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A SECOND VINDICATION Of a Diſciplinary, Anti-Eraſtian, Or­thodox Free-admiſſion to the LORDS-SƲPPER; OR, The State of this Controverſie re­viſed and propoſed: For the fuller underſtanding of the moſt, as to the grounds whereon it ſtands; and more eſpecially for the caſe, and clearer proceeding of thoſe, that ſhall write about it, whether for it, or againſt it.

By John Humf••y, Min: of Foome.

〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉

Ignatii Epiſt ad Philadelph.

Nos à communione quamquam prohibere non poſſu­mus, niſi sponte confeſſum, aut in aliquo Judi­cio eccleſiaſtico vel ſeculari nominatum atquecon­victum.

Auſtin. Tom 9. lib. De Medicin. Poe••tentiae, cap. 3. Ex Aquino.

And Moſes took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and ſaid, Behold the blood of the Cove­nant which the Lord hath made with you,

Exo. 24.8.

They all drank of that spiritual rock, and that rock was Chriſt.

1 Cor. 10.4.

LONDON, Printed by F. L. for E. Blackmore at the Angel in Pauls Churchyard, 1656.


IF thou haſt a deſire to ſee briefly the ſtate of my Opinion, but thinkeſt that theſe few ſheets are ſomething too long for thee to read over at once, which I would have thee to doe when thou takeſt it in hand; thou mayeſt be pleaſed if thou wilt, at thy firſt view, to wave or paſs over (with the Epiſtles wholly) the Second, Fifth, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Sections, (which are more par­ticularly polemical and the longeſt) and ſo both the mat­ter will lie more round in its ſelf, and thou have thy end in a trice. Only let me perſwade thee afterwards, to read the reſt in the whole together, at thy leaſure, with more delibera­tion.

J. H.

The Epiſtle to the Reader.

WHereas I underſtand by my Book-ſeller, that many doe call upon him for more co­pies of my first little book, (which hath been ſo much oppugned) about Free-admiſsion to the Sacrament, there being now 3. or 4. Impreſsions out of it already, and notwithstanding my advice to the contrary, he is reſolved to make his advantage; I have thought good to take this courſe, which ſeems to me beſt; to wit, to ſet my ſelf (upon ſo much longer ſtudy on my own thoughts) to write again about as many ſheets as at firſt, and propoſe the ſame, as a ſecond Vindication of this Subject, in ſtead of the former; to the end, both that the Friends of my Opinion, may ſee more clearly into its foundations, whereon it is to be defended; and thoſe that will op­poſe it, may goe about their work more dextrouſly and perſpicuouſly, having no need to uſe any bitterneſs or perſonal re­flexions in the doing.

It muſt be acknowledged that my firſt Diſcourſe about this matter being prepa­red in two Sermons to the people, is writ­ten ſuitably, that is, more popularly, and ſo the arguments may not ſeem to be ſo full and convincing, as might be expe­cted in a more large, or in a more cloſe and dry diſpute: and therefore having an occaſion ſomething too tetrically given me by Dr. Drake, a man otherwiſe re­verend, pious and learned, I thought it fit in another book, being A Rejoynder to him, to do my endeavour for the ſtrengthning and confirming what I had written, amplifying my conceptions all along, as the matter leads me on. And this book I perceive hath gained ſo much with ſome, even of my Presbyterian friends, that though they thought the firſt piece not ſo cogent, as many were apt to ſpeak thereof, yet they think that there is ſome ſtrength put to it herein, and ma­ny particulars not unworthy conſiderati­on.

However this be, having ſince read Eraſtus, and ſome of his oppoſers, with a few others about this matter, I find it to be neceſſary that I ſhould deliver my mind more fully and openly as to the ſtate of the Queſtion, for the avoiding of that prejudice, which I ſee elſe by one Mr. Collings, is like to be faſten'd on me; which perſon ſpeaks of me every where in his late book about Suſpenſion, as E­raſtus diſciple, and as if I had all out of him, which is no wayes ingenuouſly done, ſeeing I muſt profeſs really, I ne­ver once ſaw Eraſtus, until I had prin­ted both my Vindication, and my Re­joynder.

And ſince I have ſeen him, I find the ground Eraſtus goes upon, by his firſt Theſes, lies thus, There is none ought (ſayes he, as a thing he counts ſhould be granted) to be kept from communion in other Ordinances, being the ordinary means to work grace in them; and for an excluſion from the Sacrament only, he ſhews there is no proof at all in Scripture, and ſo he quite takes away all Church-puniſhments. Now Dr. Drake, and thoſe that contend for a bare excluſion from actual receiving (as if Excommu­nication were nothing elſe) doe mani­feſtly herein become ſemi-Eraſtian, yielding to him his very foundation, which Dr. Hammond hath obſerv'd before me, Power of the Keyes, cap. 4. ſect. 43. whereas we that do acknow­ledge indeed that there is no command for excluſion from the Sacrament a­lone, yet that the Scripture is clear for an excluſion from ſociety in general, by cen­ſure, and ſo from the Sacrament as a part thereof, doe plainly ſtand at the greateſt elongation from Eraſtus here, and nea­reſt to the truth otherwhere (we conceive) of any. Nos (ſayes Bullinger to the point) nunquam concedere ana­baptiſtis voluimus, ut diſciplinam et coenam commiſcerent. Coenam (docemus) eſſe publicam et laetam gratiarum actionem, et non poe­nam. Diſciplinam vero compre­hendere monitionem et correptio­nem, adeoque poenam, Epiſt. 2. ad Eraſt.

Beſides Mr. Collins, I know there are ſome others that have written againſt me, and it may be expected happily by ſome, that I ſhould give a particular an­ſwer to my ſeveral brethren, as I have to Mr. Drake; and I must confeſſe I have had ſome temptations thereunto, in­ſomuch that I had done ſomething here­in at my firſt meeting with ſome of them: But when I underſtood, that one whom I never knew, before I ſaw his firſt booke, John Timſon, had undertaken ſuch a task, I was ſoon willing to ceaſe my ſelf; for that man having given ſuch good ſa­tisfaction to Dr. Drake and the Glou­ceſter-ſhire Miniſters, in his firſt work, The Barr removed, which to my know­ledge was much taking with many plain judicious men, and more, I ſuppoſe to ſome, than my own; I did not doubt but we ſhould have many more good things from him in his ſecond work alſo (which hath been a while come forth,) in anſwer to Mr. Collings and Mr. Saunders. If there be any therefore who are weakned by what is ſaid in particular by any of thoſe aforeſaid oppoſers, I referr them to this Author; Of whom I ſhall think fit, in the way to ſay thus much, as what is juſt to him. He is a man, as I under­ſtand, pious and ſober; One belike, that is no other for his condition, than a plain husbandman, but exemplarily ſtudious for the time he can ſpare from his daily and neceſſary labours. He was, it ſeems, bred up under the famous Robert Bol­ton, and ſo one of the old Puritans, who uſing often with ſome of his neighbours to ſeek God together in the holy duty of reli­gious conference, (Mal. 3.16. ) and being deeply affected (as I ſuppoſe) with the evil of the neglect in many places of the Sacrament, (himſelf being one that received the firſt impreſsion of that grace which is in him, at this Ordinance) they were in the end convinced wholly of this opinion, and ſatisfied their Miniſter a­bout the ſame. After a while Doctor Drakes book comming out, it pleaſed God to raiſe up the ſpirit of this ſerious man, like another Amoz, as it were from the flocks, the plough and the herds, to pub­liſh his thoughts about this buſineſs. I know well, that many kind of ſpirits can­not chuſe but be ready to deſpiſe ſuch a one; How knoweth this man let­ters? but others, happily, that are more humble and ingenuous, and no leſs un­derſtanding, will rather be ready to bleſs God (Mat. 12.26. ) to ſee what ſolidity, clearneſs of expreſsion, and eminency of gifts and piety, he is graciouſly pleaſed to ſhoud oftentimes, in ſome very mean and plain perſons.

As for my ſelf, I have no deſire to draw the Sawe any more hand to hand with any in theſe perſonal conteſtations; I have thought it neceſſary to anſwer the chief and firſt of them that came out a­gainſt me, and for the reſt, I do humbly conceive, that when the ſtate of my que­ſtion is well read over in theſe few ſheets, then my Rejoynder to Dr. Drake, ad­ding thoſe few things, if you pleaſe, in the Poſtſcript Epiſtle adjoyn'd, will be enough to anſwer all (as to the main) that any other hath ſaid after him. Only it is my deſire, that thoſe who ſhall think fit to write againſt me for the future, will be pleaſed to deal principally with this laſt work, which is more digeſted and order'd for diſpute, and then to take in what I have written in my other two books (e­ſpecially in my Rejoynder, wherein is moſt) as it will fall in for confirmati­on and farther probation of what here is propoſed as the ſtandard to them; which if they will do candidly, as it lies in its full ſtrength, and deal with me fairly without invectives and impertinencies, they ſhall do well. For my part I have ſo prepared theſe ſheets, as nothing elſe may prevail, but plainneſs of truth and ſtrength of argument. If any ſhall come with expectation of expreſsions to pleaſe the fancy, they will be fruſtrated; The author deſires here both to appear himſelf without affectation, and to leave his matter wholly upon the teſt of the judg­ment, without any inſinuation by the affection.

There is one thing yet I have to adde upon advice, and it is this; that, For­aſmuch as many good men; that are re­mote, have entertained ſome prejudicate thoughts of my perſon, (very likely for my judgements ſake) whom they have not known; which hath made them weight the leſſe formerly what I have ſaid, and ſo may ſtill: I have thought good for the ſatisfying and un-bending ſuch of my Brethren, having had ſome occaſions lately to deſire the teſtimonial of my reve­rend neighbours in the Miniſtry to the Commiſſioners for approbation of publique Preachers about matters of my living, to ſubſcribe here their certifi­cate; which I doubt not but they will own, to this effect. Onely with this cau­tion, that it be not understood, as given with any reference in particular to this controverſie, wherein they and I doe leave one another to our own opinions.

THeſe are to certifie whom it may concern, that wee whoſe names are hereunder written, upon our perſonal acquaintance with Mr John Humfrey Miniſter of Froome, do know him to be a man Orthodox in doctrine, and Pious in his converſa­tion.

  • Richard Allen, Min: of Batcomb.
  • Chriſtoph: Read, Min: of Wanſtrow,
  • Rich: Fairclough, Min: of Mells,
  • Will: Thomſon, Min: of Laverton,
  • John Geree, Min: of Freſhford,
  • John After, Min: of Beckington,
  • William Parker, Min: of Bruton.



IT has ever been the gracious appointment and will of God, to have a Church upon earth, or a certain number of men and women to be in cove­nant-relation with him, in oppoſition to others, who are ſaid to be without God, and without Chriſt in the world.

Under the Old Teſtament it pleaſed the Lord to chuſe out Abraham, Iſaack, Jacob, and their poſterity, to be the lot of his inheritance, Deut. 9.26, 27. and 32.8, 9. and his peculiar people,2 Deut. 7.6. & 14.2. Pſ. 135.4. Under the New Teſtament he hath enlarged the tents, and lengthned the cords: ſo that herein now is his glory ſhown in having multitudes, people, nations, languages, to flow in to him, Dan. 7.14. Iſ. 2.2, 3, 4. Behold, thou ſhalt call a nation which thou kneweſt not, and nations which knew thee not ſhall run unto thee, Iſ. 55.5. there is Gods call of a Nation, and the Na­tions anſwer to that call, which being ſpoken of Chriſt under the Goſpel, Rom. 9.26. Rom. 10.19. is manifeſt proof for our national Churches, as others have obſerved.

For as the whole people of the Jews were the Church of God, and ſo accoun­ted a holy ſeed, a choſen generation, a ſanctified people, Ezra 9.2. Deut. 14.3. Dan. 8.24. Gods vine, the daughter of his people, his children, Deut. 14.1. in­ſomuch that every man, woman and child of them, without exception, are taken into covenant, Deut. 29.10, 11, 12. There were many of them ignorant perſons, Iſ. 1.3. Iſ. 5.13. many of them wicked perſons, Pſ. 81.11. Amos 3.2. Yet are they owned of God for his people, and ſo called his people,3 children of the Kingdom, Mat. 8.12. children of the covenant, Acts 3.25. Deut. 32.6. in reference to this cove­nant-relation. Hear O my people, and I will teſtifie againſt thee, I am God, even thy God, Pſal. 50.7. I enter'd covenant with thee, and thou becameſt mine, Ez. 16.8. He came to his own, and his own recei­ved him not, Jo. 1.11. they are called his own ſtill, though they refuſed him.

