, and bating covetousnesse, & void of all other scandalls (so far as we can judge by the Scripture) and that the Ceremonies may be removed, and we enjoy (as you bragge) all Gods Ordinances with you, as well as in our owne Churches, then you shall heare, what I will say to you, as well as the Independant men.

But till all this be done, you see there is still good reason, for good men, either to desire liberty, or to leave the Kingdome.

Further, you say, some of them could take the charge of Parochiall Churches amongst you, upon the Reformation.

I Answer, Indeede such a Reformation, which you have formerly mentioned, will hardly stand with Parochiall Churches.

But you say, they could yeeld to Presbyteriall Government, by Classes and Synods; so they might not be injoyned to submit to it, as Jure Divino.

To which I answer, It seemes (by your owne confession) that they doe deny the Presbyteriall government by Classes, and Synods, to be from God, as it appeares, in that you say, they will not submit to it, as Iure Divino, and therefore you have overthrowne your selfe (in all this your reasoning) with your Synods and Classes also; so that still there remaines good grounds to seeke a Toleration, that the Saints may grow into bodies even in this Land.

But to grow into one body with you (as you would have them) while your Churches body is like a Leopard, and all bespotted, (as appeares by your words) were very absurd; for you doe affirme, that the best of your members, even the Professors, especially of London, and of the great Townes in England; are very foule; yet I hope you will confesse, that they are the best of your members; then if it be true (as you say) that you must remove in your Reformation, all ignorant and scandalous persons; by your grounds, you should have but a very few to make a Church of as well as wee. For you must remove also all your Professors, which you say are so scandalous.

Therefore, I should rather counsell you to repent of all your evills that you have done, and be reconciled to God the Father, and Christ his Sonne, and separate your selves from all your wickednesse, and even come and grow up into one body with us.

Secondly, you say, Seeing your Churches, Ministers, and Ordinances be true, the erecting of new, and withdrawing from such Congregations, can never be answered to God.

I F4v 48

I answer, Here you take for granted that which you cannot prove, and it is your wisdome so to doe, for by that meanes, you may make simple people beleeve, that you are very right, except a few defects, which no man sball be freed from, while he is in this life.

But now to the point; and first, touching your Churches and Ministers, which you say be true, and you also say, the Independant men would grant them to be true, upon a Reformation, such as the Word requires.

I tell you for answer, that this your juggling will not helpe you, for no man is bound to take your bare word, therefore it is good you make proofe of that which you have said.

But before you goe to prove your Churches true, declare unto me what Churches you meane? for I ever tooke the whole Land of England to be but one Church, (as it stands established by the Canon Laws) and that all the Parishes in the Land make up but one entire body, therefore what is amisse in one Parish, all the whole are guilty of, and it will be laid to the charge of the Archbishops, who are the Metropolitanes, or chiefe Priests over the Church of the Land. Seeing it is so, you must stand out to maintaine your Church-es for I know no dependancie you have upon any, except it be Rome, according as I have told you before in the conclusion of my answer to your first tenth Reason against Independencie. Therefore this is the Church that you must maintaine, even the Church of England, established by the Canon Laws, consisting of Archbishops, Diocesan Bishops, with all the rest of that crew; for this is indeed both your Church and Ministry, which doth appeare by your owne ground, because you affirme, that in this part lieth all the power; but (by your owne grounds) the whole body of the Land (I meane of the Laitie (as you call them) hath no power at all to reforme any abuse: therfore this Clergy must needs be your Church; and thus you make your selves the head, and body, and all the rest of the Land the tayle to follow after you.

Now if you can prove this to be a true Church, which hath neither ground, nor footing in Christs Testament, you will worke wonders: but indeede such wonders have been wrought by you; for all the world hath wondered, and runne after the beast, saying, Who is like unto him? and who is able to make warre with him? as you may plainely see in the 13. of the Revelation. Rev. 13. Therefore they that doe justifie such a Church, are such as have beene deceived by her false miracles, even by the fire which she hath made to come downe from heaven.

I G1r 49

I pray you did not fire come downe from heaven in Queene Maries time, and devour the Saints in Smithfield; if you understand heaven in that place, as I understand it (to be the seate of the Magistrate) you must grant the same, for they are called Gods, and the children of the most high.

For your forefathers did (as Pilat did) wash their hands from the blood of the Saints, and of the innocent, and turned them over, for their sentence of condemnation, to the Secular power, which you made your hornes, and your heads pushed them forward to execute your bloody cruelty; and thus you may see that fire came downe from heaven, in the sight or apprehension of men, for most that beheld it thought it was just, because it was the sentence of the Magistrate.

Whence the Church of England is derived. And by this all men may see, that you of the Clergie are the Church of England, and that this Clergy came from Rome, and that therefore your Church is derived from Rome.

Whence the Church of Rome is derived. Now if you would know whence the Church of Rome was derived; I conceive that her power was derived from the beast with seven heads, which rose up out of the sea, as you may read of in the thirteenth of the Revelations, for there both those beasts are mentioned. and also the Image of the first beast, which the second beast hath caused to be made, which is even here in England amongst us; and you may see I have proved unto you already what it is; as you may also read in the 15. verse of that Chapter, it was that to whom the beast gave a spirit, and also he gave it power that it should speake, and cause as many as would not worship the Image of the beast, to be killed, and hath not this Image caused aboundance to be killed in England, and hath not he caused all to receive his marke, or his name, or the number of his name; and they that have it not, may neither buy nor sell, as it is apparant by the testimonie of the Scripture itselfe, and wofull experience.

And is not this Image the Church that now you pleade for? which consisteth of all the Priests of England; if it be not, I What the Image of the first beast is. pray you tell me what it is?

But if this be it (as it appeares it is) then these are your Ministers also; and then it hath beene proved plainely, whence this your Church and Ministry came. And that any of understanding should grant this Church, and Ministry to be a true Church and Ministery, would bewray great ignorance in them.

Further you adde, that they acknowledge the Ordinance to be true.

G In G1v 50

In this I doe beleeve you upon your bare word, for it is a truth, if you meane Gods Ordinances which you have amongst you.

As first, you have the Scripture but you wring it and wrest it, according to your owne devices, and make of it a nose of waxe, and a leaden rule to leane which way your minde leadeth you; and though you ought to take that reede or rod in your hand, at all times (if you were Gods messengers) to measure both the Temple and the Altar and the worshippers, (Rev. 11.2, ) yet you have not learned that skill, (for your Church and Ministrie holdeth no correspondencie with that measuring line) but contrariwise you have taken that golden cup and filled it full of abominations; nay you have hacked it and mangled it to peeces, and made it into little lessons, which you call your Epistles and Gospells & they are Dedicated to your Saints, upon your Saints-Dayes; and thus you may see though you have the Scriptures (which is the Word of God) and take upon you to unfold the mysteries thereof, yet in stead of that, you darken the truth by false glosses.

Secondly, you have the Sacraments, even baptisme, and breaking of breade: but you pervert them both, to your owne destruction; neverthelesse they still remaine Gods Ordinances, even as the golden vessells, were Gods vessels, when they were in Babel, though Belshazar made them his quaffing boules, yet still they remained to be Gods vessels. Even so did Circumcision remaine Gods Ordinance, though it was with Jeroboam. The like may be said of Baptisme, it still remaines Gods Ordinance, though it be carried away with backesliding Antichristians (even the Apostate fallen stars) and so you may read in the eleventh of the Revelation, ver.verse 2. that the court must be left out, and be unmeasured; and the reason was because it was given to the Gentiles even to them that should tread downe the holy citie for 42. monethes; this court we know, belonged to the Temple (as you may read in the 42. of Ezekiel) and had in it the Ordinances belonging to the people. And although you have Baptisme, and the Lords Supper, they will not sanctifie you; though they may be sanctified to the use of them amongst you which are Gods people, according to the election of grace.

And though you have some of Gods Ordinances, amongst you; yet you have added unto them many Ordinances of your owne devising, which doth utterly debarre the Lords people, which have knowledge of them, from communicating with you in any worship.

As G2r 51

As for example,

How shall any man partake with you of the word preached in your assemblies, but he must needs partake also with the false calling of the Priest, by which it is preached, for none else are suffered to preach amongst you, (by your leave or approbation,) but they that preach by that false power.

And who shall receive the Sacraments with you, and not justifie your devised Service-booke? for all your things are administred by that. And as all the Lords Ordinances ought to be sanctified by the Word of God and prayer: So on the contrarie you labour to sanctifie your things, by the stinted servicebooke; and therefore the withdrawing from you, may be answered to God.

Further, you beare the world in hand, that you have but something amongst you wanting yet, that were to be desired, and therefore you say there is no cause to leave the Kingdome, nor for private men to set up true Churches.

