« Prev An Answer to a Late Treatise of Mr Cawdrey about… Next »

Christian Reader,

I have not much to say unto thee concerning the ensuing treatise, — it will speak for itself with all impartial men; much less shall I insist on commendation of its author, who also being dead ἔτι λαλεῖται, and will be so, I am persuaded whilst Christ hath a church upon the earth. The treatise itself was written sundry years ago, immediately upon the publishing of Mr Cawdrey’s accusation against him. I shall not need to give an account whence it hath been that it saw the light no sooner; it may suffice that, in mine own behalf and that of others, I do acknowledge that, in the doing of sundry things seeming of more importance, this ought not to have been omitted. The judgment of the author approving of this vindication of himself as necessary, considering the place he held in the church of God, should have been a rule unto us for the performance of that duty, which is owing to his worth and piety in doing and suffering for the truth of God. It is now about seven months ago since it came into my hands; and since I engaged myself unto the publication of it, my not immediate proceeding therein being sharply rebuked by a fresh charge upon myself from that hand under which this worthy person so far suffered as to be necessitated to the ensuing defensative, I have here discharged that engagement. The author of the charge against him, in his epistle to that against me, tells his reader that “it is thought that it was intended by another (and now promised by myself) to be published, to cast a slur upon him.” So are our intentions judged, so our ways, by thoughts and reports! Why a vindication of Mr Cotton should cast a slur upon Mr Cawdrey, I know not. Is he concerned in spirit or reputation in the acquitment of a holy, reverend person, now at rest with Christ, from imputations of inconstancy and self-contradiction? Is there not room enough in the world to bear the good names of Mr Cotton and Mr Cawdrey, but that if one be vindicated the other must be slurred? He shall find now, by experience, what assistance he found from Him who loved him to bear his charge and to repel it, without any such reflection on his accuser as might savour of an intention to slur him. “Mala mens, malus animus.” The measure that men fear from others they have commonly meted out unto them beforehand. He wishes those “that intend to rake in the ashes of the dead to consider whether they shall deserve any thanks for their labour.” How the covering of the dead with their own comely garments comes to be a raking into their ashes, I know not. His name is alive, though he be dead. It was that, not his person, that was attempted to be wounded by the charge against him. To pour forth that balm for its healing, now he is dead, which himself provided whilst he was alive, without adding or diminishing one syllable, is no raking into his ashes; and I hope the δεύτεραι θροντίδες 280of the reverend author will not allow him to be offended that this friendly office is performed to a dead brother, to publish this his defence of his own innocency, written in obedience to a prime dictate of the law of nature, against the wrong which was not done him in secret.

But the intendment of this prefatory discourse being my own concernment in reference to a late tract of Mr Cawdrey’s, bearing on its title and superscription a vindication from my “unjust clamours and false aspersions,” I shall not detain the reader with any farther discourse of that which he will find fully debated in the ensuing treatise itself, but immediately address myself to that which is my present peculiar design. By what ways and means the difference betwixt us is come to that issue wherein now it stands stated in the expressions before mentioned, I shall not need to repeat. Who first let out those waters of strife, who hath filled their streams with bitterness, clamour, and false aspersions, is left to the judgment of all that fear the Lord, who shall have occasion at any time to reflect upon those discourses. However, it is come to pass, I must acknowledge, that the state of the controversy between us is now degenerated into such a useless strife of words as that I dare publicly own engagements into studies of so much more importance unto the interest of truth, piety, and literature, as that I cannot, with peace in my own retirement, be much farther conversant therein. Only, whereas I am not in the least convinced that Mr Cawdrey hath given satisfaction to my former expostulations about the injuries done me in his other treatise, and hath evidently added to the number and weight of them in this, I could not but lay hold of this opportunity, given by my discharging a former promise, once more to remind him of some miscarriages, exceedingly unbecoming his profession and calling, which I shall do in a brief review of his epistle and treatise: upon the consideration whereof, without charging him or his way with schism in great letters on the title-page of this book, I doubt not but it will appear that the guilt of the crime he falsely, unjustly, and uncharitably chargeth upon others, may be laid more equitably at his own door; and that the shortness of the covering used by him and others to hide themselves from the inquisition made after them for schism, upon their own principles, will not be supplied by such outcries as those he is pleased to use after them who are least of all men concerned in the matter under contest, there being no solid medium whereby they may be impleaded. And in this discourse I shall, as I suppose, put an end to my engagement in this controversy. I know no man whose patience will enable him to abide always in the consideration of things to so little purpose. Were it not that men bear themselves on high by resting on the partial adherence of many to their dictates, it were impossible they should reap any contentment in their retirements from such a management of controversies as this: “Independency is a great schism, it hath made all the divisions amongst us.” “Brownists, Anabaptists, and all sectaries, are Independents.” “They deny our ministers and churches; they separate from us; all errors come from among them.” “This I have been told,” and, “That I have heard;” — [which] is the sum of this treatise. Who they are of whom he speaks; how they came into such a possession of all church-state in England, that all that are not with them are schismatics; how, “de jure” or “de facto,” they came to be so instated; what claim they can make to their present stations without schism, on their own principles; whether, granting the church of England, as constituted when they and we began that which we call Reformation, to have been a true instituted church, they have any power of rule in it but what hath been got by violence; what that is purely theirs hath any pretence of establishment from the Scripture, antiquity, and the laws of this land; — I say, with these and the like things, which are incumbent on him to clear up before his charges with us will be of any value, our author troubleth not himself. But to proceed to the particulars by him insisted on.

2811. He tells the reader in his epistle that his unwillingness to this rejoinder was heightened by the necessity he found of discovering some personal weaknesses and forgetfulnesses in me, upon my denial of some things which were known to be true if he should proceed therein. For what he intimates of the unpleasantness that it is to him to discover things of that importance in me, when he professeth his design to be to impair my authority so far that the cause I own may receive no countenance thereby, I leave it to Him who will one day reveal the secrets of all hearts, which at present are open and naked unto Him. But how, I pray, are the things by me denied known to be true? Seeing it was unpleasant and distasteful to him to insist upon them, men might expect that his evidence of them was not only open, clear, undeniable, and manifest as to its truth, but cogent as to their publication. The whole insisted on is, “If there be any truth in reports,” “hic nigræ succus loliginis, hæc est ærugo mera.” Is this a bottom for a minister of the gospel to proceed upon to such charges as those insinuated? Is not the course of nature set on fire at this day by reports? Is any thing more contrary to the royal law of charity than to take up reports as the ground of charges and accusations? Is there any thing more unbecoming a man, — laying aside all considerations of Christianity, — than to suffer his judgment to be tainted, much more his words and public expressions in charging and accusing others to be regulated, by reports? And whereas we are commanded to speak evil of no man, may we not on this ground speak evil of all men, and justify ourselves by saying, “It is so, if reports be true?” The prophet tells us that a combination for his defaming and reproach was managed among his adversaries: Jer. xx. 10, “I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it.” If they can have any to go before them in the transgression of that law, which He who knows how the tongues of men are “set on fire of hell” gave out to lay a restraint upon them, “Thou shalt not raise a false report,” Exod. xxiii. 1, they will second it, and spread it abroad to the utmost, for his disadvantage and trouble. Whether this procedure of our reverend author come not up to the practice of their design, I leave to his own conscience to judge. Should men suffer their spirits to be heightened by provocations of this nature, unto a recharge from the same offensive dunghill of reports, what monsters should we speedily be transformed into! But this being far from being the only place wherein appeal is made to reports and hear-says by our author, I shall have occasion, in the consideration of the severals of them, to reassume this discourse. For what he adds about the space of time wherein my former reply was drawn up, because I know not whether he had heard any report insinuated to the contrary to what I affirmed, I shall not trouble him with giving evidence thereunto, but only add, that here he hath the product of half that time, which I now interpose upon the review of my transcribed papers; only, whereas it is said that Mr Cawdrey is an ancient man, I cannot but wonder he should be so easy of belief. Aristotle, Rhetor. lib. ii. cap. 18, tells us, Οἱ πρεσβύτεροι, ἄπιστοι δι’ ἐμπειρίαν, and not apt to believe, whence on all occasions of discourse προστιθέασιν ἀεὶ τὸ ἴσως καὶ τάχα? but he believes all that comes to hand with an easy faith, which he hath totally in his own power to dispose of at pleasure. That I was in passion when I wrote my review is his judgment; but this is but man’s day; we are in expectation of that wherein “the world shall be judged in righteousness.” It is too possible that my spirit was not in that frame, in all things, wherein it ought to have been; but that the reverend author knows not. I have nothing to say to this but that of the philosopher, Ἐάν τίς σοι ἀπαγγείλῃ ὅτι ὁ δεῖνα σε κακῶς λέγει, μὴ ἀπολογοῦ πρὸς τὰ λεχθέντα, ἀλλ’ ἀποκρίνου ὅτι ἀγνόει, τὰ γὰρ ἄλλα προσιόντα μοι κακὰ ἐπεὶ οὐκ ἂν ταῦτα μόνα ἔλεγεν, Epic., cap. 48. Much, I confess, was not spoken by me (which he afterward insisteth on) to the argumentative part of his book; which as in an answer I was not to look for, so 282to find had been a difficult task. As he hath nothing to say unto the differences among themselves, both in judgment and practice, so how little there is in his recrimination of the differences among us, — as, that one and the same man differeth from himself, which charge he casts upon Mr Cotton and myself, — will speedily be manifested to all impartial men. For the treatise itself, whose consideration I now proceed unto, that I may reduce what I have to say unto it into the bounds intended, in confining my defensative unto this preface to the treatise of another, I shall refer it unto certain heads, that will be comprehensive of the whole, and give the reader a clear and distinct view thereof.

