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VINDICIAE MINISTERII EVANGELICI REVINDICATAE: OR THE PREACHER (pretendedly) Sent, Sent back again, TO Bring a better Account Who Sent Him, and learn his ERRAND: By way of REPLY, To a late BOOK (in the Defence of Gifted Brethrens Preaching) Publiſhed by Mr. John Martin of Edgefield in Norfolk, Mr. Samuel Petto of Sandcroft in Suffolk, Mr. Frederick Woodale of Woodbridge in Suffolk: So far as any thing in their Book pretends to Anſwer a Book publiſhed, 1651.

CALLED Vindiciae Ministerii Evangelici; WITH A Reply alſo to the Epiſtle prefixed to the ſaid BOOK, called, The Preacher Sent.

By John Collinges B.D. and Paſtor of the Church in Stephens Pariſh in Norwich.

London, Printed by S. G. for Richard Tomlins, at the ſign of the Sun and Bible neer Pye-Corner, 1658.

To my Reverend and much Honour­ed Brethren, the Authors of the late Book, called, The Prea­cher Sent.

Dearly beloved Brethren,

I Have ſeriouſly peruſed your Epiſtle directed to thoſe pro­feſſing the Order of Church Fel­lowſhip, and Government, called Presbyterian, of which number I muſt own my Self to be one (though the leaſt of all the Servants of the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, who walk in that way) to­gether with your Book to which it is prefixed; and muſt profeſs my ſelf, as to ſeveral parti­culars in either of them, very much unſatisfi­ed, both as to the truth of the Notions you contend for, and to the mediums by which you endeavour to eſtabliſh them; putting therefore away all wrath, prejudice, or bitterneſs, as in the following ſheets I have endeavoured to ſhew you your miſtakes, as to the matter of your Book, ſo I ſhall in this Epiſtle do the like, as to what is contained in your Epiſtle: In the mean time profeſſing my ſelf (to uſe your own expreſſion) bound for peace, as far as the ſhoes of the Goſpel will carry me; and long­ing for that diſpenſation (if it may be expect­ed in this life) when all the Lords People ſhall be bleſſed with One heart, and guided into one way, only deſiring to divide my zeal equally betwixt truth and peace, knowing that God is as much the God of the one, as of the other.

I rejoyce to ſee my dear and Reverend Bre­thren ſenſible of the great abuſe of that Li­berty, for which they plead. I know our Brethren have not been ſuch Strangers in Iſ­rael, but they have ſeen and obſerved, that moſt of thoſe ſpurious notions, which inheſe times of Blaſphemy have been found in every Street, and with an impudent forehead have called the holy Spirit of God Father, and the lovely Virgin Truth mother, have been found lying at the door of this Liberty, and have really been born in her houſe. That moſt of thoſe ſad Earthquakes, which have rent the bowels of the Church, and overturned ſome Churches of God, both in Holland, and in Old and New England, have been cauſed by the wind of this Liberty, which they ſtill en­deavour to keep up. I know they cannot but have heard the cryes of many poor people in this County, who are fed with theſe husks in­ſtead of bread, with the chaff of theſe exer­ciſes, inſtead of the more ſubſtantial wheat of publick Ordinances. And ſurely, if an Ar­gument from the blaſtings of Providence, or the general diſreliſh of judicious Chriſtians, be worth any thing, we have as good a plea as againſt any licentious practice in the worſhip of God.

It was ſaid once by a Learned Perſon in this Nation, that if a Book were compoſed of all the Engliſh Sermons, preached by men of worth, containing the choiceſt matter contained in them, which had been Preach­ed within ſome few years, he believed no Book in the world would be to be compared with it: I believe our Brethren judge, that if all the Errors, Crudities, Nonſenſe, imperti­nencies, blaſphemies, ſelf-contradictions, which (by vertue of the exerciſe of this Liberty they plead for) have within theſe fifteen or ſixteen years laſt paſt, been vented in open Pulpits, were ſummed in one Book, the Tur­kiſh Alcoran would ſcarce afford ſuch a rapſody of error, nonſenſe, blaſphemy and impertinency. To give our Brethren a taſte, I have a Letter ſtill by me, wrote by a gifted Brother, who took upon him to tell me, that he heard me ſuch a day, and I did not open my Text a­right (my Text that day was, Eph. 2. Aliens to the commonwealth of Iſrael.) He told me, if I had rightly opened it, I muſt have told my people, 1. What the wealth of Iſrael was. 2. How it came to be common. 3. How far forth it was common. With much more ſuch non­ſenſical ſtuff; and very teachy he was with me, that I had not fallen upon his notions: if either this perſon had underſtood the Greek, or our Tranſlation had Tranſlated〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉polity, all the jeſt had been ſpoiled, which probably he would have made three Sermons upon.

I ſhould have really thanked our Brethren, for acknowledging an abuſe of this Liberty, if I could have ſeen, 1. That any uſe of it (other than I had granted them) were not an abuſe of the greateſt Ordinance of the Goſpel.

2. Or if I could have ſeen that our Bre­thren could have fixed a rule of regulation, it would have done ſomething with me; but when you tell us, you plead for none but ſuch as are really gifted, and then tell us none have to do to judge whether they be ſo or no, it is con­venient the Church ſhould, but if they Preach without, it is no ſin. To my apprehenſion yee do but complain of a Flood-gate, that ſtands ope too deep, when your ſelves put in a bar that it may not ſhut down more cloſe. It is true, the abuſe of a thing plainly neceſſary by a neceſſity of precept, is no argument to take away the uſe, but where no precept is plain, the general miſcarriage, and accurſed conſe­quences of it, are a ſtrong topick to prove it is not according to the will of God. And I hope our Brethren upon ſecond thoughts, will not judge any one Text quoted by them plainly concluding the Caſe. All your Argu­ments run either from the uſe of gifts, to the uſe of this gift (when as yet you will not al­low all gifts to be ſo exerciſed) nor any judg­ment to be made of the gift) or from examples where there is no parity, as you will perceive by the following Diſcourſe.

You rightly apprehend, that the ſingular notion you have entertained of a Church is the〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉of this, and many other unhappy Controverſies; you are therefore pleaſed in your Epiſtle, to endeavour to make the light of your notion concerning a Church to reflect upon our faces. You tell us,

That a Church is a particular company of Saints in mutual union for mutual Fellowſhip in the means of worſhip appointed by Chriſt,Ep. Dedic. for the glo­ry of God, the edification of their own ſouls, and the good of others. This you ſay is the only Church that is capable of Officers to be im­mediately ſet in it, and over it.

That this is a Church we grant, but that only this Church is capable of Officers we de­ny: I ſhall have liberty to enter my diſſent, in examining the ſix particulars you inſtance in for the explication of this deſcription.

Firſt, You ſay it is a company, that we grant, Eccleſia properly is nomen multitudinis, one properly and ſtrictly cannot be called a Church.

Secondly, You ſay it is a particular Company, and that there never was, nor ever will be exiſting in rerum naturâ, any other than a particular com­pany. I muſt confeſs to my dear Brethren, that I cannot fathom their notion of particular: we uſe to ſay, particularis is oppoſed both to univerſalis and ſingularis, I ſuppoſe our Bre­thren here oppoſe it to Ʋniverſalis. An uni­verſal theme in Logick is that (as our Brethren know) which is apt to be predicated natu­rally concerning many: I think Church is ſuch a Theme. Thus much our Brethren I am ſure will grant, that their Congregations at Lon­don, Norwich, Yarmouth, may each of them be called a Church. Now the Queſtion is, whe­ther all theſe Churches may not be conſider­ed together, and called a Church: Or if you will, Whether all the Churches of God upon the earth, may not by an univerſal notion be called a Church, or is not called a Church in Scripture. You acknowledge it in a reformed ſenſe an uni­verſal company, but not an univerſal Church, that is (as I ſuppoſe you mean) a body capable of Officers, otherwiſe it were a ſtrange thing that ſeven perſons, who are viſible Saints ſhould be called a Church,Mr. Hudſons Vindic. p. 31. ad. p. 40. and ſeven hun­dred ſhould not. If our Brethren will pleaſe to read what Reverend Mr. Hudſon hath wrote, he will ſhew them where the word Church is both generally and indefinitely applied where it cannot be underſtood of particular Churches, Acts 8.3. Gal. 1.13. Acts 26.11. Acts 9.31. compared together, Acts 12.1. Acts 2.47. 1 Cor. 10.32. Gal. 4.26. Eph. 3.10. 1 Cor. 12.28. All theſe Texts will prove, that the Scripture hath not reſtrained the notion of Church to a particular Company ſo called.

But you will ſay, This is a Church not capable of Officers to be ſet in or over it. Brethren, have you read what Mr. Hudſon ſaith, to prove Mi­niſters Officers to the Church Catholick? Do they not (when they Baptize) admit into the Catholick Church;Pag. 232: why elſe are not your Members baptized again, when they are tran­ſlated from the particular Church into which (according to this principle) alone they were Baptized? Do they not by Excommunication caſt out of the Catholick Church? Or will our Brethren ſay, that a Church may lawfully ad­mit to its Communion, a Member which ano­ther Church hath cut off from her Communi­on? Were the Apoſtles (think our Brethren) Officers only to a particular Church? If to the Ʋniverſal, then there was an univerſal Church once exiſting, capable of Officers. Nor is that irrefragable Text, 1 Cor. 12.28. (as our Brethren ſay) preſt to the ſervice of the Catho­lick Church. No, it comes as the Lords Volun­tier willing to engage for this Truth. You ſay Brethren, that what it is written, ver. 18. of that chapter, God hath ſet the Members every one in the body, doth as much prove a Catholick or univerſal Body, as God hath ſet ſome in the Church, proves a Catholick Ʋniverſal Church. I know my Brethren aym at greater things than quiblings about a word: that paſſage God hath ſet the Members every one in the body, together with ver. 12. and all the members of that one body, being many are one body, will prove that the body is Totum integrale: So alſo ſaith the Apoſtle is Chriſt, i. e. the Church of Chriſt. If our Brethren will but grant us this, That the Church is a Totum integrale, you muſt grant that a particular Church is but a part of this Totum. If you ſay there is no other To­tum called a Church, but only the particular Church, I have proved the contrary, that the term of Church is applied otherwiſe than to a particular Church. If you ſay, this Church hath no Officers, that Text, 1 Cor. 12.28. confutes you; neither will your conſequence follow, that becauſe an univerſal body is not proved from ver. 18. therefore an Ʋniverſal Church is not proved from ver. 28. viz. from the whole verſe. If it had been ſaid v. 18. God hath ſet the members every one in the body; and then the Text had made an enu­meration of ſuch members, ſome of whoſe uſe and office was not confined to the ſervice of that particular body, but would ſerve any other particular bodies, as he doth of Church Officers, ver. 28. I hope it would have proved an Ʋniverſal body. You tell us (Brethren) you renounce the name and thing of an Ʋniverſal or Catholick Church, you muſt then renounce the Holy Scripture (witneſs the Texts before mentioned) and renounce right reaſon, and renounce the moſt learned and judicious of your own Brethren, who generally acknow­ledge, both the name and thing, only deny it to be Organical: But you think, you have five Arguments will prove, that a particular Church cannot be a part, but a Totum.

1. You ſay firſt, every part is in power incom­pleat; But every particular Church hath the power of a whole Church And may act in all Church work, not as a part, but as a whole. I muſt deny your Minor (Brethren!) I hope you account a power to meet in a Synod, and to conſult (at leaſt) a piece of Church work, to which Gods word gives a power, Acts 15. and yet when you think of it again, you will not ſay that a particular Church hath a power alone to make a Synod. We ſay the like for Ordination (ex­cept in caſes of abſolute neceſſity) and for ex­communication (where the Church is very ſmall) there are that think it is not a work fit for a particular Church. See Brethren what Reverend Mr. Hudſon ſays to all theſe in the Book before cited.