Answer, Indeed If your Church & Ministers could be proved true (which you see is a thing unpossible) then it had beene needlesse (as you say) to leave the Land; but neither is your Church nor Ministers true, nor can the Ordinances be had amongst you without sinne; and that this is the judgement of the Independant men, is plaine by your former confession; Where you affirme, they will not heare of growing into one body (or communicating) with you before a Reformation; neither submit to your Classes or Presbyters, as Jure Divino.

But in the next place you say, the setting up of devided Churches, would be to the scandall of all the Churches, and not the giving of scandall to one brother, but to tenne thousands of Congregations.

Truely (Mr. Edwards) you overshoote your selfe (in that you make your selfe such an apparant dissembler) for you would make men beleeve, that you desire to keepe your Church and brethren unspotted, and yet you your selfe with your owne tongue have most foulely scandalized the chiefe members of your Church, making them so foule a people, that they ought not to be communicated with. In the Second Part of his second Reason against toleration, pag. 24. In his sixth Reason against toleration pag. 29. and the third part of his Answer to their second Reason for toleration.

Further, your words imply that so long as a man is not put upon the practise of that which is unlawfull, he may beare.

I tell you againe, that your whole manner is unlawfull, and therefore all the Lords people, as they desire to be blessed and to be found walking in Gods wayes have cause to separate from your Church, and to practise Gods Ordinances among themselves, as well as they who are separated already, (which you G2 here G2v 52 here you call Brownists) and the grounds and causes be so great, that they may well be justified.

But you would have conscious men to consider Mr. Robinson, concerning cirumstantiall corruptions; you say, he shewes it is not an intolerable evill, for evill men be suffered in the Church, &c. yet you confesse he affirmes it to be an evill.

Two things are here to be minded.

First, that you would still please your selfe with this, that you have a true Church (though corrupted) which hath beene proved contrary.

Secondly, that you would justifie your Church by the sinnes of others.

But you know what Mr. Robinson saith, That the government instituted by Christ is not onely neglected or violated in the Church of England, but the plaine contrarie to it is established by Law.

But you say, now supposing your Reformation, it will be otherwise with England, then when he writ.

But (you may see) it is verie plaine, that the crueltie, and wickednesse, of the Church of England hath increased ever since that time.

You say there is but something neglected, and you would make it the want of some Law to suppresse evill men.

To which I answer, That your Canon Lawes be evill Lawes, and your Lawmakers evill men, and therefore it could not stand with their principles to make Lawes to suppresse evill men.

Thirdly, you say, that they (whom you call Independant) live in and are members of such Churches, and yet they thinke it unlawfull, to forsake them.

I pray you, have any of them told you, that their Churches be like the Church of England? you must make proofe thereof, for in this I will not take you upon your bare word.

Further, you say they want some parts of Government and Officers appointed by Christ, more materially than will be in your Church, upon a Reformation.

I answer, I have plainely proved to you: that Christs Church hath his Government, and Officers; but your Church hath neither Christs Government, nor Officers. But what it will be upon the Reformation, I cannot tell.

But you say, they must want the Ordinances, or else they must have them with instruments, without ordination.

I answer This is untrue as hath been proved at large, in the answers to one of your former Reasons against Independancie.

But you say you would have them beare with the defects in your Church, G3r 53 Church, and waite till God give you more light.

I answer I know none that interrupteth you, for wee will neither meddle with your Idols, nor with your Gods: if you would but suffer us to worship our God, after the way that you call heresie.

The next thing you say is that they tell you that something may be omitted for a time, and that affirmatives binde not alwayes and that the exercise of Discipline may be forborne for a time, when it will not be for edification to the Church, but for destruction; and therefore you question them for not incorporating themselves into your Church, though something were more there to be desired, yet you say, there will be nothing contrary put upon them (nor quite another thing.)

Now that something may be omitted for a time, that may plainely appeare; for a man that hath brought his gift to the Altar, and there remembreth that his brother hath ought against him, must leave the offering of his gift, and goe and be reconciled to his brother, Matth. 5. 23. 24.

Now that affirmatives binde not alwayes, is plaine; for they binde not alwayes in cases of impossibility, but in such cases God accepteth the will for the deede.

Further, whereas you say, the excellencie of discipline may be forborne for a time, when it is not for Edification of the Church, but for destruction;

I say, true discipline, (being rightly used) is alwayes for the edification of the Church, and never for destruction.

And whereas you affirme, that there is nothing contrary put upon us by you, (or quite another thing;)

I ansswer, wee know you have none of Gods Ordinances, without some other thing to accompany them.

Fourthly, you say, that they may safely be members of your Church in the Reformation of you.

I answer, You might well have spared this your vaine repetition till you had obtained a Reformation.

But the Reason you have heard alleadged for their first going away granted in a letter from Rotterdam, that reason still remaines (though you say it is ceased) and will remaine till the Reformation, you have formerly promised.

But say you, that practise they judge themselves tied to, is founded upon a false principle (namely) that the power of government is given by Christ to the body of the Congregation.

I answer I have told you before, (in the reply to the second part of this your answer to their third Reason) & I now tell you G3 againe, G3v 54 againe, that you make your Priests the head and body both; but Christ hath given the power to the Church which is his body, by whose power every Officer, and member thereof, doth move, and doe their severall Offices.

Fifthly, There is, say you a medium, between persecution and a publike Toleration; a middle way, say you, betweene not suffering them to live in the Land, and granting them liberty.

I Answer, This is a very true thing, for Pharaoh would have beene willing, that the children of Israel, should have stayed in Egypt, and made him bricke, but he would not suffer them to goe into the wildernesse, to offer sacrifice. But if Pharoah had beene willing to have succoured the children of Israel, he would have commanded his taskemasters not to lay burthens upon them, that they could not beare; but he did not doe so, and therefore their bricke-making turned to persecution, even as your injunctions and penall Lawes doe here in England, and you binde them up with a pretence of his Majesties command, which makes the burthen very mighty.

By this it is plaine, that no good man can live in England without persecution, even at this day.

But you would have them to have a third way, for you say persons may live in the Land, and injoy their Lands and liberties, and not be compelled to professe, and practise, things against their conscience.

I pray you (Mr. Edwards) bethinke your selfe now, how untruly you speake and whether you doe not looke one day to give an account, for your words, for you know that no man can live in this land, and enjoy his lands and liberty, but he shall be forced to worship according to the custome of the Nation. Nay, children that be but sixteene years of age, though ignorant, and scandalous in their lives, are forced to receive the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, though it be to their utter condemnation.

Further you adde, that if upon petition to the Parliament, the Papists should have the Statutes repealed, which injoyne them to come to your Church, yet say you, the granting the Papists a publike toleration, for their Religion, would be quite another thing, in as much as you say though the Papists were the first in petitioning for the former, yet they move not for the latter.

For answer to this, I tell you;

First, That for granting the Papists publike exercises will not much crosse your principles, for they and you are naturall brethren.

Secondly, G4r 55

Secondly, for that they move not for the latter (as you say:) They neede not for they injoy it without moving, and till this Parliament, none hath disturbed them for many yeares.

But further, you adde; that so you judge that the Independant men may live in the land freely, and injoy their liberties and estates, (but you have your clause whereby you still crosse all your own tale; your clause is that it must be) by comming to your Churches, and enjoying the Ordinances.

Whereas you say so you judge, it presupposeth that the Papists doe come to your Churches, by what comes after, that it must be by comming to your Churches, and enjoying the Ordinances.

Indeede the Papists may come to your Churches, and injoy your Ordinances, for first they were their Ordinances, for when you apostated from Rome, you carried the Romish traditions with you; even as your forefathers in their apostacie from Christ Jesus, carried some of his Ordinances with them; so you retaine something of Gods, to make your owne ware passe in sale, and have patched you up a bundle of worship, borrowing also some Jewish and Heathenish Ceremonies to make up your packe; and will you be so kinde to suffer men to live in the land, if they will but submit to this worship and promise them they shall never be compelled, to professe or practise any more? Indeede you are very liberall but it hath beene often said already, (and you have said it your selfe) that the Independant men, cannot of conscience communicate with you before a Reformation: Therefore if this be the medium you have (betweene leaving the Land and toleration,) even that they must submit to your worship, you might have bequeathed this Legacie to some that would accept of it, and give you thankes, for the Lord hath bequeathed liberty to his Saints and Servants, and hath purchased it at a deare price; even that they should be freed from all Egyptian bondage; and hath commanded them to stand fast in that liberty, wherein he hath made them free: and whether they must obey Gods commands, or your counsell be judge your selfe.

Sixtly, you say, If the former answers will not satisfie, but that they must needs be in a Church-fellowship, as now they are then (you say) you you will shew them a way, according to their owne principles of a visible Church.

For answer whereof I must tell you, that fallacies and false conclusions upon mens words, (without bringing their conditions) can satisfie no man concerning the matter in hand; but it may satisfie all men of your evill minde, that you still labour to turne away the truth as it may appeare; by the way you here have chalked them out, to walke in; which is

That G4v 56

That because it is their principle (say you) that a few Saints joyned together in a Covenant, have power; therefore you imply that there should never neede a greater addition to them. Pag. 43. lin. 16. 17.

