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SEVEN QVESTIONS ABOVT THE CONTROVERSIE betweene the CHVRCH of ENGLAND, AND THE Separatiſts and Anabaptiſts, breifely diſcuſſed.

  • 1. Whether is the Church of England as it now ſtands a true Church?
  • 2. Whether the Church of England be a right Nationall Church?
  • 3. Whether are the Miniſters in the Church of England ſent of God, and ſo are true Miniſters or not?
  • 4. Whether is the Baptiſme of Infants a true and lawfull Baptiſme or no?
  • 5. Whether it be lawfull to be Rebaptized or not?
  • 6. Whether is it lawfull to ſeparate from all the publike Ordinances and Chriſtian Aſſemblies in our Engliſh Church, becauſe there are ſome defects in Diſcipline, and in other things amongſt us?
  • 7. Whether is it neceſſarie to demoliſh our Churches (Steeple-houſes as the Separatiſts call them,) and to build them in other places, be­cauſe they were built by Idolaters for Idolatrous worſhip, were abuſed with Images, and dedicated to Saints?

By IMMANVEL KNVTTON, Preacher of Gods Word at Beeſton in Nottingham-ſhire.

Endeavouring to keepe the unity of the ſpirit in the bond of peace, there is one body, and one ſpirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your cal­ling; one Lord, one Faith, one Baptiſme, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Epheſ. 4.3, 4, 5, 6.

London, Printed by Tho: Paine, and are to be ſold by Andrew Kembe at Margrets Hill in Southworke. Anno Dom. 1645.

TO THE HONORABLE COMMITTEE of Parliament in Nottingham, Immanuel Knutton, Wiſheth all preſent hapineſſe and future bleſſedneſſe.

IT is well knowne to your Honours, that I endured a long and tedious bondage at Newarke, together with my godly Con­captive and fellow labourer in the work of the Miniſtry, M. William Hewit, for the ſpace of almoſt thirty weekes; and how God wrought our enlargement, by the worthy inſtrument of his glory, Captaine John Needham Governour of Killingworth Caſtle in Warwickſhire. But at my returne to Nottingham from New­arke, I found this Garriſon much diſtracted by ſome Separatiſts in it, who deſert our publike Aſſemblies and the Divine Ordinances, and have ſeduced too many to their way; In my conference with them, I found their Tenets unchriſtian, and themſelves pertinacious in them; Their tenets were theſe, 1. The Church of England is no true Church of Chriſt. 2. The Miniſters of this Church are not true Miniſters, not called of God. 3. Baptiſme of Infants is no true Baptiſme, therefore not lawfull. 4. It is not lawfull to heare us Miniſters Preach, leaſt they ſhould by their preſence approve of our Popiſh calling by the Biſhops, and becauſe we preach in popiſh ſteeple­houſes, alſo becauſe wee were Baptized in our Infancy, but if wee will re­nounce our calling by the Biſhops; Preach at the Market-croſſe, not in the Steeplehouſe; and be rebaptized, they well heare us, otherwiſe not. 5. Our ſteeplehouſes ought to be demoliſhed, neither is it lawfull to worſhip God in them. Theſe their opinions too many in this Gariſon approve of, and follow, therefore I have breifely anſwered their arguments and publiſhed them that I might hereby excite others more able then my ſelfe, to handle theſe points of controverſie more fully; and in the meane time I beſeech your Honours to ſuppreſſe theſe errours offencive both to God and the godly, leaſt theſe Schiſ­mes turne to hereſies, endeavour to extirpate all Popery, Sciſme, and Pro­phainneſſe, as the Covenant enjoynes you; which you heard worthily expli­cated and urged home to your conſciences in St. Maries Church on Thurſ­day Auguſt 8 by that faithfull Miniſter of Chriſt M. Richard Whit-Church in his Lecture Sermon upon that Text, Jer. 50.5. Almighty God eſtabliſh you in his truth, direct you ever by his ſpirit, ſecure you and this Garriſon by his preſence, or owne your deſignes with comfortable ſucceſſe, to the glory of his name, and to the perpetuall happineſſe of this Nation, Amen.

So prayeth your Honours humble Servant Jmmanuel Knutton.

SEVEN QVESTIONS about the Controverſie betweene the Church of England and the Sepa­ratiſts and Anabaptiſts, breifely diſcuſſed.

QVEST. I. Whether is the Church of England as it now ſtands a true Church?

Anſwer. I Premize this; that in this Church is much defect in Diſcipline, and in the execution of it in compariſon of other reformed Chur­ches, who in this, farre exceede us.

Next I affirme it is a true Church, yea the ſpouſe of Chriſt.

Reaſ. 1Firſt, Becauſe the Church of England hath the matter and forme of a true Church; the matter of a Church, are men and women in a right Logicall ſence, matter which is one of the cauſes hath this pro­perty, it is paſſive; for action is from the forme which is called the beginning of doing, as matter is of ſuffering, ſo are men by nature (in the internall and reall worke of grace in converſion) paſſive, Phil. 2.13. ſuch matter our Church hath; it hath alſo the forme of a Church, the forme of a thing in ſtrict logicall ſence, is a chiefe cauſe which actuates the matter and perfects it, it is a conſtituting cauſe; now the forme or conſtituting cauſe of a Church is faith, which brings it into relation to Chriſt, & therefore in Scripture the Church is called the Lords Spouſe, Ʋineyard, Houſe, &c. becauſe of its relation to him: this forme our Church hath, it hath many true beleevers: Now Diſcipline, though it conduce to the well being of a Church to keep it in a ſweet order, yet it is not the cauſe of a Church, it doth2 not give being to a Church, as the cauſe gives being to a thing; in na­ture a man is begotten and borne, but the order he is tied to obſerve in his life, makes him not a man, but conduceth to his well being in his life, ſo is Diſcipline to the Church; ſo then our Church hath ma­ny true beleevers, who by faith are united to Chriſt, and are thereby made members of his body (as the Separatiſts acknowledge) and if they helpe to make up his body, they muſt needs be Chriſts Church, for his body is his Church, Col. 1.18.24. Ecclſia eſt caetus hominum vo­catorum, Dr. Ames. 1 Cor. 1.24 1 Cor. 10 32.

Reaſ. 2Secondly, becauſe the Church of England hath the eſſentiall notes and markes of a true Church of Chriſt.

1. One is the word of God purely and powerfully preacht, profeſt, and maintain'd, which alwaies gathers a people to the Lord, being ſo taught, 2 Cron. 13.10, 11, 12.

2. The lawfull adminiſtration of the two Sacraments according to Chriſts inſtitution, Mat. 28.19, 20.

3 The true obedience to the word of God, a right following Chriſts voyce, and conforming to his will, John 10.27.

4. The union with God by his ſpirit and faith, and with his Saints by love, Col. 1.4. 2 Cor. 6.16. Rom. 8.14.

Object. But this Church wants the Diſcipline of Chriſt, therefore no true Church.

Anſ. I confeſſe it wants it, yet it hath theſe forenamed fundamentall & eſſentiall notes by vertue whereof, its the Church of Chriſt as tru­ly as the Church of Corinth was, in which was wanting the execution of ſpirituall Diſcipline, & more horrible abuſes of the ordinances then in England, yet Paul writes to it as to a true Church, 1 Cor. 11.17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 30. So the Churches of Galatia maintained juſtifi­cation by workes, which we account a damnable hereſie in the Ro­miſh Church at this day, yet Paul called them Churches, though this hereſie be worſe then the want of compleat Diſcipline and other Ceremonies in our Churches. Alſo there wanted true Diſcipline a­mongſt the Iſraelites, and was more prophane abuſes of Gods wor­ſhip then is amongſt us, yet wee account them to have beene a true Church, 1 Sam. 2.16, 17, 22, 29.

Reaſ. 3Becauſe this Church of England was rightly called and conſtitu­ted at the firſt by the preaching of the word and gratious Lawes of the Magiſtrate.

Object. But it ſhould have beene gathered onely by the word taught, not by con­ſtraint from the Magiſtrate:


Anſ. Conſtraint it ſelfe may juſtly have place in the lawfull conſtitution or reformation of a Church, witneſſe, 2 Chron. 33.16. 2 Chron. 34.32, 33. 2 Chron. 15.8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Magiſtrates may com­pell Infidells to here the word, 2 Chron. 30. They are keepers of both tables, they muſt aboliſh Idolatry and prophainneſſe, by command from the word, and they have as good ground to cauſe people to at­tend the publike Ordinances.

Ob. But to beleeve, is a voluntary act, and muſt not be inforced. Pſal. 110.3,

Anſ. True: God muſt ſweetly and effectually perſwade people to be­leeve and bend their wills by his ſpirit, the Magiſtrate muſt not com­pell any man to beleeve, but he muſt compell them to attend the meanes of grace, and to leave their wickedneſſe. Luke 14.23. The gueſts muſt be compelled to come in, though not to eate when they are come. Compelled, not by perſwaſions; for theſe were the firſt in­vitations; therefore by further meanes. So then both Word and Sword was effectuall through Gods bleſſing to gather a Church in this Iland, the Goſpel was worthily taught in King Edwards dayes, which brought 300. Martires in Queen Maries daies to the Stake, and many godly profeſſors to the ſucceeding times in Queene Eliza­beths dayes, there was great confluence of zealous Profeſſors who ſpread the Goſpel over the land, and drew flockes of hearers to them: then came a Chriſtian Edict from the State, that every man ſhould yeeld obedience to this truth wherein they had been thus inſtructed: it was performed by the moſt, whoſe ſubmiſſion was an actuall pro­feſſion of their faith and repentance.

Reaſ. 4Becauſe, We all in this land have entered into Covenant with God in Baptiſme, to ſerve and honour him all our dayes, our Baptiſme ties us as ſtrictly to Gods ſervice as Circumciſion tied the Jewes, and that our Baptiſme is a right Baptiſme, you ſhall heare proved after­wards.

Ob. But the Church is a company of men and women called, as Doctor Ames deſcribes it, now in England the moſt people are uncalled, prophaine, &c.

Anſ. There is a double calling, externall and internall, ſo the Church is either viſible or inviſible, now many are outwardly called by the ſweet invitations of the Goſpel, God calleth all ſorts of men, and men of all ſorts, but his inward and effectuall calling, and the election of grace is but of few, which is the meaning of that, Mat. 22.14. Many are outwardly called to be Members of the Church viſible, en­tered4 thereinto by Baptiſme, made partakers outwardly of the word and Sacraments, but few of theſe belong either to Gods eternall E­lection; or are effectually called and choſen to be Members of the Church inviſible. So John 15, 2. We are in Chriſt two wayes, 1. By externall profeſſion, frequenting the Ordinances, having a forme of godlineſſe but, &c. theſe are Members of the Church viſible: 2. By reall implantation, and theſe are the true ſpiritual Members of Chriſt, both theſe our Church hath; the common ſort are outwardly called by the word, initiated by baptiſme, and have a forme of Religion, and are outward Members of the Church viſible, as truely as ſuch were in the Jewiſh Church, and as Judas was in Chriſts family, and as Hypo­crites are Members of any reformed Church, for Hypocrites are worſe then the openly prophaine.

Reaſ. 5Becauſe, This Church hath a godly and learned preaching Mini­ſtry ſent of God (as you ſhall here proved afterward:) and a faithfull heavenly people as any that live upon earth, the Miniſters are buil­ders, and the other Gods building: 1 Cor. 3.9. Yet in that Church were horrible crimes, inceſt maintained. 1 Cor. 5.1.2. Some of them denied the Reſurrection. 1 Cor. 15.12. Though we have ma­ny dumbe dogs and wicked people, yet the Church receives its deno­mination from the better part, not from the major part, as an heape of wheate having much chaffe in it.

