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THE DOCTRINE OF SCHISM Fully Opened and Applied TO Gathered Churches.

OCCASIONED By a Book entituled, Sacrilegious Diſ­ſertion of the Holy Miniſtery rebuk­ed: and Tolerated Preaching of the Goſpel Vindicated.

By the Author of Toleration not to be Abuſed by the Presbyterians.

When once Parties are engaged by their Opini­ons in Anti-Churches and fierce diſputing: The Fleſh and Satan will be working in them againſt all that is Holy, Sweet, and Safe,Baxters Def. p. 57.

London, Printed by S. G. and B. G. for James Collins, and ſold by Abiſha Brocas in Exon. 1672.


GOOD READER, thou art made the Judge betwixt us: examine our arguments, and obſerve the manner, how we handle them, and one another impartially; and then, if thou haſt no favour, yet judge righteouſly, and I ſub­mit.

Or, if thou haſt any favour, I en­treat thee to beſtow it in reading thoſe few firſt Chapters, that are ſpent in Altercation. There thou wilt come to Argument, and be there as ſevere as thou wilt.

I confeſſe, I have taken the liber­ty ſometimes to uſe a little pleaſant­neſſe, rather than be Angry with a Severe Adveſary; that perhaps may incur thyenſure: Yet conſier my provocations thereunto, and thou wilt either pardon me, or condemn me with pity.

To trouble the READER with Perſonal Altercations, or to uſe a­ny thing like Drollery, in a ſerious Argument, I like not very well, my Self: And though I know not why my own heart ſhould condemn me for either; yet, I fear him, that is grea­ter than my heart, and knows all things; and judge it ſafeſt to ſay, that, as I never wrote in this man­ner before, ſo, I hope, I ſhall not be provoked to do ſo again.

May my Adverſe Brother have the ſame mind: Yea, I hope he is ſo good a man, that by his own better prin­ciples (if not by my Arguments) as alſo by experience (the groſſeneſs of his Brethrens Seperations, being far beyond what he ſeemed to ſuſpect) he hath already ſuffered himſelf to be ſatisfied, of the evil and danger of our gathered Churches, both by Rea­ſon and Sence.

The GOD of Peace and Truth be with thee, and with his poor Church,


Some ſingle Sermons, and other Diſcourſes touching the preſent Differences in the Church; printed for James Collins.

1. CAtholick Charity recommended in a Sermon to the Right Honour­able the Lord Mayor of London in or­der to the abating the animoſities a­mong Chriſtians, that have been occa­ſioned by differences in Religion by Joſ. Glanvil, Rector of Bathe, price 6. d.

2. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: or a ſea­ſonable Recommendation and defence of Reaſon in the Affairs of Religion; againſt Infidelity, Scepticiſm, and Pha­naticiſmes of all ſorts, by Joſ. Glanvil. price 6 d.

3. The Chriſtians Victory over Death, a Sermon preached at the Funeral of the moſt Honourable George Duke of Albemarle, by Seth Lord Biſhop of Sa­rum, price 6 d.

4. A Mirour of Chriſtianity, and a Miracle of Charity; or an Exact Nar­ration of the Life and Death of the La­dy Alice Dutcheſs Dudley, by R. Bore­man D. D. price 6 d.

5. The General Aſſembly, or the ne­ceſſity of the receiving the Communion in our publick Congregations: evinced from the nature of the Church, the Word of God, and Presbyterian Prin­ciples, in a Sermon by Francis Fulwood D. D. prce 6 d.

6. Miſerere Cleri, A Sermon repre­ſenting the miſeries of the Clergy, and aſſigning their true cauſes in order to a redreſs, by Edw. Wetenhal, BD. price 6d.

7. Ʋrim and Thumin; or the Cler­gies Dignity and Duty, recommended in a Viſitation Sermon, by Mal. Connant B. D. price 6 d.

A Diſcourſe of Toleration, in anſwer to a late Book entituled A Diſcourſe of the Religion of England, price 6 d.

Indulgence not juſtifyed, being a con­tinuation of the Diſcourſe of Toleration; in Anſwer to the Arguments of a late Book, entituled a Peace-offering, or plea for Indulgence, and to another called the Second Diſcourſe of the Religion England, price 6 d.

Toleration not to be abuſed, or a ſeri­ous Queſtion ſoberly debated and Reſolv­ed upon Presbyterian Principles, viz. Whether it be adviſeable, eſpecially for the Presbyterians, either in Conſcience or Prudence, to take advantage from his Majeſties late Declaration, to De­ny or Rebate their Communion with our Parochial Congregations, and to gather themſelves into dictinct and ſe­parate Churches? price 6 d.

The Judgement of the learned and pi­ous St. Auguſtine; concerning poenal Laws againſt Conventicles, and for uni­ty in Religion, delivered in his 48. Ep. to Vincentius, price 4 d.




The Introduction. The Anſwers Title and the Impertinency of it.

THe Confident Queſtionist, as his Anſwerer calls him, in this will yet be confident, that, not many will not take the task and burthen upon them to read the An­ſwer; and that, but few of them that read it, will be able to underſtand it: and that few or none of that ſmall number, that ſhall think they underſtand it, will be able to ſee the Conſe­quence of it: or, laſtly, if any ſhall chance to2 be ſo lucky; they muſt be exceeding kind, as well as wiſe, if they can endure, without very much patience and ſome indignation, its Ʋn­dertaking, Method and Manner of Reaſoning: in all which, it pitties me to obſerve the Au­thor ſo like himſelf; and ſo deſerving the Ti­tle, of the Epiſcopal Patron of Presbitery, and the Independent Catholick Prelate of Non­Conformity.

The modeſt dreſs of the Body of the Book may anſwer for it Selfe; but 'tis confeſt, the Mouth of it ſpeaks great Swelling Words: The Title is; Sacrilegious deſertion of the holy Mi­niſtry Rebuked, and Tolerated Preaching of the Goſpel Vindicated. What Conjuring is here? I am afraid the Spirits are diſturb'd! Sacri­legious deſertion of the holy Ministry Rebuked! The Holy Miniſtry Sacrilegiouſly deſerted? What impiety is this? a heinous Crime in­deed, and worthy a very ſevere Rebuke. But where are the Criminals? who are they that have wrought this Abominable thing? Sure the Anſwerer himſelf, is in no wiſe guilty: no, he preſently aſſures you, that he is firm­ly reſolved to the contrary; and in this point, I believe, he will as eaſily anſwer for the Queſtionist. Who then doth he mean to Re­buke? not the Conformiſts; they have no liberty to be Silent though others have to Preach. Beſides, if they ſhould, eſpecially the3 Ʋſurpers among them; I preſume, if way might thus be made for the right Owners, our Author would not be much troubled. With­out Controverſy, then, he means his Bre­thren the Non-Conformiſts: and have you, indeed, deſerted your holy Miniſtry? you are too too blame, and muſt be Rebuked: Or have you not already done it? yet, 'tis to be feared, you may chance to do it: Or, though at preſent you are every where found, rather too buſy in the exerciſes of your gifts; and are not unlikely ſo to continue, yet this Queſtio­nist hath ſaid ſomething, that in the Conſe­quence of it, ſeems to perſwade you to deſert your Office; or, at leaſt hereafter you may poſſibly be urged thereunto, by ſome ſilly reaſonings, either of this Queſtioniſt, or ſome other ſuch Pamphleteer. Now this Deſertion of the holy Miniſtry, is a thing of that dange­rous Conſequence, eſpecially in You, and at ſuch a time as this; that, though it be but in potentia remotiſſima, and onely not impoſſible to come to paſs, it muſt be timely obſerved, by a wiſe Watchman; and as if it were alrea­dy in Act, it muſt be Rebuked.

For this Deſertion of the holy Miniſtry is Sacrilegions: there is ſuch a thing, in our Au­thors Judgment, however ſome of his Bre­thren think as Sacriledge, under the Goſpel a Stealing ones Self, who is Conſestated to4 God in the Holy Miniſtry, from the exerciſe of it, is a plain robbing God himſelf of his Ser­vice and conſequently, Sacriledge: and I fear, this hint, eſpecially if practiſed upon, may bring to our minds and obſervations too, ano­ther kind of Sacriledge, that our Author was not well aware of: For are there not ſome People Separated, Dedicated, and in a ſence, Conſecrated to God; and as juſtly Sitled Gods-People, as the Preachers, Gods-Miniſters? And if theſe ſhould be ſtolen away from God, in his Churches and Miniſters, to whoſe care he hath committed them, is not God himſelf then robbed of them? and ought not this kind of Sacriledg alſo to be feared and Rebuked? A worthy Prebyterian once thought ſo and honeſtly gave the World warning of ſome ſmall effects of it in theſe words: This (ſaid he) brings Strife and Envyings among Miniſters, when others ſtealCawdry's Independency farther pro­ved, &c. p. 84. away their Members; and bring Slightings and Contempt upon their Perſons and Miniſtry; and at laſt, a lamentable Separation, as we ſee at this day.

But the Anſwerer muſt crave your pardon; for indeed the exceſſive Fidelity of his Bre­thren to their Preaching-Office, leaves no room or occaſion for his Rebuking-Office. Be­ſides, Sacriledge has a tender Edge, and may5 chance to cut ones fingers, if not warily hand­led. Therefore, though perhaps he had thoughts when he wrote his Title-page, to have ſpoken ſomething upon this Subject; yet, his Mind it ſeems, is not priviledg'd from change; for, at preſent he hath wav'd that Argument, and Sacrilegious deſertion of the holy Miniſtry, ſhall eſcape his Severity till another opportunity.

Doubt it not, for if you turn over but one leafe, you are ſecur'd: he, there as the uſe is, preſents you again with the Title of his Book; but there you find nothing of Sacrile­gious deſertion of the holy Miniſtry Rebuked: no, this first Menace is now wiſely omitted, either by the Author or the Printer: Wiſely, I ſay, for Deſertion of the holy Miniſtry, is ſcarcely any more heard of, much leſs Rebu­ked, throughout his whole Book. However, let not his Miniſtry be deſerted: the Sermon may be good, though both it and the Prea­cher forget the Text.



Of the Anſwerers diſcription of Himſelf: his Abuſive Terms touching Non-Conformity, and his miſtake of Armagh's Reduction: thoſe that offer'd it, 1660. were no leſs Preſ­byterians: his change of the Queſtion.

HE worthily obſerves, the Queſtionists vanity in honouring himſelf with the Name, of a Lover of Peace and Truth: and in­deed 'twas ſaucily done: the Anſwerer may promote the Truth by the liberty of Errours; and ſeek for Peace by pleading for, if not practiſing Diviſions: but who are you, Sir Confident, that you, ſhould ſo much as pretend to the love of either.

But, pray Mr. Anſwerer what is your Name? there are many that ſay they know you by your Reaſon and Paſſion, and by your Words and Works; but pray you let me know your Name. You have told me already; and I find it at large in your Title Page, attended before, with two great Titles to your Book, little to the purpoſe but for Ceremony: and followed after with the train of three pom­pous places of Scripture, to fill up the Page.

One that is Conſecrated to the ſacred Mini­niſtry, and is reſolved not to be a wilful deſerter7 of it, in truſt that any Ʋndertakers can juſtifie him for ſuch Deſertion at the Judgment of God; till he know better how thoſe can come off them­ſelves, who are unfaithful Paſtors, or unjuſt Silencers of others.

And, is this your Name indeed? Certain­ly his Grace at Lambeth hath ſcarce a greater. Here is Conſecration, Reſolution, Condemnati­on, againſt the unfaithful of Paſtors, and the Injuſtice of the King and Parliament for Si­lencing better: But, as the Lion ſometimes, is not ſo fierce as he is Painted; ſo, I hope this is no Scripture Name, that indicates the Nature of the Perſon. But, ſo ſhall the Man be honored, that loves not Himſelf, or Party, above Truth and Peace.

