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HAERESEO-MACHIA: OR, The miſchiefe which Hereſies doe, AND The means to prevent it. Delivered in a SERMON in Pauls, before the Right Honourable, the LORD MAIOR, and the ALDERMEN of the famous Citie of LONDON, February the firſt, M. DC. XLV. And now printed, for the ſatisfaction of the hearers, and others. By JAMES CRANFORD, Paſtour of Chri­ſtopher Le Stocks, London.

〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉,Athan. ad Solitar.
Diligite homines, interficite errores, ſine ſuperbia de veritate praeſumite, ſine ſaevitia pro veritate con­tendite. Aug. cont. lit. Petil. lib. 1. cap. 29.
Jude 3.It was needfull for mee to write unto you, and exhort you, that yee ſhould earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the Saints.

LONDON, Printed by James Young for Charles Green, and are to be ſold at the ſigne of the Gun in Ivie-lane, 1646.


Right Honourable, and Right Worſhipfull,

THeſe Meditations were in­tended onely for the Pul­pit, but are enforced to the Preſſe; not ſo much by the intreaties of friends, as importunities of adverſaries. I print (to uſe Theodorets expreſsi­on)〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Epiſt. 83. not to pleaſe or com­mend my ſelfe, but neceſ­ſitated to apologize, and to aſſert the verity of what I have delivered. Many aſperſions have been caſt upon me, upon my Sermon:〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. I expe­cted them. The diſciple is not above his Maſter. The moſt of you were my hearers, I am contented you ſhould be my Judges: and reſt,

Your Honours and Worſhips Servant in the Goſpel, JAMES CRANFORD.



IT hath been my endeavour, in this Sermon, to diſcover unto thee, The miſchief that Hereſies doe, and the means to prevent it. It hath been my care (〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) to deliver the naked truth in plain expreſsions: Rotten poſts need pargetting, withered faces painting; Truth is moſt comely in her native colours, and hath ſtrength of her own,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to conquer by weakneſſe. It is poſ­ſible thou haſt heard (if not fomented) the great clamours raiſed againſt my ſelf and my Sermon, by Sectaries, whom it would better have beſeemed to〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Nazianz. Epiſt. 29. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Cyril. ad Neſtor. Epiſt. 4. have amended themſelves, and their own errours, then to have a­ſperſed others, and given out ſuch unchriſtian language, when they were not at all injured, but only reproved, and that for their advantage. It is no great matter to mee to be judged of you, or of mans judgement, he that judgeth me is the Lord. The teſtimony of my conſci­ence, and God the approver of〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Theodoret. Epiſt. 99. my doctrine, ſweep away (as a ſpiders web) the calumnies of ſycophants: yet to the intent I may remove prejudice from thee, I ſhall ſpeak in a word to three objections, which are moſt frequent: Firſt, Some ſay, It was unſeaſonable. Why unſeaſonable? Becauſe others were ſilent. Nay rather, it was ſeaſonable, becauſe others were ſilent. I conceive, with Theodoret, that ſpeech or ſilence in this ſeaſon, diſtin­guiſheth〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Epiſt. 77. between the faithfull ſhepherd and the hireling. Pauls ſpirit was ſtirred in him when he ſaw the City wholly given to idolatry: And is it poſ­ſible for a faithfull Miniſter to be〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; Cyprian. ad Neſtor. Epiſt. 2. ſilent when the faith is corrupted, and ſo many ſubverted? Muſt we not all appear before the judge­ment ſeat of Chriſt, and give an account of our unſeaſo­nable ſilence? But thanks be to God, there is no ground for ſuch an objection. Secondly, Others ſay, I was bit­ter, the Sermon a bloudy Sermon. I anſwer: Examine the quotations: Was I more bitter, more bloudy then the Scriptures? then the Fathers? Who called falſe Prophets ravening wolves, dogs, evill workers? Who wiſhed them cut off, commanded them to bee re­proved ſharply,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, cuttingly? Did not Chriſt? Did not the Apoſtle? Did not the Ancients account them〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉;Cyril. in Joh lib. 1. cap. 4. The workmen of deſtruction, the huntſmen of the Di­vell, the ſnares of death? Were theſe bitter, bloudy? If ſo, I will not bluſh to be in the ſame condemnation with my Saviour: Bitter pils may be wholeſom phyſick. Thirdly, Others ſay, All men ſpeak ill of mee: ſome re­ſolve never to hear more in that Auditory for my ſake, &c. Reader, Let not this trouble thee; I paſſe through good report as well as bad. I am ſatisfied with the te­ſtimony of Athanaſius, I have〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Ad A­delphium. done as becometh a Miniſter of the Goſpel, and the doctrine of godli­neſſe, in my ſharpeſt reproofs a­gainſt theſe men. As for the peo­ple,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Tom. 2. I ſay, with the ſame Father, I reſpect thoſe people that adhere to the truth, not weather-cocks, and ſuch as delight in novelties. I conclude as Auſtin, You have heard their reproaches, which they hadAudiviſtis male dicta, quae ab illis non audirem, ſi ve­ſtram perditionem contemnerem, ſi charitatis viſcera non haberem. Cont. lit. Petil. l. 3. c. 10. never caſt upon me, if I had been careleſſe of your ſalva­tion. Reader, I will detain thee no longer: the Ser­mon is now thine, reade it, try it, cenſure it, ſpare not; but remember, the ſcene will be changed, it ſhall one day try, and cenſure thee. Vale.


The Analyſis of the Sermon.

  • D.
    • Erroneous opinions eat as a Gan­grene
      • 1. Speedily, 5
      • 2. Incurably, 5
      • 3. Mortally, 6
        • 1. Faith
          • Quae, 8
          • Quâ, 9
        • 2. Peace
          • Church 10
          • Civill 10
        • 3. Piety 14
  • R.
    • 1. Hereticks are
      • 1. Subtil, 17
      • 2. Active, 28
    • 2. People are
      • 1. Ignorant, 30
      • 2. Curious, 31
    • God is juſt
      • 1. Puniſhing lukewarmneſſe, 32
      • 2. Manifeſting the approved, 33
  • Uſe.
    • Prevent and ſtop them,
      • 1. People
        • 1. Adhere to the Miniſtry, 36
        • 2. Try all things, 38
        • 3. Avoid Seducers, 39
      • 2. Miniſters
        • 1. Convince, 42
        • 2. Caſt out, 44
      • 3. Magiſtrates, what they
        • 1. Have done 47
        • 2. May doe 47

HAERESEO-MACHIA, OR, The miſchiefe which Hereſies doe, and the means to prevent it.

2 TIM. 2. 17.And their word will eat as doth a canker, (or a gangrene) of whom is Hymeneus and Philetus, &c.

THE bleſſed Apoſtle was, at the wri­ting of this Epiſtle, now ready to be offered up, as you may ſee Chap. 4. 6. I am now ready to be offered up, and the time of my departure is at hand. He writes this Epiſtle, as his laſt Will and Teſtament, to Timothy his own ſon in the faith, to give him direction how to behave himſelf in the Church of God, which is the houſe of God, the pillar and ground of truth. Hee beſtowes upon him good coun­ſell (as a legacy) that hee ſhould be painfull in his do­ctrine, and watchfull over his converſation, and propo­ſeth himſelfe as an example, Chap. 3. 10. Thou haſt fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpoſe, faith, long-ſuffer­ing, charity, patience: Diſce, puer, virtutem ex me; Learn, my ſon, painfulneſſe and watchfulneſſe of mee;aa〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Ignat. ad E­pheſ. I re­quire no more of thee then I my ſelfe have given thee in pattern, Thou haſt fully known, &c. Now the Apoſtle, not ignorant of the wiles of the divell, his main engines a­gainſt the two pillars of the Church,bb〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Id. ibid. faith and love, (the bonds of our union with our head, and with his body) and his endeavours to overthrow love by the overthrow of faith,2 hee warns him in a ſpeciall manner to hold faſt the forme of ſound words, and to ſhew himſelfe a workman that need not be aſhamed, rightly dividing the word of truth: to avoid pro­fane and vaine janglings, which would increaſe to more un­godlineſſe. And hee urgeth the ſame exhortation in my Text, from the miſchiefe that will come to the Church by ſuch vain janglings: Their word will eat as doth a gangrene, of whom is Hymeneus and Philetus.

The Text therefore diſcovers the miſchief of unſound teachers, or unſound doctrine; where wee conſider, Firſt, the Subject, Their word: illuſtrated by an instance, Of whom is Hymeneus and Philetus, who have erred, &c. Secondly, the Adjunct, Will eat, or will have paſture; ſet out by a ſimilitude, As doth a canker, or a gangrene. Thus you have the connexion, the ſcope, and parts of this verſe, out of which I ſhall propoſe one Obſervation: In the proſecution of which, other things may happely be touched upon in tranſitu. The Doctrine is this:

Doctr. Erroneous and unſound doctrine is of a devouring (i. e. ſpreading and deſtroying) nature: Their word (ſaith the Apoſtle) will eat as doth a gangrene.

The Apoſtle Peter, ſpeaking of falſe teachers, aſſures us, that they ſhall privily bring in damnable hereſies, even de­nying2 Pet. 2. 1, 2. the Lord that bought them: And, that many ſhall fol­low their pernicious wayes, by reaſon of whom the truth ſhall be evill ſpoken of. I pray you obſerve it; Hereſies, errone­ous doctrines, are damnable, They ſhall bring in damnable hereſies. They are of acc〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Theoph. ad Anaylo. l. 2. Tit. 1. 11. deſtroying nature. They are of a ſpreading nature, Many ſhall follow their pernicious wayes. So alſo Paul a­verres to Titus; They ſubvert whole houſes, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre ſake. Hereſies are of a deſtroying nature; They ſubvert the houſe,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, they undermine it, and overturn it from the foundation: They are of a ſpreading nature; They ſubvert whole houſes, many houſes are overturned. But by what is all this? ſpeaking things which they ought not,3 for filthy lucre ſake. Our Saviour Chriſt warns his diſciples to beware of the leaven of the Phariſees, and of the Saddu­ces,Matth. 16. 6. 11, 12. which is expounded of their doctrine: Their erro­neous and falſe doctrine is compared to leaven, which is a fitdd〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Cyril. de ador. in ſp. & verit. lib. 15. reſemblance of all doctrine. The do­ctrine of the Goſpel is compared to leaven, Luke 13. 22. and the corrupt doctrine of the Phariſees is compared to leaven, becauſe, As a little leaven leavens the whole lump, and quickly ſowres all; ſo do­ctrine,ee〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Cy­ril. ibid. l. 17. when it once ſinks into a mans minde, and gets into the heart, it doth (as it were) tranſlate the ſoule, and ſpirit, and bo­dy, even the whole man, into the ſimilitude, qualitie, nature of it ſelfe. It is not onely thus ſpreading over a perſon; but (the Church is a bo­dy, as ſaith the Apoſtle, Ye are the body of Chriſt, and mem­bers1 Cor. 12. 27. in particular) erroneous doctrine no ſooner gets into a Church, but it overſpreads it, runs thorow all, and corrupts, and ſowres all, as ſaith the Apoſtle, Gal. 5. 9. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Erroneous opi­nions are interpreted byff〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Juſt. Mart. ad or­tho. qu. 1. ſome to be thoſe tares, which the envious man and the adver­ſary ſowed in the field where Chriſt had ſowed his good ſeed, Matth. 13. 25. Tares, if they be ſowed in a field, quickly over-ſpread the whole field, and choak up the good ſeed, and are therefore (if wee may beleeve Baſilgg〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, In He­xam. hom. 5.) a fit reſemblance of ſuch who put a falſe ſtamp upon the do­ctrines of Chriſt, and, being themſelves infe­cted with the doctrine of the divell, inter­mingle themſelves with the healthfull body of the Church, that they may, undiſcerned, diffuſe their poyſon into the ſoules of thoſe that are unlearned, or well meaning. The ſame Father in anotherhhHex. hom. 2. place compares here­ſies & erroneous opinions〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to a noiſome canker, or carbuncle, which is no leſſe dangerous then infectious.