QVEST. II. Whether the Church of England be a right Nationall Church?

Anſwer. I Affirme it is as true a nationall Church, as the Jewiſh Church was. Reaſ. Becauſe this Church liveth by one Law Eccleſiaſticall and Civill, it continues one body, and every Congregation is a Member of it, as, amongſt the Jewes, they had their ſeverall Synagogues: our Church hath the Sacrament of baptiſme for imitation as the Jewes had cir­cumciſion.

Object,But wee read of no Nationall Church in the New Teſtament, therefore there is no Nationall Church now a dayes.

Anſ. 1. If this Argument were valid to prove that there is no Nationall Church now, then it may as well prove there was no Church at all before Chriſts comming, for we cannot find the word Church in all the Old Teſtament, God indeed called the Jewes his portion, inheri­tance, choſen people, &c. but never Church:


2. But I add further, that no Nationall Church is mentioned in the New Teſtament, Becauſe there was no ſuch, during the abode of Chriſt and his Apoſtles upon Earth, but only particular Churches ga­thered by the Apoſtles preaching amongſt the Heathen, there was no King nor Potentate that imbraced the Chriſtian Faith, for 300. yeares, till Constantine the great Emperour of Rome, who did moſt zealouſly receive, countenance, and promote the progreſſe of the Goſpel, and encouraged the Miniſters of it exceedingly.

3. If the judgement of Mr. Brightman, and ſome other learned Di­vines upon the Revelation, be Orthodox and ſound, (which I queſti­on not) then Nationall Churches are ſpoken of, and prefigured by thoſe ſeven Aſian Churches, whom that Eagle-eyed Expoſitour lookt upon as Types of ſucceeding Churches, and thoſe Churches whom they ſet out to be the Counterpaine, as Sardis ſet out the Church of Germany, Laodicea our Engliſh Church, Philadelphia ſet out the Churches of France, Helvetia, Suevia, Geneva, Holland, Scot­land, becauſe they live by one and the ſame forme of Eccleſiaſticall Government, and ſo of the reſt.

4. Laſtly, In the Old Teſtament are divers illuſtrious prophecies of Nationall Church of the Jewes, when God ſhall convert them and bring them backe to, and ſettle them in their owne Kingdome, for the Prophets frequently ſpeake of it. Iſa. 60. Iſa. 61. Iſa. 62. and 63. and 64. &c. Jer. 30. Jer. 31. Jer. 33.12, 13. Ezek. 34.25, 26, 27, 28, 29. Ezek. 36.24. Ezek. 37.25. Likewiſe we find theſe Prophets ſpeaking of Nationall Churches amongſt the Gentiles, which ſhould come and joyne with the Church of the Jewes. Iſa. 49 23. Iſa. 60.16. Iſa. 19, 24.25. Doubtleſſe there ſhall be many famous Nationall Churches after the converſion of the Jewes, which I hope drawes on faſt. And when thoſe dayes are come, there will be more famous Na­tional Churches then ever the old Jewiſh Church was. Zach. 14.20.21

Object. But the Church of England wants thoſe Church Officers mentioned, Eph. 4.11. which Chriſt left to his Church.

Anſwer. Can there be no Church, no Chriſtians without them? What ſhall we ſay of the Families of the Patriarkes? of the Jewiſh Congre­gations under the Law yea, of Chriſt and his Apoſtles? Either deny them to have beene viſible Churches, or ſhew us theſe diſtinct Offi­cers amongſt them: looke upon the Church ſince Chriſt was there not a worthy Church of God in Jeruſalem, from the time of Chriſts aſcention, till the Election of the 7 Deacons? thoſe hundred and6 twenty Diſciples, Acts 1.15. And 3000. Converts, Acts 2.41. thoſe continuall troopes that flocked to the Apoſtles, were they no true Church? Let the Apoſtles and Evangeliſts be Paſtors and Doctors: where were their Elders, Deacons, Releevers? Afterwards when Deacons were ordained, yet what newes is their of Elders till Acts 11.30. Yet that of Jeruſalem was more forward then the reſt: we will not (as the Separatiſts are wont) argue from Scriptures negatively: no proofe, yet much probability is in St. Pauls ſilence: He writes to Rome, Corinth, and other Churches: Thoſe his divine letters, in a ſweet Chriſtian civillity, ſalute even ordinary Chriſtians: and would he have utterly paſſed by all, mention of theſe Church Officers, a­mongſt his ſo preciſe acknowledgement of leſſer titles in others, if they had beene ere this ordained? Rom. 1.8. 1 Cor. 15. 1 Theſ. 1.7. Gal. 4.15. All theſe, notwithſtanding all this, were true Churches, famous, forward and exemplary. Onely the Phillippian Church is ſtiled with Biſhops and Deacons, but no Elders beſides them. Phil. 1.2.

But through Gods great mercy, we have many who conſcionably teach and feed, by teaching call them what you pleaſe, Lecturers, Parſons, Vicars, &c. If they preach Chriſt truely, upon true inward abilities, upon a ſufficient (if not perfect) outward vocation, ſuch are Paſtors and Doctors allowed by Chriſt: we ſtand not upon circum­ſtances and appendancies of the faſhions of ordination, manner of choice, attire, titles, maintenance, but if for ſubſtance theſe be no true Paſtors and Doctors, Chriſt never had any in his Church ſince the Apoſtles left the Earth.

QVEST. III. Whether are the Miniſters in the Church of England ſent of God, and ſo are true Miniſters or not?

Anſ. I Affirme they be true Miniſters of Jeſus Chriſt ſent of God into his Vineyard, to build up his Church and People as living ſtones upon Chriſt the cheif corner ſtone.

Reaſ. 1Becauſe we have many Godly, learned and painefull Miniſters, as well qualified for that worthy function as any in the world, who are exceedingly dilligent in the excerciſe of their gifts, endeavouring to convert and confirme ſoules, to the utmoſt of their ability: now their ability and fidility argues, that God hath ſent them. Rom. 10.15. Jer. 23.21, 22. As if he had ſaid, I gave no commiſſion to theſe7 Prophets, yet they ran, as of their owne heads, &c. If they had recei­ved directions and creands from me, and had delivered them accor­dingly to my people, they ſhould have laboured to have turned them from their leud courſes. Where the Lord ſhewes that the conſciona­ble, and able preaching of his word, proves that he ſends ſuch about that worke.

Reaſ. 2Becauſe, That God hath bleſſed the labours of the Miniſters of this Church, to the converſion of many, and to their confirmation in the truth, which thing God would not have done, if he had not ſent them. Jer. 23.32. 1 Cor. 9.2. Yea. the Separatists themſelves recei­ved their firſt Illumination, Faith, and other graces from the word preached by us, before they made a divorcement from us.

Object. But the Miniſters of the Church of England were called by the Prelates, whoſe calling is Antichriſtian, from the Pope, therefore they are not the Mi­niſters of Jeſus Chriſt.

Anſ. I grant that the calling of the Lordly Prelates (as they are deſcribed in the ſecond Article of the Covenant & exerciſe their juriſdiction in their Courts by their Subſtitutes) is Antichriſtian & yet the Godly and Learned Miniſters of this Church (called by them) are true Miniſters called of God, for theſe reaſons.

Reaſ. 1Becauſe, the Prelates are Chriſtians and ſo their calling of us is not altogether unlawfull: with the Separates, every Vlebeian Artificer hath power to elect and ordaine by vertue of his Chriſtian profeſſion (the act of the worthieſt ſtanding for all) how can they deny this right to perſons in ſome meaſure qualified for this worke?

Reaſ. 2Becauſe, The Prelates are learned men, and Divines, many of them are judicious and orthodox in judgement againſt popiſh Hereſies, and have written and preacht ſubſtantially againſt them, which yet I ſpeake not in favour of their calling, for I looke upon it as Anti­chriſtian, and directly oppoſing Chriſts words, in Mat. 20.25, 26.

Reaſ. 3Becauſe, The Prelates in their ordination, command us to preach the Goſpel truely now,we be not rightly called, becauſe called from them, then one of theſe things of both theſe muſt neceſſarily follow. Either it is unlawfull for the Prelates to command us to Preach the Goſpel, or it is unlawfull for us to preach the Goſpel as they com­mand us, I cannot ſee how the former can be unlawfull, becauſe their charge and command to Miniſters is no waies Antichriſtian, but Chriſtian, for they command us to preach the Goſpel not as Popiſh Prelates, but as Chriſtians and Learned Divines, now good counſell8 is worthy to be followed from whomſoever it comes, though from an enemie. I ſee not how the latter is unlawfull, if one be qualified wth fidelity and ability, he ought to preach the word; (though the Prelates licenced and commanded him) becauſe as yet here was no other outward way of calling Miniſters to preach in this Church of England, appointed and eſtabliſhed by authority.

I heard of an Uſurer in this Kingdome, who had gotten very much money by uſury and unjuſt gaine, he made it his only calling, (which doubtleſſe is unlawfull) it pleaſed God to convince him of the unlawfullneſſe of his uſury, he made reſtitution largely to his debtors, and ſent his ſervant with reſtitution money to divers of them, though his courſe of uſury was unlawfull, yet it was lawfull, yea, needfull for him to command his ſervant to carrie home reſtitu­tion money to ſuch as borrowed of him; and it was lawfull for his ſervant to obey him in this, of the like nature is the buſineſſe I ſpeake of.

Object,But the Miniſters of the Goſpel ſhould be called in a Church way, by the Church, and not be obtruded upon them, as many Ministers in this Church be againſt the conſent of the people, in this land people being prophaine as Heathens, and being no Church, cannot chuſe Miniſters, neither are ſuch true Miniſters, as are called by them:

Anſ. 1. I thinke every Godly and Learned Miniſter will not account himſelfe a Miniſter ſent of God, as he hath his calling from the Pre­lates, but will rather looke at his divine qualifications for the Lords worke, as his internall call from God, and at his peoples election of him, to ſuch a charge as his outward call, and will looke at the Epiſ­copall ordination as a meere Ceremony which cannot nullifie his di­vine call from God and the Church.

2. I conceive, that ſometimes a Miniſter may be ſent of God to preach the word, when the people deſire him not. As after Chriſts aſcenſi­on the Apoſtles diſperſt the Goſpel in divers heatheniſh Nations, ſo may it now fall out, if a Miniſter ſhould goe and preach among the Pagans, and convert divers of them to the truth, for ought I ſee, he may be truely ſaid to be a Miniſter ſent of God.

3. Though our land hath many prophaine in it, (yet its a Nationall Church as I proved) I ſhould propoſe this quaere to the conſcience of any reaſonable man: Suppoſe a prophaine pariſh where no meanes of grace ever was, nor any Godly Chriſtian ever dwelt, ſhould from the conviction of the neceſſity of preaching, make earneſt ſuite to9 ſome Godly and able Miniſter (not tyed to any other charge) to be their paſtour, and teach them the way to life, I demand whether this man have a true divine call from God to them or not? I conceive he hath, though they be not a true Church, yet they may be; God by his ſpirit may excite in them a true deſire after the word, and that Miniſter may have much worke to doe there. Acts 16.30. Paul and Silas had a true call, to goe into the Jaylours houſe at his queſtioning of them about ſalvation, though he was not fully converted.

4. I thinke a Miniſter may be truely ſent of God, by a Synod of Godly and Learned Divines to a Paſtorall charge, though the people ſometimes call him not, as if he be to preach the word in a prophain pariſh, that deſires not powerfull preaching, but hates it, and would oppoſe the comming in of ſuch a Miniſter, the Synod may ſend him to ſuch a place, and God may bleſſe his labours to the converſion of many there; a learned Synod is better able to judge of a Miniſters abi­lity and fidility, for that ſacred function, then a vulgar congregation, and there are too many ignorant pariſhes in this land, who will hard­ly ever call zealous and godly Miniſters to them, if our bleſſed Parli­ament, and reverend Synod have not a care to ſend ſuch to them.