Reader, here is nothing but meekneſs and gentleneſs and humility worthy of the Author, to be underſtood: however, the ex­preſſions ſound a little otherwiſe, 'tis the Que­ſtioniſt only is Confident and unintelligible, though one would think at the firſt hearing, that this long Name is Monſtrum, Horren­dum, and I cannot but add, Ingens, cui lumn Ademptum.

Now what dare not the Man of this great Name, ſay or do? he dare ſay, the Conformiſts are the Schiſmaticks; and that many of them, that now hold the places, that were former­ly Non-conformiſts, are Ʋſurpers; and that it8 is faithfulneſs to the King to diſown ſuch kind of Ʋſurpers, though eſtabliſh'd in their Pla­ces and Power by the Laws of the Land. p. 39.

He dare ſay 'tis Impudence and Ignorance of the preſent State of England to call thoſe Presbyterians that did at the King's Return of­fer Arch-Biſhop Ʋſhers Form of Epiſcopal Go­vernment, as he calls it, for Concord: though Mr. Calamy was one of that Number, whoſe Name is found in Smectimnuus.

He dare call that book a Form of Epiſco­pal Government, contrary to the Expreſs Ti­tle of it, which is a Reduction of Epiſcopacy to the Forme of Synodical Government. Which, as Dr. Bernard well obſerves, was only an expedient for the preſentClavi Trabales. p. 54. Neceſſity, occaſioned by the Tem­peſtuous violence of that time; as an Accomodation, by way of prevention of a Total Shipwrack, threatned by the Adverſa­ries of Epiſcopacy, as appears ſufficiently by the Title of it.

It is, therefore ingeniouſly argued by our Author, thoſe that are called Presbyterians did deſire that Epiſcopacy might be reduced to the forme of Synodical Government, therefore they are no Presbyterians, they are not for Synodical Government.

The plain truth is, that Reduction propo­ſeth9 a way for Ʋnion and Conſolidation of the two Governments; but that, ſuch a Uni­on, as ſhould contain both, without the loſs of either; and leaſt of all, as the neceſſity of that time required, of the Presbyterian: And conſequently, thoſe, that would ſubmit unto that Reduction, might ſtill be Presbyterians both in Name and Thing, however it fared with Epiſcopacy.

For, all men are not bound to ſubſcribe or ſwear unto the definition of a Presbyterian, which our Anſwerer impoſeth upon the World: or to believe, that the Divine Right of the Ruling Elder Ʋnordained is eſſential to the Presbyterial Government; (p. 5.) for the Go­vernment may be Synodical without it. And I need not give him Inſtances, that that kind of Government was endeavoured to be E­rected, in the ſeveral parts of the Kingdome, by the Agreement of ſeveral Eminent Mini­ſters of that way, that yet denied the Juredivi­nity of meer Ruling-Elders; and admitted them only as Prudential: and I doubt not he very well knows it to be ſo.

But, as to that Application made in 1660. which he ſpeaks of; 'tis too well known, that in effect it rather propoſed for the Presby­terial, than for the Epiſcopal Government; and had it taken, the Biſhop, ſhould have had left him little more than the Name; who was10 rather, to have been a Moderator, or Chair­man durante vitâ, than a Biſhop, in a common acceptation: or if a Biſhop, ſuch a one, as might well enough have conſiſted with Syno­dical Government, or the deſign had been loſt. But what need any more be ſaid? the Propoſers would not allow him a Negative voice; and conſequently, the Synod or Presby­tery ſhould have Govern'd, either with or with­out his Conſent: and is not this a fair Apolo­gy, twice offered, by our Anſwerer; that there­fore, becauſe they would have Admitted the Reduction of Epiſcopacy to their own Presbyte­rial Government, they are no Presbyterians.

Again; It is nothing for him to ſay, that the Reaſonings of the Queſtionist, are weak and ſilly over and over: that they are Confident to Admiration: full of Noiſe and Nonſence, Con­fuſed and Ʋnintelligible, and Schiſmatical too. (p. 29.) Theſe are his ſoft and gentle Strokes upon one that deſerves to be called Names, that would foul Paper, as he intimates more than once, as an Argument of his unwilling­neſs to offend his Reader and Himſelf; though he have no foul mouth.

But he dare venture farther and ſay; that Mr. Fulwoods, Mr. Stilemans and Mr. Hinck­leys Books for Conformity are ſuch Toyes of factious Diſputers. He dare ſay; that his own fleſh diſputeth in him more Cunningly, than11 all the Durells, Fulwoods and Stilemans in Eng­land; and yet in one thing, methinks, his ſpirit fails him, and he appears too much unlike the valiant Heroe I ever took him for. He, in one place, ſaith, p. 32. Had he had leave to con­fute the Silly Reaſonings of Mr. Fulwood and other ſuch Pamphleteers, he had long ago done ſtrange things. And in another, p. 39. he would have me procure him leave to give his Reaſons of Non Conformity. Alas, good man! that he ſhould want Leave to do ſuch brave things; that he ſhould want Will or Zeal to do them without leave. He ſaith, p. 31. that I knew that he muſt not give his Reaſons againſt Conformity. But who gave him leave to Preach before the Indulgence? who gave him leave to Print this Anſwer? Or is it poſſible to ſpeak bolder things againſt Conformity if he had leave to do it, than he hath done here? The Conformiſts are Ʋſurpers and Schiſmaticks: thoſe that Silenced the Non-Conformiſts are Ʋnjust, Cruel and Sacrilegious: Conformity is guilty of Perfidiouſ­neſs, Perjury and Perſecution: Conformiſts are Proud, and contend who ſhall be Greatest; and Covenant never in certain points to obey Chriſt againſt the World and the Fleſh as he humbly inſinuates, p. 74.

But in Earneſt, can he that lets flie at this rate, perſwade us, that it is only want of leave, that hath hindered his Anſwering the12 Books aforeſaid? Can he perſwade us, that his Obedience to Man, can warrant his omiſſi­on of ſo great a Charity, as his effectual endea­vor to reſcue Conformiſts from theſe deſparate enormities? or can he think ſo honorably of our Governours, as to fear that his ſtrong Rea­ſons would more offend and provoke them, if given without their Licence, than theſe hard uncharitable, unconſcionable inſinuations, and unjuſt accuſations, againſt themſelves, as well as us.

Away then with this childiſh paſſion of fear, 'tis altogether unbecoming our Goliah, that defies the whole Army of Iſrael. You have Troops of Propoſitions always at Command, and ſo many Yokes of Diſtinctions, that you doubtleſs are able to make good what ever you have ſaid, be it never ſo bad, if you durſt, or had leave. But what need of Leave? or why ſhould you Fear? what quidlibet or quod­libet can ſtand before you? p. 30. You are the Man of Art, that can doe and undoe, prove and diſprove the ſame thing; or elſe, many of your Friends as well as Enemies have done you wrong.

I am one of his Friends, and I dare affirm of him, to his deſerved honour; that he never yet wanted Matter of Argument, againſt the Cauſe, or of Rebuke againſt the Perſon of any Man that ever oppoſed him. He hath13 one very ſtrange and wonderful peice of Ar­tifice; that, be the Controverſie what it will, he can make his Adverſary differ with him, about the Exiſtence of a God and Christ, an Heaven and Hell; that he may take occaſion to tell the World, that ſome Teachers need theſe plain Admonitions. p. 26.

But this ſubtil Anſwerer, hath a more power­ful Stratagem, never to be eſcaped; for he can make his Adverſary ſay any thing, that he, himſelf thinks he can moſt eaſily oppoſe; or if he cannot make him ſay it, he can affirm and prove he ſaith it; and then, thunder out a Volume againſt him for ſaying ſo.

We have a very Notable Inſtance of his Skill this way in our hands. If the Queſtionist dare ſay, that Toleration ought not to be abuſed by Presbyterians, in gathering themſelves into diſtinct Churches in oppoſition to the Parochi­al, he will moſt ſtrenuouſly and pertinently con­fute him, with a Book, called by the hard Name above mentioned, Sacrilegious deſer­tion of the holy Miniſtry Rebuked: and Tolera­ted Preaching of the Goſpel Vindicated.

And if it be too palpable, that that Author ſaid nothing for the Sacrilegious deſertion of the holy Miniſtry fit to be Rebuked, he can, as we before obſerved, quickly deſert that part of his undertaking; but yet proceed to write his Book in the Vindication of Tolerated Preach­ing;14 and perſwade the World, with no mean Confidence, that the ſcope of the Book he pre­tends to Anſwer, is directly againſt ſuch To­lerated Preaching. Yea, in the very beginning of his Book, p. 2. And in another Character, on purpoſe to have the Reader note it; he expreſly affirms; that he finds the Queſtioniſt hath the Face (though he hath not the mouth that ſpoke it, or the hand that wrote it) yet he hath the face to exhort them to deſert their Office. But with how much Ingenuity and Ju­ſtice, God and his own Conſcience muſt needs know already; and he muſt give me leave to let the World know it alſo, in the Chapter fol­lowing.


I did not exhort them to deſert their Office as he Affirmeth. His manner of Cenſuring leſs Errors. About Toleration. The Authors kindneſs to Non-Conformiſts.

SIR, I will take leave to ſay; you may bleſs your ſelf, that you have engaged an Adverſary that is a Friend; and hath nei­ther Wit nor Will to practice upon you, as ſome have done upon leſs Provocation.

That you might have ground to run out15 upon me, as an Enemy to Tolerated Preach­ing; you expreſly affirme, p. 2. that you find I exhort you to deſert your Office: and that it ſeemeth, p. 60. that acknowledging us true Churches, will not ſatisfie us, without What? Actual hearing us. We would ſtroke you into ſilence and the neglect of your Office. p. 25. You ask, p. 58, 59. whether it be Sin in you to Preach; and labour much, in the proof of the Neceſſity of your Preaching. And you inti­mate, that if the Non Conformists ſhould not Preach, they ſhould be Idle, Cruel, Sacrilegi­ous and Perfidious: as are your words, p. 27, 28.

Now, Sir, in my ſillie way of reaſoning, I muſt demand, whether you do indeed find, thoſe words, for which you perſecute me, throughout your Book, in my Book, or not.

If you ſhall ſay, you do find thoſe words, or words to that effect; I am not ſatisfied, un­leſs you tell me where: for I ſolemnly proteſt, I know not. Why did you not name the page, where they were to be found, as in other ca­ſes you generally do? eſpecially, this being the main matter of offence to you; that provo­ked you to ſo much ſeverity throughout your Book againſt me; for you begin your Book to this purpoſe: that if it had been all my endeavour that the Toleration ſhould not be abuſed, you ſhould earnestly have ſeconded me: but when you found - that I had the fae to ex­hort16 you to deſert your Office, &c. that I come to you in Gods Name, to charge you to forbear His work: then, you ſay, your Conſcience bad you help to ſave the weaker ſort that need, from ſuch Pernicious Fallacies

Sir, I do with all earneſtneſs, and yet meek­neſs, let you know; that I expect you ſhould make good your charge: ſhew me theſe words, or words that carry the ſame ſence, in any place of my book, or confeſs you have wrong­ed me, and I am ſatisfied.

