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and 40.23, 25, 27, 29. Levit. 8. 9, 13, 17, 21, 29. Nomb. 8.3. Exod.35.10,29. & 36.1, 5. Ifa.29. 13.
Fourthly; That this Church, gathered by the Lord, and wonder. fully separated from the rest of the world (though they had him neaser to them than any people, had his Law made known amongst them) did notwithstanding quickly depart from his pure Institutions, mingling therewith the Inventions of men, and Customs of the Nations (after which they went a whoring) is frequently remarked in the Scripture : Of this the Lord sorely complains, Deut, 32, 18. fer. 2. 32. and 13. 25. and 18.-15. and 23. 27. Hof. 4. 0. and 8. 14. and 13. 6. 2Ćhron. 13. 10. Isa. 1.4. Fer.. 1. 16. and 2. 17, 19. and 2. 13. and 15.6. Dent. 29 25. 1 Kings 11. 33. and 18. 18. and 19. 10. 2 Kings 22. '17, Ezra, 9. 10. for this he severely threatens and punisheth them, Deut. 29.25. fudg. 10.10. 1 Sam. 12. 10. 2 Chron. 12.5. and 24.20. and 34.25. Fer. 16.11. and 19.4. the very truth is, the Contests of God with that people from first to last, are to be bottomed upon this foot of account.
Fifthly, That notwithstanding their dreadful Apostacy, from God, they were usually confident, That they were the only People, Had not forsaken the Lord, nor done any evil, and could not bear the Prophecies and Rebukes of the Prophets and Servants of the Lord against their abominations : Whom they persecuted and put to death ( as at laft they did the Prince of Life and Glory ) for no other cause, but for telling them the truth, and bearing testimony against their Ionovations, and Apostacy from God (the usual practice of persons degenerated from the Way and Spirit of the Lord)Mal.1.6. Jer.7.4.Luke 3. 8. John 8. 32. Matth.'s. 12. A£t.7. 52.
Sixthly, That they had all along their corruption in Worship, and degeneracy from the pure Wayes of God, false Prophets, (who ran before they were sent, prophesying smooth things to them in the Name of the Lord, seeing lying vanities for them, according to the desires of the hearts of them and their Rulers, who were therefore in great esteem amongst them)Isa.9.15.& 28.7.fer.6.13.& 23.11,28. & 28.10.Hof. 9.8. fer.2. 8, 26. & 5.31. & 14. 14. & 23.13,21. Ezek. 13. 2. & 22.25, 28. Mic.3.5,6,7. Zeph.3.4.2 Pet.2. 1.
Seventhly, That in the height of their Apoftacy, God left not himself without a Witness, having one or other extraordinarily raised up and spirited by him, to teftife for his Name and Glory, against
at their Abominations and self-invented Worship, reserving also a Remnant unto himself, that were not carried away with the spirit of Whoredoms and Delusions, 1. Kings 19.14, 18. 2 Kings 17. 13. Rom. 11. 3, 4. Jer. 18. 11. and 25. 5. & 35. 15.
Eighthly, That it was the fia of that people, to hearken unto the teachings of such as were not sent by the Lord ( though they pretended never fo much to be sent by him) and the unquestionable duty of the Lord's persevering Remnant, to separate from them, as also from all the falle, self-devised Worship of that day, though commanded by their Kings and Rulers, 2 Kings 17. 21, 22. Hof.5. IT, The former is evident, such. Prophets were to be cut off from the midst of them, Dent. 18.20. and they are expresly forbidden to hear them, Deut. 13. 3. fer. 27. 9, 16. So is the latter, their devised Worship being a breach upon the Sovereign Authority of God, must needs be a greivous kin, as the names of Adultery, whoredom, Idola try, Fornication, by which the Spirit of the Lord doth frequently set it forth, abundantly demonstrates; Psal. 73.27. Isa. 57. 3, 8. fer.9. 2. Ezek. 23.45. Hof: 3. 7. ard 7. 3. Lev. 20.5. Fer. 13. 27. Ezek. 16. 17, 20, 30. Hof.1.2. Rev. 14.8. & 18.9,19,20, which without controverfie, the People of God were to separate from, and have no communion with any in, upon
pretence soever : Which is fou lemnly charged upon them as their duty in the Scripture, Hof. 4: 15. Amos 5. 5. Prov. 4. 14. and s. 8. Cant. 4. 8.
What may rationally be inferred from these Positions, so evidently comprized in the Scripture, and by way of analogie at least, be ara gued from them, is evident to any ordinary understanding; for our parts being resolved (as was said) to try out the matter in controverie, from such Rules and Soveraign Institutions, as our dear Lord hath left his New-Teftament Churches to walk by, we shall not stand to make that improvement of them as else otherwise we might : A few Queries upon the whole that hath been offered, shalt put a close to this Preface.