This you may know crosseth the whole Scripture as the very prophesies of the Church under the New Testament, that is to say, that a little one shall become a thousand, and a great one a strong Nation, Esay 60. 22. and that they should grow up as the Calves of the stall, Rev. 7. Mal. 4.2. not onely in greatnesse, but also in number: and esecially when the Lambe overcommeth, that is, even when the Saints overcome, by the blood of the Lambe, Rev. 12. 11. and the word of their testimony, not esteeming their lives to the death.

Therefore you might have saved your schollership, when you went about to teach them, to make Churches in houses, and also to come to your Church, to the Word, Prayer, and Sacraments; for they have not so learned Christ; to come one part of the day to worship before the Idols, and to stand another part before God, for if they should doe so, the Lord saith, (Ezek. 44. 13.) they should not come neere him, neither to doe the office of the Priest, nor to come neare the holy things, but that they should beare their shame, and their abomination.

Further, you might have saved your labour in teaching them, to make family Church es: for God hath directed them what to doe in their Families.

And it is not the practise of Gods people, to shut out from their prayers, and holy duties, them that are of their Family: for God gave his Law to Abraham for another end (namely) that he should teach it his Family, and by so doing, traine up members in his family, for Christs Family.

Further, you might have spared your care taken to shew a way for maintenance, for those men among us, that are schollers bred, for if you can find no better maintenance for them, then to come and be Lecturers amongst you (as you would have them) and to live in hope of the gifts of the dead; that is no good provision: for, for want of those shooes men may goe long barefooted, seeing they cannot (by your owne confession) doe that of conscience till there be a Reformation. But you might rather have perswaded your Parish Priests to have bequeathed some of their large revenewes unto them: for whether they have Parsonage or Vicarage their pole-money comes in so thicke to them and their followers, that it would make any sober minded man or woman to wonder how they can consume it: for besides their ordinary tithes or maintenance, whiech is the principall, they have many other petty dues, which they require of every one of the Kings H1r 57 Kings subjects, & they are not so reasonable as his Majestie, which is contended with pole-money from his subjects, from 16. yeares old, and upward, but they will have a share out of him that is borne without life (as it will plainely be proved) for if a dead child be borne into the world, they will be paid for reading a dirge over it, before it shall be laid in the earth, and they will be apt to inferre, that that their deere brother is departed in the faith, though it be the childe of theeves and murderers, and the like.

Further, they will yet have another patrimony for the birth of that childe, for before the mother dare goe abroade, shee must have their blessing; that the Sun shall not smite her by day, nor the Moone by night; for which blessing of theirs, they must have an offering, and the like they require for all the children that be borne into this world, though there live not one of sixe to be men or women.

But for as many of them as doe live, they enlarge their Revenewes, for, if they live to come to the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, then they must pay their offerings yearely to the Priest, though the bread and wine be provided at the parishes charge.

Further, if they live to enter into the state of Matrimony, then they must be joyned together by a Priest, for which worke of his he must have a large Offering.

And these men be not content to take money where there is money (as the King is) but they will have these (which they call dues) of him that liveth of the very almes of the Parish, whereas the King taketh not a penny of any that receive almes.

Then if we consider their exaction how they oppresse the people, by their cruell forcing of them to pay so much as they demand, (though it be contrary to all Law or equity) it will cause us to wonder at the hardnesse of their hearts for rather then they will abate any thing of what they demand they will force poore people even to pawne their cloathes; for I am able to prove that they doe demand of poore people before they can have a childe (that is but fourteene, or fifteene yeares of age) buried in one of the out-Church-yards of the great Parishes (which land is the free gift of the dead, for the helpe of the poore, even as Creplegates new Church-yard, or Algates, Rosemary lane, or White Chappell; Mile-in greene, (or others the like;) before (I say) they can have such a child buried there, it will cost the poorest parent, seven or eight shillings: Nay, I have knowne when they have distrusted paiment, that they have affirmed, that they would not bury them, except they had their money paid before hand: Nay, when any poore man bringeth out of the remote places of the city any H Corps H1v 58 Corps to Bedlam (which is the cheapest place that I know) yet when all things else is discharged, even as, Bearers wages, Grave- diggers wages, and the ground paied for also; yet they must be constrained to have a twelve-penny Priest, to say something over the grave, and he will grudge if he have not more than a shilling (though he say but a few words without the booke) when (perhaps) all the people that be left alive in the Family, be not worth a shilling.

Furthermore, If any poore man have a necessitie to worke, upon one of their Saints-dayes, then Mr. Paritor must come, and have a grote, for citing him to the Court, but if he appeare not, he must be Presented, and for not paying Fees, he shall be Excommunicated, and he shall never be blessed in again, but (though he be the poorest man in the Kingdome) the price of his blessing will be a noble at the least: but if he happen to die an Excommunicant, then his friends must give money to absolve him after he is dead, or else he shall not be buried in the consecrated Earth: but if his friends will goe to the Office, and give but a matter of five pound for his Absolution, after he is dead; then he shall be buried in the Consecrated ground; and they will also affirme he died in the Faith of Christ, yet though he were excommunicated for notorious sinne, and lived and died obstinately in it.

It is a plaine case therefore, that these men are a greater plague to this Land, then the naturall Locusts of Egypt, for they ate up the greene things, but these eate up both greene and dry.

Nay, further, I conceive they are more prejudiciall to the Common wealth, than the Frogges that came up upon the Land of Egypt, for they entred into the Oven, and into the Kneading Trough: and wee reade not that they ascended higher than the Kings bed, and the beds of his Servants; but these are exalted above the Chimney tops, to catch a Smoke-penny from every poore mans house.

Thus you see the mighty Revenewes of the Priests: If I had but time to tell you of the things which I know (even of the extent of their Revenewes) what is gained unto the generality of Priests, by granting of Licenses to Midwives, and to Schoolemasters, with divers of their own Officers, such as Paritors, Sumners, & Pursevants, with a number of that Ranke, which have strange names that I know not, It would (as I said before) make all men wonder, how it is devoured: for they must be freed from all taxations, and have their houses rent free, and many times eate their bread at other mens tables, and yet (for the most part) they die poore men, and farre in debt, and leave behinde them H2r 59 them both wives and children, destitute of Calling and Maintenance, which is a plaine case to me, that the hand of God is upon this Generation, in cursing that which they would have blessed. And therfore I will confesse that I was overseene (in the entrance into this Discourse) when I moved you to perswade these men to bequeath some thing to their brethren, (that are Schollers bred;) for I did not consider, that though they received much, yet they had but little to give, because it is not blessed for increase: but I should rather have comforted you, with giving you knowledge, that God hath provided maintenance for his Ministers; as well as for his People, that they neede not bow to you for a morsell of bread; for God taught his Apostles to worke with their hands, as Paul saith, that his hands ministred to his necessities, and those that were with him, Acts 20. 34. not that Paul might not receive of the people carnall things, for he declareth the contrary in another Scripture, and I hope, all the Lords people will confesse that the labourer is worthy of his hire, and that it is their duty to make them partakers of their carnall things, of whom they receive spirituall things.

Further, you are carefull to have them sober, and peaceable, and not to preach and speake against what is established by Law. Pag. 45.

Indeede (I must tell you) in my judgement, no man can make way for a true Reformation, except hee declare what is evill, before he shew what is good.

Further you say, you suppose subscriptions will not be injoyned to formes of Government and Discipline.

Here you seeme to yeeld that your Formes of Government and Discipline be not of God; then if there be no injunction, none will obey, but if injunctions, none will obey for conscience; for what good man can yeeld to an injunction that is not of God, so then, (you may see) your injunctions have beene the way and meanes to breed and bring forth a world of hypocrites, as one may easily see by the Timeservers of your Church.

But you say, that without a toleration we may injoy in a secret way our Church fellowship.

Indeede (M. Edwards) we have learned that lesson already for Christ hath taught us, that we shall fly into the Wildernesse, Rev. 12. 14 and that the earth shall helpe us Verse 16. but sometimes it proves to the danger of our lives, and alwayes to the danger of our liberty; as it may appeare by the practise herein London, for though wee meete never so privately, and peaceably, yet such Cattle as your selfe, are alwayes bleeting in the eares of your Parish Officers, and Constables, with your other Officers, even till you move the H2 Lord H2v 60 Lord Major himself to be your drudge, and as your horne, which you push forward for the destruction of our bodies, when he hath laid violent hands on them, for it is evident that it hath beene to the losse of some of their lives; and this is the liberty we have in this Kingdome, and all through the instigation of you Priests.

But you say, though some of the more sober and conscientious Ministers and people could use it better, yet the Brownists and Anabaptists, and weake brethren would be apt to scandall: and therefore to avoid scandall, you would insinuate that we are bound to neglect the whole forme of Church worship.