2. You tell us next, that every whole is really diſtinct from every part, and from all its parts collectively conſidered, they are conſtituting, that is conſtituted; but where that Church is which is really diſtinct from all particular Churches, or wherefore it is you know not. This is Brethren ſuch a fallacy, as ſcarce deſerveth an anſwer; the body of a man is a whole, all his members are parts; now when you have found out where that body is, which is really diſtinct from all the members, and wherefore it is, you will have anſwered your ſelves. The Nation of England is a whole, every Pariſh is a part, finde us where that Nation is, which is diſtinct really from all the Pariſhes taken together. We uſe to make this a Maxime in Logick,Totum reipſâ non differt à partibus ſuis ſimul ſumptis & unitis. That a whole doth not really differ from all its parts ta­ken together and united.

3. In the next place you tell us, there can be no viſible univerſal Church, becauſe there is no univerſal viſible meeting: and that the Greek word tranſlated Church (in all Civil and Sacred uſage) ſignifies a meeting, in fieri or facto eſse. But you began to think that the inviſible Church, are never like to have ſuch a meeting; and therefore (to ſalve it) you heal this wound in your Argument (in my opinion) very ſlightly, when you ſay, it doth meet inviſibly & in Spirit. If you will but grant us that Brethren, that the name of Church in Scripture, is given to thoſe that never locally meet, but it is ſuffi­cient for them to be preſent in Spirit; you have by an unhappy heel, kicked down all that good milk, which your Argument was giving down for the ſuckling of your infant-no­tion of a Church. And yet the Scripture will enforce you to grant it, it ſpeaks of the Church of the firſt-born. There is an univerſal meet­ing of the Catholick viſible Church, at the throne of Grace (before their great Paſtor) and in Spirit (as it is only poſſible for a Catholick Church to meet) whiles they agree in the Profeſſion of the ſame Truths and Ordinan­ces. For the viſible Meeting which you menti­oned at firſt, you have quitted your plea for the viſibility, to ſave the Church of the firſt-born from Excommunication; and we hope it will alſo ſave the Church Catholick, viſible, from any hurt by this Argument.

4. You go on (Brethren) and tell us, There are no diſtinct Officers for a Catholick Viſible Church: Ergo, there is no ſuch Church. If you had expreſſed the Major Propoſition, I ſhould have denied it; the aſſertion of a Church Ca­tholick viſible (though we add Organical) doth not imply there muſt be diſtinct Officers for that Church; it is enough that the Officers of the ſeveral particular Churches (which as parts conſtitute that whole) have power to act as Officers in any of thoſe parts, which united make up that whole: I am not wil­ling, but here neceſſity conſtrains me to tell my Reverend Brethren, that this is no fair play, to pretend to diſpute againſt the Presbyteri­an notion of a Catholick Church, and to mention only the Antichriſtian, and Prelatical Notion of it. Let any one read Mr. Hudſons Vindication, p. 129, 130, 131. and he will ſee we plead not for ſuch an univerſal Church, as muſt needs have a Pope for an univerſal Head, and Arch-Biſhops, Biſhops, &c. for his derivatives. But this we ſay, that the whole Church (all the particular Churches in the world) make but one body of Chriſt; and as it is one (una) ſo it is (unita) united in a Common Profeſſion of the Goſpel; & as there is this union, and communion of members, ſo there is a communion of ſome Officers, par­ticularly Miniſters, who may Preach as Chriſts Ambaſſadors, by vertue of Office, any where, and may any where Baptize, and Admini­ſter the Lords Supper, upon occaſion; and we ſay our Brethren in practice grant this; for the Paſtor of one of their Churches will give the Supper of the Lord to thoſe, to whom he is not in Office, as his particular Church, and this is a Common practice with our Bre­thren; how conſiſtent with our Brethrens principle let them judge: while our Brethren ſay they do this by vertue of a Communion of Churches, they do but blinde the Com­mon People with a dark notion, that ſigni­fies nothing: What mean they by a Commu­nion of Churches, if they do not mean this, that by the word of God, one particular Church hath a power to communicate in that Ordinance with another? If they have ſo, there muſt be a Communion of Offices, as well as Gifts, for the diſpenſing the Sa­craments is acknowledged by our Brethren to be an act of Office. If that it be not the will of God in his Word, that the Officer of one Church, ſhould do an act of Office in ano­ther Church, or to a Member of another Church, it is not his will that in all things there ſhould be a communion of Churches. If this be his will, it is as much as we ask; for then the Officer is not only an Officer to the particular Church, and the members of it, but alſo to any particular Churches in the world, or to any of their Members. We ask no more. This is the Catholick Organi­cal Church we plead for. Let our Brethren conſider whether while they think this an I­dol, and pretend to abhor it, in the notion, they do not in practice bow down to it, and commit Sacrilege.

5. You tell us in the laſt place (Brethren) That no Church is greater than that Church which hath power to determine, and hear offences, Mat. 18.17. But that is a particular Church. Ergo. You are ſenſible that your Minor is not extra aleam controverſiae, and you have taken as good care as you could, to ſtrengthen it, by ſaying, it cannot be meant of both; and to ex­clude the Congregational Church, is unſcriptural, irrational, abſurd.

But I muſt crave leave to tell you, 1. That your whole Argument is nothing to the Queſti­on; for it is not, whether be greater the Church Catholik, or the Church particular; but whe­ther there be any Church Catholick or no, grea­ter or leſs.

Object. But you will ſay, if there be any it muſt be greater.

Anſw. Then I muſt examine your ſenſe of the word Greater, whether you underſtand it in reſpect of quantity or quality: If in reſpect of quantity, number, &c. the Ma­jor is apparently falſe. If in reſpect of quality, as you ſeem to hint by the term, having power, then your Argument is this,

There is no Church hath a greater power, than that which hath the power to hear and determine offences committed in the Churches:

But the particular Church hath that power, Mat. 18.17. Ergo.

I will give you Brethren ſuch another Ar­gument, judge you whether it be good or no, and if it be not, you muſt prove your own better.

There is no Court hath a greater power than that which hath the power to hear and determine offen­ces in a Nation.

But the Sheriffs-Hundred-Court hath a power to determine offences. Ergo, that is as great a Court as the Court of Common. Pleas.

You muſt therefore put in finally determine, and all offences, in any part of the Church, or elſe your Major is falſe, when you have men­ded that we will deny your Minor, and tell you, that admit that Text, Mat. 18.17. ſhould be meant of a particular Church, yet it proves no ſuch power, either finally to determine, or all offences, as well thoſe betwixt Church and Church, as thoſe betwixt party and party, or party and Church. Neither can I divine the ne­ceſſity you would impoſe upon us of exclu­ding the one or the other Church out of that Text, (according to the nature of the offence) nor do I think your ſaying, that to exclude the Congregational Church, viz. ſome Congre­gational Churches, is unſcriptural, irrational, abſurd, amounts ſo much as to the ninety ninth part of an Argument in the caſe. I think it is far more rational, and far leſs abſurd, to ſay that when a Member is to be cut off from all the Churches of God in the earth, it ſhould be done by a Church, made up of ſeveral Chur­ches in aſſociation and upon a Common con­ſultation, and by a common act of many Re­verend and Judicious perſons, then by ſeven perſons, none of which poſſibly hath reaſon enough to judge truly of the merit of the cauſe. And in reaſon it ſhould ſeem more like to be the will of Chriſt, who is very tender of all his peoples ſouls. Our Brethren know we could give them ſad inſtances of particular Churches, excommunicating their Godly and Reverend Paſtors, who are ſufficiently known to have deſerved no ſuch things.

You tell us Brethren, that the Officers of Churches met together, are no true Church. Zuinglius (you ſay) ſaid ſome ſuch thing, but it was in a caſe no more like this, than chalk is like cheeſe: We are diſputing now, whe­ther the Officers of particular Churches meeting together in a Synod, may not be called a Church, they being ſent to repreſent the particular Churches. We have a Rule in Logick, Cui competit definitio convenit definitum. I therefore argue.

A Church ſay you, Is a particular Company of Saints in mutual union, for mutual fellowſhip in the means of Worſhip appointed by Chriſt, for the glory of God, the edification of their own ſouls, and the good of others.

But a juſtly-conſtituted Synod is ſuch a Company Ergo, they are a Church.

1. They are a Company, one cannot make a Synod.

2. They are a particular Company, they are but a part of the Church, not every individual; nor (ſay our Brethren) did ever any other company exiſt.

3. They are an holy Company, at leaſt ſhould, or may be ſo.

4. They are united, their conſent to meet and ſit together unites them, ſo doth the con­ſent of the particular Churches ſending them.

5. They are united unto fellowſhip in means of Worſhip, we will ſuppoſe them while they are together, to meet together in one place on the Lords days to hear, pray, receive Sacraments together, &c.

6. The end of this fellowſhip, is the glory of God, the edification of themſelves, and the whole Church, and the good of others.

So that in Anſwer to our Brethrens expreſ­ſion borrowed from Zuinglius in a quite differ­ing caſe, Repreſentativant eſſe credo, veram non credo. I return, Aut veram eſſe credo, aut falſam eſſe veſtram credo definitionem: Either they are a true Church, or your definition of a Church is not true.

Thirdly, you tell us, a Church muſt be an holy Company. I Anſwer.

1. So was not the〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉mentioned Acts 19.32, 42. But concerning the Church of Chriſt, we grant it (ſano ſenſu) upon ſome of your Arguments, which I think are conclu­ſive enough.

2. We ſay, God himſelf calleth the whole Jewiſh Nation holy, Exod. 19.6. The Apoſtle calls the ſeed of thoſe Parents holy, where one of them was a believer, 1 Cor. 7. In this ſenſe we grant every member of the Church muſt be holy, ſeparated from a Paganiſh converſa­tion, and under an external Covenant with God.

3. We ſay, it is their duty to be holy by ſanctification, this they are to labour after. But we deny,

1. That they muſt neceſſarily be all real Saints, or no Church, and this our Brethren will not own.

2. That a viſibility of ſaving grace, is neceſ­ſary to the conſtitution of a Church in all the members of it.

1. Becauſe our Brethren (we hope) will own the Infants of their members, to be mem­bers, in whom is no ſuch viſibility.

2. Becauſe ſpecial ſaving grace is a thing in­viſible, and of which we can make no true judgement.

3. Becauſe we find no ground in Scripture for it; we cannot ſee what viſibility of ſaving grace the Apoſtles could act by, who ad­mitted three thouſand and five thouſand in a day, Acts 2. Acts 4. more then their being baptized upon their owning the Goſpel.

Fourthly, our Brethren themſelves ſay, that filthy matter may be found in a Church conſtituted, which is not fit matter in the conſtitution: We look upon the Companies of perſons in our Pariſhes, as they have united themſelves in means of worſhip, Churches conſtituted, not to be conſtituted; and do not underſtand (while the form, which doth dare eſſe continues) how ſome decays in the matter annihilates the Church, any more then the rottenneſs of ſome pieces of Timber, yea though the ma­jor part of thoſe pieces be hardly ſound, makes the houſe (while it ſtands and keeps the form) not to be an houſe.

But fifthly, we grant to our Brethren, that ſuch as err in the fundamentals of the Goſpel, or are affectedly ignorant of them, or are guilty of leudneſs in their lives, ought to be caſt out of the Church, though we dare not determine any ſingle acts of wickedneſs inconſiſtent with grace, remembring the failings of Lot, Noah, David, Solomon, and Peter; yet we ſay by ver­tue of the Command of God (though they may have a root of grace) they ought to be admoniſhed, ſuſpended, and excommuni­cated, and this for the glory of God, the honour of the Church, and the good of their own ſouls, not becauſe they have no ſaving grace, or no viſibility of it; for it may be we may have ſeen formerly ſo much of them, as to make us of another minde.