Saint James tels us of a tongue that is ſet on fire by hell,Jam. 3. 6. and ſetteth on fire the whole courſe of nature. Would you know what tongue this is? It is the falſe tongue, the lying tongue, which David compares to ſharp arrowes ofPſal. 120. 3. the mighty, and coals of Juniper. I am not ignorant that Hilary, Chryſostome, Auguſtine underſtand this of the pu­niſhment:In locum. Moller, Marlorate, Ameſius, &c. of the miſ­chievouſneſſe of the falſe tongue; which is compared to coals of Juniper, hot burning, hard to be quenched, keeping fire exceeding long, and eaſily ſpreading it into every ſubject; ſuch coals is an hereticall tongue. iiArius in Alexandria ſcintilla una fuit, ſed quia non ſtatim oppreſſa, to­tum orbem ejus flamma populata est, Hieron. in Gal. 5. lib. 3.Arius was but one ſingle ſpark, yet, becauſe not ſpeedily put out, hee ſet the whole world on fire; ſo that the world did admire that it was become Arian. And the Prophet compares the tongue to a bow, (Jer. 9. 3. TheyJer. 9. 3. have bent their tongues, their bowes, for lies) and the words to arrowes, Pſal. 64. 3. That they may ſhoot out their arrows,Pſal. 64. 3. bitter words. If theſe things be true of a ſlanderous tongue, that calumniates men; how much more true of a falſe tongue, that perverts truth, and blaſphemes God? There are no words ſo bitter as the words of hereſie; they arekkInſtar ſagittarum ſermones ipſorum corda vulnerant, No­var. l. 9. Elect. ſac. Sect. 13. ſharp arrowes,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉arrowes that have teeth: theſe words are de­vouring words, Pſal. 52. 4.

Our Saviour Chriſt compares falſe prophets to rave­nous wolves, whoſe property it is, not to worry a ſheep, but make havock of a flock; not to devour one, but ſcatter all: The truth is ſufficiently declared out of Scri­pture; Hereſies do eat as doth a canker or a gangrene. Let us now conſider,

  • 1. The reſemblance between a gangrene and hereſie in the manner of eating.
  • 2. What it is that hereſies eat.
  • 3. How it comes to paſſe that they ſo eat: And then make ſome Application.

Firſt, for the reſemblance: Firſt, Hereſies, like a5 gangrene, eat ſpeedily: a gangrene, though it ſhew it ſelf in the fartheſt part of the body, yet in a very little while will be gotten to the heart, the principall part of the body, and quickly kill the man. Hereticall opinions do on the ſudden make a large progreſſe; I marvell (ſaithGal. 5. 6. the Apoſtle) you are ſo ſoon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, into another Goſpel. It bred ad­miration in the Apoſtle, not ſo much that they were moved, as that they were ſo ſuddenly moved; that there ſhould be ſuch a ſtrange, becauſe ſpeedy, alteration. Ac­cording to the expoſition ofllBeda & Ty­conius apud Pareum. Apoc. 6. 5. ſome, S. John ſees hereſie on horſe-back, with a paire of balances in the hand: it goes not on foot ſlowly, but rides, for more haſte. Aria­niſme in a ſhort ſpace overſpread the Eaſt, Pelagianiſme the world. Wee need not ſearch ſtories for preſidents, it is lamentable what ſucceſſe errours have had amongſt our ſelves in theſe laſt three or four yeers of Eccleſiaſti­call Anarchy and confuſion, whether wee reſpect the numbers of errours, or of the erroneous. Amſterdam, Poland, Tranſilvania, places moſt infamous for hereſies, are now righteous, compared with England, London, which in ſo ſhort a ſpace have broached, or entertained above 160 errours, many of them damnable, of which you ſhall have anmmM. Edwards Gangrene. account not long hence.

Secondly, Hereſies, like a gangrene, eat almoſt incu­rably: It is an hard matter to ſtop the ſpreading of a gangrene. Ure, ſeca; it is the Chirurgians rule, Cut, and burn: the diſmembring of the part affected will ſcarce ſtay the gangrene; and it becomes altogether incurable, if it once come to that which they call〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the height of it. I will not give you the reaſon of it in na­ture, I come not to read a Phyſick lecture: ſure I am, it is ſo amongſt opinions; if they be once received in, they are hardly, or never cured: they are alwayes grow­ing to mortification, to make the party ſenſeleſſe and liveleſſe in whom they are. The Apoſtle tels us, that they that ſpeake lies in hypocriſie, have their conſcience ſeared,1 Tim. 4. 2.6 as it were, with an hot iron: They are paſt feeling, they2 Tim. 3. 8. are mennn〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. of corrupt mindes, reprobate concerning the faith: They have laeſum principium, are without underſtanding: They are as trees, twice dead, and pull'd up by the roots: andJude 11, 12. can wee expect a cure? It was the complaint of the Church concerning Babylon, Wee would have healed Ba­bylon, and ſhee would not be healed: It may be our com­plaint concerning ſuch as are miſlead by opinions, Wee would have healed them, but they would not be healed; but rather, as the Prophet ſpeaks, When I would have hea­ledHoſ. 7. 1. Iſrael, the iniquity of Ephraim was diſcovered, and the ſin of Samaria, &c. they grow worſe and worſe under their medicine. oo〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Athan. tom. 1. contra Arian. orat. 4.Athanaſius compares ſome in his time to the ſerpent Hydra, of which the Poets fable, that when one head was cut off, divers roſe in the ſtead of it; it increaſed by being dimini­ſhed: ſo (ſaith hee) theſe fighters a­gainſt, and haters of God, though often convinced, confuted, ſilenced, yet will not yeeld; ſtudy new arguments, finde out new cavils, and are more impudent then their father the Divell himſelfe, who would be aſhamed, and tremble to oppoſe ſuch light as they contradict and murmure againſt. Thus much that Ancient; which our experience verifies.

Thirdly, Hereſies, like a gangrene, eat mortally: A gangrene, in what part of the body ſoever, if not pre­vented, is mortall; it ſtrikes to the heart: ſo it is with hereſies, and errours in opinion, though they ſeem at firſt but little ſpots (as a gangrene diſcovers it ſelf by little black ſpots in the out-ſide of the skin) yet, if they be not ſtopped, will attach the heart. In the verſe before the Text, They will increaſe to more ungodlineſſe: Dato uno abſurdo, ſequentur infinita. But of this more in another place. The Apoſtle Peter gives them the Epi­thete7 of Damnable: Paul reckons them up amongſt the2 Pet. 2. 1. Gal. 5. 19. works of the fleſh, which ſhut out of the kingdome of God. This ſeems an harſh doctrine to Arminians, Se­ctaries, other patrons of errour; but it is the doctrine of the Scriptures, of the Church in all ages. pp〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Ignat. ad Epheſ.Ignatius, one of the moſt ancient, and a ſcholar of the Apoſtles, aſſures us, that both ſeducing and ſeduced he­reticks ſhall periſh for ever, and that with as good reaſon, as, a­mongſt men, they that break houſes are put to death. O, that wee did ſeriouſly con­ſider this, Hereſies are as mortall as gangrenes. The thiefeJohn 10. 10. cometh not but to ſteale, to kill, and to deſtroy: The falſe pro­phet, like a roaring lion ravening the prey, devours ſoules,Ezek. 22. 25. ſaith the Lord by the Prophet Ezekiel, chap. 22. v. 25. So Cyril,qq〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Cyril. in Ho­ſeam. They feaſt it with the ſouls of ſimple people, which they grinde with the teeth of errour. O, that this was laid to heart. There is no more ſafety for men under the guidance of erroneous teachers, then for ſheep under the protection of a ravening wolfe: Hereti­call opinions are not imbraced without the extremeſt hazzard of the precious ſoule. Wee fear a gangrene; it kils the body: why doe wee delight in (at leaſt favour, and not abhorre) erroneous opinions, which deſtroy the ſoul? What ſhall it profit a man, if hee win the whole world,Matth. 16. and loſe his ſoul? and what will hee give in exchange for his ſoul? Prize wee not that which Chriſt hath purchaſed with his deareſt bloud? Or, doe we undervalue that pre­cious bloud by which wee were redeemed? Shall wee re­nounce the Lord that bought us? Or, ſhall wee make inef­fectuall ſo great a purchaſe? Are wee enemies to the croſſe of Chriſt? Or, ſhall wee make his death vain? rrNaz. orat. 42. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.Nazian­zene tels us, ſpeaking of here­ticks, that they are unthank­full8 creatures, the off-ſpring of the divel, for whom Chriſt is dead in vain. A hard ſentence, may ſome one happely ſay; therefore let us proceed to the ſecond thing propoſed, and ſee what it is that hereſies deſtroy.

2. The Apoſtle in the Text uſeth this phraſe,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, tranſlated, it will eat; it may be rendred, will have paſture; for the word〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉ſignifies not onely the action, eating, but the object alſo, the paſture, the food which is eaten up. There are three precious things which hereſies devour:

Firſt, Faith; which is taken ſometimesſſFides quae cre­di­tur.Fides quâ cre­di­tur. for the doctrine of faith, or the truth beleeved; ſometimes for the act of faith, or the grace of beleeving: erroneous opinions o­verthrow and deſtroy both.

1. Concerning the former, the doctrine of faith, there can no queſtion be made: Errours deſtroy truth; And, as Jannes and Jambres withſtood Moſes, ſo do theſe alſo reſiſt the2 Tim. 3. 8. truth: men of corrupt mindes, reprobate concerning the faith. Thus faith the Apoſtle of Hymeneus and Philetus, Concer­ning2 Tim. 2. 18. the truth they have erred. Falſe prophets, among the people, ſtole away the word of God every one from his neighbour:Jer. 23. Falſe teachers, amongſt us, adulterate and ſophiſticate the2 Cor. 2. word of God. As it is in nature, darkneſs deſtroyes the light, blindneſs puts out the ſight, ſickneſſe removes health; ſo is it in this matter, errours deſtroy, put out, remove truth. ThusuuDum plures fi­unt, ad id coepe­runt eſſe ulla ſit, Ad Conſt. Hilarius obſerves concerning the various confeſſi­ons of the Arians; They made many, that thy might have none. This is a ſore miſchief under which our Church for the preſent labours; there is ſcarcely any truth which is not by one opinion or other directly oppoſed, or indirect­ly undermined: And could any other iſſue of our wan­tonneſs be expected? xxAbdicatâ quâlibet parte Catholici dogmatis, alia quoque, atqueitem alia, & deinceps alia, & alia jam quaſi ex more, & licito abdicabuntur. Porro autem ſingulatim partibus repudiatis, quid aliud ad extremum ſequetur, niſi ut totum pariter repudietur? Si novitia veteribus, extranea domeſticis, prophana ſacratis admiſceri coepe­rint proſerpat hic mos in univerſum neceſſe eſt, ut nihil poſthac apud Eccleſiam relinquatur intactum; ſed ſit ibidem deinceps impiorum, ac turpium errorum lupanar, ubi erat ante castae & incorruptae ſacrarium veritatis, Contr. Haereſ. c. 3 1.When any branch of divine truth is by any rejected, (it is the ob­ſervation of Vincentius Liri­nenſis) preſently another, and9 another, after that another and another will be rejected, till at laſt none at all be left remaining.

Thus it fell out in the Church of Rome, which, from errours in the beginning little, in compariſon, and almoſt inſenſible, is become the miſtreſſe and mother of abominations, the ſink and ſea of hereſies. Thus with the Anabaptiſts, who erring at the firſt but in one par­ticular, have proceeded ſome of them in other parts, to eight and forty more, many of them dangerous, and ra­cing the foundation. Who did not fear whither our late Prelaticall innovations tended? It was not with­out cauſe, that theyy〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Greg. Niſſ. contr. Eunom. Ancients ac­counted the leaſt alteration in mat­ters of faith to be the extremeſt blaſ­phemy and ungodlineſſe;zz〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Theodo­ret. Eccl. hiſt. l. 4. cap. 16. That they have willingly undergone all kinds of death, rather then deſerted one ſyllable of the truth: The leaſt errour entertained, prepares the way for greater, diſpoſes the heart to re­ject all truth, as the pulling one ſtone out of an arch, diſ­poſeth the whole to ruine.

2. Concerning the latter, (the grace, or act of belee­ving) the Apoſtle ſpeaks expreſly, They overthrew the faith of ſome. This ſad effect of erroneous teachers is no­tably deſcribed by Athanaſius; If〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, De Synod. Arim. Saleu. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Ibid. themſelves (ſaith hee) had beleeved, they would not have made any far­ther inquiry; but their diſputings have been no ſmall ſcandall to thoſe that were initiated in the Chriſtian religion, and a great ground of pro­fuſe laughter to Pagans, in that Chriſtians, as newly awaked out of a profound ſleep, enquire what they ought to beleeve concerning Chriſt. Their new o­pinions make beleevers infidels, and infidels more adverſe10 to faith. Wee ſee this amongſt our ſelves; what mul­titudes, unſetled by unſound doctrine, have changed their faith, either to Scepticiſme, to doubt of every thing; or Atheiſme, to beleeve nothing? And it hath been a juſt reward upon ſeducers, that themſelves have been de­ſervedlyaa〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; A­thanaſ. ibid. diſtruſted and deſerted by their followers, whom they had taught, not to beleeve their teachers. Thus much of the firſt miſchief of hereſies, That they de­ſtroy faith.