I told you before, and I tell you now, that you are afraid to have your owne glory ecclipsed and by this all men may see, (and by all your formers answers also) that you would have us to enjoy in this Kingdome, neither Ordinances, nor conscience.

The next thing you lay downe, is the judgement of an antient Father; But indeede he is as sound in the faith as your selfe, for hee would have men to joyne to Churches that have no power. Pag. 46. li. 28.

And this being the sixth answer that you have given to their third reason, you entreat them to lay all your sixe together, and to consider saflawed-reproductiony, whether God require, unlesse they have a toleration to leave the Kingdome to runne many hazards, and dangers, when as they may enjoy, so much at home, without a Toleration, as you say you have opened up these sixe answers.

To wchh I answer, when they are all six together, they make but a peece of an answer to one of their Reasons, and this piece of your answer is stuffed full of falicies, as hath beene already proved, and may further appeare, by the conclusion of all here, when you say they may have so much at home, for it hath beene proved already, that they can have nothing at home, either in respect of liberty, or worship; (but what they must have by stealth; for when they would injoy the Ordinances of God, which are Jewels, which you would have none to have but your selves, that so you might seeme glorious; If any (I say) will presume to borow the Jewels, and carry them away, you will pursue after them; and you know it was the practise of the Egyptians of old, for they would have suffered the Israelites to have gone away empty, and left their cattle behinde them, so that they might have had nothing with them to have offered sacrifice withall and I pray you were not the Southsayers the cause of this? bywithstanding Moses and Aaron, against the children of Israel, even by the false Figures which they have cast before the eyes of Pharaoh, to harden Pharoahs heart, even as you Priests doe at this day.

And H3r 61

And thus I have laid together your sixe Reasons, and weighed them; but one truth is sufficient to overweigh them all.

But yet you have also a seventh Answer which is by it selfe: and it is this, That if they will not be satisfied (say you) without setting up Churches; it is better they should get out of the Kingdome.

Besides, you would have all others that be of this minde, to leave the Land, and goe to New-England, that cannot be satisfied, but that they must erect Churches to the disturbing of the peace of three Kingdomes.

Truely (Mr. Edwards) you shew your selfe a bloody minded man, that would have the Innocent suffer for the faults of them that are guilty. Was not the sending of your Masse-bookes into Scotland the cause of the disturbance? and hath it not appeared plaine enough to the Parliament and to the Scots, before the Parliament sate, that the Bishops and Priests were the cause of the disturbance? I doubt not but you have read both the Scotish Intentions, and their Demands, with their Declarations, which have plainely manifested, who and what was the cause of the disturbance, it was not the meeting of a handfull of the Lords people, which ever sought and do seeke the good and wellfare of the three Kingdomes, with the life & happy reigne of their Soveraigne Lord the King, who alwayes sue unto God for the peace of the Kingdome, in whose peace they may enjoy peace: but contrariwise, it plainely appeares, that it was you and your Fathers house which caused this variance.

But say you, it will be no great harme for many of them to goe away.

I answer, It is like you apprehend the Judgements of God comming upon you, and you thinke to be eased, by driving out the Lords people in haste.

Further, you say, you would rather goe to the uttermost parts of the earth to live in a meane and hard condition, rather than you would disturbe the peace or good of three Kingdomes.

For Answer, to this I must tell you, I would you had considered this before you had done it. But now seeing God of his mercy hath reconciled them againe, it may be the wisedome of you and your fellowes, to depart unto Rome, that Gods true Religion may be set up here in England without Popish Injunctions, that so the last errour be not worse than the first; for you say, It is better that one perish than Vnity; therefore (in my judgement) it is better that they should runne the hazard, who have occasioned the strife.

H3 Further, H3v 62

Further, you plead for your selfe and for hundreds of your brethren, that you have borne the brunt of the times, and yet you doe professe that you will submit to what is established by Law, because you hope it will be blessed and glorious.

I tell you, you are even like Isachers Asse, and so are the rest of your fellowes, even willing to stoope downe between two burdens, because ease is good: for the Law indeede makes every thing seeme glorious; but for any brunt that you have borne in these last times; I thinke it hath not over-loaded you; for I have not heard that you have beene at two pence cost, to maintaine the Lords people in prison; and therefore you are very unlike to Obadiah, for instead of hiding of the Lords people, you cry out upon the Parliament to have them hunted; and this is a great brunt indeed, (if it be well considered) and it is doubt it will cost you deare, (by that time you have paid your reckoning) except God give you repentance.

But you further expresse, that you would not set up true Churches against a true Church.

I answer, neither would these Independant men, I hope, for those things which God teacheth his servants to doe, be not against the truth, but for the truth, neither can they be any cause of Divisions, or heart-burnings, betweene either Ministers or People.

And thus you may see, and behold, that your seventh Answer (to their third Reason) that you have now left alone, is a Noune Adjective in respect of proving any thing that you brought it for.

You say their fourth Reason is, that if the Ministers and Churches be not tolerated, they are afraid that in time they shall draw most of the good people out of the Land after them.

And for answer to this, you say, you suppose they rather hope than feare it and that, (say you) plainely sheweth, they have a good conceit of themselves, and of their owne way.

For answer to you, I say, that this your Answer is but a Supposition, neither do I know whether it be their Reason for methinks it sounds somewhat like Nonsense, but your Supposition will not prove them to have a good conceit of themselves, neither of any way of their owne; for it is the way of the Lord Jesus Christ, that they plead for.

Secondly, you say, you feare too, but not as they doe, but your feare is, least toleration should draw away many good people.

I pray you trouble not your selfe, too much, for if there be no H4r 63 no toleration, the good people will flye from you, and stand a farre off, and waite for the Reformation which you have all this while promised.

But now at last you seeme to make a doubt of any Reformation at all, when you say, If the Ceremonies and Liturgie stand in full force Pag. 48. lin. 14. which presupposeth, that you conceive they will stand still; but no doubt, but if they be setled by Law, they will seeme glorious to you, although they are in themselves Romish Traditions.

Further, you adde, if these stand in force, and Churches tolerated, they will make brave worke in a short time.

I answer, you are so fearefull least the Lords people should enter into the citie of promise, that it is very like you never intend to enter in your selfe; and that makes you gather up your hopes, in the midst of all your feares: setting a worke your confidence, that God will preserve many judicious, and advised Christians from your way; and therefore you counsell them, to whom you speake, to let them be well shipped, and a Reformation in Government and Ministers; and then you say your feare will be over.

Truely methinkes you patch your matter together very disorderly: for you have many times said, that upon a Reformation they would communicate with you.

But now you would have them well shipt, Pag. 48. lin. 20. which I thinke is the Reformation which you desire: as may appeare by the confused speech which you make afterwards; for you say; When there is a Reformation amongst you in Government and Ministers, that feare is over with you; and your Reason is, because when that which first bred these men What it is that bred the Separates. is taken away, which (say you) was the violent pressing of Ceremonies, and the casting out of good Ministers; and many notorious persons being suffered in the Church of England without all censures, shall be removed; many (say you) will not be bred, and others will be satisfied, and some godly painefull Ministers of the Church of England would out-preach them, and out-live them.

To this I answer, you seemed in the beginning of your Answer, to make them proud persons, or conceited of themselves. But now methinkes, I heare you boast very much of your selfe, and others of your Church.

But I thinke it may be very true: for you cannot chuse but out-preach them, if you preach them out of the Kingdome.

And it is very like you may out-live them also; if you can but banish them into some hard country, or else get them into some stinking prison, as you and the rest of your Fathers house have done very lately.

But H4v 64

But further you adde, that you and your fellowes, will compare with them for all excellencies and abilities.

Methinkes it had beene more credit for you to have given your neighbours leave to speake.

But now you have advanced your selfe, you labour to cast them downe, for you say, you knew many of them long before they fell flawed-reproductionis way, but you have not seene any of them better, nor more profitable for you say, whilst they were in the Church of England, they preached often, and now seldome.

I Answer, it is very like they dare not tell such as you when they preach, that cry out to the Parliament to disturbe their meetings.

Further, you say, they go looser in their apparel and haire.

I answer, I know some indeede that have beene constrained to change their apparell for feare of persecution and (it may be) the haire you were offended at, might be some Perriwigge, which some of them have beene constrained through feare to put on, to blinde the eyes of the Bishops Blood-hounds, when they have come to take them.

Further, you exclaime against them, that they take lesse care for publike things that concerne the glory of God, and the salvation of mens soules.

I answer, if their care be so little, you may wonder, what makes them to take this paines, and care to travell out of a farre countrey, to sue to the Parliament, by humble petition, for freedom of conscience, and liberty for Gods publike worship, which are things most concerning the glory of God, and the salvation of mens soules.

Further, you accuse them, that their spirits are growne narrow, like their Churches, and that they grow strange, reserved, and subtill; further, you say, in a word, they minde little else, but the propagation of their Independant way.

