Being a Golden
Egge, to avoide Infection:
A Short Step Into
the Doctrine of laying on of hands, to
provoke ſuch as have time, hart, and parts to
proſecute reſting upon the promiſe, the tongue
of the ſtutterers ſhall ſpeake plaine, and out of
the mouthes of babes, Jehovah ſhall
Looke not to Scottiſh, nor Dutch, New-England, nor Olde, Behold the paterne, the Apoſtles fellowſhip and ſo goe up by the Tents of the Shepheards.
Printed in the yeare 16441644:
Worthy D. Gouge,
Remembring your antient acquaintance with mee and my Father long ſince at reſt, I preſume to father this naked child without Scholaſticke phraiſes, or Schoole learning to dreſſe it and garniſh it, and ſo bring it forth to further view, knowing by experience, and alſo you were well reported of for the opening of Doctrines, ſeeing you have had a word of knowledge to preach the Doctrine of Repentance from dead workes and faith towards God, and have ſweetly taught Chriſt in his Prieſtly Office, I beſeech you leave ſome good favour of your name before the cloſe of your eyes concerning Chriſts Kingly Office; open the Doctrine of the laying on of hands, and reſt not in the( ceremony which hath been uſed by the laying on of hands of bloody perſecutors, I hope you will be wary of new inventions, to lay on fowle hands againe, leave not to their wiſedome that have ſo long erred, take the advice of the Aſſemblie of the Saints, and ſo of the ſpouſe of Chriſt who waſheth her hands in innocencie and compaſſeth the Alter, let her have her due benevolence and ſo her right; as ſhe is the Elderſhip to lay on hands by whom ſhe ſhall appoint.
Sir, there was much jeloſie of you in the time of the Prelates, that you wer too full of feares, And now the Lord hath ſhortned thoſe dayes of perſecution; and you have a priſe in your hand, being one of the Maiſters of the Aſſemblie, faſten ſome naile concerning the Doctrine of laying on of hands, which will cleare up holy fellowſhip and take off that aſpertion layd upon your congregations, that they are falſe; none of Chriſts, but Antichriſtian: Though I doe not for A2 my 4A2vmy part ſay ſo of them, yet the Doctrine of Baptiſme and the Doctrine of laying on of hands is left out of them, notwithſtanding the ceremonys have beene of Baptiſme and laying on of hands with more then needed which makes ſome to goe to a ſecond Baptiſme. And an other forme, ſome are ſeekers out of a Baptiſme looking for Elyas as John the Baptiſt to bring it from heaven, forſaking all fellowſhip till Chriſt ſhall ſend forth new Apoſtles to lay on hands; All this is (as I conceive) is for want of the knowledge of thoſe two middle principalls, ſeeing theſe things are come to paſſe in your dayes, before your end; labour in the word and doctrine to cleare up thoſe two principalls, ſo to our great Docter I leave you to teach you the miſteries of the Kingdome, reſting ever to love the Saints.
I Printed a few for my owne uſe, becauſe I would not looſe my thoughts, & for ſuch as ſhal councell me for the beſt; for without councell the thoughts periſh. If herein I have failed, I hope it will be eaſily paſſed by being the firſt fault upon that ſubject of laying on hands deſiring to provoke to love & good workes, ſo to him that hath loves to beſtow upon his beloved, who is the wonderfull councellor. I leave all the worke.
To Sions Lovers,
Being a Golden egg to avoyd Infection, &c.