Object. But the Miniſters of this Church are maintained by Tithes, a Jewiſh Ce­remony, and aboliſhed long ſince by Chriſt.

Anſwer. Tithes are not ceremoniall, for a Jewiſh Ceremony was a carnall type of an holy thing, injoyned for the ſervice of the Tabernacle and Temple, only untill the time of Reformation. eb. 9. Now, to ſay that tithes were inſtituted to ſignifie ſomething only for a time, as all ceremonies were, is not truth: If any ſay, they ſignified the mainte­nance of Miniſters under the Goſpel, then it will follow, that they ſignified a farre larger maintenance for the Miniſters of the Goſpel, then the Leviticall Prieſthood had, becauſe the office of Miniſters of the Goſpel is of greater worth & excellency, then the office of Prieſts and Levites under the law. Alſo becauſe the Antitype or thing ſigni­fied, is larger then the type or ceremony ſignifying. Neither could tithes ſignifie an Arbitrary maintenance, to be left to the will of the Magiſtrate, (as ſome ſay) for this were to make a certainty tipyfie an uncertainty. That tithes are morrall and ſo perpetuall, I thus prove it, 1 Cor. 9.13.14. That is by tiths, elſe the Apoſtles apodoſis anſwers not to his protaſis, then the ſimilitude were lame.

Reaſ. 1Becauſe, The heathen by the light of nature, judged that tithes were to be paid to ſuch gods as they worſhipped, if the light of na­ture11 dictated tithes to be perpetuall, then much more doth the word of God. Herodotus ſaith, that Cyrus King of Perſia, having conquered the Lydians, offered the tithes of all to Jupiter. Plutarch ſaith, the Ro­mans uſed to offer tithes to their gods, Camillus vowed tithes to the goddeſſe mater Matuta, in caſe he ſhould overcome the Vejans. Hee ſaith, Lucullus grew rich becauſe he obſerved the vſe of paving tithes to Hercules. Xenophon ſaith, that others uſed to pay tithes to Apollo. Pliny writing of the Sabaeans, and Aethiopians (more barberous then the Romans) ſaith, that Marchants may not meddle with the Spices which thoſe countries yeeld abundantly, before the Prieſts have laid out the tenth to their gods. Feſtus ſaith, the people of old did offer all the tenths to their gods. Which uſe amongſt all Nations ſhewes that it was diſperſed from Noah amongſt them: yea, it argues that it came from the incorrupt light of nature before the law was given.

Reaſ. 2Becauſe, That tithes were the Lords right, long before the law was given. Levit. 27.30. Here is neither inſtitution nor aſſignation of tithes, but a declaration of the Lords right, here he ſaith not they ſhall be, or let them be, as was ſaid of other Ceremoniall lawes, as of the Paſſeover: Exod. 12.24. But as its ſaid of the ſeventh day, it is the Lords Sabbath, ſo of tithes, they are the Lords. All that which concerning tithes was, inſtituted in the law, was that tithes ſhould be aſſigned to the Levites ſo long as they ſerved the Tabernacle. Numb. 18.21. Though God gave the tithes to the Levites, yet did he not firſt found them in that Incorporation, but only transferred his owne right to that order of Prieſthood ſo long as it ſhould endure, and af­ter the ceaſing of that Prieſthood, the ſame right deſcended to the Miniſters of the Goſpel: ſo tithes were due to the Leviticall, Miniſters as Miniſters, not as Leviticall and ſo are ſucceſſively due to Evange­licall Paſtors, as Paſtors not formally, as Evangelicall.

Reaſ. 3Becauſe, It was the cuſtome of Gods Church in all ages, to pay tithes to the Lord, before the law was written, ſo Abraham paied the tith of all. Gen. 14.20.

Object. That which Abraham payed was of the ſpoyles, Heb. 7.4. 〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉

Anſ. The word〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉ſignifies the beſt of a mans goods, ſometimes the firſt fruits; But admit that it ſignified ſpoyles, and that Abraham gave tithes of the ſpoyles, yet it more confirmes the right of tithes, for if he gave tithes of the ſpoyles, much more did he uſe to doe the ſame of his owne goods, for here the Apoſtle ſaith. Heb. 7.2. He gave a tenth part of all, why is this compared with Leviticall tithes10 which were paied yearely, if this were not alſo uſuall and continuall? the Apoſtle would not uſe this manner of ſpeech of one only action, unleſſe it ſhewed the common uſe and practiſe how tithes were then paied to the Prieſt, as by common uſe and practiſe they were after­wards paied to the Levites.

Beſides, I thinke with judicious Calvin, that Abraham paied tithes not of the ſpoyles, but of his owne goods: becauſe it's ſaid Gen. 14.22.23. That Abraham had lift up his hand to God, that he would not take ſo much as a threed or ſhooe latchet of that which was ta­ken, which he yeelded to the King of Sodome, &c. It's more then probable that he paied no tithes of the ſpoyles, ſeeing he would not account any part thereof his owne. The next teſtimony before the law is, Gen. 28.20.21. &c. From hence it appeares that it was the generall opinion of the godly before the law was given, that tithes ought to be given to God. For otherwiſe Jacob did offend unleſſe hee knew that this thing pleaſed God, as being appointed by him.

Object. But Jacob vowed a vow to give the tenth, now no morrall thing may bee vowed, becauſe we are bound without a vow to performe ſuch things?

Anſwer. Yet its lawfull to vow morall duties which God commands us, to binde our ſelves to more carefull obedience, to excite our dulneſſe, to prevent omiſſion, the holy practiſe of the godly proves it, 2 Chron. 15.12, 13, 14 Pſal. 119.106. Pſal. 50.14. Pſal. 56.12. and though ceremoniall things might be vowed under the law, yet no otherwiſe, but as they drew to ſome morall duty. Beſides, the other parts of Ja­cobs vow was not ceremoniall, but morall Gen. 28.20, 21, 22. That God ſhould be his God: this was vowed by him on like condition, with tithes, and for ought I know Iacob might as well vow tithes to God for ever, as that God ſhould be his God: Iacob in this vow I thinke vowed not for himſelfe alone, but for his ſeed that ſhould ſuc­ceed; becauſe the viſion which Jacob ſaw, concerned all his poſterity ſo did his vow, God promiſed many bleſſings to him and his ſeed: he vows holy ſervice and obedience to God, for him and his poſterity, thoſe that would aſcend into Heaven by Iacobs Ladder, (which is Chriſt Iohn 1.51. ) muſt be tied to Iacobs vow, for Iacobs vow anſwe­ring the viſion, whileſt any part of the viſion is to be performed, which will be till Chriſts ſecond comming; ſo long ſhall tithes be Gods inheritance. Becauſe as I ſaid his vow concerned his ſeed, as much (if not more) then himſelfe. And thoſe are his ſeed who are more of his faith then his fleſh: for all the families of the earth, which12 here are bleſſed in Iacobs ſeed, were not all of Iacobs fleſh, but even Iaphets ſeed comming to the tents of Sem; the Gentiles called: There­fore all ſubject by Iacobs vow to tithing. Rom. 9 6.7.8.

Object. But we read not of the conſtant paying of tithes, nor of any law for tithing, till the time of Moſes. Numb. 18.

Anſwer. Neither do we read of the obſervation of the Sabbath from the Cre­ation till Exod. 16. Yet doubtleſſe the people of God obſerved it, but as concerning tithes, we have here two examples, Abraham and Iacob.

Reaſ. 4Becauſe, Tithes were due and were paied to Melchizedeke by A­braham, and ſo ought to be paied to Chriſt, or elſe Chriſt ſhould faile in ſome thing to be as Melchizedeke was, which may not be granted, ſeeing he is after his order, as the Prieſts of the law after Aarons order, and ſo were in every thing as Aaron: Now tithes being due to Chriſt, muſt be paied to his ſervants the Miniſters of the Goſpel, Heb. 7.1. to 11. From this place conſider theſe things, 1. The ſcope of this place is, to ſet forth the greatneſſe and the honorable condition of Melchize­dek, and conſequently, of Jeſus Chriſt. 2. Melchiſedecks receiving of tithes, the Apoſtle makes a ſpeciall argument of his greatneſſe, viz. his receiving tithes of Abraham, whoſe Offspring the Tribe of Levi tooke tithes. 3. Melchizedek is as great as ever he was, and ſo in all things as he was in the time of Abraham, for he is the Prieſt of God for ever that never dies, and ſo his Prieſthood and the rights of it ne­ver ceaſe 4. how can his admirable greatneſſe in his Antitipe Chriſt, be ſaid ſtill to be the ſame, if Chriſt takes no tithes, neither hath right to take them? ſeeing the Apoſtle urgeth this as a maine argument of his greatneſſe: his ſcope is to prove Melchizedek more excellent then Aaron or Abraham himſelfe, or then any of the Jewiſh Nation, and conſequently Chriſt more excellent, that the Hebrewes might not be hindred by an over weening opinion, touching the Aaronicall Prieſt­hood ſo long ſetled amongſt them from comming unto Chriſt. The ſuper excellency of Melchizedek is proved by this, that he took tithes of the Patriarke Abraham & bleſſed him, the title Patriarke being ad­ded for Abrahams greater honour, to magnifie Melchizedek the more.

Next, the ſuper excellency of Melchizedek is in this amplified by comparing this tithing, with that under the law uſed amongſt Abrahams children, for if ſome of them had a greater honour done to them in this that they tooke tithes of their brethren, Melchizedek was far more honoured in taking tithes of Abraham; and if they were honoured to bleſſe others their brethren, being13 hereby proved greater; then Melchizedek in bleſſing Abraham, was much more honored & proved greater then he, and by conſequence then Levi, and the high Prieſt ſpringing of him, for ſo much as Levi himſelfe being then in Abrahams loynes paid tithes unto him, and was bleſſed of him: from all this it followes plainely, that tithes are due to the Miniſters of the Goſpel, in regard they are Chriſts Ambaſſadours to reconcile people to God, and to bleſſe them with converſion by preaching the word; becauſe tithes are Chriſts and Melchizedeks as they were a meanes of bleſſing, for in this reſpect alſo Abraham is noted to have paid tithes to Melchizedek when hee met him and bleſſed him.

Object. But we reade not that Chriſt or his Apoſtles received tithes or demanded them?

Anſwer. Neither received they ought elſe of ſome Churches, but their owne hands miniſtred to their neceſſities that they might not bee ſcandalous to weake brethren, nor chargeable to afflicted Churches, muſt Miniſters of all ages doe the like?

Secondly, the argument followes not from no practiſe to inferre no right, for the Apoſtles travelled from place to place to preach the Goſpel, that then this could not be well done, but the right was not infrienged hereby, no more then the right of Circumciſing by the intermiſſion thereof forty yeares in the Wilderneſſe.

Thirdly, wee reade ſoone after Chriſts aſcention, the Apoſtles tooke the price of whole fields and poſſeſſions of ſuch as joyned themſelves to them for their owne maintenance, and of their poore brethren, Acts 2.45. Acts. 4 34, 35, 36, 37. this courſe continued about 200. yeares, during which time no marvell though they requi­red not tithes, that which was given them being a farre greater pro­portion: ſuch as oppoſe the morality of tithes now, would not bee willing to deale ſo with us Miniſters of the Goſpel.

QVEST. IIII. Whether is the Baptiſme of Infants a true and lawfull Baptiſme or not?

Anſwer. I Affirme it is a true, right, lawfull, and fit Baptiſme, and ought to be uſed in a Chriſtian Church profeſſing Gods truth.

