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Testament Churches ( as if it were less to these, then to the Church under the Law) and the Oeconomie of the Gospel, as not so compleat as that of old, the whole of whose VVorship, Orders and Ordinances ( as was said) was borcom'd upon pure Revelation.
7. It carries with it a sad reflection upon the Authority of the Scripture,'as not thorowly furnished to make the man of God perfect.
8. The Lord condemns not ooly that which is done against the warrant and direction of the VVord, but also that which is done ben fide ir, Deut. 4. 2. and 12. 32. Mat. 15.9. LEV, 10.1. (their fin, lay not in this, that they offered strange fire which was forbidden, buc which God commanded them not) Prov. 30,0. fer. 7.31,
9. Of the same mind with us in this matter are the renowned VVitneffes of Christ in all ages ; generally all that write upon the second Commandment, speak fully hereunto.
Cyprian (in his Epift. to Cecilius de Sacram.) sayes roundly, Et quod Chriftus folus, ó c. i.e. that Christ alone ought to be heard : we have the Father himself witnessing from Heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, hear him. Wherefore if Christ only be to be heard, we ought not to attend to what others did before 'us, but what he hath
prefcribed. Beza (on Phil. 1. 1.) sayes, Episcopos igitur, &c. The Apostle meaneth by Bishops, such as were set over others in the preaching the VVord, viz. Pastors, Teachers and Elders, for so were Bishops of old called, until he which for Polities fake, did preside in the Assembly, began peculiarly to be cal’d Bishop: hereof the Devil began to lay the first foundation of Tyranny in the Church of God: Behold (sayes he) of how great moment it is to decline from the Word of God, though but an bairs breadth. So he. To whom may be added
the Teftimony of that lively Witness † In a Translation of the New- of Chrift Martin Luthert, who sayes, Testament in Edward the 6ths on 1 Pet. 4. 11. To the Office of preatime, the Author of the Notes ching, that properly belongs, which the on Matth. .15. Saith, God will
Apostle Peter prescribeth, viz.unto whomsnot be worshipped after the foever the vocation and charge of Preado&trine & precepts of men, ching the Word is allotted, let him fpeak but as he himself hath pre as the Words of God; which Caveat and scribed and taught us in his Lesson ought most carefully to be taken Word.
heed unto, that no man presume to preach and teach any thing, whereto he hath not the expreß words of God. for his
warrant, and except he be most certain that the same be directly to be an vouched out of the sacred Scriptures, which being Jo, what may be thought of the Pope (we may add of the Hierarchy) and his dirty Traditions ? And anon after, he faith, A Bishop onght to do nothing in the Church, unleß be be certain and sure of the warrantife thereof by God's Word ; fur God cannot abide to have bis Service jumbled and mingled at pleasure with every foolish gewgar and light trumpery; yea further, saith he, And therefore we are strictly forbidden not to rely unto, xor to allora whatsoever decree or conftitution the Bishops lift to obtrude, and enjoyn, unless they stand spon a fare ground, that the things which they do, are allowed of God and anless they be able to say, Do this ; for it is the will and Commandment of God, and we have his expreß Word and Commandment for our warrant : if they be not able to say thus, i bey onght to be accounted as Liars and Deceia, vers,much leß ought any Christian to yeeld unto them therein any obedience or subscription: And afterwards, There is nothing (faith he) so pernitions, nothing so monstrous, nothing so beastly, as to go about to govern the Church of God, without the Warrant of God's own Word. Of the same mind is learned Whitaker, We acknowledge (saich he) no Ogl in God's Service, because we reade' nothing of Oyl in the Scriptures, can you shew that ever Christ or his Apostles used it ? To whom many others might be added.
The minor (or second Proposition) consists of two parts. 1. That Hearing is part of instituted Worship, one would wonder should it be denied; however 'is evident it is so, from the light of this single demonstration : That in which we wait upon God in the way of an Ordinance for the communication of good, beyond the vertue of any creature to conveigh to us, is part of the instituted Worfhip of God (for what I wait for, not being in the thing it self, in which I am waiting, no ground can be assigned, for my expecting of good through it, but Divine Institution) but in the Hearing of the Word we wait upon God in the way of an Ordinance, for the communication of good, beyond the vertue of any creature to conveigh to us: Therefore.
2. That Hearing the present Ministers of England is not warranta ed in the Scripture : This will be manifested, when we come to the ventilating and scanning of those places, which are usually produced for the abetting of the practice of some in this matter : in the mean while we crave liberty to profess, that it is not opinionativeness, fin. gularity, vain-glory, uncharitableness, or any thing of that nature;
(as some are apt uncharitably enough to centure) but the dread and awe of God (who is a jealous God, and especially in point of Worfhip) and an holy fear of offending him, that hinders us from complying in these matters : could but one word, tittle or jota be
produced from the Scriptures of God, for the warranting the Hearing the present Ministers of England, we should quickly lay our mouths in the dust, confess and bewail our guilt and folly in refusing to conform thereunto; but this we are fully assured, those that diffent from us, are not able to do ; what they say herein, shall our ew be Gifted to the uttermoft.
CH A P. II. A second Argument proposed to confideration: That 't is not lawful to bear
the present Ministers of England, as Ministers of Christ, nor as Gifted Brethren, proved. A Separation from them, if Brethren, evinced. That the best of them walk disorderly, proved.