2. The ſecond thing which hereſies eat up is Peace: they devour Peace, the legacy of Christ, and Love, the bond of perfection. They overthrow the peace of the Church, they diſturbe the peace of the Common-wealth. From hence (that men conſent not to ſound doctrine, but are ſick about questions) cometh envie, ſtrife, reviling, evill ſur­miſings, &c. And where envie is, where evill ſurmiſings and jealouſies, what peace can there be? When that falſe doctrine was broached at Antioch, there was no ſmall diſ­ſentionAct. 15. 2, 24. and diſputation, the Church was troubled with words ſubverting their ſoules: The troubles aroſe ſo high, that an oecumenicall Synod, or Councell of the world was neceſſary for the compoſing of that difference. The like befell the Churches of Galatia. I ſpare the further con­firmationGalat. 5. of this; it is confeſſed, it is evidenced by the Holland Arminians, the new-England Familiſts: it will not be much laid to heart, being conceived by many as a matter of no great conſequence. If errours ariſe in the Church, the Common-wealth will not want con­fuſion, it muſt needs ſuffer (as the Phyſician ſpeaks) per conſenſum: and that in regard of the juſt judgement of God revenging the corrupting of his worſhip, and pro­fanation of his name. Thus it befell Iſrael, They ſerved ſtrange gods, then was warre in the gates; and of all warresJudg. 5. that which is moſt cruell and deſtructive, civill and in­teſtine warre, For Nation was destroyed of Nation, Citie of2 Chro. 15. Citie, &c. This is the righteous hand of God, that they that will not maintain peace with heaven, ſhall have11 trouble on earth. I reade not of any contentions more bitter, then thoſe grounded on diſſentions in religion: The Jewes had no dealings with the Samaritans, not ſo muchJoh. 6. 9. as for a cup of cold water, or a nights lodging: what was the reaſon? The difference in religion: one ſaid, Ye muſt worſhip in this mountain: The other, Jeruſalem is the place where men ought to worſhip. The difference was not great, onely this; the Samaritans would be a Church inde­pendent to Jeruſalem, they would worſhip in that moun­tain, but there was no dealing between them. Ephraim did not ceaſe to envie Judah, Judah did not ceaſe to vex Ephraim, till they were both turned unto the Lord, to ſerve him with one conſent; they grow not up into one king­dome,Ezek. 37. till they have accorded into one Church.

It is commonly replyed in Pulpits, in Preſſes, That a toleration of all conſciences, even Antichriſtian, would be a ſoveraign remedy to cure all diſſentions, and an ef­fectuall means to compoſe the warres of Chriſtendome: all the blood that hath for ſo many yeers been ſhed, is charged upon the reſtraint of this licentiouſneſſe, igno­rantly or maliciouſly termed perſecution.

I anſwer, It is beſides my purpoſe to diſcuſſe this que­ſtion of Toleration, which is the work (as I am inform­ed) of another hand; onely for the preſent let mee tell you,

1. That the Toleration pleaded for is not eccleſiaſti­call; for ſo it is reſolved by two of the Brethren in their anſwer to A. S. 1. The Minister ought by ScripturesPag. 65. to evince the falſhood of ſuch wayes. 2. Others that have an annointing of light and knowledge from God are bound to contribute the beſt of their endeavours to the ſame end. 3. The Magiſtrate ought to admoniſh the Miniſter, if careleſſe or forgetfull of his duty, that hee fulfill his miniſtery in that point alſo. 4. Members of a particular congregation, continuing obſtinate after means of conviction, and two or three admonitions, ought to be caſt out. 5. A Church infected ought to be admoniſhed by neighbour Churches, and if it continue ob­ſtinate,12 communion with it ought to be renounced: Thus, in effect, two of the brethren; which ſhewes the miſchiefe of hereſie in diſturbing the Churches peace: and this, to him that ſeriouſly conſiders it, will appear to be no ſmall miſchiefe.

2. The Toleration ſo commended as the mother of peace, may be called civill, a non-ſuppreſſion of errours by the Magiſtrates laws or power: This is that great Di­ana ſo much magnified, ſo frequent in the mouthes of Sectaries. To diſpute the lawfulneſſe of it is (as I ſaid) beſides my purpoſe; I onely enquire,

Firſt, Would theſe men that ſo hotly defend it, grant that Toleration (if they had power in their hands) to others, which they deſire for themſelves? I doubt it. The Arians did ſometimes ſeem as earneſt enemies to perſecu­tion as theſe men; yet when they had authority on their ſide, they raiſed perſecution againſt the orthodox, more terrible then the heathen Emperors againſt the Chriſti­ans, which the Churches of the Eaſt moſt grievouſlybbBinii tom. 1. conc. p. 686. complained of. Athanaſius at large deſcribeth, and having ſpoken much of their inhumane and more then belluine cruelty againſt all ſexes, all ages, both living and dead,cc〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Epiſt. ad Solitar. concludes, that hee had ſaid leſſe then their inhumanity was, be­cauſe it exceeded all expreſſion. The Donatiſts did ordinarily plead for toleration, and ſeem­ed the moſt inveterate oenemies to all diſturbance for con­ſcience ſake; yet, when under the Apoſtate Julian they had gotten power, who can de­clare (ddQuando Julianus vobis, Chriſti invidens paci, baſiacas reddidit, unitatis quae ſtra­ges à vobis ſactae ſint? Quis commemorare ſufficiat, &c. Con. lit. Petil. l. 2. c. 82. ſaith Auſtin) what havock they made of the orthodox? eeLaccrati ſunt viri, tractae ſunt matronae, infantes necati, abacti ſunt partus, nulli li­cuit ſecurum eſſe in poſſeſſionibus ſuis, etiam itinera non poterant eſſe iutiſſima; terreban­tur omnes literis eorum qui ſe Duces ſancto­rum jactabant, Optat. cont. Parm. l. 2. 3.All Africa was filled with bloud and deſolation; men were rent, ma­trons dragg'd, infants ſlaughtered, women with childe miſcarried, none were ſecure in their houſes, the wayes were not ſafe for travel­ers;13 the letters of them that boaſted to be the Cap­tains of the ſaints were terrible to all. Are our men led by another ſpirit? Sure I am, that one of them, that with moſt earneſtneſſe, or impudence pleads for tolerati­on, was lately of another minde in the caſe of the Fami­liſts and Antinomians in new-England.

Secondly, Would ſuch toleration conduce to the e­ſtabliſhing of peace in the Common-wealth? Hath it e­ver done it? Poſſible it is, that the equality of powers may perſwade each party for a ſeaſon to ſuppreſſe their inward rancor; can toleration take it away, ſo that it ſhall not break out upon ſenſible advantages by the in­creaſe of ſtrength? Let the experience of former ages, and preſent times teach this. What peace was there in the Ro­man Empire upon the toleration of the Donatiſts? ffOptat. l. 2. 3.Op­tatus,ggAug. con. lit. Petil. l. 2. Auguſtine, in the places before alledged, declare, that all places were filled with confuſion; the Circumcel­liones, or furious Donatiſts, not waiting for the ſignall of a law to give commiſſion, ſet the world on fire; Macari­us, and others with the forces of the Empire, were but ſuf­ficient to quench the burning. What peace had Germany upon the edicts of Charles the fifth? The Smalcaldian warre, deſcribed by Sleidan, demonſtrates, that they yeelded onely a time of breathing, that each party might increaſe in ſtrength, and gain advantages, and then fight to in­ternecion. Was it not ſo in France? Will a toleration ſatisfie hereticks, if they have power in their hands? It did not content the Iriſh Papiſts, witneſſe the bloud of 150000 Protestants ſhed upon the firſt advantage, and theſe unnaturall warres ſo long continued. Errour may tolerate errour, ſaevis inter ſe convenit urſis: but can dark­neſſe agree with light? or wolves with ſheep? Tertullian obſerves concerning hereticks of old,hhPacem cum omnibus miſcent; nihil enim in­tereſt illis, licèt diverſa tractantibus, dum ad unius veritatis expugnationem conſpirent, De praeſcript. cont. Haeret. c. 41. They agreed well enough one with another; for though they differed in pri­vate opinions, yet they joyned in one in the oppoſing of truth:14 Herod and Pilate may be made friends againſt Chriſt. A­thanaſius relates concerning the Arians,ii〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Epiſt. ad Solita. They did not trouble other hereſies, their younger ſiſters, in blaſpheming Chriſt; their ma­lice was inveterate againſt the or­thodox. Dominicans, Franciſcans, Jeſuites have their pri­vate differences, and yet agree to live together; but what ſafety is there for Proteſtants amongſt them? If we finde not the miſchiefe of our errours in this point, if Holland doth not, let them thank the Spaniſh arms, and wee the common enemy, and both, under God, the inconſide­rable number and weakneſſe of the heterodox. kkFacitis ubi potestis, ubi non facitis non potestis, ſive legum, ſive invidiae timore, ſi­ve reſiſtentium multitudine, Auguſt. cont. Petil lib. 2. cap. 83.You perſecute (ſaith Auſtin of the Do­natiſts) where you are able; where you perſecute not, you are not able to doe it, reſtrained by the fear of lawes, or envie, or the multitude making reſiſtance. I have been long upon this point; but I will conclude it with that ſolemne embaſſie which the orthodox Fathers, aſſembled in councell at Sirmium, ſent to the Emperour Constantius: I have inſiſted the longer,ll〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Athan. de Syn. Arim. & Seleuc. that it might appear to all, that the toleration of errour is not a way to peace, as ſome men pretend, but to diſorder and confuſion: And yet I am not an enemy to peace, but a friend to truth, and holineſs, without which no man ſhall ſee God.

The third thing that hereſies eat up is godlineſſe; they devour holineſſe, that is, the power of it: thus in the verſe before my Text, They will increaſe to more ungodlineſſe. Thus the Apoſtles, Peter, ch. 2. 2. Jude, v. 8. deſcribe the hereticks of their time: you may reade the places at your leaſure. Thus Paul informes the Romans, that they that cauſe diviſions, cauſe ſcandals, and ſerve not the LordRom. 16. 18.15 Jeſus Chriſt, but their own bellies. An erroneous hereticall head, and an upright pions heart are incompatible; a good conſcience, and true faith, like Hippocrates twins, live and die together. mmHaereſ. 26. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Lo­cus inſignis.Epiphanius obſerves concerning the Gnoſticks of old, That they did not onely pervert the judgements of their proſelytes, but brought their bodies and ſoules into ſlavery of fornication, un­cleanneſſe, and ſuch like monſtrous abo­minations. But, manum de tabula, I forbear: It would make a volume to relate the obſervations of him and o­ther Ancients in this particular. Our Apoſtle, 1 Tim. 4. 1. ſaith, The Spirit ſpeaks expreſly, that in the last times men ſhall depart from the faith &c. and 2 Tim. 3. 1. ſpeaks as expreſly, that the last times ſhall be dangerous for hor­rible wickedneſſes, men ſhall have a form of godlineſſe, and deny the power of it: It may be ſo with hereticks, they may have a faire out-ſide; but if you look for upright­neſſe, ſelf-deniall, righteouſneſſe, peace, joy in the holy Ghoſt, in which the kingdome of God conſiſts, you ſhall finde none of theſe; they have a form of godlineſſe, but deny the power of it. ThisnnLib. 2. tom. 1. Haer. 47. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Epipha­nius notes concerning the Encra­titae, They made oſtentation of continence, and yet converſed a­mongſt women even unto ſcandall; they were not indeed ſuch as they deſired to be accounted. O, what a full teſtimony is given to this truth by that generall a­poſtacie from godlineſſe to open profaneneſſe of many a­mongſt our ſelves ſince the unreſtrained inundation of our errours! And this comes to paſſe (for I touch upon the cauſe in tranſitu,)

1. Partly, becauſe that time which might be better im­ployed in the examination of the conſcience, is laid out in the examination of opinions; all the care is taken up about the notions of the brain, which ought to have been16 intended to the bettering of the heart: As in children that have the rickats, their heads ſwell and grow bigge, but their bodies grow crooked, their breſts narrow, their inferiour parts feeble, and pine away: ſo perſons infe­cted with errours (for errours are the rickats of children in underſtanding) may perhaps have great heads, and be ſomething for matter of diſpute; but their hearts are crooked, their affections to goodneſſe ſtraightned, them­ſelves made ſo weak, as not to be able to goe in the paths of holineſſe.