But yet, turn the Tables, and ask your ſelf ſeriouſly, what laſhes you would have cenſu­red me worthy, ſhould I have dealt ſo with you. Take an Inſtance of your Spirit and Cha­rity, upon a far leſs occaſion given you, as you conceive, in my Book; when, upon a Miſin­formation at moſt, I only Asked a Queſtion, in a matter of no great moment, viz. Whether the Presbyterians did not heretofore refuſe the Comprehenſion, becauſe they could not have it without a general Toleration? See, how you flie upon me, with all fury, and ſay, p. 62, 63, 64. This hath no bounds, and it grieveth me to read it. O Poſterity! How will you know what to believe? you ſhould not by Question, have vented ſuch a falſhood. And yet, notwith­ſtanding all this vehemence, in the next pa­ges, you ſeem your ſelf to intimate, in my weak opinion, grounds ſufficient for the Ru­mour17 and Suſpition, and conſequently the Queſtion: But I am not obſtinate in my own Defence, leaving my Queſtion and your Cen­ſure upon it, with your Diſcourſe and Con­ceſſion about it, to the mercy of the Reader, who will judge betwixt us, whether we will or not.

However, thanks be to God, (though by your charging me to have written things, that I have not written, contrary to plain Truth and Juſtice, you have given me far greater provocation) yet, I ſay, thanks be to God, you have not tempted me to turn your own words upon you, and to ſay to you, as you do to me, [Repent of ſuch Calumnies, and ſtudy not to aggravate your fault by excu­ſes we lament his want of common ſence or modeſty what dealing is to be expected from ſuch men with what forehead is this Hu­mility or miniſterial Fidelity, to begin your Book with ſo direct an untruth, and to ſtand to it, and repeat it ſo often in the face of the World?

Lord! what have I ever ſaid or done in order to the ſilencing of Non conformiſts, as you frequently ſeem to charge me? yea, what have I not done or ſaid, as I was able and had any opportunity, that their mouths might be opened? the World knows my ſeveral pub­lick endeavors to that purpoſe: I do not ſay18 my ſilly Arguments, (as you meekely call them) but, perhaps, my Mediation (as ſome perſons will more ingeniouſly acknowledge) for the peaceable Non-conformiſts, from the Kings Return to the day of the Indulgence, and ſince too, hath not been altogether in­effectual, and perhaps conſidering all that hath been too much, and my Superiors have been very candid if they have not thought it troubleſome.

I muſt take the boldneſs to add, that were I conſcious to my ſelf, that any thing I ever ſaid or did, hath been ſo great a Remora in the way of accommodation betwixt non­conformity and the Church of England, as the boiſterous reaſonings and deſires of ſome men, I fear I ſhould carry it with ſorrow to my grave: If I err in this cenſure, I beg the pardon both of God and them.



'Tis not fair to charge Conſequences for Do­ctrines; much leſs to ſay, the Conſequence is aſſerted; let the Anſwerer be Judge. Mr. Baxter was not abuſed.

I Obſerved, that you charged me untruly with diſſwading you to deſert your Office, and have cauſe to fear, you will make ex­cuſes your ſelf, although you will not allow it in others: and I cannot but expect you will ſay thus, or to this effect; That though I do not aſſert in plain terms, or in words thawill admit or bear that ſence, yet the conſequence of my Diſcourſe, is to take you off from Preaching, while I would diſſwade you from Gathering-Churches.

For I find, after I have read long in your Book, and even towards the latter end of it, you have patience thus far to explain your ſelf. Becauſe, ſay you, p. 57. I would prove your ſeparation ſinful, I would therefore prove your preaching ſinful. Again, p. 59. if God ſay, preach, and the Law ſay, preach not in Temples; we may conclude, we must preach out of the Temples. And becauſe I ſpeak againſt erecting Separated Congregations to your ſelves, you ſay, p. 70. I mean it is ſin in you to exerciſe your Miniſtery: i. e. you20 mean, this is the conſequence of what I ſay againſt your ſeparation: For, can we preach, as you add, without Auditors? and can theſe Auditors be no Congregation?

Thus you do, (pardon me if) I think, not very accuratly mend the matter, nor very intelligibly explain your meaning. But, I re­member, you told me, p 33. the Presbyte­rians do not love confuſion: And alſo p. 4. that you are no Presbyterian.

But, my Brother, I muſt needs mind you, that whether this conſequence be ſtrong or not, I am ſure the excuſe is weak, and un­warrantable by the Laws of all ſober diſpu­tation.

1. For admit the conſequence to be fair and just, your dealing with me is neither, when you charge me with an aſſertion which only follows, or may be drawn from my propoſition. It is not allowable to ſay the con­ſequent of my opinion is my opinion, and that I hold it: much leſs hath it any colour of candor or juſtice, to ſay, I aſſert it, and main­tain it. How then can you anſwer me, or give me ſatisfaction, for ſaying, first, that that which your ſelf hath argued from my propoſition, is my propoſition; and then write a book againſt me for it.

This is not too like a favorable Diſputant, were the conſequence most obvious and im­mediate;21 whereas in the caſe in hand, 'tis neither ſo, nor ſo; but contrarily, very doubtful, obſcure, and remote, your ſelf being Judge.

The Queſtion here is, Whether I cannot write againſt gathering Churches out of our Churches, and yet not exhort you to deſert your Miniſtery? You hold it in the Negative. Now, to fill up the vaances of your former uneven Argument, to make it good, there is need of the skill of a learned Propoſitioniſt to work thus.

You muſt preach; you may not preach in the Temples, therefore you muſt preach ſome­where elſe: Here's the place provided, but where are the People? Let's try again, if you must preach, you muſt have people to hear you: there are none to be had, but ſuch as belong to our Churches; therefore you muſt gather Churches out of our Churches; therefore I that exhort you not to gather Churches out of our Churches, exhort you to deſert your Office and Miniſtery; and there­fore, by defending your Office, you anſwer my Book of Toleration not to be abuſed, by gathering Churches out of Churches.

Thus ſtrangers greet, and both ends are at length brought together; but their firm friendſhip depends upon the ſtrength of this golden Chain, or Rope of Sand, which may come to be tried anon.


In the mean time let us change the Scene, and then make judgement of this way of ar­guing, your ſelf.

Suppoſe I ſhould write a Book, and in­title it, Sedition Rebuked; and call this a Re­ply to your Anſwer: taking it for granted, that every one would ſee the conſequence as well as my ſelf; and thereupon, at every turn, I ſhould charge you with the Defence of Se­dition, and labor againſt you to prove Se­dition a ſin; meaning all this while, (though never obſerving any ſuch thing, when I pur­poſely and largely, with about threeſcore Pro­poſitions endeavor de induſtria to ſtate the Queſtion) that Sedition lies at the bottom, and in the conſequence and tail of your Diſcourſe thus; in many places you intimate, the Priest is intollerable; and there, whether the People will endeavor regularly to remove him or not, you exhort them to diſown and forſake him, and the place by Law appointed for Publick Worſhip, and to gather them­ſelves into another Church, under another (Non-conforming) Miniſter: This is to ex­hort the People to begin a publick Reforma­tion without their Governors; this is Sedition, or the way to Sedition, to ſay no worſe; and this will therefore juſtifie my manner of wri­ting againſt you, and my frequent charging ſedition, and the defence of ſedition upon you.


Pray be ingenuous, how would you like this way of arguing? Whether the conſe­quence be true or falſe, you will not ſay this is fair dealing; you would ſay you were highly injured, I am ſure you would.

And now I am come ſo near it, I will pre­ſent you with ſuch an inſtance in your Book; that will to the purpoſe convince you at once, both of your Ingenuity in this way of arguing, and of the cenſure you give me, upon a falſe ſuppoſition, that I had abuſed my worthy Friend Dr. Baxter, in affirming, that he had ſaid ſomething that he never ſaid. 'Tis thus:

You tell me, p. 48. that Baxter (as you familiarly call him) taketh himſelf to be abuſed by my Allegations, & provoketh me to cite any of his words which are against Non-conformiſts preaching as they have opportunity; and ſome­what ſharply mind me, that he and Mr. Ball underſtand themſelves better then I do them.

Now, who would not hence conclude, that I had ſaid, that that reverend Perſon had written againſt Non-conformiſts preaching, as they have opportunity. But where have I ſaid ſo, or any thing to that purpoſe? I know your civility and veracity will engage you to ſhew it; therefore you refer your Reader to p 16. of my Book: There, indeed, I find the place which you mean, but not one tittle of24 the words or thing you ſay. My words there are theſe; Particularly the Arguments of Mr. Baxter and Mr. Crofton, for communion with our Parochial Congregations are ſtill the ſame, and ought to be anſwered, before you begin your work of Separation, and think of building new any Synagogues.

But is this to ſay, that Mr. Baxter hath written against Non-conformiſts preaching as they have opportunity? Yet if Mr. Baxter hath writ nothing againſt Non-Conformiſts Preaching,Cure of Church-Diviſions, and De­fence of againſt Bagſhaw. which I never ſaid; Mr. Baxter hath written Argu­ments for Communion with our Parochial Congregations, which I did ſay, and ſtill maintain; and neither Mr. Baxter no your ſelf will deny it, except in Drollery.

And pray tell me, what reaſon hath that learned and peaceable man to hold himſelf abuſed by me, for commending his Argu­ments, to be conſidered by ſuch as he in­tended them for? did he not publiſh them that they might be conſidered? or hath he chang'd his mind, and thinks them now in­conſiderable himſelf? or more unſeaſonable now, then when he wrote them?

I think worthily of that reverend Author, but, Sir, what you can ſay for your ſelf, I know not: You ought, if I might be Judge,25 first ſatisfie the World that I have not abuſed Mr. Baxter; and then, to acknowledge the Abuſe you have put upon your ſelf and Mr. Baxter, upon me and the Reader, and the plain truth.

If the cenſure ſeem rigorous, judge your ſelf, and mittigate it, if you find cauſe; but conſider, that you your ſelf intimate, that Mr. Baxter never wrote any thing againſt their preaching; and yet you know, that he hath written much, and that lately too, for communion with our Parochial Congregations: the thing I affirmed. But this way of Rea­ſoning, and undue accuſation, is ſo familiar a thing in the Book before me, that, I fear, I have abuſed my Readers ſtomach, by ſtay­ing himſelf ſo long upon one or two particulars of ſo groſs a nature.

I confeſs, it is as lawful as 'tis uſual, to con­fute a propoſition from the ill conſequences and inconveniences of it; but this is one thing: and to ſet up the ill conſequence as the Doctrine of the Adverſary, and under that form to diſpute and write a Book agrinſt it, eſpecially without ſhewing the neceſſity, if not the obviouſneſs and immediateneſs of ſuch conſequence, in the ſtating of the Queſtion; all which you very skilfully think not fit to do: this I am bold to ſay, is another thing; and ſuch a thing as ought never to plead In­dulgence26 or Toleration, eſpecially in a grave and grown, and practiſed Diſputant.

However, two things ought always to be remembred, that incommodum non ſolvit Ar­gumentum; and if any good may come out of evil, yet we muſt not do evil that ſuch good may come. 'Tis a good thing for any one to pro­vide for his Family, yet I may not ſteal that I may provide for my Family: nor thus ar­gue, I must provide for my Family, I cannot do it except I ſteal; therefore I must ſteal, or thus I muſt preach; I cannot preach but I muſt gather a Church out of my Neighbors Congregation; therefore I muſt gather a Church, &c. though I before obſerved, there are ſome that call that ſtealing; and that not only from my Neighbor, but God himſelf.

But more of this anon; in the mean time let it only remembred, that if you may not preach in the Temples, as you acknowledg; and if you cannot preach in other places, as you more then intimate, without gathering Churches, &c. and if this be found ſtealing and unlawful, and therefore it follow, that without conforming you cannot lawfully exer­ciſe your gift of preaching, I cannot help it.

However, at preſent, I have a mind to relieve you, by doing you the kindneſs to queſtion the conſequence of your Argument;27 and that I may alſo relieve the Reader, and give him ſpace to breathe a little, this ſhall be the matter of another Chapter.