We therefore grant you (brethren) that the vi­ſible Church, is the Kingdom of Chriſt, the body of Chriſt, and yet there may be ſubjects of this Kingdom, who give not due homage to him, members of this body, real members, and yet muſt be cut off, branches in this Vine, and yet not bringing forth fruit, John 15.2. You deſire to know what reaſon we have to ju­ſtifie a practice of enquiring after a truth of Grace, in order to the Communion in the Lords Supper, and yet to blame you for ſuch an enquiry in order to the Communion of Saints.The An­ſwer Brethren is very eaſie, Becauſe we find, that a man ſhould examine himſelf before he eat­eth of that Bread and drinks of that Cup: but we no where find, Let a man examine himſelf, before he comes into the fellowſhip of the Church; and we think the three thouſand and five thouſand had ſcarce any leiſure before their admiſſion, to do it very throughly. But our Brethren know no Rule they ſay, for an ordi­nary ſuſpenſion of compleat and owned Mem­bers of the Body from the Sacrament. If you conſult Beza's notes upon 2 Cor. 2.6. He will ſhew you plain Scripture for it; if the inceſtu­ous perſon had been excommunicated, St. Paul needed not to have ſaid, ſufficient is the puniſh­ment which is inflicted, for they had puniſhed him as much as they could. Nor was there any thing to be remitted. See Beza on the Text more fully. However our Brethren (as I hear) ordinarily practiſe it, when a perſon is under admonition, and the Church waiting to ſee the iſſue of it, we plead for it no further.

5. You tell us fifthly (Brethren) that a Church muſt be an united company; if you had told us in what ſenſe you underſtand united, we could better have told you our minds (at leaſt I could have better told you mine) con­cerning it. People may be united by cohabita­tion, by common profeſſion, by mutual conſent, this you ſeem to underſtand: this again may be either explicitly, by Covenant, or implicitly, by a conſtant joyning in the ſame practice which our Brethren contend for, or whether they be indifferent in the thing I cannot tell: this being premiſed Brethren, I conceive.

1. Every company called〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉cannot be ſaid to be an united company, either as to an union of judgement or practice: the rout, Acts 19. called by this name were not.

2. Every Religious Company or Church of Chriſt (called by this name in Scripture) were united, but neither by cohabitation, nor yet by conſent to walk together in the ſame individual Ordinan­ces, but every ſuch company muſt be an uni­ted company as to profeſſion of the ſame Do­ctrine, and acknowledging the ſame ſpecifi­cal Ordinances of the Goſpel; all the places I quoted out of Mr. Hudſon to prove the uni­verſal Church prove this.

3. There is no need that every particular Church (if not organized) and under the exerciſe of Diſcipline, ſhould be united, by conſent as to pra­ctice, in the ſame numerical Adminiſtrations; every particular company of the univerſal Church may properly enough be called〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉without ſuch a conſent; you often read of the Church in a particular houſe, Col. 4.15. Rom. 16.5. Phil. 2. of which no ſuch thing can be proved.

4. Indeed it ſeems reaſonable, that a par­ticular Church, organized, and in which Diſci­pline ordinarily ſhould be adminiſtred, ſhould be a company united by conſent; for my own part I can allow you this, though I know ſome of my Brethren will not.

5. That this Ʋnion muſt needs be by an expli­cite Covenant, or conſent is neither to be proved by one Text, nor yet by one ſound reaſon, and to im­poſe this as neceſſary, is a meer humane in­vention, and not to be indured, becauſe there is not the leaſt warrant in Gods word for it.

But laſtly, we heartily wiſh, that for the putting of our Churches into order upon clear grounds for the exerciſe of power, the members of our Churches would ſubmit to ſuch an explicite conſent. And we cannot but commend our Worceſterſhire Brethren for endeavouring to bring their people to it, though we ſuppoſe they will be tender of Excommunicating ſuch, as ſeeing no command of God for it, ſhall not think fit to ſubmit to it: Thus far I can yield our Brethren, that a particular Church is an united Company. And upon this principle we plead for our Parocheall Socie­ties to be true Churches, not (as ſome would (ridiculouſly) faſten upon us) becauſe they live within ſuch local limits, but becauſe they are ſocieties of baptized perſons, who by a tacit, and implicit conſent, have united themſelves, wait­ing upon God in the ſame numerical Ordinances of inſtituted worſhip. And this Ʋnion holding, we ſay they are to be looked upon as true Churches, although (as the Church of Corinth) corrupt­ed in ſome of their members, and therefore not to be ſeparated from, nor diſowned as no Churches, but to be purged, and the old lea­ven put out, that they may be a new lump.

5. For what our Brethren ſay in the fifth and ſixth place, That they muſt be a company united unto fellowſhip in means of worſhip appoint­ed by Chriſt, and this for the glory of God, &c. I freely grant, nay it may be I will grant more, viz. that they muſt be a people, who either have elected or ſubmitted to the Officers of the Church for the Adminiſtration of the Ordi­nance of Diſcipline.

But let it not offend my dear and reverend Brethren, if I tell them, I have almoſt made my head ake, with ſtudying the connexion of a paſſage which you have in the laſt page of your Epiſtle (ſave one) and do what I can, I underſtand not how it relates to the former Diſcourſe, or is brought in upon any eaſier terms, then they ſay, The Fellow brought in Hercules, viz. by head and ſhoulders; for un­doubtedly) if it had been led by the conduct of ſenſe or reaſon, it would never have come there: The paſſage is this,

But we ſhall ſay no more of this, Our Brethren not being baptized into the belief of the ſame truth, aſſerting Presbyterial Government to be from hea­ven, although the confidence of our late Aſſembly could ſay no more but this: The Scripture doth hold forth, that many particular Congregations may be under one Presbyterial Government. May be! they would have ſaid, muſt be, had they ſeen the ſtamp of Jus Divinum upon it.

I muſt profeſs my ſelf (dear Brethren) to be ſo ignorant, that I can neither underſtand the ſenſe of this paſſage, either copulatively, or disjunctively; will you give me leave to ſift it a little? poſſibly (though it all looks like chaff) ſome kernels of ſenſe or truth may be found in it.

But we ſhall ſay no more of this (you ſay) Our Brethren not being Baptized into the belief of the ſame Truth. Of this? of what? You had be­fore been ſpeaking of the Papiſts, making their Decrees and humane inventions, equal with the ten Commandments; and told us, you believe Revela­tions of new matter are ceaſed, and that Chriſt hath ceaſed from his work, &c. Now you tell us, you ſhall ſay no more of this: your Bre­thren (viz. We of the Presbyterial perſwaſion) not being baptized into the belief of the ſame truth, aſſerting Presbyterial Government to be from hea­ven: whats this to the making of Church Ca­nons of equal authority with Gods word? Do any of us make them ſo? Or had our Brethren a minde to make the world believe that of us which never entred into our thoughts, nor was ever expreſſed by us in any of our Books. Doth [the ſame truth] relate only to what fol­lows, that we are not all of a minde, as to the Divine Right of Church-Government: what need­ed our Brethren have added this in this place, or what is the meaning of thoſe words? [But we ſhall ſay no more of this] and then adding the other as a reaſon. But let us ſee if there be more truth in what followeth, That the Presby­terians do not all believe that their Government came from Heaven: They are fouly to blame then, for I ſhould think Popery, as to Govern­ment, better than Presbyterie, if I did not think Presbyterie came from heaven. But it is yet more wonderfull (Brethren!) which you tell us, that the Aſſembly did not ſo believe, yea, expreſſed as much; for they only ſay, Many particular Congregations may be united; and you note, they would have ſaid muſt be, if they had ſo judged. Our Brethren have indeed ſaid in their terms no more then it may be, but they have alſo in the ſame place proved that it was ſo, both in the Church of Jeruſalem, and alſo in the Church of Epheſus.

If they only ſay it may be, but prove it muſt be, I hope it is enough; our Reverend Brethren loved to uſe ſoft words, and hard Arguments: But indeed they could not well ſay it muſt be, for there might be but one particular Church in a Nation, and then it was not neceſſary; but ſurely our Brethren would not have ſaid, it may be, if they had thought there was no par­ticular or general ground for it in Gods word, and ſurely, what hath ſuch a foundation in Gods word, is jure Divino (not withſtanding our Brethrens critical obſervation.) Our Brethren of the Aſſembly do not ſay it may be, the ſenſe of the Texts they quote to prove it, yet you (Brethren) muſt remember you tell us ſo for ſome if not all of your Texts for Election, where all you pretend to, is our ſenſe may be the ſenſe; yet I hope you will ſay that Election is jure Divino. Our Brethren know that they have pretended a Jus Divinum too for gifted mens preaching, and yet for fear of their ask­ing maintenance (and to avoid our Argument from thence) tell us, they may preach occaſio­nally, but will not ſay, They muſt preach conſtantly.

In the laſt place Brethren, you fear we may be provoked againſt you, and therefore you favour us with your Reaſons, for engaging in this ſervice, and excuſe for coming into it ſo late. A pit you ſay hath been digged, and a long time ſtood open, and divers have fallen into it, and you come out in charity to cover it.Whether you have indeed covered, or uncovered a Pit, Let every judicious Chriſtian judge, yea let the experiences of all the Churches of Chriſt te­ſtifie. I beſeech my dear and reverend Brethren to lay their hands upon their hearts, and conſider whether they have not uncovered that pit, into which ſome years ſince, many (ſup­poſed) Brethren in New England falling, ſank, and roſe up no more to a viſible repentance for their Errors and Blaſphemies. That pit, in­to which many Members of our Brethrens Churches in Holland fell, & that ſadly too. That pit into which many Members of their late Churches in England, yea in Norfolk fell, and are come out Quakers, pleaders for the Jewiſh Sab­bath, for the power of Miracles (as not ceaſed) conferring (as they pretend) the Holy Ghoſt, &c. That pit which the moſt learned, judicious, & godly-wiſe Brethren, Paſtors of our Brethrens Churches in England, will not indure to ſtand open where they have to do; which the reve­rend Paſtors of the Chuches in New England dare not let ſtand open without a Teaching El­der preſent to watch it. This pit our Brethren have endeavoured again to uncover, and I hope it will appear as vain an attempt as his who would needs rebuild Jericho (as to the iſſue of the work, though not as to the pu­niſhment of the perſons, whom I deſire to love & honor, for their work ſake, though not for this works ſake) I could have heartily wiſhed, my Brethren had left this Idol to plead for it ſelf, and I dare ſay, they might have done it without offending, one humble, ſerious judi­cious Chriſtian, (at leaſt who is known to me)

I moſt humbly beſeech my dear and Reve­rend Brethren, to hear the cryes of many ſober judicious perſons, lamenting the ſad conditi­on of the Pariſhes wherein they live, which inſtead of able and godly Miniſters, are ſerved with none, but ſuch as mend their trading on the week day, by aſſuming this unbridled li­berty on the Sabbath, who are both obtruded upon them, and unable to ſpeak the word of God as they ought to ſpeak; ſo that they are forced (in theſe days of Reformation too) to go from Pariſh to Pariſh, to ſeek one who can ſpeak to them in the name of the Lord, or to whoſe preaching they can go in faith, and at­tend upon it as a publike Ordinance. Doth not this Liberty dead the hearts of ſober men, as to acting in any Reformation, by caſting out ſcandalous, ignorant, and inſufficient Miniſters? While they ſee little more good from it, then caſting out one ignorant inſufficient man, to make way for ſome others; or the caſting out one that would propheſie of wine and ſtrong drink, to make way for others, who ſhall pro­pheſie the vain imaginations of their own hearts, or the errors of Millenaries, Anti-Mini­ſterial perſons, and high flown Anabaptiſts; and who would not judge, that if people muſt be under this ſad deſtiny to have a ſnare for their ſouls ſtand in their Pulpits, it had better be one that every one knows, and would avoid, than one that is covered over with the hypocriſie of a little hay or ſtubble, and is no leſs dan­gerous and more hard to be diſcovered by vulgar eyes?