So is it now with all thoſe Nations that having had the Goſpel preached, and anſwering to that Goſpel have re­ceived the doctrine of Chriſt, ſubmit­ting to his Ordinances in profeſſion of his name, they are hereby engrafted in­to the Jews olive or covenant, Rom. 11.17. with Rom. 2.26. and ſo to be reckoned, as they were, the people of God, 1 Pet. 2.10. Beleevers, Acts 8.12, 13. Diſciples, Jo. 6.66. Chriſtians, Acts 11.26. Saints by calling, 1 Cor. 1.2. the Church of the Gentiles, and Kingdom of Chriſt. Mat. 13.41.

And to this purpoſe doe ſuch texts as theſe, Mi. 4.2. Jer. 4.2. Zach. 2.11. Iſ. 65. 1. Rom. 4.17. Matt. 21.43. Pſ. 86.9. Iſ. 25.6. Pſ. 22.27. Pſ. 2.8. 4Zach. 14.9. &c. (See Mr. Hudſons Vind. p. 16. and Mr. Baxt. Inf: Bap: p. 339, 340. Edit. 3.) ſpeak of the Church ve­ry largely and magnificently under the Goſpel. The ſame covenant, ſayes Ru­therford (Treat. Cov. p. 73. & 343.) that was made with Abraham, is made with the Corinthians, 2 Cor. 6.16. I will be their God, and they ſhall be my people. And as that is extended to the whole Jews, Lev. 26.12, 13. So are the whole Gen­tiles, Iſ. 55.4, 5. Iſ. 11.10. Iſ. 60.1, 2. All Nations, Iſa. 2.1, 2. All fleſh, Iſ. 66.23. Iſ. 40.5. Pſal. 65.2. All the kinreds of the earth, Pſ. 22.26, 27. The King­doms of the world, Rev. 11.15. From the riſing of the Sun, to the going down thereof, Mal. 1.11. (to wit, even as many of them as the Lord our God ſhall call, Act. 2.39. ) ſaid to be­come the people of God under the New Teſtament.


SECT. 2.

I Know indeed, for all theſe many and arge expreſſions every where in Scri­pture, ſome eminent Divines do con­ceive the Church and Covenant ought to be reſtrained to the regenerate only, and that none elſe are really, but nomi­nally & aequivocally Church-members. And ſo I remember Arminius expreſſes it for them, Diſp. pub. Theſ. 18. Sec. 15. Vocati, et non electi, ad eccleſiam viſibilem pertinere judicantur, quanquam Aequi­vocè, quum ad inviſibilem non pertine ant.

This doctrine enforces them to di­ſtinguiſh, between what gives right as to a mans own part unto Church-mem­berſhip and the Ordinances, and that which gives right to be admitted; whereas the truth is, theſe are Relata, quorum poſito & ſublato uno, ponitur & tollitur alterum; Beſides, there is this grievous inconvenience it runs don­right into, that the Miniſter ſhall be bound to adminiſter the Ordinances (particularly the Sacrament) unto peo­ple, when they are bound upon pain of6 damnation not to take them. Upon this ariſes inextricable difficulties which as they encline men to ſeparati­ons, ſo they leave the doubtfull Chri­ſtian in ſuch a caſe, that he can hardly ever act in faith upon ſuch foundati­ons.

It is my opinion therefore, that the Covenant may be conſidered in the ſpe­cial grace thereof and in ernal admini­ſtration, and thus it belongs only to the elect and regenerate: Or in the gene­ral grace and external adminiſtration of the Ordinances, and thus it belongs to the whole Church as viſible, and to the ſeveral members alike, whether regene­rate or not.

My reaſons for this latitude are theſe:

  • 1. It is manifeſt that the whole Na­tion of the Jewes, Deut. 29. were Gods peculiar people, in covenant with him, by the texts fore-quoted; and this is amply proved by Mr. Blake, Treat. Cov. p. 189, 190. but that moſt of them were only aequivocally ſo, is by others aſſu­med gratis.
  • 2. It is plain, that the Gentiles are ingrafted into the Olive of the Jews,7 Rom. 11.24. that is, into their ex­ternal covenant, which covenant muſt be the covenant of grace, for elſe it could be no prejudice for any of them to be broken off, nor priviledge for any of us to be ingrafted in. And it muſt be as to the external adminiſtratiò, for elſe neither could any of them be broken off, not any of us ingrafted in.
  • 3. It appears, that the Promiſe or covenant of Grace in the external ad­miniſtration belongs to all that the Lord our God ſhall call, Acts 2.39. To thoſe that are afarr off, (that is, the Gen­tiles) and their children, when the Lord ſhould call any of their parents, as it did for the preſent to the Jews, and theirs.
  • 4. The called, no doubt, are many more than the elect; many are called, but few choſen. The called are ſuch, as Mr. Blake phraſes it, as are brought in covenant, The choſen, ſuch as are brought up to the terms of it. Now it is to be conſidered, The called contain the choſen. As there is an outward vo­cation, and an effectual vocation, yet that outward is real as well as the o­ther; So there is an outward being in8 covenant, and effectual, (as we ſpeak for diſtinctions ſake,) Yet that outward is real, not aequivocally only.
  • 5. The Scripture puts a real diffe­rence between the Nation of the Jews, as being in covenant, Rom. 3.1. and 9.4. and others that were alienated from the Commonwealth of Iſrael, without hope, without God in the world, Eph. 2.12. but if none but the regenerate are in co­venant, there is no ſuch difference ex­ternally between a Jew and Gentile, Chriſtian and Heathen, but aequivocal­ly onely, in which manner methinks the Scripture ſhould not be made to ſpeak ſo abundantly.
  • 6. For this latitude, as to Obligation and priviledge of Ordinances, it is evi­dent, Gen. 17.10. This is my covenant ye ſhall keep between me and you, every man-child among you ſhall be circumciſed. Here I note, that the waiting on Gods ordinance, is the keeping the covenant it ſelf, in the external adminiſtration; And ſurely there is ſo much plain ſtrength in the inſtance of circumciſion, Gen. 17. Jud. 5. from this large right of Ordinances from covenant-relation, that it alone will hold againſt all9 can be ſaid againſt it.
  • 7. Excellent Mr. Baxter in his Inf: Bap: p. 224. mihi Ed. 3. highly com­mending Mr. Blakes opening of the con­ditional covenant, and affirming that he hath fully proved, that the reprobate (meaning of profeſſors) is within the verge of it, he adds, And doubtleſſe this imereſt in the covenant is afruit of Chriſts death. Now if it be ſo, how can it be aequivocal only? that is, an interect or priviledge, which will become a lie, and diſſimulation for thoſe that have it, to aſſume; and can that be a fruit of Chriſts death?
  • 8. If no unregenerate Chriſtian be in covenant but aequivocally, then muſt not ſuch a one bring his child to bap­tiſm, nor partake himſelf of Chriſtian communion, but it is a meer mockery of Chriſt (as ſome ſeem to me here to ſpeak harſhly) to avoid which, he muſt tenounce his profeſſion, and never come to the Supper, and to the other Ordi­nances, but only as an Heathen and In­fidel.
  • 9. Then thoſe that are diſciples of Chriſt (for ſo was Judas) muſt not be caught to doe all things Chriſt hath10 commanded, Mat. 28.20.
  • 10. The Scripture (as Mr. Blake ur­ges) ſpeaks of dealing falſly in cove­nant, breaking, and not being ſtedfaſt in it: but if the regenerate only be in co­venant, there can be no ſuch thing re­ally, but nominally only.
  • 11. Chriſt ſaid expreſly to the twelve, Doe this, Drink you all of it, that was a command, and yet one of them was unregenerate; From whence it follows, that receiving the Sacrament is a duty of a diſciple, though unregenerate, and ſo the covenant, as to priviledge of or­dinances, belonging to ſuch. For my part, I cannot but think thoſe titles of Diſciples, Beleevers, Chriſtians, Saints by calling, and the like, given to all within the Church, are titles of right, and not nominal only. We muſt diſtin­guiſh (ſaies Timſon) of beleeving in a large ſenſe, and of beleeving in a ſtrict ſenſe, both to be accounted true beleeving in Scripture ſenſe: The denomination of a beleever, (and ſo Saint, Chriſtian,) is as well derived from a right object beleeved on, as from the holineſs of the ſubject belee­ving. (Anſw. to Mr. Col: p. 153.) It is in my apprehenſion appoſitely ſpo­ken.
  • 11
  • 12. The covenant is founded upon grace. Gratia (ſaies Bullinger, Decad. 5. Ser: 6.) eſt favor numinis, quo Deus pater, nos propter Chriſtum complectitur, et donis inſtruct. Now in the Scripture there is two-fold grace; General grace, and Special grace; God is ſaid to love all, (that he would have all to be ſaved) yet elect ſome; Chriſt is ſaid to dye for all, and to dye for his ſheep; Both theſe are true, whatſoever men con­tend, the Scripture muſt be beleeved, and we muſt not argue from the one to the deſtruction of the other. To define this ſenſe orthodoxly how both are re­conciled, who is ſo wiſe to undertake? One Cottier, a grave French-Proteſtant Divine, in an Epiſtle of his to one of their Provincial Aſſemblies, and well approved of by them, having ſtudied this point long, ſaies thus. Ad haec reſpondemus, non eſſe aſyſtata, quia gradu & modo differunt. Deum putamus poſſe magìs et minùs velle. Par eſt majora ma­gìs, minora minùs velle. Quod verò de Deo dicitur, Chriſto etiam convenit, Pro omnibus mortuus, magis vero pro Electis. Doctor Twiſſe ſaies thus often, Fatemur et nos Chriſtum-mortuum eſſe pro: omnibus12 et ſingulis, hoc ſenſu, nempe ut inomnes & ſingulos per mortem ejus redundet ſalus, modò in ipſum credant. Lib. 2. Crim. 4. Sect. 6. For my part, I dare not be pe­remptory in determining this ſenſe of General grace, it ſuffices me that there is ſome ſenſe thereof according to the word of truth, and I ſhall only obſerve this one thing, that in the Scripture this General grace belonging to all in ſome Orthodox ſenſe whatſoever it be, is often appropriated to the viſible Church, who are ſaid to be redeemed, to be in Chriſt, and ſanctified with his blood: in way of diſtinction from the world; when ſome of them are repro­bates, and periſh with it, 2 Pet. 2.1. Jo. 15.2. Heb. 10.29. And herein I do conceive we may ſee how the cove­nant of grace in this latitude to the whole Church may ſtand upon a real, and not an aequivocal foundation; and that will be, if we doe not reckon the unregenerate and non-elect to be in co­venant in reference to ſpecial grace, as Chriſt is ſaid to dye for his ſheep and elect, whereof theſe cannot partake in­deed, only in the account of men, which is nominally only; but in reference to13 General grace, as Chriſt is ſaid to dye for all (and that not nominally, aequivo­cally, in the account of men only; but really, ſo that the tender and offer of Chriſt to all is ſerious and real) as it is appropriated to the Church that re­ceives it, with diſtinction of priviledge from the heathen or world, that doe not receive this grace and Goſpel, but deny it. And this by the way I ſhall humbly offer, for the removing ſome grand objections which ſtick with ma­ny. For inſtance, The Sacraments are ſignes of grace, inſtituted to teſtifie the be­ing and having the thing, ſaies. Gilleſpie, Aar: rod bloſ. B. 3. c. 13. Therefore they belong to the regenerate only. Again, It is not credible that Chriſt ſhould ſay, This is my body broken for you, and my blood ſhed for you, if Judas were amongſt the other diſciples. B. 3. c. 8. Again, The Sacrament is the communion of the body & blood of Chriſt, with the like. I anſwer, The Sacraments are ſigns directly of this general Grace, as it is appropria­ted in Scripture to the Church and they do teſtifie to every nember the being and their having thereof, by way of ad­vantage and diſtinction from the world;14 And thus, as it is credible that Chriſt ſhould ſay there are ſome branches in him that yet are fruitleſſe; that Peter ſhould ſay, ſome are bought by the Lord, that deny him; and Paul, that ſome are ſanctined by the blood of the covenant, that trample upon it, accor­ding to the texts fore-quoted; So is it credibſe that Chriſt ſhould ſay theſe words, This is my body broken for you, to Judas among the reſt, and in the ſame ſenſe is there a communion of Chriſts body and blood to all within the Church, (even as Moſes ſaies to all the people. Rehold the blood of the cove­nant which the Lord hath made with you. Ex. 24.8. Heb. 9.19.20. ) though ſome of them be profeſſors only. Two things here may be demanded, 1. How can this General grace of the covenant be appropriated to the Church, which belongs to all the world? I anſwer. It belongs to the world only in regard of publication, tender, and a kind of po­tential intereſt if they come in; but it belongs to the Church by way of actual intereſt, as already come in (See my Rejoynd. p. 202.) ſo that one is ſaid to be in covenant, and the others yet ali­ens,15 from it, Eph. 2. 12.2ly. What is that then which brings a man into this outward actual intereſt in the covenant, whereby this General grace thereof be­longs to him by way of priviledge now, when as yet he is no more partaker of the Special grace thereof than before? I anſwer with Mr. Hudſon, Vind. p. 8. There are two Sieves which God uſeth, the firſt is to ſift the world into a viſible eccleſiaſtical body; The ſecond is to ſift this viſible eccleſiaſtical body, into a ſpiritual inviſible body. The one Sieve is managed by the hands of the Mini­ſter, the other is in the hands of God only: Into the one a man is brought by the outward call of the Miniſter, and his own anſwering that call in recei­ving the doctrine of Chriſt, and ſubje­ction to the Ordinances; Into the o­ther a man is brought only by election and regeneration.
  • 13. Laſtly, The covenant under the New Teſtament is ſaid to be better than under the Old, Heb. 7.22. & 8.6. But to account this priviledge of Ordi­nances which was in common to the Jews (as is proved before) to belong now only to the regenerate, is to make16 it worſe under the New teſtament than under the Old, which is injurious to doe. Arbitrari (ſaies Calvin, Inſt. l. 4. c. 16. Sec. 6.) Chriſtum adventu ſno pa­tris gratiam immiouiſſe, aut decurtaſſe, execrabili blaſphemia non vacat. I know ſome do make this difference between the New and Old Teſtament, that the Jews were all called Gods people, and reckoned in covenant, though many of them were wicked; but it is not ſo now (ſay they) under the New. Againſt theſe I ſhall oppoſe only thoſe two plain texts, 1 Cor. 5.11, 12. there are ſcan­dalous perſons enumerated, a Fornica­tor, covetous, drunkard, yet within, (that is, within the Church and covenant) yet a brother. So 2 Theſſ. 3.15. There is the diſorderly perſon, yet count him not as an enemy; that is happily (conſide­ring the word in other places, as Rom. 11.28. Eph. 2.16. ) count him not as one out of the Church, an Unbeleever or Heathen, but admoniſh him as a bro­ther. And indeed, unleſs ſuch be loo­ked on as brethren, and as within, how can there be any excommunication, for what have we to doe to judge thoſe that are without? I know that Cameroes authori­ty17 is here quoted, but that grave and pious man Mr. Blake hath made it his buſineſſe to confute this difference, in the 27, 28, and 29 Chapters of his Treatiſe of the Covenant; wherein as I find Mr. Anthony Burgeſſe parti­cularly in this point commending that Tract as ſolid and judicious, in his ſe­cond part of Juſtif: after he had ſeen what hath been put in againſt it; likewiſe Mr. Vines, and others; So doe I humbly judge his labours there­in are worthy to be atteſted, as very ſerviceable to the Churches peace.