The conſequence of deſerting their Office from their not gathering, diſproved as not good either according to the Authors Principles, or the Anſwerers, or the nature of thing it ſelf.

J Hope, by this time, you perceive you have not dealt like a very fair Diſpu­tant, in framing a propoſition your ſelf, and then publiſhing it to the World as mine, and as aſſerted and defended by my Book; and ac­cordingly laboring to demoliſh it in the de­ſign and ſcope of your Anſwer, although that propoſition had been the neceſſary, plain, and immediate conſequence of what I had affirmed or denied.

But what ſhall I ſay if it indeed appear otherwiſe, and if that which you impoſe upon me, and ſo zealouſly oppoſe in me; be not, in any ſenſe, the conſequence of what I had ſaid, either immediately or remotely, plainly or ob­ſcurely, or any way neceſſarily. And that though I do aſſert, that it is unlawful for you28 to gather new Churches, it will not follow, ei­ther from my principles, or from the nature and truth of the thing, or from your own prin­ciples, that I muſt needs hold it to be unlaw­ful for you to exerciſe your Miniſtery; or would perſwade you to deſert your Office, let each be examined.

1. To make your charge againſt me any way tolerable, you ſhould make it appear at leaſt, from my principles, which is not poſſible for you to do: for, though I judge it unlawful for you to gather new Churches to preach un­to, I hold it equally unlawful for you to de­ſert your Office: 'Tis my plain opinion, you ought rather then either of theſe, to attend upon the Miniſtery of the Temples; and in order thereunto to conform: and be it known unto you, if you knew it not before, that I am much of Mr. Fulwood's mind, who in three Books, publiſhed by him to that pur­poſe, hath endeavored to convince you, that this is his judgement, and that your duty.

Now, unleſs an endeavor to perſwade you not to deſert your Office, be to exhort you to deſert your Office; yea, unleſs I had declared, that I believe there is no better, or no other way, for you to ſerve your Mini­ſtery, then by gathering Churches, how can you affirm with honour to your wit and inge­nuity, p. 57. that by diſſwading you from29 the latter, I exhort to deſert the former.

2. Neither doth it follow from the nature and truth of the thing; there is no ſuch in­diſſoluble connexion betwixt theſe two Pro­poſitions, that from my aſſerting one of them, you ſhould boldly charge me with the o­ther.

I do ſay, you may not gather Churches; I do not therefore ſay, you may not preach: or, if I did ſay that in ſtatu quo you may not preach; I do not ſay, you may not change your ſtate, as before, and then preach; I do not ſay, the King may not open the door of the Temple to you, that you might preach there; or if I had ſaid all this, yet I had not ſaid, you ſhould deſert your Office; for not to preach is one thing, and to deſert your Office is another.

For no man may ſay, that a Miniſter de­ſerts his Office, who living in a place of Chri­ſtian Government, and hath no title, but ſin­cerely deſires it, though he do actually preach, without publick licence, or the leave of a particular Paſtor; and he that acknowledg­eth any thing of Government, cannot be ſober and believe that his Office obligeth him to go into Houſes for want of a Temple; and there endeavor to draw the people from the publick worſhip, without the leave of their faithful Paſtor; and that too, juſt at the times30 appointed for the publick worſhip, as the cu­ſtome generally is, notwithſtanding your ex­ample and Edicts to the contrary, and this, forſooth, becauſe he muſt preach.

Yea, once more, admit that a lawfully or­dained Miniſter rightfully inducted into his cure, ſhould be ſuſpended, juſtly or unjuſtly, by a lawful Authority; (and I think this may venture to comprehend ſomething of our preſent caſe:) will any rule of good Policy, or regular Reaſon, allow this Miniſter to preach within the bounds of that Authority that ſilenc'd him, before ſuch Authority is ſatisfied, either for the offence, or of the inno­cency of the Perſon, and the unwarrantable­neſs of the ſentence.

Neither can I ſee (pardon my dulneſs) how any Government can be ſecured from the danger of General Confuſion, that ſhall ſuf­fer this Principle [we must preach] to bear it down. I wiſh heartily I may be found miſtaken in this at laſt; however, I am ſure, if perſons thus ſuſpended ſhall (during their ſuſpenſion) forbear to preach, at leaſt till the innocency of their Cauſe, and the unjuſt­neſs of their ſilencing be very clear and un­doubted, generally to perſons unconcerned, they do not by their obedience and unvolun­tary ſilence deſert their Office, though they be yet in the poſſeſſion of their Cures: their31 non-actual preaching in obedience to Autho­rity, deſerves a better name then a ſacrile­gious deſertion of the Holy Miniſtery; much leſs if Miniſters have no Cures of their own, may they be charged with deſerting their Office, becauſe they gather not our people from our Temple-worſhip, that they may have Auditors to preach unto, though without ſo doing they could not preach.

3. Let us now, laſtly, try the ſtrength of this conſequence by your own principle diſ­covered to us by your conceſſions and pur­poſes in your Book; but more eſpecially, in your advice given to the Non-conformiſts.

In p. 92. you ſay, In Pariſhes where all may hear the Pariſh-Miniſter, I would not have you (Non-conformiſts) without neceſſity preach at the ſame hour of the day, but at ſome middle time, that you may not ſeem to vie with him for Auditors, nor to draw the People from him; but let them go with you to hear him, and after come and hear you. I do acknowledge that in o­ther places, though you omit it here, you provide that the Miniſter of the Pariſh be faithful, truly endeavoring the ſalvation of his flock.

I am not here to urge, or inſiſt upon the inconveniencies of ſuch a practice; and if the Non-conformiſt be an humble, diſcreet, and good man, for my part I ſhould not much32 fear them; but my buſineſs is to collect from this Advice of yours, that you your ſelf can hardly believe, that deſerting your Office, doth neceſſarily follow the not gathering of Churches; and that not only in mine, but in the common and uſual underſtanding of the terms.

For thus, as you well obſerve, the Non-conformiſt would but hold a Chappel meeting under, and be ſubſervient in his work to the Pariſh-Miniſter; and ſuch preaching would in no ordinary conſtruction be termed Schiſm, or a gathering a Church out of, or diſtinct, much leſs in oppoſition to the Pariſh-Church, but a furtherance, if well managed, to the common intereſt and concern of it; as the office of a School-maſter in Catechiſing the yonger ſort upon the week-days.

And could we find that this cauſe had been indeed taken upon the foreſaid conditions, as you adviſe, we ſhould not have thought we had not had much reaſon to endeavour to prevent the Abuſe of Toleration by the Preſ­byterians, or to complain as we do.

But 'tis ſad to obſerve their practice quite contrary, generally ſo far as we can learn, and particularly in the populous City where I dwell, that are moſt conveniently ordered into Pariſhes, and the beſt provided of faithful Miniſters, for to ſuch places the Non con­formiſts33 generally reſort, and ſet up their meetings in direct oppoſition to the Paro­chial Churches, at the ſame time with the publick Worſhip; not endeavoring, in the leaſt, any communion with it, or the Pariſh-Miniſter; but to as much diſcouragement of him as poſſibly they can.

And in thoſe other places, where they have ſet up their Meetings, (there are but few that think it convenient to venture in the Country Pariſhes) they take the ſame courſe, without any regard to the diſtinction of faithful and unfaithful Miniſters; and this is the thing we call Schiſm and ſinful ſepara­tion, and unlawful gathering of Churches out of Churches, and cannot ſee how you can believe that the neceſſity of your Office can juſtifie ſuch dividing practices, who ſeem to deteſt them.

Yea, if ſuch as bear the name and licence of Presbyterian-Miniſters, would follow your advice, and only gather temporary Aſſemblies (waiting for a fixed better ſtate, as you ſpeak) in London, and in ſome Country Pa­riſhes, where the Miniſters are intollerable, till they are better provided for, though per­haps we juſtly differ from you about the number of intollerable Miniſters, and muſt in reaſon judge, that your firſt endeavors ſhould try to have ſuch Miniſters remov'd;34 yet, I conceive, we ſhould not have ſo great cauſe of lamentation, as now is too too no­toriouſly given us, by the unreaſonable cau­ſers of our Diviſions.

Sir, give me leave to ſay and believe, up­on the obſervation of the peaceable Princi­ples, I find now and then hinted, even in the midſt of your heat againſt me, in your Book, that did you rightly apprehend how matters are carried by theſe Church-gatherers for the dividing, diſſipating, and as much as in them lies, deſtroying our Parochial Churches, you would return to your firſt thoughts, and no longer oppoſe, but ſecond me.



The Question is firſt ſtated, not unintellgible. Now again clear'd and free'd from his Exceptions.

YOu now perceive that the main of your Book is anſwered, by demonſtrating how little it is to the purpoſe, to ſay no worſe: and thus you ſee, what trouble you put me to, to anſwer Nothing. p. 40.

But Soft, Sir, What if enough be found beſides, and, on the by, to Confute you? per­haps, there is nothing in your Book, at leaſt, your Anſwerer might think ſo, ſufficient to provoke ſo great a Man, to ſet his wit directly againſt you. If it be ſo, I accept his mercy; for then, the Match being the more equal, I do the better conceive a Confidence to defend my ſelf: and, at laſt, to the point.

In the State of my Queſtion, I firſt ſuppo­ſed, that the Presbyterians would not joyn with the Independents: but, therein, my Anſwer­er intimates, p. 28. I was miſtaken; for it is an Article of his Faith (ſo far as faith is con­cerned in the point) that the Presbyterianwill joyn with (their now friends) the Indepen­dents, not as a Sect, &c. Yea, p. 29. that they will joyn with the Sect (as he is pleaſed to ho­nour36 us) of the Dioceſan Prelatists, in the Pariſh Churches alſo. O the Charity of Preſ­byterians! and the length of their Armes, that can embrace perſons at ſo great a di­ſtance! But pray, Sir, what do you mean, by joyning with the Independents? Will you, in­deed, joyn with them in their Congregations? If this be not your meaning, you are again upon the point of little to the purpoſe. But if it be, and yet you will joyn with them as a Sect, your Judgment is as deep, as your affection is broad.

But to proceed, upon that miſtake, my Queſtion was ſhortned to this purpoſe; Whe­ther the Presbyterians, as things now ſtand, ought in Conſcience or Prudence, to Set up for Themſelves, or to Worſhip God with the reſt of their Neighbours, in their ſeveral, proper Parochial-Congregations?

What I meant by their Setting up for them­ſelves, was plained in the very Queſtion, as was Juſt before propoſed: viz. A refuſing our Communion and a gathering themſelves into di­ſtinct and ſeparate Churches.

Now, rather, than I will run in a Maze, or venture my ſelf in an Ocean of Tempeſtu­ous Propoſitions, my Anſwerer ſhall pardon me, if I appeal to the Reader, whether my Queſtion was not intelligible without them.

For what man is ſo ignorant (unleſs his37 Knowledg hath confounded and Shipwrack'd his Reaſon) as not to know, who I mean by Presbyterians? p. 45. Yea, who would not ſuſpect the perſon guilty that, when he is In­dited flies, and plaies leaſt in ſight, or ſo diſ­guiſeth him, as he cannot be known: or when his friends return (as our Author for the Presbyterians) a Non inventus. But he and the world muſt know, that the Presbyterians like non of his excuſes or ſubterfuges. They cannot ſo eaſily deny themſelves; and me­thinks, he ſhould not deny his Brethren: they apply themſelves under that Name to the King for Licences, as our Author acknow­ledgeth; and yet he more then Intimates they are not, at leaſt moſt of them, are not, what they tell the King they are. And then what doth he make them, if they are not Presbyterians? But let him be anſwered, that ſuch as deny themſelves to be Independents, or Anabaptiſts, or Quakers, or Papiſts, and ſcruple and mince their Conformity with us; whether they be Laity or Clergy, will be cal­led Presbyterians whether he will or no: and ſuch, he could not but know, I, eſpecially meant.