Chriſtian Reader, I thought to have beene ſilent, but this is a time of warre, the war increaſeth not onely in earth but alſo in heaven, when the Lord will deſtroy his enemies, hee provokes them to come out againſt his people; and the Saints are as a marke for many to ſhoote at, but this is the comfort of the Saints, the Prince of peace, his Angells the Ambaſſadors of peace fighteth for Sion and the hill thereof, againſt the Dragon and his Angells, Bleſſed thoſe that helpe the Lord againſt the mighty, the Lord takes part with Pſal.Pſalm 118.7. thoſe that helpes the Saints, wherefore let thoſe that are againſt the Saints hold there peace; I will Job 13.13. ſpeake come what will; The enemies of the godly are forgers of lies, and the Saints become their enemies becauſe they Jerem.Jeremiah 2.8. tell them the truth; wherefore deare friends of Chriſt harken Jer.Jeremiah 15.19. not to lying vanities and ſo forſake your owne mercies; joyne to the Saints in holy union, as Jehovah ſaith to the Prophet let them returne to thee but returne not thou to them, though it be hard to goe againſt the flood the Dragon caſts Jer.Jeremiah 51.15. out of his mouth, yet looke to him that guides the ſtearne the Captaine of our Salvation, remember that the deſtroying Rev. 12.20.revelation mountaine Babell is rowling downe as a burnt mountaine, and the beaſt and the falſe Prophet is comming alſo with the ebb into the lake, wherefore let the Saints take hart, though they goe againſt the ſtreame of the times, for their way is one A3 high, 6 A3vhigh, and it will be eaſie for they of the world to goe downe the ſtreame with the lyers their companions, wherefore comfort ye my people, comfort ye my people ſaith our God, though there be pleaders againſt Gods people, and they are not ſuffered to pleade for themſelves, yet the Lord will pleade Eſa.Eſaiah 51.12. their cauſe; the ſpirit may depart from ſeven and ſevens, but hee that hath the ſeven ſpirits will never depart from his ſpouſe, he will be with her to the end of the world, walking in the midſt of the ſeven golden candleſticks, all the congregations that puts away all abominations ſo farre as they know and mingle not with droſſe, what is not declared by letter, muſt be cleared by the word that was before the letter; Chriſt manifeſt in all his offices, and ſo meaſure the Temple, the Altar, the worſhip, and the worſhippers, put away all humaine inventions that agree not with that rule; and ſo in his armes I leave thee that loveſt Sion.
Exhortations to Gods people.
Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cauſe darkeneſſe; and before your feet ſtumble upon the darke Jer.Jeremiah 13.16. mountaines, while you looke for light he turned it into the ſhadow of death and make it groſſe darkneſſe.
Heb.Hebrews 12.6.13. Let that which is halting be healed, leaſt it be turned out of Jer.Jeremiah 51.16. the way, Come out of her my people leaſt your hearts faint when you ſee the judgement: It is commendable for Gods Acts 1.42. people to abide ſteadfaſt in the Apoſtles doctrine and fellowſhip.
Obſervations for Gods people.
Eze.Ezekiel 10.15. They that be aſhamed of the iniquities, ſhall ſee the pattern of the houſe of Jehovah, The labour of the fooliſh weary every one of them, becauſe he knoweth not how to goe to the City.
Comfort to Gods People.
Eſa.Eſiah 41.15. Behold I will make thee a new threſhing inſtrument, haveinging 7A4ring mouths wherewith thou ſhalt threſh the mountaines and Pſal.Pſalm 149.8.9. beat them ſmall and make the hills as chaffe, this honour have all the Saints, they ſhall have a two edged ſword in their Cant.Canticles 6.4. hands, they ſhall be terrible as an Army with banners; great are the Armies, many were the publiſhers all the Congregations Pſal.Pſalm 68.11. of the Saints; as ſhee preachers hold forth Chriſt, publiſh the Goſpel, take in and caſt out, exerciſing the power of Chriſt
Admoniſhons to ſuch as goe from mountaine to hill forgetting their reſting place.
Mich.Micah 2.10. Ariſe, this is not your reſt, becauſe it is polluted, Polluted Jer.Jeremiah 2.36. Congregations is not the reſt of the Saints; why gaddeſt thou ſo much to change thy way, thou ſhalt be aſhamed of Ægypt Holy fellowſhips are fenced Cities, upon all the glory ſhall be a defence. as thou waſt of Aſſyria, It may be thou maieſt be aſhamed of the Presbytery as thou waſt of the Hierarchie.
Wy doe we ſit ſtill? Aſſemble your ſelves and let us enter into the defenſed Cities, and let us be ſilent there, for the Lord our God hath put us to ſilence and given us water of gall to drinke, becauſe wee have ſinned.
EſayEſiah 4.5. Beware of doggs, for the leaders of this people cauſe them Jer.Jeremiah 8.14. to erre, and they that are led by them are deſtroyed, they that poſeſſe them, ſlay them, and their teachers have Phil.Philemon 3.2. ſwallowed up the old path.
Good councell to luke warme Congregations.