Dear Brethren! I beg your pardon, if in this caſe, the zeal of my God, his Houſe, People, Truths glory, hath eaten me up, in this Cauſe in which I think all of them are ſo deeply concerned, and ſad experience hath pro­ved it.

As to your excuſe, for coming ſo late into this Diſ-ſervice to the Church and Truth of God, I have no reaſon to be trou­bled at it; as thinking you have at laſt come too ſoon: And I am apt to believe the Rebukes of your own Conſcience might retard your expedition: I have en­deavoured to follow you with more ſpeed, obſerving it a piece of Wiſdom of the GOD of Nature, to plant the Anti­dote within view of the Poiſon. I can truly ſay that while you have a juſt An­ſwer of your Book (ſo far as I am con­cerned in it) I have the Anſwer of a good Conſcience, having ſpoken nothing on this Subject, but what I believe to be the Truth of GOD. Nor have I wil­lingly ſhewed any paſſion.

So praying that thoſe honeſt Hearts (of which I perſwade my ſelf you are all poſſeſſed) may hereafter be found en­diting a better matter. I commend you to the LORD, and to the bleſſing of his Grace: Being

BRETHREN,
Your Servant for the Lord Jeſus Chriſts ſake, John Collinges.

To every Chriſtian Reader.

Reader,

THere are three or four great Truths of God, the Tu­telage of which, from their enemies (at leaſt in theſe parts) I have formerly undertaken, 1. The Divine Or­dinance of Goſpel Preaching, in the adminiſtration of which, all who thought themſelves gifted men pleaded a right of intercommonage with thoſe, who according to Goſpel-Rules are ſeparated to that work: 2. The liber­ty of Chriſtians, from the obſervation of Holy Days. 3. The pure adminiſtration of the holy Sacrament of the Supper: and 4. The Divine Right of Church-Go­vernment in the hands of Chriſts proper Officers. My diſcourſe concerning the firſt, I have already once vin­dicated; what I ſaid upon the ſecond (to my knowledge) none hath yet anſwered; as to the two laſt, there hath been ſomething publiſhed to the world, under pretence of anſwer. John Timſon and Mr. Humfry have pretended ſomething by way of anſwer to the third: and Theoph. Brabourne to the fourth. And now three Reverend Bre­thren have undertaken me the ſecond time, in the defence of the Preaching of gifted mens Preaching. I ſhall only give thee a true account, why I have ſaid nothing to the three other Anſwerers, nor have any thoughts to do it. As for John Timſon had he fallen upon me but with his Cart­whip, I think I ſhould have turnd again, but falling ſo fouly upon me with his plow-ſtaff (upon a maxime I have learn­ed from ſome Gentlemen, that a Rapier is no weapon fit to engage a Carter upon the Road) I thought it prudence to runaway: Beſides that, perceiving he had got the Art to anſwer himſelf by more then one manifeſt contradiction; I thought it pity any one elſe ſhould be put to the trouble, especially conſidering, that after I had drawn ſeven or eight ſheets of an Anſwer, my Stationer aſſured me, he had not ſold above one of his Books, and it was pity by an Anſwer, to commend his Book to the worlds Enquiry Mr. Humfry indeed diſcovers a reverend opinion of his Book, I ſuppoſe for the Notion he in the main drives, not for his way of handling of it, which I think ſcarce de­ſerves ſuch a character. As for Mr. Humfry, I per­ceived him ſailing in his last Book at a lower rate, and I was loth by an anſwer to ſerve him with a wind, which might have tempted him to have spread his ſails to their former wideneſs (I remember the ill influence, learned Spanhemius his Anſwer to Amiraldus had upon him to this purpoſe.) Beſides that, I ſaw I muſt have differed with him in more momentous matter then that of the Sa­crament, if I had given him a ſtrist anſwer: and I was not willing to raiſe more duſt of Controverſie then is al­ready raiſed in the world. As for Theoph. Brabourne, as I could finde nothing in his Book beſides error and non-ſenſe: ſo I perceive the world had no better opinion of it; the Stationer returning him his Printed Copies for New-years-gifts for his Friends, becauſe he could ſell none of them, or but exceeding few, and though I have often met the Books at my Friends Houſes, where he had given them, yet (that I know of) I never found any of them made fit to read, or otherwiſe uſed than to kindle Tobacco. Beſides that, immediatly after his publicati­on of that Rapſody of impertinence, I ſaw ſome Papers he had ſcattered up and down this City, to prove there were three distinct Gods, and to the will of which of them he had calculated his Book I could not tell. The GOD whom I ſerve is but one, he that can blaſpheme the Living GOD, may be excuſed for that crime towards his Truths and Servants, and deſerves not to be menti­oned in a Chriſtians mouth.

As for this laſt Book, called The Preacher Sent, I finde it written by grave and ſober perſons, with a good ſhew of Argument (indeed as much as their Cauſe would bear I think) and dictated by a ſober compoſed and gentle Spirit, and the concernment of the Book to be of exceeding Moment, especially in relation to this Coun­ty, which (I believe) hath more of that ſort of Preach­ers then any three Counties in England have: I have therefore thought it worth the while to examine their Book, ſo far as I am concerned in it; with what ſuc­ceſs (Reader) thou muſt be Judge, and the Lord guide thee in Judgement, both as to this, and every truth: So prays,

Thy Faithfull Servant in the Lord Jeſus, J. C.

The Printer to the Reader.

READER,

I Would deſire thee (by reaſon of the Authors dwelling ſo far off that he could not Correct his Book himſelf) that thou wouldſt mend with thy Pen the Errors of the Preſs.

Farewell.

1

CHAP. I. Containing an anſwer to the three firſt Chapters of our Brethrens Book, Concerning Preaching without Ordination. In which, the terms Miniſter, Miniſtry, and Office are conſide­red and explaned, and three Queſtions diſcuſſed: 1. Whether gifted men not ordained can be cal­led Miniſters, and in what ſenſe. 2. Whether the Office of the Miniſtry be a relation to the work or no. 3. Whether the Office of the Miniſtry be a relation to the Univerſal Church; The Ne­gative part of the firſt, The Affirmative part of the two latter is defended; And whatſoever our Brethren have offered on the contrary is fully an­ſwered and proved fallacies; their deſcription of Office proved faulty, &c.

1. THat two of the Books lately Pub­liſhed, againſt the Preaching of per­ſons meerly gifted, and for Ordina­tion (as that which gives the call unto the work of the Miniſtry) ſhould (as our Brethren ſay) con­tain the ſubſtance of all the reſt, is no great wonder, conſidering that (I truſt) they were all wrote by the ſame Spirit, and (for the moſt part)2 made uſe of the ſame Scripture for the Sedes of their Arguments: But that our Brethren ſhould take my Vindiciae miniſterii Evangelioi to be one of them, either ſpeaks their (too much) reſpect for me; or their policy to magnifie that Enemy whom they conceive they have conquered.

2. For my Pamphlet; it was written ſeven years ſince, commanded (almoſt) to the Preſs by an holy and emi­nent ſervant of God (now with God) Mr. Jeremy Whi­taker, who was with me, when I was writing; and argu­ing the need, or expedience of ſuch a Pamphlet, he told me he was of Auguſtine's mind, who would have every body write againſt Pelagius. It was occaſioned at firſt, by the troubleſomneſs of a gifted man (as himſelf judged) in communion with me, who had a great am­bition to be expounding Scripture; and (in a teach) be­cauſe we would not allow it, afterwards left us, and joynd himſelf, with a Congregational Church, who had no better opinion of his gifts than we had before, & re­ſtrained his luſt in that ambition too; and in a like teach, he left them and turned Quaker. For the ſatisfaction of thoſe Chriſtians in communion with me, upon the trou­ble given us by this perſon, I firſt (at private meetings of Chriſtians in communion with me) diſcourſed the things in my Book; afterwards Printed them. It plea­ſed God ſo far to bleſs my indeavours, that ſince that time, none of thoſe committed to my charge have pre­ſumed to attempt any ſuch practice; and it hath pleaſed God ſo far to give my Printed Book ſucceſs, that I think it hath been twice Printed, and ſeveral perſons (ſome of quality) have returned me thanks, for my poor labours in it. And our Brethren having ſingled me out for a combatant once more in this quarrel; I ſhall indeavour to diſcharge the duty they have impoſed upon me, and to do it with the ſame moderation, and ſpirit of meek­neſs, which they profeſs, and (for ought I obſerve yet) have practiſed.

33. Our Brethren in the firſt Chapter do two things. 1. They Open the term Miniſtry. 2. The term Office. 3. They raiſe two Queſtions:

1. Whether the Office of the Miniſtry doth corre­late to the work, or to the Church? If our Brethren would have been content, that it ſhould have been in its relati­on divided, we ſhould not have oppoſed it: But affir­ming it is no relate to the work, but only to the Church, I muſt profeſs my ſelf diſſatisfied.

2. Whether the Office of the Miniſtry doth corre­late to the Church Ʋniverſal, or only to the particular Church? Our Brethren ſay, Only to the particular Church; If our Brethren would have been content with a diviſion again, that the Miniſter ſhould be related to both, we ſhould have granted it; or if our Brethren had ſtated the queſtion about the relation of a Miniſter to ſuch a Catholick Church, as had conſtant ſtanding Ca­tholick Officers, we know no ſuch Church, and ſhould not have diſputed de or pro non ente: But (as they ſtate it) I muſt profeſs my ſelf alſo in this of another mind, viz. to believe that a Miniſter is in Office to more than his particular Church: And therefore to triall we muſt go.

In the opening of the term Miniſtry, Our Brethren tell us that Miniſtry ſtands in oppoſition to Lordly do­mination, Mat. 20.25, 26, 27. that thoſe who do acts of miniſtration, are Miniſters; that〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉&〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉and the words uſed in Scripture to expreſs Mini­ſters and Miniſtry, are applied, in Scripture, to others beſide Miniſters in Office: that their conſtant perfor­ming acts of miniſtration, entituleth them to the denomi­nation of Miniſters; and their work ſhould be called Preaching, as we uſually call them, Bruers, or Bakers, who brew, or bake conſtantly; and therefore Chriſtians ſhould ſo call them.This is the ſum of what they have, p. 2. & 3. To all which, I ſhall crave leave to4 anſwer. For this ſeemeth to be an old hedge of diſtin­ction, which who ſo breaks the Serpent of Confuſion will bite him

1. That the terms Miniſter, Miniſtry, and Office, are of various interpretations both in civil, and ſacred uſage, is unqueſtionable. Theſe terms therefore fal­ling into the queſtions, the explication, and limitation of them, to the ſenſe in which we underſtand them ſeems neceſſary. An accurate diſcourſe of a queſtion, requires, that no ſignification of the terms in it be o­mitted in the Explication. In plenâ tractatione, vocis diſtinctio nunquam eſt omittenda (ſay Logicians.)

2. For the firſt term therefore [Miniſter] that it is a Latine word, none can doubt, nor that in ordinary uſe it ſignifies no more that a Servant, one who worketh for another as his Lord and Maſter; ſo called, either be­cauſe he is to his Maſter a manibus, an hand ſervant, quaſi maniſter (as Perottus will have it) or becauſe he is leſs than his Maſter, quia minor in ſtatione; (which is Iſio­dore's notion, and preferred by learned Martinius.) In this notion the word is frequently uſed by civil and prophane Authors, Infimi homines miniſtros ſe praebent, ſaith Tully. l. 1. de Orat: and again, lib. de Amicitiâ, Libidinis miniſtri, ſo Ovid

illo dicunt Mactata Miniſtro
Corpora

3. The holy Penmen of Scripture, (either moved, from the congruity of the native ſignification of the word, or the notion of it accrewing by general uſage) have ſometimes uſed it to ſignifie one who is the Servant of the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, in the great work of Preaching the Goſpel; at leſt our tranſlators (interpreting what they wrote in another language) have done ſo. The original words which they have ſo interpreted are〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; which are of as various ſig­nification,5 and two of them (at leaſt) as variouſly appli­ed, by thoſe holy Penmen, as the word Miniſter is by other Authours.