SECT. 3.

VNto the Church, under that noti­on, as his Church, or people, the Lord hath vouchſafed his ordinances by way of priviledge and diſtinction from the world. He ſhewed his word to Jacob, his ſtatutes and his judgements unto Iſra­el, he hath not done ſo to any nation, as for his judgements they have not known them, Pſ. 147.19, 20. Pſ. 78.5, 6, 7. What ad­vantage then hath the Jew? Much every way, chiefly becauſe that unto thē were com­mitted the oracles of God, Rom. 3.12. To them pertaineth the adoption, the convenants and the ſervice of God, Rom. 8.4. with Eph. 2.12. Upon this account, do our Divines ſolidly (as I think) make the Ordinances, the right adminiſtration of the Word and Sacraments (under which, a profeſſion of the doctrine of Chriſt, prayer, and other worſhip is comprehended) to be the notes or marks of the viſible Church. It is true indeed, that the Goſpel is to be prea­ched unto every creature to bring men19 in unto the Church, as the Jewes no doubt might uſe the Word to make pro­ſelytes, nevertheleſſe the word of God as other ordinances, cannot be ſaid to pertain unto any out of the Church, in the ſenſe of the Scriptures now mentio­ned, until they receive the doctrine thereof, and externally ſubject them­ſelves to the ſame. For this ſame pri­viledge of ordinances, or this donation of ordinances by way of priviledge to the Church, in diſtinction from others, is a thing to be ſtood upon as a matter very conſiderable, both becauſe, if we let this advantage fall, we ſhall preſent­ly level a Chriſtian with an Heathen, the Church of Chriſt, with the Pagan world: and alſo becauſe the Lord hath appoin­ted theſe his ordinances (whereby the advantage of them does appear) to be the ordinary means of beſtowing his effectual grace, which he hath indefi­nitely promiſed in the uſe thereof.


SECT. 4.

VPon this latitude of the convenant, and this priviledge of ordinances belonging thus to the Church, as a pro­prium quarto modo, or an eſſential mark thereof, it muſt follow, that every mem­ber in ſtatu quo, muſt have a rightevol­ved on him, or flowing to him from that relation as a member. Only here wee muſt obſerve two diſtinctions.

  • 1. We muſt diſtinguiſh between a Right unto the effectual benefits of Chriſt held forth in an ordinance, as particularly the Lords Supper; and a Right to the external ordinance: The former right indeed, belongs to none but the regenerate; but the latter belongs to all within the Church, to all alike that are Members. Aliqui induunt Chri­ſtum (ſays Austin) uſque ad Sacramen­torum receptionem, aln ad vitae ſanctifica­tionem. I know ſome chuſe to diſtin­guiſh here between an activeight in the Church to conferre the Seals, and a paſſive right in a viſible Member to receive; a right in foro Eccleſiae, and in foro Dei. But for my part, I think this former plain diſtinction of mine, re­ſpecting an active and paſſive right in fo­ro21 Dei & Eccleſiae alike, is rather (for theſe two reaſons, ſee Sect. 2.) to be uſed; and in other terms may, if you pleaſe, be expreſſed thus. The Sacra­ments may be conſidered either Com­plexly, with the entire fruits and be­nefits of the Covenant, unto which truth of Grace is neceſſarily required to the obtaining thereof: Or preciſely in the Ordinance it ſelf, and ſo it is Church-memberſhip alone, or external covenant-relation, denominating the ſubjects, Saints, Beleevers, Diſciples, Chriſtians, that gives men right unto the ſame. See reverend Dr. Worths Inf: Bap: p. 16. It is one thing what is requi­red of the receiver in his coming or that comes to the Sacrament (as of the hea­rer, and him that prays in their hearing and prayer) and another thing what is requir'd to receiving: ſo that elſe he muſt not come.
  • 2. We muſt diſtinguiſh between a Right, and uſe of that right; Though this right unto all the ordinances be in common, It muſt be acknowledged for the uſe and actual partaking of ſome or­dinances, particularly the Lords Sup­per; there is a difference to be put be­tween ſuch as are not of age or capacity,22 but want the uſe of reaſon (as Infants, Idiots, Diſtracted, with the like) and other members; the direct and imme­diate ground hereof lying herein, in that the uſe of a right, is not of ſo large ex­tent, as the right is. A man may have a right to a thing, or to do a thing, when it is impoſſible for him to uſe the thing or to doe it, and the impoſſibility does diſoblige, and excuſe him from the doing. It is thus with infants and diſtracted perſons in point of the Lords Supper; it is not for want of a right they are not admitted, (any more than the infectious or ſick) they have a right, nay a full plenary right (let others uſe their own terms as they will) as appears con­vincingly by the other Sacrament of baptiſme, where there being only a paſ­ſive reception, which they are capable of, they do, and muſt receive it: But it is becauſe they cannot uſe the ſame right here, where ſuch an activity is re­quired, as they are not capable of; E­ven as in their eſtates they have a right to them, but they do not manage them. An heir in his infancy is Lord of all, in reſpect of the one, and yet differs not from a ſervant, in reſpect of the other, Gal. 4.1.

SECT. 5.

FRom this conceſſion of mine about Infants and the Diſtracted, it cannot be argued, à pari, by my oppoſers, for an excluſion of all ignorant, unregene­rate, and ſcandalous perſons.

1. Becauſe in the one they ſtand wholly on the point of Right, but in the other we look only on the uſe of that tight. The unregenerate (ſay they) have no right to the Sacrament, and if they be viſibly ſo, through ignorance or ſcandal, they muſt be excluded: We ſay Infants and the diſtracted, have a right, but only they have not reaſon to manage their right, as the other have; ſo here is no parity. The truth is, it is memberſhip (as before) that alone gives right, ſo that though a perſon be unregenerate he may have a right to the ordinance, and whether he be Infant, Diſtracted, Ignorant or Scandalous, it is all one for that, if he be a member, this external right is the ſame in the24 one as in the other; Now the right be­ing the ſame, in the uſe of the right muſt lie all the difference; which between theſe is plain enough; the one have the exerciſe of reaſon, and are thereby able to act from a principle of reverence to­wards God, the other have not. The Corinths ſin of not diſcerning the Lords body, was more of careleſnes or pro­phaneneſſe, than bare ignorance; there is as much difference between Infants and Ignorants, (as I have ſaid other­where) as between a Doe not, and a Cannot, if the one does not, it is their fault; but the other cannot, and are ex­cuſed.

2. Becauſe there is yet a farther thing here, moſt conſiderable, and that is this. The very ground upon which we are to do any thing, or leave it undone, is the conſideration of duty; The com­mand of God, as it is our rule, ſo it muſt be the reaſon of our actions. Now there is a difference in the very point of obligation or duty, between Infants and Diſtracted perſons, and Ignorant and Scandalous perſons. The com­mand of the Apoſtle is this, 1 Cor. 11. Let a man examine himſelf, and ſo let25 him eat, diſcerning the Lords body; Now as for Infants, and the Diſtracted, they are not bound to this command, it is impoſſible for ſuch to examine them­ſelves, and diſcern the Lords body; and there can be no obligation to that which is naturally impoſſible: But as for. Scandalous and Ignorant perſons, they are bound to examine themſelves, they are of capacitie, and are bound to get knowledge, and diſcern the Lords body, Who can deny that they are bound to do this, and that if they do it not, it is their ſinne? It is true, an ig­norant perſon cannot examine himſelf, as well as a knowing Chriſtian; but he can examine himſelf though ſo farr that he is bound to it: He cannot hear and apply the Word, as a man of more know­ledge; but he can hear and apply the Word after a ſort, though as an igno­rant man, which he is bound unto; and ſo far as he can apply the word, he can examine himſelf, the doing of one, is a doing of the other. Likewiſe, an unre­generate man cannot diſcern the Lords body with that faith and love as the re­generate do; but yet nevertheleſſe, in point of dutie, the caſe is plain, every26 man muſt doe ſtill what he can, that God may help him to do what he can­not. That which is a ſin to neglect or leave undone, is a dutie to be done; but it is a ſin in Ignorant and Scandalous perſons not to examine themſelves and diſcern the Lords body, and no fin in Infant and Diſtracted perſons; and therefore it is a dutie in the one, and not in the other. And if it be a dutie, here comes in then this rule, which can never be taken off, that Mans impoten­cie in the manner of performance of a dutie, muſt not make void Gods autho­ritie in the ſubſtance; and ſo I cloze up this, if there be a dutie incumbent upon Ignorant and Scandalous members in reſpect of this Sacrament, which is not on Infants, and thoſe which have not the uſe of reaſon, then can there be no argument here from the non-admiſſion of the one, to the excluſion of the o­ther. And this might ſuffice, but I will adde.

