a Brief Exhortation
To Mr. Thomas Edwards;
That he may breake off his old ſins, in the
old yeare, and begin the New yeare, with new
fruits of Love, firſt to God, and then
to his Brethren.
Printed in the Yeare, 1645 1644
The Introduction or Epiſtle, To the Godly Reader.
The cauſe which formerly moved mee to Anſwer Mr. Edwards his firſt Booke, was; Firſt, the frothineſſe of his reaſons; for when I ſaw them light, I thought a man of underſtanding would not medle with them, becauſe they were ſo rotten they could not hold together: And I conceived that if hee were not anſwered at all, he would then have abounded in vaine glory.
Secondly, the hearing of the diſturbance it made in the City, (the better party being greived that hee ſo diſcovered himſelfe, and the worſer party domineering, that Mr. Edwards was become their Champion,) moved me to take into conſideration the difficulty, and finding his booke to be (as indeeds it was) a rangling - inſinuating, - contradictory, - revengefull story, it appeared unto me to be a taske moſt befitting a woman; The conſideration whereof moved me to anſwer it publikely as it was publiſhed.
And foraſmuch as it plainely appeareth, that this his ſecond booke (or Antipologie) is of the ſame nature with his other, and hath no more ſubſtance than it, I doe affirme, It was anſwered before it was written: for it conſiſteth (for the most part,) of tales, and reports, it is an unſavory hiſtory, full of revengeful - ſlanderous - accuſations, but abounding with reprochful jeeres and evill calumniations: But I have now noted ſome things therein which concerne my ſelfe ―― and all who feare God, and walke in his way, [I meane the way of Separation] that way which Paul walked in, which way was then called heriſie, and ſo is ſtill, by Mr. Edwards, and ſuch as he.
Both I, and my faithfull yoakefellow have joyntly taſted of the preſſures of the Hyrarchy above theſe twenty yeares, and the Biſhops-Priests have driven us out of our place of abode 16. yeares agoe: and we (amongst the reſt of the people of God,) are now proſecuted afreſh by Mr. Edwards, and ſuch as he, for he hath unjuſtly charged them to bee the movers of ſedition, and diſtubers of the Kingdomes. By all of which it appeareth that it concerneth the Separation principally to take notice of Shimies curſings, and Rabſhakes raylings, and not only to conſider that it may be God hath bidden them ſo doe, but A2 alſo iv A2v alſo to declare that what they doe is unjuſt, which was one cauſe that moved me to endeavor (according to my skill) to unmaske the faces of thoſe ungrounded arguments, againſt Independencie and Tolleration, in his former booke, which I anſwered three yeares agoe: And though he hath not ability to defend, or relieve, any one of thoſe his arguments againſt Separation, yet he chargeth others with neglect in not anſwering his firſt borne: againſt that way, in which booke he declared that though it was the firſt brought forth, yet not the firſt conceived: for that he had large tractates to put forth againſt the whole way of Separation; I have waited theſe three yeares, for the bringing ☞ of them forth, but now it ſeemes to me, it was a falſe conception.
Moreover I ſuppoſe that (Mr. Edwards) his painefull labouring thus ariſeth out of feare, leaſt (as Chriſt is exalted, and as the hill of Syon appeareth more eminently (then the Prieſts wil be in danger to looſe ſome maintenance (as hee hath in part expreſſed in his former booke In his 5. Reaſon againſt tolleration. where he ſpeaketh of their demanding dues.) And true it is, that people rightly informed will not have their necks captivated, under Jewiſh yoakes of tithes paying, to maintaine a popiſh- ordained Clergie; for God requireth his people to maintaine no Miniſtry but their owne, even ſuch as labour with them in the Word and doctrine, and not thoſe who labour againſt them: And I know right well that the Miniſters of the Separation, have never beene chargeable to the Church of England, neither have any of their poore Orphans beene left to any of her Pariſhes, though their parents have ſuffered death (in priſon) by the cruelty of the Prelates, [as I could name divers within theſe 10. yeares:] yet God turned his hands upon the little ones and provided for them, according to his promiſe, Zech. I 3.7 ſo that as the righteous parents were never forſaken, neither did their ſeede beg their bread.
And Remember (good Reader) that though Balack would have had the people of God curied, and Baalam would faine have had the wages, yet at length he was conſtrayned to confeſſe, that ſurely there was no inchantment againſt Jacob, neither divination againſt Iſrael, but according to this time (ſaith he) it ſhall riſe up as a great Lyon & lift up himſelfe as a young Lyon, he ſhall not lie downe, uuntill he eate of the Prey and drinke the blood of the ſlaine, Numb. 23.verſe 23, 24.
A Brief Exhortation to Mr. Tho: Edwards, that he may breake off his old ſins, in the old yeare, and begin the new yeare, with new fruits of Love, firſt to God, and then to his Brethren.
The cauſes of my writing unto you at this time are three. 1. Your threatnings. 2. Your challenge. 3. The out-cryes of the people againſt you, for that which you delivered in Pulpits Pulpit, turned into Cockpits where they expected to heare the Gospel of Jeſus Chriſt Preached by you; in ſtead whereof, they heare proud boaſtings that you will after your skirmiſhing with the Separation take their Fort; But peradventure you may, by your fiſhing for others, be caught your ſelfe. Now our fort, and fortreſſe is Jeſus Chriſt, and though you take him, you ſhall never take him from us, for he is all fulneſſe to all, and ſufficiencie for all, that draw neere unto him; But whether you intend ſo to take him as to reſt upon him, or to take him as the High Prieſts Officers once tooke him, to crucifie him; let your hearers judge.
Sir, you are a brave warriour, and can fight well in a Pulpit, where you are ſure none ſhall come neere you, ſo much as to give you an anſwer: for proofe whereof, witneſſe your owne confeſſion in your Antipologia, that the Separatiſts will not come in your Churches: Therefore you may eaſily make the people beleeve great matters by your juggling, where there is none to reſiſt you, nor hold out the light in oppoſition to your falſe figures; A3 But 2 A3v 2 But if they were there, they might not be admitted there to opoſe you, nor to uſe any meanes to undeceive the people. But it is an old ſaying (though ſomewhat groſſe) that every cocke croweth on his owne miksen, and that makes you ſo bold, where you are ſure you ſhall have no opoſition.