I shall begin with that which is least handled in the two books of this reverend author, though the sum of what was pleaded by me in my treatise of schism. For the discovery of the true nature of schism, and the vindication of them who were falsely charged with the crime thereof, I laid down two principles as the foundation of all that I asserted in the whole cause insisted on, which may briefly be reduced to these two syllogisms:—

1. If in all and every place of the New Testament where there is mention made of schism, name or thing, in an ecclesiastical sense, there is nothing intended by it but a division in a particular church, then that is the proper Scripture notion of schism in the ecclesiastical sense; but in all and every place, etc.: ergo. The proposition being clear and evident in its own light, the assumption was confirmed in my treatise by an induction of the several instances that might any way seem to belong unto it.

2. My second principle was raised upon a concession of the general nature of schism, restrained with one necessary limitation, and amounts unto this argument:— If schism in an ecclesiastical sense be the breach of a union of Christ’s institution, then they who are not guilty of the breach of a union of Christ’s institution are not guilty of schism; but so is schism: ergo.

The proposition also of this syllogism, with its inference, being unquestionable, for the confirmation of the assumption, I considered the nature of all church-union as instituted by Christ, and pleaded the innocency of those whose defence, in several degrees, I had undertaken, by their freedom from the breach of any church-union. Not finding the reverend author, in his first answer, to speak clearly and distinctly to either of those principles, but to proceed in a course of perpetual diversion from the thing in question, with reflections, charges, etc., — all rather, I hope, out of an unacquaintedness with the true nature of argumentation than any perverseness of spirit, in cavilling at what he found he could not answer, — I earnestly desired him, in my review, that we might have a fair and friendly meeting, Personally to debate those principles which he had undertaken to oppose, and so to prevent trouble to ourselves and others, in writing and reading things remote from the merit of the cause under agitation. What returns I have had hitherto the reader is now acquainted withal from his rejoinder, the particulars whereof shall be farther inquired into afterward.

The other parts of his two books consist in his charges upon me about my judgment in sundry particulars, not relating in the least, that I can as yet understand, unto the controversy in hand. As to his excursions about Brownists, Anabaptists, Seekers, rending the peace of their churches, separating from them, the errors of the Separatists, and the like, I cannot apprehend myself concerned to take notice of them; to the other things an answer shall be returned and a defence made, so far as I can judge it necessary. It may be our anchor seeks a relief from the charge of schism that lies upon him and his party (as they are called) from others, by managing the same charge against them who, he thinks, will not return it upon them; but for my part, I shall assure him that were he not, in my judgment, more acquitted upon my principles than upon his own, I should be necessitated to 283stand upon even terms with him herein. But to have advantages from want of charity, as the Donatists had against the Catholics, is no argument of a good cause.

In the first chapter there occurs not any thing of real difference, as to the cause under agitation, that should require a review, being spent wholly in things ἔξω τοῦ παράγματος, and therefore I shall briefly animadvert on what seems of most concernment therein, on the manner of his procedure. His former discourse, and this also, consisting much of my words perverted by adding in the close something that might wrest them to his own purpose, he tells me, in the beginning of his third chapter, that “this is to turn my testimony against myself which is,” as he saith, “an allowed way of the clearest victory,” which it seemeth he aimeth at; but nothing can be more remote from being defended with that pretence than this way of proceeding. It is not of urging a testimony from me against me that I complained, but the perverting of my words, by either heading or closing of them with his own, quite to other purposes than those of their own intendment; — a way whereby any man may make other men’s words to speak what he pleaseth; as Mr Biddle, by his leading questions, and knitting of scriptures to his expressions in them, makes an appearance of constraining the word of God to speak out all his Socinian blasphemies.

In this course he still continues, and his very entrance gives us a pledge of what we are to expect in the process of his management of the present business. Whereas I had said, that, “considering the various interests of parties at difference, there is no great success to be promised by the management of controversies, though with never so much evidence and conviction of truth;” to the repetition of my words he subjoins the instance of “sectaries, not restrained by the clearest demonstration of truth;” not weighing how facile a task it is to supply “Presbyterians” in their room; which in his account is, it seems, to turn his testimony against himself, and, as he somewhere phraseth it, “to turn the point of his sword into his own bowels.” But “nobis non tam licet esse disertis;” neither do we here either learn or teach any such way of disputation.

His following leaves are spent, for the most part, in slighting the notion of schism by me insisted on, and in reporting my arguments for it, pp. 8, 9, 12, in such a way and manner as argues that he either never understood them or is willing to pervert them. The true nature and importance of them I have before laid down, and shall not now again repeat; though I shall add, that his frequent repetition of his disproving that principle, which it appears that he never yet contended withal in its full strength, brings but little advantage to his cause with persons whose interest doth not compel them to take up things on trust. How well he clears himself from the charge of reviling and using opprobrious, reproachful terms, although he profess himself to have been astonished at the charge, may be seen in his justification of himself therein, pp. 16–19, with his re-enforcing every particular expression instanced in; and yet he tells me, for inferring that he discovered sanguinary thoughts in reference unto them whose removal from their native soil into the wilderness he affirms England’s happiness would have consisted in, that he hath “much ado to forbear once more to say, ‘The Lord rebuke thee.’“For my part, I have received such a satisfactory taste of his spirit and way, that as I shall not from henceforth desire him to keep in any thing that he can hardly forbear to let out, but rather to use his utmost liberty, so I must assure him that I am very little concerned, or not at all, in what he shall be pleased to say or to forbear for the time to come; himself hath freed me from that concernment.

The first particular of value insisted on, is his charge upon me for the denial of all the churches of England to be true churches of Christ, except the churches gathered in a congregational way. Having frequently, and without hesitation, 284charged this opinion upon me in his first answer, knowing it to be very false, I expostulated with him about it in my review. Instead of accepting the satisfaction tendered in my express denial of any such thought or persuasion, or tendering any satisfaction as to the wrong done me, he seeks to justify himself in his charge, and so persisteth therein. The reasons he gives for his so doing are not unworthy a little to be remarked.

The first is this: He “supposed me to be an Independent,” and therefore made that charge; the consequent of which supposition is much too weak to justify this reverend author in his accusation. Doth he suppose that he may without offence lay what he pleases to the charge of an Independent? But he saith, secondly, that he “took the word Independent generally, as comprehending Brownists, and Anabaptists, and other sectaries.” But herein also he doth but delude his own conscience, seeing he personally speaks to me and to my design in that book of schism which he undertook to confute; which also removes his third intimation, that he “formerly intended any kind of Independence,” etc. The rest that follow are of the same nature, and, however compounded, will not make a salve to heal the wound made in his reputation by his own weapon. For the learned author called “vox populi,” which he is pleased here to urge, I first question whether he be willing to be produced to maintain this charge; and if he shall appear, I must needs tell him (what he here questions whether it be so or no) that he is a very liar. For any principles in my treatise whence a denial of their ministers and churches may be regularly deduced, let him produce them if he can; and if not, acknowledge that there had been a more Christian and ingenuous way of coming off an engagement into that charge than that by him chosen to be insisted on. “Animos et iram ex crimine sumunt.” And again we have “vox populi” cited on the like occasion, p. 34, about my refusal to answer whether I were a minister or not; which as the thing itself, of such a refusal of mine, on any occasion in the world (because it must be spoken), is “purum putum mendacium,” so it is no truer that that was “vox populi” at Oxford, which is pretended. That which is “vox populi” must be public; “publicum” was once “populicum.” Now, set aside the whispers of, it may be, two or three ardelios,1515   Ardelio, a busy-body, a meddler; a term borrowed from Phædrus, lib ii. Fab. 5. — Ed. notorious triflers, whose lavish impertinency will deliver any man from the danger of being slandered by their tongues, and there will be little ground left for the report that is fathered on “vox populi.” And I tell him here once again, — which is a sufficient answer, indeed, to his whole first chapter, — that I do not deny presbyterian churches to be true churches of Jesus Christ, nor the ministers of them to be true ministers, nor do maintain a nullity in their ordination, as to what is the proper use and end of salvation1616   Vid. Gerard. loc. Com. de Minist. Ecclesiast. Sect. 11, 12. (taking it in the sense wherein by them it is taken), though I think it neither administered by them in due order, nor to have in itself that force and efficacy, singly considered, which by many of them is ascribed unto it. Thus much of my judgment I have publicly declared long ago; and I thought I might have expected, from persons professing Christianity, that they would not voluntarily engage themselves into an opposition against me, and, waiving my judgment, which I had constantly published and preached, have gathered up reports from private and table discourses, most of them false and untrue, all of them uncertain, the occasions and coherences of those discourses from whence they have been raised and taken being utterly lost, or at present by him wholly omitted. His following excursions, about a successive ordination from Rome, wherein he runs cross to the most eminent lights of all the reformed churches, and their declared judgments, with practice, in re-ordaining those who come unto them with that Roman stamp upon them, I shall not farther interest myself in, nor think myself 285concerned so to do, until I see a satisfactory answer given unto Beza and others on this very point. And yet I must here again profess that I cannot understand that distinction, of deriving ordination from the church of Rome, but not from the Roman church. Let him but seriously peruse these ensuing words of Beza, and tell me whether he have any ground of a particular quarrel against me upon this account:—

