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OR, A DISCOVRSE TENDING to ſhew the unlawfulneſſe of Lay­mens preaching in Publique or Private.

being A REFVTATION OF ſome Arguments brought for the Juſtification of the law fulneſſe and uniuerſall exerciſe of every mans gift publique and private:

By a well-willer to Reformation.

ROM. 16.17. Marke them which cauſe diviſion.

London Printed for W. L. 1644.


THe holy Ghoſt in ſacred Scriptures doth often inculcate by many iterations, and perſwaſive expreſſions to the di­ligent, and ſerious ſtudy after Truth: and amongſt them all, there is one (as I may ſo ſpeake) tranſcends the reſt. In the third Epiſtle, Iohn 4. I have no greater joy than this to heare that my ſonnes walke in verity: a ſtrong inducement to incite all men to ſuch a proficiency:3. Epiſt. Joh. 4. for as Solo­mon ſpeaks, Without knowledge the minde is not good, becauſe it deprives a man of the inſtrumentall means, to the attaining of which, his chiefeſt happi­neſſe conſiſts: ſo unleſe this knowledge be originally radicated in the principles of Truth,Eſay 50.4. it can never mi­niſter to a man (as the Prophet ſpeakes a word in due time, for comfort and ſatisfaction: which point if ſe­riouſly ſtudyed, would prove a meanes to extirpate thoſe Hereſies, and Schiſmes which do miſerably devide the ſeamleſſe Coate of Chriſt: It is true, the Apoſtle ſaies, There muſt be Hereſies, &c. but I may to this ſpeech of the Apoſtle, adde that of Chriſt, Woe be unto them to whom ſuch offences come, Miſtake me not Reader, I doe not heare condemne the holy oppoſitions that accompany the ſincere Mini­ſters of Jeſus Chriſt, againſt the corruptions of the times: no, no, farre be it from me to be ſuch a Proctor for the devill, or to maintaine his quarrell, I onely ſpeake againſt that blinde zeale, which poſ­ſeſſes abundance in the world, that zeale that wants both knowledge and truth, for direction, and runns either upon conjectures, or evill Enthuſiaſmes, of which the Apoſtle aimes at, that hath its Originall and breeding from a diſtempered braine, and at length produces many exorbitant and giddy devia­tions from the ſobriety and analogy of true Reli­gion,M. Bolton. as a Learned Divine ſpeakes, this is that zeale which requires juſt cenſure and ſound conviction: What ſhall I ſay? I onely wiſh that the God of heaven, who hath all power in his hands, and knowes the hearts of all men would bridle the out­ragiouſneſſe of his enemies and cure the errors of his owne people, that we might all with one heart and one ſoule, willingly ſubmit to the Scepter of his deare Sonne, endeavouring to keepe the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, &c.




That there is no private gifts, nor private Chriſtians that we reade of in Scripture.


THat this is otherwiſe, may eaſily apeare: for ſome actions are private, and ſome are alſo publique: and againe ſome perſons are private, and ſome are publique: and ſo it followeth, that ſome actions proceeding from men as private, their actions are pri­vate alſo: private actions have reference to private men and men are private in reſpect of there conditions, and callings God hath ſet them in; and private men may ſom­times performe publique actions, being by authority called there unto: and this may not only hold in the Civill Stat, but in the Eccleſiaſtique: for Jeſus Chriſt hath left Offices, and Officers in his Church, and thoſe deſinged to perticular places: This appeares manifeſtly, as may bee ſeene in Scripture: To ſet downe one inſtance in Acts 6. verſe 1, 2. The Gre­cians complaining that their Widdowes were neglected, the Ap­oſtles2 to remedy it, called the multitude together, and wiſhed them to looke out ſo many men, full of the holy Ghoſt to be appoin­ted for this buſineſſe: Now ther is no man will deny, but that this act was divine: if ſo and that none could performe theſe actions but thoſe who were publiquely ordained to that purpoſe, then it follows.

That theſe men (who were full of the holy Ghoſt) by adivine ordinance were appointed to doe ſuch Offices in the Church, not only as they were Chriſtians, and ſo had a ſpirituall ſufficiency to performe thoſe duties, but being private men were now publikely ordained to execut that which they were called to.

But it is worth while to conſider what you underſtand by private Chriſtians, and private ſpirits, for if you meane that every Chriſtians gifts, are not for private uſe, but pub­like, and in that reſpect to doe ſervice to the whole, and ſo generally to be aſſiſtant according to thoſe gifts given him, then your ſpeech is true, and ſo there is no Chriſtian what­ſoever that is a true member of Jeſus Chriſt, but hath a duty lying upon them to help to edifie the body in his place: but if by private Chriſtians, and private gifts, you underſtand that there are none ſuch, becauſe that every one that hath gifts from the head may doe and performe any Office in the Church, which is onely properly and peculiarly atribute to ſome, and ſo not to be differenced, out of any particular Office, from him that is ſpecially called to a cer­taine Office, then your ſpeech is untrue and tends the high­way to Anabaptiſme, beſides your ſelfe tells us, that in reſpect of Congregated bodies, the more part are out of office: now if the more part in this reſpect be out of office, then they that are out of office cannot performe the duties of them that are in office: for what doth the word Office import, but onely a calling to, and a performing of certaine duties that pertain either to the civill State, or the Church, and none can perform theſe duties, but only thoſe that are deſigned thereunto, and if there be theſe differences in thoſe that are in office, and thoſe that are out of office, I would knowe of you upon what grond you can affirme that there are no private gifts, nor private Chriſtians, if in the firſt ſenſe you acknoledge it, it is grant­ed3 to you, if in the ſecond ſence which you muſt aſſent to, or elſe you do but daily; then ſhew us better proofes then theſe, or elſe ceaſe to be ſo univerſall in your concluſions, untill the premiſſes be better: for every member that is out of office may be ſayd to have private gifts and private ſpirits, becauſe they are not to execute, and performe thoſe actions in a publike way which others may but in private, as Ʋrſinus writes.

Furthermore in things pertaining to the Church, and as eve­ry member ſtands in relation one to another, and are members of that head from whom they receive life, ſo there is diſtincti­ons of theſe members in their ſeverall operations. The Apo­ſtle in 1 Cor. 12.4. ſayes, that there are diverſities of gifts flowing from one and the ſame ſpirit, and although he doth diffuſe ſeverall gifts to thoſe members for a mutuall benefit, and to profit with­all, verſ. 7. yet theſe gifts that are thus given, and the perſons to whom they are given, are to be differenced in their proper operations, for the gifts make the members, and not the mem­bers the gifts, and to this purpoſe the Apoſtle ſpeakes very per­tinently, are all Apoſtles, are all Prophets, have all the gift of tongues, doe all propheſie, &c.

Hence then it followes, that as ſome gifts conſiſt in the per­formance of ſome things, and ſome of other things; ſo alſo thoſe perſons in whom thoſe gifts are, are to be differenced like­wiſe, and this the Apoſtle doth clearely intimate in 1 Cor. 12. for ſpeaking of the gifts of the Spirit, and their diverſities of ope­rations, verſ 6. he proceeds by way of compariſon, that as in naturall bodies, one member cannot performe the office of another, and the diſtinctions of their operations in the body, ſo alſo Chriſt Jeſus being the head of the ſpirituall body, hee hath communicated ſeverall gifts to ſeverall members, and hath deſigned certaine peculiar offices to ſome of thoſe mem­bers; now not onely the ſeverall gifts, but alſo the ſeverall functions in the body Eccleſiaſtick proceed from Jeſus Chriſt, and therefore the Apoſtle ſayes, verſ. 28. And God hath ſet ſome in the Church, firſt, Apoſtles, ſecondly, Prophets, thirdly, Teachers, &c. and although in the generall the gifts may concurre in one man, yet there are ſome particulars affirmed of one, which can­not be ſpoken of another, and therefore the Apoſtle againe,4 verſ. 29. Are all Apoſtles, are all Prophets, are all Teachers, &c. but you ſay, theſe(a)(a)Fors a〈…〉being both li­ving things are ſevered one from an••her by their ſeve••l pr••pe••esnd ſpeciall di••e­rences,s they be clld〈◊〉the Lgic••〈◊〉; ever〈◊〉Apo­ſtles, P••phes. Evangelſts, Paſtors, and Do••ors being all Preachers of the Goſpell, are ſevered by that wherein they differ one from another, and as he can be no man, which have none of theſe differences wherby a man is ſevered from living things, ſo he cannot be Prophet, or A­poſtle which hath nothing whereby hee may differ from a Paſtor, Doctor, or Evangeliſt. Cartwright, 1. Part of his Reply to Whitgift. Pag. 380. offices were extraordinary, true, but yet by them and after them, the ordinary offices have the ſame di­ſtin••ns, as thus. Paſtors, Elders, and Deacons, are not theſe••ſtinct offices? from all which that hath beene ſpoken, it is a neceſſary concluſion and iſſuing from theſe premiſes: to wit,

That as God hath ſet downe, not onely a diſtinction of thoſe Offices and Officers which are extraordinary, but alſo ordinary, and that even in theſe ordinary Offices which ſhould ſucceed perpetually in the Church, the leaſt of them cannot take that publike Office upon him without the call of the Church, as was inſtanced in theſe Dea­cons, Acts the ſixth, it followes invincibly that there is an abſo­lute and plaine diſtinction betweene, and a difference in, a publike and private Spirit, and ſo of thoſe perſons in whom there are; and that when ſuch places are void, no man can take upon him that arrogancy, (unleſſe in caſe of neceſſitie) to execute them, unleſſe called thereunto.