EſayEſiah 9.16. Zach.Zechariah 11.5. EſayEſiah 3.12. I councell thee to buy of me gold tryed in the fire that thou maieſt be rich, and white rayment that thou maieſt be clothed, Revel.revelation 3.18. that the ſhame of thy nakedneſſe doe not appeare, and anoint thine eyes with eye ſalve, that thou maieſt ſee, ſuch as ſee the evill of their way, will enter into holy fellowſhip with ſilence and here the Saints: The Prelates in their time put the godly to ſilence, and the time will come when God ſhall put many to ſilence, and then they will heare what the ſpirit ſpeaketh to the Saints none dareing to ſpeake againſt them.
Q.Question What may be the darke mountaines wee may avoyde falling on them.
A.Answer This is a begging age, and there is Phiſitians of no val ue that beg queſtions but not for healing, but ſome have many queſtions to beg, but before we fall upon querees, let us heare 8A4vhere what hath beene done againſt the Saints, There have beene councellors of ſtate that have councelled for their hurt: I hope better things of ſome that are now clouded with temptations; that they will dote upon queſtions of no worth, and plead for a thing of naught, and againſt the Saints, but were they grave councelors as healing Elders, they would endeavour to heale Babell ſhee not being healed, or come out of her into holy fellowſhip, as the ſtraight gate by Ezek.Ezekiel 42.8. reaſon of perſecution, and ſo ſhine forth to the conſuming of Rev.revelation 22.2. Antichriſt, and their holy fellowſhip and godly converſation will be as the leaves of the trees of the ſanctuary for the healing of the nations. And if they were wiſe pleaders, they would not plead againſt the Saints, who were companions with them in ſufferings, and in their adverſitie, gave themſelves to prayer in holy fellowſhip for them, which they called convinticles, who after the way they called hereſie worſhip they God abiding ſteadfaſt in the Apoſtles doctrine and fellowſhip, and put away uncleanneſſe from them ſo farre as they know, they doe not ſeparate with ſhame, as ſome Congregations like darke mountaines, thoſe that abide in holy fellowſhip doe not ſeparate with whores, they doe not worſhip with harlots as the people that doe not underſtand, but may fall upon the darke mountaines; If thoſe pleaders that accuſe the Saints of that they know not, were they wiſe pleaders Hoſea 14.4. they would plead the cauſe of the dumbe, who keepe ſilence Pſa.Pſalmes 39.1. in evill times, the wicked being in ſight: If they would plead their own innocency after ſome that have been firſt as ſeeming juſt, they are made dumbe and put to ſilence, for none of their Complaints ſhall paſſe the Preſſe, but the Preſſes are filled with their Letters, that open their mouthes wide to ſmite the Saints with the tongue, and wound them with the Pen, blotting them with their Inke, as if they would not have the name of holy Ones among them; as in the time of the Hirarchie, the pretious were put out, and the uncleane kept in, and compelled to come to worſhip, though they reliſhed it no more then the White of an Egge: But now when the name of Antichriſt ſhould be raiſed out, now they have a priſe in their hand to ſet upon reformation, now the judgementsment 9B1rments of God are on the earth, ſhould not the Inhabitants thereof learne Righteouſneſſe; ſhall the hands of the wicked be ſtrengthned, and the hearts of the godly ſadded, whom the Lord hath not ſadded: Remember what is ſaid, this is that king Ahaz that ſinned more and more in the time of diſtreſſe: 2 Cor.Corinthians 18.22. Oh that the Saints were wiſe to gather into holy fellowſhip, the roote of 1 Cor.Corinthians 6.5. Jeſſe ſet up for an Enſigne, and ſo Thrones ſet up for Judgement in the gates of Sion, executing the power of Chriſt to judge each other; then there would bee little or no worke for Lawyers, eſpecially among the Saints; then evill reports of the Saints would not be received and ſuch as bring up an evill report of the good way of God are not likely to ſee the pattern of Jehovahs houſe.—Let ſuch take heed they fall not upon the 1 Cor.Corinthians 10.5. darke mountaines, as they fell in the Wilderneſſe, but give glory to God, confeſſing their ſinne, be aſhamed of Iniquities, ſo ſhall ye ſee the Pattern of the Houſe, and goe not ſo much as neere the Corner of the Harlot, gad not from mountaine to hill, forgetting the reſting place, dayes without number: Why gaddeſt thou ſo much to change thy way, Jer.Jeremiah 2.36. If there be another Lord- like power ſet up, you ſhall be aſhamed of it, as you were of the former Hirarchy, marke what the wiſe Preacher ſaith, The labour of the fooliſh wearieth every one of them, becauſe he knoweth not how to goe to the city. Eccle.Ecclesiastes 10.15. Is there not great labour loſt in wrong reaſoning, ſtrife about words, Presbitery and