3. It cannot be reaſonably imagined that ſuch a ſtate of perſons (as Infants and Idiots) in the Church ſhould be ad­mitted to actual receiving, that in the diſcretion of the Church are no proper27 objects of Church-cenſures in point of offending, which growen perſons in the Church are, though never ſo ignorant. As John Timſon hath put in to my aſſiſt­ance in his Bar removed, p. 6. I will add, it is as unreaſonable likewiſe that ſuch a ſtate of men in the Church as ig­norant perſons, ſhould not be capable of a right of receiving the Sacrament, who are upon their miſdemeanour lyable to a cenſure of exluſion from it. Eadem eſt ratio contrariorum.

4. The non-admiſſion of Infants, and Diſtracted or Idiots, is the office of eve­rie ſingle Miniſter, belonging only to the right adminiſtring of the ordinance; ſo that the precept alone, Let a man ex­amine himſelf, and diſcern the Lords bodies, does ſuffice for the doing there­of: But excluſion of ignorant and ſcan­dalous perſons is an act of Juriſdiction, and belonging (according to the Pres­byterians) to the Elders: ſo that there are other texts required, upon the ac­count whereof that is to be done, to wit, thoſe texts which concern diſci­pline, as Mat. 18. 1 Cor. 5. Put away from among you ſuch a perſon. There is not therefore the ſame reaſon for the28 one, as for the other, as may be gather'd farther from what will follow. There is more required, and another ground, to an act which is eccleſiaſtically inflictive of puniſhment, than to a bare act of pa­ſtoral diſcretion.

5. The Ordinances all are to be uſed only for edification: Now the work of the Sacrament on the receiver being on­ly by way of ſign, as the underſtanding is exerciſed thereon, it is not poſsible, that thoſe who have not the uſe of rea­ſon to diſcern any meaning here of can be edified, or have any real grace wrought on them by it. But for ſuch as are of years & underſtanding, though ſpiritually ignorant and ſcandalous, though unregenerate (for the regene­rate may ſometimes be ſuch) I do con­ceive they are capable through the grace of God to receive good by it, as by the word; the Sacrament being nothing elſe but a viſible word, or an appendix to the Goſpel.

As for the ignorant in the firſt place, I ſuppoſe ſuch as are of age and reaſon, let the Miniſter ſpeak of Mans miſerie, redemption by Chriſt, and tell the peo­ple plainly the meaning of the Sacra­ment29 they come unto, in as few plain words as they can and ought, who can deny that they may not receive inſtru­ction) and with inſtruction, convicti­on) now at this time they are here, as at another? If they do not, the fault will be their Miniſters or their own. The Sacrament, mediante verbo, through the word, will be granted a teaching ordi­nance, but the Word does accompany the Sacrament, and is indeed a part of it. The Novices of the Jews were in­ſtructed in the meaning of the Paſſeover and ſome myſteries of their Religion; at their eating the Paſſeover (Godwin, Jewiſh Antiq. l. 3. c. 4.) the Paſchal Lamb was appointed for a teaching ſign, and memorial in their generations, Exod. 12.26, 27. So doubtleſs is the Sacrament a teaching ſign alſo. I muſt confeſſe, if you will ſay that ſome are ſo groſly ignorant that they are not ca­pable for the preſent to learn, or be in­ſtructed by publick teaching, then may you have the libertie for me to number them amongſt Idiots, and ſuch as have not the uſe of reaſon, and ſo deal with them accordingly; and if indeed there be ſuch, we had beſt happily, for avoy­ding30 cavil, to diſtinguiſh between theſe (excepting them, together with Infants and the Diſtracted) and thoſe whom I ſpeak of, that though they be ignorant, are of diſcretion and capacitie to edifie by the publick ordinances; and as for ſuch, it ſeems to me againſt ſenſe to de­ny that they may not receive inſtructi­on and edification by the Word that ac­companies the Sacrament, (eſpecially in things of the Sacrament) as well as by that which goes before, or after it. And by the way, as for the younger ſort come out of their childhood, my judge­ment is with Aquinas, Quando pueri in­cipiunt aliqualem uſum rationis habere, ut poſſint devotionem hujus Sacramenti con­cipere, tunc poteſt eis hoc Sacramen­tum conferri, Part 3. Quaeſt. 80. Art. 4.

For the Scandalous in the next place, I would have ſome to know or conſider that the Sacrament is an ordinance wherein the curſe and wrath of God a­gainſt ſin is held forth in the ſufferings of Chriſt, as well as pardon upon repen­tance, Herein is the joynt ſtrength of the Law and Goſpel applyed in power to the un­derſtanding, and a moſt high-aggravating31 of ſin upon the conſcience, ſaies Mr. Blake, in his late Book, called The Covenant ſealed, in reference to his former, The Covenant opened, ch. 7. Sect. 13. Arg. 3. & 4. A ſin-aggravating, heart-brea­king, ſoul-humbling ordinance (as he calls it) is a means to reclaim even a ſcandalous ſinner.

Reader, I ſpeak not theſe things on the one hand, to hinder Catechiſm, Examination, and any means of private conference for the bringing our peo­ple unto knowledge; Nay, I am not againſt a prudential making uſe of this ſeaſon to this end; but only in regard that few Miniſters doe or can go to all their people, and their people will not come to them, I doe conceive it may be ſatisfactory to their ſpirits in doing their office, that though ſome perſons be ig­norant, yet coming to the Supper, and hearing the nature and uſe of the Sacra­ment laid open, there is hope through Gods grace, that they may receive at the very time competent information to be edified and wrought on by it. I will ſpeak plainly, they may receive in­ſtruction for the knowing (according to their modell) the wretchedneſſe of32 ſin, that Christ is the Son of God, through whoſe name alone we can be ſaved, and that he is held forth as crucified in the elements, and tender'd to beleevers, which is as much as Mr. Blake ſaies, he dares re­quire to admittance, Cov. Seal. p. 233. Again on the other hand, I ſpeak not neither to favour the ſcandalous, my doctrine is rather too harſh in the caſt­ing them out, yet am I not ſo far gone, as to think that it is not poſſible for ſuch a perſon (not yet under cenſure) to be wrought on, or edified by this ordinance. No, let but a right application of what is held forth herein be made by every receiver, according to the ſtate of his ſoul, and what can be more effectual through the word to break his heart? Let the man which is moſt keen againſt ſin, conſider what I have propoſed in my Rejoynder, p. 37, 39, 40, 75, 76. 112, 113.235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 255. and he will ſee this is no looſe do­ctrine I have taught.

Neither may they ſay this is no means to work grace or repentance, but confirm it; this is not an ordinance for con­verſion; but for edification For I ſay otherwiſe, It is a means of edification33 and ſalvation, and therefore unto ſome likewiſe of converſion. The whole exer­ciſe of Chriſts officers in diſpenſing the word, ſeales, and all other ordinances of Christ, ſay the London Divines, (in their Jus Divin. Reg. Ec. p. 36.) is for the edifying the Church of Christ, or the viſible body, Eph: 4.11, 12. with v. 4, 5, 6. & 1 Cor. 12.11, 12. From hence then I argue, If the Lord hath appointed all his ordi­nances within the Church for the edifi­cation of the whole, and there be ſome unregenerate within the Church, then is the Sacrament appointed for ſome un­regenerate mens edification, and conſe­quently their converſion, for otherwiſe ſuch cannot at all be edified unto ſalva­tion. But the former is true, therefore the latter. Again, The ſolemn applica­tion of the covenant to a mans ſelf, ac­cording to his eſtate, to wit, of ſalvation through Chriſt, if he will beleeve and repent, and of judgement from Chriſt, if he continues in his ſinnes, and does not turn effectually to him, is the very onely way whereby the Spirit uſually worketh conviction and ſincere conver­ſion: But actual receiving of the Sacra­ment is a ſolemn means of ſuch an ap­plication. 34Ergo. I pray ſee what I have written in the fore-quoted places for the clearing of this, and compare it with the ſubſtance of what Mr. Blake hath put in ſince (and, it may be, more cautiouſly expreſt) in the ſaid place of his Cov: Seal. p. 204. & 240. which hath much confirm'd me; and I am perſwaded, when this matter is a litle more laid to heart, that many will not only be ready to con­feſſe with him, (ibid. p. 240.) that there is more weight herein, than perſonally hath been acknowledged; but alſo, that though it be objected againſt my do­ctrine, that it ſtrengthens the hands of the wicked, Ez. 13.22. yet ſhall the godly find here a ſword put in their hands for the ſmiting the wicked, the ſecure, and hypocrite, up to the heart, with this Sacrament it ſelf; while they are but taught to apply what is held forth to them according to their condition.

Indeed I conceive a forbearance ſometimes for all this may be piouſly adviſed upon the account of prudence, and the ſolemnitie of the ordinance, to doe more good by it; (which I ſhall ſpeak ſomething of in the end,35 to yield what may be, to the ſatisfying the pious) but this will not come up to a neceſſity. All the diſciples of Chriſt were ignorant in the funda­mentals of Chriſts death and reſurre­ction, and Judas was ſcandalous (See my Rejoynd. page 15.) yet Chriſt ex­cluded neither of them at his Sup­per.


SECT. 6.

WEll now, let thus much be conſi­dered, that the Lord hath his Church in ſuch a latitude, to take into it whole Nations, regenerate and unre­generate; That the priviledge of or­dinances belongs to this Church by way of diſtinction of it from the world That every member thereof therefore hath a right unto the ordinances devol­ved on him from this Church-covenant-relation: While yet it is confeſſed, that there are ſome which through their incapacity of reaſon cannot uſe the ſame. The reſult of all will come to this, that there is no perſon of diſcreti­on within the Church can be debarred any publick ordinance, particularly the Sacrament, before he be turn'd out of the Church, with which, this privi­ledge of ordinances is convertible, and from it inſeparable. The Sacrament is the communion, or token of our com­munion in Jeſus Chriſt; But every37 Church-member in ſtatu quo, is in Chriſt, Jo. 15.2. and in ſome ſenſe partaker of his blood, ſo as to ſanctifie him, Heb. 10 29. and redeem him, 2 Pet. 2.1. and therefore his right is good to that which is in the ſame ſenſe the token hereof; So long as he is in communion, how can he be debarr'd the communion? while he is in the body, he may partake of the body; The Church is the body of Chriſt, and ſo long as we are one body, we are one bread, and partakers of that one bread.

I muſt yet follow moreover, if it cannot be proved that Jeſus Chriſt hath given order for the caſting out ſome from the Church, ſo far that for the pre­ſent they are thereby cut off their ex­ternal covenant-Church-relation, we muſt maintain a promiſcuous communi­on, in the largeſt way, as learned Muſ­culus, and others before Eraſtus have done; which yet I dare in no wiſe ap­prove, ſo far as it oppoſes an Eccleſiaſti­cal government diſtinct from the Civil within the Church. It is my opinion therefore, that the Lord Jeſus hath ſet up a power of the Keyes under the Goſ­pel, diſtinct from the Magiſtrate, where­by38 he hath taken order, that if there be any perſons within the Church that are ſcandalous, and remain obſtinate after due admonition, that they are to be caſt out by the cenſure of Excommunication, which being ſuch as turns them out from the Church (Mat. 18.17. 1 Cor, 5.7, 13. Io. 9.22.3. Io. 10.) their right unto the ordinances muſt needs fall together with their Church-relati­on, and then they are juſtly to be kept from the Sacrament. So that I herein declare againſt an Eraſtian in-diſcipli­nary promiſcuous communion, though I ſtand for an orthodox diſciplinary Free-admiſſion.

And here I will advance this one ar­gument againſt Eraſtus, which will ſtand, I ſuppoſe, when others will not; and it is this. If the Scripture does al­low an excluſion of ſome from the Church in general, or from her ſocietie and communion in general, then may ſome be excluded from the Sacrament, becauſe the Sacrament is a part of that communion. But the Scripture does allow and command this, Mat. 18. 1 Cor. 5. Purge out the old leven; Keep no company; Put away jrom among you ſuch39 a perſon; Let him be to thee as, an heathen. Therefore an excluſion from the Sacra­ment upon thoſe grounds as do reſpect it onely as a part of Church-ſociety in general, is to be maintained againſt the Eraſtian by excommunication; as an excluſion upon other grounds, as parti­cularly from the diſtinct nature of the ordinance is to be oppoſed againſt others that would have it without excommu­nication.