Againe, that there is difference betwixt the ſpirit of a Mi­niſter publikely called, and a private man, to whom God hath given the gifts of the Spirit; is proved from Saint Paul, where he ſayes, the Spirit of the Prophets are ſubject to the Prophets, and not to every private man, as Maſter**In his Caſes of Conſcience. Perkins ſayes, and hee ſhewes alſo that God doth give a larger meaſure of gifts to Miniſters and publike diſpenſers of his Word and Sacraments, then to ordinary and private men;(b)(b)The Vertues of the third Commandement conſiſts in the propagation and ſpreading abroad of the true doctrine of Gods Eſſence, not that publication which is done by the publique Miniſtry, and which belongeth to the publique function of the Church, but that propaga­tion which pertaineth to every one, becauſe every one privately in his place is bound to bring others to the knowledge and worſhip of God. Deut. 4. 9. Luke 22. 32. Col. 3. 16. 1 Thſſ. 5. 11. Urſin. Cat. and this alſo may bee proved by a neceſſary induction from thoſe words of the Apo­ſtle, 1 Cor. 14. 5. I would that you all ſpake with tongues, from which it is evident, that the Apoſtle by aſcribing to the know­ledge of tongues, the Epithite of a ſpirituall gift, and that thoſe men whom God hath called alſo by his Spirit to the worke of the Miniſtery, ſanctifying thoſe gifts unto them; it5 followes neceſſarily, that to whom larger gifts are given, both unto the knowledge of tongues, and of the Scriptures in thoſe tongues, that there a larger meaſure of grace may and doth dwell; now if a larger meaſure of grace and gifts doe remaine in ſome men more then others, then thoſe men are more fitter for the greateſt Offices in the body, and ſo likewiſe a diſtinction of their duties muſt be granted for the manner; for the know­ledge of the true and exact meaning of the Scriptures, and the extents of the holy Ghoſts meaning therein;(c)(c)Without the ſtudy and learning of Arts and Sci­ences men can­not be made fit to teach, nor the purity and ſincerity of do­ctrine main­tained againſt Heretiques. Urſin. Catt. There muſt be ſomething elſe to concurre beſides the gifts and graces given to the Elect; and to this purpoſe(d)(d)Wherefore ſaith he, ſerves the Schooles of the Prophets, and the know­ledge of Arts and Tongues, but to divide the Word a­right, and to diſtribute to every mans ne­ceſſities, Bol­ton in his 3. Treat. pag. Maſter Bolton ſpeakes excellently: and ſo alſo how ſhall the Miniſters of God convince the learned adverſaries, if there be no skill nor knowledge in Arts and Tongues, from all which it appeares, that as God endued his Miniſters with larger meaſures of gifts in tongues, and in the knowledge of the holy Scriptures, and theſe being ſanctified unto them, and hath not given ſuch large meaſures to private men, who have not ſuch publike offices deſigned to them by the Church (becauſe indeed not fit) hee muſt needs be a very ſtrange man that will deny that there are not private gifts, nor private Chriſtians; the conſent of judi­cious, godly, and learned Divines aſſenting thereunto: and ſo thoſe Divines, as Perkins, Calvin, Bolton, &c. doe onely ſhew that there ought to be a mutuall edifying of one another in thoſe graces that God hath given to his people, and members of the Church, but they doe not prove this ſpeech: That there is no private gifts nor private Chriſtians.

Now becauſe that which followes in your booke, is not to be queſtioned, but by all faithfull men, Divines, and others gran­ted, to wit, that Chriſtians may edifie one another mutually, and according to thoſe gifts that God hath given them, we will therefore proceed to that which followes to be anſwered.

And firſt you make an objection againſt the univerſalitie of this truth.

That none ought to preach but thoſe in office,Object. nor elſe may be properly ſaid to preach.

To this you anſwer, when the diſperſed Chriſtians in that perſecution were ſcattered abroad, it it ſaid, that they went about6 preaching, and the hand of the Lord was with them, Act. 11.19, 20, 21.

But doe you thinke that this is a ſufficient warrant for you to preach publikely,Rep. in a time when the Word of God is free­ly preached by his faithfull meſſengers, and who have ordina­ry callings thereunto? As for thoſe Chriſtians, without doubt it was extraordinary in them to doe this, and if you had ſeri­ouſly weighed the circumſtance of the place, and the cauſe thereof, you would not have made ſuch a bad concluſion; for by reaſon of the greatneſſe of the perſecution at Jeruſalem, ſome Chriſtians ſcattered themſelves abroad except the Apo­ſtles; now the Apoſtles(e)(e)Becauſe they would ra­ther loſe their lives at Jeruſa­lem, thene­part from the Congregati­ons they had converted. Gualt. in 4. Acts. remaining at Jeruſalem, privately for feare of the perſecutors as ſome thinke, as St. Paul did in the like caſe for feare of the Jewes, and ſo by that meanes the Goſ­pell could not be preached to them; other places Saint Steven was ſtoned, and others of them no doubt but were in priſon, there was now a neceſſitie that the Word ſhould bee preached by them if at all; eſpecially in thoſe parts of Iudae, where the Churches at that time were not plainted, or if they were, it was newly done, and theſe Chriſtians no doubt were extraor­dinarily called to the ſame; and mee thinkes there is ſuch ſtrength in the particle (therefore) of Act. 8.4. the ſcope of that Chapter being to declare the perſecution of the Church, and of the ſtoning of Saint Steven, and of his buriall, then comes the holy Ghoſt with an inference; (therefore) thoſe that Were ſcattered abroad preached the Word, implying, that had not that perſecution beene, and that the Apoſtles had not thought fit to ſuſpend their preaching in theſe places, there had beene no ſuch gate opened for theſe men to doe as they did; and beſides alſo in the next verſe, ſpeaking of Philip, who was but a Deacon, ſerves to illuſtrate this point, for in the fifth verſe, he went into Samaria and preached there, which he could not have done, nor could he, had it not beene a thing extraor­dinary, and therefore well ſayes(f)(f)At this time Philip, who was but a Deacon might preach, neceſſi­ty requiring it, Ibidem. Maſter Gaulter upon the place, now if this was a thing neceſſary and ſo extraordi­nary in Philip, who was an under Church officer; why not in the Chriſtians who were no Church officers at all, and wee finde alſo that Philip was one of thoſe ſeven Deacons choſen7 in the fixth of Acts, from all which I argue thus.

That perſons which could not performe the place of an in­feriour Church officer, without being ordeined by the Church, could not much leſſe performe a greater office, unleſſe called by the Church.

But the firſt is true, Acts 6.5, 6. as was inſtanced in the Dea­cons, Ergo, ſo is the ſecond.

Furthermore it was never the practiſe of any either in the old or new Teſtament, that was not in office in the Church, and deſigned to publike preaching of the Word, that did ever take upon them to preach,(g)(g)Neither is there any one except thoſe which are cal­led extraordi­narily which can baye any aſſurance of an inward calling but by meanes of the outward, Cart. 2. rep. 1. part. pag. 260. but upon an extraordinary occa­ſion, and in caſe of neceſſitie, as here theſe men did, let the contrary be proved, and you may write to ſome purpoſe. As for the Apoſtles, they were called extraordinarily by Chriſt him­ſelfe, inwardly by his Spirit, and outwardly by his owne voyce, onely Saint Paul, to whom was added Barnabas, was after Chriſts aſcention called to the worke of the Miniſtery, yet neither of theſe two, but had the confirmation of their calling, the one by Ananias, the other by thoſe of Antioch, as alſo in Act. 11. Barnabas was ſent by the Church at Jeruſalem.