But (Mr. Edwards) now I will counſell you, to muſter up all your army you bragge of, and come forth, ſet up your colours, and pitch a field with the Separation, bring forth all your strong reaſons, not only the laſt conceived, your latter thoughts, and ſtudies, but alſo your large tractates [againſt the whole way of Separation,] which were the firſt conceived of old, which you promiſed in your former booke In your Introduction. for you have brought no argument in your Antipologia againſt Separation from a falſe Church and falſe Miniſtry, but you have challenged all, high, and low, Anabaptiſts, Separatiſts, and Semiſeparates, &c. to bring a ground from Scripture for the lawfulneſſe of ſeparating from a true Church, which thing wee never ſtrived for, for we know it is utterly unlawfull. But this was your policie (eſpecially when you preached upon the houſe top,) to make the people beleeve that thoſe who ſeperate from the Church of England ſeperate from a true Church: But this is yours to prove, I therfore challenge you now, to prove [by the Scripture] that the Church of England is a true Church, and the Miniſtry thereof a true Miniſtry, and that they have a true outward calling, which yet you have not done, neither have you brought any argument neither in your former booke, nor in this Antipologia, that proves your Church and Miniſtry true; And I thinke you dare not deny but that theſe bee ſubstantialls, and not ſome of your meere circumſtances, which you would have decided without the word of God, Pag. 73. for if the Church be but a circumstance, and the calling of the miniſtry a meere circumſtance, then you neede not ſtand ſo much for it, and upon ordination from the Pope, for if ever you be true Miniſters of Jeſus Chriſt it muſt be without that, and therefore it appeareth to bee you, who have ordination by perſons that are not ordained, and not the Miniſters of the Separation: for God hath ordained his Church to ordaine their owne Miniſters, but hath not ordained the Church of England, nor the Miniſtry thereof at all, wherefore it appeareth that you can have no true ordination, unleſſe you become Separate; And all your argu mentsments 3 A4r 3 ments in your former booke tended to the keeping downe of the kingdome and power of Jeſus Chriſt. And all the tales which you tell in your Antipologia, tend to the defaming of your Brethren as they came from you. But (as your tales are in themſelves) many of them turne to the praiſe of thoſe whom you would defame.
As for inſtance, [you tell us of their humility, and that they ſay that they dare not take upon them to determine all the waies of God,]
For ought I know they doe well, I Sam. 13.14: for the Prophet David, who was not onely a King, but a Prophet of God, and a man after Gods owne heart, thought not himſelfe ſufficient for that worke of univerſall determining, which you may plainely ſee in the 119. Pſalme, where he ſo often deſireth of the Lord to teach him his - waies, - ſtatutes, - precepts, - commandements, - teſtimonies, - lawes, - and to direct him in his word, yet David reſteth not there, but ſtrikes Covenant with God, promiſing that he will run the waies of Gods commandements when hee hath learned them, Pſal. 119 32. and alſo that he would teach others when the Lord had taught him, even as you ſay theſe men have done, for you report that they are active for their way: Now if God have made knowne his way to them more fully then he hath done heretofore, they ought to be more active for it, and as God enlargeth their hearts, ſo to enlarge his praiſe.
You tell us of a ſort of Anabaptiſts that would preach on the top of houſes, becauſe they would imitate the Apoſtles. But have you not now taken their turne? for theſe men (as you ſay) even the Apologiſts, with divers others have of late preached not only to the Parliament, but alſo to the people in divers places, which you name as Margrets Westminſter, Michaell Cornewell, Magnes at the bridge foot, and Stepney, with other places. Theſe men (I ſay) preaching true doctrine there in the eares of the people, you have publiſhed it (as it were) upon the houſe top, for you have put them in print, that ſo that we that are Separatists, who dare not come to your Church; and all the men in England may know it. And you have threatned to print them at large. Pag. 219.
You ſay, their doctrines make for their way, ―― and they are Anſw. active for their way. ―― Indeede (Mr.Edwards) though Gods waies be not as mens waies, yet when men make Gods waies their waies, they ought to be active for the ſame, for they are the waies of 4 A4v 4 of peace, the waies of truth, and the waies of life, and though they are narrow waies, becauſe there is no rule leading unto them, but the Word of God, yet he that is guided by Gods ſpirit ſhall bee led into all truth; Joh. 16.13 Therefore it is good for you and all perſons to labour to be clothed with humility, for God hath promiſed to teach the humble his waies.
You ſay there are foure paſſages (in the Apologeticall Narration) which are good and uſefull amongſt ſo many bad, Therefore wee will conſider of theſe which are good, & uſefull, amongſt thoſe which you ſay are bad.
The firſt being their acknowledgement of the Parliament.
Anſw. Herein I conceive they give Caſar his due.
The ſecond of the Aſſembly of Divines. They did not give them Anſw. the Title of a Synod, nor atribute authority to them to determine for the Church of Christ, lawes, rites, or cerimonies, &c. For I thinke they did not underſtand them to have (or to be capable of) any ſuch power from God: for if theſe had knowne they had aſſumed it, they would not (as I thinke) have beene of them.
The third is their taking notice of the miſcarriages of the Separatiſts.
Anſw. In this they did very well, and made a good uſe thereof, as I may judge from your owne ſpeeches, concerning their way, and I pray you tell me (Mr.Edwards) for what end were the miſcariages of Gods people (written by the direction of Gods ſpirit) but to warne others of the Saints from falling into the like; for wherefore did God at any time puniſh his people (for their Sinnes) but to recall them back, that ſo he might bee reconciled unto them againe; but never to deterre them from his holy waies, wherein they walked before, or when they practiſed thoſe miſcarriages.