2. Who knows not what I mean, by our Parochial Churches or Congregations? and who knows not, too well, what is to be underſtood by Gathering-Churches; by the former practi­ces38 of the Independents; but more eſpecially, by theſe Presbyterians, ſince the Indulgence?

But, to talk of gathering Churches, and yet, of holding Communion with us, is a Juggle, unworthy our Author: who either doth, or ſhould know; that it is proteſtatio contra fa­ctum & queſtionem. I mean, 'tis generally ſo.

I have, as you cannot but ſee, both in the Queſtion as propoſed, and as ſtated, and as pro­ſecuted, ſet gathering of Churches in oppoſition to our Parochial Congregations. And what you ſay to any thing elſe, is not to the point. And the general practice of Church-gatherers, too well ſatisfies the world what they intend; and alſo that the Queſtion was rightly pro­pounded, and clearly ſtated to any unbyaſ­ſed and unprejudiced Reader, what ever you ſay to confound it, and with your wonted E­laborateneſs to render it unintelligible, p. 40. and then complain that it is ſo.

But the Learning of ſome men, is not ill compared to a Pedlars Pack; though, not ſo much, for that there are many things that are difficult to be found; but rather, becauſe, if they look for any thing, every thing comes to hand.

But this be far from our Author; to whom we muſt now hearken dilligently. He firſt ſets down my Queſtion verey honeſtly and intirely; p. 26, 27. then he nibles a little at it,39 and at length, bites: and tells the World, that I joyn two queſtions in one, which we muſt look to have diſtinctly Anſwered.

But what thoſe two queſtions are, and where they are diſtinctly anſwered I have look't, and find not. Would he not ſpeak diſtinctly to them becauſe he hates Diviſions? or was it his prudence to leave out Conſcience? for he hath told us, p. 21. that to decide this caſe is a work of meer Chriſtian Prudence: but where is Conſcience then? Excluded? by what Law? that ſhall be tried anon.

For I ſhall now addreſs my ſelf in earnest to review the whole Queſtion: not in two on­ly, but in the ſeveral Caſes depending upon it. A juſt examin whereof, will give me oc­caſion ſufficient to conſider, all that he hath ſaid to the purpoſe againſt me, as I find it ſcat­tered up and down his Book.


Gathering-Churches charged with Schiſm from the Church of England, and proved to be ſo from the Definition of this Church. Where­in he is told what the Church of England, and Schiſm from it is.

THe General Queſtion betwixt us is this; Whether it be Lawful for the Presbyte­rians40 to refuſe Communion with our Pariſh Churches, and to gather themſelves into Diſtinct and Separate Churches.

And upon a Serious review of it, and Conſi­deration of all that the Anſwerer hath ſaid a­gainſt me, and my Diſcourſ upon it; I do renew my Charge; and poſſitively affirm, that it is Ʋnlawful; and as it is generally pra­ctiſed, 'tis a great and dangerous Schiſm both againſt the Church of England, and Particu­lar Churches: 'tis a Schiſm in its own nature, and ſinful in it Self. 'Tis a Schiſm in the Judgment of the old Nonconformiſts called Puritans; and alſo in the Judgment of the Presbyterians before 1660. and laſtly, that both in Conſcience and Prudence it ought at preſent to be avoided, or deſerted, by all ſuch, eſpecially, as are called Presbyterians. And all this, in in its ſeveral parts, and in their order, as here ſet down, I undertake to make good.

1. Thus to Separate and to Gather Chur­ches is a Schiſm, with reſpect to the Church of England. Now, as Divines ſpeak of a Schiſm in a Church, and a Shiſm from a Church; ſo in a diverſe reſpect, this practice is guilty of both. For if you conſider the Church of England, as particular Organized Church, 'tis a Schiſm from: but if, as part of the Ʋniverſal Viſibe Church only, as the Nonconformists uſe to term it, then 'tis Schiſm in it.


It is a Shiſm from the Church of England as ſuch; by dividing from its Governours, Members, Worſhip and Aſſemblies: as I more than Intimated in my Book, p. 8. and this ought to have been diſtinctly obſerved at leaſt, by my Anſwerer: but inſtead thereof, how he ſtumbles and blunders! looking care­fully and making great Outcries after that, which I laid juſt before him.

You charge us, ſaith he, p. 37. with Schiſm from the Church of England. Again; p. 38. Tell us what you mean by Schiſm from the Church of England. Again; p. 35. We are told of Schiſm from the Church of England; as if it were a Monſtrous and unheard of thing: and then puzzles, pittyfully puzzles himſelf and his Reader, in an impertinent purſuit of the Head of the Church of England: as if without a certain and infallible knowledge of that, there could be no ſuch thing as a Church of England, or Schiſm from it. Wea­rying himſelf, for five or ſix pages, at his old game, of nothing to the purpoſe.

But, methinks, he labours with a very ve­hement deſire after this great truth; and could he be ſure to have it, he will not ſay how much Money, as well as Pains, he would give for it: yea he roundly offers me (how con­ſiſtent with his gravity I do not obſerve) but he roundly offers me all the Money in his Purſe42 to make him underſtand but what the Church of England is, p. 35.

Well, if you will promiſe me to be humble and teachable, and that you are not too old to learn; though I have no mind to your money, I will ſhew my readineſs, and charity at leaſt, to relieve you in ſo great a Streight, though my Judgment may fail, and my Definition be as deſpicable as my ſilly Arguments.

The Church of England, is a Community, Conſiſting of profeſſed Chriſtians, Ʋnited in the ſame Government, Doctrine and Worſhip: ac­cording to the 39. Articles, and Homilies; Her Liturgy, and Canons and Laws; and divided into Parochial Aſſemblies, for the more conveni­ent Worſhipping of God.

Might ſuch a Notion of the Church of Eng­land have ſuperceded all his Fineſſes of Wit and Diſtinctions about the Conſtitutive Eccle­ſiaſtical Head, as he ſpeaks, (how learnedly I leave to his Friend Mr. Bagſhaw) I think his labour might have been well enough ſpa­red: For he may Conſider we are Ʋnited in the ſame Government, and the Pars Regens; is the only part he himſelf requires to be ad­ded to the Pars Subdita to Conſtitute a Church Organiz'd, in a proper political ſence. p. 38. Now you will not deny, either of theſe parts; and conſequently, you have found the whole of the Church of England, as you43 ſay, Organiz'd in a proper political Sence.

And, it hence follows, that 'tis material to our point, to determine certainly, what is the Eccleſiaſtical Head of this Church: whe­ther, we that are Members of it, are all uni­ted in the King as Perſona mixta cum Sacer­dote, and not meerly a Civil head as you in­ſinuate; he being Supream in all Cauſes and o­ver all Perſons as well Eccleſiaſtical as Civil. Or whether, any think it more proper to Ra­dicate this Ʋnion in his Grace of Canterbury, as Primate over all England: or whether in both the Arch-Biſhops who hold Communion in the ſame Doctrine, Worſhip and Laws: and in whom, both the Provinces are Ʋnited: or laſtly, whether we are not rather United in all the Biſhops and Paſtors of the Church of England, as the Pars Regens; and our Go­vernment in the Church, conſidered purely and abſtractly from the Civil Government, be not rather an Ariſtocracy than a Monarchy. Whether this, or the other be the true; to know it is not neceſſary, nor of any uſe, that I can perceive in the preſent Controverſy.

But it is a certain Vanity, to ſay; becauſe I cannot find the Head, I will deny the Body, though I muſt withal deny my own Senſes. Becauſe you cannot know certainly, who was your Father, will you deny your Mother which is the ſurer ſide?


There is a Church of Englnd, and what it is I have endeavoured to ſhew: and by the Nature of it, we may more eaſily conclude what Schiſm from it, is; and who are guil­ty of this; whether ſuch as Separate and Ga­ther Churches or not.


What Schiſm from the Church of England is, and whether gathering of Churches, anow is practiſed, be not guilty of it.

1. WHat is Schiſm from the Church of England? ſure it is not a denying its Doctrine, or holding any thing contrary thereunto; he that holdeth perverſum Dogma only, is anAd Tit. cap. 3. Heretick, no Schiſmatick, as St. Hierom teacheth.

Mr. Newcomen, a learned Presbyterian, as I obſerved in my laſt, lets the Separatiſts know, that their agreeing with us and the Reformed Churches in Doctrines that are Fundamental, their holding one Head and one Faith, doth not excuſe them from being guilty of breach of unity, ſo long as they hold not one Body, one Baptiſm. For he cites Beza, another learnedAnnotat. in 1 Cor. 1. 10. Presbyterian. So that you may45 be willing to ſubſcribe to the 39. Articles, and yet be Schiſmaticks from the Church of England.

It remains therefore, that ſuch Schiſm re­lates to the other Bands of our union and fellowſhip with this Church; to wit, her Government and Worſhip, and conſequent to the latter, her Members and Aſſemblies.

Thus you ſee we muſt return to our firſt determination; that Schiſm from the Church of England, is a ſinful dividing from, or a diſ­ſolving our union and communion with her in her Governors and Members, Worſhip or Aſ­ſemblies. This is the leaſt that we mean by Schiſm from the Church of England; and is called Separation or Schiſm negative; which is made poſitive, and more formally ſuch, when thoſe that have ſo ſeparated, ſet up their Altar againſt hers, and erect other Con­gregations in oppoſition to hers.

The Schiſmatick by Dr. Ha­mondOf Schiſm. Epiſt. 40. out of Ignatius, is deſcribed to be Filius impius, &c. An impious Son, which having contemned the Biſhops, and for­ſaken the Prieſts of God, dares conſtitute ano­ther Altar. And again Epiſt. 57. the Schiſ­maticks are they, that having left their Biſhop, ſet up for themſelves abroad another falſe Biſhop; and all their adherents are involved in the ſame guilt, who joyn with the Schiſmaticks againſt their Biſhops.


Two things here muſt be ſuppoſed, 1. That we are the pars ſubdita, and do ow this com­munion and obedience to theſe Governors of the Church. 2. That they impoſe no un­lawful conditions of this communion upon us; though if they ſhould, how far we may ſeparate muſt take its meaſure from ſuch im­poſitions, which is another Queſtion to be diſcuſſed anon in another place; and at pre­ſent I ſhall only add, that ſo far as I under­ſtand my Anſwerer, ſo far as the people are concerned in the conditions of our commu­nion, we are not likely to differ much in this point. But for the first of theſe ſuppoſitions, if there be any force in Scripture precepts, requiring obedience to our ſpiritual Guides, or in Civil and Eccleſiaſtical Laws, which are very ſevere to that purpoſe, nothing can be more evident, than that all Engliſh Chri­ſtians do owe communion and obedience to the Governors of the Church of England, whoſe Government ſtands eſtabliſhed by both ſorts of Laws, and is ſo acknowledged by the Declaration it ſelf.

And your Friend Mr. Baxter isDefence of his Cure, p. 76. not obſcure in this point; We muſt own, ſaith he, a National Church, as it is improperly ſo denominated from the King, that is the Civil Head and as it is a community of Chriſtians, and a47 part of the Univerſal Church, Ʋnited by the Concord of Her Pastors; who in Synods may repreſent the whole Miniſtry, and be the means of their Agreement.

He ſaith; we muſt own the National Church: I ſay, then we muſt not diſown Her. And muſt we not likewiſe own the King, as the Head thereof? and all the Biſhops and Paſtors and Governors under Him? And then, what liberty is left us to diſown, deny, or renounce their Perſons or Authority?