Sed præterea quænam ista est, quæso, ordinaria vocatio, quam eos habuisse dicis, quos Deus paucis quibusdam exceptis, excitavit? Certe papistica. Nam hæc tua verba sunt; hodie si episcopi Gallicanarum ecclesiarum se et suas ecclesias a tyrannide episcopi Romani vindicare velint, et eas ab omni idololatria et superstitione repurgare, non habent opus alia vocatione ab ea quam habent. Quid ergo? Papisticas ordinationes, — in quibus neque morum examen præcessit, neque leges ullæ servatæ sunt inviolabiliter ex divino jure in electionibus et ordinationibus præscriptæ, in quibus puri etiam omnes canones impudentissime violati sunt: quæ nihil aliud sunt, quam fœdissima Romani prostibuli nundinatio, quâvis meretricum mercede, quam Deus templo suo inferri prohibuit, inquinatior: quibus denique alii non ad prædicandum sed pervertendum evangelium: alii non ad docendum, sed ad rursus sacrificandum, et ad abominandum βδέλυγμα sunt ordinati, — usque adeo firmas tecum esse censebimus, ut quoties tali cuipiam pseudoepiscopo Deus concesserit, ad verum Christianismum transire, omnis ilia istiusmodi ordinationis impuritas simul expurgata censeatur? Imo quia sic animum per Dei gratiam mutavit, quo ore, quo pudore, qua conscientia papismum quidem detestabitur, suam autem inordinatissimam ordinationem non ejurabit? aut si, ejuret, quomodo ex illius jure auctoritatem dicendi habebit? Nec tamen nego quin tales, si probe doctrinam veram tenere, si honestis moribus præditi, si ad gregem pascendum apti comperiantur, ex pseudoepiscopis novi pastores, legitimè designentur.” Thus he, who was thought then to speak the sense of the churches of Geneva and France, in his book against Saravia about the divers orders of ministers in the church.

His plea for the church-authority of the pope, notwithstanding his being an idolater, a murderer, the man of sin, an adversary of Christ, because a civil magistrate doth not by any moral crime, or those whereof the pope is guilty, lose his jurisdiction and authority, considering the different principles, grounds, ends, laws, rules, privileges, of the authority of the one and the other, and the several tenures whereby the one doth hold and the other pretends to hold his power, is brought in to serve the turn in hand, and may be easily laid aside. And when he shall manifest that there is appointed by Christ one single high priest or prelate in the house of God, the whole church, and that office to be confined to one nation, one blood, one family, propagated by natural generation, without any provision of relief by any other way, person, or family, in case of miscarriage; and when he shall have proved that such an officer as the pope of Rome, in any one particular that constituteth him such an officer, was once instituted by Christ, — I shall farther attend unto his reason for his authority from that of the high priest’s among the Jews, which was not lost, as to its continuance in the family of Aaron, notwithstanding the miscarriage of some individual persons vested therewithal. In the close of the chapter he re-assumes his charge of my renouncing my own ordination, which, with great confidence, and without the least scruple, he had asserted in his answer. Of that assertion he now pretends to give the reasons, whereof the first is this:—

1. “The world looks on him as an Independent of the highest note; therefore, he hath renounced his ordination, and therefore I dare to say so.” So much for that reason. I understand neither the logic nor morality of this first reason.

2. He knows from good hands that some of the brethren have renounced their 286ordination; therefore, he durst say positively that I have renounced mine, Prov. xii. 18.

3. He hath heard that I dissuaded others from their ordination; and therefore he durst say I renounced my own. And yet I suppose he may possibly dissuade some from episcopal ordination; but I know it not, no more than he knows what he affirms of me, which is false.

4. He concludes from the principles in my book of schism, because I said that to insist upon a succession of ordination from antichrist and the beast of Rome would, if I mistake not, keep up in the this particular what God would have pulled down, therefore I renounced my ordination, when he knows that I avowed the validity of ordination on another account.

5. If all this will not do, he tells me of something that was said at a public meeting (at dinner, it seems) with the canons of Christ Church, — namely, that I valued not my ordination by the bishop of Oxford any more than a crumb upon my trencher; which words, whether ever they were spoken or no, or to what purpose, or in reference to what ordination (I mean of the two orders), or in what sense, or with what limitation, or as part of what discourse, or in comparison of what else, or whether solely in reference to the Roman succession, — in which sense I will have nothing to do with it, — I know not at all, nor will concern myself to inquire, being greatly ashamed to find men professing the religion of Jesus Christ so far forgetful of all common rules of civility and principles of of human society as to insist upon such vain, groundless reports as the foundation of accusations against their brethren. Nor do I believe that any one of the reverend persons quoted will own this information, although I shall not concern myself to make inquiry into their memories concerning any such passage or discourse.

Much relief, for future, against these and the like mistakes may be afforded, from an easy obviation of the different senses wherein the term of ordination is often used. It is one thing when it is taken largely, for the whole appointment of a man to the ministry, — in which sense I desire our author to consider what is written by Beza among the Reformed, and Gerhard among the Lutheran divines, to omit innumerable others, — another thing when taken for the imposition of hands, whether by bishops or presbyters; concerning which single act, both as to its order and efficacy, I have sufficiently delivered my judgment, if he be pleased to take notice of it. I fear, indeed, that when men speak of an “ordained ministry,’ — which, in its true and proper sense, I shall with them contend for, — they often relate only to that solemnity, restraining the authoritative making of ministers singly thereunto, contrary to the intention and meaning of that expression in Scripture, antiquity, and the best reformed divines, both Calvinists and Lutherans; and yet it is not imaginable how some men prevail, by the noise and sound of that word, upon the prejudiced minds of partial, unstudied men. A little time may farther manifest, if it be not sufficiently done already, that another account is given of this matter by Clemens, Tertullian, Cyprian, Origen, Justin Martyr, and generally all the first writers of the Christians, besides the councils of old and late, with innumerable protestant authors of the best note, to the same purpose.

This, I say, is the ground of this mistake: Whereas sundry things concur to the calling of ministers, as it belongs to the church of God, the pillar and ground of truth, the spouse of Christ Ps. xlv. 9, and mother of the family, or her that tarrieth at home, Ps. lxviii. 12, unto whom all ministers are stewards, 1 Cor. iv. 1, even in the house of God, 1 Tim. iii. 15; and sundry qualifications are indispensably previously required in the persons to be called; overlooking the necessity of the qualifications required and omitting the duty an authority of the church, Acts i. 15–26, vi. 2–6, xiii. 2, 3, xiv. 23, the act of them who are not the whole church, Eph. iv. 11, 12, but only a part of it, 1 Cor. iii. 5, 2 Cor. i. 24, 1 Pet. v. 3, 287as to ministry, consisting in the approbation and solemn confirmation of what is supposed to go before, hath in some men’s language gotten the name of “ordination,’’ and an interpretation of that name, to such an extent as to inwrap in it all that is indispensably necessary to the constitution or making of ministers: so that where that is obtained, in what order soever, or by whomsoever administered, who have first obtained it themselves, there is a lawful and sufficient calling to the ministry! Indeed, I know no error about the institutions of Christ attended with more pernicious consequences to the church of God than this, should it be practised according to the force of the principle itself. Suppose six, eight, or ten men, who have themselves been formerly ordained, but now perhaps, not by any ecclesiastical censure, but by an act of the civil magistrate, are put out of their places for notorious ignorance and scandal, should concur and ordain a hundred ignorant and wicked persons like themselves to be ministers, must they not, on this principle, be all accounted ministers of Christ, and to be invested with all ministerial power, and so be enabled to propagate their kind to the end of the world? And, indeed, why should not this be granted, seeing the whole bulk of the papal ordination is contended for as valid? whereas it is notoriously known that sundry bishops among them (who perhaps received their own ordination as the reward of a whore), being persons of vicious lives, and utterly ignorant of the gospel, did sustain their pomp and sloth by selling “holy orders,” as they called them, to the scum and refuse of men. But of these things more in their proper place.

Take then, reader, the substance of this chapter in this brief recapitulation:— 1. “He denies our churches to be true churches, and our ministers true ministers;” 2. “He hath renounced his own ordination;” 3. “When some young men came to advise about their ordination, he dissuaded them from it;” 4. “He saith he would maintain against all the ministers of England there was in Scripture no such thing as ordination;” 5. “That when he was chosen a parliament-man, he would not answer whether he was a minister or not;” — all which are notoriously untrue, and some of them, namely, the last two, so remote from any thing to give a pretence or colour unto them, that I question whether Satan have impudence enough to own himself their author. And yet, from hear-says, reports, rumours, from table-talk, “vox populi,” and such other grounds of reasoning, this reverend author hath made them his own; and by such a charge he hath, I presume, in the judgment of all unprejudiced men, discharged me from farther attending to what he shall be prompted from the like principles to divulge, for the same ends and purposes which hitherto he hath managed, for the future. For my judgment about their ministry and ordination, about the nature and efficacy of ordination, the state and power of particular churches, my own station in the ministry, which I shall at all times, through the grace and assistance of Our Lord Jesus Christ, freely justify against men and devils, it is so well known that I shall not need here farther to declare it. For the true nature and notion of schism, alone by me inquired after in this chapter, as I said, I find nothing offered thereunto. Only, whereas I restrained the ecclesiastical use of the word “schism” to the sense wherein it is used in the places of Scripture that mention it with relation to church affairs, — which that it ought not to be so, nothing but asseverations to the contrary are produced to evince, — this is interpreted to extend to all that I would allow as to the nature of schism itself, which is most false; though I said, if I would proceed no farther, I might not be compelled so to do, seeing in things of this nature we may crave allowance to think and speak with the Holy Ghost. However, I expressly comprised in my proposition all the places wherein the nature of schism is delivered, under what terms or words soever. When, then, I shall be convinced that such discourses as those of this treatise, made up of diversions into things wholly foreign to the inquiry by me insisted on in the investigation of the 288true notion and nature of schism, with long talks about Anabaptists, Brownists, Sectaries, Independents, Presbyterians, ordination, with charges and reflections grounded on this presumption, [prove] that this author and his party (for we will no more contend about that expression) are “in solidum” possessed of all true and orderly church-state in England, so that whosoever are not of them are “schismatics,” and I know not what besides, he being

― “gallinæ filius albæ,

Nos viles pulli nati infelicibus ovis,Juv., xiii. 141,

I shall farther attend unto them.