If Adam ſhould have offered no more ſacrifice, becauſe Caine fell out with his Brother (for offering a better Sacrifice than hee,) he ſhould have beene condemned of his owne conſcience; for the way was never the worſe for Caines miſcarriage. And the way that Jacob walked in, was the way of God though the ſonnes of Jacob ſinned; They were godly and holy men in the maine, Gen. 37.7,8, 9,10. though they miſſed it in ſelling their brother; And did not God viſit them in mercy, to bring them to a ſight of their ſinnes, when he 5 B1r 5 Gen.42. and 43. and 44. &c. he cauſed their ſheafs to bow downe to Joſephs ſheafe in Egypt, and cauſed Joſeph to afflict them, to put them in minde of their ſinne; yea, did it not worke that good effect upon them, for which the Lord ſent it, by cauſing them to accuſe themſelves ſaying, we are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that wee ſaw the anguiſh of his ſoule when hee beſought us, and wee would not heare, therefore this evill is come upon us; Nay, did not God further illuſtrate Joſephs glory before them, not only by making all their ſheafes to bow downe to his ſheafe, but in letting it be ſeene that the Sun, and the Moone, and the eleaven ſtarres fell downe before him, when they all went downe into Egypt; wee will not deny but that the ſonnes of Jacob did fatally miſcarry, yet the way of God wherein they walked was not therefore to be abhorred, and yet their miſcarriages are ſet before us all as land-markes, that we ſhould take heede of running upon ſuch ſhelves; And I hope theſe Apologists have not forſaken the wayes of truth for the miſcarriages of ſome that have walked in the way before them, for you ſay, they have beene active for their way ſince; And I hope that they know that the way was Chriſts, though Judas betrayed his Maſter & Annanias, and Saphira diſcembled, and Symon Magus was proud, and one of the Church of Corinth, committed fornication, and Demas forſook the way, and embraced the world, and Diotrephus (Antichriſt like) fought for preheminence, and many Balaamites crept into their ſociety, who preached for wages, and if any ſhould have ſaid that the way of the Goſpel was not the way of Chriſt, becauſe theſe perſons (and ſuch as theſe) did miſcarry, it would have diſcovered great ignorance in them; for though they were ſpots in their feaſts of charity, yet the Church of God had alwaies power to caſt them out, and that without the helpe of a Synod, which hath beene proved at large in my anſwer to your booke againſt Independency and Tolleration So that though the Saints of God who are choſen veſſells unto him ſhould faile, as Peter did in denying his Maſter, through the ſlaviſh feare that hee was in of that company of Prieſts, which Crucified Chriſt in that time, and the beleeving Corinths wrought upon to eate things ſacrifiſed to Idolls, (according to the doctrine of Balaam,) as ſome of the Church of Pergamus and Thyatira were, yet notwithſtanding theſe perſonall infirmities, the way of God wherein they walked B ought 6 B1v 6 ought not to bee abhorred, but wee are to make the ſame uſe of theſe fatall miſcarriages now, as the people of God were to make then of the miſcarriages of Noah, Abraham, Lot, David, Soloman, Hezekiah, and divers others, and not to runne upon the ſame ſhelves: And though theſe Apologiſts abhorred the miſcarriages of thoſe that went before them, in the way of Seperation; yet by your report, they ſtill follow the way, and ſo they ought, for we are commanded to walke in the way of good men, and to keepe the paths of the righteous.
Objection. But ſome may ſay, can thoſe be called righteous men that ſo miſcarry?
Anſwer. We affirme ſtill that the way is a righteous way, and if any man (that deſireth from his heart to walke uprightly in it) faile through infirmity, hee hath an advocate with the father Jeſus Chriſt the rihgghteous, and needeth not to goe to a Pope or a Synod for a pardon of his ſinne.
Objection. Some peradventure will ſay, you will have the Saints to bee ſubject to no Law!
Anſwer. If the Saints breake a juſt Law, they muſt ſubmit to the ſenſure of that Law, if they breake their Covenant, and violate it in ſinning openly againſt any of the rules of Jeſus Chriſt which hee hath given to his Church, they are ſubject to bee ſenſured by the Church, for the law was made for the diſobedient. But thoſe that walke holily, againſt ſuch there is no law. Magiſtrates were given for the puniſhment of evill doers, and not onely ſo, but for the praiſe of thoſe that doe well, and theſe are the two parts of the Magiſtrats duty which if they neglect, they muſt anſwer it to God, who ſitteth in the Aſſembly of the Gods, and weigheth all their proceedings.
And now what have you got by the Apologiſts declaration? (that they have obſerved the failings of the people of God.) You have meerely bewrayed your owne ignorance, for if you had knowledge, you might have made a better uſe of their ſpeech.
You ſay, their fourth thing that is good is their diſcription of the people of the Church of England.
Anſwer. I conceive they ſpeake of ſome of whom they had hope, becauſe they conceived them to be plyable to receive what is brought them for truth, and alſo capable to diſcerne error, in ſome meaſure; So 7 B2r 7 ſo it appeareth that if they preach errour, the people are capable to diſcerne it.
But to leave this as a thing that doth not much concerne us that are Separates, I will borrow leave to paraphraſe a little upon your applycation, which you make of the miſcariages of the Separation. You ſay you would have had the Apologiſts to have made uſe of theſe mens fearfull ſinnes to have deterd them from their way, and you nominate Brown, Boulton, Barrow, Smith, and Jonſon. But here you commit two evills.
Firſt, you inſinuate a ſlander againſt the dead. Secondly, you would have men forſake the way of God for other mens failings.
For the firſt, you ſpeake of their fearfull ſinnes; but you mention nothing, The greateſt ſin that ever I heard any of them accuſed withall was, their going backe to communicate with the Churches of England and Rome, which was a great ſin indeed, for Idolatry is as the ſin of witchcraft, and to ſpeake the truth, this is that great principle which hath cauſed ſo much diviſion among the Separation.
You refer us to the ſtories of Brown, Boulton, Barrow, Smith, and Jonſon.
I pray you (Mr. Edwards) what Stories are thoſe? and what are their fearfull ſinnes therein mentioned? It may be you mean ſome lying popiſh ſtories (made by ſome trencher Poets) for Prelates, like the ſtories made by Mercurius Alicus at Oxford, and ſome of thoſe ſtories are (by thoſe who are beſt informed) taken to be like this booke of yours. And like a booke written by Mr. Peter Studley [my old Parish Priest,] which he wrote divers yeares agoe, againſt the Profeſſors in the Church of England, concerning Enoch Abevan, who becauſe he was mad, and in his madnes killed his Mother, and his Brother, this Mr. Studley (called by the honeſt ☜ party, (Study-ly) inveighed againſt the way of profeſſion, and nonconforming, as you doe againſt the way of Separation.
And touching the Apologiſts ſilence in not declaring the principles which were the cauſes of the diviſions.
I Anſwer. It may be they did not perfectly ſee them.
But I pray you tell me, how you dare charge all theſe men you have mentioned with fearfull ſinnes? If the ſinnes were ſo B2 fearfull, 8 B2v 8 fearfull, which Brown and Jonſon were guilty of, the one in ſtepping backe to the Church of England, for feare of perſecution. The other to the Church of Rome (for feare of nullifying his baptiſme, becauſe he had it in a falſe Church, thinking that there could be no true Ordinance (in any reſpect) in a falſe Church,) and ſo was conſtrained (through want of faith and light to juſtifie the Church of Rome and her daughters, (as Mr. Samuel Rutherford hath done,) tell me Mr. Edwards, what caſe are you in then? if their caſes were ſo fearfull in juſtifying your Churches. For ſurely upon your owne principles, theſe were vertues to juſtifie your falſe Churches to be true.
Smiths, you may know was of another nature, for he went from the Churches of the Separation, becauſe he judged them unbaptiſed perſons, and that was his ignorance.