Let ſuch eſpecially, as have taken the Oath of Supremacy, and received Ordination from Epiſcopal hands, yet better conſider, thoſe ſolemn Obligations upon them, added to the Laws; and take heed, in earneſt, of Perfidiouſneſs and Perjury.

Let them conſider, what is to renounce all foraign Juriſdiction: and to their power to aſſiſt and defend all Juriſdiction (Spiritual as well as Temporal) granted or belonging to the Kings Highneſs: and how well a renoun­cing Obedience to the Government of the Church, conſiſts with that which we have ſworn therein.

It is true, all are not called actually to take this Oath; yet it is as true, that the Miniſters and Officers of all Sorts, generally, are; and all Graduates in the Ʋniverſity: and for o­thers, as they are the Kings Subjects, they are48 unqueſtionably taken to be, under the ſame Obligation, as to the matter of it; and are born to the Duty as well as the Priviledge of Subjects of this Realm: and therefore, we find, that this Oath is Adminiſtred; not on­ly to Oblige, but rather, as a Teſt to trie, and alſo to ſecure the fidelity of ſuch, as take it, as is evident in the Statute.

Again, let all Miniſters Ordained by Bi­ſhops (I hope I have now to do with one) in the Name of God, ſeriouſly conſider, what they promiſed to do at their Ordination; being moſt ſolemnly interogated by the Biſhop in the Name of God and of his Church, as the words are.

More particularly: the Biſhop demands; Will you then give your faithful diligence always for to Miniſter the Doctrine and Sacraments and Diſcipline of Chriſt, as the Lord hath Com­manded; and as This Church and Realm hath received the Same, according to Commandments of God, ſo that you may teach the People commit­ted to your Cure and Charge, with all diligence, to keep and obſerve the Same.

What Anſwer did you make hereunto? I will do ſo by the help of the Lord. And thus, you, at once acknowledge that the Doctrine, Sacraments and Diſcipline of Chriſt as recei­ved by this Church, are according to Gods Commandments; and that you would give49 your faithful diligence always, ſo to Miniſter them, as this Church hath received them: and laſtly, that with all diligence you would teach your People to obſerve the Same.

Again, the Biſhop demands; Will yoll reve­rently Obey your Ordinary, and other chief Mi­niſters, unto whom is committed the Charge and Government over you: following with a glad Mind and Will their Godly Admonitions, and ſubmitting your ſelves to their Godly Judgment.

What did you Anſwer to this? I will do ſo, the Lord being my Helper. Wherein you both acknowledge the Government of the Church o­ver you, and promiſe Obedience thereunto.

And, it is no pleaſure to me, to obſerve; that one, that I dare not ſuſpect, not to be thus Ordained, ſhould notwithſtanding theſe ſacred Obligations, ſeem, even to Print, to Glory, that he never took the Oath of Canoni­cal Obedience; which is, to obey his Ordinary in all honeſt and lawful things.

Thus for the Ministers: and for the Peo­ple, were they not generally Baptized by the Ministers, and according to the Order, and in the Publick places of the Church of England? Have they not ſince, given their Conſent, as Members, by their publick atten­dance upon the Worſhip of the Church of England? Have they not generally owned,50 for a conſiderable time together, ſome many years, that relation to their particular Chur­ches and Paſtors? Is all this nothing to ſigni­fie their Ʋnion with our Church, and Obli­gation to her Government? Is it nothing in our Authors Judgement? I cannot believe it; I am ſure 'tis ſomething in Mr. Baxters Opinion, as I ſhall ſhew anon.

But wherein are we obliged to obey our Governours as we are Members of the Church of England? The meaſure of this Obedience, are the Laws and Canons and the Rubrick in the Liturgy: and the main Scope and inten­tion of all theſe, is to direct you how you are to Worſhip God in our Parochial Aſſem­blies; as alſo, to demean your ſelves in all due Reverence to your Superiours, and Bro­therly love and fellowſhip together, as Mem­bers of the ſame Body, the Church of England.

And to diſſolve or renounce this our Com­munion with our Brethren (as well as with Governours) in thoſe Aſſemblies, and in that Worſhip, is ſo far to renounce that Communi­on which we ow, and is due from us all to the Church of England; and is that thing, which is deſervedly branded with the black Name of Schiſme from the Church of England: (which is the other Branch of that Schiſme before mentioned) eſpecially, if the Deri­ders proceed to the Erecting of Anti Chur­ches,51 as Mr. Baxter properly calls them.

For our ſeveral Parochial Aſſemblies, are Parts and Members of the Great Body of our Church, into which, the Church is divided for our Convenient Worſhiping of God, (as you heard in the Definition) wherein, all in­dividual perſons are bound to attend upon Gods Worſhip according to the foreſaid Rules, quatenus Members of this Church of England.

But I ſhall have an occaſion to ſpeak larg­ly, of Schiſme from particular Congregati­ons, in another place; and at preſent, would fain hope, that ſome thing hath been ſaid to ſhew what Schiſme from the Church of Eng­land is.

This is the Sum. Schiſme from the Church of England is a ſinful dividing from Her, in Her Governours, Members, Worſhip or Aſſem­blies. Which, and much more is done by thoſe that diſpiſe her Government, renounce her Worſhip and Communion with Her Mom­bers in the Publick places of it; and Erect New Congregations for a new manner of Wor­ſhip and Diſcipline, under other Governours, in oppoſition thereunto; according to the Laudable practiſes now on foot.

By this time, I hope, my Anſwerer ſees, after his long and ranging Scrutiny for the diſcovery of this Schiſm, and all in vain,52 how pertinently he demands, p. 38. Is every difference, in things unneceſſary, from the Ma­jor part, a Schiſm from them?

Again, p. 39. 'Tis our diſobedience to the Church that is our Schiſm. This he ſaies, and then quickly wipes it off, with his own plea­ſant Anſwer; But Fidelity to our King com­mandeth the diſowning of Ʋſurpers. But I might ſpoil his Mirth, ſhould I examine his meanig.

Again, p. 40. he cries out; Whoever took any Act of Diſobedience in a Circumſtance to be a Schiſm?

But, in earneſt, had not theſe little frisks and extravagancies been happily prevented, had he heeded me at firſt? is a ſinful divi­ding from the Church, in Her Government and Worſhip, and ſetting up Churches in op­poſition to Her, in both, is this no more than a difference in things unneceſſary from the Ma­jor part, or than a bare Act of Diſobedience in a Circumſtance? I know you will not ſay it: and 'tis vain to ſay, that you intend no more: I wrote againſt thoſe that do.

What has he more to Anſwer? Why, the Schiſm I mention, p. 39. is not ſuch as Mar­tin and Gildas made? what then? if it be worſe, it is not ſuch. You ſhould rather have compar'd your Brethren in this new Worke, to the other Martin, called Mar-Prelate.


But this Martin, you ſay, Renounced Com­munion with the Biſhops and their Synods (all his life) who had proſecuted the Priſſillianiſts with the Secular Sword: and Gildas pronoun­ced him no excellent Chriſtian that called the Brittiſh Clergy in his time, Prieſts or Miniſters, and not Traitors, as he did himſelf: yet neither of theſe holy men are called Seperatiſts or Schiſ­maticks.

What follows? might they not be Schiſ­matick, though they were not called ſo? You will find ſome advantage by the Argument, for I have not called you ſo, yet. Perhaps Gildas might be bold with his Brethren, and call them Traitors; but if unjuſtly, 'twas ill done, though no Schiſme. If justly; there may be Proditores found of your acquaintance too, I make no doubt; though, if you do not urge me much, I ſhall not call them ſo. You do not think that time is returned upon us, and that he hath not the Character of an excellent Chriſtian, that hath not the gift, of calling the Prieſts Traitors.

So much for Gildas: But for his Compa­nion Martin, I might have given him Courſer Entertainment, had it not been for the kind­neſs of Another Gildas, that not long ſince, ſpake more in his favour, than you do now.

His words, on his behalf, are theſe; I have told you in the ſtory of Martin, how he ſepe­rated54 from the Synods of thoſe Individu­alBaxters Defence, p. 76. Biſhops; and from their Local Communion without Seperation from the Office, the Churches, or any other Biſhop: And then for ought I know Martin might be a good honeſt fellow. Do you all the rest, that he did, and by my conſent, you ſhould be excuſed from ſitting in Synods.

For Martin it ſeems denied not Communi­on with the Churches; much leſs ſet up an Al­tar and Church of his own in oppoſition to them: If he had done ſo, I would have ſaid he had been a Rank Schiſmatick, though I ſpare you.

It is confeſt that the Presbyterians do ge­nerally agree, that the Diſci­plinary part, or Form of Go­vernment,Vid. Cawdry In­dpend. Schiſme, page 172, 173. is not Eſſential to a National Church; yet they affirm, that the Verity of a Natioanal Church, conſiſts in its Agreement in the ſame Doctrine and Worſhip: and conſequently, though dif­ferences in Doctrine are not, yet a breach of its Ʋnity, and making diviſions in a point of Worſhip, is a plain Schiſme from a National Church acording to the Principles of the Preſ­byterians. Mr. Cawdrey ſpake not his own pe­culiar opinion, when he ſaid, p. 178. I believe thoſe men, that raiſe differences in a Reforming Church, he meant this National Church, and55 perſiſt in keeping open thoſe Diviſions, Sepera­ting alſo into other new Churches; doe as well deſerve the name of Schiſmaticks, as thoſe that make differences, in one Particular Church.

Upon the whole, then, you perceive how aptly you ask, p. 42. Whether a Miniſter may not remove from one Pariſh to another; or any man remove his dwelling into another Pariſh, &c. and be no Schiſmatick? an old objection of Dr. Owens, and anſwered by Mr. Caw­drey: that they remove to Churches of the ſame Conſtitution; a thing never queſtioned, but alwaies allowed, both by the Ʋnion and Cuſtome of this National Church.

Again, and alike pertinently you ask, Whe­ther a Seperation of one Pariſh from another be Schiſm? or whether I mean by it, a Local Seperation only, as you gravely enquire, p. 33. Or, whether little differences in the modes of Worſhip, particularly, in the manner of the Miniſters Prayer (and he ſhould have ad­ded, in dividing his Text) be Schiſm? but he prevents my Anſwer, by denying theſe himſelf. Thoſe that differ thus, he ſaith, and thereby doubtleſs very wiſely and to gene­ral Satisfaction determineth; theſe, ſaith he, p. 34. are not Seperated Churches, any otherwiſe than Local, and in ſuch Modal Differences.

Thus, what the Church of England, and56 what Schiſm from it, is. But at the begin­ning of the diſcourſe, 'twas hinted; that if we would conſider the Church of England, not organice but entitative, as ſome ſpeak; that is, as it is a part or member of the Ʋni­verſal viſible Church; even in this conſide­ration of it, Separation and the preſent pra­ctice of gathering Churches, is a Schiſm in the Church of England, if not ſo from it. And by thoſe intestine Ruptures and rents it is cau­ſing in the midſt of her, gives her too much cauſe to complain; O my Bowels, my Bowels! While it tears in pieces her Old and Stated Congregations; tramples upon her Liturgy; defies her Worſhip; renounceth her Paſtors; throws down all her ancient Land-marks and laudable bounds of her particular Churches; and endeavours every where to Erect new Altars and Seperate Churches that were ne­ver before heard of in the Chriſtian world, but amongſt wild and deſperate and Schiſmatical Sectaries.

But, this will meet us in the next Chapter, when we ſpeak of Schiſm from particular Congregations.



Gathering Churches, a Schiſme from parti­cular Parochial Churches. The general Na­ture of Schiſm.