For answer whereof I say to you, that it is no marvell though their spirits grow narrow, towards such an Adversarie as your selfe and great cause they have to be strange towards you, and reserved and subtill also.

But whereas you say their Churches be narrow: I say they are even like the way to heaven or the gate that leadeth unto life, which is so narrow, that such as you can hardly enter in thereat.

But if their greatest care be (as you say) to set up the Independant way Pag. 49. l. 9. 10. (which is the way of God:) This still crosseth your former slander of them, that they little minde the publike good, and I1r 65 and salvation of mens soules. But that this is true (namely, that they minde little else but the propagation of their Independant way) you bring the Protestation Protested to witnesse, which Testimony maketh them peacable men, because they desire to meddle with no mans businesse but their owne.

And if they minde little else but to set up the Independant way, then it will also crosse your following speech, (which you say, you speak from your conscience and experience) that never any of them, had so large a spirit for good, after they fell into that way, nor tooke such care (you say) for the propagation of the Gospell, and preaching the Word to men without.

I tell you, indeede if they did not take care to preach the Word to men without, they would never come to preach amongst you, much lesse would they then sue for libertie so to doe, (as the Welsh Ministers have done) if they had not a desire to informe the ignorant, in those truths that God hath revealed to them.

And therefore you may see in your accusations against them, you are proved a very slanderer, and have taken upon you the office of Sathan, the old accuser of the Brethren.

But you conceive God never honoured them so much afterward.

But seeing it is but your conception, it matters not; for if they were active for God, and did famously and worthily before they entred into the way of God, I am sure they could not but be more active afterwards; for when a man is in a Journey (especially if he know or conceive himselfe to be out of the way) he goeth on heavily till he meeteth with some directer, either to informe him that he is in the right way, or to direct him how he shall get into it; and being setled in his right way, hee goeth on more cheerefully, and actively than hee could doe in the time of his doubting; even so it must needs be with these men, as I said before.

Againe, you say, that the men that hold those principles of Separation, God did never honour much.

I answer, it seemes you thinke Gods thoughts are as your thoughts, and because you seeke for the praise of men and have it, and a few men honour them: and because Christs flocke is a little flocke, therefore you imagine they are not honoured of God, which is very carnall reasoning.

But as you have slandered the men all this while; so now you here slander their way (and principles) which way is the way of God, and whose principles are Gods truthes; yet (you say) there is such a malignitie cleaves to it, even as doth to the Episcopacie.

I This I1v 66

This is a very great slander, to compare Gods wayes to the wayes of Sathan, in saying there is such a malignity cleaving to it, which alters mens spirits, and makes their hearts worse; and yet you here confesse, that many of them continue good in the maine.

Thus much for your Fourth Reason.

You say, their fifth Reason is, That this is no other but envy in the Ministers, that makes them against Toleration, because they feare their people will desert from them, and come to us, being so pure in Ordinances, and Churches; and thus you say the Protestation Protested speakes.

Your answer to this Reason is,

1. That it is not out of envie, but you hold their practise sinfull and unwarrantable to separate from your Churches, and to erect such Congregations, and therefore you say, you speake against it, and that you here promise to make good in a following Discourse.

For answer to this, I must tell you, that it is not your denying it to be out of Envie, that will cleare you, for there is nothing appeares more plainer, than that envie against the truth, and the Professors thereof, was the cause of your writing against Toleration.

And that it is through feare your people will desert, is plaine, by your own confession in your Fourth Reason; where you say, that if the Liturgie, and Ceremonies, stand in force, and Toleration be granted, they will make brave worke in a short time, and yet you hope some judicious Christians (as you say) will be kept from their way.

But in that you here say, you hold the practise sinfull and unwarrantable.

You have made that part of your judgement knowne already before, but your judgement was grounded upon no true Principle; and therefore it hath beene already proved to be erroneous.

And whereas you say, you will make it good to be fruitfull in a following Discourse:

I answer, If you can but make men beleeve this, you will worke a wonder. But I know it is impossible, for you to make good your promise, and therefore I cannot expect performance.

Now to cleare your selfe.

2. You say, it cannot be counted envie in Ministers, to be unwilling to have their flocks, and people fall from them.

I answer, By so saying, you rather confirme their Reason than remove it, (namely) that it was your feare of the deserting of your people.

But for you to insinuate, that the people that be called out of a way of sinne, and brought into the way of grace, and liberty; be stollen a67way I2r 67 way, and tempted away by strangers (as you would make it) concluding that it is as tolerable for children to forsake their parents, renouncing the wombe that bare them, and the pappes that gave them sucke, throwing dirt in the face of father and mother, as it is for a man to forsake Idolatrous worship; this is an unjust comparison, and crosseth the whole tenor of the Scripture.

Now you would make this your owne case, for you allude to your spirituall children, who (say you) are the fruit of your labours.

I pray you, how can you count the Parish of St. Elens your spirituall children, seeing you are there but an hireling; and as you have not begotten them to the Faith, so you have not taken the charge of them, to watch over them as a Spirituall Father, and you will onely preach to them so long as any will pay you wages, but no longer; how then have you converted them to God? from what have you converted them? or what have you converted them too? hve you turned them from serving dumbe Idols, to serve the living God? I have heard of no great change of them, nor of any other where you have preached; you found them in the Church of England, and you found them Christians, (in your owne judgement) and you know they were baptized, when you came to them; and in the same Church where you found them, there you leave them; I pray you, how have you begotten them to God? you found them under a false power, submitting to a false worship, and you justifie them as men begotten to God, and you justifie their standing there. Thus doe you sow pillowes of flatteries under their elbowes.

But you neede not to feare any mans comming to steale your Disciples away by night, as the Jewes gave out falsely of Christs naturall body, for that was but a lie; therefore let no man presume to lie by their example.

But you say therefore you ought to watch against us, (and ought not to sleepe) least they should be stolne Pag. 50. lin 23 to lin. 29. away.

I answer, so did the Jewes watch the naturall body of Christ and yet he by his power raised himselfe, and also departed from them; even so by the same power will he raise from the death of sinne many that are amongst you, and will cause them to separate themselves from your false worshipping, and from you that are false worshippers, and he will tell them where he feedeth his sheepe, and causeth them to lie downe at noone. Cant. 1.7.

Neither can you cleare your selfe by saying, you pitty them, and love them, and would not have such a sword as a toleration put into their I2 hands I2v 68 hands (as you are pleased to say) to hurt them, though some amongst them (say you) might perhaps use it better.

I pray you feare not this, (which you here call an error on the right hand) but rather feare your Church, if (as you say) your Liturgie and Ceremonies stand still in force, which (you say) were the cause that bred the Separates. Pag. 48. l. 23, 24.

I tell you, if the same cause remaine you may justly feare, it will take the same effect; you have also as great cause to feare the prophanenesse and Atheisme, which is seated in the hearts of most of your people, but onely that you blesse your selfe, in hope that all ignorant and scandalous persons shall be driven out. But I pray you tell me, whither doe you intend to drive them? if you leave them any where in the Land, they will be still of your Church: except you will make you a new Church: But if you should drive them out of the Land, you would leave many places of the Land uninhabited; for the generalitie of the people (in most parts) be ignorant, and prophane; and thus you may see your selfe in a great streight, and therfore you have great cause to feare.

Further, you say, the Author would intimate that the honest soules are with them, and would be for their way; but as for those that are against their way and Toleration, they are not such honest soules.

If this Author be the Protestation Protested, you have wrested his words, for he hath not said they are not such honest soules neither hath he entred into judgement against any.

But further, (you say) you would have them know that the honest soules are not onely with them: for in the Church of England (say you) there ever have beene, and are honest Ministers and people, that have rejected our way, and any that fell to it, nay the greatest Nonconformists, and most able in that way (you say) have written the most against our way, and laboured upon all occasions to preserve the people from falling to us.

For answer whereof, I must tell you, that the Ministers, and people, were never the honester for rejecting of that way, (which hath beene proved to be the way of God) though they were the greatest Nonconformists in the world: for it is not our way properly, but the gift of the Father, which he hath given us, to walke in; and surely, it is no signe of honesty to commend the Saints in their infirmities, or to condemne them in their workes of pietie, I say, it is no signe of an honest soule to speak evill of such a holy way: I tell you, I take Hugh Latimer to be an honest soule, though he have declared both by word and writing against such as you; and affirmed, that a lay man fearing God, is much more fit to understand the holy Scripture, then a proud and I3r 69 and arrogant Priest; yea, then the Bishop himselfe be hee never so great and glistering in all his pontificalls: and such honest soules (though they are not of the Clergie, but of those whom you call the Layetie:) are the fittest men on the earth to make Churches, and to chuse their owne Ministers (as I said before) though they be Trades-men; and such as these have dependancie upon Christ alone, whose way is properly the sincere way of God. And as for any that have writ against this way (or against those who walke uprightly in it,) it will not make much for their account, for that part of their worke shall burne (as well as yours) though they may be saved: and as for these Authors which here you bring, which have beene so carefull (as you say) to keepe the people from falling into that way; I have reade some of their bookes, and found the most of them, prophesie sad things against the Church of England, except she repent.