For no doubt But God could have given Paul his ſight, without the laying on of the hands of Ananias, but God to ſhew that he loves order, and that although he can doe things altogether by himſelfe, yet he is pleaſed to uſe man as an in­ſtrument to worke by, and without whom ſome things cannot be done without manifeſt violation and breach of his Law, as here it is evident Ananias was ſent by Chriſt, that Paul might receive his ſight and the holy Ghoſt, that ſo he might preach the Goſpel, now if you will have ſuch ſending here as is mentioned in the 10. Rom 15. and ſuch preaching too, although it is won­derfull to ſee what a ſtrange collection you fetch from the 10. of Rom. but I for my part take it, that the Apoſtle ſpeakes there of the extraordinary ſending, and if you pleaſe to looke in the Margent(h)(h)Although Paul in this place ſpeak of calling and ſending, and this is as I ſaid, ordinary, and extraordinary; there is no doubt but hee ſpeakes here of the extraor­dinary, Pet. Mart. on this place of the 10. to the Rom. Paul doth not here ſpeak of the law full calling of eve­ry man, Calvin upon the place. you ſhall ſee the expoſitions of two excellent ju­dicious, and learned Divines, ſo that if you collect any thing from theſe places it muſt be applyed to extraordinary practiſe, and if you can plead, and make good the calling to be extra­ordinary, then you have a ſufficient warrant for the fact, but8 if you cannot, you muſt anſwer to God for your intruſion to ſuch an office, without a ſufficient warrant from the Church, and beſides, the ſincere Miniſters of Jeſus Chriſt are utterly againſt you in the univerſalitie of this your practiſe.

But you alleadge the fact of the woman of Samaria, at which a man may wonder at; the woman of Samaria went and told the Samaritans what Chriſt ſayd to her; Ergo, a lay man may publikely preach the Goſpell; here is an excellent conſequence, that hath neither forme nor faſhion in it, you might better have concluded that women may preach; for conſider judiciouſly what paſſage is there in this womans fact, (which you would have ordinary, and inevitable) but may bet­ter be applyed to women than to men, and if you are of that minde, then you ſhall heare the judgement of Divines in that point,(i)(i)The Mini­ſtery of the Church is nor to be commit­ted unto wo­men, but to men. Urſin. Cat. pag. 588. Eng. Our Saviour Chriſt hath joyned the preaching of the Word, and the admini­ſtration of the Sacraments to­gete, and this S. Paul knew by the Com­mandement, of Chriſt, whereupon it follows, that as women may not baptiſe, ſo they may not preach. Cart. Rep. to Whitgift. pag. 109. That which theſe Samaritans beleeved was, that this Chriſt was the promiſed Meſſiah, which yet was not ſo certaine by the womans report, as appeares in the 42. verſe; Now there is difference be tween beleeving on him generally to be the Meſſiah, and in particuler for ones ſalvation; in the firſt ſence the Samaritans beleeved at the womans report, in the ſecond ſence when they came to Chriſt. I but the Samaritans beleeved at the report of the woman; What then, therefore a woman may preach? ſtay good ſir, you are too wide, this woman did no more then call her neighbour Citizens to Chriſt, being convinced in her con­ſcience that he was the Meſſias, which Chriſt in plaine tearmes told her, ſhe being now overjoyed to communicate that to others which ſhe now had her ſelfe, leaving her water pot be­hinde her, and making haſt to informe her neighbours, not onely that he told all that ever ſhe did, but alſo deſiring them to come themſelves, and the Samaritans beleeved the womans report; to wit, that ſuch a Prophet there was as was promiſed, being the Meſſias, and when they came to Chriſt themſelves and had ſeene manifeſtations from him, then they beleeved on him, not ſo much for her ſpeech, but becauſe they had ſeene thoſe things of him with their owne eyes, which made them cry out, this is the Saviour of the world; ſo that this womans fact was no more, but in generall termes to call her neighbour Citizens, Come, ſayes ſhe, and ſee a man that told me all that ever9 I did, is not this the Chriſt?(k)(k)She ſhould have dealt very raſhly, if ſhe had taken up­on her the of­fice of teach­ing, but ſeeing ſhe only deſires to ſtir up her Citizens to heare Chriſt ſpeak, we will not ſay that forgetting her ſelfe ſhe went beyond her reach; ſhe only playes the part of a Trumpet or Bell, that ſhe might win men to Chriſt, for that which I finde in the Pſal. 116.10. I beleeved, therefore have I ſpoke, muſt needs be true, and we muſt ſo much the more note the ear­neſtneſſe, and the gladneſſe of the woman, becauſe only a ſmall ſparkle of faith breeds them, for ſhe had yet ſcarce taſted of Chriſt when ſhe pub­liſhed him to the City. Calvin on the place. which was a very ſhort Ser­mon, and was not ſo convincing till they had beene with Chriſt themſelves; now what is all this to preaching, or to ones being ſent that he might preach; you know Saint Paul ſaies, how ſhall they preach except they be ſent? and ſending is either ordinary or extraordinary, and if you will needs have this woman to be a Preacher, ſhew us her Commiſſion? You will ſay ſhe preached, but how is that proved? well ſup­poſe ſhe did preach (for we will grant nothing) where is her ſending mentioned? you will ſay it is not expreſſed, her fact is ſufficient; I tell you that if ſhe preached, and was not ordina­rily called, it followes, it was extraordinary, and ſo unimita­ble; and ſhew me if you can, any inſtance in the Scripture that ever any perſon tooke upon him to preach publikely, but they were called thereunto, not onely inwardly by God, but out­wardly by the Church, and that expreſſed in the Scripture, un­leſſe in ſome caſes extraordinary; ſo even the Apoſtles them­ſelves, who were extraordinary called, for their manner, yet their calling is ſet downe, both inward and outward alſo; and now if the Apoſtles, who were extraordinarily called for man­ner, and yet is ſet downe for all that; how comes it to paſſe, that the womans fact; which you would have ordinary is not ſet downe, ſeeing ordinary callings and ordinary actions, which the ſucceeding Churches was to walke by for directions, are not regiſtred? the Apoſtles as was ſayd were extraordina­ry in the manner of their calling, and in the manner of the exemption of that to which they were called, but the ſubſtance of their dutie which they exempted, to wit, preaching was com­municated to poſterity, elſe how hath God provided for his Church; but as for theſe allegations of yours out of the Acts, and of this woman of Samaria (if you will have her a Prea­cher) they were extraordinary both in circumſtance and ſub­ſtance; the reaſon of the firſt, becauſe of the perſecution at Jeru­ſalem, there were none now to preach the Goſpell, but ſuch as God had extraordinarily raiſed up, and you ſhould doe well to ſhew us when here was ever any ſuch practiſe of preaching by lay men in the times of the Apoſtles libertie, and when they10 were freed from the ſtops and hinderances of perſecution, then the cauſe could nor poſſibly but winne credit to judicious un­derſtanders; but when you can alleadge no examples then the woman of Samaria, and theſe Chriſtians in the Acts, I muſt needs conclude to you as Chriſt did to the woman, verſ. 22. yee worſhip you know not what, no more doe you of what you affirme, of the ſecond for the reaſon before alleadged.