I must farther add, that I was not so happy as to foresee that, because I granted the Roman party before the Reformation to have made outwardly a profession of the religion of Christ, — although I expressed them to be really a party combined together for all ends of wickedness, and, in particular, for the extirpation of the true church of Christ in the world, having no state of union but what the Holy Ghost calls “Babylon,” in opposition to “Zion,” — our reverend author would conclude, as he doth, p. 34, that I allowed them to be a true church of Christ; but it is impossible for wiser men than I to see far into the issue of such discourses, and therefore we must take in good part what doth fall out. And if the reverend author, instead of having his zeal warmed against me, would a little bestir his abilities to make out to the understandings and consciences of uninterested men, that, all ecclesiastical power being vested in the pope and councils, by the consent of that whole combination of men called the Church of Rome, and flowing from the pope in its execution to all others, — who, in the derivation of it from him, owned him as the immediate fountain of it, which they sware to maintain in him, and this in opposition to all church-power in any other persons whatsoever, — it was possible that any power should be derived from that combination but what came expressly from the fountain mentioned; I desire our author would consider the frame of spirit that was in this matter in them who first laboured in the work of reformation, and to that end peruse the stories of Lasitius1717   Joannes Lasitius wrote a large work on the Bohemian Brethren. The eighth book of this work under the title, “Historiæ de Origine et Rebus Gestis Fratrum Bohemorum;” etc., was published by Comenis in 1649. — Ed. and Regenuolscius1818   Regenuolscius, or rather, according to his true name, Wingerscius, was the author of “Systema Historico-Chronologicum Ecclesiarum Slavonicarum.” — Ed. about the churches of Bohemia, Poland, and those parts of the world, especially the latter, from pp. 29, 30, and forward. And as to the distinction used by some between the Papacy and the church of Rome, which our author makes use of to another purpose than those did who first invented it (extending it only to the consideration of the possibility of salvation for individual persons living in that communion before the Reformation), I hope he will not be angry if I profess my disability to understand it. All men cannot be wise alike. If the Papacy comprise the pope, and all papal jurisdiction and power, with the subjection of men thereunto; if it denote all the idolatries, false worship, and heresies of that society of men, — I do know that all those are confirmed by church-acts of that church, and that, in the church-public sense of that church, no man was a member of it but by virtue of the union that consisted in that Papacy, it being placed always by them in all their definitions of their church; as also, that there was neither church-order, nor church-power, nor church-act, nor church-confession, nor church-worship amongst them, but what consisted in that Papacy.

Now, because nothing doth more frequently occur than the objection of the difficulty of placing the dispensation of baptism on a sure foot of account, in case of the rejection of all authoritative influence from Rome into the ministry of the reformed churches, with the insinuation of a supposition of the non-baptization of all such as derive not a title unto it by that means, they who do so being supposed 289to stand upon an unquestionable foundation, I shall a little examine the grounds of their security, and then compare them with what they have to plead who refuse to acknowledge the deriving any sap or nourishment from that rotten corrupt stock.

It is, I suppose, taken for granted that an unbaptized person can never effectually baptize, let him receive what other qualifications soever that are to be super-added as necessary thereunto. If this be not supposed, the whole weight of the objection, improved by the worst supposition that can be made, falls to the ground. I shall also desire, in the next place, that as we cannot make the popish baptism better than it is, so, that we would not plead it to be better, or any other than they profess it to be, nor pretend that though it be rotten or null in the foundation, yet by continuance and time it might obtain validity and strength. When the claim is by succession from such a stock or root, if you suppose once a total intercision in the succession from that stock or root, there is an utter end put to that claim. Let us now consider how the case is with them from whom this claim is derived.

1. It is notoriously known that, amongst them, the validity of the sacraments depends upon the intention of the administrator. It is so with them as to every thing they call a sacrament. Now, to take one step backwards, that baptism will by some of ours be scarce accounted valid which is not administered by a lawful minister. Suppose now that some pope, ordaining a bishop in his stable to satisfy a whore, had not an intention to make him a bishop (which is no remote surmise), he being no bishop rightly ordained, all the priests by him afterward consecrated were indeed no priests, and so, indeed, had no power to administer any sacraments: and so, consequently, the baptism that may lie, for aught we know, at the root of that which some of us pretend unto, was originally absolutely null and void, and could never by tract of time be made valid or effectual, for, like a muddy fountain, the farther it goes, the more filthy it is. Or, suppose that any priest, baptizing one who afterwards came to be pope, from whom all authority in that church doth flow and is derived, had no intention to baptize him, what will become of all that ensues thereon?

It is endless to pursue the uncertainties and entanglements that ensue on this head of account, and sufficiently easy to manifest that whosoever resolves his interest in gospel privileges into this foundation can have no assurance of faith, nay, nor tolerably probable conjecture that he is baptized, or was ever made partaker of any ordinance of the gospel. Let them that delight in such troubled waters sport themselves in them. For my own part, — considering the state of that church for some years if not ages, wherein the fountains of all authority amongst them were full of filth and blood, their popes, upon their own confession, being made, set up, and pulled down, at the pleasure of vile, impudent, domineering strumpets, and supplying themselves with officers all the world over of the same spirit and stamp with themselves, and that for the most part for hire, being in the meantime all idolaters to a man, — I am not willing to grant that their good and upright intention is necessary to be supposed as a thing requisite unto my interest in any privilege of the gospel of Christ.

2. It is an ecclesiastical determination, of irrefragable authority amongst them, that whosoever he be that administers baptism, so he use the matter and form, that baptism is good and valid, and not to be reiterated; yea, Pope Nicholas, in his resolutions and determinations upon the inquiry of the Bulgarians (whose decrees are authentic and recorded in their councils, tom. 2. Crab. p. 144), declares the judgment of that church to the full. They tell him that many in their nation were baptized by an unknown person, a Jew or a Pagan, they knew not whether, and inquire of him whether they were to be rebaptized or no; whereunto he answers: “Si in nomine S. S. Trinitatis, vel tantum in Christi nomine, sicut in 290Actis apostolorum legimus, baptizati sunt, unum quippe idemque est, ut S. Ambrosius expressit, constat eos denuo non esse baptizandos.” If they were baptized in the name of the Trinity, or of Christ, they are not to be baptized again. Let a blasphemous Jew or Pagan do it, so it be done, the work is wrought, grace conveyed, and baptism valid! The constant practice of women baptizing amongst them is of the same import. And what doth Mr Cawdrey think of this kind of baptism? Is it not worth the contending about, to place it in the derived succession of ours? Who knows but that some of these persons, baptized by a counterfeit impostor, on purpose to abuse and defile the institutions of our blessed Saviour, might come to be baptizers themselves, yea, bishops or popes, from whom all ecclesiastical authority was to be derived? and what evidence or certainty can any man have that his baptism doth not flow from this fountain.

3. Nay, upon the general account, if this be required as necessary to the administration of that ordinance, that he that doth baptize be rightly and effectually baptized himself, who can in faith bring an infant to any to be baptized, unless he himself saw that person rightly baptized?

As to the matter of baptism, then, we are no more concerned than as to that of ordination. By what ways or means soever any man comes to be a minister according to the mind of Jesus Christ, by that way and means he comes to have the power for a due administration of that ordinance; concerning which state of things our author may do well to consult Beza in the place mentioned. Many other passages there are in this chapter that might be remarked, and a return easily made according to their desert of untruth and impertinency; but the insisting on such things looks more like children’s playing at push-pin than the management of a serious disputation. Take an instance. Page 23, he seems to be much offended with my commending him, and tells me, as Jerome said of Rufinus, “I wrong him with praises;” when yet the utmost I say of him is, that “I had received a better character of him than he had given of himself in his book,” p. 10 [214]; and that “his proceeding was unbecoming his worth, gravity, and profession,” p. 46 [227], or “so grave and reverend a person as he is reported to be;” p. 121 [234]; wherein, it seems, I have transgressed the rule, Μήποτ’ εὖ ἔρδειν γέροντα.

The business of his second chapter is, to make good his former charge of my inconstancy and inconsistency with myself as to my former and present opinions, which he had placed in the frontispiece of his other treatise. The impertinency of this chapter had been intolerable, but that the loose discourses of it are relieved by a scheme of my self-contradictions, in the close. His design, he professeth, in his former discourse, was, not to blast my reputation or to “cause my person to suffer, but to prevent the prevalency of my way by the authority of my person;” that is, it was not his intention, it was only his intention for such a purpose! I bless my God I have good security, through grace, that whether he, or others like-minded with himself, intend any such thing or no, in those proceedings of his and theirs, which seemed to have in their own nature a tendency thereunto, my reputation shall yet be preserved in that state and condition as is necessary to accompany me in the duties and works of my generation, that I shall, through the hand of God, be called out unto. And, therefore, being prepared in some measure to go through good report and bad report, I shall give him assurance that I am very little concerned in such attempts, from whatever intention they do proceed; only, I must needs tell him that he consulted not his own reputation with peaceable, godly men, whatever else he omitted, in the ensuing comparing of me to the seducers in Jude, called “wandering planets,” for their inconstancy and inconsistency with themselves, — according to the exposition that was needful for the present turn.