2. Partly becauſe in times of ſuch differences, men are for the moſt part had in eſteeme, not according to their godlineſſe, but their faction: Enquiry is not made con­cerning the preciſeneſſe of walking, and blameleſneſſe of converſation, but concerning opinion; not, How lives? but, What holds ſuch, or ſuch a man? Asoo〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Athanaſius concerning the Arians to their follow­ers: Oppoſe Chriſt, and take no care to thy manners, thy opinion ſufficeth to thy commendation. AndppHaec omnia vultis nullius eſſe mo­menti: at ſi tibi conſenſerit, quem ſe­ducis, unus conſenſus & manus tuae porrectio, & pauca verba jam tibi Chriſtianum faciunt de Chriſtiano, & ille vobis videbitur Christianus qui quod vultis fecerit, non quem fides ad­duxerit, Optat. l. 3. cont. Parm. Optatus a­gainſt the Donatiſts, declares their ſtrange partiality, All were unto them Pagans, that were not of their way of ſeparation; but if any one conſented to them, and became of their way, hee was preſently a Chriſtian, though hee knew not what belonged to Chriſtianity. O that it was not ſo amongſt our ſelves; that not faction, but faith was the bond of our affections; not ſiding with parties, but ſerving of God the compaſſe of our Chriſtian love: certainly opinions would not ſo much thrive, nor god­lineſſe ſo much decay. And ſo much of the ſecond thing which was propoſed, What it is which hereſies, erroneous opinions devour. Now of the third, Why, or How it comes to paſſe that they thus ſpread and devour, &c.

The ſpreading and prevailing of hereſies may be a­ſcribed partly to the ſubtilty and activity of ſeducers, part­ly17 to the curioſity and ſimplicity of the ſeduced; partly to the juſtice of God, for the manifeſtation of thoſe that are ſincere, and the puniſhment of thoſe that received not the truth in the love of it: Of theſe in order.

Firſt, The prevailing of hereſies may be aſcribed to the ſubtilty of ſeducers. Seducers are a ſubtill generation, and this ſubtilty it is to which the Apoſtle aſcribes their great ſucceſſe; Epheſ. 4. 14. Children are toſſed to and fro, and carried about with every winde of doctrine through the ſleight of men, and cunning craftineſſe, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. The Apoſtle in three words expreſſeth their deceitfulneſſe: 1. ſleight,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, they are cunning game­ſters, know how to cog a die, and pack the cards, andqqZanch. in loc. pervert Scripture to their ſiniſter purpoſes: 2. Cunning craftineſſe,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, they turn every ſtone, watch all ad­vantages: 3. Lying in wait to deceive,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, they have all the arts of couzenage; They bring in damnable hereſies privily, ſaith Peter: I am afraid, (ſaith S. Paul)2 Pet. 2. 1. lest, as the Serpent beguiled Eve through his ſubtilty, ſo2 Cor. 11. your mindes ſhould be corrupted from the ſimplicity that is in Chriſt. Satan arms his inſtruments with his own arts, fraud, and couzenage; and by theſe introduceth errours, and cheateth men of faith, peace, piety. rrVos eſtis aucupes, & illi aut illa ſunt aves. Illi vos aucupi ſimiles dico, qui poſt diſceſſum noctis, ante lucis adventum aridam arbo­rem nullis radicibus fultam multiplici fraude componit, cui adulterinos inſerit ramos, & quae ſuas jamdudum ſucciſa perdiderat, alie­nas accipit frondes, &c. locus inſignis. Cont. Parmen. l. 6.Optatus obſerved this of old in the Donatiſts, whom he compares to fowlers, that with exacteſt cunning and art inſnare the birds. AndſſLib. 1. Ep. 102. Iſidore Peleuſiota compares hereticks to fiſhermen, that conveigh their deadly hooks in the moſt pleaſing baits. The Scriptures and Ancients have been large in obſerving and deſcribing thoſe impoſtures, by which they cheat men of truth, and propagate errours; but it would be a work too long for this time to declare them all: I ſhall by your favour name ſome of the principall of them, becauſe they are practiſed amongſt our ſelves by ſuch as draw diſciples after them, who, as they doe but rake18 up old buried errours under the notion of new light, new truths; ſo they walk in the ſame ſteps with their forefathers.

Firſt, They uſe ſophiſticall arguments, argumenta tortu­oſa, knotty and crooked queſtions, by which they puzzle and inſnare the ſimple: of this the Apoſtle gives warn­ing, Take heed that no man deceive you,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, i. e. make a prey of you, through Philoſophy or vain deceit. Tertullian againſt Hermogenes obſerves, thatArtificem ſtruendi & deſtruendi ver ſipel­lem, in ſententiis coactam, in conjecturis du­ram, in argumentis operariam, moleſtam etiam ſibi ipſi, omnia retractantem, quid omnino tractaverit, De praeſcript. adv. Haer. c. 7. Philoſophers were the Patriarchs of hereticks; and Sophiſtry, the great artifice of building and deſtroying, &c. their maine engine. Seducers have not learned to caſt away reaſonings, and every high thing that exalteth it ſelf againſt the knowledge of God: and whiles, with the ancient hereticks, and late Socinians, they meaſure truths with the line of their own intellect, and beleeve no more then they can comprehend, they make ſhipwrack of faith, and drown others in their own deſtruction. How many were of old made to ſtagger in that fundamentall point of the eternall Sonſhip of Jeſus Chriſt, by the curious inquiries of the Arians, recorded by Epiphanius, in his Treatiſe a­gainſt that hereſie, which I willHaereſ. 69. 15. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. not Engliſh, that I may not be a ſnare in this ſcepticall age? How many were taken in that ſenſeleſſe notion, becauſe it was new, and〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Ibid. 16. they underſtood it not, Hee is a creature, but not as one of the o­ther creatures; a work, but not as one of the works; and begotten, but not as others that are begotten: that, denying him like other things begotten, they may deny his naturall generation; de­nying him a creature as other creatures are, they may aſſert him to be a creature? So farre Epiphanius. Why doe you juggle, in ſaying, hee is a creature,19 not as one of the creatures; hee ſuffered without paſſion? as if a man ſhould ſpeak without ſpeak­ing, or underſtand without under­ſtanding, ſaithtt〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Athan. contr. Arian. orat. 3. tom. 1. & tom. 2. Quòd Chriſtus paſſus in Deitate. another Father concerning the ſame and other he­reticks. uuMultam curam gerunt fucare phaleris ver­borum, & verſutiis ſyllogiſmorum, Bern. in Cant. ſer. 41.This hath been their conſtant indeavour, with pretences of words, and ſophiſtry of argu­ments, to colour and paint their horrid opinions. This is that which Cyril callsxxDe ador. in ſpir. & verit. l. 8.〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, multiva­rious impoſtures,yyIn Hoſ. 2.〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the in­ventions of many-times-pleated ſenſes, equivocations, amphibologies, the ſtrength and garriſons of hereticks, unto which they retreat, being purſued; out of which they iſſue, to ſpoile and plunder the Church of faith, peace, and godlineſſe. And thus much of the firſt branch of that ſubtilty of which hereticks make uſe to ſpread ernours.

Secondly, They uſe new and ſtrange expreſſions, ex­preſſions not to be underſtood but by their own diſciples. Theſe the Apoſtle (according to Chryſoſtome and other of the Ancients) calls〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, new language; and a­gainſt theſe arms Timothy, commanding him to keep the2 Tim. 2. 16. form of ſound words which hee had heard of him: This hath2 Tim. 1. 13. been of eſpeciall uſe to hereticks in the primitive Church, and of later times; ThuszzContr. Ari­an. de Synod. Confuſis permixtiſque verbis veritatem fre­quentiſſimè eludunt, & incautorum aures communium vocabulorum ſono capiunt. Hilary of the Arians in his time; That by their indiſtinct and confuſed expreſſions they eluded truth, and enſnared their unwary auditours by the ambiguity of their phraſes. ThusaaSic verba temperant, ſic ordinem vertunt, & ambiguae quaque concinnant, ut & no­ſtrum, & adverſariorum confeſſionem tene­ant, ut aliter haereticus, aliter catholicus au­diat, Epiſt. 65. Hicrome concerning the Origeniſts, They ſo temper their words, pervert their order, mingle ambiguities, that in the ſame ſentence they utter the truth and errouer; their followers underſtand one thing, and ſtrangers an­other. 20Thus they prevail with many, like Gypſies, cant­ing in their mother-tongue; though their words may be underſtood, yet not their meaning. And this practice is notably deſcribed by Calvin againſt the Libertines. But beſides this, that they uſe old words in new ſenſes, they have another practice, to coin new words, new expreſ­ſions of their own, which none can underſtand, ſimple ones admire: This the Apoſtle points at, 2 Pet. 2. 18. They ſpeak great ſwelling words of vanity, and under theſe high ſtreines, and ſublime notions, introduce ſome old, baſe, often confuted hereſies; which, were they in plain Engliſh expreſſed, would be abhorred. Thusbb〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Haer. 31. Epiphae­nius aſſures us concerning the Valenti­nians, that they introduced the old heathen fables as matters of faith, only ſhadowed them under ſome new expreſ­ſions of their owne; and of the Gno­ſticks, that they in like manner deluded their followers. Thuscc〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Haereſ. 26. 1. Dial. 1. Cyril of the Neſtorians in his time,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, This ſpeech is not to be under­ſtood. I ſtand not to parallel this with the practices amongſt our ſelves, but paſſe from it withddEadem nunc in veteri, & nova hae­reſi conſuetudo ſervatur, ut aliud populi audiant, aliud praedicent ſa­cerdotes, Epiſt. 61. Hieroms obſerva­tion, The ſame cuſtome is obſerved a­mongſt hereticks of former, and of our own times; the old Serpent doth act his old wiles over again; the Stage is new, the Tragedy the ſame; errours diſperſed, faith, peace, and godlineſſe ſupplanted by the ſame engines amongſt us as in former times.

Thirdly, They uſe faire pretences, and glorious ſpeeches, as the Apoſtle obſerves, By good words and faire ſpeechesRom. 16. 18. they deceive the hearts of the ſimple: And Peter, Through2 Pet. 2. 3. covetouſneſſe ſhall they with fained words (〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, for­ged and plaiſtered ſpeeches) make merchandiſe of you. This is an uſuall ſhift, they parget over the nakedneſſe and21 deformity of their opinions, repreſenting ſometimes them as the wayes of God, ſometimes themſelves as the men of God; and thus ſimple people (Ixion like) pro Junone nubem, imbrace appearances for verities, errours for truth.