THe preſent practice of Gathering Chur­ches, is not only a Schiſm from the Church of England, but a Schiſm alſo from our particular Parochial Congregations.

This comes now to be evinc'd; and I ſhall take my advantage for the doing of it, from an Obſervation of Mr. Caw­drey againſt Dr. Owen, and theIndepend. great Schiſ. p. 177. Independents. There was, ſaith he, and is, another Church-State in England in our particular Churches: from theſe, alſo, they have moſt of them, as once of them, (or, they had been once of them) Palpably Separated.

I am now to charge the preſent practice, of our New Church gatherers, and their NeChurches, with the like Schiſm, from parti­cular Parochial Churches, whereof they are, or lately were, Members, and ought ſo to have continued.

To cut our work as ſhort as may be; I ſhall confine my ſtrength within one Argu­ment; which I conceive the cleereſt, and58 moſt likely to put an end to the matter in debate; and 'tis taken from the nature and definition of Schiſm: wherein we ſhall ſhew, what we are to underſtand by Schiſm; and how the preſent gathering of Churches out of our Churches agrees with it; not doubting, but then, the concluſion will find its own way well enough.

What is Schiſm then? I ſhall give you the eaſiest and the leaſt controverted defini­tion of it; and ſuch, as was never excepted againſt by any Presbyterian that I ever heard of: 'Tis this; Schiſm is a cauſleſs, or as o­thers, a voluntary, unwarrantable ſeparation from a true Church.

Here are two parts to be conſidered in the general; ſeparation from a true Church; and the formal, ſpecial and diſtinguiſhing part of it, coucht in the words cauſleſs, or unwarrant­able and voluntary.

1. Schiſm is a ſeparation from a true Church; it is ſo, in the proper and peculiar nota­tion of it: the word〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Schiſm,Cameron. cap. de Schiſ. is a ſtranger to prophane Authors, and the Old Teſtament, and is only to be found in the New Teſtament; ſo that it only intends ſomething about the Chriſtian Church; and what that is, muſt be under­ſtood by the New Teſtament, and Eccle­ſiaſtical59 Writers, who have taken it thence.

It is commonly affirmed, that in the Scri­pture-uſe of it, it ſometimes ſignifies diviſion among Chriſtians in opinion only: but I have obſerved, that uſually thoſe opinions, were ſuch as had a tendency to diviſions in practice, as I am of Paul, &c. but 'tis generally acknow­ledged that differences in practice, eſpecially touching Divine Worſhip (whether from the ſignification of the word, which is properly a rent or diviſion, or whether from the more frequent uſe of it that way in Scripture, or for ſome other reaſon) I ſay, difference in pra­ctice about Divine Worſhip, hath long ſince obtained and appropriated to it ſelf the name of Schiſm.

Sometimes ſuch diviſion in the Church, when there hath been no actual ſeparation from the Church, is conceived to be called Schiſm in Scripture. 1 Cor. 1. 10.

And this notion excluſive of all other kind of Schiſm in Scripture, Dr. Owen eſpouſed, con­trary both to Scripture reaſon, and the gene­ral apprehenſion of the Ancient and Modern Divines, as Mr. Cawdrey hath ſufficiently argued.

Separation from a Church is a more obvious diviſion, and conſequently a more notorious kind of Schiſm; and it ſeems more reaſon­able60 to argue, if the Holy Ghoſt called the first buds and beginnings of ſeperation, by the name of Schiſm, it was to deter the divi­ders from the ſin in its ripeneſs and accuſed fruits, which more hainouſly mrited that black title; as our Saviour calls lust, adul­tery. Schiſma ſeperat ab Eccleſia; Schiſm ſe­perates from the Church, ſaith St. Hierom.

To proceed, this ſeparation from the Church, as a learned Presbyterian aſſerteth, is from the Church as Catholick, which he calls Donatiſm, or from a particular Church; and that, faith he, is properly Seperatiſm.

Laſtly, this Schiſmatical ſeperation is ne­gative or poſitive; the former is on­lyCameron. de Schiſ. ſimplex ſeceſſio, when men do peaceably and quietly withdraw their com­munion from the Church, in part or in whole, to enjoy their conſciences in a private way. The other, called poſitive ſeperation, is when perſons thus withdrawn, do gather into a di­ſtinct and oppoſite body, ſetting up a Church againſt a Church, to worſhip God in a ſe­perated way themſelves; which St. Augu­ſtine calls, a ſetting up Altar againſt Altar; alluding to that act of King2 King. 16. Ahaz, in ſetting up an Altar of his own making, after the faſhion of that which he ſaw at Damaſcus, beſides the Lord's Altar. 61And this is it, ſaith Cameron, and moſt that write upon the point, which in a peculiar manner, and by way of eminency is, and de­ſerves to be called by the name of Schiſm.

Thus we ſee, that gathering our ſelves into new Churches, is the complement and perfe­ction of Schiſm; the very Apex & extrema Schiſmatis linea, as Cameron. ſpeaks.

This evil, as I lately hinted, hath its begin­nings, and uſually goes on by degrees to this perfection. In the Church of Corinth, it firſt began with a factious eſteeming of one Mini­ſter above another: One ſaith, IHis Def. of Prin. of Con. p. 2. am of Paul, &c. at length it came to〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Which Mr. Baxter renders emulation, ſtrife and ſeparation, or factions, or dividing into ſe­veral parties. This appeared ſomewhat high­er, Chap. 11. for they would not eat their Love-Feaſts, and Pareus thinks, they would not eat the Lord's Supper together; but thoſe that were for Paul would communicate a­mong themſelves; ſo thoſe that were for A­pollos, and thoſe that were for Peter.

And though they did not gather themſelves into ſtated Congregations, or abſolutely ſe­perate into ſeveral Churches, (for they came together, though to littleChap. 11. purpoſe) yet their diviſions are not62 only called Schiſm, but a deſpiſing the Church of God.

But if this progreſs of Schiſm was ſo ſmart­ly rebuked, we may the leſs wonder to find the Apoſtles ſo very ſevere againſt the Gno­ſticks, and thoſe more perfected Schiſmaticks, that afterwards drew Diſciples after them whol­ly from the Church, and made falſe Apoſtles and Anti-Churches. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉extra terminos Eccleſiae educentes,Oecumenius. ſegregantes fideles a fidelibus, andClem. Alex. making diſtinct and ſeperate, and oppoſite parties and meetings for the wor­ſhip of God. Mr. Hale obſerves theſe two things make Schiſm compleat, the chuſing of a Biſhop in oppoſition to theTract of Schiſm, p. 3. former, a thing very frequent among the Ancients, and which many times was the cauſe and effect of Schiſm; and then the ere­cting of a new Church for the dividing parts to meet in publickly, and this he calls Eccle­ſiaſtical ſedition; and Ames, peccatum gra­viſſimum; a moſt grievous ſin, both in its nature and effects: For Diviſion, ſo far as it proceeds, whether in Natural, Civil, or Ec­cleſiaſtical Bodies, is the diſſolution and deſtru­ction of it.



The differencing Nature of Schiſm. The An­ſwerers Objections anſwered; eſpecially the Preaching of the ejected Miniſters.

I Will ſuppoſe, we are agreed that the ge­neral nature of Schiſm is ſuch a ſepera­tion from a true Church as we have ſhew'd; but to make it unlawful, and to merit the evil and uſual ſence of the word, it muſt be cauſleſs, unwarrantable, and as Mr. Hales term is, unneceſſary; when it is ſo, is to be carefully ſtated: for this indeed is the pun­ctum difficultatis, and the very hinge upon which this controverſie turns.

Herein, that I may prepare to argue with due cloſeneſs, I ſhall continue to aim at the ſence of Presbyterians: And as I have before I ſhall here alſo follow the ſteps of Mr. Brinſley, late Miniſter of Yarmouth, not only becauſe his Book of Schiſm ſeems to me ju­dicious, and exact as to our point: and he therein follow ſo excellent a perſon as Ca­meron. but likewiſe for that he was an emi­nent Non-conformist (as a Miniſter only) for I have been well informed, that though he ceaſed preaching at Bartholomew, 1662.64 yet he kept no private meetings, but ordi­narily attended on the publick worſhip, in the place where he lived: beſides, his Book was licenſed by Mr. Cranford, with a ſuffi­cient commendation; and was Preacht and Printed in the Presbyterian Service againſt the Sectaries; and no doubt, his Brethren of that perſwaſion did then heartily concur with him in the point.

This Mr. Brinſley, p. 34, 35. ſtates the matter thus; Seperation is unwarrantable, either for the ground or manner; the former an unjust, the latter a raſh ſeperation, each a Schiſm; wherein he follows Cameron.

I ſhall vary his method a little, but keep cloſe to his ſenſe; and then an unjust ſepa­ration is two-fold; either when there is no cauſe, and it is abſolutely cauſleſs; or when the cauſe is light, and not ſufficient to warrant it. Seperation is raſh, when there being cauſe ſuppoſed ſufficient, yet it is done in an undue manner.

1. Separation is unjust, when it is without cauſe given by the Church; and as he en­largeth,When there is no Perſecution, no ſpreading Error or Hereſie, no Idolatry, no Superſtition maintained or practiſed, but the Church is peaceable and pure, and that both for Doctrine and Worſhip; and in a65 good meaſure free from ſcandals (which no Church ever wholly was) now in ſuch a caſe to ſeperate, is an unjuſt ſeperation, and Schiſm.

If this be indeed the ſtate of the caſe, whe­ther the parties think they have cauſe to ſe­perate or not, I think it is not much mate­rial, except to aggravate their crime: For, if they think they have cauſe, they are plain Seperatiſts; and if they do not think ſo, and yet divide the Church by a ſeperation cauſe­leſs, in their own opinion as well as truth, they are far worſe. Neither will any wantonneſs of ſpirit of this kind, though boy'd up by a diſtaſte taken at our Guides, or an higher eſteem of other Teachers, or pretences of greater purity, much leſs an ill will to the ſtate of the Church from which we ſhall thus ſe­perate, admit an excuſe from any ſober and wiſe man.

2. There may be ſome cauſes of offence given us by our Church, but they ſuch, as may by no meanes warrant a ſeperation: cauſe of offence is not always cauſe of ſepe­ration; which our Author calls a light cauſe. He enlargeth;Poſſibly ſome ſleight oppoſi­tion, or perſecution, it may be, by ſome ſmall pecuniary Mulcts; ſome leſſer errors in Doctrine, not fundamental, nor near the foundation; ſome corruptions in or about66 the worſhip of God, but thoſe not deſtru­ctive to the Ordinances; being not in ſub­ſtance, but in ceremony; and thoſe ſuch as the perſon offended is not enforced to be active in; ſcandals few, and thoſe only tole­rated, not allowed. All tolerable evils, ſuch as charity may well bear with; this ground is not ſufficient to bear a ſeperation.You ſee he is full and particular; and in all this, I believe he referred in his thoughts to the ſtate of our Church heretofore, as in the former he ſtruck at the Popiſh.

The learned Ameſius, whoſe Principles were ſomewhat Congregational, hath ſaid much to the ſame purpoſe in a few words. Separation from a true ChurchCaſ. dSchiſm. is ſometimes lawful, if one cannot re­main in its communion, ſine commu­nicatione in peccatis, without communicating in her ſins: if there be manifeſt danger of ſeduction, and if we are compell'd to depart by oppreſſion and perſecution. Thus he. And we may ſuppoſe he thought he made a full enumeration of all the just cauſes of depart­ing from a true Church; and that in any other caſe ſeperation was unlawful.