Reaſ. 1Becauſe (excepting the difference of the viſible ceremony) there is the ſame analogie of reaſon of Baptiſme as of circumciſion, the ſame internall, & ſpirituall thing ſignified, viz. remiſſion of ſins, & mortification of the fleſh, Deut. 10.16. Jer. 4.4.6. Act. 2.38. Act. 22.16. 14Rom. 6.4. both of them are Symballs of our Adoption into Gods family, and ſo our imitation into the Divine Covenant, Gen. 17.7.10. 1 Cor. 12, 13. Gal. 3.26, 27. beſides Baptiſme ſucceedes Circum­ciſion, Col. 2.11.12. or elſe the conditon of Chriſtian infants under the Goſpel, were worſe then the condition of Jewiſh Infants under the Law, in regard of their age; if Baptiſme might not bee conferred upon them now, as Circumciſion upon the Jewiſh children, if Bap­tiſme belong not to Infants, then the grace and favour of God by Chriſts comming, is more obſcure and ſtraight and leſſe teſtified, then it was to the Jewes, which to affirme, is an horrible indignity offered to Chriſt.

Object. But there was an expreſſe commandement for circumciſing of Infants, Gen. 17. but no ſuch for Baptizing of Infants now?

Anſw. 1There is a generall command Mat. 28.19, 20. all that beleeve of any condition whatſoever, ſhould be Baptized; under which Infants borne of Chriſtian parents are comprehended, for in Lawes and Precepts that be generall, an enumeration of ſingulars and perticulars is not required, becauſe lawes doe command concerning the whole Kind.

Secondly, the Baptiſme of Chriſtian Infants hath deſcended and continued from the Apoſtles dayes to us, Origen who lived in the yeare 213. ſaid, that the Church received the tradition from the A­poſtles, to give Baptiſme to Infants. Auguſtine who lived in the yeare 420. ſaid, that Baptiſme of Infants, the Church univerfall held it not inſtituted by Councells, but alwaies retained it, and moſt rightly be­leeved it to be delivered by Apoſtolike Authority. Now ſuch exam­ples are aequivalent to expreſſe commands.

Thirdly, The New Teſtament doth not literally command, re­member to keepe holy the Sabbath, not to ſay grace before and af­ter meales, not to pray with our families morning and evening, not women to receive the Lords Supper, & many other ſuch like things I might inſtance, yet we hold this to be morall duties, and ought of necſſiety to be performed, and may be proved ſufficiently by conſe­quence out of the New Teſtament.

Reaſ. 2Becauſe Chriſtian Infants are in the Covenant of grace, as well as the children of Iſraelites, Gen. 17.7. Act. 2.39. for this bleſſed Covenant is exceedingly extended and enlarged by Chriſt, good reaſon then, the ſeale of this Covenant ſhould not be ſtraightned nor made narrower then Circumciſion was; now Chriſtian Infants be­ing15 within the Covenant of Grace, Baptiſme the Seale of it is their right, for as much as they are Chriſtians belonging to the Church of God, 1 Cor. 7.14. here he ſaith your children are holy; if but one of the perſons married be a beleever, ſome by (holy) underſtand, legetimate, as if he had ſaid, your children are not baſtards but law­fully begotten and borne; But the Apoſtle ſpeakes not of civill legi­timation, for the children of Infidells may be and are legitimate, others conſtrue the words thus, that your children are holy, viz. by education in Chriſtianity: others interpret them thus, your Children are holy, viz. by the ſecret operation and illuminati­on of the ſpirit, which begets in them new inclinations towards God, as in John Baptiſt, and the Prophet Jeremy. Others ſay thus, your children are holy. viz. They are Chriſtians, belonging to the Co­venant and to the Church, this I chuſe: holy, here is not under­ſtood civill but legally; the Law called things uncleane, prophane, as veſſells, and living creatures, and men without the Church, and ſo the Law called things dedicated to God, holy; therefore as the chil­dren of the Jewes in the old Teſtament were not uncleane but holy, that is, they were not Gentiles, but Jewes, in Covenant with God from the wombe, by the vigour and vertue of that promiſe, Gen. 17.7. though by nature they were children of wrath; ſo here, Chriſtians with their children who are adopted into the place of the Jewes, now in the new Teſtament the Apoſtle calls holy; that is, they are not Heathens but Chriſtians, though by reaſon of originall ſin they are borne children of wrath; ſo according to faederall grace, wee are borne Chriſtians, though according to nationall generation wee are borne ſinners, by vertue of which faederall ſanctity Chriſtian In­fants have as cleare a right to Baptiſme as Jewiſh Infants had to Cir­cumciſion: ſuch then who oppoſe faederall ſanctity and teach that the cuſtom or Baptizing Infants hath continued in the Church not from example or command in Scripture, but from the degrees of the Church, take part with the Papiſts who ſtifly ſeeke to main­taine theirs againſt us.

Reaſ. 3Becauſe Infants are capeable of the thing ſignified, therefore they may be Baptized, they may have grace ſecretly beſtowed as Jeremy and John Baptiſt, many ſuch belong to heaven, Mat. 19.14. as if he had ſaid, of ſuch little ones and of others affected like them doth the Kingdome of God conſiſt, Marke 10.14. Chriſt bleſſed them, then we may beſtow the Sacrament and ſeale of bleſſing on them.


Object. If wee could certainely know which Infants had grace wrought in them, and did belong to Heaven, then we might baptize them, but this we know not, therefore its the beſt not to baptize them, til they come to riper yeares to make a profeſſion and a confeſſion of the Chriſtian faith?

Anſwer. Firſt know, that wee cannot infallibly diſcerne which man hath true grace, and is elected, this God only knowes, we may and ought to judge very charitably upon an exact profeſſion, & ſo upon a bare profeſſion; Phillip Baptized Simon Magus, Act. 8.13. We muſt ne­ver Baptize any, if we ſtay for infallible knowledge of any particular mans Election and particular Sanctification.

Secondly, the faith of Parents may warrant their infants Baptiſ­me, yea though they have a bare hiſtoricall faith, (not a juſtifying faith,) if they can credere ad baptiſmum, though not ad ſalutem, this faith makes their children fit for Baptiſme, there were many in the Apoſtles times who were Baptized having only an hiſtoricall faith, as Magus and others.

Object. But the new Teſtament runnes much upon theſe ſpeeches; beleeve and bee baptized, repent and be baptized, teach and baptize, now Infants are not capeable of the exerciſe of any of theſe graces, nor capeable of teaching; and what good can the Parents faith doe to the Infaint in Baptiſme, ſeeing every one muſt live and be ſaved by his owne faith?

Anſ. Thoſe phraſes, Teach and Baptize, Repent, and Beleeve, and bee Baptized, &c. are meant of ſuch who were of riper yeares, and made profeſſion of the Chriſtian faith, whom they gathered out of the Heathens by the preaching of the Goſpel.

In like manner, if we were to preach the Word amongſt the Pa­gans and Infidells who knew not Chriſt, beleeve not in him, heard not of him, wee ought not to Baptize them nor their children till they profeſſe faith in Chriſt, and come to know him. But now in this Church of England, all our people profeſſe themſelves Chriſtians, and ſay, they beleeve in Chriſt and hope to be ſaved by him, though in their workes many prophane Proteſtants and licentious Chriſti­ans deny Chriſt, oppoſing the power of godlineſſe, yet having a temporary faith, they are intituled and called Chriſtians, and have right to Baptiſme as well as the Children of many prophane Jewes had to Circumciſion.

Secondly, I ſay, the Parents faith may benefit the Infant ſo much, as to bring it under the compaſſe of the Covenant, and to make it a partaker of the ſigne and ſeale of the Covenant, Rom. 4.11. He ſaith19 Circumciſion was a Seale of the righteouſneſſe of the faith, children we know were circumciſed, what faith could they expreſſe? there­fore the faith of their parents, applying the righteouſneſſe of Chriſt to themſelves, by their Circumciſion, it made their children to bee borne Jewes by nature, Gal. 2.15. Next this their faith aſſured them, that God would be a God to their ſeede, according to that promiſe, Gen. 17.7. In as good ſtead doth faith ſtand Chriſtian Parents in, now, about the Baptiſme of their children, for Baptiſme is a clearer ſeale of righteouſneſſe then Circumciſion was.

Thirdly, We reade the Apoſtles Baptized whole families, Acts 16.15.33. Acts 18.8. 1 Cor. 1.16. and it is probable there were children amongſt them.

Reaſ. 4Becauſe 1 Cor. 10.2. The Apoſtle making their paſſing under the cloude and through the red ſea a tipe of Baptiſme, he ſaith they were all Baptized through the conduct or Miniſtery of Moſes in the cloud and ſea, now there were ſixe hundred thouſand footmen, Exod. 12.37. beſides very many young infants and ſmall children, and they were all baptized tipically; very well, yea, much more may Infants of Chriſtian Parents now under the Goſpel, have Baptiſme conferred upon them, in the Truth and Antitipe, for the Truth or Antitipe is larger and of greater conſequence then the Type; The Iſraelites, their paſſing into the bottome of the ſea, ſignified our buriall with Chriſt in Baptime, their comming out of the ſea, our riſing up to newneſſe of life, Rom. 6.4. So the Apoſtle, 1 Pet. 3.21. Makes No­ahs Arke a type of our Baptiſme; for ſaith he, the like figure where­unto even baptiſme, &c. as if he had ſaid: Anſwerable unto which preſervation of the eight perſons in Noahs family, by water, is the benefit which we receive by baptiſme, which doth alſo now ſave us by, and in applying unto us, the power of the Reſurrection of Je­ſus Chriſt, and become effectuall unto us, not in reſpect of the out­ward element, which onely waſheth off the filth of the fleſh, but in reſpect of the inward efficaſie of the grace, thereby repreſented, and exhibited; whereby the conſcience is both quieted, & aſſured of par­don and favour, and is there upon enabled to treate for, and expect mercy from God, and reconciliation with him.

Object,But Chriſt was not Baptized untill he was thirty yeares of age, Luke 3.21, 22, 23.

Anſ. True; he was baptized, 1 to fulfill all righteouſneſſe, Mat. 3.15. that is, to accompliſh in all due obedience, all that part of Gods will18 which concerne him. 2 To confirme Johns baptiſme, doctrine, & mi­niſtry, & to commend and confirme to us the uſe of baptiſme by his example. 3. That he might ſanctifie our baptiſme to us, and ſeale up this fellowſhip with us. 4 To ſignifie that he was ſent to be baptized, namely to die, and to waſh away our ſins with his blood, Luke 12.50. 5 That the truth might anſwer the type or figure; for as the high Prieſt, at his inauguration had his whole body waſht with water, the ſacerdotall garment was put upon him, he was ſet in the ſight of all the people, and oyle was powred upon his head; Exod. 29.4, 5, 6 ſo Chriſt being to enter upon the publike function of the Miniſtry to preach the Goſpel, he would be baptized, that he might be ordained, and confirmed by the publike teſtimony of the whole Deity. But this example binds not us in reſpect of the time of his baptiſme, for if it did then Miniſters muſt be baptized at their entrance into the Miniſtry; then none might enter into the Miniſtry till they be thir­ty yeares old, nor bee baptized till they come to that age; ſo then, Chriſt entring upon his publike function at that age, did anſwer the legall type of the Prieſts and Levites, who ordinarily were choſen to the publike ſervice of the tabernacle at thirty yeares of age, Numb. &c. He did not by his example binde us to receive bap­tiſme at that age.

Reaſ. 5Becauſe Baptiſme hath beene effectuall to produce mortification and vivificate in many, as divers good people can witneſſe, which it ſhould not have done, if God had not approved of Paedobap­tiſme.