The firſt word,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉(which from〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉properly ſignifies, one who roweth in a Boat, or Ship, under ano­ther, and thence any one who is ſervant to another) is uſed no leſs than 24. or 25. times in the New Teſta­ment; and I think, but two of thoſe Texts can be in­terpreted of Preachers, they are Acts 26.16. 1 Cor. 24.1. In the firſt Paul ſaith, God raiſed him to be a Mi­niſter; in the latter, they are called Miniſters of Chriſt: for I cannot believe that the phraſe, Lu. 1.2. can be in­terpreted of Preaching Miniſters (for I think they had no Text before that time) but of ſome that were eye and eare-witneſſes of Chriſts words and actions, and ſo were Servants to the holy Penmen, in communicating what they ſaw, and heard, to them. There are indeed two other Texts, which ſome may miſtake into this ſenſe, Lu. 4.20. Acts 13.5. In the firſt, it is ſaid Chriſt clozed up the Book, and gave it to the Mini­ſter; in the latter, John is called the Miniſter of Paul and Barnabas. Thoſe who write about the Jewiſh uſages tell us they had an Officer, belonging to the Temple (ſomething I think akin to our Pariſh Clerks) who was wont, to bring, and carry away the Book of the Law, to or from the Prieſt or Levite, or other perſon that ex­pounded. In all other Texts of the New Teſtament, where the word〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉is uſed,Mat. 26.58. Mar. 14.54. it ſignifieth Civil Offi­cers, either domeſtick, as Servants; or Politick ſtate Officers, ſuch as jailers, purſevants, or the like; in which ſenſe it is uſed near 20. times in the New Teſtament.

The ſecond Greek word is as Equivocal as the other;〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. In its native force, it ſignifies no more than a ſervant, call'd ſo either〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉(as ſome would have it) or which pleaſeth Euſtathius better,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉(a letter only changed according to the Jewiſh dialect.) It is in6 Scripture applied to Chriſt, Ro. 15.8. and the Apoſtle (u­ſing this word) ſaith of him, Is he the Miniſter of ſin? 2. To Magiſtrates, Rom. 13.4. To ordinary Servants in a Family, Matth. 20.26.22.13.23.11. Mark 9.35.10.43. Jo. 2.5.9. To any ordinary Chriſtian in regard of his ſervice to the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, John 12.26. Phoebe is call'd thus, Ro. 16.1. Deacons by Oſſice, in the Church, have their name from this word, and it is ap­plied to expreſs thoſe Officers, Philip. 1.1. 1 Tim. 3.8.12. It is alſo often applied to Miniſters in Office to Preach the Goſpel. To Paul, and Apollo, 1 Cor. 3.5. To Tychicus, Eph. 6.21. Col. 4.7. To Timothy, 1 Theſ. 3.2. Theſe again are called Miniſters of God, 2 Cor. 6.4. Of the New Covenant, 2 Cor. 3.6. Of Righteouſ­neſs, 2 Cor. 11.15. Of Chriſt, 2 Cor. 11.33. Of the Church, 0.0.0.0. Our Brethren, p. 2. tell us, that〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉is often applied to Saints no Officers. But as they have quoted only 2 Cor. 9.1. for that: ſo they may con­ſider, that no Preaching Saint, in Scripture, who was no Officer, was ever ſo called; though if he had, it had not ſignified much as to the preſent queſtion; for any one that ſerved but his Maſters Table, was called〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. And if our Brethren do only urge the com­mon uſage of the word, then they do but play with an Equivocal term.

〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. What it ſigni­fies in Scrip­ture.The third word uſed is〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. The moſt reſtrained word of the three, both in civil, and alſo in ſacred writ: yet it is applied to the Civil Magiſtrate, Rom. 13.6. To the Miniſter of the Goſpel, Rom. 15.16. to a publick Perſon, but miniſtring in a private manner, Phil. 2.25. To Angels, Heb. 1.7.14. To Chriſt himſelf, Heb. 8.2. Some note, that it is alwayes a title of publick perfor­mance, but Philip. 2.25. It is otherwiſe uſed. Yet there are that think, that Epaphras was a Deacon by Office, and in that miniſtration to Paul ſo acted; if any credit may be given to civil Authors, for the proper uſage of7 this word, it ſignifieth, both a publick office, and a ſacred Service. So Suidas and Scapula aſſure me; and the E­tymology of the word as much: It is true, in civil Au­thors, it is ſometimes uſed otherwiſe, but Suidas ſaith it is abuſively. I think, we may ſay there is this difference betwixt this word, and the other; that whereas other words primarily ſignifie, ordinary, private, civil Service, this word ptimarily ſignifies ſacred publick Service; and in all holy writ, is not applied to a private perſon; Sure I am, that Eccleſiaſtical writers reſtrain it to ſuch as are employed as publick perſons in ſacred Services.

5. But, though both Miniſter in the Latine, and〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉in the Greek, and Miniſter in our Engliſh tongue, are equivocal terms; Yet we muſt cum vulgo loqui, ſpeak according to vulgar uſage, not accor­ding to equivocal notions of the word. Gifted men cannot in pro­priety of Speech be called Mini­ſters.We will grant to our Brethren, that the perſons they plead for, may be called Miniſters, if they do but wait at their Ma­ſters Table, or be but under-Commiſſioners to the State, or the like, though they ſhould never Preach (accor­ding to the ſignification of the words) but as the Church of God, hath in all late ages uſed the term Mini­ſter, we deny that any gifted Brother can or may be cal­led a Miniſter; we do not deny, but that every General of an army may be called Imperator; and was ſo; but as the term hath lately been uſed, and is uſed, we deny he can be called an Emperour; we do not deny, but he that heaps up Silver upon his trading, may be called Theſaurarius a Treaſurer, but we deny he can be called The City Treaſurer; we do not ſay, but our Brethren though not ordained, may be ſuch Miniſters as you read of, Luke 4. v. 20. and Acts 13.5. but not ſuch as you read of, 1 Cor. 4.1. Acts 26.16. And (by vulgar uſage) ſuch only (for a long time) have been ſo called; to di­ſtinguiſh perſons in office, from ſuch as only do acts of Service Civil, or Sacted. I muſt confeſs, I muſt com­mend8 people, for keeping that term ſtill as diſtinctive; if every one ſhould be called Sir John, or Sir Thomas ſuch a one, in time, there would be no difference be­twixt a Knight, and a begger, and names are given for diſtinction ſake. If one ſeeing the Mayor and Sheriffs of Norwich going with 8. or 10. Officers, ſhould ſay there goes the Mayor with ten Miniſters, or ſeeing a dozen Juſtices of Peace on the Bench, ſhould ſay, there ſit a dozen Miniſters, people would not underſtand what they ſaid, and according to vulgar ſpeech, it would be a breach of the nineth Commandment; yet if our Brethrens Argument were good, that gifted men ſhould be called Miniſters, becauſe they are called〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, it would juſtifie that new dialect in other things as well as this. For Magiſtrates are called Miniſters, and Magi­ſtrates Officers are moſt ordinarily in Scripture called〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. I am much againſt this removing of the Anti­ent Land-Marks, which the tongues of all men are ſo well acquainted with; and think it a very ill deſign, which would produce nothing but confuſion. Let our Brethren give us one inſtance in Scripture, where a gif­ted man (not ordained) is called a Miniſter of the Go­ſpel; a Miniſter of Chriſt, &c. to ſay they are called Miniſters ſignifies not much. Preaching without ordi­nation. p. 3.Nor will a general courſe of acting, (as they would hint) entitle them to that name. It is true, conſtant Brewing and Baking may give one the denomination of a Brewer or Baker; for neither of them are titles of office. But ſuppoſe now a Rebell ſhould overcome his Prince, and for ſeven years together, exerciſe the Acts of his place, he would not yet by bare acting, be entituled to the name of a Prince or King. The Concluſion is, that Gifted men cannot in a ſtrict and proper ſenſe, according to later ages re­ſtriction and conſtant uſage of the word Miniſter, be called Miniſters; they may be called Speakers if you pleaſe.

9

Having hitherto conſidered the notation of the word Miniſter, and of the Greek words ſo tranſlated;Second Term, Miniſtry. let me in the next place conſider what the term Miniſtry im­ports. And this alſo we ſhall find Homonymous.

1. Every one will conclude, that if〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, ſignifie a Miniſter;〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, muſt needs ſignifie their ſervice or miniſtration; and theſe are the words which the Holy Ghoſt uſeth to ex­preſs that in Scripture, which we tranſlate Miniſtry, I mean two of them,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉&〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the firſt onely in Luk. 1. to expreſs Zacharies ſervice in the Temple, the latter very often, Eph. 4.12. Col. 4.17. 2 Tim. 4.5, &c.

And indeed I think, this is the moſt frequent uſage of the term Miniſtry in Scripture, to ſignifie the work or ſervice of thoſe perſons who are called Miniſters, Acts 1.17, 25. Acts 6.4.12.25.20.24.21.19. 2 Cor. 4.1.5.18. Eph. 4.12. Col. 4.17. 2 Tim. 4.5, 11. In all which Texts it is taken for the ſervice that the Miniſters of the Go­ſpel perform in Preaching, adminiſtring Sacraments, &c. Twice for the Service of thoſe Officers in the Church, who more ſtrictly are called Deacons, Rom. 12.7. 1 Cor. 16.15. (though there be ſome queſtion upon that Text:) So Chriſts execution of his Prieſtly Office is called a more excellent Miniſtry. And the old ſervice of the Prieſts and Levites, is called a Miniſtry, Heb. 9.21. But in this ſenſe, I take not Miniſtry in the Queſtion: yet if our Brethren contend for words, I can ſtate the queſtion ſo, viz. Whether that work of the Miniſtry, which the Scripture mentioneth, eonſiſting in the Preaching of the Goſpel, be the work of perſons meerly gifted.

2. But there is another uſage of the word, which uſe at leaſt hath procured it, according to which, we call the Miniſtry, A certain order of perſons, ſet apart according to the will of God, for the diſpenſing out of Publick Goſpel Ordinances. In Analogy to the deſcription of the High10 Prieſt, deſcribed Heb. 5. v. 1. You may take the deſcrip­tion thus. The Miniſter is one taken from amongſt men, and ordained for men in things pertaining to God, for the diſpenſation of Publick Ordinances; and miniſterium is but a collective term, as we call the company of Magi­ſtates, the Magiſtracy of a Nation; So we call the com­pany of Miniſters, the Miniſtry. So Aretius, Bucanus, Ʋrſin, &c. So Martinius, miniſterium eſt ipſe quoque mi­niſter. So Ravanella, Munus vel functio vocatur mini­ſterium, for which he quotes many Texts of Scripture; and ſo interpreteth many of thoſe I before cited; the 2 Cor. 6.3. and that in 1 Tim. 12. ſeem very inclina­ble to this interpretation.

And here again, our Brethren ſeem to play with an equivocall term, when they tell us, that the ſpeaking of gifted Brethren may be called Miniſtry, for there is mi­niſtration in their ſervice; ſo there is too in their Ser­vants waiting upon them at their Tables; yet I hope, they will allow common people, not to call the work of their Servants, waiting at their Trenchers, the Work of the Miniſtry; which yet follows by the ſame argument. If our Brethren ſay, that the gifted perſons miniſter un­to the Church, ſo doth he that ſweeps the Church; yet his work is not the work of the Miniſtry, as we have learned to ſpeak. If they ſay, they miniſter unto Chriſt, Sub judice lis eſt; That queſtion is yet to diſpute upon the Apoſtles maxim, His Servants you are whom you o­bey; and it is ſtill to be argued betwixt them and us, whether in their miniſtration, they obey the commands of Jeſus Chriſt, yea or no.