1. They repreſent their opinions as the wayes of God, the ſecrets and myſteries of Chriſt, (but John calls them〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the profound deep things of Satan:) andRev. 2. 24. thus they are as a ſnare on Mizpah, and a net ſpread upon mount Tabor. Saint Paul obſerves, that the worſhipping ofCol. 2. 18. cum 23. Angels, and ſuch other kind of monkery, Touch not, taste not, handle not, were all perſwaded under ſuch faire pre­tences; they were doctrines of humility, doctrines of mortification, &c. But in the mean time, theſe falſe preachers, pretenders to humility, were vainly puft up in their fleſhly minde, laid hold on Angels, but held not the head, &c. In the 17th of the Revelation the whore hath in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and filthineſſe; the cup is of gold, but the potion is of the rankeſt poi­ſon: Act. 15. Circumciſion, and obſervation of the law isGal. 5. pretended the way to ſalvation, though in truth it cut off from Christ in the notion under which it was obtru­ded; and, at beſt, did nothing availe unto that purpoſe which was pretended: This hath been the practice of hereticks, as in the Apoſtles times, ſo in after ages. This e Salvian obſerves concerning the Arians, and in gene­rall,De guber. Dei lib. 5. all hereticks; but his paſſage is too long to be tranſcribed. Thus alſoff〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Praefat. in Theſaur. Cyril, As ſtrumpets paint their faces, and adorne their bodies in great­eſt bravery, to hide the filthi­neſſe of their practices, and in­ſnare by their neatneſſe: ſo hereticks ſhadow their deſtru­ctive opinions with the beauti­full veile of godlineſſe, and their errours with the flowers of truth. 22gg〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Cyril. Epiſt. ad Valerian.They are in this like our Apothe­caries, they gild their pils, and make their potions ſweet, they make them pleaſant to the eye, and delightfull to the taſte; and yet they containe ſuch a medicine, as (not being immediately caſt out) will give the patient ſuch a purge as will clear him of faith, and peaceableneſſe, and prevent for the future all danger of ſurfeting from the power of godlineſſe. It is no new thing, that opinions of no value, if not damnable, are vended, and prevaile under the notions of free grace, or Chriſtian liberty, Chriſt exalted, the kingdome of Chriſt, the Church way, and the like commendations: no way is more effectuall to ingage imbracement. hhPlutarch. in vit.Numa Pompilius pre­tends the teaching of the Nymph Aegeria for his new religion; andiiTurk. Hiſt. Mahomet, that grand impoſtor, if you will beleeve him, learned his Alcoran from the Angel Gabriel. ThekkAthan. qu. ad Antio. 46. Divell was the firſt that ever mentioned God upon earth, and that in his temptation, when hee was acting againſt God: And ſhall it ſeem ſtrange, that there are amongſt us ſome, not Chri­ſtians, but ſellers of Chriſt, vain talk­ers, ſoule-deceivers, that in treachery pretend the name of Chriſt; that ſpeak of Chriſt, not that they may preach Chriſt, but that by their preaching they may make Chriſt of none effect, as was of old the com­plaint of holyll〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Ad Tral­lenſ. Ignatius? It is uſuall with mounte­banks to proclaim the vertues of their oyles, ſalves, re­ceipts, &c. multitudes are drawne together, and fools buy. It is the practice of falſe teachers, by crying up the holineſſe and excellency of their doctrine, to cauſe many to flock together, and to deceive the hearts of the ſimple.

2. They repreſent themſelves, teachers, followers, all, un­der the notion of the moſt godly, holy, humble, ſaints, men as precious as any the earth heares, as unbiaſed as any at any23 time likely to be on the face of the earth; a ſtrong induce­ment (eſpecially if there be any ſhew of holineſſe in their converſation) to perſwade ſimple and well-meaning men into an approbation of their opinions. By ſuch decei­vable pretences the Phariſees got ſuch intereſt in the hearts of the people, that they were quickly credited in whatever they ſpake, though againſt King, or Prieſt, as ſaithmm〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Antiq Jud. l. 3. Joſephus. In the dayes of the Apoſtles there were ſome thatnnRev. 2. 2. ſaid they were Jewes, and were not, but upon triall were found liars. The ministers of Satan were transformed as the ministers of righteouſneſſe; and how they prevailed, and what their pretences were may be conjectured by the great paines which the Apoſtle takes to vindicate himſelfe and his miniſtery from their aſper­ſions, 1 Cor. 9. 2 Cor. 11. They were not inferiour to the chiefe Apoſtles, would have no pay, (Doe you not heare the language of our Sectaries?) they would preach freely, would not be burdenſome, &c. Were not theſe ſingular men? Doubtleſſe they did not want followers amongſt ſuch as would ſerve God with that which coſt them nothing: But the Apoſtle aſſures us, they were deceitfull workers, and their end would be accor­ding to their works. Such as theſe of old were the Do­natiſts, of whomooContr. Parmen. Pelle ovinâ contegi vis, ut, ſi fieri poteſt, priùs te ovis mor­dentem ſentiat, quàm praeſentiat venien­tem? Lib. 1. Optatus, They covered themſelves in ſheeps cloath­ing, they were not diſcerned to be wolves, till their fangs were felt. No age hath afforded hereticks whoſe ring-leaders have not pretended to extraordinary godlineſſe. It is well known to thoſe that are verſed in the writings of the Ancients, what is left recorded concerning Apolli­naris, Photinus, Neſtorius, and others, the ſubſtance of which you may finde inppCont. haereſ. c. 16. Vincentius Lirinenſis; what ofqqVoſſ. Hiſt. Pela. l. 1. c. 3. Pelagius, what ofrrOrat. in obit. ante opera Ar­min. Arminius by Bertixs, what of Socinus: but, to paſſe over all theſe in ſilence, I ſhall inſtance onely in Arius, that grand impugner of the Deity of Chriſt, and impudent boaſter; out of whoſe24 Thaleiaſſ〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Orat. 2. cont. Arian. Athanaſius relates theſe vaine boaſtings: I have received my doctrine from the elect of God, men that knew God, holy men of God, ſuch as knew how to divide the word of God aright, that had received the annointing of the ſpirit; of theſe I have received, in their ſteps I have walked, and for this truth have ſuffered many things. Surely, this is a plauſible in­ducement; words are eſteemed according to the eſtimate of the ſpeaker. ttSolent isti miriones etiam de quibuſdam perſonis ab haereſi captis, aedificari in rui­nam: quare illa vel ille fideliſſimi, pru­dentiſſimi, & uſitatiſſimi in Eccleſia in il­lam partem tranſierunt, De Praeſcript. contr. Haeret. cap. 3.Tertullian obſerves it of certain wonderers, that they were edified into errour by the ex­ample of others, men of name and note for wiſdome, knowledge, uſefulneſſe in the Church, that had fallen into hereſie: If this or that were not the truth, the way of God; how comes it to paſſe, that hee, or ſhee, ſuch a man, and ſuch a man of ſuch eminent parts, gifts, profeſſion, ſhould be ſo miſ-led? But, ſhould we judge of faith by perſons? or ſhould wee not rather judge of perſons by faith? 'Tis poſſible for Nicolas to become, not onely an heretick, but a ring-leader of a ſect; 'tis poſſible for one to come, and ſay, I am Chriſt; 'tis poſſible for Simon Magus to profeſſe himſelfe the great power of God, but ſhould all the city give heed to him? 'tis poſſible foruu〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Epiphan. l. 2. tom. 1. contr. Cataphry. Mon­tanus to proclaim himſelf no Angel, no Embaſſadour, but the Comforter himſelf; ſhould a Tertullian be ſedu­ced? 'Tis a great temptation, when men that fall into errour, are in name for godlineſſe: 'tis a greater, when men of ſtrict life (as in old times) fall into errour. If we will not be miſ-led, let us remember the Apoſtles charge; If wee; not one, but the Colledge of Apoſtles; not men, but if an Angel from heaven ſhall25 teach any other doctrine, let him be accurſed. Whatever their pretences be,xxDiaboli filii ſunt, qui homines ab Eccleſia ſedu­cendo interfici­unt, Aug. cont. lit. Petil. lib. 2. c. 13. they are of their father the Divell, who, by ſeducing men from the Church of Chriſt, deſtroy them. I have been the longer upon this point, becauſe it neerly concerns our ſelves, amongſt whom a party is riſen up that monopolizeth piety, pretendeth to tran­ſcendent holineſſe; under which ſhew many are miſ-led, many muzzled, as not willing to oppoſe againſt (as they call themſelves) the godly party.

Fourthly, They uſe vain-glorious boaſtings, proclaim­ing the excellency and eminency of their knowledge, and abilities above other men. The former fair ſpeeches were but groundleſſe bragges, their opinions and con­verſations are farre ſhort of (if not contrary to) that holineſſe they profeſſe; but in this that I now ſpeak of, their boaſting hath been notorious, as if with them wiſdome began to live, and ſhould die with them; as Maximilla the propheteſſe of the Montaniſts in Epi­phanius,yyHaereſ. 47. Col. 2. 18.〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. As the affecting of wiſdome above what is written, and a bold intruſion into things they have not ſeen, hath cauſed many to fall from the truth to errour; ſo the profeſſion of1 Tim. 6. 21. knowledge (as the Apoſtle) falſely ſo called, and the having of the gifts and perſons of men in admiration, hath1 Cor. 4. 8. drawne many to follow their pernicious wayes:zzVincent. Li­rinenſ. Er­ror magistri tentatio diſcipuli; if the maſter falls, the ſcholar ſtumbles. Indeed, men of parts uſually broach errours, (the divell makes uſe of the Serpent, not of the Aſſe, in ſeducing into hereſie) as being the fitteſt inſtruments to ſtagger the Church. Corah, Dathan, and Abiram died not alone in their tranſgreſſion; they were Princes of the Congregation. But if any man ſhall become a Dogmatist, an aſſerter of ſtrange and new opinions, hee ſhall be cried up by his followers as a man of parts, that they may ſeem to be mad with reaſon. This conceit that they knew and taught ſomething which other men neither knew nor taught,26 procured ſcholars to ſeducers of old, as ſaithaa〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, De Trin. Dial. 2. Cyril. The follow­ers of Baſilides inbb〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Haereſ. 24. Epiphanius pro­feſſed themſelves onely to be men, all others dogs and ſwine. ccHieron. in Hoſ. 5.Semper ſe ſcire altiora jactitant, & in Eccleſiae contumeliam debacchantur (they boaſt al­waies of their own ſublime and abſtruſe ſpeculations, in compariſon of which others are blind) is the obſervati­on of Hierome. I will conclude this with that ofdd〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Orat. 33. Na­zianzene, concerning the boaſtings of Eunomius: Be it granted (ſaith hee) ſeeing you will have it ſo, that you are a ſublime man, and tran­ſcend ſublimity, a beholder of things that no man elſe ſees, an hearer of things which it is not lawfull to utter; after Elias, you have been rapt up in a fiery chariot; after Moſes, you have ſeen the face of God; after Paul, you have been ta­ken into the third heavens; but why forge you ſaints in one day, make them miniſters, inſpire them with learn­ing, & c. ? This is not peculiar to the Eunomians; I would we had not ſome amongſt our ſelves as vain-boaſt­ers, and pretenders to knowledge, that have, in their own conceit, more skill in the myſtery of Chriſt then the Apoſtles, with the old hereticks: e Solent dicere, nonTertul. de praeſcr. contr. haer. c. 22. omnia Apostolos ſcîſſe, non omnia omnibus tradidiſſe, in utroqueChriſtum reprehenſioni ſubjicientes, &c. The Apoſtles knew not all things, taught not all things to all men (as they ſay;) in both which they calumniate Chriſt. ffTe fautores tui diſertiorem De­moſthene, acu­tiorem Chryſip­po, ſapientiorem Platone, con­tendunt, &c. E­piſt. 61. ad Pammach.The favourers of John of Jeruſalem were bold to aſſert, that he was more eloquent then Demoſthenes, acute then Chryſip­pus, wiſe then Plato, &c. The Papiſts adorn ſome of their School-men, Doctors, with the titles Angelicall, Seraphi­call, Illuminate, Irrefragable, Reſolute, Subtile, and ſuch like. The Jeſuits prevaile mightily by their impudency in boaſting, asggDe ſtratagem. Jeſuitarum. Alphonſus de Vargas declares concerning27 them: The Sectaries amongſt us, if they doe it not in i­mitation of ſuch worthy preſidents, yet walk in the ſame ſteps; their miſleaders are with them heavenly men, ſpi­rituall teachers, the preachers of Goſpel-truths, New Te­ſtament-ſpirits, men of admirable parts, though ſome of them but of late commenced from the Tailors ſhop-board, or the Coblers ſtall to the miniſtery; men of as great abi­lities as thoſe teachers of the law, of whom the Apoſtle, Not underſtanding what they ſay, nor whereof they affirme. But ſo much of this fourth point.