QVEST. V. Whether is it lawfull to be rebaptized or not?

I Anſwer, that if one were Baptized in the name of God in generall, without particular explication and recitation of the three perſons be not mentioned but omitted in Baptiſme, its not right and lawfull baptiſme; or if one was baptized of thoſe heretickes who delivered not the right doctrine of the Trinity, ſuch as were the Marcianites, Arrians, and Pneumatomachi, its not right and lawfull Baptiſme, be­cauſe the eſſentiall forme of Baptiſme is not obſerved, which (accor­ding to Chriſts inſtitution) muſt be in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghoſt: but if Baptiſme be rightly adminiſtred according to the inſtitution of Chriſt and the forme preſcribed of him, then re­baptization is unlawfull, for theſe reaſons.


Reaſ. 1Firſt, becauſe there is no command for rebaptization, as there is for the frequent receiving of the Lords Supper, 1 Cor. 11.26. and the Apoſtle ſaith, there is but one Baptiſme, Eph. 4.5.

Reaſ. 22. Becauſe Circumciſion was not iterated, to which Baptiſme ſucceeded.

Reaſ. 33. Becauſe Baptiſme is a Sacrament of Regeneration, but its e­nough to be once borne againe, and to bee entered into the Church of God, as one is borne naturally but once; ſo the ſpirituall birth is but once.

Object. But many who were baptized in their infancy, were never truly borne a­gaine?

Anſ. Likewiſe many who are baptized in their elder yeares are never truly regenerate, but are notorious Hypocrites, as Simon Magus, and others.

Reaſ. 44. Becauſe the ſtrength and fruit of baptiſme laſteth all the life of a true Chriſtian, and a Chriſtian may, yea he ought to feele the force and vertue of his baptiſme working mortification and vivification in him, he muſt often remember the covenant he made with God in that ordinance, and in the remembrance of it muſt bee carefull to take heede of falling into ſinne, to riſe after he is fallen, and to ſerve God in ſincerity all his dayes.

Now ſome of the ſeparatiſts hold that our baptiſme in the Church of England is no baptiſme, becauſe its conferred upon Infants; and therefore they are rebaptized: but they groſly erre; not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God in that Sacrament to us; I hold theſe their tenets and practiſe unlawfull for theſe reaſons.

1 Becauſe they ſeeke to nullifie and fruſtrate the Sacred ordinance of Chriſt, viz. Baptizing in Infants, and ſo by conſequence ſpeakes blaſphemy, horribly taking Gods name in vaine, in that they vilifie and reject one of his Ordinances, as a matter of no worth, efficacy, and conſequences if any of them ſhall ſay, that they never felt or diſcerned any benefit by their baptiſme in their infancy? I anſwer, that they doe diſcover carnality and pride, and are in the bond of iniquity with Simon Magus, if they were regenerate, they might feele as much benefit and comfort of their baptiſme in their infancy, as the godly L•••n might from their circumciſion in their infancy: alſo they diſcover hypocriſie in that they made profeſſion formerly of their Covenant made with God in Baptiſme, but now ſince their Separation, they diſclaime this Sacrament, and acknowledge them­ſelves nothing better for it.

202. Becauſe many of them are baptized by ſuch as are no true Mi­niſters of Chriſt, not ſent by him to preach the Goſpel, for I am cer­taine they are not able to preach the word, therefore not ſent by the Lord; now, none ſhould baptize but they who are able teachers, ſent of Chriſt, Mat. 28.19.

3. Becauſe this opinion revives the antient hereſie of Marcion the Hereticke, who lived in the yeare 143. hee was the inventer of a ſtrange & new cuſtome, for he taught, that after a man had been once baptized, he may be baptized againe the ſecond time, and third time alſo. This hee did to waſh away his whoredome; his father was a Preacher of Gods word in Pontus, and hee himſelfe had vowed cha­ſtety, and afterwards polluted himſelfe with whoredome, and was caſt out of the Church by his owne father; who when hee came to Rome, not being admitted to the fellowſhip of the Church, there he joyned himſelfe to the fellowſhip of Cerdon and augmented his er­rour, who held that there were two Gods or two beginnings, the one they called the Authour of all good things, the other the Author of all evill things; to which Marcion added this hereſie: hee ſaid, firſt, there was one ſupreame and vniverſall God, and him he called the good God, who created nothing that is in this world: ſecondly, there was a viſible God, who was creator and maker of all things, and thirdly, there was the Devill, as a mid thing betweene the viſible and inviſible God; no hereſie ſprang up at that time that was ſo uni­verſally over ſpread in many nations and countries as Marcions he­reſie was.

ObjectBut we reade Acts 19.3, 4, 5. that Twelve Diſciples of Epheſus were Baptized by Paul, who had beene baptized by John; therefore its lawfull to be rebaptized?

Anſ. Some thinke that thoſe twelve Diſciples were only inſtructed in the Doctrine of John (there called baptiſme) and not bap­tized of him with water, but were now baptized in the name of Jeſus.

Some hold they were baptized of John with water, & not of Paul, as the text ſeemes to import, but that they were baptized in the name of Jeſus, that is, they were furniſhed with admirable gifts of the Spi­rit, after Paul had laid his hands upon them, which effuſion of the ſpirit is called baptizing, Acts 1.5.

Some hold they were baptized amiſſe by ſome of Johns followers in a corrupt forme, but now were rightly baptized, yet here was no rebaptization.

21Some hold they were baptized of Iohn and Paul both for the divers manner of ſignification, Iohn baptized in the name of Jeſus that was to come, and to be exhibited, Paul in the name of Jeſus already come and exhibited.

But let us conſult the text a little better; firſt, the text ſaith not, that Paul baptized thoſe who before were baptized of Iohn, as the Anabaptiſts urge, but wee muſt rightly diſtinguiſh the words of Paul from the words of the Evangeliſt, Luke re­lating that hiſtory, Pauls words were theſe; Iohn verily baptized with the baptiſme of repentance, ſaying unto the people, that they ſhould beleeve on him which ſhould come after him, that is on Chriſt Jeſus. Lukes words were theſe, When they heard this they were baptized in the name of the Lord Ieſus, and when Paul had laid his hands upon them, &c. So Luke ſaith, when they heard this, that is the Preaching and Doctrine of Iohn, then they were baptized in the name of the Lord Ieſus; that is of Iohn, not of Paul: So that Luke here ſets downe how truly, worthily, and rightly theſe 12. Diſciples were baptized of Iohn and that Iohn baptized in the name of the Father, Sonne, and holy Ghoſt, for elſe his baptiſ­me had not beene right and ſound, but Iohn baptized thus, I ſay, as appeares, Mat. Secondly, in that thoſe twelve ſaid, they heard not whether there bee an Holy Ghoſt or not? its not meant of the exiſtence of the holy Ghoſt, for Iohn taught clearely concerning the holy Ghoſt. Mat. 3.11. but its to be underſtood metonymically, of the effuſion of the viſible gifts of the holy Ghoſt, which flouriſhed excellently in the be­ginning of the Church, as Iohn 7.39. ſo that when Paul had laid his hands on them, the holy Ghoſt came upon them; that is after a viſible manner, he meanes not here the gift of regene­ration offered to all in baptiſme, but thoſe peculiar and extra­ordinary gifts; as the gift of tongues, and gifts of working miracles and ſuch like. Give me leave to ſet downe a ſhort Pa­raphraſe upon five verſes in the beginning of this Chapter, for the further illuſtration of this point.

Acts 19.2. Have ye received the holy Ghoſt ſince ye beleeve? and they ſaid unto him, we have not ſo much as heard whether there be any holy Ghoſt.

Para phraſe. Have ye received the extraordinary and miraculous gifts of the holy Ghoſt, ſince ye beleeved? and they ſaid unto him;22 we have not ſo much as heard, that there are thoſe miraculous gifts of the holy Ghoſt, beſtowed on men that beleeve.

Verſe 3And he ſaid unto them, unto what then were ye baptized? and they ſaid unto Iohns Baptiſme.

Paraph,And he ſaid unto them? Theſe graces and gifts are wont to be given by impoſition of hands, after Baptiſme; which ſince Ye have not taken notice of, tell me, unto what were ye bapti­zed? And they ſaid wee were Baptized by Iohns Baptiſme, to the remiſſion of ſins by Jeſus Chriſt, that lambe of God, which taketh away the ſinnes of the world.

Verſe 4Then ſaid Paul, John verily baptized with the baptiſme of repen­tance, ſaying unto the people, that they ſhould beleeve on him which ſhould come after him, that is on Chriſt Jeſus.

Paraph. Then ſaid Paul, Iohn verily as the outward Miniſter of Bap­tiſme, baptized you with water, to the remiſſion of ſinnes, to­gether with his baptiſme teaching the people, that they ſhould beleeve in that Jeſus Chriſt, which ſhould come after him; ſo as his baptiſme was true and perfect; yet ſuch as was not ac­companied, & attended with theſe miraculous gifts, which now ſince the full glorification of Chriſt, are beſtowed upon men.

Verſe 5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Ieſus.

Paraph. Whiles therefore Iohn taught them thus, and made this holy comentary upon his ſaid baptiſme, they that heard it (in recei­ving his baptiſme) were baptized in the name of the Lord Jeſus.

Verſe 6And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the holy Ghoſt came on them, and they ſpake with tongues and propheſied.

Paraph. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them (as having be­fore beene fully and duely baptized) the Holy Ghoſt came downe upon them, in miraculous gifts, and they ſpake with tongues and propheſied.

So that here is no ground for rebaptization in this place, theſe twelve doubtleſſe had received the Holy Ghoſt, (though not in that miraculous and extraordinary manner as they did after) for Paul in his queſtion ſaith they beleeved, now to beleeve, is a fruit of the Spirit; Therefore the Separatiſts doe very ill opo­ſing our Baptizing of Infants, for in Scripture we finde no ex­amples, wherein Infants of Chriſtian Parents were denyed bap­tiſme but examples we find, wherein they had it conferred upon23 them, 1 Cor. 10.2. as I proved before, and Lydia with all her houſhould was baptized, likewiſe wee finde no negative pre­cept inhibiting paedobaptiſme, neither can it bee proved truely that Chriſts command. Teach and Baptize, &c. doth exclude infants from baptiſme; now if their bee neither example nor precept, againſt paedobaptiſme, then ſuch as oppoſe it doe ill; for they follow thoſe peſtilent hereticks called Annabaptiſts in Germany, who ſprung up there (when the light of the Goſpel firſt began to ſhine) not very long ſince, about Luthers time, this their opinion being but new and upſtart, there is good rea­ſon they ſhould diſclaime it, and be humbled for it.

QVEST. VI. Whether is it lawfull to ſeparate from all the publike Ordinances and Chriſtian aſſemblies in our Engliſh Church, becauſe there are ſome defects in Diſcipline, and in other things amongſt us.

Anſ. I Conceive it is abſolutely unlawfull to relinquiſh Gods holy Ordinances, and the Aſſemblies of godly Chriſtians in this Church of England, becauſe of our mixt congregations, and be­cauſe of ſome defects in our Diſcipline.