But seeing the scheme at the close must bear the weight of this charge, let us 291briefly see what it amounts unto, and whether it be a sufficient basis of the superstruction that is raised upon it. Hence it is that my inconsistency with myself must be remarked in the title page of his first treatise; from hence must my authority (which what it is I know not) be impaired, and myself be compared to cursed apostates and seducers, and great triumph be made upon my self-inconsistency.

The contradictions pretended are taken out of two books, the one written in the year 1643, the other in 1657, and are as follow:—

He spake of Rome as a “collapsed, corrupted church-state,” p. 40 [p. 37.]

He says, “Rome we account no church at all,” p. 156 [p. 155.]

Crimen inauditum, C. Cæsar.” “Is it meet that any one should be tolerated that is thus woefully inconsistent with himself? What! speak of Rome as a collapsed church in Italy, and within thirteen or fourteen years after to say it is no church at all.” Well! though I may say there is indeed no contradiction between these assertions, seeing in the latter place I speak of Rome as that church is stated by themselves, when yet I acknowledge there may be corrupted churches both in Rome and Italy, in the same treatise; yet I do not find that in the place directed unto, I have in terms, or in just consequence, at all granted the church of Rome to be a collapsed church; nay, the church of Rome is not once mentioned in the whole page, nor as such is spoken of. And what shall we think of this proceeding? But yet I will not so far offend against my sense of my own weakness, ignorance, and frailty, as to use any defensative against this charge. Let it pass at any rate that any sober man, freed from pride, passion, self-fullness, and prejudice, shall be pleased to put upon it:—

ὁδὲ ὁρῶν τοῦς νόμους

Λίαν ἀκριβῶς, συκοφάντης φαίνεται.

But the second instance will make amends, and take more of the weight of this charge upon its shoulders. Take it, then, as it lies in its triple column:—

“Gifts in the person and consent of people are warrant enough to make a man a preacher, in an extraordinary case only,” pp. 15, 40 [pp. 18, 37].

Denying our ordination to be sufficient, he says “he may have that which indeed constitutes him a minister, — namely, gifts and submission by the people,” p. 198 [p. 172].

“I am punctually of the same mind still,” p. 40 [p. 226]. Yet had said in his first book, p. 46 [p. 43], “As to formal teaching is required, 1. Gifts; 2. Authority from the church,” — if he do not equivocate.

I must confess I am here at a stand to find out the pretended contradiction, especially laying aside the word “only” in the first column, which is his, and not mine. By a “preacher,” in the first place, I intend a “minister.” Gifts, and consent or submission of the people, I affirm in both places to be sufficient to constitute a man a minister in extraordinary cases, — that is, when imposition of hands by a presbytery may not be obtained in due order, according to the appointment of Jesus Christ. That the consent and submission of the people, which include election, have nothing of authority in them, I never said. The superadded act of the imposition of hands by a presbytery, when it may be regularly obtained, is also necessary. But that there is any contradiction in my words (although, in truth, they are not my words, but an undue collection from them), or in this author’s inference from them, or any colour of equivocation, I profess I cannot discern. In this place Mr Cawdrey, οὐκ ἀλλ’ ἐδόκησεν ἰδεῖν διὰ νύκτα σιλήνην. Pass we to the third:—

He made the union of Christ and believers to be mystical, p. 21 [p. 129].

He makes the union to be personal, pp. 94, 95 [p. 22].

292I wish our reverend author, for his own sake, had omitted this instance, because I am enforced, in my own necessary defence, to let him know that what he assigns to me in his second column is notoriously false, denied and disproved by me in the very place and treatise wherein I have handled the doctrine of the indwelling of the Spirit; and whether he will hear or forbear, I cannot but tell him that this kind of dealing is unworthy his calling and profession. His following deductions and inferences, whereby he endeavours to give countenance to this false and calumnious charge, arise from ignorance of the doctrine that he seeks to blemish and oppose. Though the same Spirit dwell in Christ and us, yet he may have him in fulness, we in measure; — fulness and measure relating to his communication of graces and gifts, which are arbitrary to him; indwelling, to his person. That the Spirit animates the catholic church, and is the author of its spiritual life by a voluntary act of his power, as the soul gives life to the body by a necessary act, by virtue of its union, — for [that] life is “actus vivificantis in vivificatum per unionem utriusque,” — is the common doctrine of divines. But yet the soul being united to the body as “pars essentialis suppositi,” and the Spirit dwelling in the person as a free inhabitant, the union between Christ and the person is not of the same kind with the union of soul and body. Let our author consult Zanchy on the second of the Ephesians, and he will not repent him of his labour; or, if he please, an author whom I find him often citing, namely, Bishop Hall, about union with Christ. And for my concernment in this charge, I shall subjoin the words from whence it must be taken, p. 133 of my book of Perseverance.1919   See vol. xi. of Owen’s works, chap. viii.

“1. The first signal issue and effect which is ascribed to this indwelling of the Spirit is union; not a personal union with himself, which is impossible. He doth not assume our nature, and so prevent our personality, which would make us one person with him; but dwells in our persons, keeping his own, and leaving us our personality infinitely distinct. But it is a spiritual union, the great union mentioned so often in the Gospel, that is the sole fountain of our blessedness, our union with the Lord Christ, which we have thereby.

“Many thoughts of heart there have been about this union; what it is, wherein it doth consist, the causes, manner, and effects of it, The Scripture expresses it to be very eminent, near, durable; setting it out for the most part by similitudes and metaphorical illustrations, to lead poor weak creatures into some useful, needful acquaintance with that mystery, whose depths, in this life, they shall never fathom. That many, in the days wherein we live, have miscarried in their conceptions of it is evident. Some, to make out their imaginary union, have destroyed the person of Christ; and, fancying a way of uniting man to God by him, have left him to be neither God nor man. Others have destroyed the person of believers; affirming that, in their union with Christ, they lose their own personality, — that is, cease to be men, or at least those are [or?] these individual men.

“I intend not now to handle it at large, but only, — and that I hope, without offence, — to give in my thoughts concerning it, as far as it receiveth light from, and relateth unto, what hath been before delivered concerning the indwelling of the Spirit, and that without the least contending about other ways of expression.” So far there, with much more to the purpose. And in the very place of my book of schism referred to by this author, I affirm, as the head of what I assert, that by the indwelling of the Spirit, Christ personal and his church do become one Christ mystical, 1 Cor. xii. 12; the very expression insisted on by him in my former treatise. And so you have an issue of this self-contradiction; concerning which, though reports be urged for some other things, Mr Cawdrey might have said what Lucian doth of his true history, Γράφω τοίνυν περὶ ὧν μετ’ εἶδον, μετ’ ἔπαθον, μήτε παρ’ ἄλλων ἐπυθόμην.

293Let us, then, consider the fourth, which is thus placed:—

1. “In extraordinary cases, every one that undertakes to preach the gospel must have an immediate call from God,” p. 28 [p. 28.]

2. Yet required no more of before but “the gifts and consent of the people, which are ordinary and mediate calls,” p. 15 [p. 18], neither is here any need or use of an immediate call, p. 53 [p. 48.]

3. To assure a man that he is extraordinarily called, he gives three ways: “1. Immediate revelation; 2. Concurrence of Scripture rule; 3. Some outward acts of providence;” — the two last whereof are mediate calls, p. 30 [p. 29.]

All that is here remarked and cast into three columns, I know not well why, is taken out of that one treatise of “The Duty of Pastors and People;” and could I give myself the least assurance that any one would so far concern himself in this charge as to consult the places from whence the words are pretended to be taken, to see whether there be any thing in them to answer the cry that is made, I should spare myself the labour of adding any one syllable towards their vindication, and might most safely so do, there being not the least colour of opposition between the things spoken of. In brief, extraordinary cases are not all of one sort and nature; in some an extraordinary call may be required, in some not. Extraordinary calls are not all of one kind and nature neither. Some may be immediate from God, in the ways there by me described; some calls may be said to be extraordinary, because they do in some things come short of or go beyond the ordinary rule that ought to be observed in well-constituted churches. Again concurrence of Scripture rules and acts of outward providence may be such sometimes as are suited to an ordinary, sometimes to an extraordinary call; all which are at large unfolded in the places directed unto by our author, and all laid in their own order, without the least shadow of contradiction. But it may sometimes be said of good men, as the satirist said of evil women, “Fortem animum præstant rebus quas turpiter audent?” Go we to the next:—

1. “The church government from which I desire not to wander is the presbyterial.”

2. He now is engaged in the independent way.

3. Is settled in that way, which he is “ready to maintain, and knows it will be found his rejoicing in the day of the Lord Jesus”

Hinc mihi sola mali labes.” This is that inexpiable crime that I labour under. An account of this whole business I have given in my review, so that I shall not here trouble the reader with a repetition of what he is so little concerned in. I shall only add, that whereas I suppose Mr Cawdrey did subscribe unto the three articles at his ordination, were it of any concernment to the church of God or the interest of truth, or were it a comely and a Christian part to engage in such a work, I could manifest contradictions between what he then solemnly subscribed to and what he hath since written and preached, manifold above what he is able to draw out of this alteration of my judgment. Be it here, then, declared, that whereas I some time apprehended the presbyterial, synodical government of churches to have been fit to be received and walked in (then when I knew not but that it answered those principles which I had taken up, upon my best inquiry into the word of God), I now profess myself to be satisfied that I was then under a mistake, and that I do now own, and have for many years lived in, the way and practice of that called congregational. And for this alteration of judgment, of all men I fear least a charge from them, or any of them, whom within a few years we saw reading the service-book in their surplices, etc.; against which things they do now inveigh and declaim. What influence the perusal of Mr Cotton’s book of the Keys had on my thoughts in this business I have formerly declared. The 294answer to it (I suppose that written by himself) is now recommended to me by this author, as that which would have perhaps prevented my change; but I must needs tell him, that as I have perused that book, many years ago, without the effect intimated, so they must be things written with another frame of spirit, evidence of truth, and manner of reasoning, than any I can find in that book, that are likely for the future to lay hold upon my reason and understanding. Of my settlement in my present persuasion I have not only given him an account formerly, but, with all Christian courtesy, tendered myself in a readiness personally to meet him, to give him the proofs and reasons of my persuasions; which he is pleased to decline, and return, in way of answer, that “I complimented him after the mode of the times,” when no such thing was intended; and thereupon my words of desiring liberty to wait upon him are expressed, but the end and purpose for which it was desired are concealed in an “etc.” But he adds another instance:—

“Men ought not to cut themselves from the communion of the church, to rend the body of Christ, and break the sacred bond of chanty,” p. 48 [p. 45.]