Argument 2. Fit be lawful to hear the present Ministers of England; 'tis lawful
to hear them, either as Ministers of the Gospel, or as gifted Brethren : But ’tis not lawful to hear them, either as Ministers of the Gospel, or as Gifted-Brethren: Therefore.
The major (or first Propofition) will not be denied ; That Chrift hath appointed some, as Ministers, by vertue of an Office-power, to dispense the Ordinances of the Gospel, until his second coming, is granted by all, that 'tis permitted to others, as their liberty,enjoyned them, as their duty (having received Gifts and Enablements from the Lord thereunto) to improve those Gifts in preaching, praying, &c. for the Edification of the Body of Christ (though not folemnly invelted into Office) is aflented unto, at least by some of those with whom we have to do; whence a lawfulness to hear them as Ministers, or as Gifted-Brethren, doth necessarily arise.
'Tis the minor (or second Proposition) that is capable, in the thoughts of some, of a denial: which we prove, per partes, thus.
1. 'Tis pot lawful to hear them as Ministers of the Gospel : they are not such, therefore may not be heard as such. That they are not Minifters of the Gospel (but Thieves and Robbers.) is manifeít: Such as come not in by the Door, which is Chrift, Joh.10,9. (viz.by ver
tue of any Authority derived to them from him) are not Ministers of the Gospel, but Thieves and Robbers, fob.10.1. (from whom 'cis the property of the Sheep to fee, ver. 4.) But the present Ministers of England come not in by the Door : Therefore.
That theycome not in by the Dcor (viz. by vertue of any Authority derived to them from Chrift) is evident: If they have received any such Authority or Commission from him, they have received it, either mediately or immediately: the latter will not be afferted, nor without the working of Miracles, should it fo be, would it to the world's end be made good : 'Tis the former must be fixe upon, viz. That they have received their Authority or Commission, mediately from Christ, but to as little purpose ; for those that receive Authority to preach the Gospel mediately from Christ, have it from some particular instituted Church of Christ, to whom power is soley delegated for the electing of their own Officers, according to the tenour of the ensuing Scriptures, Afts 6.5. &.14. 23.
These men (as it's known) have no luch Authority, pretend not to it, have it in derision, come barely with a Presentation from a Patron, and Ordination, Inftitution and Induction from a Lord-Bishop (things forreign to the Scripture ) and impose themselves upon the people whether they will or no.
2. 'Tis not lawful to hear them as Gifted-Brethren. I. The most of them are not gifted; nor 2. Brethren, being Canonical-Drunkards, Swearers, Gamsters,&c. 3. The best of them cannot by Saints, in refpe& of Gospel-communion, be so accounted: for, 1. There was never any giving up of our felves, each to other, according to the will of God and primitive Example, whence such a Brotherhood doth result. 2. We cannot ( as things stand) perform the duties of Brethren to them, according to Mat. 18. nor will they, or can they, in the state in which they ftand, to us.' 3. If we acknowledge the best of them for such, we must also acknowledge the worst of them : for, 1. They are all Members of the same Church. 2. Profess themselves to be one Brotherhood, fo sayes their Rime upon the Lord's Prayer,
Our Father which in Heaven art,
And makt us all one Brotherhood, c. Nay, 3. we cannot so acknowledge them, but we must also acknowledge the Bishops for our Reverend Fathers, (for theirs they are) which how abhorring it is to any tender enlighned soul, may eafily
be conjectured. But to hear this Plea speak its uttermost, let it be granted they are Brethren, and may be lo esteemed; They are Brethren that walk disorderly, or they do not : That they walk disorder. ly cannot be denied by such as pretend to Reformation, If submit. ting to Ordination or Re-ordination by a Lord Bishop, covenancing and protefting with detestation against a Reformation according to the Scriptúre, and the best Reformed Churches, to own (as consonant to Scripture ) a Lyturgy or stinted Forms of Prayer in the Church, and écad them, to wear the Surplice, &c. be disorderly walking; they are ( the very best of them ) beyond contradiction, to be reputed in the number of disorderly walkers; And so after due admonition ( according to the Scripture ) and a perseverance in their fin, to be fepa. rated from, by vertue of positive and express Precepts of Chrift, Mat. 18. 2 Theff.3.6. Now we command yon, Brethren, in the Name of the Lord Fesus Christ, that": you
withdraw your felves from every Brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition he received of us : With what vehemency, authority and holy earneftness doth the ApoAle press separation from Brethren that walk disorderly? We command fou, and we command you in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and we command you, Brethren, by vertue of our relation to each other, and that love and endearment that is betwixt us as Brethren, that
your felves, &c. I scarce know any one thing pressed by the Apofle, with greater vehemency than what is here initanc'd in: wherein we have also an undeniable convincing Argument, that the persons of whom We are treating, wałk disorderly.
Those that walk not after the tradition received from the Apostles ( we may adde, and the Primitive Church for above three hundred years after Christ, but according to the traditions of the old Bawd and Strumpet of Rome ) are such as walk disorderly : But the present Ministers of England walk not after the Tradition received from the Apostles, but after the Traditions of the Whorish Church of Rome : Therefore they are such as walk diforderly. What Apostolical Tradition have we for Itinted Forms of Prayer or Lyturgies in the Church, did they frame any? (those that are ascribed to some of them, are all spurious, as hath been over and over proved) for Surplice, croiling in Baptism, and many other gewgaws used by Them? if they have any Apoltolical written tradition for these things, let them produce it, and we shall lay our mouths in the duft, and for ever be filent, as to a charge of this Dature : If they have