[ocr errors]

4. Whether the Lord Jesus as King and Head over his Church, hath not instituted sufficient Officers and Offices for the adminiftration of Holy Things in his Houfe, to whom no more can be added without a desperate undervaluation and contempt of his Wisdome, Headship and Soveraignty over it ?

5. Whether the Oncers instituted by Chrift, are botonely. Paftors, Teachers, Elders, Deacons and Helpers ?

6. Wherber the Offices of Arch-Bishops, Lord-Bishops, Deans, SubDeans, Prebendaries, Chancellors, Prieffs, Deacons, ( as an order of the firft step to a Priesthood ) Arch-Deacons, Sub-Deasons, Commissaries, Officials, Pro{tors, Regifters, Appariters, Parsons, Vicars, Curats, Cazons, Petty-Canons, Gospellers, Epiftallers, Chaunters, Virgers, OrganPlayers, Querifters, be Offices any where instituted by the Lord Jefus in the Scripture?.

7. Whether the calling and admiffion into these latt mentioned Offices, their administration, and maintenance. now had, and received in Enginad, be according to the Word of God?

8. Whether every true visible particular Church of Christ, be not a felelt company of People, called and separated from the world and False Worship thereof, by the Spirit and Word of God, and joyned together in the Fellowship of the Gospel, by their own free and voluotary consent, giving up themselves to Christ and one another according to the will of God?

9. Whether a company of People living in a Parish (though the most of them be visible Drunkards, Swearers, &c. or at least ftrangers to the work of regeneration upon their souls) coming (by compullion or otherwise) to the hearing of Publick Prayers or Preaching, are in the Scripture account Saints, and a Church of Chrift according to the Patien given forth by him: Or rather, be not to be esteemed, Daughters of the old whore and Babel, spoken of in the Scriptures ?

10. Whether in such a Church there is, or can sationally be supposed to be a true Ministry of the institution of Chrift?

11. Whether the Book of Common-Prayer, or stinted Lyürgies, be of the prescription of Christ, and not of mans devising and is vention ? : 12. Whether if one part of a Worship used by a People, be pollured, the whole of their Worship be not to be looked upon, in a Scripture account, at polluted and. abominable, according to 1 Kings


18.21. 2 King. 17. 33. Ifa. 66.3. Hof. 4: 15. Ezek. 43. 8. Zeph. 1.5? Co that it their Prayers be naught and pollated, their Preaching be not fo too.

13. Whether a Ministry set up in direct opposition unto a MiniAtry of Christ, which riseth upon its fall, and falls by its rise, can by such as so account of it be lawfully joyned upto ? .

14. Whether such as have forsworn a Covenant Reformation ac, cording to the VVord of God, and swear to a Worfhip that is meerly of humane devising, that have nothing of the eflentials of a Ministry of Christ to be found upon them, may be accounted of as his MiniIters, and be adhered to? : 15. VVhether such as shall fo do, be not guilty of casting contempt upon the Institutions of Christ, and disobedience against his Royal Ediets, commanding them to separate from persons of such a complection ? To which many others of the like nature might be added.

C H A P. X. Arguments for the lawfulneß of hearing the present Ministers of England;

1. From the supposed Precept of Chrift, Mat.23.11(whether theScribes and Pharisees, Mar, 23.1. were Magistrates or Ministers, debated : 1f, Ministers, that their Office and Calling was lawful, proved. That Christ neil her commands nor permits his Disciples to hear them, proved.) 2. From the practice of Christ and his Apostles. 3. From Phil. 1.15. 4. From their preaching truth. 5. From Judas bis preaching: 0. From their being good men. : 7. From the practice of Learned and. Good men informer dayes, and now. 8. From the Magistrales command. 9. From the pretended Plea of their being true Ministers bea cause they convert fonils. *10. From persons not knowing whither to go to bear : Fully answered,

Aving hitherto been upon the confirmation of the Truch affer

sent Ministers of England, we come now to consider, what is in this. matter objected by our difsenting Brethren. This is that they say,

Object. 1. Christ commands (or at least permits) his Disciples to hear the Scribes and Pharisees (who were men as corrupt in their Doctrine, as vitionin their lives, as the present Ministers of England can be supposed to be) Mat.. 23. 1,2. Therefore it is lawful to hear these.


Answ. This being the main objection used by our dissenting Bre. thren in this day (as it was by others in times paft) their very Achilles in this controverfie, we shall speak the more largely to it : Many things are supposed by the Objectors, and taken for granted (and muit be so by all that judge any weight to be in what is from this supposed command of Christ argued ) which they will never be able to prove; and yet are the very bafis upon which the fress of the Obje&tion lies.

Aš 1. 'Tis fupposed that the Scribes and Pharisees here spoken of, were in the Ministerial Seat, Teachers and Expounders of the Law, which at fiift veiw seems to be a difficult task for any to demonstrate. That some of the Scribes and Pharisees (which were particular Szőts among the Fews, as is known ) were so, cannot be denied; that these here mentioned by our Saviour are fuch, is not so evident. They are exprefly said to fit in Mofos Seat (not Aarons) who though he were of the Tribe of Levi, yet was not the Ministerial, but Magistratical Seat committed unto him. To the Pofterity of Aaron did the Office of Priesthood appertain ( as is known to all that have but in the least turned aside to confider of this affair) nor is it altogether frivolous, that is by some observed, That these Scribes and Pharisees are especially charged with the omiffion of Judgment and Mercy; things moft nearly relating unto the Office of Magistracy, to whom it doch especially appertain to look thereunto. Now will it in the lealt follow, That fuppofing Christ enjoyned his Disciples to attend upon the Scribes and Pharisees, acting as Magiftrates, and conform to what is juftly and righteously prescribed by them as such: That therefore it's lawful to átrend upon the present Ministres of England. But let this be granted; Suppose,