Reaſ. 1Becauſe Jeſus Chriſt leaves us not for our defects and weake­neſſes, but continues with us, and I hope will doe for ever: It appeares Chriſt dwells amongſt us, becauſe hee hath ſetled his ſacred word amongſt us, ſent us many godly and learned teach­ers, and where theſe are teaching the truth there is Chriſt, Mat. 28.20. Alſo he hath planted his Sacraments in our Church, he hath converted many ſoules in our land to himſelf by the faith­full diſpenſation of his Ordinances, but where all this is, there Chriſt is reſident, Exod. 20.24. ſuch a Church is the ſpouſe of Chriſt, and whilſt ſhe holds the foundation of Religion, re­taining the ſubſtantiall grounds of it, agreable to the analogie of faith, ſhe is ſpouſed to Chriſt, but if ſhee reject the foundation of religion, ſhe is an harlot, as the Church of Rome is, Revelat. 2. there Chriſt walkes amongſt the ſeven golden candleſtickes, viz. Thoſe ſeven Churches of Aſia, yet ſome of them had great defects; Now till Chriſt leaves us, it is unlawfull for them to leave us, and account our Church an harlot; ſuch as do thus, do24 through the ſides of our Church wound Chriſt, ſtrike at him, and diſhonour him, Luke 10.16.

Reaſ. 2Becauſe in ſeparating from our Aſſemblies and Ordinances, you prevent the exerciſe of many an holy duty which you might, & ought to have performed amongſt us, Heb. 10. And let us conſider one another, to provoke unto love & good workes, but ſome might aske how muſt we performe this duty? he anſwers verſe 25. not forſaking the Aſſembling of our ſelves together, &c. here the Apoſtles impugneth the ſupercidiouſneſſe of the ſelfe concei­ted Jewes, who out of contempt of the Gentiles deſerted the Chriſtian Aſſemblies, as if he had ſaid, notwithdrawing and ut­terly ſeparating our ſelves from the aſſemblies of Gods people, upon conceit of the peculiar rights & prerogatives which God hath given the Jewes above the Gentiles; and ſtanding upon the high tearmes of difference, as the manner of ſome is, &c.

Reaſ. 3Becauſe its the high way to the ſinne againſt the Ghoſt, as is very cleare, Heb. 10.25.26. for ſuch as deſpiſe and deſert our Chriſtian Aſſemblies and Gods holy ordinances amongſt us, for ſome defects and imperfections; (which doe not alienate Chriſt his preſence & love from us) are in the ready way to fall to blaſpheme the truth, and to ſinne unpardonable. Mr. Paget of Amſterdam in his preface to his booke called An arrow againſt the Separation of the Browniſts, complaines of them thus; It is apparent that three or foure hundred of the Browniſts have brought forth more Apoſtate Anabaptiſts and Arrians, ſome­times in one yeare, then 10000 members of the reformed Dutch Church in this City have done in ten yeares or more, though tempted and compaſſed about with ſeducers as much as any o­ther. Now the Arrian hereſie, is fearefull and odious, in the yeare 324 ſprang up Arrins a Presbyter in Alexandria, who de­nyed that the Sonne of God was begotten of the ſubſtance of the Father, but ſaid, that he was a creature, and that there was a time wherein the Sonne was not: The Anabaptiſts taught, that infants ſhould not bee baptized untill they came to perfect age, and can give a confeſſion of their owne faith. Next, that Chriſt tooke not fleſh and blood of the Virgin, but brought it from heaven. Next, that God not onely revealeth his will by the written word, but alſo by viſions and dreames. Next, that that Church is not a true Church; wherein there is any Spot or wrinckle. Next, that the Office of Magiſtrates under the New25 Teſtament is not a calling approved of God. Thomas Munt­zerus one of the firſt Fathers of this Sect, made a great inſur­rection (though the Anabaptiſts teach that warres are unlaw­full for Chriſtians) but was overcome and beheaded in the yeare 1533. Iohannes Leidenſis troubled the City of Munſter, but was taken and condemned to death, he called himſelfe King of new Ieruſalem. David Georgius an Anabaptiſt in Holland, ſaid that he was Chriſt the Meſſias and Saviour of the world. Thus wee ſee when men diſdaine the Aſſemblies of Saints for ſome de­fects, God leaves them to fall into fearefull errours and hereſies through the pride of their hearts.

Reaſ. 4Becauſe it argues an extreame height of pride, ſuch as ſepa­rate from all the ordinances, are puft up with ambitious ſpirits like unto thoſe in Iſa. 65.5. ſuch would make themſelves ſeeme holier then Chriſt and his Apoſtles, who went and preached a­mongſt the prophane Jewes and Heathens, and though ſome of theſe ſeeme humble, yet their ſeeming depth of humility, may be a reall height of pride; they may not lawfully ſeparate from us except Chriſt alſo did, whileſt hee ſtayes with us, they ſhould doe the like.

Reaſ. 5Becauſe this doctrine of Separation croſſeth the judgements and practiſes of the godly Saints in all ages, it is but of late in­vention, thoſe that ſeeme to have beene the Separatiſts their predeceſſors in former ages were the Donatiſts, 400. yeares after Chriſt, Donatus Biſhop in Numidia drew many after him, and had many favourers called by divers names, Parmeniani, Roga­tiſtae, Cirtenſes, Maximianiſtae; Circumciliones, the worſt branch of this roote, for theſe would burne, or drowne themſelves, and account this kind of death Martyrdome: the maine hereſie of the Donatiſts was, 1 that the true Catholike Church was no where elſe to bee found, but onely in that corner of Africke, wherein they themſelves dwelt: 2 that baptiſme was not ef­fectuall, except it had beene miniſtred by one of their ſociety, againſt theſe heretiks did Auguſtine, Biſhop of Hippo contend with mighty grace, the Separatiſts of theſe times are in ſome meaſure like them, but in ſome points they exceede the Dona­tiſts, Mr. Robinſon and Mr. Johnſon in one part confeſſe this their Separation to bee late and new; but in the nature and cauſes thereof, to be as ancient as the Goſpel, the former I grant, the26 latter I deny, for we never read that the Saints in Scripture ſe­parated from thoſe aſſemblies where God was truely worſhip­ped, in the old Teſtament Elkanah frequented the publike Aſ­ſemblies at Shiloh, 1 Samuel 1.3. though there were more vile abuſes of the Lords ordinances, then amongſt us in England, 1 Sam. 2.22. and in that time betweene the Prophet Malachy & Chriſts Nativity, we reade that Zachary executed his Office, Luke 1.8.9. and did not Separate from the Lords ordinances, though there were fearefull abuſes amongſt them, as farre as I remember in the Old Teſtament, Caine was the firſt that ſepa­rated from Gods holy ſervants and ſervice, Gen. 4.16. and Iu­das in the new, 1 Cor. 11.33.34. he wiſht them not to ſeparate but to reforme their horrible abuſes of the Lords Supper.

Reaſ. 6Becauſe to ſeparate from us, is to ſeparate from the ſweete preſence of Chriſt in his Ordinances, and from the fellowſhip of holy Saints as any be in the world, which to mee ſeemes un­lawfull.

Reaſ. 7Becauſe the Separatiſts themſelves, had their firſt illuminati­on in our Church, by the word taught amongſt us; they made profeſſion amongſt us before they left us, now that miniſtry of ours which firſt converted them, doubtleſſe through God aſſi­ſtance is able to build them up, and they are bound to reſpect our Miniſtry before other, becauſe it firſt converted them, 1. Cor. 4.14, 15. this their ſeparation is an ill requitall to their ſpirituall fathers.

Object. Though we leave your Godly Saints and Ordinances, yet wee have the ſociety of other holy Saints and the Ordinances in purity?

Anſw. I beleeve there be amongſt the Separatiſts ſome godly Saints; but this is no ſigne of a Saint to depart from our Church for ſome defects in it, it is altogether without example or ground from the Scripture, and is rather a ſigne of a proud Phariſee; doe not thinke that all your fellow Separatiſts are upright and ſincere, there bee as diſcembling Hypocrites amongſt them, as any are amongſt us; neither expect ſuch edification from the ordinances diſpenſed amongſt you, as from the Ordinances a­mongſt us; becauſe God gives you not now extraordinary gifts, as hee did to the Apoſtles, and your lay preaching wants thoſe eminent gifts of learning (which are gifts of the ſpirit, 1 Cor. ) which the miniſtry of this Engliſh27 Church enjoyeth, yea, ſome who followed the Separation a while, but afterwards returned from it, to our publike aſſem­blies againe, ſaid, that the Miniſtry amongſt the Separatiſts is a very fruitleſſe, dead, and heartleſſe Miniſtry, that they will of­ten diſagree about the interpretation of ſome places of Scrip­ture, and ſometimes none of them hit upon the right ſenſe, whereas if they had a man of learning, and judgement amongſt them, hee would ſoone reſolve their doubts, and prevent that unedifying confuſion that is too much amongſt them. I deſire you of the Separation to conſider that place well, Heb. 13.7. whoſe faith follow: now thoſe godly teachers who inſtrumen­tally converted you were not of your faith, but did beleeve this Engliſh Church to bee a true Church, wherein the Lord dwells, and they joyned with us in Gods ſervice. I deſire you likewiſe, to tell mee ingenuouſly, whether you have heard the voyce of Chriſt, & ſenſibly felt his ſpirit working upon your hearts, more by the Miniſtry of this Engliſh Church, than, or by the Mi­niſtry of the Separation; time was when you would have melted in prayer amongſt us, you would have trembled at Gods word in our Congregations, ye would have obeyed from the heart that forme of Doctrine we delivered, your hearts would have burned with zeale in holy performances amongſt us, you ſeemed to be inflamed with precious love to Chriſt, to his ordi­nances, and to his ſervants, doe you finde the miniſtry of the Se­paration working theſe effects in you? I hardly beleeve you do.

Object. But (your Miniſters being called by the Prelates, their calling is Antichriſtian,) we dare not come to your publike Aſſemblies to Gods worſhip, becauſe in ſo doing wee ſhall approve of their unlawfull cal­ling.

Anſwer. If you come to our Aſſemblies with good hearts, to get edifi­cation by the word, you bare preſence at the ordinances, is no approbation of our calling by the Prelates, whileſt your judge­ments and ſpeeches are againſt it: many godly and learned men frequented our Chriſtian Aſſemblies even when the Pre­lates lorded it over us, and troubled us with their ceremo­nies, yet they approved not of the Prelates calling, not of their ceremonies, but manifeſted their diſapprobation and utter diſ­like of them, ſo I deſire you to come and joyne with us in our Chriſtian Services, private and publike, ſpeake what you pleaſe28 againſt the Prelates and their Ceremonies, and confute our out­ward calling from the Prelates by argument as much as you pleaſe, ſo that you will but keepe the unity of the ſpirit with us in the bond of peace; but this renting from us doth exceeding much hurt, it brings many an able Miniſter into contempt, and the word he preacheth to much diſgrace; it makes many wea­ker Chriſtians to ſtagger, and is commonly an inlet to divers errors and hereſies, for inveterate ſchiſmes oft times turne to hereſies; the Donatiſts becauſe they could not effect their cru­ell deſigne againſt Cecilianus Biſhop of Carthage, fell from the unity of the Church, and in the end were defenders of hereticall opinions: we reade 1 Sam. 2.22. what horrible abuſes of the Lords ſervice was then, yea worſe then is amongſt us, yet El­kanah and his wives did frequent the publike Aſſemblies, 1 Sam. 1.3. which he would not have done, if his preſence there had beene any approbation of thoſe abuſes, 1 Cor. 11.33, 34. there were more horrible abuſe of the Lords Supper, then are a­mongſt us, yet Paul bids them not ſeparate upon this, but come together againe, yet better prepared. I ſuppoſe it is law­full for you to reade a Papiſts Booke (whoſe religion is hereſie) or to diſpute with a Jeſuite, and yet by your preſence give no approbation of his Religion and condition, Mat. 23.3. Chriſt bids them heare the Phariſees (a vaine ſect ſprang up amongſt the Jewes 144. yeares before Chriſt ſaith Joſephus,) yet Chriſt approves not of them, farther then they taught the law truly, but in the ſame chapter denounced many woes againſt them, Phil. 1.18. Paul rejoyced that Chriſt was preached of envie and ſtrife by the falſe Apoſtles (whoſe calling was not from Chriſt,) then I beleeve that Paul accounted it lawfull for people to here ſuch Preach, and yet be in no danger of approving their falſe Apoſtleſhip. Beſides if your bare preſence at our Aſſem­blies doth give an approbation of our calling (which ſeemes Antichriſtian to you) then your preſence in our markets where be many prophane people, may as truely approove of their ſins and wickedneſſe, Chriſt knew Judas to bee a notorious hypo­crite, a covetous wordling, yea, a traitor, yet hee admitted him into his family, permits him to ſit with him at the table; yet Chriſt was farre from approving of Iudas his ſin and wick­edneſſe.