Their sixth Reason (you say) is, that they are good men, and men of great gifts, and therefore they should be tolerated to have such Churches, it is pitty they should leave the Land, and wee loose their prayers.

Indeede (Mr. Edwards) this may be some other, mans Reason, on their behalfe, but I hardly beleeve, that they lived so farre from good neighbours, that they must set forth their owne praise.

But for answer to this Reason, in the first place; you say, the better men they be, and the more able, the worse, to set up separated Churches.

To this I answer, that I ever conceived by the Scripture, that those that Christ ordained, to plant his Churches were good men, as it was said of Barnabas, that he was a good man Acts 11. 24. and the very like was said of Stephen Acts 6. 5. 8. 10. and therefore me thinks you are shreudly mistaken.

But further, you say, they will the more indanger the peace of the Kingdome, and make the Schismes greater.

I answer, If it be good and able men that indanger the peace of the Kingdome, you may doe well to perswade the Parliament, to keepe still in your Church, all the dumb and drunken Priests: for they are bad enough, and unable to doe good, and yet of my knowledge, they are very able to disturbe the peace, and to breed strife, and to bring Gods judgements upon the Land, which is able to make a greater Schisme than you are aware of.

I3 Secondly, I3v 70

Secondly, you say, for their prayers, you have the benefit of them, as well when they are absent, as present, and some of them have said (say you) they prayed more for England when out, of it than in it.

Indeede if they did so, they did well, for that was their duty; but I suppose you (for your particular) had little benefit of those prayers, and that, because God hath hardened your heart, ever against them, and all good men.

Thirdly, For these their prayers you have rewarded them with an accusation (namely) that they left the Kingdome, when it was in greatest danger, and in most neede of helpe, and provided for themselves to keepe in a whole skinne.

I answer, if they did evill in it, that evill is to be passed by; for it is very probable, that they did know that the Great Canons were already made, and that they were mightily charged, and overcharged, as it may appeare by their shivering in pieces: but if they had held to have beene shot off; they might easily perceive, that they might beate holes in their owne skins, as well as in other mens, and they seeing the plague before hand, might be borne with to hide themselves.

But you say you stood without them here in the gappe, and prevailed with God.

I answer, It may be conceived, that they prevailed with God, who prayed so much for England, when they were out of it, for God will not heare sinners, Ioh. 9. 31. therefore you cannot expect that God should heare you, so long as you justifie the abominations of your bespotted Church; and you know Moses prevailed for Egypt, when he was out of the city. Exod. 9. 29. 33.

But you say it is better to want their company, than to buy it at so dear a rate as a toleration, and you say you question not, but the Kingdome will doe well enough without them.

Is it possible, that you should enjoy the benefite of the prayers of those that you so much sleight, and set so little by their company, that rather then they shall have liberty, to worship God in a peaceable way (by your will) they should depart the Kingdome, when it is proved, by the Word of God, that Gods servants are the strength & glory of the Kingdome: for even as the Prophets were the Charets and Horsemen of Israel, so are they that feare the Lord, a support to the Kingdome and Common-wealth wherein they live.

But as for your Kingdome of Priests, it shall neither stand without them, nor with them, for though the Prophets sought to heale Babel, yet it could not be healed I4r 71 healed, for your hornes shall be knocked off; and methinks I heare the decree gone forth, that your Kingdome is devided, and therefore you have neede, to set downe your resolution, that it shall not long stand, but the Kingdome of England may safely stand with Toleration.

Fourthly, you say for this Objection of being good men, you will answer it at large in another Tractate, wherein (you say) you shall minde men of many dangers that may arise to them from good and eminent men; and further, you say you will fully shew what little strength is in that Reason, and cleare also many things in reference to that Objection.

I answer, when I see this performed, I will take it into consideration, and then you may heare more of my minde; in the meane while, I rest in the Scriptures; which satisfie me, that good men ever bring a blessing.

Pag 52. The next thing you bring is this question (namely) whether conscientious men, who agree with you in the maine in points of Doctrine, and practise, may be tolerated and spared, in some things wherein they differ from that which is commonly received.

Indeede you have made divers answers to this already for it was before your owne question, in some of your Reasons alledged against them, where you affirme, that you justifie much, both bearing and forbearing, and have also set the Counsell of ancient Fathers before them, to teach them to beare with others both in points of Doctrine and practise, wherein they may something differ from that which is commonly received.

But here further, you adde a more large answer, That you still say it is your judgement, that there should be bearing in many differences of opinions and practise, so as Christians ought not to judge nor censure one another, nor refuse communion and fellowship, by not admitting men into their Churches, and to the Ordinances.

You have seemed (all this while) to be afraid least they should admit too many into their Churches, and now you seeme to say, it is the fault of the Independant Churches to deny communion to many Saints for some differences in judgment; about Church-Government and Orders. Now if this be true (as you say it is) they are so farre from stealing away your members, that they will not receive them into fellowship, if there be differences in judgment, When Stephen Gardiner harped upon unitie, unitie, yea Sir (said Latimer) but in Veritie, not in Popery: better is a Diversitie than a Unitie in Popery. for which you here seeme to blame them, and therefore I think you would have them open the mouthes of their Churches wider, even as wide as yours. But the Scripture hath declared, that the gates of the holy city, are of I4v 72 of an equall widenesse, for they are never shut, Rev. 21. 25 and yet they are so well watched by the Angels of God, even the Ministers of Christ Jesus, that there shall be no uncleane thing suffered to enter in thereat, &c. Rev. 21. 27. Here you may see if any of you attempt to come in (who are so ignorant and scandalous and spotted (as you say they be) they shall not be suffered amongst us; for indeede they are fit for no society, but the society of your Fathers house: yet (I say) of any of these doe creepe in, it is through the neglect of the Portor, which the Lord hath set to watch, or else it must needs be by their cunning transfiguring themselves to be that which they are not.

Pag. 52. But (you say) you would not have men forced to change their mindes, and opniinions, by casting them violently out of the Ministry and Church which (you say) was the practise of many in these late times, and hath caused so many Schismes and strifes amongst you.

Well, here all men may take notice, that it was the cruelty of the Clergie, that caused the Schismes and strifes, by forcing men to change their mindes, and not the practise of the Separation (as you here acknowledge) therefore in this confession you have crossed the tenor of many of your other arguments, as that the Saparates have caused strife in the three Kingdomes, and that they had made the rents and Schismes, which now you acknowledge to be done by them (that force men to change their mindes) which are the Clergie of England.

Further, you say, that you approve not of such practises, but desire to be a follower, and lover of the wayes of peace and communion, with any who (agree in the maine, and have something of God and Christ in them.

I answer, if you approve not of such practises, I hope you will not hereafter be an occasion to move Magistrates to force men to change their mindes, and so justifie your selfe in that you condemne in others, for you confesse your selfe, that though these Independant mens spirits be growne narrow (even closed up from you) yet they continue good in the maine; Pag. 49. lin. 31.obscured and then sure they have something of God, and of Christ in them.

You say further, that the practise of the antient Fathers, that pleaded for bearing, are infinitely pleasing to you.

I answer, if they be infinitely pleasing to you, I hope you will never be unpleased againe, with any of the Lords servants, about keeping of dayes, which you say was the difference betweene these Fathers. Pag. 52. lin. 33. 34.

Moreover, you seeme to inferre, that because Siprian (whom you confesse, erred in the point of rebaptizing) would not condemne them, who K1r 73 who were of a contrary opinion: that therefore men may be tolerated in their differences of opinions.

But here you have brought an erring Father (by your owne confession) to perswade us to keepe communion with those that are contrary minded; but the Apostle exhorteth us to labour to be of one minde, that we may walke by one rule, but if any be otherwise minded, we ought to waite till God reveile further, and not to force him to be of our minde, till he hath faith in himselfe, grounded upon the Word of God. But that ground which you have (that men should be tolerated in their differences of opinions) is built upon the sayings of this Father Ciprian.

But presently you come with your provisall, which hath quite altered the Case, your provisall is (they may be tolerated) so long as they keepe communion with the Church, and submit to the Discipline and orders, and be peaceable, and not speake against what is established by common consent nor practise to the scandall and contempt of the Magistrate and Church.

I answer, this is but even a crossing of your owne speech againe, for this constraining of men to yeeld to whatsoever is established by common consent, is but a forcing of men to change their minds; which you said before, was the cause of Schismes and strifes, and though you approve not of it in others, yet (it seemes) you could freely practise it your selfe, as may plainely appeare by what you speake hereafter, which is the very same thing which you have often spoke already; that is, If a few men (halfe a dozen, or halfe a score) refuse communion with your Church, and vent opinions every where, to the disturbing of the Kingdome, and drawing disciples after them, though they were Ministers of gold, and had the tongues of men and Angels, they should not be tolerated.