☞ But what have you againſt Mr. Barrow? Was there ever any thing juſtly layd to this Separates charge? Hee was indeed hanged at Tyburne, for maintaining that the Church of England was a falſe Church, and ſo was Mr.Greenwood who was his companiion and fellow Priſoner, though there was no matter of fact layd to either of their Charge worthy of death or bonds: Theſe two men were put to death by the Prelates, in Queen Elizabeths time, without her knowledge or privity, and that Early in a morning, the figure of their ſufferings being ſeen in the Sky, by Mariners that were in other parts, and it was ſuppoſed, by the beholders of the figure (then to be done in England) becauſe of the womens ☞ wearing of hats: for the two poore widowes that attended upon them in the Priſon, waited upon them to the Gallowes bearing their winding ſheets; the figure of all which was ſeen as was ſaid before: But this was done without the Queens knowledge, the greife whereof (by relation of thoſe who were neer her) ſhee carried to her death. Honest Penry ſuffered death about the ſame time, he was hanged at Saint Thomas a wattrings, Early in the morning; And who dare ſay ought againſt theſe men, but that they lived Saints, where Sathans throne was, and dyed as holy Martyrs of Jeſus Chriſt as Antipas. And it may be, theſe are the fearfull judgements you meane befell them; for no other judgements befell them in this life, and they ſhall be freed from judgement in the life to come; But ſuch falſe miracles you Prieſts worke 9 B3r 9 worke, (as hath beene told you at large in my anſwer to your booke againſt Tolleration) to make all the world wonder and runne after the Beaſt, ſaying, who is like unto the beaſt? who is able to make warr with him? Revel. 13. But why did you not ſay that thoſe were fearfull judgements of God which came upon the Martyrs, who were burnt in Smithfeild in Queen Maries time? they ſuffered for the ſame cauſe as far as they ſaw them: and the ſentence againſt them (as it came from the ſeat of the Magiſtrate) came from heaven, as well as the ſentence againſt Barrow, and Greenwood, and Penry, and all the reſt of the people of God. If you will deny this, you will deny Queen Mary to be a lawfull Magiſtrate, for the ſecular powers paſſed the ſentence of condemnation then, as in Queen Elizabeths time; for when the preiſts once had cryed, that ſuch and ſuch of the Saints were guilty, then the Magiſtrates paſſed the ſentence, that ſo the Preiſts hands might be clenſed from their bloud; as witneſſe Mr.Foxes booke.
But to leave theſe holy Saints at reſt with God. I will ſpeake ſomething of thoſe that are living, both the people of the Separation and the people of the Church of England, As touching the people of the Separation, they are all viſibly holy. If any root of bitterneſſe is ſeene to ſpring up amongſt them it is caſt out.
But you would intimate that the caſting out of a ſinner is a ſtrong diviſion, or elſe what doe you mean, by the ſtrong diviſions you ſpeake of, for there is no other diviſion of the Separation, but the ſeparating the pretious from the vile. That was a ſtrong diviſion I Cor. 5. which was made in the Church of Corinth, when they caſt out the inceſteous perſon, but it was a true, holy, and juſt diviſion, becauſe God required it, and they were not to keepe the feaſt of the Lord, till they had made that diviſion: For if they had, it would not have beene for the better, but for the worſe. For they ought not to have kept the feaſt with old Leven: Such holy diviſions you ſeldome (or never) make in the Church of England, neither indeed can you, being all in confuſion, therefore you were not capable to pick motes out of other mens eyes, for as much as the beames were ſo bigg in your owne, And whereas thoſe that commit ſinne in the Churches of Chriſt are caſt out and remaine no longer there, and are not admitted againe without repentance: The members of the Church of England committingmittingg 10 B3v 10 mitting ſinne, yea, being common, and ordinary, and knowne ſinners, yet they are forced to be ſtill of your Church, or elſe they ſhall be puniſhed: yea, though they commit ſinne worthy of death, and be condemned by the ſentence of the Magiſtrat, yet remain they uncaſt out of your Church, as appeareth by giving the Sacrament to Theeves, and Murderers when they are going to the Gallowes, be they never ſo impenitent.
Objection. It may be objected, This is a falſe charge, for wee doe not now admit all to the Sacrament, wee are about reforming.
Anſwer. The Church of England was never ſo deformed [for the moſt part of the Kingdome] as it is now, yet there is not the worſt Pariſh of the Church of England, but it hath the Sacrament ſtill, by which actions the Prieſts become open violaters of Gods Commandements, and that againſt their owne knowledge, in caſting Gods holy things to dogs; yea, the beſt in England, that taketh upon him a Pariſh charge, is guilty of this ſinne actually, in ſealing the ſeed of wicked men with Baptiſme, yea, and all men in the Church of England are guilty thereof, that conſent thereunto, though it be but with ſilence.
Objection. But how can it be ſaid that any of the people of the Church of England are wicked, ſeeing they are all members of the Church; for the dogs and enchanters, &c. are without? Revel. 22. 15.
Anſwer. By this it appeareth what manner of Church the Church of England is, even ſuch a one as Mr. Henry Barrow hath diſcribed it to be long agoe; for if you pleaſe to read but his diſcovery of a falſe Church, which he wrote in priſon, you ſhall ſee there he hath proved the Church of England to be as the Church of Rome is, even Babylon, a filthy cage of all unclean and hatefull birds. But rather then you will take Mr. Barrowes advice, and the counſell of the Holy Ghoſt to come from among them, you will ſooner helpe to hang all ſuch Barrowes, and then ſay it is the judgement of God upon them: for none hath beene more forward then your ſelfe to perſecute the Lords people, as appeareth by ☞ your Writ of Ne admittas, which you ſent to the Parliament, to keep the Petitions of the poore Saints out thence. But it will not be for the Parliaments ſafety, to take ſuch wicked counſell as yours. I hope the Parliament ſeeth (by this time) that God is making inquiſition for bloud, yea, for the blroud of the Saints. And thereforefore 11 B4r 11 fore it is better that all ſinne which hath beene committed, ſhould be repented of, then that more ſhould be added to the ſtock.
By all this you may ſee that the 4 things (in the Apollogie,) which you ſay are good, are good for us, but not for you: And if you had not beene benumed in your ſpirit, you would never have taken up (againſt us) ſuch weapons, which (if you had beene ſenſible) you might have known would have come poſitively againſt your ſelfe; But theſe tales which you tel in your Antipologia, are like unto ſome of your tales which you tell the people in the Pulpit: for there you ſay you will face the Separation, and they will flie away, but you are ſhrewdly miſtaken: For I, (who am one of the meaneſt) dare give you the meeting, and I hope to ſpeed as well as I did, when I met that ragged Regiment which you ſet out againſt Independency and Toleration, which you called your Scout; (in your 8th. Reaſon againſt Independency) and joyned and ſubjoyned forces againſt Tolleration.
Moreover you ſay, (in your Antipologia) that the Anabaptiſts toſt away thir baptiſme, (received in a falſe Church) becauſe they wil not put a new peice to an old garment. And upon the ſame ground you ſay the Separation would have the Materiall Churches pulled down.