The next argument is taken from the 8. of Luk. 39 the man in whom Chriſt wrought the Miracle being poſſeſſed with divels, after the divels were gone from him, Chriſt bids him to goe to his owne houſe and tell what great things the Lord had done for him; ergo, a lay man may publikely 'preach the Goſpell; this inference is like the former, well, but how prove you hee was a preacher? Marry becauſe the Text ſaith, hee went and prea­ched, ſome copies read it Publiſhed; but it ſeemes where ever you finde the Word preached or propheſied in the Scripture, though God he knowes the meaning is farre otherwiſe, where in this caſe the holy Ghoſt onely by way of Narration hath ſet downe this miracle, and how the perſon in whom it was wrought, publiſhed it, for the joy that poſſeſſed him; and why doe not you as well conclude that becauſe thoſe two blind men in Matth. 9.31. that had received their ſight, were Preachers too, for the Text ſaith, they ſpread abroad his fame in all that coun­trey, and you may better ſo conclude from theſe two then from the other, becauſe theſe two proclaime his fame. Why although it be a generall expreſſion, yet containes more in it then that, and may as well have relation to Chriſts doctrine, as to that particular miracle he did to them; in this there was but a diſ­poſſeſſion of thoſe divels, and this proclaiming of what Jeſus had done for him, now if you will needs have this man to be a Preacher too, and ſo a warrant for you, you may be pleaſed to know, that although he had no extraordinary ſpirit, yet the fact may and was(l)(l)For ſome things are ex­traord in my be­ſides the pen­ning of Scrip­ture and work­ing of Mira­cles, as we ſee in Timothy and Titus, for they went up and down and per­formed the office of Vice-Apoſtles when yet they were inediatly cal­led by the Church. extraordinary, becauſe that hee in ſo doing had the command of Chriſt,(m)(m)Chriſt pur­poſely com­mandeth him to ſhew forth the worke of God, ſo that he beingc­counted for a true Prophet and Miniſter of God might ſo get the more credit to his doctrine, Calvin on the place. and that from his owne mouth, which I thinke you will confeſſe to be extraordinary, doe you thinke or ſuppoſe if the ordinary way as Chriſt pre­ſcribes11 ſcribes in Matth. 17.21. if doing Miracles were performed by ſome Miniſters to reſtore a man from ſome ſoare diſeaſe, or to diſpoſſeſſe him from Satan by Prayer and Faſting, would not you (if ſuch a one ſhould diſperſe that act through a whole Ci­tie, when he was wiſhed onely to goe to his owne houſe and to declare what great things the Lord hath done for him) con­clude him that ſo did to be a Preacher? I know you would, elſe what can you make of this example, certainely theſe be very ſtrange collections, to ſay, that becauſe ſuch a one reeceived ſuch a perticular mercy by Prayer and Faſting, and proclaimed it to his friends or neare neighbours, and to thoſe of his neere acquaintance; he was therefore a Preacher; ſo here, the Act on Chriſts part was ſuddaine, and ſo no doubt but extraordina­ry, and upon the ſuddaine performance of the ſame, the man proclaimed what Chriſt had ſo done, being full of great joy, that if he could he would, as the Text ſaith, have continued with Chriſt; and may not you as well conclude that thoſe two blind men were Preachers, for they did the ſame that this man did in ſpreading abroad his fame, if you ſay that theſe two were not ſent, but the other were, then let mee aske you this queſtion, where is it ſaid that the woman of Samaria was ſent? and yet you will have her a Preacher, and beſides upon the ſame ground that you take her to be a Preacher, upon the ſame will I prove the two blind men to be ſo too, for the wo­man ſhe called her Citizens to come to Chriſt, the other which was diſpoſſeſſed of the divels went and preached what things God had done for him, and theſe two blind men that Chriſt cured, went and ſpread his fame abroad, now if it be a ſufficient proofe to make a diſſent, in theſe actions becauſe the one Text ſaith, the one preached, and the other hath it not, and ſo to make a difference upon the word (Preaching) which in the ſence is all one, I leave all men to judge.

Furthermore, if the uttermoſt that you can gather from this place be granted you, that this man did preach, yet you cannot hence prove your calling, to wit that a Lay man may publikely preach, being not called by the Church, when there is the meanes that may be afforded for that end, becauſe Chriſt ſent this man out by his voyce and command, and ſo muſt12 needs be extraordinary, and that not becauſe he wanted an ex­traordinary ſpirit, but becauſe he being no Church officer, nor was mediatly called or ſent, but immediatly, for as was ſaid before, ſome things were extraordinary beſides penning of Scripture, and the workes of Miracles, as thoſe actions perfor­med by Timothy and Titus, they were extraordinary perſons, & did and performed acts and offices that were extraordinary for their manner, and their performances made them extraordi­ry men, whence they are called Evangeliſts, and although they were mediatly called by the Church, yet the execution of that to which they were called made them extraordinary, but here this man was not onely extraordinary in what he did, but alſo was extraordinarily ſent from Chriſts owne vocall commiſſi­on; now if Timothy and Titus were extraordinary becauſe they did actions extraordinary for their manner, why is not this man extraordinary, when he was not onely extraordina­rily ſent, but did execute that alſo, in an extraordinary manner to which purpoſe he was ſent, neither was a Church offi­cer? likewiſe it behoves you to prove that theſe actions per­formed by the ſcattered Chriſtians, and the woman, and this man, were perpetually ſo done by them, and not once or twice, which you cannot prove, for there was good reaſon for them now to doe that, but not as Church officers, and ſo left imitable to poſteritie, but as the Chriſtians for the neceſſitie that then was, the woman and the man for the great joy that did then poſſeſſe them, when Chriſt did thoſe things for them.

To that other allegation of yours from that ſpeech of Moſes, Numb. 11.29. where he wiſhes that all the Lords people were Prophets, is very impertinent to this purpoſe: do you not know to what end this ſpeech of Moſes was, or is you skill in com­paring ſpirituall things with ſpirituall, ſo weake that you know not how to apply them when they are compared, or elſe in comparing them not right, you apply them to a wrong end? for according to your manner of reaſoning, the argument runs thus; Moſes wiſhed that all the Lords people were Prophets, therefore a Lay man, or he that is no Church officer may out of extraordinary times preach the word publikely, which is as13 farre from true reaſoning, as Jeruſalem from Amſterdam; but you cannot bee ſo ignorant as you make your ſelfe, that the meaning may be this, that they were Prophets, that is, that they had a ſpirit of prophecie, to ſound forth the praiſes of God and to expreſſe the ſame by Timbrels and other Muſicall Inſtru­ments as Eliſha did in the ſame manner, 2 King. 3.15. but to put you out of all doubts, becauſe we will not uſe conjectures in ſo plaine a matter, the true ſence is this, which doth beſt agree with the order of the ſtory in this, Numb. 11.29. and in a plaine Narration you may be pleaſed to underſtand that theſe Iſraelites mentioned in the Chapter did murmure and com­plaine, verſ. 1. Moſes he being not able to beare this burthen de­ſires the Lord in a poſſionate expreſſion that be might die, verſ. 14.15. But God moved with the complaint and griefe of his ſervant yeeldeth him helpers to beare his burden with him, that ſo he might have the more comfort, verſ. 16. theſe 70. men will he have furniſhed with his Spirit; never placing any to doe a dutie, to whom he gives not a meaſure of abilitie to doe the ſame, and God did here extraordinarily call them to be aſſiſtant to Moſes in this worke of government, and to con­firme this calling, he did as he promiſed Moſes, tooke off the ſpirit that was on him, and gave it to theſe Elders, verſ. 25. now ſo ſoone as this was done the Text ſaith, they propheſied and did not ceaſe, which propheſie did conſiſt in ſounding forth Gods praiſes and alſo in miniſtring aſſiſtance to Moſes in this worke of go­vernment; now what Moſes meant by wiſhing that all the Lords people were Prophets, is eaſie to finde, for his wiſh was ſpoken in relation to Eldad, and Medads phopheſying in the Campe, peruſe the Chapter well, and you cannot but ſee in what ſence Moſes words are to be taken, that had it not beene that thoſe two Elders were in the Campe who were ſpoken againſt by Joſhua, Moſes ſervant, that expreſſion had never beene utte­red by him towards the people, the two Elders being in the Campe, a young man ran and told Moſes, and ſaid; Edlad and Medad doe propheſie in the Campe, and Joſhua the ſervant of Moſes ſaid, My Lord Moſes forbad them, Moſes he anſwers him with a reproofe. Envieſt thou them for my ſake, ſaith he, would God that all the Lords people were Prophets, whereby it appeares that14 Moſes his ſpeech muſt needs carry a dependance and reference to thoſe two Elders in the Camp, or elſe it were very incon­gruous: Now ſhall I aske you this queſtion? Had not Moſes ſome ground for his wiſh, and is not this wiſh ſpoken with re­ference to thoſe two Elders? I know you cannot deny it; doth it not follow then by neceſſary conſequence, that as the Spirit (that God took from Moſes, and put it upon theſe Elders, and which Spirit Moſes wiſhed were in the Lords people) was a ſpirit of Government, which thoſe Elders were to ſhare in with Moſes, and which would have produced a happy effect in the people, if they had had the ſame: Will you ſee an exam­ple to illuſtrate this point; Let the example of Saul then bee here brought forth, and which comes next to be anſwered. That as he was extraordinarily called by God to his Kingly office, ſo was this his calling confirmed to him by the pouring of his Spirit on him. 1 Sam. 10 6. Such an example we have likewiſe in Gideon, in the 6. Judges 34. Who by this ſigne of prophecie, and other things joyning with it, had his place con­firmed to him, the Spirit it ſelfe was a Spirit of government and of courage and magnanimity to ſupport them, and to fill them with ſufficiency for the performance of thoſe places that God had deſigned them to.