Third Term.The third and laſt term is that of Office; A term as ambiguous as any other, it comes from the Latine word Officium. Hee that will look that word in Martinius his Lexicon Philologicum, will find at leaſt eight ſignifi­cations of it. Our Brethren of London, in their Jus divinum miniſterii Evangelici, p. 3. have given us a de­ſcription11 of it, ſo far as to limit it from homonymie, and to give the ſenſe of it in the preſent queſtion, which deſcription, our other diſſenting Brethren have faithfully tranſcribed thus.

The Office of the Miniſtry is a ſpirtual relation to the whole employment of the Miniſtry, in a perſon qualified, founded upon a ſpeciall and regular call.

Our Brethren, p. 3. apprehend this to be faulty, and they declare their diſſent, and the grounds of it, becauſe (as they rightly apprehend) much of the controverſie hangs upon this hinge.

They grant that Office is a relation with reſpect to an employment as its end.

But that it is a relation to the employment of the Mi­niſtry as its Correlate they deny; the Church they ſay is the Correlate; and they ſay, the London Miniſters confeſs this, p. 151. where they ſay the Miniſter hath a relation to the Catholick, as well as to the particu-Church, ſo that they ſeem to contradict themſelves.This is the ſubſtance of what they ſay, p. 4. Whence they propound to ſpeak to two queſtions.

1. Whether Office be a relation, to the work of the Miniſtry, or to the Church.
2. Whether Office hath relation, to the Church uni­verſal, or to the particular Church.

They are (both of them) very important queſtions. To the firſt of them our Brethren ſpeak, Chap. 1. where they undertake to prove, That the Office of the Mini­ſtry, is not a Correlate to the work of the Miniſtry, But to the Church; and this they endeavour by four Argu­ments.

That the Office of the Miniſtry doth correlate to the perſons towards whom it is to be executed, is moſt free­ly on our parts confeſſed: But that it ſhould be no cor­relate to the work, is (I confeſs) ſuch an abſurdity in12 my ears, as will offer too much injury (I think) to com­mon ſenſe. Officium eſt re­latio perſonae, ad certi operis neceſſariam effectionem. Martinii Lex. Philol. ad verbum Offici­um.Learned Martinius, (if this be an errour) is in the ſame miſtake with our Brethren in London; he ſayes in terminis, that an Office is the relation of a perſon to the doing of a certain work. If I remember my Logick right, thoſe things are Relations, which either have their whole being in their reſpect to another, or any other way referred to it; this I learned out of Ariſtotle, Burgef­decius, &c. now Cui convenit definitio, ei convenit defini­tum, if the definition of Relations will agree to the Of­fice of the Miniſtry and the work, they muſt be Relati­ons, or elſe we underſtand not our Brethrens meaning. I then thus argue for our Brethren of London (to main­tain their skill in Logick.)

Arg. 1If the Office of the Miniſtry either hath its whole be­ing in relation to the work, or be any other way referred to the work; Then the Office and employment according to Logick are relations.

But the Office, and work of the Miniſtry, have at leaſt one of theſe references each to another. Ergo.

If our Brethren deny the Major, they deny the Logi­cal deſcription of Relations; and ſo can build no argu­ments from the Canons of Logicians about them.

If they ſay the Office neither hath its whole being in the work, nor is any other way related to it, I think they deny common ſenſe.

Arg. 2Again, The Correlate to any relation is that wherein the ſubject is terminated: But the Office of the Miniſtry is terminated in the work; Therefore the work is its Cor­relate. If our Brethren deny the Major, they again deny all Logick. If they deny the minor, it is that which every one apprehends; and it is all one, as to deny the Sun ſhineth at noon day.

But our Brethren having brought us four Arguments, it is fit we ſhould examine them. For the firſt they ſay, the work cannot be a Correlate to the Office,Becauſe13 Relations cannot be ſeparated; they are ſimul naturâ, take away one, and you muſt take away the other: but the work of the Miniſtry, by the ſickneſs, death, im­priſonment, or rejection of the Miniſter may ceaſe; and yet according to our principles, the office doth not ceaſe, a man is a Miniſter in office, though he can­not do the work. Hence they obſerve, that whereas our Brethren of London, thought that by fixing the relation between the work and the office (becauſe, a Miniſter may be ſeparated from his Church) they had ſecured the permanency of the office. Theſe Bre­thren think, that they have deeply fallen into the ſame pit, becauſe the work may ceaſe. This is the ſub­ſtance of p. 5. which in form, is thus.

Relations and Correlations, exiſt and periſh toge­ther.

But (according to your principle) ſo do not the of­fice and work of the Miniſtry. Therefore they are no relations.

The major they ſay, is the Certain rule of Relations, (in Logick.)

The minor they prove, becauſe we will not ſay, the office of the Miniſtry in a man ceaſeth, when he is kept from doing his work by ſickneſs, impriſonment, baniſh­ment, rejection, &c. I anſwer,

1. They call the major, the Certain rule of Relations. But neither tell us of what Relations, nor in what ſenſe, Logicians underſtand that rule and reaſon will enforce for the underſtanding. I will therefore tell them, we know our Brethren are not to learn, that Relations are of two ſorts. The firſt Logicians call Relata ſecundum eſ­ſe, real relations. Such, whoſe whole being (as relations) lye in their relation; ſuch are the Relations of Father and Son, Huſband and Wife, Maſter and Servant. The Father (as a Father) hath no other being, but in his re­lation to a Son, and ſo of the reſt; this is called Relatio14 praedicamentalis, of theſe Relations, their rule (rightly underſtood) is true.

2. But ſecondly, there are other Relations too, cal­led in Logick, Relata ſecundum dici, nominal relations, yet ſuch as have a reality of Relation, but not ſuch a one, that all the being of the Relations (as ſuch) is wrapt up in their relation; this relation they call Rela­tio tranſcendentalis: As now, Scibile & Scientia, A thing to be known, and the knowledge of this thing are relations; and inſtanced in as ſuch by moſt Logicians.

Yet neither the one, nor the other of theſe relations, have all their being in their relations. Of theſe Relati­ons, we ſay (and all ſay) the Rule is falſe, and reaſon will enforce it. For example. This 20th of Jan. there is a knowledge exiſtent of the nature of an Eclypſe, but the Eclypſe which is the thing to be known is not ex­iſtent. The knowledge of the nature of thunder is ex­iſtent: But it doth not thunder. So that our Brethrens Argument runs upon a ſuppoſition, that we ſay, the of­fice and the work are Relata ſecundum eſſe, Relations of the firſt ſort, but we are not of that mind; for we think, the whole eſſence of office lyeth not in its Rela­tion; But in that authority, wherewith the perſon is clothed by his ordination, which holds when his perſon is reſtrained from the exerciſe of it.

2. In eodem enti­talis gradu vel ut Ens in actu, vel ut Ens in poteſtate. Zabarel.Secondly, ſaith Zabarel, the Rule is true, that Rela­tions exiſt and periſh together, as to the ſame degree of being. A man is not actually an Officer, when he can­not do his Office, but the habit remaines in him ſo long as there is a poſſibility that he may one day do it. The Mayor of Norwich, is my Lord Protectors Officer, for the Government of the City; and none in their ſober mind, but will ſay, he is Mayor, and the government of the City are related each to other. Suppoſe the Mayor now ſick, or in priſon, is he not an officer, be­cauſe at preſent he cannot execute his Office? Accor­ding15 to the firſt anſwer, we deny the major; and by vertue of the ſecond, we deny the minor. And we hope our Brethren will deny the Concluſion.

Hence (Chriſtian Reader) thou mayeſt ſee our Bre­thren deal not kindly with thee, when they tell thee,As well may you affirm a man to be a Father, who hath no Son, nor child; or a man to be an husband, who hath no wife, as you may affirm a man to be a Miniſter, who hath no employment.For theſe are relations that widely differ from the Relation betwixt an officer and his work. A Father, (as he is a Father) is a thing hath no being without a child; and ſo cannot be: but an officer, if at preſent he hath no work, yet hath (as an officer) an authority and power to do ſuch a work, when he hath opportunity. I would fain know of our Brethren, whe­ther a man may not be in the office of a Colonel, though at preſent, he hath neither men to make up a Regiment, nor conſequently the government of them: It is his Commiſſion makes him an Officer, and authorizeth him to gather a Regiment, and execute his authority, as ſoon as he hath opportunity. Neither do we ſay, a man can be no officer, who hath no employment, but we ſay, a man may be an officer, who at preſent may want oppor­tunity to do what is his employment, and he is by his office authorized unto. And now I ſuppoſe, every Rea­der will underſtand the weakneſs of our Brethrens firſt Argument, which Logicians call a fallacy A dicto ſe­cundum quid, ad dictum ſimpliciter: Their ſecond Argu­ment is in ſum this.

Relations and Correlations exiſt together; but the of­ficeArg. 2muſt neceſſarily be before the work; becauſe it is a means in order to the end. Therefore the office of the Mi­niſtry and the work cannot be Correlates.

The Reader will eaſily ſee the bottom of this Argu­ment is the ſame Canon in Logick, which was the foun­dation of the other Argument. We grant that the of­fice16 is a means, in order to the work as its end; and we ſay, that the office muſt be before, the work. But we ſay, theſe are no ſuch relations as muſt neceſſarily be Si­mul Naturâ, and exiſt together; except they mean in eodem entitatis gradu, and ſo ſunt ſimul, they are toge­ther, though they do not exiſt together; conſider them as Entia in poteſtate, they are Simul Natura, and ſo it is not neceſſary, that the means ſhould be before the End; In ſhort the very ſame anſwer ſerveth as before.

Arg. 3Our Brethrens third Argument lyeth thus.

That which the Goſpel owneth as the Correlate to the Miniſters office, that is the Correlate.

But the Goſpel owns the Church, not the work, as Cor­relate to the office. Ergo.

The major we confeſs, but ſay there wants a word in it. That which [alone] the Goſpel owns, is the only Correlate.

The minor we deny, we confeſs that the Goſpel owns the Church as a Correlate to the office of the Miniſtry, Acts 20.27. But we ſay, it owns the work too, Eph. 4.11, 12. he gave ſome Apoſtles, ſome Paſtors and Teachers. For the work of the Miniſtry; and I hope, Eph. 4. is as much Goſpel, as Acts 20.17. Our Brethren ſay here again, That Officers are not related to the Em­ployment of the Miniſtry. Chriſtian Reader, it muſt ſure­ly offend thy Eares, ſurely we would not much deſire ſuch Officers. The truth is, they do Dividere componen­da, which is a fallacy in Logick. Officers are related to Church, and work too; and except our Brethren had been guilty of too overweening a deſire, to make the world believe our Brethren at London were no Logici­ans, they would have acknowledged it with half this ſtir.

Arg. 4Our Brethrens fourth Argument in form, lyes thus.

If the names and titles given to Miniſters in Scripture, be ſuch as proclume them relates, to the Church, not to the work, then they are ſo related.

17

But the names and titles given to Miniſters in Scrip­ture as do aloud proclame that officer and Church are re­lates, not officer and imployment. Ergo.

To prove the minor they inſtance in the titles of Pa­ſtors, Teachers, &c.

