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of the truth chereof. But herein the parties litigant are at a perfect agreement.
'Tis the minor Proposition that is judged by some to come short of a sufficient subAradtion, viz. That the present Ministers of England have the properties and characters of falie Prophets and Priests upon them. This we doubt not, by a serious observation of the characters are given of such in the Scriptures by the Holy-Ghost, will to any ordinary understanding be made exceeding perfpicuous and evident. The lignal Characters of whom are,
1. That they run before they are sent, Jer. 23. 21. That a Mission from the Lord is of the essence of a lawful Ministry, that whoever wanes such a Million, is no Officer of Christ, but a falle Prophet, and Minister of Antichrilt, may hence rationally, at least by way of analosy, be deduced, is evident. Which allo exactly accords with what is aflerted by the Apostle, Rom. 10. 15. That the present Ministers of England want such a Mission, hach already been demonstrated, and we shall not actum agere. In a word, when it shall be proved, that they have received their Authority from Chrift, either immediatly or mediatly, from any rightly constituted Church of Christ, or by succeflion from the Church in the Wilderness, we shall acknowledge them to be the Ministers of Christ, and look upon our selves as obliged to pay them all the honour and dury, thac as such, we are charged in Scrip. cure to do : But if they have nothing else to plead for themselves but -what is usually infanced in by them, a succession from the Church of
Rome: That Apoftate Church having lost her Churchship, and there- with, all lawful power for the sending forth Officers into the Churches of Christ, we shall not fear to say, That they are such as are characteTized here by the Prophet, persons that run before they are sent.
2. That they commit Adultery and walk in Lies; Jer.23.14. Which none as lever yet met wich, interpret literally of corporal Whoredome and * In an old Translation of the Adultery, but mystically of spirituall New-Teftament, dedicated to Adultery, a departure from the pure Edward the 6th, the Amihir Wayes and Inftitutions of the Lord in thereof in his Notes on Mar, Worship, to the Devices & Inventions - 21. says, They which in their of men fa sin usually in the Scripture Ministry and Preaching da expressed, for the nature and greatness otherwise than God hath con of it, under that norion, Jer. 3.8. Ezek. manded obem, are no true Di. 23.37. Rev. 2. 22. which is also in sciples of Chrift.
Scripture called a Lje, Ifa. 28. 15. Amos 2. 4. John 8. 44. The whole Worship of Antichrift being patch'd up with such dirty Inventions, is so called, 2 Thefs.2.11.) That this character also doth rightly appertain unto the present Ministers of England, the beft of whom, do in the sence of the Spirit, in the forecited Scripture,commit Adul. tery, and walk in lies, hath already been proved (and more hereunro Thall afterwards be spoken ) ['were well if upon some of them it had not a literal accomplishment ] which of the Institutions of Christ have they nor mixed with their invencions? From how maoy have they gone a whoring? Is not a great part of their Worship drops of the Whores Cup of Fornication, and shreds of the great lye of Antichrift? who that hath soberly and unbiaffedly considered of these things, but must acknowledge it?
3. That they strengthen the hands of evil-doers, that none doch return from his wickednes, Jer. 23. 14. That the present Ministers of EngLand, really do so, is capable of an ocular demonftration : perhaps they do in their Sermons reprove sin, thunder out the Judgments of God against transgressors of his Law, as much as any; but alas ! what is this, to condemn them in the state wherein they fand, without repentance, to the pit of Hell in the Pulpit ; and by and by to Saint them in the Chancel, and tell them there, without exception, that the Body of Christ was broken for them, bis Blood shed for them? Oh how many millions of souls are and have been hereby hardened to their own undoing, and had their hands strengthened in wickedness ? what should I mention their admiffion of the Children of all to Baptism, without exception, their owning them as Church-members, yea, die they never so wickedly, as Brethren, of whole jaful Resurrection they profess they have a sure and certain hope ; thereby proclaiming their undoubted perswafion, that they are a People in covenant with God? not to take notice of the terrible reflections, and uncharitable censures are publickly by them paft upon men truly fearing God, because they cannot conform to them: How desperately are the hands of the wicked hereby strengthned ? So that none indeed doch return from his wickedness : How rare a thing is it to bear of one soul that is brought over to God by all their preaching? so that vilibly that Judgment of God seems to be upon them, ver. 32. therefore they shall not at all profit this people. 4. That they prophefic placentia, Smootb things, according to the de
(st) fires, tempers and lufts of men, to the pleasing of whom they addiet them. felves, Jer. 6. 14. and 27.9. Ezek. 13. 10, 11, and 22.28. What visible lineaments of such a frame of spirit, are drawn upon the faces of that Generation of men, concerning whom we are now discourfing? Have they not been of all others (I am now speaking of such as are look'd upon by Professors, as men of the greatest parts and holiness ) che molt ready to strike in with, preach up, and plead for what was molt suitable unto the spirits of such, upon whom they have had a dependance : 'Twere indeed well for them, could they in their present standing and practise acquit themselves from that fore crime, of seeking to please men, which if they do, they cannot be the Servants of Christ, Gal. 1.10,
s. That they are greedy Dogs, that can never have enough, and look every man for In a Translation of the N. bis gain from his quarter, Ifa.3.6 11. seeking T. dedicated to Edw.6th and serving themselves in their Ministration the Authour of the Notes Ezek, 13.19. Mich.3.5,11. That herein on chap. 10. sayes, We there is a perfect harmony betwixt these must preach the Truth with false Prophets and the present Ministers of out any respect of reward or England, cannot be denied: What means gaines, They therefore that elfe their frequent Calls, from places of preach for their bellies sake less, to places of greater value ; their ga- or preach after the prea ping and greedy desires after preferment; script of man-- are not the The vexations they put poor men to, that Disciples of Christ. cannot in conscience pur into their mouths, preparing War against them?