The prophecying it ſelfe conſiſted in ſounding out Gods praiſes by the inſtinct of that Spirit they now had, with Pſalte­ry, Tabret, and Pipe, and in this very ſence are thoſe places to bee underſtood of Gideon,1 Sam. 10.5. and Saul, and Eliſha, as alſo a pregnant place to his purpoſe of Jeduthun in 1 Chron. 25.3. who is ſaid to propheſie with a Harpe, and to give thankes and praiſe to the Lord, by all which it may ap­peare what is the true revealed intent of the holy Ghoſt in Mo­ſes ſpeech, to wit;

That the Lord would if hee ſo pleaſed poure upon theſe people (who before did murmure) a ſpirit of government,Paraphraſed. that ſo they might know how to carry themſelves towards their God and his ſervant Moſes their governour, and theſe 70. Elders, whom hee had extraordinarily and ſpecially deſigned for that pur-poſe.


To that other objection of Saul, in 1 Sam. 10.6. and you have it, 1 Sam. 6.10. but it is no great matter, wee will paſſe that by, becauſe the whole booke almoſt is full fraught with ill applications and miſconſtructions: to the place of Samuel then I anſwer, that the meaning of Sauls propheſying is as was ſayd before, to ſound forth Gods praiſes, by the inſtinct of that Spirit he now had, with thoſe Prophets in the fifth verſe,Or changed his ſpirit. the whole ſtory is this.

Foure things Samuel had propheſied concerning Saul, after his annointing and departing from him and that when theſe things came to paſſe, Saul might be aſſured of Gods calling of him to be King; the ſignes were theſe.

1. That when he was departed, he ſhould finde two men by Rachels Sepulchre, verſ. 2.

2. That after that hee ſhould meete three men going to Bethel to the houſe of God, verſ. 3.

3. After that he ſhould meete a company of Prophets with Harpe, Tabret, Pipes, &c.

4. When he came thus farre and ſaw theſe Prophets, then the Spirit of the Lord ſhould come upon him, and he ſhould propheſie with them.

Now when all theſe came upon him, he might be aſſured in the accompliſhment of theſe propheſies that God had called him to be the ruler of the people, and that he ſhould doe them as occaſion ſerved, for the hand (verſe 7.) of the Lord was with him; ſo that it ſeemes undeniably that Sauls propheſying amongſt theſe Prophets, was ſuch propheſying as theirs was; for ſo the words (with them) doe clearely intimate the ſpirit it ſelfe was poured upon him for the confirmation of his calling, and the effect of that Spirit, filling of him with ſtrength and valour, and alſo to ſound out Gods praiſes; and beſides the holy Ghoſt hath thought fit to expreſſe the man­ner thereof (the Spirit of the Lord came upon him) now God gives his ſpirit either viſibly, or elſe inviſibly; the one is extra­ordinary, the other ordinary.

Now the holy Ghoſt came upon Saul in a viſible manner, not by any locall appearance(n)(n)The holy Ghoſt comes viſibly not by any locall mo­tion, but by the ſignes, he workes, onely the ſigns is taken for the thing it ſelfe, Vrſinat. but by thoſe ſignes which were produced to the eyes & ſenſes of the by-ſtanders, his operations;16 not by any locall or viſible ſight of himſelfe, but by thoſe effects which he wrought.

The holy Ghoſt is given inviſibly when hee beſtowes his gifts, not ſo much with infallible, outward, & externall teſtimo­nies, as by an inward operation on the faculties of the ſoule, in meaſures, and ſo is given to wicked men, and the elect; to wick­ed men at the beſt ſpeculatively regenerating them; to the elect both ſpeculatively and practically.

The ſpirit then was given to Saul in an extraordinary man­ner viſibly by thoſe effects he did produce,The gifts of the Holy Ghoſt, as Mi­racles, and Tengues, Prepheſies were given in the Apoſtles times in an ex­traordinary manner. ibid. ſo that it appeares that his example ſerves your turne not one whit, for if the ho­ly Ghoſt came upon Saul in an extraordinary manner, and that this his propheſying conſiſted in prayſing God with Tabret, Pipe, as the Prophets did in the fift verſe, and hee with them, then what can this prove to your purpoſe? & as the holy Ghoſt was given to the Apoſtles in the primitive Church extraordi­narily & immediatly becauſe of thoſe effects they did produce, why not upon Saul who had this ſpirit given him immediatly as appeares by the effects they wrought in him? as making him another man, and by his propheſying, all which were confirmati­ons extraordinary to confirme his calling of being King, which was extraordinary alſo, the like we ſee in David, 1 Sam. 16.13. who had the Spirit poured upon him in the ſame manner as it was on Saul, and all to fit him for thoſe weightie duties of his kingly office, and although David had not ſuch viſible conſpi­cuous ſignes at his annointing as Saul had, yet wee reade in 1 Sam. 16.18. that he was ſtrong, valiant, a man of warre; in ſo much that it is ſaid, 1 Sam. 18.14, 15. that Saul was afraid of him, all which things being laid together will evince this truth, to wit that theſe were extraordinary Spirits in their manner of being given to certaine perſons; again if Saul were a Preacher, as this allegation ſeemes to inſinuate, then a queſtion would be asked, to vvhom did he preach? It is ſaid indeed he propheſi­ed, but there is divers kinds of propheſie in Scripture, onely the Text ſaith he propheſied with the reſt of the Prophets, but not that he preached to any, for hee neither did as the Samaritan woman did, nor as the man in whom the devils vvere; and tru­ly their actions and performance of them doe manifeſt a diſpa­ritie,17 the woman went onely and told what things had paſſed betweene her ſelfe and Chriſt. The man preached it, but as for King Saul, he propheſied by the inſtinct of that ſpirit he now had in prayſing and ſinging with inſtruments of muſicke to God, which did confirme him in his extraordinary call of being King, all which you could not chuſe but know, onely it ſeemes you are diſpoſed to make the world merry.

To the next, 1 Sam. 19.20. where Saul is faid to ſend meſſen­gers to David, and that they propheſied, that is all one with the other, 1 Sam. 10.6. and Sauls meſſengers here propheſied, with the reſt of the Prophers, as Saul himſelfe did there, and their propheſying muſt needs have reference to the prophe­ſying of the Prophers, for ſo the words imply, that when theſe meſſengers came and ſaid the colledge or company of the Prophets, then ſaith the Text, they alſo propheſied, and ſo al­ſo in the ſame manner did Saul himſelfe propheſic; Now what this propheſie was is expreſſed in 1 Sam. 10.6. as before was declared, it conſiſted in ſounding forth Gods praiſes with Ta­bret, Pipe, Harpe, and as Jeduthun did, 1 Chron. 25.3. an this was to declare the infinite power and mercy of God towards David, whom Saul now had an intent to have ſlaine, as ap­peares by the whole Chapter, Saul ſending his meſſengers, and going himſelfe, yet all could not doe, nor bring to a full period his wicked deſignes againſt David, the like example wee have in 2 King. 1. of thoſe two Captaines and their fifties, that came to apprehend the Prophet Eliah, theſe men thinking to bring the Prophet to King Ahaziah, their ends were fruſtrated, and they themſelves were conſumed with fire from heaven, wherein the power & mercy of God, was alſo manifeſted towards Eliah.