Now you have strucke up the stroke, but it will not serve your turne; for this your vaine insinuation (that they disturbe the Kingdome and draw Disciples after them,) hath beene many a time disproved already, because it hath beene oftentimes repeated by you, to fill up your matter; nay your owne words have disproved your selfe, where you say, they will not receive them into fellowship except they be of their mindes. For this see his eigth Reason against Toleration. pag. 32. lin. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27.

But further (you say) you would have us to reade Calvin upon that subject, in his last Epistle to Felerius: The matter you say is this, that if He would not be reduced into order, the Ministers should tell him, that he is not to be accounted as a brother, because he disturbed the common discipline.

What the Disciscipline was that he disturbed I cannot tell, but you say it was a Discipline that was common, which makes it K appeare K1v 74 appeare to mee, that it was like your Booke-worship or your Common Prayer-booke, which is common as farre as the Pope hath any preheminence or jurisdiction; and that you confesse this Common Discipline, was not the Discipline of God, neither a Discipline that you approve of, appeares by your owne words.

That you judge it not of God, appeares here in your following words; where you grant this to be the authority of men, and that it is not to be sought after it: &c. and you know the things that they decreed was. that he that would not submit to the Synod must be put out of his place; and you say, that you would not have any cast out of the Ministery, or Church, because it breedeth Schismes Pag. 26. and by this it appeares, that you allow not of this manner of Discipline, and by this one may also plainely see, that you are made all of contradictions, as it may plainely appeare in the very next words following, where you conclude, that the authority of men is not to be sought, when the Spirit of God pronounceth of such, &c. and here you quote the 1 Cor. 11. 19. where you would make Paul an author of casting men out of their places, because they would not yeeld to the Synod. I pray you, hath Paul in this Chapter discoursed of any such thing? was not the controversie here about long haire about which Paul saith the Church hath no such custome of contention; and doth not Paul himselfe put the thing to be judged by the Church? in the thirteenth verse, where he saith, Judge in your selves, Is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? and further, in the 14th. verse, Doth not nature it selfe teach us, that if a man have long haire it is a shame unto him? and was not this Doctrine grounded in the Law and Prophets, and confirmed and established by God long before the Apostles time? yes surely it was, and therefore it will not serve your turne, to prove that Synods may decree Customes, for the Church of God; but it will serve your turne to prove what you desire, that is, a dependancie betweene Rome and England, and that the Bishops of Rome and England by their Synods should make all their shavelings to crouch and submit, and bow to their injunctions; for your owne practises prove it, by your very submitting, be it never so contrary to the Law of God and of Nature it selfe, if it be confirmed by a Synod; and therefore it appeares that it is your malignity of spirit, which causeth you to write as you doe.

But you say you doe it from a zeale;

But I tell you, it is a zeale against Gods glory and the good of his Church, and against the preservation of puritie of Dotrine, and holinesse of life, even at the best like unto the zeale which K2r 75 which Paul had, before hee knew Christ, when he went with Letters from the high Priest, to persecute the Church of God, and when he was their Pursevant, to enter into houses, and to hale men and women to prison Acts 8. 3. if Paul should have said for himselfe, as you would now pleade for your selfe, that peace could not stand with toleration, and therefore it was meete to disturbe their meetings, it would not have served his turne, for if God had not stricken him downe in the way he should never have seene the Lord Jesus (but to his confusion) though he was a man every way as well informed as your selfe.

Yea, he might have pleaded as well as you, that he did it not out of passion, but that he had thoughts of the Church way before; for you may know that Paul was a member of the Church of the Jewes, which was erected by God, and was zealous for the Law, and mighty in knowledge being brought up at the feete of Gamaliel, Act. 22. 3. and also a free borne Roman, Ver. 28. and yet he neither knew Christ, Ver. 8. nor what Christ would have him to doe, Ver. 10. but hee thought other wayes of himselfe, or else he would not have persecuted the professors of the truth, but that hee imagined there was evill in the practise of the truth; even as you say you apprehend evill in the practise of Independancie, though they see it not that practise it, because (say you) they are ingaged in it, but it was ignorance in Paul, so to thinke, and so (at the best) it is ignorance in you. Therefore you have no neede to say, that you see more evill in it, than the Independants can doe, but you should rather have said you seeme to see, for you cannot see an evill where none is.

But you wish that the Independant Ministers, would consider what hath beene written.

I answer, Indeede (for my part) if their considerations be as mine, and though they consider it as I doe, without partialitie, yet they will finde nothing in it, to perswade them to lay aside all thoughts of setting up separated Assemblies (which hath beene plainely proved to be the way of God) much lesse that they should come, and grow into one body, and joyne in one way with you, so long as you have so foule a body (which you confesse you have) and your way so contrary to the way of Christ, being indeede a way of your owne devising.

And touching the counsell of Mr Calvin to this purpose.

I say, If he should counsell, as you counsell, it would be to me but a asas a blast of breath; for we are to take the councell of the holy Ghost, by the mouth of Paul, which bids us follow him, as hee followes Christ. 1 Cor. 11.1.

But you would have us to consider, what Paul requires in a K2 Pastor K2v 76 Pastor, of which things you say, this is not the least, that hee ought not to be selfe-willed; that is (say you) to be adicted to his owne proper judgement.

I answer, I have considered this text already, and doe conceive, that this rule of Paul is broken by the Pope of Rome, and the Popes of England, which are adicted to their owne wills, and set up their own proper judgements for a Law; which evill and error Paul saw in his time, when he said, the mystery of iniquitie began then to worke. 2 Thes. 2. 7.

Moreover, I do acknowledge that it is a vertue in a good Pastor from his heart to feare contentions, and not to differ from his brethren, unlesse it be in cases greatly necessary, but what is all this which you have said to the matter in hand, you know Paul spake to the Churches planted in the order of Christs Gospell, and not by the order of the man of Sin, and therefore it will not help you to call them againe, to consider what they may enjoy in your Church, for I have proved it plainely before in my reply to your Answer to their third Reason, that a Saint of God can injoy no thing in your Church without sinne, and therefore what you thinke you have shewed before in your three first Reasons is nothing at all; for though you say it is but some circumstances that be wanting, about the manner and forme of Discipline. I tell you you want the substance, even Christ to be the head of your Churche, and have made you a head of Archbishops and Lord Bishops, which head is full of leprosie.

But there you have brought Mr. Calvin to crosse you shrewdly, and you would have us to beleeve him; and indeed with my heart I beleeve it, whether Mr. Calvin speake it or no; you say he affirmes that the Scriptures expresse the substance of discipline; this is very true; but in another place you say, that Calvin said, there is no expresse precept concerning this matter: For this see Reasons against Independancie, pag. 5. lin. 12. 13. And the like you rehearse presently in your next words: for you say he affirmeth, that the forme of exercising it, must be ordained by the Ministers for edification, because it is not prescribed by the Lord.

Doth not Calvin and you both crosse your selves here? hath Christ indeede written in his Word the substance of Discipline and not the forme? you would make (indeed) the substance of discipline without forme, and voide, even as the earth it selfe was, when darkenes was upon the face of the deepe: so you would have men conceive there is a substance, but they must have no rule to know where to finde it; for you say, the forme of exercising it, is not prescribed. Here you would make Christ wanting to his owne K3r 77 owne house, for we know that Moses had the forme of the house, as well as the substance of the house, and the forme of every Ordinance, with every, circumstance that was to be used, in and about Gods worship, and the forme was given unto Moses by God himselfe and Moses had not power to alter any thing in the forme, neither had any of the Ministers which came after him: but the wicked Priests did alter the forme, and Apostated from the truth of those Ordinances taught by Moses; even so the wicked Antichristians apostated from the forme of wholsome words given by Paul, which was to follow him as he followed Christ.

And also from the rule of our Saviour Christ given to all his Apostles, that they should teach the people what he commanded them, (Matth. 28. 20.) And this (you may see) was not onely in substance but in forme also, for Paul expresseth to the Corinthians, the very forme of breaking of bread, which he had received of the Lord Jesus; 1 Cor. 11. 23. and by this you may see you have given the holy Ghost the lie, even as Calvin also, affirming, that the forme of exercising it, is not prescribed by the Lord; and therefore I would have you, (Mr. Edwards) to take the Counsell your selfe, that you give unto others, for it is very good counsell.

First, that you please not your selfe in your owne Opinions.

Secondly, that you be not so adicted to your owne judgement, but remember the danger that Calvin laies downe here, that a man being wedded to his owne Judgement, so soone as ever an Ocation offers it self, will be a Schismaticke; and I have told you already, that this was the first occasion of Schisme and Apostacie, from the truth of the Gospels worship, that being darke in their mindes and judgeing the substance of Gods worship to be without forme; and as they them selves (so presuming) tooke upon them to prescribe a forme themseves, so they being wedded to their owne judgement, did Schisme from the truth of the Scripture.