He says, “separation is no schism, nor schism any breach of charity,” pp. 48, 49 [pp. 110, 111.]

“There is not one word in either of these cautions that I do not still own and allow,” p. 44 [p. 226] sure not without equivocation.

I have before owned this caution as consistent with my present judgment, as expressed in my book of schism, and as it is indeed; wherein lies the appearance of contradiction I am not able to discern. Do not I, in my book of schism, declare and prove that men ought not to cut themselves from the communion of the church; that they ought not to rend the body of Christ; that they ought not to break the sacred bonds of charity? Is there any word or tittle in the whole discourse deviating from these principles? How and in what sense separation is not schism, that the nature of schism doth not consist in a breach of charity, the treatise instanced will so far declare, as withal to convince those that shall consider what is spoken, that our author scarce keeps close either to truth or charity in his framing of this contradiction. The close of the scheme lies thus:—

“I conceive they ought not at all to be allowed the benefit of private meeting who wilfully abstain from the public congregations.”

“As for liberty to be allowed to those that meet in private, I confess myself to be otherwise minded.”

I remember that about fifteen years ago, meeting occasionally with a learned friend, we fell into some debate about the liberty that began then to be claimed by men, differing from what had been, and what was then likely to be, established. Having at that time made no farther inquiry into the grounds and reasons of such liberty than what had occurred to me in the writings of the Remonstrants, all whose plea was still pointed towards the advantage of their own interest, I delivered my judgment in opposition to the liberty pleaded for, which was then defended by my learned friend. Not many years after, discoursing the same difference with the same person, we found immediately that we had changed stations, — I pleading for an indulgence of liberty, he for restraint. Whether that learned and worthy person be of the same mind still that then he was or no, directly I know not; but this I know, that if he be not, considering the compass of circumstances that must be taken in to settle a right judgment in this case of liberty, and what alterations influencing the determination of this case we have had of late in this nation, he will not be ashamed to own his change, being a person who despises any reputation but what arises from the embracing and pursuit of truth. My change I here own; my judgment is not the same, in this particular, as it was fourteen years ago: and in my change I have good company, whom I need not to name. I shall only say, my change was at least twelve years before the “Petition 295and Advice,” wherein the parliament of the three nations is come up to my judgment. And if Mr Cawdrey hath any thing to object to my present judgment, let him, at his next leisure, consider the treatise that I wrote in the year about toleration, where he will find the whole of it expressed. I suppose he will be doing, and that I may almost say of him, as Polyeuctus did of Spensippus, Τὸ μὴ δύνασθαι ἡσυχιάν ἄγειν ὑπὸ τῆς τύχης ἐν πεντασυρίγγῳ νόσῳ δεδεμένον. And now, Christian reader, I leave it to thy judgment whether our author had any just cause of all his outcries of my inconstancy and self-contradiction, and whether it had not been advisable for him to have passed by this seeming advantage for the design he professed to manage, rather than to have injured his own conscience and reputation to so little purpose.

Being sufficiently tired with the consideration of things of no relation to the cause at first proposed (but, “This saith he, this the Independents, this the Brownists and Anabaptists,” etc.), I shall now only inquire after that which is set up in opposition to any of the principles of my treatise of schism before mentioned, or any of the propositions of the syllogisms wherein they are comprised at the beginning of this discourse; remarking in our way some such particular passages as it will not be to the disadvantage of our reverend author to be reminded of. Of the nature of the thing inquired after, in the third chapter I find no mention at all; only, he tells me by the way that the doctor’s assertion that “my book about schism was one great schism,” was not nonsense, but usual rhetoric; wherein profligate sinners may be called by the name of sin, and therefore a book about schism may be called a schism. I wish our author had found some other way of excusing his doctor than by making it worse himself.

In the fourth chapter he comes to the business itself; and if, in passing through that, with the rest that follow, I can fix on any thing rising up with any pretence of opposition to what I have laid down, it shall not be omitted. For things by myself asserted, or acknowledged on all hands, or formerly ventilated to the utmost, I shall not again trouble the reader with them. Such are the positions about the general nature of schism in things national and political, antecedently considered to the limitation and restriction of it to its ecclesiastical use; the departure from churches, voluntary or compelled, etc.; — all which were stated in my first treatise, and are not directly opposed by our author. Such, also, is that doughty controversy he is pleased to raise and pursue about the seat and subject of schism, with its restriction to the instituted worship of God, pp. 18, 19; so placed by me to distinguish the schism whereof we speak from that which is national, as also from such differences and breaches as may fall out amongst men, few or more, upon civil and national accounts; — all which I exclude from the enjoyment of any room or place in our consideration of the true nature of schism, in its limited ecclesiastical sense. The like, also, may be affirmed concerning the ensuing strife of words about separation and schism, as though they were, in my apprehension of them, inconsistent: which is a fancy no better grounded than sundry others which our reverend author is pleased to make use of. His whole passage, also, receives no other security than what is afforded to it by turning my universal proposition into a particular. What I say of all places in the Scripture where the name or thing of schism is used in an ecclesiastical sense, as relating to a gospel church, he would restrain to that one place of the Corinthians, where alone the word is used in that sense. However, if that one place be all, my proposition is universal. Take, then, my proposition in its extent and latitude, and let him try once more, if he please, what he hath to object to it, for as yet I find no instance produced to alleviate its truth. He much, also, insists that there may be a separation in a church where there is no separation from a church; and saith this was at first by me denied. That it was denied by me he cannot prove; but that the 296contrary was proved by me is evident to all impartial men that have considered my treatise, although I cannot allow that the separation in the church of Corinth was carried to that height as is by him pretended, — namely, as to separate from the ordinance of the Lord’s supper. Their disorder and division about and in its administration are reproved, not their separation from it. Only, on that supposition made, I confess I was somewhat surprised with the delivery of his judgment in reference to many of his own party, whom he condemns of schism for not administering the Lord’s supper to all the congregation with whom they pray and preach. I suppose the greatest part of the most godly and able ministers of the presbyterian way in England and Scotland are here cast into the same condition of schismatics with the Independents; and the truth, is, I am not yet without hopes of seeing a fair coalescency in love and church-communion between the reforming Presbyterians and Independents, though for it they shall with some suffer under the unjust imputation of schism.

But it is incredible to think whither men will suffer themselves to be carried “studio partium,” and ἀμετρίᾳ ἀνθολκῆς. Hence have we the strange notions of this author about schism: decays in grace are schism, and errors in the faith are schism; and schism and apostasy are things of the same kind, differing only in degree, because the one leads to the other, as one sin of one kind doth often to another, — drunkenness to whoredom, and envy and malice to lying; and differences about civil matters, like that of Paul and Barnabas, are schism; and this, by one blaming me for a departure from the sense of antiquity, unto which these insinuations are so many monsters. Let us, then, proceed.

That Acts xiv. 4, xix. 9, 18, are pertinently used to discover and prove the nature of schism in an evangelically-ecclesiastical sense, or were ever cited by any of the ancients to that purpose, I suppose our author, on second consideration, will not affirm. I understand not the sense of this argument: “‘The multitude of the city was divided, and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles;’ therefore, schism in a gospel church-state is not only a division in a church,” or that it is a separation into new churches, or that it is something more than the breach of the union appointed by Christ in an instituted church. Much less doth any thing of this nature appear from Paul’s separating the disciples whom he had converted to the faith from the unbelieving, hardened Jews; an account whereof is given us, Acts xix. 9. So, then, that in this chapter there is any thing produced “de novo” to prove that the precise Scripture notion of schism, in its ecclesiastical sense, extends itself any farther than differences, divisions, separations in a church, and that a particular church, I find not; and do once more desire our author, that if he be otherwise minded, to spare such another trouble to ourselves and others as that wherein we are now engaged, he would assign me some time and place to attend him for the clearing of the truth between us.

Of schism, Acts xx. 30, Heb. x. 25, Jude 19, there is no mention; nor are those places interpreted of any such thing by any expositors, new or old, that ever I yet saw; nor can any sense be imposed on them inwrapping the nature of schism with the least colour or pretence of reason.