Independency which the Saints in fellowſhip owne not? is there not much wearineſſe in reading many bookes to no profit, but to pleaſe the fleſh? is there not much wearying in carnall diſputes, contending for nought ſhewing luſt which ſhould not be the cuſtome of the Saints? the reaſon of their wearineſſe is they know not to goe to the city where the Saints ſit together in holy fellowſhip as in heavenly places, according to the doctrine of laying on of hands, which hath not been tought, ſo farr as I know in the confuſed congregations ſince the defection of Antichriſt; the doctrine of Baptiſme and the laying on of hands hath been as it were loſt, as the book of the law which was found in good 2 Cor.Corinthians 34.14. Joſias time of reformation, ſuch as deſire reformation now, may doe well to pat to pen, and preſſe, pulpits and conferences to cleare thoſe two doctrines, the doctrine, of baptiſme will cleare the purities of the ordinances, the doctrine of laying on hands B will 10B1v will cleare holy fellowſhip, the laying on of foule hands, yea, bloody hands of the Prelates hath beene taken for the doctrine of laying on of hands as if the uſing of the ceremonie as a ſhell to the kernell held forth in the doctrine, even as if the joyning of the lips which is the ceremony were all that is required Rom.Romans 16.16. to imbracing by love.
If there bee another power out and above the congregation Heb.Hebrews 7.7. which is the Elderſhip above her ſtewards, for the loſſe is bleſſed of the greater, ſo ſurely the congregations united together in Covenant, by worſhip or agreeing in the name of Chriſt in time of reformation having beene back—ſliders, ſuch as the tipicall, Pſal.Pſalms 50.5. nationall, great congregation ſaid, come let us joyne in EſayEſiah 50.5. Covenant, what was meete for the tipicall Church as the generall congregation of the firſt borne, the ſame is meete for every viſible congregation when they come to reformation, uniting themſelves together in holy union, to injoy holy communion and ſo ſhine forth to the conſuming of Anticriſt, electing, chooſing out from among themſelves, ordaining, inveſting by her owne power given her from Chriſt ſhee being in his ſtead the Elderſhip to appoint her Officers as her maides Pro.Proverbs 9.1. to kill her fatlings, dwelling together in one Pariſh is not from heaven to make one bread and one body but of men, but many members becomes one body according to Gods, Ordinance to have power to take in & caſt out by uniting together by faith & order agreeing in the name of Chriſt and ſo we are indowed with power and order; as two parties husband and wife becomes one by Covenant more or few partners becomes one by covenant, civill fellowſhips many members becomes one congregation by Covenant, ſo joyning to Chriſt by faith gives us not a viſible right to the ordinances, but uniting together according Jer.Jeremiah 50.5. to the minde of Chriſt, joyning to the Lord in Covenant, ſo in times of perſecution holy fellowſhip will not falſefie their Covenant, though the Pariſh Aſſemblies turne with the State in evill times, but this is too great a labour for my ſelfe, I doe Pſal.Pſalms 44.17. but hint it to the honored that labour in the word and doctrine as a patient deſire to be healed wherein I erre, I earneſtly beg theſe queſtions of the wiſe and learned, by what name or title ſoever called or would be called; for of them is pretious Preachers concerning the doctrine of repentance from dead workes and 11 B2r and faith towards God; but of them are thoſe that have ſpoken evill of the old and good way, of them there is that have blaſphemed the Tabernacle and dwellers in heaven, of them there is hirelings to ſpeake againſt the gathering of the Saints in order, as Shemaiah was hired by Sanballat & Tobia to hinder the Neh.Nehemiah 6.10. building of Gods Temple, of them there is not any that ever I heard that opened the doctrine of laying on of hands, wherefore though I honour them for the truth they teach, yet I ſubmitt not to them in that which is beſides the text, wherefore turne my queſtions to the more honored Chriſtians, peculiars purchaſed by Chriſts blood, ſuch as have the tongue of the learned to ſpeake a word in ſeaſon to the weary, honored before ſuch as aſhame their name, as the righteous is better then his neighbour, ſuch as through John 2.38. beleeving out of whoſe bellies flow rivers of waters of life, ſuch as Pſa.Pſalms 25.14. feere Jehovah, with whom are his ſecrets, holy brethren ſuch as are Rev.revelation 3.8. made partakers of the Divine nature, I know no other Divines but Jer.Jeremiah 2.8. brethren and ſiſters united together as godly Phyladelphian, and Pſa.Pſalms 133. ſweet Smyrna dwelling even together in unity honored Saints with the double edged ſword of thoſe holy hearers, I begge theſe queſtions following.