Fifthly, They uſe ſubtilty in concealing their opinions, ſave onely from their proſelites, to whom they diſcover them in part, and with a reſerve of changing upon fur­ther inquiry or more advantage. This was of old the pra­ctice of Baſilides inhhHaereſ. 24. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Epiphanius, hee concealed his opinions from ſuch as were able to examine them, men that had their ſenſes exerciſed to diſcern between things that differ; but made them known to thoſe whom hee had ſeduced, unto whom alſo hee gave in charge,ii〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Id. ibid. That they ſhould conceale theſe things amongſt themſelves, and not reveal them ſaving to one of a thouſand, and two of ten thou­ſand: that they ſhould know all things, all men; but that no man ſhould know them, or what they hold. It was long before the Arians diſcovered their ma­lice againſt the Deity of the Lord Jeſus Chriſt; their quarrell (as they pretended) was onely againſt the word〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, askkEpiſt. 61. ad Pammach. Hierome relates, (I pray God others, from whom no requeſts or engagements can draw a modell of their opinions, nihil monstri alaut, be not hatching ſome hatefull monſter:) and when they had diſcovered it, they were all upon uncertainties, ever waiting for new light,llHil. ad Con­ſtant. Annuas atque monstruas fides decernimus, they had every yeer, every moneth a new confeſſion, as Hilary:28mm〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, De Synod. Arim. & Seleuc. They had many and diverſe al­terations, being ready to change as often as they could obtaine any to hire them, any to hear them, any to lead them: they could change their opinions as often as they could get cuſtomers for new ones. Thusnn〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Epiſt. 72. Baſil aſſures us, that they did all things for their own profit and advantage, chan­ging, and rechanging, and profeſſing a liberty of future changing; a courſe moſt contrary to the truth of God, (Faith is but one) to the ſtabilitie in the truth required in beleevers, Coloſſ. 2. and the manner of the orthodox, who, though never ſo low and little eſteem­ed in the eyes of men, yet were alwayes the ſame, and conſented not to ſuch changes and alterations. As the Polypus hunts fiſhes, and takes them by the often changing of his colour; ſo hereticks hunt and take unſtable ſouls by the concealing of themſelves, and profeſſed unſetledneſſe in their tenents. Though much more might be ſaid of the ſubtilty of hereticks, in calumniating the truth, ſlandering the profeſſors of it, mingling truth with errour; yet let this ſuffice for the preſent.

The ſecond means by which hereticks divulge their errours, is their Induſtry or Diligence; they are〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, not onely ſubtill, but induſtrious workers: As Sa­tan goeth up and downe like a roaring lion ſeeking whom hee1 Pet. 5. may devour; ſo theſe, with the Phariſees, would com­paſſe ſea and land to make one proſelyte, creep into houſesMatth. 23. to leade captive ſilly women: in this, like hunters, or fi­ſhers, whoſe labour is their pleaſure, if they can take their prey;

Ut jugulent homines ſurgunt de nocte.

There is a ſtrange activity in theſe men for the ſpread­ing of errours: in men did I ſay? nay in women; the woman Jezebel taught and ſeduced the ſervants of God. It is the obſervation of Tertullian in his time, That29 their women were audacious even toIpſae mulieres, quàm procaces ſunt, quae audeant docere, contendere, & fortaſſe etiam tingere? De praeſcript. cap. 41. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Epiphan. de Pepuzian. haereſ. 49. admiration, they dared to preach, to diſpute, yea poſſibly, to baptiſe. And this amongſt ſome of them, not by in­truſion, but by permiſſion and approbation; women were Biſhops, women Elders, women in all other offices. Satan ha­ving found the uſefulneſſe of that ſexe for ſeduction, upon all occaſions makes uſe of them. Apelles diſperſedTertull. his hereſie by the help of a woman, Phylumene: Mon­tanusEpiph. haer. 48. diſperſeth his by the help of Priſcilla and Maxi­milla, two women: And have not wee made ſome pro­greſſe, and grown up to ſome height in this hereticall practice? Doe not women, whom the Apoſtle permits not to ſpeak in the Church, but to be in ſilence, (tranſgreſſing this Apoſtolicall precept, and forgetting the modeſty and weakneſſe of their ſexe) preſume to preach, and vent their braine-ſick fancies? But I paſſe over this ſhame. Optatus could not keep ſilenceDe vestris ſilere quis poſſit? De illis quos aut factione, aut ſubtilitate, ut veſtros face­retis, ſeducere potuistis; non ſolùm moſculi, ſed etiam ſoeminae, de ovibus facti ſunt vulpes, poſt quod ad vos delapſi ſunt, aut dilapſae, dolent alios ibi eſſe ubi nati ſunt, bene ſtantes in lapſus ſuos invitant, &c. Cont. Parmen. l. 6. Vide. concerning the activity of ſuch men and women, whom fraud or faction had adjoyned to the Do­natiſts, in ſeducing and perverting others into their own errours and ſchiſme. Athanaſius tels us what uſe the Arians made of women,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Epiſt. ad Solitar. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Ibid. to ingratiate them with Princes and great men, whoſe favour is moſt deſirable to them, as being moſt advantagious to their perſons and wayes. But enough of this. Experience teacheth, that when men ſleep, the enemie comes, and ſowes tares a­mong the wheat, and goeth his way undiſcerned. The harlots feet abide not in her houſe; now ſhee is without, now in the ſtreets, and lieth in wait at every corner: Such is the dili­gence of Sactaries.

The ſecond generall head, giving ſuch ſucceſſe to he­reſies,30 and erroneous opinions, is taken from the people, the perſons that are ſeduced: The prince of this world comes and findes ſomething in them. The ſhaking of the glaſſe may raiſe ſome froth in the water, but no filth, if there be not mud in the bottome. Diſeaſes prove in­fectious by reaſon of the dyſcraſy of our inward tempe­rature. People are made obnoxious to ſeduction by two things; their ſimplicity, and curioſity: Of which briefly.

Firſt, The ſimplicity, ignorance, ungroundedneſſe of the people affords great advantage to ſeducers. Where the foundation is not well laid, the building cannot ſtand long, though not medled with; but will preſently fall, if the leaſt violence be uſed: A people uncatechiſed in the principles of religion, are a facile and obvious prey to falſe teachers. This the Apoſtle hath an eye to, Chil­dren are eaſily toſſed to and fra with every winde of doctrine;Epheſ. 4. 14. as a ſhip on the ſeas, not having ſufficient balaſt, is dri­ven with every winde, and in danger of being overturned with every wave. The ſimple beleeveth every word (ſaithProv. 14. 15. Solomon,) but the prudent looketh well to his going. They lead captive ſilly women, laden with divers luſts, ever leara­ing,2 Tim. 3. 6. but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Se­ducers are furniſhed with ſubtilty to deceive, and people prepared, through ſimplicity, to be deceived; and from ſimplicity it is, that ſubtilty prevailes. Beſides, that the Scripture doth ordinarily point out ignorant and un­grounded men the object of ſeduction, it is obſerved by the Ancients;ooHaereſes apud eos multum valent qui in fide non valent, de quorundam infirmi­tatibus habent quod valent, nihil valentes ſi in bene valentem fidem incurrant, De praeſcript. c. 2. That hereſies are ſtrong where knowledge is weak, and prevail not ſo much by their own ſtrength, as by the weakneſſe of the adverſary:ppDiſpenſatio iſta, ac libratio prudens verbo­rum indoctos decipere poteſt, cautus auditor & lector citò deprehendet inſidias, & cu­niculos, quibus veritas ſubvertitur, apertè in luce demonſtrabit, Hieron. ad Pammac. Epiſt. 61. That all their knotty arguments, and glozing ſpeeches may haply deceive the unlearned and i­gnorant, but a prudent and wary hea­rer will eaſily diſcern their ſophiſtry,31 and diſcover the fraud by which they endeavour to under­mine the truth. Hereticall arguments are but bare preten­ces, in this reſembling the ſpiders cob-web, that they are fit to hold the weaker Chriſtians, whileſt the ſtronger break away, and ſave themſelves. And let this conſideration ſtay us, that wee ſtumble not; and ſeducers, that they triumph not in the great defection unto ſeverall opinions now a­mongſt us. They have deceivedqq〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Nazian. or. 33. chil­dren, Egregiam laudem; and wee have loſtrr〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Athan. de incarnat. Chriſt. chaffe, Spolia ampla: what great prize, that a ſtumbling-block hath been laid before a blinde man, and hee hath ſtumbled at it? Cer­tainly, ſuch are they, even children, many in yeers, moſt in underſtanding, that, amongſt us, are perverted by new opinions.

Secondly, The curioſity of the people adminiſters no ſmall advantage to ſeducers. Men are not content with ſound doctrine, and old truths, but, as the Athenians, ſpendAct. 17. 21. their time to tell or to heare ſome new thing: men that have itching ears heap to themſelves teachers after their own2 Tim. 4. 3, 4. luſts, and turn away their ears from the truth, and are turned to fables, (ſaith S. Paul.) To be alwayes learning, is that which2 Tim. 3. 6. betrayes ſilly women to be led captive by ſeducers: And the Apoſtle Peter tels us, that not onely by the luſts of the fleſh, but much wantonneſſe (wantonneſſe of the brain) they that were clean eſaped from them that live in errour, are2 Pet. 2. 18. allured. It is a notable expreſſion ofſſ〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. De Trinit. Dial. 1. Cyril, comparing ſome in his time to heifers, that run at their eaſe, leave the herd and wholeſome pa­ſture, to gnaw upon briars and thorns, and ſo poſſibly catch a prick in their foot, that they never go upright after. Sure I am, it is ſo with many amongſt us, who, in the wantonneſſe of their wits, withdraw them­ſelves from the publicke Aſſemblies, from the Miniſters32 whom God hath ſet over them, from the paſtures in which they ought to feed, and betake themſelves to cop­pices, to gnaw (at the beſt) on briars and thorns; poſſibly, (if I may allude to the viſion of Robertus Gallus) on rocks and ſtones: It is no marvell if they be lean and ill liking, if many catch pricks, and come halting home. To paſſe from this; the Apoſtle, that hee might preſerve in­tire in the faith, gives eſpeciall caution againſt curioſity, that queſtions be avoided, and oppoſitions of ſcience falſly ſo called. But of this hitherto.

The third generall head, from which the ſucceſſe of hereſies ariſeth, is the providence of God juſtly permitting that it ſhould be ſo:

Firſt, as a puniſhment of the luke-warmneſſe of men, and want of love to the truth: The ſin grievous, the underva­luing of light; the puniſhment dreadfull, light is re­moved, darkneſſe ſent in ſtead of light. God will not endure the deſpiſing of light. The Gentiles held the truth in unrighteouſneſſe, they delighted not to have God in their knowledge, Rom. 1. God gave them over to a reprobate ſenſe, and when they profeſſed wiſdome, they became fools, their fooliſh hearts were darkened. Thus God dealt with Ahab; hee hated Micaiah, with whom the word of the Lord2 Reg. 22. was, and cared not to hear him; the Lord therefore gives commiſſion to a lying ſpirit to ſeduce his prophets, and prevail with him to his deſtruction. Thus with Iſrael; Propheſie not, ſay they (the people) to them that propheſie: They ſhall not propheſie, ſaith the Lord: but if a man walkMicah 2. 7, 12. in the ſpirit and lie, he ſhall be the prophet to this people. Thus with the Jews; They that would not receive Chriſt that came in his Fathers Name, will certainly receive an im­poſtor that comes in his own name. Thus with Chriſti­ans; as ſaith the Apoſtle, becauſe they received not the love of the truth, that they might be ſaved; and for this cauſe God ſhall ſend them ſtrong deluſions,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the efficacy of errour, errour in the ſtrength, that they may beleeve a lye. This ſin made way for Mahumetaniſme in the Ea­ſterne33 Churches; Popery in the Weſtern was the pu­niſhment of this ſin: God is the ſame ſtill, the ſame in revenging his deſpiſed truth. Truth hath been preached amongſt us, deſpiſed amongſt us, imbraced by very few in the power, in the love of it; God revengeth it, and this revenging hand of God may be ſenſibly felt and di­ſcerned in our diſtractions. Was it poſſible that a man ſhould burn one piece of a tree, and worſhip another, if God had not ſhut up his eyes? tt〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, E­piph. de Encratitis. Haereſ. 47.A prudent man may ſee, and wonder, and be amazed at the tenents, car­riages, &c. of ſeducers, how in­conſiſtent they be, how far from ſhew of truth, and at the great defection to them: Doubtleſſe, this is none other but the hand of God upon the ſeduced, for their want of love to that truth which they had re­ceived.