But now, by our author schism and apostasy are made things of one kind, differing only in degrees, p. 107; so confounding schism and heresy, contrary to the constant sense of all antiquity. Acts xx. 30, the apostle speaks of men “speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples,” — that is, teaching them false doctrines, contrary to the truths wherein they had been by him instructed, in his revealing unto them “the whole counsel of God,” verse 27. This by the ancients is called heresy, and is contradistinguished from schism by them constantly; so Austin a hundred times. To draw men from the church by drawing them into pernicious errors, false doctrine being the cause of their falling off, is not schism, nor so called 297in Scripture, nor by any of the ancients that ever yet I observed. That the design of the apostle, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, is to preserve and keep them from apostasy unto Judaism, besides that it is attested by a cloud of witnesses, is too evident from the thing itself to be denied. Chap. x. 25, he warns them of a common entrance into that fearful condition which he describes, verse 26. Their neglect of the Christian assemblies was the door of their apostasy to Judaism. What is this to schism? Would we charge a man with that crime whom we saw neglecting our assemblies, and likely to fall into Judaism? Are there not more forcible considerations to deal with him upon? and doth not the apostle make use of them? Jude 19 hath been so far spoken unto already that it may not fairly be insisted on again. “Parvas habet spes Troja, si tales habet.

In the entrance of the fifth chapter he takes advantage from my question, p. 147 [p. 263], “Who told him that raising causeless differences in a church, and then separating from it, is not in my judgment schism?” where the first part of the assertion included in that interrogation expresseth the formal nature of schism, which is not destroyed, nor can any man be exonerated of its guilt, by the subsequent crime of separation, whereby it is aggravated. 1 John ii. 19 is again mentioned to this purpose of schism, to as little purpose; so also is Heb. x. 25. Both places treat of apostates, who are charged and blamed under other terms than that of schism. There is in such departures, as in every division whatever of that which was in union, somewhat of the general nature of schism; but that particular crime and guilt of schism, in its restrained, ecclesiastical sense, is not included in them.

In his following discourse he renews his former charges, of denying their ordinances and ministry, of separating from them, and the like. As to the former part of this charge I have spoken in the entrance of this discourse; for the latter, of separating from them, I say we have no more separated from them than they have from us. Our right to the celebration of the ordinances of God’s worship, according to the light we have received from him, is, in this nation, as good as theirs; and our plea from the gospel we are ready to maintain against them, according as we shall at any time be called thereunto. If any of our judgment deny them to be churches, I doubt not but he knows who comes not behind in returnal of charges on our churches. Doth the reverend author think or imagine that we have not, in our own judgment, more reason to deny their churches and to charge them with schism, though we do neither, than they have to charge us therewith and to deny our churches? Can any thing be more fondly pretended than that he hath proved that we have separated from them? upon which, p. 105, he requires the performance of my promise to retreat from the state wherein I stand upon the establishment of such proof. Hath he proved the due administration of ordinances amongst them whom he pleads for? Hath he proved any church-union between them as such and us? Hath he proved us to have broken that union? What will not self-fulness and prejudice put men upon!

How came they into the sole possession of all church-state in England, so that whoever is not of them and with them must be charged to have separated from them? Mr Cawdrey says, indeed, that the episcopal men and they agree in substantials, and differ only in circumstantials, but that they and we differ in substantials. But let him know they admit not of his compliances; they say he is a schismatic, and that all his party are so also. Let him answer their charge solidly upon his own principles, and not think to own that which he hath the weakest claim imaginable unto, and was never yet in possession of. We deny that, since the gospel came into England, the presbyterian government, as by them stated was ever set up in England, but in the wills of a party of men; so that here, as yet, unless as it lies in particular congregations, where our right is as good as 298theirs, none have separated from it that I know of, though many cannot consent unto it. The first ages we plead ours, the following were unquestionably episcopal.

In the beginning of chapter the sixth he attempts to disprove my assertion, that the union of the church catholic visible, which consists in the “professing of the saving doctrine of the gospel,” etc., is broken only by apostasy. To this end he confounds apostasy and schism, affirming them only to differ in degrees; which is a new notion, unknown to antiquity, and contrary to all sound reason. By the instances he produceth to this purpose he endeavours to prove that there are things which break this union, whereby this union is not broken. Whilst a man continues a member of that church, which he is by virtue of the union thereof and his interest therein, by no act doth he, or can he, break that union.

The partial breach of that union, which consists in the profession of the truth, is error and heresy, and not schism. Our author abounds here in new notions, which might easily be discovered to be as fond as new, were it worth while to consider them; of which in brief before. Only, I wonder why, giving way to such thoughts as these, he should speak of men with contempt under the name of notionists, as he doth of Dr Du Moulin; but the truth is, the doctor hath provoked him. And were it not for some considerations that are obvious to me, I should almost wonder why this author should sharpen his leisure and zeal against me, who scarce ever publicly touched the grounds and foundations of that cause which he hath so passionately espoused, and pass by him who, both in Latin and English, hath laid his axe to the very root of it, upon principles sufficiently destructive to it, and so apprehended by the best learned in our author’s way that ever these nations brought forth. But, as I said, reasons lie at hand why it was more necessary to give me this opposition; which yet hath not altered my resolution of handling this controversy in another manner, when I meet with another manner of adversary.

Page 110, he fixes on the examination of a particular passage about the disciples of John, mentioned Acts xix. 2, 3, of whom I affirmed that it is probable they were rather ignorant of the miraculous dispensations of the Holy Ghost than of the person of the Holy Ghost; alleging to the contrary, that the words are “more plain and full than to be so eluded, and, for aught appears, John did not baptize into the name of the Holy Ghost.” I hope the author doth not so much dwell at home as to suppose this to be a new notion of mine. Who almost of late, in their critical notes, have not either (at least) considered it or confirmed it? Neither is the question into whose name they were expressly baptized, but in what doctrine they were instructed. He knows who denies that they were at all actually baptized, before they were baptized by Paul. Nor ought it to be granted, without better proof than any which as yet hath been produced, that any of the saints under the Old Testament were ignorant of the being of the Holy Ghost; neither do the words require the sense by him insisted on. Ἀλλ’ οὐδὲ εἰ Πνεῦμα ἅγιόν ἐστιν, ἠκούσαμεν, do no more evince the person of the Holy Ghost to be included in them than in those other, John vii. 39, Οὔπω ἦν Πνεῦμα ἅγιον. The latter, in the proper sense, he will not contend for; nor can, therefore, the expression being uniform, reasonably for the former. Speaking of men openly and notoriously wicked, and denying them to be members of any church whatever, he bids me answer his arguments to the contrary from 1 Cor. v. 7, 2 Thess. iii. 14; and I cannot but desire him that he would impose that task on them that have nothing else to do: for my own part, I shall not entangle myself with things to so little purpose. Having promised my reader to attend only to that which looks toward the merit of the case, I must crave his pardon that I have not been able to make good my resolution. Meeting with so little, or nothing at all, which is to that purpose, I find myself entangled in the old diversions that 299we are now plentifully accustomed unto; but yet I shall endeavour to recompense this loss by putting a speedy period to this whole trouble, despairing of being able to tender him any other satisfaction whilst I dwell on this discourse. In the meantime, to obviate all strife of words, if it be possible, for the future, I shall grant this reverend author that, in the general large notion of schism, which his opposition to that insisted on by me hath put him upon, I will not deny but that he and I are both schismatics, and any thing else shall be so that he would have to be so, rather than to be engaged in this contest any farther. In this sense he affirms that there was a schism between Paul and Barnabas, and so one of them at least was a schismatic; as also, he affirms the same of two lesser men, though great in their generation, Chrysostom and Epiphanius. So error and heresy, if he please, shall be schism from the catholic church; and scandal of life shall be schism. And his argument shall be true, that schism is a breach of union in a church of Christ’s institution; therefore, in that which is so only by call, not to any end of joint worship as such; — of any union, that which consists in the profession of the saving truths of the gospel; and so there may be a schism in the catholic church. And so those Presbyterians that reform their congregations, and do not administer the sacraments to all promiscuously, shall be guilty of schism; and, indeed, as to me, what else he pleaseth, for my inquiry concerns only the precise limited nature of schism, in its evangelically-ecclesiastical sense.