SECT. 7:

FOr the Excommunicate, there is a received diſtinction of ſuch that are ſo, Either Ipſo jure, or De facto; Thoſe are accounted ipſo jure excommunicate, whoſe ſcandal and impenitency is evi­dent to the Church, that there need no tryal for their conviction. Thoſe are de facto excommunicate who have farther a legal ſentence paſſed on them. It muſt bee acknowledged that many Divines and Churches of God have allowed the Miniſter a liberty to with­hold the Sacrament from perſons Excommunicate ipſo jure, before ſen­tence; unto whoſe reverend authority, I have ever judg'd with due limitation much is to be ſubmitted; ſo that upon their ſcore I have expreſt my ſelf in my Rejoynd. p. 21, 26. ſo farre, that ſup­poſing there are ſcandals, 1. Notorious, that they offend the Congregation. 2. Open, that they need no proof or debate. 3. Actual, or in the preſent41 fact, that no repentance can be plead­ed, it may not matter much, if you deal with ſuch as excommunicate, when you judge it like to doe good. In extraor­dinary caſes, ſome extraordinary procee­dings break no ſquares. Nevertheleſſe (ordinarily) upon my fartheſt conſide­ration, I do believe it a thing more con­ſonant to the ſcope of the Scripture, and leſſe lyable to oppoſition, to reſolve that an eccleſiaſtical judgement firſt paſſe upon a perſon, before he be ex­cluded any part of our Churches publick communion: and therefore I doe own here that thing (as fit and good) which is noted by Mr. Collings, Vind. Suſpenſ: & Presb: p. 36. That though I grant to the Miniſter thus much upon a pinch, in caſe of ſome intollerable e­vil, yet as to what is ordinarily to be done, all my arguments are ſo framed, as to conclude, that a perſon muſt not be only de jure, but alſo de facto excom­municate, before he be debarred his ad­miſſion.

My reaſons are, 1 Becauſe the Apo­ſtle commanding the Corinths, 1 Cor. 5. Not to keep company nor eat with thoſe brethren, that were fornicators, drun­kards,42 railers, and the like, layes down expreſsly this proceeding, For doe not ye judge thoſe that are within? v. 12. that is, this not keeping company is intended no otherwiſe, than upon a judgement foregoing. This refuſing to eat with ſuch a one, was by vertue of a judicial ſentence (ſaies Gilleſpie, Aar. rod. bloſſ. p. 430.) paſt againſt the ſcandalous perſon. And Beza, De Presb. p. 57. So in 2 Theſſ. 3.14. If any obey not, note that man, and have no company with him. The diſorder­ly perſon is firſt to be noted,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that is, according to our chief Anti-Erastian Divines, Beza, Ham­mond, Rutherford, Gilleſpy. Set a mark upon him, or a cenſure, and then with­draw from him. Indeed it is a queſtion whether this Note or Judging, in theſe texts be authoritative, or private only; I muſt confeſs if they be not authorita­tive, but of private diſcretion, as Era­ſtus holds, then this will not reach the purpoſe, nor this Have no company, I ſuppoſe then, reach to the Sacrament.

2. Becauſe it ſeems not reaſonable, that a penalty ſhould be inflicted on a perſon before a judgement be given. I will expreſſe this in the words of Reve­rend43 Bowles, quoted by another out of his Evangelical Paſtor. Qui omnium peſſimi, uſque dum eccleſia ſuâ ſententiâ decretoriâ pro canibus et porcis habendos declaraverit, non mihi cum illis ut canibus & porcis agendum eſt. Latronem, qui mortem commeruit, nullus jure de vitâ tol­lat uſquedum judex et reum declaraverit et ſententiam tulerit.

3. Becauſe there are like to follow many flippery and dangerous inconve­niences upon the allowing the Miniſter power of doing otherwiſe: inſomuch as I find Beza in his book againſt Eraſtus, very often, and very earneſtly me-thinks, ſpeaking to this purpoſe. Etiamſi ſuis oculis minister quempiam viderit aliquid agentem, quod coenae excluſionem mereatur, jure tamen nec debeat nec poſſit, niſi voca­tum, convictum, legitimè deniqueſecundum conſtitutum in eccleſia ordinem, damnatum, à menſa domini, cum authoritate prohibere. See p. 26. 23. 75, &c.

4. Becauſe Excluſion from the Sacra­ment, according to my judgement, is not to be allowed by any means upon thoſe reaſons which are moſt ſtood upon from the nature of the ordinance it ſelf, as diſtinct herein from others, but upon44 the account of diſcipline only. To ex­clude from the Lords Supper (ſaies Scho­laſtical Mr. Jeanes as the ſubject of his diſcourſe upon this queſtion, which he hath ſtrongly carried) is a kind of Eccle­ſiaſtical puniſhment, and therefore preſup­poſeth an Eccleſiaſtical cenſure; though men have deſerved ſuch a puniſhment, yet it is not to be inflicted on them, untill they be legally cenſured, p. 118. Ed. 2.


SECT. 8.

THat my mind here may be clearly underſtood, the controverſie be­tween mee and thoſe that oppoſe me be more fully ſtated, and ſome pre­judice avoided, I muſt crave pardon to uſe ſome more words, it may be ſome more than enough, upon this particu­lar.

In my Vindication of Free-admiſſion (my firſt little book, p. 33.) for the ex­plaining my conceptions, I have laid down a diſtinction between diſcipline and worſhip. The exerciſe of the keys, as acts of diſcipline, I would have ac­counted one thing, and the uſe of the ordinances, as acts of worſhip, to be a­nother. Diſcipline to be in one element, Worſhip in another. I know, if ſome liſt to be contentious, they may confound theſe, but docendi gratiâ at leaſt, for the expreſſing my ſelf, no equitable man can deny me thus to diſtinguiſh for my pur­poſe. Now there are two extreames,46 I conceive, concerning Free-admiſſion to the Lords Supper; On the one hand, of ſuch who are too large for it, and the other of ſuch as are too ſtrict againſt it.

There are ſome then, as hath been touched before, that plead for free admiſ­ſion, not only in regard of Worſhip, but alſo in regard of Diſcipline; diſ­claiming all excluſion from any of the publick Ordinances of God by the cen­ſures of the Church, and indeed denying all Eccleſiaſtical government, diſtinct frō the civil, where the Magiſtrate is Chri­ſtian. There are others that plead a­gainſt free admiſſion, not only in point of Diſcipline, but alſo in point of Wor­ſhip, herein advancing the Sacrament above all other Ordinances, that thoſe who have a granted right to all other parts of Gods worſhip and Church-com­munion as baptiſed members, are deni-to have any right unto the Sacrament, though they be yet under Church-indul­gence, and not cenſured. The Sacra­ment (ſay they) requires truth of grace in the receivers; unleſſe a man be rege­nerate on his own part, he is forbidden to come, and conſequently, unleſſe up­on47 trial and examination there be ſome evidence that he is viſibly or probably ſuch, on the Churches part, he muſt not be admitted. In the middle, between theſe extreames, my opinion (and the truth, as I think, without engaging o­thers) does lie; Affirming againſt the former, who are the Eraſtians, that the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, hath ſet up a power of the keys in the Church, (as I have ſaid before) and that the Scripture is manifeſt for an excluſion of ſome per­ſons (to wit, the ſcandalous and obſti­nate) from Chriſtian communion in ge­neral, and ſo conſequently from the Lords Supper, as a part thereof. Ne­vertheleſſe I doe aſſert likewiſe againſt the latter, that there is no Scripture for the excluſion of any from this Sacrament without diſcipline, but that admini­ſtring and receiving the Lords Supper, is as free and univerſal (in the nature thereof to our members) as other parts of Church-communion.

The ſame qualifications are required to effectual prayer, and other parts of Gods worſhip, as to the Sacrament; and as the want hereof puts no barre to the one, no more does it to the other. It48 ſhall never be proved, I believe, that the Scripture hath advanced this diffe­rence between the Sacrament and other ordinances, that herein alone it muſt be better to omit the matter and manner both, than to do the matter, if it be not done in ſuch manner as it ought, di­rectly contrary to all other duty. In ſhort then, neither the Eraſtian, nor ri­gid Suſpenſioner muſt have their wills; In point of Diſcipline, Free-admiſſion is to be denied againſt the one; In point of worſhip, Free-admiſſion is to bee maintained againſt the other.

It is a thing very conſiderable in the holding any point, upon what grounds it is we hold it; Thoſe that oppoſe me in my opinion, are very hot for an ex­cluſion from the Sacrament, and I for my own part doe allow and uphold the ſame. An excluſion it ſelf, neither of us do deny, the very difference between us is, upon what grounds or arguments we hold it. Now all thoſe arguments for this excluſion againſt Free-admiſſion may be reduced to theſe two heads; Ei­ther to ſuch as do ariſe from the nature of the Sacrament, as diſtinct herein from all other parts of Church-communion;49 Or to ſuch as do ariſe from the nature of diſcipline, that reſpects the commu­nion of the Church in general, and ſo this Sacrament in common with the o­ther parts thereof.

Arguments of the latter ſort are thoſe, and thoſe only which are from ſuch texts. Let him be to thee as an hea­then. Keep no company with ſuch. Puge out the old leven. Avoid, withdraw from them. Put away from your ſelves ſuch a perſon; with the like. The ſumm where­of comes to this briefly. The Scripture commands Excommunication, that is, an excluſion from the Church, and ſo­ciety in general; therefore from the Sa­crament alſo. Theſe arguments now, I conceive, are firm; Free-admiſ­ſion, as Eraſtus holds it, I maintain not.

Arguments of the former ſort, are ſuch as theſe. The Sacrament is ap­pointed only for the regenerate. It is a ſeal of Faith, and ſet to a blank, if given to any others. Every one elſe does but neceſſarily eat and drink damnation in the Apoſtles ſenſe, with the like. Now theſe arguments, I conceive, are to be ſatisfied, & taken off as ſuch as are both50 invalid, and doe hurt. Free-admiſſion will ſtand for all them. Alas! were all ſuch arguments concluſive and true, what will become of the poor doubtfull Chriſtian? How ſhall he act in faith? How ſhall the Miniſter himſelf act? What will become of the Churches u­nitie and peace, the command of Chriſt, and the foundation of diſcipline? If it be from the nature of the Sacrament, and theſe grounds, upon which men are to be excluded, then muſt they be exclu­ded if there were no diſcipline; then muſt the keeping away of ſuch not be an act of vindicative but diſtributive Ju­ſtice. As a godly Father ſhuts his ſtub­born ſon from prayers in his family, and from his preſence: So does the Church (as I conceive) exclude her refractory children. It is not becauſe the coming to prayer is not the duty of ſuch a child, and is not a means to do him good; No; but becauſe indeed it is ſo, the Fa­ther would make him ſenſible hereby how highly he hath offended him, and how much the more hainous is his evil, to reclaim him. A man hath enjoyed thoſe priviledges and means of grace which ſhould have done him good, ſo51 long, and he grows but the worſe: Well now, the Church in her excluſion, does as it were ſay thus to him, I will teach you Friend (1 Tim. 1.20. ) to make better uſe hereof when I again admit you to them. If the Sacrament were not a mans priviledge before, and for his benefit, then could not (as I ſay) Suſpenſion be a judicial proceeding; It were not a puniſhment, but a delive­rance; That cannot be in way of puniſh­ment, that is onely to preſerve a perſon from that which is noxious, and can be no wayes any good to him. It is not upon ſuch grounds therefore wee muſt ſtand; the Scripture knows no ſuch ad­vancement (whatſoever humane pru­dence may make) of this Ordinance a­bove her fellowes in point of duty; but for ought I know, leaves every man free in the uſe of this, as well as all other of his outward priviledges, untill he bee legally deprived of the ſame by a juridi­cal cenſure,

To this purpoſe (farther) It is a queſtion, Whether the debarring of perſons from the Sacrament, be an act ſpecialis muneris, of the power of order, belonging to the Miniſter ſingly; or of52 the power of Juriſdiction, not belong­ing to him alone, but in common with others, that are rulers in the Church The School-men (as Mr. Jeanes tells us p. 95.) are of the former opinion, who affirm, that this denegation of the Sacra­ment if not to be conſidered as a judicial action, or inflictive of puniſhment, but only as a prudent and faithfull adminiſtring of the ordinance; (Suarez. in part. 3. Thom. Tom. 3. Diſp. 67. Sect. 3. p. 856.) and ſo belonging to every private Miniſter a­lone, by vertue of his office. Now let this be well conſidered, and if any of the arguments of the former ſort (laſt men­tioned) be binding, that is, if it can be proved that the nature of the Sacrament be ſuch, that thoſe who have a full right, and are in actual poſſeſſion of all other parts of Church-communion, have yet no right hereunto, and upon this ac­count are to keep, and be kept away from it, then muſt theſe School-men in all reaſon be in the right, and the de­negation thereof to ſuch, be requiſite to the faithfull adminiſtring the ordinance, which is the office no doubt of the ſin­gle Miniſter; But the reverend Pres­byterians, generally diſliking that53 ſuch a power ſhould be left to every ſingle Miniſter, wiſely conſidering the dangerous conſequents thereof alſo de­termine, that this ſame excl•…from the Sacrament, does belong to the pow­er of Juriſdiction, and conſequently, if they will be conſonant to themſelves, they ſhould deny that any of thoſe argu­ments which ariſe from the nature of the ordinances alone, as diſtinct from others, are cogent, and ſtand upon thoſe only that ariſe from diſcipline.