Secondly, as a triall of thoſe that are ſound: There muſt1 Cor 11. be hereſies amongst you, (ſaith the Apoſtle) that the approved may be made manifeſt. It is the winde that diſcovers and ſevers the chaffe from the wheat. uuOb hoc haereſeωn non ſtatim divinitùs era­dicantur authores, ut unuſquiſque quàm tenax, & fidelis, & fixus catholicae fidei ſit a­mator, appareat. Et revera, cum quaeque no­vitas ebullit, ſtatim cernitur frumentorum gra­vitas, & levitas palearum; tunc ſine magno molimine excutitur ab area, quod nullo pon­dere intra aream tenebatur, &c. Vincent. Lyrinenſ. cap. 25.They that are carried about with diverſe and ſtrange doctrines never had any ſolidity: if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. The houſe founded on the rock doth not fall, though the winds blow, the waters riſe, and waves beat upon the houſe, yet is the riſing of the winds, and beating of the waves upon the houſe, a ſore tempta­tion: it had certainly fallen, had it not been founded on a rock. It was a ſeaſonable queſtion which our Saviour mo­ved to his diſciples upon the defection of the Capernaites, Joh. 6. Will yee alſo go away? It was a brave reſolution that Peter put on, Though all men forſake thee, yet will not I; though I die with thee, yet will I not deny thee: but hee could not34 performe it; when his Maſter was taken, hee followes a farre off, a praeludium to his denyall: Qui timidè confitetur, negat; when hee was in the high Prieſts hall, hee not onely denied, but forſwore him, the knowledge of him, with execrations. The riſing of hereſie is a great triall, Deut. 13. 1, 2, 3, 4. The Lord your God trieth you, ſaith Mo­ſes: the prevailing of hereſie is a greater; an hard mat­ter it is to reſiſt the ſollicitations of the father of our fleſh, the ſonne of our loines, the wife of our boſomes, the friend whom we love as our lives: an hard matter it is to ſwim againſt the ſtream: hee is a ſouldier that ſtands to his arms, when ſome throw them down and run away, ſome throw them down and call for quarter, ready to take pay under the enemy. When men of name for parts, knowledge, piety, ſufferings, ſhall deſert the truth, he ſtands faſt that doth not ſtagger: If Peter diſ­ſemble, Barnabas is carried away with his diſſimulation. Look to your ſelves, take heed leſt you fall, God ſuffers theſe things for your triall: Hee ſuffers the evill of he­reſies, that by reaſon of them his truth may be more cleered, his people more confirmed, hypocrites diſcover­ed, and ſhed out of the Church, and a purer body left behinde. But thus much of the reaſon: And let what hath been ſpoken ſuffice to be ſaid of the Doctrinall part, That hereſies, or errours in opinion, are of a ſpreading and deſtroying nature: wherein I have ſhewed, 1. That they eat as a Gangrene, ſpeedily, incurably, mortally. 2. What they eat; they eat up faith, peace, piety. 3. How it comes to paſſe they thus eat; from hereticks, their ſubtilty and induſtry; from the people, their ſimplicity and curioſity; from God, his juſtice both to revenge the want of love to the truth, and manifeſt thoſe that are approved. Now a word or two for application.

Uſe 1If hereſies will eat as doth a gangrene, then here is matter of mourning over the ſad and diſeaſed condition of our Churches, that have in them many gangrenes, be­cauſe many hereſies, and all things are bending to a35〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, (as the Chirurgians call it) the heighth of mor­tification: This is matter of lamentation, as Ezekiel ſpeaks, and ſhall be for a lamentation. Jobs caſe, over which his friends for ſeven dayes wept, was not ſo bad as ours: his ſores were boyles, ours gangrenes; his would en­dure ſcraping, ours will not endure touching; his body was affected, our ſouls. How is the faithfull City become an har­lot? How is our wine mixt with water, our ſilver be­come droſſe? Is it nothing to you, O all ye that paſſe by? Was any ſorrow like unto ours? But ſorrow is an helpleſſe paſſion: It's for a childe to ſit ſtill and cry.

If hereſies will eat as doth a gangrene, then here is matter of anger againſt Phyſicians of no value, that would have them, if not tolerated, connived at; if not ſo, yet not proceeded againſt with any vigour: as if (like a ſlight green wound) they would cure of themſelves; or, if not cured, they were not dangerous: men of the tem­per〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Hae­reſ. of the Samſaeans in Epiphanius, who were neither Christians, nor Jewes, nor Gentiles, but deſirous to hold faire correſpondence with all religions, they were of no religion, they were yet to chooſe of what religion they would be. But,

If hereſies will eat as doth a gangrene, I beſeech you all that are yet ſound, take heed of them: a gangrene is eaſier prevented, then cured; and ſo are hereſies. Let me prevail, perſwading to diligence of indeavour to ſtay the further ſpreading of this deſtroying maladie: Think you hear the voice of the Church like the cry of the man in the pit, Amice, vide ut me extrahas: if you love me, endea­vour to heal mee of my ſores, endeavour to help me out of my errours. I ſhall apply this to three ſorts of perſons whom I ſee before mee; the People, the Miniſter, the Ma­giſtrate; and in all be very ſhort, and ſo conclude.

Firſt, To the People: Dearly beloved brethren, for you the net is ſpread, it is for your precious ſouls that de­ceivers hunt, it is for your ſakes that I have pitched upon theſe meditations; I beſeech you, take notice of what a36 ſpreading, what a deſtroying nature hereſies are, and keep your ſoules with all diligence, leſt by any man, by any means you be deceived. You are fallen into dangerous times, into times of great temptation; er­rours, like a floud, come up over all their channels, goe over all their banks, overflow, goe over, and reach even unto the neck, and cover the land, as the waters the ſea: And let me tell you, (what-ever ſome men ſay) they are dangerous errours, many of them razing the foundation, and drowning men in deſtruction and perdition; the leaſt of them ſuch as (if not deadly in themſelves, and in their own nature) may prove deadly in their conſequences and ſad effects, as preparing the heart to entertaine thoſe that are in their owne nature deadly. I beſeech you therefore, as you love the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, as you tender the everlaſting ſalvation of your ſoules, watch, be carefull that no man deceive you: And that you may not be deceived, I commend (paſſing by many others) theſe three rules:

Firſt, Adhere unto your own miniſtry, and wait upon them whom God in his providence hath ſet over your ſoules. The end why God hath given to his Church Paſtors and Teachers, is ſet down by the Apoſtle to be, that we may be no longer children in knowledge, toſſed to andEpheſ. 4. 14. fro with every wind of doctrine. God will bleſſe and be ef­fectuall by his owne ordinance: by it he will lead in wiſ­dome, and in underſtanding. May wee not goe abroad to hear? This is beſides my purpoſe: But why ſhould you goe abroad to buy, when you have food at home? God hath been gracious to this City; I may ſpeak it without arrogance, it was hardly ever better provided for; the loſſe of the country hath been your gain: Why ſhould you withdraw your ſelves? The mothers milk is moſt na­turall for the infant; the ſheep that wanders from the flock is in moſt danger of the wolfe; change of diet is not wholeſome for the body; is it for the ſoule? An­other man may have better gifts then thy Paſtour;37 can he have more love to, and care of thy ſoul then hee that muſt give an account for it? Children that often change their Maſters, ſeldome prove good ſcholars; nor they ſolid and underſtanding Chriſtians, that change their Miniſters. But I will not inſiſt on this: I am not againſt hearing abroad occaſionally; but, for the preventing of miſleading, deſire to perſwade the uſe of the publick Mini­ſtery, and of your own Miniſters, whom God hath given you to be your guides. And let mee tell you of one great miſcarriage, and not the leaſt cauſe of ſo much defection; it is this, The people are ſo ſtrange from their Miniſters, from private conference, communicating their feares, their doubts, their temptations, asking advice and counſell of them, at whoſe mouthes they ſhould enquire the law: they bury all in their own boſomes to their great diſturbance, or ask of others, who ſeduce them by miſ-information. To paſſe from this, if any of you be miſlead, yee have the means to prevent it, your bloud will be upon your own heads. If a virgin betrothed to an husband was raviſhedDeut. 22. 23. in the city, not only hee that raviſhed her, but ſhe her ſelf ſhould die; ſhe cried not out that ſhe might have been hol­pen: if ſhe was raviſhed in the field, ſhee was not to die, becauſe no help was neer; but he that raviſhed her was to die. Beloved, you are eſpouſed to Jeſus Chriſt as a2 Cor. 11. chaſte virgin,xx〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Cyril. de ador. in ſpir. & verit. l. 8. ſeducers are your adulterers, they corrupt you from the ſimplicity that is in Chriſt; if this be done in the city, i. e. in the Church of God, in the City of Chriſt, where Miniſters reſide that may ſuccour you when aſſaulted, your bloud will be upon your own heads, you cried not out for help, you betrayed your chaſtity to the luſt of your raviſher. People that ſit in darkneſſe, where are no Mi­ſters, if they fall, may be excuſed à tanto; they had none38 to help them: but your bloud will be upon your heads.

Secondly, Try all things: This is the counſell of Saint John, Beleeve not every ſpirit, but try the ſpirits whether they1 Joh. 4. 1. be of God or no, for many falſe prophets are come into the world. Try all things, (ſaith S. Paul) and hold faſt that which is good. 1 Theſſ. 5. 17.Farre be it from Chriſtians, that they ſhould be the ſcho­lars of Apelles or Papiſts,yy〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Euſeb lib. 5. 12. not at all to ſearch the Scri­pture; like infants, to gape and ſwallow what-ever the nurſe puts into their mouthes. Conſider that notable ſpeech of Athanaſius to this pur­poſe,zz〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Tom. 2. p. 325. Shall I beleeve unreaſo­nably? Shall I not ſearch what is poſſible, or profitable, or comely, or pleaſing to God, a­greeable to nature, conſonant to truth, & c? This hath been the ſole and adequate originall of all errour to thoſe that have been deceived. Many want will to doe it, they will not take ſo much pains, and what needs ſo much adoe? they (we hear) are honeſt, godly, &c. But would you not tell mony after them, and weigh gold? and will you take doctrine upon truſt without triall? May not every man deceive, and be deceived? Is there not danger in being de­ceived? Should your faith be built upon man? Many pre­tend they want skill, they cannot do it: The moſt filly creature hath ſo much from the inſtinct of nature, as to be able to know wholeſome food, if it be well; and ſome of them their phyſick, if they be ſick: and art thou a man, a Chriſtian, a profeſſour, a forward one, unable to diſcern between light and darkneſſe? To what purpoſe ſerves the annointing which we have of God, but to inform1 John 2. and teach us concerning thoſe that ſeduce us? aa〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; Ignat. ad Epheſ.Why are wee not wiſe, ſeeing wee have underſtanding? Why re­maine wee ignorant, that are taught of God? Why neglect we the gift beſtowed on us,39 and periſh like fooles? bb〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Clem. Alex. Strom. lib. 7.Wari­neſſe is not required in any thing more then in matters of religion: Some errors are ſo like truth, that they can hardly be diſcerned: All deſire to walk under the veile of truth; have your eyes in your heads, that you be not deceived. It is beſides my purpoſe to lay down cautions in triall, rules of triall; I onely aſſure you, asccIn compendio eſt apud religioſas mentes & ſimplices & errorem deponere, & invenire, atque eruere veritatem; nam ſi ad divinae traditio­nis caput atque originem reertamur, ceſſat error humanus, Cypr. ad Pompei. contr. lit. Ste­phan. Epiſt. 74. Cyprian did another, It is not an hard matter for godly and ſincere people to eſcape out of the ſnares of errour, and to find out, and to diſcover truth. If they bring all things to the touch-ſtone of the Scripture by an impartiall and unpreju­diced triall, errour will be diſperſed, as miſts are diſſipa­ted by the beams of the Sun.