Neither shall I at present (allotting very few hours to the despatch of this business, which yet I judge more than it deserves) consider the scattered ensuing passages about ordination, church-government, number of elders, and the like; which all men know not at all to belong unto the main controversy which was by me undertaken, and that they were, against all laws of disputation, plucked violently into this contest by our reverend author. One thing I cannot pass by, and it will, upon the matter, put a close to what I shall at present offer to this treatise. Having said that “Christ hath given no direction for the performance of any duty of worship of sovereign institution, but only in them and by them” (meaning particular churches), he answers, that “if he would imply that a minister in or of a particular church may perform those ordinances without those congregations, he contradicts himself, by saying a particular church is the seat of all ordinances.” But why so, I pray? May not a particular church be the seat of all ordinances subjectively, and yet others be the object of them, or of some of them? “But,” saith he, “if he mean those ordinances of worship are to be performed only by a minister of a particular congregation, what shall become of the people?” I suppose they shall be instructed and built up according to the mind of Christ; and what would people desire more? But whereas he had before said that I “denied a minister to be a minister to more than his own church,” and I had asked him “who told him so,” adding that explication of my judgment, that for “so much as men are appointed the objects of the dispensation of the word, I grant a minister, in the dispensation of it, to act ministerially towards not only the members of the catholic church, but the visible members of the world also in contradistinction thereunto;” he now tells me a story of passages between the learned Dr Wallis and myself, about his question in the Vespers, 1654, — namely, that as to that question, “An potestas ministri evangelici ad unius tantum ecclesiæ particuiaris membra extendatur?” I said that Dr Wallis had brought me a challenge, and that, if I did dispute on that question, I must dispute “ex animo.” Although I grant that a minister, as a minister, may preach the word to more than those of his own congregation, yet knowing the sense wherein the learned Dr Wallis maintained that question, it is not impossible but I might say, if I did dispute I must do it “ex animo.” For his bringing me a challenge, I do not know that either he did so or that I put that interpretation on what he did; but I shall crave leave to say, 300that if the learned Dr Wallis do find any ground or occasion to bring a challenge unto me, to debate any point of difference between us, I shall not waive answering his desire, although he should bring Mr Cawdrey for his second. For the present I shall only say, that as it is no commendation to the moderation or ingenuity of any one whatever thus to publish to the world private hear-says, and what he hath been told of private conferences; so if I would insist on the same course, to make publication of what I have been told hath been the private discourse of some men, it is not unlikely that I should occasion their shame and trouble. Yet in this course of proceeding a progress is made out in the ensuing words, and Mr Stubbes (who is now called my “amanuensis;” who some five years ago transcribed about a sheet of paper for me, and not one line before or since) is said to be employed, or at least encouraged, by me to write against the learned Dr Wallis, his Thesis being published. This is as true as much of that that went before, and as somewhat of that that follows after; and whereas it is added, that I said what he had written on that subject was “a scurrilous, ridiculous piece,” it is of the same nature with the rest of the like reports. I knew that Mr Stubbes was writing on that subject, but not until he had proceeded far in it. I neither employed him nor encouraged him in it, any otherwise than the consideration of his papers, after he had written them, may be so interpreted; and the reason why I was not willing he should proceed, next to my desire of continuance of peace in this place, was, his using such expressions of me, and some things of mine, in sundry places of his discourse, as I could not modestly allow to be divulged. The following words to the same purpose with them before mentioned, I remember not, nor did ever think to be engaged in the consideration of such transgressions of the common rules of human society as those now passed through. Reports, hear-says, talks, private discourse between friends, allegations countenanced by none of these, nor any thing else, are the weapons wherewith I am assaulted! “I have heard,” “I am told,” “if reports be true,” “it was ‘vox populi’ at Oxford,” “is it not so?” “I presume he will not deny it,” are the ornaments of this discourse! Strange! that men of experience and gravity should be carried, by the power of these temptations, not only to the forgetfulness of the royal law of Christ, and all gospel rules of deportment towards his professed disciples, but also be engaged into ways and practices contrary to the dictates of the law of nature, and such as sundry heathens would have abhorred. For my own part, had not God by his providence placed me in that station wherein others also that fear him are concerned in me, I should not once turn aside to look upon such heaps as that which I have now passed over. My judgment on most heads and articles of Christian religion is long since published to the world, and I continue, through the grace and patience of God, preaching in public answerably to the principles I do profess; and if any man shall oppose what I have delivered, or shall so deliver, in print, or the pulpit, or in divinity lectures, as my judgment, I shall consider his opposition, and do therein as God shall guide. With evil surmises, charges upon hear-says and reports, attended with perpetual excursions from the argument in hand, I shall no more contend.

Some few observations on scattered passages will now speedily issue this discourse. Page 112, to that assertion of mine, that “if Rome be no particular church, it is no church at all, for the catholic church it is not,” he replies, that “though it be not such a particular congregation as I intend, yet it may be a particular patriarchal church.” But, — 1. Then, it seems, it is a particular church; which grants my inference. 2. It was a particular Church of Christ’s institution that I inquired after. Doth our author think that Christ hath appointed any patriarchal churches? A patriarchal church, as such, is such from its relation to a patriarch; and he can scarce be thought to judge patriarchs to be of divine institution who hath cast off and abjured episcopacy.

301The Donatists are mentioned again, p. 113; and I am again charged with an attempt to vindicate them from schism. My thoughts of them I have before declared to the full, and have no reason to retract any thing from what was then spoken, or to add any thing thereunto. If it may satisfy our author, I here grant they were schismatics, with what aggravations he pleaseth; and wherein their schism consisted I have also declared. But he says, I undertake to exempt some others from schism (I know whom), that suffer with them, in former and after ages, under the same imputation. I do so, indeed; and I suppose our author may guess at whom I intend, — himself, amongst others! I hope he is not so taken up in his thoughts with charging schism on others as to forget that many, the greatest part and number of the true churches of Christ, do condemn him for a schismatic, a Donatistical schismatic. I suppose he acknowledges the church of Rome to be a true church; the Lutheran I am persuaded he will not deny, nor perhaps the Grecian, to be so; the Episcopal church of England he contends for; — and yet all these, with one voice, cry out upon him for a schismatic. And as to the plea of the last, how he can satisfy his conscience as to the rejection of his lawful superiors, upon his own principles, without pretending any such crime against them as the Donatists did against Cæcilianus, I profess I do not understand. New mention is made of episcopal ordination, p. 120, and they are said to have had their successive ordination from Rome who ordained therein. So, indeed, some say, and some otherwise. Whether they had or no is nothing to me; I lay no weight upon it. They held, I am sure, that place in England, that without their approbation no man could publicly preach the gospel. To say they were presbyters, and ordained as presbyters, I know not what satisfaction can arise unto conscience thereby. Party and argument may be countenanced by it. They profess they ordained as bishops; that for their lives and souls they durst not ordain but as such. So they told those whom they ordained, and affirm they have open injury done them by any one’s denial of it. As it was, the best is to be made of it. This shift is not handsome. Nor is it ingenuous, for any one that hath looked into antiquity, to charge me with departing from their sense in the notion of schism, declared about the third and fourth ages, and at the same time to maintain an equality between bishops and presbyters, or to say that bishops ordained as presbyters, not as bishops. Nor do I understand the excellency of that order which we see in some churches, where they have two sorts of elders, the one made so by ordination without election, and the other by election without ordination; those who are ordained casting off all power and authority of them that ordained them, and those who are elected immediately rejecting the greatest part of those that chose them.

Nor did I, as is pretended, plead for their presbyterian way in the year [16]46; all the ministers almost in the county of Essex know the contrary, one especially, being a man of great ability and moderation of spirit, and for his knowledge in those things not behind any man I know in England of his way, with whom in that year, and the next following, I had sundry conferences at public meetings of ministers as to the several ways of reformation then under proposal. But the frivolousness of these imputations hath been spoken of before, as also the falseness of the calumny which our author is pleased to repeat again about my turning from ways in religion.

My description of a particular church he once more blames as applicable to the catholic church invisible, and to the visible catholic church (I suppose he means as such), when a participation in the same ordinances numerically is assigned as its difference. He asks whether it becomes my ingenuity to interpret the capability of a church’s reduction to its primitive constitution by its own fitness and capacity to be so reduced, rather than by its external hinderances or furtherances; but with what ingenuity or modesty that question is asked, I profess I understand 302not. And, p. 134, he hath this passage (only I take notice of his introduction to his answer, with thanks for the civility of the inquiry in the manner of its expression):— “My words were these: ‘Whether our reverend author do not in his conscience think there was no true church in England till;’ etc.; which puts me into suspicion that the reverend doctor was offended that I did not always (for oft I do) give him that title of the ‘reverend author,’ or the ‘doctor,’ which made him cry out he was never so dealt withal by any party as by me; though, upon review, I do not find that I gave him any uncivil language, unbeseeming me to give or him to receive; and I hear that somebody hath dealt more uncivilly with him in that respect, which he took very ill.”

Let this reverend author make what use of it he please, I cannot but again tell him that these things become neither him nor any man professing the religion of Jesus Christ, or that hath any respect to truth or sobriety. Can any man think that in his conscience he gives any credit to the insinuation which here he makes, that I should thank him for calling me “reverend author” or “reverend doctor,” or be troubled for his not using these expressions? Can the mind of an honest man be thought to be conversant with such mean and low thoughts? For the title of “reverend,’ I do give him notice that I have very little valued it ever since I have considered the saying of Luther, “Nunquam periclitatur religio nisi inter reverendissimos;” so that he may, as to me, forbear it for the future, and call me as the Quakers do, and it shall suffice. And for that of “doctor,” it was conferred on me by the university in my absence, and against my consent, as they have expressed it under their public seal, nor doth any thing but gratitude and respect unto them make me once own it; and freed from that obligation, I should never use it more, nor did I use it until some were offended with me, and blamed me for my neglect of them. And for that other whom he mentions, who before this gave so far place to indignation as to insinuate some such thing, I doubt not but by this time he hath been convinced of his mistake therein, being a person of another manner of ability and worth than some others with whom I have to do; and the truth is, my manner of dealing with him in my last reply, which I have since myself not so well approved of, requires the passing by such returns. But you will say, then, why do I preface this discourse with that expression, “With thanks for the civility of the inquiry in the manner of its expression?” I say, this will discover the iniquity of this author’s procedure in this particular. His inquiry was, “Whether I did not in my conscience think that there were no true churches in England until the Brownists our fathers, the Anabaptists our elder brothers, and ourselves, arose and gathered new churches?” Without once taking notice or mentioning his titles that he says he gave me, I used the words in a sense obvious to every man’s first consideration, as a reproof of the expressions mentioned,. That which was the true cause of my words our author hides in an “etc.;” that which was not by me once taken notice of is by him expressed to serve an end of drawing forth an evil surmise and suspicion, that hath not the least colour to give it countenance. Passing by all indifferent readers, I refer the honesty of this dealing with me to the judgment of his own conscience. Setting down what I neither expressed nor took notice of, nor had any singular occasion in that place so to do, the words being often used by him, hiding and concealing what I did take notice of and express, and which to every man’s view was the occasion of that passage, that conclusion or unworthy insinuation is made, which a good man ought to have abhorred.

Sundry other particulars there are, partly false and calumniating, partly impertinent, partly consisting in mistakes, that I ought at the first view to have made mention of; but, on several accounts, I am rather willing here to put an end to the reader’s trouble and my own.

« Prev An Answer to a Late Treatise of Mr Cawdrey about… Next »
VIEWNAME is workSection