Others indeed have more compendiouſly and fully drawn all the rules in this caſe into one point, Seperation is unwarrantable, if communion with the Church may be with­out67 ſin. And indeed what can juſtifie a pra­ctice ſo contrary to love and peace, and of ſo dangerous conſequence, but the avoiding of ſin? Our general Anſwer to the charge of Schiſm by the Papiſts is, we muſt not par­take with your ſins; and I think all parties conſent in this common propoſition, where the conditions of communion with a Church are ſinful, we are not bound to that communion, for we muſt obey God rather then man.

I am ſure this was current Doctrine with the Non-confor­miſts,His••fence, 2. Par. 22. called Puritans hereto­fore, in the defence of communion with the Church of England. Let the abuſes (ſaith Mr. Ball) be many or great, yet if I may be preſent at the true worſhip of God without ſin, (conſent unto, or approbation of ſuch abuſes or corruptions) in voluntary ſepera­tion, I ſin againſt God, his Church, and mine own ſoul.

This was alſo undoubted by the late Preſ­byterians; in ſtead of many, let Mr. Cawdrey againſt Dr. OwenIndepend. a great Schiſm. be heard, for methinks he ſpeaks to the purpoſe. It is (ſaith he) no duty of Chriſts impoſing, no priviledg of his purchaſing, either to deprive a mans ſelf of his Ordinances for other mens ſins; or to ſet up a new Church in oppoſition to a true68 Church, as no Church rightly conſtituted for want of ſome reformation in leſſer matters. And Mr. Corbet, and the Author of Evange­lical Peace and Ʋnity, if I underſtand him, puts the whole debate upon the ſame iſſue with us. So Bagſhaw alſo, &c.

Among theſe light cauſes, which will by no means warrant a ſeperation, Mr. Baxter hath laboured toCure of Church Diviſions, 291. throw down theſe four Superſti­tious, as he calls them, which ſome religious people have brought up.

1. That we are guilty of the ſins of all unworthy communicants, if we communicate with them, though their admiſſion is not by our fault.

2. That he whoſe judgement is againſt a Dioceſan Church, may not lawfully join with a Pariſh Church, if the Miniſter be but ſubject to the Dioceſan.

3. That whatſoever is unlawfully commanded, isSee Cure of Church Diviſions, p. 194. not lawful to be obeyed.

4. That it is unlawful to do any thing in the Worſhip of God which is impoſed by men, and is not commanded it ſelf in the Scripture.

But enough of the falſe grounds of ſepe­ration that render it cauſleſs; for that they are either really none, or elſe light or inſuf­ficient.


The Second Exception againſt Seperation was taken from the undue manner of procee­ding in it, for which it is termed Raſh; and therefore Schiſmatical; though the ground be Just. That is, as Mr. Brinſly explaineth him­ſelf, p 25. When it is ſudden and heady: without due endeavour and expectance of Re­formation in the Church: it is then Raſh, and conſequently an unwarrantable Separa­tion, in as much as it is oppoſite to Charity.

Mr. Baxters Advice is excellent here:If Corruptions blemiſh and diſho­nor the Congregation; doe notCure of Church Div. p. 80. ſay (let ſin alone; I muſt not oppoſe it for fear of Diviſion) but be the forwardeſt to reduce all to the will of God. And yet, if you cannot prevail, as you deſire; be the backwardeſt to Divide and Seperate; and do it not, without a certain Warrant, and extream neceſſity. Re­ſolve with Auſtine, I will not be the Chaff, and yet I will not go out of the Floor, though the Chaff be there. Never give over your juſt deſire and endeavour of Reformation; and yet as long as you can poſſible avoid it, for­ſake not the Church, which you deſire to Reform. As Paul ſaid, to them that were to forſake a Sea-wrack'd Veſſel, If theſe abide not in the Ship, ye cannot be ſaved. Many a one, by unlawful flying, and ſhifting for his70 own greater Peace and Safety, doth much more hazard his own and others.

3. Ames gives me occaſion to hint one thing more: Seceſſio vero Totalis, &c. A To­tal Seceſſion or Seperation with abſolute renoun­cing or rejecting all Communion, cannot be law­fully practiced towards a True Church: but par­tial only, quatenus Communio, ſo far as Com­munion cannot be exerciſed without ſin. Caſ. de Schiſ. 307.

I Wiſh heartily, my Brethren would con­ſider, whether not only renouncing all Com­munion with, but ſetting up other Churches a­gainſt our Churches, be not, in his ſence, a Total Seperation; and conſequently Sinful. Or whether you, that ſo uſe us, do yet re­tain Communion with our Pariſh-Churches ſo far as you know you may without ſin. But this by the way:

The Summe is, when the Church gives no ſuch cauſe of offence, as may juſtifie Sepera­tion; when the Conditions of her Communi­on require nothing of her Members, whereby if they Communicate, they ſhall be Actual Sinners; when perſons, let the cauſe be never ſo juſt, ſhall unadviſedly, without due endea­vours and patient expectance of a Reformation: laſtly, when they ſhall for ſome few things, at which they take offence, totally forſake Communion with a True Church, and gather71 themſelves into Anti-Churches; they are, in all theſe Caſes, guilty of Schiſme, in the judg­ment of the moſt Non-Conformiſts, of all ſorts; and, indeed, of all men, that have conſidered the Point and the Nature of Schiſm. The Aſ­ſumption, we ſhall make hereafter and at preſent, only take notice of what the An­ſwerer hath ſaid to prevent it.

He gives us, p. 16, 17. eight Differences, be­twixt the Old Seperatiſts and the Preſent Non-Conformiſts; and then concludes in all theſe, they differ from Seperatiſts, though they ga­ther Churches. Theſe differences are particu­larly conſidered hereafter. The first three of theſe Differences, are a Complement to us and our Pariſhes: the four next, are a Complement to themſelves: in the last, I think, he is in earneſt for himſelf, but he hath to do with a head­ſtrong party, that will not obey, either his Word or Example, in deſiring nothing more, than with Love and Concord, to carry on with us the ſame work of Chriſt. But what is all this, to excuſe them from being Seperatiſts, that run away from us, and draw Deſciples after them: that refuſe (I am ſure in fact, what ever ſome may ſay) the leaſt Communion with us, in our pub­lick Aſſemblies, and gather New Churches for themſelves out of them.

This they do, though you know we, gene­rally, have not given them Cauſe to do it: And72 they do it Raſhly, and Totally, and all your little devices, will never alter the Nature of things, or excuſe it from groſs Schiſm in the Judgment of all that were not Seperatiſts, and ſpake their mind, before the preſent Tempta­tion dazled mens eyes.

'Tis in vain to flie to your Common Refuge; the ſtrength of this Argument will not ſuffer you to be quiet in it; who ever before you made this a warrantable ground of Seperation, that they might Serve God better? if finding poſitive faults in our worſhip, would not ex­cuſe them heretofore; much leſs will negative ones excuſe you from Seperation. But they thought thoſe were faults and Just Cauſes of Seperation which were not; true, and they were miſtaken: but yet, they had more to ſay for themſelves, it ſeems, than you have, who do the ſame things, without alledg­ing ſo much ground, and think to be wholly free, from the ſame charge.

Sir, Schiſm conſiſts in practice; and whate­ver you think on't, or, however you would palliate the matter, where that practice that truly anſwers the definition of Schiſm is found, it will be Schiſm do what you can. Is there any Inſtitution of Chriſt, that they muſt gather Churches out of true Churches, to make a purer Church? Anſ. Mr. Cawdrey Indep. p. 198.

But I prevent my deſign: Shiſm, we have73 ſhewed is a cauſeleſs unwarrantable Seperation, and 'tis true; and ſo my Anſwerer might have underſtood me, and his Brethren, in my laſt: I ſpake in the language of the Presbyterians, and a little Candour, would have ſuppoſed that both, I and they, intended by gathering Chur­ches out of Churches, ſuch as was cauſeleſs, un­warrantable and unneceſſary; for that, they were ſtill ready, if need required, to prove the Independant Separation ſuch; as I ſhall be, anon, to do yours.

It is, therefore, ſome trouble to me to hear you ask, as if ſomthing of Argument were lodg'd in it; Whether a perſons removal from one Pariſh to another to inhabit there, were Schiſm? p. 48. and yet I conceive, you have it more than twice over in your book. You ask again, muſt no Churches be gathered out of Rome? I fear not many for you: but for a full and plain an­ſwer to this, I remit you to Mr. Baxters Cure of Church Diviſions, p. 81, 82, 83. Which if it ſeem not plain and full to you, it is becauſe you underſtand not Chriſtian Senſe and Reaſon.

Again, p. 44. did not the Parliament take a Church out of a Church when they ſeperated Co­vent-Garden from Martins Pariſh? doubtleſs, 'twas either with cauſe or not; 'twas warrant­able or not; 'twas neceſſary or not: but the jeſt is ſpoiled, if it were a Church of the ſame Con­ſtitution, with conſent of the perſons concern'd & by lawful Authority.


Had you no place to argue Schiſmatical but Covent-garden; I would adviſe you, as a friend, to take a little more heed what you ſay about that place, for fear of one of thoſe Schiſmaticks which in other places, you honor, as Ʋſurp­ers, concern'd in your next Section.

But behold the Man at Arms fully Accou­tred, without all fear, but a great deal of wit and courage makes a challenge to the factions Diſputers, as his Catholick language is: and 'tis this, as you may read it under his own hand.

Obj. I undertake, ſaith he, to prove, that Dr. Manton Dr. Seaman, &c. with the Peo­ple ſubject to them, as Paſtors, were true Chur­ches. Prove you, if you can, that on Aug. 24 62. they were degraded, and theſe Churches were diſſolved in any reaſon, which any Churches for 600. years after Chriſt, would. If not, you ſeem your ſelf to accuſe their Succeſſors of Schiſm, for drawing part of the people from them meerly by the Advantage of having the Temples and Tythes, and ſo gathering Churches out of true Churches.

Anſ. A Marvellous Undertaker! he will un­dertake to prove one Propoſition, and let the reſt ſhift for them ſelves.

Dr. Manton and Dr. Seaman, and their People were true Churches: and this he will prove: but what if a man ſhould venture to diſappoint him, and not deny it?


Again; prove if you can, that theſe Paſt­ors were degraded, and theſe Churches diſsol­ved Aug. 24. 62.

But what if a man has a mind to be friends with him here too? and ſhould grant that thoſe Miniſters were not degraded then, but only ejected and inhibited the exerciſe of their Miniſtry within the Church of England: and that thoſe Churches were not diſſolv'd by having New Paſtors; no more, than the Kingdom when the King dies. And yet, cer­tainly the King and People, are as much the Conſtitutive parts of a Kingdom; as Paſtor and People of a Church.

Who will ſay, that conſiders what he ſaith, that a particular Church is diſſolved by the death or removal of the Paſtor. The River is the Same, though the Lands on each ſide, change their Proprietors.

But what then? Suppoſe all this be quiet­ly granted him, what then? then, thoſe that ſucceeded them are Schiſmaticks; or you ſeem to accuſe them of Schiſm: how ſo? for drawing away part of the people from them. Whither? to another manner of Worſhip which the Laws required; and which, the Ejected refuſed.

But how did they draw the People? by do­ing their duty in the Temples, as by good Au­thority Inſtituted and Inducted thereunto. In­ſtituted76 as Paſtors to have the Cure of Souls; and Inducted into the Temples and Tythes.

But laſtly, why do you ſay they drew a part of the people onely, and not the whole?

Ought not the whole, worſhip God undi­vided, and with one accord in the Temples? or muſt the place be removed with the Paſtor? I quire not who made the difference, but I know who makes the Diviſion, let them anſwer it how they can, to God and the King, the Church and their Succeſſors.

Thoſe Paſtors were Eje