Anſwer. If this be one of the Anabaptiſts grounds (as it may be it is) then you may ſee their miſtake: For they ought to diſcerne between Baptiſme in a falſe Church, which is an Ordinance of God, w that Church hath ſtollen & carried away in their Apoſtacie, they ought (I ſay) to put a difference betwixt that, and an Idol of their owne making, as for example. The circumciſion, which Jeroboam caried with him, was Gods; but the Calves were his owne, Daggan, and his Temple was the Philiſtems, but the Arke was Gods. And therefore if the Separates deſire the pulling down of the Idols Temples, they doe well, but if theſe high places ſtand, they will be no peice ſowed to their garments, for they touch them not. But they have not been more forward (in this good worke of the pulling downe of the Idols Temples,) then your ſelfe in writing to the Parliament for a whole and totall Reformation, becauſe they ſhould not be blemiſhed, you would have them to ☜; pull downe the high places and all Idols and Idolatry, as whoſoever readeth your Epiſtle to your booke againſt Independency may ſee at large, where your reaſonable arguments are ſet down to the Parliament 12 B4v 12 Parliament for that end and purpoſe. But the Anabaptiſts have no ſuch ground to put away their Baptiſme which they received in a falſe Church, as hath beene proved before. The Calves and high places of Jeroboam were to be done away, and it was their duty to demoliſh them, becauſe they were a curſe to the Land, and Idols of his owne making as hath beene ſaid before: But the Circumciſion which was Gods, which they carried away with them, they brought againe to Gods Temple, (as wee have done our Baptiſme,) and were accepted. By all which it appeareth that you are able to lay no errour to the charge of the Separation.
Moreover in this your Antipologie, you advance, and extoll your booke againſt Independencie and Tolleration: You ſay, that the Apologiſts meant that, as well as others, which were written with ſtrength againſt there way: And ſecondly, you affirme it to bee argumentall, and that therefore it behoved either all or ſome of them to have anſwered it.
I Anſwer: They know beſt what they have to doe, yet for my owne part, I did conceive it ought to have beene anſwered, and therefore I anſwered it my ſelfe, and that for theſe reaſons.
☞ Firſt, becauſe you ſhould not be wiſe in your owne conceit. Secondly, becauſe I read that our Saviour Christ anſwered Sathan, when Sathan brought falſe arguments againſt him, and it is alſo written, that we ſhould be ready to give a reaſon of our hope, to every one that ſhall aske us: and I conſidering the many queſtions that you asked, and the weakeneſſe of your reaſons and arguments, and the untruths of ſome of them, and how contradictory they were to one another, thought it very eaſie to undermine and overthrow them, therefore I anſwered them, holding it meet for thoſe who were more able, not to trouble themſelves therewith, but to be employed in matters of farre greater and higher concernement. But ſeeing you are yet ſo bold as to ſtand in it, to affirme that your booke was argumentall and ought to have beene anſwered by them all, or ſome of them.
I deſire againe to repeat the heads of ſome of the Cheifeſt of your arguments, that ſo rationall men may conſider, whether they be truely Logicall.
☞ The ſubſtance of your firſt Argument is this: Its evident that the Church of God could not ſtand without ſome other helpe, then Apostles, 13 C1r 13 Apoſtles, Prophets, Evangeliſts, Paſtors, & Teachers, and all other Officers: But you have not declared any evidence, neither Scripture nor true reaſon: what! muſt wee then beleeve you upon your bare word? I will not, for that were to make you a God, or at leaſt one infalliably inſpired.
Your ſecond argument is, that the Government of Independent or ſeperated Churches, is not of divine inſtitution, becauſe it forceth them to have Miniſters without Ordination, which thing is an untruth like your former, as hath been proved at large in the Anſwer thereunto: and there are divers untruths in this reaſon (or ſection) which have been anſwered, as will plainely appeare to thoſe that will take the paines to reade your booke and mine.
Your third, is; that it is not to be thought that Chriſt would leave ſuch a Governement, that affords no way of appeale, &c. This is anſwered at large: that the Churches of the Separation have true waies of appeale. But the Church of England hath not.
Theſe be your mighty Arguments of ſtrength, which deſerved an anſwer, though you proved none of them: If the anſwer which I ſent you already have not ſufficiently proved your arguments to be groundleſſe, declare (I pray you) what ſubſtantiall point is not anſwered, (if there be any ſubſtantialls in them) and it ſhall be anſwered by Scripture, and good reaſon, or elſe you ſhall have the conqueſt.
But you have (in this your Antipologia) named ſome learned Authors; who have written againſt Separation, amongſt which Mr. Rutherford is one.
And I have ſeen Mr. Rutherfords booke, and alſo weighted it, But I could not diſcerned, that he hath ſet down any thing againſt Separation that hath any force, neither hath hee proved any thing ſufficiently, but hath propounded many queeries. which have been both framed and anſwered long agoe, and he hath in his diſcourſe expreſſed and repeated many anſwers, which have been made (to thoſe queeirries,) by the Separation, and running them over, he telleth us what this man ſaith, and what that man ſaith, and what another man ſaith, but he in declaring his owne conceptions (following his blind zeale, and popiſh Authors) runneth himſelfe headlong to juſtifie the Church and MiniſtryC niſtry 14 C1v 1314 niſtry of Rome: againſt the Separates arguments, there ſpecified, Mr. Rutherford hath divers times in his booke named (or rather nicknamed) me in ſtead of anſwering me, he hath made a ſhew to repeat ſome of my arguments, and yet there was no argument in my booke (ſo childiſh) (though he calleth them ſo) which he hath anſwered, no, nor ſo much as ſet my arguments downe indeede as they are, as whoſoever taketh the paines to read his book, & mine may ſee. bringing no ſufficient proofe either of his owne or other mens againſt them: Therefore I would have underſtanding men to conſider whether this of his be learned or pious writing yea or no? The generall ſcope of his booke tendeth to prove that the power of the Church reſteth in the hands of her Officers. But he ſhould conſider that Chriſt hath given the power to his Church which is his body and ſpouſe, of which: (and of whom) he himſelfe is the head and Huſband, neither can any Officer in the Church move [Eccleſiastically] without the power of the Church, no more then a mans Arme, or Leg, or prime member can move, except it derive power from the body of which it is a naturall member: Yea, the power of the Keyes is as abſolutely the Churches, which is Chriſts wife, as the power of the Keyes of the Family are the Miſtriſes, to whom the Huſband giveth full power; and I thinke no reaſonable man will affirme (if her Huſband give her ſole power in his abſence) that ſhe is ſubordinate to any of her ſervants. Now the Scripture is cleere, that Chriſt (who is aſcended up on high) hath delivered the power to his Church, therefore it is againſt the light and law of nature, to conceive the Church to be thus ſubordinate to the ſervants; but rather (we may ſpeake with reverence to Chriſt) that her ſervants are ſubordinate unto her; and it is a diſhonour unto Chriſt for them to uſurp eccleſiaſticall authority over her; But in caſe they ſhould ſo doe, ſhe hath received commiſſion from Chriſt her Husband, to deale with them, according to the offence committed by them, and if need require to caſt them out, and then not to ſuffer them to enter in againe but by the dore of Repentance.