Thus you say you have delivered your owne soule.

But to whom, or from what you have delivered it, I cannot tell.

But you say further: you hope the brethren, will withdraw their petitions, that they may not be reade in the honourable house of Commons, but, if they should be read (you say) you hope the House will cast them out. For this see his Book pag. 55.

I Answer, That they should withdraw their Petitions, is but one of your vaine hopes, for they had more neede now to petition then ever they had, both to God and men, seeing such a K3 Goliah K3v 78 Goliah as you, musters up so many forces against them.

But the later of these your vaine hopes, doth manifest the malice of your heart, in that you hope the house will cast their petitions out.

Are you so void of true piety towards that Honourable House? or judge you that House so void of common Reason? being as they are indeede the very Eyes of the whole land; the Eares of the whole land, and the Tongue of the whole land; yea the hand and power of the whole land: being so as I conceive in my simplicity, would you have them, I say to be blinde of one eye? and to look upon the Petitions and complaints of some of the people of the land, and not upon all? would you have them so partiall? would you have them also deafe of one eare? that they should not hearken to the cries and petitions, and complaints of all the Kings subjects, one as well as another? would you have them also so defective in their tongue, that they should not be for the praise of them that doe well, as well as for the punishment of evill doers? nay, seeing they are called Gods, Psal. 82. 1.6. would you have their hands so shortned, that they should not once stretch them forth, to support and helpe the poore afflicted members of Jesus Christ? Then indeede you would have them very unlike unto Moses, even as unlike as your selves are unto Aaron.

Would you have this House to exercise their power upon persons before they have made due triall of the cause? (by hearing witnesses speake on both sides): truely (Mr. Edwards) if you would (as it appeareth plaine it is your minde,) then I will submit to the judgement of both the Houses of Parliament, whether you be not a man void of common Reason; for he is a foole that judgeth a matter before he know it.

And you are not onely void of Reason your selfe, but you would have the Parliament to be like you; for if the Parliament should judge a man before they heare his cause, they would be like the Court at Lambeth, which were used to sit in the high Priests Hall, judgeing matters without due triall.

Further, you say you are perswaded, that it will never be said of this Parliament, that they opened a doore for Toleration.

For Answer to this, I must tell you, that I conceive, they may receive a Petition, and yet not open a doore for Toleration; I meane for such a Toleration as you here speake of, for setting up Churches against Churches, for that is not the Toleration that we pleade for, but your evill conclusion.

And therefore you may pray, if you will, that that doore may be kept shut.

And we will pray also that all doores may be kept shut; that will K4r 79 will let any evills into the Kingdome in processe of time, least that any succeeding generations, should have cause to write in their Chronicles of this Parliament, as it was written of Naaman the Syrian; that is (as you say, (it will be said of them) but they granted a Toleration.

Moreover, we desire nothing at their hands, that may cast a darke shadow upon their glorious light.

But that which we desire, is liberty of conscience to practise Gods true worship in the land wherein we were borne, which will be no blemish to any Christian Magistrate to grant, nor for any Counsell of state to establish.

And therefore you should not have concluded this your Discourse against independancie, and against Toleration, before you had offered it to the triall before some lawfull Committee chosen by the Parliament, to heare both you and them; and then if you could have maintained your Church of England (which you plead for) with your Synods, and Counsells, Ceremonies, and Booke-worship, Canons, and Sensures, Citations, Degradations, and Excommunications, with your Absolutions, to be founded upon the substance of that Worship and Discipline, which you say Calvin affirmeth, is expressed in the Scriptures then you might with the more shew of honesty have admoninished the Parliament, to have cast out their Petitions, but till then you may lay your hand upon your mouth, and never for shame affirme, that the granting of Toleration unto us (to worship God, without molestation) will be setting up Churches against Churches.

Neither ought you to have conlcuded against them, before you had proved their way of worship to be contrary to the word of God, or not to have footing in his word (as yours hath not) for except you had done this, you have small cause to rejoyce in your thoughts, in respect of the accounts that you are to give about this contraversie; for your contraversie can be conceived at the best, to be but, the contraversie that Paul had, when he went unto Damascus which was a Contraversie against Christ Acts 9. 4. 5. though Christ in his rich grace pardoned him, when hee had smitten him downe, and driven him out of himselfe and made him to confesse, that he knew not Christ, in these words (where he saith,) Lord Who art thov, and further acknowledged that he knew not the will of Christ? by asking him (with these words) What wilt thov have me to doe? thus you may see, though the controversie was against Christ, yet Paul was reconciled to God the Father, by Jesus Christ the K4v 80 the Sonne, and endued with the holy Ghost, which made him a Minister of the New Testament, which all his humane learning could not doe.

And Paul might have boasted that he was stirred up by the Spirit of God, against the way of Christ, as you boast, that you are stirred up by Gods Spirit against the way of Separation. But you would not have justified Paul, much lesse shall it justifie you; for Paul did that hee did out of a zeale to maintaine the Law of God. But yours is to maintaine the Law of Sinne, even the Law of Sathan. Paul persecuted those that he did conceive to be evill; but you persecute those that you acknowledge good men, and such as have beene active and famous for God.

And therefore you have no neede to boast of the Spirits enabling you all along, and that above your owne strength (as you declare) for it plainely appeare (unto all men of understanding) that it was the very spirit of delusion.

And therefore, you may justly expect Censures and Reproaches (as you say you doe) because your way in this action was not pleasing to God.

But for my part, instead of censuring you, I would rather reprove you; and admonish you, rather than reproach you, and pray that God might turne you. And if God would be pleased to give you that reward of your labour, which hee gave unto Paul, even to strike you downe, and to make you to heare his voyce, and learne to know him, and what he would have you to doe; then it would turne much to the praise of God, and to the comfort of your poore soule, if you be a chosen vessell unto him, (which is the thing you pretend you aime at) and then you shall be sure to gaine truth, and love and peace, and holinesse in all your after discourses, when you shall speake with a new tongue, and expresse the language of Canaan.

And now (Mr. Edwards) for conclusion of the whole, I doe here affirme, that if upon the sight of this Booke, you shall conceive that I have either misconstrued your words, or accused you without ground (necessarily drawne from your owne speeches) or that I have mistaken the sence of any Scripture, that I have quoted in this Booke; or that I have not answered you directly to the point (by any oversight) Then chuse you sixe men, (or more, if you please) and I will chuse as many, and if you will we will agree upon a Moderator; and trie it out in a faire discourse, & peradventure save you a labour from publishing your large Tractates, which you say you intend to put out in Print against the whole way of Separation; and if it can be made appeare that L1r 8081 that (in any of these particulars) I have missed it, I will willingly submit. But if you overcome me, your conquest will not be great, for I am a poore worme, and unmeete to deale with you.

But if you doe give another onset, before you accept of a parle, (seeing I have offered you conditions of peace) the world will judge you an unreasonable man, and you shall never have the day.

But if you will (say for quarrell is only against those Ministers, that justifie your Church and Ministry, and worship) and can prove that the Ministers of Holland and New England doe generally justifie the Church of England, and the Ministery of the Church of England, and the worship instituted by the Church of England: I say if they thus far justifie you (as I have here specified) then will I freely acknowledge (when I heare them speak it) that I was mistaken concerning them (yet the case in controversie stands still to be tried between you and me) but I do otherwise conceive of them for the present, because I am credibly informed, that they doe, generally and publikely, renounce the power by which they were called to their office of Ministry, in and by the Church of England; some of them affirming that they have stood Ministers too long under such a false power; others confessing here in publike, that it was their sinne, that they had not revealed so much to people before they went away, with many the like expressions, which I can prove, if wee come face to face, which maketh it appeare to me (for the present) that though they preach in the Assemblies met together by publike authority, yet they judge themselves to be Ministers sent of God to separate the precious from the vile, and that though they have not an outward mediate calling (seeing they have cast it off, because it was false) yet they have an inward immediate calling, as all the Ministers of God had in former time, which were able to unfould the Misteries of the Scripture, though they had neither calling by man, nor by the will of man but by the holy Ghost.

And I hope these men, (of whom I speake) will never returne to serve God before the Idols, nor preach for wages, as Balaam did, but still stand fast in the liberty wherein Christ hath set them; Seeing they chave hcast off the grievous yoke of Antichrist, separating betweene the precious and the vile, fitting men for the Lords building, that so they may goe up to Jerusalem by troupes.

This is my charity towards them, though I know them not L by L1v 8182 by face and I thinke I may boldly say that none of them know me.

Esay 41. 21. Stand to your cause, saith the Lord, bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.

Esay 5. 8. Take counsell together, yet it shall be brought to naught, pronounce a Decree, yet it shall not stand, for God is with us.