Object. But I dare not joyne with your mixt Aſſemblies, leaſt I contract the guilt of their ſinnes upon mine owne head?

Anſwer. That bleſſed man of God, Mr. Hooker, (now in New England) in a fa­mous Sermon he Preached upon 2 Tim. 3.5. anſwers this objectiō thus; ſuppoſe ſaith he, thoſe in authority will not caſt out prophane per­ſons, yet the Saints of God ſhould not abſtaine from the Congregati­on, it is pittifull indeede, and the thing is troubleſome and tedious to a gratious heart, and we muſt mourne for it, but beeing it is not in my power, I muſt not abſtaine: Then he anſwering the objections of the Anabaptiſts ſaith; They (ſaith hee) caſt this as a reproach upon our Church, common drunkards ſay they, and ſwearers, if they pay but two pence for their offering at Eaſter, may receive the Lords Supper; he anſwers thus, we confeſſe this fault, let it lie where it is, we cannot reforme it, we onely can mourne for it, and that God will accept. Obj. 1 Cor. 5.11. if there be an adulterer, &c. with ſuch do not eate, that is communicate not? he anſwers; to eate, there is not referred to the communion in eating the body of Chriſt, but eate not with him, that is, be not familiar with ſuch a perſon, and it includes the word familia­rity, not communion at the Lords table, Pſal. 41.9. their eating im­plyeth a common inward familiarity, mine owne familiar friend, &c. But (ſaith he) they reply from the greater to the leſſe; if wee may not eate with them privately, then much leſſe publikely may we commu­nicate with them? he anſwers, Its no good reaſon, becauſe I have more authority to refuſe the company of a man in mine owne houſe, then I have to refuſe in the open congregation, I can keepe a man out of my houſe, but I cannot fling him out of the open congregation, that be­longs onely to thoſe that are in authority. Thus farre Mr. Hooker.

Next, I ſay you may not lawfully relinquiſh our publique Aſſemblies and ordinances, becauſe of prophane perſons that be amongſt them, whileſt we have the Ordinances purely diſpenſed for the ſubſtance.

Reaſ. 1Becauſe there is neither example nor precept in Scripture to warrant it, if one cannot frequent the meanes of grace in mixt congregations, without contracting the guilt of their ſinnes, then ſurely, Elkanah would never have ſacrificed to the Lord in Shiloh yearely with Hophni and Phinehas ſuch prophane perſons: if there were ſuch danger of con­tracting the guilt of others ſinnes this way, then Paul would not have wiſht the Corinthians to come together againe, though there were a­mongſt thē moſt vile abuſes of the Lords Supper, worſe then amongſt us. Vpon the ſame ground the Jewes might have refuſed to heare the30 Phariſes, (as wicked a generation of Hypocrites as ever was, both for life and Doctrine,) yet Chriſt bids the Jewes and his owne Diſciples heare them, Mat. 23.3. on the ſame ground, its unlawfull for you to frequent our markets, to have civill commerce with us, for there, even there doe the prophane people amongſt us act, and practiſe their wick­edneſſe more openly, bouldly, and frequently, then in our meeting hou­ſes, in the Markets they uſe ſwearing, drunkenneſſe, lying, couzening, &c. I ſhould thinke it more dangerous being there, (though a true Chriſtian may lawfully bee there, through the neceſſity of his perticu­lar calling,) then in our publike Aſſemblies at Gods worſhip; for in Gods publike worſhip amongſt us, the prophaneſt perſons put on a forme of piety, carry themſelves demurely with outward reverence, they doe not act their leudenes and follie there, but conforme to the outward worſhip; I conceive then, there is leſſe danger for you to be there.

Reaſ. 2Becauſe we are bound in conſcience by command from Gods word, to frequent the publike ordinances for our owne particular edification, Iſa. 55.1, 2, 3. Prov. 8.1. to 11. verſe. Prov. 9.1. to 7. verſe. and in many other places, now this I muſt obey, or elſe I ſinne fearefully a­gainſt God and mine owne ſoule, if the wicked intrude amongſt the Saints in their ſinfull eſtate, there ſins ſhall lie upon their owne head; indeede, if I commit their ſins with them, or approve of their wicked­neſſe, and encourage them in it, or if I connive at their ſinne and re­prove them not for it, if I have a lawfull calling to doe it, or if I mourne not for their ſinnes, nor endeavour to reforme them, then I make my ſelfe guilty of their ſins; but if I come in obedience to Gods command, to meete him in his ordinances, for the enlargement of my communion with him, this makes me not guilty of their wickedneſſe; if it did, then doubtleſſe Chriſt who knew Judas to be an Hypocrite, would not have ſuffered the other Apoſtles to eate the Paſſeover with him, but hee would have excluded Judas and expelled him, or elſe hee would have diſwaded the other Apoſtles from comming into Judas his company; neither of which he did. Therefore it favours ſtrongly of Phariſaiſme, to relinquiſh our publike Aſſemblies; becauſe they are mixt, the Pha­•••ees thought it ſinne to converſe with the baſe vulgar, their Phylacte­ries did ſay, touch me not, for I am cleaner then thou; though wee have ſome prophane, yet not all, there bee amongſt us many godly Chriſtians keeping the miſtery of faith in a pure conſcience, now, we ſhould love theſe as much as hate the other; if all maine truths bee31 taught amongſt ſome godly, ſome prophane, why ſhould I more ſhun thoſe prophane, then cleave to thoſe truths, and thoſe godly? If I have daily admoniſhed him, and deteſt and bewaile his ſinne, what is ano­ther mans prophanneſſe to me? If prophanneſſe be not puniſhed, it is their ſin whom it concerneth to redreſſe them: if the Officers ſin, muſt we runne from the Church? its a famous and pregnant proteſta­tion by God, Ezek. 18.20. and if the Fathers ſower grapes cannot hurt the childrens teeth, how much leſſe ſhall the neighbours? if any unbidden gueſſe come with a ragged garment, and unwaſhen hands, ſhall I forbeare Gods heavenly dainties? the Maſter of the feaſt may ſay, friend how cameſt thou in hither? not friends why came you hither with ſuch a gueſt? God bids me come, he hath impoſed this neceſſity, never allowed this excuſe: my teeth ſhall not be ſet on edge with the ſower grapes of others: if the Church caſt not out the known unworthy, the ſinne is hers: if a man will come unworthy, the ſinne is his, but if I come not becauſe he comes, the ſinne is mine: I ſhall not anſwer for that others ſin: I ſhall anſwer for mine own neglect: another mans fault cannot diſpenſe with my duty.

Reaſ. 3Becauſe God hath many of his Elect amongſt the prophane people in our Aſſemblies, though they be not yet converted yet they ſhall be, the word is ſent principally for the Elects ſake, to convert ſuch as bee for the preſent, prophane; but yet elected, and to confirme thoſe that be already converted; now if the prophanneſſe of the common ſort, be a ſufficient ground for us to ſeparate from the publike ordinances, then how ſhould the meanes of grace be ſetled any where amongſt us, for the converſion of ſuch as be elected?

Therefore its needefull for you to adhere to us, to helpe forward the converſion of many, who belong to Gods decree of Election, but are for the preſent in the ſtate of nature.

Reaſ. 4Becauſe to ſeparate from us for this cauſe, gives great offence to Gods people; which you ought not to doe, 1 Cor. 10.32. there is the offence of griefe, and the offence of errour, both theſe your ſeparation gives to many Chriſtians; it grieves their hearts, & the ſpirit of God in them exceedingly, to ſee you relinquiſh the publike ordinances, as if Chriſt was not to be found there;Object. alſo your ſeparation cauſeth many Chri­ſtians to ſtumble, and to forſake thoſe Miniſters, and that preaching, who firſt begat them in Chriſt Jeſus; 2 Cor. 6.17. Come out from a­mongſt them and be yee ſeparate, &c.

Anſwer. The Chriſtians in Corinth, had too much fellowſhip with the idola­trous32 heathens, in going to their feaſts, and in marrying with them, therefore the Apoſtle verſe 14. dehorted them from this, and in this 17. verſe: As if he had ſaid; be not ſo familiar with the Idolatrous heathen, as to eate and drinke with them at their feaſts, becauſe thus yee ſhould draw in one yoake of wickedneſſe with them, having com­munion in their abomination, & if any neere familiarity with them be condemned, much it more o marrie with ſuch. To come out from amongſt them is, to reprove their ſinnes; to touch no uncleane thing is, to refraine from doing thoſe ſinnes which they do. Here is no ground to ſeparate from Gods Church, becauſe there bee wicked perſons, wee ſhould rather beare with ſome things for the preſervation of the peace and unity of the Church, then through offence at theſe, to looſe the benefit of communion in the word and Sacraments.

Reaſ. 5Becauſe, in departing from our Chriſtian Aſſemblies upon this ground, you depart not ſo much from evill company, as from the bleſſed preſence of God, meeting us in his ſacred Ordinances. By this meanes you looſe more divine benefit and comfort in the ordinances, then you could have received hurt by the pretence of prophaine people there. Bleſſed be God for it, the preſence of God, and the efficaſie of his ſpirit in his ordinances amongſt us, are more effectuall to doe good, then the preſence of wicked men there, is able to doe hurt; or elſe there had not been halfe ſo many pretious Saints and heavenly Chriſtians at this day in England, as now there be. God increaſe their number a thou­ſand fold Amen.

In the next place, I ſhall ſhew you that it is more unlawful & unfit for you to ſeparate from our Engliſh Church, now, then it was formerly.

Reaſon 1Becauſe it mightily hinders the worke of reformation, this is one cauſe that it goes on with much difficulty and very ſlowly, London can prove this by witneſſe ſufficient, this ſeparation turnes many to the Cavaleeres, and exaſperates the Cavaleeres extreamely againſt the worke of reformation, they thinke that both the Parliament, and all that ſide with them would turne Separatiſts, be rebaptized; and depoſe all humane learning, ſo that any mecanicke and artificer may turne preacher, all this and much more the Cavaleeres objected bitterly a­gainſt the Parliament ſide to my face, in my long and tedious durance at Newarke where I was priſoner almoſt thirty weekes,

Reaſon 2Becauſe this Separation offers horrible indignity to the Honorable and high Court of Parliament, which ſets more earneſtly for a com­pleate reformation then any Parliament ever did formerly, and if we33 can but waite with patience, wee may comfortably hope to ſee it ef­fected, now this Separation doth rather diſparage the Parliament by outrunning the authority of it, as if it was not wiſe enough to accom­pliſh a reformation, and as if it was lawfull and fit to ſet up a reformati­on in England without Parliamentary authority: The beſt Iſraelites in the times of Abijah, Aſia, Iehoſaphat, Hezekiah, Ioſiah, never tooke upon them to reforme without, or before, or againſt their Princes 2 Chron. 13. 2 Chron. 14. and 15. 2 Chron. 29. and 30. 2 Chron. 34. Ne­hemiah without Artaxerxes (an heathen King,) did not ſet up the wals of Jeruſalem, Ezra. 4 23.24. Zerubabell and Joſhua built not without leave and command from Cyrus, and when contrary letters came from above, they laid by both trowells and ſwords, private profeſſion is one thing, publike reformation is another; every man muſt doe that in the maine, none may doe this but they of whom God ſais, I have ſaid, ye are Gods.