As for the Schoolmen, by the way, it wil be no wonder if they ſtand u•…thoſe arguments from the nature of the Sacra­ment, as herein tranſcending all other ordinances, whoſe ſuperſtitious conceit of Chriſts corporal preſence in the Sa­crament, could not chuſe but induce them to it; as may appear upon their ſolutions of ſuch queſtions as theſe, U­trum peccator ſumens corpus Chriſti Sa­cramentalitèr peccet? Ʋidetur quod non; Quia, Sicut hoc Sacramentum ſemitur guſtu & tactu, ita & viſu; At peccator non peccat videndo. Reſpondeo, Quòd per viſum non accipitur ipſum corpus Chriſti, ſed ſolum Sacramentum ejus. Sed ille qui manducat, non ſolum ſumit ſpecies Sacra­mentales,54 ſed etiam ipſum Chriſtum qui eſt ſub eis. Aquinas Part 3. Quaeſt. 80. Art. 4. Upon ſuch anſwers as theſe, I am the••…e moved with their thoughts about this matter; as alſo with ſome paſſages often quoted out of ſome of the Fathers. Of whom I doe obſerve, that thoſe out of whoſe writings the Papiſts uſually have moſt for them, are moſt harſh, and high flowen in their expreſſi­ons about keeping of ſinners from the Sacrament, as Chryſoſtome (a man of a hot ſpirit, according to his life, Soc: Hiſt. Eccl. l. 6. c. 14 & 16.) and thoſe, whoſe writings are quoted as moſt clear on our ſide, (as Auguſtine) are more ſo­lute and open in their ſpeeches about admiſſion.


SECT. 9.

THeſe things laid down, the ſub­ſtance of the controverſy between me and others, about Free-admiſſion, will amount to theſe two queſtions.

  • 1. Whether there be any argument from the nature of the Sacrament, with­out diſcipline, that remains binding ac­cording to Scripture, for the neceſſary excluſion of ſuch from the ſame, who are yet rightly impriviledg'd, and actually poſſeſſed of all other parts of Church-communion, being baptized intelligent members. I put in the word Neceſſary, becauſe prudentially by way of adviſe, ſomething may be granted and wiſhed.
  • 2. Whether there be any ſuch juri­dical proceeding or cenſure in diſcipline to be proved, either expreſly, or by con­ſequence from Scripture, as Suſpenſion, diſtinct from Excommunication.

SECT. 10.

FOr the former of theſe queſtions, It ſeems to me, (as is before ſaid) that were the Presbyterian judgement right and uniform to its ſelf, I ſhould not need to have any diſpute with them; for, if Suſpenſion, or excluſion from the Sacra­ment, be no other than a juridical acti­on, which thoſe that are for Ruling El­ders do, and ought to maintain, then can no argument from the diſtinct na­ture of this ordinance, that would con­clude this excluſion, though there were no diſcipline, be of ſufficient force for it. It there be one ſuch, then is this excluſion thereby proved to be­long to the Miniſters office in his faithfull adminiſtration of the Ordi­nance (as before) and not to the pow­er of juriſdiction. Nevertheleſſe, for ought I ſee, when they come to diſpute, it is theſe arguments mainly they ſtand upon. And therefore, for my own part, upon conſideration of thoſe perplexities which ariſe from hence on tender con­ſciences,57 together with the injury that is hereby offered to the Church in lay­ing the ground of all her diviſions and ſeparations (and upon no other intereſt of parties I profe••e in the world) I have thought good to do my endeavour for the anſwering and taking off thoſe ar­guments, in what I have formerly writ­ten, and I hope I have in ſome meaſure done it, eſpecially in my Rejoynder, to ſome mens ſatisfaction.

For 1. let but a candid interpretation, be given on that Chapter, 1 Cor. 11. lay­ing no more ſtreſſe on the words, than the purport of the contents will bear, and ſo thoſe objections that ariſe from thence be allayed, which ſink deepeſt; For which, I humbly offer that 4th Se­ction in my Rejoynder, p. 29. to 44.2. Let the covenant be layed down in that latitude as the Scripture does, and ſo thoſe objections from the Sacrament be­ing a ſeal, be ſatisfied, ſeeing the ſeal (Quoad jus) muſt be as large as the co­venant; For which read p. 170. to 180. 3. Let the Sacrament with all the ordi­nances be look'd upon, as inſtituted for the viſible Church, which conſiſts of the unregenerate as well as the regenerate,58 and conſequently, that it is both the du­ty and a means (ſubordinate to the word) for edification of the one as well as the other; whereby that obje­ction, that the Sacrament is for confir­mation, and not converſion, is taken off, For, though this ordinance is no conver­ting ordinance to the Heathen, it hin­ders not, but it may beget grace in a Chriſtian. And I muſt confeſſe, I ſome­times wonder, to ſee how this ſticks upon the ſpirits of moſt at their firſt thoughts: The Sacrament is no ordi­nance (ſay they) for the Heathen to convert them; therefore it is no means of converſion: whereas indeed the Sa­crament is no ordinance for the Hea­then, not becauſe it is not converting, but becauſe God hath appointed it on­ly for his Church. The Sacrament is no confirming ordinance to the Heathen; therefore is it no confirming ordinance? There is the ſame arguing in both: It is neither a converting nor confirming or­dinance to the Heathen, becauſe it is no ordinance at all for them. Notwith­ſtanding, That it is a means for edifica­tion of the Church, (as I ſay, and chuſe to lay it down ſo) whether her Mem­bers59 bee regenerate or not, I humbly tender my Rejoynder, p. 206. to 241. and likewiſe what learned Mr. Blake hath put in more lately, Cov. Seal. chap. 7. ſect. 13 and 14. who doth fully agree with me in this point, and hath eaſily anſwered Mr. Gilleſpyes twenty argu­ments, which have been ſtood upon ſo much by many.

Let theſe three things, now I ſay, be done, as I think they are, and there will be nothing left, as I ſuppoſe, that can hold conſiderable againſt the negative of the former queſtion; for which, it ſhall ſuffice me to produce the judge­ment of my reverend and pious, though harſh adverſarie, Doctor Drake himſelf. Let Mr. Humfrey (ſaies he, p. 116.) prove that actual receiving is a debt on the part of a natural man, and we ſhall be farr enough of hindring any the payment of their debts. Now this is proved in the third particular; The Sacrament is appoin­ted for the Church, the Church conſiſts of unregenerate, as well as others, which is a firm and ſolid probation; and is in­deed that ſtrong bottom (as Mr. Blake acknowledges it, Cov. Seal. p. 247. whatſoever others have ſaid hereof) on60 which not only my book, but both his too, ſo far as concerns this matter, are founded.

And as for that inſtance of Judas joy­ned by me to the precept, Doe this. Drink ye all of it. And they all drank of it. (in the choice of that text, Mark 14.23. ) it does adde much ſtrength here­unto, let it be taken directly, not on the part of the admitters, as it is uſually urged, but on the part of the receivers; Thus. That theſe words Do this, Drink ye all of it, was ſpoken to All preſent, it will be granted. That Judas was preſent, the Evangeliſts do as it were command, at leaſt allow us to beleeve, while they tell us he ſate down with the reſt, and his hand was at table. Now ſuppoſing him preſent, Chriſt bids Judas expreſly to receive, (to Take) amongſt the reſt; From whence, actual receiving is irre­fragably proved the duty of a diſciple, though unregenerate, or in his natural eſtate. And then you ſee what Mr. Drake yields me, and what would bee wonne, though he ſhould not; for this foundation, as to the main, muſt hold ſo long as the precepts of God can be preſerved from being made void by61 mans tradition. Go and diſciple all Nati­ons, ſaies Chriſt, baptizing them, and tea­ching them to obſerve all things whatſoever I have commanded you, Mat. 28.19, 20. From hence we collect, that thoſe who are diſcipled by baptiſm, that is, are baptized members, muſt be taught to ob­ſerve all the commands of Chriſt. But the Sacrament is one of Chriſts com­mandements.

I will onely urge here farther one argument, which I muſt confeſſe, ſinks deep into me, as that which is not mere­ly fetcht from the brain, but from the hearts of many that are wounded by it. That doctrine which cuts off every doubtfull Chriſtian from the Sacrament, is harſh doctrine and not to be endured: (By the Doubtfull Chriſtian, I under­ſtand a man in doubt of his regenerati­on, a man that is indeed truly gracious, but doubts ſo, that he is inclined rather to think he is not.) But this doctrine that holds it not the duty, but unlawful for every unregenerate man to receive, does cut off every doubtfull Chriſtian from receiving; Therefore this doctrine is not to be endured. The Major I hope will not be denied, the Minor I prove,62 That doctrine which concludes it to be ſinne in the doubtfull Chriſtian to re­ceive the Sacrament, cuts off the doubt­full Chriſtian from receiving. This is manifeſt. But this doctrine concludes it to be ſinne in the doubtful Chriſtian to receive. Probo. That which a man is not fully perſwaded in his conſcience is lawfull to be done, it is ſinne if it be done: This is the very direct meaning of thoſe words, Rom. 14.23. Whatſoe­ver is not of faith is ſin. But if it be not the duty, or it be not lawful, according to this doctrine, for any man which is not regenerate, to receive the Sacra­ment, then cannot the doubtfull Chri­ſtian, that is in doubt whether he be re­generate or not, be fully perſwaded in his conſcience, that it is his duty, or that it is lawfull for him to receive; and conſequently, if he receives, he ſinnes. If he eateth and doubteth, he is damn'd if he eat. This I humbly conceive is con­vincing. The argument I preſume is ſtrong as it is urged by others on the part of the admitters. If truth of grace be neceſſarily required to receiving, how ſhall the Miniſter act in faith, that can­not be aſſured of the truth of grace in an63 other? But as I doe urge it thus, on the part of the doubtful receiver himſelf, I think it is irrefragable. And as it is that, which hath wrought much with me in my Rejoynd. p. 30, 31. So hath it with pious Timſon, who agrees with me in it, Anſ. to Mr. Col. p. 51. and like­wiſe Mr. Blake, Cov. Seal. p. 192. where­in you may ſee a ſympathy of our ve­ry ſoules and ſpirits in this point. I ſhall not need therefore to ſay any more of this former queſtion, but refer to what is already written.


SECT. 11.

FOr the later queſtion; Were the for­mer granted, that Excluſion from the Sacrament, does indeed belong only to the power of juriſdiction, which the Presbyterians grant; and conſequently that no arguments from the nature of this ordinance barely, as diſtinct from all others, without diſcipline are firm and cogent for it; which they ſhould grant likewiſe. Then will the whole diſpute between me and them, come to this iſſue, that they muſt prove, Either, that there is a power in the Miniſters to ſet up a diſcipline, or a part of diſcipline which is not preſcribed in the Scripture, a thing which none of them I think will maintain: Or that there is ſuch a part of diſcipline preſcribed, in Scripture, as excluſion from the Sacrament, diſtinct from excluſion from the Church; that is, Suſpenſion, defined to be, a juridical act of the Officers of the Church; whereby upon their having had due cognizance65 of ſuch, as are unworthy the Lords Sup­per, they deny the Ordinance to them, as a cenſure, diſtinct from, and in order to Excommunication.