So that it appeares here, it was the wonderful mercy of God to David to deliver him from the hands of Saul & his meſſengers, the opportunitie being ſo, that notwithſtanding Saul ſent time after time, vet God ſo ordered the matter, that theſe meſſen­gers being ſent from Saul who was enraged againſt him, verſ. 10. could not have acceſſe, much leſſe to doe him any wrong; ſo gracious is the Lord, that to vindicate his peoples innocency or elſe his owne in them, that the ſtrongeſt aſſaults of wicked men, though attended with never ſo much policie, ſhall chal­lenge18 no ſuoceſſe but by his over-ruling power, not that God had a ſpeciall ayme that theſe men ſhould be Preachers, much leſſe to be example therein to poſteritie, but onely that God might deliver David from the hands of Saul; nay, Saul himſelf, who like Herod, after he had ſent forth the wiſe men to diſ­cover Chriſt but came not againe, was now as much in his bed­lam moods as Saul was at this time, who went himſelfe to Ramah, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he propheſi­ed and rent his cloathes, as an infallible teſtimony of a convicted conſcience for purſuing ſo innocent a man as David was; an excellent example wee have to this purpoſe in the 7. of John. 46. of the Phariſees who ſent their meſſengers to ſetch Chriſt before them, but contrary to their expectation, that in ſtead of theſe mens intended fact of taking Chriſt, Chriſt tooke them, and as they came to apprehend Chriſt, as Sauls meſſengers did David, they were ſo wrought upon by his powerfull ſpeeches, that in the 46. verſe they cry out, That never man ſpake like this man; and you may better conclude that theſe ſervants of the Phariſees were Preachers, then Sauls meſſengers; and the reaſon is ſtronger in them then in the other; for,

Sauls meſſengers propheſied among the Prophets when there was not ſuch neede, but onely here that the workes of God might be made manifeſt, turning that into good which theſe men intended for evill, and never returned againe, to give Saul account of his meſſage. But here theſe men that came to Chriſt had their eyes opened, and had ſome ſmatterings of il­lumination that he was Chriſt, and did alſo returne to the Pha­riſees againe, declaring Chriſts ſaying, Never man ſpake like this man; theſe men had beene better preſidents for you to have pro­ved the point; all the marrow of the buſineſſe I ſee lies in this one word (Propheſie) which if you were at a dead lift, as here you are, can never helpe you, conſidering its divers accepta­rions.

As for that you ſay afterwards, that theſe men were no way extraordinary, for ſo your words imply, they had no extraordi­nary ſpirit, Ergo, were not extraordinary.

Here you ſhew your ſelfe either very ignorant in the Scrip­tures, or elſe your writing at this time was very raſh and incon­ſiderate,19 ſiderate, and becauſe I have here juſt occaſion to ſpeake of that I mentioned before, let me aske you this queſtion.

If nothing were extraordinary but the penning of Scripture and the workes of Miracles,Queſt. how ſhall we diſpure againſt the Hierarchie to prove that Timothy and Titus were extraordi­nary Officers, by thoſe offices and acts which they did, if no­thing were extraordinary but what you ſay: for you affirme (when it was objected that theſe men had extraordinary ſpi­rits) that none had extraordinary ſpirits but they that pen'd the Scriptures, or wrought Miracles, implying, that becauſe they had not exeraordinary ſpirits in perming Scriptures or work­ing Miracles, therefore they were not extraordinary, and ſo you have with one puſſe taken away all the ſtrength of the An­nepiſcopall pa•••e, and given occaſion to them to triumph in the diſcord which they maliciouſly attribute to our Divinces for my part I leave you either to cleare your felfe, or elſe to ac­knowledge your errour, for it is mamfeſt abroad in the world, that by reaſon of the ill, unadviſed, raſh, inconſiderate, imper­tinent Famphlets that are now extant (ſetting ſome aſide) the adverſaries of a through reformation do not ſticke to ſay in their Bediam fits, that all diſſentions about the Church are ſet on foot, by the occaſion of our beſt and ſincereſt Divines.

To the next you ſay, that ſuch a ſpirit as this was promiſed to all Gods people.

It is moſt true, that God hath promiſed to his people a ſpirit of Propheſie, but now all the queſtion is what this kinde of Propheſying is, becauſe it ſerves much for the illuſtration of this point; and the opening of this Text; there are then divers acceptations of the word Propheſie in Scripture.

1. It is taken in the ſtricteſt ſence, for foretelling things to come, thus the Prophets, as Pſaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel were Pro­phets.

2. For publike preaching the Word, by Sermons to the Church, ſo it is taken and attributed to the Shepherds of Iſrael, men in a publike office in the Church, Ezek. 34.2. Iſa. 56.10.

3. For private interpretation (yet not being contrariant to publike doctrines that are true) for the iuſe and benefit of the Church, ſo it is taken in 1 Cor. 14 now although theſe men20 here of Corinth did according to their gifts given them,Wee doe not read in all theſe two E­piſtles to the Corinthians, that there were any ſetled Paſtors, and therefore theſe mens propheſying in the publike meerings, was without all doubt extraor­dinary. exer­ciſe publikely, yet they did not doe it as publike Church Of­ficers, but as men private, not in what they did, but as they were, for there were now as is thought, no publike Church Of­ficers, and the Apoſtles with their fellow Labourers did conti­nually viſit them, both by perſonall preſence, and Epiſtles.

4. For ſounding forth Gods praiſes by muſicall inſtru­ments, as Harps, Pipes, &c. ſo it is taken in 1 Sam. 10.5. 1 Chron. 25.3.

5. For profeſſing and celebrating God, ſo all Gods peo­ple doe propheſie, and are likewiſe. Prophets Gen. 20.7. Matth. 10.32.

Now in what ſence, you take this ſpeech in the 2. Acts 18. is preſently proved, for you take it to be meant of a Spirit of propheſie, to conſiſt not only to interpret Scriptures privately, but publikely too; and it ſo appeares, becauſe you bring this Text to prove a promiſe made to ſome, nay to all Gods peo­ple, to enable them publikely to diſpence the heavenly Miſte­ries of Salvation: but now what reaſon can you bring to prove this Text is to be ſo expounded, I ſee not; if you can produce none but your own fancy, then you will give me leave, to diſ­ſent from you for this reaſon: you know the Scriptures call Gods people Prophets, as before was inſtanced, and if they are Prophets, then they have a propheticall office, which con­ſiſts (according to your deſcription) in publike Preaching of the Word of God, as well as profeſſing it; only you are defici­ent in your proving it, unleſſe your, bare affirmations bee proofes; but Sir, one word with you, let me tell you as a friend, you have done wonderfull wrong to the ſacred Scrip­tures, thus to abuſe them by ſuch wretched and extorted Ex­poſitions; the true meaning of the place is this, as if Saint Pe­ter had ſaid, or the Lord by Saint Peter. I will poure out my Spirit in thoſe dayes, and on your Sons, Daughtors, I will poure out my Spirit and they ſhall propheſie: That is,**So Vrſinus ex­pounds the place. Profeſſe my Name, Truth, walk according to thoſe dictates of my Spirit, celebra­ting and praiſing me; ſo that it appeares that this your mi­ſtake iſſuer from an univerſall Expoſition of a Word, which you ſee admits of divers acceptations (Propheſie) is the onely21 beame that hides the truth from approaching your judgement; it is true that all Preaching is Propheſying, but all Propheſie is not Preaching, and I wonder a man ſhould be ſo miſerably miſtaken, as to expoſe himſelfe to the publike cenſures of lear­ned Divines, who cry out in their Pulpits againſt ſuch imperti­nent allegations, certainly if wee had but the Presbyteriall di­ſcipline eſtabliſhed in the Church(o)(o)O Lord who can pati­ently heare this horrible diſor­der aſcribed to the Apoſtles Church, which here you attri­bute unto it, that every one hand overhead Preached, Bap­tized, and ex­pounded the Scriptures; what a win­dow, nay what a gate is here opened to A­nabaptiſts to confirme their fantaſticall o­pinion, where­in they hold that every man whom the Spi­rit moves, may come even from the Plough-taile to to the Pulpit to Preach the Word of God, Cart. 1. Rep. to Whitg pag. 38. you would goe neare to come under the ſconrge of Eccleſiaſticall cenſure, for broach­ing ſuch deteſtable opinions, although you never practiſed them, becauſe herein you open wide the mouthes of the Ana­baptiſts; and in the meane time if you repent not of this your ſinne, you ſhall certainly anſwer to that God before whom there is no reſpect of perſons in the diſpenſations of his juſtice, and chaſtiſements, and if a Spirit of Prophecy be admitted in your ſence, then it will follow, that all Gods people muſt bee publike Preachers, for what other ſence or interpretation can the words admit, or your allegations from this Text, for the holy Choſt ſaith (they ſhall Propheſie) and you ſay this Pro­pheſie is publike Preaching, which is a pretty expoſition and ſerves excellent well to trouble the Church.