Thirdly, Avoid thoſe that are erroneous, their congre­gationall meetings, and, as much as may be, their perſonall converſe. In times of infection men doe not onely make uſe of antidotes, but with all care ſhun places and perſons that are infected, that they may prevent the danger of in­fection: the like caution is in this caſe commended; IRom. 16. 17. beſeech you, brethren (ſaith S. Paul) mark thoſe which cauſe diviſions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which you have received, and avoid them. And S. John, If there come any un­to2 John 10. you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your houſe, nor bid him God ſpeed. If with one called a brother, being a fornicator, a railer, we muſt not eat; how ought wee to ſhun ſuch as adulterate the word of God, and blaſpheme the truth? Howdd〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Ignat. ad Smyrn. come­ly is it not only to abſtain from ſuch things, both the private and publick diſcourſe of them, but to ſhun the authours of infamous hereſies and ſects, as the originall of all miſchiefe? St. JohneeNiceph. l. 4. would not endure the company of Cerinthus40 in the bath: Policarp abhorred conference with Marci­an, as the firſt-born of the divell:ggAthan. in vit. Antonius deteſted all communion with ſuch as had corrupted the faith, and divided the Church: the Chriſtians in the dayes of Baſilhh〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Baſ. Epiſt. 69., when Arianiſme had ſo prevailed, ſhunned their meeting houſes, as the Schooles of errour; and is there not reaſon for it? Conſider thoſe laid down by the A­poſtles: Firſt, Such (whatſoever their pretences be) ſerve not the Lord Jeſus Christ, but their own bellies; they ſin not of ignorance, or being deceived, but knowingly: to adhere to them, is to deſert Chriſt. They ſin to ſerve their bellies, asii〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Theophylact upon the place. Every hereſie hath its originall to be ſubſervient to ſome luſt; and ſhould not a brother of Chriſt bluſh to make ſuch a ſervant to his own belly his maſter? Secondly, with fair ſpeeches they deceive the hearts of the ſimple: there is much danger of infection; Can a man touch pitch, and not be defiled? Can he carry coals of fire in his boſome, and not be burnt? May not Satan ſeiſe upon thee, finding thee amongſt his own, as upon the woman in thekkTert. de ſpect. cap. 26. The­atre? Thirdly, Hee that bids him God ſpeed, is partaker of all his evill works: thy ſitting and eating in an idols temple may be a ſnare and ſcandall to thy weak brother, may be an incouragement unto ſectaries, &c. Thou maiſt bring upon thy head the guilt of blaſphemies, the bloud of ſoules. Shall I adde one reaſon more? Thou maiſt poſſibly periſh with them. I have often thought of the ſpeech ofll〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Ad Philadelph. Ignatius, They that adhere to ſuch as adhere not to truth, ſhall not inherit the king­dome of God: they that depart not from falſe teachers, ſhall be condemned unto hell. Hee that would not be drawn away with the wicked, and the wor­kers of iniquity unto perdition, as David prayes, muſtPſal. 28. 3.41 learn to hate the congregation of evill doers, as DavidPſal. 26. 4. pleads. There's reaſon enough to diſſwade from their meetings:mmDubitas illo momento quo in Diaboli ec­cleſia fueris, omnes Angelos proſpicere de coelo, & ſingulos denotare, quis blaſphemiam dixe­rit, & quis audierit? quis linguam, quis au­res Diabolo adverſùs Deum adminiſtraverit? Tertull. ib. cap. 27. Do not the Angels, think you, look from heaven? Do they not obſerve who ſpeak blaſ­phemy, and who hear it? who lend the Divell their tongues againſt God, and who their ears? May I not conclude this with the Prophet, Though thou Iſ­raelHoſ. 4. 15. play the harlot, let not Judah offend, and come not yee unto Gilgal, neither go up to Beth-aven? nn〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Ignat. ad Trallenſ.A­void Atheiſticall hereſies, they are the inventions of the Divell; ſuch fruit, whoſoever taſteth of, ſhall die, not a temporall, but an eternal death. I preſſe this upon you, not for your ſelves onely, but your families, your wives, children, and ſervants, for whom you are reſponſible. It was Joſhua's reſolution, I and my houſe will ſerve the Lord: the elect Ladies comfort, that her children were walking in the truth: You would reſtrain them from taverns, brothel-houſes, ſtage-playes; re­ſtrain them from theſe meetings, of which I may ſay, asoo〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. O­rat. 2. contr. Jud. tom. 6. Chryſostome of the Synagogues of the Jewes, they are ſome of them worſe, the dens of theeves, the Divels meeting-houſes: therefore betray not their ſalvation. Thus you have directions for the people to prevent the ſpreading of this gangrene: But O, how are they neglected! The publick miniſtery is forſaken, opinions imbraced for truth, not onely before they be tried, but before they be declared what they be: the in­conſiderate people flock to the meeting-houſes of Secta­ries, as ſwarmes of flies (if it may not be offenſive to uſe the ſimilitude of Plutarch) in an hot ſummers day, to a gall'd back, thence to ſuck out filth and corruption. And is it a wonder that errours prevaile? But of this hitherto.


Secondly, To you, my brethren in the Miniſtery, I de­ſire to ſpeak ſomething, and to my ſelf: God expects at our hands, as officers in the Church, that wee endeavour with all our gifts, all our power (which he hath given us for edification, and not for deſtruction) not only to prevent the ſpreading, but (if it be poſſible) the being of hereſies: And to this purpoſe it is required,

Firſt, That hereſies be diſcovered, that hereticks by ſound doctrine be convinced: As a word, an erroneous word ma­keth the wound, [Their word doth eat as doth a canker;] ſo a word, a ſound word doth make the cure, [〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.] The way to ſtop the further proceedings of ſeducers, is to make their folly manifeſt to all men: And2 Tim. 3. 9. to this purpoſe God requires of Miniſters, not onely to teach the ignorant, but to convince gainſayers. Other men of abilities may do it ex charitate, you muſt do it ex officio: God hath made you watchmen, not onely to warn, when grievous wolves from without make havock of the flock; but then to take heed, when ſubtil foxes from within teach〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, crooked and perverſe things, to draw diſciples after them. God hath left unto all men the judge­ment of diſcretion, to you is committed the judgement of direction; every man is bound to ſee for himſelf, you are commanded to ſee for others: The commiſſion of the Mi­niſter is, They ſhall teach my people the difference between theEze. 44. 23, 24. holy and profane, and cauſe men to diſcern between the unclean and the clean. And in controverſie they ſhall ſtand in judge­ment, and they ſhall judge it according to my judgements; and they ſhall keep my lawes, and my ſtatutes in all mine aſſemblies, and they ſhall hallow my Sabbaths. And it is the direction of the Apoſtle, that the ſpirits of the Prophets be ſubject to1 Cor. 14. 32. the Prophets. The declaration of what is hereticall, what orthodox; what is lawfull, what ſcandalous, belongs to you: you will be found as guilty of violating the law, and profaning the holy things of God, if you put not thisEze. 22. 25, 26. difference, as others if they confound them. This is the Scripture way: The Angel of the Church of Epheſus is43 commended, Thou haſt tried them which ſay they are Apoſtles,Rev. 2. 2. and are not, and haſt found them liars. Paul and Barnabas hadActs 15. 2. great diſſention and diſputation with them that corrupted the doctrine of the Goſpel in Antioch. This hath been the way of the Churches of Chriſt in all ages: the Miniſters have been imployed ſeverally, and in Councels, in the diſ­covery and confutation of all errours that have ariſen. This truth is ſo notorious to all that have had the leaſt acquaintance with Antiquity, that it would be loſt labour, and time miſ-ſpent to prove it: the writings of the Fa­thers, the hiſtories of the Councels bear ample teſtimony to it, being for the moſt part taken up with this occaſion. Let him that hath a deſire, read Ambroſe in his 32. Epiſtle to the younger Valentinian, and in his 33. Epiſtle ad ſoro­rem. This is our duty in the behalf of our people, aspp〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Orat. 40. Na­zianzene ſaid ſometimes to his, Leave the battell to me; Let me build the ſhip, do thou ſail in it; Let the fight be mine, thine the victory; Let me grapple with the adverſary, be thou in peace. O that in theſe times of defection we all of us had hearts to diſ­charge in this particular our duties; which we have never diſcharged, till ſuch time as we have diſcovered and con­vinced errours, and that boldly, plainly, fully, and with authority: and in**Baldu. de ca­ſi. lib. 4. caſ. 2. cap. 7. ſome caſes erroneous perſons, that the people may know of whom to beware, as our Apoſtle, Of whom is Hymeneus and Philetus. I know this duty of a Miniſter is not more neglected then decried: What needs ſo much fire? Can you not preach Chriſt, faith, and repen­tance, and let theſe points in controverſie alone? Do not they preach Chriſt that diſcover errours? Did not the Apoſtle to the Galatians preach Chriſt? Is it not time to ſpeak, when, under a pretence of preaching Chriſt, Chriſt is almoſt preached out of the Church? This much com­mended Moderation, in which many forbear this duty, is no other then the old ſhift of Auxentius, Urſacius, Valens, and other debauched Arians in the Councell of Arimi­num,44 revived of late by Papiſts in Germany, Arminians in Holland, Prelates in England, who found the ſilencing of diſputes the moſt efficacious and plauſible way to advance their deſignes. I deſire wee may ſtrengthen our ſelves a­gainſt all temptations in this kind, with ſuch like conſide­rations asqq〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. tom. 2. Conc. ap. Bin. Conc. Epheſ. part. 3. Cyril ſometimes did: O man, there will be no excuſe for thy ſilence, for thy moderation; thou ſtand­eſt guilty by reaſon of it before God and man, &c. But verbum ſapienti. I paſſe from this to a ſecond duty.

Secondly, That hereticks be cenſured, and by the ſword of diſcipline cut off, that they have their mouthes ſtopped. In the former was exerciſed the power of order; in this, the power of juriſdiction. By whoſe hands this ſword ſhould be wielded, I ſtand not to diſpute; but ſure I am, wielded it ought to be, and in this caſe drawn forth by ſome hands. Timothy was left at Epheſus, to charge ſome men to teach no1 Tim. 1. 3. other doctrine: and Titus receives it in commiſſion, to rejectTit. 3. 8. an heretick after the firſt and ſecond admonition: Chriſt blames the Angels of the Churches in Pergamus and Thya­tira,Rev. 2. 14, 20. that they ſuffered ſuch as held the doctrine of Balaam, and the woman Jezebel to teach, and ſeduce his ſervants. This was the medicine which Paul applies to Hymeneus and Alexander; he delivered them over to Satan, that they might learn not to blaſpheme: Satan teaches to blaſpheme; but the delivering over unto Satan, teacheth not to blaſpheme. The ſharpeſt cenſures in the Church are of a curing na­ture; the wounds, not of an enemy, but of a Phyſician: the caſting out of an heretick is either healing to the per­ſon caſt out, or preventing infection to the people. It hath been the ultimum remedium in the pureſt ages of the Church: inſtances I might give; I content my ſelf with one, and that in an ill time of the Church for the orthodox. The Fathers aſſembled atrr〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Apud Athan. Epiſt. de Syn. Arim. Ariminum unanimouſly depoſed Urſacius, Valens, and ſome others (though upheld by the power and favour of the Emperor Con­ſtantius) that the Chriſtian faith might remain in peace,45 and intire: and this advice givesſſ〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Orat. 27. Nazienzene, Let them be caſt out as the peſts of the Church, and the poiſoners of truth.

But this may ſeem to ſome an hard ſentence, to others an unprofitable courſe. Say ſome, Will you have good, holy, learned, painfull, uſeful men caſt out of the Church? Say others, What will it avail? they ſeparate from you, they have already renounced their miniſtery, deſerted their ſtations, imbodied themſelves in another way, they will not care for your cenſures.

The Apoſtle anſwers both theſe objections Tit. 3. 9. To the firſt, ſaith he, Reject him that is an heretick, knowing that ſuch a one is ſubverted,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, hath the faireſt ſide outward: (the word is a metaphor drawn from foule lin­nen, as Favorinus, the foul ſide turned inward) as if hee ſhould have ſaid, Such a man, whatever ſhews he makes, is a naughty man: He that conſents not to wholeſome words, the1 Tim. 6. 3. words of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt, and to the doctrine which is according to godlineſſe, he is proud, knowing nothing, ſaith the Apoſtle. If you look to the outſide, you ſee the cloathing of a ſheep; if you could look to the inſide, you ſhould ſee the ravening of a wolfe: the outſide of the ſepulchre is painted, the inſide is filth and rottenneſſe: poſſibly we may have high thoughts of truth-corrupters, but God hath not, the primitive Church had not: They none of them are better thentt〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Ad Philad. pyramides, or ſepulchres of the dead, that have written upon them the names of dead men: Their opinions, their incorrigibleneſs in their opinions, is a plain manifeſtation of the rottenneſs of their hearts; which if you could diſcern, you would never think it ſtrange that the Apoſtle commands ſuch men to be reje­cted. The skilfull Chirurgian fals to cutting and ſearing, ſo ſoon as the gangrene begins to appear; a little delay may endanger the life, the whole will not be preſerved but by the loſſe of a part: hereſies are a gangrene (a lepro­ſie in the head) they may endanger the body, the Church; there is no other eccleſiaſticall way to prevent it, if once46 come to this height, but rejecting; and this poſſibly may not only preſerve the body, but recover the member. And thus much for the firſt branch.

To the ſecond, They have caſt out themſelves, &c. Re­ject him, ſaith the Apoſtle, he is condemned of himſelfe; it is ſelf-guiltineſſe that perſwades ſeparation: If ſuch men have paſſed a ſentence againſt themſelves really, that they are unworthy of the communion of faints, the fellowſhip of the Church, the kingdome of heaven; confirm their ſentence, caſt them out judicially, let them bear that neceſ­ſarily, which they have choſen voluntarily to undergoe. Though that be true whichuuQuos omnes manifeſtum eſt à ſemetipſis dam­natos eſſe, & an­te diem judicii inexcuſabilem ſententiam in ſe­metipſos dixiſſe, &c. Epiſ