Reaſon 3Becauſe this Separation is like to breede great diſtractions in the Parliament Garriſons, if ever they ſhould be beſeiged by the enemy, for many that outwardly ſtand for the Parliament, yet have little or no power of piety, do vow to fight as ſoone againſt the ſeparatiſts as the Papiſts, if ever their Garriſons ſhould be beſeiged.

Reaſon 4Becauſe Separation croſſeth the famous late Covenant which wee tooke, which enjoynes us to endeavour to extirpate Popery ſciſme, and prophanneſſe, doubtleſſe this Separation is ſciſme, a renting from this Church which I proved to bee the ſpouſe of Chriſt, therefore for ſuch as have taken this Covenant, and yet Separate from us, how they can doe this with a good conſcience; I cannot ſee.

QVEST. VII. Whether is it neceſſary to demoliſh our Churches (Steeplehouſes as the Separa­tiſts call them) and to build them in other places, becauſe they were built by Idolaters for Idolatrous worſhip, were abuſed with images, and dedicated to Saints?

Anſ. I Hold it neither neceſſary not fit to pull them downe, becauſe of the Idolatrous ſervice practiſed in them.

Reaſ. 1Becauſe we that worſhip God in them, doe reject thoſe Superſtitions which were uſed in them, and uſe them lawfully in the true worſhip of God: as Golias his ſword though an inſtrument of cruelty and murther, ſerving for the maintenance of heatheniſh Idolaty in the hand of the Gyant, was yet lawfully uſed by David as an inſtrument of juſtice34 to the glory of God, 1 Samuel 17.51. 1 Sam. 21.9. the authority of the Magiſtrate hath caſt Superſtition out of theſe houſes, & converted them to the true worſhip of God.

Reaſ. 2If for the Superſtitious rits of conſecration, our Temples ſhould be demoliſhed, then how comes it to paſſe that the Church yards are not liable to the ſame judgement, ſeeing they have beene conſecrated by Biſhops with abominable rites and Idolatrous ſuperſtitions as the Temples were? The people of Biſcaie in Spaine admitts of no Biſhop amongſt them, for when Fernand the Catholike came in progreſſe hither, accompanied by the Biſhop of Pampelune, the people aroſe in armes, drave back the Biſhop, and gathering all the duſt on which they thought he had troden and flung it into the Sea; If Popiſh ſuper­ſtition have defiled our Churches, and Church yards with an indelible ſtaine, why ſerve you not them ſo likewiſe?

Reaſ. 3Then it will alſo follow, that Popiſh Baptiſme being in like manner defiled with Idolatrous rits ought by the like neceſſity to be aboliſhed, & a new baptiſme to be ſought, & while you retain amongſt you the bap­tiſme adminiſtred in Popery, you cannot without partiality refuſe our Temples; the pollution of Baptiſme by idle ceremonies of croſſing, ex­orciſme, exſufflation, ſalt, ſpittle, oyle, &c. is as great as the pollution of the Temples by their conſecration; Beſides Mr. Ainſworth in on part of his workes ſaith, that perſons unlawfully circumciſed and baptized in Idolatrous and falſe Churches, might yet through faith and repen­tance, come to a lawfull and comfortable uſe of their former circumſi­tion and baptiſme, why then cannot our repentance and faith, as well ſanctifie unto us, the places ſuperſtitiouſly conſecrated, while we doe in like manner diſclaime and renounce their ſuperſtitions?

Reaſ. 4If the ſuperſtitious conſecration of places unto Idolatry, doth neceſ­ſarily inferre the deſtruction of the ſame, then are private houſes of Idolaters to be deſtroyed, for many of them have beene defiled with images and ſuperſtitious Rits.

Reaſ. 5If Temples popiſhly conſecrated, muſt bee demoliſhed becauſe of their former ſuperſtitions, then it will alſo follow that the living Tem­ples, as Infants in their popiſh Baptiſme, and popiſh Miniſters in their ſuperſtitious ordinations, and popiſh Princes in their Coronations, be­ing as much defiled with Idolatrous rits, as our Temples are in like manner to be deſtroyed. Shall Achans tent be burnt, and not Achan himſelfe? Ioſh. 7.24, 25. this is the rather to be marked, becauſe Revel. 18.13. the ſoules of men are expreſſely mentioned and reckoned a­mongſt35 the wares and marchandiſe of Antichriſt, ſo as the Temples are not; therefore ſuch as ſtand for the demoliſhing of our Temples, I ſuppoſe they would not have ſuch perſons deſtroyed as are converted from popery, becauſe they have beene Papiſts; nither would they de­ſtroy a Papiſts houſe, if the Parliament ſhould beſtow one upon them.

Object. But the retaining of theſe steeple-houſes for the ſervice of God is a breath of the ſecond Commandement, Exod. 20.4, 5, 6. with Deut. 12.2, 3.

Anſ. 1I conceive that commandement, Deut. 12. is a temporary ordinance, part of Moſes his pollicie that is abrogated, and therefore not binding us in theſe times, for how ever the equity thereof continue, teaching us to deteſt Idolatry, yet it bindes us not in ſuch manner, and by ſuch meanes, to ſignifie our deteſtation thereof, as it did them in Moſes time: for example; as God here commands to aboliſh Idolatrous places, ſo in the next chapter, Deut. 13.12.15, 16, 17. God commands them, not onely to demoliſh their places of worſhip, but alſo their goods and cattell to burne it with fire; the equity of this commandement, leades us to a great deteſtation of Idolatry; but who will ſay, that it is to be declared by the very ſame meanes and manner of judgement, in de­ſtroying ſuch things as are of neceſſary uſe?

Secondly, As God commands to deſtroy Idolatrous places, ſo hee commands to aboliſh their names, and not to retaine them, Deut. 12.3. this commandement appeares herby to be temporary and ceremoniall, becauſe now in the New Teſtament, wee ſee that the names of divers Idolls, have beene retained in divers perſons thereupon denominated, as the names of Mercury, Ʋenus, Phebe, Iupiter, Apollo, Fortuna, that were heatheniſh Idolls worſhipped for gods and goddeſſes, and yet their names not aboliſhed in the Saints mentioned by the Apoſtles, Rom. 16.14. Phil. 2.25. Rom. 16.1. Titus 3.13. 1 Cor. 16.17.

Thirdly, this command for deſtroying Idolatrous places, as its not perpetuall for time, ſo alſo not univerſall for the place, but expreſly re­ſtrained to the land of Canaan, to the Idolls of thoſe Nations which Iſrael ſhould poſſeſſe; from that place they were to be cut off,s is thriſe noted in three verſes together, Deut. 12 1.2, 3. even as God would have greater ſeverity and deteſtation to bee manifeſted towards the Idolaters in Canaan, then to thoſe of other Countries a farre off, Deut. 20.10.15, 16, 17. Ioſh. 9.6, 7.

Fourthly, Seeing meates ſacrificed to Idolls were as much polluted, as the places of their worſhip, and yet notwithſtanding may now law­fully be retained for our neceſſary vſe, Pſal. 24.1. with 1 Cor. 10.15, 26, 27. why not the Temples alſo?

36Fiftly, There is not the like reaſon, to aboliſh the buildings abuſed unto Idolatry now, as the high places of old, becauſe God having ap­pointed one onely place for ſacrifice, Deut. 12.5, 6 &c. Levit. 17.3.4. thoſe high places being for ſacrifice were to bee deſtroyed, though no Idolatry had beene committed in them, but beeing polluted with the ſervice of Idolls, there was then double cauſe of their deſtruction, which is not now in theſe, while differance of place is taken away. John 4 21.

Sixtly, The high places, the Groves, Altars, Images deſtroyed by Joſias, 2 Chron. 34. whereof no neceſſary uſe, as our Temples now are; the high places were Altars in heigh Mountaines and Hills. Acts 19.9, 10. There we find an Idolatrous place converted, by the Apoſtle un­to the ſervice of God, the ſchoole of Tyrannus, being as the reſt of the heatheniſh ſchooles, the nurſeries of ſuperſtition, idolatry, falſe wor­ſhip, and pernicious opinions, was yet after this uſed by Paul, for a place of Gods worſhip, for a ſchoole of religion, to preach the Goſpel of Chriſt in the ſame. Levit. 6.28. Levit. 11.32, 33. God there ordai­ned that things polluted, being of leſſe price ſhould be broken, but be­ing of more worth, were to be purged and ſo retained, as the mercifull care of God for his people appeared herein, even under the Law: ſo much more under the Goſpel, this type is fullfilled unto us, and God in his large bounty doth grant us the neceſſary uſe, both of things pollu­ted with Idolatry, as alſo of ſuch thing as were otherwiſe ceremoni­ally uncleane. I hope theſe reaſons will ſatisfie any reaſonable man, who truely loves the peace of Sion; they ſatisfie me, and convince me of the truth of theſe points, which I have endeavoured to defend; but howſoever, ſome may like theſe reaſons, and others may diſlike them, I ſhall ſay to my ſelfe in the words of the Poet Theogins;

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TextSeven questions about the controversie betweene the Church of England, and the Separatists and Anabaptists, breifely [sic] discussed. 1. Whether is the Church of England as it now stands a true church? 2. Whether the Church of England be a right nationall church? 3. Whether are the ministers in the Church of England sent of God, and so are true ministers or not? 4. Whether is the baptisme of infants a true and lawfull baptisme or no? 5. Whether it be lawfull to be rebaptized or not? 6. Whether it is lawfull to separate from all the publike ordinances and Christian assemblies in our English church, because there are some defects in discipline, and in other things amongst us? 7. Whether is it necessarie to demolish our churches (steeple-houses as the Separatists call them,) and to build them in other places, because they were built by idolators for idolatrous worship, were abused with images, and dedicated to saints? By Immanuel Knutton, preacher of Gods word at Beeston in Nottingham shire [sic].
AuthorKnutton, Immanuel, d. 1655..
Extent Approx. 105 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 21 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A87828)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 125067)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 5:E25[20])

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Bibliographic informationSeven questions about the controversie betweene the Church of England, and the Separatists and Anabaptists, breifely [sic] discussed. 1. Whether is the Church of England as it now stands a true church? 2. Whether the Church of England be a right nationall church? 3. Whether are the ministers in the Church of England sent of God, and so are true ministers or not? 4. Whether is the baptisme of infants a true and lawfull baptisme or no? 5. Whether it be lawfull to be rebaptized or not? 6. Whether it is lawfull to separate from all the publike ordinances and Christian assemblies in our English church, because there are some defects in discipline, and in other things amongst us? 7. Whether is it necessarie to demolish our churches (steeple-houses as the Separatists call them,) and to build them in other places, because they were built by idolators for idolatrous worship, were abused with images, and dedicated to saints? By Immanuel Knutton, preacher of Gods word at Beeston in Nottingham shire [sic]. Knutton, Immanuel, d. 1655.. [4], 36 p. Printed by Tho: Paine, and are to be sold by Andrew Kembe at Margrets Hill in Southworke,London :Anno Dom. 1645.. (Annotation on Thomason copy: "Jan: 23 1644"; the 5 in the imprint date is crossed out.) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Church of England -- Relations -- Anabaptists, (17th century) -- Early works to 1800.
  • Anabaptists -- England -- 17th century -- Early works to 1800.

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  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-04 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A87828
  • STC Wing K744
  • STC Thomason E25_20
  • STC ESTC R4217
  • EEBO-CITATION 99872624
  • PROQUEST 99872624
  • VID 125067

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