As for that you ſay, that ſome object and ſay, that this pro­miſe was made good in the Apoſtles times, are you able to diſprove them that ſo ſay, or doe you know what you doe in taking upon to anſwer ſuch an objection. All that you can ſay is (If in the Apoſtles times they were called the laſt times, much more now) all this is true in it ſelf, but it behooved you to ſhew, that the laſt times there mentioned are our laſt times in which we live, for it is not to be denied but the Apoſtles times were the laſt times, and the laſt times, are alſo our times, and there­fore the Apoſtles, as Peter and Paul, when they ſpeake of the laſt times do give us evident light, that when ſuch or ſuch things come to paſſe that then we may aſſure our ſelves that thoſe laſt times are the laſt times they meane, and ſo when the Apoſtle ſaith in the laſt dayes, or towards them, ſhall come perillous times, wherein men ſhall be lovers of themſelves, covetous, proud, boaſtors, curſed ſpeakers, &c. and this ſigne ſaith Mr. Perkins hath beene in formerages, and is no doubt at this day in the world.


So you ſee that ſome times are ſayd to bee the laſt times not becauſe they are ſo in themſelves but with reference to certaine ſpeciall things which then happen; now the laſt times here in Joels propheſie, and in Saint Peters allegati­tion is (as(p)(p)That the Jewes might know the Church could not be repaired which was now almoſt ruined, buty the Meſ­ſ••s, that is the ſencef Calvin on〈◊〉ſecond of Acts. Calvin excellently notes) ſpoken in refe­rence to the going out of the Jewiſh Church, for ſo his words import, which was ſome foure or five hundred yeares after Joels propheſie, and therefore they that ſayd this Propheſie was fulfilled in the Apoſtles time, ſay more then you ſhall ever bee able to diſprove; yet you muſt take ſome limitation; this promiſe was not ſo univerſally fulfilled in the Apoſtles time(q)(q)It comprehends a larger knowledge of him which was to bee given to the faithfull in the Kingdome of Chriſt, Cal. inſt. pag. 706. as that the people of God in after ages reape no benefit from it, but the ſpeciall thing in Iocls Prophe­ſie, as viſions, reiling things to come, was fulfilled in the Apo­ſtles time, as appeares by Saint Peters al­legation, and therefore Proteſtant Divines doe affirme againſt the Jeſuites that this promiſe was fulfilled in the Apoſtles daies, ſo ſaith(r)(r)In his Synop Pap. St. Peter thewed how theſe propheſies were fulfilled when the holy Ghoſt was ſent like fiery cloven tongues, and he citeth the very words of Joel to confirme the ſame Saying. Dr. Williams true Church, pag. 547. Dr. Willet. Ruffinies an anci­ent writer ſaith they are impudent that thinke otherwiſe, onely Cornelius a Lapide, a lear­ned Jeſuite, with Bellarmine, and deny it, becauſe forſooth, they alledge this place of Acts to prove their Church are ne­ver without Prophets that can foretell things to come.

But the other part of this Propheſie in Acts 2. verſe 18. doth belong to Gods people to the end of the World and doth conteine a ſpirit of conformitie, and of profeſſing the name, truth of God; ſo Calvin and Ʋrſinus expound the place; Calvin ſaith it is referred to the worſhippers of God, thoſe that are in Covenant with him, &c. Ʋrſinus of pro­feſſing and celebrating God, ſo that from hence it is evi­dent, you can have ſmall comfort from theſe Texts; And I muſt-further admoniſh you, to take heede, ere you bee aware leſt you ſlide into the Tents of the Papiſts while you thus plead for a Text, and the expoſition thereof.


To the next, contained in ſix Anſwers: None is fit for the work of the Miniſtry, unleſſe he be skilled in Arts & Tongues, for if he be not ſo qualified, how ſhall he be able to anſwer the learned Adverſary? Neither is it your anſwer that hath, or ever will prove the contrary; if you had ſaid, The true under­ſtanding of the Scripture comes not only by humane learning, then your ſpeech might have been admitted, and the Texts of Scripture that you have alleadged, prove nothing to this pur­poſe, or if they did, yet they doe not exclude humane Learn­ing; the ſcope of the Apoſtles meaning in that place of 1 Cor. 2.13. and yours is, 2 Cor. 2.13. is to ſhew that we cannot underſtand or know that Eternall Love, that ſuperabounding mercy, that incomprehenſible ſweetneſſe that is to be found in the powerfull wayes of Jeſus Chriſt, but by the Spirit; this is evidently proved from the foregoing Chapter; the Apoſtle ſpeaking that Chriſt was made unto us Wiſdome, Righteouſ­neſſe, Sanctification, and Redemption, proceeds all along, tel­ling us that we cannot know theſe things but by the Spirit, for as no man knowes the things of man, but the ſpirit of a man which is in him, ſo nothing can reveale Gods love to the ſoule concerning Predeſtination, and Sanctification, but the Holy Ghoſt, which ſheds abroad the love of God in the hearts of his people; and as Jeſus Chriſt doth impart theſe things by his Spirit to his people, ſo he ſends his Miniſters to preach the ſame, not in the words of mans wiſdome, but in the demon­ſtration of the Spirit. Now I would intreat you in the next Pamphlet, to tell me if there be not a large difference be­tween the interpretation of the true and univerſall, revealed meaning of the Holy Ghoſt in the ſacred Scriptures, as well by the underſtanding of the Originall, and line reading, point­ing, collation, as by the Spirit himſelfe: And the certifica­tion of thoſe things that concerne a mans Eternall Salvation, by the ſame Spirit, which lye hid in Gods everlaſting love, yet revealed in the Scriptures, of which the Apoſtle here ſpeaks: It is true, a man my run into extreames as well one way as in another; And as he that is skilled in Arts and Tongues, without the light of the holy Ghoſt, cannot univerſally interpret & apply24 Scripture according to the minde of Chriſt, ſo a man that is deſtitute of skill in Arts and Tongues, and hath nothing in him, but that light which proceeds from Gods Spirit, cannot on the other ſide expound according to the originall, for God workes by meanes, he will and doth convey his minde revea­led, ſo farre forth as men can comprehend him, with the con­junction of thoſe meanes he hath ordeined inſtrumentally to communicate himſelfe; now your ſelfe ſaith, that this may be deſired in thoſe that want it, beſides the Apoſtle wiſhes that the Corinthians had the gifts of tongues, calling it a ſpirituall gift; now if this be a ſpirituall gift, and ought to be deſured, and without which a man cannot interpret according to that tongue in which the holy Ghoſt ſpake, then God doth com­municate himſelfe more to him in larger meaſures of his re­vealed will, by thoſe meanes he hath ordeined and commen­ded to that purpoſe, then to him who is deficient in the enjoy­ment of thoſe meanes, by which he ſo conveyes himſelfe, and ſo he that is univerſally qualified and hath both theſe, is fit for the vvorke of the miniſtery,(ſ)(ſ)Therefore to the end that unquiet and troubleſome men ſhould raſhly thruſt in themſelves to reach or rule; it is expreſly pro­vided, that no man ſhould without cal­ling take upon him a publike office in the Church unleſſe called. This we may often­times marke in Paul, when hee meanes to ap­prove his A­poſtleſhip, hee doth alledge his calling; if ſo great a Mi­niſter dare not take this upon him but by the commande­ment of the Lord, how great ſhame­fulneſſe ſhall it be, if any man wanting either of theſe ſhall challenge ſuch honour to himſelfe, Calv. •••tit. pag. 522. and ſo is not he that is wanting in either; true it is that Jeſus Chriſt hath not greater adverſa­ries then thoſe that are greatly learned, and unſanctified, wit­neſſe the Phariſees; but yet againe, he hath no greater friends and ſouldiers to fight his battels (although vilified by the world) then thoſe who have thoſe humane excellencies ſancti­fied unto them; to the other five anſwers, becauſe they are for their ſubſtance conteined in the firſt, and are anſwered in that, I will here paſſe them by and come to the next, where you ſay;