Queſt.Question1.Whether the Congregations that know not the Doctrine of laying on of hands, that know not the power, or have given their power to the Beaſt, that know not how to weld the two edged ſword, that know not how to ſpeake each to other. 2 or 3 by Mat.Matthew 18.1516. courſe, and others to judge, that know not how to judge one another, that know not how to deale with one another, 1 by telling privately, 2 by two, or 3 & then to the Congregation, whereof they be members, that know not how to elect, chooſe, ordaine, inveſt Paſtors, Teachers, Elders, Deacons, Male and Female, qualified according to holy writt, whether ſuch congregations as theſe may not be ſaid to be darke mountaines.
Q.Question2.Whether ſuch as be tontoſticated with the cup of fornicators, rayging and rangling drunke with pride and paſſion, alſo ſtaggering are not like to ſtumble and fall upon thoſe darke mountaines.
Q.Question3.Whether the Saints that withdraw from all that walke diſorderly either brethren or congregations agreeing in the name of Chriſt covenanting to walke with God, and one with another to walke with God in all his waies, ſo farre as they know or ſhall know be not the way and order of the Goſpell,
Q.Question4.Whether ſuch Congregations as laſt aforeſaid be not ſenced EſayEſiah 4.5. Cities which are walled by the power of Diſcipline, upon Pſa.Pſalms 51.18. all the glory ſhall bee a defence, and ſuch for whom the Prophet prayes the walls may be built.
Q.Question5.Whether the mixt Congregations, that exerciſe not the power of Chriſt that he hath given them be not unfenſed Cities.
Q.Question6.Whether that new threſhing inſtruments having mouthes called new, as the new commandement which was from the beginning be not the ordinance of Diſſipline to beat the mountaines into chaffe, the graine may appeare, behold I will make the tipicall congregation nation one congregation, behold I will make thee a very EſayEſiah 41.15. viſible congregation under the Goſpel a new threſhing inſtrument, Pſa.Pſalms 68.11. ſo the power is given to her, nnot to her officers.
Mat.Matthew 28.19. 20.
Q.Question7.Whether the Congregations be not the ſhee preachers to whom the command is given, to whom the promiſe is made, goe Preach and Baptiſe, obſerve and doe all I command you, and I will be with you to the end of the world.
Q.Question8.Whether all the Saints ſhall not have honour, the power as the two edged ſword, her overſeers being one with her, not Lords over her.
Q.Question9.Whether the Saints that would have healed Babell, ſhe not Cant.Canticles 5.6. being healed are not to come out from confuſion and gather into order as flockes of ſheepe goe up from waſhing.
Q.Question10.Whether the Congregations that ſuffer Chriſt to reigne over them, the Roote of Jeſſe ſet up for an enſigne, exerſing the power of Chriſt to take in what is ſerviceable, caſting out what is offencive, would not be as terrible as an army with bannors, comly Cant.Canticles 6.4. as Jeruſalem beautifull as Tirzah.
Q.Question11.Whether the Males in every Congregation be not to lift up pure hands, propheng one, by another, two or three by courſe, the reſt judging.
Q.Question12.Whether ſuch Preachers as ſpeake againſt ſuch as walke in order and are of the quiet of the land, ſuch counſellers as adviſeth to their hutt, ſuch pleaders as pleade for a thing of nought Eph.Epheſians 5.21. ſhall not be called to the barre of Gods judgment if they repent not, Oh, that wee might ſubmitt one to another in all that is good.
O that the time were come that the wolfe might lie with the lamb, EſayEſiah 11.6. & 9 and a little childe ſhould leade them.