2. The Scribes and Pharisees to be the Preachers and Expounders of the Law in that day, the Seat mentioned, to be a Ministerial Seat; yet this will not at all help them in the matter in controversie, except it be granted to them, that the Scribes and Pharisees were not a lawful, but a false Ministry, that had surreptitiously climbed up into this Minifterial Seat ( for who fees not the invalidity and nothingness of this Argument, 'Twas lawful to hear the Scribes and Pharisees which were the lawful Church-Officers of that day, of the appointment of the Lord, acting by vertue of an Authority derived from him; Therefore 'tis fawful to hear persons that have not any such Authority from Chrift, but are meer Intruders and Ministers



of Antichrist) (as the present Ministers of England have been proved to be.) Now this upon that supposition, that they were Ministers,we cannot yeild, for these Reasons. 1. The Pharisees are exprefly said robe Priests and Levits, John 1, 19. (and this is the record of John, when the Fews sent Priests and Lovits from ferufalem, to ask him, who art thou? ver. 24. And they that were sent were of the Pharisees ) which were the ordinary lawful Ministers of that day. 2. These of all others were most apt to question the Authority of such as caught the People: So when Johx appears Preaching and Baptizing, and professes to them, that be was not the Chrift,nor Elias, nor Prophet (who was expected by the People of the fews) they immediarly question his Auchoricy, fohn 1:25. Why baptizest thon then? which they could not be supposed to have the face to do, if they themselves, of all others, had been the greatest Inrruders. Nay, 3. When they question Christ himself about his Authority, he asks not them, From whence they had. theirs (which doubtless upon that occasion, he would have done, had they not been lawfully seated in the Seat they did pofsels) but from whence Fohr had his, who was esteemed as a Prophet. 4. We have the Lord Jesus many times crying out above all others, against the Pbarifeas, condemning them of Pride, Hypocrisie, Avarice, c. but not the least title of the usurpation of Moses-fear, is by him charged upon them, or in the least intimated, which doubtless would have been had they been guilty thereof. But let this also be granted, that we may hear this Argument speak its uttermort, The Scribes and Pharisees fit in Mofes feat; this Seat is a Ministerial Seat, and they fit not here by vërtue of any lawful Authority, but are meer intruders"; what follows from hence? why this, if it were lawful to hear the Scribes and Pharisees, persons vitious in their lives, corrupt in their doctrine, having, no lawful call to the place they poffeffed : then it undeniably follows, that it's lawful to hear the present Ministers of England, though they have no lawful Authority or Call to the Office they affume. It muft it feems, then 3dly, be granted, that when Christ sayes, what they say unto you,do, he is to be interpreted, to command, or at least, to permit an atrendaoce upon their Ministry. But this is that we deny, and dare confidently aver, That it never entered into the heart of Chrilt to permit, much less to command any to attend upon the Ministry of the Scribes and Pharisees : Nor is any such thing in the least inci mated in the words under consideration. For first, the words are in


the original, im 7" Medias dhe Spas en el cavol y gopieteis, rj ei facepañol: malle soor av sin wory vur,&c. which inay more itrictly be rendered, ibe Scribes & Pharisees have sat in Moses Chair, all things therefore whatfoever they have said unto you,cc. (i.e. whatever in times past, you have heard delivered by these men, according to the mind of God, do you not-now reject because of that Hypocrifae, Pride, Covetconsnej, Go. you are made to see is predominant in tbem. Let the words be as they are rendered, whatever they bid you observe and do, that observe and do. Yet 2ly, who that hath but half an eye can chusc buc see, that an attendance upon their Ministry is remote enough from beiog their intendment? We had alwayes thought, that they might have been sufficiently acquainted with, and been in a capacity of hearing and knowing what had been said by these men through their particular occafional meeting and discourse wich them, though they had never spent one hour in attending upon their Minittry. Which that our Saviour did not enjoyn, no nor so much as permic by that expression, we suppose may be cleera ly demonstrated from the ensuing confiderations. : 1. There are not a generation of men of whom the Lord Jesus doth speak more contemptuously ( and charges with greater enormi. ties) than he doth of that generation of Scribes and Pbarijees. In this very chapter he enforms us of their Hypocrisie, ver.5,23,25,27, 28,29. and Pride; ver 6,7, and tells us plainly that they shut up the Kingdome of Heaven againft men, neisber entering in themselves, nor suffering those that are entring, to go in, ver. 13. That they make their Profelytes twofold more the children of Hell than themselves, v. 15. that they are blind Guides, ver. 16, 19, 24, 26. perverters of the Scripture, such as make void the Commandments of God by their Traditions,ver. 16, 17,18. that they are Serpents, a generation of Vipers, that cannot escape the damnation of Hell, ver. 33. hea, such as shall kill, crucifie, scourge, persecute the Meslengers of the Lord, ver. 34. And can ic be imagined, that Christ should have no more genderness to poor souls, than to direct them to an attendance upon such persons as these for teachings

Credat Apelles! Are these likely motives to perswade, or enforce any thereunto? Yet this is what he immediatly subjoyns, having said, whatever they bid you observe, that observe and do.

2. The Doct.ines owned by them are known : The Tiffera of their Sect, was; Juftification by the works of the Law,which is diametrically opposit to the work Chrilt was then upon, and the Doctrine preached By him.

3. That

« ForrigeFortsett »