And here, that the whole difference between me and the moderate Presby­terian (unleſſe where they fall from their own principles) does indeed come to this only, I ſhall produce one teſtimony that may ſuffice. Reverend Beza, De Presb: & Excom. p. 23. layes down, or yields to us theſe three things.

  • 1. That the Supper is inſtituted for diſciples.
  • 2. That all ſuch as profeſs Chriſt, though hypocrites, are diſciples. Quales fateor quidem generaliter omnes cenſeri, qui ſe tales eſſe teſtentur, etiamſi reipſâ nihil mi­nùs ſunt quam Chriſtiani.
  • 3. That they are ſo to be accounted of, in regard of ad­miſſion, untill they are orderly convict­ed and ſentenc'd.

Deinde pro non detectis haberi, qui tales eſſe non fuerint, eo, quem Deus in eccleſiâ conſtituit ordine, convicti, & pro rebellibus damnati. So pag. 27. Chriſtus, inquit D. Eraſtus, juſſit omnes edere illum panem, et ex poculo illo bibere; Ergo neminem vult excludi qui ſe ſuum diſcipulum profiteatur. Id verò concedi­mus, adeò quidem ut ipſos etiam hypocritas,66 quamdiu vel penitus ſunt tecti, vel neque authoritate publico convicti, et damnati in­ter diſcipulos numeremus. I know ſome of our Divines of late, but not of the gravity and moderation of Beza (as Mr. Collins p. 41. Gilleſpy, Mr. D. and o­thers) are more bold with the command of Chriſt, and taking up Beza for gran­ting thus much, do reſtrain it to the regenerate only. But this reverend man, who is much rather to be heard, durſt not do ſo, but is plain you ſee and clear in theſe conceſſions,, upon which, the ſubſtance of my whole opinion (at leaſt, as to the Miniſters part) will ſtand. For if the Sacrament be inſtituted for diſci­ples; and all that profeſſe Chriſt are to be accounted ſuch; and none of them to be excluded, until they be convicted and condemned for rebels in that order God hath appointed, (as he affirms) then muſt that diſciplinary Free-admiſſion which hold before excommunication, be good, unleſs it can be provd that there is ſome other cenſure in the order God hath ap­pointed, whereby the ſaid rebels are to be condemned, beſides excommunica­tion, which I deny. And ſo you ſee to what a little point our difference draws. 67Beza ſayes, they muſt be convict and ſentenced firſt, before they be excluded, as well as I; only he conceives there is a leſſer cenſure to be firſt inflicted, be­fore the greater; which I muſt confeſſe I find not. And herein likewiſe Beza himſelf acknowledges thus far, that there is ſeldome mention in the Scripture of any ſuch leſſer cenſure, but the greater only. Tantum abest ut major excommu­nicatio cenſeri poſſit praeter Dei verbum in­vecta, ut contra rara ſint in ipſo verbo Dei expreſſa minoris excommunicationis exem­pla; majoris autem multa, p. 11. Now if here inſtead of rara, he had ſaid nulla, I think he had delivered the very truth.

My reaſons againſt the affirmative of this queſtion, are theſe.

1. Becauſe the Lord Jeſus in that primitive inſtitution under the Goſpel, Mat. 18.15, 16, 17. hath preſcribed no other parts or order in diſcipline, than admonition and excommunicati­on. After the offending partie is ad­moniſhed privately, then publiquely, If he will not hear the Church, (ſayes Chriſt) let him be as an Heathen, that is, let him be excommunicate, accor­ding68 to thoſe that oppoſe Erastus. Now if the Apoſtles have preſcribed any o­ther order of diſcipline, than what is preſcribed in this original pattern, let it be produced; If not, then may this text be ſufficient, that there is no ſuch mid­dle thing in the order Chriſt hath ap­pointed, as Suſpenſion, between admoni­tion, and excommunication.

2. Becauſe the power of the Keyes are given for binding and looſing, which I conceive is done, not in regard of a perſons being debarr'd or admitted any ordinance; The Levitically unclean were kept from the ordinances during their uncleanneſſe, yet were not their ſins bound thereby; for many times they might become unclean without ſin, Lev. 21.3. Numb. 19.8. But in regard of that ſtate and relation men have to the Church outwardly, and Chriſt, as vi­ſible members, from which, while they are excluded, their ſins are accordingly, and no otherwiſe bound or retained (becauſe there is no remiſſion out of the Church, or out of Chriſt, the viſi­ble herein, clave non errante, preſenting the inviſible) as they are looſed by be­ing received, in again through repen­tance. 69From whence I argue, where the ſins of men are not bound or retain­ed, there is no Church-cenſure, Mat. 16.19. Io. 20.23. But it is not exclu­ding men from the Sacrament, but the excluding them from the Church, and ſo Relatively from all its benefits, in that ſenſe as we ſay, Extra quam, non eſt ſalus aut remiſſio, that does bind the ſins of men upon earth. Therefore ſuſpenſion can be no Church-cenſure diſtinct from excommunication. See my Rejoynd. p. 145, 150. As the being within the Church puts men into a ſtate, whereby every member, Relatively, though a Reprobate, is ſaid in Scripture to be in Chriſt, redeemed, ſanctified, to have communion of his body and bloud, with the like; ſo does the caſting them out of the Church put them likewiſe into a contrary ſtate or condition, whereby they are Relatively to be ſaid without Chriſt, without God in the world, without redemption, remiſſion, ſalva­tion.

3. Becauſe the Scriptures whereſo­ever they ſpeak of excluſion in point of diſcipline, doe ſtill ſpeak in general. Purge out the old leven. Have no compa­ny. 70Put away from among your ſelves ſuch a perſon, &c. From whence my argu­ment will be framed thus. If there bee no place in Scripture to prove any ex­cluſion at all, but ſuch as ſpeaks of exclu­ſion from the Church, the whole lump, ſociety in general, or the like; then is it not poſſible to prove by the Scripture Sacramental excluſion, as diſtinct from Church-excluſion. Or, If there be no other medium in Scripture-diſcipline (I ſpeak of the word Diſcipline all the way reſtrainedly, as to this part of cen­ſure) but excommunication it ſelf, for the proving a withholding any at all for moral uncleanneſs from any publick or­dinance (as may appear by any thing of weight in Gilleſpyes 14 Arguments for excluſion from the Paſſeover. B. 1. c. 12.) then cannot ſuſpenſion be proved, as diſtinct from, but only as conjunct with excommunication. The conſequence here is apparent; But the former is true, therefore the latter. In a word, the Scripture knows no other excluſion that is diſciplinary, but a caſting out of the Church, and ſo from the Sacrament only, as included in it.


SECT. 12:

ANd this I take to be ſo true, full, and convincing, that I ſhould hardly need any thing more for the an­ſwering even the whole of thoſe argu­ments for juridical ſuſpenſion, which is of late put forth by Mr. Coll: in that book of his upon this ſubject, wherein I may truly ſay there is beſtowed a good deal of reading, only as it were to diſco­ver how little there is to be found in others, and nothing from himſelf (be­ſides humane authority) for his opini­on.

I muſt confeſſe there are here Certain Scriptures and Reaſons urged by him, with ſo much pedantry, that is more than enough; and it will be neceſſary that I give my thoughts concerning the Scriptures, though for what is mere for­malitie, oſtentation, or perſonal abuſe, it may paſſe. I pray God teach that author, and all of us, to become a little more vile in our own eys, that we72 may learn to vilifie others leſſe. The Scriptures are four or five.

The firſt is Mat. 7.6. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, nor caſt ye your pearls before Swine, leſt they trample them under their feet, and rent you. For my judgement on this text, I conceive,

  • 1. That this ſpeech was proverbial a­mong the Jews; and I think I have read or heard it is in the Talmud.
  • 2. That the purport or meaning, not the letter, is to be attended.
  • 3. That this meaning or ſenſe hereof tends unto prudence, or a prudential managing of ſuch things as are deſigned to a good end.
  • 4. That theſe holy things and pearls, (though they may more ſpecially in the coherence, and in the thing, agree with admonition) are to be taken in general for all ſuch things as have a ſubſerviency to holy uſes. 1. Becauſe the text li­mits them not. And 2. Becauſe there is no neceſſitie for us to do it.
  • 5. That theſe doggs and ſwine are not to be taken in general for all ſorts of ſin­ners, for the ſame reaſons on the con­trary.
    • 1. Becauſe the text it ſelf does deſcribe them, to wit, to be ſuch as will73 trample the holy things under their feet, and turn again and rent us.
    • 2. Becauſe there is likewiſe neceſſity ſo to do. For no holy thing or pearl can be given to dogs or ſwine by this precept, it being boldneſſe to limit what Chriſt hath not limited.
    But ſome holy things (as the word, or admonition) may be given, and was given by Chriſt himſelf unto ſuch as are dogs and ſwine in general in other texts, as ſuppoſe ignorant and ſcanda­lous perſons; therefore muſt not the ſenſe of theſe dogs and Swine, be of all ignorant and ſcandalous ſinners in gene­ral; but on neceſſity be confined to the text in hand, in which ſenſe it is true, that no holy thing at all is to be given to ſuch.
  • 6. By theſe holy things then and pearls, I underſtand all things, whether matters of Religion, which are more properly the holy things, (as wholeſom counſels in Scripture, pious conferen­ces, opening our experiences, and in general, the ordinances;) or matters of morality, which may be more properly the pearls (as precious ſayings, wiſe ſe­rious contrivances, advice, actions) ſo far as they are either appointed of God,74 or made uſe of by reaſon for the Edifica­tion of others. And by dogs and ſwine I underſtand all perſons, whether igno­rant, or not ignorant, ſcandalous or not ſcandalous otherwiſe, that are but like in the uſe hereof towards them, to tram­ple on) he things, and rear the givers, that is both to contemn the one, and de­ſpite the other.

The ſubſtance then of this precept or counſel of Chriſt, as I am fully perſwa­ded, without binding others, comes to this, that every man in the managing of good things, ſhould be prudent, ſo far, as to have a care, and ſuch regard to the perſons (with other circumſtances) to whom he diſpenſes them, that we are to forbear, when we ſhall but exaſpe­rate, give occaſion of contempt, and do no good by them.

For inſtance, ſuppoſe a man (otherwiſe godly) is in a paſſion, ſo that I ſee re­proof, (which is a pearl and good thing in its ſeaſon) would be ſurely contemn'd, if I ſhould give it him at the preſent, and make him flie upon me, in this caſe now, under this dogged humour, this rule of Chriſt commands me in prudence to forbear, and take another opportuni­ty to do my duty.


This foundation being laid, I ſhall here propoſe theſe two queſtions.

  • 1. How can our delivering the Sacra­ment to our intelligent & unexcommu­nicate members, be a giving thereof un­to dogs, ſeeing we are ſure they will not turn again upon us, and rent us for that; Or ſwine (which ſome diſtinguiſh) ſee­ing they doe not trample thereupon, by neglect, vilipending, deſpiſing or reje­cting of it (for that is trampling the holy things in the text) but ſo far as we can poſſibly ſee, do reverently receive it?
  • 2. Whereas if we with old the Sacra­ment from them, unleſſe we could have a fair proceeding unto cenſure, which would ſtop their mouths, they on the contrary will turn upon us and rent us; withall trampling thereupon, by not ca­ring at all for it: Whether or no is not this rather a plain breach (in the want of prudence) of this rule, ſeeing ſuſpen­ſion of them is ſuppoſed to be a holy thing and pearl, and theſe perſons in this caſe, unleſſe we could take farther or­der, we are ſure are doggs and ſwine in reference thereunto, in the very ſence of the text. Let thoſe tender Miniſters that have been ſo much ſcrupled about76 this buſineſſe, lay this conſideration well to their hearts, together with the wiſ­dom and ſweetneſſe of their Saviour, whoſe commands are not grievous, and they may happily find ſatisfaction, e­ven in this very text, from which they may have likely received at firſt the dee­peſt impreſſions towards the enſnaring of their conſciences.