1. To all which we anſwer, 1. That it is a feeble ar­gumentation which is drawn from names and titles, de­finitio nominis doth onely terminate the queſtion quid nominis, not the queſtion quid rei; the definition of a name is not alwayes adequate to the definition of a thing, Notatio ſaepe eſt inadaequata, modo latior, modo an­guſtir (ſaith the Logician.) But,

2. Except our Brethren will have their major under­ſtood univerſally, viz. All the titles, and all the names, we conceive their Argument very faulty: for becauſe the name of the Mayor is a relate only to the Aldermen and City, it doth not follow, but that his title of Juſtice of the Peace, hath the keeping of the Peace, and the Sta­tutes concerning Juſtices, for the Correlate; or but that his title as the Deputy Lieutenant to the chief Magi­ſtrate, intimates him to have the ſupreme Magiſtrate as his Correlate.

3. If our Brethren do ſay, that all their titles have the Church only as their Correlate; we ſhall deſire by the next to know, whether their title of〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉&〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Criers or Preachers, in the following Texts, have the Church only for their Correlate, 1 Tim. 2.7. 2 Tim. 1.11. 2 Pet. 2 5. Rom. 10.14. Philip. 1.15. Nor will it ſerve our Brethrens turn, to ſay, that if the Queſtion be asked, To whom are they Officers? the anſwer muſt be, to the Church**1. For firſt the anſwer may be moſt pro­perly to Jeſus Chriſt 2. Suppoſe the queſtion be asked, what is their office? for what work is the office ordained? The anſwer muſt be, for the Preaching of the Goſpel, for the work of the Miniſtry. The truth is, The work is objectum quod, the Church is objectum cui, Both the Church, and the imployment are the Correlates to this18 Relation, the Church are the Correlated perſons, the work of the Miniſtry, is the Correlated thing. So that our Brethren do but fancy a contradiction in our Re­verend Brethren of London; for both the Church, and the Employment are Correlates.

Nay (under favour) not the Church alone, but every rational ſublunary creature is the Correlate of the of­fice of the Miniſtry, as to Preaching. The office of the Miniſtry was inſtituted, as well for the gathering of the Saints, as for the edifying of them; as well for the per­fecting of their number, as for the perfecting of their graces. Till we all come in the unity of the Faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, &c. Eph. 4.11, 12, 13.

We can never believe, that when the Church ſends out one to Preach the Goſpel to heathens, that perſon Preacheth only as a gifted Brother, but as an officer of the Goſpel: Nay more, God himſelf is the Correlate to this office; and therefore they are called the Miniſters of God; the Miniſters of Chriſt; not Elders of the Church only, or Miniſters of the Church; they are Gods Miniſters in the Church, and the Miniſters of the Gospel, in, and for the Church, and world too. Let our Brethren ſhew us but one Scripture, where a Prea­ching Miniſter is called〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; or〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉or〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, The Miniſter of the Church. We can ſhew them many, where they are called the Miniſters of Chriſt, of righteouſneſs, of the Goſpel of Chriſt. Now it is a rule, Relata reciprocantur, a Father is called the Father of ſuch a Son, and the Son is called the Son of ſuch a Father. But I ſay, our Brethren ſpeak no Scrip­ture phraſe, when they call Miniſters (i. e. Preaching Miniſters) Miniſters of ſuch a Church; they are the Miniſters of God, and his Goſpel in ſuch a Church; and they have ſome relation to the Church, but not a more relation than they have to the work; they are call'd Miniſters of the Goſpel, and the Goſpel is called19 their Goſpel; My Goſpel, ſaith Paul twice; here is a plain reciprocation; let them ſhew us the like, if they can, for their aſſertion; otherwiſe we hope, our Chriſti­an friends will hardly be induced by ſuch kind of argu­mentation as this is, to believe the office of the Miniſtry is not related to the work of the Miniſtry, but only to the perſons whom the miniſtation doth concern.

And I earneſtly beſeech our Brethren, that they would not indeavour to abuſe ſimple ſoules with theſe wofull fallacies, which have not (as you ſee) the leaſt foundation; either in Scripture, reaſon, or uſage of any approved Authors.

In the mean time, we will grant them, that there is a relation betwixt the office of the Miniſtry and the Church in which they execute their office.

But if we would grant our Brethren, that the office of the Miniſtry is a Correlate, not to the work, but to the Church, I perceive this would not give them ſatisfa­ction; unleſs we would alſo yield them, that it is a Cor­relate only to a particular Church, In oppoſition, not only to the Church Catholick inviſible, viz. the whole number of the Elect ſcattered abroad; But to the Church Catholick viſible, in any notion. The Preacher ſent chap. 2.This they now come to aſſert Chap. 2. This indeed is the great Dia­na-Notion, but we can by no meanes bow down unto it. And therefore, that's the next thing we muſt bring to trial. Only before we do it, Give me leave to inform our Brethren, in our notion of a Church; though I ſhall better do it, when I ſhall return to anſwer their Epiſtle.

The word, which we tranſlate Church, is〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉;Coetus evoca­tus voce prae­conis. of which our Brethren can make no advantage, either from the Etymologie, or from the uſage of it in Scrip­ture; according to the firſt, it ſignifies no more, than a company called out; it is both uſed by the Seventy inter­preters, to expreſs the congregation of evil doers, Pſal. 26.5. And by the Evangeliſt Luke, to expreſs a rout,20 neither lawfully aſſembled, nor yet united, Acts 19.32. This word (in it ſelf as unhallowed as any other) the penmen of Scripture have indeed uſed to expreſs the numbers, company, or Companies, of thoſe whom God hath either called out of this world to heaven, Heb. 12 23. Or out of the Paganiſh world to the profeſſion of his goſpel, Eph. 4.11, 12. Or out of a ſtate of dark­neſs into a marvelous light

Hence the Church in a ſacred ſenſe is uſually diſtinguiſhed into

  • Inviſible.
  • Viſible.

The inviſible Church is either

  • Triumphant in heaven,
  • or Militant here upon the Earth.

The Viſible Church is either

  • Univerſal, or
  • Particular.

By the Church univerſal, quatenus viſible, we mean The whole number of people, over the face of the Earth, called out of the Paganiſh world, to the owning of the goſ­pel of Chriſt; which being an integral Body, conſ ſting of homogeneous members, or parts, each part beareth the denomination of the whole; hence that part of this bo­dy which is in a Nation, Province, pariſh, &c. is properly called the Church of God, in ſuch a Region, Nation, Province, pariſh, &c. Thus Paul is ſaid to perſecute the Church, Acts. 8.3. Gal. 1.13. that is, all that ownned the goſpel, whether in Jeruſalem, or in Damaſcus, or the ſtrange Cities, Acts 8. chap. 9. chap 26.11. all that called on Chriſts name, whom he could come near, Acts 9.14.

Now beſides theſe more general diſtributions of a Church, the Church as Viſible, is capable of ſeveral ſtates, from whence ariſe 3 other notions of it.

1. There is a more imperfect ſtate of it as conſidered without Officers, this Divines call an Entitive or Mate­rial Church, which is nothing elſe, but any particular number, any part of that company before mentioned,21 who are found in any Nation, Province, City, Pariſh, ſo called out of the paganiſh world, agreeing in the profeſſion of the Goſpel. In this ſenſe I allwaies thought, that we and our brethren of the congregatio­nal perſwaſion had been agreed, that there are National, Provincial, and Parochial Churches.

2. There is a ſecond notion of the Church, reſulting from the conſideration of this body, as having ſome ſet over it clothed with the authority of the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, authorized as his embaſſadours to preach the Goſpel, and to Baptize, &c.

To open this notion a little. We conſider, that it ſeemed good to the wiſdome of God, to commiſſionate certain perſons to preach the goſpel, that by it the peo­ple of God might be gathered together in one; Hence Chriſt when hee aſcended up on high, gave gifts unto men, Eph. 4.11, 12. He gave ſome Apoſtles, theſe were to lay the foundation, and then Prophets, theſe were to be Inſtrumental in the building. And by the Apoſtles, he conſtituted Evangeliſts (who were as to power) little leſs than Provincial Apoſtles, and by theſe Paſtors and tea­chers: Hence the Apoſtles created Evangeliſts, Philip, Timothy, Titus; and both the Apoſtles, and theſe Evan­geliſts, ordained Paſtors, and Teachers, Acts 14.23. 1 Tim. 4.14. by faſting, prayer and impoſition of hands, and in the Epiſtles to Timothy and Titus (containing the ſtanding rules, for the ſettling of Churchs, in their per­manent ſtate) Apoſtles, Prophets and Evangeliſts being ſhortly to ceaſe) rules are given for the conſtitution of theſe officers to the end of the world; now when in any place, God hath called a people from Paganiſm to the profeſſion of his Goſpel, and ſet over that people any of theſe perſons ſet apart for the preaching of the Goſpell, we ſay there is in ſuch a Nation, Province, City, Pariſh, a Miniſterial Church, which is a ſtate of of the Church more perfect than the former, and diffe­ring22 from it, we (I ſay) for diſtinction ſake) call it a Mi­niſterial Church.

That is a Company of people called out of the Pagan world to an owning of the Goſpel of Chriſt, among whom alſo, are ſome clothed with the authority of Jeſus Chriſt, for the preaching of the Goſpel, and adminiſtration of the Sacraments. According to that commiſſion, Go Preach and Baptize. Indeed as to the adminiſtration of the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, in regard that none are to be admitted to it but ſuch as can examine them­ſelves, and the ſteward of Chriſts myſteries muſt be faith­full, in order to which, there muſt be an act of Judg­ment paſs upon the Receiver, which is jurisdiction; and Eccleſiaſtical jurisdiction is no where committed to aingle perſon, it ſeems that in ſuch a Church (according to perfect rules) it cannot be adminiſtred, except there be more than one officer, nay I think there ſhould be ſome Ruling Elders or a Ruling Elder at leaſt concurr in this judgment; yet Number making a Church, in caſe Ruling Elders cannot be had, I conceive in caſe there be more than one Teaching Elder in a Church (who all­ſo are ruling) or in caſe 2 or 3 ſuch particular churches can in ſuch extraordinary caſes unite, they may alſo ordinarily adminiſter that Ordinance. Nay farther, in ſuch an extraordinary caſe which is the preſent caſe of many in England this day, I think an extraordinary power may be by one aſſumed, rather than people ſhould want that Ordinance, as in Hezekiah's paſſeover, the Levites for every one not clean killed the paſſeover, which elſe had been againſt Gods order. 2 Chron. 30.17. Exod. 12.3, 4, 5, 6.