All the call mentioned in Scripture, was the peoples great neceſſitie, and their great willingneſſe to heare is moſt untrue; yet to be admitted in caſes extraordinary, and if you had made that limitation you had done well, but when your ſpeeches are indefinite, making no caution and reſtruction, where it is required, you ſhew your palpable ignorance, for God hath pre­ſcribed other things as additionall to the calling of a Miniſter publikely to preach the Word, beſides the peoples neceſſitie and their owne willingneſſe, his orders muſt be obſerved, not neglected, now the peoples neceſſitie is to be relatively conſi­dered,25 and ſo made their election, but before a Miniſter can be compleatly fitted for the publike function of the Church, hee muſt be ordained by the Presbytery, for if none be fit for the publike function of the Miniſtery, but men ſufficiently learned, as before was declared, how can the people judge of his ability who have no knowledge therein? And if the Apoſtles would not have any to execute the office of a Deacon in the Church, which was a leſſer, and an inferior Church-officer, why ſhould thoſe that are deſigned to a greater and more publike duty miſs of that confirmation? And(t)(t)You ſhould underſtand that the aſſu­rance of the in­ward calling dependeth up­on the out­ward, for al­beit the Spirit of God work­eth that aſſu­rance, yet he worketh by the outwardmeans, by the judge­ment of the Elders, and of the Church, touching his aptneſſe for the Miniſtery, whileſt he con­ſidereth that calling is not the calling of men, but of God, through the Miniſtery of men; ſo that this ſeparation of the know­ledge of an in­ward calling from the out­ward is not on­ly abſurd, but confirmes the Anabaptiſts, which boaſt of an inward cal­ling, where no calling of the Church went before. Cart. 2. rep. to Whitg. 1. part. p. 260, 261. although a man can plead never ſo much his inward calling, yet ſent he muſt be as well by the Church, as by God himſelfe; and ſhew if you can any perſon in the New or Old Teſtament, that ever publikely Preached, unleſſe in extraordinary caſes, but he was confirmed in his cal­ling by the Church; now what neceſſity you can plead is ſome­what hard to be underſtood; doubtleſſe there was no neceſſity in you ſo to doe, when there were godly Divines and others to do it; or is your neceſſity ſo great, as thoſe Chriſtians in the 8. Acts when there were none at all, but the Apoſtles now at the perſe­cuted Church at Jeruſalem? if you object, that thoſe Miniſters that did ſo preach, did not Preach Jeſus Chriſt purely; what of that, they preached him truly, did they overthrow any ſub­ſtantiall points of Faith? the Apoſtle Paul notwithſtanding did rejoyce when ſome preach Chriſt out of envy: ſo although they preached him not purely, yet they preached him truly.

To the next.

Spenc. That it may be lawfull in a mans family, but not in a Church.

Anſw. And ſo it may be lawfull in a mans family, but not in a Church.

For as there is no member of the body of Jeſus Chriſt, but is of the ſame nature of the whole, a publike member of a publike body, and the ſpirit proceeding from the head to every member is one and the ſame ſpirit, and his gifts of like nature, publike gifts of a publike ſpirit, for the good of the whole body; and ſo though they be mem­bers of one body, and are to be aſſiſtant one to another in that body, yet can theſe members performe the duties of each other? indeed in the generall they may becauſe the generalitie26 of their duty is to be aſſiſtant; but here lies the queſtion, whe­ther one member can performe the office of another, which is perticularly appropriated to him, and none other? or as you had it before, can the eye performe the office of the hand, or the hand of the eye? for as you ſay, though in reſpect of congre­gated bodies, the more part are out of office, yet as we are one body in Chriſt & members one of another, firſt all members may be generally aſſiſtant to the ſorvice of the whole, but can every member per­forme that which is ſpecially affirmed of, and attributed to one? if you grant it, then factumeſt, it is done, Anabaptiſme, and Anarchie, and all, we ſhall have come tumbling into the Church; for tell me, are not you he that ſaid a little before from the A­poſtle, that the chiefeſt members cannot ſay to the leaſt, I have no need of thee; now if every member can performe that which is ſpecially affirmed of another, then how can you juſtifie your ſpeech from the Apoſtle, who ſaith, the one hath need of the other, and if the one have need of the other, it followes that hee wants that in another which hee can­not performe himſelfe; if one have no need of another, then he cannot onely doe that which properly is this, but that alſo which is ſpecially attributed to another, and ſo you have falſi­fied the Apoſtle, and beaten your ſelfe with your owne weapon.

To the next, tis true, that in the work of Reformation it is ne­ceſſary that all errours ſhould be diſcovered, and all truths imbraced, but you have very ſlenderly proved that your univerſall pra­ctice is a truth, and if you bring no better reaſon then you have here in your booke publiſhed to the world, I am not afraid to tell you, that in ſtead of being truth, it is a moſt notorious un­truth, and ſuch a one, that you going about to prove true, you have both expoſed your ſelfe, to abundance of cenſure from godly Divines, but alſo ſhewed the ignorance in reſting upon ſuch broken Reeds that will never hold in the tryall, and be­ſides, are there not abundance of faithfull Miniſters of Jeſus Chriſt that notwithſtanding they have had their admiſſion in­to their publike offices from the Prelates, yet doe preach Chriſt in his puritie, and doe not you here ſhew your pride, that dare take acception of their allowance by the Prelates for(u)(u)Say a man have been trai­ned up in the Schols of lear­ning, and have never ſo great gifts, and fit­neſſe to exer­ciſe a publike office in the Church, yet he may not take upon him to Miniſter till he firſt be ap­proved, 1. Tim. 3.10. that would open a gap to dange­rous Schiſmes in the Church, good therefore it is to h•••ken to the advice of the Apoſtle. Rom. 12.3. Hil­derham on Joh. pag. 248. they would not preach the Word publikely, nor take upon27 them any publike function in the Church, unleſſe they were ex­ternally allowed thereunto, and although there be imperfecti­ons in the ſame, yet Sir, the ſubſtance of it is conteined in their ordination, being onely this, that Miniſters ſhould be exami­ned, and proved for their abilitie to be apt to teach, 1 Tim. 3.2. and by ſound doctrine to exhort and convince the gaine­ſayers; now can every man that pretends the ſpirit be able to convince, nay are they able to ſpeake a word to a learned ad­verſary? and is it fit now that ſuch ſhould have any publike of­fice in the Church? In the 1 King. 12.31. it is noted by the holy Ghoſt as a fault in Jeroboam, that hee made Prieſts of the(x)(x)You know they meane the baſeſt of the people, ſuch as gave but one leap out of the Shop into the Church, as ſuddenly are changed from a Serving mans Coat, into a Miniſters Cloak, making for the moſt part the Mini­ſtery their laſt Refuge. Cart. 1. rep. to Whitgift. pag. 26. loweſt of the people, which was a great prophanation to the Miniſtry, and that he tooke them not out of the Tribe of Levi, which were men fitted and qualified for the Miniſtery, and if this were a fault in Jeroboam, becauſe he chuſed ſuch as he ſhould not chuſe, why ſhall it not be a fault and a great pre­ſumption in you to take that function upon you without a call by the Church, and I am afraid that in ſtead of expecting a glo­rious Reformation, we may rather expect a hinderance of the ſame, occaſioned by your practiſe, uſe your gifts you may in a private way (and it were to be wiſhed, that you did not ſo tu­multuouſly draw ſuch a number of people after you) the reaſon is becauſe it doth open the mouths of the adverſaries of a thorough Reformation, which if it were otherwiſe, might leſſe offend good Chriſtians, and upon the right performing of the ſame, might have good warrant from the Word of God.


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TextLay-preaching vnmasked. Or, A discourse tending to shew the unlawfulnesse of laymens preaching in publique or private. being a refutation of some arguments brought for the justification of the lawfulnesse and uniuersall exercise of every mans gift publique and private: by a well-willer to reformation.
AuthorWell-willer to reformation..
Extent Approx. 76 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 16 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A88844)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 111125)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 7:E37[14])

About the source text

Bibliographic informationLay-preaching vnmasked. Or, A discourse tending to shew the unlawfulnesse of laymens preaching in publique or private. being a refutation of some arguments brought for the justification of the lawfulnesse and uniuersall exercise of every mans gift publique and private: by a well-willer to reformation. Well-willer to reformation.. [4], 27, [1] p. Printed for W.L.,London :1644.. (Annotation on Thomason copy: "March: 14 1643"; the second 4 in the imprint date is crossed out.) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Lay preaching -- Early works to 1800.
  • Preaching -- Early works to 1800.

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  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2012-10 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A88844
  • STC Wing L750
  • STC Thomason E37_14
  • STC ESTC R11551
  • EEBO-CITATION 99859064
  • PROQUEST 99859064
  • VID 111125

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