But as Mr. Rutherford, by pleading for the Eccleſiaſticall power to be in the Officers, hath given great advantage to the Pope, ſo hath he to the Anabaptiſts, by pleading the univerſallity of his Church, bringing in the ſeed of wicked men to be baptized becauſe Ma. 1,6. their fore father was a beleeving Parent, but upon this ground all the Infants in the world are baptizable, becauſe a beleever was the father of them all. But the Scripture teacheth us otherwiſe, for the Houſe of Jacob was forſaken by the Lord, becauſe they enlarged themſelves from the East, and were Southſayers like the Philiſtines, and pleaſed themſelves, with the children of ſtrangers.You 15 C2r 1415
You have joyned to your Antipologia, certaine reaſons againſt Tolleration, which are the ſame in ſubſtance with thoſe which you brought in your former; And ſeeing they have beene largely anſwered there in the anſwer to your ten reaſons, and in my reply, to your anſwer to their ſix reaſons: It is folly for you to ſtudy to relieve thoſe reaſons to ſerve your turne; For untill you are able to ſtand out, and prove by the word of God, that the Church of England (which you call your Church) is the Church of Jeſus Chriſt, as it now ſtands in confuſion; And the miniſtry thereof (either in the Synod or out of the Synod) is the miniſtry which Chriſt gave to his Church, when he aſcended up on high: Till this is proved (which can never be) all the arguments which you have brought, or can bring againſt the Separates (under the names of Sectaries), are ſtill againſt your ſelfe. For whether there be Sectaries or Sciſmaticks, whether Athiſts, or Papiſts? whether wanton witted Chriſtians, (as you tearme them) diſobedient to Magiſtrates, unfaithfull to King and State, obſtinate Rebels, nay, what ever wickedneſſe can be named, the perſons practiſing the ſame are found to be Members of the Church of England. Therefore I would adviſe you, hereafter to let Baal plead for himſelfe: And goe not about to make the Magiſtrates beleive, that it is their duty to ſuppreſſe the Church of Chriſt, to heale the Rents of your confuſed Church ſtate, for though all the Prophets in the land would heale Babel, yet ſhe ſhall never be healed, for in a generall ☜ Apoſtaſie there can be no true Reformation, but by a totall viſible Separation of the pretious from the vile. And therefore you come ſhort when you would intimate, there is nothing between you and us in point of the miniſtery, but that our Miniſters muſt ſeaſe from their outward temporall labours, imployments, or trades, for our Miniſters have no falſe calling upon them, as yours have which is a great gulfe betwixt your Miniſters and ours, and betwixt you and us, And concerning our Churches you ſay the ☜ controverſie were at an end, if our miniſters would grant to our Churches, that Aſſemblies and Synods, might judge and paſſe ſentence upon our members as often as they ſee juſt ground, But truely (Mr. Edwards) this were to adulterate from the true patterne left unto us, and as this argueth in you great ſlothfullneſſe and pride, ſo (if your councell were followed) it would make othersC2 thers 16 C2v 16 thers like you; but as our Miniſters doe not deſire to live Idly, as you would have them doe, neither doe our Churches deſire the thing which you would have our Miniſters grant them: you may know that you doe not goe according to the rules of Scripture, when you perſwade the Miniſters of the Goſpel to ſeaſe labouring with their hands: For when Paul called the Elders of Epheſus, to give them their charge. He ſet before them his owne example, Acts 20. I pray you read the 20. Chapter of the Acts of the Apoſtles: And ſee whether Paul required any to leave working with their hands: no ſure, he commanded the direct contrary: where he expreſſed that he Coveted no mans Silver or Gold, or Apparrell. But faith, that they knew that his owne hands miniſtered to his neceſſities, and them that were with him. And further faith, he hath ſhewed them in all things how that ſo labouring they ought to ſupport the weake, Remembring the words of our Lord Jeſus, how he ſaid, It is a more bleſſed thing to give then to receive. And concerning our Churches ſubmitting to Synods, to judge their caſes; That were to make themſelves fools: That were to goe from the greater, to the leſſer, and (you your ſelf doe aske) what a rule is thi: Pag. 136. For if ther be a wiſe man amongſt us, we ought not to goe to law with one another before thoſe that are without, for temporall things, much leſſe about ſpirituall things: For the Apostle hath declared that the Saints ſhall judge the world, yea, the Angels; If this be true, (as no underſtanding man can deny) then it would be a more greivious ſinne, and woefull adultery, for the Spouſe of Jeſus Chriſt to ſeeke, or ſoe, to a power, that is neither Jure Divino, nor Jure Humano:
And now I will ſpeake ſomething to theſe your 8. reaſons againſt tolleration, though they are of the ſame nature with the other in the firſt booke, and ſo have been anſwered already, yet to ſatiſfie the Reader more fully, I will here give anſwer unto them particularly. But I would have you (& all men) know, that I doe not (neither doe any that are truly religious) plead for ſuch a Toleration , as you would father upon us, even a Toleration to ſinne; We plead not for a Toleration of all ſorts of perſons (who are members of the Church of England,) for that were to plead for a Toleration for Theeves and Murderers, and Adulterers, and Sabbath-breakers, and all ſorts of wicked livers, that all men might doe as they liſt; But the thing wee plead for, is a peaceable enjoyment of our liberty to worſhip God, publikely, accordingding 17 C3r 17 ding to his revealed word, moſt eſpecially upon that time inſtituted for his publike worſhip, even the firſt day of the weeke, being the Lords day: And that all the 6. dayes, we may follow our callings without feare of the execution of ſuch unjuſt Lawes which former Parliaments have made; againſt ſuch, who would not come to their Common Prayer book, or ſubmit to all the orders of the Pariſhes of England; for ſuch a Toleration as this we plead.
In your firſt reaſon, you affirme that a Toleration of Independent Churches and governement with their opinions and practiſe, is againſt the Magiſtrates duty laid down in the Scripture.
But I have proved it to be the Magiſtrates duty, to Tolerate the true worſhip of God, and thoſe practiſes which are according to the word.