6. That they sadden tbe hearts of the Righteous, Ezek, 13.22: What need I turn afide to make application of this to the Prophets of this day? who that is serious, doth not experiment the truth thereof in his own soul? to see the Name and Ordinances of God prophaned, the Ceremonies and Inventions of man subjected unto, by such as pretend to be Ministers of Chiin, would make an heart of stone to bleed;. much more those whose hearts are made tender by the Lord. Those of our Brethren that as yet attend upon their Ministry, will tell us, they are troubled at their Compliance and Conformity-- all that look in tha sealt after Reformation, say, they could wish it were otherwise ; so that this character alfo is visibly upon them.
7. That they mix the Word of God with their * Dreams, Jer. 23. 25,
29. So do the present Ministers of * The Notes on Matth.28. in the England, as hath been proved. : foresaid Translation are, Hore do 8. That they come in Sheeps cloa. all Preacher's learn what they thing, having the horns of a Lamb, should teach ; nothing else but
but are inwardly ravening Wolves, and God's Word; nothing else but that speak like Dragons (i.e pretend to the Lord bath commanded them: the Holines and Meekneß of Christ, Not their own Dreams and Inven- and Saints, but are inwardly full of tions,
Raven and Cruelty, yea terrible in
their Edi&ts and Laws, stirring up & making use of the Powers of the world, to persecute, kill & defroy the Saints) Mat.7.15. Rev. 13.11. (which second Beaft is no other than the false Prophet, mentioned Rev. 19. 20, as might easily be demonArated ) As face answers face in a Glass, so do the present Ministers of England the False Prophets there spoken of. Are not all the Persecutions, Imprisonments, Slaughters and Butcheries of the Children of God, that the first Beast hath exercised upon the Saints for this 1260 years,:o be charged upon this Generation of men ? yea, who do more cagerly press a rigid Conformity (not only contrary to the Kings Declaration from Breda, and others fince publifhed by him, but alía (as is thought ) to his natural temper, and the inclination and bent of his spirit ) though to the infringing of the Liberty, the Badishment, the taking away of the Lives of the Saints, who love Truth and Peace, and humbly beg, That they may be fuffered for the Tribute they pay (as in the Dominion of the Grand Seignior they are ) in quietness to serve God according to their perswasions.
9. That they pur no difference betwixt the Holy and Prophane, Ezek. 22.26. Do not even the Ministers of England the fame? Are not Al their dear Brethren and Şifers, living and dead, though Drunkards, Swearers, Adulterers and Adultereffes ? &c. Are not as was said, the Children of them all admitted to the Font, and they themselves to the Lord's Table ? Is not the Childens meat frequently given by them unto Dogs, and the holy Ordinances proftituted to be polluted by the worst of men?
10. That they exercise not pity to the weak broken scattered Sheep of Christ, nor shew bowels in their recovery, but with Force and Cruelty rule over them, Ezek. 34. 4. One would think the former part of the
chapter, were rather an History of what is pra&tised by the falle Shepherds of this day, than otherwise : fo peifect an Agreement is there betwixt their practice, and this Prophecy of the Lord. They tell us 'cis our weakness and distemper that we conform not to their Worship; that we are persons gone astray : VVe profess to them, that we would not give way to Spiritual distempers, oor stray one step from the wayes of God might we but know it; we would thank any to convince us of our mistakes, and reduce us to the true Sheepfold, if we are gone astray : Do they seek after us ; in a spirit of tendernels labour to convince us, and carry us in their bosoms, like tender Shepherds to the true Fold? what less? with force and cruelty they rule over us, threaten us with Excommunications, Imprisonments, Banishments, dispoiling is of what God hath gracioufly given us, yea, condemning us to Death: in all which (through the Grace of God), we can rejoyce, though they thereby abundantly des monstrate, that they are the successois of the false Shepherds here spoken of. VVb t should I mention,
11. That they come up out of the Earth, Rev. 13,13. are raised up by men of earthly spirits and principles
12. That i hey exercise the power of the first Beast, or make use of the Civil Power for their supportment, ver.13,
13. That they make an image to the Beast, v. 14,!15. (i.c. ere& an Ecclefiaftical State of Government,in a proportionableness to, and resemblance of the Civil State.) 1,14. That they, compel all
I under the penalty of Death, to worship down to this Image of the Beast, Cor Ecclefiaftical Government, in its Courts, Canons, Laws, and Ceremonies devised by it).v.15.
is. That they compel all to receive a mark, either in their righthands or foreheads; secretly or openly, one way or other to acknowledge subjectioą unto this Beast, without which they may neither buy por sell, being cut off from the Church, by their Excommunications, for their stubornness, v.16, 17." All which Characters of the second Beaft (or false Prophet) he that runs may reade upon the present Hicrarchy and Ministry of England. It remaineth then, that the present Ministers of England have the Characters and Properties of the false Prophets and Prients
upon them, and therefore are not to be heard, but separated from