The ſecond Scripture is 1 Cor. 10.21. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of Devils, ye cannot be partakers of the Lords table, and the table of Devils.

For the ſenſe of theſe words, I judge there is no difficultie. Many of the Corinths being brought over from Hea­theniſm to Chriſtianity, and ſo members of that Church, made nevertheleſſe but little conſcience (as if it were a lawfull thing) of going to the temple of Idols, & eating there, of thoſe things that were ſacrificed to Devils; Now to reclaime them from this, and prove that they ought not ſo to doe, the Apoſtle uſes this argument; I ſpeak to you, ſaies he, as wiſe, that is, as rational men, Judge ye what I ſay; Doe not you know that the77 Sacrament which we celebrate is the com­munion of the body & bloud of Jeſus Chriſt, ſo that all that partake thereof are viſibly profeſſors of communion with him? So all that partake of thoſe meats ſacrificed to Idols, are viſible profeſſors of communion with theſe Devils. Now there is no agree­ment between Chriſt and theſe Idols, ſuch things are〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, you cannot partake of the table of Lord, and the table of Devils.

In which words wee are to under­ſtand by this Cannot,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a Logi­cal cannot, that is, in reaſon you cannot; this is manifeſt, becauſe he lays it down by way of argument, which the more you conſider, will be the leſſe denied; and by theſe words, the cup and table of the Lord, and the cup and table of Devils, we muſt underſtand the outward ele­ments in both, that is, the bread and wine in the Sacrament, and that meat offered to Devils in their Idol-temple, the reaſon being open, becauſe the A­poſtle argues from their partaking of the one, againſt their partaking of the o­ther.

For thoſe Commentators (as Pareus) that reſtrain the ſenſe to inward ſpiri­tual78 communion, becauſe we Can (ſay they) partake of the outward things in both, they go but on a ſlight foundati­on; for this Cannot, we ſay, is not a na­tural cannot, but a logical cannot, A cannot argumentative. Ye cannot par­take of this Sacrament (ſaies the Apo­ſtle) and of thoſe meats ſacrificed to I­dols, becauſe there is no agreement be­tween theſe things (he explains his own cannot) there is a plain inconſiſtency in reaſon between them; for by the one we profeſſe communion with Chriſt, by the other with devils; and I would not have you (ſaies he, v. 20.) have com­munion with devils.

To this purpoſe, that Note from Be­za upon the word cup is pertinent, that it is not ſaid, you cannot partake of the body and blood of Chriſt, which would rather expreſſe this inward communion, but you cannot partake of the cup and table, which muſt intend the outward elements, and not the things ſignified only, the very drift, reaſon, and matter of the Apoſtle elſe is evacuated. Not as Mr. Col. urges, becauſe Pauls argu­ment is plainly to prove the unlawfulnes of their comming to this table, while they were79 guilty of ſuch ſinnes, which is indeed a plain untruth, but becauſe his argument is from their partaking of the Lords ta­ble as their duty, being Chriſtians, to diſprove their partaking of the meats offer'd to Idols with the Heathens.

I know ſome interpret this Cannot morally, Id poſſumus ſolùm quod jure poſ­ſumus, You cannot, that is, in few words, you ought not; which might be admit­ted, if they will apply it right, to wit, thus; You cannot, that is, you ought not, to goe to the Idol-temples, who are according to your profeſſion to bee partakers of the Lords table. But for them to apply it quite contrary, you go to the temple of Idols, and ſo you can­not, that is, you ought not, come to the Sacrament; This I muſt tell them cannot be admitted, Cannot, in the ſenſe of the Texts cannot, that is, cannot in any reaſon.

Let this cannot then here be under­ſtood, not of a phyſical cannot, nor a bare moral cannot, but a logical can­not, grounded if you will on a moral cannot on the one ſide, yet ſo long as you ſhall not be able to deny the moral Can, which the whole former part of80 the chapter enforces, on the other, here will be nothing at all for the adverſarie. The Apoſtle does not ſay any where be­fore, You partake of the table of Idols, or have eaten of thoſe meats, & I would not have you have felloſhip with Chriſt; But he ſays plainly, you partake of the Lords Table, you are in communion with Chriſt, and I would not that ye ſhould have fellowſhip with devils.

Thus then the main being clear, I ſhall propoſe here four things.

  • 1. Whether it can be denied that this action of theſe Corinths, in partaking of theſe Idol-tables, was ſcandalous? Scan­dalum being dictum vel factum minùs re­ctum praebens atteri occaſionem rui­nae.
  • 2. If it cannot, how then can any man gather an argument from this place (whatſoever they may do from others) for the keeping away perſons from the Sacrament for ſcandal, when the Apo­ſtle himſelf pleads the general privi­ledge of theſe perſons comming to the Sacrament, as an argument to reclaim them from their ſcandall?
  • 3. Whether this argument here may not be irrefragably advanced; Thoſe81 that were by the A oſtles reaſoning en­gaged from partaking of the table of I­dols, partook of the Lords Supper (for this is the ground upon which he proves they might not partake thereof) But not only thoſe Corinths that were more pi­ous, but thoſe ſcandalous patricularly, were hereby engaged, and warned from partaking of thoſe tables of devils; Er­go, theſe Corinths, though ſcandalous, were admitted to the Sacrament. Thus much is not to be gain aid they were. I adde, and they ought to be (tid excom­municate) upon the ſame conſideration, becauſe elſe you make a ſinfull medium in the Apoſtles Argument.
  • 4. Whether many of our godly breth­ren that take occaſion from theſe words, to ſeparate from us in our mixt commu­nions, are not a little miſtaken in them, ſeeing the Apoſtle here pleads not a­gainſt the comming of divers perſons (good and bad) to the ſame table, but againſt the ſame perſons, going to diverſe tables.

The third Scripture is, 1 Cor. 5.8. Therefore let us keep the feaſt not with the old leaven, &c.


For the meaning of theſe words, we find in the beginning of the chapter, the Apoſtle is ſpeaking to theſe Corinths a­bout their gathering together in an ec­cleſiaſtical way, for the excōmunicating the inceſtuous perſon, as appears eſpe­cially from the laſt verſe, unto which with v. 7. and the word〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉in v. 5. what Eraſtus oppoſes I judge is ſtrain'd and inſufficient, though what he urges upon the words〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, were plauſible otherwiſe. For this now St. Paul gives his plain reaſon, which yet he expreſſes metaphorically, Know ye not that a little leaven, leaveneth the whole lump? that is, one ſuch evil ex­ample tolerated, will bring a blot or infamy upon the whole Church, beſides the hurt it may doe through imitation. Purge out therefore the old leaven that you may be a new lump, that is, Caſt our of your ſociety therefore this perſon; For Chriſt our paſſeover is ſacrificed for us, that is, as to the ſenſe and matter agree­able to Tit. 3.14. Chriſt gave himſelf for us to redeem us from all iniquity, and to be a peculiar people zealous of good works: ſo that Chriſt being ſacrificed for us, is an argument to us, as to purge83 out ſin in our ſelves, ſo to purge out the old leaven from the Church. The word Old, happily may ſignifie, not every freſh ſinner for one lapſe, or ſo, but the veterate, and obſtinate therein. For the manner of the expreſſion, it is plain­ly brought in by way of elegancy, in pur­ſuance of the Metaphor, as likewiſe the text that follows, therefore let us keep the feaſt. The words are〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Igitur epulemur, as the olo tranſlation; that is, Itaqueſolennitèr vivamus; or, vitam preſentem tranſeamus; Let us live feſtivally: or as the Margin of our Eng­liſh Bibles, moſt properly, Let us keep holy day, to wit, in our communion toge­ther as Chriſtians. Let us lead or paſſe our life, which ought to be a perpetual celebration of our redemption, Not with the old leaven, or the leven of malice or wic­kednes, but with the unleavened bread of ſin­cerity and truth; that is, what the Iſrae­lites did typically for 7 days, let us per­form in the truth and thing ſignified, all the days of our lives, to wit, purging out the leven both of imbred corruption, and ſcandal from amongſt us. So that to make here a ſolemn enquiry what is this feaſt we are to keep in the text, ſeems84 to me, an injudicious and needleſs trou­ble, the ſubſtantive Feaſt being not in the text, but the Metaphor expreſt only in one verb〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉manifeſtly bor­rowed to follow the alluſion, or to ſuit with the reſt in the ſenſe I have ſpoken according to Athanaſius, Chryſoſtome, Theophilact, Lyra, Calvin, Beza, 'Diodate, our Aſſemblies annotations, with the moſt upon the place. From all which, it will appear, that though this text may be well urged, as it is by Beza and his followers againſt Eraſtus, to prove Ex­communication, yet here is nothing a­gainſt me, to prove Suſpenſion as di­ſtinct from Excommunication: which Mr. Rutherford acknowledges in his Di­vine right of Ch: Gov: p. 349. We con­tend not (ſaies he) that the debarring of men from any one Ordinance, was ſig­nified by the putting away of the leaven, but the putting a wicked perſon out of the church 1 Cor. 2. with v. 5, 6, 7, 13.

The Fourth Scripture is 1 Cor. 5.11. which with the words before is this, I wrote to you in an epiſtle not to company with fornicators; yet not altogether with the for­nicators of this world, for then must ye needs85 goe out of the world. But now I have wrote to you not to keep company, If any man that is called a brother, be a fornicator, or cove­tous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drun­kard, with ſuch a one no not to eat.

In this text there is only one difficul­ty to our purpoſe, and that is, what is meant by this Company and Eating? Dr. Hammond in his Power of the Keyes, is ſomething willing to take it of ſacred communion only, as others both of ſa­cred & civil upon the cenſure of excom­munication; Unto which, as I have e­ver confeſt my ſelf inclining, ſo am I now no leſſe than ever. Notwithſtanding there are theſe reaſons may be produced for the contrary, that it is to be taken only of common eating and ordinary fa­miliarity, without cenſure.

  • 1. Becauſe the Apoſtle ſeems to bring in this as a new matter from that before (which is more manifeſtly about ex­communication) though ſuitable to it. I wrote to you in an epiſtle, &c.
  • 2. Such as is the communion with theſe we are to avoid, ſuch is the eating, becauſe the one explains the extent of the other; But that ſeems to be of or­dinary86 familiarity, Keep not company with them.
  • 3. That company and eating is per­mitted in this place to an heathen for­nicator, which is not to ſuch a one cal­led a brother; But Sacramental eating or communion was not permitted to an Heathen; therefore it is not Sacra­mental eating, of which the place ſpeaks.
  • 4. The manner of expreſſion, which is, by way of explanation, as to the ex­tent, how farre this not keeping com­pany reaches; with ſuch keep no company, no not to eat, as it ſhews this eating to be of the ſame kind with companying, ſo it ſeems plainly to hold it forth, as a thing the moſt common, or dinary, and the leaſt matter amongſt them to be admitted to, of any, No not to eat. But my oppoſers will hardly ſure conceive thus of this ſa­cred and ſolemn eating at the Sacra­ment. If they will, (it being of old in common with their love-feaſts, and and mingled with them) why ſhould they ſcruple at free-admiſſion as to this ordinance, above other parts of Chriſti­an communion, from which they ex­clude none before excommunication?
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  • 5. There may be clear reaſon for a man to eat at the ordinance with ſuch a perſon, whom yet he is to avoid in his common familiarity, becauſe the one is neceſſary, which he is bound to obſerve as part of the ſervice of God; but the o­ther (at leaſt as to the nature of the thing in its ſelf) is arbitrary, at his own liberty.
  • 6. This may be exemplified in the Phariſees, who would not eat at their common table with any of the Publi­cans, whom yet they could not debarre the Sacrifices, Paſſeover, or ſervice of the temple, many of them being not on­ly Jews; but devout men.
  • 7. There may very probably be a dif­ference between this〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉in v. 11. and an〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉in v. 13. & 2. It may be one thing to withdraw our ſelves from ſuch a man, and another to remove ſuch a man from amongſt us. The one may reſpect Church-cenſure, and not the other.

Upon theſe reaſons I confeſſe for my own part, before I read Eraſtus, (which to ſay the truth I had not done, nor yet ſeen him, till after my Rejoynder was a­broad) I