But you would inſinuate ſtill your old ſlander, that we plead for a toleration of heriſie and Sciſme: which we know is againſt the Magiſtrates duty; and this maketh againſt your evill way; For if a Parliament may not (as you ſay) diſpleaſe God to pleaſe men, nor winke at evill, to content ſome perſons, And if Parliaments in making lawes for religion, muſt depend on the will of God, revealed in his word, and not upon the conſciences of ſome People. Then it is dangerous for a Parliament to conſtraine men to ſubmit to the decrees of a Synod (or Presbytery) when neither the Presbytery, nor their decrees have ground in the word of God.
Your ſecond reaſon is, that The Toleration deſired is againſt the Solemne League and Covenant taken by the Parliament and Kingdomes, and therefore the Toleration deſired comes to late, the doores being ſhut.
Anſ. Here you lay a fearfull aſpertion upon the Parliament: Goſpel Covenants doe not teach men to perſecute. for requiring ſuch an Oath and Covenant, as if they intended to ſhut the Kingdome of Chriſt and his true worſhip out of the three Kingdomes, for you ſay further, If the toleration were lawfull in it ſelfe, yet becauſe of the Oath and Covenant, it is unlawfull, though it might have beene granted before, it cannot be granted now, leaſt the Kingdome ſhould be guilty before God of Covenant breaking.
Anſ. Surely you will make the Parliament all like Herod, Mark 6,16. they muſt take poore John Baptiſts head off, becauſe of their oath!But 18 C3v 1718
But is this oath ſo foule as you would make it? and yet is it like the Decree of the Medes and Perſians, that it may not be altered. Well — God can deliver poore Daniell in the Lyons denne, Dan. 6. and (it ☞ may be) you ſhall come in our ſtead, when once the Parliament diſcerneth your wicked intentions.
But (Mr. Edwards) bethinke your ſelfe, will not you bluſh, and be aſhamed to give in the oath in theſe termes, as you have ever expreſt it (in this your ſecond Reaſon, pag. 283.) that we are to endeavour the reformation of Religion, in the Kingdomes of England and Ireland in Doctrine, Worſhip, Governement and Diſcipline, according to the example of the beſt reformed Churches, [forgetting ☞ the word of God] which ought to have beene ſet before you (as it was indeede by the Parliament) But you deale by the Covenant, as you deale by the Scriptures, hack them, and mangle, and labour to make them fit for your owne turne; and yet you jeered the Apologiſts (when they ſpake of the way and practiſe of their Churches) becauſe they did not name the Law or Old Teſtament in expres words (though they in the ſame place teſtifie that they reverence and adore the fulneſſe of Scriptures and their ſufficiency to make us perfect, &c.) but here you have ſhamefully forgotten your ſelfe, and overſlipt both Law & Goſpel. And ſo tye your ſelves to mens patterns without the word of God.
And ſurely I cannot beleeve that the Parliament hath Covenanted to, as you inferre in the ſame page of your booke, How (ſay you) can they grant a tolleration ſo different as their way is that they will not depend upon a Synod? And in the next page of the ſame Reaſon you ſay, that there is in the Covenant a clauſe in the ſecond branch, that wee ſhall without reſpect of perſons, endeavour the extirpation of Sciſme, and whatſoever ſhall bee found contrary to ſound Doctrine, and the power of godlineſſe, least we pertake in other mens ſinnes. Now ſurely (Mr. Edwards) I wonder that wiſe men can ſmile upon you, except it be in conſideration of your folly, for you are made all of contradictions, unleſſe you would have us take it for granted, that it is according to ſound doctrine, and the power of godlineſſe, that a number of Prieſts ſhould bee called together of contrary religions, ſome for the Biſhops and ſome for the Presbyterie, and ſome for Chriſt, and that the two firſt caſting aſide 19 C4r 1819 aſide the laſt ſhould agree to make decrees, & a Parliament ſhould bee bound to eſtabliſh them. Would this bee now to extripate ſciſme? nay: it would be to eſtablish a grand ſciſme: For godlineſſe is caſt out by the two firſt and the Parliament muſt eſtablish, what ever ſhall be thought of thoſe two firſt to be ſound, whether it be ☜ for the Biſhops the antient fathers, or for the Presbyters their younger ſonnes: and ſo you would have the Parliament to bee indeede guilty of their ſinnes.
Your third RreaſonReaſon is, that A Tolleration is against the nature of a Reformation: and here you diſcover your ſelfe in this ☜ Reaſon; that the Reformation you intend to make is to force all men in the Kingdom to ſubmit to ſome perticular forme, for you ſay you cannot make a reformation but it muſt offend many conſciences. But if it be ſo, it will be the conſciences of them that have knowledge in the word of God: For the ignorant multitude will bee offended at nothing, but of whatever Religion their King will be of, they will be of the ſame, therefore you are a contentious man indeede! that will offend the conſciences of the godly, to make your Church great, that ſo your revenewes may be large!
Your fourth Reaſon is, A tolleration of men in their errors is againſt the judgements of the greateſt lights.
Anſ. It is granted, Therefore you might have ſpared your labour, in citing your antient fathers: For in all that you doe herein, I oppoſe you not.
Your fifth Reaſon is that the Magiſtrates tollerating of errors, and new opinions, is a kinde of invitiation to them, &c.
Anſ. This thing I grant.
And therefore the Magiſtrates ought not to tollerate errors, or any opinion that is not grounded upon the word of God; And therefore I conceive it to be the Magiſtrates duty, to make tryall of the Synod, whether their gathering together bee according to the word of God? or according to the ☜ cuſtomes of this Kingdome? And whether they bee not of the ſame nature with the Synod which uſed to ſit in the Convocation houſe? And whether any decree which they ſhall now pitch uponon 20 C4v 20 on [not having the Scripture for their warrant] may be conſented unto? And though it have the Scripture for their warrant, whether there bee ever the more weight in it for their decreeing of it: and it greatly concerneth the Parliament to conſider whether the Aſſembly have anything to do with the things of God, [while they ſtand Prieſts by their Old-Popish-Calling,] And that upon your ground (namely) that the magiſtrates ought not to tollerate errors, or new opinions.
And all waies, and practiſes, are new, and ſtrange, which have not warrant in the word of God.
In your ſixth Reaſon, you pleade againſt a tolleration of different formes of Church governement, for feare of diviſion among Miniſters and familie (you ſay) it will not ſtand with Christian policie, but it will ſtand with Matchevillian.
Mr. Edwards, If Christian policie might take place in the Kingdome of England, and all your Matchivillian pollicie baniſhed out, there would be no ſtriving then about different formes of Religion; but Chriſts true Religion and Goſpel would then have a free paſſage without interpoſing, for the free tollerating of it will produce no miſchiefes, nor evills at all; And it is not wee, that ☞ pleade for different formes of Church governement, but your owne party. We pleade but for one intire governement established upon ſound principles, unalterable. And not a governemente which may looke with ſeverall faces, in ſeverall times, upon ſeverall occaſions, according to mens fancies.