1. Whether since the Apotomic, or Unchurching the Nation of the Fews, the Lord hath ever since fo espoused a Nation or people to himself, as that upon the account thereof, the whole body of that. Peo ple or Nation may be accounted his Church? whether there be any National Church under the Oeconomie of the Gospel ? if so, let it be Thewed when, and where it was instituted.by the Lord; what is proa
duced by some to this purpose, is (but upon a slight view thereof) of no moment, it is lfa.49.21. Kings Mall be your Nurfing-fathers, Go. which Prophecy waits the time of its accomplishment; bitherto, both before and fince the rise of Antichrist (being made drunk by the whores intoxicating-cup) they have been, for the most part, cruel Butcherers of the Saints : and were we under its accomplishment, a National Church would be far enough from being its result. Of a Nations be- * ing born at once, we shall not sure hear pleaded in this matter, it be. ing a Prophecy expresly relating to the Jews, and their miraculous Conversion : if there be no such thing as a National Church of the Institution of Christ, as most certain it is there is not (the Affertion whereof is wholly destructive of Gospel-Administrations) Then,
2. Whether National Minifters are the Ministers of Christ, or whether there can be a true Ministry in a falfe Church, as a Nationala Church mult be, if not of Divine Infitution, upon what pretence foever it be so denominated ?
3. Whether God doth not bear as much love to, and exercise as much faithfulness over, his New-Testament-Churches, as over the National-Church of the Fews? If so, Then,
4. Whether he hath not (as of old he did, with reference unto the then Church) determined the whole of the Worship, appertaining unto them, to whose Institutions, without any humane additions, its the duty of souls foley to conform? Yea,
s. Whether he hath not now ( as then) designed the feveral Offi. cers,
and Offices, his Wisdom thought fufficient for the management of the affairs of his House, so that the invention of new ones by the rons of men, is not only needless, but a daring advance againlt the Soveraignty, Care and Wisdom of God over his Churches?
6. Whether the Priviledges of Saints, be por every way, as great and extensive under the Gospel, as those under the Law ? if so, then Whether the folemn deputation of men, lignally pointed out by the Lord, for the adminiftration of holy things in his House, by the Body of his Church, be not now (as then) their peculiar Priviledge ?
7. VVhether any Church in the World ( we speak of a visible, instituted Church) hath greater security against Aportacy from God, and that fore Judgment of having its Candlestick removed (and be ing unchurched) than that people of the fenes had ? if not, then whether, supposiog a National Church to be of the Institution of Christ, it
may not so come to pass, that it may be so over-Spread with corrup-
10. VVhether, fuppofing a Church (so called) thus dreadfully, as aforesaid, departed from the pure Institutions of Christ, never to be according to Truth, a visible instituted Church of Christ, and the Lord's poor People living in the Nation, never by their free consent Members thereof, as it is on the pretended Churches part,most unheard-of-Cruelty to compel them, so it be not on the part of the freeborn Children of God, moft ftupendous folly, and disvaluation of the Institutions of Christ, and ingratitude to God, for the Light and Liberty from the Yokes of men, received, imaginable, to joyn affinity with it in Worship, or attend upon the self-invented Ministry that appertains thereunto ? Many more Questions of the like nature and importance might unto these be added.
CH A P. I. great care of Souls in their Asceffes to God, should be to sanctifie bis Name. Divine Institution to be heeded in the whole of our Worship. The Question proposed. That 'tis lawful to hear the present Ministers of: England, denied : cxe Argument proposed to consideration. Nothing may be practised in instituted Worship, but wbat is warranted by the Scripture : The Testimonies of the Ancients produced. Tbeat Hearing is part of instituted Worship, proved. "His is that which the Lord hath said, I will be fan&tified in all that
me, and before all the People will I be glorified : The great care of Saints in matter of Worship, is to fandihe. the Name of the
Lord therein : This is the great thing that God looks at, the omission whereof he often severely punilhaes the children of men for : now in order hereunto, it's necessary that in all our approaches to God we fee to the Ioftitution of the Lord, both in respect of the matter and manner of Worship, that it be according to Divine Prescript, elle we cannot fanctifie the Name of God therein, nor glorifie him before the people. Hearing (as was said, and shall beyond contradition in its proper place be evinced) is part of instituted Worship, it therefore, more nearly concerns Saints thao many are aware of, to have their consciences resolved from the Scriptures of God, in the matter under enquiry, Whether it be lawful for the Saints to hear the present Ministers of England ? 'Tis the Negative, we have received under our maintenance; because we are satisfied Chrilt hath so; To the proof whereof we now address our felves.
Argument 1. That which there is no warrant for in the Scripture, being part of instituted Worship is not lawful for the Saints to practise : But there is no warrant in the Scripture for hearing the present Ministers or Engs land; and hearing is part of instituted Worship. Therefore.
The major (or first) Proposition is evident.
1. From the nature of instituted Worship, which confifts in this, that it be of Divine Revelation; else whatever it is, it is not institus ted Worship:
2. From the Verdiet of Christ, who pronounces all the Worship of man to be vain and fruitles, and so unlawful, that is bottom'd on any thing but Divine Revelation, Mark 7. 7.
3. If it be lawful to conform to any one part of instituted Worship without warrant from Scripture, 'tis allo lawful to conform to another, a third, the whole, which would banifh inticuted Worship out of the world.
4. To assert that it is lawful to conform to any part of instituted Worship, without warrant from Scripture, reflets sadly. upon the Wisdom and Faithfulness of Christ; for either he was not wise enough to foresee that such a part of Worship was, or would be requisite, or had not faithfulness enough to reveal it, though the Scripture compares him to Moses for faithfulness, who revealed the whole Will of God, to the making of a pin in the Tabernacle. 6. It pours out contempt upon the Care of God over the New