3. But laſtly, the moſt perfect notion of a particular Church, is when it is perfectly Organized. A particularhurch conſidered in relation to the Univerſal, is any••rof it, whether that in a Nation, Province, Pariſh, orhe like, each of theſe is but a particular, becauſe no23 more than a part of the wh le. But we uſually take par­ticular in a more reſtrained notion, For that part of this univerſal company which can, or may, or doth, ordinarily meet together in one place at the ſame numerical admini­ſtrations; or who have by an explicit or implicit conſent choſen, or ſubmitted to the ſame officers, as thoſe whom God hath ſet over their ſouls, and this is a Church perfe­ctly Organized, and the moſt perfect notion of a parti­cular Church. This Church either without officers, or with, is the onely Church our Brethren can ſee (wee hope the fault is in their eyes)

Now the queſtion is, whether he that is a preaching Elder in ſuch a particular Church, or indeed, rather whether all the preaching Elders in all the particular Churches in the world, have any farther relation, or be in any office, to any but that particular company, o­ver which they are (reſpectively) more eſpecially ſet, be­cauſe they cannot watch over all, &c. We affirm they have, and in this ſenſe we aſſert, not onely a Church Catholike Viſible, but a Church Catholike Viſible Or­ganical too. By which we mean not, (what our bre­thren dream of) viz. An Ʋniverſal viſible ſociety of Chriſtians, actually ſubjected to one or more Ʋniverſal Paſtors, or guides, from whom ſubordinates muſt derive their office, and power, and with whom they muſt ſome­times meet, and communicate in ſome general ſacred things, which may make them as the Jewes one Church, and which ſame general acts, or ſacred ſervices, can only be performed by that Ʋniverſal head, or thoſe Ʋni­verſal officers. No Nor, that all the whole Church ſhould be ſubject to one Grand ſenate of officers erect­ed and conſtantly ſitting: Mr. Hudſon hath in our names long ſince diſowned this ſame Abominable thing. Our Brethren indeed, dreſs up ſome in this dreſs to the world, and ſhew them for Preſbyterians. But we defie their notion of a Church Catholike in this ſenſe; and ſay24 that it is but an odious repreſentation, nothing corre­ſponding to our principles. Our Brethren do, or may know, we are equally (with themſelves) engaged, a­gainſt Popes, Patriarchs, Arch-Biſhops, Biſhops, with all the reſt of thoſe Antichriſtian Derivatives; And learned Mr. Hudſon hath long ſince told our Brethren, that by Church Catholick viſible Organical we mean no other than,

An habitual, Politico-Eccleſiaſtical ſociety, body, flock, in one and the ſame ſheepfold of the Militant Church; in uniform ſubjection to the ſame Lord, the ſame lawes, united in the ſame Faith, and under the ſame Baptiſm, performing the ſame worſhip and ſer­vice,Mr. Hudſons vindicati­on, &c. p. 127. &c. in kind, concerning which body we ſay, that al­though the members of it be diſperſed far and wide, and divided into ſeveral parts, places, ſocieties, and ſecondary combinations of vicinities, or Pariſhes, for actual, conſtant enjoyment of Ordinances, (as parti­cular Corporations, in a Kingdom are) yet ſtill, thoſe Ordinances, adminiſtrations, admiſſions, ejections, have influence upon and into the whole body, as it is a polity, and the members of any part, indefinitely, may, of right communicate one with another, yea, a­ny company of Chriſtians may, though every perſon ſo meeting (and that but occaſionally) may be of a ſeveral particular Church; and the Miniſter diſpen­ſing a particular Paſtor to none of them all: yea, though none of them all be fixed members to any particular Congregation; nor the Miniſter diſpenſing fixed in any particular congregation. And this by vertue of their general memberſhip, and of the habi­tual indefiniteneſs of the Miniſters office, And the common donation of the ordinances to Chriſts whole viſible Kingdom.

Ibid.Now the truh is, there is no Civil Society, or King­dom, that in every thing correſpondeth with this;25 but there uſe in the Kingdoms of the world to be ſome general officers, and offices; And ſome officers inferiour, and ſubordinate, receiving from them pow­er, and authority, by derivation, and ſubordination. And the inferiour are of leſs extent as to place, and power, than the ſuperior. As the Lord Chief Juſtice of England is above other inferiour Juſtices.

And this is it (as Mr. Hudſon hath noted) which hath made ſo many ſtumble at the notion of a Church Catholick Or­ganical; and upon this ſtone, our Brethren have ſtum­bled in their Epiſtle. Firſt, making a man of Clouts; and then writing over his head, This is the Preſbyterians Catholick Church; and then crucifying him with Argu­ments, which we are not concerned in.

But (as Mr. Hudſon proceedeth) as in other things Chriſts Kingdom is not of this world, nor like unto world­ly polities, ſo neither in this: But every Miniſter of the Church, in his particular place, ſerveth the Church Catholick, admitting of members into a general free­dom in it; ejecting from general communion with it; he prayeth publickly for the whole body; and mana­geth his particular charge in reference to, & ſo as may ſtand with the good of the whole body (of which his Congregation is but a member) The Ordinances there adminiſtred, are the Ordinances given to the whole, not as a genus, (which is but a notion and can have no Ordinances given to it) but as unto a ſpiritu­al kind, of an habitual body, and Organical polity. As to a ſort of men, ſo, and ſo qualified, bound up in an union, and unity, of the ſame head, laws, ſeals, worſhip, communion.

Thus had we diſcovered our minds, before our Bre­thren publiſhed this Boook; and it had been fair for them, to have diſputed againſt this, not to deceive their Readers with fallacies, Ex ignoratione Elenchi, as Logi­cians ſpeak; diſputing againſt what their adverſaries do 26 not ſay. In this ſenſe we ſay, the office of the Miniſtry correlateth to the Ʋniverſal Church. And what ever our Brethren ſay, in practice they will own this; for,

1. I would fain know of our Brethren, whether one Church may according to Goſpel rules, receive into her boſome one whiom another Church hath caſt out? if not, the officers that caſt out do not only eject from the communion of that particular Church, but of all particular Churches, and ſo conſequently from the uni­verſal Church, which is but a whole made up of thoſe parts.

2. While our Bretheren baptize into their par­ticular Church, I wonder whether they do not alſo Bap­tize into any other particular Church? if not, when any perſon ſo baptized, is tranſlated into another Church, why is he not again Baptized? his relation to the former Church ceaſing.

3. I would fain know with what conſiſtency of prin­ciples, our Brethren ſay a miniſter or paſtor is in office only to a particular Church, and yet ſay, he that is in office to this Church, may adminiſter the Sacrament of the Supper to the members of another Church? Oh but they do this (they tell us) by a communion of Chur­ches, by a communion of memberſhip only, or of offices and officers only; the firſt alone may give the member a right to take, but not the officer a right to give, except there be alſo a mutual communication or communion of offices and officers, and Acts of office.

4. Although theſe 2 or 3 Brethren ſome-where in­deed ſay, that when the paſtors of our Brethrens chur­ches preach out of their particular Church, they preach but as gifted men, yet I am ſure others of our Bre­thren, and thoſe (to ſpeak modeſtly) no way inferior to our Brethren, will own no ſuch thing: for who ſhould be then obliged to hear them, or who could go to hear them as to an ordinance, a publike ordinance of27 Chriſt, I am yet to learn. So that in practice our bre­thren do every day own, what in words they deny. But to come cloſe to the queſtion ſtated by our Brethren thus. p. 8.

What Church office hath relation to?Preacher ſent eap. 2. p. 8. whether officers stand in relation to a particular Church only, or whether they be officers of an univerſal Church. I obſerve our Brethren in the ſame page altering their phraſe, inſtead of ſaying, We deny office to be a correlate to the Ʋniverſal Church: they ſay, We deny Pastors and Teachers to be officers of an Ʋniverſal Church.

We hope our brethren have no deſign to play at ſo ſmall a game with us, as that muſt be which is only won by the homonomy of a term, however we will indeavour to prevent it.

For thoſe new terms Paſtors, and Teachers, in eccleſiaſtical uſe they have obtained a double ſignifica­tion.

1. In Scripture the terms are taken more largely for any ſuch as have authority to feed people with ſpiritual food, whether it be occaſionally or conſtantly, ſo paſtors is to be underſtood Eph. 4.11. (the only place where it is uſed in all the New Teſtament) ſo alſo Jer. 3.15. ſo Paul is called a Teacher of the Gentiles, and 1 Tim. 2.7. ſo Teachers is uſed Iſa. 30.20. and Acts 13.1. 1 Cor. 12.28, 29. yea that term is uſed ſometimes to expreſs the Private duties of private perſons. Heb. 5.12.

2. By a modern uſage theſe terms are uſed to expreſs perſons choſen or accepted by particular churches for the work of the miniſtry amongſt them, and reſtrained to that ſenſe (by what warrant I cannot tell.) If our Brethren ſtate the queſtion in the latter ſenſe concer­ning Paſtors and Teachers qua tales, as ſuch, they have no adverſaries, for he that is paſtor, or teacher, of a particular Church (as he is ſuch a paſtor or teacher) un­doutedly hath not the Church univerſal for his corre­late.

28

But our Brethren of the Province of London ſay true­ly, that a Regular Paſtor or Teacher of a particular Church, hath (beſides a particular relation to them as their paſtor and teacher, (which their election or ſub­miſſion to him or both have made them) a relation alſo to the Church Univerſal, as he is the miniſter of Jeſus Christ, ſet apart and ordained for the preaching of the goſpel, &c. which he may do as an officer of Chriſt in any place of the world. We do not ſay he is bound to do it in all places, that is impoſſible, nor to travel up and down (as the Apoſtles were) for that work is ceaſed, at leaſt as to thoſe places where people have received the goſpel. But we ſay he may do it as opportunity is offe­red. And we believe, that in caſe it were with us as it is with our brethren in New England, The Church might by fasting and prayer and impoſition of hands, ſet apart ſome particular perſons to the office of the miniſtry, without a particular deſignation of them to this or that place, but only deſigning them as the officers of Chriſt to preach the Goſpel amongſt the Indians, and to baptize ſuch as ſhould receive the Goſpel; and (though not by their ſingle Act as the Apoſtles) yet by the advice of the Church, and with their aſſiſtance, theſe might ordain Elders in their Cities, and form them up into complete Goſpel order; yet the office of ſuch would differ from that of the Apoſtles, both in regard of their miſſion being more ordinary, and alſo in regatd of their power being more limitted.

Theſe things being premiſed, let us conſider our Bre­threns Arguments: their firſt reduced into form is this,

"What the Goſpel knoweth not, no Goſpel offi­cers can be correlates unto. Of Preaching without ordi­nation. cap. 2 p. 8.

"But the Goſpel knows no Univerſal viſible Poli­tical Church. Ergo

1. At the firſt daſh, our Brethren here take away the29 ſubject, or at leaſt the ſuppoſitum of the queſtion: The ſuppoſitum of the queſtion is, That there is a Church Particular and Ʋniverſal. The queſtion is to which of theſe the office of the Miniſtry is related? They ſay to the Church Particular, we ſay to the Church Ʋniverſal: to prove their aſſertion they tell us there is no Church Ʋni­verſal. This is foul diſputing.

2. But ſecondly, The whole may be granted, and yet nothing proved by it: for whether the Goſpel knowes a Church univerſal under a political form or no, is not the queſtion, it is enough if it knowes a Church Ʋniverſal under any notion.

3. Thirdly the minor is falſe, as Mr. Hudſon abun­dantly proves: the Church univerſal is in ſcripture ſet out under the notions of a political body; it is called a Kingdom, a City, & Jews and Gentiles are called fellow-citizens; it is called an Army terrible with Banners, Cant. 6.10. ſee Mr. Hudſon more p. 133, 134, 135, &c. for it nothing concerns me as to the preſent queſtion, as I ſaid before.

Their next and only argument is again drawn from the names and titles given unto theſe officers, viz. Paſtors, teachers, 1 Cor. 12.28. Eph. 4.11. Overſeers, Acts. 20.28. 1 Tim 3.2. Titus 1.7.

Themſelves form their argument thus, or at leaſt ſhould have formed it thus. Arg. 2

That Church alone which is committed to miniſters charge to feed, teach, and overſee, is the Church to which the office of the miniſtry is a correlate.

But the univerſal Church is not that Church which is committed to a Miniſter to feed, teach, and overſee, Ergo,

I am ſure that the Argument muſt run thus, if it con­cludes the queſtion, which at preſent is not, whether a particular miniſter, but whether the office of the miniſtry (reſiding in all miniſters) be a correlate to the particular,30 or to the Univerſal Church. And therefore our Bre­thren may ſee a fault in their laying of their Argument if they will but compare it with the queſtion ſtated by themſelves.

Now to the argument thus formed I anſwer, By de­nying both the propoſitions. I deny that, That Church alone which is committed to a miniſters charge to feed, teach, and overſee is the Church to which the office of the miniſtry is a correlate.

For I ſuppoſe that our Brethren mean, which is more eſpecially committed to his charge, as paſtor thereof, in a reſtrained ſenſe; if they do ſo, I ſay that Church a­lone is not correlate to his office, or to the office of the miniſtry, becauſe another Church, viz. the catholike Church, is alſo in ſome ſenſe committed to his