And therefore it had beene better for you to have held your tongue, then made ſo many repetitions of things which have beene ſufficiently anſwered long agoe.
Your ſeventh Reaſon is, that Independency, or the Church way, as being a ſciſme in forſaking the Reformed Churches, and constituting now, the way of conſtituting Churches by the people, the way of making their Miniſters, the refuſing of beleevers and their children to the Sacraments unleſſe they bee Church members, with many more, are all flat againſt the primative patterne, &c.
Anſwer. In theſe words you have ſo jumbled things together as it were in a broken language. If you meane that the way of Separation from your falſe Churches, & their way of making miniſters, & conſtitutingſtituting 21 D1r 21 ſtituting Churches, is contrary to the primative patterne, you ſpeake untruly; for they make the primative patterne their rule: And then (for their refuſing of beleevers and their children from the Sacraments, unleſſe they be members of their Church,) in this you accuſe them unjuſtly alſo: for they doe admit beleevers, and their Infants to the ordinance of Baptiſme, though they bee not members of a particular congregation: for they are not capeable to be members before Baptiſme, (in reſpect of order) and to partake of the Supper, till they be in [particular] Church fellowſhip. And this I will engage my ſelfe to maintaine againſt you, if it pleaſe you to diſpute the caſe; And therefore you had no neede to have branded this practiſe, with ſuch a blacke badge, to call it the fountaine of evill, and root of bitterneſſe and manifold errors and other miſchiefes. For this is but your bitter language againſt the truth.
And if you intend to make your rejoynders, and large tractates (which you brag of,) of ſuch ſtuffe as you have made this Antipologia; It were better for you to put on a buffe coate, & to go fight in the Army againſt your enemies, then to ſit at home to ſlander and accuſe your friends, even thoſe who never did, nor thought harme to you or any other.
Your eighth Reaſon is a commendation of the Presbyteriall way, and that by the teſtimony of many fathers, and the teſtimony of the Scottish Commiſhioners.
☜ But you ſay there will be objected a paſſage againſt it, in a booke lately printed of M. Simpſons.
Anſw. I leave Mr. Simpſon and you to try it out.
But if you had ſo defined your Presbyterian governement, and ſet downe your bounds and limitts, what, and what not, according as you call upon the Apologiſts, to define their Church way, then you ſhould have had my judgement of it, here, to the full. But to judge and determin ſo of a thing, which is not yet begotten, or brought forth in this Kingdome, is not ſo eaſie a matter, neither do we know what forme or ſhape it will have when it is brought forth. [It may (for ought I know) be a Monster like Rev. 13.14. the Image of the ſevenheaded beaſt,] and if it bee found defective, then all, who have taken the Nationall Covenant, are (by your own confeſſion) to endeavor the exterpation of it, Yea, And further D (you 22 D1v 22 (you ſay) as the Parliament will not be reſpecters of perſons, or partiall, they muſt grant no tolleration, but what is agreeable to ſound doctrine.
In this you ſpeake very true, although indeed you croſſe many of your former ſpeeches. And therefore the way to deſide the controverſie, is to ſeaſe writing of ſuch large tractates, wherein you doe but (as it were) picke ſtrawes (and make abundance of repititions, to tryfle away the time,) (In my judgement) (I ſay) It were ☞ better (for your ſelfe and Mr. Samuuel Rutherford, and Mr. A.S. (or any of you, or whomſoever the Parliament ſhall apoint,) to produce Scripture and good reaſon for your way, (if you can) and let as many of the Ministers of the Congregations of the Separation, have freedome to produce Scripture, and ſound reaſon, for their way, [in a free conference.] And let the houſes of Parliament who are able to judge of the great, and weighty buſineſſes of the Kingdome (let them I ſay) have the hearing, and tryall of the conference, and as things are cleared, ſo let them allow, or diſallow. And this is according to your counſell (in pag. 304. of your Antipologia) where you ſay. To conclude, If the way of Independencie ☞ be of God, and the Apollogiſts can make that good, let it be eſtabliſhed by Parliament, and let all come to that; but if not (ſay you) why then ſhould it be tolerated. In this I thinke you ſay right, ſtand to this, and let it come to the tryall; and doe not inſinuate againſt the Church way, as you have done (in this page, and divers other places of your booke) where you ſay, the Divell would affect the tolleration of it. For that tolleration wch the Devill would affect, is that tolleration, which you would ſlanderouſly father upuon n us, and not the tolleration we ſeeke for.
And therefore I would have you to correct your language, and ſearch and try your wayes, (as you exhort the Apollogiſts to doe;) Conſider with what ſpirit, and intention you writ this booke, Let your conſcience reflect upon what is plainely layd downe before you, in the Anſwer to your former booke, and in this. And doe not ſeeke ſhifts, and ſuperfuges. Conſider and receive admonition, though it be from a woman. I am ſure many godly perſon and Churches beyond the ſeas, are grieved at your writing, as well as in this Country.
Conſider how that though you were, cryed up by the worſer ſort 23 D2r 23 ſort, whoſe Champion you were become, and that your confidence was ſo, of carying any thing, and ſaying any thing, yet your witt (ſo ☜ ſtrong for you,) hath deceived you. Let my councell (therefore) be acceptable unto you, Repent, Repent, of making this Antipologie, give glory to God, and recant it, testifie your Repentance by comming out of your falſe eſtate, and recall this Antipologia. I have ſhewed unto you the greatneſſe of your ſinne, and folly in particular, in making this Antipologia, as well as your former booke: They were both unſeaſonable, diſordered, ſinfull and ungrounded vapours; ſcandalizing the Churches of Chriſt: There are many untruths in them both, & that not onely where you make naked relations of Tales, but where you make profeſſion before God, and the World, to bring ſufficient reaſons; when indeede you bring nothing but ſhadowes and fig leaves. And this ſinne of yours is agravated, by your labouring to bring the houſes to conſent unto you, to keepe under the people of God, and to roote them out of the Kingdome, or at leaſt not to ſuffer them to performe publike worſhip, in the way which God requireth. Now if a ſimple, and ſingle untruth neede repentance, what repentance ought there to bee for ſuch a compounded agravated evill as your is? And as I have repreſented it to your conſcience, that you may repent and be humbled: So I turn you over to the Parliament, to deale with you for the ſame.
Now if you had beene a Member of a true Church, I could ☜ have admoniſhed you in another way, But you [being in diſorder] could not be dealt with by ſuch an Order.
For what have I to doe to judge them alſo that are without. I Cor. 5.12.